May 9 Flu Update--back in the saddleRecombinomics with the seminal question on recombination and mutation.
Such concern was easy to understand. Increased efficiency in human-to-human transmission of a recombinant virus that produces milder disease is the formula for a pandemic. It creates more hosts for more dual infections and more recombinants. H5N1 in humans offers more chances of a human being infected with H5N1 and H3N2, which could undergo a recombination similar to the one described earlier. However, this time the human receptor binding domain in H3N2 could be acquired. The recombinant H5N1 could achieve the type of efficiency seen in human flu viruses, which are almost impossible to control.
These changes of course set the stage for more recombination, when more humans are infected, and the H5N1 that has a 100% case fatality rate in southern Vietnam and Cambodia is still circulating. The greater the number of dual infections, the greater the chance of more recombination.
This leads to a greater chance of a recombinant with efficient transmission combined with a high case fatality rate to create a pandemic rivaling 1918.
Recombinomics on WHO hinting that pandemic may have begun.
Flu detection test in Vietnam and Canada may be out of date, resulting in false negatives.
Excellent Houston Chronicle story on the potential pandemic and where is stands.
Fine Houston Chronicle graphic on the flu.
Recombinomics on the "scandalous" underreporting of the swine flu.
This outstanding link is courtesy of Bill+. New England Journal of Medicine publishes article saying that world not ready for flu pandemic.
CIDRAP on the NEJoM story.
Effect Measure on the NEJoM story (must read)
Vietnam to vaccinate 600,000 chickens.
CIDRAP on Vietnam declaring victory over bird flu.
New bird flu death in Cambodia.
The Globe and Mail--one of the leading flu coverage sources, on the lack of antivirals at the point of infection in Asia.
USA Today on the battle to save the world from the flu....in SE Asia.
Korean DMZ is reportedly bird flu free.
China says US CDC results (long awaited) say that there is no mutation to the bird flu virus.
Do greyhounds in Rhode Island have bird flu. Recombinomics on the case.