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Avian Flu News Tracker
posted by admin on 16/06/06
Thursday, June 15
3:30 p.m.: Scientists in Hong Kong have found that avian-flu viruses are more likely to trigger a destructive immune-system overreaction than ordinary flu viruses, the University of Minnesota's Center for Infection Disease Research and Policy reported. Such a response is known as a "cytokine storm," which means an overabundance of cytokines, or messenger proteins. Further, the scientists found that the H5N1 strain produced higher levels of certain cytokines in adults than in newborn babies. It has been suggested that cytokine storms played a role in the high death rate in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. The scientists' finding are slated to be reported in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
12:05 p.m.: Hong Kong has issued a three-week ban on live poultry and birds from the Chinese mainland following Beijing's confirmation of an H5N1-infected man in Shenzen, Kyodo News reported. A Hong Kong health official cited a lack of detailed information on the case.
11:40 a.m.: Wildlife biologists this week began testing migratory birds in Maine for bird flu. Until now, most of Maine's bird-flu monitoring was focused on the state's commercial poultry flocks. When testing wild birds, the birds will be captured, swabbed and released unharmed, a biologist from Maine's Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said; the samples will be tested for several dozen strains of bird flu. Maine's Center for Disease Control also opened its seasonal hotline for residents to report dead birds. Last month, scientists began testing wild birds in Alaska, considered the "Grand Central Station" of migration..
9:05 a.m.: China confirmed that a 31-year-old man from the southern city of Shenzen has H5N1. That brings the country's total human infections to 19, of which 12 have been fatal.
2 a.m.: A seven-year-old girl who died in Indonesia earlier this month was suffering from bird flu, international tests have confirmed, bringing the country's death toll from the virus to at least 38. The girl's brother also died showing symptoms of the virus, but was buried before tests were taken, the health ministry said earlier this month.
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