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Monday, August 29, 2011

FAO : Bird Flu rears its head again

Press release from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This doesn't sound good at all :

" Increased preparedness and surveillance urged against variant strain

29 August 2011, Rome - FAO today urged heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence of the H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza amid signs that a mutant strain of the deadly Bird Flu virus is spreading in Asia and beyond, with unpredictable risks to human health.

The H5N1 virus has infected 565 people since it first appeared in 2003, killing 331 of them, according to WHO figures. The latest death occurred earlier this month in Cambodia, which has registered eight cases of human infection this year -- all of them fatal.

Since 2003 H5N1 has killed or forced the culling of more than 400 million domestic poultry and caused an estimated $20 billion of economic damage across the globe before it was eliminated from most of the 63 countries infected at its peak in 2006.

However, the virus remained endemic in six nations, although the number of outbreaks in domestic poultry and wild bird populations shrank steadily from an annual peak of 4000 to just 302 in mid 2008. But outbreaks have risen progressively since, with almost 800 cases recorded in 2010-2011.

Virus spread in both poultry and wild birds

At the same time, 2008 marked the beginning of renewed geographic expansion of the H5N1 virus both in poultry and wild birds.

The advance appears to be associated with migratory bird movements, according to FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth. He said migrations help the virus travel over long distances, so that H5N1 has in the past 24 months shown up in poultry or wild birds in countries that had been virus-free for several years.

"Wild birds may introduce the virus, but peoples' actions in poultry production and marketing spread it," Lubroth noted.

Recently affected areas are to be found in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Bulgaria, Romania, Nepal and Mongolia.

A further cause for concern, Lubroth said, is the appearance in China and Viet Nam of a variant virus apparently able to sidestep the defences provided by existing vaccines.

In Viet Nam, which suspended its springtime poultry vaccination campaign this year, most of the northern and central parts of the country -- where H5N1 is endemic -- have been invaded by the new virus strain, known as H5N1 - 2.3.2.1.

High alert

Viet Nam's veterinary services are on high alert and reportedly considering a novel, targeted vaccination campaign this fall. Virus circulation in Viet Nam poses a direct threat to Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia as well as endangering the Korean peninsula and Japan further afield. Wild bird migration can also spread the virus to other continents.

"The general departure from the progressive decline observed in 2004-2008 could mean that there will be a flareup of H5N1 this fall and winter, with people unexpectedly finding the virus in their backyard," Lubroth said.

The countries where H5N1 is still firmly entrenched – Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam – are likely to face the biggest problems but no country can consider itself safe, he said.

"Preparedness and surveillance remain essential," Lubroth underlined. "This is no time for complacency. No one can let their guard down with H5N1."

Somalia: Seven Toddlers Die of Diarrhea in Mogadishu

Via All Africa :

" At least seven Somali children on Sunday died of watery diarrhea at refugee camps in the seaside Mogadishu.

Local residents said that thirty other kids are suffering from the disease of watery diarrhea.

Also, the people at internally displaced people in Mogadishu camps said there are children suffering from measles.

Most of the children, who were previously have had malnutrition and other complications, are the newly arrived ones."

Indonesia : Majene, West Sulawesi - Bird flu spreads in Majene

From Ida at Bird Flu Information Corner, excerpt :

" Majene – Livestock Service of Majene regency in West Sulawesi province confirmed the death of over 500 chickens in Galung, Banggae sub-district was due to H5N1 or bird flu virus.

The virus has allegedly spread to other villages in East Banggae sub-district."

India : Another dies of suspected dengue

Via Times of India :

" BHUBANESWAR: Another person died of suspected dengue in Cuttack on Saturday. The government, however, is yet to confirm the death as one caused by the vector-borne disease and maintained the official toll at 23.

The deceased was identified as Sangram Sahoo (25) of Angul. He was undergoing treatment at a private hospital since the past week. Chief district medical officer Manorama Dei claimed that the patient was shifted to Cuttack in a very critical stage.

A government statement said 134 samples were tested in SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, and Capital Hospital at Bhubaneswar on Saturday, of which just seven samples tested positive for the vector-borne disease, including four from Angul and three from Dhenkanal."

Philippines : 13 fishermen poisoned by rare fish species

Via Xinhua :

" Some 13 fishermen in Central Philippines were believed to have been poisoned by rare fish species in Mabilo village, Kalibo in Aklan province Monday morning, a local official said.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) are currently investigating the incident and if the fish species they ate were poisonous, an official with the BFAR said.

The fishermen are working in the netting project of the BFAR. The fishermen said there were around 30 of them who ate the fish but only 13 of them were hospitalized."

US : 43-Year-Old Third Confirmed Case of Measles in Dakota County

Via KSTP, excerpt :

" A 43-year-old Dakota County woman has been diagnosed with the third confirmed case of measles in Minnesota this month.

The first case was diagnosed in a 12-month old baby who became infected in Kenya. That child was not vaccinated. The second case occurred in a 15-month-old child who had been exposed to the first child. That child was also unvaccinated."

Nigeria : Cholera kills 11 in Nasarawa

Via The Nation :

" ELEVEN persons were yesterday killed in an outbreak of cholera in two local government areas of Nasarawa State.

Seven persons were said to have died in Lafia Local Government and four in Karu Local Government, near the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Director of Personnel Management (DPM) in charge of Karu, John Iyakwari, said the victims suffered severe diarrhoea.

The Chief Community Health Officer of the Primary Health Care (PHC) Clinic, Mana, near the Emir’s palace in Lafia, Mrs Aishatu Yahaya said the first case was recorded in June.

She said many reported cases came from Makama and Ciroma wards, and a few others from Gayam ward, all in Lafia.

It was gathered that between June and yesterday, 189 cases had been reported.

“We had the first few cases in June. But it was in July they really started coming in large numbers. Now, we have reported cases of about 186,” Mrs Yahaya said.

She urged the residents to stay away from infected persons, saying some of the cases were those that had contacted the disease from relations that were earlier admitted at the clinic."

Philippines : Dengue claims 5 in Pampanga

Via Sun Star :

" At least five individuals from Pampanga have died of the mosquito-borne dengue disease, a report from the Department of Health (DOH) said.

From early this year, the DOH in Central Luzon has reported five deaths in Pampanga whose ages range from less than a month old to 91 years old.

For morbidity week 33, which covered August 14 to 28, the DOH report also ranked Pampanga as second with the most number of dengue cases in Central Luzon with a total of 2,172 cases.

The dengue cases in the province were more than 500 percent higher than the 325 reported cases during the same period in 2010.

In the region, dengue cases were up by 246 percent with a total of 9,701 cases. In 2010, dengue cases were 2,778 for the same period."

Cholera claims 67 lives in Somalia

Via Press TV, situation is not getting better for famine hit Somalia :

" At least 67 people have lost their lives and over 560 others have been hospitalized due to starvation and cholera in famine-stricken Somalia, Press TV reported.

The victims include several children and women who have been affected by cholera in the southern towns of Somalia.

Hundreds of victims were rushed to private hospitals for emergency treatment in Afgooye, Bay and Bakool regions. However, several hospitals are lacking basic supplies and medicine.

Medics say cholera is also spreading to other regions in south and central Somalia.

Drought and famine have affected more than 11.8 million people across Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

Somalia has been the hardest-hit country in what is being described as the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 60 years."

Australia : Region in the grip of viruses

Article via The Advocate, excerpt :

" COASTERS are being hit for six by a number of flu strains and an outbreak of gastroenteritis.

It is a much worse flu season than last winter, according to hospital emergency department specialist Marielle Ruigrok.

Dr Ruigrok said about 70% of the people she saw had some sort of viral illness.

It appeared to be a slightly worse situation at the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie than at the Mersey Community Hospital at Latrobe.

"Don't ask me why, this is just anecdotal," Dr Ruigrok said.

She works at both hospitals.

"Flu viruses have been prevalent over the last five to six weeks," she said.

"This flu season and virus season is a lot worse than last year and worse than swine flu the year before.

"We have seen some swine flu cases this year and there are also several other viruses around."

Dr Ruigrok said patients did not get tested for which strain they had contracted, unless the patients were really sick, as the treatment was the same for all."

Bangladesh : 2190 fowls, 30,000 eggs culled

Article via The Daily Star :

" Around 2190 fowls and 30,000 eggs infected with avian influenza commonly known as bird flu were culled at the Rafid Poultry and Hatchery in Chuadanga on Saturday and yesterday.

District livestock department in presence of the local administration culled the fowls soon after the infection was confirmed through relevant tests in Dhaka.

Jahangir Alam, manager of the poultry firm, said the fowls started to die on August 10 and they got panicked when around 10,000 fowls died on August 13."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

China : Xinjiang reports four imported polio cases

Article via Xinhua :

" Four infants in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have been diagnosed with polio, a disease that can cause irreversible paralysis, the local health authority said Friday night.

The four patients, aged from four months to two years, are all from Hotan Prefecture, including two from Hotan city and one each from Lop and Yutian counties, Xinjiang's regional health department said in a press release.

It said the cases were reported from July 3 to 17.

