Thursday, September 29, 2005
Indonesian Bird Flu (H5N1) Update 4
Forbes is reporting 63 suspected cases in Indonesia, up from yesterday's 57. Japan is sending a medical team to help at the reference hospital in Jakarta. Is the rapidly growing case count due to better identification because tests are actually being run? Probably. But it still shows the degree of the underlying problem. Also, another zoo in Semerang, Indonesia has been closed to the public because birds there tested positive.
Indonesian health officials are testing the family of two children which died of bird flu-like symptoms. The sister of the two children is now sick with similar symptoms. The two were never seen by doctors or tested. They did have exposure to chickens who died. Is it a coincidence that this was also in Semerang? See the CurEvents.com thread for discussion.
The way these cases break out is this. The first child, a 15 year-old (boy?) became sick on the 15th and died on the 20th of September. The second child, a girl 18 months old, is reported to have died on the 24th of September. Now the 8 year-old girl is sick, and it's a good guess that she was helping to care for the 18 month old girl who was ill. Do you see why people are getting very nervous about possible human to human transmission?
Dr. Niman of Recombinomics comments on the reports in Semerang.
That said, if he is correct, not only are we woefully unprepared, we remain woefully unaware.
That may be by design- so as not to encourage a panic- but, being blindsided isn't the answer, either.
I suspect this is a political football, because we would have to institute forced quarantines. I can imagine the ACLU going ballistic.
The law is there already to implement it.
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