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News Reports for February 24, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 22:56:51 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
•  CDC denies China SARS outbreak report (Link)
•  SARS Rumors Spread on China's Internet (video news report) (Link)

Egypt
•  Egypt reports two cases of bird flu this week (Link)

Indonesia
•  Child Dies of Bird Flu in Bali (Link)
•  Development of Bird Flu Cases (translated) (Link)
•  Examination of Avian Influenza Contingency Negative Patients (translated) (Link)

Japan
•  Flu vaccine may not be effective (Link)

Vietnam
•  Human trials for bird flu vaccine successful (Link)

Research
•  Researchers identify new H5N1 subclade in India
(Link)
•  Bird Flu: More common, less deadly than we thought? (Link)

General
•  WHO picks two new strains for next season's flu vaccine (Link)


•  H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 24, 2012

News for February 23, 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 22, 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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Vietnam: Human trials for birdflu vaccine successful
HA NOI - Viet Nam has successfully produced experimental versions of bird flu vaccines to combat the virus which has killed 62 people in 9 years (Snip) Six series of vaccines to prevent the H5N1 virus were produced at the Vabiotech company's laboratory, which is run by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

The first and second phases of testing the H5N1 vaccine, named Fluvax, on volunteers was reported successful. All volunteers who were injected with 7.5mcg or more of the vaccine have shown good immunity response. Volunteers only suffered minor side effects which disappeared within 24 hours.

(Snip) the trial version has meet all criteria the WHO lists for developing the human vaccine (Snip) Producing vaccines domestically will make Viet Nam more active in preventing the pandemic virus.

(Snip) between 2007 and 2010, 5-7 people contracted bird flu each year in Viet Nam. The cases were reported in provinces across the country, and most of those infected had contracted the virus after coming in contact with, or eating, poultry at the end of winter and beginning of spring. There is still no concrete proof the disease can be transmitted from human to human. http://vietnamnews.vnagency.co...

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

     


Researchers identify new H5N1 subclade in India
A genetic analysis of H5N1 avian influenza isolates from February 2011 poultry outbreaks in India's Tripura state shows the introduction of a new clade to the area (Snip) Until 2009, outbreaks in India and Pakistan were linked to 2.2 clade viruses. The first 2.3.2.1 clade virus was detected in South Asia in 2010 in Nepal; however, investigators found that 2.3.2.1 clade viruses responsible for the Tripura outbreaks are distinct from the ones found earlier in Nepal.

(Snip) they concluded that the new clade circulated in Myanmar, then spread to Bangladesh and India through land-based poultry or migratory birds.

(Snip) it's important to monitor whether the new 2.3.2.1 clade is replacing the previous 2.2 clade in South Asia or is cocirculating with it. They warned that cocirculation of H5N1 subclades in a highly populated area such as South Asia increases the risk of evolving H5N1 strains. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

Feb 20 PLoS One abstract http://www.plosone.org/article...

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

     


WHO picks two new strains for next season's flu vaccine
The World Health Organization (WHO) today recommended changing two of the three strains in next season's influenza vaccine for the Northern Hemisphere, ending a couple of years of stability in the vaccine's makeup.

The WHO's flu experts called for changing the A/H3N2 and B components of the vaccine but continuing to use a strain of the pandemic 2009 virus for the A/H1N1 component. Although the current flu season has been quiet in most of the world, the recommendation means that a significant share of flu viruses circulating in recent months don't match up very closely with those in this year's vaccine.

The WHO recommended strains similar to the following for the 2012-13 season:

A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09
A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2), which replaces A/Perth/16/2009
B/Wisconsin/1/2010, which replaces B/Brisbane/60/2008
(Snip)
The WHO's technical report says that since September, 2009 H1N1 viruses have circulated at very low levels in most countries, and most of the isolates studied have been similar to the vaccine strain.

H3N2 viruses have been predominant in Europe, many countries in the Americas and northern Africa, and some Asian countries. The majority of recent H3N2 isolates have been distinguishable from the current vaccine strain and more closely related to A/Victoria/361/2011-like reference viruses (Snip)

Influenza B viruses come in two lineages, Victoria and Yamagata, and predicting which one will be more common in any given season has been difficult. The WHO's choice for next season's B strain marks a switch from Victoria to Yamagata.

The report said the proportion of B/Yamagata/16/88-lineage viruses has increased this season in many countries, though Victoria lineage viruses have predominated in some countries, including China. Most recent Yamagata isolates have been distinguishable from the previous Yamagata strain used in the vaccine (B/Florida/4/2006) and are closely related to B/Wisonsin/1/2010-like viruses.

