Flu update: April 30

The WHO’s update:

30 April 2009 — The situation continues to evolve rapidly. As of 17:00 GMT, 30 April 2009, 11 countries have officially reported 257 cases of influenza A (H1N1) infection.

The United States Government has reported 109 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 97 confirmed human cases of infection, including seven deaths.

The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths – Austria (1), Canada (19), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8).

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Pandemic alert levels

An epidemic is an outbreak of disease above its normal, endemic levels. A pandemic is a widespread and serious epidemic involving several countries or more.

Pandemic alerts and planning stages

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Flu virus transmission

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From Virology Blog, How does the flu virus spread? Read about it in “Influenza virus transmission.”

Influenza virus may be transmitted among humans in three ways: (1) by direct contact with infected individuals; (2) by contact with contaminated objects (called fomites, such as toys, doorknobs); and (3) by inhalation of virus-laden aerosols.

Read on for how to prevent transmission.

As I read this, I realized that the paper masks are not especially to keep people safe, but to keep them from spreading aerosols as they speak or cough. Having a handkerchief to whip out before a sneeze is going to be very good manners.

Do you have a firewall?

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Can I get one for viruses?

Influenza: the basic science

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The basic science of flu is well explained on the Flu Wiki: Basic Scientific Information.

Winn Feline Foundation

The Winn Feline Foundation supports research into the health of cats, veterinary treatment, and so on. The give research grants.

This project was approved but requires funding. Please help with your generous donation today.

09-008: SNP analysis in rapidly progressing feline autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease
Robert Grahn, PhD; University of California, Davis; $13,557

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) in the domestic cat results from a mutation in the gene PKD1. Knowing a cat has this gene does not tell a veterinarian how severe the disease will become or how long the animal will live a comfortable life, however, because other genes influence the progression of the disease. Several of the other genes that contribute to the proliferation of the disease have been identified in humans. These genes have yet to be investigated in the cat. This study will identify mutations that are correlated with severe disease progression. Knowing which genes are affected may impact the course of therapy and will aid in decisions regarding treatment of cats with polycystic kidney disease.

Let not your left hand know what your right hand doeth

The notorious firings of U.S. attorneys by Gonzales in 2006 included Dan Bogden, who by all accounts was an exemplary lawyer and attorney. After months of investigation and a lot of stonewalling by the Bush administration, all we can say is that no one admits knowing who decided to get rid of Dan Bogden. In fact, even Dan Bogden can’t find out why he was fired. Possibly he was too honest for Bush.

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