Friday, August 31, 2007

August 31 Flu Update

The story of the human-human transmission is all over the news. Revere takes a scientist's eye to the paper, and cautions us that the paper might take a few liberties. Line of the day: you get proof in Math, not science.

Are Churches responsible for helping during a pandemic.

They are pandemic planning in California.

Georgia received pandemic flu funds.

Yet another report that says UK health services are not ready for a pandemic.

A school district in Connecticut got funds for an emergency response plan.

No more Bavarian poultry in the UAE.

More from the UK on bird flu projected body counts.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

August 30 Flu Update

Bird flu in Bavaria. Promed reports, role of straw to be investigated further.

More than 100 ducks and chickens have died in Thailand.

The Chinese are told not to bring "mooncakes" to Australia due to bird flu fears.

Spead of bird flu by air travel is examined in Hong Kong.

CIDRAP has the story of $75M on pandemic prep.

There's confusion in India about whether people can or can't buy poultry from the area of the recent outbreak.

Revere blogs a Letter to Editor in Jakarta detailing the difficulty of getting bird flu info in the most afflicted country on earth.

The Red Cross says bird flu is still a threat.

The Kansas Dept of Wildlife will be asking hunters to help with surveillance.

Hawaii has received a pandemic flu grant.

The pandemic flu committee in Carthage, MO is going to begin working again, after taking the summer off.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

August 29 Flu Update

New bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam.

The avian outbreak in Germany is worse than anticipated.

The Grand Coulee dam area is doing bird flu prep.

Nigeria is working on bird flu prep.

The Philippines IDs some areas for bird flu watch.

Vietnam says it will share its bird flu info.

Revere blogs the idea of games being used for public health purposes---and a contest.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 28 Flu Update

OK, here's the proof. Bird flu has gone human-human.

The chain of infection involved a 10-year-old boy who likely caught the virus from his 37-year-old aunt who had been exposed to dead poultry and chicken feces.

Researchers say the boy then probably passed the virus to his father.

"It went two generations and then just stopped, but it could have gotten out of control," said biostatistician Ira Longini, co-author of the study. "The world really may have dodged a bullet with that one, and the next time we might not be so lucky."

Clinical trials begin on DNA vaccine.

More news from Germany. The birds were kept indoors.

Revere blogs on a test for flu that could predict prognosis, and be used to triage scare medical resources.

The Journal of Wildlife Diseases has a supplement on avian flu. ProMed has the abstracts.

Vietnam says it has gone to "great lengths" to contain bird flu.

The UAE also has launched prep for the bird flu.

The Philippines have set up some more flu monitoring stations.

Monday, August 27, 2007

August 27 Flu Update

Get this. The source of H5N1 in Germany? Contaminated straw. Promed.

Germany has a containment zone around the flu area.

The EU says the outbreak in Germany is contained.

CIDRAP on Vietnam and Germany.

Bird flu is back in two provinces in Vietnam.

CIDRAP on GSK's vaccine.

In Kashmir, flu info is being taken to the block level.

UNICEF is doing education in Bali.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

August 23 Flu Update

Next Update, Monday, August 27

WHO says infectious diseases emerging more, spreading faster.

WHO also says a pandemic of some kind is growing more likely.

Meanwhile, the Washington Times says a pandemic is less likely.

ProMed on suspected H5N1 in birds in Israel.

ProMed on Bali case.

Sign of the times--New York is seeking public input on its ventilator allocation program.

GSK and Novartis may have been leapfrogged in the race for new vaccine technology.

The Ontario government has bought respirators to protect nurses in the province during infectious disease.

Monterey County, CA is doing flu prep with a summit.

Revere blogs on closing the borders during a pandemic....and how the North American plays says this would fail to stop the disease (it would) and hurt the economy.

Guam is also doing flu prep.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 22 Flu Update

The second death in Bali is now confirmed as H5N1.

proMed on Bali.

India tries to figure out how its recent flu outbreak happened.

WHO reiterates: Tamiflu is drug of first choice.

Ghana says bird flu cases reduced recently--I don't recall getting reports of ongoing cases.

Thai official says bird flu has not mutated.

Could the US, Canada and Mexico slow the spread of bird flu in a meaningful fashion.

7 of 10 Irish are oblivious to risk of bird flu.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 21 Flu Update

Sorry we are late, blogger was down.

A 28 year old on Bali is dead. Bird flu is feared.

ProMed on this case as well.

Meanwhile, Indonesia says it sent the sample from the first death to WHO, to calm fears it had mutated into a human flu.

Indonesia says it will work with Japan on developing flu vaccine.

H5N1 is found in Pakistan. Culling commences.

CIDRAP on Pakistan.

At the big US-Canada-Mexico summit, the bird flu was discussed.

The price for culled birds is set in India.

