Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 24 Flu Update

Bangladeshi toddler is termed "mystery." How did he get bird flu?

Champaign IL is told that the bird flu is a matter of time.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I don’t believe there is much of a “mystery” how the young 16 month old toddler from Bangladesh acquired bird flu. It’s fairly easily to assume that the H5N1 virus is endemically entrenched in Bangladesh, Indonesia, large portions of India and most of the Indo-China region. As a result, it no longer matters in my opinion, if you spot diseased or dying poultry in the vicinity of the illness, or you see death wild birds (pigeons, etc), or even if you vaccinate the poultry, because the virus has firmly taken hold everywhere in that part of the world. We are beyond casual bird flu surveillance. It is slowly spreading throughout the entire world. We all need to accept this fact and plan our strategies accordingly.

You posted a wonderful second article, out of Illinois I believe. I think nearly all of the points made in the article are accurate: nearly 90% of everyone I talk to also, are ill prepared for an influenza pandemic or any kind of serious emergency. They simply don’t believe it and won’t prepare for it, because: (a) it won’t happen because it hasn’t occurred in most of their lifetimes so far, (b) it’s the typical government “fear mongering”, like Y2K, terrorism, natural disasters, global warming and there is a general distrust of government officials because their “hidden agendas”, and (c) even if one were to occur they truly believe it will be no different than a seasonal influenza epidemic that they are already familiar with – so what’s the big deal most of them say ?

I guess the “big deal” that 90 per cent of all people overlook, is the following, in my view:

1. People are used to a seasonal influenza vaccine, the miracles of modern medicines, and the convenience of medical care being close by. These creature comforts will most likely evaporate within days of a pandemic. No matched vaccine will be available for at least twelve months, maybe not for 18 or 24 months. This situation in itself is a prescription for extremely stress, leading to possible panic on all societies.

2. People expect the conveniences of grocery stores, drug stores, banks and all public services to remain uninterrupted, and this is unlikely to happen. In fact, interruptions and breakdowns, panic and chaos are more than likely to occur. No one will be immune, no matter where they live.

3. Many believe falsely that “science will come to the rescue” (new antivirals, vaccines, whatever) at the last minute to stave off a pandemic. A pandemic will be an event where this will be most unlikely – for if it was possible, we would have already stopped the virus dead in its tracks.

As usual, if a pandemic occurs, people will want someone to blame, other than themselves, for not being prepared. There will be endless congressional hearings, lawsuits over liabilities and insurance claims, and wrongful death allegations against health officials. The list of finger pointing at others will be endless I suppose, but all they need to do is look in the mirror and accept personal responsibility.



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