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January 30, 2006

Unique gene makes bird flu virus deadly

Via MSNBC.com: Genes make bird flu virus deadly, study finds.

Scientists may have found out what makes the H5N1 influenza virus so deadly — bird flu viruses have a gene that may make them especially destructive to cells, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

All the bird flu viruses studied by the team at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis had the gene and none of the human influenza viruses did, they said.

People infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus in Vietnam and Thailand had the"avian" version of the flu virus, as did the victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed tens of millions of people globally, the researchers said.

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

US importing more Chinese poultry?

An understandably dumbfounded reader sent me the link to a story in American Chronicle: Harkin Urges USDA to Reconsider Proposal that Would Allow Processed Poultry Imports from China.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) urged the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reconsider a proposal that would allow imports of processed poultry from China in light of the country's outbreaks of avian flu.

To date, ten people and more than 154,000 birds have died from avian flu in China, and over 22.5 million birds have been culled to control the disease.

Harkin expressed doubts about USDA's ability to enforce food safety standards in China to protect against avian flu, and questioned why USDA is changing its policy towards Chinese processed poultry imports at a time when the H5N1 avian influenza strain is devastating Asia's poultry sector.

ded too. As the American philosopher Butch Cassidy once asked the Sundance Kid, "Who are these guys?"

Posted by dymaxion at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Singapore conference to identify gaps in H5N1 planning

Via Medical News Today: Identifying Gaps In Influenza Pandemic Preparations, Lancet 2006 Forum.

The Lancet 2006 forum on preparing for the next pandemic influenza will provide clinicians and policy makers with the latest information for dealing with an outbreak and identify gaps in preparation plans.

The forum - Preparing for pandemic influenza: The avian dimension and other emerging threats - will take place between 3 - 4 May 2006 in Singapore.

ntions that journalists, once accredited, can attend free of charge. I'd like to see Helen Branswell and Declan Butler there. And I hope that by early May we won't need reports on planning gaps that were learned the hard way.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ministro Salud iraquí confirma muerte niña iraquí por gripe aviareluniversal.com: Internacional

Bagdad.- El ministro de Salud iraquí, Abdelmutalib Mahmud, confirmó hoy, lunes, que una niña kurda ha muerto este mes por el virus más peligroso de la gripe aviar, el H5N1.    Mahmud hizo esta declaración a los periodistas en la (...)

Posted by dymaxion at 09:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Individuals and Communities must Prepare to Cope on their OwnAvian Flu Watch

Crfullmoon posted a new topic:

Check the plans in your own location.

Example from the Massachusetts State Influenza Pandemic Plan, pg 56: ..."Persons may be confined to their homes by choice, out of fear of being exposed and becoming ill or
by direction of State or local health officials in order to reduce transmission in the community.

The provision of food, medical and other essential support
for persons confined to their homes
will be the responsibility of local communities."

Don't expect help from other levels of government, because if pandemic occurs, (and airplane travel means the virus may be in many nations and cities and villages by the time pandemic is noticed)
all other regions will be having the same problems at the same time.

Do the math for where you live in the world, if say, 25% of your population fell very ill in the same week.
If the H5N1 virus remains much as it is now, hospitals will collaspe.
It does not have to change much now to go pandemic, or, another virus may, some other year, but our infrastructure can't handle such surges.

The difficult things about global natural disasters, like an influenza pandemic, are

that they give no start date,

people would like to just hope nothing will happen or,

hope that they can do something effective to save themselves and their families *after* it is in progress, (by then it is too late)

and, that in human history, we have never done this before;
had warning of and been able to stop an influenza pandemic. Influenza is much more contagious and can kill much faster than HIV, yet people and governments did not take personal responsibility to stop the spread of the AIDS virus, and it is known how this could be prevented. Can they prevent a pandemic?

Already the vaunted "modern medical and communication systems we have now" have been daunted by closed governments, rural poverty, lack of good public health infrastructure even in developed nations, and, human nature and politics and economic concerns.

It does not seem that local officials want to give all available information and proper advice to all the public, out of fear of "panic" which seems to mean "any economic change at all".
We get panic behaviors when people do not know what is safe and what is not, they panic when authorities won't answer their questions, or come and help contain an outbreak when people don't have the protective equipment or staff to do so. They panic when they do the wrong things out of ignorance, trying to keep themselves safe.

The H5N1 virus is in many countries, infecting many species, and people are still falling ill.

Human-to-human transmission does seem to have occurred, in limited fashion. (The rules for officially proving this to WHO standards are strict and easily unmet.)

The World Health Organization has admitted it cannot update its pandemic alert level, which has been left at 3 and not updated since Nov. because of political pressure from countries not wanting other nations to implement their action plans that may include travel bans, trade cessation, ect, if the level is raised to 4.
Because of the pressure from nations trying to postpone economic and political consequences, the alert level has become useless and should be uncoupled from all pandemic plans as an action signal.

The WHO now does the response and containment measures as needed, and, if they think they have a chance to work.


Is your household prepared? Having a stocked- up household of items that keep without electricity, and, basic medical supplies also is useful if people have weather-related power-outtages, have to evacuate for local disasters, or, even if there is a sudden job loss or medical proceedure to recover from.

Stocking up is like having insurance policies, except you can see and touch what you have.
Look at what you spent money on last week or last month.
Anything frivolous you could do without for a couple of weeks, and instead start to buy things you might need if so many people got sick that the supply chain collaspes, or, if quarantine shuts things down?

Your local government, taxes or no, cannot care for everyone.
Make sure you take care of yourselves.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Of interest: Branson says pandemic flu would ground 70% of aircraft

... I enjoy listening to Sir Richard and find him to be refreshing and insightful. Which is why I was interested to read his thought today Branson's quote today at the World Economic Forum in Davos on the potential global impact of the Avian influenza A (H5N1), should it become ...
Satisfy Me View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 08:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gripe das Aves: confirmada presen?a no norte de Chipre

A Comiss?o Europeia confirmou hoje a presen?a do v?rus mais perigoso da gripe das aves, o H5N1, numa ave morta no norte Chipre, a regi?o controlada pela minoria cipriota turca da ilha. O resultado positivo foi confirmado pelo laborat?rio europeu de refer?ncia de Weybridge (Reino Unido) ap?s a an?lise de "uma amostra" colhida de uma ave morta, segundo um comunicado da Comiss?o que n?o precisou se o animal era selvagem ou de capoeira. O comunicado da Comiss?o Europeia recorda que ? proibida

Posted by dymaxion at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Health Care Officials Confirm Cyprus Bird Flu

Health care officials have confirmed the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain in the northern part of Cyprus. The European Commission said that the presence of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain in the northern part of Cyprus has been confirmed. Health care officials and the commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), and the Turkish authorities have been informed by a bird flu laboratory of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain in a sample taken from the area not under the effective

Posted by dymaxion at 08:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Turkish bird flu outbreak raises questions

hospitals, questions are swirling over whether the world has overestimated the virulence of the H5N1... of known cases. Hospital staff who cared for H5N1 patients. "And they essentially found zero... of H5N1 infection date back to the first H5N1 outbreak, in Hong Kong in 1997, where the virus... a better idea of whether the known H5N1 cases are the tip of an iceberg, or the iceberg itself. With that end in mind, the organization is developing an H5N1 clinical trials network that will undertake

Posted by dymaxion at 08:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Iraqi Health Minister Confirms Kurdish Girl Died of Bird Flu

Iraq's health minister says a girl who died earlier this month in northern Iraq was a victim of the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu - the first known case of the disease in the country.

Posted by dymaxion at 08:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aviaria, Ue: volatile con H5n1 a Cipro Nord

BRUXELLES - Il ceppo H5N1 dell'influenza aviara, letale per l'uomo, ? stato individuato nel settore nord dell'isola di Cipro, quello turco. La conferma ? arrivata dal laboratorio di riferimento europeo di Weybridge (Gran Bretagna) e l'annuncio ? stato dato dalla Commissione europea. Proprio in Turchia di recente sono morte quattro persone che avevano contratto il virus mutato. VIETATO L'EXPORT - La Commissione europea, di conseguenza, ha vietato di importare animali vivi o prodotti animali

Posted by dymaxion at 08:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aviaria: vaccino efficace al 100% sugli animali

influenzale H5N1 (l emoagglutinina ? la proteina contrassegnata con H). Questa proteina ? quella che... lavoro in tutto. EFFICACIA - Il vaccino, iniettato nei topi, li ha protetti da H5N1 nel 100 per cento... anti H5N1 con tecniche di ingegneria genetica?. ?E anche se il virus mutasse? continua Rezza, ?Un vaccino efficace contro H5N1 sarebbe comunque utile, perch? a quel punto produren un altro simile per

Posted by dymaxion at 08:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scientists Develop Bird Flu Vaccine that is 100% Effective

University of Pittsburgh scientists say they ve genetically engineered an avian flu vaccine that has proven 100 percent effective in mice and chickens. The vaccine was produced from the critical components of the deadly H5N1 virus that has devastated bird populations in Southeast Asia and Europe and has killed more than 80 people.

Posted by dymaxion at 08:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 26, 2006

Indonesian vendor dies of bird flu - hospital - Reuters AlertNet

What's highly alarming here is that reports of this latest case only surfaced yesterday! This only underlies the weakness in any kind of a centralized response in Indonesia. Rapid information is essential if a cluster of human to human (H2H) transmissions breaks out somewhere in the world. This level of reaction in one of the world's most populous countries bodes poorly for the future.


... RTE.ieIndonesian vendor dies of bird flu - hospital Reuters AlertNet - 22 minutes ago JAKARTA, Jan 26 (Reuters) - An Indonesian chicken seller whom local tests showed had been infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus has died, a hospital official said on Thursday. If confirmed by outside laboratories ...

Google News Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 12:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

GlaxoSmithKline to start vaccine trials in April

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline PLC hopes to start clinical trials in early April for its vaccine against the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain, a company executive said Thursday.

The London-based company would test the vaccine with two different boosters and the first results should come about three months later, said David Stout, president of the company's pharmaceutical operations.

Production is slated to start by year's end, he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.


Posted by dymaxion at 12:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A seventh death in China

CBC radio this morning reported the seventh death in China from avian flu. The story is also on China Daily.com. Here's an excerpt:

The health ministry, quoted by the Xinhua news agency, said the woman died recently but did not give a date.

The woman, surnamed Cao and a market worker in Jinhua town in Chengdu city,
had been hospitalised in Chengdu in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

On January 12 she showed fever and pneumonia symptoms and her samples tested positive for the deadly H5N1 of the virus, the agency said Wednesday.

The health ministry on Monday said Cao was in critical condition and confirmed she was the country's 10th human bird flu case.

Xinhua said the ministry was investigating the source of her infection and
was trying to find out whether there have been bird flu outbreaks among poultry
in her town.

s of the report is frustrating: how recently is "recently"? Why give the surname only? And why, if this woman was ill almost two weeks ago, are the authorities still trying to find out if local poultry have suffered from H5N1?

Posted by dymaxion at 12:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wild birds: vectors or victims of avian flu?

