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Monday, June 27, 2011

India : Dengue fear grips Dakshina Kannada

Article from Deccan Herald, this report has update on malaria and leptospirosis too :

" The number of persons affected by Dengue has gone up drastically in June in Dakshina Kannada district.

On June 23, two persons were found affected with Dengue. They are Soumya Sridhar from Moodabidri Kallbettupadau and Bijay from Shiradi Ichlampady in Puttur.

Likewise three cases have been suspected in Athur Kemral, 10 in Mulky, Two in Moodabidri and one in Belthangady. Mulky-Kinnigoli area has high rate of Malaria too. An official from the Health Department said that some of the suspected cases can be just Malaria and not Dengue.

During January 2011 to May end 30 cases of Dengue were identified. A six-month old child had died of Dengue in Mulky. There are no records with regard to number of cases identified in June.

Last year, around the same time Belthangady taluk was threatened by rat fever. But this year no cases of rat fever have been found. In Belthangady, two to three of every 10 patients complaining of fever end up being tested positive for Dengue.

Similarly two cases of Dengue were found in Badyar private hospital but the two have recovered after treatment. No cases of Dengue were reported from Belthangady in June.

Dengue is spread by mosquitoes, like Malaria. If right kind of treatment is given to the patient on right time, the patient can recover in four to five days. The patients have to take complete rest. If any person feels feverish and he/she should get themselves tested.

Malaria

As many as 1,669 cases of malaria were registered in Dakshina Kannada district during January to May, 2011. Of this, 1,485 cases were found in Mangalore city. The number of malaria cases has reduced when compared to 2009-10 (January to May).

However 23 cases were found in Bantwal, 31 in Belthangady, six in Puttur and six in Sullia.

Rat fever claims one life

A person suffering from fever, died on Sunday and now it is suspected that the persons has died due to Rat Fever. The deceased is Prashanth (26), resident of Thodikana in Sullia taluk. Prashanth, son of Amechuru Krishnappa Poojary was a farmer. He had got admitted to the hospital complaining of high fever, two days ago."

Singapore : Marsiling hit by dengue

Via Channel News Asia :

" A rarely-seen type of dengue - DEN-3 - has hit the Marsiling area with more than 60 cases reported as of Friday.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said residents may have little or no immunity against the infection, leading to quicker dengue transmission.

However, it added there is no sign for alarm that this form of dengue is spreading to the rest of the island.

The Marsiling area has seen two clusters of dengue transmission recently, with the first detected at Marsiling Rise on April 21.

The second cluster detected on May 19 is also the largest so far this year.

NEA has since stepped up control measures, including dispatching 70 officers to carry out mass operations to search and destroy potential breeding habitats.

The agency has also roped in various partners, including Sembawang Town Council and the National Parks Board to get rid of larvae.

A Marsiling resident told Channel NewsAsia he welcomed the increased monitoring."

Hong Kong : Fatal necrotising fasciitis case under investigation

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, excerpt :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a fatal case of necrotising fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) involving a 67-year-old man.

The patient, with underlying illness, developed right leg pain and swelling on June 22. He attended Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital the same day and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Despite operation was performed, the patient's condition deteriorated and he passed away the next day.

The case was referred to the coroner for investigation.

Specimens from his blood and wound grew Vibrio vulnificus, a type of bacteria causing necrotising fasciitis.

Investigation continues.

A CHP spokesman said necrotising fasciitis was a serious bacterial infection of the soft tissue and fascia. It could destroy tissue and cause death within 12 to 24 hours after infection."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Indonesia : Residents Chicken Dead in Desa Tohpati, AI Positive

Machine translated article from Bali Post :

" Bird flu re-emerged in Klungkung regency following the death of chickens in the village residents Tohpati, Banjarangkan, Klungkung. Although not contagious to humans, clearly positive for bird flu raises its own concerns for the people of the earth serombotan.

''Yes, many of our citizen's chickens that died suddenly. We already reported to the officer and the direct examination,''said Kadesh Tohpati, Nyoman Silk, Thursday (23 / 6) yesterday.

According to Silk, the signs of death of chickens residents emerged since Tuesday (21 / 6) ago. Starting gerubug, chickens suddenly died."

US : Isolated measles outbreak has Indiana officials on alert

Via Reuters, excerpt :

" Health officials in Indiana were on alert on Thursday after five measles cases were confirmed in Noble County in the northeastern part of the state.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Larkin said his department had dispatched workers to seven nearby counties in northern Indiana to identify any additional cases of the highly contagious disease and to prevent its spread.

The workers have also been given additional doses of the measles vaccine. Individuals who have been exposed to an infected person can obtain the vaccine at no cost, according to a statement released by Larkin's office.

"With measles, even one case is considered an outbreak," Larkin said.

Indiana is the latest state to find itself tracking down measles victims as the once rare disease makes its way back into the public.

An outbreak in Northern Utah forced a power plant to turn away workers earlier this week after a local resident was diagnosed. Utah also had an earlier measles outbreak this spring in the Salt Lake City Area.

The Vermont Department of Health issued a measles alert on Tuesday after a suspected case turned up in a young child in Washington County and an alert went out in April in New Jersey."

Pakistan : Swine flu has claimed 49 lives in three years’

Via The News, excerpt :

" As many as 49 people have died so far due to H1N1 Influenza, commonly known as swine flu, since 2009.

Some 739 people have tested positive in the last three years in Pakistan with 12 losing their life to the fatal disease this year.

Older people, those who travel frequently abroad, nurses, paramedical staff and pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting influenza; therefore, they should get themselves vaccinated against the disease every year.

This was stated by Dr Salma Kausar Ali, Manger National Programme for Prevention and Control of Avian and Pandemic Influenza, while speaking at the launching ceremony of an awareness campaign for journalists at a local hotel on Thursday.

The pulmonologist maintained that elderly people — from 50 to 64 years of age — were one of the most vulnerable groups who could easily get infected by the influenza virus and could also develop respiratory tract complications."

US : Arizona death may be linked to European E. coli

Via Associated Press, excerpt :

" ATLANTA (AP) : The death of an Arizona man who recently visited Germany may be linked to the food-poisoning outbreak in Europe, health officials said Thursday.

The man, who died in mid-June, developed a serious E. coli complication that can lead to kidney failure.

Macao enters dengue fever season

Via China Daily :

" Macao has entered the high-risk season for dengue fever as warm and wet weather provides an "ideal environment" for mosquitoes, the Macao Daily Times reported on Thursday.

The newspaper quoted acting deputy director of the city's Health Bureau (SSM) Ip Peng Kei as saying that dengue fever could become an epidemic if people do not take the necessary precautions against the transmission.

As of May 26 this year, Macao reported two imported cases of dengue fever. No local deaths have been reported so far.

Although the number of cases found in the city remained quite low in recent years, Ip said the bureau could not predict the situation for 2011, adding that the disease still posed a challenge to South East Asia last year.

The statistics provided by the SSM showed that the highest numbers of deaths caused by dengue fever in South East Asia were reported in the Philippines, where 150 Filipinos lost their lives and 24,570 cases were reported as of May 28."

Rising dengue fever, leptospirosis in St Lucia

Article from Jamaica Observer :

" Public health officials have warned of “disturbing” levels of dengue fever and leptospirosis cases on the island.

The warning came as the health department launched a public education and clean-up campaign to rid the island of disease-carrying mosquitos and rats.

Public health officials attributed the exceptionally high number of infections to the rainy weather in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, they told journalists yesterday.

Last month, there were over 40 recorded cases of dengue fever, which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

“During the past few weeks we have noted levels of infection that are substantially higher for this time of the year. The rainy season has only just begun and the levels we see now are normally recorded way into the rainy season,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Merlin Frederick.

So so far this year there were 169 reported cases of dengue fever as compared to 95 cases in 2010 and only 18 in 2009, she said.

The campaign is to target eight large communities. The health department planned to carry out insecticide fogging, community clean-ups, education campaigns and house-to-house inspections."

Hong Kong : Update on laboratory tests of fatal scarlet fever cases

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has conducted further laboratory testing on specimens from the two recent scarlet fever deaths. Results showed that two different strains of Streptococcus pyogenes were involved.

In the case of the 7-year-old girl who passed away on May 29 at Queen Mary Hospital, typing tests on the bacterium (Streptococcus pyogenes) isolated from this patient identified the strain emm 12. Similar typing tests on the bacterial isolate from the 5-year-old boy who passed away on June 21 in Princess Margaret Hospital, however, identified the strain emm 1.

Further tests are being carried out by the Public Health Laboratory Centre.

In the 24 hours ending at noon today (June 23), the CHP had recorded 32 cases of scarlet fever and four scarlet fever outbreaks."

Germany Reports Finding More Low-Path Bird Flu

Via The Poultry Site :

" GERMANY : Poultry at two farms in the south of the country with links to a previously infected farm in the north have tested positive for H7N7 low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).

The veterinary authority sent Follow Up Report No. 4 dated 20 June to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

According to the report, H7N7 LPAI has been found on two poultry farms with links to one of the holdings that has previously tested positive for LPAI H7N7 in North Rhine-Westphalia.

