Thursday, February 24, 2005

February 24--Flu Update--Hiatus here

This blog will be on hiatus until March 7 due to overseas travel.

UN says fighting bird flu in agriculture is vital

Canadians plan meeting on pandemic prep

Report says US Government has 2 million bird flu vaccines

Bang! Recomibomics shoots down any myth of effective anti viral stockpiling.

Medical advisor to the Swedish government says he and other doctors are hoarding antivirals to protect their families. This is the kind of social breakdown we can all anticipate in any worst-case scenario.

WHO official at Vietnam meeting says that comprehensive strategy is needed.

Recombinomics says Vietnam and Thailand flu tests generate false negatives, casting further doubt over the assessments of human to human transmission.

Recomibinomics says unexplained deaths in Sri Lanka could be the beginning of the pandemic.

Great post from Effect Measure which talks about bioterrorism and influenza, and what the CDC gets and doesn't get. Must read.

Pro Med scans the headlines

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

February 23 Flu Update--WHO says "imminent"

WHO says that pandemic is "imminent." He was speaking at the beginning of the flu conference in Vietnam.

Gerberding of CDC says coverage of yesterday's statements were "overblown" and that a pandemic is not imminent, US is prepared.

Reacting to earlier news about flies having flu in other Asian countries, Thailand acts to quell fear of flies.

Vietnam pledges cooperation.

Avian Flu called "endemic" by UN official.'

CDC says that rich world shirking bird flu duty.

The idea that got me interested in the first place--flu as a bioweapon. "See the Scourge You Know" in links at right.

Bird flu spreading in Southern Vietnam...Recombinomics on an uneven advance.

Recombinomics on expanding host range and presenting symptoms. Clinically, flu is difficult and getting worse.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

More coverage of CDC comments, confirmation of flu being transmitted person to person, though rarely.

Typical quality BBC story on the flu

Add another species, as Japan reports that flies had the flu in 1994.

Vietnam reports it is "working hard" to fight bird flu.

CDC bird flu news bad for chicken stocks

Recombinomics on flu and bioterror

Recombinomics again reports on the "scandalous" nature of government wishful thinking

Monday, February 21, 2005

February 21 Flu Update--Very information rich environment today.

Welcome to our many, many new visitors from whatREALLYhappened. Enjoy the news, though it may be a bit more mainstream than you like!

Really interesting Q&A in New Yorker on the bird flu...actual article not online.

Here, the CDC head has startling words on the bird flu, one of which is "ominous."

Fascinating Scientific American article on computer simlulations of flu transmission in major cities. This article captures what fascinates me about the flu. How it spreads and how we deal with it are the closest measure of how we live and relate as I can imagine. Example: if we were asked to donate our entire antiviral stock to Thailand with the hope it would stop the spread, but we knew if it didn't we would be defenseless, would we?

Nancy Cox of CDC on bird flu preperations. She notes a fine line between preparing people and scaring them.

Recombinomics is slaying dragons today, first on the fatality rate. Says it is convetional wisdom that real rate isn't in the 70% range, but says there is no evidence it isn't. Sobering thoughts on a very virulent virus.

Next, the human-human transmission myth. Recombinomics urges a distinction between transmission in casual contact, and transmission in caregiver situations, arguing that the second has clearly occurred, and, in fact, human-human has been achieved.

Effect Measure on the "Sword of Damocles analogy" used in Vietnam. Further info from Dr. Cox of CDC says that the virus has mutated for human tranmission, with Effect Measures says is a first.

Literary definition of "Sword of Damocles," meaning ever present peril.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Feb 20 Flu Update

Vietnam responds to non-respiratory flu cases. Says its "possible" some H5N1 cases were missed.

its not H5N1, but three sudden flu deaths are causing concern. A point...the 1918 flu was unlike anything that came before it. We cannot assume that the next pandemic will not be equally novel.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

February 19 Flu Update

Vietnam stepping up bird culls---NEJoM article heightens alarm

Recombinomics on bird flu re-emerging in Vietnam and new WHO disease definition causes new look at impact of bird flu to date

ProMed on yesterday's report on underestimating current flu cases.

Friday, February 18, 2005

February 18 Flu Update

Canadians ready to monitor infectious diseases

If you start to cluck it failed--Vietnam to test bird vaccine on humans.

Bird flu recurs in 6 Vietnamese provinces

WHO recommends stockpiling bird flu vaccine--had previously counseled waiting until pandemic started. Who cites fear the bird flu hear for two years--could no emergence among humans in that time be unthinkable?

Who says in this story that policy not changed...

Effect Measure on local planning--hotels as hospital beds?

Thailand testing vaccine.

Recombinomics says monitoring "scandalous" as WHO official admits range of disease tested for bird flu was too narrow

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Feburary 17 Flu Update--Has everything changed?