As of Friday, two of the patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, and the other two who remain hospitalized are in stable condition, it said."

Bangladesh : Dengue cases rise in Dhaka

Via Gulf Times :

" Dengue, an infectious tropical viral fever, is alarmingly increasing in the capital city Dhaka, with the highest peak of 647 cases reported up to August 23 this year since 2007, according to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

Updating the dengue cases from 2007-2011, the IEDCR said 183 dengue cases was recorded in August 2007 while 473 cases were registered in July 2008, 188 cases in September 2009 and 183 cases in August 2010.

IEDCR director Prof Mahmudur Rahman informed yesterday that as the capital city has recently experienced frequent intermediary rains that caused increase of dengue cases in the city during August.

The steady rainfall can help wash out the sources of dengue but the intermediary rains increase the Aedes mosquito.

Prof Rahman said after August 2008, dengue cases in capital Dhaka were found increasing. Mass awareness is essential in this situation to keep areas around houses clean.

Meanwhile, a Bangladesh-born immunologist has claimed that he has developed the most effective tool for early diagnosis of dengue infection that results in high fever from mosquito bites in tropical countries."

South Korea : 190 multidrug resistant TB patients committed

Article via The Korea Herald :

" A total of 190 multidrug-resistant tuberculosis patients have been ordered to check in to hospitals by the government this year, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Friday.

This is the first time MDR-TB patients were forced to receive treatment for the disease by law, which was implemented in 1967.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an affiliate of the ministry, the number of patients ordered to be isolated from the public for having a highly infectious but hard-to-cure strain of tuberculosis rose to 190 between April and July.

Unlike ordinary tuberculosis, drugs available on the market are ineffective for MDR-TB. The strain is classified as hard-to-cure disease by field experts.

Doctors are required to report such patients to the government. If the patients do not follow the doctors’ treatment regime or his or her symptoms are assumed to be highly contagious, the state may issue the hospitalization order.

The KCDC said the order was issued as part of its “2030 scheme” to bring TB prevalence below the 10 per 100,000 level from the current 680."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

UK : Holidaymakers warned after six struck by malaria in Greece

Via Daily Mail, excerpt :

" Holidaymakers travelling to Greece have been warned to protect against mosquito bites after six people were struck by malaria.

The cases - five Greek adults and a Roma child - have all been reported since June this year and were seen in people who had no history of travel to a country where malaria is common, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

There have been no deaths and all six patients are recovering, an agency spokeswoman added.

The cases were identified in the districts of Laconia, in the south of the Peloponnese peninsula, and the island of Euboea, east of the Greek mainland - areas of marshy wetland where mosquitoes are common.

The Greek authorities have stepped up malaria surveillance in these areas, intensifying local mosquito control programmes and raising awareness among doctors and the general public.

Health officials warned that holidaymakers should take precautions to avoid being bitten."

Pakistan : Dengue on the rise in Punjab, number reaches 945

Via The News :

" Dengue fever is gripping Punjab fast and total number of dengue patients has reached 945.

In Punjab, 100 new cases have been reported during the last 24 hours. Out of these, 99 were reported in Lahore.

There are total 856 reported dengue cases in provincial metropolis Lahore, while one case each in Faisalabad, and Gujranwala. Two cases were reported from DG Khan during last week.

Talking to a private news channel on Saturday, Dr. Ayez said that dengue is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands , and rash.

The presence of fever, rash, and headache is particularly characteristic of dengue, he added.

He said other signs of dengue fever include bleeding gums, severe pain behind the eyes, and red palms and soles.

Dr Ayaz said that Dengue strikes people with low levels of immunity because it is caused by one of four serotypes of virus, it is possible to get dengue fever multiple times."

Australia reports oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 cluster

From Lisa Schnirring at CIDRAP, excerpt :

" Australian public health officials yesterday reported a cluster of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)-resistant 2009 H1N1 infections, one of the largest to date, centered in one region of New South Wales state.

Between May and August, 25 (14%) of 184 2009 H1N1 cases in the Hunter New England region of New South Wales have shown reduced sensitivity to oseltamivir due to the H275Y mutation, the group said in a report posted on ProMED Mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

Though smaller clusters of oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 infections have been detected mainly in healthcare settings where patients were treated with antivirals, none of the 16 patients interviewed so far had been treated with the drug.

Five were hospitalized when specimens were collected, and none had a history of immune suppression, the authors reported. Three of the cases were in pregnant women. None of the patients were admitted to the intensive care unit or died.

Fifteen of the first 16 cases live within a 50-km radius of Newcastle, the regional center."

Philippines : 6,778 dengue cases, 33 deaths in Calabarzon

Article via GMA News, excerpt :

" At least 6,778 cases, including 33 deaths, have been recorded in Region IV-A or Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) so far this year, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

In its August 26 report, the NDRRMC said Rizal, followed by Laguna and Batangas, had the most cases in the five provinces of the region.

"Department of Health IV-A records showed that) from January to (first) week of August 2011, there were 6,778 cases of dengue with 33 deaths recorded in the region," it said.

While Rizal had the most number of cases, Batangas had the most number of deaths at 11."

Hong Kong : Two linked imported cases of dengue fever investigated

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, it reports 2 imported dengue cases :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating two related imported cases of dengue fever and urges people to guard against the disease.

The first patient is a 35-year-old man who developed fever, headache, myalgia, retro-orbital pain and skin rash since August 15. He was admitted to United Christian Hospital on August 18. He was discharged on August 20 in a stable condition. This case is a confirmed dengue fever case as his blood sample tested positive for dengue virus.

The second patient is a 62-year-old man who presented with fever, headache, dizziness, vomiting and skin rash since August 12 and was admitted to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital on August 18. The patient was discharged on August 24 in a stable condition. Preliminary tests on his blood samples yielded a positive result for dengue virus. Further laboratory test results are pending, so it is still a suspected case.

The CHP's investigation revealed that both patients had travelled to Cambodia between August 4 and 9 together with 12 other collaterals. The CHP has contacted their travel collaterals and they are asymptomatic. The household contacts of the two patients are also asymptomatic.

The CHP will continue to follow up on the cases.

There have been 13 cases of dengue fever so far this year and all of them were classified as imported. A total of 79 cases of imported dengue fever and four local cases have been reported to the CHP last year."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pakistan : Dengue alert in KP after case confirmed in Nowshera

Via Dawn :

" The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department has alerted the district health authorities after confirmation of death of a man from dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) in Nowshera last week, officials said.

“Amir Hassan, 52, of Moti Bazaar, Nowshera, died of the dengue fever last week. He has been confirmed to have had dengue fever,” they said.

They said that Mr Hassan, who was also suffering from hypertension and obesity, initially went to a private clinic in Nowshera to get treatment and later his blood sample was sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, which emerged positive.

The official said that executive district officer (health), Abbottabad, also reported two suspected cases, of which 27-year-old Zubair, a resident of Dheri Kehal, was confirmed positive by the NIH and was being treated at the local hospital.

While another patient from Nowshera who was admitted with similar symptoms was tested negative and sent home."

India : Malaria claims yet another life in Ahmedabad

Article from Daily Baskar :

" Ahmedabad: Inspite of several measures taken by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to curb malaria and malaria-related deaths, the deadly vivax has claimed several lives in the city in the past 10 days. The death of a woman in the city on Thursday should serve as an eye-opener for the civic body.

Gulshan Bano Dilawar (20), a resident of Ramol area in the city, succumbed to malaria during treatment in VS Hospital. On Wednesday, Jayantilal Ambalal (35) lost his life to the disease in Shardaben Hospital of the city.
If statistics are anything to go by, malaria has claimed 20 lives in Ahmedabad in past 10 days. Over the last one month, 298 cases of malaria were registered in city hospitals. A total of 3,097 malaria cases have been reported in the city since January 2011.

"Water stagnating in open places due to rains and humid climate are primary causes for mosquito breeding in the city," said Dr Suhas Kulkarni, medical officer at AMC.

According to Kulkarni, the civic body has started taking strict measures to curb fatalities due to the disease. "A team of medical officers from AMC will identify the areas with most instances of the disease. Further, the team will employ fogging and spraying of medicines to control breeding of mosquitoes in these areas."

Pakistan : Malaria, black water fever cases reported in Rawalpindi

Via The News :

" During the last one month, a significant number of malaria cases, including black water fever, have been reported at the allied hospitals in town.

According to data collected by The News , District Headquarters Hospital received over 50 patients with complications of malaria, Benazir Bhutto Hospital received over 40 patients while 35 plus patients reached Holy Family Hospital with malaria. Meanwhile, some 22 cases of black water fever were reported at the allied hospitals of which four died of its complications.

Most of the cases admitted at tertiary care hospitals with malaria are with complications of the protozoal infestation, said a medical specialist serving at BBH on condition of anonymity. He added that mosquitoes have increased in twin cities, which are causing malaria.

Registrar Medicine Unit at BBH Dr Umar Saeed was of the view that over prescription of anti-malarial drugs by local general physicians and quacks along with self-medication is major cause of increase in drug resistant malaria cases.

