News you can use for your Thanksgiving holiday
Thank you, as always, for the very valuable information. You are indispensable.
Thanks for the data. Poor vaccination rates again show how ignorant the U.S. has become.
Curious if the ILI (influenza-like illness) symptoms are actually undiagnosed SARS-Cov2?
Given today's lack of adequate testing situation.
You did not mention anything about wastewater data?
This worries me far more than the flu.
So grateful for all that you do, thank you!!
Thank you for covering the new virus in dogs. We just heard about it and want to keep a close eye on it.
Concerning the news on the US House passing a ban on funding gain of function research, I would like to contribute some cultural epidemiology information from Thailand, Cambodia, and Lao. I worked for years on avian influenza prevention programs there, helping livestock and health officials disseminate information to each other and to villagers raising poultry. I can speak, read, and write Thai, Lao, and Khmer (Cambodian) languages, so I discussed this information with officials and villagers directly.
Some Americans question whether gain of function research is worth the risk, and whether it is getting practical results. Yes, virologists and medical staff in those countries, both local and foreign, were following gain of function research. Some knew which characteristics were in pandemic potential viruses a few international-class labs created. For example, I used to print the latest research articles, give them to higher level officials, and explain in their languages. Then they disseminated it to others in their work systems, in meetings, local media, posters, etc. From many people’s efforts, probably millions knew basic ideas of avian influenza and gain of function research.
When influenza-like illnesses spread among poultry, local livestock staff took samples, and sent them to national-level labs. If the lab found the new sample had H5N1, then local officials and villagers killed every chicken and duck in a several kilometer radius, buried them, and explained the basic virology ideas to people. If the new sample had any similarities to pandemic potential viruses, then they did especially thorough culling and explaining.
Therefore, I hope that governments and scientists place more safety restraints on gain of function research, but do not stop it. People already used the information practically.
I should disclose my conflict of interest: organizations paid me to do this work. I chose to do this, instead of taking other job offers, because I believed these programs were helping people prevent an avian flu pandemic, and because I wanted the money. I would like to work on similar programs again someday.
great info as always; just FYI regarding the "new" canine respiratory "outbreak". Scott Weese is a well know and respected veterinary epidemiologist, here is his take: https://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/2023/11/articles/animals/dogs/respiratory-disease-in-dogs-sweeping-across-the-us-outbreak-of-disease-or-media-attention/
With gratitude, I find this newsletter a good resource for respiratory infections and overall summary of breaking news stories, such as Respiratory infections in Dogs in Oregon.