Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February 19 Flu Updatre

There is a new human case reported in Central China.

More outbreaks in 3 provinces in Vietnam.

Outbreak also reported in Tibet.

They're giving away free chicken in Kolkata to promote consumption.

Indonesia and virus sharing continues to be an issue.

A new book by the Indonesian Health minister says that US is part of "conspiracy" on flu samples.

CIDRAP reports on a visit by HHS official to the flu wiki.

Here's the link to the fluwiki Q&A.

Revere looks at recent cases, and says based on what we know, the only logical conclusion is that it is just "flu season."

ProMed on bird flu in mosquitoes.

Poultry ban in West Bengal is lifted, but the economic aftershocks are still there.


At 6:18 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Well, let’s go for the easy target of the day- Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari (one of my favorite topics), who has written a book on avian influenza and alleges that the WHO and the US are conspiring against developing countries. She also alleges in her book that some of her virus samples have become “weaponized” by the Los Alamos Labs (they don’t have the means to do that there, but that’s beside the point) and that the world health management system is corrupt, greedy and intent on controlling the underdeveloped world. Most importantly, she describes herself as being at the right hand of God, and is “the divine hand behind avian influenza” (that’s pretty Godly in my book). It seems like every time this lady opens her mouth, she only marginalizes herself, her president and her country further. Welcome to the dark side.

I’d like to say that there is help for individuals like her who believe in “global conspiracies”. People who are thinking of changing their schizophrenia med’s should always consult with their doctor first, to establish the most safe and effective treatment plan possible. I recommend she switch to Haldol, Prolixin or Thorazine. She definitely sounds like she has finally succumbed to religious extremism, due to her close affiliation’s with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez, and harbors an extreme hatred towards the Western Democratic nations. Due to this radicalism and hatred, I truly believe the WHO and the UN should give serious consideration to stopping all forms of assistance and aid to Indonesia. Money does talk in our “conspiratorial world”, but neither Supari nor president Yudhoyono seem to want to cooperate with any form of virus sharing arrangement, material transfer agreements not withstanding . They also seem to not mind casting dispersions and innuendo’s against all non-Muslim nations, so let’s hit them in the pocketbook where it hurts most: no more hand-outs lady.

Maybe Yudhoyono will grow some cajones and fire her bump, like he should (but I doubt this will happen until it’s too late). In my view, she is merely setting the stage to blame the Western Democracies when a full fledged pandemic emerges in her country - it’s that simple and pathetic.

On the sunnier side, the Revere article you posted, “Reading the Tea Leaves”, is pretty thought provoking. While the standard trend graph of the countries that have reported human bird flu cases, is interesting, it really doesn’t reveal much to spot a problem – it only reveals countries that “poke out”, and is a “trailing or lagging indicator”. I think most of us would like to see more relevant data for all of these same countries, plotted for the same dates, which displays the following:

• total amount/number of Tamiflu dosages dispensed to humans
• number of PCR tests conducted on humans (% + and -)
• resistance levels and percentages of influenza viruses tested
• number of humans hospitalized for Pneumonia and Influenza illnesses by influenza type (and deaths)
• number of people vaccinated for seasonal influenza

Regular “leading pandemic indicator” data like this would be significantly more insightful and truly tell whether there is any real association developing between seasonal flu and bird flu. But I guess, there will always be some particular countries and erudite health ministers who would see a conspiratorial plot in releasing this information publicly.

I guess there is no real cure or vaccine for paranoia.



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