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> Внимание. Обязательно к прочтению!, если не утка конечно
probegallo |
Дата 7 Июня, 2005, 17:11
Quote Post


Вот и бизнес подтягиваецца.

Businesses are starting to discuss Avian Influenza


Should Avian Flu Be on Your Radar Screen?


Corporate Meetings & Incentives, Jun 1, 2005

IN A BULLETIN ISSUED by The World Health Organization May 1, a possible avian flu pandemic was called unpredictable but potentially catastrophic, capable of killing millions of people around the world.

Outbreaks of influenza H5N1 have occurred among poultry in countries in Asia, while there have been human cases in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spread of the virus from person to person has been rare.

However, the CDC reports, because all influenza viruses have the ability to change, scientists are concerned that the H5N1 virus could one day be able to infect humans and spread easily from one person to another.

A scenario like this would have tragic human consequences, as well as a profound economic impact. Travel would be disrupted, a major blow to a sector such as the meeting industry. As president of Ottawa, Ontario-based Infolink: The Conference Publishers, Mitchell Beer was able to observe the effects of SARS on Toronto and Canadian tourism in 2003. The outbreak was very isolated, yet we heard about people internationally canceling plans to go to Prince Edward Island because of an outbreak in Toronto, Beer says. It really underscores the interest an industry like ours has in knowing prevention plans [are prepared].

The Asian outbreak has been limited to rural areas, and there has been no indication that meeting planners are looking to pull the plug on meetings there anytime soon.

Joan Eisenstodt, founder of Washington, D.C.-based Eisenstodt Associates and moderator of the MIMList, the Meetings Industry Mall listserv, recently tried to get a conversation going on the subject of the avian flu and didn't get many takers. She wonders if the threat is still too remote to have planners thinking about its potential impact. What I'd like to see, Eisenstodt says, Is that any issue, whether condo conversion of hotel rooms, or bird flu, or tsunamis, is viewed as part of the big picture connecting the dots and looking at the what ifs.

If a planner is taking a major meeting off site, Beer says, that planner should know the questions to ask to make sure, for example, that the audiovisual equipment is set up properly and ready to roll. The same applies to something such as a possible pandemic, he believes. We have an interest as an industry, and as individuals, to make sure that something like a pandemic flu is being planned for before it's too late.

Spurred by the 2003 SARS outbreak, Toronto officials are preparing for a possible avian flu pandemic. In a report to the Toronto Board of Health in May, health officials estimated a pandemic could result in up to 5,000 deaths in Toronto alone, and sicken close to 1 million residents. For its part, the CDC is increasing its influenza surveillance capabilities in Asia, working on antiviral stockpile issues, and coordinating with state agencies to help with planning efforts.
probegallo |
Дата 9 Июня, 2005, 4:42
Quote Post


Москва готовится к пандемии смертельного гриппа
[19:48/ 8.06.2005]


Москва готовится к возможной пандемии смертельно опасного гриппа.

"В связи с вероятностью пандемии гриппа, возникла необходимость внесения корректив в организацию профилактических и противоэпидемических мероприятий с целью снижения ущерба здоровью населения и экономике города от распространения нового высоко патогенного вируса", - говорится в подписанном сегодня постановлении главного государственного санитарного врач по городу Москве Николая Филатова.

"Всемирная организация здравоохранения прогнозирует появление в ближайшие годы нового антигенного варианта вируса гриппа, что может привести к развитию крупной пандемии гриппа с 4-5 кратным ростом заболеваемости и 5-10 кратным ростом смертности", - отметили в Госсанэпидслужбе Москвы.

В последние годы в мире регистрируются локальные очаги гриппозной инфекции среди людей, имевших контакт с инфицированными птицами, напомнили в службе, сообщает ИТАР-ТАСС.

"Заболевания гриппом среди людей отличались крайне тяжелым клиническим течением и высокой летальностью: в Таиланде и Вьетнаме 70 процентов заболевших умерли", - отмечают врачи.

По их мнению, "биологических свойств птичьих вирусов меняются и становятся смертельно опасными для человека".

Филатов, в частности, распорядился "подготовить в каждом административном округе план подготовки к пандемии гриппа, а также произвести предварительный расчет необходимого количества вакцин и препаратов экстренной профилактики".
probegallo |
Дата 9 Июня, 2005, 5:37
Quote Post


H5N1 in Russia Kazhakstan and Mongolia?

Recombinomics Commentary
June 8, 2005

>> Location of the outbreak: Xinjiang autonomous region,Tacheng district, Tacheng city.

Description of affected population: geese.
Total number of animals in the outbreak:
susceptible: 2,177
cases: 1,042
deaths: 460
destroyed: 13,457 <<

Today's OIE report from China demonstrates how quickly the H5N1 infections are spreading. On May 21, the OIE report detailed 519 dead waterfowl (5 species) in and around Gangcha County and Qinghai Lake Nature Reserve. The birds were killed by H5N1 that was HPAI ( Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) base on the sequence of the HA cleavage site as well as a biological assay showing that isolated virus could kill laboratory infected chickens.

Vaccines were rushed to Qinghai Province as well as Xinjiang to try to control the spread by waterfowl. All nature reserves in China were closed and the outbreak was said to be limited to wild birds. However, today's report includes the biological assay, suggesting China knew of this outbreak 1-2 weeks ago and this outbreak clearly affects domestic geese.

China had indicated other provinces in China were not threatened, but that was because the birds were migrating to the north and west, toward Russia and Europe.

Today's report indicates the outbreak was in Tacheng city, which is on the border with Kazakhstan and only about 100 miles from borders with Mongolia and Russia. Tacheng city is almost 1000 miles west of Qinghai Lake. Since today's OIE report includes the biological assay which includes isolating, growing, and infecting the virus into chickens and then waiting for the chickens to die, it seems likely that H5N1 has already moved into the three adjacent countries.

None of the three adjacent countries have previously reported H5N1 HPAI (bird flu). The rapid movement of H5N1 to the north and west is cause for concern.

Although China has promptly notifies OIE of the wild and domestic bird deaths, they have not provided any specific data on the reported human or other mammalian deaths.

probegallo |
Дата 17 Июня, 2005, 7:27
Quote Post


U.S. Officials and Experts Complain of Catastrophic Danger

By Todd Zwillich
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD
on Thursday, June 16, 2005

June 16, 2005 -- U.S. health officials and infectious disease experts have been sounding the alarm for more than a year on the deadly potential of a widespread pandemic of the bird flu troubling Southeast Asia.

But their warnings have become unmistakably ominous as they struggle to convince the public and policy makers of the need to prepare for the mass casualties, chaos, and devastation that will likely result if the disease spreads across the world.

As of June 14, 103 people have been infected with bird flu in Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia, according to the World Health Organization. Officials yesterday also disclosed the first reported case in Indonesia.

Normally, 104 cases of any disease would hardly grab the attention of public health experts. But bird flu is different. More than half of the cases have been fatal, suggesting an unprecedented level of harm for a modern flu. Humans have no natural immunity to the virus causing the disease, known as H5N1, and no vaccine is available.

In congressional hearings and on television, officials have repeatedly advised the public of the potential for millions of casualties if bird flu gains the ability to easily spread from birds to people or between humans themselves.

Bird Flu Warnings Get Stronger

But the warnings have now become decidedly darker as officials warn of a catastrophic economic shutdown and a global political crisis if bird flu strikes an unprepared world.

"This is much larger than a public health threat. The vast majority of the world just doesn't get how vulnerable we are," says Michael Osterholm, MD, associate director of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense in the Department of Homeland Security and a former bioterrorism advisor to the Bush administration.

