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.
November 20 Flu Update
Sorry for no update....other things intervenedUS and Indonesia square off at world flu conference.
Revere blogs this issue, noting that solutions exist, but may never be executed.
John Lange, U.S. special representative for avian and pandemic influenza, said "there should not be a one-to-one relationship between sharing of a particular sample and accruing a specific benefit".
"Countries that do their duty and share information and samples should not expect to receive something concrete each and every time they share," he said.
It is not clear this problem will be resolved. There is no reason it must be resolved, only many good reasons why it should be resolved. In my view, the international community is reaping the whirlwind of its profligate use of the intellectual property system and in some sense is getting what it deserves. Indonesia has the virus and we don't. They make the call.UK confirms second case of bird flu in animals, and there is apparently a new outbreak in a Saudi Arabian market (ProMed)WHO SG Chan says that we have been given a gift--warning of a pandemic. And preparedness is the key.
“Vulnerability is universal,” WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said today at the opening in Geneva of the Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness. “A pandemic will, by its very nature, reach every corner of the earth, and it will do so within a matter of months.”UK held some culls at farms that ended up testing negative.The EU is imposing tighter bird flu controls on the UK.The United Arab Emirates is preparing to ward off bird flu.The UK is preparing to ask farmers to pay their share of the costs of managing animal diseases.If we had a pandemic, we'd be 10 billion doses of vaccine short.OIE says that India is bird flu free.Pacific Island Nations are meeting about bird flu.
November 2 Flu Update
In Indonesia, the parents of the three year old child with bird flu have removed the child from the hospital, against medical advice. (Compliance will be a problem during a pandemic)Margaret Chan issues warning in China--pandemic threat still exists.6,000 chickens culled in Bangladesh after bird flu scare.An additional province in Vietnam has been hit with bird flu as well.CIDRAP on poultry outbreaks, including Pakistan as well.Article in Lancet says that Africa has little to no hope of meeting WHO bird flu standards.CIDRAP reports on GAO report on US pandemic prep.The US will hold pandemic town halls in five US sites.Clinical vaccine trials are being held at Stony Brook University.Local reports aims to educate readers in Nigeria about bird flu.Canada announces its plans for how to handle bird flu in pandemic poultry.Canada also talks about the North American infectious disease plan.CIDRAP reports on this as well.Article in Alabama aims to do the same.The University of Nebraska-Kearney is holding a bird flu Town Hall.You have to remember that emergency workers sent to deal with the bird flu have worries, too. Here, two police officers are suing their force for not protecting them in UK during a pandemic scare.
CIDRAP wraps out its outstanding bird flu series....Part 6 on novel technologies...
Because they contain live virus, live-attenuated vaccines provoke multiple types of immunity. In studies they have been shown to protect against both the strains from which vaccine candidates were derived and against drifted (slightly mutated) strains as well—characteristics that make them highly appealing to pandemic planners (see Bibliography: Belshe 2004). They also grow in eggs at a much higher volume than inactivated vaccines (see Bibliography: Monto 2007). But their live-virus content is responsible for the vaccines' greatest potential danger: the possibility that they might lead to reassortment between the vaccine virus and circulating flu strains.and Part 7 on a "Manhattan Project"
Those calling for a Manhattan Project–like effort say that what is needed is much broader than what NIAID or all of NIH could deliver. It requires active coordination among all the federal health agencies along with cooperation from congressional funders, plus parallel efforts in other countries. "Pandemic vaccine development has been viewed primarily as a vaccine problem that should be addressed with better science," Fedson said, "but fundamentally it is a global public health problem that requires better management" (see Bibliography: Fedson and Dunnill 2007: From scarcity to abundance).
And, they say, it is urgent that such an effort be established soon, because there is no way of predicting accurately when a pandemic might arrive. If it arrives soon rather than later, the lack of vaccine in most of the world will create a divide between haves and have-nots that could corrupt international relations long after the pandemic ends.