TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Bird Flu

Bird Flu

Marcus Didius Falco (
Sun, 09 Oct 2005 00:23:21 -0400

Article and references compliments of the Johnmacs group.

Bird Flu is coming. Tamiflu is scarce. Even in Russia, where almost
anything can be obtained for a price, it's scarce, and is actually
more expensive than in the US (usually drugs are much cheaper
there). Hospitals have trouble keeping it in stock for its other uses.

There are vaccines, but are experimental and they will be scarce.

There have been a few reported cases of human to human transmission, but the epidemic
is not expected this year. There's a lot of interest in the Congress
right now, but they'll probably forget about it just as they forgot
about biodefence in 2001, after the anthrax scare died down.

There is some thought that vaccinating young children, ages 2-5 or so, may
be very effective at preventing the spread. Indeed, it may be more
effective at preventing the spread to old people than directly
vaccinating old people (now usually considered the "at risk" group for flu
shots). To date, according to the NEJM: "Most patients have been previously
healthy young children or adults."

Part of the problem is that people go in to work when sick. "Our
culture was: I'm here at work, and I'm sick, and aren't I great?"
Short said. "We had to create a whole new culture."

For more information on the flu and personal protection, with many
links, try:
(the third article in this series is not yet out).

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