Sunday, January 06, 2008

January 5 Flu Update

Research at MIT claims to conclude how humans catch bird flu, and it has to do with the type receptor in the human lung.

With bird flu in Israel, Lebanon is on alert.

ProMed says H5 found in birds in Portugal. Further tests being done.


At 6:10 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


After rereading your ProMED article about Portugal a few times, I went back into my archives to do a little checking to see if the exact variant of “H5” was ever reported, and nada, nothing. Speculation at this point would probably peg it at LPAI H5N2, since that was previously reported in the same area in Sept 2007.

To comprehend appreciate the complexity of testing and reporting avian viral infections, we have to remember that (if my memory serves me correctly), there are fifteen known types of avian viruses in existence, including sixteen variants of “H” and nine variants of “N”. The contagious ones to humans (thus far) are, H5N1, H7N3, H7N7 and H9N2. So, it does not surprise me that Portugal is reporting LPAI. In fact, LPAI H5N2 was just reported during the last week in the Dominican Republic.

What’s really interesting though, and I will continuously harp on this theme, is that there are several USDA documented reports of types H5N1, H4N1, H1N1, H6N2, and H5N3 viruses having been found in wild birds throughout the US over the last 24 months, but they have all been classified as LPAI. This doesn’t seem to upset anyone in the USDA, so I guess I’m not too concerned it yet either - that is, until they find their first HPAI H5N1 virus in a duck – then if they still don’t get concerned, I will get very concerned.

Here’s the link to a full listing of the “presumptive and confirmed” tests on wild birds performed by the USDA:

Note: several of the confirmed LPAI H5N1 cases in wild ducks, are right there in your own state Orange, so you might want to use caution and wear some PPE while out there in the ‘ol duck blind.



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