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News Reports for February 4, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 12:29:50 PM EST


Reminder: Please do not post whole articles, just snippets and links, and do not post articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Thanks!

Bangladesh
•  Bird flu affected chickens being supplied to local markets (Link)

India
•  Avian influenza detected in Bhubaneswar (Link)
•  Bhubaneswar: Bird flu revisits Odisha, state on high alert (Link)

Pakistan
•   Bird flu may be rearing its ugly head again  (Link)

Vietnam
•  Relative maternal death from H5N1 flu infection can be (translated) (Link)
•  Vietnam still prone to outbreaks of fatal bird flu (Link)

Research
•  CIDRAP: Cell-based flu vaccine shown safe, immunogenic in children (Link)

General
•  Schism over H5N1 Avian Flu Research Leaks Out (Link)
•  Study: Pneumonia Bug Evades Vaccine (Link)
•  CIDRAP: Live debate airs major divisions in H5N1 research battle (Link)
•  ProMED: Influenza (08): World Health Organisation Update  (Link)

Commentary
•  Recombinomics: Suspect H5N1 Cluster In Soc Trang Vietnam  (Link)


•  H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 4, 2012

News for February 3, 2012 is here.


Thanks to all of the newshounds!
Special thanks to the newshound volunteers who translate international stories - thanks for keeping us all informed!

Other useful links:
WHO A(H1N1) Site
WHO H5N1 human case totals, last updated January 24, 2012
Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO
Google Flu Trends
CDC Weekly Influenza Summary
Map of seasonal influenza in the U.S.
CIDPC (Canada) Weekly FluWatch
UK RCGP Weekly Data on Communicable and Respiratory Diseases
Flu Wiki Main Page

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Schism over H5N1 Avian Flu Research Leaks Out
NEW YORK - Sparks flew Thursday night at a New York Academy of Sciences panel discussion about whether or not certain recent research into the H5N1 avian flu virus has created a major biosecurity threat and what, if anything, to do about it.

(Snip)

The panel discussion, which seemed tense from the start, threatened to turn into a shouting match midway through the evening when one panelist lobbed a verbal attack at another.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), characterized as "propaganda" a scientific paper published last week by co-panelist Peter Palese, a noted flu researcher at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

In case anyone missed the point, Osterholm stared down the table to where Palese was sitting and said point-blank, "You are not in the mainstream of influenzologists."

Palese's paper, published January 25 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, argued that fears about the ferret research had been overblown. The fear, promulgated by the NSABB and others, is that the accidental or intentional release of a highly fatal and contagious bird flu could be devastating for the world's seven billion people. Alternatively, some scientists argue that publicizing the method and data behind the flu strain would help speed along efforts to prevent its misuse and advance the development of treatments for it whether it is released by terrorists or just evolves in the field on its own.

Later during the discussion Osterholm reiterated that  comments he made on the panel should not in any way be taken as an official position by the NSABB.

Palese did not retaliate right away against the ad hominem attack, replying instead about some of the details of his PNAS paper. Later in the discussion, however, Palese zinged back at a throwaway line Osterholm had made about smallpox being less dangerous than influenza. "I would not like to see smallpox come out of a [high-level biosafety] lab, but it would not concern me," Osterholm had said. "Because we could contain it" by quickly vaccinating everyone who was exposed and containing the virus's spread. "With influenza, once it's out, it's everywhere." Continued: http://blogs.scientificamerica...

(Note: It seems the "big boys" are ready to put on the gloves and climb in the ring over this one! LOL)

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


CIDRAP: Live debate airs major divisions in H5N1 research battle
Feb 3, 2012 (CIDRAP News) - The controversy over research about potentially dangerous H5N1 viruses heated up last night in a New York City debate that featured some of the leading voices exchanging blunt comments on the alleged risks and benefits of publishing or withholding the full details of the studies.

The debate, sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, involved two members of the biosecurity advisory board that called for "redacting" the two studies in question to delete details, along with scientists who want the full studies published and representatives of Science and Nature, the two journals involved.

The 2-hour session, which was live-streamed on the Web, left no clear impression of how the current controversy or future dilemmas over conduct and publication of "dual use" research might be resolved. One of very few points on which the panelists were unanimous was the hope that the current battle won't be repeated.

"I hope that this redaction, which I do feel has some very valuable things associated with it, is a onetime event," said Barbara Jasny, PhD, deputy editor for commentary at Science. "I hope this is not something that'll become institutionalized as a way of dealing with the problem." Continued: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
India: Avian influenza detected in Bhubaneswar (Odisha)
BHUBANESWAR: The bird flu virus has struck Bhubaneswar, spreading panic among dealers and consumers of poultry products here. (Snip)

CDPO's farm is located behind the Kalinga Stadium in Nayapalli area in the heart of the city. "We have declared an area spread over three-km radius off the epicentre (the farm) as alert zone and ordered ban on movement of poultry birds or related products into the area or outside," (Snip)
(Snip)
Detection of bird flu in Bhubaneswar comes on the heels of the government undertaking culling operations at Keranga in Khurda district and Bahanada in Betanoti block of Mayurbhanj district (Snip) Official sources said culling was expected in the CPDO farm and adjacent areas, but orders were awaited from the Centre.

Official sources said the CPDO farm has around 29,000 birds, including 16,600 chicks. Salia Sahi, the biggest slum in Odisha, falls under the alert zone, which spreads over 21 of the 60 wards in the capital city. "We have formed surveillance teams and would undertake such activities as sprinkling of bleaching powder at all poultry farms," Dev added. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

Map link: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Bird flu revisits Odisha, state on high alert (Bhubaneswar)
The Odisha government on Saturday issued a high alert in the state capital after confirmed cases of bird flu were detected in a Central government-run poultry firm in the city. The return of the dreaded avian influenza to the state after a gap of almost a fortnight has already triggered panic among the city residents.

Earlier, the cases of bird flu had been detected at Kerang in coastal Khurda district and Betanati in tribal dominated Mayurbhanj district in north Odisha. The state authorities had gone for large-scale culling of poultry birds in both the areas last month.

"We have already declared 21 wards within the city as alert zones. The shops selling poultry products in these wards have been directed to close their shutters till further order. A ban has also been imposed on the movement of poultry and poultry products from these areas to outside", a senior official of the Bhuabeswar Municipal Corporation(BMC) said adding that 10 rapid action teams have already been formed to implement the BMC order. Continued: http://www.deccanherald.com/co...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
Suspect H5N1 Cluster In Soc Trang Vietnam
Recombinomics Commentary

her husband and son 36 weeks pregnant (survival surgery) of the victims died of H5N1 (Mrs. Son Thi Sa Vuol B1 hamlet, Tan Thanh Commune, Thanh Tri, Soc Trang), is in intensive care Hospital Bac Lieu province.

Child with pneumonia due to intra-amniotic infection, suspected of contracting bird flu, the victim's husband and mother of fever and cough.

The above translation indicates the husband and newborn son of H5N1 confirmed fatal case (26F) from Soc Trang province are hospitalized in intensive care unit. (Snip) http://www.recombinomics.com/N...  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Vietnam: Relative maternal death from H5N1 flu infection can be
Translated (this was the best one I could get)
Related to Son Thi Sa Vuol women (36 weeks of pregnancy), B1 indicates hamlet, Tan Thanh Commune, Thanh Tri district, Soc Trang province died of H5N1 influenza virus infections on 28-1 mother of her husband Vuol also present with fever and cough are being treated in isolation Hospital (BVDK) Bac Lieu province.

Vuol her children were removed before surgery death of the mother, weighs 2.3 kg, was also diagnosed with pneumonia caused by amniotic infection. The second time her children are being cared BVDK particularly in Bac Lieu, and Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City sent samples for testing.

On 3-2, delegation of the Veterinary Department of Soc Trang village has to B1, Thanh Tan Commune, Thanh Tri district to mobilize the people living near the victim destroy all the chickens and ducks live. Specialization has also investigated a list of contacts with patients to receive medical monitoring and Tamiflu, are not so widely spread out. http://www.sggp.org.vn/ytesuck...

**********************************
Note: The following is my interpetation of the article:

The 26year old mother of Son Thi Sa Vuol (Snip) of Tan Thanh Commune, Thanh Tri district, Soc Trang province died of H5N1 influenza virus infections on Jan. 28, 2012. Her husband Vuol also has a fever and cough. Both the child and the husband are being treated in isolation Hospital (BVDK) Bac Lieu province.

The mother's child was removed by surgery before her death. Child weighs 2.3 kg and was also diagnosed with pneumonia caused by amniotic H5N1 infection. Her other children are being cared for in Bac Lieu, and Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City sent samples from them for testing.

On 3-2, delegation of the Veterinary Department of Soc Trang village has gone to Thanh Tan Commune, Thanh Tri district to mobilize the people living near the victim and destroy all the chickens and ducks there. Specialization has also investigated a list of contacts with patients to receive medical monitoring and Tamiflu, contacts are not so widely spread out.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
Pakistan: Bird flu may be rearing its ugly head again
ISLAMABAD, Feb 3: Eight peacocks have died in Lahore mysteriously. While the cause is still being investigated, fears that it could be some strain of bird flu are being suppressed.

The fears in the agricultural sector and poultry are confirmed from the recurrences in past few months of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in in India (where thousands of birds have been culled), Bangladesh (that culled 50,000 chickens), China (where a death in January from the deadly H5N1 has been confirmed) to across Iran (in September 2011) and as far down in Indonesia and Australia. Experts with the agriculture and poultry sectors fear that Pakistan's Rs300 billion poultry industry faced certain threat of the pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) that knew no borders and could spread.

What makes Pakistan vulnerable to the deadly virus is the absence of any surveillance system to detect, monitor and control the virus that has mutated into more than 260 different forms from spreading in farm chickens.

(Snip)

They also believed that recurrences/outbreaks in neighbouring countries in this region demand that surveillance programme of avian influenza should be reinitiated on priority.

They feared that highly contagious H5N1 transmissible from humans to birds, and from birds to humans had already been detected in India, China (where two deaths have been associated to bird flu), Indonesia as well as Iran (in September 2011).
Continued: http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/04...

Map link: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Study: Pneumonia Bug Evades Vaccine
Bugs that cause childhood pneumonia and meningitis have evolved to evade vaccines by swapping bits of their genome with other bacteria (Snip) The findings, published in Nature Genetics, show how quickly these life-threatening pathogens can disguise themselves with borrowed genetic decoys, and how hard it is for medicine to keep up.

Diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae are thought to kill over a million young children around the world each year. Vaccines that protect against these so-called pneumoccoccal infections are designed to recognize a material on the outer surface of a bacterium's cell called polysaccharide. Each of over 90 kinds, or "serotypes", of these bacteria have a different polysaccharide coating.

In 2000, a vaccine that targeted seven serotypes proved highly effective when introduced in the United States. The same formula - which also prevented transmission from children to adults - was adopted in Britain. Over time, however, the vaccine worked less well (Snip)

Combining cutting-edge genetic analysis with epidemiology, which examines how disease spreads, they found that the deadly pathogens escaped detection by swapping genes with other, slightly different, bacteria.

Remarkably, the exchanged genetic material came from precisely that part of the genome responsible for making the cell's coating - the area targeted by the vaccine. The bacteria, in other words, had kept their virulence intact but changed their outward appearance. Continued: http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/h...  


Oops! This was posted by me.
A definite sign that I need to go to bed and stop playing on the computer! LOL

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
almost 4am??
Yes, time to be catching up on your beauty rest! I know spandex never sleeps, but we need you healthy and bug-resistant if anything sweeps across the US again!! Don't wear yourself out for us. Thanks for all your hard work!

