Influenza Virus Mashup

Influenza Virus Mashup

[Avian Flu Diary] Roundup Of Flublogia

Posted by Automator On April - 10 - 2010

(Sat, 10 Apr 2010 13:56:00 +0000)



# 4487



It’s been more than a month since my last recap of stories from in and around our little world of Flublogia (along with other science blogs), so it is high time that I do so.


As always, this is a subjective list of things that I found of interest, and by no means mentions every worthy blog post out there.


With influenza on the decline in North America and around the world, much of the focus of Flublogia has shifted away from `breaking news’ to a review of what we’ve learned, or are learning, from this pandemic.


We are also seeing our yearly winter and spring surge in bird flu cases.  You’ll also  coverage of other EIDs (Emerging Infectious Diseases) as well.


My apologies for the good stories I may miss.  So, with that said, in no particularly order . . .



Our first stop is a joyous one, for Flublogia’s own Maryn McKenna’s book Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA is now in bookstores.


Superbug (MRSA) Book

You can read my complete review here, but take my word for it: This is a terrific book on a very important subject. 


Revere at Effect Measure has been buried writing a grant proposal for several months, but has still managed to surface regularly with blogs of interest.   


A few choice ones you may have missed include:


Open letter to the pandemic influenza virus

Flu in hospital workers

Flu: the gift that keeps on giving

Flu vaccines, herd immunity and randomized trials

Flu “hype”, vaccinations and tin foil hats


Ian York over at the Mystery Rays blog writes about an eclectic range of subjects, often employing a finely honed sense of history to complement the science.  

In mid-March Ian wrote a 5-part series on Measles, which deserves particular mention.


Measles week, part I: Introduction

Measles week, part II: Emerging disease

Measles week, Part III: Not the answers

Measles week, part IV: Some of the answers

Measles week, Part V: What about the vaccine?



Crof over at Crofsblog continues to be the go-to blog for flu news, but has also been employing his Spanish language skills to follow the often-ignored public health news from our South and Central American neighbors. 


My buddy Scott McPherson, who would make his fans happier if he wrote more often, has blogged several times in recent weeks, both on his blogsite and for ComputerWorld. 


All eyes on Vietnam for potential human bird flu cluster

CIDRAP report reminds us that H1N1 was/is worse than we thought

Don’t write off H1N1 pandemic… yet


Professor Vincent Racaniello over at the Virology Blog (along with his excellent  TWiV  and TWiP podcasts) continues with his prolific output of work.  For science geeks (even mental lightweights like myself), they are a terrific source of scientific elucidation.

While Racaniello has addressed many subjects over the past month, two have recently been in the public eye; XMRV and the deep sequencing of vaccines for viral contaminants.


While it is tempting to suggest you just go to the Virology blog and start reading, I’ll pick a few essays to get you started.


Porcine circovirus DNA in rotavirus vaccine

Deep sequencing reveals viral vaccine contaminants

TWiV 76: XMRV with Professor Stephen Goff

Inhibitors of XMRV


The virology blog was recently the recipient of the Seed Media Group Research Blogging Award for the best blog of 2010 in the area of clinical research.  A well deserved honor.


CIDRAP continues to be one of the best sources for knowledgeable science reporting on emerging infectious diseases, along with frequently updated overviews of Avian Influenza, H1N1 Swine flu, and other emerging diseases.


The considerable talents of Editor Robert Roos, staff writer Lisa Schnirring, and contributing writer Maryn McKenna are on display five days a week. 


Picking just a few stories to highlight is no easy task, but here are a handful from the last ten days.


New Canadian studies suggest seasonal flu shot increased H1N1 risk

CDC estimates 24% of Americans received H1N1 vaccine

Analysis finds Ontario’s universal flu vaccination policy cost-effective

Study profiles another air-travel hazard: norovirus



As a blogger, knowing which reporters I can trust to get the story right is important. In the mainstream print media, I often look for articles by Helen Branswell, Maggie Fox, and Jason Gale because I know their track record of excellence in reporting. 


A couple of recent examples from Helen Branswell include:


H1N1 virus more like 1918 flu than modern cousins; explains infection patterns

Want to reduce amount of flu in adults? Vaccinate kids, study shows



The newshounds on the Flu Forums continue to work relentlessly to find, translate, and post news items from all over the world, and from dozens of languages.   It is a difficult and time consuming job performed by talented and dedicated volunteers.


I frequent the Flu Wiki and FluTrackers, and would be severely hampered in my ability to blog were it not for their considerable efforts.

Sharon Sanders, editor of FluTrackers, conducted several radio interviews last month on Radio Sandy Springs.  


On March 1st, Sharon interviewed two HHS officials about their use of social media.


Richard Stapleton – Deputy Director of Web Communications and New Media – Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Andrew Wilson – Web Manager & New Media Strategist – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)


And on March 15th she interviewed Dr. William Schaffner, Professor and Chairman, Department of Preventive Medicine Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.


These shows (and others) are available  on the Radio Sandy Springs Show Archive.


A little house keeping news, I’ve moved Jimmy Jazz’s In Case of Emergency, Break Glass  and John Solomon’s In Case of Emergency, Read Blog  sites up to the `What Other People Are Writing’ section of my sidebar to give them better visibility.


And lastly, a few humble offerings of my own you may have missed over the past month.


Two Bs Or Not Two Bs?
Pandemic Flu: How Long Does It Last?
Study: Years Of Life Lost Due To 2009 Pandemic
Variations On A Bird Flu Theme
An Appropriate Level Of Preparedness

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