Sunday, March 05, 2006

March 5 Flu Update

Our biggest potential news today is from Azerbaijan, which we reported yesterday had a potential family cluster of six people based on local press reports. Two sisters have died of possible H5N1--note problems at the zoo in Odessa, as well.

More on the same story. Samples have been sent to London, so we should hear soon.

WHO confirms Chinese death (near Hong Kong) is bird flu. He has no close associates who are sick.

China reiterates that no H2H is going on.

Helen Branswell on the China story. This entire article is gold. Noted here is that China is still not verifying its samples externally, but WHO is accepting their internal lab results.

Here's the key question:

In an interview from Beijing, the WHO's senior person in China paused when asked if he felt there was more human disease in the country than Chinese authorities are admitting.

"It's very conceivable that there are more cases," said Dr. Henk Bekedam, the WHO's representative for China.

"But we do not have the impression, at least from the central ministry, that they are hiding information from the outside world."

Rather, Bekedam said he believes China has a "capacity problem" in terms of its ability to conduct surveillance for infection in birds and detect all human cases, particularly those in which the virus triggers milder disease.

A wild duck in SE France has bird flu.

Poland has its first bird case--in Northern Poland.

Reuters surveys todays news.

The Australian papers are covering the effect of bird flu on the poorest of the poor in Africa, and the choices it presents to them.

Uganda says it has no bird flu.

However, in this update (which also includes Poland and France), it is noted that thousands of birds are dead there.

Interesting article from Malaysia that says vaccination of poultry is being underused in the bird flu fight.

Wonder what a cattleman thinks are "facts" about the bird flu? Here you go.

Will Rogers once said that "it ain't what he don't know that worries me, its what he knows for sure because it ain't so." Effect Measure on a Russian doc who has this affliction.

Recombinomics on the potential of bird flu in Burkina Faso.

Flu continues to spread in Germany, and Recombinomics says WHO is hiding evidence of recombination inside the genetic sequences.

Recombinomics continues with his view that British Columbian sequences are indicating H5N1 is on the continent already.

Another reader sent along a report that the Globe and Mail had written a couple flu stories yesterday.

First, we have the concept of the Bresse chicken, a gourmet French chicken raised outdoors with plenty of room. Until now. How the bird flu could literally spell the end.

Bird flu is also effecting foie gras production in Quebec, because of limited access to French ducks.

ProMed continues to cover the migratory bird debate.

Dr. Gleeson says we have a duty to ask our communities if they have planned for the bird flu.

A reader sent this along. This is an article about the mysteries of the 1918 virus, which still abound with a mysterious power. Without 1918, we would have no way to even begin to visualize the horror of a similar pandemic. This article also discusses the roles horses may have played in the viruses development.


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