Bird Flu Monitor > H5N1: THE HITS KEEP COMING
[CODE THREE] The fatality rate of humans infected by the virus is as high as 60%. Experts warned in Nature that the world was now far more vulnerable to the effects of a pandemic than it was in 1918, when a deadly strain of influenza killed between 20 and 40 million people. An 2002 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), an atypical form of pneumonia killed more than 700 people and illustrated how disease can now spread quickly to other countries, carried by international travellers. An optimistic estimate suggests that the next influenza pandemic could cause 20% of the world's population to fall ill and within a few months, almost 30 million people would need to be hospitalised, a quarter of whom would die.
[Previous] Second human bird flu case in Vietnam...
[Wallo World] Weasel Watching Update: June 3, 2005: First of all, in the Council category, over at Aaron’s Rantblog there’s Condi’s First Meeting as Sec State with the Saudis .in Riyadh, which doesn’t tiptoe around the issue of how the Saudis and the rest of the Islamic world are going to be confronted by a strong female in a position of authority (something they very frequently prohibit in their own societies). It was thought-provoking. The second winner, this time in the Non-Council category, was Whatcha gonna do by Cold Fury, which ponders the possibility of peaceful co-existence in our divided nation.
[Just a Bump in the Beltway] Waiting: The consequences of a really big, fatal flu epidemic on modern society are hard to imagine, partly because they're so enormous. Air passengers would be the first vector of infection, followed by the people who travelled with them in the train or Underground train or coach from the airport, followed by the family and friends of those people. Give it a few days and people would be falling ill, then over the next weeks dying.
[mikel.org | Michael Boyle's weblog] M-J Milloy has sent word: is overdue for a pandemic, like those that killed hundreds of millions in 1918 and 1967. So far, bird flu has infected and killed only a few score of humans, but if the avian influenza virus mutates... outbreak in Thailand, Vietnam and China of bird flu - the H5N1 variety of the influenza virus -
[CODE THREE] IS THIS IT?: From what's on the internet, this is what I think is going on (please feel to add questions, comments, and opposing viewpoints in the comments). In the West China Province of Qinghai there is a bird sanctuary used by migratory birds on their way north from south east Asia. According to a report submitted on May 21 by the Chinese government to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), around April 15 an outbreak of H5N1 occurred in birds residing in the bird sanctuary. The report stated that laboratory testing has confirmed H5N1 killed 519 birds of five different species.
[Anti-ageing.us] Anti-Aging Medicine & Science Blog: Flu pandemic 'inevitable': Appropriate biosafety measures were immediately taken at the involved laboratory in Canada and respiratory surveillance measures initiated. Subsequent investigation by the Public Health Agency of Canada traced the source of the H2N2 virus to a panel of proficiency testing samples containing influenza A and influenza B viruses which the Canadian laboratory received from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) in February 2005. CAP routinely sends various panels of proficiency testing samples to participating laboratories every year. Normally, currently circulating influenza A viruses (H3N2; H1N1) are used for proficiency testing.
[Reachm.com] The American Street » Blog Archive » Bad Bug: Here’s why you need to pay attention to this story: the lethality rate for this virus, in its current genetic form, is over 70%. Think about that for a moment: the 1918 flu pandemic killed between 2 and 5% of the people who contracted it and probably killed as many as a 100 million people worldwide. In a pandemic, usually 30-50% of the world’s population contracts the illness. Do the math.
[Armscontrolwonk.com] ArmsControlWonk | an arms control weblog: Avian Flu: Of particular concern would be the exact H5N1 strain involved in any person-to-person transmission case. Either the people involved or the strain involved or the circumstances involved were sufficiently different from the usual to result in transmission, infection, and severe disease. The people were related (mother and daughter) and may have shared a familial vulnerability—a membrane receptor site, perhaps—but a better guess would be that a strain difference was explanatory.
[Andypryke.com] InfluenzaPandemic - AndyPryke.com: The first wave started in North Africa and North America in 1781. A pandemic wave started China the next year, and swept across Europe and the Americas during the summer. Two thirds of the population of Rome became ill (7). 10's of millions were infected 
[Hyscience.typepad.com] Hyscience: Bird flu may evolve into epidemic: WHO: ... Instapundit; The Illinois Trial Practice Weblog; SCOTUS Blog; Insurance Defense Blog ... In its latest report on preparedness for an influenza pandemic, ...