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News Reports for October 19, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 14:14:47 PM EDT


Reminder: Please do not post whole articles, just snippets and links. Thanks!

Australia
• Highly pathogenic bird flu hits Australia (Link)

Nigeria
• ProMED: Lassa Fever - Nigeria (11): (EI): Abakaliki, nosocomial, alert (Link)

Qatar
• ProMED: MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (76): Qatar, new case, RFI (Link)
• CIDRAP: WHO says Qatari MERS patient had contact with camels (Link)

Saudi Arabia
• 1.4m pilgrims leave S Arabia after Haj (Link)
• Saudi MOH: The new Corona virus Press Releases The discovery of the case of the new Corona virus in the Riyadh region (Link)
• WHO update: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update (Link)
• 2nd MERS case announced in 2 days (Link)

United States
• CDC: Flu activity low in U.S., elevated in Southeast (Link)
• CIDRAP: Work resumes at federal public health agencies (Link)

Research
• ProMED: Avian influenza, human (123): H7N9, H5N1, age and sex-specific morbidity (Link)

Commentary
• Avian Flu Diary: An Abbreviated FluView (Link)
• Virology Down Under: A summary of Influenza A(H7N9) virus findings in birds and humans (Link)
• Crofsblogs: Random Analytics: October 19 MERS infographic update (Link)


• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for October 19, 2013

News for October 18, 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 H7N9 web page

WHO A(H1N1) Site
WHO H5N1 human case totals
Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO
Google Flu Trends
CDC Weekly Influenza Summary
Map of seasonal influenza in the U.S.
CIDPC (Canada) Weekly FluWatch
UK RCGP Weekly Data on Communicable and Respiratory Diseases
Flu Wiki

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US: CDC - Flu activity low in U.S., elevated in Southeast
ATLANTA, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Federal health officials report influenza activity in the week ending Oct. 12 was low overall in the United States, except for the Southeast.
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said the one exception is in the Southeast region of the country, where one of several key indicators CDC monitors is elevated.

"The percent of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza is higher in the Southeast than in the rest of the country," the CDC report said. "Flu activity often begins to increase during October, so this elevated indicator is not unusual for this time of year."

Increases in influenza activity across the United States are expected in the coming weeks, the CDC said. Continued: http://www.upi.com/Health_News...  

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

     


Canada: Highly pathogenic bird flu hits Australia
Two separate outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris, putting poultry producers in Australia and South East Asia on a state of high alert.

The most recent case involved an egg farm in New South Wales, Australia, where some 18,000 birds out of 435,000 on a free-range and cage unit have died. Depopulation of the remaining birds has begun. A 1km restricted zone has been set up around the unit, plus a wider 10km control area, with movement restrictions and screening. Vaccination has also been prohibited. (Snip) the strain is the highly pathogenic H7N2 (Snip).

In a separate outbreak, some 370 birds have died of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of the disease on a chicken and duck farm in northern Vietnam, with another 805 destroyed. (Snip) http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/...

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

     


Oops! Sorry folks.
Please ignore my mistake of typing "Canada" in the headlines of this article. It's just another one of my typical screw-ups! LOL

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

     


[ Parent ]
No worries...
They're both north of.....somewhere. :-)

[ Parent ]
LOL
Bronco Bill, I can always count on you for a good laugh!  

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

     


[ Parent ]
ProMED: Avian influenza, human (123): H7N9, H5N1, age and sex-specific morbidity
Abstract
--------
We used data on age and sex for 136 laboratory confirmed human A(H7N9) cases reported as of 11 Aug 2013 to compare age-specific and sex-specific patterns of morbidity and mortality from the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus with those of the avian influenza A(H5N1) virus. Human A(H7N9) cases exhibit high degrees of age and sex bias: mortality is heavily biased toward males older than 50 years, no deaths have been reported among individuals younger than 25 years old, and relatively few cases documented among children or adolescents. The proportion of fatal cases (PFC) for human A(H7N9) cases as of 11 Aug 2013 was 32 percent, compared to a cumulative PFC for A(H5N1) of 83 percent in Indonesia and 36 percent in Egypt. Approximately 75 percent of cases of all A(H7N9) cases occurred among individuals older than 45 years old.

