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Bird Flu - Archives


September 2006

According to an AP report:

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu which has killed at least 148 people is showing signs of being able to mutate and develop resistance to the most effective anti-viral drugs and any possible vaccines yet to be produced, a WHO scientist said Thursday.

The H5N1 virus is splitting into genetically different groups, said Mike Perdue, a team leader with WHO's influenza program

...The virus has now been shown to mutate like seasonal flu viruses that require new vaccines every year. "We are going to have to come to the realization that these viruses are genetically variable," Perdue said. "The vaccines that we have predicted to be protective today may not be protective a year from now."

September 29th, 2006


And Now, Ladies and Gentlemen...
...The bird flu dance.
September 28th, 2006

News Latest
Britain's banking and financial services industry needs to make better preparations for the threat of bird flu, said the chairman of the Financial Services Authority.

* A bird flu pandemic? “The question is not if, but when,” said Baerbel Merrill, vice president of mission at Campbell County Memorial Hospital.

* Indonesia is investigating a possible cluster of bird flu cases after a man died and his brother and sister were hospitalized, one of them testing positive for bird flu.

* A 59-year-old Thai man who bred and raised fighting cocks in North-Eastern Thailand has died of bird flu.
September 27th, 2006


Chinese scientists are warning of a major bird flu outbreak in the country this coming winter or spring.

Such an outbreak, which would hit poultry and human beings, would probably take place as common flu cases reach their peak, said Zeng Guang, chief epidemiology scientist at China's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Zeng said that the three major bird flu outbreaks over the past three years had all taken place during the winter or spring.

September 25th, 2006

More Retrospective Cases
First China, then South Korea report new cases of bird flu that occurred months (or years) ago, but have only just been confirmed.

Now it's Iraq's turn.
September 20th, 2006


I Haven't Gone Away
Bird flu is still a threat, says a WHO acting regional director.

And the World Bank reckons a severe bird flu pandemic among humans could cost the global economy up to $2 trillion, "sharply raising earlier estimates."

Earlier estimates last year of about $800 billion in economic costs were basically written on the back of an envelope. But more recent financial modeling had revealed a sharper threat should the virus mutate and pass easily among people.
September 18th, 2006


Human Infection in South Korea - in 2003-04
Five South Koreans were infected with bird flu at the time of the late-2003-early-2004 outbreak, it has now been learned. South Korea reported bird flu in the country at the time, but no cases of human infection.
September 16th, 2006

Another Cluster?
An Indonesian man with bird flu may have caught it from his sister. Bloomberg quotes Ira Longini, a University of Washington epidemiologist:

These human clusters of cases in Indonesia with apparent human-to-human transmission are great cause for concern.
September 15th, 2006


What Happened to the Pandemic Panic?

A Post Chronicle columnist wonders:

Did I sleep through the "Avian Bird Flu" pandemic? It seems like only yesterday that the media was warning that millions of lives could be lost to this killer, even in advanced nations like America.

...However, just when one is ready to celebrate the eradication of one pandemic, another life-threatening malady is showcased. This time, it's reports of the "Obesity Pandemic" that has medical professionals wringing their chubby hands with angst.

Imagine this, if you can. I recently put on 35 pounds to be strong enough to ward off Avian Bird Flu, and now they tell me that obesity is the greater threat.

September 11th, 2006


Bird Flu - Another 9/11 for Wall Street?
The New York Stock Exchange was forced to close in the wake of September 11, 2001. A Financial Times report wonders if all the problems have been remedied:

The four-day closure of the exchange also underlined the serious disruption caused by the attacks on the World Trade Center, due partly to flaws in Wall Street's disaster planning.

Five years and billions of dollars of investment later, many of those flaws have been addressed and there is little doubt that financial markets in New York – and in other leading financial centres – would now be more resilient in the event of a similar disaster.

But concerns remain, not least about the key utilities on which the financial services sector depends and the industry's ability to handle other sorts of threat, such as a flu pandemic.

September 11th, 2006

Hard and Early

Hit it hard and hit it early is the headline in a New York Times story on bird flu:

Avian flu kills in much the same way the 1918 flu did, by drowning victims in fluid produced in their own lungs, a new study has found.
September 11th, 2006


News Round-Up
* A new H5N1 outbreak is reported in Egypt.

* Bird flu will hit the US within two years, says an expert.
September 4th, 2006