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August 03, 2005

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Species Jump Of Disease Gets Help

... of Sciences says the H5N1 virus could kill some ducks after causing only mild symptoms — which... the flu strain H5N1. The strain has killed 51 people in Asia since 2003, and experts fear it could kill ...


Today 2:25:02 PM

Hump Day  

.. tested positive for the bird flu virus strain H5N1, local newspaper Labor reported on Wednesday 3 Aug... viruses, including H5N1, on a trial basis. It will vaccinate some 43 million poultry, including... Nam. Interesting. . .they're saying that 70% of the waterfowl test positive for H5N1. . .talk about ...

Brandi's Mental Meanderings

Today 1:21:15 PM



... 笹山登生氏の主催する掲示板で、「ヴェトナムのメコン・デルタの水鳥の70パーセントが、すでに、鳥インフルエンザに感染との情報」というショッキングな話が紹介されていた。以下、笹山氏の訳文をそのまま以下に引用: ヴェトナムの地方紙Lao Dong紙が水曜日に伝えたところによると、ヴェトナム南部のメコンデルタにいる水鳥の70パーセントが、すでにH5N1鳥インフルエンザに感染していることが、わかった。7月になって、ヴェトナムでは、ハノイ市のほかに、 Dong Thap市、 Ben Tre 市、 Can Tho 市の各市で、鳥インフルエンザの感染が確認されている。 この感染拡大を最小化 ...

what's my scene?

Today 12:36:10 PM

August 3 Flu Update

... on the new case. He reminds us that there are two H5N1 in Vietnam--a milder version in the north, where ...

The Coming Influenza Pandemic?

Today 12:07:26 PM

Avian Flu Migration

... The Register reports: tease “Russia’s Emergencies Ministry is warning that the H5N1 strain of the bird-flu virus, the strain dangerous to humans and responsible for the deaths of more than 50 people in Asia, could spread into mainland Europe from farms in Siberia.” tease “The H5N1 strain ...

Cloudy Thinking by Ron K. Jeffries

Today 11:07:08 AM

Chinese Government's Answer to Containing H5N1 and Recombinants - "Make Villages Disappear!" Three Villages Razed In Qinghai Af

.. Chinese Government's Answer to Containing H5N1 and Recombinants - "Make Villages Disappear!" Three Villages Razed In Qinghai After H5N1 Bird Flu Riots? ...


Today 7:06:36 AM

Did H5N1 Ebola Recombinant Come From China's Plum Island?

... Did H5N1 Ebola Recombinant Come From China's Plum Island? ...


Today 7:06:36 AM

Star Wars Animal

... Star Wars Animal Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Episode I:the Cows Menace H5N1 Episode II: Attack of The Chickens Streptococcus suis Episode III: Revenge of Pigs ...

Java Diary - 博客.CN[blogger.cn/blog/中国/china]

Today 2:19:43 AM


In early July, New Scientist carried a warning from Chinese scientist studying migratory birds in Qinghai province.
Thousands of wild birds in north-west China may have been infected by a bird flu virus closely related to the one that has devastated poultry farms in south-east Asia. The birds might carry the virus as far as India, Australia and Europe.

That is the warning from two teams of scientists in China. They report in Nature and Science this week that a massive die-off of birds at Qinghai Lake in north-west China, a major summering spot for migratory waterfowl, is due to H5N1.

The RNA sequence of the Qinghai virus reveals that three of its eight genes are almost identical to those of a virus isolated from a chicken in Shantou in 2003. The other five genes resemble those of viruses found in southern China earlier in 2005, which belong to the “Z genotype” virus circulating across east Asia.

This means the Qinghai virus was not, as first claimed by officials, brought into China from other countries by migrating birds. The bird that started the outbreak might have picked up the virus in southern China or from poultry closer to Qinghai, say Guan and Gao.

The latest issue of New Scientist reports that the Chinese officials are rejecting the research.

The head of the ministry of agriculture's veterinary bureau, Jia Youling, has rejected research on bird flu published in the journal Nature last week by Yi Guan and his colleagues at the universities of Hong Kong and Shantou.

