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News Reports for February 14

by: Nimbus

Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 00:24:07 AM EST


New Stories for Today
(Open this Diary to read more on these postings)
  • Vietnam: Experts fear bird flu may spread during Lunar New Year
  • Vietnam to lift ban on hatching of ducks, geese
  • EGYPT - MoH - ca. 2300 sus cases to date in Egypt
  • Bird flu experts join probe of mystery Bangladesh deaths
  • Egyptian woman tests positive for bird flu- WHO
  • More Info On Egyptian Woman
  • Bird flu conference opens in Cairo
  • Effect Measure on the 'last mile' internet connection
  • Cats offer clue to H5N1
  • Seasonal Flu Kills Fireman and Another Child In Minnesota - Total of 5 Now
  • Bird flu set to go global
  • WHO cites more evidence of H5N1's bias toward young
  • Bio-Warfare Expert Warns Of Bird Flu Misinformation (Press Release)
  • Avian flu knocking at India`s door
  • Despite successes in containing bird flu, experts urge vigilance (a must read)
  • UK NHS National Pandemic Flu Workshop (is open for registration)
  • Nigeria- Bird Flu: A deadly Dimension
  • Japanese egret stirs flu fears in Manila
Summary of News for February 13 2007

China
    •   Two Mesias tested positive in HK (Link)
Costa Rica
    •   Costa Rica probes deaths of 500 pelicans (Link)
Egypt
    •   Egypt-Latest bird flu deaths not Tamiflu resistant (Link)
    •   Egypt to tackle bird flu with in-kind compensation to farmers 2/13/07 (Link)
Hungary
    •   Photo of worker in PPE but w/o goggles, carrying turkey (Link)
Indonesia
    •   Southeast Asia--all eyes are on the evolving situation in Indonesia (Link)
    •   Indonesia--Help needed for bird flu vaccine, says official (Link)
    •   Why Indonesia is blocking a bird flu vaccine (Link)
Iran
    •   Iran vet chief rejects reports of avian flu outbreak in Mazandaran (Link)
Japan
    •   Media critical in fight to prevent pandemic flu: Japan supports high-level UNICEF seminars in Europe and Central Asia (Link)
Pakistan
    •   Bird flu strikes Pakistan again (Link)
Philippines
    •   Philippines intensifies monitoring after suspected bird-flu carrier found  (Link)
    •   Philippines opens bird flu lab funded by New Zealand (Link)
    •   Egret from Japan stirs flu fears in Philippines (Link)
South Korea
    •   South Korea New bird flu outbreak near Seoul  (Link)
Thailand
    •   Thai Chinese shun poultry ahead of Lunar New Year celebration (Link)
Turkey
    •   Preliminary tests detect bird flu in one more Turkish village (Link)
    •   Four more villages in southeastern Turkey quarantined over bird flu fear (Link)
UK
    •   Lack of bird flu jabs 'putting public health at risk' (Link)
    •   Accidental find alerted bird flu inspectors to suspect turkey importsx (Link)
    •   Turkey plant to resume production (Link)
    •   Bird flu strain 99.9% linked to Hungary (Link)
    •   Bird flu mystery deepens as Hungary rejects link (Link)
    •   Watchdog blocks Matthews turkey (Link)
    •   Forget bird flu: mad publicity disease is much more scary(Link)
Vietnam
    •   Vietnam contains bird flu in south, but warns others (Link)
General
    •   On flu, prepare for the worst (Link)
    •   Bird flu is linked to global trade in poultry; Migrating birds no longer seen as culprit in outbreaks (Link)
    •   Flu vaccine may also protect against bird flu (Link)
    •   Partial Immunity to H5N1 Flu Possible in Some (Link)
    •   Media urged to stop spreading misleading info about bird flu (Link)
    •   SARS experts shed new light on larger H5N1 attack scope (Link)

Thailand - Avian Flu Situation as of February 13, 2007 (Link)

 

Since January 1, to February 13, 2007, the Bureau of Epidemiology has received reports of influenza or pneumonia cases in Avian Influenza Surveillance Network from the Provincial Health Offices and Disease Prevention and Control Regional Offices. The investigation and analysis were summarized as follows:

  • Cumulative number of patients under surveillance are 643 cases 56 provinces; Today reports are 13 cases. Two cases each from Kanchanaburi, Chiangmai, Mukdahan and Loei, and 1 each from Nonthaburi, Chainat, Nakhonnayok, Rayong and Kampaengphet.
  • Confirmed human case of avian influenza 2006 = 3 cases, with 3 death cases.ยท  
  • There are 29 cases under investigate reported, of which waiting for laboratory result.
Nimbus :: News Reports for February 14
Usual disclaimer about may not have captured everything. Feel free to add your own where omissions have occurred.)

