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News Reports for April 21

by: Nimbus

Sun Apr 20, 2008 at 23:48:51 PM EDT

Open this diary to read today's news and to see a summary of yesterday's news.
New Stories for Today:
  • South Korea has new bird flu case
  • US - SIUE School of Nursing to bring pandemic flu seminar to campus
  • South Korea Will Cull Millions Of Birds to Contain Bird Flu
  • One more reason to boycott China's Olympics: Avian flu
  • Hospitalized Suspect H5N1 Case in South Korea
  • US - Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World
  • South Korea: Soldier may have first human case of bird flu here
  • Russia: Vaccinating Birds by the hundreds of thousands
  • South Korean soldier suspected of contracting bird flu
  • South Korea: Increasing Violent Crackdown Against Migrant Workers
  • U.S. says Indonesia stalling in talks on U.S. lab
Nimbus :: News Reports for April 21
Summary of News for April 20, 2008
•    H1N1 Tamiflu Resistance Linked to Brisbane Strain (Link)
•    ProMed Report: Chinese fisherman die on boat: flu? (Link) and (Link)
Marianas Islands
•    NMI must be capable of handling hazmat emergency in 1st few days (Link)
•    Myanmar declares itself bird flu free (Link)
New Zealand
•    Bird flu pandemic risk remains (Link)
South Korea
•    S. Korea culls 5 million poultry over bird flu (Link)
•    Record Levels of H5N1 in South Korea (Link)
•    H5N1 Levels Raise Concerns - South Korea, Bangladesh and India  (Link)
•    Vietnam begins second human trial of bird flu vaccine (Link)
•    Bac Lieu at risk of bird flu outbreak (Link)
•    Human testing of Vietnamese H5N1 vaccine starts (Link)

Usual disclaimer that I may not have captured everything. Feel free to add news where omissions have occurred. Please note that I copy the links directly from the prior day's news thread so if they don't work you may need to re-visit the thread:

News Reports for April 20

WHO-confirmed total human cases as of Apr. 17, 2008: 381 cases with 240 deaths
2008 WHO-confirmed cases: 30 cases with 23 deaths

Link to most recent WHO report

Indonesia Summary - Updated as of 04/06/08

    2006   2007   2008
Cases Discussed   Jun-Dec   Jan-Dec   Jan Feb Mar Apr Total
Died, no test results   24   27   0 1 4 0 5
Died, tested positive   18   36   7 2 3 0 12
Other tested positive   5   6   2 1 1 0 4
Symptoms, tests pending   146   415   26 13 18 14 71
Tested negative   99   224   5 5 14 0 24
Totals   292   708   40 22 40 14 116

Link to Current Indonesia Diary
Influenza Viruses Isolated by WHO/NREVSS Collaborating Laboratories (U.S.)
2007 - 2008 Season (most recent 8 weeks)
WeekA(H1)A(H3)A(Unk)BTotal # Tested% Positive
Data source: CDC Weekly Influenza Summary

Thanks to all of the newshounds! Special thanks to the Indonesia & Egypt newshounds for their excellent work - thanks for keeping us all informed!

Other useful links:
CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report
CIDPC (Canada) Weekly FluWatch
European CDC Influenza News
Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO
Wiki Main Page
Tags: , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

South Korea has new bird flu case
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea on Monday said it planned to cull a record 5.3 million birds as it announced its 17th case of bird flu in three weeks, in what has become the country's fastest and biggest outbreak of avian influenza.

South Korea has culled 4.86 million chickens and ducks since the beginning of April, as the highly virulent H5N1 strain, first reported in the southwest, has been confirmed in five provinces.

The agriculture ministry said on Monday it would start probing all of the country's 260 duck farms as a preemptive measure and continue quarantine work. Some 360 soldiers have been sent to the hardest-hit North Jeolla province to help slaughtering and burying farmed birds.

South Korea had to kill 5.29 million birds in its first outbreak between late 2003 and early 2004. The second outbreak in 2006-2007 saw about half that number culled.

