November 3, 2005
Re "Bush's Flu Plan Stresses Vaccine," Nov. 2 I could drain the English language dry in describing the colossal foolishness of President Bush's plan to vaccinate 20 million Americans against the current strain of avian flu. Why so? Because the current strain of avian flu, due to its lack of human-to-human transmissibility, poses no significant threat. The virus must mutate to achieve the feared scenario of rapid human-to-human transmission while retaining its lethal potential. Vaccination against the current strain will most likely provide little to no protection whatsoever against the new, deadly, mutated strain.
August 3, 2005 |
Russian veterinary officials said an outbreak of an avian flu strain that can infect humans had spread to another region in Siberia. The outbreak began in the Novosibirsk region in early July and has killed thousands of domestic fowl. Last week, the veterinary service identified the virus as the H5N1 strain, which can kill people, but no human cases have been reported in Russia. The same strain has been reported in a village in the adjacent Altai territory and in the Tyumen region farther west.
October 26, 2005 |
People should not panic about a possible influenza pandemic, despite the spread of a deadly strain of bird flu, leading health officials and politicians said. More than 60 people in Southeast Asia have died of avian flu, and the outbreak among birds has made its way to Europe. Margaret Chan, assistant director-general of the World Health Organization, said people should remember it is still relatively difficult for humans to catch bird flu.
February 4, 2007 |
Authorities scrambled to contain the country's first outbreak of the virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu in domestic poultry after the virus was found at a farm run by Europe's biggest turkey producer. About 2,500 turkeys have died since Thursday at the Bernard Matthews farm near Lowestoft in eastern England. Authorities said all 159,000 birds there would be culled over the next few days. The strain tends to be transmitted to poultry by migrating wildfowl.
February 5, 2006 |
A Hong Kong laboratory recognized by the World Health Organization has confirmed four more human bird flu cases in Indonesia, including two deaths, a senior Indonesian Health Ministry official said. Hariadi Wibisono, the ministry's director of control of animal-borne diseases, said that raised Indonesia's confirmed human bird flu cases to 23. Although the H5N1 strain of avian flu mostly affects birds, it has infected 161 people and killed 86 of them since 2003, according to the WHO.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2006 |
The San Diego Zoo is preparing to spend at least $500,000 to protect its 3,000 birds, some of which are very rare and found only in captivity, from avian flu. Officials say past threats, such as exotic Newcastle disease three years ago, have prepared them for the steps to take -- including vaccinating and possibly quarantining birds, and spraying delivery truck undercarriages with disinfectant -- if bird flu reaches the U.S.
January 29, 2004 |
Two sisters who are Vietnam's latest bird flu casualties died after killing and eating chickens at their brother's wedding, officials said. Their brother, who fell ill five days after the feast, also died. The women's deaths, announced Wednesday, bring to 10 the total number of people killed by avian flu in Asia, eight of them in Vietnam.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2005 |
With at least 11,000 airline passengers flying from Asia to California each day, the state would be more vulnerable than most should a deadly flu virus break out in the Far East, health authorities say. Despite stepped-up efforts to prepare for such a catastrophe, California -- like the rest of the nation -- is strikingly underprepared, these experts say.
February 9, 2004
"Beijing Has a Problem: Its Man in Hong Kong" (Feb. 3) gives an impression that China's Central People's Government has lost faith in Hong Kong's chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa. The impression is speculative and unfounded. China's leaders have repeatedly pledged firm support for the Hong Kong government led by Tung. Hong Kong has had to deal with a series of hard challenges in the last six years, from the Asian financial crisis to severe deflation, avian flu and SARS. The economy has recovered substantially since the middle of 2003, and the recovery is in no small way because of the government's initiatives.
October 10, 2005
Re "A $3.9-billion first strike," Opinion, Oct. 7 The Bush administration seems intent on perfecting its bungling. Stockpiling Tamiflu, the only drug that has any effect on the avian flu, for "distribution" is a prescription for disaster. To be effective, the drug must be taken within 36 hours of contracting the flu. Getting to a doctor, being diagnosed, having the drug prescribed, then actually getting the drug would stretch way beyond that timeframe for almost everyone. The money would be better spent on developing a fast and accurate test and making the drug available over the counter.