It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
In a week that has seen three deaths from avian influenza in three days, all in Indonesia, the country defended its efforts in the battle against bird flu. ...On Friday a 27-year-old woman from Central Java died a day after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Her death was confirmed Wednesday by the World Health Organization as being directly attributable to avian influenza -- Indonesia's 55th such death. ...Then Saturday an unidentified 11-year-old boy died in Jakarta's Sulianto Saroso Hospital for Infectious Diseases. ...On Sunday a 72-year-old grandmother died of avian influenza in a highly unusual case that also saw her affected by encephalitis. The woman, from Cisarua in West Java, was placed in a bird-flu isolation ward Oct. 7 and lost consciousness for a day due to encephalitis. Her kidneys were also affected. ...No other Indonesian bird-flu victim has been affected by encephalitis...
Bird flu found in pigs in Indonesia's Bali
The H5N1 bird flu virus has infected pigs on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, a senior agriculture ministry official said on Monday.
"There were two pigs that were infected by bird flu in Bali. These were old cases that happened last July," Musni Suatmodjo, agriculture ministry director of animal health, told Reuters. ...It was not clear if the pigs died.
Pigs are a concern because they are susceptible to many of the viruses that infect humans. Swines can act as mixing vessels in which genetic material from avian flu viruses can mix with human influenza viruses, potentially producing new and deadly strains for which humans have no immunity.
In Indonesia, for example, the disease is spreading quickly at the moment. ...The World Health Organization is warning that scientists have discovered a virulent strain of the H5N1 virus in China’s poultry flocks and it is spreading fast too.
The Swiss government Wednesday announced it would stockpile enough avian-influenza vaccine to protect the whole country in the event of a pandemic. ...Health officials have confirmed the purchase of 8 million vials of a vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline at a cost of around $142 million. ...Actual supplies of the vaccine are not expected to be delivered until January 2007, and the cost of the procedure is still awaiting parliamentary approval, which it is expected will be granted shortly. ..."If needed, it will therefore be possible to offer a first immunization to the whole of the (7.4 million) population," the government said in a statement.
The World Health Organization recognizes six stages leading up to a pandemic.
"We're in phase three," Dr. Tompkins said. Phase three "is defined as human infection with a new subtype, which is avian influenza, but no human-to-human spread or, at most, rare instances of spread in close contact. That's two steps away from a pandemic. ..." ...Phase four involves small clusters of limited human-to-human transmission. Phase five means large clusters.
Dr. Tompkins said the last two flu seasons "have hit us late, in February and March and on into early spring. We haven't seen any significant flu activity yet. It's not yet upon us."
Doctors warn against pandemic fear-mongering
Two Canadian emergency room physicians are urging against complacency in the wake of an imminent flu pandemic. But at the same time they warn against falling victim to fear-mongering.
"We have heard a variety of misconceptions. The first one that we commonly hear is the apocalyptic scenario in which people are concerned that the sky is going to fall and there will be anarchy in the streets," said Dr. Vincent Lam, co-author of the new book "The Flu Pandemic and You."
"On the flip side, another misconceived view in our opinion is the notion that it is a non-issue and just people making a lot of fuss over nothing. That is also untrue," the Toronto-based emergency room physician told CTV.ca.
Instead, the truth lies somewhere in between, Lam said.
My guess is that we're going to see a huge outbreak of the bird flu in a bunch of third world countries soon.
Then right at the height of it all right when it starts to grip it's fingers around the first world some company will release some high priced vacciene that they've had for years and make billions.
Report cites need for cash if flu pandemic hits
A pandemic flu would cause at least 1.2 million South Carolinians to fall ill with a novel strain of influenza, forcing an estimated 17,000 into hospitals and killing between 2,000 and 5,000 people. ...(says) a report released this week by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Public Preparedness. ...The report calls for more money for the health department...
The state has ordered about 275,000 doses of vaccine, which are arriving in phases, Boatwright said. Officials anticipate replacement of 17,500 doses that were recalled because they might have been shipped at the wrong temperature.
Cost at the county clinics is $25 per shot.
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Sorry but I just don't feel very concerned or alarmed about all of this end of world flu, disease or whatever.
....Until I see people dropping dead around me I really wont worry about it.
What's it been now, a couple of years? And this super duper virus that's supposed to travel the world in days and hours still hasn't done anything to me.
Originally posted by soficrow
Which no doubt helps explain why you chose "WestPoint" as your screen name - instead of "MotherTeresa," for example.
Originally posted by WestPoint23
This is actually funny
Anyway, this isn't the dark ages or the early 20th century, I have doubt such a virus would kill and effect such a large part of the developed world.
Having said that I'm still thankful people like me don't run the CDC for example.
Originally posted by TrueAmerican
Sofi, nice work as usual.
Isn't there some kind of home test invented yet for the average person to quickly stick a bird with before cooking? Something like, you know, the typical turkey temperature guage thingy, except to tell if the meat is infected?
