Flu (Bird, Swine, etc): October 2006 Archives

New virus evades current poultry immunization measures

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bird flu vaccineA new strain of vaccine-resistant H5N1 bird flu virus has emerged in China and is spreading through southeast Asia, Hong Kong researchers report.

"The implications are that current control measures are ineffective with dealing with the evolutionary changes that H5N1 undergoes," warned Dr. Yi Guan, director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Diseases at the University of Hong Kong and lead author of a report in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new strain has become dominant throughout the region, replacing other variants of the virus, the report said.

bird flu(NewsTarget) While the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu has not yet mutated into a form easily transmittable between humans, a Harvard School of Public Health poll conducted Thursday suggests that many Americans would be left without anyone to care for them if it did.

About 24 percent of the nearly 1,700 Americans polled from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5 said they would not have anyone to take care of them if they were sick at home for seven to 10 days; 45 percent of respondents living alone said they would have no one to care for them if stricken with the disease; and 34 percent of black adults said the same thing.

WHO urges massive increase in bird-flu vaccine production

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Right. Let's see the death rate from bird-flu disease:

Since it re-emerged in 2003, H5N1 bird flu has infected 256 people, killing 151, mainly in southeast Asia. Although it has been difficult for humans to catch, health authorities fear it could evolve into a form more easily passed between people and trigger a pandemic.

Do you know that only in South Africa there are more people dying from AIDS DAILY? Shouldn't there be more emphasis in this direction?

Anyways, the article is below. Read the "breaking news from WHO", if you feel like.

VIENNA, Austria, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq: VICL) today announced that a single injection of the company's lead avian influenza (flu) DNA vaccine candidate provided 100% protection in ferrets against lethal challenge with a highly virulent H5N1 virus (Vietnam/1203/2004). Conventional vaccines under development for avian flu typically have required two or more doses in humans, even with novel adjuvants, to produce the immunogenicity levels expected to provide protection.

Countries 'ill-prepared' for bird flu vaccination

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and I don't blame them. Looking at infection and mortality rate mentioned in this very article, I see that the bird-flu does not pose the same risk, as for example HIV/AIDS or Cancer.

According to the WHO a bird flu pandemic is a serious threat; 256 cases of confirmed avian flu have been reported to the WHO, which have resulted in 151 deaths.

Shall we compare these numbers to daily mortality rate due to AIDS in South Africa, for example?

Read more on "ill-prepared" countries..

China to start 2nd trial for bird flu vaccine soon

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By Tan Ee Lyn, Reuters, 12 Oct 2006

BEIJING, Oct 12 (Reuters) - A Chinese company that is developing a H5N1 bird flu vaccine for humans plans to kick off a second clinical trial before the end of the year and will have its production capacity expanded ten-fold by mid-2007.

"The second clinical trial should be over by July or August next year, just before the flu season begins," Yin Weidong, managing director of state-backed Beijing Sinovac Biotech Co., told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

He tried to ease concerns over using a strain of the virus found in Vietnam in the vaccine, saying it would offer some protection against other H5N1 strains.

Bird flu vaccine has promise, Baxter says

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DEERFIELD -- Baxter International said preliminary clinical results of its influenza vaccine are encouraging.

The company said that the vaccine to counteract bird flu is "highly immunogenic" and produces functional antibodies to H5N1 influenza even at the lowest dose, as shown by results from the first two phases of clincical trials.