Effect Measure

Archives for August, 2006

Increasing genetic diversity in H5N1

WHO has taken note (.pdf) of the increasing genetic diversity of the H5N1 influenza/A viral isolates as the disease spreads geographically. Clades are genetically related viruses with common ancestors. Since 2003, two such clades have appeared (clades 1 and 2), distinct from the original H5N1 viruses from the 1997 Hong Kong outbreak (now called clade…

Another Indon cluster?

Another possible Indonesian cluster in a remote West Java village is being reported by fragmentary news sources.

The H5N1 reservoir question

Another bird flu death has occurred in the same village where two other cases were recently reported. This one is a nine year old girl. The others were the 17 year old we discussed in a recent post, who left the hospital against medical advice and is reported to be recovering at home, and his…

Katrina rescue workers

In the days — and weeks — following the frantic rescue work after the destruction of the World Trade Center, the US EPA reassured everyone there was no harm from breathing the dust and fumes from that catastrophe. We now suspect this was quite wrong and EPA should have known it from the outset. Studies…

Cytokine storm

A helpful reader (hat tip to easy hiker) sent along a story from New Scientist concerning a new report in The New England Journal of Medicine. The NEJM paper is a case series of six subjects who almost died as a result of a clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody being tested as a drug…

And questions from Thailand

Whatever is going on in Thailand, everybody seems uncomfortable with it. After being praised by WHO for its bird flu measures because the country had not reported cases since last December, the virus has come roaring back, as if to remind us it isn’t going to be so easy. Which most of knew, of course.…

Questions raised by latest Indonesian case

The most recent human case of bird flu in Indonesia raises some extremely interesting questions. Here are the facts. A 17 year old farmer, named Umar Aup, in a remote province of West Java became seriously ill with an influenza-like disease after he and his cousin collected the carcasses of about 100 chickens from their…

Theater of the Absurd (security genre)

I’ll give the UK and US governments the benefit of the doubt for the sake of argument (even though they are both world class liars) and assume the alleged hair-gel terror plot is real. The response to it is still monumentally stupid. So what do I know about hair gel? Nothing. I don’t use it.…

India claims to be “flu free”

India has declared itself avian flu-free. Unlikely, but technically correct, at least in the sense of the definition of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE, the World Organization for Animal Health). India first detected highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in its poultry flocks earlier this year (2006):