Article and references compliments of the Johnmacs group.
Bird Flu is coming. Tamiflu is scarce. Even in Russia, where almost anything can be obtained for a price, it's scarce, and is actually more expensive than in the US (usually drugs are much cheaper there). Hospitals have trouble keeping it in stock for its other uses.There are vaccines, but are experimental and they will be scarce. There have been a few reported cases of human to human transmission, but the epidemic is not expected this year. There's a lot of interest in the Congress right now, but they'll probably forget about it just as they forgot about biodefence in 2001, after the anthrax scare died down.
There is some thought that vaccinating young children, ages 2-5 or so, may be very effective at preventing the spread. Indeed, it may be more effective at preventing the spread to old people than directly vaccinating old people (now usually considered the "at risk" group for flu shots). To date, according to the NEJM: "Most patients have been previously healthy young children or adults."
Part of the problem is that people go in to work when sick. "Our culture was: I'm here at work, and I'm sick, and aren't I great?" Short said. "We had to create a whole new culture."For more information on the flu and personal protection, with many links, try: (the third article in this series is not yet out).