Saturday, August 20, 2005

August 19 Flu Update

Our lead story today comes from WHO. You have read in this space and others that the ballooons and confetti that accompanied the announcement of the early success in clinical trials was unwarranted, if only because of severe production difficulties. WHO has now come out and agreed with that position. (via Forbes)

The World Health Organisation has warned that the global capacity to manufacture anti-flu vaccines would not be flexible or large enough to counter a threatened pandemic that could rapidly kill millions of people around the world.

'Current global manufacturing capacity ... is inadequate to meet the expected global needs during a pandemic and cannot be rapidly augmented,' the WHO said in a weekly bulletin on disease outbreaks and threats.

The WHO's epidemiological bulletin welcomed the announcement earlier this month of successful first clinical trials of a vaccine to protect humans from the H5N1 strain of bird flu.

But it also highlighted a number of drawbacks in the production and distribution chain that could hamper the new vaccine's practical effectiveness.

The WHO bulletin also highlighted problems with the formulation of the H5N1 vaccine tested by French vaccine company Sanofi Pasteur and scientists in the US.

It contains a higher dose of antigens than common flu vaccines while antigen supplies are limited. The WHO said preliminary results of tests on formulations that could use less antigens would be available in three months.

Here's more coverage of the flu regulations in Germany and Holland we wrote on yesterday.

Reuters on the German preperations.

Gps (Family Docs) in Britain were briefed on the flu.

Reuters on the British docs...

Japan is surveying farms for the bird flu

A bird expert in Russia says bird flu could reach Moscow as early as this Fall.

The Financial Times says its near a Tamiflu deal with WHO.

Alaska--the most like US entry point for bird flu from Siberia, is watching for the bird flu.

My readers will like this story--its about a health official in Virginia who raised the alarm on the flu at a regional conference.

Lots of flu news from Malta. Here, they inform their public they have ordered enough Tamiflu.

Delawere is preparing for the bird flu.

Recombinomics has this on dead birds in Mongolia, indicating a three part spread of the bird flu--East, south and West to Europe.

Wild Bird flu is confirmed in Mongolia, via Recombinomics, who also notes there will be more migration as the weather gets cold.

ProMed on the Mongolia reports: note the mod comment on what the increased geographic range could say about how the virus has mutated.

Recombinomics on the lab confirmed wild bird flu in Kazakhstan.

Recombinomics on machine translation of wild bird flu in European Russia.

ProMed has the news of an early bird hunting season in Russia, hoping to help cull the birds.

Crofsblogs has the pandemic plans from British Columbia.


At 1:12 PM, Blogger beth550katherine said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reuter's report on the distrubution of the UK's bird flu advisory materials includes this line.

"The timing of the distribution reflects the production cycle and does not signify a heightened state of alert," said the Department of Health in a statement on Friday."

Yeaaaah. Right. Like I believe *that*!


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