Saturday, November 24, 2007

November 23 Flu Update

WHO virus sharing talks fail to reach agreement.

"Nobody can fault you for not trying ... It is so close, yet so far away," WHO director-general Margaret Chan told the final session of a four-day meeting.

However, according to these dispatches to Revere, there was "qualified success" after Reuters wrote its article.

New Scientist says world bickers as virus evolves (preview article, subscription required)

DEFRA lifts bird flu restrictions.

Low Path bird flu is reported in South Korea.

Suspicious bird deaths are now occurring in Vietnam.

There's culling in Myanmar due to a potential outbreak.

Dubai says its Falcons are bird flu free.

WHO adviser says weather is perfect for bird flu in Pakistan.

Problems in Saudi Arabia have Bahrain on high alert.


At 12:21 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Having read the Revere summary of the Geneva conference, as related from the “boots on the ground”, my take on things is that from the Western point of view only (developed nations), it ended up being quite a qualified success: stonewall Indonesia. It’s called “sandbagging” in federal government vernacular: agree to nothing, not even the text notes, commit no funding, and question all basic definitions, for example, Material Transfer Agreements (MTA – I myself believe I have a basic comprehension of this process since I have a legal background, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the opposing party would agree). Western interests can only lose by agreeing or negotiating with the nitwit extortionist, Supari – she’s clearly after a big sugar daddy agreement to guarantee a steady stream of revenue to buttress upon her central government’s corruption and lack of competency. Government political Hacks like her are easy to figure out: acquire any source of revenue funding possible to feed to your poverty-ridden masses (it’s called “crumbing”)– they will then view you right up there with God incarnate. Expect more Western intransigence in July 2008, no matter if a GISM reformation text agreement is drafted or not.

The US and Canadian position of this subject is quite clear: buy time – if a pandemic doesn’t occur, then they have to agree to nothing; if a pandemic does happen, then the matter becomes rather simple – there will be enough Indonesia infected corpses floating in the South Pacific, that acquiring sample strains will be as easy as shooting ducks in a barrel. Ms. Supari then fades into history as the nincompoop she always was.

Stop and think: if Margaret Chan had really wanted to establish an “oversight committee” to review the functioning of the WHO virus sharing system and suggest recommendations – she could have easily done this one year ago. So generally, what some individuals see as “progress”, I see as the bureaucratic WHO “process” grinding away, and not necessarily to any acceptable conclusion or closure on the subject. Meanwhile, we are still two protein mutations away from a pandemic, and virus is mysteriously “reappearing” in Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, S. Korea, and Great Britain. It will soon reappear in Russia, shortly.

And the sleeper article you posted about the significant bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam ? Now this is a real unqualified failure that nobody seems to want to talk about. Recall the facts: earlier this year Vietnam embarked on an extremely massive and ambitious poultry inoculation program, via the use of hundreds of millions of doses of Chinese vaccines. What happened ? Either (a) the entire poultry vaccination effort was physically impossible to complete; or, (b) the virus has rapidly mutated to render the vaccine ineffective; or, (c) the vaccine itself was an incorrect or imprecise match.

Pick one.



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