- "Poland has confirmed its first
cases of avian flu after two swans were found dead. The swans were discovered
on the bank of the River Vistula, in the northern city of Torun. Initial
tests confirmed that it is the H5 virus."
- The above comments indicate H5N1 will
be confirmed in Poland. This confirmation would not be surprised. H5N1
has been confirmed in a large number of European countries. All have detected
H5N1 in wild birds prior to domestic poultry, and swans have been the most
frequently cited source.
- These data suggest H5N1 has been throughout
Europe since the fall. The surveillance system is lacking, because no
infections in live wild birds have been detected.
- However, the widespread detection of
H5N1 offers a unique opportunity to expand the database of H5N1 sequences
which show that the virus is evolving rapidly and monitoring of such evolution
can be greatly aided by rapid disclosure of the sequences.
- Unfortunately, these sequences are not
being released. They are being hoarded in a WHO private data base and
being analyzed by WHO consultants who insists the recombination driving
the evolution is "random mutations" and cannot be used for predictions.
- The sequences can be used for predictions
as was done for S227N, and the sequences should be released immediately.