May 21 Flu UpdateThe OIE director says 2007 data indicates bird flu may be reaching the end of a cycle, and that countries have shown they can overcome avian outbreaks.
“In the first half of 2007, countries reported fewer deaths of wild and migratory birds, which could indicate the disease is coming closer to the end of a cycle. Reversely poultry flocks still continue to be infected in some countries and that shows the international community needs to keep up its high level of prevention and control measures of the disease in animals,” commented Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE.
CIDRAP had this story as well. Here is what Dr. Osterholm said...
Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of the CIDRAP News, said the presence of disease cycles in birds should not be interpreted to mean H5N1 does or doesn't still pose a risk. "Like any other disease, there are ebbs and flows," he said, adding that as birds which build up immunity to the virus die off, the new populations that replace them are vulnerable to avian flu, which then can lead to a surge in wild bird cases.
Vietnam has had 1,900 ducks die in the last week from avian flu.
There's a reported avian outbreak in a new area of Ghana.
CIDRAP on recently reported outbreaks in several countries.
India remains on high alert, surrounded by flu outbreaks.
Australian article on role a vaccine would play in preventing a pandemic.
The UN urges Bangladesh to move on bird flu.
CIDRAP reports on OSHA guidance to protect healthcare workers. Note this:
Guidance on personal protective equipment is consistent with other OSHA and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) advisories, Wright said. Though the HHS pandemic influenza plan does not recommend goggles and face shields for routine care of patients with pandemic influenza, OSHA advises that workers who are within 3 feet of a coughing patient should wear those items.
Here's a link to the actual document.
Revere blogs a new journal article which tries to figure out why there is a flu season...is it the host, the virus? What? (Hint: the article says it is complicated with multiple factors). Revere notes if we really did find out the answer, it might save a lot of lives.
ProMed on the story we ran on Ghana having no novel strain of flu.
Bird flu readiness is tested in New Zealand.
An avian vaccine in Australia is getting top results.
A children's story is being used to teach about the bird flu.