Federally run tests of an experimental bird flu vaccine are under way and due to yield preliminary results later this summer. Even if it's effective, no one expects manufacturers to be able to quickly make enough to protect the U.S. population.

Osterholm complains that U.S. officials and companies have not planned for the widespread logistical disruptions that would result if bird flu were to spread within the next couple of years. His warnings range from inadequate planning for hospital overcrowding to the fact that the U.S. market has only 2.5-week supply of caskets.

Local and federal agencies have not planned for widespread disruptions to schools and workplaces as the public is told to stay home and gymnasiums are converted to emergency medical facilities, he says. Travel restrictions and a run on vital supplies, such as masks able to filter flu viruses, would "no doubt" lead to an economic shutdown, he adds.

What to Do?

What to Do?

Asked at a Thursday forum hosted by the Council of Foreign Relations what can be done to immediately prepare for a bird flu outbreak, Osterholm says there's probably little we can do at this point.

What can the U.S. do to prevent the continued spread of flu from billions of Asian chickens and ducks? "The bottom line message is: almost nothing," says Osterholm, who is also a professor at the University of Minnesota.

World Community Unprepared

Others offer equally stark warnings that the U.S. has not engaged foreign governments over how nations will react in the event of a global pandemic and economic standstill. Poor and middle-income governments have already begun to complain that they are being left out as industrialized countries make deals to buy stockpiles of antiflu medications, says Laurie Garrett, the council's senior fellow for global health and a former journalist.

"We have no agreed-upon mechanisms of any kind," Garrett says. "This could turn into a big, bloody mess."

Bush administration officials told lawmakers two weeks ago that they are hard at work completing a national flu response plan governing issues such as quarantines, hospital capacity, and distribution of emergency pharmaceuticals.

Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, acknowledged in an interview that officials' public statements about bird flu have become unusually stark. He attributes the warnings to concerns over bird flu's apparent harm and to the lack of human immunity.

Officials are also trying to galvanize support for new laws that would give pharmaceutical companies incentive to produce large amounts of vaccine against bird flu and other more common types of flu. "That's the thing that we keep trying to drill at," he says.

Fauci says that "the administration is very much up there" in its level of activity in flu planning.

Meanwhile, other experts remain largely unconvinced.

Steven Hoffman, an audience member at the Council forum, rose to say that the experts' stark warnings had convinced him "to get in my car and move to Montana or something."

"It won't help," Garrett told him.


SOURCES: World Health Organization, bird flu update, June 14, 2005. Michael Osterholm, MD, associate director, National Center for Food Protection and Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; professor, University of Minnesota. Laurie Garrett, senior fellow, Council of Foreign Relations. Anthony Fauci, MD, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

© 2005 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Добавлено в [mergetime]1118978998[/mergetime]
Avian flu: 'We're screwed' if it hits soon

Posted 6/16/05
By Betsy Querna

Health experts and officials shook up a breakfast meeting in Washington this morning with more alarm over what they see is an inevitable avian influenza pandemic and public-health emergency. Also today, World Health Organization officials confirmed the first case of avian flu in a farmworker in the island nation of Indonesia. Known as avian flu because it infects primarily chickens and waterfowl, the officials fear that the virus will mutate and become a human disease. Because this strain has never circulated through the human population, people would have no innate immunity if they were infected. Officials compare the virus to the 1918 pandemic that hit one third of the population and killed between 1 and 5 percent of those infected. This strain, known as H5N1, could be at least that deadly and perhaps more so, especially for young and healthy people who would very likely die from an immune system reaction to the disease, as happened in 1918. Today, if the pandemic hit, the number of dead could be as high as 360 million worldwide.

"You can get rid of the 'if' because it's going to occur," said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It may not occur this year, or next, he said, "but [the threat] is not going to go away." The disease has currently crossed over to humans in Asia, but only among people who have very close contact with chickens or who take care of the sick. It has killed at least 54 people in Asia but is not now communicable in the way that the more common and less lethal human influenza viruses are.

The virus "is due to spin out of this bird population" that it currently infects, said Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota. When it does, the fast pace of global transportation and trade is sure to carry it around the world in a matter of days if not hours, the officials said. And while most states have plans in place to deal with public-health emergencies, many of those plans have yet to be tested in real or simulated situations. If the pandemic were to hit today, said Osterholm, "I don't know what we could do about it except say, 'We're screwed.'"


Добавлено в [mergetime]1118979056[/mergetime]

Article @ USNEWs.com
« on: Today at 05:05:54pm » Reply with quote

snip: "Today, if the pandemic hit, the number of dead could be as high as 360 million worldwide."

They are finally starting to come to terms with the order of magnitude of possible deaths... but I think the number is still on the bottom end of the scale. One Russian scientist was estimating 1 billion deaths. Can't remember his name or the article... but his math was probably just as good as the next persons until the flu hits and we actually see what happens.
probegallo |
Дата 17 Июня, 2005, 21:53
Quote Post


user posted image

Миру угрожает пандемия смертельного гриппа

Распространение в Азии птичьего гриппа грозит миру пандемией, чреватой гибелью многих миллионов человек и тяжелейшим экономическим кризисом. К такому выводу пришли ведущие эпидемиологи США, передает ИТАР-ТАСС. Директор Национального института аллергических и инфекционных заболеваний Энтони Фаучи и вирусолог из Миннесотского университета, помощник директора центра защиты населения и продовольственных ресурсов при министерстве национальной безопасности США Майкл Остерхолм выступили сегодня с предупреждением.

Ученые считают, что эта проблема требует безотлагательных совместных усилий всего мирового сообщества.

По их мнению, источником угрозы является вирус H5N1, выявленный 8 лет назад в Гонконге и Китае, а позже пришедший также во Вьетнам, Таиланд и Камбоджу. К настоящему времени им заразились свыше 100 человек, более половины из них умерли.

По словам специалистов, вирус чрезвычайно опасен прежде всего тем, что против него ни у кого нет иммунитета, поскольку прежде он людям не передавался. К тому же он, насколько можно судить, гораздо смертоноснее знаменитой "испанки", унесшей в 1918 -19 гг от 20 млн до 40 млн жизней.

В ближайшее время инициаторы кампании подготовки к будущей пандемии гриппа планируют организовать совещание на эту тему со своими коллегами в странах Азии.


ЗЫ - судя по последним данным из Вьетнама и Китая, уже начинается 6-я фаза (финальная) препандемического состояния, характеризующаяся высокой способностью вируса передаваться от человека к человеку - сейчас заболевают уже врачи и др. медперсонал.
probegallo |
Дата 18 Июня, 2005, 9:57
Quote Post


Alarming Increase in Bird Flu Cases in Northern Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary
June 17, 2005

>> [There are discrepancies between these reports which appear to confuse confirmed and suspected cases. As of 17 Jun 2005, the most recent WHO Update recognizes 4 new human cases of avian influenza, bringing the total of confirmed cases since Dec 2004 to 59 (18 of whom have died).

It is evident from the other reports that there are additional cases under
investigation and that a few people are still contracting avian influenza
in northern Viet Nam. It has been widely reported in the media that one of
the doctors treating avian influenza virus patients in Hanoi has himself
contracted avian influenza. However, the 3rd report above states that a 2nd test has proved negative and it is unlikely that the doctor is suffering
from avian influenza. - Mod.CP] <<

The above comments by one of the moderators at ProMed fails to note the sudden alarming increase in cases from northern and central Vietnam. Although official notifications to WHO are lagging, WHO has indicated that they believe the media reports are accurate. Two separate reports indicated that the total number of confirmed and suspect cases totaled 23. One report broke the cases down into 11 H5N1 confirmed cases, most of which were admitted last week, and an additional 12 suspect cases admitted this week.

