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Vol. Vol. XI No. 7 ~EINet News Brief ~ 4 April 2008 ~ EINet News Briefs ~ Apr 04, 2008
*****A free service of the APEC Emerging Infections Network*****
APEC EINet News Briefs offers the latest news, journal articles, and notifications for emerging infections affecting the APEC member economies. It was created to foster transparency, communication, and collaboration in emerging infectious diseases among health professionals, international business and commerce leaders, and policy makers in the Asia-Pacific region.
In this edition:
1. Influenza News
- Global: Cumulative number of human cases of avian influenza A/(H5N1)
- Global: Nearly 3,000 financial services organizations test their pandemic influenza preparedness
- China: Economy approves its first H5N1 avian influenza vaccine
- Indonesia: Three new cases of H5N1 avian influenza, two deaths
- Korea: Outbreak of avian influenza suspected in poultry farm
- Pakistan (Peshwar): WHO reports on 2007 family cluster of H5N1 avian influenza
2. Infectious Disease News
- Australia: Officials see sharp increase in dengue infection in those that travel to Indonesia
- Australia (Sydney): 81-year-old man dies from food poisoning, Bacillus cereus
- Indonesia (Java): Dengue infections continue to increase
- Indonesia (Papua): Undiagnosed respiratory disease found in remote area
- Malaysia: Dengue infections on the rise, Selangor hard hit
- Papua New Guinea (Morobe): Five people die of dysentery in remote province
- Philippines (Ilocos): Officials report two deaths due to dengue infection in 2008
- Taipei: Officials report 61 cases of scrub typhus, one fatality
- Peru: Investigation fails to find link between yellow fever vaccine and increased illnesses, deaths
- Peru: Officials report another probable case of yellow fever
- USA (Arizona): Maricopa County records first case of West Nile virus this season
- USA (Arizona): Confirmed cases of measles in Pima County
- USA (New York): Norovirus suspected in outbreak of gastrointestinal illness
- USA (Washington): Boy infected with Japanese encephalitis in Southeast Asia recovers in Seattle
- USA (Montana): Native American clinics uncover high rate of hepatitis C
- USA (California): Santa Maria teenager dies of human rabies
- USA (Colorado): Salmonella in water system
- USA: Chinese officials find contaminant in batches of heparin supplied to United States
- USA: Honduran cantaloupes cause salmonella outbreak in United States and Canada
- AVIAN PANDEMIC INFLUENZA
- Major issues and challenges of influenza pandemic preparedness in developing countries
- Pandemic influenza planning in the United States from a health disparities perspective
- Public response to community mitigation measures for pandemic influenza
- The Influenza Primer Design Resource: A new tool for translating influenza sequence data into effective diagnostics
- Transmission of avian influenza virus (H3N2) to dogs
- APEC EINet Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Virtual Symposium: Partnerships and Continuity Planning for Critical Systems
- BirdFlu 2008: Avian Influenza and Human Health
1. Influenza News
Global: Cumulative number of human cases of avian influenza A/(H5N1)
Economy / Cases (Deaths)
Cambodia / 1 (1)
Total no. of confirmed human cases of avian influenza A/(H5N1), Dec 2003 to present: 378(238). (WHO 4.3.08 http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/en/index.html )
Avian influenza age distribution data from WHO/WPRO:
WHO's world maps showing areas affected by H5N1 avian influenza (last updated 3.18.08):
WHO’s timeline of important H5N1-related events (last updated 3.25.08):
Global: Nearly 3,000 financial services organizations test their pandemic influenza preparedness
"When you have (so many more) people working from home, the Internet is going to slow to a crawl, and that's if it's even recoverable in all parts of the country," says Nick Benvenuto, managing director and global head of business continuity at Protiviti Inc., a risk management consulting firm in Menlo Park, Calif.
That drill highlighted the status of many companies vis-à-vis disaster recovery: They have disaster plans, but those plans aren't adequately designed to handle an actual event. Instead, many business executives, including top IT managers, are relying on old procedures and technologies that might work for small-scale, brief disasters — a regional power outage, for example — but would fall woefully short during a catastrophe like another major hurricane or terrorist attack. Moreover, many companies can't claim to have real confidence in their disaster recovery plans because they fail to test and update those plans often enough to guarantee that their procedures and technologies are keeping pace with business changes.
