Friday, October 19, 2007

October 18 Flu Update

Must read from the Times (UK). Looks at 1918, and then at the UK's current flu plans.

CIDRAP on research that complicates bird flu surveillance--it doesn't effect all small birds the same.

Revere blogs the research on children and bird flu from the Trust for America's Health.

This is an important handle for flu planners. In doing environmental and occupational cancer work for many years I observed that telling a worker he might get cancer in 30 years because of an exposure at work as often as not is met with the reaction that he will certainly have to pay the rent in thirty days. But suggest to him his children or family will be harmed and he walks off the job in 7 seconds.

Vietnam is taking more bird flu steps--breeding ban in place.

The University of Maryland ran a flu simulation.

Another simulation was held in NJ.

Not that you asked, but Sierra Leone says it is bird flu free.

Japanese article on bird flu research.

Don't believe in evolution? What about the flu?


At 6:00 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your “Stock up or suffer” article has some good common sense points. One, is that stocking up is one of the only ways I know of that will enable individuals to avoid the public, and from getting infected, during a pandemic cycle. Two, stocking up for any emergency makes just plain perfectly good sense. And third, nobody, not even somebody with impressive credentials like John Oxford, or Robert Webster or even the CDC – can predict the effectiveness of anti-virals against a mutated pandemic avian influenza virus strain.

Notice in the article, one key sentence: “Professor Oxford and his colleagues hope to learn from their research on the 1918 flu outbreak how the current avian flu H5N1 may behave when it has mutated, AS IT SURELY WILL” (my emphasis added). This is the SAME POSITION AND OPINION held by the US government and military (my emphasis added again for your readers). I have a total 35 long years with the federal government. There is absolutely no question in the inner circles of the government that they are extremely worried about the H5N1 virus mutating soon into a high transmissible and deadly pathogen, that will end up sweeping the world and creating havoc and instability in all nations.

And Revere is 100% spot on, in his most recent article you posted. The children of the world would be highly vulnerable to the influenza A/H5N1 mutated virus, or any comparable avian pandemic virus. Unless children, are identified as a high risk group in all national pandemic influenza plans, we have a potential national disaster in the making.

The great influenza of 1918, hit children and young adults especially hard, and so many died, that it affected the national population and mortality statistics of most world nations. If this situation occurred again, it would be a national tragedy and embarrassment.

Your two articles about the two pandemic simulation exercises conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center and Caritas Norwood Hospital in New Jersey, both seem to highlight the same particular problem: that hospitals simply do not have ample supplies on hands to treat massive numbers of influenza patients.

They will all run out of critical masks, PPE, and supplies within a matter of hours or a few days. I have heard of this dire situation from countless hospitals, physicians and clinics across the nation – they simply do not have the funds to maintain the additional necessary supplies to support a pandemic situation. Somebody, somewhere, sometime, is going to have to take notice.

This brings the subject of why all individuals and families should stock up now, or plan on suffering, to full circle. If the hospitals, physicians and medical clinics will most likely not have adequate supplies and respirators to treat infected and extremely ill patients beyond a few minimal days, who does?

The answer is nobody. That’s why it is vitally important for all of us to be prepared to stay-in-place for many weeks at a time with the necessary supplies, if necessary, to avoid exposing your self or family members to infection.

The thought of sitting in a hospital emergency room or triage site for hours or days, with about 1,000 other H5N1 infected and critically ill patients on cots, just doesn’t appeal to me for some reason. I’d rather sit in my own living room, eat my twinkies, stay away from the public, and take my chances.



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