Officials from the World Health Organization are visiting Pakistan to investigate several cases of bird flu in humans. The disease, which is very similar to human influenza, has not yet been shown to be contagious -- you can catch it from birds, but not from another person. If it ever mutates into a form that can be transmitted person-to-person, that could have very dire consequences -- people have no immunity to the disease, and there is no vaccine yet.





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Liza's picture
Liza says:

Last winter, Science Buzz had a kiosk about avian flu in the Human Body Gallery. With the new reports of human cases coming in over the last few weeks, we're thinking about bringing it back...

posted on Wed, 12/19/2007 - 2:24pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Other avian flu links (on Science Buzz)...

posted on Wed, 12/19/2007 - 2:25pm
Dipl.-Ing. Wilfried Soddemann's picture

H5N1 avian flu: Spread by drinking water into small clusters:

Human to human and contact transmission of influenza occur - but are overvalued immense. In the course of Influenza epidemics in Germany recognized clusters are rarely (9% of the cases in the season 2005).
In temperate climates the lethal H5N1 avian flu virus will be transferred to humans strong seasonal in the cold via cold drinking water, as with the birds feb/mar 2006.
Recent research must worry: So far the virus had to reach the bronchi and the lungs in order to infect humans. Now it infects the upper respiratory system (mucous membranes of the throat e.g. when drinking and mucous membranes of the nose and probably also the conjunctiva of the eyes as well as the eardrum e.g. at showering). In a few cases (Viet Nam, Thailand) stomach and intestine by the H5N1 virus were stricken but not the bronchi and the lungs. The virus might been orally taken up, e.g. when drinking contaminated water.
The performance to eliminate viruses of the drinking water processing plants in Germany regularly does not meet the requirements of the WHO and the USA/USEPA. Conventional disinfection procedures are poor, because microorganisms in the water are not in suspension, but embedded in particles. Even ground water used for drinking water is not free from viruses.
In temperate climates the strong seasonal waterborne infections like norovirus, rotavirus, salmonellae, campylobacter and - differing from the usual dogma - influenza are mainly triggered by drinking water dependent on the drinking water temperature (in Germany minimum feb/mar – maximum august). There is no evidence that influenza primary is transmitted by saliva droplets. In temperate climates the strong interdependence between influenza infections and environmental temperatures can’t be explained with the primary biotic transmission by saliva droplets from human to human with temperatures of 37.5°C. There must be an abiotic vehicle like cold drinking water. There is no other appropriate abiotic vehicle. In Germany about 98% of inhabitants have a central public water supply with older and better protected water. Therefore in Germany cold water is decisive to virulence of viruses.
In hot climates/tropics the flood-related influenza is typical after extreme weather and natural after floods. Virulence of Influenza virus depends on temperature and time. If young and fresh H5N1 contaminated water from low local wells, cisterns, tanks, rain barrels or rice fields is used for water supply water temperature for infection may be higher as in temperate climates.

Dipl.-Ing. Wilfried Soddemann
eMail [email protected]
http://www.dugi-ev.de/information.html
Epidemiological Analysis:
http://www.dugi-ev.de/TW_INFEKTIONEN_H5N1_20071019.pdf

posted on Thu, 12/20/2007 - 3:19am

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