Tuesday, May 16, 2006

May 16 Flu Update--500th post...official celebration may begin!

Nick Zamiska of the Wall Street Journal says bird flu has not spread beyond the cluster identified in Indonesia, easing mutation fears.

In that vein, Effect Measure warns us that after a while you start to view these clusters with a grain of salt, waiting for more confirmation. (Personal note: certainly, early on in this blog, and anxious to spot the trend when it emerged, we (as Revere did) jumped onto some "clusters" which did not turn out to be anything, and we try to be more cautious now. The thing is...if it happens, that's how it will start.

There's a suspected human case in Romania, in an area with reported bird flu. Here's an alarming phrase:

Romanian health authorities are on the hunt for several dozen tonnes of chicken products produced at a farm in Codlea, central Romania, where the deadly H5N1 strain of the flu was found last weekend. They fear the virus may have contaminated chicken products shipped to supermarkets.

Note: Late reports say bird flu ruled out.

ProMed on Indonesia and Djibouti.

Recombinomics says that the size of the cluster in Indonesia does not, on its own, signal the start of a pandemic. Also notes families (due to close contact) are different.

The EU is imposing a ban on Romanian fowl.

Australian companies are warned that a pandemic could wipe out 40% of their workforce.

The Swiss diligently continue their bird flu prep.

Bird Flu "czars" are being requested of every country in Europe.

As it did in Asia, Roche is working with a local company in Africa (Aspen) to license Tamiflu and boost production.

Chinese Chickens are being smuggled into the EU--raising bird flu fears from that source.

This Omaha TV station held a phone bank during Fatal Contact, and are telling people families should prepare now.

CIDRAP on last week's flu-in-the-blood story.

A laboratory manager and an infection control expert both downplayed the idea that the finding suggests a need for new biosecurity or infection control precautions in dealing with possible H5N1 cases.

"This doesn't change anything, in my opinion," said John Besser, MPH, director of the clinical laboratory at the Minnesota Department of Health in St. Paul. "In the microbiology world we use universal precautions, we treat everything like it's dangerous."

An analyst says it is impossible to predict the impact of bird flu on pension funds.

Western Mass is revealing its pandemic plans.

The AgSec in Malawi says migratory birds still pose a threat to that country.

The USAID blows its own horn on flu assistance.

From Ashville, NC...asking key question..."will we be ready?"

Africa's Astral Foods has conceded bird flu represents a threat to its business.


At 2:25 PM, Anonymous slovenia said...

Br-r-i-i-p-p-p-p! Bl-a-a-a-a-t! (noisemaker) Damn, I got confetti in my keyboard. Oh well, the champagne is cold. Congratualtions on 500 posts.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Orange said...

Thank you sir. Hard to believe. Once it gets into your routine, time just moves along.


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