Tuesday, February 28, 2006

February 28 Flu Update

Just today. Germany. Sweden. Iraq. Ethiopia. Russia. 35 countries in total now.

Bird flu, welcome to a European mammal. Cat in Germany has H5N1.

Health officials urged cat owners to keep pets indoors after the dead cat was discovered over the weekend on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen, where most of the more than 100 wild birds infected by the H5N1 strain have been found.

As Recombinomics notes, this isn't a surprise, yet it will still focus people's attention.

Meanwhile, bird flu was found in two ducks in Sweden. H5N1 is being confirmed.

CIDRAP on Sweden and Germany.

The US has banned chickens from a part of France from import.

After what has been reported as H5 in Pakistani chickens, the country says it has ratcheted up the bird flu fight.

66 areas are still under quarantine in Turkey. Originally, 106 were quarantined.

Russia confirms another outbreak in Southern Russia, reported first yesterday.

A group of experts met in Paris, and they are citing the broad spread of the disease for raising concerns.

CNN also reports from Paris, where the situation in Nigeria is criticized, and H5 with a large bird die-off is noted.

Iraq is checking four potential new human cases. 3 cases are reported to be in Baghdad.

DEFRA, (UK ministry) reports on the state of bird flu.

Defra is asking all keepers of any types of birds to maintain a high level of biosecurity to reduce the risk of introducing the disease. Everyone who keeps poultry or other domestic birds should remain vigilant for signs of the disease.

Canadian Press with another story on what business should do to plan for the bird flu.

Skowronski said predicted infection rates in Canada are between 15 and 35 per cent. Influenza historically has a low death rate - the 1918 pandemic that killed at least 50 million people globally was an aberration - and most people will recover without any medical intervention and only a tiny fraction would need hospital care, she said.

At a similar meeting in Washington, Dr. Osterholm told business to think of bird flu as "a blizzard in Washington." Also: this is not a time to reward people for coming to work sick.

On the containment plan, is Britain developing a high-tech lollipop that will detect bird flu.

The Czech Republic is upping its Tamiflu stocks.

Effect Measure takes stock of what we know, Part II.

The debate that never ends--Promed on the migratory bird debate.

ProMed sums up some news from Europe--noting some things originally reported here yesterday.

Dr. Gleeson on the running tabulation of prediction on his website. They are not on the conservative side, nor are they outlandish.

Finally, the Economist weighs in on the bird flu, noting, accurately in my opinion, that the bird flu is a more serious threat in poor countries than in rich countries.

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