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March 28, 2006

The difficulty of containing bird flu

The speed of its migration, and the vast area it has infected, has forced scientists to concede there is little that can be done to stop its spread across the globe.

"We expected it to move, but not any of us thought it would move quite like this," said Dr. David Nabarro, the United Nations' coordinator on bird flu efforts.

The hope was once that culling millions of chickens and ducks would contain or even eradicate the virus. Now, the strategy has shifted toward managing a disease that will probably be everywhere. Officials are hoping to buy a little more time to produce human vaccines and limit the potential economic damage.

"We cannot contain this thing anymore. Nature is in control," said Robert G. Webster, a virologist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., who has been studying the virus since it emerged in 1997.

Read the full article here, and some commentary at Effect Measure.

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AIDS, TB, malaria and bird flu spread unchecked in Burma - on article in PLoS Medicine

AIDS, TB, malaria and bird flu spread unchecked in Burma - on article in PLoS Medicine (info)
Government policies in Burma that restrict public health and humanitarian aid have created an environment where AIDS, drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria and bird flu (H5N1) are spreading unchecked, according to a report by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In that report authors Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH, director of the Bloomberg School's Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Luke Mullany, PhD, Voravit Suwanvanichkij, MD, MPH and Nicole Franck, MHS, document the spread of these infectious diseases, which if left unchecked, could pose a serious health threat to other Southeast Asia nations and the world. They believe international cooperation and policies are needed to restore humanitarian assistance to the Burmese people, but caution that new restrictions imposed by the military junta are making such efforts more difficult. The full report was presented at a briefing for State Department leaders on March 24 and is available from the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights at www.jhsph.edu/burma. The report is also under review for publication with the journal Public Library of Science Medicine (PLoS Medicine).

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The 1918 Flu Killed Millions. Does It Hold Clues for Today? - New York Times

The 1918 Flu Killed Millions. Does It Hold Clues for Today? - New York Times (info)
It was the worst infectious disease epidemic ever, killing more Americans in just a few months than died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam Wars combined. Unlike most flu strains, which kill predominantly the very old and the very young, this one — a bird flu, as it turns out — struck young adults in their 20's, 30's and 40's, leaving children orphaned and families without wage earners.

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Iraqi man dies from suspected h5n1 bird flu

BAGHDAD - An Iraqi man died from suspected H5N1 bird flu in Baghdad, while one member of his family has been admitted for tests on similar suspicions, a spokeswoman on the committee to fight bird flu set up by the Iraqi government said ...

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Avian Flu Vaccine Seen in Equine Antibodies - CNN

Avian Flu Vaccine Seen in Equine Antibodies
CNN - 9 hours ago
... In a pilot study, purified antibodies to the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, derived from horses, proved able to prevent infected mice from dying, according to ...

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Bird flu strikes 6 more areas in JalgaonBird Flu India Update

Six more tehsils of Jalgaon district of Maharashtra are hit by bird flu, State Animal Husbandary commissioner Dr Vijay Kumar said today.

"Six tehsils in the neighbourhood of the recent bird flu-affected villages have been put under appropriate quarantine as per the WHO guidelines. 400-500 chickens in the poultries in these areas were affected by bird flu and about 1000 samples have been sent to Bhopal high securty lab," Kumar said.

"We will start the culling process of 2.5 lakh birds," he said, adding, "we are expecting the results of the samples from Bhopal latest by April 3."

These tehsils are Varad in Chopda tehsil, Pardhi in Dharnagar, Erandol, Uttran in Erandol, Badgaon tehsil and Talora tehsil, he said.

"Earlier, from March 15 to 18, we had collected 90 samples of which eight had resulted positive for avian influenza," he said.

Ichachapur in Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh, bordering Jalgoan has also been hit by bird flu and samples from there are also sent for test to Bhopal lab, he said.

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March 27, 2006

Bird Flu News - Twelfth case of H5N1 bird flu confirmed in Denmark ...

Twelfth case of H5N1 bird flu confirmed in Denmark (AFP) AFP - Denmark has identified its 12th case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu that can infect humans, the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research said. ...

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JORDAN: With appearance of avian flu, thousands of birds culled - Reuters AlertNet

JORDAN: With appearance of avian flu, thousands of birds culled
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 5 hours ago
... 5,000 birds will be culled on Monday in the Ajloun governorate, north of Amman, as part of an effort to stave of a possible outbreak of the H5N1 avian virus in ...
Jordan confirms 1st H5N1 bird flu outbreak Xinhua
Jordon destroys poultry NDTV.com
H5N1 makes its presence felt in Jordan Earthtimes.org
Focus News - Monsters and Critics.com - all 97 related

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How insurers are planning

Insurers are the business world's reality check. They understood global warming long before other corporations did, because weather-related claims started soaring. Now they're taking avian flu very seriously—not only because it could lead to a lot of claims, but because their own people will likely be absent from work.

An insurers' association called LOMA has published a Special Report: Avian Flu and Insurers. It includes summaries of the pandemic plans of five major insurance companies, plus a detailed interview with the chief medical officer of one of those companies.

This is a must-read. And thanks to the reader who pointed me in the direction of this site.

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Mapping avian flu in almost real-time using Google Earth

New Google Earth maps of avian flu spread

This is the new beta of an operational service designed to provide Google Earth maps of avian flu spread on a weekly basis for the first time. As well as mapping human cases and poultry outbreaks, the maps also provide additional data on each event, and additional datasets, such as poultry densities worldwide, to let you explore avian flu.

The fact that the maps can now be regularly updated has been made possible largely through technical improvements in the initial beta map computing infrastructure , and new volunteer support in data management.

To get a link to the new maps, click HERE


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The increasingly mysterious death of Ms. Li

Via Interfax China: No evidence that bird flu death woman in Shanghai had contact with poultry.

No evidence has been found suggesting that a migrant worker who died in Shanghai from bird flu on March 21 had any direct contact with poultry, city authorities told Interfax today.

The Ministry of Health confirmed on March 24 that bird flu caused the death of the 29-year-old woman. Shanghai municipal Department of Health had initially said she developed symptoms of "coughing and fever" and died of unexplained pneumonia.

Director of the information office at Shanghai municipal Department of Health said there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman had direct contact with poultry, and that the cause of her infection remains under investigation.

"No abnormal condition has been found among the people who had close contact with the woman," he added.

The health administration in Shanghai says it has taken appropriate measures according to the city's bird flu response plan and people who have had close contact with the woman have been put under clinical observation in isolation.
The death toll of bird flu human infections in China now stands at 11, and the number to have contracted the infection 15.

Dai Ping from the Shanghai Agricultural Commission said there was no bird flu epidemic among poultry in the municipality.

ence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This poor young woman may well have had some unnoticed contact with poultry.

But if I were the senior health official in Shanghai, I would be in earnest conversation with the local chief of the Public Security Bureau, asking him to put his best people on tracking Ms. Li through the last two or three weeks of her life.

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Second Egyptian dies from bird flu virus

Thanks to a reader for this Reuters story: Second Egyptian dies from bird flu virus.

An Egyptian woman died from the bird flu virus on Monday, an official from the United Nations health agency said, adding the woman was the second person in the country to die from the virus.

"The lady passed away today ... She was the second person out of the five who tested positive for bird flu to have died so far," said Hassan al-Bushra, World Health Organisation (WHO) regional adviser for communicable diseases surveillance.

t on the same page, Reuters has a link to a story about H5N1 found in a mink in Sweden.

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Rapport de GRAIN ( ONG ) sur la Grippe AviaireEt si on causait !!!

GRAIN le 2 mars 2006

Un rapport de GRAIN établit que l’industrie avicole mondiale est à l’origine de la crise de la grippe aviaire

Les petits élevages avicoles et les oiseaux sauvages sont injustement rendus responsables de la grippe av modifiésiaire qui affecte actuellement plusieurs parties du monde. Un nouveau rapport de GRAIN montre comment l’industrie avicole multinationale est à l’origine du problème et devrait être au centre des actions menées pour maîtriser le virus.

L’expansion de la production avicole industrielle et des réseaux commerciaux ont créé les conditions idéales à l’apparition et à la transmission de virus mortels comme la souche H5N1 de la grippe aviaire. Une fois qu’ils ont pénétré dans les élevages industriels surpeuplés, les virus peuvent rapidement devenir mortels et se développer. L’air vicié par la charge virale est transporté sur des kilomètres à partir des fermes infectées, pendant que les réseaux d’échanges commerciaux intégrés répandent la maladie par les nombreux transports d’oiseaux vivants, de poussins d’un jour, de viande, de plumes, d’œufs à couver, d’œufs, de fumier de volaille et d’alimentation animale.

« Tout le monde se focalise sur les oiseaux migrateurs et les poulets de basse-cour comme étant le problème, » indique Devlin Kuyek de GRAIN. « Mais ils ne sont pas les vecteurs effectifs de la forme fortement pathogène de la grippe aviaire. Le virus les tue, mais il est peu probable que ce soit eux qui le propagent. »

Par exemple, en Malaisie, le taux de mortalité par le H5N1 chez les poulets des villages est seulement de 5%, indiquant que le virus a du mal à se propager dans les petits élevages de poulets. Les manifestations de H5N1 au Laos, qui est entouré par des pays infectés, se sont seulement produites dans quelques fermes industrielles du pays, qui sont fournies par des établissements d'incubation Thai. Les seuls cas de grippe aviaire dans la volaille de basse-cour, qui couvre plus de 90% de la production du Laos, se sont produits à côté des fermes industrielles.

Les gouvernements des pays de l’Union Européenne ont répondu à la découverte des cygnes, des oies et des canards morts infectés avec des mesures sévères obligeant à l’enfermement des volailles. Maintenant, ils sont bien embêtés car la première et seule manifestation significative de contamination de volaille domestique s’est déclarée dans un gros élevage industriel de dindes en France, où les 11 000 volatiles étaient confinés, totalement séparés des oiseaux sauvages.

« Il apparaît de plus en plus évident, comme on l’a vu aux Pays-Bas en 2003, au Japon en 2004, en Egypte en 2006, que la grippe aviaire mortelle se déclare dans les grosses fermes industrielles et qu’ensuite elle se propage, » explique Kuyek.