Black water fever is an ancient term given to falciparum malaria in which the colour of urine of a patient gets dark. Its symptoms include high-grade fever on alternate days, fits, and shivering and black urine. If left untreated, it may cause complications including organ failure.

The onset of malaria should not be taken as non-serious and patients should avoid self-medication, said medical specialist at BBH Dr Muhammad Mujeeb Khan while talking to The News Thursday. He added that in case of having symptoms, a patient should immediately consult a qualified physician to avoid complications of the disease."

Cholera claims 37 more lives in Somalia

Via Press TV :

" A cholera outbreak has killed at least 37 more people in Somalia's war-ravaged capital, Mogadishu, as more displaced people arrive in already overcrowded camps there in search of food and shelter.

The victims, mostly women and children, died within the last 24 hours in southern Mogadishu, where combination of poor sanitation conditions, scarcity of safe clean drinking water, overcrowding and high malnutrition has increased cases of cholera and waterborne diseases, a Press TV correspondent reported on Thursday.

Mothers with sick children flock Benadir Hospital in Mogadishu to get some medication. This comes as doctors are already overstretched by the number of those arriving with cholera.

Doctor Ahmed Sheikh Doon Diini said that overcrowding at the camps has been the main challenge to health workers.

“The major reason for having a sudden increase in the number of cholera cases is mainly due to the high number of internally displaced people in town. This Badhaabo camp for example is overcrowded. People know little about hygienic living conditions, so they need a lot of awareness on that," he commented.

According to the World Health Organization, some 75 percent of all cases of highly infectious acute watery diarrhea are among children under the age of five."

Cholera pandemic has a single global source

Via BBC News :

" A major cholera pandemic has spread in at least three waves from a single global source: the Bay of Bengal.

A study in Nature reveals cholera's spread over the last 60 years into Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, continent-hopping on long-haul flights.

The research by a team from Cambridge's Sanger Institute showed the infection is evolving, with the newest waves showing antibiotic resistance.

A UK expert said it was "a scandal" cholera was still affecting people.

Cholera is a bacterial infection of the intestine that causes diarrhoea. It affects 3-5m people annually in 56 countries, killing between100,000 and 150,000.

If untreated, it can kill within hours through dehydration. It is easily treated by drinking clean water, but without this, severe cases have a 30-50% mortality rate."

India : Dengue rides monsoon wave, 26 struck ill

Via Times of India :

" KOLKATA: The spectre of dengue is hanging heavily on the city. With Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) records showing 26 positive cases in the past two months, the virus seems to be striking the city quite early. Among the affected is cricketer Sourav Ganguly's daughter Sana. Though the number has not reached an alarming figure, doctors said that it is always wiser to take precautionary measures

Hospitals and nursing homes, too, are not taking any risk. They are making it a point to send blood samples of fever patients to be tested for dengue.

"Whenever we get patients with complaints of high fever we send the blood samples to test for dengue and malaria. But fortunately, we have not got any positive dengue case yet," said Anupam Nandi, general manager Dafodil Nursing Home, Lake Town.

All the 26 cases recorded by KMC have been reported from the civic body's malaria clinics across the city. Virologists said that Kolkata falls into the dengue endemic zone and hence the city gets sporadic cases of dengue fever every year."

WHO : Polio kicked out of Europe - European Region to retain polio-free status, but constant vigilance is needed

Press release from WHO regional Europe office :

" The European Regional Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication (RCC) announced yesterday that Europe will retain its polio-free status after the importation of wild poliovirus type 1 in 2010. At their 25th meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark this week, the RCC noted that wild poliovirus transmission has been interrupted. No new cases have been reported since September 2010 because countries have taken effective action.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, commented, “The RCC decision is tremendous news for the Region and a credit to all the Member States and partners that individually, collectively and promptly combated the first and largest outbreak of poliomyelitis the Region has seen since it was declared polio free in 2002. I am also very pleased that the hard work and personal commitments of the presidents, prime ministers and health ministers have produced this success, which shows the importance and value of political commitment and joint action. The WHO Regional Office for Europe will continue to work with Member States so that Europe remains vigilant and the polio-free status of the Region is sustained”.

In 2010, four countries, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, reported 475 laboratory-confirmed cases of wild poliovirus type 1, with 30 deaths. At this week’s meeting, all 53 countries in the WHO European Region, including those in which wild poliovirus circulated in 2010, provided evidence to help the RCC make an independent expert assessment of the sustainability of the polio-free status of the Region. The RCC reviewed this evidence to determine whether the European Region would keep its status as polio free. David Salisbury, Chairperson of the RCC, commended the response by Member States, especially their efforts to protect their populations and stop the transmission of the poliovirus. This was done through synchronized additional immunization activities, often involving nationwide vaccination campaigns."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pakistan : Dengue outbreak - 86 new cases registered in 24 hours

Via The Express Tribune :

" LAHORE: As many as 86 more cases of dengue infection were reported in hospitals across the city on Wednesday.

In other Punjab cities, 12 more cases of dengue were reported raising the total number of cases reported in the province so far to 762.

Post Graduate Medical Institute Principal Prof Dr Tariq Salahuddin said that patients suffering from dengue fever were being treated with special care.

A high level committee to closely monitor the treatment of dengue fever patients has been composed while the doctors and paramedical staff has been directed to ensure efficiency. Prof Salahuddin said that the weekly holidays of the staff of pathology lab have been cancelled.

He said that a public address system had been installed in emergency ward of Lahore General Hospital to keep the patients and their attendants informed."

Australia : Anti-viral bug could stop dengue spread

Article via ABC Science, excerpt :

" Dengue transmission could be suppressed by infecting mosquitoes with natural virus-blocking bacteria, say researchers.

Professor Ary Hoffman of the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne and colleagues, report their research on the Wolbachia bacteria in two papers in today's issue of the journal Nature.

"It's a natural agent that exists within insects to block viruses," says Hoffmann. "We're not genetically modifying the mosquito or anything like that."

Dengue is viral disease that affects about 50 million people a year globally, mainly in tropical cities.

The severity of outbreaks of the disease and its geographic range are on the increase and the mosquitoes that carry the disease are becoming resistant to pesticides used to kill them.

While dengue does not usually kill people, it does make them very sick and for people in developing countries this can have major economic consequences.

Hoffmann and colleagues have been exploring the potential to control dengue using a bacteria called Wolbachia, which occurs naturally in about 30 to 70 per cent of insects"

Nigeria : C’ttee begins fight against Avian Flu

Article via Daily Independent :

" Yobe State Public Enlightenment Committee (PEC) on avian influenza has embarked on tour of some local government areas of the state.

The tour is to guard against possible outbreak and spread of bird flu and other diseases in the state.

Members of the committee led by the Director of Information in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Mohammed Babe Abubakar, were at Fika and Jakusko local government areas to discuss with the council executive, traditional rulers, and owners of poultries and farmers of other birds.

Abubakar said the last avian influenza outbreak consumed many fowls and birds in the state, adding that the state government was so disturbed that it decided to set up the committee that would continue to update knowledge of bird diseases, their prevention and control.

He also sought for the cooperation of the people towards ensuring the consumption of healthy fowls in the state while noting that the state was endowed with birds."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dengue fever kills at least 20 in India

Via UPI :

" An outbreak of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne tropical disease, has killed at least 20 people in India's eastern coastal Orissa state, health authorities said.

The latest victim from the coal belt region in the worst-hit Angul district died Tuesday in a hospital in the state capital of Bhubaneswar, the Press Trust of India reported.

The report said the disease has spread to 21 districts in the state and more than 690 people have tested positive to the virus. Most of them are receiving treatment at various hospitals, authorities said.

"Clean water accumulated on the hard surface of open cast mines and (spare) tires (of coal-transporting trucks) are prefect places for (the) aedes mosquito to breed that spreads dengue," a doctor who works in the coal district told the Times of India newspaper.

Authorities said the coal trucks also may be transporting dengue-infected mosquitoes from area to other parts in the state."

Two die in northwest China of suspected food poisoning

Article via Xinhua :

" Food poisoning is the suspected cause of two deaths and dozens of sick in northwest China's Gansu Province, said local authorities Wednesday.

According to the government of Longxi county, 30 people had been sent to hospitals by 10 a.m. Wednesday, of which six were in critical condition.

Two died early Wednesday morning after medical treatment failed.

All of patients were found to have had a kind of local snack made of bean jelly and roast chicken at a store.

Police have detained the stall owner and collected the remaining food for testing."

Brazil : Influenza B outbreak sends 62 Brazilian marines to hospital

Via Xinhua :

" The Brazilian Navy said Tuesday that Influenza B was responsible for the hospitalization of 62 Marine Corps cadets in the past few days.

The local naval hospital said seven cadets have tested positive for the virus, including some serious cases, such as 22-year-old cadet Leonardo Gama Rodrigues, who is being kept under observation in the intensive care unit.

"The cadets had acute respiratory syndrome, some with grave symptoms," Dr. Andre Delorenzi said, adding that Influenza B is spread by airborne transmission.

