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Cross-posted from earlier diary --
Bird Flu In The News ◊ by DemFromCT

Being watched closely for years by CDC, European experts and World Organizations. The human to human form can launch a world epidemic similar to the Spanish flu of 1918 ... or worse.

   

News from Indonesia

Three people have died of suspected avian influenza in Indonesia, health authorities said yesterday.

If confirmed, they would be the first human fatalities in the country from the H5N1 bird flu virus, which experts fear could cause millions of deaths worldwide if it mutates into a form that can be easily transmitted between people.

The victims, a 38-year-old man from a suburb of Jakarta and his two daughters aged nine and one, died within 10 days of each other.  

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AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN - NETHERLANDS: SEROPREVALENCE

Final Analysis of Netherlands Avian Influenza Outbreaks, Reveals Much Higher
Levels of Transmission to Humans, Than Previously Thought
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Recent alerts demonstrate that the transmission of avian influenza to humans, which re-emerged at the beginning of 2004, is far from over in South East Asia (1). As efforts to control the epidemic and prevent further human cases continue, the need to assess the effectiveness of current control measures grows. An executive summary of the final report of the outbreak of avian influenza A/H7N7 in the Netherlands has recently been published in English (2).

Between March and May 2003, an unprecedented outbreak of avian influenza occurred in humans in the Netherlands. During an extensive epizootic of influenza A virus H7N7 on commercial poultry farms, 86 cases in poultry workers and 3 cases in people with no poultry contact were initially confirmed by PCR. The predominant symptom was conjunctivitis (3). One veterinarian developed fatal respiratory distress syndrome after close contact with infected poultry (4).


<click pic for story>  

BTW The outbreak led to much greater spreading and higher costs, due to unbelievable negligence by Dutch authorities. The jobs for assistance in culling of poultry, were given to asylum seekers, whereby the Dutch IRS gave a single John Doe social security number.

The employers used the same people traveling from one province to the next, thereby spreading the virus across the Netherlands. Most sorrow was expressed by the Dutch citizens, as their home pets: beautiful and rare breed of poultry, turkeys and rare birds to the last pet, were picked up for culling!

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Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Aug 13th, 2005 at 10:14:30 AM EST
Thanks for this, Oui. Will be on the lookout for any EU or Pan-European discussion of this topic.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sat Aug 13th, 2005 at 10:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's what the Swiss govt is doing (from Swissinfo):

http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=106&sid=6005204&cKey=1123859681000

Switzerland is extending a ban on birds and poultry from Asian countries to Russia and Kazakhstan in a bid to prevent the spread of avian flu.

At the same time, the Federal Health Office says it wants to build a reserve of vaccine to protect up to 100,000 people should the flu begin passing to humans.



"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Sat Aug 13th, 2005 at 12:38:25 PM EST
Roche, the only pharmacy company that makes the Tamiflu antiviral medicine, makes this statement: (From Swissinfo):

http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=106&sid=5848898

"There is no production bottleneck," Martina Rupp, a spokeswoman for Roche, told swissinfo. "We increased production significantly last year, we will do so again this year and we have fulfilled all orders to agreed timelines."

"We have however made it very clear that we cannot guarantee adequate supplies at the time of a pandemic so it's key that countries start stockpiling well in advance."



"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Sat Aug 13th, 2005 at 12:47:22 PM EST
Here is the new ECDC statement:

http://www.ecdc.eu.int/

And here is a statement on planning by the European Commission:

http://www.europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/com/wdc/2004/com2004_0201en01.pdf

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Sat Aug 13th, 2005 at 12:51:44 PM EST
The response of German health officials to date is scant enough to be scary.

Germany's national health authority was broken up in 1994, and the Robert-Koch-Institut was subsequently assigned responsibility for infectious diseases. Their documentation on avian flu is here.

An initial perusal reveals no contingency planning for a pandemic, only recommendations on dealing with single cases.

Looking at the map, the virus has obviously spread to areas along European bird migration routes. So I guess that means it will start appearing in European bird populations next year?

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Aug 14th, 2005 at 12:02:56 PM EST
My wife heard a discussion this week, involving WHO, regard the effects of bird migration...it seems that one factor in all this is that infected birds will be dying as they head West and South, so some of the danger will be mitigated. That said...it IS slowly heading West...this bears watching.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Mon Aug 15th, 2005 at 09:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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