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News Reports for December 11, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 14:29:33 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!

• Avian Flu Outbreak in China (OIE Report) (Link)

• Indonesia Says It Has Found More Virulent Bird Flu Strain (Link)
• Residents Told to Be Aware of Latest Bird Flu Mutation (translated) (Link)
• Kulonprogo Hospital Suspects One Toddler Hit by Bird Flu (translated) (Link)

United States
• MN: Signs point to bad flu season (Link)
• RI: HEALTH Declares Flu to Be Widespread in Rhode Island (Link)
• TN: Cookeville hospital restricts children due to flu (Link)
• WY: Early Wyo. flu season intensifies (Link)

• CIDRAP: ECDC updates risk assessment for novel coronavirus (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for December 11, 2012

News for December 10, 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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OIE: Avian Flu Outbreak in China
An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza has been reported to the OIE.

The outbreak of avian flu, subtype H5N2, was reported by Dr Kwo-Ching Huang, Chief Veterinary Officer and Deputy Director General, Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Council of agriculture, Chinese Taipei.


The local government conducted movement restriction, epidemiological investigation and sampling on the index native chicken farm and destroyed all chickens as the measure for precaution on 22 November 2012 (Snip).

The results of pathogenicity tests confirmed this event as H5N2 HPAI. The clinical and epidemiological investigation of three surrounding poultry farms was conducted. No other NAI case was detected.

In total, there were 300 cases, with 200 deaths and 631 birds were destroyed. (Snip). 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


US: HEALTH Declares Flu to Be Widespread in Rhode Island
The following information was provided by the Rhode Island Department of Health

Michael Fine, MD, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH), has issued a Declaration of Widespread Flu Incidence Statewide. This declaration triggers Rhode Island's new regulations requiring all healthcare workers who have not been immunized against influenza to wear a surgical mask during all times of direct patient contact.

"Flu is here in Rhode Island, and all signs indicate that this flu season is expected to be more severe than those in recent past," said Dr. Fine. "We encourage all Rhode Islanders to protect themselves and those around them by being immunized against influenza. Our healthcare workers have an obligation to protect those they care for by getting immunized or wearing a mask as required by the Department of Health's regulations."

"Direct patient contact" is defined as routinely anticipated face-to-face contact with patients, such as when entering a patient's room, serving food to patients or participating in group patient activities. Continued: http://portsmouth.patch.com/ar...

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


US: Signs point to bad flu season (Minnesota)
It's not too late to get the flu vaccine, and it looks like an increasingly good idea - because it appears we are heading for a rough influenza season.

"The news flash is, it's going to be a virulent flu season this year," said Ronda Stock, who heads the Becker County Community Health Department.


"We are continuing to give them (flu vaccinations)," which can be done either through a shot or a nasal mist, he said. It takes about two weeks for the body to develop immunity after the vaccination, so even those who are late to the vaccination show will benefit through the worst of the flu season.

Minnesota's flu season is beginning to take shape, with 26 more people hospitalized in the most recent week of accounting, (Snip). The statewide total is now up to 70 hospitalizations since the start of fall. Four schools reported outbreaks, along with one nursing home in this most recent week.

No deaths have been reported yet in Minnesota, but two children have died elsewhere in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Five Southern states have reported higher-than-normal levels of doctor visits for flulike illnesses in late November - the earliest start to the flu season in nearly 10 years, CDC Director Thomas Frieden told the Wall Street Journal in a teleconference with reporters.

Early flu season is sometimes a sign that it will be more severe than normal.

And the dominant flu strain in circulation, known as H3N2, tends to cause particularly severe flu, Dr. Frieden told the Journal. "The early nature of the cases, as well as the specific strains we're seeing, suggest this could be a bad flu year," he told reporters.

The good news is that this season's flu vaccine is a 90 percent match with the dominant season flu strain - so it should offer a high level of protection. Continued: http://www.parkrapidsenterpris...

(Note: I hope the vaccine is a 90% match but I'm not convinced of that yet. JMO)  

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


US: Cookeville hospital restricts children due to flu (Tennessee)
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Cookeville Regional Medical Center is temporarily prohibiting visitors under the age of 16 until further notice due to the early start of the flu season.

(Snip) the hospital said that children in this age group are a major source of the spread of the flu and they are also asking people with flu-like symptoms not to visit the hospital for their safety and for the safety of patients. However, siblings will be allowed in the birthing center to visit with family.

