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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Malaysia : MERS under control

Via NST :

" The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak that hit the country and claimed its first victim last week is under control, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said all suspects, including 64 villagers from Kampung Bintang, Johor, tested negative for the disease.

However, he said, the ministry would continue to monitor the 18 passengers who travelled with the victim on a Turkish Airways flight.

"We have completed the special screening to detect the virus among the flight passengers, as well as in the village, where the first Malaysian victim who succumbed to the virus came from. All of them are clear of the disease.

"However, we will continue to monitor the others on the flight for another two weeks as they had made close contact with the victim," he said here yesterday.

Malaysia recorded its first death related to MERS after a 54-year-old man contracted the MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) while performing umrah in Mecca.

The victim from Johor, who returned to Malaysia from Jeddah on March 29, developed a fever and respiratory problems and was warded at Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital in Batu Bahat on April 10. He died three days later.

Dr Subramaniam said this was the first case in Malaysia and the ministry had taken it seriously to prevent the disease from spreading.

On the cause of the disease, he said there was a high possibility the victim had contracted the virus from camels during his visit to the Middle East."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Malaysian pilgrims declared free from MERS viral infection

Via The Malay Mail :

" Fifteen Malaysian pilgrims were declared free of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) after an health checks showed they did not have any signs or symptoms of the disease.

The pilgrims had returned to Malaysia from the Holy land with a man who died of the virus."

Malaysia : MERS virus - No new case detected, says Johor health department

Article via The Star, maybe its too soon to count the chickens before they hatch :

" The state health department have not detected any new cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) here.

State Health and Environment executive committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat assured that the virus was under control and said that things were looking good.

"It is however up to the health ministry to make an official declaration that the affected area is safe," he said after flagging off participants of a health run at the Hospital Sultanah Aminah here on Saturday.

Ayub added that so far the virus had killed a 54-year-old man last Sunday and other than him only one other person had been hospitalised after he was found to have symtoms of the virus.

" The man is a village head from Batu Pahat but he has since been discharged," he said.

He added that the house observation period for the 64 villagers in Kampung Bintang, Batu Pahat would also be lifted soon if they do not display symptoms of the virus.

"They are supposed to be under observation for a week," he said adding that the period ends on Sunday."

Malaysia : Life as usual despite MERS-CoV case

Via NST, excerpt :

" Villagers of Kampung Bintang here were carrying on with their lives as usual yesterday despite some being confined to their homes following the death of a man to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) on Sunday.

Villager Mustapha Ismail, 63, said the authorities did not place any restrictions on villagers and they were free to roam in the village.

"Only those who had direct contact with the deceased were ordered to be confined to their homes so that they can be monitored."

Mustapha said the villagers were ordered to undergo a check-up at a temporary health counter set up in the village."

Malaysia : Villagers Monitored, Not Quarantined For MERS-COV, Says Health DG

Via Bernama :

" The villagers of Kg Bintang Laut in Batu Pahat, Johor, suspected of showing early symptoms of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been placed under home monitoring and not quarantined.

Director-General of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said reports of quarantine in the local newspapers Friday were incorrect.

"Under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act, the term 'quarantine' means isolation or observation and includes a hospital for contagious diseases and any premise gazetted as a quarantine station by the minister.

"As such, the statement that 64 villagers were quarantined is wrong," he said in a media statement in Putrajaya."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Malaysia : 15 Malaysian pilgrims to be declared free from MERs if no signs or symptoms in 42 days

Via NST :

" Fifteen Malaysian pilgrims will only be declared free from contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) if they do not show any signs or symptoms in 42 days after being closely monitored by the Health Ministry.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said at the moment, the pilgrimage are undertaking health inspection to monitor their condition.

“After the “incubation period”, and no signs of symptoms showed, we will declare the virus as not contagious (towards other person),” he told reporters, after witnessing the handing over of six haemodialysis machine to the Haemodialysis Unit at Hospital Kajang here today.

Malaysia recorded its first MERS-CoV fatality when a man who returned from performing the umrah (minor haj) died die to the virus on April 13.

