Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Bird Flu: New Scientist articles

Instant Expert: Bird Flu

The H5N1 strain of influenza - often referred to as bird flu - was first known to have jumped from chickens to humans in 1997. Since 2004 it has ripped through Asian poultry farms, and had a 70% mortality rate in the first 70 people it is known to have infected. Health authorities fear this strain, or its descendents, could cause a lethal new flu pandemic with the potential to kill billions.

Flu has been a regular scourge of humanity for thousands of years. The flu viruses are a large family, each possessing a mere 10 genes encoded in RNA. All of the 16 known groups originate in water birds, especially ducks and gulls. The virus is well adapted to their immune systems, and does not usually make them very sick. This leaves the animals free to move around and spread the virus - just what it needs to persist. more...


Bird flu: kick-start vaccination or face the consequences
The world needs a global action plan, and fast, if we are to stand any hope of stopping a flu pandemic
News - 14 October 2005

Bird flu may have reached Europe
With dead birds found in Romania and Turkey, fears intensify that the virus could invade the continent
Breaking News - 10 October 2005

Low-dose bird flu vaccine tested on humans
A French company is conducting trials of a low-dose vaccine against the H5N1 bird flu virus and should have results by December
Breaking News - 16 September 2005

Editorial: Killer flu is back
Rebuilding the 1918 virus was supposed to make the world safer. But has it?
Comment - 08 October 2005

US scientists resurrect deadly 1918 flu
Their stunning success in reconstructing the virus shows how a pandemic virus can evolve – but the work itself poses risks
Breaking News - 05 October 2005

Reconstruction of 1918 flu virus prompts warnings
The virus that caused the deadliest global pandemic ever recorded has frightening similarities with bird flu
News - 08 October 2005

Deadly dog flu jumped from horses
A virus that has made pets and racing greyhounds sick in the US jumped virtually unchanged from horses, making the outbreak unprecedented
Breaking News - 27 September 2005

Bird flu claims two more lives in Indonesia
A blood test confirms that a five-year-old girl was the sixth person to die from the virus in the country
Breaking News - 26 September 2005

Bird flu knocks on Europe’s door
Chief EU veterinary officials meet in Brussels to discuss what to do if wild birds carrying H5N1 bird flu bring it to Europe from Russia
Breaking News - 25 August 2005

Deadly bird flu found across Asia
The virus is identified beyond Thailand and Vietnam – in Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia – some outbreaks are confirmed as the H5N1 strain
Breaking News - 11 August 2005

Flu pandemic: lethal yet preventable
If Asian bird flu mutates into a form that spreads easily between humans, an outbreak in just 40 people would be enough to cause a global pandemic
Breaking News - 03 August 2005

Bird flu knocks on Europe’s door
Chief EU veterinary officials meet in Brussels to discuss what to do if wild birds carrying H5N1 bird flu bring it to Europe from Russia
Breaking News - 25 August 2005

Editorial: Bird flu - ready or not?
If bird flu evolves into a deadly human strain, it still won't be too late to nip the pandemic in the bud, international researchers say
Comment - 06 August 2005

China denies bird flu research findings
The country is attempting to discredit research published in Nature, which concluded that bird flu was spreading within its borders
News - 16 July 2005

Blood-pressure drugs could help fight flu
Common drugs might help protect humans against a flu pandemic by preventing the development of a lethal lung condition
News - 16 July 2005

Bird flu may soon land in Europe and Australia
Huge numbers of wild birds in northwest China are infected by a bird flu virus closely related to the killer strain - they may carry it far and wide
News - 06 July 2005

China hinders bird flu research
The Chinese government warns researchers not to conduct unsupervised tests and is insisting scientists secure a range of permissions first
News - 25 June 2005

Rapid test for bird flu developed
It can detect any of the 15 known strains of bird flu in just 24 hours and will make it easier to screen wild birds for the virus without harming them
News - 25 June 2005

China to stop using human flu drug on poultry
The country will prevent its farmers continuing to employ the anti-flu drug, which has already caused drug-resistant strains of bird flu virus to develop
Breaking News - 22 June 2005

Mystery over Chinese denial of wildfowl flu deaths
Many questions still surround the deaths of thousands of waterfowl at a huge salt lake in the western Chinese province of Qinghai
News - 11 June 2005

Editorial: Send in the bird flu inspectors
A report by "nine young people" on a Chinese website stated that 121 people had died from bird flu in Qinghai - the WHO should be allowed to investigate
Comment - 04 June 2005

