Sunday, October 09, 2005

US gears up for "killer flu" - what about Pune?

A plan developed by the Bush administration to deal with any possible outbreak of pandemic flu has concluded that the United States is woefully unprepared for what could become the worst disaster in the nation's history.

A draft of the final plan, which has been years in the making and is expected to be released this month, says that a large outbreak that began in Asia would, because of modern travel patterns, likely reach the United States within "a few months or even weeks."

If such an outbreak occurred, hospitals would become overwhelmed, riots would engulf vaccination clinics, and even power and food would be in short supply, the plan says.

The plan outlines a worst-case sequence of events in which more than 1.9 million Americans would die and nearly 9 million would be hospitalized.

For more information read here and here.

The Times of India, Pune dated 10th Oct. 2005 has reported that already 60 people have died in SouthEast Asia and yesterday one person died in Turkey, Europe.

What about Pune? India? Are we prepared? Are we at all aware of this?

7 comments:

Medha Purandare said...

Sounds serious. Pune's Govt. hospitals should get prepared. Actually, all Govt.hospitals in India should keep themselves ready for vaccinations. Will check what my Dr.cousin at Sasoon says.

SatishTalim said...

Let us know what he has to say.

SatishTalim said...

Here's an article -
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/10/bird-flu-basics.html

SatishTalim said...

Dr. David Neubauer says this -
http://blogs.health.yahoo.com/experts/depression/1292/avian-anxiety-fear-of-flu

SatishTalim said...

An update in the BusinessWeek -
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/oct2005/tc20051010_0869_tc024.htm?campaign_id=nws_techn_oct11&link_position=link9

SatishTalim said...

It has already reached Pakistan...

SatishTalim said...

In the meantime, flu season is fast approaching; you can help protect yourself by taking a daily antioxidant, multivitamin-mineral supplement, as well as astragalus, a well-known immune-boosting herb that can help ward off colds and flu. Be sure to wash your hands often and keep them away from your eyes and nose, and try to avoid contact with people who have respiratory illnesses. If you’re in Asia or planning to travel to countries with known outbreaks of avian flu, be sure to avoid poultry farms, contact with animals in live food markets, and any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals. And don’t eat any local foods made with the blood of fowl, such as duck blood pudding.

At present, we have no vaccine capable of protecting against the avian flu although urgent efforts are underway to develop one. That doesn’t mean that the currently available vaccine isn’t worthwhile against other strains of the flu virus, which may be all we have to worry about this year. I recommend flu shots for those over 65, as well as anyone with a weakened immune or respiratory system, nursing home residents, and health care workers who have regular contact with patients. Pregnant women whose last two trimesters fall during flu season (generally November to April) might consider getting the shot.