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We can observe in the last couple of weeks an urge, an intense urge from wealthy countries that the World Health Organization declares a level 6 alert which means a World Wide Pandemic.  

The reasons are simple; wealthy Nations want their governments to implement measures in conformity with their National pandemic preparedness plan regardless of the impacts of such a declaration would impose on Poor countries, who are by the way the Huge majority of Humans of this Planet.

The Tiny minority of wealthy and informed people of this Earth are fearfull of what will become of this virus next fall, and rightly so.  

It can indeed transform itself with some merging with other more lethal viruses (For instance H5N1(bird flu virus) is endemic in many poor countries and has a lethality of over 60%).

Wealthy informed Nations realized that the H1N1 novel swine origin virus might become a lethal beast next Fall.

If we go by the book, yes this is a pandemic, suffice to look at a world map and it is evident.

Then why the WHO do not declare Phase 6 that means a full blown pandemic??

There are few reasons for this;

First the infected cases in wealthy countries are "Mild" with low morbidity and a very low mortality rate.

Second, because if the past is warrant of the Future, it would be unwise to waste our medications now, while it is "mild" when we all know that we will not even have enough medicines for the second wave in the Fall if virus history repeat itself, better keep our best defenses at bay for the real thing in the Fall.

Third, we need more time to analyze, comprehend and project the impacts of this viruses in the Fall.

Fourth, Winter is starting in the Southern Hemisphere and this will granth us the opportunity to see how this virus evolve.

And the Fifth reason and the most important one

is the fact that few wealthy Nations are putting pressure on the WHO to declare a Phase 6 level, it would simply mean on the ground, disregarding what would be the grave morbid impacts on the majority of Nations, who are by the way, poor, have weak medical and surveillance network, few qualify Health Care Providers and with a population with weak medical conditions and mostly quite traumatized by epidemics and pandemic of the Past and Present.

In fact this request and pressure from the a tiny proportion of wealthy Nations is just a Selfish and non-humanitarian request by the most childish people of the world and the fact that this world wide spread virus is not so much morbid and even less lethal in wealthy population than in Poor Countries, make such requests abject.

The reality is that virus is more threatening for poor countries as in the Mexican case for example, so.., just imagine its morbidity and mortality in Africa for instance.

The problem with the fears and the will of the tiny whealthy population of this planet residing under the umbrella of technological advantages and wealth might be legitimate within their own countries, so just put pressure in our own countries if we still have a hearth for Humanity.

But the imperialist spirit of the tiny wealthy minority selfish people of the world is aggressive, stubborn and quite often inhuman.

May the WHO stand up to these pure selfishness spoil child requests and refuse to bow and allows the majority of the population of the World, the poor countries, to reduce morbidity and mortality that such a declaration would cause.

Of course the wealthy selfish will say, if the pandemic is not declared in those poor countries it will have bad impacts for us in wealthy countries..., well it is about time that wealthy countries understand that we are all in this together.

We are all in this together, whether we want it or not, that is the Nature of pandemics, no technological Shield, no boundaries, no almighty armies to face tiny pandemic viruses.

So, let’s cut some of our budgets for improving our greed and let’s give money to poor countries so they can boost their medical infrastructures, their monitoring of the situation and mostly their public communications.

If wealthy Nations in their selfish childish behavior persist, we will probably be doomed in the Fall just like the poor ones.

I am still confident that some wealthy Nations Leaders will Dare to Care and avoid a devastating catastrophes not only for poor countries but for their own citizens.

Meanwhile prepare yourself and your families, it can be done.

Snowy Owl

Originally posted to Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 04:28 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar for Leaders that Dare to Care for Others (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

    by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 04:29:03 AM PDT

  •  So, do flu shots help at all? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Snowy Owl

    Maybe increase the immune system's perceptibility to any variation of the virus?

    Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

    by borkitekt on Tue May 26, 2009 at 04:54:37 AM PDT

    •  In some proportion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, borkitekt

      We already know that people born before 1957 might have some immunity.

      ...mean while Medical Institutions, Governments and Vaccine manifacturers are going full pace to have at least some vaccine ready for the Fall for First Responders.

      As for the non-critical workers for the continuity of governments, military, Medical first responders, Police and fireman, we will have to wait a bit longer.

      That is why it is imperative to prepare

      Here is what you can do;

      Prevent Illness - Wash Hands Video

      How to Sneeze in Public - Video

      Use Face Masks

      Guidance for Swine influenza A (H1N1): Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home

      Manual for Treating Influenza at Home pdf

      Oral Rehydration fluid Recipe

      And - Basic 30 Day Prep list

      This can help


      Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

      by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:04:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the info! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Snowy Owl

        So, how does the immunity work?

