Pandemic News/Awareness. - page 12

I had to close the other panflu thread as it was way too long, and becoming unreadable. I am starting this one with info on the agenda of this meeting tomorrow in Congress. I am linking to... Read More

  1. by   indigo girl
    Quote from CRNI-ICU20
    Indigo Girl,
    The panel was from one of your own threads.....the panel was one that was supposedly meeting to decide how to handle the "pandemic" avian flu....
    The panel wasn't suggested reading by was suggested reading by you..
    Sorry if what I was bringing into this thread seemed to offend you...
    Like I said, I don't disagree with your concern...
    I think Avian Flu has potential to become a pandemic....(the CDC until just a few months ago was referring to it as a pandemic...but later changed their minds....due to pressure from outside health watchers who felt their fears were not based on factual information.)
    You mentioned Tamiflu in your second I thought mentioning that there's another side that isn't mentioned in your article would be educational for the readers of this thread...because many are military families and personnel who have received Tamiflu....I didn't realize that by mentioning this other side of Tamiflu was verboten.
    I guess it's best if I don't comment....snce you seem to have strong feelings that go with this, beyond just academic discussion...
    Thanks for letting me know what panel you were referring to. Posting information without listing the source even if I provided it originally, and then expecting me to remember everything I posted in these long panflu threads is a little unrealistic. Listing sources is much appreciated.

    I have been following the subject of pandemic influenza for the past year. I don't EVER recall the CDC declaring that a pandemic was occurring right now. It's hard to believe that I could have missed such a pronouncement. I can only imagine someone taking a statement out of context perhaps, but unless a link to the source is provided, I can not take this seriously.

    I never said that I was offended by other points of view. I do find it off putting that you have NOT been discussing pandemic influenza. It is now seems clear that the intent is not to do so.

    It is also misleading to imply that discussion of the adverse effects of Tamiflu is a forbidden topic. That also did not come from me. I am well aware that Tamiflu is said to cause some serious side effects (like suicide). I am also aware that vaccines can have adverse effects.

    I believe that preparing the nation for the possibility of pandemic is a very serious topic. It deserves serious consideration. This is not a joking matter. Criticism of drug companies and vaccine makers, and prolonged discussion of profit motives have no place in this thread though I now understand your need to place blame there considering your mindset.

    I am sorry to disappoint you. You made some points. They just had nothing to do with the topic of this thread.

    Other people have debated with me about the possibility of pandemic, but they never hijacked any of the threads. They just simply disagreed. So what happened here? There is a name for what has occurred here.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 14, '07
  2. by   indigo girl
    Pakistan still finding H5N1:

    A case of another novel avian flu virus, H9N2 has appeared in Hong Kong:
    Last edit by indigo girl on Mar 22, '07
  3. by   muffie
    thank you indigo for your efforts and keeping me aware
  4. by   indigo girl
    Tamiflu had been associated with suicide in teens in Japan. Japan has been the largest market for Tamiflu where it has been used to treat seasonal influenza.
    This link to a poster at flutrackers postulates that there may be a genetic predispostion to suicide with this drug. Are there more suicides in Japan in general than in other countries? What about in this age group?

    Because Tamiflu is the drug of choice that countries like the US are stockpiling, this is of course a concern. Then again, if H5N1 does trigger a pandemic, we do not have enough to treat even a small proportion of the population anyway.
  5. by   indigo girl
    Very sad news for Bangladesh is now reporting cases of H5N1 in poultry.
    At first they were saying Exotic NewCastle Disease, but samples were sent out to the National Institute of Animal Health in Bangkok for confirmation, and they have had to admit that it is H5N1.

    Saudi Arabia is now reporting cases of H5N1 in birds. This is their first reported outbreak:
    Last edit by indigo girl on Mar 22, '07
  6. by   indigo girl
    An H5N1 strain in Thailand has been found to be resistant to amantadine. This is just one strain found in that country. The WHO had been talking about using a dual drug therapy of Amantadine and Tamiflu but clearly this will not work with this particular strain.

    This is another reason for why viral sequencing is being done, and isolates taken from patients prior to drug treatment. It is critically important to know if any SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) is present that is a marker for resistance to any of the antivirals.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Mar 29, '07
  7. by   indigo girl
    My friend, Fla Medic has returned from his road trip, and has resumed putting out his excellent essays. This first essay that I am going to link to has to do with assumptions about the economic impact that a serious influenza pandemic would have on the nation. He is commenting on a work by The Trust for America's Health. The problem is that their numbers are based on what happened in 1918 with a different virus than the one that we worry that we may be facing.

