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News Reports for January 4, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 14:02:13 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!

• Ontario: Flu outbreak crowding Canadian emergency rooms (Link)

• Avian infuenza reported in Germany (Link)

• 24 swine flu deaths reported in Rajasthan in 20 days (Link)
• 3 swine flu cases baffle health dept (Link)

• Java: The Citizens Suspect Bird Flu (translated) (Link)
• Bali: Bird flu wipes out hundreds of ducks (Link)

• Many Norwegians affected by Swine flu (Link)

• 3-month-old baby dies from swine flu, death toll reaches 12 (Link)

• Report of death from swine flu in Poland 'not true' says hospital (Link)

United States
• CDC announces flu widespread in 41 states (Link)

• Recombinomics: England H3N2 Has Abolished HA Glycosylation Site (Link)
• Recombinomics: CDC Testing New H3N2 Vaccine Target (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for January 4, 2013

News for January 3, 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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Avian infuenza reported in Germany
A low-pathogenic outbreak of avian influenza in north Germany has been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

(Snip) the outbreak was on an organic farm in the Schleswig-Holstein state, and 1,200 laying hens and 300 geese were culled on 20 December (Snip).

(Snip) a Social Democrat Party administrator, told media that the virus was harmless to humans, but the birds were culled to prevent "a slight possibility of the virus becoming pathogenic in the future".

District veterinarian Karlheinz Reisewitz said that it was likely that the infection had originated from wild geese. (Snip) this virus type had already been detected in mallard ducks in the Czech Republic and wild birds in Georgia. http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/...

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


Norway: Many Norwegians affected by Swine flu
This year's flu season has just started to peak, and the swine flu ( A H1N1) has affected more people this year than previous winters, apart from the 2009 pandemic. (Snip) the number of outbreaks continued to rise in week 51 and 52, and have now moved beyond the regular limit.

Last week, 415 cases of influenza virus A (H1N1) were reported, and 101 cases of virus B. (Snip)

Although the cases of swine flu will probably constitute a larger portion of this year's epidemic than previous years, the institute thinks that people's immunity from either being vaccinated of having the flu last year will help limit the spread.

However, the hospitals are under a lot of pressure to handle the sudden rush of flu patients. A hospital in Molde has already run out of beds, and Ahus in Akershus County has had to establish a temporary post with 15 patients.


"We are probably at the very beginning now, and we assume that the numbers will continue to rise," Natås says. http://www.norwaypost.no/index...

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


India: 24 swine flu deaths reported in Rajasthan in 20 days (Rajasthan)
JAIPUR: Swine flu has again reared its ugly head in the state. In the past 20 days, 24 swine flu deaths have been recorded while 155 persons tested positive. In the first eight months of the financial year 2012-13, the state recorded 34 deaths, but the toll shot up in the last 20 days.

(Big Snip)

Kota, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner and Jaipur districts have registered maximum cases of swine flu. One person died of swine flu in Jodhpur on Wednesday while nine fresh cases were reported from different parts of the state. Five persons tested positive for influenza in Bikaner, two in Jaipur and one each in Churu and Udaipur. (Snip) "Teams of officials from Jaipur will be sent to Kota, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Udaipur to take stock of the situation."

In Bikaner, the district collector has already directed the schools not to conduct morning assemblies to prevent the spread of the influenza. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

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


India: 3 swine flu cases baffle health dept. (Haryana and Punjab)
With three cases of swine flu H1N1 influenza reported in the city in the last ten days, officials of the UT Health department are in a tizzy over the reason for its spread.

While a team from the health department went to the PGIMER on Thursday to the department of Cytology to collect data and facts regarding the three cases, who were staff members of the department, how the first case happened still remains a mystery with the first patient not having had any travel history. Officials say that they are suspecting that someone might have come to give a sample which the staff members came into contact with.

(Snip) the department of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, Health Department, UT-Chandigarh has spearheaded the control and containment measures with respect to the three positive H1N1 Influenza A (Swine Flu) Cases reported from PGIMER in the last week.

(Snip) the State Surveillance Officer along with an epidemiologist and microbiologist visited the department of Cytology and Gynae Pathology, PGIMER, Sector 12, Chandigarh.

The positive cases had been contacted and quarantined for infection control. All contacts have been prescribed preventive medication as per protocol. Continued: http://www.indianexpress.com/n...

