Bird Flu Panic in Southeast Asia


The suspected cases of bird flu was upped to 63 in Indonesia today:

“For the whole of Indonesia, a total of 63 people have been suspected of infection or diagnosed as infected with bird flu since the first human infection case was found,” said the official.

Of the 63, six have died but further tests are still being carried out on the latest fatality to confirm that the victim died of the virus.

Some of those infected with the virus have not shown any symptoms and others have made a full recovery, officials said.

Bird flu has killed 43 in Vietnam, 12 in Thailand and four in Cambodia.

Bird flu has scientists scratching their heads on when or if it will become a pandemic flu:

The good news: Bird flu still doesn’t spread easily among humans. Infected poultry was the source of virtually all of the 115 confirmed human infections with what scientists call H5N1 avian influenza. So far, only very few people seem to have caught it from other people, and then only after extremely close and sustained contact.

The bad news: More than half of the people who got bird flu have died. The true death rate for human cases of bird flu is not known. Mild cases don’t show up in hospitals and don’t get counted. But a new report on human bird flu infection shows that this is a very bad bug indeed.

The report comes from a May 2005 meeting of doctors and researchers held in Hanoi, Vietnam, by the World Health Organization. Among them is Frederick G. Hayden, MD, professor of clinical virology and internal medicine at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

“The news is concerning,” Hayden tells WebMD. “Most cases are in apparently healthy adults and children. About half of them die from what appears to be a viral pneumonia, sometimes with secondary bacterial infections. Some suggest this virus behaves differently from human flu.”

Pandemic flu — a flu bug that sweeps the globe — happens every 10 to 40 years, says Stephen Morse, PhD, founding director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Malaysia and the Philippines are stockpiling drugs in case of outbreaks of the bird flu and have set up checkpoints and are conducting tight surveillance of birds entering their countries.

Maxed Out Mama has much more including this…

The Indonesian cases are popping up over a wide area and on different islands, so it is not as if this thing can be contained. There are tons of infected birds, and since all testing has confirmed that wild birds also harbor the disease it is unlikely that culling can stem the animal/human vector.

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