Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pandemic Flu Update

The main topic of the conference I am at this week is pandemic flu. Unfortunately the answers to many questions that people have about this topic is "we don't know." Not very reassuring.

What is the outlook for a more virulent strain of pandemic flu this fall? We don't know. When will the vaccine be ready? We don't know. What will be the target populations for the vaccine? We don't know but probably kids, first responders, and pregnant women. How much antivirals will be available (based on percentage of population)? We don't know (or we wont say, I'm guessing). What are the chances that the virus could mutate to the point that the current antivirals will be ineffective? We don't know.

I realize that the government is doing what it can in regards to the pan flu and planning for millions of people for an event that may or may not happen is difficult to say the least, however, being a few months out from what some researchers say may rival or surpass the 1918 flu and having the most widely shared piece of advice be to wash your hands and keep your distance from people is a bit concerning.

The government is not totally ineffective. During the first outbreak of pan flu this spring, distributions from the Strategic National Stockpile went as planned. There is a difference, however, between distributing enough of a product to more than meet the current need when the need at the time was confined to pockets of outbreak that didn't turn out to be nearly as virulent or deadly as what would happen during a 1918-type pandemic.

So I will keep you updated about this evolving situation as information becomes available but for now, the general answer to your pandemic flu questions is "we don't know."

1 comment:

  1. Dennis Prager interviewed a guy (name of Fumento) who said this "Swine flu" hysteria was overdone - there have already been a million cases in the U.S., and only 320 deaths attributed to the flue. This is less serious than the plain old everyday regular flu.

    See Link: http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=483649

    He also says that the CDC is hyping the numbers and whipping up fear on purpose, with a complicit media. A lot of the science was bogus.

    Anyway, I won't be getting a flu shot this year either, unless a whole bunch of people start dropping dead from it.

    so far, the side effects of the vaccine (paralysis, death, etc.) are about as bad as the flu itself.