Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22 Flu Update

Well, here we go again. Dr. Robert Webster, in conjunction with a Elena Govorkova (also of St. Jude's) say in NEJM that the flu virus changes everyday, and could make the leap to H2H anytime. And along comes Marc Siegel: nothing is certain.

A clinical problem...bird flu is hard to diagnose quickly, sometimes after the patient has died.

CIDRAP on the story above. Note this, too:

In other findings, the Indonesian report says that the source of infection for the first patient in two of the clusters was never identified. The three patients in the first cluster reported no contact with birds, other animals, or sick people other than family members before they fell ill. In the second cluster, patients reported no contact with birds, other animals, or sick people, but the index patient used fertilizer containing chicken droppings that tested positive for H5N1.

The report says limited person-to-person transmission could not be ruled out in the first two Indonesian clusters, since the patients had no other known exposures to the virus.

Baxter Pharm. is releasing preliminary data on a cell-based bird flu vaccine.

Bird flu fighting in Turkey is being featured in a documentary.

The sick bird in Greece did not have high path H5N1.

Thailand is reconsidering vaccinating fowl for bird flu.

A plant in Britain will play a role in delivering bird flu vaccine to the US.

In Wisconsin, a local media story sounds just the right note on pandemic probability....

Today, bird flu seems more like the punchline of a joke.

But experts say it remains just as dangerous — and just as able to cause a worldwide outbreak of flu like none seen since 1918, when as many as 50 million people died.

“The reality is this virus is continuing to spread,” said Christopher Olsen, a virologist at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s continuing to infect birds. It’s continuing to kill human beings.”

A nursing home in Australia had an influenza breakout. And they are applying what they learned to a potential pandemic.

Australians in New South Wales are calling for a revamp of pandemic plans.

The Philippines is sending a bird flu task force to Indonesia.

Recombinomics says WHO is hoarding sequences from Azerbaijan.

Owego, NY is holding a bird flu seminar.


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