Monday, September 10, 2007

September 10 Flu Update

WHO reports new bird flu death in Indonesia.

Ducks in Germany that were frozen while infected iwth H5N1 may have been eaten.

The GAO says that bird flu plans for the US Federal Government are lacking.

Malaysia says it is bird flu free.

Dead swan in Southern Russia was H5N1.

WHO says pandemic is (wait for it) "inveitable", scorns complacency.

Chlorination inactivates H5n1.

In Ireland, people are reminded that bird flu is threat.

They are testing birds in Kansas for bird flu.

They will begin bird monitoring in Azerbaijan.


At 6:12 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Referencing your article from Germany, I think it’s a little bit of a stretch for the German health authorities to automatically assume that all the frozen infected ducks would be “roasted” at the right temperature appropriately, therefore eliminating any risk to the public. They probably need to establish a “Duck hotline”, similar to our “Butterball hotline”, to better handle this situation. I did like the government response to the question as to whether infected meat reached butcher shops – “we can’t exclude that”.

That’s federal bureaucrat-ese for “yes, the infected ducks are being eaten”.

Regarding your article about the GAO report which describes the numerous problems with US inter-agency planning and exercise coordination- the DOD and military branches, as well as the State Dept, have their act together, as one would expect. However, the conglomeration of other government agencies, including most states, still have not conducted the necessary pandemic planning exercises required. In my view, until they do, expect a mess like you’ve never seen in your lifetime, if a pandemic emerges. Support will default down to the local and regional level – most state governor’s, mayors and health departments will be in a panic mode. (you know, similar to how the Governor of Louisiana, FEMA and the mayor of New Orleans acted during Katrina)

I see we are getting conflicting media reports on the exact wording and statements that Margie Chan is alleged to have said at her latest WHO meeting in Asia. I won’t nitpick too much – but I am waiting to hear if Webster, Osterholm, Gerberding and Leavitt, use similar elevated rhetoric. Actually, don’t tell anyone, but Henry Niman has already gone on record during an interview this week and stated that he believes the likelihood of a pandemic is only “a matter of months” away, and “clusters will reappear and become more numerous soon”. My conclusion is that we will need all of our heavy-weights to start coming out of their shells like Niman and start converging on their statements, if they are going to keep using the “imminent” word.

And finally my thoughts on chlorine and H5N1 and drinking water: my suggestion is for everyone to always have a good personal supply stocked up, these days, for multiple emergency uses. I have twenty gallons of unscented Clorox in storage at all times, which I rotate.

In my view, the real issue with chlorine is its use in nearly all public water systems. Will cities and municipalities have sufficient supplies of chlorine on hand, as well as healthy utility operators, during a protracted pandemic, to ensure safe public drinking water ? That is a very big question.

I wouldn’t bet my life on it.



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