Bird Flu Update
|Taking a Break
This website is taking a break. I'll be back if bird flu
suddenly erupts in the news again.
Not If, But When
Americans, get ready:
A bird-flu pandemic
likely will reach U.S. shores in the next decade, Dr. Kristy Bradley,
deputy state epidemiologist for the Oklahoma State Department of Health,
"Prior to the last decade or so, the thought was the influenza from birds
would be mild or just cause conjunctivitis in humans," she said...
But "bells went off" in 1997 when 18 people in Hong Kong contracted bird flu
and six died from it.
September 27th, 2007
Malaysia - now free of bird flu
Azerbaijan - monitoring
Northern Ireland - a major threat
bird flu found in frozen ducks
September 11th, 2007
Indonesia: We Won't Share...Yet
Indonesia has confirmed that it will not share live samples of bird flu
virus with the World Health Organisation (WHO) until it is guaranteed access
to affordable drugs to fight the disease.
The WHO has accused Indonesia, which has suffered more cases of the disease
than any other country, of putting the world at risk by failing to share
Indonesian Health Ministry spokeswoman Lily Sulistyowati says her country
was waiting for a new mechanism to be put in place to govern the sharing of
August 12th, 2007
Tamiflu Death - A Japanese Family Sues
A Japanese family whose
died after taking Tamiflu are to sue the country's Pharmaceutical and
Medical Devices Agency:
The 17-year-old died in February 2004 when he ran out of his home in his
bare feet and was run over by a truck about two hours after taking Tamiflu...
The suit comes months after Japanese health authorities ordered doctors not
to prescribe Tamiflu...to patients aged 10-19 following dozens of deaths and
injuries among teenagers over the past six years.
More than 1,300 people have exhibited neuropsychiatric symptoms since
Tamiflu went on sale in Japan in 2001, of whom 71 have died. Twenty-seven,
most in their teens, fell from buildings.
Last month the health ministry announced new clinical trials to establish
whether the antiviral could cause delirium, delusion and other
neuropsychiatric symptoms. The ministry had previously ruled out any link.
July 25th, 2007
A Reservoir of Bird Flu
The director general of the World Organisation for Animal Health, Dr
Bernard Vallat, said Indonesia was struggling to control bird flu and had
become a reservoir from which the disease could spread to neighbouring
``It is dangerous for Australia,'' Dr Vallat said last night...
``The situation in Indonesia is not good because there is no national chain
of command,'' Dr Vallat said.
``Small regions are independent, they say what they want, which is not good
for managing disasters.
``Disasters need strong political decisions to save the whole country, not
only part of the country.''
July 12th, 2007
Bird (Flu) Dog
Dutch customs are using two special
bird flu dogs at
Amsterdam's Schiphol airport to check flights from high-risk countries.
The dogs, German shepherd Bo and Belgian shepherd Judy, are checking
flights from countries where the bird flu virus has been found such as
China, Thailand, Egypt, Russia and Turkey, the Dutch ministry of finance,
which controls the customs service, said in a statement.
They are trained to sniff out all kinds of poultry -- alive or dead --
feathers and eggs. The dogs have been working on Schiphol airport since May
July 9th, 2007
Deadly bird flu strain found in Germany
Egypt, Indonesia Report New Bird Flu Infections Among Children
Bird flu spreads in Bangladesh, more chickens culled
Banknotes may trigger next flu pandemic
June 25th, 2007
I Haven't Gone Away
flu resurfaces in Vietnam
Confirms Country's First Bird Flu Outbreak
turkeys at Czech farm culled over bird flu
June 23rd, 2007
Bird Flu - Bad News
1. Chickens infected by bird flu in Indonesia are now
mostly symptom-free, confounding efforts to fight the virus in the
world's hardest hit country, an Agriculture Ministry official said Monday.
"It's really giving us a headache," said Musni Suatmodjo, the director of
animal health. "Chickens are testing positive for the H5N1 virus, but they
are staying healthy" making it difficult to identify which are infected."
2. Bird flu has spread to
another district in Bangladesh forcing authorities to cull 3,000 more
chickens over the last two days, officials said yesterday.
3. It is
still unclear how the Chinese soldier who died from bird flu earlier
this month contracted the highly infectious H5N1 bird flu strain, Ministry
of Health spokesman Mao Qun'an said in Beijing on Monday.
"Experts are analyzing the soldier's whole treatment history," Mao said at a
press conference. "But they are still in the dark about how the soldier
contracted bird flu."
flu outbreak in Egypt reached new heights this weekend when the death of
a 10-year-old girl increased the nation's death toll to 15.
Alalam Satellite TV reported Sunday that health officials have confirmed the
recent death from the H5N1 virus, which represented the end of a two-month
lull in such fatalities.
June 12th, 2007
Mutation Fears in Indonesia
The H5N1 virus may have undergone a
Indonesia allowing it to jump more easily to humans.
Meanwhile, bird flu has been detected
near the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. But the Welsh H7N2 outbreak
June 7th, 2007
Who Will Die?
Who will die in a flu pandemic? And who will handle all the dead bodies?
TPM Cafe tells us.
Meanwhile, according to a
official, a bird flu
pandemic is "almost certain" - in the long term. The short term outlook is
June 1st, 2007
Bird Flu Outbreak Latest...
Four more provinces in
Getting worse in
A second outbreak in
Mass culling in
May 23rd, 2007
Indonesia - More Bird Flu Cases
The World Health
WHO can now confirm 15 additional cases, including 13 deaths of human
infection with H5N1 avian influenza that occurred in Indonesia from the end
of January 2007 up to the present and has updated its table of confirmed
human cases accordingly.
