Friday, April 20, 2007

April 19 Flu Update

Helen Branswell, again on the case, with WHO's new advice on treating bird flu. Recommendations included on corticosteroids, Tamiflu, etc.

Here is the link to the WHO recs.

Most of the noise in the system is from the report in Britain on the outbreak at the turkey farm in Suffolk. People are angry the company received a payout of that size.

The report apparently implicated Hungary. Hungary, in fact, denies the implication.

Birdlife notes that wild birds were "exonerated" in the Suffolk case.

CIDRAP notes that the cause is essentially undetermined in the Britain case.

Just imagine (if you will), what these headlines would look like in the event of an actual pandemic.

Effect Measure weighs in with its normal wise counsel on the CIDRAP article on grassroots pandemic prep.

ProMed weighs in on the Kuwaiti Falcon issue. Note excellent mod comment on how the disease might have gotten there.

A Pharma exec makes a speech in California about pandemic prep.

The Red Cross in Vietnam is spreading the word on the bird flu.

In Finland, a couple has been charged with violating bird flu restrictions by letting their geese go outside during migration season.

Article from local papers in Michigan on bird flu reaching US shores.

ABC news reports on Tamiflu and Relenza losing their punch for as flu virus adapts, with comments on implications for pandemic prep.


At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is some confusion(at least to me)of Tamiflu use between your first and last article.
In Helen Branswell's article the doctors say the use of Tamiflu is effective in both early and late stage flu.The doctors in this article even recomend double dosing.
In the ABC article Scientists have found that the avian flu is becoming resistant to Tamiflu and Japanese doctors have some evidence that drug resistant flu even spreads more easily between humans and caution is urged in the use Tamiflu for this reason.
Perhaps I have missed something but I do not know which article is closer to the truth.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Orange said...

Anonymous. Good question, in fact. Thanks for reading. They are both actually close to the truth, and the paradox they present is one of the fears of a pandemic.

First, Tamiflu is effective against many strains of H5N1, though there have been some resistant strains. Nonetheless, it is really the only hope for someone with bird flu, and the current standard is that it has to be used.

The ABC story referred to flu viruses in general, not only to H5N1. The point is, however, that in a pandemic, where Tamiflu was prescribed widely, many people believe that the virus would adapt, become resistant to Tamiflu, and then the public would lose its only line of defense.

The ABC story shows this is plausible because it has happened in other flu viruses.


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