Thursday, December 15, 2005

December 15 Flu Update--New Case In China

The Chinese have confirmed their sixth case of bird flu. It is in new area for human infection--but is adjacent to an area with known problems. He is a peddler.

The news from the vaccine front is good, says Reuters. Note, its still a two-dose deal, though the doses are each 1/3 as large as the ones tested without an ajuvant.

A 30 microgram dose with an adjuvant -- an additive that boosts the immune response -- in a two-dose regimen showed an immune response consistent with the requirements of regulators to approve seasonal influenza vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur said.

Effect Measure picks up on this story, noting ongoing uncertainty, and that the vaccine is still four time weaker than the seasonal flu vaccine.

The Esteemed Helen Branswell has her take on this story as well. As always, this is the best read available.

That dosing regime would be a political and public health nightmare, reducing the combined global output to enough vaccine to protect 75 million people in the first year of a pandemic. At two doses of 30 micrograms, the combined output would be enough to protect 225 million people in the first year.

"It's a lot better than two doses of 90," said British vaccine expert Dr. Iain Stephenson said of the Sanofi findings. "(But) it's still pretty worrying, isn't it?"

CIDRAP on the vaccine story as well

Yesterday, we quoted a Russian doctor telling people in that country they had nothing to fear for the bird flu for two years. Effect Measure notes that his track record is not too good.

16 ASEAN countries pledge to overcome the bird flu.

Interesting story. Expert says "frenzy" of unilateral national efforts is hurting the overall attempts to fight the flu.

"It's fragmenting the ability to create a global strategy for the purposes of protection and response," Fidler told a teleconference organized by the American Society of International Law.

Chicago Tribune covers story we ran earlier--Ukraine confirmation of H5N1 in Crimea.

USDA is working to protect US birds, including testing migratory birds on the West Coast.

Romania is seeing the bird flu Bulgaria.

New Zealand is setting up flu clinics--primarily to keep their stock of GPs healthy themselves.

About half of Australian pharmacists surveyed feel the nation will be ready for bird flu.

Vancouver WA says its not ready for the bird flu.

The EU says Tamiflu safe in kids...

and it doesn't need special warning labels.

Montreal looks back on 2005...and the bird flu.


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