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Friday, December 31, 2010

Scotland : Flu Crisis As Death Toll Rises

Via Express :

" SWINE flu is tightening its grip on Scotland with the virus claiming the lives of two people in just seven days.

Cases of flu have leapt by a fifth north of the Border in the past week, with 12 people critically ill in hospital with the H1N1 strain of the virus.

Four Scots have now died after contracting swine flu this winter, with 23 people needing treatment in intensive care, latest figures show."

Jordan confirms 11 fresh swine flu cases

An article from KUNA :

" AMMAN, Dec 30 : Eleven new H1N1 (swine flu) cases were confirmed on Thursday here, bringing the total number of cases in the Kingdom to 44, including four deaths.

Twelve H1N1 patients have recovered from of the disease.

Eleven patients are currently receiving treatment at home, while 17 remain hospitalized, the Jordanian News Agency (Petra) quoted a statement by the health ministry as saying."

US : CDC - Flu season picks up, widespread in 5 states

From Associated Press :

" ATLANTA : Flu season appears to be picking up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says five states had widespread reports of flu last week, up from zero two weeks earlier."

South Korea : Man dies of H1N1 in metro hospital

Via Joong Ang Daily :

" A patient yesterday died from the H1N1 virus, the so-called swine flu which swept nationwide in 2009, at a hospital in the metropolitan region as concerns grew about the spreading of other viruses, including foot-and-mouth disease and avian flu.

According to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 29-year old man visited a hospital on Monday complaining of a fever and muscle aches. The next day, it found he was infected with the H1N1 virus and sent him home.

The hospital prescribed antibiotics. The patient’s symptoms worsened early Wednesday morning and he was hospitalized.

He died later that day.You Dong-sook, a 36-year old actress, died from H1N1 in November after being infected while attending a film festival in Rome. Whether Wednesday’s victim travelled abroad has not been confirmed, the center said."

Hong Kong : Update on impending flu season

Another press release from Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection :

" The Centre of Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has provided an update on overseas and local influenza activity in the latest issue of its online publication, Communicable Diseases Watch, released today (December 30).

It was noted that recently there have been increases in influenza activity in some countries/areas in Europe and North America. I

n the United Kingdom (UK), the winter influenza season is under way. Both community and hospital data showed a steady upward trend in seasonal influenza activity with reports of outbreaks and severe cases.

From the week ending September 12 until December 22, 2010, a total of 27 fatal cases were verified by the UK's Health Protection Agency as related to influenza infection, mostly due to influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (i.e., human swine influenza) and influenza B.

The majority of death cases did not receive the influenza vaccine."

Hong Kong : CHP detects a case of NDM-1 producing Enterobacteriaceae

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

" The Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) has identified a case of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (NDM-1) producing Enterobacteriaceae in a patient from India.

The patient, a 54-year-old Indian lady who was hospitalised in India for subdural haematoma for about three months from May 2010, came to Hong Kong on December 15. She was admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital on December 17 for respiratory distress.

A strain of E. coli harbouring NDM-1 was detected from her rectal swab. No outbreak was detected in the ward. Her home contacts were asymptomatic.

A spokesman for CHP said it is likely to be colonisation as the patient showed no active signs of infection. Investigations are underway and there is presently no sign of spread."

Indonesia : Temanggung, Central Java - Bird flu in chickens

From Ida at Bird Flu Information Corner :

" Temanggung : Total 350 chickens died of bird flu H5N1 in Dusun Draju, Desa Mergowati, Kecamatan Kedu, Central Java. Of all, 300 are broilers from a partnership commercial farm and 50 are backyard chickens belong to locals.

This incident has been confirmed by Head of Livestock and Fishery Service (Disnakkan), Slamet Saryono.

“We received reports of bird flu suspicion, and then confirmed it by rapid test to the dead chickens,” said Slamet.

Poultry death was first observed on chickens belong to local people. After several days, a commercial farm also experienced gradual chicken death, Slamet added.

The virus is suggested to have spread from household chickens reared by locals to commercial farm."

Malaysia : Dengue cases up by 12% this year

Via The Star :

" PETALING JAYA: A total of 45,901 dengue cases were reported this year, the Health Ministry said.

The figure was an increase of 11.9% from the 41,006 cases in 2009.

The number of dengue deaths also increased with 134 this year compared to 87 in 2009.
The ministry attributed the rise in cases and deaths to secondary infection by four different types of dengue virus or serotype.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said a secondary infection was an infection that occurs during or after treatment of an existing infection.

He said there were four types of dengue serotype – DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4 – that could cause dengue, and immunity against one of these types did not protect one against the other three."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

S. Korea reports suspected case of bird flu

Via Xinhua :

" SEOUL, Dec. 30 : A suspected case of bird flu has been reported from a chicken farm in a southeastern region of the country, raising concerns over a fresh outbreak of bird flu amid South Korea's struggle with the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Thursday.

The ministry said a chicken farm in Iksan, North Jeolla Province, reported a suspected case of bird flu late Wednesday. Another suspected case was reported from a duck farm in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province.

Health officials are testing samples from both farms, the ministry said."

Philippines : DoH maximizes drive vs. dengue

Via Daily Star :

" MANILA : Throughout the year, the Department of Health waged an all-out campaign against dengue.

The disease caused by a breed of mosquito claimed the lives of at least 500 people by middle of this year. To prevent more deaths, DoH officials encouraged the public to maximize their health centers for consultations before bringing their patient to the hospital in an effort to declog public hospitals of long queues in the dengue express lane.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona cited San Lazaro Hospital’s average of 500 consultations a day with only 30 admitted as dengue cases. Ona said that the number of new cases had been going down since August, except in some cities of Metro Manila. Dengue peaks during the rainy months, particularly during the month of August.

The DOH said that the number of dengue cases nationwide reached 69,594 in the first eights months of this year."

Canada : Three prisoners at B.C. jail come down with H1N1 flu; outbreak not unusual

Via Winnipeg Free Press :

" VANCOUVER : Three female prisoners at a Metro Vancouver jail have been diagnosed with the H1N1 flu.