Testing for H5N1 influenza virus infections is not done routinely by many
laboratories and among the laboratories that do test for H5N1, experience
and levels of diagnostic capacities can vary....WHO had previously required
external confirmation of laboratory results from Indonesia, but following a
formal on-site assessment of the capacity of national laboratory in Jakarta
to diagnose H5 avian influenza viruses, WHO will now accept the results from
the national laboratory, in collaboration with the Eijkman Institute without
further external confirmation.
The assessment was carried out by a WHO team of virologists and laboratory
scientists from the WHO Collaborating Centre in Tokyo, Japan, the national
influenza centres of India and Thailand, the WHO Regional Office for
South-East Asia and the WHO Country Office of Indonesia.
May 17th, 2007
Drug Companies - Ripping Off Poor Countries?
The World Health Organisation is under growing pressure from countries hit
by bird flu to devise a new formula for the
virus samples and the resulting benefits.
Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said the WHO's
50-year-old sharing system was unfair to poor countries.
"There is an unfair mechanism in which avian flu virus samples are provided
free by developing countries but drug companies patented this vaccine and
are selling them at unaffordable cost for the developing countries," Supari
told the assembly.
Genetic sequencing had been used in published research, commercialisation
and patent requests without consent, she said. "Such practice violates the
spirit in which virus is given."
May 16th, 2007
Face Masks? Yes, But...
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that
face masks and respirators may help prevent some flu exposures, but they
should be used along with other measures, such as "social distancing" and
The agency qualified its guidance by noting information is limited on use
of face masks and respirators to control pandemic influenza in community
settings, and “it is difficult to assess their potential effectiveness in
controlling influenza in these settings.”
May 8th, 2007
Relenza a Hit
Aussie company Biota Holdings is seeing
windfall profits from its anti-flu drug Relenza, with third-quarter
royalties of A$16 million, up from A$7.3 million for the previous quarter:
The figures are based on worldwide sales of $92 million for the third
quarter that have promoted Relenza to 14th largest seller in the
GlaxoSmithKline product range.
Biota sold manufacturing and marketing rights for Relenza to GSK and is
involved in a law suit against the giant over its alleged failure to
manufacture the drug in sufficient quantities.
Ben McCaw, an analyst with eG Capital, said increased sales of Relenza were
partly because of a World Health Organisation recommendation that nations
stockpile enough anti-flu drugs to treat a quarter of their populations.
Australia, the US, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Czechoslovakia are
among countries to have accepted the challenge.
Biota wants Relenza to achieve a 20 per cent stake of these stockpiles. The
remaining 80 per cent is held by Tamiflu, manufactured by European chemical
May 7th, 2007
US financial markets are
not prepared for a flu pandemic, "which could begin at any time",
according to the Government Accountability Office.
As part of the report, the GAO looked at the pandemic plans of seven
securities exchanges, markets, clearinghouses and payment processors that
are deemed to be critical to the financial services industry. The report
didn't identify the organizations but said only one had completed its
planning for a possible pandemic.
In a joint letter that was attached to the report, federal regulators
disagreed with the GAO's call for pandemic planning deadlines. The
regulators said that planning efforts are in progress at all of the key
financial market organizations and are being reviewed by the government on
an ongoing basis.
May 3rd, 2007
Very High Morbidity and Mortality in a Few Weeks
global bird flu pandemic could infect one billion people and kill
between two and seven million of them, according to a World Health
"The next pandemic may cause very high morbidity and mortality in a few
weeks. It could cause one billion cases and two to seven million deaths,"
said Jean-Marc Olive, the organisation's country representative for the
April 25th, 2007
Tamiflu and Relenza - Do They Still Work?
and Relenza appear to be losing their effectiveness, as the bird flu
virus adapts, according to a Japanese study.
The research suggests that scientists may have to find new ways to combat
growing resistance to current flu treatments — and possibly rethink the
strategy for preventing a global flu pandemic.
April 19th, 2007
A teenage girl has
Egypt, the country's 14th bird flu death.
Bird flu is
spreading in Bangladesh.
April 12th, 2007
Japan Times reports that 128 people, mainly teenagers, have been
found acting strangely after taking Tamiflu.
Eight people -- five in their teens and three adults aged up to their 90s
-- died in connection with such abnormal behavior, including apparent
hallucination-induced suicidal leaps from buildings....
Of the 128 cases, 100 were under age 20, including 43 who were under 10....
One boy under 10 who took the flu medicine subsequently took out a kitchen
knife and then tried to jump from a balcony, and a teenage boy suddenly
Meanwhile, South Korea will
ban most Tamiflu prescriptions to teenagers.
April 5th, 2007
Bird Flu Update
Bird Flu Articles
the scariest bird flu news so far.
Thanksgiving Turkey Safe from Bird Flu?
answer - yes. But next year could be different.
Bird flu jokes are all over the internet. Here are my
favorites, compiled in the form of a Top Ten list.
Some companies believe
they can quickly produce the drug. Roche says they can't.
down 40% in some countries.
Tamiflu Update - Who's Going to Produce It?
Suddenly everyone plans to produce Tamiflu.
Which ones are best?
Biota – The Little Aussie
Bird Flu Battler
The Australian company that developed
Star Anise – Tamiflu’s Vital
Why Tamiflu is so hard to produce.
Will Kimchi Cure Bird Flu?
Many Koreans believe it will.
The Bird Flu Conspiracy
Conspiracy theorists are out