Thursday, February 21, 2008

February 21 Flu Update

ProMed on recent fatality reports

CIDRAP rounds up cases as WHO does some verification.

Now, Indonesia is sharing samples again.

An angle we hadn't considered......bird flu is bad for shuttlecock makers in India....

More on flu investment in South Vietnam.

Vietnam is pushing provinces to help with bird flu.

The EU has selected a pre-pandemic vaccine.

Kashmir says it is bird flu free.

Philippines region passes bird flu ordinance.

Check please! Indian bird flu tally is presented.

The New Scientist blogs on the virus sharing situation.

The World Health Organization and wealthy countries have responded by setting up a system for tracking where such donated viruses go in the world’s scientific and pharmaceutical system, and instigating talks to discuss better sharing of results. Donors have helped fund new labs in Indonesia. That’s probably as far as they can go right now. Continuing to hold this gun to their heads is putting us all in more danger, without any real prospect of quick concessions. Indonesia should start releasing samples again.

Effect Measure blogs the recent report about bird flu and mosquitoes.


At 6:05 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I see from your CIDRAP news article today that although China has reported two recent male deaths due to H5N1 in Guangxi and Hunan, no other pertinent information about the size of poultry outbreaks is released. In fact, I am surprised they even admitted this time that one of the men had contact with infected poultry – usually it always remains “under investigation” until everyone forgets about it.

What more can be said about the ridiculous “on-again, off-again” stance that Indonesia is employing, in order to keep the issue of providing virus samples to the western nations, as a means of political and economic influence and control. I do not agree at all with the sympathetic position of Ms. Mackenzie, the writer of the London-based New Scientist article, “Using flu for world domination”.

Being a women minister in the government of the largest Muslim populated country in the world is no different than being a male minister: it requires only that you be aligned with and sanctioned by the fundamental religious leaders. I see no courageousness at all in her position. I see a religious zealot, bent on attempting to control the western democratic nation’s use of H5N1 viruses, at any cost. The longer time passes, the more irrelevant the adversarial health minister and the issue of Indonesian virus strain samples become. Indonesia is a poor country and will probably always remain one, just because of this distrustful and antagonistic religious-based behavior towards western nations and capitalism. The ploy that they “are too poor to buy any vaccine produced from its virus”, doesn’t hold water.

Revere’s EM article about mosquitoes and blowflies replicating H5N1 and acting as possible vectors, is indeed an interesting. As he states, “finding pathogens on arthropods isn’t unusual”, but I am not so sure I agree with his conclusion that they aren’t a significant mode of viral transmission and are only a minor mode of spread, compared to human and poultry movements between farms (which no doubt are an extremely efficient means of spread).

It would seem reasonable to me that with the millions upon billions of different mosquitoes and flies circulating in, around and through any infected poultry area, alongside the dumping of poultry carcasses, that they are bound to be vectors (granted, it would be extremely hard to prove the “efficiency” factor). Since both domestic chickens and wild birds would consume H5N1 virus laden mosquitoes and flies, and blow flies would consume the deceased chicken carcasses, it does seem logical that these arthropods could be spreading the disease, without us ever being the wiser.

When you think about it, somebody really ought to do some water sample studies too – I’ll bet they’d be really surprised in some of these invested countries. There are probably all kinds of hidden conveyances for this virus that we have really discovered yet.



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