Admission of over 20 cases in less than two weeks is cause for concern. There was some detail provided for the confirmed cases. The two that were admitted at the beginning of the month were female and named, Cao Thi Hang from the central province of Nghe An and Dinh Thu Hien from the northern province of Thai Binh. In addition there were two patients from Ha Noi and one each from Vinh Phuc and Hai Duong. In addition there were two more listed from the central provinces of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An. Thus, there would be seven or eight (the two listed in separate reports from Nghe An could be a duplicate of the same patient) in addition to the physician collecting blood from these patients.

The sudden jump in confirmed and suspect patients from at least six separate provinces in northern and central Vietnam in the past two weeks is without precedent.

The characterization of the alarming jump as "a few people" is yet another example of wishful thinking on the part of the ProMed commentator.

The reports do not suggest that the sudden influx of patients has ceased. Indeed it seems that there were two patients in the first week of this month, 9 in the second, and 12 so far in the third. Since the cases are relatively mild, it is likely that the number of unreported cases in these six provinces is large and the jump in cases suggests more efficient human-to-human transmission.

The alarming jump in cases is clearly more than a few, and is cause for concern.

The jump may be signaling progress of the flu pandemic in northern Vietnam into phase 6.

probegallo |
Дата 18 Июня, 2005, 22:08
Quote Post


Пока суть да дедо, американцы считают что наступит полный коллапс всего и вся (кстати, так оно и будет, скорее всего):


Yesterday, 10:33 PM
old bear

Bird flu. Food deliveries disrupted. What else will HTF??
What else happens when the world is quarantined?

In light of the continued concern about bird flu pandemic and the almost certainty of it, we have been trying to list things that would be severely impacted in case of a worldwide pandemic. Please add or comment as necessary. We are trying to get the biggest picture and work toward preparedness if this develops as so many have predicted.

Exerpts from recent posts have us convinced we are in big trouble.

But the warnings have now become decidedly darker as officials warn of a catastrophic economic shutdown and a global political
crisis if bird flu strikes an unprepared world.

"This is much larger than a public health threat. The vast majority of the world just doesn't get how vulnerable we are," says Michael Osterholm, MD, associate director of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense in the Department of Homeland Security and a former bioterrorism advisor to the Bush administration.

He pointed to the short-term shortages that occur when winter storms threaten communities, then suggested people envisage the possibility of those shortages dragging on for somewhere between 18 months and three years as the expected successive waves of pandemic flu buffet the world.

"I think we'll have a very limited food supply," he said in the interview.

Osterholm complains that U.S. officials and companies have not planned for the widespread logistical disruptions that would result if bird flu were to spread within the next couple of years. His warnings range from inadequate planning for hospital overcrowding to the fact that the U.S. market has only 2.5-week supply of caskets.

Local and federal agencies have not planned for widespread disruptions to schools and workplaces as the public is told to stay home and gymnasiums are converted to emergency medical facilities, he says. Travel restrictions and a run on vital supplies, such as masks able to filter flu viruses, would "no doubt" lead to an economic shutdown, he adds.

"We're pretty much screwed right now if it happens tonight," said Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Please add to our list of possible disruptions...and how we can avoid the problems associated with them.

Food and fuel deliveries interrupted, slowed or stopped

1/3 people infected,

1-3 years food shortages

Hospital service, imagine 1/3 staff missing, with increased patients, chaos and gridlock

1/3 police officers off job secondary to flu

No or slowed garbage pickup, especially a problem in the city

Electric and phone line service or repair interrupted due to lack of staff

UPS, Fedex, mail delivery, etc. slowed or stopped

Banking, decreased staffing? drive up? Computer? How to do it, what will money supply be like?

Schools? close schools, can parents go to work? Will they have a job?

No daycare?? Can economy function?

People interacting with people everyday, will that stop?

Transportation, bus, cab, airplane, trains??

Church?? Cancel church meetings?

NO power, no phone, no food, low on gas?? What to do??

Hits in winter, no propane, heating fuel deliveries.

Dealing with the dead?
Funeral homes leary of dealing with flu deaths?

Laundry services for hospitals disrupted? No bedding, how to provide clean environment for patients.

Most hospitals use disposable equipment, need replacements? Most hospitals can't resterilize equipment? Elective procedures and non lifethreatening injuries low priority. Heart surgery? life or death, maybe?? treat at home?

Riots in cities?? Maybe or maybe not, too scared to get near that many people? Are there enough police to break it up if it gets started?

Shipping? Worldwide pandemic, not just US affected. No one to load and unload docks.

Trucking? Will people mob truck with groceries, fuel, general supplies before they can be unloaded? Would YOU want to be a truck driver delivering food to hungry residents waiting at the grocery store??

Military bases all over the world, lots of people in close quarters. How will that affect our troops?

Government?? Are they going to want to be together in smoke filled rooms knowing someone may have birdflu?? Government under Homeland Defence...martial law and quarantine?? No travel, can't get to families or can't get families home if travel interrupted.

If you are prepared, if family shows up at your place for help, do you have facility to quarantine them for a few days to make sure they are not infected?

Rural people with flocks of chickens, once discovered flu is in general population. At what point do you get rid of your flock of chickens, ducks etc? Are chickens part of your food supply??

Please add as you see fit.
probegallo |
Дата 19 Июня, 2005, 21:13
Quote Post


"Pandemic FAQ : What to buy and what to do"

Pandemic planning guide
probegallo |
Дата 20 Июня, 2005, 14:27
Quote Post


Так, быстренько уже пошло, быстренько...

За неделю столько же сколько за три месяца зимой и весной (а летом условия для распространения сильно хуже - жара убивает H5N1)

23 new HPAI cases in 4 days - Vietnam
« on: Today at 12:41:04am » Reply with quote

Thanhnien News

Vietnam has confirmed two more patients infected with the bird flu virus and five other suspected cases, said the National Institute for Clinical Research of Tropical Medicine in Hanoi June 19.

The conditions of the infected patients are not critical, said doctors at the institute, but how they caught the virus remains unclear as some patients claimed they had not come into contact with dead fowl.

Since last week, 23 suspected cases of bird flu nationwide have been reported.

Experts also expressed their concern that the H5N1 virus could be capable of infecting humans via the water or air.

The H5N1 virus strain has killed 38 Vietnamese, 12 Thais and four Cambodians since it ravaged large parts of Asia in late 2003.

Reported by Nam Son Translated by Ngoc Hanh.

Добавлено в [mergetime]1119263363[/mergetime]
28 Bird Flu Cases in Northern and Central Vietnam

Recombinomics Commentary
June 20, 2005

>> The two patients and three suspected cases were admitted to the Institute of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi capital city from June 18-19. Currently, the institute is treating 28 people with bird flu symptoms, of whom 13 have been tested positive to H5N1.<<

The five new admissions of H5N1 bird flu patients raises the number of cases admitted this month to an alarming and unprecedented number of 28 conformed or suspect cases at the Institute of Tropical Diseases. The timeline on the admissions also suggests that additional cases will be admitted.

There were two admissions in the first week of the month, 13 in the second week, and 13 in the third week Prior to the latest 5 admissions, the earlier admissions were from at least 6 provinces in northern and central Vietnam.

In addition there is a new confirmed outbreak of H5N1 on a chicken farm in An Khanh commune in Ben Tre province in southern Vietnam. There have been no reported H5N1 human cases in the south, but the cases in the north appear to be milder and represent for efficient human to human transmission based on the large number of newly admitted patients and the lack of contact with dead birds.


Добавлено в [mergetime]1119263496[/mergetime]
A proposed pandemic FAQ


Draft one
OK, guys, ive spent all day working on this, its only a raw "draft one". it needs your input and editing. We need links added, and lots more ideas, Please correct any errors. We can add the threads list to this, its got lots more info than this basic (but still long!) faq can deliver:

Personal Pandemic Planning

What is Influenza?

