Declan Butler, reporter This is the personal blog of Declan Butler, a senior reporter at Nature. All views expressed here are mine, and not those of Nature. Contact me at

May 31, 2006

Breaking the silence: “If this was a test to see whether Indonesia could contain a virus, they failed miserably”

Filed under: avian influenza — admin @ 10:10 pm

The latter quote is from a front-page article I’ve published in Nature tonight on what the experience of the large human cluster of avian flu cases in Indonesia says about the realities of attempting to slow the spread of, much less extinguishing at source, an emerging pandemic in the context of a developing country, with poor health infrastructure.

May 30, 2006

Map update

Filed under: avian influenza — admin @ 11:09 pm

I’ve posted a quick update to the maps. Obvious things to note are the large cluster of human cases in Indonesia, widely discussed in the media, and the less obvious spread of animal outbreaks, almost entirely confined to Europe, over the past two weeks. I’ll have a detailed article on the Indonesian cluster coming out in Nature tomorrow night, and will post about that then.

May 16, 2006

Map update

Filed under: avian influenza,Google Earth — admin @ 11:24 pm

H5n1 maps have been updated — link here. You will notice that there has been a large decrease in the number of outbreaks reported over the last month.
We had a couple of pieces in last week’s Nature on the threat of H5N1 to the Americas — all free access- see :
Avian Flu and the New World
How might it get there?
State’s flu response raises concern.

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