Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 31 Flu Update

Promed reports that the recent case in Vietnam--22 YO pregnant woman--is not a reported fatality.

CIDRAP on the new case in Vietnam. Note no reported outbreaks near her home.

India is pointing the finger to Myanmar for its recent outbreak.

Two dead swans in France are H5N1.

The Federal Government invests more $$ in research into adjuvants.

Revere blogs on the ethical issues surrounding recent reports of exposing healthy people to the flu to study transmissiblity.

The Urals are worried about an outbreak in August.

Bhutan comments on the outbreak in India.

Interesting article on how local knowledge is being tapped in the fight against bird flu in Indonesia.


At 7:09 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The Promed and CIDRAP article’s description of the pregnant women risks and fatalities to bird flu, is strikingly eerie and ominous – anyone who has read John Barry’s book can spot the similarities of these high fatalities and draw a couple of basic conclusions (i.e. history repeating itself).

I noticed the particular last sentence in your Time of India article: “The government (of India) has also refuted the reports of ‘unusual’ deaths of birds from East and West Imphal districts of Manipur or in any part of the country”. I believe in the eventual veracity in rumors. Usually, there is a kernel of truth in them. Take Russia for instance, they already know they're going to have a bird flu outbreak in the Chelyabinsk region, during August. (but this is probably due to the fact that they already know this).

Revere’s article on “Figuring out how flu gets around” is unusually thought-provoking. What crossed my mind, is this – if we don’t figure out how to hurdle the red-tape and bureaucracy of “ethics boards”, other countries will continually edge us out strategically when comes to critical and necessary scientific health data that is required to save large numbers of lives. It’s this simple: if we don’t figure a way to compensate willing volunteers, utilize prisoners, and “get over” our obsessive and compulsive morale and ethical righteousness disorder in this country, millions of people could die unnecessarily due to lack of sound medical information. For fear of some severe medical reactions and potential lawsuits - we could be sacrificing millions - doesn't make sense, unless I'm missing something.

It seems, at least to me, in the last century, the social and moral pendulum has managed to go to one extreme to another – we dare not intrude on the liberties and rights of criminals. Law enforcement officers cannot effectively enforce the laws. Our society continually spends more money per capita on convicted murderer’s and pedophile legal appeals, than for victims. Further, the international internet companies allow predators to pray on innocent children and allow the posting of pornographic pictures so horrendous, even God Himself probably cringes. Go figure…

Your last article about “Tapping local knowledge in Indonesia…”, is informative, but rather sad. Between the lines, it reveals the fact that the decentralized and impotent federal government of Indonesia is almost flaccid and incapable of fighting bird flu. Without the FAO, USAID, AusAID, WHO and the Japanese government coming to the rescue with assistance, Indonesia wouldn’t have a chance. I’m afraid we are well on our way to establishing a perpetual cycle of welfare assistance. Unfortunately, their religion, strong decentralized provincial governments and social culture will always be barriers to real progress in the fight against bird flu.

It’s a lost cause there, but assistance must be provided, in order to buy more preparation time for the rest of the world (at least IMO).



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