A government spokeswoman says the inmates at the Surrey Pre-Trial Centre were given Tamiful as soon as their symptoms appeared and one has already recovered.

The spokeswoman says it's not unusual to see some flu cases at this time of year in the prison system and in fact there's been only a minimal number of cases this winter.

In addition to medication for the affected inmates, isolation precautions have been put in place at the Surrey jail and other prisoners are being monitored."

Egypt : H1N1 claims one life, infects 28 throughout Egypt

Via Al Masry Al Youm :

" One Gharbiya Governorate resident died on Wednesday as a result of H1N1 infection. Twenty-eight additional cases were also discovered, according to the Ministry of Health.

Twenty six patients are currently being treated for the virus with the pharmaceutical drug Tamiflu at Tanta and Mahalla Fever Hospitals after showing symptoms of the virus.

Another nine suspected cases are receiving treatment at hospitals in Beheira Governorate, and another 12 are receiving treatment in Daqahliya.

In Sharqiya Governorate, two children--eight and two years old--from Zagazig are being treated for the virus in Sidnawi Hospital."

Mom, newborn die of swine flu in Scotland

An article from UPI, excerpt :

" PRESTON, Scotland, Dec. 29 : A Scottish mother and her newborn died from swine flu during the holidays and another new mother is struggling to hang on, hospital officials said.
The Daily Record reported Tuesday Julie Ellison, 31, died a few hours after her baby Jessica died during labor Christmas Eve at a hospital in Preston, Lancashire.

"I've lost everything. Why is life so cruel?" asked Ellison's partner, Tom Howe. "It should have been the happiest day of my life. I don't know what to do, I am devastated. I can't put into words what this has done to me," said Howe, who lost his father to cancer in November.

Meanwhile, Ashleigh Morrison continues to fight a severe infection at Crosshouse Hospital in Ayrshire, where her baby was delivered two weeks ago by Caesarean section after Morrison contracted swine flu. Her daughter, Elise, was born healthy and Morrison's condition has been slowly improving after doctors induced a coma, the Record said."

Canada's response to H1N1 effective

An article from UPI, excerpt :

" OTTAWA, Dec. 29 : Canadian health officials say their actions during the H1N1 pandemic were effective but communications were a challenge among jurisdictions and time zones.

The report by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada on the lessons learned during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 concluded strengths can be identified in all nine areas of pandemic readiness and response capacity.

The National Microbiology Laboratory in Canada was called on for laboratory assistance and five public health agency scientists helped with testing in Mexico -- where the influenza strain was first identified -- during the course of six weeks."

Jordan : H1N1 total rises to 33

Via The Jordan Times :

" AMMAN : Fourteen new H1N1 influenza cases were confirmed on Wednesday, bringing to 33 the total number of cases in the Kingdom since the strand re-emerged earlier this month.

In a press statement issued yesterday, the health ministry said 14 newly confirmed cases have been reported, adding that 12 H1N1 patients have recovered from of the disease. Five patients are currently receiving treatment at home while 12 remain hospitalised, the statement added. No new H1N1 influenza-related deaths were reported.

Since its re-emergence on December 11, H1N1 flu has claimed the lives of four people in the country, prompting health authorities to implement a national plan prepared by the National Committee for the Prevention of Epidemics and issue weekly updates on the disease
Under the current treatment protocol, H1N1 patients who exhibit mild symptoms and do not fall under higher risk categories are treated at home without anti-viral or medical tests and go unreported, according to the ministry.

Those who suffer from chronic diseases, pregnant women, children and the elderly fall under the higher risk category."

WHO : Avian influenza - situation in Egypt - update 39

An update from WHO with regards to the Avian Influenza situation in Egypt :

" 29 December 2010 : The Ministry of Health of Egypt has announced two new cases of human infection with H5N1 avian influenza.

A 28 year-old woman from Manshaet district of Damnhouar governorate developed symptoms on 12 December. She was admitted to hospital on the 14th and subsequently discharged on the 22nd in good and stable condition. She has a history of exposure in a market where live animals are sold.

An 11 year-old girl from Esna district of Luxor governorate developed symptoms on 18 December and was admitted in the hospital the following day. She experienced severe respiratory symptoms requiring mechanical ventilation and died on 23 December. No information is available regarding poultry exposure. Investigations into the source of infection are underway.

Laboratory tests have confirmed H5N1 virus and both patients were treated with antiviral medications. Of the 115 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 38 have been fatal."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scotland : 30,000 calls in 72 hours for NHS helpline

Via The Herald :

" Scots are being urged to be prepared to cope with winter illness as the NHS 24 helpline is being inundated with up to 40 calls a minute from the public.

The service expects to receive up to 130,000 inquiries over the festive break after receiving almost 30,000 calls over just three days during the Christmas period.

Older people and those at risk, such as people with chronic chest or heart problems, are being asked to make sure they get the flu jab.

At its peak, calls are coming at the rate of 40 a minute, and it is estimated there could be more than 40,000 over Hogmanay and into New Year’s Day."

Indonesia : Hit by Bird Flu, 350 Dead Chickens in Temanggung

Translated article from Suara Merdeka :

" A total of 350 chickens in Hamlet Druju, Mergowati Village, District Kedu died because of bird flu virus recently. Of these, 300 of whom are heads of broilers (broiler) from an existing farm intiplasma at the local hamlet, while 50 others are free-range chicken tail of individual citizens.

Head of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (Disnakkan), Slamet Saryono justify, the existence of the incident. After getting the report public about it, it then took several steps as follow-up treatment.

"We are aware of bird flu from the public report, then department officials visited the scene and quickly test samples of dead chicken carcasses. In addition, historical information to dig death chickens before ascertained that death was due to the chickens infected with avian birds, "he said.

He revealed, from narrative to local residents, feathered death occurred the first time in chickens belong to individuals resident there. A few days later, a new broiler farm intiplasma belonging to one citizen that followed the death gradually."

