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Flu 'Oddities' News Articles
April 2009 Archives

Travelers screened at Mexico-U.S. border for flu --'Yesterday, we stopped a woman from Brownsville with all the symptoms of swine flu and we handed her over to U.S. health authorities.' 30 Apr 2009 Mexican doctors in surgical masks screened travelers crossing the border by foot into the United States on Thursday for signs of a new deadly flu strain that has killed up to 176 people. The doctors and federal health workers were checking for signs of fever or coughing among those crossing border bridges into Texas and California. U.S. Customs agents were also on alert for flu symptoms.

Obama Security Agent Has Suspected Case of Swine Flu 30 Apr 2009 An Energy Department employee who was part of the advance team for President Obama's recent trip to Mexico is suspected of having contracted the swine flu virus and transmitting it to his family in Anne Arundel County, the White House said today. The man is on the security staff of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who traveled with Obama to Mexico on April 16.

U.S. government staffer gave flu to family after Obama trip 30 Apr 2009 A U.S. government staffer who visited Mexico City with President Barack Obama this month came down with flu-like symptoms that spread to family members, who have since recovered, the White House said Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing samples from the family members to see if they might have been infected with the H1N1 swine flu virus, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Plan says to stockpile but officials say don't panic 01 May 2009 Australians have been advised to stockpile food and water after the World Health Organisation raised its swine flu alert to phase five yesterday, indicating an imminent pandemic. The Federal Government's pandemic plan, a 132-page manual issued to medics, media and the public, insists that once the world reaches phase five, Australians should stock their pantries with food and bottled water to last 14 days, check on elderly neighbours and put emergency numbers by the phone.

Fulton County 'Ready to Vaccinate a Million People In 48 Hours' --CDC has passenger quarantine facilities at 20 US airports 30 Apr 2009 (GA) Ever since all of the bird flu cases four years ago, county health departments across Metro Atlanta have been holding drills and meetings every month, practicing and discussing every imaginable scenario of a flu pandemic. "We've been planning for this for years," [Oh, I'm sure you have!] said Dr. Kim Turner, the director of public health in Fulton County. "We're prepared to vaccinate a million people within Fulton County within 48 hours." Another line of defense is at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport -- the CDC's medical quarantine station at the airport. CDC physicians are in contact with arriving flight crews, and board every plane that has an ill passenger, as soon as the plane is parked at the gate. The physicians determine on the spot whether to quarantine that patient and all the other passengers. The CDC quarantines them at the CDC's sealed rooms on E Concourse.

US, Japanese Researchers Mix Samples of 1918 Flu Pandemic to Recreate Deadly Code Compiled By Lori Price 30 Dec 2008 Researchers recreate 1918 flu pandemic virus --Why? And, why is no one *asking* why? 29 Dec 2008 Researchers have found out what made the 1918 flu pandemic so deadly -- a group of three genes that lets the virus invade the lungs and cause pneumonia. They mixed samples of the 1918 influenza strain with modern seasonal flu viruses to find the three genes and said their study might help in the development of new flu drugs. The discovery, published in Tuesday's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could also point to mutations that might turn ordinary flu into a dangerous pandemic strain. Most flu experts agree that a pandemic of influenza will almost certainly strike again. No one knows when [the US unleashes it] or what strain it will be but one big suspect now is the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

Swine flu: 'All of humanity under threat', WHO warns 30 Apr 2009 The World Health Organisation has warned that "all of humanity is under threat" from a potential swine flu pandemic and called for "global solidarity" to combat the virus. The plea came as the WHO raised the swine flu threat awareness level to 5 out of 6, indicating that the world is on the brink of a pandemic. Holland and Switzerland both confirmed their first cases of swine flu on Thursday, bringing the total number of countries affected around the world to 11.

World Health Organization Raises Swine Flu Alert Level 30 Apr 2009 The global spread of swine flu, a pandemic, is highly likely, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday and raised its alert level to Phase 5, the next-to-highest level in the worldwide warning system. Phase 5 had never been declared since the warning system was introduced in 2005 in response to the avian influenza crisis. Phase 6 means a pandemic is under way.

New York City Mayor: Many Sick People Have Not Been Tested --Bloomberg Says Actual Infections May Be Much Higher Than Confirmed Numbers 30 Apr 2009 Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a news conference Thursday that the city's tally of 49 confirmed cases of swine flu does not reflect the actual number of people taken sick with the virus.

SF officials confirm first swine flu case 30 Apr 2009 San Francisco has its first confirmed case of swine flu, a child who recently traveled to Mexico, the city's public health director announced today.

Connecticut Has Sixth Probable Swine Flu Case 30 Apr 2009 Connecticut now has six probable swine flu cases. The state Department of Health Thursday has identified two students at Fairfield University as probable for swine flu and late Thursday afternoon, added a Glastonbury adult to the list.

'Probable' Swine flu cases in North Carolina --CDC yet to confirm 30 Apr 2009 North Carolina health officials said Thursday that there are two 'probable' cases of Swine Flu in the state. State Health Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel said one case is in Wake County and the person was a traveler - not a resident of the county.

Doctor Saw 22 Patients Before Falling Ill 30 Apr 2009 A pediatrician who is one of six people suspected of having swine flu in Washington state saw 22 patients and their parents earlier this week before falling ill, officials at The Everett Clinic said Thursday.

7 New Probable H1N1 Flu Cases In King County 30 Apr 2009 (WA) King County health officials said they've found seven new probable cases of H1N1 flu in the county, and that more school closures are likely as the virus spreads.

Pa. Reports 3 New Probable H1N1 Cases; None Locally --Blood Work Clears 2 Suspected Allegheny Patients 30 Apr 2009 The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Thursday on its Web site that the state has three new probable cases of H1N1 flu, formerly known as swine flu.

Mayfest, other events canceled over flu concerns 30 Apr 2009 (TX) The concerns over the spread of swine flu have led to the cancellation of Mayfest and all other major outdoor events in Fort Worth this weekend, according to a note sent out to police officers and administrators by Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead. Mayfest officials announced Thursday afternoon that the 37th annual festival on the Trinity River has been canceled for the first time ever.

All Fort Worth schools closed amid flu concerns 29 Apr 2009 Fort Worth will close all of its 144 schools through at least May 8 because of swine flu concerns. Superintendent Melody Johnson said only necessary staff at central administration would work. The school district has about 80,000 students and 11,000 employees. So far, Texas has 17 confirmed cases of swine flu.

Egypt takes swine flu out on 300,000 pigs 30 Apr 2009 Egypt plans a mass slaughter of 300,000 pigs to prevent swine flu spreading in the country, despite the fact that the disease is not related to pork products. Egyptian health officials ordered the mass slaughter in the country as a precaution against swine flu, even though no cases have yet been reported.

DHS Sets Guidelines For Possible Swine Flu Quarantines --Federal quarantine authority is limited to diseases listed in presidential executive orders; President [sic] Bush added "novel" forms of influenza with the potential to create pandemics in Executive Order 13375. [Yeah, 'novel' - the ones created at Fort Detrick.] 28 Apr 2009 DHS Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw circulated the swine flu memo, which was obtained by CBSNews.com, on Monday night. It says: "The Department of Justice has established legal federal authorities pertaining to the implementation of a quarantine and enforcement. Under approval from HHS, the Surgeon General has the authority to issue quarantines." Anyone violating a quarantine order can be punished by a $250,000 fine and a one-year prison term. A Defense Department planning document summarizing the military's contingency plan says the Pentagon is prepared to assist in "quarantining groups of people in order to minimize the spread of disease during an influenza pandemic" and aiding in "efforts to restore and maintain order."

Mass. Senate approves pandemic flu bill with quarantine powers --New Senate version allows public health commissioner to close or evacuate buildings, enter private property for investigations, and quarantine individuals --Measure requires registry for volunteers to be activated in emergency 28 Apr 2009 The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously passed a pandemic flu preparation bill that has languished in the Legislature before the recent swine flu outbreak. The 36-0 vote today sends the measure to the House. The new Senate version would allow the public health commissioner -- in a public health emergency -- to close or evacuate buildings, enter private property for investigations, and quarantine individuals. The measure also requires a registry for volunteers that would be activated in an emergency and establishes fines of up to $1,000 for not complying with local public health orders.

Ga. gov signs flu bill with 'state or emergency' for pandemic if 'phase 5 alert' is declared --House Bill 217 allows Georgians to receive (deadly) vaccines easier 28 Apr 2009 Georgia nurses and pharmacists have more authority to respond to the spreading swine flu outbreak and the governor has more power as the result of legislation Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) signed this morning. The Access to Flu Vaccines Act cosponsored by the druggists in the House is designed to make it easier for Georgians to receive shots and for the state to respond quicker... At the same time, it lets the governor declare a state or emergency for a pandemic influenza if the CDC or World Health Organization declares a phase 5 alert.

Huge New Biodefense Lab Is Dedicated at Fort Detrick 23 Oct 2008 The Department of Homeland Security dedicated a massive biodefense laboratory in Frederick yesterday, moving toward the facility's opening despite questions raised about the risks of deadly pathogens to be studied there. When the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center at Fort Detrick is fully operational in March, about 150 scientists in the lab will be tasked with 'protecting the country' from a bioterrorist attack... About 40,000 square feet will be taken up by Biosafety Level 3 labs, which handle agents such as anthrax. In addition, 10,000 will be dedicated to the Level 4 labs, which handle agents such as the Ebola virus.

Suspected H1N1 Flu Case Reported at California Marine Base --Marine, roommate quarantined in barracks 29 Apr 2009 The Marine Corps commandant today confirmed a suspected case of what the U.S. Homeland Security Council now is calling H1N1 flu, but has been known as "swine flu," at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. A male Marine reported to a medical clinic on base over the weekend complaining of flu-like symptoms. Initial test results indicate the H1N1 virus, and the service is waiting for further results from testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway said.

WHO: Highest Alert 'Phase 6' Probably Imminent 29 Apr 2009 The World Health Organization raised the alert level of the fast-spreading swine flu virus on Wednesday afternoon, indicating that a "pandemic is imminent." Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the organization, said that the "phase 5" alert out of a possible 6 levels signified that at least two countries have spread the virus by human to human contact, and that the highest phase 6 was probably imminent.

Indonesian minister says swine flu could be man-made 28 Apr 2009 Indonesian Heath Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said Tuesday the deadly swine flu virus could have been man-made, as she urged calm over its spread around the world. The minister did not elaborate but in the past she has said Western governments could be making and spreading viruses in the developing world to boost pharmaceutical companies' profits. "I'm not sure whether the virus was genetically engineered but it's a possibility," she told reporters at a press conference called to reassure the public over the government's response to the swine flu threat.

Container of swine virus explodes on Swiss train 29 Apr 2009 container of flu virus samples packed in dry ice exploded on a Swiss train, injuring one person but posing no other risks to humans, police said on Tuesday. The box held vials of swine flu virus, although a different strain than the H1N1 variety that has caused about 150 deaths in Mexico and infected people in the United States, Canada, Spain and Britain. A technician was transporting the container on Monday night to the Swiss national flu centre in Geneva, where scientists are developing a flu test for humans, police said.

Swine flu: Baxter seeks swine flu sample to begin work on vaccine --Baxter has a speedier way to make vaccines than old method 27 Apr 2009 With world health officials worried about the global outbreak of another deadly virus, Deerfield-based Baxter International Inc. once again finds itself involved in the action. Baxter confirmed over the weekend that it is working with the World Health Organization on a potential vaccine to curb spread the deadly swine flu virus... In the past, Baxter has developed vaccines and worked with countries to stockpile vaccines even while they undergo experimental testing. Three years ago, the Bush administration awarded about $1 billion to vaccine makers as a way to increase and speed production. Several vaccine makers, including Baxter, GlaxoSmithKline and others, were awarded multimillion-dollar contracts. See also:

Swine flu fear a boost for Gilead --The biotech's bottom line could benefit from sales of Tamiflu, one of the only treatments for the influenza strain. 29 Apr 2009 As governments formulate their responses to the deadly swine flu outbreak, Gilead is one of the drugmakers that could benefit. That's because its antiviral pill Tamiflu, which is marketed by Roche, is one of two drugs that is effective against this strain of influenza. Gilead collects royalty payments from Tamiflu sales, which peaked at $2 billion in 2006 as countries rushed to stockpile the drug against the threat of avian flu. See also:

Donald Rumsfeld makes $5m killing on bird flu drug 12 Mar 2006 Donald Rumsfeld has made a killing out of bird flu. The US Defence Secretary has made more than $5m (£2.9m) in capital gains from selling shares in the biotechnology firm that discovered and developed Tamiflu, the drug being bought in massive amounts by Governments to treat a possible human pandemic of the disease. More than 60 countries have so far ordered large stocks of the antiviral medication to try to 'protect' their people.

Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu --Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing 31 Oct 2005 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.

CDC: Antiviral drugs being shipped to states 29 Apr 2009 Officials for the Centers for Disease Control said Wednesday that the U.S. government has already begun shipping 25% of the nation's stockpile of the flu-fighting drugs Tamiflu and Relenza to states in preparation for a possible pandemic of the H1N1 virus, also called swine flu.

Virus has bird, pig, human components: watchdog 27 Apr 2009 The top agency for health in farm animals on Monday said Mexico's outbreak of deadly influenza was unleashed by a pathogen mixed from bird, human and hog viruses and branded the term "swine flu" as wrong and harmful to pig farmers. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said the pathogen was "not a classic human virus... but a virus which includes [in] its characteristics swine, avian and human virus components."

Only 7 swine flu deaths, not 152, says WHO 29 Apr 2009 member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded only seven deaths around the world. Vivienne Allan, from WHO's patient safety program, said the body had confirmed that worldwide there had been just seven deaths - all in Mexico - and 79 confirmed cases of the disease. "Unfortunately that [150-plus deaths] is incorrect information and it does happen, but that's not information that's come from the World Health Organisation," Ms Allan told ABC Radio today.

Mexico re-tests swine flu victims 29 Apr 2009 The number of confirmed swine-flu deaths in Mexico has been cut back from 20 to seven. Health authorities in Mexico, where the virus was first detected, have ascertained from tests on deceased patients that swine-flu was not indicated in some of the declared cases.

WHO says swine flu moving toward pandemic level 29 Apr 2009 The World Health Organization says the swine flu outbreak is moving closer to becoming a pandemic. WHO flu chief Dr. Keiji Fukuda told reporters on Wednesday that developments in the disease are moving the agency closer to raising its pandemic alert to phase 5, indicating widespread human-to-human transmission. He said the health body was monitoring the situation but was not yet ready to move the pandemic alert level up from its current level of 4, which means it is being passed among people. Phase 6 is the highest in the scale and is for a full-scale pandemic.

WHOs call new strain of H1N1 "Mexican flu" 29 Apr 2009 The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the most recent research on swine flu has shown that the virus is not caused by pigs. The disease is now being referred to as Mexican flu or "2009 H1N1 flu". The WHO has moved the pandemic alert from four to five, the second highest. [It should be called "Fort Detrick flu" or "Baxter flu."]

Virus's Arrival Is Reported on Four Continents -- Data Show Illnesses in U.S. Are More Severe Than First Thought 29 Apr 2009 More evidence of the global spread of a deadly flu emerged Tuesday, with new cases reported on four continents and a growing number of people in the U.S. requiring hospital treatment. Health authorities said they have found possible cases of the new strain of A/H1N1 swine flu in the Middle East and Asia. In the U.S., the number of confirmed cases rose to 66, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments.

Egypt orders slaughter of all pigs over swine flu 29 Apr 2009 Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu even though no cases have been reported here yet, the Health Ministry said. The move immediately provoked resistance from pig farmers. At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, farmers refused to cooperate with Health Ministry workers who came to slaughter the animals and the workers left without carrying out the government order. [Awesome!!]

Swine flu confirmed in NZ, quarantine given new powers 29 Apr 2009 As three cases of swine flu are officially confirmed for New Zealand, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has revised and increased its travel warning for Mexico advising Australians to "reconsider their need to travel to Mexico". Three individuals from Rangitoto College in Auckland who were suspected of swine flu after a school-organised trip to Mexico have now been confirmed, as testing begins on the fourth individual at the World Health Organisation regional office in Melbourne.

Students quarantined in Canada, red alert issued for Mexico 29 Apr 2009 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised the nation’s travel alert for Mexico to "red" as the number of suspected swine flu patients in the North American country kept rising yesterday. A red alert means people should avoid all non-essential travel to Mexico until the crisis has subsided. A yellow alert was issued for Canada and the US, with people traveling to these countries advised to exercise caution.

US may temporarily shut schools 29 Apr 2009 US President Barack Obama warns of emergency school closures after swine flu claimed its first death in the United States. "It's also the recommendation of public health officials that schools with confirmed cases... should consider closing if the situation becomes more serious," the president was quoted by AP as saying on Wednesday.

Swine Flu Infections Spread to 11 States After First U.S. Death Confirmed --Child Is First to Die in U.S. From Swine Flu, CDC Reports 29 Apr 2009 The swine flu virus has spread to 11 states and infected at least 94 people, according to figures from state officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Five more states -- Arizona, Michigan, Mass., Nevada and Maine – each now have at least one confirmed case. The latest state to report infections is Maine, with three new cases, according to Gov. John Baldacci.

'These numbers are almost out of date by the time I say them' 29 Apr 2009 "We're reporting 91 confirmed cases in the United States," Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing... He said the U.S. outbreak of swine flu -- which has killed a toddler in Texas but which in almost all other cases has resulted in only mild symptoms -- continues to develop. "These numbers are almost out of date by the time I say them," Besser said.

U.S. swine flu cases surge to nearly 100 --Marine confirmed ill; Mexican toddler is first recorded U.S. death, CDC says 29 Apr 2009 Virulent swine flu spread to 11 U.S. states from coast to coast Wednesday and swept deeper into Europe, extending its global reach as President Barack Obama mourned the first U.S. death, a Mexican toddler who had traveled with his family to Texas. Total American cases surge to nearly 100.

Swine Flu Suspected in Middlefield 29 Apr 2009 (CT) Doctors are treating a child for a suspected case of swine flu, officials in Middlefield said. The child is taking medication and improving, Dr. Matthew Huddleston, health director for Middlefield, said. He said the federal Centers For Disease Control and Prevention would have to decide if it's a confirmed case of swine flu.

UK confirms three more cases of swine flu 29 Apr 2009 A 12-year-old girl is one of three more people confirmed with swine flu, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said today. The girl, from Torbay in Devon, a woman from Redditch and a man from south London, were confirmed with the flu, he told the Commons. The first two British cases were confirmed on Monday in Scotland.

Swine flu: NHS orders 32m face masks 29 Apr 2009 More than 32 million masks are being ordered by the Department of Health as fears grow that swine flu could become a pandemic. Dozens of people in Britain were tested for the swine flu virus after two cases were confirmed. Leaflets are to be sent to every house in Britain containing information about the swine flu outbreak and preventative measures.

 

Involuntary quarantine an option if swine flu explodes into epidemic 28 Apr 2009 Quarantine may seem the stuff of mediocre melodramas, but if the swine flu explodes into an epidemic, involuntary isolation could become a reality for more than a few unlucky Americans. The federal government can declare a state of emergency. But the power to isolate or quarantine citizens, rests in the hands of the states, or in some cases, local governments. In a health emergency, people can be forced into isolation or quarantine without the government getting a court order first. [See CLG items: DoD to carry out 'military missions' during pandemic, WMD attack 08 Mar 2009 and DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack 11 May 2007.]

California declares a state of emergency over swine flu --Governor, L.A. County declare state of emergency 28 Apr 2009 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) today proclaimed a state of emergency over the spread of swine flu, expediting state agency responses to the outbreak. The proclamation orders all state agencies to use staff and equipment to help the Department of Public Health under coordination of the California Emergency Management Agency. The order suspends rules requiring competitive bids for services, material, personnel and equipment needed to respond to this [US generated] outbreak and waives some certification requirements for public health laboratories to help in the state’s expansion of testing capabilities. [Heads up! US pharma-terrorists are poised to make an even bigger killing than those who benefited from the 9/11 terror attacks (Rudy Giuliani, Lucky Larry), the Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan oil/gas/opium pipelines (Bush, Cheney Halliburton, etc.), and the Wall Street bailout.]

KBR awarded Homeland Security contract worth up to $385M 24 Jan 2006 KBR said Tuesday it has been awarded a contingency contract from the Department of Homeland Security to supports its Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities in the event of an emergency. The maximum total value of the contract is $385 million and consists of a 1-year base period with four 1-year options. The contract provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said. The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster, the company said.

Obama seeks $1.5 billion for swine flu 28 Apr 2009 President Barack Obama asked Congress on Tuesday for an additional $1.5 billion to fight swine flu as the confirmed caseload jumped to 65 people across six states in what doctors fear may become a pandemic. Lawmakers convened an emergency hearing on Capitol Hill to assess the government's preparedness for a more severe outbreak.

Scientists in global race to turn swine flu virus into a vaccine --Pharmaceutical companies prepare for WHO call to start producing prevention treatment for swine flu 28 Apr 2009 A global race to prepare a vaccine 'against' swine flu was under way yesterday as health officials confirmed that the disease had spread to at least seven countries. The World Health Organisation has contacted vaccine manufacturers, who are on standby to produce the vaccine should the virus continue to spread. A WHO spokesman said it had not yet advised pharmaceutical companies to begin producing a vaccine, but he confirmed that work had already begun at collaborating laboratories in the US.

CDC to mix avian, human flu viruses in pandemic study 14 Jan 2004 One of the worst fears of infectious disease experts is that the H5N1 avian influenza virus now circulating in parts of Asia will combine with a human-adapted flu virus to create a deadly new flu virus that could spread around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon launch experiments designed to combine the H5N1 virus and human flu viruses and then see how the resulting hybrids affect animals. The goal is to assess the chances that such a "reassortant" virus will emerge and how dangerous it might be.

Army Investigating Disappearance of Lethal Pathogen at Fort Detrick 23 Apr 2009 The U.S. Army is finishing an investigation into the disappearance of three vials of a potentially lethal pathogen from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., the Washington Post reported today. The inquiry begun in 2008 by the service's Criminal Investigation Command. The Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus is considered a possible tool of bioterrorism, but poses a significantly smaller threat than anthrax and other disease agents handled at the institute.

U.S. officials want "swine" out of flu name 28 Apr 2009 U.S. pork producers are finding that the name of the virus spreading from Mexico is affecting their business, prompting U.S. officials to argue for changing the name from swine flu. At a news briefing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took pains to repeatedly refer to the flu as the "H1N1 virus." Israel has already rejected the name swine flu, and opted to call it "Mexico flu." Jewish dietary laws forbid eating pork. [Right, it should be called 'Baxter's flu,' or 'Fort Detrick flu,' depending on which bioterrorists created it.--LRP]

'The swine flu helps illustrate the threat of bioweapons.' Israel Updates Biodefense Program to Counter Terror Threat 27 Apr 2009 Israel has updated its biological defense efforts to counter threats from terrorists and regional rivals such as Iran, the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday. Responding last year to warnings about the danger posed by weaponized disease agents, the Israeli Defense Ministry launched a new biological defense research effort at the Ramle-based headquarters of its Home Front Command. "Israel has the best solution to this threat in the world," Giora Eiland, former head of the Israeli national security council, said yesterday. "I can say with certainty that Israel has prepared a series of steps designed to deal with biological warfare." ['Weaponized disease agents.' Who would do that?]

CDC: 'Fully expect we will see deaths' 28 Apr 2009 U.S. health official said at least five people are hospitalized with swine flu in the United States and deaths are likely. "I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection," as swine flu cases are investigated, said Richard Besser, acting director of the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Swine flu 'unstoppable,' WHO warns --World Health Organisation says crisis is at 'turning period' and urges governments to plan for mass outbreaks 28 Apr 2009 The World Health Organisation warned today that swine flu can no longer be contained, as the virus spread to Asia and the Middle East, with the first cases confirmed in New Zealand and Israel. The virus, an apparently new strain of the H1N1 flu, has now been confirmed in seven countries, and suspected outbreaks are being investigated in other places including Ireland, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Denmark.

WHO raises its pandemic alert level on swine flu 28 Apr 2009 The World Health Organization raised its global alert level Monday, signaling the swine flu virus was spreading from human to human in community outbreaks, but it stopped short of declaring a full-blown pandemic. Mexico health department spokesman Carlos Olmos confirmed the move by the WHO to raise the alert level from Phase 3 to Phase 4. Putting an alert at Phases 4 or 5 signals that the swine flu virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading among humans.

Cases of swine flu confirmed in Marin County 28 Apr 2009 (CA) A 60-year-old Marin County woman and her 20-month-old granddaughter have been diagnosed with the Bay Area's first confirmed cases of swine flu, local health officials said Wednesday afternoon.

Swine flu fear for hundreds of NY children --US has more than 60 reported cases of swine flu, mostly in New York City 28 Apr 2009 'Many hundreds' of New York children are sick with suspected swine flu, it was reported tonight. The news was revealed by city's Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden. The city's mayor Michael Bloomberg said the children were separate from those in a suspected outbreak at a private school in Queens. Mr Bloomberg said that two people were being treated in hospital with suspected swine flu - a child in the Bronx and an adult in Brooklyn.

NJ identifies 5 probable swine flu cases 27 Apr 2009 New Jersey health officials say they've identified five probable cases of swine flu in people who recently traveled to Mexico and California. The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services said Monday that all have mild forms of the flu and none has been hospitalized. The department says it's arranging for confirmatory testing at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC Testing for Possible Cases of Swine Flu in Conn. 28 Apr 2009 Connecticut has two probable swine flu cases that have been sent to the CDC for testing, Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) said Tuesday. One is from an adult in Stratford and the other is an adult in Southbury, both of whom recently traveled to Mexico. Concerns about swine flu also closed East Haddam schools after two students who recently returned from a family trip became ill.

Texas teen recovering from swine flu 28 Apr 2009 High school senior Hayden Henshaw went to his doctor late last week suffering the classic achy, sniffly feverishness of a flu bug... The 18-year-old was among the first confirmed cases of a new flu that combines bird, swine and human viruses. He and two other classmates at Steele High School were the earliest confirmed cases in Texas, which now has six confirmed statewide, and among the first reported cases in the United States.

UK on alert after suspected swine flu hits Manchester 27 Apr 2009 Health authorities in Manchester are carrying out urgent tests on a suspected case of swine flu as governments around the world move to contain the deadly virus. Officials said tests were being carried out on a Canadian woman who displayed flu-like symptoms while on a visit to Sale in Greater Manchester.

