Pandemic Flu - Thread II - page 2
Frist calls for a Manhatten Project: We are so..., you know. He is telling it like it is. Does anyone really understand this? There is nothing that we can do but prepare, but no one is... Read More
Oct 18, '06Tamiflu down the drain. Not good news...Leave it to Effect Measure to see this:
Quote from scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2006/10/tamiflu_down_the_drain.php#morelHere is another article on the study they are referring to:What happens when someone takes a Tamiflu tablet?...most of the OC... is excreted into the environment... most of those pills will go from us to toilets and then into waterways via sewage discharges....
What are the possible adverse consequences? Mutations or reassortments and/or recombinations during avian co-infections in a low level Tamiflu environment could produce new drug strains with Tamiflu-resistant neuraminidase genes.
We also have not investigated whether the drug might have serious effects on particular species in the environment. Nobody has looked.
It's urgent to investigate this, now that it has been called to our attention. Failure to do so is negligence of the worst kind...
Quote from www.nerc.ac.uk/press/briefings/2006/tamiflu.aspDuring a flu pandemic, millions of people will all take Tamiflu at the same time. Over just 8 or 9 weeks, massive amounts of the drug will be expelled in sewage and find its way into the rivers. It could have huge effects on the fish and other wildlife."
The build up of Tamiflu in rivers is likely to cause the avian influenza virus in ducks to become resistant to it, eventually resulting in a new wave of flu that is unaffected by the Tamiflu drug. People in south-east Asia, for example, could be more at risk from contracting the new strain of influenza because they have close and frequent contact with wildfowl.Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
Oct 18, '06Indonesia defends H5N1 fight:
News on Malaysia:
Quote from www.brunei-online.com/bb/wed/oct18b4.htmlKenya on alert:Sabah state has had no cases of bird flu as yet, but because it borders the Indonesian province of Kalimantan, where the disease has been widespread among poultry, it must remain on high alert, he said.
http://birdflubreakingnews.com/templ...Fb8de8e630faf3Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 18, '06
Oct 19, '06This is superb, looking at avian flu, and other concerns from a risk communicator's perspective. It is a very long link, and not all of it has to do with avian flu. You will have to keep scrolling down the page to find all the parts that do, and there are quite a few mixed in with other subjects. It is worth reading if only to find the section on talking to kids about avian flu. I hope you all have the patience to go through the whole link. Also the section on low path vs high path flu, and what bureaucrats decide to tell the public is very, very good too. Peter Sandman is a risk communicator. If you are not familiar with him see this little blurb first:
So sit back, try to relax. It is a serious subject, addressed clearly and honestly:
http://www.psandman.com/gst2006.htm#linkLast edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
Oct 19, '06I had been reading about the effect of having a less than perfect immune system, and how it could be an advantage if you contracted avian flu.
Here is a potential problem, that you hardly hear anything about, from an article written last year. It's Africa.
Scientists are genuinely worried about what happens when H5N1 meets up with a host infected with HIV, and rightly so:
Quote from news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4444940.stm
Experts fear that the widespread infection of birds in this region, coupled with the close mixing of birds and people, could lead to the virus evolving to pose a more deadly threat.
But Dr Webster, of St Jude Children's Research Hospital im Memphis, said the key could be when H5N1 reaches East Africa, where HIV/Aids is rife.
... experience with immune-compromised cancer patients ... had showed they are unable to clear normal flu virus from their systems, and can shed copies of the virus for weeks.
The same could be expected of AIDS patients coming down with H5N1, he said.
"We're all very worried by the prospect," he told the BBC.
Reproducing over a long period inside a human would be the ideal conditions for more infectious forms of the virus to develop.Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
Oct 19, '06Cautious optimism about vaccines:
Quote from chealth.canoe.ca/channel_health_news_details.asp?news_id=18842&news _channel_id=1020&channel_id=1020... an H5N1 vaccine it made using a virus from Vietnam in 2004 triggered production of antibodies that can neutralize the H5N1 virus that caused an outbreak in Turkey ...It provides hope ...the older vaccine might protect people who received it against strains related to the Turkish virus and even future strains. The viruses from Vietnam and Turkey belong to different subgroups or clades ... it was not a given that a vaccine made with one would protect against the other.
Sanofi already has evidence the cross-protection probably doesn't occur across the board with H5N1 viruses.
It also tested to see if the antibodies produced by the vaccine would neutralize a virus like those now circulating in Indonesia - the current hot spot for H5N1 infection.
The antibody response to the Indonesian virus was poor... "It's not universally (cross-reactive) against all the strains from clade 2. Clade 2 is very vast."Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 19, '06
Oct 19, '06HHS backs respirator use in caring for pandemic flu patients, elementary, my dear Watson:
Quote from www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panflu/news/oct1806masks.htmlQuestion, do we have enough? When were you fitted for one?... interim guidance document says the use of N-95 respirators—designed to stop 95% of small airborne particles—is "prudent" for medical workers providing any direct care for patients ill with confirmed or suspected pandemic flu and is recommended in caring for those with pneumonia. It also says respirator use is prudent for support workers in direct contact with patients.Last edit by indigo girl on Oct 19, '06
Oct 19, '06BirdfluBreakingnews.com - Article
Quote from BirdfluBreakingnews.com - Article... USDA will provide 100 percent indemnity for specific costs of eradicating H5 and H7 low-pathogenic avian influenza by program participants.... In previous H5 and H7 detections, states often handled indemnification, and provisions varied.
