Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July 14 Flu Update

The CDC lab that houses the bird flu virus in Atlanta lost power for an hour, believe it or not.

India going on "war footing" to fight bird flu.

US News and World Report on the supercomputer looking for new bird flu drugs.

The GAO looks at hospitals "surge planning," a key point in how a pandemic would be handled (CIDRAP)

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards fund to the University of Michigan to study the Spanish Flu Pandemic.


At 6:35 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your first article about the CDC backup generator system failing is quite disconcerting, and “extreme” cause for concern. As a person who is somewhat familiar with emergency back up procedures for extremely critical labs and facilities I earnestly hope that someone from the CDC who peruses your articles and your website (which they do occasionally), will stumble upon the following seven comments:

1. Emergency equipment and backup electrical power systems must be tested on-line, under full emergency load conditions, at least quarterly – our operations, which are much larger and more extensive than the CDC’s are tested monthly.

2. Emergency generating systems must be started and run for at least 60 minutes during emergency load tests.

3. Maintenance on the emergency systems must be conducted according to manufacturer’s spec’s, including oil, filters, diesel fuel or natural gas, at regular intervals – each quarter at minimum.

4. Emergency processes should be established for an emergency generator failure and for when replacement parts are needed.

5. In the event a generating system cannot be repaired and a replacement system is needed, a contingency plan should always be in place for providing emergency backup power capability.

6. Emergency generator activity, tests, preventative maintenance, access and all log entries must be kept for a minimum of 10 years.

7. Formal investigations must be conducted whenever an emergency power generating system or associated equipment fails to operate, and corrective action must be taken.

The comments from CDC spokesperson Tom Skinner, are just plain nonsense and CYA remarks. I believe Revere wrote a commentary about this situation in the last day or two, and he is correct: the CDC appears to be an agency that is going to have a major accident/incident soon, that may jeopardize human safety due to very shoddy operations and neglect.

Another comment I would like to make is about the CIDRAP article, which summarizes the recent GAO report about state medical surge planning in the event of a terrorist attack or influenza pandemic. Judging from the fact that HHS declined to comment on the GAO report recommendations, and both the DHS and VA appear to be “out of the game” by pointing their fingers in other directions of responsibility, one gets the distinct impression that these three critical government agencies (HHS, DHS, VA), are definitely not communicating with each other. Executive intervention should occur, but it is doubtful we will see this happen due to the lame duck Bush Administration and incompetence of most of our Congress people.

My final observation is about your New Delhi article which declares that “India is gearing up to effectively deal with the bird flu menace”.

Too late I am afraid. They need to talk to Indonesia and China to determine where overly optimistic government news spin like this really gets you. No place in the bird flu world - once you allow it to become endemic in your environment, you'll never see the end of it.


At 9:40 PM, Blogger birdfluman said...

Good article. We need to keep Bird Flu at the forefront of every business manager's mind. It won't go away so better start preparing.

Nigel Thomas
For free references and tools go to Bird Flu Manual Online or, if you need more comprehensive tutorials and templates, consider Bird Flu D-I-Y eManual for business preparedness and survival.


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