Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March 7 Flu Update

A 4M died in Indonesia Monday, 10 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Quietly, a new set of cases is emerging here, with a small family cluster.

The boy's death follows five recent suspected bird-flu deaths: a pregnant woman (25) on Monday; a 10-year-old Saturday; a brother and sister last Wednesday; and a three-year-old last Tuesday.

The woman was from Jakarta, where most of Indonesia's bird flu deaths have been recorded, but the siblings and 10-year-old were from Central Java's Boyolali district, and the three-year-old died in Central Java's Semarang.
In Nigeria, three more states have the bird flu.

Reuters story says new cases in Greece, Turkey, Switzerland, Sweden, and Romania.

There are two deaths in the family cluster in Azerbaijan.

WaPo on the spread in Europe.

I thought this would only happen in the US. A Nigerian court denied an application to close a poultry farm.

AP summarizes Monday's new cases.

Is this the famous release of Chinese data--due soon, when they can get credit? They say the virus has not mutated, and will not induce H2H transmission.

China is now urging other nation's to share their bird flu data.

Although it has no cases yet, Zambia is on a migratory pathway, and knows it is greatly at risk.

Four wild ducks in Sweden are H5, though N1 is not known yet.

Birds were found dead and decomposing in Jamaica, and the government is trying to quell concern.

As reported yesterday, HHS is using the Indonesia strain for its second bird flu vaccine. CIDRAP reports.

Vanderbilt is doing vaccine research comparing different adjuvants.

As if on cue, this Swiss article has a realtiy check: a vaccine is a long way off.

The Dutch have postponed their poultry vaccination until next week to allow more time for everyone to get ready.

West Sussex, UK, is seeking to get the word out to the farmers of that county.

At the Reuters Food Summit, companies talked about the bird flu.

WHO is calling for more research into bird flu and cats--especially since one was found infected but asymptomatic. How do they get infected, and how do they shed?

The US and EU have backed the formation of an emergency centre at FAO.

The FAO intends to set up an "early warning system", to track the spread of the virus and estimate where the next outbreaks may occur, said Samuel Jutzi, head of animal production and health at the FAO. "It would undertake 'rumour tracking' and would be similar to what the World Health Organisation has to observe and monitor developments of epidemics 24 hours-a-day," Jutzi told Reuters.

Summary article on spread of bird flu in Europe, including country-by-country list.

The Chinese death near Hong Kong has the HK government on high alert.

Hong Kong will reduce its chicken population by a third within three months, control the importation of live birds and restrict the granting of new licenses for poultry farms, following the death of a man from bird flu last week in neighboring Guangdong province, officials said.

The Black Sea Nations continue to meet--a bird flu research center is a top priority.

Another story on the effect of the bird flu scare--and resulting import bans--on French poultry, and our supply of foie gras. (Didn't Osterholm talk about this?)

Italy has not decided how to intervene on the bird flu.

It interests me that zoos are a trouble spot. A vaccination has been completed in a birdpark in Singapore.

Israel sent bird flu aid to Nigeria, at the African nation's request.

Unlike some Russian experts, this one is castly a worst case scenario--flu could hit 1/3 of the world.

Purdue University wants to warn those travelling the globe on spring break: educate yourself on bird flu before you leave.

Column from the Philippines means to educate, not scare people.

This is very interesting. The American Trucking Association is forming a bird flu task force. Interesting, because one of he concerns raised by Dr. Osterholm and othters is tthat the just in time economy is very vulnerable to a pandemic.

Another good sign--34 hospitals in the Hudson Valley are going to join forces during a pandemic.

Here's what we do not need--an article urging UK citizens to not eat chicken when they travel abroad.

In Salt Lake City, tamiflu hoarding is noted.

Effect Measure on what to tell your friends and neighbors about the bird flu. Excellent post, with two highlights.

We don't know what the biology of this virus has in store for us. But if it has the makings of a pandemic agent, nothing we will do between now and then will be able to stop it. Thinking that we have the ability to stop a pandemic is a waste of time and a dangerous distraction.


Finally, I told her it would be good to remind everyone that the cities and towns that coped best in 1918 were the ones whose citizens were prepared by credible sources of information. In those towns neighbors helped neighbors and they got through it with the least pain. San Francisco is John Barry's example. Most other places, where the news media and public officials lied and kept the very existence of the epidemic from their readers, neighbors fled neighbors and the pain was terrible.


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