Thursday, October 27

To vaccinated, or not to vaccinated?

That's the question.

Wondering any difference between the mentioned flu drug and flu vaccine...

[Hong Kong Economic Times] 防禽流感 重衞生戒亂服藥 20051027

市民自亂陣腳 反添疫潮風險



阻遏流感傳播 個人衞生首要


[South China Morning Post] - Editorial 20051027

Public needs clear message on flu

The importance of preparing the public for an outbreak of bird flu cannot be overstated. Sensible advice is needed - and the message must be clear. Unfortunately, this has not been the case this week with the question of whether individuals should stock up on the drug Tamiflu. A World Health Organisation official and the Hong Kong government have disagreed as to what is the right approach.

Peter Cordingley, the WHO's spokesman for the Western Pacific region, said on a Hong Kong radio programme that the organisation encouraged households to stock up on the anti-flu drug, which can ease symptoms of the disease and potentially save lives. But Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) is discouraging people from obtaining their own supplies. It has pointed out that the WHO does not advise people to do so on its website. A CHP expert has reinforced a warning against self-medication, saying inappropriate use of Tamiflu would be wasteful and could cause resistance in the human flu virus. There is much to commend this view.

People have the right to buy the drug and in the present climate of fear it is understandable if they want to do so. But the government has good reasons to discourage them from stocking up.

Supplies of Tamiflu will be rationed globally for a long time. Its sale has been suspended in Canada to ensure adequate stocks for the peak flu season. Hopefully, in the event of a human bird-flu outbreak in Hong Kong, there will be enough to meet the needs of victims and people at risk or in essential occupations. But there may not be if there is panic buying now. This could undermine planning for an effective emergency response.

The advice of CHP consultant Yuen Kwok-yung, of the University of Hong Kong, seems sound and responsible: if you feel you must stock up, seek the advice of your family doctor first.

But the difference of opinion between the WHO official and the government has left the public confused and unsure of what to do. A clear statement of the WHO's official position would be helpful.

During the Sars outbreak in 2003, there were times when WHO statements caused some confusion. Given that so little was known about the disease at the time, this was understandable. As more became known, it began to speak with a single, authoritative voice.

But last June the organisation's Vietnam office appeared to take a different view to the Western Pacific regional office as to the likelihood of a bird flu pandemic.

The WHO is a United Nations agency which has grown in importance with the emergence of diseases such as Sars and bird flu. Its edicts and actions are crucial to the health and well-being of people all around the world. As we face up to a possible pandemic, it is important that the organisation sends clear messages on how the public should prepare.

Copyright (c) 2000. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

【太陽報專訊】- 八個步驟成笑柄 兩項措施判高低 20051027

雖然,政府官員不斷站在傳媒面前,信誓旦旦地強調政府防預禽流感的決心,套一句俗語來說,那只是齋 (talk)。例如衛生署呼籲市民預防流感大流行的來臨所採取的八個基本步驟來說,就是講了等於沒講的廢話。

這 八個基本步驟是: 一,時刻做好防範;二,接種流感疫苗 (Simon: According to SCMP the government recently not advice citizen not to stock up vaccine or drug(?));三,保持雙手清潔;四,正確使用口罩;五,認識流感徵狀;六,有效護理發燒;七,實行健康生活;八,認識社區資源。





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