Archive for September 19, 2009

U.N. Says Swine Flu Could Kill Millions Unless Western Nations Cough Up @ $1.5 Billion

Per the Guardian:

The swine flu pandemic could kill millions and cause anarchy in the world’s poorest nations unless £900m can be raised from rich countries to pay for vaccines and antiviral medicines, says a UN report leaked to the Observer.

The disclosure will provoke concerns that health officials will not be able to stem the growth of the worldwide H1N1 pandemic in developing countries. If the virus takes hold in the poorest nations, millions could die and the economies of fragile countries could be destroyed.

Health ministers around the globe were sent the warning on Thursday in a report on the costs of averting a humanitarian disaster in the next few months. It comes as officials inside the World Health Organisation, the UN’s public health body, said they feared they would not be able to raise half that amount because of the global downturn.

Gregory Hartl of WHO said the report required an urgent response from rich nations. “There needs to be recognition that the whole world is affected by this pandemic and the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We have seen how H1N1 has taken hold in richer nations and in the southern hemisphere. We have been given fair warning and must act soon,” he said.

The report was drawn up by UN officials over the last two months. It was commissioned in July after Ban ki-moon, the UN’s secretary general, expressed concern that the H1NI virus could have a severe impact on the world’s poorest countries.

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The 47-page report provides a detailed breakdown of the basic needs of 75 vulnerable countries with the weakest capacity to withstand an escalation of the virus. Six countries from Latin America, including Cuba and Bolivia, 21 countries from Asia and the Pacific such as North Korea and Bangladesh, and 40 countries from Africa such as Congo and Eritrea are included in the survey.

Seems to me that a lot of those nations are our enemies and the prospect of them falling into anarchy isn’t particularly bothersome to me.

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Aaaaaar! I Almost Forgot to Post Something for Talk Like a Pirate Day!

I suppose I should go do something all dastardly and piratey before I go to sleep, but I’m a slackass kinda pirate that likes to put off doing dirty deeds until the morrow. A procrastinating pirate, as it were.

Tomorrow I’ll be all ruthless, but tonight I just want to go into full collapse mode.

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Hitler Hears About ACORN Videos

I LOVE those videos!

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Hand Washing of Questionable Value in H1N1

I’ve wondered about all the emphasis on hand washing for the flu. Everything I’ve ever read has emphasized that the influenza virus is spread through microscopic water droplets expelled in a cough or sneeze that you breathe in and then the virus implants in the lungs. Why all the sudden emphasis on hand washing as a prophlyaxis? Hand washing isn’t going to do diddly about a virus implanted in the lungs. I certainly am not against hand washing; however, I’m afraid that it can foster a false sense of security in a person that has a condition that predisposes them to complications.

Newsweek has an interesting article this week entitled “Hand-Washing Won’t Stop H1N1”. So, if you one of those with pre-existing conditions, remember that that bottle of Germ-X will not be your savior after all if you were trusting that it would keep the flu away. I’m not sure whether spraying everybody around you with Lysol, with particular attention paid to small children with mucus trails, would be of any help, either but, like hand washing, it wouldn’t hurt.

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