As pointed out yesterday, flu blogging has been light this month, even though there have been interesting developments. As such, to catch up a bit, I’m posting an overview of the current Indonesian cluster and some other thoughts below the jump…
As always, I point anyone who wants to keep up-to-date on the latest news over to Effect Measure for excellent analysis of what it all means, or to H5N1 for news from around the world on the topic. Obviously, the biggest news of the moment is the Indonesian family cluster, which appears to not only be an example of human-to-human transmission, but one of three generations of transmission: index case (a 37-year-old woman) to family member #1, who spread it to family member #2, who spread it to family member #3. Overall, 7 members of the family have been infected; 6 have died. It’s worrisome for a number of reasons. First, we don’t know for sure how the index case became infected. Though poultry contact is assumed, no sick animals have been found in the area recently (though the virus has circulated previously in the area). Second, the size of the cluster (and obviously, the incredibly high mortality rate) are both alarming as well. Finally, they’re currently saying that there’s nothing notable about the virus sequence; it doesn’t seem to have mutated, but I think it’s a bit too soon to be able to know that for certain. (CIDRAP also has a nice overview).
Busy the rest of today and I’ll be out over the weekend to spend time with family, but I already have some posts in the works for next week–which will probably include some more on influenza. In the meantime, I’ll point you to some newer research on influenza by colleagues:
Have a good weekend!