Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 15 Flu Update

CIDRAP reports on the gene chip--to diagnose H5N1 quicker and more effectively.

The US and Mexico are working on cross-border pandemic issues.

Scientists have identified the two mutations that would need to occur for the bird flu to become tranmissible between humans.

The new report provides a molecular blueprint for the genetic changes required to transform a virus that only infects birds to a virus capable of easily recognising human receptors. Receptors are molecules on the surface of cells that permit the virus to dock with the cell and commandeer it to initiate a cascade of infection. By knowing what genetic changes are required for the virus to easily infect human cells, it may be possible to detect the emergence of pandemic strains earlier, providing public health officials and vaccine manufacturers with precious time to prepare for a global outbreak of highly pathogenic influenza.

CIDRAP on OSHA guidelines for people who might work with infected animals.

You can't have missed the stories out there about the side effects of Tamiflu including abnormal behavior. Effect Measure weighs in--also noting concerns about how Tamiflu works against N1 subtypes.

South Korea is going to train other officials in Asia on detecting bird flu.

Romania's goal is more bird flu outbreaks.

Lufkin TX is preparing for the flu.

Jamaica is holding a FIVE-DAY regional bird flu conference.

Pandemic planning is also going on in Cass County, MN.

Ft. Collins CO--on the frontlines of the bird flu surveillance effort.


At 8:28 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Here's my reaction to the BBC news article about the new research report on the molecular blueprint of the avian virus, which may enable scientist to predict when it gets close to acquiring H2H efficiency. Or, in other words, be an indicator of a potential influenza pandemic.

Useful information, but most importantly, the bottom line is still the same - we are only a key mutation or two from a pandemic occurence. We have already arrived at the starting gate. This is becoming too close for comfort. The H5N1 virus is evolving way too fast for us to acquire and translate the human receptor data, so far. We are always playing catch up. It continues to morph, evolve and adapt to it's various hosts, and it seems to be expanding exponentially into several potential lethal pandemic strains.

My personal belief is that this virus knows what it is doing, and knows where it is going. It's now firmly embedded in our world environment and there is no stopping it. We may be even perpetuating it by the innoculation of hundreds of millions of poultry. It's chemically programmed itself to survive. It's as if it is circulating on a "viral internet", looking for the right browser or firewall to penetrate. It's only a matter of time.

Damn, I feel like John writing the book of Revelations.


At 10:01 AM, Blogger Orange said...

I think of the virus more like the computer in War Games. Remember that. It just tried every combination until it hit the right one. The virus is relentless, and history says it will eventually hit a pandemic strain. What happens after that is the question.


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