Pandemic News/Awareness. - page 19

I had to close the other panflu thread as it was way too long, and becoming unreadable. I am starting this one with info on the agenda of this meeting tomorrow in Congress. I am linking to... Read More

  1. by   indigo girl
    Update on two recent cases of avian flu from the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population, and the World Health Organization:

    The 2 year old is from the more southern area where the mild cases have been occurring. The 15 year old girl is a Coptic Christian, and is from Cairo.
    The cases in the northern area of Egypt have been associated with greater virulence, and a high mortality rate. Despite earlier press reports indicating that she was stable, this child is in critical condition.
  2. by   indigo girl
    Statins lower respiratory death risk according to this article. I am not sure that I would want to use statins but, some might this information useful because there will be no vaccine available should pandemic occur for some 6 to 10 months into the event.

    Quote from
    Statins might buy some time, Frost's team wrote.

    "Even if statins are not able to significantly reduce the risk of death from avian influenza, their use could significantly extend the time between disease onset and death," they wrote.

    "This additional survival time could increase the effectiveness of anti-influenza drugs, providing a longer time to reduce mortality risks."

    Last July, Dr. David Fedson, a retired corporate expert on vaccination, cited studies that suggested statins might calm down immune response. The drugs are known to affect the insides of blood vessels, but their full mechanism of action is not fully understood.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 10, '07
  3. by   indigo girl
    Studies find clues in warding off pandemics:
    (hat tip fluwiki)

    Quote from
    Researchers reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in two analyses have found that in cities where health officials imposed stringent containment measures, the population fared better than in cities where plans were helter-skelter or were cobbled together too late to make a difference.

    An estimated 600,000 people in the United States and up to 50 million worldwide died in the pandemic. The fierce wave of illnesses struck at the close of World War I just when people thought they could breathe a sigh of relief.

    More U.S. troops died of influenza - sometimes called the Spanish flu - than in the war.

    In an era when even the best medical minds had no idea that the globe-circling pandemic was caused by a virus, some cities were able to limit infections through common sense methods, scientists say. They also theorize that lessons from the past can have relevance today should another pandemic strike.
  4. by   indigo girl
    The Egyptians must be feeling a terrible sense of frustration. I know that I am. The 15 year old Coptic girl died yesterday according to the press.

    She was treated with Tamiflu. We will know more about why she died when we see the viral sequences.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 11, '07
  5. by   indigo girl
    Florida Reluctant to Buy Tamiflu:

    Today, at the last minute, this amendment was passed to take another look.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 11, '07
  6. by   indigo girl
    Pakistan and Bangladesh are still trying to contain the spread of H5N1.
    There have been no human cases yet.
  7. by   indigo girl
    CIDRAP update on avian influenza. Not for the casual reader but if you
    want a good overall update this is it.
  8. by   indigo girl
    Pakistani farm workers are evading testing for H5N1. Unfortunately, it is not just about them. Here is a clear cut case of where world health could be impacted.

    Quote from

    KARACHI, April 12: Health officials have so far not tested the workers of the three poultry farms in the city, where, according to farmers’ association, about 67,000 birds died or were culled in the wake of avian flu (H5N1) virus outbreak in the last fortnight.

    Sources among the stakeholders said the health authorities were concerned about human health but the farmers, who concealed the outbreak, and blocked access to the workers are not cooperating.

    It is suspected 14 to 18 workers were in contact with the infected birds. The Pakistan Poultry Association representatives are also reluctant to reveal the names of the infected farms and their owners, while the livestock department officials are also keeping quiet, said a health department official.

    “It is disturbing to note that the outbreak (reportedly occurred in the first week of April) was deliberately concealed by the poultry farmers and poultry association and the report eaked through the media. This is alarming and could pose a serious danger to public health,” the EDO remarked. He asked the officials to provide all details.
  9. by   indigo girl
    Bird Flu information site from the Online NewsHour:
    (hat tip Crofsblog)
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 18, '07
  10. by   indigo girl
    CNN interview on 13 Apr 2007 with Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the WHO:
    (hat tip fluwiki)

    Quote from
    AR: There are so many health concerns at the moment, and of course bird flu is a very, very serious one of them, and its potential of course to become pandemic. How close do you think we are to that happening?

