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News Reports for February 17, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 14:19:15 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!

China
•  Hong Kong: Influenza-like illness outbreak under investigation (Link)
•  Hong Kong: CHP investigates two cases of severe paediatric influenza B infection (Link)

Indonesia
•  Outbreaks of Bird Flu Attacked People Pasuruan (translated) (Link)
•  Bird Flu Attack Pasuruan (translated) (Link)
•  5 Residents Pasuruan Suspect (translated) Bird Flu (Link)

Ireland
•  Elderly told to get flu jab as cases soar  (Link)

Nepal
•  Over 20,000 chickens die in Nepal in two weeks (Link)

United Kingdom
•  HPA Influenza Surveillance graphs (Link)

United States
•  KY: School Systems Closing For Flu (Link)

Vietnam
•  What happened to bird flu? Deaths continue, new strain outsmarts poultry vaccine in Vietnam  (Link)
•  Ho Chi Minh City cracks down on illegal poultry shops (Link)

Research
•  Editor of science journal says he is ready to publish details of lethal man-made flu 'in complete form' (Link)
•  Serological detection of emerging viral infections in wild boars from different hunting regions of Southern Germany (Link)
•  Two-Day WHO Meeting On Bird Flu To Release Statement As Soon As Possible, WHO Official Says (Link)
•  Deadly bird flu studies to stay secret for now - WHO (Link)
•  Go-ahead for bird flu study publication after security check (Link)

Commentary
•  Recombinomics: Suspect H5N1 Cluster In East Java Indonesia (Link)


•  H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 17, 2012

News for February 16, 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 February 8, 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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What happened to bird flu? Deaths continue, new strain outsmarts poultry vaccine in Vietnam
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - (Snip) Recent human deaths in Asia and Egypt are a reminder that the deadly H5N1 virus is still alive and dangerous. Vietnam is also grappling with a new strain that has outsmarted vaccines long used to help protect its poultry flocks.

Ten people have died in Cambodia, Indonesia, Egypt, China and Vietnam since December during the prime-time flu season (Snip) Vietnam authorities can no longer rely on the latest poultry vaccine in the north and central regions where new virus strains have been detected.

The H5N1 virus has killed 345 people worldwide since 2003, when it rampaged across large swaths of Asia decimating poultry stocks before later surfacing (Snip) in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.  http://www.orlandosentinel.com...

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

     


Editor of science journal says he is ready to publish details of lethal man-made flu 'in complete form'
The editor of a leading science journal has said that he is prepared to publish details of controversial research into a mutant H5N1 bird flu virus.

Far deadlier than normal flu, the H5N1 strain kills roughly half of humans that contract it, but so far the virus has been mainly restricted to poultry. Scientists have researched mutations which make it more contagious.

Dr Bruce Alberts, editor of Science, was asked by U.S. security advisors not to publish the research. Alberts says, 'In the absence of any mechanism to get the information to those scientists who need to protect their populations and to design new treatments and vaccines, our default position is that we have to publish in compete form.' Continued: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci...

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

     


Over 20,000 chickens die in Nepal in two weeks
KATHMANDU -- Thousands of chickens died in the past two weeks in Dhading in central Nepal after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in Jhapa, Ilam and Sunsari districts in eastern part of the country.

The massive chicken deaths raised fears of an avian influenza spread. The authorities, however, have yet to find out the cause (Snip)

Over 20,000 chickens died on various poultry farms in Dhading in the past two weeks. (Snip) the number of deaths on local farms has been rising by the day.

(Snip) owner of Ram-Laxman Poultry Farm, said he took his chickens to Gaurishanker Vet Pharma of Kalanki, Kathmandu, and technicians there said the chickens were suffering from a disease called "ranikhet." "We took all necessary treatments against the disease as suggested, but in vain," (Snip)

Although the unusual deaths of chickens hint at bird flu, it is yet to be verified through lab tests. "Samples from two of the farms have already been sent to Kathmandu for tests," (Snip)

A total of 50 poultry farms have been operating in Dhading, with some 500,000 chickens imported from various districts every year. http://www.philstar.com/Articl...

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

     


Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City cracks down on illegal poultry shops
The Department of Animal Health (Snip) on February 16 cracked down on illegal poultry flea markets in various districts in the city in an effort to contain spread of bird flu.

Inspectors went to illegal poultry flea markets in Districts 5, 8, 12, Go Vap, Hoc Mon and Binh Chanh, areas most susceptible to spread of the disease. The most worrisome are the border areas (Snip)

(Snip) health authorities in the district are coordinating with District 12 officials to tackle illegal water fowl shops along the bridge, besides also educating residents' on ways to prevent bird flu infection by consuming safe poultry. http://www.saigon-gpdaily.com....

