October 26 Flu Update
Commentary from China on the news that bird flu can pass to a fetus. Note strong denial on human transmissibility.Part 2 of CIDRAP's pandemic vaccine series. Tidbit below (Dr. Fedson is quoted in our right sidebar):
The WHO analysis hides a number of highly optimistic assumptions, including zero glitches in production and 100% cooperation by regulators. But the greatest assumption may be that the newly produced pandemic vaccine would be distributed equitably to all comers around the globe. It is more likely that vaccine would never leave the countries where it is produced.
Seven hundred and fifty million "is fewer than the number of people that live in the nine countries that produce 85% of the world's supply of flu vaccine," said David Fedson, MD, a retired academic and vaccine-industry executive who has published critical analyses of pandemic-vaccine planning. "Which means that, if you live outside of a vaccine-producing country—whether that means Indonesia or Sweden or Spain—you get nothing" (see Bibliography: Fedson 2007: Author interview).
WHO says that more effective vaccines have, in effect, expanded vaccine capacity.ProMed on the recent death in Indonesia.CIDRAP on whether bird flu is lurking in Europe.Azerbaijan says its bird flu monitoring is done.They're doing some bird flu dialogues in Nigeria.
Professor in Ulster prepares for big address, noting that battle with infectious disease is far from over.In Uganda, the government is taking action on bird flu.
October 22 Flu Update
Confusion reigns in Indonesia....Here the Health minister says the girl did die of bird flu.....
and here a health official says she did not.Meanwhile, a WHO report confirms human-human transmission in Indonesia, as many have suspected.
In the US, a report due out Tuesday will say who gets first dibs on flu vaccine.
But the WHO assistant director for communicable diseases, David Heymann, said it was likely the Sumatran virus was spread by human-to-human contact.
"We believe there has likely been transmission through intimate or close contact," he said.
Province in Philippines says it is bird flu free.CIDRAP on US bio-preparedness, including for a pandemic.
Deployed military troops, emergency workers, pregnant women and children will be among the first to get scarce vaccinations if a pandemic strain of flu breaks out, U.S. officials said.
The directive, titled "Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD 21)," will "transform our national approach to protecting the health of the American people against all disasters," the document states.
"Ultimately, the Nation must collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health," the directive asserts.
Congress is asking why the administration has unspent vaccine funds. A Chinese Rx company is selling vaccine within the country.Louisiana will hold a statewide flu exercise this weekend.Opinion piece from UNLV says that federal government is out of touch and cites pandemic as one reason why.
Connecticut Governor tells people in her state that a pandemic is coming.JAMA reviews Dr. Gregor's book A Virus of our own Hatching.