(Note: All this seems a little extreme to me for it to be just 3 cases of H1N1 swine flu. I have to ask, "Is more going on here than we know"? This is not the first article on this that emphasized that the initial case had no travel history. JMO)

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


Canada: Flu outbreak crowding Canadian emergency rooms
CBC Toronto
Thousands of Canadians celebrated the holiday season feeling a bit feverish, knocked off their feet by a strain of influenza that's hurried across the country earlier than in years past.

The latest edition of the Public Health Agency of Canada report said localized influenza activity, commonly known as the flu, was reported in 11 provinces and territories during the first week of December.

According to Health Canada, there were around 3,500 cases of influenza in the country as of Dec. 15. By the same time in 2011, there were only 182 cases.

Report of death from swine flu in Poland 'not true' says hospital
Spokeswoman at the hospital in Bielsko-Biala (Snip) said reports that the man died from contracting the AH1N1 virus (Snip) were incorrect. She said that though the man had tested positive for the virus, this was not the direct cause of his death as he was suffering from other diseases as well. "He was very sick," Trojanowska said.

(Snip) 16 people have been diagnosed with having the AH1N1 virus at the hospital - one of them being a medical employee.

(Snip) director at a hospital in the town of Sucha Beskidzka, also in southern Poland, says two patients diagnosed with the virus are in a "serious but stable condition" in the intensive care unit.

Spokesman for Poland's Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (Snip) told Polish Radio that the AH1N1 virus is a "normal seasonal flu", which "can be potentially dangerous, especially to the elderly and those with asthma or cardiovascular disease".

In 2009, 172 people died from swine flu in Poland. http://www.thenews.pl/1/9/Arty...  

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


The Citizens Suspect Bird Flu
January 4, 2013
Cilegon, Indonesia:  The public is asked to increase their vigilance against bird flu.  This is because the disease caused by avian influenza (AI) is thought to have begun infecting people.
Yesterday, Purnama Sari Indah (22), a resident of Environment Ciberko, RT / RW 02/02, Village Kalitimbang, District Ciberer, was declared a bird flu suspect.  Since Wednesday (2/1), Purnama experienced fever, dizziness, and shortness of breath.  He suffered this after discarding some of his birds and poultry that died suddenly.

"It's been a few days my chickens, ducks, and pigeons died suddenly.  Originally they had seizures with blue eyes, and then died.  Fearing the end I threw the carcasses into the river near the house.  I threw the chicken carcasses last Wednesday (2/1) afternoon," Purnama told the clerk at the Department of Agriculture and Marine (Disperla) Cilegon who visited yesterday.

After hearing Purnama's explanation, the officer immediately checked his blood birds.  The Disperla officer who arrived related reports of the birds that died suddenly in Kalitimbang.  

"I did have a report to Disperla that my birds died suddenly.  I suspect that the chickens and ducks had bird flu, even now it seems I am also affected by bird flu," said Purnama.

He admitted that he had to check his health to the health center Ciberer.  Personnel referred him to the hospital clinic Cilegon, on Village Panggungrawi, District Jombang.  In the Cilegon hospital Purnama had a blood test.  Unfortunately, he claimed not to know the results of the test.  

"After the blood was taken, I went home.  The problem is, after the blood tests at night, I want to break a strong baseball," he complained.

Hospital Director Dr. Zainoel Arifin Cilegon contacted last night said the blood tests performed in the Ministry of Health Laboratory (MoH).  

"Directly we send this to the Ministry of Health, because we do not have the tools for the observation of bird flu," he said.

Meanwhile, Head of Control and Environmental Health (P2PL) at the Department of Health (PHO) Cilegon Retno Windarwati admitted monitoring the progress of the illness Purnama. Therefore, he was not sure when Purnama (contracted?)  H5N1 virus (bird flu).  

"The processed blood tests are the property of Purnama, until now we have not received the results.  Because of the illness has not been confirmed that Purnama has bird flu," he said.  "We are also awaiting the results of the examination by Disperla Cilegon related the the birds that died suddenly.  If the birds died from bird flu, we will take precautions so it will not attack humans," added Retno.

