Monday, December 31, 2007

December 30 Flu Update

A woman in Egypt has died of bird flu. She is the second death there in a week.

ProMed on Egypt. Note mod comment on the meaning of dormant.

An outbreak has occurred in Vietnam.
LTE in Indonesia criticizes government on virus sharing.

Excellent Effect Measure post, that says that WHO's statement that the virus hasn't mutated because of the lack of new cases is not supported by a knowledge of mutations. What you can't tell without looking at the actual RNA is whether the virus made some of the changes needed to be more transmissible, even if it didn't make all of them.

Pakistani finance document talks about financing poultry farming, including a discussion of the placement of labs in affected areas.

As always, Vietnam touts its vaccination efforts.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

December 29 Flu Update

China's latest bird flu patient is discharged after 20 days in the hospital.

Hey Azerbaijan is monitoring bird flu and there isn't any.

The Philippines are also bird flu free.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

December 28 Flu Update

annnnnnndddddd, we're back.

Two new human cases of bird flu in Egypt.

WHO finds one case of h2h transmission, but no mutation in the virus. Correctly, they state:

"There is no suggestion that the virus has changed into a form that poses a broader risk," WHO spokesman John Rainford told AFP. "If that had been the case, we would have witnessed more cases of human transmission."

CIDRAP on a new confirmed death in Vietnam, and the Egypt cases.

There is also a new avian outbreak in Myanmar.

Revere with an interesting post, defending the right of people to interpret data as they see fit, but not question the veracity of professionals risking their own safety in the field.

Time Magazine says a bird flu vaccine is a Top 10 medical breakthrough for 2007.

In Vietnam, they held an airport drill to prepare for further outbreaks.

Avian outbreak in Bangladesh, commence culling.

Bahrain has mapped out a plan to fight bird flu.

Philippines announces new steps to fight bird flu.

A bird flu workshop is planned for North Carolina.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Break

The Coming Influenza Pandemic? will take a break for Christmas, as we travel to visit family. The Blog will be updated again on December 29, 2007.

Along the way, on December 27th, we will pass our third anniversary and begin our fourth year of tracking flu news, which is pretty remarkable, when you think about it.

Thanks for reading and all your comments.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

December 22 Flu Update

Slow news day.....

ProMed on the cluster rule-out in Indonesia.

New avian outbreak in Poland.

Jordan says it is on alert for bird flu.

Is a powder vaccine in the works for bird flu.

Massachusetts story on potential Tamiflu shortages.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

December 21 Flu Update

5 Indonesians are now suspected to have bird flu. They appear to be the same area, but cluster characteristics are unclear.

Update: patients cleared. Stand down.

CIDRAP on a stabilized situation in Pakistan.

WHO is not recommending mass vaccination, due to lack of H2H transmission.

A dead buzzard is found in Hong Kong with H5N1.

WHO says H2H unclear in China case.

Revere blogs WHO's "close contact" conclusion.

ProMed also has this. Note mod comment attributing the close contact transmission to a genetic predisposition, not the contact per se.

ProMed on the new outbreak in Germany.

Britain's chief scientist did a close out interview with the Times (UK) and discussed bird flu.

Naturalist writes on bird flu, including natural ways to build a strong immune system.

Indiana is prepared for a pandemic.

Friday, December 21, 2007

December 21 Flu Update

WHO's team confirms that close H2H contact spread flu, which is not unprecedented.

ProMed has more contradictory reports from Pakistan. Read mod comment.

New avian outbreak in Germany.

New avian outbreak in Russia, too.

Bird flu confirmed in Benin.

Novavax bird flu vaccine moves forward.

Pakistan's new goal is safer culling.

Hospitals in Pakistan are also taking steps to contain infection.

Pakistan gives bird flu advice to people in that region.

Bird flu is not a contagious disease and does not spread with casual contacts or shaking hands, hugging or embracing. The only way it can spread to the human being is close and continuous contacts with the birds affected by this disease. These views were expressed by Chairman PMS Dr. Masood Akhtar sheikh while addressing the workshop in connection with the "Bird flu" under the auspices of Pakistan Medical Society.

Perhaps the day's most significant story....research confirms the ability of swine to be "mixing vessels" for influenza. Via CIDRAP.

US State Department has second in series of avian influenza in SE Asia.

Waterfowl in Massachusetts is being tested for bird flu.

