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News Reports for May 6, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sun May 06, 2012 at 00:14:21 AM EDT


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

Brazil
• Brazil Fights Influenza (Link)

India
• A (H1N1): Centre says border control measures not needed (Link)

Peru
• Look Out, It's Dolphin Measels (Link)
• Peru health alert after pelican deaths - Cause of deaths unclear, bird flu ruled out (Link)

United Kingdom
• 'Washing hands has saved more lives than any medical breakthrough in a generation' (Link)

United States
• CIDRAP: CDC reports declining flu activity, Tamiflu resistance in Texas (Link)
• Government panel better be right about bird flu (Link)

Research
• Influenza 'Histone Mimic' Suppresses Antiviral Response (Link)

General
• CIDRAP: WHO announces hand hygiene efforts (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for May 6, 2012

News for May 5, 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 May 2, 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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Brazil Fights Influenza
Brasilia, May 6 - Brazil Health Ministry has launched a National Vaccination Campaign against flu to immunize some 24.100 million people against three viruses prevalent in South America, including the influenza A (H1N1.)

The figure represents 80% of 60-year-old people and older, the children from six to 24 months, pregnant women, the indigenous population and health staff (Snip)

Some 65,000 health offices have been set to administer the dose (Snip) through May 25th.

(Snip) warn the children should be given two doses, the second 30 days later, and announce plans to improve the 2011 campaign ratings. So far it has cut 64% the deaths from A (H1N1)virus. http://www.plenglish.com/index...

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

     


CIDRAP: CDC reports declining flu activity, Tamiflu resistance in Texas
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

Flu circulation in most states has fallen to summer baseline levels, but two states-Alaska and New York-are still reporting widespread activity, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today. Though the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu fell last week from 22.2% to 15.3%, it is still above the 10% threshold the CDC uses to signify that the flu season has started or is ongoing. (Snip)  overall deaths from pneumonia and flu stayed below the epidemic threshold.

Two more pediatric deaths were reported, raising the season's total to 20.

Testing revealed one more 2009 H1N1 virus that was resistant to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), raising the season's total to 16. (Snip) 11 of the 16 positive samples were from Texas, which has seen higher levels of flu activity than other states. Though the Texas level of oseltamivir resistance is higher than the national level, it is still considered quite low in the state (Snip) Of 14 patients with resistant 2009 H1N1 infections and exposure information, 3 were using oseltamivir for at least 1 day when the specimen was collected, and 2 had family members who were using the drug.

May 4 CDC flu update http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

May 4 CDC flu situation update http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/...

(Snip) Europe is nearing the end of its flu season, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said today. Nearly all countries are reporting low intensity and decreasing or stable flu trends (Snip) The proportion of influenza B viruses continues its late-season increase (Snip)

May 4 ECDC flu update http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/press...

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

     


CIDRAP: WHO announces hand hygiene efforts
The World Health Organization (WHO) today announced its annual "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands" campaign designed to reduced healthcare-associated infections through better hand hygiene, especially in developing nations. "Most health care-associated infections are preventable through good hand hygiene-health-care workers [HCWs] cleaning hands, at the right times and in the right way," the agency said in a news release. Continued: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

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

     


Peru: Look Out, It's Dolphin Measels
A KILLER virus that has claimed the lives of thousands of dolphins off the coast of Peru could pose a risk to humans, experts say. This year at least 2,800 dolphins have fallen victim to morbillivirus, a virus similar to measles. If this virus mutates, as bird flu did, other species and even humans could be in danger.

Butchered carcasses on the beaches showed local people have eaten meat from the dead dolphins, raising concerns the disease could jump the species barrier. Stefan Austermühle, director of Mundo Azul, a non-profit organisation for the conservation of marine habitats, said: "As we have seen in cases such as mad cow disease and bird flu, viruses definitely have the capacity to switch from one biological group to another.

"Morbillivirus is a mammal virus related to viruses like measles so there is a real danger it might mutate and affect humans.

"Fishermen are taking dolphins contaminated with the virus home and eating them."

Last week 538 pelicans, 54 ­boobies and five sea lions were found on the beaches in various stages of decomposition, sparking fears that the virus may already be spreading between species. Continued: http://www.healthmap.org/en/

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

     


Correct link for the above article:
http://www.express.co.uk/posts...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Peru health alert after pelican deaths - Cause of deaths unclear, bird flu ruled out
LIMA: Peru's government declared a health alert along its northern coastline on Saturday and urged residents and tourists to stay away from long stretches of beach, as it investigates the unexplained deaths of hundreds of dolphins and pelicans. At least 1,200 birds, mostly pelicans, washed up dead along a stretch of Peru's northern Pacific coastline in recent weeks (Snip)  after an estimated 800 dolphins died in the same area in recent months.  The Health Ministry recommended staying away from beaches, although it stopped short of a ban, and called on health officials to use gloves, masks and other protective gear when collecting dead birds. The peak tourism season around Lima's beaches is over, although many surfers are still venturing into the waters near the capital.

The Agriculture Ministry said preliminary tests on some dead pelicans pointed to malnourishment. Oscar Dominguez, head of the ministry's health department, said experts had ruled out bird flu. "The Health Ministry ... calls on the population to abstain from going to the beaches until the health alert is lifted," (Snip)

The ministry said officials had so far checked 18 beaches in and around Lima for dead birds, but gave no details on any findings. "We're starting from the hypothesis that it's because the birds are young and unable to find enough food for themselves, and also because the sea temperature has risen and anchovies have moved elsewhere," said Deputy Agriculture Minister Juan Rheineck. Continued: http://news.kuwaittimes.net/20...

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

     


[ Parent ]
UK - 'Washing hands has saved more lives than any medical breakthrough in a generation'
MRSA cases plummet as campaign helps hospitals clean up their act.

Triple the amount of soap and alcohol gel bought follow launch of 2004 campaign
More diligent procedures have saved 10,000 lives says report author
Campaign reminded visitors and staff to scrub hands before touching patients, eating food and after going to the toilet

[cont]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea...

Comment - I can confirm that they're quite keen about hand washing now, with plenty of hand gel stations. They also test for MRSA if you're admitted overnight. Next they need to get the nation hand washing even when they're not visiting hospital.


Government panel better be right about bird flu
The magazine Nature has published the details of experiments that altered the avian flu virus so it can more easily infect humans. Release of this Frankensteinian-sounding data had been delayed by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, which ruled in December that the info might help terrorists make biological weapons of mass destruction.
(Snip)
A University of Wisconsin study found that just four gene mutations let the avian flu virus infect humans, making the advisory board's decision against publishing the research wisely cautious. But last month, the board concluded that the chances of the virus morphing naturally into a threat to humanity were greater than the possibility of its use in a terrorist attack. On that balance, the panel okayed publication so researchers could use the data to (Snip)

The call was gutsy. It better be right, too. http://www.nydailynews.com/opi...



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

     


Influenza 'Histone Mimic' Suppresses Antiviral Response
ScienceDaily (May 6, 2012) - For a virus like influenza, the key to success isn't in overpowering the immune system, it's in tricking it. A team of researchers led by scientists at The Rockefeller University has identified a novel mechanism by which influenza viruses hijack key regulators of the human body's normal antiviral response in order to slip by it undetected. The finding, reported recently in Nature, shows that the immunosuppressive NS1 protein of the influenza A virus mimics a core component of gene regulating machinery in order to block antiviral gene function. The results they describe have major implications for our understanding of the biology of the seasonal influenza virus and its pathogenesis. The research also suggests a possible target for a new class of antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs.

The researchers, led by Alexander Tarakhovsky, head of the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Signaling, showed that the NS1 protein of the H3N2 strain of influenza -- the "seasonal" flu -- contains the same sequence of amino acids as the "tail" domain of a DNA packaging protein in humans called histone H3. The histones are present in the cell nucleus and play an important role in gene activation. Chemical modifications of the histone "tails" allow recruitment of effector proteins that, in turn, determine which genes are switched on or off. Chemical modifications of histones were first identified by Rockefeller scientist Vincent G. Allfrey in the early 1960s. Decades later, Rockefeller University's C. David Allis proposed the "histone code" theory that describes the importance of histone tails in regulating a wide array of cellular functions. Continued: http://www.sciencedaily.com/re...

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

     


India: A (H1N1) - Centre says border control measures not needed
Even as some States have reported outbreak of A(H1N1) influenza, the Centre has said that since the virus is circulating in the community, border control measures, such as entry screening at airports, ports and railway and bus stations, is not essential.

The influenza has been reported from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, and some of these and their neighbouring States are resorting to screening at entry points.

(Snip) Union Health and Family Welfare Secretary P.K. Pradhan has asked the States to review the situation for addressing gaps, if any, in the preparedness and response by their machinery. Equally important would be to instruct senior officers to brief the media for factual reporting that would alleviate fears among the public.

The Ministry directed the States to review the capacities, developed during the pandemic, for screening, categorisation, testing, clinical and critical care and patient management. Continued: http://www.thehindu.com/news/a...

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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