In this fatal MERS-CoV case, also the first in Asean, the 54-year-old man from Batu Pahat, Johor who returned from the Holy Land on March 29 complained of fever, cough and breathing difficulties for 10 days and was admitted to the Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital on April 10.

The minister said investigations found the cause of death was severe Pneumonia Secondary to MERS-CoV.

Subramaniam said the ministry are now carrying preventive measures such as monitoring those who has close contacts with the victims.

In an earlier report, Subramaniam said for the time being, the source and method of the MERS-CoV infection has yet to be identified and also there were no vaccines available for the infection.

“We were told the victim who was a diabetic had visited a camel farm but it could not be confirmed whether the virus was contracted from the animals,” he said."

Malaysia : MERS suspected in Johor village, 64 quarantined

Via The Star :

" As many as sixty-four residents in Kampung Bintang here will be quarantined for a week after some showed symptoms of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

Some 100 villagers from the village, where the first Malaysian victim who succumbed to the virus came from, underwent a special screening to detect the virus here Thursday.

Johor Health and Environment executive committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said that a special screening centre has been set up in the village to screen the villagers for the virus.

"This is the first such case in Malaysia, and we take this matter seriously. That is why we are taking steps to screen the villagers to prevent the virus from spreading," he said in a press conference here.

The 54-year-old victim, the first in Asia, developed respiratory complications after returning from Mecca."

Malaysia : Health warning for passengers of March 29 Turkish Airlines flight

Via The Star :

Those who were onboard Turkish Airlines flights TK93 and TK60 on the Jeddah-Istanbul-Kuala Lumpur route on March 29 have been advised to undergo a health screening following the death of a passenger from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

A 54-year-old man from Batu Pahat died on Sunday, three days after he was admitted to Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail following a fever, bouts of coughing and breathing difficulties.
The incident was the first in Malaysia and the cause of death had been certified as Severe Pneumonia Secondary to MERS-CoV, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam disclosed yesterday.
“The victim had developed respiratory complaints after returning to Malaysia from performing the umrah in Mecca. The ministry is undertaking precautionary and control measures, including monitoring those who had close contact with the case,” he told a press conference yesterday.
The victim is believed to have travelled with a small group of pilgrims, including his son, who is reported to be in good health."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Malaysia : Johor man first person in Asia to succumb to MERS

Via The Star :

" The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has killed its first victim in Asia, a Malaysian man who developed respiratory complications after returning from Mecca.

The 54-year-old man, from Batu Pahat, Johor, had arrived in Malaysia on March 29 after performing the umrah.

He died on Apr 13 after being admitted to the Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail for three days, following complaints of fever, cough and breathing difficulties.

Passengers onboard the Turkish Airlines flights TK93 and TK60 on the Jeddah-Istanbul-Kuala Lumpur route on March 29 are urged to contact the Health Ministry for a health screening, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam."

Hong Kong : CHP notified of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (April 15) received notification of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hunan from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. The patient is a 30-year-old man who is currently hospitalised for treatment.

A total of 408 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (102 cases), Jiangsu (49 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Hunan (21 cases), Anhui (12 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case)."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hong Kong : CHP notified of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) yesterday (April 14) received notification of one additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Jiangsu from the National Health and Family Planning Commission. The patient is a 52-year-old man who is currently hospitalised for treatment.

A total of 407 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (102 cases), Jiangsu (49 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Hunan (20 cases), Anhui (12 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case)."

Monday, April 14, 2014

Japan : 112,000 chickens culled at Kumamoto farms in bid to curb bird flu outbreak

Via Japan Times :

Racing to contain an avian flu outbreak, about 400 workers culled 112,000 birds at two Kumamoto chicken farms from Sunday night through Monday morning.

