China and the looming avian flu pandemic

A disconcerting roundup over at conservative Winds of Change. Well worth exploring. Joe Katzman believes the problem is so urgent, it’s time to start drafting contingency plans for your family.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

It starts by linking to Pundita as a primary China expert and then publishes a reader’s comments: “and has tried to explain away clear cases of human-to-human transmission (these cases mean we’re at Stage 5 at least). There are also LOTS of rumors China is covering up an outbreak of Stage 6 human-to-human bird flu. ”

Sorry. Completely lost me at this point as being credible. There are people who really want to see human-to-human transmission, so there alarmism seems prescient. But there are also people who are so desperate to see human-to-human transmission, that they see it in cases that can be explained by other means more in line with the infectious vectors.

Where are all the doctors and nurses that have fallen ill from treating patients?

China should be more transparent about working with the medical community. It’s working with the streptococcus suis fairly well. So the crap of declaring bird flu research to be a state secret allows rumours of the sort you’re reading at Winds of Change to bubble among those who want to think the worse of China.

July 27, 2005 @ 6:37 pm | Comment

You may be right Tom, but do you discount all the alarm bells being sounded by the WHO and the mediocal community? Katzman definitely sounds alarmist, and punidta is a fraud. But I’m not ready to write off the danger.

July 27, 2005 @ 6:45 pm | Comment

Nor I. Meanwhile, a 2-track approach is recommended at Winds:

[1] Follow the links to the resources and communities we’ve outlined, as they continue to follow this issue; and

[2] Think through contingencies etc. now. This will have the happy effect of avoiding panic decisions should the worst come to pass, and should be part of prudent family disaster planning anyway.

July 27, 2005 @ 9:02 pm | Comment

Anybody knows why that influenca of 1918 is called the Spanish flu?
All governments at war didn’t want to get their people demoralised, so they controlled information about the flu heavily.
Spain, not at war, was the only country where it appeared in the newspapers. Seemed as if only the poor Spaniards had the flu.

Her is an interesting interview with John Barry, author of the book “The Great Influenca”:

July 28, 2005 @ 3:01 am | Comment

Yes, I can see Tom’s arguments. When it comes to China, you’ll always usually hear similar statements being made.

Re thinking the worst of China. I’m sorry but, re diseases, China well and truly dug itself into this hole during SARS. Of course, I’d advise against being alarmist but, then again, I wouldn’t trust Chinese officials as far as I could throw ’em when it comes to transparency, statements about diseases and cooperation with the WHO.

I’m certainly not making contingency plans, my life is here in Guangzhou and I’m not planning on going anywhere. My Chinese family contains 8 people in all and unless we could all flee together then I won’t leave them.

I think we’ve just got to be vigilant, expect the best but prepare for the worst.

I still say that it’s more a question of “when” rather than “if” re infectious diseases in China.

July 28, 2005 @ 3:48 am | Comment

bird pandemic PH

Philippines has no medicines on stock to treat bird flu:

October 5, 2005 @ 11:20 am | Comment

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