        How are people born before 57 better off?

        I guess you are saying that a new flu shot based on H1N1 has not been developed yet, but will hopefully in the fall- so would taking the current flu shot  not help at all?

        Also, iirc, one portion of this flu strain was considered European- does that mean those in Europe who may have encountered this virus previously are better off fighting H1N1?

        Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

        by borkitekt on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:11:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It seems for now (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That people born before 1957 might have been exposed to portions of this virus, thus granthing some Immunity.

          The Pneumovax is the most recommended one for now and it is efficient for a long period of time.

          As for the question about Europe, I haven<t found Authorative comments on this issue yet.</p>


          Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

          by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:15:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Seasonal flu vaccine won't do much good against H (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Seasonal flu vaccine won't do much good against H1N1

      From CDC via Crofsblog

      The results in this report suggest that vaccination with recent (2005--2009) seasonal influenza vaccines is unlikely to provide protection against the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus.

      Although vaccination of adults with seasonal TIV[trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines] generally resulted in a small increase in antibodies against the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, whether such levels of cross-reactive antibody provide any protection against infection with novel influenza A (H1N1) virus is unknown.

      These results are consistent with the substantial degree of genetic divergence of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus of swine origin from recent seasonal human H1N1 viruses; A/California/04/09 shares only 72%--73% amino acid identity in the HA1 portion of the hemagglutinin molecule with the seasonal viruses used in this study.


      Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

      by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 11:35:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You make some good points. Minor quibbles though. (0+ / 0-)

    First, lay off the extraneous Capitalization. It's distracting. Second, those "wealthy countries" aren't so wealthy right now. And it's not "countries" making decisions about how to handle this stuff, it's people in the governments and medical sectors of those countries. Just bear that in mind, and try to avoid insulting your readers.

    •  If I insult you (0+ / 0-)

      By telling the Truth, I am sorry but it is not my problem.


      Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

      by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:05:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, you are not understanding what I said. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Snowy Owl

        The insult is when you say "Wealthy countries let poor coutries suffer" or whatever. The countries don't do that at all. I am a part of a wealthy country, and I made no such decision. It is deeply offensive for you to generalize in that way. If you are trying to convince people, you don't start out by untruthfully saying "You have sinned and are bad!".

        •  I am from Wealthy North America (0+ / 0-)

          I have some choice, I can send money, give time to Doctors without Bordors, or Foster a Child oversea but mostly I can argue and complain to my goc, I Lobby for the Poor locally and Internationaly.

          Sorry I did not expect you to do such thing.

          Hearfelt excuse Brother.


          Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

          by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 11:25:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Swine flu: genetics of the novel virus (0+ / 0-)

    From Revere at Effect Measure

    Swine flu: genetics of the novel virus

    In April 2009 a new swine flu virus appeared that not only infected people who weren't in close contact with pigs, but transmitted with ease from person to person. It is this virus that is the cause of the current outbreak. It is a descendent of the 1998 triple reassortant swine flu virus but has a number of novel features. Like other triple reassortants it contains segments that have long been part of the North American swine flu make-up (HA, NP, NS), but also two segments (NA, M) from birds that got into Eurasian swine flu viruses at least as far back as 1979. These genes have not been seen outside of Europe and Asia before, so they are a new ingredient for a North American swine flu virus (North American genes have been seen in Eurasian viruses but not the other way around). A human PB1 segment and the two bird segments (PB2, PA) from the triple reassortant round out the picture. In summary, this is a version of the genetically labile triple reassortant 1998 swine flu virus that has swapped two North American swine flu segments for two swine flu segments that 30 years ago somehow got into pigs in Europe and Asia from birds.

    As always Revere post is worth reading in its entirety.


    Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

    by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:13:02 AM PDT

  •  Swine flu: planning for the bogeyman (0+ / 0-)

    Hat Tip to Revere at Effect Measure
    Swine flu: planning for the bogeyman

    Comments from Snicklefritz an old timer in pandemic preparedness
    Re: Swine Flu: Planning for the Bogeyman
    Post No 4

    I only recently made a connection between the 1918 Flu Pandemic and my grandmother’s death because, throughout my years of formal education, there was absolutely no mention of it. It wasn’t until I read John Barry’s book "The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague In History", that I even knew there was a pandemic much less having knowledge of the severity of it.

    Is it possible that the event was so horrifying that the entire human family repressed the event and buried it deeply into their subconscious? Most combat veterans I have known haven’t liked to talk about their experience. Could the pandemic of 1918 been so psychologically and emotionally horrific that it became a civilian equivalent of battlefield experience? For the civilian population, could it have become the monster under the bed?

