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Friday, August 30, 2013

WHO : Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update

From WHO :

" WHO has been informed of an additional two laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Qatar.

The patients include a 59-year old man with an underlying medical condition who became ill on 15 August 2013. He is currently hospitalised and is in stable condition.

Preliminary epidemiological investigations reveal that the patient travelled to Medina, Saudi Arabia for 6 days and returned to Qatar on 15 August 2013. He did not take part in Umrah and did not visit to Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina. Further investigation is on-going.

The second patient is a 29-year-old man with an underlying medical condition who had no history of recent travel outside the country.

The results of both the cases were confirmed by an international reference laboratory. A total of 138 healthcare workers, family and community contacts have been screened in the country and so far all tested negative for MERS-CoV infection.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 104 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 49 deaths."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Malaysia : Another 150 cases of leptospirosis in two weeks

Via The Star :

Another 150 cases of leptospirosis have been reported within a two-week period nationwide since Aug 10.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the latest statistic has brought the total number of rat urine disease cases to 2,925 so far this year.
A total of 28 deaths were reportedly caused by the disease as of Aug 24.
“The leptospirosis situation in Malaysia showed that rats were the main reservoir for the disease, although other wild animals could also be infected by the leptospira bacteria.
“We urge members of the public to avoid patronising food premises which are dirty, to maintain good hygiene and to avoid holding recreational activities by pools, ponds or rivers which are unkept.
“Handle your waste or garbage properly so that rats cannot feed on them or that could contri­­bute to an increase in the rat population,” Dr Subramaniam said during a press conference at the ministry here yesterday.
He also urged those who had been exposed to the risk of leptospirosis and had symptoms such as fever and body aches to seek medical attention immediately."

Argentina : 29 confirmed cases of influenza A and B and 2 dead

Machine translated article from El Tribuno :

Health officials confirmed yesterday the province there are 29 confirmed cases of influenza A and B and two deaths as a result of the virus.

They also asserted that the epidemiological situation of Jujuy is controlled and that there are fewer reports of bronchiolitis, pneumonia and influenza in relation to the registration of the last three years. The information was provided by the Director of Epidemiology, Patricia Steren, after the usual weekly cabinet meeting at the Ministry of Health.

Next to the health minister, Victor Urbani, and secretaries, directors and heads of major public health centers in the province, the official noted that since 2009 Epidemiology is performed surveillance of all respiratory diseases and viral circulation recorded in Jujuy. "We are going through the year with less notice of bronchiolitis, pneumonia and influenza viruses," he said."

India, Maharashtra : Woman suspected of swine flu dies

Via Times of India :

A 25-year-old woman, suspected to have been infected with H1N1 influenza (swine flu), died at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on the wee hours of Tuesday. Three more suspected swine flu patients have been admitted to GMCH in the last two days and condition of one of them is reported to be serious.

P L Gattani, medical superintendent, GMCH, said, "The 25-year-old woman, a resident of Karanjgaon in Kannad taluka, was admitted to the hospital on Monday night. She died in the wee hours on Tuesday after her condition deteriorated as she suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and bilateral pneumonia."

WHO : Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update

Press release from WHO :

WHO has been informed of an additional eight laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Saudi Arabia.

The cases include two men with underlying medical conditions from Riyadh who died, three women and one man, also from Riyadh, and two men from Asir region. Additionally, a previously laboratory-confirmed case from the United Arab Emirates has died.
The two cases who died were 54 and 51 years-old from Riyadh, who were suffering from pre-existing chronic illnesses. The other patients include:
  • a 50-year-old woman with an underlying medical condition, from Riyadh, who became ill on 1 August 2013 and is currently hospitalized, now off mechanical ventilation;
  • a 59-year-old woman with underlying medical conditions, from Riyadh, who became ill on 23 July 2013 and is currently hospitalized in intensive care unit and is in critical condition;
  • a 50-year-old woman with underlying medical conditions, from Riyadh, who is currently hospitalized in intensive care unit;
  • a 70-year-old man with underlying medical conditions, from Riyadh, who is currently hospitalized in intensive care unit;
  • a 31-year-old man with underlying medical conditions, from Asir, who is currently hospitalized in intensive care unit; and
  • a 55-year-old man from Asir who is a contact of a confirmed case, and is asymptomatic.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 102 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 49 deaths."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

India, Jaipur : 18 people die of deadly H1N1 influenza in last five months

Via DNA India :

" The deadly swine flu (H1N1) is again spreading its tentacles across the state and the authorities are unaware.

According to the data made available from health department, 18 persons succumbed to swine flu in the last five months in state. From April 1 to August 25, a total of 53 people were tested positive for H1N1 influenza in government hospitals, and of them, 18 patients died. This is when the health department claims all preparations were in place to control the virus.

“We are taking every minute step to deal with the virus,” said the department officials.

Notably, about 526 people died of H1N1 in the state in the last four years. From April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, the deadly H1N1 influenza claimed 202 lives, surpassing the year 2009 record when 198 deaths had occurred.

In 2009-10, a total of 3,373 people were tested positive for H1N1. Of them, 198 people had died.

In 2010-11, about 1,384 people tested positive and 105 deaths were reported, and during 2012-13, the figure increased to 202."

Cuba reports 163 cases of cholera

Via Xinhua :

Cuba has detected a new outbreak of cholera that has affected 163 people, including 12 tourists, a Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) report said Tuesday.
"All of them are progressing favorably, without casualties," said the PAHO report, which was compiled with data provided by Cuban health authorities and uploaded to the state-sponsored "Yoandry's blog".
The new cases were detected in the western province of Havana, and eastern Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey, noted the report dated Aug. 23.
Among the affected tourists, two come from Germany, Chile, Spain and Venezuela each, three from Italy and one from the Netherlands."

Italy Takes Steps to Control Bird Flu After Outbreaks, EU Says

Article via Bloomberg, excerpt :

A virulent strain of bird flu was found on three farms in Italy, spurring authorities to kill poultry and restrict movement of some animals to stem the spread of the disease in the country’s first outbreak since 2000.
The strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza was discovered on farms in the region of Emilia-Romagna, in northeast Italy this month, the European Commission said in a statement today. Italian authorities are killing birds and setting up protection and surveillance zones, which restrict movement of poultry and poultry products in eastern Emilia-Romagna and southeastern Veneto, according to the report."

India, Kerala : 117 malaria cases detected in Kozhikode

Via The Hindu, excerpt :

There has been a rise in the number of malaria cases in the district.
The district malaria office on Monday confirmed 117 cases of the disease this year. But a more worrying statistic is that in 19 cases, malaria has been contracted indigenously, revealing that the source of infection is within the district.
“In these 19 cases, the infected people have no history of travel. Tthe infection was not imported but received from local sources within Kozhikode,” sad Vimal Raj, District Malaria Officer, Kozhikode.
Compared to 19 malaria cases contracted locally this year, only one case was reported to have been contracted indigenously in 2012.
Official figures show there is a steep rise in the number of malaria cases in the past five months. While there was one case of malaria reported in March, 5 were detected in April, 3 in July and 10 in August this year. Of this, a majority of 10 cases have been detected within the Kozhikode Corporation, raising serious health concerns for city dwellers. Four of the 19 cases have been found in Beypore alone."

Taiwan : Taipei reports two locally acquired dengue fever cases

Article via Taipei Times :

Two cases of locally acquired dengue fever have been reported in Taipei, marking the first emergence of the tropical disease in the city this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
The centers urged the public to avoid coming in contact with or producing pools of stagnant water to avoid a cluster infection.
Five locally acquired dengue fever cases were confirmed between Aug. 20 and Monday, three of which occurred in Pingtung County and two in Taipei, the health agency said, adding that 10 imported cases have also been reported over the same period.
The two cases of infection in Taipei afflicted a man and a woman, both aged 25. The pair first experienced the onset of the disease’s symptoms on Aug. 14.
None of the people who had close contact with the two individuals have developed any suspicious symptoms, the CDC said."

Nepal : No human tested positive for bird flu‚ claims EDCD

Via The Himalayan Times :

The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division today said bird flu has not been detected in the human population to date, but seven persons — six from Bhaktapur and one from Lalitpur — were found to have been affected by pandemic influenza A(H1N1), commonly known as swine flu, this month. All eight, however, returned home safe after being treated for pandemic and seasonal influenza.

The EDCD had tested influenza samples collected from suspected cases in Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Hetauda between August 4 and August 20, said Kumar Dahal, a public health inspector at the EDCD. None of the samples tested positive for bird flu, avian influenza A (H5N1), said Dahal, adding that 13 samples, recently taken from Kavre, are under lab test. “It will take 72 hours for the results. The EDCD will make public the current status of avian influenza in humans in a couple of days.”

According to Dahal, tests on the seven samples showed pandemic influenza A(H1N1), which was first reported in 2009. Influenza A(H1N1) virus is the subtype of influenza A virus and some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans and cause a small fraction of all influenza-like illness and a small fraction of all seasonal influenza.

The six samples from Jagati, Bhaktapur, were collected on August 4 and one was taken from Jharuwarshi on August 6. The other samples that tested negative were collected from Bhaktapur municipality; Jharuwarshi, Lalitpur; Gothatar, Bhaktapur; Kirtipur, Kathmandu; Kamane; and Chaugadha of Hetauda. “The Walter Reed/AFRIMS Research Unit Nepal, along with the National Public Health Laboratory, is also conducting tests for avian influenza,” Geeta Shakya, Director, NPHL, told THT. The Walter Reed/AFRIMS Research Unit Nepal is an international project supported by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA."

CDC : Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus in Bats, Saudi Arabia

From CDC, via EID Journal, excerpt :

" Abstract

The source of human infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus remains unknown. Molecular investigation indicated that bats in Saudi Arabia are infected with several alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses. Virus from 1 bat showed 100% nucleotide identity to virus from the human index case-patient. Bats might play a role in human infection.

Since Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) was described in September 2012, over 90 cases have been reported worldwide, 70 from Saudi Arabia. The incidence of infection with the causative agent, a betacoronavirus (MERS CoV), has not been determined; however, the mortality rate among those who received clinical care is ≈65%.

Although instances of human-to-human transmission have been documented between case-patients and others in close contact (including hospital patients sharing rooms, family members, and medical personnel), the sources of infection for most patients remain unknown. Because of sequence similarities between β-CoVs identified in bats and those of MERS CoV isolated from humans, a bat reservoir has been posited.

