Pandemic Flu - Thread II

  1. Frist calls for a Manhatten Project:
    Quote from // &Month=8&Year=2005

    When viral diseases evolve normally -- such as in the typical course of the human influenza virus undergoing small changes in its antigenicity ... it is called an antigenic drift.

    When they emerge with the immense power derivative of a jump from animal to human hosts followed by mutation or recombination with a human virus -- as in the influenza pandemic of 1918 - 1919 -- it is called an antigenic shift.

    ...microbes evolve, mutate, and find new lives in new hosts.

    The evidence suggests that we could be at the threshold of a major shift in the antigenicity of not merely one but several categories of pathogens -- for rarely if ever have we observed among them such variety, richness, opportunities for combination, and alacrity to combine and mutate.

    ...the virus that is today the gravest threat -- avian flu. A vaccine would not become available, at best, until six to nine months after the outbreak of a pandemic. Even then, the vaccine would not be available in mass quantities. And even then, we do not know if that vaccine would work. It’s still experimental.

    So, in essence, we have no vaccine for avian flu. Nor do we have enough of the only effective anti-viral agent Tamiflu stockpiled to treat more than one percent of our population for avian flu.
    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 hearing the vibration of the coming train on the tracks.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
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    About indigo girl

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 5,909; Likes: 1,741
    visiting nurse; from US
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  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from indigo girl
    Frist calls for a Manhatten Project:
    I hope his warning is heeded.
  4. by   indigo girl
    An Indonesian Boy Dies of Avian Flu:

    Commentary from Dr. Henry Niman:
    Quote from
    Although the above report, as well as WHO updates, suggests the human infection is from chickens in the area, the sequences from chickens on Java have failed to match the human H5N1 sequences on Java.

    The match failure was discussed at length at a WHO [meeting] in Jakarta in June, 2006. Sequences of human cases on Java had a novel cleavage site and mapped to the bottom branch of a phylogenetic tree of H5N1 isolates in Indonesia had no bird isolates that were on that branch.

    Two more Indonesian women die:

    Quote from
    The virus is reported to have killed a person every four days this year, more than double the 2005 rate, creating chances for it to mutate and spread easily among people.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
  5. by   indigo girl
    This may sound crazy to some, but this is basic commonsense type of information. We will not all agree about everything in this article, but there are some very useful pieces of advice offered here. Your government has said to prepare. They are not going to do it for you because they can't:
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
  6. by   indigo girl
    The BBC on Government Preparation Plans:

    Quote from /
    Researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Ben Gurion University Israel.. warned resources would be scarce, so decisions on who should get drugs or vaccines should be made in advance.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged every country to develop and maintain a national plan on bird-flu.

    It also recommends nations prioritise the allocation of pharmaceutical resources among the population.

    Researchers looked at 19 plans from developed nations and 26 from developing countries. ... almost half of the plans they examined favoured antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, while 62% prioritised giving citizens a flu vaccine.

    Individual countries have not consistently prioritised population groups for vaccines and antivirals.

    "We cannot expect to vaccinate more than 14% of the world's population within a year of pandemic."

    "No countries prioritised population groups to receive ventilators, face masks and other critical resources," she said.

    Most countries - including the UK - prioritised health care workers for the vaccine and antiviral treatment...
    It also found almost half of the countries studied had prioritised children, despite a WHO recommendation against it.

    The report said it was also unclear why vaccine and antiviral medications had been singled out for treatment when there is likely to be a shortage of many resources.

    It is the first study to look at prioritisation decisions in developed and developing countries.
    My state's panflu plan explicitly says no Tamiflu as prophylaxis for HCW as there will not be enough. Oh well...
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
  7. by   indigo girl
    From Effect Measure, on H5N1 and Encephalitis:

    Quote from
    There is a chance that the encephalitis was unrelated to the virus or a complication with some other agent. But there is also an excellent chance that this is encephalitis from H5N1. Inevitably this will lead to speculation the virus has mutated to a new and dangerous form.