In the meantime, Head of Animal Health (Keswan) and Public Health Feteriner (Kesmafet) on Disperla Cilegon Dr. Dina Safitri Animals recorded more than 20 birds and chickens that died suddenly in the Citangkil and Ciberer.  They are now investigating the case.  

"We've taken some blood samples.  Now we must test to find out if indeed this is a bird flu attack," he said.

Dina said the case is different from previous years.  This time the alleged attack of bird flu is more contagious to waterfowl, namely ducks.  

"Usually it is attacking chickens, but now the water fowl get this attack," he said.

He said Cilegon is not an endemic area of bird flu.  Moreover, during 2012 it accounted for only ten cases of alleged reports of bird flu.  Nevertheless, he asked people to keep improving alertness.  Therefore, this rainy season increases the potential for bird flu.  

"The attacks of bird flu are common in the rainy season.  Therefore, I hope people who raise poultry are more diligent in cleaning cages, washing well with coir.  Birds must always be in the cage, so that if there is a sudden death, it does not spread to other areas," he said.  

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

Map link:

Pan out and you will see that Cilegon is 40 miles or less from Jakarta, which is located on the Island of Java.

In the month of December, there was a confirmed H5N1 case in a 4 year old and also 2 suspect cases, 54 years old and 15 years old, on the island of Java. See the H5N1 International Diary 3 here for the details: http://www.newfluwiki2.com/dia...

Java is where the H5N1 clade 2.3 was found in December. It has killed 1000's of ducks. It originated in China and spread quickly throughout much of Vietnam. It is probably in Laos and Cambodia too, maybe even Thailand. It is probably the most dangerous strain of H5N1 seen so far.

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


[ Parent ]
England H3N2 Has Abolished HA Glycosylation Site
Recombinomics Commentary

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has released recent H3N2 sequences from Newcastle (Snip) collected October 22 and (Snip) collected October 23.  The HA sequences from both isolates are identical and closely related to A/Iowa/14/2012, which the CDC has designated as a low reactor.  Like the Iowa isolate, the HPA sequences have T128A, which abolishes the glycosylation site at position 126, which was also present in the Fujian-like H3N2 target, A/Wyoming/3/2003 used in the 2004/2005 season, (Snip).  

This change, as well as the associated changes in the Iowa isolate, is widespread in the United States, signaling serious vaccine failures, CDC FluView claims of matches in 99.3% of H3N2 sequences not withstanding.  H3N2 is rapidly spreading in the United States, leading to physician claims of vaccine failures.  (Snip) these changes are also common in Japan and Taiwan raising additional concerns that these changes found in a sequence designated by the CDC as a low reactor, have spread throughout the northern hemisphere.

In addition to A/Victoria/361-like sequences with T128A, the second low reactor, A/Hawaii/29/2012, with L157S is also raising concerns.  Today the CDC released sequences for A/Hawaii/22/2012 X-225A which is being tested as a new H3N2 vaccine target which has L157S. 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


Bali:Bird flu wipes out hundreds of ducks
The Jakarta Post
January 04 2013

Hundreds of ducks in Takmung village, Klungkung regency, Bali, have died suddenly, with avian flu suspected as the cause.

I Wayan Sudia, a duck breeder in Takmung village, said he had lost hundreds of his ducks.

"Laboratory reports show my ducks were infected by bird flu," I Wayan Sudia told reporters on Thursday as reported by Antara news agency. "The symptoms included cloudy eyes and seizures," he added.

Two months ago, Sudia bought 500 ducks in Tabanan regency, about 200 of which have died in the past few days.

Disinfectants have been distributed to breeders in the village for free to prevent the flu from spreading.


United we stand: Divided we fall

Hi cottontop
That means now the H5N1 clade 2.3 strain has spread to the island of Bali too. It won't be long before it spreads throughout all the islands of Indonesia and becomes the dominate strain, IMO. I have tracked the spread of it in Vietnam (from China) through news articles and it didn't take long to affect a sizable portion of the country.

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


[ Parent ]
It also means that all the procautions they have taken
has failed, and that is to be expected. It truly is a matter of time before we see this virus popping up all over the world.  