Ominously, Jia added that Guan's group did not even go to Qinghai or have permission to do the research, and that his lab does not meet safety standards. Yet Guan's BSL3 lab complies with international standards, and his team collected samples from Qinghai before the government introduced rules last month saying no one could study dead animals or bird flu, or even report an outbreak of animal disease, without permission. "They are trying to close everyone's lab," Guan told reporters.
Today 4:46:33 PM -


Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Reports Second Quarter 2005 Financial Results; Continued Progress in RNAi Therapeutic Development Efforts; Realizing Value from Leading Intellectual Property Estate in RNAi


CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 3, 2005--Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALNY), a leading RNAi therapeutics company, today reported its consolidated financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2005 and company highlights.


"We continue to report steady progress against our overall clinical and business objectives for 2005," said John Maraganore, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. "During the second quarter, we continued to advance our pipeline of RNAi therapeutic programs, including our lead Direct RNAi programs for RSV infection and age-related macular degeneration. The pace of our development program for RSV infection has accelerated, with IND enabling toxicology and manufacturing activities currently underway. In recent weeks, we also have executed a number of licensing agreements, such as the InterfeRx(TM) license with Nastech Pharmaceutical Company Inc. and multiple reagent licenses, all of which create value in the near term and provide external validation for the strength of our intellectual property estate in RNAi."

Net Loss

The net loss attributable to common stockholders according to accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (GAAP) for the quarter ended June 30, 2005 was $11.1 million, or $0.54 per share, as compared to $7.7 million, or $1.10 per share, in the second quarter of 2004, which included $0.8 million of accretion of redeemable convertible preferred stock. The net loss for the second quarter of 2005 included a $2.1 million non-cash charge resulting from the issuance of 270,000 shares of Alnylam's common stock in connection with the June 2005 amendment to the Company's license agreements with Garching Innovation GmbH, which provided Alnylam with operating flexibility for its wholly owned subsidiary, Alnylam Europe AG, as well as $0.9 million of non-cash stock-based compensation expenses. In addition, the Company incurred higher external research costs related to the advancement of Alnylam's respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection program.


Revenues in the second quarter of 2005 were $1.1 million, an increase from the $0.1 million reported in the quarter ended June 30, 2004. The increase in revenues is primarily the result of $0.6 million of cost reimbursement revenues related to Alnylam's June 2004 collaboration and license agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. for the co-development of RNAi therapeutics for ocular diseases (Merck Ocular Collaboration). Also contributing to the increase in revenues was the amortization of $1.0 million of maintenance payments received by Alnylam in 2004 from Merck, under the companies' September 2003 strategic alliance for the development of in vivo RNAi technology and therapeutics (Merck 2003 Collaboration), as well as the amortization of $3.0 million of up-front payments earned by Alnylam from Merck in June 2004 under the Merck Ocular Collaboration. Alnylam has recorded these payments as deferred revenue and is amortizing the associated revenues over the estimated periods of performance under the agreements. The increase in revenues in the second quarter is also attributable, in part, to $0.2 million of revenues earned as a result of Alnylam's March 2005 collaboration agreement with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc.


Today 4:00:00 PM -

Cloudy Thinking by Ron K. Jeffries

 The Register reports:
“Russia’s Emergencies Ministry is warning that the H5N1 strain of the bird-flu virus, the strain dangerous to humans and responsible for the deaths of more than 50 people in Asia, could spread into mainland Europe from farms in Siberia.”

“The H5N1 strain of the bird-flu virus can be passed from bird to human, but in Russia no cases of human infection have been officially registered. The greatest fear is that the virus will mutate and a strain will emerge that can be passed from human, to human, triggering a global epidemic.”

Today 11:06:52 AM - 

The Register  


Russia issues warning

Russia's Emergencies Ministry is warning that the H5N1 strain of the bird-flu virus, the strain dangerous to humans and responsible for the deaths of more than 50 people in Asia, could spread into mainland Europe from farms in Siberia.…

Today 10:35:12 AM -

PR Newswire Open link in new window


HONG KONG, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- PRB Pharmaceuticals and Lee's Pharmaceuticals announced today that a recent study by Taiwan researchers from the National Health Research Institutes demonstrates TF2b and TF3, two components of v38 AMF-1, inhibit the 3C-like protease encoded by SARS-CoV. v38 AMF-1, a fraction of the flu medication VIRA 38, is best known for its ability to inhibit bird flu virus (H5N1) infections.


