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News Reports for January 6, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 19:56:19 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!

• Beijing, the first time in three years, reports a high in (influenza) (translated) (Link)
• Two Chinese women die from swine flu (Link)

• No Cause for Alarm Over H5N1 Outbreak in Indonesia (Link)

• Unidentified severe respiratory infections (Link)

• ProMED: Undiagnosed disease, livestock - Pakistan: (SD), RFI (Link)

United Kingdom
• Flu outbreak to hit Britain after massive increase in cases of deadly virus (and we still aren't over winter vomiting bug) (Link)

United States
• Flu cases rise across US, severe season feared (Link)
• NBC News Report Video: Flu season escalates from bad to worse (Link)
• US: Flu Activity Still Picking Up (Link)
• Severe Flu Strain 2013 (Map) Influenza A H3N2 Spreading Across US (Link)
• IL: Flu Hitting Chicago Earlier and Harder This Season, Experts Say (Link)
• OK: Flu season continues growing in Oklahoma (Link)
• TN: Flu seems curiously cagey this season (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for January 6, 2013

News for January 5, 2013 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 December 17, 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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No Cause for Alarm Over H5N1 Outbreak in Indonesia
January 6, 2013
Bernama, Malaysia:  The health ministry has assured Sabah residents that there was no cause for alarm over the H5N1 bird flu virus outbreak involving poultry in neighboring Indonesia.  Deputy Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the situation was under control and that various efforts and preventive measures were being undertaken by the ministry and relevant agencies.

"The bird flu in Indonesia is under control and no case has been reported in Sabah," she told reporters when met at the 1Malaysia Astro Youth Fiesta carnival here Saturday.

The Papar member of parliament said the ministry was also collaborating with the local immigration department to monitor the entry of illegal immigrants into the state.

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

Flu cases rise across US, severe season feared
Flu season descended on the United States early and hard this winter, with significant increases in flu activity observed over the past month, according to an update issued Jan. 4 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the latest CDC statistics, which run through Dec. 29, a total of 41 states were reporting widespread flu activity. There have been 18 flu-related deaths of children so far.

According to the CDC, the proportion of people seeing their health care provider with influenza-like-illness in the U.S. has been elevated for four consecutive weeks, rising from 2.8 to 5.6 percent during that time period.

"We did get off to an earlier start than we usually see," said Tom Skinner, spokesman for the CDC. "As we have moved into the end of December and January, activity has really picked up in a lot more states."

Last year's flu season was relatively mild, Skinner noted. "We would expect this year's flu season will be more severe than last year, but how severe it's too early to say," he said.

Flu season usually peaks in late January or early February, Skinner said, but by November the flu was already severe and widespread in some parts of the South and Southeast.

Farther north, activity has escalated in the Mid-Atlantic states, including Virginia, in addition to Illinois and Rhode Island. Continued: http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail...

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


US: Flu season continues growing in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is one of 41 states that the CDC said is seeing the flu all over.


According to the CDC, last week 64 people in Oklahoma were hospitalized with the flu. That brings the flu season total to 171. So far two people in Oklahoma have died.

At Ardmore's Convenient Care Clinic physician assistant Brian Williams said he's seen at least 10 flu-positive patients a day. "We've been seeing quite a few," Williams said. "And if we're seeing 70 in a day and 10 of them are positive for influenza, that's a good portion."

Some doctors have said this year's flu vaccine is a good match for the strains going around, but Williams said it hasn't covered some of the strains he's seeing. "There's oftentimes a couple of different strains that may be going about," he said. "It might have helped with one, but we've been seeing that it hasn't helped with a lot of our patients." Continued: http://www.kxii.com/news/headl...

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


US: Flu season escalates from bad to worse
The major strain circulating this year is making patients especially sick, and in some cases it has proven deadly.

NBC News Report Video http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nig...  

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


US: Flu Hitting Chicago Earlier and Harder This Season, Experts Say (Illinois)
CHICAGO - The flu has hit the Windy City earlier than any time in the previous five years and it's showing no sign of letting up, as hospitalizations increase and reported cases of the highly contagious viral infection continue to climb.

"So far, it's just going up," Julie Morita, medical director for the Chicago Department of Public Health's immunization program, said of the number of cases in the city. "Typically the flu increases in January or later, but this is the earliest we've seen in at least the past five years."

Between Sept. 30 and Dec. 22, there were 48 patients hospitalized in intensive care units citywide, according to city records. There have been two deaths so far this flu season. During the same time frame last year, only one person went to an ICU with the flu, and that didn't happen until mid-December.

Outpatient visits are up, too. "Typically less than 3 percent of doctor and outpatient clinic visits are for the flu and now we're at 5 percent," she said. " ... The important message is that we're seeing it early and people are getting sick." Continued: http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago...

