Friday, June 27, 2008

June 26 Flu Update

The Economist brings its usual high quality and incisive reporting to the subject of bird flu in Southern China, saying that the actions of the government suggest that they know more than they let on. Must read. (My note: when are the Olympics again?)

Another must read from Promed. First, strong tactics are being used to get poultry farmers in Hong Kong to accept a compensation deal, and poultry farmers in Pakistan are made that a less virulent strain of bird flu was called H5N1 by the government.

This is all over the news. Roche has introduced plans to get businesses to stock on Tamiflu, and they have the blessing of the US government.

Hong Kong says live birds cannot be kept in poultry markets overnight.

Laurel MD has been doing pandemic testing.

Same exercise is going on in Wyoming.


At 6:09 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your Economist article about the speculation that bird flu is a lot worse than admitted in China, is right on the mark: I believe there has been good cause for speculation about the China situation, because of their terrible track record. Their penchant towards obsessive government secrecy and sanitization of all negative news and their muffed handling and denials of SARS, PRRS and Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease (HFMD) in children, just makes a person wonder how widespread the H5N1 virus is and far it’s really mutated in their animals and people. Those who have been following the epidemiological events in China over the last several years suspect major problems have been very tightly suppressed.

In my view Dr Michael Osterholm sums up the Asia-Indo-China situation best with his remarks he recently made in Vancouver BC, “ The impending pandemic will most likely originate in Asia, the ‘roulette table’ for serious H5N1 flu virus genetic mutations that cause pandemics. If that happens, trade supply lines will die along with the influenza victims. During an influenza pandemic, freighters will be docked, medications will be scarce and people will starve. The next pandemic will be global in just weeks and will last 12 to 18 months, and the economic effects will be instantaneous”.

The Link address Dr. O’s comments is:

And as far as the Roche plan for encouraging businesses to buy the rights (insurance) for a secure supply of Tamiflu, which can be shipped within 48 hours upon notice – great idea – but it really makes one wonder what’s up. I do not believe that the emphasis and momentum for this action is all economic or profit driven on the part of the company. I buy all the “community resiliency” and prophylaxis and treatment explanations that are given, but wonder a little why the HHS is suddenly on-board with the novel approach and encouraging it.

Could it be that the authorities and experts now believe we are closer than we all think ?

The answer might be yes. I am firmly in Dr. O’s camp on this subject, and always have been… when the new plague hits, it could be brutal, far worse than people imagine.



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