Monday, July 16, 2007

July 16 Flu Update

More avian outbreaks in the Czech Republic.

The man who died in Thailand had pneumonia, not H5N1.

A lot people look at the cytokine storm as the flu's real killer, and the best chance to reverse the disease. CIDRAP has a recent study that says, not so fast.

Togo received 1 million doses of flu "vaccine"

Bird experts are meeting at the University of Maine (Cradle of Ornithologists), and flu is on the agenda.

WHO moves ahead with its vaccine stockpile plan.

Yesterday, we noted that the British Health ministry is warning that birds will migrate to Britain from countries where there is flu. On ProMed, the Mod notes that if that happens, several other countries will see the flying birds first.

From a microbiology journal, there is the news that mammals transmit some flu strains better than others.

UNICEF in Indonesia is supporting bird flu programming.


At 6:33 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I guess the last line by Dr Fauci in the CIDRAP article is the most relevant, when it comes to the cytokine storm study – “you have to be careful when interpreting mouse studies”. There are too many unknowns or undetermined variables for me to get real excited about the data implications at this point.

I did get a little titillated about the UMaine annual Ornithologist meeting. I just hope that there are enough birds left around in a few years to talk about, and they don’t go the way of the wooly mammoth.

Now I did find your American Society for Microbiology journal article quite interesting, and am wondering what results the Indonesia, China and Egyptian H5N1 strains would have on ferrets.

On the UNICEF “flu kits” article in Indonesia – I may be too pessimistic about the situation there, but one has to really wonder if they will really do any good in a country where there are more than 30 million backyard farmers.

Did you catch the big news today from WHO Director General Margaret Chen ? She is quoted as declaring a 20% probable attack rate on the next pandemic, in numerous news sources. This would not in itself be too worrisome in my opinion, however, combined with the current case-fatality-rates of 50-80% associated with some strains – this is a deadly combination.

I for one am not banking on “high attenuation” or the “herd immunity” epidemic theories to mitigate what could be an impending worldwide catastrophic situation. I would need a lot more tangible and documented evidence to subscribe to those assumptions and keep my pucker factor down.

Actually, I think I have better odds of getting my reparations check when it comes down to it.



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