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News Reports for January 28, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 19:30:14 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!

Cambodia
• Cambodia Reports 3 New Bird Flu Cases, 2 Fatal (Link)
• Cambodia has second 2013 bird-flu death (Link)
Bird flu kills two more children in Cambodia (Link)

India
• 3 from dist test positive for swine flu (Link)

Indonesia
• Positive Bird Flu, 450 Children Ducks Destroyed (translated) (Link)

Jordan
• Jordan confirms third fatality of H1N1 influenza (Link)

United States
• First flu wave is over, second could be on its way (Link)

Research
• Why the Flu Is So Relentless, and How Technology Might Help (Link)
• NIH scientists work on universal flu vaccine (Link)
• Lab studies how flu spreads (Link)

General
• Tamiflu's effectiveness is now the center of debate (Link)
• How To Disinfect Your Home From The Flu And Cold Viruses (Link)

Commentary
• Robert Miller: Great flu pandemic leaves its mark on family (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for January 28, 2013

News for January 27, 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 January 16, 2013
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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Cambodia Reports 3 New Bird Flu Cases, 2 Fatal
(Note: This article is just a recap but I'm posting it for anyone who missed seeing this news.)

PHNOM PENH - Cambodia on Friday reported three new human cases of bird flu, two of them fatal, in the first three weeks of this year. That's as many cases as the Southeast Asian country reported in all of 2012.

The cases are among the first reported in 2013 for the virulent H5N1 virus, which the World Health Organization says has killed 360 other people worldwide since surfacing in 2003.

WHO and Cambodia's health ministry announced that a 15-year-old girl in a village in southeastern Takeo province and a 35-year-old man in central Kampong Speu Province died after being hospitalized with H5N1 (Snip). An 8-month-old boy in the capital, Phnom Penh, was treated and survived.

Cambodia reported three cases last year, all of them fatal. Since 2005, it has recorded 21 cases, 19 of them fatal.

(Snip)

On Wednesday, international scientists who last year halted controversial research with the deadly bird flu virus said they were resuming their work as countries adopt new rules to ensure safety.

An outcry had erupted when two labs-in the Netherlands and the US-reported they had created easier-to-spread versions of bird flu. Amid fierce debate about the oversight of such research and whether it might aid terrorists, those scientists voluntarily halted further work last January.

Those scientists announced on Wednesday they were ending their moratorium now that health authorities have had time to determine how they will oversee high-stakes research involving dangerous germs. Several countries have already issued new rules. Continued: http://www.irrawaddy.org/archi...

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

     


Cambodia has second 2013 bird-flu death
(Note: This is a little more information on these cases that were officially reported last week.)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- (Snip) a teenage girl who suffered from bird flu died Monday, the second death from the H5N1 virus this year.

There have been four reported cases of the avian disease and that is probably the "tip of the iceberg," said Dr. Philippe Buchy, head of the virology unit at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge that tested the recent cases.

The girl, 15, was from the village of Snao in Takeo province.

On Saturday, more than 4,000 chickens and ducks were killed and burned outside her village, district Gov. Ith Sa said. The village was sprayed and medicine was distributed to eradicate the virus, the governor said.

The other person killed by the disease since the beginning of the year was a 35-year-old man (Snip).

(Snip) a 2-year-old girl from Kampong Speu was diagnosed Saturday after being admitted to a Phnom Penh hospital. More than 40 chickens at the child's house had become sick and died before she was hospitalized (Snip).

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Wo...

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

     


[ Parent ]
India: 3 from dist test positive for swine flu (Punjab)
LUDHIANA: The prospect of a swine flu outbreak looms large on the city with two cases being confirmed in three days. Another person was tested positive for Swine Flu from Khanna. (Snip) "Of the three cases of swine flu which have been confirmed from Ludhiana, two were detected three days ago and one was detected from the Khanna area. All positive patients and their relatives have been administered Tami Flu. Today, we also sent the throat swab of a Swine Flu suspect from the city after he reported flu like symptoms".

With three cases of swine flu being confirmed from Ludhiana, the civil surgeon, Dr Subash Batta, held a meeting with representatives of the city hospitals to discuss preparedness of hospitals.

During the meeting, Dr Anil Verma said there is no shortage of medicine or VT Media. He asked them to keep a stock of VTM bottles and Tami Flu tablets, which are "freely available" in the office of the civil surgeon for suspected and confirmed cases of swine flu.

(Snip) "Any person with high grade fever and symptoms like breathlessness, running nose, soar throat, body ache, diarrhoea and vomiting should consult a doctor immediately for swine flu screening.

(Snip)

(Snip) 40 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the state. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

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

     


Jordan confirms third fatality of H1N1 influenza
AMMAN, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Jordan's Health Ministry on Sunday announced the death of a person suffering from H1N1 influenza, increasing the total fatality of the disease to three since the beginning of this year (Snip).

The third fatality was reported in King Abdullah I Hospital, (Snip) the number of Jordanians who tested positive with the disease this year had reached 107.

In January, a woman in her forties and a 26-year-old man in the northern city of Irbid died after suffering from H1N1 influenza. http://news.xinhuanet.com/engl...

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

     


Tamiflu's effectiveness is now the center of debate
In just the past few years, fears of deadly flu pandemics have turned the influenza-fighting drug called Tamiflu into a worldwide household name.

The World Health Organization has declared the antiviral an "essential medicine" like penicillin and ibuprofen. Since 2005, when bird flu spread globally, it has been prescribed to more than 18 million in the U.S., including almost 7 million children.

During this year's busy flu season, Tamiflu is so popular that federal regulators recently warned of possible shortages of the liquid form often given to children.

But for all the hype, Tamiflu is hardly a wonder drug. Medical experts internationally are debating whether its power against a virus that kills thousands annually was oversold.

At best, experts say, Tamiflu can shorten the misery of the flu by a day or so - which could make a big difference in the most vulnerable patients, such as frail seniors.

But it's expensive - it retails for about $10 a pill - and most people recover just fine without a drug whose reported harmful effects include rare but serious hallucinations in kids.

Still many Americans - encouraged by catchy ad campaigns - equate Tamiflu with instant relief. "There is a perception that, 'I need this medicine to make it go away,' " said Dr. John Sosa, a family physician at the HealthPoint Medical Group's office in the Westchase area of Tampa. "Unfortunately, that's just not the case."

• • •

Tamiflu is the brand name for oseltamavir, one of two antiviral drugs available in the United States to fight today's flu strains. Offered in pill and liquid form, it recently was approved for infants as young as two weeks. The other antiviral, Relenza, is an inhaled powder that can't be used as widely. But neither of the drugs - known as neuraminidase inhibitors - can just wipe out flu. They prevent infected cells from releasing viruses, which would subsequently infect more cells. That's why the drugs need to be given early; as the flu runs its course and the body heals itself, they have little impact.

"People think that it's a curative - equivalent to an antibiotic, where it's going to kill off the bug or a virus, which unfortunately it isn't," Sosa said. "It slows down the replication of the virus."

How well Tamiflu does even that, however, is the subject of intense debate. Continued: http://www.tampabay.com/news/h...

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

     


Why the Flu Is So Relentless, and How Technology Might Help
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/510316/why-the-flu-is-so-relentless-and-how-technology-might-help/

[big snip explaining the old way of making vaccines and how some of the new methods of producing vaccines.]

Researchers are developing quick-brew vaccines and ones that catch multiple strains of flu.

By Susan Young on January 28, 2013

Why It Matters

Current seasonal flu vaccines are not always effective, and new ones are needed every year.

Pennsylvania-based biotech Inovio is taking a different approach to developing a universal vaccine. Instead of inoculating people with an inactivated virus fragment or protein, the company is developing a DNA-based vaccine. To make it protective against multiple flu strains, the company combines DNA sequences from existing virus strains into a single dose. The DNA pieces are delivered by a shot combined with the company's proprietary delivery system. A handheld device that looks like a pen delivers a small electric field which temporarily opens up cell membranes to allow the DNA vaccine to enter cells, says Inovio CEO Joseph Kim. Once inside cells, the DNA is read by the cell's own machinery to build viral proteins which will activate the body' immune system. The result is that the body creates antibodies against a diversity of flu strains.

The company is currently testing the vaccine in people 65 and older as a combination treatment along with existing flu vaccines. The elderly are the most at risk when it comes to flu and are the least protected by current immunizations. Every year, some 35,000 people die because of the flu and "90 percent of the deaths are in people who are 65 and older," says Kim. "But the seasonal flu vaccine only protects about 10 to 20 percent of the elderly."

Inovio's clinical trial has shown that combining the seasonal flu vaccine with the company's experimental universal vaccine has doubled the number of elderly protected from the flu.  

"It is hard to predict the future, but if we can have a universal vaccine that can protect against all known dominant strains, the likelihood of protecting against future unknown is much higher," says Kim. "If we are correct, we can change the flu paradigm into one more like what we do with other vaccinations."


How
Please leave the "how" out of this sentence when you read it:

[big snip explaining the old way of making vaccines and how some of the new methods of producing vaccines.]

If I get interrupted in the middle of a sentence, this is the result.


[ Parent ]
Direct link:
http://www.technologyreview.co...

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

     


[ Parent ]
NIH scientists work on universal flu vaccine
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ba...

[Watch an animation of the flu virus]

Monday - 1/28/2013, 3:39am  ET
Paula Wolfson, wtop.com

[snip]
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, convinced former President Bill Clinton to launch the center [Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health,]at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

"This is one of the few places anywhere where you can really have a 'soup to nuts' approach, where in the same building, the same camaraderie, you go from very basic research up through and including manufacturing a pilot lot of vaccine...to an actual clinical trial," he says,

It's an approach well suited to the challenge of creating a breakthrough in flu prevention. Current vaccines target a part of the virus that changes or "drifts" over time. That is why there is a new vaccine every year.

Scientists have found a part of the virus common to all flu strains but, for some reason, the immune system cannot see it. Using molecular engineering and other high-tech tools, scientists at the Vaccine Research Center are looking for a way to get the body to create an immune response to that hidden virus "stem."

