January 11 Flu UpdateWe are going on a little trip for the holiday weekend, so the next update of this blog will probably be the evening of January 16.
The deaths keep coming. There were two more deaths in China.
There was also a bird flu death in Indonesia.
There is actually some consolation in Turkey, as signs of recovery are comforting.
Helen Branswell on increasing scientific work that indicates bird to human in Turkey--though still preliminary, that's where the signs are posting.
Recombinomics cites reports that say there are some changes in the virus.
Meanwhile, the UN says its needs $1.5B for the bird flu fund.
Meanwhile, a potentially important scientific find has occurred in Turkey. They are found two brothers who are asymptomatic with bird flu.
CIDRAP has a report on this, as well.
ProMed on the asymptomatic cases in Turkey. Mod comment is excellent, noting that some have been calling for seroprevalence studies among people living around birds for some time.
Recombinomics comments as well.
The UN says the virus "may be spreading despite the control efforts."
Remember all those Europeans countries ending their flu programs because the migration season had passed? Those plans are now being extended.
This New Scientist article (abstract) says that stamping the flu out in birds is possible, but would require rich countries to spend money in other countries.
Bloomberg reports the global total has passed 150 (ed note: known) infections around the world. The UN is saying we have warning this time, but need to know what is happening. An Asian meeting is upcoming to discuss monitoring.
Very intersting social flu effect. New Zealand says in 1918 funerals were part of spreading the flu, and that there will be no funerals during a pandemic.
In Pittsburgh, a doctor talks critically about the public health, and says the society cannot conceputalize what would happen in a pandemic.
New Zealand is running a national marketing program to help prepare for the bird flu.
The Journal of Molecular Biology has this report: a new test, called a glycan array, can be used to determine if the bird flu is mutating.
WaPO editorial on Turkey, and what should happen next.
The test, called a glycan array, shows it would take very little change for the H5N1 avian influenza virus to cause a human pandemic, said Ian Wilson of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.
"It would appear that two mutations could change the specificity dramatically going from avian to human," Wilson said in a statement on Tuesday.
There are reports of counterfeit Tamiflu.
In UK, during urgent situations, drug import won't be an issue.
Effect Measure comments on an article calling for a "Manhattan Project" against infectious disease.
ProMed on Romania (more bird cases), China and Turkey.
Another ProMed survey of news.
Via Crofsblogs, a survey says US emergency rooms are not ready for the bird flu.