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.
I will discuss which are catalyst herbs on the Preparedness thread tomorrow. THe info I posted there is really not in a good form, too hard to understand. I'm planning on re-writing it tonight in a more "digestible" form and will note which are the herbs you asked about.
Daily Bird Flu News Updates:
VNECONOMY - 5th December 2005
Vietnam expands cattle breeding as poultry substitute
VIETNAM - Vietnam's cattle breeding sector is sharply developing as avian influenza ravages the poultry industry, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
The country's cattle herds have reached 4.9 million head, up 4.1 percent over the last year. The number of buffalo also increased to 2.8 million. The breeding of goats and sheep is seeing the highest jump, over 20 percent, with about 1 million head.
"500,000 oseltamivir capsules" aka Tamiflu, if I'm not mistaken.
If anyone knows more about Tamiflu, post it up! There've been articles recently stating that Tamiflu is useless, and also one of the CFR transcripts says that Tamiflu shouldn't be given to people who are sick (may render the virus more virulent) but to people who get exposed. There is a cloudy mirk about the whole subject of Tamiflu. I'd like to know more about it.
Monday, December 05, 2005
No bird flu risk for consumers from properly cooked poultry and eggs, says UN
GLOBAL - Chicken and other poultry are safe to eat if cooked properly, according to a joint statement by FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) issued to national food safety authorities. However, no birds from flocks with disease should enter the food chain.
FAO/WHO made the statement to clarify food safety issues in relation to the current bird flu crisis. The statement has been issued through the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) and is available in six languages.
In areas where there is no bird flu outbreak in poultry, there is no risk that consumers will be exposed to the virus via the handling or consumption of poultry and poultry products.
Cooking of poultry (e.g. chicken, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea-fowl) at or above 70° Celsius throughout the product, so that absolutely no meat remains raw and red, is a safe measure to kill the H5N1 virus in areas with outbreaks in poultry, FAO/WHO said. This ensures that there is no active virus remaining if the live bird had been infected and had mistakenly entered the food chain. To date, there is no epidemiological evidence that people have become infected after eating contaminated poultry meat that has been properly cooked.
From the information currently available, a large number of confirmed human cases acquired their infection during the home slaughtering and subsequent handling of diseased or dead birds prior to cooking. FAO and WHO emphasize that in the process of killing and preparing a live bird for food, slaughtering poses the greatest risk of passing the virus from infected or diseased birds to humans.
Most strains of avian influenza virus are mainly found in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of infected birds, and not in meat. However, highly pathogenic viruses, such as the H5N1 strain, spread to virtually all parts of an infected bird, including meat. Proper cooking at temperature at or above 70°C in all parts of the product will inactivate the virus.
When a diseased bird is slaughtered, defeathered and eviscerated, virus from that bird can transfer to humans through direct contact. Infected poultry excrete virus in their secretions and faeces. Exposure might also occur when the virus is inhaled through dust and possibly through contact with surfaces contaminated with the virus.
In areas where marketing of live birds is common, the practices of home slaughtering, defeathering, and eviscerating increase the exposure to potentially contaminated parts of a chicken. These practices therefore result in a significant risk of infection in areas with outbreaks in poultry.
It is not always possible to differentiate infected and non-infected birds in outbreak areas. Some avian species, such as domestic ducks, may harbour the virus without displaying symptoms. Therefore, people need to be fully informed about preventive measures, including the use of protective equipment. The practice of slaughtering and eating of infected birds, whether diseased or already dead, must be stopped, FAO and WHO warn. These birds should also not be used for animal feed.
Even in areas or countries where outbreaks are currently occurring, the likelihood of infected poultry entering an industrialized slaughtering and processing chain, and eventually being marketed and handled by a consumer or a restaurant worker, is considered to be very low, FAO/WHO said. Good hygienic practices during preparation and cooking poultry at temperatures of 70°C or above will further contribute to the safety of cooked poultry meat.
Proper vaccination of domestic poultry is considered to be a useful tool as part of an overall integrated strategy for the control of HPAI. It must be implemented in accordance with existing standards and procedures for vaccination. With appropriate monitoring programs in place, vaccinated poultry can enter the food chain without particular risk for the consumer.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus can be found inside and on the surface of eggs laid by infected birds. Although sick birds will normally stop producing eggs, eggs laid in the early phase of the disease could contain viruses in the egg-white and yolk as well as on the surface of the shell.
