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News Reports for March 2, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 15:08:49 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!

•  6 H5N1 outbreaks in poultry (Link and link)

•  Health officials recommend flu shots, as cases rise (Link)

•  3 wild birds with H5N1 found in Hong Kong (Link)

•  With high-tech system, Egypt hopes to avoid possible pandemic (Link)

•  Need not whine over swine flu (Link)

•  Suspected Bird Flu Patients Condition Still Poor (translated) (Link)
•  PCR Results, Samples Were Rancasawo Negative H5N1 in Poultry (translated) (Link)
•  Patient Suspect Bird Flu Symptoms Similar to the Late U.S. (translated) (Link)

South Africa
•  New bird flu case dashes ostrich export plans (Link)

United Kingdom
•  Two people die after flu outbreak at Cardiff's Dorothy Lewis residential care home in Cardiff (Link)

United States
•  TN: Mid-South Flu Cases Surge; Doctors Treating Hundreds (Link)

•  Diseases spreading faster than vaccines can be tested (Link)

•  New light shed on cause of lung injury in severe flu (Link)

•  NSABB Members React to Request for Second Look at Flu Studies (Link)

•  Nature: The risks and benefits of publishing mutant flu studies (Link)

•  H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for March 2, 2012

News for March 1, 2012 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 March 1, 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 Main Page

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South Africa: New bird flu case dashes ostrich export plans
A fresh positive test result for the H5N2 avian flu virus in the Klein Karoo has dashed hope the industry could resume trade this month with the European Union, its biggest ostrich export market

South African Ostrich Business Chamber interim CEO Piet Kleyn said yesterday that the test result came after the eighth round of tests in February since the virus was first detected on a farm near Oudtshoorn in April last year.

The latest case was found on a farm near De Rust, east of Oudtshoorn, in an area that had previously been virus-free.

"It is not clear when exports will resume. The resumption of meat exports will be negotiated with trading partners (in the EU), once the identified shortcomings in the current system have been addressed and recommendations have been implemented," the chamber said. Continued: http://www.businessday.co.za/a...

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


New light shed on cause of lung injury in severe flu
New research (Snip) suggests that natural killer T cells reduce the accumulation of monocytes and prevent lung injury in severe flu, controlling the outcome of infection.

While some scientists report engineering a super virulent strain of the H5N1 influenza virus, which could potentially wipe out a significant percentage of the human population, another group of researchers from the United Kingdom now reports a discovery that may one day help mitigate the deadly effects of all flu strains. This report, appearing in the March 2012 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, describes findings that may help prevent deaths from severe flu outbreaks, especially from seemingly healthy young people.

Specifically, the researchers found that immune cells called, "natural killer T cells," may reduce the overwhelming numbers of another type of immune cell, called "inflammatory monocytes," which when present in large numbers, lead to lung injury at the end stage of severe flu infection. "We hope this study will ultimately benefit individuals-especially the young-who succumb to a severe form of flu infection," (Snip) "The study highlights a key immune process that occurs in severe flu infection, and provides a platform for a new approach and further research in this area."

(Snip) scientists infected three groups of mice with H1N1 flu virus. (Note: this is NOT the H5N1 flu virus that has been at the center of recent controversy.) The first group included normal mice; the second group was devoid of natural killer T cells, and the third was given a treatment that specifically activated natural killer T cells. Researchers observed the outcome of flu infection and found that the mice without natural killer T cells did worst, and those with activated killer T cells did best. Mice that lacked natural killer T cells had increased amounts of monocytes in the lungs, and severe lung injury similar to those seen in Spanish flu and lethal swine flu. Using highly-sensitive fluorescent antibody technology, this study was one of the first to document the sequential changes in innate immune response in the lungs during severe flu infection. These findings essentially provide a "road map" of the chronological changes in the lungs during severe flu infection.

