October 25 Flu Update--HHS Secretary Says Flu Could Hit US Next YearSecretary Leavitt says bird flu might hit US next year.
A WHO official said on a radio talk show that personal stockpiles of Tamiflu might help families survive.
Later the same day, in the face of soaring personal sales, Roche has suspended Tamiflu sales.
Indonesia has confirmed its fourth flu death, and China is reporting a new outbreak in Eastern Anhui.'
Here's an official press release on the Indonesian situation.
Bird Flu has hit Germany, with dead birds being tested. The only question is whether it is H5N1.
Bloomberg says 30 nations are looking to loosen their patent laws to get Tamiflu produced--intersting on an economic, and a viral front. Is there too much focus on something the virus can literally just step around?
USA Today has the same story.
Concern is beginning to focus on the global trade in birds as a flu carrier, thanks to the parrot incident in Britain.
Thailand is planning a national flu workshop.
Canada hosts flu summit, and the PM speaks.
The British delegate to the same conference says people should "not panic."
The US and Canada have re-stated that they are committed to cooperation in fighting the bird flu.
If it wasn't clear before, it is now. Migratory birds are carrying bird flu.
Dr. Walter Boyce, is the director of the Wildlife Health Center at the University of California, Davis. He says the migrating birds in the Pacific flyway on the west coast of the United States often began their journey as far away as Siberia.
"Clearly bird flu is on the move. Our concern is wild birds as they migrate, might carry the bird flu with them. Our goal is to detect what viruses they are carrying and basically have an early warning that something might be getting ready to happen"
Increasingly, African states are stepping up import bans and surveillance programs to monitor bird flu. One nation where migratory birds have already arrived is testing fowl for birds.
Hong Kong is preparing for the flu--based on what it learned from SARS.
China is getting mixed reviews for handling the bird flu.
Here's the official Chinese press version of the nation's efforts on bird flu.
Helen Branswell on Canada increasing its Tamiflu stock--and adding Relenza as well.
Relenza - the trade name for the drug zanamivir - is sold by GlaxoSmithKline. Some antiviral experts believe the drug may be better for some people, including pregnant women, than Tamiflu because it goes directly to the site of infection and less drug is absorbed into the blood stream.
CIDRAP has this on the FAO going to Indonesia to help "jump start" lethargic flu efforts there.
A reader emailed this link to me--its Martin Luther on the ethics of fleeing in the face of disease--in his case, the plague, but with lessons applicable to today.
Wendy Orent, a favorite target in the flu blogosphere, had this to write in the LA Times. She is in the "don't worry" school of thought. Check it out for yourself.
Effect Measure takes on the Orent article...he doesn't think much of it.
Recombinomics has this indigenous report that says that 1,134 Thais are suspected of having bird flu. If true, this would clearly have major implications.
Recombinomics has news of a suspicious human case in Portugal, which would be a first in Europe.
HPAI confirmed in Hunan.
ProMed on the private bird importer who was importing the dead parrot, and on news from Thailand.
ProMed with a report on Germany.
Crofsblogs on North Korea reporting that it is fighting the bird flu.