Bird Flu - Archives
Bird Flu - Back in the News
The Northern winter approaches, and bird flu is back in the headlines.
In South Korea, authorities battling the second bird flu outbreak, are
poultry, pigs, dogs and cats.
The World Health Organization has confirmed the
A Quebec hospital has
that it is treating North America's first bird flu patient.
And a World Bank officials has said that up to a
further $1.3 billion is needed to fight the disease, especially in
November 30th, 2006
Korea Bird Flu Outbreak Latest
- Quarantine officials have
killed 125,000 chickens, in order to prevent the disease from spreading,
and also plan to kill cats and dogs.
Share prices in Korean biotech companies have soared. Poultry producers
North Korea has stepped up preventative measures to stop the disease
crossing the border, including the
locking up of all livestock.
- Finland's Helsingin Sanomat carries the
slightly enigmatic headline: "Bird flu danger looms greater than before
- While AFX News
writes: "Bird flu may pose greater risk to financial markets than
terrorism - analysts".
November 28th, 2006
Annyong Haseyo - I'm Back
The current bird flu wave began in December 2003 - March 2004, when H5N1 was
identified in poultry in eight Asian countries. One of those countries was
South Korea, which appeared to have successfully contained the disease.
Not any longer.
November 24th, 2006
Don't Believe What You Read On This Website
Exactly a year ago I wrote an article for this website on
how bird flu might affect the Thanksgiving celebrations. I concluded:
make a special effort to enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey. Because, according
LiveScience website, there is no guarantee that next year, "when the
avian flu could reach the United States," things will be so simple.
What a difference a year makes.
November 23rd, 2006
Bird Flu - Panic Over? Part II
The BBC carries a lengthy report on
bird flu around the
world, noting that it seems to have become largely dormant in most
The (somewhat vague) conclusion:
It is likely that the coming months will see more cases of birds infected
with the H5N1 virus.
But the experts' conclusion is that the chances it will mutate into a
dangerous pandemic strain are no greater than they were this time last year.
November 21st, 2006
Bird Flu - Panic Over?
Australia's top doctor says the world may have
avoided a bird flu pandemic:
Chief medical officer Prof John Horvath said global measures to prevent
the H5N1 virus could have staved off a mass outbreak.
"It may be that the world has already averted a pandemic by the actions it
has taken in response to H5N1, such as extensive culling of poultry and
isolation of infected humans," Prof Horvath said.
Qualified agreement comes from Nobel Prize-winning immunologist Prof Peter
"Australians should rest assured that this country is as prepared for a
possible H5N1 pandemic as any nation on earth, including the United States .
. . however, there are no certainties," Prof Doherty said.
"In general though, the more time goes by, the better off we are likely to
"Even if we duck the bullet this time, the effort and resources expended
here will have ensured that our capacity to deal with an unexpected invader
November 20th, 2006
Japan - More Tamiflu "Bizarre Behavior"?
Does Tamiflu cause erratic behavior in youngsters? For some time there have
reports from Japan - where Tamiflu is widely prescribed - of young
people committing suicide after taking the drug.
Now US Food and Drug Administration officials are advising that all
patients, and especially children, be
monitored when using Tamiflu.
This follows 103 reported new cases from Japan of "bizarre behavior" between
August 2005 and July 2006.
November 14th, 2006
More Reasons to Panic
An ultra-severe flu
pandemic could kill 140 million people worldwide and cost the global
economy more than $4 trillion, according to a new computer model:
An ultra pandemic would cause recessions in the developed world, cutting
GDP by 5.5% in the United States and 8% in Europe
...On the other hand, such a pandemic would hammer developing
countries....The GDP of Indonesia would drop by 18%. Output in Singapore
would shrink by 22%, in the Philippines by 38% and in Hong Kong by 54%.
November 13th, 2006
I Haven't Gone Away
Toronto Sun reminds us that we should still be panicking.
Here's the headline:
Killer pandemic 'going to happen'
And here's the first sub-head:
World must prepare for the worst, expert warns
And the next sub-head:
1 BILLION COULD DIE
Meanwhile, here's a headline in the
We're not ready for flu pandemic
November 8th, 2006
China Accused Again
Newspapers are reporting that China has
sharing important bird flu information:
The World Health Organisation blasted China's agriculture ministry
yesterday for not sharing samples of a newly discovered strain of bird flu,
complicating the health watchdog's efforts to track the virus's spread.
The WHO's comments came after a scientific report published earlier this
week suggested the new strain - called H5N1 Fujian-like - is now widespread
across much of southern China and South-east Asia.
Despite that prevalence, the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) has not given the
WHO any samples of the new strain, said Julie Hall, an infectious disease
expert at the WHO's Beijing office.
"There's a stark contrast between what we're hearing from the researchers
and what the ministry of agriculture says," said Dr Hall. "Unless the
ministry tell us what's going on and shares viruses on a regular basis, we
will be doing diagnostics on strains that are old."
She said the MOA has not shared any bird-flu samples with the WHO since
November 3rd, 2006
Bird Flu - the Third Wave
Britain's Daily Telegraph carries a sober report headlined, "New
strain of bird flu spreads to humans:"
A previously unknown and dangerous strain of the H5N1 bird flu has
emerged from southern China and has spread from birds to people in
South-east Asia, marking a third wave of avian flu and rekindling fears of a
Although the H5N1 avian influenza mostly affects birds and infects people
only sporadically, the new strain will once again raise fears that it may
mutate or combine with a human virus to form a mutant or hybrid capable of
passing from person to person, triggering a pandemic where millions of lives
may be lost.
November 1st, 2006