Monday, May 19, 2008

May 18 Flu Update

For the second time, South Korea has mobilized troops to help in the culling of poultry.

More on ongoing culling in South Korea.

Chicken restaurants are suffering serious problems from bird flu scare in South Korea.

Quang Nam in Vietnam says it is bird flu free.

Helen Branswell on EU approval of H5N1 pre-pandemic vaccine--Prepandrix!

Usual high quality post from Revere on the mantra that all human cases have bird exposure....they don't, and we may be missing H2H because we are so quick to explain away infections. Note this...

This case is mysterious in other ways, too. It was originally reported that the teenage girl's 15 year old brother was also a bird flu victim, but the story now goes that the brother died of typhoid fever 10 days before his sister. Had it been bird flu this would have been looked on as a likely person to person transmission. It seems a bit convenient -- but still possible, I suppose -- that the brother died of another fatal infectious disease within exactly one incubation period of his sister. Since it sounds like the brother died before the diagnosis of bird flu was suspected and the diagnosis is based on an unnamed blood test rather than PCR you have to wonder. Of even more interest is the report that a family member of the two, a 24 year old, is being treated at another hospital with bird flu like symptoms.

Don't know we have heard much from Nepal, but this report says its neighboring states are nervous.


At 7:05 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I think Revere asks some pretty poignant questions in his article about the latest Indonesian bird flu fatality (the fifteen year old girl), and her brother who mysteriously died from “typhoid” 10 days prior, and the sick relative who is currently suffering from “bird flu like symptoms”. Who knows what the real situation is behind the three illnesses (?): infected fowls that the authorities didn’t discover, from an unknown and undetected infected human or insect/animal source, false test results (negatives), or, they could be just falsifying the information completely. Admittedly, the diagnosis of “typhoid” for the brother appears extremely very (probably a misdiagnosis) unlikely, and the sick relative’s illness also looks extremely suspicious (probably they don’t know or don’t want to reveal the confirmation of bird flu due to the likelihood of H2H transmission among relatives – classic spin control). Of course, many of the reports from other third world governments appear equally fishy: look at South Korea last month, they reported a soldier culler ill with H5N1, confirmed it with two PCR tests, stuffed him full of Tamiflu, then declared him miraculously “bird flu free” three weeks later.

If it were possible to perform a wide-scale seroprevalence study in Indonesia, like the NIH is conducting in Vietnam, we might be able to discover some real answers about the sources of infection and advanced virus mutation and adaptation on the virus in these countries. However, unfortunately, there is no way on God’s green earth that Supari is going to allow any third party into her country to poke around and discover the truth about how bad the virus is embedded in the environment. She and her whole health crew are paranoid about appearing incompetent and inept.

As a side-note, your article about GlaxoSmithKline being given European approval to market their “Prepandrix” H5N1 human vaccine, contains the following pretty interesting comment from the GSK spokesperson: “While the level of public concern about the H5N1 virus has waned, that’s not the perception, though, at the level of governments and government experts. We’re actually getting an increasing number of governments now actually coming to us for very serious discussions about stockpiling”.

In my view, the Western and European nations are stealthily building up their own “Maginot Line” with these pre-pandemic vaccine stockpiles, as insurance against irresponsible countries like India and Indonesia who are refusing to address and take responsibility for their bird flu infestation problems. They have no other choice, since both Indonesia and India, two of most populated and poverty ridden places on this planet, are refusing to provide access to their virus strains.

This "made for TV movie" is not going to have a happy ending, I am afraid…



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