Monday, March 27, 2006

March 27 Flu Update--"Nature is in control"

A second human death has been reported in Egypt...

and a fifth human case.

A dead swan 100m south of Prague is the first reported case in the Czech Republic.

In Sweden, a mammal (a mink) is infected with H5, and the nature of the disease leads to the conclusion it is probably N1.

Cambodia says three additional suspected human cases were negative.

Here's ProMed from when the cases were just suspected. I include this story because of the number of false negatives we've seen, just as reference. They could easily be H5N1.

1,500 chickens were found dead in Bhojpur, India, on Sunday, and a panic has ensued.

ProMed on case in rooster in Serbia, and other mid east cases.

CIDRAP on the continued disease spread.

WHO's David Nabarro continues his blunt and strong talk on the bird flu.

On avian flu, he notes, he predicted a range of 5 million to 150 million deaths - the same range the World Bank was using - but headline writers quoted only the higher figure. And how many does Nabarro now say could die? "I don't know," he said. "Nobody knows."
But he repeatedly said that he is more scared than he was when he took the job in September.

CIDRAP on the lack of unreported mild cases in Cambodia...a very important finding, in my view.

Effect Measure notes Indonesia's mixed (charitably) record on bird flu....and now the nation turned down money from Australia.

Must read Seattle Times, including Nabarro and Dr. Webster, with the quote of the day.

"We cannot contain this thing anymore," said Dr. Robert Webster, a virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., who has been studying the virus since it emerged in 1997. "Nature is in control."

ProMed on the reports from Egypt.

8 French-speaking African nations held an emergency meeting on bird flu.

The cull has begun in Palestine.

Bulgaria has decided no more Israeli chickens.

Zambia is monitoring wild birds.

A Doctor in Vietnam says that people are overreacting to bird flu fears.

"The ratio of meetings to patients is probably 10 to 1: Hawaii tomorrow. Geneva and Singapore next week," said Farrar, in jeans and carrying a red backpack, on a break from a conference where he was - naturally - speaking on the topic.
Wondering how a pandemic would hit the insurance industry?

A bird flu pandemic could cost European life insurers as much as 20 billion pounds ($34.92 billion) in extra claims and U.S. insurers about $18 billion, a report said on Monday.

These payouts would likely be tolerable for the life insurance industry; and as long as an outbreak were temporary, the companies' credit quality would not likely change, but profitability could be hurt, the report from Fitch Ratings said.

HHS has developed a pandemic planning checklist for schools.

In Ireland, bird flu plans are said to be overdue.

Canada has established a website to inform its citizens about the bird flu. Press release here....

GlaxoSmithKline will produce Tamiflu in Taiwan.


At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nature is in control and like that song by the Doors we are just "Riders on the Storm".


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