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News Reports for February 15, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 18:33:23 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!

• The Guizhou investigation of avian flu (translated) (Link)
Bird Flu Death In China Sparks Fear Of Human-Transmitted H5N1 Strain (Link)

• WHO confirms human H5N1 case (no details) (Link)

• Germany discovers bird flu case on poultry farm (Link)

• Swine flu claims 1 more life in capital, 47 fresh cases (Link)
• Uttar Pradesh: Varanasi hospitals prepare for swine flu (Link)
• Nip in air brings swine flu scare in India (Link)

Bird Flu Patient Discharged (Translated) (Link)
• Patient Suspect Bird Flu Treated in Hospital Elisabeth (translated) (Link)

• Suspicious of Avian Flu in Five Breeders Farms (Link)
• Bachoco flu outbreak reported in Guanajuato (translated) (Link)

United Kingdom
• 'Third family member' contracts Sars-like virus (Link)
• Health Protection Agency: Third case of novel coronavirus infection identified in family cluster (Link)

• NIH warns sequester could threaten flu vaccines, cancer research (Link)

• US: Virus Discovered in 2001 Hospitalizes Kids at Same Rate as Flu (Link)
• Euro studies show flu vaccine working best against type B (Link)

• Recombinomics: Beta Coronavirus Surveillance Concerns (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 15, 2013

News for February 14, 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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Mexico: Suspicious of Avian Flu in Five Breeders Farms
CELAYA,  Mexico, Feb. 14, 2013 (Snip) Mexico's leading producer and processor of poultry and other food products, announced today:  

A possible outbreak of avian influenza H7N3 has been detected in five breeder farms located in the state of Guanajuato. The company has nearly one hundred breeder farms dispersed along the country which produce hatching eggs for producing chickens. This type of influenza is similar to the one detected in 2012 in other producers's laying farms in the neighboring state of Jalisco.

The company is working with the authorities to verify the outbreak; in case of positive confirmation, it will work with Mexican sanitary authorities in taking necessary action.

At the same time, it is reinforcing its biosecurity measures in all of its facilities, in particular in its breeder farms dispersed throughout the country; this action has been one of the measures the Company has taken in the past to reduce these kinds of risks.  The Company is also analyzing steps to mitigate possible negative effects. Continued: http://www.prnewswire.com/news...

(Note: IMO, we need to keep an eye on this continuing circulation of H7N3 in Mexico. It has occasionally infected people, causing mild symptoms and/or conjunctivitis. It is also one that could possibly go pandemic in the future with the right mutation(s) or recombination. It's concerning that it is breaking out often and in different areas. JMO)

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


Mexico: Bachoco flu outbreak reported in Guanajuato

Guadalajara, Jal. - After Jalisco and Aguascalientes, it appears that there was a new outbreak of avian influenza, now in Guanajuato.

Bachoco Industries informed the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV), which detected a "possible outbreak of avian influenza H7N3, similar to that presented in Tepatitlán farms and San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco, and the neighboring state of Aguascalientes. In a statement, the company announced that the virus causing bird flu found in five of its poultry breeding farms located in the state.

According to the report, the disease was discovered in their centers hatching egg production to chicken production, which the company has distributed a hundred in the country.

Guanajuato is the entity which is more Bachoco farms, with 186 in total, of which 33 are egg production as well as chicken and pig breeding.

The company said that in the verification process, together with the authorities, and said that if confirmed the fact, "there shall be necessary containment actions."

The company said it is strengthening its biosecurity measures laid down in all its production facilities to reduce risks and analyzing possible alternatives to mitigate the effects that could result. Continued: http://eleconomista.com.mx/est...

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


[ Parent ]
India: Swine flu claims 1 more life in capital, 47 fresh cases (Delhi)
A 27-year-old man succumbed to swine flu in New Delhi on Wednesday, taking the number of deaths due to the H1N1 virus in the capital this year to five. The man was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital three days back in a serious condition (Snip).

(Snip) Meanwhile, 47 fresh cases of swine flu were detected today taking the total number to 253.

Delhi health minister AK Walia reviewed the situation with top officials of his department and issued direction to them to monitor the situation constantly.