No human deaths from the disease have been reported so far from the country. Continued: http://www.reuters.com/article...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


SIUE School of Nursing to bring pandemic flu seminar to campus
EDWARDSVILLE - If a deadly influenza (flu) outbreak hit the Midwest, would the region be ready?

That is a question being posed by the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing, which is bringing "Pandemic Flu: Are You Ready?" to campus.

The seminar, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 2, in the Hickory-Hackberry Room on the second floor of SIUE's Morris University Center, will focus on developing a pandemic plan for businesses; establishing planning efforts to tackle global pandemics; examining the history of pandemics in the United States; differentiating between pandemic flu and seasonal flu; and using personal protection equipment.


note More good local presentations - for those around EDWARDSVILLE, IL please know and pass the word.

South Korea Will Cull Millions
Jamaica's new envoy to the United States (US), Anthony Johnson has added his voice to regional calls for the American president to renew the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI).

In presenting his credentials to the White House, the Ambassador identified trade and investment as key components of this 'partnership'.

Johnson said enabling mechanisms, such as the CBI which will expire in September, would serve to increase Jamaica's economic competitiveness as the country continues to seize the opportunities that globalisation presents.

"The challenges that confront small developing states, such as ours, stem from vulnerabilities that are associated with our open economies, susceptibility to external shocks and pandemic threats, as well as the catastrophic risk of natural disasters," he said.


Note Pandemic mentioned over global warming between leaders!

Darn, this happens when there is more than one story.
South Korea Will Cull Millions Of Birds to Contain Bird Flu

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea will slaughter at least 5.32 million birds to contain its latest outbreak of bird flu, the highest-ever number of poultry killed in the country to stop the disease's spread.

South Korea has killed 4.85 million birds since the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu broke out earlier this month for the first time in more than a year, said Agriculture Ministry official Jin Pil-sik on Monday

The Agriculture Ministry issued a nationwide high alert last week to prevent the disease's further spread. South Korea killed 5.29 million poultry in 2003 to halt bird flu, the previous record slaughter.

Seven outbreaks of the deadly virus hit poultry farms across South Korea between November 2006 and March 2007, resulting in the slaughter of about 2.8 million birds.


*Note - sorry for the bad post!  

[ Parent ]
One more reason to boycott China's Olympics: Avian flu
One more reason to boycott China's Olympics: Avian flu

While I have the greatest respect for the Chinese people, their oppressive government does not receive that consideration from me.

It's been almost three years since National Geographic's extensive article about avian flu and its pandemic potential was circulated.

Even though H5N1 has been estimated to be capable of killing between 180 million and 360 million people, it has been replaced by the questionable specter of global warming.


Note This is a letter to the editor, not a news report. Are people getting the message? Another flubie at work?

More on Letter to the Editor
Avian flu may have been relegated to the back wok in China and apparently the back burner in our country.

We don't hear much about it lately, but I trust that research is continuing and preventive measures are being taken?

Hundreds of thousands of athletes and spectators will attend the Olympics, and my perhaps unfounded concerns are that an appreciable number of them could become exposed to this lethal bird flu, inadvertently bring it back with them, and thus accelerate its natural timetable.

We are not yet ready, and if this happens sooner rather than later, our resources, whatever they might be, would be quickly overwhelmed.

Is this another reason to boycott China's Olympics? http://fredericksburg.com/News...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
It is going to be a nervous
fall winter for us here in the U.S.  

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
H5N1 - Accelerated natural timetable

 Good catch.

 Notice the accurate but not inflamitory words.

 "Accelerated natural timetable" - like the unstoppable movement of the tides or glacial movement or an oncomming hurricane.  August 8 could (not saying will) accelerate the mixing and poliferation of H5N1.

 "I trust that research is continuing and preventive measures are being taken" - not calling for ideas and plans but research and measures taken. I.e. action.

 Put another way, imagine holding the olympics in a country where drug resistant TB runs wild in chickens that are everywhere and 20 of the 30 cases in that country have been fatal. People from all over the world will be comming together.

  The athleats do not bother me for they are health nuts surronded by professionals and living on a secure compound. It is the average person uninformed turist who ventures out. China, to capitolize on tourist dollar/euro, will IMHO create many tours into the country for this.

