February 10 Flu UpdateHelen Branswell here with an article that has the potential to be the most important development in avian flu in many months. If it bears out, it could mean even more than that. She reports that scientists studying the prevalence of flu deaths in young people wonder if there is not widespread existing immunity in people over 35. Entire article is a must read.
Nearly 90 per cent of the people who’ve been diagnosed so far with H5N1 avian flu were under age 40, a new analysis from the World Health Organization shows.
And two British scientists suggest that as yet unexplained phenomenon could be a clue that widespread immunity to infection with this virus may exist in people aged 35 and older.
In a letter to the March issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, Matthew Smallman-Raynor of the University of Nottingham and Andrew Cliff of the University of Cambridge note that the age distribution of H5N1 human cases is "consistent with a biological model of geographically widespread immunity to avian influenza A (H5N1) in persons born before 1969.
West Java woman dies of bird flu in Indonesia. She is from a village where four other people are sick.
Scandal ensues in Britain concerning the Bernard Matthews turkey company and its imports of Hungarian fowl, which continued after Hungarian birds were the suspected cause of the Suffolk outbreak.
More on the hospitalized cases in Turkey, reported yesterday. This report says there are 3, not 4.
The source of the infection for the deaths in Nigeria has not been determined yet. The birds there appear to be domestically raised.
Meanwhile, efforts are underway on the ground to stem the tide of the bird flu.
A third avian outbreak is reported in Pakistan.
South Korea found its sixth outbreak of bird flu among birds, and the culling begins.
A dead magpie in Hong Kong is H5N1 positive.
Dr. Nabarro says outbreaks are less than last year, but more widespread...
he also says H2H is a possibility.
The NHS is Scotland is preparing for bird flu.
More Branswell, here on wild bird surveillance.
A man who had cycled in SE Asia came home to Cyprus with flu symptoms, but has now tested negative. Note that this didn't come until after panic had ensued.
A media guide for journalists is now available on line.
A graduate of Illinois Wesleyan who works at the Mayo Clinic returned to his alma mater to warn of bird flu risks.