Please note that I copy the links directly from the thread so if they don't work you may need to re-visit the Thread

News Reports For February 13


Total human cases worldwide 272, deaths 166 (2006 - 114 with 79 deaths)
-- From WHO as of 6 Feb - latest update


  Indonesia Summary - Updated as of  02/06/07

    2006   2007 
Cases Discussed   June - Dec   Jan Feb Total
Died, no test results   24   5 0 5
Died, tested positive   17   7 0 7
Other tested positive   5   2 1 3
Symptoms, tests pending   146   120 12 132
Tested negative   99   91 0 91
Totals   291   225 13 238



  Egypt Summary - Updated as of  02/12/07
    2006   2007 
Cases Discussed   Jan - Dec   Jan Feb Total
Died, no test results   0   1 0 1
Died, tested positive   10   1 1 2
Other tested positive   8   0 0 0
Symptoms, tests pending   8   80 19 99
Tested negative   12   16 9 25
Totals   38   98 29 127


INFLUENZA VIRUSES ISOLATED BY
WHO/NREVSS Collaborating Laboratories
2006 - 2007 Season
(Link)
WeekA(H1N1) & A(H1N2)A(H3N2)A(Unk)B#Tested%Pos
  49      52     2      109    41     4674    4.4 
  50      97     7      264    90     5929    7.7 
  51      170    9      278    108    5580    10.1 
  52      151    14     316    92     4752    12.1 
  01      93     4      127    56     4151    6.7 
  02      63     5      149    48     3070    8.6 
  03      44     10      196    30     3229    8.7 
  04      202   50     453    93     4862    16.4 
    05      128 21  57893 418019.6

"It is too early in the influenza season to determine which influenza viruses will predominate or how well the vaccine and circulating strains will match."

See last year's table for comparison.

Canada's Week 52 FLU WATCH finds H1N1 predominance.

Thanks to all of the newshounds!

Special thanks to FloridaGirl, MichelleInOK, AnnieB, and Theresa42 for their excellent work with the Indonesia and Egypt Summary tables - thanks for keeping us all informed!

       link to Current Indonesia Diary
       link to Indonesia Diary Feb.6 - Feb.7

       link to Current Indonesia Discussion
       link to Indonesia Discussion Jan.17-Jan.28

       link to Indonesia New Cases List
       link to Indonesia Wiki page

       link to Lookout Post main page

       link to current Egypt Diary
       link to New  Cases in Egypt III

       link to New  H5N1 in Birds in UK Discussion

       link to Graphs of Clusters 2003 - 2006


       link to Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO

       link to the Wiki Main Page

Tags: , , (All Tags)
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Vietnam: Experts fear bird flu may spread during Lunar New Year
- "...Poultry sales are booming across many parts of Asia and health officials are holding their breath days before the region's biggest holiday.

With hundreds of millions of people and poultry on the move before this weekend's festivities, experts are hoping bird flu does not explode. But after three years of warnings about the H5N1 virus, many Asians say they are ready to bring in the Year of the Pig with plenty of poultry..."

..."Animal and human health officials pay special attention to this time of year in Asia because poultry is central to many annual traditions, including offering chicken on altars to thefamily's ancestors. Just as Thanksgiving isn't complete in the U.S. without turkey, chicken or duck also are the meats of choice for most new year's feasts.

More birds are being moved, smuggled, handled, slaughtered and eaten than any other time of the year in Asia, which increases the risk of poultry outbreaks and human infection - all during winter when the virus is typically at its worst."

http://www.thejakart...

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke


Vietnam to lift ban on hatching of ducks, geese
- " Vietnam's government will lift a ban on the hatching of ducks and geese because recent outbreaks of bird flu did not involve vaccinated waterfowl, an official said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Agriculture is working on regulations that would allow farmers to resume hatching and restocking waterfowl beginning March 1 with some conditions, said Hoang Van Nam, deputy director of the Department of Animal Health..."

..."Under the new regulations, poultry farmers will have to vaccinate all newly restocked waterfowl, and hatching facilities must be located far from the residential areas, he said..."

http://hosted.ap.org...

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little- Edmund Burke


EGYPT - MoH - ca. 2300 sus cases to date in Egypt
According to this report, to date there have been ca. 2300 sus cases in Egypt.  That is people with flu-like symptoms + contact with sick/dead poultry who have been hospitalized & tested for bf.  This number does not appear to includes poultry workers and other people with no symptoms who have been tested as a precaution....

Machine-translated from Arabic:

The Ministry of Health:  2300 suspicions by the bird flu and the certain injuries are 20
Feb 13, 2007

Cairo - An official report revealed the rise of number of the human cases the suspect in its injury by the bird flu virus until Monday to about 2300 persons, and she the conditions that have been isolated in the different hospitals in 25 governorates in them the disease appeared until now.

And the report issued by the Ministry of Health and Population confirmed that Kafr El Sheikh Governate headed the suspect conditions list, where the admission of 340 persons -- then Monofiya [Al Minufiyah] took place and the admission of 272 persons doubtful about their injury took place -- and the western [Al Gharbiyah] is 267 persons -- and Cairo 262 persons -- and two [governorates] Giza governorate and Walqliweba [Al Qalyubiyah] where the detention of 207 conditions took place in each of them.

And the conditions ended suspect of their injury by the virus in Al Fayyum Governate to 102 case -- and Suhaj is 113 case -- and Damietta 136 and Alexandria is 82 -- and Bani Suwayf is 90 -- and Dakahlia [Ad Daqahliyah] is 44 -- and Al Bhira [Al Buhayrah] 38 -- and the eastern one [Ash Sharqiyah] is 27 -- and Qina 23 case.

And she came at the end the list of the conditions suspect of its injury by the bird flu virus and have been isolated in the hospitals Aswan governorates where the admission of 14 conditions took place -- and Ismailia 6 -- and Luxor is 8 -- and Asyut 4 -- and Port Said is 3 -- and the governorates of the Red Sea and South Sinai where the admission of two conditions took place to each of them -- and Suez and Al-Wadi Al-Jadid are a single condition in each of them, while the governorates of North Sinai and Morsi were still thrown free from the disease until now.

