Bird Flu - Archives
October 19th - October
held in quarantine has died of avian flu - the first case of the disease in
Britain since 1992 - the Government announced last night. It was infected
with the H5 virus, but it has not been confirmed whether this was H5N1, the
most deadly strain of the disease. The bird, which died two days ago, was
one of a consignment of 148 from Surinam, in South America, which arrived in
Britain on September 16.
Associated Press reports:
of Quidel Corp. jumped Friday after the medical test maker said its QuickVue
flu test not only showed high rates of accuracy in a recent study but can
also detect the virus that causes avian flu….The company said an Australian
study of its 10-minute QuickVue Influenza A+B test over the continent's
summer flu season accurately diagnosed the presence of Type A flu virus 96
percent of the time and the absence of flu virus 97 percent of the time. In
an earlier study conducted in Hong Kong and Japan, the test was shown to be
able to detect the H5N1 virus.
Started in Scotland
newspaper has reported that the H5N1 virus was first detected in a dead
chicken from a farm in Aberdeen in 1959. According to the paper, “academics
are unanimous in identifying the virus as being effectively made in
Scotland.” This contradicts a
from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that the
virus “was first isolated from birds (terns) in South Africa in 1961.”
News Round-Up (Most of
The Thai government has
confirmed its first
bird flu fatality in a year. It is the country’s 13th bird
flu death. The official WHO announcement is
Australia, three pigeons – part of a shipment of 102 racing and show
pigeons from Canada – were found to have bird flu antibodies.
quarantine authorities had reportedly certified the infected birds as
has reportedly discovered H5N1-infected birds that were being smuggled in
A lengthy report in the
Washington Post says Indonesia has been engaged in a two-year cover-up
of its growing bird flu problem.
has an excellent report on the global fight against the virus.
Good News Story of the
The Cayman Islands
are not under any threat of Bird Flu at this point, Director of Public
Health Dr Kiran Kumar stressed in an interview with
Cayman Net News.
Hungary Tests New Flu
Minister has reported that a new flu vaccine undergoing tests in the country
appears to be effective. The
BBC quoted him
results are preliminary but I can say with 99.9% certainty that the vaccine
works." No further details are available about the vaccine.
reports that a Thai man died yesterday of “bird-flu-like symptoms” after
coming into contact with dead birds. However, earlier tests on the man had
not revealed bird flu. The newspaper says that the dead man’s relatives are
refusing to hand over the body to the hospital for an autopsy. The man’s
seven-year-old son is also sick, and is being treated in hospital. Thailand
has officially had 17 cases of human infection of bird flu, with 12 deaths.
Russia, Romania and
Russia has confirmed an
outbreak of H5N1 flu at a far, south of Moscow. Romania has announced
its second bird flu outbreak.
has also confirmed a new H5N1 outbreak.
Vaccine Test Results “By
the End of This Year”
SA said the results from trials aimed at discovering a vaccine for the H5N1
bird flu strain should be known by the end of this year.”
Reuters carries an
extensive report on Africa’s preparations (or lack of them) for a bird flu
outbreak. Some key points:
The main risk is seen
along East Africa's Rift Valley, where impoverished rural populations are
already struggling under the twin disease burdens of AIDS and malaria. Birds
migrating from Asia to the northern hemisphere for winter stop over in
freshwater ponds, dams and lakes, possible conduits for the virus, along the
Valley -- a vast geographical and geological feature that runs north to
south for 5,000 km (3,100 miles) from northern Syria to central Mozambique.
East Africa is more
vulnerable to bird flu than Europe and its lack of preparedness causes grave
concern, a U.N. food agency expert said on Monday. Joseph Domenech,
veterinary chief at the Food and Agriculture Organisation, said the wild
bird migratory patterns that had brought the virus to Turkey and Romania
ended in East Africa, making it likely the disease would arrive there.
"There are three big
migration routes through Africa. There is a west African one that hugs the
coastline and involves birds from western and northern Europe," said Doug
Harebottle of the Avian Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town.
Harebottle said the other routes took birds from central Europe, the Middle
East and Central Asia down through the Rift Valley, while birds from further
east in Asia flew along Africa's Indian Ocean coast.
Investor’s Guide to Bird
MSN Money has
presented an investor’s guide to bird flu, with a list of “flu” stocks and
details on each. They are: Crucell, Novavax, Gilead Sciences, Roche, Biota,
GlaxoSmithKline, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, AIM Global Health Care Fund,
Sanofi-Aventis, MedImmune, Acambis, Chiron and Novartis.
Z is for Zanamivir
A is for avian flu, B is
for ban, C is for China, D is for decontamination suits….
presents an ABC of bird flu.
One of the developers of
warned that the world faces “a deadly gap of several years” in finding
new drugs to combat a flu pandemic, should the virus develop resistance to
Tamiflu and Relenza.
Mark von Itzstein said there were no clinical trials in progress of new
anti-bird-flu treatments. He said that in his Gold Coast laboratory alone
there were three potential drugs that had not been developed due to lack of
Meanwhile, Roche has
will build a new US plant to produce more Tamiflu. And GlaxoSmithKline
start production of Relenza here in Melbourne. Currently it is made only
suspected to have died in Macedonia of a strain of avian flu has been
flown to the UK for further testing, health authorities said here.
Sloboden Cokrevski, head of the Macedonian Veterinarian Directorate, made
the statement on state radio just days after 1,000 chickens and turkeys were
found dead in two southern villages.
Canada Gets Worried
of a flu pandemic could rival the impact of the Great Depression, according
to Canada’s Health Minister.
Meanwhile, a Canadian
economist, Sherry Cooper, has
told CBC News that a major flu outbreak
governments everywhere to shut down their borders, or, in effect, ground
airplanes, because people would not want to travel, and that would be the
end of the major trade in goods and services, at least for some period of
time….And, given our global supply chains, there would develop shortages in
many, many goods, many products, across the world very quickly." It would be
hard to maintain food supplies "even across provincial lines, let alone
across international lines," she added
She also said that she
did not want to “generate fear unnecessarily.”
CBC News report said the Conference Board of Canada has warned that “a flu
pandemic on a large scale would throw the world into a sudden and possibly
dramatic global recession."