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News Reports for February 4, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 18:13:18 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!

• Argentina: Flu detected in patients in the hospital of Carmen de Areco (translated) (Link)
• Gov't denies Swine Flu outbreak, suggests flu shot before visiting US (Link)
• Carmen de Areco: the last batch of samples sent to Malbrán was compatible with influenza A (translated) (Link)

• Punjab: 3 H1N1 cases reported (Link)
• Punjab: City resident among 2 swine flu casualties (Link)
• Kashmir: Swine Flu hits again: One dies due to Influenza-A H1Ni virus at SKIMS (Link)

• Second swine flu death registered in Moldova (Link)

Palestinian Territories
• Tens of Fatalities from Swine Flu in PA Autonomous Areas (Link)

United States
• CDC: Flu activity still up in U.S. in fourth week of 2013 (Link)

• How to make a flu vaccine (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 4, 2013

News for February 3, 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 January 16, 2013
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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Palestine: Tens of Fatalities from Swine Flu in PA Autonomous Areas
Israeli health officials confirm that four people have died of swine flu to date this winter season, adding the fears are not over as there are still patients with the illness hospitalized in Israel. Adding to the concerns of Israeli health officials is the news of over two dozen swine flu-related deaths in PA (Palestinian Authority) autonomous areas. PA health officials on Sunday morning 23 Shevat 5773 reported 27 swine flu fatalities this year. PA hospitals seem to be suffering from more overcrowding that in Israel, reporting 700 patients have been diagnosed with the illness, 40 listed in serious condition.

The IDF's Coordinator of Activities in the Territories has arranged for six of the seriously ill swine flu patients to be transferred from PA to Israeli hospitals. (Snip) Israel has handed over 35,000 doses of the vaccine to the PA (Snip).


In Israel, there are 11 diagnosed cases in which the victims are listed in serious condition, intubated in a medically-induced coma.

This includes an 18-month-old Toddler in Meir Hospital. Officials at Meir report two males and two females are also in an intensive care unit (Snip). There is a 60-year-old male in Beilinson Hospital (Petach Tikvah) and a 60 and 40-year-old males in Rambam Medical Center (Haifa). http://www.theyeshivaworld.com...  

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


India: 3 H1N1 cases reported (Punjab)
CHANDIGARH: Three new cases of H1N1 were reported in the city on Sunday. These included one case from Sector 15 and two from Punjab. A one and a half year old child from Sector 15 has also been admitted in PGI. (Snip).

The number of cases reported at all the three government city hospitals in the city has risen to 55.

These include seven deaths (Snip). http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

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


India: City resident among 2 swine flu casualties (Punjab)
LUDHIANA: A swine flu patient from the city and another from Rajasthan died at different hospitals in the city since Saturday night.

(Snip) Shivpuri resident Vijay Kumar, 32, died of swine flu at Christian Medical College and Hospital Saturday night. Balram Singh, 42, of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, was the other patient admitted at DMCH who succumbed to swine flu on Sunday morning.

"Eight patients from Ludhiana have tested positive for swine flu so far, and of these, two have died," (Snip) "There are 19 patients from other districts and states admitted in various hospitals in the city with swine flu. Of these, four have died so far," said Verma.

Test samples of three more patients suspected to be suffering swine flu have been sent to PGI (Snip). Continued:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

(Note: "Eight patients from Ludhiana have tested positive, of these, two have died" CFR of 25%. "19 patients from other districts, of these, four have died". CFR 21%.)

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


US: How to make a flu vaccine
As early as next year, more modern and more effective vaccines will hit the market, thanks to investments by the U.S. government and pharmaceutical companies.

And even bigger scientific advances are expected in the next decade, including a "universal" flu vaccine given every five to 10 years that would fight many strains of a virus, making annual shots all but obsolete.

Experts say it could take eight to 10 more years of testing before a universal flu vaccine would be ready. Meanwhile, they expect advances that could still incrementally improve the level of protection offered by vaccines and shorten manufacturing times.

New vaccines

In the last 12 months, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two new seasonal flu vaccines that protect against four predominant strains of flu instead of three. One is a shot made by GlaxoSmithKline and the other is a nasal spray made by AstraZeneca.

In late November, the FDA approved Novartis' new flu vaccine grown in cultures of dog kidney cells instead of the conventional chicken eggs, a faster and more reliable manufacturing process that could help build stockpiles in the event of a pandemic.

And this month, the FDA green-lighted the first gene-based flu vaccine by Protein Sciences Corp, which uses genetic engineering to grow portions of the virus in insect cells.

"This means there are going to be more manufacturers and more types of vaccine available in future flu seasons," said FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.