Excellent Effect Measure post. Is the chance of a pandemic 3%...5%...20%. Point is, it doesn't matter, because any model assumes the future will match the past. Are you willing to bet your life that it will.

Monterey CA will hold a business summit on pandemics.

Signs of the future. They find H5N2 in Italy, and Russia bans Italian Poultry.

Sugar in a vaccine. Does it help?

Can the World of Warcraft teach us about how flu spreads?

Gabon is working with FAO to develop a plan to fight bird flu.

Singapore is planning a pilot bird flu project.

Helen Branswell writes on this, as well.

"Basically, I believe this is the next evolutionary step in infectious disease modelling, and this step must be realized as soon as possible, by epidemiologists joining forces with the game industry," said Balicer, who earlier this year made a similar argument in the pages of the journal Epidemiology.

Monday, August 20, 2007

August 20 Flu Update

A 2-year old is hospitalized in Indonesia with bird flu.

ProMed confirms the housemaid death in Indonesia reported yesterday.

ProMed also has this on whether asymptomatic birds can fly long distances.

St. Jude identifies genetic markers that can be used to determine whether bird flu has made the transition to human flu.

Pharma report on unclear flu prognosis, unclear vaccine prognosis.

Emergency officials in South Africa just trained for three days on the bird flu.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

August 19 Flu Update

A housemaid has died of bird flu in Indonesia. No clear source of infection exists.

The maid's employers, Wahyu Proyato and Winda Amalia, who are residents of Perumnas II in Tangerang regency, said they had no idea how their maid contracted the virus because there were no fowl at their home or in the neighborhood.

In Vietnam, vets will be compensated for vaccinating fowl against bird flu.

Nebraska is rolling out avian testing to help farmers.

Bird flu investing tips from a skeptic.

You can hardly have missed the story that a Lancet report says adjuvants could stretch the bird flu vaccine. It has been everywhere. Here, Revere blogs it. Noting that results for the adjuvant are remarkable, he also cites a note in the article talking about modulating immune response (ie cytokine storm) as part of minimizing pandemic impact.

Aid for Italy is being used to build a SARS/bird flu institute in Vietnam.

Disaster responders in Massachusetts are given the low down on the potential for a pandemic.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

August 18 Flu Update

5,400 poultry culled in Bali.

Togo is also fighting bird flu.

Revere blogs about the problems we could have vaccinating immigrants and the homebound. He notes that, first, the vaccine is the center part of our pandemic plan, and second, that even immigrants are contagious, even if they don't show up for their shots.

ProMed comments on yesterday's Promed post on migratory birds.

Friday, August 17, 2007

August 17 Flu Update

CIDRAP says that Indonesia claims that a virus sample is on its way to WHO.

Massive culling in Bali.

Australia is assured of no H2H transmission.

The Kohlshand Museum in Atlanta is doing a flu program.

India says one of its regions has no bird flu, and has stopped imports from neighboring countries.

Vietnam claims its Chinese avian vaccines are still effective.

Here's an interesting point. When we go to vaccinate, how will we reach immigrant and other populations? They won't show up at the health department.

More on migratory birds in Europe. Surveillance shows no serious reservoir in birds, there.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 16 Flu Update

Yet another death in Indonesia. This is a 17 year old girl from just west of Jakarta. They are "working" to figure out how she was exposed.

Glaxo Smith Kline is selling more vaccine to US, and is planning clinical trials in the US. The stockpile is now just above 27 million doses. CIDRAP reports.

Baxter has a contract to supply the UK with vaccine if there is a pandemic.

Toronto researchers say they have discovered how the body reacts to SARS--and that info could be a clue for an influenza pandemic.

The Lancet has a study on an oil/water emulsion being used as an adjuvant.

There is a move for a uniform naming nomenclature for HPAI.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

August 15 Flu Update

The Bali toddler is negative for bird flu. No signs of cluster.

WHO believes the Bali bird flu can be contained.

Bird flu has hit birds in Northern Vietnam near China.

Playing the role of the Mayor in Jaws, the Indonesian tourist minister says Bali tourism is OK.

According to this report, Indonesia burned some of its pandemic stockpile of vaccine, which is bad news for the world.

Medics in South Africa have been trained to fight the bird flu.

New front on factory farms: could they spread bird flu.

Revere on a truly pandemic-proofed house.

Charlie Rose will do a science series, including the threat of a pandemic.

Critics in Britain say that the nation's pandemic plans are hindered by a lack of clear authority.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14 Flu Update

Four ducks in France have bird flu.

ProMed reports on the latest from Bali--including large numbers of people being followed to see if they have H5N1.

Bali tourism fears in print.

India is worried about bird flu in its region--on both sides of it.

Parts of Australia near Bali reassure citizens that all is under control.

