Saturday, September 30, 2006

September 29 Flu Update

ProMed with this bombshell. Bird flu might infect 25% of Indonesia's domestic bird population. A staggering figure that is interesting. I have said before that not only do we not have efficient human-human transmission, but we barely have efficient bird-human transmission. With that incidence in domestic birds, you could expect human cases to be through the roof.

Helen Branswell is back, with a story on International experts remind us not to forget the poor when preparing bird flu plans.

The meeting was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and was held at the foundation's conference centre in Bellagio, on Italy's Lake Como.

The aim was to brainstorm on whether there are ways to mitigate the impact a flu pandemic would have on society's weakest members.

"The premise going in was . . . a shared set of assumptions that are pretty safe bets, that no matter how this falls out, the burdens - economic and social as well as in terms of burdens of disease and death and disability - will not fall equally across everybody on the globe," Faden said.

More on the Chinese sample sharing "breakthrough."

A new anti-viral is being developed. It can, reportedly, be given in very high doses.

CIDRAP has this on a journal article recently published. It says that current pandemic plans may not protect healthcare workers sufficiently. This is a big issue--healthcare workers are often the first infected, and communicate the disease. Also, some people have worried if healthcare workers will show up for work if they are not protected.

The Swiss government says its flu plan includes moving poultry indoors--but only poultry living near major lakes. Interesting way to try to minimize the impact.

Britain has ordered 10 million doses of a bird flu vaccine (for birds).

An official in the Philippines says bird flu is more scary than AIDS.

A Nigerian-born scientist based in the US warns people in Africa that bird flu threatens the world's population.

Relenza is on its way to Brunei as a cheaper alternative to tamiflu.

Jefferson County, MO, looked to 1918 in completing its bird flu plan.


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