Sunday, October 29, 2006

October 29 Flu Update

GSK is talking to the British government about a countrywide vaccine, the first that has been discussed anywhere, to my knowledge.

The Department of Health said: “Pre-pandemic vaccines are one of a number of options we are considering. We already have a stockpile of 14.6 million treatment courses of antivirals, and we are stockpiling around 3.5 million doses of H5N1 vaccines. However, we continue to review our planning options, including pre-pandemic vaccines.

A Portsmouth, NH company is using handheld computers to help track the bird flu to the correct location.

Research from India shows that the bird flu that hit there was sensitive to Tamiflu--therefore, Tamiflu helped to prevent a wider spread of the disease.

Bird flu has been ruled out on a farm in Trinidad.


At 7:30 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


While the news from New Delhi, India is encouraging in that "timely administering of Tamiflu to those who were quarantined on suspicions of having been in contact with H5N1 virus infected birds, helped them to avert the transmission of the virus to humans" - it is somewhat premature. Just today scientists in Hong Kong and the U.S. have published information about a new strain of H5N1 bird flu virus in China and warned it might have started another wave of outbreaks in poulty in Southeast Asia and move deeper into Eurasia. The strain, called the "Fujian-like virus" because it was first isolated in the Fujian province of China, has been detected increasingly in six provinces in China, displacing other H5N1 strains. They believe the strain might also have become resistant to vaccines, which China began using on a large scale to protect poultry from H5N1. It has already caused poultry outbreaks in Laos, Malaysia and Thailand, and infected humans in Thailand. Genetic sequencing of viruses show this new Fujian strain becoming predominant over other H5N1 strains (recombination at its best).

What's really significant about this news is that sometime in the future, it is suspicioned that Tamiflu will outlive its usefulness, as newer strains emerge. Also, with the passage of time, these newer strains can't help but render present "bridge" H5N1 vaccines, somewhat impotent.

Then what happens ?



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