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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Indonesia : Bali Boy Dies From Bird Flu

Via The Jakarta Post :

" An eight-year-old boy died from bird flu in a Bali hospital on Tuesday night. The boy, Ni Putu Purnami, was in critical condition when he was transferred from Bangli Hospital to Sanglah Hospital on Tuesday afternoon and he was immediately isolated.

“Clinically, and supported by the VCR (Visual Convention Reaction) laboratory result, the victim was positively infected with the H5N1 virus,” said Sanglah Hospital spokesman Ida Bagus Ken Wirasandi on Wednesday.

Putu died at 10:15 p.m. after four hours at the hospital. Ken said Putu’s family told him the victim was in contact with dead poultry two months ago.

The Bali Health Agency head Ketut Suarjaya said that seven people on Bali have died since the virus first reached the island in 2007. “In 2011, 46 patients were suspected to have of avian flu [in Bali],” Suarjaya said."

Hong Kong : Two linked imported cases of dengue fever investigated

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

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating two imported and related cases of dengue fever and has urged people to guard against the disease. The first patient is a 24-year-old woman who developed headache, myalgia and rash since April 9.

The second patient is a 25-year-old man who developed similar symptoms as well as fever, arthralgia and retro-orbital pain on the same day. They sought medical consultation at a private hospital and a general out-patient clinic respectively but no hospitalisation was required.

The pair is now in stable condition. The woman's blood sample tested positive for the dengue virus while that of the man tested positive for dengue IgM. The CHP's investigation revealed that the two patients had travelled together to Bali, Indonesia, from April 4 to 8, where both were bitten by mosquitoes.

The CHP will continue to follow up on the cases. There have been 18 confirmed cases of dengue fever in 2012, and they were all imported. Last year 30 cases of imported dengue fever were reported to the CHP, with no local cases."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vietnam reports 4th bird flu infection

Article via Thanh Nien News :

" Vietnam’s fourth bird flu (H5N1) patient of the year, and the first in the Central Highlands region, is being treated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, the hospital’s deputy director Le Manh Hung told Thanh Nien Wednesday.

The 32-year-old male patient, known as N.D.T, from Dak Lak Province, was admitted to the hospital on Monday with high fever, fatigue and respiratory problems. He was put on a breathing machine and kept in quarantine. His family said they had previously slaughtered and eatend a sick home-raised chicken more than 10 days ago.

T. then developed a cough and high fever. The chicken's flock also died, the family said. T. was treated with medicine at home for the first three days after falling sick. After being admitted to Dak Lak Hospital, his condition did not improve.

 He was then transferred to the Hospital for Tropical Diseases where tests showed he was positive with the H5N1 virus Vietnam has so far this year reported four bird flu infections, two of which are fatal, after 20 months’ absence."

Bhutan Reports Another HPAI Outbreak

Via The Poultry Site :

 " The Bhutanese veterinary authorities have reported another outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza at two villages in Mongar.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received Follow-up Report No. 6 on Friday, 20 April. The outbreak has affected backyard free-ranging chicken in two villages, Yangbari and Patong. Out of 265 susceptible chickens, 70 cases were reported.

The 70 chickens were reported dead. One carcass tested positive to real-time PCR on 5 April. However, subsequently 16 samples from the affected and nearby villages tested negative to H5N1.

 Clinical and laboratory surveillance within a 3-km-radius showed no new cases. Therefore, at this stage, this could be a suspected H5N1 outbreak. The source of the outbreak remains inconclusive."

Monday, April 23, 2012

3 test positive for avian flu in Taiwan

Via Channel News Asia :

" Three poultry farm workers have been tested positive for the H5N2 avian influenza strain but none have displayed flu symptoms, Taiwan's disease control authorities said.

They were among 141 people working at five poultry farms where the avian flu was discovered.

Tens of thousands of chickens in the farms have been culled since the outbreak of H5N2 in the past few months.

Medical experts believe the test results may well be a cross-reactivity since all the three persons had flu jabs last year, Xinhua news agency reported.

Cases of humans who tested positive for H5N2 while showing no health disorders were previously reported in South Africa and Japan between 1993 to 1995.