And the report explained that the conditions that show the positivity of their injury by the disease are 20 case from Al-Qalyubia governorates and Monofiya [Al Minufiyah] and the western one [Al Gharbiyah], Kafr Al-Sheikh, Al Fayyum and Bani Suwayf and Minya and Suhaj, from them 12 case until now between them was dead 11 women fixed their mixing to house birds injured by the virus and a death happened to some of her....

http://www.masrawy.c...

More in Egypt diary:
http://www.newfluwik...

Proud FAF-er.


Media urged to stop spreading misleading info
-and, we agree on what is "misleading!" (I think) from link in above general news list;

..."Just this morning on one of the television stations we saw wrong messages being transmitted, people talking about vaccines when there are none yet available. The vaccines are for birds not for humans," he told reporters.

He was speaking at the start of a three-day WHO conference on Global Pandemic Influenza Communications in Cairo.

The conference brings together officials from governments and international organisations to tackle issues including how to send out important information in case of a pandemic"...


Bird flu experts join probe of mystery Bangladesh deaths 2/14/07
DHAKA (AFP) -  Bird flu experts are part of a team investigating the unexplained death of three people in northern Bangladesh. Bangladesh has so far reported no cases of avian flu.

"The Health Directorate of Dhaka formed a five-member medical team comprising bird flu experts and sent them to the village and started an investigation into the disease," the official news agency BSS report said Wednesday.

The investigation followed the death of a 32-year-old man on January 26. His wife, 24, died last Friday after falling sick with similar symptoms, the report said without giving details.

Another man died in hospital in Dhaka on Monday. Two others -- including the sister of one of the deceased -- were also taken ill and hospitalised in a serious condition, BSS said.

All came from the same village of Beloya, Thakurgaon district, in northwestern Bangladesh.
(Snip)
Bangladesh has banned imports of poultry and poultry products from a string of countries as a precaution against avian flu.

With an annual turnover of 750 million dollars, poultry farming is one of Bangladesh's fastest-growing industries and employs more than two million workers.
Continued...http://news.yahoo.co...

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

     


Egyptian woman tests positive for bird flu- WHO
Wed 14 Feb 2007 11:50:40 GMT
CAIRO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - A 37-year old Egyptian woman has tested positive for bird flu, a World Health Organisation official and the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry identified the woman as Nadia Abdel-Hafez from the Fayoum governorate. She is the 21st confirmed case in Egypt.
http://today.reuters...


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

     


More Info On Egyptian Woman
Egyptian woman tests positive for bird flu: WHO
CAIRO (Reuters) - A 37-year-old Egyptian woman has tested positive for the deadly bird flu virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Egypt to 21, a World Health Organization official said on Wednesday.

"There is a case, 37-years old, from Fayoum. She has been transferred to Abbasiya (hospital) in good condition," said Hassan el-Bushra, regional adviser for communicable diseases surveillance for the World Health Organization.

A Health Ministry statement identified the woman as Nadia Abdel-Hafez from Fayoum province southwest of Cairo, the same area where a 17-year-old girl died of bird flu earlier this month.
Continued.....http://today.reuters...


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

     


Bird flu conference opens in Cairo
02-14-2007
The World Health Organization has held a conference on bird flu in Cairo. It's part of an effort to prepare the WHO communications strategy for what it says is a near-inevitable pandemic.

More than 100 experts from around the world are attending the talks to discuss how to communicate with the public over the issue amid growing concerns about the spread of Avian flu.

At the conference, WHO and Egyptian health officials stressed the need to inform the public and the media that the crisis is a reality. They said that a unified strategy must be forged in the likely event that it worsens.

Egypt's Health Minister, Hatem El-Gabaly, said that health officials must be realistic about the seriousness of the crisis.

Hatem El-Gabaly, said, "The second issue that I would like to tell my colleagues here is that also they have to realize that the pandemic is likely to happen, and without understanding this and without believing in that, I don't believe that you will be able to relay the right message to the public."
(Snip)
An increase in the death rate from the bird flu infection in Egypt over the winter months has sparked fears that the virus may be mutating to make it drug resistant.
http://www.birdflubr...


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

     


Thank you, Hatem El-Gabaly ! n/t


[ Parent ]
from Effect Measure on the 'last mile' internet connection
YouTube and the internet

The alternative of providing business-class dedicated lines for workers is not only expensive but unnecessary in routine times. Yet if a pandemic were signaled by news of a spread in some other part of the world, demand for such lines would exceed supply as everyone scrambled at once to get ready.

The gathering of IT professionals produced one ray of hope.

After the general session, attendees broke off into groups to discuss specific issues. In one group, there was clear agreement that personal needs would trump business needs, especially in the early stages of a pandemic. But eventually, economic issues would catch up -- for instance, to help meet the need for basic supplies. That might mean someone working in IT at a book publisher could be asked to write or modify applications to help the company use its distribution systems for food and medicine instead of books.
[snip]

Another message coming out of the forum was that there will be a strong need for cooperation among businesses if a pandemic does occur. That may be a lesson learned from the federal government's failures in quickly responding after Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. "By working together, we can make a lot of things happen, and we shouldn't have to rely on the government to make it happen," said Peter Briody, a systems specialist and business continuity coordinator at Cytec Industries.

