"World readies for bird flu" 
Author Message
 "World readies for bird flu"

World readies for bird flu
at http://www.***.com/


Sat, 05 Jul 2008 06:46:26 GMT
 "World readies for bird flu"

Quote:
>World readies for bird flu
>at http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060115-114055-4555r.html

Was anybody else struck by this particular text in the above page?
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If [you?re asking whether] there are enough antivirals in the world today to
treat everyone if they get influenza, the answer is no. And, in fact, only a
very small proportion of the world's population will be currently covered by
antivirals....

Therefore, we have to rely on the capacity, at this particular time, if a
pandemic virus were to emerge, of the ability of health systems to treat people
and care for people, and for governments to put in place measures that will
reduce the impact during such a pandemic.
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Can somebody venture an opinion on what "... and for governments to put in place
measures that will reduce the impact during such a pandemic." means?
--
PeteCresswell



Sat, 05 Jul 2008 08:46:35 GMT
 "World readies for bird flu"

Quote:


>>World readies for bird flu
>>at http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060115-114055-4555r.html

>Was anybody else struck by this particular text in the above page?
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------
>If [you?re asking whether] there are enough antivirals in the world today to
>treat everyone if they get influenza, the answer is no. And, in fact, only a
>very small proportion of the world's population will be currently covered by
>antivirals....

>Therefore, we have to rely on the capacity, at this particular time, if a
>pandemic virus were to emerge, of the ability of health systems to treat people
>and care for people, and for governments to put in place measures that will
>reduce the impact during such a pandemic.
>-----------------------------------------------------------------------

>Can somebody venture an opinion on what "... and for governments to put in place
>measures that will reduce the impact during such a pandemic." means?

Closing schools, theatres and other places of public gathering.
Quarantines and travel restrictions in and out of affected areas.
Perhaps use of public facilities as auxiliary hospitals.  Measures to
prevent hoarding of essential supplies.  A lot depends on the nature of
the government, how serious the problem, how seriously the government
takes the problem, how well the populace will comply with measures, how
much the government cares about the general population vs the wealthy
who can protect themselves individually, etc.

The most effective use of antivirals is to treat new cases and their
contacts as early as possible.  It uses the least drug and has the best
chance of limiting spread.  This is how they are being used in Turkey
which is experiencing an outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in which people
have been contracting the disease from infected poultry with some
human-to-human transmission.  Early intervention seems to make the
symptoms much less severe.  The strain in Turkey has acquired by
mutation or from another flu virus a form of the cell attachment
protein that has higher affinity for mammalian than avian cells, which
is not at all encouragfing.

Btw, good news on the oseltamir (Tamiflu) front.  A Canadian company
has developed a process to extract shikimic acid, the starting material
for oseltamivir synthesis, from evergreen needles.  They are obtaining
used Christmas trees from Toronto, and expect to produce 1 to 3 tonnes
of shikimic acid monthly starting this month.

(One reason, aside from licensing, that it's hard to gear up massive
oseltamivir production is limited supplies of shikimic acid which is
usually extracted from the Chinese spice star anise, or synthesized at
considerable expense.  While shikimic acid is found in all vascular
plants, it's not usually found in quantities worth extracting. This new
source and process could break that one bottleneck.  Aside from the
conveniently located Christmas trees, "slash" -- the branches of
evergreens -- is a waste product of the lumber industry.)

Btw, I got the info from the Toronto Globe and Mail, Dec 23, 2005.
www.globeandmail.com



Sun, 06 Jul 2008 04:46:07 GMT
 
 [ 3 post ] 

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