Pandemic News/Awareness. - page 20

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
    A picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture is that of full protective gear being worn as hospital employees move the body of a suspected bird flu fatality.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 21, '07
  2. by   indigo girl

    Bird Flu Marks a Turn for the Worse

    Quote from
    THIS, no doubt, marks a turn for the worse in the spread of bird flu in the country. Ever since the first detection of bird flu in some poultry farms at Savar, near Dhaka, two months ago, it was hoped that tough measures like culling of the poultry birds in these farms and quarantining the farms, would lead to a solution and the disease would not spread. But bird flu was subsequently detected in several places since then in Bangladesh at several places far away from Savar and located in different areas. Thus, there is no way to take satisfaction that it was limited to Savar only. Now, the news of the infection spreading to local species of poultry birds adds another dangerous dimension.
    The infection of local poultries is far more difficult to contain by culling because these have been traditionally reared around homesteads naturally by people. The local poultry birds roam around freely and are not bred or restricted in their movements systematically like in poultry farms where the movements of the birds, their number, monitoring them for detection of diseases, etc., are easier tasks. Thus, there is every likelihood that the spread of the disease among the local poultry birds will give rise to much greater difficulties in detecting and containing them for culling.
  3. by   indigo girl
    India thinks that the surrounding countries are a threat from avian flu. They think that India is the problem.

    Hello! It's a conundrum. Wild migratory birds, and humans moving poultry are probably the two main ways that bird flu is being spread at this time.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 17, '07
  4. by   indigo girl

    There are so many ways for H5N1 to spread. Migratory birds, poultry smuggling and now this, illegally importing birds of prey. Who is responsible? People, who don't realize that their personal actions effect everyone else on the planet.

    Quote from
    Falcons illegally imported into Kuwait may have been the cause of an outbreak of bird flu that has forced authorities to cull about two million chickens, MPs charged on Tuesday.

    During a special debate, a number of lawmakers submitted official documents showing that several falcon shipments for royals and influential people were imported without the strict quarantine procedures.

    The head of the government's agriculture authority, Jassem al-Bader, denied the allegations, insisting that all the imported falcons were properly tested and found healthy.

    But he admitted that a total ban on bird imports imposed in 2005 following the discovery of the first bird flu case in Kuwait was eased in July 2006 to allow the import of falcons.

    Bader said that the last falcon shipment allowed was in late 2006.

    "Lifting the ban on falcons was a catastrophe. Why were they exempted from the ban despite warnings by doctors?" countered Islamist MP Jamaan al-Harbash.

    Opposition MP Mussallam al-Barrak charged that some of the major imports belonged to senior members of the ruling Al-Sabah family, while several other lawmakers demanded a parliamentary probe.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 17, '07
  5. by   indigo girl
    The Genealogy of H5N1

    Scientific studies are not so easy to read, and can be even harder to understand. This research is telling us where H5N1 came from, what it has been doing, and about an important change that has occurred.

    We are watching the transformation of this virus as it morphs from an avian virus into more of a mammalian virus. The acquisition of SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) pronounced “snip” that make this virus more adaptive to mammalian physiology is very much a cause for concern. A polymorphism is a difference between two or more viral sequences. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is one change.

    Specific to this study, E627K was rarely found in birds before. It is a mammalian SNP that allows the virus to exist at the lower body temperature of mammals. Birds have a higher body temp. This SNP is now found in virtually all of the virus west of China. This is not really news since Dr. Niman of Recombinomics has been saying this for some time now, but it is interesting to hear it from additional sources.

    The following SNP's and others, are NOT mentioned in this study, but they also have been found as per Dr. Niman. This is what they mean.

    M230I is found in all human seasonal influenzas. It was also found in one of the fatal cases in Egypt last season. This is alarming. Why? Because it allows the virus to be transmitted more easily to humans as seasonal flu is very transmissible. It also offers a selective advantage for infecting human cells.

    H274Y allows for drug resistance to neuraminidase antivirals. This occurred in Vietnam.

    N274S also is associated with neuraminidase resistance as in the Tamiflu resistant cases recently in Egypt and in Vietnam in 2005.

    There are other changes that this virus is making, that are occurring simultaneously in widely separated parts of the planet. But, that's another story.

    The final paragraph of this study contains this sentence. Please, think about what this means:
    Quote from Genome Analysis Linking Recent European and African Influenza (H5N1) Viruses
    These findings show how whole-genome analysis of influenza (H5N1) viruses is instrumental to the better understanding of the evolution and epidemiology of this infection, which is now present in the 3 continents that contain most of the world's population.
    I have linked to flutrackers since they have provided the most complete
    information on this study. It is very time consuming to make available this kind of documentation for those of us who choose to read it. I am very appreciative of those that do this work.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 18, '07
  6. by   indigo girl
    Silence Over Bird Flu Worries WHO:
    Quote from &con_type=1&d_str=20070419
    "In just one year, there could be multiple virus generations," Lo said. Since 23 out of 24 H5N1 virus human infection found in China were not preceded by poultry outbreaks, Lo believed chickens in China had already become "silent virus transmitters" even after being vaccinated.

