Sunday, October 30, 2005

October 30 Flu Update--what makes some people sick and others not...and a preview of US bird flu plan.

Excellent Canada.com story on why some people get sick from bird flu and some don't. Must read. Admitting its guesswork, here are some theories.

Farrar said it's possible some people could have a pre-existing immunity protecting them, but there has been no research to prove that. He also said the type of contact between people and poultry could play a role.
Pre-existing immuity...interesting.

President Bush will go to NIH on Tuesday, and announce the final flu plan. Reports say:

The Bush administration's long-awaited plan on how to fight the next superflu probably will include beefed-up attempts to spot human infections early, both here and abroad, and how to isolate the sick.
Osterholm, as always, notes:

"Understand that a lot of the things we need to do to prepare are not related to magic bullets," said Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota, an infectious-disease specialist who has advised the government on preparations for the next worldwide flu outbreak but has not seen the final version of the plan.

How to provide food supplies, everyday medical care for people who do not have the superflu, basic utilities and even security must be part of the plan, Osterholm and others have counseled the Bush administration.

"In this day and age of a global economy, with just-in-time delivery and no surge capacity and international supply chains -- those things are very difficult to do for a week, let alone for 12 to 18 months of what will be a very tough time," he said.


The AMA (The Australian Medical Associaton) warns against bird flu overreaction, noting to the public that efforts are in place to deal with something that it is not a problem yet. Whether you think its imminent, potential, or unlikely is a matter of perspective.

NE Thailand had an outbreak among birds recently, in an area where no previous outbreaks have occurred. Authorities were surprised.

Business is way down at Chinese poultry markets.

The Economic Times of India wants to know why there is so much "hulabaloo" over bird flu.

In Australia, experts continue to study what would happen in a pandemic. Among their conclusions is that the international travel would cease, an implication cited by Osterholm and others on the human-inflicted toll of bird flu.

In Hong Kong, dry toilet drains are cited as a potential bird flu source.

Reuters reiterates that Iraq is said to be bird flu free.

Russia continues to have bird flu problems, this time in the central part of the country.

Although they are watching closely, there is no HPAI in India.

Preperations reported on in Alabama.

The Pittsburgh Trib-Review is the latest to say that the nation is unprepared...

and that the bird flu is coming faster than expected (Niman quoted here.)

In Grand Rapids, MI, a 100-year old woman talks about what it was like to face the 1918 flu.

"You didn't want to be up, you had such a terrible headache," she said. "I stayed in bed. You didn't care for food. When you're ill like that you don't care. You don't care if you live or die."
There's new technology on a DNA vaccine that may be the best bet to beat the bird flu.

100 companies have contacted Roche to ask about a Tamiflu license...

and WHO is backing the Vietnemese request to make bird Tamiflu.

Effect Measure notes what may become a typical International bird flu transaction. Columbia is forthcoming on some LPAI, and other countries are critical for damaging poultry sales on the continet. As Effect Measure says, "just watch."



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