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News Reports for February 11, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 18:29:55 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!

Bhutan
• Bhutan Reports HPAI in Sarpang (Link)

Cambodia
• Cambodian bird flu said difficult to stop (Link)

China
• Two stricken with bird flu in Guizhou (Link)
• Two test positive for bird flu H5N1 virus in China, health ministry reports (Link)

Germany
• Temporary ban placed after bird flu outbreak (Link)

India
• Delhi: 21 more test positive for swine flu (Link)
• Maharashtra: Doctors warn H1N1 may again be on its way back (Link)
• Rajasthan: Schools on alert against swine flu (Link)

Morocco
• Swine flu kills one in Western Sahara (Link)

Nepal
• Kathmandu: Over 6‚000 chickens culled as bird flu hits ninth farm (Link)
Bird flu detected in Jhapa (Link)

United Kingdom
• New SARS-like virus infects British patient in 10th case globally (Link)
• Man with rare Sars coronavirus in intensive care in Manchester (Link)

United States
• HHS invites more comments on possible select-agent status for H5N1 (Link)

Research
• Study: Oklahoma pig virus represents new influenza C subtype (Link)
• Flu virus weak spot found by Scripps Research scientists (Link)

Commentary
• Recombinomics: Novel Coronavirus H1N1pdm09 Dual Infection In UK Case (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 11, 2013

News for February 10, 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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China: Two stricken with bird flu in Guizhou
The mainland authorities say two people have been infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus in Guizhou. Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection said it was notified of the cases (Snip).

(Snip) a 21-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man are said to be in critical condition.

They did not report any obvious contact with poultry before developing symptoms.

The Centre for Health Protection says it's heightening its vigilance and will continue to maintain stringent port health measures. http://rthk.hk/rthk/news/engli...

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

     


Guizhou map link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl...

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

     


[ Parent ]
India: 21 more test positive for swine flu (Delhi)
NEW DELHI: Twenty-one people tested positive for swine flu on Sunday. Three cases each were reported from Safdarjung, Ram ManoharLohia and LokNayak hospitals. Among private hospitals, Max Hospital in Saket, Apollo Hospital in SaritaVihar and Fortis VasantKunj reported one case each.

A senior official in the state health department said at least seven patients were taking treatment at home. "One patient who was confirmed positive for swine flu got the tests done in Delhi and is admitted at Pushpanjali Crosslay Hospital in Ghaziabad," said the official. "Three people have died in swine flu in Delhi this year," he added. The Delhi government has designated 22 hospitals, including five private ones, for treatment of swine flu. 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: Doctors warn H1N1 may again be on its way back (Maharashtra)
MUMBAI: City doctors caution that the H1N1 virus may be back again and those at high risk should remain alert. With Pune losing five lives in a month's time to the influenza virus that caused a pandemic in 2009, doctors warn that the virus may have returned.

After affecting more than 358 people last year, the H1N1 virus remained dormant through November and December. Three patients have tested positive from the city in the past month but no death has been reported. In the same time, more than 54 tested positive in the state.

(Snip) seven deaths had been reported from the state, including five from Pune and one each from Aurangabad and Jalgaon. "Just like the rest of the country, we are also witnessing more cases of H1N1, but it is nothing unusual," he said, adding there might be more cases. (Snip) the state machinery was equipped to handle the situation if the virus starts affecting more people.

Both the 44-year-old woman and 31-year-old man from Mulund, who tested positive for H1N1 on Saturday, are stable. 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

     


Morocco: Swine flu kills one in Western Sahara
RABAT: A fisherman has died of swine flu in the Western Sahara region, where 11 others have been tested H1N1 positive, the Moroccan health ministry said on Sunday.

The victim, a 40-year-old, had been suffering from a "chronic disease" but the other 11 fishermen are not in serious condition, the ministry said in a statement. Continued: http://thestar.com.my/news/sto...

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

     


India: Schools on alert against swine flu (Rajasthan)
JAIPUR: Considering the rising number of swine flu cases, city-based schools have swung to action to prevent its spread. Some have started counseling parents and students while others have stopped morning prayers and are keeping a vigil on the health of students. Since 2009, every year during winter, the virus affects school students in large numbers even leading to closure of the institutes. School students especially of the primary section are highly vulnerable to H1N1 virus.

Having learnt the lessons from the past, the school authorities have directed their teachers to monitor the health and behaviour of students in classrooms to look for any signs of the disease.