One farm in at Gösmes in Bavaria in south-eastern Germany, where all 468 birds in the flock have been destroyed. The other farm is at Schofheim in Baden-Wurttemberg in the far south-west of the country, where the flock of 2,182 has been destroyed."

WHO : Avian influenza - situation in Egypt - update 54

From WHO with regards to Avian Influenza situation in Egypt :

" 22 June 2011 : The Ministry of Health of Egypt has notified WHO of a new case of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus.

The case is a 27 year-old male from Qena governorate, Deshna district. He developed symptoms on 5 June 2011, was hospitalized and was put on oseltamivir treatment on 13 June. He died on 14 June 2011.

Investigations into the source of infection indicate that the case had exposure to poultry suspected to have avian influenza.

The case was confirmed by the Egyptian sub-national laboratory for Influenza in Aswan and the Central Public Health Laboratories in Cairo, a National Influenza Centre of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network.

Of the 150 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 52 have been fatal."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Philippines : Diarrhea downs 39 in Leyte village

Via Inquirer :

" At least 39 persons in a village of Borongan City were downed by diarrhea that could have been caused by contaminated water since more than a week ago.

Borongan City Mayor Fe Abunda said that based on the initial information she received, the diarrhea outbreak was first monitored in Barangay (village) Sta Fe on June 14.

Some patients were confined at the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital, some 15 kilometers away from the barangay, which has over 2,000 residents, Abunda said in a phone interview Tuesday.

However, Abunda could not immediately give a figure as to how many were brought to the rural health centers or to the provincial hospital for treatment.

The mayor said that several of those affected involved a group of families who drew their drinking water from a deep well.

“The situation there is now under control. But we still continue in providing Oresol [oral rehydration fluid] and other medicines to the victims. I have also sent my sanitary inspectors to monitor the possible cause of the spread of the disease in the village,” Abunda said.

The regional office of the Department of Health had issued a warning of occurrence of water-borne diseases like diarrhea due to the continued rains in the region."

Yellow alert for dengue declared in four departments of Peru

Via Living in Peru :

" The Ministry of Health has declared a yellow alert for 60 days for the health centers in the departments of Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martín and Amazonas, due to the persistence and extent of dengue fever.

According to the technical report, the prevalence of dengue may be due to climate factors, as well as difficulty in controlling the virus.

The General Bureau of National Defense, through the Regional Directorates of Health, will disseminate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of this resolution, Andina reports.

Dengue is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti and among its symptoms are high fever and headaches, as well as muscle and bone aches. In some cases, when the disease is severe, there may be bruising and bleeding.

In February health authorities declared a red alert in Peru's northern Amazon jungle region following the outbreak of an "very aggressive" dengue strain that lead to the death of 14 people and affected thousands.

Dengue is endemic to the jungle region, but until now Peru has largely dealt with the American strain of the disease."

India : 6 H1N1 deaths, 2 dengue victims so far this year

Via Deccan Herald :

" Six H1N1 deaths have occurred in the State this year in Bangalore, Yadgir, Bellary, Shimoga, Davangere and Udupi districts, while the Health department had confirmed 31 cases of the disease, out of the 896 blood samples taken, said Health Minister B Sriramulu.

Of the 31 cases, 22 were reported in Bangalore, three in Udupi, two in Bellary and one each in Tumkur, Shimoga, Bagalkot and Gulbarga.

Addressing reporters on Tuesday, he said that the department had also recorded two dengue deaths in Gadag and Dakshina Kannada this year. The Minister, who held a review meeting with all the district health officers, said that he had given them directions to ensure all measures were taken so that deaths due to communicable diseases were mitigated.

He said that there was no shortage of funds and that the department would focus on tackling mosquito menace, conducting house to house surveys and improving sanitation in all districts.

This year, the department has received 664 confirmed cases of malaria, 102 dengue cases and 64 chikungunya cases. Last year, there were 11 malaria deaths out of the 7,674 confirmed cases; seven dengue deaths out of 2,285 cases; 1,430 chikungunya cases and 120 H1N1 deaths out of 2,552 confirmed cases."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

UN says Ivory Coast hit by flooding, cholera cases

Via Taiwan News :

" The United Nations says flooding around the Ivory Coast's commercial capital is threatening at least 27,646 people, and dozens of cholera cases have been reported.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Tuesday that U.N., Red Cross and government officials are trying to find ways to relocate people from flooded homes in a dozen communities around Abidjan.

Spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said there is enormous need for new shelter and other items as her agency prepares to help up to 10,000 families, while authorities look for longer-term solutions.

Byrs speaking in Geneva said Ivory Coast health officials had confirmed 42 cases of cholera in the Koumassi district, including 10 cases in the past week."

Hong Kong : Suspected fatal case of scarlet fever under investigation

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, fatal case of scarlet fever is being investigated :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a suspected fatal case of scarlet fever involving a 5-year-old boy.

The boy presented with fever from June 15. He was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on June 19 after sudden deterioration in his condition. The boy developed toxic shock syndrome and passed away today (June 21). According to his parent, the child had consulted a general practitioner for chickenpox earlier.

The patient's clinical diagnosis was scarlet fever and toxic shock syndrome. A laboratory test on his blood specimen revealed gram positive cocci. Further tests are being conducted by the hospital to confirm diagnosis.

The Public Health Laboratory Centre under the CHP will also carry out tests on any positive isolate obtained. Further investigation is ongoing to collect more complete clinical information from the parents and doctors who have seen the child.

The kindergarten that the boy attended, SA Tin Ka Ping Kindergarten in Sha Tin, had no other scarlet fever cases, but an ongoing chickenpox outbreak since May 4 has affected 11 other students aged between 3 and 5. As a precautionary measure, the CHP advised the kindergarten to suspend classes for seven days starting tomorrow (June 22).

"The CHP paid a visit to the kindergarten and advised its staff to conduct thorough cleansing and disinfection in the campus," a spokesman for the CHP said.

Starting from today, the CHP will provide a daily update on the scarlet fever situation online."

Scarlet fever epidemic in S.China yet to peak

Via Reuters, excerpt :

" A scarlet fever epidemic has broken out in parts of southern China, killing a child in Hong Kong and making hundreds sick and health authorities said on Tuesday the outbreak may get more serious in weeks ahead.

"Mainland China and Macau are also suffering from unusually high numbers of scarlet fever cases and we believe it may be a regional phenomenon," a spokeswoman for the Health Department in Hong Kong said.

"The outbreak hasn't shown signs of slowing down and we may continue to see more cases this summer."

Scarlet fever is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria and it mostly affects children below the age of 10. It is spread through contact with contaminated respiratory secretions.

Patients develop fever, a sore throat and break out in a red rash on their trunk, neck and limbs. It can be treated with antibiotics but complications can result in shock, heart and kidney illnesses.

Hong Kong has had more than 419 cases of scarlet fever this year, by far the highest number in years.

Cases in Hong Kong were up 4.5 fold compared with the same period last year. A seven-year-old girl died in late May and two boys, age 6 and 11, developed complications but they are now in stable condition."

18 children die of suspected encephalitis in eastern India

Via Xinhua :

" At least 18 children have died so far in the eastern Indian state of Bihar over the past two weeks, a health official said on Sunday.

"We suspect the children were hit by Japanese encephalitis. While 18 of them have died so far, the disease has struck several villages in the state's Muzaffarpur district, with more than 50 children under the age of six undergoing treatment at different hospitals," he said.

According to doctors, the children were suffering from fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness and convulsions. Last year, as many as 20 deaths were reported from the same area with similar symptoms.

Meanwhile, the Bihar government has said that they are taking all possible measures to address the situation."

Hong Kong : Alert over high level of scarlet fever cases

Another alert from Center for Health Protection in Hong Kong :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (June 20) urged members of the public to maintain vigilance against scarlet fever as the number of reported cases remains at a high level.

A spokesman for the CHP said that the number of scarlet fever cases reported to the CHP up to June 17 this year reached 419, which exceeded figures for the annual number of cases recorded in the past 10 years. The number of reports has surged since April, with 75 cases recorded in April, 100 cases in May and 142 cases (up to June 17) in June.

Among the 419 cases, the patients were aged between 1 month and 37 years old. Ninety-three per cent of cases were children under 10 years old. Most cases were mild and their characteristics were similar to cases reported in previous years.

So far, there have been six institutional outbreaks in 2011, involving three kindergartens/child care centres, two primary schools and one residential special child care centre. A total of 22 persons were affected, with two to seven cases involved in each outbreak. Another 11 small clusters occurred in household settings, affecting two to three persons in each cluster.

The spokesman said, "The CHP is attentive to the high level of scarlet fever activity this year and is closely monitoring the situation. A simultaneous increase of scarlet fever cases is also noted in the Mainland and Macao, suggesting a regional phenomenon at play."

Hong Kong : CHP urges vigilance against community-associated MRSA

Via Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection, excerpt :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (June 20) called on the public to be vigilant against infection by community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), a drug-resistant bacterium.

The appeal was made following the CHP's investigation into a confirmed case of invasive CA-MRSA involving a 73-year-old woman.

The woman, who has underlying medical conditions, presented with headache since May 31. She was found unconscious on June 6 and was admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital. The clinical diagnoses were stroke and pneumonia.