Walia said the government has adequate stock of medicine to offer treatment to swine flu patients. The health minister asked the people to maintain high standard of personal hygiene to prevent the disease. http://www.hindustantimes.com/...

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


Beta Coronavirus Surveillance Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary

Based on current but limited information, lower respiratory tract specimens (such as tracheal aspirates and bronchoalveolar lavage; see Table 1) appear to have the highest virus titre. Upper respiratory tract specimens are also recommended, especially when lower respiratory tract specimens cannot be collected.

The above comments from the latest (December 21) WHO update on novel betacornavirus sample collection provide some insight into test failures on symptomatic contacts of confirmed cases, and raise serious concerns that the 11 confirmed cases, as well as a similar number of cases which WHO has designated as probable, represent a serious undercount.  7 of the 11 confirmed cases are linked to three clusters.

The cluster involving the largest number of symptomatic hospitalized cases was reported last April in Jordan.  The cases were directly or indirectly linked to an ICU and all but one of the cases was hospitalized.  Two died (45F and 25M) and the SARS-like symptoms of those who survived raised significant concerns.  Samples were sent to labs in France and Egypt, but initial results were negative, since the novel betacornavirus is group 2c and distinct from prior human viruses, which were in group 1, 2a, or 2b and did not cross react with probes for the known isolates.

However, after the initial cases from Saudi Arabia and Qatar were diagnosed as infected with the new betacornavirus, sequences from those two patients were used to create new probes that targeted the novel virus.  Re-testing of samples from the Jordan cluster confirmed the virus in the two fatal cases.  Details on testing failures on the surviving cases have not been released.  However, the WHO guidelines described above raises concerns that the milder cases were negative because samples were collected from the upper respiratory tract, leading to false negatives. Therefore, testing issues and epidemiological data lead to the classification of these cases as probable.

Although WHO has withheld key information on this cluster, including the number of cases, disease onset dates, and precise relationships between the cluster members, media reports indicate that the two confirmed fatal cases died 7 days apart, and one of the symptomatic surviving cases was the son of the fatal index case (45F).

Similar testing issues were associated with the second cluster, which involved four relatives in Riyadh.  Two of the family members died, and initial test results, which involve use of the new probes, identified the virus in two of the cases (one fatal and one surviving).  Eventually, the virus was confirmed in the fatal index case, but the second surviving family member was not confirmed.  Like the negative cluster members in Jordan, the negative Saudi Arabia family member was also classified as a probable case, once again signaling false negative results for symptomatic contacts of confirmed cases.

In addition, contacts of the first confirmed case from Qatar, were also symptomatic.  However, the symptoms were mild and the cases self quarantined at home.  These symptomatic contacts also tested negative.

Thus, all confirmed cases have been severe cases who were hospitalized.  Most had renal failure and five of the eight cases with known outcomes have died.  The other three confirmed cases remain hospitalized, even though the first Qatar case developed symptoms five months ago.  The other two hospitalized cases formed the most recent cluster.  

Media reports have indicated the cases are a father (60M) and his son.  The father is on life support (connected to an ECMO machine) and the son is reported to have had an underlying condition.  However, the father developed symptoms in January in Saudi Arabia, while the son recently developed symptoms in the UK and had not recently traveled outside of the country, indicating he was infected while caring for his father.  Passengers on the flight from Saudi Arabia to the UK are under investigation as are health care workers linked to the father, but symptoms have not been reported in any contacts. Continued: http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

(Note: The latest WHO update on sample collection was Dec. 21st, even with all the problems??? So glad to see they are staying on top of this like they do most things now. WHO has withheld key information on the Jordan cluster, including the number of cases, disease onset dates, and precise relationships between the cluster members??? WHY? What is the reason for them to keep the information a secret? Is it just me or is anyone else wondering what is going on in the circle of the top management of the WHO? All the secrets these days is more than just a little strange. JMO)

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


India: Varanasi hospitals prepare for swine flu (Uttar Pradesh)
VARANASI: Keeping in view the spread of swine flu in different parts of the country including Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan, various government hospitals have done all the preparations but the district health department looks least prepared to handle the situation.

