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October 31, 2005

How did communities fare in the 1918 pandemic?

"Most communities were woefully unprepared for the health crisis they faced," said Higgins, who is focusing his research efforts on the ability of Pennsylvania cities to respond. "Those cities that passed muster, relatively speaking, had been building a strong medical infrastructure for decades, and had sound public health policies based more upon science than politics.  I'm not sure that's the case today."

Wise words, read more here.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bush to unveil super-flu strategy Tuesday

 
Bush to unveil super-flu strategy Tuesday (info)
http://www.startribune.com/dynamic/mobile_story.php?story=5696794
Posted by Declan to pandemic plans AvianFlu US on Sat Oct 29 2005 at 17:30 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 11:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thai woman H5N1-infected - News24


Thai woman H5N1-infected
News24, South Africa - 2 hours ago
Bangkok - Thailand has confirmed its 20th human case of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, after tests on a 50-year-old woman were positive, a government health ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Two new bird flu cases found in Romania - Forbes



ITN
Two new bird flu cases found in Romania
Forbes - 6 hours ago
... two new cases of bird flu in the southeast of the country, in a swan and a goose, but further tests are required to determine if they are the deadly H5N1 strain ...
Romania finds new cases of avian flu in wild birds Reuters AlertNet
Swan and wild goose test positive for bird flu in southeast ... Canada.com
Two birds test positive for flu in Romania Sydney Morning Herald (subscription)
EiTB - ITN - all 10 related

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Human immunity to H5N1?

A story on canada.com describes the mysterious immunity of many Asians whose constant contact with poultry ought to have made them sick. Instead they thrive while others, whose contact with poultry is far less, fall ill.

The story also offers comments on the disturbing vulnerability of the young:

Out of 41 confirmed cases examined in the [New England Journal of Medicine] article (which doesn't include all of them) from outbreaks in 2004-05, the ages of those infected ranged from two to 58. In Thailand and Cambodia, researchers calculated the median age of those infected: 14 in Thailand and 22 in Cambodia. For the Vietnam outbreak in 2004, they calculated an average age of 14.

The researchers also noted that recent infections have caused "high rates of death among infants and young children. The case fatality rate was 89 per cent among those younger than 15 years of age in Thailand."


Posted by dymaxion at 11:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

An Italian flu bog

I'm very happy to welcome Pandemia, an Italian site, that deals with pandemics all the way back to 1348.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

china.scmp.com - WHO wants full facts over Hunan girl's death

Posted by dymaxion at 11:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHO fears bird flu's impact on AfricaKeralaNext:

The United Nations' health agency has sounded the alarm about the possible arrival of the most virulent form of avian influenza in Africa. The World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that the impoverished continent's weak surveillance and health care systems will hamper critical early warning of the presence of the H5N1 virus or clusters of human cases.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NanoViricides Has Begun Preclinical Studies For Their First Anti-Viral Drug Targeted Against Bird Flu; Studies Are Being Conducted at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Teaching Hospital of Harvard Medical SchoolBusiness Wire

NanoViricides Has Begun Preclinical Studies For Their First Anti-Viral Drug Targeted Against Bird Flu; Studies Are Being Conducted at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Teaching Hospital of Harvard Medical School

WEST HAVEN, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 31, 2005--NanoViricides, Inc. (Pink Sheets:NNVC), today announced that it has commenced preclinical studies for its anti-viral drug FluCide-I(TM). The studies are being conducted at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, under the direction of Dr. Krishna Menon. Dr. Menon, the Company's Chief Regulatory Officer, explained that nanoviricides are complex materials. "We have started working on the basic safety of the polymer under a maximum tolerated dose protocol in mice. In the second part we will study the ligands that target FluCide-I(TM) to H5N1 and common influenza viruses. Thereafter, we will study the efficacy of FluCide-I(TM) itself against H5N1 and common influenza."

Dr. Anil Diwan, President, explained that, "if successful, the relevance of nanoviricides can be compared to the discovery of Penicillin, the very first bactericide. Prior to antibiotics, bacterial infections were treated with patient isolation, chicken soup and Vitamin C. Current anti-viral medicines can at best only partially inhibit the virus from multiplying in the human body. Although we cannot make claims of certainty yet, after we get good results from these studies we will be able to say that we have developed a true virus killer."

The Company is encouraged by the recent statements from high level international officials and health ministers of different countries concerning the urgency of developing effective vaccines and treatments and believes that a rapid regulatory approval of FluCide-I(TM), is possible should these studies be successful.

http://www.nanoviricides.com

NanoViricides, Inc. is a development stage company that is creating special purpose nanomaterials for viral therapy. A NanoViricide(TM) is a specially designed, flexible, nanomaterial that contains an encapsulated active pharmaceutical ingredient and targets it to a specific type of virus, like a guided missile.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectation regarding future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially and substantially from those projected herein and depend on a number of factors including the success of the Company's research and development strategy, the availability of adequate financing, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies and the uncertainties related to the regulatory process.

Contacts:
NanoViricides, Inc.
Leo Ehrlich, 917-853-6440
leo@nanoviricides.com

Posted by dymaxion at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New bird flu case in chickens confirmed in ThailandMail & Guardian Online

Thailand has confirmed a new case of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu among chickens in a northeastern province, amid rising fears over the virus following the kingdom's 13th fatality, officials said on Monday. The Avian Influenza Control Operating Centre in Bangkok said it confirmed the virus last week in one district in the northeastern province of Kalasin, about 500km northeast of Bangkok.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thai woman H5N1-infectedNews24

Thailand has confirmed its 20th human case of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, after tests on a 50-year-old woman were positive.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Roche halts US bird flu drug suppliesBlogPulse Search Results for: "bird flu"

Roche halts US bird flu drug supplies Reuters – the H5N1 bird flu virus....China insists bird flu under control as Asia struggles to combat virus ABC Asia Pacific –... ... bird flu as China insisted it has the virus under control....Vietnam may ban blood pudding over bird flu-media Reuters – of the killer virus in poultry earlier this month, state media said on Tuesday....

Posted by dymaxion at 11:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chiron to Supply United States with Pandemic Influenza Vaccine for Stockpile (Business Wire)Yahoo! Finance: CHIR News

Chiron Corporation today announced that it has won a $62.5 million contract to supply the U.S. government with pre-pandemic influenza vaccine for a stockpile to protect against the H5N1 avian influenza virus strain.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Volunteers sought for avian flu vaccine study

believed to have occurred. Identified as H5N1 , the strain of the influenza virus has shown a high mortality rate - approximately 72 percent - with many fatalities among previously

Posted by dymaxion at 11:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

とうとうクロアチアでも・・・

... パンデミック(世界的な流行)の前段階といわれている  インフルエンザ。   とうとうクロアチアでも、毒性の強いH5N1型が家禽から 検出された... ...

とうとうクロアチアでも・・・ Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2005

New outbreak in Russia

The latest incident of bird flu in European Russia killed 12 hens at a private dacha, after which authorities culled 53 ducks and hens at the locality and imposed a quarantine.

The outbreak was in Tambov, 400 km (250 miles) southeast of Moscow last week, a senior regional animal health official said on Monday.

"Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the H5N1 strain (of bird flu) ... in some dead fowl tissue samples," the official told Reuters.

From Reuters. The same article has the latest story from Malta:

In Malta, authorities sealed a ship at Malta Freeport and put its crew in quarantine after dead birds were seen aboard.

State television said the ship was coming from Taiwan, which last week found the H5N1 virus in a container of birds smuggled from China, its first case for two years.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Military may need to guard Bird Flu drugs

Link: Bloomberg.com: Europe. European governments may need to use their armies to protect stashes of bird flu treatments from looting should there be a human outbreak of the deadly illness, a World Health Organization expert said in an interview. The...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indonesia confirms 2 more cases

Link: Promed. The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has confirmed 2 additional cases of human infection with H5N1 avian influenza. The 1st newly confirmed case is a 4-year-old boy from Sumatra Island in Lampung Province. He developed symptoms on 4...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

UN Wants more funds to combat bird flu

Link: Daily News. The United Nations plans to launch an appeal for at least $50 million (USD) to improve animal surveillance in the battle against bird flu. The Food and Agriculture Organization calculated the appeal to cover response to bird...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Human to human ruled out in Thai case

Link: Taipei Times - archives. Public health officials ruled out human-to-human transmission of bird flu in a seven-year-old boy whose father died of the disease last week, a senior Thai health official said yesterday, adding that the boy has fully...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Malta quarantines ship

Link: World News Article | Reuters.co.uk. In Malta, authorities sealed a ship at Malta Freeport and put its crew in quarantine after dead birds were seen aboard. State television said the ship was coming from Taiwan, which last week found...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Azerbaijan suspects bird flu

Link: BakuTODAY.net - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Caspian news, links, maps etc.. According to him, representative of Center came across with mass death of migratory birds in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. About two hundred dead ducks were found near �Araz�...

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Flu fears hit exotic bird markets in HK, Taiwan - Reuters AlertNet



CTV.ca
Flu fears hit exotic bird markets in HK, Taiwan
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 2 hours ago
... Taipei's famous bird street, usually packed with bird lovers, has been largely deserted since the H5N1 virus lethal to humans was found among about 1,000 rare ...
WHO official sparks controversy by telling people to buy Tamiflu Bangkok Post
Bird flu: Beijing demands rapid response China Daily
HK pet bird shops to take measures against bird flu Xinhua
noticias.info - Prensa Latina - all 92 related

Posted by dymaxion at 05:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More bad news from China

Via Channelnewsasia.com:

China has reported a new outbreak of bird flu in which 2,100 geese and chickens were infected, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on its website on Tuesday.

The outbreak was detected on October 20 in Liangying village in the eastern province of Anhui, according to a Chinese Ministry of Agriculture report to the OIE.

So far 550 birds have died and 44,736 have been culled.

You can even see the actual OIE report as a PDF. (Thanks to Recombinomics for the link.)

Anhui province is roughly 300-500 km west of Shanghai and about 600 km northwest of Fuzhou, the port of departure for the infected pet birds intercepted by Taiwan's coast guard last week. If you were to conclude that H5N1 is probably all over China, I would find it hard to refute you.

Posted by dymaxion at 05:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FDA announces rapid response team

Via Declan at Connotea, we have a news release from the US Food and Drug Administration: FDA Announces Rapid Response Team to Combat Pandemic (Avian) Flu.

In partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and industry, the Rapid Response Team will work to ensure every necessary measure is taken to provide an adequate and timely supply of antiviral drugs to treat Avian flu, if it should emerge in the United States.

The Rapid Response Team will address roadblocks to increased manufacturing of products, such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), already proven effective against Avian flu. It is anticipated that Tamiflu production can be in full gear within 12 months, with substantial product available, should it be needed.

Partnering with industry, academia and other government agencies, the team will support the design and conduct of clinical studies to test new potential treatments for Avian influenza. In the event of a pandemic, such new medications could be made available under Emergency Use Authorization.

In addition, the team will facilitate the development and availability of safe and effective vaccines that could help protect Americans against a future pandemic, including from Avian flu. These efforts include measures to help increase vaccine manufacturing capacity and production of currently licensed vaccines using Avian flu strains, and facilitating and evaluating studies that use new technologies.


Posted by dymaxion at 05:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Picard: Human form of H5N1 flu not a given

As the international H5N1 conference starts today in Ottawa, Andre Picard, the health report for the Globe and Mail, has a good article: Human form of H5N1 flu not a given . Very much worth reading.

Posted by dymaxion at 05:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tests confirm seven-year boy has caught H5N1 virus in ThailandBig News Network.com - Thailand News

Province, about 110 km west of Bangkok, caught the disease while he slaughtered sick chicken. Bang-orn died early Wednesday. He was Thailand's 13th fatality

Posted by dymaxion at 05:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu virus 'like hell' - Thai woman lives to tell storyBig News Network.com - Thailand News

A WOMAN who contracted the H5N1 bird flu virus and survived said yesterday it was like being "in hell". Pranom Thongchan, of Srisomboon

Posted by dymaxion at 05:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

【EU】野鳥の輸入禁止へ 鳥インフルエンザ予防で[10/25]

... 【EU】野鳥の輸入禁止へ 鳥インフルエンザ予防で[10/25]  欧州連合(EU)欧州委員会のキプリアヌ委員(保健・消費者保護 担当)は24日、ルクセンブルクで記者会見し、鳥インフルエンザ予防の ため、販売を目的にした域外からの野鳥の輸入を禁止する方針を明ら かにした。  トルコやルーマニアのほか、英国で輸入されたオウムから病原性が強い H5N1型ウイルスが発見され、EU議長国の英国が中心になって禁輸を 求めていた。鳥インフルエンザが発生した国からの生きた鳥、鳥肉の輸入は 現在も認められていないが、今後は野鳥に関してはあらゆる国からの 輸入が禁止になる。 2005年10月25日10 ...

News Scrap from 2ch Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 05:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indonésia confirma quarta morte pelo vírus H5N1

... Leia mais (25/10/2005 - 04h03) ...

Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 05:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Deadly Flu Will Reach U.S., Says Bird Migration Expert

topping health officials worry list right now is called H5N1. Most of the cases of human infection by H5N1, dating back to 1997, have involved people who handled infected poultry or touched... are concerned that the H5N1 virus one day could be able to infect humans and spread easily from one person to another, according to a CDC statement. If the H5N1 virus were able to infect people and spread... H5N1, but scientists around the world are working on it, the CDC says. Roswell, Season 3. Now on DVD

Posted by dymaxion at 05:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

How far (genetically) to a human H5N1?

The paper also presents evidence that H5N1 has been adapting to life in poultry from its previous home in aquatic wildfowl. The more virus there is out there the more likely it is to happen by chance on the recipe for efficient ...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Birds kept by Dutch homeonwers ordered indoors - Reuters.uk



SciDev.net
Birds kept by Dutch homeonwers ordered indoors
Reuters.uk, UK - 39 minutes ago
... A virulent H5N1 strain of avian flu, which is different from the Dutch 2003 strain, has spread since it surfaced two years ago in South Korea. ...
Biosecurity key to avoid bird flu FarmersWeekly
Bird flu: Are we ready? Sunday Herald
Avian flu on the wing: are wild birds to blame? SciDev.net
Norfolk Eastern Daily Press - all 5 related

Posted by dymaxion at 07:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

H5N1 in US politics

Today I got email I wasn't expecting:

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) would like you to know that he and Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR) have drafted a letter to Mr. Leavitt requesting compulsory licensing of Tamiflu. The letter is being circulated among members of Congress in order to allow them to sign on to the request. The more members that sign, the larger the impact will be. The letter will be sent on Wednesday, October 26, 2005. The text is pasted below for your reference. Please do not hesitate to call with any questions.

y,

Vic Edgerton

____________________________
Vic Edgerton, MPH, MEM
Legislative Assistant
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich
(202) 225-5871

And here is the letter:


October 26, 2005


Michael Leavitt
Secretary
Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20201-0004

Dear Mr. Leavitt:

As experts assert that the likelihood of a global avian flu pandemic is extremely high, it is more important than ever that we make our health our top priority. A keystone of our defenses against an outbreak will be two anti-viral drugs called Tamiflu and Relenza. Both enjoy patent protection, which means that the patent holders have the ability to limit the manufacture of their respective drugs to their own company or contractors.

Last year, we were reminded of the perils of relying on a small number of entities to manufacture drugs that comprise our flu safety net. Chiron was forced to scrap half of the U.S. flu vaccine supply when their manufacturing facility failed to meet safety standards. And yet, at the cusp of a potentially far more devastating avian flu epidemic, we are about to repeat our mistake.

Furthermore, when a company holds a patent monopoly, they can control world supply. For example, Roche is not taking the necessary steps to meet world demand for Tamiflu. Klaus Stohr of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Global Influenza Programme has said it will take 10 years for Roche to adequately supply world demand for Tamiflu stockpiles. The U.S. currently has stockpiles for less than 1% of the American population. The WHO recommends stockpiles for 40% of the population. Roche has now announced twice that they will enter into negotiations with generics manufacturers to license Tamiflu to them. But if Roche sets fees too high, generics will not have sufficient incentive to make the drug. In addition, they have indicated they will not allow generics to supply the U.S., making their efforts inapplicable to our stockpiling efforts.

Compromising our pharmaceutical defenses against the avian flu is neither prudent nor necessary. The U.S. government has the authority to issue compulsory licenses specifically because of circumstances like these (28 USC 1498). If manufacturing licenses are issued, other qualified entities would also be able to manufacture the drug and the patent holder would be compensated. Indeed, such licenses have been issued in the past under far less urgent circumstances.

