Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November 14 Flu Update--Flu Outbreaks Continue Across Asia this morning

Human cases of bird flu continue across Asia. Indonesia says a 20F died of suspected bird flu. Other countries are also reporting human cases. Note the false negative, listed below.

There are at least a dozen other suspected cases as governments in Asia struggle to control outbreaks in poultry to prevent more people from catching the virus, which experts fear could trigger a pandemic.

Vietnam and China say they have more suspicious cases in people, while Thailand says a toddler infected with bird flu is recovering.

In the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, a Health Ministry official says tests confirm the woman died from H5N1 and that tests are being conducted on samples from a 13-year-old girl.

Both died over the weekend in the Sulianti Saroso Hospital, Jakarta's hospital for treating bird flu patients.

Initial tests on the girl were negative.

ProMed surveys cases in Asia.

ABC News follows up on this story as well.

China is reporting its ninth outbreak of bird flu. The outbreak is in Huainan. WHO is also in China to try and determine if a young girl who died had bird flu. Note continuing Chinese transparency.

ProMed on the case in China.

Here's a story on the case in Vietnam.

China is also concerned about another poultry worker in Liaoning.

WHO on the lab-confirmed case we reported earlier in Bangkok.

CIDRAP on the outbreaks in Asia.

They'd love to talk about trade at the APEC, but the flu and terrorism keep getting in the way.

South Dakota State University is opening a bird flu testing center.

The Japanese have a bird flu plan, which includes closing schools.

The London Times reports a story that is bouncing around the world---did Tamiflu induce suicides in Japanese teenagers?

Roche says there is "no clear evidence" of a link between the drug and the suicides.

Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) said it had reported the cases of two boys who had taken the drug to Japanese health authorities and that they had been listed as examples of so-called adverse events in the packaging supplied with the antiviral pill.

Concerns over the side effects of the medicine had weighed on shares in Roche and its Japanese partner Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. on Monday after local media said that health authorities in Japan were investigating the deaths.

One teenager died after falling from the window of an apartment block in February while another was killed after walking in front of a truck in February 2004, David Reddy, Roche's head of pandemic sales of Tamiflu, told reporters.

In the case of the boy who fell, there was insufficient evidence to tell whether he had intended to kill himself, Reddy said. The boy had been taking another drug, known to affect the central nervous system, before switching to Tamiflu.

"One of the issues faced in determining the background for any incident is determining the potential contribution of a drug or the contribution of the underlying illness," Reddy said.

"We do not see an imbalance in these types of neuro-psychiatric events for Tamiflu versus the background associated with influenza," he said. "We have not seen an increased rate (of abnormal behaviour)."


Notwithstanding this, the Japanese are still buying Tamiflu.

A company's stock fell in Japan due to the suicide/Tamiflu story.

Effect Measure notes that there is a new line of thinking emerging in the discussions about the US bird flu plan. It started with the idea each community was on its own, and has now moved toward the idea that each home is on its own. And its reached mainstream sources like Ted Koppel.

WHO is pressing Africa to take the bird flu more seriously.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel continues its ongoing strong coverage of bird flu. Here columnist Tom Saler talks about the economic effects of the bird flu.

A Dutch company announces bird flu vaccine efforts.

Ukiah, CA writes on "effective" Tamiflu.

In Ho Chi Minh City, people are told there is "no need" to hoard Tamiflu.

Website tells owners of pet birds not to worry about the bird flu.

Fears of bird flu have sharply reduced attendance at a bird watcher festival in Taiwan.

Interesting bit from Effect Measure. A survey says 80% of people say they go to work sick, but their bosses don't see it that way. The question is, how would that play out during the bird flu...companies short staffed, but people need to stay home. Plus, schools could be closed.

Crofsblogs has this from Romania, where the flu has been found in chickens.

Front page story in USA Today on how US poultry industry fights bird flu.

1 Comments:

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Cheaperholidays said...

What a load of old rubbish bird flu is hyped out of all proportion.

Roche must be laughing all the way to the bank with product that is in effect useless.

Tamiflu the original ozymoron.

Sian

 

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