Sebelius Confirmed, Completing Obama's Cabinet With Flu Leader 28 Apr 2009 Kathleen Sebelius, the Kansas governor who sees her mission as overhauling U.S. health care, was confirmed today as secretary of Health and Human Services, the agency directing U.S. efforts against swine flu. The Senate voted 65-31 to confirm Sebelius, a two-term Democratic governor.

Satire: Outbreak of Swine Flu in US Traced to Rush Limbaugh By R J Shulman 28 Apr 2009 The World Health Organization has called it a "public health emergency of international concern. The swine flu virus has already infected millions in the United States, sparking worldwide alarm. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta announced on Tuesday that they have traced the origin of the flu to talk show host Rush Limbaugh. "This is extremely troubling," said Sarah Tinsdale of the CDC, "as Limbaugh has contact with millions of Americans every day." (Satire!)

US military 'posturing itself' to respond to flu outbreak --Military officials monitor swine flu 27 Apr 2009 Defense Department officials are monitoring the swine flu situation closely, with their primary focus on protecting the military population, a senior Pentagon official said April 27. As officials with the Department of Health and Human Services lead the U.S. effort, the military is posturing itself to respond if required, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

Pentagon Prepared for Flu Outbreak 27 Apr 2009 In a worst-case scenario that the current flu crises threatens military operations, the Defense Department has already stockpiled enough vaccines to meet demand across the services, a Pentagon spokeswoman told Military.com April 27... It was only in January -- well before the Mexico outbreak -- that the commander of the Pacific Fleet noted his troops' preparations for a pandemic or epidemic of infectious flu. "The U.S. Pacific Fleet is part of a broader joint and combined effort to be prepared to deal with a pandemic flu outbreak," Adm. Robert F. Willard said on Jan. 28.

WHO confirms pandemic alert level raised to 4 27 Apr 2009 The World Health Organisation raised its pandemic alert level on Monday to phase 4 over the deadly swine flu virus, indicating the infection can spread between humans to cause community-level outbreaks.

DHS: Americans should prepare for second flu pandemic, even if this one 'fizzles out' [LOL! Not *too* blatant, are they?] 26 Apr 2009 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says that the US should prepare for a new flu pandemic -- even if this one 'fizzles out.' [See: CDC to conduct avian flu pandemic experiments 27 Dec 2004 The researchers, from the influenza branch of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, will mate H5N1 and human flu viruses in a process known as reassortment. Viable offspring will be tested in animals thought to be good surrogates for humans, to see if the viruses can infect, can be transmitted easily from infected animals to healthy ones and to note the severity of disease each provokes.]

Sanofi-Aventis, Blackwater of bugs: Sanofi Aventis Invests 100 Million Euros In New Facility In Mexico to Produce Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Vaccine 19 Mar 2009 Sanofi-aventis, announced the signing of an agreement with the Mexican authorities to build a 100 million euro facility to manufacture influenza vaccine in Mexico. The announcement was made during a ceremony attended by Felipe Calderon, [unelected] President of Mexico, and Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, who was in Mexico City for a State visit. "By building this new facility, sanofi-aventis is proud to contribute to the strengthening of Mexico's health infrastructure and is eager to support Mexico's exemplary commitment to public health through influenza immunization and pandemic readiness", said Chris Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of sanofiaventis. [Now, that's what I call foresight! See also: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor By Lori Price 26 Apr 2009.]

Obama's host dies from 'flu-like symptoms' 27 Apr 2009 The White House says that Barack Obama is "highly engaged" in monitoring the swine flu outbreak that has spread over the border from Mexico into the US – and well he might. For a while, the President's doctors feared that he may have come closer than almost anyone in the country to contracting the virus. According to alarming reports from Mexico City, Felipe Solis, a distinguished archaeologist who showed Mr Obama around the city's anthropology museum during his visit to Mexico earlier this month, died the next day from "flu-like symptoms".

Obama Admin. Releases Stockpile of Antiflu Virus Drug --The Pentagon has readied 7 million courses for military personnel. 26 Apr 2009 The Obama administration was "all hands on deck" today in response to the quickly escalating swine flu outbreak, with the declaration of a public health emergency and the release of the national antiflu drug stockpile. The Obama administration has released 12.5 million of the nation's stockpile of 50 million courses of Tamiflu.

World 'counting down to pandemic' 27 Apr 2009 A Chinese virologist who helped fight Sars and bird flu has warned of a possible swine flu pandemic that China and India would be ill-prepared to handle. "We are counting down to a pandemic," said Guan Yi, a professor at the University of Hong Kong who helped trace the outbreak of Sars in 2003 to the civet cat.

Swine Flu Fears Prompt Global Quarantine Plans 26 Apr 2009 Countries planned quarantines, tightened rules on pork imports and tested airline passengers for fevers as global health officials tried Sunday to come up with uniform ways to battle a deadly strain of swine flu.

'Israel must call new disease Mexico Flu, as swine unkosher' 27 Apr 2009 Ultra-Orthodox Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman on Monday declared that Israel would call the new potentially deadly disease that has already struck two continents 'Mexico Flu,' rather than 'Swine Flu, as pigs are not kosher. "We will call it Mexico flu. We won't call it swine flu," Litzman told a news conference on Monday, assuring the Israeli public that authorities were prepared to handle any cases. [Israel should call it US Flu, for the sake of accuracy.]

Flu pandemic: British government's emergency plan 27 Apr 2009 The government's pandemic flu contingency plan, dating from November 2007, warns that up to 750,000 Britons might die were a pandemic to strike with maximum force.

Swine flu confirmed in UK --The two people are being held in isolation at Monklands hospital in Airdrie 27 Apr 2009 Two Scottish holidaymakers who returned from Mexico last Tuesday were confirmed tonight as having swine flu, while seven of their close family and friends are being treated with a flu vaccine after showing mild flu-like symptoms. The two people are being held in isolation at Monklands hospital in Airdrie where they are said to be recovering well, and responding well to treatment.

British passengers screened for swine flu amid fears that disease has spread worldwide --Britain on "constant alert" 27 Apr 2009 British passengers returning from Mexico were being screened for signs of swine flu on Sunday night amid fears that the disease has spread across the world.

Two swine flu cases confirmed in Scotland 27 Apr 2009 Two patients in a Scotland who returned last week from a visit to Mexico were today confirmed as suffering from swine flu. The news came after Britons were urged to postpone non-essential travel to the United States or Mexico as senior officials held emergency talks over the deadly outbreak of swine flu.

New York school outbreak 'may have infected more than 100 people' 27 Apr 2009 A swine flu outbreak at a New York school may have infected over 100 people after a group of pupils returned from a spring holiday in Cancun, Mexico. Officials said today that there were 28 confirmed cases and 17 suspected cases of the swine flu at the St Francis Prep School, and that more than 100 pupils had complained of flu-like symptoms.

California school shut in possible swine flu case --State says following 12 other possible cases 27 Apr 2009 A California school was shut down on Monday after a student became ill with what could become the state's eighth case of the swine flu that is threatening to become a pandemic. Health officials said they were investigating 12 other possible cases. St. Mel's Catholic School in the Sacramento suburb of Fair Oaks was closed while samples from the teenager were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for analysis.

Mexico suspected flu toll soars --WHO flu expert Dr Keiji Fukuda: "Containment is not a feasible operation" 27 Apr 2009 As many as 149 people in Mexico are believed to have been killed by swine flu as cases of the virulent disease continue to rise around the world. The Mexican health minister announced the suspected death toll, saying the victims were aged between 20 and 50. Cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the US, Canada and Spain. Scotland confirmed two cases on Monday evening.

Swine flu: Mexico City is 'like a ghost town' --Surgical face masks were handed out by soldiers at checkpoints along the main avenues. 26 Apr 2009 The normally bustling streets of Mexico City were virtually empty on Sunday, with millions choosing to stay at home rather than risk contagion from the killer swine flu. A mixture of fear, suspicion and frustration set in across Mexico as the death toll from the killer swine flu rose and the government took an increasingly tough position to 'stop' it spreading.

Now Mexico is shaken by earthquake 27 Apr 2009 Southern Mexico was hit by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake today that shook buildings in the capital, Mexico City, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or damage. Hundreds of people evacuated buildings in the capital, many of them wearing surgical face masks due to the deadly swine flu outbreak that is suspected of causing 149 deaths in Mexico.

Sanofi-Aventis commits 100 million euros to Chinese expansion 23 Apr 2009 France's Sanofi-Aventis is planning a major capital investment programme in Beijing in a bid to bolster its position in the fast-growing Chinese market. The company is spending $90 million (about 70 million euros) to expand a Beijing plant ... and has earmarked 31 million euros to relocate a factory in Hangzhou. These investments follow a $94 million programme that Sanofi-Aventis initiated in 2007 to build a manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, for its Vaxigrip seasonal influenza vaccine.

Drug companies prepare for swine flu epidemic 26 Apr 2009 Pharmaceutical stocks are expected to rise on Monday morning, after Roche and GlaxoSmithKline said they may need to supply millions of vaccine doses to help protect against the swine flu that has killed up to 81 people in Mexico. 26 Apr 2009 Vaccines from Roche, which sells Tamiflu, and GSK, maker of Relenza, have been shown to work against viral samples of the new disease. The drugs were also used to help protect against outbreaks of bird flu in Asia, providing windfall profits for the companies. Roche confirmed it already has a stockpile of 3m packs of Tamiflu ready for use by the World Health Organisation (WHO). [Well, knock me over with a feather!! Instead of facing trial and execution for war crimes, Donald Rumsfeld is going to make a killing - maybe even greater than Rudy Giuliani/'Lucky Larry' killings from the 9/11 terror attacks. See: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu --Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing 31 Oct 2005 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. Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)'s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.]

CLG: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor By Lori Price 26 Apr 2009 The OMFG moment of the century. Illinois-based Baxter working on vaccine to 'stop' swine flu outbreak in Mexico 25 Apr 2009. But, looky here! Baxter admits sending live avian flu viruses to subcontractor --People familiar with biosecurity rules are dismayed by evidence that human H3N2 and avian H5N1 viruses somehow co-mingled [!] in the Orth-Donau facility. 27 Feb 2009 Is Baxter International taking a page from the Blackwater playbook? Just as Blackwater/Xe keep on killing to justify their multi-billion dollar contracts to provide 'security' in Iraq and Afghanistan, Baxter International is poised to make *billions* to vaccinate people against their pandemic.

CLG: Flu Kills The Torture Memos --In a 'Holy convenience, Batman!' moment, a 'unique' flu virus (one likely concocted in US Army labs) overtakes media coverage of revelations that the highest levels of the US government instructed the CIA (and private contractors) to torture terror suspects. By Lori Price 26 April 2009 Guess where the first swine flu outbreak occurred? That's right, Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1976. Thirteen soldiers died, leading the US government to force a questionable vaccine on the population -- backed by a legal liability escape clause mandated by and for the pharma-terrorists. Next, people started dying not from the flu -- but from the *vaccine.*

US declares public health emergency for swine flu 26 Apr 2009 The U.S. declared a public health emergency Sunday to deal with the emerging new swine flu. Officials reported 20 U.S. cases of swine flu in five states so far, with the latest in Ohio and New York. "As we continue to look for cases, we are going to see a broader spectrum of disease," predicted Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We're going to see more severe disease in this country."

Obama Was In Mexico For Swine Flu Outbreak --Man Obama Met Later Died With Flu-Like Symptoms 25 Apr 2009 President Barack Obama's health is fine a little more than a week after he traveled to Mexico, where an outbreak of swine flu has killed at least 68 people and sickened more than 1,000, the White House said Saturday. "The president's trip to Mexico has not put his health in any danger," said spokesman Robert Gibbs. The World Health Organization's director-general, Margaret Chan, said the outbreak of the never-before-seen virus is a very serious situation and has "pandemic potential."

Obama orders active measures to deal with swine flu 26 Apr 2009 U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered his administration to take active and aggressive measures to deal with swine flu, which has infected at least 20 people in the United States. As one of the measures, the administration declared a public health emergency on Sunday. There are 20 cases have been confirmed of the epidemic in the United States, said Richard Besser, acting director of Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at a press briefing held in the White House on Sunday.

As Nations Try to Contain Flu, N.Y. Cases Are Confirmed 27 Apr 2009 American health officials announced Sunday they had confirmed 20 cases of swine flu across the United States, and they said the number of infections was likely to grow as investigators fan out to track down the path of the outbreak. "We are seeing more cases of swine flu," said Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, in a news conference in Washington. "We expect to see more cases of swine flu. As we continue to look for cases, I expect we’re going to find them."

Briton quarantined as killer flu spreads 26 Apr 2009 A British Airways cabin crew member was taken to hospital with flu-like symptoms yesterday afternoon after falling ill on a flight from Mexico City to Heathrow. The Health Protection Agency said it was keeping a close eye on the situation.

New Zealand quarantines 25 amid swine flu alert 26 Apr 2009 Twenty-five students and teachers in New Zealand, some with flu-like symptoms, were quarantined and tested for swine flu after returning from a trip to Mexico, officials said Sunday, as Asia stepped up surveillance for the deadly virus.

Minister: 10 NZ students likely have swine flu 26 Apr 2009 New Zealand said Sunday that 10 students "likely" have swine flu after a school trip to Mexico, as governments across Asia began quarantining those with symptoms of the deadly virus and some issued travel warnings for Mexico.

