Tuesday, November 06, 2007

November 6 Flu Update

A CDC official doctor talked in Albany about the possibility of a flu pandemic.

Effect Measure on some new thinking on ER triage, and what impact it might have in a pandemic.

ProMed on the recent death in Indonesia.

Experts in Bangkok say small farmers can survive avian influenza.

Fort Worth is giving emergency health workers a pandemic response kit.

Australia is producing children's books to fight bird flu.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital receives huge infectious disease grant, including pandemic flu.


At 6:56 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your first article about the CDC official and his warning seems pretty clear- the CDC is very aware of the possibility of a highly infectious pandemic situation and the threat to society that it represents. Truism: small businesses could suffer the most economically, but unprepared individuals and families will suffer the most in personal and societal terms.

Regarding the Fort Worth Health Department article, and the efforts being taken by Dr. Spranger – an excellent report. Notice in their plans, that they are making provisions for “go-bags”, for ready transfer to a new location in case of office closure. Excellent strategy, and one I would recommend for all individuals and families, whether they work in the public health care field or not. Everybody needs a “go-bag”.

Preparing a family “go-bag” for emergencies makes perfect sense. In addition to the necessary supplies for staying-in-place for 3-6 months, I have emergency “go-bags” assembled for every member of my family. Each bag provides enough material and supplies to self-sustain an individual, for up to one week under any emergency. (actually I refer to them as “go-go bags”).

Finally, your article about the Cincinatti Children’s Hospital Medical Center, receiving the $ 23.7 million dollar grant from the NIH, is a bit incomplete in its writeup.

The complete NIH press release from yesterday is here:


The more interesting portion of the NIAID news release text reads as follows:

“An important strength of the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEU’s) is their ability to enroll large numbers of volunteers into trials rapidly and vaccinate them in a manner that is safe, effective and quick to yield results. This rapid-response capability is especially important for testing vaccines designed to counteract emerging public health concerns. For example, the VTEUs conducted multiple studies in 2005 and 2006 of a vaccine for a strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus to determine the most effective dose. Those studies led to the licensure of the first vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against an H5N1 influenza virus. The units also swiftly initiated a large-scale trial to evaluate the seasonal influenza vaccine Fluarix for use in healthy adults in the United States. The trial demonstrated the vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune response and ultimately led to its expedited approval by FDA in August 2005—less than a year after the trial began. This approval helped reduce the impact of future delays or shortages of seasonal influenza vaccines in the United States.”

As one can see, both the CDC and NIH, are very well aware that a pandemic is a distinct possibility, and they are communicating to the public, as well as putting the VTEU network structure in place for rapid response and fast track approval of an emergency vaccine. This isn’t business-as-usual here.



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