Friday, June 29, 2007

June 28 Flu Update

Indonesia continues to say that it will use a human flu vaccine in July, and resists WHO's requests to build up a stockpile first.

ProMed on Togo, Bangladesh and the Czech Republic--note the possibility of a newly discovered outbreak in the latter country.

A German scientist says that the bird flu in Germany and the Czech Republic have the same source. (This is another shot in the fight over whether smuggling or wild birds spreads the bird flu).

Here's a local story on the outbreak in the Czech Republic. Note the subhead--"little risk to people"

ProMed has the OIE report from Germany.

Vietnam has spent $7.8M on avian flu vaccines this year.

A bird flu conference has kicked off at the (I swear to God) Tblisi Marriott.

Revere warns us again that we can't make flu policy based on headlines.

There is also a meeting in Rome.


At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would you be surprised about an AI conference in Tblisi? The Caucasus region has had several outbreaks, including human deaths and borders on other countries with past confirmed outbreaks. Our 18 month AI Prevention program in Armenia takes the threat seriously.


At 5:45 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I am totally “shocked” that Broom Hilda Supari has announced that Indonesia will be prepared to administer their Baxtor pre-pandemic vaccine on humans in July, without assisting the build up a WHO world stockpile first.

Indonesia’s situation when it comes to international avian influenza cooperation (i.e lack of), is just the Clint Eastwood classic, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”:

The Good – the best part of this news is that Baxtor International is a US firm and it will be relatively easy for our government officials to acquire critical vaccine samples and isolate information from their key company officials. We may have to relocate a few of them to our Guantanamo “recreational facility” to entice them, but I am 100% certain that whatever Baxtor “know’s”, our government “knows” (or will shortly).

The Bad – the message from Supari is loud and clear: “screw you WHO and the rest of world, you’re on your own, and we are not contributing to any stockpile so you have access to it” (as if we didn’t all know this already).

The Ugly – if the attempt to begin human vaccinations in Indonesia back fires and “unintended epidemiological consequences” are the result, then “screw you all again”.

(note: I believe that human vaccination attempts there may end up not being the panacea or mantra of success they are hoping for. My theory is simply that if vaccinations haven’t been proven to work successfully on swine or poultry in the long run – why would they believe a pre-pandemic vaccine will work successfully? They could easily drive the mutational H5N1 – of different strains- into “underground” mode, causing asymptomatic conditions in humans, and increasing the likelihood of reassortment or recombination).

Regarding the Prague, Czech Republic article subhead “little risk to people” – I view this as another mixed message going out to the people, which further feeds complacency and disinterest. For example my coworkers all think I’m an obsessive sissy for being concerned about a disease that has really killed relatively few humans, but lots of chickens, wild birds, ducks and turkeys. (Of course, they worry about mundane stuff, which I am not concerned with in the least – expensive cars and restaurants, cruises, all other frivolous amusements and every hedonistic pursuit known to mankind, which money can buy with instant credit). To them... it's simply a chicken disease, and the most trauma in life they have experienced is a hang nail, or a bad movie.

And the Tbilisi Marriot ? You’ve got to get out of Michigan more often, Orange, and see the world. It’s near the Black Sea and quite beautiful. I’ll watch your house and water your plants for you while you’re gone (got to get approval from my parole officer first).



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