The patient is currently in critical condition. Her sputum collected grew CA-MRSA.

The woman lives with her family in Canada. She came to Hong Kong on May 31. Her home contacts had no symptoms of CA-MRSA infection.

MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. It is a common infection worldwide."

India : Birds die but flu ruled out

Article via The Telegraph :

" A bird flu scare in three villages in the Englishbazar area following the death of hundreds of chickens in the past few days was allayed today after veterinarians confirmed that the poultry was dying from Ranikhet disease that does not affect humans.

All birds had been culled on a war footing in the area in 2008 and the following year when the locality was hit by the avian flu virus that spreads to humans also.

Meghu Sheikh of Satgharia village is among hundreds of farmers who have been affected by the outbreak of Ranikhet disease. “I had been rearing seven chickens to supplement my income as a farm labourer. From Wednesday, the birds began dying one after another and the last three died this morning. I have buried them all.”

The farmer said when the bird flu had hit the village, he and others had handed over chickens to culling teams."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Uganda says Ebola outbreak is over

Via Reuters :

" Uganda has successfully prevented the rare and deadly Ebola virus from spreading, nearly two months after a 12 year-old girl bled to death after contracting the disease, officials said on Friday.

"Uganda is free of Ebola," Doctor Anthony Mbonya, chairman of a national task force set up after the girl's death, told Reuters. "The situation is perfect."

Uganda's declaration is in line with World Health Organization guidelines that stipulate countries must wait 41 days after the discharge or death of the last Ebola patient before declaring an outbreak over.

There is no treatment and no vaccine for Ebola, which causes internal and external bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea and shock. Depending on the strain, it kills from 50 to 90 percent of its victims.

"We managed to contain the case because of our previous experience with Ebola," Mbonye said. "The girl was buried very quickly and we kept the body away from the local population."

Uganda was last hit by Ebola in 2007, when it killed at least 37 people, caused public panic and prompted President Yoweri Museveni to urge Ugandans to stop shaking hands.

Mbonye said the task force had so far failed to discover how or where the girl had contracted Ebola but that investigations were ongoing."

Anthrax in Serbia - situation in infected zones under control

Via EM Portal :

" The situation in two villages in Vojvodina that have been declared anthrax-infected zones is under control and there is minimum possibility for the spread of the disease, Maja Andrijasevic of the Ministry of Agriculture Veterinary Directorate said Friday.

“Citizens can feel absolutely positive that everything they eat and drink is safe,” Andrijasevic said in connection with the current situation in the villages of Bocar and Novo Milosevo that have been declared anthrax-infected zones.

Andrijasevic said that from the moment the disease had been diagnosed, the relevant veterinary service, veterinary institute and the competent veterinary inspection were out there in the field and implementing prescribed measures.

The implementation of control measures is still under way, she added.

The disease is usually related to veterinarians, as they are more likely to get into contact with an infected animal, while the rest of the population is safe and there is minimum possibility for the spread of the disease, Andrijasevic said for the Radio and Television of Serbia (RTS)."

Papua New Guinea : PNG dad spared boat ride with girl's body

Via The Sydney Morning Herald, excerpt :

" A Papua New Guinea father will be spared a traumatic eight-hour boat journey to take the body of his daughter home from Australia after a call for help raised almost $20,000 in donations.

Aniba Petru rushed his extremely sick 14-year-old daughter Marthi to the Torres Strait Island of Saibai in February in a desperate search for treatment.

She died a week later in Cairns Base Hospital of tuberculosis.

Mr Petru spent three months in quarantine after being diagnosed with the disease but has been trying to take his daughter home for weeks.

Queensland Health initially told Mr Petru they would fly him back to Saibai but he would need to get back in a dinghy with his daughter's coffin to make the eight-hour sea journey home to his village on Kadawa, in PNG's western province.

However, a call for donations from Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch late last week raised more than $20,000, more than enough to fly Mr Petru and his daughter to PNG."

Afghanistan : Cholera kills dozens of kids

Via The Voice of Russia :

" An outbreak of cholera has swept Southern Afghanistan, with several thousand cases reported in Kandahar Province, a spokesperson for the health department says.

80 percent of cholera patients are children under five.

Cholera killed several dozen children over the past two months.

According to the health department official, the outbreak was caused by outrageously poor sanitary conditions.

Medical personnel have limited access to the cholera affected areas because of the continuing military operations in the province."

India : Dengue claims 1st victim in city

Via Times of India, excerpt :

" MUMBAI: In what is being labelled as the first dengue death of the season, a 46-year-old Navi Mumbai resident died of complications arising out of the mosquito-borne disease at Jaslok Hospital on Wednesday.

Jayashree Jagdish Gadi was transferred from BARC Hospital in Anushakti Nagar to Jaslok Hospital in the wee hours of Wednesday. "She was in hospital for less than 24 hours before she died,'' said a doctor at Jaslok Hospital. The patient had been to three hospitals before being brought to Jaslok in a serious condition. "She not only had low platelet count but her liver and kidney functions were also poor. As it was dengue haemorrhagic fever, she has had clots in her brain,'' said a doctor. Blood test reports indicated that she had dengue and the hospital has accordingly notified the death to the local civic ward.

BMC epidemiology cell chief Dr Daksha Shah, however, said she had not yet received a notification about the death. "We had taken adequate anti-larval measures and other cleanliness drives to ensure that mosquitoes, especially the Aedes egypti breed that spreads dengue, don't proliferate," she added."

Bird flu continues at Iranian poultry farms

Article from Trend :

" Epidemic bird flu has been continuing at some Iranian poultry farms, Mehr News Agency reported on Thursday.

The epidemic diseases, including bird flu, have diffused because of lacking enough hygienic and health standards at poultry farms.

The source of bird flu, discovered in domestic poultry farms three months ago, is still unbridled."

Brazil confirms third death from A H1N1 flu in 2011

Via People's Daily Online :

" The Health Secretariat of southern Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state Thursday confirmed the third death from A H1N1 flu in the state this year.

So far, no deaths from A H1N1 flu were confirmed in any other states of Brazil, though some cases are currently being investigated.

According to the Secretariat, the flu victim was a 42-year-old woman from the town of Pelotas, who had not been vaccinated against the disease and had low immunity. She died on June 11.

The other victims in the state were a 48-year-old woman who died on June 6 and a 71-year-old man who died on June 9. Besides the three deaths, another three cases of A H1N1 flu were confirmed in the state, and 42 are currently being investigated.

Local authorities assured that there is no epidemic of A H1N1 flu in the state, but they took measures to keep control of the situation, such as increasing the stock of flu vaccines, from 180,000 to 280,000. Brazil's Health Ministry will also send 200,000 doses of antivirals to the state to be used in patients who show flu symptoms."

Japan : Leak source identified at Fukushima Daiichi pant

Via NHK News :

" Tokyo Electric Power Company says that a damaged valve caused a water leak in a system to decontaminate the highly radioactive water accumulating in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The utility is making efforts to restore the newly installed water treatment system.

The system's final test run was suspended on Thursday night after water was found leaking from a US-made device that removes radioactive cesium. The device is one of the major components of the system.

Company officials found that an air ventilation valve in one of the containers comprising the device had been damaged. They also discovered that a water valve in another container was closed.

They concluded that contaminated water inside the cesium removal device had escaped through the air valve, resulting in the leak.

The company is now replacing the damaged valve.

It plans to resume the test run as soon as possible and start full-scale operation of the decontamination system within Friday as initially planned.

Tokyo Electric says the system is essential to its efforts to reduce the amount of highly radioactive water accumulating in the plant. It is feared that the water could overflow in around 10 days."

Indonesia : Agam, West Sumatera - A family treated of bird flu suspicion

From Ida at Bird Flu Information Corner :

" Agam : A family, E (43 years old) and his children, Adi (14), Gilang Ramadhan (9) and Nuzuli (5.5), from Jorong Koto Panjang Nagari Kapau, Kecamatan Tilatang Kamang, Agam, suspected of contracting bird flu H5N1 after the family’s chickens had suddenly died since Friday last week. The family started to feel sick and to have high fever since Monday. A sample of dead chickens was tested positive bird flu infection.

The family has been referred to Adam Malik hospital in Bukittinggi for medical examination."

WHO : Avian influenza - situation in Egypt - update 53

From WHO, the latest Avian Influenza situation in Egypt, 3 fatalites has been noted, 1 recovered and another is recovering :

" 16 June 2011 : The Ministry of Health of Egypt has notified WHO of five cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus.

The first case is a 40 years old female from Aswan District, Aswan Governorate. She developed symptoms on 14 May, and was hospitalized. She completed the course of oseltamivir, recovered and was discharged.

The second case is a 21 years old pregnant female from Ashmoun District, Menofia Governorate. She developed symptoms on 21 May, was hospitalized and received oseltamivir. She died on 29 May.

The third case is a 31 years old male from Shobra Elkhima District, Qaliobia Governorate. He developed symptoms on 21 May, was hospitalized and received oseltamivir. He died on 5 June.

The fourth case is a 32 years old male from Elzawya District, Cairo Governorate. He developed symptoms on 23 May was hospitalized and received oseltamivir. He died on 2 June.