Proper cooking inactivates the virus present inside the eggs. Pasteurization used by industry for liquid egg products is also effective in inactivating the virus.
Eggs from areas with outbreaks in poultry should not be consumed raw or partially cooked (i.e., with runny yolk), FAO/WHO advise. To date, there is no epidemiological evidence to suggest that people have been infected with avian influenza by consumption of eggs or egg products.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - 5th December 2005
Am I allowed one teeny sentence from Rowters?
Hi ...Has anyone seen this and is it bad news?
Poor vaccines seen hampering bird flu efforts
Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 09 December 2005 0526 hrs
LONDON : Efforts to control the spread of bird flu in poultry in Southeast Asia are being hampered by the use of ineffective and often fake agricultural vaccines, a British virologist said Thursday.
As a result, ineffective animal vaccines could be increasing the threat of the virus evolving and being able to pass to humans, triggering a potentially catastrophic pandemic, said animal flu specialist Robert Webster.
To combat the problem, Webster, director of the World Health Organisation's Collaborating Centre for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza in Animals and Birds, called for more rigorous minimum standards for agricultural vaccines.
"There are good vaccines and bad vaccines. Good vaccines reduce virus load; bad vaccines stop the signs of disease but the virus keeps replicating, spreading and evolving," he told reporters in London.
"The chickens look perfectly healthy but go on pumping out viruses for a long time. We have to ask the question, why are these animal influenza viruses showing so much antigenic drift?
"I would argue that contributing to this is the use of bad vaccines."
Thanks very much, I will pass it along to people who may be thinking about Tamiflu.
(Dec. 10, 2005)
09 Dec 2005 15:52:03 GMT
OTTAWA - Chinese officials have concealed bird flu outbreaks in several provinces for many months this year, a leading virologist in Hong Kong told Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper in an interview published on Friday.
"I don't know if they are brave enough to admit that they have the virus in every corner of the country," said Guan Yi of the University of Hong Kong, who the Globe said had analyzed nearly 100,000 bird flu virus samples from across China.
"Quite honestly, some provinces have the virus and they still haven't announced any outbreak. I can show direct evidence, even though China is still trying very hard to block my research," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
China has so far reported more than 30 outbreaks of bird flu and five cases where the virus spread to humans.
Beijing has promised resources and openness in fighting bird flu after being widely criticized for an initial cover-up of the SARS virus in 2003.
The disease mostly affects birds, but scientists fear it could mutate into a form that can pass easily between people, leading to a human influenza pandemic.
The World Health Organization said this week that the virus might be going undetected or unreported in China, citing the case of a 10-year-old girl who fell ill with bird flu in a village that had not reported any poultry outbreaks.
Guan said he had evidence that bird flu had been circulating in the southwestern province of Yunnan many months before officials there confirmed an outbreak on Nov. 17.
"Why has this virus been burning for 10 years like a fire?" he asked the Globe and Mail.
"Ask the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. They should not avoid the question. It's obvious that it's out of control in China. It started off in Guangdong province and now the whole of China has the virus."
The WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization both say Beijing does a good job of quickly culling birds and disinfecting and quarantining affected areas.
Is it just me or do others see this train crash happening in slow motion too?
I'd say that is a fair assessment, unfortunately. Did you see the avian flu program (a new one) on National Geographic tonight? They didn't seem to cut any corners. I hope a lot of the sheeple watched it, might wake up a few.
Doubtful, the ones saying this will never happen will be the first ones on the rooftops yelling for help when this hits.
Flu fears as thousands of migratory birds die in Malawi
Fears that avian influenza may have reached Malawi are on the rise after thousands of migratory birds dropped dead in the centre of the southern African country.
"Police were alerted that scores of villagers were feasting on the mysterious 'mana from heaven'," said Wilfred Lipita, livestock and animal director in Malawi's agricultural ministry.
"We have cautioned them not to eat the dead birds since they may contain avian flu which has proved to be deadly to humans in other countries," Lipita told AFP on Friday.
The H5N1 bird virus has killed more than 70 people through Asia since 2003. World health bodies have warned that once the virus achieves the ability to transmit from human to human, millions of people could die.
