Monday, March 13, 2006

March 13 Flu Update

ProMed reports...bird flu in Myanmar and Afghanistan, and Cameroon suspecting a wild fowl introduced bird flu.

WHO reports a new death in Indonesia.

Three human cases reported in Azerbaijan

Recombinomics reports--decrying a lack of data.

Seven ducks died in Bavaria...bird flu feared.

More on Myanmar.

More on Afghanistan.

The Swiss are up to three dead birds.

CIDRAP on countries with new cases.

Nicholas Zamiska of the Wall Street Journal is back, with an article based on some news which has been around a while: Italian scientist Ilaria Capua challenged the world to stop playing scientific competition and put flu genes in the public data bank. Others chime in to agree in this excellent article.

The discussion found its way onto the Daily Kos.

Effect Measure points out that this are leading scientists, but not used to spreading ideas in a world where information can be instantly accessible.

Helen Branswell is on board, too. She quotes Steven Salzburg saying that the CDC should share data as well. (So, I guess it wasn't just the Chinese).

Here's the text of her letter to her colleagues.

Quebec is preparing for 2.6M sick people.

Bird flu is having a minimal effect of hedges and other financial moves in the US.

While saying predictions are subject to high uncertainty, the IMF says that a pandemic could cause economic upheaval.

Qatar says it has vaccinated airport workers against all common types of flu.

Dr. Gleeson with another bird flu estimate/projection.

I'm going to confess to not understanding this. The US is buying vaccines based on one strain, and starting a vaccine on another strain. Yet, Secretary Leavitt says:

"If we have a person-to-person, transmissible virus and we enter a pandemic condition, we will be operating without a vaccine for the first six months," Leavitt said. "We will be dependent upon traditional public health measures to contain and limit it."

Why buy the vaccine if this is true? Why say this if buying the vaccine makes sense?

Countries in South Africa are looking for money to execute pandemic plans.

WHO has updated its case counts....98 dead.


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