“Scientists are increasingly convinced that at least some migratory waterfowl are now carrying the H5N1 virus in its highly pathogenic form, sometimes over long distances, and introducing the virus to poultry flocks in areas that lie ...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Algerian may have had bird flu

There are a lot of rumors in the scientific community that the Algerian government, which has said that all tests are negative for H5N1 (in sick/dead humans and birds), are covering up an outbreak in Algeria, which would be the first ...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Will the next human influenza pandemic be caused by the virus of the avian flu A/H5N1? Arguments pro and counter.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tick. Tick. Tick.Hugh Hewitt

The WSJ.com Avian Flu News Tracker reports on new human cases in China and Indonesia, and also this report from a North Korean human rights activist:

A woman infected with bird flu was hospitalized in North Korea in December, and leader Kim Jong Il has ordered the government to eradicate the disease among chickens and other birds, said Lee Young Hwa, leader of the human rights group Rescue the North Korean People in Japan. He said he learned of the outbreak from RENK members in North Korea. He said there was a high possibility that the woman, who was treated at Pyongyang's Red Cross Hospital, was the first human case of bird flu in the country, but he was not sure.

If H5N1 breaks out in North Korea it seems unlikely that WHO or other organizations will be given the opportunity to intervene and cabin the disease, or even receive reliable information on its virulence and mortality rate.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Study Questions Effectiveness of Tamiflu in Preventing the Spread of Bird Flu VirusBest Syndication News Feed

Roche Holding AG reassured the public that their influenza drug Tamiflu is effective against the H5N1 avian influenza virus if administered early. This is following ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wild bird flu blame 'too hasty'Forest Conservation Newsfeed

BBC: Governments across Europe are being too hasty in blaming the spread of avian flu on wild birds, says the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Many scientists say there is evidence wild birds are spreading the highly dangerous H5N1 strain of the virus. But the RSPB says the trade in birds and the movement of poultry products is a more likely cause. The charity said there are no migration routes that would take birds from China to Turkey at this time of year. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHO says Asian states too slow in reporting bird fluArmenian Medical Network

The regional director for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the Western Pacific has complained that Asian countries take too long to report some human cases of bird flu and this could hamper any efforts to contain a possible pandemic.

Shigeru Omi, one of WHO’s top officials says these countries need to improve their capacity to quickly detect and report cases of the H5N1 virus.

Omi says the window of opportunity for containment is very narrow, and means rapid containment measures must be carried out at least two to three weeks after detection of a potential pandemic event.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scientists solve puzzle of flu virus replication

... Scientists solve puzzle of flu virus replication January 26th, 2006 LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have solved the genetic puzzle of how influenza A viruses — including the H5N1 bird ... such as the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed as many as 50 million people worldwide. Scientists fear H5N1 could ...

Customer Weblog Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another China sharing post (sigh)

... I guess I should make a standard template post that WHO is again complaining China is not sharing viral samples from their poultry outbreaks with ... samples of H5N1 bird flu. International experts complain that China has not cooperated fully ... tissue samples from animals that died of the H5N1 virus in the country in recent months. (chosun.com ...

Effect Measure Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

24. januar 2006 - Fugleinfluenza – seneste nyt fra Indonesien

...   Sundhedsministeriet i Indonesien har bekræftet yderligere to tilfælde af infektion med fugleinfluenzavirus A H5N1 hos mennesker ... to er ved at blive undersøgt for fugleinfluenza A H5N1. Undersøgelser har vist, at der er et større ... . Fra Indonesien er der til dato bekræftet 19 tilfælde af fugleinfluenzavirus A H5N1 infektion hos ...

Nyheder og fakta om fugleinfluenza (Bird flu) Technorati this

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

January 24, 2006

CIDRAP Announces: Business Planning for Pandemic Influenza: A National Summit

We received the following announcement from Aaron Desmond at the University of Minnesota and thought it worthwhile to pass on to those of you brave enough to visit Minneapolis in February:


Host: University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP)

Co-sponsors: U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

• Identify the critical risk assessment and mitigation, public policy, legal, supply chain and human resource elements of comprehensive planning for business continuity in the event of an influenza pandemic.
• Provide business leaders with practical information needed to develop effective and timely corporate pandemic influenza plans.
• Identify the role that businesses should play in the development of federal, state, regional and local government pandemic influenza preparedness plans.
• Stimulate cross-business sector discussion of pandemic-related issues, interrelationships, and interdependencies of the business community.
• Provide the business community with current and comprehensive scientific information needed for pandemic influenza business continuity planning.

When: February 14-15, 2006

Where: Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Early registration is encouraged; attendance is limited both by the total number of participants and by industry sector.

Register online at www.cidrap.umn.edu/summit

Posted by dymaxion at 02:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 23, 2006

Turkey hopeful the crisis is fading

"We have no (bird flu) patients in serious condition at this time," the chief physician at Van University Hospital, Huseyin Avni Sahin, told AFP Sunday.

Eight patients treated for the virus have recovered enough to leave hospital, including two brothers, aged five and two, who were discharged from an Ankara hospital on the weekend.

Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker told the Anatolia news agency Sunday that "the spread of the disease is losing steam."

He added that 1.16 million birds have been culled so far as the government seeks to contain the virus.

Government officials said the apparent improvement in the situation was due to heightened public awareness of the disease, its risks and its vectors of contamination. Most of those who had been infected contracted H5N1 by coming into contact with sick chickens raised in yards by poorer families.


Posted by dymaxion at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Poultry vaccination in Vietnam: promising results - Pravda

Poultry vaccination in Vietnam: promising results
Pravda, Russia - 14 hours ago
... of poultry vaccinated against bird flu in Vietnam shows more than 80 percent of the sampled birds developed at least some immunity to the H5N1 virus, but more ...
Bird flu hasn't slowed tourists San Jose Mercury News
all 11 related

Posted by dymaxion at 09:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

North Cyprus: Possible B2B H5N1

Via Planet Ark: North Cyprus Tests Dead Birds for Avian Flu.

Two suspected cases of avian flu were found on a farm in northern Cyprus, but it was early to say if it was the deadly H5N1 strain, Turkish Cypriot authorities said on Monday.

Samples from a dead turkey and a chicken were taken from close to Incircli, a village on the eastern part of the island which is also known by the Greek name Makrasykas.

"There were two birds, one a turkey and one a chicken, and two suspicious deaths. Preliminary tests proved positive (for a form of bird flu)," said Turkish Cypriot health minister Esref Vaiz.

"We have announced it to the public and we are hiding nothing," he told Reuters, adding that it would take about two days for conclusive results to come from Turkey.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Afghanistan the next target?

The Peninsula, a news source in Qatar, reports Afghanistan at "huge risk" of bird flu.

War-shattered Afghanistan faces a huge risk from bird flu, including a strain that can kill people, and must take urgent action to protect itself, UN experts said yesterday.

The Central Asian country is on the path of migrating birds that may be carrying the disease and about 85 per cent of its people live in close contact with poultry, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said. Afghanistan's veterinary services were also in disarray, having been ignored in the rebuilding of the country after decades of war.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

North Cyprus tests dead birds for avian flu

four people have died from the H5N1 bird flu virus this month. The H5N1 virus has killed at least 80 people in six countries since late 2003. The island was partitioned in a

Posted by dymaxion at 09:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oms: altre 2 vittime dell'aviaria in Indonesia

GIACARTA - L'Organizzazione mondiale per la sanit? ha confermato che due persone morte in Indonesia sono state uccise dal virus H5N1. Sale cos? a 14 il numero dei decessi per influenza aviaria nel Paese del sud-est asiatico. Le ultime vittime accertate sono una tredicenne di Giava e il suo fratellino di quattro anni che test locali avevano gi? dato come infettati dal virus dell'aviaria. Questa mattina in Indonesia ? stato anche annunciato il ricovero per sospetta influenza aviaria di una

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

china announces 10th human case of bird flu - boston.com

from the west of the country was diagnosed with the H5N1 virus. (REUTERS/Stringer) BEIJING (Reuters... on Monday after a 29-year-old woman from the southwest of the country was diagnosed with the H5N1 virus... to tests for the H5N1 virus given by the provincial disease control center, and the national center..., and prevention and control work is facing new tests," Hui said. Experts believe the H5N1 virus..., there was no officially confirmed outbreak of H5N1 among poultry in the area beforehand. China, along with Vietnam, has

Posted by dymaxion at 09:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian influenza – situation in Indonesia - update

... 23 January 2006 The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has confirmed an additional 2 cases of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus ... with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Investigations conducted by the Ministry of Health and WHO found evidence ...

Under the Microscope Technorati this

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

Turkey’s Top Ten List of Don’ts to Avoid the Bird Flu

... In an effort to inform the public about how to avoid coming down with the bird flu, the Turkish Ministry of Health has released a list of things not to do if you want to avoid the bird flu. Technorati Tags : bird+flu, avian+flu, H5N1, killer+flu, flu+pandemic, influenza, avian ...

fluFactor Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 09:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHO update on avian influenza in Indonesia

... The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has confirmed an additional 2 cases of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus ... with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. ...

Medical and health information and tools from Armenian Medical Network Technorati this

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

Respiratory may not be the only route of spread of avian influenza, H5N1

... In birds it is known that the influenza virus can be systemic. Meaning that the virus can be found throughout the body. Now in studies of cats, H5N1 as well as being detected in the respiratory tract has been detected in other organs of the body. One of the most effective mechanisms of transmission in species ...

trenchantblog.com Technorati this

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

January 19, 2006

Turkish virus better adapted to humans

Scientists studying virus samples from the human outbreak of avian flu in Turkey have identified three mutations in the virus's sequence. They say that at least two of these look likely to make the virus better adapted to humans.

[...] The first mutation found, announced last week, involves a substitution in one sample of an amino acid at position 223 of the haemoagglutinin receptor protein. This protein allows the flu virus to bind to the receptors on the surface of its host's cells.

[...] It increases the virus's ability to bind to human receptors, and decreases its affinity for poultry receptors, making strains with this mutation better adapted to infecting humans.

The same sample also contained a mutation at position 153 of the haemoagglutinin protein, Nature has learned. Cheng says this information was not included in WHO statements, because "it is not clear what role this particular change plays".

Finally, both samples from the Turkish teenagers show a substitution of glutamic acid with lycine, at position 627 of the polymerase protein, which the virus uses to replicate its genetic material. This mutation has been seen in other flu sequences from Eurasian poultry over the past year. It was also present in the one person who died during an outbreak of H7N7 in the Netherlands in 2003, and in a few people in Vietnam and Thailand.

The polymerase mutation is one of the ten genetic changes that gave rise to the 1918 pandemic flu virus. Like the 223-haemoagglutinin mutation, it signals adaptation to humans, says Alan Hay, director of a WHO influenza laboratory at the NIMR. "There is this glutamic acid–lysine flip," he explains. "Glutamic acid is associated with flu-virus replication in birds, and lycine is in primates."

Read the entire article at Nature.com.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

$1.9 billion pledged for fighting bird flu

Alarmed by the spread of bird flu beyond East Asia, nations pledged nearly $2 billion Wednesday to fight the disease, far exceeding expectations at the fundraising conference in Beijing.

[...] The United States pledged $334 million, the second highest amount after the World Bank's $500 million. The United States also said it will invest billions of dollars over the next three years to develop a human vaccine.

