GlaxoSmithKline Has Bird Flu Vaccine

It looks like GlaxoSmithKline has done it; the company announced that it has developed an effective vaccine against Bird Flu (H5N1):

BBC—UK drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline believes it has developed a vaccine for the H5N1 deadly strain of bird flu that may be capable of being mass produced by 2007. …

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Bird Flu: A Hidden Agenda

Dr. Mercola comments today about a story that ran in USA Today recently:

Mercola.com—There may be a hidden agenda behind the avian flu epidemic, besides pushing needless and potentially harmful drugs that don’t work anyway, according to this awesome front-page article in this morning’s USA Today. A CDC plan would empower airlines and cruise ship operators to enact a quarantine in the event of a flu pandemic.

If this frightens you, believe me, you’re not alone. …

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Bird Flu On The Way—Stock Up On Canned Tuna And Dried Milk

In a speech given over the weekend, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt advised Americans to begin stocking up on canned tuna and powdered milk:

ABC News—In a remarkable speech over the weekend, Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans start storing canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds as the prospect of a deadly bird flu outbreak approaches the United States.

Ready or not, here it comes. …

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the H5N1 virus “may follow an unusually aggressive clinical course, with rapid deterioration and high fatality. Primary viral pneumonia and multi-organ failure have been common among people who have become ill with H5N1 influenza.”

The CDC believes Oseltamivir and Zanamavir may treat the infection but more studies are needed it says. There is currently “no commercially available vaccine to protect humans against the H5N1 virus that is being detected in Asia and Europe. However, vaccine development efforts are taking place.” the CDC says.

Scary stuff folks.

Source: CDC

Update (3/13/2006 8:21pm):

I thought it might be helpful if I expanded a little on Secretary Leavitt’s remarks.

In the event of an outbreak of bird flu (H5N1), the affected region might face a quarantine enforced by the U.S. military. Transportation and travel, to and from the affected region, would probably be severely curtailed if not banned altogether. And with grocery stores only stocking three days of food supplies, you can see why he would suggest stockpiling some food. Now it’s starting to make a little more sense isn’t?

Source: OpinionBug.com, “Bird Flu Pandemic: Bush Might Use Military To Quaratine Affected Regions

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Kimchi Cure For Bird-Flu?

Is kimchi a cure for bird-flu? Kang Sa-Ouk of Seoul National University believes so:

Washington Post—Blame it on the Internet, the anxiety of life in the 21st century, or a volatile combination of the two, but publication of a minor study by a South Korean academic last spring has apparently triggered a minor run on kimchi, a daily staple of the Korean diet that the bland-of-palate are likely to avoid like a global pandemic. . . .

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Tamiflu Ineffective Against Bird Flu

A Vietnamese physician has determined that Tamiflu is ineffective against bird flu (H5N1):

WND—After treating 41 victims of H5N1, the deadly form of the bird flu virus, a Vietnamese doctor has concluded Tamiflu, the drug most widely stockpiled around the world to combat a feared pandemic, is “useless.” . . .

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Bird Flu—A Hoax?

Dr. Mercola says the Avian Flu epidemic scare is a hoax:

Mercola—”If you have been viewing the media you must have seen the scare the media and the president are seeking to orchestrate on you and the public. According to a draft of the government’s plan to fight a potentially cataclysmic pandemic this new avian super-flu could kill nearly TWO MILLION Americans. …

I’ve been suspicious of the Bird Flu brouhaha for some time now and Dr. Mercola’s analysis only confirms my suspicions. Question is, “Why are they hyping Bird Flu?” Is it only to encourage people to take the vaccine or is it something else altogether. If the latter case be true, what could that “something else altogether” be?

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Bird Flu Pandemic: Bush Might Use Military To Quarantine Affected Regions

In response to a reporter’s question, President Bush confirmed today that he would consider using the military to quarantine regions affected by Bird Flu:

White House—Q Mr. President, you’ve been thinking a lot about pandemic flu and the risks in the United States if that should occur. I was wondering, Secretary Leavitt has said that first responders in the states and local governments are not prepared for something like that. To what extent are you concerned about that after Katrina and Rita? And is that one of the reasons you’re interested in the idea of using defense assets to respond to something as broad and long-lasting as a flu might be?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Thank you for the question. I am concerned about avian flu. I am concerned about what an avian flu outbreak could mean for the United States and the world. I am — I have thought through the scenarios of what an avian flu outbreak could mean. I tried to get a better handle on what the decision-making process would be by reading Mr. Barry’s book on the influenza outbreak in 1918. I would recommend it.

The policy decisions for a President in dealing with an avian flu outbreak are difficult. One example: If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country, and how do you then enforce a quarantine? When — it’s one thing to shut down airplanes; it’s another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. And who best to be able to effect a quarantine? One option is the use of a military that’s able to plan and move. [. . .]

The threat level posed by Bird Flu [H5N1] must be incredible, scary…

Resources:

Recent Avian Influenza Outbreaks in Asia

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