Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Curtain Please

After a mind-boggling 1,245 posts spread out over what is approaching four years, I've decided to put an end to this blog. There are several reasons for it. First, readership is reaching pretty low levels, compared to where it had been in other years. Second, I have been increasingly unable to get the blog updated and it now looks like it might be difficult to update consistently over the next two months. And finally, there are now plenty of other sources for this information.

I had hoped to make it to the end of four years, at least, but it was not to be.

Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting as much as you have. This has been a great experience. I've had contacts with publications, major media outlets, great comments from people from all over the world, and a huge amount of education on the topic. I was even the Yahoo! site of the day at one point.

I started the blog on December 27, 2004 because I was planning to follow some news feeds on bird flu, and figured I might as well post them, too. It lasted far longer and generated far more interest than I thought it would. In the beginning, if it hadn't been for Recombinomics, there are many days when there would have been no news.

There are also certainly other similar blogs that give a similar outlook to the topic. I would point you to:


(The remainder of these links I have cribbed from Crofsblog's vacation post).

SophiaZoe's Pandemic Chronicle

Mike Coston's Avian Flu Diary

Ma Yingshen's Chen Qi

The Reveres' Effect Measure

Ed Hammond's Immunocompetent

Scott McPherson's Web Presence

Thanks everyone.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Update Today

Events have conspired to the contrary.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August 26 Flu Update

Revere has this blog post that is the most important news of the day. Are St. Jude's, the CDC and NIH seeking an international patent for a vaccine based on Indonesian vaccine. Isn't that what we have been critical of Indonesia for doing?

Novavax has a new, novel vaccine that has some encouraging reports, making the company a bunch of headlines this morning.

A new type of bird flu vaccine that uses a mock version of the virus appears to protect people against infection and is safe enough to continue testing, Novavax Inc. said on Tuesday.

One thing I have always worried about in a pandemic is the spectre of mandatory vaccination. See here for people who are wary of even garden variety vaccines.

Sharp has a new air purifier.

Geese shot during hunting season will be testing for bird flu in New York.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 25 Flu Update

People following the flu virus know about NS1, the influenza protein that is believed to play a key role in infection. Researchers from the University of Texas and Rutgers have done some apparently important work on identifying the structure of NS1.

The researchers have determined the three-dimensional structure of a site on an influenza A virus protein that binds to one of the human protein targets, thereby suppressing a person's natural defenses to the infection and paving the way for the virus to replicate efficiently. This so-called NS1 virus protein is shared by all influenza A viruses isolated from humans, including avian influenza, or bird flu, and the 1918 pandemic influenza virus.
A seminar is being held in Chicago for businesses looking to prepare for a potential pandemic.

Fear of bird flu is causing the Philippines to curtail a regional "bird trapping" activity.

Strains of flu in Indonesia and Bangladesh are similar.

The military needs to be "ready" for disasters.....check this opinion piece out, as follows:

The message was simple. "It's about being prepared for the first 72 hours after an emergency-situation occurs. We want people to consider how they'll notify their families and where they'll meet," she said.
An alert reader shipped this along....did you know that deadly toxins are shipped via Fed Ex? Military leaders are reviewing safety rules and suspending lab activities in the meantime.

Mike the Mad Scientist at Scienceblogs writes about the bacterial aspect of influenza, which was recently published.

Bird flu fight gets publicity in Sierra Leone.

Cameroon is also re-launching its poultry industry after a bird flu scare.

Monday, August 25, 2008

August 24 Flu Update

Employing the oldest PR trick in the books, Indonesia is combining free food with bird flu education.

Some birds died in Hawaii, but apparently it was botulism.

Thailand is looking to expand its seasonal vaccine program, with benefits to its avian flu program.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 23 Flu Update

The United Arab Emirates is prepping against the bird flu.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

August 22 Flu Update

Questions are raised in New Zealand about the potential for a Tamiflu resistant flu.

A trial is now testing a universal flu vaccine.

CIDRAP with the story about bacterial infections during the 1918 pandemic.

A pilot program is underway to test insurance for farmers against livestock diseases.

Listen, its hard enough to get people to vote now, I don't recommend following this plan of giving flu shots at polling places.

Here's a review of a new book just out....A social history of influenza. Sounds interesting. The social aspects of influenza are the ones that fascinate me.