Sunday, December 16, 2007

December 16 Flu Update

Revere blogs the Pakistan situation, reading through confusing and contradictory reports to develop the likely current situation. One note: If the pandemic were really happening, the initial clusters would have been followed by people getting sick by the dozen.

WHO is investigating Pakistan and Myanmar.

Avian outbreak in German is confirmed.

Pakistan Letter to Editor calls for bird flu education.

Bird flu drill staged in Shanghai.

WHO warns bird flu is migrating.


At 6:29 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Well, I see from your articles today things have temporarily quieted down in Pakistan, at least until the WHO CSI forensic detectives can resurrect the correct infection timelines and establish familial connections and relationships (and of course get a correct body count). I think if the Pakistani situation has showed us anything, it is just how darn vulnerable the world is – especially when countries delay notification to the WHO and procrastinate in their surveillance, diagnostic, containment and prophylactic procedures. This isn’t just simply a “communication gap” as the WHO officials refer to them, these situations are absolute disasters waiting to happen and there seems to be very little anybody can do about it.

One other thing comes to mind also: we have had two instances of honest-to-goodness infected individuals in the last six months jumping onto airplanes and entering the US unfettered or unchallenged – the idiot TB lawyer, and now the suspected H5N1 infected brother from Pakistan. Had this Pakistan episode been a real explosive outbreak, we would be in real deep yogurt. There could have been literally hundreds if not thousands of people attempting to cross borders and jumping onto aircraft to escape into other countries and nobody would have known the difference. Some of them will be US and Canadian citizens. What happens then? Do we quarantine them or refuse admission? For that matter, how many infected people or clusters would have to occur before the WHO pulls their trigger to invoke the next pandemic level to warn folks – fifty, five hundred, or a thousand, perhaps? This information would be nice to know beforehand, but I still believe the best warning we will have that “something’s up” will be from the blog sites.

I noticed something really odd in your articles too. Remember the other day when I talked to the professor from Shanghai, and she mentioned how scared people were ? Gee, it’s just a couple of days later and I see Shanghai Daily announces a “bird flu drill” in the city. What a coincidence don’t you think? Who would have thought…

As the winter and spring H5N1 outbreaks across the world continue to bubble up more, the rumors are naturally increasing also. Some of them are quite fascinating.

But we are finding ourselves in very interesting times these days.



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