Wednesday, November 21, 2007

November 21 Flu Update

Happy Thanksgiving to all. See you on Friday.

Culling is ongoing on a sixth farm in UK. ProMed reports.

Longtime flu star Laurie Garrett and Dave Fidler have this to say about how to handle Indonesia refusing to share bird flu viruses.

Garrett and Fidler offer a novel proposal to overcome the virus sharing impasse. They propose that annually updated supplies of more than 500 million doses of highly specific influenza vaccine, plus antiviral medicines, protective masks and gloves, and germicide washes be stockpiled in Hong Kong. They select Hong Kong, they say, because it has shown "absolute transparency regarding disease emergences going back several decades," it is a dynamic center of virus research and response, and it sits in the middle of the ecological zone that has spawned the bulk of all flu strains known to have emerged over the last three decades.

Revere on fighting bullshit with bullshit....the debate with Indonesia about bird flu viruses.

3.2M birds have been culled in Saudi Arabia. Note reference to rumors of human infection.

OK, you can admit it. You didn't know there was a Delaware model for fighting bird flu. But there must be, because people are traveling from Bulgaria to learn it.

Yaaaawwwwwwnnnnnnn....South Dakota is using seasonal flu shots to test its pandemic response.

Practice and pandemic prep in small town Virginia.


At 10:30 AM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Who would have thunk that you would have printed some of your most controversial articles about the sharing of worldwide deadly virus strains, this year, on Thanksgiving day.

Let’s start with Indonesian Health Minister, Siti Fadillah Supari’s famous smoke screen statement in her opening remarks: “We must have equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of viruses through a fair and transparent and equitable mechanism. It is the moral thing to do”. Who ever said capitalism and the law of supply an demand in the market place was moral, fair, and equitable ? Efficient yes, but fair – nah, never has been, or I’d be sitting in Bill Gate’s mansion and he would be here typing this.

Indonesia’s position of course, is that they want of piece of the lucrative worldwide vaccine revenues, vis-à-vis the western rules of “retention of property rights”, based on “sovereign rights”, or ownership of the rare, important and extremely valuable unique and deadly H5N1 strains it spawns. Much like the oil rich Islamic Middle Eastern countries, it wants a foothold and compensation for a major resource – they hold it, others want to acquire it, and they will have to pay dearly.

Interesting dilemma, one which the Garrett and Fidler approach, will not resolve or satisfy. Indonesia will not be satisfied with ONLY 500 million doses of vaccine, or any amount of PPE and antiviral medicines being stored in a neutral country like Hong Kong.
No way in Hell. They want the huge stream of foreseeable future money accruing from the western sales of their unique strains, clear and simple. And there is no way in Hell that the western countries are going to agree to this viral extortion. So, I would describe the Geneva meeting as a “good old Mexican standoff”. The is no intermediate solution that I can ascertain between the extremely polarized positions being stated by Ambassador Lange and Health Minister Supari.

If Ms Supari were trustworthy, and not an idiot, she could easily and comfortably bargain her way out of this dilemma with the West and their powerful vaccine corporations – but unfortunately, she is such an complete idiot that she doesn’t realize this. There is a cliché in the western market place: “ Pigs get greedy, hogs get slaughtered”, and Indonesia is going to end up suffering dearly as result of her incompetence. As many observers, like myself have pointed out, when a pandemic emerges (Indonesia of course is a prime candidate for this point of origin), past virus strains they have securely locked away in their clinics and labs, will make very little difference – it will be blow-and-go-time for the vaccine producers. And that is where the powerful military structures of the world will step in – they will acquire the pandemic strain immediately, through the most expedient source available – which is force if necessary. My opinion is that the pandemic strain will be so pervasive and prevalent, there won’t even be a need for force, the disease will be almost everywhere, simultaneously.

And as a result, through Ms Supari’s intransigence and insistence, Indonesia will end up like they did during their tsunami, begging for worldwide assistance, with hat in hand. And they will get nothing, for all the other countries of the world will be hunkered down, servicing and supporting their “own”.

You reap what you sow in this world Ms. Supari, remember that. We were willing to work with you and you oinked too much.



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