Saturday, September 10, 2005

September 9 Flu Update

Flu resistant to Amantadine is spreading, according to research published by the St. Jude Children's Hospital in SE Asia.

In Australia, there is criticism of the government over its bird flu complacency.

Here's an interesting one from Taiwan. This column makes the argument that Taiwan shouldn't prepare for the bird flu.

An article in Science this week is calling for a global surveillance network for all animal infections. Article notes that as many as 70 percent of infections come from animals, and also notes slow reporting in Asia of SARS and flu.

Holland has ordered more tamiflu. If they ever receive their order, they will have enough for 30 percent of their population.

CIDRAP on the WHO warning from this week, more sick birds in Thailand, and the Netherlands Tamiflu order.

CIDRAP writes on a CDC report that calls for more resources to quarantines--meaning, in this case, the entire nation at its ports of entry.

"CDC quarantine stations and the broader quarantine system serve as the nation's insurance policy against catastrophes that might arise from the importation of naturally occurring infectious agents, such as the SARS virus, or man-made threats like an attack using a dangerous biological agent," Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association and chairman of the committee that wrote the report, stated in the news release. "But no single entity currently has the responsibility, authority and resources to orchestrate all the activities of the quarantine system and the traditional responsibilities of quarantine personnel are no longer sufficient to meet the challenges posed by the rapidly increasing pace of global trade and travel and the emergence of new microbial threats."

Recombinomics notes more wild bird flu in Tomsk, Russia.

The ongoing ProMed "dead birds don't migrate debate" goes on, with NPR running a story which features the claims of some scientists that migratory birds don't present a threat. This link leads to a transcript which includes a direct audio link.

Note this:

Karesh: We picked Mongolia because it was right in the middle
of those 2 outbreaks, halfway in between, and we figured
same birds are in Mongolia that are in both Russia and China.

KNOX: Karesh's group counted 55 species of wild birds on
the Mongolian lake...about 65 000 individual birds.

Karesh: None of the healthy birds so far have turned
up to be positive. The live birds don't look like
they're positive. It's only in one dead swan that
we actually found the virus.
The Village Voice has a review of "The Monster at our Door" which is available through Amazon by clicking the link on the right hand side of this page.

Silviu looks at a couple papers which show worrisome changes in the H5n1 virus.


At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article against preparing for bird flu preparation in Taiwan cites development of better treatments for pneumonia and better respirator technologies as a better use of anti-flu monies.

The article was written by an oncologist.

I wonder, how many of his patients develop pneumonia during chemotherapy? How many of his patients require a respirator during part of their course?


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