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News Reports for October 16, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 19:24:06 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!

India
• Rajasthan: H1N1 positive govt staffers to get 7-day leave (Link)
• Maharashtra: 23-year-old critical with swine flu in Pune (Link)

Nepal
• Risk of flu spread high as people travel home for Dashain (Link)
• Nepal culls chickens amid bird flu outbreak (Link)
• Hundreds of birds culled as H5N1 scare hits Nepal (Link)

United States
• Feds Seek Comments On Bird Flu Safety Fears (Link)
• SC: 3 flu cases reported in SC (Link)

Research
• CIDRAP: Report: Complacency, misperception stymie quest for better flu vaccines (Link)
• CIDRAP: A game-changing approach to investigating flu vaccines (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for October 16, 2012

News for October 15, 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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Nepal: Risk of flu spread high as people travel home for Dashain
CHITWAN, Oct 16: Amid reports of swine flu cases in Kathmandu and Chitwan districts, doctors have asked people to take precautionary measures while traveling.

As people travel to their home districts in droves for Dashain festival, doctors fear that swine flu may spread easily to the masses if those who have acquired the flu travel without taking precautionary measures. They also worry that swine flu may take a deadly form if it got mixed with other viruses.

The doctors have asked people not to be careless about even milder fever symptoms. "If you have caught fever, even a mild one, avoid traveling," said Dr Bhojraj Adhikari, a physician at Bharatpur Hospital. "If you can´t avoid traveling, put on anti-viral masks." (Snip) a swine flu patient who travels not only poses the risk of infecting other people but also takes longer to recover.

Chances of swine flu infection are very high during festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhat as many people come in close contact to each other on these occasions. During last year´s Dashain festival, too, the swine flu infection was very high.

(Snip)

Recently, out of 32 people, whose blood samples were tested (Snip) 10 were found to be infected with flu. Of them, two were infected with H1N1 strain of swine flu, while six were infected with Influenza B (Snip). And, two people were found to be infected with leptospirosis viruses.

As of September, (Snip) 13 people have died of flu and fever at various hospitals of Chitwan district. (Snip) http://www.myrepublica.com/por...

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

     


Nepal culls chickens amid bird flu outbreak
KATHMANDU: Health workers in Nepal on Monday culled hundreds of chickens and destroyed eggs following an outbreak of bird flu in the capital Kathmandu (Snip)

Officials found the H5N1 strain of bird flu at a poultry farm on the outskirts of the city, where it was first detected 10 months ago. "Around 1,200 chickens had died from bird flu virus in a poultry farm," (Snip)

"We have killed the remaining 800 chickens and destroyed thousands of eggs," Continued: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/d...

(Note: H1N1 swine flu, the B strain and H5N1 are all present right now in the Kathmandu area. The H1N1 and the H5N1 viruses were the two used together in the Fouchier experiments and also the one done here in the US. It led to easy transmission among ferrets, which is the animal they use to determine the possibility of H2H transmission capability.)

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

     


Hundreds of birds culled as H5N1 scare hits Nepal
Hundreds of birds have been culled in central Nepal after the presence of bird flu virus was confirmed at a poultry farm. Animal health officials decided to cull all birds and destroy eggs suspected to be infected with a strain of H5N1 virus in Bhaktapur district, 15 km east of the capital Kathmandu.

Tests at the farm had confirmed the presence of bird flu virus in the chicken. Directorate of Animal Health killed 780 chickens at the poultry farm following the confirmation, officials said on Tuesday.

Around 150 crates of eggs and six sacks of feeds stored at the farm were also destroyed as part of preventive measures. (Snip)

(Snip) out of 2,000 chickens at the farm, 1,200 had already died of infection from the virus. (Snip) Though the laboratory had confirmed the presence of the flu virus on Saturday, the chickens were culled only on Monday. "The preparation for culling chickens takes at least two days," said Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire, a senior veterinary officer at Department of Animal Health. Authorities began disinfecting the area on Tuesday. "Surveillance will be intensified and veterinary officials deployed to monitor other poultry farms close to Khadka's," (Snip)

High alert was issued in and around Kathmandu to prevent the spreading of the virus. http://www.dnaindia.com/world/...

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

     


[ Parent ]
India: H1N1 positive govt staffers to get 7-day leave (Rajasthan)
Jaipur: Now, government employees will get seven-day leave if they are found suffering from (Snip) the H1N1 virus. Officials said the order was taken out to quarantine patients of the disease to control the spread of H1N1 virus.
(Snip)

The Rajasthan service rules, 1951 outlines a seven-day quarantining of a patient suffering from infectious diseases like Cholera, small pox, plague, diphtheria, typhus fever and cerebrospinal meningitis.

The patients suffering of the H1N1 virus have now been included in the same category of diseases which require isolation of the patient. (Snip) http://daily.bhaskar.com/artic...

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

     


CIDRAP: Report: Complacency, misperception stymie quest for better flu vaccines
Oct 15, 2012 (CIDRAP News) - The world needs much better influenza vaccines, but the quest for them faces a formidable barrier: overconfidence about the effectiveness of existing influenza vaccines.

So runs the essential message of a new report from University of Minnesota researchers who conducted an exhaustive study of the flu vaccine landscape and interviewed scores of experts in all aspects of flu vaccine research, development, production, policy, and use.

The 125-page report, "The Compelling Need for Game-Changing Influenza Vaccines," says that existing flu vaccines are moderately effective in healthy, nonelderly adults and young children, but there is little evidence of consistent effectiveness in older children, seniors, and those at risk for flu complications. Protection is "substantially lower" than what is offered by other routinely recommended vaccines.

Despite this, the vaccines are generally perceived as highly effective, and this misperception has become a barrier to creating new, more effective vaccines, according to the report from the university's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News (Snip).

Further, some of the policy steps that culminated in the current "universal" recommendation of flu vaccination for everyone over 6 months old were based on professional judgment, not sound data on vaccine effectiveness, the authors assert.

What's needed are "game-changing" vaccines that can yield greater, more consistent protection, according to the report. It says that will require designing vaccines that target viral components other than the head of the hemagglutinin (HA) protein on the virus's surface, a structure that mutates often, requiring annual reformulation of the vaccine and annual vaccination.

A vaccine that targets more stable pieces of the virus could provide more lasting protection against more flu strains, the report says. Also, a "novel antigen" vaccine could activate more elements of the immune system than are simulated by existing vaccines. 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

     


CIDRAP: A game-changing approach to investigating flu vaccines
Oct 15, 2012 (CIDRAP News) - A report released today (Snip) that urges a new course for seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines started as a fairly straightforward review of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine but ended up putting the whole flu vaccine enterprise under the microscope, with some unexpected findings.

(Snip)

CIDRAP Director Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, who led the CIDRAP Comprehensive Influenza Vaccine Initiative (CCIVI) research team, said the group realized early in its work that to fully characterize the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, they needed to understand how well it worked, explore its availability, and gauge how people used it. "With each of those issues, the more we peeled the onion back, the bigger the project got and the more issues we addressed," he said. (Snip)

Originally, the Sloan Foundation work was supposed to take 1 year, but the researchers kept finding more unanswered questions, prompting CIDRAP researchers to continue the work on their own over an additional 2 years.

In October 2011 some members of the group, including Osterholm, previewed a small part of their findings in a meta-analysis in Lancet Infectious Diseases. The rigorous review of 44 years of flu vaccine studies raised questions about seasonal vaccine effectiveness, especially in older people who are at greatest risk of death from flu. 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

     


India: 23-year-old critical with swine flu in Pune (Maharashtra)
PUNE: The condition of a 23-year-old man diagnosed with swine flu is critical. He has been put on ventilator support (Snip) the man developed fever, cough and cold from September 27 and breathlessness from September 28.

He didn't seek medical advice for first two days of developing symptoms. On September 28, he consulted a neighbourhood doctor. However, he didn t get any relief from the medicines given to him and hence he was referred to Pune for higher management (Snip) The patient was shifted to KEM Hospital in Rasta Peth at around 8.45 pm on September 30.

His throat swab sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) for testing confirmed the presence of H1N1 virus, Pardeshi said.

The swine flu virus has claimed 21 lives in Pune city since April this year and infected over 400 people. 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

     


US: Feds Seek Comments On Bird Flu Safety Fears
Here's your chance to weigh in on mutant forms of bird flu that have been in the news - the U.S. government wants to know just how scary you think these new viruses are.
The Department of Health and Human Services posted a call for public comments today requesting information on whether the lab-created bird flu viruses "have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety." The government is also asking whether any special precautions need to be considered when scientists work with these viruses.

The move comes after some have criticized officials for not having enough public discussion about these controversial viruses, which were created in the lab as part of an effort to understand how highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu viruses out in the wild might mutate and start a pandemic in people.

Because the genetically-altered viruses are contagious between ferrets, the lab stand-in for people, some critics fear that these viruses could cause a deadly pandemic in humans if they ever escaped the lab. All work has been halted since January, when researchers adopted a voluntary moratorium that was only supposed to last 60 days. Since then, experts in the scientific community have come to no consensus on whether research should go forward and, if so, under what conditions.

Some microbiologists have argued that the lab-modified viruses should only be studied at labs with the very highest level of containment and security, so-called "biosafety level 4" labs (BSL-4).

But others point out that limiting work to those labs would slow down valuable research, because the world has so few BSL-4 labs. They say experiments can be safely done at a slightly lower level of bio-containment, and that these studies are urgently needed to prepare for the threat of a naturally-occurring flu pandemic. Continued: http://www.npr.org/blogs/healt...  

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

     


US: 3 flu cases reported in SC
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- The first three cases of the flu this season have been reported in South Carolina (Snip) "Our agency's Bureau of Laboratories has confirmed three cases in the first official week of the new flu season," (Snip).

(Snip) flu season typically peaks in February. However, doctors urged residents to get vaccinations sooner rather than later.

To learn where and when influenza vaccine will be offered in your area, visit http://www.scdhec.gov/flu/clin... More information about influenza in South Carolina can be found at http://www.scdhec.gov/flu.

http://www.abcnews4.com/story/...

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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