Bird Flu Avian H5N1 禽流感

  • Definitions:

    Avian influenza, or "bird flu" is an infectious disease of animals (usually birds, and less commonly pigs) caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. Transmission to humans is rare, but there is recent cause for concern.

    In mid-2003, the largest and most severe avian flu outbreak in history began in Southeast Asia, caused by a sub-type of the virus called H5N1 and resulting in widespread transmission to poultry and some documented transmission to humans.

    Transmission of H5N1 to humans is of particular concern because it mutates rapidly and may therefore change into a form that is highly infectious for humans and more easily spread. In addition, unlike normal seasonal influenza, H5N1 can cause severe disease in humans.

    Sources: WHO, 2006, available : here.

    Generic drugs appear to work on bird flu


    NEW YORK, May 11,2006 (UPI)

    -- A pair of older, generic drugs, plentiful and cheaper than Tamiflu, appear to work against bird flu, a study in a prominent U.S. scientific journal says.

    金刚烷胺(amantadine) 和金刚乙胺(rimantadine)

    The study, appearing in a coming issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, appears to erode the belief that these drugs, amantadine and rimantadine, are useless against bird flu in humans.

    Instead, it appeared that most of strains of the deadly avian-influenza virus, H5N1, found in China and Indonesia would respond to the drugs.

    Findings were said to indicate the drugs might be used selectively alongside Tamiflu to bolster government antiviral drug supplies.

    Honglin Chen, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong and an author of the study, told The Wall Street Journal that early human cases of bird flu in Southeast Asia gave an apparently inaccurate conception that H5N1 was probably resistant to amantadine.