Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 28 Flu Update

CIDRAP on bird flu discovery in four swans in Japan, a new outbreak in Vietnam, as well as news from India

Bird flu is continuing to spread in Tripura, India.

Story on bird flu in swans in Japan. (H5 confirmed, but further strain is not identified)

Bird flu outbreak in Vietnam.

There was an underreported outbreak in Nigeria...and they are trying to figure out what. This is either the right answer--or they are looking for a scapegoat.

The bird flu drill in Indonesia continues to make news:

"Let us out! We don't want to die here!" a man screamed as masked police officers set up barricades around his village after learning the deadly bird flu virus had mutated to a form spreading rapidly among humans. Dozens of other panicked residents joined him in squaring off with the troops.

The US government is going to pay Sanofi $192 million to develop a bird flu vaccine against a "new strain"

The Reveres announced yesterday that they are going to ease up their posting schedule. Just a tip of the hat to them for incredible work presenting bird flu information in a way that makes sense to us laypeople, and for helping us interperet what is going on. We look forward to their continued, if less frequent posts. Everyday posting is a huge drain on time...I evaluate this every six months or so myself, so I can completely understand. Effect Measure started about when we did, in late 2004.


At 6:14 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


One has to wonder in view of the continued weekly bird flu outbreak reports flowing out of South Korea, Japan, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam – what is going on in China these days. It seems as though Xinhua (the official Chinese news agency) is very good at providing in depth news updates of bird flu in OTHER counties, but manages to conveniently suppress its own bird flu news. Just an observation – maybe after the Olympics, Margaret Chan will loosen things up a bit.

No comment today on one of my favorite subjects, which is Indonesia. Let’s just say, we’ll all be watching to see how Ms. Supari and El Presidente’Yudhoyono perform when the rubber hits the road. (eg, the first actual H5N1 highly transmissible epidemic situation occurs). I’ll lay everyone two to one odd’s that she goes full throttle and blames NAMRU-2, the US, and the WHO, rich nations, and big western Pharma, for “sabotaging her country and the bird flu efforts there”. But in the mean time, they both will be glad to accept free money for bird flu exercises.

I think the most significant aspect of the Sanofi-Aventis purchase of avian influenza vaccine is: we all need to question ourselves why we do not have the capability to produce 38.5 million doses of vaccine in the US. Simple question. For that matter, the largest supplier of federal bullets for the war in Iraq is from - guess where – Taiwan. This just goes to show you what happens when we allow the export all of our manufacturing capability (and jobs), outside of the US for the sake of profitability: we mortgage our economic future and have to depend on other countries for our vaccines, and even our lousy bullets to wage war in a place we don’t belong. Heck, I just saw on the national news last night that “personal assistants” are now being outsourced to India, via internet and phone. What the devil is the world coming to ?

Finally, I would like to give both you and the Revere’s kudos for the tremendous effort you guys (and many others of course) expend keeping everyone informed on the bird flu and medical front. As my mother Bertha used to say constantly when I was growing up… “ you’ll get your reward in heaven”. You Orange may appreciate this statement, however Revere may not, since he has on many occasions professed publicly to be an atheist. That’s okay though, he and the missus Revere both appear to be principled good people.



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