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Posted on 05/09/2005 10:18:08 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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Official Chinese bird flu deaths could be 'tip of iceberg'
Updated 12:31 25 November 2005
Bird flu special report, New Scientist
A respected Japanese scientist, who works with the World Health Organization, has told New Scientist he fears that Chinas official tally of laboratory-confirmed human bird flu fatalities just three is only the tip of the iceberg.
Masato Tashiro, head of virology at Tokyos National Institute of Infectious Disease a WHO-collaborating centre for bird flu showed a slide at a meeting of virologists in Marburg, Germany, on 19 November listing several dozen outbreaks in people, 300 deaths, 3000 people placed in isolation, and seven human-to-human transmissions. The meeting was reported in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Tashiro has now told New Scientist that the figures were examples of the unauthorised information circulating in China, where he was recently helping investigate the outbreak in Hunan for the WHO.
Earlier reports suggested that Tashiro believed 300 to be the true death toll from bird flu in China. I do not know whether the numbers were based on any evidence, he says.
But the message is that we do not know how many cases actually occurred in China, due to poor disease surveillance. If surveillance is done more extensively, more cases may be detected. He says the international community should assist China with monitoring. He describes the situation as an "iceberg phenomenon" with most cases unreported.
China has reported only three confirmed cases of H5N1 in people: a boy in Hunan province who recovered, and two women in Anhui province who died, the latest of which was announced on Thursday. There was another probable case in Hunan.
The potential problem of underreporting may not only be technical. There are also claims that Chinese medical personnel have been arrested for trying to report cases. China enforced severe restrictions on the investigation and reporting of suspected cases of bird flu in June 2005.
But the WHO says it does not believe China is deliberately hiding cases as it did during the SARS outbreak in 2003. "There are many countries where surveillance is weak and needs to be strengthened, I think that's true in certain parts of China as well," says Roy Wadia, a WHO spokesman based in Beijing. "We're getting lots of information in a timely way about the outbreaks and we're asked to be part of the ongoing investigations. I think that speaks for itself."
Virologists consider the relative absence of human cases of bird flu in China unusual, given its widespread infection in birds. China has reported 22 poultry outbreaks in 10 provinces all across the country since mid-October 2005, the latest being on Friday.
The WHO told the official Chinese news agency Xinhua last week that the virus that caused the outbreak in Hunan is the same as the H5N1 flu in Vietnam and Thailand, where it has caused 113 confirmed human cases and 55 deaths so far.
Now, for China's version:
BEIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- China's Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday refuted a rumor on the Internet spread by a Japanese virologist saying China has had several hundred human deaths from bird flu.
"The rumor is absolutely groundless," MOH spokesman Mao Qun'an told Xinhua in an interview.
"MOH has confirmed from the World Health Organization (WHO) Beijing office that there was no Japanese expert in WHO's mission in Hunan Province early this month," said Mao.
All the reports quoting this so-called Japanese expert said that China has had several hundred human fatalities from bird flu were unreasonable and without foundation, he stressed.
China so far reported three confirmed human cases of bird flu, including two deaths in east China's Anhui Province and one recovered case in central province of Hunan.
In the areas where bird flu outbreaks occurred, health authorities have put all the people who closely contacted with sick and dead poultry under strict medical observation. Surveillance, reporting and separate treatment of fever and respiratory cases have also been strengthened, said Mao.
MOH has made timely report to WHO, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and some countries on each confirmed case and has immediately released the information to the public as well, he said.
The cooperation between the Chinese government and WHO on bird flu control has been going smoothly, a spokesman at WHO headquarters was quoted by Mao as saying.
China is not covering any human cases of bird flu and the Japanese expert has never visited China on a WHO mission, the WHO spokesman confirmed, according to Mao.
The Japanese expert named Masato Tashiro said last week that in Germany that bird flu has killed 300 people in China, including seven cases caused by human-to-human transmission, according to reports on the Internet portals including "news scientist" and "WorldNet daily".
This is potentially major news. Let's hope Israel handles this correctly. The stakes are VERY high.
Thanks. I will read every word. The Indonesian man at the CRF meetings used the same phrase - that the nine documented H5N1 patients are but the "tip of the iceberg", that no one really has any idea of how many humans have gotten it. And he's the expert, so if he doesn't know, no one knows.
Unknown quantity: bird flu in Cambodia
24 November 2005
When people think of bird flu in Asia, Cambodia rarely springs to mind. It is usually either the massive culling of birds in China or new outbreaks in Indonesia or Vietnam that grab the headlines.
Yet the H5N1 bird flu virus is widespread in Cambodia's poultry and wild bird populations alike. And with the country's limited health care capacity, inadequate surveillance and poor public health awareness, any investigation into bird flu here is a journey into the unknown.
To read more go to: http://www.scidev.net/gateways/index.cfm?fuseaction=readitem&rgwid=3&item=Features&itemid=481&language=1
Why am I not surprised?
Scientists, producers slam proposal to force poultry indoors
Last Updated Nov 25 2005 02:23 PM CST
Chicken producers and scientists have been quick to criticize the province for considering a move to force all birds to be raised indoors.
