Friday, October 26, 2007

October 25 Flu Update

Three local areas in Vietnam have been hit by bird flu.

This report says the flu found in Vietnam is the Fujian strain, which is said to be human transmissible.

The UN says bird flu on "silent march" in Europe.

``It seems that a new chapter in the evolution of avian influenza may be unfolding silently in the heart of Europe,'' said Joseph Domenech, the organization's chief veterinary officer, in the statement.

Revere blogs this article, correctly catching the tone that the EU knows more about this than they are letting on.

University study in UK discusses duck meat the scope of a potential flu outbreak.

Must read: CIDRAP kicks off a 7-part series on the prospects for pandemic flu vaccine development.

A mutation mutes the effect of the seasonal flu be noted.

Dr. Nabarro hails Asian transparency on bird flu.

In Wichita, KS, they are planning a pandemic preparedness drill in conjunction with their seasonal flu shots.

Ct paper covers local speech on pandemic flu.

London Times medical column includes policy advice for UK government.


At 6:10 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


This may prove to be a very interesting seasonal influenza season in North America: not only has the A/Wisconsin strain already mutated, and the B/Malaysian as well, but three A/swine influenza cases have popped up, AND, for the sixth consecutive week the percentage of deaths due to P&I has been above the epidemic threshold. The CDC is continuing to investigate the increased P&I mortality rate. I don’t believe this is a good time to blow off their seasonal flu shots.

I also see from your various articles, that bird flu continues to break out in various places in Vietnam and H5N1 may become endemic in Europe (ie opening up the “new chapter” of silent evolution of the virus there, according to FAO chief Joseph Domenech). This should surprise no one. Niman’s been saying this for many months now and nobody but us little blogger’s seem to be paying any attention to him. I truly believe Niman know’s what he’s talking about. The Europeans need to understand that while some countries there appear on the surface to be bird-flu free, there are indeed selected countries in that region of the world with pockets of virus infestation, that are being ignored by the officials. Heck, even I get first hand reports from individuals and entities in these countries indicating H5N1 poultry illnesses and wild bird deaths, which are never reported.

Which leads me to my next statement: if cuckolds like me can find out this elementary H5N1 gap information, one would think that David Nabarro, UN senior avian and human influenza coordinator, would stop with the “transparency spin”. I don’t anybody in their right mind believes his statement, “We believe that just about every country is giving us information promptly”, and “there is no holdback of information as far as we can tell from the Chinese authorities”.

Must be time for his annual job performance review with Margaret Chan, is all I can figure. Normally, he’s a pretty sane individual and hitting on all eight pandemic cylinders.

And speaking of sane individuals – you posted a very nice article and summary of Dr. Dworkin’s presentation to those Connecticut folks in Danbury. His made one statement, which I absolutely agree with (actually I agreed with the entire article in general), and that is the following: “ As bad as 1918 was, nothing about it in science say it was the worst pandemic every, in fact, it could get much worse”. Absolutely correct. This is one reason the Fed’s are working so feverishly behind the scenes with NORTHCOM, HHS and other key federal agencies nobody would suspect, to prepare for a worse-case scenario that could blow people’s socks off.

One final comment: your CIDRAP article was great. I can’t wait to read the following six follow up series. My conclusion after reading the first article is that it appears, that HHS is putting all of its eggs in the pandemic vaccine development, manufacturing and production basket, and it can’t get there fast enough.

It is indeed a game of catch-up, but I personally will be surprised if we get where we need to be in the next three years (it's 50/50). I think the HHS will run out of time. I agree with Niman in that it is only a matter of “months”.



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