(Snip) Tennessee has seen the earliest start to the flu season since 2003, and state health officials are encouraging people who are not yet vaccinated to get one soon. http://www.10tv.com/content/st...  

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


CIDRAP: ECDC updates risk assessment for novel coronavirus
Dec 10, 2012 (CIDRAP News) - The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) today announced an update of its risk assessment on novel coronavirus, which takes into account the possibility of human-to-human spread, the wider geographic area where infections occurred, and risks the virus may pose to healthcare workers.

(Snip) two recent developments spurred the second update of its rapid risk assessment: the recent retrospective diagnosis of two fatal novel coronavirus cases, part of an 11-case hospital pneumonia cluster that occurred in Jordan in April, and a recent review showing that European laboratories have adequate capacity for diagnosing novel coronavirus cases. (Snip).

Of the nine novel coronavirus cases that have been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) so far, five have been fatal. All patients have had pneumonia and several also had renal failure. Two clusters have been reported: a family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and healthcare workers at a hospital near Amman, Jordan.

The ECDC said the Jordan cluster, which involved 11 people including 8 healthcare workers, is notable because its size and the involvement of health staff raise questions about the possibility of human-to-human transmission. The ECDC said some or all of the nine nonfatal cases in the cluster were reportedly tested for novel coronavirus, but little information is available about the results.

The lack of information on testing and on the severity of the nonfatal cases makes it impossible to confirm or rule out human-to-human transmission, the statement said.

It also noted that a serologic test for novel coronavirus infection is being developed, which will help health officials learn more about patients' past exposure to the virus and if there were mild or asymptomatic cases.

Intensive surveillance of patients treated in Germany and the United Kingdom has revealed no secondary or nosocomial spread, but experts should reassess the risk after more details are released about the Jordan cluster, the ECDC said.

So far, the broad geographic distribution, long intervals between cases, and lack of evidence for mild or symptomatic infections that could keep the disease going suggests intermittent zoonotic transmission or an environmental source for the virus, the ECDC said. Though zoonotic transmission doesn't rule out human-to-human spread from an index case, there is no evidence yet that it occurred, and there isn't enough information from the WHO or Jordan to assess the possibility, the group added.

Additional severely ill patients from the Arabian Peninsula will likely be transferred for care to EU hospitals, and clinicians should have a low threshold for testing for the virus in patients coming from the region, the ECDC said.

Because of the possibility of coinfections, health teams should test for the novel coronavirus even when another possible pathogen has been identified, the group added. Personal protective measures are needed to protect the family members of patients and healthcare workers treating patients with severe respiratory infections from the Arabian Peninsula.

Continued with much more on this: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

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


Indonesia Says It Has Found More Virulent Bird Flu Strain
December 11, 2012
Indonesia:  "We found a highly pathogenic avian influenza sub-type H5N1 (virus) with clade 2.3." the agriculture ministry's veterinary chief Syukur Iwantoro said in the letter obtained by AFP.

"This clade is a new clade found for the first time in Indonesia, that is very different to the avian influenza found before, which is clade 2.1."

A clade is a group of organisms, usually species, with a common ancestor. A poultry breeders' association had reported the death of more than 300,000 ducks in several provinces on Java island since November to the ministry. The veterinary office found the H5N1 virus involved was a different clade to that usually found in Indonesia, said Iwantoro's letter to local government offices and the World Health Organisation (WHO).  Iwantoro called for further research into whether there had been a genetic shift in the virus previously found in the country, or whether the new strain originated overseas.

"There is a suspicion that the virus has spread from other countries, possibly from Vietnam or Thailand," Emil Agustiono, secretary of the national commission of zoonosis control that oversees bird flu, told AFP.

Health officials have told local governments to stop and check motorbikes and pick-up trucks commonly used to transport poultry, to try to reduce the spread of the virus.

The health ministry has told local offices to be vigilant for more massive poultry deaths, or for deaths of people in the vicinity, its head of communicable disease Tjandra Yoga Aditama told AFP. Continued: http://medicalxpress.com/news/...

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

This is the very dangerous strain that originated in China.
I think this is the strain that has killed the victims in China, Vietnam and Cambodia over the past year or so. Very worrisome that it is now in Indonesia.

