H5N1 is still with us. Who says so? Georges Benjamin, head of the American Public Heath Association.
Experts agree that we are long overdue for the next flu pandemic, and concerns persist. A 5-year-old girl died in Indonesia last week from avian flu, raising the country’s H5N1 death toll to 77. Vietnam this week confirmed its first case of human bird flu - a 30-year-old man from the northern Vinh Phuc province - since 2005.
And Rebecca Patton, president of the American Nurses Association.
As the President of the American Nurses Association, I am pleased to join in this signficant discussion on a real threat to our country and the world. We know that as registered nurses we must be ready to respond, both personally and professionally. Being prepared does not apply only to those of us who respond at the time of need, — all citizens must take this seriously and begin to plan for any potential disaster that may occur in our own community.
And a social marketer. And the founder of eBay. And a social activist. They're all blogging with me over at the Health and Human Services Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog to get the word out about pandemic preparedness.
Dr. Benjamin is absolutely right... H5N1 is still around to remind us of the potentials and pitfalls of how ill influenza can make people, even if we can’t say for certain that H5N1 is the next pandemic virus. Why not? There are others...
This is a low path H7N2 in Wales and not a high path H5N1, and folks don’t get as ill, but it still is worrisome whenever a bird flu crosses over to humans. Any of these events could have been the beginning of a major outbreak. That they are not (as of now) is no reason to let down our guard. So, as we use our contacts to educate folks, there will always be recent and current examples of why it’s important to prepare. I'd be negligent not to point that out. The HHS blog summit runs from May 22 - June 27. For the latest news, and prep tips, go here.