Sunday, June 03, 2007

June 2 Flu Update

There's another death in Indonesia, a young girl.

A new case was also reported in Vietnam.

ProMed on the spread of bird flu in Vietnam.

ProMed also on the new case in Vietnam.

LA Times catches readers up on the "inevitable" pandemic.

In Britain, they will be allowed to show chickens and Ducks at a big show in the South of England.

In York PA, they met at the firehall to discuss bird flu prep.


At 1:40 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


After reading your two articles from California and Pennsylvania, about bracing for an “inevitable pandemic”, it triggered my canine synapses.

As Nancy Cox point out, “We can’t predict when an influenza pandemic will occur or which virus will cause it”, therefore, “ The next pandemic virus could equally be an influenza virus of another subtype”.

This is an extremely important point she is making, with obvious ramifications the world over. Should another subtype become the pandemic virus, then this will complicate and delay novel pandemic vaccine development inexorably – it would essentially cause us to start from scratch, trying to ascertain the most potent and acceptable vaccine – as well as place the majority of defensive health measures into three categories: anti-viral’s, self imposed in-place quarantines and social distancing, and dependence on adequate household pre-preparations.

In my view, most people mistake the lack of human-to-human transmission of H5N1 so far, as a bird disease primarily, since very limited deaths have actually occurred. The longer time passes without an epidemic or pandemic emergence in those countries, the more people dismiss the likelihood and threat. Actually, in my opinion, the threat increases, especially as more subtypes “enter the race”, so to speak. We’ve already seen the first signs of this, with the H7N2 outbreak in Wales recently, coupled with the known H5N1 mutations into numerous sub-clades and strains, in different regions of the world.

This is why people need to prepare – novel influenza viruses are the best stealth weapons that nature has ever devised. Human’s couldn’t plan them as efficiently or recreate them, if they tried.

The point I am making is that I believe we have not just one sole H5 avian virus “public enemy number one”, but this is a deception - we probably have an entire “Fifth Column” of innumerable deadly influenza virus combinations lurking in the background. The passage of “time” works to the advantage of the influenza virus, since this provides and endless number of host and exponential mutational opportunities.

As one of the authors accurately stated, “the actions taken by individuals (before and during) a pandemic may have the biggest effect on its outcome”.

This is a classic case where every individual has the power to make a difference, by preparing for the inevitable. They should use this finite amount of available time as preparation opportunity for their own advantage.



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