Monday, October 13, 2008

US: No Vaccines for North Korea, Sudan, Other Rogue States

Official U.S. policy denies vaccines against bird flu, dengue fever and other deadly viruses to pariah states like North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Syria. This little-known 10-year-old policy, outlined in a must-read report from Robin McDowell of the Associated Press,

"could makes it harder to contain an outbreak of bird flu among chickens in, say, North Korea, which is in the region hardest hit by the virus. Sudan and Iran already have recorded cases of the virus in poultry and Syria is surrounded by affected countries. Cuba, like all nations, is vulnerable because the disease is delivered by migratory birds."

Effect Measure takes the story one step further in comments about information hoarding and siloing. As the AP points out, the Centers for Disease Control didn't even know the vaccine embargo is official policy. Given the nature of pandemics, which are no respecters of borders, CDC would have presumably opposed the policy on scientific grounds.

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