The Garden Variety Flu

Influenza (the flu ) is a common viral illness. It circulates in the human population in an annual, cyclic fashion. In any given year approximately 10-20% of the population becomes ill with influenza. Influenza is responsible for an average of 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths in the United States each year. Because it is caused by a virus, flu cannot successfully be treated with antibiotics. Special drugs called antivirals are used to reduce the symptoms an duration of the illness, or to help prevent symptoms-prophylaxis. Flu can also be prevented (or severity of the illness reduced) by vaccination.

Influenza mutates, or changes its genes and external structure very rapidly compared to most viruses. This rapid change of its protein coat allows the virus to fool the immune system into not recognizing it as an invader, even though youve had a different strain of flu before, or been vaccinated in the past. To be effective the vaccine that is used to prevent flu must change to reflect the unique strains predominating each year.

When a person is infected with the flu, the virus begins to rapidly reproduce within the infected persons (host) tissues. Most influenza strains reproduce rapidly in lung and intestinal tissue. When a host coughs, sneezes or breathes out moist air, large amounts of the virus is released (shed) back out into the environment. It can also be shed in stool and other body fluids.

The virus can live in the environment on hard surfaces for days. People touching those surfaces can be infected when they transfer the virus from their hands to the mucous membranes of their mouth, nose or eyes. Researchers believe the most common way to be infected with the flu is by breathing in the flu virus. Virus floats in the air in droplets created by coughs and sneezes. Invisible to the human eye, those tiny droplets can remain suspended in the air for many hours after they are produced. Contact with other infected body secretions, such as stool containing live virus, can also cause an infection.

About a day after infection (up to four days), symptoms begin. In most common flu types, a headache and fever are often the first signs. The oral temperature usually runs from 101 degrees to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Respiratory symptoms then start-cough, congestion, sneezing and some shortness of breath are common to most infections of flu. Cold symptoms are often mistaken for the flu, but cold bugs do not usually cause the high fever and profound weakness common to influenza

Some strains also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. Additional flu symptoms include severe aching of muscles and joints, headache, loss of appetite and profound lethargy and tiredness. These symptoms continue for about three or four days. The victim experiences overwhelming tiredness and generalized discomfort for about 3 or 4 more days. Although acute symptoms usually last about a week, it may take several more weeks or even months until the victim regains usual levels of stamina.

There are many possible complications of influenza infection. People most at risk of complications are the elderly. Our immune systems function less effectively as we age, so flu mortality is high in persons over age 65. Risk is also high in the very young-their immune system of infants and young children isnt developed enough to effectively fight off the flu virus. Both groups are also prone to life-threatening dehydration from the high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Other special risk groups include those with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, lung problems, those taking steroids for autoimmune diseases, and persons with HIV. If you have a chronic illness you should check with your physician to see if you may be at higher risk of complications from the flu.

The immune system becomes exhausted when fighting off an infection like flu- leaving you more susceptible to other infections. A common flu complication is called secondary pneumonia. A different pathogen takes advantage of the weakened immune system and causes pneumonia- the usual culprit is a bacteria. Bacterial pneumonias are usually treated with antibiotics. Secondary pneumonias are suspected when a person initially recovers form the flu symptoms, but then days or weeks later becomes ill again with a fever and cough. This is considered the most common cause of mortality attributed to the usual human flu infection.

For more influenza facts and statistics, see: http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK...UK9O0E&b=316591

Pandemic Influenza

We most commonly think of flu as a human disease. But, different strains of influenza circulate in animal populations as well. Birds, especially wild waterfowl, are reservoir of flu strains.

Usually, the human and avian strains are separate- a person does not normally contract the influenza strain and become ill when exposed to an avian influenza virus. That is because the strains that birds carry lack the protein configuration on the outside of the virus that act as a key to unlock human cells and allows the virus to enter, multiply and cause illness. That is why some influenza strains are referred to as Avian Flu -they are specific for the cells of birds, and dont adapt to human cells.

Occasionally, an avian flu strain mutates and gains the ability to infect humans. This may cause sporadic cases of human illness, but the virus has trouble efficiently passing from human to human. If the virus mutates to develop human infectivity or meets up with another flu virus in host with dual infections, and shares the genes with it that allow efficient human to human transmission (H2H), a new strain may begin to spread among people. A small outbreak of influenza is called a cluster. If the clusters become more common and frequent, then the chances of an influenza epidemic or pandemic increase. An epidemic is recognized when infection spread in large geographic region like country or continent.

A pandemic is characterized by the rapid and efficient transmission of the virus within the human population, worldwide. Because it is an entirely new strain, there is no immunity to new virus in the human population. More of the people who are exposed to the virus develop influenza illness. During a pandemic it is estimated that about ¼ to1/3 of the population will become ill from the pandemic strain. That is called the attack rate.

Besides a high attack rate, a pandemic has historically had another significant characteristic- the severity of human illness the pandemic strain causes. Three significant influenza pandemics occurred during the 20th century. All three of those pandemic flu strains are believed to have originated in birds, and become adapted to humans. The most serious and deadly pandemic we have any data on occurred during WW1-the Spanish Flu.

The Spanish flu began causing serious illness in 1918. It spread throughout the world in three waves- periods of time when the virus was very active. Estimates vary, but it believed that up to 1/3 of the world population suffered influenza during one of the three pandemic waves, and between 2.5 and 5% of those who became ill died of the flu or its complications (mortality rate). The human death toll is believed to have been anywhere from 20 to 100 million people.

Pandemic strains may also cause different symptoms and affect different body systems then the usual annual flu virus. Some pandemic strains cause unusually high rates of neurological illness, result in primary viral influenza pneumonia, or uncontrolled bleeding (hemorrhagic strains). Another possible cause of high mortality (death rates) of pandemic flu occurs when the strain triggers a hyperactive response of the immune system, flooding the lungs with white blood cells and fluids, essentially drowning the victim in their own secretions (cytokine storm).

For more information on the Spanish Flu Pandemic see:

The Current Risks of a New Influenza Pandemic

By June of 2005, international medical experts have realized that a novel, rapidly spreading and endemic (entrenched in the population) type of Avian Flu (H5N1) may result in a human influenza pandemic sometime in the near future. Without accurate scientific records from previous severe pandemics, it is impossible to be certain that the behavior of the virus indicates that a human pandemic is inevitable. Expert concern has recently reached new highs due to new outbreaks in Vietnam and China and the changing behavior and structure of the virus appears to be adapting to efficient human transmission.

The H5N1 flu has caused the death by infection or culling of millions of domestic fowl in Southeast Asia and China. It appears to spread by wild migratory birds and waterfowl, and has recently developed the ability to exist in some birds (ducks) without causing illness. Approximately 100 cases of human illness have resulted, most for contact with infected birds. Some human clusters have been identified in which limited human to human transmission has apparently occurred. Several different subtypes of the virus have been identified, and the mortality rate of human H5N1 flu infections has been close to 50% of the total known infected.

It is believed that as the virus continues to adapt and mutate, that the ability to cause illness resulting in death of the victim will decrease. Experts apparently consider the mortality rate of a worst case pandemic of H5N1 to be similar to the Spanish Flu.

In 1918, the medical community did not know the virus caused the disease. They had no influenza vaccines to lower the attack rate, antibiotics to treat secondary infections, personal protective equipment like N95 masks and medical gloves as an effective barrier to prevent infection. There was no sophisticated medical equipment like ventilators to support patients who experienced respiratory failure. With modern medical care we can assume that many people who died in 1918 from the flu or its complications would survive a similar illness today.

