Tuesday, April 01, 2008

March 31 Flu Update

Two Indonesian youths died of bird flu, #106 and #107.

A child has tested positive for bird flu in Indonesia.

CIDRAP on the new cases in Indonesia.

ProMed notes these cases are not related.

India says culling is nearing completion.

Consumers in India are still eating chicken, even with the bird flu.

Nigeria gets bird flu mitigation credits.

The US Military delivered bird flu vaccine to the Pacific.

More bird flu monitoring in Azerbaijan.

Nebraskans are told bird flu is still a threat.

North Carolina article on how to keep turkeys safe--and the economy humming--in North Carolina.


At 6:08 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


As your first few articles from Indonesia indicate, the deaths and illnesses due to H5N1 infections keep on rolling in. I think it is safe to say that all 33 provinces there are endemic. I did catch an additional article that says the US Ambassador there is expected soon to announce a monetary grant to Indonesia in the amount of $ 1.64 M to be used for bird flu education. Unfortunately, in my view, I think it will be money wasted – there are better places to give the money where it will be put to better use, rather than given to an inept government headed by individuals who are overtly contentious and distrustful of the west, and which embodies a failed health care and veterinary system, and The political lesson to be learned with Indonesia is simple: this ain’t the 1970’s - don’t reward repugnant and questionable behavior with free money. It’s that simple. Free money to a regime like Indonesia doesn’t inspire loyalty or buy cooperation.

So India says “culling is near completion” ? They do not have a hope or prayer of being able to stamp out the H5N1 virus there, until one or both of the following two events occur: drastic cultural change which prohibits the raising of domestic poultry in back yards, cock fighting and illegal trade across borders; or, institute a national program of mass inoculation of all domestic poultry with viable vaccines. I don’t see India doing either, so my prediction is that this same time next year, we are going to see more mass culling of poultry and even more desperate measures being taken. Simply telling impoverished citizens it’s “safe to eat chickens” is only going to exacerbate and perpetuate the H5N1 infection situation throughout the country.

Finally, your Grand Island Nebraska article has some excellent points, that most people in the US and Canada are completely overlooking – and it is the fact that there have been many documented cases of LPAI found in the US. This is extremely important, because LPAI, can easily mutate into HPAI. In addition, HPAI has been found twice thus far in North America: in Pennsylvania in 1983, and in Texas in 2004. Therefore, the likelihood of HPAI currently existing in the US and Canada, or a LPAI mutational event, is always just over the horizon.

As your North Carolina article astutely points out: if you get H5N1, you are most likely going to die from it. (Especially if you get the strain that is increasing resistance to Tamiflu). This is especially true if you don’t have access to one of the few available respirator’s in the state you reside in, or your are too late seeking medical assistance.

And, I might add, if you are MIS-diagnosed, for example, with a seasonal influenza strain, dengue or West Nile fever, or some other funky non-descript pneumonia or upper respiratory condition, and you actually have the H5N1 virus (like occurs often in Indonesia) - you are probably dead meat and will be added to the WHO statistics.



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