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News Reports for February 10, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 18:29:06 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!

• As Swine Flu Spreads In Parts Of India, Bangladesh Health Officials On Alert (Link)

• Two infected with bird flu in southwest China  (Link)

• Delhi: Nine more cases of swine flu in Capital (Link)
• Uttar Pradesh: Special wards ready, drugs stocked to fight swine flu (Link)
• Haryana: Faridabad pvt hospital docs clueless about swine flu? (Link)
• Swine flu spreading its tentacles, claims more lives across country (Link)

H5N1 outbreak in Kathmandu (Link)

United States
• Reported cases of flu down (Link)
• ProMED: Influenza, fraudulent treatments: Warning (FDA) - U.S. (translated) (Link)
• Flu, winter weather draining blood supply: Donors needed to build area reserves back up (Link)

• Mutant virus sparks bioethics debate (Link)

• Dodge the flu? It's also researchers' online game (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 10, 2013

News for February 9, 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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US: Reported cases of flu down
UNITED STATES -- (Snip) A new report shows the number of cases of the virus are declining.

The Centers for Disease Control say 38 states reported widespread flu activity last week. That's down from 42 states the week before.

(Snip) people are still struggling to fight the virus. Fifty-nine kids have died this flu season. http://centralny.ynn.com/conte...

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


ProMED: Influenza, fraudulent treatments: Warning (FDA) - U.S.

Flu season peaks, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to avoid fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat or cure the flu.

These products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They can be found online and in retail stores, and be marketed as dietary supplements or conventional drugs, foods (such as herbal teas), nasal sprays and devices (such as air filters and light therapies), the agency said in a news press.

"When a health threat emerges, fraudulent products appear almost overnight. Now, the so-called 'alternative' to the flu shot are popular with scammers," he said in the press release Gary Coody, coordinator national health fraud FDA.

(Snip) "these unproven products give consumers a false sense of security. No need to buy a product that claims to be an alternative to vaccine. Still have flu vaccine available, and it's not too late to get vaccinated. "

No counter drugs marketed legally to prevent or cure the flu, but there are legal counter products to reduce fever and relieve flu symptoms such as congestion and muscle pain (Snip).

There are two prescription drugs approved Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), which help fight the flu virus and could reduce the duration of illness. (Snip).


Reported by: Jaime R. Torres

(ProMED) Comment:

For reasons not yet understood, most people tend to believe more in scientific charlatans. Thus has emerged worldwide a kind of boom in alternative therapies, which offer wonderful cures, without positive results. This type of 'treatments' are strongly supported by huge advertising campaigns that generate a significant impact on the population. Perhaps part of the problem is we do not know how to reach people with a message loud and clear. Maybe people confuse our technical terms, while advertisers and other scammers convey messages easily. It is the duty of the health authorities, as governing bodies and we, as health professionals responsible for the direct care to people, communicate and educate the community about health issues with a clear and simple language.  http://beta.promedmail.org/dir...

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


India: Nine more cases of swine flu in Capital (Delhi)
New Delhi - Nine more people were tested positive for swine flu in the Capital on Saturday, taking the total number of people infected with the deadly H1N1 virus to 73.

So far, three people have succumbed to the disease in Delhi -- one death in January and two in February. "Although the number of cases is rising, there is no panic yet. The cases are coming from all over the city and there is no specific trend or concentration of cases in any particular area to trigger fears," said Dr AK Walia, Delhi health minister.

Of the nine new cases, two cases have been reported from Sir Gangaram Hospital and Jaipur Golden Hospital and one each from Apollo, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Safdarjung Hospital, National Centre for Disease Control and Aashlok Hospital in Safdarjung Enclave.

"People should not panic as medicines are available for the treatment of the disease and, most importantly, it is not a life-threatening disease if one reports to the hospital in time," said Dr Walia.

He had convened an emergency meeting last week to designate hospitals for treatment of patients affected by the H1N1 influenza virus.


The Delhi government has designated 22 hospitals, including five private ones, for the treatment of swine flu-affected patients.

"All designated hospitals have been asked to keep enough ventilators in isolation wards so that patients can be given required intervention at any time. The supply of Tamiflu, the only designated drug for H1N1 treatment, is also steady and there is no shortage," (Snip) http://www.hindustantimes.com/...