While hospitals are reporting no cases of swine flu in the district as of yet, chief medical officer, Dr Gyan Prakash said that no guidelines or instructions have come so far to make future arrangements for the suspected patients. No case has been reported in rural as well as urban areas till date. On the other hand, Shiv Prasad Gupta divisional hospital has prepared a special ward for swine flu, which can accommodate 10 patients. Continued: http://timesofindia.indiatimes...  

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


US: Virus Discovered in 2001 Hospitalizes Kids at Same Rate as Flu
WASHINGTON - A respiratory virus that was unknown to doctors until 2001 and that has no treatment causes the same severity of illness in young children as the flu, according to the largest study to estimate the infection's US prevalence.

The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that one of every 1,000 children under age 5 is hospitalized each year because of human metapneumovirus, the same rate as that for flu. MPV also occurs during the winter and shares the same symptoms as the flu, the study said.

The virus, which can lead to bronchitis and pneumonia, is often misdiagnosed because there is no quick test to distinguish it from flu and other respiratory viruses, said senior study author John Williams. There's no vaccine or drug against the virus, and children often are given antibiotics or flu medicines such as Tamiflu by mistake, he said.

''We're still learning so much about disease,'' said Williams, an associate professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said in a Monday interview. ''Here's a virus that was unknown 10 years ago and turns out to be one of the most common causes of severe respiratory infection.''

MPV may be the reason that the flu vaccine appears to fail in some people who may in fact have the virus, not the flu, Williams said. Continued: http://bostonglobe.com/news/na...

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


Nip in air brings swine flu scare in India
Chennai: The zoonotic diseases scare is back in the country. Warning that the cold weather conditions in the north are ideal for an outbreak of swine flu, health officials advise people travelling to these states to take all precautions.

(Snip) 708 confirmed cases of swine flu, including 132 deaths, have been reported across the country.  **(Note: 18% CFR)


Tamil Nadu  recorded 10 cases of swine flu between January and February 6, and saw a 72-year-old wom­an succumb to the disease, which has been declining in the state over the past two years.

But northern states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharastra and Gujarat have seen many dying from the disease in the first five weeks of the year. For instance Rajasthan and Haryana have recorded 65 and 23 deaths respectively since the New Year. Continued: http://www.deccanchronicle.com...

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


China: The Guizhou investigation of avian flu

After Jinqianzaixian information Guizhou informed Guiyang cases of human infection of highly pathogenic avian influenza, immediate action to deal with human highly pathogenic avian flu contingency plans, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, the agricultural sector "requires emergency organizations a series of emergency response work in poultry of highly pathogenic avian flu investigation, disease monitoring, disinfection destroy the original, sick or dead poultry harmless treatment.

To date, nine municipalities in the province (state), 88 counties (cities, districts), 1,415 towns, 9,048 villages to carry out investigation, investigation and live animal markets (farmers market) 723 scale poultry. The field 1163 backyard 388,800 households investigation poultry 16,221,300 Yu. Through investigation and pathogen monitoring and found no poultry outbreak of avian flu. http://www.kaixian.tv/R1/n7496...

(Note: Very concerning that no poultry outbreaks of H5N1 have been found in the entire area and yet 2 human H5N1 cases have been confirmed. A 21 year old woman died Wednesday and a 31 year old man is in crtical condition.)

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


Egypt: WHO confirms human case (no details)

Influenza at the Human-Animal Interface
Summary and Assessment as of Feb 15, 2013

10 new laboratory-confirmed human H5N1 cases reported since Jan. 16:

- 7 in Cambodia (6 fatal)
 No epidemiological link found
 Most had contact with sick poultry

- 1 case in Egypt in Behera Governorate
 "The A(H5N1) virus is also endemic in poultry in some ares of
 Egypt, and additional sporadic human cases are possible."

- 2 cases in China
 No epidemiological link found
 Neither had documented contact with sick or dead poultry

(Editorial comment: There's no mention of the 3rd H5N1 case (fatal) from Beijing in January that was disclosed last week.)