But the risks of a pandemic today are not as insignificant as it may seem, when you consider the many benefits we have in 2005 compared to 1918. The sheer, overwhelming numbers of ill people in a pandemic may cancel out many of those benefits. If 10% of the population is ill at any one time, the entire medical system will become seriously overloaded. In a normal flu season with the average type of flu bug, hospital bed availability is already stressed.

In a pandemic, there may be nowhere near enough beds or medical staff available to treat the number of patients who may need their help. Even with personal protective equipment (PPE) that is currently available, it is assumed that healthcare workers will experience a high rate of infection. Increased staff absenteeism combined with increased patient census means less beds available for sick people.

Availability of medical equipment and medicines is also a concern. Mask, gloves, gowns, respiratory equipment, disposable patient care items, and other items like this are manufactured with little extra available for immediate need. During the recent SARS epidemic, much of this equipment became so backordered that hospitals were unable to obtain what they needed fast enough, even with manufacturers going to 24 hour production and rush shipments.

The SARS epidemic affected a very small area compared to a worldwide flu pandemic. The needed volume of equipment and supplies would be many times higher then the needs that we experienced during SARS.

If the pandemic strain causes severe illness (referred to as a virulent strain); hospitals, clinics and medical offices will become quickly overwhelmed. Ventilators and other sophisticated medical support devices will be in short supply- and not everyone who will need one will find one available. The medical system does not have the surge capacity in either equipment, supplies, physical beds or medications to meet the anticipated demand of a 1918 style pandemic. The mortality rate will increase if our ability to deliver sophisticated care is diminished.

An effective pandemic influenza vaccine is considered the best response to a pandemic situation. It would protect healthcare workers and reduce the absenteeism due to illness. If large numbers of the public are vaccinated, the number of people with serious illness will decrease, easing some of the strain on the system.

But in order to create an influenza vaccine, manufacturers need to have the strain thats circulating to produce it. We may not have samples of a strain close enough to the pandemic strain to create an effective vaccine until after the pandemic begins. Using current vaccine technology, it takes approximately six months to produce a vaccine for a new influenza strain.

In a pandemic, we would need many times the number of influenza vaccine doses then we normally produce each year. It is anticipated that using current manufacturing techniques that the production of a pandemic vaccine in sufficient quantity to immunize the general public may not be possible for up to one year after the pandemic begins. Initial production runs will probably be used to immunize healthcare workers and essential service personnel, and then the high risk groups.

Antiviral medications offer some hope to decrease the severity of illness in the affected. They may also be used prophylacticly, to help reduce the chance of infection. But H5N1 is resistant to the commonly used flu antivirals, except for oseltmivar (Tamiflu). But the availability of Tamiflu is limited due to along production time and the expense of the medication. There will not be enough Tamiflu available if a pandemic occurs in the next year or two to protect even essential service personnel. http://www.curevents.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17044

The Possible Secondary, Social Effects of a Pandemic

Healthcare may not be the only system in our society strained to the breaking point by a pandemic.

The Spanish flu pandemic came in three distinct waves, of approximately 12 weeks each. Anywhere from 5- 15% of the population was ill during each wave. Quarantines were declared to reduce gatherings that allowed the illness to spread. Schools, churches and non essential businesses closed for weeks or months- sometimes permanently. Hundreds of thousands of workers were temporarily unemployed as the waves spread across the continents.

Early in 2005, President Bush signed an order that allowed the use of quarantines in the event of an influenza pandemic. Quarantines are considered an essential tool to decrease the spread of the disease. Many state and local pandemic planners may declare protective quarantines if a pandemic occurs. That will have significant adverse financial implications for many wage earners. Child care resources and schools may be among he first to close, forcing many parents to remain home to care for minor children even if their employers remain open. Alternative group childcare arrangements may not be used when the parents realize the increased risk of infection that these arrangements create.

Public transportation may be closed due to the ability of the virus to spread in the close confines of planes, trains and busses. Workers who depend on public transportation may not all find alternative means to get their workplaces.

Essential services must remain available even in a severe pandemic. Essential service workers are needed to continue electrical generation and supply, fuel oil and gas deliveries, and workers that manufacture and deliver the supply of food, medicines and other critical items. Essential service personnel will also include fire, police, emergency service workers and the active military.

Influenza, unlike some other infectious illnesses, can be spread by an infected person before they know they experience symptoms and realize they are sick. Many essential service personnel will, like healthcare workers; be at higher risk of infection due to frequent contact with others. In the absence of an effective vaccine, and with protective equipment is short supply it is likely that illness rates in these groups may be higher then the general population.

It is possible that some essential service disruption may occur. Most grocery stores have only enough food in them for about three days, their inventory is replenished approximately twice a week. Disruption anywhere in the manufacturing, supply or distribution of foods may result in shortages. Quarantines may limit the publics access to stores even if shortages are not severe. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe..._47/?hub=Health

Most pandemic waves occur during late all and winter months. Continuing supply and distribution of heating oil and natural gas will be essential to prevent illness and death due to severe weather conditions. Electrical service interruptions due to winter storms may last longer if a pandemic reduces the number of repair personnel. The ability of municipalities to deal with storms, snow covered roads and other problems will be significantly reduced if the availability of workers, equipment and supplies are affected. Police, fire and emergency personnel may not be able to respond if road conditions can not be maintained.

In addition to the unknown human toll of death, illness and permanent disability, it is difficult to anticipate the economic toll of a severe pandemic. If millions of workers are suddenly out of work for weeks or months at a time, large numbers of business failures seem likely. Loss of income translates to mass default on debt. Mortgage payments, utility bills, car loans and other loans may not be paid for many months. A severe recession seems likely to some observers, and even more serious economic effects are possible.

The possible responses of the stock markets world wide are unknown. The loss of the retirement savings of millions of baby boomers so close to retirement age seems possible. Government action may be needed to prevent total economic meltdown. Recovery from the economic effects of a pandemic may take decades.

What You Can Do To Prepare

 Stay informed!
Watch the news to determine if a pandemic is about to occur. In addition to mainstream media, several internet resources can help you keep up with the latest developments. You may wish to check these resources on a regular for up to the minute information. There are currently several internet boards and blogs following the developing avian flu issue:
The Agonist Disease Outbreak Board- not specifically dedicated to flu, its members follow all emerging or significant disease outbreaks. http://discuss.agonist.org/yabbse/index.php?board=6
Effect Measure-a public health blog, a large portion of its content involves commentary and information on Avian Flu.
Avian Flu- a filter site with lists of news articles dealing with flu updated daily.
The Flu Clinic- a board dedicated specifically to following and preparing for the coming pandemic.
Two newer boards specifically dedicated to the current flu situation:

 Assess Your Risk
Consider your personal situation in case of a flu pandemic. Talk to your doctor to determine if you are at risk of complications. Ask for a pneumonia vaccine shot to help protect against one of the most common causes of secondary pneumonia.
Consider storing extra supplies of medical equipment and medications you take on regular basis. Purchase and store over the counter medications to be used for influenza if someone in your family gets sick.
You may wish to consider a backup form of heat if you live in a cold climate. Kerosene heaters, wood stoves and fuel, and other options may be in short supply if the public decides to purchase them when a pandemic starts. Obtaining them before the pandemic encourages increased production and availability. Even if a pandemic does not occur, they are good backup for common storm and other crisis related interruptions. With careful shopping now, you may be able to obtain good used or inexpensive models that wont be found when a crisis occurs.
Pandemic waves may last several months, and it is possible, from studying past pandemics, that several waves will occur. Begin purchasing extra storable food items each time you go shopping. Consider just how much food you will need for your family for the duration of any food supply disruptions that may occur. The goal of many people planning for the pandemic is storing 4 to 6 months worth of food for their family.
Consider your financial situation. You may wish to discuss your personal situation with your family and/ or your financial counselor.

