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News Reports for October 30, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 20:00:04 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!

• Avian Flu H5N1 Outbreak in Bhutan (Link)

• Hong Kong: Chicken imports to get flu shots  (Link)

• Kerala: Bird flu - Kerala bans import of poultry products (Link)
• Gujarat: Swine flu claims five more lives in Gujarat (Link)
• Karnataka: 33,000 poultry birds being culled near Bangalore to contain bird flu outbreak  (Link)
• Kerala: Kerala issues bird flu alert (Link)
• Karnataka: State ups the ante at flu epicentre (Link)

• US: Should schools close during bad flu outbreaks? (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for October 30, 2012

News for October 29, 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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China: Chicken imports to get flu shots (Hong Kong)
Poultry imports from the mainland will be vaccinated with the same new Harbin- made vaccine to be used on local farm chickens from next month to prevent a resurgence of bird flu.


Ko said his bureau will strengthen the monitoring of bird flu although there have been no cases since Yuen Po Street Bird Garden - popularly known as Bird Street - in Prince Edward was shut in June for 21 days and 1,000 shop birds culled after a sample of droppings tested positive for H5N1 bird flu.

"We will strengthen the safety of the poultry supply and introduce the latest poultry vaccination Re-6 in registered local farms [next month]," Ko said.

Re-6 is the latest vaccine developed by Harbin Veterinary Research Institute to match the predominant strain of the H5N1 virus circulating in wild birds in Hong Kong and Asia. Re-6 vaccine was introduced in the mainland earlier this year. Since 2003, local farm chickens have been vaccinated with the Intervet Nobilis H5N2 bird flu vaccine.

Ko added he will have a joint meeting with mainland and Macau representatives next month to follow up on the vaccines.

New outbreaks of H5N1 in poultry have been reported in India and Bhutan recently, according to the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health.

Hong Kong has 30 farms with a total rearing capacity of about 1.3 million chickens.


In the afternoon, Ko visited the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine and met with Guangdong Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau director Li Yanhui. (Snip). http://www.thestandard.com.hk/...

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


India: Bird flu - Kerala bans import of poultry products
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Government has banned the import of broiler chicken and other poultry products products from other states. (Snip)

The action has been taken considering the outbreak of the avian influenza virus (Snip) at the turkeys unit situated at Hesaraghatta in Karnataka.

Check posts at the state border have been intrusted to strictly implement the order and checking is being intensified (Snip) http://english.manoramaonline....  

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


India: Swine flu claims five more lives in Gujarat
Five more people died of swine flu in different parts of the state last week, taking the year's toll to 24. (Snip) 72 confirmed cases of H1N1 infection have been reported (Snip).

(Snip) Rajkot tops the list with 20 cases followed by Jamnagar (15) and Ahmedabad (nine). Sabarkantha and Bhavnagar districts have each reported four cases.

The state Health Department had last week asked district and local level health officials to meet Indian Medical Association members in their respective areas and get ready for the approaching winter. Private doctors have been asked to report cases showing flu symptoms with signs of H1N1, and to recommend tests based on existing guidelines. http://www.indianexpress.com/n...

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


India: 33,000 poultry birds being culled near Bangalore to contain bird flu outbreak (Karnataka)
BANGALORE: Bird flu continues to wreak havoc at the Central Poultry Development Organization (CPDO) at Hesaraghatta, 40 km from here, necessitating culling of thousands of chicken, ducks and emus at the institute and its vicinity.

On Monday, the state government said tests had confirmed that 206 chicken and 17 ducks that died at the institute last weekend were affected by the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) virus.

The development prompted (Snip) culling of over 33,000 birds - 19,235 chicken, 13,673 ducks and 369 emus - on the CPDO premises and its 1-km radius. It said 52 chicken sheds in the area are being sanitized to prevent any spread of the flu.

"About 80 samples were collected from villages around CPDO and sent for tests (Snip) No further unnatural deaths of birds have been reported from this zone," said animal husbandry department principal secretary Aravind Jannu.

Action has also been initiated to sanitize turkey, duck, emu and chicken units. The Centre has notified that the area of culling has to be extended up to a radius of 1 km from CPDO.

"Ten teams are involved in surveillance work in the 10-km-wide affected zone. Twenty-five rapid response teams are involved in the culling and disposal of the birds on the CPDO farm," said Jannu.

A school on the CDPO premises has been closed for 15 days (Snip).


An alert was sounded across 68 villages within 10 km of Hesaraghatta. About 1.5 lakh poultry birds are housed in the commercial and private farms in these villages.

The forest department has been alerted about the situation and directed to take up surveillance of stray, wild and migratory birds. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

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


Avian Flu H5N1 Outbreak in Bhutan
BHUTAN - An outbreak of (Snip) H5N1 has been reported to the OIE.


The outbreak occurred in Rinchending, Phuentsholing in Chhukha.

Backyard free-ranging local chickens at Rinchending village were affected in the outbreak, which started on 2 October. The affected village is located (Snip) about 5km from Phuentsholing town. In total, there were 24 cases, all 24 birds died as a result. There are 496 susceptible birds.

The cause of the outbreak is believed to be due to the introduction of new live animals or the illegal movement of animals. 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


India: Kerala issues bird flu alert
Kerala's Animal Husbandry Department on Tuesday issued a red alert in the State following the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) at the Hesaraghatta Farm of the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) in Karnataka.

AHD Director K.G. Suma told The Hindu that a ban on the entry of all poultry products had come into force. The order had been communicated to all the 18 border check posts. The entry of chicken, eggs, poultry manure and other poultry products stood banned.

The period of the ban was expected to be decided at a high-level meeting convened by Minister for Animal Husbandry K.P. Mohanan and Minister for Health V.S. Sivakumar.

Following the order, hundreds of truck-loads of chicken and eggs from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were denied entry.

The government also banned the entry of visitors to the nine regional poultry farms of the AHD at Malampuzha, Chengannur, Mundayad (Kannur), Kolani (Idukki), Kodapanamkunnu (Thiruvananthapuram), Koovapadi (Ernakulam), Chathamangalam (Kozhikode), Manarkkad (Palakkad) and Athavanad (Malappuram), as well as the turkey farm at Kollam and the duck farm at Niranom. There is no ban on the sale of poultry from the farms.

The parent stock for the turkey farm was procured from Hesaraghatta prior to 2010. Authorities of the turkey farm said they had examined the birds and found them to be disease-free.

Private poultry farms in the State have been told to ban visitors and insist on masks and gloves for employees.

The Commissioner of Food Safety ordered inspections at border check posts, farms and meat shops. A circular directed district-level officers to seek police help to carry out raids, and submit daily status reports. Continued: http://www.thehindu.com/news/s...

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


India: State ups the ante at flu epicentre (Karnataka)
The bird flu scare has forced the animal husbandry department to take unprecedented stringent measures around the Central Poultry Development Organisation & Training Institute (CPDOTI) in Hesaraghatta, where bird flu claimed the lives of 4,265 turkeys last week in what is seen as the first officially acknowledged outbreak of avian influenza in the Bangalore region.

But a day after the state's animal husbandry department announced the deaths of 206 chickens and 17 ducks suspected to be due to avian influenza at CPDOTI, the department has now also listed 19,235 chicken, 13,673 ducks and 369 emus to be culled and buried as per the norms. Besides, 52 poultry sheds have also been listed for cleaning and sanitation work to prevent any possible spread of the disease.

With growing suspicions that even the chicken, ducks and emus might be afflicted by avian influenza, the Union government on Monday notified that the area of culling of birds be extended to a radius of one kilometre around CPDOTI which is located in Byatha village in Hesaraghatta hobli.


In the restricted zone, around Hesaraghatta, 81 samples have so far been collected and sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal to confirm or eliminate suspicions of avian influenza among the chickens, ducks and emus. The disease so far was restricted only among the turkeys.

The animal husbandry department had already notified ban on chicken sale within a 10-km radius around CPDOTI until further notice. Presently, 10 teams are involved in surveillance work in that zone, and 25 rapid response teams have been formed for culling and disposal of the birds.

However, no human case of avian influenza has yet been reported. But in order to not leave any stone unturned the animal husbandry officials have put a system in place to send any person with the symptoms of avian influenza to be isolated and sent to government hospital in Hesaraghatta for diagnosis.
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


Should schools close during bad flu outbreaks?
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new U.S. government study suggests that during a serious flu epidemic, closing schools can keep people - especially kids - out of the ER. Now, researchers say, the big questions include, When is it best to close schools? And what are the downsides?

The study, reported in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, looked at what happened in two Texas communities during the H1N1 "swine" flu epidemic of 2009. In one community, schools were closed as a precaution; in the other, they weren't. It turned out that in the district where schools shut down, there were fewer ER visits for the flu. What's more, among kids age 6 and up, there was no increase in flu-related ER trips, while that rate doubled in the community where schools stayed open.

"The effect was most dramatic among school-age children," said Dr. Martin S. Cetron, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There have been skeptics who've doubted that school closures could have much impact during a major flu outbreak, according to Cetron.

"They've said, well, people will just congregate in malls or other public places," explained Cetron, who directs the CDC's division of global migration and quarantine, and worked on the study. But schools are different from malls, Cetron pointed out, with kids being in close contact with each other all day long.

He said he thinks this study, along with others, "settles" the question of whether school closures are effective. "Should this be an arrow in our quiver? I think the answer is 'yes,'" Cetron said. 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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