I've tried to stay abreast of the H5N1 avian flu situation ever since starting this blog. Now, we seem to be close enough to zero hour that I don't really see the point of blogging about it anymore. Accordingly, I'm turning things over to the experts; anyone who's interested in keeping tabs on this approaching disaster can bookmark these sites:
Effect Measure offers frequent updates on the situation, from the point of view of public-health professionals. Their latest comments are fairly blunt:
Somebody needs to tell President Bush that it's not democracy and freedom that is likely to spread around the world under his "leadership." Instead of cavorting at obscenely costly inaugural events he should be instructing his public health establishment to sound the alarm that we may soon come under attack by a Virus of Mass Destruction.
Unfortunately the response to the Viet Nam wake-up call seems to be to hit the snooze alarm once again. Just a few more minutes sleep, please.
Many people voted for Bush because they thought he would "keep us safe." Now that's irony.
Recombinomics has daily updates by Dr. Henry Niman, the virologist who developed the flu monoclonal antibody. Here's a recent comment from him:
This season, the case fatality rate is running at 90% assuming the earlier reports of confirmation of the 8th and 9th fatalities are accurate and the middle (42M) brother in the north continues to recover. So far this season, no confirmed case of avian influenza in Vietnam has been discharged from the hospital, so technically the case fatality rate for confirmed cases with outcomes remains at 100%.So far, the words "flu pandemic" have not crossed George W. Bush's lips. It'll be interesting to see how many people die before he holds a press conference. Anyone want to make a prediction?