N5H1 Flu - World Wide Update ... Part 5
Got some new updates to give you, and I made a new thread, cause part 4 had gotten really long ... again. Anyway, the first article is from:
Indonesian bird flu Tamiflu resistant
Canadian Press June 21, 2007 at 9:07 PM EDT
TORONTO — An Australian researcher says H5N1 avian flu viruses from Indonesia are markedly less susceptible to the antiviral drug Tamiflu than a previous line of the H5N1 family of viruses.
Jennifer McKimm-Breschkin says laboratory testing shows the viruses from Indonesia are 20 to 30 times less susceptible to the drug as compared to H5N1 viruses that circulated in Cambodia a couple of years ago.
Dr. McKimm-Breschkin, who's attending a conference on infectious diseases in Toronto, says the findings are not good news.
And she says they may help to explain the high death toll from H5N1 in Indonesia, where 80 of 100 patients have died of the disease.
A scientist from the World Health Organization says it's not clear what the impact of the reduced susceptibility to Tamiflu means for people from that part of the world who become infected with the virus.
Dr. Frederick Hayden says a lot of factors can have an impact on whether oseltamivir treatment of H5N1 patients is successful, including how much time passes between infection and the start of drug therapy.
The next article comes from:
H7 Avian Flu now a Concern for Humans
Thu, 21 Jun 2007 16:58:19 PDT Biology
H5N1 avian flu is the one researchers and public health officials have been really watching for any dangerous mutations leading to easy human to human transmission. But a recent outbreak of the H7 strain in the UK resulted in a lot of sick humans as well. A new study is warning about this and says this strain needs as much focus.
..." But while experts prepare for that grim possibility, a lesser-known relative of the H5N1 virus may be emerging as an equally formidable threat, based on what health authorities encountered recently on a handful of tiny chicken farms in Wales and northern England."..more, isn't that special, there
A continuation of that article is from:
Analysis: Bird flu fears reignited
By ED SUSMAN
TORONTO, June 19 (UPI) -- While the threat of a bird flu pandemic continues to hang over the world, authorities in the United Kingdom now believe a second strain of avian flu -- previously considered of little human risk -- does indeed pose a real danger to people.
"When you have to hospitalize someone for respiratory illness in the U.K., where hospital beds are hard to allocate, then the person has a serious illness," said Jonathan Nguyen-Van-Tam, a senior lecturer at Public Health Laboratory Services in London.
"In this outbreak, we had four people who tested positive for H7 influenza strain, and three of them were hospitalized," he told United Press International. "One person was a candidate for intensive care before he finally came around.
"I think we need to reconsider the H7 strain on the basis of this outbreak," Nguyen-Van-Tam said in reporting how British authorities dealt with the disease encountered on small farms in Wales in the spring of this year.
He presented the report in a special late-breaker session at the Options for the Control of Influenza VI conference in Toronto, attended by more than 1,400 healthcare professionals.
Worldwide, the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, the so-called bird flu, has infected 313 humans and killed 191 of them. The H5N1 disease, seen sporadically since 1996 in Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa, does infect human beings with a strain that is not easy to combat, but so far, its ability to effectively spread from human to human has not occurred. However, health authorities worldwide are nervously watching for that possibility.
But while experts prepare for that grim possibility, a lesser-known relative of the H5N1 virus may be emerging as an equally formidable threat, based on what health authorities encountered recently on a handful of tiny chicken farms in Wales and northern England.
Authorities were alerted to an outbreak there at a smallholding -- a small farm often considered to be inefficient for profitable farming -- where 30 to 40 hens were kept. The farmer had purchased 10 new hens from a trader at the Chelford Market in England.
When the new hens began dying between May 1 and May 17, health authorities from both countries descended on the farm, testing the sick birds and determining that the birds had H7N2 disease.
Health officials also found illness in the farmer's wife and the farmer, a neighbor/visitor and her partner. Only the neighbor's partner tested positive for H7. The partner was not hospitalized but was treated with oseltamivir, sold as Roche's Tamiflu.
