News and notes about the Bird Flu Virus, page 6

Bird Flu News (H5N1)

This page provides news and comments about the bird flu, sometimes referred to as avian bird flu, Asian bird flu, and avian influenza A (H5N1).

Bird Flu on November 9, 2005

Remember the mad cow disease? The effects of public anxiety devastated Burger King. Now it is KFCs turn. We heard that KFC is anticipating bad press. Look for new ads soon.

Do NOT buy Tamiflu online, especially if they say it is generic Tamiflu. There is no such thing as generic Tamiflu. Roche, the company that makes Tamiflu, is currently negotiating with several firms with the aim of licensing them to help produce the drug, but none have been selected yet. And since it takes a full year to produce Tamiflu, there will be no generic capsules for at least a year, probably longer.

The flu typically goes through a community in two or more waves, several months apart. The
first wave is usually the worst lasting about three months.

The latest information we have suggests that up to a third of the population could get this avian flu, of which up to 75% could die. That’s a loss of about one of every seven people.

There is the possibility that 30% to 50% of all employees could be out with the flu at the same time. This could cause considerable problems for businesses that use the ‘just in time’ supply chain. With this in mind, it may be prudent to stock up a three-month or more supply of food and other consumables. We’re all together in this and we need to help each other get safely through the turbulent waters that lie ahead.

Bird Flu on November 10, 2005

Kuwait has reported the first known case of deadly bird flu in the Gulf Arab region on Friday. A flamingo was found to be carrying the H5N1 virus.

Bird Flu on November 11, 2005

The H5N1 virus has been found in the following animals:

  • chickens
  • crows
  • dogs
  • ducks
  • geese
  • flamingos
  • falcons
  • herons
  • house cats
  • migratory wild gulls
  • ostrich
  • peacocks
  • pigeons
  • pigs
  • quail
  • leopards
  • pigs
  • swans
  • teals
  • tigers
  • turkeys

China has reported a new case of bird flu in poultry in the country’s east – its 23rd outbreak in the last month.

Find what your state’s local pandemic plans are: click here.

As of 11/18/2005, the following states are coordinating with the federal pandemic plan:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

As you can see, not all states are up to speed on this yet. If your state doesn’t have a plan, we
encourage you to contact your state representatives and tell them to do something about this.

Expert: Dr. Julie Gerberding Director of the American Center for Disease Control

On CBS News, 1 January 2006 Dr. Julie Gerberding said, “We’ve probably never been closer to a pandemic than the year in 1917. And so when we see the ominous signs of this very bad virus continuing to propagate there, we do need to take it seriously and solve some of the problems that would be in our way from effective response in the United States.”

Expert: Dr. Robert Webster Director, U.S. Collaborating Center (WHO) Rose Marie Thomas Chair Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memphis, Tennessee says, “Whether or not we could have another 1918-like outbreak? The answer is absolutely yes. The H5N1 virus that’s currently causing problems in Asia could easily mutate to produce a 1918-like pandemic”…”Lets look at what the H5N1 is doing in Asia at the moment. More than 50 per cent of people being affected are dying. Imagine what would happen if that was transferred to a global situation. The only thing that this virus hasn’t learned yet is how to transmit between humans. If that happens, we are in great trouble in the world. 1918 would seem like a duck walk. This would be much, much more severe.”…”I spent my whole life working with influenza and I have never seen such a pathogenic virus.”

Bird Flu Feedback

Subj: Better treatment for birds flu?
Date: 3/2/2006
Hi, what is the better treatment for birds flu? In our area, we have seen the same cases in the poultry. Now what is the best way to protect ourselves from them? Waiting for your kindness reply,


AskDocWeb: Unfortunetly it is not a question of which treatment is better but rather when will one become available. For treatment of fowl, some countries have a vaccine that they are using to inoculate birds however, there is no vaccine for people.

In my country (USA) our medical facilities can treat about 1% of our people but, they usually run between 95% and 100% of capacity dealing with everyday medical problems. Hospitals will quickly become overwhelmed and most people will have to rely on those around them for care.

We are putting together a page for home care, a self-help treatment because if this goes human-to-human most of us will be on our own. We will post it as soon as possible.

Major bird flu developments in 2006

Jan 18 – International donors pledge $1.9 billion to combat the spread of bird flu at a conference in Beijing.

