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Wednesday, October 26, 2005 

H5N1 confirmed in Croatia; Leavitt appeases the cool kids

Croatian poultry found infected

"The Commission has been informed by the European Union reference laboratory ... that the virus isolated in wild birds in Croatia is indeed the H5N1 virus," EU Commission spokesman Philip Tod said.

Croatian authorities said they slaughtered all domestic poultry in four villages near a Nasice pond where two of 13 swans found dead tested positive for bird flu. The pond is next to the Zdenci park and all the infected swans were believed to have been from the same flock.
Germany could be next:

In Germany, officials said that preliminary tests on wild geese found dead there came back positive for bird flu. And even though the fowl died of poisoning -- not influenza -- further tests would be carried to see whether they carried H5N1.
Still, it's noteworthy to keep in mind that most of these recent H5N1 isolations have been only in birds (with the exception of recent human cases in Indonesia). You can be sure that migrating birds are being watched closely here in North America, as well.

In other pandemic flu news, Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt said that a reason the US still doesn't have a pandemic plan finalized is because the public wasn't interested:
The Bush administration, says Leavitt, did not do more about bird flu before now because most Americans were not worried about it.

"The public," says Leavitt, "has not until recently found this to be a compelling issue."

But now, he says, the administration is paying a lot of attention — with a detailed plan to be released soon.

That's some good governmentin' there, folks! Don't worry about what's actually important--just focus on what's popular. As that Orbit gum girl says, "Brilliant!"


About me

  • I'm Tara C. Smith
  • From Iowa, United States
  • I'm a mom and a scientist, your basic stressed-out, wanna-have-it-all-and-do-it-all Gen Xer. Recently transplanted from Ohio to Iowa, I've spent most of my life in the midwest (with 4 years of college spent out east in "soda" territory). My main interest, and the subject of my research, is infectious disease: how does the microbe cause illness? What makes one strain nasty, and another "avirulent?" Are the latter really not causing any disease, or could some of those be possible for the development of chronic disease years down the road? Additionally, I've spent a lot of time discussing the value of teaching evolution, and educating others about "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism. My interest in history of science and medicine is also useful as a way to tie all of the above interests together. [Disclaimer: the views here are solely my own, and do not represent my employer, my spouse, that guy who's always sitting by the fountain when I come into work, or anyone else with whom I may be remotely affiliated.]
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