Sunday, April 16, 2006

April 16 Flu Update

Last night, we ran the WaPo story on the US pandemic plan. Suffice it to say its all over the news today, with not much variation. Until we see more, I'm going to avoid running repetitive stories.

Pakistan has its third outbreak since the beginning of April.

ProMed on Pakistan (second story on this link).

ProMed with yesterday's Danish news (good) and Egyptian news bad (death).

ProMed with OIE---Germany (59 cases in wild birds), UK surveillance plans and the Ivory Coast.

The Ivory Coast confirms dead birds not H5N1.

A Philly-area company has seen its fortune soar on a novel and promising vaccine approach.

"We are very excited about Novavax's approach," said Terry Tumpey, senior microbiologist at the CDC, which is working with more than a dozen smaller companies on new technologies to narrow the time it takes to make an avian-influenza vaccine.

Novavax has a different way of making flu vaccine, using virus-like-particle technology (VLP) that extracts protein genes from influenza virus and turns them into particles that mimic the virus and trick the immune system into creating antibodies.

The recombinant particles can be customized into a vaccine in about two to three months, instead of the six to nine months it takes to create a conventional flu vaccine in chicken eggs.

In East Africa, a doc answers questions--including about tourism.

This article is a bit less reassuring---the "full scale" of the threat to East Africa.

In India, flu has hit small farmers the hardest.

Following a cull of 300,000 birds, flu is said to be under control in Gaza.

In Afghanistan, WAPO reports that "plucky" (they should be ashamed of themselves) women are leading the fight against the flu.

From Delaware, consensus that small business would be hit the hardest, yet few are ready. Includes a funeral director showing off his protective equipment.

The Royal Brunei Armed Forces conducted a desktop pandemic exercise.

"Now we know what to do about this new disease. We wash and boil eggs before eating them, we keep the pens clean and change the soil," said Abida, one of 300 widows in the Kabul district of Charai Qamber who raise poultry at home, with chicks and training provided by CARE International.

The Health Director in Pueblo, CO, says that education is the key to fighting the bird flu.

Effect Measure with a press release from the American Fire Fighters, showing they get the flu risk--and what should be done about it.


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