H5N1 confirmed in Croatia; Leavitt appeases the cool kids
"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.Germany could be next:
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.
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!"