Monday, August 27, 2007

August 27 Flu Update

Get this. The source of H5N1 in Germany? Contaminated straw. Promed.

Germany has a containment zone around the flu area.

The EU says the outbreak in Germany is contained.

CIDRAP on Vietnam and Germany.

Bird flu is back in two provinces in Vietnam.

CIDRAP on GSK's vaccine.

In Kashmir, flu info is being taken to the block level.

UNICEF is doing education in Bali.


At 6:28 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I find your articles about the outbreaks of bird flu in German and Vietnam, a little on the odd side. Let me explain…

In Germany, the “source” of the H5N1 virus is being attributed to contaminated straw. Unless I’m totally missing something, isn’t straw simply a medium where the virus is residing, no differently than finding the virus in a puddle of water, in the soil, or maybe the feed ? Wild bird droppings, or delivery of contaminated birds into the flock, I’ll buy – but not contaminated straw as the source.

In regards to the continued outbreaks in Vietnam – hasn’t it been well publicized that they conducted vaccination of millions of their poultry flocks with Chinese produced H5N1 vaccines ? To claim, as the one article does, that “the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine is effective 90-100% of the time”, is bordering on ludicrous. C’mon here, if it was truly effective, we wouldn’t be seeing these continued outbreaks in the provinces. Either they are “missing” a heck of a lot of chickens and duckies in the vaccination process, or the vaccine is not “as being advertised”. (I would want my money back, or at least a partial refund, if I were the health minister).

Finally, everyone, did you notice that one important paragraph in the CIDRAP article about the trial results of Glaxo’s H5N1 vaccine? (incidentally, some pretty promising and astounding outcomes)

One of the final paragraphs of the article says that “the balance of the professional opinion is that we should hold off on vaccinating till there’s a pandemic emerging. Not everyone agrees, but most think the best bet is to keep them in stockpile”.

The main reason given for not “pre-inoculating” – is the swine flu fiasco of 1976 and the pandemic that never materialized.

In my view, this position needs to be very carefully reconsidered.



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