Wednesday, June 14, 2006

June 14th Flu Update

600 domestic fowl have died of H5 in Hungary.

Alaska passes a law with new powers to quarantine and test animals in the wake of flu fears.

Flu experts are on their way to Shenzhen, China, where a new human case has emerged.

Yesterday, we had the story about the reason for the high death rate among young people--the often mentioned cytokine storm. CIDRAP covers this today.

Scientists have suggested that the cytokine storm played a role in the high death rate in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and is playing a similar role in human cases of H5N1 infection today. Autopsies of H5N1 avian flu victims in Vietnam and elsewhere have revealed lungs choked with debris from excessive inflammation triggered by the virus. Similar severe lung damage was frequently reported in victims of the 1918 pandemic, which disproportionately killed people with the strongest immune systems—young, healthy adults.

CIDRAP on China's new case, and on some technical reviews in Indonesia.

Recombinomics has a translation of three suspect bird flu deaths in Sumatra.

Could a mask made out of a T-shirt help in a serious bird flu pinch.

"A simple, locally made, washable mask may be a solution if commercial masks are not available," Virginia Dato, David Hostler and Michael Hahn wrote in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
China says it has a new detection method for bird flu and new flu vaccines (for birds) as well.

Local government officials are telling federal officials in NZ that they may need some new laws--or relaxation of some other laws.

Among them would be regulations governing the establishment and maintenance of cemeteries, registration of funeral directors, certification of mortuaries and provision for the handling and transportation of dead bodies - all of which are administered by local authorities.

Thursday, Voice of America will host a program on bird flu.

A state lab in Alaska is now certified to do flu tests.

Mt. Olive (NJ) says the area is unprepared for the bird flu pandemic--raising the hurricane metaphor again.

The University of Iowa has released its pandemic preparedness plan.

Pharmacy in China will stock Tamiflu soon.

MedImmune updated its investors on progress on a number of fronts, including bird flu.


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