Headline should have been WHO confirms human H5N1 case (n/t)

[ Parent ]
Bird Flu Patient Discharged
February 15, 2013
Padang, Indonesia:  A bird flu suspect patient was sent back to his village Kanagarian Padangpariaman Sanur district, yesterday (14/2).   The laboratory results stated he was negative for the H5NI virus negative.  Official giver of information and documentation (PPID) Dr Dr M Djamil Padang Gustafianof said the medical team that handled the patient named Darali, a resident of kenagarian Padangpariaman Sanur district left the treatment room yesterday afternoon.  This was done because the patient's condition was initially very weak and is now fully recovered.

According to the information summarized in Padang Express Dr M Djamil Padang, the cost of the treatment of patients is dealt with entirely by the State.  However, when questioning the Chief Medical Officer of West Sumatra, Rosnini Savitri, he said that for patients who tested negative for bird flu, the costs are not borne by the West Sumatra Health Office.  

"The treatment is borne by the patient's family and is not covered by the city of West Sumatra.  Since the results are negative, meaning this disease is a common disease.  For the cost of treatment, patients can use a card that has, for example Jamkesmas or Askes," he explained.  

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

NIH warns sequester could threaten flu vaccines, cancer research

Posted: Feb 14, 2013 11:16 AM by Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Institutes of Health says important medical research into new cancer drugs, better flu vaccines and other ailments will be delayed if Congress can't avert impending spending cuts.

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told The Associated Press that, "All diseases will feel the consequences, I'm afraid."

The NIH is the leading funder of biomedical research. Collins said it stands to lose $1.6 billion this year, about 5 percent of its budget, under automatic cuts set to take effect next month.

That means hundreds of new projects around the country would go without money, and multi-year projects that already are under way may be scaled back. Collins said the ripple effect is that about 20,000 jobs nationwide could be lost in university and other research laboratories.

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

Euro studies show flu vaccine working best against type B

Robert Roos  News Editor
Feb 14, 2013 (CIDRAP News) - New European studies reported today in Eurosurveillance suggest that this year's influenza vaccine is providing good protection against influenza B viruses but only moderate protection against type A-findings more or less consistent with earlier results in the United States.

In a study combining data from five countries, vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza B was estimated at about 78%, versus about 62% and 42% for the two influenza A strains. Overall protection was estimated at about 62%.

In Navarre, Spain, where type B viruses have been predominant this season, overall VE was estimated at 86%
, according to another report.

Both studies suggest parallels with a January VE estimate from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC's early-season estimate for the United States was that the vaccine was 70% effective against type B, 55% against type A, and 62% overall. The overall estimate was in line with a recent meta-analysis of controlled trials of flu VE, which concluded that trivalent inactivated vaccine was about 59% effective in working-age adults.

In an accompanying Eurosurveillance editorial today, experts discuss the difficulties in assessing the effectiveness of inactivated flu vaccines, including recent evidence that a good match between the vaccine and circulating strains doesn't necessarily make the vaccine more effective.

[much more at link]

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

Bird Flu Death In China Sparks Fear Of Human-Transmitted H5N1 Strain

International Business Times
BY Michelle FlorCruz | February 15 2013 10:15 AM

Health authorities in Guiyang, Guizhou province, announced that the 21-year-old woman, Shuai Pengyue, died on Wednesday due to multiple organ failure as a result of the flu. Shuai was one of two women reported in the area to have contracted the new strain of the avian influenza. Health officials have investigated the two of them and concluded that neither patient was in contact with poultry before showing symptoms of the illness. Victim proximity is important to note because typically, the bird flu is contracted by being in contact with poultry. In this case, health officials worry this could be signs that the H5N1 strain can now be transmitted between humans.


Health officials and scientists have feared that the virus could mutate into a highly contagious strain which could be transmitted from human to human.

"The only way... to control the virus and come to a prevention plan is to allow the research to go forward," Poon said. Adding, "the H5N1 is still a threat to humans, and it is true that the research may pose some risk. But we may also benefit from it, as we need further understanding of the virus to ensure a better response in case of an outbreak."


In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

Germany discovers bird flu case on poultry farm

Tue, Jan 22 2013

HAMBURG | Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:12am EST
(Reuters) - German authorities said a case of H5N1 bird flu had been discovered during initial tests on a poultry farm in the eastern state of Brandenburg.

