Bird Flu Kills 5th In Indonesia

Hugh Hewitt;

Even as work accelerates along the Gulf, the dangers from terrorism remain, and a new threat continues to approach: avian bird flu. Given that everyone who follows the subject sees the threat of an epidemic as a real possibility, the Adminsitration simply has to have a plan and it has to work. Today’s Wall Street Journal’s report on vaccine production is thus not comforting. (Subscription required.) Key infromation: The Department of Homeland Security gave Sanofi-Aventis Group a $100 million contract to produce a supply of the vaccine to thwart the killer flu. Other, smaller contracts have been let as well, but the gap between promised supply and obvious need is huge

Indonesia has just recorded their fifth possible human case of avian flu. The disease has killed millions of poultry and spread to 2/3rds of that country’s provinces. The fear is that this deadly strain of the virus may mutate and become transmissible between humans.

Background and general info on “bird flu”, which kills 50% of those who contract it.

FILED UNDER: Health
Kate McMillan
About Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.

Comments

  1. cj says:

    I have recently heard about Tamiflu(?), which appears to be able to mitigate flu symptoms and holds promise in alleviating deaths caused by avian flu. I believe this is made by Roche, and from a 20/20 (or some such report) I saw recently, it appears the US only has 2 million doses (many other countries have stockpilied 10 times as many doses).

    Here’s my question. Given that this is a humanitarian disaster in the making, wouldn’t it be ethical for the US (or any other country) to infringe on the patent and start manufacturing such vaccines/Tamiflu in order to alleviate a world-wide pandemic? (Stipulating that gearing up such manufacturing would, in fact, be possible — I realize this could devolve into a whole host of questions regarding why so few manufacturers do this — when, in fact, it seems the very thing that gov’ts should be funding wide-scale.)

    When does “in the interest of humanity” outstrip “in the interest of proprietary information claims”?

  2. Respectfully from the Left says:

    The Chinese have infringed the copyright and are feeding an anti-viral to their chickens. This is a truly frightening development, because this will give rise to more virulent, resistant strains of the virus. As the Brits gave us Flesh-eating bacteria, the Chinese are poised to give us a killer mutant and anti-viral resistant flu virus.