Pandemic News/Awareness. - page 4

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 rn/writer
    Which countries are researching possible vaccines and/or treatments? How close have they come to developing either?
    Here is a link giving an update on antivirals. Some of this is new to me also.
    One feature of the newest antiviral is that injecting it can produce much higher levels than oral Tamiflu and tests on volunteers suggest people can tolerate these higher levels for up to ten days. However the safety profile is not yet well established. Its use would be limited to treating those already hospitalized.

    All this is to the good, although it is pretty late in the game. Whether any of these developments will reach the level where they are useful and available in sufficient quantities will depend on events outside of our control, the behavior of the virus as it invades ever new ecological niches in the natural world.

    Meanwhile, we must agree with the dean of flu virologists, Dr. Robert Webster: we are losing the battle against H5N1.
    The link above refers to this article from an interview with Dr. Webster of St. Jude in Memphis, saying that we have failed to control the virus. We have lost the battle. But, most people never even realized that we are in a war. It would certainly never occur to them that modern science is losing this war.
    Quote from [URL="[URL=""[/URL]"][/URL]
    Each outbreak of the flu in birds, people and animals such as cats and pigs raises the possibility that it will mutate into a form that spreads quickly in people, Webster said. A resurgence of infections in countries such as Japan, South Korea and Thailand confirms that control efforts that appeared effective still need to be strengthened, he said.

    ``To me it means that we've failed,'' Webster said today in an interview in Washington. ``It's a lack of knowledge and political will to get at the source of the virus.''
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 6, '07
  2. by   indigo girl
    A nurse comments on this news article about nursings curious lack of participation in pandemic/disaster planning. This nurse (no one I know) is right on target.
    (hat tip to fluwiki for posting this link)
    The CDC released its pandemic guidelines with great fanfare. However, no one has consulted with professional nursing about its expected role and responsibilities for the planning and execution of the guidelines. Has it occurred to anyone that by continuing to devalue nurses - almost 3 million of them - and ignoring their role which will be that of the most critical healthcare provider, that the US puts itself in peril? Most nurses (almost 94%) are women who care for family members (children, parents or another relative). How likely are they to respond to mandates which require their commitment to quarantine in a healthcare institution and away from their families for weeks or months at a time?
    The expectation is that most patients during a flu pandemic will have acute respiratory failure. Not all nurses practice in critical care environments. Just who is going to manage the care of all of the critically ill patients? When physician and nurse deaths occur, just who is expected to stay in place and care for the overload of patients? When hospital administrators, safe in their offices away from patients, fail to deliver needed supplies from breaks in the supply chain, just who will take up the slack and improvise? When the 40% of the workforce stays home, as predicted, just who will do all of the unmanned jobs?
    This may very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The US - public, politicians, government, physicians and healthcare industry - have all taken professional nurses for granted. That’s a reckless and dangerous assumption to make.
    Dare I say it? Notice the total lack of inclusion of nurses by the New York Times during any reporting about health policy, health news, patient advocacy, health research - anything. If nurses merit a mention at all, it’s still in the stereotype of physician’s handmaiden or trained task assistant.
    Nurses provide about 95% of ALL healthcare services in the US. They have earned, and they deserve, professional respect.
    Professional nursing, empowered patients. Good health.
    — Posted by N=1

    No representation in planning, but the assumption is, we will be there to take care of everyone!
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 6, '07
  3. by   LMonty911
    good catch, Indigo girl!

    Yep, the poster sure hit the nail on the head on that one...nurses who arent prepared and informed in advanec are going to have quite a shock when it hits
  4. by   Laidback Al
    It is unfortunate that nurses have not a had place at the political table for discussing how they, as a group, might be affected by a pandemic. It may very well be time for a grass roots organizing effort by nurses to insure that the Health Care Community recognizes that nurses will be at the forefront of care at beginning of a pandemic. Nurses need to know that they will be provided with PPE, and assured that their personal concerns about time off to care for their own family members will heard.