International animal health standards now require countries to report all H5 and H7 detections.Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
Oct 20, '06Recombinomics Commentary - 20 January 2006
Difficult to solve the puzzle when pieces of information are missing:
... translation describes a suspect fatal H5N1 bird flu case in South Sulawesi...two family members are hospitalized and several contacts are being tested...Last month a fatal confirmed case from Mekassar was announced. However, the patient had died in June. ... the WHO update failed to mention the deaths of two family members who also had bird flu symptoms. Thus, the failure to report, couple[d] with the misleading characterization by WHO is cause for concern.
... a large number of suspect cases have been hospitalized in South Sulawesi... False negatives are common in H5N1 cases and frequently multiple tests are required to detect H5N1.
... a link to dead or dying poultry is usually required for H5N1 testing,
the level of H5N1 infections in patients with bird flu symptoms, but without a bird link is largely unknown.
If these patients have been infected with H5N1, they will have antibodies that can be detected 3-4 weeks after disease onset.
Similarly, sequence data from H5N1 positive cats has not been released... H5N1 sequences from wild birds in Indonesia are also lacking.
The latest suspect cluster in Indonesia again highlights the need for expanded surveillance and more timely reporting.
Why the concern? This is the reason:
Quote from /www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601203&sid=arR6u4Gv9tRE&refer=insuranceClusters of cases may signal the virus is becoming more adept at infecting humans, not just birds.Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
Oct 20, '06Conference discussed bird flu risk for healthcare workers:
Indonesia to ban backyard poultry in city areas:
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SP233876.htmLast edit by indigo girl on Nov 1, '06
Oct 20, '06Queensland Gov't Warns Public to Prepare:
Quote from /news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=65570http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/...51123139.html#"The issue that will cripple Queensland in the event of any major infectious disease outbreak is the total lack of capacity of the medical system in this state."
...the 30,000 courses of Tamiflu and Relenza would be used to treat infected patients as well as emergency and hospital workers in the event of an outbreak of influenza pandemic.
Politicians would not receive the treatment, but some members of the media might, he said.
Quote from www.smh.com.au/news/National/Prepare-now-for-bird-flu-warns-Qld-govt/2006/10/20/1160851123139.html#Those infected would be quarantined in their homes, and those with more severe cases, in hospitals.
At home, people should stockpile non-perishable food, medicines, soap and vitamins in case they have to quarantine themselves or care for children at home.Last edit by indigo girl on Nov 1, '06
Oct 20, '06Dr. Osterholm on Oprah Winfrey, when I read the part about the group that had the highest mortality rate in 1918, I was shocked:
Quote from www.oprah.com/tows/slide/200601/20060124/slide_20060124_284_101.jhtml"In the months of September and October of 1918, 7 percent of the residents of Boston between 20 and 40 years of age died," he says.
How could individuals in the prime of their health be so susceptible to a disease? "It turns out that this virus multiplies very quickly in your body," Dr. Osterholm explains. "The people who have the healthiest immune systems are the ones that succumb to the virus because the immune system goes into overdrive."
The demographic least likely to survive the 1918 pandemic were pregnant women, Dr. Osterholm says. "Fifty-five percent of all pregnant women died from having this flu virus. There is no more precarious time in a healthy person's immune system, than [when they are] pregnant. Part of you says, 'Get rid of that [baby]. It's not all me.' And part of you says, 'This is the most precious cargo I'll ever carry. Protect it.'" This confusion makes bird flu extremely dangerous for pregnant women.
Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
Oct 20, '06Downplaying Avian Flu in Australia.
It's been pointed out elsewhere that it does not matter if the birds in Australia are negative if the flu becomes more human to human transmissible because it is then a human influenza not an avian flu.
http://www.theage.com.au/news/World/...851138259.htmlLast edit by indigo girl on Nov 1, '06
Oct 20, '06Effect Measure Commentary on the de Jong "hit it hard and early" study,
the site is sluggish today, and it takes awhile for the article to come up:
Quote from scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2006/09/de_jongs_hit_it_hard_and_early.phpMutations associated with PB2 (specificaly E627K) did occur... Some other mutations in the polymerase complex associated with mammalian adaption were seen...
We have previously pointed out that there is good evidence that receptors for bird-associated HA (α2,3SA) exist in the upper respiratory tract of humans and perhaps other tissues and the de Jong paper seems to bear this out...
... in the H5N1 cases viral loads in both nose and throat were higher than in non-H5N1 cases and higher in the throat than the nose of H5N1 cases....Last edit by indigo girl on Nov 1, '06