(CIDRAP News) A sixth human case of H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed in China, and two more cases are suspected in Indonesia, according to reports today.
The Chinese Ministry of Health has confirmed H5N1 infection in a 35-year-old man from the southeastern province of Jiangxi, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported. He became ill Dec 4 and is under intensive care in a hospital, the agency said.
(CIDRAP News) China's ambitious goal of vaccinating all its poultry against H5N1 avian influenza may be impossible and could even backfire by helping to spread the virus, according to experts quoted in recent news reports.
Chinese officials announced Nov 15 the aim of vaccinating the country's estimated current stock of 5.2 billion poultry, most of which are in small backyard flocks. Officials said China raises 14 billion birds annually.
(CIDRAP News) China's announcement today that it plans to vaccinate all of its poultry against H5N1 avian influenza would launch the country on the largest single immunization effort in history for any species, according to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official.
News of the vaccination plan came even as China reported two more poultry outbreaks, these in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
(CIDRAP News) Concluding a major conference on avian and pandemic influenza today, health officials reported a new level of international agreement on the need to confront the threat and released a list of key steps to do that.
(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 Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche announced today it would build a plant in the United States to make oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and also consider licensing other companies to make the drug in the face of a possible flu pandemic.
(CIDRAP News) The avian influenza virus long established in Southeast Asia has reached Europe's doorstep, with confirmation today that a lethal virus in Turkey is H5N1 and that an H5 strain in Romania is still being subtyped.
(CIDRAP News) Avian influenza and the threat of a flu pandemic were in the spotlight in Washington, DC, today as officials from 80 nations met to discuss the situation and President Bush was to meet with manufacturers of flu vaccines and drugs.
(CIDRAP News) The US Senate voted yesterday to provide $4 billion for antiviral drugs and other measures to prepare for a feared influenza pandemic, but whether the measure would clear Congress was uncertain.