Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 11 Flu Update

As winter begins, Bahrain has reactivated its bird flu system.

AMA notes that GPs will be at the center of the bird flu pandemic, and need to understand infection control.

Revere renews his plea for us to prepare for a pandemic as communities, and not as islands.

1 Comments:

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

Revere wrote a darn good article about keeping a healthy balance between personal and family emergency planning, and the necessity to plan as a community social unit.

This sounds rationale and logical, especially when planning for short duration natural disasters, but a couple of practical problems instantly come to mind though when considering a pandemic:

• Most people will assist their immediate families, friends and neighbors first, then maybe total strangers.

• People will realize several things at the onset of a pandemic – waiting it out away from public contact will be the safest approach – they will perform a quick mental assessment and realize that movement anywhere is extremely dangerous. The probability of acquiring infection will be virtually certain, the likelihood of being assaulted will be extremely high, and the world will be suddenly divided into two camps: those that have antiviral’s and access to a vaccine, and those that do not. Greater than 90% of the North American population will have no adequate medication as it stands now. It will be doubtful they will have it within a year’s timeframe. Think seriously about that statement I just said.

• As all knowledgeable scientists and government agencies have clearly warned, the hospitals and pharmacies will run out of supplies and PPE with days or a week or two. That is all the supply chain allows for at the moment, and chance of this getting better is about the same as me hitting the state lotto. (Nyet, Comrades).

• Volunteerism during a highly infectious influenza pandemic, where death rates will most likely be much higher than SARS and more in transmissible than Tuberculosis, will open up a whole new meaning and dimension to the term. While it is speculation on my part, my own personal unscientific survey says that most health care workers (doctors, nurses, paramedics, etc) will not work unless they have adequate PPE, preventative medicines as protection, and law enforcement available. There may be a few brave medical souls assist valiantly in the beginning, but those will soon disappear as they fight overwhelming odds.

What people need to understand is that a worldwide pandemic could easily fracture and alter our society for an indefinite period of time, before recovery is possible. The federal government has been saying for years now, that it will not be able to attend to individuals and communities needs during a pandemic. The best epidemiologists and virologists in the world, including the preponderance of world power leaders, are consisting predicting a pandemic will occur.

What's more, behind the scenes, the best think tank scientists in the world are also privately predicting an influenza pandemic, like the Los Alamos Laboratory, NASA, Fort Detrick, the Pentagon and the US State Department (and more security agencies that I will not mention).

Add to this the fact that the HHS most recently expanded and awarded lucrative contracts for eight Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units across the US, for “fast track” pandemic influenza clinical trials. The preparatory research and logistics backbone to address a pandemic is being rapidly put into place, make no mistake about it.

As the saying goes, those who are unprepared for what is about to happen, will be “all dressed up, with nowhere to go”. The entire world and everyone in it, will be in for the shock of their life one day soon when they watch the morning news.

Five years ago, I would have laughed if someone said these things. Not anymore.

Wulfgang

 

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