(Snip) "We have sent circulars to parents and holding session in schools sanitizing both on the symptoms." Even some schools have taken extra efforts by fogging the entire school, while others have scheduled shows on H1N1 virus to spread the word. 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

     


CIDRAP: HHS invites more comments on possible select-agent status for H5N1
2/8/2013 - The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today it will take comments for another month on whether highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu viruses should be designated as HHS select agents.

(Snip) HHS officials said comments will be accepted until Mar 11. A select agent designation would mean that labs handling H5N1 viruses would have to register with HHS and meet special requirements for physical security and personnel screening and training.

(Snip). The comment period has been reopened because interested parties said they needed more time to present their views (Snip). http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

Feb 8 Federal Register notice  https://www.federalregister.go...

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

     


CIDRAP: Study: Oklahoma pig virus represents new influenza C subtype
2/8/2013 - An influenza virus that was recently identified in a sick pig in Oklahoma represents a new subtype of influenza C and suggests the possibility that type C viruses can evolve more rapidly than previously supposed, potentially posing an increased threat to humans, (Snip).

Flu C viruses (Snip) occasionally cause illness in children, but cases are much less common than with A and B viruses. The researchers (Snip) isolated an orthomyxovirus from a sick pig and determined that it had seven RNA segments with about 50% overall identity to human flu C viruses. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that the degree of difference between this virus, dubbed C/OK, and human flu C viruses was similar to that between human flu A and B viruses. Antibody testing showed little cross-reactivity between C/OK and human flu C viruses.

The new virus was able to infect both pigs and ferrets and spread to other animals by direct contact. The authors say their findings suggest that C/OK heralds a new flu C subtype. "This is significant, as co-circulation of multiple subtypes of influenza allows for rapid viral evolution through antigenic shift, a property previously only shown for influenza A viruses," (Snip).

"The ability of C/OK to infect ferrets along with the absence of antibodies to C/OK in humans, suggests that such viruses may become a potential threat to human health."
Continued for 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

     


Nepal: Over 6‚000 chickens culled as bird flu hits ninth farm
KATHMANDU: Team from the Department of Livestock Service have culled 6,060 chickens and destroyed 950 kg of poultry feed at a farm in Manamaiju-1, Nepaltar of Kathmandu on Monday after the bird flu was confirmed.

Bird flu was detected in the private poultry farm of local Subarna Basnet (Snip). The surveillance team is working at its fullest to find the bird flu virus H5N1 in the valley and other regions (Snip).

This is the ninth incident of bird flu in the Kathmandu Valley.

Earlier, numerous numbers of chickens and poultry feed were destroyed at the farm in Nayapati VDC of Kathmandu on Sunday after bird flu was confirmed. Continued: http://www.thehimalayantimes.c...

 

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

     


Nepal: Bird flu detected in Jhapa
JHAPA: Bird flu has been confirmed on fowls at a farm of a farmer at Anarmani VDC-1 in Jhapa district.

A test carried out at the Central Livestock Lab, Kathmandu, confirmed the bird flu on the fowls of the farm of Bhim Mukhiya as some 200 fowls started to die from the past few days.

(Snip)

A team comprising eight members including specialist doctor destroyed the remaining 30 fowls, carried out cleanliness of the coop and sprayed medicines this morning (Snip). http://thehimalayantimes.com/f...

(Note: Jhapa is several hundred miles from Kathmandu, which is the location of the last several outbreaks. Pan out on the map and you can see the distance between them: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl... )

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

     


[ Parent ]
New SARS-like virus infects British patient in 10th case globally
http://www.reuters.com/article...

By Kate Kelland
LONDON | Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:22am EST
(Reuters) - A new virus from the same family as SARS that sparked a global alert last September has been found in a further patient in Britain, health officials said on Monday. This latest case of infection with the new virus known as a coronavirus brings the total number of confirmed cases globally to 10, of which five have died.

The British patient, who had recently traveled to the Middle East and Pakistan, is receiving intensive care treatment in hospital in Manchester, northern England.

The new virus shares some of the symptoms of SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - a coronavirus which emerged in China in 2002 and killed about a tenth of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide. The symptoms include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties.

[snip]

Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) said among the 10 laboratory confirmed cases to date, five had been in Saudi Arabia, with three deaths; two were in Jordan, where both patients died; two were in Britain, where both are receiving treatment; and one was in Germany in a patient from Qatar who had since been discharged from medical care.

