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News Reports for January 3, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 14:01:55 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!

• B.C. facing worst flu season in recent years (Link)

• Feeling sick? Stay off the train! (Link)

• There is No Bird Flu Infected Lampung Residents (translated) (Link)

• Kathmandu: Nepal: Bird flu detected in Sitapaila (Link)
• Nuwakot: Bird flu detected in Nuwkot, Doctors team in infected area (Link)
• Kathmandu: Bird flu infected poultry killed at Lamthoki(Link)

United Kingdom
• National Geographic - The Loom: The Norovirus: A Study in Puked Perfection (Link)

United States
• MI: Flu cases more than double in one week (Link)
• MI: Flu claims its third victim in Michigan (Link)

• Social Media Now Tracks Flu Faster Than The CDC (Link)

• Recombinomics: US Adolescent Seasonal Flu Deaths Increase To 23 (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for January 3, 2013

News for January 2, 2013 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 December 17, 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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Denmark: Feeling sick? Stay off the train!
While the nation suffers from the worst flu outbreak in years, germs are getting a free ride on public transportation. The close confines of public transportation make catching an infection from fellow passengers more likely.


Some emergency rooms in the Copenhagen area have been handling up to 250 calls per hour from sick patients, most of them complaining of influenza-like symptoms.

"We have not experienced anything like it since 2009," (Snip). "We have had minor outbreaks, but nothing that has drawn on emergency doctors to this extent." Lundgren warned that the flu should be taken seriously. "If flu develops into pneumonia, for example, it can be serious and potentially life-threatening," he said. Continued: http://cphpost.dk/news/nationa...

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


<b>Recombinomics Commentary</b>
AR (1 ), FL (1 ), ME (1 ), MI(2 ), TX(1 ), WA (1 ), WI (1 )

The above list of locations (Snip) are for the eight pediatric deaths cited in the week 51 FluView.  This list adds Arkansas to the tally of adolescent flu deaths reported in the US during the 2012/2013.  Although the CDC has cited 16 cases, last week the total, which included media and state lab reports, was 20 deaths.

The total has now grown to 23 based on the above case in Arkansas coupled with a case reported in the week 52 report from Indiana as well as a media report describing a case (17M) from Texas who died in Wisconsin.  (Snip).

The early tally of these deaths suggests the number will increase dramatically in 2013 due largely to the spread of the Victoria/361 H3N2 sub-clade which has evolved away from the current vaccine target.

MMWR    Cases     Location
51                    8       AR FL ME MI(2) TX WA WI
50                    2       NJ
49                    1       TX
48                    3       IN FL SC
46                    1       TX
41                    1       TN

Cases not listed in FluView / MMWR
52                    2       IN WI
51                    1       NY
50                    2       CO
48                    2       OH SC


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


Canada: B.C. facing worst flu season in recent years (British Columbia)
Early infection numbers suggest British Columbia may be in for its worst flu season since the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, health experts say.

The BC Centre for Disease Control said the dominant influenza subtype hitting the province this year is the H3N2 virus, a nasty strain that presents a particular risk to people with chronic health conditions and the elderly.

The Centre's Dr. Danuta Skowronski said there's nothing to suggest the province is facing a pandemic-level outbreak similar to the one that killed dozens of people four years ago, but flu season did start early and is on track to be worse than recent years.

"We've had some fairly mild season in the last few years since the pandemic," Skowronski said. "It's too soon to make a call about whether this is going to be a very severe influenza season, but it's definitely increasing." http://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-facin...

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


US: Flu cases more than double in one week (Michigan)
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The illness, bringing fever, chills, coughs, and misery to hundreds in West Michigan, is increasing. The flu continues to spread.

The number of confirmed cases more than doubled in just one week in Kent County. (Snip) there are now 242 confirmed cases from September 2012 through December 31, 2012. That's up from 112 a week ago. In 2011, there were just six reported cases during the same three month stretch.

Spokeswoman Lisa LaPlante says there isn't one reason for the increase.

It could be that more people have been together inside now that it's cold out. For example, holiday shoppers pack into stores or families gathering for the holidays.

It could be that some people waited to get flu shots.

But it could also be that more physicians are testing for the flu now, because they're prescribing prescription medications within the first day or two symptoms appear. http://www.wzzm13.com/news/art...  

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


US: Flu claims its third victim in Michigan
The state is reporting its third pediatric death linked to the flu this season as the number of confirmed cases keeps rising. The most recent fatality was a 6-year-old in southwest Michigan, said the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The previously reported pediatric deaths were a 6-month-old from southwest Michigan and a 13-year-old from the central region, both in December.

There is a particular concern for children this flu season, said Angela Minicuci, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

"That's definitely always a concern, especially given the number of cases we have early in the season," she said.

The MDCH Bureau of Laboratories has confirmed 252 positive influenza cases as of Dec. 27, up from 149 the prior week. This does not represent all reported cases at other laboratories in Michigan, Minicuci said. Continued: http://www.detroitnews.com/art...

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


[ Parent ]
Nepal: Bird flu detected in Sitapaila
KATHMANDU: The bird flu outbreak has been detected in Sitapaila of Kathmandu, ten days after the first case was reported in the area. The first case of bird flu was reported in the area on December 24, 2012.


It was confirmed in a poultry farm (Snip) on Tuesday night, said spokesperson of the directorate Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire. "Our rapid response team culled about 2,460 chickens, 527 eggs and 25 kg feed today," Ghimire said. The poultry farm is just 500 metres east to Surya Mohan Pokhrel's farm where bird flu was reported on December 24, he added.

"We had kept the area under strict surveillance since the first outbreak, so there is no chance of it spreading to other places," said Ghimire. According to the directorate, bird flu infection has been spreading towards poultry farms located in the eastern part of Sitapaila VDC.


The bird flu outbreak has been detected nine times in Kathmandu valley in the last one year. The recent outbreaks were in Dharke of Dhading district on December 13, and Thimi of Bhaktapur district on October 11. http://thehimalayantimes.com/f...


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


Nepal: Bird flu infected poultry killed at Lamthoki
Over 2,500 chickens were slaughtered at a Lamthoki hatchery in Sitapaila, Kathmandu, on Wednesday following an outbreak of the bird flu (H5N1) virus.

A team of experts from the Department of Livestock Services (DoLS) culled 2,640 chickens and destroyed 25kg of poultry feed and 527 eggs from a farm belonging to Rajendra Budhathoki and Prem Manandhar. The Tripureshwor-based Central Veterinary Laboratory confirmed the outbreak of avian flu at the poultry farm on Tuesday.

"One of the owners of the farm admitted that he had been to the nearby Mahadol farm where the presence of bird flu was reported last week, and thus, had been in contact with infected chicken," said Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire, a senior veterinary doctor at the DoLS. Clearly, the virus had been transmitted from the Mahadol farm to the Lamthoki farm, said Dr Ghimire.

Last Wednesday, bird flu was reported at a farm belonging to Surya Mohan Pokhrel of Mahadol in Sitapaila. Officials had subsequently culled 2,240 chickens and destroyed 700kg of poultry feed and 105 eggs from the farm.

Kumar Dahal, public health inspector at the Department of Health Services, asserted that no humans in the locality had developed influenza-like symptoms. However, as a precaution, Dahal said that Tami-flu, a medicine used to treat the flu, had been administered to some of the local residents.

If the bird flu virus is transmitted to humans, the general symptoms are fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and difficulty breathing. "However, during the winter, such symptoms are common. So when one experiences difficulty in breathing along with other symptoms, they should promptly see a doctor," cautioned Dahal. If these symptoms develop in people suffering from chronic diseases, they should be immediately referred to hospital, said Dahal. Persons diagnosed with avian flu must be quarantined, fed liquids and should observe complete rest, said doctors. "However, consumption of well-cooked chicken is not dangerous," said Dahal. Continued: http://www.ekantipur.com/2013/...

