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February 28, 2006

Two suspected casualties in Indonesia

A health official in Jakarta said a 29-year-old woman who had a history of contact with poultry died Wednesday night and samples have been sent to a World Health Organization-sanctioned laboratory in Hong Kong to confirm the cause of her death.

That's according to Hariadi Wibisono, a senior official at the Indonesian health ministry.

Indonesia is also waiting on results from the Hong Kong lab on a 39-year-old man who died recently and for whom local tests indicated he had bird flu.

If both results are confirmed, the country's human toll from the disease would climb to 13, said Wibisono.

Source.

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H5N1 virus of bird flu detected on Russian poultry farm - Xinhua



MOSNEWS
H5N1 virus of bird flu detected on Russian poultry farm
Xinhua, China - 14 hours ago
28 (Xinhuanet) -- The H5N1 virus of bird flu that can kill humans has been detected on a poultry farm in the southwestern region of Krasnodar, the region's ...
H5N1 bird flu virus detected in southwest Russia poultry farm TODAYonline
Russia sets up HQ to fight bird flu News-Medical.net
Putin Calls For New Task Force St.Petersburg Times.ru
all 30 related

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Sweden investigating suspected H5N1 case in wild ducks - Westmeath Independent


Sweden investigating suspected H5N1 case in wild ducks
Westmeath Independent, Ireland - 12 hours ago
Sweden has become the latest EU country with a suspected outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. The country said the avian ...
Veterinary experts meet in Paris to discuss fight against bird flu Irish Examiner
all 4 related

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Pak poultry tests positive for H5N1 strain of bird flu - Mumbai Mirror



Mumbai Mirror
Pak poultry tests positive for H5N1 strain of bird flu
Mumbai Mirror, India - 5 hours ago
Peshawar: Workers killed 15,000 chickens in northwestern Pakistan after poultry at two farms tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, an official said ...
At least 15,000 chickens killed at Pak farms Hindustan Times
all 2 related

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B2B reaches Sweden

Here's the Guardian Unlimited on B2B H5N1 reaching Sweden. The story includes a good survey of other flu-related news.

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B2B H5N1 "endemic" in UK?

BBC News Online reports a potentially serious difference of opinion in Britain over the future of H5N1 in the UK, and how to deal with it: Farmers surprised by flu comments.

Professor Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser, told the BBC it may become "endemic" and remain for "five years plus".

He also ruled out using the existing vaccine against the H5N1 strain.

The National Farmers' Union said it "simply did not accept" his view that the virus would become prevalent.

"If someone is saying we are going to see this endemically within the UK commercial flock that is a surprise," the NFU's chief poultry adviser said.

le article. We may be hearing similar disputes in the Americas before long.

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Bird Flu in Ethiopia - Kenya Testing Dead BirdsfluFactor

The Ethiopian government confirmed the presence of bird flu in the country today but the strain of flu is unknown. Local tests have confirmed that 6,000 chickens that have died since February 16, were victims of avian flu. Additional samples have been sent to Italy to determine if they suffered from or another strain of the flu.The government plans to cull an additional 9,000 birds on the government owned farm that is experiencing the outbreak.country-region place Kenya is also conducting tests on 400 chickens that have died there over the past week.

Via PubSub: "h5n1"

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Bird Flu Survival: Old Friend, New EnemyRoman Wilderness

German officials say a dead cat has tested positive for the H5N1, the first case found outside of birds in Europe.

Authorities say the cat was found on the island of Ruegen, where dozens of birds died from the virus earlier this month.

Experts note that cats in Asia have been infected by eating contaminated birds. But there have been no cases of humans acquiring the illness from cats.

Meanwhile, Russian officials quarantined a poultry farm, where more than 100,000 birds died from the H5N1 strain.

In Paris, the World Organization for Animal Health warned that the H5N1 virus will likely spread across Europe, after the deadly strain was found on a French poultry farm.

Several nations, including the United States, have banned poultry imports from the affected Ain region of France.

And Pakistani authorities slaughtered at least 15,000 chickens infected with the H5 strain in North West Frontier province.

Read Source Artical: VOA

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Se está complicando el asunto de la gripe a las aves, ahora, ha muerto un gato, afectado por el mismo virus....hum, toy chivo.Lo Mejor del cable





(PD/Agencias).- Se ha encontrado un gato muerto en la isla de Rügen, en el noreste de Alemania, infectado con el virus H5N1 de la gripe aviaria. Aunque en Asia ya se había registrado este tipo de contagio entre felinos, es la primera vez que se confirma un caso en Europa.

Según ha informado el Instituto Friedrich Loeffler -la autoridad competente en este país para esta enfermedad- el virus se detectó en un felino muerto, hallado el pasado fin de semana en las inmediaciones del puerto de Wittow en la isla de Rügen, la zona más afectada por la gripe aviar en Alemania.

"El que los gatos puedan contagiarse al cazar aves es algo que se conoce de casos habidos en Asia", ha señalado la citada fuente. En este sentido, el presidente del instituto veterinario, Thomas Mettenleitner, ha declarado que "en Asia ya se sabe que los gatos que comen aves infectadas se pueden contagiar".

En este sentido, este centro ha pedido a los propietarios de gatos de la zona en torno a Wittow que mantengan a sus mascotas dentro de sus casas.

"Pese a que la mayoría de los cadáveres de las aves han sido retirados de la costa, siguen muriendo animales a causa de la infección de H5N1, que podrían ser a su vez un foco de infección".

De momento se han detectado focos de gripe aviaria en cinco estados federados de Alemania: Mecklemburgo-Antepomerania, Schleswig-Holstein, Brandeburgo, Baden-Württemberg y Baviera, donde se han confirmado alrededor de 130 casos. Todas las aves infectadas por ahora eran salvajes.

En 2004, tras haberse dado algún caso de contagio entre felinos, un estudio publicado en la revista 'Science' mostraba que los gatos domésticos son vulnerables a la cepa H5N1 del virus de la gripe aviaria.34 humedales con riesgo en España.

El Ministerio de Agricultura y las Comunidades Autónomas añadirán nueve humedales más a la lista de 25 considerados como las zonas de máximo riesgo de contagio de gripe aviaria en España. También tomarán medidas excepcionales de bioseguridad, como la prohibición de aves al aire libre.

El secretario general del Ministerio de Agricultura, Josep Puxeu, ha destacado que el riesgo de entrada del virus en España está directamente relacionado con las migraciones de aves procedentes de África y con la proximidad de los focos registrados en Suiza y Francia.

El virus ha infectado a 173 personas y ha causado la muerte de 93 personas en Asia y Oriente Medio desde finales de 2003. La infección en aves salvajes o domésticas se ha extendido en 17 nuevos países de África, Asia, Europa y Oriente Medio. La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) insiste en que ninguno de estos casos se ha producido por el consumo de carne o productos avícolas.

En un comunicado, este organismo vuelve a confirmar que cuando estos alimentos son manejados de forma segura y cocinados adecuadamente los humanos no están en riesgo de adquirir la infección por el H5N1 a través de estos productos.

"Globalmente, la evidencia demuestra que no hay riesgo de infección cuando aves y huevos son bien cocinados, ya que así se mata al virus. Los productos avícolas son importantes fuentes de proteínas en todo el mundo".

La OMS insiste en que el principal riesgo para la salud es que las personas estén en estrecho contacto con aves enfermas, como las familias que tienen en sus hogares aves de corral y los trabajadores de mercados donde se venden estos animales. No obstante, ésta continúa siendo una enfermedad animal.

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February 27, 2006

A Winning Strategy?

Unless we act now, bird flu may win is the title of a thought-provoking article in the International Herald Tribune  written by Laurie Garrett, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Coming Plague." Garrett argues that all of the billions of dollars being spent around the world will be wasted unless more drastic action is taken by the world community. She points out that nearly all of the activity taking place in the various countries, such as the culling of flocks and the stockpiling of Tamiflu, is reactive and defensive.  She concludes:

"Rather than waiting for a tide of H5N1 to wash over the world's birds, mutate, and then move in a tidal wave over humanity, we should create lines of defense that start with the wild animals, move next to protect poultry, and then rely on rapid screening of human beings to determine who is, and is not, infected with the virus.


In the absence of these sound footings, everything else is just wasted billions of dollars".

Until May of last year, Avian Flu appeared to have been limited geographically to East Asia where it was diagnosed in domestic poultry and a relatively small number of humans. Most scientists believed it was being spread through contact among domestic poultry  Then a large number of wild birds were found dead in a northern Chinese lake. Since then the spread of the disease has followed predictable flyway patterns of wild birds, first across Siberia and then into the Caucuses, across the Danube and now into western Europe and south into Africa.

Garrett predicts that it is just a matter of time before migrating wild birds reach North America either via Iceland and Newfoundland or down a Pacific flyway crossing the Baring Strait into Alaska and then south. When this happens, awareness of the virus's potential lethality will be no doubt greatly raised in Canada and here in the US.

Garrett is right in calling for a quick, sure, portable test.  Two or three days delays could be critical in stopping an outbreak. Interestingly, she did not call for a concerted campaign for a next generation vaccine, as advocated by Michael Osterholm of CIDRAP and others.

The spread of B2B (bird to bird) Avian Flu is already having enormous economic impacts around the world. However, we should keep our eyes on the real danger, and that remains, in our mind, the spread of the highly lethal virus in parts of the world where there is little public health infrastructure and where people live cheek to jowl with their poultry. This is most likely the cauldron in which a mutated virus that is geared to the ready transmission  from H2H (human tohuman) will appear.

Many of the countries where H2H is most likely to develop already have chronic problems in their domesticated birds.  We know from experience that humans get the virus from poultry yet we still hear about human cases in China, Indonesia and now possibly Malaysia that seem to come out of areas where we have gotten no prior reports of infected birds.  This indicates that the authorities are either uninformed about outbreaks among poultry in their districts or are purposely downplaying such events. Both conclusions are disturbing.

Recent events in Nigeria and now Niger seem to be following the same pattern. These sub-Saharan countries have even weaker public health and sanitary systems than does Vietnam, the weakest link in Asia.

We agree with Garrett that the situation is dire and calls for concerted action.  But it will most likely not be the wild bird flyways that spread the disease worldwide should an H2H strain evolve, it will be the network of commercial airlines that follow no such seasonal patterns and bring every corner of the globe in contact within hours. Detection is important but a Manhattan-like project to quickly develop an effective, next generation, innoculation program may in the end be the only possible winning strategy.


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Korea confirms antibodies in four people

The KCDC said it sent blood samples of 11 Koreans who took part in the cull of chickens and ducks during the bird flu outbreak between December 2003 and March 2004 to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that four of them - a soldier and three workers -- produced antibodies. The 11 had tested positive when the KCDC conducted its own tests last year of blood samples of 318 owners and workers at 19 poultry farms countrywide as well as of public servants and soldiers who disposed of dead birds. A KCDC official said the four took the antiviral drug Tamiflu at the time, did not show symptoms for 10 days and remain in good health.

Source. (Thanks HyeYoon.)

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China's bird flu samples

China's efforts to maintain control over samples of avian flu taken on its soil, as well as the research done on them, have put it at odds with international health officials trying to defeat the disease.

The standoff pits a high-ranking veterinarian in China's Ministry of Agriculture named Jia Youling against international health authorities leading the fight against bird flu. Their conflict surfaced after wild birds began dying by the thousands last spring in a remote region of western China. At the ministry's headquarters in Beijing, officials from the World Health Organization and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization asked Dr. Jia to share with them the samples of bird flu that scientists under his ministry had collected from the birds.

He didn't provide them. Instead, Dr. Jia -- a professorial-looking 58-year-old who had risen steadily through the ministry's ranks since he joined it in 1979 -- began to talk about a recent research paper he had noticed on avian flu. According to Julie Hall, the WHO's top communicable-disease expert in Beijing and a participant at the meeting, he had a complaint: Months earlier, a team led by American scientists published a paper in an academic journal using China's samples, but without crediting or consulting their Chinese counterparts. The occasion, Dr. Hall says, "was used to express their deeper concern about ensuring that Chinese scientists were duly recognized." Dr. Jia declined to comment, saying, "I don't want to mention those things because they are all in the past."

Since that meeting, China hasn't provided a single sample from its infected flocks, despite repeated requests by WHO amid the roughly 30 outbreaks the country has reported in the past 12 months.

That is from an article written by Nicholas Zamiska for the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Revere reacts here.

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Fowl play: The poultry industry's central role in the bird flu crisis

 
Fowl play: The poultry industry's central role in the bird flu crisis (info)
http://www.grain.org/briefings/?id=194
GRAIN: "A burning question is why governments and international agencies, like the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, are doing nothing to investigate how the factory farms and their byproducts, such as animal feed and manure, spread the virus. Instead, they are using the crisis as an opportunity to further industrialise the poultry sector. Initiatives are multiplying to ban outdoor poultry, squeeze out small producers and restock farms with genetically-modified chickens. The web of complicity with an industry engaged in a string of denials and cover-ups seems complete."
Posted by Declan to migratory birds AvianFlu FAO on Mon Feb 27 2006 at 06:23 UTC

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Unless we act now, bird flu may win - Editorials & Commentary - International Herald Tribune

 
Unless we act now, bird flu may win - Editorials & Commentary - International Herald Tribune (info)
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/02/26/opinion/edgarrett.php#
Posted by Declan and 1 other to garrett AvianFlu on Mon Feb 27 2006 at 08:28 UTC

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Reuters AlertNet - France starts poultry vaccination against bird flu

 
Reuters AlertNet - France starts poultry vaccination against bird flu (info)
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L27463619.htm
France has begun vaccinating thousands of geese and ducks against bird flu in a southwest region of the country believed to be at risk from the virus from migratory birds, the farm ministry said on Monday. "The vaccination campaign is taking place in the department of the Landes," a Farm Ministry spokesman told Reuters.

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Irish labs testing birds for H5N1 virus - Irish Times


Irish labs testing birds for H5N1 virus
Irish Times, Ireland - 16 hours ago
A number of dead birds were rounded up by the Department of Agriculture at the weekend and have been sent for examination to laboratories where bird flu can be ...
New outbreak heightens rapid global spread fear after turkey farm ... Unison.ie
all 3 related

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Bosnia says H5N1 bird flu found in two wild swans - Reuters AlertNet



ITN
Bosnia says H5N1 bird flu found in two wild swans
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 3 hours ago
... Reuters) - Bosnia's veterinary office said on Monday tests at the European Union reference laboratory had confirmed its first case of the deadly H5N1 bird flu ...
Georgia Finds H5N1 Virus in Wild Swans Washington Post
First case of deadly H5N1 bird flu in Bosnia Pravda
Georgia becomes latest country to report H5N1 outbreak Dundalk Argus
Channel 4 News - all 34 related

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Bird flu H5N1 strain discovered in Ukrainian resort zoo - TV - RIA Novosti


Bird flu H5N1 strain discovered in Ukrainian resort zoo - TV
RIA Novosti, Russia - 46 minutes ago
KIEV, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - The lethal H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus has been identified in a zoo in Odessa, a port and resort city on the Ukrainian ...
Tests confirm H5N1 strain in dead swan in Georgia RIA Novosti
Tests confirm H5N1 strain in dead swan in Georgia Monsters and Critics.com
all 3 related

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Five Malaysians hospitalized with suspected B2H

Via Channelnewsasia: Five people quarantined in Malaysia for suspected bird flu.

Five people have been quarantined in Malaysia with suspected bird flu virus as chicken sales plunged 30 percent following a new outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus, officials said Saturday.

Ramlee Rahmat, director of the health ministry's disease control division, said five people were admitted to hospital for observation late Friday.

"Five people with symptoms - high temperature and respiratory infection - were taken in for observation late Friday. The results will be known Sunday," he told AFP.

Ramlee said the five - three children and two adults - were aged between four and 44.