Revere blogs the Declan Butler interview with the Indonesian health minister, giving the statements the truth test. Generally, Revere is skeptical of what is said, but note that he notes that many scientists are hoarding isolates, not just Indonesia. See below.

Supari is neither rational nor responsible. Some very reputable scientists are rational but also irresponsible. There is more than a grain of truth to the fact that Indonesia and other developing countries have a problem which the developed countries aren't solving. The scientists can't see it because they are merely conducting themselves in the same ways as always. No one has ever said it was wrong or unethical. But this is a special situation.

I'm saying it, now. We can't keep pointing fingers at Indonesia when we refuse to put our own house in order.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

December 19 Flu Update

WHO has told Pakistani authorities that the cluster in Pakistan was due to a combination of common infection sources and some H2H from very close contact. With what we know, this is plausible. There have been other H2H transmissions from close contact. It would be interesting to see if the onset dates match the theory. Finally, the ultimate point is to find out if the virus itself was any different.

CIDRAP has this from FAO.....avian outbreaks were down for 2007, despite a recent spike.

Voice of America has this from David Nabarro:

Bird flu is a problem that will likely be with us for some years to come, according to David Nabarro, senior coordinator for avian and human influenza at the United Nations. But citing data on the spread of the H5N1 virus from 146 nations, Nabarro emphasized the positive. "The first thing to say is that the situation has changed, between 2004 and 2007, the rate at which new countries are being affected by H5N1 has reduced, we've got a bit of a plateauing [leveling out], the number of human cases, which act as a sentinel, has slightly decreased, and the human deaths have also decreased." He said that broad epidemiological evidence suggests that the H5N1 virus situation is not quite so serious.

Declan Butler of Nature interviews the Indonesian Health Minister about its view on sharing virus samples.

We are willing to share viruses for research purposes but if a commercial company wants to create a vaccine from those samples, then it must negotiate with Indonesia, which has rights over the samples.

But the key outstanding concession Indonesia demands is that all shared virus samples be subject to a material transfer agreement clearly setting out such rights. We already share our virus-sequence data with the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), a body created last year. I consider GISAID has established a fair and transparent mechanism for regulating genetic-sequencing databases because it includes a material transfer agreement.

The current US budget has slashed pandemic funds from $870M to $76M.

The US State Department is running a series of articles on bird flu preparedness, featuring Vietnam here. Interesting point: they say that preparing for bird flu has strengthened the country's overall capacity to fight disease.....does Revere write for the State Department.

Speaking of Revere, he does write on Effect Measure. Here, he blogs yesterday's news that Indonesia looks back at some past cases to see if they were bird flu. He notes how differently this is explained in different media outlets.

A University in Pakistan is trying to raise awareness.

Article details bird flu preparedness challenge in East Java, Indonesia.

“I’ve never been frightened of bird flu,” Maryati, a chicken-seller, told IRIN, while cutting up a bird. “I’ve also heard about cases of human avian flu but I’m not worried.”

Canadian experts say masks don't protect against flu.

The world association of Chief Risk Officers has released a position paper on bird flu.

Virginia is well prepared for a pandemic.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18 Flu Update

Whatever the reason, there are increasing reports of cases in Pakistan. CIDRAP here..... (Note, we could easily be seeing panic cases, not real cases).

Vigilance engendered by the possible family cluster of H5N1 avian influenza cases in Pakistan has led to many more reports of potential cases there, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said today.

ProMed also has the Pakistan story, with an interesting comment from the Mod CP, who is normally a skeptic, but notes that under some reports, conditions from Pakistan do roughly correspond to what you would expect to see from H2H transmission.

This is a really interesting story. A man on Long Island was quarantined for three days because he was feeling ill and had just gotten back from Pakistan. Furthermore....

CDC spokesman Dave Daigle said the man may have ties to people in Pakistan who have been infected with bird flu, but he was unable to elaborate.

Indonesia says it is investigating several cases where bird flu patients died, despite having no obvious exposure path.

ProMed has this as well, noting that 20% of cases did not have any obvious route of exposure.

ProMed on poultry supply fears sparked by Polish bird flu outbreaks.

Some officials in Pakistan have canceled holiday leave due to the bird flu.

Bird flu confirmed in Benin.

Halifax paper says that if you think the bird flu was gone, think again.

Computerworld runs down the blogs which are covering the bird flu, including this one:

A carefully selected headline roundup.

The Poultry industry says it expects to recover from the avian flu "disruption" and resume steady growth.

The Trust for American Health reports that budget cuts are threatening catastrophe prep.

