Wednesday, September 26, 2007

September 26 Flu Update

H5N1 reported in birds in Bangladesh.

Massive cull in Russia following outbreak "earlier this month"

In Oregon, the banks have done a pandemic exercise.

The Institute of Medicine is looking for more research on protective equipment for healthcare workers.

A Rhode Island Congressman says that he is worried about the GAO pandemic report.

Missouri is bragging about being on CIDRAP's best practices website.

The Walla Walla paper also cites the CIDRAP site.

Azerbaijan says surveillance shows no bird flu.

Chicken IPO in Hong Kong has wings clipped by bird flu.

A bird flu drill is being held at the fairgrounds in Jackson, MS.

Cambodia is looking to educate very rural communities about the bird flu.

A Dutch company says it is going to coordinate a worldwide pandemic vaccine consortium

The four-year project has been awarded a grant of EUR3.5 million from the European Union to help fund the research and the development of the new vaccine. The so-called FluVac project will be coordinated by Nobilon International BV which is part of Organon, the human healthcare business unit of Akzo Nobel.


At 6:30 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Oh boy: just in this week alone - another bird flu outbreak in Bangladesh, a massive 250,000 poultry culling effort ongoing in Krasnodar, Russia, and an outbreak of supposed LPAI in Saskatchewan, Canada. And of course, there’s Azerbaijan in la-la land, asserting that they have no bird flu. More and more pandemic warnings and exercises are sprouting up everywhere. Things are beginning to pile up a little Orange.

Regarding the big 2,725 bank pandemic exercise sponsored by the US Treasury Dept - in my view, it is absolutely necessary that our banking system remain operational and viable during a pandemic. We must have economic confidence during times of national emergencies and it is essential we maintain some semblance of financial stability. The first indication that citizens feel they are prevented access to their money during a pandemic, there will be panic and chaos - guaranteed my friends. Just relate the concern to your own personal situation: how long could you go without money ? (“no ticket – no laundry”, as the saying goes).

The most important sentence in the CIDRAP article is the one that says, “… medical staff won’t work if they don’t feel they’re adequately protected”. Take this situation one step further: without resolution of the PPE and protection issue, things could disintegrate into family members and neighbors being reluctant to assist other infected people in need. Think 1918 here, there’s about 200 million more people in the US than there was around during the last great pandemic, and the potential for deaths is exponentially higher.

The article that really caught my attention was the one involving Rhode Island Congressman, Jim Langevin, head of the House Homeland Security Emerging Threats Subcommittee, who says that he is worried about the GAO pandemic report. He should be very worried. The roles and responsibilities between the HHS and DHS are so fuzzed up at the current time, that if a true pandemic were to occur, one could easily see the Secretary of Defense and the President stepping in to take control and manage the national emergency, in conjunction with the HHS. Would any rationale person trust their life to FEMA ? Not me, not in one mil-second, and this is why I recommend everyone have adequate preparations for at least 3-6 months. What’s more, I predict that FEMA is still in such disarray, that they would serve zero value during an influenza pandemic on the scale of 1918. Hard to believe, but quite true what we are wasting our value tax dollars on: another huge behemoth bureaucracy on the scale of the Dept of Education, HUD or OSHA.

And finally, I see that Cambodia is making a concerted effort to educate their remote communities about the dangers of avian influenza. I admire their efforts and believe they are going to achieve some level of success. Now, if they can just include and educate all the hill-billy’s there in neighboring Indonesia, we might have a true Nobel Peace Prize effort in the making.



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