Monday, November 28, 2005

November 28 Flu Update--Is North Korea hiding a bird flu outbreak?? Meanwhile, China says the flu virus is mutating.

As North Korea announces more bird flu protection measures, it makes the world wonder if they aren't having outbreaks.

The Chinese say the virus as it has effected humans in China is different from the virus in Vietnam.

Its the signal seminal question we ask everyday in monitoring the flu....is it human to human yet. CIDRAP summarizes research from the CDC that highlights the relatively large number of family clusters, which could indicate H2H transmission.

Family clusters don't necessarily mean the virus is spreading from person to person, the report notes. They may simply mean that relatives were exposed to H5N1-infected poultry at the same time.

However, in three family clusters, all in Vietnam, the first and second patients fell ill more than a week apart, which suggests that they probably didn't acquire the virus from the same source at the same time, the report says.

To be fair, for all you Recombinomics haters out there, this is a point he has been making for a year.

To date, word was that bird flu was in 23 of 33 Indonesian provinces. Today, officials there concede the numbers is probably even higher. They also confirmed a dead man there was the nation's eighth fatality.

Furthermore, there is a new human case in Indonesia.

As promised, WHO experts are in Anhui, China.

CIDRAP sums up the news for the last few days, over the long US Holiday Weekend.

Interesting story on a meeting of Canadian medical ethicists who are asking for ethical standards to be set up before the pandemic, based on experiences with SARS.

The report concludes that flu pandemic plans universally need to address four key issues, including health workers' duty to provide care during a communicable disease outbreak; restricting liberty in the interest of public health by measures such as quarantine; priority setting, including the allocation of scarce resources such as medicines; and global governance implications, such as travel advisories.


Helen Branswell has this story, as well.

Australia will be hosting a bird flu drill as well.

In France, the poultry industry is saying that bird flu scares are costing the poultry industry 100M euros.


What's bad for the poultry industry is good for the....star anise industry? Sales are skyrocketing in China for star anise, which produces the acid that is the key ingredient in Tamiflu
The Netherlands was the first nation in Europe to adopt strong bird flu protection measures, and they will be relaxed in January.

MSNBC says companies are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward bird flu. Until then, its business as usual.

Thailand and the Philippines are free to make Tamiflu, says Roche.

India will be producing Tamiflu by the middle of next year.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand they are out of Tamiflu.

Baxter, an international Rx firm, is going to help Indonesia try to develop a human bird flu vaccine.

Rob Webster, MD, native Kiwi and US flu expert is in his native land telling them they should, on an emergency basis, be prepared to develop and produce their own bird flu vaccine.

ProMed surveys the news in Indonesia and Romania from the last 24 hours.

ProMed also has a comment that when looking at migratory birds, the scope needs to be beyond waterfowl--including sparrows that drink water from ponds where migratory birds have been.

Crofsblog has this report that the bird from may be in the Camerooons.

Effect Measure notes that WHO is doing a seroprevalence study in a "healthy " Indonesian village, looking for evidence of past infection. Revere feels its important work, and should be done throughout SE Asia.

Happy Anniversary to Effect Measure--one year! (Our is less than one month away). Congratulations on a site that is always enlightening and stimulating. No one interested in this subject should miss it for even one day.

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