A study in Britain says people in the country fared better than those in the city during the 1918 pandemic.

When Revere hears there is nothing to fear, he gets nervous.

Culling has brought the price of turkey way up in Britain.

Sweden has joined Denmark in raising its alert level with more bird flu in Germany.

Qatar wants Indonesia to step up its bird flu fight.

Australian group recommends 3 months supplies for a pandemic.

A nurse speaks to a Lions Club in Alabama about pandemic flu.

ProMed has an OIE report from Germany. Note the mod comment on the risk profile for backyard flocks.

Every outbreak presents the opportunity for either an formal or informal assessment of risk. Informally, in my opinion, backyard poultry present a mixed risk profile. It is good that such backyard flocks are not in the middle of a large, vertically integrated poultry company which then puts extremely large numbers of birds and
potentially employees throughout the company at some level of risk. On the other hand, backyard poultry outbreaks pose a highly variable risk depending on the knowledge of the backyard farmers, physical facilities, management techniques and many other factors that cover a wide range of risk possibilities.

There are numerous local stories that follow up on the US report on state preparation for pandemics and catastrophes. Below are some examples:

New Jersey/Good


Rhode Island and Massachusetts/Bad-bad

South Carolina/Mostly bad



December 17 Flu Update

Declan Butler of Nature takes a welcome look at the situation in Pakistan. Note the comments, too....

The Pakistan cluster highlights the obstacles faced by the WHO in containing the spread should a pandemic strain of H5N1 appear. The strategy calls for early diagnosis of cases, in the hope that blanket treatment with antivirals will stamp out an emerging pandemic before it spirals out of control. Computer models suggest that for this to have any chance of succeeding, WHO would have a window of three weeks for this diagnosis at most.

Revere looks at the flu situation today, where WHO is urging quicker reporting as part of its Tamiflu blanket strategy. Revere goes on to wonder if we wouldn't be better off preparing for what happens AFTER the pandemic.

Pakistan story confirms eight sick people.

CIDRAP looks at the Pakistan situation.

A new avian outbreak is reported in Benin (Africa).

More bird flu in Poland.

The new outbreak in Germany has caused EU protection measures to go into place.

ProMed on Saudi Arabia and Germany.

CIDRAP looks at new break outs in countries listed above.

Indonesia says bird flu will require long term fight. (Note quoted case fatality rate of 87.5%)

WHO claims bird flu is contained in Burma.

Because of the outbreak in Germany, Denmark is ordering poultry to be kept indoors.

A legislator in Taiwan worries that a bird flu outbreak in China could be used as force majeure to cancel elections in Taiwan.

Seven US states have not taken the Federal Government up on its offer to help purchase Tamiflu.

In British Columbia, a quarter of people would stay home due to flu fears.

Businesses are urged to make continuity plans for a pandemic.

CIDRAP has the next in its series of best pandemic practices, focusing this time on the plans of an organization of disaster relief agencies.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

December 16 Flu Update

Revere blogs the Pakistan situation, reading through confusing and contradictory reports to develop the likely current situation. One note: If the pandemic were really happening, the initial clusters would have been followed by people getting sick by the dozen.

WHO is investigating Pakistan and Myanmar.

Avian outbreak in German is confirmed.

Pakistan Letter to Editor calls for bird flu education.

Bird flu drill staged in Shanghai.

WHO warns bird flu is migrating.

December 15 Flu Update

The Pakistan situation continues to evolve. There now appear to be 8 human cases, which is the most we have seen emerge in one place. We don't know if this is it, but we haven't seen something like this before, and it must have some significance.

From the Canadian Press story....note WHO comment.

The WHO said confirmatory testing must still be done. And a spokesperson for the agency said investigations are underway to try to determine how the various people became infected, but noted some human-to-human spread may have occurred.

"We can't rule it out," Gregory Hartl said from Geneva.

"There are other plausible explanations.... We don't know enough at this point. And in some of these cases, one never will know enough."

My note: Even if another plausible explanation emerges, it is still something which has not happened before.

Note2: There are many, many stories on the Pakistan situation, which are essentially all the same story and not listed here.

ProMed covers the Pakistan situation.

Revere notes that his site isn't for breaking news, and neither is this one. However, he cites some places to go for updated flu info.

IHT reports on recent flu developments.

Effect Measure provides context to Myanmar and Pakistan. Must read.

There's an avian outbreak in Germany.

But hey! Armenia is safe.

