Bird flu study and tips

Over on Outbreak H5N1 I write: 

The Public Library of Science has a study of the way in which avian influenza could spread globally, in the event that the limited human-to-human transmission becomes a pandemic.

Here are my conclusions and tips on what to do, for now:

That said, the important data from this study:
1) a vaccine is likely to take eight months to prepare from the moment the virus transmits rapidly from human-to-human;
2) strategies involving the deployment in early-affected regions or countries (if international co-operation doesn’t break down, which would neither be surprising nor entirely blameworthy) of antivirals like Tamiflu (oseltamivir), should slow down the spread of the virus by up to a year.

On an individual basis, locate a secure supply of antivirals now. You can expect public health authorities to use whatever powers they have to grab private supplies if a pandemic is announced. Keep an eye on this link, the World Health Organization’s pandemic alert bulletin. If it rises from 3 to 4, I shall buy an antiviral injection within the week.

Until then, I am keeping an eye out for new treatments and the spread of H5N1, but not worrying about it. Other than a few precautions if traveling to countries that are currently affected by bird flu, there is no cause for alarm at this time.

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