Thursday, April 27, 2006

April 26 Flu Update

Nick Zamiska is in today's Wall Street Journal with a story that some have been watching for...is there undereporting of cases in China? The story says that local governments may not have reported human cases to the Central Government.

Local health officials in China have failed to report possible human
cases of bird flu to the central government, according to a person
familiar with the matter, raising the possibility that some officials
may be concealing suspected cases and that the death toll in China is
higher than the official tally of 12.

Nature has a computer simulation out today--the upshot...no stopping the bird flu.

Reuters has a slightly more optimistic report on this study.

Their findings, reported in the journal Nature, suggest household prophylaxis, along with stockpiling vaccines and immunising children early, would have a significant impact. "Put those two measures together and you can get an almost two-thirds reduction in illness rates," Ferguson said.


A Macedonian man is being tested for the bird flu.

Three potential cases are being tested in India, too.

Pakistan says 57 suspected human cases are negative.

Birds have flu in Britain, but it appears to be H7.

More culling and positive tests in Bali.

More avian outbreaks--bird flu reported in the Ivory Coast.

Recombinomics notes that the Ivory Coast is on a flyway that leads to Europe and North America.

Educational column written by UN on next pandemic, run here in South Africa.

KFC is putting a sticker on all its food to help ward off bird flu fears.

The small stickers are being put on the lid of every bucket of chicken that KFC sells in the U.S.

The seal is a pre-emptive campaign assuring customers that the chicken is "rigorously inspected, thoroughly cooked, quality assured."

"While it doesn't specifically mention avian flu, for deliberate reasons, it reassures our customers that our food is perfectly safe," said Jonathan Blum, a spokesman for Yum Brands Inc., the parent of KFC.

A Nigerian state has set a budget to fight the bird flu.

The University of Tennessee is making bird flu plans.

The US has donated personal protective equipment to Vietnam.

The Wisconsin AgSec is pushing for a registration program, and he says bird flu is a good reason why (it strikes me that this is exactly the kind of rudimentary data gathering people should do in the pre-crisis period).

Another interesting local article on the preparations in Woodstock, Canada.

The Magical Mystery Flu Tour is now in Louisiana, where the usual messages were delivered.

Recombinomics says that bird flu could be migrating through Kazhakstan, a small thing that could indicate migration toward Western Europe and North America.

Effect Measure on a new blog--on local pandemic planning in King County, WA.

Another intersting Effect Measure article. The CDC is looking for personal data on people who travel, they say so they can contact people if a pandemic breaks out and someone on their flight might have been the carrier. Might sound reasonable enough, but everyone, from ACLU to the airlines, is objecting.

ProMed on Afghan, Russian and Bali news reported yesterday here.

Clearly, the flu will be no fun--Hawaii says in a pandemic, hugging and kissing will have to be limited.

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