New Bird Flu Virus Replacing Other Strains in Southern China: U.S.-Chinese team calls for sweeping animal, human surveillance in H5N1 regions
A new variant of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus, the Fujian-like strain, has replaced most other strains across a large part of southern China since 2005 despite mass poultry vaccinations, according to researchers at the University of Hong Kong and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee. ...The work was supported in part by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Li Ka Shing Foundation, a Chinese organization that supports education and medical care. ...According to the study, "Emergence and predominance of an H5N1 influenza variant in China," in the November online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, H5N1 influenza virus caused poultry outbreaks in China in 12 provinces from October 2005 to August 2006 despite a compulsory poultry vaccination program that began in September 2005.
"The Fujian virus doesn't appear to be of any more risk to humans," Dr. Michael Perdue, project leader for avian influenza in the Global Influenza Programme at the World Health Organization, told the Washington File November 2, "other than the fact that maybe it's a little more widespread and it seems to be supplanting the other strains in the region." ...As far as scientists know, he added, "there's no increased - or decreased - likelihood of human transmission. It's basically the same overall genetic content of the other H5N1 viruses."
Since November 2005, some 22 human cases have been confirmed in 14 Chinese provinces, and some of these victims lived in metropolitan areas far from poultry farms. ..."Whether those people were infected locally and directly from affected poultry or other sources, including humans," the study said, "is still unknown." ...The emergence and rapid distribution of the Fujian strain, despite the vaccination program that began in September 2005, suggests that H5N1 control measures are inadequate, said study co-author Robert Webster, a member of the St. Jude Infectious Diseases Department, in a statement. ..."Given the lack of systematic influenza surveillance in poultry at a national level," the authors wrote, "the timely identification of the source of human infection is almost impossible."
Experts refute new bird flu strain claim
(China's) leading bird flu experts Sunday refuted a report that a new strain of bird flu had emerged in southern China, published by a foreign publication and widely cited by foreign media recently. ..."The so-called 'Fujian-like virus' is not a new variant of the virus," she said "Gene sequence analysis of the virus shows that it shares high conformity with the H5N1 virus that was isolated in Hunan when bird flu broke out in early 2004." ...Samples from every domestic bird flu outbreak are sent for isolation and gene sequence analysis at Chen's lab. Chen said that in 2005 and 2006, the lab had isolated some viruses in waterfowl in southern China which was reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
"These viruses all remain steady in gene type and there is no marked change in their biological characteristics," she said. ...Chen said there was only one new variant of the virus, which was isolated in North China's Shanxi Province and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region at the beginning of this year and has been reported to FAO and OIE. ...Experimental results show that the variant is weak in triggering disease in mammals and a new vaccine, which has been put into use in these areas, has effectively brought it under control. ...Chen also defended the effectiveness of China's bird flu vaccine, saying that it had a "good effect," in response to the report's surmise that the current vaccine was less effective for the "Fujian-like virus."
Shu Yuelong, director of the National Influenza Centre at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, also refuted the report's allegation that five people in southern China were actually infected by the new "Fujian-like virus." ...Shu said that altogether 16 variants of bird flu viruses have been found in the 20 confirmed cases of human infections on the Chinese mainland since October 2005 seven in 2005 and 13 in 2006. "Fifteen out of the 16 variants were isolated from cases in southern China and they belong to the same gene type," Shu said. "There is no proof that five of them were infected by a new mutated virus."
Genetic disposition suspected for human bird flu-WHO
Scientists suspect some people have a "genetic disposition" for infection with bird flu, which may explain why some get it and others don't, and why it remains relatively rare, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday. ...Evidence, mainly from a family cluster of cases last May in North Sumatra, Indonesia - when seven people in an extended family died - showed genetic factors might influence human susceptibility to the H5N1 virus, it said. ...Only blood relatives were infected in the Karo district of North Sumatra, the largest cluster known to date worldwide, "despite multiple opportunities for the virus to spread to spouses or into the general community," it added.
The theory - which it said merited further study - was contained in WHO's report issued on Thursday, on a closed-door meeting of 35 scientific experts held in late September.
"A genetic predisposition for infection is suspected based on data from rare instances of human-to-human transmission in genetically-related persons," the WHO said. ..."This possibility, if more fully explored, might help explain why human cases are comparatively rare and why the virus is not spreading easily from animals to humans or from human to human," it added.
Bird flu spreads among blood relatives
Healthcare workers in Indonesia are noticing that outbreaks of the deadly bird flu seem to come in family clusters, mostly affecting those linked by blood.
Indonesia is battling one of the worst outbreaks of the virus in the world, with four reported dead only in the last month, said USA Today.
Diana Ginting, head of a local health district office in Sumatra, where seven people died in May, told the newspaper, "No husbands and wives are infected; it's all brothers and sisters, mothers and children."
If bird flu virus becomes pandemic, high death rates possible: WHO report
There is no guarantee the H5N1 avian flu virus will become less deadly to people if it evolves to the point where it is able to trigger a pandemic, warns a report released Thursday