Bird flu

Effect Measure

Category archives for Bird flu

I’m an epidemiologist, not an immunologist or a virologist but I like reading immunology and virology. It’s interesting, in some ways for me it’s more interesting than reading epidemiology. In an epidemiological paper I can see pretty quickly where things are going (or going wrong) and there isn’t much mystery. But the sheer number of…

Immunity and the 1918 and 2009 pandemics

We continue to learn a great deal about influenza infection as researchers harvest information from the recent swine flu pandemic. The pork producers don’t like to call it “swine flu” but it may well be that its long sojourn in that animal since 1918 (did we give Spanish flu to pigs or did pigs give…

The blogosphere (DemFromCT at DailyKos) and the main stream media (Alan Sipress at the Washington Post) brought us the two faces of the current flu pandemic. Like Janus, one took lessons from the present and past, the other looked worriedly to the future. Dem’s piece on flu at DailyKos (a regular feature of the world’s…

A couple of days ago Dr. Marion Koopmans, chief of virology in the infectious diseases laboratory of the National Institute of Public Health, The Netherlands, notified the infectious disease community through the website/email list ProMed that two of their swine flu isolates showed a particular genetic change in one of the virus’s eight genetic segments.…

Swine flu: the Flu Wiki

In June 2005 a reader over at the old site suggested we put up some of our flu related material on Wikipedia. That sounded like a great idea to me. Even better, why not start a special purpose wiki — a flu wiki — to harvest the vast knowledge of the hivemind? Many, if not…

The California swine flu cases

Late yesterday afternoon a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Dispatch appeared on CDC’s website that is unique in my experience. MMWR is usually heavily vetted and edited and nothing gets out of there fast. Indeed, in recent years, nothing at all got out of CDC very fast. And yet here is this Dispatch, with…

Important flu paper on immune response

Every day, it seems, we find out that what we thought we knew about flu isn’t the case. As one noted flu expert said to me once, “I knew much more about flu 20 years ago than I do now.” So it’s good to remember that we are also finding out a lot about flu…

The news of a new antiviral comes at a Press Conference. That could either mean a blockbuster breakthrough or an unwarranted device to get attention for some otherwise decent but not blockbuster science. Unfortunately, the news that “Experts Identify Compound That May Fight Bird Flu” is of the second type:

The Egyptian toddler case conundrum

A tantalizing Reuters story yesterday called attention to the uptick in human bird flu cases in Egypt, the African country with more cases than any other (although far behind Asian countries like Indonesia). The observation prompting renewed expressions of concern are that new cases seem to be in the very young (toddlers) but adult cases…

If you had a prowler at your house you’d call the police. You’d want them to come. But what if they sent a SWAT Team, surrounded the house and blasted it from all sides. Not good. That seems to be something like the scenario for a response to a class of virulent influenza viruses. They…