Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nature: Views & Opinions On Tracking H5N1



Photo Credit – FAO

# 6248


The journal Nature has today published four short opinion pieces by well known researchers on how best to track the progress of the H5N1 virus in nature.


Follow the links below to read their rationales.


First from Dr. Guan Yi, a virologist from the University of Hong Kong and a true hero of the SARS outbreak, a recommendation to:


Monitor outbreaks in domestic ducks



Next, Dr. Richard Webby from St Jude Children's Research Hospital, urges that we:

Improve surveillance of pigs



The Director of the International Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease in  Legnaro, Italy - Ilaria Capua - recommends:


Restore ties lost in the Arab Spring



And Jonas Waldenström, from the School of Natural Sciences, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden says we need to:


Learn more about the role of wild birds


It probably goes without saying that all of these are important parts of the H5N1 proliferation puzzle, deserving of greater resources and attention.



Additionally,  Jeremy Farrar – from the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam calls for the tools and training for responding to diseases such as bird flu to be stationed in countries where these viruses are most likely to emerge.



H5N1 surveillance: Shift expertise to where it matters

Jeremy Farrar

Nature 483, 534–535 (29 March 2012)




And last, but certainly not least, Declan Butler weighs in on the need for better surveillance in an eye-opening analysis called:


Flu surveillance lacking


Declan Butler

28 March 2012

Nature analysis highlights need for international strategy to watch for pandemic threats.