Thursday, November 17, 2005

Avian Flublog on flu policy

The post-Katrina trauma led to a spastic surge in media attention to the pandemic danger. That media alarm seems to have subsided a bit, which is a good thing. But the science and policy risks of bird flu are very real. The one source I rely on for bird flu news and analysis is the blog, Avian Flu - What we need to know. Tyler Cowen, on of the blog contributors, posted an interesting synopsis of, My avian flu policy piece:

To combat a possible avian flu pandemic, we should consider the following:

1. The single most important thing we can do for a pandemicĂ‚—whether avian flu or notĂ‚—is to have well-prepared local health care systems. We should prepare for pandemics in ways that are politically sustainable and remain useful even if an avian flu pandemic does not occur.
2. ...

We should not do the following:
1. ...
5. We should not obsess over avian flu at the expense of other medical issues. The next pandemic or public health crisis could come from any number of sources. By focusing on local preparedness and decentralized responses, this plan is robust to surprise and will also prove useful for responding to terrorism or natural catastrophes.
There are so many good reasons to invest in our public health infrastructure. Now we can add bird flu to the equation. When will we fix this health care system?

No comments: