Thursday, May 07, 2015

CDC becomes more concerned about true bird flu (only avian) in the Midwest; Ebola virus recurs in the eyes of some recovered patients

Vox media has a major story about the bird flu epidemic, just among birds for now, in the upper Midwest, by Julia Belluz, link here. The outbreak appears to affect both domestic poultry and some wild birds, but not mammals yet. 
Three viruses (H5N1, H5H2, H5N8 have occurred in 18 states and two Canadian provinces.  So far, these have not affected humans, and are somewhat different from H5 viruses in Asia (which also has H7N9). A jump to humans could occur through an intermediate host, like a pig (“Babe”), or through slow mutation.

CDC is concerned about this, but we don’t seem to have a lot of work going on to develop H5 vaccines for people. 

Update: May 8

There are cases of people who recover from Ebola developing eye symptoms from residual virus hiding in the eye fluids.  It does not seem transmissible.  CNN story about Ian Crozier is here

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