The Purple Pinup Guru Platform

When purple things are pulsating on your mind, I'm the one whose clock you want to clean. Aiding is Sparky, the Astral Plane Zen Pup Dog from his mountain stronghold on the Northernmost Island of the Happy Ninja Island chain, this blog will also act as a journal to my wacky antics at an entertainment company and the progress of my self published comic book, The Deposit Man which only appears when I damn well feel like it. Real Soon Now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sparky: Madness and Method - a ramble ... apologise for the ???? - Blogger doesn't do Kanji it seems ...
Let's meet Shaku Yumiko and Nagasawa Masami!

Though the perky Masami seems to have the idea we'll chatter about Yumiko first ...

Shaku Yumiko

From DramaWiki

Shaku Yumiko
Shaku Yumiko
Born June 12th 1978, Yumiko Shaku plays the role of Akane Yashiro in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (and reprises the role, albeit briefly, in the following year's Godzilla: Tokyo SOS). The former model began her feature-film acting career with 2001's PRINCESS BLADE, and was more recently seen in director Ryuhei Kitamura's (GODZILLA: FINAL WARS) movie SKY HIGH.
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  • Name: ???? / Shaku Yumiko
  • Profession: Actress
  • Date of Birth: 12 June 1978
  • Place of Birth:
  • Height: 164cm
  • Weight:
  • Star Sign: Gemini
  • Blood Type: B
  • Talent Agency: Tommy's Artist Company



  1. Henshin (2005) .... Ryoko Kyogoku
  2. Sky High (2003/II) .... Mina Saeki/Izuko (new Izuko)
  3. Gojira tai Mosura tai Mekagojira: Tôkyô S.O.S. (2003) .... Akane Yashiro
    ... aka Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
    ... aka Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (International: English title)
  4. Gojira tai Mekagojira (2002) .... Akane Yashiro
    ... aka Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (Hong Kong: English title: DVD title)
    ... aka Godzilla X Mechagodzilla (Japan: English title)
  5. Gekijô-ban poketto monsutaa: Mizu no Miyako no Mamori Gami Ratiasu to Ratiosu (2002) .... Lion
  6. Shura Yukihime (2001) .... Yuki
    ... aka The Princess Blade (USA)
  7. "Ikiru tame no jonetsu toshite no satsujin" (2001) (mini) TV Series .... Mai Shijo

  8. Parasite Eve II (1999) (VG) (voice: Japanese version) .... Aya Brea

    Princess Blade (2002) AKA Shurayuki Hime

    Somewhere in the near future of cold Japan, the House of Takemikazuchi, a group of matchless assassins lie in wait within their amoral world. Once royal guards to rulers of a neighboring kingdom, they became expatriates due to modernization. Now, they are assassins for hire, willing to kill anyone with a price on their head, attempting to stay afloat in a world where the art of the sword is slowly dying, and even when honor and loyalty amongst the ranks of the Takemikazuchi drift away in the bitter air of Japan.

    A true heir of the Takemikazuchi bloodline, Yuki (newcomer Yumiko Shaku), discovers the secret behind the death of her mother, Princess Azora, thus turning her against her fellow tribe in order to find the truth and kill those who dishonored her family. Along the way, she finds comfort in an activist and governmental terrorist who is also riding along the sharp, stinging moral edge of life.

    This manga adaption is also kind of a modern remake of the 1973 film "Lady Snowblood" by Toshiya Fujita. For once, we have a Japanese movie with good fight choreography and some impressive swordsplay, thanks to Hong Kong master Donnie Yen Ji-Dan.

    Lady Snowblood
    Lady Snowblood DVD cover

    Directed by Toshiya Fujita
    Produced by
    Written by Kazuo Uemura
    Kazuo Koike
    Starring Meiko Kaiji
    Music by
    Editing by
    Distributed by Toho
    Released 1973 (Japan)
    First Screened
    Running time 97 min.
    Language Japanese

    Lady Snowblood (1973), starring Meiko Kaji, is a bloody, revenge-themed Japanese action film by Toshiya Fujita in which the daughter of a woman who was raped by bandits grows up to wreak revenge on her mother's violators. Lady Snowblood was based on a manga by Kazuo Koike who also created the Crying Freeman, Samurai Executioner, and Lone Wolf and Cub manga series. The English version of the manga is currently being published by Dark Horse Comics.

    The film was one of the inspirations for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films, sharing its story line as well as the chapter format. The scene where The Bride fights O-Ren Ishii is explicitly considered as tribute to this movie. The theme song "The Flower of Carnage", sung by Meiko Kaji is also used in Tarantino's film.

    Lady Snowblood spawned one sequel entitled Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance. In this sequel Yuki is in prison for her crimes committed in the first movie. The Japanese government offers to free her, though, if she will kill an enemy of the state.

    Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

    Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (????????? - Gojira tai Mekagojira, also known as Godzilla X Mechagodzilla or GXMG for short), released in 2002, once again follows the original Godzilla timeline, in which Godzilla was killed by Dr. Serizawa's secret weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer.
    The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

    Akane is a member of the JXSDF. During Godzilla's attack in 1999, she was involved in an accident in which several other offices were killed. While blaming herself, Akane is demoted to a desk clerk. 4 years later, Lieutenant Togashi tells Akane that he is the leader of "Squadron Kiryu", and asks her to be apart of the team. Despised by the rest of her team mates and still struggling to understand her own worth, Akane finds friendship with Kiryu's DNA programmer Tokumitsu Yuhara and his daughter Sara. As part of "Squadron Kiryu," Akane helms the controls of Kiryu itself, in order to fight and, hopefully, destroy the king of the monsters.

    When another Godzilla appeared, Japan's most skillful scientists cooperated in building Mechagodzilla or Kiryu; a combination of robotic technology, the original Godzilla's skeleton and its remaining spinal cord cells. But doing so causes Mechagodzilla to malfunction and attack Tokyo, but is reversed. It tries to freeze Godzilla but fails and Godzilla goes into the ocean once more.

    A trusted resource Kensforce says:
    “The human side of the story would revolve around a young female officer named Akane (Yumiko Shaku) who is given a secondchance to prove herself after a tragic accident caused the deaths of three of her fellow officers during one of Godzilla's raids.Ultimately she would earn the respect of her fellow comrads and hours of hard work would lead to her being chosen as the pilot for the new MechaGodzilla.

    Another interesting human story involves the scientist Tokumitsu, the creator of the cyborg, who falls in love with Akane and his young daughter Sara who still mourns the death of her mother and isn't quite ready for her father to start courting the lovely pilot.

    Before too long Godzilla would appear and the MechaGodzilla would face it's first test. The first confrontation would end with Godzilla retreating back to the see. It would seem the monster could sense the presence of the original Godzilla inside workings of the cyborg.

    Godzilla would spend most of this battle looking at the MechaGodzilla with a confused look before retreating to ponder what it had seen.

    Indeed this new mechanical weapon would indeed be alive in a true sense. Godzill'a roar would trigger the inner soul of the original monster to take over the machine and overide all human commands. MechaGodzilla would then turn on its human masters and blaze a trail of destruction through the city until its energy cells ran out.

    The cyborg was imeadiatly overhauled to fix the problem, but would the weapon work or would it become another monster itself?

    The Japanese government would have no choice, but to force their creation back into action. Godzilla would return with a vengence fueled by the desecration of his own species. The two titans would engage in mortal combat.

    The new MechaGodzilla would prove tobe an equal match for Godzilla although the monster would destroy most of the cyborg's weapons and render it temporarily out of commission.

    Akane would come to the MechaGodzillas rescue. She would find a way into the robot and begin to communicate with the soul of the monster's soul inside. Yes, indeed the cyborg was alive. Together they would be able to overpower Godzilla and take him far out tosea where the robot's ultimate weapon, the Absolute Zero (can freeze any object solid) is deployed. The ocean around Godzilla freezes into a giant iceberg, but the monster survives and heads out to sea.

    The MechaGodzilla may not have been able to destroy the menace, but Japan could now rest easy that they now possessed a weapon strong enough to repel him. ...”


    Many Godzilla fans have pointed out that the original Godzilla's skeleton was completely vaporized in the original. Also, the references to both Mothra and Guira (the Green Gargantua) being killed by the military are also not true. Mothra did not die in the original Mothra, and Guira was killed with his brother Sanda (the Brown Gargantua) in an underwater volcanic eruption in War of the Gargantuas.

    Godzilla: Tokyo SOS
    Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (???×???×????? ??SOS - Gojira, Mosura, Mekagojira: Tokyo SOS), a 2003 tokusatsu film, was created as a sequel to 2002's Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. This is the only film in the Millennium Godzilla Series to have a direct sequel to another film in the same series.
    The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


    The story line of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla is continued, this time with Mothra thrown into the mix along with two brand new larvae.

    Forty-two years after her first visit in Tokyo, Mothra returns to warn mankind that they must return Mechagodzilla, along with Godzilla's bones, to the sea, for the dead must not be disturbed. If not, dire consequences will follow. However, Godzilla is once again on the rampage, and Mechagodzilla is Japan's only defense.

    In the film, Mothra's twin fairies warn the Japanese governement that using Godzilla bones as the basis for Kiryu (Mechagodzilla's nickname in both films) is wrong and that the taking of the original Godzilla's bones is what brought him back and if they don't return them to the sea, then Mothra would declare war on humanity. They say that if Kiryu's bones are returned however, Mothra will defend Japan.
    The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

    Soon enough, Godzilla comes back and Mothra aperese to fight him. Mothra is beat badly. Meanwile an egg on Infant Island hatches reveling two Larva Mothra. Kiryu is also sent into battle. During the battle Godzilla kills Mothra infront of the two larva. Kiryu is finaly ready to kill Godzilla, almost succeeds! The two larva web up Godzilla. Mechagodzilla carries itself and Godzilla into the Japan trench.
    The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

    Trust that Godzilla Junior (this Godzilla's real name) will rip free and terrorize Japan again.


    One of the "twin fairies" is played by the lovely
    Masami Nagasawa

    Masami Nagasawa

    Masami Nagasawa (????? Nagasawa Masami, born June 3, 1987 in Iwata, Shizuoka) is a Japanese actress. A winner of the Toho Cinderella contest, which singles and promotes up and coming young talent.


    • Name: ????? (???? ???)
    • Name (romaji): Nagasawa Masami
    • Date of Birth: June 3rd 1987
    • Star Sign: Gemini
    • Height: 168cm
    • Weight:
    • Blood Type: A
    • Place of Birth: Shizuoka-ken
    • Talent Agency: Toho Entertainment




    • Tatchi (2005) .... Minami Asakura
    • Gojira: Fainaru uôzu (2004) .... Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
      ... aka Godzilla: Final Wars (International: English title)
    • Shinkokyû no hitsuyô (2004) .... Kanako Doi
    • Sekai no chûshin de, ai o sakebu (2004) .... Aki Hirose
      ... aka Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World (International: English title)
      ... aka Crying Out Love, in the Centre of the World (Hong Kong: English title: DVD title)
      ... aka Shouting Love from the World's Center (International: English title: informal literal title)
    • Gojira tai Mosura tai Mekagojira: Tôkyô S.O.S. (2003) .... Shobijin (Twin Fairy)
      ... aka Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
      ... aka Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (International: English title)
    • Robokon (2003)
      ... aka Robot Contest (International: English title)
    • Ashura no gotoku (2003)
      ... aka Like Asura (International: English title)
    • Yomigaeri (2002)
    • Nagoriyuki (2002) .... Natsuho Mizuta
    • "Sakura" (2002) TV Series .... Kanako Numata (Kenichi's oldest daugher)
    • Kurosufaia (2000) .... Kaori Kurata
      ... aka Cross Fire (Japan: alternative title)
      ... aka Pyrokinesis

    As one of the fairies ...

    Descendants of the Shobijin that lived on Infant Island in the 1960's, this new generation, like their predecessors, are the envoys of Mothra. Sent to see Shin'ichi Chujo, the doctor who was part of the original expedition to Infant Island in 1961, the Shobijin warn against humanity's disrespect for the dead by using the bones of the original Godzilla in order to construct Kiryu. With Shin'ichi is his nephew, Yoshito Chujo, who is a mechanic on the Kiryu project, and the Shobijin aim their plea directly at him, announcing that Godzilla's bones must be returned to the sea where they belong. However, their request falls on deaf ears as Yoshito refutes that Kiryu is their only protection against further attacks from Godzilla. The Shobijin then announce that if their request is fulfilled that Mothra will protect Japan in Kiryu's place; however, if the request is ignored, than Mothra will once again be an enemy of humanity. With that final warning, the Shobijin take their leave with Mothra.

    As days pass, Shin'ichi tries his earnest to fulfill the Shobijin's request, even getting council from the prime minister on the matter; unfortunately, all agree that as long as Godzilla threatens Japan they can't dump the Kiryu project.
    Director Tezuka and his Fairies

    Eventually, after a series of attacks that includes the death of Kamoebas and the destruction of a US nuclear submarine, Godzilla emerges in Japan. It's discovered, far too late, that the creature has been attracted by the bones of his ancestor, explaining his earlier attacks in 2002 and his appearance in Japan. Upon Godzilla's arrival, Shin'ichi's grandson, Shun Chujo, sets out to construct a giant replica of Mothra's emblem using the desks at his school. Upon completion, the boy's efforts are rewarded by the arrival of Mothra, who then does battle with Godzilla. Sadly, Mothra is no match for Godzilla in a one-on-one confrontation and so Japan's prime minister deploys Kiryu to aid the country's savior. Unfortunately, even Mothra and Kiryu's combined efforts are not enough to defeat the King of the Monsters.

    Meanwhile, on Himago Island, the Shobijin awaken the offspring of Mothra who hatch from their egg revealing twins. The larvae disembark from the island to the Japanese mainland where, after a long battle alongside Kiryu that costs the Imago Mothra its life, are victorious against Godzilla. With victory finally achieved, the Shobijin issue their final warning as they announce that no human should tamper with those who have passed, as Kiryu and Godzilla return to their watery confinement in the Japan trench, never to be seen again


    In 28th Japanese Academy Awards, she won an award for the best supporting actress in Crying Out Love, In the Center of the World.

    External links

    So long for now from Monster Island ...

    And still Babyzilla is sleeping - Done edits to cover up for the "no hot links" errors - hope folks enjoy - Sparks

    PS As much as Xtians want Mothra to be a Japanese “Jesus” - the cross in Japan is Kanji for ten. Remember Sparky makes “Baby Jesus” sad because he knows there never was a human framework for the 'whisper campaign' that became the legend for the "imaginary friend" of many.

    Sunday, February 19, 2006

    Sparky: A recently lost post rebuilt bigger and better

    We'll have the Chicken article another day ... and I'm sorry I don't trust you folks to actually follow links ...

    I specualte that since few can make the connection between Cheney's silencing a “pal” re:
    Funeralgate and a 'shooting accident' that even fewer will make one between a phony war and the impending Bird Flu pandemic due real soon now. It isn't just Sparky who can add 2 + 2. He counts on you as well —


    "Funeralgate" is the name given to a scandal involving George W. Bush and family campaign contributor Robert Waltrip, owner of Service Corporation International, the largest funeral home company in the world.

    In 1999, Bush was subpoenaed but refused to testify in a lawsuit filed against the state of Texas and SCI by Eliza May, former director of the Texas Funeral Service Commission, who claimed that she was fired when she refused to quit investigating SCI despite pressure from Bush and his then Chief of Staff Joe Allbaugh.

    The lawsuit was quietly settled in November, 2001, weeks before the revelation in the media that two Florida cemeteries owned by SCI were recycling graves, removing remains from their places of rest and placing other people in the graves.

    9,000 people have staked a claim to a $100,000,000 settlement in a lawsuit stemming from the desecration of graves at these cemeteries.

    In one instance at Menorah Gardens, a Jewish cemetery, SCI desecrated graves and left corpses in the woods where they were devoured by wild hogs.

    The general manager of Menorah Gardens, Peter Hartman, died by apparent suicide on December 27, 2001.[1]

    In February 2006, Whittington was shot in the face by Vice President Dick Cheney in an apparent hunting accident.

    SCI was later awarded a no-bid contract by FEMA to count and collect corpses in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.



    Bush Junta 2 's Phony Rush to War Must be Blamed For Bird Flu Flourishing

    Stay with me on this — We know due to the Downing Street memo that Bush's Chickenhawk Top Traitors lied to get us to invade Iraq:

    ... The minutes were meant to be kept confidential and are headed "This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents." It deals with the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq War, and comes at a point at which it becomes clear to those attending, that US President George W. Bush intended to remove Saddam Hussein from power by force.

    The minutes run through the military options and then consider the political strategy in which an appeal for support from the international community and from domestic opinion would be most likely to be positively received. It suggests that an ultimatum for Saddam to allow back United Nations weapons inspectors be issued, and that this would help to make the use of force legal. Tony Blair is quoted as saying that the British public would support regime change in the right political context. ...

    Northern Iraq's border with Turkey is where the pandemic could have been slowed or stopped. Heaven knows that not allowing Gay daddies to wed is more important to the teeming millions who let the poor in New Orleans drown. I can only hope that W will rot in prison one day.

    Bird flu could kill between 1.4 and 140 million people - Australian researchers

    February 17, 2006

    Two Australian researchers at the Australian National University estimate that a global pandemic of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu could kill between 1.4 and 140 million humans and cause a global recession. They will formally present their research to the Lowy Institute in Sydney today.

    Professor Warwick McKibbin, a well respected economic modeller and member of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia and health expert, Dr Alexandra Sidorenko modelled the effect of a bird flu pandemic on human health and the global economy. Their study looks at four possible scenarios - mild, moderate, severe and extreme.

    Under the mild scenario, they predict that 1.4 million people worldwide and 2,100 Australians would die. The extreme scenario predicts 140 million worldwide deaths with 214,000 Australians among them. 30 percent of the Australian population would be expected to become infected should a pandemic occur.

    In the extreme case, the global ecomomy would suffer losses of US$4.4 trillion or 12.6 percent.

    Prof. McKibbin says that his economic estimates do not only include the cost of death but also for lost productivity. In an interview with ABC, Professor McKibbin said "Firstly, there's a reduction in the labour force. Now, interestingly it's not just that people die which is causing economic loss, but actually there is a substantial amount of illness in any influenza pandemic. "

    "And so we try and capture both the death and the impact of that on the economy as well as illness during the pandemic, and including the fact that different economies have different labour market structures and that it's not just workers that get sick but also children, and we try to model the fact that carers will be taking time off work. " said Prof. McKibbin.

    Pandemics have broken out every 10 to 40 years since the 19th century. The last pandemic was in 1968 caused by the Hong Kong flu.

    "It is 37 years since the last pandemic and many argue that another pandemic is overdue," warns the report. The report advises investment in Asia, where health systems are less developed.


    The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
    H5N1 is an avian influenza virus subtype. The H5N1 flu is what is commonly meant when talking of "bird flu" or "avian influenza". It is a viral disease that causes illness in many species including humans and is a pandemic threat.

    H5N1 is widespread in the bird population. It is very easy for birds to catch avian flu one from another. Humans will only catch it if they have a lot of physical contact with infected birds, or, rarely, an infected relative; for example, no professional health worker has caught the disease. While H5N1 is mutating into variations which infect species not previously known to carry the virus, not all of these variations can infect humans. It may eventually mutate into a form that is easily transmitted from human to human.

    A highly pathogenic variation of H5N1 is currently spreading across the world from areas where it is endemic. Migrating waterfowl (wild ducks, geese, and swans) carry H5N1, often without themselves becoming sick.[1][2] Avian flu is also spread through domestic poultry, both through movements of infected birds and poultry products, and the use of infected poultry manure as fertiliser or feed. Humans with H5N1 have typically caught it from chickens, which were in turn infected by other poultry or waterfowl.

    H5N1 is currently endemic in birds in southeast Asia and is threatening to become endemic in birds in west Asia and Africa. Current evidence from the latest outbreaks in Turkey show a hemagglutinin mutation making H5N1 easier to pass from chickens to humans, but not yet easier to pass from human to human[3]. Species killed by H5N1 infection in this December 2005 and January 2006 outbreak in Turkey include humans, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and pigeons[4]. In January 2006 an H5N1 outbreak began in Nigeria.

