Huge development in bird flu (H5N1)
If anyone is following the evolution of H5N1, there has been a huge development in Indonesia.

To go from birds to mammals is a huge hurdle.

To go from cats to humans is nothing.

If anyone has been holding out for a bellwether event, this is it, folks. This is the immediate precursor to a human pandemic, if its ever going to happen.


Indonesia scientist says
1/5th of stray cats carry bird flu virus
Monday January 15, 3:54 PM

(Kyodo) - About 100 of 500 stray cats surveyed in Indonesia were carrying the H5N1 bird flu virus, a local scientist said Monday.

C.A. Nidom, who first reported that bird flu had entered Indonesia in 2003 but was ignored by the government, told Kyodo News the finding was based on his research funded by the Ministry of National Education and conducted on Java Island and in Lampung Province of Sumatra Island from September to December last year.

"I will bring the results of my research to the Institute of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo next month for further tests," he said by telephone from Saudi Arabia.

"I'm worried that the virus will be more easily transmitted to humans because the body temperature of mammals like cats is similar to that of humans," he added.

He took blood samples from cats living around wet markets that sell chickens and hospitals designated for bird flu patients in the East Java provincial capital Surabaya, the Central Java provincial capital Semarang, West Java's Bandung, Lampung's Bandarlampung, and Jakarta and its suburb Tangerang.

Nidom, a molecular biology expert at the state-run University of Airlangga, said the results were reported to the Health Ministry, but they have not been published and followed up on.

I Nyoman Kandun, director for disease control and environmental health at the Health Ministry, said he has not received any information about the results of the research by Nidom, who is also a member of a government-sanctioned commission on bird flu control and preparedness.

There are many unproven "rumors" about bird flu, Kandun said.

The education ministry has allocated about 300 million rupiah (about $32,500) for bird flu research in fiscal 2006 and 2007.

After no bird flu cases among humans were recorded in the country for three months, new cases began to emerge with the deaths of four people in as many days last week.

Another patient, the 18-year-old son of a 38-year-old woman who died last week, has also tested positive for bird flu, marking the country's first bird flu cluster this year. The son is still being treated in hospital.

Since bird flu began to hit Indonesia in mid-2003, up to 15 million infected fowl have died in 224 regencies in 30 of the country's 33 provinces.

The government said 16 of the 30 provinces are considered to be free of bird flu, having had no cases in the last six months.

World Health Organization statistics as of last Friday showed that bird flu has infected 265 people in 10 countries since its emergence in December 2003, with 159 of them having died, among them 59 Indonesians. That did not take account of the two who died late Friday and early Saturday.

Indonesia's lead is followed by Vietnam with 42 fatalities and Thailand with 17. The other affected countries are Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq and Turkey.


Bird Flu update: Alarm as infected stray cats roam the streets

16 Jan 2007
Amy Chew reporting from Jakarta

AT least 100 stray cats roaming the streets of major cities in Indonesia are infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, which causes avian influenza.

The irony is that when tests were conducted on 500 stray cats in Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, Bandung, Tangerang and Lampung, and the 100 were found to be infected, they were all released back onto the streets.

Dr C.A. Nidom, head of Avian Influenza Laboratorium at the University of Airlangga, said the tests were conducted from September to December last year.

When asked why the infected felines were released into the streets, he said: "I had no right to destroy them."

He said the stray cats were collected from markets selling chicken and in the vicinity of hospitals designated to treat bird flu patients.

The findings come as the bird flu death toll hit a new high in Indonesia over the weekend after two people died, bringing the number to 61, the highest number of fatalities in the world.

Dr Nidom said the government should do more to stop the spread of the virus and warned that it threatened to be a global problem.

"The tests showed that the virus is becoming more complex. We have to change our thinking and look at the possibility that the virus can spread to humans not only through chickens but also through other animals."

Bird flu is passed to humans through contact with infected chicken and other birds or their faeces.

Scientists are worried the virus will mutate into a form where it could spread through human-to-human contact, which could trigger a global pandemic capable of infecting millions of people in a short period of time.

"The cat’s biological make-up is much closer to that of humans than chicken. A cat also has the same body temperature as humans, whereas a chicken does not.

"I am quite taken aback by the results. Further research needs to be done to see whether cats can transmit this disease," he added.
I just Knew it.
We're all going to die.
LittleStormCloud Wrote:I just Knew it.
We're all going to die.

I've been following the H5N1 subject for quite a while. I've spoken and corresponded with one of the worldwide recognized experts on vaccine development for bird flu (Dr. David Fedson).

No developments in the H5N1 story have really concerned me up till now.

But the establishment of a mammalian reservoir by bird flu, and clinical proof of that fact, should make anyone who understands the cycle leading up to a human pandemic, sit up and take notice.

It might only be a pandemic as bad as 1918. But it could be far worse. And with the establishment of a huge mammalian reservoir, the chances of a human pandemic have exploded.
It's the end of the world as we know it ... =P  [Image: doh.gif]
Just discussing this in Bio... The federal government suggests stockpiling food, water, and supplies:
Originally Posted by LittleStormCloud
I just Knew it.
We're all going to die.
Well, yes, that would be true.  If not, we could skip the whole spiritual life thing, no?
  Aaack, I wonder if this has anything to to with all the poor birdies dropping dead in Australia and Texas.
  Let us pray that this is as bad as it ever gets.  Imagine if we all had to get rid of our cats?  
We need to make reparation! We can all start with the Golden Arrow prayer.
Quote:He took blood samples from cats living around wet markets that sell chickens and hospitals designated for bird flu patients
So.... maybe the stray cats got it from ingesting uncooked blood from infected chickens and not from each other. The way a "market that sells chicken" works in some parts of thw world (unlike the US) is that they butcher the birds right there, de-feather, gut, and cut them up, and hang them up for display.

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