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News Reports for February 26, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 19:48:36 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!

Cambodia
• Cambodia reports 9th bird flu case (Link)
• Cambodia reports eighth bird flu death, triggering fears  (Link)
Bird flu epidemic in Cambodia? (Link)

China
• China alert for bird flu from Cambodia (Link)

India
• Odisha: Bird flu outbreak in Chilka lake (Link)

Indonesia
• Hundreds of Ducks in Bantul Death Due to Bird Flu Confirmed  (Link)

Mexico
• Millions of chickens slaughtered in Mexico over bird flu (Link)

UK
• Scotland: Second swine flu case in Dumfries and Galloway (Link)
• Scotland: Swine flu mum's fury: NHS fobbed me off for two weeks (Link)
• Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway swine flu toddler 'fit to go home'  (Link)

US
• Experts: New SARS-like virus could show up in U.S. (Link)

Vietnam
• HCMC braces for bird flu as H5N1 moves in from Cambodia (Link)

General
• Researchers develop affordable and portable disease diagnostics for developing world  (Link)
• New respiratory coronavirus shows concerning SARS echoes  (Link)
• Novel coronavirus well-adapted to humans (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 26, 2013

News for February 25, 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 February 15, 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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Cambodia reports 9th bird flu case
PHNOM PENH: Cambodia reported on Tuesday that a 35-year-old man died of Avian Influenza H5N1, bringing the death toll to eight and the number of cases to nine in 2013 (Snip). The man, identified as Thoeun Doeun, lived in Trung Trang district of Eastern Kampong Cham province.    

"He died of the bird flu virus last night after a four-day medical treatment at the Calmete Hospital in Phnom Penh," Suon Sokhy, younger sister of the victim, told China's Xinhua news agency over telephone. She said that her brother became sick after he took a dead duck to cook and ate. "Doctor told me that he died of bird flu," she said.    

Sonny Krishnan, communications officer with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Cambodia, confirmed the death on Tuesday.    

Meanwhile, he appealed to people to be high vigilant over the virus, saying that home slaughtering and preparation of sick or dead poultry for food is hazardous.    

(Snip)    

He added that parents and guardians should keep their children away from poultry -- do not allow them to touch feathers and do not keep poultry in their house.    

(Snip)    

"I'd like to urge people not to eat ill or dead poultry," (Snip). Poultry must be cooked well. Properly cooked poultry meat is therefore safe to consume."    

The country sees the worst outbreak of the virus this year since the disease was first identified in 2004. To date, the country has recorded 30 human cases of the virus, killing 27 people. http://www.nst.com.my/latest/c...


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

     


Tables of H5N1 cases
2012-2013 season (case onset from 9/1/2012)

2011-2012 season (case onset from 9/1/2011)

2006-2008 cases & Egyptian cases through 05/2009

WHO Table of cases 2003-2013 (number of cases & deaths by country)


[ Parent ]
India: Bird flu outbreak in Chilka lake (Odisha)
(Note: Odisha was formerly known as Orissa)

The Odisha government has asked the local administration of three districts, two in the coastal region and one in the southern zone, to remain in high alert after a confirmed case of bird flu was detected in Chilka lake which houses one of the topmost winter homes for migratory birds in the country.

The nearly 1100 sq km in size brackish water lagoon, spreads over these three districts of Khurda, Puri and Ganjam. "Last month we had sent blood samples of eight migratory birds for tests in a laboratory outside the state and one of them has been confirmed as a positive case of bird flu. (Snip).

(Snip) a team of experts had been sent to the famous water body on Sunday and they had collected blood samples of some more migratory birds besides a few birds from the poultry farms in the villages in and around the lake. They would be sent for laboratory test soon. The news of the bird flu outbreak has triggered panic in the entire coastal belt primarily because the state had been hit hard by the dreaded avian flu last year. The areas which were affected included capital Bhubaneswar.

(Snip) the state fisheries and animal husbandry department has advised the people not to panic. The department has already formed a rapid action team to handle the situation. (Snip) The migratory birds in the Chilka lake have already begun their homeward journey which may also help the authorities to handle the situation better . This winter, nearly 8.9  lakh winged visitors had made the Odisha lake their temporary abode. There are about five lakh birds (500,000) still present in the lake. http://www.deccanherald.com/co...


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

     


Millions of chickens slaughtered in Mexico over bird flu
More than 2 million chickens have been slaughtered in Mexico's Guanajuato state following an outbreak of bird flu.

(Snip)

The current outbreak of bird flu was caused by an 'exotic' virus that affects birds but poses no threat to humans. http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_02...

(Note: There have been a few documented cases of H7N3 infections in humans in the past few years. They were mild respiratory and conjuctivitis infections. As with any flu strain found in birds and pigs, there is always a danger of it jumping the species to humans. JMO)  

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

     


Vietnam: HCMC braces for bird flu as H5N1 moves in from Cambodia
2/22/2013 - Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have ordered local agencies to step up preventive measures against avian flu, which has spread back into Vietnam via Cambodia recently (Snip).

In a letter to agencies and district authorities, the city People's Committee asked those involved to tighten their control over poultry farming, butchering, and trading. They also called for local people not to farm, butcher, trade or use poultry products with unclear originals.

In the meantime, health agencies were ordered to disseminate information about the H5N1 virus, which causes bird flu, as well as to prepare sufficient equipments and drugs for prevention (Snip).

(Snip) in two localities bordering Cambodia, (Snip) two bird flu outbreaks have been detected, namely in Tien Thuan and Binh Minh districts in the southern province of Tay Ninh.

The outbreak of bird flu is highly threatening to spread to other border provinces like Binh Phuoc and Long An. Continued:  http://www.thanhniennews.com/i...  

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

     


China alert for bird flu from Cambodia
BEIJING, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's quarantine authority announced on Monday that it has ordered strengthened prevention against avian influenza H5N1 after the disease infected five people in Cambodia last month.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) will increase checks on the body temperatures of people traveling to China from Cambodia (Snip).

Travelers entering with fever, cough, headache or general malaise should report to the quarantine control department (Snip). People suspected of being infected will receive careful tests and be sent to medical institutions for further treatment (Snip).

Local quarantine authorities will provide health services and education to international travelers to help them avoid being infected by the epidemic.

China will also strengthen sanitary measures against bird flu at customs. Vehicles, containers and goods from Cambodia will be put under strict quarantine upon entering China (Snip). Continued: http://english.peopledaily.com...

(Note: OMG! Are the Chinese government officials actually so stupid that they think other governments and people around the world don't know the H5N1 strain is spreading OUT of China to Cambodia, Vietnam and possibly other countries instead of the other way around? Are they so stupid as to believe we think they are being honest about them hardly ever having any human cases? Unbelievable!!! JMO)

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

     


Unbelievable!!! JMO
I followed Carol@SC's link and surfed around the China People's Daily site and found a couple of articles that might support either her suspicions of an unreported Chinese H5N1 epidemic or the notion that some of us flu preppers tend to be a bit paranoid. :)  In mid January there was a massive increase in sales of P-95 masks that led to shortages with the explanation that the masks were must haves for smog:

http://english.people.com.cn/9...

The Gangzhou government has introduced a policy to provide free sea burials and is offering a cash incentive to residents using the service:

http://english.people.com.cn/9...

Thank you Carol for your hard work and dedication to this site.  It is much appreciated, even by one who usually just lurks.


[ Parent ]
I agree with skyblue
Thank you very much Carol. I really appreciate you also.

[ Parent ]
UK: Second swine flu case in Dumfries and Galloway
NHS Dumfries and Galloway has said it is dealing with a second case of the H1 NI virus - known as swine flu.

An 18-month-old boy was admitted to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary on Monday.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s...


UK: Swine flu mum's fury: NHS fobbed me off for two weeks

The mum of a toddler diagnosed with swine flu has told how she flagged up her son's symptoms almost TWO WEEKS ago - only to be fobbed off by doctors.

Furious Lucy Roberts claimed medics at her local surgery dismissed concerns that little Tyler had contracted the lethal virus, even though he'd been in contact with another victim.

Her 18-month-old boy was last night being kept under close observation at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary - after he was confirmed as the second person to contact the deadly bug within weeks.

Tyler started showing symptoms of the illness after being in close contact with his godmother Jennifer Scott, 27, who's now fighting for her life at a specialist unit for seriously ill swine flu victims.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/ho...


[ Parent ]
UK: Dumfries and Galloway swine flu toddler 'fit to go home'
An 18-month-old child from southern Scotland diagnosed with swine flu is expected to be released from hospital.

The young boy is the second case of the H1N1 virus reported in Dumfries and Galloway in recent weeks.

Public health director Dr Derek Cox said doctors expected him to be fit to return home on Tuesday.

(Snip)

Dr Cox stressed that H1N1 was circulating at "normal winter levels" in the region and throughout the rest of the country.

"These are not the first two cases that have occurred this winter and H1N1 is just what you might call 'normal flu' now," he explained.

"The main message is that this is normal for this time of year."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-s...


[ Parent ]
Hundreds of Ducks in Bantul Death Due to Bird Flu Confirmed
http://www.metrotvnews.com/met...
February 26, 2013
Yogyakarta, Indonesia:  The cause of the deaths of hundreds of ducks in Tirtohargo, District Kretek, Bantul, Yogyakarta, is likely due to bird flu (avian influenza).  Certainty was obtained after a team from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry Bantul, went to duck coops owned by Saroja Braros Wiyono in Hamlet, Village Tirtohargo, Kretek.  The team leader Sri Imawati conducted rapid tests at the site.  

"The rapid tests showed that the deaths were due to bird flu virus," he said on Tuesday (26/2).

He previously reported on Friday (22/2) that since Monday (25/2) hundreds of ducks suddenly died that were owned by Saroja.  The incident was then reported to the Government of Bantul. Sri Ismawati further said the carcasses of ducks that died suddenly were destroyed by burning, while the enclosures and their environment will be sprayed with disinfectant.  

"In order not to continue to spread," he said.


"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson


Cambodia reports eighth bird flu death, triggering fears
http://www.channelnewsasia.com...

ASIA PACIFIC NEWS

Posted: 26 February 2013 2136 hrs

PHNOM PENH: A 35-year-old man has become Cambodia's eighth bird flu fatality this year, prompting concern about the spread of the virus in the country, a health official said Tuesday.


The latest victim, from the northeastern province of Kampong Cham, died on Monday night from the H5N1 virus in a Phnom Penh hospital,
said Ly Sovann, deputy head of the health ministry's disease surveillance bureau.

He said the man had eaten two ducks which had previously died before he became sick earlier this month.

"We are really worried about the situation because in just two months we have nine cases of bird flu," Ly Sovann told AFP.

Eight of the nine people died, along with thousands of birds in the villages where the victims lived.

"There was a lot of dead poultry, but the people did not report to (officials). In the villages that I went to, almost all poultry had died," Ly Sovann said, adding it took up to a month for officials to be told of poultry deaths in some areas.

The health ministry has enhanced surveillance to try to detect and treat avian influenza cases in the early stages, he said.

"We are also worried about (possible) human-to-human transmission of bird flu, but it is not the case now," said Ly Sovann.

He urged villagers immediately to report dead poultry and not to touch or eat the birds.

Sonny Krishnan, communications officer with the World Health Organisation in Cambodia, said it was keeping "a close watch" on the situation.

"The disease is still of limited transmittability from poultry to humans," he said.

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


China Alert for Bird Flu from Cambodia
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/...

China Alert for Bird Flu from Cambodia
26 February 2013

CHINA - China's quarantine authority has announced that it has ordered strengthened prevention against avian influenza H5N1 after the disease infected five people in Cambodia last month.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) will increase checks on the body temperatures of people traveling to China from Cambodia, according to a notice on the AQSIQ's website.

Travelers entering with fever, cough, headache or general malaise should report to the quarantine control department, said the AQSIQ.

People suspected of being infected will receive careful tests and be sent to medical institutions for further treatment, the administration added.

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


Bird flu epidemic in Cambodia?
http://www.rappler.com/world/2...

BY AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
POSTED ON 02/26/2013 10:16 PM  | UPDATED 02/26/2013 10:16 PM

[snip]
"We are really worried about the situation because in just two months we have nine cases of bird flu," Ly Sovann told AFP.

Eight of the nine people died, along with thousands of birds in the villages where the victims lived.

"There was a lot of dead poultry, but the people did not report to (officials). In the villages that I went to, almost all poultry had died," Ly Sovann said, adding it took up to a month for officials to be told of poultry deaths in some areas.

The health ministry has enhanced surveillance to try to detect and treat avian influenza cases in the early stages, he said.

"We are also worried about (possible) human-to-human transmission of bird flu, but it is not the case now," said Ly Sovann.
[snip]

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


Researchers develop affordable and portable disease diagnostics for developing world
http://phys.org/news/2013-02-p...

February 26, 2013 by Michael Rogers Enlarge (

Phys.org)-When viruses like HIV/AIDS strike in underdeveloped regions of the world, they often spiral out of control in part because there is no easy way to bring diagnostic equipment to remote areas so that the diseases can be identified, treated, and stopped before they spread. Now, an inexpensive, portable, easy-to-use device, built by a team of Caltech engineers and biologists, promises to speed the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS and other diseases-and improve treatment-in even the most far-flung corners of the world.

The team is led by Caltech biologist and Nobel Laureate David Baltimore, president emeritus and the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology, and Axel Scherer, the Bernard Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics. With two recent grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Scherer and Baltimore have built a new version of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) device, which generates many copies of a pathogenic nucleic acid, allowing the infection to be detected.

The new PCR machine is small enough to stow in a backpack and is as simple to operate as a DVD player. Its inventors hope that it will make rapid molecular diagnostic techniques and the resulting health-care benefits available and affordable to all who need them. The device is the result of nearly 10 years of research at Caltech. In 2004, Scherer, a leader in the field of microfluidics, and George Maltezos-then Scherer's graduate student (PhD '07), now a Caltech senior scientist-were investigating how to manipulate biological fluids on a chip. While this was an interesting engineering problem, Maltezos began to wonder whether he could apply the microfluidic techniques that he was perfecting to real-world problems. Then the H5N1 bird flu pandemic erupted in Asia, and he and his colleagues had their real-world problem.

[continued at link] http://phys.org/news/2013-02-p...

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


Experts: New SARS-like virus could show up in U.S.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/18/...

By William Hudson and Elizabeth Cohen, CNN
updated 11:07 AM EST, Tue February 19, 2013

(CNN) -- Infectious disease experts say they wouldn't be surprised if a new virus that's sickened 12 people and killed six shows up in the United States.

The first cases of the novel coronavirus, which is in the same family as SARS and the common cold, were found to have occurred in an Amman, Jordan, hospital in April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People have also become infected in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. On Saturday, the World Health Organization announced a new case in the United Kingdom -- the third case confirmed this month, all in the same family.

One of those three people has died, Britain's Health Protection Agency said Tuesday. "This patient had an underlying condition that may have made them more susceptible to respiratory infections," the agency said in a statement.

[continued at link]

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


New respiratory coronavirus shows concerning SARS echoes
http://www.internalmedicinenew...

By: MITCHEL L. ZOLER, Internal Medicine News Digital Network

The short-lived, worldwide epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome that began its streak across the globe 10 years ago, starting in February 2003, has been echoed over the past 8 months by what is so far a much more limited number of cases of a new, mysterious respiratory virus closely related to the SARS pathogen.

Mostly known so far as the "novel coronavirus" (NCoV), the new agent is very similar to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus, and by late February the new virus had been identified in 13 patients worldwide - in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Kingdom, and Qatar - causing seven deaths and severe illness in five of the other six patients.

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) and other epidemiology groups first became aware of the NCoV last September, and as the number of identified cases has inched up, researchers have scrambled to gather information about the novel virus and heighten surveillance for new cases. SARS left a legacy of just over 8,000 probable cases in 29 countries, including 29 probable U.S. cases, with an overall fatality rate of 10%. After bursting on the scene in early 2003, SARS quickly flamed out, with the last handful of clinical cases ever seen identified in China in early 2004.

"It's likely we will see more" of the NCoV. "We'll need to cast a wide net since we now know there are a dozen cases and different clinical presentations,"
Dr. Larry Madoff said at the International Meeting on Emerging Diseases and Surveillance. Although almost every patient with confirmed NCoV infection has had severe illness, one U.K. patient who acquired the infection from another household member had a mild, flulike illness. The milder case "calls into question the [WHO] established case definition for this illness," said Dr. Madoff, director of epidemiology and immunization at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in Boston and chairman of the meeting's program committee.
[continued at link]

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


Novel coronavirus well-adapted to humans
http://www.infection-research....

19 February 2013American Society for Microbiology/mBio

[snip]

HCoV-EMC first came to light in June when it was isolated from a man in Saudi Arabia who died from a severe respiratory infection and kidney failure. Since that time, public health officials have identified an additional 10 infected persons, nine of whom had traveled in the Middle East and one who had recent contact with an infected person. The emergence of HCoV-EMC, which is related to the SARS virus, has raised concern that it may eventually lead to a pandemic much like the SARS pandemic of 2002-2003, which is estimated to have sickened over 8,000 people and killed 774 worldwide.

For the mBio® study, Thiel and his colleagues tested how well HCoV-EMC could infect and multiply in the entryways to the human lung using cultured bronchial cells manipulated to mimic the airway lining. The lining of the lung, or epithelium, represents an important first barrier against respiratory viruses, but they apparently don't put up a big fight against HCoV-EMC, says Thiel. He and his colleagues found that human airway epithelial cells are highly susceptible to HCoV-EMC infection and that the virus is able to multiply at a faster initial rate than the SARS virus.

"The other thing we found is that the viruses [HCoV-EMC, SARS, and the common cold virus] are all similar in terms of host responses: they don't provoke a huge innate immune response," Thiel says. This is an indication that HCoV-EMC is already well adapted to the human host and that the virus uses that same strategy other coronaviruses use for evading the host's non-specific immune mechanisms.

The authors asked themselves whether boosting this weak immune response might diminish the virus' ability to infect airway epithelial cells. They found that pre-treating the cells with lambda-type interferons, proteins that are released by host cells in response to infection and enable communication between cells to mount an immune response, significantly reduced the number of infected cells. This is encouraging from a treatment standpoint, note the authors, since interferons have also shown a good deal of promise for treating SARS and another viral illness, Hepatitis C.

(American Society for Microbiology/mBio )

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


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