Many experts, including the Director General of Taiwan's Centre for Disease Control, Kou Hsu-sung, say that generic companies can profitably manufacture the drug despite the complexity of the manufacturing process. In their desperation to meet their county's demand, a major Indian drug company recently announced they had reverse engineered Tamiflu and expect to begin sales by January of 2006.

Compromising public health in order to preserve patent monopoly rights is inexcusable. We strongly urge you to immediately issue a compulsory license for Tamiflu and Relenza so that generic manufacturers can get to work shoring up our defense against avian flu.
Sincerely,
Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress

Marion Berry
Member of Congress

Posted by dymaxion at 07:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The clock ticks on economic collapse

More financial foreboding, this time an article in the Telegraph: The clock ticks on economic collapse. It's based on a new report by ING Bank, but I can't find the report itself on ING's site.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Taiwan to ignore flu drug patent

According to ABC News Online, Taiwan to ignore flu drug patent. The country is already making generic oseltamivir without licensing from Roche. We can expect more countries to do the same.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Grave' bird flu threat to China

Via BBC News Online: "Grave" bird flu threat to China.

China faces a "grave" threat from bird flu, Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu has warned.

China said it was intensifying its battle against the virus, by introducing more rigorous monitoring and immunisation of birds.

"We cannot let down our guard, we cannot underestimate the risks of the outbreaks," Mr Hui said.

nder-report the extent of the outbreaks, like the evident presence of H5N1 in Fuzhou and perhaps other regions of China's southeast coast.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Croatian outbreak of avian flu

Several stories on the flu outbreak in Croatia are available in English at Croatian News Agency - HINA. This is probably the most accessible site for Croatian news; the other news resources I've found are all in Croatian only. I've added this to the list of H5N1 News Sources & Websites.

As might be expected, the other republics of former Yugoslavia are very concerned. I wouldn't be surprised if London bookies are taking bets on when H5N1 will turn up in Italy, Hungary, and points west.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"No area will be immune"

A biology professor at Wright State University in Ohio says it's only a matter of time before H5N1 reaches the US.

Thomas Van't Hof, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of biological sciences and ornithologist who has studied different bird species for many years as part of his research in comparative physiology.

"By knowing the migratory patterns of birds and areas where species overlap while traveling between their breeding sites and winter grounds, one can predict precisely where problems will occur," he explained.

The scientist said birds migrating south from China, where the deadly flu first showed up, likely made contact with species in Bangladesh and Burma that were migrating west through southern India to Turkey. This is how the virus reached Russia and Eastern Europe, and with birds from Europe now migrating south through Turkey to Africa that region will soon be exposed.

Van't Hof said links between Asia and North America may take longer to surface, but this will ultimately take place.

"North American waterfowl and shorebirds will likely have contact with species breeding on the Siberian/Western Arctic tundra, which will ultimately infect bird populations in North America and South America. There is really no populated area of the world that will be immune."


Posted by dymaxion at 07:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian influenza (H5N1) viruses isolated from humans in Asia in 2004 exhibit increased virulence in mammals.

J Virol. 2005 Sep; 79(18): 11788-800
Maines TR, Lu XH, Erb SM, Edwards L, Guarner J, Greer PW, Nguyen DC, Szretter KJ, Chen LM, Thawatsupha P, Chittaganpitch M, Waicharoen S, Nguyen DT, Nguyen T, Nguyen HH, Kim JH, Hoang LT, Kang C, Phuong LS, Lim W, Zaki S, Donis RO, Cox NJ, Katz JM, Tumpey TM

The spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses across Asia in 2003 and 2004 devastated domestic poultry populations and resulted in the largest and most lethal H5N1 virus outbreak in humans to date. To better understand the potential of H5N1 viruses isolated during this epizootic event to cause disease in mammals, we used the mouse and ferret models to evaluate the relative virulence of selected 2003 and 2004 H5N1 viruses representing multiple genetic and geographical groups and compared them to earlier H5N1 strains isolated from humans. Four of five human isolates tested were highly lethal for both mice and ferrets and exhibited a substantially greater level of virulence in ferrets than other H5N1 viruses isolated from humans since 1997. One human isolate and all four avian isolates tested were found to be of low virulence in either animal. The highly virulent viruses replicated to high titers in the mouse and ferret respiratory tracts and spread to multiple organs, including the brain. Rapid disease progression and high lethality rates in ferrets distinguished the highly virulent 2004 H5N1 viruses from the 1997 H5N1 viruses. A pair of viruses isolated from the same patient differed by eight amino acids, including a Lys/Glu disparity at 627 of PB2, previously identified as an H5N1 virulence factor in mice. The virus possessing Glu at 627 of PB2 exhibited only a modest decrease in virulence in mice and was highly virulent in ferrets, indicating that for this virus pair, the K627E PB2 difference did not have a prevailing effect on virulence in mice or ferrets. Our results demonstrate the general equivalence of mouse and ferret models for assessment of the virulence of 2003 and 2004 H5N1 viruses. However, the apparent enhancement of virulence of these viruses in humans in 2004 was better reflected in the ferret.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Allt fler ignorerar patent på influensamedicin

Taiwan har börjat tillverka medicinen Tamiflu utan tillstånd från patentinnehavaren, som förberedelse för risken att fågelinfluesan H5N1 ska mutera till en dödlig viruspandemi bland människor. Medicinen lindrar influensan och minskar risken för att smittan ska spridas vidare epidemiskt. Senaste veckan har även Argentina sagt att man tänker ignorera patentet och tillverka egen Tamiflu. Indiska läkemedelsföretaget Cipla har redan produktionen igång och kommer att sälja till en bråkdel av patentpriserna. Pressen ökar på den schweiziska läkemedelsjätten Roche, som äger patentet på Tamiflu, att släppa tillverkningen fri. "Patent kommer inte stå i vägen för att producera medicinen åt mänskligheten", lovar Roche-chefen Franz Humer i en intervju. Företaget säger sig vilja "diskutera" speciallicensiering för vissa länder, men ger inga löften. – Flyttfåglar har redan anlänt till Afrika från smittdrabbade områden. Det finns ingen tid att diskutera: Roche måste omedelbart tillåta och underlätta generisk tillverkning Tamiflu. Så skriver Burkina Faso Network for Essential Drugs och aidsaktivisterna Act Up-Paris, i ett gemensamt upprop från i fredags där de kräver att patentet upphävs i Afrika. De påpekar också att Roche inte själva har uppfunnit Tamiflu. För nio år sedan köpte de patentet från ett annat företag för 50 miljoner dollar, pengar som sedan länge tjänats in mångdubbelt. Protesterna mot hur världens största läkemedelsföretag för några år sedan försökte hindra Sydafrika från att använda kopierad aidsmedicin tvingade världshandelsorganisationen WTO att börja tolka TRIPS -avtalet som att det ska vara tillåtet att piratkopiera läkemedel i situationer av "nationellt nödläge". USA planerade att utnyttja möjligheten när skräcken för mjältbandsbakterier var som störst, och Brasilien hävdar sin rätt att på så vis kunna förse alla behövande med bromsmediciner mot hiv.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

EU to consider wild bird ban after parrot death

A Europe-wide ban on the imports of wild birds will be considered by the European Commission, after a parrot died in Britain of the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird Flu Brings Out Double Standards on Drug Patents

With hardly a hint of shame, voices from the Western world's political establishment are exhibiting a view that seems to say that the lives of people in the developed world matter more than those that populate the South. Chuck Schumer, a member of the U.S. Senate from New York, a typical example, has even issued a threat, to pressure the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche to give up its right to protect the patent on Tamiflu, the only drug currently capable of fighting the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Media Coverage of Bird Flu Misleading regarding Wild Birds

News accounts of the "bird flu" virus (H5N1) have not adequately covered what the term "bird" refers to. While the main story line tends to focus on the potential pandemic threat to humans from the bird flu, readers are left wondering what birds to be concerned about. The "bird" relates to "domestic poultry," primarily in Asia, and certainly does not pertain to backyard wild birds. This is an important issue to millions of people - backyard wild bird enthusiasts who enjoy and care for wild birds and are worried whether they should continue to do so. The media should make an effort to clarify this issue and to alleviate unwarranted concerns about wild birds. [PRWEB Oct 24, 2005]

Posted by dymaxion at 07:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grippe aviaire :faut-il craindre une pandémie ?Cité des Sciences : Science Actualités

Suite à l'extension géographique du virus H5N1 à partir de l'Asie, la crainte d'une pandémie humaine de grippe se fait plus pressante. Pour autant, le virus n'a toujours pas acquis la capacité de se transmettre d'homme à homme.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Swedish bird flu case 'not H5N1'BBC News | News Front Page | World Edition

Tests on a duck that died in Sweden of bird flu show it was not carrying the lethal H5N1 strain, officials say.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Britain to review bird quarantine measuresireland.com Latest World News

Quarantine measures are to be reviewed in Britain after it was revealed a South American parrot was almost certainly infected with the H5N1 avian flu by a bird from Taiwan while in quarintine.

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SENS: Les rassemblements interditsLe Soir en ligne: la une

Alors que le virus H5N1 de la grippe aviaire a été découvert pour la première fois en Grande-Bretagne sur un perroquet du Surinam, dès aujourd'hui, le rassemblement de volailles et d'oiseaux domestiques est interdit en Belgique.

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OTRO ESCÁNDALO FARMACÉUTICOUN MUNDO POR CIVILIZAR

El fabricante del antiviral más eficaz contra la gripe aviar se niega a liberar la patente

Emilio de Benito

El País

En el mundo sólo existen cuatro medicamentos contra el virus de la gripe. De ellos, la Organización Mundial de la Salud destaca uno, el oseltamivir como el remedio más eficaz para frenar una hipotética pandemia de gripe aviar en humanos durante los cuatro meses que se calcula que se tardará en tener lista una vacuna. Ello deja en manos de un sólo laboratorio el suministro mundial. La situación no va a cambiar, ya que la multinacional se ha negado a levantar la patente, como le han pedido algunos países asiáticos, zona en la que han muerto ya 60 personas por la gripe aviar. Según el fabricante, aunque permitiera la copia, el proceso es muy complicado -dura 12 meses- y otras empresas tardarían al menos tres años en tener listo el producto. La patente del oseltamivir (que se comercializa con el nombre de Tamiflu) estará en vigor hasta 2016, según dijo ayer un portavoz de Roche en Basilea (Suiza). "Sabemos que existe una gran necesidad del producto, y que debemos aumentar la producción, pero Roche desea permanecer a cargo del proceso. No podemos esperar tres años" hasta que otro laboratorio esté en condiciones de fabricar el producto, añadió.

La compañía ha anunciado su intención de duplicar la producción del fármaco, de 1,5 millones a 3 millones de tratamientos este año, y a volverla a duplicar el año que viene. Para ello se ha pasado de una planta a tres, y se planea abrir otra nueva.

Un portavoz de la compañía explicó que el proceso de fabricación del Tamiflu dura 12 meses "en el mejor de los casos". En él intervienen tres compañías asociadas a Roche, aparte de las instalaciones de la propia compañía.

La propuesta de que Roche liberara la patente del antiviral fue retomada esta semana por las autoridades de algunos países asiáticos (los únicos en los que hasta la fecha se ha producido el salto del virus de la gripe aviar de los animales a los humanos). La petición no es nueva. A mediados del mes pasado el director general de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS), Lee Jong-wook ya terció en la polémica e indicó que la organización no iba a "impulsar" una versión genérica del Tamiflu.

Este medicamento, junto con el Relenza, de Glaxo, actúa inhibiendo la acción de una de las proteínas de la cubierta del virus de la gripe aviar, la neuraminidasa (la "N" a la que se refiere el nombre H5N1 del virus). La ventaja que tiene es que se suministra en píldoras y puede usarse como tratamiento preventivo. El fármaco está autorizado en España aunque no está a la venta.

El Relenza, que sí se vende en España, cuesta 22,26 euros, sólo puede adquirirse con receta y no lo cubre la Seguridad Social. Su uso, inhalado, lo hace más complicado de administrar, y limita su eficacia a las manifestaciones pulmonares de la gripe.

El acopio de antivirales es una de las medidas preventivas que diversos gobiernos están tomando ante el riesgo de que el virus H5N1 de la gripe aviar mute y se convierta en un agente infeccioso peligroso para los humanos. Hasta la fecha sólo se han dado transmisiones esporádicas entre aves de corral y personas (generalmente, granjeros o personas que viven en estrecho contacto con ellas) en Vietnam, Camboya, Tailandia e Indonesia. El resultado ha sido de 117 infecciones con 60 fallecidos, según el recuento de la OMS.

España también ha tomado medidas al respecto. De momento, se han encargado dos millones de tratamientos antivirales, según ha informado el director general de Salud Pública, Manuel Oñorbe. Esta cantidad serviría para tratar a un 4% de la población (el número considerado clave por la OMS), y, con ello, evitar la propagación de una pandemia durante el tiempo que se tarde en tener lista una vacuna. El presupuesto de esta compra es de 14 millones de euros, de los que el Ministerio de Sanidad aportará uno y las comunidades autónomas los otros 13. Otros países, como Francia, han decidido ampliar la cobertura, y han encargado antivirales para tratar al 20% de la población.

Además, desde 2003 existe una Comisión Interministerial de seguimiento de la Gripe en España y se producen reuniones periódicas de la Comisión de Salud Pública, que podría decidir aumentar las compras de fármacos. También se está negociando con dos laboratorios la instalación de fábricas de vacunas en España, aunque la fabricación de tratamientos de inmunización no comenzaría hasta dentro de cinco años.

Resistencias

Como en el caso de otras enfermedades infecciosas (sida, polio, viruela) la vacuna es el objetivo final. A esta necesidad se unen algunos datos obtenidos del empleo de antivirales para tratar los casos de gripe aviar en humanos que se han dado en Asia. El problema está en que el virus de la gripe, con tan sólo ocho genes, muta con facilidad. Ello le permite eludir el efecto de los distintos tratamientos. A primeros de mes William Chui, un científico del hospital Queen Mary, de Hong Kong, estudió el virus obtenido de unas muestras de enfermos de Vietnam, y detectó que el virus ya mostraba resistencias al oseltamivir. Ello dejaría sin respuesta inmediata a los sistemas sanitarios en el caso, hipotético, de que el virus de la gripe aviar cambie y adquiera la propiedad de transmitirse fácilmente de los animales al ser humano, y, posteriormente, entre las personas.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Utbrott av fågelinfluensa nära Moskvasvt.se - Nyhetslöpet

Ytterligare ett fall av den aggressiva fågelinfluensan H5N1 har konstaterats i den europeiska delen av Ryssland. Det är det andra utbrottet i regionen på kort tid.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vogelgrippe in Schweden nachgewiesenNETZEITUNG.DE Ausland

Auch in Schweden ist Vogelgrippe aufgetreten. In keinem der Fälle der letzten Tage wurde bisher das für den Menschen gefährliche H5N1-Virus festgestellt. Wildvogel-Infektionen gelten als normal.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Croatia kills thousands of birds to fight avian flu

whether the virus was the lethal H5N1 strain which has killed more than 60 people in Asia since 2003 and which has recently been detected in birds in Romania and Turkey. The

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New bird flu outbreak in southern Siberia

of the virus detected was the H5N1 variety, which poses a serious risk to humans. The agency said that bird flu antibodies were found in the blood of 59 birds that died in seven

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Los casos de gripe aviar detectados en Suecia pertenecen a cepas poco patógenas

... Los casos de gripe aviar detectados en Suecia pertenecen a cepas poco patógenas Se confirma otro brote del virus H5N1 en la Rusia europea ...

Technorati this

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Romanian bird flu detected as deadly strain 

... Romanian bird flu detected as deadly strain AFP via Yahoo! News - Oct 15 1:08 PM EU scientists confirmed that the bird flu variant found in Romania was the same deadly H5N1 strain that has killed dozens of people in Southeast Asia and was detected earlier in the week in Turkey.Save to My Web ...