 Create a Plan
After assessing our risk, determine what you can do to mitigate it. If you have questions you may wish to join one of the boards following the flu situation for advice and support.
Estimate your food needs with a food storage calculator: http://lds.about.com/library/weekly...s/aa102201b.htm
Learn what to store and how to do so effectively:
Learn the basic care of person with the flu. Know what OTC medicines to use, and when you should call your doctor if things become serious. Have a working thermometer for each family member.
Make action lists:
1. To do now
2. If a pandemic is imminent, I will:
3. If a pandemic is declared, I will:

 Take Action!
Start with your Do Now list
Begin shopping for the items and supplies you have determined you should have available.
Talk to your employer. If you are an essential service worker, you may need to plan for the care and safety of your family members if you are unable to leave work or become quarantined at work.
Contact your local officials, and find out what they know about the possibility of a pandemic, and what the plans are. Share information with them if they arent preparing.
Help spread the word. The more people are prepared, the less of a catastrophe a flu pandemic will cause.
Be prepared, not scared.
all posts to this forum for fair use and educational purposes only
probegallo |
Дата 20 Июня, 2005, 16:28
Quote Post


Timeline on H5N1 Bird Flu Pandemic Move to Phase 6

probegallo |
Дата 21 Июня, 2005, 14:23
Quote Post


Pandemic waves - then and now
compairing 1918 to 2005

In March 1918 the Spanish flu was believed to have originated at a military base in Kansas. After a lot of initial cases, it faded out.
In March 2005 H5N1 changed in Viet Nam. It seemed to become more infectous but less lethal. There were larger clusters in humans. Then it faded out, with no new cases in Viet Nam for 50 days.

In 1918 the flu then showed up in England around May and Europe in June.
In 2005 H5N1 was rumored to be in China in May and possibly India in June.
In 1918 the Spanish flu then reappeared in the U.S. at a military base outside of Boston in June, and into Boston in July. It then spread quickly over the entire U.S. thru November.
In June 2005 Viet Nam has now reported more cases and the number is increasing dramatically, at least at a much higher rate than before.

Did Europe have 2 waves in 1918, or was it just the U.S., where it originated?


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Michael T. Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, Associate Director of the Department of Homeland Security's National Center for Food Protection and Defense, and Professor at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health.

Preparing for the Next Pandemic



probegallo |
Дата 23 Июня, 2005, 9:39
Quote Post


Blogs immune to control

Experts are scanning blogging sites following rumours of another outbreak of bird flu in China. Michael Fitzpatrick reports

Thursday June 23, 2005
The Guardian

'It is Christmas 2005 and President Bush has declared a state of emergency. The cause? A bird flu pandemic strickening thousands ... triggering global panic. Days later, a blogger is reporting from Hanoi on how its citizens - "fine in the morning, but dead by lunchtime" - are succumbing rapidly to the deadly H5N1 human form of the avian flu virus. By early February the disease is killing thousands in London and Paris."

So goes Nature magazine's fictitious blog, published this month in its Avian Flu Special as an alarm call.

The warning does not predict the time or place, and the blog is pure speculation. What it does underline, in its adoption of the blogging formula, is the probability of the pandemic's start being better covered by bloggers than "accredited" media.

Any outbreak of Avian flu is likely to begin its spread where news outlets are most fiercely controlled - Vietnam, China and Cambodia. When Sars surfaced in China in 2003, bloggers alerted the world while the government scrambled to cover up.

Earlier this month, bird flu showed all the signs of repeating the formula. Netizens seemingly scooped conventional media when a Chinese news site published reports of a bird flu apocalypse unravelling in a remote part of China.

Boxun (Abundant) News, a Chinese language website blocked in China, claimed thousands of wild birds died suddenly in the western Qinghai province. It said 200 people were infected with the deadly bird flu strain while about 121 had died. However, Boxun admits it could not independently verify the reports.

The World Health Organisation requested access to the area but Chinese officials denied the reports, and said it was a mild outbreak. Authorities later agreed, however, that thousands of wild birds had died. Now, says Beijing, the WHO is not needed, as there are "no human cases", and they have closed the area.

Could the Boxun website provide vital clues? We will never know. Last week, according to its editor, the Qinghai correspondents were arrested. But before they vanished, Boxun's contributors beamed images of thousands more dead birds to the website. One photo was doctored, however, raising questions about the integrity of the sources.

Could the site merely be trying to discredit the Chinese government? Boxun declines to comment. Some media watchers view Boxun's agenda with apprehension, but there is one vital element missing from when it had its Sars scoop. Then, there were text messages reporting Sars deaths while Beijing was in denial.

"Those messages were forwarded to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions. The authorities could not suppress the news," says online media expert and journalist Mark Glaser. "Once again, China is trying to suppress news that should be disseminated. Thanks to the internet, we can learn more about what's going on there through pictures and weblogs that have global distribution."

Even experts are monitoring questionable sources to plot bird flu developments. One blogger, Silviu Dochia, agrees on the need for better information. "I think there is a consensus on the severity of the outbreak. The big unknown is human transmission. We could be in stage six of a pandemic or there could be no human infections."


Nature's fictional blog

Silviu Dochia

Discussion boards

probegallo |
Дата 25 Июня, 2005, 1:29
Quote Post


International Team to Vietnam to Confirm Phase 6 Pandemic

Recombinomics Commentary
June 24, 2005

>> A team of international experts is in Vietnam studying whether the H5N1 bird flu virus may be evolving into a form that might trigger a human pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

The team of virologists and epidemiologists was looking at "the possibility of more widespread H5N1 human transmission, changes in the H5N1 virus and the likelihood of increased human-to-human transmission," it said in a statement.

"What has happened in Vietnam may have public health implications for the entire world and will be crucial in preparing for a possible pandemic," Hans Troedsson, WHO Representative in Vietnam, was quoted as saying in the statement..

So far, there have been very few cases in which human-to-human transmission is suspected, including a Thai woman killed by the virus after cradling her dying daughter all night.<<

The comments on the international team indicate that the team is going to Vietnam to confirm that pandemic phase 6 has begun. Earlier reports provide more detail on the testing which uses western blot to show that many (probably hundreds or thousands) of serum samples from patients in northern and central Vietnam have antibodies to H5N1 providing evidence for infections this season.

The concluding statement above is simply false. Investigators suspect that the human-to-human transmission is extensive and sustained, signaling phase 6. However, most of the cases in northern and central Vietnam are mild relative to the H5N1 bird flu cases in the south, so the announcement of the large number of positives has been delayed for months as more excuse for not reporting the data are made.

Last year there were several small familial clusters in Vietnam and Thailand, including the one described above. The clusters did not extend beyond family members, but they were bimodal for disease onset dates. Thus, 5-10 after the index case developed symptoms, the relative caring for the index case would develop symptoms and test positive fro H5N1.

This season there were more such clusters, but most were in northern Vietnam. The cluster became larger, extended for longer time periods, and affected a wider age range.

The largest reported outbreak was in Quang Binh in the central highlands. Media reports indicated 195 people had symptoms after one girl died and her brother developed symptoms. Like the other clusters, samples from the index case were not collected, but the younger brother developed symptoms and tested positive for H5N1. However, he survived as did most if not all of the 195 with symptoms. Samples were collected from at least 30 individuals, but the results of the testing by the Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi was not disclosed.

This outbreak was followed by an outbreak in Haiphong that included a family of five. All five family members were hospitalized on March 22 and all tested positive for H5N1. Neighbors were also hospitalized, but test results were not disclosed.

