Monday, May 15, 2006

May 15 Flu Update

WHO is investigating Indonesia cluster, where six of eight have died. H2H is not being ruled out, and the cases are being watched.

Bird flu was found in Papua (Indonesia) in birds, marking an eastward path.

CIDRAP on the Indonesian cases. Noting correctly that H2H doesn't necessarily mean a mutation...there are proven H2H cases where it was simply very close family contact that caused the transmission.

Recombinomics looks at some translated reports and see efficient H2H transmission.

Effect Measure covers the cluster issue...it could still be H2H or B2H, or P2H (pig)...but it bears watching.

Recombinomimcs notes that tests are being conducted of contacts of the family cluster (my note---it its efficeint H2H, you'll see it there, too)

Helen Branswell writes today on a rather squeamish topic. Could bird flu vaccines be used in people--if actual human vaccine was in short supply.

"I think it's something that does merit consideration," says Dr. Jesse Goodman, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Review. (Vaccines are considered biological products.)

Goodman and others would rather not have to resort to this option, hoping a pandemic is far enough off and new investment in novel production methods and facilities is sufficient to vastly expand output within the human influenza vaccine sector.



Cambodia is looking for "village vets," or local volunteers to held locals fight the bird flu.

The situation in Nigeria is improving, but they are warning against complacency.

The enigmatic Dr. Nabarro is back on the "congratulations tour," this time in Egypt, praising their response to bird flu.

IBM is donating software to a cooperative global flu fight, promoting communication and the spread of information right down to the village level.

Smaller countries in the Pacific are at risk, like Papua New Guinea, which is very closer to Papua in Indonesia, where bird flu was found recently.

A seminar in Indonesia was held for journalists to help them cover the flu better (mildly interesting given comments from bloggers about the lack of reports from journalists during the latest Indonesian incident).

In the Ag Industry, they wonder if bird is to birds as BSE is to cattle.

The UN reminds us that the fight will cost more than what has been pledged.

Australia asks, should seniors be last in line for bird flu vaccine.

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