After bagging up live chickens, the workers, including 200 Ground Self-Defense Force personnel, gassed them with carbon dioxide and buried them at the two farms, one in the town of Taragi and the other in the village of Sagara.
At least 1,100 chickens at the Taragi farm were apparently struck down by an H5-type avian flu virus between Friday and Sunday morning.
The Kumamoto Prefectural Government ordered 56,000 chickens culled at the Taragi farm and another 56,000 at the nearby farm in Sagara, run by the same operator."

Expat dies of MERS in Jeddah; 8 infected

Via Saudi Gazette, excerpt :

A foreigner has died from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) while eight people including five health workers have been infected in Jeddah, where the spread of the coronavirus among medics has sparked panic.

The death of the 45-year-old man, whose nationality has not been disclosed, brings the nationwide toll in the world’s most-affected country to 68.

The Health Ministry late Saturday announced the death of the man and said five health workers – two women and three men – and three other people had been infected by the virus in Jeddah.

The announcement came days after panic over the spread of the virus among medical staff led to the closure of the emergency room at the city’s main public hospital."

Japan : Return of bird flu sparks cull

Article via The Standard :

" Japan has ordered the slaughter of some 112,000 chickens after bird flu infections were confirmed at a poultry farm in the south.

DNA tests confirmed the H5 strain of the virus at a farm in Kumamoto prefecture that kept 56,000 birds, after its owner reported a lot of sudden deaths among his poultry, the agriculture ministry said.

Officials also ordered the culling of another 56,000 birds at a separate farm run by the same owner after treating it as a location of possible infections.

This is the first confirmed outbreak of bird flu in Japan in three years.

But the ministry has been warning farmers about infection risks, citing the continued spread of the disease in Asia, including neighboring South Korea."

Friday, April 11, 2014

WHO : Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

Press release from WHO :

 On 8 April 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of two additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.


Details of the cases reported to WHO are as follows:


A 73 year-old man from Taizhou city, Jiangsu province. He became ill on 26 March, was admitted to a hospital on 30 March and is currently in a critical condition.


A 28 year-old woman from Suzhou city, Jiangsu province. She became ill on 26 March, was admitted to a hospital on 30 March and is currently in a critical condition."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nepal : H1N1 flu cases on rise

Via Ekantipur :

An influenza virus has started rearing its ugly head with an increase in the number of people detected with the flu.  

Six people have died while 31 are detected positive with an H1N1 influenza ‘A’ commonly known as swine-flu since January this year. This virus, expert say, has been in circulation since the 2009 pandemic outbreak of the influenza which had claimed four people then.
The first casualty of the virus was detected in Nepal when a patient died in New Delhi after being referred from Norvic Hospital in January. A patient died in Patan Hospital two days back which the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) of the government confirmed was due to the flu."

Canada : Whooping Cough Outbreak In Southern Alberta

Article via Huffington Post :

 Alberta Health Services says there's been 34 confirmed cases of whooping cough so far this year in the southern part of the province and more may be unreported.

Local medical officer of Health, Dr. Vivien Suttorp, says the disease is cyclical, with outbreaks occurring every three to five years.
She says it's affecting people of all ages.
Suttorp says young children would likely have the worst symptoms and adults more of just a nagging cough that could last several weeks."

Hong Kong : Imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) under CHP investigation

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is today (April 9) investigating an imported human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) affecting a woman aged 82.

The patient, with underlying medical conditions, lives in Liwan, Guangzhou with her family. She has presented with cough with blood-stained sputum since April 7 but had no fever.

She came to Hong Kong with her two family members by car via Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point yesterday (April 8). Upon arrival, she was directly transferred to the Accident and Emergency Department of North District Hospital by ambulance and was admitted for further management under isolation on the same day. Her current condition is stable.
Her sputum specimen was tested positive for avian influenza A(H7N9) virus upon preliminary laboratory testing by the CHP's Public Health Laboratory Services Branch tonight.

The patient has been transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital for isolation and treatment.

Her exposure history to poultry is under investigation.

The CHP's investigations and contact tracing are ongoing. The patient's family members in Hong Kong, relevant healthcare workers, ambulance staff and immigration officer at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point are being traced for exposure assessment and medical surveillance."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hong Kong : CHP closely monitors an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland

Press release from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, excerpt :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (April 8), an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Anhui according to the latest report of the Mainland health authorities.

