Monday, October 10, 2005

Pandemic worrying

In recent days I've been ruminating about pandemics. Yes, I've been bitten by the flu worry bug. It is truly scary stuff. I tried to put my thoughts down in a blog post on sfschools, "Kids and flu" where I disguise my worry about avian flu under the guise of basic public health info about managing flu. I do think that we're getting ahead of ourselves worrying about avian bird flu. There are plenty of potential disasters in the world. And this one is still just potential.

But I really am a bit freaked out. There is a flu wiki that (in typical wiki form) is a mix of interesting info and gaping holes where info will hopefully be added. The one good source of info I've found is this blog: Avian Flu - What we need to know. Check out their analysis of A Bush plan for avian flu:

I am hoping to write a longer piece on what we should do, but frankly Bush's idea had not crossed my mind. For a start, quarantines don't usually work, especially in a large, diverse, and mobile country. The Army would if anything spread the flu. A list of better ideas would include well-functioning public health care systems at the micro-level, early warning protocols, and good decentralized, robust plans for communication and possibly vaccine or drug distribution. Might the postal service be more important than the Army here? How about the police department, and the training of people in the local emergency room?
More on this in the future, I'm sure.

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