- Hello Jeff -
- Fear of bird flu is causing people (and their response
plans) to act irrationally. The following article with its description
of quarantine areas being set aside, and closing of schools and businesses
which could include power companies, phone companies, etc is much more
scarey to me than H5N1.
- WE DON'T HAVE A PANDEMIC STRAIN.
- Major efforts to prevent bird flu from arriving on our
shoresm or at least to make timely identification should it arrive, ought
to be what we are reading about. Bird Flu is an ANIMAL outbreak at this
time, an agriculturial outbreak if you prefer, and there needs to be efforts
to stamp it out and/or prevent it from spreading among animals. And the
government needs to remember swine should be included in planning protocols.
- Furthermore, I don't see or hear about any spending of
funds for investigational study into "alternative" means of fighting
flu, such as hyperbaric oxygen treatments, IV Ozone, UV etc, etc.
- I don't see augmentation of existing hospital facilities
by setting up infectious disease centers for use in any infectious disease.
What I am seeing is panic and fear - and stupidity - being spread in the
media and by our politicians.
- A logical common sense approach needs to be implemented.
Education of the public as to what bird flu really is at this point -
and what it might become - is almost totally absent. People who are thoroughly
educated will approach the subject with understanding and not fear.
- We in the US, at one time, were a fearless society.
We were able to come together and fight our enemies, whether human, or
viral/bacterial. When the US population came together as one almost anything
was possible. Now we appear to be a sniveling, scared, fragmented societal
flock of sheep. We demand security at the loss of our own God-given personal
rights and freedoms. I, for one, will not allow the Bush administration
to scare me into making the Rumsfeld's of the world richer than they already
- Vaccine for an H5N1 pandemic strain?
- As for vaccine, I repeat: we do not have a pandemic strain.
How can one have an effective vaccine when there is no pandemic strain?
H5N1 has not recombined into that pandemic strain yet, therefore the current
vaccine being researched won't work!
- Tamiflu doses by the millions?
- Scaring the public into self-medicating with tamiflu
or any other antiviral will probably lead to tamiflu or antiviral-resistant
strains. This is basic clinical science.
- Each day I get emails from people who want to know if
they should begin tamiflu treatment? "DON'T!" is my response.
Of course, if we don't use tamiflu, and don't take whatever vaccine is
being touted as the 'bird flu vaccine', we won't make the Bush pharma/vaccine
- People can do much to prevent infection simply by common
sense procedures like washing poultry and eggs with soapy water and washing
hands thoroughly before and after poultry preparation.
- Also, eating healthy food, taking vitamin and herb supplements
and anything that will support their immune system is very important. Obviously.
- We also need to remember that the US is not an agracultural
society any longer. Most of us live in cities or suburbs. We are not
living, as they do in Asia and parts of Europe, in close proximity to the
animals they raise and eat. Also, using common sense such as not handling
sick or dying birds will help keep people from contacting bird flu.
- I have to laugh when I hear overweight, obese, 2 pack
a day cigarette smokers worrying about bird flu. Most of us need to worry
about our lifestyles...and some of these lifestyle choices are more infinitely
more frightening than bird flu.
- Again, I fear the government respponse plan to bird flu
more than I fear bird flu. I do not want to negate the world risk of a
possible pandemic strain emerging, however, fear and panic will not make
a pandemic go away. Only common sense protocols will.
- Armed with knowledge of the current bird flu as provided
by myself and Dr. Henry Niman will help people make intelligent choices.
- Together, an educated US population can come together
and, with each person doing their part, we can try to prevent or eradicate
the current animal bird flu outbreak. Nowhere in our vocabulary in our
great Country should be the word "fear" be found.
- Patricia Doyle
- States Have Their Own Plans For Bird Flu
- Some Ready Quarantine Sites While Most Are Preparing
For Drug Shortages
- WASHINGTON - States have their own ideas for dealing
with an outbreak of bird flu or other super-flu strain - readying possible
quarantine sites and talking about closing schools and businesses.
- State officials may tell hospitals they may have to evict
all but the most critically ill. Several states will ask residents to stay
home and take a "snow day" if a pandemic strikes.
- The Stakes Are Enormous.
- Texas, alone, estimates as many as a quarter-million
of its people might die.
- These details and more are spelled out in the pandemic
preparedness plans that state governments have prepared in recent years.
The Bush administration updated the federal blueprint for a pandemic response
just this week.
- Many states aren't sure yet how their plan would mesh
with what the federal government expects of them. However, they already
have concerns about whether state and local governments have the resources
to meet the Bush administration's goals.