  After all people will want to "see the real China and all their open air markets. Sample the local food as they prepare it (in some cases). They will bring back "samples" of their trip."

 Note: China has a huge border. Not all will travel by air. Some may extened their stay a few weeks past the olympics, past the heighted security surrounding the Olympics.


[ Parent ]
I think you hit the nail on the head! You are right, there is going to be a lot of tourist from every country taking every sightseeing tour the Chineses government allows. Like you, I expect to see all kinds of souvenirs being take home. The whole idea of the Olympics being held in China gives me an uneasy feeling. We all know exactly what will happen if major outbreaks of bf are going on from now until well after the Olympics are over. Major cover-up!

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
China's big comming out party.

 China wanted the olympics to announce their place on the world stage. Also, they would be foolish not to show off their culture and history with controlled tourist trips. There has already been alot in the media over Tibet. I doubt China saw this. They would like things to go well.

 Even in America at the summer games in Atlanta there was the bomb in 'Freedom park' ???, I can not remeber the name of the park. Bad stuff happens. Those in power can either admit it or play it down and cover it up.

 Carol@SC, I do not fear this being the start of the big one. H5N1 has not mutated enough.

  I am concerned that when folks go home they could create a few more spots where H5N1 takes root. Much like seeds on the wind find a new home. This creates many more chances for H2H mutations. It also creates more spots for us to report on.

 This would create more areas of culling, import/export bans and reduced GDP for those countries. If the news would report on H5N1 then it would raise awareness and get folks ready. If the news is ignored, then H5N1 could just keep creeping in and aoround till only a few are preapred.

 What was the analogy of "thousands of monkeys with a rubics cube trying to get it right. When they do they can show others" Well now there would be many more spots with thousands of monekeys twirlling and spinning their rubics cubes to get the combination right.


[ Parent ]
Hospitalized Suspect H5N1 Case in South Korea

Recombinomics Commentary 14:50
April 21, 2008

A soldier who showed symptoms of avian influenza is being treated a military hospital, authorities said Monday.

An army corporal, identified by his surname Cho, has been suffering from a high fever since Sunday after participating in the culling of AI infected chickens and ducks in Sunchang, North Jeolla province.

The above comments describe an H5N1 suspect case in South Korea.  A human infection would not be a surprise.  Although the subclade circulating in the current outbreak has not been announced, last season the Uvs Lake strain of clade 2.2.3 was in circulation in the region.  Wild birds were implicated by related H5N1 in fecal samples at sites frequented by migrating birds.

Clade 2.2 has been isolated from infected patients in Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Djibouti, Nigeria, and Pakistan.  The Azerbiajan cases involved 2.2.3 and it is likely that 2.2.3 was also linked to the more recent outbreaks in Pakistan.  Similarly human cases have also been linked to clade 1, clade 2.1 and clade 2.3, so there is little reason to discount human infections in South Korea.

More information on symptoms and test results would be useful.

Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World
This isn't about H5N1, but about the possibility of food shortages, for those who are getting started with their preps!!


Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World
Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 21, 2008

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing. Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.

"You can't eat this every day. It's too heavy," a health care executive from Palo Alto, Sharad Patel, grumbled as his son loaded two sacks of the Basmati into a shopping cart. "We only need one bag but I'm getting two in case a neighbor or a friend needs it," the elder man said.

An employee at the Costco store in Queens said there were no restrictions on rice buying, but limits were being imposed on purchases of oil and flour. Internet postings attributed some of the shortage at the retail level to bakery owners who flocked to warehouse stores when the price of flour from commercial suppliers doubled.

The curbs and shortages are being tracked with concern by survivalists who view the phenomenon as a harbinger of more serious trouble to come.

Spiking food prices have led to riots in recent weeks in Haiti, Indonesia, and several African nations. India recently banned export of all but the highest quality rice, and Vietnam blocked the signing of a new contract for foreign rice sales.

"I'm surprised the Bush administration hasn't slapped export controls on wheat," Mr. Rawles said. "The Asian countries are here buying every kind of wheat." Mr. Rawles said it is hard to know how much of the shortages are due to lagging supply and how much is caused by consumers hedging against future price hikes or a total lack of product.