    "The central government has never provided a proper explanation to the query. Sometimes they are saying it is due to environmental factors and sometimes they say it is due to wild birds. But I think they are evading the real problem," Lo said.

    As most chickens in China are vaccinated, Lo suggested there could be a problem with the quality of vaccines, allowing the virus to spread from poultry to humans quietly.
    Human deaths not preceded by poultry outbreaks? What is wrong with this picture?
  7. by   indigo girl
    Bird Flu Found in North American Birds

    An article on the low pathogenic form of H5N1 found in North America.
    This is not exactly new information, and I have posted on this more
    than once. H5N1 is tracked by a government agency because of the risk that it could evolve into a highly pathogenic form under the right conditions i.e. should domestic poultry become exposed. This is one reason for the biosecurity measures in the factory farms run by those famous name companies.

    Quote from
    ...A number of scientists suspect the low pathogenic H5N1 is a lot more prevalent in North American birds than is currently suspected, it just hasn't been found with such limited testing. Should the bad Asian version make it into North America this would give it an easy path to very quickly run rampant.

    So what are the chances of the Asian variety coming onshore here? Many experts say that it's not a matter of if, but when. Billions are being spent here and abroad to prevent movement of the disease within the poultry industry but we're finding that's not the only avenue. Many wild birds, especially migratory waterfowl, are highly susceptible to Asian bird flu and may be the largest cause of its rapid spread across Asia, Russia, Europe and down into Africa.
    And speaking of biosecurity measures in the poultry industry, take a look at the outcome of what happened in the UK. No need to comment further:
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 20, '07
  8. by   indigo girl
    Well worth reading, is the recently updated time line of H5N1 events from
    the WHO:
    (hat tip crofsblog)
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2007
    Nation Approves First H5N1 Vaccine for People
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week approved the nation’s first vaccine for people against the potentially fatal H5N1, or avian flu, virus.

    The vaccine may provide early limited protection to individuals during a flu pandemic until a vaccine tailored to the particular pandemic strain could be developed and produced, FDA officials said. A clinical study found that 45 percent of individuals who received two doses of the vaccine developed antibodies at a level that is expected to reduce the risk of getting avian flu.

    The vaccine is intended to immunize people from 18 to 64 years old who could be at higher risk of exposure to the H5N1 flu virus contained in the vaccine. Unlike the mild to serious symptoms caused by seasonal flu, the symptoms of the H5N1 virus are far more severe and can quickly cause life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and the failure of organs.
  10. by   indigo girl
    Thanks for bringing up this vaccine, spacenurse. There are some issues regarding this vaccine that the public should know. It is only the first vaccine. It will most likely be for the first responders, and those that all of us depend on for our safety. This vaccine is for the national stockpile.
    It is only 45% effective, but better than nothing at all. I'm thinking that it may not protect you from getting H5N1, but that it may prevent fatality.

    Here are the notes from the committee that voted on this vaccine for the national stockpile. They had to make a decision despite knowing that this is not the most protective vaccine, but it is what we have right now.

    Be advised, if you have a short attention span, do not read this.
    (hat tip PFIF/beehiver)
    Last edit by indigo girl on Apr 21, '07
  11. by   indigo girl
    Kuwait again:

    Quote from
    He said a radius of three kilometers from the infected area had been sealed and some 200 ostriches were being culled, as well as other birds in the area.
    The committee is carrying out all measures as stipulated by the World Organization for Animal Health...
  12. by   indigo girl
    The WHO warns against using steroids for H5N1 patients:

    Quote from
    In previous treatment advice in May 2006, the WHO warned against routine use of corticosteroids except in the context of randomized trials. In its new statement, the agency said corticosteroids have not been effective, "and prolonged or high-dose corticosteroids can result in serious adverse effects in H5N1 patients, including opportunistic infections. Corticosteroids should not be used routinely, except for persistent septic shock with suspected adrenal insufficiency."
  13. by   indigo girl
    This letter to HHS Secretary, Michael Leavitt, and Labor Secretary Elaine Choe was written in May 2006 addressing the concerns that HCW would not be adequately protected in a pandemic:
    At the request of AFSCME, Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) and Congressman Steven LaTourette (R-OH), co-chairs of the Congressional Nursing Caucus, organized a bipartisan congressional letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao expressing serious concern about the lack of adequate planning and preparation for protecting health care workers and first responders in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. More than 80 House members signed the letter.
    Quote from
    As we have learned from other emergencies, most recently from the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina, it is imperative that the health and safety of responders be an integral part of any national preparations. We should not wait until nurses experience a high rate of illness before we act to protect them from the risk of pandemic flu. Unfortunately, preparation thus far by both Departments fails to properly account for the risks of infection and implement a plan to minimize them.
    (hat tip PFIF/Retired Paramedic MI)