Monday, February 13, 2006

February 13 Flu Update



In its own way, today continued the drumbeat of bad news.

ProMed reports on the 26th case in Indonesia, 6 possible human cases in Iraq, and two people in quarantine in Greece.

Crofsblog reports four more possible cases in Indonesia.

Recombinomics has this story we missed. David Nabarro says the flu virus is only two mutations away from being a pandemic.

I've always wondered about this. The Times Online says the British goverment is about to order bird flu vaccine that won't work because the virus has already had too much time to generate diversity.

Australian story summarizes deaths from around the world, with Indonesia leading the way at 18.

BBC reports on screening of poultry workers underway in Nigeria. The two sick children from last week have recovered and were released, though their blood work isn't analyzed yet.

However, on Sunday two more children fell ill and are being tested.

Albanian official says it would be "naive" to think they will be spared from bird flu, while other neighboring countries have it. This is actually a pretty rare statement.

Romania continues to confirm new cases in birds.

Hello Austria. Four swans and a heron are dead and being tested. Earlier dead birds in Slovenia very near Austria were H5N1 positive.

ProMed looks around the world at the current state of play. Note near the bottom that Nigeria is grudgingly admitting the virus is speading south.

ProMed with OIE reports from Iraq and Nigeria.

A sign of things to come? Poultry sales in Italy down 50% on bird flu scare.

In reaction, the Health Minister pleads with the public to not overreact and change eating habits.

Generex meets with FDA about starting human vaccine trials.

The company's bird flu vaccine is based on technology used in an experimental breast cancer vaccine that is currently in human trials.
Elsewhere in Italy, local crisis teams continue to meet with strongly worded warnings for the people there.

Italian Environment Minister says there is no cause for alarm.

Bird Life International reports that latest bird flu news, continuing to insist that migratory birds cannot be the cause of the spread.

The finding of dead swans will fuel the debate over how H5N1 is spreading. However, it is notable that if wild birds had been spreading the disease across continents there would have been trails of dead birds following migration routes, which isn't the case. There is still no explanation as to why certain countries on flight paths of birds from Asia remain flu-free, whilst their neighbours suffer repeated infections, nor of why only a single strain of H5N1 is found in outbreaks west of China.
David Nabarro is in the Ukraine.

The 12th lab confirmed case in China is reported by WHO.

Congressman Peter DeFazio of Oregon was invited to participate in a pandemic "war game."

Excellent article on the planning tools and techniques available to practitioners, including FluAid and others.

Kent County RI paper asks its readers: "are you ready for the bird flu?"

Vietnam scientists say they are making progress on a vaccine. Apparently, actual production is 18 months away.


Crofsblog reports that Declan Butler in Nature says dogs and cats may carry H5N1 as well.

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