Thursday, August 31, 2006

August 30 Flu Update

Five people have been put in the hospital on Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, as suspected bird flu patients. As always, five patients at once will make people think "cluster."

In addition, two patients are now being treated in West Java.

ProMed says these patients are also part of a potential cluster--note comments near bottom of post.

Nicholas Zamiska of the Wall Street Journal has the story of Peter Bogner, the non-scientist behind the flu sequence sharing agreement.

A journal will soon publish the news that a dog in Asia caught bird flu from eating a dead chicken. Answer is not to get rid of the dog--just bury chickens deeper to keep the dog away from them.

Indonesia has restored budget funds for fighting bird flu, after receiving criticism for proposing fund cuts.

Effect Measure weighs in on the blood tranfusion story. Notes "desperation" and that it would be hard to employ a strategy in a full-scale pandemic.

This is one of those ideas that sounds good on paper until one thinks of bodies stacked up like cordwood outside of emergency rooms. As a strategy, except in exceptional circumstances, this seems like a pretty weak reed to lean on. The time to investigate it and try it is now, when cases are few and this method might be used in resource scarce Indonesia, Thailand or China. In these instances, if effective, it might save someone's little girl or big brother. It should be tried.

Ducks continue to be a problem in Vietnam (this time in the capitol). This story says Vietnam has banned the further hatching of ducks. (How do you stop a duck from hatching? Destory the eggs?)

CIDRAP: H5N1 not present in Alaskan birds.

The Chinese have busted a fake Tamiflu ring.

Dutch respond to ProMed: All four birds in the zoo were not H5N1.

A bird lover in Pretoria says there is no threat of bird is all hysteria.

The UN is trying to help Latin American farmers prevent avian influenza.

WHO has also warned Africa that the flu is here to stay.

The Arkansas Times has a long article on the flu and what could happen.

Recombinomics has links between the bird flu from Indonesia and that found in birds in Southern Canada.


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