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News Reports for March 20, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Mar 17, 2012 at 15:56:52 PM EDT

Reminder: Please do not post whole articles, just snippets and links, and do not post articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Thanks!

•  WHO confirms fatal human H5N1 case (Link)

•  10-15% rise in H1N1 cases in March; Mexico, US affected too (Link)
•  23 more people test positive for H1N1 (Link)

•  Dutch Bird Flu Outbreak Caused by H5N2 Virus (Link)

United States
•  SD: Four flu deaths reported, Black Hills least affected (Link)

•  Tons of illegal chickens carried into city amid bird flu (Link)

•  Laurie Garrett blogs: Rationales for Man-made H5N1 Experiments Evaporating? (Link)

•  H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for March 20, 2012

News for March 19, 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 19, 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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Egypt: WHO confirms fatal human H5N1 case

Avian influenza - situation in Egypt - update

19 March 2012 - The Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt has notified WHO of a new cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus.

The case is a 40 year-old female from Dakahlia Governorate. She developed symptoms on 6 March 2012, was hospitalised on 12 March 2012. She was in critical condition and received oseltamivir upon admission. She died on 15 March 2012.

The case was laboratory confirmed by the Central Public Health Laboratories(NIC).  Investigations into the source of infection indicate that the case had exposure to sick backyard poultry.  Of the 164 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 58 have been fatal.  

India: 10-15% rise in H1N1 cases in March; Mexico, US affected too
PUNE: Scientists at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) have seen 10 to 15% rise in swine flu cases in March. Incidentally, Mexico (Snip) is also seeing an increase during this period since a pandemic shut down much of the country three years ago.

"There is a 'sudden and sharp' rise in the transmissibility of the swine flu virus this month. Usually, the virus transmission is not more than 1 or 2% during March. It is something unusual," A C Mishra, director, NIV told TOI on Monday.

"Cases of swine flu infection are also being reported from other parts of the world like Mexico and US during the same time as in Pune," Mishra said, adding, "This means that it is too early to write off the swine flu virus," Mishra said.

The NIV has been monitoring the influenza virus' activity through the monitoring study sites placed in village Vadhu, Janata Vasahat near Parvati and also through a system of random sampling from hospitals and dispensaries in Pune city. "An analysis of reports from all the three systems shows an increase of 10-15% in the virus' transmission. That means 10-15% samples of suspected patients are being found positive for swine flu infection now, where as the rate should be 1-2% during this period of time," Mishra said.

He said that the pandemic strain of H1N1 virus had completely replaced the earlier seasonal strain of H1N1. "At present, pandemic H1N1 and a milder influenza B virus are co-circulating," Mishra said.

"A few months ago, there was global silence about swine flu cases. But, now sudden eruption is also being reported in areas like Mexico which was badly hit during the pandemic phase of the virus. Similarly, cases are also being seen in Pune," Mishra said.

When asked for a reason for the sudden spurt, he said, "The behaviour pattern of influenza viruses has been unpredictable. Hence, it is difficult to categorically pinpoint reasons. Though prolonged winter, wide fluctuation in temperature are among the contributing factors." Continued: http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

(Note: This confirms some of what I have been saying about the virus circulating in this area of India. Now they need to find out what the difference is in the virus that's putting so many people on ventilators or worse.)  

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


US: Four flu deaths reported, Black Hills least affected (South Dakota)
Four South Dakotans have died from influenza (Snip) A total of 277 cases of influenza as of March 10 have been reported in what has been a slow start to the annual flu season. There have been 89 hospitalizations, with the majority of those cases in people older than 64.

The four deaths occurred East River, in Faulk, Spink, Clark and Brookings counties. One death was a person between the age 50 and 64. The remaining three were in patients ages 64 and older.

(Snip) In Pennington County, 13 cases have been confirmed with three hospitalizations. Meade County had one hospitalization, and Todd County had two. By contrast, Minnehaha County reports 62 cases and 23 hospitalizations.

Absenteeism in the schools due to illness remains at 3 percent. http://rapidcityjournal.com/ne...

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


Vietnam: Tons of illegal chickens carried into city amid bird flu
Thanks to the 'assistance' of corrupt officials who sell certificates of quarantine, tons of unvaccinated chickens are being illegally transported into Ho Chi Minh City from neighboring provinces every day despite the current outbreak of avian influenza.

A goods owner has to spend VND300,000 (US$14) to buy a certificate of quarantine for each trip to carry up to a thousand birds into Ho Chi Minh City, or double the sum for an extra certificate of inoculation.

It is estimated that tens of thousands of unvaccinated ducks and chickens have been transported into the city a day. They are all butchered at registered slaughter houses before being supplied to restaurants and factories' canteens in industrial parks. Continued: http://www.tuoitrenews.vn/cmli...

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


Netherlands: Dutch Bird Flu Outbreak Caused by H5N2 Virus
(Note: An article yesterday said they identified it as "a mild variant of the H7 bird flu strain"  http://www.reuters.com/article... )

THE NETHERLANDS - The cause of the latest outbeak of low-pathogenic avian influnza (LPAI) has been identified as the H5N2 subtype.
It is reported as a sub-clinical infection of LPAI and the presence of the H5N2 sub-type of the virus has been confirmed. Two hundred turkeys in a flock in Limburg province in the south-east of the country were found to be affected. The whole flock of 44,500 birds has bee distroyed.

All commercial poultry holdings will be screened in a three-kilometre zone around the index farm. (Snip) http://www.thepoultrysite.com/...

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


Rationales for Man-made H5N1 Experiments Evaporating?
Laurie Garrett blogs:
With each passing day the rationales in favor of the man-made H5N1 experiments seem to further evaporate. The still-unpublished ferret experiments conducted last year by Ron Fouchier of Erasmus University in Rotterdam and Yoshi Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin in Madison continue to evoke vigorous debate and controversy. Now that the U.S. National Institutes of Health have asked the National Scientific Advisory Board on Biosecurity (NSABB) to reconvene and again review the work the timetable for public airing of the methods and data is pushed further into the future.

More at the link. Quite a bit more, actually. Is this useful?

India: 23 more people test positive for H1N1
PUNE: As many as 23 people, including six children, tested positive for swine flu in the city on Tuesday, taking the total count of infected people to 63 since March 5. Health officials will be checking up on the schools where the children go to. Going by the experience of 2009, when scores of students came down with the infection, triggering closure of many institutions, the health officials say they are taking every precaution to ward off the spread among children.

"Among the 23 positive patients, a few are children who have been found infected with the pandemic H1N1 influenza," Shyam Satpute, assistant medical officer of health told TOI. "Their parents have been asked to quarantine them at home. We have started investigating their school addresses so that we can take further precautions." The children range in age from two to six. "Two of them are being treated at Noble Hospital and Ruby Hall Clinic. They are recuperating," Satpute said.

Since the spurt of H1N1 cases began, this is the first time that such a large number of positive patients has been reported in a single day. The condition of two patients being treated at KEM hospital and Prayag hospital continues to be critical and both are on ventilator support, health officials said.

The number of throat swabs coming to NIV for testing has increased in the last few days. "We have received 35 samples in the last two days," said Mandeep Chadha, deputy director of NIV. 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


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