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The Avian Flu Pandemic - Implications for Australia

In 1999, AusSurvivalist predicted little impact, if any, from the Y2K Bug. Among survivalists, we were one of the few that did.

The current potential for a flu pandemic hitting Australian shores is considered more of a problem for three reasons. First, there has not been 20 years notice and $100 billion spent solely on fixing the problem. Second, the Y2K Bug did not pose an actual threat to our health. Third, there was a known cure for the Y2K bug, no vaccine for the Avian Flu can be produced until the actual pandemic strain is identified and some of the treatment drugs such as Tamiflu may not be as effective as thought.

The next six months are a critical time in relation to the Avian Flu. October through to the end of December because this is the time any migratory birds from the Northern Hemisphere arrive in Australia. January through March is a high-risk period because this is the Northern Hemisphere winter.

The risk of a pandemic actually happening in Australia in the next six months is put at 5 percent. This means there is a 95 percent probability it won’t happen. The problem is if it does you will need to be prepared and as we have already seen with the stocks of anti-viral drugs if you do not get them now you probably won’t be able to when you really need them. The other unknown is the effect on Australia of a pandemic in the Northern Hemisphere, how will it effect us economically, will it increase the probability of the pandemic spreading to Australia even if enforced quarantine is in effect?

If you are expecting the government to look after you, you should know that whilst the Australian Government plan is an excellent response to the threat it does have a number of fundamental flaws such as:

  • It assumes that the only 25% of the population will fall ill and of these only about 14,000 people will die . . . this is a mortality rate of only 0.3% . . . . H5N1 (Avian Flu) has a mortality approaching 60%.
  • It assumes that a vaccine can be developed in three months with intensive effort, however, the easiest way to make large amount of a vaccine is to use live chicken eggs and H5N1 purportedly kills the embryo before the vaccine can be made.
  • It assumes Tamiflu will be effective against H5N1, however, some test have shown that it may not be effective at all even at double the recommended dose for twice the recommended time.
  • It assumes that people will not break out of quarantine areas . . . given the lack on manpower, a lack of treatment facilities even with the stockpile people will break quarantine and the disease will spread.

We hope that you will read this report hopefully make a more informed choice as to the level of preparations you make for yourself and your family.

The report can be downloaded here: Avian Flu Special Report - October 2005




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Last Modified: April 15, 2008
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