Monday, July 18, 2005

July 19 Flu Update

Dateline MSNBC: Tamiflu works in mice with the flu.

Recombinomics begs to differ, with a divergent interpretation of the results.

Recombinomics jumps in on Amantadine as well.

CIDRAP weighs in on the data as well.

Reuters says Indonesia is having a hard target search for every outhouse, doghouse, etc, around the house where the family caught the bird flu.

There is confirmation that the flu in the Philippines was not H5N1.

Vietnam is ordering 415 sets of bird flu vaccine.

The debate from Vietnam. In some quarters, criticism for not doing better. In others, a grudging admiration for getting so much done with so little.

The Indonesian tests on bird flu are due soon.

The Federal Government has prioritized who will get scarce vaccines first. It would start with healthcare workers, and move to drug manufacturers next. Then, elderly and pregnant.

The ghouls among us who have been entranced by searches in permafrosted graves for the 1918 flu virus will like this. From Alaska, melting permafrost has exposed graves from a Russian Orthodox cemetery, and locals are afraid what might be in there.

ProMed has the news of an article in The Journal of Virology. It includes the following.

The authors of the Journal of Virology paper conclude that their data
challenges the view that adaptation to land-based poultry is a prerequisite
for the replication of aquatic avian influenza A viruses in humans. This is
a novel and significant conclusion that challenges current dogma.
Saving the best for last, we have Recombinomics tying it all together, in his view. You get a lot of news here...developments in China, Indonesia, Vietnam. Some from official sources, some from unofficial sources. Here is how Recombinomics summarizes all this. (Emphasis is mine)

The latest boxun report describes 10 strains of H5N1 circulating in China. Eight of the ten have some evidence for human infections, but there is no direct independent confirmation of the data. The data suggest that the 2005 pandemic is well underway and a wide range of catastrophic events will continue to make news. The report also suggests H5N1 in China is diverse and evolving, expanding a trend that will likely culminate in an event that may make the 1918 flu pandemic look tame.

Although the specifics of the report are not directly confirmed by third parties, the actions of China and the sequences of the H5N1 emerging from China, strongly support the descriptions of the strains in the boxun reports.

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The boxun reports are indirectly supported by the Nature and Science reports, as well as sequences in human cases in countries adjacent to China. There is much more reason to doubt statements by China on the lack of human infections in China or statement by WHO on the lack of mild H5N1 cases in northern Vietnam.

The data in the boxun report is considerably more believable and the data suggests a catastrophic pandemic will expand, as birds migrate away from Qinghi Lake and summer nesting sites and return to Europe, India, and southeast Asia to spread a variety of new and old H5N1 strains capable of causing lethal infections in humans and a variety of other species.

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