Sunday, January 30, 2005

January 30 Flu Update--Flu takes a holiday

Company ramps up antiviral production by 30%

January 29th Flu Update--11th Death--Is the spread inevitable?

11th Bird Flu Death in Vietnam

11th Pro Med article contains mostly dry stats, but finishes with this kicker: "[These reports appear to be the 1st indication of an extension in the range of human cases of avian influenza virus infection in the current East Asia outbreak -- if the tests on the Cambodian woman prove positive and it is confirmed that she contracted infection in Cambodia before she arrived in Viet Nam. Up to the present, no human cases had been contracted outside of Thailand or Viet Nam. - Mod.CP]

Another country heard from. Singapore ratchets up flu prevention measures

Localities in Vietnam urged to move up flu measures

WHO Official weighs in...flu still a "threat"

Another another company heard from...Kuala Lumpur follows suit

Is there a human transmission in Cambodia...Recomibinomics notes odd timing. More troubling may be that the Cambodians are trying to keep this a secret.

Dong Thap Cluster details from Recombinomics.

Pro Med calls Thai Avian Flu "highly virulent"

900,000 dead poulty in Vietnam.

Friday, January 28, 2005

January 28 Flu Update

Recombinomics tracks 10th Flu Death in Vietnam, additional cases

Yale Part II...very good

Vietnam has riot police at chicken checkpoints around Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnemes news reports 17 more sites of bird flu

WHO update 7 reports two new cases

Recombinomics reports on clusters in Vietnam

Part II of cluster report from Recombinomics

Recombinomics on Thai Bird Flu outbreaks as risk spreads

Recombinomics on 800,000 dead Vietnemese poultry

Thursday, January 27, 2005

January 27 Update

United Nations warns of sporadic ongoing human cases in Vietnam. Also, says human-human transmission due to long-term caregiving.

Yale provides a big-picture overview

Reports of attempts to nip flu in bud, as previously reported. Optimism is based on success stopping SARS with public health measures

Recombinomics has a case with the usual sketchy facts, but that could indicate new human-human transmission case in Vietnam.

ProMEd with a basic report on the above cases.

More evidence which Recombinomics claims debunks the Blood Pudding theory

Dateline Phillipines---Recombinomics is reporting a jailhouse outbreak of respiratory disease that could be human-human flu, nots similarity to previous meningococcemia -like cases in the Phillipines.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

January 26 Flu Update--7:33 PM ET Updated Update

Notwithstanding the protests of the Vietnemese, WHO says that the cause of the brothers with the flu is undetermined and still being investigated. WHO does note that the transmission chain did not extend farther than one person, a fact which does not appear to be in doubt.

WHO also notes that the 9th and 10th lab confirmed cases since mid-December have emerged, and only one has survived. That is the brother from the "duck blood" case, which has led some to speculate that newer generations of the disease are less lethal.

Recombinomics weighs in with his belief that the timing and dates clearly indicate human-human transmission.

Demonstraing that the flu and politics are never far apart, the Taipei Times calls for a Chinese Quarantine, citing the Chinese proclivity for starting pandemics over, oh, say, the last millenium or so.

NPR reports that WHO is stockpiling Tamiflu in Asia, and will rush medicine to effected areas to help nip an epidemic at the source. This is fine if pandemic develops in stages, but not if it explodes onto the globe, as it did in 1918.

Cornell researchers publish article which says that a co-receptor must be present for flu to enter a cell. ONce fleshed out, this could help flu treatment.


Effect Measure, excellent public health blog doubts Bush administration's statements about flu risk, school closures, quarantines, etc.

Denver Post on CDC quarantine and other "quiet" plans for flu outbreak, not wanting to alarm public.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

January 25 Flu Update.

"Experts" In Vietnam have supposedly determined that the flu was not human-human in Vietnam, and that raw duck blood is indeed the culprit. We'll see what others have to say.

Thai cabinet adopts emergency bird flu plan

Recominomics is noting that this WHO tsunami report says URIs are the biggest illness is Sri Lanka, which should be tested for flu due to fatal outbreaks there before the tsunami.

Recombinomics again,noting that UN officials say the virus is unstable and has changed since January 2004.

January 24 Flu Update

ProMed account of NE J of Med article on h-h transmission last year in Thailand. A woman caught it from a bird, and her Mother came from far away to care for her, and had no exposure. Transmission was after hours of unprotected caregiving. It would seem not to be "efficient" h-h transmission.