Another cluster at the Sweden-Vietnam hospital raised the possibility of human-to-human transmission and when a physician at the hospital developed acute respiratory distress on April 1, President Bush signed an executive order making bird flu a quarantinable disease.

Thus in April a large number of serum samples had been collected from suspected clusters of bird flu patients. Instead of announcing test results, the shipment of the samples to the CDC in Atlanta was announced on April 15, with results expected within a week. Instead of announcing the results, an urgent meeting in Manila was called for May 6-7. Instead of announcing the results, WHO put out statements on the evolution of H5N1 and general comments on larger clusters. However, the cases described above were not declared positive.

Now there is an international team going to Vietnam to again look at results. Western blot analysis has confirmed that these patients had been infected, but the data is considered to be "research data" pending confirmation by an HI test. However, the media report indicates Vietnam cannot run the HI test, so the announcement of the positives and the conclusion that phase 6 has begun has not been made.

Media reports have indicated the samples had been sent to the CDC in Atlanta, who has the facilities to do the HI tests. Similarly, Canada has sent scientists to Hanoi and Canada can do the HI tests. Because the number of positive samples are so high, an alternative test is being developed, which would avoid shipment of samples and a rapid confirmation that the mild cases are infected with H5N1. This test will allow WHO to know hwo is infected, but will also allow the patients to remain unconfirmed and off the official list because the test is a "research test".

Thus, WHO can delay the announcement of efficient and sustained human-to-human transmission until the dead bodies increase.

However, there have been 28 confirmed or suspect cases admit to another hospital in Hanoi this month. These patients are from at least 6 provinces in northern and central Vietnam. They have sore throats, a symptoms not commonly reported in H5N1 patients. This new symptom may indicate H5N1 now can more easily cause upper respiratory tract infections, leading to more efficient human-to-human transmission, as H5N1 continues to expand its host range and reach into a human reservoir infected with H5N1 that can be easily transported and transmitted within the human population.

probegallo |
Дата 25 Июня, 2005, 12:45
Quote Post


Mutation of antigen structure of H5N1 confirmed

Chance of bird flu between humans increases-Vietnam

Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:53 AM ET


HANOI (Reuters) -
Vietnam's agriculture ministry was quoted as saying on Saturday that the mutation of a bird flu virus was increasing the infection possibility between humans.
State-run media cited a ministry report as saying
laboratory test results overseas and at home showed the antigen structure of virus is changing.

"The ministry warned in the report that the mutation of the H5N1 virus is raising the possibility of infections on humans, because the test results of international and domestic laboratories showed the virus's antigen structure
contained a change," the Saigon Giai Phong (Liberation Saigon) daily said.

The mutation of the virus explains why Vietnam did not detect major outbreaks in poultry in recent months but people still fell sick of avian influenza, it said.

Officials could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

Bird flu has killed 38 people in Vietnam since it arrived in Asia in late 2003 along with 12 Thais and four Cambodians.

Eighteen of the Vietnamese victims have died since
December in the latest wave of infections by the virus, which seems to thrive best in the cool of winter.

Officials said just one outbreak in poultry has been
detected and isolated in the southern Mekong Delta this month, but nine people were found having bird flu in the north where the summer is under way.

On Friday the World Health Organization said a team of international experts has been working in Vietnam this week to study whether the H5N1 virus may be evolving into a form which might trigger a human pandemic.

Scientists have been tracking the evolution of the H5N1 virus, which is infectious in birds but does not spread easily among humans, as they fear it could mutate into a form capable of unleashing a pandemic.

Humans would have no immunity to the mutated virus and millions could die, they say.
probegallo |
Дата 25 Июня, 2005, 15:27
Quote Post


Vietnam Confirms Evolving H5N1 Creates False Negatives

Recombinomics Commentary
June 25, 2005

>> State-run media cited a ministry report as saying laboratory test results overseas and at home showed the antigen structure of virus is changing.

"The ministry warned in the report that the mutation of the H5N1 virus is raising the possibility of infections on humans, because the test results of international and domestic laboratories showed the virus's antigen structure contained a change," the Saigon Giai Phong (Liberation Saigon) daily said.

The mutation of the virus explains why Vietnam did not detect major outbreaks in poultry in recent months but people still fell sick of avian influenza, it said. <<

The above comments confirm earlier reports of false negatives in northern and southern Vietnam. As H5N1 evolves primers that target the earlier sequences may not detect an altered version. Similarly, vaccines that target an early version may not be as effective against a later version because of additional recombination. The current pandemic vaccine in clinical trials targets two isolates from 2004 which are virtually identical to each other, but different than the 2005 isolates in northern and southern Vietnam.

The comments by government officials are also consistent with the reported positives on the western blots. This data was generated using 1000 serum samples from birds and people in northern Vietnam. There were several large clusters of cases in Quang Binh in central Vietnam and Thai Binh, Haiphong, and Qunag Ninh in northern Vietnam that appeared to involve increased human-to-human transmission. The serum were reported to have been sent to the CDC in Atlanta in April, but the results were not made public even though an urgent meeting was held in Manila on May 6-7. Recent comments from WHO suggest that the samples were not sent and a confirmatory HI test have not been run because Vietnam lacks the necessary BL-3 lab facilities. These comments are quite remarkable because it was quite clear in March that these larger cluster, if positive for H5N1, would move the pandemic from phase 4 to phase 5, and possibly phase 6.

Media reports suggest that these changes set the stage for the explosion in admissions this month in northern Vietnam. These patients, which have a milder disease, also have sore throats, suggesting the new H5N1 can more efficiently infect the upper respiratory tract, which could result in more efficient human-to-human transmission.

Thus, H5N1 evolves as WHO issues press releases indicating that the warnings revealed by the western blot data are just "research" results.

Unfortunately, H5N1 appears to be researching humans more than humans are researching H5N1.


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Some Canadian doctors are stockpiling Tamiflu for themselves and their families

probegallo |
Дата 27 Июня, 2005, 7:20
Quote Post


Bird flu virus in Vietnam evolves

www.chinaview.cn 2005-06-27 10:33:57


HANOI, June 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Laboratory tests in Vietnam and abroad have indicated that the antigen structure of bird flu virus strain H5N1 in the country is changing, local newspaper Labor Monday quoted a Vietnamese Health Ministry report as saying.

The change, which might increase the possibility of bird flu infections on human, explains why people in Vietnam have still been infected with H5N1 in recent months, although it has detected no major outbreaks.

The mutation also makes it more difficult for health agencies to identify high-risk areas, since poultry infected with H5N1 with a change in the antigen structure do not exhibit the disease's symptoms, said the report.

An international team, consisting of top virologists and epidemiologists from Chinese Hong Kong, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, is studying the possibility of more widespread H5N1 human transmission, changes in the virus strain, and the likelihood of increased person-to-person transmission. The experts are expected to make initial conclusions on the virus's mutation late this month.

To minimize infections on poultry as well as humans, Vietnam will start vaccinating fowls against bird flu viruses in northern Nam Dinh province and southern Tien Giang province on a trial basis in early August, and then do the same in other localities with high risks of outbreaks in October if the vaccination proves effective.

The country's Veterinary Department is asking localities to reduce the number of poultry flocks, raise and slaughter them on large scale in concentrated areas, and cull infected poultry as well as flocks of less than 30 fowls which are raised freely in gardens or fields, regardless they contract H5N1 or not.

The total of bird flu patients confirmed in Vietnam since mid-December 2004 has increased to 59 cases, of which 18 were fatal.
probegallo |
Дата 27 Июня, 2005, 17:15
Quote Post


Sickening Prospect
U.S. readiness for avian flu worrisome

10:10 PM CDT on Sunday, June 26, 2005

If the staggeringly lethal H5N1 strain of avian flu jumps into the human population and ignites the apocalyptic global pandemic scientists fear, a fateful decision by the Chinese government will likely prove of world-historical importance.