In a 2007 report from Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., only 33 percent of 124 data center decision-makers surveyed said they believe they're very prepared to recover their data centers in the event of a failure or disaster. Meanwhile, 37 percent said they were prepared, 27 percent said they were somewhat prepared, and 3 percent admitted that they weren't prepared. However, there are leaders out there. In particular, organizations that have survived recent, massive disasters have internalized their hard-earned lessons in recovery and are now better prepared for what might come next.
And the news isn't all bad. Experts say that although companies need to work harder on disaster recovery planning and testing, they're still doing better than they have in the past.
"If you went back 10 years, things were far worse. There has been great improvement," says Jonathan Gossels, president and CEO of SystemExperts Corp., an IT compliance and network security consulting firm in Sudbury, Mass. "But not enough companies are doing enough."
In a recent survey conducted by Gartner Inc., more than half the 359 participants from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. said they planned for natural disasters, power outages, fires, IT outages, computer virus attacks, and failures at key service providers. And 50 percent of the respondents said they planned for terrorist attacks. But the survey also found that less than half have plans for dealing with labor strikes, civil unrest, denial-of-service attacks or pandemics. And only 45 percent have plans for long-term facility outages —that is, outages lasting more than a week. Gartner analyst Roberta Witty questions whether disaster plans are adequate, considering the fact that some recent events, such as Hurricane Katrina, took out power for much longer than a week. Witty says organizations also fail to adequately plan for disruptions in services provided by third parties.
China: Economy approves its first H5N1 avian influenza vaccine
China's State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) on 2 Apr 2008 approved the country's first pre-pandemic H5N1 influenza vaccine, an inactivated whole-virus product made by Sinovac, a Beijing-based biotechnology company. China's approval of Sinovac's Panflu vaccine marks the third H5N1 vaccine to win approval from national or international regulatory bodies. In April 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a Sanofi Pasteur H5N1 vaccine. A month later, the European Union approved a mock-up pandemic flu vaccine made by Novartis (it is designed to speed vaccine production when a pandemic emerges and will not be manufactured until then). Sinovac said its vaccine is approved only to supply China's national vaccine stockpile and will not be available for commercial sale. In 2006 the company said it planned to produce 20 million doses of the vaccine over the next few years, according to a previous report. The latest information gave no production estimate. The Sinovac vaccine contains an inactivated Vietnam strain of H5N1 virus and an aluminum hydroxide (alum) adjuvant.
In other vaccine developments, Vietnamese researchers said on 3 Apr 08 that clinical trials began for an H5N1 vaccine that the country is developing. The vaccine is based on a Vietnam strain of H5N1 virus. The vaccine is being tested in 11 volunteers, all of whom are researchers. They received their second dose of the vaccine 3 Apr 08 at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi. Nguyen Tuyet Nga, an epidemiologist and virologist who is leading the trial, said that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have helped with the project, though no foreign pharmaceutical firms are involved in the study.
Vaccine experts say there is no guarantee that vaccines based on current H5N1 strains will be effective if a pandemic H5N1 virus emerges, but they hope such vaccines will provide some protection and buy time while a vaccine specifically matched to the pandemic strain is developed.
Indonesia: Three new cases of H5N1 avian influenza, two deaths
The second case is an 11-year-old female student from Bekasi City, West Java Province who developed symptoms on 19 Mar 2008, was hospitalized on 23 Mar 2008, and died on 28 Mar 2008.
The third case is a 21-month-old female from Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatra Province who developed symptoms on 17 Mar 2008 and was hospitalized on 22 Mar 2008. She is presently recovering in hospital.
The source of infection for all three cases is still under investigation. Of the 132 cases confirmed to date in Indonesia, 107 have been fatal.
