Friday, April 07, 2006

April 6 Flu Update

The girl we reported sick yesterday in Egypt is now a bird flu fatality. She died one day after coming to the hospital. Interesting to note that only three of 11 people in Egypt with bird flu have died.

WHO official report on Egypt.

The Scotsman is one of the original papers tracking the pandemic when no one else does. So in a way its fitting that the H5N1 hit in Scotland first in the UK. Here's a Q&A for nervous Scots.

The Independent also lays out the full story.

Here's a local Scottish perspective.

Cambodia says its bird flu fatality had contact with birds.

WHO official report on Cambodia.

CIDRAP looks at Scotland, but also contains interesting FAO report that says some control measures are being effective, and that countries are urged to aim their efforts at farms, not because that's the only route, but becuase its the most influencable.

ProMed on Scotland, as well as on new cases in birds in Lagos, Nigeria.

ProMed on Cambodia and Egypt.

Europe details a rash of flu measures, including for zoo birds.

New Zealand plans to close its borders if the bird flu strikes.

A vet at the lab in Britain that does many of the tests for bird flu says that there is no evidence the virus is mutating into a form that makes it easier for people to transmit.

Ethiopia says it is H5N1 free.

In Burkina Faso, bird sales are plummeting.

Egpyt is trying to curb bird flu, but gaining acceptance of measures is difficult.

Cameroon tells people at high level meeting that bird flu does not easily infect people.

The Health Minister in the Republic of Ireland says that country is fully prepared to fight the bird flu.

Reuters with a bird flu fact box.

Little Rock Arkansas talks about what it would do if the bird flu hit.

Direct link to Arkansas' bird flu plan

Basic training of health officials is going on in Palau, such as drawing blood from chickens.

A regional flu conference is being held in the Philippines.

Helen Branswell picks up the story on cats playing a role in the spread of the bird flu.

An American infectious diseases expert agreed that cats are an important piece of the H5N1 puzzle. But Dr. Michael Osterholm said it is not clear whether they might trigger rare human infections or help the virus adapt to humans -- or pose no risk at all to human health.

"This is an area of urgent study," said Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

"This is one of those situations where . . . public health is stuck between a rock and a hard place because we have to take this feline issue very seriously. But the last thing that any of us wants is to go out and see inhuman or hysterical reactions to the cat population."

Sweden is doubling its stock of Tamiflu.

The lead pharmacist in Australia says that Tamiflu should be available over the counter.

Reality check for Egypt--ridding the country of bird flu could take years.

Duke says bird flu tests going on there.

Effect Measure looks at some historic "mild" pandemics, their effect on a specific hospital, and the "hollow shell" of our public health system.

Effect Measure also notes that continued bird flu in Germany--a leader in bioprotection--should give pause to any country (hint:US) that thinks its poultry industry is protected from bird flu due to sophistication.

Recombinomics on the Scottish case and the East Africa Flyway


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