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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Sorry, No Good News

Reports from Russia are of more die-offs on poultry farms. It is moving very rapidly. According to Recombinomics, the virus may make it to Europe within a few days. This strain should be Amantidine and Rimantadine sensitive, because it must be the Qinghai strain which was sensitive to those drugs unlike some of the Vietnam strains. See Recombinomics for information. In Sverdlov already? Russia announced a quarantine of all poultry farms. I don't know how much good culling will do, because this is clearly being spread by wild birds (nothing else would move as fast) and will become endemic in each area. Effective vaccinations will be needed.

You know what? If someone is selling cheap chicken, don't jump at it. Pigs can be infected as well. I think it's a great time to become a vegetarian.

The case count for the pig-borne disease in Sichuan is now 205 with 37 dead and 29 reported critical. Cases have been reported in 10 cities and 119 villages/towns. It may have spread to JiangXi province. China says the disease is under control?????

Russia is trying to go into commercial production with a bird flu vaccine. Guess what? It looks like the military will be getting it first. I bet they are being used as guinea pigs.

That must be what China was doing (there were consistent rumors and reports from BBS's etc that people were getting some weird vaccinations that may have made them ill.) But no one knows if the virus sample used to develop these vaccines (2004 Vietnamese?) will work against this strain.

And you know what? I don't think we are doing anything at all in this country. I doubt we even can go into production since most of our vaccine production centers have shut down. Our best chance to get good samples of the Qinghai strain would be from Russia, but do we have the facilities to make our own vaccine? Here's where decades of bad planning and very bad economic practices are going to kill us. We probably have three months before the wild birds carrying it get here. Maybe less.

The military has got to yank its units out of those central Asian bases ASAP and get as many as possible as quickly as possible out of Germany. Here's hoping the brass is getting serious. Nothing will stop the Qinghai strain from spreading. Hopefully that strain is not that good at hopping from one human to another. Hopefully Jakarta was not an indicator (where it appears that a child may have been infected by a pet bird across the street.) Hopefully the Chinese bleeding disease has nothing to do with bird flu. Hopefully.

There has to be a plan. There has to be.

I wonder if we have a version of that bird flu vaccine. I hope so.
According to several doctors online who have been asked the question, no.
How is such shortsightedness possible? What is CDC doing?
Well, at this point I think we should both literally pray that they are having some pretty urgent meetings. Other than prayer, eating right, learning to pay attention to habits like touching your face with unwashed hands, etc, there is not a lot you and I can do about this.
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