Japan donated $159 million, while China — which has reported eight human infections, five of which have been fatal — said it would donate $10 million.

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao also promised that China would work with the international community and be open and forthcoming with information and samples of the virus.

"Money is not the only answer, but without it nothing can be done," said Dr. Lee Jong-wook, director-general of the World Health Organization.

On Tuesday, EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said the EU had increased its commitment to $121 million, about $20 million more than it announced last week.

Read the full article here.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu outbreak may have spread to Iraq

Bird flu outbreak may have spread to Iraq (info)
Avian flu is suspected as the cause of the death of a 14 year old Iraqi girl, with Iraqi officials awaiting the results of tests from a laboratory in Jordan.
Posted by ojcius to turkey avian flu AvianFlu iraq H5N1 on Thu Jan 19 2006 at 16:18 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 09:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Background science for the Turkish mutations, recap and III.

Since H5N1 is primarily a bird (avian) influenza virus, and in birds usually infects the bird's intestines, the question of what allows a virus to infect particular animals and tissues is obviously an important question. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 09:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on Turkey mutations

Just a pointer to a long article I’ve published in Nature today on the three mutations found in human cases of H5N1 in Turkey — “Alarms ring over bird flu mutations.” It’sa follow up to last week’s article “Bird flu mutation sparks ...

Posted by dymaxion at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cats and bird flu

Dutch researchers have shown systemic spread of H5N1 in domestic cats (Rimmelzwaan et al., "Influenza A virus (H5N1) infection in cats causes systemic disease with ... To assess the spread of H5N1 influenza virus in mammalian hosts, ...

Posted by dymaxion at 09:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Practical Use of Complearn: OpenBirdFlu.

Rudi Cilibrasi, a contributor to the Avian Flu Help blog and a Machine Learning researcher in the Netherlands wrote CompLearn which is an open-source data mining toolkit and is using it for H5N1 analysis. He has generated a different ...

Posted by dymaxion at 09:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Second mutation in Turkey H5N1 virus suggests adaptation to humans - CIDRAP

Second mutation in Turkey H5N1 virus suggests adaptation to humans
CIDRAP, MN - 2 hours ago
Jan 19, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A new report in Nature cites more evidence that mutations detected in H5N1 avian influenza viruses recovered from patients in ...

Posted by dymaxion at 09:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HK finds H5N1-positive wild bird carcass, but no bird flu reported - People's Daily Online

HK finds H5N1-positive wild bird carcass, but no bird flu reported
People's Daily Online, China - 46 minutes ago
A dead wild bird in Hong Kong has been confirmed of positive to the virus of H5N1, announced the local authorities on Thursday, but they dismissed the fear ...

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

An expanding family cluster in Indonesia?

Via News.com.au, an Australian news source: Bird flu victims' father shows signs.

An Indonesian man whose two children died of suspected bird flu was in hospital suffering symptoms of the virus, a health ministry official said today.

The 43-year-old man was rushed to the Hasan Sadikin hospital in the western Java town of Bandung yesterday with a high fever and breathing difficulties, health ministry official Hariyadi Wibisono said.

"We will most likely try to move him for further treatment at the Sulianti Saroso hospital in Jakarta," Mr Wibisono said, referring to Indonesia's main treatment centre for patients infected with the potentially fatal virus.

The man's 13-year-old daughter died over the weekend and local tests have showed she was carrying the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, which has killed about 80 people since 2003, mostly in Asia.

His three-year-old son died yesterday and he also had bird flu symptoms. Health officials were still awaiting ministry test results to see if he was infected.

If both cases are confirmed by a World Health Organisation-affiliated laboratory in Hong Kong, the children would be the 13th and 14th bird flu fatalities in Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation.

The pair's sister, a 15-year-old girl, was earlier admitted to the same hospital as her father and is also being treated as a suspected case.

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

Two steps forward, one step back

Via Hürriyet, a Turkish news source: Sanliurfa child beats bird flu. One child has recovered from H5N1, one is on the way to recovery, and one has died—after no known direct contact with poultry.

Yesterday in Sanliurfa, 4 year old Selami Bas, who had been in the hostpital for 12 days fighting the effects of bird flu, was released. Waving at reporters as he left the hospital, the child appeared completely healthy, following his more than week long stay. Speaking to reporters, Sanliurfa Governor Yusuf Yavascan said "The treatment of Selami Bas was successful. He is being released in the full belief that he will return to full health."

Meanwhile, 10 year old Sevgi Acar, who fell ill in Mus, and was transferred to Erzurum, died on the way to the hospital. It was suspected that Acar had bird flu, though it was revealed that Acar had no respiratory complaints. It was also revealed that Acar had had no direct contact with any poultry prior to her death.

In Van meanwhile, the brother of Fatma Ozcan, who died 3 days ago from bird flu, is healing rapidly. Muhammed Ozcan, who is 5, is getting better with time, said doctors at the Van Yuzuncu Yil hospital.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHO rules out bird flu in Iraqi teen's death

An Iraqi teenager whose death from a fever raised fears bird flu had spread to the country, did not have the lethal virus, says a spokesman for the World Health Organisation (WHO). "It has been investigated and discounted - it is not an H5N1 (bird flu) case," spokesman Dick Thompson said. Iraqi health officials said the teenager, who died on Tuesday after a two-week illness, lived close... confirmed this month as having the H5N1 virus. This service may include material from Agence France

Posted by dymaxion at 08:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2006

Background science for the Turkish mutations

Read the excellent post on Effect Measure.

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

Is bird flu overhyped?

Andrew Weil answers "yes" in the Time, where he tries to downplay the threat of bird flu. His arguments on the possibility of containment are quite weak, but he does express a view I have heard in a number of recent articles.

One implication of this type of argument is that we are spending too much energy and resources preparing for a pandemic that may never come. Commenting on the latest developments from Turkey, Effect Measure's Revere offers a good response:

We know some things, but mostly we are in the dark about what changes will turn this virus into a full-fledged pandemic strain. We may be one tiny change away or (in the best case) this is a change headed down an evolutionary cul de sac (not likely, but possible).

[...] It is not time to panic, because it is never time to panic. But making appropriate preparations in your area might be prudent.

It is important to remember that the best prevention measures we can take are probably not avian flu specific. The top priority should be to strengthen local health care systems, read more here. This preparedness should prove very useful in any disease outbreak, natural disaster or terrorist attack. The bird flu "hype" will hopefully lead to better institutions and planning, certainly positive developments, even if we get lucky with H5N1 and it turns out to be nothing more than a scare.

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

Rich countries at a donors conference on bird flu in BeijingBird Bath

Rich countries at a donors conference on bird flu in Beijing
Pravda Ru - 1 hour, 18 minutes ago
15:42 2006-01-17 Disease experts urged rich countries at a donors conference Tuesday to come up with the US$1.5 billion (euro1.2 billion) that the World Bank says is needed to tackle bird flu and prepare for a potential pandemic in humans.Save to My Web

13th bird flu fatality suspected in Indonesia
International Herald Tribune - Jan 16 6:15 AM
Initial tests carried out by the Indonesian authorities indicate that a 13-year-old girl who died over the weekend was infected with bird flu, an Indonesian Health Ministry official said Monday.Save to My Web

Turkey counts fourth bird flu death
WKRN News 2 - Jan 17 1:45 AM
Turkey now has four bird flu deaths. Turkish health officials say preliminary tests show a 12-year-old girl who died Sunday had the H5N1 strain of the avian flu. Her five-year-old brother has also testedSave to My Web

Bird Flu, Killer of 4 People in Turkey, Spreads in Provinces
Bloomberg.com - Jan 16 3:45 PM
Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Bird flu is spreading in provinces of Turkey, where it has killed four people this year and infected at least 16 others, the World Health Organization said.Save to My Web

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals' Potential Bird Flu Drug Gets Fast-Track Status From FDA
Money Sense - 30 minutes ago
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that regulators granted "fast track" status to its application for a potential bird flu drug.Save to My Web

World Bank Seeks $1.5B to Stop Bird Flu
AP via Yahoo! News - Jan 16 3:08 AM
The World Bank anticipates countries will donate generously to the effort to stop bird flu from becoming a global epidemic, an official said Monday on the eve of a donors' conference.Save to My Web

Bird Flu Donor Conference Opens in Beijing, WHO Warns Pandemic Risk is Great
Voice of America - Jan 17 2:53 AM
An international donor conference has opened in Beijing to raise money to fight bird flu. Health experts are calling for $1.5 billion to help developing countries contain the virus and prevent a global pandemic.Save to My Web

Bird flu suspected in Turkey death
CNN.com - Jan 15 11:34 PM
Officials in Turkey say a 12-year-old girl died from suspected bird flu in the eastern city of Van.Save to My Web

Girl Is 4th Bird Flu Death in Turkey
AP via Yahoo! News - Jan 16 6:15 AM
Preliminary Turkish tests have confirmed that a 12-year-old girl who died was infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, raising Turkey's death toll to four, health officials said Monday.Save to My Web

World Bank eyes $1bln for bird flu
CNN.com - Jan 15 11:04 PM
BEIJING, China (AP) -- Countries around the world are expected to pledge at least US$1 billion (euro822 million) to help their poorer counterparts tackle bird flu and prepare for a potential pandemic in humans, a World Bank official said Monday.Save to My Web

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

Tick. Tick. Tick.Hugh Hewitt

From the Wall Street Journal Avian Flu News Tracker (subscription required):

9:15 a.m.: Preliminary tests indicate that another Turkish child is infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, raising the total number of human cases in the country to 21. The Turkish Health Ministry said the child was from Dogubayazit – the hometown of all four of the other children who have died of H5N1. Samples from the child were being sent to a WHO laboratory in Britain for analysis and independent confirmation, officials said

From today's New York Times:

Turkey's difficulties in halting its outbreak have underlined the challenge for poor countries in detecting the disease early. Bernard Vallat, the director general of the World Organization for Animal Health, said that it was crucial to catch an outbreak within the first 48 hours, and that Turkey had failed to do so.

e disease is exponential," he warned.

At this point, it seems that HHS should send a notice to every state and local government charting the recent experience in Turkey, with a summary of the transnission details as they are understood in the 21 cases. States with large poultry operations need to be prepared to stop such an "exponential" spread from flock to flock if/when the virus arrives in the U.S.

My guess is that no such plans exist in most states.

BTW: Here is an account of the impact of the flu on the underdeveloped economy of rural Turkey which relies upon flocks to produce food. This is a glimmer of the far reaching effects of this fast moving virus even if never makes the transition to a human-to-human virus:

“They fed their kids with their eggs. They don’t have other money. They’ll be ruined,” the official from the Dogubayazit Agriculture Ministry said as he jumped a stone fence to go from one house to the next. He would not give his name because Turkish officials are rarely allowed to speak to the media.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Une pandémie de grippe ferait jusqu’à 200.000 morts en France

... Une pandémie de grippe ferait jusqu’à 200.000 morts en France Classé dans: General — site admin @ 10:16 pm mardi 17 janvier 2006, 18h44 PARIS ( ... surveillance. Les experts n’excluent pas que le virus H5N1 s’adapte à l’homme si ces gènes se mélangent à ...

my weblog Technorati this

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[no title]

... US bird flu outbreak could cost insurers $133 bln 2 hours, 31 minutes ago NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S ... earnings report that “an outbreak of a pandemic disease, such as the Avian Influenza A Virus (H5N1 ...

Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 07:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2006

Some speculation on the Turkish virus

The virus found in Turkey is mostly related to the virus strain that caused an outbreak in migratory waterfowl at Qinghai Lake starting in Apr 2005. All of the virus isolates sequenced from that outbreak were shown to have the lysine mutation at position 627 in the PB2 gene, which has been associated with increased virulence in mice, and observed in all human influenza virus strains, including the 1918 H1N1 virus.

If the viruses circulating in Turkey have retained this mutation, this could explain the number of human cases observed there, especially if the H-gene has mutated in a form that allows recognition of the human variant of the sialic acid receptor.

The change in receptor specificity would as well allow the H5N1 virus to infect the same target cells as the seasonal human influenza viruses, increasing the risk of getting a novel reassortant with an enhanced pandemic potential.

That is Christine Monceyron Jonassen commenting on ProMedMail. The same link reports two new suspected cases in Turkey. Recombinomics has more.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

news @ nature.com - Bird flu mutation sparks concern - Genetic tweak makes virus favour human nose and throat.

news @ nature.com - Bird flu mutation sparks concern - Genetic tweak makes virus favour human nose and throat. (info)
Posted by Declan (who is an author) and 2 others to turkey cases avian flu AvianFlu on Sat Jan 14 2006 at 13:27 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 04:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Israel bird flu scare proves unfounded - Jerusalem Post

Israel bird flu scare proves unfounded
Jerusalem Post, Israel - 19 minutes ago
... east Jerusalem man who developed flu symptoms and who raises chickens - five of which died in the past few days - does not have the deadly avian flu strain H5N1 ...
Israel clears Palestinian farmer in avian flu scare Reuters AlertNet
Man in E. Jerusalem tested for bird flu Xinhua
J'lem man tested for possible avian flu Jerusalem Post
BBC News - all 31 related

Posted by dymaxion at 04:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Work at home or go abroad if bird flu hits

From the UK newspaper Sunday Telegraph: Work at home or go abroad if bird flu hits.

Companies are drawing up emergency plans to reduce or cope with the loss of one in four workers. One expert warned that some could see their entire staff wiped out by the virus.

Vodafone, Norwich Union and the accountancy firms PriceWaterhouseCoopers and KPMG say they would make arrangements for staff to work from home. Some workplace meetings would be replaced by video conference calls.

A senior executive for Vodafone, which employs more than 13,000 in Britain, said: "Bird flu is a real threat and we are taking it seriously. Working from home means that people will be at less risk from getting the virus and could play a crucial role in keeping our business going."

David Way, a national disaster adviser with the insurers Alexander Forbes, said that up to 70 per cent of staff already had the facilities to work away from the office.

Some large international companies will move operations and key staff abroad. Norwich Union plans to transfer claims calls to centres in India and Sri Lanka.

rely reassured by this display of British enterprise. What happens if some key computer-network people are sick when their systems crash? What happens if telecommuting workers fall ill from a quick trip to the grocer's? And what happens if the pandemic lives up to its name and erupts all over the planet? What price outsourcing then?

Posted by dymaxion at 04:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

B2H suspected in case near Istanbul

This is not a good Sunday night. People's Daily Online reports that a boy with suspected bird flu has been hospitalized in Istanbul.

A five-year-old boy suffering from high fever after contacting fowl was sent to an Istanbul hospital for test and treatment, the Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday.

The boy, called Ferhat Budak, came into contact with chickens three days ago in the yard of his house in Gebze, 100 km east of Istanbul.

If the case is confirmed, it will become the first detected in Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, where no human cases have ever been reported.

In addition, two other children showing bird-flu-like symptoms were reported to be in serious condition in the eastern city of Van, near Iran.

rom contact to symptoms—can anyone tell me if that's typical, or unusually fast? If more people in Van are just starting to show symptoms after countless chickens have been culled in the past two weeks, what does that mean?

Posted by dymaxion at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World Bank Seeks $1.5B For Bird Flu FightWCBSTV.com: Your Source For New York News, Weather, Sports & Traffic: Business

(AP) BEIJING The World Bank anticipates countries will donate generously to the effort to stop bird flu from becoming a global epidemic, an official said Monday on the eve of a donors' conference.

The two-day gathering in Beijing is expected to raise at least $1 billion for countries struggling to cope with the disease, said Jim Adams, the World Bank's vice president of operations policy and country services.

"We're anticipating a very generous EU response. We have a very strong commitment from the U.S. We expect the Japanese to come with a strong commitment," Adams said.

The World Bank has said that as much as $1.5 billion is needed over the next three years to ward off a human pandemic.

The disease has killed at least 79 people in Asia and Turkey since 2003.

Most human cases have been traced to contact with infected birds, but experts fear the H5N1 strain of the virus could mutate into a form that passes easily between people.

06 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Posted by dymaxion at 04:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Flu Virus Resistance GrowsA Fistful of Euros

It's Suday morning, and I don't normally feel moved to post on a blog, but this news is disconcerting, and seems to merit the effort:

"The US government, for the first time, is urging doctors not to prescribe two antiviral drugs commonly used to fight influenza after discovering that the predominant strain of the virus has built up high levels of resistance to them at alarming speed."

The drugs which are now virtually worthless are rimantadine and amantadine (with 91% of virus samples now showing resistance). The consequence of this is that stocks of two further drugs will now be used to replace them. And the names of the two new 'front line' treatments for routine influenza: Tamiflu and Relenza. Now these two 'anti-virals' had been being kept in reserve for use in the case of any H5N1 related outbreak. The consequence of this?

The discovery (of resistance) adds to worries about how to fight bird flu should it start spreading among people. ...Now, because of the resistance issue, the newer drugs are being recommended for ordinary flu, increasing the chances that resistance will develop more rapidly to them, too, as they become more commonly used.....

or Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Julie Gerberding said the agency didn't know how the resistance occurred, saying it may have been the result of a mutation in the virus or overuse of the drugs abroad, such as in countries that permit the drugs to be purchased without a prescription.

One flu expert, Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, said the development was "disconcerting" as flu now has joined the ranks of other diseases, such as tuberculosis and HIV, that recently have acquired the ability to resist front-line medications.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Una niña indonesia muere de gripe aviarYahoo! Noticias : Portada

Reuters - JAKARTA (Reuters) - Una niña indonesia de 13 años murió durante este fin de semana de gripe aviar, mientras que otros dos miembros de su familia tendrían el virus H5N1, anunció el lunes un responsable del Ministerio de Sanidad citando análisis locales.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Russians Claim Vaccine For Bird Flulinkfilter.net - fresh links

Scientists at the Poultry Breeding Institute have announced development of a vaccine against the deadly bird flu which can be passed to humans. It offers reliable immunity for domestic poultry against the H5N1 virus several weeks after vaccination, Russian Vesti TV channel quoted by BBC News reported Saturday.     Blood tests taken in the course of experiments have shown that the antibodies formed under the effects of the vaccine completely destroy the virus.  

Posted by dymaxion at 04:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Turkije meldt vierde vogelgriepdodeNOS Nieuws

ANKARA In Turkije is een vierde dode gevallen door de vogelgriep. Het meisje dat dit weekeinde overleed, was besmet met H5N1,de gevaarlijke variant van het vogelgriepvirus, meldt het Turkse ministerie van Volksgezondheid.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indonesisk flicka avled av fågelinfluensaDN - Senaste Nytt

En 13-årig indonesisk flicka har dött av fågelinfluensan under helgen. Två av hennes syskon har testats positivt för H5N1, uppger hälsoministeriet på måndagen enligt Reuters.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Patient in Jerusalem being tested for avian flu

Ministry, were not yet available. The H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed at least 79 people worldwide. The disease has spread in Turkey in the past few days. The Canadian Press

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Malta ceases poultry importation from Croatia

... Malta ceases poultry importation from Croatia MaltaMedia, Malta - Jan 14, 2006The most recent measures to exclude the possibility of the H5N1 virus from spreading ... negative for the H5N1 strain, according to preliminary results. The boy was identified as Muhammet Ozcan ...

Information and news about the flu (including Avian Flu H5N1) | Flu Information Updates Technorati this

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Kyrgyzstan Receives $5M 'Bird Flu' Aid

The World Bank announced plans to contribute 5 million to Kyrgyzstan in the fight against the deadly bird flu virus. The Bank also has plans to release a total of 500 million for the other countries to combat the virus. Next week in China, the subject to increase the amount of financial resources in the fight against the H5N1 strain of this disease, which is also known as the avian influenza, will be settled in a meeting. No bird flu cases have been confirmed in Kyrgyzstan so far

Posted by dymaxion at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

H5N1: WHO's Sins of Omission.

new, larger familial clusters of H5N1 cases that have been reported in Turkey over the past two weeks... is deliberately withholding information that would indicate human-to-human H5N1 transmission, in order to avoid... on this significant change in the way WHO reports new cases of human H5N1 infection, visit this conversation... human deaths from the H5N1 flu virus outside of Southeast Asia. In this case, the eldest son was sick... to the first three fatalities) has died from H5N1. This is only the beginning. If you think

Posted by dymaxion at 03:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian influenza virus in mammals spreads beyond the site of infection to other organ systems

., Influenza A virus (H5N1) infection in cats causes systemic disease with potential novel routes... of Pathology and is accompanied by a commentary. Avian influenza (H5N1) is of great concern because... place during mammal-to-mammal spread are not well characterized. To assess the spread of H5N1... infected with H5N1 virus and exhibited clinical signs of disease (fever, lethargy, labored breathing, etc... and colleagues caution that because of the systemic nature of avian influenza, H5N1 virus infection needs

Posted by dymaxion at 03:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

repubblica.it » cronaca » aviaria, morta una ragazza in indonesia contagiati anche il fratello e la sorella

ragazza di 13 anni. Due dei suoi fratelli sono risultati inoltre positivi al virus H5N1, secondo quanto... morto per il virus H5N1. Il nuovo caso indonesiano non ? ancora stato confermato dai test eseguiti... virus H5N1. Un portavoce dell Oms a Giakarta ha aggiunto che l Organizzazione mondiale sta... influenza aviaria, il virus H5N1 ha causato in tutto 79 vittime in sei paesi in tutto il mondo

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Bird flu: Turkey culls 764,000 fowl

for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, and three of them have died. Authorities were trying to determine... contact between fowl and people. Officials have said all the people with confirmed H5N1 infection... of Van with a fever and a light lung infection, tested positive for the virulent H5N1 virus, increasing

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Turkey Confirms 4th Bird Flu Death

(AP) ANKARA, Turkey Preliminary Turkish tests have confirmed that a 12-year-old girl who died was infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, raising Turkey's death toll to four, health officials said Monday. Fatma Ozcan died Sunday in the eastern city of Van, but initial tests had been negative for H5N1. The Health Ministry ordered a new round of tests after her 5-year-old brother, Muhammet, tested positive Sunday, and officials said those confirmed her infection. ( 2006

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January 13, 2006

Bird flu mutatuion raises threat to humans

... By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor UK Independent 13 January 2006 The first sign that the avian flu virus H5N1 may be mutating into a form more infectious to humans has been reported by scientists ...

quickstep Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 05:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vietnam: H5N1 contained

Via VNA: Bird flu fully contained in Viet Nam: Health Ministry. Viet Nam has fully kept avian influenza under control, reported the Ministry of Health on Jan. 12. However, the country still faces a high risk of future bird flu flare-ups as well as possible H5N1 virus infection in humans in the winte...

