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News Reports for November 14, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 15:50:03 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!

India
• Forest dept scanner on migratory birds to detect bird flu cases during Kumbh (Link)

United Kingdom
• Influenza in London-Middlesex (Link)

United States
• CIDRAP: US - DHS contract focuses on social media as biosurveillance tool (Link)
• CIDRAP: Study - Flu vaccine rates in pregnancy stayed fairly high after pandemic (Link)

Research
• CIDRAP: UK publishes whole-genome sequence of novel coronavirus (Link)

General
• New Live Vaccine Approach for SARS and Novel Coronaviruses  (Link)

Commentary
• Canada: Editorial - The flu is back (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for November 14, 2012

News for November 13, 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 August 10, 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

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India: Forest dept scanner on migratory birds to detect bird flu cases during Kumbh
Timing of the arrival of migratory birds - whose favourite area is the Sangam - coincides with Kumbh 2013

With Kumbh-2013 coinciding with the time of arrival of freshwater migratory birds from China at the Sangam, the forest department is preparing to keep a watch on the winged visitors for any sign of bird flu.

Forest department officials said that incidence of bird flu was not common, but there was a need to remain prepared as containing any such development at a time when the Kumbh is in full flow will become difficult.

Every year, the migratory freshwater gulls arrive in large numbers from China through Tibet and settle along the rivers like Ganga and Yamuna in the entire Indo-Gangetic belt. Sangam - the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna - has been a favourite area for them, as it gives them a large habitat.

Depending on the intensity of the cold, the arrival of migratory birds usually begins by November-end and they stay here till the beginning of March. Kumbh-2013 will begin on January 14 and continue for nearly two months.

Allahabad's Divisional Forest Officer Ashok Dikshit said: "Any migrating bird can be a potential carrier of bird flu. If the arrival of freshwater gulls leads to an outbreak of such a disease, we need to have the apparatus in place to contain and nip it then and there." Continued:  http://www.indianexpress.com/n...


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

     


Wikipedia: Indo-Gangetic Plain
The Indo-Gangetic Plain also known as The North Indian River Plain is a large and fertile plain encompassing most of northern and eastern India, the most populous parts of Pakistan, parts of southern Nepal and virtually all of Bangladesh. The region is named after the Indus and the Ganges, the twin river systems that drain it.

The plain's population density is very high due to the fertile soil for farming.

The plains support one of the most populous areas on Earth, being home to nearly 1 billion people (or around 1/7 of the world's population) on 700,000 km² (270,000 mile²). Among the largest cities of the Indo-Gangetic plain are Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Lahore, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, Kolkata, Guwahati and Dhaka. In this region, it is hard to define where one megalopolis begins and one ends. Continued: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Kumbh Mela (Kumbh 2013)
Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Ganges and river Godavari, where bathing for purification from sin is considered especially efficacious.

(Snip)

The previous Maha Kumbh Mela, held in 2010 in haridwar, was, before it occurred, estimated by the authorities to attract between 30 and 70 million people. Next Kumbh Mela will start on 27-January-2013 at Allahabad. More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K...  

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

     


[ Parent ]
New Live Vaccine Approach for SARS and Novel Coronaviruses
http://www.infectioncontroltod...

Rapid mutation has long been considered a key to viral adaptation to environmental change. But in the case of the coronavirus responsible for deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), collaborating researchers at the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt University have found that accelerating the rate of mutations cripples the virus's ability to cause disease in animals. In addition, they say this finding may allow scientists to explore a new option for creating safer live vaccines.

A collaborative study, published Nov. 11 in Nature Medicine, demonstrates a SARS-coronavirus, altered to lack the ability to "proofread" (correct mistakes in replication), begins to mutate much more rapidly and becomes unable to cause disease in mouse models. In effect, the alteration creates a profoundly weakened or attenuated SARS virus. (continued)


US: DHS contract focuses on social media as biosurveillance tool
Accenture Federal Services recently won a $3 million, 1-year contract to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) test the use of social media for biosurveillance. In a Nov 8 press release, the company, based in Arlington, Va., said it will create a pilot program that will use data from social networking and social media sites to help the DHS Office of Health Affairs better predict and respond to infectious disease outbreaks and biological attacks. The project will also help improve data sharing and collaboration between the OHA and its partners, the statement said. "Rapidly collecting and understanding what information is being shared [via social media] will help OHA meet its mission to detect and respond to potential threats to national health security," 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

     


Study: Flu vaccine rates in pregnancy stayed fairly high after pandemic
A single-site survey suggests that the share of pregnant women receiving influenza vaccine declined slightly the year after the 2009 H1N1 pandemic but remained above 50% (Snip). During 2010-11, 165 (55%) of 300 women surveyed received a flu shot, compared with 191 of 307 (62%) during 2009-10. Vaccination by an obstetrician was common but decreased from 71% to 60%. Although three fourths of women said their providers recommended flu vaccination, the prevalence of a discussion about the vaccine dropped from 24% to 11%. 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

     


UK publishes whole-genome sequence of novel coronavirus
The UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA) today published the complete genome sequence from the country's confirmed case of novel coronavirus infection (Snip). The sequence will enable scientists to see how closely the UK case is related to the first case of infection with the novel coronavirus, in a Saudi Arabian patient in June (Snip). The UK case was diagnosed Sep 22, and the patient continues to receive care in a London hospital, the agency said.

(Snip) "It has been very technically challenging to try to recover and piece together an entire virus from miniscule amounts of material. However, understanding more about the diversity of virus will help with efforts to determine its origin as well as to develop strategies for treatment and prevention." Saudi Arabia announced another case last week, bringing the global total to three. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

Nov 13 HPA news release http://www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCent...

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

     


UK: Influenza in London - Middlesex
A reminder today from the Middlesex-London Health Unit that the winter flu season is on the way. It is reporting three confirmed cases of Influenza A in the London and Middlesex area.

Public Health staff will be monitoring the flu situation to decide whether these cases mean the flu season is headed for an early start.

The Health Unit is using the news to push the message about the importance of getting a flu shot. The flu shot is offered free of cost by the Health Unit, doctor's offices and pharmacies.

(Snip)

Continued: flu clinic schedule http://blackburnnews.com/londo...

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

     


Canada: Editorial - The flu is back
Flu shots are back on in Saskatchewan and the rest of the country.

The coughing, a sore throat, and a runny nose. Sounds like you have the common cold - until you have nausea and body aches. You should have received that flu shot. It is the biggest question people are asking this time of year, "should I get the flu shot?"

Maybe you didn't get it last year, or possibly never, but that shouldn't stop you from getting it this year. A simple poke in the arm can help prevent several days of suffering, time off work or school and hospitalization.

The flu shot is designed to vaccinate your body against the most common types of flu viruses. Every vaccine contains "instructions" for your body on how to fight three different flu viruses. It protects against Influenza B and two kinds of Influenza A by introducing a killed virus into your body. Antibodies develop to protect against the viruses in the event that you come in contact with them. It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to come into effect. Continued: http://www.thepost.on.ca/2012/...

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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