January 16 Flu UpdateVery important story. This report says that bird flu has been misdiagnosed in cases in Asia, much as it often was early in the 1918 pandemic. This has delayed treatment, possibly exaggerating the lethality of the virus. It also effects the quick response required for the world's containment strategy.
``There are substantial challenges to a rapid diagnosis,'' said Frederick Hayden, a doctor with World Health Organization's Global Influenza Program in Geneva and one of the study's 11 authors. ``We don't have right now an efficient, highly predictive and sensitive point-of-care diagnostic test for H5.''
Furthermore, lethality could be effected by the different variants of the disease that are circulating.
It reports that ongoing examination of the genetic structure of viruses shows they have evolved widely, currently breaking out into 10 separate families or clades.
Additionally, CIDRAP reports that a study shows that infection sources are unclear in 25% of cases. This is a must read, as it summarizes Tamiflu resistance, the cytokine storm, etc.
Link to the full report, for those interested.
Along these lines, there is some thought the virus might be kicked up in dust or stick to surfaces to infect people.
The OIE chief clarifies, but does not entirely retract his controversial comments from the other day.
Revere jumps in to say that the OIE chief didn't quite make it safely home with his new statement.
Iran says it has an avian breakout among free range chickens.
A fourth swan tests positive in the UK.
Culling has stopped in West Bengal while additional testing is done.
This article says the outbreak in India is the worst the country has seen
There's also an outbreak in another part of India.
India says Bangladesh caused the most recent outbreak.
Apparently, there is talk of vaccinating all free range poultry in the UK. Here is a debate over whether that will help.
Revere has new data on whether dogs and cats can be involved in avian flu. Note that, as always, we need more data.