Monday, January 02, 2006

January 1 Flu Update--Suspected bird flu death...in Turkey.

The four cases Recombinomics found being tested in Turkey yesterday are now six cases, and one suspected case has died. Obvously, if human bird flu has moved to Turkey, its big news, and if six people got it at once, its an even bigger story.

Reuters on the Turkey story.

Recombinomics on the implications of the Turkey situation.

ProMed has this on the Turkey story, sounding a "wait and see" note.

The diagnosis of H5N1 avian influenza virus infection appears to be based on clinical assessment and lack of response to treatment with antibiotics. Previous human cases of H5N1 avian influenza virus infection recorded in East Asia have been sporadic in distribution and have rarely involved more than a single person. The simultaneous occurrence of 6 cases in the same region would be unprecedented, particularly in the absence of on-going extensive infection of domestic poultry. Furthermore, there has been no report of direct infection of a human from migratory birds. Further details are awaited concerning the outcome of laboratory tests and concerning the extent of avian disease in the region.
ProMed also has a suspected flu death in Indonesia which we reported a couple of days ago.

WAPO has this review of the state of US flu preperations. Our government officials say they are making progress, which I am sure they are.

Gerberding said some immediate measures to combat the flu in the U.S. and worldwide would include isolating the sick and their immediate contacts. That might entail closing schools, large meetings or otherwise separating the afflicted from the rest of the community.

But she added: "I don't think any of us are thinking about those kinds of Draconian measures to really completely quarantine a community or even quarantine a country."

A paper in the United Arab Emirates says bird flu dominated 2005.

The pandemic plan in Hawaii is being unveiled...check out the projected scenarios.

The Flu is on this paper's what to expect for 2006.

Brandon, Manitoba paper says 2005 is when the flu got on the public's radar.

Here's a good story on the migration patterns for birds, intervewing local experts in San Antonio, Texas.


Migration routes do bring Asian birds in contact with American birds in the Arctic. But scientists in Alaska have been testing those birds for some time now, without finding H5N1.

"Migratory waterfowl certainly do mix on the nesting grounds in the Arctic," Dr. Max Coats, a veterinarian with the Texas Animal Health Commission, said at a pandemic flu conference in Austin recently. "The preponderate movement of this virus (from Asia to Europe) appears to be going the wrong direction to come to us — although it's not impossible. But for this season, I would suggest we are without risk at this time."

More reality check on Tamiflu. All Things Considered ran this on the role of Tamiflu in a pandemic.

In testimony before the House Commitee on International Relations, Fauci said, "I want to caution the committee that we cannot equate stockpiling and availability of Tamiflu with preparedness. We have no hard scientific data of how well this antiviral will perform under the conditions of a pandemic."

Fauci told the committee that Tamiflu doesn't cure even everyday flu.

Crofsblogs on the story that bird flu is among the top concerns in Asia...and wondering if the same is true here.

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