UK : Second pregnant mum with swine flu fights for life

An article from The Sun :

" A PREGNANT mum of four is fighting for life in a medically induced coma after contracting swine flu.

Gemma Escott, 27, is on life support with her kidneys failing after husband Martyn took her to hospital on Christmas Day when she could not breathe properly.

Doctors have now diagnosed six-months pregnant Gemma with swine flu and pneumonia.

Martyn, 33, of Evercreech, Somerset, is keeping a constant vigil as doctors at Yeovil District Hospital are battling to save her life.

Gemma's case comes just days after pregnant mum Fallon Devaney recovered from the virus."

Pakistan : 3rd swine flu case confirmed in Swabi

Another article from The News :

" SWABI: Another case was confirmed positive for swine flu here Tuesday, taking the number of such patients to three in the district.DHO Dr Gul Muhammad confirmed the H1N1 virus in the area and identified two patients, Bakht Bibi and Muhammad Rehman, on Monday.

The former hailed from Kotha area and the latter from the Kala village. The third patient confirmed on Tuesday also belonged to Kala. However, when contacted his name was not confirmed by the health officials.

In addition, the sources said samples were taken from a number of people at Kala and Kotha, which were sent to Islamabad for investigation by the Word Health Organisation team."

Pakistan : Girl tests positive as 11th swine flu patient

Via The News :

" The Influenza Surveillance Lab at the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, confirmed another swine flu case on Tuesday, raising the total number of patients in Sindh to 11.

Rabia, 20, daughter of Qadir Bux and resident of Sukkur, was admitted to the Anwar Paracha Hospital with swine flu symptoms earlier this month. Her test samples were sent to the NIH, which confirmed that she was suffering from the deadly virus.

Dr Suresh Kumar, additional secretary health and incharge Swine Flu Surveillance Cell, said that the samples of a few more suspected swine flu patients were also sent to the NIH Islamabad for confirmation. He added that the sentinel influenza surveillance lab at the Civil Hospital Karachi had also started testing samples for all types of influenza."

Japan : No. of bird flu-infected cranes in Kagoshima totals 5

An article from Japan Today :

" KAGOSHIMA : The Izumi city government in Kagoshima Prefecture said Monday that three hooded cranes that flew into the Izumi Plains have been confirmed as infected with the highly virulent avian influenza virus H5N1, raising the number of bird-flu-infected hooded cranes there to five so far.

The three were found dead by Dec 21 and tested positive for bird flu in a preliminary test, prompting the local government to send their samples to Tottori University for further testing. While no other dead or weakened cranes were found in the plains on Monday, municipal government officials said they will keep an eye on developments there."

Dead teal ducks with bird flu strain found in S. Korea

Via Yonhap News Agency :

" SEOUL, Dec. 28 : South Korea's farm ministry said Tuesday that it has found 20 dead spectacled teal ducks, apparently affected by the virulent strain of bird flu, and have taken emergency decontamination measures.

The discovery of the dead birds in Haenam 430 kilometers south of Seoul is the third such finding this month and is raising concerns among local poultry farmers."

India : Encephalitis claims two more lives in UP, toll 541

Via Yahoo :

" Gorakhpur (UP), Dec 28 : Two people succumbed to encephalitis at a hospital here, taking the toll in the deadly brain fever in eastern Uttar Pradesh to 541 this year.

Health officials said today that as many as six fresh cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) have been reported at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in the last two days.
Additional Director (Health) U K Srivastava said the dead belonged to Kushinagar and Gorakhpur districts.

As many as 67 patients are presently undergoing treatment at various government hospitals of Gorakhpur, Mahrajganj, Deoria, Kushinagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar and Siddharthanagar, he said."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Indonesia : Bird Flu Case Report Until November 2010

Translated report from Indonesia's Ministry of Health :

" In November 2010 there are additional positive cases of bird flu (H5N1) in the name of K (F, 21 years) of the Bandung, West Java. Positively infected by H5N1 cases reported based on the results of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) Laboratory Research Center for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research and Development Agency. K, a housewife from hospital 14 November 2010.

Four days later, went to the midwife in private practice with complaints of fever, cough, sore throat, dizziness and nausea. Four days later treated at the Hasan Sadikin Hospital, Bandung, and immediately treated.Complaints when examined namely fever, cough, sore throat accompanied by shortness of breath.

Thorax x-rays with interpretation left pneumonia. On November 24, the general condition of severely ill patients are still attached to the ventilator. Current condition of the patient had gone home.Risk factors, K and his family lived in a house adjacent to a poultry stall just above and beside the shop.

Environmental conditions stalls located in an alley and humid. Thus, the risk factors of this case is in contact with the polluted environment of bird flu virus.

The cumulative positive cases of bird flu in Indonesia since 2005 until now is 171 cases, 141 cases of fatalities."

New MRSA strain found in Isle of Man

Via BBC News :

" A new strain of the superbug MRSA has been found in the Isle of Man, the Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed.

The DoH said it had recently detected a small number of cases of a bacterium called MRSA USA 300.

The strain mostly affects young, fit and healthy people, is transmitted in sports centres, gyms, and pools and can cause serious infection, the DoH said.

Like all strains, it is resistant to many antibiotics, it added."

Australia : Dengue fever spreads in Townsville

Via ABC News :

" A recent dengue fever outbreak has spread to another two suburbs in Townsville in north Queensland.

Cases have now been confirmed in the suburbs of Annandale and Vincent.

In the last month, 28 people in the region have now contracted the disease.

The Townsville City Council says all cases are linked and have warned residents to prepare for more."

US : Florida now up to five cholera cases from Haiti

Via Sun Sentinel :

" Two Broward County women contracted cholera while visiting relatives in Haiti, raising to five the number of cases associated with Florida, health officials said on Thursday. All five have recovered.

The women were infected with the waterborne bacteria and diagnosed about a month ago in unrelated episodes, said Dr. John Livengood, disease prevention director at the Broward County Health Department.