    Quote from"[/URL]

    The first assumption is that a `severe' pandemic would be on the order of the 1918 Spanish Flu. True enough, it was as bad as we've seen to date, and can rightly be called `severe' when compared to 1957 or 1968, but there is no guarantee that the next pandemic will not exceed that event in its attack rate or CFR (Case Fatality Ratio).

    Their assumption is a severe pandemic will sicken 30% of the population, claim the lives of 2.5% of those afflicted, and come in 2 or 3 waves of 6 to 8 weeks each. They also assume that those infected, but that survive, will be `out sick' for 3 weeks.

    Given that the H5N1 virus has killed in excess of 60% of those infected, assuming a 2.5% fatality rate would seem a bit optimistic.
  8. by   indigo girl
    This second essay looks at the dilemna of how to hold a country together.
    There are some very serious issues of concern should the next pandemic present as a category 5 event. I should point out again that we already know that another pandemic will occur. We do not know when, which virus or how severe it will be. We just know that it will happen. There has been no cat 5 event since 1918. With the emergence of H5N1, we are forced to examine the possible effects.

    Government planning does look at the very real impact of this type of event. Individuals should be planning too. The problem is that the public has not been informed of the consequences of a severe event.

    It has often been wondered why the govt has not told the public to do more to prepare. Their PSA's have not been very noticeable. They have not stressed that pandemics can come in waves of infection, and that they can reoccur in communities already hit perhaps 2 or more times per year. This is the historical 1918 scenario. They have not reminded the people of the fragility of the just in time delivery system. Govt planners are very much aware of all of this, so why have they not told the people more clearly about what
    they may be facing?

    Quote from"
    Individuals are likely to look at the risks during a pandemic and make decisions based on what is best for themselves or their immediate family. And in most cases, not getting sick and dying tops their list.

    Governments don't have that luxury, of course. They are charged with keeping the infrastructure running, the country secure, and the economy stable.

    And here we have a genuine conflict of interests.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jun 21, '10
  9. by   indigo girl
    In Bangladesh, chicken farmers are resisting the forced cull of infected birds.
    This should have been anticipated by the international community. Culling the birds protects the citizens of the world. Should we not be assisting them financially to provide compensation and alternatives in impoverished countries? We can not expect any different scenario unless the world gets serious about fighting this disease.

    Quote from,23599,21441261-38197,00.html
    WORKERS at a state-run poultry farm near the Bangladesh capital have protested at the culling of chickens infected by the H5N1 virus, forcing authorities to call in the army to carry out the slaughter.

    ...employees opposed the measure, saying their livelihood was at threat.

    “We cannot let this burning to go ahead,” said Jannatul Ferdous.

    “If the birds go, we will starve to death,” she said.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jun 21, '10
  10. by   indigo girl
    Last edit by indigo girl on Mar 24, '07
  11. by   indigo girl
    From Avian Flu Diary, with the permission of the author, FLA MEDIC:

    Sunday, March 25, 2007
    The Varnished Truth

    # 586

    One of the more frustrating aspects of blogging on the avian flu front is the decided lack of
    straight talk coming from official channels. We hear that `transparency' and the `timely release
    of information' are important, but the sad reality is, we get bits and pieces, often polished or
    painted up to make things seem less dire than they are.

    No, I won't go as far as to call them lies. But we do get a great deal of `spin', and to the casual
    observer, spin works just about as well.

    No one is without an agenda. And that includes the humble author of this blog. I view the threat
    of a pandemic in the next few years as likely, and so my writing reflects that opinion. So while
    I try to be fair, there is admittedly a built in bias to what I write.

    Caveat Lector.

    My agenda, however, is to raise awareness over what I perceive to be a genuine threat. I
    makeno money off of this blog, have nothing to sell, and accept no advertising. I do this
    because, right or wrong, I believe we face a real threat.

    And it is important when reading anyone's take on avian flu, to take their agenda into account.
    Words are wonderful and powerful devices. They can convey information (or disinformation),
    and, depending on how they are used, change or form public opinion.

    Governments, of course, want their citizens to believe they are doing all that is necessary, or
    reasonable, to protect them. So we get semi-reassuring press releases telling us that they
    are stockpiling drugs and working on vaccines and holding pandemic drills.

    Here in the United States, and in many other developed countries, those preparations are
    ongoing. So it isn't a falsehood. And usually somewhere in every statement is the admission
    that `we have a long way to go'. That our stockpiles are not yet sufficient to handle a pandemic.

    But the positives are stressed, and the negatives are usually glossed over. Even when officials
    are unusually blunt, as is often the case with HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt or Dr. Nabarro from
    the UN, the press, or some other agency, generally finds a way to downplay their words.

    Balanced reporting, I believe they call it.