(Snip) the flu may be one of the most underestimated viruses in terms of its devastating potential," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "As the H5N1 research shows, it is quite possible for the virus to mutate or be bioengineered into a form that could wipe most of us out. What most people don't realize is that the severe illness from these flu strains is caused by both the virus and an overaggressive or inappropriate immune response. (Snip) http://www.brightsurf.com/news...

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


UK: Two people die after flu outbreak at Cardiff's Dorothy Lewis residential care home in Cardiff (Wales)
Two people have died and another seven are in hospital after an outbreak of flu at the Dorothy Lewis care home in Cardiff.

A total of 20 out of 33 residents (Snip) have developed flu-like symptoms since February 19. Out of the 40 members of staff, nine have also developed similar symptoms, Public Health Wales said. None have been hospitalised.

It's understood the people affected have contracted the H3N2 strain of flu - not swine flu, which has been responsible for scores of deaths over the last two years in Wales.

Residents at the home who have not yet developed symptoms are being treated with Tamiflu to lessen the severity of the symptoms should it develop. Continued: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/n...

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


Suspected Bird Flu Patients Condition Still Poor
March 2, 2012
Bandung, Indonesia:  After three days in a doctor's care a Ruma Hasan Sadikin Bandung, A (42), a patient suspected of contracting avian influenza (AI), his conditions are better than the previous day, Thursday (1/3).   According to a spokesman for the medical team RSHS Bandung Special Diseases, Dr. Primal Sudjana, his conditions are still not good.

"He still has respiratory failure and is still using the ventilator.   He still has kidney failure, liver failure, unstable blood pressure, and is also away from the normal platelet count.  When entering, his platelet count is only 7000.  This should be increased because of the risk of bleeding. Normally it is 150,000," he said at a news conference at RSHS, Friday (2/3) afternoon.

With the patient's condition still far from good, the hospital decided to take no action other than drug administration until the platelet count is at 50,000.

"We have already started to have improved platelet count despite only reaching 29,000. It also remains to be continually added," he said.

The patient began to feel unwell on Thursday (23/2), and the next day he went to the GP.  His condition did not improve, and he even experienced shortness of breath.  On Monday (28/2), the patient was brought by his family to Immanuel Hospital for treatment.  His condition continued to deteriorate until the next day, Tuesday (29/2) evening, the patient was transferred to RSHS and straight into the Bubble Flamboyan.

AI virus is suspected of infecting patients and cannot only be transmitted through direct contact with poultry, but also contact with poultry manure.

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

PCR Results, Samples Were Rancasawo Negative H5N1 in Poultry
March 2, 2012
London, Indonesia:  Head of Animal Disease Prevention Eradication of Agriculture and Food (Dispertan) Bandung Sudarmaji said that the results of tests on blood samples of poultry in Rancasawo Buahbatu Bandung are known to be negative for bird flu.  Likewise the test through a process of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), the results remained negative.  He said that since the patient with the initial A went into Rancasawo District Buahbatu Flamboya RSHS Jakarta, on Wednesday (02/29/2012), on Thursday (03/01/2012) he sent 6 people from the bird flu rapid action team to immediately conduct a search.  When they went, they took eight samples of poultry manure and everything but the results were negative.

"The results of PCR testing of 8 cloacal swab samples, including entog cloacal swabs, 2 chicken cloacal swabs, 1 duck cloacal swabs, and two from the suspected location of FB, which we sent directly to lab Cikole, all results are negative," he explained on Friday (2/3/2012 ) saying these birds were around the victim's home.

The victim's own poultry were sold for medical expenses.  Based on the recognition of the victims, said Sudarmaji, poultry victims.  Yet not only the victim's poultry grazed , but many people.

"It's the victim this time who was in direct contact with poultry, but the poultry or birds that are around the victim's house proved to be negative.  But because we are still awaiting the human results, then we do prevention as early as possible.  We'll let the public continue to always be vigilant and provide an understanding of maintenance-related birds," he said.