Britain calls for EU ban on wild birds after parrot dies of bird flu (Mocking Bird Paradise) Technorati this

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Sweden finds bird flu in duck

Sweden is the latest European country to be struck by bird flu. A duck found dead east of Stockholm has tested positive for the disease. It is too early to say whether it had the lethal H5N1 strain of the virus.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kippenhoest neemt het vliegtuig

Goedemorgen, weer een frisse week voor de boeg. De vraag is of we eind deze week nog even fris zijn. Want laten we de status van de kippenhoest even doornemen. Zo blijken de vogels in Kroati? te sterven aan H5N1. Ook een Surinaamse Papagaai die in Engeland verbleef, is overleden aan het gevreesde virus. Natuurlijk, met Suriname is niks mis, maar het beest liep zijn ziekte op omdat 'ie met vogels uit Azie in quarantaine zat. Ofwel, H5N1 heeft inmiddels gewoon het vliegtuig naar het westen

Posted by dymaxion at 07:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

u papouška, kter?? uhynul v brit??nii, zjišt??n nebezpe??n?? virus

LOND?N - Papou?ek, kter? uhynul v Brit?nii v karant?n? na pta?? ch?ipku, byl infikov?n virem H5N1 nebezpe?n?m i pro ?lov?ka. Ozn?milo to dnes britsk? ministerstvo ?ivotn?ho prost?ed?. Mluv?? sd?lila, ?e v?dci zjistili "velmi patogenn? virus H5N1". Podle n? "m? nejbl??e k podtypu, kter? se letos vyskytl u kachen v ji?n? ??n?". Papou?ek byl dopraven do Brit?nie ze Surinamu v polovin? z???... pt?k? a dr?be?e. Virus H5N1 se v?ak v Asii ve v?cero p??padech p?enesl z dr?be?e na ?lov?ka a od

Posted by dymaxion at 07:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Deadly Bird Flu now in the UK

It s official, the deadly H5N1 strain bird flu that has plaqued parts of asia and some EU countries (Turkey, Romania, Russia) has now been found in the UK. The British government said Sunday that a strain of bird flu that killed a parrot in quarantine is the deadly H5N1 strain that has plagued Asia and recently spread to Europe and Turkey. Scientists determined that the parrot, imported from South America, died of the strain of avian flu that has devastated poultry stocks and killed 61

Posted by dymaxion at 07:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2005

Israel and Jordan to meet over avian flu risk

Link: Reuters AlertNet - Israel and Jordan to meet over avian flu risk. Israeli and Jordanian agriculture officials plan to meet on Thursday to coordinate how to handle any outbreak at home of the bird flu that has been discovered...

Posted by dymaxion at 08:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Middle East braces for migrating birds and the deadly virus they may carry

 
Middle East braces for migrating birds and the deadly virus they may carry (info)
http://www.canada.com/health/story.html?id=97067536-360e-4846-9141-0b8a1ac0 0b46
Posted by Declan to migratory birds AvianFlu on Fri Oct 21 2005 at 05:23 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 08:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Really bad news

Declan Butler at Connotea provided the link to a story in a Taiwan newspaper, The China Post, with probably the worst news since Qinghai Lake last summer. Taiwan has reported its first cases of avian flu, but they're not local poultry or infected migratory birds. They're from mainland China.

A group of smuggled birds that was stopped off the coast of Taiwan and destroyed on the spot five days ago tested positive for the H5N1 strain of the bird flu, the government announced yesterday as it reported Taiwan's first case of the virus which has killed sixty people in Asia.

A total of 1,037 birds along with a number of mice and turtles had been found on a Panama-registered ship traveling from China by the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) last Friday off the coast of Taichung harbor.

Members from the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) proceeded to board the ship and destroy the animals, fifty percent of which are already dead, after collecting samples of their excretions for further testing on last Saturday.

All of the ship's crew had been ordered to leave the country on their ship on Sunday except for one who was detained by authorities in Taichung for allegedly attempting to smuggle the animals into Taiwan.

The suspected smuggler, who according to local media brought the birds from Fuzhou, mainland China, has been in good health and showed no signs of being infected by the virus so far, BAPHIQ said. He will be receiving medication to prevent being infected.

long, long way from Qinghai Lake and the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. Assuming the story's details are accurate, this means H5N1 is probably all over China. And whatever the authorities have done to control it, it hasn't worked.

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Scientists discover deadly bird flu began in Scotland - Scotsman


Scientists discover deadly bird flu began in Scotland
Scotsman, United Kingdom - 12 hours ago
... has emerged. Scientists tracing the history of the H5N1 virus have traced its first recorded episode to an Aberdeen farm. The dead ...
Facing blunt truth on the pandemic threat Scotsman
all 3 related

Posted by dymaxion at 08:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A veterinary worker disinfects a bus coming from the quarantined ...World Photos - AP on Yahoo! News Photos

photo(AP) - A veterinary worker disinfects a bus coming from the quarantined counties of Tulcea and Constanta, attempting to prevent the spread of the bird flu virus, in the railway station of Fetesti, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Bucharest, Romania, early Friday, Oct. 21 2005. Tests carried out at an international expert laboratory in Britain where most of the suspected samples from around Europe are being sent for verification have confirmed the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain in a second location in Romania's eastern Danube Delta region, the agriculture minister said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)


Posted by dymaxion at 08:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

H5N1: Portugal na rota das aves migratórias da Rússia...

... IMG Portugal está no caminho do vírus da gripe das aves. A ameaça chega da Rússia. O Laboratório de Moscovo identificou o vírus H5N1 em aves que estão muito perto das que irão passar em Portugal dentro de duas semanas. O alerta foi feito ao DN pela Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das ...

Fruto Xocolaty Technorati this

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October 20, 2005

TIME.com: Why Roche Released Tamiflu -- Page 1

 
TIME.com: Why Roche Released Tamiflu -- Page 1 (info)
http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1120533,00.html?promoid=rs s_top
Posted by Declan to roche Tamiflu AvianFlu drugs on Thu Oct 20 2005 at 06:01 UTC

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Human virus 'science fiction' - News24


Human virus 'science fiction'
News24, South Africa - 1 hour ago
... Spanish Agricultural Minister Elena Espinosa said on the private radio station Cadena Ser, as Europe braced for the further spread of the H5N1 strain of the ...
Bird-flu expert advises public not to overreact Business Day
all 2 related

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Taiwan says found H5N1 in birds smuggled from China - Reuters AlertNet


Taiwan says found H5N1 in birds smuggled from China
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 5 hours ago
TAIPEI, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Council of Agriculture said on Thursday it had found birds infected with H5N1 avian flu in a container smuggled from China ...
Birds smuggled to Taiwan from China test positive for bird flu ... Forbes
Taiwan confirms first bird flu case Edinburgh Evening News
Taiwan stages rare drill to combat bird flu TODAYonline
Reuters AlertNet - Khaleej Times - all 8 related

Posted by dymaxion at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HK to close border if H5N1 virus mutates in China - Reuters AlertNet



Voice of America
HK to close border if H5N1 virus mutates in China
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 2 hours ago
... KONG, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's health minister said on Thursday the city would close its border with mainland China if cases of the deadly H5N1 bird flu ...
Following is an updated factfile on scientific and medical aspects ... TODAYonline
County physician has information about bird flu virus Daily Democrat
Hong Kong prepares for 14,000-plus casualties in bird flu outbreak Bangkok Post
Almendhar - Reuters.uk - all 16 related

Posted by dymaxion at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu in Russia

The bird flu virus has spread to western Russia, with the deadly H5N1 strain reportedly detected in initial tests in the Tula region south of Moscow, where hundreds of birds have died.... [CONTINUED]. The Russian daily Vremya reported ...

Posted by dymaxion at 09:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bad news from Russia and China

Russia and China have both reported new outbreaks of avian flu, according to Channelnewsasia.com.

Russia's agriculture ministry said the virulent H5N1 virus - already detected in Siberia in the summer - had been detected in the province of Tula, west of the Ural mountains, apparently borne by wild ducks.

In an immediate response, the European Union - which suffered a new blow as a fresh case of the lethal version of the virus was found in Romania - announced plans to extend a ban on Russian bird imports.
. . .

In Moscow, authorities confirmed that the virus in Tula was the H5N1 type, which was found in Siberia.

"We have confirmation from the laboratory that it is the H5N1 form" of bird flu, Nikolai Vlasov, deputy head of the ministry's veterinary control department, told AFP.

The announcement marks the the first time the virus has arrived west of the Urals in Russia. Russia has culled hundreds of thousands of fowl and imposed numerous quarantines in a bid to wipe out the virus.

In Beijing meanwhile authorities announced China's first reported outbreak of bird flu in more than two months, saying the disease had killed 2,600 birds, mostly chickens, on a farm in its northern Inner Mongolia region.

The national bird flu laboratory confirmed that an epidemic on a farm near the Inner Mongolian capital of Hohhot was the H5N1 strain, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The brief Xinhua report said the ministry of agriculture had immediately dispatched teams to ensure necessary quarantine and disinfection measures were undertaken.

ort was brief indeed; I couldn't find it on the Xinhua site. But the story was on CBC Radio news early this morning, so the mass media are following the spread of H5N1 more closely than usual.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brazil prepares for H5N1

Brazil is getting ready for avian flu, according to a story on Reuters.com.

Brazil shipped 2.47 million tonnes of poultry worth $2.6 billion in 2004, overtaking the United States as the top poultry exporter.

"We are updating emergency sanitary measures with greater emphasis on bird flu," Inacio Afonso Kroetz, acting secretary of animal and plant protection, told Reuters.
...
Brazil's contingency plan, due to be finalized by this weekend, would reinforce airport controls. Brazilian poultry production would be regionalized so that if bird flu was found, eradication measures, such as slaughter of birds, could be more easily restricted to the infected area.

A similar measure exists for foot-and-mouth disease. The aim is to allow importing countries to ban poultry purchases only from the infected area, not from all Brazil.


Posted by dymaxion at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vietnam: New avian flu outbreak

This is my long teaching day, and I've had fun with my two classes. But it's now turning into a grim blogging night: Thanh Nien News reports a new avian flu outbreak in Vietnam.

All told, 400 ducks have perished in Vietnam's southern Bac Lieu province, stricken with bird flu, a local official said Tuesday.

"According to tests by the Regional Animal Health Center in Can Tho city, the fowl were infected with a type A bird flu virus strain," said Nguyen Phuc Tai, director of the provincial Animal Health Department.

Some 400 out of over 500 ducks raised by a local farmer in Hong Dan district died by Monday, he said, adding that the whole flock, which had yet to be vaccinated against bird flu, was culled Tuesday morning.


Posted by dymaxion at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu flares again in Asia, kills 13th Thai (Reuters)

Bird flu has killed a 48-year-old man in Thailand, the country's first human death in a year, as the deadly H5N1 virus that has now spread to Europe reared its head again in two nations in southeast Asia.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More bird flu in Romania (News Interactive)Yahoo! News - Search Results for new computer virus

TESTS carried out in Britain confirmed the presence of new cases of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in Romania, at Maliuc in the Danube delta, Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Un prototype de vaccin contre la grippe aviaire donne des résultats encourageants.

... mortel H5N1 dans le cas où celui-ci muterait pour se transmettre de personne à personne, entraînant le... national d'épidémiologie à partir d'une souche du virus aviaire H5N1 apparu à Hong Kong en 1997 et ...

Popol's house Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

最近很熱門的疾病

... 最近電視上很熱門的疾病 前幾天 本院收了疑似的病人 當然啦 最後證實不是 大家都很放心 post醫院相關的資訊 有空看看 希望大家都平安 何謂禽流感? 去年二月中旬香港確定一位九歲的男童與父親感染了H5N1禽流感病毒事件...。 《病毒型式》 禽流感病毒一般有兩種型式,包括高病原性(highly pathogenic AI)如H5N1,另外一種形式是低病原性(low-pathogenic AI),如H5N2,而台灣南部地區所驗出的禽流感病毒都屬於低病原性的H5N2型病毒株。 其中高病原性禽流感是其中較?嚴重的一類,傳染性很強並會致死,該病毒的分離株也同樣具有高致病性,家禽在感染H5N1病毒後即使倖存下來也具有傳染性 ...

MSN Spaces Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 09:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 19, 2005

Using chickens as flu detectors

The Romanian Ministry of Agriculture declared the two areas currently under quarantine will be repopulated with "test" chickens seven days after the cleanup efforts are finished. If the chickens live, the quarantine will be lifted.

The same article interviews Ioan Popa, the director of a chicken farm from Alba Iulia in Transilvania, who had an interesting solution for keeping wild birds away from his farm. Popa brought a pair of hawks to his farm and found them to be very effective. The idea has been used by airports for some time.

Link in Romanian.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Taiwan wants to make Tamiflu

Link: The China Post. Health authorities have requested that the Swiss drug company Roche Holding AG, maker of the only known drug to effectively fight bird flu, engage in negotiations with the Taiwan government over releasing the right to manufacture...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Singapore has significant Tamiflu stocks

Link: TODAYonline. Singapore has a significant stockpile of an anti-viral drug in preparation for a deadly bird flu outbreak and hoped to have enough for one million people next year. . Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said major pieces of...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian Flu - Why the vaccine delay

Link: National Review Online. To develop new and better flu vaccines is well within the reach of science. So why don’t U.S. drug companies, which dominate the global medicine market, make vaccines? First, vaccines are subject to excessively strict screening...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Domestic Poultry Deaths in Macedonia Raise Pandemic Concerns

Link: Domestic Poultry In the villages Mogila and Germiyan near Bitola some 1,000 chickens and turkeys have died and another 1,000 dead chickens have been found in the Mikulyane village near Kumanovo (50km away from the Bulgarian border). The above...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

EU calls for global response to bird flu threat - Europe - International Herald Tribune

Link: International Herald Tribune. European Union foreign ministers on Tuesday declared the spread of bird flu from Asia into Europe a ''global threat'' requiring broad international cooperation. At a special meeting, the ministers were to issue a statement saying they...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Australia to donate bird flu aid [October 13, 2005]

Link: The Australian: FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer will today commit Australian aid worth up to $10 million to help Jakarta improve its ability to deal with bird flu as he finishes up a three-day visit to Indonesia. The money will...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

US to help Indonesia

Link: Daily News. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt on Monday promised $3.15 million (USD) to Indonesia to help the country battle bird flu, which has killed more than 60 people in Southeast Asia. No nation is adequately...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Roche to share vaccine production

Link: Daily News. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche on Tuesday said it is prepared to allow other companies or governments to produce Tamiflu, which is considered the first line of defense in protecting humans against bird flu. Roche indicated it might...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Currency speculators prepare for pandemic

Link: Reuters.co.uk. Few people have died from bird flu so far but some currency investors are already considering where to put their cash should the avian flu virus mutate and spark a pandemic that disrupts economies around the world. Speculators...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scottish bird flu contingency plan set out

Link: BBC NEWS Contingency plans for dealing with an outbreak of bird flu have been unveiled by the Scottish Executive. Under the plans, poultry in infected areas would be slaughtered and movement restrictions imposed on birds and eggs. The 67-page...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

10-6-05-avianflu.mov (video/quicktime Object)

 
10-6-05-avianflu.mov (video/quicktime Object) (info)
http://video.lisarein.com/dailyshow/oct2005/10-06-05/10-6-05-avianflu.mov
Don't know what risk communicators will make of the video on avian flu

Posted by dymaxion at 07:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reuters AlertNet - EBay stops Tamiflu sale on Web as drug price soars

 
Reuters AlertNet - EBay stops Tamiflu sale on Web as drug price soars (info)
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L18604750.htm
Posted by Declan to roche Tamiflu AvianFlu on Tue Oct 18 2005 at 22:05 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 07:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

All countries need a minister for flu, says UN's expert - World - Times Online

 
All countries need a minister for flu, says UN's expert - World - Times Online (info)
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1832443,00.html
"Dr Nabarro’s comments echo the Conservative Party’s demands yesterday for a single minister in Britain to be appointed to co-ordinate Britain’s avian flu contingency plans. The Departments of Agriculture, Health, Transport, Education, Environment, the Cabinet Office, and the Prime Minister’s Office each have separate roles in the Government’s plans to combat avian flu"
Posted by Declan to pandemic plans AvianFlu Uk on Wed Oct 19 2005 at 07:36 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 07:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Man cleared of bird flu infection in Thailand - Xinhua


Man cleared of bird flu infection in Thailand
Xinhua, China - 5 hours ago
... by the Medical Sciences Department confirmed that the man, who fell ill after contacting with dead chickens in Kanchanaburi, has not been infected with H5N1. ...
Thailand to start bird flu vaccine trials in 2006 Reuters.uk
Thailand to manufacture anti-viral drug combating bird flu Xinhua
Bird flu found in sparrows in central Thailand China Daily
TODAYonline - International Herald Tribune - all 23 related

Posted by dymaxion at 07:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Iran braces for bird flu as fowl migrate for winter - IranMania News



Washington Post
Iran braces for bird flu as fowl migrate for winter
IranMania News, Iran - 2 hours ago
... Turkish veterinary teams have killed more than 8,000 turkeys, chickens and geese after an outbreak of the virulent H5N1 strain that has killed more than 60 ...
EU: Bird flu is a global threat Aljazeera.net
Iran braces for bird flu NEWS.com.au
First tests show no flu in Turkey Taipei Times
News24 - Daily Star - Lebanon - all 88 related

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China reports bird flu outbreak in Inner Mongolia - Reuters AlertNet



BBC News
China reports bird flu outbreak in Inner Mongolia
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 42 minutes ago
The birds were killed by the H5N1 strain, which can be fatal to humans, near the regional capital of Hohhot, the report said, citing information from China's ...
China reports new outbreak of bird flu Independent Online
Fresh bird flu outbreak in China BBC News
China: 2,600 birds found dead of bird flu Seattle Post Intelligencer
CJAD - all 37 related

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EU says no confirmation yet of Greece bird flu - Reuters.uk



Financial Times
EU says no confirmation yet of Greece bird flu
Reuters.uk, UK - 32 minutes ago
... Neighboring Greece is awaiting the results of tests to see if it also has the highly virulent bird flu H5N1 which has killed over 60 people in Asia since 2003.
Greece acts to protect on bird flu CNN International
Greek Authorities begins systematic disinfection Pravda
Spain to increase purchase of bird flu vaccines People's Daily Online
The Age (subscription) - CNN International - all 289 related

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UK Tories call for "bird flu minister"

Via BBC News Online: Tories' 'bird flu minister' call. The idea is to put a single minister in charge of coping with flu-related issues. Whether or not the idea is any good, it reflects the growing political impact of H5N1—like the US Democrats' proposed bill for something similar.

