Saturday, April 22, 2006

April 21 Flu Update

Welcome everyone. The blog may not be updated again until Sunday night due to a little overnight trip tonight. We'll see how it goes.

Another note: not a lot of sexy "new case" news today, but its content rich. Science magazine with a major section, an assessment of US attitudes to flu, some answers to the "unreported case" question....there's some good long-term content in this update.

A vet has died in India, and bird flu is suspected. He supervised culling.

CBS News reports that worldwide bird flu cases have passed the 200 mark.

Here's the link to the official WHO case count.

ProMed on China, Egypt and Indoensia.

CIDRAP looks at the world. Noting that eight Egyptian cases pushed the case count above 200, and denial of an eight-person cluster in Indonesia.

AP reports that fear of bird flu is widespread in the US. (Note: we cannot overestimate how much Katrina has to do with showing people how thin a line there is between us and chaos.)

CIDRAP notes that most people don't trust the US government to handle a flu crisis.

Draw your own conclusions: Dr. Fauci and Julie Gerberding are travelling the country telling people that their fears may be overstated.

Effect Measure draws his conclusions.

Direct link to poll results.

Science magazine says there is no basis for culling wild birds to prevent the spread of the bird flu.

More from Science Magazine...very cogent article on the need for quick and simple detection capability.

Finally, I'm just going to link to the main page containing articles from Science Magazine....all of which I am sure are excellent, but which I haven't read yet.

Branswell on board, reviewing the Science magazine article that says "wader" birds may play a bigger role than thought in the spread of the flu.

Effect Measure post on seroprevalence study from Cambodia. We've wondered if there were lots of mild unreported cases that were distorting the fatality rates of the disease. Other studies have said there are not, and this one confirms it. Based on this, bird flu is very, very deadly...and very, very hard to transmit, even from bird to human.

MSNBC: Scientists race to battle the bird flu. Must read.

Link to MSNBC graphic showing spread of bird flu (MSNBC has an excellent collection for MSM of bird flu materials).

To wit: MSNBC contributor asks how the government thinks it can handle bird flu when it "botched" seasonal flu vaccines.

8 penguins in a Norwegian aquarium are the first birds in that country to be vaccinated against the bird flu.

A commenter to a Medblog in the Houston Chronicle suggests who should get the bird flu first.

Pakistan continues to say that it has no bird flu, and it is culling.

A Swiss research team has used a mathematical model to determine that the flu will develop resistance to Tamiflu.

"If you are going to use neuraminidase inhibitors such as Tamiflu as a prophylactic then, in my view, the inevitable consequence will be the likelihood of a faster emergence of resistance," he said.

"Reviewing the [medical] literature we had the feeling that a considerable fraction of the medical community hoped that with neuraminidase inhibitors the situation would be different."
A merger effects how the leading vaccine plant in the UK is owned.

ProMed reports OIE data on animal outbreaks in a few areas.

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