Posted by dymaxion at 05:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Turkey testing fourth child's body for deadly avian flu strain - CBC News

Turkey testing fourth child's body for deadly avian flu strain
CBC News, Canada - 5 hours ago
... million US towards the fight against bird flu as health officials in Turkey confirmed the body of a fourth child was being tested for the deadly H5N1 strain. ...
H5N1 blamed in third child’s death Toronto Star
Swiss team cancels training camp in Turkey because of bird flu SLAM! Sports
all 3 related

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

Two Turkish girls released from hospital

Via Cihan News Agency: Two Turkish girls released after bird-flu treatment.

Two Turkish girls have been released from hospital after completing their bird flu treatment.

Eight-year-old Sumeyye Mamuk was taken to her home in the eastern Turkish province of Van on Thursday evening after two-week treatment at the Van 100th year university hospital.

On Friday, Sumeyye's cousin Nesibe Mamuk (18) was also released from hospital.

Nesibe and Sumeyye received treatment for the deadly bird flu virus which has killed three at the same hospital.

Sumeyye had contracted to the H5N1 when she hugged a dead chicken.

She is the first patient with a positive test to be discharged from Van 100th Year Hospital.

Currently, 14 people are receiving treatment at the hospitals across Turkey for bird flu. Health conditions of them were reported to be good.

ion of this outbreak is that so far, mortality has been much lower than in Asia...unless this lack of virulence is simply the price the virus is paying to be able to infect more people.

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

EU Promises $100 Million To Fight Against Bird Flu

aware of reports that the deadly H5N1 virus currently in Turkey has produced some mutations, but underscored the fact that all known human cases in Turkey had contracted the

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Bird Flu Mutation has Scientists Worried

... Bird Flu Mutation has Scientists Worried The mutation to the H5N1 bird flu virus found in one of its victims in Turkey has scientists worried ... to contain. He also said that he personally doesn’t believe that the Turkish H5N1 strain has ... being tested for H5N1. If confirmed, it would be the fourth death of a child in Turkey from avian flu. ...

fluFactorfluFacor Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 05:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


... GRIPPE AVIAIRENouvelles mesures en France face à la grippe aviaire 13 janvier 2006 - 15:36 PARIS (Reuters) ... virus H5N1 a tué trois personnes, les premières victimes en dehors de l’Asie du Sud-Est. A l’issue d ... migrateurs possibles porteurs du virus H5N1, hautement pathogène. La distribution d’aliments à l’intérieur ...

deni30 Technorati this

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'Kylie Minogue genezen van kanker'

... Nog geen reacties :: Reageer EU trekt 80 mil uit voor bestrijding vogelgriep BRUSSEL/ANKARA/PARIJS - De Europese Commissie trekt 80 miljoen euro ... aan het vogelgriepvirus H5N1 na contact met zieke kippen en andere vogels. In de plaats Diyarbakir ... was besmet met H5N1. Monsters met 'materiaal' van het meisje zijn naar een laboratorium in Ankara ...

Starradio.web-log.nl - web-log.nl Technorati this

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Ominous Mutation Found in Bird-Flu Gene

...   Ominous Mutation Found in Bird-Flu Gene Friday, January 13, 2006 Associated Press   LONDON  — Analysis of samples of the H5N1 bird flu virus from two of its ... with H5N1 from 15 to 18 on Thursday, after the virus turned up in preliminary tests on two people ...

There goes my pen ... Technorati this

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Provinces in Turkey with Reported Cases of Avian Flu


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January 12, 2006

Indonesian woman confirmed to have died of bird flu

A 29-year-old Indonesian woman who had bird flu according to a local test result has died, a hospital spokesman said on Thursday.

Ilham Patu from Jakarta's Sulianti Saroso hospital said the woman died late on Wednesday after her condition worsened.

Officials had announced she was positive for bird flu only hours earlier.


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EuroNews : Romania confronts possible first human case of bird flu

EuroNews : Romania confronts possible first human case of bird flu (info)
Posted by Declan to romania AvianFlu on Thu Jan 12 2006 at 19:58 UTC

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WHO says Turkish cases may yield new findings on H5N1

Jan 11, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – 'A World Health Organization (WHO) official says two Turkish brothers who have tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza were not sick, potentially offering scientists a rare opportunity to learn more about ...

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US emergency rooms unready for disaster

Via Reuters: US emergency rooms barely ready, report says. The report is from the American College of Emergency Physicians, and if it's bad news now, it'll be horrible when the pandemic hits.

"It shows that in every category, some states are making progress and some are lagging far behind," said Dr. Angela Gardner, an emergency physician in Texas and chair of the task force that wrote the report.

"If the emergency medical system gets a C-minus (a just below average grade) on an average day, how can it ever be expected to provide expert, efficient care during a natural disaster or terrorist attack?"

Posted by dymaxion at 06:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Infection as the sincerest form of flattery

From the Guardian Unlimited: Turkey bird flu strain may 'prefer humans'.

British scientists said tonight there was possible evidence that the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in Turkey was of a kind with a small mutation that preferred to attach itself to humans, rather than birds.

The indications of a possible mutation in the disease were found in analysis of viruses taken from two of the fatal human cases of bird flu in Turkey.

The same small signs of a preference for attaching to human cells were found in previous cases of bird flu viruses in Hong Kong in 2003 and Vietnam in 2005.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


cuatro casos con dos fallecimientos confirmados de gripe aviar del tipo H5N1 en Dogubayazit (Turquia)Y dice:
To date, all evidence indicates that patients have acquired their infections following close contact with diseased poultry. Contact between people and poultry has likely increased during the present cold weather, when the custom among many rural households is to bring poultry into their homes. Tests have shown that the virus can survive in bird faeces for at least 35 days at low temperatures (4oC).

Por lo que, afortunadamente, sigue tratándose de casos con transmisión desde animal enfermo, no desde persona enferma. Aquí una recopilación de los principales hechos producidos desde el año 1996 sobre la gripe aviar. Como se puede ver aquí estamos en la fase 3 de la alerta de pandemia por gripe aviar.

El Mundo dice que el gobierno turco ha informado de tres casos más de gripe aviar en personas residentes en Beypazari situada a unos 100km al oeste de Ankara, la capital y a unos 1000km de Dogubayazit, donde se han producido los anteriores 4 casos, de los que tres ya han fallecido, el cuarto parece que responde bien al tratamiento.

Le Monde también da información.

Una entrevista a David Nabarro comisionado por el Representative of the Director-General for Health Action in Crises de la Onu y coordinador de la ONU para una posible pandemia, publicada el 15/10/2005 en El Pais y ofrecida por Belt integramente y otra entrevista on-line al Presidente de la Soc. Esp. de Epidemiología, Ildefonso Hernández, publicada el 21 de Octubre de 2005 con dos enfoques totalmente distintos del problema, permiten ver que es un tema complejo.

Los enfermos en los que se ha aislado el H5N1 ya son 14 y los fallecidos 3. Las provincias con afectados son Samsun, Kastamonu, Çorum y Van. La OMS actualiza su site.

Ayer la OMS reconoció el caso 15 de gripe aviar en Turquia en la provincia de Sivas.

Aquí un mapa de con las provincias de Turkía. Y abajo presento las siete provincias con casos.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Two More Bird Flu-Related Deaths in China - Edward CodyChina Digital Times

From the Washington Post:

The World Health Organization announced Wednesday that two more people have died of bird flu in China, raising to five the number of those who have succumbed here to the deadly H5N1 virus.

The victims were identified as a 10-year-old female student in southern China's Guangxi province and a 35-year-old vendor in Jiangxi province in the east, both of whom died last month after contact with infected fowl. Roy Wadia, the WHO spokesman in Beijing, said the Chinese government reported the deaths during the past 48 hours in response to a WHO request for updated data on the bird flu situation.

More on this topic, via Google News.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird Flu News - Europe ratchets up measures to prevent spread of bird flu (AFP)Bird Flu News

Europe ratchets up measures to prevent spread of bird flu (AFP)
AFP - Authorities in Europe were stepping up precautions as bird flu lapped against its borders following an outbreak of the deadly viral disease in humans in Turkey.

Two More Turks Test Positive for Bird Flu (AP)
AP - Two more Turks tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in preliminary tests, the government said Thursday, bringing the total number of human infections to 18. Both victims were from the stricken southeast, and had been in contact with infected birds, officials said.

Iran makes Turkey border poultry-free zone (AFP)
AFP - Iran is destroying all poultry in an area along its border with Turkey in an effort to create a buffer against the spread of bird flu.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New test could monitor bird flu virus mutationsArmenian Medical Network

A new test may help provide a kind of early warning system for new and dangerous mutations of the avian flu virus, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

The test could alert scientists to when the virus starts to change into a form that easily infects people, the researchers report in the Journal of Molecular Biology.

The test, called a glycan array, shows it would take very little change for the H5N1 avian influenza virus to cause a human pandemic, said Ian Wilson of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. “It would appear that two mutations could change the specificity dramatically going from avian to human,” Wilson said in a statement.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird Flu News - Tests show birdflu virus is evolving as expected (Reuters)Bird Flu News

Tests show birdflu virus is evolving as expected (Reuters)
Reuters - Genetic tests of samples taken from Turkish victims of the bird flu virus show it has made a small change, but probably not enough to make it more dangerous yet, researchers said on Thursday.

Turkey announces third bird flu death, new infections amid fears of spread (AFP)
AFP - Turkey announced its third bird flu death and two new cases of human infection as the authorities mounted a public information campaign to combat the disease, which experts fear may spread into neighbouring countries.

Muslims perform last rites as haj winds down (Reuters)
Reuters - Muslim pilgrims performed final rites of the haj on Thursday, as the pilgrimage wound down safely after fears of the possible spread of bird flu and a repeat of the deadly stampedes of past years.

Turkey Accused of Slow Bird-Flu Response (AP)
AP - Local officials accused Turkey&#039;s government Thursday of moving too slowly to slaughter fowl when bird flu was still confined to birds, as the number of people infected with the deadly H5N1 strain climbed to 18.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Turkey Says 70 People Hospitalized with Bird Flu SymptomsMND NewsLog

Turkish officials say about 70 people are hospitalized across the country with symptoms of avian influenza, and one more person has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus, bringing Turkey's total number of infections to 15.

The World Health Organization has so far confirmed four of the infections in Turkey, and says all came from direct contact with sick birds.

Turkish officials have stepped up an information campaign to inform people about the dangers posed by infected birds. They are also slaughtering flocks suspected of infection and increasing health inspections along transit routes.

In Ukraine, health officials today confirmed new cases of H5N1 in birds at three poultry farms on the Crimean peninsula.

In Russia, President Vladimir Putin Tuesday, ordered officials to develop a plan to protect the country against bird flu.