Pandemic fears

Flu vaccines have not been high-revenue generators for major pharmaceutical companies compared with big-selling drugs for diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. Vaccines are expensive to make, and the flu can mutate significantly from season to season. In a mild flu season, companies can be left with millions of unsold doses if the flu season is mild.

Interest in vaccines spiked after a particularly deadly strain of bird flu known as H5N1 re-emerged in 2003, raising the threat of a global pandemic that could kill millions. At the time, there were just two vaccine manufacturers located on U.S. soil.

A year later, U.S. flu vaccine supplies were devastated by contamination at a plant in Liverpool, England. That helped underscore the need for America to have its own manufacturing capabilities, said Robin Robinson, director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Part of the fear was that, in a pandemic, countries might be tempted to commandeer all flu vaccines made within their borders, leaving the U.S. exposed. "We needed to develop new vaccines using modern technologies that would make not only more vaccine available sooner, but also make it more effective," Robinson said.

Continued with much more: http://www.thestar.com/news/wo...

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


Argentina: Flu detected in patients in the hospital of Carmen de Areco
Only five days after the Ministry of Health of Buenos Aires has denied that the swine flu was the cause of the outbreak of an acute infection that affected 11 people in hospital in Carmen de Areco, the Ministry of Health's Office reported yesterday that the viral genome of influenza A virus was found in samples from four patients affected, which were analyzed at the Institute Malbrán. Although most affected patients evolved favorably, two hospital nurses who became infected were hospitalized in critical condition yesterday.

"Right now there is no disease viral circulation in Argentina", (Snip). "the first case of those that occurred in the hospital of Carmen de Areco correspond to a patient who entered the country with the virus from the United States and spread to people had contact only in the field of intensive care hospital. " America faces this winter flu epidemic of greater magnitude than the average, which is affecting particularly severe for the elderly.

The national health ministry said in a statement that "given the time of patient outcomes, the number of genome analyzed was low, so further studies will be required to complete to confirm these results."


Epidemiological studies will focus this week to confirm that the virus came from the United States, reported the ministry. What remains unknown is which strain of flu (it) is, (Snip).

Vaccine on the way

The official noted that "in late February will begin distribution of the new influenza vaccine (which is made from virus serotypes are circulating currently,) and which differ from those of last year's Case is Carmen de Areco an example of how health workers are exposed to the virus and they have to protect themselves, to avoid spreading it to patients. "

The ministry reported that patients affected by the outbreak in the hospital Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Buenos Aires city of Carmen de Areco, "had not received the flu vaccine."


Crovetto also noted that "this week will start in a progressive hospital Carmen de Areco, as different areas may be operational and can guarantee their safety."

Since the closure the intensive care unit of the hospital, where the outbreak occurred, not detected new cases of the disease. Continued: http://www.lanacion.com.ar/155...


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


sounds like media spin....
wow - this sounds almost like Cambodia and Asian countries in the spin... it's not, then it is... it's bad, then it's not... thanks for keeping on top of this, Carol.

[ Parent ]
Argentina: Gov't denies Swine Flu outbreak, suggests flu shot before visiting US
After four people were diagnosed with Swine Flu in a Carmen de Areco hospital, the head of the BA province Health Ministry's Primary Care office, Luis Crovetto, suggested that people planning on visiting the US should get a flu shot (Snip).

He also rejected rumours saying there was a Swine Flu outbreak in the country.

Regarding the patients currently being treated, (Snip) "one of them recently visited the US, and the Malbrán Institute is treating him to determine which virus strain they are dealing with."

(Snip) "neither the country nor the province are dealing with a Swine Flu outbreak" and said the population should not be worried.

He concluded by assuring that "every infected patient was treated quickly" and that no other cases were registered. http://www.buenosairesherald.c...

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


[ Parent ]
Argentina: Carmen de Areco: the last batch of samples sent to Malbrán was compatible with influenza A

The Ministry of Health of the Province of Buenos Aires reported that in the last batch of samples corresponding to four hospital patients "Nuestra Señora del Carmen", sent this week to the Institute Malbrán to be processed and analyzed, was found compatible with influenza genome A free classified.

Previous studies and the first batch of samples, corresponding to 7 patients had tested negative for influenza A. This is a total of 11 patients, of which 9 are employees of the hospital and the other two members of the community.

Note that as of date, no new cases were detected in the working population or hospital, or the community at large.

"Since the beginning of the problem, and even when results were not available, the Ministry of Health took preventive measures and locking action for this type of pathology," (Snip).

"The joint effort and work with the Ministry of Health of Nation, has allowed us to move forward day by day in the diagnostic investigation and continue therapy instituted from day one," he stressed Crovetto, who coordinated actions in blocking Carmen de Areco hospital.