North Georgia (US) is urging people to have pandemic kits.

Denver and other cities to air bird flu show.

Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13 Flu Update

More from Bali. A 29 year old woman died, and one of her kids died. Also, a neighbor child might be sick. This could be alarming--is it a family, H2H cluster?

This same woman apparently also died. However, she was cremated prior to sampling. (ProMed)

ProMed on Bali....

Also Bali--making Australia nervous. Also, this bird flu has hit a serious tourist area.

Effect Measure says this is probably noise, not signal...but how sure are you? (Do you feel lucky, punk?)

Todays's other lead story--Indonesia is still not sharing samples with WHO.

The US Treasury is urging banks to participate in an pandemic exercise this month. Is this another example of the officials taking this more seriously than we do.

India is setting up two bird flu labs.

Officials in India are briefed on the bird flu.

CIDRAP on yesterday's story on non-drug interventions helping with the 1918 pandemic.

Hong Kong is now importing poultry from Suffolk (??)

Company announces business results, including on an adjuvant patch.

August 12 Flu Update

Back in the saddle again.

Three new avian cases in Togo.

There is a suspected bird flu death on Bali, which would be a first.

Another outbreak in Manipur, India has caused poultry farms to be sealed.

Public records from the 1918 pandemic show that community control measures (ie school closings) did help to prevent deaths--if implemented soon enough after the pandemic starts.

In a telling example, New York City′s early and sustained response, including isolation and quarantine and staggered business hours, resulted in the lowest excess death rate for any city on the East Coast during the time period reviewed. By contrast, Pittsburgh was well into its outbreak before implementing the interventions and experienced the highest excess death rate of any of the 43 cities.

Mississippi school officials talks about preparing for a pandemic.

Effect Measure looks at a recent NIH article on a vaccine "breakthrough" and wonders in a slow business like science what purpose a press release has.

India plans to test migratory birds for H5N1.

USA Today profiles Sanofi's new vaccine plant in the Poconos.

"We assume that in a pandemic, the only vaccine available to Americans is going to be a vaccine made in America," says Bruce Gellin, director of the National Vaccine Program office in the Department of Health and Human Services. "A goal of our pandemic vaccine program is largely to ensure we have sufficient domestic capacity to meet this country's need."

Good editorial from Newfoundland on why flu deserves attention, even when the hype has died.

St. Lucia has ended its poultry ban.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


We're going on our final summer trip to the Northwoods of MI. This blog will be on hiatus until August 13, 2007.

In the meantime, for updated flu news, see Crofsblogs.

Friday, August 03, 2007

August 3 Flu Update

A girl in Indonesia is hospitalized with bird flu symptoms.

Experts say human cases have stabilized.

51 people are quarantined in India related to the recent outbreak. (Sounds like an abundance of caution).

300,000 birds later, India ends culling.

The US has ordered more bird flu vaccine from Glaxo.

Ghana says that it is neglect of law that allows flu to spread.

Revere blogs a recent news report that trials are moving ahead on a DNA based vaccine.

A Maine EMA director writes on bird flu.

Allentown, PA has funded its bird flu project.

York PA has some guidelines for personal pandemic prep.

Wyoming is having a pandemic prep summit workshop.

A company in Australia is doing research on bird flu medications.

What if....the bird flu hit Arizona.

Guyana will hold a bird flu simulation next week.

August 2 Flu Update

Sorry we are late today.

A new suspected case is reported in Vietnam.

ProMed on Vietnam, and Egypt, where a suspected case is denied.

Farmers losing poultry in India are being compensated through loan forgiveness.

More on the possibility of human infection in India.

Meanwhile, India says the outbreak is contained.

They are working on pandemic flu in York PA.

Pigeons die in UK, sparking bird flu fear.

More from the Philippines PR machine on its success with bird flu.

Could a statin rival Tamiflu?

A training manual to help journalists cover bird flu is available on line.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August 1 Flu Update

Helen Branswell weighs in with the big story of the day. International delegates are meeting in Singapore mto discuss how to handle virus sharing in the future. Here is the salient paragraph:

But rather than hailing the meeting as a way to break the troubling logjam, some scientists and public health officials are watching with trepidation, worrying the process may hinder the way research into influenza and other infectious diseases is conducted.

CIDRAP also has this story.

India is also monitoring people for bird flu, including four children.

ProMed on Indian children under surveillance.

In Bangkok, they are studying the use of satellites for tracking avian flu.

There is a fresh outbreak of flu in Myanmar.

ProMed on the outbreak in Myanmar.

Thailand is concerned about flu outbreaks on its borders.

This might be interesting. We talk about quarantine and isolation--here, NEJM looks at the legal use of these terms in drug resistant TB.

India reports on the hearty nature of H5N1.

Australia is providing support to SE Asia in fight against bird flu.