The case involves a man aged 69 who is currently hospitalised for treatment.

A total of 402 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (98 cases), Jiangsu (48 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Hunan (20 cases), Anhui (12 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case)."

WHO : Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

Press release from WHO :

On 4 April 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified WHO of 3 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

Details of the cases reported to WHO are as follows:


A 30 year-old man from Tongling City, Anhui province. He became ill on 23 March and was admitted to hospital on 29 March. He is currently in a critical condition.


A 37 year-old man from Shenzen City, Guangdong province. He became ill on 25 March and was admitted to hospital on 1 April. He is currently in a stable condition. The patient has a history of exposure to poultry

A 62 year-old man from Heyuan City, Guangdong province. He became ill on 23 March and was admitted to hospital on 30 March. He is currently in a critical condition. He has a history of exposure to poultry."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Nepal : More people opting for H1N1 screening

Via The Himalayan Times :

The number of people going for swine flu screening is increasing with an increased risk of swine flu, health authorities say. 

As the risk of H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu virus, is increasing, the number of people going for tests out of suspicion is also on the rise.

The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Ministry of Health and Population has confirmed that five people have been victims of swine flu virus, also known as H1N1 virus, in the Kathmandu Valley so far. 

Of more than 800 people, whose blood samples authorities sent for swine flu tests to National Public Health Laboratory from January to date, 30 tested positive. NPHL is the sole lab in the country for H1N1 screening"

Brazil : Indian baby dies of suspected H1N1 virus infection

Machine translated article from G1 Globo :

An Indian child than a year and three months died Sunday (6) after being hospitalized seven days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the pediatric ward of the Regional Hospital of Maraba , in southeastern ParĂ¡ Doctors suspect an infection caused by H1N1 virus has caused the death of the baby Xikrin ethnicity, who lived in the village Katete in Parauapebas , also in the southeastern state. Other cases of the virus have been identified in the same village.

The child had not been vaccinated against the H1N1 virus. "She arrived with suspected pneumonia, which could be caused by virus or bacteria. Given the suspicions we did just collecting and took prophylactic measures" tells the pediatrician Claudia Bueno. The medical team waits for the result of the examinations."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mexico : DF recorded 710 cases of influenza A H1N1 during winter

Machine translated article from Terra News :

Freezing temperatures left the city and with them the virus of influenza A H1N1. Secretariat of Health capital (Sedesa) reported that in March there was no death from this disease, however, all season Winter 710 cases were recorded.

Among them, 68 patients died who were not vaccinated and suffered comorbidity, ie, were overweight or obese, heart problems, diabetes, or were smokers."

Scarlet fever cases reach record high in England

Via Xinhua :

Scarlet fever cases in England rose to a record weekly high, and had kept rising for around six months with a current total of more than 5,000 cases, according to Public Health England (PHE).

In a report published on Friday, PHE revealed that England had 883 new cases of scarlet fever reported from March 24 to March 30, the highest weekly total since 1982 when the record was available.
Since the season began in last September, a total of 5,012 new cases have now been reported, and a significant increase continued, according to the PHE."

Hong Kong : CHP closely monitors two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) is closely monitoring, as of yesterday (April 5), two additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Jiangsu according to the latest reports of the Mainland health authorities.

The two cases involve a man aged 73 and a woman aged 28 who are currently hospitalised for treatment.

A total of 401 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been confirmed in the Mainland, including Zhejiang (138 cases), Guangdong (98 cases), Jiangsu (48 cases), Shanghai (41 cases), Fujian (22 cases), Hunan (20 cases), Anhui (11 cases), Jiangxi (six cases), Beijing (four cases), Henan (four cases), Guangxi (three cases), Shandong (three cases), Guizhou (one case, imported from Zhejiang), Hebei (one case) and Jilin (one case)."

Friday, April 4, 2014

Hong Kong : Two linked imported cases of dengue fever investigated

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (April 3) investigating two linked imported cases of dengue fever and urged people to guard against the disease.