Although neither detection of MERS CoV in bats nor contact of human MERS patients with bats have been reported, a role for bats in human infection cannot be excluded because contact can be indirect (mediated through another animal vector or fomites)."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bubonic plague kills boy in Kyrgyzstan

Via Telegraph :

" A teenage boy has died of bubonic plague in Kyrgyzstan, health officials have confirmed, adding that an epidemic was not likely.

The 15-year-old was a herder from a small mountain village of Ichke-Zhergez in eastern Kyrgyzstan, close to the border with Kazakhstan and the Issyk-Kul lake.

He died last Thursday in the Karakol regional hospital, the ministry said in a statement."

Nepal : Bird flu in one more Kavre farm

Via The Himalayan Times :

Bird flu has been confirmed in one more hatchery in Kavre. With this, the disease has been confirmed in six farms and hatcheries in the district. 

According to senior veterinary Dr Hari Kumar Raghu Shrestha at District Livestock Office Kavre, bird flu was confirmed at Prabhat Poultry Breeding Farm belonging to Ishwor Sharma at Bakhundol, Dhulikhel, after the sample sent to the laboratory in Tripureswor tested positive. 

A rapid response team culled more than 10,000 of the 30,000 parent fowls at the farm. 

Earlier, a rapid response team had culled around 8,000 healthy fowls in neighbouring farms belonging to Saroj Budhathoki, 
Shiv Hari Badal, Kripa Bista, Rabindra Deuja, and Jayanti Thapa. It is estimated that the six infected farms have incurred a loss of more than Rs 20 crore."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Thailand : Border offices go on H5N1 virus alert

Via Bangkok Post :

Public Health Minister Pradit Sintawanarong has ordered public health offices in seven provinces along the Thai-Cambodian border to monitor the possible spread of the H5N1 virus.
The seven provinces are Trat, Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi, Buri Ram, Si Sa Ket, Surin and Ubon Ratchathani.
Dr Pradit said it is possible the virus could spread to the border after reports of avian flu cases in Cambodia.
He said the H5N1 virus was most active during the rainy season and in cool and humid weather.
Dr Pradit said this virus was especially contagious as it could be passed from person to person, and he warned that children and the elderly are especially vulnerable. 
He said in severe cases, the virus can prove fatal, as victims can die from pneumonia and respiratory failure."

Malaysia, Johor : Dengue cases rising

Via The Star :

 The number of dengue cases in the Johor has more than doubled for the first half of this year compared to the same period last year.
The first half of this year saw a total of 1,660 cases - more than two times compared to slightly over 800 cases for the corresponding period last year.
The Johor Baru district recorded the highest number of cases with 1,124 compared to 443 cases last year, which was an increase of 153.7%, said Health Exco Datuk Ayub Rahmat.
He said an analysis by the National Public Health Laboratory based on samples taken from several clinics nationwide showed that the virus known as Den 2 was the main cause of the infection.
“The Den 2 virus is more powerful than the Den 1 virus that infected victims before this,” he said, adding that seven deaths have been recorded compared to one death in the first half 2012.
He was replying to Dr Boo Cheng Hao (DAP-Skudai) who asked about the number of dengue and leptospirosis, commonly called the ‘rat urine disease’ cases in Johor and the reason of for the increase.
He added that the rise of cases could be due to the human body, which was vulnerable to Den 2 and have not developed immunity to the new virus."

India, Pune : Swine flu claims two more lives, PMC toll touches 38

Via The Indian Express :

With two more deaths registered over the weekend, the Pune Municipal Corporation's (PMC) swine flu toll has touched 38 since January.

Pratibha Haribhakt (45) from Koregaon Park, who had been suffering from fever and cough since August 18, succumbed to the virus at Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital on Sunday. She had been undergoing treatment for diabetes and hypertension for the past one year. She was shifted to Inlaks from Shree Hospital at Yerawada on August 20 after she complained of breathlessness.

Chetan Shah (37), a resident of Katraj, succumbed to the virus on Saturday at Sahyadri Hospital. He had been suffering from cough since August 17 and had fever with chills. He had a cerebro vascular arrest seven years ago and was on regular medication. He complained of breathlessness on August 23 and was admitted to Shree Sai Prasad Hospital. He was later referred to Sahyadri Hospital, Swargate, where he succumbed to the virus.

PMC health authorities said that seven people are undergoing treatment for swine flu at various hospitals across the city while two are on ventilator support.

So far, as many as 244 people have tested positive for the virus."

Malaysia : Leptospirosis cases on the rise

Via NST :

The incidence of leptospirosis is on the rise, with 18 deaths out of 1,768 cases nationwide as at last June, according to Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
He said the number of cases reported to the Health ministry in 2011 was 2,268 with 55 deaths while last year, 3,665 with 48 deaths.
"The trend is worrying particularly as awareness of the disease is low among the local community.
"Hence there must be cooperation from all parties to play a role in curbing its spread," he told reporters after launching the national-level Rat Control Campaign at Menggatal town near here today.
He said the ministry was drawing up a guideline for the local authorities to implement in their rat control activities.
Earlier Abdul Rahman said the ministry had allocated more than RM3.2 million for vector control programmes in the country."