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

     


China: Influenza-like illness outbreak under investigation (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has reminded members of the public and management of institutions to maintain good environmental and personal hygiene to prevent influenza. The reminder followed the CHP's investigation into an influenza-like illness (ILI) outbreak at a kindergarten in Tai Po, affecting 21 students.

The affected children, comprising nine males and 12 females aged between 3 and 4, developed symptoms of respiratory tract infection, including fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose since January 31. One of the affected was admitted to hospital and has been discharged. All are in a stable condition. The hospitalised student's nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for influenza B.

CHP staff have visited the school and provided health advice to the management. Continued: http://7thspace.com/headlines/...

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

     


China: CHP investigates two cases of severe paediatric influenza B infection (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is drawing public attention to its investigation into two cases of severe paediatric influenza B infection.

The first case involves an eight-month old baby boy who presented with fever on February 15 and developed facial twitching on February 16. He was admitted to a private hospital on February 16 and transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital today (February 17).

The clinical diagnosis was meningoencephalitis. His current condition is stable. His nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for influenza B. He lives with his grandparents. His grandmother had upper respiratory tract infection symptoms, but no fever.

The second case involves a 14-year-old boy who presented with fever on February 1 and developed convulsion on February 4. He was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital on February 4. The clinical diagnosis was viral encephalitis. He was discharged on February 11.

Nasopharyngeal aspirate taken from the patient tested positive for influenza B. He did not have recent travel history. He lives with his parents, who were asymptomatic. Continued: http://7thspace.com/headlines/...

(Note: H3N2 has been the dominate circulating strain in Hong Kong this season. Type B has been the dominate circulating strain in nearby Taiwan and they have had a fairly serious flu season.)

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

     


[ Parent ]
US: School Systems Closing For Flu (Kentucky)
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Three eastern Kentucky school systems are shut down, trying to break the transmission of influenza to other students.  Elliott and Magoffin county schools were closed Friday (Snip) The Perry County school system earlier announced it had cancelled classes for Thursday and Friday. Perry and Elliot will resume classes on Monday while Magoffin will restart on Tuesday.

(Snip) patients are coming in with muscle aches and fevers of occasionally 104-104 degrees. They sometimes have a deep cough, sore throat or runny nose.

The Centers for Disease Control flu map shows Kentucky is reporting local outbreaks of the disease. http://www.wlky.com/r/30482198...

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

     


Serological detection of emerging viral infections in wild boars from different hunting regions of Southern Germany
Objective: Wild boars represent a possible virus reservoir for notifiable diseases of farm animals, including Aujeszky's disease (AD) and classical swine fever (CSF). Monitoring of the epidemiological situation in the wild boar population is especially relevant in countries that are officially free from these diseases. Apart from OIE-notifiable diseases, other viral agents that are widely distributed and play a significant role in farm animals, such as the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), porcine circovirus type2 (PCV-2), and swine influenza virus (SIV), are sporadically detected in wild boars. Thus, the wild boar population is a potential source for maintenance of these infections in farm animals. The aim of this study was therefore to test for antibodies to the indicated emerging viral infections in wild boars in several hunting regions of Southern Germany.

Material and methods: Blood serum of 94 shot wild boars from 19 hunting regions in Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg were collected. Antibodies to AD virus (ADV), CSF virus (CSFV), PRRSV, SIV (H1N1) (all by IDEXX ELISA) and PCV-2 (IgM and IgG by Ingenasa ELISA) in blood serum were determined.

Results: Antibodies to (Snip) SIV (H1N1) in two animals (2.1%) (Snip)

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Compared to other studies in several European and American states, the seroprevalence to the tested emerging diseases was low in this study. Nevertheless, the wild boar population may still be a virus reservoir and therefore a source of infection for domestic pigs. (Snip) Therefore, a continuous monitoring of those diseases in the wild boar population would be advisable. http://www.unboundmedicine.com...

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

     


Two-Day WHO Meeting On Bird Flu To Release Statement As Soon As Possible, WHO Official Says
Researchers of H5N1 bird flu virus "are set to wrap up a two-day meeting on the issue Friday with international experts at the World Health Organization in Geneva" with the aim of settling controversy over the work of two research teams that created genetically altered viral strains that are easily transmissible among ferrets, a laboratory model for humans (Snip) "The meeting may reach some consensus on a few immediate issues, such as what parts of the studies should be published, and who might qualify for access to the full papers on a 'need-to-know' basis" (Snip)

"We're very aware that there's a lot of interest in the meeting and that people will want to know, you know, what were the issues that were discussed and did you come to any consensus. ... So we will try to make that as clear as possible as quickly as possible," (Snip)

BBC News reports that Bruce Alberts, editor of Science, one of the journals asked to redact the research upon publication, "has said he is prepared to publish full details of [the research], unless progress is made on how to circulate details of the findings to scientists" (Snip) An analysis piece in Science examines how research into bird flu, and sharing of the findings, may be able to improve surveillance and control systems for the disease (Snip) http://globalhealth.kff.org/Da...