"They live some 300 metres (yards) from one of the outbreak areas," he said.


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Greece: 16 B2B, "more to come"

Thanks to my Greek reader, who sent the following story:

Yet another six swans found dead in northern Greece were tested positive to the H5 virus. So far, a total of 16 cases has been tested positive to the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus in Greece.

Veterinary professor Spyros Kyriakis underlined that more cases are to follow, therefore, seriousness in handling the situation is a prerequisite.

In the meantime, a 20-year-old illegal immigrant of Afghan descent who developed high temperature and said he came from Turkey has been admitted to Mytilenes hospital. The young Afghan was handled as a suspected avian flu case, and is being treated in an isolation ward, while the room where he had been hospitalised along with other illegal immigrants was disinfected.

The patient said he had no physical contact with a bird, while the Pasteur Institute is due to yield the test results, which are to show whether he has been infected with the H5N1 virus or not, in three days time.

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World bank plans $50,000,000 bird flu aid for Nigeria

Reuters reports: World bank plans $50 mln bird flu aid for Nigeria.

The World Bank is planning a $50 million project to help Nigeria, the first African country to be infected with the avian flu virus, the bank said on Friday.

Funding for the project will come from the bank's new global financing facility for avian flu, worth up to $500 million. Under that program, the bank has already given the go-ahead for a $4 million grant to Kyrgyzstan to help prepare for possible outbreaks. The bank said it is also drawing up plans to help Niger, which borders Nigeria.

World Bank's news release about the $50 million. While Kyrgyzstan is getting a grant, it's not clear whether Nigeria is to get a grant or just a loan.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

B2B moves south in Germany

Expatica.com reports Bird flu spreads to two more German states.

Bird flu spread to two more German states on Friday as authorities stepped up measures to stop the outbreak from reaching domestic poultry. The new cases of the H5N1 strain were found in three wild ducks in the northern state of Schleswig Holstein and in Baden-Wuerttemberg in the south. Authorities immediately set up exclusion zones in a three- kilometre radius around the areas were the dead birds were found. The transport of poultry and poultry products was banned for 21 days in the affected area of Schleswig Holstein.

The original outbreak on Ruegen Island was in the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu returns to Cambodia

Bad news from Reuters: Bird flu returns to Cambodia, official says.

The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has returned to Cambodia, found in dead ducks near the border with Vietnam, a senior official government said on Friday.

"The dead ducks were found near a lake where wild birds live and test results showed it is the H5N1 bird flu virus," Yim Vanthon, the number two at the Agriculture Ministry, told Reuters.

The virus has killed four people in Cambodia since it first arrived in late 2003 and its reappearance was the first in months in a region experts believed could generate a mutated virus which might trigger a global human pandemic.

correctly, Cambodia had just four B2H cases, and all four died.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indonesian officials take cages from a resident's house during ...Health Photos - AFP on Yahoo! News Photos

photo(AFP) - Indonesian officials take cages from a resident's house during a door-to-door inspection for the avian influenza virus in Jakarta. Indonesia's bird flu toll hit the 20 mark with confirmation that a 27-year-old woman had succumbed to the H5N1 virus, the health ministry said(AFP/Adek Berry)


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New bird flu cases in Cambodia and GermanyBiopeer

Indian health officials have declared that the virus has not infected any human beings as was confirmed by test reports. The results revealed no presence of the deadly H5N1 strain of virus in the blood samples sent for tests. This has put all fears of human infections to rest. Meanwhile, a team of experts has declared the famous Point Calimere bird sanctuary near Vedaranyam, about 50 km from Nagapattinam district in Tamilnadu, free from avian flu. The team carried out an intensive survey and collected samples of blood, saliva and fecal matter of birds for testing before reaching this conclusion.   

Cambodian officials have discovered three ducks on a family farm in eastern Cambodia infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus. The sick ducks were found during a routine check of poultry in the Kompong Cham province. Though the mystery of the ducks contracting the virus still remains to be tracked, officials have already triggered the culling process. All the 223 ducks in the farm have been culled to avoid all probabilities of a bird flu outbreak.

Agricultural authorities in Germany have confirmed 110 cases of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain among wild birds. The dead wild birds, tested positive for the H5N1 virus, were found in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Apparently, six new cases of H5N1 were confirmed on the basis of the sample test conducted on dead wild birds found on Ruegen Island. In a different part of the state, a wild duck has also tested positive for bird flu.

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GRIPE DAS AVES FAZ PRIMEIRA VÍTIMA EM PORTUGALO al...:::::: O PAMPILHO ::::::

O alerta foi comunicado na noite de Domingo pelos serviços da Protecção Civil de Lisboa. E a confirmação aconteceu já esta manhã por fonte próxima da família. O jovem Vítor, de trinta e poucos anos e natural do norte do país, é a primeira vítima (confirmada oficialmente) do H5N1, vulgarmente conhecido como Bird Flu.
O corpo de Vitor, foi recolhido pelos serviços veterinários da Junta de Freguesia de Benfica, e enviado directamente para análise no Instituto Laurent Robert, em França.
Amanhã, Terça-feira, será rezada na Igreja da Luz, uma missa em memória do jovem entretanto desaparecido.

Via PubSub: "h5n1"

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Ducks and chicken wait to be taken away by Hong Kong agriculture ...Health Photos - AFP on Yahoo! News Photos

photo(AFP/File) - Ducks and chicken wait to be taken away by Hong Kong agriculture officials on February 13. Health authorities in Hong Kong confirmed that three more birds had died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu and said tests were under way on another suspected case.(AFP/File/Samantha Sin)


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Bird Flu Widens Two More Human Cases In China Niger And Pakistan Report Bird Infections

... As Chinese authorities confirm two new human cases of H5N1 Bird Flu virus strain infections, Niger and Pakistan have confirmed their first outbreaks of infections among birds. In China, a girl, aged 9 and a farmer, aged 26, became infected with H5N1. The girl is from Zhejiang and the farmer from Annhui... click link for more info. ...
News from the web View Technorati URL search

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Niger Becomes Third African Country to have Bird Flu

... Today, Niger confirmed that it has become the third country in Africa where H5N1 bird flu is present. The disease was confirmed to be present in Nigeria and Egypt earlier this month. Niger shares a border with areas of Nigeria that were already known to have bird flu. It is not surprising that H5N1 has been able to cross the border which is ...
fluFactor View Technorati URL search

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Deadly Strain of Bird Flu Found in India

... A second state in India reported an outbreak of the H5N1 strain of bird flu on Saturday. The deadly virus was discovered earlier this month among chickens in the western state of Maharashtra, leading officials to slaughter more than half a million birds ... ...
Linemd.com - Buy Tramadol, Fioricet, Cialis, Soma, Levitra, Viagra and more. View Technorati URL search

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February 23, 2006

French Poultry Producers Circulate Flyers in Paris Mailboxes

According to a tip from a French language reader in Paris, mailboxes today were stuffed with flyers from the French Association of Meat Producers reassuring Parisians that there is no danger from eating cooked poultry that has been brought to over 71 degrees centigrade. The campaign comes on the heels of announcements today that a second wild duck has been certified to have died from the H5N1 virus and of suspicions that the virus has entered into domesticated poultry flocks in France and Germany.

There was further word today, that a French turkey farm has reported a suspected case. The farm was quarantined, according to French authorities. Another report out of Germany of a suspected case in a domesticated poultry farm, has also been confirmed by German authorities. These would mark the first reported cases of the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus from wild birds to domesticated flocks in the E.U.

According to official numbers, poultry consumption in France is said to have dropped by less than 15% since the reports of H5N1 virus first surfaced in the country. The same reader reported that she noted sales prices for poultry when she visited her local market this morning, even before the turkey story hit the news.



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Posted by dymaxion at 05:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

India reports results of latest tests

R.K. Srivastava, director general of health services, announced Thursday that all but one of 95 samples collected from residents of the Navapur area had tested negative for avian influenza.

Srivastava said the remaining sample would be sent to the National Institute of Virology in western Pune city for further testing, the Press Trust of India reported.

Officials in Navapur were taking no chances, stopping poultry workers from leaving town until they had been tested for bird flu. They were also discouraging people from attending weddings and other public events.

They stopped short of a complete halt to people travelling to and from the town as they tried to prevent the virus from spreading outside of the affected area, the officials said.

"Their movements have been restricted but not banned," said Dr P. Doke, director of health for the state, adding that the checkpoints were being set up seven kilometres (four miles) from the heart of the outbreak.

"We are discouraging people from gathering and people shouldn't invite guests into this area," he said.

Source.

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Reuters AlertNet - France has suspected farm bird flu case - ministry

 
Reuters AlertNet - France has suspected farm bird flu case - ministry (info)
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/PAB002370.htm
France has found a suspected case of H5N1 bird flu in a turkey on a farm, which if confirmed would be the country's first case of the virus in a domestic bird, the farm ministry said on Thursday.

Posted by dymaxion at 05:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

India investigates claims of bird flu cover-up

Via SciDev.net: India investigates claims of bird flu cover-up.

India is investigating media reports that a major poultry producer suppressed evidence of the nation's first bird flu outbreak by paying local people to bury dead chickens.

Upma Chawdhry, a senior agriculture ministry official, told reporters in Delhi yesterday (21 February) that chicken deaths were first observed in Navapur in Marahashtra state as early as 27 January, but the government only found out on 8 February through a local newspaper report.

With commercial poultry farms in the area under scrutiny, the Maharashtra state government yesterday charged Pune-based poultry producer Venkateshwara Hatcheries with concealing chicken deaths.

The claims, if true, would mean that India lost 12 days that could have been used to contain the outbreak and raise awareness of the threat. In addition, anyone burying dead birds risked being infected with the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus.

sonal follow-up: Yesterday, while checking my stats, I noticed that someone in India had googled their way to this site, and one of the terms they were looking for was "Venkateshwara Hatcheries." Well, if they're searching again today, here's another hit.

More importantly, charges of cover-up in India and bureaucratic bungling in Indonesia need quick investigation. If true, the malefactors should be dealt with very promptly. As H5N1 spreads, governments and corporations alike need to know that honesty is not just the best policy, but the only policy that will save their lives.

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India Begins Mass Slaughter of FowlABC News -

... India Begins Mass Slaughter of Fowl ABC News - NAVAPUR, India Feb 19, 2006 (AP) Health officials and farm workers in protective clothing began slaughtering hundreds of thousands of chickens in western India on Sunday, hoping to prevent the spread of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus. Europe Source: abcnews.go.com Louisville Slugger Softball ...
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grippe aviaire dans un élevage allemand

... grippe aviaire dans un élevage allemand jeudi 23 février 2006 (Reuters - 11:14) HAMBOURG - L'Allemagne a annoncé un premier cas suspect de grippe aviaire dans un élevage de canards de l'île de Rügen, dans le nord du pays. Selon les premières analyses, le virus H5N1 a été retrouvé chez un animal provenant d'une ferme de l'île de la mer ...
la grippe aviaire : le nouveau risque mondial ? View Technorati URL search

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OMS: les changements du virus H5N1 peuvent favoriser la contamination des oiseaux

... OMS: les changements du virus H5N1 peuvent favoriser la contamination des oiseaux L’OMS a indiqué que la grippe H5N1 a infecté des oiseaux dans 14 pays supplémentaires depuis le début de ce mois [ février 2006 ], et les changements génétiques récents du virus peuvent avoir quelque chose à voir avec sa diffusion rapide dans les oiseaux. L'agence ...
la grippe aviaire : le nouveau risque mondial ? View Technorati URL search

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slovakia says finds first cases of h5n1 flu virus - boston.com

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Initial tests in Slovakia showed the H5N1 strain of bird flu in a wild falcon and a grebe, the first two cases of the virus found in the country, Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon said on Thursday. The samples will now be tested in EU's reference laboratory in Weybridge... expect that the samples will be delivered sometime today," Simon told reporters. He said the H5N1.... "The (initial) tests showed H5N1 type of virus," Simon said. The dead grebe was found near the Danube

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Hungary - British tests confirm first

British tests confirm first H5N1 case in Hungary (AlertNet) BUDAPEST, Feb 21 (Reuters) - A British laboratory detected the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain in three dead swans found in Hungary last week... swans found in Hungary 'infected with H5N1' (Irish Examiner) Test results from the European Union???s laboratory have confirmed that three dead swans found in Hungary were infected with the H5N1 strain... (The Australian) A BRITISH laboratory detected the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain in three dead swans found

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February 22, 2006

Malaysia, India await test results in suspected human cases

Seven Malaysians living near an area with bird flu were being treated in hospital on Wednesday, while India anxiously waited to see if a group of 12 in quarantine were the country's first human victims of the virus.

The seven, including five children aged between 2 and 12, all had respiratory problems and test results would be available within a day, Malaysia's health minister said. India is hoping results of its tests might come later on Wednesday.

Alarm is growing at the sudden resurgence of the H5N1 virus as it spreads rapidly across Europe, into Africa and now India, where hundreds of millions of people live in rural areas side-by-side with livestock and domestic fowl.

Source.

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WHO comments on H5N1 mutations

Since 1997, when the first human infections with the H5N1 avian influenza virus were documented, the virus has undergone a number of changes.

These changes have affected patterns of virus transmission and spread among domestic and wild birds. They have not, however, had any discernible impact on the disease in humans, including its modes of transmission. Human infections remain a rare event. The virus does not spread easily from birds to humans or readily from person to person.

Influenza viruses are inherently unstable. As these viruses lack a genetic proof-reading mechanism, small errors that occur when the virus copies itself go undetected and uncorrected. Specific mutations and evolution in influenza viruses cannot be predicted, making it difficult if not impossible to know if or when a virus such as H5N1 might acquire the properties needed to spread easily and sustainably among humans. This difficulty is increased by the present lack of understanding concerning which specific mutations would lead to increased transmissibility of the virus among humans.

[...] Assessments of the outbreak in Turkey, conducted by WHO investigative teams, have produced no convincing evidence that mutations have altered the epidemiology of the disease in humans, which was similar to the pattern consistently seen in affected parts of Asia. There is no evidence, at present, from any outbreak site that the virus has increased its ability to spread easily from one person to another.

Read the full press release on the WHO site. Effect Measure wonders what the un-"convincing" evidence from Turkey may be.

In another statement by a WHO official quoted by Nicholas Zamiska for the WSJ (subscription required) we get an update on the situation in Indonesia:

There is no evidence that the bird-flu virus in Indonesia has mutated to a form that is readily transmissible among humans, the World Health Organization said, despite increasingly alarmed reports from Indonesian health officials.

Clusters of the disease among Indonesians may well indicate human exposure to the same sick birds, the WHO said, rather than the transmission of the disease from human to human, an event scientists fear could spark a pandemic.

"Should we be more worried? Not at this stage," Sari P. Setiogi, a spokeswoman for the WHO in Jakarta, said in an interview, adding that as health-care workers in the field become more aware of the disease, the number of reported cases may rise.

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Bird Flu Outbreak - Iraq I've meant to write abou...

Bird Flu Outbreak - Iraq

I've meant to write about bird flu for some time now. When the outbreak in Turkey started in January I had a renewed impetus however my schedule has been all enveloping since the beginning of the year. Because of it's importance both in terms of human health as well as potential impacts on wild bird populations I will devote some time to this topic. This is a significant departure to my usual posts on Iraqi natural history.

With two confirmed deaths, several more reported including one from outside of the Kurdish region there is sufficient evidence that certain precautionary measures should be taken including the slaughter of flocks in areas where bird or human infections have been confirmed and people changing behaviors to limit contact with domestic or wild birds such as the use of a mask when tending flocks in areas where no cull has been ordered and stopping all activities like hunting where a person might handle dead birds.

The large scale cull of poultry will cause significant hardship for those who rely on small subsistence flocks of poultry for food. It will also put a strain on the commercial poultry and egg producers.

