Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 22 Flu Update

Australian Sunshine Coast warned about pandemic if incorrectly.

The University of Michigan says more than half of nursing homes lack a plan for pandemic flu.

Ohio has taken a strong tact in TV ads to get the attention of the public on pandemic flu.

Here's a link to the actual spot. Not too bad, really.

Morman said visits to the Web site have more than tripled since the ads began. Funded by a $400,000 federal pandemic flu preparedness grant, the ads will begin running statewide Monday, July 28, and conclude Aug. 8, she said.


At 7:01 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your Sunshine Coast Daily article out of Australia is a bit misleading. Nambour GP Wayne Herdy seems to confuse a seasonal epidemic situation with pandemic terminology, and implies strongly that if more people get seasonal flu vaccinations, they may be less likely to get ill from a novel pandemic influenza (this may or may not be true as we know, since nobody knows if some latent resistance or immunity factor may exist). Certainly the assertion, “the more people who are immunized, the less likely it is we will suffer a pandemic”, is pretty controversial and debatable.

The article from your neck of the woods, Ann Arbor, is (I must admit) quite a surprise to me: I do not believe I have encountered any pandemic states plans anywhere where nursing homes would be called upon to off-load the acute-care hospital patient over flow during a pandemic situation – schools, government facilities, churches, sport stadiums, public and private clinics, civic buildings, emergency shelters, yes– but no mention of nursing homes as I recall. In my view, recruiting nursing homes to serve as alternate care centers for patients who can’t be treated in overcrowded hospitals is asking for trouble. Most elderly are immunocompromised in some form or another, and/or have immune deficiencies as a result of particular internal or external processes or diseases. To invite in infectious people into their midst would be about as close to a death sentence as you could get.

I always enjoy reading the write-in blogger comments to articles, like the one from Ohio, which promotes the state’s TV ad, and their website. I’ve learned to categorize (label) people from their messages, into the following seven general categories of types of individuals…

1. knowledgeable – they understand the facts about avian viruses, pandemics and speak knowledgeably, intelligently and confidently. They are prepared to face natural disasters to a large degree.

2. dumb bells – they do not understand anything about the bird flu pandemic threat or natural disasters, and are totally confused. These people are perpetually naïve – we wonder how they get through life (they normal end up “victims” throughout life and they wonder why). They always seem to think the government (or somebody) will always ride to the rescue like in the movies. In fact, they expect them to.

3. scaremongers – believe any public health department or government warnings about a pandemic or terrorism is scaremongering and over reaction. These type of individuals say SARS and Ebola have been stopped, so what’s the big deal: the last pandemic was 1918 for God’s sake. It’s “another government plot against the people who work for a living”.

4. frightened – these people are frightened to death of their own shadow. They don’t want to hear bad news, period. They only watch GP rated movies and truly believe that bad things only happen to bad people. They react emotionally to things their entire life.

5. distrustful – any potential influenza pandemic is a government hoax or screw up, like the Swine flu debacle, Y2K or Katrina. (e.g. the government and “powers that be” are never to be trusted). Funny thing is, these same people are the first to sign up for early Social Security benefits.

6. denial – media reports (MSM), world expert scientists and doctors, the WHO, the OIE and CDC, all got it wrong: there is no threat to humans, only a few hundred people have died, therefore this is a disease involving only chickens. These people are ultimate hedonists and plan on taking all of their “things” to the grave with them.

7. skeptics – these are people who understand the avian influenza pandemic threat, but do not believe it is a high priority health threat: it must be proven before they would invest any of their money in preparations.

At least that’s the way I see things through my minds eye….



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