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News Reports for February 12, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 18:30:20 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
• Concern about possible cases of swine flu in San Andres de Giles (Link)

Cambodia
• Lack of Redress Contributes to H5N1 Spread (Link)

China
Bird Flu: New Cases Discovered In China, Sparking Fears Of Outbreak (Link)
• Hong Kong: Bird flu cases on mainland fail to deter Hong Kong demand for chicken (Link)

India
• Delhi: Swine flu cases cross 100-mark, Health dept calls review meeting (Link)
• Delhi: 27 fresh cases of swine flu reported on Monday (Link)
• Delhi: Swine flu kills one more in Delhi, 33 more test positive (Link)
• Punjab & Haryana: Swine flu: Experts worried by rising cases, advise caution (Link)

Nepal
• CIDRAP: H5N1 strikes more poultry farms in Nepal (Link)
• Another bird flu case confirmed in Valley (Link)

Research
• US: Prototype drug saves local girl's life after flu nearly kills her (Link)
• Individualized flu immune responses revealed by high-throughput sequencing (Link)

Commentary
• Recombinomics: More ECDC Flawed Logic On Beta Coronavirus Transmission (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 12, 2013

News for February 11, 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: Bird Flu - New Cases Discovered In China, Sparking Fears Of Outbreak
The bird flu has been discovered in two new cases in China in what has become the second outbreak in that country this year.

The cases were discovered in Guiyang, located in Southwest China. There a 21-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man tested positive for the H1N1 bird flu virus over the weekend (Snip). Both (Snip) were listed in critical condition.

(Snip) No epidemiological connections have been found between the two cases," the Chinese health ministry stated.

The two began developing symptoms on February 2 and February 3, and investigators believe neither had direct contact with birds before falling ill.

The new bird flu cases have sparked fears of an outbreak in China.

From Reuters:

"China is considered one of the nations most at risk from bird flu epidemics because it has the world's biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans."

The bird flu cases in Guiyang makes the second major city in China to be struck by the disease. In January, a 19-year-old migrant worker died in Beijing after contracting bird flu.

(Snip)

While the cases in China were found, bird flu was also discovered at a farm in Kathmandu (Snip). http://www.inquisitr.com/51912...

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

     


2nd outbreak in China this year?
That's the first I've heard of the death of a 19yo migrant worker in Beijing in January.

[ Parent ]
Comment: It was the first I had heard of it too.
I went back through everyday of the January 2013 news diaries to see if maybe I had just forgotten it. There was not one article on any cases of H5N1 in China. However, I did find a something on a migrant worker dying in Beijing. A 65 y/o woman also died.

This is an excerpt from a translated article:

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.

(Snip)

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).

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).

Articles are here: http://www.newfluwiki2.com/sho...

I remembered that I thought it was strange at the time I posted that article that they said she had no contact with poultry but I remember thinking that's just to say she didn't have H5N1. The laboratory test according to this article and a couple of others stated she had H1N1.

This only makes me wonder how many other H1N1 swine flu and seasonal flu cases were really H5N1 and we were lied to by the Chinese government. It appears they really slipped up by admitting there was a case in January! I think the only person outside of China who ever believes anything the Chinese government says is Margaret Chan of the WHO.

This is an excerpt from wikipedia on Margaret Chan:

As Director of Health of Hong KongHer profile was raised by her handling, in those positions, of the 1997 H5N1 avian influenza outbreak and the 2003 SARS outbreak in Hong Kong. After the first victim of the H5N1, Chan first tried to reassure Hong Kong residents with her infamous statements like, "I ate chicken last night" [4] or "I eat chicken every day, don't panic, everyone".[5][6][7] When many more H5N1 cases appeared, she was criticised for misleading the public. [8] In the end, she was credited for helping bring the epidemic under control by the slaughter of 1.5 million chickens in the region in the face of stiff political opposition.[9]

Her performance during the SARS outbreak, which ultimately led to 299 deaths, attracted harsh criticism from the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and many SARS victims and their relatives.[7] She was criticised by the Legislative Council for her passiveness, [10] for believing in misleading information shared by the mainland authority, and did not act swiftly.[11] On the other hand, the SARS expert committee established by the Hong Kong Government to assess its handling of the crisis, opined that the failure was not Chan's fault, but due to the structure of Hong Kong's health care system, in which the separation of the hospital authority from the public health authority resulted in problems with data sharing.[12]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M...