Le cas de contamination nigérienne qui s’est déclaré au début de l’année a commencé par une seule ferme industrielle, appartenant à un membre du Conseil des Ministres, éloignée des axes principaux de déplacements des oiseaux migrateurs mais elle était connue pour importer des oeufs à couver hors réglementation. En Inde, les autorités locales indiquent que le virus H5N1 est apparu et s’est répandu à partir d'une ferme industrielle appartenant à la plus grande compagnie avicole du pays, les couvoirs Venkateshwara.

La question cruciale est de savoir pourquoi les gouvernements et les agences internationales, comme l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture (FAO), ne font rien pour enquêter sur la manière dont les fermes industrielles et leurs sous-produits, tels que l'alimentation animale et le fumier, propagent le virus. Au lieu de cela, ils se servent de la crise comme une occasion d'industrialiser davantage le secteur avicole. Les initiatives se multiplient pour interdire la volaille en plein air, pour évincer les petits producteurs et pour réapprovisionner les fermes avec des poulets génétiquement modifiés. Le réseau de complicités avec une industrie prise dans une série de dénis et de dissimulations semble total.

« Les agriculteurs perdent leurs moyens d’existence, les poulets locaux sont éliminés et quelques experts déclarent que nous sommes à l’aube d’une épidémie humaine qui pourrait tuer des millions de personnes, » conclut Kuyek. « Quand les gouvernements réaliseront-ils que pour protéger la volaille et les personnes contre la grippe aviaire, ils doivent les protéger contre l'industrie avicole mondiale ? »

* * *

="font-size:10pt;color:black;font-family:Arial">1. Le rapport entier, « Qui est le dindon de la farce ? Le rôle central de l’industrie avicole dans la crise de la grippe aviaire », est disponible sur le site

2. La fiente de poulet et la litière des sols des élevages industriels de volaille sont des ingrédients courants de l’alimentation animale.

GRAIN est une organisation non gouvernementale internationale (ONG) dont le but est de promouvoir la gestion et l'utilisation durables de la biodiversité agricole fondées sur le contrôle exercé par les populations sur les ressources génétiques et les connaissances locales. Contact: Devlin Kuyek, GRAIN, à Montréal, Tél: +1 514 2737314, Email: devlin (at) grain.org Web:

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H5N1 News: China Confirms 11th Human Bird Flu Death

... An AP newswire article, via MSNBC, reports that: A woman who died in Shanghai tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, China announced Saturday. Indonesia awaited confirmation of tests showing that a dead 1-year-old girl in Jakarta had the virus. In Hong Kong, the government said a dead peregrine falcon found in a housing complex ...
Fergie's Tech Blog View Technorati URL search

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Sweden finds mink infected with bird flu virus

... Sweden finds mink infected with bird flu virus Filed under: General — site admin @ 11:14 am Grrrrrrrr! Reuters AlertNet - Sweden finds mink infected with bird flu virus — Note the sudden emergence of the term “aggressive form.” That can’t be good. STOCKHOLM, March 27 (Reuters) - Swedish veterinarians have found a mink with an aggressive ...
Dvorak Uncensored View Technorati URL search

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March 23, 2006

Health Officials May Vaccinate Before a Human Pandemic BeginsA Primary Health Care Weekly


March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Health officials are considering vaccinating people in high-risk countries even before avian flu becomes contagious among humans.

Keiji Fukuda, head of the World Health Organization's global influenza program in Geneva, said for the first time that health officials are weighing whether to use vaccines created to combat the current H5N1 strain before an outbreak occurs, an aggressive tactic that some suspect may help slow the growth of a pandemic that many say is inevitable.

``Can we begin vaccinating rural populations against an avian influenza where it is a problem now?'' he asked in a wide- ranging interview at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta. ``It's one of the things that has to be talked through.''

Fukuda wants to explore whether current vaccines, such as those made by Sanofi-Aventis SA and Chiron Corp., can be given safely since they're still undergoing testing, and health officials have limited experience with them. The vaccines are created using killed viruses that have proteins on their surfaces like those on the germ circulating in birds.

Fukuda didn't say who would fund such a vaccination program that focuses on poor people in undeveloped countries. The U.S. government paid Sanofi and Chiron to develop shots that can be stockpiled for use in case the strain of flu spreading in birds mutates into a human disease.

Fukuda's comments come the same day the U.S. government released a study showing that the bird flu virus spreading around the world is mutating into more variations with genetic characteristics that increase the risk of infection in humans.

Variant Virus

Researchers are finding more human cases of the disease caused by a variant that had only been seen in birds before 2005, said Rebecca Garten, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist who led the study. The research was presented today at the same conference where Fukuda spoke with a Bloomberg reporter.

More surveillance is needed to track new forms of the virus that may acquire the ability to spread from person-to-person, Garten said. Government officials said earlier this month that federal laboratories are developing a second bird flu vaccine to provide more protection against new strains.

``As the virus continues its geographic expansion, it is also undergoing genetic diversity expansion,'' Garten said in an e-mailed statement before the conference. ``Change is the only constant.''

Data Sharing

Fukuda, who became head of the WHO flu effort this year, also said in the interview that he and his colleagues at the WHO are also pushing for greater sharing of data on the virus and more virus testing sites in poor nations. The organization is currently seeking sites in Africa to fit laboratories for bird flu testing, Fukuda said.

The H5N1 bird virus has spread from Asia to Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and has recently shown increased ability to infect mammals, such as cats, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. The disease has infected 177 people, mostly though close contact with birds, and killed 98 of them, according to the WHO Web site.

Health officials are preparing for the chance that it will mutate into a lethal form that might spread quickly around the world, like the Spanish flu of 1918 that killed at least 50 million people worldwide, 500,000 of them in the U.S.

Six-Month Gap

Experts believe it will take at least six months to develop a vaccine against a pandemic strain of influenza after it mutates into a form contagious to people. A worldwide disease outbreak would probably also cut off international travel and interfere with vaccine distribution in remote areas and poorer countries, Fukuda said.

``When I look at the current possibility for vaccination in the face of a pandemic, it doesn't look very good to me,'' Fukuda said.

Sanofi and Chiron's vaccines are still undergoing testing to see if they can be safely boosted with chemicals called adjuvants so that smaller doses will protect more people, said Nancy Cox, chief of the CDC's influenza branch.

The vaccine might be most appropriate for people at the highest risk of infection, such as health workers or those culling poultry, she said.

``It's very wise to debate and discuss how to use this vaccine that's already been produced,'' she said in an interview. ``Certainly this vaccine has the potential to provide some level of protection to those who might be at the front lines.''

Bird Testing

Fearing that the U.S. may be hit with the particularly lethal bird flu in the coming months, the departments of the Interior and Agriculture said March 8 they would ramp up testing for bird flu beginning in April. About 100,000 migratory birds are expected to be tested this year, compared with an average of about 12,000 in years past.

Testing will be concentrated in Alaska and Hawaii, said Chuck Higgins, director of the National Park Service's office of public health, on March 16. Millions of birds nest in Alaska each year, coming from Asia and North America, he said.

The genetic type of H5N1 that began infecting humans last year is called genotype Z, clade 2 and contains numerous variations that have been seen in humans, the study researchers said. In 2003 and 2004, clade 1 viruses were responsible for most

To contact the reporter on this story:
John Lauerman in Boston at  jlauerman@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: March 20, 2006 15:53 EST

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a verdade de ontem...caixinha de pregos

Confirmada dificuldade de contágio de H5N1 entre humanos
Cientistas reafirmam que o vírus se aloja em local "demasiado profundo" do sistema respiratório
Cientistas holandeses reafirmam as conclusões do estudo divulgado na revista Nature, segundo o qual o vírus da gripe das aves tem dificuldade em propagar-se entre pessoas porque se fixa num local tão profundo do sistema respiratório que é difícil ser expelido pela tosse ou pelos espirros.
A conclusão é de uma uma investigação do Centro Médico Erasmus de Roterdão (Holanda), hoje publicado na edição online da revista Science.
Já a revista britânica Nature publica um estudo semelhante de uma equipa da Universidade de Wisconsin-Madison (Estados Unidos) dirigida pelo virologista japonês Yoshihiro Kawaoka.
Segundo os estudos, o vírus H5N1 da gripe das aves infecta os seres humanos num local demasiado baixo do sistema respiratório para que tal aconteça. link

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Sendo verdade a notícia, das duas uma, ou a indústria farmacêutica quer encher a "carteira" ou andam a brincar com a tropa...
O outro mentiroso tambem dizia que o que era verdade ontem, é mentira hoje ou amanhã; bom mas, isto era o que dizia o mentiroso...

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Cambodian girl "died of bird flu"

Thanks to the reader who tipped me off to this story: Cambodian girl "died of bird flu."

Initial tests on a three-year-old Cambodian girl who died after playing with sick birds show she was infected the deadly H5N1 type of bird flu, officials of the health ministry and the UN World Health Organisation say.

The girl, whose name was not immediately available, died on Tuesday, a few days after playing with birds in the province of Kampong Speu, about 45km west of the capital Phnom Penh, said Ly Sovann, chief of the disease control bureau of Cambodia's Health Ministry.

Megge Milller, a locally based WHO representative, confirmed preliminary tests found the virulent H5N1 virus in the girl.

If confirmed by further tests, the girl would be Cambodia's fifth fatality from the disease since 2003, and the first this year.

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Albania finds second H5N1 bird flu case in poultry - Reuters AlertNet

Albania finds second H5N1 bird flu case in poultry
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 8 hours ago
TIRANA, March 23 (Reuters) - Albania found its second case of H5N1 bird flu in poultry near the capital, but there was no evidence the virus had made people ...
Albania confirms its second case of H5N1 bird flu Makfax
Albania, Greece cooperate to keep bird flu under control Xinhua
Albania confirms 2nd case of bird flu Xinhua
Xinhua - People's Daily Online - all 7 related

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New H5N1 bird flu case found in Romania - TODAYonline

New H5N1 bird flu case found in Romania
TODAYonline, Singapore - 48 minutes ago
Twelve new cases of the potentially deadly H5N1 bird flu virus have been confirmed in domestic poultry in a village near Bucharest. ...
Romania confirms more bird flu Monsters and Critics.com
Bird flu approaches Romanian Capital Bucharest Daily News
Slovenia suspects bird flu virus in domestic poultry Reuters AlertNet
all 11 related

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Why bird flu does not spread easily from person to person

This week, two research groups are independently reporting results that help explain why the H5N1 avian influenza virus is so lethal to humans but so difficult to spread. Unlike human influenza viruses, the teams report, H5N1 preferentially infects cells in the lower respiratory tract. Residing deep in the airways, the virus is not easily expelled by coughing and sneezing, the usual route of spread. The results "explain a lot of the mysteries" surrounding H5N1, says K. Y. Yuen, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong.