The fifth case is a 16 years old male from Ashmoon District, Menofia Governorate. He developed symptoms on 21 May was hospitalized and received oseltamivir. He was in a critical condition but he is recovering.

Investigations into the source of infection indicate that all the cases had exposure to poultry suspected to have avian influenza."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Germany Reports More Low-Path Bird Flu

Article from The Poultry Site :

" GERMANY : Three more farms have been found with the H7N7 low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) virus, all in the area previously affected by the disease.

The veterinary authority sent Follow Up Report No. 3 dated 13 June to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The report continues that the H7N7 sub-type of the LPAI virus has been found on three more poultry farms in Gütersloh in North Rhine- Westphalia between 4 and 8 June. In all, eight H7N7-positive birds were found in the flocks totalling 11,719. All birds have since been destroyed."

South Africa : Swine flu kills city man

Via Independent Online :

" A CAPE Town man has died after contracting swine flu during a holiday in Turkey.

His wife, who asked that neither she nor her husband be named, said that at first she had thought that her husband, 58, had “a normal cold”.

The couple had been in Turkey when he fell ill, and he had taken “normal flu medicine”, she said yesterday.

“He was feeling cold, had a bit of a cough and a fever, but we didn’t read too much into it,” she said.

They were on a flight from Istanbul to Joburg on May 18 when his condition worsened: “By the time we landed in Joburg, he was so ill that he couldn’t even stand up. His chest was so tight that he struggled to breathe,” his wife said.

Rushed to a private medical centre in Joburg, he had surgery before being transferred to another hospital.

But while he seemed to be recovering, he developed another infection that complicated his condition and, his immune system seriously weakened, he died.

“His immune system was now just too weak and he succumbed to the infection,” his wife said.

She said that while her husband was being treated at the second hospital, a 27-year-old man had also died of swine flu-related complications. The hospital declined to confirm this or the details of her husband’s condition.

The woman said she wanted to use her tragic experience to warn others that flu symptoms should not be taken lightly."

Vietnam : New type of A/H5N1 appears in some localities

Via VOV News :

" The Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said a new type of A/H5N1 has been detected in the northern, central and highland provinces of Vietnam after their domestic fowls were vaccinated.

The vaccines imported from China are now not effective with this new type of virus, but can be used to treat the old type in the southern region of Vietnam.

The Prime Minister has approved MARD’s proposal to end the first phase of vaccination against bird flu.

However, MARD has asked local authorities to actively detect new bird flu outbreaks in their areas and take effective measures to prevent it from spreading."

India : One more tests positive for H1N1

Article from Times of India :

" PUNE: One more person tested positive for H1N1 flu in the city on Monday. With this, the total number of swine flu cases has gone up to six in the city, since April this year.

Also, the number of throat swab samples arriving at the National Institute of Virology has now gone up to 45 per day from the earlier one-two samples every day.

"The throat swab samples coming to NIV are mainly from Pune, Nanded and Nashik," said Mandeep Chadha, deputy director, NIV. "These are sporadic cases and there is no need to panic as the rate of positive cases is low. We are constantly monitoring the situation," he added.

"The case of the 36-year-old man, who tested positive on Monday, is the only one this month. The patient is a resident of Magarpatta City in Hadapsar. Of the other five cases, three were registered in May and two in April," said S T Pardeshi, assistant health officer, PMC.

"The three cases in May were from a city-based hospital. A doctor and two nurses had contracted the disease while treating a swine flu patient," Pardeshi said.

Since most of us have developed a natural immunity due to extended exposure to swine flu and some have vaccine-induced immunity, finding swine flu antibodies in blood is normal, but in such cases, the throat swab would not test positive."

Malaysia seals drug company over radiation

An AFP report via Yahoo Health, excerpt :

" Malaysia's nuclear energy regulator has sealed off a pharmaceutical company following a radiation leak earlier this month, a minister said Wednesday.

Science, technology and innovation minister Maximus Ongkili told AFP the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) sealed off the company after four of its employees set off radiation monitors when visiting the AELB's office on June 2.

"The radiation reading on one of the workers exceeded more than 400 times the normal reading (of 0.5 microsieverts per hour)," he said.

Ongkili said the AELB checked the company's premises in central Selangor state on the same day, finding the contamination there at 100 times the normal reading and sealed off the area to "ensure the radiation did not spread and prevent any radioactive particles from leaving the place."

He said three of the four went through a decontamination process at the National Radiological Emergency Centre, while the fourth worker with the high radiation exposure as a result of being "directly involved in the radiopharmaceutical leakage," was treated at the Malaysian Nuclear Agency.

"In this case, the radioactivity has a half life of two hours, therefore after 20 hours, the background reading at the company returned back to normal," Ongkili said.

"However, the company has been temporarily closed pending an assessment by the AELB on the firm's new radiation protection programme," he added, but declined to identify the company or the source of radiation that was leaked.

Although it does not have any nuclear power plants yet, Malaysia is home to several pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies that rely on radioactive materials to make their products."

Germany : Deadly E. coli outbreak claims its youngest victim

Via DW World, excerpt :

" A two-year-old boy has become the first child to die in an outbreak of the virulent strain of E. coli in Germany, taking the death toll to at least 37.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday that a two-year-old boy was the latest victim to die after being infected with enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).

The child died in hospital in the northern German state of Lower Saxony overnight on Tuesday. Previously the youngest victim from the weeks-long outbreak was a 20-year-old woman.

The death toll from the outbreak now stands at 37. Germany's national disease agency, the Robert Koch Institute, said 3,228 people had fallen ill from the EHEC bacteria or from linked kidney problems (haemolytic uraemic syndrome or HUS).

However, the RKI said on Monday there were signs the rate of infection was slowing. "For many days the number of new infections from EHEC or HUS has declined in the country," the agency said in a statement.

Taiwan ban

After weeks of searching for the source of the bacteria, German authorities on Friday identified the origin as being vegetable sprouts from an organic farm in the northern German state of Lower Saxony.

The farm has been closed and all its products recalled, although authorities said the farm had done nothing wrong.

On Monday, Taiwan announced it was suspending imports of bean sprouts from Germany as a precaution against the bacteria."

Japan : Green tea made by 5 Shizuoka plants contaminated with radiation

Via Japan Today :

" SHIZUOKA : The Shizuoka prefectural government said Tuesday it has asked five tea manufacturing plants in the city of Shizuoka to voluntarily stop shipping green tea leaves and recall those already shipped as they were found to contain radioactive cesium in excess of the legal limit.

The five are among 20 plants in the city’s Warashina district inspected by prefectural government experts earlier in the day following the recent finding of the radioactive substance above the limit in tea leaves produced at another plant in the district."

Hong Kong : Update on cluster of Rotavirus cases in a paediatric infant ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" The spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) gave the following update today (June 15) regarding an earlier announcement about Rotavirus cases in the QEH paediatric infant ward:

Another male infant aged 1 week old in the paediatric infant ward has presented with diarrhoea symptoms. The test results of the infant concerned were positive for Rotavirus. He is being treated under isolation and is in stable condition.

Admission to the paediatric infant ward concerned has been suspended. Restricted visiting to and discharge from the ward has been imposed. Infection control measures for the ward concerned have already been stepped up according to prevailing guidelines. All other patients in the ward are under close medical surveillance.

The case has been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection for necessary follow-up measures."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Australian health service slammed over PNG TB death

Via Radio Australia News :

" A Papua New Guinean man whose daughter died in a north-east Australian hospital has been told he will have to use a dinghy to get himself and his daughter's body home.

Petru Aniba made a mercy dash from his home village to the Torres Strait in February in the hope of saving his 14-year-old daughter Marthi, who was suffering tuberculosis.

She eventually died in Cairns Base Hospital. Her father too had tuberculosis and has only been released from quarantine.

Queensland Health officials said they would only fly the man and his dead daughter as far as the Torres Strait.

Isolation

His friend Robert Slade says Mr Aniba travelled from his village to the Papua New Guinean township of Daru, and from there canoed to Saibai Island in the Torres Strait.

"Then from Saibai he was choppered to Thursday Island, then from Thursday Island he was flown down to the Cairns Base Hospital," Mr Slade said.

"Unfortunately, his daughter Marthi passed away on February 24 and then Aniba was put into isolation for a few months because of tuberculosis.

"He came out of isolation about, roughly, five weeks ago and has been waiting for him and his daughter to be able to be repatriated back home so he can bury his daughter."

Australia : Measles alert at two Perth hospitals

Via The West Australian, excerpt :

" Perth parents are being warned to watch for signs of measles in their children because of fears four infected people may have spread the highly contagious disease at several locations, including two hospital emergency departments.

The WA Health Department confirmed late today that a large number of people had potentially been exposed to the viral illness, including people attending emergency departments at Princess Margaret and Joondalup hospitals.

There was also a risk the infection had spread at several GP surgeries in the northern suburbs where the patients were seen, and at schools and clubs they attended."

Indonesia : Sudden Death Chicken, Bird Flu Positive

Machine translated article from Kompas :

" Department of Agriculture and Livestock (Distanak) Kotawaringin Timur District, Central Kalimantan claimed dozens of chickens owned by residents who die suddenly found positive contracted the bird flu virus (H5N1).