The two cases were not disclosed until the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentioned them in a Thursday report on Haiti's cholera outbreak that has infected 121,000 people and killed 2,600."

Japan : 'Tis the season to be jolly frightened of bird flu

Via Asahi :

" Ironically, the demilitarized zone that divides the Korean Peninsula is said to have grown into a haven for wild birds. This no man's land also serves as a stopover point and resting place for migratory birds. Watching the birds freely fly over national borders, the Korean people must feel all the more saddened that they remain divided.

According to "Toritachi no Tabi" (Journey of birds) written by Hiroyoshi Higuchi, an ornithologist who has been tracking migratory birds by satellite, and published by Japan Broadcast Publishing Co., birds rely on the sun and stars to get to their destinations. They risk their lives to travel. Some fall into the ocean. According to Higuchi, the purpose of their southbound journey in the fall is not to avoid the cold but to search for food.

With the arrival of winter birds, a highly pathogenic bird flu has begun to mark "Xs" across the Japanese archipelago.

So far, infections have been confirmed among ducks in Hokkaido, chickens in Shimane Prefecture and swans in Toyama and Tottori prefectures. Furthermore, in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, the largest wintering ground for cranes in Japan, a dead "nabezuru" (hooded crane) was found infected."

Japan : Kagoshima suspects flu virus in another crane

An article from The Japan Times :

" KAGOSHIMA : A white-naped crane found in a debilitated state on the Izumi plain in Kagoshima Prefecture that later died is thought to have been infected with avian influenza, local officials said Thursday.

Previously, a hooded crane in the area was found to be carrying a very highly infectious strain of avian flu.

The white-naped crane was captured Tuesday, and found dead in its cage Thursday morning, according to officials of the city of Izumi.

The first of two tests the city conducted on the crane returned a weakly positive result, while the second test was inconclusive. Samples will be sent to Tottori University for further tests, the officials said."

London : Flu kills 27 in Britain, spreading in Europe

Via Reuters :

" LONDON, Dec 23 : Flu has killed 27 people in Britain since the influenza season began in October and transmission of the virus is picking up across the European Union, health officials said on Thursday.

Latest data from Britain's Health Protection Agency (HPA) showed that 24 people died with the H1N1 flu strain that spread around the world as a pandemic in 2009, and three with from a strain known as flu type B. Eighteen of those who died were adults and nine were children.

"The level of flu activity we are currently seeing is at levels often seen during the winter flu seasons, but due to the fact that H1N1 is one of the predominant strains circulating at the moment, we are seeing more severe illness in people under the age of 65 than we would normally expect," said John Watson, head of the respiratory diseases department at the HPA."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Indonesia : Bird Flu Back in Sragen Worried Breeders

Translated article from Liputan 6 :

" Having had subsided, the bird flu attack again found in Sragen, Central Java. Since last week, dozens of chickens in the region known to die suddenly fell ill with symptoms of H5N1 (influenza A virus subtype H5N1).

This is confirmed by the results of the examination team Participatory Disease Surveillance and Response or PDRS Sragen Husbandry Department. Officers found the dead chickens from bird flu.

Due to the sudden death of the chickens, farmers feel restless and aggrieved. They hope the local Livestock Department could attempt to anticipate this, so the attacks do not re-bird flu spread."

Australia : Superbug strain detected in Melbourne

Via The Australian :

" A new strain of the deadly superbug that has killed thousands of people in the northern hemisphere has mysteriously emerged in Australia.

It is understood that seven cases of a variant strain of the virulent and contagious bacteria Clostridium difficile 207 have been identified by an Australian laboratory in the past two years, including some recent cases, but public health authorities have not made this public.

The new strain in normally found in pigs, but humans can also contract the disease.

The puzzle, health experts say, is how it came to be here as Australian pigs are thought to be free of the bacteria.

The Royal Melbourne Hospital confirmed last night that a patient was admitted on October 17 and tested positive for the 078 strain of C. Diff."

70 Cholera Cases in Dominican Republic

Via Cuba Headlines :

" The number of Dominicans infected by cholera increased to 70, according to Minister of Public Health Bautista Rojas.

Only three of the infected people were still hospitalized, while the rest went back to work, the minister stated.

Rojas headed the second day of the activities of prevention against infectious diseases, with the participatino of 150,000 volunteers from across the country."

South Korea : Foot-and-mouth disease spreads

Via Xinhua :

" SEOUL, Dec. 22 : The spread of foot-and-mouth disease has extended to a region east of Seoul despite nationwide quarantine efforts, the government said Wednesday.

The ministry for food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries said an additional case of the animal disease was confirmed at a cattle farm in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. A pig farm in Yeoncheon and a cattle farm in Pocheon, both in Gyeonggi Province, also appeared to be affected by the disease.

"All animals at the farms along with those within a 500-meter radius of the latest confirmed cases are to be culled to prevent further spread of the disease," the ministry said."

Malaysia : Salesman succumbs to dengue hemorrhagic fever

An article from New Straits Times :

" KUALA LUMPUR: A 26-year-old salesman, who travelled in the capital and Selangor, succumbed to dengue hemorrhagic fever in Johor Baru on Dec 16.

Director General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the victim, who had a history of asthma, sought an outpatient treatment at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Johor Baru when he went down with fever on Nov 29.

He said the victim was warded at a private hospital on Dec 2 after complaining for sore throat and fever and was pronounced death due to dengue hemorrhagic fever two weeks later. "The salesman could have contracted dengue while conducting sales promotion in dengue-stricken areas," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

He said as a result, control activities, including a fumigation exercise, were conducted in the vicinity of the victim's house involving 87 premises.

Meanwhile, he said the number of dengue cases last week increased by five per cent or 26 cases from 498 cases with the figure rose in eight states -- Kuala Lumpur (up by 19 cases), Putrajaya (19), Perak (16), Penang (16 each), Kelantan (eight), Selangor (seven), Pahang (five) and Sabah (four)."

