Lots of stories on the wires (e.g., here) about a Nature Medicine paper describing a handheld microfluidic lab-on-a-chip to detect H5N1 inexpensively in less than 30 minutes. It was hard to understand what was involved from the news articles so I retrieved the paper (published online in advance of regular appearance in the journal hardcopy). It wasn't a particularly easy read, but here is what I was able to decipher.Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...
Via CBC News: 2nd Saskatchewan farm under quarantine over avian flu worries. Excerpt:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has put another Saskatchewan chicken farm under quarantine, but says the move is only a precautionary measure.
The small farm affected by the decision on Friday is less than three kilometres away from Pedigree Poultry, a much larger operation just north of Regina, where officials confirmed on Thursday they had found a strain of avian influenza.
The CFIA said the quarantine measures are standard given the close proximity of the two farms. It said the 20 chickens tested on what the agency calls a "small backyard operation" have shown no signs of disease.
More than 50,000 chickens at the Pedigree Poultry operation near Regina Beach were to be killed and all equipment thoroughly sanitized.
Crucell says discovers antibodies to treat, prevent H5N1 avian flu ...
Forbes, NY -
The Dutch biotech company said 21 human monoclonal antibodies were discovered, adding that they were able to neutralise the H5N1 virus of avian influenza. ...
H5N1 Could Infect the Unborn
ShortNews.com, Germany -
Samples were taken from a male and female that were killed by H5N1 to see what the virus does to other human organs. Bird flu genetic material and ...
China Bans Poultry From Canada
... the H7N3 strain of bird flu, which is not deadly to humans. The H5N1 has killed about 200 people. The strain was circulating in Asia, Africa and Europe.
China bans Canadian poultry imports
China bans poultry imports from Canada
Man's death pushes Indonesia's H5N1 fatality toll to 86
CIDRAP, MN -
Oct 1, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia's health ministry announced today that a 21-year-old man who lived near Jakarta died of H5N1 avian influenza, ...
Indonesia reports 86th bird flu death
Bird Flu Claims 86th Human Life In Indonesia
Another Indonesian man dies from bird flu
Via the International Herald Tribune: Indonesian man dies of bird flu, raising global death toll to 200. Excerpt:
An Indonesian man died of bird flu after slaughtering an infected chicken, a local health official said Thursday, lifting the number of people killed by the virus worldwide to 200.
The 33-year-old plantation worker from Sumatra province had been hospitalized for almost 10 days with a high fever, coughing and breathing difficulties.
It looked as if he was going to recover, but his condition suddenly deteriorated and he died Thursday, said Arman Zubair, an official at the Health Ministry's monitoring post for bird flu.
Tests confirmed he had the virulent H5N1 strain of the illness.
Before the death of the Sumatra man, who was apparently preparing the infected chicken for a meal, 199 people had died out of 327 known infections worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Via the Hong Kong government website: Anti-bird flu measures imposed.
The Government has imposed precautionary measures after the confirmation of an avian influenza outbreak at a Panyu farm in Guangdong. They include the 21-day import suspension of live poultry, birds, day-old chicks, poultry eggs, and chilled and frozen meat from farms within 24 kilometres of the outbreak location.
As the case involves waterfowl, the Government will also suspend duck, goose and goose egg imports from Guangdong for one week.
Secretary for Food & Health Dr York Chow said tonight no human bird flu infection has been reported, adding that the outbreak is an isolated case. He said the Government will liaise closely with Mainland authorities and both sides have agreed to hold daily exchanges on the latest situation.
The Food & Environmental Hygiene Department, in conjunction with Mainland authorities, will inspect registered farms supplying live chickens to Hong Kong. Other government departments and Mainland authorities will enhance inspections to detect any illegal importation of poultry. Inspection and surveillance of hygiene conditions at poultry farms, and wholesale and retail markets will also be enhanced.
The arrangement announced last week to lift the chicken supply ceiling will be withdrawn.
Dr Chow said as Hong Kong and Guangdong are very close people should remain vigilant to reduce the risk of avian influenza.
Russia finds H5N1 bird flu virus at chicken farm
MOSCOW (AFP) — A strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus that is dangerous for humans has surfaced at chicken farm in southern Russia, the veterinary service said ...
Germany finds H5N1 in frozen duck meat
CIDRAP, MN -
Sep 10, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A government official in Bavaria said today there was a chance that some frozen duck meat contaminated with the H5N1 avian ...
Via the Globe and Mail, a Reuters story by Maggie Fox on the St. Jude's study: Bird flu not yet ready for prime time. Excerpt:
Researchers have found some of the changes that a flu virus needs to become a deadly epidemic strain, and noted the H5N1 avian influenza virus has so far made only a few of them.
They said Tuesday their study can help scientists watch for the mutations most likely to make H5N1 a global threat.
David Finkelstein of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and colleagues looked at H5N1 virus samples from people who had been infected.
They found none were anywhere near as mutated as flu viruses that caused the three most recent pandemics, notably the 1918 "Spanish flu" that killed millions worldwide.
Writing in the Journal of Virology, Dr. Finkelstein's team said they identified 32 clear-cut changes in influenza viruses that differentiated a human flu from a bird flu.
Even when H5N1 viruses infected people, each one had made one or two of these changes at the most, Dr. Finkelstein said.
