Friday, September 21, 2007

September 21 Flu Update

New bird watchers are looking for bird flu in Asia.

Vietnam says bird flu is under control.....

so does China

ProMed on the culling in Nigeria reported here yesterday.

Azerbaijan denies bird flu is there.

People in Memphis are reminded about what a pandemic could do there.

Revere blogs on the things we still don't know about bird flu.


At 6:07 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I really enjoyed reading the Philippine article which described their voluntary “bird watch” brigades, which were established with close cooperation between their Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, region task force, provincial, municipal and village governments. Indonesia ought to send a task force to the Philippine’s (or even Nigeria for Heaven’s sake) to learn how to control bird flu. Maybe Ms. Supari and her president would learn a thing or two, but I doubt it. Add both of their IQ’s together and you still only get double digits.

I see Vietnam has declared itself “bird flu free” for about the fourth or fifth time this year, but oddly, is warning that another outbreak might occur by February 2008. My guess is that they’ve been reevaluating the effectiveness of their Chinese poultry vaccines and see the handwriting on the wall. To attribute the next outbreak to the cold weather is rather ludicrous, in my view – it’s all about ineffective vaccines, enabling the mutation environment, and how well the neighboring countries control their infections. If you live next door to Indonesia or China, it’s like living next door with the Beverly Hillbillies and all of their infected animals.

I said the Chinese would make a declaration that their bird flu outbreak was under control, and sure enough, there it is in your headlines. It is truly amazing how that totalitarian 1950’s style communist government operates and the people put up with it.

What can I say about Azerbaijan, except that my uncle Ivan in Moscow says definitely do not buy any chickens, turkeys or ducks, there. Unfortunately, the Azerbaijan State Veterinary Service is speaking with a forked-tongue.

Finally, Orange, after reading Revere’s article about how little we know when it comes to droplets, distances and how long the influenza virus remains contagious or viable, my conclusion is that it really doesn’t matter in the final analysis.

Let’s make influenza illness real simple and lay out the choices a person has: either you get vaccinated, you avoid contact with other infectious humans and suspect poultry, you practice good hygiene, and you disinfect surfaces with disinfectants – or, you get sick (and possibly die if it’s H5N1). Those are your options, and gauging how far droplets remain infectious is kind of a scientific red herring to me. What would anyone do with the data anyway ? I’m obviously missing something really important here on this subject.

Just like N95 face masks. Most of us have them, the subject has been debated ad nauseam, but in my mind I am just not convinced (like most scientists) they would do a whole lot of good for anyone in a pandemic, other than give a person a false sense of “comfort and control”.



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