Sunday, April 15, 2007

April 14 Flu Update

The first avian outbreak in Algeria has been reported.

This report says a girl died of bird flu in Cambodia on April 5. I believe we reported this earlier, but it is from UPI, which makes me wonder.

This news appears to be fresh--there are new bird outbreaks in Cambodia.

Nigeria emphasizes that there are no new human cases of flu.

In Edmonton, farmers are urged to keep their fowl from drinking water that might have been contaminated by wild geese, etc.

In India, a monitoring committee has been formed to check the bird flu there.

Effect Measure looks at some research that shows that current measures to prevent bird flu from spreading from farm to farm may be insufficient, and that this would be a catastrophe even if the disease never went H2H.

The foreign minister from Laos is in Thailand to talk bird flu, among other things.

The Health Minister in Suriname has issued warnings about the bird flu.

More from Australia on the study that calls out the Tamiflu resistant nature of Influenza B--and that the resistant virus is H2H.

1 Comments:

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

Well, I see Algeria is reporting its first confirmed case of H5N1 on a small farm. That’s how it all starts these days. When I looked at my 10 foot square National Geographic world wall map, I finally located Sidi El Bachir, in the Oran Province – it’s less than 200 from Spain. Which of course, makes us all wonder, where the virus has been, where is now, and where is it heading in that region of the world.

I noticed in your article about Nigeria, they are insistent (of course) that, “there is no new case of the scourge in the country” and “all results are negative”. I wonder why then does the Minister of Information and Communications say in the last paragraph, explicitly, “ immediately report any suspected case of the disease to the nearest veterinary or healthcare facility” ? Hey, no likely spin control going on in their neck of the woods, is there.

We both think alike there Orange. When I read the Edmonton article, the short paragraph warning the residents about their open area water storage becoming contaminated, really pops out. All in all, it does look like the Albertian’s are on top of things when it comes to educating the public about bird flu and protecting their poultry flocks.

The Indian article, “Monitoring committee to be formed to check bird flu in state”, sure reads like the Indian government is gearing up for the worst, by way of the Bangladesh avian expressway. I had to chuckle a lot though – India is probably one of the epitome’s of government bureaucracy throughout the entire world. They have thousands of bureaucratic layers of officials and committees in place, every where, which makes doing business there nearly impregnable. If bird flu actually breaks out in India, it should be an interesting exercise – something akin to watching a Japanese Gonzilla monster movie in action.

I see old Revere came through again with an interesting article on farm-to-farm reproducibility and transmission of the H5N1 virus. As he points out, currently, H5N1 is mainly a zoonotic disease, but it of course is the current biggest potential virus for a pandemic. Controlling the spread of the virus in poultry, in my opinion, is a lost cause (he refers to it politely as “daunting”). We are continuing to see more and more new and diverse third world outbreaks and reoccurrences, being reported by the media, nearly every week.

I noticed in the Suriname article, they are “starting to formulate a bird flu policy” and “the ultimate objective is to develop and establish a disaster response plan”. These kind of statements prove my point in the preceding paragraph. Even though they are an extremely small country, with only an estimated population of 439,000 people, the Health Minister’s estimate of only 2,200 fatalities during a pandemic, is about 5-10 times short of the number. His low number probably represents a severe epidemic in my view.

In regards to the Australian article, which discusses the Tamiflu resistant nature of influenza B – in my opinion, I believe the situation can best be describes as, “the horse has already left the barn”. It is not a matter of “if” flu viruses manage to continually develop resistance, they are have this proven and demonstrated this uncanny capability. It is just a matter of time before we see the A type normal influenza viruses start showing dramatic resistance to Tamiflu. In fact, terms such as “prudent use” fly out the window, when we see the drug being used as the anti-viral first-line-of-defense-blanket, in third world countries. I predict that within a modest year or two, we will see startling resistance being displayed and recorded. There are already too many strains of H5N1 throughout the entire world that are being introduced to Tamiflu on a daily basis. This is like feeding the virus jelly beans or M&M’s.

Tamiflu is only a pill that at the current time represents temporary daily bread and salvation to millions.

This too shall change.

Wulfgang

 

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