Tracking sales at the live poultry market through primitive sales records, Nguyen-Van-Tam said the health agency was led to another smallholding -- so small that the birds were being raised inside the home.
Ducklings purchased around May 7 began getting ill and dying on May 10. By May 15, the pregnant resident and a male resident were hospitalized with influenza-like illnesses and both later tested positive for H7 disease.
With two such cases on record, authorities tried to find the dealer who sold the sick animals but had problems finding him on his farm on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales. That was because, Nguyen-Van-Tam said, the farmer had been hospitalized for five days with an influenza-like illness. He also tested positive for H7 disease.
Authorities then discovered another outbreak among hens purchased at Chelford May 7 at another smallholding in St. Helens in northwest England. The surviving birds tested positive for H7. However, the resident who had an influenza-like illness and his 3-year-old grandson who developed a fever both tested negative for H7.
Over the course of the investigation, people who had contacts with the birds or with the patients were treated with oseltamivir. Eventually that amounted to 369 individuals, 31 of whom had contacts with the birds.
Nguyen-Van-Tam said 23 people developed some form of influenza-like symptoms during the course of the investigation and cleanup. Fourteen of those individuals had secondary contact, but none showed immediate exposure to H7 virus.
Blood testing to further determine if there was spread of the disease is under way. Nguyen-Van-Tam said the investigation was even more difficult because the outbreaks occurred during the seasonal influenza outbreak, making it difficult to determine with sophisticated testing if the patients were infected by the seasonal bug or by avian flu.
"This was a challenging incident," Nguyen-Van-Tam said, "complicated in terms of time and space. No evidence of person-to-person transmission has been found, but serology tests are awaited."
Nguyen-Van-Tam also reported on efforts to contain an H5N1 outbreak in February on a turkey farm in Suffolk, England.
That outbreak was contained in three days, during which authorities slaughtered 160,000 turkeys and treated 482 people who worked on the large poultry farm or were from public health offices engaged in capturing the turkeys and euthanizing them.
The people exposed to the birds were treated with oseltamivir, but no human cases of H5N1 occurred in that incident.
And here is something I am sure no one wanted to think about! It comes from:
Flu could hitch a ride on banknotes
16:02 22 June 2007 NewScientist.com news service
Debora MacKenzie, Toronto
The flu virus persists so well on banknotes that money could help spread the next pandemic, researchers say.
Yves Thomas and colleagues at the University Hospitals of Geneva in Switzerland dripped various strains of flu virus – including some that were circulating during winter 2007 – onto Swiss banknotes and left them at room temperature for varying amounts of time before testing for live virus.
"We wanted to assess the survival of human flu on banknotes, knowing that billions of them are exchanged daily," Thomas says.
Money is so widely exchanged among all members of society that its movement has been studied as a model for the way infections spread.
At home in mucus
Some strains of flu lasted only two hours, but the most common flu, H3N2, lasted up to 72 hours.
However, all the strains lasted longer when they were dripped onto the notes along with human nasal mucus. Some lasted as long as 17 days. One strain that lasted only two hours on its own lasted 24 hours in mucus.
"I'm surprised the virus persisted so long," says Graeme Laver, an expert in the spread of bird flu, formerly of the Australian National University in Canberra. But the flu virus likes wet environments – and mucus is ideal because it is designed to retain water.
Typically humans with flu shed copious amounts of virus in their nasal secretions, the main route by which flu is believed to spread.
The extent to which flu spreads by floating through the air is debated by scientists, but experiments have shown that it is transmitted when people with flu touch surfaces that are then touched by other people.
This means that handling money within the lifespan of the virus could pass on the illness.
The findings were presented at the Options for the Control of Influenza Conference in Toronto, Canada, 17 to 23 June.
And lastly there is this article, coming from:
Bird flu heats up in Asia with five new cases
Vietnam hit with first human infections in 1½ years
Updated: 5:11 p.m. ET June 22, 2007
HANOI, Vietnam - Bird flu has resurfaced with a vengeance in Vietnam — with five people falling ill in as many weeks — after no human cases had been reported for a year and a half.