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Branswell: Spread of avian flu confounds scientists

Helen Branswell reports that an avian equivalent of a stealth bomber may be on its way: a bird that carries H5N1 without showing symptoms. Her story is in The Globe and Mail.

“If this is a . . . virus that seems to have fixed itself in some species and we don't know which species it is — but maybe it's not showing any clinical sign in this particular species — how do we find this guy?” Michael Perdue, avian influenza expert with the World Health Organization, asks with evident anxiety in his voice.

The realization that some mystery migratory birds are actually spreading the Asian virus suggests future unwanted appearances in Europe cannot be ruled out.

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Has H5N1 returned to Thailand?

According to the Thai paper The Nation, avian flu may have broken out again in Thailand.

Bang-orn Benpad was suffering from a high fever and bronchitis after cooking and eating a sick chicken and his lungs had deteriorated rapidly, said Dr Surapong Tanthanasrikul, a senior provincial health officer.

The 48-year-old man is now unconscious in a disinfected ward at Paholpolpayuhasena Hospital. However, the Department of Medical Science's director general Dr Paijitr Warachit said that the laboratory test results did not detect the H5N1 virus in Bang-orn's blood sample. But there were records that showed Bang-orn once suffered from tuberculosis.

ven-year-old son is also ill with a high fever, and he's been quarantined.

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Early push for flu shots

against avian flu , also known as H5N1 , but other flu prevention measures such as frequent hand-washing will help prevent spread of the disease. Health officials stressed that the

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禽流感及其傳染給人類的重要性

... 1. 禽流感及其傳染給人類的重要性 1-1. 禽鳥類的疾病:衝擊與控制方法   禽流感(H5N1)原本是禽鳥類的傳染病,由A型感冒病毒株引起,首度發現於一百多年前的義大利,而後傳播世界各地...。   禽流感病毒的高病原性病毒株(如:H5N1)已知會引發致死的疾病,2004年一月在河內有二位兒童及一位成人病患,因為嚴重呼吸道疾病入院,並經檢驗發現為H5N1陽性。儘管已有數個國家出現禽流感禽傳人的報告...A型禽流感(H5N1)的臨床病程,僅限於對1997年香港爆發流行時之病例的相關研究,以及最近在泰國與越南發生之病例的初步報告。在這三次的突發流行事件中,病患均出現發燒及呼吸道症狀,在幾個死亡病例中 ...

藍色&憂鬱 Technorati this

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【鳥インフルエンザ】カナダで対策国際会議開催へ[10/19]

... だが、 カナダ政府当局によると、18日現在、25カ国以上が参加する予定だという。  アジアを中心に拡大する高病原性の鳥インフルエンザ(H5N1型)では、WHOの今月10日 現在のまとめで、03年12月からこれまでに117人の感染が確認され、半数以上の60人が死亡した。  特にインドネシアでは今年7月以降、WHOがH5N1型と確認したケースだけで3人が死亡した。 この中には、人から人への感染が疑われる例 ...

News Scrap from 2ch Technorati this

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LA GRIPPE AVIAIRE ?

... DOIT-ON AVOIR PEUR DU VIRUS H5N1 ? 1°) Qu'appelle-t-on "grippe aviaire ? Les virus influenza responsables de la grippe sont classés en différents types : A, B et C. Les plus fréquents, les virus Influenza A sont classés en 15 sous-types H et neuf sous type N. Chez les oiseaux, les infections ...

MEDITERRANEE Technorati this

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H5N1 and U

... Bird flu: you'll die but your IT will survive - Good news from Gartner - By Lester Haines If the latest news from the wonderful world of Pandemia has ...

leeyn >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> better / simpler / faster / cheaper !? Technorati this

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October 18, 2005

Outbreaks in Thailand

thaidist.jpg

Distribution of reported highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 outbreaks in villages in Thailand [snag from the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, for the Avian Watch Group]

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Chicken Sales down 20% in Italy as Shoppers React to European Bird Flu News

According to RAI TV, Italian shoppers have started to cut back on purchases of chicken in the markets. The country has reacted by passing s rule that bans the import of chickens from Greece and Turkey and requires all chicken packagers to label the place of origin of all chickens sold in Italy. Italian shoppers interviewed for the newscast said they had little faith in a labeling system. In a further reaction to the Rumanian and Greek outbreaks, Italian politicians are proposing that this seasons bird hunting season be called off. All of the major Italian TV news outlets had stories on last nights news regarding the progress of Avian Flu in Europe. Most newspapers ran front page stories of the discovery of a potential H5N1 case found on a Greek Island in the Aegean.

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Bird flu in Macedonia?

More than 1,000 poultry were found dead in Macedonia at the weekend, but experts played down fears that the deadly strain of bird flu had spread from nearby Turkey and Romania.

The chickens and turkeys were discovered in the villages of Germijan and Mogila, some 200 kilometres (120 miles) southwest of Skopje, the capital of the former Yugoslav republic, the Dnevnik newspaper reported.

In addition, many pigeons were found dead in Tetovo, west of Skopje, the daily said without elaborating.

Source. Thanks to Danielle Emery for the link.

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SA Preparation too late say critics

Link: Xinhua - English. Fearing a killer avian flu may strike, South Africa's health authorities now rush to have an anti-flu medicine registered as a method of preparation. But critics say the government's action come already too latesince the supply...

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Bravo Senator Schumer!: Atom Feed

Ownership of patents and any kind of intellectual property ought not favor private ownership to the detriment and harm of the common good. This is an excellent example of when patents ought to be revoked:

US senator demands Roche give up rights to key flu drug to boost supply - Forbes.com | US senator demands Roche give up rights to key flu drug to boost supply (10.17.2005, 02:45 PM)

WASHINGTON (AFX) - Citing a global need to prepare against the threat of an avian flu pandemic, a senior US politician has demanded that Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche Holding AG give up its rights over the leading anti-flu drug Tamiflu.

Senator Charles Schumer said that other drug producers should be allowed to make identical drugs to ensure an adequate supply in case of a widespread outbreak of the deadly avian flu.

'The problem is not the expense of the drug but rather the shortage of supply, which would immediately be rectified if other companies were able to produce it,' Schumer said in a statement.

Schumer said Roche should be compensated fairly for giving up its rights over the drug.

'I deeply respect the investment Roche has made in order to bring Tamiflu to market, but am confident that there is a way to both serve the public need and ensure that your company receives compensation,' he said in a letter to the company.

A strain of avian influenza known as H5N1 has killed more than 60 people in Southeast Asia since 2003. The virus has been detected in poultry in Romania and Turkey in recent weeks and is suspected to have surfaced in Croatia.

and the appeasement in stressing that Roche would be asked to release the 'secret recipe' but not necessarily the pricing. It is enough of a systemic jolt to demand a revocation of their patent. Price fixing though is probably the #1 reason countries in Africa have been in battle with pharmaceuticals over the provision of AIDS treatments. The fact of the matter is that if you cannot buy the drug in the first place, you are as good as dead.

What was it Chris Rock said? Pharmaceuticals are like any drug dealer? They make their money on the comback? Yeah ... something like that. And then some.

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Le Tamiflu, l'un des deux seuls prétendus "remèdes" contre la grippe aviaire, ne "marche" pas! Des chercheurs vietnamiens et japonais viennent de démontrer qu'il ne servirait probablement à rien (

(Préambule qui n'a vraiment rien à voir: pour les 877.000 "visiteurs" du jour qui viennent pour la photo de cette sacrée coquine d'Anne Fulda, la mégastar du moment, c'est toujours ...)

Bird Flu

Même Le Monde, qui n'est pourtant pas un journal très futé, s'en doutait plus ou moins.
Dans un papier sobrement intitulé "L'efficacité du Tamiflu, médicament recommandé par l'OMS, n'est pas démontrée" (sic), le quotidien chiant et prétentieux écrit (extraits de ce papier publié dans son édition de ce soir, datée 18 octobre):

C'est la première fois, dans l'histoire de la pharmacologie et de la lutte contre les maladies infectieuses, que des pays constituent des stocks nationaux d'un médicament qui n'a pas véritablement démontré son efficacité contre une maladie virale contagieuse à venir; et une maladie dont on ne connaît pas encore précisément à quel agent pathogène elle pourrait être due.
Ce médicament est le Tamiflu, un antiviral de la multinationale suisse Roche, devenu célèbre, ces dernières semaines, au motif qu'il pourrait constituer une parade médicamenteuse efficace, à titre curatif ou préventif. Cette menace a fait que le Tamiflu, molécule initialement connue des virologues sous le nom d'oseltamivir, est depuis plus d'un an un "blockbuster" (un grand succès commercial) médicamenteux sans précédent.
Peut-on raisonnablement parier sur les vertus du Tamiflu? Les fabricants de vaccins sont-ils en mesure de répondre au plus vite à la menace de cette catastrophe que constituerait l'émergence d'une nouvelle pandémie grippale? Parce qu'ils sont désormais placés sous le feu de l'actualité épidémiologique internationale, les laboratoires pharmaceutiques et les producteurs de vaccins sont confrontés à des questions de santé publique d'ampleur planétaire.
Depuis des mois, ces questions à fort pouvoir anxiogène ont mobilisé les responsables sanitaires nationaux et internationaux. Mais elles commencent de plus en plus largement à entrer dans le domaine public. Outre l'intensification de la fabrication industrielle de masques individuels de protection ­ la France disposera bientôt d'un stock de 200 millions de ces masques ­, la lutte contre une prochaine pandémie repose sur deux axes essentiels: les médicaments antiviraux comme le Tamiflu d'abord, les vaccins ensuite.
Comment comprendre? Pour ce qui concerne le Tamiflu, de nombreuses questions n'ont toujours pas trouvé de véritables réponses. A commencer par celle concernant les raisons qui ont conduit l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) à recommander à ses Etats membres la constitution en urgence de stocks nationaux de ce produit. Mais la situation vient de se modifier radicalement avec la publication dans la revue scientifique britannique Nature d'une étude montrant que le virus H5N1, responsable de l'actuelle épizootie, pouvait devenir résistant à cette molécule.
(...)
Cette observation faite chez une adolescente vietnamienne ayant été infectée par le virus H5N1 est d'autant plus inquiétante que cette jeune fille semble impliquée dans le premier cas documenté de transmission interhumaine de ce virus. Un scénario qui pourrait préfigurer l'émergence d'une pandémie tant redoutée des autorités sanitaires. Demain, comment lutter contre elle?
Découvert par la société californienne Gilead Sciences mais produit par la multinationale pharmaceutique suisse Roche, le Tamiflu n'est pas la seule parade médicamenteuse contre les infections grippales. Dans la même famille ­ celle des "inhibiteurs de la neuraminidase" ­ un autre traitement existe, le Relenza ou zanamivir, développé par une société australienne et commercialisé par la multinationale GlaxoSmithKline.
Au vu de ce premier cas de résistance, des experts estiment qu'il conviendrait de compléter les stocks nationaux de Tamiflu avec des stocks équivalents de Relenza. A dire vrai, l'émergence de phénomènes de résistance du virus H5N1 aux médicaments était redoutée des spécialistes. Interrogé sur ce qu'il pensait de la multiplication de stocks nationaux de Tamiflu (Le Monde du 7 septembre), le professeur Alain Goudeau, chef du service de bactériologie-virologie du CHU de Tours, mettait en garde contre l'illusion sécuritaire inhérente à la constitution, très coûteuse, de tels stocks.
Pour leur part, les responsables sanitaires français se sont régulièrement félicités, ces derniers mois, d'avoir constitué un stock approchant les 17 millions de traitements. Aucune précision n'a été donnée quant au coût de cette mesure. Il y a peu, une série d'autres analyses publiées dans la presse scientifique internationale a démontré avec quelle rapidité les virus de la grippe pouvaient trouver les solutions génétiques leur permettant de résister de manière durable et croissante aux rares antiviraux disponibles.
(...)
Yves Mamou et Jean-Yves Nau

Sur la base du même article (cité par Le Monde) publié dans la revue scientifique de référence britannique Nature -ça semble passionnant mais c'est pas à la portée de tout le monde- en voici un bref extrait:

An H5N1 influenza virus, A/Hanoi/30408/2005, was isolated on 27 February 2005 from a 14-year-old Vietnamese girl (patient 1) who had received a prophylactic dose (75 mg once a day) of oseltamivir from 24 to 27 February and was given a therapeutic dose (75 mg twice daily) for 7 days starting on 28 February. No virus was isolated from specimens after the administration of increased doses of oseltamivir. The patient recovered and was discharged from hospital on 14 March 2005.
Direct sequencing after amplification by polymerase chain reaction of the virus isolated from a specimen collected on 27 February indicated that some of the virus population had a histidine-to-tyrosine substitution at position 274 (represented as H274Y) in its neuraminidase protein, a mutation that confers resistance to oseltamivir3, 4, 5. We therefore tested the sensitivity of the virus to oseltamivir carboxylate6 (the active form of the drug) and found that the dose required for 50% inhibition of neuraminidase activity (IC50) in the isolate was 90 nM, which exceeds the IC50 for oseltamivir-sensitive viruses (0.1–10 nM)7. We then plaque-purified the virus.
(...)

... bref, sur la base de ça, la presse internationale semble désormais considérer que le Tamiflu n'est probablement pas un "vrai remède" contre la grippe aviaire...
Le virus tel qu'il finira bien par nous "attaquer" résistera sans doute à tous les "traitements".
C'est déjà ce qu'on écrivait (sinistres Cassandres!) dans le tout premier numéro du fouteur de merde (imprimé), en février 2004!

ACHETEZ NOS TROIS JOURNAUX IMPRIMES!
Notre excellent fouteur de merde est en vente partout (ou presque)
Ne manquez pas le dernier Moode, un "collector"!
Egalement disponible: Le Pastiche "spécial Sarkocu" (grouillez-vous!, le prochain numéro sort dans quelques jours, avec son supplément "Ségolène Magazine")

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Bird flu, ahoy!

Xeni Jardin:

More evidence of H5N1's swift westward flight. Snip:

Greece has become the latest country to report a case of bird flu as the virus appears to spread across Europe. Twelve swans have also tested positive for bird flu in a second cluster in Romania. And the European Commission has ordered urgent tests on dead birds found in Croatia. Meanwhile in Asia, the deadly H5N1 strain has been detected in sparrows in Thailand.
Link to BBC News item

Posted by dymaxion at 07:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

O'Reilly Radar > Patents and the Flu

 
O'Reilly Radar > Patents and the Flu (info)
http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2005/10/patents_and_the_flu.html
Posted by Declan and 1 other to roche Tamiflu AvianFlu patents on Mon Oct 17 2005 at 21:59 UTC

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WSJ.com - Inside U.N. Agency, Flu Data Sparked A Tense Debate

 
WSJ.com - Inside U.N. Agency, Flu Data Sparked A Tense Debate (info)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB112958554335071110.html?mod=home_page_one_u s
"Amid Worrisome Reports From Vietnam, WHO Considered Global Alarm"; see my piece also Nature 436, 6-7 (7 July 2005) | doi: 10.1038/436006a Flu officials pull back from raising global alert level
Posted by Declan to Vietnam AvianFlu on Tue Oct 18 2005 at 09:47 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 07:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

H5N1 a Reason to Get Flu Shot

To be very clear, there is no vaccine for H5N1, but the German blog, Vogelgrippe Virus und Influenza-Pandemie, offers a good reason for why flu shots should be administered to as many people as possible, anyway. This my translation into ...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

US Scientists Created Successful Avian Vaccine for H5N1 back in ...

