Thursday, September 27, 2007

September 27 Flu Update

An international paper reflects what many people have long suspected. That bird flu attacks numerous organs, which is why it is so deadly.

As reported, Bangladesh and Thailand have avian outbreaks.

ProMed on Russia and Bangladesh.

The big news today is that the bird flu--unlike normal influenza--can pass through the placenta.

An international conference of paramedics was told about how paramedics in Australia have protection for bird flu.


Ghana says it is now free of bird flu.

So, the continuity profession now notes the risk of a pandemic might be overblown.

Santa Clarita, CA, is also doing its pandemic education.

1 Comments:

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

Your two articles about the destructive effects of H5N1 on the vital organs of the body, including pregnant women are rather interesting, in that they provide pathological confirmation on what we have already known. The real implication of these articles to pandemic planning is whether or not the health care system is adequately prepared and has the supplies to deal with what might amount to an extraordinarily high number of medical complications with patients (requiring life support and ventilators), during a pandemic of avian flu. As I recall, even John Barry mentioned the destructive power of pandemic influenza on the bodily organs in his book, and the terrible deadly effect it had on pregnant women in 1918/1919. This is not good news.

I see from your Promed and CIDRAP articles, the folks there are still busy these days reporting outbreaks of avian influenza in countries like Bangladesh, Thailand, Russia, Indonesia and now, Canada. They may have to add Mexico soon, as the rumors are flying that a mysterious and diagnosed illness has broken out in Mexico City, and they suspect it may be avian influenza of some type. I truly do not know if there is any truth to the speculation or not (no G2 available)… I guess we will all have to wait a few days.

Now your most controversial news information of the week: the Continuity Central article, “Is the likelihood of an influenza pandemic over-played?”. Interesting piece written by David Honour, almost convincing as an alternative point of view, but in my opinion, he flat got it wrong. In fact, the very factors which he lists which he asserts mitigate risk, for example, today’s “knowledge, communications infrastructure and medicines”, are quite fragile and tenuous, at best.

I read the full Marsh and The Albright Group’s report on pandemic planning – they are reading the situation correctly. Albright’s Group is headed by none other than Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State, and James O’Brien, who also held a very senior executive position in the US State Department. Both of them are two very credible individuals. In addition, Marsh is a unit of the Marsh & McLennan Companies, the world’s leading insurance broker and risk advisor, with more than 54,000 employees and $ 11 billion in annual revenue.

They are not lightweights in continuity planning field, nor in risk assessment, and I absolutely doubt they are simply basing their report findings on the fact that “because influenza pandemics have occurred in the past, it makes another one inevitable, because we are long overdue”. Not at all, this is a heavy weight, warning us all.

I would bet a significant amount of your money that Ms. Albright and Mr. O’Brien also had access to a significant amount of inside government information and data, which also led them to some of their poignant conclusions.

In fact, the really smart scientific and medical players in the government that I know, would absolutely agree with The Albright Group’s conclusions: we aren’t nearly as ready as we think we are.

The report is a clear warning to everyone in my book.

Wulfgang

 

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