[snip]

Coronaviruses are typically spread like other respiratory infections, such as flu, travelling in airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The WHO said in September that from its initial investigations, it appeared this virus did not spread easily from person to person.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Pravin Char)


Cambodian bird flu said difficult to stop
http://www.upiasia.com/Top-New...

Published By United Press International
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Cambodian government has limited ability to control the outbreak of avian flu that has killed five people so far this year, health officials say.

The latest death, a 5-year-old girl, occurred Thursday, The Phnom Penh Post reported Monday.

The border between Cambodia and Vietnam is long and difficult for the countries to police, enabling free-range ducks that might carry the H5N1 virus to easily pass from village to village or from country to country, said Dr. Philippe Buchy, head of the virology unit at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge.

Sonny Krishnan, communications officer for WHO Cambodia, added that not only are Cambodian authorities unable to inspect all birds transported around the country, farmers have no incentives to report sick birds.

Poultry owners often don't worry about sick birds until humans start dying from the virus, Krishnan said.

The killing and burning of poultry in Prey Lvea, the commune where the latest victim died, would not be required until ordered by government officials in Phnom Penh, said commune chief Yon Korn.


Two test positive for bird flu H5N1 virus in China, health ministry reports
http://www.globalpost.com/disp...

Freya Petersen
February 10, 2013 20:45

Two people in Guiyang, southwest China, had tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus and were critically ill, the Chinese health ministry said.

Two people in Guiyang, southwest China, had tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus and were critically ill, the Chinese health ministry said via state media.

Xinhua reported that a woman, 21, and man, 31, tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus on Sunday after developing symptoms on February 2 and February 3 respectively.

Via Xinhua, the ministry said: "They are in critical condition and medical workers are carrying out emergency treatment. No epidemiological connections have been found between the two cases."

[continued at link]


Flu virus weak spot found by Scripps Research scientists
http://www.utsandiego.com/news...

Note: this is an excellent article with wonderful graphics that aid in understanding the material presented. I recommend reading the article in it's entirety.

By Bradley J. Fikes
10 A.M.FEB. 10, 2013

Text under graphic:
This graphic depicts influenza infection. A viral protein called hemagglutinin binds to the sialic acid receptors on the surface of a human respiratory tract cell. The structure of hemagglutinin fits the sialic acid receptors like Velcro. Once virus is attached to the cell, it is then able to enter and infect the cell. This marks the beginning of a flu infection. - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

LA JOLLA - As the world sneezes, wheezes and aches through the latest flu season, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute report what could be a key discovery for fighting the virus in its many forms.

In a new study, the scientists said they have found out how to neutralize the flu's most notorious advantage, namely its ability to mutate around vaccines and drugs. This could lead to new methods to prevent infections, and to reduce their severity.

By seizing on a tiny molecular weakness shared by many Type A and some Type B viruses, the scientists have demonstrated in the lab how the flu's ability to infect people can be thwarted. Moreover, the research applies to crossover infections from avian flu, a major concern in recent years.

While drugs based on this research are years away, the findings represent a major conceptual advance in the frustrating battle against influenza, say scientists who have examined the study.

The key to this advance comes from recognizing the importance of a tiny cavity in a protein the virus uses to infect human cells. Blocking this cavity prevents the virus from penetrating cells, said study leader Ian Wilson of Scripps, who has been working on a universal flu vaccine for years.

While the virus, as always, mutates to thwart this blockage, the mutant viruses become incapable of infecting human cells. They appear to be "dead-end mutations," the study stated.

[much more in story; continued at link]


Flu virus weak spot found by Scripps Research scientists
http://www.utsandiego.com/news...

Note: this is an excellent article with wonderful graphics that aid in understanding the material presented. I recommend reading the article in it's entirety.

By Bradley J. Fikes
10 A.M.FEB. 10, 2013

Text under graphic:
This graphic depicts influenza infection. A viral protein called hemagglutinin binds to the sialic acid receptors on the surface of a human respiratory tract cell. The structure of hemagglutinin fits the sialic acid receptors like Velcro. Once virus is attached to the cell, it is then able to enter and infect the cell. This marks the beginning of a flu infection. - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)

LA JOLLA - As the world sneezes, wheezes and aches through the latest flu season, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute report what could be a key discovery for fighting the virus in its many forms.