It doesn't take much pondering to realize we will all be in this together and that helping each other is the best overall strategy. Like businesses, our personal prepping should also include a heavy dose of figuring out structures and mechanisms of mutual aid.

If competing businesses "get it," so can the rest of us. Right?



Cats offer clue to H5N1
European scientists are warning that cats can be infected with H5N1 by inoculation or eating contaminated meat.  Last month, tests on 500 stray cats by Avian Influenza Laboratory at the University of Airlangga found more than 20 percent of them carried H5N1 antibodies. ....

Members of the cat family gave early clues about the H5N1 highly pathogenic strain of avian flu in Asia but were not realized at the time. Two tigers and leopards died at Bangkok Zoo after feeding on fresh chicken carcasses in December 2003, a month before the first confirmed infections in Thai poultry.

Scientists have since proved that cats (Felidae) can be infected with H5N1 by inoculation or eating contaminated meat. European scientists have warned against feral cats around poultry farms, and veterinarians in Indonesia and Iraq have reported high mortality rates in cats near H5N1 outbreaks in poultry


Be Prepared


Cats and mice have always been suspect in my book n/t


[ Parent ]
general audience review
of current prep status.

Comments welcome... I linked to Annie's Basic Prep Emergency List diary.


ps check the comments there
very rational response. People want more info, not less.

[ Parent ]
And the obligatory denials.
"It can't happen because it hasn't happened.

This large threat will never actually occur because other large threats of the past did not reach their potential.

We can't prepare until it has already happened.

What I am seeing today provides proof that our systems can handle anything the pandemic will throw at us."

These kinds of statements come mostly from a failure to understand the magnitude of a pandemic's impact on the sytems of our society (if the pandemic is severe) and overestimates the strength and resilience of all of these interconnected systems. 

They also come from lack of knowledge about H5N1, its progress over the last few years, and about how dependent our modern technological society is on JIT and critical elements that could take significant pandemic hits - like power and critical human input.

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


[ Parent ]
consider that you have stopped by a general disinterested
audience and also got >100 comments:

"Very interesting.

I have not reseached this issue extensively.  I have heard some doctors (Dr. Mercola of mercola.com) make the argument that there is unnecessary panic being spread about bird flu pandemics. But most public health knowledge seems to be saying that this is a real threat.

I have never really thought of this angle of the fallout from pandemic. Thanks for giving me something new to worry about."

and

"State boards of education should be preparing internet courses for such times.  Eventually, these offerings could be used for GED prep.  Also, the sites could be timed to operate before/after business hours to lessen the congestion."

and

"And before anyone goes into a frenzy,

just remember that most of what you need to prepare for a flu pandemic is much the same as for any weather emergency.  So, think of it in those terms, and you'll do fine.

(she says while gazing out her window at the skating rink that was a parking lot yesterday.)"

Thanks for stopping by, ITW! That article will have been read by more than a quarter of a million people by day's end, and with RSS feeds maybe double that.



[ Parent ]
at least
at least the shark-attack guy didn't show up, reminding everyone (once again) that you're more likely to be attacked by a shark than catch bird flu, so why don't we have all the media hype about shark attacks??!!  LOL.

[ Parent ]
asdf
BTW, I sort of like shark-attack guy. I'm not trying to be harsh.

[ Parent ]
LOL
it's early in the day. ;-)

[ Parent ]
He's right of course, but he forgot about mutant landsharks.
While it may be more likely that you will get attacked by a shark than catch H5N1, to my knowledge there is zero risk that sharks will mutate into something that will hitch a ride on Northwest Airlines, fly into my town and in more or less random attacks break into the homes of my neighborhood and kill one in ten or one in twenty (1/2 of whom will be roughly highschool age or below); or that withing a few months the same thing would then happen to sharks all over the world - and that this event would occur not once but twice or three times during the course of a year or two - potentially killing 100s of Millions of people worldwide.

Zero chance of that happening with sharks.  Not so good for H5N1.  One Fortune 500 company has placed the probability of it happening with H5N1 at 20% in the next 2 years - another global risk assessment placed the probability at between 1/100 and 1/10. 

Some risks you can avoid by staying out of the water.

Some you can't.

Just when you thought it was safe to go out for a walk.

*Cue Jaws theme.*

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


[ Parent ]
Seasonal Flu Kills Fireman and Another Child In Minnesota - Total of 5 Now
KARE 11 Report

The state's fourth and fifth victims were an 8-year-old from Duluth and a 44-year-old Minneapolis firefighter.
...
Firefighter Barry DeLude died about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, said interim Fire Chief Jim Clack. He had been hospitalized for several days.

...DeLude had not received a flu vaccination. Ehresmann said it's unusual for a healthy adult to die of the flu, but not unheard of. She said health officials are investigating whether he had other health problems that may have contributed to his death.
...
Both victims had the A/H1 strain of influenza, which Ehresmann said is the most common going around this year and is covered by current stock of flu vaccine. Their deaths were preceded by those of an 8-year-old and a 17-month-old last week, and another 8-year-old the week before that. None of those three children had gotten flu shots.

The other recent MN fatality was an 8yr old girl with underlying health issues - the death of whom has previously been reported here.

H1N1 is carrying quite a punch this year.  Has anyone seen any sequencing/analysis of this year's batch?

