New website

The new Flu News Network website will be live in a couple of days. When it is, I will archive FNN blog and you will be redirected to the new site. You will still get the news and more. I would love feedback from everyone about the new site, what you like and don’t like, what you would like to see. I hope you will support the new FNN as much as you have supported the FNN blog.


Vietnam: Millions invested in avian flu control project

HA NOI – The Government of Viet Nam, with donor support, has set up an additional US$23 million fund for the Vietnam Avian and Human Influenza Control and Preparedness Project. The fund, consisting of $13 million in aid and $10 million in loans, will be utilised during the project’s second phase (2011-14) in 11 cities and provinces including Ha Noi, northern Lang Son, central Binh Dinh and southern Dong Thap and Tay Ninh provinces.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that bird flu broke out again this year with complex and unpredictable results. “The H5N1 virus has changed its face. There is currently no vaccines with which to treat people who’ve picked up bird flu,” Long confirmed.

He added that the ministry would upgrade the system of preventive medicine and treatment to deal with and stop the spread of the human influenza pandemic as well as other emerging diseases.

The fund will additionally help strengthen co-ordination between health and veterinary surveillance and disease prevention, jointly overseen by the health, agriculture and rural development sectors. Continued:

• CIDRAP: Unique triple reassortant H3N2 viruses in turkeys include pH1N1 genetic material

• Chicken, egg prices shoot up
• Ten H5N1 outbreaks in Bangladesh affect 49,000 poultry

• Maharashtra: Swab test of 39-year-old who died on March 19 returns positive; docs say rising mercury will put end to virus
• Rajasthan: ‘Swine flu has targeted mostly women, kids’
• Maharashtra: 7th swine flu death in city
• Maharashtra: Pune civic body lifts the burden off poor swine flu patients
• Swine Flu is back – 12 deaths in four states
• Maharashtra: Mumbai records first swine flu case in 9 months
• Swine Flu spreads across Maharashtra
• Maharashtra: One-year-old is eighth swine flu victim in Pune
• Maharashtra: Pune Swine flu update: Eight dead, total count 112
• Rajasthani: Swine flu – 5 more test positive, total cases now 33
• Swine Flu Continues To Spread in India, Goa Issues Alert

• Bird Flu confirmed in Bhaisepati farm

• AVA to conduct “bird flu exercise”
• Singapore veterinary authority holds bird flu exercise

• H2N5 [H5N2] found in chicken in New Taipei

United Kingdom
• Outbreak of deadly flu hits care homes for elderly

United States
• MD: Officials examine response to flu deaths
• OK: Oklahoma Health Department reports three more flu deaths
• SC: DHEC: SC Man Dies From Flu
• CIDRAP: US flu activity nudges up slightly
• Mild flu season continues in the US, barely reaching normal levels
• AZ: Late flu season wallops Arizona

• Medline Introduces Nation’s First U.S. Antiviral Face Mask That Inactivates Flu Viruses

A Suspected SARS Outbreak Has Hundreds Of Chinese Soldiers Quarantined


It was thought SARS had been fully contained, after all, the last case hadn’t been seen since June 2003, but that opinion may be about to change.
Ming Chen with The Epoch Times reports that the Hong Kong Apple Daily newspaper says several hundred PLA soldiers have been hospitalized with high fevers, and “other SARS-like symptoms.” The soldiers are allegedly being quarantined at a military hospital in Boading City and while officials are denying a SARS outbreak, Chinese Internet users are concerned this could be an attempted cover up, like the one tried last time in 2003.

The PLA 252 Hospital in Baoding reportedly has 300 soldier patients exhibiting SARS symptoms and so far at least two have died. The visit by the Apple Daily reporters to the hospital followed Internet leads that SARS had reappeared in Baoding and Dalian City in Liaoning Province.

A taxi driver in Baoding told The Epoch Times:

“I drive around town every day and I heard that the PLA 252 Hospital has many soldiers infected with SARS or a mutated SARS virus, and the hospital is under lockdown. Some people said that some villages are under lockdown too. Our government is always trying to cover the facts, so ordinary citizens can only rely on their own analysis and judgment.”

The Epoch Times reported on the first SARS outbreak in 2003 when the Chinese media still denied the disease existed at all.

• Beijing: Infection cases ‘not SARS’ • Boading City, Hebei Province: The Hebei epidemic situation and the information are public
• Boading City, Hebei Province: A Suspected SARS Outbreak Has Hundreds Of Chinese Soldiers Quarantined
• Boading City, Hebei Province: China sends man to labor camp for SARS rumor
• Hong Kong: Flu alert issued after outbreak hits students
• Boading City, Hebei Province: Suspected SARS Outbreak: 300 Soldiers in Isolation in Hebei

(we need to keep a very close eye on this.-cottontop)

CDC denies China SARS outbreak report

Sat, Feb 25, 2012
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Thursday that there was no SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in China, despite unverified reports circulating on the Internet.

