Friday, May 23, 2008

May 22 Flu Update

A toddler in Bangladesh has bird flu, the country's first case. He is said to have recovered, and lived near no poultry, but in the slums.

CIDRAP on the Bangladesh case.

Albany GA had a bird flu seminar.


At 9:48 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The Bangladesh reports of its first case of a human infected with H5N1 (16 month old toddler), are indeed extremely concerning and troubling from a number of aspects: the youngster contracted the disease in January and we are first publicly learning about the illness five months later (and the reason for this lengthy delay is ?), the young victim is from one of the many crowded slums and was infected with a supposedly “mild case” of H5N1 (which tested negative at first), but tested positive for influenza A (a definite co-infection issue there), and finally, he did not live on or near a chicken farm.

The means that we have another “unsolved H5N1 mystery case”, similar to the many dozens and dozens that have already occurred (and are still happening weekly) in Indonesia, Pakistan, China, and South Korea. The same can be said about suspected cases in India, if the government there were truthful and transparent with the WHO and the MSM (but it hasn’t been).

All of these vagaries lead many of us to suspect that it cannot be long before the H5N1 virus will reach an ignition or flash point and it will successfully mutate, resulting in sudden human-to-human transmission, and an incredible case-fatality-rate somewhere between 1% and 60%. How can anybody think otherwise - by just crossing their fingers and hope it doesn’t happen ? The evidence tilting towards a pandemic situation is starting to pile up, even though the WHO, CDC and HHS seems to be notoriously oblivious to the clues.

I really liked your Albany Georgia article about the need for knowing how to communicate to the public during a pandemic crisis situation. In my view, without going into all the nuances, good emergency communication to the general public always amounts to providing useful and factual information on a timely basis that will enable people to make critical decisions that will maintain their safety, and preserve law and order. It is indeed a science, and the communications have to be carefully conveyed so that directions are provided and expectations are understood.

But so far, communications about human bird flu cases from a whole host of countries haven’t been stellar examples of timeliness and accuracy, in my opinion.



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