Thursday, December 01, 2005

December 1 Flu Update--Human to human transmission in Thailand?

You will recall for the last two days we have discussed family clusters in Indonesia. Today, Thailand says its last two cases might be human to human transmission. However, another scientist said the people could have become sick through contact with contaminated soil (by chicken droppings).

Liaoning, a former super hotspot for bird flu, has had its quarantine lifted, as the situation appears to be stabilizing in China.

In a related story, the New York Times says that many experts doubt that there are only three human cases in China, though a poor surveillance system is again considered the culprit.

Three new outbreaks of bird flu among birds in Romania.

In Seattle/Vancouver, they did a joint US-Canada flu response exercise. The conclusion is that the US needs to improve its early detection ability.

Vietnam would like to remind everyone they have no human infections since early September.

In the Philippines, a Rx company has promised to donate $1.25M worth of free Tamiflu.

Chicken sales are down throughout the Arab world.

Here's another story on the next battleground--Africa. Morocco and Algeria are making bird flu plans.

Fear of bird flu has caused 2,700 doses of seasonal flu vaccine to be smuggled into Hong Kong from China.

The Air Force Magazine tells its readers that military personel will be among the first to get vaccine during a pandemic. (Scroll down for the bird flu part of the story)

WTVN in Columbus, OH, did a Town Hall on Avian Influenza.

Here's a pandemic 101 story from Edmonton.

Joining the FDA, Japanese pediatricians don't think Tamiflu played a role in 12 deaths.

Holy Outsourcing! Indian generic drug company Ranbaxy has an agreement with Roche to make Tamiflu for the US market.

Recombinomics looks at how recently released genetic results from birds is effecting vaccine usage among birds in China, among other effects.

Recombinomics also says that recent GenBank results show that there are a number of H5s along the migratory pathway.

ProMed on arrests in China for fake flu vaccines (noted earlier here.) Article says this has been an ongoing problem.

ProMed also has more avian specifics on what types of birds were found sick in Romania.

New Zealand is trying to bring Relenza to the country to help fight Tamiflu shortages.

This article says Seoul is studying making its own Tamiflu.

The Malaysian cabinet has approved RM60 million in Tamiflu purchases.

India is establishing an emergency stockpile of Tamiflu.

For those long-time readers, you will know that from time to time, we have had passed along reports of dramatic rumors from Boxun, an underground Chinese website which apparently made its name during SARS. Many of the reports have not seemed to pan out. Here, Crofsblog has a critique of Boxun. (This is interesting).

Effect Measure writes about Nature magazine on the importance of blogging in the scientific community.

Here's some down home flu protection advice from New Philadelphia, OH.

Putting it simply, if it’s wet and it comes from someone else’s body, don’t touch it.

That’s the single most important piece of advice Barb Varrati of the Occupational Medicine Center of Tuscarawas County at New Philadelphia said she can give anyone who wants to stop infectious diseases – anything from the common cold to HIV and on the radar most recently, the avian flu.

“It sounds so stupid and simple, but it works for so many types of disease,” said Varrati, a registered nurse and former certified infection control practitioner. “Even when we see a pandemic flu come, things like washing your hands, getting enough sleep and eating right are still a good rule of thumb.”

Its now an insult...a Philippines opposition movement has insulted an official by calling him a "bird flu carrier."


At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the article says that the Military will be one of the first to get the Avian Flu Vaccine shots, once it's created. But as it hasn't been created yet, what good is that reassurance? Also, what happens to "Dependents" is not addressed. Since the US has just put in it's order for it's share of Tamiflu, will there be enough for the Congress, Staff, White House, it's Staff, Hospital workers, active duty military, their dependents, firemen, police, EMT workers, clergy, funeral directors, etc...

The article at

"Fighting Avian Flu

Military personnel will be among the first Americans to receive a vaccine for bird-transmitted flu, Winkenwerder told the House subcommittee.

“We’re been concerned about, and working on the issue of preparedness and the ability to respond to, a pandemic avian influenza-type circumstance for well over a year,’’ he said.

Since the spring of 2004, he said, DOD has been sharing information on a potential avian flu epidemic with combatant commands to develop response plans.

The department also contracted to buy almost 2.5 million doses of Tamiflu for delivery starting in November.

The neuraminidase inhibitor can reduce the severity and duration of illness caused by seasonal influenza. Unfortunately, there is no commercially available vaccine yet known to protect humans from the H5N1 virus, the avian flu strain that has appeared in Asia and Europe.

Defense officials worked with federal health agencies to provide several million doses of any H5N1 vaccine to military personnel when available.

The Defense Department also is involved in worldwide surveillance for an avian flu, collecting samples through laboratories in Indonesia and Thailand. Both are “important sentinel surveillance sites” for an avian flu outbreak, Winkenwerder said."

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Orange said...

Thanks for that. I have corrected the link, and thanks for reading.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to know what is going to happen..

A Similar site with good information as this site

Bird flu pandemic information


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