Wednesday, March 01, 2006

March 1 Flu Update

In Indonesia, an 11 year old boy died two days ago, and its suspected to be bird flu.

British Medical Researchers are looking to fill some gaps of understanding on avian influenza. As Effect Measure has noted over the past few days, there are plenty. The results should be in by summer.

WHO confirms the second Iraqi death. Buried in the story is this little nugget.

The UK laboratory is also conducting tests on samples taken from additional cases under investigation from the northern province of Sulaimaniyah and the southern provinces of Basra and Missan.

Diagnostic testing was initially delayed by problems encountered in the shipment of samples from Iraq. Most of these problems have now been solved.

ProMed mod comment on this report says that it suggests that the bird flu is distributed throughout most parts of Iraq.

ProMed on the case reports from Iraq we ran yesterday.

The German cat is causing alarm of its own.

Helen Branswell writes the cat story.

"I think we should count on the possibility that other carnivores like dogs, perhaps non-domestic ones like foxes, and all kind of other carnivores could (also) be infected," said Ab Osterhaus, a Dutch virologist and leading figure in avian influenza research.

Effect Measure on whether cats are carrying the human virus and are part of the chain of transmission.

St. Louis University is going to test vaccines with a variety of adjuvants.

The US has placed an order to more than triple its Tamiflu stockpile.

CIDRAP has this same story.

ProMed on the Ukranian zoo, and other outbreaks, including a massive (39,000 bird) die-off in Russia.

The BBC looks at African press coverage of the bird flu. Very interesting...including claims they were caught completely unaware.

How about this? Could soccer's World Cup be impacted by bird flu.

Blatter, asked if bird flu could threaten the tournament, told German newspaper Bild: "At the moment, no, but if bird flu developed into something like the plague or cholera, if it’s a case of people infecting people, then the government would have to take a decision. We would have to respect that. That is clear."

In recognition of the need for quick response flu tests, the US is suggesting more distributed labs, much as the US has been using to help confirm flu.

Hawaii is preparing for bird flu on the island. The Chicago Tribune reports they could be on the front line.

As avian flu continues to spread across the globe, health officials are paying close attention to Hawaii, the nation's gateway to Asia and the state where some experts believe the much-feared H5N1 virus could first be detected on American soil.

In what is being seen as a model for the rest of the U.S., Hawaii has become the first state in the country to establish an airport surveillance program to test visibly ill passengers for avian flu, many arriving from nations where the virus already has proved deadly.

Russia is going to start a mass vaccination program for fowl.

Italy reassures people--domestic cats will be OK.

A regional seminar was held in the Philippines to help educate farmers on fighting the bird flu.

A member of the Blaine County LEPC writes that a pandemic is a "clear and present danger."

In Australia, a doc is proposing removing Rx requirements for Tamiflu.

ProMed covers Germany and Switzerland.

ProMed has much more news from the world.

[1] Azerbaijan
[2] Ethiopia: confirmed
[3,4] Germany: infected dead cat
[5] Japan: apparent cover up revealed
[6] Niger: confirmed
[7] Romania: confirmed
[8] Sweden: tufted ducks

Dr. Gleeson's prediction thread has a bimodal distribution. Non-scientists are looking for an epochal killer pandemic (10M dead in US) while scientists are more around 1918 infection/mortality rates.

Recombinomics on the possibility of bird flu in the Bahamas.

News of the Weird: miffed by the effect the flu scare has had on poultry sales, a poultry farmer is offering a cash reward for anyone who can find bird flu in his province.


At 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh... Re: the Australian Doc .... he just happens to be one of the inventors of Relenza, and one of the most widely respected microbiologist around the traps.

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Orange said...

Thanks for that, and thanks for reading. Its an interesting idea and probably something that would be necessary.


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