... MICROBIOLOGIST Mike Perdue of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service traveled last week to Hong Kong to deliver for further tests a new poultry vaccine with potential to protect poultry against the “bird flu” (avian influenza H5N1). ...

Posted by dymaxion at 07:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Fact Sheet

Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Fact Sheet The Federation of American Scientists provides this fact sheet with basic information on Avian flu.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Resilience

A new Australian blog, The Community Resilience Network, is not so much about H5N1 as about our personal and social responses to it. "Resilience" is a good word. If our institutions bend, and then bounce back, they're doing what we need. If they break, or even just warp, we've designed them poorly.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scottish plan to kill birds unveiled as virus spreads

The Scotsman reports a Scottish plan to kill birds unveiled as virus spreads.

The grim details were contained in a 67-page document outlining how Scotland would respond to an outbreak north of the Border. The plan was published yesterday as Greece became the latest European country to report a case of bird flu, as the virus continued its spread across the Continent. A strain of the virus was confirmed on the Aegean island of Oinouses while urgent tests are still being carried out on dead birds found in Croatia and Bulgaria. Twelve swans have also tested positive for bird flu in a second cluster in Romania.

While we worry about the outbreak of human avian flu, we don't think enough about what an ecological disaster this has already become: untold millions of wild and domestic birds dead of disease or slaughter, and who knows how many families, from Indonesia to the Aegean, impoverished by the loss of their chickens and ducks.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Branswell: 15 clusters of H5N1, some likely H2H

Helen Branswell at canada.com is as always on the case:

Clustering of human cases of H5N1 avian flu infections has occurred on at least 15 occasions since late 2003 and limited human-to-human transmission of the virus may have occurred in several of these groupings, researchers will report in an upcoming issue of the scientific journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

And as always, a must-read.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Scientist: Bird flu outbreaks expected in more countries

The New Scientist has a good story reporting that avian flu outbreaks are expected in more countries.

The story also makes the point that it's now hard to blame human traffic for the spread of H5N1. This was a matter of some debate last summer when wild birds at Qinghai Lake were dying of avian flu.

It is now believed that the virus has been carried and spread by migratory birds. Previously, it was suspected that infected wild birds might have become too ill to actually migrate, and shed the virus far and wide.

Previous outbreaks in Asia could be explained by the movement of domestic poultry by people rather than migration of the birds themselves. Andre Farrar, a spokesman for the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, says, for example, that the outbreak in wild migratory birds near Qinghai Lake in China, appears to have come from local birds. And the Russian and Kazakhstan outbreaks occurred along a railway route.

"But Turkey and Romania changes things. The outbreaks are entirely consistent in terms of the location and timing of bird migration," Farrar told New Scientist.


Posted by dymaxion at 07:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Exercise Hawthorn

Britain's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has posted an outline of Exercise Hawthorn, a drill to practice dealing with an outbreak of avian flu.

Scheduled for mid-June 2006, Exercise Hawthorn will be about coping with flu spreading in the animal population, with some attention to minimizing the chance of human infections.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Evolution of the receptor binding phenotype of influenza A (H5) viruses.

Virology. 2005 Oct 11;
Gambaryan A, Tuzikov A, Pazynina G, Bovin N, Balish A, Klimov A

Receptor specificity of influenza A/H5 viruses including human 2003-04 isolates was studied. All but two isolates preserved high affinity to Sia2-3Gal (avian-like) receptors. However, two isolates (February, 2003, Hong Kong) demonstrated decreased affinity to Sia2-3Gal and moderate affinity to a Sia2-6Gal (human-like) receptors. These two viruses had a unique Ser227-Asn change in the hemagglutinin molecule. Thus, a single amino acid substitution can significantly alter receptor specificity of avian H5N1 viruses, providing them with an ability to bind to receptors optimal for human influenza viruses. Asian 2003-04 H5 isolates from chickens and humans demonstrated highest affinity to the sulfated trisaccharide Neu5Acalpha2-3Galbeta1-4(6-HSO(3))GlcNAcbeta (Su-3'SLN) receptor but, in contrast to 1997 isolates, had increased affinity to fucosylated Su-3'SLN. American poultry H5 viruses also had increased affinity to Su-3'SLN. These data demonstrate that the genetic evolution of avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses is accompanied during adaptation to poultry by the evolution of their receptor specificity.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian flu: Isolation of drug-resistant H5N1 virus.

Nature. 2005 Oct 14;
Le QM, Kiso M, Someya K, Sakai YT, Nguyen TH, Nguyen KH, Pham ND, Ngyen HH, Yamada S, Muramoto Y, Horimoto T, Takada A, Goto H, Suzuki T, Suzuki Y, Kawaoka Y

The persistence of H5N1 avian influenza viruses in many Asian countries and their ability to cause fatal infections in humans have raised serious concerns about a global flu pandemic. Here we report the isolation of an H5N1 virus from a Vietnamese girl that is resistant to the drug oseltamivir, which is an inhibitor of the viral enzyme neuraminidase and is currently used for protection against and treatment of influenza. Further investigation is necessary to determine the prevalence of oseltamivir-resistant H5N1 viruses among patients treated with this drug.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ALLAYING FEARSBlogPulse Search Results for: ("bird flue" or "avian flu") or (vaccine or pandemic)

A bird flu pandemic will hit Britain - but not necessarily this winter, the chief medical officer has said....EU states have been urged to stockpile anti-viral drugs after confirmation that the bird flu virus found in Turkey is the H5N1 strain dangerous to humans....People should not panic after the discovery of a deadly form of avian flu among birds in Turkey, the UK government has said....European countries are stepping up measures to prevent the spread of bird flu, following the discovery in Turkey and Romania of the H5N1 strain dangerous to humans....Authorities in Romania are continuing to kill thousands of birds after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in the Delta region....

Posted by dymaxion at 07:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Impfstoff-Prototyp gegen Vogelgrippe ab FrühjahrRecht und Alltag

Im Frühjahr 2006 wird wahrscheinlich ein Impfstoff zum Schutz der Menschen vor dem Vogelgrippe-Virus H5N1 zur Verfügung stehen. Das berichteten gestern übereinstimmend Staatssekretär Klaus Theo Schröder vom Bundesgesundheitsministerium und die Präsidenten des Robert-Koch- und des Paul-Ehrlich-Instituts , die Professoren Reinhard Kurth und Johannes Löwer, in Berlin.

Geplant ist, so PEI-Präsident Löwer, dass bei eine Ausbruch mit H5N1 unter Menschen in Deutschland im Abstand von sechs Wochen die gesamte deutsche Bevölkerung zweimal durchgeimpft werden muss.

Die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass zunehmend Vogelgrippe-Viren auftreten, die gegen Neuraminidase-Hemmer resistent sind, stuft man beim Unternehmen Roche als gering ein (vergl. dazu Beitrag im Ärzteblatt )

Quelle: Ärzte Zeitung (m.w.Informationen)

Weitere ausführliche Informationen zur Vogelgrippe findet man auf den Internetseiten des Robert-Koch-Instituts .

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[1.439/2005] Gripe das Aves - Bird Flu - H5N1 Enq...Tugir

Gripe das Aves[1.439/2005]
Gripe das Aves - Bird Flu - H5N1

Enquanto os organismos de saúde vão apelando à calma e passam a informação de que internacionalmente se está a monitorar a expansão da pandemia, começam a sentir-se na Europa (EU) os primeiros casos relacionados com a Gripe das Aves(H5N1).
Possivelmente, a melhor forma de evitar o pânico é confiar que o vírus não nos bata à porta e aplicar as medidas de prevenção que venham a ser difundidas pelo Ministério da Saúde e pela Protecção Civil.
Pouco mais há a fazer uma vez que não existe, até porque o vírus pode sofrer mutações, vacina para esta gripe. O Tamiflu, produzido pela Roche©, é o único medicamento que, não sendo especificamente dirigido a esta gripe, tem apresentado resultados satisfatórios no tratamento.
Reconheço o perigo deste Post uma vez que não tenho formação médica ou farmacêutica para avançar e não pretendo criar qualquer tipo de alarme. Destina-se unicamente a dar algumas pistas para consulta tais como: este documentário, a página da Reuters que está a acompanhar a disseminação da doença, o WebSite Global Influenza Pandemic e o prontuário farmacêutico do INFARMED.
Mais informação ainda no Blog H5N1 e aconselha-se a leitura deste Post no Pura Economia.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Bird Flu IcebergMaxedOutMama

You know, Dr. Niman of Recombinomics predicted what is happening right now in Europe with bird flu months ago. He said bird flu would soon be in all the lower countries of Europe, that as soon as one country confirmed it a bunch would, and then the underreporting of human cases in Asia would no longer wash. Well, there are reports of mass bird deaths in several new areas today, Greece is confirming one H5 positive bird test, and the UK is sending scientists to Asia:
Speaking at the MRC in central London, he said: "How are people checking in the Far East for people who have recovered from the infection? Are the total number of people who have been infected the tip of the iceberg and, beneath them, are there are a lot of others who have been infected? It is an important question."

Sir John's comments came the day after the Chief Medical Officer warned that 50,000 Britons could be killed if the disease took hold among the human population.

A delegation of British experts will travel to China, Vietnam and Hong Kong on a fact-finding visit on October 23. They will spend 10 days looking at ways to increase collaboration with their Asian scientific counterparts and increase the surveillance of potentially infected birds.
There have to be a lot of cases that aren't reported in Asia. Read this and see what you think. They aren't doing the type of testing that would determine distribution in the population. Simply testing positive for antibodies does nott, acording to WHO, count as a human bird flu case. That might be a good metric for determining whether new viruses present any danger to humans. Now that we know that H5N1 does, ignoring evidence of mild cases in humans is not rational. The reported 50% rate of deaths just means that most of the human cases aren't being reported, not that the disease kills half the people who get ill. It clearly doesn't/

There is no knowing whether the disease is spreading much between humans in Indonesia, and there won't be until normal surveillance testing is done. Why it hasn't been done until now is a burning question.

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Premier cas de grippe aviaire confirmé en Grèceunion republicaine populaire

ATHENES (AP) - Les autorités grecques ont confirmé lundi le prmier cas de grippe aviaire sur leur sol, le premier cas avéré au sein de l'Union européenne, et des analyses sont en cours pour savoir s'il s'agit du virus mortel H5N1. Ce premier cas confirmé a été détecté dans un élevage de dindes de l'île d'Oinoussai, un îlot grec de la mer Egée situé à proximité de l'île de Chios et des côtes

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French embassies get flu masks

Saturday that Romania has the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu - which has killed over 60 people in Asia - two days after the killer virus was determined to be present in Turkey. The

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Greek ban expected

another case of the potentially lethal H5N1 strain of the flu. Tests are being carried out on Greek poultry Markos Kyprianou, the EU Health Commissioner, will also reveal his plans

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10/18日盛研究處報告 禽流感相關概念股

... 10/18日盛研究處報告 禽流感相關概念股 禽流感將有機會成為世紀的大災難 禽流感顧名思義就是禽類的病毒性流行性感冒,是由A型流感病毒引起禽類的一種從呼吸系統到嚴重全身敗血症等多種症狀的傳染病。禽流感病毒一般有兩種型式,包括高病原性(highly pathogenic AI)如H5N1可能經由禽類傳給人類,另外一種形式是低病原性(low-pathogenic AI),如H5N2。一般認為禽流感可以通過多種途徑傳播...,如果H5N1型禽流感病毒一旦有能力輕易在人類之間傳播,那麼全球60億人口中的25%~30%就會受到感染,亦即死亡人數可能高達10億人,但以目前保守預估,全球約5000萬 ...

成交的瞬間!! Technorati this

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鳥インフルエンザでWHOが警告

... どこかになる」との見解を示した。  李事務局長は「いつとは言えないが、新型ウイルスはいつ出現してもおかしくない」と指摘、「(毒性の強い)鳥インフルエンザのH5N1型ウイルスが変異して、人から人に感染...香港でH5N1ウイルスの人への感染が確認され、家禽と濃厚接触した人々18人に感染、6人が死亡。発生後3日間で香港内の全ての鶏が殺処分。 <b>2003年2月</b>香港でH5N1ウイルスに2人感染し、1人が死亡。 <b>2003年末〜</b>タイとベトナムでウイルス感染者、死亡者が確認。人人感染は生じていないことも確認。ウイルスはタイ、ベトナム、 ...

Yahoo!ブログ - ケミストの日常 Technorati this

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October 17, 2005

WHO says SE Asia remains biggest bird flu danger

MANILA, The World Health Organisation said on Monday it was concerned that European countries facing the spread of bird flu would divert funding and attention away from Southeast Asia, the most likely epicentre of a human pandemic.

Officials in Europe are braced for an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, which has killed more than 60 people in Asia since 2003, after tests confirmed the disease in poultry in Romania and Turkey.

From KeralaNext: Asia (feed)
See also links to this feed and more from this feed

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La noi e confirmat, dar pasarile infestate au trecut si prin Ucraina si Bulgaria - Gardianul

Confirmarea focarelor de gripa aviara in Romania si in Turcia ridica mari semne de intrebare in privinta celorlalte tari traversate de pasarile migratoare purtatoare ale virusului H5N1: nu a existat nici un caz de gripa aviara in Ucraina si Bulgaria?

From MogNews - Stiri din ziare (feed)
See also links to this feed and more from this feed

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pharmacy - US should OK generic bird flu drug imports-group

Tamiflu has been effective at fighting H5N1, although researchers said Friday the virus was showing signs that it could evade the drug. Some experts also caution that it will be difficult for generic companies to make copies of Tamiflu. ...

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Why Talk of an H5N1 Flu Vaccine Before It Mutates Is Absurd

... the genetic makeup of the eventual mutant virus will be, therefore we cannot be sure that existing vaccines that have been stored up will be effective," he said. Yet Romania is already giving out flu shots to "protect" against H5N1!

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Taiwan Shares Fall 2.4 Percent - Forbes


Taiwan Shares Fall 2.4 Percent
Forbes - 31 minutes ago
... While Taiwan hasn't reported any cases of the bird flu H5N1 virus so far, concerns about a possible pandemic have been fanned by widespread media coverage of ...
Taiwan to launch anti-bird flu exercise Xinhua
all 5 related

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Thailand to start bird flu trials on humans in May - report - Forbes



Radio 1
Thailand to start bird flu trials on humans in May - report
Forbes - 2 hours ago
... study ends. 'We have planned for the H5N1 vaccine trials on people to being in May 2006,' the newspaper quoted Paijit as saying. 'If ...
Bird flu vaccine trial planned Bangkok Post
Bird flu: all eyes on Thailand Business Day, Thailand
Thai PM proposes bird flu drug stockpile network Reuters AlertNet
Radio 1 - all 7 related

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Leavitt in Jakarta

The Jakarta Post reports that US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt is in Indonesia to discuss the country's capacity to respond to bird flu.


Before leaving Hanoi, Leavitt told reporters his Southeast Asia tour has painted a clearer picture of just how daunting it would be to identify and contain an outbreak if the virus mutates to a form easily spread among people. It could skip across borders and oceans, killing millions and crippling entire nations.

"Can we create a network of surveillance sufficient enough to find the spark when it happens, to get there fast enough?" hesaid. "The chances of that happening are not good."

Especially if the US and other western nations aren't prepared to fund some kind of mobile medical strike force. For a government eager to fight its enemies overseas so it won't have to fight them at home, the Bush administration seems strangely listless in the face of this foreign threat.

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A report from Romania

We haven't had much news directly from Romania, but here's a long, detailed story in Nine O'Clock, an English-language daily. It seems like a pretty thorough summary of the situation, including comments from a Dutch veterinary expert:

Another WHO expert, Dutch Harm Kiezebrink, who is in Tulcea, said that Romanian authorities did their duty, but warned that Tulcea areas must still be isolated and monitored. “If the infection comes from migratory birds, in the areas where the crisis breaks out, the virus spreads and contamination is 90 per cent indirect, due to humans' means of transport that come into contact with the infected areas. A single gram of droppings is enough to kill 100 million birds,” said the Dutch expert.

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Indonesian dies of suspected bird flu

The Jakarta Post reports that another Indonesian dies of suspected bird flu.

