Thursday, March 06, 2008

March 6 Flu Update

There's a new case in Egypt, an 11 year old boy.

ProMed on this case as well....

Revere reminds us that the heart of the flu season is still upcoming.

Vietnam forecasts flu problems in May.

WHO says no sign of mutation in Indonesia.

Experts says a pandemic is still possible.

Bangladesh is waiving import duties on poultry feed to help the poultry industry.

Churches in Missouri are getting pandemic books.

Flu prep is also ongoing in Alabama.

Doc in Ontario tells readers that personal responsibility will be key for the flu pandemic.

Delaware monitors bird flu in wild birds.

In Trinidad, farmers are urged to keep an eye on their poultry.

OIE and China are going to communicate better.


At 6:31 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I would like to make a predictable comment about your EM Revere article, “The heart of bird flu season coming up”, which probably many others are thinking also: how do we know that this year’s bird flu season is “pretty much like last year”, when the data is suspect ? (I know, how dare “one of the little people” question the WHO graph) Specifically, it is still inconceivable in everyone’s minds that India and Bangladesh haven’t spotted or reported one H5N1 infected human to date. Even after dozens and dozens of first hand media reports of Indians and Bangladeshan’s throwing thousands of infected birds in rivers, dumping them in open ditches, slaughtering and eating them, culling millions of them and hiding them… not even one infected dog, cat, bat, pig, or human. Not even one reported infected mosquito or fly. I am not knocking Revere (he’s quite astute) – but I am pointing a big critical finger at these nations and the WHO, who “look the other way”, when it comes to absolute transparency and openness. This results in misleading conclusions and mixed messages. What we have now is a process so broken, that Jakarta even issues the following statement, “No sign of deadly mutation in Indonesian bird flu samples: WHO”.

This all seems to be in direct contrast and contradicts what some of the most knowledgeable and highly-regarded experts, like Takeshi Kasai and Yoshihiro Kawaoka, are saying: the bird flu virus is “firmly entrenched in Asia”, and has indeed mutated into a form that is deadly to humans, because of its ability to thrive in upper body temperatures (91.4 degrees in the nose and throat). The dichotomies and gaps between what the official reported human infection data compiled by the WHO displays, as compared to what the experts are saying, seem to be growing larger by the month. And I don’t the real situation is very well understood.

The most accurate and consistent messages in my mind are captured in your Carthage MO, Tuscaloosa Ala, and Ontario CA, articles: people everywhere need to take a heck of a lot more personal responsibility when it comes to the subject of emergency preparedness and the risks they may face. Whether the subject is self health care in the home, collaborative planning with their neighbors, church members and relatives, they need to be prepared in advance to react quickly and responsibly. Unfortunately, most people will think that “planning for a mass fatality event” is a bit excessive and fear mongering and extreme, however, make no mistake whatsoever - federal disaster plans call for just this anticipated situation: how to work with state and local health and coroner officials to process large numbers of bodies in the event of a disastrous pandemic. They also spell out in detail triage assistance, logistical and medical support, as well as emergency communications assistance, and hundreds of other activities.

All responsible individuals and families need to take the time now to be minimally prepared and educate themselves for possible emergencies they could be confronted with, especially a pandemic. This seems to me to be a pretty simple thing to do.

Unfortunately, most individuals are programmed to only react to warnings these days if they see first hand evidence on the TV and hear something voiced by one of the national evening news talking heads. That “makes it official” in their minds. Go figure.



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