More culling in Saudi Arabia.

Myanmar stresses flu prevention.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

December 14 Flu Update

Big news. Today's news from Pakistan indicates that there may now be five cases. If true, this is the most alarming news yet on H5N1.

CIDRAP has this as well. Note sense of urgency in post, and this:

Khushnood Akhtar, secretary of Pakistan's health ministry, said the cases occurred in November but said that four brothers are involved, Deutsche Presse-Argentur (DPA) reported today. One of the men, who worked on a poultry farm, may have contracted the H5N1 virus after he helped cull sick birds, Akhtar told DPA.

The man survived but may have infected three of his brothers, none of whom had been at the farm or in contact with sick birds, Akhtar said in the DPA report. The DPA report appears to contradict the KUNA story, which said the two men in its report were farm workers.

ProMed has the Pakistan information. Note this rather alarming phrase in the mod comment, from the normally skeptical CP.....

An unstated number of other people are suspected cases and are under surveillance awaiting the outcome of diagnostic tests.

Revere blogs this as well. Read to see what the phrase "The unexpected part is the thing that worries everyone. The unexpected part we are all expecting, that is," means.

Here's an AP story that rounds up the recent flu news. More than anything, this shows that the recent flu news is getting MSM attention again.

They are working to confirm the two deaths in Pakistan were H5N1. They were, by the way, poultry workers.

China says not to worry, the two cases of bird flu have apparently not spread around them.

Burma has its first case of bird flu.

ProMed reports on Burma has well, noting the disease extending its range.

CIDRAP on Myanmar.

In Hong Kong, a heron at a nature reserve has tested positive.

Story on community surveillance in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The UAE has banned Polish poultry.

A Poultry Farmer's union protests recent moves by the UK government.

Australian paper has a shopping list for bird flu.

Rwanda says that it is successful in controlling bird flu.

More work in the Philippines on fighting bird flu.

Pakistan feels it will be important to educate poultry workers.

Finally, perhaps the most important piece of the day. CIDRAP looks back at ten years of the bird flu...what happened then, what have we learned now. This is a must read.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

December 13 Flu Update

More from Pakistan....the two patients there are now dead and they are brothers. They are the first deaths in the country, based on this report.

ProMed on this report...note mod comment.

The Indonesian man reported sick (and getting better) yesterday is now dead.

ProMed on two recent deaths in Indonesia.

Bird flu is reviving in Vietnam.

ProMed with updates from a wide variety of countries (nothing apparently new).

Bird flu is not affecting the Saudi economy.

India says it will share knowledge on fighting bird flu.

An alert reader sent me this on replikins and flu mortality.

Hungary is reporting that it is offering Indonesia bird flu assistance.

A local government in Canada has a flu plan.

Revere notes that docs are reading lots in the professional journals, but only one flu article, and that one is peripheral at best.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December 12 Flu Update

Indonesian man has bird flu, is being treated.

CIDRAP on this case, as well.

More on the new outbreak in Poland.

Bird flu also re-emerges in Vietnam.

CIDRAP on four countries with recent outbreaks.

Local story on the travels and work of Dr. Osterholm, of CIDRAP.

A military command in Eastern China has been told not to purchase chickens due to avian flu.

Report says Ontario not ready for a bird flu outbreak.

Another report from Canada talks about absenteeism and the economy, including people who are healthy but afraid to come to work.

Experts from Liverpool are leading UK bird flu fight.

Flu fighters in UK spent 121,000 pounds on hotel accommodations near Suffolk.

US Pandemic vaccine plan is subject to comments, rounded up by CIDRAP. Interesting to see differing perspectives....

Here's an interesting post from a paper in Tucson. Author says that organic chickens are just an excuse to charge more, that chickens don't like being outside, and that chickens indoors will be better protected from bird flu.

Company talks about delivering rapid diagnostic capability to the US government.

December 11 Flu Update

A woman has died of bird flu in Indonesia. Key paragraph:

Muhammad Nadhirin, an official at the centre, said that a team of five experts had been dispatched on Monday to the victim's neighbourhood.

The team said that "the source of infection could be from poultry 100 metres (yards) away from the victim's house, but we're waiting for test results on whether the poultry is infected with the virus," Nadhirin told AFP.

He said the victim, who had sold ornamental plants, bought plant fertiliser from the neighbour which may have been contaminated by the faeces of infected birds. No birds however had died in the area in the past six months and the poultry appeared healthy, he added.

