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.


At 6:10 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


You know what really makes me nervous about your Jakarta Post article involving the housemaid dying from confirmed bird flu ? A whole bunch of unanswered questions (as usual): no indications of bird flu in the neighborhood (no direct exposure to dying poultry); the open air market is 200 meters away from where she worked; the maid was quite ill and under “medication” earlier in the month. And the most scary information of all: she babysat the houseowner’s child during the entire time she was ill. Oh boy…

I have decided not to get excited about LPAI or the H7 virus in Turkeys in the US any longer – I’m simply going to turn up the oven an extra 20-30 degrees, and cook that Thanksgiving dude extra well. I’m not even going to call the Nebraska Butterball Hotline any more with my avian influenza concerns.

As a continuation of my new and improved reflection on things, I’ve also concluded the Vietnamese allowance of $ 3.10 per day, is not enough compensation for working directly around H5N1 infected birds or PRRS infected piggies. It’s just not worth the risk. For a mere $ 3.10, a person could wind up getting cremated.

I really don’t have any comments about your “Bird Flu Investing” article, other than to say that I think one’s chances of hitting it big, are better in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. (Note to self from past painful life experiences: investing in sector stocks is extremely risky, speculative, and volatile. Special note to self: do not invest retirement money or children’s college money in these type stocks or funds).

Finally, Revere’s article on the “new” adjuvanted bird flu vaccine, is kind of interesting, even though it’s about a year old now. What I find kind of perplexing is that if this “remarkable” approach is so significant with the 3.8 micrograms of viral antigen, then why are the Vietnamese and Indonesian’s moving ahead at lightning speed with their phased human vaccine trials – and we are not ?

Could it be that the “demonstrated protection” and “cytokine storm” risk factors, as well as the proclivity for “adverse reactions”, actually make western vaccine manufacturers shy away from these new technologies, because of the likelihood of “lawsuit –happy-get-rich-quick” personal injury lawyers lining up for the “big kill” ?

As a side note, before I shut down my keyboard, I am glad that Revere is also published some informative articles about the severe Australian seasonal epidemic, and his viewpoint that “ordinary” seasonal type A flu is nasty, and can also cause significant deaths in the normal populations of any country.

Watching seasonal epidemics is especially interesting to me, for one major reason: the potential for a seasonal epidemic to be the tip of a full blown pandemic, is quite real. None of us were around in 1918 to watch that last world crisis unfold, therefore, we are flying by the seats of our pants this go-around.

One of the notion’s that we always have to be aware of is that – a pandemic could actually start out to be a “sleeper or stealth epidemic”, which spreads from country to country, seasonally in the hemispheres. Kinda like Australia is experiencing.



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