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News Reports for November 7, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 01:13:17 AM EST


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

Canada
• Ontario: Influenza A virus appears in Thunder Bay (Link)

Oman
• Oman bans poultry products from India (Link)

United States
• TN: Clarksville Academy Closes For Remainder Of Week Due To Flu (Link)
• TN: Flu outbreak forces Clarksville Academy to close (Link)

Research
• Birds of a feather prefer to avoid sharing sick bed (Link)

General
• The Use of New Replikins Synthetic Vaccines to Prevent Pandemics to be Presented at Influenza Congress Nov. 12 in Washington DC (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for November 7, 2012

News for November 6, 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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US: Clarksville Academy Closes For Remainder Of Week Due To Flu (Tennessee)
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.- Clarksville Academy has closed its doors due to a large flu outbreak (Snip).

School headmaster Kay Drew sent a letter to parents to inform them that school would be closed for Wednesday November 7th, until students return from holiday on Tuesday, November 13th. Drew said that a large number of absences due to illness among staff and students have reported this week.

Students exhibiting flu-like signs were asked to stay home for 7 days Continued:  http://www.newschannel5.com/st...

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

     


US: Flu outbreak forces Clarksville Academy to close (Tennessee)
Academy to cancel classes for the remainder of this week, school officials confirmed late Tuesday.

CA provided The Leaf-Chronicle with a copy of a letter sent out to parents Tuesday, advising them of a high absentee rate related to influenza and strep. Kay Drew, CA's head of school, wrote in the letter that, on Tuesday, CA experienced an increased number of student, faculty and staff absences due to illness. "The majority of our sick have had symptoms that include headache, congestion, fever and nausea," Drew wrote.

She said strep and influenza have been confirmed in many of these cases. Continued: http://www.theleafchronicle.co...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Oman bans poultry products from India
Muscat: Oman has banned import of poultry products, including eggs, from India following reports of Avian Influenza virus outbreak, (Snip).

The ban came into effect from Sunday, after some cases of bird flu was reported from Bangalore in India. Continued: http://www.timesofoman.com/inn...

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

     


The Use of New Replikins Synthetic Vaccines to Prevent Pandemics to be Presented at Influenza Congress Nov. 12 in Washington DC
Highest Ever Replikin Counts in H5N1 HA and p B1 Genes in 2010 and 2011 Predict Increased Infectivity and Lethality

LONDON, Nov. 6, 2012 PRNewswire -- In the lead paper to be presented at the Influenza Congress USA in Washington DC on November 12, 2012, Dr. Samuel Bogoch of Bioradar UK Ltd. will discuss how new synthetic Replikin vaccines may prevent the development of influenza virus outbreaks and pandemics. Pandemic prevention, not previously possible, is being considered for the first time because quantitative changes in Replikins® in the virus genome have been shown to predict strain-specific outbreaks and the particular geographic locations where outbreaks will occur (1-5).      

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/p... )            

The H1N1 pandemic of 2009 was predicted one year in advance by observing an increased Replikin®Count. Currently, the human lethality rate of H5N1 has increased to its highest level ever, as predicted by the increasing Replikin®Count of the p B1 'Lethality' Gene (1) as well as clinically (Figure).

The H5N1 virus previously has not been very infectious and has not spread easily to humans. (WHO total of 566 human cases since 2003.) However, in 2010, the Replikin®Count of the HA 'Infectivity' gene of H5N1 increased (2) predicting the outbreaks which have occurred in Cambodia and Vietnam in 2011-12 (1). In 2011 the Count has increased further to its highest level since the discovery of H5N1 in 1959 (p<0.001) (Figure).

Thus the risk of further H5N1 outbreaks, and in a more infectious and more lethal form, appears also to have increased in view of the demonstrated relationship of rising genomic Replikin®Counts to clinical outbreaks (1-5). This information is being used to synthesize current Replikins synthetic TransFlu™(including H5N1) vaccine. The data suggests that any vaccines, which might be active against H5N1, should be produced and tested as soon as possible.

Methods

The methods have been detailed in references 1-4. All 4,588 HA gene sequences and 3,163 p B1 gene sequences reported in the Pubmed data base from 2003 to 2011 were analyzed for Replikin peptides.

Results

HA Gene

The Figure shows that in 2001, bird and human H5N1 virus HA genes, had a high concentration or Replikin Count (greater than 4.0 Replikins per 100 amino acids) (Replikin Count=number of Replikins per 100 amino acids) which comprised 60% of the Replikins of the total H5N1 population. Low Counts (4.0 and below) are associated with 'resting' non-outbreak states of the virus (4). This concentration decreased after 2001 to only 20% in 2009. Then in 2010, more H5N1 HA genes had higher Replikin Counts. By 2011, H5N1 HA genes with Replikin Counts greater than 4.0 now have been found to comprise 82% of the total H5N1 population, the highest such concentration ever found.

p B1 Gene

Similarly, the Figure shows that the p B1 gene 'high' Replikin Count increased almost four-fold from 2001 to 2010, two-fold from 2009 to 2010, and peaked one year before outbreaks in Cambodia and Vietnam. In influenza, increasing Replikin Counts at p<0.001 have been followed by an outbreak in seven of seven previous Replikins prediction trials, including two for H5N1 (4).

In addition, not shown separately in the Figure, in 2011, human H5N1 Mean Replikin Counts also peaked; HA Mean Counts were 4.9(+/-0.8), and p B1 Mean Counts  12.7(+/-15.1).

The following pattern has now repeatedly been observed: genomic Replikin Counts increase to high levels, accompanied by sporadic lethal human cases, as recently seen in Cambodia (1), followed by an outbreak of rapidly replicating spreading lethal human disease, as in the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, which Replikins predicted in 2008, and in six other correct predictions in influenza made one to two years in advance (4, 5).

The geographic locations of these outbreaks were also specified in the predictions, as in the lethal outbreaks of H5N1 in 2006 in Indonesia, and currently in Cambodia. Similarly in viruses other than influenza, the highest Replikin Counts in Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) virus in 52 years (2) predicted one year in advance the current outbreaks of FMD in Asia and the Middle East. With rapid replication and the replacement of low Replikin Count with high Replikin Count viruses, the H5N1 virus population is now 'charged' for delivery to additional hosts.

Time is Provided

Prediction permits the possibility of prevention. The observation of increasing Replikin Counts provides previously unavailable time to prepare an optimal public health response, time to prepare vaccines and other therapies specific to the oncoming organism, in sufficient quantity, and time adequately to test and distribute the vaccine before the hit-and-run outbreak has begun to disappear as happened in 2009 (2-4). Knowing the probable geographic site of onset makes vaccine coverage more practicable especially if intense and sufficiently in advance of the outbreak. Continued: http://www.prnewswire.com/news...

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

     


Canada: Influenza A virus appears in Thunder Bay (Ontario)
Health officials have confirmed the arrival of Influenza A in Thunder Bay.

The Thunder Bay District Health unit reported Wednesday that a laboratory-confirmed case has turned up in the city.

An outbreak of respiratory illness on the second and third floors of the Bethammi Nursing Home has also been confirmed as Influenza A. Continued: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/...

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

     


Birds of a feather prefer to avoid sharing sick bed
PARIS--House finches avoid sick members of their own species, scientists said Wednesday in a finding that could be useful for tracking the spread of diseases like bird flu that also affects humans. Laboratory tests showed that the house finch, a particularly social North American species, was able to tell the difference between sick and healthy fellow birds and tended to avoid those that were unwell.

This was the first time that avoidance of sick individuals, already observed in lobsters and bullfrog tadpoles, has been shown in birds, according to a paper published in the Royal Society journal, Biology Letters.

"In addition, we found variation in the immune response of house finches, which means that they vary in their ability to fight off infections," co-author Maxine Zylberberg of the California Academy of Sciences told AFP.

"As it turns out, individuals who have weaker immune responses and therefore are less able to fight off infections, are the ones who most avoid interacting with sick individuals."

This all meant that there were differences between individual birds' susceptibility to disease, the time it would take them to recuperate and their likeliness to pass on the disease.

"These are key factors that help to determine if and when an infectious disease will spread through a group of birds," said Zylberg - and how quickly.

"This becomes particularly important for us in trying to figure out and predict when and how infectious diseases that affect both birds and ourselves ... will spread through wild bird populations and end up in areas where wild birds and humans interact extensively, creating the opportunity for these diseases to cross over from birds to humans." Continued: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/he...

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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