Mauritians express concern about H1N1 flu

Via Afrique Jet, excerpt : 

 With two deaths reported in a week following complications linked to H1N1 flu and scores of people going to hospital with the symptoms, Mauritians are beginning to express concern about the proliferation of the type A of the virus in the island.

The director for Health Services, Dr Tilochun Ram Nundlall, says that three types of virus are circulating in the island: A, B and C.

“If the C virus is more seldom, those of A and B are constantly present in the island so much so that, the H1N1 flu has become a seasonal flu. No need now to express concern but precautions are, however, to be taken,” he said.

Dr Nundlall stressed that there is no epidemic of H1N1 in Mauritius."

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ecuador's H1N1 flu death toll rises to 23

Via Xinhua :

" The H1N1 influenza A virus has killed 23 people and infected 331 others in 22 of the total 24 provinces of Ecuador so far this year, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health announced on Friday.

According to the latest published epidemiological report, the virus mainly prevails in the provinces of the Mountain-Center and North region, with an increase of the cases reported in the Coastal region and occasional cases in Mountain-South and Amazonian regions.

Four of the 23 deaths occurred last week, the report said, adding that the health authorities have implemented sanitary measures to stop the virus from spreading throughout the whole country.

Drugstores are still banned from selling anti-flu, anti-inflammatory or pain reliever drugs without prescription, since the self-medication may hide the virus' symptoms and prevent clinical diagnosis, the report said.

The Ministry of Public Health will launch a vaccination campaign in October and November to immunize some 4 million people against the virus."

Global MERS count tops 100 with latest from Saudi Arabia

From Robert Roos at CIDRAP :

" In a brief statement, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported three more cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), apparently pushing the global case count over 100.

The agency said two of the cases involve a 31-year-old male citizen who has several chronic diseases and is in stable condition in intensive care, and a 55-year-old male citizen who has no symptoms. The older man had contact with a confirmed case-patient. Both cases are in the Asir province in the country's southwest.

In addition, the ministry said a 51-year-old man in Riyadh who had chronic illnesses has died of a coronavirus infection, but it didn't specify whether or not his case was reported previously. The statement apparently was issued late yesterday.

The MOH's English-language media page for MERS-CoV today listed a total of 82 cases with 41 deaths in the country. That amounts to three more cases and one more death than the page showed yesterday, suggesting that all three cases are new."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hong Kong : Fever patient with travel history under CHP investigation

Press release from CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) received notification from Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) today (August 22) of a suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome affecting a 12-year-old girl.

The patient has presented with fever, cough and sore throat since August 21. She was admitted to PMH today and is currently under isolation for further management.

Her chest X-ray is clear and she is now in stable condition.

Initial investigations by the CHP revealed that the patient had travelled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi from August 17 to 21.

The patient had no animal contact or contact with patients during her trip. Her mother and elder sister had flu-like symptoms since August 21 but both are currently afebrile. Other home contacts are asymptomatic.

The patient's respiratory specimens will be taken for preliminary laboratory tests by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.

Locally, the CHP will continue its surveillance mechanism at public and private hospitals, with practising doctors and at the airport for any suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome."

New H7N7 bird flu strain found in chickens in China: study

Article via Xinhua, excerpt :

" A new strain of bird flu that can infect and kill animals has been discovered in chickens in poultry markets in China, according to a new study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Having studied samples from birds for the H7N9 virus, researchers at the University of Hong Kong said genetic tests suggested the virus entered domestic ducks from wild birds and then infected chickens, which are probably the origin of infection to humans.

The research team also discovered a new virus called H7N7 in chickens. Lab tests showed H7N7 was also able to cause severe pneumonia in ferrets, which are usually used as proxies for humans in flu research.
Zhu Huachen, one of the leading authors of the paper, told Xinhua that H7 viruses probably transferred from ducks to chickens on at least two independent occasions and that reassortment with H9N2 viruses generated the H7N9 outbreak lineage.

Although the H7N7 viruses carry only some of the molecular markers present in the human H7N9 isolates, the authors suggested the current pandemic threat could extend beyond H7N9 viruses, and that long-term influenza surveillance was essential for early warning of new viruses and interspecies transmission events."

Trinidad and Tobago : Freeport grandad dies from dengue

Via Guardian :

" Relatives of Freeport grandfather Haniff Ali were looking forward to planning a celebration for his 59th birthday next week. Instead, they are making preparations for his funeral. Ali, of Calcutta No 1, Freeport, died from dengue haemorrhagic fever around 1.35 am yesterday at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the San Fernando General Hospital, where he had been warded since last Tuesday. When the T&T Guardian visited Ali’s home yesterday, relatives were still in shock and trying to come to terms with his death.

His daughter Krista, 23, said she was expecting her father to come home this week when they would have planned his birthday party for August 28. When the T&T Guardian arrived yesterday, relatives were removing a “Happy Birthday” banner from their front porch, which they had left hanging up in anticipation of Ali’s birthday celebrations on his return. The banner, they said, had been there since they held a birthday party earlier in the month for Ali’s granddaughter Celine, who turned eight.

Krista said her father was diagnosed with dengue last Saturday by their private doctor and was being treated with medication and intravenous (IV) drips. She said he was feeling better after that initial treatment. However, she said her father, a Revenue Officer IV at the Inland Revenue Office, Chaguanas, went to bed last Monday and woke up around 3 am bleeding."