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

     


Deadly bird flu studies to stay secret for now -WHO
Feb 17 (Reuters) - Two studies showing how scientists mutated H5N1 bird flu into a virus that could create a human pandemic will be made public eventually, but a moratorium will remain for biosecurity officials to assess the risks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

Speaking after a high-level meeting of flu experts and U.S. security officials in Geneva, a WHO spokesman said an agreement had been reached in principle to publish the controversial work only after deeper risk analyses have been carried out.

The WHO called the meeting to break a deadlock between scientists who have studied the mutations needed to make H5N1 bird flu transmit between mammals, and the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which wanted the work censored before it was published in scientific journals.
(Snip)
"There must be a much fuller discussion of risk and benefits of research in this area and risks of virus itself," the WHO's Gregory Hartl told reporters.

(Note: IMO, that was just a waste of time by WHO and NO decision was made at all.)  

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

     


[ Parent ]
Bad people can still do bad things, says flu expert Barclay
[snip]But experts say whatever the outcome, no amount of censorship, global regulation or shutting down of research projects could stop rogue scientists getting the tools to create and release a pandemic H5N1 virus if they were intent on evil.

"It doesn't matter how much you restrict scientists from doing good, bad people can still do bad things,"
said Wendy Barclay, an expert in flu virology at Imperial College London.[snip]
http://www.reuters.com/article...

This was in today's Chicago Tribune, 2 days late....  sigh.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor


[ Parent ]
Go-ahead for bird flu study publication after security check
Geneva - Bird flu experts meeting in Geneva on Friday ruled that controversial research on a mutant form of the virus potentially capable of being spread among humans should be made public, AFP reported. Security assessments must however be carried out first before the two studies can be published and the research can continue, scientists agreed at a two-day meeting at the World Health Organization.

"The consensus was that in the interest of public health the full papers should be published," said Professor Ron Fouchier from the Institute of Virology in the Netherlands, the scientist behind one of the studies. US bio-security chiefs urged in November that key details of the papers remain unpublished, citing fears of a pandemic should a mutated H5N1 virus escape the laboratory.

Scientists agreed on January 20 to a 60-day moratorium on further studies. That deadline will now be extended for an unspecified time to allow for a wider group of scientists to examine the risks and allow for public discussion, Fouchier said at a conference following the meeting. "This is very important research that needs to move forward," he said.

"The question is, how can it be done safely, what about bio-security, how do we prevent access to bad people?" "Once there's agreement on all those issues then we can continue our work."

The 22 participants included the two teams of researchers and representatives of the scientific journals Science and Nature who were asked to withhold publication. Continued: http://www.focus-fen.net/index...

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 East Java Indonesia
Recombinomics Commentary

Outbreaks of bird flu again attacked chickens in residential Wahidin Road South, RT 2, RT3 / RW III Petamanan Village, District of South Bugul, Makati City.

At least 80 chickens died suddenly from a week ago. In addition to attacking the chicken, the bird flu outbreak is believed to have infected a number of residents in these settlements. A total of five people are known to suffer from the disease with symptoms of fever, bone pain, and shortness of breath.

As experienced Ponimah (52). Since three days ago, he felt the symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and bone pain.

The above translation describes a suspect H5N1 cluster near Pasuruan, south of Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia.  Additional reports indicate the poultry associated with the suspect cases has tested positive for H5N1. Symptoms in 5 residents in area raise concerns of increased transmission. Continued: 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

     


Ireland: Elderly told to get flu jab as cases soar
A SURGE in flu cases led to renewed calls today for people to get vaccinated. The number of people falling ill with flu has doubled in the past week.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre warned today older people and people with health problems should get the flu jab as soon as possible.
(Snip)
The seasonal flu virus has become active and the current cycle will last for six to eight weeks. It can take two weeks for a vaccination to offer full protection so it is worthwhile for vulnerable people to get the jab.

Ireland has escaped lightly this winter compared with recent years' flu levels. However, rates of flu-like illness have risen from 15.7 per 100,000 to 26.2 per 100,000 this month and are now above "threshold levels".
(Snip)
The most recent surveillance report showed three people have died from flu this winter. Although this is the official number, many more will have died due to complications. Continued: http://www.herald.ie/news/elde...

