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Flu Influenza virus can hit Asia soon: WHO

Discussion in 'Survival Medicine' started by Bear, May 21, 2006.

  1. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Something to keep an eye on....


    May 22, 2006

    Influenza virus can hit Asia soon: WHO

    NEW YORK: Highly infectious avian influenza virus could hit India and other Asian countries within next few days, World Health Organization warned.
    WHO Southeast Asia director Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang has said India was under real threat of H5N1 virus attack. Although H5N1 is an avian disease, it has stricken humans in Southeast Asia and even caused casualties since December 2003.

    India’s health minister said an Action Plan has been drawn up by the administration to prevent the entry of the highly infectious avian influenza and to combat the disease in the event of an outbreak.

    The Action Plan was a precautionary measure following the outbreak of the deadly bird flu among wild geese at Qinghai Lake in Central China, where 1500 birds perished in May this year from H5N1 flu.

    The Avian flu virus emerging in Asia shared some of the genetic characteristics with the flu virus that killed more than 50 million people worldwide in 1918, researchers said.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

  3. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey


    U.S. Shipping Tamiflu Stockpile to Asia
    May 22nd, 2006 @ 9:18am

    GENEVA (AP) - The United States is sending a stockpile of the antiviral drug Tamiflu to Asia as a first defense against a possible flu pandemic, the U.S. health chief said Monday.

    Mike Leavitt, U.S. secretary of health and human services, said Washington has shipped treatment courses of Tamiflu to a secure location in an unnamed Asian country.

    The drug, produced by the Swiss-based Roche Holding Ag, is regarded as the best initial defense against a pandemic resulting from a possible mutation of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus into a strain easily passed between people.

    "It is a stockpile that would belong to the United States and we would control its deployment," Leavitt told reporters in Geneva, where he was attending the World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of the U.N. health agency's 192 members.

    He declined to say how many courses had been sent but said the shipment would arrive later this week.

    The courses sent to Asia will be used to support international containment efforts in the event of a human pandemic, but the United States could redirect the stocks for domestic use should it become clear that containment overseas was not feasible.

    Leavitt said the U.S. maintained its long-term goal of stockpiling enough Tamiflu to treat 25 percent of the U.S. population as part of its pandemic preparedness plan. He said the U.S. would have 26 million treatment courses by December, and the necessary 75 million by the end of 2007.
  4. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey


    American Tamiflu Stocks Sent To Unnamed Asian Country
    22 May 2006

    Mike Leavitt, US Health and Human Services Secretary, says US stocks of Tamiflu are being sent to a safe location in some unnamed Asian country. He said this move is to help the first line of defence in case a flu pandemic breaks out.

    Many wonder why this sudden move was announced. Why is the country unnamed? Last week it was announced that 7 members of the same family in Indonesia were infected with the H5N1 bird flu strain - six of them died. The World Health Organization said it was unlikely that such a large cluster of human infections was due to human-to-human transmission. However, nobody seems to be able to locate the source of infection.

    If a bunch of people get infected and authorities cannot find any birds as the source, it is not illogical to wonder whether these people may have infected each other. When the WHO says this is unlikely, but cannot offer any other explanation regarding the source of infection, people wonder.

    Mike Leavitt said the Tamiflu stocks that are being moved from the USA to Asia would belong to the USA - America would control its deployment. We are told the shipment will arrive at the Asian country later this week. We don't know how many Tamiflu doses were sent.

    These Tamiflu stocks will help support international containment efforts in case a flu pandemic breaks out in Asia. Mike Leavitt added that the stocks could be sent back to the USA if needed.

    Mike Leavitt said the USA will have enough Tamiflu to treat one quarter of the US population in the event of a flu pandemic. However, his figures are based on some hopeful suppositions. By the end of this year the USA will have 26 million treatment courses - less than 10% of the population. By the end of 2007 it will have 75 million treatment courses - 25% of the population. As long as the pandemic does not hit before the end of 2007, in about one year-and-a-half, his supposition will be accurate. However, if it hits before that, he will be short. The USA has a population of about 290 million.

    Written by: Christian Nordqvist
    Editor: Medical News Today
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