[ Parent ]
Hi Cathy
It's not the spandex keeping me up. I am a fulltime caregiver for my 85 year old mom. Who knew elderly people had to pee so much at night? LOL I got tired of getting up all during the night so I decided I would just work the 3rd shift on Fluwiki and bill AlohaOR for it! So far she has paid me the same rate as before.... "nothing"!! LOL You need to tell her to give me a raise.  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
You all need raises...
... in fact, I think they should double your salary! :-)
That's quite a job, full-time caregiving -- don't tell me you consider FluWiki your "time off"!  

[ Parent ]
Cathy, truthfully......
fluwiki has saved my sanity!!! Well, what sanity there was there in the first place to save.... LOL

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
Influenza (08): World Health Organisation Update
Summary

-- Influenza activity in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere remains low overall though notable local increases in activity have been reported in North America, the western part of Europe, and northern China.

-- Countries in the tropical zone reported low levels of influenza activity with the exceptions of southern China, Colombia, and Ecuador.

-- Influenza activity in the temperate countries of the southern hemisphere is at inter-seasonal levels. The low level inter-seasonal transmission of A(H3N2) previously noted in Chile and Australia appears to be diminishing and becoming more sporadic.

-- The most commonly detected virus type or subtype throughout the northern hemisphere temperate zone has been influenza A(H3N2) with the exception of China, which is reporting a predominance of influenza type B, and Mexico, where influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 is the predominant subtype circulating. In addition to Mexico, some southern states of the United States of America and Colombia in northern South America have also reported a predominance of A(H1N1)pdm09 in recent weeks.

-- Nearly all influenza A viruses characterized are antigenically related to the viruses contained in the current northern hemisphere trivalent vaccine. About half of the small number of influenza type B viruses characterized are of the Yamagata lineage, which is not contained in the current vaccine.

-- Oseltamivir resistance has been observed at very low levels and has not increased notably over levels reported in previous seasons. Continued: http://beta.promedmail.org/dir...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Egypt: Bird flu affected chickens being supplied to local markets
Bird flu affected chickens being supplied to local markets

Dhaka, Saturday February 4 2012        
Arafat Ara

Bird flu affected chickens are being supplied to the local markets due to lack of monitoring and proper policy support to the poultry farmers by the authority, said sector insiders.

They said the farmers are selling their infected chickens in the markets hiding the information as the government does not compensate the farmers adequately.

The experts warned that if sick poultry birds are supplied to the markets it will create a severe health hazard to the people as it is very contagious and harmful for humans.

The outbreak of bird flu this season is the highest since the first appearance of the disease in the country according to the Bangladesh Poultry Industries' Association (BPIA).

The farmers said almost everyday new farms are being attacked by the avian influenza (bird flu). Last week a good number of poultry farms in Netrokona, Kishorganj, Pabna, Brahamanbaria, Feni, Cox's Bazar, Bogra have been affected by the virus.

Maximum number of poultry farms in the country has been affected by the bird flu, said BPIA Joint Secretary General Khandokar Mohsin. "Normally the disease breaks out in the beginning of winter and now it is the end of the season".

BPIA Joint Secretary General said though the government has allocated compensation for the bird flu affected poultry farms, it is very insufficient and irregular.

He also said the authority does not include many of the bird flu affected farms in the list for compensation. So usually the poultry farmers do not report to the department of livestock and incur loss, he added.

The government has allocated Tk 20.0 million in the current fiscal year to compensate for the bird flu affected farms but until now the farm owners did not get any money.

"Due to financial crises many professional and skilled poultry farmers have closed their business last year," he added.

"It is really a fearful situation for our health sector but the government is lingering the problem from several years," said, Kazi Farms chairman and Bangladesh Breeders Association ex President Kazi Jahidul Hasan.