The main message is to avoid close contact with domestic or wild birds. Most cases to date of Avian Influenza H5N1 have been associated with this risk factor, especially handling birds that are sick or dead. I'll pull together as much useful information as I can for those on the ground. Worldwide there has been no evidence of widespread person-to-person contact. In January the human disease broke out of East and Southeast Asia when human cases started to be reported from Turkey. Several viral mutations noted in the Turkish outbreak are cause for concern and might make the virus more adapted to humans.

I don't claim to be a world expert on bird flu, however my civilian job involves keeping an eye on emerging infectious diseases and how they could potentially affect human health. I write this only to note that keeping an eye on these types of diseases are part of my job and I have closely followed the sporadic outbreaks since 1997 when the first cases of Avian flu were identified in Hong Kong. I wrote my first threat assessment 8 years ago. All opinions expressed are mine not those of the the Department of Defense or any other agency and are base solely on open source material.

If H5N1 were to remain static as it exists today, most people would have little or no reason to be concerned about a virus that spreads from bird to people less than 200 times in the last 9 years out of tens of millions of potential contacts during that period. If it remains the same, bird flu will be a rare disease in humans that causes huge agricultural losses and has a significant impact on some wild bird species. We can pray that this happens, however we cannot afford to assume it. Bird Flu today is simply a potential source of the next Influenza pandemic that is currently causing massive problems among poultry.

Background
Avian Influenza Viruses are common pathogens in a variety of bird species including domestic birds. Humans with close contact with infected birds very rarely were infected and the result was often a mild disease like conjunctivitis.

In 1997 something alarming happened that told the world there was a potential problem with global implications. Avian Influenza viruses in the H5 subgroup (named after a surface protein) were known to cause mild disease in poultry (ruffled feathers, decreased egg production). In March 1997, in Hong Kong, one particular strain designated H5N1 broke out in a new and lethal form in several farms involving several thousand birds. The first H5N1 Avian Flu Virus actually was first isolated in Scotland in 1959, the first Asian isolate was in Guangdong Province, China in 1996. Chickens with the new Highly Pathogenic H5N1 had a mortality rate approaching 100%. More alarming was that 18 people were infected with this highly pathogenic form, of whom 6 patients died.

All the dots were not connected until August of 1997 after labs subtyped the virus from a human case and found it closely related to those from the bird outbreak. The Hong Kong government considered the single case in May as an isolated case because no other H5N1 cases in humans had been reported during the summer. As a precaution the government increased influenza surveillence and began testing suspected Influenza cases.

In November, after a 6 month hiatus, H5N1 reappeared with a single case. The first two weeks of December brought 6 confirmed cases, then 7 more in the next few weeks. There was a fear that because the normal Hong Kong Flu season was starting there was a potential for the bird flu virus to recombine with a human flu virus in a patient with both infections to produce a more transmissible version of bird flu. A serious concern was that most patients died of a primary viral pneumonia and had no underlying condition or disease that should make them more susceptible to a respiratory virus. Most cases of pneumonia in Influenza patients are caused by a secondary infection caused by bacteria. The secondary infection can often be treated with antibiotics, a primary viral infection cannot be treated with antibiotics. The few children who were infected had mortality rate of around 20% while those over 17 years of age approached 60%. Most cases reported close contact, at farm or market, with poultry in the 24 hours prior to the onset of symptoms.

This set off alarm bells in the places like the World Health Organization and The Centers for Disease Control. In the last century the emergence of a novel Influenza virus has caused several pandemics of varying power. The one that everyone was thinking about was the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 to 1920. Worldwide an estimated 20 to 40 million people died, no one really knows for sure but it may have been much higher with many cases in the developing world. In the US a new contagious disease with a high case fatality rate is of concern, when it is Influenza there is a potential for a global epidemic or pandemic. The good news was that there was little evidence of the nightmare scenario, namely that the disease was spreading person to person through microscopic droplets containing the virus that get suspended in the air when a person coughs or sneezes. The bad news is that Influenza can rapidly mutate and there was a potential for a mutation that allowed efficient person to person spread.

In December 1997 someone in Hong Kong was thinking clearly and ordered something drastic and apparently effective. In 3 days all of Hong Kong's domestic poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys) were slaughtered. It ended up being 1.6 million birds. The outbreak was contained with no further infections of H5N1. Many believed the world dodged a bullet because there was evidence that the virus was mutating. Hong Kong may have been the best place for the outbreak to have happened. It combined a limited geographic area with access to modern medicine and perhaps most importantly a government that jumped on the problem once it was identified and acted rationally and decisively. The warning of Hong Kong 1997 was that it took a long time to identify what was happening.

I remember attending the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Disease in Atlanta in 1998. At this inaugural meeting of physicians, researchers, and government officials concerned with emerging diseases I heard about the H5N1 outbreak from some scientists from Hong Kong. The mass cull of all of Hong Kong's birds had happened three months earlier. It appeared that the outbreak had been stopped. There was more movement on preparing for an Influenza pandemic including better surveillance mechanisms to try to cut the gap seen in Hong Kong because their labs couldn't type the virus. I think in many people's mind was the idea that somewhere in East Asia H5N1 or some other virus circulating at low levels would break out and start another human epidemic. Next time, I thought, we might not be so lucky, the government might not be so quick or eager to act. I thought interior China would be a good place to demonstrate the statement "How bad can it get before anyone notices". A local government might have a number of reasons to conceal the beginning of an epidemic, the national government might also have their reasons.

H5N1 disappeared from the scene only to emerge again in Hong Kong in 2003 in a family that had recently travelled to southern China. Everyone suspected H5N1 was still circulating somewhere on the mainland. In 2004 cases began to pop up in Vietnam. A gigantic epidemic was in progress among domestic birds with hundreds of outbreaks in the country. During 2004 and 2004 outbreaks of H5N1 showed up in Cambodia, Thailand, China and Indonesia.

Migratory birds have been implicated in the spread of the virus. Most species that have been infected either breed near water or farmland close to human habitation, scavenge near farms like magpies and crows or are kept in captivity like falcons and some songbirds. Some people argue that wild birds are a small part of the story with movements of domestic poultry as the biggest culprit. High amounts of the virus are shed in the feces and may be a mechanism that domestic birds are infected by wild ones and perhaps, more likely, vice versa. There is some evidence that H5N1 is primarily an infection of the gastrointestinal tract in birds. There has been at least 1 human case where there were no respiratory symptoms, only severe diarrhea.

Until January of 2006, Human cases of Bird Flu were confined to East and Southeast Asia. That changed with an outbreak in Turkey that started in January 2006. A widespread epidemic among poultry that had been brewing for several months led to over 20 reported human cases in the space of 2 weeks with 4 deaths. Only 12 cases have been confirmed by the WHO lab. Turkey apparently arrested the epidemic in humans with a massive cull of over 10 million domestic birds. An outbreak of another strain of Avian Influenza in the Netherlands in 2003 resulted in a monster cull of 30 million birds. All but 1 of 53 reported outbreaks in Turkey were in backyard flocks. There was a single outbreak in a commercial flock. The lessons of both Hong Kong and Turkey should be clear. The way to control bird flu is to take the extreme measure of killing all poultry in the outbreak area.

Current Situation in Iraq
In January the first human case of Avian Influenza H5N1 appeared in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq near the city of Suleimaniyah. This was the first instance of bird flu appearing in humans before disease had been reported in birds. Usually birds are the sentinels. In Hong Kong flocks of hundreds of birds suddenly died. Some confusion followed as the government announced that the death was not caused by bird flu. They may have just been buying time. The doctors thought otherwise and sent a sample to the US Naval Medical Research Unit in Cairo. The lab came up with a positive test result for H5N1 and a WHO affiliated lab later confirmed the result. The initial case's 39 year old uncle was later confirmed as the second case. He died on January 27th, 9 days after falling ill. Both cases lived in the same house and were exposed to sick birds. Two outbreaks were officially reported from the area involving 450 dead birds in one flock and 200 in another. Another 2500 birds were reported destroyed in the two flocks with H5 Avian Influenza. The report also speaks of "huge numbers of birds" killed in the area near the Turkish border after Turkey reported bird flu in their border area. Iran reportedly also culled flocks within 15km of the Turkish border. In Iraq there are innumerable backyard flocks of chickens, Turkeys, Ducks and Geese - all which have been affected in other outbreaks and could transmit the disease to humans under the right conditions.

Soon after, there were reports of bird cases in the southern province of Missan near Amara. Amara is near the southern marshes and several hundred miles south of Suleimaniyah. Some have theorized that the birds may have aquired the infection from migrating birds wintering in the marshes. Two pigeons tested for an H5 subtype avian influenza which initiated a cull of almost 1000 birds. There was a report of a death of a young pigeon seller, however, as far as I am aware all human samples from this area have tested negative for H5N1.

Turkey had complained for almost a month that countries surrounding them were ignoring bird flu, even while it raged mere miles from its international borders with countries like Iraq, Iran, Syria and Azerbaijan. The outbreak in Iraq proved their point.

After the first cases were announced a large cull started in the villages surrounding the human cases. As of February 19th the Iraqi Ministry of health reported that 1.5 million poultry have been killed in 2 provinces with over 500 people involve in the effort to contain bird flu. There are over 20 suspected human cases, though only two have been confirmed.

In the last three weeks over a dozen additional countries have reported H5N1 cases in birds. In Nigeria it has been in Chickens, in Europe and Iran it has been in wild waterfowl. As cases proliferate the danger of further human cases also increases. The real danger is that the virus mutates into a form that makes it more transmissible to humans and, more importantly, between humans.

Here's some suggestions based on what we know about the spread of the disease.

1. Limit poultry/wild bird contact
In Iraq and around the world, those most at risk for human disease are owners of poultry flocks that can interact with wild birds. In the case of ducks and geese, it is common for wild ducks to visit outdoor flocks. Other birds like crows and sparrows frequently enter poultry enclosures to eat the domestic bird's food. Several European countries have recognised this particular risk and ordered flocks moved indoors. In England the Ravens at the Tower of London have been moved inside as a protective measure. Even though there have been a number of outbreaks in large intensive poultry farms, the workers at these farms don't seem to be at high risk for infection.

For the average urban Iraqi in Mosul, Baghdad or Basra the risk of bird flu in its current form is negligible and should not be high on their priority list of risks. The same is true for most foreign military and civilian personnel who generally are not exposed to or eat local poultry. Should bird flu mutate into a highly transmissible disease among people (like the standard Influenza A) all bets are off as a pandemic develops worldwide.

For those most at risk, recognizing that a dead bird could be a risk to their health will go a long way. Quick treatment for H5N1 infection is also important. It is generally true that the quicker the patient is treated the better the outcome. Getting appropriate antivirals like Tamiflu within 48 hours of symptoms is very important. In human disease if left too long the damage cannot be undone with drugs.

If I had a flock outside the outbreak area, I would keep a close eye out for symptoms in the birds like plumetting egg production or edema in the face and comb. If something happened like in other outbreaks such as dozens or hundreds of my birds are dead one morning, I would be very concerned and would not go poking around the remaining birds. I would report the incident as soon as I could. If I started feeling ill with respiratory or flu like illness I would go to the nearest significant size hospital and let them know my recent history.

I know in each step there are many barriers, however this is an idealized case.

2. Recognize sick birds/don't handle sick or dead birds.
Educating people about watching out for sick birds and properly disposing of them is an important step. Most cases of bird flu in humans came in contact with a sick bird either in a bird market or at home. A more insidious problem is when sick birds are slaughtered and sold in the market. These carcasses could be sources of infection. A good step, which could involve coalition military resources, would to be to produce a simple 1 page factsheet that describes what to look for and what to do if a person suspects their birds are dying of bird flu. Put it on the internet, print it in the papers, put it on TV, send people around to the villages. Stress that people will be compensated and that they have an important role to play in fighting the disease. Also stress that by employing culls, nearby Turkey has controlled the disease for now. Reports of people hiding birds or slaughtering and eating them before the cull need to be addressed with proper education and appropriate compensation.

3. If possible - leave the culling of flocks to appropriately equipped workers.
There is some evidence that improper culling of infected flocks has led to human cases. The messy physical nature of the cull, coupled with close contact is a recipe for disaster. Workers need protective gear, at a minimum respiratory protection, gloves and impermeable coveralls. Here again, perhaps coalition military personnel could assist in transportation of teams to remote areas or provide some other logistic help like the aquisition of protective gear.

A useful document is available on the OIE website
Guidelines for the Killing of Animals for Disease Control Purposes - Appendix 3.7.6. of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2005

The WHO has suggested a few other things for people involved in the cull of infected birds. They recommend that they be vaccinated with the current influenza vaccine. The purpose of this is to minimize the risk that they be infected with a human Influenza A virus and bird flu at the same time. This might allow the reassortment of genes creating a more dangerous bird flu. The current vaccine does not protect against H5N1. These workers should also be screened and monitored for flu-like illness or conjunctivitis and blood tests should be taken to test for exposure to H5N1 virus.

4. Limit close contact with wild birds
I have read reports that the Iraqi government has banned bird hunting throughout the country. This is easier said than done. Bird hunting is sometimes a subsistence level activity and waterfowl as well as shorebirds and gamebirds such as quail and francolin are hunted throughout the country. I have no data on this but I would rank migratory waterbirds higher on the risk scale than resident landbirds such as francolins. There are no clearcut human cases associated with wild birds, but it remains a possibility.

5. Ban movement of poultry over international borders and within the country
The movement of poultry, especially Chickens has played a major part in the global spread of H5N1. It is interesting that both Japan and South Korea have not experienced additional H5N1 outbreaks since instituting strict bans on the import of poultry. Someone recently said that globalization had made the chicken the world's #1 migratory bird. This is not an understatement. China alone has over 9 billion chickens. Chickens move in huge numbers all around the world through trade. We don't know but this may have played a role in both the Turkish and Nigerian outbreaks. Chickens bred in China were sold in Turkey and apparently Nigeria gets many of its commercial chickens from Turkey. It is possible that bird flu has spread more by chickens and that wild birds were infected by domestic poultry.

6. Begin active surveillance for H5N1 in poultry, wild birds and people.
Active surveillance means trying to find the disease by looking for and testing sick birds, more testing of people with respiratory symptoms, random testing of waterfowl, etc. It serves two purposes. First you get a better handle on the extent of the outbreak and can make more informed statements about risk. The second is that it makes the public more confident that the people in charge are actively doing something instead of just reacting to uncontrollable events. A specific application might be intensive testing of commercial egg laying flocks. An active surveillance program might preserve the viability of parts of the poultry industry by ensuring the flocks are safe and the products they produce won't harm the public.

7. Consider vaccination for village and backyard flocks
This option was previously discounted because in some cases a bird can still shed virus, even though they might not show symptoms. The thinking is evolving and some have advocated vaccination because culling is sometimes impractical because chickens are the main source of protein in some areas. The Dutch are now requesting to vaccinate their flocks because of their experience in 2003 with a gigantic cull of 30 million birds and the attending economic fallout. Application of such a plan would be in the realm of the poultry experts.


Here's some online resources on Avian Influenza
Centers for Disease Control
World Health Organization
OIE (World Animal Health Organization)

Ok, that's all I'm going to write for now. I'll update this post as warranted and cross-post on the bird flu site. My next post on Birding Babylon will be on a cheerier note.

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Chicken, Ducks in Austrian Shelter Test H5N1-Positive (Update1) - Bloomberg


Chicken, Ducks in Austrian Shelter Test H5N1-Positive (Update1)
Bloomberg - 4 hours ago
... ``The area was shut down and fumigated,'' he said. Austria on Feb. 14 said the H5N1 bird flu strain had been found in two dead swans. ...
Ducks, Chickens in Austrian Animal Shelter Test H5N1-Positive Bloomberg
Chicken, Ducks in Austrian Shelter Test H5N1-Positive (Update2) Bloomberg
all 4 related

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Tests On Five People For H5N1 Virus Negative - Dr Chua - Bernama


Tests On Five People For H5N1 Virus Negative - Dr Chua
Bernama, Malaysia - 17 minutes ago
... Tests conducted on five of the seven people admitted to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital to ascertain if they have been infected by the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus ...

