December 27 Flu Update--Happy Birthday to the Coming Influenza Pandemic?
It was two years ago today that I decided to blog the flu. Nearly every day since then I've posted the latest news on the avian flu. This is, in fact, my 693rd post, amazingly enough. Some days it takes a few minutes, and in busy seasons it can take hours. I've enjoyed it a lot, gotten nice feedback from people who read, and built a small following which is about 100 times more than I ever thought I would get.
The first post was on the discovery of AI in Japan.
For what it is worth, when I started I believed a pandemic could hit any minute. It wasn't that close then, but its closer now than it was two years ago. The question is whether we have used our time to prepare ourselves for strategic, society-level solutions.
I did it because I was interested in keeping up on the topic, and as I begin the third year, I still am. So, thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. I hope you find it useful.
A third member of an extended family in Egypt has died. He was in the hospital for 10 days, for those trying to calculate exposure sequences. Could he be the index case? (Ducks were being slaughtered for a wedding celebration).
CIDRAP on the Egypt cases.
Recombinomics also on the Egypt cases.
Official WHO statement, strong on the exposure to sick poultry.
Now that the flu is back, Vietnam is warning that it could be widespread in the country before it finally goes away.
Effect Measure on the recent cases in Vietnam, the inevitable casting of blame, and the real story: the flu is entrenched and not going anywhere.
For those who say the bird flu is going away...deaths this year outpaced the last year years combined.
Flu reports in Asia has spawned a more watchful atmosphere at the airport in Manila.
Stars and Stripes says that a recent bird flu outbreak in South Korea isn't a threat to military forces.
Canadian Rx industry puts $1M into flu programs.
Canadian scientists say they have identified a new fact about how flu replicates
The study revealed novel characteristics of a protein, called NS1, that activates a key pathway in the virus's reproduction. This information will help the researchers learn how to create harmless influenza viruses that can be used as live vaccines.
The pathway can be thought of as an assembly line with a switch to turn it on, says Zhou. "If the switch is turned on, the pathway enables efficient production of more viruses. But only the NS1 protein can turn on the switch."