Monday, March 24, 2008

March 24 Flu Update

Here we go again.....migratory birds, markets. Dutch scientists say that mallards may carry flu long distances.

Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam experimentally infected six wild-duck species with H5N1 to determine which were capable of excreting the virus without succumbing to the disease. Pochards and tufted ducks shed the most virus, though tend to become ill or die earlier, they said.

New chip tests for bird flu in people--lab on a chip.

Now, Indonesia will NOT share flu viruses in compliance with the world agreement...

A girl in Bangladesh died after eating chicken, and panic ensued.

Culls continue in Bangladesh.

Indonesia has stopped live bird markets in the capital to fight bird flu.

It is 32 years ago today that President Ford ordered the swine flu shots, an event which I believe will present a serious obstacle to any idea of pre-pandemic vaccines.


At 6:12 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


What’s with Indonesia and their nutty health ministry and their “on again-off again” stance over sharing bird flu virus samples – something there in the water? Do they really think they are having an impact on the development and availability of vaccines by this erratic and unpredictable behavior ? In my view, every time either Supari or the Indonesian government exhibits this kind of psychosis and self-serving attitude, they end up marginalizing themselves more on the world stage and completely losing credibility.
The West is slowly coming to the realization that… well, nobody really cares anymore what they say. The events will overtake them…

Regarding your Bangladesh report about the eight-year old little girl (Sama Mehta) and her family who (apparently) ate H5N1 infected chickens: looks MIGHTY suspicious that that the little tyke died from bird flu infection, but since the official government explanation is “food poisoning”, we’ll have to go with it. I guess if the entire family succumbs, it WILL be a little harder to explain away. One suspicious case does not a pandemic make, however, why keep them under a “vigil”, if it was a lone isolated case of food poisoning?

I agree with your swine flu assessment and comment Orange, one hundred and ten per cent. I was around then and vividly recall the debacle over the swine flu inoculations. I was also one of the 40 million Americans who were inoculated and I remember the apprehension in the air at that time over Guillain-Barre syndrome. In fact, I also remember many people who refused the shot.

Even though I firmly believe the money and the vaccination effort was well spent, if we were to have a repeat episode of the same circumstances with H5N1, there would be untold millions of citizens who would absolutely refuse the pre-pandemic inoculation. Shoot, there are many many millions of people now who don’t even get a seasonal influenza shot, and a substantial number of them are even daily “flu bloggers” themselves, who fret about a pandemic and blog everyday on blog sites. There are also many others who work in the health care profession caring for patients in hospitals, who also don’t get annual flu shots.

They simply depend on the well known fact if enough OTHER people in their communities get their vaccinations, then THEY benefit from this “herd immunity” and therefore have near zero medical risk. (Actually, this seems to be an effective approach during a normal influenza season, when selected trivalent vaccines are effective and work well).

However, when the influenza vaccines are not effective, and we have a poor match like this year for example, then the “herd immunity” protection factor falls apart. Or when a novel pandemic virus emerges, then the wheels really fall off, and these unvaccinated people really are at substantial risk, and they risk the lives of infant children who are too young to be inoculated.

I guess in a Democracy, embecilic people are free to be left unvaccinated and die themselves if they wish, however they should never ever be allowed to endanger the lives of little innocent children.



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