India, Pune : Woman dies of swine flu week after giving birth

Article via The Indian Express :

A 27-year-old woman, who had delivered a baby girl on August 13 at Dhanwantari Hospital in Satara, died of swine flu at Ruby Hall Clinic on Tuesday.

The condition of the victim, Dhanashree Jadhav, who had been suffering from mild fever and cough since August 6 worsened as she complained of breathlessness. 

Initially, she was admitted to Sanjeevani Hospital at Satara and later was shifted to Ruby Hall Clinic after her condition deteriorated. She was diagnosed with myco plasma pneumonia due to the swine flu infection. 

Her throat swab tested positive for the virus on August 17 and she succumbed to the disease on Tuesday. 

While she hails from Satara, she has been registered as the 36th swine flu victim under the jurisdiction of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) as she died at a city hospital. So far, as many as 243 people in the city have been tested positive with the virus since January this year."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Qatar reports third Mers case

Via Gulf News :

" A 59-year-old Qatari man has been diagnosed with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (Mers-CoV), Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has said.

The case brings to three the number of people affected by the virus in Qatar.

In June, a 49-year-old Qatari man, who was the first to be diagnosed with the virus, died at a London hospital following his admission in September.

SCH said that the second case was responding to treatment and was doing well.

The newly infected man was reported to have felt the symptoms while abroad, but underwent a check-up upon his arrival in Qatar.

He was diagnosed with the disease following tests conducted at the National Influenza Laboratory, the SCH said in a statement reported in the local media on Wednesday.

The council said that the patient was receiving “appropriate” medical treatment and that “he is now in a stable condition”.

Surveillance and monitoring procedures are being strictly followed and prompt measures taken for the infection control of all cases of acute respiratory infections, especially those coming back from abroad, the statement said.

“All samples of suspected Mers-CoV cases are being examined at the National Influenza Laboratory in co-ordination with Hamad Medical Corporation.”

India, Madhya Pradesh : Swine flu claims ninth victim in Bhopal

Via IBN Live :

A 32-year-old man, who worked as a cameraman with a local news channel, died of swine flu at Bhopal, hospital on Tuesday.

The deceased, Santosh Joshi, had been admitted to a private hospital about a fortnight back and was diagnosed with swine flu. Joshi, who was on a ventilator, succumbed to the H1N1 virus on Monday, they said.
According to the health authorities, Joshi was the ninth swine flu victim in Bhopal this year."

102 cases of dengue fever reported in SW China

Via Shanghai Daily :

A total of 102 cases of dengue fever have been reported in Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna in southwest China's Yunnan Province since the disease was first discovered in the prefecture last Thursday.
They include four imported cases, according to the prefecture government's information office on Tuesday.
The prefecture government is asking local residents to kill mosquitoes to prevent the disease.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne, potentially fatal disease that affects between 50 and 100 million people in the tropics and subtropics each year, resulting in fever and muscle and joint aches."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

India, Pune : Swine flu toll in district touches 48 since January

Via The Indian Express :

The areas under Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) recorded the 35th death due to swine flu (H1N1 virus) since January when Hiraman Mohol, 51, of Kothrud died on August 17 at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital.

The toll from Pune stands at 48 if the 13 deaths in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) area too is taken into account.

Mohol was suffering from fever and cough since July 23. His presumptive source of infection was his travel to Pandharpur on July 18, 19, said PMC health authorities. He was on medication for hypertension and was admitted to the hospital on August 2. The NIV report tested positive for swine flu and despite a prolonged treatment he succumbed. He died of acute respiratory distress syndrome with septic shock."

Singapore : Dengue cases spike after weeks of decline

Via Channel News Asia :

The number of weekly dengue cases reported has trended upwards after several weeks of decline.
From August 11 to 17 this year, 378 cases were reported, compared to 256 the previous week.
There have been 14,652 dengue cases reported so far this year.
They included a 52-year-old man, who died on August 13, bringing the local dengue death toll to five this year."

Saturday, August 17, 2013

HK bans import of poultry products from part of Italy

Press release from CHP :

" The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today (August 17) that in view of the notifications from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) about an outbreak of highly-pathogenic H7 avian influenza on a layer hen farm in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, import of poultry and poultry products, including poultry eggs, from this area has been banned with immediate effect for the protection of Hong Kong's public and animal health.

A CFS spokesman said about 2 076 tonnes of frozen poultry meat and 120 000 poultry eggs from Italy were imported into Hong Kong last year."

India : Quarantined Navi Mumbai man tests negative for MERS-CoV

Via DNA India :

" The 40-year-old Navi Mumbai resident, who was quarantined in Kasturba Hospital for suspected Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV), tested negative and will be discharged soon, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s health official on Friday.

The man had a history of travelling to Middle East for business and after returning got fever and a progressing pneumonia. His general physician from Navi Mumbai referred him to Kasturba Hospital where he was quarantined and sputum samples sent to National Institute of Virology (Pune) for testing.

Dr Mangala Gomare, epidemiologist (BMC) said: “His MERS-CoV report came this morning confirming that he is not suffering from the disease. He also tested negative for swine flu.”