Taiwan authorities confirmed the outbreak of H5N2 following sporadic reports in farms in central Taiwan.

The flu has so far affected chicken farms in Changhua, Tainan and Nantou."

India : Punjab records first swine flu death

Via Times of India :

" The deadly swine flu is back in Punjab, with the state reporting the season's first fatality due to the disease, sending the state health department -- that grappled with more than 300 such cases over the last two years -- into a tizzy.

Vijay Kumar, 35, resident of Nangal -- a town located on the banks of the country's biggest dam Bhakra Nangal -died in Ludhiana on Friday evening. Kumar, who died at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) was one of the two patients from the state, who had tested H1N1 positive earlier this month.

"The patient's blood sample showed high level of infection which usually happens in this flu, if not reported on time. By the time he was here, he had septicemia -- a bacteria that occurs with infections, resulting in a cardiac arrest," Dr Rajesh Mahajan, professor of medicine at DMCH, told TOI.

Lack of isolation wards, bed facilities and ventilators at district hospitals in Punjab have been a cause of concern. Between 2009 and 2010, there were 252 people in Punjab who tested positive for the flu, leaving 73 of them dead due to delay in treatment. A woefully small number of central government laboratories with facilities to test throat swabs for swine flu has already hampered the early treatment of patients."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Meningitis kills 749 in West, Central Africa

Via Xinhua :

" Meningitis has killed 749 people in West and Central Africa this year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In a report released here on Friday, OCHA said Burkina Faso and Chad were the most affected countries in West and Central Africa. In Burkina Faso, OCHA recorded 3,630 cases since the beginning of the year, which is 40 percent of all cases reported in the region and, out of which, 400 people had died by April 1.

The organization's website, ochaonline, reported that most cases were found in the country's west bordering Mali, Ghana, Togo and Benin.

By April 1, Burkina Faso had seen eight districts in an epidemic situation and 11 others on alert level. The meningitis disease in Burkina Faso is attributed to NmW135 germ.

Chad had registered 2,136 cases as per April 1 and 102 deaths."

Vietnam asks WHO to help identify killer disease

Via The Associated Press :

" HANOI, Vietnam (AP) --Vietnam has asked international health experts to help investigate a mystery illness that has killed 19 people and sickened 171 others in an impoverished district in central Vietnam, an official said Friday."

Tough new strain of hand, foot and mouth virus hitting U.S.

Via USA Today :

" Worried parents are phoning their pediatricians, fearful of the spread of a nasty new strain of hand, foot and mouth virus, a common childhood disease.

It hit Alabama last month, is in Northern California now and may be headed to a day care near you soon.

The hand, foot and mouth virus that usually causes a slight fever and a rash on the palms in toddlers is called coxsackie A16. The new variant, A6, was first reported in the United States in December. It can hit kids and adults hard, causing fingernails and toenails to fall off two to three weeks after the illness has passed.

The variant swept Alabama in March, state epidemiologist Mary McIntyre said. "We've had 15 people hospitalized," she said. Some cases included "severe fevers, seizures, headaches, severe diarrhea and vomiting." The oldest patient was 69.

There is no treatment.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is no relation to hoof and mouth disease, an animal illness.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that some victims have been hospitalized for severe pain. The virus is highly contagious. Writing on a parent e-mail list, one San Francisco mom said her toddler infected every child but one in her preschool."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Australia : Schoolboy contracts scarlet fever

Via NT News :

" A TERRITORY primary school pupil has caught scarlet fever.

The boy is being kept at home.

Education Department acting school operations head Alan Baillie said the boy's mother had contacted teachers to say her son had been diagnosed with the disease by two doctors at the GP super clinic in Palmerston during the Easter holidays.

"No other cases have been reported," he said. "The school has sent a letter home to parents as a precautionary measure."

China : Bird flu `epidemic' sparks chicken cull

Via The Standard :

" Agricultural authorities have culled about 95,000 chickens following an outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus in northwest China.
The outbreak in Touying township of the Ningxia region was discovered after more than 23,000 chickens began showing symptoms.

The Ministry of Agriculture said the "epidemic is now under control" and that work teams have been sent to the area to step up prevention measures.