Korea: Outbreak of avian influenza suspected in poultry farm
Pakistan (Peshwar): WHO reports on 2007 family cluster of H5N1 avian influenza
The preliminary risk assessment found no evidence of sustained or community human–to-human transmission. All identified close contacts, including the other members of the affected family and involved health care workers, remain asymptomatic and have been removed from close medical observation. These laboratory test results support the epidemiological findings from the outbreak investigation in December 2007 and the final risk assessment that suggested limited human-to-human transmission likely occurred among some of the family members, which is consistent with some human-to-human transmission events reported previously. This outbreak did not extend into the community, and appropriate steps were taken to reduce future risks of human infections. Below are the details for each case:
Case 1: Onset date 29 Oct 2007 / full recovery / direct contact with sick or dead poultry / confirmed by serology
Case 2: Onset 12 Nov 2007 / died (19 Nov 2007) / close contact with Case 1, no known contact with sick or dead poultry / status unknown (no sample available)
Case 3: Onset 21 Nov 2007 / died (28 Nov 2007) / close contact with Case 1 and 2, no known direct contact with sick or dead poultry / confirmed by PCR
Case 4: Onset 21 Nov 2007 / full recovery / close contact with Case 1 and 2, no known direct contact with sick or dead poultry / confirmed by serology br>(ProMED 4.4.08)
2. Infectious Disease News
Australia: Officials see sharp increase in dengue infection in those that travel to Indonesia
The Health Department in West Australia (WA Health) says there is a sharp increase in the mosquito-borne viral infection dengue fever in people returning from Indonesia. WA Health says in 2007, 54 West Australians contracted the disease, almost four times the usual number, and almost 60 percent of people infected in the last 13 months had traveled to Indonesia, primarily Bali; 16 cases were reported in January 2008. Dr. Gary Dowse, the acting Director of Communicable Disease Control, says while most of those infected had traveled to Bali, people traveling to Thailand, Singapore, India, Viet Nam, Philippines, or anywhere in Southeast Asia should take precautions.
In far north Queensland, the Mossman and Port Douglas regions are also on high alert for dengue, with 16 confirmed cases up to 13 Mar 2008. As this is a dengue type 3 outbreak, Queensland Health's Tropical Population Health Unit says the outbreak poses a serious health risk to anyone in Mossman or Port Douglas who previously had dengue. Port Douglas and Mossman residents are being urged to take immediate steps to prevent being bitten, and Queensland Health is working with local and community councils to manage the outbreak according to the Dengue Fever Management Plan.
Australia (Sydney): 81-year-old man dies from food poisoning, Bacillus cereus
"The sauce had subsequently been analyzed by the Division of Analytical Laboratories and had been found to contain the pathogen Bacillus cereus at a level of 9.8 million parts," Lindley said. The toxic level of this pathogen is 1 million parts.
During the criminal trial, when the restaurant's co-owner, Daniel Brukark, entered the witness box, counsel for the Food Authority counsel, Patrick Saidi, revealed the authority was prosecuting Mr. Brukark's company, Dan Brook Investments, for failing to place labels with dates on its sauce containers, an offense that carries a two-year prison term if a director or chef is convicted.
Indonesia (Java): Dengue infections continue to increase
The RSUD currently has a sufficient stock of blood components, drugs, as well as intravenous fluids to treat patients, Sudrajat said. He guaranteed poor people from Yogyakarta and the environs seeking treatment for dengue at RSUD would not have to pay anything.
"The treatment fees are covered by the Yogyakarta government as well as the Yogyakarta Social Prosperity Insurance office (Jamkesos)," Sudrajat said.
Meanwhile, Yogyakarta Red Cross chief Adi Heru Husodo said the dengue pandemic had depleted its blood component stocks. To replenish its stock, the Yogyakarta Red Cross had requested blood supplies from other regions including Magelang, Purworejo (Central Java), and Ngawi (East Java) as well as Bandung, he said.
Indonesia (Papua): Undiagnosed respiratory disease found in remote area
"This is not an extraordinary situation, and health workers have been providing medical care in the four villages," Pegunungan Bintang Health Office head Darius Salamuk said on 24 Mar 2008.
The affected villages are Okteneng, Kaeb, Kokiabakon and Bakonaib, all in Kiwirok district. Salamuk said respiratory diseases were a major problem in Papua's central mountain areas. One reason for this, he said, is that people sleep near the fire in their "honai" homes due to the cold weather, exposing them to smoke (A honai is a hut made of sticks and thatch.). "This is a common health condition suffered by most of the people in remote villages. Sufferers could be cured if they sought medical treatment immediately, but because they're beyond the reach of medical services, some of them cannot be saved," said Salamuk. Medical workers must walk for days or use small planes to reach the remote villages.