"The man, Ramdani, died last night from severe pneumonia and kidney failure," said Ilham Patu, a spokesman for Jakarta's Sulianti Saroso hospital, where most suspected victims of the outbreak are being treated.

The 56-year-old Jakarta resident showed symptoms of bird flu after being admitted to the hospital on Monday but the results of his first tests were negative, Patu told AFP.

"He is classified as a suspect case. He has had contact with dead chickens in his house before he went into treatment," Patu said, adding that blood and mucous samples had been taken for further tests.

Ramdani's death brings to six the number of people who have died with suspected cases of the deadly H5N1 virus, but who are not officially listed as bird flu victims.


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Characterization of the 1918 influenza virus polymerase genes.

Nature. 2005 Oct 6; 437(7060): 889-93
Taubenberger JK, Reid AH, Lourens RM, Wang R, Jin G, Fanning TG

The influenza A viral heterotrimeric polymerase complex (PA, PB1, PB2) is known to be involved in many aspects of viral replication and to interact with host factors, thereby having a role in host specificity. The polymerase protein sequences from the 1918 human influenza virus differ from avian consensus sequences at only a small number of amino acids, consistent with the hypothesis that they were derived from an avian source shortly before the pandemic. However, when compared to avian sequences, the nucleotide sequences of the 1918 polymerase genes have more synonymous differences than expected, suggesting evolutionary distance from known avian strains. Here we present sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the complete genome of the 1918 influenza virus, and propose that the 1918 virus was not a reassortant virus (like those of the 1957 and 1968 pandemics), but more likely an entirely avian-like virus that adapted to humans. These data support prior phylogenetic studies suggesting that the 1918 virus was derived from an avian source. A total of ten amino acid changes in the polymerase proteins consistently differentiate the 1918 and subsequent human influenza virus sequences from avian virus sequences. Notably, a number of the same changes have been found in recently circulating, highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses that have caused illness and death in humans and are feared to be the precursors of a new influenza pandemic. The sequence changes identified here may be important in the adaptation of influenza viruses to humans.

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Influenza: forecast for a pandemic.

Arch Med Res. 2005 Nov-Dec; 36(6): 628-36
de la Barrera CA, Reyes-Terán G

Recently, great speculation about a possible influenza pandemic has been made. However, the facts supporting the possibility of this threat are less discussed. During the last decade highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza virus, including the H5N1 subtype, crossed the species barriers from birds to humans and caused fatal disease. The Z strain of H5N1 subtype is characterized by pathogenicity to a larger number of animal species and by resistance to the older class of antiviral drugs. At present, two out of three general conditions for the onset of a pandemic have been met; namely, the emergence of a new virus and its ability to replicate in humans causing serious illness. Should the virus achieve efficient human-to-human transmission, the next influenza pandemic might occur. This review addresses these biological and epidemiological aspects of influenza in the context of history and characteristics of previous epidemics, as well as concrete actions that can be undertaken considering current understanding of influenza pathogenesis, treatment, and control possibilities.

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Roche to donate bird flu drug to Romania,Turkey-WSJ

laboratory tests confirmed that the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus has been found in birds from Turkey and Romania. A Roche spokesman said the pharmaceuticals company is donating

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Grippe Aviaire: Etat des lieux

... L’OMS l’écarte pour l’immédiat, mais la menace d’une pandémie mondiale de grippe – par mutation ou recombinaison à partir du virus aviaire H5N1 – est, de l’avis de la majorité des experts, tout à fait réelle à terme, bien qu’on ne sache ni où ni quand elle pourrait débuter. Ce ... ...

Editorial de Paul-Alexandre Technorati this

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Tamiflu And Beyond

... on prophylactics, like Tamiflu, when H5N1 could already have overcome it, or quickly could ...

蠻使 / 야만적인 사절 / Barbarian Envoy Technorati this

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LA VANGUARDIA: La UE prohibirá la importación de carne de pollo y pájaros vivos de Rumania tras confirmarse la gripe aviar

... . Ahora se necesitan más análisis para establecer si el virus se corresponde con la variedad H5N1, que ...

Blog dels Ambinautes! Technorati this

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October 15, 2005

Nine people tested for bird flu in TurkeyAvian Flu - What we need to know

A Turkish hospital has kept nine people under observation and tested them for possible bird flu after the death of 40 of their pigeons in 15 days, state-run Anatolian news agency said on Friday.

European Union experts held crisis talks on the spread of bird flu on Friday, a day after health officials confirmed the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus in Turkey.

"Acting on a tip-off, we took the family which owned the pigeons and the neighbours who made the tip-off, in all nine people, to the hospital," the agency quoted local health official Osman Ozturk as saying.

He said blood tests had been taken from the two families in the western town of Turgutlu and some of the dead birds had been sent away for testing as well.

"There is no sign of illness in the nine people, but we have taken all the people who have been in contact with the birds under observation. The houses of the two families have also been disinfected," he said.

Source.

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What is up with Tamiflu immunity?

Earlier we had reported possible H5N1 strains resistant to Tamiflu.  It turns out this is based on just one case; here is a report.  The authors suggest two bottom lines.  First:

The mutation that made the girl’s H5N1 virus resistant also occurs in ordinary flu viruses among Japanese children who are treated with Tamiflu. And ordinary flu with that mutation rarely if ever goes on to cause a new infection in another person, says Frederick Hayden of the University of Virginia, US, an expert in antiviral drugs.  “Becoming resistant to this class of drugs seems to impose a fitness penalty on the virus”...

Second:

The observation may, however, cast doubt on plans by some governments to put “essential” workers on Tamiflu prophylaxis if a pandemic breaks out. Large numbers of people on low doses of the drug for a long time could cause new kinds of resistant strains to emerge, which might not be so weak.

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Press Conference by Tony Abbott on Pandemic Flu

 
Press Conference by Tony Abbott on Pandemic Flu (info)
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/ministers/publishing.nsf/Content/health-m ediarel-yr2005-ta-abbsp280905.htm
Posted by Declan to australia AvianFlu on Fri Oct 14 2005 at 16:10 UTC

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EU to Speed Approval of Bird Flu Vaccines, Health Official Says

 
EU to Speed Approval of Bird Flu Vaccines, Health Official Says (info)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000102&sid=aqZF5qQUVoVA
Posted by Declan to AvianFlu vaccines on Fri Oct 14 2005 at 16:44 UTC

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ReportRussia2005Final2.pdf (application/pdf Object)

 
ReportRussia2005Final2.pdf (application/pdf Object) (info)
http://www.oie.int/downld/Missions/2005/ReportRussia2005Final2.pdf
"At the request of the Russian authorities the World Organisation for Animal Health sent a team of worldwide renowned experts in avian influenza and ornithology to Siberia in order to assess the avian influenza situation in the region (see OIE press release of the 4 October 2005 ) The complete Mission Report of this scientific mission is now available on line (click here)"
Posted by Declan to AvianFlu russia on Fri Oct 14 2005 at 18:44 UTC

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Reuters: Myanmar -- the world's bird flu black hole?

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H5N1: Woodson handbook en français

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Gripe das aves: UE defende reforço das medidas de protecçãoSAUDADES

Gripe das aves: UE defende reforço das medidas de protecção: "Vírus na Roménia e Turquia sem perigo para saúde públicaOs especialistas veterinários dos 25 Estados membros da União Europeia defenderam hoje o reforço das medidas propostas pela Comissão Europeia para evitar que o vírus H5N1 da gripe das aves entre no espaço europeu, e garantiram que a detecção do vírus na Roménia e Turquia não representa perigo para a saúde pública."

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Turkey tests nine for bird flu as experts meet (Reuters)Yahoo! Health News - Search Results for catch image raw

Turkish medical staff on Friday tested nine people for possible bird flu a day after European health officials confirmed what many had long feared -- the arrival of the deadly H5N1 strain on Europe's doorstep.

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EU holds bird flu crisis meetingThe Agonist

EU holds bird flu crisis meeting Oct 14 BBC - EU veterinary officers have begun an emergency meeting to discuss new measures to prevent bird flu spreading. Test results showing whether bird flu detected in Romania is the lethal H5N1 strain found in poultry in Turkey are due on Saturday. The World Health Organization said there was a high probability that the Romanian birds did carry that strain. Also see: EU remains on bird flu alert as tests continue BBC Q&A on avian flu here

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HOW TO GET MORE VACCINE TO MORE PEOPLE FASTERUNDERNEWS

NEW SCIENTIST - Substantial commercial, political and bureaucratic barriers remain that will stop us being able to vaccinate enough of the world's people to contain any pandemic. What is urgently required is a global plan to combat the threat.

The problem boils down to numbers. A hybrid vaccine virus has already been produced that could immunize people against the H5N1 bird flu virus. But manufacturers can't make enough of it. Production capacity will not significantly increase any time soon, beyond a few new plants already under construction in Europe, and with the equipment available they can make only a few kilograms of the viral protein that forms the basis of the vaccine. If each dose contains 15 micrograms of viral protein, as in vaccines against ordinary flu, that's enough for no more than 900 million doses of vaccine over a normal six-month production cycle.

But that doesn't mean 900 million people can be protected. Because H5N1 is new to our immune system, people will need two vaccinations a few weeks apart. That halves the number who can be protected within six months to 450 million.

And even that is likely to be wildly optimistic. "This virus has done a number on us," says Robert Webster of St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. In August, human trials of the hybrid vaccine showed that each person would require two 90-g doses. That equates to enough vaccine worldwide for 75 million people, or around one quarter the US population.

The way round this, say vaccine experts, is to boost the power of the shots by combining them with a simple immunity-stimulating chemical called an adjuvant. Norbert Hehme at vaccine maker Glaxo Smith Kline in Dresden, Germany, has made a vaccine that can induce full immunity against relatives of the H5 family of bird flu viruses with two doses of just 1.9 g each.

Given existing production capacity for H5N1, this would allow 3.5 billion people to be protected. That is as many as could practically be immunized, given other limitations, says David Fedson, founder of the vaccine industry's pandemic task force. But the US trials did not use adjuvant, despite warnings that without it only large doses would work. . .

Fedson, however, believes these barriers can be overcome. What is needed, he argues, is a well-funded international body along the lines of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, launched by the UN in 2002, which has spent $3 billion tackling these diseases. A similar body for pandemic flu, Fedson says, could coordinate vaccine development and fund the testing that will get us the low-dose, adjuvanted vaccine that may be needed to fight a global pandemic. "Wouldn't it be horrible if a pandemic comes and afterwards we discover we could have made far more vaccine?" he says. "We'll look like fools."

Such a body could also head off the political crisis that would ensue if vaccine-manufacturing countries decide to immunize their own people before allowing vaccine to be exported. "Can you imagine the conflict that would result if people in Bordeaux get vaccinated and people in Barcelona don't?" says Fedson. . .

"We are confident that a vaccine is feasible even if it is not fully matched to the pandemic strain, as long as there is a strong adjuvant," Giuseppe del Giudice of Chiron told New Scientist. While it may not protect 100 per cent, it might mean that H5 does not kill so many people. And it would act as a "priming" dose, meaning people would later require only one shot of vaccine matched to the pandemic strain.

The science is in place. Now the world needs to push forward to test and license a vaccine. When pandemic fears surfaced with swine flu in 1976, the US government developed, tested and licensed a vaccine, then made enough for most of its people, within six months. "We did it in 1976," says Fedson. "Why can't we do it now?"

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Generic version of bird flu drug may be available early next year

living in epidemic infested areas. The H5N1 strain of avian flu has been sweeping through poultry populations in Asia since 2003, infecting humans and killing at least 65 people,

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Drug-resistant bird flu identified in Vietnamese girl

A strain of H5N1 bird flu virus found in an infected Vietnamese girl is resistant to the drug being stockpiled by more than a dozen countries, including the United States, as a

Posted by dymaxion at 07:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu tests due next week

are contaminated with the deadly strain H5N1 - which can be lethal to humans. Tests will take place at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, Surrey. The findings will

Posted by dymaxion at 07:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

INFLUENZA AVIARIA: VADEMECUM SULL'H5N1, IL CEPPO PIU' TEMUTO

... ROMA - Il virus H5N1, responsabile dell'influenza aviaria, ha provocato dal 2003 ad oggi, in Asia.... CEPPO KILLER Il temuto H5N1 e' uno dei 15 sottotipi noti di ceppo influenzale di tipo A. I virus... un secolo fa. ORIGINE E DIFFUSIONE DI H5N1 H5N1 si e' originato a Hong Kong nel 1997. Ha causato ...

Life goes on Technorati this

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【鳥インフルエンザ】世界的流行は時間の問題=WHO事務局長[10/15]

... 死亡した。  WHOは鳥インフルエンザのH5N1ウイルスが突然変異してヒトのインフルエンザの 遺伝子を獲得し、感染力と致死性が大幅に強まる事態を懸念している。そうなった 場合は1918年のインフルエンザ ...

News Scrap from 2ch Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 07:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alerte Google - grippe

... Alertes Google sur : grippe Grippe aviaire : le H5N1 détecté en Roumanie TF1 - Paris,France C'est le ministre roumain de l'Agriculture qui l'affirme : comme en Turquie, le virus de la grippe aviaire détecté en Roumanie est bien le H5N1, dangereux ... Afficher tous les articles sur ce sujet Les ...

Sometimes I am happy: [Entertainment And Society]   Technorati this

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El fabricante del antiviral más eficaz contra la gripe aviar se niega a liberar la patente

... que se refiere el nombre H5N1 del virus). La ventaja que tiene es que se suministra en píldoras y... preventivas que diversos gobiernos están tomando ante el riesgo de que el virus H5N1 de la gripe ...

Comisario Politico's space Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 07:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Los expertos europeos se reúnen para tratar sobre gripe aviaria

... cepa H5N1 de la gripe aviaria de Asia a Europa. La comisión Europea informó de que la reunión... que todas las pruebas muestran hasta ahora que el virus H5N1 no se difunde con facilidad de las... semana pasada es el H5N1, que ha causado la muerte de más de 60 personas en Asia desde 2003. Rumanía ...

Variadix Technorati this

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Tests confirm deadly bird flu strain in Romania (Reuters)

... is that of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, Romania's state veterinarian authority said on Saturday. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel Reuters - Lab tests detected the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in samples from ...

Viagra News & Articles. Technorati this

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As Expected H5N1 Virus is Resistant

... A strain of the H5N1 flu virus that resists the antiviral drug Tamiflu has been analysed... the virus in the early stages of any H5N1 pandemic. But New Scientist can reveal... well known in ordinary human flu, and it seems to make both ordinary flu - and now H5N1 - less able ...

A Lie a Day Technorati this

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October 06, 2005

Annan urges leaders to pool drugs against bird flu

 
Annan urges leaders to pool drugs against bird flu (info)
http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=healthNews&storyID=20 05-10-06T184243Z_01_MUN667373_RTRIDST_0_HEALTH-BIRDFLU-ANNAN-DC.XML&archive d=False
Roche monopoly on key flu drug coming under scrutiny?

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Malaysia promises compensation to poultry raisers

Via Declan at Connotea, a story in The Star reports that Malaysia's government promises compensation to people who report bird deaths.

"Many of the breeders and villagers who rear poultry are afraid that if they report bird deaths to the authorities, their poultry will be taken away and destroyed.

"We want to assure them that if they do come forward and report of any such deaths, and if these have been found to be due to avian flu, the Government will compensate them.

"This is part of our contingency plan. The Cabinet has promised there will be no limit to any compensation we may have to pay out in the end," [the health minister] told reporters after the first meeting of the joint panel between his ministry and the Health Ministry on avian flu here Thursday.


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Tamiflu resistance: maybe notEffect Measure

When widespread reports of Tamiflu resistance in H5N1 surfaced last week we tried to find the source, one of the reasons we didn't post on it. It turns out we weren't the only ones. The scientific flu community also wanted to know the basis for the reports and so did the drug's manufacturer, Roche. It now turns out it was based on old data of one isolate from Vietnam that seemed to show partial resistance.
The professor of pharmacology from Hong Kong University quoted as warning of an emerging resistant strain of the virus says he was citing old data, not new evidence, when he gave an interview last week.

He was trying to urge GlaxoSmithKline to reintroduce an injectable form of their rival flu drug, Relenza. The resulting report suggested Tamiflu was becoming less useful - a claim that was widely repeated.

"My point is to emphasize on the introduction of injectable drugs. But they use a headline 'Resistant H5N1 appears in Vietnam,' " Dr. William Chui, who is also chief of the pharmacy service of Hong Kong's Queen Mary Hospital, said in an interview.