"There have been so many stories about worldwide shortages that it encourages people to stock up. What most people don't realize is that supply chains have changed, so inventories are very short," Mr. Rawles, a former Army intelligence officer, said. "Even if people increased their purchasing by 20%, all the store shelves would be wiped out."

heh BB, you heard it too! ;-) n/t

[ Parent ]
BF means culling which drives up the demand of other food. n/t

[ Parent ]
I don't believe the current food crisis...
...Is being caused by the culling of chickens in foreign countries. Chickens aren't fed wheat, they aren't normally fed rice, but those two items alone have gone up over 100% in the last month.
The US is the largest exporter of wheat, yet wheat prices have gone sky-high in the past 2 months. We've always produced enough wheat to nearly feed the entire world, even without avian crops in the mix.  
In the US, crops that had been used as food have been turned to reduce our dependence on foreign oil...corn, soybeans and palm oil are not being sold as food as much as they are being used as fuel additives/mixes to stretch gasoline, which is, according to the MSM, becoming more and more scarce. And expensive...
What I see is food-producing nations holding back on their exports in these not-quite-perfect economic times, saving their food for their domestic populations.

[ Parent ]
Chickens not the cause, but their wide spread culling will make things worse.
 You are right that chickesn are not the cause.

 I agree with we are using too much food to make fuel. Switch grass, algea and other substances are better.

 Here is a story from India you might find interesting



AND all nations came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain because everywhere the famine was severe:" Genesis 41:57 The Old Testament.

The World Bank chief, Robert Zoellick, recently said that the demand for ethanol, droughts in Australia and Europe, financial market speculation, and increased demand for food due to rising incomes in China and India, has significantly contributed to "soaring" food prices around the world.

Certainly, government food bureaucrats in the EU or USA had taken into account all the factors that he mentions, and undertook all actions to mitigate any shortfalls in food production, particularly due to ethanol production, as they are far more alert, accountable, and resourceful in planning and procuring food than Third World bureaucrats in Haiti or Bangladesh.

However, there are other reasons for the soaring prices apart from those Mr. Zoellick reveals. He has not blamed hoarding, as Bangladeshi experts persistently have, as a reason for high prices in Bangladesh. However, the "financial market speculation" that Zoellick cites has indeed crossed all boundaries due to inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve Bank of USA. Constantly falling in value is the "irredeemable" dollar, as the Fed prints more for reckless political spending and military adventurism.  

[ Parent ]
bad timing to start the preps...
"Costco is limiting purchases to one bag per customer. In New York, bakers are hoarding flour. In the west, an "anonymous high-tech professional" bought 10 50-pound bags of rice, saying "I am concerned that when the news of rice shortage spreads, there will be panic buying and the shelves will be empty in no time. I do not intend to cause a panic, and I am not speculating on rice to make profit. I am just hoarding some for my own consumption," Yeah, right. That is what causes the panic in the first place. 500 pounds? ::New York Sun"


Im happy I did my basic preps some years ago... but 500 punds... thats a lot of rice!!.. a little overshoot perhaps..? Prepping now wil attract some negative attention...

we havent noticed the food crisis here in Norway yet,. The government negotiates with the farmers once a year for subsidies and prices.. The main argument has allways been national food security,  Im happy they did not have the time to downscale too much of our "non competable agriculture sector" :)

[ Parent ]
Food inflation? Lots of things cause it
The rise in food prices is due to several causes. In general, there has been less R&D on grains and crops in general, so yield increases have declined over the last 10-20 years, just as diets are shifting in India & China, etc. to meat or chicken heavy (and so grain using) patterns. Bad weather has added to lower yields and low buffer stocks cannot take up much of the slack. Biofuels and land taken out of farming adds to the problem. More recently, exporting nations have (as noted) put export controls on food exports to keep domestic prices lower. Importing countries often subsidize food and exporting countries (like Argentina) tax farmers, so price signals to consumers and producers are muted that way too. Finally, and least important, hedge funds and speculators are fleeing financial assets (especially dollar based) and putting money into "hard" assets. Put it together and you have a burden in rich countries and a crisis in many poor nations. (The energy crisis has also driven up fertilizer and fuel prices for farm inputs.) Overall, a mess!

