Saturday, July 07, 2007

July 6 Flu Update

Bird flu has hit poultry in Germany.

Emergency responders are studying bird flu in Ontario.

Bird flu is spreading in Europe--from Wisconsin ag officials.

Philippines touts its bird flu lab keeping nation flu free.

Editorial calls for the right thing to be done in Malaysia--all the pieces have to be put together.

As a precaution, pigeon racing is being banned in Britain.

A doctor in Vietnam says the survival rate of H5N1 has been improving.

Revere blogs the "head in the sand." Usual cogent commentary follows. For the life of me--for everything in the world I do not understand--I do not understand why Revere's last question has not been answered.

The widespread prevalence of the virus in bird populations -- and who knows, perhaps other reservoirs we've never looked at -- means that it has many chances to experiment with new ways to make copies of itself. The birds live closely with humans. It is possible that the game is rigged against the virus, of course. For example it might be that the kind of changes that would need to happen are biologically too unfavorable in some way or don't happen for structural reasons. Not impossible or even implausible. We really have no idea because currently we don't understand this virus well enough. But why would a prudent person make that assumption?

ProMed has an excellent study of which wild birds are most susceptible to H5N1.

Based on our results, mute swans, cackling geese, and bar-headed geese were identified as waterfowl species that pose the greatest susceptibility to lethal infection and some species shed virus for up to 4 days before becoming ill. Such findings suggest some waterfowl species could spread H5N1 HPAI virus between limited geographic regions, but results do not suggest that these species would be long-term reservoirs for this virus.

India is blocking imports of birds from Bangladesh.

Vietnam also says that the virus is the same as 2005, but different from 2004.

ProMed has this as well--note mod comment that wording it too imprecise to be of much use.

Students in Stanford have a pandemic hotline. Local health officials are using it as a model.

Color this no surprise--public is less concerned with bird flu.


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