British Airways crew member hospitalized with flu-like symptoms 26 Apr 2009 A British Airways crew member has been hospitalized in a British hospital after returning from Mexico, health officials told BNO News early Sunday.

Mexico declares national emergency amid outbreak 25 Apr 2009 President [sic] Felipe Calderon declared a national emergency Saturday, authorizing federal officials to quarantine the sick, shut down public events and businesses, and take other measures to contain the virus’ spread. Many in this crowded capital of 20 million are holing up or fleeing town as Mexico braces for what the World Health Organization warns could explode into a deadly global flu epidemic.

Texas Gov orders 37,430 courses of antiviral medications from Strategic National Stockpile --New possible case of swine flu identified in Texas 25 Apr 2009 A Texas high school where two students are confirmed to have swine flu is temporarily closing after a new possible case of swine flu was identified there, state health officials announced Saturday. Carrie Williams, a state Department of Health Services spokeswoman in Austin, confirmed Saturday that another student in Guadalupe County near San Antonio is now believed to have the illness... Gov. Rick Perry announced Saturday that because of the outbreak he was asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to give Texas 37,430 courses of antiviral medications from the Strategic National Stockpile to prevent the spread of swine flu.

11 more suspected swine flu cases in U.S. --Total reaches 19 26 Apr 2009 Kansas health authorities had confirmed two new cases of swine flu in their state, California has confirmed another case in Imperial County and New York City officials have identified eight probable cases, bringing the U.S. total to 19 likely cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously identified six cases in San Diego and Imperial counties and two cases in Guadalupe County, Texas.

Officials: 8 NYC Students Probably Have Swine Flu --Department of Health Officials Tests 75 Students at St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens 25 Apr 2009 At least eight students at a high school in New York City probably have human swine influenza, but authorities don't know for sure whether they have the strain that has killed people in Mexico. City health officials say more than 100 students at the private St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens have come down with a fever, sore throat and other aches and pains.

Two swine flu cases confirmed in Dickinson County 25 Apr 2009 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has confirmed two cases of swine flu involving a husband and wife in Dickinson County. KDHE officials said one had recovered and the other is still being treated, but neither was hospitalized. One of the patients had recently traveled to Mexico, flying in and out of Wichita, the KDHE said.

Army: 3 vials of virus samples missing from Maryland facility 22 Apr 2009 Missing vials of a potentially dangerous virus have prompted an Army investigation into the disappearance from a lab in Maryland. The Army's Criminal Investigation Command agents have been visiting Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, to investigate the disappearance of the vials. The vials contained samples of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis... In 97 percent of cases, humans with the virus suffer flu-like symptoms, but it can be deadly in about 1 out of 100 cases, according to Caree Vander Linden, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

CDC says too late to contain U.S. flu outbreak 25 Apr 2009 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it was too late to contain the swine flu outbreak in the United States. CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing it was likely too late to try to contain the outbreak, by vaccinating, treating or isolating people.

WHO worries Mexico flu deaths could mark pandemic 25 Apr 2009 Mexico closed its schools across its capital Friday after at least 16 otherwise healthy people died and more than 900 others fell ill from what could be a new strain of swine flu. The World Health Organization worried that it could mark the start of a flu pandemic.

Outbreak in Mexico, U.S. tied to new swine flu --Source of unique virus a mystery; CDC expects more cases 24 Apr 2009 The unique strain of swine flu found in seven people in California and Texas has been connected to the deadly flu that has broken out in Mexico, killing as many as 61 people. The strain has never been seen before and is raising fears of a possible pandemic across North America. The World Health Organization said the virus that killed at least 12 of the victims in Mexico had the same genetic structure as an outbreak discovered in California.

Navy Experimenting With Flu at Mexican Border --Mexico Shuts Schools Amid Deadly Flu Outbreak 25 Apr 2009 Mexican officials, scrambling to control a swine flu outbreak that has killed at least 16 people and possibly dozens more in recent weeks... The unusual strain this year was noticed, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of respiratory diseases the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only because the agency was trying out a new diagnostic test at a Navy laboratory and doing more testing than usual through a new Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Project along the Mexican border. [See: The U.S.-Mexico Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Project: Establishing Bi-national Border Surveillance (cdc.gov)]

Possible Swine Flu Outbreak At NYC Prep School --Department of Health Officials Testing 75 Students At St. Francis Preparatory School In Queens 24 Apr 2009 New York City health officials say that about 75 students at a Queens high school have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms and testing is under way to rule out the strain of swine flu that has killed dozens in Mexico. The Health Department's Dr. Don Weiss said Friday that a team of agency doctors and investigators were dispatched to the private St. Francis Preparatory School the previous day after students reported fever, sore throat, cough, aches and pains.

'Laboratory testing showed that the virus does not match any known flu strains.' In California and Texas, 5 New Swine Flu Cases 24 Apr 2009 Government scientists have identified five more people who have been infected with swine flu, apparently confirming suspicions that the unusual strain of the respiratory infection is spreading from person to person, federal health officials said yesterday. Three new cases were found in California and two in Texas, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to seven, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said... Genetic analysis of the virus indicates it is highly unusual: It is a hybrid that resulted from a [Fort Detrick?] combination of four different viruses.'

Troops Could Be Sent to Border --Under $350M plan, National Guard would be aimed at drug war 24 Apr 2009 The Pentagon and Homeland Security Department are developing contingency plans to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border under a $350 million initiative that would expand the U.S. military's role in [fomenting] the drug war, according to Obama administration officials.

Fort Detrick disease samples may be missing --CID has been investigating USAMRIID since at least early February. 22 Apr 2009 Army criminal investigators are looking into the possibility that disease samples are missing from biolabs at Fort Detrick. As first reported in today's edition of The Frederick News-Post, the investigators are from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division unit at Fort Meade. Chad Jones, spokesman for Fort Meade, said CID is investigating the possibility of missing virus samples from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. CID is responsible for investigating crimes where the Army is, or may be, a party of interest, according to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command website. USAMRIID is the Army's top biodefense lab, where researchers study pathogens including Ebola, anthrax and plague.

'Agents are looking for what may have gone missing between 1987 and 2008.' Cold comfort By Katherine Heerbrandt 22 Apr 2009 The Criminal Investigation Division at Fort Meade has been investigating USAMRIID at Fort Detrick since at least early February. Meade's CID pursues investigations of serious crimes and sensitive subjects of concern to the Army at regional bases like Detrick, which has no internal investigative arm. A News-Post story in February reported that USAMRIID was shutting down most of its bioresearch while it tried to match its inventory to its records, citing an "overage" of BSAT, biological select agents and toxins. Meade's CID, however, isn't concerned with overstock. Instead, agents are looking for what may have gone missing between 1987 and 2008.

H5N1 virus may be adapting to pigs in Indonesia --Scientists: adaptation may mean virus is one step closer to morphing into human pandemic strain 31 Mar 2009 Scientists report that H5N1 avian influenza viruses may be adapting to pigs, as evidenced by the finding that H5N1 viruses isolated from pigs in Indonesia were less harmful to mice than were H5N1 viruses from chickens. The finding suggests that in growing in pigs, the virus may have become less harmful to mammals in general, the authors report. That sounds reassuring, but the authors say it may mean the virus is one step closer to turning into a human pandemic strain.

'We have not been able to come up with any explanation of why anyone would have swine flu.' New Strain of Swine Flu Investigated Two Children in San Diego Area Had No Contact With Pigs 22 Apr 2009 Public health authorities are investigating two highly unusual cases of a previously unknown strain of swine flu that was found in the San Diego area late last month. The cases occurred almost simultaneously in children who had no contact with pigs or each other, a scenario that raised the possibility that the illnesses may be the sign of an emerging pandemic strain of influenza... In 1976, a [US-created] strain of swine flu caused illness in 13 soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey, killing one.

Low-Path Bird Flu Confirmed in Kentucky 16 Apr 2009 Low-pathogenic avian influenza has been found on a broiler breeder farm in western Kentucky belonging to Perdue Farms. The virus, responsible for a minimal drop in egg production in mid-March, has been identified as belonging to the H7 sub-type. State and federal authorities are investigating a finding of suspected non-pathogenic or low-pathogenic avian influenza in a single broiler breeder farm in western Kentucky., according to Lex18.

Experts identify compound that may fight bird flu 15 Apr 2009 Scientists in Hong Kong and the United States have identified a synthetic compound which appears to be able to stop the replication of influenza viruses, including the H5N1 bird flu virus. The search for such new "inhibitors" has grown more urgent in recent years as drugs, like oseltamivir, have become largely ineffective against certain flu strains. Experts now question how well and how long the drug would stand up against the H5N1, should it [US bioterrorists] unleash a pandemic.

New bird flu cases suggest the danger of pandemic is rising --Infections in Egypt raise scientists' fears that virus will be spread by humans 12 Apr 2009 Bird flu is becoming less deadly --but scientists fear that this is the very thing that could make the [H5N1] virus more able to cause a pandemic that would kill hundreds of millions of people. This paradox, emerging from Egypt, threatens to increase the disease's ability to spread from person to person by helping it achieve the crucial mutation in the virus which could turn it into the greatest plague to hit Britain since the Black Death.

Concerns arise over symptomless Egypt bird flu cases 08 Apr 2009 The World Health Organisation is concerned some Egyptians may carry the highly pathogenic bird flu virus without showing symptoms, which could give it more of a chance to mutate to a strain that spreads easily among humans. While the H5N1 virus only rarely infects people, experts fear it could mutate into a form that humans could easily pass to one another, sparking a pandemic that could kill millions. The emergence of symptomless human carriers of the virus would be a worrisome development because it could allow the virus, undetected and untreated, more time to mutate inside the human body, John Jabbour, a Cairo-based emerging diseases specialist at WHO, said.

U.S. regulator approves rapid test for bird flu 07 Arp 2009 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it had approved a fast test for H5N1 bird flu that can show in less than an hour if people are infected. The test, made by Sunnyvale, California-based Arbor Vita Corporation, should greatly speed up diagnosis and treatment [DoD military missions, incarcerations in KBR detention centers] of people infected with avian influenza, the FDA said.

Bird flu vaccine tested on 200 people without their knowledge --They allegedly led their patients, many of them poor and homeless, to believe they were being vaccinated against ordinary flu. 06 Apr 2009 Nine health workers went on trial in northern Poland Monday accused of having tested a vaccine against bird flu on nearly 200 patients without their knowledge, court officials said. The accused -- three doctors and six nurses -- are charged with "fraud, creating false documents and delivering health care without authorisation" to 196 patients, judge Piotr Szadkowski of the Torun region told AFP. The medical personnel are charged with administering a vaccine banned in Poland 'against' the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu that can be transmitted to humans.

10 raccoons discovered with bird flu antibodies 07 Apr 2009 Ten wild raccoons have been found with signs of previous H5N1 bird flu infections, according to a joint study by Tokyo University and Yamaguchi University. This is the first time mammals in this country have been found with bird flu virus antibodies, which develop as a result of infection. Before the discovery, only birds had been found with bird flu antibodies.

It is feared bird flu could become more frightening 04 Apr 2009 There is a need to raise awareness of bird flu because of a real threat: It could turn into something much more frightening than the H5N1 virus. The frightening thing would be if the virus caused a pandemic if and when it became able to spread among humans, Coordinator of Surveillance and Monitoring at the National Commission on Bird Flu Control and Awareness on Influenza Pandemic (Komnas FBPI) Heru Setijanto said Friday.

EU says deadly bird flu strain found in Germany 10 Mar 2009 The European Commission says a wild duck shot in the German state of Bavaria has tested positive for the lethal H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus. The EU executive says it is the first wild bird case in the 27 nation bloc this year and was reported by German authorities.

'Voice your appreciation for those in quarantine.' --Heads up! This is how the US government might bail out the bailouts. By Lori Price 09 Mar 2009 'Be prepared to be quarantined for months at a time. When you're talking to people, voice your appreciation for those in quarantine. Talk about how they're hometown heroes and doing what they need to be doing in order to protect the community... ' --P.J. Havice-Cover, a mental health professional and program coordinator, State of Colorado - Scientists say pandemic is certain --Expert panel tells emergency managers it's just a matter of when the avian flu will spark a pandemic. By Stephanie Backus 07 Mar 2009 Many scientists are now sure that a version of H5N1, or the avian flu, will cause a pandemic in the future. While speaking to health officials at the National Emergency Management Summit Thursday, several experts said the issue was no longer an "if" issue, it was now "when."

Virus mix-up by lab could have resulted in pandemic 06 Mar 2009 It's emerged that virulent H5N1 bird flu was sent out 'by accident' from an Austrian lab [the Austrian branch of US vaccine company, Baxter] last year and given to ferrets in the Czech Republic before anyone realised. As well as the risk of it escaping into the wild, the H5N1 got mixed with a human strain, which might have spawned a hybrid that could unleash a pandemic.

'This was infected with a bird flu virus.' Viral Pandemic H5N1 flu threat: Illinois-based Baxter contaminates European labs by error 25 Feb 2009 According to the scientific network PROMED, Baxter International Inc. in Austria "unintentionally contaminated samples with the bird flu virus that were used in laboratories in 3 neighboring countries, raising concern about the potential spread of the deadly disease". As PROMED reports, the contamination has been discovered when ferrets at a laboratory in the Czech Republic died after being inoculated with vaccine made from the samples early this month. "The material came from Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter, which reported the incident to the Austrian Ministry of Health, Sigrid Rosenberger, a ministry spokeswoman, said today in a telephone interview", the network-alert-system is quoting. "This was infected with a bird flu virus," Rosenberger said. "There were some people from the company who handled it."

