Saturday, March 04, 2006

March 3 Flu Update

The containment strategy lives. WHO will begin hosting a meeting on Monday to refine the plan to use Tamiflu and quarantines in a rapid response to a human outbreak.

CIDRAP on the containment plan, and a new death reported in China.

The LA Times on reports of a human death in Iraq and an outbreak in Serbia.

Four human samples from Nigeria have arrived in Britain for testing. One of the patients died, all had respiratory symptoms. No surprise here is these are positive.

Greece has three more cases of bird flu confirmed in wild fowl.

"Several" new cases of bird flu among domestic birds have been found in eastern and southern Romania.

Turkey also has found more cases in domestic birds.

Afghanistan is reporting the birds there were negative for bird flu. Tests appear to have been conducted in country, with FAO supervision. Typical caveat: initial negatives are often false.

Recombinomics issued a press release saying that the presence of American sequences in the Qinghai strain indicates the bird flu is already in North America.


Similarly North American sequences from a wide range of sero-types have been found in Astrakhan H5N1 sequences. These data indicate H5N1 is currently expanding its geographical reach into the Americas. Surveillance by Canada and the United States is lacking, as neither country has detected any H5N1 infections.

A while ago, we ran a comment from an Italian scientist saying that people is science should immediately publish their bird flu sequences to help prepare the world for a pandemic--even if it means they may get less credit for their work. Suffice it to say that Effect Measure supports this position.

Laurie Garrett of the Council of Foreign Relations wrote recently that she feels that by predicting the spread of the bird flu, you could proactively keep wild birds from poultry, and stop the spread. Effect Measure disagrees.

Effect Measure also takes on insurance companies who are not writing insurance policies that cover bird flu.

Interesting: mod comment here says ProMed had decided to discontinue the migratory bird debate due to a lack of new information. Then, along came new information--Nigeria reports that an illegal poultry trade got the bird flu to Nigeria.


US Officials came before Congress to detail how the fight against the pandemic is coming.

Britain's government has opposed the vaccination of birds to date. A leading vet there says H5N1 could persist for years among birds, so maybe there's no point in waiting.

Sweden has cordoned off the area where wild birds with bird flu were found.

Poultry trade data from Europe. France is losing 48M Euros a month in lost chicken sales.

The same thing is happening in Greece.

To help prevent this kind of scare in Britain, officials there are reminding people that bird flu is not a food safety risk.

In South Carolina, reporters there are noting flu prep is underway.

Chemical and Engineering news reports for its readers about the bird flu.

The Czech Republic is noting fradulent Tamiflu sales.

More than 30 countries are said to be prepared to buy human flu vaccine from Hungary.

Recombinomics notes recombination--what else--in a flu sequence.

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