[...] One team, led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, tested various tissues of the human respiratory tract for receptors to which the virus can bind. Human flu viruses preferentially bind to what are known as α 2,6 galactose receptors, which populate the human respiratory tract from the nose to the lungs. Avian viruses prefer α 2,3 galactose receptors, which are common in birds but were thought to be nearly absent in humans. Using marker molecules that bind to one receptor or the other, the team found that humans also have α 2,3 galactose receptors, but only in and around the alveoli, structures deep in the lungs where oxygen is passed to the blood. They describe their findings in the 23 March issue of Nature.

The second team, led by pathologist Thijs Kuiken of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, used a more direct technique to show that H5N1 readily binds to alveoli but not to tissues higher up in the respiratory tract. Kuiken, whose team will publish its findings online tomorrow in Science, notes that this pattern is consistent with autopsies that have shown heavy damage to the lungs but little involvement of the upper respiratory tract. Among experimental animals, the team reports, cats and ferrets more closely match the human pattern of infection than do mice and macaques. "This is an important factor to consider when planning experiments" to understand the pathology of H5N1, says Kuiken.

Yuen notes that the findings also explain clinical anomalies such as why nasal swabs of H5N1 patients are less reliable than throat swabs in detecting the virus. And they suggest that clinicians need to exercise particular care when performing procedures, such as intubation, that might give the virus a route out of a patient's lungs.

From ScienceNOW Daily News. The Washington Post has a slightly different version of the same story.

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Bad News for Katherine Harris: A false smile can be hazardous to your health


A german study suggests that "enforced jolliness on the job" isn't good for you.

They cite flight attendants, sales personnel, call centre operators, waiters and others in contact with the public for extended periods of time as being at risk of seriously harming their health.

Psychologists at Frankfurt University said the fake friendliness led to depression, stress and a lowering of the immune system itself, which in turn can trigger more serious ailments.

Sorry about the duplicate post...

Comment on this post
Related: Ask Lifehacker Readers: Live a long life by being honest
Related: Study shows games keep you sane

Via Lifehacker

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March 22, 2006

PandemicFlu.gov | The official U.S. government Web site for information on pandemic flu and avian influenza.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


“It’s extremely important to investigate every H5N1 case,” said Dr. Timothy Uyeki of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ... The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu remains primarily a contagious bird disease. ...

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WHO expects agreement on system to open up controversial bird flu database

ATLANTA (CP) - The World Health Organization's top officials for pandemic influenza said Monday they expect an agreement will be struck to open up to the broader research community the growing wealth of scientific data on H5N1 avian flu viruses....

Posted by dymaxion at 01:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Five die of deadly H5N1 bird flu in Azerbaijan: WHO - Baku Today

Azeri Press Agency
Five die of deadly H5N1 bird flu in Azerbaijan: WHO
Baku Today, Azerbaijan - 20 hours ago
The dangerous strain of H5N1 bird flu has killed five people in Azerbaijan, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday, while further tests were underway to ...
UN carries out ‘bird flu’ prevention work in Azerbaijan. TREND Information
London lab confirms “bird flu” in test samples taken in Salyan ... TREND Information
WHO confirms 5 human bird flu deaths in Azerbaijan Azeri Press Agency
all 5 related

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Egypt reports 4th suspected human bird flu case

Via Reuters: Egypt reports 4th suspected human bird flu case.

Egypt reported a fourth suspected case of bird flu in humans on Tuesday, in a 17-year-old boy whose father had an outbreak of the disease on his chicken farm in the Nile Delta on Saturday and Sunday.

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Pakistan: H5N1 confirmed

Via the Khaleej Times Online: Pakistan confirms first two cases of H5N1.

Pakistan's beleaguered poultry industry braced for a further drop in sales after the government announced on Tuesday the country's first two cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

H5 avian influenza was detected in chickens at two farms in northwestern Pakistan last month, sending chicken sales tumbling by 40 percent, according to an industry association. The government said tests conducted in Britain confirmed the subtype to be H5N1.

The Agriculture Ministry said it had taken all necessary measures to stop it spreading further in Pakistan but urged farmers to be vigilant.
"We are continuously watching to see whether there is another outbreak elsewhere (in Pakistan)," ministry spokesman Mohammed Afzal told Geo television.

Neighboring India, Iran and most recently, Afghanistan, have already reported H5N1 outbreaks, but officials confirmed this was the first in Pakistan.

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WHO suspects 14 Azeris may have B2H

Via MosNews, a Russian news source: WHO Suspects 14 People Infected with Bird Flu in Azerbaijan.

Experts from the World Health Organization suspect 14 more people are infected with bird flu in Azerbaijan where two girls died of the the H5N1 virus earlier this month, Interfax reported Monday.

A group of WHO experts reported their suspicions after visiting the Salyansky district of Azerbaijan, 150 km to the south of the capital Baku.

Earlier three residents of the district were provisionally diagnosed with bird flu.

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Bird Flu Survival: Generic Tamiflu CreatedRoman Wilderness

Scientists in Vietnam say they have successfully extracted a key substance from a local plant to make a generic version of Tamiflu, the drug used to treat the H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Researchers say they used star anise, a plant used to flavour food, to extract shikimic acid, a key ingredient in the anti-viral drug.

Vietnam's Chemistry Institute says the breakthrough means it will be able to produce a generic form of Tamiflu in an emergency.

Star anise is extracted from the star-shaped fruit of a tree found in China and Vietnam.

The scarcity of the plant has been blamed in part for a global shortage of Tamiflu.

Worldwide demand for the drug surged last year, when dozens of countries ordered the drug for their national stockpiles.

Read Source Article: Australian Broadcasting Agency

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Avian Virus Mutates

... According to researchers, the virus responsible for the current bird flu outbreak has split into two distinct genetic subgroups. An analysis of more than 300 samples of the H5N1 virus taken from humans and birds has revealed that the virus is changing. Before 2005 every known human case of avian flu was caused by a particular subtype of the H5N1 ...
Battalion Of Deborah :: Main Page View Technorati URL search

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Avian Bird Flu Milestone

... The world has now passed 100 human deaths due to confirmed cases of H5N1 infection. WHO is now reporting: - 8 countries with confirmed cases of H5N1 in humans - 184 confirmed infections - 103 deaths Mind you, these are only the cases that WHO has laboratory confirmation that they are in fact H5N1 related; the actual numbers are certainly higher, ...
Tales of Fahr View Technorati URL search

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Bird Flu Outbreak In The Gaza Strip

... The first outbreak of bird flu in the Palestinian territories has been detected, initial tests claim.The H5N1 strain of the virus may have killed 200 chickens in the Gaza Strip. ...
News from the web View Technorati URL search

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March 20, 2006

The second Egyptian

Via the Irish Independent, details about the second Egyptian H5N1 case.

A 30-year-old Egyptian man, who worked on a chicken farm in the province of Qalyoubiya, was the second human infected by the virus in Egypt, the Health Ministry said.

The man was recovering in the hospital after being admitted on Thursday with a fever, Deputy Health Minister Nasser el-Sayyed said.

Police identified the man as Mohammed Bahaaeddin Abdel-Menem from the village of Noqbas.

Ibrahim al-Gazzar, a cousin of the latest victim, said he doubted that other villagers were educated enough to seek medical treatment.

"They would think it was a normal flu - that will be a disaster."

The country's first-known human case, a woman who died on Friday, was from the same province, north of Cairo. The two victims had not had any contact and were from different villages, el-Sayyed said.

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US study defines two clear bird flu strains

Via Reuters: U.S. study defines two clear bird flu strains.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu in humans has evolved into two separate strains, U.S. researchers reported on Monday, which could complicate developing a vaccine and preventing a pandemic.

One strain, or clade, made people sick in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in 2003 and 2004 and a second, a cousin of the first, caused the disease in people in Indonesia in 2004.

Two clades may share the same ancestor but are distinct -- as are different clades, or strains, of the AIDS virus, the team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

"Back in 2003 we only had one genetically distinct population of H5N1 with the potential to cause a human pandemic. Now we have two," said the CDC's Rebecca Garten, who helped conduct the study.

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Egipto informa de la primera muerte humana por gripe aviar

El Gobierno egipcio ha informado de la primera muerte humana a causa de la gripe aviar. Se trata de una mujer que vivía en la provincia de Qaliubiya y que criaba aves en su propia casa y no avisó a las autoridades pese a haber perdido a varias de ellas contagiadas por el virus H5N1, según ha informa...

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Azerbaijani Deaths Likely To Push Human Bird Flu Total Past 100

Three deaths in Azerbaijan likely were caused by the H5N1 avian influenza virus, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) statement March 14, a finding that will push the global total of human deaths from bird flu to more than 100. Further analysis of samples from the three victims – all women...

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Tamiflu spams spread online

Spammers are exploiting and capitalizing on fears brought on by the possibility of an avian flu pandemic. The emails try and direct you to online pharmacy sites selling Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), the antiviral prescription drug that is most effectiv

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H5N1 Bird Flu Fatality Confirmed In Egypt

H5N1 Bird Flu Fatality Confirmed In Egypt

H5N1 Bird Flu Fatality Confirmed In Egypt 

Recombinomics Commentary
March 18, 2006

Police identified the woman as Amal Mohammed Ismail, 35, saying she was admitted to hospital in the governorate’s capital Qalyoub, about two weeks ago, and was subsequently transferred to the Cairo Fevers’ Hospital where she died Friday.

A US Navy lab in Cairo found that the woman, who died on Friday, had the H5N1 virus….

