Wednesday, May 18, 2005

May 18 Flu Update

Leading today's Flu news, WHO is telling a conference that evidence shows a mutating flu virus, and a strong pandemic possibility. Greater human-human transmission is also noted. Here, CIDRAP writes.

Bloomberg has a media report on WHO

ProMed Mail has its take on the WHO report.

After an inconclusive test, Indonesia wants to test a worker for flu. It would be the first Indonesian case, at least since 12/04.

Recombinomics on what this means.

Gridlock on Parliament Hill has left the flu vaccine tests victim to budget wars---can Belinda Stronach really fix this?

Europeans looking into early warning sign for bird flu.

Recombinomics on evidence of, you guessed it, recombination among H5N1 viruses, and a plea for more public data.

Recombinomics with today's analytic piece. In it, Niman writes about the tamiflu containment strategy. Under that concept, if the flu hits, tamiflu, an antiviral that effects the N part of H5N1, would be rushed to the site to limit the spread before the disease gets too many branches and is unstoppable.

Others have wondered about this approach. In this article, Recombinomics poses the idea that there could be evidence that the virus easily mutates to be tamiflu resistant.

This is a significant idea. Check these pages, and you will see that tamiflu is a central part of every nation's defense to the pandemic. Tamiflu is being stockpiled in many places. A tamiflu-resistant flu would be signficiantly bad news.

Thus, media reports suggest that significant changes are occurring in HA and NA. NA is targeted by the only available H5N1 antiviral, Tamiflu. The above report suggests that an H5N1 Tamiflu-resistant strain has evolved. Widespread use of Tamiflu will generate selection pressure for resistance. The comments above imply that such resistance is relatively easy for H5N1, since the number of H5N1 confirmed patients treated with Tamiflu has been exceedingly low. Tamiflu is the antiviral drug being stockpiled by many countries.

Effect Measure on the latest situation in Vietnam.


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