Deadly 3rd Wave Swine Flu Pandemic Coming!!! Is Barbados Ready?
September 15, 2009 1 Comment
Came across a very curious article on Trinidad & Tobago Express news site yesterday. According to the online piece, Necia Holtzman, a health educator at a private firm specializing in health and infection control sounded the alarm to her countrymen about the devastating impact of the coming swine flu virus this time around.
In Miss Holtzman words, at the recently held International Swine Flu Conference (in which she attended) held in Washington D.C (in August before schools reopened) experts there “have said that the third wave of swine flu should be taken very seriously because they is going to be an extremely severe and virulent attack which could result in a lot of deaths and could follow the pattern of the 1918 Spanish Flu.” The reason for the discourse is that Miss Holtzman does not believe health authorities in her country of Trinidad are preparing its citizens enough to take ‘the necessary precautions to protect themselves’ for such a coming disaster. She also expressed her disappointment that no government agencies were represented at the conference.
In other words, Miss Holtzman, a private individual took it upon herself to inform Trinidadians through the media of the impending ‘severe’ flu ‘attack’ because Government health officials there are not treating the situation with any sense of urgency even when Miss Holtzman avail herself to them, arm with information from the conference!
Such words like ‘International’, ‘Swine Flu’ and ‘Conference’ piped my curiosity. Important words, important topic, newsworthy. Or so I though. Having been away for quite a while, I could have easily miss such pertinent news. However a search on the web, return not too favourable results from Google. Not one major new source reported on the conference! Next it was Live Search’s turn. Their results were more reasonable yet no links to any mainstream news site. On the second result page, I did came across a short article at euronews.net. Here are some quotes from the article.
’32 countries have sent representatives to (the International Swine Flu Conference) discuss the H1N1 virus, and view a range of high-tech gadgets designed to prevent it getting out of control.’
‘One of the conference’s top priorities is the creation of a global communications network to inform people on how to deal with a flu outbreak and prevent it getting worse.’
‘Although the virus has been isolated and a vaccine is in production, the chances of it mutating again are high.’
‘Until then some are taking no chances, and there is currently a roaring trade in surgical masks.’
Let’s look at this thing very closely. “could follow the pattern of the 1918 Spanish Flu.” The Spanish Flu kill an estimated 50 -100 million people worldwide!
i)The Swine Flu/H1N1 virus has cirulated the globe. ii) WHO have declared such as a pandemic, raising the threat to level 6. iii) pharmaceuticals companies are racing against time (and each other) to have a vaccine by October. iv) Countries around the world have already placed their orders. v) Countries are preparing their citizens for mass vaccination programs. In some cases, jail time for refusing a health emergency order. vi)The vaccine is shrouded in controversy because extensive testing/monitoring time has been short circuit to meet demand schedules thereby compromising human safety. Yet an international conference on swine flu, a major health issue engaging the world, whose theme is Strategies and Solutions, Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery, up to the time of writing have silently been ignored by news agencies: AP, Reuter sand AFP. Why the blackout?
So you see the reason for my extreme concern.
Now I have a few questions for our health professionals.
1)Was Barbados part of the 32 countries gather for the August 19th-21th International Swine Flu Conference?
2)Was any government or private agencies represented?
3) Just how prepared is Barbados for this deadly third wave of swine flu coming later this year that experts are comparing to the 1918 Spanish Flu? Other than washing one’s hand six times?
4) Will people with flu-like symptoms still be able to mingle with the rest of the population at clinics and health centres or are we going to see them directed to off-sites?
5) Does health authorities plan to implement a compulsory vaccination program for Barbadians?
6)When will Barbadians hear about plans for a worse case scenario if and when such a devastating flu impact hits us? Other than things are under control?
Here is the link to the pdf document of the conference. Some topics included were:
- Mass Fatality Management Planning
- Emergency Management services
- Breakdown of public services, utilities.
- Shortage of medical supplies
- Manage crime surges
- Controlling civil unrest/public disorder
- Preparing communities strategies etc