Wednesday, July 18, 2007

July 18 Flu Update

Bird flu has returned to Southern Vietnam.

However, Northern Vietnam says the flu is under control.

Now Britain joins in on the chorus--you can stop the bird flu.

There is early warning of bird flu in India, via ProMed.

Flemish scientists are testing a universal bird flu vaccine.

USAID is giving bird flu aid to Ghana.

Singapore and France are holding a bird flu seminar in Singapore.

Saudi Arabia has banned the import of French chickens.

The World Bank has donated $16M to Bangladesh to fight bird flu.

Chan continues flu warnings.

Revere blogs the cytokine storm paper--the one that says treatments have to target the virus, not the resulting cytokine storm. Conclusion--interesting, but over-interpreted, as they almost always are in mainstream press.

US State Department--gee, where have I heard this before....prep for pandemic helps prep for everything else.


Portrait of a bird flu fighter in Ghana.

2 Comments:

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

It appears to me from reading your articles on the two Vietnam’s, that maybe the rules should be changed a little before any country can declare themselves “bird flu free” – from 21 consecutive days, to perhaps 21 consecutive weeks or months – this sure would make more sense than this “on-again, off-again” reporting. All I can say, is let’s keep on stabbing those hundreds of millions of little duckies and chickies with mismatched diluted vaccines, so we can totally drive the virus completely underground. Let dissolve the Tamiflu tablets into the water for the little birdies to drink, while we’re at it. That should solve our world problems.

Your report from ProMED about NPAI being spotted in and around Imphal, India, looks mighty suspicious. The article refers several times to “reports of deaths in chickens and other farm animals” in India, but yet through their serum samples, no pathogenic strain of the virus has been detected yet? Since when does low path cause chickens and farm animals to flop over ? It doesn’t quite add up or pass the smell test, especially since this stuff is being detected next door Burma where it’s rampant. But, hey, why get 1.2 Billion Indian people unnecessarily excited ? I guess I’m too much like DHS Michael Chertoff… (a much chunkier version though), I have a “gut feel” things aren’t right and we are due for a virus attack this year from someplace.

I see you posted another Margaret Chan article where the WHO boss lady declares a potential 20% influenza pandemic attack rate, once again. Will you please find out where she is getting this specific information from Orange ? She doesn’t answer my e-mails sent to her China or New York address.

I liked your comment on the State Department press release: we’ve heard this same info countless times before. What’s really lacking though, is that we haven’t seen any of our states or large cities check in and issue a similar “annual report card” on their pandemic preparedness activities and accomplished. I’m afraid if they did, it would end up rather dismal and embarrassing, since both states and cities will end up playing the most significant support role when a pandemic emerges. Think they all have real hard-and-fast consistent rules established when they are even going to close their schools down ? Don’t count on it.

So far, I think most of our states and cities are quite drilled and prep’d for one-time natural events, like hurricanes, fires, explosions, earthquakes and storms. I really do. But a highly infectious influenza pandemic is a different animal and could cripple our entire economy and supply system’s. Most preparations for this I believe are still housed firmly in thick paper binders only (and in people’s minds), since it’s only a bird disease and not one single bird in North America has been documented as having died from the HPAI virus.

And the average citizen ? They are still hopping on planes to Disney World, attending mass public events and stopping every night on their way home from work for dinner supplies or daily groceries – business pretty much as usual. Completely oblivious to the world’s great tragedy in-the-making.

Wulfgang

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

Wulfgang said: "And the average citizen ? They are still hopping on planes to Disney World, attending mass public events and stopping every night on their way home from work for dinner supplies or daily groceries – business pretty much as usual. Completely oblivious to the world’s great tragedy in-the-making."


This is very true, Wulfgang, but having stocked up my pantry nearly two years ago (and having had to throw out lots of things that are now past consuming), does it really make sense to have the stockpiles at the ready (at least the perishable ones)?

I understand that time will be of the essence if the virus does eventually take off, but, with a plan in place it shouldn't be too hard to obtain those perishables and put a halt to travel at the first signs that the virus is spreading, should it?

We've sat here waiting for this virus to become a real threat, watching as our expensive Tamiflu supplies approach their expiry dates. How can people really be faulted for letting the prep slide a little while this virus decides whether it is going to amount to anything or not?

 

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