Thursday, June 29, 2006

June 29th Flu update

Nature has an editorial today calling for an immediate release of flu data. Editorial itself is behind the paywall, but Declan Butler passed some parts on in his blog. Note the defense of hiding data, translated from French.

“You have to know that, paradoxically, if these data were shared from the outset by the scientific community, we would encounter many difficulties in collaborating. These data can’t be published in prestigious scientific journals if they have been made public before. Whereas these publications are the essential criteria assuring the financing of future research.”

Recombinomics comments on this, as well.

Reuters has an on the ground report from Indonesia, and the reporter is treading warily.

During SARS in 2003, as it is with bird flu now, we were under orders from our editors not to go into hospitals and areas where there were outbreaks of the respiratory disease, which killed close to 800 people. However, there were a few occasions when news conferences or interviews would take place in what were supposed to be "safe wings" of hospitals taking care of SARS patients in Hong Kong, where I am based. Coming away from the hospital, we would dispose of our surgical masks and gasp gratefully for air. From then on, I would count the days and stay well away from social functions until the incubation period of seven to 10 days for the SARS virus was safely over.

Jim Rogers, a Soros Partner, advises investments in commodities during a pandemic.

The paper in Culpepper, VA, reports on a meeting held by local police to talk about the effects of the bird flu...on local police.

A seminar in Thailand gave the usual warnings--massive absenteeism, travel restrictions, shortages, infrastrcture failures. And they were told that preparation is the key.

More on Hungary trying to test its flu vaccine--they are asking the police to volunteer.

The USDA has released its 180-day update on flu programs, listing many activities.

Here's a direct link to the report...

Hong Kong has changed its bird flu alert system.

ProMed on the Chinese "investigation" of the 2003 case.

It is perhaps not surprising that a human case (or cases) of H5N1 avian influenza was not recognised in 2003 when the concern was containment of the novel SARS-associated virus. However, clarification of the situation is urgently required to determine when and where the first detection of human H5N1 avian influenza virus infection occurred in mainland China. - Mod.CP]


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