Avian influenza

02006-05-21 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

WHO | Avian influenza (” bird flu”) – Fact sheet
Avian influenza (‘ bird flu’) – Fact sheet.

CBC News Indepth: Avian Flu
In March 2006, seven people in Azerbaijan were diagnosed with H5N1. Five of those seven people died, raising the number of humans killed by avian flu to 103 worldwide. Six of the Azerbaijan cases were from the southeastern part of the country. According to WHO, one possible source of the infection was the carcasses of dead swans found in the region. Residents used the dead birds as a source of feathers.

cnn.com: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld sees growth in Gilead stake – Oct. 31, 2005
NEW YORK (Fortune) – The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it’s proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that’s now the most-sought after drug in the world.

Tamiflu was developed for prophylaxis & treatment of seasonal flu. It reduces the severity of symptoms, but does not “cure” the flu. Avian flu is much more severe & viral replication is more prolonged. In other words the very profitable sale of Tamiflu seems a little bit like selling snakeoil to me. Mostly a way to make a quick buck.

CBC News Indepth: Avian Flu
If you are traveling to a country infected with bird flu, avoid unneccesary contact with domestic poultry and wild birds. Evidence suggests that the risk of infection is greatest in persons having direct contact with live and/or dead poultry including surfaces contaminated with their feces or secretions.

This should promote vegan and vegetarian restaurants which neither serve nor handle any kind of poultry.


  1. Thirtyseasons

    Sorry I’m a little behind…I just saw this post, and it happens to be something I know a little bit about. Per a close friend at one of the leading research labs in the US….here’s what she had to say about the threat of Bird Flu:

    Okay, here is your virology lesson for the day. The influenza virus is an orthomyxovirus which consists of 3 proteins, two of which are important to the disease and its outcome: Hemagglutinin and Neuraminidase. These form the strains (H1N1, H2N5, etc.) of influeza you hear about on the news. Some influenza’s are infective to humans in the human-to-human sense and others cannot go human-to-human, only animal reservoir to human. An Orthomyxovirus has 8 little segments of genetic material within each virus and these can be recombined from one species to another fairly easily. Hence, each year a new flu shot is needed because of the viral mutations and recombinations. The thought with the bird flu is that, if it infects a human (which it has) and that human is already walking around with a human-to-human transmittable flu, then the one that only goes from animal-to-human can recombine with the one that can goes from human-to-human and then you have a brand new, extremely deadly (as is with bird flu) strain of flu that no one has immunity to, one that can now spread human-to-human instead of just to people in contact with infected birds. It turns out that we’ve have isolated the 1918 flu virus that killed 20 million people in the frozen body of an eskimo (the virus was well preserved in the permafrost) and the pandemic flu that struck then was a variation of a serious bird flu that learned to jump from human-to-human. So, can this happen again? Hell yeah.

    On a separate note…Tamiflu? Don’t waste your money. There’s another one out there called “Relenza”…not sure on the spelling….and that’s a waste of time too. The H5N1 strain is already showing resistance to Relenza, and Tamiflu isn’t going to cure anything. It’s little more than a feel good for the masses that don’t know any better. The only “cure” will come once the virus is already out there, and they’ve had a chance to isolate it. By that time, people will already be dying. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the hard truth of it, and I think it’s better to know and be aware, than be clueless.

  2. Patrick

    The thing that is being manufactured under the guise of bird flu, tamiflu, and WHO, is captured in but one word; Fear.

    That is what is really being sold here, and those not in touch with their inner worth are always receptive to anothers’ suggestion about how best to maintain the illusion of safety. Perception is but a word, awareness is a state of being.

    Interestingly, it is those who have the most fear that want you sold on their game, because they are afraid that you may know something they don’t. Without a solid personal foundation, fear motivates one to “own” security. I see the day when we won’t give a second glance to the snake oil salesman, as you have succinctly observed.



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