July 25 Flu UpdateToday's lead story comes from China, where the WaPO says that the official news agency says 17 people are dead and 41 ill from a myserious disease.
Here are the reported symptoms:Recombinomics reads this as many people will---with an eye toward the way many people died during the Spanish flu, and an equally concerned look at reports of flu in China already. Here are two excerpts.
Those affected had symptoms including high fever, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and "became comatose later with bruises under the skin," Xinhua news agency said.
The proximity of both sets of cases to H5N1 outbreaks is cause for heightened concern. The 1918 pandemic had many mis-diagnosed cases, including those with neurological complications. H5N1 has been shown to be neurotropic in the labLater, Reuters wrote that Chinese officials were denying the disease could, in any way, be SARS or bird flu. (Thanks to crofslog for this.)
As birds at Qingahi Lake and nature reserves in Russia begin to migrate to the south, west, and east, there is concern that such a migration might lead to a catastrophic spread of H5N1.
Human deaths in the adjacent province of Sichuan may indicate that such spread has already begun.
There are sketchy reports that there has been a fourth flu death in Indonesia.
In Indonesia, they're culling only positively infected birds, backing off a more aggressive earlier plan.
ProMed on the Indonesian cull.
Flu Vaccine orders are already being placed for the US Flu season.
LA Times with a good overview of pandemic, though nothing new to those who read here often.
Yesterday, we noted the the UK had changed its tamiflu plans, abandoning a plan to use it for first responders and health care workers, and had decided to only use it for people who were very sick. Effect Measure weighs today with a critique of this plan, and why its bad medicine as much as bad policy.
The comments to this post on Effect Measure are great. An excellent debate and some additional Revere material.
ProMed on CDC updating its influenza section.
ProMed follows up on Siberia--H5N1 risk seems to be dialing down, though not out here.