Researchers Find Validity in 1918 Treatment for Avian Influenza

Sep 04, 2006

USU faculty have discovered that a treatment for the Spanish Influenza pandemic may also be effective for current Avian Influenza patients.

Navy Capt. Edward Kilbane, Army Col. Jeffrey Jackson and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Luke, are all alumni and faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). They, along with retired Navy physician, Capt. Stephen Hoffman, published their research Tuesday, Aug. 29, in the online edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The four researchers analyzed medical literature reported during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920. They found that transfusions with blood products from Spanish Flu survivors may have reduced the risk of death in seriously ill Spanish Flu patients.

The meta-analysis of these data show that treatment of patients in 1918 with convalescent whole blood, plasma or serum obtained from humans who had recovered from Spanish Influenza resulted in a reduced mortality of seriously ill patients by 50 percent.

The next steps would be a study to determine if treatment of patients with convalescent plasma containing anti-H5N1 antibodies from recovered from patients could lead to similar results for patients with Avian Influenza.

“Plasma is produced in local hospitals worldwide and transfusions might be useful in treating bird flu patients during outbreaks and pandemics, especially in light of the limitations of existing treatment options,” Commander Luke said. “A single recovered bird-flu patient could donate a weekly volume of plasma sufficient to treat many patients with H5N1 influenza.”

Their article titled, “Convalescent Blood Products for Spanish Influenza Pneumonia: A Future H5N1 Treatment?” will be published in the Oct. 17 print edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Source: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

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wilfriedsoddemann
not rated yet Jun 05, 2008
Spread of avian flu by drinking water:

Proved awareness to ecology and transmission is necessary to understand the spread of avian flu. For this it is insufficient exclusive to test samples from wild birds, poultry and humans for avian flu viruses. Samples from the known abiotic vehicles also have to be analysed. There are plain links between the cold, rainy seasons as well as floods and the spread of avian flu. That is just why abiotic vehicles have to be analysed. The direct biotic transmission from birds, poultry or humans to humans can not depend on the cold, rainy seasons or floods. Water is a very efficient abiotic vehicle for the spread of viruses - in particular of fecal as well as by mouth, nose and eyes excreted viruses.

Infected birds and poultry can everywhere contaminate the drinking water. All humans have very intensive contact to drinking water. Spread of avian flu by drinking water can explain small clusters in households too. Proving viruses in water is difficult because of dilution. If you find no viruses you can not be sure that there are not any. On the other hand in water viruses remain viable for a long time. Water has to be tested for influenza viruses by cell culture and in particular by the more sensitive molecular biology method PCR.

There is a widespread link between avian flu and water, e.g. in Egypt to the Nile delta or Indonesia to residential districts of less prosperous humans with backyard flocks and without central water supply as in Vietnam: http://www.cdc.go...829.htm. See also the WHO web side: http://www.who.in...ound.pdf .

Transmission of avian flu by direct contact to infected poultry is an unproved assumption from the WHO. There is no evidence that influenza primarily is transmitted by saliva droplets: %u201CTransmission of influenza A in human beings%u201D http://www.thelan...eop=true .

Avian flu infections may increase in consequence to increase of virus circulation. In hot climates/the tropics flood-related influenza is typical after extreme weather and floods. Virulence of influenza viruses depends on temperature and time. Special in cases of local water supplies with %u201Cyoung%u201D and fresh H5N1 contaminated water from low local wells, cisterns, tanks, rain barrels, ponds, rivers or rice paddies this pathway can explain small clusters in households. At 24°C e.g. in the tropics the virulence of influenza viruses in water amount to 2 days. In temperate climates for %u201Colder%u201D water from central water supplies cold water is decisive to virulence of viruses. At 7°C the virulence of influenza viruses in water amount to 14 days.

Human to human and contact transmission of influenza occur - but are overvalued immense. In the course of influenza epidemics in Germany, recognized clusters are rare, accounting for just 9 percent of cases e.g. in the 2005 season. In temperate climates the lethal H5N1 virus will be transferred to humans via cold drinking water, as with the birds in February and March 2006, strong seasonal at the time when drinking water has its temperature minimum.

The performance to eliminate viruses from the drinking water processing plants 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.

http://www.un.org...ID=26096&Cr=&Cr1
Ducks and rice [paddies = flooded by water] major factors in bird flu outbreaks, says UN agency
Ducks and rice fields may be a critical factor in spreading H5N1
26 March 2008 %u2013 Ducks, rice [fields, paddies = flooded by water! Farmers on work drink the water from rice paddies!] and people %u2013 and not chickens %u2013 have emerged as the most significant factors in the spread of avian influenza in Thailand and Viet Nam, according to a study carried out by a group of experts from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and associated research centres.

%u201CMapping H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza risk in Southeast Asia: ducks, rice and people%u201D also finds that these factors are probably behind persistent outbreaks in other countries such as Cambodia and Laos.
The study, which examined a series of waves of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in Thailand and Viet Nam between early 2004 and late 2005, was initiated and coordinated by FAO senior veterinary officer Jan Slingenbergh and just published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.
Through the use of satellite mapping, researchers looked at a number of different factors, including the numbers of ducks, geese and chickens, human population size, rice cultivation and geography, and found a strong link between duck grazing patterns and rice cropping intensity.

In Thailand, for example, the proportion of young ducks in flocks was found to peak in September-October; these rapidly growing young ducks can therefore benefit from the peak of the rice harvest in November-December [at the beginning of the cold: Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos are situated %u2013 different from Indonesia %u2013 in the northern hemisphere].

%u201CThese peaks in congregation of ducks indicate periods in which there is an increase in the chances for virus release and exposure, and rice paddies often become a temporary habitat for wild bird species,%u201D the agency said in a news release.

%u201CWe now know much better where and when to expect H5N1 flare-ups, and this helps to target prevention and control,%u201D said Mr. Slingenbergh. %u201CIn addition, with virus persistence becoming increasingly confined to areas with intensive rice-duck agriculture in eastern and south-eastern Asia, evolution of the H5N1 virus may become easier to predict.%u201D

He said the findings can help better target control efforts and replace indiscriminate mass vaccination.
FAO estimates that approximately 90 per cent of the world%u2019s more than 1 billion domestic ducks are in Asia, with about 75 per cent of that in China and Viet Nam. Thailand has about 11 million ducks.

Dipl.-Ing. Wilfried Soddemann - Epidemiologist - Free Science Journalist soddemann-aachen@t-online.de

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