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Thursday, August 18, 2005

H5N1 At Caspian Sea & Volga Delta

Okay, the announcement from Russia is that Kalmykiya is confirmed as H5N1. This news is about as bad as it can get. See What's New at Recombinomics for further updates.

Look at Dr. Niman's map:

The green dots are from August. It starts in May with red. Orange is June. July is yellow, which is almost all covered up by August reports now. See the two green dots over the Tbilisi tag? That's the Volga Delta feeding into the Caspian. Look down and to the left - Turkey and Iraq.

There is some good news. So far the sequences of this fast-moving outbreak indicate that this strain should NOT BE RESISTANT to AMANTADINE and RIMANTADINE. These drugs are not in short supply. From Dr. Niman:
On a positive note, the M2 ion channel of the Qinghai Lake isolates was wild type, so the virus should be sensitive to amantadine (Symmetrel) and rimantadine (Flumadine). Similarly, the close relationship between isolates of Qinghai lake and Chany Lake suggests most or all H5N1 wild bird flu versions will be sensitive to both antivirals, which are available in quantity and less expensive than Tamiflu.
So there should be no problem stocking those drugs for the troops deployed in the area.

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