Sunday, August 14, 2005

H5N1 Wild Bird Flu Migration Explodes in Southern Russia

Recombinomics Commentary
August 13, 2005

"...As the weather cools more migration into Europe is expected. At Qinghai Lake, at least 5 species were affected, but that is probably a very low estimate. The H5N1 at Qinghai Lake was very virulent in experimental chickens, killing them with 20 hours. Similarly, experimental mice died within 3-4 days. Thus, it is likely that most species at the reserves can be infected, although some may be asymptomatic. In the OIE report from Novosibirsk, isolates from 13 locations were described. In addition to birds that had died and had H5N1 virus and antibodies, there were birds that were alive with virus and antibodies as well as birds alive with just antibodies. Thus, non-fatal infections were demonstrated, which is fueling the spread.

"Initial cases in Russia were clustered in the Chany Lakes region in Novisbursk. Now that regions has the highest number of suspected cases for this month, but the number of cases in adjacent Omsk and Kurgen provinces is evidence for significant movement west toward Europe.

"The H5N1 isolated from Qinghai Lake has been fully sequenced and the virus is clearly a recombinant, with portions of all eight genes matching isolates in Europe as well as Asia. The HA and HA protein have changed considerably from the isolates in Vietnam and the vaccine being developed worldwide against the 2004 H5N1 isolate from Vietnam is unlikely to offer much protection against the wide bird flu rapidly spreading along Russia's southern border. The H5N1 wild bird sequences at Novosibirsk are closely related to the Qinghai isolates." Click the title to read the article.

With the onset of a possible bird flu pandemic, read Diseases & Impaired Immunity to find out if your own immune system is already compromised. Read more to learn how you can help yourself while waiting for the right vaccine to come along.
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