Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14 Flu Update

Four ducks in France have bird flu.

ProMed reports on the latest from Bali--including large numbers of people being followed to see if they have H5N1.

Bali tourism fears in print.

India is worried about bird flu in its region--on both sides of it.

Parts of Australia near Bali reassure citizens that all is under control.

North Georgia (US) is urging people to have pandemic kits.

Denver and other cities to air bird flu show.


At 6:16 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The most interesting aspect of your Promed report on Bali, is the timeline of the woman’s five year old daughter, who is suspected of dying from bird flu: July 26th outset of symptoms, July 30th hospitalized, succumbed on August 3rd and she is cremated immediately. No samples or autopsy performed. This all too familiar sequence of events, represents a complete failure of the Balinese government and their health care systems to monitor avian influenza and educate their people. No different than Indonesia. Something is dreadfully wrong with this picture, especially when it was well known that chickens were dying in the village before hand.

There’s an important hidden message in your short article about India, who is extremely worried over the uncontrolled avian influenza outbreaks of Bangladesh and Burma: there is very little protection against endemically bird flu infested third world countries who are your neighbors. Pretty soon, we all will be “at-risk” with these out-of-control regional infestations.

I noticed in the North Georgia article which discusses the recommended items to throw into your pandemic preparation kit, that it doesn’t mention one word about how long the citizens should prepare for… three days, or three months perhaps ? This would make a big difference in everyone’s state of readiness.

The real news though is not in the headlines yet Orange, and it has two parts:

1. The current H3N2 or H1N1 influenza epidemic in Australia, is beginning to reveal some very important messages and lessons, that the world is overlooking – for example, far more children should have been seasonally vaccinated in advance, Tamiflu and Relenza should have been pre-stockpiled in their pharmacies for quick dispensing (to facilitate the 48 hour “effectiveness” requirement), and mild hysteria and panic is starting to surface because of these simple oversights.

2. Secondly, the big news from Indonesia is not that they are defying the WHO by not providing current H5N1 samples and strains – it is that that the half-wit Health Minister Supari will begin mass human novel H5N1 virus vaccinations in their population next month, September. I repeat: Indonesia will be complete will their clinical trials this month, and begin massive pre-emptive human vaccinations with their latest-strain-based vaccine.

My prediction: Indonesia proceeding unilaterally with mass H5N1 novel influenza vaccinations of its citizens, will be like “jump starting a dead car battery”, for the avian virus.

What in the world does everyone think will happen when suddenly millions of Indo people are walking around, their bodies already “primed and innoculated” with a pre-pandemic H5N1 strain, and they perhaps are exposed to the H3N2 or H1N1 seasonal flu, or even an H7 or H9, or B type ?

The answer is truly: we don’t know. But I strongly suspect Indonesia may be unwittingly “priming-the-pandemic-pump” and playing with fire. If that is the case, then we all better be prepared to buckle up, because the ride may get a little bumpy.



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