Skip to comments.U.N. Health Chief Delivers Grim Message on Bird Flu
Posted on 09/15/2005 2:37:19 PM PDT by ex-Texan
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Avian flu will mutate and become transmissible by humans and the world has no time to lose to stop it becoming a pandemic, the head of the U.N. World Health Organization said on Thursday.
Lee Jong-wook, a South Korean doctor, delivered his stark warning as the United States worked to rally states behind a new U.S. plan to fight the disease, which has already killed more than 60 people in Asia and spread to Russia and Europe.
"Human influenza is coming, we know that, and no government, no leaders can afford to be caught off-guard," Lee said.
"We must pounce on human pandemic outbreaks with all medicines at our disposal and at the earliest possible moment," he told a news conference in New York.
"When the pandemic starts, it is simply too late."
U.S. President George W. Bush unveiled a plan at the United Nations on Wednesday under which countries and international agencies would pool resources and expertise to fight bird flu.
His International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza reflects growing concern that avian flu could becomes a human pandemic, a threat Bush said the world must not allow.
Most of the people killed in Asia since 2003 caught the virus from infected birds. Health experts say the greatest worry is that the highly pathogenic strain of the disease known as H5N1 could mutate and become transmissible between people.
Lee said H5N1 "will acquire this capability -- it's just an issue of timing." Countries far from heavily hit Southeast Asian states would not be safe because the disease was spreading through migratory wildfowl, Lee added.
He urged states like Japan, Switzerland and France with stockpiles of anti-flu drugs to make medicines available for international emergencies.
Paula Dobriansky, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, said the United States would convene a senior officials meeting in Washington soon to coordinate policy. Canada will host a global health ministers in the coming weeks to support the U.S. initiative, she said.
Partner countries and agencies include Argentina, Australia, Britain, Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Russia, as well as WHO, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and UNICEF, Dobriansky said.
Yeah. It's great advance work for sure.
If a person didn't know better, you'd almost think this outbreak was planned.
I just got done reading the post-Hurricane Ivan report as a spooky warning of the pending doom of New Orleans, then I read this. Does anybody out there get a teeny bit concerned that this article might be a warning that we may look back on one day?
Please READ the threads before flaming.
We're Gonna Die!!!!!
Sadly, I am more inclined to agree with you than not, my FReeper friend. SARS might have only been a test of our response. Very suspicious how SARS was spread around the world by a lone medical researcher staying in a hotel near the airport. It was never explained why he was there at that time in that place. Of course, he died a few days after he infected people who simply came into momentary contact with him in common areas.
What is the fatality rate?
Japan, Switzerland and France have stockpiles of anti-flu drugs. Sounds like the US doesn't have stockpiles. Homeland security? Anyone? anyone?
People should read up on the 1918 influenza epidemic before they dismiss this as fearmongering.
The H5N1 virus kills very healthy people too. Use your imagination. 'Nuff said.
Could terrorists infect themselves and introduce them selves to the US? I think they are planning to do just that. Afterwords, AQ will release one of its tapes, claiming responsibility.
The doctor had been in the agriculture areas doing work and contracted the disease from roaches and the horrible living conditions.
Reading about polio and how long that epidemic lasted is frightening to say the least. Healthy people picked off at seeming random and of all ages.
Unfortunately, I'm more concerned about not getting cancer than bird flu.
Only(?) 25-30%? Wow. The 90% is very worrying.
I'm afraid if they are standard flu vaccines, and not targeted at the avian flu, they are useless for protecting against the latter.
Perhaps they want us to deplete our Acyclovir stock pile...
I believe it not only killed healthy people but even had a higher mortality rate among young adults than among children and the elderly. It's a real mystery.
I probably should have clarified. The medications they are talking about are not vaccines but medication when you actually have the flu. I did a quick look up and the main medication is called Tamiflu (oseltamivir) by Roche. As of August they had only 3 million doses. Production takes 12 months!! I guess they can't really make a vaccine until it mutates to the new form.
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