March 15 Flu UpdateI maintain a pretty strict standard...we cover H5N1. But, this Time article on the Hong Kong scare of 08 has a lot of good info. Imagine if this was H5N1. Note the political pressure on Hong Kong. Note the strong response. Note, also, this (emphasis added):
Public health experts are still worried, however, that the current flu outbreak will lead to even greater use of the antiflu drug Tamiflu. The powerful treatment has been proven particularly effective against H5N1 and has become widely prescribed in Hong Kong — it is increasingly available illegally, without prescription, in pharmacies — so resistance to the drug is growing fast here. Doctors say the overuse of Tamiflu is creating a manifold risk, not only of weakening a weapon against a potential bird flu outbreak, but also of helping to spread a virulent strain of drug-resistant common flu in the wider population. "It's not a good thing to abuse," says Yuen.And this....
But it's hard to keep a community still scarred by recent medical history from doing whatever it can to protect itself. Samuel Ho, a professor of psychology at Hong Kong University, says that during the SARS epidemic, Hong Kong residents were exceedingly concerned about infecting their families and loved ones with the virus. "People were worried about whether they would get the flu," says Ho, "But they worried more about their relations. ... How can I protect my wife? My kids?" He says that to help alleviate the kind of mass insecurity that recurs in Hong Kong during bad flu seasons like this one, doctors need to inform people not only of the true risks they face, but also what they can do to control them.
ProMed has extensive local information on the civet mystery, but does not seem to solve the ultimate riddle.
Things are quieting in Hong Kong, though note reports of a bird flu outbreak in China.
With a clean bill of health, the swannery in Dorset is cleared to open.
West Bengal claims no further outbreaks....says this story.
Yet, this story says otherwise.
Bird flu effects Indian grain markets.
Also, this story makes Thailand sound worse than we thought.
Vietnam is also raising the level of surveillance on bird flu.
A virtual symposium will be held in Asia on pandemic prep.
Wyoming is joining a national pandemic prep exercise.
A badminton tournament can go on, not withstanding the effect of bird flu on shuttlecock supply.
An Avian Flu manual has been produced for journalists, by UNICEF and others.
Here's a link to the manual