Bird Flu - Archives
Not If, But When
Americans, get ready:
A bird-flu pandemic
likely will reach U.S. shores in the next decade, Dr. Kristy Bradley,
deputy state epidemiologist for the Oklahoma State Department of Health,
"Prior to the last decade or so, the thought was the influenza from birds
would be mild or just cause conjunctivitis in humans," she said...
But "bells went off" in 1997 when 18 people in Hong Kong contracted bird flu
and six died from it.
September 27th, 2007
Alaska in the News
I guess there's a whole heap of journalists up in Alaska right now
covering official US efforts to track the spread of bird flu. Read reports
June 10th, 2006
US Tests Birds
Officials in the US have begun testing wild
birds to check if bird flu has arrived. A new test gives a result within
June 7th, 2006
“The Hurricane Cannot Be
Kept Offshore “
White House has released its
National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza. Some comment from an
The incremental plan
already was drawing complaints that despite months of dire talk about the
threat of a pandemic, the administration hasn't accomplished enough.
"Other nations have
been implementing their plans for years, but we're reading ours for the
first time now. These needless delays have put Americans at risk," said Sen.
Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
…The main defense:
Screening travelers from affected countries and diverting or quarantining
flights that arrive with possibly ill patients aboard.
But people can spread
the flu for a full day before they show symptoms.
Trying to meet and
quarantine lots of planes, "I'm dubious, No. 1, that just physically that's
feasible. And, No. 2, I frankly wonder exactly what degree of effectiveness
can be expected by that," said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt
University, an adviser to the government on flu vaccine.
understand that "the hurricane cannot be kept offshore," he added.
Stop Worrying – For the
A bird flu expert doubts
H5N1 virus will hit the US this year, at least not from migratory birds.
The smuggling of infected birds presents a greater threat, he says. However:
"If it doesn't come this year, don't relax, because it will eventually
No More Touchy-Feely
The people of Hawaii
will need to greet one another with
fewer kisses and hugs if
a bird flu pandemic comes to the islands, according to the state’s health
"Here in Hawaii we're
touchy-feely people -- we kiss each other when we say hello," Dr.
Chiyome Fukino told reporters on the sidelines of a state influenza summit.
"What we do know is that in a pandemic, those simple social graces will need
to be set aside for a period of time ... Don't kiss everybody all over the
The US government is
program of counter-measures should a bird flu pandemic strike, according
to Fox News, which adds: “Federal officials say the first case of bird flu
could show up in the United States in the coming weeks or months as birds
migrate from overseas.”
Among the measures: US
money would be printed overseas and drive-through bird flu tests would be
conducted in hospital parking lots. The large number of employees working
from home would likely put pressure on internet capacity.
Global Pandemic –
Will It Start in Hawaii?
Health officials in Hawaii fear the state could become the launching
place for a new
bird flu pandemic:
The islands are vulnerable because they're
a tourism gateway for
visitors from around the world, authorities said.
officials have launched an airport screening program, planned limited
quarantines and amassed a supply of protective gear for doctors and nurses.
In May, the state
will hold a seminar to help employers learn how a pandemic may affect their
workers and businesses.
Dr. Chiyome Fukino of
the Hawaii Health Department said a good number of Hawaii's visitors come
from the Far East, where a large number of emerging diseases are
Prepare for Pandemic
American politicians are
warning citizens to start preparing for the
arrival of bird flu:
"When you go to the
store and buy three cans of tuna fish, buy a fourth and put it under the
bed. When you go to the store to buy some milk, pick up a box of powdered
milk, put it under the bed," said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike
Leavitt. "When you do that for a period of four to six months, you are going
to have a couple of weeks of food. And that's what we're talking about."
U.S. government is treating avian flu as a scourge that will inevitably
reach the United States and is preparing for the arrival of the deadly
virus, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said on Tuesday.
However, according to an
AFP dispatch, a pandemic is
"The virus has
changed -- that's what viruses do for a living, but there is no evidence to
show that it has mutated into a form that could cause a pandemic in humans,"
[WHO Asia Pacific spokesman Peter] Cordingley said.
Frederick Leung, dean
of science at the Hong Kong University microbiology labs that have played a
pivotal role in unravelling the secrets of the virus, agreed.
"We are no closer to
a pandemic at the 100-death stage than we were at the first death," said
Bird Flu Will Hit US
This Year, Pandemic to Follow – UN Official’s Warning
US bird flu official
David Nabarro has said he expects migrating birds to bring
bird flu to Alaska this spring, and that within six months it will have
spread to the lower 48 states.
“There will be a
pandemic sooner or later,'' Nabarro said during a news conference today at
the UN. “It could start any time. We have a virus capable of replicating
inside humans. We have a virus that humans are not resistant to. We have a
virus about which we don't understand everything. It is at this stage of a
pandemic alert that we have the luxury of being able to be prepared.''
General Bernard Vallat of the Organisation for Animal Health has warned that
Australia, Canada and the US stand a “very high” risk of being
hit by H5N1.
Coming Soon – to a Flock
It is “just a matter of
bird flu infects wild birds in the US, and possibly poultry flocks as
well, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt.
Bush has announced a $7.1 billion program to combat bird flu. According to
the BBC, the
main points are:
$1.2bn for the government to buy enough doses of the vaccine against the
current strain of bird flu to protect 20 million Americans
$1bn to stockpile more anti-viral drugs that lessen the severity of the
$2.8bn to speed the development of vaccines as new strains emerge, a
process that now takes months
$583m for states and local governments to prepare emergency plans to
respond to an outbreak
Effect Measure is not impressed:
of a pandemic is serious. This plan isn't serious. It's a distraction to
divert attention from Miers, Scooter, Iraq, Katrina and all the other crap
Bush has served up. Watch the birdies (they might have the flu) while the
other hand is stripping you bare and handing your possessions over to Big
Pharma, Halliburton and Big Oil. That's a disgrace.
Provide Vaccine Stockpile
government has awarded a $62.5 million contract to pharmaceuticals company
Chiron to provide a stockpile of H5N1 flu vaccine, for use in the case of an
Reuters describes the vaccine as “a ‘pre-pandemic’ formulation that
Chiron and other companies have been working on for more than a year now,
Chiron said. Doctors and health officials hope it will be useful as a
‘priming dose’ that would help jump-start an immune response to be
fine-tuned by a second vaccine.”
the US government awarded a $100 million contract to European drug company
Sanofi-Aventis for bird flu vaccine. And yesterday the US Senate voted to
provide nearly $8 billion in funding in fiscal 2006 to stockpile anti-flu
vaccines and other medicines.
Response in China and the US
The US Food
and Drug Administration has formed a
Response Team to ensure that anti-viral drugs are available in the event
of a flu pandemic. The Team will be able to fast-track a complete new drug
application in six to eight weeks.
Ministry of Agriculture has announced a new
rapid response policy for reporting
bird flu –
reported to provincial authorities within two hours; and, after
confirmation, the provincial veterinary bureau must report to the ministry
within an hour.