Effect Measure

Archives for June, 2006

There is currently no vaccine for a pandemic strain of H5N1 avian influenza, and if a pandemic strain does emerge it will take at least 6 months to get the first batches of one. Currently the productive capacity for influenza vaccines is so overmatched by the needs of a global population, only a tiny fraction…

As you read this a meeting of more than three dozen avian flu experts should be convening in Jakarta to discuss the disastrous state of public health in that country. Many poor countries have disastrous public health systems, but Indonesia has something else: a huge population of people living in close contact with a huge…

Flu vaccine. There is a time.

One of the distinctive things about influenza outbreaks in humans is its seasonality. That’s why we call “ordinary” influenza seasonal influenza. Interestingly, we don’t know what controls that seasonality, nor do we know if it also is a factor in pandemic strains. Pandemic strains are different in many ways and perhaps seasonality will be one…

The US screws with WHO’s mission

I’ve spent some time here (old site, here, here, here, here and here) explaining WHO’s place in the international system. It explains certain things I thought important to understand. An important part of the international “system” (Westphalian-style) is there is no official authority over sovereign nation states. That means that power politics operates, sometimes quietly,…

An interesting article, The effect of temperature and UV light on infectivity of avian influenza virus (H5N1, Thai field strain) in chicken fecal manure, has appeared in Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health(2006 Jan;37(1):102-5). I can only read the abstract as no library around here carries this journal. The authors took normal chicken fecal…

The Ten Commandments. They are so important to our civilization, they should always be in front of us — always. In our churches. Our homes. Our bars. Our whorehouses. Even in the Houses of Congress. If we don’t know them, how can we be decent Americans? That’s why Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, Georgia Republican, has co-sponsored…

The journal Science has just published an important letter from veterinary pathologist Dr. Ilaria Capua of the Istituto Zooprofilattico delle Venezie and her colleagues in national veterinary laboratories in the UK, Australia and the US pledging to deposit avian influenza gene sequences into the publicly available online depository, GenBank, as soon as they are determined.…

Those great BP ads

Some of the really good issues ads on TV these days come from oil giant British Petroleum (BP). They feature ordinary looking people who ask tough questions about energy policy to which BP just responds with a brief statement that they are working on it and “it’s a start.” Very understated, earnest and quite effective.…

Measles and mumps World Cup action

The 64 World Cup soccer (fotbol) matches started a week ago in 12 German cities and will continue until July 9. Three million soccer fans are expected from Europe and beyond. Three of the cities where matches will be played, Cologne, Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen, are in the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. So is a measles…

We recently posted about the confusion about the diagnosis of the seven year old girl in Indonesia for whom local tests indicated H5N1 infection but where the WHO laboratory was not able to confirm it. We contrasted the news reports from AP and Bloomberg, the first of which quoted Indonesian Ministry of Health sources as…