- For example, the Bush plan calls for states to spend
$510 million for anti-flu drugs, which can reduce the severity of the flu.
- "The plan is useful, and the planning process is
useful, but what isn't occurring is any analysis to see whether the staffing
required to do the plans is actually there," said Dr. Rex Archer,
president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
"That's the weakness with all of this. I'm afraid that probably 90
percent of the staffing at the state and local level is not there to carry
out the plans."
- The Bush plan does call for $100 million for state preparedness
and planning, but Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, complained that the president's
budget for this fiscal year proposed to cut $120 million from state public
- Global Threat
- Bird flu has killed at least 62 people since it surfaced
in 2003, all in Southeast Asia, according to the World Health Organization.
Most had contact with sick poultry. But health experts have warned that
the virus could mutate into a form that can be easily transmitted between
humans and trigger a global pandemic.
- States have planned for a potential pandemic for several
years, and they've taken cues from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and the World Health Organization in forming those plans. However,
their work has taken on greater urgency in recent months, said Patrick
McConnon, executive director of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.
Several states have submitted new plans to his association in recent weeks.
Most plans are labeled as drafts.
- In June 2004, 29 of 50 states had plans in place for
a potential pandemic. Since then, the remaining states have at least completed
drafts of a plan, he said.
- Most states plan for shortages of medicine, and they
realize they will have to make some tough decisions. Most also have been
inexact when saying who would be the first in line to get medicine. For
example, Kansas states that it will listen to recommendations made at the
national level. Its current priority list starts with hospital and health
department staff, as well as their family members. Next in line are emergency
medical workers, police officers and firefighters. Last on the list are
members of the "general public."
- Georgia says the state's health director may choose a
committee to help decide who would get drugs first. The committee would
include health officials as well as experts on ethics. Some protest from
the public should be expected, it hints.
- "Educating the public on these priority groups will
be key," said the Georgia plan.
- The Bush plan says the first to be treated for pandemic
flu should be patients admitted to the hospital and the highest-risk outpatients,
including pregnant women and people whose immune systems have been compromised,
such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as health workers
sickened by caring for them. It says the first who should be given medicine
to prevent contracting the disease are health workers.
- Another key aspect of the state plans is surveillance.
North Carolina said that in the case of a novel virus alert, officials
should monitor persons traveling from geographic areas where the strain
has been isolated, they should monitor poultry and swine workers, and military
- In the event of a pandemic alert, officials should consider
monitoring schools and daycare centers as a means of measuring the community's
- Kansas addresses the issue of quarantines by stating
that the governor may choose to utilize snow days as a way to encourage
non-emergency workers to stay home.
- McConnon said states will adjust their plans once the
Bush administration has finalized details on the amount of vaccine and
antivirals that would be available.
- "I would not be surprised if most of the states
pull their plan down as soon as the federal plan comes out, so that they
can revise it," McConnon said. "We know, for example, there will
be some new details related to drug distribution. They'll also need to
look at the issue of quarantine and how they're handling it."
- William Raub, who oversees health emergency preparedness
at HHS, said the agency will work with state and local officials in coming
months to incorporate the federal government's advice into their own plans.
He described state plans as "uneven" in places, such as when
to close schools or to discourage public gatherings.
- "Some have addressed it quite thoroughly,"
he said. "Others have more work to do."
- Texas' draft plan, released last week, assumes at least
two waves of pandemic influenza will occur. It tells health care officials
they may have to consider "non-standard approaches" to meet demand,
- * Discharge of all but critically ill hospital patients.
- * Using all available space and "less than code-compliance
- * Recruiting volunteers to serve as custodians.
- * Relax the licensure requirements of health practitioners
- Dr. Tom Betz, acting state epidemiologist for Texas,
said the national plan validated much of the work his state has done over
the past three years.
- "Our approach just mirrors what's in the national
plan," Betz said. "To me, what was nice about the national plan
was that it was not a sky-is-falling approach. It really stressed the need
for vaccine as one our primary tools in fighting any strain of influenza."
- The completion of 50 state plans for a flu pandemic is
a top priority of the federal government, because as one top Bush administration
official said, a battle against a pandemic will be fought on 5,000 different
- "The federal government can deliver stockpiles of
medication and supplies to a city in the U.S. in a matter of hours, but
it is distribution at the state and local level that defines victory,"
said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.
- A review of several state plans shows they have taken
stock of the potential toll. The projections for some of the worst-case
scenarios are ominous. Texas cites the potential for up to 250,000 deaths
if 25 percent of the population were infected. Georgia says up to 6,210
people could die. Kansas predicts the potential for up to 2,500 deaths.
- © 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health