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


no, no news on the details of this strain
My friend's bil was recently in the hospital with a very virulent flu.  It was officially diagnosed as flu A, specifically an "atypical" (the physcians' words) flu A.  He had no underlying health conditions.  He had gotten the seasonal flu vax back in the Fall.  He was extremely sick when he arrived at the hospital, and had encephalitis-like symptoms as well as testing positive for flu A (tests showed clear fluids on that though) so they initially thought he also had meningitis along with the flu.  He developed pneumonia while in the hospital.  He's recovering now, fortunately.

They have asked for details on the strain.  They are not forthcoming.  They have asked and one of his relatives is a nurse at the hospital, assisted directly with his care, and had access to his chart, and she says the information is not available.  The family has received no explanation as to why the doctors will not give them more information about the particular strain or explain in more detail why this particular flu A was "atypical." (Not the patient's symptoms, "atypical" was used to describe the particular strain of flu the patient was infected with).

CDC has still, to my knowledge, also not come out with details on the virulent seasonal flu strain that caused those pediatric cases in Birmingham (I am curious to know whether those strains were normal seasonal flu in every way or also somehow "atypical"). They were looking into it, and had received samples from Birmingham, but some of those cases entered the hospital at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and there is still no further update on what CDC's investigation into the samples found.


[ Parent ]
They Are Dancing On Or Over the Legal Line Here
I would file a written request for the full medical chart from the date of admission to date of discharge (no need to pay for copies of annual checkups etc) - as is his right under federal law (probably state law as well.)

I would specifically include a request for the record of and results from all tests performed by, at the request of or in the possession of the hospital, attenging physicians or any other entity relating to the diagnosis and the identification of the flu virus. 

This may not tell anything to a lay person but will flush out what they have.

Failure to comply carries consequences and could lead to the patient or his representative filing a complaint under any one of a host of laws including but not limited to HIPAA or pursuing fully their rights under all applicable laws and regulations. 

If there is any quibbling, ask for the contact information for their internal HIPAA complaint person and start that process. 

This may be nothing at all, but that's not really the point.  The point is the patient is the one with the rights to the records and failure to recognize that, even if they show absolutely nothing out of the ordinary, is a serious issue that should be addressed by the provider/facility.

BTW:(This is not legal advice, no atty/client relationship is established or implied, if you need legal advice - go get it from a lawyer in your state who handles consumer issues on health care law - elder law sections of the state bar association are a good place to start. Blah, Blah, Blah.) 

ITW(Joel J)
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
- Mark Twain
 


[ Parent ]
Bird flu set to go global
global outbreak of bird flu could occur next year and Thailand should strengthen its contingency planning to combat the disease or a human influenza pandemic, a health expert said yesterday. Supamit Chunsuttiwat, a senior health officer responsible for the country's bird flu preparedness plan, was worried that avian flu would spread to the remaining uninfected continents around the world, North and South America and Australia, by next year at the latest.

A worldwide spread of the H5N1 virus was likely when bird-flu free countries like the United States and Australia were hit by the disease.Migratory birds using the east atlantic flyway across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe and Africa to America were singled out as the main vector for the spread of bird flu, he said

Mr Supamit was speaking at a workshop on preparations to combat bird flu or a human flu pandemic, organised by the Department of Medical Services. ''Each country has to beef up its bird flu preparedness plan now as there are signs that the virus will spread all over the world soon,'' he said. ...

http://www.bangkokpo...



Be Prepared


WHO cites more evidence of H5N1's bias toward young
Feb 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) - The World Health Organization's (WHO's) latest analysis of human H5N1 avian influenza cases adds to previous evidence that young people are more susceptible to the virus and more likely to die of it than older people.

In examining 256 confirmed cases over 3 years, the WHO found that 89% of patients were younger than 40, and the case-fatality rate for patients older than 50 was 40%, versus 76% for 10- to 19-year-olds and 60% for all ages. (Snip)
The overall 60% case-fatality rate broke down by age-group as follows: under 5 years, 44%; 5 to 9 years, 49%; 10 to 19 years, 76%; 20 to 29 years, 63%; 30 to 39 years, 66%; 40 to 49, 43%, and over 50, 40%.

The fatality rate was higher among women than men-65% versus 55%-but the difference was not statistically significant. However, the difference reached significance for patients in their 20s and 30s, with a 75% fatality rate for women and 52% for men.

A count of cases by year (November to November) showed that cases doubled in the second year of the 3-year period (93 versus 45) and increased by more than 25% in the third year (118 versus 93).

The median time from onset of symptoms until hospitalization was 4 days (range, 0 to 18). In fatal cases, patients lived a median of 9 days from onset of illness until death (range, 2 to 31 days).
continued....http://www.cidrap.um...

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

     


Bio-Warfare Expert Warns Of Bird Flu Misinformation
"The US Centers For Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are underestimating the airborne dangers of the bird flu," says bio-warfare expert Jason Cain. "And if they fail to toughen their infection control guidelines many health care workers and first responders could fall victim to H5N1 avian flu during a pandemic," he charged.

Cain a former sergeant in the US Marine Corps, trained Marines in nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) warfare. And he says the true dangers of airborne transmission are frightening similar to a scene in the movie 'Outbreak', where a man infected with a fictional strain of Ebola virus sneezed in a movie theater.
(Snip)
A sneeze can generate as many as 40,000 droplets, which can evaporate to particles in the 0.5 to 12 micron range. Particles that can stay aloft for long periods of time. In fact, particles that are a mere 10 microns in size can stay airborne for 17 minutes -- and are shown to cause more severe disease and require a smaller of virus to cause infection.

