Friday, November 25, 2005

November 25 Flu Update

New outbreaks in China and Vietnam--and the Indonesians are producing their own Tamiflu, which they say has no patent protection there.

Inner Mongolia (in China) has a new flu outbreak.

WHO confirmation of new human case in Vietnam.

Also, there's a new outbreak in a province in Vietnam.

A new twist on culling--Vietnam is poisoning piegons.

ProMed on the new Chinese outbreak, the Vietnemese pigeon program, and China providing 1.5M Yuan to Vietnam for bird flu prep.

The controversey over the Japanese scientists--what he said and what he didn't say--continues. This should be the end, though, as it turns out he wasn't in China recently, etc. Certainly he was not providing corroboration of underground "tip of the iceberg" reports.

A WHO official on a mission to Central China notes that there are still many challenges to helping people understand the bird flu, and that education continues to be a big challenge.

The Chinese flu vaccine--through entering human trials now--is a year away from market.

Tests in Nova Scotia found H5 positive ducks, but no word if they are N1. (These generally tend to be LPAI.)

Recombinomics on reports of continuing cases in the Volga Delta.

Yesterday, we cited a Recombinomics report that says there may be a human H5N1 case in Israel. Today, Recombinomics writes on data that suggests that the version of H5N1 the Israeli may have could closed to human adaptability.

ProMed confirming the Israeli case---the patient has survived.

Taiwan has required Roche to license Tamiflu to the National Board of Health.

The Sultan of Brunei is putting $12M into flu prevention.

The Toronto Board of Health is doing some planning for a pandemic. Very interesting stuff, excerpted below. Based on this report, and the Council of Foreign Relations conference earlier this week, the magic phrase is "surge capacity." Repeat it and win.

Toronto does not have the capacity to deal with the number of patients that would flood into the city's health-care facilities if a flu pandemic struck, the Toronto Board of Health says.

As many as 14,000 people could require hospitalization during the first wave of an influenza pandemic, according to the draft version of the health board's pandemic plan, released yesterday.

But a survey of Toronto hospitals found "there is no surge capacity to deal with the expected volume of patients who will seek medical attention during a pandemic influenza. There will be a shortage of health-care providers to keep the doors of Toronto hospitals open," the draft plan states.

Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, a GP from Britain, has this article saying the flu issue is a drama turned into a crisis.

Yesterday we reported that was bird flu in the Indonesian province of Aceh. Follow up story to remind us this was the first outbreak in the region, which is also where the tsunami hit.

Tamiflu will not be available in New Zealand until May.

In Trinidad, there's a festival coming, but this year it will be without the colored bird feathers imported from Asia. And all because of the bird flu.


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