Wednesday, January 25, 2006

January 25 Flu Update

There was another flu death in China. This is a case we have been talking about for some time, not a new case. People close to the women have been observed, but not gotten sick.

Meanwhile, another patient is out of quarantine in China.

Reuters on China--as well as a new case in Indonesia.

WHO on China.

ProMed spans the globe, so you don't have to. Note two children released from hospital in Turkey.

ProMed has latest from the bird front, too, including the latest on the migratory bird debate.

In Algeria, an old refrain. A poultry farmer died with flu symptoms. Initial tests are negative, but....

Experts are working to allay fears of bird flu.

Yet another meeting in Asia to discuss bird flu.

There's a suspected dead bird in Georgia---they suspect the flu.

This had to be a sight. In Egypt, a farmer decided his chicken chicks had bird flu. So, he dumped them all at the side of the road, to the astonishment of motorists. He has the chicks back...no charges are pending.

Here are the latest WHO case count figures.

A Japanese man says that North Korea had a human bird flu case in December. Certainly no surprise, if true.

As usual, Recombinomics has underground reports showing a more serious situation.

CIDRAP says the Tamiflu gates are open again...and any restrictions imposed last Fall are off.

The USGS is sponsoring a Congressional briefing on bird flu preperation measures.

Japan says it will get to its Tamiflu target next year.

An excellent primer from San Diego on the state of play of the flu virus. Realistic and accurate. Note Niman at the end.

Henry Niman, a veteran flu researcher who once worked at Scripps Research Institute and founded a biotech company that became Ligand Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, believes conversion is inevitable, that H5N1 will become an established human flu virus within the next year or two.

"What that will mean in terms of a pandemic depends on exactly what version of the virus gains human status," he said. "Some versions of H5N1 are milder than others. If one of them prevails, any resulting pandemic might be more like 1957 or 1968. If a more deadly version prevails, it might be 1918 all over."

Carolina story on actual people participating in clinical vaccine trials.

More on vaccines--Glaxo says vaccine on board by the end of 2006.

However, Garnier said it was difficult to say how effective the new vaccine would be given that it was as yet unclear how the H5N1 virus would develop.

"It's all a question of mutation," Garnier said.

"If the mutation is a slight variation on H5N1 the vaccine is likely to be effective ... But if it's a wide mutation, where the new virus is systematically different from H5N1 then ... the vaccine is not going to be effective," Garnier was quoted as saying.


Yesterday, we noted that WHO was calling for earlier reporting in Asia, based on the containment strategy. Effect Measure asks if that's not just a false hope, and if WHO knows it.

Via Crofsblogs, Killer Flu from CNN.

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