Dr Gomare added that the man is responding well to medication and there is no need to press the panic button on MERS-CoV.

As a precautionary measure, the BMC asked the state government to give them guidelines and protocol on dealing with MERS-CoV."

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nepal : 53‚308 chickens culled in Bhaktapur

Via The Himalayan Times :

" As many as 53,308 chickens were culled in Bhaktapur, a bird flu-hit zone, on Thursday.

The government on Wednesday announced the district a bird flu emergency zone after many efforts of controlling the avian influenza that broke out in the district some two weeks ago, became unsuccessful.

According to Chief of the District Livestock Services Office, Khagendra Raj Bhatta, 53,308 chickens kept in 26 poultry farms were culled and 181,526 eggs and 4,363 kg of feed were destroyed. Ten teams have been deputed to cull remaining chickens on Friday.

Prior to this, 276,853 bird flu-infected fowls were culled, 624,010 eggs and 27,085 kilogrammes of feed were destroyed."

Nepal to cull 500,000 chickens near Kathmandu to combat major bird flu outbreak

Via ABC News :

" Half a million chickens are to be culled in a district on the outskirts of Nepal's capital Kathmandu, as efforts to combat a major outbreak of bird flu are stepped up.

Tens of thousands of birds have already been killed in what government officials have described as one of the country's worst outbreaks of avian flu.

Now authorities in the Himalayan nation have declared the area of Bhaktapur an emergency zone.

Some 62 cases of bird flu have been recorded at 250 poultry farms in three districts in the past few weeks, officials said.

A spokesman for the Directorate of Animal Health said the government ordered the cull to be stepped up after a week-long ban imposed on the sales of poultry products failed to control the H5N1 virus."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

H7N9 bird flu kills 45 on Chinese mainland

Via Xinhua :

" The H7N9 bird flu has killed 45 people on the Chinese mainland since the first human infection was confirmed in late March, a health official said on Thursday.

A total of 135 cases of H7N9 infections have been confirmed, with 134 on the mainland and one in Taiwan, said Wang Yu, director with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wang was speaking at an international symposium on the prevention and treatment of new types of influenza.

"There are still many unknown conditions relating to the H7N9 bird flu virus as well as diseases that might result from it, and the risks of pandemic influenza caused by a new type of avian influenza virus should not be underestimated," Wang said."

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

India, Bangalore : Dengue cases rising alarmingly

Via Deccan Herald :

The number of dengue cases in the City has increased threefold with over 500 fresh cases reported in July and August till date. 

As per the BBMP's Health department's records, 744 cases were positive for dengue in the City since January 2013. 

The BBMP health officials say July, August and September are the peak months for mosquito breeding and, it is quite natural that dengue positive cases have increased in July and August. As per statistics, the BBMP recorded 13 positive cases in January, seven in February, eight in March, nine in April, 39 in May, 139 in June, and peaked in July recording 476 and 53 cases in August till date. However, no deaths have been reported."

New Zealand : Top risk factors identified for children with influenza

Article via Scoop :

Auckland medical scientists have helped to identify crucial risk factors for children most susceptible to life threatening infections from the H1N1 influenza virus.

Lead study author Dr Stuart Dalziel and senior research fellow Dr John Thompson from The University of Auckland worked with an international team of paediatric specialists to identify the risk factors.

It is the first study to detail which clinical factors in children at hospital arrival with influenza-like illness and H1N1 infection, are associated with the progressive risk to either severe infection or death.

In the study, now on online in the prestigious British Medical Journal, researchers examined paediatric cases from dozens of emergency departments in hospitals around the world during the global influenza pandemic of 2009.

The results enabled the team to pinpoint several clinical risk factors for severe infections in youngsters who arrive at a hospital with influenza-like illnesses due to H1N1 infections.

The information would be invaluable during a pandemic, when emergency departments and primary-care facilities experience large surges of young patients who arrive with flu-like symptoms.

“The basic question clinicians face when they are in the middle of an influenza epidemic like H1N1 is whether their patient is at risk of severe complications,” says Stuart Dalziel, lead author and a paediatrician at New Zealand’s Starship Children’s Hospital and The University of Auckland, and Vice-Chair of the Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative (PREDICT) network."

Singapore's 5th dengue death this year

Via Channel News Asia :

A 52-year-old Chinese man has died of dengue, the fifth local dengue death this year.
The victim lived at Corporation Walk, said a joint statement by the Ministry of Health and the National Environment Agency (NEA).
The patient was first seen at Jurong Polyclinic on 29 June this year with a two-day history of fever.
He returned to the polyclinic on 4 July as he was still having fever and was referred by the polyclinic to the National University Hospital (NUH) emergency department.
He was admitted to NUH's Medical Intensive Care Unit on the same day and was diagnosed with Dengue Shock Syndrome.
The patient's condition improved transiently after dialysis and supportive therapy but he remained critically ill with low blood counts.
The patient's condition deteriorated after he developed pneumonia with septic shock on Sunday and he died on Tuesday."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cambodia reports two new human cases of bird flu

Via Xinhua :

" Two more new human cases of avian influenza have been confirmed for the H5N1 virus in Cambodia, bringing the number of the cases to 16 so far this year, a joint statement by the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry said Tuesday.

