Saturday, February 16, 2008

February 15 Flu Update

There is another bird flu death in Indonesia.

CIDRAP on death in Vietnam.

The World Wildlife Fund says again not to blame migratory birds.

ProMed has updates from several countries. Check this out from India.

In a significant development that will affect the government's proposal of culling of birds within 5-km (3-mi) radius of Orissa-West Bengal border to prevent bird flu in the state, the Orissa Veterinary Association (OVA) decided not to participate in the killing.

In Bangladesh, people continue to keep a close eye out for bird flu.

The bird flu search goes on in North Dakota.


At 7:25 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I think you should send a special edition of your daily bird flu news to the following folks: the Orissa Veterinary Association and the World Wildlife Fund in India, and to the Jahangirnaga University in Bangladesh. That way, all these knuckle heads could comprehend a couple of important concepts when it comes to H5N1: namely it has already infested various wild bird populations (who incontrovertibly have spread it around the globe), and Indonesian and Vietnamese human victims daily have been dropping over dead like flies from exposure to infected domestic poultry. If both countries (India and Bangladesh) don’t get their act together quickly, they too will start losing their entire poultry industry and sustaining human deaths.

I truly believe neither densely populated country truly understands what the consequences are for their inaction at this point. At least Bangladesh is attempting to curb the H5N1 infestation in their country, but it is too late and they lack the resources – there is very little doubt left that it has already spread to all 64 districts.

India, in my view, is a disaster just waiting to happen. Yesterday, according to the latest CDC report, seasonal influenza in the US is reaching epidemic proportion with 44 states reporting “widespread activity” and 10 pediatric deaths (two in my city alone) due to P&I. The H1N1 prevalent strain is show significant resistance to Oseltamivir, similar to other regions in Europe and Asia. That leaves Zanamivir as the most likely candidate antiviral left in the arsenal in future years as a first line-of-defense against a pandemic.

Neither India nor Bangladesh have sufficient quantities of either drug, should a pandemic virus emerge in their midst. Neither population currently understands fully the risk and how easily an influenza epidemic in animals could become a pandemic in humans, almost overnight, nor have they taken adequate precautions to protect themselves during a pandemic. What makes H5N1 so dangerous is that it has staying power and it shows no sign of going away, in fact quite the opposite, it shows classic signs of world expansion. It is like watching a volcano getting ready to erupt.

Pandemics average every 37 years (in the last 100 years) and we are long overdue for the next one. The clock is ticking and we are long overdue. What are the odds of it happening ? Nobody knows, but everyone must prepare for a worst case at this point.

I offer the following true facts, because life produces some extraordinary circumstances that some times defy logic:

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and John Adams helped to edit and hone it. The Continental Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776. Both Jefferson and Adams died on July 4, 1826 - exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.



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