    In a similar way, is it possible today that more people are aware of the threat of an influenza pandemic than we are aware of? Mentioning avian flu at a social gathering certainly seems to be a social faux paux. It’s on the list of topics you don’t discuss - like politics and religion.

    Perhaps having the courage to seriously examine the possibilities is the equivalent of having the courage to dash for the light switch. But, if you can just get to the light switch, the Boogeyman can’t get you, and your fears become manageable with taking action and with education.

    If what I’m speculating has some merit then it’s clear that overwhelming people with frightening information will only drive the Boogeyman deeper into our collective subconscious. On the other hand, soft peddling the message will allow us to just fall asleep after awhile.

    It seems to me the message should be twofold. The threat is real, but you are not powerless. You can turn on the light."

    Snicklefritz - May 24, 2007

    On the same Revere Thread comments from DemfromCT

    So for years (literally) we have taken the approach that taking care of your self at home (with phone health care privider advice) is the best approach. Why? Because in a more severe scenario you can't get seen and in a milder scenario, you don't need to be seen.

    This would be a perfect opportunity for PSAs on the topic. But what we do have is manuals and info we and others have put together:

    Citizen's Guide (.pdf)

    Get Pandemic Ready (html, also available in .pdf)

    Home Treatment Resources

    American Red Cross

    CDC has also put out one... quietly:

    Interim Guidance for H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu): Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home

    Posted by: DemFromC

    Same thread comments from Grattan Woodson called the Doctor

    What this encounter says to me is the importance of people having a plan in place, in their homes ready to go should one of their family members become ill with pandemic flu. What is key here is to get the information now before you need it and stockpile the meds and other items required for flu treatment ahead of time. Also, read the flu treatment booklet or booklets you download from the sources provided above by DemfromCt.

    You need to prepare ahead of time in this way so that when necessary you will be able to know what to do. At 10 PM, you don't want to try and find everything you need.

    WHAT DO YOU NEED? Do you know? If not, please take the time to find out now, get the stuff so you have it one hand and are ready for the possibility.

    Do it now. We maybe on the cusp of a pretty intense increase in cases of this "mild" version of Mexican Flu that might not look so mild in a few weeks.

    Furthermore, as the medical professionals have all been warning on this site and all across flubloggia, in the fall the Mexican Flu could return again to the northern hemisphere in an entirely new and more serious form. The time to get ready for the next few weeks and the next few months is now. Please do not delay.

    Grattan Woodson, MD

    Posted by: The Doctor


    Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

    by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:16:39 AM PDT

  •  Flu Outbreak Reveals Healthcare Shortfalls (0+ / 0-)

    Flu Outbreak Reveals Healthcare Shortfalls
    Ailing Economy, Budget Cuts Leave State And Local Health Agencies On Thin Ice
    OAKLAND, Calif., May 26, 2009

    (AP)  The H1N1 (swine) flu outbreak fell short of a full-blown international crisis, but revealed the precarious state of local health departments, the community bulwarks against disease and health emergencies in the United States.

    A sustained, widespread pandemic would overwhelm many departments that are struggling with cutbacks as well as increased demand from people who have lost jobs and medical insurance.

    Stung by the lean economy, 13 states and U.S. territories had smaller health budgets in 2008 than in 2007, and eight more made midyear cuts, according to a survey by an advocacy group, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. With local budgets also in trouble, many health officials fear a serious outbreak.

    Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

    by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:20:00 AM PDT

  •  It is phase 6 by definition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Snowy Owl

    The WHO has published guidelines as to what constitutes a phase 6 pandemic.  

    Essentially it is "A virus spreading freely in the populations of countries in multiple regions of the world." My reading of the worldwide cases is that we are there.

    The problem is that too many institutions used the pandemic phase 6 as a trigger for action, when they should have used some severity measure in addition.

    With that being the case, I tend to agree with the diarist that the WHO is right to be careful before declaring this a phase 6, but the big lesson learned here should be that automatic triggers for any action based on someone elses opinion are dangerous.  

    At my company, I recommended having three people responsible for keeping up with an outbreak and making critical decisions about when we met certain internal triggers.  I was not entirely successful, but I did keep us away from relying on the WHO criteria.

    The WHO is trying to establish a severity index, but it will be very difficult to do so, since severity is very hard to measure, and may (as we have seen in the US and Mexico with this virus) differ from one place to another.

    If you want intelligent decisions, put an intelligent review process in place.  One size cannot fit all.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Tue May 26, 2009 at 08:26:35 AM PDT

    •  You have a wise and pertinent analysis (0+ / 0-)

      WHO authoritative messages must be fine tuned so it respect sensibilities and if necessary, triggers governemental responses that are appropriate.