The country's largest poultry producer said Bangladesh is one of the critical five bird flu affected countries in the world which is yet to introduce it vaccine.

But other most risky countries like India, Vietnam, China and Egypt introduced vaccine to prevent the disease, he added.

The the is gradually becoming chronic in the local poultry sector, said Mr Hasan adding that as the government's method for bio-security have already failed, the authority should introduce vaccine to prevent the disease immediately.

He also mentioned that the production of baby chickens decreased sharply due to outbreak of bird flu.

Chairman of Microbiology Department of Dhaka University Dr Anwar Hossain said though the virus does not remain in cooked meat but those who are handling the live chickens and fresh meats will be affected by the virus.

He also warned that if bird flu virus and normal influenza virus mixes, it can create a new mutiliated virus and may be very harmful.

"So there is no alternative but to isolate of the chicken to protect the health of the people from the disease," he added.

Department of Livestock Services control room officials said 51,757 chickens were culled while 22,649 eggs were destroyed in January this year in five farms located in Manikganj, Dhaka, Sirajgonj and Narayanganj due to the outbreak of bird flu.

According to the BPIA, the country had 114,763 poultry farms in 2009 but following the spread of bird flu, the farms reduced to 74,000 in 2010 and 64,000 in 2011.

The authorities culled nearly 0.579 million chickens while it destroyed about 570,000 eggs from 171 poultry farms across the country last year.

Department of Livestock Services Director Dr Musaddique Hossain said for preventing the disease the department has already taken up various initiatives.

"We have taken awareness creating programmes and trained the poultry farmers how to save their chickens the flu," he said.

http://www.thefinancialexpress...

United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


This is in Bangladesh, not Egypt.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
Thank you Carol. n/t


United we stand: Divided we fall
www.flunewsnetwork.com


[ Parent ]
You are welcome, cottontop.
Didn't have that 2nd cup of coffee before posting this, huh? LOL

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


[ Parent ]
CIDRAP: Cell-based flu vaccine shown safe, immunogenic in children
In a finding that may help pave the way for approval in European children, a study in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal found the cell-culture-based Optaflu flu vaccine from Novartis about as safe and immunogenic as the egg-derived version. European and US researchers randomized 3,604 children to receive two doses of Optaflu, made by Novartis, or conventional trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) in those 3 to 8 years old (2,630 patients) or one dose in those 9 to 17 (974 patients). They then measured antibody levels on days 1, 28, and 50 by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay. They determined that Optaflu was "noninferior" to TIV and met all three European immunogenicity criteria for H1N1 and H3N2 strains in the younger age-group  Continued:  http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

Feb 1 Ped Infect Dis J abstract http://journals.lww.com/pidj/A...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


Vietnam still prone to outbreaks of fatal bird flu
Vietnam continues to be susceptible to outbreaks of bird flu and the A/H5N1 virus remains deadly to those who contract it (Snip) Nguyen Tran Hien, chief of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, made the statement after Vietnam reported its first two bird flu fatalities this year. The deaths came after nearly 20 months of no reported cases of humans with the A/H5N1 virus.

According to Hien, although the latest two victims were in the prime of life- an 18-year-old man in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang and a 26-year-old woman in Soc Trang Province, also in the Mekong Delta-- that does not mean that the virus has become stronger. He said that because the virus is specific to poultry, it is impossible to say whether a particular group of people may be immune to it. An individual's chance of contracting bird flu depends on the person's level of exposure to the virus and genetic predispositions, he added.

In fact, while many people have been exposed to the virus, only a few have become ill, the official was quoted as saying. However, mortality rates for the virus are quite high, possibly 100 percent, so people must be extremely cautious, he stressed.

When asked why there have been no human reports of human cases in northern Vietnam since May, 2010, while the southern provinces recorded a few cases, Hien said it was because southern provinces host more poultry. Moreover, the practice of letting ducks roam freely in the fields has increased the risk of humans contracting the virus. Continued: http://www.thanhniennews.com/i...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown

     


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