Monday, February 27, 2006

Feburary 26 Flu Update

Dead duck heralds bird flu in Switzerland.

ProMed says its is H5, but N1 not confirmed.

ProMed also had continuing news of new outbreaks, including Romania (birds), China and Croatia.

ProMed also covers the news from Asia. Note five people have been quarantined in Malaysia, and poultry sales are down 30%.

Romania is reporting a suspected human case, a 21M--no word on his connection to the birds.

A Montreal NGO issues report that says that the its not wild birds, and its not backyard bird farms (your previous two key suspects...) its the evil poultry industry. No doubt, BTW, that the virus does appear to spread quickly on a farm, but how does it get there. Clearly, political agendas are intruding on any serious efforts to answer this question.

More swans are dead in France.

The Indian bird flu is sending shock waves through the Indian poultry industry. Locals hope a chicken and egg festival will help revive the industry... thousands of poultry workers have lost their jobs in the aftermath (of the flu, not the festival.)

A bird flu outbreak has been reported at a farm in Southern Russia.

The woman who died last Monday in Indonesia is now a confirmed bird flu death.

Germany also has three new wild birds with bird flu.

Additional news from the State of Washington on their flu plan.

Geoffrey Garrett, a British infectious disease expert, was intending to calm fears when he said that he didn't think that H5N1 was going to cause the next pandemic. He said:

"There are other influenza strains out there causing infection in birds that could start to spread from human to human."

A Ft. Myers FL paper ran this editorial--an actual checklist of things business and families could do to prepare for the bird flu. Very interesting, as they note that they expect to be accused of hyping the flu to sell papers. So, the checklist is discreetly placed in the opinion pages.

Senator Wayne Allard (Co) writes a coluumn on the US being ready for the bird flu.

Lansing, MI TV station on the popularity of Tamiflu.

Newsweek writes on new technologies being developed to help to combat the bird flu.

Of course, many promising treatments flame out once they move from animal tests to human trials—and it's still unclear whether avian flu will become readily transmissible among people. But if it does, products like these might one day be a real shot in the arm.
Effect Measure writes on the story we ran yesterday on the publicity the Flu wiki got.

In the midst of some highly technical genetic stuff, Recombinomics says that recent samples show this:

The acquisition of these human polymorphisms is cause for concern. These acquisitions create longer regions of identity with human influenza sequences, which increase the likelihood of additional recombinations. The acquisition of human polymorphisms in isolates from Vietnam and Thailand has been noted as have the acquisition of European swine sequences.
Finally, must read from Laurie Garrett, one of our favorites. She tells us bird flu might be in US by early Fall.


At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wondered if you want to try to track collateral damage along with the death toll, as in that italian guy who killed himself and his family after losing his chicken-packing job due to the industry downturn after H5N1 turned up in Italy.


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