Wednesday, May 24, 2006

GS(3) Thunderbolt: Karo Cluster May Indicate Human to Human Transmission of Bird Flu

This GS(3) Intelligence Thunderbolt concerns recent developments in the spread of Bird Flu.

Businesses, governments and other organizations should be raising the awareness of those within their influence.
There are common-sense precautions that you should be passing on to people. There is illuminating information you should be imparting. Your goal should not be to scare people, but to enlighten and empower them.
Your organization should already have pandemic-specific crisis management and business continuity plans in place.
Bird flu may never break out as a pandemic, but even if it doesn't, you will have enhanced the baseline knowledge of those within your reach, and helped them become better prepared for the outbreak of any similar threat. Inevitably, we will be confronted with another pandemic. And, because of numerous, interdependent factors, ranging from globalization to climate change and the rise of Mega Slums, the impact of such a health emergency will be profound.

Take a moment to review the latest from WHO, and then click on the resources listed below.

Excerpted from a WHO update on the Karo cluster:

The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has confirmed an additional case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case occurred in a 32-year-old man. He developed symptoms on 15 May and died on 22 May. The case is part of a family cluster in the Kubu Sembelang village, Karo District, of North Sumatra. The man is the seventh member of an extended family to become infected with the H5N1 virus and the sixth to die....The newly confirmed case is a brother of the initial case....Tests run overnight confirmed his infection. His 10-year-old son died of H5N1 infection on 13 May. The father was closely involved in caring for his son, and this contact is considered a possible source of infection....Although the investigation is continuing, preliminary findings indicate that three of the confirmed cases spent the night of 29 April in a small room together with the initial case at a time when she was symptomatic and coughing frequently. These cases include the woman’s two sons and a second brother, aged 25 years, who is the sole surviving case among infected members of this family. Other infected family members lived in adjacent homes. All confirmed cases in the cluster can be directly linked to close and prolonged exposure to a patient during a phase of severe illness. Although human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out, the search for a possible alternative source of exposure is continuing.
Avian Influenza – Situation in Indonesia – Update 14, 5-23-06

As a starting point, review Words of Power #2: Indonesia’s State of Emergency on Bird Flu Demands Your Attention
Here is an excellent source of global Bird Flu news:
News Now
Here is a compilation of Bird Flu preparedness checklists:

Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: For more information, go to