'That mixing process, called reassortment, is one of two ways pandemic viruses are created.' Baxter admits sending live avian flu viruses to subcontrator --People familiar with biosecurity rules are dismayed by evidence that human H3N2 and avian H5N1 viruses somehow co-mingled [!] in the Orth-Donau facility. 27 Feb 2009 The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses. And an official of the World Health Organization's European operation said the body is closely monitoring the investigation into the events that took place at Baxter International's research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria.

'We put in many other proteins into that vaccine; we are using it like a carrier.' Experts insert H5N1 virus into smallpox vaccine to fight bird flu --Vaccine uses a Vietnam strain of the H5N1 virus 01 Mar 2009 Scientists in Hong Kong and the United States have developed an experimental H5N1 bird flu vaccine for people by piggybacking it on the well-tested and highly successful smallpox vaccine. Initial tests on mice showed the vaccine to be highly effective, they told a news conference in Hong Kong on Sunday. While H5N1 rarely infects people, experts fear it could mutate into a form that people could easily pass to one another, sparking a pandemic that could kill tens of millions and topple the global economy.

Researchers report finding Achilles' heel of flu virus 22 Feb 2009 Scientists, led by a team from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, have discovered what they describe as the Achilles' heel of the influenza virus. Their early results suggest that the drug would work against the highly virulent avian flu, as well as the lethal "Spanish flu" strain that killed millions during a 1918 global epidemic. Such a drug, scientists said, could be crucial if a novel [US-engendered] strain ignited a global flu epidemic, especially since a growing number of flu strains are becoming resistant to the main drug now available, Tamiflu

'Suddenly the ferrets started dying, so the research stopped on Feb. 6.' Czech researchers exposed to bird flu virus via vaccine --Pharmaceutical company that developed vaccine admitted it mistakenly sent infected material to Czech Republic 18 Feb 2009 Thirteen Czech researchers have been exposed to the H5N1 bird flu virus strain through a contaminated vaccine obtained from an Austrian company, Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) reported Tuesday. The 13 people who had contact with the ferrets were in danger but were not infected with the lethal virus, said Josef Duben, a spokesman for the Czech veterinary authority. The bird flu virus was being tested positive on ferrets by the Biotest company in Konarovice when the animals began to die.

'We see the result, but not the cause. We don't know where it has come from, but people have been infected. When people are infected, in theory it should be present in birds.' China Health Ministry 'puzzled' by bird flu cases 10 Feb 2009 China's Health Ministry is puzzled by eight human cases of bird flu in January which appeared independent of any known case in birds, a spokesman said on Tuesday. Five Chinese died from H5N1 in January in far-flung regions without any reported presence of the virus in birds on the mainland. "We see the result, but not the cause. We don't know where it has come from, but people have been infected. When people are infected, in theory it should be present in birds," spokesman Mao Qunan told reporters.

Large-billed crow has H5N1 10 Feb 2009 Hong Kong authorities said on Tuesday that a dead Large-billed Crow found in the territory had tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the latest case has taken to 12 the total number of birds found to have the virus, which can be fatal to humans, since January 29.

Seven birds test positive for bird flu in Hong Kong 07 Feb 2009 Hong Kong authorities confirmed Saturday that seven dead birds recently found in the territory all tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu strain. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said laboratory tests confirmed that four chickens, a duck, a Peregrine Falcon and a Grey Heron found dead this month carried the deadly strain.

Migratory birds suspected in B.C. avian flu cases 02 Feb 2009 Three of four of the latest avian-flu outbreaks in Canada have been in the Fraser Valley, possibly because of the region's popularity with migratory waterfowl, experts say. In the latest outbreak, that H5 strain of the virus was detected in some turkeys on a property owned by two brothers in January, and 60,000 turkeys were culled on an Abbotsford farm last week.

Three dozen farms now under quarantine for flu 02 Feb 2009 The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has put 36 Fraser Valley farms under quarantine as it tries to prevent avian flu spreading. The CFIA is testing commercial flocks within a three-kilometre radius of the infected farm, as well as other farms with links to the infected farm.

Bird flu confirmed in W Canada 25 Jan 2009 An apparently low pathogenic strain of the bird flu has been detected on a turkey farm in western Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said Saturday. The agency confirmed "the presence of H5 avian influenza (AI) virus" in the farm located in Fraser Valley of British Columbia province, where avian flu has been discovered in recent years.

Bird flu flutters closer to Gulf countries 05 Jan 2009 Two years after the former peak in cases of bird flu, the deadly H5N1 virus appears to fighting back in countries neighbouring the Middle East. The H5N1 strain of the virus is extremely difficult to transmit from bird to human, but scientists fear a mutation to a different strain could quickly change that fact.

New bird flu cases revive fears of human pandemic 04 Jan 2009 The deadly H5N1 virus has resurfaced in poultry in Hong Kong for the first time in six years, reinforcing warnings that the threat of a human pandemic isn't over. India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and mainland China also experienced new outbreaks in December. During the same period, four new human cases were reported to the World Health Organization.

Three genes can turn normal flu into a killer, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers find 30 Dec 2008 Three key genes can turn a regular flu virus into a super killer like the strain that devastated the world 90 years ago and one that could come again, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers found in a study involving ferrets. The discovery by a team led by virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka could help scientists better recognize new flu strains capable of causing a global epidemic, or pandemic, and develop drugs to ward off any kind of flu, the researchers said. Kawaoka said the goal was to find out why recreate the 1918 flu virus, known as the Spanish flu, was so deadly, killing up to 50 million people.

US, Japanese Researchers Mix Samples of 1918 Flu Pandemic to Recreate Deadly Code --Compiled by Lori Price 30 Dec 2008 Why? And, why is no one *asking* why? The genetic code that made the 1918 killer flu so deadly has finally been cracked, claim US and Japanese researchers.

'The idea is to strengthen our surveillance against the dreaded bird flu and be ready with a disease control plan if it strikes.' Flu watchdog lab planned 29 Dec 2008 A surveillance lab to monitor different strains of influenza will be established in Bahrain with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It will be tasked with reviewing the country's action plan in the event of a possible outbreak of bird flu, a top Health Ministry official told the GDN yesterday. The new lab, which will be located at the Public Health Directorate, is the result of a visit by a WHO team last week.

Bird flu spreads to more areas in Assam 27 Dec 2008 Bird flu has spread to new areas in Assam, where culling of poultry has been going on since November 27. Sources in the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department said new cases were reported at Manahkuchi of the Hajo and Chayani Barduar block in Kamrup (rural) district, where the disease was first detected.

'We have put the patients in isolation, although the symptoms do not indicate influenza-like illness.' 300,000 people in bird flu-hit Assam under surveillance 12 Dec 2008 Health authorities in Assam have placed under surveillance about 300,000 people in bird flu affected areas with reports of some 150 people suffering from fever and upper respiratory infections, fuelling fears of the deadly virus spreading to humans, officials said Friday. "Isolation facilities have been strengthened to admit and treat suspect cases although no cases of influenza like illness with history of contact with infected poultry have been detected so far," Parthajyoti Gogoi, regional director (northeast) of the central health and family welfare department, told IANS.

Fears of human bird flu cases rise in India's Assam 12 Dec 2008 India is sending bird flu experts to the northeastern state of Assam and setting up isolation units to treat up to 90 people showing signs of the virus, health authorities said on Friday. Health workers have yet to confirm any human cases of H5N1, but they said some patients were suffering from fever and respiratory infections, which are symptoms of the virus in humans.

Hong Kong reports bird flu outbreak 09 Dec 2008 Three dead chickens tested positive for bird flu in Hong Kong, prompting the city to suspend poultry imports for 21 days and begin slaughtering 80,000 birds, an official said Tuesday. "We feel that Hong Kong is facing a new alert for bird flu," said York Chow, secretary for food and health. Chow said the chickens, found Monday at a farm with 60,000 birds, had the H5 virus and further tests were being done to see if they had the deadly H5N1 strain.

Alarm bells ring after Bird Flu hits Assam 09 Dec 2008 The state health department has put all the districts on high alert after receiving confirmation of a Bird Flu outbreak in Assam a few days ago. On 1 December, a letter was issued to all the chief medical officers of health (CMOHs) in the state by the joint director of public health. Hospitals in the state have been asked to keep tabs on influenza cases.

Bird flu spreads to two more districts in Assam 06 Dec 2008 Nine days after bird flu was first reported from Hajo in Kamrup (rural) district of Lower Assam, the authorities on Friday confirmed that the killer avian disease had spread to Nalbari and Barpeta districts too, with Rapid Reaction Teams fanning out to the new areas to carry out culling operations.

Terrorists could strike Britain by infecting country with bird flu 27 Nov 2008 Terrorists could strike Britain by infecting the country with bird flu or Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a leading group of security experts has warned. A commission led by Lord Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, identified 27 countries where terror organisations could become a threat to the UK. The report by the Institute of Public Policy Research warns that one of the biggest emerging threats comes from terrorists turning to biological warfare.

Indonesia records 113th bird flu death 12 Nov 2008 An Indonesian teen has died of bird flu raising the death toll in the country hardest hit by the virus to 113, health officials said. The latest death comes amid an ongoing dispute between the Southeast Asian country and the World Health Organisation (WHO) over sharing samples of the virus from patients there to monitor whether the H5N1 virus is mutating [by US bioterrorists] to a more dangerous form.

Google to report flu searches, locations to U.S. government 11 Nov 2008 Google Flu Trends, a new Web tool that Google.org unveiled on Tuesday, just as 'flu season' was getting under way in the United States. The Google Flu Trends surveillance tool will track such queries and charts their ebb and flow, broken down by regions and states. Early tests suggest that the surveillance may be able to detect regional outbreaks of the flu a week to 10 days before they are reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sick Surveillance: Google Reports Flu Searches, Locations to Feds S 11 Nov 2008 GOOGLE will launch a new tool that will help U.S. federal officials "track sickness". "Flu Trends" uses search terms that people put into the web giant to figure out where influenza is heating up, and notify the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in real time. Engineers devised a basket of keywords and phrases related to the flu, including thermometer, flu symptoms, muscle aches, chest congestion and others.

South Bay conducts mass vaccination drill --Hundreds in Santa Clara County got flu shots during pandemic clinic test run 06 Nov 2008 (CA) For the first time in San Jose, a senior center became a mass vaccination clinic. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department offered free flu shots as a way to test years of planning for a real-life [US-engendered] medical emergency. In Alameda County, a similar drill was carried out for first responders - police, fire and medical workers. The state is mandating exercises like the ones in San Jose and Alameda County to avoid ensure a repeat of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million people.

Bird flu virus hides from immune system 06 Nov 2008 U.S. scientists say they've found how the avian influenza virus "hides" from the body's immune system, preventing an antiviral response from infected cells. Baylor College of Medicine researchers said they discovered a protein found in the virulent avian flu virus strain called H5N1 forms tiny tubules in which it "hides" the pieces of double-stranded RNA formed during viral infection.

U.S. to provide extra $320 mln to 'fight' bird flu 26 Oct 2008 The United States has promised to provide another 320 million U.S. dollars to beef up the international efforts in the 'fight against' bird flu, a visiting senior U.S. official said Saturday. Paula Dobriansky, U.S. Under Secretary of State, made the remarks on the sidelines of an international conference on bird flu opened earlier in the day in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian MENA news agency reported.

In bioterror dry-run, Kansas community turns flu shot clinic into dispensing station 25 Oct 2008 For the nurses who gave the shots, the police officers at the Abilene Community Center and others, the nine-hour walk-in influenza clinic on Thursday, was a test. For the first time, the Dickinson County health department partnered with Abilene Police, the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management and others and turned the clinic into a point of dispensing event that satisfied their yearly requirement to prepare for a public health emergency or a [US-engendered] biological attack.

Dead crow sparks bird flu fears in HK 21 Oct 2008 A house crow found dead in Hong Kong has tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus. An agriculture official says the crow was found dead in a park in October and tests showed it was carrying the virus.

Flu Pandemic May Cost World Economy Up to $3 Trillion 17 Oct 2008 A [US Army engendered] flu pandemic could kill 71 million people worldwide and push the global economy into a "major global recession" costing more than $3 trillion, according to raised estimates by the World Bank of a worst-case scenario.

Threat of 'Major Global Recession' Tied to Bird Flu 17 Oct 2008 A severe outbreak of flu could kill tens of millions of people and spur a "major global recession", the World Bank is warning world leaders preoccupied with financial, food, and fuel crises. The bank has drawn up a worst-case scenario in which a flu pandemic could kill as many as 71 million people, cost some three trillion dollars, and cut global gross domestic product (GDP) by "almost 5 percent, constituting a major global recession."

NJ flu-shot mandate for preschoolers draws outcry --Deadly vaccines contain thimerosol, a mercury-based preservative 16 Oct 2008 Many New Jersey parents are furious over a first-in-the-nation requirement that children get a flu shot in order to attend preschools and day-care centers. The decision should be the parents', not the state's, they contend. Hundreds of parents and other activists rallied outside the New Jersey Statehouse on Thursday, decrying the policy and voicing support for a bill that would allow parents to opt out of mandatory vaccinations for their children.