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Nigeria: H5N1 spreading fast - News24



Chosun Ilbo
Nigeria: H5N1 spreading fast
News24, South Africa - 18 hours ago
Meanwhile, Nigeria said on Monday the deadly H5N1 virus strain that can kill humans had been confirmed in three new states and the capital, Abuja, bringing the ...
Zambia announces 1,000-fold rise in bird flu budget Reuters AlertNet
NIGERIA: Bird flu confirmed in five states and the capital Reuters AlertNet
Bird flu confirmed in three more Nigerian states Reuters AlertNet
Reuters AlertNet - Voice of America - all 42 related

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Twenty-six Indonesian provinces are H5N1 positive

Via Xinhuanet: 26 Indonesian provinces hit by bird flu.

The Indonesian government said Tuesday the avian influenza has attacked 26 out of 31 provinces across the country with the rain season accelerating the outbreak.

Syamsul Bahri, director of veterinary with the Ministry of Agriculture, said in Central Java province bird flu outbreak spread very quickly from one area to another, with total 161 regencies and towns reporting the outbreak.

"In the past, bird flu case was reported every three months. But now we heard such a case every three days. The spreading is both very quick and very dangerous," he was quoted by Detikcom news website as saying.

He said the rain season helped accelerate the virus spreading.

The virus has killed hundreds of thousands of chickens in the country, he said.

Earlier in the day, Minister of Health Siti Fadillah Supari said Indonesia had the highest human mortality rate in bird flu cases, given that 19 of 27 bird flu patients died.

est death, reported just below, that appears to be 20 out of 27 cases, for a mortality rate of 74 percent.

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Egypt: "Thousands of dead birds on the streets"

A reader sent me the link to a story on the site of the Kuwait News Agency, but I couldn't get it to display properly. After a considerable work-around, I at least got the text:

11 Egyptian governorates report bird flu cases

CAIRO, Feb 20 (KUNA) -- Egyptian Minister of Health Dr. Hatem El-Gabali said Monday that 11 governorates reported cases of bird flu, noting that 100 tested locations turned positive, 90 percent of which were in family-owned poultries.

In a parliamentary session, El-Gabali said the governorates that reported bird flu cases were Cairo, Giza, Bani Swaif, Qena, Dulohiya, Qalyobiya, Behaira, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Almenia, Sharqeya, and Manofiya, noting that Cairo, Bani Swaif, and Manofiya reported more positive locations.

He added that residents in these areas have been experiencing fear and panic due to the presence of thousands of dead birds on the streets and floating in water surfaces, noting that the concerned authorities received bird flu 703 reports in 23 governorates.

The minister noted that 299 citizens came in contact with infected birds and were medically examined and turned negative, adding that results of human blood samples tested before also turned negative.

The ministry followed necessary procedures to contain the virus, such as taking blood samples, cleaning and treating sites chemically, and killing, burning, and burrying infected birds.

El-Gabali asserted Egypt's concern for monitoring the disease in cooperation with other countries, calling on owners of poultry businesses to report any cases of bird flu and to keep infected birds in sealed plastic bags to hand them to designated pickup cars.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza said that 17 billion Egyptian pounds are invested in poultry businesses and that 1.5 million workers are employed in this field, calling on the public not to panic as bird flu only infects human with weak immune system and in close contacts with the birds.

Abaza added that international health organizations, the US, and the European Union expressed readiness for providing financial and technical support to Egypt to confront the disease.

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Mumbai: 70 chickens from illegal stalls culled

Via Mid Day, a Mumbai news source: 70 chickens from illegal stalls culled.

The BMC yesterday culled 70 birds from illegal stalls and also sent back three trucks of poultry, as they did not have proper documents. BMC officials said this will be the routine for the next few weeks.

Trucks without proper documentation will not be allowed to enter the city. By 8.30 am yesterday, 55 trucks carrying 53,364 live poultry came into the city through the four checknakas. These were allowed in only after two doctors posted at the checknaka for 24 hours checked the livestock.

Besides these, 10 trucks of frozen chicken and 16 trucks of eggs entered Mumbai in the past 24 hours.

f this battle is likely to be the infectious spread of new and foreign words. We may see "checknakas" in France and Nigeria, not to mention the US and Canada—checkpoints specifically for controlling the trade in poultry and the movement of potentially infected persons.

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H5N1: From China With Loveterror in delhi 10/29

With the outbreak of bird-flu in several countries in the world including India, we came across a startling article published recently in the New Scientist:

A MASSIVE analysis of flu viruses has finally confirmed what everyone suspected: the H5N1 virus has been circulating in Chinese poultry for over a decade.

Yi Guan at Shantou University, China, and his colleagues studied samples from 13,000 migratory birds and 50,000 market poultry in south-east China between January 2004 and June 2005. They found H5N1 in around 2 per cent of apparently healthy ducks and geese, and also in some chickens.

Note that Yi Guan and his colleagues have already stated this in their earlier work published in the scientific journal Nature back in 2004:

Our findings indicate that domestic ducks in southern China had a central role in the generation and maintenance of this virus, and that wild birds may have contributed to the increasingly wide spread of the virus in Asia.

This was ofcourse vehemently denied by the Chinese ministry back then. This is a serious issue potentially affecting every person in this world which would cost millions of human lives and livelihoods. Now that this issue has surfaced again, the world community must insist on completely transparency and coordination from the Chinese authorities to get to the root of this virus.


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Bird Flu Puts Ravens At Risk And British Empire?DC AUDUBON SOCIETY

One of the Tower of London's ravens is seen roosting in 1996.
Photo Credit: By Lynn Fergusson -- Reuters

For 350 years, coal-black ravens have wandered freely around the Tower of London's grassy inner courtyard as cawing barometers of the monarchy's vitality -- if the ravens ever die or leave the tower, the legend goes, the tower and the kingdom will fall.

Now the fear of bird flu has done what Luftwaffe bombings, blizzards, assassinations and abdications could not, forcing the ravens to be moved inside in isolation for their own safety and to hedge Britain's bets on the future of the crown.

On Tuesday, Hungarian officials confirmed that they had found the lethal H5N1 strain in three dead swans. With seven European countries now reporting cases of bird flu, including France, which is just 21 miles across the English Channel, concern is spreading in Britain. European officials met Tuesday in Brussels to discuss how to contain the virus, which has killed at least 92 people, mostly in Asia.

The British government has announced that plans are being prepared to put millions of free-range chickens indoors if the disease reaches British shores. But, quietly, the country's most famous birds were moved indoors last Wednesday night to custom-made aviaries. The names of the eight ravens currently in the tower are Gwylum, Thor, Hugine, Munin, Branwen, Bran, Gundulf, and Baldrick.

The move was made public this week by Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, as the tower is officially known, as visitors continue to inquire as to the whereabouts of one of the favorite features of the 900-year-old tower.

As thousands of visitors arrived Tuesday to view the famed Crown Jewels, several discussed the ravens that were seen no more. No one was saying nevermore would they be seen, but officials said the quarantine is not likely to be brief.

* Read more from The Washington Post
* More on Ravens and Tower of London the from Wikipedia

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Bird Flu Investment Perspective

... John Markman writes about bird flu from an investor’s perspective on MSN Money. Markman is not really worried about bird flu. (Never mind that the third of his three scenarios is horrific–he just doesn’t think it will happen). He has interesting advice about companies to invest in if you wish to play the H5N1 odds. [tease] At the moment, the ...
Cloudy Thinking View Technorati URL search

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Italian Study Shows Effects of Bird Flu on Eating Habits

... A consumer survey conducted in Italy provides some interesting data on consumer reaction to the outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in the country. The results show that only 27% of consumers continued to consume poultry products in the days immediately following the announcement that bird flu had arrived in Italy. These consumers made no changes in their ...
fluFactor View Technorati URL search

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Médias responsables et coupables

... Les ventes de poulet ont baissé de 25 à 30%. Pourquoi? A cause de la grippe aviaire? Non. Jusqu’à présent pas le moindre poulet n’a été atteint de cette maladie. Ce sont les médias qui sont seuls responsables. Particulièrement les deux chaînes des principaux journaux télévisés: TF1 et France 2. Midi et soir, depuis maintenant plusieurs semaines, ...
bretons en force View Technorati URL search

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EU to allow bird flu vaccination

... EU experts approve limited vaccination of poultry, as Austria confirms a case of H5N1 bird flu in poultry. ...
umbrellawort907 View Technorati URL search

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February 20, 2006

Thai boy dies of H5N1

No matter how prepared you think you are, you're never prepared enough. I wasn't prepared for this story on Xinhuanet: Bird flu kills Thai boy.

A 5-year-old boy in Thai Nakhon Nayok province outside Bangkok has died of bird flu, becoming the 14th Thai victim of avian influenza, local media reported Saturday.

News of the death of the youngster came as a shock. Thailand has been largely free of bird flu in the past two months, since a small outbreak killed a man last October, the Bangkok Post said on its web edition.

The boy died in hospital on Wednesday, Thai Deputy Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakula was quoted as saying. He was not known to have had direct contact with chickens, but investigations are continuing.

The death brings the Asian death toll from H5N1 avian flu to 70.


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Bulgaria confirms more cases of H5N1 in swans - Reuters AlertNet


Bulgaria confirms more cases of H5N1 in swans
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 7 hours ago
... Feb 20 (Reuters) - Bulgaria confirmed on Monday that three swans found dead near its Black Sea coast earlier this month were infected with H5N1, the strain of ...
Bulgaria confirms three more cases of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird ... TODAYonline
UK Confirms 3 more H5N1 Cases in Bulgaria Sofia News Agency
Three more bird flu cases confirmed in Bulgaria Xinhua
Xinhua - Ireland Online - all 35 related

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Conspiracy theories moving as fast as H5N1

From Newindpress.com, an Indian news source: Bird flu virus deliberately introduced in India?

The government's announcement of bird flu deaths in Maharashtra has created an unnecessary panic and how the virus arrived in a remote place like Nandurbar needs "detailed investigations," including the possibility of deliberate introduction, according to a leading virologist.

Meanwhile health ministry officials investigating the episode told PTI that Newcastle virus - that causes similar symptoms like bird flu - has also been isolated from the dead birds lending credence to the poultry industry claims that the deaths were not entirely due to bird flu.

"I am worried and surprised about the whole thing," says Kalyan Banerjee, former director of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune who is also a member of the government committee advising about bio terrorism.

Transmission of flu from birds to humans is very difficult and the fears have been over blown, Banerjee told PTI in a telephone interview. The 90-odd persons in some 30 countries who have so far died of this virus were bird handlers and no single human-to-human transmission has taken place.

The commercial angle to the whole bird flu business "should be looked at very carefully," says Banerjee who is one of many scientists who believe that what struck Surat in 1994 was not plague.

anything about Surat, but I have strong reservations about this story (and others like it, some of which are now popping up in Nigerian media). H2H does seem to have happened at least once in Thailand, and some authorities think it's far more common than officially admitted. The passing references to bioterrorism and "commercial angles" appear to be mere button-pushing rather than documented arguments.

And if some conspiracy were intent on inflicting H5N1 on India, it ought to be smart enough to cover its tracks by introducing it in some local where wild birds are common, or where international poultry trade permits blaming someone else.

This kind of scare story, unfortunately, is going to be far more widespread in coming months. Just wait until the first human cases appear in Europe and North America. Disinformation will flood over us like a Philippines mudslide.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Malaysia goes positive—again

Via Reuters: Malaysia reports bird flu case, poultry shares tumble.

Malaysia on Monday reported its first case of H5N1 bird flu since November 2004, with the death of 40 chickens in central Selangor state last week.

But Agriculture Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said it was an isolated case and that the public need not worry as no human was affected.

"Tests conducted confirmed the death of the free range chickens was caused by H5N1 avian influenza virus," he said in a statement issued through state news agency Bernama.

Muhyiddin said all 110 chickens in the area just outside the capital had been destroyed. "Immediate and integrated action had been taken to contain the disease and prevent it from spreading," he added.

The fresh case of bird flu hit shares in poultry firms and prompted neighbouring Singapore, the biggest market for Malaysian poultry, to suspend imports from the state.

lized that Malaysia had experienced an earlier bout of H5N1, and I'd been surprised that it seemed untouched while Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand were battling the virus. I wish I could share the agriculture minister's upbeat attitude.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A human death in Bulgaria?

From Xinhuanet: Bird flu suspect dies in Bulgaria.

A young woman hospitalized last Friday in Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdiv has died after showing symptoms of bird flu, Bulgarian state news agency BTA reported on early Monday.

The patient, 27, was sent to hospital with severe bilateral pneumonia and breathing difficulties, BTA cited the chief doctor Mariana Stoicheva as saying.

Stoicheva revealed the woman had worked in a local minced chicken factory, prompting the hospital to treat her as a suspicious avian flu-infected patient.

Initial tests to detect the fatal H5N1 strain of bird flu virus were immediately carried out and the results were negative, Stoicheva said. However, the samples have been sent to the laboratory in Sofia for confirmation, and the result is expected on Feb. 22.

If the test result confirms H5N1 virus, this will be the country's first human fatality from bird flu.

the story from Sofia News Agency, surprisingly buried deep in its website:
The young woman, who was hospitalized at the end of last week in Bulgaria's second largest city of Plovdiv after showing symptoms of bird flu, died Monday morning.

The 27-year-old patient was admitted to hospital on Friday with bilateral pneumonia and breathlessness.

Initial tests for detecting the virulent H5N1 bird flu virus strain were immediately carried out and gave negative results. A Sofia laboratory, which received samples, confirmed that the woman tests negative.

If the test results were to indicate H5N1 findings, this would have been the first human death in the country as a result of bird flu infection.

Two people in Bulgaria's Black Sea city Varna were put to medical tests over fears of bird flu infection on Friday. The next day a 32-year-old Bulgarian was hospitalized in the city of Haskovo, south Bulgaria, after showing symptoms similar to bird flu.


Posted by dymaxion at 04:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indonesia: "We are very close" to H2H

From the Jakarta Post, an important and disturbing story: Experts warn risk of interhuman spread of bird flu on the rise.

Amid the increasing incidence of bird flu cluster cases, health experts warned Thursday of the growing likelihood of human-to-human transmission.

"We can't guess when the spread of the virus among humans will occur because it will need a thorough examination of the source of the virus from each patient in a cluster," the spokesman and head of the bird flu surveillance unit at North Jakarta's Sulianti Saroso Hospital, Ilham Patu, told The Jakarta Post.

"But the fact that we have more and more cases of bird flu clusters shows that we are very close to having one."

ere is another story about the Indonesians' worries.
Cluster cases are defined as several members of a household or neighborhood falling sick at the same time.

Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said Wednesday the country had the highest number of bird flu cluster fatalities in the world, with six reported so far. Indonesia also has the world's highest mortality rate, with 18 fatalities of the 26 people who have tested positive for the H5N1 virus since July last year.

Both Siti and Agriculture Minister Anton Apriyantono, speaking after a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono about handling of the problem, said the virus appeared to be more virulent, with Siti saying there was the growing probability of human-to-human transmission.

Health experts say the cluster cases provide conducive conditions for the mutation of the virus to human-to-human transmission. There have been nightmare scenarios of the shutdown of affected cities, causing a huge economic impact, from a global pandemic.

