Monday, October 01, 2007

October 1 Flu Update

A 21-year old man has died of bird flu in Indonesia.

ProMed on this death. Note that there are 107 reported cases in Indonesia and 87 deaths. Note this:

The several suspected cases in West Java and Ria reported in "Avian influenza, human (131): Indonesia 20070924.3168" have not been confirmed so far.

China has banned poultry imports from Canada.

The USDA did something similar, and it caused problems for some hunters.

Meanwhile, the University of Saskatchewan is planning a bird flu center.

Bird flu is blamed for a shortage of eggs for Ramadan.

Freshmen at Washington State were all given the Gina Kolata book on the bird flu. (The book that got me interested in avian influenza).

A flu exercise is scheduled for Salem, IL.


At 6:21 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I see from your first couple of articles, that Indonesia is still in first place in the world bird flu fatalities race, with a whopping 107 infections, 86 dead, and a case-fatality-rate of 80%. As you point out though, there are undoubtedly more unreported or unconfirmed cases, such as in West Java or Ria, that would probably bring the CFR down to the 60% world-wide CFR average.

When it comes to Indonesia, the numerator and denominator are hard to pin down. So is anything they say.

I believe the statements that “it was not known whether he had contact with poultry”, and “experts are still investigating how the man got the virus, since backyard poultry has long been banned by city government” – are rather ludicrous. How do they think the latest 21 year old man got the virus – off of door knob or a park bench ? C’mon here…

Now, what’s even a little sillier in my opinion, is the China ban on Canadian poultry imports. This is kind of like Iran joining the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Group – I sense some real hypocrisy somewhere in the statement.

I am very glad you posted the article about the scarcity of eggs in Nigeria during their Ramadan holy season. I hope this serves as a reminder to them, and they make the connection – if they control the bird flu virus in their poultry industry – they might just have enough eggs at an affordable price. If not, well, they should be prepared to change their eating habits during the high holy. I do hope we don’t have a similar situation at Easter time. I doubt it. I think the Easter bunny will come through with the eggs.

Your Washington State article was very interesting, actually great. In my view, a common reading project for freshmen, especially Gina Kolata’s book, is a fantastic idea to provoke the thought process and get the cerebral juices going.. It’s a way to obviously build awareness in young people of the subject matter. But most importantly, it establishes a sense of perspective about history, emergency planning, civil responsibility, as well as how to approach and comprehend tremendously difficult social and health care issues.

The young students these days don’t know how fortunate they really are. When I was their age, we were automatically conscripted into the army, and had to learn the fine art of weaponry. It was called the draft. Things have changed a lot over the last four or five decades, especially in the field of education.

Take the Bush Administrative education doctrine for example: “leave no child a dime”.


At 10:06 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

You're smoking today, Wulfgang. Great commentary!

I appreciate your and Orange's efforts on this blog. Thanks!


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