(Without a more detailed description of the condition of the patients and an indication of their ages, it is difficult to infer the possible identity of the acute respiratory disease afflicting these villagers. Their poor standard of living, exposure to cold night temperatures and smoke inhalation, as well as their poor nutritional status make them vulnerable to a wide range of respiratory pathogens.)
Malaysia: Dengue infections on the rise, Selangor hard hit
In Selangor, one of the hardest hit states, there are an average of 40 reported dengue cases daily. In 2008, (through 29 Mar), Selangor reported 3,743 cases. Of that figure, 3,550 cases of fever were recorded while there were 193 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Papua New Guinea (Morobe): Five people die of dysentery in remote province
Philippines (Ilocos): Officials report two deaths due to dengue infection in 2008
Taipei: Officials report 61 cases of scrub typhus, one fatality
Lin noted that the fatal case involved a 36-year-old man living in southern Taipei. He displayed none of the classic symptoms of scrub typhus and reported that he was not active outdoors and that his workplace was not rat-infested. Rats are the host of scrub typhus. He became sick on 24 Feb 2008 and sought medical treatment 1 Mar 2008, but died on 11 Mar 2008 of multiple organ failure. There has also been a cluster infection of scrub typhus in 2008 involving students from a foreign school and their parents who went on a creek exploration activity in Shanmin village in southern Taipei's Kaohsiung County in January 2008. Local health officials reported seven suspected cases, five of which were later confirmed as scrub typhus.
Peru: Investigation fails to find link between yellow fever vaccine and increased illnesses, deaths
From November 2007 - March 2008, the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) assisted the Ministry of Health in Peru to investigate serious adverse events, including four deaths, which occurred during a yellow fever vaccination campaign from 23 Sep to 6 Oct 2007 in the Ica Region, south of Lima.
An expert panel concluded that the incidence of yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease in the Ica Region in this event is significantly higher (more than 20 times) than observed previously in other settings. Five cases occurred among 63,174 vaccinated persons for an overall rate of 7.9 per 100,000 [vaccinated persons]. Previous estimates of the overall incidence are about 0.3-0.4/100,000 vaccinated persons. A number of hypotheses to explain the higher rate were considered and eliminated, including the possibility that the vaccine lot 05OVFA121Z contained a genetic change responsible for enhanced virulence and possible host factors that may have contributed to susceptibility in the cases. The investigation showed clinical, virological, and pathological evidence of confirmed viscerotropic disease in four fatal cases and probable viscerotropic disease in one surviving case. The cause of death was an overwhelming infection with 17DD vaccine virus, probably associated with a severe immune response syndrome.
Multiple lines of investigation indicated that there were no changes in the vaccine virus that were responsible for the occurrence of these cases. No evidence could be found to suggest that the vaccine lot 05OVFA121Z had anything inherently wrong with it to explain the higher frequency of viscerotropic disease in persons receiving that lot. All fatal cases had some underlying or concurrent condition that might have contributed to the fatal outcome of the adverse events. The fact that other, non-identified risk factors may have contributed to the increased rate of viscerotropic disease in this region is not ruled out.
Peru: Officials report another probable case of yellow fever
USA (Arizona): Maricopa County records first case of West Nile virus this season
"We recognize that people's first question will be 'Why Maricopa County?' The quick answer is that West Nile virus is now endemic in environments across the nation including Arizona. Because we have a warmer winter and earlier mosquito season than most, it makes sense that we see cases earlier," said Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
In 2007, Maricopa County reported 68 confirmed West Nile virus cases, and four deaths. Maricopa County and the Arizona Department of Health Services continue to have an enhanced surveillance program, which includes sampling and testing of mosquitoes and dead birds, and evaluation of equine neurological illnesses and human cases of meningitis and encephalitis.
USA (Arizona): Confirmed cases of measles in Pima County
"Because of the greater vulnerability to severe disease in infants and very young children," advises Dr. McDonald, "we are recommending an accelerated schedule for vaccinating children." The Health Department recommends a dose of vaccine between the ages of six and 12 months of age, followed by two boosters after the patient's first birthday.