The above comments confirm another H5N1 fatality in another country.  H5N1 deaths have been confirmed in Turkey and Iraq and H5N1 in birds has been confirmed in Iran, Israel, and Egypt.  This latest result will increase the level of concern throughout the Middle East.

Although the sequence from the cases in Turkey have not been released, media reports indicate the index case had a change, S227N in the receptor binding domain, which increases the affinity of H5N1 for human receptors.  The sequence of HA from the index case in Iraq was released this week and although it did not contain S227N, it did have N186S, another change near the receptor binding domain.  The US Naval Lab in Cairo, released an Iraqi human, cat and goose H5N1 sequence this week.  The involvement of the lab in the fatal Egyptian case suggests sequences will be promptly released.

These sequences are important because H5N1 is evolving and already appears to be using two distinct changes to infect humans with the Qinghai strain of H5N1.  It will be useful to see if either approach is used for the case in Egypt.

In addition, the database of Qinghai H5N1 sequences is increasing because labs in Russia, Italy, France, and Egypt are promptly depositing sequences in a public database.  In contrast, Weybridge and Hong Kong have sequestered sequences in a WHO private database.  The Weybridge sequences include isolates of H5N1 throughout Europe, but are being held until publication.  Since the papers have yet to be written, these sequences could be sequestered for 6-12 months.  Similarly, Hong Kong has withheld the human H5N1 sequences from Indonesia.  One of these sequences has been selected for a new target for a pandemic vaccine, but the relationship between this sequence to other sequences from human cases is not possible because the sequence has not been released.  Similarly, no human sequences from China have been released.

These sequences should be released immediately.  H5N1 is rapidly evolving, and a full dataset is required for proper analysis.  The analysis by WHO and consultants is limited.  Initial efforts have focused on reassortment with human genes, which has never been reported for H5N1.  More recent comments have focused on “random mutations” by a polymerase lacking a proof reading function.  However, recent sequences from swine in Canada contain long stretches of RNA that has been copied with absolute fidelity for over 25 years, effectively destroying the “random mutation” explanation of influenza evolution.

Influenza, including H5N1, evolves via recombination.  WHO and consultants appear to lack the background and understyanding to conduct such an analysis.  Although these consultants have published sequence data in peer reviewed journals, they have failed to acknowledge the obvious examples of recombination in the sequences they have generated.

The sequestered H5N1 should be released immediately so they can be properly analyzed.


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H5N1 bird flu found in Kazakhstan fowl - Reuters AlertNet

H5N1 bird flu found in Kazakhstan fowl
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 8 hours ago
ASTANA, March 20 (Reuters) - The deadly H5N1 bird flu strain has been found in wild fowl in western Kazakhstan, an agriculture ministry official said on Monday ...
Kazakhstan registers first case of H5N1 bird flu this year TODAYonline
Bird flu confirmed in western Kazakhstan Xinhua
Russia to tighten border checks as fights bird flu Reuters AlertNet
MOSNEWS - Reuters India - all 12 related

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New H5N1 case in Malaysia - News24

New H5N1 case in Malaysia
News24, South Africa - 1 hour ago
Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia on Monday announced a new outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in a village in the northern state of Penang. ...
H5N1 bird flu detected in northern Malaysia Ireland Online
New outbreak of H5N1 bird flu virus detected in northern Malaysia ... China Post
Bird flu found in Penang Bangkok Post
Forbes - Reuters AlertNet - all 22 related

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Bird Flu and Poultry TradeThe Birdchaser

Great op-ed in the International Herald Tribune.

Why can't we get more news stories and investigative reporting about legal and illegal poultry shipments? Check out this news story about poultry smuggling into Vietnam (presumably) from China. Hard to control H5N1 avian influenza with such free-flowing movements of birds from potentially infected areas.

And here is a horrific story of the result of poultry smuggling from Israel into Palestine:

"Near the West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian customs officials intercepted two trucks carrying poultry which had entered illegally. Palestinian officials said they would kill the 2,600 chickens in the trucks.

Palestinian workers later started burying the chickens alive in a pit by dumping soil on them with bulldozers.

“We want to get rid of these chickens because they came from Israel, which is an infected area,” deputy Hebron commander Musbah Al Baba said. “We do not know for sure they are infected, we are just taking precautionary measures.” Smuggling into Palestinian areas has grown due to demand for cheaper supplies of livestock."

Many officials claim that poultry or bird smuggling in the US is such a small enterprise, that it doesn't constitute a major pathway for H5N1 into the country. However, based on how few overseas shipments are actually inspected, and that bird shipments are not unheard of, such claims seem as at least as premature and irresponsible as statements indicating that wild birds are the primary pathway by which the virus will arrive in the US.

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First Human Bird Flu Death ConfirmedAllAfrica News: Egypt

After confirmation of Egypt's first human death from the H5N1 avian virus, the government stepped up awareness drives aimed at preventing the further spread of the potentially deadly disease.

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Bird flu spreads to two more Israel communities - Jerusalem PostGoogle News Australia

Voice of America
Bird flu spreads to two more Israel communities
Jerusalem Post -
On Monday morning veterinarians from the Agriculture Ministry reported that bird flu had in all likelihood spread to two more Israeli communities in the western Negev. The two communities, Nir Oz and Amir ...
Israel confirms H5N1, culls poultry Reuters
Israel confirms deadly bird flu virus Ireland Online
Xinhua - Voice of America - Combined Jewish Philantropies - Epoch Times - all 152 related

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March 17, 2006

Is business ready for a flu pandemic?

In a survey of more than 100 executives in the United States by Deloitte & Touche, released this January, two-thirds said their companies had not yet prepared adequately for avian flu, and most had no one specifically in charge of such a plan.

"Business is not prepared for even a moderate avian flu epidemic," the report concluded.

In contrast, corporations in Southeast Asia have made more headway, in part because the avian influenza virus has been circulating in birds in Asia for years. Also, Asian companies learned in the 2003 outbreak of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, that even a small infectious outbreak could have devastating consequences, bringing commerce in Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing to a near standstill.

A recent survey of 80 corporate officials at an avian flu seminar held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong found that nearly every company had someone in charge of avian flu policy, and 60 percent had clearly stated plans that could be put in place immediately. These included provisions for employees to work at home to prevent the spread of disease in the office, and for relaying warnings to workers by text messages to mobile phones.

Read the full story in the  New York Times.

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Esta notícia à qual alguns blogs já fizeram referê...olhaporti

Esta notícia à qual alguns blogs já fizeram referência e aos quais junto a minha indignação é, de facto, um atentado, nem que mais não seja a maneira como o comunicado foi realizado. Vamos esperar para ver se isto vai ser assim. Porque é impossível fazer estas divisões, não sabemos a quem o vírus vai chegar primeiro.

Cem mil portugueses considerados "fundamentais para o país"
Irão receber anti-virais em caso de pandemia provocada pelo vírus da gripe das aves
. A Direcção-Geral da Saúde (DGS) realizou um levantamento e identificou cem mil portugueses "fundamentais para o país", pelos cargos que ocupam, que irão receber anti-virais em caso de pandemia provocada pelo vírus da gripe das aves.

Entre eles há profissionais de saúde, responsáveis que trabalham em sectores como o fornecimento de electricidade, água, gás ou alimentos e ainda outros como as forças de segurança, explicou a sub-directora geral da Saúde, Graça Freitas

Estes portugueses constam de um esquema profilático prolongado que consiste na toma durante seis semanas do anti-viral considerado mais eficaz para combater a gripe humana provocada pelo vírus H5N1 (oseltamivir).

O medicamento ainda não está em Portugal, pois está incluído na reserva estratégica que assegurará a administração de oseltamivir a 25 por cento da população (mais os cem mil portugueses prioritários) e que deverá chegar ao país no segundo semestre deste ano.

in: http://jn.sapo.pt/2006/03/10

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Yhä huolestuttavampaaPenumbra

Alkaa kuulostaa jo pahalta. Kun geenisekvenssejä ei julkisteta tieteelliselle yhteisölle arvioitavaksi, on vaikeaa pysyä selvillä siitä, kuinka suuri pandemiavaara on ja millä aikavälillä. Nyt egyptiläisen tutkimusryhmän esimerkillisesti julkistamien tietojen mukaan H5N1 on tehnyt taas uuden hyppäyksen kohti helposti ihmisestä toiseen leviävää muotoa:

"Human H5N1 Iraq Sequence Includes N186S

Recombinomics Commentary
March 15, 2006

HA sequences from Irar have been released (A/human/Iraq/207-NAMRU3/2006(H5N1), A/domestic goose/Iraq/812/2006(H5N1), A/domestic cat/Iraq/820/2006(H5N1) by the US Naval Medical Research Unit in Cairo. As expected, all three have the HA cleavage site GERRRKKR, which is the signature sequence of the Qinghai strain of H5N1 bird flu. All three sequences are wild type at position 227 (serine).

The sequences are most closely related to the Kurgan isolate, A/chicken/Kurgan/3/2005(H5N1), which shares some polymorphisms with the Nigerian sequence, A/chicken/Nigeria/641/2006(H5N1). There are some polymorphisms that are specific to Iraq, including R565K.

The most intriguing change however is the change that is only in the human sequence, A609G, which creates N186S. This change could alter the affinity of receptor binding domain, which includes position 190, for human receptors. Donor sequences for this change were not identified in a search of the Los Alamos flu database, highlighting the need for a more complete database and release of the sequestered sequences.

The human sequence from Iraq is the first Qinghai related human sequence made public, and the cat sequence is the second mammalian Qinghai related sequence to be made public. Kudos goes to the Cairo research group for timely and transparent release of critical sequence information.

The above data provides more compelling reasons for the release of the H5N1 sequences sequestered by WHO, including human sequences from Turkey and Indonesia. The sequences each have unique features that are critical in mapping the paths of H5N1 spread as well as changes that will impact vaccine development. Release of the sequestered sequences is long overdue."