[snip]

When the reports quoting Chui started to circulate, flu experts around the world sent out urgent e-mails trying to find out who had found new evidence of resistance. The flu community keeps close tabs on the efficacy of these important drugs, known as neuraminidase inhibitors.
They came up with a puzzling blank.

Except for that one partially resistant H5N1 isolate from Vietnam, no researchers have reported new discoveries of Tamiflu-resistant viruses isolated from human cases of H5N1, both the WHO and Tamiflu's manufacturer, Hoffman-La Roche confirm.

"There is a network of laboratories that has been set up to follow antiviral resistance among influenza strains," says Michael Perdue, a scientist in the WHO's global influenza program.

"One of the first things they look at (when they get new viral isolates) is the antiviral sensitivity and resistance. And the papers that have been published thus far have shown all the strains to be sensitive." (Canadian Press)
There were some biological reasons to believe Tamiflu would not exhibit the kind of resistance that amantadine does, so the latest reports were a surprise. It may still turn out that oseltamivir (Tamiflu) develops significant resistance and remains virulent, but the evidence so far is scant.

On the other hand, this drug is not likely to be much use except on the margins and for some people. It needs to be taken continuously for prophylactic effect when exposure is prevalent in the community so compliance will be an issue as will cost. The dose required for whatever virus becomes the pandemic strain is also uncertain. Its main use is likely to be in health care workers and other critical personnel and possibly in household members of those who are ill.

We will keep following this story.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 5 Flu UpdateThe Coming Influenza Pandemic?

Today's most intersting story was all over the media, here captured by Gina Kolata for the New York Times. The story of Dr. Jeffrey Taubenberger in her book generated my interest in the flu. Taubenberger's research has revealed that the 1918 flu was an avian virus--different from the century's other two pandemics, which were essentially human flu viruses with some bird genetic material.

The significance of this for our current situation is obvious. From the article:

The bird flu viruses now prevalent share some of the crucial genetic changes that occurred in the 1918 flu, scientists said, but not all. The scientists suspect that with the 1918 flu, changes in just 25 to 30 out of about 4,400 amino acids in the viral proteins turned the virus into a killer. The new work also reveals that 1918 virus acts much differently from ordinary human flu viruses. It infects cells deep in the lungs of mice and infects lung cells, like the cells lining air sacs, that would normally be impervious to flu. And while other human flu viruses do not kill mice, this one, like today's bird flus, does.

CIDRAP on the 1918 comparisons.

Fluitzer nominee Helen Branswell on the 1918 flu isolation.

ProMed on the 1918 isolation. Here's an interesting quote I have not heard before:

Professor John Oxford, an expert in virology
at Queen Mary College, London, said the
suggestion that the virus had the potential
to jump between humans without first
combining [reassorting] with a human virus
made it even more of a threat. "This study
gives us an extra warning that H5N1 needs to
be taken even more seriously than it has been
up to now," he said.


A 7th bird flu death in Indonesia has been reported.

CIDRAP on the new death report.

Promed on the 7th fatality.

Effect Measure on the new death report, and what all this flu attention could mean.

The geographic range of the outbreak has increased dramatically so that the regional panzootic in birds is now on the doorsteps of Europe and the Indian sub-continent, with the apparent means to spread further via infected migratory birds. The host range of this avian virus has extended to many other species, including marine mammals, ferrets, cats (large and small) and mice (in the laboratory). Human cases, like the current one, continue to occur (the official count in this outbreak is 116 with 60 deaths, a conservative estimate). The most worrisome situation now is in the populous country of Indonesia, where the transmission efficiency of the virus from birds to humans seems to have ratcheted up another notch. It is reasonable to assume there are many missed cases in Indonesia, where seven deaths are officially blamed on the disease and over 60 people are under observation as possible cases.

The IHT has a story on the US finally beginning pandemic planning.

The Detroit News also covers the flu preperations in Washington.

To all of us who were critical of President Bush's military plan from yesterday, here's Australia with essentially the same plan.

Here's breaking news from CBS--the bird flu may pose a threat to people.

65 countries will come to the US starting Thursday for an International Bird Flu conferences (is it my imagination, or are there a lot of conferences in the bird flu arena?)

In Russia, they say that bird flu is gradually receeding.

In a contradiction, this report says bird flu is in 7 Russian villages, with 19 on the watch list.

Here's ProMed on the Russian report.

A flu report from Canada's Centre for Globilization Research.

Jamaica hits the "its not if, but when" angle.

Editorial from an Indonesia-based writer on the bird flu, and the many theories and great uncertainty that surround it.

Interesting passage:

Experts agree on one thing: preventive intervention is impossible, even in developed countries. As Kevin Baird, scientific director for the U.S. Navy Medical Research Unit in Jakarta, told his Chamber of Commerce audience recently, "We can't forecast what a pandemic-capable virus will look like, so we can't develop a vaccine and know whether it will work or not."
Luxembourg notes the significance of tamiflu resistance.

Large-scale sequencing of flu genome is reported.

Recombinomics on the mystery disease in Toronto.

H5N1 says there are now 16 dead.

Recombinomics on the circulating virus in Indonesia, and what it means for re-combination.

Like many of us, H5N1 does some number-crunching.

H5N1 on a negative reaction to the Bush Military Quarantine plan.

ProMed on the confirmed presence of asymptomatic chickens in Indonesia.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How likely is it that H5N1 will become the next human pandemic?Avian Flu - What we need to know

Randall Parker tracks down the main obstacles the H5N1 virus has in becoming easily transmitted from one person to another:

These may seem like major difficulties, but as the Future Pundit post notes, in recent years H5N1 has changed and seems capable of infecting tigers and pigs, for example, making the danger of a human pandemic quite real. The latest news from Indonesia is certainly not very reassuring.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indonesian update

A 23-year-old Indonesian man who kept birds has died from avian influenza, officials there said today, marking the seventh death they attribute to the H5N1 virus. [...] Case counts vary. Wibowo's death represents the 8th case of avian flu in Indonesia and the 6th death, based on CIDRAP's analysis of news reports. The WHO currently recognizes 4 cases, with 3 deaths. Indonesian officials today raised the number of suspected human cases from 60 to 85, AFP reported. However, only 3

Posted by dymaxion at 10:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Life Expectancy in the United States, 1900-2001 (from Nature Medicine 10, S82 - S87 (2004)) (Flckr)

lifex.jpg

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October 05, 2005

U.S. hosts meeting to discuss bird flu response

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Health experts and other officials from around the world begin meeting in Washington on Thursday to discuss a coordinated response to the bird flu epidemic, the U.S. State Department said. The event is aimed at developing ways to share information and resources in case the H5N1 avian flu virus mutates and begins to cause a human pandemic, which experts believe could kill millions within months. The H5N1 avian influenza virus has killed or forced the destruction of tens

Posted by dymaxion at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indonesia: settimo decesso per virus dei polli

decesso ? legato al virus H5N1 ? avvenuta solo mercoled?. La vittima e i suoi vicini allevavano... esperti hanno detto che al momento ? impossibile dire se il virus H5N1 potr? mai diventare

Posted by dymaxion at 10:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

... 予防策 家畜小屋の清掃・整理整頓。 インフルエンザ予防接種(人間の) 予防薬は未だだけど、人の風邪の予防と抵抗力をつけておくことが大切 鳥インフルエンザで軍出動 米大統領が検討表明 2005年10月05日  【ワシントン4日共同】ブッシュ米大統領は4日の記者会見で、アジアから欧州に拡大している鳥インフルエンザが米国でも流行した場合を想定し、感染者の隔離作業などのため州兵ら軍の出動を検討していると表明、議会に対し、実現に向けた議論を要請した。  大統領は高病原性ウイルス(H5N1型)が変異し人から人へ感 ... ...

国営ナンタラ通信●●パンダ Technorati this

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Genetic characterization of H5N1 influenza A viruses isolated from zoo tigers in Thailand.

Virology. 2005 Sep 26;
Amonsin A, Payungporn S, Theamboonlers A, Thanawongnuwech R, Suradhat S, Pariyothorn N, Tantilertcharoen R, Damrongwantanapokin S, Buranathai C, Chaisingh A, Songserm T, Poovorawan Y

The H5N1 avian influenza virus outbreak among zoo tigers in mid-October 2004, with 45 animals dead, indicated that the avian influenza virus could cause lethal infection in a large mammalian species apart from humans. In this outbreak investigation, six H5N1 isolates were identified and two isolates (A/Tiger/Thailand/CU-T3/04 and A/Tiger/Thailand/CU-T7/04) were selected for whole genome analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of the 8 gene segments showed that the viruses clustered within the lineage of H5N1 avian isolates from Thailand and Vietnam. The hemagglutinin (HA) gene of the viruses displayed polybasic amino acids at the cleavage site, identical to those of the 2004 H5N1 isolates, which by definition are highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). In addition, sequence analyses revealed that the viruses isolated from tigers harbored few genetic changes compared with the viruses having infected chicken, humans, tigers and a leopard isolated from the early 2004 H5N1 outbreaks. Sequence analyses also showed that the tiger H5N1 isolated in October 2004 was more closely related to the chicken H5N1 isolated in July than that from January. Interestingly, all the 6 tiger H5N1 isolates contained a lysine substitution at position 627 of the PB2 protein similar to the human, but distinct from the original avian isolates.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Fear of flu rattles Washington

It wasn't just President Bush's comments that have stirred up concern, according to the New York Times.

A closed-door briefing last week apparently supplied the "Oh my God" moment for a lot of legislators. The story says Senate Democrats on Wednesday will bring in a bill to create a flu pandemic coordinator—a kind of national version of Dr. David Nabarro.

Just so long as the coordinator isn't the Bush family physician.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bush military bird flu role slammed

CNN.com reports a very negative response to Bush's idea of using the military to enforce quarantines on US regions: Bush military bird flu role slammed.

Dr. Irwin Redlener, associate dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of its National Center for Disaster Preparedness, told The Associated Press the president's suggestion was dangerous.

Giving the military a law enforcement role would be an "extraordinarily Draconian measure" that would be unnecessary if the nation had built the capability for rapid vaccine production, ensured a large supply of anti-virals like Tamiflu and not allowed the degradation of the public health system.

"The translation of this is martial law in the United States," Redlener said.

t, but unenforceable martial law.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CIDRAP case and death update, October 5

CIDRAP offers a new update on laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza. As always, it includes both official and unofficial tallies: Officially, 116 cases and 60 deaths (51.7% mortality). Unofficially, 124 cases and 65 deaths (52.4% mortality). While the cases are still comparatively few, it seems strange that mortality should remain so high.

The consensus seems to be that H5N1 will trade off its lethality as it learns how to infect humans directly. Otherwise, we're in really big trouble. Dr. Bob Gleeson tells us that 25% is a likely number to be infected in any influenza outbreak, with only a very small percentage actually dying from the disease. But if 75 million Americans are infected, and half die, the US would lose almost 40 million; for Canada the equivalent toll would be about 4 million dead.

It's small consolation to reflect that three out of four of us wouldn't get the flu at all. The survivors would go through an experience no human population has known since the 16th and 17th centuries, when smallpox, measles, and other European diseases wiped out millions of native Americans.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another Indonesian suspected of bird flu, condition stable

From Reuters, via Declan at Connotea: Another Indonesian suspected of bird flu, condition stable.

This particular patient, a young man, is in hospital in Sumatra, west of Java, further illustrating the spread of H5N1:

Officials have said suspected human cases have come from nine provinces out of 33 across Indonesia's sprawling archipelago. The virus has spread to 22 provinces and more than 10 million fowl have been culled since late 2003.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Assembly panel gets briefing on bird flu - Daily Democrat



Korea Herald (subscription)
Assembly panel gets briefing on bird flu
Daily Democrat, CA - 8 hours ago
... Flu, called "the most serious known health threat facing the world" by the World Health Organization, is a virulent strain of avian influenza (H5N1) that could ...
Vietnam strengthens detoxification of poultry Xinhua
China Drafts Plan to Fight Bird Flu Planet Ark
Korea alert on possible bird flu pandemic Korea Herald (subscription)
Nhan Dan - all 12 related

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Bird flu claims seventh Indonesian victim - Sify


Bird flu claims seventh Indonesian victim
Sify, India - 3 hours ago
... the first human infection case was discovered in June, a total of 85 people have been infected or are suspected of having been infected by the H5N1 strain of ...
23-year-old Indonesian man dies from avian flu CIDRAP
Bird flu claims seventh Indonesian victim Jakarta Post
all 12 related

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Indonesia finds H5N1 infected but healthy chickens

Is this good news or bad news from the Jakarta Post? Indonesia finds H5N1 infected but healthy chickens.

Hong Kong's Health Minister York Chow said authorities in Indonesia had found infected chickens which were asymptomatic of the virus.

"As the virus may have spread so widely (in Indonesia), chickens have now become hosts," Chow told reporters in Hong Kong on Wednesday. He did not give other details.

"We are worried that if there are infected chickens which don't show any symptoms, then if we are in close contact with them, the chances of humans getting infected will be higher."

uestion is whether asymptomatic carriers can spread a strain of the virus that's still deadly to other birds and to humans. Or does this mean at least one strain of H5N1 is learning to live with its hosts without sickening them?

Posted by dymaxion at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"I noticed the other day, evidently, some governors didn't like it."

Bush Would Use Military to Quarantine Avian Flu Pandemic

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/oct2005/2005-10-04-07.asp
INGTON, DC, October 4, 2005 (ENS) — In the event of a bird flu pandemic that spreads among humans in the United States, President George W. Bush is considering using the military to impose a quarantine on the affected areas. Currently state governors command their state National Guard units, but the President said Congress should look at changing that arrangement.

At a White House press conference today, Bush said that as a former Texas governor he understands that some governors do not like the possibility that they might have to give up command of their state's National Guard, but "circumstances" may make it necessary "to vest the capacity of the President to move beyond that debate. And one such catastrophe, or one such challenge could be an avian flu outbreak," he said.

Health experts worry that H5N1, the highly pathenogenic form of avian flu that has caused 63 human deaths in four Asian countries and hundreds of millions of bird deaths across Asia since late 2003, might combine with a human flu virus and mutate into a new virus able to infect humans and spread from person to person.

PHOTO: President Bush listens to a reporter's question at the White House press conference today. (Photo by Eric Draper courtesy The White House)

President Bush said he too is concerned. "I am concerned about what an avian flu outbreak could mean for the United States and the world. I have thought through the scenarios of what an avian flu outbreak could mean," he said today.

"The policy decisions for a President in dealing with an avian flu outbreak are difficult," Bush said.

"One example: If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country, and how do you then enforce a quarantine? It's one thing to shut down airplanes; it's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu," he said.

"And who best to be able to effect a quarantine?" Bush asked. "One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move."

The President asked Congress to debate the issue of which level of government should control the National Guard in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, when National Guard personnel were brought in to assist with search, rescue and recovery - sometimes too slowly to keep problems from ballooning out of control.

The 1878 Posse Comitatus Act bars federal troops from carrying out law enforcement duties inside the United States during peacetime, short of suppressing an insurrection.

Bush signaled that this law is up for review in a nationally televised address from New Orleans on September 15 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He said "a challenge on this scale requires greater federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces."

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan later said revision or repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act is an issue that "needs to be looked at" by Congress and the administration, saying that officials are in the "early planning of discussing it."

PHOTO: President George W. Bush during today's news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Photo by Eric Draper courtesy The White House)

Again today, Bush urged Congress to debate the issue. "I think it's an important debate for Congress to have. I noticed the other day, evidently, some governors didn't like it. I understand that. I was the commander-in-chief of the National Guard, and proudly so, and, frankly, I didn't want the President telling me how to be the commander-in-chief of the Texas Guard."

"But Congress needs to take a look at circumstances that may need to vest the capacity of the President to move beyond that debate. And one such catastrophe, or one such challenge could be an avian flu outbreak."

Addressing the opening of the United Nations General Assembly September 14, President Bush announced a new International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza that will bring together key nations and international organizations to improve global readiness on this growing threat.

Today Bush told reporters that in addition to his public remarks about preparing for a flu pandemic, he also spoke to other national leaders gathered at UN Headquarters in New York.

"I spoke about it privately to as many leaders as I could find," Bush said, "about the need for there to be awareness, one, of the issue; and, two, reporting, rapid reporting to WHO, so that we can deal with a potential pandemic."

"The reporting needs to be not only on the birds that have fallen ill, but also on tracing the capacity of the virus to go from bird to person, to person. That's when it gets dangerous, when it goes bird-person-person," he said. "And we need to know on a real-time basis as quickly as possible, the facts, so that the scientific community, the world scientific community can analyze the facts and begin to deal with it."

