Monday, July 09, 2007

July 9 Flu Update

An Indonesian boy died over the weekend of bird flu.

CIDRAP has this story as well.

ProMed on Indonesia, as well.

A pet bird in Germany has flu, and the culling has begun.

Japan has halted bird flu imports from Germany, temporarily.

A German pub runs letters to the editor on bird flu.

Bird flu plagues Southern Vietnam.

Revere blogs the recent Stanford students who are starting a program for a pandemic hotline....says it would be even better if it were open source.

Thailand has anti-bird flu measures in place.

In Japan, people are being asked not to feed the swans at a local park due to bird flu fears.

Smugglers arrested moving birds out of Indonesia.

The US is working with Sri Lanka to prevent bird flu.

Hospital in Sierra Vista, CA prepares for pandemic exercise.

Three local FP's in Colorado have completed pandemic training.

An Australian scientist says people should be able to test themselves for bird flu and then medicate themselves with Tamiflu.

Novavax is working with Wyeth on flu vaccines.


At 6:27 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I’m back.

I see from your articles on Indonesia, that the CFR is holding steady at around 80%. Notice that it is “unclear” how the six year old little boy contracted bird flu – another mysterious illness and Indonesia is “preparing more hospitals to treat human virus cases.

Not good Orange, and it’s not looking better. No evidence that the victim’s family or neighbor’s had any chickens on their premises, once again. The smuggling article about the Indonesian and two Filipino’s who were arrested for smuggling birds, is interesting, but pretty inconsequential to the total bird flu situation there – the H5N1 infection problem is so pervasive in the environment, that my bet is that it is now nearly impossible to eradicate or disinfect all of the places that need cleansing. Sad to say, but the arrest of a few smugglers makes good headlines, but won’t change anything in the long run.

I don’t think anybody is going to like my comments concerning the Effective Measure article about the Stanford students who designed a “pandemic flu hotline staffed by home based volunteers”, and the other student groups who designed pandemic information internet sites and home pages and other developmental “community resiliency” projects. While worthwhile, these ideas are not really the innovation that is needed.

We should be turning our attention to re-building entire systems within the US that can withstand a pandemic disaster without the cascading economic and social consequences that followed Katrina and Sept. 11. For example: decentralizing the power grid so it can endure a local outage without widespread disruption; investing in satellite phones so first responders can communicate effectively (versus using antiquated and inefficient land-based phone systems); stockpiling essential foods and medicines at essential distribution points now, versus waiting until the disaster surfaces and chaos ensues. Hospitals will need water and supplies, shipping water and supplies will require gasoline, and oil refining facilities will require a source of dependable electricity. Shutting down interstates and communities to prevent a contagious disease from spreading, is really an outdated way of thinking and almost ensures that vital supplies will not get delivered where needed.

We need to get our college students, universities, scientist and governments thinking of new ways how to alter our many infrastructure processes, in order to become “a resilient nation” to a pandemic and any other kind of serious emergency. We also need to get ourselves out of the current “pre-attack terrorist” mode and think total resiliency: infrastructure strengthening, health care system preparedness, and teach all individuals and families how to be self-reliant.

Part of this new way of thinking and preparing is allowing people to test themselves for flu using over-the-counter test kits, and making Tamiflu available to the public. The Australian has it right. Seeing a doctor is not a more effective way of treating the flu than the over-the-counter kits, in my opinion, especially when the possibility of a pandemic is looming on our horizon. Simple innovative approaches that ensure resiliency are better, not bureaucratic procedures that virtually guarantee chokepoints and collapses.

We aren’t ever going to get where we need to be as a nation (i.e. the proper state of preparedness) until we start rearranging our national priorities and stop squandering several billion dollars every few days on that rat hole called Iraq.



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