Monday, June 11, 2007

June 11 Flu Update

CIDRAP with the big news today...a 4 year old girl in Egypt has H5N1. And the patient from Vietnam was sent home after 10 days of Tamiflu treatments. Finally, Indonesia claims that there are no asymptomatic chickens.

Revere blogs about two stories which paint a picture of a poultry industry preparing for a pandemic in a serious manner. One is on consumer attitudes toward eating poultry during a pandemic--the other is on the how to kill chickens really, really fast. He doubts anyone really cares how the chicken gets killed.

The private sector in Malaysia is now being urged to develop a contingency plan.

There is culling in Nigeria.

More quarantining in Malaysia.

Swedish scientists are in Thailand, testing anti-virals at different doses and sequences.

Vietnam indicates its continued faith in poultry vaccinations.

Four countries in Africa have joined forces on the flu.

Indiana has 650,000 doses of Tamiflu.

People are not happy with the results of a pandemic exercise in Australia.

It is still a mystery how the Chinese soldier got sick.


At 6:49 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I think Revere is absolutely correct on two important points: first, other than a few radical PETA people, it’s doubtful anybody is going to care how poultry are exterminated during a viral outbreak of either LPAI or especially, HPAI – they will just want the chickens gone.. Secondly, I agree with Revere, the poultry folks are seriously making preparations for an outbreak of H5N1 in poultry – maybe not necessarily a pandemic in humans, but they have to come up with an economical and expeditious way to dispose of masses of chickens, upon discovery of infection.

I see from your other articles also, that Malaysia is suddenly getting energized and motivated to develop contingency plans for their private sector – they are getting serious also. Might something be up ? (We’ve all been slowly seeing the preparation factor “creep” upwards).

The other big news in your articles is the controversial asymptomatic chicken story coming out of Indonesia, and the assertion by their experts that strains of their H5N1 virus seems to have changed in some regions there. Other changes in the virus are also being reported by both Vietnam and Egypt, on the topic of “environmental adaptation”: the virus seemed to favor colder temperatures in the past, and now it appears to be thriving in hotter weather seasons as well. Both these changes are subtle, but point to the conclusion that further mutations and adaptations of the pathogen are taking place throughout the world’s hotspots. I don’t believe these relationships are coincidental. I also do not believe that virus isolates have to show “significant” changes in antigenicity, for these two situations to be occurring.

If in fact it can be substantiated that the virus has mutated such that it can jump easier from birds to humans, A-N-D, humans can become infected with less intense exposure to sick birds, as Indonesia scientist’s are asserting… this could likely point to very serious trouble on our horizon. Wouldn’t you think ? (I certainly do). Virus mutations are non-linear, step function events, over time.

Admittedly, this is all sheer opinion and interpolation on my part, but I am not surprised in the least that China is still “in the dark” about how their 19 year old soldier contracted bird flu. I view China as the “fleet leader”, or “flagship”, for H5N1 infections in poultry, humans and other natural hosts, like swine. China has been vaccinating poultry and swine in incomprehensible numbers, with unknown domestically developed vaccines, longer than any other country on earth, for years. I strongly suspect the poultry there has indeed developed the ability to be asymptomatic but deadly, and simultaneously causing infections in humans. This makes the discovery of sources of human infections nearly impossible to spot.

Viruses have been around on earth for millions of years. Massive cyclical re-vaccination programs of poultry by defective and suspect vaccines, at least in my opinion, only reinforces or enables the virus to mutate further, causing infections and fatalities in humans – which results in more potential strains and vaccines. And this is a cycle repeating itself everywhere, over-and-over, in Asia and China. Indonesia now has 12 documented potential vaccines for avian influenza, and God only knows how many China has on the back burner.

Even though not one human being in the US or Canada, to my knowledge not one person has ever fallen ill to avian influenza – but, we better start get our “ducks in order” now.

Massive “depopulation” of chickens will be the least of our worries.

I’m more concerned with a large depopulation of the human race.



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