Friday, June 15, 2007

June 15 Flu Update

Bird flu is reported in Northern Vietnam near China.

The PM in Vietnam continues to call for improved flu controls.

The death in Indonesia reported earlier is the 100th human case in the country (CIDRAP reports)

Fresh outbreaks of bird flu are being contained in Burma.

The US government is paying for increased flu capacity, including year round production.

Malaysia says its outbreak has been contained.

CIDRAP reports on the new International Health Rules, published by WHO, in which Margaret Chan again says the biggest threat to biosecurity is pandemic flu.

For the first time, the IHR set forth human rights provisions for international travelers who need medical interventions to prevent the global spread of disease.

The Cameroon says that porous borders are a likely bird flu vector.

Jordan says it needs a flu strategy.


At 2:05 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


It’s interesting to note the close tone of US cooperation with Vietnam in your article, “PM calls for better bird flu control”. It’s also quite interesting that their Deputy Health Minister openly thanked the US Government and its people for its $ 1.5M in funding. Also, this kind of rapport lends itself to excellence exchange of current information that is badly needed (notice the US State Department, HHS, and CDC are directly involved).

Indonesia, which is the most populated H5N1 infected Muslim nation on earth, and in particular, Ms. Supari (exalted Health Minister and queen of contentiousness), should take notice on the positive merits of international cooperation with the West.

I see the federal government is getting serious and pumping $ 132.5M into two major US influenza vaccine manufacturing facilities, to upgrade and dramatically increase their production capacity. This tells me the situation is getting more serious – notice the goal of stockpiling flu vaccines for 20 million people is about the right amount for the first tier of high priority individuals – health care, law enforcement, first responders, etc.

I only hope they consider some serious security measures in their planning for these few facilities… and not just the local sheriff’s office. Should a pandemic occur, it appears that we will be depending on these few facilities with our lives. Our nation’s security will depend upon them, literally. They will be more important than Fort Knox.

It would be quite interesting to get the next level of detailed information on the IHR from the WHO – for example, which countries have agreed to the “regulations”, and in particular, when China and Indonesia will start implementation of the new rules. So far, they have been the masters of deception – lots of gum flapping and subterfuge, but little in the way of timely and accurate reporting and cooperation. When the going gets really tough with avian influenza ( we’ve only been in the preliminary warm up phase so far), it will be interesting to how well they fare. Let’s see if they can ever graduate from the minor leagues on the world health stage.

And finally, its good to see in your news today that the military junta in Burma, has declared that the Chinese avian influenza virus is “reigned in” (but subject to more outbreaks of course).

Now, if the Chinese can declare the Burmese avian influenza virus “under control” in its southern-most provinces, we should be safe for another month or two.



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