Friday, January 19, 2007

January 18 Flu Update

Yesterday, you saw that we ran a story on the flu in Egypt being Tamiflu resistant. Actually, they say it is "moderately" resistant, a phrase that I concede was elusive to me at the beginning. Here, CIDRAP explains.

More on this story from WaPo. WHO is not ruling out human-human transmission here in what is a small cluster.

"Based on the information we have, we can't yet rule out human-to-human transmission," said Dr. Fred Hayden, a WHO bird flu and antivirals expert. "We need to better understand the dynamics of this outbreak."

Here's the official WHO update from Egypt.

Effect Measure on the story of what it means to be Tamiflu resistant.

A new case is reported to be hospitalized in Indonesia.

This is an interesting and important story. Vietnam officials concede that their vaccination program is less than 70% effective...and therefore, not the panacea they and others have claimed. It is interesting and important because there is harm to vaccinating birds widely, and if it's not going to work anyway......

Mr. Nam said in theory, the protection rate is 70%, but it is lower in reality. There are two possible causes: Firstly, the vaccine’s quality is low; secondly, the vaccination process is problematic.

In Thailand, a committee has recommended vaccinating birds only in areas where outbreaks have occurred.

Wisely, Europe is reminded that with winter bird flu outbreaks, it would not be a surprise at all to see bird flu hit Europe soon.

Helen Branswell on the study released yesterday where monkeys were given the 1918 flu virus---this is the study that showed more evidence for the cytokine storm.

Farmer in Vietnam have been ordered to stop their ducks from roaming in the Mekong Delta. (Note: I am glad this is not my assignment)

The movement of duck stocks in the Mekong delta fields is strictly prohibited until the epidemic comes to an end,' Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat said in a directive seen on Thursday. 'All ducks in infected communes should be kept inside.'


Time Magazine looks at the status of the flu around the world.

China plans to spent $1BN on bird flu....by 2015.

From Nigeria---bird flu has killed 161 people around the world.

A municipality in the Philippines has banned the sale of poultry, and their regional government has taken notice.

ProMed has a WHO OIE report from Asia.

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