Flu news


All eyes are on Turkey right now where there's been an outbreak of human cases of H5N1.

Five more people have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in Turkey, the Health Ministry said. Four of them come from the center of the country, suggesting the infection is moving west.

This brings the total number of human bird flu cases in Turkey to 14, including two deaths. A third person is thought to have died from bird flu, though tests haven't confirmed it was the H5N1 strain. Another 45 have been hospitalized with flu symptoms, Fehmi Aydinli, deputy chief of planning and health care at the health ministry, said yesterday.
The World Health Organization and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control sent experts to Turkey last week to help assess the situation and stem the outbreak.

``It seems that the epidemic has been spreading among animals in Turkey for much longer than believed,'' Klaus Stoehr, who heads the WHO's global influenza program, told German radio, according to AFP.

That comes by way of DemFromCt at The Next Hurrah (and Flu Wiki) who writes:
What's lacking in the reports? well, if there's any good news, it's that these all seem to be bird exposure and B2H (bird to human) rather than H2H. OTOH, the virus may be 'learning' how to spread to humans.

In 1918, the virus spread directly from bird to humans before reaching pandemic status, so this may have happened before. But there's more we don't know than we know.

Not surprisingly, traffic at Flu Wiki is surging again.

Meanwhile, the CBC's Fifth Estate is running a docudrama on a potential flu pandemic on Wednesday at 9 pm. Melanie, our publisher at the wiki, saw an advance copy for review and wasn't impressed. Just sayin'.

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Let me add a little nuance to my remarks: for those who haven't been paying attention to avian flu (and I think this is more a US than Canadian problem) this will rivet the attention. It's sensationalist.

The point that Declan Butler, of the journal Nature, made was that even the production values were far below what I'm used to seeing out of the CBC.

I know that this thing was in production for more than three months, which seems like adequate time to do a good job.

I wish the who would investigate tamiflu quickly and let everyone know if the deaths of 12 japanese childern was caused by the drug or the disease.
If we were told it wasn't the drug we could then take the drug early enough to defeat the desease.


You can't take it prophylacticly. There isn't enough to go around.

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