    The outcome could be due to some host factor, i.e., a peculiarity of the patient. The evidence here is that the virus could have changed pathogenicity, i.e., the kind and type of disease it produces. The virus was already highly virulent (caused severe disease)...Thus it isn't a change in virulence or, as far as we know from this case, in transmissibility...The point we are making is that pathogenicity, virulence and transmissibility are different things, and this case, if it points to anything at this point, points to a change in pathogenicity, not virulence or transmissibility. Additional data would be required to raise those questions.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
  8. by   indigo girl
    Keeping Our Children Safe and Secure:

    This is on 8 PM EST tonight, and will probably be archived. I don't know if it is helpful or not.
    Quote from / =199
    The good news is, the U.S. Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies are collaborating with state and local governments to assist districts in developing pandemic flu plans and to ensure that, in the case of an outbreak, our nation’s children will be as safe and secure as possible. As part of an ever-growing conversation about pandemic flu, experts from across the federal government are spotlighting exemplary flu and emergency preparedness programs; answering questions about the different strains of flu and how they spread; updating an emerging body of resources for families and schools; and providing user-friendly tips for parents on ensuring the safety, health and security of children.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Nov 1, '06
  9. by   indigo girl
    Preparedness Guide from a Physician, logically laid out and very thorough:
    Last edit by indigo girl on Nov 1, '06
  10. by   indigo girl
    Science Magazine - The State of Our Ignorance:
    Quote from
    ...despite our fears of pandemic human disease, H5N1 is primarily a disease of birds.

    Olsen and colleagues (p. 384) outline the unseen network of influenza among migratory birds that spans Earth. ...

    Kuiken and colleagues (p. 394) explore the routes through the obstacles to interspecies transmission (the host species barrier) of viruses.
    Their analysis focuses on which adaptations are needed to facilitate bird-to-human transfer of H5N1...

    These authors show that the virus preferentially binds to cell types bearing specific surface receptors found deep in the lungs, which may partly explain its poor human-to-human transmissibility.

    ...summarizes the models ...for tracing the rate and spread of pandemic influenza through human populations, including scenarios for the deployment of drugs and development of vaccines.

    We might be able to buy some time for vaccine manufacture by stockpiling antiviral drugs for immediate use, but that time may be short.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
  11. by   indigo girl
    This is an important study -Host Species Barriers to Influenza Infection:
    Quote from

    Viral evolution can help surmount species barriers, principally by affecting virus-host interactions; however, evolving the capability for sustained transmission in a new host species represents a major adaptive challenge because the number of mutations required is often large.

    ...amino acid residue 627 of the PB2 protein of the viral polymerase differs between avian and mammalian influenza viruses.

    In the avian virus, this residue is usually glutamic acid, whereas in mammalian influenza virus it is lysine (4), suggesting that PB2 residue 627 might be important in determining species range.

    It is notable that both H5N1 virus from human patients in Asia (10) and H7N7 virus from a fatal human case in the Netherlands (7) possess a lysine at this site, suggesting rapid evolution within humans of a virus originating in poultry.

    Strikingly, though, and worryingly, lysine is the PB2 residue in H5N1 viruses isolated from wild waterfowl in mid-2005 from Qinghai Lake, in China (11, 12).
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
  12. by   indigo girl
    Avian Flu headlines have caused an increase in the sale of Tamiflu particularly to parents for their children:

    Quote from _channel_id=1020&channel_id=1020
    While sales for all age groups soared during that period, the greatest percentage increase was seen in prescriptions filled for children 17 and younger. Some doctors even wrote prescriptions for babies under a year old, even though the flu drug isn't approved for use for children under 12 months.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Jul 15, '07
  13. by   indigo girl
    Free video cast from October 5th, the Kinyoun Lecture, Influenza Viruses Past and Future with Dr. Jeffrey Taubenberger, the researcher who helped sequence the 1918 flu virus. Scroll down the link to October 5th.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Nov 1, '06
  14. by   indigo girl
    Bird Flu Vaccine for Kids and Elderly:
    The article is saying kids and elderly will be the most vulnerable in a pandemic. I am not sure if that is true about the elderly, but kids within a certain age group, yes.
    Last edit by indigo girl on Nov 1, '06