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The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) have downplayed the …FAO (warning).
…(FAO) said a new H5N1 strain …emerged recently in Vietnam and China and that existing poultry vaccines were ineffective against it. …(and) warned about a possible major resurgence of the virus.
"…this evolution of the H5N1 virus poses no increased risk to public health," the WHO statement said. "…influenza viruses are constantly evolving…"
U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Warns of 'Possible Major Resurgence' of Avian Flu (H5N1) in Asia and a New Vaccine-Evading Strain in Vietnam and China
The possible combination of influenza strains H1N1 (high infectivity) and H5N1 (high lethality) is a matter of global concern …the Replikin Counts of the two virus strains have risen simultaneously …to their highest levels in 50 years (H1N1, 16.7; H5N1, 23.3) …clinical outbreaks of each strain are now occurring. These simultaneous conditions may increase the risk that the two virus strains might come into contact with each other more frequently, facilitating transfer of genomic material to form a hybrid.
See figures: www.ereleases.com...
"Based on available information, this evolution of the H5N1 virus poses no increased risk to public health," the WHO statement said. "It is not considered unusual because influenza viruses are constantly evolving…
World must invest equally in bird flu prevention and response
The "reports during the past two weeks of two recent infections and another death" from H5N1 (avian) influenza "raised little concern except among public health officials," ..."[t]he fact that bird flu in developing nations receives little public attention reveals that the world has become complacent about this threat."
"Even more telling is how the focus of international giving has shifted from prevention to response strategies. … [but] the world cannot afford to be complacent about prevention," he writes. "Each infection is a warning that the species barrier will not prevent human infections," Gatter notes, concluding, "On the theory that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, all nations must recommit to the strategies that will prevent infections in the first place. At the very least, we must invest just as heavily in prevention strategies as we do in response planning" (8/16).
In Event of Bird Flu Pandemic, Vaccine Producers Likeliest to Prosper
Given this week’s news that bird flu is showing signs of returning and a mutant strain of the deadly H5N1 virus could be spreading in Asia, investors might want to keep their eyes some of the heavyweights of vaccine manufacturing.
They include Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY), Novartis (NYSE:NVS), GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK), AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Baxter (NYSE:BAX), Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) and China-based Sinovac Biotech (NASDAQ:SVA).
The mutant strain could be spreading to previously virus-free countries by wild bird migrations, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. It appears existing avian influenza vaccines aren’t effective against the new strain.
Could it be that they don't want people to panic because there's no vaccine for this new form of H5N1 yet? I think they'll magically announce that the FAO was right in a couple of months when they do have a vaccine ready for it.
when have they EVER told us the truth.
No vaccine, no way to make money...no fear mongering from the WHO.
I think it's easy to see where their priorities lie.
Could you please direct me a statement from the FAO (Food and Agricultural Orginization of the United Nations) saying anything along the lines of "if we don't take preventive action now and control food production industries better, there will be a human pandemic."
World must invest equally in bird flu prevention and response
…"Even more telling is how the focus of international giving has shifted from prevention to response strategies. … [but] the world cannot afford to be complacent about prevention," he writes. "Each infection is a warning that the species barrier will not prevent human infections," Gatter notes, concluding, "On the theory that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, all nations must recommit to the strategies that will prevent infections in the first place. At the very least, we must invest just as heavily in prevention strategies as we do in response planning" (8/16).
Avian Influenza: Flu Factories
In our efforts to streamline farming practices to produce more meat for more people, we have inadvertently created conditions by which a harmless parasite of wild ducks can be converted into a lethal killer of humans.
- Johns Hopkins University neurovirologist R.H. Yolken and Stanley Medical Research Institute director E.F. Torrey.
How does naturally occurring, innocuous waterfowl flu mutate into virulent, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)?
According to the World Health Organization's 2005 assessment of the pandemic threat, HPAI viruses aren't born, they're made. "Highly pathogenic viruses have no natural reservoir. Instead, they emerge by mutation when a virus, carried in its mild form by a wild bird, is introduced to poultry. Once in poultry, the previously stable virus begins to evolve rapidly, and can mutate, over an unpredictable period of time, into a highly lethal version of the same initially mild strain." Scientists have demonstrated this transformation in a laboratory setting.
Scientists find threat in livestock feedlots
Growing so large that they are now called "factory farms," livestock feedlots are poorly regulated, pose health and ecological dangers and are responsible for a deteriorating quality of life in America's and Europe's farm regions, according to a series of studies published this week by scientists.
Animal feedlots are contaminating water supplies with pathogens and chemicals, and polluting the air with foul-smelling compounds that can cause respiratory problems, but the health of their neighbors goes largely unmonitored, the reports concluded.
The international teams of environmental scientists also warned that the livestock operations are contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant germs, and the proximity of poultry and hogs could hasten the spread of avian flu to humans.
...researchers outlined the need for more stringent regulations and surveillance of water and air near feedlots.