Today's NE Journal of Medicine says that a boy who died of flu in Vietnam did so from diarrhea, but no respiratory symptoms. The implications of this are staggering, and relate closely to the work of Recombinomics. Essentially, it means flu might be far more widespread in Vietnam than we suspect, setting the clock forward on a potential pandemic. The article also specifies two cases of misdiagnosed encephalitis. Here's the Journal summary of the article.

Right on cue, Recombinomics reminds us that in 1918 many cases were misdiagnosed, and broader screening of suspected cases is vital.


Oxford researchers say flu adapting to mammals

Vietnam continues to report some areas with no outbreaks, others not so lucky

Another country heard from...Recombinomics notes suspicous mass pig deaths in India. The encephalitis thing really opens the issue up.

Recombinomics follows up on meningo in the Phillipines, and notes some clusters worthy of analysis.

Recombinomics on the neutrotopics cases

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

February 16 Flu Update

CIDRAP notes optimistic words from Vietnam

Not to be outdone on the good news front, Vietnam back again telling the good news

UN is a killjoy, says pandemic has to be taken seriously, announces Ho Chi Minh City Conference

Vietnam and Cambodia ready to cooperate against bird along borders

Thai government urged to stockpile flu vaccine

Recombinomics on the "complicated" flu in Cambodia, and what this means.

ProMed on spreading influenza in three Asian nations.

Effect Measure writes WHO, asks for clarity on issues in order to better understand what is and isn't happening. Correctly, Effect Measure makes the point that with the gloabl Internet community, WHO has to respond to a broader audience--its not just for scientists in a closed lab any more.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

February 15 Flu Update--Today's Keywords "In apparent contrast"

This is reassuring. Thai PM suspends bird flu measures because the might cause "panic."

In apparent contrast, Recombinomics writes on 2 more likely human bird flu cases in Thailand

Vietnam claims continuing success over bird flu

In apparent contrast, Recombinomics notes ongoing new bird flu cases, lack of total certainty on no new human cases

Chinese offical calls for bird flu protection measures

ProMed on Thailand and Vietnam news

Valentine Day Flu the focus shifting from Vietnam to Thailand?

No New Bird Flu Cases in Vietnam in Two weeks...

but a new bird flu case in Thailand

Vietnam reports 7 of 34 provinces bird flu free and allows resumption of breeding activities (for the birds)

Story notes that poultry production isn't changed, the whole story will be played again soon.

Recombination in Korea--Recombinomics replies in part to Effect Measure post

ProMed on the 7 Vietnam provinces that are bird flu free

Effect Measure nicely summarizes the stories listed above

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Feburary 13 Flu Update

As promised, Washington Post on Flu Hunt.

Washington Post on economic effect of chicken culling on Thai farmers

Thai province continues bird flu measures

Bird flu measures implemeneted in past in Delaware--a review

Recombinomics is back....on a bird flu case in Thailand.

ProMed on Vietnam situation...Cautiously optimstic.

ProMed on new Thailand cases

February 12 Flu Update--Brief. Check back for Washington Post Coverage on Sunday.

Effect Measure on bird flu sites, first promoting this site (thank you!) and second, noting that since his review (noted below) of Recombinomics, has been silent--no site updates at all. If these events are connected, its a shame, because the Effect Measure site gave a thumbs-up look on Recominomics. Dialogue is what blogging is about. Hopefully, there's another explanation, and Recombinomics will be back.

More evidence of a slow down, Vietnam reports no new outbreaks in 7 provinces

ProMed Mail on culling fowl in Thailand.

Friday, February 11, 2005

February 11 Flu Update--Slow Day

If you ask me, Vietnam is a little TOO eager to publicize bird flu monitoring in Cambodia.

Thailand to cull 2.7M free-range ducks

FDA testimony on flu vaccines--includes section on pandemic preparedness

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Recombinomics Evaluated

We quote recombinomics here a lot. He's provacative, educated, and a great source of news on the flu. I think he adds to my site, and most of you who are reading this came here from his site. My blog is to keep track of the news, and leave the evaluating to others. In that vein, Effect Measure evaluates Recombinomics today. See what you think.

February 10 Flu Update

Thailand prepares vaccine for birds

Thai-Alert for bird flu in Bangkok

Ho Chi Minh Daily says bird flu abating in Vietnam

Thai boy suspected of bird flu cleared

Geese falling from sky reported on ProMed to be a toxin, not infectious

Chinese Scientist clears up media reports about new bird flu virus

Recombinomics on the Thai boy cleared

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

February 9 Flu Update--WHO surveillance moves to Cambodia

Update 9 from WHO announces flu surveillance in Cambodia.

Recombinomics says Thai case negative

Saskatchewan stockpiles antiviral medicine

Whoever heard of broccoli flu? Vegeterians say fight bird flu, don't eat meat

Bird Flu spreading in Central Vietnam

Recombinomics comments on WHO update

Recombinomics on complex genetics of avian flu in Vietnam.

