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The Dreaded H5N1

Recombinomics Commentary
January 13, 2005

>> BAGUIO CITY - Beware of migratory birds.
Thus warned the Department of Health (DOH), saying that these birds which fly to the country to escape the biting winters in their original habitats, might carry the dreaded avian flu virus.
Although no bird flu cases have been reported in the country, Dr. Luningning Elio-Villa, of the DOH's emerging diseases unit, said the intercontinental migration of birds might bring a potential health problem.
Villa said migratory birds carry many influenza viruses, the most dreaded of which is H5M1(sic).
Avian flu symptoms are similar to the common cold's, except that they lead to complications like pneumonia that is fatal. Two-thirds of past cases died, Villa said.<<

I guess the key questions are how cold is it in Siberia in the middle of January and isn't it a coincidence that the quoted case fatality rate for H5N1 (aka H5M1) above is the same as meningococcemia-like illness?  If you know the answers to these two questions, you can stop reading this commentary.

My interpretation of the large command center followed by a warning on migratory birds followed by a warning that not all menigococcemia cases really are meningococcemia cases followed by comments on the unusually high case fatality rate, followed by the request for more time, followed by an H5N1 warning by the DOH equals human to human transmission of H5N1 avian influenza, aka bird flu or meningococcemia-like illness..

An announcement of the detection, isolation, and sequence information would be useful.
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