bird flu, avian flu, pandemic

Bird Flu in Hawaii

Bird Flu in Hawaii
Wildlife experts in Hawaii started catching and testing birds for bird flu this week.

US Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Ken Foote says the team expects to find some bird flu virus because there are many strains of it. The good news is that most bird flu viruses do not make wild birds or humans sick.

The bird flu that is serious to humands (H5N1) has been found in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, but it has never reached North America. This type of bird flu has the potential to reach North America and could very likely be found in Hawaii first.

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  • Filed under: Bird Flu

    Mild Strains of Bird Flu being Mis-Diagnosed

    Recent reports from South Korea and Indonesia of after-the-fact discovery of a handful of mild human cases of H5N1 avian flu (bird flu) again have raised questions about whether the bird flu disease’s extraordinarily high death rate is being inflated because mild cases are being missed.

    Experts say the bird flu evidence to date points away from that notion. But they add it is important to continue to search for mild bird flu cases.

    Understanding the true number of human bird flu infections—and the range of symptoms experienced—could help scientists better assess the bird flu pandemic risk posed by the virus.

    As well, tracking mild bird flu cases over time could provide an early warning if important changes to H5N1 occur, they suggest. Climbing rates of mild cases might signal the bird flu virus was adapting to become a human bird flu flu strain—moving closer to triggering a ’flu pandemic.

    “We need to keep monitoring it (bird flu),” Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy, said yesterday.
    (more…)

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    New Alert Over Bird Flu

    BRITAIN has stepped up its defences against the deadly strain of avian flu and is to increase surveillance at the most likely disease hotspots.
    As thousands of wild birds return to these shores after spending the summer in the Arctic or in the Russian tundra, vets and ornithologists are on the alert for a possible outbreak of the H5N1 strain and other virulent forms of bird flu.

    The areas deemed most at risk of triggering an outbreak are beaches, estuaries and other wetlands where gulls, geese, swans, ducks and waders gather in large numbers and which are near poultry farms.

    Debby Reynolds, the Chief Veterinary Officer, has ordered intensive sampling of birds in priority areas, including the East of England coast, Morecambe Bay and the Solway Firth in the North West, the eastern coast of Scotland and the South Coast. The rest

    Bird Flu has killed over 140 people worldwide, not a pandemic but bird flu scientists have been worried about the possiblity of a bird flu pandemic that could kill millions.

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    Virginia Bird Flu

    A bird flu pandemic would kill nearly 700 people in Fairfax County alone, forcing hospitals, nursing homes and other makeshift medical centers to set up temporary morgues and stockpile body bags to handle the deaths, according to a new bird flu report.

    “Life as you see it today will not be the same,” Fairfax health director Gloria Addo-Ayensu said in response to a 112-page primer on how the Washington area’s largest local government would respond to such a bird flu outbreak. –>

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    How Much Will the Bird Flu Cost?

    A severe bird flu pandemic among humans could cost the global economy up to $2 trillion, the World Bank said on Sunday, sharply raising earlier estimates.

    The comments came as a senior World Health Organisation official said the threat from the H5N1 avian flu virus was just as real today as it was six months ago, even if the headlines were not as scary. (more…)

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    Will the Bird Flu Slow down?

    The risk of a flu pandemic remains high despite possible public fatigue with the issue, but the WHO is hopeful the bird flu virus will do less damage than in past years during Asia’s upcoming colder months, an official said yesterday.

    “The virus seems to be very embedded in the environment and, in our view, the risk of a pandemic continues unabated,” Richard Nesbit, WHO’s acting regional director for the Western Pacific, told reporters prior to a weeklong meeting in Auckland, New Zealand.

    “Recently, we’ve seen new outbreaks in poultry in Cambodia and also in Thailand, besides seeing continuing outbreaks in Indonesia,” he said.

    Bird flu is expected to be one of the top items discussed for the third straight year at the annual WHO regional meeting, which helps set the organization’s strategic agenda. The H5N1 virus has killed at least 144 people since it began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in late 2003, and experts worry more fatalities will emerge as the cooler months approach.

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    Bird Flu Pandemic Risk Still Very high

    The WHO (World Health Organization) says the risk for a Bird Flu Pandemic is still very high. The risk of a flu pandemic remains high despite possible public fatigue with the issue, but the WHO is hopeful the bird flu virus will do less damage than in past years during Asia’s upcoming colder months, a WHO official said Sunday.

    “The virus seems to be very embedded in the environment and, in our view, the risk of a pandemic continues unabated,” Richard Nesbit, WHO’s acting regional director for the Western Pacific, told reporters. (more…)

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