Friday, February 10, 2006

February 10 Flu Update

The beat goes on...China and Indonesia report bird flu deaths. Its the 8th in China and 17th in Indonesia.

Bird flu has now arrived in Azerbaijan. Wild birds were floating dead in the Caspian Sea.

CIDRAP on China, Indonesia and Azerbaijan.

Romania confirms H5 in birds.

ProMed on Azerbaijan and Romania.

ProMed on Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Hong Kong.

In Iraq, they are having trouble educating people about fighting bird flu.

In waste ground where thousands of the culled birds have been dumped, about 15 children jumped up and down, tied fowl to sticks and waved them in the air, oblivious to the risks.

Here's one that's sure to pique interest here. Forbes writes that China doesn't know how
most of the 11 people who have bird flu got the disease, even when there were no bird outbreaks nearby.

Infected poultry and birds are believed to be main sources of infection among people worldwide, and health ministry spokesman Mao Qunan told reporters this was most likely the case in China as well.

But he said finding the exact source of infections was proving extremely difficult.

He said some patients could be living in environments that became contaminated with the virus through 'unknown channels', with the virus in those cases not necessarily causing large-scale deaths among animals.

Also a significant story. A report says that China was the launching pad for the avian flu, as cited here by CIDRAP. My questions include, what does an asymptomatic chicken mean for flu prevention? (Bold is added by me)

An analysis of influenza viruses collected from thousands of wild and domestic birds in China and Hong Kong suggests that H5N1 viruses have been circulating in southern China for nearly a decade and have spread repeatedly from there to spark outbreaks across Asia.

The study by 27 researchers from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the United States provides strong evidence that migratory birds can spread the virus for long distances, a contention that has been controversial in recent months. The report was published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Perhaps more surprising is the group's discovery of H5N1 viruses in some apparently healthy chickens in live-bird markets in southern China. Ducks are known to be capable of carrying the virus without appearing sick, but the virus has been regarded as almost invariably pathogenic or lethal for chickens.


The researchers found that viruses from the Qinghai Lake outbreak matched up with those from migratory ducks at Poyang Lake, more than 1,000 miles away, which "strongly argues that migrating birds can transfer the virus over long distances." The team found further support for this notion when they exposed a number of ducks and geese to H5N1 viruses and found that most of the ducks survived; the surviving ducks shed the virus for as long as 7 days after infection.

The authors say the diversity they found among H5N1 samples "challenges the wisdom" of relying on just one strain to make a candidate vaccine for pandemic preparedness. The strains used to develop human vaccines "must reflect the antigenic diversity observed across this wider region," they write.

Also significant. Effect Measure on WHO report that says that the virus in Turkey has made three changes since it left Qinghai, all more likely to be adaptable to humans.

The Algeria Ag Minister has headed to Tunis for a bird flu summit.

Here's a Q&A from Nigeria on what the bird flu is.

Wabash County (IN) and its health department has released info for residents there on how to prepare for the bird flu.

Recombinomics weighs in on a couple things...

noting the spread into Azerbaijan and continues to suggest that the bird flu is other places in region, though not reported....

he also reports on suspected in bird flu in Northern Nigeria...

and that there are reports flu is in Lagos, which opens it into a new flyway.

Crofsblog brought this from the BBC. As reported earlier, birds have been dying in Nigeria for weeks.

Also Crofsblogs, there is an interesting report from Nigeria where farmers say no one has communicated with them from the government about the presence of bird flu. As noted, Nigeria lacks the infrastructure for this fight, but will we help.


At 2:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look at the list of headlines. I look at the counter for the number who have died. It's like watching a bucket fill with water, eventually one column is going to spill over and start the other ticking.


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