January 4 Flu UpdateBird flu continues to "spread its wings" in Vietnam.
In her inaugural address, Margaret Chan, the new Director-General of WHO says the world must remain vigilant against bird flu.
Helen Branswell (thanks, Crofsblog) has the story of Dr. Chan's first day
"We learned from past experience it goes into cycles. There would be periods of high H5N1 activity or low activity," Chan said from Geneva during a telephone news conference.
"These kinds of what I call peaks and troughs are very characteristic for influenza. ... So my advice to health authorities would be: We are moving into the peak season of influenza activity again. This is the time we really need to redouble our efforts in terms of heightened sense of vigilance."
CDC has approved a "flu chip" that tests quickly for avian flu.
A wild bird has tested positive for H5 in Hong Kong---no word on N1.
Recombinomics has sources saying it is H5N1, and details the state of flu outbreaks for 2007.
This story has emerged before. Imagine a pandemic. People take Tamiflu by the million, and then, eventually, it ends up in the wastewater treatment system, where active ingredients don't biodegrade.
Another societal effect of the bird flu...cash supplies could be severely restricted.
Recently, we ran a story about how water and wastewater treatment would react in a pandemic, with the report saying that measures currently in place could be effective. Revere blogs this article, saying more work like this is useful, if not the road to "academic stardom."
Cameroon reports that its poultry sales have bounced back from bird flu scares.
Here, a fellow flu blogger notes our second anniversary.