Saturday, June 17, 2006

June 16 Flu Update

WHO confirms the recent Chinese case has H5, and a June 14th death in Indonesia is reported. CIDRAP reports.

Canada has reported a case of H5 on Prince Edward Island....N1 confirmation still coming.

This release details the initial government response.

A Canadian agency says it is unlikely it is H5N1, via ProMed.

While Recombinomics says there is evidence of H5N1.

Helen Branswell on volunteers in US taking a new internasal H5N1 vaccine.

But the flip side of the impressive list of potential positives is one big potential negative: scientists aren't sure it will induce enough of a protective response in humans to be worthwhile -- although they think so.

Its not just the Chinese....apparenntly, Denmark waited two weeks to notify WHO about an outbreak.

ProMed has a complete report on the situation in Denmark, past and present.

Must read editorial from the Bangkok Post, with an interesting perspective. Is too much attention being given to H5N1?

Serious thought should be given to a plea issued on Wednesday by scientists around the world calling on the G8 leaders not to get so caught up in the potential threat of bird flu that they divert their attention from the real global killers: TB, HIV/Aids and malaria. They issued the appeal ahead of the G8 summit in St Petersburg next month, which will have a bearing on the allocation of funds.

USA Today with a high profile story on the surveillance going on in Alaska.

Via Crofsblogs, a report has been received that the young girl who died in West Sumatra may have had two sisters who died of bird flu as well.

Apparently, culled birds in Maharashtra were not disposed of properly, and there are fears the bird flu could come back after the Monsoon season.

Russia has a bird flu program to propose at the G8 summit.

The Red Cross says donors are not responding to its call for support for a possible pandemic, and it could effect response.

Forbes has this on how to align your portfolio for the pandemic.

...the moment the WHO shifts the alert level to Phase 4, expect a literal overnight collapse of the Asian markets similar to the currency crisis of 1997. That crisis started in July 1997 in Thailand, but it caused a global financial domino effect. That is what we are looking at with a Phase 4 warning.

Maine is testing its birds...on the Alaska plan.

Reporters are told how to reduce their chances of getting the bird flu.

A group of veterinary virologists are working together with a pledge to release bird flu sequences.

Effect Measure writes on this story as well...noting that while it is an important step forward, none of the signees are from China. Further....

It is time for US government policy to require all NIH and NSF grantees to deposit avian influenza sequences into GenBank immediately as they are obtained and certainly for CDC to do likewise.

There are a bunch of local stories today (or, Friday is a tough day to find local news stories :-):

Knox County, TN, is preparing for the bird flu.

A health district in Alberta is doing some public education.

Public meetings have been held in Greene County, IN.

Roanoke,VA Red Cross also has someone working on the case.

They are also planning in Memphis, TN.

The local health director is commenting in Albany, GA.

Op-Ed piece from two state health directors gives recommendations for public health preparation.


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