Sunday, January 08, 2006

January 8 Flu Update

The Bird Flu continues to race West through Turkey, hitting the capital today. There are 3 human cases in Ankara. If you read the story, you'll see the first signs of an impact on Turkey--tourism warnings and bans.

Helen Branswell is the first I have seen with any data on the genetic sequencing of the Turkey in people in Turkey. Initially, it does not appear to contain a significant mutation, but testing is not complete.

Perdue also said a preliminary comparison of viral samples taken from human cases and from affected poultry suggests the viruses that have infected these children remain closely related to the viruses circulating in chickens.

However, further genetic analysis is needed before authorities can rule out the possibility that this sudden surge of cases signals a mutation or mutations that is allowing the virus to transmit more easily from birds to people.

"All the genes haven't been sequenced. But it's good news that at least in the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, the genes that have been partially sequenced, that they're very closely related," Perdue said from Geneva.

Effect Measure comments on this story, with a detailed analysis of why this isn't especially reassuring.

Recombinomics agrees, saying ease of infection probably points to some genetic change.

Specifically, Russia is warning against travel to Turkey.

Local Turkey print story on the spread of the disease...puts the total number being treated for suspected bird flu @ 48.

Also, the same paper reports quarantines in 11 cities.

Reuters on the family from Turkey which has experienced all three deaths...this is a heart rending story.

The New York Times reports on the latest cases from Turkey.

The Ankara cases have the most alarming implications since bird flu has never been reported in that part of the country. It is a relatively well-off area, where it is not the norm for humans and animals to live under one roof. The boys infected had contact with dead wild ducks, said a ministry spokesman, and the man with a dead chicken.

ProMed went nuts today. A round up of news from Turkey--note that the mod comments that parents of the dead children tested negative, re: familial cluster.

More Turkey news from ProMed.

ProMed on Turkey--read for the first signs of panic, as dozens of people are showing up at hospitals.

Effect Measure notes that the bird flu in Turkey is not far from the Iraq border, and that wars are a first-rate breeding group for pandemics.

Julie Gerberding of CDC did this interview with Gannett on bird flu, nothing new is revealed.

WHO says cooked poultry and eggs not a risk.

Lost in this...there's a new suspected case in Indonesia.

ProMed on Indonesia, including updated case counts there.

In Scotland, they are working on a replacement drug for Tamiflu.

The Sioux City Journal wonders whether the flu is a real threat, or much ado about nothing. Article concludes, correctly, IMO---if we wait to find out, we'll be helpless.


At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update and for a very interesting and useful site, now on my regular "to visit" list.


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