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Denmark confirms first case of H5N1 strain - People's Daily Online

BBC News
Denmark confirms first case of H5N1 strain
People's Daily Online, China - 1 hour ago
Denmark on Thursday confirmed the country's first case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in a wild buzzard found dead earlier this week. ...
Denmark says tests found H5N1 in wild buzzard Reuters AlertNet
Denmark confirms first case of H5N1 bird flu Westmeath Independent
Deadly bird flu found in Denmark BBC News
EUobserver.com - Monsters and Critics.com - all 249 related

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Hungarian Scientists Develop Human H5N1 Vaccine - KPHO Phoenix

Monsters and Critics.com
Hungarian Scientists Develop Human H5N1 Vaccine
KPHO Phoenix, AZ - 22 hours ago
A vaccine to protect humans against the current form of the H5N1 bird flu virus has been developed by Hungarian scientists, the country's prime minister ...
Hungarian bird flu vaccine trials promising ABC Online
EU welcomes Hungary's progress on bird flu vaccine Reuters AlertNet
Hungary to produce H5N1 vaccine for humans: PM People's Daily Online
Forbes - Monsters and Critics.com - all 27 related

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Scientists Find How Bird-Flu Virus 'Humanizes'

Researchers have found that by putting one or two mutations into the H5N1 bird-flu virus, they were able to give it greater ability to slip into human cells. The new information will give virus-trackers something to watch for as H5N1 expands to new territory....

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Scientists reveal key protein in H5N1 bird flu virus

However, the researchers noted that some of these mutations may make the H5N1 virus hemagglutinin more likely to bind to human lung epithelial cells, providing a possible “foothold” for the virus in the human population. ...

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H5N1 virus found in Israel, one hospitalised - Asharq Alawsat

H5N1 virus found in Israel, one hospitalised
Asharq Alawsat, UK - 5 hours ago
... Reuters) - Israel hospitalised one person with suspected bird flu on Friday after officials said they had found the country's first cases of the H5N1 virus in ...

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Congo: "We are now perhaps living in danger"

Via Reuters, more bad news on a bad morning: 260 chickens, ducks die of suspected avian flu in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Agricultural officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have recorded at least 260 chickens and ducks suspected of having died of the avian flu, Agriculture Minister Constant Ndom Nda said on Thursday.

Announcing this at a news conference in the capital, Kinshasa, he made a public appeal to the United Nations for help to face the danger, and for the rehabilitation of veterinary laboratories in Kinshasa and the southern city of Lumbumbashi.

"We have passed Phase Four, and are no longer simply limited to mobilisation but to active intervention on the ground because we are now perhaps living in danger," he said.

The permanent secretary at the ministry, Ali Ramazani, said it only learnt about the birds on Thursday, which actually died three or four days ago. He said 100 of them died in a single day in Tshikapa, a town in the south-central province of Kasai Occidental. He said the dead birds presented a danger to public health because tests had not been conducted.

"The problem is that most of the dead chicken and ducks in Tshikapa have been eaten," Ramazani said.

enough about the outbreak in Israel, but it anyone can handle the problem, it's the Israelis. The DRC, on the other hand, has seen millions die in a mostly unreported civil war in recent years. It has essentially no infrastructure for something like this. The Congolese are indeed living in danger.

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Hoarding H5N1 data for fun and profit

By all means read Revere's comments on "Unethical science by dedicated scientists" in Effect Measure. He's not just talking about those hoarding H5N1 sequencing data, when they should make it all absolutely public.

Revere also points out that some companies are treating their business-continuity plans as "proprietary," even as it becomes clear that many other businesses, slow to understand the problem, could benefit from such information. This is the kind of practice that gives a bad name to cut-throat competition.

I'll go one step further than Revere. He rightly approves of an editorial in Nature that attacks the data hoarders. But Nature and many other scientific and business journals reserve much of their best information to paid subscribers. I can understand why they do so. Still, it's in everyone's interest to have a highly informed, well-prepared public facing H5N1.

Last year Nature did everyone a favour by making their avian-influenza special issue freely available. All relevant H5N1 articles, news stories, and commentaries should be available—in Nature and every other scientific, medical, and business journal.

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Israel finds H5N1 in birds

... By Tali Caspi TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel detected its first cases of H5N1 bird flu on Friday, saying the virus had killed thousands of turkeys and chicken on two farms, and it hospitalized one person suspected of being infected. Bird flu has spread with alarming speed in recent weeks across Europe, Africa and parts of Asia, stoking fears the ...
Battalion Of Deborah :: Main Page View Technorati URL search

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March 15, 2006

States and Cities Lag in Bird Flu Readiness - New York Times

"It's a depressing situation," said Jeffrey Levi, a flu expert at the Trust for America's Health, a nonpartisan health policy group. "We are way, way behind."

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Reuters AlertNet - Myanmar outbreak spreads, more chickens culled

Reuters AlertNet - Myanmar outbreak spreads, more chickens culled (info)
Thousands of chickens have been slaughtered on five more farms in central Myanmar after hundreds of birds died of bird flu-like symptoms, the U.N. food agency said on Wednesday.
Posted by ojcius to Myanmar avian flu AvianFlu H5N1 on Wed Mar 15 2006 at 14:51 UTC

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Reuters AlertNet - India battles bird flu, virus spreads in Europe

Reuters AlertNet - India battles bird flu, virus spreads in Europe (info)
Health workers went door-to-door looking for people with bird flu symptoms in western India on Wednesday, while the virus pushed deeper into Scandinavia.

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Free Up H5N1 Avian Flu Data

At this point 200 million birds have died or have been killed due to H5N1 Avian Flu, and 97 human beings died. A leading scientist in the field of genetic sequencing, wants data on the disease, at tax payer financed Center for Disease ...

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Officials say Azeri dog dies of bird flu.

A dog has died of bird flu in Azerbaijan, a country on the crossroads of Europe and Asia where three people have already died from the virus, officials said on Wednesday.The dog died on March 9 in the capital Baku.

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Sweden Confirms H5N1 Strain in Dead Owl

'Swedish authorities confirmed the owl found dead near Oxelosund had the dangerous for people bird flu strain H5N1, Interfax agency informs citing Swedish Veterinary Medicine Institute.'...more.

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Afghans say "99 percent sure" H5N1 found - Reuters Canada

Metro Toronto
Afghans say "99 percent sure" H5N1 found
Reuters Canada, Canada - 10 hours ago
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan is virtually certain the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been found in chickens, but is awaiting one final test for ...
Afghans say "99 percent sure" H5N1 found Reuters AlertNet
Afghans say "99 percent sure" H5N1 found Reuters AlertNet
Afghans Awaiting Bird-Flu Confirmation Washington Post
TODAYonline - Olberlin - all 142 related

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WHO reports mass bird deaths in Eritrea

Via the Sudan Tribune: WHO reports mass bird deaths in Eritrea.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday reported massive bird deaths in two regions in Eritrea, two weeks after it warned that the Horn of African nation was at risk of bird flu infection.

WHO representative here Andrew Kosia said that wild fowl had died in the coastal area of the Red Sea region and several chickens had died in the western region of Gash Barka.

"Birds have died in large numbers in the northern Red Sea region and in the Gash Barka region this month," said Kosia.

"We have some suspicious samples, which we hope to send for testing soon, maybe to Nairobi," he said, adding that UN experts would go to the affected regions this week.

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Renowned Bird Flu Expert Warns: Be Preparedquickstep

There Are "About Even Odds" That the Virus Could Mutate to an Easily Transmitted Form, He Tells 'World News Tonight'


March 14, 2006 — Robert G. Webster is one of the few bird flu experts confident enough to answer the key question: Will the avian flu switch from posing a terrible hazard to birds to becoming a real threat to humans?

There are "about even odds at this time for the virus to learn how to transmit human to human," he told ABC's "World News Tonight." Webster, the Rosemary Thomas Chair at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., is credited with being the first scientist to find the link between human flu and bird flu.

Webster and his team of scientists are working to find a way to beat the virus if it morphs. He has even been dubbed the Flu Hunter.

Right now, H5N1, a type of avian influenza virus, has confined itself to birds. It can be transmitted from bird to human but only by direct contact with the droppings and excretions of infected birds.

But viruses mutate, and the big fear among the world's scientists is that the bird flu virus will join the human flu virus, change its genetic code and emerge as a new and deadly flu that can spread through the air from human to human.

If the virus does mutate, it does not necessarily mean it will be as deadly to people as it is to birds. But experts such as Webster say they must prepare for the worst.

"I personally believe it will happen and make personal preparations," said Webster, who has stored a three-month supply of food and water at his home in case of an outbreak.

Frightening Warning

"Society just can't accept the idea that 50 percent of the population could die. And I think we have to face that possibility," Webster said. "I'm sorry if I'm making people a little frightened, but I feel it's my role."

Most scientists won't put it that bluntly, but many acknowledge that Webster could be right about the flu becoming transmissible among humans, even though they believe the 50 percent figure could be too high.

Researcher Dr. Anne Moscona at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center said that a human form may not mutate this year or next — or ever — but it would be foolish to ignore the dire consequences if it did.

"If bird flu becomes not bird flu but mutates into a form that can be transmitted between humans, we could then have a spread like wildfire across the globe," Moscona said.

article continues

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Old drug might become arsenal in bird flu fight

... A drug created in the 1970s to combat the seasonal flu, just might be the next weapon to fight the bird flu along with Tamiflu. Initial tests among the first avian bird flu victims in Southeast Asia suggested the virus was resistant to amantadine, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. But evidence is mounting that amantadine might be ...
Bird Flu | avian influenza | avianinfluenza.org View Technorati URL search

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India bird flu cases 'positive'

... Authorities in India's Maharashtra state confirm four cases of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain. ...
alvarado_concor View Technorati URL search

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March 13, 2006

Why is bird flu targeting the young?

Here is a good recent article.  One theory:

"On average, you'll get influenza once every five or 10 years, so kids are less likely to have antibodies from prior exposure," he said. "Adults will have had experiences with different influenza viruses."It still doesn't explain the disproportionate number of people in their 20s and 30s who have succumbed to the disease. One theory is that some people have immunity to the N1 antigen of the bird flu virus developed from the H1N1 Spanish flu. That virus was still circulating in a milder form until 1957 and also re-emerged as a milder strain in 1977.