      This is a challenge by itself, but with the Cultural experience of Keiji Fukuda and lately Miss Chan professionalism it could be done.

      But look at the populace interest even here in North America, they are too busy with jobs, money and fill of ignorance towards foreign Cultures.

      It is goin to be a hell of a job, but it can be done, I will never surrender, each posts here or Europe, or Africa, India, etc.. saves lives.

      I have learned that many years ago at first degree with boots on the ground.

      Thank you to share your involvement for your fellow Beings.


      Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

      by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 08:50:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CIDRAP: WHO may redefine pandemic alert phases (0+ / 0-)

    WHO may redefine pandemic alert phases
    Robert Roos  News Editor
    May 26, 2009 (CIDRAP News)

    In response to concerns from various governments about the possible effects of declaring a full-scale influenza pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) will call on outside experts to consider whether to revise the agency's definitions of pandemic alert phases, a WHO official announced today.


    At the WHO's annual meeting last week, several countries, concerned about potentially causing undue alarm, urged the WHO to go slow on moving to phase 6. Noting that most H1N1 cases have been mild, they argued that the pandemic phases should reflect not only the geographic extent of the disease, but also its severity.

    Today Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's assistant director-general for health security and the environment, said the agency would call on scientists and public health experts to consider whether to change the phase definitions.

    Comment from Crof at Crofsblog

    So far, neither H5N1 nor H1N1 deserves the title. Long may they languish in the minor leagues. Bull Eyes Crof

    Finally on track and geting to the next station.

    I hope they not only consider tranmission pace, CFR but also, required hospitalisations, Infrastructures Capacity and Resources and Cultural Specificities.

    I feel lighter with this decision of the WHO.


    Reveres at Effect Measure has a pertinent post on this subject
    Swine flu: WHO and its pandemic phases

    Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

    by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:22:41 PM PDT

  •  Video on how germs and virus spread (0+ / 0-)

    All thanks to Bree Hill at Effect Measure

    quote from Bree Hill
    I just found this video on You Tube that really shows how germs and viruses spread. It is so cool. It's meant for kids but I even learned a lot!

    You Tune Video

    Please read, I shook Hand with the devil of Romeo Dallaire. Thank you

    by Snowy Owl on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:45:18 PM PDT

  •  Managing and Reducing Uncertainty in an Emerging (0+ / 0-)

    Managing and Reducing Uncertainty in an Emerging Influenza Pandemic

    The New England Journal of Medicine
    Published at May 27, 2009 (10.1056/NEJMp0904380)

    Hat Tip to Crofsblog

    The early phases of an epidemic present decision makers with predictable challenges1 that have been evident as the current novel influenza A (H1N1) virus has spread. The scale of the problem is uncertain when a disease first appears but may increase rapidly. Early action is required, but decisions about action must be made when the threat is only modest — and consequently, they involve a trade-off between the comparatively small, but nearly certain, harm that an intervention may cause (such as rare adverse events from large-scale vaccination or economic and social costs from school dismissals) and the uncertain probability of much greater harm from a widespread outbreak. This combination of urgency, uncertainty, and the costs of interventions makes the effort to control infectious diseases especially difficult.

    Plans for addressing influenza pandemics define a graded series of responses to emerging pandemic viruses, ranging from very limited interventions to stringent measures such as closing schools and other public venues, encouraging people to work at home, and using antiviral drugs for treatment and prophylaxis. Such grading of responses is based on the pandemic's severity; for example, the United States' Pandemic Severity Index is calibrated to the case fatality ratio ( Mild responses are prescribed for a strain resembling seasonal influenza, which kills perhaps 0.1% of those infected, with higher rates in the very young and elderly, whereas stringent measures are envisioned for a very severe pandemic with a case fatality ratio of 2% or more and deaths concentrated in the middle age groups.

    This approach makes sense in theory, but in practice, decisions have had to be made before definitive information was available on the severity, transmissibility, or natural history of the new H1N1 virus. The United States, for example, passed the 1000-case mark on May 4, and the second death was reported on May 5. Crudely speaking, the case fatality ratio thus appeared to be 0.2%, near the upper end of the range for seasonal influenza, and superficially, this statistically uncertain estimate seems remarkably accurate given the data available on May 27, by which point there were 11 deaths and 7927 confirmed cases (a case fatality ratio of 0.14%).

    Me transmitte sursum, caledoni Beam me up, Scotty

    by Snowy Owl on Wed May 27, 2009 at 05:20:36 PM PDT

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