    Not all cases of H5N1 infection are reported and consequently the exact mortality rate is unknown. Earlier historical flu pandemics, which were also believed to be of avian origin, had reportedly an average mortality rate of 2.5-5%.

    Tens of millions of birds have died of H5N1 influenza and hundreds of millions of birds have been slaughtered and disposed of to protect humans from H5N1[2]. Countries that have reported one or more major H5N1 outbreaks in birds are (in order of first outbreak occurance): Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Turkey, Romania, Croatia, Ukraine, Cyprus, Iraq, Nigeria, Egypt, India. [5] H5N1 has been found in birds in the wild in numerous other countries; such as Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Slovenia. There have been, so far, no outbreaks in any non-bird species.

    The current projected worst case scenario for a H5N1 pandemic is somewhere around 150 million human deaths directly due to H5N1 infection (or two to three percent of the world's human population). No one knows what the chances are for this worst case scenario.

    Avian Flu

    <>The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
    Colorized transmission electron micrograph of H5N1 (golden) grown in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells (green). (Source: C. Goldsmith, J. Katz and S. Zaki. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Public Health Image Library. Image #1841.).

    H5N1 is a subtype of the species called avian influenza virus (bird flu). Avian flu is a disease and avian flu virus is a species. The avian flu virus subtypes are labeled according to an H number and an N number.

    The avian influenza subtypes that have been confirmed in humans, ordered by the number of known human deaths, are: H1N1 caused "Spanish Flu", H2N2 caused "Asian Flu", H3N2 caused "Hong Kong Flu", H5N1 is the current pandemic threat, H7N7 has unusual zoonotic potential, H1N2 is currently endemic in humans and pigs, H9N2, H7N2, H7N3, H10N7.

    The annual flu (also called "seasonal flu" or "human flu") kills an estimated 36,000 people in the United States each year. The dominant strain of annual flu virus in January 2006 was H3N2 which is now resistant to the standard antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine.

    Avian influenza virus H3N2 is endemic in pigs ("swine flu") in China and has been detected in pigs in Vietnam, increasing fears of the emergence of new variant strains. Health experts say pigs can carry human influenza viruses, which can combine (i.e. exchange homologous genome sub-units by genetic reassortment.) with H5N1, swapping genes and mutating into a form which can pass easily among humans. A combination of these two subtypes of the species known as the avian flu virus in a country like China is a worst case scenerio.

    1. Transmission and infection of H5N1
    2. Global spread of H5N1
    3. Influenza pandemic


    Official - international
    Official - United States
    • PandemicFlu.Gov U.S. Government's avian flu information site
    • USAID U.S. Agency for International Development - Avian Influenza Response
    • CDC Centers for Disease Control - responsible agency for avian influenza in humans in US - Facts About Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus
    • NWHC National Wildlife Health Center - responsible agency for avian influenza in animals in US
    • HHS U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Pandemic Influenza Plan
    News and General information

    Please see Global spread of H5N1.

    Confirmed human cases of avian influenza of type A (H5N1)

    As of February 13, 2006

    Country Report dates edit this table

    2003 2004 2005 2006
    cases deaths cases deaths cases deaths cases deaths cases deaths
    Flag of Cambodia Cambodia
    4 4 100 %
    4 4 100 %
    Flag of People's Republic of China China
    8 5 62.5% 4 3 75.0 % 12 8 66.7%
    Flag of Indonesia Indonesia
    17 11 64.7% 8 7 87.5% 25 18 72.0%
    Flag of Iraq Iraq
    1 1 100 % 1 1 100 %
    Flag of Thailand Thailand
    17 12 70.6% 5 2 40.0%
    22 14 63.6%
    Flag of Turkey Turkey
    12 4 33.3% 12 4 33.3%
    Flag of Vietnam Vietnam 3 3 100 % 29 20 69.0% 61 19 31.1%
    93 42 45.2%
    Total 3 3 100 % 46 32 69.6% 95 41 43.2% 25 15 60.0% 169 91 53.8%
    Source World Health Organization (WHO) :
    Communicable Disease Surveillance & Response (CSR).

    Influenzavirus A

    Related Links


    WHO pandemic phases:

    1. Low risk
    2. New virus
    3. Self limiting
    4. Person to person
    5. Epidemic exists
    6. Pandemic exists
    Disease Year Death toll
    Spanish Flu 1918/1919 50 million
    Asian Flu 1957 1 million
    Hong Kong Flu 1968 1 million
    H5N1 Ongoing 91
    Influenzavirus A is a genus of a family of viruses called Orthomyxoviridae in virus classification. Influenzavirus A has only one species in it; that species is called "influenza A virus". Influenza A virus causes "avian influenza" (also known as bird flu, avian flu, influenzavirus A flu, type A flu, or genus A flu). It is hosted by birds, but may infect several species of mammals. All known subtypes are endemic in birds. It was first identified in Italy in the early 1900s and is now known to exist worldwide. [1]

    Variants and subtypes

    Variants of this species are sometimes named according to the species the strain is endemic in or adapted to. The main variants named using this convention are:

    Variants are also sometimes named according to their deadliness in chickens:

    • Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza (LPAI)
    • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also called: deadly flu or death flu

    The avian flu virus subtypes are labeled according to an H number (for hemagglutinin) and an N number (for neuraminidase). Each subtype virus has mutated into a variety of strains with differing pathogenic profiles; some pathogenic to one species but not others, some pathogenic to multiple species. Most known strains are extinct strains. For example, the annual flu subtype H3N2 no longer contains the strain that caused the Hong Kong Flu.

    Avian influenza viruses are negative sense, single-stranded, segmented RNA viruses. "There are 16 different HA antigens (H1 to H16) and nine different NA antigens (N1 to N9) for influenza A. Until recently, 15 HA types had been recognized, but a new type (H16) was isolated from black-headed gulls caught in Sweden and the Netherlands in 1999 and reported in the literature in 2005." [2]

    Annual flu

    Main article: Flu season

    The annual flu (also called "seasonal flu" or "human flu") kills an estimated 36,000 people in the United States each year. The annually updated trivalent flu vaccine consists of hemagglutinin (HA) surface glycoprotein components from influenza H3N2, H1N1, and B influenza viruses. [3] The dominant strain in January 2006 is H3N2. Measured resistance to the standard antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine in H3N2 has increased from 1% in 1994 to 12% in 2003 to 91% in 2005. [4] [5] "[C]ontemporary human H3N2 influenza viruses are now endemic in pigs in southern China and can reassort with avian H5N1 viruses in this intermediate host." [6]

    Electron micrograph of avian flu viruses (Source: Dr. Erskine Palmer, CDC).

    Electron micrograph of avian flu viruses (Source: Dr. Erskine Palmer, CDC).


    Influenza A viruses contain their genome in eight separate linear segments of negative-sense RNA, which code for ten proteins (eleven for type A if including the novel PB1-F1 protein). Each segment contains a single gene, but some can be read twice at different starting points to create two distinct proteins. The segmented nature of the genome also allows for the exchange of entire genes between different viral strains when they cohabitate the same cell. The 8 genes are:

    • HA gene encoding hemagglutinin (about 500 molecules of hemagglutinin are needed to make one virion) "The extent of infection into host organism is determined by HA. Influenza viruses bud from the apical surface of polarized epithelial cells (e.g. bronchial epithelial cells) into lumen of lungs and are therefore usually pneumotropic. The reason is that HA is cleaved by tryptase clara which is restricted to lungs. However HAs of H5 and H7 pantropic avian viruses subtypes can be cleaved by furin and subtilisin-type enzymes, allowing the virus to grow in other organs than lungs." [7]
    • NA gene encoding neuraminidase (about 100 molecules of neuraminidase are needed to make one virion)
    • NP gene encoding nucleoprotein. Influenza A, B, and C are distinguished by their nucleoproteins
    • M gene encoding two matrix proteins (the M1 and the M2) by using different reading frames from the same RNA segment (about 3000 matrix protein molecules are needed to make one virion)
    • NS gene encoding two distinct non-structural proteins by using different reading frames from the same RNA segment
    • PA gene encoding an RNA polymerase
    • PB1 gene encoding an RNA polymerase and PB1-F2 protein (induces apoptosis) by using different reading frames from the same RNA segment
    • PB2 gene encoding an RNA polymerase

    The genome segments have common terminal sequences, and the ends of the RNA strands are partially complementary, allowing them to bond to each other by hydrogen bonds. After transcription from negative-sense to positive-sense RNA the +RNA strands get the cellular 5' cap added, allowing its processing as messenger RNA by ribosomes. The +RNA strands also serve for synthesis of -RNA strands for new virions.

    The RNA synthesis and its assembly with the nucleoprotein takes place in the cell nucleus, the synthesis of proteins takes place in the cytoplasm. The assembled virion cores leave the nucleus and migrate towards the cell membrane, with patches of viral transmembrane proteins (hemagglutinin, neuraminidase and M2 proteins) and an underlying layer of the M1 protein, and bud through these patches, releasing finished enveloped viruses into the extracellular fluid.

    In nonhumans

    See H5N1 for the current epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (a disease affecting animals of many species especially over a wide area) of H5N1 influenza

    Wild fowl act as natural asymptomatic carriers of avian flu virus. Prior to the current H5N1 epizootic, strains of avian influenza virus had been demonstrated to be transmitted from wild fowl to only birds, pigs, horses, seals, whales and humans; and only between humans and pigs and between humans and domestic fowl; and not other pathways such as domestic fowl to horse. [8] H5N1 has been shown to be also transmitted to tigers, leopards, and domestic cats who were fed uncooked domestic fowl (chickens) with the virus. H3N8 viruses from horses have crossed over and caused outbreaks in dogs. Laboratory mice have been successfully infected with a variety of avian flu genotypes. [9]

    Avian influenza virus spreads in the air and in manure and survives longer in cold weather. It can also be transmitted by contaminated feed, water, equipment and clothing; however, there is no evidence that the virus can survive in well cooked meat. The incubation period is 3 to 5 days. Symptoms in animals vary, but virulent strains can cause death within a few days.