CIDRAP on the Indonesian death.

ProMed notes that while bird flu is persistent in Indonesia, reported cases are coming forward only sporadically.

ProMed has some info on a discrepancy in reports about the father-son flu case in China, havin to do with the critical fact of when the second case showed symptoms.

Bird flu is back in Russia, as well.

As noted yesterday, a fifth outbreak in Poland.

There is a suspected outbreak in South Korea.

ProMed reports on study that says three strains of H5N1 reached Germany.

David A. Halvorson, DVM, a veterinary pathologist and avian flu expert at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, commented that the similarity between the German and Russian isolates doesn't necessarily mean the viruses were brought to Germany by wild birds.
"What is clear is that related viruses were introduced into Germany and they were observed in wild waterfowl before they were observed in domestic poultry," Halvorson told CIDRAP News. "This suggests that waterfowl may have been the source of introduction, but it doesn't
prove it. This was known before the viruses were sequenced."

Virginia paper has op ed on being braced for a pandemic.

A FEMA region is hosting a pandemic exercise.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

December 10 Flu Update

This goes in the grain of salt category, but Pakistan claims to have a small cluster of human-human transmission flu.

Three suspected cases of human-to-human transmission of bird flu virus have been detected in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), sources told The Post on Monday.

Of these three cases, two people died and the Ministry of Health has collected samples to determine the cause of their deaths.

Meanwhile, the Chinese "cluster" is not confirmed human-human transmission, according to the Chinese.

ProMed has this story as well. A report has identified what appears to be a common infection source for the man and his son. Mod CP says this negates the possibility of human-human transmission.

This report caused some commentary on the ProMed list, which is listed here.

A second case in China has been reported.

With two cases in China near Hong Kong, protection measures are being increased.

Meanwhile, China warns about winter and spring outbreaks.

Just a note: I think the outbreaks in Poland are more serious than people know.

Pigeons will not be culled in Saudi Arabia
during pilgrimage.

A cull has left British company with no organic turkeys for Christmas.

However, the bird flu scare has not dented holiday demand in the UK.

In Nigeria, they are fumigating poultry markets to protect against flu in advance of festivals.

Major financial losses in Poland due to culls.

UK government is attacked for blaming outbreak on wild birds.

GE and Novavax are partnering to develop a new, faster way to manufacture vaccine.

Columbia University works on pandemic prep.

Local planning for flu is taking place in Massachusetts.

Fiji's plan is in place.

Pittsfield, ME, paper looks at a new focus on animal diseases.

Revere is disappointed in his colleagues in the scientific community. As they debate the migratory bird issue, they are focused more on property rights than answering answerable questions that are vital to public health.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

December 9 Flu Update

South Dakota has collected 7oo birds samples for bird flu surveillance.

10,000 birds culled in Pakistan.

Indiana county declares itself ready for bird flu.

India is pledging $2m to bird flu fight.

CARE International is also supporting bird flu fight in Laos.

December 8 Flu Update

The father in the Chinese "cluster" is said to be getting better.

ProMed has a typical report out of China. Apparently, there's a new death from a week ago. He died before he could be tested for H5N1. Here's their exposure story.

Yin Kaisheng revealed that during this patient's hospitalization there was no way to confirm [he had] avian influenza. It was the Jiangsu Center for Disease Control's laboratory that detected that the infection was H5N1 type avian influenza virus. Moreover, the patient always maintained that he had no way [to contract] this infection, and had no history of contact with poultry. It is only known that 20 days before becoming ill [he] had been bitten by a dog, and 20 days later [he] developed fever after drinking a little alcohol.

India wants more money to fight bird flu.

Note: Indian PM asks people to think global, act local...

Another outbreak of bird flu in Poland has been located.

Small cull in Bangladesh.

FAO blames bird flu on gloablisation.

Fiji says more than 250,000 people could be sick there during a pandemic.

China holds flu exercise, including Hong Kong and Macao.

American Vet Society says that bird flu response is improving.
Gulf officials (as in Persian Gulf) are meeting about how to prevent the spread of the bird flu.

Indonesia plans a bird flu centre.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

December 7 Flu Update

Just noticed that my last hiatus post was my 1,000th post to this blog. Dang. Thanks for reading!

The big news today is that the Father of a previous bird flu victim in China now has bird flu. This brings up all the normal concerns--has the virus mutated to H2H. In fairness, this has happened before. On the other hand, when it starts, this is how it will start.

