Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 10th Flu Update

A swan in northern Japan is bird flu positive, and fear of spread among wild birds is increasing.

More bird flu in India, as a new region is hit.

South Korea is upping its Tamiflu stockpile as bird flu continues to spread in the country. Note this revealing phrase:

The decision came after South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak on Saturday told his cabinet to increase stockpiles of anti-viral drugs to ease public fears about bird flu.

"The people are increasingly concerned about human infection of avian influenza," Lee was quoted as saying at a meeting of cabinet ministers by Yonhap news agency.

ProMed with good round up of all the news from Asia.

Story on companies in Canada and their disaster prep, including bird flu.

An alert reader had sent this along. A woman in Canada died on a cross country train. The train was quarantined and no one was allowed off. Helen Branswell writes about this new world. And, the woman had a heart attack. Just project that to a fully engaged pandemic.


At 7:16 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your news article about S. Korea “doubling its Tamiflu stockpile from 1.24 million to 2.5 million treatment courses isn’t nearly enough for a country where H5N1 is running rampant. They need to stockpile ten to twenty times that amount if they want to “double dose” and have enough for at least 25-50% of their population of 49 million. Their puny stockpile numbers don’t seem to make much sense – maybe they’re concentrating too much on Mad Cow disease these days in their meat imports from the US ?

The Japanese government has turned into the “fleet leader” of bird flu preparation: revising their Infectious Disease and Quarantine Laws, getting ready to inoculate 6,000 doctors, quarantine inspectors and other emergency professionals along with 120 children of various ages – as a precursor to a major program leading up to inoculation of 10-20 million of their citizens with a pre-pandemic H5N1 vaccine. It’s absolutely amazing how serious and realistic the Japanese government has assessed the influenza risk. I still would bet the ranch that within the next 12 months, watch and see how many more countries proceed with inoculation programs of their own citizens also. Oddly enough, mark my words: the US and Canada will be last, if they make the critical decision at all.

My final comment for the day… is about the strange saga about the lady tourist who died on the train in Foleyet in northern Ontario, the ensuing quarantine of the train, its passengers and the local town. Very interesting indeed – it could have been easily the “real deal”, but fortunately it wasn’t. When it first broke in the press early in the day, most of us government emergency planners in the federal government saw the news coming across the commercial MSM net within 30-60 minutes and we followed it VERY CLOSELY all day Friday.

We figure we have to, because we didn't see a peep out of the CDC or HHS or FEMA, or the WHO during the entire day. Still no comment. I guess this all goes to show: if anyone is depending on these authorities to alert them on a timely basis that a pandemic or infectious disease has broken out… you better think again. They’ll notify everyone all right, well after it is obvious to everyone in the entire galaxy.

Just a casual observation.



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