Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 26 Flu Update

Farmer compensation is an issue in India, as it is almost everywhere.

Jakarta Post article explains to readers why a drill is needed.

(Personal note: wouldn't this make an awesome SIM game?)

This goes to a point Revere often makes....Kansas notes how preparing for disasters helps them prepare be ready for everything.


At 4:55 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Emmy Fitri spins a pretty positive and conciliatory story about Indonesian bird flu emergency exercises, but the fact remains that their public health ministry under the tutelage of Siti Fadilah Supari and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is a trainwreck. Let’s face it: if this exercise in Bali weren’t directly funded by the CDC out of Atlanta, it wouldn’t be taking place at all, and it is likely the US or the WHO is also funding the other eight simulations they are planning. Indonesia wouldn’t waste a single Rupiah (Rp) on bird flu exercises or vaccine, unless someone else provided the free money. When the Indonesian government stops their ridiculous allegations of espionage against NAMRU-2 personnel, and drops their refusal to provide diplomatic immunity, then they might restore some political credibility.

Your Kansas article about their all hazards emergency preparation, is very well written and contains two very interesting controversial observations: first, the fact that many workers report to work when they are sick, - this is going to be a impossible to control during a pandemic I believe. We had to forcefully order numerous workers home a few months ago, because they kept coming to work ill with seasonal flu. This inconsiderate practice is going to be impossible to control, because most employees everywhere have developed the habit of viewing “sick days” as a perk, and use them for vacation days. As a result, when they get sick, they trot on in to work and begin infecting their co-workers.

The second very controversial statement made in the article is that, “the Japanese are working on developing a vaccine… that is not a very wise use of resources… the most useful interventions for an influenza outbreak are purchased PPE”.

Really ? I’ll take a “near-or-close-match influenza vaccine” ANY DAY, over Tamiflu or any amount of PPE. The Japanese do have the right approach with the use of their expiring H5N1 vaccine to inoculate their citizens while there is time to do so. The vast majority of the tons of Tamiflu that the US government has stockpiled will never make in the hands of those who need it in time. It will be waylaid, stolen by thieves, expire, or distributed too late to be of any value. If the government was really serious about distributing it to stave off a pandemic – we would see a detailed plan to do so.

There is no distribution plan for the stockpiled Tamiflu – if so, somebody point to the specifics, please (no generalities). Or are the specific national and state distribution plans a national secret ? I have said this before: a person can buy AK-47’s without permission and anyone can buy a brand new automobile without a down payment in any town in North America, but the average citizen in the US isn’t viewed bright enough to be able to purchase Tamiflu (and self-medicate) without a physician’s prescription ? Give me a break - please.

When you stop and think about it, the current national Tamiflu stockpile “policy” doesn’t make any sense at all. It should be available, over the counter, for those who wish to purchase it without a prescription. Period.



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