Among the 57 cadets admitted to the naval hospital last week, 38 have been discharged and are currently quarantined in the Admiral Milciades Portela Alves Training Center (Ciampa). The other five cadets who were admitted on Monday and Tuesday remain in the hospital.

Around 800 cadets and workers of Ciampa have got the flu shot, the Navy said."

New Zealand : More measles cases in Waikato

Via 3 News :

" Two more cases of measles have been recorded in the Waikato since last week, bringing the total number of cases in the region to 21.

The latest cases were in adults, and Medical Officer of Health Dr Anita Bell says they may have links to the Te Awamutu area.

Of the 21 cases 20 have been in people who were unimmunised, with one person having only received one of the two recommended doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Dr Bell says this is a testament to how effective the vaccine is in protecting people from becoming infected.

“Immunisation is the only protection from this potentially serious disease,” she says.

“Immunisation protects not only the individual, but also blocks the spread of this disease within our communities.”

Dr Bell says measles can spread easily through the air, and if someone suspects they or a family member may have the disease they should seek treatment as soon as possible to stop the disease spreading."

Philippines : 3-yr-old girl dies from dengue at QMMC

Via Phil Star, excerpt :

" A three-year-old girl has died from dengue while being treated at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) in Quezon City.

The girl is the 7th dengue fatality at the QMMC this month.

Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that Quezon City has the highest number of dengue cases in Metro Manila. A total of 3,553 cases have been recorded in the city from January 1 to August 11 this year.

The DOH said a total of 11,260 dengue cases with 77 deaths have been recorded around Metro Manila during the same period. Following Quezon City in the list of areas in Metro Manila with the most number of cases was Caloocan City followed by Manila, Valenzuela, Pasig, Malabon, Parañaque, Taguig, Navotas and Las Piñas."

Pakistan : 129 more dengue cases reported in Lahore

Via The Express Tribune, cases of confirmed dengue climbs in Pakistan :

" Another 129 people tested positive for the Dengue infection in hospitals across the city on Tuesday.

Nine cases were reported from other Punjab cities. The number of total cases reported so far in Punjab has reached 664, a report by Health Department said.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed on Tuesday that all resources be utilised for controlling the disease and warned that no negligence in this regard would be tolerated.

He also assigned ministers and MPAs to personally supervise the campaign against dengue and visit hospitals to monitor treatment facilities for dengue patients.

Provincial Minister for Education Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, National Assembly member Muhammad Afzal Khokhar Provincial Assembly members Dr Tahir Ali Javed, Dr Saeed Elahi, Health Secretary, Information Secretary and Lahore District Coordination Officer present at the meeting chaired by CM to review the arrangement."

New Zealand : Disease hits Auckland college

Article via Stuff, an outbreak of tuberculosis is reported :

" A major screening programme is underway at a west Auckland college with a member of the school community seriously ill with tuberculosis.

The person, reportedly a student at Liston College, is in isolation and receiving medical treatment for the potentially deadly disease.

The school's board chairman John Holley would not say whether it was a student or teacher, but said more than 100 people at the Henderson high school would be screened.

However fears of an outbreak were unfounded, he said.

"It's well in hand. There is only one person who actually has the fully developed pulmonary tuberculosis, where it's gone into lungs, and the screening process will very quickly identify if there is anyone else who is at risk."

Holley said they wanted to avoid a "knee-jerk reaction" though the fact that it was within a school community meant the potential for a spread was greater.

The disease was a slow-developing infection, carried by many people without their knowledge, and which had a low rate of transmission outside of areas where people lived in close proximity to each other, he said.

"The key thing here is it's a low infection rate and it takes a while to develop. It's not like swine flu where you're exposed and next week you're sick in bed," he said.

Screening at the school will begin next week and public health officials will return two months later for further testing."

Australia : Flu outbreak grips Canberra

Article via The Canberra Times :

" The ACT remains in the grip of a winter flu outbreak after 16 adults and several children were admitted to hospital with serious cases of influenza.

ACT chief health officer Paul Kelly said yesterday there had been 190 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in the territory this year, compared with 43 last year. Doctors usually only refer seriously ill flu patients for laboratory testing.

Dr Kelly said several patients had been admitted to hospital, three of whom had required stays in intensive care units. ''For some people it can be a serious illness. We're still putting out the message people can be vaccinated,'' Dr Kelly said.

The patients admitted to hospital were mostly young adults and two were pregnant women.

Both groups are susceptible to becoming very ill from H1N1 swine flu, which has been the predominant strain of influenza in Australia since 2009.

Many of the hospital patients had chronic underlying health conditions.

Dr Kelly said it was probable the number of flu cases for the year had peaked in recent weeks."

Hong Kong reports 101 HIV cases in second quarter

Another article via Xinhua :

" Hong Kong's Department of Health Tuesday announced that 101 cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection were recorded in the second quarter of 2011 in the city.

The newly reported cases, comprising 78 males and 23 females, have brought the cumulative total of reported HIV infections to 5,036 since 1984.

Reviewing the city's Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) situation on Tuesday, the department's consultant Dr. Wong Ka-hing said sexual transmission continued to be the major mode of HIV transmission in Hong Kong.

Of the 101 HIV cases reported, 34 acquired the infection via heterosexual contact, 33 via homosexual or bisexual contact, four through drug injection. The routes of transmission of the remaining 30 cases were as yet undetermined due to inadequate information."

Two confirmed anthrax infection cases reported in NE China

Article via Xinhua :

" Two people have been confirmed infected with cutaneous anthrax, while 33 others were suspected as having the disease in Liaoning Province, health authorities said Tuesday.

Wang Tianyu, an official with the emergency response office of the Liaoning Health Bureau, said the two patients -- both locals in Niuzhuang Township, Haicheng City -- were diagnosed after their cell samples tested positive for the disease by state-level labs.

Suspected anthrax infection cases were first reported in Haicheng on Aug. 6. All those 35 people either confirmed or suspected to have the disease have been hospitalized.

"No new suspected anthrax infection cases have been reported for the past 11 days," said Wang.

He said the patients were suspected to have been infected with the cutaneous anthrax through skin contact with diseased cattle."

WHO : Elder maltreatment

Fact sheet from WHO with regards to elderly people have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. It worth your time to read, especially if you in care of senior citizens. Excerpt :

" Elder maltreatment is a single or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person. This type of violence constitutes a violation of human rights and includes physical, sexual, psychological, emotional; financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and respect.

Scope of the problem

Maltreatment of elderly people is an important public health problem. While there is little information regarding the extent of maltreatment in elderly populations, especially in developing countries, it is estimated that 4-6% of elderly people in high-income countries have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. However, older people are often afraid to report cases of maltreatment to family, friends, or to the authorities.

Data on the extent of the problem in institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are scarce. A survey of nursing-home staff in the United States of America, however, suggests rates may be high:

36% witnessed at least one incident of physical abuse of an elderly patient in the previous year;
10% committed at least one act of physical abuse towards an elderly patient;
40% admitted to psychologically abusing patients.
There is even less data on elder maltreatment in institutional settings in developing countries.

Abusive acts in institutions include physically restraining patients, depriving them of dignity (by for instance leaving them in soiled clothes) and choice over daily affairs, intentionally providing insufficient care (such as allowing them to develop pressure sores), over- and under-medicating and withholding medication from patients; and emotional neglect and abuse.

Elder maltreatment can lead to physical injuries – ranging from minor scratches and bruises to broken bones and head injuries leading to lasting disabilities – and serious, sometimes long-lasting, psychological consequences, including depression and anxiety. For older people, the consequences of maltreatment can be especially serious because their bones are more brittle and convalescence is longer. Even relatively minor injuries can cause serious and permanent damage, or even death.

Globally, the number of cases of elder maltreatment is projected to increase as many countries have rapidly ageing populations whose needs may not be fully met due to resource constraints. It is predicted that by the year 2025, the global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion."

Canada : Officials seek E. coli link

Via The Sun Times :

" Grey-Bruce public health officials are trying to find a link in a cluster of genetically similar cases of E. coli 0157 which has sickened eight people over the past several weeks.

"We're looking at their food history, where they've been travelling, some of their activities in order to determine if there's any linkage between the cases. At this point, we have not been able to identify any particular link," Angela Newman, program manager at the Grey Bruce Health Unit, said Monday.

The people who have contracted the bacteria — the same strain that caused the 2000 tainted water tragedy in Walkerton — range in age from six to 85. Some of the victims are still in hospital, but are "on the mend," Newman said. Some were "pretty ill."

No new cases have been reported to public health since the Aug. 13-14 weekend.

Newman said the eight cases are considered a "cluster" because the bacteria is genetically the same in each case.

The cases have all been reported to public health by physicians in the area, with the first report made in early July.

The victims do not live near each other."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

India : 2 more dengue deaths

Via IBN Live :

" ANGUL: The epicentre of dengue has reported one more death at Talcher taking the toll to 22 in the district. Sankhari Sahu (47) of Nandira colliery died while being shifted to Cuttack. A resident of Soloda village, she was suffering from fever for the last five days and under treatment, sources said.