Australia : Dengue outbreak

Via Townsville Bulletin, excerpt :

" A DENGUE outbreak has reached more than two dozen cases, with health authorities worried recent rainfall and hot weather will increase the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

There have been 26 cases of dengue type two, mainly recorded in the suburbs of Hermit Park and Mundingburra, with eight new cases confirmed in the last week.

The outbreak began in June, while three unrelated cases of dengue were also confirmed in Railway Estate in October.

The viral disease is spread between people by infected aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

Queensland Health Public Health Medical Officer Dr Steven Donohue said residents leaving the city for the Christmas break needed to clean up their yards first.

He urged holidaymakers to remove any empty containers that could be filled by rain and become stagnant when unattended the perfect breeding site for the mosquitoes."

Japan : Kagoshima crane died of highly virulent H5N1

Via The Japan Times :

" KAGOSHIMA (Kyodo) : The Environment Ministry said Wednesday the highly infectious H5N1 strain of avian influenza found in a hooded crane in Izumi plain, Kagoshima Prefecture, was confirmed to be very lethal, a day after the prefectural government detected the flu in the bird's carcass.

The DNA structure of the virus was quite similar to the strains found in the droppings of a wild duck in Wakkanai, Hokkaido, in October, and in a weakened young tundra swan found at a residence in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, in November, according to the ministry.

Earlier Wednesday, experts from the government checked local poultry farms.

Of about 160 farms within a 10-km radius of the Izumi plain, which sees the nation's largest winter congregation of cranes, some 50 have already been confirmed free of infection by a team of roughly 40 experts, officials said.

Kagoshima was top among the 47 prefectures in the production of broiler chickens in 2009 — worth about ¥50.5 billion — and third in eggs at ¥24.6 billion, according to data at the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry."

London : 302 Britons in intensive care as H1N1 spreads

An article from Today Online :

" LONDON : Data from the Department of Health for England revealed on Tuesday that there were 302 people with the flu warded in intensive care beds.It is unclear how many have Influenza A (H1N1), but they are expected to be in the majority.New figures on the number of deaths from flu and H1N1 was expected to be released by the Health Protection Agency today.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, interim chief medical officer for England, said this season's flu was "just winter flu" but with H1N1 as the dominant strain."We have not got a pandemic," she said, but urged at-risk groups including pregnant women to get themselves vaccinated.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley briefed Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday morning on the flu situation and told them the National Health Service had plenty of capacity to deal with the upsurge in cases.

Prime Minister David Cameron told a press conference: "I think the figures on flu are quite similar to two years ago. They are a little worse than last year."

Hong Kong : Chicken carcass found in Lantau confirmed positive for H5 virus

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

" A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (December 22) that a chicken carcass found in Sha Lo Wan, Lantau, was confirmed to be H5 positive after a series of laboratory tests.

The carcass was found and collected on December 18 at the seashore of Sha Lo Wan. It was highly decomposed when found.

The spokesman said there were no poultry farms within three kilometres of where the carcass was found. AFCD staff have conducted inspections of the nearby villages of Sha Lo Wan Tsuen and Sha Lo Wan San Tsuen. There was no evidence of any backyard poultry being kept there.

AFCD is concerned about the incident and will continue to monitor the situation. Inspections of the seashore and its vicinity will be stepped up. The department is looking into different possibilities of why the chicken carcass was found at the seashore, including whether it had been washed ashore or dumped.

The spokesman said a ban on backyard poultry has been in force since 2006.

Unauthorised keeping of five kinds of poultry - chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons or quails – is an offence with a maximum fine of $50,000. Repeat offenders are subject to a maximum fine of $100,000."

Jordan : First H1N1 fatality reported

Via The Jordan Times :

" AMMAN : A 32-year-old man diagnosed with H1N1 flu died on Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Health.

The patient, who checked into a hospital on Monday, was in critical condition, the ministry said in its weekly report issued yesterday.

After laboratory tests confirmed he was infected with the H1N1 virus, the patient was taken to the intensive care unit, put under constant medical observation and given the necessary treatment, but he died yesterday, the statement said.

The ministry said this was the seventh recorded case of H1N1 since the first one was reported earlier this month. The cases range from critical to moderate, with the latter receiving treatment at home, according to the report.

On December 12, Minister of Health Mahmoud Sheyyab announced that authorities had detected a new H1N1 case in the Kingdom, a woman in her 50s who was being treated at a private hospital."

Hong Kong: New B2B H5N1 alert

Thanks to Crof at H5N1 for this story. Please go to his site for the links :

" Health authorities have stepped up vigilance after a dead chicken found on Lantau Island tested positive for bird flu.

The highly decomposed chicken was found on Saturday on the shores of Sha Lo Wan, according to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

The department said there are no poultry farms within three kilometers of the shore, and is investigating whether the chicken was washed up or dumped.

Nearby Sha Lo Wan Tsuen and Sha Lo Wan San Tsuen were checked but there was no evidence of any backyard poultry. The department will step up inspections of the shore and its immediate vicinity."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Panama issues sanitary alert due to cholera

Via Xinhua :

" PANAMA CITY, Dec. 21 : Panama's government Tuesday declared a sanitary alert to prevent the spread of cholera, which has been sweeping across Haiti since October.

"Panama is not immune from this disease since it is a transit country," Panamanian Health Minister Franklin Vergara said when announcing the measure.

Vergara said the measure includes the reinforcement of health checks at the main entry points into the country.

"We have not relaxed (our vigilance), and we maintain checkpoints in ports and airports in the entire country," Vergara said.

Vergara also urged people to maintain strict hygiene measures, especially in the zones affected by the flooding."

UK : Swine Flu Mum Off Critical List

Via Express :

" THE pregnant mother who has been fighting for life with swine flu is no longer critically ill, the hospital caring for her said yesterday.

Fallon Devaney, 25, who is ­expecting her fifth child, remains in intensive care but is now in a ­“stable” condition.

She was rushed to hospital last Tuesday, a day after a GP mistakenly told her she had a cold.

Doctors warned her family they might have to sacrifice her unborn baby in order to save her life.

But on Monday relatives said she seemed “brighter” during a bedside visit – and yesterday the hospital confirmed the ­welcome news.

A spokeswoman for Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham said: “Her condition is stable and she remains in intensive care.”

‘Swine flu virus active in India’

Via Deccan Chronicle :

" Dec. 21: It looks like the A(H1N1) virus is here to stay. “The swine flu virus is very much active in India,” says virologist Dr Prasad Kulkarni, medical director of the Serum Institute India.

“While other seasonal flu viruses keep mutating constantly, so much so that scientists have to produce a new flu vaccine every year, the pandemic H1N1 virus seems to be stable, and has not shown any change,” he says. This is a crucial time, as most of the country is reeling under a cold wave or rainy weather that the virus thrives in, he added.

Meanwhile, city doctors are urging people, especially children, to get vaccinated against influenza, with the WHO announcing the ‘return’ of the pandemic H1N1 virus. With the state government dispensing around 3 lakh free doses of the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine to the BPL population, this year’s trivalent influenza vaccine is in short supply in the city, due to increased demand."

Australia : More dengue cases confirmed in Townsville

From ABC News :

" Townsville City Council (TCC) says there has been another 24 confirmed cases of dengue fever in the north Queensland city since three cases were reported in October.

The latest cases were detected in Mundingburra and Hermit Park.

The TCC community safety and health committee chairman, Councillor Dale Last, says many residents still do not know the symptoms of the disease.

"Headaches, fever, muscles and joint aches," he said."

Japan : Hooded crane in Kagoshima tests positive for avian flu

Via Japan Times, excerpt :

" TOKYO : A hooded crane found dead in Japan’s largest crane wintering place in Izumi Plains, Kagoshima Prefecture, has tested positive for avian influenza in a preliminary test, the Environment Ministry and other authorities said Tuesday.

The bird is one of two hooded cranes found debilitated in the Izumi-Takaono National Wildlife Protection Area on Saturday and which had died by Monday, the authorities said. Cranes flying into the plains are designated ‘‘special natural treasures’’ by the government for protection purposes.

Officials at the Izumi city government delivered specimens taken from their bodies to Kagoshima University, which then found one of the two to be infected with the flu, they said.
The university has turned over the specimens to Tottori University to check if a highly pathogenic avian flu virus is present."

UK : Record number in intensive care with swine flu

From The Independent :

" Swine flu has surged in the past five days with the number of cases requiring intensive care 70 per cent above last year's peak, the Chief Medical Officer said yesterday.

The latest official figures show there were 302 people being treated in intensive care with "confirmed or suspected influenza" compared with 180 at the height of the 2009-10 pandemic. Most of those in hospital were suffering from H1N1 swine flu, officials said.

More than nine out of 10 were under 65, including 36 children under 16. Flu is normally most severe in the over-65s.

Dame Sally Davies, acting Chief Medical Officer, said the NHS was coping and there was no shortage of beds. The 302 beds occupied by flu patients represented less than one in 10 of all intensive care beds, she said."

Pakistan : Three more dengue patients hospitalised

Via Daily Times :

" KARACHI: Three more patients with symptoms of dengue were admitted to the hospitals in the city, while no new cases were reported during the last 24 hours in the rest of the province, Provincial Dengue Surveillance Cell report said on Tuesday.

Some 786 suspected dengue cases have been reported in different hospitals of the province this year, out of which 683 were tested positive, the report said. Likewise, 5,235 suspected dengue patients were reported in the city out of which, 3,384 were positive."

Egpyt : Four dead, 19 infected with swine flu in 9 governorates

Via Al Masry Al Youm :

" Four deaths associated with the H1N1 virus, commonly known as "swine flu," were reported this week countrywide, while the number of people diagnosed with the virus reached 19 throughout nine governorates of Egypt. There are an additional 31 suspected cases.

On Tuesday, Dakahliya's swine flu subcommittee reported two deaths associated with the virus, while 26 other suspected cases were quarantined. Aswan's fever hospital, meanwhile, admitted eight cases, while the Minya Department of Health confirmed three cases and one related death.

Three new cases were also discovered in Menoufiya, according to an official source at the Menoufiya Health Directorate. One confirmed and one suspected case were also reported in Beni Suef."

Severe flu cases in UK serve as warning to Europe

An article from Reuters, excerpt :

" LONDON, Dec 21 : More than 300 people are in intensive care in hospitals across Britain with flu, and European health officials say the region should act now to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

A spokeswoman for the British government's health department said a total of 302 people were in critical care beds with flu. She could not say how many had the H1N1 strain which spread around the world as a pandemic from 2009, but experts said it was likely that H1N1 would be dominant.

"From around the country, reports from frontline staff are showing unprecedented levels of hospitalisation with severe flu in high-risk adults," said Peter Openshaw, director of the Centre for Respiratory Infection at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London."

India : It’s KEM docs vs builder over malaria outbreak

An article from Mumbai Mirror :

" After 10 resident medics were diagnosed with deadly strain of the disease, resident doctors’ association sends strong letter to BMC and dean blaming developer for dirty project sites.

Ten resident doctors from KEM hospital are not only battling a deadly strain of malaria, they are also locked in a battle with construction giant Indiabulls over unmonitored construction debris which may have turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Nearly three months after the city emerged from a long spell of malaria epidemic, several doctors from KEM hospital were diagnosed with falciparum malaria last week and are undergoing treatment. Three of them have been shifted to the intensive care unit after their condition deteriorated."

WHO : Influenza update - 17 December 2010 (Update 123)

Influenza update from WHO, excerpt :

" 17 December 2010 - Summary:

Since the last update, increasing influenza activity has been observed across parts of Europe, most notably in the United Kingdom, indicating the start of wintertime influenza epidemics in several countries. Influenza activity is also increasing in other temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including East Asia and North America where there is evidence of the beginnings of the local winter influenza season. Worldwide, influenza A(H3N2), B, and H1N1 (2009) viruses are co-circulating with significant regional heterogeneity in the predominant circulating influenza viruses.

