Skip to comments.Avian Flu Surveillance Project
Posted on 05/09/2005 10:18:08 AM PDT by Dog Gone
Some folks suggested that we begin a thread similar to the Marsburg Surveillance Project for monitoring developments regarding Avian Flu.
The purpose is to have an extended thread where those interested can post articles and comments as this story unfolds.
If we're lucky, the story and this thread will fade away.
A UK doctor writing in the British Medical Journal has warned that governments around the world must stop burying their heads in the sand over the growing threat of a global epidemic of avian flu. Dr. Nigel Higson writes that disasters like the Asian Tsunami will "pale into insignificance" when compared to the human cost of an influenza pandemic which has the potential to wipe out "hundreds of millions" of lives.
Higson says the catalyst for government action should have been the discovery earlier in the year that avian flu (known as strain H5N1) is now spreading via human to human transmission. "Development of vaccines against H5N1 needs government pump priming, as will the stockpiling of euraminidase inhibitors, which should be effective against avian flu," writes Higson. "It is many years since a pandemic struck, and people have become complacent in that time. For governments to bury their heads in the sand may have some benefits in many political areas but it will be disastrous in terms of pandemic planning."
Now that human to transmission has been confirmed, Higson believes that doctors should prepare themselves for the practicalities of treating epidemic or pandemic influenza as well as encouraging increased pharmaceutical company capacity.
Thanks starting the thread.
Thanks for taking on this project.
A friend of ours was diagnosed with a type of avian influenza some years ago. While it did not prove fatal, it has left him permanently impaired with decreased lung function because of it. When I speak with his wife tonight I will ask if they remember exactly what the "name" of the diagnosis was.
At the time of his diagnosis that was the least of their concerns because it was discovered while he was being treated for tuberculosis. However there was some speculation at the time that it may have been present in his system for many years from exposure while he was a medic in Viet Nam, but only surfaced when his system became impaired due to the TB.
Good idea...we have a ping list for it?
If so..put me on both...
I'm not going to post the full article because it's reasonably lengthy and somewhat over my head, but here's a snip:
TORONTO (CP) - A diagnostic test designed by Canadian researchers and used in Vietnam to detect H5N1 avian flu is out of date, scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory admit - raising the possibility some human cases may have been dismissed in error.
The test was designed at the Winnipeg lab using genetic sequencing information from samples of the virus that circulated in the first quarter of 2004. But the virus has changed enough since then that questions have surfaced about the test's sensitivity.
Tracking the virus's forays into and among humans is critical, given fears that H5N1 may acquire the ability to easily transmit from person to person, sparking an influenza pandemic.
"Well, you have to be concerned," says Dr. Earl Brown, a virologist at the University of Ottawa who specializes in influenza evolution. Brown was not involved in the design of the test.
"You want to have a good idea of how much infection is going on out there. And if you're starting calling certain people with pneumonia or whatever infections negative when they're not, then you're not recognizing the full situation."
This is not the first suggestion that labs in Vietnam may have underestimated the number of positive cases there.
Earlier this year, Japanese scientists retested a number of specimens that technicians at a lab in Ho Chi Minh had determined were negative. The re-analysis found several of the rejected cases were actually positive.
Full story is here.
Just that snip makes it more imperative that I find out just what it was my friend was diagnosed with.
I sure hope the vaccine makers are working overtime to produce enough effective vaccine. With this strain being so lethal, I'd think just about everyone in the country would want to get vaccinated.
Please add me to the avian flu watch ping.
I agree with you.........and that would include even me, who avoids shots when at all possible.
Dog, I'm going to ping the list here in a moment. Then I'll pass a copy to you for maintenance, is that okay?
Ping to you all to the new surveillance thread for avian flu. If you want on or off the list, please FReepmail me or Dog Gone.
My reasoning is that most people interested in the Marburg surveillance thread would likely be interested in the avian flu thread.
Please excuse the ping, and notify me or Dog Gone if you want on or off.
Sure, that'd be fine.
please add me to the ping list.
brazzaville, you're already on. ;-D
KSApplePie_Two, you're added. ;-D
It's a good thing that two of us are keeping a list. I'm not always where I have access to mine...;-D
Judith Anne, I suggest setting up a "Biothreats" thread-to embrace naturally-occurring and deliberate events.
Great job! This new thread is a very good move.
I'd rather not do that, for the reason that Marburg is a pretty discrete topic, with lots of information pertaining to Marburg alone, and so is the one on Avian flu.
A separate whole forum for Biothreats, with various discrete disease topics would be the only way to encompass all the various biothreats, but frankly, I don't think that's too likely to happen.
What I DO see is where you're coming from and why, but at this point, I've got all I can do to keep up.
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