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The WHO's bird flu sample sharing policy

Even as the World Health Organization presses China and other countries to share bird-flu data for the public good, the WHO itself runs a database limited to a select group of scientists and containing a massive trove of data -- some 2,300 genetic sequences of the virus, around a third of the world's known sequences, according to two people familiar with the database's contents. Any one of those sequences could hold clues to an effective human vaccine or drugs that could kill the virus, or help scientists determine how great a threat it poses.

Now, a lone Italian researcher has cast a harsh spotlight on the WHO's system, suggesting that it places academic pride over public health – and snubbing it by posting prized bird-flu data in plain view.

Ilaria Capua, a 39-year-old Italian veterinarian working on avian influenza in a government lab, last month received a sample of the virus in the mail from Nigerian health authorities. The virus had just attacked birds in Nigeria, the first confirmed case of the disease in Africa. The sample was something of a prize, a chance to study a specimen and explore how it spread from its stronghold in Asia.

Within days of isolating the virus, Dr. Capua says, she got an offer from a senior scientist at the WHO in Geneva, whom she declined to name, to enter her finding in the closed system. She could submit the virus's genetic information, or sequence, to the database. In exchange, she would be given the password to the WHO's massive stash of data. A spokesman for the WHO confirmed that the offer was made.

Instead, Dr. Capua posted the gene sequence in a public database accessible on the Internet. She also sent a letter on Feb. 16 to around 50 of her colleagues urging them to do the same with their bird-flu samples.

"If I had agreed" to the WHO's request, she said in an interview, "it would have been another secret sequence."

The WHO, normally an outspoken advocate of transparency, says it limits access to the database so scientists and governments will share bird-flu data they might otherwise hoard to further their own research. Scientists with access to the system can collaborate with each other but must agree not to publish results without prior consultation. Michael Perdue, a leading scientist at the WHO in Geneva, says the system has proven to be a useful compromise, because some sharing is better than none.

The quote is from a WSJ article by Nicholas Zamiska published today. Here is his earlier story on China's samples.

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

USNews.com: Bird flu is now an ocean away. When will it reach the United States? More important, can it be stopped?

USNews.com: Bird flu is now an ocean away. When will it reach the United States? More important, can it be stopped? (info)
Starting in April, researchers from several federal agencies will test roughly 100,000 birds, dead and alive, as well as bird feces, in Alaska, Hawaii, and the lower 48. The survey was launched in 1996; this year's endeavor will test eight times as many birds as in the previous years combined. The samples will be run through a network of 39 federal, state, and university laboratories equipped to do rapid polymerase-chain-reaction testing, which copies bits of DNA, and can handle 18,000 samples a day, part of a national laboratory upgrade funded by post-9/11 federal bioterrorism programs.

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

Dr. Bob's rough actuarial estimates

We need to put some usable numbers and projections on the table.  For official calculations, the CDC FluAid calculator has all kinds of estimates and state totals; unfortunately, I find their numbers difficult to work with.  So here are my estimates.  Your comments will only increase their accuracy and value. 

I am a physician, not an actuary, but I do make these kinds of projections as part of my daily work.  My purpose is to start a meaningful discussion about what the numbers might be; I am not offering definitive or documented analysis. 

This time I assume that 25% become ill with pandemic influenza, 30% of these will seek outpatient medical care, 10% of these will be hospitalized and 80% will require a ventilator for 7 days until death or recovery, and half of all hospitalized people will die.   Further, I assume that the pandemic wave will last 3 months; 1/6 will get ill in the first month, 2/3 in the middle month, and then 1/6 in the third month.  By the way, I always rounded to the thousands because all of the estimates are so rough right now.   My final number is a death rate of 1.6% of those who become ill with pandemic flu.  Yes, I know that is lower than our collective predictions from last week, but this is enough to grab your attention. 

Using these estimates:  In month one and month three, 40,000 people in our fictitious town of 1,000,000 become ill, 13,000  (433 per day) seek medical care, of whom 1,300 (43 per day) are hospitalized for an average of 7 days and 650 (21 per day) die.  In the middle peak month, 160,000 are infected, 48,000 (1,600 per day) seek medical care, of whom 4,800 (160 per day) are hospitalized for an average of 7 days and 2,400 (80 per day) die.       

I look forward to your comments about these estimates. 

And, yes, I am still a steady yellow.  Lots of birds, not much else.  I do wish the media would call a dead bird a dead bird and not a "case of bird flu."  There may be enough of those someday, but not now. 

Posted by dymaxion at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Avian influenza – H5N1 infection found in a stone marten in Germany

Officials in Germany have today confirmed H5N1 infection in a second mammalian species, the stone marten. This finding marks the first documented infection of this species with an avian influenza virus. Previously, H5N1 infection was ...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Guan Yi: Bird flu-infected poultry found in China markets

Although waterfowl are natural hosts of the H5N1, this is the first time researchers have found and documented on such a large scale infected chickens which do not show signs of the disease. Chickens usually die within 24 hours of being ...

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

UN Officials Backing Off on Wild Bird Flu Claims

In the past, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has been one of the leading proponent of the view that wild birds were carrying and spreading the H5N1 avian influenza virus. A new 24 Heures interview (in French) with Samuel Jutzi ...

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

Three Azeris dead of avian flu

It's not on the Azerbaijan News Agency site yet, but Reuters and others have the news: Azerbaijan reports three people dead with bird flu.

Azerbaijan's Health Ministry said on Monday three people who died earlier this month had been infected with bird flu in the country's first case in humans.

"Initial analysis from the laboratory shows that the three people who died did so as a result of bird flu," Health Ministry spokeswoman Samaya Mamedova said.

The infected people were thought to be members of a family from the Salyan region, in southern Azerbaijan near the Caspian Sea coast, who were hospitalised early in March with suspected bird flu. Four of them died.

e questions: What killed the fourth family member? What's the condition of the other seven or eight persons hospitalized with similar symptoms? And was this a B2H family cluster, or H2H?

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

97/176 = 55% mortality

As of March 10, the Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza A/(H5N1) Reported to WHO totalled 176, with 97 deaths. Yahoo News gives the current total as 98/177. Either way, the mortality rate for confirmed cases is 55 percent. If we add the three Azeri deaths confirmed today as H5N1, the mortality rate is 56 percent.

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

The ventilator shortfall

The New York Times has a disturbing article: Too Few Ventilators for Bird Flu Crisis. The US has about 105,000 ventilators, almost all of which are used in a regular flu season. But a worst-case pandemic would create the need for 742,500 ventilators.

"This is a life-or-death issue, and it reflects everything else that's wrong about our pandemic planning," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. "The government puts out a 400-page plan, but we don't have any ventilators and there isn't much chance we're going to get them."

A typical hospital ventilator costs $30,000, and hospitals, operating on thin profit margins, say they cannot afford to buy and store hundreds of units that may never be used. Cheaper alternatives can be deployed in a crisis, but doctors say they are grossly inadequate to deal with a flu pandemic.

Congress authorized only $3.8 billion of the $7.1 billion that Mr. Bush requested for flu preparedness, and nearly 90 percent of it is earmarked for vaccines and the antiviral drug Tamiflu. Buying enough ventilators for a flu outbreak like that of 1918 would cost $18 billion.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bird flu suspected at poultry farm in GermanyNews/Activism

MUNICH - Fears grew Monday that bird flu might have spread to a poultry farm in Germany after seven ducks died with influenza-like symptoms in the southern state of Bavaria. Tests were being carried on the animals to determine whether they were infected with the virulent H5N1 strain, which has already killed around 200 wild birds and four mammals. If confirmed, it would be the first case of bird flu at a poultry farm in Germany. All the animals at the farm in the district of Lichtenfels were culled during the night as a precaution, the consumer affairs ministry said.

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

Flu hits Poland, infects cat in Austria

... Avian flu extended its spread across Europe as Poland confirmed on Monday that two dead swans had the virulent H5N1 virus and Austria reported a cat at an animal sanctuary tested positive for the virus. ... said the spread of bird flu was unprecedented and the ... 95th person killed by bird flu since late 2003, the ... currently spreading rapidly ...
stecsimivalley View Technorati URL search

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

Burma ( Myanmar ) gets first case of bird flu

... A veterinary official in Myanmar said Monday that the H5N1 strain of the bird flu has been detected in chickens in the country. Tests on samples of blood taken from dead chickens at a farm in Mandalay in central Myanmar showed that the birds were infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus. About 700 chickens have died at the farm, the official ...
Bird Flu | avian influenza | avianinfluenza.org View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 09:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

La Grippe Aviaire au Cameroun

... La Grippe Aviaire au Cameroun Grippe aviaire : Le Cameroun contaminé Le virus a été détecté chez un canard d’élevage dans la ville de Maroua à l'Extrême-Nord du pays. Dorine Ekwè La nouvelle est tombée comme un couperet. Samedi dernier, en effet, le gouvernement camerounais a rendu officielle la présence du virus H5N1 de la grippe aviaire ...
Etudiant Vétérinaire View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 09:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Computer Simulation of H5N1 Spread in America

... Scenario of Human Spread of H5N1: Los Alamos National Laboratory computer simulation based on air travel in which H5N1 influenza virus is carried by airline passenger from an outbreak, say in Asia or Africa, to Los Angeles, California. Map 1 shows the high infection rate in Los Angeles by Day 50 after virus began spreading human-to-human. Map 2 ...
enc0d3d View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 09:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

US shippers face complex task in event of flu pandemic

... U.S. shipping companies, which play a vital economic role by moving trillions of dollars a year worth of goods between manufacturers and retailers, are busy making plans in case a dreaded bird flu pandemic hits the United States.The companies, from air express providers to truckers to railroads, are focused on how they would function during a ...
Enflu View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 09:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 08, 2006

Reuters AlertNet - Africa to get sizeable portion of bird flu funds-WHO

Reuters AlertNet - Africa to get sizeable portion of bird flu funds-WHO (info)
Africa will receive a "sizeable portion" of the $2 billion bird flu funds pledged to fight the disease after its discovery on the continent last month, said the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Posted by ojcius to avian flu AvianFlu Africa H5N1 on Wed Mar 08 2006 at 14:39 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 08:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vaccination of Swans in French Zoo

Em França já começaram a vacinar as aves no ZOO de Mulhouse. Por cá o único caso da designada "gripe das aves" deu-se no estádio da Luz e o seu protagonista (Vitor Baía) ainda não foi vacinado. Assim vamos longe!