Health experts say the spike is a sobering reminder that the H5N1 virus remains deep-rooted and can kill at any time. The virus also has flared elsewhere, with people falling ill in China, Egypt and Indonesia this month alone. And poultry outbreaks have surfaced in Myanmar, Malaysia and as far afield as the Czech Republic.
Vietnam, previously hailed as Asia’s bright spot for beating back the virus, has seen an unexpected surge since last month, when it reported its first human case since November 2005. Two patients have died, two have recovered and one is critically ill.
“It’s always been lingering and loitering, but now it’s striking and we don’t know why,” said Peter Cordingley, spokesman for the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific region. “I think the first lead that we might follow is, have people begun to drop their guard?”
Vietnam was blindsided when the virus began ravaging poultry stocks across Asia in late 2003. The country logged dozens of human deaths and suffered huge financial losses before undertaking an ambitious campaign to vaccinate all poultry.
The plan worked well, and no outbreaks were reported throughout 2006 until the virus re-emerged earlier this year among birds. The latest flareup began in May and has affected poultry in 18 provinces, killing or forcing the slaughter of some 200,000 birds.
Four of the human cases were from the north and one was from central Vietnam, raising the bird flu death toll in the country to 44.
“The virus has all the time had the capability” to infect humans, said Hans Troedsson, WHO representative in Vietnam. “Why it happened now in May and didn’t happen in January and February, we don’t know.”
Agriculture officials say unvaccinated ducks are largely to blame for the recent problems. In March, the government lifted a ban on hatching and restocking waterfowl, which has led to more ducklings being raised and transported without being immunized. Vaccination helps to decrease the spread of the virus, but even that is not foolproof because ducks must receive multiple shots each year to ensure immunity.
“It’s ducks and it’s the duck movement and the upsurge of ducks on the rice farms — all these things are really the major cause of this wave,” said Andrew Speedy, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization representative in Vietnam.
Transmitted via bank notes, one of things our FRN are good for passing the flu.
Here is an update for you found at:
The loss of millions
Although bird flu remains difficult for people to catch, it might conceivably mutate into a form that spreads among humans, sparking a global pandemic that could kill millions. Reem Leila reports on the possible king of killers
Recent news about bird flu in Egypt and elsewhere is far from encouraging. Several cases of Avian Flu transmitted to humans have been reported in Egypt so far this summer. Experts expect a stronger strain will hit Egypt hard in the winter. Perhaps most worrisome is the discovery of how the virus could easily mutate into a human to human strain with catastrophic consequences.
The H5N1 strain which is transmitted from poultry to poultry, then to humans, could potentially merge with the human influenza type "A" which is easily transmitted from human to human, thus undergoing a metamorphosis into a new deadly Avian Flu strain that would be transmissible from human to human, capable of causing a pandemic of worldwide proportions. Official Health Ministry spokesman, Abdel-Rahman Shahin said that in such a scenario the entire world would be racing to see who would be the first to produce an anti-viral for the new bird flu human to human strain.
Most recent cases of bird flu in Egypt have been in children in Upper Egypt where the temperature is exceptionally high at this time of year. The latest patient was four-year-old Emad El-Daramalli, from the Upper Egypt governorate of Qena, 450kms south of Cairo, who was initially hospitalised with a high fever before being transferred to Abassiya Fever Hospital for treatment with Tamiflu and his condition, Shahin said, is stable. El-Daramalli's family members are being tested to see whether any have contracted the virus.
El-Daramalli's positive diagnosis brought the number of people in Egypt infected with the deadly virus strain to 37, of which 15 have been fatal.
Last month, a 10-year-old girl died from bird flu. Another, four-year-old girl from Sohag was infected with H5N1 but survived.
