December 1 Flu UpdateIn Thailand, officials are considering whether to take the controversial step of vaccinating poultry against the flu.
Canada has issued a warning about Tamiflu, blogged here by Revere. Note MSM screwing up vaccine/anti-viral distinction in headlines, and Revere's own practice on Tamiflu (which matches mine).
The EU has extended its ban on importing birds for 3 additional months.
South Korea says it dealt well with bird flu...but North Korea would be another story.
ProMed on WHO guidelines for diagnosing bird flu. Mod comment says that the guidelines are in response to concerns raised in those NEJM articles on missed cases.
Excellent article on vaccine labs gearing up to fight the bird flu.
The animal husbandry industry lost $2B due to bird flu, according to a report.
CIDRAP on the Canadian triage plan to allocate ventilators.
The inclusion criteria identify patients who may benefit from critical care treatment, focusing on respiratory failure.
Exclusion criteria place patients in three different categories: those who have a poor prognosis despite critical care, those whose care demands resources that can't be provided during a pandemic, and those who have underlying advanced medical conditions such as malignant cancer or end-stage organ failure that complicates their critical influenza status.
The authors write that they struggled with the decision to put an age cutoff in the plan's exclusion criteria. They did not include one in their original protocol draft because they claim age may not strongly predict critical care outcomes. "However, we received strong and consistent feedback from both expert and stakeholder consultations that an age criterion should be included," they wrote. Age above 85 is listed among the exclusion criteria, but the authors suggest that the topic of age cutoff requires more research and community input.
The "minimum qualifications for survival" component attempts to place a limit on the resources used for any one patient. "This is a concept foreign to many medical systems in developed countries but one that has been used in war zones and refugee camps," the authors write. In the triage protocol, patients are reassessed at 48 and 120 hours to identify early those who are improving and those likely to have a poor outcome.
Lame Duck Governor (flu humor) Bob Taft held a pandemic exercise in Ohio.
Stars and Stripes says to be aware, not worried.
Nice story from the Central Michigan student paper--A professor and student are studying water, sediment and feces in migratory pathways for bird flu.
There is now a website that has information on wild bird surveillance.
Officials in North Dakota are conducting bird flu surveillance.
The American Public Health Association has a seasonal flu blog...and in this post they answer the question of whether the flu shot will protect against bird flu.
A UN map on the bird flu.