Bird flu has killed more than 70 people in Asia since 2003, and at least two people in Turkey.

source: voanews.com MND Newslog is a service of MensNewsDaily.com.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird Flu News - Deadly bird flu could become endemic in Turkey: UN vets (AFP)Bird Flu News

Deadly bird flu could become endemic in Turkey: UN vets (AFP)
AFP - The lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu that killed two teenagers in Turkey could become firmly entrenched there and pose a danger to countries nearby, United Nations animal health experts warned.

WHO announces two more bird flu deaths in China (AFP)
AFP - Two more Chinese nationals diagnosed with bird flu have died from the disease, a World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman said, bringing the total number of fatalities in China to five.

Donors urged to give 1.5 billion to fight bird flu (AFP)
AFP - A UN official in charge of leading the battle against the avian flu outbreak called on donors to contribute around 1.5 billion dollars (1.25 billion euros) at a pledging conference in Beijing next week.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Fear Contagionwashingtonpost.com - Sunday Outlook

For two years, a deadly strain of chicken flu known as H5N1 has been killing birds in Asia. While slightly more than 100 people are known to have contracted the disease, and 60 of them have died, there is still no sign that the flu has begun to spread from person to person.

Posted by dymaxion at 06:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

China registra primeiro foco do vírus H5N1 em 2006Estadao.com.br :: Ciência

O Ministério da Agricultura da China confirmou nesta quarta-feira o primeiro foco do vírus letal H5N1 entre aves em ...

Posted by dymaxion at 06:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pandemic plans How would the UK stop thousands dying from human bird flu?

could possibly bring the most dangerous H5N1 strain to Britain. Tests have been carried out on 3,000 wild birds across the country to see what strains of bird flu are being carried

Posted by dymaxion at 06:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Third Turkish avian flu death confirmed

the 11-year-old girl died of the H5N1 virus after the flu-related deaths of her 14-year-old brother and 15-year-old sister. It's believed all three children had been playing with

Posted by dymaxion at 06:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Centrally coordinated control campaign crucial to battle bird flu

... The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned today that the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza virus H5N1 could become endemic in Turkey and poses a serious risk to neighbouring countries. “The virus may be spreading despite ...

Medical and health information and tools from Armenian Medical Network Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 06:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

L'état étudie une évolution des zones de confinement.

... L'état étudie une évolution des zones de confinement. PARIS (Reuters) ... d'élevage et les oiseaux migrateurs, susceptibles de propager le virus H5N1. "Nous prenons un ...

la grippe aviaire : le nouveau risque mondial ? Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 06:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aanwijzingen voor mutatie dodelijk vogelgriepvirus

... Britse wetenschappers zeggen aanwijzingen te hebben dat het potentieel dodelijke vogelgriepvirus H5N1 muteert. Dat maakt de kans groter dat ook besmettingen van mens op mens mogelijk worden. Een ... ...

Chantalle.web-log.nl - web-log.nl Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 06:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

La cepa H5N1 hallada en víctimas turcas es de las más virulentas

... La cepa H5N1 hallada en el cuerpo de dos víctimas turcas de la gripe aviar pertenece a un tipo especialmente virulento que ya se detectó en Asia en ... una versión especialmente virulenta de la cepa H5N1 de la gripe aviar que presenta una mutación ... variante H5N1 de gripe aviar ha infectado a 150 personas en seis países y ha causado la muerte de 78 ...

emsworld Technorati this

Posted by dymaxion at 06:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2006

Black Dawn: The Next Pandemic

New Page 4

Here's a heads up for our Canadian readers: For the rest of us, we can only hope that this valuable and well done program gets picked up by other stations around the world.


Black Dawn: The Next Pandemic

A fifth estate “What if….”



“The only thing this virus hasn’t learned yet is how to transmit between humans.   If that happens, we are in great trouble in the world.” Dr. Robert Webster, Director, U.S. Collaborating Center, WHO


Black Dawn, a fifth estate docudrama, imagines a world where human-to-human transmission of the avian flu (H5N1) virus is a certainty.  Authorities in Geneva confirm what has long been expected and feared.  And so the race is on to contain the spread of the virus before it engulfs the entire planet and to develop a vaccine before too many die. 


Black Dawn follows a fictional character – a nurse - as the avian flu spreads around the world and arrives in Canada.  She and her family struggle to cope as society disintegrates.  The airwaves are full of disturbing images: a London anchor reports on the closure of public transit;  a Karachi correspondent describes an overflowing hospital; a huckster tries to sell an avian flu protection kit;  mountains of garbage build up on the streets as municipal services shut down; as the death count mounts, public hockey arenas are used for storing body bags.  Much of what is depicted in this program will seem unimaginable but it is all based on the best expert projections currently available.


The hour-long docudrama poses critical questions for the viewer to consider: Should governments close schools and workplaces?  How should people prepare themselves? Who should get drugs as they become available?  When is it time to call in the army?


Black Dawn asks the world’s leading experts to imagine the impact avian flu would have. Their opinions are combined with documentary recreations to paint a starkly realistic picture of life during the next pandemic.  Some predict the coming pandemic will be more lethal than all of the world’s previous plagues.  All agree it will test society like never before.


See this special Wednesday, January 11 at 9 p.m. on CBC Television and for more information, visit the website at  http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/  for profiles of experts from the story who are world leaders in flu research, links to the preparedness plans of the World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada, practical information about vaccines and antivirals and more.


Executive producer of Black Dawn is Jim Williamson and senior producer is Jane Mingay. Executive producer of the fifth estate is David Studer and senior producer is Sally Reardon.



Posted by dymaxion at 12:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2006

What do the latest outbreaks in Turkey mean?

Revere goes over the possibilities at Effect Measure.

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

Influenza A Virus (H5N1) Infection in Cats Causes Systemic Disease with Potential Novel Routes of Virus Spread within and between Hosts.

Influenza A Virus (H5N1) Infection in Cats Causes Systemic Disease with Potential Novel Routes of Virus Spread within and between Hosts. (info)
Guus F Rimmelzwaan et al.
The American journal of pathology. 168 (1), 176-83 (Jan 2006)
Posted by Declan to cats AvianFlu transmission papers on Tue Jan 10 2006 at 19:03 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 07:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHO | Avian influenza – situation in Turkey - update 3

WHO | Avian influenza – situation in Turkey - update 3 (info)
Posted by Declan to turkey AvianFlu on Tue Jan 10 2006 at 21:52 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 07:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another Bird Flu Case Found in Turkey

Turkey’s 15th positive test for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu — a person hospitalized in the central Anatolian city of Sivas — was disclosed by the Health Ministry official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of ...

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

Dozens In Japan May Have Mild Bird Flu - CBS News

Dozens In Japan May Have Mild Bird Flu
CBS News - 8 hours ago
... Those who may have been infected showed evidence of antibodies to the H5N2 virus, which is weaker than the deadly H5N1 form, the official said. ...
Japan Tests Show 77 People Exposed to Mild Bird Flu (Update1) Bloomberg
Weak bird flu hits Japan Melbourne Herald Sun
Mild bird flu strikes at least 77 Japanese Mainichi Daily News
Xinhua - Forbes - all 147 related

Posted by dymaxion at 07:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Is H5N1 far more common than we thought?

Via the Washington Times: Study questions bird-flu paranoia.

Dr. Anna Thorson of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, who led the study, said that although survey subjects were not tested for the H5N1 avian-flu virus, researchers think the participants had it. Researchers also said concern about a pandemic has been fueled by the fact that only the worst human cases have been reported to health officials since the 2003 outbreak in Asia.

"The verified human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Vietnam may represent only a selection of the most severely ill patients," the study says.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said yesterday that he has reservations about the study. He said that without blood tests it is impossible to know whether the people had influenza, much less avian influenza.

conclusion would seem to be a major survey in known H5N1 hot zones, to see if the general population has H5N1 antibodies.

Posted by dymaxion at 07:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Independent on Turkey

A good summary of a bad situation is available on the site of the Independent Online. The opening paragraphs:

Bird flu swept westwards through Turkey to the borders of Europe, sending local people scurrying to hospital for tests for the lethal infection. Officials said 78 people were suspected of having the virus which has killed three children in the east and may have infected a dozen more in the capital, Ankara.

In Istanbul, Turkey's largest city and the gateway to Europe, 23 people, half of them children, were being tested in hospital.

Russia banned travel to Turkey yesterday and Iran closed its border with the country.

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

Turkish bird flu crisis growsThe Standard - Latest News

Turkey has announced five more human cases of bird flu countrywide, bringing to 14 the number of people stricken by the lethal H5N1 virus and raising fresh alarms over its menacing westward advance.

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

Turkey FluJoshuah Bearman

Looks like the H5N1 strain killed two children in rural Turkey. That marks the first fatalities ouside East Asia, a milestone that the WHO official quoted in the WP story says does not change the global pandemic risk. Well, that's reassuring -- considereing the current risk assessment is that a pandemic is almost certain. For more on why the outlook is so grim, check out my interview with Mike Davis on the topic in Salon. Mike digests his new book, Monster at the Door, which lays out the dangers of this particular virus, and why those dangers are amplified by global poverty and the  government ineptitude and neo-liberalism that perpetuates that poverty. It's a good, if you don't mind getting a little unnerved.

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

Ukrainian health officials confirms bird flu outbreak in three farmsBig News Network.com - Moscow News

health officials said Tuesday they had confirmed another outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in three poultry farms on Ukraine's southern

Posted by dymaxion at 07:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2006

Nothing But Questions Emerging from Turkey

The news out of Turkey is discomforting. What's most troubling is that it is different from anything we've seen since we first started H5N1Drome back in the summer when it became clear to us that this major looming threat needed watching.  We are not medical experts but we do know how to gather information from around the world in a quite efficient way and how to pass that on to visitors to our site.

Over this rather brief period, much has happened in terms of raising awareness to the potential for a pandemic. Although a few wags around the mainstream media might have called the Avian Flu threat the biggest non-story of 2005, few were so dense as to think the threat was somehow little more than hype or that it had been put away.

For us, we can be thankful for the dedication of a few journalists and bloggers who have tirelessly worked on the story.  Their diligence has provided a baseline in what is an inherently a confusing story stretching across nations and continents.  One worrisome truth is that no one knows how many birds have died from this flu that is being incubated in the bird species but has crossed over to other species, including our own. More importantly, we don't know how many humans have contracted the disease nor how many of died.  For the record, the World Health Organization is keeping accurate track of proven cases.  Their latest available numbers indicate that there were 142 confirmed human cases with more than half, 74, proving fatal. It's not clear if this number counts the three deaths in Turkey and the one newly reported death in Indonesia.

What the latest news from Turkey underlines however, is that these numbers do not even represent a major percentage of cases and deaths that have been reported but not verified, something that still requires sophisticated technology missing from most of the target zones.  More significantly, we can see from the story emerging from Turkey, sickness and death can go unreported and under the radar for a number of economic and political reasons.  A Japanese scientist working for the WHO reported several months ago that he suspected that the numbers in China are significantly higher but information there was suppressed. In the case of the deaths in Van, Turkey that have burst on the scene in the last couple of days, the people involved, at least in Van are apparently members of a politically unpopular group, Turkish Kurds.