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


US: Flu Activity Still Picking Up
Not surprisingly, flu activity is still picking up across the United States.

After weeks of rising levels of flu activity, the CDC reports that we are "nearing what have been peak levels" of influenza-like illness in past flu seasons that have been moderately severe.

Does that mean that we are near the peak of this year's flu season? Although it is everyone's hope that flu season will soon peak and quickly return to low levels, this year's flu season offers a good reminder that the flu can be very unpredictable.

"While we can't say for certain how severe this season will be, we can say that a lot of people are getting sick with influenza and we are getting reports of severe illness and hospitalizations," says Bresee, who is Chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in CDC's Influenza Division.

Specifically, the CDC is reporting:
•widespread flu activity in 41 states (up from 31 states last week)
•regional flu activity in just 7 states (down from 14 states last week)
•local and sporadic activity in just 1 state (down from 5 states last week)
•2 new pediatric flu deaths, bringing the total to 18 pediatric flu deaths for the 2012-13 flu season

And since the CDC states that "based on past experience it's likely that flu activity will continue for some time," this is still a good time to get a flu vaccine if you haven't had one yet. Continued: http://pediatrics.about.com/b/...

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


China: Beijing the first time in three years, reports a high in

WASHINGTON City CDC yesterday released the latest outbreak, the city reported a total of two cases of deaths in a stream, from December 27 last year to January this year, a 22-year-old history of anemia; a aged 65-year-old, suffering from oncological diseases. This is a city for the first time since 2010, report of deaths in a stream.


According to reports, the first case of a flow of patients who died was 22-year-old migrant woman (Snip) (who) had just arrived in Beijing to work. History of anemia, poor immunity. December 25th, the woman suffering from respiratory diseases, cough symptoms. 26th high fever, 27th asthmatic symptoms, sudden difficulty in breathing that night, (admitted to) Chaoyang hospital and was diagnosed with viral pneumonia. Subsequent patient soon appear symptoms of acute respiratory failure, pulmonary edema and passed away less than a week's time from onset (of symptoms). The Hospital laboratory testing them, diagnosed with influenza A H1N1 virus infection. According to epidemiological investigation, the woman without a history of poultry contact (Snip).

This year (Jan. 2013), the city's first deaths in a patient were a 65-year-old women. The patient was diagnosed last September with advanced myeloma. October (with) recurrent disease, was admitted to the Department of Hematology, Chaoyang Hospital (for) treatment. December 25th the patients had symptoms of cough, chest tightness, on January 28 this year sicker, died on Jan. 4. (Positive) laboratory tests for influenza A H1N1 virus infection.


The Beijing CDC main Rendeng Ying, with the city's cold weather this winter influenza incidence the highest level since 2008. Influenza virus raging (Snip) (with both) the H1N1 influenza virus and influenza A (H3N2) influenza virus (Snip).

ILI incidence level in the city, according to City CDC monitoring started to rise since December 2012, has entered a peak period, and will continue to maintain a high level of activity. (It's) not excluded from school nurseries, collective units and the possibility of the fever epidemic influenza caused by concentrated crowded places. (Snip) Influenza (has) caused severe cases and deaths.


City weather continues cold temperatures (Snip). Experts have warned that the public should raise awareness to prevent an attack of the flu, keep warm, timely additional clothing, to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene, washing hands, pay attention to timely ventilation window; particular attention to the frail elderly and children, as far as possible less than crowded (areas) , polluted air spaces, and is not recommended (to work if) sick. To the hospital, it is recommended to wear masks. City still own expense influenza vaccination, people in need of (it) can go (to) inoculation point (to be) vaccinated against influenza. http://finance.china.com.cn/in... of cases of influenza deaths in a stream  

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


China: Two Chinese women die from swine flu
Two Chinese women have died from the H1N1 flu strain in Beijing in the past 10 days,(Snip) the first reported deaths from the virus in China's capital since 2010. A 65-year-old cancer patient died on Friday and a 22-year-old migrant worker died on Dec. 27, (Snip)

Flu cases in Beijing are at their highest level in five years and the H1N1 strain has become the most dominant, the centre's director Deng Ying said. The rise in cases corresponds with weeks of record low temperatures in Beijing and across much of China.


Initial World Health Organization estimates put the number of deaths from that global outbreak at around 18,500, but a study published last June said the death toll was likely to have been between 284,500 and 579,000 people. http://www.worldbulletin.net/?...

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


[ Parent ]
US: Flu seems curiously cagey this season (Tennessee)
Americans are battling a severe bout of flu that has arrived earlier than expected, leaving many pharmacy shelves and clinics lacking flu vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control each year monitor flu strains around the world to determine which will circulate in the United States. This year's vaccine targets three strains: two strains of Influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2), one of Influenza B, according to the CDC.

