Sunday, May 21, 2006

May 21 Flu Update

There's another human case in Indonesia--he's a (I swear to God) shuttlecock maker.

Lab tests have confirmed H5 in Bucharest.

Helen Branswell is back again with a fine report on the difficulties in doing surveillance in China--difficult, but important. Note that its even more important given the number of vaccines given in China to birds--potentially masking potential problems.

"The point I think we should at least learn from Thailand and Vietnam is that likely the key is to have a strong surveillance system at the really local level, at the rural level, with a willingness to respond quickly and effectively," Bekedam said.

Louisiana African American newspaper does bird flu from that perspective.

Mississippi is taking special notice of the bird flu, since its on the Gulf Coast, with lots of migratory bird visits.

"Yes, we are concerned," said Scott Hereford, the senior wildlife biologist and crane specialist at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge near Gautier. "We do not have any detailed plans for dealing with the avian flu at this time. The Department of the Interior is doing preparation work in case the flu reaches this country. We are also working closely with the National Wildlife Health Center."

More on Bird Flu Surveillance work ongong in Alaska.

Richmond, Indiana is preparing for the bird flu--they know a pandemic is overdue.

Excellent article on memories of 1918 haunting US. Note especially efforts to get around quarantines.

WHO's Director will miss a major pandemic meeting due to brain surgery.

Toronto Star writes about "preparing for the worst."

"There's planning and there's nutty planning," says Gardam. "If you type `bird flu' into Google, oh my God, some of what you're getting is weird. They're preying on people's fears."

In total, WHO says there have been 216 cases of bird flu, with 122 fatal.

On that note, some people are writing that the flu is getting more deadly by looking at the percentage of cases proving fatal. Effect Measure has a warning to take this with a grain of salt--there are more variables involved than just the virus.

ProMed has the news from Burkina Faso.


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