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News Reports for February 23, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 22:44:50 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!

• Carmen de Areco / Ni hantavirus or flu, a fungus? (translated) (Link)

• Second bird flu death in China (Link)
Bird flu kills 2nd victim in China (Link)
• Hong Kong: SFH on new novel coronavirus (Link)
• Hong Kong: Fever patient tested negative for novel coronavirus (Link)

• Rajasthan: Woman dies of Swine Flu in Kota (Link)
• Rajasthan: Chilika guest tests positive for bird flu (Link)
• Orissa: Chilika guest tests positive for bird flu (Link)
• Delhi: 34 new swine flu cases (Link)
• Haryana: Haryana swine flu toll rises to 37 (Link)

Saudi Arabia
• New Saudi case takes coronavirus death toll to seven (Link)

United Kingdom
• HPA Tracking SARS-like Virus-infected Man's Co-Passengers (Link)

United States
• How Effective is the Flu Vaccine? (Link)

• Comparison on severity between novel CoV, SARS-CoV premature: scientist (Link)
• WHO: Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2013-14 northern hemisphere influenza season (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 23, 2013

News for February 22, 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 February 15, 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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India: Woman dies of Swine Flu in Kota (Rajasthan)
Bundi, Rajasthan: A 24-year-old woman has died of swine flu in Kota following which the district administration has sounded high alert to check the spread of the fatal virus.

Krishana, a resident of Kothaya village succumbed to H1N1 virus infection during treatment at Maharao Bheem Singh (MBS) hospital hospital in Kota on Wednesday (Snip). The deceased was admitted to a private hospital a few days ago where she had tested positive for H1N1 virus and was referred to MBS hospital on February 18 (Snip).

District Collector Shiv Kumar Agrawal has directed all the district officials to speed up the preventive measures and to keep an eye on people suffering with the flu.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), O P Jangid called a meeting with the health officers of the district on Thursday and instructed block medical and health officers to carry out door to door survey in their areas. (Snip)

District Education Officer (DEO), (Snip) has also directed the heads of the education institutes of the district to report students with (Snip)the complaints of cold, cough and fever to nearby government health institutes immediately.

According to official figure, 140 people have died due to swine flu since April 1, 2012 to February 14 this year across the state. http://www.ndtv.com/article/ci...

(Note: I think there have been more then 140 deaths. Rajasthan has been the hardest hit state this season with the H1N1 swine flu strain. The central government in New Delhi sent a team of doctors there a few days ago to find out why the CFR is so high. I haven't seen a report yet on the findings.)

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


India: 478 deaths in 4 years but swine flu not at epidemic level: Health minister (Rajasthan)
JAIPUR: The state government on Friday turned down the opposition's demand to declare swine flu epidemic in Rajasthan, but admitted that the large number of patients testing positive for the disease and the 478 deaths in nearly four years justified the concern.

The government also ignored the opposition's demands for free testing and free vaccination for swine flu patients and an all-party meeting on the issue. Health minister AA Khan narrated in the House the preventive and curative measures taken by the government to check the disease's spread.

According to the government, the first patient to test swine flu positive in the state was on July 24, 2009. "From then till February 20 this year, a total of 21,525 suspected patients were tested for the disease. Of the 5,713 patients who tested positive, 478 died in government and private hospitals," Khan informed the House.

The issue was raised in the zero hour by senior BJP legislator and former health minister Digamber Singh. Accusing the government of failing in tackling the disease's sudden spread, Singh claimed that around 570 people have died of swine flu since 2009 across Rajasthan. "The chief minister's home-turf, Jodhpur is the worst affected, where on an average, two persons are dying of swine flu everyday," Singh told the House.

BJP's Babu Singh Rathore, who represents Jodhpur's Shergarh assembly constituency, claimed that while more people were testing positive of swine flu in Delhi, the number of deaths was higher in Rajasthan. "This shows that the government here is unable to provide proper treatment to swine flu patients," Rathore alleged. He demanded a special free treatment package for swine flu 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


[ Parent ]
New Saudi case takes coronavirus death toll to seven

Last Updated : Friday, February 22, 2013 11:56 PM

Abdulrahman Al-Ali
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH - An old woman admitted to a hospital in Riyadh with a new virus from the same family as SARS has died, taking the global death toll from the previously unknown disease to seven.

The Saudi health ministry informed the World Health Organization (WHO) that the patient was hospitalized on Jan. 29 and died on Feb.10, WHO said in a statement.

A laboratory confirmed on Feb. 18 that the person had died from the so-called novel coronavirus, or NCoV, it added.

This brings to 13 the number of cases of the virus that have so far been reported to WHO since it was first detected in the middle of last year, with six previous fatalities - three in Saudi Arabia, two in Jordan and one in Britain.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Public Health Dr. Ziyad Meimish reassured the public that there was no cause for concern, as the death of the woman was an individual case.
[continued at link]

Comparison on severity between novel CoV, SARS-CoV premature: scientist

Souce:Xinhua Publish By David K. Barger Updated 23/02/2013 5:03 am in Health&Lifestyle / no comments

GENEVA, Feb. 22 - Any comparison between the novel coronavirus, which caused seven deaths globally, and SARS virus in terms of spread speed or disease severity is premature, a Swiss immunobiologist said Friday.