[ Parent ]
also gasohol
also realize that as the arab country raise the cost of oil that US is slowly increasing the gasohol production.  Basically we are burning more of the grain instead of sending it overseas as food.

notice also:
....There have been so many stories about worldwide shortages that it encourages people to stock up. What most people don't realize is that supply chains have changed, so inventories are very short," Mr. Rawles, a former Army intelligence officer, said. "Even if people increased their purchasing by 20%, all the store shelves would be wiped out.".....

from: http://www2.nysun.com/article/...

Notice that the numbers would be the same if only 20% of the people just doubled up on their purchasing for preps.

That is why we must prep early - ahead of the crowd.
My guess is that By the summer there will be little rice available for preps. or it will be very expensive.  NOtice it is starting with rice flour and oil- the prep items that are usually mentioned first (after water) on our lists.  It will likely slowly go down the list of prep items as time goes on.

Be Prepared

[ Parent ]
South Korea: Soldier may have first human case of bird flu here

April 22, 2008

A soldier who helped slaughter poultry infected with avian influenza might have the first human case of the disease in Korea, the Health Ministry said yesterday.

The soldier slaughtered poultry on Friday and Saturday, and his symptoms meet the criteria of a suspected avian influenza patient under the World Health Organization manual, the ministry said in a release. His condition, however, is close to that of a bacterial pneumonia patient, so we are closely monitoring him.

The ministry quoted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as saying a soldier had respiratory complications after killing infected chickens and ducks last week.

The soldier is being treated and monitored in a quarantine ward. The ministry said tests are being conducted and it will take one to three weeks for a final confirmation. (snip)

The release said the soldier's condition improved after he received antibiotics and that everyone who had contact with him were also given medicine and will be monitored for 10 days. The ministry issued the statement following a story in yesterday's editions of the Seoul Shinmun, a daily newspaper, which reported that a 22-year-old corporal in Sunchang, North Jeolla, may have gotten avian influenza.

Quoting a government report, the newspaper identified the corporal only by his family name, Cho.

After returning to his base after the culling, Cho developed a high fever starting on Sunday and was transported to the Army Hospital in Seongnam, the report said.

"Cho¡¯s temperature went up to 39.8 degrees Celsius [103.6 F] and he fell unconscious, so we suspected it was an avian influenza infection," Capt. Wi Seong-hyeon of Cho¡¯s unit told the newspaper. "We transported him to the army hospital and reported the case to the Sunchang health authorities."

The ministry later denied that the soldier in question became unconscious.

This is the news story mentioned above [machine translated]

[Alone] AI salcheobun mobilized soldiers suspected infection

Gobyeongwonseong salcheobun avian influenza (AI), which was put in operation in the first AI soldiers suspected infections occurred in patients' human infection AI 'takes for the emergency.
Seoul obtained by the newspaper 'avian influenza surveillance of reported human infections' A4 paper titled Chapter 1 of the report (photo) worth of the "commando battalion brigade belonging ? Corporal Jo (22) forces during the past two days with 18 to 19 Sunchang avian influenza task salcheobun Jeonbuk at the scene after the troops return after 20 tuipdwae beginning to show symptoms of fever could cure husong Army hospital, "he said.

The surgeon Capt. wiseonghyeon unit, "Corporal Joe temperature of 39.8 degrees, rising fever infection status of AI to show doubt, the military hospital in Sunchang husonghan report to the health center," he said.

Defense Department from 2003 to 2004 have occurred in the year 2006 to 2007, when AI governments do support their troops, but the soldiers kkeunjilgige parents opposed the request and the nature of collective life that is why the soldiers refused. Opinion, eventually winning the last 17. yeoninwon five days, people were putting troops in 2085 to support operations salcheobun sunk in the field.