Found in chickens died suddenly and caused the bird flu virus is owned by village residents Sawahan, District of New Mentaya Ketapang, East Kotawaringin District.

The bird flu virus that causes chicken died suddenly were incidental in nature, ie, events that at times can appear suddenly, but if it gets appropriate action in anticipation that it will not cause the occurrence of infectious to birds and other regions.

According to the Bima, although the results have been declared positive, but otherwise not endemic East Kotawaringin proven by the absence of follow-up of other chickens that died suddenly.

Although it has been found in chickens died of bird flu virus is expected to East Kotawaringin people not to panic and fret because they still can be avoided."

Death toll rises in Cameroon cholera epidemic

Via Alert Net :

" Yaoundé, CAMEROON: The death toll and the number of reported cases of cholera continue to rise across Cameroon: nearly 7,718 cases reported in 9 out of 10 regions and 256 deaths attributed to the epidemic. Cameroonians continue to struggle in containing this killer disease.

Plan in Cameroon has been deploying teams of community volunteers “cholera soldiers” in its seven operational regions: Centre, South West, North West, West, Littoral, North and Far North. The Centre region with more than 2,558 cases reported is hardest hit, although in part through the efforts of Plan, the number of new cases being reported there has slowed to almost none."

Dominican Republic : Public Health reports two more deaths from cholera

Article via Dominican Today :

" Santo Domingo : Two people, one a minor, died from cholera this week in the National District and in western Elías Piña, the Public Health Ministry announced Thursday.

It also revealed 132 confirmed cases of the disease, 83 of those in greater Santo Domingo, San Cristóbal (south) and San Pedro (east) provinces. There were 143 confirmed cases were from different parts of the country last week.

Among the deaths was that of a one year old girl in the San Lorenzo hospital, a resident of the sector Los Mina, and a woman, 52, in Elías Piña, Public Health said, adding that the girl arrived at the hospital in a state of chock.

The fatalities bring the number of confirmed deaths to 36 since November, when the first case of cholera was reported in Dominican territory."

Germany lifts warning on produce as likely E. coli source identified

Via DW World :

" Contaminated sprouts are the likely source behind the E. coli outbreak that has killed 30 people since May, according to German health officials. The warning on cucumbers and other produce has been lifted.

Sprouts are to blame for the E. coli outbreak that has killed 30 and sickened nearly 3,000 since May, the head of Germany's federal infectious disease laboratory announced Friday.

Reinhard Burger, president of the Robert Koch Institute, said even though no tests of the sprouts from a farm in Lower Saxony had come back positive, the epidemiological investigation has produced enough evidence to draw a conclusion.

"It is the sprouts," Burger told reporters at a press conference in Berlin.

Burger added that people who had consumed the contaminated sprouts were nine times more likely to have bloody diarrhea than those who did not.

The organization has rescinded its warning to consumers to avoid cucumbers, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, but Germans are still cautioned to avoid eating sprouts.

"The outbreak is not over," Burger said.

An expensive mistake

Spain had threatened to sue Germany over allegations against its cucumbersThe false alarms have had a negative impact on vegetable farmers across Europe and soured diplomatic relations with Germany's neighbors."

Cambodia : Girl dies of H5N1

Via Xinhua, Cambodia has reported a fatality due to avian influenza :

" PHNOM PENH, June 10 : Cambodia's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization announced Friday that a seven- year-old girl from the eastern province of Prey Veng has died of avian influenza H5N1.

The girl died on June 7 as a result of respiratory complications after contracting human avian influenza virus H5N1, said a joint statement sent to the media.

"The girl is the 16th person in Cambodia to become infected with the H5N1 virus and the 14th person to die from complications of the disease since 2005," it said.

The patient became sick on May 24 and she was initially treated by private practitioners; however, her condition continued to worsen and she was later brought to Kantha Bopha Children Hospital in Phnom Penh for treatment on May 31, where she died on June 7.

"Avian influenza is still a threat to the health of Cambodians. Compared to last year, we have seen more H5N1 cases this year and children appear to be most vulnerable," the Minister of Health Mam Bunheng said in the statement.

"I would like to urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry and if they develop signs of respiratory infections, they should be brought to medical attention at the nearest health facilities as soon as possible," he added."

Finland : EHEC infection discovered in Helsinki kindergarten

Article via Helsingin Sanomat, now a day care centre in Finland has reported case of EHEC :

" A case of the EHEC infection that has caused havoc in Germany was found in a Helsinki kindergarten on Thursday. Helath officials were notified of the matter at around noon, according to infectious diseases specialist and Helsinki city epidemiologist Hannele Kotilainen.

The daycare centre is now attempting to determine if there is more than one case to the outbreak.

"The matter is being examined according to the usual channels. We are charting the group and anyone with symptoms, and running tests on them", reports Kotilainen.

She did not specify whether the infected party was a child or one of the kindergarten's adult staff.

"I do not wish at this stage to go into the whos or hows of the infection, but in any event it is associated with the Lapinlahti daycare centre."

The city's epidemiology unit handed out packages for the taking of samples to parents of children at the daycare centre late on Thursday afternoon.

All city daycare centtres are being issued with hygiene instructions and the reminder that under no circumstances should children with diarrhoea symptoms be brought to kindergarten."

Germany says sprouts caused E. coli outbreak

Via ABC News :

" Germany has blamed sprouts for the bacteria outbreak that has already left at least 30 dead and 3,000 ill.

"It's the sprouts," said Reinhard Burger, the president of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's national disease centre.

"People who ate sprouts were found to be nine times more likely to have bloody diarrhoea or other signs of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) infection than those who did not."

Dr Burger cited a study of more than 100 people who fell ill after dining in restaurants in northern Germany.

As a result, the government lifted a warning against eating raw tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers.

The advisory, first issued over two weeks ago, has cost vegetable growers in Europe hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales and sparked diplomatic spats across the continent.

German authorities initially fingered cucumbers imported from Spain as the origin of the outbreak.

They later retracted the statement based on subsequent tests, infuriating Madrid and sparking threats of lawsuits.

And the European Union blasted Russia for imposing a "disproportionate" blanket ban on vegetable imports from the 27-nation bloc.

In an attempt to help hard-hit farmers, the EU has offered to pay 210 million euros ($287 million) in compensation.

Suspicion


Dr Burger said the origin of the contamination was believed to be a small organic farm in Lower Saxony which first came under suspicion at the weekend.

"Tests carried out at the farm have proved negative," he said, but evidence still pointed to the farm as a probable source of contamination.

Lower Saxony agriculture minister Gert Lindemann said earlier this week that experts had found no traces of the E. coli bacteria strain at the farm but he did not rule it out as the source of the contamination."

Philippines : Dengue kills 5 in Negros Occidental

Via Phil Star :

" ILOILO CITY, Philippines : Five people have died in Negros Occidental province due to dengue, the provincial health office reported today.

The Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office said the dengue fatalities include a 22-year-old from Cadiz City, an 18 year- old and a five months old from Bago City, a 23 year- old from Calatrava, and a 59 year- old from Escalanate City.

The health office's record revealed that a total of 468 dengue cases has been recorded from January 1 up to May 21, 2011, which is 16 percent lower compared to the total 558 cases recorded for the same period in 2010.

Only two deaths were recorded in the same period last year.

The top ten areas in Negros Occidental which has the highest cases of dengue are Bago City with 87 cases; San Carlos City-57; Silay City, 30; Calatrava, 27; La Carlota City-24; Talisay City, 24; Victorias City, 23; Cadiz City, 18, Sagay City, 18; and, Himamaylan City with 16 cases."

Asia : Swine flu starting to show resistance to drugs

Via Reuters, this really needs close watching :

" A novel variant of swine flu has emerged in Asia with a genetic adaptation giving some resistance to Roche's Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza, the two mainstay drugs used to tackle the disease.

Researchers said more than 30 percent of H1N1 swine flu infection samples from northern Australia, and more than 10 percent of those in Singapore, collected during the early months of 2011 had mildly reduced sensitivity to the two drugs.

There was no significant reduction in sensitivity to peramivir, an experimental flu drug from BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.

The new variant has also been detected in other parts of Asia-Pacific, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, published in the journal Eurosurveillance.

Although this genetic mutation has seen before in a small number of seasonal flu and H5N1 bird flu cases, it has not previously been reported in H1N1 swine flu.

H1N1 flu was discovered in Mexico and the United States in March 2009 and spread rapidly across the world. The WHO believes about 18,450 people died from the virus up to August 2010, including many pregnant women and young people. The WHO declared the pandemic over in August."

Canada : Toronto-area child infected with new flu virus

Article from CTV News. A cause for concern? Excerpt :

" TORONTO : Canadian doctors are reporting what may be the first case of a new flu virus created after a child became co-infected with two influenza strains -- pandemic H1N1 and seasonal H3N2.

The 16-month-old boy from the Greater Toronto Area was admitted to a local hospital on January 24 and discharged home after about a 15-hour stay.

The child, who was suffering both respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, recovered from his illness without complications and none of his family members or other close contacts contracted the virus.

