Saturday, January 05, 2008

January 4 Flu Update

There's a new outbreak in Western China.

Excellent article in Egypt criticizes government awareness efforts to fight bird flu.

ProMed on Israel (kindergartners did not come into contact with birds), Bangladesh outbreak and China outbreak, see above.
Note ProMed correction to Israel post here.

ProMed with news from Egypt and Pakistan.

Article says bird flu absent from headlines, but still a threat.

CIDRAP on the recent "universal flu vaccine" announcement from the UK.

However, ACAM-FLU-A is a recombinant vaccine linked to a hepatitis B core that targets M2e, a conserved region of all influenza A strains, the company said.

Excellent Revere posts looks at UK article on living at risk which employs a popular fairy tale metaphor. To which Revere says....

Instead of preparing for an imagined Big Bad Wolf, why not do as the wisest of the Three Little Pigs did, build a strong brick house that will protect us against the Wolf, the Wolf's cousins and the worst of bad weather as well.

Chattanooga officials say that area is prepared for bird flu.

Testing in Nebraska yields no evidence of bird flu there.

Bird flu wrecks the cockfighting season in Puerto Rico.

Letter to Editor to Jakarta Post says that the country must focus on prevention.

Article about vet lab at Kansas State.


At 8:49 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Two comments about your articles today… both, well, based on the world view of things according to the Wulfster.

Your first article about the outbreak of bird flu in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which incidentally borders India, must have the Indians sweating bullets. The more I thought about the situation in India, the more I am wondering why they seemingly do not have an H5N1 infections in their poultry. North of India, is the Xinjiang province, home of the latest poultry outbreak. East of India is located Bangladesh and Burma – both whom are battling rampant outbreaks. West of India we find Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and Israel, all of whom are trying to snuff out the infection also. So why no bird flu reports from India ? Their absence of infections even in poultry looks very suspicious to me. A little side note on Xinjiang province also – it is located not far from Sichuan province – the largest producer of pork in China. This is where I believe the first outbreak of Streptococcus suis B infections were reported in 2005: 206 cases of illness were reported in humans, resulting in 38 deaths. I thought I would take a moment and point this out, because I believe there is a connection there with H5N1 that the Chinese are not ‘fessing up to, and if there are more widespread bird flu outbreaks in 2008, look for more mysterious PRRS and S. suis B infections in pigs and humans also. The outbreak of S. suis is atypical for large numbers of human cases, high human fatality rates and wide geographical spread. I view all of these disease phenomenon’s as part of China’s new fuzzy “transparency” doctrine.

My next four comments have to do in particular with Donald Rumsfeld, and are self explanatory.

1. The following saying that he is most famous for, in a Defense Dept briefing on Feb 12, 2003, is not really his originally: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are “known knowns”; there are things we know we know. We also know there are “known unknowns”; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also “unknown unknowns” – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

The words falsely attributable to him are really based on a photocopy of a very popular saying circulated around the government and the Pentagon in the 1960’s – he conveniently plagiarized it. I was around in the 1960’s and remember seeing them.

2. In December 2004, Rumsfeld was heavily criticized for using a signing machine instead of personally signing over 1,000 letters of condolences to the families of soldiers killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan. (unconscionable in my opinion).

3. From January 1997 until he was sworn in as the 21st Secy of Defense in January 2001, Rumsfeld was Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences, which is the developer of Tamiflu (Oseltamivir). There have been several published news articles about how he profited from the sales of Tamiflu to the US government, while he served in office.

4. Eight retired generals and admirals called for Rumsfeld to resign in early 2006 in what is called the “Generals Revolt”, over questions concerning his military planning and strategic competence. Thank goodness he resigned in November 2006, and was replaced by Robert Gates. I point this out because Rumsfeld was the second-longest-serving Secy of Defense in history, and was well on his way to destroying our proud military and nation in that rat hole Iraq war.

Revere is so correct in his analogies to the wisest of the Three Little Pigs and Donald Rumsfeld: why not build a strong brick house (public health and social services), to protect us against the Big Bad Wolf (H5N1, other nasty diseases and incompetents like Rumsfeld).

Makes perfect sense to me.



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