    "Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus is on every top ten list available for potential agricultural bioweapon agents". [10]

    Avian influenza viruses that the OIE and others test for in order to control poultry disease include: H5N1, H7N2, H1N7, H7N3, H13N6, H5N9, H11N6, H3N8, H9N2, H5N2, H4N8, H10N7, H2N2, H8N4, H14N5, H6N5, H12N5 and others. [11]

    Known outbreaks of highly pathogenic flu in poultry 1959-2003
    Year Area Affected Strain
    1959 Scotland chicken H5N1
    1963 England turkey H7N3
    1966 Ontario (Canada) turkey H5N9
    1976 Victoria (Australia) chicken H7N7
    1979 Germany chicken H7N7
    1979 England turkey H7N7
    1983 Pennsylvania (USA)* chicken,turkey H5N2
    1983 Ireland turkey H5N8
    1985 Victoria (Australia) chicken H7N7
    1991 England turkey H5N1
    1992 Victoria (Australia) chicken H7N3
    1994 Queensland (Australia) chicken H7N3
    1994 Mexico* chicken H5N2
    1994 Pakistan* chicken H7N3
    1997 New South Wales (Australia) chicken H7N4
    1997 Hong Kong (China)* chicken H5N1
    1997 Italy chicken H5N2
    1999 Italy* turkey H7N1
    2002 Hong Kong (China) chicken H5N1
    2002 Chile chicken H7N3
    2003 Netherlands* chicken H7N7

    *Outbreaks with significant spread to numerous farms, resulting in great economic losses. Most other outbreaks involved little or no spread from the initially infected farms.

    1979: "More than 400 harbor seals, most of them immature, died along the New England coast between December 1979 and October 1980 of acute pneumonia associated with influenza virus, A/Seal/Mass/1/180 (H7N7)." [12]

    1995: "[V]accinated birds can develop asymptomatic infections that allow virus to spread, mutate, and recombine (ProMED-mail, 2004j). Intensive surveillance is required to detect these “silent epidemics” in time to curtail them. In Mexico, for example, mass vaccination of chickens against epidemic H5N2 influenza in 1995 has had to continue in order to control a persistent and evolving virus (Lee et al., 2004)." [13]

    1997: "Influenza A viruses normally seen in one species sometimes can cross over and cause illness in another species. For example, until 1997, only H1N1 viruses circulated widely in the U.S. pig population. However, in 1997, H3N2 viruses from humans were introduced into the pig population and caused widespread disease among pigs. Most recently, H3N8 viruses from horses have crossed over and caused outbreaks in dogs." [14]

    2000: "In California, poultry producers kept their knowledge of a recent H6N2 avian influenza outbreak to themselves due to their fear of public rejection of poultry products; meanwhile, the disease spread across the western United States and has since become endemic." [15] [16]

    2003: In Netherlands H7N7 influenza virus infection broke out in poultry on several farms. [17]

    2004: In North America, the presence of avian influenza strain H7N3 was confirmed at several poultry farms in British Columbia in February 2004. As of April 2004, 18 farms had been quarantined to halt the spread of the virus. CDC detailed analysis

    2005: Tens of millions of birds died of H5N1 influenza and hundreds of millions of birds were culled to protect humans from H5N1. H5N1 is endemic in birds in southeast Asia and represents a long term pandemic threat.

    2006: H5N1 infects and kills wild birds in Europe and poultry in Africa.

    Swine flu
    Main article: Swine Flu
    Swine flu (or "pig influenza") refers to varieties of influenza virus A that affect swine. These include genotypes of H1N1, H1N2 and H3N2.
    Horse flu
    Main article: Horse flu
    Horse flu (or "Equine influenza") refers to varieties of influenza virus A that affect horses. Horse 'flu viruses were only isolated in 1956. There are two main types of virus called equine-1 (H7N7) which commonly affects horse heart muscle and equine-2 (H3N8) which is usually more severe.
    Dog flu
    Main article: Dog flu
    Dog flu (or "canine influenza") refers to varieties of influenza virus A that affect dogs. The equine influenza virus H3N8 was found to infect and kill greyhound race dogs that had died from a respiratory illness at a Florida racetrack in January 2004.
    Main article: H3N8
    H3N8 is now endemic in birds, horses and dogs.

    Human influenza virus

    "Human influenza virus" usually refers to those subtypes that spread widely among humans. H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 are the only known avian flu virus subtypes currently circulating among humans. [18]

    Genetic factors in distinguishing between "human flu viruses" and "avian flu viruses" include:

    PB2: (RNA polymerase): Amino acid (or residue) position 627 in the PB2 protein encoded by the PB2 RNA gene. Until H5N1, all known avian influenza viruses "had a Glu at position 627, while all human influenza viruses had a lysine."
    HA: (hemagglutinin): "Avian influenza HA bind alpha 2-3 sialic acid receptors while human influenza HA bind alpha 2-6 sialic acid receptors. Swine influenza viruses have the ability to bind both types of sialic acid receptors." [19].

    In humans, avian flu viruses cause similar symptoms to other types of flu. [20] These include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, conjunctivitis and, in severe cases, severe breathing problems and pneumonia that may be fatal. The severity of the infection will depend to a large part on the state of the infected person's immune system and if the victim has been exposed to the strain before, and is therefore partially immune. In one case, a boy with H5N1 experienced diarrhea followed rapidly by a coma without developing respiratory or flu-like symptoms, suggesting non-standard symptoms. [21]

    The avian influenza subtypes that have been confirmed in humans, ordered by the number of known human deaths, are: H1N1 caused "Spanish Flu", H2N2 caused "Asian Flu", H3N2 caused "Hong Kong Flu", H5N1 is the current pandemic threat, H7N7 has unusual zoonotic potential, H1N2 is currently endemic in humans and pigs, H9N2, H7N2, H7N3, H10N7.

