Pandemic in perspective

20 06 2009

Fear of disease vs. death toll
see more Funny Graphs


Thanks for all the fish!

19 06 2009

For those of you amongst the three possible regular readers I think I have who may have been wondering what the “thing” I’ve been alluding to in my Pharma is your Phriend series, with comments of “only a month to go”, you may have guessed it. I have resigned from my job in medical communications. My official last day is Thursday next week.

Read the rest of this entry »

Swine flu arrives in Australia

30 05 2009

I think we are getting to the stage where it’s pretty hard to deny that the current A/H1N1 Mexican Flu is a pandemic strain of flu. This made a lot of what I was planning to blog a bit obsolete (that’s why you should blog direct).

This week in Australia confirmed cases have been pretty much doubling each day. When I was putting together my flu resources for blogging on Tuesday, it was in the 20s. On Wednesday it jumped to just over 50. Yesterday it was near 100. Ten Late News just told me it’s 209. Will it be 1000 by the end of the weekend, or maybe it’ll hit a peak by 500?

The good(?) thing about the current form of the virus is that while it appears highly infectious, it doesn’t seem particularly lethal or morbid. But it doesn’t change the fact that influenza is a potentially lethal disease – so the less people who get infected in the first place the better (that’s directed at you anti-vax wingnuts and idiots planning swine flu parties). It also isn’t reassuring that the Spanish Influenza pandemic in the early 20th century was initially mild(-ish) and became increasiningly virulent.

Some stories from the past week of pandemic emergence:

To follow the Australian governments official pandemic phase alert, visit here.

For global information – I recommend the Google-Rhiza Labs interactive map project by Dr Niman.

Pandemic panic epidemic

28 05 2009

I have a few posts lined up about swine flu. With Australian cases of A/H1N1 Mexican influenza have been steadily creeping up, I should try and get them out before we all die or something.

But i’ll take my chances and post them tomorrow, it’s getting quite late.

However I just loved that one of my friends back home pasted this on facebook. The local paper is panicking that some cruise ship that dropped of some infected passengers in Sydney (more about them later) has detoured so that instead of being distantly offshore of the Queensland coast in the Great Barrier Reef, it is now slightly less distantly offshore of the Queensland coast in the Great Barrier Reef. [Insert dramatic tone].

I’m struggling to work out how exactly it could travel along the east side of Australia without at some point being “off the coast of Rockhampton” (I’m going to just ignore the Bully momentarily forgetting that Rockhampton is not on the coast).

So it has started…

1 03 2009

Terrestrials must remain united against the aquatic threat.

Rising shark attacks in Sydney!

Cephalopod takeover attempt foiled in Santa Monica!

Look at the size of this stingray! (We all know what stingrays do to Australians…*)

Remain alert but not alarmed land-dwellers. If you know or suspect anyone of being a sympathiser to the marine cause, report them immediately to your local authorities.

This menace will not be allowed to affect our way of life.

*too early?