Doctors only discovered the toddler had been infected with an altered flu virus after testing of nasal-throat swabs turned up evidence of what's called "reassortment" -- genes from the H1N1 and H3N2 flu viruses had been swapped, creating a virus with a new genetic combination.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of reassortment involving (pandemic) H1N1 and seasonal H3N2," said Dr. Jonathan Gubbay, a medical microbiologist at the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion.

"We can never definitely say it's the first ever, but we're pretty sure it is, that it hasn't been (previously) reported," he said in an interview.

Gubbay and colleagues who reported the case Thursday said the new virus is unlikely to pose a public health threat as the current seasonal flu vaccine protects against both H1N1 and H3N2, and it should provoke an antibody response against the combination virus as well."

Japan : TEPCO testing water treatment system

Article from NHK News :

" Tokyo Electric Power Company is conducting a test-run of a new system to treat the highly radioactive water that is flooding facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

On Friday, the first day of the test-run, relatively low-level radioactive water will be sent into a device designed to remove cesium using zeolite, in an attempt to determine if it works without problems.

The system also includes equipment that settles radioactive substances using special chemicals.

TEPCO expects the concentration of radioactive material in the water to be reduced to one-thousandth to one-ten-thousandth of the current level. Oil and salt will be also removed through the process.

Each component of the system will be tested over a period of around one week.

More than 105,000 tons of highly radioactive water has accumulated on the plant's premises. The amount is growing by 500 tons a day as fresh water is injected into troubled reactors to try to cool them down.

The system is believed to hold the key to TEPCO's efforts to stabilize the plant, amid growing fears that the contaminated water could start overflowing in late June.

The company wants to treat 1,200 tons of highly contaminated water daily and process a total of 250,000 tons over a year. It is aiming to recycle the treated water and use it to cool the reactors.

There are concerns, however, that some of the devices used in the new system may not meet government standards for earthquake resistance.

But the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says that, given the urgency of the situation, there is no choice but to use equipment designed for general industrial use."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thailand : E. coli found in imported avocados; bacterial strain still unknown

Via MCOT News :

" Thailand's Department of Medical Sciences has conducted additional tests to determine the strain of E. coli bacteria found to contaminate imported avocados from Spain.

Dr Pipat Yingseri, Secretary-General of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said the Department of Medical Sciences new test results are expected to be known by Monday. He advised the public to buy vegetables and fruit grown in Thailand's north for safety. However, he said Thailand imports small amount of fruit and vegetables from Europe.

Dr Sathaporn Wongcharoen, director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences said the new test will find if the bacteria found is toxic or not and what kind of strain it is. However, he said it is common to find fruit and vegetables contaminated with non-toxic E. coli.

Public Health Ministry, Jurin Laksanawisit said that checkpoints at Suvarnabhumi Airport randomly collected sample of two kilogrammes of avocado to test Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli on June 6. The initial test found E. coli but its strain is still unknown."

Philippines : Nine new dengue cases up in Iloilo

Via Philippines Information Agency, excerpt :

" Iloilo Provincial Health Officer Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado said that nine new dengue cases have been reported from January to June 4, 2011.

Dr. Trabado explained that the report was received just now by the IPHO.

She said that the January to June 4 report of the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU) showed that the province has 115 dengue cases and one death.

The lone fatality due to dengue came from the municipality of Dumangas, Trabado said.

The nine cases under the 22nd Morbidity Week record of the PESU showed that six cases are from Janiuay, and one case each for the municipalities of Pototan, San Joaquin and Batad.

The Iloilo Provincial Health Officer reminded the public to sustain the clean up activities in the surroundings to destroy the breeding grounds of mosquitoes and prevent the spread of mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus.

In a related report, the Department of Health said that June 15 will be observed as ASEAN Dengue Day starting this year and every year thereafter to foster more awareness about the disease.

The observance is in accordance to the joint statement of the 10th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting in Singapore last July 22, 2010."

WHO : EHEC outbreak - Update 12

From World Health Organization, Europe office :

"Haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS)

As of 8 June at 15:00 CET, Germany had reported 722 HUS cases (including 18 fatalities): 33 more cases (but with no additional deaths) since the previous day. 69% of cases were in females and 88% in adults aged 20 years or older, with the highest attack rates per 100 000 population in the group aged 20–49 years. Case-onset dates ranged from 1 May to 6 June.

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC)

As of 8 June at 15:00 CET, 2086 cases of EHEC infection (without HUS) had been reported in Germany (8 fatal): 127 more cases and 2 more deaths since the previous day. 60% of cases were in females and 88% in adults aged 20 years or older. Case-onset dates ranged from 1 May to 6 June.

The Robert Koch Institute, in Germany, states that the current HUS and EHEC notification data, as well as data from the surveillance of bloody diarrhoea in emergency departments, show an overall decreasing trend in the number of cases. It is uncertain whether this decline is due to the changing consumption of raw vegetables and/or the waning of the source of infection.

Other countries

As of 8 June, 13 other European countries had reported a total of 35 HUS cases (1 fatal) and 61 EHEC cases (none fatal). There were 2 more HUS cases and 3 fewer EHEC cases reported since the previous day. As the revised European Union (EU) case definition is being applied, some cases reported earlier have now been excluded. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, United States of America have published information on 3 HUS cases (1 confirmed and 2 suspected) and 1 suspected EHEC case (without HUS) in the United States linked to this outbreak. On 7 June, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported on 1 suspected case of E. coli O104 infection (without HUS), in a person with travel history to northern Germany and with links to a confirmed case of E. coli O104 infection in Germany."

Uganda: Cholera Breaks Out in Hoima District

Article from All Africa :

" Hoima : Four cases of cholera have been confirmed in Nkondo Parish, Kabwoya Sub-county in Hoima District. The district health officer, Dr Joseph Ruyonga, said on Monday that the patients were still undergoing treatment at Sebigoro health centre in Kabwoya, while a team of health officials was dispatched to the area to sensitise the residents about the causes of the disease and preventive measures.

No toilet facilities

Dr Ruyonga said there was a high level of poor sanitation in the area due to lack of toilet facilities. "It is absurd that there is only one pit-latrine in Sebigoro Market, an indication that the residents may not have pit- latrines in their homes."

Eight patients were last week rushed to the health centre after showing signs and symptoms of cholera stool, diarrhoea and vomiting. Later, four of the eight were discharged. Areas along the Lake Albert in Hoima are prone to cholera outbreaks whenever they experience heavy rains."

Dutch find different E. coli on beet sprouts

Article from Yahoo Health :

" Dutch authorities recalled red beet sprouts from three countries Thursday after samples were found to be contaminated with a strain of E. coli bacteria that was apparently less dangerous than the one causing Europe's deadly E. coli crisis.

The Dutch Food Safety Authority said laboratories were still trying to identify the Dutch strain, but there have been no immediate reports of serious illness from it.

But the agency said it was definitely not the same E. coli strain that has killed 27 people, sickened 2,900 others and left hundreds with serious complications, most of them in Germany. The cause of that outbreak, which began May 2, has so far eluded German authorities.

Only one grower, a company called Hamu, was found with contaminated beets, and other produce grown on its farms were cleared of suspicion, said Esther Filon, a spokeswoman for the Dutch regulation agency.

"It's not the same as in Germany. You can become ill, but as far as we know at this moment, it is not lethal," she told the Associated Press.

She said the authorities were trying to trace all shipments from the grower."

Japan : Radioactive strontium detected 62 km from Fukushima plant

Via Japan Today :

" TOKYO : Minute amounts of radioactive strontium have been detected in soil at 11 locations in Fukushima Prefecture, including the city of Fukushima located 62 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to the science ministry.

The Nuclear Safety Commission said they are unlikely to pose an immediate threat to human health but warned people about the intake of radioactive strontium into their bodies.

According to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, 54 becquerels of strontium 89 per kilogram were detected in soil collected in the city of Fukushima on April 27.

The highest amount, 1,500 becquerels of strontium, was detected in soil collected on May 6 in the town of Namie located 24 km northwest of the nuclear plant, which was severely damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The ministry also detected 1,000 becquerels of strontium in the village of Iitate, 220 becquerels in the town of Kawamata and 30 becquerels in the town of Hirono."

Hong Kong : Cluster of Human Metapneumovirus cases at Castle Peak Hospital

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" A spokesperson for Castle Peak Hospital made the following announcement today (June 9):

Three patients (aged 72 to 84) at a female psychogeriatric ward have presented with respiratory symptoms since June 3. Appropriate viral tests had been arranged for the patients. All test results were positive for Human Metapneumovirus. The patients have been transferred to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment under isolation and are in a stable condition.

Admission to and discharge from the ward have been suspended. Restricted visiting has also been imposed. According to the established protocol, infection control measures have already been stepped up. All other patients in the ward concerned are under close surveillance.

The cases have been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection for necessary follow up."

Japan : Nuclear evacuation being considered for more areas

Via NHK News :

" The Japanese government says it will quickly decide on whether to evacuate more people from areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant which have radiation levels exceeding the state limit.

This comes after it was found that accumulative radiation exposure levels in parts of Date and Minamisoma cities exceed the 20 millisieverts per year limit set by the government. The areas are outside the current evacuation zone.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama met with Minamisoma Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai at the prime minister's office on Thursday to discuss the situation.

