Saturday, January 21, 2006

January 20 Flu Update

Turkey called out its neighboring countries for "hushing" the bird flu--seemingly referring to Iran and Syria. Its unclear if he is referring to the disease in birds or humans. Either would be a big deal, but if there were human cases in Syria and Iran, we'd look at the current situation a lot differently.
"It is unofficially known that this illness exists in our neighbouring countries which are ruled by closed regimes, but these countries do not declare this because of their systems," Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker told a news conference.

Effect Measure commments on this issue, concluding that he agrees with Turkey--he's suspicious.

Crofsblogs found this--Syria has asked for help in detecting the bird flu.

Also from Crofsblogs, Armenia is asking for the same.

Turkey will be holding an influenza summit in Turkey, with reps from each of the 81 provinces.

ProMed on this conference, and on International cooperation as a whole. Note the mod comment that recently humans were a "sentinel" for animals, and not the other way around.

Thailand contributed 100M baht to the International Flu Fund.

VP Dick Cheney says that the bird flu could cause economic problems for the US.

Now that Hong Kong has confirmed animal cases of bird flu, it is scouring its bird markets for evidence of disease.

There was a brief bird flu scare when a man on an airplance had a fever (?), but it was ruled out (New Zealand).

Roche has responded to studies that say that Tamiflu is of uncertain effectiveness against bird flu by saying it is effective, though the proper human dose has not been determined yet.

Roche also says that its production of pledged Tamiflu (for WHO) is on track.

Portland Biopharm AVI saw its stocks rise based on some positive results on a universal flu vaccine.

Paper in New Zealand notes that in a real pandemic, counting flu cases would be next to impossible.

The Mercy Corps has formed a Avian Influenza Task Force.

The Financial Times (UK) says that smaller businesses are at higher risk for bird flu. Hadn't thought of this, but its exactly true.

India says its has a test that can detect bird flu in 45 minutes.

Article from a Jordanian newspaper which explains the bird flu to people there.

Part IV (and the final part) of Effect Measure's excellent piece explaining the biology of cells, viruses, influenza, and why the mutations in Turkey are worrisome.

ProMed on the Nature stories referenced in the Effect Measure story. Mod says "Interesting data, but no more than the beginning of what may be a long and complex story."

ProMed has this on a Russian scientist, warning people in that country that the bird flu will be back, and identifying that the Southern regions will be hit first, based on migratory patterns.

ProMed on the Iraqi negative determination, with appropriate skepticism.

ProMed confirms previously reported 35F case in China.

Crofsblog on Christian Science preperation for the bird flu.

Recombinomics says that WHO is covering up evidence of larger family clusters in Turkey--"scandalous."


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