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News Reports for December 16, 2012

by: NewsDiary

Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 21:27:06 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!

• 5-year analysis shows antigenic drift in H5N1 viruses (Link)

• Two Persons Die of Bird Flu in Jogja (Link)

• Authorities swing into action after KFC mess (Link)

United States
• CIDRAP: Carolinas found influenza B with reduced Tamiflu susceptibility in 2010-11 (Link)
• AR: Arkansas records first death of 2012 flu season (Link)
• MO: Flu Cases Up in County (Link)
• NC: Hospital restricts visits over flu fears  (Link)

• Smuggled poultry from China carries bird flu virus, antibiotics: Vietnam official  (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for December 16, 2012

News for December 15, 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: Arkansas records first death of 2012 flu season
The first death of the 2012-13 flu season was reported to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). The Health Department does not disclose any other information about the death because of privacy concerns.

According to Nate Smith, MD, Deputy Director at ADH, this report serves as a reminder that the flu can be deadly.

"The flu is something that we always take very seriously," Smith said. "For some people, the complications that develop are life-threatening. This year's season has gotten started earlier than usual and the number of illnesses in the state is rapidly increasing. We want people to know that the flu is going around, and the CDC expects this flu season to be particularly severe." Continued: http://www.magnoliareporter.co...

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


US: Hospital restricts visits over flu fears (North Carolina)
Consistent with a statewide spike in flu cases, Scotland health officials have seen an increased number of seasonal flu cases this week.

Beginning Monday, children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to visit, and visitors who have not received a flu vaccination will be asked to wear a facial mask upon entering the hospital. These restrictions will apply to Scotland Memorial Hospital, the Edwin Morgan Center, Hospice of Scotland County, and outpatient clinics. Scotland Healthcare System has reported a rise in flu cases in both the Emergency Center and Scotland Urgent Care.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our patients and our visitors," said Lane Harrington, VP of patient services. "We will notify the public when the limited visitation policy has been lifted."

Scotland Health Care System has also implemented a mandatory flu vaccination program for all health care system associates, volunteers, contract workers, and students. Any unvaccinated health care worker who is providing patient care will wear a facial mask in order to provide a healthy environment.

In the week ending on Dec. 8, the state Department of Health and Human Services said the percentage of patients displaying influenza-like symptoms jumped to over five percent, up more than three percent from the week before. Continued: http://www.laurinburgexchange....  

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


Having worked in hospitals for 9 years....
... I know how useless that will be. The big machos will come in, and even if a real human asked them if they've been flu-vaxed, they'll either lie, or the moment they're through "security", they'll whip off the mask as "namby-pamby", and go through the halls proudly with their naked faces and un-washed hands... sigh. ;-} But banning kids is a good thing - that can be verified easily ("are you a kid?") and they do spread the majority of germs. ;-}

[ Parent ]
the worst part is...
... that I'm heading for the hospital in January! :-\ I have to get my hip replaced, and only just now (1/1/13) got insurance, so I have to do this in the flu season. If I'd had my head on straight, I'd have done it sooner... but denial is an amazing thing. :-}

[ Parent ]
CIDRAP: (US) Carolinas found influenza B with reduced Tamiflu susceptibility in 2010-11
During the 2010-11 flu season both North Carolina and South Carolina recorded elevated levels of an uncommon influenza B strain that has reduced susceptibility to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), (Snip). Of the B viruses submitted from the two states to the CDC, 45 (22%) of 209 from North Carolina and 8 (10%) of 82 from South Carolina had the I221V neuraminidase substitution, which confers lowered susceptibility, but not resistance, to oseltamivir. In comparison, 3 (0.3%) of 881 B viruses from 45 other states had the substitution.

(Snip) the I221V viruses did not affect illness severity. (Snip) North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (Snip) assured physicians and their patients that antiviral treatment still worked against the viruses, which showed no reduced susceptibility to the other common neuraminidase inhibitor, zanamivir (Relenza). Continued with links: 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


US: Flu Cases Up in County (Missouri)
The Franklin County Health Department is reporting 60 cases of flu as of Tuesday. This is much higher than the two cases that were reported in the county this time last year, said Tony Buel, epidemiology specialist with the health department.

"It's starting to pick up in December," Buel said. But he said, "It's not an epidemic yet."

The cases include influenza A and B, and they are being reported in all age ranges and cities in the county. The two strains have similar symptoms, Buel noted.


One hospitalization, but no deaths, have been reported due to the flu this year, he said.


He did not know why it may be showing up earlier this year, but he said there have been other years when it has come this early.


Franklin County's flu incident rate is similar to what is being seen across the state, he said. It appears the flu will be widespread across the state, he said. http://www.emissourian.com/art...

