Thursday, August 24, 2006

August 24 Flu Update

A 35 year old woman in Indonesia now has bird flu. ProMed reports. She is not from Garut, but health officials continue to go door to door in Garut, but without reported results.

Indonesia is being criticized for cutting its bird flu spending. This is pretty hard to believe--that they did it, not that they are being criticized for it.

70 scientists wrote a letter to Nature asking for increased sharing of bird flu data. This is the single most important preventative step that could be taken for the bird flu, and it is amazing it has not happened.

In its press release, Nature went further accusing some scientists and organizations of "hoarding" sequence data, often for years, so as to be the first to publish it in academic journals.

"We propose to expand and complement existing efforts with the creation of a global consortium -- the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) -- that would foster international sharing of avian influenza isolates and data," wrote the scientists, who include six Nobel laureates.

Effect Measure has high praise for this agreement.

ProMed with more on the GISAID agreement.

The CDC has (better late than never) announced this it is releasing its sequences. The mere fact that the US is only just doing this is only proof of how bad this has been.

Vietnam is setting up bird flu task forces. Rewards are being offered for reporting an outbreak.

Effect Measure with a must read on the (now) slow, less perceptible spread of bird flu in animal populations, proposing the idea that it is too late to eradicate it.

Recombinomics has translations of reports that say that there are three sick siblings which could be a potential cluster.

The Netherlands is easing its bird flu restrictions.

Hospitals in South Africa are planning for bird flu wards and infection control, even though their experts say it isn't necessary.

A Taiwanese bird flu shelter has been established. Interesting use of building design to seperate confirmed sick from suspected sick--and also ensure that staff do not move between the two groups, either.

CIDRAP has a story that has bounced around for some time--does use of Tamiflu mask bird flu?

A study of Vietnamese H5N1 cases in a September 2005 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine found that genetic evidence of the H5N1 virus could not be detected in throat swab samples until between 2 and 15 days (median 5.5 days) after illness onset.

"If a patient is on oseltamivir for 3 days before the first swab is taken for diagnostic testing, it's possible the result will be negative, but the patient could be infected," he told Bloomberg News.

Link to New England Journal Medicine that CIDRAP is citing.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming paper says that it is safe to hunt despite bird flu, though wearing gloves is always a good practice.

Interesting. I had not seen this. India has a pretty broad poultry ban in place.

The University of Iowa has $1.2M for bird flu research.

The ever-hip Asheville NC is preparing for bird flu.

“This is not science fiction. It will happen again. There will be no existing vaccine to treat it,” Salyers warned an assembly of the WNC Communities meeting Thursday at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Enka campus.

Yorkshire, England, reminds readers that bird flu is not gone.


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