Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30 Flu Update

Scientists have found a quicker way to make antibodies, which could be very important in battling all viruses, including bird flu.

The process allowed them to make influenza-specific antibodies in as little as a month, and they said the discovery could lead new treatments for other infectious diseases such as hepatitis C, pneumococcal pneumonia or anthrax.

The government is jumping into the act in Japan to fight bird flu.

Egypt is concerned about what is going to happen when migrants go back to the Sudan.

The US donated some equipment to Tanzania.


At 6:07 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Your Japanese article contains a small interesting bit of information. Apparently, the “300 swans that wintered at the lake in Akita have left and are en route to Siberia”. I think one can assume that the four swans that were found dead, were part of this original flock. I don’t think we need to be ornithologist experts to see that there is a “migratory cycle of infected birds” that plays a key part into bird flu outbreaks around certain predictable parts of the globe. It should be interesting to see if we hear of an outbreak of H5N1 in Siberia in a few weeks.

Speaking of migration, your article about the International Organization for Migration (IOM) which has begun a three-year program of bird flu awareness for migratory “human beings” in Egypt, Vietnam and Cambodia, is quite interesting. Most of us never even knew an organization like this even existed.

I wonder if they are going to start a similar program here in the US and Canada for migrant workers ? According to a report out of Rome in 2006 that was published recently, migrants working in industrialized countries send more than US$300 billion to developing nations, according to a study released in Washington, DC by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The seemingly small sums of money sent home by migrant workers when added together, dwarf official development assistance. Remittances are generated by some 150 million migrants worldwide, who send money home regularly, typically between US$100 and US$300 at a time. Donor nations provided only $US104 billion in formal aid to developing countries in 2005, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. So migrant workers are important to the world economies.

I am mentioning this for a couple of good reasons: migrant workers are an integral and essential part of most developed economies of the world, and are a major contributor to developing economies as well. If they get sick or die due to bird flu, the economic (as well as human) toll could be catastrophic.
Just thought I’d mention this small point when discussing migratory birds and humans.


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