Tuesday, January 10, 2006

January 9 Flu Update

Sorry for the abbreviated update. No connectivity at home, and this is the best update I can manage right now. Hopefully, more complete tonight or tomorrow AM.

The situation in Turkey is predictably become more turbulent. An angry crowd mobbed the Health Minister, and more human cases have been reported.

Note here that Turks are flooding to the hospital to be checked for bird flu.

Helen Branswell on five new cases in Turkey.

The big news today is not exactly surprising. The high "death toll" of bird flu has always been known to include only "known" cases, and I think everyone accepted that mild cases were not in the count. From the Archives of Internal Medicine is this study which seems to point in that direction. Here's the important thing. You don't need 50% fatality rates for a 1918 style pandemic. In 1918, the fatality rate was only about 2.5%

This same issue plays into the "alarming" case count in Turkey, which is the highest "known" outbreak of human bird flu. But we don't know if similar outbreaks occurred in less transparent areas. To wit, China today announced its eighth human case.

In a related topic, HSBC says that it is preparing for up to half of its staff to be out on any given day due to a pandemic...(Note: not all of them will be ill).

With Bird flu in Turkey and Romania, Bulgaria is keeping a watchful eye on the situation.

Scientists believe wild birds carried the virus south from Siberia to Romania's Danube delta and Turkey.

Meanwhile, the fourth child in Turkey from the family which had the other three deaths has survivied.

Japan is following the pandemic, saying that the fight is just underway.

More outbreaks in birds have been found in the Crimea.

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