What is most strange about the Turkish outbreak of human cases, Reuters is now reporting 14 confirmed, is that there has been almost no news of sick birds in the stricken region in an eastern corner of Turkey near the Armenian and Iran borders. In Asia, the ratio of stricken and destroyed fowl to human cases has clearly been in the thousand to one range.  Here, we are suddenly --and it must be noted at a very early stage-- facing 14 confirmed cases, or 10% of all human cases confirmed to date. We find that highly problematic.

So far, WHO is reporting that the virus has not changed in any significant way and that all the human cases are B2H, or bird to human, if we can borrow the shorthand of our colleague to the North, Crof. But this is early on.  We are used to seeing reported cases long before we seen confirmed cases and we know that there are a number of people in hospital in Turkey, as far west as Ankara, who have come down with the symptoms of Avian Flu.

We've been told that as long as the virus doesn't mutate, it will not be lethal enough to pass easily from H2H. We have also seen lab tests confirm, disconfirm and then reconfirm findings.  Can we be sure the virus has not recombined in some very subtle but lethal way? How can we know that all of these people have come in contract with infected birds?  Is it possible that many Asians have developed some immunity to the virus that others have not? As of last week, we didn't even know there were many infected birds in Turkey. It just hadn't been reported.

This is a story that bears close watching.  You can be sure that we will be staying on top of it.

Posted by dymaxion at 05:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Dozens" of Cases?

THREE people in Ankara, the Turkish capital, have been found to be suffering from H5N1 bird flu, and dozens of cases are suspected across the country as the virus spreads rapidly westwards towards Turkey?s European provinces.

Posted by dymaxion at 03:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Two more Confirmed Bird Flu Patients in Van, Turkey

Two Turkish children were confirmed to have been infected with deadly strain of H5N1 which was blamed for death of three siblings in the province of Van. Sumeyye Mamuk, 5, and Yusuf Tunc, 8, who have been receiving treatment at Van hospitals along with 35 other suspected patients, were confirmed to have been carrying H5N1 strain. Health conditions of the children were reported to be good Copyright 2002 Turks.US Daily News All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned

Posted by dymaxion at 03:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

China Develops Live H5N1 Vaccine for Use with Farm Birds

China plans to produce 1 billion doses of a new bird flu vaccine for animals that is designed to make an effort to inoculate the country’s billions of farm birds faster and cheaper, state media reported Monday.. more… ...

Posted by dymaxion at 03:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

China confirms latest human bird flu case - Reuters AlertNet

China confirms latest human bird flu case
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 4 hours ago
The boy, surnamed Ouyang and from Guiyang county in the central province of Hunan, is undergoing treatment in hospital for the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus ...
China announces 8th human case of bird flu Times of India
China confirms eighth human case of bird flu Forbes
China announces 8th human case of bird flu Xinhua
TODAYonline - TMCnet - all 28 related

Posted by dymaxion at 03:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indonesia: Another B2H case?

The Jakarta Post reports Indonesia treating new suspected human case of bird flu.

Indonesian doctors said Sunday they were treating a 29-year-old woman believed to be suffering from bird flu, which has so far killed at least 11 people across the country.

The patient, Sri Mukti, was admitted to Jakarta's Sulianto Saroso Hospital for Infectious Disease early Sunday after falling ill with pneumonia-like symptoms on Thursday, said hospital spokesman Ilham Patu.

Ilham told AFP that Mukti had been in contact with her neighbor's dead chickens in her east Jakarta home earlier this week.

Posted by dymaxion at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Sub-optimal surveillance"

Via Yahoo News, Klaus Stoehr of WHO's influenza program observes that Bird flu cluster in Turkey points to surveillance problems. By comparison with H5N1 in Asia, the Turkish cases have emerged with explosive speed. Stoehr says:

"If we were dealing with a virus of a different characteristic, with higher transmissibility between humans, we would have first seen more cases among health care workers, among the playmates of these children, more cases in the village, than what we are seeing now.

"So it's more likely that the animal disease is more widespread than we anticipated than before ... the disease was detected among animals two months ago, and there has been apparently sub-optimal surveillance among animals ongoing for quite some time."

Posted by dymaxion at 03:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Should you "stock up on basics"?

Thanks to the reader who spotted the US HHS news release about preparing for pandemic, along with a story from WebMD that seems to send very mixed signals: Flu Pandemic Guide: Stock Up on Basics.

Having summarized the HHS advice, WebMD goes on to quote Dr. Michael Osterholm as an "opposition view":

He tells WebMD that stockpiling supplies of food and water could help individuals isolate themselves from sick people, but that supplies of "a month or months" would be needed to ensure adequate distancing.

The plan also calls on people to "talk to their doctor" about obtaining supplies of prescription medications that could be in shortage during a pandemic, a scenario that Osterholm says is "effectively impossible."

Most drug manufacturers keep low inventories of drugs and instead sell them about as quickly as they make them, he says. Also, most private insurance plans don't allow patients to obtain more than a 30-day drug supply for current use.

"You can't go out and buy a 60-day supply and if you did that the inventory would dry up overnight," says Osterholm, who has been encouraging the government and businesses to come up with emergency supply plans for the U.S. economy.

ing and a little disturbing that the big American health authorities don't seem to be delivering a consistent message. It's as if HHS was so traumatized by Hurricane Katrina that the government doesn't want to be stuck with any kind of responsibility in a pandemic. So stock up, circle the wagons, hunker down, and wait for the cavalry to come over the hill in a year or two.

Meanwhile Osterholm is making too much sense. Maybe I agree with him because as a science-fiction writer I'm always trying to extrapolate a little farther. The idea of turning every man's home into his literal castle just doesn't work.

What's the point of bottled water if running water stops altogether? How long would it take your toilet to look like those in the New Orleans convention center? What are you going to do about your clothes and sheets?

And what if the power goes off? No computer, no TV, maybe a battery-powered radio...and a freezer full of rotting food. Where are you going to put it, and who's going to come by and collect it for you?

Suppose someone sees all those cheery candles glowing in your windows, and breaks in to take what you've stored. Will you be able to count on the cops? Or will you just shoot the guy and drag his corpse out to the end of the driveway?

From the point of view of a feckless and incompetent government, it makes sense to tell people to take care of themselves. From the point of view of the people themselves, it makes no sense at all. If the pandemic breaks out on Monday, maybe you can hang in there with doors locked and curtains drawn until Friday or Saturday. After that, you're going to have to start cooperating with other people, and they're going to have to cooperate with you.

Even if it's just the people in your apartment building, or in your townhouse complex, such a group is going to give you better odds of survival than you can hope for as an individual or couple or small family. The bigger the group, the better the odds. A pandemic is no place for a rugged individual.

Posted by dymaxion at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Opnieuw mensen met vogelgriep besmet in TurkijeDe Morgen / telexberichten

Na de uitbraak van de vogelgriep in Turkije zijn opnieuw vijf mensen met het virus besmet. Dat deelde het ministerie van Gezondheid maandag in Ankara mee. Daarmee is het aantal met vogelgriep besmette mensen in Turkije opgelopen tot twaalf. Vier patiënten komen uit provincies aan de Zwarte Zee, de vijfde uit de Oost-Turkse provincie Van, aldus het persagentschap Anadolu. Of het om de gevaarlijke virusvariant H5N1 gaat, werd niet uitdrukkelijk meegedeeld.

Posted by dymaxion at 03:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aparecen tres nuevos casos de gripe aviar cerca de AnkaraELPAIS.es

La gripe aviar se extiende por Turquía. El Gobierno de Ankara anunció ayer que estudia tres nuevos casos, los de dos niños y un adulto, que se encuentran ingresados en la capital. Con ello ya son siete los casos: dos niños que han fallecido por el virus H5N1, otro niño que también tiene el H5N1 y otras cuatro personas.

Posted by dymaxion at 03:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grippe aviaire en Turquie: 12 malades, propagation jusqu'à IstanbulTV5.org info - Médecine/santé

Douze malades, tous porteurs du virus hautement pathogène H5N1 de la grippe aviaire, étaient hospitalisés en Turquie lundi, alors que l'épizootie s'est étendue à l'ensemble du territoire, atteignant la banlieue d'Istanbul.

Posted by dymaxion at 03:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2006.01.06: Secretary Leavitt Releases Guide to Help Individuals and Families Get Informed and Be Prepared For a Pandemic

2006.01.06: Secretary Leavitt Releases Guide to Help Individuals and Families Get Informed and Be Prepared For a Pandemic (info)
Posted by Declan and 1 other to pandemic plans AvianFlu on Sat Jan 07 2006 at 17:54 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 03:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian flu maps in Google Earth

Avian flu maps in Google Earth (info)
Nature has a Google Earth map of avian flu outbreaks online tonight. The visualization of avian flu outbreaks is the first online map, to my knowledge, of each of the more than 1800 individual outbreaks of avian flu in birds that have been reported over the past two years. It also provides a geographical overview of confirmed human cases of infection with the H5N1 influenza virus.

Posted by dymaxion at 03:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Göteborgs-Posten - Dödligt virus sprider sig i Turkiet

Posted by dymaxion at 03:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

who best??tigt vogelgrippevirus h5n1 in der t??rkei - lübecker nachrichten

Genf (dpa) - Bei dem Vogelgrippevirus, das zwei Kinder in der T?rkei get?tet hat, handelt es sich um den aggressiven Typ H5N1. Das erkl?rte die Weltgesundheitsorganisation in Genf. Das von der WHO beauftragte Labor in Gro?britannien habe das best?tigt. Proben eines verstorbenen dritten Geschwisterkindes sowie eines erkrankten sechsj?hrigen Bruders w?rden noch auf den Virustyp untersucht, hie? es. Die Vogelgrippe in der T?rkei breitet sich nach den ersten Todesf?llen im Osten des Landes weiter

Posted by dymaxion at 03:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

No Title

AVIAN FLU UPDATE: THE number of Turkish people thought to be infected with avian flu rose to more than 50 this weekend, prompting concern that the disease may be about to spread into Europe. Yesterday a British laboratory confirmed that a Turkish brother and sister who died last week had the feared H5N1 strain of avian flu. A third child from the same family in Dogubayazit, in eastern... in the UK said that they have detected H5N1 in samples of the two fatal cases, said Maria Cheng

Posted by dymaxion at 03:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2006

Third sibling dies of suspected bird flu strain in Turkey; children played with dead chickensThe Associated Press

VAN, Turkey (AP) An 11-year-old girl died Friday of suspected bird flu in eastern Turkey days after her brother and sister also succumbed. Their doctor said they probably contracted the illness by playing with dead chickens.

A fourth sibling from the same family was also seriously ill and breathing with the help of respirators, said Huseyin Avni Sahin, head physician at the hospital in the eastern city of Van where the children were treated.

A hospital official said up to 30 other people were being treated for possible bird flu symptoms early Friday, as Turkey sent medicines to the affected area in an effort to mobilize against a virus that appeared to be moving westward from eastern Asia.

Preliminary tests in Turkey indicated two of the siblings died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu. If confirmed by further testing, it would be the first human deaths from the strain outside eastern Asian areas where more than 70 people have died. Samples were being sent to a British lab for confirmation.