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


[ Parent ]
Social Media Now Tracks Flu Faster Than The CDC
A social media health website predicted the 2012 flu season six weeks before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did (Snip).

Using tracking and analysis via social media, the website Sickweather.com declared that the flu season began October 18, a month and a half before the CDC's official announcement. Sickweather was able to make this claim after seeing a 77 percent increase in social media reports mentioning flu between August and September. Sickweather also observed a roughly 30 percent increase in the total volume of flu-related chatter compared to last year.

(Snip) Data collected by many traditional institutions with formal reporting structures sometimes takes weeks to analyze. (Snip) informal media, such as social media, can provide information in near-real time. This new, quicker knowledge of data can provide earlier estimates of many health issues and epidemics, including the flu.

New technology has gotten the attention of many other government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security. They are now making huge investments in using social media to find better, quicker and more accurate ways to deal with health emergencies and get the right information more quickly. Continued: http://www.business2community....

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


Nepal: Bird flu detected in Nuwkot, Doctors team in infected area
NUWAKOT, Jan 3: Bird flu has been detected in Chaughada VDC in Nuwakot district. (Snip) the sample taken from a dead chicken at local Dhruba Rai´s house in Chaughala VDC Ward No. 1 confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus (Snip).

A team of doctors from the capital has reached Chaughada to kill the fowls and other birds infected by bird flu. Similarly, a team including the veterinary doctors and other technicians reached the villages for preventing the spread of the disease in the area.

CDO Oli said the bird flu virus was reported to be transmitted to the local fowls from two broiler chickens brought to the village from Kathmandu.

The area has been declared a ´bird flu infected´ one. All the schools in the area have been closed for three days to prevent spreading the bird flu virus from here. Continued: http://www.myrepublica.com/por...

(Note: This reads like a team of (medical?) doctors are there to cull the chickens. I don't belive that. The team of veterinary doctors and other technicians sent there will be doing that and those (medical?) doctors have been rushed to the area for either a precautionary measure or suspicious human cases, IMO. Also, note the schools are being closed. The (medical?) doctors being sent there over 2 H5N1 positive chickens has my full attention!)

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


Hmm... yeah
Unless it's a translation mixup, that does seem suspicious. And closing schools? Possibly there is also regular flu there, and they fear not being able to tell the difference before it gets out of hand? OTOH, I hear that schools in Nepal aren't nearly as compulsory as schools in other areas, so maybe it's not as big a deal to close schools. In the US, you practically have to have kids turning purple!

[ Parent ]
National Geographic - The Loom: The Norovirus: A Study in Puked Perfection
The Norovirus: A Study in Puked Perfection:
Today, The Guardian relayed one of those stunning medical stories that causes me to clean off my glasses and take another look to make sure I'm reading it clearly. They report that an outbreak of norovirus in Britain this winter has struck more than 1.1 million people with vomiting and diarrhea.

That's right: 1.1 million. In Britain alone.

What is this fearsome bug, you may be asking, and why isn't it the subject of a Hollywood horror movie?

There is No Bird Flu Infected Lampung Residents
January 3, 2013
Bandar Lampung, Indonesia:  Although cases of poultry deaths due to avian influenza are rife in Lampung lately, so far there are no cases of people infected.

"Thank God, still nothing.  For there have been no cases of human bird flu suspects  during 2012-2013.  For a few years, Lampung is still free from infection cases of bird flu in humans," said Health Department Public Relations Asih Hendrastuti Lampung Province, Thursday (3 / 1/2012).

The emergence of cases of people suspected of contracting bird flu in Lampung last occurred in 2010.  Then in 2005, three Lampung residents tested positive for bird flu.  However, the number of cases continues to decline in recent years.  Although it is down, Lampung Provincial Health Office remains wary of the possibility of the spread of the bird flu virus to humans, especially with the rampant cases of dead ducks lately due to a new strain of avian influenza.

"Lampung now chooses a special facility for handling suspected cases of bird flu.  The facility that was completed was Hospital Abdul Moeloek," said Asih.

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

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