Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August 11 Flu Update

Today's big news....Nigeria has reported a new strain of bird flu, raising many questions, as below

"The detection of a new avian influenza virus strain in Africa raises serious concerns as it remains unknown how this strain has been introduced to the continent," said Scott Newman, International Wildlife Coordinator of FAO's Animal Health Service.

The fatality rate is falling this year in Indonesia, but I wonder, given the small sample sizes, about relevance.

Meanwhile, N. Sumatra is remaining alert.

In the UK, a man was prosecuted for improperly disposing of bird carcasses.

Cambodia is holding educational seminars to train the people who work in live markets on how to control bird flu.

The US has given funds to Ethiopia to help combat avian influenza, among other things.


At 6:05 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your comment about the “relevancy of the sample” size is very diplomatic. Based on the North Sumatra Health Office comments made by Chandra Syafei about the recent incident there (three people died, thirteen more showed bird flu symptoms and were hospitalized): with no autopsy or blood samples or bodily fluid reports released on any of the victims, how is anybody supposed to take Indonesia’s reports, data or statistics seriously ?

Even with the WHO health politico’s on the scene, the cause of the deaths and illnesses still have not been determined. Most likely, like the many other clustered illnesses that have occurred there, there will not be any follow up, and the incident will evaporate and all illnesses and deaths will be attributed to dengue fever.

I believe if the truth be told, there is a real transparency and responsibility issue going on, where the medical data and cause of illnesses are being manipulated or falsely reported, which results in a corruption of their data. Chandra Syafei said himself that “he personally learned that the patients’ blood tests were negative for bird flu from the ministry’s website”.

Sounds like a real sense of frustration and "failure to communicate" within the health ranks there, doesn’t it ?



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