The comments I have made here are my own personal opinion.

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

     


[ Parent ]
China: Bird flu cases on mainland fail to deter Hong Kong demand for chicken (Hong Kong)
Families continued to snap up chicken over the Lunar New Year holidays, despite reports of two people infected with bird flu in a southern Chinese province.

The two people - a 21-year-old woman and 31-year-old man - tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus in Guiyang, Guizhou province, Xinhua said on Sunday. The woman developed symptoms on February 2 and the man the next day.

Both were in critical condition, but were not believed to have passed the virus between them and did not have contact with birds before they developed symptoms, the report said.

The Ministry of Health in Beijing alerted Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection about the cases and it planned to stay in close contact with mainland authorities. "We will heighten our vigilance and continue to maintain stringent port health measures in connection with this development," a centre spokesman said.

Local residents were reminded to avoid direct contact with poultry and their droppings, and to thoroughly wash their hands if contact was made. Poultry and eggs should be cooked thoroughly, and crowded places should be avoided, the spokesman said.

Despite the alert, chicken remained a best-seller in wet markets. Continued: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-...

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

     


India: Swine flu cases cross 100-mark, Health dept calls review meeting (Delhi)
New Delhi - The Health department has called a meeting to review the measures in place to counter the steadily increasing cases of swine flu. The meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday.

(Snip) epidemiologists from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), representatives of laboratories authorised to conduct the tests and nodal officers designated for swine flu from hospitals will attend the meeting.

On Monday, number of H1N1 cases in city crossed the 100 mark.

Sources confirmed that the Health department was considering purchasing preventive vaccines for high-risk patients and starting prophylactic treatment for doctors and nurses managing swine flu patients. A final decision on this will be taken in the meeting.

"This year, so far, we have not purchased any new vaccines for H1N1 or authorised prophylactic treatment of our hospital staff. In 2009 and 2010, we had to take both of the preventive measures. Now that the cases are rising this year, we are considering repeating these efforts," an official from the Health department said.

(Snip)

(Snip) "We have called scientists from NCDC to dwell on the epidemiological reasons for the continued presence of the virus and how long it is expected to last. We will take a final call on purchasing vaccines and review the treatment facilities." http://www.indianexpress.com/n...  

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

     


More ECDC Flawed Logic On Beta Coronavirus Transmission
Recombinomics Commentary

The patient, a 60 year old male, became ill on 26 January 2013 and was admitted to hospital in England, with a severe lower respiratory tract disease on 31 January.

In the 10 days before his illness onset, the patient had visited both Pakistan (from 16 December 2012 to 20 January 2013) and Saudi Arabia (from 20 to 28 January 2013). After hospital admission, his condition deteriorated and he was transferred for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment on 5 February. He remains severely ill in intensive care.

The wide geographical distribution, the long intervals between cases and clusters, and the absence of evidence for mild or asymptomatic human infections which could maintain a chain of transmission between outbreaks, point to intermittent zoonotic transmission or an environmental source.

The above comments from the ECDC beta cornonavirus update provide additional detail on the latest confirmed betacornavirus case, and repeat their illogical analysis that cites the absence of mild cases as evidence against human to human transmission.

The absence of confirmed mild cases is evidence for a failed protocol, which leads to a lack of sensitivity required for the detection of mild cases.  WHO has classified the cluster members who tested negative as probable cases, consistent with their symptoms and tight linkage to multiple lab confirmed cases.

Severe and fatal cases commonly have high viral loads and ready access to sampling of the lower respiratory tract leading to detection by assays which have limited sensitivity for milder cases.  The above case was co-infected with H1N1pdm09  with associated severe breathing difficulties.  The co-infection with a readily transmissible pandemic H1N1 influenza would facilitate human transmission. Continued: 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

     


CIDRAP: H5N1 strikes more poultry farms in Nepal
Livestock officials (Snip) confirmed an H5N1 avian flu outbreak at a poultry farm in Manmaiju village in the Kathmandu valley (Snip) About 6,060 chickens as well as the farm's poultry feed were destroyed to curb the spread of the virus. Surveillance activities are under way to determine the source of the outbreaks, which have now hit nine farms in the Kathmandu valley (Snip).  Over the past few days H5N1 findings have prompted culling at farms in two other villages in the area, Nayapati and Jitpurphedi. 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

     


India: Delhi - 27 fresh cases of swine flu reported on Monday
At least 27 new cases of swine flu were reported in Delhi on Monday, taking the total number of patients to 121, reports said.

(Snip)

Those suspected with the disease have been admitted to Safdarjung hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Lok Nayak Hospital among others.

Chief Medical Officer of the swine flu detection centre at RML Hospital, S K Sharma, along with a junior doctor have also been detected with the virus and they have been put under home quarantine for suspected influenza A (H1N1).

(Snip)

So far, three people have died due to swine flu in Delhi.
http://www.niticentral.com/201...

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

     


Swine flu kills one more in Delhi, 33 more test positive
New Delhi: A patient suffering from swine flu disease died while 33 others tested positive for the Influenza A (H1N1) virus in Delhi, taking the toll to four and total number of cases to 154 this year.

"Thirty-three people where tested positive for swine flu and one death has been reported today (Tuesday) from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital," (Snip)

According to the doctors, there has been a sudden spurt in the number of cases this year. In January alone, there was one death and 39 cases, while February so far has seen three deaths and 115 cases.

(Snip)

According to Delhi government, only 78 cases and one death were reported in 2012. http://www.ndtv.com/article/ci...

(Note: These are just the numbers given for one hospital. I wonder how many there were in the other hospitals?)

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

     


[ Parent ]
Mysterious Virus Spreads: Did The SARS-Linked Virus Originate From The Middle East?
http://www.isciencetimes.com/a...

By Staff Reporter | February 11, 2013 5:00 PM EST

[snip]

Thus far, it is unconfirmed whether the latest mysterious virus is contagious between humans. Experts believe the virus is passed from animals including bats or camels.

Previous studies suggested that the latest virus was widespread. However, the last series of cases are all linked to the Middle East. According to officials, the latest patient had recently visited the Middle East and the country of Pakistan.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) of Britain reported 10 confirmed cases of the coronavirus so far. Five people in Saudi Arabia (three died), two in Jordan (both died), two in Britain, and one in Qatar are diagnosed with the rare virus.
[snip]

Our assessment is that the risk associated with novel coronavirus to the general UK population remains extremely low and the risk to travelers to the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding countries remains very low ... No travel restrictions are in place but people who develop severe respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath, within ten days of returning from these countries should seek medical advice and mention which countries they have visited."

Finally, officials still recommended countries test anyone with unexplained pneumonia for the virus for precautionary measures.


Good article on the conronavirus by Declan Butler from Dec. 11, 2012
Excerpt:

Is the coronavirus that has appeared in the Middle East a simmering threat to global public health or a viral footnote that will end up being of interest only to academics? That is the key question that researchers and public-health officials are now struggling to resolve. Two unsettling developments have fed their concerns: fresh hints that the virus might show at least limited spread from person to person, and signs that it has extended its geographical range.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged that surveillance for the virus, called human betacoronavirus 2c EMC/2012, should be extended to all countries worldwide, with a special focus on all clusters of severe pneumonia, particularly in health workers. Epidemiologists say that the nebulous threat requires close monitoring, by investigating and controlling any new clusters of human cases that could signal that the virus has adapted to spread between people more easily.  

Entire article here: http://www.nature.com/news/clu...

