Thursday, March 09, 2006

March 8 Flu Update

A 9 year old girl in China has died of bird flu, the 10th reported death there.

China continues to warn of more flu outbreaks.

Official WHO Update on China.

CIDRAP on the Chinese case.

Promed reports she may have been infected while visiting another province.

A reader sent me this fascinating article from Pakistan. People in that country are avoiding going to the hospital because they don't want to be ostracized by their family and neighbors. In this case, when a young girl was told she might have bird flu, she went screaming away from the hospital.

“We do not want further medical treatment of our patient because her illness may be misreported as bird flu and people and our relatives will boycott us,” a Jinnah Hospital doctor quoted a family member of a patient who was admitted a couple of days ago for the treatment of flu, high fever and pneumonia.

Our friend Nabarro is back making headlines. Says the US could have bird flu in six months. Story also has info on upgraded US surveillance.

WHO says progress being made on its containment plan.

Although containing a pandemic at its source has never been tried, evidence suggesting that it may be possible has been mounting. The first outbreak of the avian influenza virus H5N1 was contained in Hong Kong in 1997 when the-then public health director (Dr. Margaret Chan) ordered the destruction of all poultry in Hong Kong. The containment of SARS in 2003 demonstrated that coordinated global action could stop the emergence of a new infectious disease. Last summer, theoretical models were published showing that containment of a human influenza pandemic might be possible.

The modelling papers indicated that containing a pandemic at its source required coordinated action focused on a small area within days of the emergence of the new virus. Success, according to the modelling papers, would be dependent on many factors. These factors include early detection of the new virus, swift mobilization of resources, and compliance by the target population. Thus this week's Geneva meeting was focused on three areas: logistics, surveillance and public health measures needed to accomplish these goals.

Albania has its first case of bird flu.

CIDRAP on Albania and US Surveillance.

In response, Greece is protecting its borders.

Disneyland Paris is being accused of covering up the presence of an H5N1 swan on its grounds.

Poultry sales are down in Nigeria.

After 500,000 culled birds, India says it has bird flu under control.

There's more bird flu in Sweden.

Indonesia says three recent deaths were NOT bird flu.

Pakistan says it is bird flu free--excellent article here about what is going on in that country.

Likewise, a man in Belgium was bird flu free.

ProMed surveys Europe...

and Europe and Asia.

Effect Measure reminds us that a flu virus circulating in cats would be a nightmare..(do we need a new acronym...C2C.

Lots of work being done on masks, according to Effect Measure. Do they work? And what level of protection should be available for healthcare workers.

Nepal is preparing for the bird flu.

The UN is sending help to Niger.

Excellent BBC story on a family of a four year old who survived bird flu in Turkey, and how their entire community continues to be wary of the flu.

When will the US see the bird flu? A Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory says 2007.

WHO has advised Africa to set up a $1B bird flu fund.

In Russia, a leading health researcher says that the nation has virtually no Tamiflu in stock.

Canadian farmers fear people don't understand the bird flu.

A Professor at the University of Pretoria says that his country should ban poultry imports.

In Swazi, a vet urges compensation for dead poultry.

The US Embassy in Seoul is holding a Town Hall meeting on bird flu.

In Britain, people are reminded they can still go fishing.

Travel is down---furor over cartoons and flu blamed.

A Vet from Mississippi tells his fellow vets about bird flu.

Little Rock TV on what bird flu could do to business there.

Finland is considering buying vaccine for the entire nation.

If an epidemic hits Mesa, CO, people are urged to stay calm.

Bill Gardner, Mesa County undersheriff and current acting city police chief, said a pandemic would be a medical problem with implications to the social order. People would be asked to close roads, highways, malls, schools, airports, to encourage isolation of populations as a way to isolate the flu.

The community must help itself maintain social order because, “We cannot control the community,” said Gardner, referring to law enforcement.

World Tourism Organization notes same concerns, asks people to travel.

The BBC has advice for pet owners, given the issues with cats in Europe.

They're doing the same thing at Purdue.


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