Thursday, September 29, 2005

American government: not as bad as it could be.

This is a discussion of the threat posed by emerging Bird Flu viruses to
the USA, and the lack of effective action by the US government to the

> The threat of the avian flu virus is real, as Senate Majority Leader
> Bill First explains in this section, and could potentially claim
> millions of American lives. No vaccine for the avian flu exists. The
> country needs biotechs, academia and government to cooperate to create
> the vaccines and other compounds needed to fight it.
> In that regard, the avian flu is just one of many potential
> biological problems -- whether natural or man-made -- that we must
> grapple with. To deal with the avian flu and the others -- anthrax,
> smallpox and radiological threats, to name three -- the United States
> must update the 2004 Bioshield law. That law was a good start, but not
> nearly enough.
> The record on implementing Bioshield was not encouraging. For
> instance, it took three years and eight months after the October 2001
> anthrax attacks before the Department of Health and Human Services
> finally stockpiled the first doses of anthrax vaccine. Beyond the
> obvious no-defenses problem, this was regrettable because it
> disheartened some biotechs and pharmaceutical firms considering
> supplying the government with new drugs to combat new biological threats.

You know, as a Canadian I can only look south in envy at the actions of
the US government. Compared with Canada, Frist's complaints are mere
quibbles. Here in the Frozen North the issue is not being discussed.
People are not only not doing enough, they not only doing nothing, they
don't even know there is something they should be doing something about.

If Bird Flu is half what the hype is, we are in for some very serious
shit here because the government, which 100% controls the health care
system, is not even thinking about this.

The I'm Buying A Gas Mask Phantom


Candace said...

I doubt that a gas mask would help. I've heard that getting a regular flu shot is a good line of defense (well, it's the ONLY line of defense currently available). I guess if you beef up your immune system and/or protect it by getting the shot, your little white blood cells will be all rested and ready for action when the bird flu virus hits you?

I dunno. This is a tough one, but a large part of me is hoping that all the hype will be for naught, similar to SARS.

The Phantom said...

We dodged a major bullet with SARS. That was contained by luck and main force, not finesse. Had it gotten loose, it would have been ugly.

The Chinese finally beat it with hand washing and gauze masks. 200+ victims later, anyway.