"There was general agreement among all that the industrialization of livestock production over the past three decades has not been accompanied by commensurate modernization of regulations to protect the health of the public or natural, public-trust resources, particularly in the U.S.," wrote Thorne, a professor of toxicology and environmental engineering.
Industrial Livestock Production and Global Health Risks
…To elucidate the linkage between livestock production and global public health, this paper draws upon recent experiences provided by different influenza A virus (IAV) incursions into domestic livestock populations, the most notable one being the ongoing HPAI H5N1 epidemic that originated in Asia, which now also affects Africa and which has led to outbreaks in the Near East and in Europe.
Livestock production has significantly changed over the past decades with industrial systems and their associated value chains being dominant in developed countries and becoming increasingly important in developing countries… This paper provides evidence suggesting that without commensurate private and public investments in bioexclusion and biocontainment measures these industrial systems can result in increased animal and public health risks.
…Concentration of food animal production and the unregulated ‘evolution’ of densely populated livestock production areas not only result in major environmental burdens, but also generate significant animal and public health risks. Recent experience has shown that disease containment in these areas is extremely difficult, and in the case of outbreaks can result in the ethically rather questionable destruction of millions of healthy birds. An unrecognized aspect of industrial food animal production concerns worker exposures (Price et al, 2007) to zoonotic diseases. Saenz et al. (2006), using mathematical transmission models, show that when CAFO workers comprise more than 15 percent of a community they may act as IAV amplifiers for the community as a whole.
Policy makers in both developing and developed countries appear to accept that large-scale industrial farms have higher standards and self-discipline in biosecurity, while smallholders need more rigorous public oversight.
Europeans demand investigation of the CAFO/swine flu link
… USDA chief Tom Vilsack has been much more zealous about protecting the pork industry than investigating its potential for incubating deadly pandemics. In a Congressional heating last month, he cravenly defended the safety of industrial meat production - even though U.S. regulatory agencies have no mechanism in place to test the U.S. herd for H1N1.
Few outside of a few bloggers seems outraged by this state of affairs here in the U.S. Over in Europe, things are different. The Swiss group Avaaz.org has launched a petition demanding that the WHO and the UN’s FAO take action to investigate links between industrial hog operations and swine flu. Their demand is simple and direct - and it’s a sign of our deregulated times that it has to be made in the first place:
We call on you to investigate and develop regulations for factory farming in accordance with public health safety standards. Food production must be regulated to ensure global health security.
Oh here we bloody go again 3rd or 4th year of this now. Well I for one won't be taking the vaccine
The only alternative measures were international: world wide animal quarantines in the agricultural sector and huge environmental clean-ups, funded by developed nations - plus major restrictive environmental regulations. It didn't happen, because even if taxpayers footed the bill, international corporate profits would have fallen big time. And that just was not on the global agenda.
Global epidemic: A plague waiting to happen
Two recent outbreaks – the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu”, which originated in Mexico (and is expected to be in circulation again in Britain this winter), and the H5N1 “bird” or avian flu, which emerged in several locations in the middle of the last decade – failed to become global killers, despite the hype at the time. In the case of swine flu, although the virus was highly transmissible and millions were infected, the mortality rate was very low, probably less than one per cent. ….Bird flu was much more virulent, killing about half of the people infected. ….Although the number of outbreaks has fallen since its peak in 2006, the UN recently warned of a possible global resurgence.
The nightmare scenario – and the reason for the WHO’s concern when a new strain emerges – is a strain that combines the virulence of H5N1 with the transmittability of swine flu.
….Perhaps the oddest thing about pandemics is how sanguine we are about them. After all, this is a threat with the potential to kill tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people. And, yet, we worry far more about less substantial or even non-existent threats – terrorism, crime, paedophiles, even mobile-phone radiation. Why the complacency?
“[It is] because we think infectious diseases can be handled,”….
But, inevitably, one day, probably in a slum in Jakarta or Manila, a microscopic ball of RNA and proteins will shuffle its genes around in the body of a chicken or perhaps a pig (or even, as in the case of Contagion, a bat) and a killer of biblical proportions will emerge. It won’t be the end of the world, but it will feel like it for anyone unlucky enough to be around at the time.
Researchers Believe Influenza Vaccines Need Improvement
Critical gaps exist in the evidence for the effectiveness of licensed influenza vaccines in the United States, researchers report in an article published online October 25 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Individuals who are at risk for medical complications or people who are aged 65 years or older are especially affected by the gaps, ……
They recommend that industry and government form partnerships to accelerate research and reduce regulatory barriers to bring new vaccines already in development to market.
Indonesia: Chickens die of H5N1, people with flu symptoms
Via Ida's Bird Flu Information Corner, a translated report from MetroTV News: Jember, East Java ::: Hundreds of chickens die of H5N1. People develop flu signs. Excerpt:
Jember – Hundreds of chickens had died suddenly in Karang Baru village, Silo sub-district, Jember, East Java. A total 76 chickens from 17 households are H5N1 positive.
Those people developed flu signs following to contact with dead chickens. Health Service has distributed masks for people living near the outbreak