Saturday, October 20, 2007

October 19 Flu Update

Vietnam urges locals to be on guard for bird flu.

CIDRAP on the WHO patent story.

Because of pandemic prep, poultry farmers in the UK have accelerated approval to build chicken coops.

History is a guide in pandemic planning in South Dakota.

At the University of Iowa, a Bush Homeland Security official talked pandemic.

Children, who are "super-spreaders" of viruses, should be targeted for prevention efforts. Kids not only shed more flu virus, but they also maintain less personal space than adults. Children and elderly people also suffer more with most flu viruses, he said.

Illinois County brags about being on the CIDRAP best practices website.

St. Louis will look at 1918 and 2007-8 with a bird flu public forum.

Arkansas is joining other areas which are using seasonal flu shots as a test drive for bird flu.


At 6:09 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I found your article about the Director of Biodefense at the White House Homeland Security Council, Dr. Kenneth Staley, rather dismal. The article is captioned “Speaker discusses pandemic strategy”. I guess the more eloquent the title of an individual, one expects some corresponding substance of thought and inspiration. Not in this case.

After I read the article closely I realized – it actually said little if anything about a real national pandemic strategy. It did say the usual nice-to-hear things, like the government is “taking early action, targeting high risk groups, and implementing a layered approach for best results”. Oh yes, and “children are super-spreaders” of viruses and the “elderly suffer more from influenza”. He mouthed all the usual topics and challenges that we have been seeing daily as unresolved pandemic planning issues in the MSM for over three years.

Not much substance from a top medical guy in his position in charge of the nation’s biodefense strategy, and certainly he doesn’t inspire much confidence that firm national pandemic priorities and actions are well planned and could be executed in a crisis.

In fact, to prove my point, somebody please answer the following very simple few questions:

1. What is the specific national or state policy or regulation for closure of schools and colleges during a pandemic ? Who makes the decision and when ?

2. Who are the agreed-to (or mandated) national or state human highest priorities for a pandemic vaccine ? Name them in order.

3. Who is in charge of a nationally declared presidential pandemic emergency? Is it the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of HHS, Secretary of Homeland Security, Director of the CDC, the WHO (I know, silly, but…), the state Governor’s, or the President ?

I honestly believe that political appointee, Dr. Kenneth Staley, could not answer these three simple basic questions, without a staff member researching it for him. The real hope is, that when he is replaced by the next political appointment in 2008, his replacement will have enough time to define and articulate a real national strategy to the public.

Until then: if a pandemic emerges, you are pretty much on your own folks. Re-read the article – we call a guy like this, “all hat and no cattle”, in my neck of the woods.



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