Here's the NEJOM link

Some are pointing out that the "duck blood" pudding theory listed below is improbable because of how long it took the brothers to be infected. If valid, that would leave this also a h-h transmission case. As seen here

ProMed on 2 new flu cases in Vietnam.

ProMed reports further Flu spread in Vietnam

Recombinomics on the UM Conference yesterday, webcast, key early questions.

Globe and Mail on NEJOM article being released in lead-up to Ann Arbor conference.

The Times of London reports on Doomsday preperations in Britain...the first paragraph alone shows what we are up against.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

January 23 Flu Blog

The Thai Director of the Livestock Development Department says flu has not mutated to h-h transmission in his country

Vietnam has another probable case of h-h transmission

Toronto firm says it can quadruple the yield from flu vaccine production. At one dose PER EGG under current methods, this could be big.

Vietnam calls for drastic flu fighting methods for the 55th time

Recombinomics calls growth of bird flu in Vietnam exponential

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Quiet January 22 Flu

No real news today on the flu front. Many outlets have picked up the WHO story we had from yesterday that there was human-human transmission from two brothers in Vietnam. It does not appear to be efficient transmission, however, or else the disease would be widespread within the immediate circle of the brothers.

Also, Recombinomics is warning everyone that this is not a clear cut case of human transmission, since the infected brothers (he is reporting there are three) all ate raw blood pudding, which may have been infected.

Additional bird flu death in Vietnam.

Friday, January 21, 2005

January 21--Has Human-to-Human begun in Vietnam?

WHO update on brother human-human possible in this case, but no change in pandemic status. Those around the brothers are not sick, as they would be in human-human was efficient, and one brother had cared for the other. Finally, some raw duck blood and organs had been consumed, which could also have transmitted the disease.

New Scientist is less sanguien, says Two Human-Human Transmissions in Vietnam--estimates many more H5N1 than tests are showing

Recombinomics Weighs in on the brothers and the difficulty of detecting H5N1 as it regenerates.

Thailand and other Tsunami areas beginning to show Bird Flu problems

New isolate in Grey Herons in Hong Kong---large gene pool seen as increasing odds or recombination and epidemic

Seventh Bird Flu Death in Vietnam

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Inauguration Flu Update--Strongest WHO Warning Yet

WHO says that the virus is evolving toward features that favor a pandemic, and compares the flu to 1918 as to its lethality to the young and healthy. Nations urged to act toward vaccine.

Latest news on Thai outbreak.

Flu Pundit says that lack of monitoring may be missing human/human transmission, slowing vaccine development..."scandalous"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

January 19 Flu Update--FLASH Human transmission in Vietnam possible

Vietnam Reports New Bird Flu Case in Hanoi

Recombinomics says fatality rate on Mengino is too close to flu to ignore

Spread of bird flu in Vietnam is "accelerates."

Remote Thai Village reports Bird Flu case, wild fowl suspected.

North Vietnam has possible human-human tranmission

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

January 18 Bird Flu

Reuters reports Bird Flu concern, but no travel advisory. Similar advisories were highly controversial during the SARS episode.

In self-parodying style, the first story in this government release is changing bus schedules to meet Tet demand. THEN, further efforts to control bird flu.

Forbes Weighs in. One year of flu=30 years of AIDS

Media release talks about oral interferon lozenges to fight diseases. Some believe 1918 flu was virulent because a protein disabled interferon production.

Sixth Bird Flu Death in Vietnam

Very efficient symptom-free transmission among poultry in Central Highlnds in Vietnam. Worries continue.

Monday, January 17, 2005

January 17 Update

Reuters on Flu Spreading Across Vietnam

Canadian "Lessons Learned" on British Columbia Bird Flu

More Meningo News from the Phillipines

New Demographic in Vietnam Bird Flu Worrisome

Sunday, January 16, 2005

January 16 Flu Update for a Sunday

Recombination and rapid mutation examined in Recombinomics

Bird Flu threatening food supply in Vietnam. Asymptomatic ducks big issue.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

January 15 Flu Update

PM of Vietnam issues orders on bird flu, ids more asymptomatic ducks, and other measures being taken

Recombinomics continues to call for avian flu testing of meningo patients

Avian flu contracted by swimming--implications by reombinomics

January 14 Late Night Flu Blog

January 14 Flu Updates

Recombinomics Commentary...A wolf in Sheep's Clothing?: "My interpretation of the large command center followed by a warning on migratory birds followed by a warning that not all menigococcemia cases really are meningococcemia cases followed by comments on the unusually high case fatality rate, followed by the request for more time, followed by an H5N1 warning by the DOH equals human to human transmission of H5N1 avian influenza, aka bird flu or meningococcemia-like illness."