USA (New York): Norovirus suspected in outbreak of gastrointestinal illness
While health experts await a definitive answer, Great Escape officials seem to be taking more stringent measures to prevent the illness from spreading. On 21 Mar 2008, each person entering the lobby of the lodge was approached by employees offering to squirt sanitizer into their hands. An infectious disease specialist has also been hired to consult with Great Escape on the situation. This specialist said he doesn't believe it's likely that the employees or the currently ill patrons got sick after eating contaminated food.
"This is not typically a food-borne illness," he said. "There's no evidence this was food-borne at all. In fact, many of the guests who have had this illness didn't eat in the lodge at all. The employees could have contracted it, potentially, just by clearing a table or picking up a glass, a plate or a fork," he added.
There also isn't any evidence that the illness was a result of tainted water.
USA (Washington): Boy infected with Japanese encephalitis in Southeast Asia recovers in Seattle
"He cannot respond back. He cannot move his body parts," he said. But the boy is improving; he started sleeping through the night, and his tremors are not as frequent, the father said 23 Mar 2008. The boy also is starting to recognize people and voices. "He understood e-mails from school. I can tell by his eyeballs moving along the lines," the father said.
Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause mild to severe infections marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, coma, tremors and occasional convulsions and paralysis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
USA (Montana): Native American clinics uncover high rate of hepatitis C
"We have an unexpected number of young women with hepatitis C infection," she said. "In the general American population, the prevalence of hepatitis C is much lower in young women."
During the 13-month period of Dubray's study, 205 women were screened for the virus, and 13 tested positive. It is thought that the women, who were probably exposed to the virus as teenagers or very young adults, contracted it through intravenous drug use. The study did not examine what kind of drugs might have been used. Although the study examined only American Indian women, it is likely that other groups of young Montanans would also have higher than expected hepatitis C infection rates because of drug use, said Laura Baus, hepatitis C coordinator for the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.
"Whether American Indian or Caucasian, there's no division there," Baus said of hepatitis C infection among the state's youth. "We're seeing it in both populations." Nationwide, the average age at a hepatitis C diagnosis ranges from 40 to 59, Baus said. "What we're seeing in Montana is we're averaging 15 to 24," she said. "We're seeing them younger."
Tribal and state health officials used Dubray's study for the basis of an educational brochure that will be distributed via Montana IHS clinics and other outlets on the state's reservations.
"After Christine's work, it was obvious we needed to do a public-health initiative," said Jennifer Giroux, an epidemiologist with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center in Billings. "If we don't get the information out there to the public, what good is having looked?"
USA (California): Santa Maria teenager dies of human rabies
USA (Colorado): Salmonella in water system
An analysis indicates the municipal water system in Alamosa is the source of the bacterial outbreak as suspected, said Ned Calonge, chief medical officer for the state health department. Governor Bill Ritter declared an emergency Friday on 21 Mar 2008 in Alamosa County, activating the National Guard and providing as much as USD 300,000 for response efforts. The city and county have also declared emergencies as officials scrambled to provide safe water and disinfect the system with chlorine. The schools closed on 25 Mar 2008, when officials began pumping high concentrations of chlorine into the water. Adams State College closed on 26 Mar 2008.
USA: Chinese officials find contaminant in batches of heparin supplied to United States
The FDA is probing whether the contaminant is the cause of up to 19 deaths and hundreds of serious breathing problems and other reactions reported in the United States. FDA officials said chemically manipulating chondroitin sulfate, which is widely available from animal sources, would be cheaper than getting raw heparin from pig intestines. Scientific Protein Laboratories (SPL) earlier said a consultant working for the plant had concluded the contaminant was not linked to the plant's production but likely occurred earlier in the supply chain. Baxter had also said the contamination had occurred before it reached SPL.
USA: Honduran cantaloupes cause salmonella outbreak in United States and Canada
To date, the FDA has received reports of 50 illnesses in 16 states and nine illnesses in Canada linked to the consumption of cantaloupes. No deaths have been reported; however, 14 people have been hospitalized. The US states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
AVIAN PANDEMIC INFLUENZA
Geographical and sex distribution of confirmed mumps cases reported in Canada. Onset 31 Dec 2006-29 Dec 2007 (n=1284):
Province/territory / case count / percentage male
It is assumed that most people born before 1970 (about 40 years old) are immune to mumps, as they were likely naturally exposed to the mumps virus in the period before immunization significantly reduced the amount of mumps virus that was circulating. Most people born between 1990 and 1994 (12 and 17 years old depending on the province/territory of residence) were offered two doses of mumps-containing vaccine due to the introduction of a second dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for measles control in 1996-97 in most provinces and territories. This has left a susceptible cohort of people born between 1970 through 1990 (to a lesser extent through 1994) who were only eligible for one dose of mumps-containing vaccine and who are not assumed to have natural immunity. It is important to note that the age at which natural immunity to mumps can be assumed is not known with certainty and that some individuals born prior to 1970 may still be susceptible to mumps.