United we stand: Divided we fall

[ Parent ]
CDC Testing New H3N2 Vaccine Target
Recombinomics Commentary

The early start of the flu season in general, and the dominance of H3N2 in northern regions of the United States, as well as Canada, has raised concerns that the 2012/2013 flu season may be similar to the 2003/2004 flu season, which also started early and was dominated by an emerging H3N2 sub-clade, A/Fujian/411/2002, which caused a large number of deaths, which included children.  The high number of adolescent deaths led to new regulations in the United States which made lab confirmed adolescent flu deaths reportable.  In 2003/2004 the H3N2 vaccine target, A/Panama/2007/1999, was poorly matched and was changed to a Fujian-like target, A/Wyoming/3/2003 (A/reassortant/NYMC X-147) in the following season.

For the 2012/2013 season the H3N2 target, A/Perth/16/2009, was changed to A/Victoria/361/2011, and the appearance of that sub-clade in the 2012/2013 season was widely touted as a match.  However, the week 48 FluView cited two H3N2 low reactors, and the CDC release of the first 50 H3N2 sequences from the new season identified the two low reactors as A/Hawaii/29/2012 and A/Iowa/14/2012 which were from collections made shortly after the start of the new season (on October 15 and 18, respectively).  However, at the time the CDC reported that these two isolates represented on 0.9% of the characterized samples and as of the week 51 report, that frequency had dropped to 0.7%, indicating the H3N2 low reactors were rare.  However, the sequences of the initial 50 cases indicated that closely related or identical sequences were present in a large number of 2012 isolates which were cited as matches.  The Iowa isolate had a limited number of changes, and the most glaring change was T128A, which abolished the glycosylation site at position 126.  This same change was seen in the Fujian-like vaccine target, A/Wyoming/3/2003.  This change was also in a closely related Iowa sequence, A/Iowa/15/2012 (which was said to be A/VICTORIA/361/2011-LIKE), as well as other 2012 isolates in the US (also called A/VICTORIA/361/2011-LIKE by the CDC) and the two H3N2 isolates from England this season.

However, the low reactor from Hawaii, A/Hawaii/29/2012, drew considerable attention from the CDC, and a closely related sequence, A/Hawaii/22/2012, have S157L, which is in a region (positions 157-160) that frequently produced low reactors.  This change has also been seen in three additional isolates from Hawaii.  Although all five of the sequences from Hawaii are virtually identical and all have S157L, the antigen characterization data highlights the internal inconsistencies in the testing.

(Big Snip)

Thus, the CDC is testing a new H3N2 target, A/Hawaii/22/2012 X-225A, which has L157S, and is virtually identical to the recent low reactor from Hawaii, signaling the CDC's awareness of the link between L157S and limited vaccine efficacy, as well as knowledge that multiple additional isolates from Hawaii are virtually identical, which is also true for recent isolates from the northeast, but these additional isolates are reported by the CDC as matches with the current vaccine target, A/Victoria/361/2011.

The antigen characterization data on the series of H3N2 isolates from Hawaii clearly demonstrate the limitations of the assay, as well as its use to create the illusion that the H3N2 circulating this season is a match with the current vaccine.

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


Palenstine: 3-month-old baby dies from swine flu, death toll reaches 12
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A three-month-old baby died in Nablus on Friday after contracting swine flu, with 352 cases of the H1N1 virus recorded (Snip).

Ministry spokesman Tarif Ashour told Ma'an that the majority of the 12 victims were patients suffering from long-term illnesses, children under 5, the elderly, or pregnant women.

Forty-nine people have been diagnosed with the virus in Jordan, and other countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have announced cases of the H1N1 virus, he added. Continued: http://www.maannews.net/eng/Vi...

(Note: The last count I saw was 9 deaths and now it has jumped to 12.)  

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


US: CDC announces flu widespread in 41 states
MADISON COUNTY, AL - The Center for Disease Control announced that while flu numbers in Alabama have decreased, flu cases across the nation have jumped significantly. Flu season got to an early and rough start and the southeast was hit particularly hard.

In the latest map released by the CDC, southern states like Georgia, Mississippi and Florida have widespread flu activity. Alabama and Tennessee are seeing slightly less severe flu activity, which is limited to certain regions within the states.

While some have already caught the flu or cold, the active flu season is nowhere near over -- in fact, it is just starting. The CDC announced that flu cases for the week ending December 29 jumped significantly and the flu is now widespread in 41 states. Continued: http://www.waff.com/story/2050...

CDC: Flu Activity & Surveillance http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/...

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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