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News Reports for October 29, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 19:59:32 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!

Australia
• ProMED: Vaccine combination, poultry - Australia: deadly (Link)

Canada
• Ontario's flu program safe despite Novartis suspension (Link)
• Mandate flu vaccines for health-care workers, journal says (Link)

India
• Kerala: Coronavirus alert: Airport officials beef up surveillance (Link)
• Karnataka: Bird flu gets scarier for Bangalore (Link)
• Karnataka: Sale banned in Hesaraghatta (Link)
• Karnataka: Poultries going for distress sale (Link)
• Karnataka: Everyone loves a virus in this village (Link)
• Karnataka: Avian influenza - Over 19,000 chicken to be culled (Link)
• Karnataka: Over 220 chicken, ducks die of suspected bird flu in Bangalore (Link)

Research
• Flu vaccine may cut risk of heart disease and death (Link)
• Scientists Move Closer to a Lasting Flu Vaccine (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for October 29, 2012

News for October 28, 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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Canada: Ontario's flu program safe despite Novartis suspension
http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/new...

Ontario's chief medical officer says Health Canada's decision to temporarily suspend two vaccines made in Italy should not dissuade people from nevertheless protecting themselves through the free flu immunization program.

In a statement Sunday, Dr. Arlene King reassured Ontarians that getting the flu shot is still the best way to prevent people from getting infected by the seasonal influenza flu viruses. (snip)

FluAd and Agriful only account for 18 per cent of Ontario's supply, and the province offers two other publicly funded vaccines that are not affected by the suspension, making up the remaining 82 per cent. (continued)


India: Coronavirus alert: Airport officials beef up surveillance (Kerala)
http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

Health officials at Karipur airport said they would keep track of passengers who have respiratory illnesses that are different from the local flu. "There won't be any special screening of passengers at the airport but we would keep track of those reporting symptoms of acute respiratory illness presenting with fever, cough and shortness of breath arriving from Saudi Arabia and Qatar," said Dr K V Hameed, medical officer, airport medical centre. (continued)


India: Bird flu gets scarier for Bangalore (Karnataka)
http://www.dnaindia.com/bangal...

After the Centre, last Thursday, notified the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza among turkeys at the Central Poultry Development Organization and Training Institute (CPDOTI) in Hesaraghatta on the city's outskirts, at least 206 chicken and 17 ducks have died, sending officials of the animal husbandry and health departments and scientists at the institute into a tizzy.

Samples of the dead chicken and ducks have been sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal to confirm whether these deaths were caused by avian influenza too. (snip) The reports are awaited. (snip)

So far the disease was restricted only to turkeys, but with 86 chicken dying on Saturday and another 120 adding to the toll on Sunday (besides the 17 ducks on Saturday), the departments of health and animal husbandry have gone on a war-footing. (continued)


India: Sale banned in Hesaraghatta (Karnataka)
As a preventive measure, the animal husbandry department has banned sale of poultry products within a 10-km radius of poultry farm maintained by the Central Poultry Development Organisation and Training Institute.

Thousands of turkeys died of avian influenza and hundreds were culled to prevent the spread of the virus. "We have quarantined the turkey unit and are cleaning and fumigating the 10 sheds where the turkeys were housed,''(Snip) The employees of Central Poultry Development Organisation and Training Institute (CPDOTI) have intensified preventive measures after receiving confirmation on the presence of H5N1 virus in the affected birds. The authorities had sent samples to the High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory in Bhopal recently and received the confirmation on Thursday.

(Snip) "We have not come across any birds affected by the virus. We sent random blood samples to the laboratory in Bhopal and are waiting for the results. If need arises we will initiate culling or any other necessary process,'' said Jannu.

Though there are no symptoms of avian influenza at the poultry farm, emu farm and duck farm, the authorities are leaving no stone unturned to ensure the safety of thousands of birds. A few officials of animal husbandry department were also on the spot on Sunday. The officials visited emu farm, turkey unit and poultry farm. They were also seen delivering bags of bleaching powder to the employees of CPDOTI.

"We are inspecting poultry and emu farms. As of now, we have not come across any bird affected with avian influenza," said an official of animal husbandry department.

When asked about the fate of private poultry farms within the 10-km radius, the principal secretary said the owners of poultry farms are advised to take preventive measures. "They can contact us in case of any eventuality. As of now, our focus is to take strong and effective preventive measures for the welfare of poultry farm owners and the public," (Snip) "Our future course of action depends on the outcome of the blood sample report," he said. http://www.dnaindia.com/bangal...  

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

     


[ Parent ]
India: Poultries going for distress sale (Karnataka)
In the wake of the spread of avian influenza, poultry owners in Hesaraghatta are resorting to selling chicken at a low price to clear their stock.

According to the department of animal husbandry, there are more than 15 poultry farms in the 10-km radius of Hesaraghatta. Each of the poultry farm has the capacity to accommodate 10,000 to 40,000 birds. The unfortunate incident where thousands of turkeys died because of avian influenza has made many poultry farm owners to go for distress sales. Continued: http://www.dnaindia.com/bangal...

(Note: Apparently the government ban on selling poultry in this area isn't working!)

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

     


[ Parent ]
India: Everyone loves a virus in this village (Karnataka)
"Virus" is a new word for residents of Byatha village in Hesaraghatta hobli, which houses the Central Poultry Development Organisation and Training Institute (CPDOTI), the epicentre of the avian influenza that threatens to rock Bangalore with a full-blown outbreak.

But the residents of this sleepy village are actually excited about something that should have instead wrought panic among them. The only school in Byatha village, Jyothi Vidyalaya, which is located within the CPDOTI premises, has been asked to extend the Dasara vacation by 15 days. This means that the children will enjoy a vacation that could well run into Deepavali holidays. So the children are elated.

(Snip)

The adults are at loss to explain why they have to wear masks or take Tamiflu tablets every day. "They've asked us to, so we take it," says Lalithamma, an elderly housewife whose grandchildren attend Jyothi Vidyalaya.

They are not the only ones happy as an off-shoot of the outbreak. With chicken out of the menu for some time to come, DNA found that a new fad is round the corner - mushrooms. The employees at 'Oyster hotel', a small eatery located on the district road that connects Byatha village with Tumkur Road, are overjoyed because people are coming in droves to enjoy soups, curries and biriyani that mainly feature mushrooms. Continued: http://www.dnaindia.com/bangal...

 

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

     


[ Parent ]
something they're not saying???
I can't remember any previous incident where they required ALL adults to wear masks and take tamiflu prophylactically in an outbreak area, even when there were confirmed or suspect human cases of H5N1 involved, unless they were in fairly close contact with the infected (like family members or neighbors).

This outbreak is purportedly just among fowl, yet these extreme prevention measures are being taken on a wide scale...so, while I applaud the proactive approach, I have to wonder if there is something we are not being told about the outbreak.


Always have a plan B.


[ Parent ]
Flu vaccine may cut risk of heart disease and death
Getting a flu shot this season may not only lower your risk of influenza, but it may also help protect against heart disease, according to a new review.

Two Toronto-based researchers presented studies at the 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress that found that the influenza vaccine could be an important treatment for maintaining heart health and warding off cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks.

Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women's College Hospital and the University of Toronto, and his team from the TIMI Study Group and Network for Innovation in Clinical Research looked at published clinical trials on this subject, dating back to the 1960s.

"For those who had the flu shot, there was a pretty strong risk reduction," said Dr. Udell.

The flu vaccine provided an approximate 50 per cent reduction in the risk of a major cardiac event (heart attack, stroke, or cardiac death) compared with placebo after one year of follow-up. A similar trend was seen for the flu vaccine reducing death from any cause (approximately 40 per cent).
The influenza vaccine reduced cardiovascular events and cardiovascular death in people with or without heart disease. Continued: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/...

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

     


Australia: Vaccine combination, poultry - Australia: deadly
Scientists have found that 2 virus strains used to vaccinate chickens in Australia may have recombined to form a virus that is sickening and killing the animals. "This shows that recombination of such strains can happen, and people need to think about it," says Glenn Browning, a veterinary microbiologist at the University of Melbourne, Parkville in Australia and one of the co-authors on the paper.

(Big snip)

What strikes me as most important is that there are modified live viruses in these vaccines. If vaccines with different strains can recombine to produce a different strain of the disease in chickens, then it stands to reason it could happen in any animal, including in people. Scientists at all levels should be looking at this when a vaccine with a new strain is introduced for any disease. Veterinarians and physicians need to be keeping accurate records of which strain was used for vaccination in a particular animal or human.

Full article here: http://www.promedmail.org/dire...

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

     


India: Avian influenza - Over 19,000 chicken to be culled (Karnataka)
More than 19000 chicken and 13,300 emu birds are to be culled at the Central Poultry Development Organisation at Hesaraghtta here, where avian influenza (H5N1) had claimed over 3,600 turkeys over the last fortnight, a top official said today.

As many as 120 chicken died yesterday and 86 chicken and 17 ducks on Saturday (Snip). "All these dead birds were disposed as per the Government of India Action Plan. To know the cause of death, samples were collected from chicken and ducks and submitted to HSADL (High Security Animal Disease Laboratory), Bhopal (Snip).

(Snip)

Sanitisation activity in the turkey unit has started and till yesterday one shed was sanitised. Remaining sheds would be sanitised in coming days and disinfection procedures will be followed. (Snip) 78 officers and staff were involved in the activity.

Sixty eight villages in the 10 km radius from the turkey unit of CPDO had been identified as a surveillance zone and disease surveillance process has been activated. Serum and cloacal samples have been collected and submitted for laboratory investigation (Snip). "There is no report of unusual mortality among the poultry and birds in the surveillance zone," (Snip).

"Necessary direction has been issued to the authority concerned to close a school, located in CPDO, for 15 days," (Snip). http://www.deccanherald.com/co...

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

     


India: Over 220 chicken, ducks die of suspected bird flu in Bangalore (Karnataka)
Bangalore, Oct. 29:  More than 220 chicken and ducks have died at Central Poultry Development Organisation at Hesaragatta here, where avian influenza (H5N1) claimed over 3,600 turkeys over the last fortnight.

"Mortality among the chicken and ducks are also reported from CPDO," Secretary in the Animal Husbandry Department Arvin Ramachandra Jannu said. As many as 120 chicken died yesterday and 86 chicken and 17 ducks on Saturday. "All these dead birds were disposed of as per the Government of India Action Plan. To know the cause of death, samples were collected from chicken and ducks and submitted to HSADL (High Security Animal Disease Laboratory), Bhopal, and the report is awaited," Jannu said.

The Centre had notified the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in turkeys at CPDO on October 25. Continued: http://www.thehindubusinesslin...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Scientists Move Closer to a Lasting Flu Vaccine
As this year's flu season gathers steam, doctors and pharmacists have a fresh stock of vaccines to offer their patients. The vaccines usually provide strong protection against the virus, but only for a while. Vaccines for other diseases typically work for years or decades. With the flu, though, next fall it will be time to get another dose.

"In the history of vaccinology, it's the only one we update year to year," said Gary J. Nabel, the director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

That has been the case ever since the flu vaccine was introduced in the 1950s. But a flurry of recent studies on the virus has brought some hope for a change. Dr. Nabel and other flu experts foresee a time when seasonal flu shots are a thing of the past, replaced by long-lasting vaccines.

"That's the goal: two shots when you're young, and then boosters later in life. That's where we'd like to go," Dr. Nabel said. He predicted that scientists would reach that goal before long - "in our lifetime, for sure, unless you're 90 years old," he said.

Such a vaccine would be a great help in the fight against seasonal flu outbreaks, which kill an estimated 500,000 people a year. But in a review to be published in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University argues that they could potentially have an even greater benefit.

Periodically, a radically new type of flu has evolved and rapidly spread around the world. A pandemic in 1918 is estimated to have killed 50 million people. With current technology, scientists would not have a vaccine for a new pandemic strain until the outbreak was well under way. An effective universal flu vaccine would already be able to fight it.

"Universal vaccination with universal vaccines would put an end to the threat of global disaster that pandemic influenza can cause," Dr. Gilbert wrote. Continued: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10...  

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

     


Canada: Mandate flu vaccines for health-care workers, journal says
The journal in question is the Canadian Medical Association Journal and the report comes from the CBC:
Flu vaccines should be compulsory for all health-care workers because their patients' lives are at risk, a Canadian medical journal editor says.

In Monday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, senior associate editor Dr. Ken Flegel argues for mandatory seasonal influenza vaccination, urging that the "time has come for health care institutions to demand that all health care workers be vaccinated. Our patients' lives depend on this change."



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