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


[ Parent ]
Residents Told to Be Aware of Latest Bird Flu Mutation
December 11, 2012
East Java, Indonesia:  The head of the team of doctors handling the bird flu virus from Hospital (Hospital) Dr Soetomo has urged residents in East Java (East Java) to be alert to the latest bird flu virus mutation.  Vice Chairman of the bird flu team's physicians at Dr RS Soetomo, Dr. Laksmi Wulandari, says the latest bird flu virus mutation might happen.  It was, he explained, because of the uniqueness of the bird flu virus more than other flus.

"The virus can survive in bird feces up to 35 days in water temperatures from 0 to 30 degrees and the nature of any RNA virus where it is easy to mutate," he said, Tuesday (11/12).  Thus, according to him, it is only natural that the bird flu virus had disappeared and then came back with a new mutation.

In fact, in 2011, a researcher in the area of Sidoarjo bird flu, Dr. Ricardo, had found some sparrow bird flu from dirt that was studied.  This means that the mode of transmission of the virus that mutates is still happening.  With the findings of the deaths of hundreds of ducks in Central Java and East Java yesterday, it is the natural cycle of the bird flu virus.  The findings of a sparrow that was infected shows the dynamic mutation of the virus.  But fortunately, they found that the mutation of virus transmission is still between chickens.  

"The hope is that the findings are still transmission among ducks and birds," explained researcher Tropical Diseases Faculty of Medicine, University of Airlangga.  However, he also did not dismiss (the idea) that if the mutation of this virus continues to happen, then it does not close the possibility of transmission from poultry to humans.

To that end, he appealed to the people to keep doing the safety instructions when they suddenly find dead birds, especially in large quantities.  Among those are the burning of poultry carcasses and checking other birds.  When infected, they should be immediately destroyed by burning.

Dr RS Soetomo last treated patients with suspected bird flu in 2010.  However, since the emergence of bird flu patients in 2006, at least five patients were indicated positive for bird flu.  Of the five patients, three died and two were successfully treated.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

Kulonprogo Hospital Suspects One Toddler Hit by Bird Flu
December 11, 2012

Kulonprogo, Indonesia:  House of Regional General Hospital (Hospital) Kulonprogo District has a toddler suspected of contracting bird flu.  The toddler who is from the District of Mercy and has fever and symptoms of bird flu was treated in Hospital Kulonprogo, early last month in December 2012.

"Hospital Admission on Sunday (2/12) was due to the heat and almost similar to the symptoms of bird flu.  Near his home there are no dead birds," said Bambang Haryatno, Chief of Kulonprogo Hospital, in his office, Tuesday (11/12 ).

Since there was no information about the dead birds, the hospital moved quickly to deal with the case as handling a bird flu patient.  Even blood samples were sent to Jakarta to be examined whether they were positive or negative bird flu.

"It was after his blood was checked, there were negative laboratory results of bird flu. The toddler was allowed to go home on December 4th," said Bambang.

Bambang explained they had to disseminate to the public to be alert to the symptoms of bird flu. Socialization is expected by society to be responsive and to bring citizens suspected of bird flu to the nearest health center or hospital.  So workarounds are not too late.

translated from

United we stand: Divided we fall

Early Wyo. flu season intensifies

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 2:00 pm
AP Exchange | 0 comments
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming's early flu season is getting more intense. State health officials recorded more than three times more flu cases by Dec. 1 than usual.
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that the state recorded 342 cases of influenza by Dec. 1. Wyoming usually reports less than 100 cases so far by this time.

Wyoming's first flu cases were reported in October. This flu season has come early all over the nation, with 48 states confirming cases by the end of November.
The Wyoming Department of Health says that flu cases in Wyoming typically increase around the end of December or early January. Health officials say most everyone should get flu shots, especially those at high risk of developing complications from the flu.
More about Influenza
ARTICLE: Wyoming flu season gets early start
ARTICLE: SD confirms 8th flu death of season

Posted in Regional statewide on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 2:00 pm. | Tags:  Flu Season,  Influenza,  Wyoming Department Of Health

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In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

How embarrassing!
I cut all that extra stuff out when I pasted the article in, then I made a mistake at the top of the article and had to use control Z, and somehow it put it all back in. Sorry 'bout that!

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

[ Parent ]
Thanks for posting the article.
No need to apologize, it's no big deal.

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


[ Parent ]
Please post new news stories to...

News Reports for December 12, 2012

Thank you!

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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