? commitment right on the precipice of yebangbaeksin

Corporal Joe is about to be put to task salcheobun yebangbaeksin reportedly hit. Salcheobune manpower mobilization of the 10 days prior to the vaccine's commitment should be the body when the immune system antibodies that can be sought, but manpower mobilization, including Corporal Joe Many a time I have had.

In addition, the operation after workers salcheobun enough Tamiflu to take a break and taking the chiryoyakin gyujeongdwae. Medicine has been steadily bokyonghae Corporal Joe was reportedly dropped a lot of heat at night.

Public Health Crisis Response Team for Disease Control Headquarters said, "So far, Corporal Joe AI infection cases with suspicious symptoms, it seemed symptomatic of some other," he said, which means that means it is highly likely to have been infected with AI.

He was also "likely to have been infected with the virus rather than bacterial pneumonia.", "Three weeks after the results are accurate checkup." He said.

Meanwhile, Gimje City Hall, officials are salcheobun operations jeongeupsicheong once a week or more after participating in the period of 4-5 days after violating the principles jaetuipdoeneun intervals dongwondoen said.

[ Parent ]
What about the first 15 suspects?
What about the 3 suspects noted in an article after the initial 15 suspects came to light? Not a peep out of TPTB in South Korea about those people. Just makes me wonder what really is going on when they choose not to give out information.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
I think that was a reporting error
My guess is that earlier story, which appeared (and was replicated) only in the Russian press, was a mis-translation of the multiple reports of "cases" in So. Korea which were outbreaks in birds.

This is the first story that I've seen from Korean sources that mentions suspected human cases.

[ Parent ]
That would be my mistake
Sorry for the duplicate, Aloha.  

[ Parent ]
What I meant was
that the story was repeated in a couple of different Russian news sources, not that you duplicated it.  You do an incredible job of news-hounding!

[ Parent ]
. . .
Thanks, but I actually did 'replicate'  the referenced story, as you said.  

[ Parent ]
Most other papers don't even mention bird flu.
Hankyoreh has just a cartoon.  I couldn't copy and paste the words for translation, though.  There's a chicken being culled, saying something that startles the culler, while a happy cow is talking on tv.  (The leaders of US and SK have just decided that the US can resume shipping beef to S. Korea, and domestic beef prices there have slumped already, but why is the cow happy?)


"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

[ Parent ]
Russia: Vaccinating Birds by the hundreds of thousands
Over 400,000 poultry vaccinated against bird flu in Primorye

21.04.2008, 19.25

VLADIVOSTOK, April 21 (Itar-Tass) - Over 400,000 domestic birds have been vaccinated against bird flu during a vaccination campaign in the Primorsky Territory.

Additional vaccination was made in districts bordering on the settlement of Vozdvizhenka, where poultry deaths had been fixed, sources from the department for agriculture and food under the regional administration told Tass.

No other centres of poultry deaths were fixed. Quarantine in Vozdvizhenka will be lifted after additional checks early in May, the sources said.

Poultry death cases were reported from Vozdvizhenka on April 7. Forty birds died in private yards. Samples were taken to laboratories in the territory and quarantine was imposed in the village after bird flu had been confirmed.

A number of migrant birds were shot down for tests; the test results are negative. It appeared that a wild goose shot by a Vozdvizhenka resident on April 8 was the disease carrier. The hunter ate the goose and threw out the goose's guts. Domestic birds consumed the waste and died several days later. The Primorye veterinarian laboratory of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance found the bird flu virus AH5, and the national lab confirmed the diagnosis.

That was the first bird flu case in the Russian Far East. Wild birds migrate from Southeast Asia to their nesting areas in the north through the Primorye territory.

South Korean Corporal
South Korean soldier suspected of contracting bird flu

Apr 21, 2008 (BBC Monitoring via COMTEX) --
[Yonhap headline: "Soldier Suspected Of Contracting Bird Flu"]

SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) - A soldier who showed symptoms of avian influenza is being treated a military hospital, authorities said Monday.

An army corporal, identified by his surname Jo, has been suffering from a high fever since Sunday after participating in the culling of AI infected chickens and ducks in Sunchang, North Jeolla province.

