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News Reports for March 29, 2009

by: NewsDiary

Fri Mar 27, 2009 at 21:28:22 PM EDT

Dem. Rep. of Congo
•  Flu epidemic killing bonobos [chimpanzee species] in Congo sanctuary (Link)
•  Qena: Two-Year-Old Toddler Contracts Bird Flu (Link)
•  Indramayu: Patients suspect Bird Flu Negative (Link)
United Kingdom
•  Pandemic flu guidance for businesses: risk assessment in the occupational setting (Link)
United States
•  AL: New program offers learning during lunch hour (Link)
•  IN: Guest column - Many volunteers needed to help if pandemic strikes (Link)
•  Hawaii working on list of who gets shots first in flu pandemic (Link)
NewsDiary :: News Reports for March 29, 2009
News for March 28, 2009 is here.

CDC Weekly Seasonal Influenza Data
Week 11, ending Mar. 21, 2009

CDC graph

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 H5N1 human case totals, last updated Mar. 23, 2009
Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO
Google Flu Trends (U.S.)
CDC Weekly Influenza Summary
Map of seasonal influenza in the U.S.
CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report
CIDPC (Canada) Weekly FluWatch
European CDC Influenza News
Flu Wiki Main Page
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USA - AL- New program offers learning during lunch hour
Beginning Thursday, April 2, a new Learn on Lunch program will offer mini-seminars for older residents. The free series is also geared to social workers, nursing home administrators and assisted living facility administrators, and continuing education units are available.

Seminars will feature speakers from local businesses, hospitals and organizations and will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the Southern Alabama Regional Council on Aging, 1075 S. Brannon Stand Road, in Dothan. The April 2 topic deals with preparing individuals and families for an influenza pandemic.


GUEST COLUMN: Many volunteers needed to help if pandemic strikes
We don't know when or where a pandemic or other emergency may strike, but we do know one thing. If and when it does, community members and neighbors will be a critical part of our response.

The first responder for any emergency situation is usually not fire, police or emergency medical personnel. The first responder is usually an average citizen or neighbor just like you.

I'd like to talk with you about the need for Henry County volunteers in case of a flu pandemic or other emergency and encourage you to consider calling or e-mailing me to put your name on the list. In fact, I'd love to speak with service organizations, social clubs or church groups about this issue.

As you may have read in the earlier articles, flu pandemics seem to happen in 30-year cycles. Pandemics occurred three times in the last century -- 1918-19; 1957-58 and 1968-69. Many scientists believe it's just a matter of time before it happens again.


Because so many of your posts come from first-person articles that appear to coming directly from you (ie: "I'd like to talk with you about the need..., etc.), could you please use the quote button below the comment box? Only the quote or snippet, not your own comments.
Simply use your mouse to highlight what you want to quote, then click on the Quote button. This will highlight your quote, making it much easier to understand that you're not the person making the comment.

[ Parent ]
Thank you

  The use of "We" got past me. I did not even see it.

   I've been on the look out for "I" but will expand the list.


[ Parent ]
Two-Year-Old Toddler Contracts Bird Flu In Egypt
  An Egyptian girl has contracted bird flu, becoming the 60th victim of the highly pathogenic virus since its outbreak in the country in 2006, according to reports.

 Health officials said Saturday that the two-year-old girl is in a hospital in stable condition, according to AFP. Her identity and place of origin has not been released but the Scotsman reports that she is form the southern province of Qena.


Patients suspect Bird Flu Negative
Patients suspect Bird Flu Negative
By Republika Newsroom
Sunday, March 29, 2009 at 14:07:00
INDRAMAYU - Patient suspect bird flu origin Karangjaya Blok, Mangunjaya Village, District Anjatan, Was (33 years), expressed negative bird flu. In fact, patients initially treated in hospitals Indramayu on Wednesday (25 / 3) was allowed to return home. "Based on the laboratory examination, negative results," said Dirut Indramayu hospitals, Dr Dedi Rohendi to Republika, Friday (29 / 3).

Furthermore, Dedi information, patient condition is also increasing significantly. According to him, the patient was only suffering from normal symptoms of a fever and now has been declared cured.

Republika be as before, Was stated suspect bird flu because the symptoms of sickness with a high fever and shortness of breath. Not only that, I have no previous direct contact with chickens that died suddenly own.

Indramayu in hospitals, Was placed in a special observation room. There, I also get a number of intensive care doctors.

Meanwhile, one of the staff in the field in the Animal Husbandry Department of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Indramayu District, Drh Dian Daju, explains, after being informed of the patient suspect bird flu, the precipitate directly to village officials Mangunjaya. In place, do the search for the dead chicken. "Based on the story of people there, a dead chicken that has been buried," said Dian.

However, Dian information, to anticipate the spread of bird flu, has been doing the spraying of disinfectant substances in the birds around the place to stay patient. In addition, the government also continues to provide counseling and monitoring of poultry suspected of bird flu infected burung.lis / kpo


United we stand: Divided we fall

Flu epidemic killing bonobos in Congo sanctuary
Six bonobos, a species of chimpanzee, have died from a flu epidemic in a month at the Lola Ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ten more have contracted the flu.

"There is no fever. Antibiotics don't do anything. The bonobos have severe respiratory infections and then they can't breath for 3 days then they die," writes a staff member on the sanctuary's blog through the conservation organization WildlifeDirect. The staff of Lola Ya Bonobo have sent out a plea for help and donations, as the flu continues to sweep through their center.



Comment I wonder if this is one of the known (and unmutated) human flu strains or something new?

I wonder if this is a strain of H5N1.

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


[ Parent ]
It's a possibility but any flu that kills our nearest genetic relative is worrying.
It could be the result of a normal human flu on a naieve population, though the animals were rescued from the pet trade so they may have had pre-exposure. It maybe they have some other condition that makes them especially vulnerable.

It doesn't matter if this is H5N1 or not, if the virus was a mutation from anything we're not used to we could be just as vulnerable. If it was a fatal variant of say H1N1 it would be still scary, think seasonal flu that kills and is resistant to Tamiflu!

The DRC (Kinshasa where the sactuary is located) is one of the next logical places for H5N1 to crop up in Africa. It's round the coast from Nigeria.  

[ Parent ]
No reports on OIE site yet. Updated URL for WAHID/WAHIS here:
Here is the new page for weekly reports:

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

[ Parent ]
They may not report it.
They seem to be a charity rescuing bonobos from traders. They may not be aware of OIE reporting since it deals largely with farming. They may be more concerned for the animals than for a potential human threat.

For them to have identified flu suggests they have done some tests but perhaps they didn't think to type it? The lack of fever is odd.

[ Parent ]
blog posts

These are blog posts from the charty web site.

"We had a really sad day today. Mixa, a little boy from group 1 died today. He was the most special little bonobo, Brian's favourite. He was always laughing and happy. And he would run up and down the fence line wanting to play. he loved to splash around in the water. we don't really know what happened, we found him drowned in the lake. he might have fallen into the deep part, he might have been sick, we've been having the most terrible cold epidemic and the bonobos are taking it hard. it's emergency mode here, just tying to get from one day to the next ... all the staff are really sad. with mimi's baby, mimi, and now mixa."

"I have some sad news. Kindu was found dead in the forest. This flu epidemic is absolutely horrible. Claudine thinks it was the terrible virus that ran through Kinshasa. There is no fever. Antiobiotics don't do anything. The bonobos have severe respiratory infections and then they can't breath for 3 days then they die. It's 6 bonobos in a month now, including Mimi and her baby.

I know we're doing a release drive but at the moment we desperately need funds for Lola. Because of the financial crisis, we have a shortfall this year for the sanctuary. Anything you can spare would help so much.

The flu virus has hit group 2 and there are 10 bonobos sick. I can't take anyone else dying!!! I miss mimi so much. Then Fizzi, Mimi's baby, Kisantu's baby, Lodja. I haven't had time to process any of it. Claudine told me this morning about the shortfall in the budget and i couldn't believe it. Please send anything you can.

I just hope it doesn't spread to the nursery or group 3. If Lomela or Kata or Lukuru or any one of the babies gets sick i think i'll go crazy!"

[ Parent ]
Should I suggest the contact the OIE?
They don't seem to know exactly what the bonobos have got - "Claudine thinks it was the terrible virus that ran through kinshasa".

It might not even be flu.

[ Parent ]
UK - Pandemic flu guidance for businesses: risk assessment in the occupational setting

This booklet explains how businesses can help reduce the spread of flu in the event of a pandemic.

It provides information to allow businesses to assess the types of measures that may be used in their particular occupational setting.

Comment Absolutely nothing new in this document. Wash you hands, go home if you're sick and don't bother with masks. Sigh.

Hawaii working on list of who gets shots first in flu pandemic
State health officials want the public's views on deciding who should get vaccinated - and who should not - against the next flu pandemic that reaches the Islands.

So far, a wide-ranging advisory group of about a dozen community members representing religious groups, the chamber of commerce and even an expert in mediation have been working to set up a system that will help determine who will be inoculated first and who will have to face the pandemic unarmed, at least until more vaccine can be manufactured and shipped to Hawai'i.

The final determination will rest with Gov. Linda Lingle.



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