In January, a man in Guizhou province died after contracting the bird flu virus, the second such fatality reported in the mainland this year, health authorities said.

China is considered one of the nations most at risk of bird flu epidemics because it has the world's biggest poultry population."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Measles outbreak in Ukraine

Via The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, excerpt :

" There is an ongoing measles outbreak in Ukraine. Since January 2012, over 5100 cases have been reported and it is expected that this will increase. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommends that unvaccinated people traveling to the European Football Championships in Ukraine and Poland who have not previously had measles should take the vaccine in good time before they travel.
The Ukrainian outbreak is concentrated near the border with Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, but it is expected that the outbreak will increase in the next few months and spread to more areas. As measles is highly infectious and vaccine coverage in Ukraine is low, there is a high chance of exposure to the measles virus. People who are unvaccinated or are not immune to measles are at significant risk of infection.

Measles is extremely contagious and is the most serious of the childhood diseases included in the childhood immunisation programme in Norway. Of the childhood diseases that can be prevented by vaccine, measles is the most common cause of death globally. Young children and children with other diseases are most at risk for serious complications, but older children and adults can also become seriously ill with measles.

Increased risk during the European Football Championships in 2012

The risk of contracting measles and other infectious diseases is likely to increase during the European Football Championships (EURO2012) taking place in Poland and Ukraine from the 8th June to 1st July 2012. Large crowds will gather in both football stadiums and city areas, which will promote the spread of infectious diseases.

Vaccine advice

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommends that anyone traveling to the Ukraine should be protected against measles, either as a result of previous infection or vaccination. Unvaccinated adults are recommended to take one dose of the MMR vaccine before travelling. Protection against measles is effective two to three weeks after vaccination so the vaccine should be taken in good time before departure. People who have had measles are immune and do not need to take the vaccine."

Indonesia : Dengue fever spikes in Tangerang regency

Via The Jakarta Post :

" The Tangerang regency Health Agency has warned residents to remain vigilant as dengue disease has spiked in the region.

Some 49 Tangerang regency residents suffered from dengue fever from January to April.

“Out of the 49 residents, no one has died. They were quickly rushed to nearest community health centers,” Tangerang Health Agency disease prevention and control unit head Wiwit said on Wednesday.

The agency has taken emergency measures to curb the disease, considering that the current transition season from rainy to dry season usually triggers a spike in the number of dengue fever cases.

The agency has deployed cadres of the Larva-Free Movement to 274 villages and subdistricts to encourage residents to keep their environment clean and to distribute abate powder.

Wiwit said that the number of dengue fever cases in the region had been decreasing from year to year. The agency recorded 200 dengue cases in 2011, dropping from 999 cases in 2010."

Taiwan : More Cases of LPAI in I-Lan

Via The Poultry Site :

" The Taiwanese veterinary authorities have reported further cases of low pathogenic avian influenza in I-Lan affecting native chicken.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received Follow-up Report No. 5 on Friday, 13 April.

Out of 1170 susceptible birds, 44 cases and 11 deaths were identified.

Clinical cases were notified from the abattoir. The local disease control center (LDCC) took and sent the samples from the abattoir to the national laboratory (AHRI) for diagnosis.

The H5N2 subtype LPAI event was identified at the abattoir according to the results of laboratory tests (RT-PCR test, HA0 cleavage site sequencing and pathogenicity test) from AHRI.

The source of the outbreak remains inconclusive."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hong Kong : Public urged to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease

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

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (April 16) called on people to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

The appeal followed an outbreak of HFMD at a kindergarten-cum-child care centre in Tuen Mun affecting 20 students aged between 2 and 5.

Those affected, comprising 13 males and seven females, have developed oral ulcers, fever, vesicles and rash on their hands or feet since March 18.

None required hospitalisation. All the affected children are in a stable condition.

Stool specimens collected from two children tested positive for Coxsackie virus."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nigeria : Lassa fever - Red Cross mobilises 300 for sensitisation in 3 states

Via Nigerian Tribune :

" The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) has trained and dispatched 300 volunteers to carry out Lassa fever sensitisation in three states, in the bid to combat the disease.

