Thursday, February 23, 2006

February 23 Flu Update

Welcome Daily Source Code Listeners! Thanks for checking in, and I hope you come back soon! Thanks for the mention, Adam!

The Daily Source Code interviewed two venture capitalists from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. One of them was an MD. Very interesting. They are funding companies with new vaccine technologies, new anti-viral technologies, and an instant flu test--critical to the "containment plan." They view these to be "platform" technologies of use even if there's no pandemic. Their firm is putting in $200M, and expect that to attract an additional $800M. Give a listen.

Here's a release on the formation of the fund.

USA Today says 60% of Americans worried about the bird flu. The most useful way to look at this poll--what would people do right away if the bird flu hit?

About 46% of respondents who eat chicken said they would stop eating it if bird flu hits the U.S. poultry industry.

If human outbreaks occurred, 75% said they would reduce or avoid travel, 71% said they would skip public events and 68% said they would stay home and keep their children at home while the outbreak lasted.

Behavior might change back once people get used to it.

Today's big news is that 11 of the 12 people in India in quarantine are said to be cleared of bird flu.

CIDRAP on India's negative human cases, and the arrival of bird flu in birds in Slovakia. Other nations are also covered.

ProMed also on India...

and ProMed on the rest of the world. Note brief mention of Palestinian National Authority outbreak.

And it looks like the bird flu has hit domestic turkey farm, the first time it has spread beyond wild birds in Western Europe. Case counts continued to rise across Europe.

On France, Recombinomics says that the outbreak is of concern, especially is swine are around.

News is almost too plentiful coming from India. The BBC as a nice, clear story on what the state of play, as we know it today is.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia two people have been admitted to the hospital for influenza tests. This is in addition to four people already being tested.

The British government awarded 33M pounds in contracts for human vaccine.

A British critic savages government bird flu plan..."disarray."

New Zealand's parliament has issued a similar report, citing "gaps" in planning.

The UN is calling for an intense international effort, including bird vaccination, in Nigeria to try and contain the virus in what could be a serious trouble spot.

Indian experts are saying "simple precautions" will protect citizens from bird flu.

The Mayor of London is afraid that racing pigeons might spread the flu, but says that is wrong.

The Health Protection Agency (UK) notes that it is valued for its expertise around the world.

Secretary Leavitt's Magical Mystery Flu Tour stopped in Nebraska, which touted its preperation programs....

tour coverage also includes Alabama.

A scientists in Australia says he believes H5N1 is already there, and a regional government releases its bird flu pandemic plan, a typical mix of closed schools and makeshift morgues.

Here is Dr. Anthony Fauci on how a "robust" flu demand for seasonal vaccine would help us prepare for a pandemic.

Deloitte's lead pandemic guy was in Australia talking risk management.

There's patent fighting in India over Tamiflu.

The Isle of Man had its first bird flu scare, with seven dead swans which are said to have tested negative.

Effect Measure on "the luck of the Irish."

Another enlightening post from Dr. Bob Gleeson. He now views H2H as unstoppable, though current situation is a steady yellow.

Pretend we identify an H2H cluster in rural Indonesia, a cluster that can not be stopped. Ten to twenty days of rumors and confusion. This cluster will enlarge and spread (how well and how fast depends totally on the how easily the virus transmits from person A to person B and C). Suddenly, there are sick people in Jakarta. Ten more days of confusion and rumor. And, all of a sudden, more cases and then, bam, the travel restrictions go up. If you are in Jakarta, go to a nice hotel, you might be there for several weeks.


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