[snip]
"We know that we can induce the types of antibodies that have universal targeting of the different strains of influenza," he says.

[snip

"If we had a universal vaccine where basically you get the vaccine and you are protected against virtually all of the strains that are out there, it would be a huge game changer."

[snip]

But don't ask him for a timetable. Fauci says 10 years ago he wasn't even sure a universal vaccine was possible. But now, though he can't say when, he believes it will happen


Lab studies how flu spreads
http://www.wbtv.com/story/2071...

Posted: Jan 28, 2013 1:34 AM MST
Updated: Jan 28, 2013 1:40 AM MST
Video Gallery

The Gesundheit 2 helps scientists study how much of the flu virus is airborne. (Source: KHOU/CNN)

(KHOU/CNN) - A lab at the University of Maryland is studying flu patients to better understand how the flu spread.

Professor Don Milton says scientists don't know exactly how the flu is transmitted.

One theory: it may not be spread through direct or indirect contact but instead by tiny viruses - one-thousandth the width of a human hair - that linger in the air.

"It would be nice if flu was not aerosol transmitted because it would be much simpler, but I think the odds are that aerosols are going to play an important role in flu transmission," said Milton.

To verify that theory, the lab has employed a machine, named the Gesundheit 2, which measures how much the flu virus spreads airborne by collecting the breath of flu patients.

[snip]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests disinfecting germ-contaminated surfaces as one way to avoid the flu.

Milton says he agrees with that advice for things we touch, but he says science still needs answers about what to do with the air we breathe.

The CDC's newest report says during the third week in January, more than 26 percent of the nearly 12,000 lab tests reported nationwide were positive for influenza.


How To Disinfect Your Home From The Flu And Cold Viruses
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

[slildeshow of methods to control flu and cold viruses in the home.]


First flu wave is over, second could be on its way
http://journaltimes.com/news/l...

13 hours ago  •  LUKE FEUERHERM luke.feuerherm@journaltimes.com(0) Comments
RACINE - It appears that the first wave of this year's flu season, which came on early and strained area hospitals, has passed.

The second wave, however, will likely roll in sometime before mid-March, the severity of which will likely determine just how nasty this season will ultimately be, according to Racine Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox.

"It could be significant or nothing at all," Bowersox said. "But generally we get two peaks of influenza."
[snip]


Positive Bird Flu, 450 Children Ducks Destroyed
http://regional.kompas.com/rea...
January 28, 2013
Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia:  A total of 450 pups ducks or Day Old Ducks (DOD) were destroyed by the Agricultural Quarantine officer grade II in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi (Sultra), Monday (01/28/2013) that tested positive for the flu burung or avian influenza.  Culling hundreds of ducklings tail was made after receiving the results of laboratory tests from the Center for Veterinary Maros, South Sulawesi.  The Head of Agricultural Quarantine Class II Kendari, LM.  Mastari, said that 1,000 ducks were initially seized on January 13, 2013 in Work Areas for Agricultural Quarantine (KPs) Haluoleo Airport.  Officers held day-old ducks (DOD) sent by a businessman named Dody Faisal through Juanda Surabaya airport to the destination airport, the Airport Haluoleo.

"Upon arrival at the Haluoleo Cargo Airport, the Wilker Agricultural Halueleo official airport officials quarantined the DOD to be examined by the administration," said Mustari in his office, Monday (01/28/2013).

He said the DOD is equipped with a health certificate issued by the veterinary medical work area Agriculture Quarantine Juanda Airport.  He said the DOD imported from Surabaya were detained and taken straight to the cage installation BKP belonging to Class II Kendari quarantine.  On the second day they observed there were 125 deaths of scores of individuals.
On the fourth day the samples were taken and sent to the Laboratory of Veterinary Maros Big Bakau.  

"While waiting for lab test results, they continued observation.  On the seventh day they observed 50 dead tails.  Observation was until the 14th and overall there were 550 dead tails," he said.

He added that the lab results of Vetariner Maros No.338/PD.650/F.5.G/0113 Great Hall on January 25, 2013 with the PCR assay was positive IA (AI?) for the ducklings.  The information was then passed on to the class II BKP Kendari, so BKP decided to destroy the remaining ducklings.  The culling of hundreds of ducklings was also witnessed by Head of South East Sulawesi Province Amir Ridwan, the police and other relevant agencies.



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


Great flu pandemic leaves its mark on family
http://www.newstimes.com/local...

The author of this article consulted Flu Wiki's dem from CT when writing this article. It's very interesting reading!


Bird flu kills two more children in Cambodia
The Cambodian office of the U.N.'s World Health Organization said a 17-month-old girl from central Kampong Speu province and a 9-year-old girl from southern Kampot province died Monday after being hospitalized.

Last week, Cambodia reported three human cases of bird flu, two of them fatal. For of all 2012, the country reported a total of three cases, all fatal.

Cambodia since 2005 has reported 26 cases, 23 of them fatal. Continued: http://medicalxpress.com/news/...

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

     


Please post new news stories ...
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