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News Reports for November 20, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 21:41:45 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!

• New South Wales: Bird flu cull completed in Hunter Valley (Link)

• Researchers say H5N1 viruses in Egypt may pose special pandemic risk (Link)

• Maharashtra: Woman dies of H1N1 after delivery (Link)
• Andhra Pradesh: Swine Flu alert with dipping temperatures (Link)

United States
• Update: 1-FDA approves novel Novartis seasonal flu vaccine (Link)

• Study Says Air Travel Restrictions Should be a Priority When New Flu Pandemic Begins Overseas (Link)

• CIDRAP: HHS to host international workshop on H5N1 research issues (United States) (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for November 20, 2012

News for November 19, 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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CIDRAP: HHS to host international workshop on H5N1 research issues
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will host a 2-day workshop Dec 17 and 18 to discuss issues related to dual-use H5N1 avian influenza research. The event will take place on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md., and is open to the public but will not be webcast, (Snip).

Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) (Snip) hinted about the upcoming meeting in an editorial on H5N1 research moratorium published last month in mBio (Snip).

In a flyer about the meeting the HHS said the goal of the meeting is to provide a forum for multidisciplinary and multinational perspectives on experiments that explore how H5N1 might evolve to become a greater threat to humans. As part of developing its own funding policies, the HHS said it is interested in hearing from various stakeholders and how other governments and funders approach similar H5N1 research issues.

Speakers will include experts from around the globe who have expertise in influenza, other infectious diseases, dual-use research (Snip), bioethics, public health, biosecurity, epidemiology, national security, public health surveillance, agricultural and the World Health Organization, law, and medical countermeasure development. http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

Nov 19 NIH meeting notice http://oba.od.nih.gov/biosecur...


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


Study Says Air Travel Restrictions Should be a Priority When New Flu Pandemic Begins Overseas
During the early stages of a new influenza pandemic, travel restriction is an immediate and non-pharmaceutical means of retarding incidence growth. It extends the timeframe of effective mitigation, especially when the characteristics of the emerging virus are unknown. Chong and Chung (2012) describe a study in which they used the 2009 influenza A pandemic as a case study to evaluate the impact of regulating air, sea, and land transport. Other government strategies, namely, antivirals and hospitalizations, were also evaluated.

Hong Kong arrivals from 44 countries via air, sea, and land transports were imported into a discrete stochastic Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious and Recovered (SEIR) host-flow model. The model allowed a number of latent and infectious cases to pass the border, which constitutes a source of local disease transmission. The researchers also modeled antiviral and hospitalization prevention strategies to compare the effectiveness of these control measures. Baseline reproduction rate was estimated from routine surveillance data.

Regarding air travel, the main route connected to the influenza source area should be targeted for travel restrictions; imposing a 99 percent air travel restriction delayed the epidemic peak by up to two weeks. Once the pandemic was established in China, the strong land connection between Hong Kong and China rendered Hong Kong vulnerable.

Antivirals and hospitalization were found to be more effective on attack rate reductions than travel restrictions. Combined strategies (with 99 percent restriction on all transport modes) deferred the peak for long enough to establish a vaccination program.
The researchers say their study suggests that air travel restrictions should be priorities for consideration when a new influenza pandemic begins overseas. Continued: http://www.infectioncontroltod...

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


India: Woman dies of H1N1 after delivery (Maharashtra)
A 28-year-old woman of Shivneri Nagar, Kondhwa Khurd, died of swine flu (H1N1 virus) on Monday after she delivered a baby. This is the 33rd H1N1 death since April.

(Snip) the woman had symptoms such as dry cough and mild fever since October 31 and went into labour at Kaya Clinic and Nursing Home on November 2. She gave birth to a girl.

(Snip) the woman's condition worsened. She was referred to Bharati Hospital and admitted to the ICU.

Her throat swab tested positive for H1N1 virus and administration of Tamiflu tablets was started on November 4. (Snip) she died due to acute respiratory distress syndrome with septic shock (Snip). 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


Australia: Bird flu cull completed in Hunter Valley (New South Wales)
The layer hen farm in the Lower Hunter region that has been under quarantine as a result of a case of avian influenza has had a cull completed of all 50,000 birds.

It's in an effort to stop the deadly H7 bird flu from spreading to other chicken farms in the region or throughout NSW.


"We are tracing truck movements from the property and there haven't been many," he said. "We have also tested all those properties in the area and we have to go back in seven days to do another round.

"The control area is 10 kilometres around the infected premise and we are doing sampling. So far, half of the farms in the control area have been tested, but all the results have been negative, so there is no sign of the disease in any of the other sheds. "There are 14 other poultry flocks in area and so far there are no chickens showing any clinical signs of the disease.

Dr Roth says that here are some restrictions on the movement of poultry, but despite the fact that farmers need permits, it hasn't affected the trade in the region.

"We should have the all clear in the next week or two, but it is difficult to tell as we have to do more monitoring, and some proof of freedom testing as well, which is demanded by our overseas trading partners," he said. Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/rural/ne...

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


India: Swine Flu alert with dipping temperatures (Andhra Pradesh)
With the Winter having set in, the doctors say its 'flu season' now. The number of swine flu cases reported from city hospitals has already gone past 310, with 33 cases of mortality as compared to mere 11 cases with one incidence of death in 2011. Popular notions like swine flu cases triggering off in mass gatherings or on coming in contact with another patient, do not apply in the flu season.

H1N1 cases on the rise

According to Dr PNS Reddy, superintendent, the Government Chest Hospital at Erragada, the numbers of H1N1 cases are on a steady rise at present. "As the temperatures keep dropping, the spread of the flu becomes faster," he said. Agreeing with him, Dr K Subhakar, State Swine Flu Coordinator, said, "In cold, foggy and dry weather, the virus stays longer at the same environment. In such cases, one need not even come in contact with the flu patients to catch the flu."

However, the rising numbers do not reveal the whole story. Dr Subhakar pointed out that there was no mechanism across the state to test the spread of virus, as a result of which most of the cases were being reported from Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts. "The actual numbers could be much more. District head quarters have no testing centres. They send us a few samples, which we test," he added.

Considering the pandemic of 2009, he believed that the H1N1 flu has come on par with the normal flu. But there are causes for concern. "The virus tend to change its genetic behavior and form new combinations over mutations but studies are underway, constantly monitoring any such changes," he said. Continued: http://newindianexpress.com/ci...

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


H5N1 dual-use workshop, H5N1 strains in Egypt
Nov 19, 2012

The studies revealed, among other things, that a mutation involving loss of a glycosylation site at HA positions 154-156 appears to be critical for H5 virus transmission in mammals, according to the PLoS Pathogens article.

When the team examined available HA sequences from avian H5N1 viruses, they found that more than 70% of Egyptian isolates lacked the HA 154-156 glycosylation site, versus about 25% of isolates from Vietnam and none from Indonesia. An analysis of human isolates from the three countries revealed a similar pattern. In addition, the researchers say the mutation PB2-627K, which is known to be involved in mammalian adaptation of avian flu viruses, is found in most H5N1 isolates from Egypt.


full article

United we stand: Divided we fall

UPDATE 1-FDA approves novel Novartis seasonal flu vaccine
* First U.S. approved flu vaccine using animal cell cultures

* Process is faster than growing virus in chicken eggs

* Novartis will produce vaccine in new North Carolina plant

Nov 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it approved a seasonal flu vaccine produced by Novartis using animal cell culture rather than the traditional manufacturing using chicken eggs - a speedier process that could help build stockpiles in the event of a pandemic.

The vaccine, to be sold by the Swiss drugmaker under the brand name Flucelvax, is approved to prevent season influenza in people aged 18 and over (Snip).

To produce Flucelvax, virus strains for the vaccine are grown in animal cell cultures derived from mammals instead of in chicken eggs. Continued: http://www.chicagotribune.com/...

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


Please post new news stories to...

News Reports for  November 21, 2012

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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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