Jan 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) 2005 is likely to go down as the year when avian influenza, powered by a steady rise in human cases and the spread of poultry outbreaks all the way to Eastern Europe, emerged as a high-profile global health issue.
When 2005 dawned, only 45 human cases of H5N1 avian flu, including 32 deaths, had been counted by the World Health Organization (WHO). All of those were in Vietnam and Thailand.
(CIDRAP News ) An H5 avian influenza virus was found in a dead gosling in a backyard flock in eastern Canada late last week, but authorities said today there is "no evidence" that the virus is the deadly H5N1 strain.
Meanwhile, Hungary was culling poultry following the recent confirmation of the country's first H5N1 outbreak in domestic birds, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
(CIDRAP News) Signaling that the current flu strains are likely to persist over the next several months, the World Health Organization (WHO) today recommended sticking with the current trio of vaccine strains for the Northern Hemisphere's next influenza season.
The WHO's vaccine strain advisory committee met on Feb 15 and 16 and released its recommendation on the WHO's Web site. The group recommends the following for next season's vaccine: