Avian flu pandemic
Avian flu pandemic. According to information provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 17, 2007, "There have not been any human cases of avian influenza in the United States or North America, but there have been cases in other parts of the world such as Asia and Africa. According to statistics provided by the World Health Organization, from 2003 through April 11, 2007, there have been 291 laboratory-confirmed cases in humans, of whom, 172 died. Each additional case provides the virus an opportunity to improve its ability for human-to-human transmission and develop into a pandemic strain. But right now, there is no pandemic influenza in the world."
- 1 Overview & history
- 2 Debunking avian flu
- 3 Flu "terrorism"
- 4 Promoting Bush's Legs
- 5 EU Declares Bird Flu Global Threat
- 6 UN report: avian flu & factory farms
- 7 Articles & sources
Overview & history
- "Since its discovery in the late 1990s, the avian flu virus, or H5N1, has infected at least 100 people, more than half of whom have died. But public health officials around the world are warning that the casualty numbers could be much higher if the virus becomes more easily transmittable between humans."—Newsweek, September 2005. 
- "Since 1997, avian flu strains seem to have infected thousands of birds in 11 countries. But so far, nearly all of the people infected with the disease - more than 100, including some 60 who died - got the sickness directly from birds. There has been very little transmission between people, a requirement for an epidemic.
- "An outbreak, therefore, may be years away, or may never occur. And if a strain does jump to people, such a mutation may make it far less lethal than it has been to those who have contracted it from birds."—New York Times, October 2005. 
Why bird flu doesn't spread in humans
- "To date, roughly 103 people have been infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus--or bird flu. Yet few, if any, of them have spread the disease to other humans. A virus's ability to spread is the key to its ability to create a pandemic. New research shows that this bird flu currently lacks the protein key to unlock certain cells in the human upper respiratory tract, preventing it from spreading via a sneeze or a cough." 
As reported in the March 23, 2006, issue of Nature, a team of scientists in the US and Japan, "led by [Virologist] Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, found that avian influenza viruses and human influenza viruses home in on slightly different receptors." 
- "The reason lies in minute differences to cells located in the top and bottom of the airways, ... To penetrate a cell, the spikes that stud an influenza virus have to be able to bind to the cellular surface. ... The virus spike is like a key and the cell's docking point, called a receptor, is like a lock. They both have to be the right shape for the connection to happen." 
Debunking avian flu
- "Here's my prediction. The so called bird flu, the chicken disease that has killed a wopping 59 people in the world, the disease that cannot (and will not) be transmitted from human to human, but is going to sweep the world. The chances of the bird flu becoming an international pandemic killing seqdrillions of us, crippling world economies, causing the closure of international borders and generally creating fear, panic and loathing not seen since the last witch was burnt or since we routinely expelled lepers from our midst, are negligible. This is not to say some variety of 'the flu' will emerge, but this is extremely unlikely to have any of the virulence of the bird flu," Steve McKinley wrote November 1, 2005.
- "Forget anthrax and smallpox, influenza could easily be turned into the next weapon of mass destruction, ... [A] team led by Dr Mohammed Madjid noted that last century a series of flu epidemics from Spain to Russia and Hong Kong had killed millions of people as the virus naturally mutated.
- "They pointed out that sequencing of the genome of the 1918 Spanish 'flu epidemic' was nearly complete, opening the door to unscrupulous scientists to build an even more potent virus," Reuters reported in July 2003.
Promoting Bush's Legs
Aleksei Mitrofanov, described as a member of the "ultranationalist Liberal Democratic faction of the Russian State Duma, ... said in a parliamentary speech that bird flu was invented by Americans who wanted to dominate the world’s poultry markets.
- "'There is no such thing as bird flu, just as there is no AIDS, tulip or mad cow disease, ... It is a provocation by Americans. They want to eliminate all chickens in Europe so that we have to import Bush’s legs',' he said. Bush's legs is a Russian saying for deep frozen chicken thighs massively imported from the U.S. under President George Bush Sr." --MosNews, October 21, 2005.
