Other than the report on Monday of two cluster infections among military personnel helping with post-typhoon relief and cleanup work in Pingtung County, there were also reports that some 300 people in that county’s Wandan Township (萬丹) had been hospitalized with fever.
Decomposing carcasses, stagnant water and muddy puddles were all hot beds for diseases like swine flu, dengue fever, etc. Infectious disease prevention in the flooded areas in the south should be central government's priority right now.
Although the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) called on Ma to hold a national security meeting immediately on the flu situation, the president appeared to be taking his time.
The central government's slow move in deploying available domestic resources and in accepting foreign aid on the aftermath of typhoon Morakot had led to greater loss of life and property.
Former minister of health Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) and former Centers for Disease Control director Su I-jen (蘇益仁) have repeatedly warned of a possible nationwide outbreak of the swine flu virus in the coming months.
It's better now for president Ma to hold a national security meeting on disease prevention and control than to hold a press conference later apologizing again to people for reacting too late to advice from health experts.