Via PubSub: "h5n1"

Posted by dymaxion at 08:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Grippe aviaireEditoWeb Magazine

Grippe aviaire
Le virus H5N1 a été identifié à nouveau sur un canard sauvage dans l'Ain.

La présence du virus H5N1 a été confirmée dans les deux cas par le laboratoire national de l'AFSSA (agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments) de Ploufragan (Côtes d'Armor) auxquels les prélèvements avaient été transmis le 1er mars.

Cela porte à 31 le nombre d'oiseaux sauvages porteurs du virus H5N1 de la grippe aviaire détectés depuis l'apparition de cette maladie en France le 18 février, selon la direction générale de l'alimentation.

A ce chiffre s'ajoute l'élevage de dindes de Versailleux (Ain), le seul élevage de volailles touché par ce virus au sein de l'Union européenne.

Le cygne sauvage a été découvert mort le 25 février - et non le 28 février comme indiqué précédemment par le ministère - dans la commune de Saint-Mitre-les-Remparts (Bouches-du-Rhône), située à une quarantaine de kilomètres de Marseille, sur la côte méditerranéenne entre Martigues et Istres.

Dans un communiqué, la préfecture de région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur a précisé que ...

Lire l'article complet.

Ma pub ici encore!

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

Bird flu detected in Cambodia - Periódico 26My Cambodia News

Bird flu detected in Cambodia
Periódico 26, Cuba - 30 minutes ago
Cambodia has confirmed that the H5N1 strain of bird flu was found in ducks at a farm in Kompong Cham province, some 120 km north of the capital Phnom Penh. ...

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

Two more cats dead of bird flu in Germany: Ministry

... Two more cats dead of bird flu in Germany: Ministry Two more cats dead of bird flu in Germany: Ministry Zee News, India - 20 hours agoBerlin, Mar 08: Two more cats have died of the H5N1 bird flu virus, the German Agricultural Ministry announced. Their cadavers were … Avian flu and spring break The Courier-Journal, IN - 3 hours agoAs spring ...
Information and news about the flu (including Avian Flu H5N1) | Flu Information Updates View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 08:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Albania gets first bird flu case

... Laboratory tests confirm that a chicken found dead in Albania had the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu. ...
dorey_palmdale View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 08:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 07, 2006

New suspected case in China

The 32-year-old man fell ill after visiting a live poultry market several times to conduct research in southern Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong. He died last Thursday, the ninth person to die of bird flu in China.

"He is an urban resident, he had no contact with farms or any poultry from the villages. His only exposure is the wet markets, which has poultry which are supposedly safe for consumption and safe for the public," Hong Kong's health minister York Chow said.

"And Guangdong province is one of the best (in China) in terms of supervising the control of avian flu. Since last year, it has immunized all its poultry through vaccination," he told a news conference.

Guangdong has not reported any outbreaks of the H5N1 avian flu virus in birds over the past year, and the man's death has heightened fears among experts that there might be poultry that are infected by the virus but which are not sickened by it.

Source. In a story that keeps coming back, some WHO officials are wondering about undetected cases in the country:

"It's very conceivable that there are more cases," said Dr. Henk Bekedam, the WHO's representative for China.

"But we do not have the impression, at least from the central ministry, that they are hiding information from the outside world."

Rather, Dr. Bekedam said he believes China has a "capacity problem" in terms of its ability to conduct surveillance for infection in birds and detect all human cases, particularly those in which the virus triggers milder disease.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Reuters AlertNet - Western nations prompt FAO to boost bird flu role

Reuters AlertNet - Western nations prompt FAO to boost bird flu role (info)
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is to play a greater role in fighting bird flu, becoming a "global clearing house" for efforts to stem the spread of the virus, it said on Tuesday.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HHS using Indonesian strain for second H5N1 flu vaccine - CIDRAP

HHS using Indonesian strain for second H5N1 flu vaccine
CIDRAP, MN - 2 hours ago
Mar 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A second vaccine against human H5N1 influenza is being developed, US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt ...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Romania confirms fresh H5N1 bird flu outbreak in poultry - Forbes

Bucharest Daily News
Romania confirms fresh H5N1 bird flu outbreak in poultry
Forbes - 2 hours ago
BUCHAREST (AFX) - The H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus has been confirmed in poultry in the village of Borcea in southeastern Romania, Agriculture Minister ...
Black Sea nations to join forces to fight bird flu Reuters AlertNet
More cases of H5N1 strain of bird flu detected Bucharest Daily News
United States gives Romania bird flu detection equipment Pravda
Reuters AlertNet - Focus News - all 10 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Poland confirms third case of deadly H5N1 bird flu - People's Daily Online

CBC News
Poland confirms third case of deadly H5N1 bird flu
People's Daily Online, China - 2 hours ago
A third wild swan had tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, a Polish laboratory said on Tuesday. ... "H5N1 was detected in a third swan," Wijaszka said. ...
Polish lab confirms third case of H5N1 Ireland Online
Poland and Asutria confirm fresh H5N1 flu cases EUobserver.com
Lab confirms third case of H5N1 bird flu in Poland TODAYonline
Monsters and Critics.com - Times of India - all 285 related

Posted by dymaxion at 10:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHO urges more studies on bird flu infections in cats

Thanks to the reader who sent me the link to this Reuters story: WHO urges more studies on bird flu infections in cats.

Reports that a cat contracted bird flu and has not fallen ill could mean the virus is adapting to mammals and poses a potentially higher risk to humans, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said on Tuesday.

Michael Perdue, a scientist with the WHO's global influenza programme, said more studies were needed on infections in cats, including how they shed the virus.

But Perdue said there was no current evidence that cats were hidden carriers of a virus which can wipe out poultry flocks in the space of 48 hours and occasionally infects people.

Austria said on Monday that a cat in an animal sanctuary in the southern city of Graz had tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus but had yet to show any symptoms of the disease.

However, the virus can take up to a week to strike and perhaps the cat in Austria could still develop clinical signs, according to Perdue.

"We have to follow-up with laboratory studies to see if it (the virus) changed genetically and is not causing clinical signs," Perdue told Reuters.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What's Happening to Bird Flu in Indonesia?

Over the past week, there have been six deaths in Indonesia that are believed to have been caused by the H5N1 virus. Yesterday, a four year old boy died while being transported to a hospital in Jakarta. He is just the most recent case. On Monday a 25 year old pregnant woman, also from Jakarta died. On Saturday, a ten year old boy died. A brother and sister, both children, died last Wednesday and a three year old died last Tuesday. If all of these deaths are confirmed to have been caused by there may be real cause for concern. It could mean that the disease has become form virulent, or may have mutated in such a way that people are more susceptible. Seven people are currently hospitalized in Indonesia and being treated for bird flu symptoms. As a sign of how little control the government feels it has, more than 200 government officials held a mass prayer ceremony today to ask for divine intervention to control the outbreak. The prayer was followed by a traditional Indonesian ceremony to ward off evil.Avian Flu has been detected in 26 of Indonesia’s 33 provinces.

Via PubSub: "h5n1"

Posted by dymaxion at 10:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Germany reports two more cats killed by bird flu - Forbes

... Germany reports two more cats killed by bird flu Forbes - 1 hour ago BERLIN (AFX) - Two more cats have died of the H5N1 bird flu virus, the agricultural ministry announced. Their cadavers were discovered ... Romania confirms fresh H5N1 bird flu outbreak in poultry Forbes all 2 related ...
Pandemic Virus Facts and Information View Technorati URL search

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

March 06, 2006

Bird flu suspect dies in Indonesia

A 10-year-old boy suspected of having avian influenza died in the Central Java town of Surakarta on Saturday. The boy, a native of Boyolali regency, is reported to have contracted the disease through direct contact with affected chickens two weeks earlier.

The boy's hometown in Sanggrong village, Andong district, some 30 kilometers north of Surakarta city, is an area where avian influenza or bird flu is endemic. Thousands of chickens and birds reportedly have died there since the bird flu outbreak in 2004.

The boy was taken to Dr. Moewardi hospital for treatment Wednesday, the day when a 12-year-old girl who was suspected of having bird flu died at the same hospital. The girl, also a Boyolali native, died two days after her 10-year-old brother passed away after suffering from the same classic bird flu symptoms. None of the three have been confirmed as bird flu cases through laboratory tests.

From The Jakarta Post.

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

New suspected cases in China, Indonesia

A three-year-old boy from Indonesia's Central Java province has died of bird flu, a senior health official said on Saturday, citing the results of a local test.

If confirmed by a U.N.-recognized laboratory, the boy would be the country's 21st death from the H5N1 virus, which is now endemic in poultry in the world's fourth most populous nation.


A man who died in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong may have had the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, the Hong Kong government said.

The territory's Department of Health received notification of the 32-year-old man's death from China's Ministry of Health and Guangdong province health officials on Friday, the government said in a statement.

The man, who lived in Guangzhou city -- just across the border from Hong Kong -- developed fever and pneumonia on February 22 and died on March 2, the statement, released late Friday, said.

From CNN.

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

Did illegal imports trigger Nigeria's H5N1?

The virus known as H5N1 has spread to seven of the country's 36 states and the capital city since it was first detected in northern Nigeria on February 8, but 90% of infected farms bought day-old chicks from one farm in Kano state, ...

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

H5 in Poland

Via Sofia News Agency in Bulgaria: Bird Flu Hits Poland Too.

Poland has become one more in a row of countries hit by the H5 bird flu, media reported Sunday.

Two dead swans found in the center of the country along Vistula River in Torun tested positive for the virus, but authorities are still to determine whether it is of the deadly-to-humans H5N1 strain.

In the meantime Romania detected two possible bird flu cases at a Danube village, and has started slaughtering birds in the area as a preventative measure.