Read the whole story. When it comes to H5N1, the Indonesians have the unhappy distinction of knowing what they're talking about.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

French poultry exports plunge on bird flu fears Tamiflu

French poultry exports plunge on bird flu fears 
AFP via Yahoo! News - Feb 18 8:14 PM
France, the world’s fourth largest poultry exporter, has lost about a third of its trade over fears about the unrelenting spread of bird flu across the globe, industry officials say.Save to My Web

Spread of avian flu jumps in West and Central Java 
Jakarta Post - Feb 17 8:27 PM
Officials are planning emergency measures to deal with a worrisome spike in the incidence of avian bird flu in densely populated West and Central Java.Save to My Web

India tests for H5N1 bird flu strain 
Reuters via Yahoo! News - Feb 19 1:09 PM
India was testing dozens of people for bird flu on Sunday, while France sought to ease consumer fears after its first avian case of the H5N1 virus by urging people to eat chicken.Save to My Web

Mass cull under way as India battles bird flu 
TODAYonline - 58 minutes ago
An Indian shopkeeper counts money next to chicken cages at a poultry market of New Delhi. Seven people are under observation while up to half a million birds are being culled after India was hit by the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, officials said.Save to My Web

India May Have to Cull Up to 1 Mln Birds to Curb Flu Outbreak 
Bloomberg.com - Feb 19 11:07 AM
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) — India may have to cull as many as 1 million birds, the health minister said, after the first avian flu infections in chickens emerged Feb. 18, adding the country to those affected in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.Save to My Web

Delhi calls for calm amid bird flu outbreak 
Financial Times - Feb 19 9:33 AM
The Indian government scrambled to cope with its first confirmed avian flu infections at the weekend, culling 900,000 chickens in the western part of the country where the infected samples were found and preparing to dispatch anti-bird flu drugs to affected areas.Save to My Web

No Confirmed Cases of Bird Flu in Humans Yet in India: Report 
RedNova - Feb 19 7:28 AM
No confirmed cases of bird flu in humans yet in India: report NEW DELHI, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — While samples of dead chickens were tested positive for bird flu virus in India, there are no confirmed cases of the disease in humans so far, New Delhi Television reported Saturday.Save to My Web

Bird flu virus found in France, Iran, India 
The Age - Feb 19 5:46 AM
THE H5N1 bird flu virus has been identified for the first time in France, Iran and India, while Nigeria said it was bringing the disease under control.Save to My Web

Bird flu: WHO experts in Nigeria, assess poultry 
Vanguard - 1 hour, 44 minutes ago
KANO THE United Nations (UN) health officials yesterday inspected a bird flu-hit farm and assessed clean-up operations in Nigeria as experts said Africas first avian influenza epidemic had already battered the economy.Save to My Web

Posted by dymaxion at 04:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu-hit Europe awaits African spring migration

... The spread of bird flu across Europe, thought to be caused by waterfowl from the Black Sea, risks increasing when birds soon start migrating north from Africa, experts said on Monday. The H5N1 strain of the virus has now been found in France, Germany, Italy and Greece, mostly either in wild swans or, as in France, a species of wild duck. ...
Medical and health information and tools from Armenian Medical Network View Technorati URL search

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

H5N1 News: India Quarantines Eight as Bird Flu Spreads

... A Reuters newswire article, via MSNBC, reports that: India began a door-to-door search for anyone with fever on Monday, quarantining six people in hospital as authorities scrambled to contain the country’s first outbreak of bird flu. In Europe, officials urged people to carry on eating poultry meat despite outbreaks of the lethal H5N1 bird ...
Fergie's Tech Blog View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 04:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

foxnews.com - u.s. & world news - h5n1 found in indian chickens

BOMBAY, India Lab tests have confirmed that at least some of the chickens that died of bird flu in western India died of the deadly H5N1 strain, a state minister said Saturday announcing the country's first case of the disease. At least 30,000 chickens have died in the town of Navapur in the poultry-farming district of Nandurbar over the past two weeks, Anees Ahmed, the Maharashtra state minister for animal husbandry, told the Associated Press. "It is confirmed the deaths were caused

Posted by dymaxion at 04:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

første udbrud af fugleinfluenza i frankrig - udland - berlingske tidende

Berlingske E-avis L?s den trykte avis som du kender den. Lagt p? www.berlingske.dk l?rdag den 18. februar 2006 kl. 21:23 Den frygtede fugleinfluenza blev sent l rdag p vist i en d d and i Paris. Det er det f rste tilf lde af H5N1 i Frankrig. Den frygtede fugleinfluenza blev sent l rdag p vist i en d d and i Paris, oplyser det franske landbrugsministerium. Det er det f rste tilf lde af H5N1 i Frankrig. - Ja, det er H5N1, l d det kontante svar fra en talskvinde for ministeriet. Den

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

Nigeria fears bird flu has spread to humans

Nigeria fears bird flu has spread to humans KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) -- Nigerian health officials waited anxiously on Sunday for test results on two children feared to be the first Africans infected with the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus. The virus broke out in early January among poultry in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, but the H5N1 diagnosis was confirmed only last week and authorities are struggling to contain it as it spreads rapidly to farms across the north

Posted by dymaxion at 04:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Iraq confirms new bird flu death

BBC: World : " Iraq confirms that a 39-year-old man who died in January, was killed by the H5N1 strain of bird flu. " This puts the virus at the United State's doorstep with our troops coming home from Iraq. -- David R. Remer, PoliWatch.Org.

Posted by dymaxion at 04:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird Flu Updates

The deadly H5N1 strain of Avian flu has now been found in India , and Iran . Indonesia reports.... According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , human cases of the H5N1 strain of avian.... The CDC assesses the situation: ...There is little pre-existing natural immunity to H5N1 infection in the human population . If these H5N1 viruses gain the ability for efficient and sustained... and death . In addition, genetic sequencing of influenza A (H5N1) viruses from human cases

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

people's daily online -- germany detects two more bird flu cases

Germany detected another two cases of the deadly bird flu on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 61 in the west European nation which saw the arrival of the H5N1 virus only recently. H5N1 was detected in a buzzard and a gull found dead in Mecklenburg-Pomerania, the northeastern state... unit on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen, where at least 59 cases of the H5N1 virus have been detected... inspection, with the public being warned not to touch any dead animals as the H5N1 strain of virus can

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

Cumulative Number of Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza A/(H5N1) Reported to WHO

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edicom: news - br??ves on-line

LAGOS (AP) - La souche virale H5N1 de la grippe aviaire a identifi e dans deux nouveaux Etats du Nigeria, ont annonc lundi les autorit s sanitaires, alors que le gouvernement a ordonn un abattage imm diat des oiseaux dans les fermes touch es. La pr sence de la souche H5N1 est d sormais confirm e dans deux Etats du nord du pays, Katsina et Zamfara, ce qui porte cinq le nombre des Etats du Nigeria affect s, le pays comptant au total 36 Etats. Pour l'heure, aucun cas humain n'a confirm dans le

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

Still B2B, rare B2H--steady yellow

The news is filled with reports of spreading B2B infection and rare cases of B2H.  By itself, spread in the bird population is not dangerous to people.     

Unfortunately, the virus has spread aggressively into some countries and areas where health care is all-but-absent, and where B2H cases may go undetected, unreported, and not-isolated.   These are the areas and conditions where H2H is most likely to start.  And, as you might guess, these are also the areas where news is most difficult to follow. 

Our risk has increased because of the geographic spread of the virus, but as of right now, it is very much B2B with very rare B2H.  It is possible for the virus to stay this way--forever.  Let us hope so.   

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

February 16, 2006

Overheard at CIDRAP's National Summit for Business Planning: Pandemic Influenza

Here are some interesting sound-bites from the recently completed CIDRAP sponsored Business Planning for Pandemic Influenza, a National Summit:

  • Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of CIDRAP, and perhaps the leading scientist and public policy advocate in the field, when asked what he would do with the $7.1 billion sum that the Bush Administration has recommended to prepare for an H5N1 virus pandemic: I would put it all into the development of a next generation vaccine that would be able to lead possibly to the eradication of influenza in all its forms. Osterholm had earlier in the hour characterized the $7.1 billion sum as inadequate to the challenge that lies ahead. (For readers who haven't been following the DC story, Congress has so far allocated $3.1 billion).
  • Ted Koppel, speaking before a dinner audience of Summit attendees said, referring of course to Bird Flu, that in all his time in news reporting he had never seen a story this important, with this much lead time for action, so ignored by so many people.
  • Dorothy Teeter, Interim Director and Health Officer Public Health --Seattle & King County WA, said that a Seattle medical examiner had gone to New Orleans to study the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  After he returned, Teeter said, even she was taken aback when he recommended to the King's County bird flu taskforce that health officials develop guidelines for families to bury bodies of loved ones in their back yards in case county burial resources become overwhelmed as in post-Katrina New Orleans. Teeter noted that a similar crisis had occurred in Philadelphia at the height of the Spanish Flu outbreak (1918-20).
  • John Barry, author, The Great Influenza, noted that while officials across the country were denying the seriousness of the pandemic, describing it as just a strong but ordinary flu outbreak, doctors were reporting cases of patients bleeding from their mouths and ears just hours after coming down with the sickness and faces so blue and distorted that caregivers were unable to distinguish the patient's race. Barry also pointed out how the virus continues to mutate during the pandemic, he noted that the first wave in 1918 was rather mild and it wasn't until months later that the severity increased.  He said a later wave was actually the worst.
  • Michael Osterholm put up his "W Factor" slide measuring the distribution of deaths by age groups during the Spanish Flu pandemic in Boston.  The slide shows the greatest number of deaths occurring, as expected, among the youngest and oldest but surprisingly, at the peak of the epidemic, there is a spike for young adults between the ages of 20 and 40, actually topping the other age groups. The phenomenon behind this is called a "Cytokine Storm" in which those with the strongest immune systems become the most vulnerable.

For more information on the Conference.

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Don't Take Your Eye Off of South Asia

Europe is in the Bird Flu news bull's-eye today with wild swan deaths reported from Sicily to the Baltic. The story and reports out of Nigeria, though dramatic, have pushed the ongoing Indonesia avian flu story momentarily out of the spotlight. It is, however, Indonesia that continues to report human cases and ensuing deaths at an unabated rate over a period of the last several months. Several experts at the recently completed CIDRAP National Summit on avian flu. including CIDRAP's director Dr. Michael Osterholm, stressed that the greatest danger for the mutation of the virus to a form that allows easy transmission from person to person --the predicted last step before a feared human pandemic-- will most likely occur in China or Indonesia where there are very large populations of people and fowl often in close contact against the backdrop of a weak public health system.

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

Indonesia sees more frequent human infections

Indonesia's human cases of avian influenza are occurring with increasing frequency, prompting the government to step up monitoring efforts aimed at slowing the spread of the virus among animals.

Humans are contracting the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus at a faster pace, causing more deaths, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriantono told reporters in Jakarta before attending a cabinet meeting on bird flu, without elaborating.

``We will step up preventive efforts, be more proactive,'' Apriantono said. ``We will do checking even on areas that haven't seen any cases of dead poultry. Information dissemination about bird flu will be stepped up.''

Indonesia has the second-highest number of bird flu cases among humans in the world. The H5N1 virus has killed at least 18 people of the 25 people it has infected in the Southeast Asian nation. Health authorities say they are concerned the virus will mutate into a form easily transmitted among humans, causing a deadly global pandemic. The country's suspected sixth cluster of human infections, in two adults and their two-year-old daughter, has heightened concerns.

The government plans to start searching Jakarta homes starting next week, Apriantono said. The government will cull diseased poultry in a 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) radius and vaccinate fowl within a 3 kilometer radius.

That is from Bloomberg. I wonder how much of this increase in reported cases is due to better testing and awareness, as opposed to higher incidence.

Posted by dymaxion at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another update from Nigeria

Nigeria is investigating a possible outbreak of bird flu near its northern border with Niger as Ukraine's government said officials are probing possible new cases in the Crimean peninsula.

Agriculture officials in Nigeria's Katsina state destroyed more than 1,000 chickens suspected of being infected with the H5N1 avian influenza strain in the state capital, the Nigerian government said yesterday in a statement. An initial poultry outbreak, Africa's first, was confirmed last week.

Source.

AP has more:

A deadly strain of bird flu may have emerged in eight of Nigeria's 36 states, authorities said Monday, as concerns grew that the virus had been spreading long before officials knew it was in Africa.

[...] Nigeria, which reported Africa's first cases of the disease in birds, was screening workers from the farm where the H5N1 strain was first discovered. It was confirmed in three northern states and has already killed thousands of birds in the area.

On Monday, health officials said five additional states were also suspected to have the disease.

Barry Schoub, executive director of South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said the virus probably has spread over a much more extensive area in Nigeria and that he expected to see large-scale destruction of birds there.

"The Nigeria case is very, very concerning because the spread in poultry appears to have been going on for quite some time and may well be more extensive," Schoub told reporters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Posted by dymaxion at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu prompts EU to ban untreated feathers

The European Union is to ban the import of all untreated feathers, in the latest attempt to control the spread of outbreaks of the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu in wild birds that is intensifying around and within Europe's borders....

Posted by dymaxion at 02:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FT.com / International economy / Bird flu - EU pledges €2m to fight bird flu

 
FT.com / International economy / Bird flu - EU pledges €2m to fight bird flu (info)
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/4db4cc4a-9e53-11da-b641-0000779e2340.html
European health experts on Wednesday backed a Commission pledge for €2m in funding this year for animal surveillance programmes across the EU to help combat the lethal H5N1 bird flu virus.

Posted by dymaxion at 02:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Baltic Sea states on high alert after dead swans found in Poland

H5N1 has been detected in the European Union mainly in migrating wild swans and also in a bird of prey found on Ruegen island. ... The presence of the H5N1 virus has been confirmed in recent days in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, ...

Posted by dymaxion at 02:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NIGERIA DIDN'T MAKE H5N1 CASES PUBLIC FOR UP TO 19 DAYS - African News Dimension


NIGERIA DIDN'T MAKE H5N1 CASES PUBLIC FOR UP TO 19 DAYS
African News Dimension, South Africa - 18 hours ago
... director of Nigeria's Veterinary Institute based in the central town of Vom, said Wednesday her laboratory technicians confirmed the H5N1 strain's existence on ...
NIGER DRAWS UP BIRD FLU EMERGENCY PLAN African News Dimension
Farmworkers tested for deadly bird flu virus Independent Online
all 7 related

Posted by dymaxion at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vaccine for H5N1 may be useless

A story in the Times Online reports that Vaccine for bird flu may be useless, say experts.

A vaccine ordered by the Government as a defence against avian flu may not prove effective, the latest scientific findings suggest. The Government has ordered two to three million doses of a generic H5N1 vaccine and is shortly to announce which company among those who tendered has been awarded the contract. But a team who studied the diversity of avian flu in China and South-East Asia has suggested that such generic vaccines may prove ineffective against a virus that has already had years to generate genetic diversity.

The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates that the virus has been spreading in an uncontrolled fashion in China for the past decade, has crossed into Vietnam on three occasions and may be spread by "carrier%" poultry that show no symptoms. Such is the diversity of the viruses now circulating in China and South-East Asia that attempts to produce a generic H5N1 vaccine may be fruitless, the team suggests.

of the article is here.

Posted by dymaxion at 02:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dead swans in Germany test positive for H5N1

The industrious people at CurEvents are often the first to pick up a new story, and here's the latest example: Dead swans in Germany test positive for H5N1 bird flu.

Two dead swans in Germany have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, the Agriculture and Consumer Protection ministry said on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the ministry told Reuters two of four dead swans found on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen had registered positive in an initial test for the virus.

German-language media have confirmed the report; here is the story, in German, in Der Spiegel.

From Austria to the Baltic in a single day, the Qinghai Express rolls on.

Posted by dymaxion at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHO's in charge here?

Some kind of debate—probably not a happy one—seems to be going on between WHO and Dr. David Nabarro. It appears to have started a few days ago when Nabarro warned the world that bird flu virus is only two mutations away from a more deadly form.