ProMed on the Cambodia surveillance

ProMed on WHO announcement. Note at the bottom, no confirmed human cases in the last week

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

February 8 Flu Update

Voice of America Flu Story

Vietnam hopes to end bird flu outbreak by end of month

Two Bird Flu patients released from hospital. Either virus is getting less virulent, or people are more aware and seeking treatment sooner or for less serious symptoms.

Recombinomics on the Korean genetic instability of the flu, calls monitoring "scandalous" again.

Recombinomics on a new bird flu case likely in Thailand.

ProMed on an "abating" bird flu crisis in Vietnam...could the crisis have passed? By perception, new outbreaks and cases seem to have been lessening.

Monday, February 07, 2005

February 7 Flu Blog

CTV says the end to the free range duck has come in Vietnam

Liverpool firms works on flu vaccine

Recombinomics on different fatality rates in Northern and Southern Vietnam, and what is says about the sequences

ProMed on Chinese bird flu vaccine.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

February 6 Flu Update

Recombinomics comments on CDC Advisory posted here yesterday

China claims vaccine for bird flu, plans to vaccinate ducks and geese.

Cambodia confirms bird flu outbreak

36 new bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam yesterday alone.

Earlier we reported on Geese falling out of the sky in Oregon. Could it be sudden death, a bird flu symptom. Recombinomics looks in.

ProMed has the story of American poultry producers who are looking for legal protection to prevent "panic" based on public knowledge of source of bird flu. Commentary (keep reading) shows why this is misguided and unlikely to be effective.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

February 5 Flu Update

New York Times on Mystery Man who survived flu in the "duck pudding" case.

Recombinomics makes case that human-human transmission represents significant number of cases,and that the understated rate is misleading, especially to family members. WHO has warned family members to take precautions when caring for flu patients.

CDC h5N1 flu update IDs as "important public health threat," discusses human-human track record.

Update on Vietnam ban on poultry farming.

Cambodia and Vietnam teaming up on bird flu fight.

Hundreds of bird in Thailand have died

Canadian Geese falling out of the sky in British Columbia

Friday, February 04, 2005

Feburary 4 Flu Update

Recombinomics looks at clusters for human to human transmission...

Note: Even granting these arguments, disease does not appear to be highly contagious.

London Times says science "flying blind." Article is measured, not irrational.

The New Zealand Herald on that country's preperations for avian influenza

The Globe and Mail weighs in on Canada's flu preperations

Laos ups border surveillance

Bad news for the ducks--duck breeding suspended in Vietnam

New Bird Flu Infection

Recombinomics raises concerns that nerve problems in birds with flu may mean that other nerve diseases could be flu misdiagnosed.

Wild Bird Flu in Thailand

Thursday, February 03, 2005

February 3 Flu Update

Vietnam seeks international aid in battling bird flu

International Herald Tribune Editorializes for help to Vietnam

New Bird Flu case in Vietnam

Bird Flu in two provinces in Thailand, Recombinomics wonders if its approaching the Laotian border

Recombinomimcs says that there's concern that lax testing is missing human transmission patterns

Recombinomimcs on a potentially unstable flu bug

Promed update on Thai situation

Promed says that the family of dead Vietnemese woman negative for H5N1...this would indicate against efficient human-human transmission.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog Day Flu Report

WHO Update 8 covers new Cambodian case, little else.

Vietnam reports new bird flu case

Recombinomics on the changing nature of the flu virus---new demographics, more survivors, more questions.

ProMed news summary

Duck slaughter begins in Vietnam

New Scientist says 1.5 BILLION could die in influenza pandemic. At 25% of the world population, this estimate would clearly be a worst-case scenario. For example, the 75% mortality rate is probably too high, given the strong possibility that people who get less sick aren't reported.

Russians studying Bird Flu.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

February 1 Flu Update--Another Cambodia

Cambodia death is #13

Recombinomics calls Cambodian monitoring "scandalous"

ProMed has this news and other flu updates

Recominomics says poultry proudction halted in Vietnam.

Does this sound familiar? Strict--I'm talking STRICT--bird flu control measures in Vietnam.

January 31 Flu Blog

12th Flu Death in Vietnam

CDC Weighs in with a report which is chilling in its scientific understatement. New info is that the strain in Thailand will be resistant to amantadine and rimantadine, leaving only two antivirals left.

Bloomberg on Vietnam and Thailand situation

Bangkok Post on Thai prevention measures

Hanoi plans late February Bird Flu Conference

Vietnam News Agency on further bird flu spread

Cambodian bird flu case in Vietnam

More possible meningo-like disease in Phillipines. Recombinomics continues to call for H5N1 flu testing of these cases, which have similar fatality rates to the flu.

Pro-Med on Thailand report

ProMed Summarizes the news