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Ciptapangan Visitor
Avian Flu News Tracker
posted by admin on 04/05/06

Wednesday, May 3

4:45 p.m.: An update to weekly data available from the Georgia Department of Agriculture shows average "dock" prices -- that is, prices paid to producers -- for whole chicken in the state holding steady for the latest week, at 67.5 cents per pound for USDA grade A chicken. See chart.

1:30 p.m.: Bush unveiled a detailed strategy for combating a possible human pandemic as a follow-up to the $7.1 billion plan he announced in the fall. He stressed that local and state officials must be prepared and not count on a federal rescue. For businesses, the report encourages setting clear, nonpunitive sick-leave policies using alternate offices and work-at-home days to limit transmission between employees. It also advises not shaking hands and keeping co-workers at least three feet apart.

11 a.m.: The development of a human vaccine for bird flu appears promising in trials, but multiple challenges would keep it from reaching large numbers of people quickly in a pandemic, said James Campbell of the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development. Dr. Campbell said the current vaccine-manufacturing method, which uses eggs to grow the virus, is problematic because it requires specialized manufacturers, and because chickens involved in the process could become infected. In addition, he said it would take months for a vaccine to be produced once a specific pandemic flu strain emerges.

10:45 a.m.: New Jersey officials are holding a practice exercise this morning on what they would do in the event of a pandemic. The governor, along with state police, homeland-security, health and agriculture officials are addressing planning issues such as potential vaccination efforts, communications and emergency response. The drill follows the recent discovery of a mild form of bird flu – not H5N1 – in two ducks and a chicken at a Camden County poultry market.

10:30 a.m.: Egypt reported its 13th human infection of bird flu. A 27-year-old homemaker contracted H5N1 after she came in contact with chickens in her village in the northern province of Menoufia. The woman, whose name wasn't released, was admitted to a Cairo hospital and is reportedly in stable condition.

7:05 a.m.: An analysis of the bird-flu preparedness plans in the Asia-Pacific region found some nations on the right track in preparing to fight a possible pandemic but that major gaps in their plans remain. Among the nine countries examined, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand have "comprehensive" national response plans to deal with an imminent outbreak of pandemic flu, according to Richard Coker of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Less prepared for a pandemic are China, Thailand and Vietnam.

6:50 a.m.: China has donated equipment and materials to help impoverished ally North Korea prevent bird flu, North's official Korean Central News Agency said. The official government mouthpiece said Pyongyang has been closely monitoring migratory birds as a precaution and has locked up all local poultry in an effort to protect them from any birds carrying the virus.

1 a.m.: While the 1918 flu pandemic caught the world by surprise when it killed up to 40 million people, a leading bird-flu scientist said experts today are already informed enough to mount a pre-emptive strike against such a catastrophe. Unlike the medical community at the time of the 1918 outbreak and smaller pandemics that followed in 1957 and 1968, the world is currently better armed with more knowledge and resources, said John Oxford, a leading bird-flu scientist from Queen Mary's University of London.

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