The sensitisation exercise, which is going on simultaneously in Ebonyi, Edo and Nasarawa states, will last for six weeks.

A statement issued by the head, Communications Unit of NRCS, Nwakpa O. Nwakpa, noted that water treatment tablets and other equipments had also been distributed to over three million vulnerable people in the three states.

Speaking during the ceremony heralding the distribution, the Secretary General of the NRCS, Bello Hamman Diram, urged the beneficiaries to put the items to maximum use.

He also enjoined them to keep their environments clean to avoid falling victims of not only Lassa fever, but also other diseases.

The secretary general disclosed that arrangements had been concluded by the society, in collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to carry out similar sensitisation in all the affected states.

Meanwhile, the society’s focal persons, Dr Uche Ogba (Ebonyi), Dr Kemi Aderibigbe (Edo) and Ahmed Saidu (Nasarawa), have donated five cartons of personal protective equipment (PPE) each to the three state governments.

Presenting the equipment to the Ebonyi State Commissioner of Health, Dr Sunday Nwangele, the head of Health and Care of the NRCS, Dr Uche Ogba, noted that the donation was targeted at helping to protect health workers in the beneficiary hospitals so as not to get infected by patients."

More dengue victims on Niue but authorities say outbreak under control

Via Radio NZ :

" Health authorities on Niue are confident that they are on top of the latest dengue outbreak that has infected 20 people to date.

The chief medical officer, Dr Eddie Akau’ola, says this outbreak began about three weeks ago but they believe they have been able to contain it.

He says it is peaking now and they expect a decline in a week or two.

Dr Akau’ola says none of the cases have been too serious.

“We have mild to moderate cases. We haven’t had a severe case and we haven’t lost anyone to dengue. We don’t see the hemorrhagic form yet. Unfortunately we don’t have the serotyping - we are still sending away the specimens for that, but we only have the mild to moderate forms."

Maldives : Little girl dies of Dengue

Via Haveeru Online :

" A little girl has died of dengue while receiving treatment in ADK hospital yesterday.

ADK Hospital Managing Director Ahmed Afaal revealed that the girl had contracted the most dangerous strain of the virus, which is known as Dengue Shock Syndrome.
In addition, the child had suffered from aspiration pneumonia, Afaal said.

“The child was brought in emergency to the hospital yesterday evening. By the time she was brought in she was having difficulties in breathing and died soon after while we were treating her in intensive care,” he added.

However, Afaal did not disclose further details of the child who passed away from the infectious disease transmitted by several species of mosquito.

The most number of deaths by the dengue virus had been recorded last year, where it claimed the lives of over 10 people, most of whom had been children."

India : Cholera cases reported in city

Via Times of India :

" BANGALORE : Close on the heels of H1N1 scare, cholera and gastroenterology have sparked an epidemic scare in Bangalore. Five cases of cholera have been reported from a private hospital in Chikkalalbagh area, near Majestic, said Dr Manoranjan Hegde, nodal officer, communicable disease, BBMP.

When contacted, Dr Chandrashekar Malagi, Joint Director, Communicable Diseases, State Health and Family Welfare Department, said there were two more cholera cases reported from Isolation Hospital. "However, in a city like Bangalore it is not a huge number. The climate is such that there could be more cases of cholera."

Vietnam : One more child dies of HFMD, bringing death toll to 18

Article via Tuoitre News :

" A 3-year-old baby died from hand, foot and mouth (HFMD) disease at a Ho Chi Minh City hospital last Saturday, taking the total death toll from the disease to 18 nationwide so far this year, the HCMC Health Department reported.

The baby girl, from An Giang Province, was admitted into the Pediatrics 1 Hospital at 9:30 pm on April 7 and died an hour later due to her critical condition. The baby contracted HFMD at level 4, doctors said.

The death was the fifth case among children in An Giang Province, which is leading the country in the death toll from HFMD, which has spread to all 63 provinces, affecting more than 21,300 children.

Of the 18 deaths, five were in An Giang, two each in HCMC, Dong Thap, Dong Nai and Can Tho, and there has been one each in Da Nang, Dak Lak, Binh Dinh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Vinh Long.

Speaking at last week’s conference on measures to minimize deaths from the disease, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien warned that the epidemic has been more serious than it was last year. She urged all health units to take all possible measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

The disease rate is 23.8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the Preventive Health Department reported at the conference."

More Taiwanese Ducks Affected by LPAI

Via The Poultry Site :

" The Taiwanese veterinary authorities have reported an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) affecting ducks in I-Lan.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received Follow-up Report No. 4 yesterday, 10 April.

A total of 1000 ducks were found susceptible, out of which 20 cases were reported. No deaths were recorded, and no birds were destroyed.

The notifiable avian influenza (NAI) viral infection was detected on a duck farm in the process of active surveillance and identified as H5N2 strain by virus isolation.

Movement restriction was implemented on the infected farm. The ducks were normal without clinical signs.

The positive results of virological tests and pathogenicity test confirmed this LPAI H5N2 outbreak.

The clinical and epidemiological investigation of surrounding poultry farms were conducted. No other case or evidence of infection was detected.

The source of the outbreak remains inconclusive."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Indonesia, Aceh quake: Fresh tsunami warning after 8.2 aftershock

Via The Star :

" Indonesia has issued a fresh tsunami warning after an aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 8.2 shook its western coast.

The first 8.6-magnitude quake off Aceh province, hours earlier, spawned a wave around 80cm high but caused no serious damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the strong temblor that followed was centered 16km beneath the ocean around 615km from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh."

India : Woman succumbs to Swine Flu in Gujarat

Via The Hindustan Times :

" A 60-year-old woman died of Swine Flu, taking the H1N1 death toll to two in Gujarat so far, health officials said on Wednesday.

The victim, identified as Yasmin Hussain succumbed to the viral infection at her residence in Juhapura area of the city on Tuesday, they said.

This is the first case of swine flu in the city, and second in Gujarat this year. Manhar Dodiya (52) was the first victim of swine flu in the state in 2012. He had died in Rajkot civil hospital Saturday last.

According to health officials, Yasmin was admitted to the VS hospital early last week following influenza like symptoms.

While she was undergoing treatment, samples of her saliva and blood was sent for testing. But before the test results arrived, her family members got her 'discharged against medical advice' and took her home."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hong Kong : Fatal case with Group A Streptococcus infection under investigation

Via Hong Kong's CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a fatal case with Group A Streptococcus infection involving a 21-year-old pregnant woman.

The woman, with good past health, attended the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of Kwong Wah Hospital for fever and right breast swelling on March 25. She was treated as having upper respiratory tract infection and mastitis. The woman was discharged the same day.

In the morning of April 4, she developed cyanosis and dyspnoea. She attended the AED of Queen Elizabeth Hospital and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit on the same day.

She was also noted as having skin mottling and shock. Her clinical condition deteriorated rapidly and she passed away on the same day.

Her blood culture grew Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A). The diagnosis was septicaemia.

She did not have recent travel history. Her close contacts were asymptomatic."

India : Woman dies of swine flu in Rajasthan

Via The Asian Age :

" In the first swine flu fatality of the season in Rajasthan, a 52-year-old woman infected with H1N1 virus died at a private hospital here.

The woman identified as Neelama, an employee of Punjab National Bank, died of the flu on Monday, Chief Medical Officer of Kota Gagnendra Singh Sisodiya said.

Neelima was admitted on Sunday and was later shifted to a private hospital, where she succumbed to her illness, he said, adding that one more person has been tested positive in the district and is being treated at a private hospital.

Meanwhile, alarmed by the first swine flue death of the season, the medical department has geared up for preventive measures and instructed the staff at Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centers to carry out a survey in the region, Sisodia said.

Two persons had died in Karnataka this week, while a 55-year-old woman succumbed at Shimla's Indira Gandhi Medical College in Himachal Pradesh on April 7 due to swine flu."

Hong Kong : Oriental magpie robin tests positive for H5N1 virus

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

" A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (April 10) that the carcass of an Oriental magpie robin found in Hung Hom last week was confirmed to be H5N1-positive after a series of laboratory tests.

The dead bird was found and collected near 19 Station Lane, Hung Hom, on April 4. The Oriental magpie robin is a common resident bird in Hong Kong.

The AFCD will continue to conduct inspections of poultry farms to ensure that proper precautions against avian influenza have been implemented."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hong Kong : Cluster of Influenza B cases in Castle Peak Hospital

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

" Eight patients (aged 22 to 50) in a general adult psychiatric female ward had presented with respiratory symptoms since March 20. Appropriate viral tests were arranged for the patients and seven patients tested positive for Influenza B. The patients concerned are being treated under isolation and are in stable condition.

Admission to the ward has been suspended and restricted visiting to the ward has been imposed. Infection control measures have already been stepped up according to established guidelines. 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."

India : Girl tests positive for A (H1N1) flu in Coimbatore

Via The Hindu, excerpt :

" A girl aged four-and-a-half was admitted to the isolation ward of the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) on Thursday after she tested positive for A (H1N1) influenza. A 55-year-old man from the neighbouring Tirupur District is already undergoing treatment in the ward, while a 79-year-old man from that district died last Sunday of the flu at the CMCH.

Public health authorities, however, are not seeing any chance of an outbreak, despite three cases being reported in less than a week. They contend that the flu virus is already in the community owing to previous occurrences since 2009. Only sporadic cases is different groups will occur and not as a cluster.

The condition of the man and the girl is stable, the authorities said. Contact treatment – providing oseltamivir tablets to all those who were in close contact with the patients – is being done. Health authorities in Tirupur carried out this process with the relatives of the man who died of the flu and also the man undergoing treatment in Coimbatore. The authorities in Coimbatore identified the relatives and other close contacts of the girl’s family at Kovilpalayam and began treatment soon after the case was established as positive."

Salmonella sickens 90 in U.S.

Via Xinhua :

" At least 90 people have been sickened by an unusual strain of salmonella -- Bareilly, with sushi a possible culprit, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Wednesday.

The foodborne illness was reported in 19 states and the District of Columbia from Jan. 28 to April 2, and the outbreak appears to be ongoing, the CDC said in a statement. Many of the ill persons said they had eaten sushi, sashimi or similar foods before becoming sick.

The CDC did not report any deaths or hospitalizations. It is working with the Food and Drug Administration and state officials to identify the source of the outbreak."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WHO : Lassa fever in Nigeria

Press release from WHO :

" 4 APRIL 2012 - At the beginning of 2012, WHO was notified by the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria of an outbreak of Lassa fever. As of March 22,2012, 623 suspected cases, including 70 deaths have been recorded from 19 of the 36 States since the beginning of the year.Laboratory analysis undertaken at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua Edo State has confirmed the presence of Lassa virus infection in 108 patients. Three doctors and four nurses were reported to be among the fatalities. This information is provisional and subject to change when laboratory results for Lassa fever in suspected cases become available.

The Federal and State governments are responding to the outbreak by enhancing the disease surveillance for early detection, reinforcing treatment of patients, and conducting awareness campaigns among the affected population.

Major challenges are the ongoing security risks in the country limiting access to some areas as well as the limited availability of resources to respond to the escalating outbreak.

WHO does not advise or recommend any restrictions on travel or trade with Nigeria. Travellers returning from affected areas who develop symptoms of fever, malaise, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain should seek medical advice.

People usually become infected with Lassa virus from exposure to infected rodents belonging to Mastomys species. Person-to-person transmission occurs through direct contact with sick patients in both community and health care settings. Those at greatest risk are persons living in rural areas where Mastomys are found. Health care workers are at risk if adequate infection control practices are not maintained."

India : Three-year-old girl dies of suspected dengue

Via Times of India :

" A three-year-old child died due to dengue fever from Kanur panchayat near Tirupachethi on Monday. Vijayashree, daughter of Sivachidambaram fell sick on Friday and her parents rushed her to a private hospital in Madurai. She died in the hospital after failing to respond to treatment. The hospital certified that it was dengue fever.

Recently, an eight-month-old infant, Gugapriyan, son of Manikandan died after he developed fever, though it was not known whether it was due to dengue. Villagers said that 10 more persons in Kanur village are down with fever at present. However, health officials stressed that it was an isolated case of dengue being reported from the village and they have taken all necessary preventive measures on a war-footing."