The President said development of a vaccine so "not only would first responders be able to be vaccinated, but as many Americans as possible, and people around the world" would be helpful.

Health experts say development of a vaccine is impossible until the new virus appears because the virus itself is used in making the vaccine to fight it.

Bush said there is a spray that may be able to help arrest the spread of the disease, but it is "in relatively limited supply." He called on manufacturers around the world to boost supplies of the spray.

"I'm not predicting an outbreak," Bush said, "I'm just suggesting to you that we better be thinking about it. And we are. And we're more than thinking about it; we're trying to put plans in place."

The newly named United Nations coordinator of global responses to a pandemic of avian flu said Friday a global outbreak could kill between five million and 150 million people. Dr. David Nabarro told the BBC that he gave the higher figure because, "I want to be sure that when this next flu pandemic does come along, that we are prepared for the worst as well as for the mildest."

The World Health Organization backed away from the higher figure. Dick Thompson told a news conference in Geneva that the WHO's official estimate of the number of people who could die was between two million and 7.4 million.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

US agency steps up preparation efforts

"What this is reflecting is a very intense commitment and effort by the government to be prepared for a flu pandemic," said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda.

"I think you will see over the next couple months an even greater effort," he said.

The health research institute last week tapped MedImmune Inc., a Gaithersburg biotechnology company, to develop and test nasal-spray vaccines for influenza, including the H5N1 virus strain, which has caused the bird-flu epidemic in Asia.

MedImmune already markets a nasal-spray flu vaccine. Terms of its agreement with the institute were not disclosed.

The institute, part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), two weeks earlier awarded a $2.9 million grant to Vical Inc. of San Diego to develop a DNA-based vaccine to guard against naturally emerging forms of bird flu.

HHS also has invested in a bird-flu vaccine with a $100 million contract award last month to Sanofi Pasteur, the Swiftwater, Pa., vaccine business of French drug company Sanofi-Aventis Group. Sanofi Pasteur will make a vaccine that will protect against the H5N1 virus strain.

Dr. Fauci's institute since March has been testing another vaccine Sanofi Pasteur made from an inactive strain of avian influenza. Preliminary tests in August showed promise.

HHS last month bought 84,300 doses of zanamivir, an antiviral drug marketed as Relenza that treats bird flu, from British drug company GlaxoSmithKline for $2.8 million.

Full story in the Washington Times.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The 1918 pandemic was avian flu

Two teams of federal and university scientists announced today that they had resurrected the 1918 influenza virus, the cause of one of history's most deadly epidemics, and had found that unlike the viruses that caused more recent flu pandemics of 1957 and 1968, the 1918 virus was actually a bird flu that jumped directly to humans.

The work, being published in the journals Nature and Science, involved getting the complete genetic sequence of the 1918 virus, using techniques of molecular biology to synthesize it, and then using it to infect mice and human lung cells in a specially equipped, secure lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The findings, the scientists say, reveal a small number of genetic changes that may explain why the virus was so lethal. The work also confirms the legitimacy of worries about the bird flu viruses that are now emerging in Asia.

The new studies find that today's bird flu viruses share some of the crucial genetic changes that occurred in the 1918 flu. The scientists suspect that with the 1918 flu, changes in just 25 to 30 out of about 4,400 amino acids in the viral proteins turned the virus into a killer. The bird flus, known as H5N1 viruses, have a few, but not all of those changes.

Here is the full story, which contains many other points of interest.  Today I started writing my piece on what we should do about avian flu.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 03, 2005

Another casualty in Indonesia

An elderly man suspected of contracting bird flu has died in hospital in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, after suffering from breathing difficulties.

The 68-year-old man died on Sunday after being treated for two days for symptoms including high temperatures and coughing.

However, the results of tests to determine whether he had bird flu will not be known until Tuesday.

Source.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Randall Parker on the Finnish vaccination campaign

Very good commentary from Future Pundit on the announced intention of the Finnish government to buy vaccines for the entire population. Randall Parker starts an interesting  debate, here's an excerpt:

I can think of two arguments for why a preliminary vaccine might help. I'd really like to know if either or both arguments have any scientific merit: A) Partial immunity from a premature vaccine would reduce the lethality of an eventual pandemic infection and/or B) Vaccination by a premature H5N1 vaccine would reduce the size or number of a later vaccine dose using a more exact antigen target made to match an eventual pandemic strain (assuming such a strain will arise).

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Politics and disease

 
Politics and disease (info)
Adrian Sleigh
Nature 435 (7044), 886-7 (15 Jun 2005)
This is a review of "Twenty-First Century Plague: The Story of SARS" by Thomas Abraham, a journalist based in Hong Kong,. It was published in June in Nature, and I remembered about it when I met Thomas this weekend at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Amsterdam (http://www.vvoj.org/ )
Posted by Declan to AvianFlu SARS China WHO books on Mon Oct 03 2005 at 08:04 UTC

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I'm back - and I'm worried

Just come back from my little research program in SE Asia, where I was trying to find out something about avian flu. What did I find? The short answer is nothing. Some health departments and governments are being very open about the problem. Even places like Vietnam. But China is the big worry, because they are in complete information lockdown mode when it comes to H5N1. Even most Chinese

From Pharma Watch (feed)
See also links to this feed and more from this feed

Posted by dymaxion at 01:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on the numbers game

Dr. Bob Gleeson, MD, FACP, has sent me a short and sensible comment on forecasts of flu mortality:

I do not presume to know how many people will die in the coming pandemic; no one does. But the math is straight-forward enough that you can substitute any reasonable number you want:

•Assume the population of the US is 300 million.

•In a typical flu epidemic, 25% of the population becomes ill. Now we have 75 million ill Americans.

an vary the percentage of the population who become ill, but the range is usually 25% to 30%.

•A virus kills a certain flat percentage of those who are ill. The question is only whether this virus kills 0.1%, 1%, the 2.5% that it killed in 1918, or some higher number. This gives us a death count of 75,000; 750,000; 2,250,000; or higher, respectively.

•Currently, the virus is killing 50% of those who are hospitalized. Hopefully, that is not the same as 50% of those infected, which is a larger number that we do not yet know. The entire outcome of this pandemic, if and when it happens, will depend on how much killing power the virus loses in its genetic trade to gain H2H transmissibility.

You can also vary the percentage of people who become ill enough to require hospitalization, but the data here is more speculative.

I am a physician who studies risk and life expectancy.

Dr. Gleeson is also the author of What Healthy People Know, available at his own website.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Real news: politician demands honesty

Many thanks to the reader who supplied me with a link to another English-language Indonesian source: Tempointeraktif.com. It's a weekly, so it's not always going to be always up to date, but here's an excerpt from a September 30 story:

East Nusa Tenggara governor Piet A. Tallo has requested technical institutions handling health and farming matters to be honest and tell the general public if they find the avian influenza virus in any poultry farming locations.

This request was made following controversy between staff reports and findings in the field regarding the spread of the deadly virus in one of the poultry farms in the regency of Lasiana, Kupang.

"If there is any bird flu among poultry in Kupang and other regions, technical officers must tell the truth. Do not lie, because this involves human lives," Tallo told reporters at the East Nusa Tenggara Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) building on Thursday (29/09).

lo has already learned informally that H5N1 is present. Kupang, you'll be sorry to hear, is at the western tip of West Timor, the part of the island still in Indonesian hands. It is about 700 miles and six major islands east of Jakarta.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CDC locks up flu data

It's turning into a big news night. Here's a story from the Atlanta Constitution-Journal that takes a quarrel in the US science family and makes it public: CDC locks up flu data.

Amid growing concerns that avian influenza will develop into a deadly pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is under fire by some in the scientific community for hoarding data crucial for vaccine development. The allegations come as CDC has issued new and controversial rules on what data, documents and other information it will — and will not — share with the public.

Open government advocates are critical of the CDC's "Information Security" manual, the 34-page document that gives officials 19 categories to shield data from public scrutiny without obtaining a "secret" classification.

cientific institutions in the US are under the control and direction of the wonderful folks who brought you New Orleans, Baghdad, and intelligent design, we have more to worry about than sick chickens.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pan-demónioAd tempus

Fui alertada pelo Ma-Schamba para esta notícia da BBC para África que cita fonte da ONU, afirmando que a pandemia que se avizinha poderá ceifar 150 milhões de vidas. O panorama é no mínimo aterrorizador.

Diz também a citada notícia que "o número de mortes vai depender da forma como os governos se preparem para combater a epidemia".

E como é que Macau se está a preparar para a dita?

Segundo declarações do Director dos Serviços de Saúde, Koi Kuok Ieng, um surto de Gripe das Aves em Macau poderia afectar 90 por cento da população caso não fossem tomadas medidas preventivas pelos Serviços de Saúde (90%?).

E que medidas estão a ser tomadas?
Koi Kuok Ieng diz que Macau tem seguido as recomendações internacionais de prevenção da gripe das aves. Cerca de 30 mil doses da vacina da gripe estão a ser ministradas aos grupos de risco – idosos, pessoal médico, crianças e doentes crónicos - numa acção preventiva que segue as recomendações da Organização Mundial de Saúde.

Considerando que Macau tem cerca de 470.000 habitantes, o risco de a pandemia poder vir a afectar 90% da população desce para quantos %? Tenho a impressão de que não fico muito descansada se fizer estas contas.

Ao longo dos últimos anos e apesar dos casos de H5N1 e de pneumonia atípica em territórios e países vizinhos, Macau conseguiu escapar aos surtos de infecção deste género. Espero que não seja necessário contarmos com a bênção que se diz ter esta terra, que a protege e nos protege de todos os males. Espero que a pandemia não passe de meras previsões. Porque se é certo que ninguém está livre de uma calamidade destas, que não irá escolher sexo, idade ou condição, a verdade é que atingirá sem dúvida em maior escala os mais desprotegidos, os mais desfavorecidos, os países mais pobres. Como se já não lhes faltasse mais nada.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHO Inconsistent on H5N1 Avian Flu MessageGee Dubya

The World Health Organization's Dr. David Nabarro was named Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza on September 29, 2005. At a United Nations press conference that day:

He said the likelihood of the bird flu virus jumping into the human population was generally thought by health officials to be high. "I'm not sure whether 'almost certain' is the impression I'd like to have conveyed to you, but it does seem very likely and it would be extremely wrong for me as a public health person to be ignoring this threat." Dr. Nabarro joined WHO in 1999 and was appointed Executive Director of Sustainable Development and Health Environments in July 2002. He was also a senior policy adviser to the Director-General.

He said that the number of deaths that would result from any pandemic would depend on where the outbreak occurred, the speed with which health and Government officials discovered the outbreak, the response initiatives and the quality of these initiatives. Countries with limited health-care systems that could not care for many ill people and that did not openly transfer information from the local to the national levels would affect the final number of deaths. "I'm not, at the moment, at liberty to give you a prediction on numbers, but I just want to stress, that, let’s say, the range of deaths could be anything from 5 to 150 million."
Friday, the WHO implied that mentioning a possible death toll of 150 million is tantamount to alarmism:
The number of deaths will depend largely on how contagious and lethal the virus is - two factors that cannot be known until the pandemic strain emerges.

However, even though several estimates could be plausible, WHO "can't be dragged into further scaremongering," Thompson told reporters.
From another news report:
While WHO's flu spokesman at the agency's Geneva headquarters did not say the 150 million prediction was wrong, he emphasized that 7.4 million deaths is a more realistic estimate.
But Nabarro isn't backing down:
Nabarro said he stood by the figures he presented, noting that he wanted the world to be prepared for a worst case scenario when the next flu pandemic occurs. He said efforts currently under way could determine whether the death toll is 5 million or 150 million people.

Schizophrenia at the UN and WHO related to the analysis of the threat of an H5N1 avian influenza pandemic is not what's needed.


Previous:

NEJM - Current Concepts: Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Infection in Humans
Influenza Vaccines and Antivirals - How Effective?
Who Sounds Warning on H5N1 Avian Influenza
Six Regions in Russia Affected; Avian Flu Moves Toward Europe
Not Really
Sichuan Swine Disease Reports Continue to Puzzle Experts
H5N1 Avian Flu Virus Outbreaks in Poultry in Russia and Kazakhstan
Pig-Borne Illness in China Story Getting Curiouser and Curiouser
H5N1 Avian Flu Update: Read it and Weep


Posted by dymaxion at 12:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ted Stevens is a fucking moronThoughts from Kansas

We previously discussed H5N1 a while back, and now it's Pandemic Flu Awareness Week, and Alaska's Senator is determined to blow the deal. You see, first the Senate approves $4 billion to prepare for flu pandemic, a Democratic amendment to the defense appropriations bill which passed. The money isn't in the House bill, so a conference committee will decide whether the money stays in:
Almost $3.1 billion of the money would be used to stockpile the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), and the rest would go for global flu surveillance, development of vaccines, and state and local preparedness, according to a Reuters report. The government currently has enough oseltamivir to treat a few million people, with a goal of acquiring enough to treat 20 million.

The funding measure was sponsored by Democrats, who called H5N1 avian flu one of the greatest threats facing the country.

"It's the midnight hour," Reuters quoted Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, as saying. "We have to get moving on it now, not next year, not after some study group in the White House bangs this thing around for another three months."

But the story said Sen. Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican who is guiding the defense-spending bill through the Senate, promised to try to block the avian flu money, Reuters reported. He will have a chance to do that when House and Senate negotiators meet to forge a compromise on the bill, the story said.

Stevens argued that the avian flu "has not yet become a threat to human beings," according to Reuters.
My emphasis. "Not yet a threat" is Category 5 Hurricane Katrina a couple days before landfall. It's a sudden change in temperature trends that hasn't yet melted the icecaps or caused irreversible changes in growing seasons.

Mike the Mad Biologist had a nice piece a few days ago about the current state of vaccines. In short, not encouraging, in no small part because the virus is evolving in birds which are being treated with some of the same drugs people use. That means the virus is evolving an immunity.

In other news. BoingBoing reports that H5N1 is getting scarier, noting in particular that (according to an industry source):

H5N1 has clearly evolved and has become markedly more efficient at transmitting among humans, and has done so via recombination
When it becomes a threat, it'll be too late. That's the whole point. That's the whole problem. There's no political will to take action before something becomes an unambiguous threat. People will die because of incompetent morons like Ted Stevens.

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Posted by dymaxion at 12:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian or is it Evian Flu?The Bay Area Is Talking

Lincoln Madison and I were doing the same thing at about 11:35 last night. We were watching Nightline's story about the threatened avian flu pandemic.

Tonight's Nightline was one of those to-your-bones scary episodes, like watching a whole summer of Watergate hearings compressed into one 31-minute Ted Koppel show. It was something so big that it brought Senator Bill Frist (Republican) and Senator Harry Reid (Democrat) together, shoulder to shoulder, emphasizing their agreement that this is The Big One. They were followed by HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, who explained that we are not ready to meet the challenge. We're going to get "flooded" all over the world, not just the Lower Ninth Ward.

Lincoln then goes on to have some fun about 'Evian flu as opposed to Avian Flu.

One thing that I was impressed with was Ted Koppel's continuing efforts to stop us short of all out panic. The New Republic (reg req)recently had an excellent piece about why Avian flu may not be the end of the world after all.

The avian influenza, or h5n1 as it is known to scientists, has sparked this attention, with press coverage painting a frightening picture. Pandemic preparations are ongoing: Tests on a new U.S. vaccine recently generated some optimism. But, since the human-to-human communicable disease it is intended to prevent does not yet exist, no one knows whether that vaccine could protect us against a real pandemic strain. Health experts are predicting the worst. Klaus Stohr of the World Health Organization (WHO) claims that seven million will die worldwide; Shigeru Omi, also of the WHO, says it's 100 million, while Russian virologist Dmitri Lvov expects one billion fatalities. Is the Big Flu coming? Judging from such predictions, it must be.

But it's not. The expert predictions don't take into account the evolutionary events necessary to turn an avian flu virus into a mass human killer. In ignoring the evolution of infectious disease, flu experts, science writers, and public health officials are leading us down the same path we've followed too many times before, with Swine Flu, Ebola, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (sars). Each new threat produces a new panic, whether panic is warranted or not.

cency more dangerous than over-reaction? We'll see who turns out to be right.

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News Event: Asia, Bird Flu ‘Resistant to Main Dru...

... News Event: Asia, Bird Flu ‘Resistant to Main Drug’ HONG KONG, China — A strain of the H5N1 bird... in Hong Kong said on Friday that the human H5N1 strain which surfaced in northern Vietnam this year...), another antiviral that is also known to be effective in battling the much feared H5N1. “There are now ...

JoshuaLau World History I Technorati this

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