Expert: Dr. David Nabarro, U.N. system coordinator for avian and human influenza:

At TodayOnline, on January 25, 2006 Dr. Nabarro was quoted, “So many people, when I talk to them about getting prepared, seem to imply that we’ve got months in which to get prepared but I say to them: It may not be months. It could be that we’re going to get human-to-human transmission tomorrow so please act as though it’s going to start tomorrow. Don’t keep putting off the difficult issues.”

Feb 8 – The first African cases of the deadly H5N1 strain are detected in poultry in the northern Nigerian states of Kano, Kaduna and Plateau.

Feb 11/12 – Italy says six wild swans found in Sicily and on the southern mainland tested positive for H5N1. In Greece, three swans found south of Thessaloniki test positive for H5N1. These are the first known cases of the strain in the EU.

Feb 14 – Iran and Austria report cases of H5N1.

Feb 15 – Germany confirms two dead swans found on the Baltic island of Ruegen were infected with H5N1. More than 100 wild birds have since tested positive for H5N1.

Feb 17 – Egypt finds its first cases of H5N1 in chickens.

Feb 18 – India announces its first cases of H5N1, finding the virus in poultry in a western state.

Feb 22 – The EU approves plans by France and the Netherlands to vaccinate millions of hens, ducks and geese against bird flu.

Feb 25 – France confirms H5N1 at a farm in the east where thousands of turkeys have died. It is the first case of the virus in domestic farm birds in the EU.

Feb 27 – Domestic ducks from Niger test positive for H5N1.

March 6 – Poland confirms two dead swans had H5N1.

March 16 – Afghanistan, Myanmar and Denmark confirm their first cases of H5N1 in birds. The next day Israel confirms its first cases.

March 21 – Pakistan confirm bird flu, with H5N1 reported in two poultry flocks at farms in the North West Frontier Province.

March 24 – Jordan confirms H5N1 after at least three dead turkeys at a farm in Ajloun tested positive for the disease.

April 6 – Britain confirms H5N1 in a swan in Scotland.

April 26 – Ivory Coast detected its first outbreaks of H5N1 in birds.

May 11 – Djibouti announces its first case of human H5N1, in the first confirmed human case in the Horn of Africa.

July 4 – WHO confirms 40th death in Indonesia. – The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed another case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in Indonesia which was fatal. This case of bird flu brings the total in Indonesia to 52. Of these cases, 40 have been fatal.

Subj: Is Romania safe?
Date: 5/24/2006
I going to Romania this June 8 2006. Is it safe to go?


AskDocWeb: Bird flu has broken out in 88 locations across Romania but there has been no human cases reported. If it were a pleasure trip we would not go.

Subj: Turkey flu?
Date: 6/5/2006
Are turkey’s affected by the bird flu virus?


AskDocWeb: Yes of course, they are birds too. But that also reminds us of something else. Many sources are saying that the bird flu virus is killed by cooking and that the meat is safe to eat because of this. We believe this is a partial truth that will cost lives. The danger that they are not talking about is in handling the meat before it is cooked. Freezing does not harm the virus and until the meat is cooked, contaminated meat is very dangerous. Those who prepare the meat are at risk of infection.

Subj: Bird flu virus on tires?
Date: 2/8/2007
Is it possible the virus was transported by lorries or perhaps the drivers of those lorries? How long can the virus stay alive on tyres or vehicles. Or even the food feed to the birds?


AskDocWeb: Yes, vehicles that leave contaminated areas are being sprayed to prevent the spread of bird flu. If drivers step on a bird dropping, they can also spread the virus. If an infected bird visits your local bird feeder and leaves a dropping, the birds that visit later can get infected. The question of how long the virus can live outside of a warm body depends on the temperature and conditions. On a smooth hard surface the virus dies within minutes but a porous surface may allow the virus to live for days. In a compost pile it can live for weeks which is a problem when contaminated chicken feces is used as fertilizer. This can spreads the virus to other areas due to runoff that leads to ponds and waterways. In water, the virus can stay alive for several days. The H5N1 virus can stay alive in frozen products indefinitely and that leads to problems when infected meat is smuggled out of contaminated areas. According to the Department of Agriculture (USA), in a two-month period in the fall of 2006, the government seized 165,000 pounds of banned Asian poultry. Did they get it all? You can help stop the smuggling of infected poultry products in the USA by reporting them to the toll-free hotline, 1-800-877-3835.

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