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How can we protect our Thai families from bird flu?
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  1. #1
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    sad How can we protect our Thai families from bird flu?

    It's all well and nice to buy a lot of stuff for our Thai family when we can but that's all gravy.
    What about the people who have family in rural Thailand? especially those that live or work on a farm? What can we do to protect them from the bird flu pandemic? What is the Thai government doing to protect them?

    There are only two steps in the current official guidlines for protecting yourself against avian flu. They are: 1. Don't eat infected birds, and 2. don't touch birds that have died from the disease. (!!)
    Now those guidlines are very easy for most of us to follow, but what if you live on a farm and you find a dead chicken? Do you just leave it there? Someone has to move it right? IS the government educating rural Thais on what to do in such a situation? Will the most at-risk people (i.e rural Thais) have priority access to any available drugs to fight the disease? If so (and I doubt it), will the government subsidize the drugs or will people have to buy it themselves?

    The most effective drug currently available for avian flu is "Tamiflu". It doesn't cure avian flu, but it eases the symptoms and the WHO has urged countries to stockpile enough Tamiflu for 25% of their population in the event of a pandemic.
    1 capsule costs about 62 baht. However it is a 10 pill treatment. That's 620 baht per person. Does your Thai family have enough money to pay for the full treatment for everyone in the family? Even if they do, I wonder how readily available it will be to rural Thais?

    Tamiflu is a prescription drug and I for one am going to try to get my doctor to issue me with a prescription for 4 courses of Tamiflu. Unfortunatley it is probably very difficult to get your hands on it right now. I will report back next week and let everyone know how successful or not I was.

    In the meantime, does anybody have any other ideas on what we can do for our families regarding this matter?
    I'm not trying to be an alarmist, I just want to be prepared.
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  2. #2
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    I can not say that it will be no problem, but maybe a pandomonium?
    At the moment is the risk to get bird flu very low. The chance that you get involved in an accident is much much higher.
    Birdflu get in your body thru your longs, so when you working with chicken or other birds you have to protect yourself.
    And from eating a bird (what has died of birdflu) is no problem when it is well prepared.
    "My computer goes down on me more often than my wife"

  3. #3
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    Well, of course I hope that it doesn't get as big as the media is saying it will. But they seem to be taking it pretty seriously in Australia. It was said that the one of the biggest problems regarding the prevention of bird flu is denial. People just don't want to know about it.
    Anyway I went to Australia this weekend and got four prescricptions for Tamiflu (1 for each member of the family.) However it is almost impossible to get because the government is stockpiling all of it that comes into the country. So I left my prescriptions with them and they will hopefully send it on to me when any comes through.
    I don't think it's over-reacting, it's family. Better to be safe than sorry I reckon.
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  4. #4
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    question Collection Bat's waste/poo

    I seen a documentary on Thais going up to bat's cave to collects bat's waste/poo.How safe it is,with million of bat pooing around.I am sure bat do carry bird flu disease,if they are infected.So are this people risking theirs lives,just for few hundreds baht??What has the authority do about it?Because if the waste is diseased,this people are helping to spread the disease further.
    Natthi Santiparam Sukham

  5. #5
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    I do not think that bats would be carriers of H5N1 as it is an avian disease and bats are not fowl.And do not have contact with chickens, unless if they are vampire bats, then they might. The vampire bats in Brazil do bite chickens on the feet sometimes.

    And also the CDC has stated that TAMIFLU in the regular doses of 10 pills is not enough, it should be taken at 4 times the amount for avian flu as you would for regular flu. and it is not available here either.

    But I saw on the news that INDIA was asking for permission to make it and then they could boost supplies and also sell at a cheaper, more affordable price.

    You see, Drugs sold by USA mfg. co's. are not primarily sold to make sick people well, they are sold to make rich people richer, and their pricing policy is upheld by the US govt.
    Even drugs that are exported from GB cost 90% less in Thailand than the same drugs cost in the US.

  6. #6
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    I just got this, but still I have heard that it works at 4X dosage

    Tamiflu 'useless'
    against avian flu
    Doctor who has treated 41 victims of virus
    says 'we place no importance on this drug'

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Posted: December 4, 2005
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    2005 WorldNetDaily.com

    After treating 41 victims of H5N1, the deadly form of the bird flu virus, a Vietnamese doctor has concluded Tamiflu, the drug most widely stockpiled around the world to combat a feared pandemic, is "useless."

    Dr. Nguyen Tuong Van, who runs the intensive care unit of the Center for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, followed World Health Organization guidelines in her treatment of patients but concluded it had no effect on the disease.

    "We place no importance on using this drug on our patients," she said. "Tamiflu is really only meant for treating ordinary type A flu. It was not designed to combat H5N1 ... [Tamiflu] is useless."

    Van said bird flu is far worse that SARS, an avian-linked respiratory illness, which she has also treated. Caring for H5N1 victims requires intensive patient "support" with modern technology, like ventilators and dialysis machines, if patients are to be kept alive. Even Western countries with wide access to technology would see there medical infrastructure strained to the limit if the dreaded pandemic comes.

    Van did not criticize governments for stockpiling the drug but said doctors had to inform the public about its performance.

    Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical, has sold stockpiles of its Tamiflu to 40 countries and insists it's effective if administered within 48 hours of infection. Roche recently licensed Indonesia to manufacture Tamiflu for its own population.

    As WorldNetDaily has reported, officials in at least two nations now suspect the avian flu bug has mutated into a virus that is being transmitted from human to human a development world health authorities have estimated could result in the deaths of tens of millions.

    The WHO confirms Van's experience, admitting Tamiflu has not been "widely successful in human patients," but speculates the drug has not been administered until late in the disease in many Asian countries.

    "While there is some anecdotal evidence of the build-up of resistance to antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu," one health expert told the London Times, "at present the experience is that these drugs do work."

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