The case was discovered in a duck farm, which was carrying out its own tests, the Brandenburg state agriculture ministry said on Friday.

The H5N1 virus mainly affects birds but occasionally jumps to people. Experts fear it may mutate into a form that could spread easily among humans, who have no natural immunity against it.

The initial finding was confirmed by a state laboratory, [snip]

The farm has been sealed off and its poultry will be culled, the statement said.

The cause is unknown and an investigation has started.

Bird flu is currently present in Asian count  countries including China, Cambodia and Indonesia. It has also been reported in wild birds in parts of Europe.

On January 29, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said governments must not allow financial constraints caused by the current global economic crisis to stop them from keeping their guard up against the spread of bird flu.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by Jane Baird)

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

This is not good.... sigh....

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


[ Parent ]
Patient Suspect Bird Flu Treated in Hospital Elisabeth
February 15, 2013

Semarang, Indonesia:  After appearing in Yogyakarta, bird flu viruses that infect humans occurred also in Semarang district. One person who is still in the status of the suspect, now being treated at the St.

Elisabeth Hospital in Semarang.  Patient suspect bird flu is being treated in isolation Elisabeth Hospital Semarang. These patients were male sex and 54-year-old, a citizen of Sambiroto Semarang, yet lived in Sub Bergas, Semarang regency. PR Elisabeth Hospital in Semarang, Probowati Condronegoro, said the patient goes to the hospital since December 17 last year.

Before the illness, patients known to raise poultry at home. Although still suspected to be similar to the symptoms of bird flu, but the patient has been treated in accordance governance bird flu. Treatment is given according to the standard as antiflu, intact and oxygen delivery in the intensive care.

"The patient did have a poultry house. However, when a cold, he felt scared and immediately we treat at the hospital, "said the Probo.  


United we stand: Divided we fall

Bronco Bill, it's Friday joke time!
Your giggles are here: http://www.newfluwiki2.com/dia...

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


UK - 'Third family member' contracts Sars-like virus

A second relative of a UK patient who recently contracted a potentially fatal Sars-like virus has become infected with the disease, taking the total to three within the family, health experts said.


"Although this case appears to be due to person-to-person transmission, the risk of infection in contacts in most circumstances is still considered to be low.

"If novel coronavirus were more infectious, we would have expected to have seen a larger number of cases than we have seen since the first case was reported three months ago.


Comment Unless it's mutated and is becoming more transmissable.

Now that they know there's limited H2H
I presume they'll be looking for more cases back in Saudi in case there are a lot more H2H cases and it's only the severe cases that are being discovered?

[ Parent ]
Waving at UK - Bird
Thanks for the articles!

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


[ Parent ]
Waving back
I wanted to post that scene from wallace and gromit and the curse of the were rabbit, where the bunny gets mistaken for a wig and waves at his bunny friends. But I can't find it :-( You'll have to imagine it instead.

[ Parent ]
LOL What?
All that went right over my head but I'm sure it would have made me laugh because you have a way of doing that to me.

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


[ Parent ]
Tee, hee.
I'm assuming you've seen the movie Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were Rabbit. And if not, why not! It's a culturally important work to understand my people ;-) It's almost a clinical study of my ethnic background. Seriously, my life is like that movie but with less bunnies :-D

If/when you have seen it (and I will be setting questions later) the scene I'm referring to is near the beginning where Wallace has vacuumed up all Lady Tottinton's bunnies with the Bun Vac 6000, along with Victor Quatermaine's toupee. He extracts the wig from among the bunnies and sticks it on his head. But as he talks, the wig 'wakes up' and it turns out to be a black bunny. As he walkes off the bunny waves to all his bunny friends still inside the Bun Vac 6000.

Watching it might explain my... ummm... unusual personality.

[ Parent ]
French version here:

There are snips (in English) along the right side, but this French version is probably complete (length is 1:24:37).  I've only watched the beginning so far.  

A review snip from Rotten Tomatoes:
The cheesy puns are as thick as rabbits in the bucolic England of inventor Wallace and his loyal mutt Gromit, and that's a gouda thing.

"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  Flannery O'Connor

[ Parent ]
Please post new news stories to...

News Reports for February 16, 2013

Thank you!

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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