January 5 Flu UpdateNIH continues to work on vaccine for bird flu, in this case a DNA vaccine that would allow rapid flexibility to adapt to new strains, though they are beginning with the Indonesia strain. In my opinion, this is the development that makes the whole story moot--and one we should be able to develop.
But scientists must first find out if the DNA vaccine works in humans. Two-thirds of the 45 patients in NIH's study will be given an active form of the vaccine to test it for safety and to see if it reliably prompts an immune response.
Finding out whether it can actually prevent infection with real-world H5N1 virus would be the next step.
"There are a lot of 'ifs' here," Gronvall says.
DNA vaccines against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have already shown some ability to prompt immune responses in the short term.
"We really don't know if DNA vaccines will work for flu," Nabel says.
Indonesian officials say there are two clusters of human bird flu in Indonesia, involving a total of 7 people. (I haven't seen this anywhere else yet, so that's for what it is worth).
Indonesia says it is enlisting local villages as allies in the fight against bird flu.
The Associated Press quoted Nyoman Kandun, a Health Ministry official, as saying, "there are two clusters, one with two sisters, the other with three family members, and another two of their neighbours." The three children range in age from 18 months to six-years-old.
Vietnam continues to gain praise for fighting the bird flu.
Local official Vietnam report on bird flu prevalence since 2004.
ProMed on the continued spread of flu among birds in Vietnam.
Hong Kong is on bird flu alert after having a bird test positive for H5.
ProMed on protective measures in Hong Kong.
At least sounds important--researchers have important data on how the immune system recognizes bird flu.
English zoos are vaccinating birds against avian flu.
BioCryst has $102M grant to develop new anti-viral.
CIDRAP has this story, too.
Effect Measure writes on research on the prevalence of different strains of seasonal flu, what it means for a new kind of flu (H5N1), and what we can learn when we mobilize our resources to win a big battle.
Norfolk, UK, is preparing for a bird flu pandemic by looking at the cold hard facts.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has a pandemic prep kit for businesses to use.
The Missouri Department of Human Services has a 12-page brochure on bird flu for residents of that state.