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Bird Flu Feedback (H5N1)News and comments about the bird flu, sometimes referred to as avian bird flu, Asian bird flu, avian influenza A, H5N1 or AI.
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AskDocWeb: From Geneva, Feb. 16 -- The world has made "encouraging progress" in developing vaccines against a potential bird flu pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
Currently 16 manufacturers from 10 countries are developing prototype pandemic influenza vaccines against the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus, the UN agency said in a statement.
At present, more then 40 clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing, and "all vaccines were safe and well tolerated in all age groups tested," it said.
According to the statement, a two-day expert meeting on advances in pandemic influenza vaccine development has just ended in Geneva, where the WHO is based. This was a third such meeting in just two years and its objectives were to review progress in the development of candidate vaccines against pandemic influenza viruses and to reach consensus on future priority activities.
More than 100 influenza vaccine experts from academia, national and regional public health institutions, the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory bodies throughout the world attended the meeting convened by the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research and the WHO Global Influenza Program.
"For the first time, results presented at the meeting have convincingly demonstrated that vaccination with newly developed avian influenza vaccines can bring about a potentially protective immune response against strains of H5N1 virus," it said.
In spite of the encouraging progress noted at the meeting, the WHO stressed that the world still lacks the manufacturing capacity to meet potential global pandemic influenza vaccine demand.
The world's current vaccine manufacturing capacity is estimated at less than 400 million doses per year of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine.
In response to this challenge, in 2006 the WHO launched the Global pandemic influenza action plan to increase vaccine supply, a 10 billion dollar effort over 10 years.
One of its aims is to enable developing countries to establish their own influenza vaccine production facilities through transfer of technology, providing them with the most sustainable and reliable response to the threat of pandemic influenza.
This is the type of news that keeps us prepping. It is going to be a matter of several months before a vaccine can be made and distributed, and that is only after the virus mutates. The ones who have the best chance of avoiding the virus are the ones who have the ability to out wait the bug, until the vaccine is available. I know of people who say that they do not prepare because they do not want to live in a society that would exist if the flu mutates. Imagine how they will feel if their ability to survive and their families was denied because they had no food to sustain them until the vaccine is released. We recommend you prepare for at least three months of self-quarantined isolation in your home.
Update 2/20/08: The following abstract is from a paper published in the current issue of Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases. The paper is titled: "Detection of H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus from Mosquitoes Collected in an Infected Poultry Farm in Thailand."
"Blood-engorged mosquitoes were collected at poultry farms during an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Central Thailand during October 2005. These mosquitoes tested positive for H5N1 virus by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results were confirmed by limited sequencing of the H5 and N1 segments.
Infection and replication of this virus in the C6/36 mosquito cell line was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. However, transmission by mosquitoes was not evaluated, and further research is needed. Collecting and testing mosquitoes engorged with the blood of domestic or wild animals could be a valuable tool for veterinary and public health authorities who conduct surveillance for H5N1 virus spread."
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