Authorities are closely monitoring H5N1, for fear it could mutate into a form easily passed between humans and spark a pandemic.

Hulya Kocyigit, 11, died in a hospital in Van a day after her 15-year-old sister, Fatma Kocyigit, succumbed to the disease, Sahin said. Their brother Mehmet Ali Kocyigit, 14, died on Sunday.

The doctor said the youngsters most likely contracted the virus while playing with the heads of dead chickens infected with the disease, which explains why the parents were not affected. The Turkish newspaper Sabah said the children had tossed the chicken heads like balls inside their house in Dogubayazit, near the Iranian border.

Another 25-30 people had come in to the hospital for blood tests, received medical care and left, a hospital official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media. Other doctors in contact with the patients were not reachable early Friday morning.

Officials tried to calm the rising fears.

``We don't expect the disease to contaminate a large number of people,'' Health Minister Recep Akdag said. ``We don't expect a pandemic or anything like that in Turkey, but there is a real risk for people who are in close contact with fowl.''

Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker traveled to Van to discuss the situation with local officials Thursday.

``We're facing an important problem,'' Eker told reporters. ``We should calmly take all measures required by science and medicine and implement them without panicking.''

Eker said the problem of containing bird flu in eastern Turkey is aggravated by the fact that almost every house has fowl and they allow them to go inside their homes at night when temperatures drop.

Most of those who have died from the disease so far were farm workers who came in close contact with fowl from Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia according to the World Health Organization.

Birds in Turkey, Romania, Russia and Croatia have recently tested positive for H5N1.

Authorities have said the virus was believed to have been brought by birds migrating from Caucasus regions.

Associated Press reporters Selcan Hacaoglu and Suzan Fraser in Ankara and Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mapping Bird Flu Outbreak Through Google Earth...

For a start, the avian flu H5N1 outbreak Google Earth map, created by Declan Butler, provides a geographical overview of confirmed human cases of infection with the H5N1 influenza virus within the last 2 years. ...

Posted by dymaxion at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Human H5N1 case confirmed in Jiangxi

Human H5N1 case confirmed in Jiangxi China Daily, China - Dec 15, 2005 The man, who fell ill on December 4 with fever and symptom of pneumonia, is being the samples of Guo and found he was infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus. ...

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Jakarta says needs nearly $1 bln to fight bird flu - Reuters AlertNet

Jakarta says needs nearly $1 bln to fight bird flu
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 6 hours ago
... also said the government planned to set up surveillance posts at every village across the sprawling archipelago to detect any signs of the deadly H5N1 bird flu ...
Indonesia costs bird flu fight at $1b ABC Online
Indonesian tests show man dies of bird flu Jakarta Post
Second child dies from bird flu Channel 4 News
all 15 related

Posted by dymaxion at 11:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aftershocks in Van—and elsewhere

Thanks to the reader who sent me the link to this CNN.com story: Bird flu claims 2nd Turkish child. The story's importance isn't in reporting the death of Fatma Kocyigit, but in the number of persons now in hospital:

Eighteen other people, many of them members of the teenagers' family, are ill with flu-like symptoms in the city of Van in eastern Turkey.

The head doctor of the hospital in Van said 12 of them are in critical condition and have been admitted to the facility. The doctor said he is in urgent need of more respirators to be able to treat all the patients.

Preliminary tests conducted on the patients were negative for bird flu, the doctor said, but more comprehensive testing has been done and the samples sent to Ankara and Istanbul. It's not known when the results will be back.

nother reader has sent me a link to Cihan News, which reports 27 persons currently under treatment for suspected H5N1 in several parts of the country. I've created a permanent link to Cihan in H5N1 News Sources and Websites.

As far as I know, nothing like this has happened in Indonesia, Thailand, China, or even Vietnam. I will be away from my computer for much of this evening, but if anyone finds relevant new information from Turkey and the Caucasus, please let me know.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New bird flu deaths not start of pandemic-expertsKeralaNext:

LONDON - The death of two teenagers in Turkey from bird flu, the first human cases of the disease outside China and southeast Asia, is a serious concern but not the start of a pandemic, health experts said on Thursday. Fatma Kocyigit, a 15-year-old girl from a remote area near the Armenian border, died early on Thursday less than a week after the death of her 14-year-old brother, Mehmet Ali. Turkish officials said tests at two laboratories showed the boy died of the H5N1 bird flu virus. Further tests are being done to confirm if it is the same strain of the virus that has killed 74 people in Asia since 2003.

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Grippe aviaire : 3è victime en Turquie [06/01/2006 07:06]Actualité - Le Quotidien Permanent - NouvelObs.com

Une troisième personne, une enfant de 11 ans, est décédée ce matin des suites de la maladie. Le virus H5N1 est soupçonné.

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U.S. chicken industry launches avian flu testing program

affected by Asian bird flu (the H5N1 highly pathogenic form of avian flu ), and more than 99% of all the chicken consumed in the United States is produced in the United States, with

Posted by dymaxion at 11:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Third Child Dies in Turkey

... The third child of the Kocyigit family died today from the H5N1 virus. Doctors reported that up to 30 people came into the hospital with symptoms. The cases have all involved individuals in contact ...

Annie's News Technorati this

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... Morreram duas crianças na turquia com a estirpe aviária do vírus da gripe. E foi muito fácil descobrir isto, segundo palavras do pai: - eles andavam a chocar aquela gripe já há algum tempo... Aquele abraço amigo... ...

Ainda estou sentado...Mas qualquer dia standup! Technorati this

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January 04, 2006

A 12th B2H death in Indonesia?

Via TMC.net: 12th bird flu victim dies as gov't readies 3-year-plan.

Mahalis (his only name) died shortly after he was admitted to a hospital here. He will be Indonesia's 12th victim of the avian flu virus if tests confirm suspicions based largely on the fact that he came from Tangerang, a town due southwest of Jakarta, where outbreaks among fowl were previously reported.

Given the slowness of Indonesian testing, we may know by the end of January if this was a real H5N1 case or something else. The back-and-forth reports out of Jakarta make it very hard to understand what's happening and who's really ill.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

All about Tamiflu

Thanks to the reader who sent me the link to All About Tamiflu, on Medical News Today. It's a detailed but concise summary of information about the drug, its background, and its use.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

China bird flu fatality 'never touched poultry'

A woman who died last week from H5N1 avian influenza had no known contact with poultry and seldom ate poultry meat, Chinese state media said today. The 41-year-old factory worker died on December 21 in the southeastern city of Sanming, Fujian province, an urban area where China has reported no outbreaks of the virus among birds or other animals. But she had no contact with infected birds and no bird flu infections were found in Sanming. Zhou's relatives also said that she did not like

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

St. Jude's doctor questions China's vaccine

China is most likely using substandard poultry vaccine or not enough good vaccine, which would explain recent outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in poultry, a prominent virologist said on Thursday. [...] If you use a good vaccine you can prevent the transmission within poultry and to humans. But if they have been using vaccines now (in China) for several years, why is there so much bird flu? Webster told Reuters in Hong Kong. There is bad vaccine that stops the disease

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H5N1: informazione diretta

La notizia pi? submarine di questo inizio 2006 ? l influenza aviaria (H5N1). Non ne parla pi? nessuno . Gli italiani che hanno comprato decine di migliaia di dosi di tamiflu cominceranno.... Lultima morte sospetta per H5N1 ? avvenuta luned? 2 gennaio 2006 allospedale Sulianti Saroso di Jakarta... il dodicesimo decesso di H5N1 in Indonesia. La contabilit? mortuaria ? a questo punto di 75 morti per H5N1 dal dicembre 2003 , tutti in Asia: -Cambogia 4 -Cina 3 -Indonesia 12

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

< sz-online | sachsen im netz >

Vogelgrippe bricht in China wieder aus Peking - In China ist erneut die Vogelgrippe ausgebrochen. Wie die chinesischen Beh?rden am Mittwoch mitteilten, wurde der auch f?r den Menschen gef?hrliche Virus vom Typ H5N1 in der s?dwestlichen Provinz Sichuan nachgewiesen. Seit Ende Dezember seien im Gebiet um die Stadt Dazhu mehr als 1800 V?gel verendet. Daraufhin h?tten Arbeiter damit begonnen, knapp 13.000 Tiere auf umliegenden Gefl?gelfarmen vorsorglich zu t?ten. Seit Anfang vergangenen Jahres

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Another Bird Flu Outbreak Confirmed by Chinese

by Jim Kouri - The Chinese government confirmed on Tuesday that an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has occurred in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. The 1,800 poultry which died in a village in the Dazhu County were confirmed to have H5N1, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture said... been culled to contain spread, according to the China Daily. H5N1 is the bird flu virus... capable of killing millions. The H5N1 virus has killed more than 70 people in Asia since late 2003

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Bird flu increases Kimchi sales

Blame it on the Internet, the anxiety of life in the 21st century, or a volatile combination of the two, but publication of a minor study by a South Korean academic last spring has apparently triggered a minor run on kimchi, a daily staple of the Korean diet that the bland-of-palate are likely to avoid like a global pandemic.

Which presents a potentially difficult choice given the work of Kang Sa-Ouk of Seoul National University, who took 13 chickens infected with avian flu virus and a couple of other diseases, fed them kimchi juice and found that 11 of the birds recovered.

Read more in the Washington Post.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

California institute reports on progress towards flu vaccine

Cheroutre's concept focused on M2, a protein common to all influenza A viruses, including avian flu strains. Her insight was to suggest using a portion of the M2 protein to immunize Transchromosomic miceTM, which are mice genetically-engineered to produce human antibodies. The TC MouseTM Technology, developed by Kirin's Pharmaceutical Division, allowed researchers to obtain influenza M2-specific human antibodies.

In conducting the research, Gemini scientists used synthetically created pieces of the H5NI avian flu virus, along with a number of other synthesized virus pieces, to analyze the effectiveness of the human anti-M2 antibodies, which had been created from theTranschromosomic miceTM. "In laboratory (in vitro) testing, they found that the anti-M2 antibodies bound to several different influenza strains, including the avian flu virus (H5N1)," Cheroutre said. "This reactivity means that if used in vivo (in a living organism) the infected cells would be recognized by the antibody and destroyed by the immune system." The study also found that a relatively low dose of the antibodies was needed to fight the various flu strains.

While most of the work was done on virus pieces to avoid the risk of using actual viruses, Gemini also tested the M2 antibodies on mice infected with a potentially lethal influenza strain, with similarities to the avian flu virus. "They found that those mice which received the human M2 antibody were protected, while those mice that did not get the M2 antibody would die," Cheroutre said.

Based upon the lab and mice testing, Gemini Science is now initiating pre-clinical studies required for the commencement of human clinical testing of the anti-M2 antibody, said Shinichiro Kato, Ph.D., Gemini's Chief Scientific Officer. Gemini, which is testing the antibody both as a treatment and preventative measure against flu, has expedited the research due to the recent cases of avian flu. Gemini is currently in discussions with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about establishing a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to jointly conduct further research. Gemini's findings were presented Saturday at the 45th annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), which runs through Monday in Washington, D.C.

Read the entire article here, thanks to Bill Kilfoyle for the link.

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