Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January 22 Flu Update

There has been a fatal human case in Vietnam, the first in some time.

A new human case has emerged in Indonesia.

CIDRAP has this as well.

In a report that echoes what many people have said, the US government says that drugs cannot be expected to forestall a pandemic on their won.

India concedes that it is losing ground in its battle with the bird flu.

India continues to maintain there are no human cases.

Calcutta says it is bird flu free.

CIDRAP looks at cases around the world.

More from scientists who say that we cannot neglect the bird flu

CIDRAP reports on the WHO virus tracking system.

The Gates Foundation names Director to oversee global health, including pandemic prep.


At 6:12 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I would like to point out that you posted a real sleeper article today that everyone should pay close attention to: the US GAO report article that is captioned, “Don’t rely of drugs to delay flu pandemic – US gov’t”. In my many decades of government experience, I have developed a profound respect for these independent auditors who write these reports. I have nearly always found them to be extremely diligent, high accurate in their conclusions and completely unbiased in their evidence. Most of the auditors are specialists in their areas of expertise, and extremely experienced. They usually act as watchdogs for Congressmen on contentious issues of interest and are tasked by their Committees to ferret out the issues. In this instance, I believe their findings have validated what most of knew all along: don’t count on the much ballyhooed antiviral and pandemic vaccine national reserves; these pharmaceuticals are too few and might not even work. Take the report as a final warning everybody: be personally prepared for an influenza pandemic and be prepared for the worst. History will look back on these times and say that everybody was fairly and adequately warned.

The continuing saga of bird flu fight to get control in India and Bangladesh, seems to get worse each day, contrary to what their governments are spinning. The infected area of West Bengal alone is approximately 80 million people – approximately ¼ the entire population of the US – and a large portion of them are being exposed now to the H5N1 virus. The infection has now officially spread westward to the neighboring province of Bihar, and no doubt will spread further to the other surrounding provinces southward; Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa.

Bangladesh has been fighting their outbreak unsuccessfully since February 2007, nearly an entire year, and it has slowly spread westward into India. Not good. There have been no cases of human infection reported so far in India, primarily because Tamiflu is being dispensed wholesale to cullers and villages, thereby suppressing evidence of infections and distorting test results (just my opinion of what is going on there). The impression of their testing criteria is dismal, because very few of suspected ill people are actually tested, because of their “do not fit the diagnostic criteria for suspected cases of avian influenza” (which is falsely assumed to be lower respiratory infection of the lungs – if this is not evident, they don’t test for the virus).

Does anybody in their right mind believe your article that cites Calcutta health authorities who state that it is “bird flu free” ? (note the quote: “the situation is being controlled, but is not yet under control” ?).

Its good to see that money pockets Bill Gates brought in Rajeev Venkayya to head up his philanthropic Global Health Program. Rajeev I believe is of Indian heritage. Maybe he can exert some pressure on the Indian government to get their act together before its too late. Just maybe.

If they can't get their bureaucracy in high gear, then India is going to turn out to be a “super sized” ( want virus with that) Indonesia.



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