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

India: Need not whine over swine flu (Andhra Pradesh)
The dreaded swine flu or the H1N1 virus, whose outbreak in the City almost two years ago rattled everyone, has resurfaced. Even though it is not the 'season' for swine flu, it has been confirmed that two individuals have been affected by the virus and admitted to Yashoda hospital in Malakpet on Wednesday.

Usually, the outbreak of swine flu cases occurs in the monsoon and winter months. But the cases that were confirmed yesterday are just isolated instances. The City has always panicked whenever there have been cases of swine flu. But doctors and the government lament that there is no reason to worry too much over swine flu, as it is like any other virus and there is no reason to spread unnecessary panic among the public.

Says Dr Lavanya Nutankalva, infection medicine specialist, Apollo Hospitals, "These two instances are only isolated cases. H1N1 should be treated like other viruses; take prompt medical action and precautionary measures against it. There is no reason to get scared." Continued: http://postnoon.com/2012/03/01...

(Note: There have been many outbreaks of H5N1 in poultry in Andhra Pradesh. Also, H5N1 infected crows have died in that area. The population is probably worried that it will spread to humans.)

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


Nature: The risks and benefits of publishing mutant flu studies
I'd call it an overview but apparently at Nature they call them Explainers.
Two teams of scientists, led by Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have created mutant strains of H5N1 avian influenza. These laboratory strains could be passed between mammals more easily than wild strains of the virus.

News of the research sparked an intense debate about whether the two teams' work should be published in full to aid pandemic preparedness or redacted to prevent misuse by terrorists. A meeting convened by the World Health Organization two weeks ago in Geneva, Switzerland, concluded that the papers should be published in full, despite recommendations to the contrary from a US government advisory board. Nature takes a look at the debate and the science.

More and with lots of links...

Comment: Suspected SARS outbreak in Boading China
The Chinese government completely shutoff all the news on the possible outbreak of SARS in Boading, China. I have searched for 2 days and there is zero more news so far. They removed all the information posted by individuals on the websites. It was easy since they control the Internet in China. They forbade any of the Chinese mainland news services to report on it. I suspect they barred Apple Daily out of Hong Kong from coming back to Boading and probably all other outside news reporters.

They arrested the one man, didn't allow him to have an attorney and he didn't get a trail. They immediately jailed him in a labor camp for two years. They made his fate known publicly to scare people so bad that they immediately stopped blogging about what was going on.

My question to the Chinese government is, what are you so afraid of? If you are not covering up a SARS, H2H H5N1 or some other dangerous viral outbreak, then why such drastic measures? Why not just invite WHO in to verify the outbreak is the adenovirus 55 that you said it is?

Whatever the outbreak is will never be known if they get it stopped. If it begins to spill out of China like the SARS outbreak of 2003...... well I guess I will know then what the Chinese government is so afraid of.

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


Vietnam: Diseases spreading faster than vaccines can be tested
Vietnamese preventive health authorities are doing their best to deal with a bleak scenario. The problems include a slow response to the country's first case of H3N2, a subtype of influenza A, the lack of a vaccine for the new H5N1 variant and the spreading of the hand-foot-mouth disease, for which no vaccination currently exists. Contracting any of the diseases can be fatal.

On Monday (February 14), the Department of Preventive Health announced that two-year-old La Nguyen Thanh Ngan from the Mekong Delta province of Long An was the first person in Vietnam to contract the H3N2 virus. (Note: This is a novel H3N2 variant of swine origin, not the seasonal H3N2 flu)

The source of infection was a pig and there is no evidence that the virus is transmissible among humans, it said, adding that the girl had been admitted to HCMC Children's Hospital 1 and recovered soon after. The announcement was made ten months after the patient contracted the disease.

Vietweek visited Ngan's hometown in Long An's My Le Commune and found that she had moved to District 12 in HCMC with her family before contracting the disease.

