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News Reports for October 9, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 19:49:00 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!

China
• Hong Kong: Swine flu in Hong Kong (Link)

India
• Madhya Pradesh: Swine flu toll goes up to 8 in Indore; H1N1 pattern under study (Link)
• Madhya Pradesh: Three more dengue cases in MP  (Link)
• Gujarat: Three people tested positive with H1N1 virus in Saurashtra region (Link)

Indonesia
• Tia Not Bird Flu Deaths (translated) (Link)

Research
• Research on enhanced transmissibility in H5N1 influenza: Should the moratorium end? (Link)
• Learning from past flu epidemics to model outbreaks as they happen (Link)
• Canada: More evidence flu shot is safe for the egg-allergic (Link)

General
• Flu Virus Not Only Affecting Humans but Dogs As Well (Link)
• Flu infections in pets are more common than previously thought (Link)

Commentary
• Increased Discordance Between Human and Swine H3N2v (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for October 9, 2012

News for October 8, 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 August 10, 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

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India: Swine flu toll goes up to 8 in Indore; H1N1 pattern under study (Madhya Pradesh)
Indore: Swine flu claimed eighth life in the city on Monday in last two months. This was the second consecutive death due to the decease in two days.

Vinod Kothari, 54, (Snip) who was admitted at the Bombay hospital died due to swine flu on Monday evening. On Sunday another patient Subhash Patel, 30, had died. He was also admitted at the Bombay Hospital.

Kothari was detected positive on September 11 and was admitted at the hospital. Since then, his condition was critical (Snip)

(Snip)

H1N1 pattern under study
With a view to curbing spread of swine flu, health officials are conducting epidemiological survey of the positive patients found so far in the district. (Snip) Dr GL Sodhi said, "We have sought information regarding patients from all hospitals of the city. The epidemiological survey would enable us to understand pattern of the disease."

Meanwhile, two new suspected patients of swine flu were identified in the city and their samples were sent for tests at the laboratories based at Jabalpur. Till now, 35 patients have been tested positive while seven people have lost their lives due to swine flu, said sources.

Epidemiology is study of patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations. What the department has generally observed till now that the disease has not been reported in any of the kin of the patient, Dr Sodhi added. Similarly, almost all the patients are category B patients. In other words, they were already vulnerable and having weak immunity, he added. "Till now only one hospital has provided details. As soon as we get entire information we would analyse the facts,"(Snip) http://daily.bhaskar.com/artic...

(Note: "the disease has not been reported in any of the kin of the patient" That does not sound at all like H1N1 swine flu because it is contagious and surely some of their relatives would have been sick and gave it to them or would have caught it from them. IMO, they need to really dig deep into this. According to the numbers given here, the CFR is at 20%. I am seeing extremely high CFR's in every Indian state that is reporting H1N1 swine flu cases.)

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

     


Research on enhanced transmissibility in H5N1 influenza: Should the moratorium end?
In January 2012, in response to the controversy caused by the unprecedented recommendation of an advisory board to the government to redact methods sections of two research studies showing how genetic changes could make H5N1 become transmissible between mammals, a group of influenza researchers agreed to a voluntary pause on any research involving highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses leading to the generation of viruses that are more transmissible in mammals. Despite both articles eventually being published in full in May and June 2012, the research moratorium remains in place.

"The scientific community and the greater society that it serves are currently engaged in a vigorous debate on whether and how to carry out experiments that could provide essential information for preparedness against a pandemic of avian influenza. To foster discussion and to provide a venue to record the arguments for or against this moratorium, mBio has commissioned a series of views from experts in the field," write Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, editor-in-chief of mBio; and Thomas Shenk of Princeton University, Chair of the ASM Publications Board, in an introductory editorial.

Enhancing and analyzing the transmissibility of the H5N1 virus could, on the one hand, provide insights that could help prevent or treat a future outbreak of H5N1 , or, on the other hand, it may provide a roadmap for a "bad actor" to deliberately bring about an influenza pandemic or lead to an inadvertent release of a virus with enhanced transmissibility. Continued: http://medicalxpress.com/news/...

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

     


Learning from past flu epidemics to model outbreaks as they happen
By putting statistical data under the microscope, University of Warwick researchers have created a model to predict the impact of future pandemics in real-time as they strike.

During the 2009 outbreak, the true extent of H1N1 was difficult to detect as in some people it caused severe symptoms, even death, whereas in others it was so mild that they did not realise they had the virus.

During an outbreak like this, it is vital that public health authorities have a clear picture of the disease among the population so they can take precautionary measures such as distributing antibiotics or closing schools if necessary.

When H1N1 struck three years ago, the main source of information in the UK was laboratory testing of nose and throat swabs taken from people who went to the doctor with symptoms of the virus. But tracking the virus through this method alone has been shown to underestimate the true number of cases as those who had mild symptoms would not have gone to their doctors and would have been missed in the data.

This underestimate has been confirmed by subsequent studies of blood samples from the wider population taken at the time of the outbreak, which showed that around 90 per cent of cases were missed. Large-scale blood testing is an extremely useful tool to give a true picture of infection at the level of the wider population - but it is slow and costly to put in place.

Now University of Warwick mathematicians have developed a complementary, maths-based tool that can give a real-time snapshot of the virus's spread at any stage of the outbreak simply by running a model on a computer. Continued: http://medicalxpress.com/news/...

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

     


China: Swine flu in Hong Kong
A 4-year-old Saudi Arabian boy was confirmed Sunday to be suffering from the swine flu virus A (H1N1) (Snip)

The boy had initially been suspected of suffering a severe respiratory disease associated with a new type of coronavirus (Snip)

(Snip) the boy, who was visiting Hong Kong with his father, had a fever, cough and nausea when he arrived at hospital and was placed in isolation Sunday.

Two days earlier his father also had a fever, but quickly recovered. http://english.peopledaily.com...

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

     


Flu Virus Not Only Affecting Humans but Dogs As Well
Canine influenza only affects dogs, can lead to respiratory illness, and is highly contagious. The virus is usually mild in healthy dogs, but it can cause a high fever, and even pneumonia.

Snip) "Most of the time, it goes from a dry hacking cough, to really productive. Productive just means that you can hear them actually coughing something up" (Snip).

(Snip) Other signs of Canine Flu include laziness among usually active dogs and even fever. A flu vaccine is available upon request at your local veterinarian. http://www.kfbb.com/news/local...

(Note: There are documented cases of dogs and cats catching the H1N1 swine flu from humans. That's one more reason to get your flu shot this year! You will be protecting yourself, others around you and maybe even Fido or kitty.)

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

     


Flu infections in pets are more common than previously thought
New research is alarming since H1N1 virus easily mutates and could become stronger after infecting multiple species.

Humans aren't the only ones at risk for contracting the flu this season: our furry friends can fall ill from the disease as well. In fact, flu infections in cats and dogs may be much more common than thought, experts say. And pets can catch the flu from their owners, research finds.

One study of cat blood samples found about 30 percent of cats in Ohio had been infected with seasonal flu, and 20 percent had been infected with the H1N1 flu strain that caused the 2009 pandemic. Studies also suggest there has been an increase in cat flu infections since 2009.

Researchers have known since the 1970s that cats can get the flu, and since 2000 that dogs could get it, but detailed reports of such cases have been rare, said Christiane Loehr, an associate professor at Oregon State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Loehr and colleagues are conducting a broader study of blood samples from cats across the United States to pin down exactly how often cats get the flu.

It's not possible to know how sick the cats in the Ohio study were - the blood samples only show that they were infected at some point. It's also not clear whether these cats caught the flu from their owners, from other cats or animals, Loehr said.

But when human-to-pet transmission happens, researchers worry not only about the health of the pets, but also about the evolution of the virus. A flu virus that hops across species has the potential to undergo changes to its genetic code that could make it more virulent and dangerous to people.

"All viruses can mutate, but the influenza virus raises special concern," because it can change large segments of its DNA fairly easily, Loehr said. "In terms of hosts and mutations, who's to say that the cat couldn't be the new pig? We'd just like to know more about this." Continued: http://www.mnn.com/family/pets...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Increased Discordance Between Human and Swine H3N2v
Recombinomics Commentary

Excerpt:

This large discordance between human and swine H3N2v lineages suggest the lineage in most 2012 human cases is evolving in humans, and is rarely found in swine not at agricultural fair venues, although the recent swine cases identified in Indiana and Ohio may signal an entry into the swine population which increase frequencies in subsequent USDA samples acquired through its voluntary surveillance system.

The discordance also raises concerns that the CDC focus on agricultural fairs during the influenza off season is creating a serious undercount in H3N2v cases infected via human to human transmission. http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

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

     


India: Three more dengue cases in MP (Madhya Pradesh)
(Snip) all the three patients were brought to the city from (Snip) in a critical condition two days back and are undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Bhopal.

(Snip) one more patient has tested postive for Swine Flu in Bhopal and 17 fresh samples were sent for testing (Snip) http://english.samaylive.com/r...

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

     


Tia Not Bird Flu Deaths
http://m.tribunnews.com/2012/1...
October 9, 2012
Bandung, Indonesia:  Hasan Sadikin Hospital (RSHS) confirmed that Tia (8), a patient from Bojongsoang, Bandung Regency, died of severe pneumonia and not due to the H5N1 virus or bird flu.  Therefore over at RSHS they handled Tia as well as other patients and he was not treated specially as a bird flu suspect patient.  RSHS Bird Flu Team Handling, Dr Sri Sudhawati, said that when he came to Emergency (IGD) RSHS, the patient was severely ill.  They were aware that the patient also had begun to decline and there was a problem in some organs such as respiratory illness and the heart rate was very fast also.

"Because there was respiratory failure, we decided to go into a pediatric patient intensive care unit.  And because the patient was experiencing stopped breathing, we installed tools to help breathing, but we could not (help?).  Due to the patient also suffering an infection in various organs and the leukocytes tended to be low," he said when met at RSHS Tuesday (9/10).

Related to the alleged suspect bird flu, Dr. Sri confirmed that in every case of respiratory disorders, patients who come are asked their history.  In fact they not only ask if there is a history of contact with dead birds, patients were also asked if there was contact with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).  This rule must be made in emergency status, including the patient Tia.  And from the patient's history, there was no history of contact with dead poultry.

"Not all bird flu is pneumonia. We reiterate this patient had no history of contact with dead poultry.  The patient experienced severe pneumonia and is caused by other consequences," he said.

As reported, The patient Tia entered IGD RSHS on 5 October at 22:31.  And the patient was pronounced dead on October 6 at 11:00.  

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


India: Three people tested positive with H1N1 virus in Saurashtra region (Gujarat)
RAJKOT: Three people have tested positive for H1N1 virus in Saurashtra region and they are being treated at civil hospital in Rajkot. (Snip)

Doctors admitted these patients into the isolation ward after they found the H1N1 virus symptoms and their blood samples were sent for laboratory tests. Since cases of influenza H1N1 virus (Snip) had come to light in the state, Gujarat health department was already on high alert.

Earlier in July two people died in Jamnagar due to swine-flu. According to sources, total four people have succumbed to H1N1 virus since July first week in Saurashtra region.

(Snip) "We have sent our team in the area to check whether any other person have H1N1 symptoms or not" said a health official. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

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

     


More evidence flu shot is safe for the egg-allergic
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - With flu season approaching, a new study offers more reassurance that kids with egg allergies can be safely vaccinated against the virus.

"I think parents of children with egg allergy should be reassured about the safety of the influenza vaccine for their child, and understand that the benefits are likely to outweigh any risks," Dr. Lynda Schneider, director of the allergy program at Boston Children's Hospital, told Reuters Health by email.

Because the flu vaccine is grown in chicken eggs, there have traditionally been concerns about the safety of flu shots for people with egg allergies, most of whom are young children.

But today's vaccine has only tiny traces of egg protein, and studies have been showing that kids with egg allergies can be vaccinated without any serious reaction.

In the new study, Canadian researchers followed 367 egg-allergic people, mostly children, who got the flu shot over five years. Almost one-third of them had a history of anaphylaxis after eating eggs - that is, serious allergy symptoms like trouble breathing or a drop in blood pressure.

None of those patients, however, had a serious reaction to the flu vaccine. And only 13 of the 367 had mild "allergy-like" symptoms, like itchy skin or hives, within a day of the jab. Continued: http://www.healthnews.com/en/n...

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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