The majority of cases (58 percent) reported in 2007 were aged 20-29. For those cases where information was reported (n=594), 50 percent were post-secondary students. The reason for the particular susceptibility among those who are college and university-aged is multi-factorial. They are too young for natural immunity and too old for routine two-dose MMR immunization. Mumps has a fairly long infectious period (up to 16 days), a long incubation period (14 to 25 days), and up to 20 percent of infectious cases show no signs or symptoms. In addition, the very social and mobile lifestyles of this age group appear to be facilitating disease transmission and interfering with control measures. This age group tends not to adhere to isolation requests, and they generally do not participate when immunization is offered. Furthermore, post-secondary students often share living/sleeping arrangements, many are involved in competitive sports, they frequent bars/pubs/nightclubs and travel during school holidays and breaks. Additional cases in this demographic group and possibly other jurisdictions would not be unexpected.
Of those mumps cases reported in 2007 with known immunization history (n=586), 8 percent (45) had received two or more doses, 73 percent (430) had received one dose and 19 per cent (111) received no doses of mumps-containing vaccine.
Major issues and challenges of influenza pandemic preparedness in developing countries
Oshitani H, Kamigaki T, Suzuki A. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Jun; [Epub ahead of print]
Pandemic influenza planning in the United States from a health disparities perspective
Public response to community mitigation measures for pandemic influenza
The Influenza Primer Design Resource: A new tool for translating influenza sequence data into effective diagnostics
Transmission of avian influenza virus (H3N2) to dogs
Consistent with histologic observation of lung lesions, large amounts of avian influenza virus binding receptor (SAα 2,3-gal) were identified in canine tracheal, bronchial, and bronchiolar epithelial cells, which suggests potential for direct transmission of avian influenza virus (H3N2) from poultry to dogs. Our data
provide evidence that dogs may play a role in interspecies transmission and spread of influenza virus.
APEC EINet Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Virtual Symposium: Partnerships and Continuity Planning for Critical Systems
APEC EINet is pleased to host a special videoconference on pandemic influenza preparedness. This videoconference is a follow-up to our first “virtual symposium”, which was conducted in January 2006 with great success (participating economies were Australia, Canada, China, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, USA, and Viet Nam). You can view a five-minute videoclip of our previous virtual symposium at:
http://depts.washington.edu/einet/symposium.html. Our upcoming videoconference will be held in late May 2008. It will take place during the evening hours of 29 May in the Americas and in the morning hours of 30 May in Asia, for approximately 3.5 hours. Our objective is to describe how private and public sectors in the APEC region can cooperate and work effectively to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic.
Through this videoconference, we hope to promote regional information sharing and collaboration to enhance pandemic preparedness. In order to improve preparedness regionally, it is vital to understand how each economy in the region is undertaking this task. In this process, EINet will:
Videoconferencing offers an alternative to in-person conferencing. It cuts down on the time and cost of traditional conferences requiring long-distance travel. Simultaneous communication with multiple sites is possible, with numerous visualization options. Real-time web-based information exchange is also possible, and, during an actual pandemic, the virtual medium would be a safe way to communicate when international travel is limited or prohibited.
Date: 10-11 September 2008 Location: Oxford, UK Venue: St. Hilda's College
The 1st annual Oxford avian influenza conference, BirdFlu2008, will address most aspects of basic and applied research on avian influenza viruses and their potential health and socio-economic impact on humans. The conference is aimed at bringing together leading experts in the field from both academia and industry, veterinarians, postdoctoral researchers, graduate research students, physicians and doctors, research managers and policy makers. Thus this event will provide an international forum to discover the latest research directions and thinking in this field in academic and commercial settings, to exchange data and ideas and to develop new collaborative links.