As the State Government is yet to open any additional centre in the district to treat dengue patients in addition to the Nalco, NTPC and State government hospitals, there has been an unprecedented rush of fever patients to MCL Central Hospital.

As many as 500 fever patients report at MCL hospital daily which is struggling with shortage of doctors and paramedical staff, said a doctor there. Even posting of four government doctors has not helped, he added.

So far over 600 dengue positive patients have been referred to hospitals at Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, hospital sources said.

Continuous dengue deaths and positive cases even after 20 days of the outbreak is an indication of insufficient anti-dengue drive in Talcher-Angul belt by the State and industrial authorities. Surprisingly there has been no official briefing from the district administration on the status of dengue situation forcing media to depend on unofficial sources."

India : Malaria on rise, 68 cases in seven months

Via Times of India :

" NAGPUR: There seems to be a rise in malaria cases being reported in the city with as many as 68 positive cases being registered in last seven months. Out of these, 40 cases have been registered in past 60 days. However, no case of death has been reported.

As per records of Nagpur Municipal Corporation's (NMC) malaria and filaria department, a total of 68 positive cases of malaria were registered in the city from January 1 to July 31 this year. While seven out of these were tested as 'Plasmodium Falciparum', which is the deadliest among all four species of malaria, the remaining 61 cases were tested as 'Plasmodium Vivax', which is the most common species.

District health officer Dr Nadeem Khan credited the absence of any epidemics this year to the monitoring of the health services department of the civic body. "We have tried to raise awareness about the diseases in many ways including field trips by our officials in various areas prone to the diseases on taluka level. We visited many households and pointed out the faulty practices that lead to breeding of mosquitoes and flies," he said.

Out of the 68 cases, 19 were registered in June followed by 21 being registered in July. These cases were detected in 1,03,333 patients, whose blood samples were tested in city-based laboratories. However, the malaria cases seem to have risen this year as compared to last year when only 45 cases were registered between January 1 and July 31."

Fiji issues warning against rubella

From Xinhua :

" Fiji's Ministry of Health on Tuesday issued a strong warning against rubella after 49 cases of rubella have been reported in the country to date.

Dr Mike Kama, the ministry's director on communicable diseases, told reportes that over the weekend two new rubella cases were reported, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 49.

That was why it is becoming a serious health issue in the island nation, said Kama, adding it is vital to warn visitors about the rubella cases so they can take precautions early.

Kama said majority of the cases affect those between the ages of 19 and 30, and though it is not a serious illness for many, pregnant women need to be more careful as it affects unborn babies.

As Fiji entertains numerous wedding ceremonies at its resorts, it is important for tourists to be immunized against rubella, said the health official.

Rubella is a viral infection which is sometimes called German measles. It is usually a mild illness, but it can cause serious harm to an unborn baby if a woman got it during early pregnancy."

Nigeria : Govt probes Ibadan cholera outbreak

Article via Vanguard, excerpt :

" FIFTY houses in the six areas of Ibadan North West Local Government Area in Oyo State, where an outbreak of cholera claimed four lives, while 16 others are receiving treatment have no toilets, even as the state government says it has risen to curtail the epidemic.

Most residents of areas like Abebi, Ekotedo and Idi Ikan defecate in gutters and other places as feaces and other dirt littered the areas.

According to the Caretaker Chairman of the council, Mr. Wasiu Olatunbosun who paid an on-the-spot-assessment visit to areas yesterday, the epidemic was caused purely by the unhygienic attitude of the people living in the areas.

He noted that apart from other measures put in place to check the spread of the epidemic, anybody who flouted environmental law in the areas would henceforth be prosecuted."

Cholera kills 4, infects 400 in Burundi

Via News 24 :

" Cholera has killed at least four people in an outbreak in the past three weeks in western Burundi, where more than 400 people are infected, a health ministry official said on Monday.

"Cholera is back in Burundi [...]. Since August 03, we have officially registered 428 cases, of whom 42 were in hospital this morning in two southern districts of Bujumbura, in the [south-western] district of Rumonge and in the [north-western] province of Cibitoke", Terence Bwarikindi, the deputy head of emergency services in the health ministry, told AFP.

"At least four people have sadly died of this disease," he added.

The area affected by cholera runs from Cibitoke, about 45km north of Bujumbura, to Rumonge, 80km south of the Burundian capital."

India : Dengue toll rises

Via The Telegraph :

" The percentage of dengue positive cases among the fever patients is on the rise in Talcher-Angul industrial belt.

Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) Central Hospital sources said the percentage of dengue positive cases among the fever patients tested there has gone up to 30 from 20. This has worried the doctors, but health and family welfare department is hardly bothered.

Crippled by shortage of paramedical staff and doctors, the Talcher hospital fails to cope with the unprecedented influx of fever patients from Angul, Deogarh and Dhenkanal districts as it is the only hospital so far in the region having facilities to treat and test the dengue patients. There are no facilities at Nalco, NTPC and even at the district headquarters hospital to treat the dengue patients, which has gripped almost all parts of the district and Dhenkanal.

“Everyday as many as 500 fever patients are coming to outdoor and casualty from all parts of the district and beyond. There are hospitals of Nalco and NTPC as well as of Jindal. However, with the four doctors posted here, the patients’ footfall is difficult to manage. The staff shortage is acute here,” says a doctor.

“We are in shortage of nurses, technicians and even doctors to meet the surging demand. Many patients coming to hospital are not attended properly in time due to pre-occupation of doctors with dengue suspects,” said S.N. Mehrotra, chief medical officer of the MCL hospital."

Philippines : 19 deaths registered in Rizal due to dengue

Via ABS-CBN News :

" The number of people who have died from dengue in Rizal has reached 19, a local health official said on Monday.

Rizal Provincial Health Officer Dr. Iluminado Victoria said 7 came from Rodriguez, 6 from Antipolo City, 2 from Taytay, and 1 each from Binangonan, Cainta, San Mateo and Pililia.

The latest victim was an 8-year-old girl Rodriguez resident, who suffered from stage 3 dengue.

Since January this year, Rizal has recorded a total of 1,270 dengue cases."

Hong Kong : Update on cluster of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci cases in medical ward of Caritas Medical Centre

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

" Regarding the announcement earlier on a male medical ward in which some patients had been confirmed with Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE), the spokesperson for Caritas Medical Centre made the following update today (August 22):

One more 77-year-old male patient, admitted to the ward concerned for chest infection, was confirmed today to be a VRE carrier. The patient is being treated under isolation and is in stable condition. The hospital has stepped up infection control measures according to established guidelines. All other patients in the ward concerned are under close surveillance."

40 Cambodian kids die of dengue fever in first 7 months

Via Xinhua :

" Forty Cambodian children died of dengue fever in the first seven months of this year, an increase from 37 such deaths in whole last year, Minister of Health Mam Bunheng said Monday.

From January to July this year, some 7,867 cases of dengue fever had been reported, exceeding the whole year 2010 of 5,497 cases, the minister told reporters during visit to dengue fever patients at the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh.

"The disease has claimed more Cambodian children's lives this year than in last year, so I'd like to appeal to parents to let their children sleep under mosquito nets and if their kids have symptom that is suspicious of the disease, they should urgently send them for medical attention," he said."

Monday, August 22, 2011

US : Va. officials warn of possible measles exposure on train

Via The Washington Post :

" A foreign visitor to Northern Virginia had the measles, and state health officials issued an alert Sunday for anyone who was on the train on which the visitor arrived.

A Health Department spokeswoman said the visitor took Amtrak’s Northeast regional train No. 171 Wednesday from Philadelphia. Maribeth Brew­ster, the department’s risk communications manager, said passengers could have been exposed and should check their vaccination status.

Measles, which is highly contagious, can be spread through coughing and sneezing and by contact with nasal, oral or throat secretions from an infected person.

Passengers who develop symptoms should check with their health-care providers. Early symptoms include fever and cough; a rash comes later. Symptoms from Aug. 17 exposure could develop until Sept. 7, Brewster said."

India : Diarrhea enters Kandhamal

Via Orissa Diary :

" Diarrhea started conquering village Tiarigaon of katingia Panchayat under Daringibadi block in Kandhamal district .One old person Uthan Singh (58) of village Tiarigaon died in Diarrhea .

Many villagers and mostly children are affected day by day .A Medical team from Brahmanigaon reached the affected area . According to the Chief Medical Officer of the district Narasingha charan Behera, another team of doctors will reach soon to the affected area."

Philippines : DOH-7 issues dengue warning

Article via Inquirer News :

" THE Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) warned residents that dengue cases will be prevalent in this rainy season

DOH-7 Regional Director Susana Madarieta said dengue carrying mosquitoes thrive because there are more places with stagnant rainwater for them to breed.

She reminded the public that empty receptacles that might store water like vases, rubber wheels and stagnant ponds are possible sources of dengue carrying mosquitoes.

As of Aug. 13, the Regional Epidemiological and Surviellance Unit in Central Visays recorded 2, 717 cases with with 18 deaths.

This is still lower compared to the same period last year with 5,394 cases and 40 detahs. Cebu City still tops the list with most cases at 20 deaths and 930 patients.