Malawi has not reported any cases of avian flu, but Lipita said it was "unusual for birds to die in their thousands in a short time."
He said the birds called the Common Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) -- locally called the "Namzemze" -- started dropping dead early this week at a hill in Ntchisi district, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of the administrative capital Lilongwe.
Locals started collecting to eat the birds, which were believed to have migrated from Israel after one of them had a ring enscribed with the word "Israel" on it.
Malawi has sent blood and tissue samples to South Africa as it was the only southern African country with the capacity to test for bird flu, Lipita said. AFP
Thanks for the creepy update...
Manna from heaven? Yikes!
Phnom Penh - Bird flu has yet to achieve human-to-human transmission, but subtle mutations in the virus are bringing the world closer to a pandemic, the UN's coordinator on avian influenza said on Friday.
"There are some subtle changes in the genetic makeup of H5N1 which suggest that it is making some of the mutations that would enable it to have a higher likelihood of being able to become a human-to-human transmitted virus," said David Nabarro.
"Virologists who study these things say do not get complacent. It is quite feasible that H5N1 could mutate. The fact that it has taken some years should not lead you to believe that we are through the worst."
Nabarro was speaking in Phnom Penh during a one-day visit to Cambodia, which has seen at least four human bird flu deaths.
Difficulties stockpiling anti-virals
He warned that there are difficulties stockpiling enough anti-viral medicines to combat the illness.
"We all would like there to be much more stock of anti-viral medicines. We are in a bit of difficulty because the production capacity, particularly of (Tamiflu), is quite restricted," he said, adding that the UN was in regular talks with drug manufacturers to build up stocks.
The bird flu virus has killed more than 70 people through Asia since 2003 and resulted in the culling of millions of birds, dealing a huge blow to regional poultry industries.
World health bodies have warned that once the virus achieves the ability to transmit from human to human, millions of people could die.
Nabarro, who will also visit Vietnam and Indonesia, commended Cambodia for its effort to combat the virus.
"Cambodia has to be prepared for a possible pandemic and my understanding is that is happening," he said.
"I don't say everything is fine because there is still much more to be done. One of the reasons I came to this country was because I believe there are lessons from Cambodia ... that need to be shared elsewhere."
POSTED: 2:33 am EST December 16, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A Connecticut food importer and its owner pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling chicken feet from Thailand and selling them to specialty grocers around the country, a crime that investigators discovered this year while trying to prevent an outbreak of bird flu.
Chicken feet are an Asian delicacy but imports from Thailand are banned because of concerns about the deadly virus, which has killed at least 69 people in Asia since 2003. Amid concerns about the disease, health inspectors in Ohio searched several grocers in March and discovered chicken feet in stock.
Investigators traced them back to a West Haven company, Food King Inc. Between 2001 and 2005, prosecutors said, the company imported more than 920 cases -- or 27,600 pounds -- of chicken feet and sold them to stores in at least 11 states.
"I know that chicken feet from Thailand are not allowed in the U.S.," owner Vichittra Aramwatananont said in court Thursday.
There were no reports of health problems in connection to the imports, and health officials said the company cooperated with a voluntary recall.
Aramwatananont, who is known in the United States as "Vicki," faces up to six months in prison but is not expected to receive jail time when she is sentenced March 24. The company remains open and will pay $170,000 as part of a plea agreement.
Aramwatananont left court without comment Thursday and is free until sentencing.
Besides Connecticut, the product was shipped to Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Wisconsin, prosecutors said.
Because the item was banned, Food King sold it, for cash, in packages labeled as jellyfish.
"All the stores knew it was, in fact, chicken feet," prosecutor Doug Morabito said.
self ping to bookmark
Most of you have probably seen this, but it is worth inclusion on this thread as well.
Not much interest in news about H5N1 lately, but this is still one of the biggest potential threats facing humanity.
This remains the best and most complete FR thread on H5N1, and perhaps on the net. Personally, I would like to keep it at least somewhat up to date.
I continue to suspect we are seeing the "Herald Wave" this year, and next year will be the real thing. But if this flu season is going to be "it", then the news from Turkey is the kind of thing I would expect to see first.
Lord knows the world has enough trouble without H5N1 right now.