    It is hard to believe that this large segment of Health Care Community has not has any input in pandemic planning. There is still time to organize and make a difference.
  5. by   indigo girl
    The following essay addresses an issue that many are not aware of, but need to know. Whenever you read about a positive avian flu test result, you almost always hear that the victim had contact with poultry. What you are unlikely to be told however, is that the viral sequences of the humans does not match the viral sequences of the poultry. What does this mean? It could mean that there is good chance that there is a hidden mammalian reservoir for H5N1.

    In Indonesia, the virus in the people most closely resembled the virus in a cat. This has important ramifications for preventing disease, particularly in countries where felines are pets (not the case in Indonesia), and are allowed access to the outdoors with the possibility of catching wildbirds.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 8, '07
  6. by   indigo girl
    Indonesia and the witholding of information on viral strains of H5N1 collected from their patients could be a tremendous problem for the rest of the world. This large, populous country, where avian flu is now endemic, could be the breeding ground for a pandemic. There are over 1600 different strains of this virus. Surprised? You can see the difficulty of developing a vaccine, and if this country considers viral strains to be intellectual property, it will put the rest of the world at risk unless we agree to their terms. The Reveres are senior public heath officials, and this essay is a thoughtful look at this issue dividing a developing nation and the richer, more industrialized countries.
  7. by   Dixielee
    I would like to thank you Indigo Girl for the hard work you have done in educating the nursing population regarding this issue. My husband and I have been involved in family and community disaster preparedness for decades. While I have not read all of your threads or all of this thread for that matter, I appreciate your efforts.

    I have been following the bird flu situation for several years and we have a pretty good idea how we as a family are going to handle it. You can bet the farm that I won't be showing up at work either. I have a responsibility to my family first. Hospital administration is NOT taking care of their employees properly now, what makes me think they will come thru in an emergency?

    We are chronically short staffed, have faulty or missing equipment, get no breaks and spend countless hours on paperwork. This is the "good times". The public probably is planning on us working as volunteers, but they will be in for a rude awakening. How many other professions are expected to risk their lives routinely for others for little or no compensation? Police, fire fighters, paramedics and nurses come to mind.

    I have tried to educate people to take personal responsibility for themselves and their destiny, but feel that I am beating my head against the wall. Everyday in the ER I see countless people come in for frivilous complaints, never even taking an Advil for their backache, or benedryl for their itch. They come to us wanting free care, advice and meds, and they demand it quickly and without regard for anyone elses needs.

    Do I think we are doomed in this country if the pandemic hits. YEP!! Do we expect the truck drivers to deliver groceries to stores with hoards of sniffling, coughing, febrile people ready to storm the doors for food? Do we expect the gas pumps to work, the ATM machines to have endless money and the fast food resturants to be serving? Do we expect the pharmacists to stand at the back of the drug store handing out free meds and information to the sick and afflicted? Do we expect the schools and day care centers to stay open and babysit and feed our children?

    I don't think so. People will be scared, huddled up and possible quarantined at home by the government. Will travel be restricted in a futile attempt to stop the spread? Do you want to be on an airplane with recirculated air with 150 potentially infected people? Will business travel continue?

    Most people can't get into their own doctors offices for illness now, they are referred to the ER, so what happens in a pandemic?

    There are thousands of unanswered questions. We need to start thinking of how this could affect us. How are we going to feed our families if the grocery stores are empty? Has anyone really looked around the grocery store to see how much actual food is there? How many aisles are filled with colas, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning products, books, toys and gadgets, paper products, beer and wine? Stores rely in just in time delivery for supplies. Have you ever been to a grocery store in the middle of the night? Stockers are frantically replacing goods sold during the previous day or so. What happens when those trucks stop delivering?

    I have ranted enough. We are as prepared as we can be. We have not been just interested in preparing for the bird flu, but for taking responsibilty for ourselves in as many situations as possible. Other potential personal disasters could include job loss, disability, death of a bread winner, local disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms (power outages), and floods.