The Washington Post reported that during the late 1990s, in violation of basic health protocols, China advised its farmers to dose their poultry with the antiviral drug amantadine as an anti-flu precaution. Amantadine is meant for humans only, and its use in treating livestock may have given rise to the new flu strain, which is resistant to the drug.

In the event of a global pandemic, the folly of the Chinese (who, implausibly, deny the well-sourced report) might result in the agonizing deaths of up to 350 million people worldwide, according to a recent estimate by Dr. Michael Osterholm, a top flu expert who advises the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. With a nightmare scenario breathing down our collective necks, the world cannot afford such bureaucratic fearfulness or stupidity.

The signs of impending pandemic grow more worrisome by the day. In May, the Indonesian government discovered the virus in pigs a major leap to mammals, and particularly to a species of mammal that, pathologically speaking, is close to humans. A week ago, Indonesia confirmed its first case in a human being, a farmer. Meanwhile, public health officials report that the virus seems to be mutating in Vietnam to make itself more easily transmissible between humans.

If pandemic comes, a virus with such an astronomical mortality rate more than half of all cases so far have been fatal will present far more than a public health problem. It stands to cause massive economic dislocation worldwide and even civil unrest here, sparked by fear and panic in the face of food shortages and an overwhelmed health system. Said Dr. Osterholm, commenting on America's current lack of readiness: "We're pretty much screwed right now."

Our country stands a better chance of withstanding a flu catastrophe if the public has been well informed and prepared in advance by its leaders. America is not China. And this is not Chicken Little.

probegallo |
Дата 28 Июня, 2005, 20:27
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Brussels, 28 June 2005

Summit of EU influenza experts discusses coordinated response to possible pandemic

Influenza experts from the 25 Member States and other European countries are meeting in Luxembourg today to discuss the threats of avian and human influenza, and possible responses to a pandemic, as part of the integrated zoonoses strategy. The workshop, which was organised by the European Commission and also attended by experts from the ECDC, EFSA, WHO, FAO and OIE, is being held in light of the current avian flu situation in Asia and growing concerns that a mutant virus could lead to a worldwide pandemic amongst humans. Among the topics on the workshop agenda are how to improve coordination between avian and human influenza networks, and the role of various bodies in the fight against the disease.

Markos Kyprianou, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said: The threat of a global influenza pandemic with serious human and economic losses is a very real one that must be addressed. In todays globalised society, unilateral responses to such possible outbreaks are not a viable option. There must be a coordinated EU approach to prevent and control diseases such as influenza, and todays workshop is a significant step forward in this direction.

The current avian influenza epidemic in Asia is unprecedented. It is caused by a particular strain of virus that has already caused the death or killing and destruction of more than 125 million birds, major economic losses to the countries concerned which have been estimated at 8-12 billion and the death of more than 50 people. Even more worryingly, it has given rise to grave concerns that an influenza pandemic is imminent.

This would originate in case of the emergence of a new influenza virus, fully adapted to humans, which could rapidly spread worldwide due to human-to-human transmission. The social and economic consequences of pandemics can be devastating, as was the case with the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic which led to the death of approximately 60 million people. International health experts have warned that increased movement of people and goods around the globe, changes in the eco-systems, new animal husbandry practices and large-scale epidemics such as the avian flu in Asia, all create the conditions from which a new influenza virus may emerge and a pandemic breaking out.

Networks of veterinary and human health laboratories are already in place in the EU to address the threat of Influenza viruses. The exchange of information, virus strains and laboratory reagents amongst the various EU surveillance networks, and the provision of adequate technical support to national veterinary and human health authorities, are of fundamental importance in order to properly tackle influenza viruses.

The Commission is now working to establish improved co-operation between the avian and human influenza surveillance networks, as well as the relevant European and international organisations dealing with animal and human health, to ensure better preparation in case of a pandemic.

This is only one of the many actions undertaken by the Commission in relation to this major health threat.

probegallo |
Дата 28 Июня, 2005, 21:06
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Strategies to slow down a pandemic
* Vaccines.

A vaccine probably would not be available in the early stages of a pandemic [10] (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/pandemics.htm).

Once a potential virus is identified, it normally takes at least several months before a vaccine becomes widely available, as it must be developed, tested and authorised. The capability to produce vaccines varies widely from country to country; in fact, only 15 countries are listed as "Influenza vaccine manufacturers" according to the World Health Organisation [11] (http://www.who.int/csr/disease/infl...t/en/index.html).

It is estimated that, in a best scenario situation, 750 million doses could be produced each year, whereas it is likely that each individual would need two doses of the vaccine in order to become inmuno-competent. Distribution to and inside countries would probably be problematic [12] (http://www.phacilitate.co.uk/pages/...cle_fedson.html).

Several countries, however, have well-developed plans for producing large quantities of vaccine. For example, Canadian health authorities say that they are developing the capacity to produce 32 million doses within four months, enough vaccine to inoculate every person in the country. [13] (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNe...809/?hub=Canada)

* Anti-viral drugs.
Several new anti-viral drugs have been developed in recent years. A number of governments are working to stockpile anti-viral drugs but the work is complicated by the constant mutation of the virus, which might become somewhat resistant to some anti-viral drugs, making these drugs less effective.

* Non-pharmaceutical means:

o "Social distance".
By travelling less, working from home or closing schools there is less opportunity for the virus to spread.

o Respiratory etiquette.
Placing one's hand in front of the mouth when coughing or sneezing can somewhat limit the dispersal of droplets.

o Masks.
No mask can provide a perfect barrier but products that meet or exceed the NIOSH N95 standard recommended by the World Health Organization are thought to provide good protection. Other well-fitting masks can be helpful but much less effective.

o Hygiene.
Frequent handwashing, especially when there has been contact with other people or with potentially contaminated surfaces can be very helpful.

probegallo |
Дата 30 Июня, 2005, 20:41
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UN health agency maintains current level of pandemic alert for bird flu

Avian Influenza
30 June 2005 Although there is no laboratory evidence that human infection with bird flu in Vietnam is occurring more frequently or that the virus is spreading readily among humans, the UN health agency today maintained its current level of alert over a potential pandemic, which in a worst case scenario could kill tens of millions of people worldwide.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said reports that it had downgraded its assessment of the pandemic threat, first made at the start of the current outbreak in South-East Asia in January 2004, were unfounded.

WHO issued its statement following the visit to Vietnam of an agency team of international experts sent at the Governments request to search for evidence that the H5N1 virus had changed its behaviour in ways consistent with an improved, though not yet efficient, ability to spread directly from one human to another. In its preliminary findings the team did not confirm such a change.

Firm evidence of improved transmissibility would be grounds for moving to a higher level of pandemic alert. Because of the huge consequences of such a change, WHO said it was following a cautious approach that combines heightened vigilance for new cases with immediate international verification of any suggestive findings.

WHO has repeatedly stressed the need for scientists to determine possible changes in the behaviour of H5N1 to assess the risk of a human pandemic. The so-called Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920, unrelated to the present virus, is estimated to have killed between 20 million and 40 million people worldwide.

WHO is concerned that continuing transmission from birds to humans might give avian and human influenza viruses an opportunity to exchange genes, facilitating a pandemic.

Overall there have been more than 100 reported human infections, about 50 of them fatal, since the first case linked to widespread poultry outbreaks in Viet Nam and Thailand was reported in January last year. Nearly 140 million domestic birds have died or been culled over the past year in South-East Asia in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.


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