Tuesday, December 20, 2005

December 19 Flu Update--UN Says Battle with Bird Flu being lost

David Nabarro, of WHO, says the world is "losing the battle" against bird flu. One thing about Nabarro is clear--he knows how to make a headline to draw attention to what he is trying to do.

"This H5N1 virus is slowly changing though genetic re-assortment or mutation. The change is slow, but if this virus undergoes the change that leads to sustained human-to-human transmission, then we have a major problem. Then we probably will have the next human pandemic influenza. This is (a) serious risk.

"Virologists who study these things say do not get complacent. It is quite feasible that H5N1 could mutate. The fact that it has taken some years should not lead you to believe that we are through the worst.

"We believe that it is starting to spread into Africa. I do hope that the Malawi case is not H5N1. If they are, then it's very serious."

Recombinomics on why H5N1 in Malawi is likely, in his view.

There's another death in Indonesia. An eight year old boy died there, local lab confirmed H5N1, WHO tests not in yet.

ProMed notes that actually there are reports of two deaths in Indonesia, but one may be a duplicate.

More bird flu outbreaks in Romania.

A new flu detection test has been cleared by the FDA.

Korea reiterates: no pathogenic bird flu.

ProMed has a news collection on Korea.

How do poultry farmers make our after the cull? Nice story about a Chinese farmer who took his settlement, bought date trees, and now sells them.

Kirin shares up on yesterday's news (see below) about a flu antibody.

Vietnam says seven more provinces have bird flu under control.

Kuwait received its first Tamiflu shipment.

The US House approved pandemic funding at only a little over half what the President requested. CIDRAP reports.

Effect Measure has his take on the Congress and what actually happened. Apparently, liability remains a big issue. I don't know how you get vaccine production ramped up without some liability protections.

Effect Measure also has an interesting post on the possibility of intradermal injection of flu vaccine to help boost immune response.

Finally, for all the talk of the bird flu hurting business, The (Toledo) Blade has this on a business gaining--sauerkraut. Reports from Korea that pickled cabbage can fight the flu can be seen in sales results. Read on...

After reports reached the United States in October that scientists at Seoul National University in South Korea had fed an extract of kimchi, a spicy variation of sauerkraut, to 13 chickens infected with avian flu and 11 of them started to recover, sales of sauerkraut have jumped.

The family-run Fremont Co. in Sandusky County, which sells fermented white cabbage under the Frank's and Snowfloss brands, has been a prime beneficiary of rising demand.


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