The move comes after several wild birds in the province tested positive for the H5N1 virus. While this is not the strain blamed for human deaths in Asia, provincial officials would rather be safe than sorry, so they are considering among other possible risk-limiting measures a move to have all poultry raised indoors to limit the risk of wild birds passing on the avian flu virus to domestic birds.
In the previous pandemic of 1918, that is what happened. there were cases world wide reported within days of each other. That is part of the problem of finding how it spread. When in the same week there are outbreaks in Jakarta, New Deli, and Boston, finding the source is very difficult.
We won't have much warning. Days probably if we are lucky.
Ex, a respectable amount of evidence exists to the contrary. Lives have been saved by Tamiflu recently, after exposure, infection, and influenza symptomatology (H5N1). Spend some time on the influenza forums and you will see. Many people, including "professionals" have been mistaking antibiotic-type genetic resistance for the H5N1 situation, where resistance is seen due to the incredibly prolific replication ability of the virus. In other words, it overwhelms a normal dose and course of Tamiflu. Better results have been seen with a double or triple dose, for twice the time of the normal course. Hence my PM question about probenecid, which increases the level and duration of Tamiflu in the body.
I'm not about to bet my family's lives solely on Tamiflu, but one of the best anti-virals out there definitely seems like a good start, even if imperfect. Comments welcomed.
Flu halted on B.C. duck farms, officials say
By PETTI FONG
Saturday, November 26, 2005 Page A10
VANCOUVER -- One week after a duck at a Chilliwack farmtested positive for avian flu, health officials say they are cautiously optimistic that the virus has stopped spreading.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency veterinarian Con Kiley said yesterday that 4,500 birds from nearly 90 per cent of all farms in the surrounding area have been tested since last week.
"One week after the initial detection, we are cautiously optimistic," he said. "It remains contained and not extended to the more susceptible chicken and turkey populations."
Daily Bird Flu News Updates:
CP - 26th November 2005
Wild ducks tested positive for H5 avian flu viruses in Canada
HALIFAX - Officials confirmed Friday that 35 wild birds sampled in the Maritimes tested positive for H5 avian influenza viruses, but said they did not believe any were carrying the virulent strain of H5N1 avain flu responsible for widespread poultry outbreaks in Southeast Asia.
The infected birds, mostly black ducks and mallards, were found largely in an area around the Tantramar marshes near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border. One positive case was found in Prince Edward Island. All of the birds were said to be in good health, leading scientists to believe they were not carrying the strain that has killed at least 68 people overseas.
"I don't call it a concern whatsoever," Dr. Pierre-Yves Daoust of the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown said Friday. "These are still preliminary results, but 35 of them were positive."
But further tests need to be done to fully identify the viruses and conclusively rule out any link to the Asian virus. That testing, which will be done at the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg, will include comparing the genetic sequences of the viruses to the Asian H5N1.
bump for excellence.
Thanks for the update.
Yeah, I would hate for it to be sold short. Many times, in close brush with death cases, very little makes the difference between life and death. You can see this in ICUs. Tamiflu doesn't have to be a "King Kong" against viruses, it only needs to interfere with replication enough to make the difference.
I know there are quite a few casual readers of this thread and I'd hate to see them write it off, along with curcumin, NAC and other things that have their own pros and cons.
The article on herbal Tamiflu alternatives was a pretty good article because it gave PubMed references for most of the suggestions. I decided to loop up those references and learn a little more.
One of the best was: Proinflammatory cytokine responses induced by influenza A (H5N1) viruses in primary human alveolar and bronchial epithelial cells., which discussed the "cytokine storm" and the possible mechanism for the lethality of H5N1, namely the overstimulation of the immune cytokine system. This article had also been referenced in the Avian Influenza Bird Flu Information summary.
What I found particularly interesting about this particular article is that it cited the specific cytokines that were associated with the immune response. Those were: TNF-a, IL-6, and IP-10. Significantly, the Avian Influenza Bird Flue Information Summary also cited: "Below is a list of foods that are said to contain substances that are natural antivirals, immune boosters or they decrease cytokines TNF-a and IL-6." Therefore, the summary of anti-virals and cytokine suppressants discussed in the summary only included TNF-a and IL-6. IP-10, which was prominently mentioned in the ProMed article was absent from the summary. So, I decided to look more closely in the Promed database for IP-10 suppressants. I found one article: Ginger extract components suppress induction of chemokine expression in human synoviocytes.
Significantly, the only reference I could find on the suppression of IP-10 was Ginger. Moreover, this research was done at the renown Johns Hopkins Medical School.
In our previous discussions, we had come up with a tentative list from those discussions. My variant of this list was (in rough order of importance):
Sambucol (this is somewhat controversial)
St. Johns Wort
I have eliminated other candidates because the results were not well-substantiated or there were significant side effects.
To this list we must now add:
Outstanding post. It should be added to the Avian Flu Prep thread, if and when you get a chance...
I am presently using Cinnamon and Turmeric for other reasons, primarily these:
Cinnamon is good for insulin response and blood sugar levels, also benefits triglycerides and good cholesterol. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and has a shown detectable improvement in my RA.
I also take my elderberry "potion" on days I go out in public, just before and just after.
Ginger is an excellent addition. Thanks for the information.
Thanks for posting your research. Excellent info 2ndreconmarine.
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