Bird Flu - Archives
October 12th - October
H5N1 Hits Europe
The EU Commission
that the bird flu confirmed recently in Turkey is the H5N1 strain. The flu
was found in birds in the north-west of the country,
so the virus has still been confined to Asia.
However, "EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said the assumption was
that a bird flu outbreak in Romania would also prove to be the H5N1 type.
Tests are continuing."
October 13th, 2005
Bird Flu in
presence of H5 bird flu in dead ducks. Further tests are being carried
out to determine if it is the deadly H5N1 virus.
Bird Flu Black Hole?
article speculating that Myanmar could become the breeding ground for a
bird flu that mutates into a virus that infects humans and begins to spread
globally. According to the article:
Officially, the H5N1
avian influenza strain that has killed millions of birds and scores of
people across Asia since late 2003 has not landed in the former Burma, even
though neighbouring China, Thailand and Laos have all had outbreaks.
However, given the dearth of reliable information that comes out of Yangon,
as well as the junta's dubious track record with the truth, many
international observers are worried about a cover-up of potentially global
significance…."Would they admit to it if it was here? That's the big
question, since they deny everything left, right and center," said one
Indonesian H5N1 Case
Health Organization has
human case of H5N1 flu has been confirmed in Indonesia. The patient is in
hospital in a stable condition. This brings to five the total number of
confirmed Indonesian cases, with three deaths,
Selenium the Answer?
Tech University researcher Dr. Julian Spallholz has suggested that adding
more selenium to the diets of Asian chickens would hinder the H5N1 virus
from mutating into a more virulent form that could pass between humans.
mutations are thought to emerge from selenium-deficient regions of the
world, such as Africa,
Southeast Asia. Selenium can be added, fairly easily and inexpensively, to
animal feed as a supplement to help prevent the mutation of the bird flu
virus. "A lot of these viral mutations that end up in the human population
come from areas that probably have selenium-deficient soils," Spallholz
said. "This is the natural melting pot for these viral evolutions that take
place. Raising the levels of selenium may reduce the frequency of these
“Won’t Share Patent”
reports that Roche Holdings is not prepared to allow generic production
of its Tamiflu anti-flu drug. This follows reports that public health
officials in several countries are calling for the company to be forced to
share the patent with other drug manufacturers, in order to ensure adequate
supplies in the event of a major outbreak of bird flu.
Although Roche has
increased production of Tamiflu eightfold in the past two years, it will
take $16 billion and 10 years to make enough of the drug for 20 percent of
the world's population, said Klaus Stohr, director of the World Health
Organization's Global Influenza Program, in comments to reporters in San
Francisco last week.
has published an online “Web Exclusive” titled “Bio-Katrina,”
Over the last two
weeks, the administration has held bird flu briefings classified “Top
Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information” for members of both houses of
Congress, according to intelligence and congressional officials. A
counterterrorism official indicated that the intelligence community is also
studying whether it would be possible for terrorists to somehow exploit the
avian flu virus and use it against the United States, though there is no
evidence that terrorists have in any way tried to do so.
Faces “Prolonged Threat”
faces a prolonged threat from bird flu, as it lies in the flight path of
birds migrating between Asia and Europe. Over the weekend, Turkish
authorities confirmed an outbreak of avian flu on a farm near the Aegean
Sea, in the country’s north-west. The strain of flu has yet to be
determined. The European Commission
has banned the import to the European Union of all live birds and
Culling, Bulgaria Testing
culling thousands of
birds, following the discovery of flu antibodies in three farmyard ducks
found dead late last month. Test results are expected shortly, and will
reveal the type of flu.
three birds found dead in the north of the country.
in Fairy Tales
pessimistic article about the chances of stopping a pandemic. Here are
believe that you can contain this locally is to believe in fairy tales,"
said Mike Osterholm, an infectious disease specialist at the
Dr. Margaret Chan,
the WHO's assistant director-general for communicable diseases, told
Britain's Times newspaper that cooperation had worsened since the 2003
outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed about 800 people
before it was contained. "That was a time when we were really working
together as an international community of academics, politicians, public
health experts. Everybody really was so focused," the newspaper quoted Chan
Even in advanced
nations like the United States, little has been done to help provide even
basic care for pandemic flu patients, the American College of Emergency
Physicians said. "Many hospital emergency departments in this country are
operating at, or over current capacity," said ACEP president Dr. Rick Blum.
"We as a nation, have poured millions of dollars into preparedness, but
virtually none of that has gone to the one place that is the true first
response to something like a flu epidemic, or a hurricane, or a terrorist
attack -- the nation's emergency departments."
bird flu in chickens in Tolima state, in the country’s west. However,
authorities say it is not the H5N1 strain.
Generic Production Urged
Holdings is reportedly
under pressure to allow production of generic versions of its anti-flu
drug Tamiflu. The reports say the company believes the drug is so complex
that generic maker would struggle to produce significant quantities. This is
contradicted by Taiwanese authorities, who believe they could begin
manufacture within months of receiving permission.