(CIDRAP News) Last month, officials in Italy and Canada aroused concern by announcing they had found an H5N1 influenza virus in wild birds. Neither country had previously been troubled by any reports of the virulent H5N1 virus that has been plaguing poultry and occasionally sickening and killing humans in Asia.
But in both cases, health officials said the virus was not dangerous and was unrelated to the H5N1 virus in Asia.
(CIDRAP News) A second case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) has been reported in a US resident, although American authorities said he is thought to have contracted the illness in his native Britain.
(CIDRAP News) Canadian officials said yesterday they would destroy all the poultry on a British Columbia farm where a duck was found to be carrying a low-pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus.
That announcement came 2 days after the Canadian government reported the identification of a low-pathogenic strain of H5N1 virus in wild birds in Manitoba and other flu viruses in wild birds in British Columbia and Quebec.
(CIDRAP News) The United States proposed today that a small group of experts be appointed immediately to plan a fast response in case an influenza pandemic erupts, as an international conference on avian and pandemic flu continued in Geneva.
(CIDRAP News) The drug maker Roche announced yesterday it was suspending shipments of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to US pharmacies to prevent hoarding that could lead to a shortage of the drug during the winter influenza season.
The company said it was concerned that hoarding by people worried about a flu pandemic could lead to a shortage of the drug for those who will need it for treatment of ordinary seasonal flu.
(CIDRAP News) The 7-year-old son of a Thai farmer who died 2 days ago of H5N1 avian influenza also has the virus, but there is no evidence that the boy caught it from his father, according to news services.
Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports said the boy tested positive for the virus, but they didn't say what test was used or where it was done. The boy is hospitalized but is expected to recover.
(CIDRAP News) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today proposed new animal feed rules to reduce the risk of spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), but they don't go as far as some earlier FDA proposals.
(CIDRAP News) The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said this week the agency will soon align its rules on animal feed more closely with those in Canada and Europe, signaling a likelihood of new restrictions to prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease.