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News Reports for February 16, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 18:33:47 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!

China
• 71 released from quarantine over bird flu fears (Link)

Germany
Bird Flu Reported In German Poultry Farm (Link)
• Ducks slaughtered after bird flu found at German farm (Link)

India
• Delhi: Two more die of swine flu, total cases reach 301 (Link)
• Delhi: Swine flu kills two in Delhi, 59 new cases recorded on weekend (Link)

Mexico
• Mexican bird flu outbreak hits 582,000 chickens (Link)
• Mexico to slaughter a half million chickens over bird flu (Link)

Nepal
Bird flu on rise, farmers resist vets (Link)

Thailand
• Safeguard the nation's health (Link)

United Kingdom
• New SARS-like Virus Infects 12 Globally with British Case (Link)
• Coronavirus spreads to third family member (Link)
• Coronavirus: SARS-Like Virus Hits 12 Globally With New British Case (Link)
• Third novel coronavirus infection reported in UK family (Link)
• Is the new coronavirus the next SARS? (Link)

Research
• Mayo Clinic researcher works to understand the flu (Link)

Commentary
• Recombinomics: Beta Coronavirus H2H Transmission In Riyadh Cluster (Link)
• Recombinomics: Beta Coronavirus H2H Transmission In Jordan (Link)
• Recombinomics: Beta Coronavirus Umrah Link Raises Concerns (Link)
• First Person: The Flu Season Cost My Family $600 (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 16, 2013

News for February 15, 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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Mexico: Mexican bird flu outbreak hits 582,000 chickens
Mexico's animal health agency says a bird flu outbreak at seven farms in central Mexico has affected as many as 582,000 chickens.

The Agriculture Department says more than a half million birds were exposed, but the number that will have to be slaughtered has yet to be determined.

An outbreak of the H7N3 bird flu virus in western Mexico in 2012 led to the slaughter of more than 22 million hens (Snip).

But the department said Friday that the current outbreak has not affected the supply of chicken products.

(Snip) tests were continuing to determine the exact strain of virus involved in the outbreak, but said it did not affect humans.

(Snip) http://www.3news.co.nz/Mexican...

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

     


Mexico to slaughter a half million chickens over bird flu
Mexico will slaughter 486,000 chickens after an outbreak of bird flu was detected in the central state of Guanajuato (Snip). Poultry producer Bachoco reported a possible case of H7N3 influenza in five breeder farms late Wednesday (Snip). Authorities launched preventive measures, testing nearby farms to check if the outbreak had spread elsewhere. Last year, a bird flu outbreak in the western state of Jalisco forced farmers to slaughter 22 million hens (Snip). http://www.menafn.com/menafn/1...  

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

     


Thailand: Safeguard the nation's health
This is turning out to be a bad year for public health scares. Bird flu in Cambodia has already claimed six lives, the most recent being a three-year-old girl who died this week. Now a mysterious respiratory disease similar to the Sars virus, which took nearly 800 lives in 30 countries a decade ago, has surfaced and killed five of the 11 people known to have caught it. Worse, it is feared to be capable of person-to-person transmission, although British health officials stress that such contagion would require prolonged exposure.

While the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus originated from palm civets in China, the source of this new disease appears to be bats and most infections have occurred in the Middle East. With the speed of modern air travel and the number of people always on the move, no country is immune from what once would have been a localised outbreak. Thai health officials need to be ready to cope with any eventuality, a reminder that is necessary after the bungling that characterised the handling of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009.

Politicians and health authorities initially played the outbreak down and then went into full panic mode as the death toll mounted. Yet despite all the money spent, our medical technicians were unable to produce a vaccine safely and in time for it to be of any use. Why they were unable to replicate the manufacture of the WHO-approved vaccine remains a mystery, given that other countries apparently had no problems. Had the flu virus mutated into an enhanced strain we could have been in serious trouble. In this instance, the ability of the medical authorities to counter emerging diseases was tested and found wanting. Proper contingency planning is vital to avoid any repeat of this debacle.

Given the public appetite for sensationalism, it is understandable why so much media attention is being given to the implications of a possible new Sars-type threat. There is also no question that sufficient funds will be made available to combat this potential global health hazard. And that is as it should be. The trouble is there is never enough money to go around to fund eradication programmes for the older killer diseases which are no longer a problem in richer countries. Tuberculosis alone accounts for more than 12,000 deaths a year in Thailand, with up to 100,000 new cases diagnosed annually. Continued: http://www.bangkokpost.com/opi...

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

     


Germany: Bird Flu Reported In German Poultry Farm
Initial tests confirm H5N1 avian influenza (bird flu) infection in a duck farm in Brandenburg, eastern Germany, authorities announced today.

Environment Ministry officials say that H5N1 was initially suspected when the poultry farm, which was carrying out its own tests, had positive results for avian influenza.

Environment Minister Anita Tack said: "All the necessary measures to contain and control (the H5N1 spread) have been initiated." Samples were sent to counter-check to the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI) on the Baltic island of Riems. The duck farm has been cordoned off and all its livestock will be culled, officials said.

The German government has ordered a full investigation. Experts do not know how the poultry became infected.

At the moment, the H5N1 bird flu virus is circulating in Indonesia, Cambodia and China. Some cases of infected birds among European wild bird populations have been reported. Continued: http://www.medicalnewstoday.co...

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

     


Beta Coronavirus H2H Transmission In Riyadh Cluster
Recombinomics Commentary

Case No.  Date of Onset  Age (years)  Sex  Probable place of infection  Date reported  Outcome Part of a cluster?
1  April 2012  45  F  Jordan 30/11/12  Dead yes - hospital A  
2  April 2012  25  M  Jordan  30/11/12  Dead yes - hospital A  
3  13/06/12  60  M  KSA 20/09/12  Dead no
4  03/09/12  49  M  Qatar/ KSA  23/09/12  Alive/Hosp no
5  10/10/2012 45 M KSA 04/11/12  Alive no
6  12/10/12  45  M  Qatar  23/11/12  Alive no  
7  3-5/11/2012 31 M  KSA  20/11/12  Alive yes - family A
8  28/10/12  39 M  KSA 23/11/12  Dead yes - family A
9  October 2012  not known M  KSA  28/11/12  Dead yes - family A
10 24 12013 60 M Pakistan/KSA 8/1/13 Alive/Hosp yes - family B
11 6/2/2013 not known M UK 12/02/13 Alive/Hosp yes - family B

As seen above, the ECDC has updated its table of confirmed beta coronavirus cases, which includes additional information on the ages of the cases as well as disease onset dates, which provide compelling data for the human to human transmission in the Riyadh cluster (cases 7-9 designated as "family A", but in reverse chronological order).  

A cluster of cases linked to a rare disease can be due to human to human (H2H) transmission within the cluster or infection by a common source.  When the source is unknown, the best data for distinguishing between the two scenarios is the disease onset dates, which are still lacking for many of the cases, but the dates of death, when coupled with the known disease onset dates can be used to distinguish between a common source and human to human transmission.

The new data for the cluster on Riyadh, when combined with reliable media reports, paint a relatively clear transmission scenario for family A, which included 3 confirmed cases and 1 probable case.  Media reports had indicated that the index case (70M) was the father of the second fatal case (39M), which are cases 9 and 8, respectively, in the above list.  Although the disease onset date for the father is listed as October, and the son is listed as October 28, media reports indicated that father died 4 days prior to the son, supporting infection of the son by his father.  

However, the most compelling data for H2H transmission in family A is the disease onset date for the surviving family member (31M, case 7, and likely another son) which is listed as between November 3-5.  The disease onset time gap between the two brothers (39M and 31M) provides strong support for H2H transmission, which is further supported by the earlier date of death for the father.  The fourth family member is designated as "probable" by WHO, suggesting a false negative on testing.  Similar testing issues surfaced for the father, who was also initially classified as a probable case, but was subsequently confirmed. 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

     


Beta Coronavirus H2H Transmission In Jordan
Recombinomics Commentary

An outbreak of a respiratory illness was reported on 19 April 2012 by the Ministry of Health in Jordan in an intensive care unit in a hospital in Zarqa. Seven nurses and one doctor were among the 11 affected. One of the nurses died. The cause of this outbreak remains unknown to date.

The two cases from Jordan occurred in April 2012. At that time, a number of severe pneumonia cases occurred in the country and the Ministry of Health (MOH) Jordan promptly requested a WHO Collaborating Centre for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (NAMRU - 3) team to immediately assist in the laboratory investigation. The NAMRU-3 team went to Jordan and tested samples from this cluster of cases.

The above comments (box #1) are from a May 4 ECDC report describing the beta coronavirus cluster in Jordan based on a report issued by the Jordan Ministry of Health (MoH) on April 19, the day the nurse (45F) died.  The 8 health care workers described in the report did not include the intern (25M) who died a week later (April 26). The MoH denied linkage because the intern had cardiac involvement in addition to pulmonary involvement.

However, as noted in the November 30 WHO report (box #2) the two fatal cases were confirmed while associated cases were described by WHO as "severe pneumonia cases".  Although NAMRU-3 failed to confirm the novel coronavirus in the surviving cases, they were classified as "probable" cases by WHO.

The large number of fatal and severe cases in this cluster indicates the virus is readily transmitted in humans which is supported by the fact that 8 of the 12 confirmed cases were from three clusters which had 2 or more confirmed cases and the first two clusters also had symptomatic cases which tested negative but were classified as probable cases.

The failure to confirm the coronavirus in severe pneumonia cases who were linked to confirmed cases, raises serious questions about the sensitivity of the current protocol and assay.  The WHO website recommends collection of samples from the lower respiratory tract, raising additional questions about negative results of samples collected from the upper respiratory tract. 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

     


Beta Coronavirus Umrah Link Raises Concerns
Recombinomics Commentary

The Association of British Hujjaj (Pilgrims) UK a National Hajj/Umrah specific organization has expressed it's deep concerns about the risk of a new Sars-like virus known as the 'Coronavirus' that is posing a potential threat to Hajj/Umrah pilgrims.

After returning from the performance of Umrah, a person is fighting for his life in a UK hospital after having contracted an infection from this virus. This incident raised an alarm when his son also caught the infection from him which shows evidence that the virus can spread from person to person.

The above comments indicate the index case (60M) for the UK cluster was infected while performing Umrah, raising concerns that the novel coronavirus is widespread in Saudi Arabia.  The export of an infectious disease always raises concerns that the disease in the exporting country is widespread.  The concerns were increased when the virus was confirmed in two relatives who had not traveled outside of the UK.  Most concerning was the presence of the virus in a contact who recovered without hospitalization or medical treatment, confirming mild or asymptomatic cases who would not seek medical attention.

The current surveillance for the novel coronavirus targets severe hospitalized cases.  Prior to the most recent case, all prior confirmed cases had severe disease.  However, even in cases with severe disease, such as the surviving members of the cluster in Jordan, as well as two of the four cases in the Riyadh cluster, detection of the virus was problematic.  The false negatives, as well as the targeting of severe cases have raised concerns that the confirmed cases represented a small fraction of the human cases.

In addition to the index case for the UK cluster, the other case in the UK, a Qatari national (49M) who was transported to England last September by airbus also developed symptoms while preforming Umrah in Saudi Arabia.  Although his symptoms subsided, they reappeared in Qatar prior to transport to England.  Moreover, the first confirmed case, a Saudi national (60M) was diagnosed in Jeddah, which is close to Mecca.

This geographic clustering, as well as the Riyadh cluster and case (45M) raises concerns that the virus is common in Saudi Arabia, but largely missed due to testing protocol.  A recent paper on French Haaj attendees cites testing of nasal swabs, which were negative.  However, the WHO recommendations for testing cite a lower concentration of virus in the upper respiratory tract and recommends testing samples from the lower respiratory tract.

Therefore, more testing of samples from the lower respiratory tract in severe cases, as well as expended testing of milder cases, as well as those infected with influenza is dictated by the results obtained for the latest cluster in the UK. 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

     


Wikipedia: Umrah
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U...

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

     


[ Parent ]
India: Two more die of swine flu, total cases reach 301 (Delhi)
The deadly H1N1 virus is fast spreading its tentacles but the government insists there is nothing to worry about. Fifty positive cases and two deaths were reported on Friday.

Since last week, the average number of new cases being reported daily has almost gone up five times. With Friday's numbers, the total number of positive cases in the Capital this season rose to 301, the highest in two years. In the first week of February, an average of 8-10 cases was being reported. But this week, the average shot up to about 48-50.

On Thursday, 47 cases were reported, with one death. On Wednesday, 52 cases were reported with no death, On Tuesday, 33 cases were reported with one death. Most of the seven swine flu deaths happened this week.

(Snip)

Of the two deaths, a 43-year-old man admitted with high-grade fever and respiratory distress died of multiple complications at Indraprastha Apollo hospital. A 50-year-old woman died of multi-organ failure at Jaipur Golden Hospital early on Friday.

"There is no particular pattern or area from where the cases are being reported. They are uniformly spread across the Capital, clearly suggesting that it is just another kind of viral in the air, which causing a havoc," said a Delhi government official, unwilling to be named. Continued:
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

     


New SARS-like Virus Infects 12 Globally with British Case
http://www.scienceworldreport....

Catherine GriffinFirst Posted: Feb 16, 2013 11:00 AM EST

The mysterious, potentially deadly, SARS-like virus that is associated with travelling to the Middle East has now been officially diagnosed in another patient. It is now the third case to appear in Britain this week, and shows that the virus can be transmitted between people.

The virus is what is known as a novel coronavirus, or NCoV. The new patient was part of a cluster of three from the same family that all contracted the virus after one of them travelled to the Middle East. It's the twelfth case that has been diagnosed globally since the virus first appeared in September 2012. At that time the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an international alert to warn health professionals and the public that a previously unknown virus had infected a Qatari man in Britain who had recently been to Saudi Arabia.

The virus is in the same family as SARS, which is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Emerging in China in 2002, SARS causes respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. When it first appeared, it killed a tenth of the 8,000 people that it infected.

Two of the patients from the family in Britain have been hospitalized in separate locations and are being cared for in isolation. The newest, third case was mild;
the patient is recovering well. However, health officials have asked the patient to self-isolate and limit contact with other people. In addition, they are now following up with other household members to make sure that they too did not contract the virus.

Although authorities still aren't how this particular virus is spread, they believe that, like other coronaviruses, it could be spread through the air in droplets that are produced when a person coughs or sneezes. Like the flu, it could be highly contagious.

[snip]Five out of the twelve patients infected have died due to the illness.


Coronavirus spreads to third family member Sars-like novel coronavirus infects third person related to original carrier, as health agency insists transmission risk is low
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2...

Sarah Boseley, health editor
The Guardian, Friday 15 February 2013 14.35 EST

[snip]

The first member of the family to fall ill had travelled to the Middle East and Pakistan. That person and a relative who had a pre-existing medical condition, which might have made them more susceptible to infection, were admitted to a Manchester hospital.

But the third family member to have contracted the novel coronavirus is said by the HPA to be recovering from a mild respiratory illness and is well. He or she has been advised not to meet with other people who are not part of the family, but only as a precaution. Other relatives and contacts of the latest person to be diagnosed are still being tracked down and tested.

There have been 12 confirmed cases worldwide, of which four were found in Britain. Three in Saudi Arabia and two in Jordan have died. But the HPA made it clear it did not consider the latest case to be an escalation of the problem.

Professor John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA, said: "Although this case appears to be due to person-to-person transmission, the risk of infection in contacts in most circumstances is still considered to be low. If novel coronavirus were more infectious, we would have expected to have seen a larger number of cases than we have seen since the first case was reported three months ago. However, this new development does justify the measures that were immediately put into place to prevent any further spread of infection and to identify and follow up contacts of known cases.


Coronavirus: SARS-Like Virus Hits 12 Globally With New British Case
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Reuters  |  Posted: 02/15/2013 1:34 pm EST

By Kate Kelland

LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - A fourth person in Britain has contracted a potentially fatal SARS-like virus which was unknown in humans until a few months ago, but health officials said on Friday the risk to the population remained very low.

Confirming the third British case this week of infection the new virus - known as novel coronavirus, or NCoV - the Health Protection Agency said the patient was one of a cluster of three in the same family.

This latest case brings the total number of confirmed cases globally to 12, of which four have been diagnosed in Britain, the HPA said. Of the total, five have died. Most of the infected lived or had recently been in the Middle East.

NCoV was identified when the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an international alert in September 2012 saying a virus previously unknown in humans had infected a Qatari man in Britain who had recently been in Saudi Arabia.

[continued at link]


Third novel coronavirus infection reported in UK family
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidr...

Robert Roos  News Editor
Feb 15, 2013 (CIDRAP News) - A third member of a British family has been infected with a novel coronavirus (CoV) but has had only a mild illness, UK health officials reported today, providing more evidence of person-to-person transmission of the virus and showing that it doesn't always cause severe sickness.

In a statement, the UK Health Protection agency (HPA) said the patient is a UK resident with no recent travel history and "is recovering from a mild respiratory illness and is currently well." The case raises the global total of novel CoV cases to 12, of which 5 have been fatal.

The latest case is in a family in which two other members were recently hospitalized with severe illnesses linked to the novel virus. The first case was announced Feb 11 and the second one Feb 13. The first patient got sick in January while visiting Saudi Arabia, following a visit to Pakistan; the second patient had no recent travel history.

The HPA did not list the age or gender of the third patient in the family. The other two sick family members are both men. The first patient, a 60-year-old, was co-infected with the novel CoV and the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, while the second patient has an underlying medical condition, previous reports said.

[snip]

"Although this case appears to be due to person-to-person transmission, the risk of infection in contacts in most circumstances is still considered to be low," Watson said. "If novel coronavirus were more infectious, we would have expected to have seen a larger number of cases than we have seen since the first case was reported three months ago."
[snip]

The novel CoV illnesses to date have included 5 in Saudi Arabia, with 3 deaths; 2 fatal cases in Jordan; 1 nonfatal illness in Germany; and 4 in the UK. Of the UK cases, one was in a Qatari man who was still hospitalized this week, with the family cluster accounting for the rest.

The UK family cluster is apparently the third cluster of novel CoV infections so far. Three of the Saudi cases were in one family, and the two Jordanian deaths were part of a cluster in a hospital intensive care unit.

Until the latest UK case, all the confirmed novel CoV case-patients were sick enough to need hospitalization.

Except for the two latest cases, all the patients lived in or had visited the Arabian peninsula. The novel virus is related to coronaviruses found in bats in several countries, but its source has not been identified.

The virus was first reported in September, in a Saudi man who had died in June, and in the Qatari patient who is still being treated in the United Kingdom. The two cases in Jordan occurred in April but were not linked to the new virus until November.


Is the new coronavirus the next SARS?
http://www.newscientist.com/ar...

18:09 14 February 2013 by Debora MacKenzie
For similar stories, visit the Micro-organisms and Epidemics and Pandemics Topic Guides

[Note: This article was published before the third member of the family became sick. This is an excellent article and I suggest reading it at the source.]

[snip]

What kind of disease does the virus cause, and can it spread?
The man hospitalised in Manchester, UK, late last month has severe pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus - so severe, his blood is being oxygenated outside his body. The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) reported on Wednesday that the man's son has now been hospitalised with the virus in Birmingham.

The first man had recently travelled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and fell ill after four days in Saudi. His son lives in the UK and had not been abroad - in fact he is the first of the 11 cases known so far who is not a resident of Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Jordan. The HPA says he probably caught the virus from his father.

Does this mean the virus has the ability to spread quickly among people?
No. The son had health issues which may have lowered his immunity, says the HPA. And no one else who has come into contact with the two has fallen sick, so far.

[snip]

Is this the first case of person-to-person transmission of this virus?
No. Last April, before the new coronavirus was discovered, eleven people in Jordan, including eight healthcare workers in an intensive care unit, came down with severe pneumonia. Their samples tested negative for any respiratory pathogens known at the time. But after the new coronavirus was discovered in pneumonia patients from Qatar and Saudi Arabia in September, the Jordan samples were retested. Two of the healthcare workers, who had died, tested positive for the new virus.

The cluster in Jordan raised the possibility of human-to-human transmission, said the World Health Organization, even though not all the cases were reported as testing positive for the virus. This is not impossible: in the cases confirmed so far, the virus mainly affects tissues deep inside the lungs, and may not have been present in a sample from further up the respiratory tract.

This is worrying as healthcare workers were among the chief victims of the SARS virus in 2003. Hospital workers are being closely monitored in Manchester and Birmingham.

Three people who contracted the virus in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last October were also members of the same family, according to Saudi health authorities. Two died. But we do not know if these people gave the infection to each other, or if all were exposed to the same source in the environment. The results of a survey of wildlife in the region for similar viruses have not yet been released.

Why does everyone keep mentioning SARS?

[snip]

A study in December found that most European health authorities have the facilities to perform a test for the new coronavirus. One problem, though, is knowing who to test. As well as being infected with the novel coronavirus, the 60-year-old man hospitalised in Manchester also had a flu virus when he was first examined. If such co-infection is common, many people with pneumonia who test positive for flu could be treated for that without being tested for any other viruses, leaving the new coronavirus to slip under the radar.


Mayo Clinic researcher works to understand the flu
http://www.kwwl.com/story/2122...

Posted: Feb 15, 2013 10:18 PM MST
Written by Jackie Manternach, Producer - email

One Mayo Clinic researcher is trying to understand the flu by looking at humidity levels.

Tyler Koep is monitoring humidity levels in schools to see if this has an impact on the virus' survival.

"The idea is that higher humidity might protect us from the flu. So, that might be an option we can use in the future to limit the spread of flu among people." Koep's  experiment called for placing more than 30 humidity censors around Lincoln Elementary and Kellogg Middle Schools in Rochester, Minnesota.

With the help of students and science, Koep tracked and manipulated humidity levels throughout the building for two years..

"I think the cool thing is, they get to see themselves working with a scientist like Tyler and they can identify with Tyler," Science Teacher Corey Dornack said. "And I think they can see that maybe one day they can do the same type of stuff because they're a lot like they are."

The results of the experiment might have a positive effect on school attendance. "If we can find a way to lower the number of students with the flu by either humidity levels or other ideas, we're always willing to look at that.
[snip]

Koep still has a lot of data to collect and analyze. His busiest time being right now during winter, but according to the school's principal, Lincoln Elementary has seen a decrease in students out due to influenza.

Whether or not that has to do with the changing humidity levels, we have yet to see.


First Person: The Flu Season Cost My Family $600
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/...

[This article provides another good reason for getting an early annual flu shot.]

By Tiffany Bailey | Yahoo! Contributor Network - 19 hours ago

While there are reports that the flu season is over, we have yet to see relief in my house. This year we were hit hard with the flu and winter colds. In fact, this is the first time in a very long time that both my husband and I caught what the children had. As if the sickness was not enough, there was also a financial toll taken on us. This is how much the flu season cost us, what we bought, and how we will be better prepared in the future.

[continued at link]

[Note: Even though her son received the flu shot he still got the flu, but the mother believes the flu shot helped his recovery and plans on getting flu shots for both children next year.]


First Person: The Flu Season Cost My Family $600
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/...

[This article provides another good reason for getting an early annual flu shot.]

By Tiffany Bailey | Yahoo! Contributor Network - 19 hours ago

While there are reports that the flu season is over, we have yet to see relief in my house. This year we were hit hard with the flu and winter colds. In fact, this is the first time in a very long time that both my husband and I caught what the children had. As if the sickness was not enough, there was also a financial toll taken on us. This is how much the flu season cost us, what we bought, and how we will be better prepared in the future.

[continued at link]

[Note: Even though her son received the flu shot he still got the flu, but the mother believes the flu shot helped his recovery and plans on getting flu shots for both children next year.]


This article posted itself...unfortunately prematurely.
[ Parent ]
China: 71 released from quarantine over bird flu fears
http://www.nzweek.com/healthli...

Souce:Xinhua Publish By David K. Barger Updated 17/02/2013 5:34 am in Health&Lifestyle / no comments

GUIYANG, Feb. 16 - Seventy-one people who had close contact with two patients who contracted avian influenza H5N1 in southwest China's Guizhou Province have been released from quarantine, local health authorities announced on Saturday.

Another 39 people are still under quarantine, according to the provincial health department statement.

Two residents of the provincial capital of Guiyang tested positive for the H5N1 virus on Sunday, it said.

One patient, a 21-year-old woman, died of multiple organ failure on Wednesday. The other patient, a 31-year-old man, is still receiving medical treatment,
the statement said.

The health authority put 110 people who had close contact with the two patients, including their relatives and medical staff, under quarantine.

[snip]

Human infections of bird flu are usually caused by transmission from poultry to humans. There have been no reported cases of sustained human-to-human transmission.


India: Swine flu kills two in Delhi, 59 new cases recorded on weekend (Delhi)
NEW DELHI: Two more people succumbed to swine flu in the city on Saturday, taking the death toll to nine. The state health department said the victims - an 83-year-old man (Snip) and a 52-year-old woman (Snip) succumbed to severe complications caused by the viral infection. Also, 59 new cases of the disease were reported on Saturday, taking the total number of affected individuals in the city to 361.

"Safdarjung Hospital has maximum 26 cases, followed by Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital (4) and Guru Tegh Bahadur Gospital (3). Some cases have been reported from path labs and the patients are undergoing treatment at home," said a senior official.

He said that the incidence of the viral infection may go up in the next few days because of the rains. The existing weather condition is most conducive for viral growth. 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

     


Germany: Ducks slaughtered after bird flu found at German farm
About 14,000 ducks at a German farm were being slaughtered on Saturday following a bird flu outbreak.

A federal labouratory confirmed the H5N1 virus was detected at the farm near Seelow, east of Berlin - the first such finding in Germany in more than three years.

On Saturday, officials started slaughtering the farm's ducks. Local council spokesman Tobias Seyfarth told news agency dpa that all poultry within a one-kilometre radius of the facility will be kept under observation for the next 21 days, with owners told to keep their birds where they are and report any symptoms. Continued: http://www.scmp.com/news/world...

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

     


Nepal: Bird flu on rise, farmers resist vets
KATHMANDU, Feb 16: With the growing incidence of bird flu in the Valley, vet officials and technicians have been encountering intense resistance and threats from poultry farmers (Snip). Due to the resistance and threats from farmers, efforts to control the disease have becoming a serious challenge for the officials.

(Snip) poultry farmers have even stopped reporting the death of fowls to veterinary offices, which they said is a dangerous trend and a great threat to public health.

The office said that strains of H5N1 virus have been spreading rapidly in the poultry farms of the Valley and adjoining districts. This week alone, the capital witnessed four outbreaks of the virus, in which over 12,000 chickens were culled.

In the last one-and-half months, a seventh outbreak has occurred in the district. Rapid response teams comprising vets destroyed thousands of chickens in Dhading, Nuwakot, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur during this period.

"The disease has been spreading rapidly and we have been encountering more resistance from farmers," (Snip). "They tried to dare the rapid response teams to destroy the infected chickens."

The office had to seek the assistance of police to carry out disinfection in several farms.

(Snip)

"Had we not intervened on time, they (farmers) would sell all the ailing chickens in the market," he added. He said that due to the resistance of farmers, the office could not assure that all the chicken in the market is safe for consumption.

DoAH-deployed surveillance officers have been complaining that the farmers do not even let them enter their poultry farms for inspection. "We cannot take the police to each and every farm for inspection," (Snip). In recent outbreaks, several farmers have themselves dumped the dead chicken without informing veterinary officials.

Veterinary doctors said that farmers are at high risk of contracting the disease. They urged the farmers to exercise high alert and inform vet officials if chickens start to die in huge numbers. (Snip). http://www.myrepublica.com/por...

(Note: This is a serious situation and will only lead to H5N1 spreading farther, along with possible human infections. I'm betting a lot of those farmers and their families are eating the sick or dead poultry and as many as posible are being sold in the markets).

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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