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


India: Special wards ready, drugs stocked to fight swine flu (Uttar Pradesh)
LUCKNOW: The sudden change of weather has led to upsurge of swine flu cases in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) putting hospitals on alert mode. At least four persons have been tested H1N1 positive at King George's Medical University (KGMU) in last six weeks. Though none of the patients have been admitted, doctors revisited the isolation wards meant for swine flu patients on Saturday. Over 40 cases of swine flu have been reported in the national capital so far.

Chief medical superintendent KGMU, Dr S N Shankwar said, "All swine flu patients need not be admitted. Only those with breathing problem are under medical supervision and the remaining sent back home with a list of precautions they should take.''

Dr Shankwar added, "There is no need to panic. In case swine flu hits the city, we have adequate arrangements and state-of-the art labs for proper testing.'' Six beds in the Gandhi ward will be isolated if swine flu cases are reported at KGMU. Continued: 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: Faridabad pvt hospital docs clueless about swine flu? (Haryana)
Even after a sharp upsurge in swine flu cases north India, the death of 34-year old Manish Kapoor in the Org Central Hospital and Research Hospital (Org) in Faridabad has raised the critical questions as to how private hospitals still do not know to respond to this illness.

Kapoor, (Snip) went to Pulse Hospital with high temperature on January 27. Pulse Hospital is run by Dr Rajeev Choudhary, MD (medicine), who was not present on that day but his compounder prescribed Kapoor a number of antibiotics.

The fever did not subside and Kapoor went back to the facility on January 29 where Chaudhary put him on a drip. (Snip) "The next day he was back complaining of a bad cough. Dr Choudhary put him on a nebuliser. His condition continued to deteriorate and we rushed him to the OCHRH (Snip)."

(Snip) "He was admitted to the ICU because we found that his SPO 2 (saturation on oxygen) levels were low and he was presumed to be suffering from bronchial pneumonia."

Kapoor's condition continued to deteriorate. On February 1, he was put on ventilator and he died the following day. The question his family members are repeatedly asking the hospital authorities is why his blood test was not done at the very start of his treatment. "When Manish was admitted, the hospital took an X-ray of his chest. A blood test was conducted only on February 1 evening and the result confirming that he had swine flu was given to us an hour after he died," said Taruna.

Defending his decision to do a blood test five days after he started treatment, Chaudhary said, "We suspected he had swine flu on February 1 which is when we decided for a blood test. The results of H1N1 take between 24 and 48 hours and we got the result only on February 2."

Kapoor's family insists that a timely diagnosis could have saved his life, especially, since swine flu is curable but Dr M. Gautam, medical superintendent of Org, claims that the patient was brought in a serious condition and the "hospital did its best". Continued: http://www.asianage.com/delhi/...

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


India: Swine flu spreading its tentacles, claims more lives across country
New Delhi: Two fresh cases of swine flu were reported in Noida, Uttar Pradesh; one person died in Rajkot, Gujarat, while the number of cases rose to 37 in Faridabad, Haryana, on Saturday. The state of Uttarakhand is on high alert. The state has not reported a single case of swine flu so far.

Uttar Pradesh: Two fresh cases in Noida

Two fresh cases of swine flu were on Saturday reported from a private hospital in Noida. A woman and a man were found H1N1 positive at Kailash Hospital, ICU in charge Dr Anil Gurnani said. The condition of the man was stated to be critical. Earlier, one case of swine flu was reported by Max Hospital and another by Sector 62 hospital.

Gujarat: One dies of suspected swine flu, five more test positive

In Rajkot, a 37-year-old person admitted to Civil Hospital with swine flu symptoms died on Saturday even as five more persons tested positive for the H1N1 virus, hospital sources said. Yusuf Ahemad, a native of Junagadh, was admitted to Rajkot Civil hospital on Friday night with swine flu symptoms, sources said.

His blood sample was sent for lab testing and the report was yet to be received but the patient died in the morning, they said. Meanwhile, five persons, including two women, tested positive for H1N1 virus on Saturday, taking the total number of patients to have tested positive to 18 this month, sources added.

