Bird Flu - Archives
Indian Vet Did Not Have Bird Flu
An Indian vet who died after working with infected birds did
have bird flu, authorities have reported.
April 24th, 2006
Has Any Disease in India
The headline to this
Reuters report says it all: “Ill-equipped South Asia looks resigned to
It discusses how bird
flu looks like becoming entrenched in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and
Myanmar, despite all the efforts of the authorities. A few excerpts:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and some Indian officials say that
once the virus takes hold in any country -- developed or not -- it is just
about impossible to eradicate.
"Has any disease
which has come in the last 50 years into India gone away?" said H.K. Pradhan,
head of India's only animal diseases laboratory that carries out tests for
…"I hope bird flu
does not become part of our lives," said Faiz Qureshi, a young restaurant
owner in New Delhi.
"There are car
accidents in the streets everyday, but people don't stop driving, do they?"
he said, surveying his almost empty restaurant known for chicken and mutton
Seven people have been admitted to hospital in
India with suspected bird flu.
April 13th, 2006
This Is Sad
India’s Financial Express reports a “suicide
spree” by poultry farmers, reeling from the impact of bird flu.
11 Of 12 Indian Bird Flu
Suspects Cleared; But EU Trembles
Reuters reports that Indian authorities have cleared 11 of the 12 people
who were quarantined following the country’s H5N1 outbreak.
However, the same report
talks of great nervousness in France and Germany, where authorities are
awaiting the results of tests of suspected H5N1 at poultry farms.
Poultry producers in
France have estimated a 30 percent fall in sales due to bird flu has cost
them 130 million euros since November and the government announced the
sector would receive 52 million euros in aid to deal with the crisis.
No EU farm birds have
yet been confirmed to have the virus but health experts, including at the
WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say it is
almost inevitable the virus will spread from wild birds to poultry flocks.
Europe is preparing
for more cases of H5N1 as the spring migration season approaches and new
species, possibly already infected, arrive from Africa, EU Health and
Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou told Reuters.
"It's a concern,
because now we have the virus in Africa. Spring migration of birds coming
from the south to Europe poses a risk," Kyprianou said.
Website Says Two Indians
Test Positive for Bird Flu
Is this right? I can
find it reported only on the
Your worst fears are
set to come true. The government says the avian flu infection may have been
transferred to humans, and a few cases under observation are showing signs
of the virus.
With two of the 12
people kept under observation in isolation wards testing positive for avian
influenza, the focus shifts from birds to humans. Both cases are from
Navapur block in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district.
All 12 patients,
including six children, have infections of the upper respiratory tract and a
history of poultry deaths in their backyard farms. Besides, all were in
contact with possibly infected poultry.
The patients had been
quarantined and put on Tamiflu. But the drug is effective only if taken
within 48 hours of infection, and it is feared that the window was already
shut in these cases.
Bollywood to Help Fight
Hindu Business Line reports:
THE poultry industry
plans to add a dash of glamour to the avian flu-hit sector by launching
various campaign programmes across the country. For this,
Bollywood is also expected to be roped in.
programme, which is being chalked out, will carry different flavours in
different parts of the country. The campaign's main attraction would be food
melas, where chicken and egg would be cooked and "eaten in the same venue,
so that people are made aware that they no longer need to fear the flu."
Anger in India
The BBC reports
confusion in Mumbai about the bird flu outbreak 400 kilometres to the
north of the city:
Most traders are upset that no one seems to emphasise that chicken and
eggs are apparently safe after being cooked well, so there is no danger from
They also say the
government is sending out mixed signals, telling people that eating chicken
is safe on one hand while allowing state-run aircraft and railways to stop
serving it on board on the other, which does not help their cause.
Poultry business has
dropped by anywhere from 70% to 90% and traders say they might not last long
if this continues.
"There Is a Lot About
This That We Just Don't Know"
The best summary of
what’s happening right now comes in
this excellent New York Times report. Here’s how it begins:
The first reports of
bird flu that cropped up in recent days in widely separated countries —
India, Egypt and France — highlighted the disease's accelerating spread to
experts have been predicting widespread dissemination of the disease for
about half a year, since they concluded that it could be spread by migrating
birds. But the recent acceleration has perplexed many experts, who had
watched the A(H5N1) virus stick to its native ground in Asia for nearly five
The most alarming of
the current outbreaks, if only for sheer size, were the two widely separated
episodes of avian flu in India, one of which has killed 50,000 birds in
poultry flocks in the last few days. The Indian government, which has long
been on alert for the virus because that country is on many migration paths
in Asia, began killing half a million birds in the hopes of quashing the
outbreaks, officials announced Sunday.
But the most
perplexing report involved the single case in France — a wild duck found
dead in the suburbs of Lyon — because migratory birds from Asia that carry
the virus do not normally travel there at this time of year.
"After several years
in one place, why is it now moving so rapidly?" asked Dr. Samuel Jutzi,
director of the Animal Production and Health Division at the United Nations
Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. "There is a lot about this that
we just don't know."
In other developments:
has reported its
flu outbreak since November 2004.
Gaza - the Palestinian Health Ministry has declared a
state of emergency following the mystery deaths of 600 chickens.
– “Bird flu
has entire country on red alert,” reports ExpressIndia. The
Maharashtra government has placed a mother and child, plus three babies,
quarantine for suspected bird flu, and 30 others are being tested.
Share prices for companies in the poultry, egg and hospitality
businesses have fallen; shares in Cipla (generic Tamiflu maker) and other
drug companies are up. Stung by criticism that they declared a bird flu
outbreak before all the evidence was in, health officials have
released details of how cautious they were.
– Reuters reports that “Tornado
reconnaissance warplanes and soldiers in biohazard suits were deployed
to prevent the spread of bird flu after H5N1 reached the mainland. Sixty
soldiers clad in disease protection suits and gas masks disinfected vehicles
on the Baltic island of Ruegen where the virus was found in swans.”
both confirmed new H5N1 outbreaks, while India investigates. The
“Authorities on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion say three tourists
who returned from a trip to Thailand may have contracted bird flu.” The
Vietnam News Agency reports that three Vietnamese pharmaceutical
companies are to begin producing Tamiflu.
to Make Generic
India’s third-largest drugs manufacturer, says it plans to start producing a
generic version of bird flu drug Tamiflu. The company says it has finished reverse
engineering the drug, and believes it can have small commercial quantities
available as early as January. This is despite claims from Roche, holder of
the Tamiflu patent, that it could three years for another company to be able
to produce the drug.
October 14th, 2005