Can Tamiflu save us from bird flu?
Amid signs that H5N1 bird flu is acquiring the ability to spread more readily among humans, health authorities are pinning their hopes on the drug
News - 02 June 2005

Editorial: Send in the bird flu inspectors
A report by "nine young people" on a Chinese website stated that 121 people had died from bird flu in Qinghai - the WHO should be allowed to investigate
Comment - 04 June 2005

Bird flu hits migrating geese
China has reported its first outbreak of H5N1 bird flu since 2004 - this time the virus has been found in wild geese in a nature reserve
News - 28 May 2005

Claims of human bird flu cases in China denied
Unconfirmed media reports suggest H5N1 bird flu has killed more than a 100 people, and made nearly 80 more sick
Breaking News - 26 May 2005

Bird flu resurfaces in China
China reports its first outbreak of H5N1 bird flu since its widespread epidemic in poultry in 2004 - this time, the virus is found in wild geese
Breaking News - 23 May 2005

Menacing changes seen in Vietnam bird flu
Several lines of evidence suggest the strain infecting humans in northern Vietnam might be posing a greater pandemic threat
Breaking News - 19 May 2005

Vietnam in U-turn over bird flu vaccination
The country will try vaccinating 600,000 poultry in Ho Chi Minh City against H5N1 bird flu - other methods to halt its spread have failed
Breaking News - 04 May 2005

Lab slip-up could trigger next flu pandemic
After an astonishing blunder that may have allowed a lethal pandemic flu strain to escape from the lab, researchers call for improved biosecurity
News - 23 April 2005

Bird flu identified in Indonesian pigs
As pigs can host both human and bird flu strains, experts fear the animals could act as a "mixing vessel" for a human pandemic strain
Breaking News - 14 April 2005

Pandemic-causing 'Asian flu' accidentally released
The virus that caused the 1957 “Asian flu” pandemic, which killed millions, has been sent to thousands of research centres worldwide
Breaking News - 13 April 2005

North Korean bird flu outbreak not the feared strain
Recent outbreaks in three large poultry farms in the secretive country are revealed as the H7 strain of the virus, but the evidence is indirect
Breaking News - 05 April 2005

US flu vaccine trials may be effort wasted
The formulations that the US plans to test are thought likely to be ineffective, and even if they work will take too long to manufacture
Breaking News - 25 March 2005

'Symptomless' bird flu cases raise concerns
Two relatives of patients killed by bird flu test positive for the virus, yet show no adverse effects - H5N1 may be less lethal than realised
Breaking News - 09 March 2005

UK to stash 15 million anti-flu drug courses
The order is in preparation for the next global pandemic, but the government decides against the bird flu vaccine bought by the US and others
Breaking News - 01 March 2005

Vast budget boost needed to fight bird flu
The plea comes from an international crisis meeting, which warns the world is now facing the "gravest possible danger of a pandemic"
Breaking News - 25 February 2005

Bird flu may be worryingly widespread
Asian doctors have been watching for respiratory illness, but bird flu may escape diagnosis by starting as a gut upset and diarrhoea
Breaking News - 17 February 2005

Stockpile bird flu vaccine now
Do it before a pandemic starts, says an upcoming recommendation from the WHO, reflecting the fear that an outbreak is becoming more likely
Breaking News - 17 February 2005

Editorial: Bird flu outbreak could kill 1.5 billion people
This is the worst-case scenario keeping virologists awake at night, yet the world's scientists have failed to develop a plan to protect us
Comment - 05 February 2005

Interview: The virus hunter
Albert Osterhaus has a big reputation, with major credits for SARS, bird flu and seal distemper and his methods can be "unconventional"
Interview - 22 January 2005

Suspected human-to-human bird flu transmission in Vietnam
Furthermore, recent cases suggest that many human infections may not have been diagnosed, partly because tests are not widely available
Breaking News - 21 January 2005

Bird flu on the rise again in Vietnam
There are now outbreaks in poultry across the country, including the capital Hanoi, and at least six people have contracted the virus
Breaking News - 18 January 2005

Not that bird flu
News - 13 November 2004

Europe has close call with deadly bird flu
The virus arrived via eagles smuggled from Thailand - one vet is ill, but the authorities say the threat has been contained
Breaking News - 26 October 2004

Editorial: The clock is ticking
The one thing bird flu experts were dreading looks like it has happened
Comment - 02 October 2004