EU Declares Bird Flu Global Threat
- "The European Union has declared the spread of bird flu from Asia into the EU as a global threat requiring international cooperation, saying western Europe is ill prepared to deal with an influenza emergency.
- "Western European governments scrambled to buy industrial quantities of flu vaccines and face masks to protect citizens from possible infection," Aljazeera reported October 19, 2005.
- "Several EU countries are already slaughtering suspect birds and Britain's chief medical officer Liam Donaldson described the possibility of a human flu pandemic 'public health enemy No. 1 and we are on the march against it'," CNN reported October 20, 2005.
- "Adding to the worry is confirmation from Russia's agriculture ministry that the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus has been found in poultry south of Moscow.
- "The EU later said it was banning the import of pet birds and feathers from Siberia in eastern Russia," CNN said.
UN report: avian flu & factory farms
Articles & sources
- Bush Administration Plan for Flu Outbreaks
- H5N1 Influenza Virus Vaccine
- mad cow disease
- Swine flu
- Meat & Dairy industry
- Haider Rizvi Factory Farms Fueling Avian Flu, Say Researchers, United Nations, One World US, February 2007
- Avian Influenza (Bird Flu), Centers for Disease Control: "This webpage provides background information about avian influenza, including recent outbreaks, the viruses, and the risk to human health."
- "Guidance for Protecting Workers Against Avian Flu," OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor website.
- Avian influenza, World Health Organization website: Avian influenza - fact sheet, February 15, 2004, and "Geographical spread of H5N1 avian influenza in birds - update 28, August 18, 2005.
- Avian Influenza, CIDRAP website.
- H5N1 and "Avian influenza" in the Wikipedia (also posted on "Avian Bird Flu Information Zone. Includes Avian Bird Flu information, Avian influenza updates, prevention and treatment," avianbirdflu.com website.)
- "Bird Flu," nature.com website.
- Q&A: Avian flu, BBC, last updated February 17, 2005.
- Press Release: "PAHO To Assist Member Countries with Pandemic Planning," Pan American Health Organization, September 29, 2005.
- "Bird flu case discovered in Turkey," Reuters (Yahoo! News), October 8, 2005.
- Stephen Castle, "Continent on avian flu alert after bird deaths," Independent (UK), October 10, 2005.
- "Bird flu reaches eastern Europe," Aljazeera, October 13, 2005.
- "Europe mobilises against avian flu," Aljazeera, October 13, 2005.
- "WHO warns on bird flu false alarms," Aljazeera, October 14, 2005.
- "Greece Confirms Bird Flu Case," Aljazeera, October 17, 2005.
- "Romania, Turkey: Bird flu contained," Aljazeera, October 17, 2005.
- "Romania detects more bird flu cases," Aljazeera, October 18, 2005.
- "New death as EU meets on bird flu. New wave of possible bird flu cases reported across Europe, Asia," CNN, October 20, 2005: "Thailand on Thursday reported that a farmer had died from bird flu, the first victim to die in the country in more than a year."
- "Avian Flu Pandemic Threat," East and Southeast Asia: An Annotated Directory of Internet Resources.
- Mike Davis, The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu (Hardcover), New Press (October 1, 2005), ISBN 1595580115.
- Jon Rappoport, "The Avian Flu and Drugless Doctors," newmediaexplorer.com, February 7, 2004.
- "What You Need To Know About Avian Flu," Business Week Online, February 9, 2004.
- Anita Manning, "CDC warns of pandemic dangers posed by avian flu," USA Today, March 1, 2004.
- Simon Elegant, "Is A Human Pandemic Next? Bird flu is erupting across Asia, devastating the region's poultry population. And this could be just the beginning," Time Asia, February 2, 2004.
- "1918 killer flu secrets revealed. Scientists have worked out how the virus which caused the world's worst flu epidemic infected man," February 5, 2004: "They believe the virus, which claimed the lives of up to 50m people around the world, jumped from birds to humans."
- Maggie Fox, "Avian Flu World's No. 1 Threat, CDC Head Says," Reuters (Boston Globe), February 21, 2005.