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

     


Outbreaks of Bird Flu Attacked People Pasuruan
February 17, 2012
http://m.sindonews.com/read/20...
South Bugul, Indonesia:  Outbreaks of bird flu again attacked chickens in residential Wahidin Road South, RT 2, RT3 / RW III Petamanan Village, District of South Bugul, Makati City.  At least 80 chickens died suddenly from a week ago.  

In addition to attacking the chickens, the bird flu outbreak is believed to have infected a number of residents in these settlements.  A total of five people are known to suffer from the disease with symptoms of fever, bone pain, and shortness of breath.

As experienced by Ponimah (52), since three days ago, he felt the symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and bone pain.  He had no idea if his dead poultry were suspected of infection.  

"I feel a cold, cough and shortness of breath. And all along I was never sick or had shortness of breath," said Ponimah, Friday (02/17/2012).

The Pasuruan Animal Husbandry Department received a report and test samples directly at the site.  Of the characteristics of the dead chickens, they believe these are caused by bird flu outbreak.  To verify the cause of death of chickens, the officers took samples and tested in the Malang Laboratory in East Java Livestock Office.  By Drh Iswahyudi, the lab results were known that the chickens tested positive for bird flu.

"The chicken carcass samples tested positive for bird flu.  The physical characteristics are like those that happened in 2003.  There is swelling (cyanosis) in the head, chest, and blue crest. At the foot there are red spots, like the scrapings out," said Drh Iswahyudi, Coordinating Center for Disease Control Avian Influenza, Veterinary Services Laboratory in East Java. (snip)  For preventive measures, they are currently carrying out spraying and destruction of infected chickens suspected of bird flu outbreaks.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson


Bird Flu Attack Pasuruan
February 17, 2012
http://nasional.inilah.com/rea...
Pasuruan, Indonesia:  Bird flu has attacked Petamanan Village, District of South Bugul, Makati City, East Java.  As a result of this incident, dozens of chickens owned by residents, together died suddenly.

"Five chickens owned by a resident named Karju (50), died suddenly.   Therefore afterwards he went on to sell 8 chickens for fear of their deaths as well.  Not only that, his wife Ponimah is now also sick," said Sri Wahyuni , one of the residents on Friday (02/17/2012).

As a result of the attacks by the bird flu virus, now residents are deeply frightened, because, they worry that the virulent virus will spread further.  Residents fear the virus will spread to humans.  

"What we fear is that the virus will attack the children," said Mandy, another resident.

He said dozens of cattle belonging to residents were known to have died suddenly since last week.  However, residents had no idea if this incident was an attack of the bird flu virus.

"Initially, we also did not think that this was the bird flu virus," he explained.

With the outbreak of a virus attack, the citizens are now more careful in maintaining livestock animals.  

"If you like this, we are so scared," he explained.


"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson


Oh great! He sold the bird flu infected chickens!!!
"Five chickens owned by a resident named Karju (50), died suddenly."   "Therefore afterwards he went on to sell 8 chickens for fear of their deaths as well."  

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

     


[ Parent ]
5 Residents Pasuruan Suspect Bird Flu
February 17, 2012
http://kbr68h.com/
Makati, Indonesia:  As many as five people in Purutrejo Village Makati are bird flu suspects.  This is because the five people have symptoms of fever, headache and joint pain after dozens of chickens died suddenly in his village.  Makati City Health Department Secretary Bambang Pramod said that officials have taken samples of nasal mucus from their bodues for examination by health laboratories in East Java Province.  All five are now under the supervision of medical officers at the Makati City Health Department.

"The five contacts are indicative only. This might have been caught from dead birds, probably from the cages where this is happening.  Allegedly, so we do the examination."

Makati City Health Department Secretary Bambang Pramod added that the examination was carried out after the Animal Husbandry Department said about 80 birds died of bird flu positive.  If they are positive, the five will undergo further treatment at a referral hospital for bird flu handling.  The nearest referral hospitals are Syaiful Anwar Hospital of Malang and Surabaya Hospital Dr Soetomo.


"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson


UK - most recent HPA Influenza Surveillance graphs
http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPA...

Comment After an amazingly low flu season (record breaking) the recent cold weather has triggered the first uptick in cases.


Bronco Bill, it's Friday joke time.
The link is here http://www.newfluwiki2.com/dia... for you and the others who read my corny jokes. I could entertain you with some really "good" jokes but then I would be banned from Fluwiki! ROTF

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

     


Please post new news stories to...

News Reports for February 18, 2011

Thank you!

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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