November 2 Flu UpdateHelen Branswell on a WHO report that says there is no guarantee that H5N1 will become less deadly if it transforms into a pandemic strain. This is a key point. The assumption has always been that it would be less deadly if it went pandemic because if the disease is too virulent it kills hosts before they can transmit the virus. Not to be a doomsayer, but if it did become a pandemic at 60% virulence, we're talking an event that could be significant in geologic time. Note: it didn't say it wouldn't be less virulent, just that it might not be.
There's no guarantee the H5N1 avian flu virus would become less deadly to people if it triggers a pandemic, a new report from the World Health Organization warns.
A group of eminent influenza scientists gathered by the WHO last month concluded there is no reason to believe that the virus, which kills roughly 60 per cent of people who become infected, would become any milder if it evolves to become a pandemic strain.
CIDRAP on WHO warnings that countries should NOT stockpile pre-pandemic vaccines because not enough is known about the requirements for this kind of vaccine.
China rejects the notion that there is a new flu strain in the country.
CNN Money reports that with the new strain, new therapy activity is expected to increase.
A deceased dog with bird flu was found in Thailand. More evidence of the disease creeping over into mammals.
This report tries to answer one of the key questions (in my mind) for bird flu. Not only is there no efficient human-human transmission, but there is really no efficient bird-human transmissions. WHY? (That's the key question). This reports says genetics are the answer.
More...outdated farming and sales techniques are the real culprits.
Here is the source report.
Here we go again....FAO officials speaking in China say migratory birds do not play a major role in the spread of H5N1.
Evidence indicates wild migratory birds play a minor role in the long-distance spread of the virus, he said, adding that the main causes of the deadly disease are the trade of poultry and poultry products.
Malaysia is increasing bird flu surveillance.
Nigeria "denies" presence of bird flu in country.
Bali now has the ability to conduct bird flu tests without sending samples out of the country.
Province in East China says it is now monitoring for bird flu "around the clock" (?)
Vietnam is establishing partnerships to continue the fight against the bird flu.
Washington County, OR, ran a bird flu drill.
Poinsett County, AR, has a pandemic flu program.