Bird Flu - Archives
Blood Products - New Flu Cure?
British scientists want more work done on the possibility of using
blood products to help H5N1 victims:
Blood products taken from people who have recovered from bird flu could
be useful for treating other patients in the event of a pandemic, research
An analysis of how such transfusions were used in hospitals during the
Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 has indicated that they reduced the risk of
death and eased symptoms, raising the prospect that a similar approach could
be used against H5N1 influenza.
August 31st, 2006
Don't Forget Africa
For a while now it seems that most bird flu news is coming out of Asia -
particularly Indonesia. So the World Health Organization serves a
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday warned that
unless African countries are adequately prepared, a pandemic of avian
influenza would remain a threat to the continent.
"This potentially catastrophic situation requires strong government
leadership for the finalisation and timely implementation of national
multisectoral preparedness and response plans," Dr Luis Sambo, WHO regional
director for Africa, told the WHO Regional Committee for Africa in the
Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
August 29th, 2006
The Latest Casualty
Headline in the
Bird flu puts dent in fly fishing biz
August 26th, 2006
Indonesia - Getting Worse, Part III
Jakarta Post reports:
Indonesia is reducing its budget for fighting bird flu next year because
emergency spending following a rash of natural disasters has left it short
of money, the government said Thursday.
Financial Times reports:
The World Bank chided Indonesia on Thursday for planning to decrease its
budget for combating bird flu even though experts are predicting a shortfall
of more than $150m in the funding deemed necessary to fight the virus in the
world’s hardest-hit nation.
Rich countries need to help fight bird flu in Indonesia, where the virus
has killed an average of one person a week this year, because it poses a
``quite severe'' threat to its economy, a World Bank official said.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday confirmed the 60th case of
human infection with the H5N1 strain of bird flu after a 6-year-old girl was
tested positive of having the virus. In a statement, the WHO said the girl
from Bekasi in West Java Province developed symptoms on Aug. 6 and was
hospitalized on Aug. 11.
Jakarta Post reports:
Another suspected human case of bird flu was reported Wednesday in
Simalungun regency near Medan, North Sumatra, despite the government's
assurances it is doing its utmost to bring the deadly virus under control.
August 25th, 2006
Arenas to Store Bird Flu Victims
entire text of a story from CFRA Radio in Ottawa:
Arenas, refrigerated trucks and other refrigerated spaces will be used to
store victims in the event of a human flu pandemic in Quebec.
Funeral directors are preparing for a human flu pandemic that could leave
85-hundred victims that would need to be disposed of rapidly.
Quebec's organization representing funeral directors and embalmers says they
are taking the threat of a pandemic seriously.
August 23rd, 2006
Indonesia - New Cluster?
A 35-year-old Indonesian woman has
died of bird flu, a week after her nine-year-old daughter also died. A
new bird flu family cluster is feared.
August 21st, 2006
Relenza - Safer Than Tamiflu?
Some good news for bird flu drug Relenza. It seems that it's less
likely to lead to flu-resistant drug strains that its big rival Tamiflu.
That's according to a new study, which was carried out (coincidentally??) by
Glaxo (which markets Relenza) and Australia's Commonwealth Science and
Industrial Research Organisation (which helped develop it).
August 19th, 2006
Indonesia - Getting Worse (Again)?
A 9-year-old Indonesian girl who died this week had bird flu, and the
village where she lived is rife with the disease.
August 18th, 2006
Breakthrough Bird Flu Drug
British scientists have claimed a
breakthrough in developing a bird flu drug.
A team of scientists lead by John Skehel of London's National
Institute of Medical Research say they have found a cavity in the N1 or
neuraminidase part of the H5N1 virus that could be exploited as a potential
But a final version of the drug may take a further five years to develop.
August 17th, 2006
Jackie Warns Kids
Hong Kong movie superstar Jackie Chan is to lead a
global campaign warning kids about the risks of bird flu.
August 17th, 2006
Bird Flu Latest
Two owls have died at Rotterdam Zoo, and Dutch officials fear the country's
first case of H5N1.
One news report says this has been confirmed.
Cambodian officials will
monitor for 30 days a village where 1,200 ducks have died of bird flu.
Indonesian teenager has been confirmed to have contracted bird flu.
India has declared itself
Traditional Chinese medicines such as ginseng soup and caterpillar
fungus helped the recovery of China's latest bird flu victim.
August 14th, 2006
Welcome to Bird Flu Confusion
Welcome to the land of bird flu confusion, says the Jakarta Post. It
everyone's to blame:
The media's job is to ensure that state officials do not feel comfortable
about continuing a laid-back approach to combating the virus -- the kind of
approach that sees thousands of people die in avoidable disasters and from
preventable diseases every year.
Officials are extremely practiced at picking up the ball in a public show
and then quietly dropping it behind their backs. And it is all too easy for
them to do this when the media all-too-often exhibits an extreme form of
attention deficit disorder.
August 12th, 2006
Our Best Just Isn't Good Enough
Everyone's talking about Indonesia, where things just seem to get worse.
Here's the BBC:
Infected poultry flocks have now been found in 27 of the country's 33
provinces, and even the 44 recorded human fatalities have been spread right
across the country.
"We're doing our best to try to stop this disease, but it seems that our
best just isn't good enough," said Bayu Krishnamurti, secretary of a
national committee set up by the government to fight bird flu.
August 10th, 2006
China has announced that its
bird flu death was in November 2003, two years earlier than previously
reported. Until now it had been thought that the first human deaths of the
current outbreak were in Vietnam in December 2003.
According to a bland
statement from WHO:
The [Chinese] Ministry of Health has informed WHO of its intention to
strengthen communication mechanisms, and to ensure that more of the
country’s research institutes are integrated into the reporting system.
August 9th, 2006
Thailand - probably
worse than is being reported.
Laos - reportedly
August 7th, 2006
Sue the Government
Most people seem to be accusing the Indonesian government of being lax in
its response to the bird flu crisis in the country. So I guess the following
headline from the Jakarta Post is inevitable:
Parents to sue government over bird flu scare
August 5th, 2006
Good News, Bad News
Researchers who combined a human flu virus with the H5N1 bird flu virus
say that none of the hybrid viruses produced were capable of triggering a
Seven people from the same village in Karo district, northern Sumatra,
Indonesia, are in hospital with suspected bird flu H5N1 infection, say local
authorities. This is the same general area where seven family members came
down with bird flu and died a couple of months ago.
August 3rd, 2006
Badminton players are
panic-buying goose-feather shuttlecocks. Bird flu fears have led to the
cull of millions of geese, and a resultant shortage of top-quality
August 2nd, 2006