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News Reports for November 12, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 15:49:21 PM EST


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

India
• Tamil Nadu: State on alert to tackle H1N1 (Link)
• Karnataka: Avian flu scare - Price of chicken drops (Link)
• New Dehli:  Swine flu in city; cases may rise with winter (Link)
• Maharashtra:  H1N1 bigger killer in state than dengue & malaria (Link)
• Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu bans poultry feed from Karnataka, farmers irked (Link)
• Gujarat: Bharuch Cong leader dies of swine flu (Link)

Oman
• Oman bans poultry imports from India (Link)

United Kingdom
• Medical journal slams Tamiflu maker, says there's no evidence drug works (Link)
• Tamiflu: British Journal Wants Evidence That Flu Drug Actually Works (Link)

United States
• KS: Season's first influenza cases appear at Wichita hospitals (Link)

Research
• Denmark: Flu, fever linked with autism in pregnancy study (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for November 12, 2012

News for November 11, 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: Season's first influenza cases appear at Wichita hospitals (Kansas)
Flu season seems to be starting a little bit earlier this year, according to area health care providers. Both Wesley Medical Center and Via Christi have seen their first cases of influenza for the season in the past 10 days. So far, all of the cases have been influenza A.

(Snip)

At Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, an adult was hospitalized with the H3N2 strain of the virus earlier this week.

"So far, the activity nationally of the flu is low," said Hewitt Goodpasture, a physician and medical director for infection control and prevention at Via Christi. (Snip)

Earlier this week, the first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza for the state was announced by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. In the Wichita area, the flu usually peaks at the end of January, unless there's an unusual strain or pandemic, like a few years ago with H1N1, or swine flu, Goodpasture said.

(Snip)

The vaccine is made up of three different strains that are predicted to circulate this year based on what circulated at the end of the last flu season. This year's vaccine includes two influenza A strains - H3N3 and H1N1 - and an influenza B strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the flu season last year in Kansas, influenza A, H3 strains, made up 79 percent of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases, according to the KDHE. More than 1,300 people died in Kansas during the 2011-12 season from pneumonia or influenza.

Because the H3N2 strain shows a history of drug resistance, Goodpasture said it's better to be vaccinated instead of catching it and relying on antiviral drugs. Continued: http://www.kansas.com/2012/11/...

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

     


India: State on alert to tackle H1N1 (Tamil Nadu)
While H1N1 infections are on the rise in neighbouring Karnataka, Tamil Nadu seems to have been spared the assault of what is popularly known as 'Swine Flu.' In the State, there have been only a total of 138 cases of H1N1 as of Thursday. Of these, about 111 have been treated in the private sector. As per statistics, 38 cases are from Christian Medical College, Vellore, 15 from Sri Ramachandra University and Medical Centre, Porur, 11 in Apollo Hospitals and 11 from other hospitals in Chennai.

A total of 23 are from the private sector in Coimbatore, while Coimbatore Medical College has treated 10 cases, the other cases dispersed randomly across the State.

(Snip) since the neighbouring State is affected, adequate stock of Tamiflu have been sent to all government hospitals. 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: Avian flu scare - Price of chicken drops (Karnataka)
MANGALORE: The prices of chicken, both live and meat, have dropped by almost 20%-30% in the coastal city following the avian flu scare, even though no cases have been reported from here so far.

Restaurants which procure meat daily are making a killing as they have not reduced prices and others who have annual contract say they cannot reduce as their rates are pre-fixed.

According to Lester D'Souza, managing partner of Souza Hatcheries, the prices started dropping about 20 days ago. "The rates have not gone back to the pre-Avian Flu scare days yet. This scare, coupled with un-liquidated stocks due to sealing of Kerala border added to the woes. Now the situation seems to be improving as prices have moved up marginally,'' he said.  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

     


Denmark: Flu, fever linked with autism in pregnancy study
Doctors trying to find some of the causes of autism put another piece into the puzzle on Monday: They found women who had flu while they were pregnant were twice as likely to have a child later diagnosed with autism. Those who had a fever lasting a week or longer -- perhaps caused by flu or maybe by something else -- were three times as likely to have an autistic child.

The study of 96,000 children in Denmark raises as many questions as it answers. But it fits in with a growing body of evidence that suggests that, in at least some cases, something is going on with a mother's immune system during pregnancy that affects the developing child's brain.

Autism seems to be a growing problem in the United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism spectrum disorder affects one in 88 children, including about one in 54 boys. The autism spectrum refers to a broad range of symptoms, from the relatively mild social awkwardness of Asperger's syndrome to profound mental retardation, debilitating repetitive behaviors and an inability to communicate. Continued: http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_new...

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

     


India: Swine flu in city; cases may rise with winter
NEW DELHI: Dengue is not the only virus Delhiites should be wary of. H1N1 influenza or swine flu (Snip) has also been quietly spreading in the capital.

In the past two months, AIIMS has admitted at least 12 patients suffering from swine flu, said Dr Randeep Guleria, professor in the medicine department. Ram Manohar Lohia hospital's medical superintendent, Dr T S Sidhu, received 20-25 cases this season.

One patient who had developed serious respiratory problems due to the flu was recently admitted to Apollo hospital, a senior doctor said.

Health experts fear the number of cases will rise as winter sets in, as the disease spreads through the air and not via a vector, as in dengue. The disease was at its most virulent form when it initially spread in 2009. Till May 2010, 1,035 people had died of the disease in India and more than 10,000 were infected.

H1N1 influenza is treatable with Tamiflu and preventive vaccinations are available too, Guleria said. 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

     


H1N1 bigger killer in state than dengue & malaria (Maharashtra)
MUMBAI: The H1N1 influenza virus killed more people in the state than malaria and dengue put together this year. In the city, the virus showed a 60-fold jump in terms of the number of people it affected as compared to last year, but only five cases resulted in deaths. Experts caution that the virus is capable of throwing up surprises as the winter sets in.

(Snip) the virus that caused the 2009 pandemic made a surprising comeback, affecting 1,234 people officially. It also claimed 122 lives in the last 10 months- double the number of lives claimed by malaria this year. State records show that malaria and dengue have killed 60 and 59 people respectively so far.

In Mumbai, the H1N1 virus affected 358 people and claimed five lives as opposed to six cases and zero casualties last year. For the city, malaria remained the top killer, claiming 30 lives and affecting over 14,000 people though it is 58% less as compared to previous year. H1N1 comes second while dengue remains a close third with three deaths.

State experts pointed out that mortality in H1N1 cases was also higher when compared with other seasonal ailments. For instance, around 9.15% of patients who contracted the viral infection succumbed to it whereas only 1% of malaria patients died.

Director of National Institute of Virology Dr AC Mishra said that H1N1 had majorly circulated in the monsoon this year. "Where there are more cases, it is natural to have more serious cases as well as mortality," he said, adding, "The environmental conditions were definitely conducive for the virus to thrive this year. But no one can predict how it will behave in winter. We have to be on our toes and take all precautions." 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

     


Oman bans poultry imports from India
Oman has barred import of poultry and poultry products from India for a second time in 2012 following an outbreak of bird flu virus in Karnataka. The decision was taken following reports that an avian influenza outbreak in Bangalore was confirmed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) last week. This is the second time in a year that Oman has imposed a ban on poultry products from India after a similar move in March.

(Snip) the restrictions came into effect this week. On September 18, (Snip) the minister of agriculture and fisheries, had announced the lifting of a ban on the import of live birds and poultry products from India.

The earlier ban was imposed in March after the OIE had confirmed reports of the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in a few districts of Odisha, Tripura and Meghalaya. Continued: http://www.moneycontrol.com/ne...

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

     


India: Tamil Nadu bans poultry feed from Karnataka, farmers irked
KRISHNAGIRI: The state government on Saturday evening imposed a ban on trucks carrying poultry feed from Karnataka following the recent outbreak of bird flu on turkeys in the neighbouring state.

Accordingly, 52 trucks carrying feed from Karnataka were sent back on Sunday from the specially formed check-post in Jujuvadi area near Hosur on the border.

(Snip)

Speaking to TOI, Pooja said, "We had started spraying disinfection medicines on all the vehicles that were coming from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu when the bird flu outbreak issue flared up two weeks ago. Now, we had instructed all our officials in the check posts on Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border near Hosur to send back the poultry feed-laden trucks from Karnataka," 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

     


UK: Medical journal slams Tamiflu maker, says there's no evidence drug works
LONDON - A leading British medical journal is asking the drugmaker Roche to release all its data on Tamiflu, claiming there is no evidence the drug can actually stop the flu.

The drug has been stockpiled by dozens of governments worldwide in case of a global flu outbreak and was widely used during the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

On Monday, one of the researchers linked to the BMJ journal called for European governments to sue Roche. "I suggest we boycott Roche's products until they publish missing Tamiflu data," wrote Peter Gotzsche, leader of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen. He said governments should take legal action against Roche to get the money back that was "needlessly" spent on stockpiling Tamiflu.

Last year, Tamiflu was included in a list of "essential medicines" by the World Health Organization, a list that often prompts governments or donor agencies to buy the drug.

Tamiflu is used to treat both seasonal flu and new flu viruses like bird flu or swine flu. WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said the agency had enough proof to warrant its use for unusual influenza viruses, like bird flu. "We do have substantive evidence it can stop or hinder progression to severe disease like pneumonia," he said.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends Tamiflu as one of two medications for treating regular flu. The other is GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza. The CDC says such antivirals can shorten the duration of symptoms and reduce the risk of complications and hospitalization.

In 2009, the BMJ and researchers at the Nordic Cochrane Centre asked Roche to make all its Tamiflu data available. At the time, Cochrane Centre scientists were commissioned by Britain to evaluate flu drugs. They found no proof that Tamiflu reduced the number of complications in people with influenza.

"Despite a public promise to release (internal company reports) for each (Tamiflu) trial ... Roche has stonewalled," BMJ editor Fiona Godlee wrote in an editorial last month. In a statement, Roche said it had complied with all legal requirements on publishing data and provided Gotzsche and his colleagues with 3,200 pages of information to answer their questions.

Continued: http://www.commercialappeal.co...

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

     


India: Bharuch Cong leader dies of swine flu (Gujarat)
A Bharuch-based Congress leader died of swine flu at a hospital here on Monday, health officials said.

Gambhirsinh Parmar, general secretary of Congress's Bharuch district unit, was undergoing treatment in a hospital at Bharuch for severe cold and lung congestion. When his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to a private hospital in the city a few days ago.

After he showed symptoms of swine flu, his blood samples were sent for tests to a laboratory where it was found to be positive, the officials said.

Thereafter, he was shifted to the Government-run SSG Hospital, where he succumbed to H1N1 influenza, they said. Continued: 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

     


Tamiflu: British Journal Wants Evidence That Flu Drug Actually Works
Tamiflu: British Journal Wants Evidence That Flu Drug Actually Works
By MARIA CHENG

LONDON -- A leading British medical journal is asking the drug maker Roche to release all its data on Tamiflu, claiming there is no evidence the drug can actually stop the flu.

The drug has been stockpiled by dozens of governments worldwide in case of a global flu outbreak and was widely used during the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

On Monday, one of the researchers linked to the BMJ journal called for European governments to sue Roche.

full article
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

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