About VIRA 38

VIRA 38, PRB Pharmaceuticals' over-the-counter broad-spectrum anti-viral medication, is known for its effectiveness in treating and preventing influenza. VIRA 38 has recently been shown to contain compounds that inhibit the bird flu (H5N1) virus. Researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have previously discovered these same compounds to be effective against a variety of pathogens including SARS-CoV, the virus responsible for causing severe acute respiratory syndrome.

About PRB Pharmaceuticals

PRB Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (http://www.prbpharmaceuticals.com) is based in Irvine, California and Hong Kong. PRB Pharmaceuticals is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company that develops unique and highly efficacious anti- viral treatments and preventative therapies.

About Lee's Pharmaceuticals

Lee's Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd (http://www.leespharm.com/EN) (Hong Kong Exchange GEM Stock: 8221) distributes VIRA 38 to the Hong Kong market. Lee's is an integrated research-driven and market-oriented pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, manufacture and sales of quality biopharmaceutical products that focus on combating cardiovascular and viral diseases.

Today 9:43:00 AM -

Gates of Vienna

The Indonesian government is waging a campaign to exterminate pigs alleged to be infected with the deadly bird flu virus. The Taipei Times published this account:
     Disposing of the uncleanWhen government workers in white anti-contamination suits descended on Ceng Kim’s farm to slaughter his pigs, claiming they were infected with the bird flu virus that killed three people nearby, he hid inside his house.

He couldn’t bear to watch, but the rest of Indonesia saw the dramatic images on television that night: Squealing pigs electrocuted one by one and tossed into a fire.
  “My pigs didn’t kill anyone,” said Kim. “But if the government says they’re sick, what can I do?”
The evidence for any connection between the pigs and the avian flu is scanty at best . According to The China Post,
     “There is some historical data from China and Vietnam as well as Indonesia where this particular virus has been identified in pigs,” he said. “But we don’t have evidence that the pigs were diseased or were actually infected by the virus.”
  Meanwhile, the country’s top veterinarian came out against the Agriculture Ministry policy, saying it appeared to be “political.” Indonesia is the world’s most populous Islamic country and many Muslims consider pigs to be unclean.
  “There is no proof that any humans have been infected by pigs,” said Dr. Trisatya Putri Naipospos, adding, “We have to control the disease at the source, and the source is birds and chickens infected by the H5N1 virus, not pigs.”
For the Muslim majority in Indonesia, targeting the pigs has the added advantage of damaging the fortunes of the ethnic Chinese minority in Indonesia. The Chinese, like the pre-Holocaust Jews in Germany, are seen by many Muslims as greedy interlopers, and are often subjected to discrimination and violence.

From the evidence available, it seems that the positive readings for the virus in the pigs may be due to the droppings from infected birds, which inhabit the same farmyards as the pigs.

Epidemiologists now believe that the 1918 influenza epidemic originated in domestic fowl and then spread to farmyard mammals. The disease jumped to humans via the Allied soldiers who were in close contact with farm animals on the Western Front, living in cramped conditions that were ideal for the spread of the disease.

Given the high stakes in the avian flu outbreak, some people simply refuse to take any chances:
     In May, an Indonesian scientist said he found H5N1 in blood samples taken from pigs, which are genetically similar to people and often carry the human influenza virus, raising concerns that the animals could help fuel a devastating flu outbreak.
  Experts worry that pigs infected with both bird flu and its human equivalent could act as a “mixing bowl,” resulting in a more dangerous, mutant virus that might spread to people more easily — and then from person to person.
First they came for the pigs…
Today 7:03:11

70 percent of waterfowls in southern Vietnam positive to bird flu ...

  Up to 70 percent of waterfowls in Vietnam's southern Mekong delta have been tested positive to bird flu virus strain H5N1, local newspaper Labor reported Copyright: Bangladesh Sun

From Bangladesh Sun: Recommended source for Southeast Asia News (feed)
See also links to this feed and more from this feed

Today 11:30:07 AM

August 3 Flu Update

  WaPo is rapidly picking up the bird flu story. This is on the spread to a new area of Siberia.