In a new study, the scientists said they have found out how to neutralize the flu's most notorious advantage, namely its ability to mutate around vaccines and drugs. This could lead to new methods to prevent infections, and to reduce their severity.

By seizing on a tiny molecular weakness shared by many Type A and some Type B viruses, the scientists have demonstrated in the lab how the flu's ability to infect people can be thwarted. Moreover, the research applies to crossover infections from avian flu, a major concern in recent years.

While drugs based on this research are years away, the findings represent a major conceptual advance in the frustrating battle against influenza, say scientists who have examined the study.

The key to this advance comes from recognizing the importance of a tiny cavity in a protein the virus uses to infect human cells. Blocking this cavity prevents the virus from penetrating cells, said study leader Ian Wilson of Scripps, who has been working on a universal flu vaccine for years.

While the virus, as always, mutates to thwart this blockage, the mutant viruses become incapable of infecting human cells. They appear to be "dead-end mutations," the study stated.

[much more in story; continued at link]


UK: Man with rare Sars coronavirus in intensive care in Manchester

First UK resident to contract acute respiratory illness, from which five have died, travelled recently to Middle East and Pakistan

A man who returned recently from the Middle East and Pakistan is under intensive care in a Manchester hospital where he has been confirmed as the first UK resident to be infected by a new form of virus.

He is only the 10th confirmed case with this type of acute respiratory illness, from which five people have died.

The latest case is the second to be identified with the coronavirus in Britain. Authorities notified the World Health Organisation on Friday. A 49-year-old Qatari man who was flown from Doha to London in September is still in hospital.

The man involved in the latest case is reported to have first fallen ill on 26 January and was diagnosed with a severe illness on 31 January.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/scie...


Novel Coronavirus H1N1pdm09 Dual Infection In UK Case
Recombinomics Commentary

The United Kingdom (UK) has informed WHO of a confirmed case with infection of the novel coronavirus (NCoV). The case is a UK resident who developed symptoms of illness on 26 January 2013. Laboratory investigations on respiratory specimens have revealed both an Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection and a confirmed NCoV infection. He is hospitalized in intensive care unit.

Preliminary investigation reveals that the patient had a history of travel to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Further investigation into the case is ongoing.

The above comments from the WHO update indicate the latest novel coronavirus case (Snip) was dually infected with H1N1pdm09, (Snip).  

This development raises serious concerns that the novel coronavirus is widespread, but is being missed because of the detection of H1N1pdm09.

The dual infection would enhance transmission, but significantly decrease detection. http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

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

     


For example...
... the high reported death rate from "swine flu" in India and the recent deaths/critical cases of "influenza" in Argentina, perhaps?

[ Parent ]
Good call
and my thoughts exactly! The outbreak in Argentina especially looks suspicious. A lot of the areas in India have a 20%+ CFR for H1N1 swine flu and yet they say there is no mutation in the circulating virus there. Clearly, something very unusual is going on.

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

     


[ Parent ]
Germany: Temporary ban placed after bird flu outbreak
http://www.worldpoultry.net/Br...

The Department of Agriculture has temporarily banned the entry of poultry and poultry products from Germany following the outbreak of two separate strains of low pathogenic avian flu in two districts.

In a memo, the department ordered the suspension of poultry imports from the district of Stormarn in Schleswig-Holstein state and the district of Waldeck-Frankenberg in Hesse.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), strains of the avian flu were found in two mixed poultry farms in the aforementioned areas in December.

Avian flu strains are classified as either high pathogenic or low pathogenic, based on the severity of the illness experienced by the bird population. With low pathogenic strains, the illnesses are not severe and affected birds usually recover.
[snip]


Bhutan Reports HPAI in Sarpang
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/...

February, 11, 2013

BHUTAN - The Bhutanese veterinary authorities have reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza affecting farms with backyard free ranging local chicken in Chuzargang and Namkhaling villages, and in backyard and improved chicken in Pelrithang village, all located in Sarpang.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received follow-up report no. 9 on 8 February. The causal agent has been identified as HPAI virus, serotype H5N1.

Out of a total of 85956 susceptible birds, 76 cases were identified. The 76 affected birds were found dead. 832 birds were destroyed.

While the source of the outbreaks has not yet been confirmed, illegal movement of animals has been identified as most likely.

[snip]


Please post new news stories ...
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