Monday, July 16, 2007

July 15 Flu Update

Back again.

There is a possible bird flu death in Thailand.

Effect Measure blogs on the young Indonesian who died recently, and vague, unconvincing and largely unsubstantiaed arguments for exposure to birds. Point isn't this case--it is that how bad would it have to be before authorities would be willing to recognize what was going on.

Britain is warning vets to watch out for signs of the bird flu from migratory birds.

Poultry industry pub in Indonesia reports on bird flu surveillance efforts.

Vets in US are also told they can help with the bird flu.

Hint of what is to come, the Virginia turkey incident cost $600,000, and that was low path.

An astrophysicist at Cambridge gives humanity a 50/50 shot to survive. I hate optimists.


At 6:42 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Let me see if I have the facts straight in your Indonesian article – average weekly day old chick production in the second quarter of 2007 was 22.8 million – that’s roughly about a billion (more or less) chickens being raised in a year in the most H5N1 endemic country on earth. And the stat’s are that each has to be vaccinated 2-3 times, and still carry up to 45% of the virus in their poop. Absolutely amazing. That’s what I call a real viral factory working overtime.

Like I always point out, the physical and logistical demands to vaccinate that many birds successfully without error, is impossible. The opportunity to screw up is enormous, when a country has a billion singular opportunities to cause a pandemic. It almost ensures it in my book.

But, not to fear: they have established “community based” surveillance systems, community groups, and community vaccination programs to mitigate the risks. They even have their Islamic halal system for food consumption (okay, whatever that is). I feel much better now. Notice in these articles that very little mention is ever made of their ineffective, corrupt, inept and almost non-existent central government or health care system (because it barely exists).

Your article by the Cambridge Astrophysicist is a little bit more optimistic. I calculated my odds against each scenario and I fall squarely in the half that’s going to make it every time. The other 50% of the schmucks aren’t.

I did note in the text of the article that he believes a pandemic to be “the scenario actually highly likely to occur this century”.

I would bet it is more likely to occur before the end of this decade, not century.


At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I calculated my odds against each scenario and I fall squarely in the half that’s going to make it every time. The other 50% of the schmucks aren’t.

Reminds me of an exchange from the movie Titanic:

"Half the people on this ship are going to die!"

"Not the better half!"

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Wilfried Soddemann said...

H5N1 bird flu: Spread by drinking water

Risk evaluations of the German authorities BfR/FLI and UBA are fundamentally wrong

The lethal H5N1 bird flu virus will be transferred to humans via drinking water also in Germany, as with the birds.
Recent research results must worry: So far the virus had to reach the bronchi and the lungs of humans in order to infect man. Now in Indonesia it infects the upper respiratory system (mucous membranes of the throat and mucous membranes of the nose e.g. when drinking and probably also the conjunctiva of the eyes as well as the ear drum skin diaphragm e.g. at showering).
In three cases (Viet Nam, Thailand) stomach and intestine by the H5N1 Virus were stricken, not however the bronchi and the lungs. The virus must have been thus orally taken up, e.g. when drinking contaminated water.
The performance of the drinking water processing plants to eliminate viruses in Germany regularly does not meet the requirements of the WHO and the USA. The performance of flocculation and filtration to eliminate viruses from surface water reaches maximally 99.5%. The WHO Drinking Water Guidelines (2004) demands 99.9999% to 99.999999%. The ventilation and high-speed filtration from groundwater to eliminate iron and manganese do not eliminate any viruses. The US Ground Water Rule requires 99.99%. Conventional disinfection procedures by chlorine are poor, because viruses are chlorine tolerant and occur in the raw water not individually, but clumped and therefore by chlorine cannot be achieved.


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