Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 21 Flu Update

Sorry we are late, blogger was down.

A 28 year old on Bali is dead. Bird flu is feared.

ProMed on this case as well.

Meanwhile, Indonesia says it sent the sample from the first death to WHO, to calm fears it had mutated into a human flu.

Indonesia says it will work with Japan on developing flu vaccine.

H5N1 is found in Pakistan. Culling commences.

CIDRAP on Pakistan.

At the big US-Canada-Mexico summit, the bird flu was discussed.

The price for culled birds is set in India.

Excellent Effect Measure post. Is the chance of a pandemic 3%...5%...20%. Point is, it doesn't matter, because any model assumes the future will match the past. Are you willing to bet your life that it will.

Monterey CA will hold a business summit on pandemics.

Signs of the future. They find H5N2 in Italy, and Russia bans Italian Poultry.

Sugar in a vaccine. Does it help?

Can the World of Warcraft teach us about how flu spreads?

Gabon is working with FAO to develop a plan to fight bird flu.

Singapore is planning a pilot bird flu project.

Helen Branswell writes on this, as well.

"Basically, I believe this is the next evolutionary step in infectious disease modelling, and this step must be realized as soon as possible, by epidemiologists joining forces with the game industry," said Balicer, who earlier this year made a similar argument in the pages of the journal Epidemiology.


At 6:26 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Oh boy, more trouble in Paradise, (chapter two-of the continuing Bali saga). I guess it’s time for the esteemed Indo Health Minister to fire off another strain sample (overnight UPS) to the WHO and CDC Atlanta to preserve her tourism dollars.

I wonder if anyone stopped to think: the news reports coming out of Bali have all the makings of a good novel about a bird flu pandemic breaking out on a tropical remote island. Where is Leonardo DeCaprio when you really need him. Hmmmm.

I see from your article, “N. American Pandemic Strategy at Summit”, that the three Amigo’s are making tremendous on a deal to work together with an outbreak of avian or pandemic flu in North America. The only problem with this White House Press Announcement is that no specific detail have been released to the public– at least none that I can find on the WWW.

You’ve captured the essence of Revere’s article, “Estimating pandemic risk”, well – the chance of a pandemic doesn’t really matter, because all models and discussions seem to focus on the past, and this will supposedly define the conditions of the future pandemic.

Nah, too much fuzzy logic involved with this: we simply don’t know. A lowball 3% annualized probability is just as uncertain as predicting an outbreak this fall. Nobody understands all the pieces to the avian puzzle – in fact, there are too many loose pieces. My timeframe is five years: if nothing happens by that time, I’m moving on to Global Warming or World Hunger. (new website in the future, perhaps, Orange, maybe we can get Michael Moore to chip in ?)

I found Helen B’s article pretty thought provoking. She has a way of presenting topics, so even a self medicated holistic GED graduate like me, can grasp the nuances. For example, the World of Warcraft epidemic game, could very well likely be much more than a game in its application. Look at the military, and how it has applied computer gaming technology in nearly all of its weapons training, flight simulators, and battle field strategies and modeling. Amazing.

The only major adjustments that the epidemiologists will have to make to the game software program, is to program in a significant mathematical “stupid people factor”, to make it entirely realistic.

There will be a lot of stupid unprepared people doing irrational things, when the pandemic alert level is raised: rushing to emergency rooms, attending public events, shaking hands, hugging people (not me), and generally ignoring the danger.

The graphics in the epidemiological software should be as accurate as possible to show these Forrest Gump types.



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