View Full Version : Vaccine Alert As Bird Flu Hits Europe

10-13-2005, 10:40 PM
Vaccine alert as bird flu hits Europe
Deadly strain identified in Turkey


David Adam and Robert Booth
Friday October 14, 2005
The Guardian

The deadly strain of bird flu that killed 60 people in Asia has spread to the fringes of Europe, officials confirmed yesterday. British scientists said the virus found in Turkish poultry was the H5N1 strain that health experts fear will mutate into a human disease that could kill millions of people worldwide. The results of similar tests on dead birds from Romania are expected today.

Last night, British health officials called for the elderly and children in high-risk groups to seek out the winter flu jab, effectively urging the inoculation of more than 10 million British pensioners and approximately 1million children.

The fear is that flu sufferers who come into contact with avian flu could act as a catalyst for the virus to mutate. An official said: "We recommend seasonal vaccination for all those over 65 or all those who suffer from ailments that put them at higher risk from flu such as asthma, diabetes or serious heart or lung conditions."

The EU health commissioner, Markos Kyprianou, urged countries to stockpile antiviral drugs to prepare for a future pandemic. He said the commission was proposing to set aside €1bn (£680m) to help make and distribute antivirals and new vaccines.

Mr Kyprianou said: "We have received confirmation that the virus found in Turkey is an avian flu H5N1 virus. There is a direct relationship with viruses found in Russia, Mongolia and China." He said hundreds of millions of vulnerable people in Europe, including young children should be given the standard flu jab, but sought to calm fears of an imminent human pandemic spreading across Europe.

Bird flu is a potential disaster for Europe's farmers but there is no evidence the virus has mutated into a form that passes easily between people. "We don't want to create a panic at this point," said Mr Kyprianou.

Scientists at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, Surrey, who carried out the new tests are expected to confirm today whether samples from birds in Romania also contain H5N1. Local tests have narrowed the strain to an H5 type virus.

10-13-2005, 10:47 PM
yuck... don't wanna get that.

10-14-2005, 03:38 AM
yuck... don't wanna get that.
If it goes human what if you wore a mask and eye shield. Let the rich have the vaccine.