Skip to comments.Current Bird Flu Outbreak In Turkey Started In Mid-November, Not Mid-December
Posted on 01/14/2006 6:52:30 AM PST by blam
Current Bird Flu Outbreak In Turkey Started In Mid-November, Not Mid-December
Article Date: 14 Jan 2006 - 4am (UK)
According to the World Health Organisation, the current outbreak of avian flu in Turkey started at least three weeks before it was officially reported. So far there have been 18 confirmed human cases, of which 3 have died (all siblings).
Turkish officials had said the outbreak started in the middle of December. However, according to Huseyin Sungur, a veterinary surgeon who works for the Turkish government, the outbreak was affecting birds at least three weeks before.
Had this delay not happened it might have been easier to contain the initial outbreak near the border with Iran.
The World Health Organisation has also said that the H5N1 bird flu virus strain has mutated slightly. However, not enough to spread from human-to-human.
At the moment the H5N1 strain infects birds easily. Humans can catch it from birds, but not easily. Over 100 million birds have died over the last three years as a result of this virus strain, but only about 80 people. The virus cannot, at the moment, spread from person-to-person (only in extremely rare cases).
For a human to catch bird flu from a bird there has to be a lot of physical contact.
Health experts around the world say the virus will eventually mutate and become transmissible among humans. When this happens we could be facing a serious global flu pandemic.
One way the virus could mutate might be by infecting a human who has the flu (normal human flu). It could then exchange genetic information with the human flu virus and pick up its ability to spread among humans. If this newly mutated virus turned out to be as deadly as the current H5N1 strain, the consequences could be very serious. On the other hand, the mutated virus could end up being much less harmful.
Written by: Christian Nordqvist Editor: Medical News Today
Article Date: 12 Jan 2006 - 3am (UK)
GenoMed (OTC Pink Sheets GMED), a Next Generation Disease Management company whose business is public health, announced today that its approach to avian influenza was confirmed today by the finding of two brothers with evidence of avian influenza infection but no symptoms.
The two brothers are being watched in Kecioren Hospital, Turkey, and were the subject of several news reports, for example, CLICK HERE - reuters .
Said Dr. David Moskowitz, GenoMed's CEO and Chief Medical Officer, "This finding confirms our impression that what kills members of the general population is not the virus, but their reaction to the virus. Our treatment approach is designed to convert everybody in the general population into asymptomatic viral shedders like these two boys."
GenoMed's broad-spectrum anti-viral approach is specifically mentioned in BioShield II, (see Section 2151 of Senate bill S. 975). GenoMed uses already existing, safe medication present in every drug store and hospital in the world. Anyone interested in participating in GenoMed's clinical trial for avian influenza or regular influenza can download the trial documents from www.genomed.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward looking statements, including those statements pertaining to GenoMed, Inc.'s (the Company's) finances and treatments. The words or phrases "ought to," "should," "could," "may," or similar expressions are intended to identify "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward looking statements as a result of a number of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to our research and development being subject to scientific, economic, regulatory, governmental, and technological factors. Statements made herein are as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as of any subsequent date. Unless otherwise required by applicable law, we specifically disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect occurrences, developments, unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statement.
David W. Moskowitz MD
Belgian officials are testing a man for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus after he returned ill from Turkey. The man, whose name has not been given, complained of flu symptoms after returning to Belgium on Thursday, officials at a Brussels hospital said.
Test results due later on Saturday should show if the man, thought to be a journalist or a tourist, has the virus.
Three people have died and 18 have been infected in Turkey by the virus, first detected in poultry there last year.
Since 2003, the virus has killed almost 80 people and thousands of poultry in south-east Asia and China.
All human deaths so far are said to have been caused by contact with infected animals - but experts warn that a mutant form of the virus that transmits between humans could lead to a pandemic.
A Belgian government expert told the AFP news agency that a person who had gone to hospital complaining of fever and a cough had been placed under observation.
The decision was taken because he had recently returned from a part of Turkey affected by an outbreak of the disease.
"It is a suspected case, the diagnosis of bird flu is not confirmed for the moment," the expert told AFP.
The Belga news agency has been quoted as saying the person was a journalist who had been in Turkey to report on the outbreak.
Hundreds of thousands of birds have been killed in Turkey
The European Union has pledged $100m (£56m; 80m euros) to help countries deal with the global bird flu threat. The announcement comes ahead of an international donors' conference in China next week, which the UN hopes will raise around $1.5bn.
Bird flu is already on the EU's doorstep - with three deaths among 18 cases of infection in Turkey. Meanwhile, France says it will conduct exercises simulating an outbreak to test the country's readiness.
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said he would extend a ban on rearing outdoor poultry to cover more than half of France - Europe's biggest poultry producer.
The agricultural ministry said the measures had been extended to risk areas "where there could be migratory birds", adding that further measures could be introduced "if the threat nears".
Europe's second-largest poultry producer, the Netherlands, has said it will submit a request to the European Commission to vaccinate its poultry against bird flu.
Scientists analysing the virus in Turkey say it is a particularly nasty form, but one which has been seen elsewhere.
The disease is not only a threat to health, but where it strikes it jeopardises economic growth and poverty alleviation
The analysis of a sample from one Turkish case showed a genetic change which has been seen in previous human cases in Hong Kong and Vietnam.
However, a team from the National Institute of Medical Research in the London-based team stress the alteration does not make the virus more likely to pass between humans.
More than 70 people have died worldwide since the latest outbreak started in late 2003.
There have been no known outbreaks of the highly dangerous H5N1 strain among birds within the EU, but it has been found in Romania, which is due to join the bloc next year.
EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said the aid, in the form of grants, would help poorer countries, including those in Eastern Europe and Africa, tackle the disease and risk of disease.
"Never before has an animal disease posed a global threat of such a dimension and spread at such a pace," she said.
"As the disease spreads from the first cases in Asia to the more recent outbreaks in Turkey it is now ever closer to Europe's doorstep. The disease is not only a threat to health, but where it strikes it jeopardises economic growth and poverty alleviation."
H5N1 virus will be detected in all countries. IMO, Long term: it won't turn out to be quite as lethal as originally believed. (Fingers crossed)
Bird Flu Ping.
Hmm. If the Bird Flu turns out to be less lethal - say 5% fatality rate - it will be more or less the equal of the 1918 flu. But only if it is very "catching". If it's hard to catch, with the lower fatality rate, then we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief.