December 31 Flu UpdateHappy New Year!!
CIDRAP reports---2 to 3 new deaths in Egypt.
ProMed on Egypt.
Three of the 43 cases of human H5N1 avian influenza recorded in Egypt since the beginning of 2006, and 3 of the 18 deaths, have occurred during the past 7 days. The 3 cases appear to be unconnected. The high mortality rate is worrying in view of the previous success of the Egyptian authorities in treating avian influenza virus patients. Hopefully this is a statistical aberration and it does not herald the appearance of a virus endowed with enhanced virulence for humans.
For pessimists only....MSNBC says 2008 already worth forgetting.
Bangladesh says bird flu has now spread to more farms.
New outbreak in Burma as well.
Revere year end post on pandemic potential, with his rock-solid message: prepare for flu by building communities and public health systems. Note:
...we also don't know the relationship between transmissibility and virulence. They are logically and biologically independent in general, but changes that affect transmissibility might also affect virulence. Because we don't know any of these things (and lots more besides), it is not possible at the moment to quantify the probability of one or another (or any) subtype to "go pandemic."
Because perseveration is a characteristic and privilege of the aged, we will repeat again in this last bird flu post of 2007 what we have been saying here since late 2004. The best way to prepare for an influenza pandemic is to do those things which make for a robust community, especially building and strengthening the public health and social service infrastructure.