US controls bird flu vaccines over bioweapon fears 11 Oct 2008 When Indonesia's health minister stopped sending bird flu viruses to a research laboratory in the U.S. for fear Washington could use them to make biological weapons, Defense Secretary Robert Gates laughed and called it "the nuttiest thing" he'd ever heard. Yet deep inside an 86-page supplement to United States export regulations is a single sentence that bars U.S. exports of vaccines for avian bird flu and dozens of other viruses to five countries designated "state sponsors of terrorism." The reason: Fear that they will be used for biological warfare.

'Vaccinate now' to beat bird flu 09 Oct 2008 A vaccine available right now could help save lives in a future bird flu pandemic, UK scientists claim. A jab against one strain of avian flu, given years earlier, may "prime" the immune system to fight foment a wide range of bird flu strains. When the pandemic arrives, "pre-vaccinated" people could then be given a booster shot, and be protected far quicker, said researchers.

US approves test for human and bird flu 01 Oct 2008 The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test that can rapidly diagnose and identify human influenza infections and human bird flu, the agency announced. The test, developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will be available to CDC-qualified laboratories this year, the FDA said in a statement Tuesday. It uses molecular analysis of viral genetic material taken from secretions in a patient's nose and throat to detect and identify commonly circulating human influenza viruses as well as H5N1 viruses and other [US Army] strains. [Heads up! $700 billion can buy a lot. First comes the mandatory tests, then the mandatory vaccines, then the KBR detention centers.]

Daily Mail publisher to innoculate staff against bird flu 24 Sep 2008 Daily Mail and General Trust is to offer staff medication as part of a group-wide plan to help them survive a devastating and potentially fatal global bird flu pandemic. Each member of staff across DMGT and their close friends and family are to be offered doses of Tamiflu, the [deadly] antiviral drug, as part of its Pandemic Influenza Management Scheme.

NZ bird flu 'could mutate into more serious form' 20 Sep 2008 An Australian researcher says it is theoretically possible that the low-grade bird flu virus detected in wild mallard ducks in New Zealand could mutate into a more serious form of the virus.

Emory Begins Testing Vaccines Against Pandemic Influenza Threat 16 Sep 2008 Emory University and its physician/scientists will play a leading national role in evaluating promising new vaccines against [sic] an "H5" avian flu virus thought to be a possible pandemic threat in the future. The Emory Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) will conduct a clinical trial of a new bird flu vaccine along with collaborators at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Togo: Recent bird flu outbreak is deadly H5N1 15 Sep 2008 Tests performed after the first ever outbreak of bird flu in the West African nation of Togo have confirmed the presence of the virulent H5N1 strain of the virus, state media said Monday.

Togo quarantines village in suspected bird flu case 10 Sep 2008 Togo has imposed a quarantine on a southern village after a suspected outbreak of bird flu killed nearly 4,000 poultry in the small West African state, the government said on Wednesday. The government's website said the sudden death of the birds at Gbata near Avepozo in the coastal Lacs prefecture indicated a possible outbreak of bird flu.

Laos reports bird flu outbreak 09 Sep 2008 Samples from dead ducks in Laos' northern Luang Prabang province have been tested positive to bird flu virus, prompting local authorities to cull thousands of poultry to curb the disease's spread, Lao newspaper Vientiane Times reported Tuesday.

Indonesian Minister: Rich nations creating "new viruses" to create markets for drug companies to sell vaccines --Supari says US using bird flu virus to develop biological weapons 06 Sep 2008 Indonesia stopped sharing the samples with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in December 2006 on fears pharmaceutical companies would use them to make vaccines that are too expensive for poor countries... Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari has broadened her critique of an "unfair, neocolonialist" global health system, raising the possibility earlier this year the United States was using the virus to develop biological weapons in her book "It's Time for the World to Change: Divine Hands Behind Avian Influenza." Supari told a rapturous crowd at a book discussion last week that rich nations were creating "new viruses" and sending them to developing nations in order create markets for drug companies to sell vaccines. "Indonesia sends a virus to the WHO but it suddenly it ends up with the US government. Then the US government turns the virus into dollars and we don't know what kind of research," Supari said.

Bird flu strain found at Caldwell bird farm 05 Sep 2008 A Treasure Valley game producer found a strain of bird flu in two of his birds, and now the Idaho Department of Agriculture has quarantined the area. The strain is not deadly to humans, in its current form, and the birds in question are not in the food channels.

Bird Flu Suits to Be Worn By Hospital Staff 04 Sep 2008 The Japanese government as well as stocking the Tamiflu drug [Lucky Rumsfeld] to prepare for an outbreak of the bird flu virus has also put out tenders for the purchase of special all in one protective suits for health workers dealing with infected patients. In all 40,000 of the phylactic suits will be made available... The government of the United Kingdom has even made special arrangement for huge morgues to be set up extremely quickly should the number of bodies start to pile up... during the bird flu pandemic.

CDC Releases 1918 Pandemic Flu Storybook to Prepare for New Outbreak 27 Aug 2008 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an online storybook containing narratives from survivors, families, and friends about one of the largest scourges ever on human kind - the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed millions of people around the world. The storybook provides valuable insight for public health officials preparing for the possibility of another pandemic sometime in our future [Um... maybe the near future? Say, by November? See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack.]

Pitt Scientists Receive $3.6 Million to Test Vaccine Against Deadliest Strain of Avian Flu 27 Aug 2008 Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research have been awarded $3.6 million from the National Institutes of Health to conduct animal studies of vaccines designed to protect against foment the most common and deadliest strain of avian flu, H5N1.

Flu Antibodies Recovered From 1918 Pandemic Survivors 18 Aug 2008 Scientists in the US recovered antibodies to the 1918 flu virus from elderly survivors of the pandemic, used them to create cell lines of monoclonal antibodies and then showed they were still potent by injecting them into infected mice that survived, whereas the controls did not. The researchers believe the antibodies could help develop effective treatments to use 'in case' a similar virus breaks out again.

Strict precautionary measures against bird flu at check-points 24 Aug 2008 Strict precautionary measures have been taken by the National Committee for Emergency Response to the Bird Flu to prevent any outbreak of the avian influenza in the country. The watchdog panel has intensified surveillance at the border check-points, airports and sea beaches to ensure that birds entering the country are not infected with the deadly H5N1 virus.

Bird flu detected in Rhode Island 21 Aug 2008 A strain of bird flu has been detected in four swans found in the Seekonk River. The cases were discovered as part of routine surveillance by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. DEM says the strain of avian flu detected in Rhode Island is not the same strain that has infected people in Asia and Europe since 2003.

1918 flu survivors' antibodies helpful for anti-bird flu fight 18 Aug 2008 Antibodies from survivors of the most devastating 1918 influenza pandemic still protect against the virus, providing a new approach to battle foment future epidemics that could be triggered by bird flu. American scientists studied [!] 32 people who lived through the 1918 flu, and found all had antibodies in their blood to kill the virus with surprising efficiency, reported the journal Nature Sunday. The antibodies from the survivors, now aged 91 to 101, also protected mice from the killer virus, showing that 90 years on, the survivors of the epidemic are still protected.

New bird flu threat could be H9N2, researchers say --U.S. scientists 'tinker' with H9N2 virus, a more virulent and pathogenic strain --Team also mixed H9N2 with an H3N2 virus 13 Aug 2008 Countries around the world may be preparing for a possible H5N1 bird flu pandemic, but another strain called H9N2 also poses a threat to humanity, researchers reported on Tuesday. Tests on the H9N2 strain of the virus show it is capable of infecting and spreading with very few changes, a team from the University of Maryland, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and elsewhere reported. Most influenza experts agree that a pandemic of some kind of flu is inevitable. [That's because the US is creating it.] Maryland's Daniel Perez and colleagues tinkered with the H9N2 virus and tested it in ferrets, animals whose biology is very close to humans when it comes to flu. A single mutation made H9N2 more virulent and pathogenic, and also helped it transmit more easily from one ferret to another, they reported in their study.

Nigeria Battles New Bird Flu Strain 13 Aug 2008 Animal health specialists warn a new strain of highly pathogenic bird flu in Nigeria - which has previously not been recorded in sub-Saharan Africa - increases the risk of avian influenza spreading to other countries in West Africa.

Flu pandemic beats terrorism and flood in official table of reasons to be fearful 08 Aug 2008 A pandemic flu bug would pose a greater threat to Britain than terrorism, according to a register of risks that has been kept secret until today. Deaths from global flu will be on a scale far beyond anything related to such an attack, the Government will say. Until now, the official list of threats and risks facing Britain has been kept confidential, although MI5 has for some time published on its website the terrorist threat level, currently defined as severe. Plans to publish a risk register were announced by the Prime Minister in March during a statement to the Commons on national security strategy. Top of the list is pandemic flu because of the conviction in Whitehall that it is "not a question of if but when" and that it could kill 750,000 people.

Three dead in feared bird flu outbreak in Indonesia: officials 06 Aug 2008 Three people have died and 13 have been admitted to hospital with symptoms of bird flu in Indonesia, a nurse treating the patients said Wednesday.

GPs refuse to treat bird flu patients 05 Aug 2008 Bird flu will hit Australia but some GPs will refuse to treat patients - preferring to keep themselves and their families safe, research shows. Others say they are unprepared to deal with the "horror" situation and hope it never happens, although experts say it is a matter of "when", not "if" disaster strikes.

CDC Says Bird Flu Becoming More Contagious 01 Aug 2008 In America the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that the bird flu virus is changing being changed and that it is developing strains and properties which could possibly increase the potential of it to infect humans from birds. They also said that it was also developing into a virus which could become more contagious between humans. The research was done on the Influenza A H7 virus types which are very contagious to birds but must not be mixed up with with the extremely deadly H5N1 bird flu virus. Nevertheless, if an H7 bird flu virus mutates it is likely that the H5N1 variant of the virus will also be able to follow suit.

Cat Becomes First Mammal to Die of Bird Flu in Korea 29 Jul 2008 The first bird flu infection of a mammal in Korea was confirmed on Monday. The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service confirmed that the cause of death of a cat found dead in marshland along the Mangyeong River in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, in late April was a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu virus, H5N1.

Authorities testing for bird flu after two dead birds found at Olympic equestrian site 28 Jul 2008 Two dead birds were discovered at the Olympic [betting] equestrian venue in Hong Kong, and authorities were testing whether the animals were infected with the dangerous H5N1 bird flu virus. The birds were found last week, Mark Pinkstone, head of equestrian preparation operations and media services, said Monday.

Cat Infected With Bird Flu Virus 28 Jul 2008 A cat found dead in April had been infected with the virulent strain of the bird flu influenza, the government confirmed Monday. The National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS) said tests conducted by Chungnam National University showed the cat, found in Gimje located 262 kilometers south of Seoul, died of the H5N1 virus that swept through the country from early April to mid-May.

Dead Cat to Be Examined for Bird Flu 24 Jul 2008 Quarantine authorities are examining a cat to discover whether it was infected with the highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza that swept South Korea in April. The National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service said Thursday that a cat was found dead in April in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, right next to a farm where bird flu killed tens of thousands of chickens.

Rockeby gets orders for bird flu tests 24 Jul 2008 Rockeby Biomed Ltd has received orders for its H5N1 bird flu tests on humans from several South East Asian, European, and North African countries, worth $242,000, the company says.

Training drill targets bio-terrorism --Marines to serve as mock victims; military helicopters will land at hospital and dispatch two dozen law enforcement officers dressed in full decontamination gear 22 Jul 2008 (CA) Local, state and federal agencies are participating in a four-day training drill that focuses on how the groups respond to a mock bio-terrorism attack. The goal drill – dubbed Operation Golden Phoenix - began Monday. Today, Marine Corps will be at Brown Field Airport simulating a humanitarian relief response. On Wednesday, San Diego police will practice traffic and crowd control around UCSD Medical Center and Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla as hospital personnel do emergency medical response drills.

Teams use airport to stage bird flu drill 23 Jul 2008 Local, state and federal workers and military and civilian health care personnel worked as a team in a bird flu drill yesterday at Honolulu Airport. The drill, Lightning Rescue '08, simulated what would happen if an airliner from Asia arrived at Honolulu Airport bearing more than 300 passengers with some experiencing symptoms of avian influenza or "bird flu." The coordinated response plan included personnel from the Hawaii Disaster Medical Assistance Team, federal Centers for Disease Control, airport paramedics, airport firefighters, medical personnel from neighbor island and Oahu hospitals, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, Joint Task Force-Homeland Defense and others. On Friday, Lightning Rescue '08 will continue with a second simulation staged at the Naval Pacific Missile Range facility on Kauai.

HHS and DHS Announce Guidance on Pandemic Vaccination Allocation 23 Jul 2008 The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Homeland Security (DHS) released guidance on allocating and targeting pandemic influenza vaccine. The guidance's vaccination structure defines four broad target groups: people who 1) maintain homeland and national security, 2) provide health care and community support services, 3) maintain critical infrastructure and 4) are in the general population.

'Bird Flu Strain Can Be Transmitted to Mammals' 22 Jul 2008 Quarantine authorities said Tuesday that the virus strain of avian influenza that swept South Korea in April could be transmitted to mammals, but not necessarily to humans. The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sent samples from infected birds to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention for detailed analysis. The U.S. agency concluded the virus from the sample could be transmitted to mammals but that there was no proof it could infect humans, an official from the ministry said.