Lapu-Lapu city followed with 166 patients and one death and Madnaue City with 154 cases and one death."

India : After malaria, typhoid cases in city on rise, touch 10-yr high

Via Daily Baskar :

" Ahmedabad: The city doesn't seem to get enough of its share of health problems. A few days back, it was jaundice taking a toll on people's health and now it is typhoid. The incidence of typhoid in January-August in Ahmedabad has been the highest in the last ten years. Apart from water-borne diseases, mosquito-borne illnesses are also on the rise.

According to data provided by the civic body, 839 patients of typhoid have been treated to date in 2011 with the addition of five more patients on Friday.

In the last ten years, average cases of typhoid registered in the city stand at 395 per annum. Going by this data, the number of typhoid cases has doubled when compared with the average of the last ten years. Last year, the city had registered 778 patients of typhoid.

Physicians blame people with bad personal hygiene for catching infection. Unhygienic food from roadside stalls and eateries combined with the laid back attitude of the civic body increases the spread of typhoid and malaria in city. "People like to eat outside home at food stalls where the vendors fail to maintain hygiene and this is why typhoid cases in city are on the rise," said Jashwant Darbar, former president of the Ahmedabad Family Physicians Association."

India : Malaria hits rebel mission - 127 security personnel in hospital

Via The Telegraph, excerpt :

" Mosquitoes have proved to be a bigger menace than Maoists for security personnel engaged in anti-Naxalite operations in Saranda.

As many as 127 jawans have been admitted to various hospitals with malaria symptoms, including Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and Apollo Hospital in Ranchi, MGM Medical College and Hospital in Jamshedpur and government hospitals in West Singhbhum’s Noamundi and Kiriburu, affecting Operation Monsoon that began on July 31.

The situation took a turn for the worse in the last 24 hours with Cobra jawan Virendra Saini (27) succumbing to cerebral malaria while being taken to Jamshedpur from Noamundi last evening. Hailing from Hissar in Haryana, Saini had been evacuated from Saranda yesterday morning, and was supposed to be airlifted to RIMS, but the helicopter could not take off due to bad weather. He belonged to the 209 battalion of Cobra.

During the same period, 40 security personnel were admitted in RIMS alone, while another 24 were rushed to MGM."

Nigeria : Cholera outbreak kills four in Ibadan

Article via Daily Independent :

" No fewer than four people have been reported dead from cholera outbreak in the Ibadan North West Local Government area of Oyo State with 16 others still battling for survival.

The dead include three adults and a child.

Confirming the incident, Director of Environmental Services in the local government council, Olalekan Olatunbosun, said Ayeye community was the worst hit by the outbreak, while places like Opo-Yeosa, Idi Ikan, Alawo, Abebi and Ekotedo were also affected by the epidemic.

Olatunbosun disclosed that the affected people that were initially taken to the Ayeye Health Centre and Oniyanrin Maternity but that they have since been transferred to the Cholera Unit at the State Hospital, Jericho, Ibadan.

He stressed that lack of toilet facilities in most of the houses in the affected communities was the likely cause of the outbreak.

“When our men went round, we found out that most of the houses do not have toilets and waste bins. Their water sources must have been polluted because they dumped faeces carelessly all around their houses.

“During earlier routine visits to the areas, before the cholera outbreak occurred, we marked some houses and gave them two weeks notice to put up toilets,” the officer noted.

The director said government had since discovered that none of the landlords complied with the directive and indicated that more houses had been marked for defaulting the environmental law."

India : Dengue returns to haunt city

Via Times of India :

" LUCKNOW: It seems that the dreaded dengue is trying to stage a comeback in the city. And if health officials are to be believed, then more than 40 people have tested positive to dengue in government hospitals in the last few weeks. In Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University, 15-20% cases of high fever have been found dengue positive.

"We get fewer cases than other hospitals, because we are a tertiary care centre," said Prof Abbas Ali Mahdi, spokesperson, CSMMU. Director, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital Dr RS Dubey also acknowledged the presence of dengue positive cases. At least an equal number of cases may be gathered from private centres.

Experts say that prevention is the only way out as the city is a good breeding ground for tiger mosquito that causes dengue. "Sites of ongoing construction work in the city are full of places, where the dengue causing mosquito can breed. And this has already made a large number of people sick with dengue fever. A significant number of them are reeling with more severe forms of dengue, which are haemorrhagic fever and shock syndrome," said Dr Sunil Verma of a private hospital who has seen some 35 cases in August alone."

Pakistan : Dengue outbreak on horizon as Karachi witnesses 14 cases in two weeks

Via Daily Times :

" Karachi: With reporting of 14 new dengue cases in Karachi during last two week, the threat of outbreak is on the horizon after recent monsoon showers.

With these new cases the total number of confirmed cases of dengue virus in Sindh during the running year so far has jumped to 138, and healthcare experts have warned of a dengue epidemics in the province if urgent and solid preventative steps not taken by the concerned authorities.

Incharge of Sindh Health Department’s Dengue Surveillance Cell Dr Suresh Kumar told PPI that this year so far 138 dengue viral fever cases have already been confirmed in the province; out of them cases 18 belong to Tando Muhamamd Khan, one to Hyderabad and rest 119 to Karachi.

Fortunately, no dengue death has been reported so far in the province during the current year. He said after the rains, it is normal that mosquitoes breed in the pools of accumulated rainwater. However, sources said that the government has yet to set up isolation wards for dengue patients at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Civil Hospital Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Qatar Hospital Sindh government hospitals at New Karachi, Liaquatabad and other teaching hospitals.

They said the dengue patients are compelled to visit costly private hospitals due to lack of proper facilities at the government hospitals. It was learnt that the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) had suspended its fumigation drive one month ago due to lack of funds. The fumigation vehicles could not be run due to no-fuel situation and also dearth of spraying chemicals."

2,919 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease reported in Malaysia

Via The Star, excerpt :

" A total of 2,919 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) were reported in the country so far this year but there have been no death due to the disease.

In fact, the Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said Sunday in a statement that there appeared to have been a drop in reported cases compared with 8,769 cases reported all of last year.

He said most cases were recorded in five states - Sarawak with 914 cases, Selangor (513 cases), Johor (300), Perlis (300) and Pulau Pinang (263).

"The National Public Health Laboratory surveillance found that Coxsackie A16 and Enterovirus 71 (EV 71) were the most common strains causing HFMD. The virus is spread through direct contact with the mucus, saliva or faeces of an infected person. The incubation period is between three to five days," he said.

HFMD, usually attacks infants and children under the age of 10, causing them to run a fever, develop ulcers in the mouth, especially on the tongue and gums, as well as blisters or rashes on the hands and feet, he said."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

US : Possible TB exposure at Texas high school

Article via UPI, a possible tuberculosis outbreak detected in Texas, USA :

" Health officials say a San Antonio student with tuberculosis may have exposed more than 100 people to the disease.

Dr. Thomas Schlenker, director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, said Wednesday 105 students and staff members at Roosevelt High School were potentially exposed to TB by the infected student during the past spring semester, the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News reported.

Officials say the student began exhibiting symptoms of the infectious disease in April but did not seek medical attention until mid-July.

Parents and staff have been notified of the incident. The 105 people who may have been exposed have been contacted to arrange for TB tests."

US : MRSA strikes Kenston Community Education Center

Via The News Herald :

" More than six cases of the MRSA staph infection were reported within the Kenston Community Education football team this week.

Officials at the sports facility that serves Bainbridge and Auburn townships found out about the first case on Wednesday.

The student played on a community football team comprised of fifth and sixth-graders.

“We immediately sprayed the school’s turf with disinfectant.” Kenston Community Education Director Jennifer Holzheimer said. “We did not allow the kids to return until the locker room and equipment was done.”

She said letters were sent to parents with an information sheet on the infection.

Geauga County Health Board, Kenston School Board and the fall coaches were also notified about the cases."

Indonesia : Bali struggles with rabies outbreak

Article via The Sydney Morning Herald :

" An ongoing rabies outbreak in Bali has claimed the lives of at least 10 people in recent months as authorities struggle to control the disease.

Bali, a popular holiday destination for Australian tourists, has been fighting to contain the disease with a massive program to vaccinate animals since the outbreak was first declared in November 2008.

The failure to fully control the disease, which is passed on to humans through contact with dogs, cats, monkeys and other animals, also threatens Bali's reputation as a holiday destination and continues to worry businesses which are highly geared towards the tourist trade."

Pakistan : Polio count rises to 69 this year

From The News :

" Islamabad: With the confirmation of another six polio cases since August 15-four from Balochistan and 2 from Fata, Pakistan’s polio count has risen from 63 to 69 so far in 2011. Balochistan now leads the scorecard with 26 cases, followed by Fata (22); Sindh (14); Khyber Pakthunkhwa (6) and Gilgit-Baltistan (1). Punjab and Islamabad continue to maintain their polio-free status.

On another related front, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat has taken administrative control of the Prime Minister’s Monitoring and Coordination Cell for Polio Eradication, which had been working under the Ministry of Health up until its devolution on June 30. The measure is stated to have been taken to maintain a national focal point for polio eradication in order to meet the targets enshrined in the National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication.