Here's the TASS story on the same topic.

Russia is having war games, and this report says its soliders are going to get flu shots (??) for bird flu. Check the well photo-shopped image out in this story.

Russia is looking at a $1B tab for the bird flu to farmers alone.

The cull is on in Siberia.

CIDRAP with a story on the cull.

There's a new case of human bird flu in Vietnam.

Recombinomics on the new case. He reminds us that there are two H5N1 in Vietnam--a milder version in the north, where this case is, and a more deadly version in the south, and discusses the implications of this genetic variability running around.

The HHS Secretary says they may use the US Postal Service to deliver flu meds (Tamiflu, I guess) to homes during a pandemic.

(Two thoughts. First, if the mail carriers get the flu, we're in real trouble. And, if they think I'm taking an injection from my mail carrier, they have another thing coming.)

The Rutgers College of Nursing is during an infectious disease seminar in October. Keynote speaker will be Gina Kolata of the New York Times, who wrote an outstanding flu book I read last December.

The EU Communications Commission is working on a green paper on pandemic preparedness.

Recombinomics looks ath the situation in China, which is, for lack of a better phrase, a bacterial and viral cluster-f**k. Niman combines on-the-ground, unconfirmed reports with other media accounts in this commentary.

Recombinomics cites a machine translation here showing bird flu in Tyumen, a heavy poultry district in Russia.

Wikipedia on Tyumen, which is in Siberia

Recombinomics on the spread of the flu toward Europe.

More Recombinomics and the spread to Asia.

Recombinomics notes that the isolate heading to Europe is not resistant to Amantadine and Rimantadine, which could increase demand for these drugs.

Recombinomics has a machine translation which points to four new human cases in Kazhakstan.

Recombinomics has this boxun report about villages being razed in China based on the riots reported last week due to quarantines. Unconfirmed, but not implausible.

The above translation of a boxun report suggest that three villages were razed in response to unrest linked to a forced bird flu quarantine in Yushu in northwestern Qinghai in China. China has imposed news blackouts and arrested reporters in the past, so verifiable news from the area is difficult to obtain.
Croflogs identified this, based on Declan Butler on Connotea, which is a Singapore news site on bird flu.

From The Coming Influenza Pandemic? (feed)
See also links to this feed and more from this feed

Today 10:22:10 AM




ヴェトナムの地方紙Lao Dong紙が水曜日に伝えたところによると、ヴェトナム南部のメコンデルタにいる水鳥の70パーセントが、すでにH5N1鳥インフルエンザに感染していることが、わかった。7月になって、ヴェトナムでは、ハノイ市のほかに、 Dong Thap市、 Ben Tre 市、 Can Tho 市の各市で、鳥インフルエンザの感染が確認されている。

この感染拡大を最小化するために、北部のNam Dinh、南部のTien Giangでは、ワクチン接種が続けられている。




※元ソース「70% of Vietnam's Mekong Delta waterfowl infected with bird flu


From what's my scene? ver.7.0 (feed)

Today 9:39:44 AM

I am worried!  

The nightmare of a new global flu epidemic makes good headlines and the media is often criticized when speculating about it. While there is a temptation to sex-up reports to attract readers and it is true that a lot of journalists take the bait it is nevertheless also true that all experts agree, that it is not a question if but when it will happen.

The only chance to minimize the deaths such a catastrophe will produce is instant reaction by the health authorities worldwide and this is the cause why many people in the world look worried at China wondering if the CCP has learned it’s SARS-lesson.

I for my part have no problems with speculative reports by the press. They don’t hurt me. A censoring of outbreaks would. The “Spanish flu” of 1918 is an example for that. It’s called Spanish flu because only in the Spanish press reports about the epidemic appeared. All other countries in the West, then still at war, censored reports about it heavily because they feared reports could affect the fighting-moral of the people. The doctors, who at that time new already quite well what were the best ways to deal with such a disease, couldn’t do there work and contain the disease. Why? Because out of political reasons, informing the public what to do and what not and isolating the risk-groups was not done. (More information here in an interview with John Barry, author of “The Great Influenza”.)

