I came across this informative world map of avian flu. It is interactive and it shows the pandemic risk index of each country. For the Philippines, here is what it says:
PHILIPPINES - a high pandemic risk index of 2.78, individual components include an extreme risk of emergence (2.42), a medium risk of spread to and within the country (5.26), and an alarming high risk of incapacity to contain an outbreak (4.76).
The pandemic risk index or PRI is defined as "an outbreak of an infectious disease that affects people over an extensive geographical area." More definition of terms here. WHO situation updates are here.
So far, WHO has confirmed 173 human cases of bird flu worldwide. Of these cases, 93 have died, and almost all deaths occured here in Asia. The two countries mostly affected are Indonesia and Vietnam.
The Philippines, on the other hand, remains free of bird flu at the moment. But it alarms me that we are described as having a "high risk of incapacity to contain an outbreak," as shown above in the interactive world map of birs flu. Do we have stockpiles of Tamiflu ready just in case? Can we sit and relax with the NZ PM's promise of $500,000 as aid for early bird flu detection? Or should we wait and see what happens when the outbreak is upon us?