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


Egypt: 5-year analysis shows antigenic drift in H5N1 viruses
An analysis of H5N1 avian flu strains isolated from Egyptian patients from 2007 through 2011 found little evidence of reassortment but substantial antigenic drift, according to a report yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

US and Egyptian investigators sequenced the complete genomes of 59 H5N1 virus isolates and 13 hemagglutinin (HA) genes sequenced directly from clinical specimens of 72 patients. "We found minimal evidence of reassortment and no exotic introductions," they wrote. "The hemagglutinin genes of the viruses from 2011 formed a monophyletic group within clade 2.2.1 that also included human viruses from 2009 and 2010 and contemporary viruses from poultry; this finding is consistent with zoonotic transmission." While they found little evidence of reassortment, they observed "substantial antigenic drift" when they performed HA inhibition tests using ferret antisera and compared results against a panel of H5N1 viruses. Egypt confirmed 158 human H5N1 cases during the study period.


Microevolution of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Viruses Isolated from Humans, Egypt, 2007-2011


United we stand: Divided we fall

Two Persons Dlie of Bird Flu in Jogja
December 16, 2012
Yogyakarta, Indonesia: The case of bird flu (H5N1) in the DIY in the past four months has left two people dead.  Both come from the Sleman district where one person tested positive for H5N1, and the other one is a suspect H5N1.  Head of Disease Control and Health Issues (P2MK) DIY Health Department Daryanto Chadorie revealed that one positive case of H5N1 occurred about four months ago in the area of Prambanan, Sleman.  The patient was a man about 39 years old who died in Bethesda hospital.

"The other one is still a suspect H5N1 case, a toddler.  Blood samples also were sent to health laboratories in Jakarta last week. Yet until now there has been no result," he said, Sunday (16/12)

According to him, because of the deaths of two people with bird flu, the case should have been declared an Extraordinary Incident (KLB).  However, the decision to declare the outbreak is contained in each county/city.

"Although there has been no declaration of bird flu outbreaks, the handling is done as an outbreak of bird flu in Prambanan.  When patients tested positive for bird flu, the epidemiological investigation (began) immediately," he said.

Meanwhile, the case of the death of a toddler allegedly because of AI was also expressed last week by H5N1 Team Prevention H5N1 Dr Dr. Dr. Sardjito Sumardi, SpPD (K).

"A week ago there was information that the infant suspected of bird flu would be referred to the department of Sleman Sardjito.  However not yet (before he) reached the department of Dr. Sardjito, the patient died. Due to the death not (occurring in) Dr Dr Sardjito, then we did not do a sample," he added.

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

Smuggled poultry from China carries bird flu virus, antibiotics: Vietnam official
A senior agriculture official said Tuesday that most Chinese chicken smuggled into Vietnam -- at very low prices -- carry the bird flu virus and excessive amounts of antibiotics.

Dam Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the Animal Health Department, said more than 60 percent of samples taken from Chinese chickens at the Lang Son border have H5N1, posing a "very high risk of spreading the disease in the country." He said the chicken is likely to affect consumers' health anyway since all the samples had higher antibiotics levels than permitted.

The import is mostly of old hens that no longer lay eggs, and are considered "junk" and end up as animal feed in China or developed countries. (Snip) 70,000 to 100,000 tons of such chickens are smuggled across the border every year.


Agricultural authorities have begun to crack down on this long-existing problem, but around 50,000 chickens are still smuggled into Vietnam every week, Thanh said.


Thailand's CP Group, Malaysia's Emivest, and Indonesia's Japfa Comfeed Tbk, the three foreign-invested companies that have been buying from farmers in Vietnam, said they have struggled with selling local chicken at lower than their cost prices. http://www.thanhniennews.com/2...

(Note The fact that the H5N1 infected chickens being smuggled into Vietnam are alive really concerns me. As I always say, "When the poultry and the birds stop dying then we humans are in trouble!" H5N1 will be a human flu instead of a bird flu then. JMO)

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


Nepal: Authorities swing into action after KFC mess
DHADING: A day after the revelation that the KFC, an international chain restaurant, has been importing chicken from India, authorities today swung into action by issuing strict instructions to all quarantine check posts across the country to monitor the inflow of chicken.

Central Livestock Quarantine Office today confirmed that it had issued directives to the concerned offices. Dr Bodh Prasad Parajuli, chief at the Central Livestock Quarantine Office, said his office has decided to implement the decision to tighten the check up after the government banned on the import of the chickens following the detection of bird flu in the Capital and other parts of the country.

Parajuli said his office had issued necessary instructions to quarantine offices to beef up the security check up. According to him, his office has also issued directive to quarantine offices to pay special vigil on birds and animal-related matters.

Twenty-four quarantine check posts located across the country will carry out the check up of animals and animal related materials.

Chicken farmers of Dharke, Dhading, had destroyed about 5,104 kg of chicken loaded in two containers yesterday.

The Livestock Service Department Deputy Director Dr Ramkrishna Khatiwada said they had destroyed the chickens after it was confirmed that they were imported from India as per the local farmers' demand. Continued: http://thehimalayantimes.com/f...

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 December 17, 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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