(Comment: Recently there was a cluster of about 11 (or more) hospital nurses, plus at least 1 or 2 patients in Argentina with flu like symptoms. Health officials abruptly closed the hospital and transferred all the affected ones, plus all the other patients and staff to other hospitals. Later, 4 of the nurses tested positive for H1N1 swine flu and the other 7 tested negative. IMO, this should have been investigated to find out if it was the new coronavirus causing the outbreak. However, I've seen nothing stating it was.)

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

     


[ Parent ]
Sorry for the misspelling in the title
It was suppose to be "coronavirus".

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

     


[ Parent ]
Argentina: Concern about possible cases of swine flu in San Andres de Giles
(New article)

Translated

2/12/2013 - The doctor reported that (Snip) in San Andres de Giles are possible cases of H3N2 (H1N1?), the new mutation of influenza A that would have affected the nurses Carmen de Areco. The Ministry of Health confirmed that it was a case of influenza infected in the United States. She died a woman by the strange disease.

A few days ago there were cases that tested positive for influenza, cases that could well match the symptoms experienced by persons of Carmen de Areco. (Snip) these people were visiting the United States and returning it began to show the picture. This family is treated and safe.

On the uncertainty that killed nurse Carmen de Areco, (snip) the Ministry of Health said it was a case of swine flu acquired in the United States, ***the doctor said that the incubation period of the virus is no more than seven days, so it is unlikely that the nurse who traveled to North America in mid-December and was able to take infection symptoms begin to manifest until January.***

***"the doctor said that the incubation period of the virus is no more than seven days" (my translation:) The nurse traveled to the US in mid December so it was unlikely she didn't show symptoms of the flu until January.***

This strange disease began to manifest in Carmen de Areco, where large numbers of people, linked to the Municipal Hospital, became ill. this strange outbreak closed the hospital for disinfection. A nurse died at the Hospital of La Plata Rossi. http://www.lanoticia1.com/noti...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Cambodia: Lack of Redress Contributes to H5N1 Spread By Simon Lewis and Mech Dara
 - February 12, 2013

[snip]
The death in Angk Krasang-the sixth case of infection this year-took place just a kilometer from a village in neighboring Snor commune where a 17-year-old girl died of bird flu on January 21.

More than 4,700 birds were culled in the district after the first death, but the virus may have spread via the informal transport of livestock, or in ducks that travel widely in the watercourses, the WHO's Mr. Krishnan said.

The disincentive caused by the lack of compensation was "definitely a factor" in the disease go­ing undetected long enough to kill a second child in a neighboring village, he said.

In Thailand, where farmers are well compensated when their animals are culled, he said, "they man­age to control human cases."

Yang Saing Koma, director of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, or Cedac, said the lack of compensation was both unfair to farmers and prevented early detection of outbreaks.

[snip]

"Perhaps the greatest failure of the government in reacting to [highly pathogenic avian influenza] was its unwillingness to compensate poor poultry keepers whose chickens had to be destroyed, or culled, by agents of the state,"
Mr. Ear writes, echoing the argument that having no compensation policy prevents outbreaks from being detected.


Title and link to the above
"Lack of Redress Contributes to H5N1 Spread "

http://www.cambodiadaily.com/n...

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

     


[ Parent ]
http://www.10news.com/news/prototype-drug-saves-san-diego-girl-from-flu-that-almost-killed-her-021113
Prototype drug saves local girl's life after flu nearly kills her. 10News granted unprecedented access to ICU

Posted: 02/11/2013
Last Updated: 24 hours ago

SAN DIEGO - A 12-year-old girl was struck with an extreme case of the flu that nearly killed her. Now, the local girl has no sign of it, thanks to a drug currently in the research stages at Rady Children's Hospital.

[snip]

"One of the hardest things I've ever had to go through," Kaitlyn's mom Lindsay told 10News. She says Kaitlyn was a healthy girl before she contracted a "B" strain of the flu in late January.

"She got so sick so quickly that she ended up being comatose in the morning. Her parents couldn't even wake her up," said Dr. John Bradley.

Once at Rady Children's Hospital, doctors learned she had never been vaccinated and was also developing diabetes."Her blood sugar was almost 1,000. Normally it's about 150 or so," said Dr. Bradley.