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, some countries which suffer from the deadly strain of bird flu virus are ill-prepared to tackle an outbreak because of poor resources and public apathy. Some countries, including Malaysia, have begun programmes to become self-reliant and to cut dependence on Western supplies. But officials state that the wide economic disparity among these nations, which range from wealthy oil-rich Gulf states to some of the world's poorest countries, could undermine the ambitions of such countries to jointly combat bird flu. "There is great disparity between countries," Hassan El-Bushra, a WHO official, said. "Some countries can do a lot but others are really in need."
Indonesia, Egypt and Turkey are already among the worst-hit countries. According to WHO data, there have been 190 deaths globally from the H5N1 bird flu virus since late 2003, and 312 known infections. Indonesia has recorded 79 human deaths from bird flu, the world's highest. Egypt has registered 15, and Turkey four. Egypt was ranked third with regard to Avian Flu cases and fifth in fatality cases among countries infected with bird flu virus. "This is an excellent rating because this means the virus is under full control," Shahin said. "If it were not for the Health Ministry's strategy to combat the virus, there could have been more victims."
Egypt's geographical location, along major bird migration routes, and the widespread practice of keeping domestic fowl near living quarters have led to it being the hardest-hit country outside of Asia.
Since Egypt announced its first human death from bird flu, several precautionary measures have been adopted by the government to limit and if possible prevent the spread of the virus. The most recent was an Egyptian-French protocol to conduct joint research to produce a bird flu vaccine, an alternative to Tamiflu.
But the infection of several persons this summer shows the gravity of the situation, the danger of which will not recede as long as poultry is found in rural homes. Consequently, some observers are calling for new strategies to be drawn up by the Supreme National Committee Combating Bird Flu. But adds Shahin, "nothing will change with the set strategy during the summer because everything is under control."
Still, for all his optimism, "experts expect a stronger strain will hit Egypt hard in the winter," Shahin warned.
Shahin links the emergence of summer cases to the public not complying to the letter with instructions given by specialists. The Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) will continue with its current strategy and will in fact introduce a new one. According to Shahin, the MOHP will organise intensive campaigns beginning in early September to increase awareness among rural people about the dangers of H5N1. The MOHP has asked the popular singer Shaaban Abdel-Rahim and actress Inaam Salousa to be part of the campaign which will be broadcast on TV and radio. The MOHP will also place messages on billboards and on the relatively new tok toks, the three-wheel mode of cheap transport.
Poultry bred in rural areas accounts for only 15 per cent of the overall number of birds in the country. Although the percentage is small, it could nevertheless pose a serious threat to human health. Mohamed El-Shafei, vice- head of the Egyptian Poultry Union, said that although the poultry market in Upper Egypt was not big, the virus recently appeared there as a result of bird smuggling between governorates.
The bird flu virus has turned out to be resistant to high temperatures. El-Shafei said that while the virus can resist high temperatures, well boiled chicken is safe to eat. "There is a difference between high temperature and direct heat. The virus dies at 70 degrees centigrade and water boils at 100, so it is 100 per cent safe to eat," El-Shafei said.
Mona Mehrez, head of the Central Laboratory for Poultry Monitoring at the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, said an all-out campaign has been launched to vaccinate household poultry against bird flu to control the disease and protect people but added that the public was not responding positively to the effort. "NGOs and volunteers should help the government in its mission," Mehrez said. "It will not be able to do everything alone. There should be some help."
While the government says it is conducting a vigorous campaign to combat the spread of the virus through vaccinations and raising awareness, cases continue to appear. Since the outbreak of H5N1 in Upper Egypt, more than 6,500 poultry have been culled.
I only gave you one article today. So much of it is repetition, which is pretty boring. If anything new comes up, I will post it. Meanwhile, there are new cases in Indonesia, the Hong Kong bird market was closed because of infected birds, Czech birds were culled as avian flu is found in a dead swan, and Vietnam has two more cases identified as Avian Flu.
The strength of the pack is in the wolf; the strength of the wolf is in the pack!
Check these out
There are many more. Go to You Tube and search Pandemic or Bird Flu
2 more different places
Close to home for me, Virginia
And here again in France
Last edited by eeyore; 07-12-2007 at 08:03 AM.. Reason: double posts