An official of the District 12's Preventive Health Agency said he was only aware of the case through the newspaper's report on Tuesday. It was only then that representatives from the Ho Chi Minh City-based Pasteur Institute and local health authorities went to her home in District 12 to conduct an epidemiological study.

La Quang Vinh, Ngan's father, said the family was not raising fowl or swine.

"There were many children in our neighborhood with fevers then. I think she contracted the disease from them," he said.
Vinh said doctors at the HCMC Children's Hospital 1 cultured a sample of mucus from her throat to be tested in the US. He said relevant health authorities came to their house in District 12 but had misunderstood that the child was living in Long An with her grandparents. "We only came back to Long An during Tet. They came to Long An and offered an appointment in District 12, saying they would study the epidemiology and meet other children in the neighborhood. However, I have not seen them since then," he said. (Snip)

Bird flu

Meanwhile, Vietnam must contend with a more dangerous type of influenza A - bird flu (H5N1) and its new 2.3.2 strain, which is resistant to the current vaccine. At a meeting held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on February 18, the director of the Animal Health Department said bird flu has recurred in 11 cities and provinces since early this year.

Two people have died from H5N1 so far this year, including one in Kien Giang and another in Soc Trang, all in the Mekong Delta. (Snip) "There is a clear threat of an outbreak of the disease," he said.

According to Nam, the bird flu virus has significantly mutated since it first appearance in 2003. In addition to clade 1, clades 2.3.2A and 2.3.2B, which are more dangerous, have emerged in the north and north-central regions. The current Re-5 vaccine is effective against clade 1 but its success rate is only 80 percent against clade 2.3.2A and its effect is negligible against clade 2.3.2B, he said.

He said experts in China, where the new strains have also appeared among fowl, have successfully developed an effective vaccine (H5N1-Re 6), but the Chinese government has yet to allow it to be used or produced extensively. Earlier, he proposed that the Prime Minister urgently approve the purchase of 100 million H5N1-Re 5 vaccinations from abroad.

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) confirmed with Vietweek that China is working on an updated vaccine against H5N1. "OIE has knowledge that this vaccine is in the last stages before it will be on the market but as with every veterinary product, vaccines have to undergo testing and clearance by local authorities and the OIE does not have any information on the timetable for releasing this vaccine," it said in a statement.

In a recent statement, the Quang Nam Province Animal Health Agency said they had not vaccinated all the province's fowl, about five million birds, as of early this year when the Department of Animal Health suspended vaccinations in the region, saying it would not work against the new strain. Continued: http://www.thanhniennews.com/i...

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


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


US: Mid-South Flu Cases Surge; Doctors Treating Hundreds (Tennessee)
Memphis 3/1/2012 - Local doctors are seeing a big increase in patients complaining of flu-like symptoms. LeBonheur Children's Hospital reports its Emergency Department is treating more than 300 patients a day.

"The last two weeks there has been a very sharp uptick, really a doubling in cases in the last two weeks. And I think it's going to be even higher this week," said LeBonheur's Chief Pediatrician (Snip)

McCullers says the recent surge may be partially weather-related. He says the flu transmits best in cool, dry weather, something we have not seen much of so far. "It may just be that it has been sitting there. It has been waiting for its chance to break out, and this is it,"  (Snip) We have all three types of flu hitting Memphis at the exact same time," (Snip) http://www.wreg.com/news/wreg-...

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


NSABB Members React to Request for Second Look at Flu Studies
Members of a U.S. government biosecurity advisory board are offering a range of reactions to the news that they are being asked to take a second look at two controversial flu studies. Some have not previously spoken publicly about the issue, which has sparked a global debate about biosecurity versus scientific freedom. And several say they are skeptical that the new review will reverse their opposition to fully publishing the methods and results of the two experiments.

The comments below come after months of rapid-fire developments in the H5N1 flu research controversy. It began late last year, when the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) recommended that two science teams delete key details from papers submitted to Science and Nature that describe how researchers made the H5N1 avian influenza more transmissible between mammals, possibly providing a blueprint for starting a flu pandemic. The risks posed by the research outweighed its potential benefits, the 23 voting members of the panel unanimously concluded after what they described as hundreds of hours of discussion. The NSABB's voting members are mostly scientists drawn from a wide range of disciplines and institutions, including universities and companies. (There are also 18 non-voting ex-officio members from federal agencies.)

The researchers and the journals agreed to follow NSABB's recommendation, provided that the U.S. government comes up with a mechanism to share those details with bona fide researchers and public health experts. The deal sparked extensive criticism, however, with some scientists saying the redactions went too far, and others arguing the research should not have been conducted in the first place. Continued: http://news.sciencemag.org/sci...

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


Canada: Health officials recommend flu shots, as cases rise (Ontario)
PARRY SOUND - The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has confirmed cases of influenza in Parry Sound and North Bay. Flu activity is now at a Level 3, meaning there are 10 lab-confirmed cases in the district.

"We have seen cases of severe respiratory illness, along with cases of influenza in our emergency department at the West Parry Sound Health Centre," said health centre manager of infection control Lorraine Vankoughnett. "It's not too late to get your flu shot.
Although the shot takes two weeks to become effective, officials say its effectiveness will last the remainder of the winter. Health officials recommend flu shots, as cases rise. http://www.cottagecountrynow.c...

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


Indonesia:Patient Suspect Bird Flu Symptoms Similar to the Late U.S.
March 2, 2012

London, Indonesia: A, the patient suspect bird flu that is now being treated in RSHS symptom that has many similarities with the first patient in the U.S. this year (37), Pasirluyu Village residents who died allegedly suspect bird flu a few weeks ago.

"There are so many similarities with the first, as worsening conditions very quickly, the same failure of respiratory function, and also both suffered multiple organ failure," said spokesman Tim RSHS Special Handling of Infectious Diseases Dr. Primal Sudjana told reporters when met at the Flamboyant isolation room RSHS Pasteur Street, Friday (03/02/2012).

Until now, he added, in addition to providing tamiflu drug, the doctors also provide a cure for pneumonia.

"The symptoms of bird flu is also accompanied by the same symptoms as some other diseases, many of the organ failed to function with the addition of platelets hopefully will improve organ function little by little," he said.  

United we stand: Divided we fall

With high-tech system, Egypt hopes to avoid possible pandemic
Friday, 02 March 2012

By Louise Sarant

H5N1, also known as avian influenza or bird flu, has apparently found a perfect environment to thrive in Egypt. Since the initial onset of the virus back in 2006, new outbreaks of the flu have occurred every single year, making Egypt one of the world's few endemic countries for the virus, along with Indonesia and Peru. The government, taking the threat of a pandemic seriously, has launched annual vaccination campaigns to mitigate the number of fatalities in Egypt, which made up 55 of the 159 total reported cases according to the World Health Organization.

full story


United we stand: Divided we fall

China: 3 wild birds with H5N1 found in Hong Kong

131 Argyle Street, Mongkok, HONG KONG
A Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) was collected on 24 February 2012 at Mongkok. The Crested Goshawk is an uncommon local resident in Hong Kong.

76 Hing Lung Back Street, Cheung Chau, HONG KONG
An Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) was collected on 25 February 2012 at Cheung Chau. The Oriental Magpie Robin is a common local resident in Hong Kong.

80 Hok Loo Lane, Cheung Chau, HONG KONG
An Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) was collected on 27 February 2012 at Cheung Chau. The Oriental Magpie Robin is a common local resident in Hong Kong.

Bhutan: 6 H5N1 outbreaks in poultry


  • Bunagu, Chukha, CHHUKHA
  • Dala, Chukha, CHHUKHA
  • Maybari, Chukha, CHHUKHA
  • Wangdigashel, Phuntsholing, Chukha, CHHUKHA
  • Kamji, Chukha, CHHUKHA
  • Gedu, Bongo, Chukha, CHHUKHA

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