The statement said that one case is a nine-year-old boy from northwestern Battambang Province, who was admitted to the Jayavarman VII Hospital in Siem Reap with fever, cough, vomit, abdominal pain and dyspnea on Aug. 4, and was confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza on Friday last week.

"The boy is currently in a stable condition," the statement said.

The other case is a five-year-old girl from Southern Kandal Province, who was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh on Friday last week with fever, cough, sore throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea and dyspnea, and she was confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza a day later.

"The girl was treated with Tamiflu and is currently in a critical condition," it said.

The two patients have touched dead or sick poultry before they became sick, the statement said.

Avian influenza H5N1 remained a serious threat to the health of all Cambodians, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said."

India, Pune : Another H1N1 death, 5 critical, 12 new cases

Via DNA India :

A 67-year-old man hailing from Bopakaon taluka in Purandar district who was admitted to Bharati Hospital at Katraj became the fourth person to succumb to swine flu infection in the last three days at various hospitals in the city.

The man died on August 11 at 5pm. The patient was reportedly delaying treatment. When finally he went to the doctor, his swab tests confirmed on August 1 that he was infected by swine flu.
He was immediately administered Tamiflu, but his condition went on worsening and he had to be shifted on a ventilator. The cause of his death, PMC officials said, was septic shock with acute kidney injury with bilateral pneumonia.

Meanwhile, five other patients continue to be on ventilator support while 12 more positive patients have been admitted to various city hospitals."

Canada : West Nile, avian flu ruled out in Winnipeg bird deaths

Article via CBC News :

Early test results have ruled out several known bird diseases in the deaths of dozens of grackles in Winnipeg's North End last week.

At least 50 of the black birds were found dead near the intersection of King Street and Dufferin Avenue on Wednesday, baffling many people who live and work in the area.
Preliminary test results have eliminated the West Nile virus, avian influenza and Newcastle disease as causes of death, a provincial government spokesperson told CBC News on Monday.
Tests on the deceased birds are still in progress, the spokesperson said."

India, Uttar Pradesh : Dengue claims 35-yr-old youth's life in Gomtinagar

Article via Times of India :

 In a shocking incident reported from the city, a 35-year-old youth died due to dengue shock syndrome at a private hospital in the state capital on Monday morning. He was identified asManoj Yadav who was living in VipulKhand area of the city. Dr HNTripathi, who attended to the patient, confirmed that Yadav died of dengue shock syndrome.

According to Dr Tripathi, Yadav was brought to the hospital at around 5pm on Sunday evening and tests confirmed that he was suffering from dengue. Dr Tripathi stated that Yadav breathed his last at 11.08 am on Monday morning. Chief medical officer of Lucknow, Dr SNS Yadav however denied any information in this regard.

Experts however warned against dengue. They advised taking precautions since dengue mosquito breeds in water. "People should ensure that no water is left in the coolers, old vessels, tyres or junk," said the CMO. For drains and open patches, he suggested that people can pour burnt oil to form a film so that mosquitoes do not get a place to breed. He also advised people to wear full-sleeve clothes as far as possible."

Monday, August 12, 2013

India, Odisha : Nurse dies of dengue in Angul

Via The Statesman :

" Angul district reported its first dengue death today with a nurse of MCL central hospital succumbing to the mosquito-borne disease while undergoing treatment at a private clinical establishment in Bhubaneswar.

Forty-five year old, Sema Manjari Sahu, was found dengue positive about 20 days ago and had been shifted to Bhubaneswar immediately.

According to chief of the central hospital Mr S Shukla here, her condition had deteriorated with failure of kidney and other vital organs. The end came this afternoon.

The victim belonged to the Bonai area of Sundergarh district.

Meanwhile, her death spread panic in the industrial town. Angul district counts for the second highest district-wise tally of dengue patients."

China : Expert - Low possibility of wide H7N9 outbreak in Guangdong

Article via CCTV :

A new case of the H7N9 "bird flu" virus has been confirmed in China and it’s the first confirmed case in the southern province of Guangdong. Health officials there say a female patient from Huizhou tested positive for the virus.
The head of Guangdong’s anti-H7N9 specialist team said the patient is currently in critical condition. He also noted that the case is NOT a sign of a widespread H7N9 outbreak.
Zhong Nanshan, Head, Guangdong Anti-H7N9 Specialist Team, said, "The number of H7N9 cases have decreased since May when the weather became hot. But in July, one case was reported in Hebei province. And now another case was reported at the beginning of August in Guangdong Province’s Huizhou City. A widespread outbreak usually features a group of cases all at the same time. But for now, these are only individual cases.
The official said it is still unclear how the virus was transmitted. But he added that taking anti-virus medicine can be helpful in treating patients who contract flu-like symptoms after coming in contact with poultry. The latest patient is a 51-year-old woman. She has been transferred to Guangzhou for further treatment. She is said to be conscious and in stable condition. The woman worked in a market for many years, slaughtering poultry."

India, Mumbai : 61% of H1N1 victims in Maharashtra young and fit

Article via Times of India :

The H1N1 infection appears to have zeroed in on the young and the healthy this year. An analysis of the 105 statewide deaths has revealed around 61% of the victims did not have any co-morbid condition.