Fifth Bird Flu Death in Vietnam

Bird Flu Spreads to North Vietnam

WHO reports two new cases of human bird flu in Vietnam

WHO Statement on Flu and tsunami

Thailand remains concerned about bird flu with problems in neighboring lands

Thursday, January 13, 2005

January 13 Flu Blog--Frightening Virus Edition

WHO Press Release Updates Vietnam Situation, downplays Tsunami/flu risk

AP Story on WHO confernce, calling it a "frightening virus."

Nature Magazine's latest

Nature Magazine's Editorial on a "scandalous" "state of denial."

Vietnam reports new areas of bird flu"

More news on meningitis-like disease which could be a flu

WHO o meningo case

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

January 12 Update....

Hong Kong Tests Heron for Flu

UK Story on Tsunami aggrevating Flu efforts

Meningitis or Flu? Questions continue.

New Bird Flu Case in Vietnam

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

January 11 Is this the beginning?

Is this the beginning? Odd Disease in Philipines draws WHO notice

Updated story on same subject

Link to WHO Statement

Fourth Flu Death in Vietnam...18-year old girl dies

Monday, January 10, 2005

January 10 Flu Update--Perfect Storm Edition

Tsunami a "Perfect Viral Storm"

Vietnamese girl has new Bird Flu Case, health is worsening

Thailand Establishes Bird Flu Center

News from the vaccine front One-year old H5N1 was not effective against this year's virus...and then the mass production issues for a possible pandemic are staggering.

Warning on Bird Flu Termed "Curious"

January 10 Supplement

Scientific American Editorial Calls for Ounce of Prevention

Tauenberger article in this week's edition says that host other than bird was vital in 1918 flu.Non subscriber Abstract

Sunday, January 09, 2005

January 9 Flu News

Vietnam Steps Up Efforts to stop spread of Bird Flu

Migrating Russian Ducks Have strains of H5N1

Russian Birds Show Evidence of recombination

Saturday, January 08, 2005

January 8 Flu Update

Vietnam Bird Flu Prompts Emergency Action in China

Second more in-depth story on Chinese Emergency Measures

Evidence of Recombination in Russian H5N1

Friday, January 07, 2005

January 7 Flu News

18-year old girl in South Vietnam has bird flu

Non H5N1 virus is easily transmitted Human to Human

Ducks Culled in Vietnam to fight bird flu

Thursday, January 06, 2005

January 6, Part II. UM to host Flu Symposium

International Flu Symposium to be held in Ann Arbor January 24

Article on Bird Flu Monitoring in Asia, lack of efficient human transmission.

Malaysia Says it is Free of Bird Flu

January 6...WHO Updates Vietnam Situation

Second Child Dies of Bird Flu in Vietnam

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

January 5 Flu News--Children's Edition

Two new Bird Flu Cases in Vietnam

9 year old boy dies of flu in Vietnam--21st death.

Bird Flu May Prey on Children, Thailand study suggests. Also H5N1 difficult to diagnose.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

January 4 Flu News Update

Officials in Thailand report more bird flu cases.

WHO reports bird flu risk with bird transport around lunar New Year

UK alerts travelers to flu in SE Asia

Monday, January 03, 2005

London Free Press: Odds of avian flu outbreak researched

London Free Press reports on CDC experiments aimed at answering the sseminal question. How easily can bird flu reassort to human flu, and what are the odds it will. Literally, this is real-time science.

Tsunami-Linked Respiratory Disease Monitoring

Tsunami-Linked Respiratory Disease Monitoring is underway, as officials attempt to monitor this situation.

It remains difficult to envision, however, how this can be done effectively.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Slow Sunday on the Flu Front

Check the final grafs of this London Telegraph story on the tsunami being a flu mixing bowl. The theory is that people in the affected areas have an immunity to avian flu, but can pass it to Western relief workers, who will bring it home.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

First Reports of Tsunami-Stricken lands

Despite media reports, there have been no post-tsunami bird flu or influenza A cases in Sri Lanka... although information is clearly sketchy.

Article from same source notes monitoring of other tsunami-striken nations. No evidence of a problem to date.