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News Reports for December 12, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 14:29:54 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!

• Bird flu detected in southern Russia (Link)

United States
• Long-term public health support needed to tackle infectious disease outbreaks (Link)
• AL: Alabama among states most effected by flu outbreak (Link)
• PA: Flu now widespread across Pennsylvania (Link)

• Influenza (112): WHO update (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for December 12, 2012

News for December 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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Bird flu detected in southern Russia
This article is copyright protected so I can only give you the link: http://www.globalmeatnews.com/...

(Note: This article states that the strain has been confirmed as H5N1 and that the government has introduced a state of emergency on the whole region. Other articles recently said the strain was H5N2 and not H5N1.)

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


Long-term public health support needed to tackle infectious disease outbreaks
Press release from PLOS Medicine

Outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as swine flu (H1N1) threaten global health and should be considered by funding agencies and humanitarian organizations as development issues rather than emergency situations, requiring long-term support and investment, according to US experts writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

The authors from several US institutions, led by Tiffany Bogich from Princeton University, reached these conclusions by reviewing nearly 400 serious international public health events. They found that the disruption to, or lack of, public health infrastructure was the major driving factor of infectious disease outbreaks, contributing 40% overall. In contrast, other main driving factors, such as climate and weather and war and famine had a much lesser role, each contributing less that 10% to infectious disease outbreaks.

(Snip) the authors argue that there is a mismatch between the drivers of infectious disease outbreaks and current trends in public health spending as shown by the current donor trend of favoring disease-specific global health programs. The authors argue that this mismatch may be at the cost of strengthening public health infrastructure and development in the long term.

They argue: "Stronger public health infrastructure, for example, expanded surveillance, better diagnostic capacity, and rapid reporting and control, in developing countries will likely help prevent localized outbreaks of newly emerged pathogens becoming pandemic."

The authors recommend a way forward. They say: "We propose a systems approach within development agencies to address pandemic prevention at the intersection of people and their environment where the risk of disease emergence is highest."

(Snip) "To achieve this goal, mainstream development funding, rather than emergency funding, is required." Continued: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_...  

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


US: Flu now widespread across Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG (AP) - State health officials said Tuesday the number of cases reported to the Health Department more than doubled in the past week.

(Snip) That means at least half the state is experiencing outbreaks of influenza or increases in flu-like illnesses.

(Snip) Officials say the flu strains seen here appear to be well matched to this year's vaccine.

The flu appeared earlier than usual this year. (Snip) http://www.poconorecord.com/ap...  

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


ProMED: Influenza (112): WHO update
Influenza update - number 174


- Many countries of the northern hemisphere temperate region, especially in North America, reported increasing influenza virus detections. Canada and the USA crossed their seasonal thresholds, but activity was highest in the southern part of the USA. Influenza activity remained low in Europe but has continued to increase slightly.

- Low levels of influenza activity were reported in countries in southern and southeast Asia, except Cambodia.

- In Sub-Saharan Africa, influenza activity remains at low levels.

- Influenza activity in the temperate countries of the southern hemisphere continued at inter-seasonal levels

Countries in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere

Countries of the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere reported continued increases in the detection of influenza viruses, with an increase in the rates of influenza-like illness (ILI) and in the percentages of influenza-positive specimens tested. Both the USA and Canada have announced the beginning of their influenza seasons.

North America:

Several of the southern states of the USA and southern provinces in Canada have reported an increase in influenza activity. The USA has now reached the national seasonal threshold for the rate of influenza-like illness (ILI) activity. There have been differences noted between countries and the main influenza virus strains circulating. In Canada, there has been little influenza B activity, with much more reported in the USA, whilst in Mexico, influenza B is the predominant virus circulating.

In Canada, increases in all influenza indicators were reported since the last update. Nationally, the proportion of outpatient visits that were due to ILI increased since the previous week from 2.1-2.9 percent and the percentage of clinical specimens that tested positive for influenza virus from 5.9-9.6 percent. Seven regions have reported localized activity, and 21 regions have reported sporadic activity. Eight influenza outbreaks have been reported, one in a hospital, 5 in long term care facilities, and 2 in other settings. (Snip) 7 paediatric influenza-associated hospitalizations and 27 cases in adults 20 years of age or older were reported from the limited hospital surveillance system.

In Canada, 98 percent (271/278) of viruses detected were influenza A, and 2 percent were influenza B. Of the influenza A viruses subtyped, 95 percent were A(H3N2), and 5 percent were A(H1N1)pdm09. Since the start of the season [2012-13], the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) has antigenically characterized 35 influenza viruses: all 22 influenza A(H3N2) influenza viruses were similar to the vaccine virus A/Victoria/361/2011, and all 4 A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses were similar to the vaccine virus A/California/7/2009. Of the influenza B viruses, 7 were similar to the vaccine virus B/Wisconsin/1/2010 (Yamagata lineage), and 2 were similar to B/Brisbane/60/2008 (Victoria lineage; a component of the 2011-2012 seasonal influenza vaccines). None of the 19 A(H3N2), 4 A(H1N1)pdm09, or 8 influenza B viruses tested so far this year [2012] were resistant to neuraminidase inhibitors.

Nationally, the USA has now marked the start of its influenza season, 6-7 weeks earlier than in recent previous years. ILI consultation rates have reached the seasonal threshold of 2.2 percent, and 15.2 percent of the 5342 clinical specimens tested were positive for influenza virus, an increase from 7.5 percent in the last reporting week. The geographic extent of influenza activity was not uniform across the country, with 5 states in the south (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee) experiencing high ILI activity, and 39 states reporting minimal ILI activity.

In the USA, 70 percent of influenza viruses detected were influenza A and 30 percent influenza type B. Of the influenza A viruses with subtype information, 99.5 percent were influenza A(H3N2). Continued: http://www.promedmail.org/dire...

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


US: Alabama among states most effected by flu outbreak
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama has been identified as one of eight states showing a widespread outbreak of the flu virus.

With this outbreak, several area schools have seen increased absences due to flu-like symptoms.

"With the weather going back and forth from cold to hot, we've been having a large amount of kids report absent," said Mike Blair, Dallas County High School principal. "A lot of them have been out with the flu or stomach virus."

A Morgan Academy faculty member said the highest number of absences for the school was Monday, but she expects that number to increase.

"The flu and stomach virus have hit us hard," the faculty member said. "We had 18 absent Friday and 30 [Monday]." Continued: http://www.selmatimesjournal.c...  

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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