Warning over global bird flu plan

Bird Flu or something like it such as Ebola, are very unpredictable cards in humanitiy’s deck. Certain elements of the Perfect storm Hypothesis, like Peak Oil and Falling Water Tables, are developing slowly and we’ll have some warning on them. But, something like a pandemic will come out of left field and rip through the world’s countries like a wildfire.

– It is typical of people and their attention spans that interest in the potential problems with Bird Flu have migrated to the back burner because nothing, so far, has happened. Perhaps it never will, or perhaps nature is still ambling her way towards that final fatal genetic mutation that will change H5N1Bird Flu from a desease primarily of birds to one that jumps from person to person by airborne means.

– If you think that governments have got the situation well in hand, consider their different approaches to the Antiviral Medications vs. Flu Vaccines question with regard to Bird Flu. It is chilling that the authors of this study say that, “We cannot expect to vaccinate more than 14% of the world’s population within a year of pandemic” and that 62% of the nations examined have plans to protect their populations by makeing Flu Vaccines their first line of defense

– If you believe in insurance policies, it would make very good sense to get a round of the anti-viral medicines; Tamiflu and Relenza and store them in a cool dry place in case you and your family need them in the future. Unless you are a medical professional or highly placed in the government or military, I don’t think any of us should be depending on their government to supply these to us when the storm breaks. Indeed, 62% of the governments surveyed will tell you to wait until vaccines are developed. Nope, the $100 to $200 USD it will cost you to put aside Flu Antiviral medicnes could be the best insurance you ever bought.

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A third of countries which have drawn up flu pandemic plans have failed to set out how they would distribute medical treatment, a report has found.

Researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Ben Gurion University Israel studied 45 national pandemic plans.

They warned resources would be scarce, so decisions on who should get drugs or vaccines should be made in advance.

They said prioritising treatment could help reduce death and disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged every country to develop and maintain a national plan on bird-flu.

It also recommends nations prioritise the allocation of pharmaceutical resources among the population.

Rationing

Researchers looked at 19 plans from developed nations and 26 from developing countries. In total, these represented around two-thirds of the world’s population – 3.8bn people.

The countries included the US, Norway, Australia, India, China, Serbia, Bahrain, Israel, South Africa, UK, Mexico, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.

The report, Priority Setting for Pandemic Influenza: An Analysis of National Preparedness Plans, found almost half of the plans they examined favoured antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, while 62% prioritised giving citizens a flu vaccine.

This was an unexpected finding, researchers said, as antiviral treatment may be the only pharmaceutical intervention available in some countries.

“We cannot expect to vaccinate more than 14% of the world’s population within a year of pandemic.”

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