The first patient is a 33-year-old woman with good past health. She developed fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, skin rash and vomiting since March 29. She was admitted to a private hospital on April 1 and she is now in a stable condition.

The second patient is the first patient's 32-year-old husband, who developed similar symptoms since March 29. He was admitted to the same private hospital on April 2 and he is now in a stable condition.

Their blood samples tested positive for dengue NS1 antigen at a private laboratory.

The CHP investigation revealed that they had travelled to Bali, Indonesia between March 20 and 30. Two of their travel collaterals, a 40-year-old woman and a 6-month-old baby girl, presented with similar symptoms since March 31 and March 30 respectively. The 40-year-old woman was admitted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital on April 2 while the 6-month-old baby girl received a medical consultation from a private doctor on April 1 and no hospitalisation was required. They are currently in stable condition. Their blood samples tested negative for dengue fever at a private laboratory."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

H5N1 Returns To Laos After Five-Year Gap

Via Bernama, excerpt :

Lao's health authorities said an outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza virus has returned to the country after an absence of five years, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

The outbreak was reported on March 13 in Nator Nhay village, Xayabury province in the northwestern region bordering Thailand.

Veterinary authorities have sent an urgent notification to the World Organisation for Animal Health on the outbreak but the risk has now been eradicated.

Authorities said a total of 457 out of 5,142 poultry had been affected and destroyed."

WHO : Ebola virus disease, West Africa – update

Press release from WHO :

In this update and subsequent ones, the terminology Ebola haemorrhagic fever will be replaced by Ebola virus disease (EVD) in line with the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Therefore, this report provides an update on Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

As at 31 March 2014, the Ministry of Health of Guinea has reported 122 clinically compatible cases of EVD, of which 24 are laboratory confirmed by PCR, and 98 are probable (78) or suspected (22) cases. This total number includes 80 deaths, of which 13 (16%) have been laboratory confirmed for EVD and the remaining 67 are considered as probable cases of EVD. These figures correspond to 19 new clinical cases and 14 new deaths since the 28 March. As of 30 March, 20 patients remain in isolation. Eleven health-care workers are among the probable and suspected cases. Cases have been reported from Conakry (11), Guekedou (77), Macenta (23), Kissidougou (8), and 3 from Dabola and Djingaraye combined.
Case investigation and contact tracing are continuing, with 400 contacts under medical follow-up at present. Further strengthening of infection prevention and control in health-care facilities is a priority intervention. In addition, efforts are continuing to raise awareness in the community about the importance of personal protective measures to prevent ebolavirus transmission including hand washing, caring for the sick safely in the community, the use of personal protective equipment when handling potentially contaminated blood and body fluids and during environmental cleaning and disinfection, and safe burials."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Additional overseas case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome closely monitored by DH

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" The Department of Health (DH) is today (April 2) closely monitoring an additional case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the United Arab Emirates.

According to the WHO, the male patient aged 64 from Abu Dhabi had underlying illnesses. He became ill on March 21 and was hospitalised on March 25. His condition deteriorated and he died on March 30. The patient had contact with animals, including camels, but no reported contact with confirmed patients. He had travelled to Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently. Further epidemiological investigation is ongoing.

This brings the latest global number of confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to 207, including 87 deaths."

India : Swine flu death reported in Visakhapatnam

Article via The Hindu :

A 35-year-old man from Sriharipuram area of the city had succumbed to swine flu while undergoing treatment at a city hospital on Tuesday. He was admitted in the hospital on March 26 with pneumonia and spitting blood with cough. This was the second death due to swine flu in the city during this year after a woman in her mid twenties and in advanced stage of pregnancy died on January 29.

He was immediately put on ventilator and doctors started treatment for swine flu and the test confirmed swine flu on March 28 and he continued to be on ventilator as his lung had collapsed. Swine flu symptoms were noticed two or three days before he was admitted in the hospital, District Nodal Officer for swine flu L.B.H.S. Devi said."