An article at YaleGlobal gives a survey why one could be worried about the Chinese recent information policy about bird flu (H5N1) and the new pig disease in Sichuan. Only one short piece from the article to show why:

A paper published in July in the journal Nature detailed the genomics of H5N1 isolated in samples taken in 2005 from Qinghai and Guangdong as well as Hunan and Yunnan.

Dr Guan Yi, a University of Hong Kong scientist, told the media that, soon after the Nature paper was published, the mainland authorities accused him of stealing state secrets.

So China considers H5N1 a state secret - the Qinghai isolates have been shown to be very virulent - perhaps because people have already been infected?

I say it once again, I am worried.

From RED STAR NEWS (feed)
Today 9:09:50 AM

Птичий грипп летит на запад Open link in new window

  МЧС России предупреждает о возросшей опасности распространения птичьего гриппа (штамм H5N1) на европейской части страны после того, как осенью перелетные птицы с Сибирского Севера полетят в район Каспийского и Черного морей. Специалисты ведомства также не исключают вероятности инфицирования людей, особенно работников птицеводческих хозяйств.

Птичий грипп охватывает все новые регионы России. Вчера к Новосибирской, Омской областям и Алтайскому краю присоединилась Тюменская область. По данным МЧС, в этих регионах от птичьего гриппа погибли 4035 домашних и диких птиц.

В ближайшее время должен быть разработан план действий по недопущению распространения птичьего гриппа в России. Все птицефермы страны уже переведены на карантинный режим. На некоторых птицефабриках даже заваривают входы железными прутьями. Эпидемия может серьезно ударить по российскому птицеводству. Вчера от поставок новосибирского куриного мяса отказались регионы России, Украина и Гонконг.

В России пока не зафиксировано случаев заболевания людей птичьим гриппом. Сам по себе вирус не представляет серьезной опасности для человека, однако можно заразиться непосредственно от птиц. Вирус может передаваться, если съесть плохо прожаренное мясо больной птицы. Ученые опасаются, что вирус птичьего гриппа может мутировать и начать передаваться от человека человеку.

В одной только Тюменской области в связи с выявлением случаев птичьего гриппа в рамках профилактики планируется уничтожить до 9 тысяч птиц в крестьянских подворьях. Вице-губернатор Тюменской области Владимир Васильев уточнил, что областные власти выделили 1 млн. рублей на компенсации владельцам уничтожаемых птиц. "За голову в зависимости от вида и возраста птицы будет выплачиваться ориентировочно 120 рублей", - сказал Васильев. Еще 2,4 млн. рублей пойдут на уничтожение подозрительной птицы, а также на дезинфекционные мероприятия, отметил вице-губернатор. Кроме того, руководители птицефабрик области выпустили приказы об обязательной сдаче домашнего скота работников птицефабрик на убой.

Главный санитарный врач России Геннадий Онищенко провел сегодня консультации в Новосибирске, где была зафиксирована наиболее мощная вспышка птичьего гриппа. Он сказал, что выявленный у погибших в Новосибирской области птиц вирус гриппа не является эпидемическим для человека. Поэтому, по его словам, нет необходимости готовить из штамма этого вируса вакцину для людей. "Как только появится эпидемический штамм - будет это H5, или H7, или H11, сразу же вся мировая медицинская общественность будет его готовить", - заметил глава Роспотребнадзора.

Today 7:16:00 AM


Also, it's going to be like 1918 all over again.
World Not Set To Deal With Flu
Strategy for Pandemic Needed, Experts Say

By David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 31, 2005; A01

Public health officials preparing to battle what they view as an inevitable influenza pandemic say the world lacks the medical weapons to fight the disease effectively, and will not have them anytime soon.

Public health specialists and manufacturers are working frantically to develop vaccines, drugs, strategies for quarantining and treating the ill, and plans for international cooperation, but these efforts will take years. Meanwhile, the most dangerous strain of influenza to appear in decades -- the H5N1 "bird flu" in Asia -- is showing up in new populations of birds, and occasionally people, almost by the month, global health officials say.

If the virus were to start spreading in the next year, the world would have only a relative handful of doses of an experimental vaccine to defend against a disease that, history shows, could potentially kill millions. If the vaccine proved effective and every flu v

Posted by dymaxion at August 3, 2005 06:12 PM

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