Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 23 Flu Update

The story of the Bangladeshi toddler is all over the news, but we won't repeat them here.

CIDRAP reports on links between bird flu in South Korea and Japan, and on suspicious bird deaths in Sumatra.

ProMed has the same stories...

Here's a report on the impact of the sick toddler on the poultry industry in Bangladesh.

Revere notes that it is HIGHLY unlikely that this is the first human case in Bangladesh.

South Korea is upgrading the bird flu fight.

Azerbaijan dutifully reports no bird flu in the nation.

Will farmers be able to buy avian flu insurance soon?


At 6:29 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Golly, after a couple of years reading both CIDRAP and ProMED, they both act surprised that the isolates in H5N1 diseased migratory birds (wild swans) found in Japan, closely matches infected chickens in South Korea. However, the piece of news that did raise my eyebrows a little was the gigantic number of chicken deaths in Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra – thousands of them – which of course, indicates a very serious problem. No doubt, Madame Supari better step up her future bird flu drills, and maybe in the future hold them someplace other than the island tourist resort of Bali, which is probably the least likely place for an outbreak to occur.

I absolutely agree with Revere on the likelihood that the 16 month old Bangladesh toddler’s death was not the only H5N1 human infection out of 3,000 that were tested. A person could write a book on the poverty, density, population (150.4 million people), desperate living conditions, and illiteracy of the country (akin to Indonesia, actually), and you could easily build a case where there should have thousands of cases. No one on the face of this earth would ever convince me that China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India or Pakistan are reporting their human bird flu infections accurately or timely. In fact, I believe the situation is becoming so dire in Indonesia and China, the poultry vaccines are no longer effective, and they are reformulating and expanding them to cover even more multiple mutated strains out of necessity.

The likelihood of thousands of humans co-infected with influenza A types, as well as H5N1 mild type infections, are almost certain to have taken place in these densely populated, extremely poor countries. Let’s face, most of these third world countries have extremely inadequate test procedures, and it that weren’t bad enough, their government authorities suppress any unfavorable bird flu infection news that might alarm their populations, reek havoc on their precious poultry industries, and squash their precious tourist and travel industry.

What is really bad about this entire situation is that the WHO authorities, have seemingly almost sanctioned these situations, accepted the inaccurate, late and shoddy reports, and has relegated itself merely as a world reporting entity (after the fact), much like a tabloid it seems… GI/GO.



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