Haryana: Number of suspected cases rises to 37 in Faridabad

In Faridabad, two new suspected swine flu cases were registered on Saturday in ESI hospital taking the number of persons affected with the virus to 37 across the district. Among such cases, 11 of them has been declared positive by the Health Department. One youth has died of swine flu in the district so far.

"Taking the situation into consideration, all Employees State Insurance (ESI) hospitals and dispensaries have been put on alert," said Mukesh Kanswal, civil surgeon, ESI health care centre. As a special precautionary measure, the hospital authorities has created a special four-bed isolation ward for swine flu cases, Kanswal said. Continued: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/swi...

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


Nepal: H5N1 outbreak in Kathmandu
KATMANDU, Feb 10: The rapid response team deployed by the District Veterinary Clinic, Kathmandu on Saturday culled all the remaining 2,610 chickens following confirmation of H5N1 virus in the poultry farm (Snip). The team that comprises vets and technicians also destroyed 1,000 kg of chicken feeds stored in the farm.
The outbreak is the fourth in the last one-and-a-half months in the district, said the Directorate of the Animal Health (DoAH).

"Of the 4,000 chickens in the farm, the rapid response team has culled 2, 610," said Dr Narayan Prasad Ghimire, senior veterinarian at DoAH, adding, "The remaining chickens died of infection."


A surveillance team had brought the samples on Friday morning for the analysis. Tandukar had informed the veterinary officials after scores of chickens started to die in his farm.

Dr Ghimire said that the risk of H5N1 virus spread is high during winter and hence the need for extra precaution. The directorate has urged all poultry farmers to take good care of the fowls. Fowls avoiding feed, standing still with head down and excreting saliva could be symptoms of H5N1 virus infection, said Ghimire.

DoAH said that the team has also completed first phase of disinfection at the farm. It has also urged poultry farmers to immediately inform vet officials if chickens started to die. DoAH, Kathmandu said it has intensified surveillance.


Meanwhile, DoAH has said that people can consume chicken and eggs without any hesitation, as all the infected chickens have been culled. The office has also appealed people to cook the chicken properly before eating. http://www.myrepublica.com/por...  

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


Two infected with bird flu in southwest China

Sunday, February 10, 2013 9:26 a.m. CST

BEIJING (Reuters) - Two people in southwest China have tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus and are critically ill, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, citing the Chinese health ministry.

A 21-year-old woman and 31-year-old man in Guiyang had tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus on Sunday after developing symptoms on February 2 and February 3 respectively, Xinhua cited health authorities as saying.

"They are in critical condition and medical workers are carrying out emergency treatment,
" the health ministry was quoted as saying. "No epidemiological connections have been found between the two cases."

Millions of Chinese are currently travelling in crowded buses and trains across the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year, raising the risk of the spread of infectious diseases.

People who had close contact with the patients are under medical observation but none have fallen ill, the news agency said.

The pair did not have contact with fowls before they fell ill,
Xinhua said. In most cases, victims had direct contact with infected birds, mostly chickens. The virus is especially abundant in the faeces and respiratory secretions of affected birds.


(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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

This news story is concerning
1.  No reported contact with poultry
2.  Two cases in the same province, with symptoms beginning a day apart, after no cases reported in China since last May
3.  Occurring at the start of the New Year celebration

[ Parent ]
Thanks, bgw in MT
Great job finding this.

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


[ Parent ]
Dodge the flu? It's also researchers' online game

Online game delves into why some people take risks while others are more proactive

By Reid Creager
Posted: Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013

Wake Forest economics professors Amanda Griffith and Frederick Chen led a study -- involving an online game -- about why people don't get flu vaccines.


In an effort to learn more about what motivates people to protect themselves from infection, a team of Wake Forest University researchers is using an online game that simulates the spread of an infectious disease among its players. The project - by economists Fred Chen, Amanda Griffith and Allin Cottrell, and computer scientist Yue-Ling Wong - is "ultimately a study of human behavior," Chen said.

The team is excited about the study because it shows how people act in various decision-making situations, such as whether to get a flu shot, as opposed to relying on what they say about how they're going to act. Wake Forest says it's the first study in the economics of disease control using virtual diseases.