Brent [a WHO official stationed in Beijing] said there was no evidence the man had been infected by his 24-year-old son, who died on Dec. 2, but could not eliminate that possibility.

"Because the possibility of human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out, we will be monitoring this case closely," Brent told The Associated Press. "If it is found to be easily passed between humans, we would be concerned."

CIDRAP notes that China seems to downplay contact with sick birds. (My note: a common infection source is a likely possible answer).

Revere blogs this as well.....says keep an eye on this case....and the rest of them.

Suspected games are now reported in Benin, in West Africa.

ProMed on a European assessment of how the virus travels.

A US bird flu expert in the US is critical of the global surveillance program.

Meanwhile, CIDRAP notes international donations to bird flu fund, including from the US.

The UK is backing down its flu protection measures.

New Zealand is saving some bird flu vaccine for first responders.

Russia is watching bird imports from Poland.

Australia is financially supporting Laos' flu efforts.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

On the road

I'm on the road. We'll update again on Friday morning.

December 3 Flu Update

Bird flu outbreak in Romania.

CIDRAP on the Chinese man who died of bird flu.

Must read Revere post on Chinese case. Everyone agrees there probably are more cases there than we know about, but the route of exposure is not apparent in the cases we do know about. If you believe China's numbers, than transmissibility is low, and that's good. Except, it means that the case fatality rate really is as high as it appears now.

CIDRAP on Poland and Bangladesh. Note additional information about H5N1 turkeys being in the human food supply.

More on IT prep for a pandemic, as they continue to test scenarios. (One thing these guys seem to get is that when you test your system for a pandemic, you learn about your system in ways you can use even if there never is a pandemic).

Saudi Arabia says WHO is monitoring its bird flu response.

India asked the world to look for "low cost" means of fighting bird flu.

Also from India, education is identified as key to fighting bird flu.

The Oklahoma legislature is looking at the state's pandemic prep.

GPs in Ireland say that pandemic would have a "huge impact."

Monday, December 03, 2007

December 2 Flu Update

Man in China dies of bird flu.

ProMed on this as well. China says no other outbreaks are known in this area. Family members are said to be not sick.

Culling in Poland after H5N1 outbreak.

ProMed on Suffolk, Poland and Bangladesh. Note:

Poland: In the Pomorze region, 480 kg of turkey meat has been found to
contain the bird flu virus.

UK: (vii) The results of the epidemiological investigations to date
provide no evidence that infection was introduced via imported
poultry or poultry products or any activities associated with such

Revere notes two blogs on this topic, and says that if bird flu is in the food supply, there isn't much we can do about it.

Bird flu leaves goose fat shortage in Britain.

In addition, there's a egg shortage in Abu Dhabi.

The Cayman Islands are implementing their flu program.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

December 1 Flu Update

H5N1 found in Bangladesh birds.

Bird flu now in Bangladesh.

Saudi Arabia says its program to combat bird flu is in full swing.

State Department releases a report on its preparation for pandemic flu.

Warner Robins, GA, is holding a pandemic seminar.

Has the bird flu made people less likely to get seasonal flu shots?

Story on Frederick, MD company that has some vaccine funding.

Revere casts a wary on puff pieces of Dr. Chan.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

November 30 Flu Update

WHO says bird flu remains entrenched in six countries.

CIDRAP has this report as well.

Nabarro said H5N1 is being "continuously transmitted" in at least half the districts of Indonesia, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report .

"Intensive control efforts—including vaccination of poultry—are being mounted in these settings [countries where the virus is entrenched] to get the disease under control and eliminate outbreaks when they occur," the UN said. "Under present conditions, most other countries are able to control outbreaks when they occur in other settings."

Reuters quoted the report as saying, "Outbreaks are being detected more rapidly and the response is more effective. However, animal health services are still substandard in most countries—they lack necessary regulatory frameworks, budgets, laboratory capacity and implementation of biosecurity measures."

Revere blogs all this, saying that some people are tired of hearing about the need to prepare, which has been going on for years. When does a new record play?

Romania says it has determined it has no bird flu on a farm but is guessed it....a cat.

More culling in Saudi Arabia, where outbreaks continue.

More on the source of infection in Britain--Telegraph notes that they don't know, so migratory birds cannot be ruled out.

Vietnam is turning its attention to bird flu and its duck population.

Azerbaijan reports an absence of bird flu.

Wild story of Irish man who is deaf and had suspected bird flu symptoms while in SE Asia.