Thursday, January 31, 2008

January 30 Flu Update

Bird flu is spreading in West Bengal.

India is raising the compensation for culled birds.

Human bird flu is ruled out in an Indian school. (The high profile of bird flu will bring forward people who are afraid they have bird flu, but don'thuman cases).

As in this case....

Dead birds are also reported in India.

ProMed has the WHO update on the latest from Indonesia.

CIDRAP updates on new outbreaks in Tibet and Saudi Arabia.

Hong Kong has closed some aviaries due to bird flu.

Bahrain is now monitoring poultry and egg imports.

CIDRAP runs one of its best practice articles, this time from Kentucky.

Nigeria says communication is the key to bird flu.

Perth County, Ontario, is exercising its pandemic plan.

Oakland article on Kaiser testing vaccine.

1 Comments:

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

Based on the chaotic and conflicting reports from the government and news media reports out of India, one really has to wonder how many mild H5N1 human cases are flying below the radar screen. Granted, the preponderance of human suspects being reported so far are probably seasonal colds and influenza (we even having a similar problem of seasonal influenza outbreak in the large city where I live), but I don’t get a real sense of credible evidence that the health authorities are being meticulous about their tests. In fact, I get the sense that after brief visual inspection of suspects, they are haphazardly being given a couple of courses of Tamiflu and sent on their way. This seems to be their definition of a “red alert” and “treatment”, and bingo… everything comes out negative at the tail end of the sausage. It does seem very odd that even though we have one of the largest and pervasive outbreaks of bird flu in poultry in the world to date, in a nation of 1,129, 866,154 people (July 2007 estimate), there hasn’t been one H5N1 infected person reported to date. I find the likelihood and probability of this, well, extremely “challenging”.

The CIDRAP article which highlights the best practice being employed by the Kentucky Outreach and Information Network (KOIN), depicts a pretty impressive effort underway to prepare for a influenza pandemic. However, I did not see any business leaders, retailers (Walmart, for example), food suppliers (Krogers), local public health department, Red Cross, or police or fire emergency responders, represented on their membership team of “trusted members”. I would think that if they truly want to have an effective emergency action planning group, they would be all-inclusive and completely integrated with these missing vital elements. Unless I totally missed it – these critical players should be valued contributors and key members.

I see you posted another article about the Kaiser Permanente genetically engineered flu vaccine trials going on their in Northern California. I’ll say it again: once people find out this vaccine was developed through genetically reverse engineering from an insect virus, I find it hard to believe that large numbers of people will want to be inoculated with it, a pandemic notwithstanding. Many people are reluctant to even be vaccinated for seasonal influenzas (a surprisingly high number really), and I believe this kind of vaccine will be viewed in the same category as “irradiated food” and “cloned food”, regardless of whether Discover Magazine lists it as one of the top 100 scientific breakthroughs.. In other words, if it ain’t natural sounding, many people are going to “pass”. Just my opinion on the matter. I’m not an overly religious person, but if “666” ever comes up in a description of the process… forget it.

Wulfgang

 

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