According to a notification, the Cell has been assigned to Provide guidance, technical assistance and situation analysis to the National Task Force on Polio Eradication; regularly liase with chief secretaries, provincial health secretariat and relevant departments and organisations to monitor progress of the Polio Eradication Initiative and provide feedback to the PM and act as an apex national body coordinating amongst provinces to ensure standardized service delivery and sustained availability of technical and material resources."

UK : E.coli alert shuts hospital nursery

Article via Darlington and Stockton Times :

" HEALTH bosses were last night trying to reassure parents after a suspected outbreak of E.coli at a hospital day nursery.

Twenty-five children attending the Playdays nursery at The James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, became ill with diarrhoea. Tests showed five had contracted the bug.

E.coli is a relatively rare form of gastroenteritis causing abdominal pain, sickness and diarrhoea.

It is usually caught from contaminated food.

The Health Protection Agency in the North-East is investigating the outbreak. The nursery has been closed until August 30.

Of the five children diagnosed, one is still in hospital and three have been discharged following hospital treatment.

South Tees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, has been contacting parents of children who attend the nursery, which was closed on August 12 to allow the trust to deep clean the premises."

Ireland : Measles cases on rise, experts warn

Via Independent :

" A RAPID rise in the number of measles cases among children has prompted the HSE to warn parents about the risk of a recurrence of the outbreak of 2000, which resulted in three deaths.

Dr Brenda Corcoran, the head of the HSE National Immunisation Office, urged parents to immunise their children, particularly before travelling to Europe, where there is an outbreak of the infectious and potential fatal disease.

More than 21,000 cases have been reported in Europe since the beginning of the year, with more than half reported in France. Six children died in France, 14 suffered neurological complications and 444 contracted severe pneumonia.

Some 110 measles cases have been detected in Ireland so far this year, at least eight of which were due to infection while travelling in Europe.

Target

In 87 of the cases, the children were living in the HSE East region, in or near Dublin, and in almost half of cases the children were eligible for vaccination but had not received any doses."

US : Another E. coli case linked to central Pa. lake

Via Chron, excerpt :

" Another case of E. coli infection has been linked to a lake at a central Pennsylvania park, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 14.

State health officials said Thursday the latest case linked to the lake at Cowans Gap State Park involves a child from Maryland.

The lake was closed to recreational use last week after a series of E. coli infections were reported by people who had gone swimming or done other activities there.

All but one of the cases involve children. The latest child affected is the third Maryland resident to become ill."

US : Crypto’ outbreak hits Johnson County

Article via The Kansas City Star :

" An outbreak of a highly contagious intestinal infection has prompted the Johnson County Health Department to ask you to stay out of swimming pools if you’ve had diarrhea recently.

In the past two weeks, the department has received reports of 35 cases of cryptosporidiosis, Nancy Tausz, the department’s disease containment director, said Friday. “Crypto” can spread quickly in contaminated water.

Other cases have been reported recently in the area, Tausz said. And schools are seeing children returning to class with diarrhea, a key symptom, she said."

Somalia : Cholera fears join famine in 'overrun' refugee camp

Via CTV, excerpt :

" Aid agencies struggling with a famine crisis in Somalia are being forced to deal with another growing problem: a marked increase in cholera amongst refugees in recent weeks.

A devastating drought has caused widespread famine across areas of Kenya and Ethiopia, but has hit southern Somalia the hardest – forcing some 400,000 people to flood the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya over the past week.

Some 3.7 million Somalis are affected by the famine, with malnutrition rates in southern Somalia now the highest in the world. The circumstances have led to sweeping outbreaks of cholera.

"These are desperate, desperate people and the place is overrun," co-host Seamus O'Regan told CTV Canada AM from the Dadaab refugee camp on Friday.

O'Regan said the cholera epidemic has been a growing concern over the past couple of weeks, forcing aid agencies to split their focus between that and the famine. Sanitation has become a key concern.

"There are a lot of agrarian people, rural people who are used to the farms and, to be blunt, used to defecating outdoors with neighbours five or ten kilometres away. You add that sort of behavior to the concentration of some 408,000 people and what you end up with is a deadly epidemic of cholera."

O'Regan reported that one out of 10 people who get cholera end up dying by the end of the day.

Dadaab is the world's largest refugee camp and covers a total area of 50 square kilometres near the border between Kenya and Somalia.

The Dadaab area is now home to approximately 400,000 Somali refugees, many of whom walked 100 kilometres to reach the camp.

Some 1,200 new refugees arrive each day, many of them women and young children with ribs left exposed from extreme hunger."

Cholera deaths increase to 109 in Dominican Republic

Via Xinhua :

" The number of deaths caused by cholera in the Dominican Republic have increased to 109, and there are 15,876 suspect cases, according to government figures released on Friday.

Public Health Ministry said in a statement that the intensity of the outbreak has been decreasing since six weeks ago, but the region of Gran Santo Domingo, which includes the Dominican capital city, still faces a serious epidemic situation.

The government is developing preventive measures which include informing the population, careful observation of diarrhea cases, providing drinkable water and building new public toilets as part of efforts to contain the outbreak, it added.

The latest Cholera outbreak appeared in the Dominican Republic last November, a month after cases were reported in Haiti."

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Zealand : Medics puzzled by rare case of German measles

Via NZ Herald, excerpt :

" Mystery surrounds how a Northland man caught rubella - the disease also known as German measles that can have disastrous consequences for pregnant women.

Northland medical officer of health Clair Mills said the man was diagnosed with the rare disease after he visited a doctor last week with a rash. The doctor decided to test for rubella and the disease was confirmed by a laboratory.

Three people have been confirmed with the illness in the past fortnight - two in Auckland and the Northland man.

Only 30 confirmed cases have been recorded in New Zealand in the past 11 years.

Dr Mills said the man had no connection with either of the two Auckland cases and he had not been in contact with anyone who had been ill."

Fourth dengue death confirmed in Panama

Via Newsroom Panama :

" Panama’s Ministry of Health (MoH) confirmed on Thursday the fourth death from hemorrhagic dengue during this year’s rainy season.

The victims came from San Miguelito ( 2), Panama City (1) and Bocas del Toro (1).

The MoH is awaiting laboratory test results of laboratory for confirmation of another case

Meanwhile another suspected case has been hospitalized, bringing to nine the latest number of cases

According to official records, 18 people receiving hospital treatment are "entirely stable": seven in Hospital Santo Tomás, six in Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid, three in the Pediatric Specialties Hospital and one each in Susana Jones Hospital and the National Hospital.

The MoH surveillance system, reported that to date some 79 people have registered with warning signs."

Vietnam on alert as common virus kills 81 children

Via Yahoo Health, excerpt :

" Vietnam's prime minister has put the country on alert as an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease continues to surge, killing 81 children and sickening more than 32,000 people nationwide so far this year, officials said Friday.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called for stepped-up efforts to prevent and control the transmission of the common childhood disease. It has spread nationwide but is raging hardest in the country's south, where nearly 80 percent of the cases have been reported. About 65 percent of the deaths have occurred in children younger than 3."

Malaysia : Current dengue situation - For the Week 32 / 2011 (7 to August 13, 2011)

Press release from Malaysia's Ministry of Health with the regards to the dengue situation. Excerpt with my translation :

" For the week 32, for the period 7 to 13 August, a total of 362 Dengue Fever cases and no deaths have been reported, an increase of 19 cases or 6% compared to 343 cases with two deaths last week.

There are 10 states showing an increase compared to last week's case namely Selangor which increased by 12 cases (10%), Kedah 10 cases (200%), Terengganu 8 cases (133%), Melaka 2 cases (67%), Silver 2 cases (8%), Perlis 1 cases (25%), Sabah one case (13%), Pahang 1 case (7%), Penang 1 case (4%) and Kuala Lumpur / Putrajaya increased by one case (3%).

In 2011, from January to August 13, of 12,735 cases were reported, a decrease of 58% or 17,720 compared to 30.455 cases of reported cases for the same period in 2010."

Japan : M6.8 quake jolts Fukushima, Miyagi prefectures

Another earthquake rocks Japan. Article via Japan Today :

" TOKYO : A strong earthquake registering a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 struck off Japan’s northeastern coast on Friday. Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the quake hit at 2:36 p.m. and was centered slightly south of where a massive magnitude 9.0 temblor struck on March 11.

The agency issued a tsunami advisory, predicting waves of 50 centimeters along the coast of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, where nuclear reactors crippled in the March quake are located. The advisory was lifted 30 minutes later.

In Tokyo, buildings swayed mildly, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.

There were no abnormalities in key equipment at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, said Chie Hosoda, an official with the Tokyo Electric Power Co, the plant’s operator. Radiation gauges did not show any abnormal change, nor were cooling operations affected. She said some of the plant’s workers assigned to the coastal side of the facility temporarily retreated inside the building.TEPCO also said the quake caused no disruption to operations at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture.

Announcers on television urged residents in coastal areas to head for higher ground, but about a half-hour after the quake, there were no reports of a tsunami reaching Japan."