But local doctors are seeing a sizeable number of patients with influenza-like illnesses, or ILI, who have received flu shots.

"The flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it's about 60 to 70 percent effective for healthy individuals and even less effective for elderly people or people with low immune systems," said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.

According to the CDC's latest report ending on Dec. 29, the flu is widespread in 41 states, including Tennessee, which means the flu has been seen throughout the state. In addition, Tennessee and several Southeastern states have a high rate of ILI, which better depicts how active the flu is in the area. "It's certainly more apparent this season," said Dr. Cori McKean, an emergency physician at TriStar Summit Medical Center.

A Tennessee Department of Health report on Dec. 29 showed that of approximately 3,600 patients statewide complaining of flu symptoms, 8 percent, or about 290, had ILI. That's up from 6.79 percent the previous week. The most common strain in the state was the H3N2.

"We've seen them consistently, I get at the least one or two positive flu tests each day," McKean said. "I don't know if it's a strain that isn't protected by the vaccine or if it's not as strong, but we've seen several cases of people coming down with it who got their flu shots."

Skinner said there are several reasons people who have received the flu shot may still get the flu.

"People who got the shot may have been exposed to the virus before their shot - and it takes two weeks for the vaccine to work - or they could have gotten a virus that isn't protected by the flu," Skinner said. "But somebody who gets vaccinated tends to have a less severe bout of flu."

As schools resume from winter break, educators are doing what they can to promote hygiene and keep viruses such as the flu from spreading. Continued: http://www.tennessean.com/arti...  

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


Mexico: Unidentified severe respiratory infections
Five Babies Die, 41 Ailing with Respiratory Infections in Mexico

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico - At least five children less than a year old have died in the past few hours and 41 others are suffering severe respiratory infections in a highly marginalized area of the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, officials said Saturday.


To take charge of the emergency, Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco designated the head of the Health Secretariat.

Three health-care brigades also arrived in the community to attend patients and apply preventive measures, including vaccinations to ward off a possible epidemic.

full story

United we stand: Divided we fall

UK: Flu outbreak to hit Britain after massive increase in cases of deadly virus
(and we still aren't over winter vomiting bug)

*Number of people visiting their GP has risen by 50 per cent in two weeks

*This comes as UK still recovers from the worst norovirus outbreak in years

Britain could be hit with a major outbreak of flu after doctors reported a massive increase in cases of the potentially deadly virus. Health experts have revealed that the number of people visiting their GPs has increased by almost 50 per cent in two weeks.

This comes as the UK is still recovering from the worst norovirus outbreak in years - with 1.1 million people struck down by the winter vomiting bug.

Yesterday, the Health Protection Agency revealed that consultation rates in England rose from 23 per 100,000 in mid December to 33 per 100,000 in the week ending December 30. Meanwhile, 2.1 per cent of the calls received by NHS Direct concerned flu compared to 1.6 per cent the previous week. However, it is feared the situation could be far worse because many GP surgeries were closed over the festive period.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory disease department at the HPA said: 'The latest data should be interpreted with caution due to GP practices being closed on the bank holidays which may have impacted on GP consultation rates. Continued: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea...

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


ProMED: Undiagnosed disease, livestock - Pakistan: (SD), RFI
Much to the horror of the animal bearers, a large number of deaths have been reported within a week in Ghotki and Sukkur [Sindh province]. According to the villagers buffaloes and cows feel congested in breathing and die in a short time span. The sudden death of buffaloes, cows, and goats has forced the breeders to watch their means of livelihood die in front of their eyes. Moreover, some 1.5 million domestic animals are believed to be suffering from this unknown disease.

I [reporter Hashim Abro] appeal to the President of Pakistan to direct the concerned provincial departments to set up campus for the treatment of the domestic animals in the affected districts and also direct the veterinary doctors to make regular visits to the villages throughout the province so as save the domestic animals, which become a sole source of income and livelihood for poverty and sorrow-stricken villagers in the rural areas of Sindh province.

Communicated by: ProMED-mail

Official confirmation of an actual acute health problem in the Sindhi livestock (cattle, buffaloes, goats) and available results of any veterinary investigations applied, will be appreciated. In the absence of epidemiological or detailed clinical information, toxicological, environmental, as well as infectious causes deserve to be considered. - Mod.AS 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


Severe Flu Strain 2013 (Map) Influenza A H3N2 Spreading Across US
A severe flu strain has hit the US and is spreading to start the year 2013.

As of Dec. 29, 2012 the CDC categorized the illness as "widespread" in 41 states and 7 other states are seeing regional activity. Influenza A H3N2 was the most commonly detected influenza subtype nationwide.


States with widespread influenza: (See map)

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Continued: http://www.nationalledger.com/...

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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