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News Reports for December 5, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 13:44:21 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!

United States
• LA: Health department braces for "significant" flu season (Link)
• NY: Flu-Related Death Reported in Monroe County (Link)
• TX: Flu season hits area hard, doctors say (Link)

General
• What Is the World's Most Dangerous Animal? (Link)
• There are more new cases of deadly virus (translated) (Link)


• H(Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for December 5, 2012

News for December 4, 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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What Is the World's Most Dangerous Animal?
(Snip)

When new infectious diseases are discovered, one of the first questions is "where did this come from?" More often than not, the answer is one of our animal friends - a kind of disease called a zoonosis. Studies have shown that about 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases (diseases that are newly discovered, are increasing in frequency, or have moved into a new geographic area) are of animal origin, as are 60 percent of all known pathogens. Even diseases that have spread freely in the human population, such as tuberculosis, HIV, measles, and smallpox, have their roots in infections carried by animals.

Which animals are the most likely to harbor zoonotic pathogens?

Bats

For reasons that are not currently understood, bats are able to be infected with a huge variety of viruses. They pass these viruses to other animal species via bites or guano. The classic bat-origin virus is rabies, but bats have also been implicated as possible reservoir species for the Ebola and Marburg viruses, Nipah, Hendra, and others. Even influenza has recently been found in bats. Bats also appear to be the reservoir for the SARS coronavirus, which surfaced in 2002 in Asia. SARS eventually infected more than 8,000 individuals around the world and killed almost 800 of them between November 2002 and July 2003, spreading to at least 37 countries. A new SARS-related virus has recently surfaced in Saudi Arabia, and speculation is that it's also from bats.

Other Wild Animals

While bats appear to be responsible for a disproportionate amount of novel pathogens, every animal species carries its own unique microbiota-the collection of microbes that live on and in an animal's body. Some of those can also spread to humans. As mentioned above, birds can spread many different types of influenza viruses. In fact, wild waterfowl serve as the ultimate reservoir for all known types of influenza viruses. Birds also can transmit a number of encephalitis viruses, such as West Nile. Because many migrate long distances, birds may be particularly efficient at introducing pathogens into new areas.

Primates also harbor a number of pathogens that have crossed over into human populations, often an easy jump since we are so closely related. HIV is the result of multiple species jumps from nonhuman primates into human populations, likely due to butchering of infected animals. Research carried out by Nathan Wolfe and others has shown that bushmeat hunters in Africa are still being infected with viruses from our primate relatives. http://www.slate.com/articles/...

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

     


There are more new cases of deadly virus
(Note: This is from Dec. 3, 2012)

Translated

So far the virus has sickened nine people and five of them have died. The disease is a new coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) (Snip).

The two cases date from April and are part of a dozen people, mostly health professionals, who became ill in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Zarqa, Jordan. Authorities are investigating whether the other 10 people who became ill were also infected and how they caught the virus.

"It's too early to say whether a contagion among humans occurred or not, but we certainly can not rule it out," said Gregory Hartl, spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO).

One case in Jordan was a woman of 40 years. The other patients to date have been men. The new virus has so far been detected also in patients from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Scientists have not yet found any link between sporadic cases of coronavirus, first detected in September. "We do not know how it's spread and now there are more questions than answers," said Hartl.

Several patients sick with the new coronavirus suffer rapid renal impairment, severe pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. The agent is more akin to a bat virus and scientists are considering whether this winged mammal and other animals like camels or goats are a possible source of infection.

Scientists are also considering whether the animal fluids contaminated fruit could spread the virus.

Still, not all patients had contact with animals and WHO said the virus could infect between humans as in hospital in Jordan and in some cases in Saudi Arabia, where four members of a family became ill and two died.

The WHO said the virus may spread beyond the Middle East and urged countries to consider people with unexplained pneumonia. http://www2.esmas.com/salud/53...
 

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

     


New York: Flu-Related Death Reported in Monroe County
12/04/2012

The Monroe County Health Department is reporting the first flu-related death of the year. A department spokesman says the person who died was over the age of 65.

snip

Health officials say the strain H3N2 is the prominent strain so far, which is usually associated with a severe flu season.

This week is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and health officials say the flu shot is the best bet to fight the flu. The flu vaccine protects against the three most common strains of the flu, including H1N1

http://rochester.ynn.com/conte...

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


TX: Flu season hits area hard, doctors say
http://m.victoriaadvocate.com/...

Flu season has arrived in Victoria, and it's slamming the community harder than in years past.

"This has been the most severe it has been over the last five years," said Sanjeev Bhatia, owner and doctor at Crossroads Health Center. "Some have been sick enough to be hospitalized. We've been swamped with flu patients since last week."

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that several Southern states including Texas should expect the flu season to be hitting harder and earlier than in previous years. Health facilities in Victoria already have seen an increase in patients for more than a week.

[more]


US: Health department braces for "significant" flu season (Louisiana)
Seasonal flu is striking before some people get around to a shot. But even if you catch the flu, you should still get vaccinated, said Dr. Martha Whyte, medical director for Office of Public Health Region 7. "If you do it soon enough, it can sometimes shorten the flu, and there are different strains, so it could protect you against some of the other ones," (Snip)

State health officials already are giving flu shots at health units around Louisiana. The shots are free to people with Medicare and Medicaid. They cost $10 for everyone else.

(Snip)

(Snip) statewide surveillance shows that 5 to 10 percent of people visiting the doctors' offices each day have flu or a flu-like illness. That's considered a mild to moderate flu outbreak. Continued: http://www.shreveporttimes.com...

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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