April 02, 2006

Why avian flu may win the race.

At the end of an interesting post about how adjuvants are being used to increase the potency of vaccines — especially possible avian flu vaccines — one of the Reveres explains why this important research wasn't done years ago:

We got a very late start despite the fact that this problem has been visible to public health experts for years, if not decades. The late start is a reflection of the low priority national leaders have for the most fundamental of security issues, the security of being healthy and not sick. Letting our public health systems fall into disrepair and our tools dwindle and rust away is a result of failed leadership, a failure that in the US encompasses both Democratic and Republican administrations but which has reached new heights of incompetency, blindness and outright stupidity in the administration of George W. Bush.

The US has laid waste two other countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) while we have simultaneously left our own country and people open to attack by a virus with no ideology, no political party and no mercy. For those of you who don't like us to inject "politics" into a public health discussion, we suggest you think about it again. If we'd had even a five year head start we'd be so much farther ahead. Then consider why we aren't and why there is a good chance H5N1 will beat us to the finish line.

This post comes from Effect Measure, which for this magpie's money is [along with Flu Wiki] the best single source of information on avian flu on the web. I'm especially grateful for all the posts in which the Reveres explain technical medical, epidemiological, and biological subjects in terms that an average person can understand. If you're not already reading Effect Measure, you should be.

Posted by Magpie at April 2, 2006 03:18 PM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |