Tuesday, March 31, 2009

H5N1 (Birtd Flu or Avian Flu) Update

The worldwide spread of the H5N1 virus continues but the mortality numbers, although still shocking, are trending downward. I have not read any opinions why this is happening, but my guess would be that a growing awareness of the dangers and nature of the disease may be more widespread as officials in affected areas increase their scrutiny. Occasional reports of officieal mass destruction of poultry flocks (chickens, ducks, geese) are certain to draw attention. Also, China and other countries have poultry vaccination policies in place.

(Most Americans are unaware, but our own poultry supply is routinely vaccinated against one or two common diseases among chickens.)

Official data from WHO list only laboratory confirmed cases, so their official numbers are low. Many more cases never get recorded because the most severe outbreaks are in what we carelessly call Third World countries.

Official record-keeping starting in 2003 reports 413 confirmed cases, of which 256 (nearly 62 percent) died.

Hat tip to Crawford Kilian for his excellent, tireless efforts at H5N1 blog.

1 comment:

Kristen Bhing said...

Based on the number of people who survived avian flu, nearly 50% of the time, yes. What drugs can help increase chances of survival? Is there a vaccine against avian flu? “Avian Flu Treatment,” “Treatment,” and “Alternative Medicine” sections provide up-to-date information on status of drugs and vaccination, and the medical help available for avian flu patients.