The bird flu virus is only two mutations away from a form that can spread easily among people, a UN official said in an interview published in Portugal on Saturday.

"Only two mutations are needed for it to become easily transmissible among humans," thus sparking a pandemic in which millions of people could die, David Nabarro, the world body's coordinator on avian influenza, told Portuguese newspaper Expresso.

"I wake up every morning thinking that today could be the day that I will see a report about a strange case of bird flu among humans," he said.

The UN official added that he has told governments around the world to prepare for the arrival of a human to human strain of thevirus "as if this will happen tomorrow."

o has cracked a two by four over our collective heads before. Sometimes it seems like the only way he can get our attention. When WHO seconded him to be the UN's avian-flu boss, Nabarro started by saying a pandemic could cost as many as 350 million lives. WHO backed away from that figure very quickly.

This afternoon a reader tipped me off to a story in the Vancouver Sun—something about "WHO in the dark on bird flu." But it's a subscription site, and I'm not a subscriber (don't get me going about the quality of our local newspapers).

I picked up a paper and found a brief story in the first section with "WHO in the dark on bird flu" as the headline. It said WHO is planning to issue an "update" saying that it's impossible to predict how close H5N1 is to becoming a really deadly H2H virus.

"There's no way of knowing," the story quotes Michael Perdue as saying. "There's no way to make that prediction."

Since Perdue is working with WHO's global influenza program, that sounds to me like a careful, official repudiation of Nabarro's "two mutations" comment. And that in turn makes me think that WHO's campaign against the flu is being waged both externally and internally.

WHO is not the only one in the dark about bird flu.

Posted by dymaxion at 02:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Antibiotics in pandemic flu.

Posted by dymaxion at 02:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grippe aviaire : le Bénin renforce la sécurité à sa frontièreAfrik.com, Portail de l'Afrique et du Maghreb

Le Bénin met les bouchées doubles pour se protéger de son voisin le Nigeria, où le premier foyer de grippe aviaire du continent africain a été décelé. D'autant plus que des éleveurs nigérians tentent d'écouler leurs poulets sur le territoire béninois, craignant que des contrôles ne révèlent la présence du virus H5N1 chez leurs volailles. Un verdict qui condamnerait leurs bêtes à l'abattage.

Posted by dymaxion at 02:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Swans not big culprit in spread of bird flu in EUReuters: Global Coverage

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Most of the European Union's known cases of bird flu have been in swans -- but they are not the species most guilty of spreading the deadly H5N1 virus around the continent, a leading scientist said on Thursday.

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Vogelgrippe vor der HaustürLogbuch

> Spiegel Online: WHO-Experte warnt vor tödlichen Risiken

H5N1 treibt sich wahrscheinlich schon länger und ausführlicher in der Weltgeschichte herum als die Wissenschaft bisher so meinte. Die Vögel auf Rügen, die da an dem Virus verendet sind – das sind ja keine Zugvögel – da wird es interessant sein, herauszufinden, woher denn bitte die Ansteckung kommt.

Und dann möchte man hoffen, dass die Behörden und Zuständigen ab jetzt schneller in die Puschen kommen – wenn die Viecher da stundenlang rum liegen – das kann´s ja nicht sein. Bisher sind nur Wildvögel betroffen – auch in Hamburg wurden schon Vögel aus einem Kanal gefischt – hier muss sich aber noch rausstellen, ob die an dem bösen Virus verendet sind. Bedenkenlos Geflügel und Eier zu verzehren – dazu kann Herr Seehofer momentan noch guten Gewissens raten, da in Deutschland noch keine Nutztierbestände befallen sind.

Der warnende WHO-Experte wiederholt nur das, was die WHO schon seit Monaten sagt – das die Chance auf Mutation des Virus und damit zur direkten Ansteckung von Mensch zu Mensch steigt je mehr Menschen sich mit dem H5N1 anstecken. Noch ist das nicht so weit – und in Panik auszubrechen, das ist allemal eine schlechte Idee. Meine Nachbarin, die mir heute früh sagte, dass sie jetzt nicht mehr Chicken McNuggets essen wird – nun ja, der schlanken Linie mag das helfen – aber wegen der Vogelgrippe muss man da noch nicht Beherrschung üben.

Um die Chance auf Mutation klein zu halten, sollten alle Anstrengungen unternommen werden, dass sich möglichst wenig Menschen überhaupt infizieren. Immer wieder neue Ansteckungsfälle in Asien – Vogelgrippe in Afrika – da würde es sich doch lohnen, nicht nur auf tote Vögel im Rügener Bodden zu starren und über Chicken McNuggets ins Grübeln zu verfallen – sondern vor allem in Afrika alles Mögliche zu unternehmen, um diese Infektionsgefahren einzudämmen.

> WHO: Experts arrive in Nigeria
> WHO: Disease Outbreak News

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Switzerland uplifts alert level against avian influenza The Flu News Blog

Switzerland uplifts alert level against avian influenza Switzerland uplifted its alert level against avian influenza on Wednesday, reintroducing a ban on keeping poultry outdoors. Germany Taking `All Measures’ Against Bird Flu Spread (Update1) Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) — German Agriculture and Consumer Protection Minister Horst Seehofer said the government is taking all possible steps to contain avian influenza after a third case of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu was confirmed.

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Crainte du H5N1, la volaille disparaît des menus européenstf1.fr - Actu Economie

La consommation de volailles a chuté dans de nombreux pays d'Europe par peur de la grippe aviaire. Les nations déjà touchées comme l'Italie, la Bulgarie et l'Autriche ont perdu l'appétit même si les scientifiques affirment qu'elle reste sans danger pour la santé humaine.

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L'AVIARIA E I MASS-MEDIA

... Riprendiamo il post di ieri e completiamo alcuni concetti sulla psicosi che sta creandosi in Italia circa il problema dell’infezione aviaria.. Anzitutto e bene premettere che il problema è diventato di carattere europeo e che la paura del contagio sta investendo altri paesi; addirittura due persone in Grecia sono state ricoverate in Ospedale: ...
visestis View Technorati URL search

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EU toughens rules to contain bird flu outbreaks

... BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has tightened rules to combat outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 strain of flu in wild birds and domestic poultry, the executive said on Thursday. ...
Latest News and Financial Information | Reuters.co.uk View Technorati URL search

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iran detects first h5n1 bird flu - world breaking news - breaking news 24/7 - news.com.au

IRAN'S veterinary organisation said today the first cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu had been detected in wild swans in the Islamic Republic. "International laboratory results confirm that some wild swans died from bird flu," a statement from the organisation said. An official from the veterinary organisation, who declined to be named, confirmed the birds had died from the H5N1 strain of the disease, which is dangerous to humans. The dead swans came from wetlands near the Caspian Sea

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Azerbaijan reports H5N1 in wild birds

Azerbaijan said on Friday the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu had been found in wild birds on the Caspian Sea. Samples from the birds were sent for tests to London and showed the bird flu strain was present, a spokesman for the Health Ministry said.

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germany says h5n1 bird flu confirmed in dead swans - boston.com

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany said on Wednesday further tests had confirmed Tuesday's preliminary findings that two dead swans found on a Baltic Sea beach were infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. Reinhard Kurth, head of the Robert Koch Institute, said there was no longer any doubt that the two dead swans found recently on the Baltic island of Ruegen had been infected. The findings... that the swans were infected with H5N1 from Asia," Kurth, who heads the institute, told German television. "We

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bird flu confirmed in russia - world breaking news - breaking news 24/7 - news.com.au

THE H5N1 bird flu virus has been found among poultry in the southern Russian province of Dagestan, apparently spread by wild birds, a senior veterinary official said. An infection of the bird flu virus type H5N1 occurred at a poultry farm in the village of Shamkhal, close to the Caspian Sea... be in the near future, Mr Vlasov said. The outbreak is the first confirmed case of H5N1... of thousands of birds in an effort to stem its spread. The potentially lethal H5N1 strain has killed

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berliner morgenpost: "in erster linie: keine panik!"

Berlin - H?ckerschw?ne auf der Ostseeinsel R?gen sind die ersten Opfer des Virus H5N1... Sonja Kastilan. Berliner Morgenpost: Herr Schmidt, H5N1 ist jetzt in Deutschland. Was bedeutet das f?r... ist ein ?bungsfeld, und H5N1 ist ein ungew?hnlich aggressives Virus. F?r uns ist es in erster Linie.... Vielleicht trugen sie schon eine nicht-pathogene Variante von H5N1 in sich, die zur hoch-pathogenen Form mutierte. Oder andere V?gel brachten das pathogene H5N1 nach R?gen - eine kleine Vorhut des

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poultry, not wild birds, most often carries deadly avian flu to africa

The lethal strain of H5N1 bird flu found in Nigeria this month probably got there in poultry... than a million chicks a year from countries that include Turkey, where H5N1 appeared last fall, and China, where it has circulated for a decade. H5N1 has been found in three duck species that spend... to occasionally harbor H5N1 arrived months ago and are about to leave. If it turns out that trade, not nature, was responsible for introducing H5N1 to Africa, better control of trade in domesticated birds may

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lab tests show h5n1 in dead slovenian swan - boston.com

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - A swan found in Slovenia this month died of the lethal H5N1 avian flu virus strain, according to laboratory tests performed in Italy, a government spokesman told Reuters on Thursday. This is the first confirmed case of H5N1 in Slovenia, a tiny former Yugoslav republic... in October, when it culled thousands of local poultry. "The lab tests from Italy confirmed the H5N1.... So far, the H5N1 strain has been confirmed in four other EU countries -- Greece, Italy, Austria

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February 15, 2006

Business Planning for Pandemic Influenza: How Do We Debate the Tough Questions?

Ted Koppel spoke last night to an audience of over 360 attendees at CIDRAP's Business Planning for Pandemic Influenza: A National Summit. Koppel's talk, which roundly criticized the present state of TV news, laid the groundwork for his broader call for open dialogue on the flu pandemic.  The former creator and host of "Nightline" argued that public cooperation  can best be achieved in an environment in which the media and political leaders provide audiences with what they need to know rather than what they want to hear

To the international audience of business and government strategic planners, Koppel  argued that the present moment might present an opportunity to get the major issues out on the table for debate and discussion. "Once the pandemic occurs, it will be too late," he emphasized. 

Koppel's talk followed earlier presentations, including a keynote address by Health and Human Services Secretary, Michael Leavitt.  Leavitt made clear in his talk to the business people assembled that they could not depend on the federal government "bringing in the cavalry", should a bird flu pandemic spread into the human population.

Taking Koppel's cue, and Leavitt's admonition, as a starting point, we've compiled, in no particular order,  a sampling of some of those tough questions that emerged in Koppel's talk as well as others that have come to the surface over the course of this 2-day Meeting in Minneapolis.

  • What's the proper role of business in this equation?
  • Is the problem too big for businesses alone to solve?
  • What should the government be spending funds allocated for Avian Flu on?
  • How do you get companies that manufacture basics like syringes, face masks, swabs, etc. to increase capacity?
  • How long will it take for a better flu production process to be developed?
  • How much reliance should anyone put on Tamiflu and related antivirals?
  • Should people be going out and buying Tamiflu if they can find it?
  • should doctors be writing prescriptions to their patients?
  • What are the weakest links in a pandemic that will engulf the entire society at once?
  • How much time will there be once the flu begins to spread before it engulfs the entire planet?
  • Should governments close their borders to everyone?
  • Should governments allow citizens to return home from hot spots?
  • What would quarantine mean for travelers?
  • How much fear is good fear?
  • What is the role of communication in the panic factor?
  • How big will the panic factor be?
  • Should company's stockpile medical supplies for their employees?
  • Should company's take measures to support sick employees unable to get into hospitals?
  •  What will employee's do when schools are closed?
  • Which employees should be considered vital?
  • Will marshal law need to be declared?
  • Are there adequate numbers of National Guardsmen (assuming peak sick rates of over 35%) to provide for a regime of marshal law?
  • What would trigger the need to move to marshal law?
  • Who should get vaccinated first?
  • Who should get stockpiled antiviral drugs?
  • How should the dead be cared for?
  • Where should they be stored? (Canada expects to use its ice rinks)
  • Should people be told how to safely bury their own dead?
  • What should everyone stock up?
  • Can the electric grid be maintained?
  • Can the communication grid be maintained? For how long and under what conditions?
  • What happens when a significant natural disaster strikes during the pandemic, can we handle that, too? (The pandemic will come in waves over a period of many months?)
  • Can the water supply be maintained?
  • Should people stock up on water?
  • Can transportation of goods be maintained?
  • What goods will take priority?
  • Should there be a rationing plan at the ready in case trucks can't move and fuel supplies are greatly curtailed?
  • How can panic be defused?
  • Can the Internet withstand the strain of greatly increased traffic?
  • Should schools remain open?
  • What percentage of the workforce can work at home, with the proper infrastructure support?
  • Should patients with regular drug needs be allowed to get prescriptions and insurance coverage to stockpile vital drugs?
  • Should companies institute liberal sick pay benefits to help discourage people from coming to work?
  • Should legislatures come up with laws specific to a state of pandemic emergency that lifts privacy constraints and other potential liabilities for employers and service providers?
  • If so, should that be standardized in Congress or left to the State legislatures?
  • How much should be left up to the local and state health authorities?

What emerges from this Conference is the absolute necessity for communication.  The big question, of course, is how that communication can occur. Koppel's point on the state of electronic news delivery is pertinent

.

The public needs to be made more fully aware of the present danger, the assessment that an H5N1 pandemic is probable though not certain, that, if we luck out and it's not H5N1, that flu pandemics do occur with great regularity and that there is an important role for businesses here not just in their own preparations but in their greater role of powerful advocates able to make government at all levels respond.  This is perhaps the most important thing that businesses can do.  The Avian Flu pandemic is a worldwide phenomenon that requires that government take the lead role. There are no safe islands.

We will be happy to add your questions to the above list.

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February 13, 2006

Attending CIDRAP's National Summit, Business Planning for Pandemic Influenza ?

I will be traveling to Minneapolis this afternoon to attend CIDRAP's National Summit, Business Planning for Pandemic Influenza.  Given the worrisome spread of hotspots from China to Southeast Asia and now across the Urals to Southeastern Europe and Africa, this event couldn't be more timely.  Much has been written on the enormous impact of a worldwide pandemic of all aspects of human society. The sponsors of the National Summit have made clear that the potential chaos that will ensue from a human to human outbreak of Avian Flu will be devastating not only for the directly affected human deaths and disease but on all aspects of society and our economy. What the geopolitical outcomes will be, are even harder to predict.

We will be reporting directly from the Conference on a timely basis. Hopefully the sponsors will make available wireless connectivity during the event.  If any of you are also attending and would like to meet up to discuss some of these issues, please send us an email. We'd love to hook up and will put aside time in the evening.

Richard Mendel-Black

 

 

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The latest human infections

Late on Friday China confirmed its eighth H5N1 casualty. The victim was a 20 year old woman from the Hunan province. She was a chicken farmer. (Source)

In perhaps the most worrisome news of the weekend the Saturday Wall Street Journal news tracker claims "Nigerian officials suspect the country may have its first human case of H5N1." Reuters has a similar story:

"There are a few suspected cases ... We're trying to locate them but our sources can't provide us with addresses for now," said Abdulsalam Nasidi, who is in charge of the response to bird flu as a threat to humans at the federal Health Ministry.

He said epidemiologists were searching for two people feared to have contracted bird flu in the northern state of Kaduna, close to Sambawa Farms where one of the poultry samples was found that tested positive for H5N1.

Samples have already been taken from people who are ill in the areas affected by bird flu. Should tests in Nigerian laboratories indicate the presence of bird flu, the samples would be sent abroad for further testing, Nasidi said.

Finally, on Sunday Indonesia confirmed earlier suspicions that two women who passed away earlier this week were infected with the H5N1 virus.

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35 under observation in China

Local health department of a north China's province has put 35 people in bird flu-hit Yangquan city under close medical observation, sources with the provincial government confirmed Thursday in Taiyuan, capital of North China's Shanxi Province.

The state avian flu lab confirmed on Feb. 7 that the H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic bird flu was the killer of 15,000 fowls at a fowl-run in Yijing Township, Yangquan City, north China's Shanxi Province.

The provincial health department said that all of the 35 peoplewere workers with the farm who had close contact with the dead birds. They have been restricted at their home to receive medical checks twice a day.

Vet departments in Shanxi has so far culled 187,745 poultry within three km from the affected areas after the province activated its emergency reaction program on the outbreak of the disease.

Source. The BBC runs an article on the latest Chinese human infections, some of which came in areas without any recent poultry outbreaks. China announced its 12th H5N1 human case today.

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Dead swans test positive for H5 in Greece

Samples from the swans have been sent to the European Union's laboratory in England for further testing to see if the virus is the deadly H5N1 strain, which has killed four people in neighbouring Turkey.

Final results on the birds, found in three separate areas around the Thermaikos Gulf south of the city of Thessaloniki, are expected to be known within seven days.

"The state mechanism is on alert," Agriculture Minister Evangelos Bassiakos said in a statement. "We urge calm as all the precautionary veterinary and health measures are being taken."

Vets near Thessaloniki visited people keeping poultry to ensure all precautionary measures, such as keeping all birds locked in barns and away from migratory flocks, are being enforced.

From Reuters via Yahoo!. Here's the reaction of one local to the news:

"As soon as I heard of this disease, I killed my chickens and ate them or gave them to friends," an elderly man in the town of Neoi Epivates, where one of the swans was found, told Greek television.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Iraqi Doctors Investigating Possible Cases of Bird Flu - New York Times

 
Iraqi Doctors Investigating Possible Cases of Bird Flu - New York Times (info)
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/13/international/middleeast/13baghdad.html?_ r=1&oref=slogin
Iraqi doctors are investigating six suspected cases of bird flu in southern Iraq, including one in which a 25-year-old fisherman died after contact with birds he was keeping in his yard, Iraqi and American health officials said Sunday.
Posted by ojcius to avian flu AvianFlu iraq H5N1 on Mon Feb 13 2006 at 14:50 UTC

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Khaleej Times Online-- Bird flu in Azerbaijan

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IRAQ: Suspected bird flu case appears in south

IRAQ: Suspected bird flu case appears in south
Reuters AlertNet, UK - Feb 8, 2006… In northern Iraq, a 15-year-old girl died of bird flu on 17 January in the town of Raniya, along with two other suspected cases of the H5N1 virus, including …
Source: www.alertnet.org

Dead bird tested positive for H5N1 virus in HK
Xinhua, China - Jan 29, 2006… Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said Sunday that a dead Oriental Magpie Robin found in Sha Tau Kok was confirmed to be H5N1 positive after a …
Source: news.xinhuanet.com

H5N1 likely endemic in HK region, health chief says
Reuters - Feb 3, 2006HONG KONG (Reuters) - The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus is probably endemic in the region around Hong Kong, the territory’s health chief said on Friday after the …
Source: today.reuters.com

Swiss on alert over African bird flu case
Swissinfo, Switzerland - 4 hours agoNigerian and international authorities announced on Wednesday that the deadly bird flu strain H5N1 had been detected on a poultry farm in northern Nigeria. …
Source: www.swissinfo.org

Villagers test negative for H5N1 virus
China Daily, China - Feb 2, 2006HONG KONG: Preliminary laboratory test results were negative for the three people who had been in contact with a dead chicken infected with the H5N1 bird flu …
Source: www.chinadaily.com.cn

Dutch to order poultry indoors from March
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 10 hours ago… The deadly H5N1 avian flu strain arrived in Nigeria earlier this week in what is Africa’s first bird flu outbreak. H5N1 avian influenza …
Source: www.alertnet.org

New Technology for Accelerating Development of Vaccines Against …
PharmaLive.com (press release), PA - Feb 6, 2006… February 06, 2006 /PRNewswire/ — Technology that enables scientists to identify targets for the development of vaccines against viruses such as H5N1 in weeks …
Source: www.pharmalive.com

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Armenia asks for help in detecting H5N1 in humans

Aide to the Armenian Agriculture Minister Anushavan Agajanyan stated, that Armenian specialists can not detect H5N1 strain of bird flu by humans because of technical reasons. He said that they still can determine H5N1 by birds through a ...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

H5N1 has been circulating for ten years in China

The H5N1 flu virus has been circulating continuously in poultry in south-eastern China for a decade, scientists have found. ... In the markets, they found H5N1 in about 2% of apparently healthy ducks and geese, and some chickens, ...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

EU confirms H5N1 bird flu in Slovenia, Bulgaria, Greece (Roundup) - Monsters and Critics.com


EU confirms H5N1 bird flu in Slovenia, Bulgaria, Greece (Roundup)
Monsters and Critics.com, UK - 12 minutes ago
Brussels/Rome - The European Commission on Monday confirmed the presence of the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu in Slovenia, Bulgaria and Greece as the Italian ...

Posted by dymaxion at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HK enforces poultry ban in bird flu fight - Reuters AlertNet



Thanh Nien Daily
HK enforces poultry ban in bird flu fight
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 6 hours ago
... on edge following eight deaths from bird flu in China and after six wild birds and two chickens in the territory were killed by the deadly H5N1 strain of avian ...
Bird Flu: Hong Kong bans poultry Times of India
Families protest ban on backyard chickens Monsters and Critics.com
Hong Kong ban on home poultry in effect - UPDATE Forbes
all 38 related

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All aboard the Qinghai Express

Via Reuters: Nigeria bird flu virus almost matches Turkish one.

Genetic sequencing on the H5N1 avian flu virus from birds in Nigeria show it is virtually the same as that found in fowl in China and Turkey, a scientist said on Friday.

A laboratory in Padua, Italy carried out the test on behalf of two international agencies dealing with the outbreaks in animals, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The H5N1 virus was found in dead poultry in northern Nigeria, the first time it has been detected in Africa after spreading across Asia and along the Black Sea.

"It is virtually identical to the birds in Qinghai Lake, China and the chickens in Turkey," Ilaria Capua, who carried out the genetic sequencing at the Padua laboratory, told Reuters.

fect Measure calls it the "Qinghai Express," and that's a good name for it. Just last summer we were wondering what was going on around Qinghai (pronounced ching-high) Lake. A few months later, it's halfway across the Mediterranean and deep in sub-Saharan Africa.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Slovenia: Swan is H5 positive

Xinhuanet reports Slovenia confirms H5 bird flu case in swan.

The European Commission said on Sunday that it was informed by the Slovenian authorities of a confirmed case of H5 bird flu virus in a swan.

The Slovenian Laboratory for Avian influenza has made the initial analysis, and samples have been sent to the EU Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza in Weybridge of Britain for furthertests.

According to the European Union (EU) head office, the Slovenian authorities immediately applied the same precautionary measures as those set out in the Commission Decision adopted for Greece on Friday and applied in Italy during the weekend.

The measures being implemented by Slovenia include the establishment of a high-risk area (a 3-km protection zone) around the area where the swan was found, and a surrounding surveillance zone of 10 km.

The Slovenian authorities are also in close contact with their Austrian counterpart, since the 10-kilometer surveillance area surpasses their border.

rd to hearing from an always-welcome commenter, "Slovenia," about this case. It's still not confirmed as H5N1, but the closeness to the Austrian border suggests we'll soon hear reports from central Europe.

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

Wild goose tests positive for bird fluRTÉ News

Officials in Greece have said a wild goose found on the Aegean island of Skyros tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

China reports eighth human death from bird flu

Via BreakingNews.ie, an Irish news source: China reports eighth human death from bird flu.

A 20-year-old woman in southern China has died of bird flu.She is the country's eighth human fatality from the virulent H5N1 strain of the disease, the Health Ministry said today.

The woman, from the county of Suining in Hunan province, fell ill on January 27 and died on Saturday, the ministry said on its website.


Posted by dymaxion at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scene of devastation at Nigerian farm

BBC News Online reports on the Scene of devastation at Nigerian farm. Evidently the birds have been dying in central Nigeria for weeks.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another death in Jakarta

Channel Newsasia reports another Indonesian has died of bird flu.

A 27-year-old Indonesian woman who tested positive for bird flu has died, hospital staff [said] Saturday.

The woman died late Friday after being on a ventilator since Tuesday, said Ilham Patu, the spokesman of Jakarta's Sulianti Saroso hospital where the patient had been treated.

Tests conducted by the health ministry, which are normally accurate, showed that the woman had bird flu.

On Thursday a 22-year-old woman died after local tests showed she had the virus.

Samples from the two women have been sent to a Hong Kong laboratory accredited by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for confirmation.

If confirmed, they would be Indonesia's 17th and 18th fatalities from the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.


Posted by dymaxion at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

US donates $25 million to fight Nigerian H5N1

Well, it's a step in the right direction. While another 60,000 fowls die at Sambawa Farms in central Nigeria, the US is offering some support.

In a quick response to arrest the situation, the United States Government yesterday donated $25 million to support the Federal Government's fight against the dreaded bird flu disease.

In addition, US has offered technical assistance in a bid to contain the disease recently detected in Kaduna, Kano and Plateau States as well as the provision of 2000 protective suits to be used in the affected areas.

This was disclosed by the Deputy Chief of mission of the US Embassy in Abuja, Mr Thomas Furey when he paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Adamu Bello in Abuja.

Technical assistance, according to him, would be offered through the US Center for Disease Control in Kenya. The team in Kenya, he said was being deployed to Nigeria to work with WHO and also establish a testing laboratory for quick surveillance activities.

In his response, the minister thanked the US Government for its show of concern and willingness to offer assistance while assuring that the Federal Government was doing all in its power to arrest the situation.

ther story on AllAfrica.com reports that Africa has received none of the money promised to it at the Beijing conference.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kippenboeren willen snel ophokkenFeed24: newsflash [NL]

DEN HAAG (ANP) - Nu het vogelgriepvirus H5N1 ook bij vogels in de Europese Unie is ontdekt, moeten het Nederlandse pluimvee zo snel mogelijk op stok. ,,Hoe eerder hoe beter, stelde voorzitter Jan Wolleswinkel van de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Pluimveehouders (NOP) over de aanstaande ophokplicht.(C) Sp!tsnet

Posted by dymaxion at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Influenza Aviara: In Calabria Altri Due Casi SospettiYahoo! Notizie : Calabria: notizie su Reggio Calabria, Catanzaro e alte città calabresi

ADNKRONOS - (Adnkronos) - Nelle ultime ore in Calabria si sono verificati altri due casi di morte sospetta di volatili e sono in corso gli accertamenti per verificare se sono morti a causa del virus H5N1.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aviaria: consumi pollo dimezzati dopo casi nel Sud - ColdirettiYahoo! Notizie : Calabria: notizie su Reggio Calabria, Catanzaro e alte città calabresi

Reuters Italia - ROMA (Reuters) - Le vendite di carne di pollo in Italia si sono dimezzate, dopo che nel fine settimana sono stati resi noti i primi sei casi italiani di volatili morti per la variante letale dell'influenza aviaria H5N1 in Sicilia, Calabria e Puglia.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grippe aviaire: psychose en Italie, protection renforcée dans l'UEAFP - L'actualité

ROME (AFP) - La psychose a commencé lundi à toucher l'Italie où un sixième cygne mort de la grippe aviaire a été découvert dans le sud du pays, tandis que plusieurs pays de l'Union européenne prévoient le renforcement des mesures de protection contre la propagation du virus H5N1.

Posted by dymaxion at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hay más probabilidades de que la gripe aviar llegue a España20Minutos - Última Hora

MADRID/PARÍS (Reuters) - La ministra de Agricultura, Elena Espinosa, reconoció el lunes que había más probabilidades de que la gripe aviar llegara a España, tras su aparición en África y varios países de la Unión Europea, mientras Gobiernos de la zona apuntalaran sus defensas contra el letal virus H5N1.

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Duitsland voert ophokplicht versneld inHet Nieuwsblad: Nieuws - Snelnieuws

BERLIJN - De Duitse minister van Landbouw, Horst Seehofer, gaat de ophokplicht voor pluimvee versneld invoeren nu in het weekeinde in de buurt van de Oostenrijkse grens in Slovenië een zwaan is gevonden die is bezweken aan het voor mensen gevaarlijke vogelgriepvirus H5N1. Dat heeft een woordvoerster van het ministerie vandaag gezegd.

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February 11, 2006

Bird Flu Spreads to Europe: Swans Die in Greece and Sicily

ELISABETH ROSENTHAL of the NY Times has reported on the spread of the H5N1 virus into Europe. Bulgaria, Italy and Greece have all reported dead swans verified to have been killed by the virus:

The lethal A(H5N1) bird flu virus has been detected in wild birds in Italy and Greece, European officials announced yesterday, the first time its presence has been detected in the European Union. It was also detected in Bulgaria.

"The bird flu virus has arrived in Italy," said Francesco Storace, the Italian health minister, at a news conference, announcing that 17 swans had been found dead in three southern regions, Calabria, Sicily, and Puglia.

Testing at the National Avian Influenza Lab in Padua determined the cause to be the A(H5N1) virus, he said, although it was not clear if all 17 swans had been tested.

The full article can be read here:
NYTIMES ariticle

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February 08, 2006

Urgent action on bird flu is needed now - FAO

From iol.co.za, a South African news source: Urgent action on bird flu is needed now.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Wednesday called on authorities in Nigeria and neighbouring countries to take immediate action to prevent the spread of bird flu after Africa's first confirmed outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus.

"The outbreak in Kaduna state in northern Nigeria proves that no country is risk-free and that we are facing a serious international crisis," said Samuel Jutzi, head of FAO's animal health division.

"If the situation in Nigeria gets out of control, it will have a devastating impact on the poultry population in the region, it will seriously damage the livelihoods of millions of people and it will increase the exposure of humans to the virus," he warned.


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Another suspected case in Indonesia

The 27-year-old patient was moved to the state-run Sulianto Saroso hospital for infectious diseases in Jakarta after being treated at a private hospital in West Java since last Thursday, said hospital spokesman Ilham Patu on Tuesday.

Blood tests taken at the private hospital showed "signs that she is a suspected case" of bird flu, Patu said.

Indonesia is currently awaiting test results from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 11 more suspected infections after local tests showed positive results.

The latest WHO test results obtained at the weekend showed that a 22-year-old chicken vendor who died last month and a 15-year-old teenager who died last Wednesday had contracted the H5N1 virus.

Indonesia has recorded 23 human cases of bird flu, resulting in 16 deaths, according to the health ministry.

Read more here.

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First human case in EU?

An Indian sailor who died in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda may have been infected with bird flu, the Lithuanian health ministry said.

"A member of the crew of the ship M.V. Ocean Wind, Indian citizen Shaikh Rafikque, died in Klaipeda Monday. The suspected cause of death is bird flu," a statement from the ministry said.

[...] "Rafikque, who was the ship's cook, fell ill on February 4, according to reports from the crew," the ministry said.

"He died in a medical emergency vehicle on Monday," it said in a statement.

The Liberian-flagged Ocean Wing came to Lithuania from Germany on January 17 to undergo repairs, the health ministry said.

Although the health ministry said earlier that a preliminary autopsy would be conducted in the port on Lithuania's western Baltic coastline, it later said the ship's captain, also Indian, has "not given permission for an autopsy, on religious grounds."

Source.

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Uh-oh: The death in southern Iraq of a man with ...

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The man who died in the city of Amara owned two pigeons which tested positive for the H5N1 strain, making him the first suspected human case of bird flu outside Kurdistan where two people have died of the disease. ...