    We do not know what the future brings, but we will try to be self sufficient and not be a drain on public resources. Will most of the masses feel this way? NO, many feel it is their right to have others provide for them, and will act accordingly.

    For a good and easy to navigate forum on the bird flu, check out
    Scroll down to the section on bird flu and check it out. There is some lively discussion, and it is generally directed to the lay public, so it is easy to read and quite informative. This may have been listed before, so I apologize if it is a duplicate.

    Thanks again Indigo Girl for your efforts. I hope they are not falling on deaf ears.

    Dixielee the doomer girl
  8. by   baumeisterfuller
    Thank you, Indigo girl, for a fine job. I have been following pandemic flu for about a year now but generally just lurking on several forums. We, as nurses, WILL be the ones expected to provide care in impossible conditions. It is hard to convince the general public--heck, I have only convinced one of my three children that preparing to be self-sufficient for at least 90 days [and maybe forever, if the inconceivable happens] is paramount.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Dixie, eye-opening site. Thank you.
  10. by   indigo girl
    The situation in England regarding the finding of H5N1 avian flu in the Bernard Matthews turkey sheds is very confusing. The story keeps changing, and not for the better. I am going to post a few links to show you just how crazy this is getting. I am having a difficult time understanding all of this, so if you find it so, don't be surprised...

    First, I'll let the Reveres at Effect Measure have their say:

    Then, let's look at what the UK gov't is saying:

    Unfortunately, this study does not seem to agree with their assessment about transmissibility thru the GI tract, and it should be pointed out that some victims (since deceased) have had the consumption of contaminated food as their only risk factor.

    Last, but not least, there is this story of a worker, who participated in the cull. He was bitten by a turkey, and his wound was cleaned with ALCOHOL?
    He was not given Tamiflu until after his mother's doctor in Portugal insisted that he go to the hospital. By this time, he has flu s/s according to this post:
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 10, '07
  11. by   indigo girl
    More from the UK story, I really don't know what to say except that this is astonishing behavior. Does business really come before public health?

    Quote from
    Government inspectors knew in advance that Bernard Matthews intended to import the meat from a slaughterhouse only 30 miles away from the Hungarian outbreak - but did nothing to stop it.

    A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) yesterday admitted that it had the power to block such meat imports but had decided not to do so.

    Ben Bradshaw, the agriculture minister, blamed the failure to act on fears of retaliatory action against British exports by other European Union states. "There was a fear that if we were to ban imports from Hungary, other countries could treat British exports in the same way," he said.

    It meant that meat potentially carrying the flu virus was carried straight through protective cordons set up around the Suffolk plant to prevent the spread of avian flu.
  12. by   indigo girl
    The Philippines:
    (hat tip P4P/Rick)
    Quote from
    The alert was raised following the discovery of a heron, which had tags that indicated that it came from Japan.

    Dr. Enrique Espiritu, provincial veterinarian, said the bird was found by a farmer in the town of Preito-diaz that was being frequented by migratory birds for its vast mangrove forest. The town was included in the bird-flu watch list.

    Espiritu said herons, being wild, are normally difficult to capture.

    He said that the bird was very weak and exhibited symptoms of being ill when found by the farmer who turned it over to Mayor Benito Doma. Doma ordered the immediate disposal of the bird.

    Quote from"
    JAKARTA (JP): Provincial administrations are being urged to follow Jakarta in banning backyard poultry, as two more bird flu deaths were reported Sunday in Garut regency, West Java.

    A 20-year-old woman died at Slamet Hospital in Garut at about 1 a.m., followed by a 9-year old boy at 4:30 p.m.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 11, '07
  13. by   indigo girl
    UK Medical Ethics in a Pandemic, a discussion that concerns nursing, and not just in the UK. Dr Andrew Lawson lectures in medical ethics at Imperial College, London:
    Last edit by indigo girl on Feb 11, '07