Friday, November 09, 2007

November 8 Flu Update

Revere with the most important story of the day. A recent study shows that H5N1 can mutate to be Tamiflu resistant without becoming a less effective organism.

If you're familiar with the Indonesian virus situation, you know that the battle over who owns virus samples has gone back and forth, and is important for international health. I saw this, and I couldn't believe it. Indonesia wants samples they sent back. I kid you not. (Link courtesy of Crofsblog. Its very difficult to link to the Jakarta Post.)

Bird flu continues to spread in Vietnam.

Also here.

proMed on Vietnam.

proMed on the Korean who died in Vietnam of suspicious symptoms, but unlikely to be bird flu, in my own opinion.

Manipur, India declares itself bird flu free.

I think this is interesting, could a call center help during a pandemic.

A bird flu vaccine is ready----for monkeys.

Editorial in student paper at the University of Nevada Las Vegas gives an excellent education on the challenge of communicable diseases.

The Red Cross in Tallahassee held a pandemic rehearsal.

Pacific Island countries hold a bird flu workshop.

Article uses Bali's battles with bird flu to illustrate how the disease works.


At 5:18 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Nice all around coverage today. The issue of Health Minister Supari demanding the 58 bird flu sample viruses back from the WHO, may become moot in the next couple of days and weeks. Signs and messages are all over the news today (not MSM yet however), including Henry Niman, which are pointing to a sizable infected H5N1 human cluster in Riau, involving neighbors and relatives. Also involved are health care workers dying from H5N1 and a possible government cover up. The WHO has sent one of their “Batman and Robin” epidemiology teams to investigate. (thing’s appear to be heating up a little).

As you always say Orange, the news could pan out or not, change course, or simply die on the vine. However, as I have contended on several occasions and absolutely believe beyond any shadow of a doubt – Indonesia is vastly underreporting or misreporting its official reports of infected humans. Simple 6th grade math and college 101 statistics point to a number about double or even triple what they have reported thus far. Supari knows this and is disguising the true facts of the dire situation there. It’s absolutely disgusting.

Fascinating Revere commentary on “Genetically fit oseltamivir resistant H5N1 mutants”, you posted. I guess all of us have kind of assumed all along that mutant H5N1 virus strains would significantly maintain a large portion of their lethality and would essentially “sidestep” Tamiflu, via its extremely rapid mutation advantage.

The only hope is if the nations of the world have the guts to prime their populations in advance. I sincerely doubt it. Most Americans are more concerned with the writers guild strike in Hollywood, than a pandemic of any kind. Heck, people don’t even pay any attention to WMD warnings by the DHS and FBI anymore.

I do like the HHS AHRQ issuing call center guidelines to communities, in the event of anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, plague and food contamination. However, like mass drive-thru inoculation exercises, establishing call centers is building a bit of false hope in the event of pandemic, because: (a) who’s going to provide assistance to the caller, (b) we ought to be spending our efforts on real emergency supplies and preparation, and (c) it will lead to a false sense of security.

People have no idea what a severe pandemic will be like and how devastatingly destructive it will be on families and communities.

The DHS has implemented the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza all right, and it does include sparse details under the pillar of “ Leveraging National Medical and Public Health Surge Capacity”, for a purpose. The bottom line is that the federal government, via the National Guard and military, will provide emergency medicals supplies, triage, delivery of antivirals and vaccines, throughout the cities of the US, in the event of a Presidential declared national pandemic disaster. That is what they have been preparing for all year in earnest.

The problem is: there are extremely limited pre-pandemic vaccine’s available, Tamiflu will probably be of little use, hospitals will run out of medicines and supplies within hours or days as they are overwhelmed with the sick, and hundreds of millions of people in the US are wholly unprepared for anything other than a one-day-rain-storm.

Now is this the absolute perfect prescription for a disaster, or what ?



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