Vietnam sees surge in childhood virus

From a Google News hosted AFP report, excerpt :

" Vietnam is seeing an "alarming rise" in deaths from a common childhood virus which has killed 11 babies and infants and sickened more than 15,000 others, the Red Cross said Tuesday.

In the first three months of 2012 the infection rate of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) was seven times higher than the same period last year, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent.

"It is vital that this disease be brought under control as its victims -- small children -- are some of the most vulnerable," IFRC Vietnam representative, Bhupinder Tomar, said in a statement.

There is no specific treatment for the common disease, which typically causes little more than a fever and rash, but the risk of catching it is greatly reduced through good hygiene practices. No vaccine exists."

Taiwan : LPAI Detected in Native Chickens

Via The Poultry Site :

" The Taiwanese veterinary authorities have reported an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza affecting native chickens at a poultry market in Taipei.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received Follow-up Report No. 3 yesterday, 3 April.

According to the report, five birds were found susceptible, out of which one case was identified. All five birds were slaughtered.

The specific RNA product of H5N2 avian influenza virus was detected in swab samples collected from the poultry market following intensified surveillance conducted by the local government. The sequence analysis of the HA0 cleavage site demonstrated the causal agent is low pathogenic.

The source of the outbreak remains inconclusive."

Ireland : Four home residents who died of flu had received vaccine

Via The Irish Times :

" FOUR OF the residents who died of influenza at a nursing home in Co Donegal had been vaccinated against the flu, the HSE has confirmed.

Tests have shown the outbreak of infection at Nazareth House, Fahan, near Buncrana, which claimed six lives in less than a fortnight, was caused by Influenza A (H3).

Protection against this strain of influenza was contained in the seasonal flu vaccine issued last October.

Dr Darina O’Flanagan, director of the HSE’s national Health Protection Surveillance Centre, said, however, that the vaccine, recommended by the World Health Organisation, was “not a perfect fit” for the strain in the northern hemisphere. She also said the elderly people who had died were in their 80s and 90s, and vaccines were not always as effective in that age group as they often had weakened immune systems.

The first death at the home occurred on March 22nd. There were two deaths on March 29th, one on March 31st, one on April 1st and one on April 2nd. Three of the residents had been transferred to Letterkenny General Hospital before they died, and three had died in the home."

EID Journal : Human Infection With H10N7 Avian Influenza

From Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary, who as always posts excellent article and review, excerpt :

" Although they are only rarely detected, there is evidence to suggest that humans may be infected by avian influenza viruses more often than commonly suspected.

Every year billions of people around the world experience flu-like symptoms that can stem from any of hundreds of different viruses.

Of those, only the tiniest fraction are tested to see what pathogen caused the illness.

While most people are aware of the several hundred H5N1 `bird flu’ infections detected over the past decade, we’ve also seen a smaller number of human infections caused by a variety of avian and swine origin flu viruses."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Scotland : Seven dead in flu outbreak at home

Via Reformer :

" A seventh person has died in an outbreak of flu at a nursing home, NHS Tayside has said.

The health board reported that 28 residents in Orchar Nursing Home in Dundee are known to have been infected with the influenza A virus, including the seven who have died.

None of the infected residents are in hospital and all are being cared for at the home, with "intensive support" from GPs and primary care, the health board said.

NHS Tayside's health protection team are investigating the outbreak.

A health board spokeswoman said: "All appropriate infection control measures have been put in place in the care home and there is no increased risk to the wider public.

"Where appropriate, residents have been offered antivirals which can reduce the severity and infectiousness of influenza in those affected.

"Relatives who are visiting sick residents are being asked to take extra infection control precautions whilst at the care home."

Anyone with flu-like symptoms can call NHS 24 on 08454 242 424 for advice or their GP if their symptoms are particularly severe.

The first five people to die were a man aged 74 and four women aged 81, 88, 90 and 91 on Sunday 25 and Monday 26 March.

The sixth person died overnight between 1 and 2 April. The age and gender of the sixth and seventh people to die have not been released."