May 5 Flu UpdateCIDRAP on ongoing flu problems in South Korea and Japan.
A veterinary is going to look at how the environment, human, and animal health are inter-related.
North Korea is inoculating poultry after outbreak in South Korea.
Here is where the pandemic rubber hits the road. A group of medical experts is looking at ventilator allocation. Remember, in a pandemic, the US would be sorely short of ventilators. Remember, also, that bird flu won't be the only thing drawing on that supply. So, what did the experts find?
To prepare, hospitals should designate a triage team with the Godlike task of deciding who will and who won't get lifesaving care, the task force wrote. Those out of luck are the people at high risk of death and a slim chance of long-term survival. But the recommendations get much more specific, and include:
- People older than 85.
- Those with severe trauma, which could include critical injuries from car crashes and shootings.
- Severely burned patients older than 60.
- Those with severe mental impairment, which could include advanced Alzheimer's disease.
- Those with a severe chronic disease, such as advanced heart failure, lung disease or poorly controlled diabetes.
Revere blogs this topic as well, seeing a start on some progress, but in a sense, a misguided effort. And, of course, the whole thing feels like the lifeboat exercise we used to do in school when the teacher forgot to do her lesson plans.
But as some point out, the shortened list might even be a violation of federal law prohibiting discrimination by age or disability or income. If the task force report provokes discussion and argument, that's a good thing. But it doesn't provide a way to settle the issue, so it isn't necessarily progress.
Maybe instead of arguing who will go in the lifeboats if the ship sails into an iceberg we should be building safer boats with more lifeboats. Of course it's not a question of one or the other. We can do both. Unfortunately we are only doing one.
The Pacific Island Health Officer Association has discussed bird flu at a meeting.
Australia used tamiflu during seasonal flu, and now is looking at a diminished pandemic stockpile.
CIDRAP reviews best planning practices, this time with interactive kiosks in North Carolina.