Jo showed symptoms of AI infection in the primary and secondary tests but a definite conclusion will be made after the results of a serum and virus cultivation test are made known three weeks later, according to military authorities.

Source: Yonhap news agency, Seoul, in English 1240 gmt 21 Apr 08

BBC Mon AS1 AsPol nm

BBC Monitoring. Copyright BBC.
News Provided by
Story Details

Three (3) weeks? That seems way to long for serum test. n/t

[ Parent ]
Way too long . . . n/t

[ Parent ]
it could mean several things
The 3 weeks may refer to virus culture (not PCR).  Or the fact that serum antibodies take a while to rise to detectable levels.  Or even paired serum samples if the first one was negative.  

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
Then again, it could mean
what some of us may believe, that three weeks sounds more like a tactic of delay than like a reasonable time frame in which to see results.

It is a possibility.

[ Parent ]
no, what I'm saying is
apart from PCR, which as we know often gives false negatives, the other means of confirming the diagnosis always take a long time.  It's just the reality, whether or not there are additional issues.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
SusanC - biochip for detection
 Thank you. I understand false negative concern.

 Three weeks just sounds longer than the other cases. If this will be the norm than we will have alot of folks waiting to see if they are sick or well. IMHO this makes thigns difficult for they have to be treated as if contagious but keept isolated from others who might be sick.

  As I understand it people start to shed cell after four (4) days - right?

  There was news about a new biochip for detection - but I guess peoples serum levels have to rise to a certian level to get a reliable PCR rating.



[ Parent ]
that may be a mis-perception
Three weeks just sounds longer than the other cases.

if all you are looking at are cases in Indonesia and similar places with little resources and probably low standards of clinical practice.  The PCR test gives results fastest but as we know have many problems with reliability.  Virus culture is reliable but the chance of getting a positive is again not so great.  

The best indicator of infection is paired serum samples for antibodies.  These antibodies do not rise immediately after infection but can take a few weeks.  If the initial blood test is negative or low positive, then a subsequent test 4 weeks later with 4-fold rise in antibody level is indicative of recent infection.  The problem is resource poor countries (and countries that 'don't want to know') may not be able to trace and follow these patients properly to give you the second serum sample.

In other words, properly managed cases if initially negative should and can be further evaluated and identified some weeks later.  Your impression that 3 weeks is a long time is probably as a result of following only breaking news or places where best (or proper) practice is not followed/  

Hope this is useful for your understanding.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
SusanC - very helpful

 This is very helpful. Thank you.

 My knee jerk reaction is that during a pandemic we will err on the side of caution to contain folks who may be sheadding H5N1

 In the UK, US, etc,  people may be treated as if they have H5N1 because we have to waite for serum test to confirm.

 To me this presents four problems:
  1) Stock pilling enough supplies to treat suspected cases as if they where sick
  2) Keeping "suspected" cases seperated enough that a non-sick person is not made sick by staying wis suspected cases that are sick.
  3) Keeping confirmed cases seperate from suspected cases.
  4) Tracking cases to see what the false positive/false negative rate is. Why? technitions working under load, bad batch or lot of lest supplies, flu mutation, etc.

 SusanC do you think these concerns are on track or off wandering??


[ Parent ]
these are real concerns
especially in the beginning of a pandemic.  Just think of what happened in Hong Kong, where the outbreak was mostly due to influenza B, but there was also a substantial proportion of other viruses.  If you treat everyone, you are liable to use up all your antivirals long before you get to the peak of a pandemic.  

Think of this chart.

Look at the flat part of the curve, at the very beginning, and ask yourself what is the percentage of all those with ILI (iinlfuenza like illness) suffering from the pandemic flu?  The answer is, very low.  But can you reasonably refuse to give people tamiflu?  Would people abreact, probably violently, to such refusal to treat?  But if you treat all those, now look at the area under the curve, which is the REAL number of epidemic cases, and they all appear much later.  What are you going to give them then?

Which is why not only do we need rapid diagnostics, we also need alternative treatments like statins and not just antivirals.

All 'safety concerns' are hypothetical.  If not, they'd be called side effects...