Also, 44 out of the 105 deceased, around 42%, were in their 20s and 30s. Three teenagers were also among those who succumbed while two infants, including a one-month-old, were among its youngest victims. Another 25 each were in the age groups of 41 to 50 and 51 to 70. Five senior citizens aged 71 to 80 also fell prey to the viral infection that caused a global pandemic in 2009."

Saturday, August 10, 2013

China : Guangdong confirms human H7N9 infection case

Via Xinhua :

" A human infection with the H7N9 strain of avian influenza was confirmed in south China's Guangdong Province, Guangdong's health department said Saturday.

Sample of a 51-year-old woman surnamed Chen tested positive for the H7N9 virus at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday, confirming the results of tests conducted by the Guangdong provincial center for disease control and prevention on Friday, the department said in a statement.

Chen was admitted to Huizhou City Central People's Hospital on Aug. 3 after having a fever for one week. She has been a poultry slaughtering worker in an agricultural products trade market for many years in Boluo County.

She was transferred to the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University for treatment on Friday night. She is in critical condition.

In July, the Chinese mainland reported a single H7N9 avian flu case in which a patient from north China's Hebei Province was diagnosed in Beijing, bringing the total number of infections on the mainland to 133. Of the cases, 44 have ended in death, according to the the National Health and Family Planning Commission."

Friday, August 9, 2013

China reports new suspected human infection with H7N9

Via Xinhua :

" A new suspected case of human infection of the H7N9 strain of avian influenza was reported on Friday in south China's Guangdong Province.

The Guangdong Provincial Department of Heath announced that the sample from a female patient in Huizhou City had tested positive for the virus in initial tests on Tuesday.

The 51-year-old woman had reported contacts with live poultry, the department said.

The sample has been submitted to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation, it said."

India, Gujarat : Leptospirosis claims five more in Surat

Via The Indian Express, excerpt :

The deadly leptospirosis has claimed five lives in Surat's New Civil Hospital in the past two days, taking the toll to 11.

Every year, monsoon brings fear of an outbreak among farm workers in the state. But this year, it certainly left the health officials in a tizzy. During the monsoon, farm workers run the risk of being affected by the leptospira bacteria that causes leptospirosis, a disease that can turn fatal very fast.

This year, the disease had raised its ugly head a little late, with patients starting to come in for treatment only during the last week of July. While five new suspected patients had been admitted to the hospital recently, the total number of patients who came in this season have reached 50.
The five patients who died have been identified as Rushita Kanu Patel (34), a resident of Upsal village in Vansda taluka of Navsari district, while others are identified as Babu Chaudhary (40), a resident of Ambach village in Tapi district, Sunil Chaudhary (42), a resident of Mandvi taluka in Surat district, Harsingh Chaudhary (45), of Mandvi taluka, and Hitesh Rathod (35), of Palsana taluka in Surat district."

Peru: First death from A/H3N2

Machine translated article from Latina Press :

" In the South American country of Peru first fatal case of influenza A/H3N2 has been reported on Thursday (8). According to the health authorities, a patient suffering from chronic diabetes and pneumonia 58-year-old man died in the city of Chincha, in the southern region of Ica. The hospital epidemiologist in San Jose, Marco Guerrero, warns of the risk of rapid spread and has called for drastic measures to curb the regional authorities.

According to the National Institutes of Health, this is the nation's first case of this subtype of human influenza (Fujian type). A global outbreak of 1968 was the cause of a pandemic, which was called Hong Kong flu. Are occupied, for example, transitions from pigs to humans. From 1968 to 1970 approximately 800,000 people died from the disease."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hong Kong : CHP advises kindergarten cum child care centre with HFMD outbreak to suspend classes

Press release from CHP :

" The Salvation Army Pak Tin Nursery School, a kindergarten cum child care centre in Pak Tin Estate, Sham Shui Po, has been advised by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health to suspend classes from today (August 8) for two weeks until August 21 following an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) affecting 22 pupils.

Further to the CHP's investigation into the outbreak affecting 21 pupils on August 5, an additional case in which a four-year-old girl developed oral ulcers was reported today. The girl subsequently sought medical attention and did not require hospitalisation.

This brings the total number of affected pupils to 22, comprising 15 boys and seven girls aged from one to five. They have developed oral ulcers as well as rashes and vesicles on their hands or feet since July 7. All the affected pupils sought medical consultation and no hospitalisation was required. All of them are currently in stable condition.

The stool specimen of one of the affected pupils tested positive both for Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and Coxsackie virus A6 upon laboratory testing by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.

The school management has stepped up infection control measures according to the CHP's health advice following officers' site visits on July 15 and August 1. As an additional case has emerged in spite of enhanced infection control, the school was advised to suspend classes for thorough disinfection with a view to stopping further transmission of the virus."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bird flu strain in China 'passed between humans'

From BBC, excerpt :

Researchers have reported the first case of human-to-human transmission of the new strain of bird flu that has emerged in China.

The British Medical Journal said a 32-year-old woman was infected after caring for her father. Both later died.
Until now there had been no evidence of anyone catching the H7N9 virus other than after direct contact with birds.
But experts stressed it does not mean the virus has developed the ability to spread easily between humans.
By 30 June there had been 133 cases of H7N9 bird flu reported in eastern China and 43 deaths.
Most people had visited live poultry markets or had close contact with live poultry in the week or two before they became ill."