Sunday, April 02, 2006

April 2 Flu Update

Two new human cases in Egypt, and they're brothers. One is six, and one is 18 months old.

Egypt says the flu has come back because poultry farmers didn't follow instructions.

A secret Cabinet document from the UK has leaked, and it is ringing across the web. This story has more detail than yesterday's plague pit story...700,000 projected deaths. An example follows:

"Planning for an influenza pandemic should take into account that military support may not be available if local units are deployed on operations," the paper says. "Nor should it be assumed that local units have personnel available with either the skill or equipment to undertake specialist tasks."

Some dead birds were apparently found in Sri Lanka, but the country says they are bird flu negative.

India says culling will end in one province.

You can say that the former health chief in Ontario is a skeptic.

Israel says experts approve of its flu control efforts.

In Manila, there is recognition that smuggling wild birds helps to spread the bird flu.

Middle East Regional WHO officials are interviewed about the flu in that part of the world. Here's a key quote--I'm not sure that Middle East specific med production is the right route, but here is what he said.

A: [HAB]: Even now, we remain unsure about Tamiflu's real effectiveness. As for a vaccine, work cannot start on it until the emergence of a new virus, and we predict it would take six to nine months to develop it. For the moment, we cannot by any means count on a potential vaccine to prevent the spread of a contagious influenza virus, whose various precedents in the past 90 years have been highly pathogenic. However, it is crucial that countries in the Middle East invest and start developing their own research and technical facilities, where they can produce their own drugs when the time comes rather than wait to import expensive medicines from abroad at the risk of their populations.

In Thailand, a leading expert is concerned about the lack of a national pandemic plan.

Canada is working on vaccine supply...getting it quicker, and ensuring that GSK plants in Quebec serve Canada first. Branswell reports.

In Singapore, 800 volunteers are participating in flu trials.

More on FDA approval of Relenza.

ProMed with a collection of OIE reports from Europe.

ProMed with reports from Germany (38 sick birds), the Jordan Valley (explaining an odd pattern of flu emergence) and the USA (where live markets could be an entry pathway for the flu.)


At 3:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to put the record straight here. This is not a secret document and it appears on the UK Resilience Website so there are no dark forces lurking - just a complete fabrication by the media once again to stir up hype!


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