"We think they need to get to 13 to be truly dangerous," Dr. Finkelstein said in a telephone interview. "We never saw anything that approached the 13 that we saw in the Spanish flu."
Via Xinhuanet: Bird flu in German farm more serious than previous thought. Excerpt:
The bird flu found on a southern German farm last week has infected more poultry than previously thought, local authority said Tuesday.
Tests show that birds in three enclosures, instead of only one, in the farm near the southern German city of Erlangen have been infected with bird flu, director of the local veterinary authority Ottmar Fick said Tuesday.
However, it was unclear whether all these birds were infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, which experts believe could transfer to humans, he said.
Earlier reports say some ducks which died suddenly in the farm have been tested positive for the H5N1 virus and experts are still trying to find out where the virus originated.
Meanwhile, Fick said it was not clear whether infected birds had been offered for sale commercially.
"We cannot exclude delivery," he said.
Vical Begins Phase 1 Trial of DNA Vaccine Against H5N1 Pandemic ...
"We have designed a promising pandemic influenza vaccine and demonstrated its effectiveness against a highly lethal H5N1 challenge in ferrets, ...
Massive cull ordered after HSN1 found
BioSante Pharmaceuticals Presents Flu Vaccine Data at Novel ...
Study confirms 2006 human-human spread of bird flu
Reuters.uk, UK -
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A mathematical analysis has confirmed that H5N1 avian influenza spread from person to person in Indonesia in April, US researchers ...
Study Confirms Limited Human-To-Human Spread of Avian-Flu Virus in ...
Stories about experimental vaccines that "work in animals" are a dime a dozen these days. That's not bad. It means there is a lot of activity on the innovative technologies front. But there is a huge distance between "works in mice" and "works in humans." So news that one of these technologies is entering human trials, even small scale Phase I trials, is rarer. Recently we posted on the proposed start of Phase I clinical trials for a "universal flu vaccine" that works across subtypes (H5N1, H1N1, H3N2, etc.) as well as across drift variations within subtypes (the genetic differences seen from year to year in seasonal influenza, for example). Now a DNA vaccine, specifically for H5N1, is starting clinical trials at NIH:Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...
WHO urges Indonesia to share live H5N1 virus samples
Xinhua, China -
6 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday urged Indonesia to share with it usable samples of the H5N1 bird flu virus as part of the global ...
Indonesia yet to share live H5N1 virus samples: WHO
'RI will only share bird flu virus sample under new mechanism'
WHO: Indonesia now only country not sharing bird flu virus for ...
GSK increases H5N1 vaccine presence in US
In-PharmaTechnologist.com, UK -
By Katrina Megget 07/08/2007 - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is bolstering its pandemic H5N1 vaccine presence in the US after being awarded a contract to provide ...
GSK gets new order from the USA for avian flu vaccine
Bird flu kills Vietnamese student -- state media
INQ7.net, Philippines -
HANOI -- A Vietnamese student has died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the country's fourth victim of avian influenza this year, state media reported on ...
Second bird flu death in Vietnam in a week
Vietnamese teenager dies of avian flu
Bird flu kills Vietnamese teenager - TV report
Via Arab News: Live Poultry Sale Ban Comes Into Effect. Excerpt:
The closure of live poultry stores within city limits as a precautionary measure against avian flu and other hygiene concerns went into effect yesterday after a three-year grace period, which included one extension.
But owners of these small businesses in Jeddah, who have been told that they should replace their live chickens with factory-slaughtered frozen poultry, are complaining that the local abattoir that is supposed to meet their needs are not up and running yet and that they are forced to either wait or find higher priced purveyors of slaughtered chickens, either imported from halal frozen chicken suppliers or from other parts of the Kingdom.
Municipal officials are only now tendering bids to build the new 50,000 square meter slaughtering facility. The new slaughterhouse will inspect the poultry before wrapping and freezing them and supplying them to the shops that can no longer sell live poultry legally.
“I’m a small-business owner and I can’t keep paying rent and salary for my store until the new slaughterhouses operate,” said Saeed Al-Jihani, a Jeddah live-poultry vendor.
Some consumers are also saddened by the news that getting a fresh chicken (legally speaking) will now mean a trip to a countryside supplier.
“I will never buy frozen chicken, even if I have to buy live poultry and slaughter them myself,” said Ahmad Al-Ghamdi, a Jeddah schoolteacher.
Jeddah resident Saleh Al-Nimi says he won’t miss the live poultry shops in his neighborhood. “The shops stink. The workers look filthy,” he said. “Even the water they use to clean the slaughtered chicken is dirty.”
Mahmoud Kinsarah, head of the licensing department of the municipality, said the new regulation was put into effect to improve public health.
|Two more swans die from H5N1 in France|
Mathaba.Net, UK -
Tests showed the swans found on July 29 in the Moselle region of France were carrying the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, France’s AFP news agency quoted ...
|Type A/H5N1 female patient dies|
VietNamNet Bridge, Vietnam -
VietNamNet Bridge – The newly-discovered type A/H5N1 female patient from the northern province of Ha Tay has died after several days suffering seriously ...
Pregnant woman is Vietnam's latest H5N1 victim
Vietnamese woman has H5N1
Vietnamese woman has bird flu - report
|WHO working group grappling with virus-sharing issues|
CIDRAP, MN -
In December, Indonesia broke a long tradition of free international sharing of flu virus specimens by withholding its H5N1 virus samples as a protest ...