The WHO report also notes that 21 human cases of H5N1 avian flu were reported from Sep 20, 2011, to Feb 21, 2012, of which 15 were fatal. They occurred in Cambodia, China, Egypt, Indonesia, and Vietnam. (Snip) http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

WHO list of strains selected http://www.who.int/influenza/v...
 

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

     


Child Dies of Bird Flu in Bali
http://www.balidiscovery.com/m...
February 24, 2012
Bali, Indonesia:  Radar Bali reports the death of a 12-year-old child from South Bali due to Bird Flu. The child, identified only with the initials WM, died in the isolation ward of Denpasar's Sanglah General Hospital at 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, 2012.  The child was transferred to the Bird Flu Unit at Sanglah Hospital only 5 hours prior to its death after being warded for five days at the Puri Raharja Hospital, also in Denpasar.

Dr. Ken Wirasandshi, the head of the Bird Flu Team at Sanglah Hospital, said the child was suffering from respiratory distress with laboratory tests showing the virus for Avian influenza.
The child's parents, however, denied any contact with poultry prior to the onset of the disease. Initially misdiagnosed, the child was admitted to Puri Raharja Hospital for typhus.  

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


Flu vaccine may not be effective
Many vaccinated people caught flu during season 2011-2012 (Snip) According to the statistics from the local health research centers from Kobe City, Yokohama City, Mie Pref, Saga Pref and Sakai City, more than 80% of flu virus samples were mutated type (especially 100% in Kobe). Those mutated flu virus were not effective by this year's vaccine.

(Snip) Each year, the drug companies forecast the trend of the flu in the previous summer because they cannot manufacture the vaccine quickly. According to NHK, the drug companies may have failed to predict the mutated flu virus completely. Therefore, there have been more chances to catch flu this year. People needs to be cautioned.

NHK added that the people, who had a vaccine shot, did have fewer chances to catch flu. So it was not completely worthless to have a flu shot. Although the season is coming to the end, even if you have a flu shot in Japan, you should still be careful with flu. http://yokosonews.com/lifestyl...

************
Note: The "Hong Kong flu" is an H3N2 strain that evolved from H2N2 by antigenic shift and caused the pandemic of 1968 and 1969. The H3N2 selection for the vaccine in 2011/2012 was the A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus. So the vaccine didn't match the circulating virus in Japan this season and that is the reason it didn't provide much protection. Excerpts from this article: http://www.japantoday.com/cate...

"The institute said that as of Feb 5, the number of flu patients in Japan topped 2.11 million, an increase of 380,000 over the previous week."

"The data show that most patients tested were found to have been infected by the A strain of the virus, known in Japan as the "Hong Kong" strain."  

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

     


Oops! I made a mistake.
The vaccine had the A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2), not the  A/Victoria/361/2011. This next season's vaccine will contain the A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2). This from the article I posted above:

"H3N2 viruses have been predominant in Europe, many countries in the Americas and northern Africa, and some Asian countries. The majority of recent H3N2 isolates have been distinguishable from the current vaccine strain and more closely related to A/Victoria/361/2011-like reference viruses."

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

     


[ Parent ]
Development of Bird Flu Cases
http://sehatnegeriku.com/perke...
February 24, 2012
Balitbangkes, Indonesia:  The Ministry of Health through the Directorate General of Disease Control and Environmental Health has announced that a new case of H5N1 have been confirmed by the Center for Basic Biomedical and Health Technology, Balitbangkes.  The case is on behalf of DWM (male, 12 years) resident of Badung, Bali.  On February 11, 2012, his fever symptoms developed and he saw doctors in private clinics and hospitals.  On February 16, 2012 the case was being treated at RS.  Because of increased shortness (of breath), on February 20, 2012, the case was referred to the Referral Hospital Bird Flu, but eventually the case died on February 21, 2012.

Epidemiological investigations have been conducted in the home and neighborhood environment.  The case by the local Health Department with the results of risk factors is unclear.  With the increase of this case, the cumulative number of bird flu in Indonesia since 2005 until this news was broadcast were 186 cases with 154 deaths.  Director General of Disease Control and Environmental Health Yoga Aditama Prof.dr.Tjandra as the focal point of the International Health Regulations (IHR) has informed the WHO about the case.
(more)


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


Examination of Avian Influenza Contingency Negative Patients
February 24, 2012
http://regional.kompas.com/rea...
Palangkaraya, Indonesia:  The examination of patients suspected of bird flu at the General Hospital (Hospital) Dr. Doris Sylvanus was negative.  The hospital patients in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan were previously treated in isolation but have now been allowed to mingle with other patients.

Deputy Director of Medical and Hospital Care at Dr Doris Sylvanus, Irly Yulia, in Palangkaraya, Friday (02/24/2012), said that the patient AD was excluded from the isolation room on Thursday afternoon yesterday.  The patient was rushed to hospital on Saturday (18/02/2012) and immediately put in isolation.  According to Irly, M could only be added to the usual care after waiting for the results of tests carried out in Jakarta.  Along with M, three members of his family were treated.  

"All the members of M's family were out of the isolation room last Wednesday," he explained.

They are expected to be returned to the village Murui homelands, Central District of Kapuas, Kapuas, Central Kalimantan, next week.  At present, the condition of M and the members of his familyare  quite well.  They do not have a fever, cough, runny nose, and have a normal appetite.

"We are still awaiting the results of viral culture. Result are still only known for a long time, about three weeks," said Irly.


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


CDC denies China SARS outbreak report
Sat, Feb 25, 2012

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Thursday that there was no SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak in China, despite unverified reports circulating on the Internet.

The Chinese health authorities have said that there is no SARS outbreak within its territory, CDC Deputy Director-General Chou Jih-haw said on Thursday.

snip

Many Chinese Internet users have voiced concern over a possible SARS pandemic in a military hospital in Hebei Province, -according to a newspaper.

Although the Chinese government has yet to officially deny the rumor, bloggers alleged that hundreds of patients have been hospitalized in isolation wards and at least one has died from the disease, the newspaper report said.

continued:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/New...

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


Cottontop, this article got my full attention!!
I sure hope this doesn't turn out to be SARS or H5N1.  

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

     


[ Parent ]
SARS Rumors Spread on China's Internet
NOTE: Good video news report on this here: http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv...

Rumors are spreading online about a possible new outbreak of SARS in China. SARS (Snip) spreads through close person-to-person contact.

Online reports said that SARS had appeared in two provinces in northeast China. They also said some people have died.

On Thursday, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control asked officials in mainland China to confirm the recent outbreak of SARS. But Chinese officials denied it. Rumors about SARS in China are spreading on the country's major websites.

Netizens believe that officials are just covering up the issue (Snip) Chinese officials did not inform the WHO about the original SARS outbreak in southern China for three months.

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

     


[ Parent ]
I suspect
that one has to take reports about China from Taiwan with a pinch of salt. But, reports of a serious disease outbreak that isn't SARS isn't necessarily good news. At some point there will be a new disease that isn't SARS or H5N1 but will be a serious threat. Even the common cold is becomming more deadly.

[ Parent ]
Egypt reports two cases of bird flu this week
The Egyptian Ministry of Health notified the World Health Organization on Wednesday and Friday concerning two new, separate avian influenza H5N1 cases according to a Global Alert and Response (GAR) report.

The case reported Wednesday was a 45-year-old female from Menofia governorate. She developed symptoms on 10 February 2012, received oseltamivir (Tamiflu) treatment on 17 February 2012 and is still recovering. The case was laboratory confirmed by the Central Public Health Laboratories last Saturday.

The second case reported to the WHO today is a one-year-old female infant from Gharbeia governorate. She developed symptoms on 14 February 2012 and was admitted to a hospital on 15 February 2012, where she received oseltamivir treatment upon admission. She is in good medical condition.

The investigations of both cases show the presence of backyard poultry in their respective residences.

Egypt has one of the lower avian influenza case-fatality rates at 34%.

http://www.examiner.com/infect...


WHO confirmation ...
... of the second case is here.

[ Parent ]
Bird Flu: More common, less deadly than we thought?
A new study suggests H5N1 is more easily spread and far less deadly than scientists believed. What does that mean for work on potentially lethal man-made versions of the virus?
By Bryan Walsh | @bryanrwalsh | February 24, 2012

This is one thing we thought we knew about the avian influenza virus H5N1: it is extremely deadly. Since the virus first emerged widely in human beings in 2003, there have been 587 cases confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Of them, 346 resulted in death. That's a fatality rate of 59%, far above the 0.1% death rate for the standard seasonal flu. If H5N1 really kills more than half of eople it infects, it would represent one of the most dangerous health threats on the planet.

snip

.....The virus almost never spreads from person to person.

That makes H5N1 frightening - especially if you're unlucky enough to contract it - but, ultimately, a limited health threat. Now, what if it it turned out that H5N1 actually infected far more people than we thought, and that nearly all of them became somewhat sick, but ultimately recovered? That would mean H5N1 was much more transmissible than scientists expected, but far less deadly.

(worth reading-cottontop)
whole story:

http://healthland.time.com/201...

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


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