Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Russia - Journalist hospitalized in Siberia with suspected bird flu

By Aussiegirl

The bird flu may be infecting humans in Russia. The problems with this migrating to Europe and the United States are that we have no vaccine, and even if one were to be developed, the state of vaccine manufacture in this country is nothing short of scandalous, all you have to do is remember the problems with the regular Asian flu virus that were experienced last year and the year before that. This is something that the government and the CDC has to be involved with. Companies will have to be subsidized by the government in order to produce these vaccines.

RIA Novosti reports:

Tests are being conducted to ascertain if a journalist hospitalized on August 12 has contracted bird flu, a health official in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk said Monday.

Maria Pashkova, a correspondent of the Novosibirsk state TV and radio company, was hospitalized days after returning from an assignment to areas in the region affected by an outbreak of bird flu. She felt ill upon her return home, and was admitted to hospital with a high temperature and headaches.

Pashkova is the fifth person to have been hospitalized with suspected bird flu, although tests failed to confirm that the other patients had contracted the disease. The journalist's results will be known later this week.

A regional health department official did not rule out the bird flu virus that had affected in the region could mutate and become dangerous for people. Sergei Pavlenko said that although humans could not contract the bird flu virus, the potential danger that the strain could mutate could not be ruled out.

According to the official, nobody has contracted bird flu in the Novosibirk region. Pavlenko also said quarantine measures had been imposed in 14 areas hit by the outbreak and doctors were making house calls every day in a bid to preclude any danger to the local population.


At 10:45 PM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

It may be even worse than we realize. Any vaccine that is developed at this point, will not be effective against this virus, once it has fully mutated and jumped from birds to humans. Supposedly, it has not yet reached the point where it can be passed from human to human, and when that happens they will almost have to start from scratch with the vaccine.

In addition to government subsidization of the U.S. vaccine manufacturers, they will have to be protected from crazy lawsuits as well.

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Thankfully, the journalist turned out not to have the bird flu. I think it's standard practice to hospitalize and quarantine anyone who feels even the slightest bit poorly if they've been in contact with bird flu.

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Billy D said...

This stuff really freaks me out. Didn't HIV begin with a monkey? Look at the ravages that's done to earth. Something like that airborne could be the next plauge.

At 12:19 AM, Blogger BonnieBlueFlag said...

So far the bird flu virus is in the saliva and the droppings of infected birds. As of this date, there has been no discovery of the virus in the U.S., but it's only a mater of time. Exotic birds are brought into the country illegally quite often.

There was a time when we didn't have to worry about the West Nile virus.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

It was a very ill-founded rumor that "Bird Flu" was named by an evicted tenant for Timothy Bird -- just not true at all.
However, it might be considered very appropriate that a journalist be stricken with such a disease.
After all, most of them show very little courage, preferring to transcribe some PR flack's hand-out to getting out of the office and finding the truth, possibly irritating some politician or bureaucrat.
So journalists are aptly compared to chickens.
And when there is bad news? Who's that fluttering around, elbowing others aside to ask "How do you feel?" about some tragedy or other? Who's that circling above the downed bodies of whistleblowers or catastrophe victims?
So journalists are aptly compared to vultures and buzzards.
Yep, bird flu might seem terribly appropriate for them.

At 4:37 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

In the case of journalists we will call it "Vulture Flu" :-)

Nice to know that that evil landlord Timothy Bird is not responsible either!! :-)


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