Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October 30 Flu Update

Most important flu story in some time. The Fujian variant of the disease appears to have taken over for other strains, indicating a virus that continue to evolve and change.

Offshoots of the Fujian variant were isolated in the 22 human cases of bird flu reported in China since last November, and the strain has sickened birds in Laos, Malaysia and Thailand, where it also infected people, the group notes.

An Eygptian woman who is said to have caught bird flu while slaughtering domestic chickens has died of the disease in Egypt.

CIDRAP on the death in Egypt.

Recombinomics has reports of what he feels are increasing numbers of hospitalized patients in Egypt.

Helen Branswell with what could be significant news on the flu virus. Though not H5N1 directly, it speculates on new doubts about the idea that the flu virus is constantly evolving to "outsmart" the human immune system.

A universal flu shot is targetting the stable portions of the flu virus.

Revere on the theory that flu victims can be cared for at home.

A committee in the Cayman Islands is working on a bird flu plan

Here's a new flu website...birdflusmart.com. It is designed to help people prepare for a pandemic.

The Times (UK) with an exhaustive Flu 101 on the virus to date.

Oregon is holding a statewide pandemic exercise.

Concordia University (Montreal) has formed a local pandemic planning committee.

FYI, Effect Measure is reprising some outstanding archived articles on the sceince behind the flu. Check here and here.


At 8:30 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


The news article from Science concerning the new Fujian strain of H5N1 is a surprise and revelation to many, and hopefully a wake up call for everyone that this pandemic threat is for real. The H5N1 virus train is still thundering down the tracks and gaining momentum. The need for better surveillance around the world is necessary. Poultry vaccinations have to be reassessed worldwide before we set ourselves up for a real medical Armegeddon. Most importantly, nobody at the present time seems to understand the dynamics of these emerging strains (like Fujian) and where their evolutionary pathways will lead. Most all of the blogsites are buzzing with dire predictions, which is to be expected, but hopefully people will translate this new information into personal action by preparing a family safety net.

I found the article by Revere intriguing. With very little sense of actual "community" spirit to depend upon these days, the fundamental question is who will actually assist flu victims at home even during a moderate pandemic ? This is a question that every state and county and municipality should be addressing in their pandemic plans. Most do not. I guess as a default, everyone better figure that nobody will come to to their rescue if they fall sick, automatically, this way they won't be disappointed. They may die, but at least they won't be disappointed.


At 9:54 PM, Blogger Orange said...

Wulfgang--Wow, thanks for the active comments and insights. And thanks for reading. I'll try to keep up.

Most people believe that the threat of bird flu has fallen since the Post-Katrina spate of news last year. Of course, with increasing caseloads and news like today's, the opposite is actually true.

Someone (probably Revere) said that the bird flu is like watching an accident in slow motion. The problem is that the progress of the virus, while unyielding, is gradual. We're just not set up to pay attention to something this long.

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At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Thailand Bird Watching said...

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