Monday, August 14, 2006

August 14 Flu Update

News reverberating on the Michigan front. Lots of media attention. Unique takes only are included.

CIDRAP on the Michigan situation. Important note: birds are healthy, and found as part of routine surveillance. It seems sure it is LPAI.

An analysis of genetic sequences at the NVSL has already suggested that the avian influenza virus in the swans is similar to the low-pathogenic avian flu virus identified previously in North America. Routine sampling in wild ducks in the United States showed evidence of low-pathogenic H5N1 in 1975 and 1986. The virus has also been detected in Canada as recently as 2005.

"These results are not unexpected in a given surveillance activity," DeHaven said at the media briefing.

Recombinomics is calling for the sequences to be made public from Michigan, to check on the Qinghai isolates.

13 dead birds were also found in Essex, UK, but botulism is to blame

The July 12th death in China is now confirmed H5N1. CIDRAP on that case, and the 17 year old from Indonesia.

ProMed on the Indonesian case, noting the prevalence of sick birds in most bird flu cases.

Revere writes on India's claim to be bird flu free, and the limited WHO definition that lets a claim like that be technically true.

Thailand wiill continue bird flu measures until the end of 2006.

The Health Department in Des Moines, Iowa is buying up Tamiflu.

A lecturer in India notes the potential harm of avian flu on the financial system there.

A Czech scientist says that he has discovered a "compound" that is effective against the bird flu.

But Havlas said work is needed on a 'transport' mechanism. 'It must be chemically modified to get it into target cells and the viruses' which is 'very hard work,' he said.

Gilead is now responsible for taking the research to the next level, although Havlas said the work could take 'several years.'


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