[ Parent ]
People not treated

 I remeber what happened with people wanting Cipro after the 9-11 Anthrax attack. Even today poeple want antibiotics for virus or say "run its course? If I wanted to do that I would have stayed home. I want you to prescribe a cure."

 Here educating the population and setting expectations would be helpful.

 SusanC, another concern of mine is cross infection at the hospital. Mingling suspected caeses with real ones might increase the area under the curve.


[ Parent ]
South Korea: Increasing Violent Crackdown Against Migrant Workers
We commend the Ministry of Justice, which is using the media's criminalization of migrant workers to justify strengthening its violent crackdown!

Recently the media reports about crimes by foreigners in Korea are becoming more and more frequent. It is especially worrisome that some of these reports are coming from major mainstream sources such as MBS and Yonhap News.

 These reports attack undocumented migrant workers as a threatening group of 'illegal residents'. Even worse, some media outlets are making the ridiculous claim that saying that the worsening of Avian Influenza is the fault of migrant workers.

  Not only do these reports exaggerate and distort the truth, they are ordering strict control of migrant workers. This is a call for a strengthened crackdown.

 At around 8:30 on April 16, crackdown again took place at the industrial complex. 8 migrant workers were arrested and 3 were severely injured while attempting to escape. One Bangladeshi worker fled to the roof of a building and the fell while trying to cross to the roof of the adjacent building. He fell, severely injuring his back and leg and is currently hospitalized.


Note IMHO these stories will rise. Ignorance and fear are best stopped early. One migrant was from Bangladesh so just being from India, or any other country with H5N1, may be seen as provication.  

U.S. says Indonesia stalling in talks on U.S. lab
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
58 minutes ago

Talks between Indonesia and the United States over the future of a U.S. naval medical lab have become entangled in an international dispute over how to share crucial bird flu samples, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt said on Monday.

He said Indonesian health officials are refusing to share samples of H5N1 avian influenza virus with the rest of the world. Meanwhile, negotiations over the future of the lab were also being held up.

"There is very little question that our lack of progress of getting that laboratory MOU (memorandum of understanding) renewed is connected to this," Leavitt told reporters.

Indonesian officials have said they only want to ensure equal access to any vaccine that are made against bird flu but Leavitt said they were also seeking payments.

The lab, the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2 or NAMRU-2 for short, was central to Indonesia's early efforts to track H5N1. It was one of the few labs globally capable of the genetic analysis needed to identify H5N1 at the beginning of the epidemic, which started in 2003.

The agreement between the United States and Indonesia allowing NAMRU-2 to operate in Jakarta expired two years ago and has not been renewed.

"If there is anyone in the world who is advantaged by having the best scientific minds in the world, having access to this, it's Indonesia," Leavitt said.


Leavitt, just back in Washington from a trip to Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam, said he met with Indonesian health minister Siti Fadillah Supari but they failed to agree.

"Minister Supari recently issued orders to prohibit Indonesian institutions from providing tissue samples to NAMRU-2," Leavitt wrote in his blog.
"Her action is obviously linked to her global initiative to seek specific benefits for sharing samples."

Leavitt foresaw little immediate progress.

"The minister's main point is that what she wants should not be considered 'royalties' or 'compensation'," Leavitt said. "What she says she wants is for the contributing countries to be eligible for some share of the value commercial companies create out of the influenza samples they provide."

(Editing by Will Dunham and Alan Elsner)

What's the right word?
What Indonesia is doing with regard to viral samples seems the equivalent of either blackmail or extortion . . . in this case, extortion seems more applicable, perhaps?

And what happened to the US position that we will not negotiate with hostage takers, when we send Michael Leavitt around the world apparently to negotiate with those who would hold the world hostage for their own gain?

[ Parent ]
Because, in this case,
it affects every man, woman and child on the planet.  

Sorry - that was simply rhetorical
I know very well what's at risk here.  And I know the misplaced concentration on profit, the almighty dollar, or whatever other form this extortion might take - 'royalties' is a word I've heard used, one which made me feel quite ill.

If we must pay for viral samples, then let us pay - but let us not play games with the fate of the world.

[ Parent ]
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