When studying how best to contain epidemics, scientists and policymakers often must make assumptions about how many people will or won't take preventive measures to keep from getting sick. The virtual epidemic experiment shows how people really behave when faced with choices about whether to self-protect during a widespread infection in a community.

Researchers found in the baseline study that "players were rolling the dice to see if they could stay healthy without paying the costs of protection," Chen said. "But even those players who were more inclined to take risks chose to self-protect the more often they got sick."

Those results - which wouldn't come as a surprise to many - serve a purpose: "I want to do a lot of experiments using this virtual disease framework," Chen said. "This is the first set of experiments I ran, and I wanted to show that this is a valid protocol. If I had gotten something weird or totally unexpected, people might think that maybe this wasn't a great framework for doing experiments. ...

"The fact that we have very intuitive results is actually a good thing because it further validates our experimental framework. Although there are no experiments running currently, we are applying for funding to run more experiments."

[continued at link]

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

As Swine Flu Spreads In Parts Of India, Bangladesh Health Officials On Alert

With the number of H1N1 influenza cases and deaths increasing dramatically in some states of India this year, health officials in neighboring Bangladesh are on alert , according to a Xinhau report today.

Bangladesh map/CIA

Recent media reports out of India show that H1N1 is spreading significantly in some states. In the Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh areas, the total cases since January alone is 212. In addition, the death toll from the viral disease is reported at "43 deaths in 38 days", according to a recent Times of India report.


In Bangladesh, "We're closely monitoring the influenza situation in India so that we can go for more preventive measures like establishing checkpoints on borders on a short notice," Ahmed said.

Alamgir Hossain, a flu expert at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control & Research (IEDCR) does note, "There is nothing to be scared of the disease so much because we're now better prepared to treat patients infected with the virus. So far there is nothing to be worried at all."

Bangladesh has not reported any H1N1 influenza cases so far in February.

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

Flu, winter weather draining blood supply: Donors needed to build area reserves back up

Feb. 9, 2013 8:20 PM,

Written by
Adam B Sullivan
Iowa City Press-Citizen

This year's cold and flu season is hitting the local blood supply particularly hard, local officials say.


A sizable group of those who typically donate blood are having to opt out because of seasonal illnesses. That's something that happens every winter, but organizers say this year's dip seems bigger.

"It seems particularly bad this year for us," said Paula Dayton, donor recruitment coordinator at the University of Iowa DeGowin Blood Center. "It seems like of the donors on our schedule, we lose a few every day and our blood drive sponsors are saying their people are sick. It's affecting the number of blood products we're collecting."

At Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, spokesman Kirby Winn said usually about 75 percent of those with appointments to donate actually show up. Last month, though, that metric was down by as much as 10 or 20 percentage points.


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

Mutant virus sparks bioethics debate
In a storage facility in the Netherlands, a mutant virus has been locked in a freezer for more than a year, unaware of the global debate swirling around it.

As far as scientists know, this virus cannot be found anywhere else on Earth; it was engineered into existence. This strain - once described by its creator as "probably one of the most dangerous viruses you can make" - has sparked one of the most inflamed bioethics debates in recent memory, raising anxieties over bioterrorism, scientific censorship and the prospect of a manmade pandemic.

The researchers who created the strain insist it will help protect the world from a serious pandemic threat. Others think it poses a danger to mankind and should be destroyed.

On Jan. 23, an announcement by a group of scientists sprung the virus from its yearlong lockup. Soon, it will return to a high-security laboratory for scientists to study.

But the question at the heart of the controversy lingers: could this strain exist outside the laboratory? In September 2011, an announcement at a flu conference in Malta sent a jolt through the room and around the world.

Dr. Ron Fouchier, a virologist with the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, revealed early findings from his latest study on "highly pathogenic avian influenza A/H5N1," more commonly known as bird flu, avian flu or H5N1.


Experts worry about H5N1 adapting to travel on the gusts of coughs and sneezes, making it far more contagious. If it does, the virus could lose its lethality and cause mild disease. On the other hand, the planet could look like the inside of a poultry house ravaged by H5N1.

"You walk into a chicken house and the chickens are all dead," said Dr. Robert Webster, with the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, who is widely regarded as the father of influenza virology. "That's what's at the very back of our minds." Continued: 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


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