The Chinese health authorities have said that there is no SARS outbreak within its territory, CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw said on Thursday.


Many Chinese Internet users have voiced concern over a possible SARS pandemic in a military hospital in Hebei Province, -according to a newspaper.

Although the Chinese government has yet to officially deny the rumor, bloggers alleged that hundreds of patients have been hospitalized in isolation wards and at least one has died from the disease, the newspaper report said.


• Respiratory virus may have killed 11 seniors

• Chinese Netizens Claim SARS Has Returned, Blog posts say several have already died
• China confirms adenovirus outbreak: CDC
• SARS Rumour Update: East Wing of Hubei Baoding No.252 Hospital is Guarded by Army and Police
• Binchuan unknown “group with Fever etiology” has been confirmed the Source
• Variant of the SARS: Jingxian Hebei hospital blockades floors ● 100 people were isolated, deaths

• Avian influenza (H5N1) invades Egypt
• Egypt reports two cases of bird flu

• Influenza-like illness surveillance

• Budapest children’s hospital “quarantined” due to spreading flu epidemic

• Influenza raging after late start

• Urban areas need better planning
• Bird Flu Grabs Life Of Boy In Bali
• Child Dies of Bird Flu in Bali
• Development of Bird Flu Cases
• Examination of Avian Influenza Contingency Negative Patients

• Flu vaccine may not be effective

• 67 students in Malacca school quarantined after showing ILI symptoms

New Zealand
• Emerging influenza viruses in animals still a threat to human health

United States
• MO: Flu Cases On the Rise Around Missouri
• OK: Flu Season Starting To Peak In Oklahoma
• OK: Vian Community Remembers Homecoming Queen Who Died Suddenly (Oklahoma)

• Health ministry rallies efforts to fight bird flu
• Lacking a new vaccine, Vietnam highly susceptible to bird flu pandemic
• HCMC to inspect poultry traders to tackle bird flu
• New plan developed to combat spread of bird flu
• Nam Dinh: H5N1 in domestic birds
• Human trials for bird flu vaccine successful

• Germ warfare: The creation of a lethal virus sparks a debate pitting science against security
• Bird flu ‘more widespread than thought but less deadly’
• NewScientist: New doubt over H5N1 death rate – but risks still high
• Researchers identify new H5N1 subclade in India
• Bird Flu: More common, less deadly than we thought?
• WHO picks two new strains for next season’s flu vaccine (2012-2013)

• Recombinomics: Diverse Ferret H5N1 Transmission Pathways
• Recombinomics: Similarities In CDC and Fouchier H5N1 Transmission Papers
• Recombinomics: 2011 Human H5N1 Sequence Cluster In Egypt

Reminder: Flu News Network is moving

The end of Febuary 2012, will signal the big move to our main website. I’m trying very hard to make it a one stop prepardness/world flu news website. FNN blog will remain but will be used for archives. Stay tuned for “Flu News Network goes live.”

It’s hard to believe it will be 4 years next month since I first experimented with a flu blog. Alot has changed since then, and this blog has undergone several changes, and anything growing will do. Im very proud of Flu News Network. You have continued to support this blog and I’m very thankful. I consider this blog a public health service and at such time, have felt the need to expand FNN’s services to access more prepardness information while getting your world flu news. H5N1 is heating up to a point that I’ve never seen before in the 7 years I’ve been apart of the flu world. I’m not saying a pandemic is on it’s way. A metor could hit before a pandemic does, but I don’t like what I’m seeing.

The main goal of FNN has ALWAYS been to get people to prepare for emergency/disasters. If you are like me and have been through too many natural disasters, you understand the importance of being prepared. Since that horrible ice storm we had back in ’98, (upstate new york and into Canada) I have been caught unprepared once. Let me tell ya folks, the terrible sick-to-the-stomach feeling knowing I was ill prepared to help my family be safe, fed and to keep them healthy during the crisis, was more than I could handle. I let my prepping lag, got sloppy with replacing items and had basically nothing. No power for two days, and I had one damn candle! Me! One candle! We had one gallon of water between us. My daughters were hungry. Why? Because I had no way to cook without the electric stove. Just hadn’t gotten around to getting that camp stove I’d been meaning to get. UGH!! Needless to say that was a very miserable 2 days for my family and it wasn’t necessary. I kicked myself for that and still do.

I hate to say that I have no sympathy for people who don’t have at least a weeks worth of stock, but I don’t. Everyone can afford a week or two of stock at no expense and no extra room really. One can get pretty creative at storing preps around the home and no one would ever know. It’s not too late. Start with a basic two week stock and see how you feel then. I know you’ve heard FEMA and our GOV say three days worth of food and water. HA!! Really? How long do you think a disaster would last? How long do you think an emergency situation would last? (and that’s not taking into considertion that they can’t get the emergency resolved as quickly as they thought they could. See, plan ahead.)Or heavens, a pandemic? TWO WEEKS folks. That is an excellant starting point. Three days leaves no room for error on their part in an emergency situation. Natural disasters, as we all know, last a hellva lot longer than three days.

It’s not too late to start a basic stock, but I wouldn’t put it off much longer if your of the mind to do it. (that is my personal advice for what’s it worth.)

I hope you will join me on FNN’s new website, going live the end of Febuary. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for the continued support.

WHO to discuss bird flu studies

The World Health Organization is to meet next week to determine whether scientists can publish research on a bird flu virus that may be easily passed among humans.
The two-day discussion will relate to research on a mutation of the H5N1 virus that international scientists halted on January the 20th citing fears of the devastation it could wreak were it to escape the laboratory.


The breakthrough raised alarm that the method could fall into the wrong hands and unleash a massive flu pandemic that could cost millions of lives.


Focus On H5N1 Transmission Changes
Recombinomics Commentary

Vietnam provided viruses to Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison while Ron Fouchier, of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, received his viruses from Indonesia.

The above comments from a Helen Branswell piece on the upcoming WHO meeting on the censorship of H5N1 experiments confirms what is widely known about the papers being redacted and delayed at Nature and Science. Earlier Fouchier had mentioned that he was collaborating with Indonesia, and Kawaoka has published extensively on using samples and cells from Vietnam and Indonesia in receptor binding studies, as well as generation of reasortants between H5N1 and H1N1pdm09.

These prior publications highlight the folly of the NSABB request to hide the data, which is largely known and readily tweaked by imagined “terrorists” planning on generating a useless transmissible H5N1. Most who have given the use of H5N1 as a bioweapon some thought know that it can’t be controlled and would be a poor choice, although the recent attention generated by the ill conceived NSABB may create unwarranted interest in a transmissible H5N1.

A serious program would use scientists who were familiar with the scientific literature, which is clearly lacking on the NSABB board. In 2006 Kawaoka published a paper in Nature that identified two receptor binding domain changes (N186K and Q196R) which enhanced binding and synergized with S227N. The paper was high profile and summarized by editors at Nature and widely discussed in media reports, including a summary by Reuters, which cited use of samples from patients in Vietnam and Indonesia.

(Snip) the changes in the Nature paper were already signaled by H5N1 clusters due to clade 2.2 (Qinghai strain) in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iraq. On October 22, 2005 a warning was issued on S227N, which could be created via recombination between clade 2.2 donor sequences pairing up with H9N2 sequences in the Middle East. At the time, there had been no confirmed clade 2.2 human cases. The first confirmed cases were announced in early 2006, and S227N was confirmed in the index case in Turkey. That case was part of a large cluster and virtually all confirmed cases in Turkey were found in clusters. Only four human sequences were published, and S227N was in 2 of the 4 (and strongly suspected in the other two since of the two without S227N was from the sister of the index case. The clusters in Turkey were followed by clusters in Azerbaijan and sequences from cases had N186K. Similarly additional clusters were found in Iraq, and sequences from those clusters had N186S and Q196R. Moreover, since all outbreaks were due to clade 2.2, all also had PB2 E627K.

(Snip) more than five years ago there were three receptor binding domain changes in H5N1 HA (Snip) as well as one change in PB2 (E627K), that would be likely candidates for the three changes Fouchier selected, which were enhanced by passage of the H5N1 through ferrets 10 times. (Snip) Kawaoka was well aware of these changes and are likely in the H5 from Vietnam that was placed on an H1N1pdm09 background to produce transmission in ferrets.

Thus, any serious H5N1 transmission program could easily replicate the detail being redacted or delayed at Nature and Science. Even if these four changes were not among the five changes identified in the Fouchier’s Science paper, a serious program would quickly identify a combination, since it is now known that efficient transmission has been achieved by two groups using very different approaches, which in fact could be used in combination (H5 changes could be placed on an H1N1pdm09 background and then passed in ferrets). (Snip) transmission is remarkably easy and natural sequences can recombine to create a combination that will efficiently transmit.

Thus, the real emphasis should be on fine tuning the redacted and delayed results, as well as vaccination efforts that will limit the spread of natural (or weaponized/manipulated) H5N1.

• Flu season swamps CHEO

• No flu virus mutation detected
• Flu outbreak hits kindergarten

Coata Rica
• Costa Rica Facing Increase In “Flu” Cases

• Bird Flu Returns

• Bhubaneswar, Odisha: City dwellers stall culling operations
• Uttar Pradesh on bird flu alert
• H5N1 in crows – 4 outbreaks in 4 different states
• Bird Flu: Culling in eight wards
• Chandigarh: Northern region on bird flu alert
• Tamil Nadu: National meet to focus on avian flu
• Pigeons die after bird flu culling
• Kalahandi CDVO allays fears of bird flu
• Bird flu suspected in Meghalaya
• Outbreak of bird flu suspected in Shillong

• Victim Died of Bird Flu in a Newspaper Deliveryman RSHS
• Patient Suspect Bird Flu Will Be Buried Tomorrow in Ciburuy
• SA, Origin Regol Suspect Dies of Bird Flu
• Bandung: Suspect Bird Flu Patient Dies
• Bandung: Officials wait for lab to confirm West Java bird flu death
• Bandung: Mr. Bird Flu Cases in SA’s Largest RSHS
• Suspect Bird Flu
• Bandung Poultry Negative for Bird Flu

• Peak influenza contagions estimated at 2. 8m

• Experts warn of influenza A outbreak in Norway

• Bird Flu Detected in Eastern Nepal
• Bird flu scare in Sunsari
• Administration prohibits chicken sell in Sunsari

• H1N1 ‘Swine’ Flu Makes a Comeback in Mexico

• Bird Flu Virus, yet another challenge for the Punjab Government?

• Flu cases hit epidemic level

• Forty-two people killed by B-type flu: CDC
• Five new flu-related deaths confirmed

• Number of flu sick growing in Ukraine

United States
• CA: H1N1 virus breaks into Centinela State Prison
• No way of stopping leak of deadly new flu, says terror chief
• Alabama among flu states
• N.J. hospital treats 5 for H1N1 flu

• Bird flu prevention an urgent task
• New epidemics threaten South
• Recurrence of bird flu catches Vietnam off guard
• H5N1, not seasonal flu, targeted human pulmonary endothelial cells
• Doomsday flu decision time: The story so far

• Flu-like illness may be linked to hospitalization for febrile convulsions
• Nepal, Vietnam, and India find more H5N1 in poultry
• New Report Analyzes Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of the Health Care Workforce
• Consider closing schools during pandemic, study says
• Ethical Guidance for Pandemic Influenza
• Critics: Airborne Flu Research Important, But Not for Vaccine Purposes
• CIDRAP: Study shows summer circulation of low-path avian flu in California

• CIDRAP: Undetected H5N1 cases seem few, but questions persist

• Recombinomics: Focus On H5N1 Transmission Changes

H5N1 International

I’d like to thank History Lover and AlohaOr for putting this together. -cottontop

Recent cases of H5N1 occurring in people in several countries, including China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and Egypt.

Human H5N1 Cases Reported by WHO

(case onset from Sep 1, 2011)
# Location Age/
Gender Symptom Onset Death Notes
1 Egypt/ Gharbia 1M Sept 17 Recovered
2 Indonesia/ Bali 5F Sept 27 Oct 9 Family contact w/ Cases 3 & 4
3 Indonesia/ Bali 10M Sept 30 Oct 10 Family contact w/ Cases 2 & 4
4 Indonesia/ Bali 29F Oct 10 Oct 17 Family contact w/ Cases 2 & 3
5 Egypt/ Cairo 2F Oct 30 Recovered Treated on an outpatient basis
6 Egypt/ Dakahlia 31F Nov 10 Nov 29: In critical condition
7 Egypt/ Dakahlia Adult F Nov 26 Dec 3 24 weeks pregnant; family
contact w/ Cases 8 & 9
8 Egypt/ Dakahlia Child F Nov 26 Recovered Family contact w/ Cases 7 & 9
9 Egypt/ Dakahlia 29M Dec 8 Dec 19 Family contact w/ Cases 7 & 8
10 Egypt/ Menofia 42M Dec 16 Dec 22
11 China/ Guangdong 39M Dec 21 Dec 31 No reported poultry contact
12 Indonesia/ Jakarta 23M Dec 31 Jan 7 Family contact with Case 15
13 Egypt/ Fayium 31M Jan 1 Jan 19: In critical condition
14 Cambodia/
Banteay Meanchey 2M Jan 3 Jan 18
15 Indonesia/ Jakarta 5F Jan 7 Jan 16 Family contact with Case 12
16 Vietnam/ Kien Giang 18M Jan 10 Jan 16

Bird flu scientists suspend work amid epidemic fears

Researchers announce 60-day suspension to allow debate about security of their attempts to prevent spread of virus.
Scientists trying to prevent bird flu from killing millions of people have suspended their work because of fears they might accidentally cause the epidemic they hope to stop, according to a letter published on Friday in scientific journals. Researchers from around the world signed a letter in the Nature and Science journals in which they announced a 60-day suspension to allow a public debate about the security of their work. The letter comes after developments in the study of bird flu in which scientists have created a similar virus that can be passed between mammals.

Bird flu can only be caught by humans from birds such as chickens but it is usually lethal. Scientists fear that bird flu could mutate into a form that humans could catch from other humans. After the first world war, an influenza mutation (known as Spanish influenza) killed an estimated 40 million people.

Last year, the United States government asked scientific journals to restrict their coverage of the new developments in the study of bird flu out of fear that the information could be used by terrorists to create biological weapons.

Wendy Barclay, professor of influenza virology at Imperial College, London, one of the signatories of the letter, said the influenza research community was fully aware of the risks and benefits of their work.

“The idea of the 60-day pause is to allow time for everyone concerned, media, ethicists and scientists alike, to be involved in the debate,” she said. “It is imperative that we do not react on impulse but weigh up the benefits this type of research can bring and review again the appropriate ways to control dangerous pathogens that we work with in the closed laboratory.”

(Snip) Although research is carried out under high security, the possibility of human error, accident or a criminal act leading to an escape of the viruses is a constant concern.

• CIDRAP: Bangladesh reports 3 H5N1 outbreaks on poultry farms

• Bird flu Advice not to use poultry products
• Another H5N1 outbreak in poultry

• Ontario: First flu case reported in Northumberland
• Ontario: Two local babies catch flu

• Hong Kong: H5N1 in wild bird

• Danger! Relive the virus AH1N1 in Colombia

• WHO confirms 2 human H5N1 cases

• Infant dies of H1N1 flu
• Libyan baby dies of swine flu in Greece: ministry

• Bird flu under control: Meghalaya govt
• Bad weather stalls culling operations

• Kemenkes: Boy Dies Due to Bird Flu
• Jakarta: U.S. Positive Bird Flu Death
• Bird Flu Cases Spread Through Tanjung Priok Pigeon
• WHO reports human H5N1 case (Link)
• Indonesia Health Minister Suspects Bird Flu is Immune to Drug

• Mexico City: Two die of A(H1N1) swine flu in Mexico: official
• Nuevo Leon: Nine people with confirmed influenza virus A-H1N1

• Bird Flu: Let us not forget the Grim Reaper

• Flu threat expected to heighten as holiday nears

United States
• Flu Season May Strike Later This Year
• KY: Number Of Confirmed Flu Cases In Lexington Up To 37
• TX: Flu season gets under way in North Texas
• First U.S. Cell-Based Flu Vaccine Plant Awaits Pandemic
• MN: Fatal H1N1 case involved rare combination of mutations (CIDRAP)

• Vietnamese officials record bird flu death
• Bird flu kills 2 in Cambodia, Vietnam
• Vietnam, Cambodia report bird flu deaths
• Bird Flu Kills Vietnamese Youth
• After Cambodia, Bird Flu Also Grabbed a Life in Vietnam
• WHO confirms fatal human H5N1 case
• Officials fear spread of meningitis, bird flu
• Bird flu virus kills teen farmer in Vietnam

• More labs close to deadly bird flu mutations: researcher
• New bird flu deaths, as influenza research debate continues
• H5N1 virus targets pulmonary endothelial cells
• Bird flu research halted to ensure safety of experiments

• Recombinomics: H5N1 Clade Migrates Into South Asia
• Recombinomics: H5N1 Fatal Cluster In Tanjung Priok North Jakarta Indonesia

• Recombinomics: Published H5N1 One Change From Efficient Transmission
• Recombinomics: Indonesia Confirms H5N1 Cluster In North Jakarta
• H5N1 Transmission Experiment Halt – Censorship Continues

American Fever

A reminder, American Fever goes on sale today in book and ebook.

I recieved an advanced copy and have just finished it. It truely is sobering, raw, packed with studies, survival related information with the hyperlinks, and a great love story. American Fever is a very realsitic look at life during a flu pandemic of epic porportion through the eyes of a flu blogger.

It has shaken me on a personal level.