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

Bird Flu Infects Three Family Members In Egypt

bird fluA family cluster infection of bird flu has been identified in Garbiya, about 55 miles north of Cairo, Egypt, say officials from the World Health Organization (WHO). Two infected people had been slaughtering ducks prior to becoming infected, say WHO officials.

Official confirmation conflicts with the WHO version. A spokesman for the Egyptian Health Ministry said only two patients had been infected with H5N1, the virulent bird fly virus strain.

Authorities say birds in the immediate vicinity of the infections are being culled as a precautionary measure. They added that all humans in the area who have been handling poultry are being checked.
bird flu London – 'Daronrix', Glaxo's bird-flu vaccine, will hold a pride of place in the annals of preventive medicine, to be the first experimental bird-flu vaccine to receive certification by the European Medicines Agency, for its use in protecting people in the event of a bird-flu pandemic.

This first generation vaccine can be used only after the WHO or the European Union officially declares a pandemic.

A second –generation vaccine has also been conceived by the same company, Glaxo, and work is underway to study the effects of the vaccine in combating the H5N1 virus strain. The product is slated to go in for approval in the subsequent weeks. This second generation vaccine is intended to strengthen the immune system, as a preventive measure against an imminent pandemic.

novartis Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG and Sanofi-Aventis SA are among drugmakers searching for new weapons against influenza viruses that evade protection from existing vaccines.

Each year, a new strain of the flu virus circles the globe and kills as many as a half million people annually worldwide. As the virus changes annually into forms that can circumvent the human immune system, scientists are seeking the first universal vaccine against the flu.

To defeat the flu, doctors will need new vaccines with unprecedented power, said Albert Osterhaus, the head of virology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Such a vaccine should be able to protect against many strains at once, including the avian form arising in Asia that threatens to become a pandemic deadly to tens of millions of people.

Vaccines for all H5N1 flu strains crucial

H5N1 virusSINGAPORE, Dec 11 (Reuters) - The H5N1 bird flu virus has undergone many changes since making its first known jump into humans in 1997 and vaccines must be manufactured to fight its major strains, experts said on Monday.

While the virus remains largely a bird disease and does not infect people easily, the scientists at a conference on avian flu and other infectious diseases in Singapore warned against any complacency.

"What's worrying is there were more (human) cases in 2006 than 2004 and 2005. The problem is still with us," Robert Webster of the St Jude Children's Research Hospital in the United States told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.

Jury still out on vaccines

bird fluBANGKOK, 8 December (IRIN) - International pharmaceutical companies are racing to prepare, and obtain regulatory approval for, a vaccine to protect humans against avian influenza, but scientists do not know whether the vaccines under development would be able to protect people from a potential pandemic influenza strain, if it eventually emerges.

At present, 27 human clinical trials of vaccines against several different strains of avian influenza are under way by more than a dozen western drug companies, and so far, they have resulted in some immune response in those vaccinated.

However, the vaccines now in development are based on strains of the lethal H5N1 virus that have circulated in Vietnam, Indonesia and Turkey and influenzas are fast mutating viruses, so it is unclear whether vaccines developed from old strains will offer any protection against new strains.

When to use bird flu vaccine a "tricky issue"


vaccination By Darren Schuettler BANGKOK (Reuters) - A vaccine against the killer H5N1 bird flu virus could be licensed for human use in a year, but when to use it is becoming a "tricky issue," a senior World Health Organization official said on Wednesday.

Drug companies are racing to find a cure for the avian influenza virus which has killed 154 people since 2003 and fanned fears of a global human pandemic. At least a dozen manufacturers have clinical trials underway or planned.

"We can expect that a year from now there would be vaccines against H5N1 influenza strains that would be licensed for human use," Marie-Paule Kieny, head of the WHO's Initiative for Vaccine Research, told reporters on the final day of a WHO vaccine conference in Bangkok.

hepalifeBOSTON -- Independent Third-Party Analysis by World's Leading Provider of Integrated Preclinical Support Services Confirms HepaLife’s PBS-1 Cells Are Free from Exogenous Agents, Bacteria and Fungi

HepaLife Technologies, Inc. (OTCBB: HPLF) (FWB: HL1) (WKN: 500625) today announced confirmation that the Company’s patented ‘PBS-1’ cells, under development for avian influenza vaccines, are free of pathogens, diseases, bacteria, and potentially harmful viruses. Pathogen-free cells are critical for the rapid development of novel, cell-culture based vaccine production to help protect against the spread of influenza viruses among humans, including potentially the high pathogenicity H5N1 avian flu virus.

bird fluJAKARTA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The world's poultry industry suffered approximately 2 billion U.S. dollars in losses due to the bird flu epidemic in the period of September 2005 to September 2006, an Indonesian official was quoted Saturday as saying.

"The global poultry industry has suffered direct losses of 2 billion dollars due to lower prices. This is equal to 14 percent of the total value of world trade," National Avian Influenza Control Commission chairman Bayu Krisnamurthi said, as quoted by major newspaper The Jakarta Post.

Apart from the direct financial losses, Bayu said, indirect losses had also been severe, including lower incomes for poultry breeders, lower poultry consumption and lower nutritional intake as a result of people's unwillingness to consume poultry products.

Bird flu vaccine leaves 10 Canadians dead


tamiflu Two weeks ago, international warnings were posted of adverse reactions to the medication among children and youth. Health Canada didn't issue a public update about the flu drug until Wednesday.
Health Canada's bulletin said that since February 2000, 84 Canadians have had adverse reactions after taking the drug, including 10 who died and seven adults who reported "psychiatric adverse events."

This year alone there was 13 reported reactions to the drug including 3 women aged 95, 88 and 81 that died. Tamiflu is used to treat the flu and combat the H5N1 avian flu virus.

Health Canada spokesman Alastair Sinclair says there is no reason for Canadians to be worried.

source - Digital Journal