Thursday, November 17, 2005

November 17 Flu Update--Roche denies upgraded Tamiflu victim toll and WHO issues warning on vaccines being developed.

As I noted earlier, 12 children in Japan are now said to have died after taking Tamiflu. The FDA is investigating. (Other reports say there are 75 other cases around the world of skin and mental problems, five in the US).

Roche denies a link.

"Roche doesn't believe there's a link between Tamiflu and those deaths, and we are confident that Tamiflu can be used safely both by children and adults," a spokesman for Roche in the United States, Al Wasiewski, told AFP.
WHO issued a warning today that many people have noted before--that vaccines being developed today could be of no use in a pandemic.

'The current virus is not able to become a human pandemic. Even if H5N1 might become the precursor of a human has to go through some changes,' Bekedam told a news conference.

'Those changes might be so substantial that this current virus -- the vaccine (for which) they're working on, might not work,' Bekedam said.

'On the other hand it might work... We hope it might work.'

In Washington, the US Congress rejected a call for $7.1B in emergency flu funds, on the grounds that it should be offset with cuts to other parts of the government.

Meanwhile, the flu marches on.

Two more Indonesian deaths have been linked to the bird flu--note these deaths occurred earlier in November.

China reports its 12-13 flu outbreaks.

WHO update on China and Indonesia.

Effect Measure on whether the human cases in China were really the first human cases.

Note: Recombinomics has also questioned how open the Chinese are really being. Here reports on experts who say that China's efforts shine in comparison to SARS.

APEC Summit story on the flu being on the list for discussion.

Cuba is thinking about making a bird flu vaccine, now.

Britain has reinstated bird shows.

In China, you can now buy bird flu insurance.

From WI--influenza and bird flu are not the same thing.

WHO says it expects bird flu cases in China to rise in humans.

A CDC official writes in the leading Native American publication about the bird flu.

The Alabama public health official is seeking funding for Tamiflu.

Effect Measure of reassortment, recombinomics and genetic drift, and how the presence of H3 and H4 in poultry in Vietnam is raising the spectre of reassortment.

ProMed with a report on the findings in Vietnam and other news from China.

ProMed on a WHO statemet of no evidence of H2H transmission of the flu in China, along with news from Indonesia.


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