Volker Thiel of the Institute of Immunobiology at Cantonal Hospital in St. Gallen, Switzerland, with other researchers, published the new findings on the novel coronavius Tuesday in the American online journal mBio, which showed the new virus replicates very well in human airway epithelial cells.

However, "from these data one can't conclude that the novel CoV is more dangerous than SARS-CoV," Thiel told Xinhua.

"For example, we don't know how the novel CoV interacts with the immune system, therefore, any comparison between the novel CoV and SARS-CoV with regard to spread, disease severity, ect. is premature," he said.

Thiel said so far the risk of human infection with the novel coronavirus is very low, so standard hygiene is recommended for prevention.

The research also showed that certain types of interferons can efficiently reduce the replication of the virus in human airway epithelial cells, which may provide a possible treatment option in cases of suspected human novel coronavirus infection.

HPA Tracking SARS-like Virus-infected Man's Co-Passengers

Submitted by Gunraj Sandhu on Fri, 02/22/2013 - 08:41 United Kingdom TNM Health

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is tracking the passengers of an aeroplane who sat near the first person in the UK who was diagnosed with SARS-like virus. The man who has been diagnosed was travelling from Saudi Arabia back to London. Lately, his 39-year-old son died in a hospital of Birmingham infected with the same virus, which was passed on to him.

HPA has confirmed that the passengers who are being tracked are those who were sitting in the same row of the infected person or in the two rows in front or behind him. The agency has also followed up the close contact cases of around 100 people among his family and friends. In these cases, one of the second relative has been diagnosed with a mild illness but has recovered since then, and all the other cases have been registered negative.


India: Chilika guest tests positive for bird flu (Orissa)
Berhampur: Bird flu scare came back to roost in the state after a migratory bird in Chilika Lake reportedly tested positive for the dreaded disease. Out of eight samples of migratory birds tested at High Security Animal Disease ( HSAD) Laboratory in Bhopal, a northern pintail reportedly tested positive for bird flu.

The tests were conducted on January 21 but the report was sent to the veterinary department a few days ago, said sources. Wildlife officials, however, said there was no need to panic as around 90% of migratory birds have already left Chilika. (Snip) "There was no report of any death of migratory birds in the lake during this winter," (Snip).

(Snip) "Though we have not received any communication regarding bird flu officially, but we have taken measures to arrest its spread. Officials have been asked to take stringent surveillance measures to detect dead and sick birds in the lake," (Snip).

Officials have been provided safety gear for patrolling the lake. Wildlife officials are also planning to send some more samples of birds living in the lake to the Bhopal laboratory to test for avian influenza (Snip).

Over 8.77 lakh (Note: 877,000) birds of 180 species visited the lake this winter. The winged guests mostly come from beyond the Himalayas from north Eurasia, Caspian region, Siberia, Kazakh, Lake Baikal, remote areas of Russia and neighboring countries. They start their homeward journey before the onset of summer. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

Chilika Lake map link:  http://maps.google.com/maps?hl...  

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


Second bird flu death in China
23 February 2013 - The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed a 31-year-old man, the second death reported in south-west China.

The Guizhou provincial health department said on its website that the man died of multiple organ failure yesterday at a hospital in the city of Guiyang.

The man was the second of two people to have died in Guiyang after contracting bird flu early this month. The first fatality was a 21-year-old woman.

The official Xinhua News Agency says both patients had close contacts with birds.

Xinhua says 110 people who had contact with the patients have been released from quarantine. Continued: http://www.independent.ie/worl...

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


Bird flu kills 2nd victim in China
Beijing - A man in southwestern China has died of bird flu, health authorities said on Saturday, becoming the second fatality from the H5N1 virus this year.

The 31-year-old died in hospital in the city of Guiyang on Friday, the Guizhou province health department said in a statement, adding that no other human cases of avian flu had been reported in the province.

Another city resident, a 21-year-old woman, died from the virus earlier this month.

(Big Snip)

China is considered one of the nations most at risk from bird flu epidemics because it has the world's biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans.

China has in the past been accused of covering up the extent of bird flu outbreaks, exacerbating fears when new cases are reported.

Separate outbreaks among birds were reported last year in the northern region of Ningxia and the remote northwestern region of Xinjiang, prompting massive culls of chickens. http://www.news24.com/Green/Ne...  

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


[ Parent ]
Still no mention of the 3rd reported case in Beijing (n/t)

[ Parent ]
US: How Effective is the Flu Vaccine?
CDC: Flu Shot 9 Percent Effective for Those over 65

You've likely been hounded by your family, the government, and certain health reporters to get your flu vaccine. While that's still a good idea, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the shot is far from 100 percent effective.

(Snip) USA Today reports that, overall, the vaccine was only 56 percent effective in terms of cutting the need for influenza-related medical visits. Specifically for folks age 65 and older, the vaccine was only 9 percent effective against this season's most prevalent flu strain, H3N2.

"Everyone at CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting was scratching their heads over this,"

Continued: http://health.usnews.com/healt...

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


Hong Kong: SFH on new novel coronavirus
SFH on new novel coronavirus

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, after attending a public function this afternoon (February 23):

Secretary for Food and Health: I would like to mention here that yesterday a patient was admitted into a public hospital with fever and symptoms of upper respiratory infection. The patient also has a history of travel to the Middle East. Therefore, our frontline staff's alertness was heightened.

The case was reported to the Centre for Health Protection this morning. At the same time, the hospital staff have obtained specimen from the patient to conduct a rapid test. Up to this stage, the report showed that the specimen tested positive for influenza B, but negative for Novel Coronavirus.

We are still observing the patient. If necessary, we will repeat the test. However, up to this moment, the patient's specimen tested negative for Novel Coronavirus.

I would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible. Whenever there is a suspected case, particularly patients with travel history to the Middle East that need to perform the rapid test, we will release information to the public as soon as possible.


Source: HKSAR Government

Hong Kong: Fever patient tested negative for novel coronavirus

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) received a report from Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) today (February 23) of a suspected case of Severe Respiratory Disease associated with Novel Coronavirus.

The 40-year-old man, with good past health, presented with fever, cough, myalgia and runny nose since February 20. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of QEH on February 22 and was admitted to the isolation ward of QEH on the same day. His current condition is stable.

Investigations by the CHP revealed that the patient travelled to Dubai with his family from January 24 to February 1, then to Tehran from February 1 to 20, and returned to Hong Kong on February 21.

His family members travelled with him are all asymptomatic.


[ Parent ]
Argentina: Carmen de Areco / Ni hantavirus or flu, a fungus?

Another theory about causative agent of the infections in the nurses in the hospital Carmen de Areco in Argentina.


In the last hours in the hospital Rossi of La Plata, the second nurse died aged 49, one of the two hospitalized in intensive care at the hospital Plata (the other died days ago) because of a suspected infection with influenza A which would have been infected in the United States.

While at first, the authorities of the Ministry of Health of the province of Buenos Aires persisted in claiming that it was swine flu, a few days after the Ministry of Health's Office denied this species, after school Malbran affirm that it was indeed swine flu which affected patients.

However, reliable sources of news Gilenses, confirmed today that it has ruled out such virus, though officially hold that this is the cause of the infections and deaths.

The information provided on News Gilenses realizes that the infection is suspected to come from a fungus called histoplasmosis and who was in the pigeon droppings that accumulated in the courtyard of the hospital's intensive care Carmen de Areco, where nurses came out to smoke.

The fungus, accumulates in the lungs and crop takes about 20 days to grow. News sources say that this is the information from the committee would handle infections but has not yet been revealed.

The story above is machine translated.

[ Parent ]
WHO: Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2013-14 northern hemisphere influenza season

21 February 2013
It is recommended that trivalent vaccines for use in the 2013-14 influenza season (northern hemisphere winter) contain the following:

* an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virusa;

* an A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011b*;

*a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.

It is recommended that quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses contain the above three viruses and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virusc.

a A/Christchurch/16/2010 is an A/California/7/2009-like virus;

b A/Texas/50/2012 is an A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011;

c B/Brisbane/33/2008 is a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

* It is recommended that A/Texas/50/2012 is used as the A(H3N2) vaccine component because of antigenic changes in earlier A/Victoria/361/2011-like vaccine viruses (such as IVR-165) resulting from adaptation to propagation in eggs.

For more information

Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2013-14 influenza season - full report
pdf, 229kb
Questions and answers
pdf, 64kb

Helen Branswell tweets about the above WHO statement:
Helen Branswell ‏@HelenBranswell

2/2 Next winter's #flushot will still contain 2009 virus as H1N1 component. Am amazed the virus hasn't drifted enough yet to require change.

[ Parent ]
Does anybody have an explanation of the stability of the 2009 H1N1?

[ Parent ]
Probably not relevant but
wasn't the pig part of the virus relatively stable until a few years before the jump?

[ Parent ]
India: 34 new swine flu cases (Delhi)
With 34 new cases of swine flu were reported in the Capital on Saturday, the total number of those infected by the Influenza A (H1N1) virus has spiraled to 714. About 11 people have succumbed to swine flu this season so far. there have been no deaths today," (Snip).

"The cases have started showing a downward trend. The flu strain is very mild this season and the good news is that more reporting is happening when compared to previous years and because people are more aware now," said Singh. Continued: 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


India: Haryana swine flu toll rises to 37 (Haryana)
CHANDIGARH: Swine flu ( H1N1) continues to spread in Haryana with the toll due to the disease this year rising to 37 (Snip).

Out of the 591 suspected cases which have been tested for the disease, 294 cases have reported positive.

(Snip) out of the 37 deaths reported, seven are from Sirsa district while five have died in Faridabad district. Four each are from Panchkula and Karnal. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

(Note: According to the numbers here, the CFR is 12%.)

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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