Wednesday, December 12, 2007

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.


At 6:26 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I noticed that the recent deaths of bird flu infected individuals in China (24 yrs) and Indonesia (28 yrs), both involved people under the age of 40. In fact, the prior reported death in the Riau province on the island of Sumatra was 31 years old. So far, I believe the statistics are proving that approximately 80% of all recorded H5N1 fatalities are under the age of forty. And I might add, the latest death of the 28 yr old Indonesian woman is now the fourth recorded death due to H5N1 infection in Tangerang (west of Jakarta) since October… I would call Tangerang a definite hotspot that we need to watch. The father of the 24 yr Chinese individual who died, is lucky to be alive. I have read translated text reports out of China that indicate the only thing that saved him was the famed “blood transfusion procedural treatment”, from another infected Chinese citizen who recovered. You don’t see this kind of information in the MSM.

The ProMED report on the 3 different H5N1 subclades found in Germany in 2006-2007, kind of provides some real clear evidence that the virus is continuing to slowly spread its genetic mutated tentacle’s around the globe. Until the endemic infestations in China and Asia are resolved (which I don’t believe is possible), there is very little optimism, in my view, that the threat of a novel avian pandemic will end. In fact, I noticed in your Virginia article, Nancy Cox, director of the influenza division at the CDC is quoted to say, “… we can be almost 100% certain that there will be one”.

In my mind, it doesn’t get much plainer than that… “almost 100% certain”, means it’s gonna happen folks. Let’s just hope it’s not H5N1 that mutates, and it’s another subtype variant, like H2, H6, H7 or H9. The current worldwide case fatality rate (CFR) of H5N1 is a minimum of 60%, and as high as 80% in some regions of the world. A CFR this high would put the odds of a death sentence for everyone who contracts it, pretty certain – unless it attenuates, and there is no guarantee that phenomenon would occur – just a hope and a prayer.

To date, the HIV, XRTB and Ebola viruses have not attenuated or become less virulent. Granted, they are primarily spread through exchange of bodily fluids and blood products, and not by aerosol transmission of particles like an influenza virus, so this is probably a poor comparison. Still, I would not bet money that the H5N1 fatality rate will diminish if this is the avian virus that becomes a pandemic pathogen.

I found your FEMA press release about the announced Region I Joint Pandemic Exercise with the six eastern states ( Ct, Me, Mass, NH, RI and Vt), their EOC’s, the HHS and DOD, rather interesting.

I wonder if Regions II-X have similar plans ? Doesn’t make much sense if they don’t.



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