    All avian influenza (AI) viruses are type A influenza virus in the virus family of Orthomyxoviridae and all known strains of influenza A virus infect birds. Influenzavirus type A is subdivided into subtypes based on hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N) protein spikes from the central virus core. There are 16 H types, each with up to 9 N subtypes, yielding a potential for 144 different H and N combinations.

    In addition, avian influenza viruses may fall into one of 2 pathotypes: low (LPAI) and high (HPAI) pathogenicity, based on their virulence in poultry populations. Avian influenzavirus H5 and H7 strains are found in both "low pathogenic” or “high pathogenic” forms; influenza H9 virus has been identified only in a “low pathogenic” form.

    It is feared that if a strain of avian influenza virus to which humans have not been previously exposed undergoes antigenic shift to the point where it can cross the species barrier from birds to humans, the new subtype created could be both highly contagious and highly lethal in humans. If a human infected with influenzavirus also acquires H5N1, a mutant strain of bird flu that can be transmitted from human to human could form. Such a subtype could cause a global pandemic similar to the Spanish flu that killed up to 50 million people in 1918.

    Main article: H1N1
    A variant of H1N1 was responsible for the Spanish flu pandemic that killed some 50 million to 100 million people worldwide over about a year in 1918 and 1919 [22]. A different variant exists in pig populations. Controversy arose in October, 2005, after the H1N1 genome was published in the journal, Science. Many fear that this information could be used for bioterrorism.
    "When he compared the 1918 virus with today's human flu viruses, Dr. Taubenberger noticed that it had alterations in just 25 to 30 of the virus's 4,400 amino acids. Those few changes turned a bird virus into a killer that could spread from person to person." [23]
    Main article: H2N2
    The Asian Flu was a pandemic outbreak of H2N2 avian influenza that originated in China in 1957, spread worldwide that same year during which a flu vaccine was developed, lasted until 1958 and caused between one and four million deaths.
    Main article: H3N2
    H3N2 evolved from H2N2 by antigenic shift and caused the Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968 and 1969 that killed up to 750,000. (Detailed chart of its evolution here.) "An early-onset, severe form of influenza A (H3N2) made headlines when it claimed the lives of several children in the United States in late 2003." [24]
    The dominant strain of annual flu in January 2006 is H3N2. Measured resistance to the standard antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine in H3N2 has increased from 1% in 1994 to 12% in 2003 to 91% in 2005. [25] [26]
    "[C]ontemporary human H3N2 influenza viruses are now endemic in pigs in southern China and can reassort with avian H5N1 viruses in this intermediate host." [27]
    Main article: H5N1
    H5N1 is a highly pathogenic form of avian influenzavirus. Since 1997, outbreaks of H5N1 flu have caused the death or culling of tens of millions of birds. Over 100 people have been infected by H5N1, with a mortality rate of over 50%. H5N1 has been the focus of much concern amid warnings that the H5N1 strain will likely evolve into a form that causes a global human pandemic with a very high mortality rate. As of November 1, 2005, 184 cases of infections in humans, resulting in 85 deaths, have been confirmed outside of China.
    Main article: H7N7
    H7N7 has unusual zoonotic potential. In 2003 in Netherlands 89 people were confirmed to have H7N7 influenza virus infection following an outbreak in poultry on several farms. One death was recorded.
    Main article: H1N2
    H1N2 is currently endemic in both human and pig populations. The new A(H1N2) strain appears to have resulted from the reassortment of the genes of the currently circulating influenza A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) subtypes. The hemagglutinin protein of the A(H1N2) virus is similar to that of the currently circulating A(H1N1) viruses and the neuraminidase protein is similar to that of the current A(H3N2) viruses.
    Main article: H9N2
    Low pathogenic avian influenza A (H9N2) infection was confirmed in 1999, in China and Hong Kong in two children, and in 2003 in Hong Kong in one child. All three fully recovered. CDC
    Main article: H7N2
    One person in New York in 2003 and one person in Virginia in 2002 were found to have serologic evidence of infection with H7N2. Both fully recovered. [28]
    Main article: H7N3
    In North America, the presence of avian influenza strain H7N3 was confirmed at several poultry farms in British Columbia in February 2004. As of April 2004, 18 farms had been quarantined to halt the spread of the virus. Two cases of humans with avian influenza have been confirmed in that region. "Symptoms included conjunctivitis and mild influenza-like illness." CDC detailed analysis Both fully recovered.
    Main article: H10N7
    In 2004 in Egypt H10N7 is reported for the first time in humans. It caused illness in two infants in Egypt. One child’s father is a poultry merchant. [29]


    Further reading

    Official sources (also see H5N1)
    General information (also see Flu)

    It should be an early Christmas for Democrats - as the GOP has self destructed - but where are they? Why are they silent? I wonder when we can shame the archreactionaries off the bench of the Supreme Court? Will politics matter if billions die due to the Bush Junta 2? - Sparks