Saturday, December 03, 2005

December 3 Flu Update--Is Tamiflu useless?

A Vietnemese physician quoted in the Times (UK) says that Tamiflu has been useless in treating bird flu patients there (thanks to Crofsblogs). We have joined others in wondering if the world isn't investing too much in the Tamiflu solution, and we still wonder.

As we reported yesterday, there's been a first outbreak of bird flu in the Ukraine, and the government has declared a state of emergency in four areas.

Here's a more official government report, confirming HPAI as well.

Promed on the Ukraine and Crimea.

Recombinomics has comments which suggest the Ukranian version is more lethal than the Russian version was.

There's H5 in Zimbabwe, according to this ProMed report, with confirmation needed to confirm if it is N1.

ProMed compiles three media reports on bird flu planning and preparation in Africa.

In Indonesia, an eighth death from bird flu has been confirmed (death was earlier this week).

Ethiopia is testing the dead pigeons for bird flu.

The Chicago Sun-Times has a follow up from yesterday's story about the similarity of chest X-rays in people who die from H5N1. This story looks at treatment implications for physicians.
Effect Measure weighs in on the X-ray story, as well, noting how little we know clinically.

There are still more bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam.

Recombinomics notes there are a total of 304 outbreaks in Vietnam.

A Pan-American flu plan was approved in Brazil.

Dateline, Seneca County, Ohio. (Tiffin). The county Health Department is working with area and business on what to do during a pandemic. Interesting.

Payne also said the health department is in the infant stages of organizing a volunteer-based medical reserve corps in the county. This corps is to consist of people interested in helping should a medical emergency present itself. Payne encourages not only doctors, veterinarians, dentists and nurses to volunteer, but anyone who wishes to help. Certification and training are free.

Alongside the volunteers and the health district would work area hospital staff and those from the Emergency Medical Agency.

More interesting stuff from Edmonton, where a local casket maker thinks it is his duty to be ready to step up in a pandemic.

Winn has thought a lot recently about a killer influenza. "I believe that we as a company should be prepared to handle a pandemic if it comes," he says, admitting he worries about staffing during a health crisis.

Winn and others in the industry -- from funeral home operators to students training to be embalmers -- are quietly preparing for the increase in deaths that would accompany the next influenza pandemic.

"Unfortunately, I've had no choice but to think about it because it does impact my business," says Bryce Laveck, owner of Capital Transfer Services Inc., Edmonton's largest body-transp-orting firm.

"If all my guys are healthy, I can handle the increase in volume, no problem. If they get sick, I will definitely notice the ability to manage those calls."

Here's what appears to be an op-ed in the Jakarta Post on overuse of Tamiflu.

ProMed cites an official report from China. Mod comment says that the outbreaks appear to be isolated, and stamped out with success.

H5N1 says there are continuing rumors of unknown veracity that H2H is more prevalent in Indonesia than we know.

Crofsblogs points us to an article in which the Deputy Health Minister of Vietnam says there is a "new and virulent" strain of bird flu. Holding out the possibility of a translation problem, here is the article.


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