Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May 20 Flu Update

Good thing there is no fish flu....South Koreans are turning to seafood in the bird flu scare

Good flu primer for Tennessee audience.

Continuing flu education is urged in Kenya.

WHO DG Dr. Chan ranks bird flu right up there with climate change and the food shortage.

Article urges Malaysian readers not to be desensitized to bird flu

Bird flu planning is also underway in the Philippines.


At 5:59 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Interesting article you posted about the South Koreans and their fear of poultry (bird flu) and beef (mad cow disease). I can understand the trepidation over chickens, but beef and mad cow disease (?) – c’mon, that’s crossing over a little on the paranoid side. I believe when you calculate the real risk, there’s a much higher danger from eating a spinach salad and getting salmonella poisoning, than ever getting mad cow disease from eating a steak or hamburger patty.

Another excellent bit of news is your article out of Shelbyville, Tennessee, and the Avian Influenza Planning Project Manager, Dr. Carl Bailey - he really does summarize the potential sobering effects and impacts of a pandemic on a community quite well (social isolation, economic damage, mobility, and self sufficiency). A couple of lines in the article, really pop out at the reader: “medicine has not changed much – there was no vaccine then and there is none now”, “… by the time people were aware there was a pandemic in 1918, it was already underway”, and “counties in Tennessee are in various stages of planning, with some counties not doing anything”. Generally though, I have noticed an increase over the last year in the quality of fundamental planning activities and communication in rural counties. (And as old Martha Stewart would say, “that’s a good thing”.

I’m quite impressed with WHO DG Margaret Chan’s prophetic statement that “food shortage, climate change, and a pandemic influenza” are the three global crises that are looming on the horizon”. I believe she is quite perceptive in this instance, at least in my view. She’s covered pestilence, famine and death, all she is missing is the symbolic fourth horsemen of the apocalypse (so to speak in biblical terms). The fourth horsemen might be global warfare resulting from rapidly diminishing resources, over a few of the simple things we take for granted everyday, like water and oil.

There’s still hope for Margaret to make a difference in the world, because all three of her concerns are massive enough to impact human life on earth, not just bird flu. I’ll really start sweating bullets when she starts saying: "nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, plagues and earthquakes in various places".



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