"The CDC is using some arbitrary '3 foot rule' in the guidance they are giving healthcare workers and facilities. And they are going to get people killed!" warned Cain. In studies, a cough has been shown to expel 6.7 mg of saliva at speeds of up to 22 meters per second. With saliva droplets being hurled further than 2 meters (6.56 feet).

Cain says that health care workers, first responders and hospital administrators contacted him for help, after reading his postings in online public forums that follow the emerging bird flu pandemic. (Snip)

According to Cain, every healthcare worker and first responder needs to be issued a full-face respirator with a Class 100 filter. (Snip)
"We need to hurry. We need protect those that will protect us. A pandemic may be unfolding before our very eyes," Cain said. For more information: www.BirdFluHotsheet.com
http://www.birdflubr...



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

     


he raises an excellent point, but...
we were discussing this yesterday. Recent reviews have emphasized the small particle/aerosol/cough/sneeze aspect of flu spread, so it's not quite accurate to say/imply that it is being ignored or overlooked.

http://www.newfluwik...

In fact, new mask guidelines (waaaaay overdue) for the public should be out within weeks. And since the public cares for flu patients at home...

Now, the other side of the coin is that a lack of N-95's in large numbers, the inability of masks to be recycled, the worsning effect on masks of getting wet (i.e. sneezing after wearing), etc. make this a tough problem to solve.

New OSHA guidelines Feb 2007 are here:
http://www.osha.gov/...

see also:
The Difference Between a Surgical Mask and a Respirator
http://www.osha.gov/...


[ Parent ]
Do the guidelines say anything about eye coverings?
The previous post urged "full face masks" but people doing home nursing won't have that.  Eyeglasses aren't enough, but would they help?  Goggles would be better.  Swim goggles? 

It sounded like walking through an area where someone sneezed 10 minutes ago gives you a good shot at catching a virus.  So this doesn't only pertain to home nursing, but shopping, etc.

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


[ Parent ]
re eyes, current guidelines state:
Eye protection generally is not recommended to prevent influenza infection although there are limited examples where strains of influenza have caused eye infection (conjunctivitis). At the time of a pandemic, health officials will assess whether risk of conjunctival infection or transmission exists for the specific pandemic viral strain.
H7 is notorious for causing conjunctivitis, not so much H5, H3 or H1.

[ Parent ]
be aware that this is a press release
and the author is selling a newsletter.

[ Parent ]
yes, very true
thanks!

[ Parent ]
Avian flu knocking at India`s door
Surinder Sud / New Delhi February 15, 2007
The highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu), caused by the dreaded H5N1 virus, is inching closer to India's borders. Confirmed cases of bird flu have been reported from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Mansehra in Pakistan. 

Home-reared chicken and peacocks in these areas have tested positive for H5N1 influenza virus. There is, however, no report of this disease in poultry farms as yet. 

Pakistan has formally informed the World Organisation for Animal Health about the outbreak of bird flu in these areas from February 4. The infection, believed to have come from migratory birds moving south from Siberia, has resurfaced in Pakistan almost a year after it was successfully controlled in January-February last year. 

India has so far been free from this disease and the chances of import of this virus from Pakistan through trade channels are minimal as the country does not buy any poultry products from Pakistan. 

But the threat of introduction of the infection through the wild birds flying across the country's long border with Pakistan cannot be totally ruled out, animal health experts believe. 

The danger is all the more real because the infection has been detected in free-range birds who regularly come in contact with wild birds. continued....http://www.birdflubr... 

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

     


Despite successes in containing bird flu, experts urge vigilance
By Donald G. McNeil Jr. Published: February 14, 2007

Last winter, as the deadly bird flu virus marched out of Asia, across Europe and down into Africa, public health experts warned of the potential for a catastrophic pandemic like the Spanish flu of 1918.

This year, by contrast, bird flu seems all but forgotten, mentioned occasionally when it claims another life or when it causes an outbreak in, say, a British turkey farm. With flu season reaching its peak, the question for many people now is whether the threat they are facing is not Spanish flu but swine flu - another widely advertised menace that never materialized.

But that is premature, scientists say, warning that the bird flu virus is as dangerous and unpredictable as ever. It killed more people in 2006 than it did in 2005 or 2004, and its fatality rate is rising - 61 percent now, up from 43 percent in 2005.

More worrisome, they said, is that the disease is out of control in birds in more locations than ever, including places like the Nile Delta and Nigeria, where public health mechanisms are weak to nonexistent. That increases the chances of a mutation in the virus that would allow human-to-human transmission.

"I've gotten at least 10 media calls in the last few months asking me to deliver the death sentence for avian flu," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "But at any conference, if you get a group of virologists at the bar, after the fourth beer, they let their hair down and admit it - they don't know what is happening. They've been incredibly humbled by this virus."

Link http://www.iht.com/a...



COMMENT
This article is two pages long and I would dearly love to post the entire thing - PLEASE GO READ IT.

Includes comment on:

  • virus has plenty of mutational wiggle room
  • Lunar New Year celebrations in China and Vietnam have become associated with flu outbreaks
  • virus is out of control in poultry in three countries - Indonesia, Nigeria and Egypt
  • Most alarming to the experts, .... was the death last month of a 22-year-old Nigerian woman
  • Indonesia, ... provides farmers with $1 vouchers that may not be cashed for three or four months
  • For unknown reasons, ... not as many migrating swans and geese carried the virus
  • In the 82 human cases studied, ... only 45 percent of victims had direct exposure to sick poultry.