Kaitlyn was placed on a breathing machine.
[snip]

To make matters worse, Kaitlyn was unable to take in any oral flu fighting medications.
[snip]

Rady Children's Hospital happens to be one of about a dozen hospitals around the country and the only one in the county studying this intravenous form of Zanamivir.

The drug, not currently FDA approved, has been proven through hospital case studies to be extremely effective fighting extreme pediatric flu cases.

Dr. Bradley told 10News, "It prevents the spread of virus from one infected cell to another."

With her parent's consent, an IV with the drug was started.

[snip]

Three days later, she awoke. Her flu was nearly gone.

[snip]

On the fifth and final day of treatment, there was no sign of influenza.

[snip]


The title and link to the above is
"Prototype drug saves local girl's life after flu nearly kills her"

http://www.10news.com/news/pro...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Individualized flu immune responses revealed by high-throughput sequencing
http://www.news-medical.net/ne...

Published on February 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM ·

By Sally Robertson, medwireNews Reporter

Researchers have shown that it is possible to create personalized, individual-specific measurements of the antibody repertoire in response to influenza vaccination using high-throughput DNA sequencing technology.

Furthermore, they have provided molecular characterization of defects in the humoral immune response as a result of aging.

Stephen Quake (Stanford University School of Medicine, California, USA) and colleagues analyzed over 5 million antibody heavy chains and compared isotype diversity, lineage structure, and mutational activity in different age groups before and 1 week and 1 month after influenza vaccination.

As reported in Science Translational Medicine, the team amplified influenza-specific antibody sequences from single-sorted plasmablasts for two separate individuals. This showed that in one person, heavy-chain plasmablast sequences overlapped with antibody lineages with smaller numbers of sequencing reads compared with those from the other individual, in whom many plasmablast sequences were in the top lineage containing the majority of the sequencing reads.

[continued at link]


Nepal: Another bird flu case confirmed in Valley
KATHMANDU, Feb 12: A team from the District Veterinary Office, Kathmandu on Tuesday culled 1,680 chickens following the confirmation of the bird flu virus in a poultry farm (Snip).

The outbreak is fourth in the last four days and seventh over the past one-and-a-half-months. The rapid response team that comprises vets and technicians had also destroyed 200 kg of chicken feed stored in the farm.

The Directorate of the Animal Health (DoAH) said poultry farmer and their relatives do not give easy access to the vet officials for culling the chickens. Though the infection of H5N1 virus was confirmed on Sunday evening, the team culled the chickens only on Tuesday. DoAH officials said the rapid response team was busy on Monday destroying 7,500 chickens at Subarnan Basnet´s poultry farm at Manamaiju-1, Nepaltar.

(Snip) over 14,000 tainted chickens have been culled over the last four days. He said the rapid response team has completed first phase of disinfection in all the tainted poultry farms.

(Snip)

Ghimire said farmers should be aware as the disease has been spreading quickly. The DoAH said the risk of H5N1 virus spread is high during winter and hence the need for extra precaution. Continued: 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

     


India: Swine flu: Experts worried by rising cases, advise caution (Punjab and Haryana)
Chandigarh - The spurt in the number of swine flu cases this year has perplexed even the experts. While last year less than half a dozen cases were reported, the total number of cases has reached 30 this year, and still counting.

Significantly, contrary to the past wherein cases would pour in from specific areas, this time cases are being reported from different places and are isolated in nature. Experts say this is one of the reasons why the spread is not being controlled besides the dip in the temperature in the past few days.

Doctors are hopeful that with winters subsiding, within next 10 days or so, the virus should be on the decline.

However, offering a word of caution, Dr Rajesh Kumar, head of the department, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, said, "H1N1 virus is a very difficult virus to control once it spreads. It is in the air and cannot be controlled at this stage. Since we are getting cases from isolated areas, it is all the more pertinent that there should be early detection and early treatment. If a patient is admitted to the hospital, adequate preventive measures should be taken by the hospital to ensure that the risk for the staff is mitigated." Continued: http://www.indianexpress.com/n...

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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