Bird flu transmitted between humans in Thailand
As Thai authorities confirm the outbreak's latest development, the UN calls the situation "a crisis of global importance"
Breaking News - 28 September 2004

Lack of vaccine raises fears of flu pandemic
Worries that bird flu could combine with human flu to create a deadly new strain have heightened in Thailand, where vaccines are in short supply
Breaking News - 23 September 2004

Editorial: Monster in the making
Bird flu is back and it's not just chicken farmers who should worry
Comment - 18 September 2004

Dutch bird flu infected hundreds of people
During a 2003 outbreak, the virus infected people far more easily than originally thought, researchers reveal
Breaking News - 15 September 2004

Cats can spread deadly bird flu
The fear now is that cats, and perhaps other animals, could act as a vessel for the virus to further evolve into a human pandemic
Breaking News - 02 September 2004

Three people killed by bird flu in Vietnam
The first human deaths are reported in the second wave of the 2004 outbreak across southeast Asia
Breaking News - 12 August 2004

Wild birds caught in flu flap
A fresh outbreak of bird flu in Asia is being blamed on wild birds
News - 17 July 2004

Super-fit bird flu evolved in China
The genetic history of 2004's deadly avian flu suggests it evolved recently in China - meanwhile the flu is re-surfacing in southeast Asia
Breaking News - 07 July 2004

Bird flu prompts mass cull in Canada
The slaughter of 19 millions birds is intended to stop the highly contagious virus spreading - two people have been infected so far
Breaking News - 06 April 2004

Bird flu vaccination could lead to new strains
Asian countries will be carrying out an uncontrolled experiment in viral evolution that could ultimately lead to a human pandemic
Breaking News - 24 March 2004

Down with the flu?
Experts fear that Asian bird flu will mutate into a virus as deadly as the one that killed 40 million people in 1918
Features - 28 February 2004

Editorial: Scare tactics
Science is a vital weapon against a deadly pandemic
Comment - 28 February 2004

Superflu is being brewed in the lab
Many scientists say the work is vital to prevent more flu pandemics - but critics warn an escaped virus could kill millions
Breaking News - 26 February 2004

Genetic analysis probes bird flu's history
Striking similarity between Vietnamese and earlier Chinese samples shows this virus has been widespread for several years
Breaking News - 11 February 2004

Vaccination backed to help control bird flu
But the world's top health agencies say culling, which is expensive and unpopular, remains the recommended response
Breaking News - 05 February 2004

'Human-to-human' bird flu transmission investigated
A WHO investigation of four deaths connected to a wedding in Vietnam fails to rule out this route of infection
Breaking News - 02 February 2004

Bird flu outbreak started a year ago
The outbreak began as early as the first half of 2003, health experts have told New Scientist
Breaking News - 28 January 2004

Bird flu epidemic is 'worst in history'
As Indonesia admits it has a widespread outbreak and another person dies, health officials are set to meet to plan for the worst
Breaking News - 26 January 2004

Thailand and Cambodia admit bird flu
Suspicion of China mounts as two more neighbouring countries report the virus
Breaking News - 23 January 2004

Vietnam last on flu vaccine list
Drug company contracts and patents are impeding efforts to ensure the outbreak of bird flu does not result in a deadly human pandemic
Breaking News - 21 January 2004

Bird flu continues to claim lives
Another person dies in Vietnam - but, as the mass poultry cull continues, the WHO warns of a threat to those killing the birds
Breaking News - 19 January 2004

Bird flu linked to new human deaths
At least 10 people have died from a strain of influenza that is severely affecting poultry in Vietnam, worrying health experts
Breaking News - 13 January 2004

Dutch bird flu claims first human victim
There are worrying signs that the bird virus is learning to spread among humans and cause serious disease
Breaking News - 22 April 2003

Cross-breeding fear over Dutch bird flu
It has already caused eye infections in farm workers - but if the bird virus meets human virus, a deadly pathogen could form
Breaking News - 14 March 2003

Flu outbreak triggers fears of global pandemic
A "bird flu" outbreak in a Hong Kong family who visited Fujian in China is fuelling fears that the country will be the source of the next global flu pandemic
News - 01 March 2003

'Bird flu' death in Hong Kong raises fears
A family struck is down by avian influenza - scientists must urgently determine if the new virus is more contagious than that seen in 1997
Breaking News - 20 February 2003

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