Eat pudding first - who know's what might happen next! - Anon

Now it's my turn to ask the stupid question....
Does this mean to put a nix to the idea that it's imminent/dangerous.  Does it mean the media wanted him to squash any fears?  Does the media want Osterholm to come out and say there's nothing to worry about?

"I've gotten at least 10 media calls in the last few months asking me to deliver the death sentence for avian flu,"

I am not like other birds of prey....


[ Parent ]
Also
On a news show in Chicago, it was reported that the flu vaccine is shown to offer some protection for bird flu.  When people hear this.... they will then be convinced that the whole thing is nonesense.  I thought this was a study done on mice.

[ Parent ]
It was a study done on mice.
No one knows for sure if it will really work that way for humans. I think this is just a theory being thrown out to the public to try to explain why mostly people under 40, with a large portion of that being children or females, are catching bird flu. TPTB are really just speculating. They refuse to accept the fact that the ages and sex of the majority of victims is because that is the main group who tends to the poultry in the countries where the BF is circulating. In the men's group of victims you will notice in the news articles a lot of them are listed as farmers.

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

     


[ Parent ]
the media runs in cycles
First, there's the media 'build 'em up, tear 'em down' cycle we are so familiar with in political circles.

"Candidate X is the hottest thing since well, Candidate W last time. New, fresh face, on every news mag!"

Once built up, there's the inevitable "Candidate X has flaws! Base constituency leaves Candidate X! There's no consensus for Candidate X" stories.

That leads to the "Candidate X is the comeback kid" stories. "Despite all absence of media coverage, this candidate is still in the race! Against all odds!"

Next there's the view of the media that if there's nothing new, they've covered it already. If Osterholm says the same thing (prepare) that's not news. If Osterholm says 'hey, it's overblown', well that's news.

Their agenda is not to educate or to make news. Nor is it to be public health spokespeople. That's someone else's job, and that was pretty unanimous from the media panel I sat on in Orlando. So, I don';t think this is anything but what the headline says... stay vigilant, it's not gone away, we really do not know what happens next.


[ Parent ]
Webster:
"We've survived the Year of the Chicken and the Year of the Dog," he said. "Will we survive the Year of the Pig?"

"My take-home message," Webster added, "is don't become complacent. Don't trust this one."


[ Parent ]
Comments from the article. Thanks AnnieB for posting this.
Tests on them were negative, but human H5N1 tests are best done on fresh samples from deep in the lungs, which are hard to obtain, and false negatives are common.

They haven't been testing any of the suspected cases in Indo on samples deep in the lungs.....
"False negatives are common".....hmmmm.

I am not like other birds of prey....


[ Parent ]
back to why you are doing
what you are doing ;-)

The sickest patients get tested multiple times, but we really should have blood testing (seroprevalence) on false negatives to know what we are seeing.


[ Parent ]
make that negatives
since we don't know which ones are false.

[ Parent ]
did I tell you that I crumble under pressure?.... :-)


I am not like other birds of prey....

[ Parent ]
well, i was at the conference
that is referenced in the comment below, I did not go to Naipospos' session (I was at a different one), but I did talk about the work you and the others are doing with people who attended.

we have more readers than you think, and some of them are well aware of what you are aware of. ;-)


[ Parent ]
that absolutely made my day! Blizzard and all! Thanks, gives me inspiration! n/t


I am not like other birds of prey....

[ Parent ]
read it all the way to the end
World Health Organization reports almost always link human cases to proximity to dead poultry, but Naipospos, the Indonesian flu expert, released data at a flu conference in Washington on Feb. 1 calling that into question. In the 82 human cases studied, she said, only 45 percent of victims had direct exposure to sick poultry.

An additional 35 percent had "indirect" exposure, which meant sick birds in the neighborhood, and 20 percent were "inconclusive." "Unlike in Thailand and Vietnam," she said, "our risk factors are not clear." Virologists believe that the situation that must be avoided at all costs is to have humans with seasonal flu catch H5N1, too, because the viruses could mix.

Indonesia's best prevention against that, Naipospos said, is the "Tamiflu blanket." "We learned that in Garut," she said of a cluster of cases last August in West Java. More than 20 people died or suffered serious symptoms.

The government quickly gave the antiviral drug to more than 2,000 people.

Ultimately, only three cases in the cluster were confirmed, but scientists suspected some were missed and the drug suppressed the virus to undetectable levels in others.



[ Parent ]
I did read that.
But we only have so many doses of Tamiflu.  And we won't be getting any if/when it goes pandemic.  So....that excerpt does not make me feel any better at all.

I am not like other birds of prey....

[ Parent ]
no, that one's not a feel-good
its an acknowldgement that false negatives are out there.

[ Parent ]
I haven't read a "feel-good" in a long long time.....ugh.


I am not like other birds of prey....

[ Parent ]
what is good is that it is being discussed
and that there is that acknowledgement. 

We have to talk about these things, consider them, not simply dismiss and wave them away as uncomfortable or unlikely, or we will never be able to figure out strategies to deal with them.

The discussion of a 2,000 person blanket of Tamiflu in Garut is also a revelation.  And ditto on the strategies about that. 


[ Parent ]
I have emailed the Editor
and thanked him for publishing this article, commending the journalist, and giving information on the link posted here and the discussion that has followed.