    MC: Well, everybody would like to know the answer to your question, and you know, I've been talking to scientists, I've been talking to my technical experts. I don't believe scientists or technical experts have an answer to this question. The timing to the next pandemic is unpredictable, and whether the next pandemic is going to be severe or mild and which avian influenza would cause the outbreak again... These are questions we don't have answers to at this point in time, but it is interesting, though I mean in the last two to three years we are getting signals and warnings from nature, so to speak. We are seeing an unprecedented spread of avian influenza outbreak. It has moved outside South East Asia focus and it has spread to the Middle East, it has spread to Europe and to Africa. Now we have never seen anything quite like it. So given the situation, it is our duty in the WHO to advise countries to prepare for the pandemic.
  11. by   indigo girl
    No surprise that China is still witholding information that is needed by the rest of the world community.

    Quote from
    China has not shared human H5N1 virus samples since early 2006, the World Health Organization has confirmed.
    "We would still like to be able to get those viruses, as we would like to be able to get all viruses from H5 cases in a timely way so that they can be compared together," Dr. Keiji Fukuda, head of the WHO's global influenza program, said in an interview from Geneva.
    No samples since 2006? No worries, mate.
  12. by   indigo girl
    UN FAO Team called in to assist Bangladesh in halting the spread of avian flu:

    Quote from
    The H5N1 bird flu virus has been spreading in poultry flocks in Bangladesh ever since it was first detected on six of the country's farms on March 22 and despite culling and banning of the movement of chickens in areas with confirmed outbreaks.

    The 10-member FAO team arrived in Dhaka over the weekend and will visit affected farms and laboratories and interview farmers and government specialists over the next two weeks.

    "This mission is to make an assessment and come up with solid recommendations on what are the best ways to contain it, get it stamped out... (so) it will not further spread," Ad Spigkers, FAO representative in Bangladesh, told Reuters by telephone.

    The Bangladesh government said on Monday that bird flu had spread to two more farms -- one of them in western Jessore district adjacent to the West Bengal state of India, where bird flu has been identified.
    Bangladesh also shares a border with Myanmar, which is fighting the disease. But no one knows for sure how the disease jumped to Bangladesh this March.

    "There is a lot of work (to be done), every country has its special conditions. It's (Bangladesh) a densely populated country, many chickens, many ducks."

    Since the detection of the H5N1 virus on March 22, 79,000 chickens have been culled on 32 farms in eight districts.
    A letter to the editor of a Bangladesh newspaper:
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 16, '07
  13. by   indigo girl
    Businesses across the globe have pandemic flu plans because, well, a serious pandemic would effect their business. Most of the big companies here in the U.S. also have done their preparation and planning.

    This is an interesting site from an insurance company with good links to graphs and predictive information from some economic think tanks and the US Congressional Budget Office. Their figures vary. But, obviously a great deal of thought has gone into what the impact would be on the world and national economies :

    Quote from
    ...the pandemic issue has almost completely disappeared from the headlines – in spite of the fact that no official all-clear has ever been given.

    The alert level on the six-point scale published by the World Health Organization (WHO) is still at three; and the incidence of H5N1 infections has even increased. This shows that the media not only influence the risk debate but also shape risk perception. And the public’s current lack of interest in bird flu is no indication of the true peril.

    In spite of the momentary calm, experts are convinced that a new pandemic is on the cards. The question is only when it will come and how extensive it will be. There is also a consensus that if the H5N1 virus mutates, bird flu – a disease hitherto restricted to animals – will be capable of triggering a wave of influenza around the globe. If a new variant develops against which humans have not built up an immune defence system, the disease can only be stopped from spreading locally by short-term epidemic control measures.
    (hat tip croftsblogs)
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 21, '07