Britain faces 75,000 deaths in bird flu pandemic, Lords report predicts 21 Jul 2008 Up to 75,000 Britons will in die in an "inevitable" flu pandemic that could kill as many as 50 million people worldwide, a parliamentary committee warns today. The committee report warns that surveillance of emerging disease threats around the world needs to be overhauled to provide early warning of potential pandemics.

World warned over killer flu pandemic 21 Jul 2008 The world is failing to guard against the inevitable spread of a [US generated] devastating flu pandemic which could kill 50 million people and wreak massive disruption around the globe, the Government has warned. Ministers said that more was needed to be done to improve detection and surveillance for potential pandemics and called for urgent improvement in rapid-response strategies. Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrats' health spokesman, likened the threat from a pandemic to the threat of international terrorism.

CDC: Offline generators caused germ lab outage 19 Jul 2008 A critical germ lab at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lost power last week because the agency had taken two backup generators out of service for upgrades, CDC officials said Friday... The backup power failure -- the second in 13 months -- is the type predicted years ago by some CDC engineers. And it has heightened concerns in Congress about lab safety at the Atlanta agency, which experiments on smallpox, Ebola, anthrax and other deadly germs. Last week's incident began when a bird shorted out a Georgia Power transformer about 5:40 p.m., cutting off power to... Building 17. Building 17 houses infectious disease labs, where scientists work with the H5N1 avian flu virus and other dangerous germs. Without power, the labs can't run negative airflow systems that help contain germs in Biosafety Level 3 labs, such as those in Building 17.

Experts identify genes for bird flu replication 09 Jul 2008 Scientists have identified around 100 genes that the H5N1 bird flu virus needs in a host in order to replicate, and this finding may help in the hunt for ways to block foment its proliferation. In their study, the experts from Japan, Indonesia and the United States infected fruit fly cells with genetically altered H5N1 virus. The H5N1 virus needed slight modifications because fruit flies are normally not susceptible to influenza.

Bird flu outbreak could kill 3,000 people a week 12 Jul 2008 A [US engineered] bird flu pandemic in Wales could result in an extra 3,000 people dying a week, it was claimed yesterday. The resilience co-ordinator for the Welsh Assembly Government told a conference in Cardiff that if avian flu becomes transferable between people, the number of weekly deaths in the country could jump from 600 to 3,600.

Pandemic Mutations In Bird Flu Revealed 09 Jul 2008 Scientists have discovered how bird flu adapts in patients, offering a new way to monitor the disease and prevent trigger a pandemic, according to research published in the August issue of the Journal of General Virology. Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus has spread through at least 45 countries in 3 continents. Despite its ability to spread, it cannot be transmitted efficiently from human to human. This indicates it is not fully adapted to its new host species, the human. However, this new research reveals mutations in the virus that may result in a pandemic.

Hong Kong expert warns flu vaccine for chickens losing efficacy 08 Jul 2008 A vaccine used to stop outbreaks of the deadly bird flu virus in chickens in Hong Kong for the last seven years is losing its effectiveness, a leading microbiologist warned Tuesday. Professor Yuen Kwok-yung said the vaccine, which protects chicken from the H5 strain of the virus, is becoming less effective and the city risks further outbreaks because total failure is inevitable. The head of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong told the South China Morning Post the virus was mutating and shifting away from the Fujian strain of H5N2 for which it was developed.

Penn. Lab Gets $1.6M to Develop Bird Flu Vaccine 07 Jul 2008 Workers at a small lab in Lackawanna County will soon start work on a vaccine to help in case of a [US Army-engineered] bird flu pandemic, with a $1.6 million grant. The federal funding was presented to Vital Probes of Mayfield Monday to develop a protective vaccine in case of an avian flu pandemic, one that officials said could threaten the homeland security of the United States.

Indonesia seeks to shut Navy lab researching avian flu --Health Minister: Viruses Shared With U.S. Could Be Turned Into Biological Weapons. Politicians say the U.S. facility doesn't benefit Indonesia and could be a cover for spying. 05 Jul 2008 Indonesia suspended negotiations with the United States over the fate of a U.S. Navy medical research lab here [Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2] last month after senior politicians said it didn't benefit Indonesia and could be a cover for spying. The biomedical research lab opened in Jakarta in 1970 and is used to 'study' tropical diseases, including malaria, dengue fever and avian flu, according to an embassy fact sheet... After announcing a ban on virus-sharing in January 2007, Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari published a book in which she warned that any viruses shared with other countries could be turned into biological weapons. She also recounted a meeting in Geneva with John E. Lange, the U.S. special representative for pandemic flu, in which she told him, "It is not impossible that there will be a group of people in developed countries insane enough to reengineer the viruses to create an outbreak in the Third World."

Homeless people die after bid flu vaccine trial in Poland 02 Jul 2008 Three Polish doctors and six nurses are facing criminal prosecution after a number of homeless people died following medical trials for a vaccine to the H5N1 bird-flu virus. The medical staff, from the northern town of Grudziadz, are being investigated over medical trials on as many as 350 homeless and poor people last year, which prosecutors say involved an untried vaccine to the highly-contagious virus. Authorities claim that the alleged victims received £1-2 to be tested with what they thought was a conventional flu vaccine but, according to investigators, was actually an anti bird-flu drug.

Penn Study Pinpoints New DNA Weapon Against Bird Flu 02 Jul 2008 A new way to vaccinate against avian influenza that tricks the immune system into mounting a broad response against multiple strains of the disease, including strains to which the immune system was never exposed, has been devised by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. If proven in humans, the Penn research could lead the way to prepare against an outbreak of pandemic avian flu. Dr. Weiner sits on the scientific advisory board of VGX, and collaborates with Wyeth, Merck, BMS, Althea, and Virxsys, as well as other companies on DNA vaccine technologies.

Mexico bans Arkansas poultry on bird flu exposure 25 Jun 2008 Mexico will ban all imports of poultry and poultry products from Arkansas after a small flock in that U.S. state had been exposed to a mild form of bird flu, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

Bird flu strain 'highly pathogenic' 04 Jun 2008 The strain of H7 bird flu found in chickens at a farm in Oxfordshire is the highly pathogenic type, officials said. The avian flu virus was found on Tuesday in laying hens at the farm in Banbury, and all birds on the site were slaughtered. Further tests are in progress to identify the exact type of the virus, while an investigation is under way to find where the disease came from. H7 strain has been found in Britain on several occasions before now, this is the first time it has been identified in the highly pathogenic, or deadly, form.

Defra confirms H7 bird flu case in Oxfordshire 04 Jun 2008 Chickens in Oxfordshire have tested positive for the highly pathogenic H7 strain of bird flu, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed today. It is the first time a deadly form of the H7 virus has been identified in the UK, but Defra said the risk to humans was low. An investigation into the origin of the outbreak is under way. A temporary control zone was established around the premises when suspected bird flu was first identified yesterday.

Tyson finds chickens with mild bird flu strain 03 Jun 2008 Tyson Foods Inc, the second largest U.S. chicken producer, said on Tuesday it will destroy about 15,000 chickens in Arkansas exposed to a mild strain of bird flu, and while there was no risk to human health the news sent its shares lower. The affected chickens... had antibodies of a mild or low pathogenic strain of bird flu called H7N3. It is the deadly high pathogenic H5N1 strain, which has never been found in the United States, that worries scientists because it has spread to and killed people around the world.

15,000 Ark. hens test positive for bird-flu exposure 03 Jun 2008 Tyson Foods Inc. has begun killing and burying the carcasses of 15,000 hens from a flock that tested positive for exposure to a strain of the bird flu in northwest Arkansas, state officials said Tuesday. Tyson said preliminary tests on the flock indicated the presence of antibodies for H7N3, a less virulent strain of the virus.

Scientists make bird flu breakthrough 04 Jun 2008 A Hong Kong research team has successfully tested a new drug combination that could help tackle the deadly bird flu virus in humans, scientists said in a soon-to-be-published paper. The use of three drugs together dramatically increased the survival rate of mice who had been infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, the University of Hong Kong team said.

Aethlon Medical Submits Biodefense Contract Proposal to U.S. Government 04 Jun 2008 Aethlon Medical, Inc. announced today that it has submitted a contract proposal to a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation entitled; "Application of Platform Technologies for the Development of Therapeutic Agents for Biodefense." The solicitation represents a partnership between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the recently established Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to award contracts that fund the development of innovative approaches to treat bioterror and emerging creating pandemic threats... Aethlon's contract response includes supporting subcontractor commitments from... the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Battelle Biomedical Research Center (BMRC), The Renal Research Institute (RRI), Cato Research Institute, and The University of California Davis, School of veterinary medicine.

'It's like Lego.' CDC mates H5N1 avian flu and H3N2 human flu viruses to see how pandemic is triggered --Study shows hybrids of bird flu and human flu viruses fit well, could occur 01 Jun 2008 An experiment mating H5N1 avian flu viruses and a strain of human flu in a laboratory produced a surprising number of hybrid viruses that were biologically fit, a new study reveals. And while none of the offspring viruses was as virulent as the original H5N1, about one in five were lethal to mice at low doses, showing they retained at least a portion of the power of their dangerous parent. The work suggests that under the right circumstances - and no one is clear what all of those are - the two types of flu viruses could swap genes in a way that might allow the H5N1 virus to acquire the capacity to trigger a pandemic. This work, done at the CDC, was conducted to study the reassortment potential of H5N1 and H3N2 viruses. H3N2 is one of two human influenza A viruses that cause disease during flu season.

Bird Flu: More lethal than 10 hydrogen bombs: Thusoo --68 Vets and Para vets trained in control, containment ops 31 May 2008 Experts fear the nature of the disease [avian influenza] could be more lethal than ten hydrogen bombs after causing a pandemic. Earlier on Tuesday, Dr Bhupinder Singh Director, Animal Husbandry, Kashmir formally launched the training programme in which 68 vets and Para vets participated... They were also trained in mass vaccination operations in surveillance zones in the eventualities like outbreak of the disease.

Scientists warn of bird flu epidemic 27 May 2008 A strain of bird flu has moved a step closer to developing the traits required to create an epidemic of the disease in humans, scientists warned on Monday. Researchers who analysed samples of recent avian flu viruses found that a strain of the virus called H7N2 had adapted slightly better to living in mammals.

Scientists identify second H7 strain of bird flu that could cause pandemic 27 May 2008 The H5N1 strain of bird flu that has killed 241 people is not the only one that could trigger a pandemic, according to research in America. A few H7 strains of the flu virus have started to evolve some of the traits they would need to infect people easily, scientists have discovered.

North American bird flu viruses becoming more adapted to humans: study 26 May 2008 North American avian flu viruses of the H7 subtype - like the H7N3 viruses responsible for British Columbia's massive poultry outbreak in 2004 - seem to have adapted to more easily invade the human respiratory tract, a new American study suggests.

Bangladesh toddler 'has bird flu' 22 May 2008 The Bangladeshi health ministry says that a 16-month-old boy has been confirmed as the country's first human case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu. It said that the boy, who lives in the capital Dhaka, had recovered after treatment.

Glaxo Wins Approval to Sell Pre-Pandemic Flu Vaccine 19 May 2008 GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Europe's largest drugmaker, won European Union permission to sell its pre-pandemic [!?!] flu vaccine, the first approval in the region of a shot to prevent foment an outbreak sparked by the deadly bird flu virus. The vaccine, called Prepandrix, was cleared for sale in 29 countries to protect people against the virus before or at the beginning of a pandemic, London-based Glaxo said today in an e- mailed statement. The European regulator's advisory panel recommended adopting the product in February.

Bird Flu Not Forgotten By GlaxoSmithKline [Oh, I am sure it's not.] 19 May 2008 The media pandemic may have died down, but GlaxoSmithKline is betting that the threat of an actual bird flu pandemic is still real enough for governments across Europe. The pharmaceutical company said on Monday it had secured European approval for the first pre-pandemic vaccine against the dreaded H5N1 virus, more commonly known as bird flu, which began to gain notoriety five years ago. A spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline said that the company believed an eventual pandemic would involve a strain in the H5N1 family, and that a pre-pandemic treatment would save the four-to-six-month delay of having to react to an official pandemic announcement. "The U.K. government could buy it tomorrow and vaccinate us tomorrow," she said. [Hopefully, 'insurgents' will find the production sites before Bush's pharma-terrorists kill us all for fun and profit.]

Government's bird flu drugs strategy is 'flawed' 15 May 2008 The Government's strategy to defend the nation against a bird flu pandemic has been called into question. The Department of Health has built up millions of doses of Tamiflu, an antiviral drug, in preparation for a [US Army-engendered] pandemic of the kind that killed 50 million people in 1918. However, a team at the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research in London warned that a mutation in the H5N1 strain of the virus could make it resistant to the vaccine. The researchers found that when mutation occurred in the H5N1 virus it became resistant to Tamiflu.

Arizona State University Decision Theater Tests Pandemic Flu Plans 14 May 2008 This year, the pandemic flu committee created what is known to be the only tabletop exercise of its kind in the nation, says Allan Markus, ASU’s director of campus health services and co-chair of the pandemic flu committee. The exercise, which took place April 10 in ASU’s Decision Theater, involved the university’s pandemic flu planning committee and several senior administrators. Mary Tyszkiewicz, a senior analyst at the Homeland Security Institute, a think tank that supports the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, seconded Markus’ observation.

