February 16 Flu UpdateThe biggest flu news remains on the vaccine front. The UN says a bunch of things, most notably that vaccine could be available within three months of a pandemic beginning. How much...different question. Note that this quote seems to hint that we're talking multiple strains, too.
“For the first time, results presented at the meeting have convincingly demonstrated that vaccination with newly developed avian influenza vaccines can bring about a potentially protective immune response against strains of H5N1 virus found in a variety of geographical locations,” WHO said in a news release.
“Some of the vaccines work with low doses of antigen, which means that significantly more vaccine doses can be available in case of a pandemic,” it added.
CIDRAP on the vaccine story. Emphasizes current production capacity of 400 million in world of 6 billion. Note also that CIDRAP cites a difference between the tone of WHO's November vaccine release and this release.
Here's the official WHO report.
Effect Measure decries WHO for seeking good news headlines which are supported by carefully measured words that don't promise very much....and with strong emphasis on the lack of production capacity. (My note is this: isn't it true that we could make real progress without vaccinating everyone in the world? Couldn't we at least head off the apocalyptic predictions we have seen in the last few years? Couldn't it be 1968 instead of 1918?).
For those who are really into vaccines, here is a table of all ongoing flu vaccine trials.
A five-year old in Egypt is now confirmed H5N1 positive.
CIDRAP on Egypt, and other countries. Note the death is confirmed H5N1 from a couple of days ago. Note outbreaks in Laos (new) and Turkey.
There is an outbreak in Moscow among birds. This is the first time the bird flu has been found in the capital region.
Indonesia will resume sending samples to WHO....once it has guarantees it will have access to the vaccine produced from the samples.
CIDRAP has this story, as well.
ProMed has a Japanese report on rodents spreading bird flu there. Note skeptical mod comment.
With bird flu breaking out in new countries each week, Revere looks back one year and sees what he was writing then...the most things change (you know the rest).
Britain hastily changes its regulations in response to the Suffolk update.
Mexico is looking to prevent bird flu with some new animal health rules.
The Ivory Coast is also stepping up its surveillance program.
Here's a story from the local press on flu prep in Louisiana.
Roche has filed to sell lower dose Tamiflu in Europe, partly for children in an influenza pandemic.
The Society of Human Resource Managers looks at the recent hurricane-style pandemic rating from the US.
The Archdiocese of Edmonton says it is planning for a pandemic. They are prepared to cancel Church in a worst case scenario.
Professor tells Whitewater, Wisconsin audience about the uncertainty of a pandemic.