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


En nu dat we even hebben gelachen, een serieus nootje over vogelgriep:

Wat is vogelgriep:
De vogelgriep of vogelinfluenza van het type (H5N1) dat momenteel in een aantal Aziatische landen heerst, is een aviaire influenza.
Als er veel vogels besmet raken en doodgaan spreekt men van vogelpest, zoals die vorig jaar in Nederland werd geconstateerd.
Toen besmette het virus van het type H7N7 pluimvee.
Veel mensen werden ziek en kregen bijvoorbeeld oogontsteking.
Een 57-jarige dierenarts uit Rosmalen die besmet raakte, is overleden.

u]Hoe raak je besmet:[/u]
Veel trekvogels hebben influenzavirussen bij zich, zonder dat ze zelf ziek worden.
Door hun uitwerpselen kan het virus worden verspreid en overspringen naar pluimvee.
Als dat het geval is, kan het virus zich snel vermeerderen.
Het virus kan zich van vogel op mens verspreiden.
Incidenteel komt het voor dat besmetting van mens tot mens plaatsvindt.

[Hoe gevaarlijk is het voor de mens:
Vogelinfluenza kan vooral gevaarlijk en zelfs dodelijk zijn voor de mens als die al een menselijke influenza (van het type H1N1 of H3N2) onder de leden heeft.
Deskundigen en de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie (WHO) maken zich vooral zorgen dat deze verschillende virussen onderling erfelijk materiaal uitwisselen, waardoor een nieuw virus ontstaat, waartegen de mens geen afweer heeft.
Hierdoor kan een epidemie ontstaan waardoor grote bevolkingsgroepen besmet raken, net als in 1918 de Spaanse Griep (40 miljoen doden) en in 1957 en 1958 de Aziatische en Hongkong Griep, waardoor wereldwijd enkele miljoenen mensen overleden.

Is Nederland voorbereid op een grote epidemie:
De WHO maakt zich vooral zorgen dat bestaande virussen zich ontwikkelen tot een nieuw type waarop de artsen niet goed zijn voorbereid.
Volgens de WHO kan het vogelgriepvirus die nu in Azië is geconstateerd makkelijk uitgroeien tot een ernstiger ziekte dan de longziekte SARS, die circa achthonderd mensen het leven heeft gekost.
De WHO heeft de regeringen gevraagd plannen te ontwikkelen om zich voor te bereiden op een uitbraak van de ziekte.
Ook de Nederlandse overheid ontwikkelt plannen, maar die zijn nog niet klaar.

Is er een geneesmiddel:
Volgens prof. A. Osterhaus van het Nationaal Influenza Centrum bestaat er een antiviraal middel dat werkt tegen alle influenzasoorten.
Het probleem is volgens hem dat dit middel niet in voldoende hoeveelheden op de plank staat en niet direct voor handen is als een epidemie uitbreekt.
Hij vindt daarom dat de overheid dit middel moet opslaan om het bij de hand te hebben.
Als er een internationale epidemie-uitbraak is, wil iedereen dit middel, waardoor de vraag groter is dan het aanbod.
Dat kan duizenden mensen het leven kosten.

Bron: planet.nl

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

WHO: H5N1 Bigger Challenge than Aids.

... Bird flu now bigger challenge than AIDS, says WHO The H5N1 strain of avian flu surpasses AIDS in terms of the challenge it poses world wide health system, an official of the world health organization warned Monday. ...
Indus Asia | Together we make difference View Technorati URL search

Via Technorati Search for: H5N1

Posted by dymaxion at 09:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2006

Mike Leavitt's testimony to Congress

The lethal avian flu that is spreading rapidly around the world could soon infect wild birds and domesticated flocks in the United States, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said on Wednesday.

[...] Leavitt told the committee that by the end of this year, the United States will have about 20 million doses of anti-viral drugs, mostly Tamiflu, stockpiled.

But the development of a vaccine is three to five years away, Leavitt said. He downplayed chances that this timetable could be accelerated significantly and added that even with vaccine technology, it would take drug companies six months after the start of a pandemic to produce an effective one.

"In the first six months of a pandemic we are dependent on basic public health, social distancing; every business, every school, every church, every county to have a plan," Leavitt said, adding, "We are overdue (for a pandemic) and under-protected, but we are moving with dispatch."

Leavitt also was skeptical that the federal government could provide all localities with the full arsenal of basic medical equipment, such as ventilators, masks, gauze and gloves, needed during a pandemic. That surprised Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican, who said he had thought the billions of dollars being spent would cover such stockpiles.

Source. Effect Measure offers a critical take. Tradesports puts the chance of bird flu being detected in the US by the end of June at 40%.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Efforts in Nigeria hurt by distrust

The peasant farm hands were deeply suspicious as they watched the police marksmen trying to control bird flu kill 168 ostriches the farm had reared over eight years. Days later, when the 160 workers were invited for tests to see if they, too, were infected, nearly everyone fled.

"Most of them feared they would end up like the ostriches, to be shot dead for having the virus," said one of the more enlightened of the Sambawa Farms workers, Ibrahim Hassan, who turned up promptly for medical checks.

Almost three weeks after tests confirmed Africa's first cases of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain at a large plantation here in Jaji, a wall of distrust between the government and most of the population is posing a major obstacle to fighting bird flu in Nigeria. The campaign also is hampered by poor infrastructure, lack of resources and vast distances.

Read more in the AP article.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

La UE recomienda el encierro de gatos y perros en las zonas donde se detecte el H5N1

La Unión Europea (UE) ha pedido esta tarde que se adopten medidas para evitar el contacto entre animales domésticos carnívoros y aves silvestres en aquellas zonas donde se haya detectado el virus H5N1, la variante más agresiva de la gripe aviar....

Posted by dymaxion at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Connotea avian flu

Connotea avian flu (info)
"Disease Watch News is written with the expert assistance of David Ojcius, Professor at the University of California, Merced. David is a selfconfessed news junkie who keeps us informed of the latest developments in infectious diseases. Recently, David has started to use Connotea to bookmark interesting research papers and news stories as he trawls through the internet. Along with Nature reporter Declan Butler, David is one of Connotea’s most frequent users and between them they have compiled an excellent online dossier on avian flu that can be accessed under the ‘avianflu’ tag."
Posted by Declan to AvianFlu connotea on Thu Mar 02 2006 at 10:12 UTC

Posted by dymaxion at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

U.S. Stockpiles Antiviral Drugs, but Democrats Critical of Pace - New York Times

U.S. Stockpiles Antiviral Drugs, but Democrats Critical of Pace - New York Times (info)
The Bush administration announced Tuesday that it was buying enough antiviral drugs to treat 14 million people in the event of a pandemic flu, but Democrats said that the administration had yet to spend all of the money that Congress appropriated in December to buy drugs, and that the delay was putting people at risk.

Posted by dymaxion at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Number of confirmed H5N1 bird flu cases in Austria rises to 22 - TODAYonline

Number of confirmed H5N1 bird flu cases in Austria rises to 22
TODAYonline, Singapore - 51 minutes ago
Twenty-two cases of the potentially deadly H5N1 bird flu virus have now been found in Austria, after the Health and Food Safety Agency (AGES) announced eight ...
Bird flu reaches proximity of Budapest TODAYonline
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Bird flu on Azerbaijan poultry farm is H5N1 - Ireland Online

Peninsula On-line
Bird flu on Azerbaijan poultry farm is H5N1
Ireland Online, Ireland - 53 minutes ago
Bird flu found this week on a poultry farm in Azerbaijan has been confirmed as the deadly H5N1 strain, a top veterinary official said today. ...
Vaccine in the works Sydney Morning Herald
Bird flu briefing today Daily Times
H5N1 virus of bird flu detected on Russian poultry farm Xinhua
Reuters AlertNet - PakTribune.com - all 47 related

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Indonesia: two siblings die of suspected H5N1

Via Xinhuanet: two siblings die of suspected bird flu in Indonesia.

Two children of the same family died recently of suspected bird flu virus at a hospital in Indonesia's Central Java province, a report said Thursday.

Hanif Cahya Fitri, 12, died at the Moewardi Hospital in the town of Solo late Wednesday, one day after her brother Nandya Kurniawan, 10, passed away at the same hospital, reported Detikcomnews website.

Doctors said the two siblings had developed bird flu symptoms like respiratory problems and high fever.

They had been hospitalized for one week, it said.

Indonesia now ranks second in global casualties caused by the avian influenza. The World Health Organization has confirmed 24 bird flu fatalities in the country.

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Bahamian experts probe bird deaths amid fears of avian fluYahoo! News : Health News

AFP Journal Internet - Experts probed the unusual deaths of 14 birds on a southern Bahamian island to determine whether they marked the first cases of deadly H5N1 bird flu in the Americas.

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Military Units Urged In Bird Flu BattleYahoo! News : Health News

SkyNews - A military-style approach of rapid-response labs is needed to counter the worldwide threat of H5N1 bird flu, medical experts believe.The call comes as tests confirmed a duck in Geneva died of the H5N1 strain. It is Switzerland's first case of the deadliest type of avian flu.

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New Deadly Bird Flu Cases In France

... Eleven new cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu have been discovered in France, according to the Associated Press.The virus was found in wild birds, the agency reported. ...
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Woman Suspected Of Dying Of Bird Flu In Iraq

... Iraqi authorities believe a woman died of H5N1 infection. Samples have been sent to Cairo and Baghdad for confirmation. The woman lived near Nassiriya, south of Iraq. Other suspected human bird flu cases exist in Shula (Baghdad) - lab results are yet to come. To people died of bird flu infection in Iraq last month, a girl and her uncle (who had ...
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Onze nouveaux cas d'oiseaux sauvages porteurs du H5N1 dans l'Ain

... Onze nouveaux cas d'oiseaux sauvages porteurs du H5N1 dans l'Ain Onze nouveaux cas d'oiseaux sauvages porteurs du virus H5N1 de la grippe aviaire ont été détectés dans l'Ain (centre-est de la France), dont un héron, un canard et 9 cygnes, a annoncé le ministère de l'Agriculture jeudi dans un communiqué. Le laboratoire national de référence de ...
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Bird flu: "Keep cats indoors"

... The Swedish government raises the classification of the H5N1 variant of bird flu to "constituting a public danger". At the same time, EU veterinary experts advise people to keep cats indoors and dogs on a leash. ...
The Local - Sweden's news in English View Technorati URL search

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