Monday, May 12, 2008

May 11 Flu Update

Vietnam reports good results from its human bird flu vaccine.

Thailand has apparently prevented the smuggling of bird flu vaccine from China.

Australia held a second pandemic influenza conference.

A common theme. Bird flu containment efforts are hampered by poor compensation for farmers.


At 6:23 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I find it quite interesting that tiny Vietnam can manage to team up and leverage with international partners and experts to develop its own human H5N1 pre-pandemic vaccine, and conduct its own program of trials - almost flawlessly it seems. This compared to Indonesia (the ultimate example of an entitlement mentality in my view) which seems to whine endlessly about how unfair the western world is, and how unsympathetic everyone is to poor people, and always have their hands out for free money. Indonesia should have trash-canned Supari the moment she refused to provide bird flu samples, but apparently the ruling theocracy is content with all the political and religious pandering, so I suppose they’ll have to accept the ultimate consequences of their inaction.

Did you notice in your article out of Australia, that one of the Tamiflu options they are seriously considering is to make it available to the public without prescription ? In my view, this approach is a “no brainer”. It definitely offers up some significant advantages to their expiring stockpile problem: it passes the economic cost of the purchase of antivirals on to the users (who for the most part will willingly participate), the decision to make the purchase falls squarely on the shoulders of the beneficiaries, and it promotes maximum awareness of preparation responsibility where it belongs – onto the citizens to control a little bit of their own destiny. (if only the US would “snap” to this conclusion, we would be a lot further along in our own preparation). Not to mention that the cost of Tamiflu is relatively inexpensive – most consumers waste more money in one week on beer, cigarettes, fast food, and scratch off lottery tickets, than the cost of a basic one-course dosage.

My final comment is about India: their government just doesn’t seem to understand the danger they are in by allowing H5N1 to run rampant throughout their country. I guess it will take a total devastation of all their poultry, coupled with a little starvation and food riots, for them to wake up to the fact that their number one source of protein has been decimated. For a country with over one billion people, one would think the WHO and the FAO would be issuing stern warnings left and right, but not peep.

This makes a person really wonder what Margaret Chan is doing, if anything. (I guess we’ll just have to see if she ventures out of her shell after the Olympics in Beijing are over).



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home