Actually, I’m thinking they might be able to speed up the vaccine if things get bad. A Swiss company has produced a first batch. (See: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,525937,00.html). However, this same article also states vaccines should be available “after September.”
The problem appears to be getting through pre-clinical evaluation, testing, clinical trials, governmental approval, manufacturing, and distribution.
The USN has had a lot of problems on board a number of their ships from swine flu.
WHO officials say the world is actually in the best ever position to deal with a pandemic due to efforts made in the past five years.
"No previous pandemic has been detected so early or watched so closely, in real-time, right at the very beginning. The world can now reap the benefits of investments, over the last five years, in pandemic preparedness," Chan said at a news briefing on Thursday.
"We have a head start. This places us in a strong position," she said.
From another article:
Almost 90 per cent of the world's population will not have timely access to affordable supplies of vaccines and antiviral agents in the current influenza pandemic, but it is possible that inexpensive generic drugs that are readily available, even in developing countries, could save millions of lives.
That's the conclusion reached by an extensive review and analysis by immunisation expert Dr David Fedson, published online by Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses within hours of the World Health Organization declaring a pandemic.
Dr Fedson points out that seasonal flu resistance to antiviral drugs like Tamiflu may make them ineffective in the pandemic and maintains that without effective drugs some countries will have to rely on 19th century public health measures to see them through the outbreak.
He is calling for urgent and sharply focused research to determine whether drugs that reduce inflammation or modify the host response - the way that the body responds to infection or injury - could be used to manage the pandemic. And he believes that a lot could be learnt from the work done on these commonly available generic drugs - which include drugs to lower cholesterol and treat diabetes - by scientists not involved in influenza research.
I guess in terms of response the whole thing is neither to over-react, or under-react. It's a bit difficult for people to know exactly where the balance is, given all of the various uncertainties and the fact that our last pandemic was 40 years ago.
Someone yesterday on another thread proclaimed that a report that the US has had 17,000 confirmed cases of this influenza so far was “BS.” I pointed out that the CDC had confirmed 13,000 as of last Friday.
The new official US weekly update is up at the CDC’s site now:
So far, officially in the United States:
Others are reporting it’s more like 60 deaths so far. Since they were saying 50 a day or two ago, and since the offical stats are likely a bit behind, I’d say they’re probably very close.
The extent to which people have “tuned out” on this issue is illustrated by the fact that an article entitled “Local contractor sent to demolish house, but it’s the wrong one” has 7 times as many views as this one.
Move on, folks. Nothing to see here.
H1N1 Flu article ping
Click below to find out what to do if you get Flu even Mexican Swine Flu H1N1.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine a nutritional supplement at a dosage of 1,200 mg per day may help to prevent Influenza infection, may reduce the symptoms of existing Influenza infection and may reduce the duration of Influenza infections.
by Dr. Marcus Gitterle, M.D.