Eat pudding first - who know's what might happen next! - Anon

[ Parent ]
UK NHS National Pandemic Flu Workshop
is open for registration.

http://livegroup.co....

NHS NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON PANDEMIC FLU
Monday 5th March 2007
New Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden Exhibition Centre, London

Following the success of the NHS National Workshop on Pandemic Flu held in June 2006, the Department of Health is planning to host another event on Monday 5th March at the New Connaught Rooms in London.

The purpose of this event is to support and inform continuing progress in local planning for pandemic influenza.

The workshop will be chaired by Professor Lindsey Davies, National Director of Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and the programme for the day combines presentations by subject specialists and workshop sessions.

A number of presentations will be given on progress and next steps, national and international issues, planning presumptions, ethics, cross government planning and guidance for the acute sector, community care and social care.



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


after the Bernard Matthews affair
there are a number of opportunities here.

[ Parent ]
Bird Flu: A deadly Dimension
Nigerian Tribune Editorial 2/15/07
NIGERIA has recorded, alarmingly, its first case of a human victim of bird flu. The victim, a 22-year-old woman, was a resident of Lagos and died on January 17, according to the Minister of Information, Mr. Frank Nweke Jr.

IT is unclear how the woman came to be treated in an expensive hospital. Who sent her there and who paid the bills? The woman was admitted to the hospital on January 15 but died two days later. She had earlier been admitted to a smaller hospital which, the Lagos State government claimed, according to a newspaper report, misdiagnosed her illness.

DOCTERS in the expensive hospital were also unable to diagnose the woman's illness as bird flu and a senior doctor in the hospital said it would be hasty to conclude, as the minister had already done, that she died of bird flu.

WHEN bird flu reached Nigeria last year, the country had no means of properly identifying the disease, as we noted in our editorial of Monday, 13 February, 2006. Samples from some dead chickens had to be taken to Italy for laboratory analysis. The samples tested for the H5N1 strain of the disease which is lethal to both bird and man.

THERE was excited talk last year but no proof that some Nigerian poultry workers had died of the disease. It was as if some people, all of them foreigners, wanted Nigerians to catch the disease. Millions of Nigerians were said to be at risk of the disease as poverty had compelled them to rear and struggle for space with chickens.
(Snip)
BUT it now appears that the Nigerian government has quietly been working very hard. Only one year ago it had no facilities to test for flu in birds but it now has enough facilities and experts to test for the disease in humans. Samples from the dead woman, according to the minister of information, were tested by 13 experts in virology and laboratory science and that they used facilities present in the country.

MR. Nweke said samples from the same dead woman had been sent to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) based in the United States for confirmation as prescribed by international agreement.
(Snip)
IT seems that the accurate diagnosis of the disease in humans is a serious problem in Nigeria as it is in some other parts of the world. It is a new disease and most doctors are unfamiliar with its signs and symptoms. It mimics some other diseases. The young woman that the minister of information said died of bird flu was diagnosed with enteric fever in the first hospital she was taken to. And the diagnosis of bird flu was apparently not made by the well qualified doctors in the expensive hospital where she was treated for two days but did not recover.

THE federal government in collaboration with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) should organise training programmes for doctors on bird flu. These should be held in different parts of the country.

COULD the woman have been saved by the accurate diagnosis of her illness? The minister of information spoke extensively about what the government was doing to prevent the disease, but did not say a word, to the best of our knowledge, about providing medical relief for people like the unfortunate young woman. Has the country a store of vaccines to treat bird flu in human?
continued....http://www.birdflubr...



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

     


Japanese egret stirs flu fears in Manila
Philippines urged people yesterday not to touch migratory birds in case they are infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus, after an egret believed to have flown from Japan died two days after being captured by a farmer. ...
"There is no evidence at this time that would prove that the egret died of avian influenza," Lim said, adding it was not wise to exhume the bird for testing.
"The egret has a leg band that indicated it came from Japan."
Village officials in Sorsogon, 350km southeast of Manila, presented the dead bird to the mayor, who ordered its immediate burial for fear it had avian flu, a newspaper reported......

http://www.gulf-time...

Be Prepared


How Zombie Mania is Preparing Twenty-Somethings for the Apocalypse
As reported by Ben Westhoff in the Riverfront Times, Zombie Squad was inspired by the movie 28 Days Later, a 2002 action flick about the undead taking over England. The group began with zombie-themed camping trips among a handful of friends and has grown into a national survivalist coalition with 175 members and hundreds of fans.[snip]

[snip]Westhoff's piece also touches on the social fallout from recent disasters like Hurricane Katrina: "A key reason for the Zombie Squad's membership surge, its cofounders say, is that an increasing number of people understand how susceptible our modern infrastructure is to disaster."  Younger generations in particular aren't eager to place their fate in the hands of FEMA or other government agencies.[snip]

[snip]Each year, the St. Louis squad and its chapters in Ontario and New Jersey (with five more due to start this year) congregate in Irondale, Missouri, for Zombie Con -- "seminars on the art of map- and compass-reading, bow-making, and sustenance farming." Throughout the year they participate in canned food and blood drives, winter camping trips, and put together "bug-out bags" in case the apocalypse comes and it's time to "bug-out."[snip]

http://www.utne.com/...

link to How to survive a disaster, including the fact that Tom Brokaw and Ted Koppel are prepped for 3 months.

http://www.slate.com...

other links too.

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


"Starving and desperate people can be more dangerous than zombies." n/t


[ Parent ]
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