Morbidity and mortality from A(H7N9) are lowest among individuals between 10 and 29 years, the age group which exhibits the highest cumulative morbidity and case fatality rates from A(H5N1). Although individuals younger than 20 years old comprise nearly 50 percent of all human A(H5N1) cases, only 7 percent of all reported A(H7N9) cases and no deaths have been reported among individuals in this age group. Only 4 percent of A(H7N9) cases occurred among children younger than 5 years old, and only one case from the 10 to 20 year age group.

Age and sex-related differences in morbidity and mortality from emerging zoonotic diseases can provide insights into ecological, economic, and cultural factors that may contribute to the emergence and proliferation of novel zoonotic diseases in human populations.

---------------
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail

[This new analysis of age and sex-specific morbidity and mortality in human patients reveals interesting common features of the A/(H5N1) and A/(H7N9) avian influenza virus infections.

Human infections with avian A/(H5N1) have occurred over a period of 10 years and have been reported in 15 countries from Turkey in the West to China in the East. In contrast, so far, avian influenza A/(H7N9) human infections has been restricted to China (and a single case in Taiwan) during the current influenza season. Fortunately so far neither of these 2 avian influenza viruses has developed potential for sustained human-to-human transmission. But it cannot be assumed the this situation will continue.  Mod.CP] http://www.promedmail.org/

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

     


ProMED: MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (76): Qatar, new case, RFI
Excerpt:

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

A 61-year-old man in Qatar is being treated for a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, according to a Qatar News Agency report today [17 Oct 2013]. The report marks the country's 6th case.

Qatar's Supreme Council of Health said the man, who has chronic illnesses, is being treated and is in stable condition (Snip).

Investigators have learned that the man has not traveled outside Qatar recently and has not had contact with other MERS-CoV case-patients, the story said. His family members and other contacts have been tested for the virus, all with negative results.

The story did not mention the patient's home town or whether he had any recent contact with animals.

The last previous MERS-CoV case reported in Qatar involved a 56-year-old woman who died of her infection on [31 Aug 2013]. 2 other cases also were reported in August [2013], and 2 were reported in the fall of 2012. One of the latter cases involved a man who got sick in Qatar in September 2012 and was treated in London but died there in June of this year [2013].

The World Health Organization, [which has reported the new case in its latest update on 18 Oct 2013, lists a total of 139 MERS-CoV cases and 60 deaths]. Other groups have reported slightly higher numbers. FluTrackers, an online infectious disease message board, maintains a case list that currently shows 144 cases, including the new Qatari one.

Full report is here: http://www.promedmail.org/

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

     


ProMED: Lassa Fever - Nigeria (11): (EI): Abakaliki, nosocomial, alert
Lassa Fever, human, Abakaliki, Nigeria
--------------------------------------
3 cases of Lassa fever have been reported among doctors working in the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state, Nigeria.

--
Communicated by:
Ikenna Ozioko
Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki
Nigeria

[ProMED commends the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki for sending this alert directly to us, and asks all health institutions seeing cases of significance to international health to consider doing the same through the SUBMIT INFO button at the top of the ProMED Home page www.promedmail.org.

Physicians in Nigeria or abroad who see febrile residents or tourists coming from Ebonyi State, Nigeria, in the last 3 weeks (the incubation period of Lassa fever), should consider testing for Lassa fever. I am sure that the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki has swiftly implemented the proper procedures to avoid further spread of the disease from patients to staff. All health workers in Nigeria should wear proper protective gear when treating suspected Lassa patients, because you never know if they may have come from an endemic area.

*****Health workers in countries across Nigeria's borders should take the same precautions with febrile visitors from Nigeria.

The Summary Table on the front page of Nigeria's IDSR Weekly Report as at 27/09/2013 from Nigeria shows 16 cases of Lassa fever (1 fatal) for Week 37 in September 2013.

Continued: http://www.promedmail.org/

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

     


CIDRAP: WHO says Qatari MERS patient had contact with camels
The 61-year-old Qatari man who has Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) had contact with farm animals, including camels, before his illness (Snip).

"The patient owns a farm and has had significant contact with the animals, including camels, sheep and hens," (Snip). "Some of the animals in his farm have been tested and were negative for MERS-CoV. Further investigations into the case and the animals in the farm are ongoing."

The agency didn't specify which animals were tested. Recent studies showed that camels in Egypt, Oman, and the Canary Islands carried antibodies to MERS-CoV or a closely related virus, which stoked the suspicion that camels may have spread the virus to humans.

(Snip) the Qatari patient is hospitalized and in stable condition. The man had not traveled outside Qatar in the 2 weeks before he got sick (Snip). His case is the sixth reported in Qatar. Continued: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news...

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

     


CIDRAP: Work resumes at federal public health agencies
Congressional agreement on a funding bill that reopened government yesterday got the gears turning again with several key public health tasks, such as flu surveillance, science communication, and lab testing.

Within hours of President Obama's signing of the legislation, some of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Twitter accounts crackled to life again, including one used by its director, Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, who wrote, "So relieved to have the best and brightest back to work protecting and promoting health. Hope for no relapse..."

Government employees who had been furloughed were asked to return yesterday. At the CDC all but 4,000 of about 13,000 employees were furloughed. A few were called back to manage a Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to three Foster Farms processing facilities in California.

Barbara Reynolds, PhD, who directs the CDC's division of public affairs, was the point person who fielded media queries while many of her colleagues were furloughed. She told CIDRAP News yesterday that the CDC is operating as it did before the shutdown, and that its scientists and health officials can resume needed travel and attend meetings.

Throughout the day yesterday, the CDC posted several notices on its Web site signaling that its activities were returning to normal. It posted a notice that its weekly FluView surveillance reports would return today, but in an abbreviated form, after a 2-week absence. The lack of reports created an information void during the first weeks of the new flu season, but unofficial sources, plus the CDC's report today, point to little activity.

Oct 18 CDC FluView: 2013-2014 Influenza Season Week 41 ending October 12, 2013 http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/

Continued: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news...

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

     


Avian Flu Diary: An Abbreviated FluView
http://afludiary.blogspot.com/...

# 7876

Although the government shutdown has ended, and the CDC is back in full force, they've got some catch-up to do.  So Friday's FluView report was brief, and accompanied by the following announcement.

[graphic of announcement)

Flu activity remains low (at least based on the surveillance data we have at the moment), with no pediatric deaths reported, and just one novel (H3N2v) swine variant infection reported in Iowa.

[This is the post Mike refers to. Read it at the link]

2013-2014 Influenza Season Week 41 ending October 12, 2013
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/


1.4m pilgrims leave S Arabia after Haj
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/d...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

1.4m pilgrims leave S Arabia after Haj

MINA: Some 1.4 million pilgrims from 188 countries started leaving Saudi Arabia on Thursday at the end of what authorities hailed as a successful and incident-free Haj.

Makkah's provincial governor, Prince Khaled al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, said the 2013 Haj marked a "qualitative turning point" in the organisation of the annual pilgrimage, marred in previous years by deadly fires and stampedes.

The rites were carried out in a calm atmosphere and free of any political demonstrations, making it a "success" and proving "Islam is a religion of peace, civilisation and progress", he told reporters. Although the Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam, came to a close officially on Friday, pilgrims were allowed to leave a day early after taking part in the stoning of the devil ritual. Pilgrims woke up early on Thursday and began stoning three huge concrete structures in Mina representing Satan straight after sunrise, in accordance with the teachings of Islam. In 2006, more than 300 pilgrims were killed in a stampede during the stoning ritual. More than 250 were killed in a similar incident in 2004.

The deaths prompted the Saudi authorities to invest billions of dollars in transport and other infrastructure to facilitate the movement of the huge number of participants. After the stoning, pilgrims performed the final tawaf, or circumambulation, of the Kaaba, in the holy city of Makkah. Thousands of pilgrims were later seen loading trucks with luggage and leaving their hotels in Makkah....

"Not a single case (of MERS) was detected," Health Minister Abdallah al-Rabia told reporters. ...

The pilgrimage was monitored by more than 5,000 cameras installed at all holy sites, including 1,200 at the Grand Mosque, managed by the Command and Control Centre for Haj Security. Saudi Minister of Haj Affairs Bandar Hajjar said on Wednesday that his ministry had been instructed by the king to work out a 25-year plan to ensure the smooth running of the pilgrimage.


Link to the above article:
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/d...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Comment:
Here's hoping all those pilgrims leaving Saudi Arabia don't take MERS-CoV back to their countries! I will be watching this closely over the next 10 days.

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

     


[ Parent ]
Saudi MOH: The new Corona virus Press Releases The discovery of the case of the new Corona virus in the Riyadh region
http://www.moh.gov.sa/CoronaNe...
http://translate.google.com/tr...

Machine translated from Arabic:

12/14/1434
In the framework of Investigation epidemiological and continuous follow-up carried out by the Ministry of Health for HIV (Corona) that causes AIDS Middle East respiratory MERS-CoV Ministry announces the registration of the case infected with the virus in Riyadh for the citizen at the age of 73 years old, and has several chronic diseases, and had no history of travel outside Riyadh recently, and receives the necessary care intensive care. God asking him a speedy recovery  


Virology Down Under: A summary of Influenza A(H7N9) virus findings in birds and humans
http://virologydownunder.blogs...


A new article from Bloomberg news http://washpost.bloomberg.com/... highlights a some interesting studies, how they present opposing conclusions and why we can expect to see more H7N9 activity, perhaps peaking at Chinese New Year.

continued...


Crofsblogs: Random Analytics: October 19 MERS infographic update
http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/...

October 18, 2013
Random Analytics: October 19 MERS infographic update
Via Shane Granger's Random Analytics blog, an October 19 infographic update including the Riyadh case reported on October 18: QuikStats: MERS-CoV in the KSA (October 2013)  http://gmggranger.wordpress.co... Among the many questions he raises is the variation in case fatality ratios (CFRs). The overall Saudi MERS CFR is 43%, but why should Makkah suffer a 62.5% CFR? Or Riyadh a CFR of 26.8%?


WHO update: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update

Disease outbreak news

18 October 2013 - WHO has been informed of an additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Qatar.

The patient is a 61-year-old man with underlying medical conditions who was admitted to a hospital on 11 October 2013. He is currently hospitalized and is in a stable condition. The patient was tested positive for MERS-CoV infection in Qatar and was confirmed by the reference laboratory of Public Health England yesterday.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the patient had not travelled outside Qatar in the two weeks prior to becoming ill. The patient owns a farm and has had significant contact with the animals, including camels, sheep and hens. Some of the animals in his farm have been tested and were negative for MERS-CoV. Further investigations into the case and the animals in the farm are ongoing.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 139 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 60 deaths.

Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns. continued...


Link to the above article:
http://www.who.int/csr/don/201...

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

     


[ Parent ]
Saudi Arabia: 2nd MERS case announced in 2 days
(Hat-tips to Avian Flu Diary & Flutrackers)

http://translate.google.com/tr...

(snip) Ministry announces the registration of the case infected with the virus in the Eastern Province of the citizen is coming from the area of ​​Riyadh at the age of 54 years old, and had no history of travel outside the regions Eastern and Riyadh recently, and has several chronic diseases and receives the necessary care intensive care.


So this is actually 3 new cases in the past few days, right?
We have the case from Qatar, and then a 73 year old and 54 year old both from Riyadh?

Always have a plan B.

[ Parent ]
Yes - 3 recent cases
1 from Qatar (with no history of recent travel, but had exposure to animals) and 2 from KSA.  Both of the Saudi cases had been in Riyadh; the most recent case was from the Eastern Region but had just returned from Riyadh.

[ Parent ]
Please post new news stories to...

News Reports for October 20, 2013

Thank you!

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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