Bird Flu Medicine Toxic for Teens 13 May 2008 Concerns are rising over side effect of bird flu drug Tamiflu on teenagers. Tamiflu is Swiss-based Hoffman-La Roche's antiviral for general influenza A and B but is also used to combat bird flu. However, worries have surfaced about the possibility of the medicine causing mental disorders among teenagers.

Swan tests positive for bird flu 10 May 2008 Japanese officials are worried that the H5N1 bird flu virus may be spreading among wild birds in the north after the body of a swan tested positive for the disease, the third case in recent weeks. No poultry have been affected so far, said Shigeki Oda, a farm official in the northern island of Hokkaido.

U.S. Naval medical lab 'not transparent' in its operations: Indonesia health minister --'We don't know what happened to the [bird flu] viruses that we sent.' 07 May 2008 Indonesia is trying to defend the interests of poorer nations by refusing to share bird flu samples with the West and is locked in a cultural misunderstanding over the issue, Jakarta's health minister said on Wednesday. Siti Fadillah Supari also said in an interview that a U.S. naval medical lab based in Indonesia for research into tropical diseases was barely benefiting its host country and was not being transparent in its operations... The minister said the U.S. U.S. naval lab in Jakarta had been receiving virus samples from across Indonesia, but that had been stopped. "We don't know what happened to the viruses that we sent," she said, adding the U.S. lab had also received samples from Indonesian soldiers deployed in Papua.

Military, DHS document details who should live and die in pandemic --Nazi-style hospital blueprint lists those who will be left to die - elderly, sick, weakest 05 May 2008 An influential group of physicians has drafted a grimly specific list of recommendations for which patients who would be allowed to die during a [US-engendered] flu pandemic or other disaster. The suggested list was compiled by the military, Department of Homeland Security, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, government agencies, prestigious universities, and medical groups. To prepare, hospitals should designate a triage team with the Godlike task of deciding who will and who won't get lifesaving care, the task force wrote.

Jakarta, US at odds over 'spy' lab 03 May 2008 Negotiations over whether a controversial US military laboratory should remain in Indonesia have reached a knife-edge, as officials argue about biological [bird flu] sample-sharing and the diplomatic status of staff in the facility. Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari may in fact be close to sacrificing her job, after a senior government source told The Weekend Australian that her bellicose [?!?] rhetoric, including comments on the bird flu epidemic in a rambling treatise entitled "Time for the world to change: the hand of God in bird flu" - had made life "awkward" for fellow ministers.

US Navy infectious disease lab under microscope in Indonesia --US insists all American staff at disease lab be given diplomatic immunity 02 May 2008 The future of a major US Navy research laboratory in Indonesia is in doubt amid allegations, dismissed as "crazy" by US diplomats, of espionage and secret experiments. Negotiations between Washington and Jakarta over the renewal of the operating contract of US Naval Medical Research Unit-2, or Namru-2, have stalled over a range of issues including diplomatic immunity for its US staff. Established in Indonesia in 1970 and charged with researching infectious diseases of military importance [aka *bioterrorism*], the facility employs 19 Americans... and is based in Indonesian health ministry grounds. Parliamentary foreign affairs commissioner Mutamimul Ula called Thursday for an "investigation into allegations that Namru-2 staffers were involved in intelligence operations." The controversy and the delays in the renewal of the contract appear to be causing a degree of angst among US officials in the departments of health and state, reflecting the importance Washington attaches to the facility.

S. Korea confirms 25th outbreak of H5N1 strain of bird flu 19 Apr 2008 The South Korean government confirmed Saturday a new outbreak of H5N1 strain of bird flu, which becomes the 25th confirmed cases of the deadly epidemic in the country since late March.

SKorea upgrades bird flu alert, troops on standby 16 Apr 2008 South Korea on Wednesday issued a nationwide bird flu alert, deployed troops and put firefighters on standby to try to contain the spread of the disease, officials said. The agriculture ministry said in a statement the "orange" vigilance level was extended to the whole country after previously covering only the badly hit southwest.

S. Korea extends bird flu risk level to second highest nationwide 16 Apr 2008 South Korea has extended its avian influenza risk level to the second highest nationwide amid rising concerns bird flu could spread across the country following a series of outbreaks this month, quarantine officials said Wednesday. The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries held a livestock quarantine meeting earlier in the day and decided to extend the risk level to "orange" nationwide.

Japan may test bird flu vaccine on govt staff 16 Apr 2008 Japan may vaccinate thousands of government workers against bird flu in a large-scale test of the effectiveness of the vaccine. Under a plan being promoted by Japan's Health Ministry, 6,000 medical workers and quarantine officers would be given the vaccine before March next year.

Small company gets US go-ahead on bird flu patch 15 Apr 2008 A small biotechnology company trying to develop needle-free vaccines won a boost to its efforts on Tuesday with U.S. government approval to test a bird flu skin patch on more people.

Bird Flu Crosses Species Barrier to Spread Among Dogs 02 Apr 2008 A bird flu virus that killed dogs in South Korea can spread from one dog to another, showing that the disease is capable of crossing species and causing widespread sickness in mammals, a study found. A cocker spaniel and a miniature schnauzer were among dozens of dogs in South Korea sickened by an H3N2 strain from birds, researchers said in a study published in the May issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. Viruses taken from the sick canines were used in an experiment later to see if pathogens were capable of spreading from dog to dog.

South Korea says probing suspected bird flu case 02 Apr 2008 South Korea is investigating a suspected bird flu outbreak at a poultry farm in the southwest of the country, the food and agriculture ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Two teenagers die of bird flu in Indonesia, toll hits 107 31 Mar 2008 A 15-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl have died of bird flu in recent days in Indonesia, bringing the total death toll from the H5N1 strain to 107, the Health Ministry said in a statement here Monday.

Russian expert warns of bird flu pandemic 28 Mar 2008 A Russian scientist has said during an international bird flu conference that the virus would cause a global pandemic resulting in thousands of deaths, but did not say when it would happen. [Ask Bush's bioterror team at Fort Detrick - I'm sure they'll know.]

Switzerland detects first bird flu case 27 Mar 2008 Switzerland on Thursday reported its first case of bird flu in two years, after diagnosing a wild duck with the H5N1 virus, said the Swiss federal veterinary department.

Arizona man charged with TB exposure 25 Mar 2008 An Arizona man said his indictment for having tuberculosis is retaliation for a lawsuit he filed over his involuntary quarantine. Robert Daniels told the Arizona Republic that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio charged him with unlawfully exposing the public to a disease because Daniels had sued the county over his year-long quarantine in a Phoenix hospital.

To facilitate Bush's quarantines and to fill KBR's detention centers: STMicroelectronics introduces flu detection laboratory on a chip 25 Mar 2008 The top European maker of semiconductors, STMicroelectronics, on Monday introduced a portable chip to detect influenza viruses, including avian flu, in humans. The device, which functions as a mini-laboratory on a chip, can screen and identify - in a single diagnostic and in two hours - multiple classes of pathogens and genes.

Market's First Lab-on-Chip for Rapid Molecular Flu Detection at Point of Need 24 Mar 2008 Following the success of the evaluation trials conducted at the prestigious National University Hospital of Singapore, Veredus Laboratories and STMicroelectronics today announced the commercial availability of VereFlu(TM), a portable lab-on-chip application for rapid detection of all major influenza types at the point of need. Unlike existing diagnostic methods, VereFlu is a breakthrough molecular diagnostic test that can detect infection with high accuracy and sensitivity, within two hours providing genetic information of the infection that traditionally would take days to weeks to learn. With its high level of automation, users outside the traditional lab environment can easily perform the tests at the point of need.

TB Patient Faces Felony Charges in Ariz. 25 Mar 2008 A man with a virulent form of tuberculosis who once was confined to a hospital jail ward for failing to wear a mask in public has been indicted on felony charges. Prosecutors said Monday there was no evidence that Robert Daniels had exposed anyone to his multiple drug-resistant TB before he was quarantined in 2006, but they still charged him with two counts of unlawful introduction of disease or parasite. County officials have been putting together a case to prove Daniels knowingly introduced a disease into the state, endangering others. "We took our time looking at the evidence to make sure the evidence fit the crime," said Sally Wells of the Maricopa County attorney's office. [LOL, just wait until Bush, Cheney, KBR and Blackwater host the bird flu pandemic party.]

TB patient indicted on charges of exposing public to disease 24 Mar 2008 A tuberculosis patient who was involuntarily quarantined for a year in a Phoenix hospital jail ward has been indicted on charges that he unlawfully exposed the public to a disease. Robert Daniels, a Russian-born man with dual U.S. citizenship, fled to Moscow last year to escape possible prosecution and incarceration by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Indonesia limits sharing of bird flu samples 24 Mar 2008 Indonesia will not fully share bird flu virus samples with the World Health Organization until a new global mechanism is in place, a senior official said on Monday.

Turkey quarantines village after bird flu confirmed 22 Mar 2008 Turkish authorities quarantined a village in northwestern Turkey and began culling poultry after test results showed that chicken deaths there had been caused by bird flu, state run Anatolian said on Saturday. The report did not specify the strain of the bird flu virus.

Greek farms near Turkey on bird flu alert - report 21 Mar 2008 Authorities in northeastern Greece have been placed on alert after bird flu was detected among chickens in a Turkish border village, the Athens News Agency reported.

Indonesia accuses U.S. of abusing bird flu virus 20 Mar 2008 Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadhilah Supari has accused the United States of abusing Indonesian bird flu virus for commercial purposes, Antara news agency reported on Thursday. "We sent the virus (to them) for the sake of humanity but they have turned it into vaccines sold everywhere on the pretext of keeping watch for pandemic," Antara news agency Thursday quoted the minister as saying in Surabaya. On the pretext of keeping watch for pandemic, she said the U.S. and WHO had produced vaccines and sold them to third world countries for millions of dollars. "They made third world nations laboratories. They want us to be ill while at the same time selling the vaccines. Don't let this continue," she said.

Brown unveils civil defence plan 19 Mar 2008 Members of the public will be able to join a new form of civil defence network to protect Britain 'against' natural disasters and terrorism. The organisations - likened to a new breed of "air raid precautions" or "ARP" wardens from the Second World War - will team up to build the country's resilience in a catastrophe. As part of a new National Security Strategy, Prime Minister Gordon Brown also revealed that the Government will publish for the first time a list of the risks faced by Britain... For example, it said the highest threat currently faced is an influenza-type pandemic which the Government believes could kill up to 750,000 people in the UK.

Flu pandemic is biggest threat to security, strategy says 19 Mar 2008 The biggest threat to Britain at the present time is a flu pandemic. An outbreak could cause the deaths of up to 750,000 people, according to the strategy. Officials had carried a modelling exercise last Autumn, called Operation Winter Willow, to gauge the effects of such a pandemic. Officials were applying the lessons from the Government's approach to terrorism, the strategy says.

Toronto bird flu lockdown misreported 19 Mar 2008 A Toronto hospital denied media reports Wednesday an elderly couple had been quarantined amid fears they had returned from Asia with avian flu. CITY-TV reported an elderly couple who had just returned from Bangladesh were admitted to Toronto East General Hospital Tuesday night, and workers were taking "extra steps to be safe including wearing masks and gloves." Soon after, the hospital issued a statement saying it "has no reason to speculate that any patients in the hospital have avian flu."

Couple Isolated At Toronto Hospital Over Bird Flu Fears 19 Mar 2008 When an elderly couple who had just returned from Bangladesh showed up at Toronto East General Hospital suffering from bad flu-like symptoms, officials there took no chances. The patients were immediately isolated, staff members wore gowns, gloves and masks and no visitors were allowed in to the secure area. But on Wednesday, the hospital took great pains to assure there was no reason to fear the disease had made its way to Canada.

UN warns bird flu fight failing in Indonesia 19 Mar 2008 Efforts to contain bird flu are failing, increasing the possibility that the virus may mutate into a deadlier form, the leading UN veterinary health body has warned.

U.S. denies producing biological weapons from bird flu samples --Media: U.S. denies Indonesia's allegation on bird flu virus 17 Mar 2008 The United States has flatly denied allegations it was producing biological weapons from bird flu samples sent by Indonesia to the World Health Organization, the English daily The Jakarta Post reported Monday. Michael H. Anderson, counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, [has issued the denial]. However, Indonesian senior biodefense researcher Isro Samihardjo said the U.S. could use bird flu virus samples from Indonesia to develop weapons at the Los Alamos Laboratory. Isro was speaking at a meeting about Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari's newly released book here Saturday. In her book "It's Time for the World to Change, Divine Hands behind Bird Flu," Siti writes of her suspicions about a conspiracy between the U.S. and the WHO.

Bird flu covers 11 provinces 17 Mar 2008 At present, there are 11 provinces and localities with bird flu: Ninh Binh, Vinh Long, Phu Tho, Ha Nam, Tuyen Quang, Hanoi, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Lao Cai, Quang Binh and Ha Nam.

State media reports outbreak of bird flu in China 16 Mar 2008 Bird flu has broken out in the south of China, killing more than 100 poultry, state media reported on Sunday, citing the agriculture ministry. The outbreak occurred in a market in Guangzhou, in Guangdong province on Thursday, and was a ''highly pathogenic'' subtype of the H5N1 influenza virus, which can be deadly to humans, the report said.

*****

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