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Alert Number 137

Avian Flu and CLL

Date: November 17, 2005

You cannot have missed all the references to “bird flu”, "avian influenza", “H5N1" and "pandemic flu” in the mainstream media. There are as many opinions about bird flu as there are chickens in China. We would like to add our two cents, but strictly focused on issues as they pertain to CLL patients, the special risks we face as immune compromised individuals. We also attach some up-to-date reference material that you might find useful, especially when you talk to your doctors about your medical needs.

I understand the operative word is “when”, not “if” the virus acquires the ability to pass easily from one human to another, we will indeed have a major crisis on our hands. In recent weeks the news coming out of China and other Asian countries has added to the worry factor. When human-to-human transmission is achieved, I doubt any country will be immune from the damaging effects of a large scale pandemic, and the disease will likely spread round the globe at the speed of jet aircraft. We touch upon some of the aspects of this problem as it impacts our patient community in our latest article, Avian Flu and CLL.

Prudence suggests you take personal responsibility for some amount of individual and family preparedness.

My usual sign-off “Be well” takes particular significance in view of the interesting times we live in.


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