After the meeting, Sakurai told reporters that residents are voicing concern and some want to evacuate. He said he asked the government to carefully consider the residents' wishes when deciding about evacuation.

Fukuyama told reporters that the government wants to quickly reach a decision after discussions with the 2 cities. He added the government wants to be on the cautious side in protecting the health of the residents."

Germany defends E.coli response as death toll rises

Via Reuters :

" German ministers on Wednesday defended their response to the E.coli outbreak that has killed 27 people and signaled possible changes in the way the country handles health crises in the future.

The German government has been criticized at home and around Europe for failing so far to pin down the cause of the outbreak that has stricken more than 2,700 people in 12 countries. All cases have been traced back to near Hamburg in northern Germany.

About a quarter of E.coli patients in the latest outbreak have developed a severe complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome affecting the blood, kidneys and nervous system.

"The E.coli and HUS outbreak in Germany is so severe that we have to react very quickly to announce these recommendations and we still can't give the all-clear," said Health Minister Daniel Bahr, referring to warnings not to eat certain raw vegetables, such as bean sprouts but also cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce.

The European Union on Wednesday upped compensation to 210 million euros from 150 million for farmers hit by plummeting sales, after Germany first blamed cucumbers from Spain and other salad vegetables, and then German bean sprouts."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Germany : 2 New E. Coli Deaths as EU Holds Emergency Meeting

Via ABC News :

" Germany reported two more deaths and 300 more E. coli cases Wednesday, but its health minister insisted that new infections were dropping, giving some hope that the world's deadliest E. coli outbreak was abating.

Health Minister Daniel Bahr spoke before an emergency meeting in Berlin with health officials from the European Union, which is getting concerned about Germany's handling of the crisis.

"I cannot yet give an all-clear, but after an analysis of the numbers there's reason for hope," Bahr told ARD television. "The numbers are continuously falling — which nonetheless means that there can still be new cases and that one unfortunately has to expect new deaths too — but overall new infections are clearly going down."

Bahr said the death toll has risen to 26 — 25 in Germany plus one in Sweden."

US : Second MRSA Case Reported at High School

Via Hauppauge Patch, excerpt :

" Hauppauge school district officials are alerting parents to a second confirmed case of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus at Hauppauge High School this year.

The district sent out a notice to parents dated June 6, also posted on its website, that reads:

"Our district has just been notified that there is a confirmed case of MRSA in the High School. In response to this, the district acted upon protocols developed to help guard against the spread of this bacterial infection including sanitizing instructional areas."

Pam Donovan, a spokeswoman for the district, said no further details regarding the MRSA case will be released out of concern for the student's privacy. Information on the district's actions to sanitize the high school were not immediately available.

This is the second case of MRSA reported at Hauppauge High School this year. Junior wrestler Nick Mauriello spent weeks in intensive care at Stony Brook University Hospital after contracting a case of MRSA that developed into a Lemierre's Syndrome, a rare but deadly bacteria infection in the throat or mouth that spreads through the circulatory system."

Germany expecting more E.coli deaths

Article from Reuters, things getting out of hand?

" Germany expects the death toll from the E.coli outbreak to rise although the number of new infections from the virulent strain of bacteria that has killed 24 people is likely to drop, the government said on Wednesday.

"There will be new cases and unfortunately we have to expect more deaths, but the number of new infections are dropping significantly," Health Minister Daniel Bahr told German TV .

"I can't sound the all-clear, but after analysing the latest data we have reasonable cause for hope," he said.

The German government has been criticised at home and around Europe for its failure to pin down the cause of the outbreak that has stricken over 2,400 people in 12 countries. All cases have been traced back to near Hamburg in northern Germany.

The European Union's health chief John Dalli, attending a crisis meeting with officials in Berlin, urged Germany to seek the help of international experts in dealing with what may be the deadliest outbreak of E.coli so far."

Ukraine : Sanitary And Epidemiological Station Confirms Another Case Of Cholera In Mariupol, Donetsk Region

Article from Ukranian News :

" The State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service has confirmed a case of cholera in Mariupol, Donetsk region, which was registered on June 7.

This is stated by the press service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

Thus, as of 7:00 a.m., June 8, the infectious department of the city hospital No.4 has confirmed 15 cases of cholera.

The course of the disease is of moderate severity.

Specialists of the city Sanitary and epidemiological station department perform complex of sanitary-hygienic and anti-epidemic measures and identify patients with acute intestinal infections and stomach upset.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, the first 3 persons who become ill with cholera in Mariupol, on May 29 were hospitalized, and later cholera has been confirmed in 10 people.

On June 6, the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service reported that the treatment continues with 16 people, two of which were carriers of the pathogen without symptoms.

According to preliminary conclusions, the disease contracted via occurrence of seawater in human body or eating fish from the Sea of Azov."

Germany and Spain talk cucumbers amid E. coli outbreak

Article from DW World :

" German and Spanish officials are to meet Wednesday to discuss the E. coli outbreak and a false alarm on cucumbers. This comes after the EU proposed a substantial compensation fund for farmers hit by the outbreak.

German and Spanish officials were set to hold talks Wednesday about the outbreak of E. coli in northern Germany and the Berlin government's ultimately erroneous warning on Spanish cucumbers.

Since Germany mistakenly identified Spain as the source of the outbreak last week, Madrid has repeatedly called for compensation for its farmers. Initial investigations uncovered a different strain of E. coli bacteria on some Spanish cucumbers and a public health warning was subsequently issued, but scientists later discovered that the findings were unrelated to the current outbreak."

Australia : Get flu shots doctors warns as flu cases rise

Via International Business Times :

" Doctors are bracing themselves for the high levels of influenza cases being experienced this year. Queensland already has 1790 recorded flu cases this year, higher than the 343 flu cases last year.

The figures are alarming. The Sunshine coast region has had 81 cases this year, more than any neighboring region. In contrast the Wide Bay Region only has 56, 13 more than the Gold Coast and six more than the Rockhampton, according to a report by the Sunshine Coast Daily.

There could be more cases going unreported as the figures only show patients sick enough to go to hospitals or doctors. Around a quarter of the cases were of the AH1N1 swine flu strain.

To combat the rising flu cases, Queensland Health has urged residents to get their flu vaccinations as soon as possible. This is especially important for the elderly, pregnant women, indigenous people over 15 and those with medical conditions. Queensland Health will be offering free flu vaccinations for people in the mentioned groups, children aged six months to ten years will also be offered free vaccination.

The free vaccine will include protection against influenza strain s A H3N2, A H1N1 and an influenza B strain."

E.coli cases dropping signficantly in Germany

Via TVNZ :

" The rate of new cases of Germans contracting a deadly strain of E.coli bacteria are declining significantly, German Health Minister Daniel Bahr has told German television.

"There will be new cases and unfortunately we have to expect more deaths, but the number of new infections are dropping significantly," Bahr said in an interview with ARD television channel today.

"I cannot sound the all clear, but after analysing the latest data we have reasonable cause for hope."

Bahr sounded more upbeat than on Tuesday, when he said he was "cautiously optimistic" that the worst was over.

The United States has made headway fighting a deadly E.coli, but the lethal outbreak in Germany and a lack of progress against Salmonella show how much remains to be done to keep food safe, health officials said on Tuesday.

European scientists are scrambling to find the source of the E.coli outbreak in Germany that has infected more than 2,400 people and killed 23 of them.

The German outbreak is caused by the rare strain of Shiga toxin-producing E.coli known as STEC O104:H4. It appears to be the deadliest outbreak of E.coli ever seen, with a third of patients developing the severe complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which frequently leads to kidney failure and can result in death."

Hong Kong : Alert over increase in respiratory viral infections

From Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, excerpt :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has today (June 8) called on the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent respiratory tract infections, as the CHP's latest surveillance data has shown an increase in the activity of respiratory pathogens in recent weeks.

A CHP spokesman said the department's Public Health Laboratory Centre (PHLC) has recently detected increases in adenoviruses and parainfluenza viruses.

The number of adenoviruses detected in the PHLC increased from 70 in the week ending May 28, 2011 to 99 in the week ending June 4, 2011. Four institutional outbreaks of upper respiratory infections caused by adenovirus were recorded in the week ending June 4, 2011, compared with one outbreak recorded in the preceding two weeks (May 15-28, 2011). A total of 44 persons were affected in the above five institutional outbreaks.

The number of parainfluenza viruses detected in the PHLC has also been increasing, from 233 in the four-week period from April 10 to May 7, 2011 to 316 in the recent four-week period from May 8 to June 4, 2011. A total of three institutional outbreaks of upper respiratory infections caused by parainfluenza virus were recorded in the past eight weeks affecting 11 persons."

Another patient suspected of E.coli hospitalized in Poland

Via Xinhua :

" Another patient suspected of Escherichia coli was admitted to hospital in Gizycko, northeastern Poland, on Tuesday, local media reported.

On Monday Poland's first E. coli infection case was confirmed by tests conducted by the National Institute of Hygiene.