- "WHO: Bird flu pandemic is imminent. Governments must act swiftly to prevent outbreak, officials say," MSNBC News Service, February 23, 2005.
- David P. Hamilton, "Avian flu may tax vaccine makers," Wall Street Journal (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), March 2, 2005.
- "Sinovac's Avian Flu Vaccine Development," Medical News Today, March 3, 2005.
- Daniel DeNoon, "Bird Flu Threat Rises. WHO Expert Panel: World 1 Step Closer to Killer Flu," WebMD (Fox News), May 20, 2005.
- "Indepth: Avian Flu. The next pandemic?" CBC News Online, July 27, 2005 (last update).
- Marty Heiberg, "Hopeful news on human H5N1 vaccine, but production concerns considerable," CIDRAP News, August 8, 2005.
- Tom Engelhardt, "Monster at Our Door," TomDispatch, August 16, 2005; followed by Mike Davis, "Has Time Run Out? The Coming Avian Flu Pandemic" also posted August 17, 2005, on Common Dreams website.
- "UN ratchets up preparedness for expected human avian flu pandemic," Agence France Presse (ChennelNewsAsia), September 30, 2005.
- Jennifer Barrett, "'We Are in Real Trouble'. A health expert warns of the increasingly real possibility of an avian flu pandemic and what we can do prepare," Newsweek, September 30, 2005.
- "Expert Predicts 'Perfect Set-Up' for Avian Flu Pandemic," KTRE 9 (Lufkin, Nacogdoches), September 30, 2005.
- "World Health Organization retreats on flu pandemic estimates," CBC News (Canada), September 30, 2005.
- "World Health Agency Tones Down Alarm on Possible Flu Pandemic," Associated Press (New York Times), October 1, 2005.
- "Q-Series(TM) Report: Avian Influenza The Next Human Influenza Pandemic?" Red Nova, October 3, 2005.
- "WHO Allays Bird Flu Fears, Revising Epidemic Predictions," Associated Press (Fox News), October 3, 2005.
- "New UN pandemic czar warns flu could alter world," Canadian Press, October 3, 2005.
- "Asia-Pacific meet to discuss bird flu response," Reuters (UK), October 5, 2005.
- J. Grant Swank, Jr., "Britain Stockpiles Avian Flu Vaccine: Useless?" The Post Chronicle (Southeast Asia News.net), October 20, 2005.
- "The next pandemic?" CBC News Online, Updated October 25, 2005.
- "Vietnam has two new suspected bird flu deaths - doctor," Reuters, October 29, 2005.
- Rafael Epstein, "Bird flu to hit Africa within weeks: UN expert," ABC News (Australia), October 29, 2005.
- Brendan Roberts and Lincoln Wright, "Army alert on bird flu," Sunday Herald Sun (news.com.au), October 30, 2005.
- Steve McKinley "The Second Coming of Jesus Christ and Bird Flu," Ontic Blogspot (Scoop.co.nz), November 1, 2005.
- Luis Ramirez, "China Announces New Bird Flu Vaccine; Promises Billion Doses by End of Week," Voice of America, December 26, 2005: "... to be administered to birds early next year, part of a larger effort to immunize more than 14 billion poultry." (emphasis added)
- Anita Manning, "Bird flu pandemic: A developing story," USA Today, December 27, 2005.
- Rita Daly, "In the end, fear was the real pandemic. Despite panic, bird flu killed mostly chickens But dire warnings force countries to plan for future," Toronto Star, December 27, 2005.
- "Bird Flu Resides Deep in Lungs, Preventing Human-to-Human Transmission," Scientific American, March 23, 2006.
- Malcolm Ritter, "Bird flu hard to pass around. Virus likes to park in humans' lungs," Associated Press (Detroit Free Press), March 23, 2006.
- Richard Ingham, "Why bird flu doesn't spread between humans," Agence France Presse (ABC News (Australia)), March 23, 2006.
- David Brown, "Researchers Shed More Light on Bird Flu," Washington Post, March 23, 2006.
- "Humans a hostile host to bird flu," Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), March 24, 2006.