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Bird Flu - Archives

 
Canada
 

Signs of the Times in Canada
I don't know if this is a big deal or not, but it's certainly a sign of the times. The Greyhound bus company in Canada says it will stop transporting live birds, animals and insects, due to the threat of bird flu.
March 25th, 2006
 

Let Them Die

Tough talk from the Edmonton Sun:

 

To prevent the collapse of health care during an influenza pandemic, doctors shouldn't bother treating those seriously ill with the virus because they're going to die anyway, says a local physician.

 

"I don't think health care is ever going to be able to deliver the resources that are required ... in the middle of a crisis," says Dr. Louis Francescutti, associate professor at the University of Alberta's department of public health sciences.

 

"You can't build that much capacity in the system to deal with (an influenza pandemic)," he told me yesterday.

 

If 60% of those infected with influenza are expected to die, health-care officials should withhold treatment from those who aren't likely to survive, says Francescutti.

 

"Don't try and do anything heroic," he says. "Those people should be isolated and made comfortable but let them die because they're going to die."

 

Perhaps it sounds cold-hearted but Francescutti says he's just being realistic. "It's called triage. You've got limited resources. You'd better use them as efficiently as possible."

March 24th, 2006

 

Canada Gets Worried

The economic costs of a flu pandemic could rival the impact of the Great Depression, according to Canada’s Health Minister.

 

Meanwhile, a Canadian economist, Sherry Cooper, has told CBC News that a major flu outbreak

 

"would lead governments everywhere to shut down their borders, or, in effect, ground airplanes, because people would not want to travel, and that would be the end of the major trade in goods and services, at least for some period of time….And, given our global supply chains, there would develop shortages in many, many goods, many products, across the world very quickly." It would be hard to maintain food supplies "even across provincial lines, let alone across international lines," she added

 

She also said that she did not want to “generate fear unnecessarily.”

 

The same CBC News report said the Conference Board of Canada has warned that “a flu pandemic on a large scale would throw the world into a sudden and possibly dramatic global recession."

October 19th, 2005