Of the 11 hospitalized, two were discharged with personalized daily checks by phone. In the hospital of La Plata Rossi's two critically ill patients while other four are stable and progressing favorably.

(Snip) in the San Jose hospital also interned Parchment other two are also affected stable and improving. The same applies to another patient in the hospital Cetrángolo of Vicente Lopez. http://www.genteba.com.ar/comp...

(Note: The entire hospital in Carmen de Areco was evacuated and all patients and staff were moved to various hospitals. The illness was first classified as "unknown". That makes me very suspicious because evacuating everyone out of a hospital is very unusual. Right away the govenment said it wasn't swine flu because the test were negative. The first articles cited 10 nurses who worked in the intensive care unit were ill, along with 2 patients. Now they are saying 4 of these have tested positive for swine flu but aren't telling us anything on the other ones. Something about all this doesn't add up!)

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


[ Parent ]
Second swine flu death registered in Moldova
Chisinau. A second swine flu death was registered in Moldova (Snip).

26-year old man from Ungen, Moldova, was urgently transported to Chisinau. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and AH1N1. The man died in a hospital (Snip).

In the last week, a 62-year old woman from Floreshti died from an influenza virus. Since the beginning of the year, in Moldova, over 50 cases of the seasonal influenza virus have been registered. Most of them (Snip) in the region of Ungen. http://www.focus-fen.net/index...

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


CDC: Flu activity still up in U.S. in fourth week of 2013
Researchers from the CDC collected data from World Health Organization and National Respiratory and Enteric Surveillance System collaborating laboratories, located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, to examine the number of respiratory specimens tested for influenza during the fourth week of 2013.

The researchers found that 25.5 percent of the 10,581 specimens tested and reported were positive for influenza. Of these, 79.3 percent were influenza A (2.5 percent 2009 H1N1, 49.2 percent H3, and 48.3 percent subtyping not performed) and 20.7 percent were influenza B. During week four of 2013, 9.4 percent of all deaths were due to pneumonia and influenza, above the epidemic threshold of 7.4 percent. There were eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths. The cumulative rate of laboratory confirmed influenza-linked hospitalizations was 25.9 per 100,000 population; more than 50 percent of these were among adults aged 65 years and older. Nationwide, 4.2 percent of outpatient visits were due to influenza-like illness, which was above the national baseline of 2.2 percent. Widespread geographic influenza activity was reported in 42 states. Continued: http://medicalxpress.com/news/...

(Note: Why is the CDC having to get the data from the WHO in order to tell us what the flu status is in the US? Our CDC is government funded, which means it is tax payer funded and they are perfectly capable of collecting their own data on each state. Why is the WHO getting samples from every state? Why aren't they being sent to the CDC? Either I'm understanding this process wrong or something just doesn't add up and I don't like it! JMO)

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


India: Swine Flu hits again - One dies due to Influenza-A H1Ni virus at SKIMS (Kashmir)
SRINAGAR, Feb 4: After battling for life, for the last over a week, a middle aged man from Ganderbal today surrendered to Influenza-A H1N1 commonly known as Swine Flu here at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).

The deceased (Snip) was working as head assistant in administration department of the SKIMS. Confirming the cause of his death, Dr Showkat Zargar, director SKIMS, said the lungs of the deceased were completely damaged by the virus. "He was receiving artificial ventilation. Since his lungs were badly damaged, his life couldn't be saved," Dr Zargar informed, adding that the Institute has proper infrastructure and medicine available to cope up with the situation.

Sources in the health department revealed that there is heightened viral activity including that of Influenza -A H1N1 in Kashmir at present. "Many samples have been tested positive for this strain of virus," said a senior officer in the health department, pleading anonymity.

However, Director SKIMS observed that reports of a major swine flu outbreak are false and people need not panic as the situation is not as bad as it is made out to be by rumour-mongers. "The confusion among the people is mainly due to similarities between seasonal influenza and swine flu," Dr Zargar said adding that the symptoms for both the ailments are the same, and both H1N1 and the influenza virus affect the upper respiratory system.


On January 21, after detection of three swine flu cases in Kashmir, the Health Department had convened a high-level meeting to review the measures to identify the patients and provide them medical aid.


Dr Pervez Kaul, head of the department Medicine at SKIMS, who supervises the swine flu treatment at the SKIMS believes that prevention is the best cure for the people. "Off course, there is heightened viral activity in Kashmir including that of influenza A. One has to take precautions which otherwise are taken in other kind of infections particularly that of upper respiratory tract infections," Dr Kaul said. Continued: http://www.kashmirtimes.com/ne...

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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