    Balanced, perhaps, but in the end it just leaves the public confused and ultimately unprepared.

    Depending on which newspaper articles you may have read over the past two years, you probably
    anticipate that a pandemic could kill anywhere between 2 million and 1.5 Billion people. Yep.
    That's the range we've seen printed.

    The operative word in all of this reportage is `could'. It's a great word, really, because with it,
    you can say almost anything and get away with it.

    The problem is, no one really knows, and nearly every month a new `number' is promulgated by
    one group or another (always with caveats), and the press runs with it.

    When Dr. Nabarro warned that 150 million people could die in the next pandemic, his employer, the
    United Nations, quickly stated that it was more likely that `2 to 7 million could die'.

    Who's right?

    Well, if the 1918 pandemic is any guide, when the world had but 2 billion total inhabitants and lost
    50 million or so from the Spanish Flu, Dr. Nabarro's numbers seem far more plausible.

    And Dr. Nabarro's projection is far from the worst case. Dmitry Lvov, a virologist in the Soviet Union,
    has spoken of more than 1 billion deaths from the virus.

    Yet, somehow, the `2 to 7 million deaths' number continues to find it's way into newspaper articles.

    There is obviously a conscious choice by some reporters to select the most conservative estimate.
    It is so difficult to simply say that a pandemic could kill anywhere between `2 million and 1 billion
    people'' ?

    We've also seen, almost to the point of inducing nausea, that a pandemic vaccine won't be available
    until six months after a pandemic strain is identified. And yes, barring some new development
    in pandemic research, this appears to be true.

    But it's only part of the story.

    Rarely mentioned is how little vaccine would be available after six months. Yes, sometimes reports
    mention that supplies will be limited at first, but the reporting gives the illusion that if we can hang on
    for six, or eight, or ten months, inoculations will be available to the general public.

    With today's technology, we could have worldwide, perhaps 400 to 600 million doses of vaccine
    18 months into a pandemic. Enough for 6% to 8% of the planet.

    Yet I've even seen reports in foreign papers, from countries highly unlikely to ever see a vaccine,
    that `progress is being made' in streamlining the manufacturing process.

    While these stories may appease people today, and keep them from asking inconvenient questions
    of their leaders, at some point someone will have to pay the piper.

    The stated goal of most officials is to avoid panic. And for a variety of reasons, mostly economic,
    that's their agenda.

    And on the surface, that sounds reasonable. But it seems more likely that the real goal is
    to avoid accountability. If people knew the real state of our preparedness, they'd ask
    questions that would be difficult to answer.

    Like, why haven't we done a better job preparing?

    It isn't a surprise to scientists, or to government leaders, that the world will face another
    pandemic someday. We've known that since the last one, and were reminded of that fact 30 years
    ago with the swine flu scare. We simply decided to ignore that possibility, and spend our resources
    in other areas.

    As a species, we find it reasonable to spend trillions over the years to find ways to kill people more
    efficiently, but are unable to spend a few tens of billions to save people's lives.

    And that says a lot about our priorities.

    And so the spin continues, the public is left wondering if the threat is real, and little gets done on the
    local level.

    But on the plus side, no one is panicking.

    Not Yet, anyway.

    posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 8:38 AM 0 comments
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jun 13, '07
  12. by   indigo girl
    Bangladesh, avian flu appears to have spread beyond Dhaka, not surprisingly.
    Are they employing the Tamiflu blanket there? It certainly sounds like it:

    Quote from
    ...some 9,000 chickens were killed on Saturday on three farms north of Dhaka after laboratory
    tests showed traces of the virus in the areas.

    "We are awaiting test results to know if they had died of the avian flu," Motalib told reporters,
    adding that all affected farms had been sealed.

    Some 1,000 poultry birds were reported to have died in a farm at Narayanganj, 20 km from Dhaka.

    Several farm workers in Bangladesh have been exposed to the virus. Another senior official at the
    fisheries and livestock ministry, Syed Ataur Rahman, said authorities have been treating them,
    without detailing what drugs had been administered.

    Local newspapers and residents around the country have reported that more chickens had
    become ill or had died, although not in large scale. Authorities said they had no official
    confirmation of an outbreak of the virus.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jun 13, '07
  13. by   indigo girl
    Another case in Egypt, this time in a three year old. Luckily all of these recent cases have been mild,
    and the children have all recovered:

    Here is some commentary from Dr. Niman, virologist and founder of Recombinomics. Basically,
    he is saying that these recent pediatric cases
    did not have the marker, M2301 in the viral strains that infected them.
    All cases with M2301 have died.

    Last edit by indigo girl on Jun 13, '07