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Birds migrating from Africa 'could bring H5N1 to UK by spring' - Scotsman



GameSHOUT
Birds migrating from Africa 'could bring H5N1 to UK by spring'
Scotsman, United Kingdom - 1 hour ago
Some 46,000 birds were killed after the H5N1 strain, which has killed more than 70 people worldwide, was discovered at a poultry farm in the north of Nigeria. ...
OIE worries about H5N1 outbreak in Africa Xinhua
Nigerian lab suspects bird flu, unsure if H5N1 ABC News
Nigeria has Africa's first H5N1 bird flu outbreak CIDRAP
Medical News Today - Elites TV - all 585 related

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China Finds 11th Case of Human Bird Flu, Heath Ministry Says - Bloomberg


China Finds 11th Case of Human Bird Flu, Heath Ministry Says
Bloomberg - 1 hour ago
... Lin tested positive for H5N1 virus in accordance to WHO standards and all of her acquaintances have been put under medical observation, the statement said. ...
China announces new human case of bird flu People's Daily Online
The HSUS Urges Bush Administration To Strengthen Response To Avian ... Common Dreams (press release)
all 7 related

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Tweede slachtoffer van H5N1-virus in IrakPC Problems


Volgens de analyses van de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie (WHO) is de oom van een Iraakse adolescente die overleed aan het H5N1-virus gestorven aan hetzelfde virus. Dat liet een anonieme bron van het Koerdische ministerie van Gezondheid weten.Mohamed Sour Abdallah overleed op 26 januari. Zijn nichtje, de 14-jarige Chanjin Abdelkader, overleed op 17 januari aan de gevolgen van het H5N1-virus. Het meisje was afkomstig uit de Koerdische regio van Rania, het grensgebied tussen Iran en Turkije.De analyses werden uitgevoerd door het WHO-laboratorium in Kaïro, aldus nog de bron. more...


oNLINE Virus Removal Help is Here!

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Hong Kong Confirms 5th Bird With H5N1 Avian Flu Virus (Update1) (Bloomberg)PC Problems


Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong said a fifth bird tested positive for the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in a new wave of outbreaks that has prompted local officials to seek a ban on private ownership of poultry. more...


oNLINE Virus Removal Help is Here!

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Avian Flu Confirmed in Nigerian Birds

... Avian Flu Confirmed in Nigerian Birds Scientists confirm that potentially deadly bird flu has infected poultry in Nigeria. The H5N1 virus already has killed more than 80 people in Asia and Turkey, along with millions of birds. Now, scientists worry that bird flu has gained a toehold on a continent ill prepared to deal with the disease. ...
NPR : News View Technorati URL search

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February 06, 2006

second iraqi kurd bird flu death - world breaking news - breaking news 24/7 - news.com.au

THE uncle of an Iraqi Kurdish teenager who died of bird flu has also died of the deadly H5N1 strain, according to laboratory tests in Cairo, a source in the Kurdish health ministry said. Mohammed Sur Abdallah died on January 26, a little over a week after the death of his niece, and his samples were sent for testing to the World Health Organisation (WHO) facility in Cairo. The samples will now be sent for further testing to London, but an official with the Kurdish health department said

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Indonesia: four more cases, two deaths

Via Yahoo! Asia News: Indonesia says four more bird flu cases confirmed.

A Hong Kong laboratory recognised by the World Health Organisation has confirmed four more human bird flu cases in Indonesia, including two deaths, a senior Indonesian Health Ministry official said on Saturday.

Hariadi Wibisono, the ministry's director of control of animal-borne diseases, said that raised Indonesia's total confirmed human bird flu cases to 23.

"There are now 23 confirmed cases in Indonesia. Of these, 16 have died," Wibisono told Reuters.

Turkey and Iraq last month became the latest countries outside Asia to report human cases of the H5N1 strain of avian flu. While it mostly affects birds, bird flu has infected 161 people and killed 86 of them since 2003, according to the World Health Organization.

Wibisono said the newly confirmed Indonesian deaths were of a 22-year-old male chicken seller from Jakarta who died late last month and a 15-year-old boy who died in the West Java city of Bandung this week.


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CDC announces new test for detecting H5

Here is the press release. Effect Measure comments on the new test, as always a must read. HealthDay has a less technical summary.

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Seven suspected human cases in Iraq

"Apart from the girl who died there are seven suspected cases of bird flu and we have taken their blood samples and sent them to Cairo for further investigation," Naeema al-Gasseer, the WHO representative in Iraq, told reporters on Monday.

"We suspect these seven are cases of H5N1 virus," Gasseer said, referring to the deadly strain of avian influenza, adding that the seven people are undergoing treatment.

Source. All cases are in Sulaimaniya, where there are reports of H5N1 in the local poultry.

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Reuters AlertNet - Bulgaria closes off lakes after H5 bird flu found

 
Reuters AlertNet - Bulgaria closes off lakes after H5 bird flu found (info)
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L06165688.htm
Bulgaria shut off wetland areas on Monday and investigated the deaths of scores of birds after announcing its first case of H5 avian flu in a dead swan last week, officials said.
Posted by ojcius to avian flu AvianFlu H5N1 Bulgaria on Mon Feb 06 2006 at 14:44 UTC

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

Bird Flu News - H5N1 likely endemic in HK region, health chief ...

H5N1 likely endemic in HK region, health chief says (Reuters) Reuters - The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus is probably endemic in the region around Hong Kong, the territory's health chief said on Friday, after tests this week on a dead ...

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Bird flu suspect dies in Bandung

From the Jakarta Post: Bird flu suspect dies in Bandung.

Just three days after a suspected bird flu patient died in Bandung, another suspect died in Hasan Sadikin hospital in the city on Saturday night after being treated in an isolation ward for a day.

The 38-year-old housewife from the Pasirkoja area of Bandung was referred from Ciumbeuleuit hospital Friday. She arrived at Hasan Sadikin hospital along with two other suspected cases, a 20-year-old housewife from Sumedang and a 23-year-old native of Padalarang, who is also a neighbor of the teenager who died on Wednesday.

"Her fever was not too high, only about 37 degree Celsius, but an acute (bird flu) patient tends to have a declining temperature. But she clearly developed breathing distress and we put her on a ventilator," the hospital director, Cissy Rachiana Prawira, said on Sunday.

, this will be Indonesia's 17th death from H5N1. The mention of another patient who is a neighbour of last Wednesday's fatality is disturbing.

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H5N1 likely endemic in HK region, health chief says

York Chow, the head of health services in Hong Kong, is putting pressure on the Chinese government: H5N1 likely endemic in HK region, health chief says.

The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus is probably endemic in the region around Hong Kong, the territory's health chief said on Friday, after tests this week on a dead chicken were positive for the disease.

The bird had been brought into Hong Kong from mainland China and, while it proved impossible to determine where it contracted the virus, the case raised the spectre of an outbreak over the border in Guangdong, China's wealthiest province.

Officials there have not reported any cases of bird flu.

"With the evidence that we have, it's most likely that the avian flu, that is the H5N1 virus, is already endemic in this region," Hong Kong's Secretary of Health York Chow said.

Three other birds, a crested myna and two oriental magpie robins, have also died in recent weeks in Hong Kong. All three tested positive for H5N1.

Chow's remarks also raise questions about the transparency of disease reporting in China and the adequacy of its prevention and detection measures.


Posted by dymaxion at 10:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The flu hunter

Many thanks to the reader who let me know that the Smithsonian Magazine is running a profile of Robert Webster in its latest issue: The Flu Hunter.

Robert Webster is the world's preeminent expert on avian influenza. A virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, he helped create the first widespread commercial flu vaccine decades ago. It was Webster who discovered that birds were likely responsible for past flu pandemics, including the one in Asia in 1957 that killed about two million people. Perhaps Webster's greatest contribution to science is the idea that global influenza epidemics begin when avian and human flu viruses combine to form a new strain, one that people lack the ability to fight off.

Very much worth reading.

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New bird flu scare in north Iraq (BBC News)RingtoneDownloads4u


Twelve people suspected of having the H5N1 strain of bird flu are being treated in Kurdistan in northern Iraq, officials say. Iraqi authorities have begun culling poultry in the region and the World Health more...


Click Here to Download Ringtones Now!

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HHS and Institut Pasteur Partner on Pandemic Influenza PreparednessPR Newswire

PARIS, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Institut Pasteur (IP) today agreed to carry out joint activities, beginning in Southeast Asia, to strengthen global capacity to detect influenza viruses that could have the potential to trigger a human pandemic.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by HHS Deputy Secretary Alex M. Azar and IP President Professor Alice Dautry, establishes a Joint HHS-IP Working Group to oversee the development of collaborative projects, to include the following:

* Building capacity in terms of surveillance, epidemiological investigation, testing, diagnosis, and control of infectious disease in countries affected by and at-risk for the spread of the H5N1 influenza strain;

* Exchanging technical expertise to foster rapid response to disease threats; and

* Disseminating effective and accurate public information on infectious disease, including in local languages in developing countries.

"The looming threat of a global influenza pandemic demands global, regional and national attention, and preparation and response to a pandemic is a shared responsibility," Deputy Secretary Azar said. "This partnership will substantially strengthen the capacity to prepare for and respond to a pandemic in countries where avian influenza is now endemic in poultry and where human infections and deaths have occurred. We are very pleased to partner with the IP, an internationally respected research institute with such an impressive global network of institutes."

The working group will initially focus on activities and cooperation in Southeast Asia, where the bulk of reported cases of H5N1 avian influenza has been found. In addition, potential activities include organizing scientific conferences, conducting training exercises, and fostering exchanges among experts that will improve preparedness for and response to infectious diseases, with particular emphasis on respiratory diseases and influenza.

"The Avian Flu and respiratory diseases have been our constant concern, especially in the Pasteur Institutes in the Asian region," IP President Professor Alice Dautry said, "We have laid a heavy focus on them since 2004 and heartily welcome this new partnership with HHS to fight the potential pandemic. This is a unique opportunity to join efforts to fight infectious diseases upfront."

In October 2005, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt led a combined U.S. and international delegation of health experts on a ten-day, five-nation trip to Southeast Asia, during which he met with officials from IP in Cambodia and other groups. The purpose of Secretary Leavitt's visit was to learn from countries that had first-hand experience in dealing with avian influenza, to emphasize to them the importance of sharing information in a timely fashion, to look at local capacity and to determine where HHS investments might make additional investments, consistent with the President's National Strategy on Pandemic Influenza. During this trip, and during subsequent negotiations led by HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness Stewart Simonson, HHS and IP set out a plan to collaborate on containment efforts in Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos, as well as how to enhance surveillance for H5N1 in those countries.

Health professionals are concerned that the continued and expanded spread of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, now endemic in poultry populations across eastern Asia and other parts of the world, represents a significant threat to global health security. The H5N1 virus has raised concerns about a potential human pandemic because it is especially virulent; spread by migratory birds; transmitted from birds to mammals, and, in some limited circumstances to humans; and, like other influenza viruses, it continues to evolve.

Since 2003, a growing number of human H5N1 cases have been reported in Thailand, China, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Turkey and Iraq, and more than half of the people infected with the H5N1 virus have died. Exposure to infected poultry is believed to have caused all these cases. The concern is that H5N1 will evolve into a virus capable of sustained human-to-human transmission.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a component of the U.S. Government, which includes such agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

The Institut Pasteur is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases through biological research, education and public health activities.

For additional information about the U.S. Government's efforts to contain avian influenza and prepare for a potential influenza pandemic, including the President's National Strategy and the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan, please visit http://www.pandemicflu.gov. For additional information about the IP, visit http://www.pasteur.fr.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CONTACT: HHS Press Office, +1-202-690-6343

Web site: http://www.hhs.gov/http://www.pandemicflu.gov/http://www.pasteur.fr//

Content copyright PR Newswire Association LLC. All rights reserved. This content may not be redistributed or retransmitted.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Only one Turkish bird flu patient remains in hospital

of the potentially lethal H5N1 virus were treated, their doctor Ahmet Faik Oner told AFP by telephone... a total of 21 human cases of H5N1, all but two of them children aged between two and 18. The World Health... said. Testing for H5N1 infection is technically challenging, particularly under the conditions of an

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internet-herald.com : medical pharmaceuticals news : sanofi pasteur delivers more h5n1 vaccine for u.s. government pandemic initiatives

Channel :- Medical Pharmaceuticals News Monday, February 06, 2006 sanofi pasteur Delivers More H5N1... of the sanofi-aventis Group (NYSE:SNY), has delivered more H5N1 vaccine to the U.S. government...), 15,000 investigational doses of a vaccine to protect against the H5N1 influenza strain. Prepared... of the H5N1 vaccine antigen for the U.S. government stockpile. Once the optimal dosage.... The additional H5N1 bulk-concentrate vaccine represents a broadening of a contract the company signed

Posted by dymaxion at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

Another Case of Poor Chinese Reporting?

Bird Flu Update is carrying the following story regarding the hospitalization of three Hong Kong residents who ate a chicken that was potentially contaminated by another fowl imported from a neighboring Chinese Province.  The case of the infected bird and now the potential cluster of cases underlines the suspicion of many that the Chinese have been less than transparent when it comes to the true bird flu situation inside their borders.

Three
in Hong Kong hospital amid bird flu fears - health officials


HONG KONG, Feb.01 (AFX): Three people have been admitted to hospital in Hong
Kong after eating chicken believed to have been infected with the H5N1 strain of
bird flu, officials said. The three, including a 79-year-old woman, were placed
in an isolation ward after it was found a chicken they had eaten during a family
feast had nested with an infected bird smuggled in from China, the health
department said.Officials also ordered a cull of poultry flocks after another migratory
bird was found to have died of the killer disease. 'We have placed the three in
an isolation ward as a precautionary measure,' said Thomas Tsang, director of
the government's Centre for Health Protection. 'So far they have not shown any
symptoms of influenza -- no fever -- but we will have the results of preliminary
tests tomorrow,' Tsang added. Source: Forbes

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

New bird flu vaccine gives hope amid pandemic fears

Scientists have produced a vaccine against deadly H5N1 strains of bird flu that has protected mice... officials fear the H5N1 avian flu that has spread eastwards from Asia could mutate into a strain..., to produce a protein call haemugglutnin subtype 5 (H5HA), which is a component of the H5N1 virus. "This H5... before infecting the animals with H5N1 viruses isolated from people in 2003 and 2004. The scientists... immune system cells called T cells in the mice that attacked the strains of recent H5N1 avian influenza

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IRAQ: Doctors warn of shortage for bird flu treatmentKeralaNext:

SULAYMANIYAH, 1 February (IRIN) - Doctors in Sulaimaniyah in northern Iraq say they lack medicines to treat recently recorded cases of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, or "bird flu." "We don't have more than 30 pills left in our pharmacies to treat suspected cases, and each patient requires huge amounts of tablets for treatment to be effective," said Tahseen Namiq, a senior official at the Kurdish Ministry of Health, who is overseeing emergency operations aimed at halting the spread of the virus.

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

Grippe aviaire: 500.000 volatiles abattus en Irak, livraison de TamifluTV5.org info - Médecine/santé

Quelque 500.000 volatiles ont été abattus dans une large zone frontalière du Kurdistan d'Irak, où un premier décès dû au virus H5N1 de la grippe aviaire a été confirmé, a indiqué mardi Tahsine Namek, responsable de santé kurde à Soulaimaniyah.

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

More People in Iraq Being Treated for Bird Flu

... Iraq has announced that it has 12 additional suspected cases of bird flu. All of the victims live in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. This is near the Turkish border and in the same area where a teenage girl succumbed to the disease two weeks ago. Iraqi authorities have begun culling birds in the region and the World Health Organization is sending ...
fluFactor View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 09:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack