About
About Flu Wiki
How To Navigate
New? Start Here!
Search FW Forum
Forum Rules
Simple HTML I
Simple HTML II
Forum Shorthand
Recent Active Diaries
RSS Feed

Search




Advanced Search


Flu Wiki Forum
Welcome to the conversation Forum of Flu Wiki

This is an international website intended to remain accessible to as many people as possible. The opinions expressed here are those of the individual posters who remain solely responsible for the content of their messages.
The use of good judgement during the discussion of controversial issues would be greatly appreciated.

News Reports for November 23, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 21:42:41 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
• Karnataka: Helpline for H1N1 and Dengue launched in Karnataka (Link)

Sri Lanka
• No bird flu threat here (Link)

Taiwan
• H5N2 avian flu reported at chicken farm in Chiayi (Link)

United States
• AK: Thousands of Anchorage students to get free flu vaccines (Link)
• AZ: Coconino County reports first flu cases of season (Link)

Research
• Scientists Describe Elusive Replication Machinery of Flu Viruses (Link)
• Induction of cross-protection against influenza A virus by DNA prime-intranasal protein boost strategy based on nucleoprotein (Link)
• People worried about catching infections in public transport during flu season (Link)

Commentary
• Recombinomics: 4th Betacornavirus Case Raises Pandemic Concerns (Link)
• Recombinomics: Betacornavirus Cluster Raises Pandemic Concerns (Link)
• Wired: WHO Announces Family Cluster Of Cases Of New Coronavirus (by Maryn McKenna) (Link)
• Crawford Kilian: More on the coronavirus patient in Germany (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for November 23, 2012

News for November 22, 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

Tags: , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Scientists Describe Elusive Replication Machinery of Flu Viruses
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have made a major advance in understanding how flu viruses replicate within infected cells. The researchers used cutting-edge molecular biology and electron-microscopy techniques to "see" one of influenza's essential protein complexes in unprecedented detail. The images generated in the study show flu virus proteins in the act of self-replication, highlighting the virus's vulnerabilities that are sure to be of interest to drug developers.

The report, which appears online in Science Express on November 22, 2012, focuses on influenza's ribonucleoprotein (RNP). RNPs contain the virus's genetic material plus the special enzyme that the virus needs to make copies of itself.

"Structural studies in this area had stalled because of the technical obstacles involved, and so this is a welcome advance," said Ian A. Wilson, the Hansen Professor of Structural Biology at TSRI and senior author of the report with TSRI Professors of Cell Biology Bridget Carragher and Clint Potter. "The data from this study give us a much clearer picture of the flu virus replication machinery."

Unveiling the Mystery of RNPs

At the core of any influenza virus lie eight RNPs, tiny molecular machines that are vital to the virus's ability to survive and spread in its hosts. Each RNP contains a segment -- usually a single protein-coding gene -- of the RNA-based viral genome. This viral RNA segment is coated with protective viral nucleoproteins and has a structure that resembles a twisted loop of chain. The free ends of this twisted loop are held by a flu-virus polymerase enzyme, which handles the two central tasks of viral reproduction: making new viral genomic RNA, and making the RNA gene-transcripts that will become new viral proteins.
Aside from its importance in ordinary infections, the flu polymerase contains some of the key "species barriers" that keep, for example, avian flu viruses from infecting mammals. Mutations at key points on the enzyme have enabled the virus to infect new species in the past. Thus researchers are eager to know the precise details of how the flu polymerase and the rest of the RNP interact.

Getting those details has been a real challenge. One reason is that flu RNPs are complex assemblies that are hard to produce efficiently in the lab. Flu polymerase genes are particularly resistant to being expressed in test cells, and their protein products exist in three separate pieces, or subunits, that have to somehow self-assemble. Until now, the only flu RNPs that have been reproduced in the laboratory are shortened versions whose structures aren't quite the same as those of native flu RNPs. Researchers also are limited in how much virus they can use for such studies.

The team nevertheless managed to develop a test-cell expression system that produced all of the protein and RNA components needed to make full-length flu RNPs. "We were able to get the cells to assemble these components properly so that we had working, self-replicating RNPs," said Robert N. Kirchdoerfer, a first author of the study. Kirchdoerfer was a PhD candidate in the Wilson laboratory during the study, and is now a postdoctoral research associate in the laboratory of TSRI Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire.

Kirchdoerfer eventually purified enough of these flu RNPs for electron microscope analysis at TSRI's Automated Molecular Imaging Group, which is run jointly by Carragher and Potter. Continued: http://www.sciencedaily.com/re...

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

     


US: Coconino County reports first flu cases of season (Arizona)
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Coconino County officials say five Flagstaff residents have become the first to fall victim to influenza this season. (Snip) the patients range in age from infant to the 30s.

The district's Interim Chief Health Officer Kimbal Babcock says flu activity typically doesn't reach its peak until late January or February and influenza activity can occur as late as May.

Twenty flu cases have been reported so far around Arizona. Continued: http://www.azfamily.com/news/h...

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

     


US: Thousands of Anchorage students to get free flu vaccines (Alaska)
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Anchorage School District so far has provided free flu vaccines to almost 7,000 students in about half its schools.

Health experts estimate that for every child who gets the flu, six other children are infected.

(Snip)

(Snip) flu shots have been available at 47 of the district's 97 schools so far. Most of those schools are elementary schools. The district will continue to vaccinate young people until the Christmas break.  http://newsminer.com/view/full...

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

     


Induction of cross-protection against influenza A virus by DNA prime-intranasal protein boost strategy based on nucleoprotein
The highly conserved nucleoprotein (NP) is an internal protein of influenza virus and is capable of inducing cross-protective immunity against different influenza A viruses, making it a main target of universal influenza vaccine. In current study, we characterized the immune response induced by DNA prime-intranasal protein boost strategy based on NP (A/PR/8/34, H1N1) in mouse model, and evaluated its protection ability against a lethal dose challenge of influenza virus.

Results: The intranasal boost with recombinant NP (rNP) protein could effectively enhance the pre-immune response induced by the NP DNA vaccine in mice. Continued: http://7thspace.com/headlines/...

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

     


People worried about catching infections in public transport during flu season
As flu season gets underway, public transport such as buses, trains and subway trains head the list of places where people worry about catching viruses and infections, according to new research by Microban.
"Even if the bus or train company is very thorough in their cleaning, there is a considerable likelihood of cold and flu bacteria on surfaces such as grab handles and seats, especially during flu season."
Forty nine per cent of 1,000 people surveyed were "concerned" or "very concerned" about levels of bacteria on buses, 46% on trains, 45% on subway trains, 43% on planes , 42% on coaches and 40% in taxis.

Flu season across Europe normally gets underway as temperatures start to drop towards the end of the year and carries on until Spring, points out antibacterial technology specialist Microban, which commissioned the research.

(Snip)

"There is a quite a lot of evidence to suggest that public transport is a hot spot for bacterial cross-contamination with one study even suggesting that you are six times as likely to get certain respiratory illnesses if you have recently used a bus. Our new research shows that passengers are worried and this could well be justified."

(Snip) there was little that could be done to avoid airborne bacteria on public transport but that it could pay dividends not to handle any surfaces if possible and, if you do, to avoid touching your face (Snip).

(Snip) "Even if the bus or train company is very thorough in their cleaning, there is a considerable likelihood of cold and flu bacteria on surfaces such as grab handles and seats, especially during flu season." http://www.news-medical.net/ne...

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

     


Sri Lanka: No bird flu threat here
There is no threat to Sri Lanka from the outbreak of avian influenza (bird flu) in some parts of India, as authorities have already taken strict precautionary and quarantine measures to prevent the disease from entering the country, a senior medical officer assured yesterday.

(Snip) strict precautions have been taken by tightening the quarantine procedures (Snip). Steps have also been taken to prevent the virus from entering the country through human migration (Snip).

The virus is currently prevalent in the State of Kerala, India.

"Any person involved in the poultry industry will have to undergo strict procedures, and instructions have been given to Airport officials to strictly monitor the people who are involved in the poultry business. Strict instructions have also been given against importing poultry products from India and Bangladesh. We had taken all precautions and people need not worry about it," Silva said.

However, several veterinarians who wished to remain anonymous said, despite all precautionary methods, there is a probability of the virus entering the country through the air.

In a bid to prevent the transmission of the virus and to contain a possible outbreak of avian influenza, the Department of Animal Husbandry in Kerala has taken requisite measures. (Snip) the department has tightened vigil in the Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, Mavoor Wetland region near River Chaliyar and Kottuli Wetland areas. http://www.ceylontoday.lk/16-1...

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

     


4th Betacornavirus Case Raises Pandemic Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary

A new case of coronavirus infection was discovered in Riyadh, according to a statement by the Ministry of Health Tuesday.

"A citizen who visited one of the hospitals in Riyadh complaining of flu-like symptoms raised suspicion. Following appropriate tests and after cross checking the results in an specialized lab abroad, it was confirmed that the man tested positive for the virus," the statement said.

It said the patient was given appropriate treatment and his condition has improved.

The ministry asked the public not to panic, as the infection does not lead to serious complications. "There is no cause for worry. The discovered cases were few and isolated," it added.

The above translation from the Saudi Gazette describes the 4th confirmed novel betacoronavirus case.  This case was also reported in a ProMED RFI, but none of the reports contained any detail.  Today WHO issued an update, indicating they had received reports on four additional confirmed cases, raising the total to six (four in Saudi Arabia and 2 in Qatar), including an additional death.

The WHO description indicates the fatal case was epidemiologically linked to the above case, as well as two symptomatic family members.  One of the additional family members died increasing the familial death toll to 2, although initial testing of the surviving case was negative for the novel betacornavirus.

Human transmission of this novel virus is not unexpected (Snip) and the similarities with the SARS-CoV outbreak in 2002/2003 are striking.

(Snip) http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

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

     


Betacornavirus Cluster Raises Pandemic Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary

So far, only the two most recently confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia are epidemiologically linked - they are from the same family, living in the same household. Preliminary investigations indicate that these 2 cases presented with similar symptoms of illness. One died and the other recovered.

Additionally, 2 other members of this family presented with similar symptoms of illness, where one died and the other is recovering. Laboratory results of the fatal case is pending, while the case that is recovering tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

The above comments are from the WHO update announcing 4 additional confirmed novel betacoronavirus cases (in addition to the two confirmed cases in Saudi Arabia and Qatar).  Three of these cases have been noted in earlier media reports.  The first case was reported earlier this month.  Little information was provided, but the case was identified at a Riyadh hospital, had been on a ventilator, and recovered.  The description of the second case was limited, but similar.  That case was recently announced by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health, was also hospitalized in Riyadh, and also recovered. The third recent case was described at the Robert Koche Institute website.  That case was from Qatar, was hospitalized last month, and recovered.

Thus, the recent fatal confirmed case would be a case epidemiologically linked to the recent case in Riyadh, and the linkage would support human transmission, which is further supported by the description of the two additional family members described above.  Thus, this cluster would involve four family members, including two who were confirmed and two who died.  Although one of the symptomatic cases tested negative, this result is likely a false negative linked to sample collection or test sensitivity.  A new PCR test has been developed, which is based on two regions of the novel coronavirus, which should have greater sensitivity than the pan-coronaviris PCR test, which also yielded negative results for symptomatic contacts of the first Qatar case.  Testing of contacts should use the new PCR test as well as culturing and/or direct sequencing of relevant samples.

The above cluster is not a surprise.  Full sequences from the first two confirmed cases have been made public, and these sequences are 99.5% identical, but have more than 10% mismatching with all other coronvirus sequences.  These first two cases had renal failure, which was also seen in about 5% of SARS-CoV cases, suggesting that the first two cases represent a subset of cases which were severe (Snip).

The latest cluster suggests that testing is now more sensitive or the novel betacornavirus is spreading more efficiently in humans. (Snip) http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Wired: WHO Announces Family Cluster Of Cases Of New Coronavirus
WHO Announces Family Cluster Of Cases Of New Coronavirus
Today, while the United States has been largely off-line following our Thanksgiving holiday (and while Northern Europe was on its way to the pub for Friday evening revelry), the World Health Organization announced four new cases of the novel coronavirus that caused a great deal of worry immediately before the October hajj season. (Earlier posts here and here.)


[ Parent ]
Crawford Kilian: More on the coronavirus patient in Germany
Kilian runs a Spiegel Online article through Google Translate and then edits the result for clarity (while being careful to let us know he's done so). Here's the first couple of paragraphs:
Health authorities are tense: A man from Qatar had been infected with the novel coronavirus that causes SARS-like symptoms. But doctors at the University Hospital Essen have treated the patient for four weeks, with no idea that he was suffering from a dangerous pathogen.

When the man from Qatar was admitted to the Ruhrlandklinik Lung Centre at the Universityof Essen, he had already been sick for 19daysm and the doctors in Qatar could no longer treat him because his lung tissue was severely damaged. Only one treatment at a specialist clinic was available, so he was flown to Germany.



[ Parent ]
Branswell: Cluster of coronavirus cases raises spectre of person to person spread: WHO
Cluster of coronavirus cases raises spectre of person to person spread: WHO
A cluster of infections caused by the new coronavirus is being investigated to see if it was triggered by person-to-person spread, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The WHO announced four new cases of the virus, three of which occurred in Saudi Arabia. The fourth was a man from Qatar who travelled to Germany for care.

The global agency said it is also in the process of reviewing its case definition to help health-care practitioners spot possible additional infections.


It was Branswell who tweeted the previous two pieces I posted.

[ Parent ]
Helpline for H1N1 and Dengue launched in Karnataka
BANGALORE: With dengue spreading havoc and H1N1 (influenza A or swine flu) silently killing 44 people in Karnataka, a city based primary healthcare service has set up a one-stop helpline for H1N1 and Dengue queries.

Nationwide Primary Healthcare Services on Thursday launched its helpline for the two deadly diseases. The helpline will be connected to the doctors from Nationwide who will provide information or answers to the queries about symptoms, prevention and basic medical advice. 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

     


This is India.


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

     


[ Parent ]
Taiwan: H5N2 avian flu reported at chicken farm in Chiayi
TAIPEI--Animal health officials have imposed a ban on the movement of chickens at a farm in southern Taiwan that has been found infected with low-pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza.

(Snip) director of the Chiayi County government's Animal Disease Control Center, said his agency will not allow the 15,700 chickens at the farm in Puzih to be moved off the premises (Snip).

"As it was low-pathogenic, we will not cull the chickens," (Snip) the eggs laid by the chickens will have to be disinfected before they can be sold on the market.

All 94 poultry farms within a 3-kilometer radius of the farm are being monitored, and no abnormal cases have been reported yet (Snip). http://www.chinapost.com.tw/ta...

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...
Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?



Active Users
Currently 0 user(s) logged on.

Contact
  DemFromCT
  pogge (In Memorium)
  Bronco Bill
  SusanC (emeritus)
  Melanie (In Memoriam)

  Flu Wiki (active wiki resource)
  How To Add To Flu Wiki
  Get Pandemic Ready (How To Start Prepping)
  Citizen's Guide v 2.0
  Effect Measure
  Dude's FTP

Home
Powered by: SoapBlox