Countries in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere

In the United Kingdom, the winter influenza epidemic is under way, particularly across England. Since mid to late November 2010 there have reports of increasing numbers of community outbreaks of influenza (due to both influenza H1N1 (2009) and B viruses), increasing proportions of sentinel respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza (56% in England during the second week of December; of which 67% were H1N1 (2009) and 33% were influenza B viruses), and increasing numbers of severe influenza cases requiring intensive care.

Available data indicate that the currently circulating strain of the H1N1 (2009) virus in the UK is epidemiologically and virologically similar to that observed last year during the influenza H1N1 2009 pandemic. All influenza viruses characterized to date have been found to be similar to the strains currently included in the seasonal influenza trivalent vaccine. (see below in Virologic Surveillance for details on the characterization of the virus) It is too early to tell what the overall impact of the current epidemic will be in the UK in comparison to the 2009 season."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Scotland : Hygiene standards slated at hospital where five died in C diff outbreak

An article from News Scotsman :

" A SCOTTISH hospital that suffered a major outbreak of the superbug Clostridium difficile has been criticised by inspectors over dirty equipment and standards of hygiene.

Their report on Ninewells Hospital in Dundee found poor compliance with hand hygiene rules, soiled equipment marked as clean and overfilled dirty linen bags.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) also highlighted concerns about a patient who was being treated on a ward with other patients without specific equipment dedicated for that person's use.

Concerns about the hospital have been raised in previous reports, and health secretary Nicola Sturgeon yesterday called for improvements to be made "as a matter of urgency".

Five patients died at Ninewells during an outbreak of C difficile in 2009. The cases are being looked at as part of the public inquiry into C difficile deaths at the Vale of Leven hospital in Alexandria, Dunbartonshire."

Indonesia : Hundreds of Chickens Die of Bird Flu Attacked

Translated article from Suara Merdeka :

" Hundreds of chickens owned by residents in the hamlet of Slaman and Plagan, Mandong Village, District Trucuk, Klaten died suddenly attacked by the bird flu virus (Influenza Aviant). Chicken deaths continued to spread to make people uneasy and began to burn the dead chickens to anticipate the possibility of further attacks to other livestock.

"Chickens I have 10 fish that died this week. Belongs to another neighbor if Terliht hundreds tail," said Dalno, a resident of Hamlet Slaman, Mandong Village, District Trucuk, Monday (20/12).

He explained that belong to citizens of chicken deaths actually occurred since a week ago. Chickens that died from the age of adult chicken a week until the age of one year. But because there are few number of dead, residents relax. However, because the more days the number of chickens that died increased many residents began to fret. Some residents are afraid to burn and bury dead animals in order not contagious."

UK : Family Prays For Pregnant Swine Flu Mum

Via Express, excerpt :

" THE fiance of a pregnant mother battling swine flu was “hoping and praying” for her recovery yesterday.

Mother-of-four Fallon Devaney, 25, remained in an induced coma in a “critical but stable” condition.

David Bowler, 30, was warned the family might have to make the heartbreaking decision to choose between saving the life of his partner or their unborn baby.

Fallon, who did not have a flu jab, is five months pregnant with her fifth child. Mr Bowler said: “We are hoping and praying she will pull through. She is the perfect mum.”

Her mother Linda Fearney, 46, said Fallon, of Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire, was “near to death” over the weekend. Doctors at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham feared they would have to sacrifice her unborn baby."

Impact of antigenic and genetic drift on the serologic surveillance of H5N2 avian influenza viruses

Via 7th Space :

" Serologic surveillance of Avian Influenza (AI) viruses is carried out by the hemagglutination inhibition (HI) test using reference reagents. This method is recommended by animal health organizations as a standard test to detect antigenic differences (subtypes) between circulating influenza virus, vaccine- and/or reference- strains.

However, significant discrepancies between reference antisera and field isolates have been observed during serosurveillance of influenza A viruses in pig and poultry farms. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of influenza virus genetic and antigenic drift on serologic testing using standard HI assays and reference reagents.

Low pathogenic AI H5N2 viruses isolated in Mexico between 1994 and 2008 were used for phylogenetic analysis of AI hemagglutinin genes and for serologic testing using antisera produced with year-specific AI virus isolates."

South Korea : S Korea reports additional case of foot-and-mouth disease near Seoul

From Xinhua :

" SEOUL, Dec. 20 : An additional case of foot-and- mouth disease has been confirmed Monday in Goyang City, near Seoul, aggravating fears that quarantine efforts have failed to prevent spread of the highly contagious viral disease affecting cloven- hoofed animals.

A suspected case reported from a beef cattle farm in Goyang City, Gyeonggi Province, tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said. The ministry added that the affected farm raises 53 beef cattle.

"All 53 heads of cattle on the farm have been culled to prevent further spread of the disease," it said.

With the latest confirmed case in Goyang City, the number of regions in the Seoul metropolitan area hit by foot-and-mouth disease has increased to four, including Paju City, Yangju City and Yeoncheon County, all in Gyeonggi Province."

Philippines : Dengue cases in CV rise 117% this year

Via Balita :

" CEBU CITY, Dec. 20 : Fewer than one percent of all dengue fever patients in Central Visayas died this year, but the total number of patients shot up by 117 percent from 2009’s figures, prompting health officials to urge people to keep their households clean and eliminate mosquito breeding places all year round.

The Department of Health (DOH) 7 has recorded 14,639 dengue fever cases and 111 deaths related to dengue from Jan. 1 to Dec. 4, 2010. The case fatality rate (CFR) stands at 0.8 percent.
In 2009, the Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit (Resu) listed 6,752 cases, 77 deaths and a CFR of 1.1 percent.

The patients’ ages range from one year old to 89 years old, but the most affected are patients between six years old and 10 years old.

The dengue virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in clean and stagnant water.

Health officials have urged the people to eliminate breeding places of the mosquitoes, such as used old tires, dish drains, flower vases and ponds."

