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Alert Number 131

Mayo Website Article on Bird Flu

Date: September 29, 2005

I am trying valiantly to get one of the CRC experts to speak “on the record” about avian flu and our special risk exposure. The response I have received thus far is to check with the CDC (Center for Disease Control) or the WHO (World Health Organization). Right. What I want is an intelligent assessment of how the potential risk of avian flu in the general population translates when we are talking about immune compromised folks. So far, I have had no luck. But who knows, may be one of our experts will step up to the plate. If I hear anything, I will surely report back to you.

For now, in addition to the avian flu (same as bird flu, or H5N1 flu) links we had at the bottom of our general annual flu preparedness article, as well as the NEJM article on bird flu we cited in Alerts #129, here is a link to the Mayo Clinic website. The article is dated August 10, 2005. This story is breaking so fast that even a month old article is significantly out of date. But the article does have a lot of information presented in a patient friendly manner. I think you will find it useful.

Mayo Clinic Article

There is a fine line between panic and staying well informed. I see my job as getting you the information, soon enough to make a difference, and doing my best to make sure it is credible information. What you make of this whole situation, how seriously you consider the implications, those are entirely up to you. For my money, the references we cited are from serious people with a blunt message. You are well advised to take the time to browse them. The previously cited links are given below for your quick reference:
Medpagetoday.com Article;
NEJM Article;
Flu Preparedness (go to bottom of article for important bird flu links).

Be well,

Chaya
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