UN urges action against Somalia cholera

Via Times Live :

" Cases of cholera and acute diarrhoea are on the rise in southern Somalia and require a rapid response, the World Health Organisation and the UN children's agency said.
Some 4,272 cases of cholera or acute watery diarrhoea have been reported in Banadir hospital in the capital Mogadishu alone since January, the agencies said in a statement.

Cholera has also been confirmed in four southern Somalia regions of Banadir, Bay, Mudug and Lower Shabelle and the number of cases has risen, the agencies said, even if most of the cholera cases "are contained and under control".

About 75 percent of all cases of acute watery diarrhoea are among children under the age of five."

India : Dengue takes over; health dept in denial

Via Times of India :

" LUDHIANA: The health department, which failed to take necessary steps towards preventing the spread of dengue, is now trying to downplay the number of cases that have been reported in the city. According to the department only 66 patients - 25 city residents and 41 from other parts of the district - have been admitted in various hospitals across Ludhiana for dengue. But sources said more than 250 patients complaining of symptoms of dengue have been admitted in city hospitals.

The vector-borne disease is also spreading in posh localities. Rajinder Kaur, 62, of Model Town and 21-year-old Harkamal Singh of Sarabha Nagar have tested positive for dengue.

Proving the health department's claims false, medical superintendent of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) Dr Kanwal Masih said more than 55 patients of dengue have been treated in the hospital since July. Dr Kapil Chib, manager of medical affairs at SPS Apollo Group of Hospitals, said five patients of dengue were admitted in the hospital and medical superintendent of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital Dr Sandeep Puri said 79 patients suffering from dengue were admitted in their hospital."

India : Dengue toll rises to 17 in Orissa

Via Deccan Chronicle :

" The death toll due to dengue rose to 17 in Orissa with two more persons succumbing today, official sources said.

The deaths took place in two private hospitals here and both victims hailed from worst-hit Angul district, the sources said.

Angul alone accounts for 13 victims, while one each hailed from Balangir, Dhenkanal, Kendrapara and Deogarh districts, health department sources said.

As many as 349 persons have tested positive for the disease, which has spread to 19 of the 30 districts of the state, he said adding most of the affected are undergoing treatment in hospitals here and in Cuttack.

Of the 349 dengue positive cases, 193 hail from Angul district alone, the sources added."

US : In light of EEE death, county opts to spray

Via Pall Times, excerpt :

" Two days after a New Haven girl succumbed to eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a news conference was held Tuesday by the county Health Department announcing that the county has taken steps in preparation of spraying areas affected by the virus.

Dr. Dennis Norfleet, the director of public health for Oswego County, and County Administrator Phil Church held the press conference late Tuesday afternoon at the county Health Department building, on Bunner Street, in Oswego. Maggie Sue Glenister Wilcox, of New Haven, passed away Sunday morning at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, in Syracuse, after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

On Monday, Norfleet had issued a release stating that the county would not spray affected areas because there was a lower mosquito infection rate this year. On Tuesday, he announced that he had submitted a letter to the New York State Department of Health declaring an emergency as to allow aerial spraying in areas where high concentrations of mosquitoes carrying EEE have been found."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ghana : Suspected cholera outbreak in Atebubu District

Article via The Ghanaian Chronicle, excerpt :

" The Atebubu District Directorate of the Ghana Health Services is alarmed over the increasing rate of diarrhoea cases being recorded in the area, and which has already recorded one death. Madam Domitilla Depkuur, District Director of Ghana Health Services, told The Chronicle that her outfit had so far recorded 162 cases of diarrhoea, which prompted the Health Directorate to sendstool specimens of suspected patients to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for diagnosis.

According to the District Health Director, two of the specimens sent to Komfo Anokye for diagnosis proved to be cholera.

She, however, indicated that though the two had been proven to be positive, her office was yet to determine that cholera had broken out in the area.
So far, the majority of the cases were reported from Atebubu Zongo and Konkomba line, but Madam Domitilla Depkuur said the Health Directorate had embarked on a massive general environmental cleanliness sensitisation campaign to educate the people.

She added that the district has enriched it dispensary and has reactivated its Epidemic Response Unit/Committee to help curb the situation."

UK : Mosquitoes 'developing resistance to bed nets'

Via BBC News, excerpt :

" Mosquitoes can rapidly develop resistance to bed nets treated with insecticide, a study from Senegal says.

In recent years the nets have become a leading method of preventing malaria, especially in Africa.

In the Lancet Infectious Diseases, the researchers also suggest the nets reduced the immunity of older children and adults to malaria infection.

But other experts say the study was too small to draw conclusions about the long-term effectiveness of nets.

In the war against malaria, the cheapest and most effective weapon to date has been the long-lasting insecticide-treated bed net.

Over the last few years the nets have been widely distributed in Africa and elsewhere - the World Health Organization says that when properly deployed they can cut malaria rates by half."

Hong Kong : Update on cluster of Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci cases in medical ward of Caritas Medical Centre

Article via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" Regarding the announcement earlier on a male medical ward in which there were patients confirmed with Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE), the spokesperson of Caritas Medical Centre made the following update today (August 18):

One more male patient (aged 79) who had stayed in that medical ward earlier for chest infection was confirmed to be a VRE carrier today. The patient has already been discharged upon recovery.

There are clinical guidelines in public hospitals to ensure proper use of antibiotics, including Vancomycin, and management of VRE carriers. The hospital has stepped up infection control measures according to established guidelines."

US : 3 die of rare brain infection from amoeba in water

Via Yahoo News, excerpt :

" Two children and a young man have died this summer from a brain-eating amoeba that lives in water, health officials say.

This month, the rare infection killed a 16-year-old Florida girl, who fell ill after swimming, and a 9-year-old Virginia boy, who died a week after he went to a fishing day camp. The boy had been dunked the first day of camp, his mother told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Those cases are consistent with past cases, which are usually kids — often boys — who get exposed to the bug while swimming or doing water sports in warm ponds or lakes.

The third case, in Louisiana, was more unusual. It was a young man whose death in June was traced to the tap water he used in a device called a neti pot. It's a small teapot-shaped container used to rinse out the nose and sinuses with salt water to relieve allergies, colds and sinus trouble.

Health officials later found the amoeba in the home's water system. The problem was confined to the house; it wasn't found in city water samples, said Dr. Raoult Ratard, Louisiana's state epidemiologist.

The young man, who was only identified as in his 20s and from southeast Louisiana, had not been swimming nor been in contact with surface water, Ratard added.

He said only sterile, distilled, or boiled water should be used in neti pots.

The illness is extremely rare. About 120 U.S. cases — almost all of them deaths — have been reported since the amoeba was identified in the early 1960s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About three deaths are reported each year, on average. Last year, there were four.

There are no signs that cases are increasing, said Jonathan Yoder, who coordinates surveillance of waterborne diseases for the CDC.

The amoeba — Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL-er-eye) — gets up the nose, burrows up into the skull and destroys brain tissue. It's found in warm lakes and rivers during the hot summer months, mostly in the South."

Australia : Hendra claims three more NSW horses

Article via The Sydney Morning Herald :

" Three more horses have died from the Hendra virus on the NSW north coast, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to nine.

Two horses have died on a South Ballina property and one horse has died on a Mullumbimby property, NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Ian Roth said today.

The precise time of the deaths is not known at this stage.

It follows the death on Monday of another horse at a different property near Ballina, where two other horses were also deemed to be at risk and continue to be monitored.

Dr Roth said seven properties in NSW had now been affected by the Hendra virus.

"It's critical horse owners maintain vigilance against this virus," he said in a statement.

The most recent deaths bring to 19 the number of horses infected with Hendra that have died or been put down since June 20 this year - 10 in Queensland and nine in NSW.

The virus is spread from flying foxes to horses and, rarely, from horses to people.

In one case in Queensland it was transmitted from horses to a dog."

Trinidad and Tobago : PM in good spirits

Via Trinidad Express :

" MINISTER of Health, Dr Fuad Khan, said yesterday that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar continues to be treated at her residence after contracting dengue.

Khan told the Express that Persad-Bissessar yesterday complained of dizziness but she is in good spirits.

He said dizziness is common in patients diagnosed with dengue which is carried by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

"She is doing her work at home," Khan said.

"But with this kind of thing you have to rest yourself. You don't want to be up and down too much because it is tiring."

Asked to outline the type of treatment being administered to Persad-Bissessar, Khan said the Prime Minister "has her own private arrangement".

Khan was asked if he knew what kind of medication was prescribed for Persad-Bissessar but he also declined comment, saying a patient's medical care is a confidential issue.

"She is being taken care of privately by her physicians," he said.

A statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday revealed that Persad-Bissessar was diagnosed with the classic type of dengue fever which is a less severe strain.

She was advised that she could work from her home office.

Persad-Bissessar said on Tuesday, " I will continue to run the affairs of State unless otherwise advised by my doctors that it is not practical to do so.

"I wish to advise the population that despite my illness, I am following all medical instructions so as to ensure that I will soon be back on my feet and fully functioning."