Poland's first E. coli patient, a 29-year-old woman permanently residing in Germany and diagnosed with the bacteria, has been receiving treatment in a hospital in Szczecin in northwestern Poland for over two weeks.

Two men suspected of E. coli have been hospitalized in Szczecin. They both had returned from Germany shortly before they fell ill. Another man suspected of E. coli was hospitalized in Ostroleka in central Poland also returned from Germany.

A boy with haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS), a disease characterized by hemolytic anemia caused by the E.coli patogenic bacteria, has been hospitalized in a Warsaw hospital."

Uganda : Mulago, Entebbe to get isolation centres

Article from New Vision Online :

" THE Government is to build two modern isolation wards at Mulago and Entebbe hospitals to boost the country’s capacity to detect and control avian influenza and other deadly epidemics.

The commissioner for health services, Dr. Dennis Lwamafa, made the disclosure at the launch of the Avian and Human Influenza Preparedness and Response project recently.

An isolation centre is a specialised facility where patients with unique clinical conditions are confined for examination. Construction of the two facilities is expected to start in November

The project will be implemented by the ministries of health and agriculture in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister.

Lwamafa said land had been secured and a consultancy firm contacted to design the facilities.

He also said laboratory staff from districts and regional referral hospitals had been trained and that equipment and reagents needed for testing had been procured."

India : 141 malaria cases reported in district, 8 in city this year

Via Indian Express :

" As many AS 141 cases of malaria have been reported in Pune district since January, of which eight are from the city. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has activated its insect control cell and identified 25,854 mosquito breeding spots across the city. Dr R R Pardeshi, chief medical officer of the PMC said the civic body has released a total of 2,552 guppy fishes in 208 spots to curb breeding of mosquitoes. These fish eat the larvae of mosquitoes and help tackle malaria.

Pre-monsoon preparedness to contain vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya has been put in place, said Pardeshi, adding that data has been collected from over 200 private hospitals in the city and blood samples of suspected patients have been sent to the laboratory at Gadi Khana for examination."

India : H1N1 claims one in Nashik

Via Times of India :

" PUNE: The swine flu virus claimed a 29-year-old woman in Nashik and infected five more people, all from Pune, in the last few days.

"The woman succumbed to the H1N1 virus at the civil hospital in Nashik on May 26. Besides, two cases of swine flu were reported from Pune last week, while three cases were reported in April," said state epidemiologist Pradip Awate. All these cases were reported way before the onset of monsoon, hence it would be wrong to link them to the rainy season, he added.

Meanwhile, R.R. Pardeshi, health chief of the Pune Municipal Corporation, said on Tuesday, "The situation is under control, we are monitoring it closely."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Australia : Refugees in Darwin infected with tuberculosis

Article from ABC News :

" The Northern Territory Centre for Disease Control says tests have shown almost a third of recently arrived refugees in Darwin have latent tuberculosis.

In three years of testing to 2009, the centre found 146 people had the infection.

It means they had been exposed to tuberculosis and could become infectious later in life.

Dr James Trauer from the Centre for Disease Control says it is important those who could become infectious are identified.

"Probably the most important part of managing TB on a public health level, and protecting the public from TB, is identifying people who are infectious and treating them appropriately," he said.

"The second most important thing to do after that is to screen people who might become infectious later."

India : Families battle infectious diseases in Narayanpuri

From Times of India :

" LUCKNOW: Krishnanagar's Narayanpuri is an open invitation to infectious diseases. The place came in news last week after the death of a resident, named Mala.

The girl breathed her last at a private hospital near Krishnanagar police station on Thursday last. Incidentally, her family members too are suffering from severe dehydration caused by diarrhoea and vomiting. "Mala's brother Anup is undergoing treatment in the same nursing home while her father was admitted to the Balrampur Hospital. I was discharged from hospital on Saturday night," said the girl's paternal aunt Rajkumari, adding that they were praying for the well-being of the struggling members.

Mala's family isn't a lone example, as many people are suffering from infectious diseases in the area. Nine-year-old Saadhna, who lives with her parents in the neighbourhood, has also taken ill because of infectious diseases and is undergoing treatment. Residents claim that almost every second family has a sick member.

They blame contaminated water supply in the area for their troubles. "Civic authorities came to inspect the area after the news of Mala's death spread. They snapped the water connection to our house and told us to consume boiled water," said Rajkumari. Loss of life in the area has sent alarm bells ringing."

Fiji : Leptospirosis claims 10th victim

Via Fiji Times Online :

" FIFTY-five-year old Suliana Lewavou of Nadi became the latest person to succumb to leptospirosis, while another is in serious condition at the Lautoka Hospital emergency unit.

The death of Mrs Lewavou last month increased the national death toll to 10.

This was confirmed by the hospital's consultancy physician, Dr Deo Narayan.

He said 11 severe cases were reported to the hospital last month and people have been urged to take extra precaution.

Dr Narayan said leptospirosis needed to be taken seriously since lives had been lost through negligence and late presentation of sickness at medical centres.

"There were 28 severe cases and 10 deaths reported so far," he said.

"There could be more out there in the streets that could be infected with the disease.

"Despite of the numerous awareness campaigns made, people still fail to adhere to our advice."

Dr Narayan warned members of the public to be extra careful while eating at restaurants because the deadly infection was also spread by rats.

""We need a control of the rat population in houses and in restaurants. Some restaurants have a huge population of rats and these rats can spread the disease on foods. It is therefore important for people to take extra precautionary measures."

Japan : Highly radioactive debris found at Fukushima plant

Article from NHK News :

" Highly radioactive debris is still hampering the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant from bringing its reactors under control, almost 3 months after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

On Monday, a piece of debris about 5 centimeters in diameter with radiation levels of 950 millisieverts per hour was removed from the west side of the Number 3 reactor building. It had been found on Saturday.

In May, debris with a radiation dose of 1,000 millisieverts per hour was discovered in the area, while rubble contaminated with 900 millisieverts per hour was found in April.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has so far removed about 280 containers of radioactive debris, but radiation levels still remain high near the reactor building that was badly damaged by a hydrogen explosion.

TEPCO is also struggling to handle highly radioactive water. More than 100,000 tons of contaminated water is believed to have accumulated in the basements of the reactor and turbine buildings.

TEPCO plans to begin a decontamination process on June 15th. Preparations are under way. The utility tested a device on Monday that will filter radioactive sediment from the water."

German officials seek evidence of sprout E. coli source

From DW World, excerpt :

" Sprouts from a market garden in Lower Saxony are now suspected of causing a deadly outbreak of E. coli bacteria in Germany. Officials hope for definitive results on Monday, but say their fresh lead is strong.

Researchers chasing after the root of a deadly outbreak of E. coli bacteria in Germany said Sunday that they had uncovered a new, important lead.

Gert Lindemann, agriculture minister for Lower Saxony, said a market garden in the rural district of Uelzen had yielded a connection "involving all the main outbreaks" of the disease, which is thought to have affected more than 2,000 people.

"From our view, this is the most concrete source," said Lindemann.

Although there was no definitive proof on Sunday, the ministry said the indications were strong enough to suggest people avoid sprouts for the time being.

"We do have notable evidence suggesting that a business in Uelzen could be the source of the infection, but we must wait for confirmation from laboratory tests," German Health Minister Daniel Bahr said.

Definitive laboratory results could be in later on Monday. As well as apparent connections to the major outbreaks, one employee of the northern German farm had also contracted the disease, authorities said."

Germany : German farm suspected epicenter of E.coli outbreak

Via IB Times :

" A North German farm,Gaertnerhof Bienenbuettel, has been identified as the most likely source of the infection in the E.coli outbreak, that killed 22 people and affected more than 2,200 people, a local media report said.

The farm, producing bean sprouts, located in Uelzen, south of Hamburg, is believed to be the epicenter of the outbreak.

German officials were awaiting results of tests on the farm's produce that would offer more conclusive proof.

The farm has been closed and Germans have been advised to stop eating bean sprouts. The managing director of the farm said on Monday that he was baffled that his bean sprouts were suspected of causing such a devastation.

An emergency meeting is to be held by EU agriculture ministers on Tuesday, to discuss the outbreak and its effect on production.

The agriculture minister for Lower Saxony, Gert Lindemann, said: "Further evidence has emerged which points to a plant nursery in Uelzen as the source of the EHEC cases, or at least one of the sources".

Definite proof would depend on test results, but "a connection has been found involving all the main outbreaks."

India : 28 suspected malaria cases detected

Via Times Of India :

" VARANASI: The doctors detected 28 suspected cases of malaria during a recent special malaria camp at the district jail in Chowkaghat area of the city.

District malaria officer M A Khan said that on-the-spot blood slide (BS) collection was done during the camp on Saturday (June 4) and 28 suspected cases of malaria were detected.

He added that the confirmed cases would be known only after the pathological and lab tests of the slides. He also said that the next round of malaria awareness camp would be held at CRPF camp in Paharia on June 7.

It may be mentioned here that the district health administration is observing June as the anti-malaria month. The officials are intensifying efforts for increased blood slides collection and on-the-spot detection besides spreading awareness about vector-borne diseases in vulnerable pockets of the city.

Eight malaria camps would be held at different places including jails, camps of paramilitary forces and rural blocks of the district."