Wednesday, September 27, 2006

September 27 Flu Update

The 20 year old with flu in Indonesia has died. He is the 52nd death in the nation.

News report on article in Nature today....the Spanish was deadly because it provoked the victim's immune system into an overreaction.

While this response is normally a critical part of the body’s defences against infection, when it is too strong it can cause as much damage as the disease itself. This could explain why the 1918 virus was so lethal.

“What we think is happening is that the host’s inflammatory response is being highly activated by the virus, and that response is making the virus much more damaging to the host,” Dr Kash said.

Revere looks back on 22 months of time in the flu blogosphere....and finds the Internet the only place where the flu is discussed as appropriate. (Thanks for the honor of mentioning this site, Revere!). Finally, he takes stock of where we stand.

There has also been evidence for some time of small clusters with all the hallmarks of person to person transmission. In a few cases this has been demonstrated, but mostly we are in the dark about how people are getting sick from this virus. Exposure to infected poultry probably predominates, but there are sufficiently many cases where no exposure history has been obtained that we need to also consider other reservoirs. Person to person transmission has occurred, but so far it has been rare. Yet today comes news of yet another suspected three person cluster in Indonesia, the country where the largest cluster to date (8 cases) also occurred.

ProMed says a bird is dead in Egypt with bird flu.

WHO Update on Thai case.

Zimbabwe is bird flu free, but preparing for the flu with a task force.

More on the possible cluster in Indonesia.

Not surprisingly, the man quarantined in Australia after a trip from Vietnam may have flu like symptoms, but he does not have the bird flu.

In fact, he may have been a drug courier made sick by heroin he was carryingg in his stomach.

Hospitals in North Carolina are preparing for bird flu to hit them.

“At some point, when there are more people who need ventilators than there are ventilators available, you would have extraordinarily painful choices about who gets those ventilators," Hensel said.

The Chamber of Commerce in Cedar Rapids, IA is conducting bird flu seminars for local businesses.

Montana is spending $800K on Tamiflu.

Article in Singapore says to protect healthcare workers, you have to treat them before they have symptoms. (This will also help to cut down disease transmission, but will drain Tamiflu supplies)

CIDRAP on the cases reported yesterday. In regard to the false negative in Thailand, the theory is that Tamiflu might have eliminated the virus from the lungs, which is where swabs were taken (not sure if this is possible, but it sounds unlikely).

Canada says Tamiflu can be produced "off patent."

Venezeula is preparing a pandemic flu plan.

Schools in New Zealand are told to prepare for bird flu.

Prohibiting students from attending schools was one way medical officers of health might try to stop the spread of infection, he said. Sick students may also be sent home by principals.
Correspondence schooling should be organised for those students, Mr Marshall said.

BioCryst is going to announce flu vaccines news this weekend. With that, their stock went up.

Asian pop star MIA has a new hit...with a "killer" beat...she calls it "Bird Flu"

You gotta give the Humane Society of the US credit. They read blogs. Today they asked me to blog on their cockfighting bill since it would also help to prevent bird flu. Candidly, I thought cockfighting was already illegal, but I guess we are still tying to crack down. If you're interested, here is a news story.


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