Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March 25 Flu Update

Excellent story on the disappearing poultry in Egypt.

In India, four workers are under bird flu observation. These are almost always nothing. On the other hand, when it starts, this could easily be what we see.


Culling is said to be almost done in West Bengal.

Vietnam says five provinces are still showing signs of bird flu.

Vietnamese minister says bird flu risk in the Mekong Delta.

ProMed has this on the source of flu in Turkey, and other stories.

Turkish authorities have reported that the source of the recent outbreak of avian influenza in Ipsala/Edirne (Western Turkey) was "Fomites (humans, vehicles, feed, etc.)" (OIE-World Organization for Animal Health report 6907, report date: 18 Mar 2008). Ukraine has come to the same conclusion regarding the recent outbreaks in Crimea [see comment]. (OIE report 6909, report date: 19 Mar 2008).

The Gates Foundation has sent $1M to the University of Wisconsin to fight bird flu.

CIDRAP has the story from yesterday about mallards and spreading the flu. Note this:

High concentrations of ducks, rice fields, and human populations—rather than chickens—pose the highest risk of sparking deadly H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in Southeast Asia, according to a recent study.

Minnesota Public Radio has this audio report on bird flu.

World Bank is sending $6M to Cambodia.

Revere blogs on the recent announcement from Germany that they are bird flu free, and the usual perverse reaction of the virus to seemingly strike any country that says that.

1 Comments:

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...

Orange;

Excellent first article about culture change and disappearing birds on the streets of Egypt. What’s really interesting is the fact that they culled approximately 25 million birds in February 2006 alone, as compared to only a small fraction of that number in Indonesia and India (wonder what that says about their commitment?). Optimistically, it appears most Egyptians are getting out of the business of raising chickens, and the production of fowls are being left to the large chicken farms. What I find alarming though, are the following statements in the article: “…we don’t seem to be able to get ahead of the disease”, and “…there is so much of it in Egypt that the risks are greater than elsewhere”.
It’s hard to believe their H5N1 problem can be any worse than Indonesia or China.

Regarding the four Indian cullers who are under medical watch and observation for bird flu: India prides itself on not having reported one single case of human H5N1 infection so far, and it clearly looks like it’s going to stay that-a-way. Until we see hundreds (if not thousands) of peculiar unexplained human deaths and utter panic, don’t expect to see any infections in the future either. Their official government bird flu policy is pretty plain – “see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil”.

The ProMED and CIDRAP articles about “fomites versus wild birds” and “high concentrations of ducks, rice fields and high density human populations”, as potential H5N1 contamination sources and complicating factors, are both fairly interesting also. Both theories make perfect sense. The two news articles describe these possible sources of infections and circumstances in Turkey, the Ukraine, and Vietnam, but curiously, not a word of speculation about what might be going on in Indonesia and China. I found it quite odd too that there was no mention of either seasonal migratory birds or swine as possible “vector-type-virus-spreaders”, since there are also millions of these critters in Asian areas where H5N1 is entrenched.

My final thought about the World Bank pouring $ 11 million into Cambodia – absolutely great, that’s cool, at least it isn’t going to Indonesia – it would have been a total waste sending it to that toxic waste pit.

Wulfgang

 

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