Japan : Toyama bird flu strain deemed highly lethal

Via The Japan Times :

" TOYAMA (Kyodo) : The highly infectious H5 avian flu virus found in a dead swan in Toyama Prefecture is very lethal and extremely close to the strains that infected birds in Shimane Prefecture and Hokkaido, the National Institute of Animal Health said late Sunday.

Following the announcement, the Environment Ministry upgraded its alert level against avian influenza to the highest rank of 3 from 2 for areas within a radius of 10 km from a park in the Toyama city of Takaoka where the infected bird — a mute swan — was found dead.

In Shimane Prefecture, the highly lethal H5N1 virus was confirmed in chickens that were found infected with flu last month at a poultry farm in the city of Yasugi, after the same virus was detected in October in the droppings of a wild duck in Wakkanai, Hokkaido.

The DNA sequence of the virus found in Toyama was 99.7 percent identical to that of the H5N1 strain seen in Yasugi, and the national institute in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, was expected to clarify its type Tuesday, officials said."

UK : Swine flu - 200 fight for life as number of patients in intensive care doubles in a week

An article from the Daily Mail, excerpt :

" Nearly 200 swine flu victims were fighting for their lives last night.

The number of patients in intensive care has doubled in a week and many of them are either elderly or pregnant.

Seventeen of the 190 are being kept alive by highly-specialised heart and lung machines – three times the usual number.

Pregnant mother-of-four Fallon Devaney, 25, is in a critical condition in hospital after contracting the disease last week.

Doctors fear that the baby is sapping Ms Devaney's strength - leaving her unable to fight the infection.

It is feared that the swine flu strain may have grown more virulent over the past 12 months with victims quickly becoming dangerously ill."

UK : Three more deaths linked to swine flu

Via The Telegraph :

" Doctors have warned they are seeing the worst flu outbreak in 10 years in some areas as fears grow that three more people may have died after contracting swine flu.

The new deaths would take the total to 20 so far this winter, with the majority linked to the H1N1 swine flu virus. Laboratory tests on the latest deaths in Leicester are awaited.

Dr Philip Monk, communicable diseases consultant for the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in the East Midlands, said: "It is the worst winter outbreak for influenza and viruses for 10 years.

"There are a lot of illnesses out there. Vulnerable people, like young children, are at risk. Unfortunately some of them die."

Nationally, flu levels remain normal for this time of year but cases have doubled in a week."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Trinidad & Tobago : Man, 20, warded with dengue after hunting trip

Via News Day :

" RAKESH Sookhoo, 20, of Mendez Village, Siparia, is currently warded at the San Fernando General Hospital being treated for dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), a severe form of dengue. According to medical sources, Sookhoo was diagnosed with the DHF on Thursday after being admitted to hospital. Speaking with Newsday from his hospital bed, Sookhoo said he believed he was bitten by mosquitos while hunting on December 10 at Cat’s Hill, Moruga.

He said on December 12, he began feeling slightly ill but his condition worsened over the next three days and his family took him to the hospital for treatment. “I started to feel slightly ill at home, but never thought that it seemed serious. Over the next three days, I began to suffer with body and belly pains, strong headaches, weakness, and no appetite. On Thursday, they took me to the hospital and I was given a blood test. They even put me on drips,” Sookhoo said.

The results of the test later came in that day confirmed that Sookhoo had tested positive for dengue. Sookhoo remains on Ward 12 at hospital. Further blood tests are being conducted, while Sookhoo remains closely monitored by doctors."

UK : Swine Flu - Choose Who Lives.. Mum Or Her Baby

Via Daily Star :

" THE family of a pregnant mum with swine flu may have to choose between her and her unborn baby.

Mum-of-four Fallon Devaney, who is five months pregnant, is in a “critical” condition.

Now her devastated family have been told they may not both survive. Fallon, 25, also has pneumonia and her family may be forced to make the agonising decision of who lives and who dies.

Her mum Linda Fearney said: “Last week I was taken aside by a doctor and told that either Fallon, the unborn baby or both of them could go.

“And now it’s getting to the stage we had feared and the baby is taking a lot of her strength."

London, tuberculosis capital of Western Europe

An article from Associated Press :

" LONDON : The number of people infected with tuberculosis has jumped by 50 percent in London in the last decade, making it the tuberculosis capital of Western Europe, a new report says.

Unlike other countries in the region where tuberculosis is dropping, the disease is on the rise in Britain, particularly in London. In 1999, there were about 2,309 cases."

India : Chikungunya could be fatal, indicates study

Via Deccan Herald :

" Chikungunya, considered to be a non-fatal vector-borne disease, may actually lead to death. This is indicated by a study condu-cted in Ahmedabad, based on 3,000 deaths that occurred during the peak of disease outbreak in Gujarat in 2006.

The study conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) gathered data from the health department, municipal hospitals and health centres and the registrar, births and deaths, of Ahmedabad.The data pointed to the fact that compared to the expected deaths per month in previous years, excess deaths were noticed during the period when chikungunya outbreak was at the peak.

This despite the fact that the official report indicated 1.39 million cases of chikungunya in the country in the same year, with no deaths.The study holds relevance to Karnataka, since 7,62,026 people were suspected to have had chikungunya in 2006.

“The districts in the north and south of the State were struck by the chikungunya epidemic in 2006-07. In 2008, however, we saw newer districts that had not been affected earlier falling prey to the epidemic like Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. But chikungunya has not caused deaths, till now,” said Dr T S Cheluvaraju, joint director (communicable diseases), health department.

However, he admitted that chikungunya could prove fatal to those suffering from comorbid conditions."

Japan : Tottori avian flu hunt finds 23 dead birds

Via The Japan Times :

" TOTTORI/TOYAMA (Kyodo) : Tottori Prefectural Government experts found 23 dead birds Sunday in the city of Yonago during field studies conducted to look for abnormalities after a strain of the highly pathogenic avian flu virus was found in a dead swan.

The experts said they will send the birds to Tottori University in an effort to determine if they were infected with the deadly bird flu virus

About 20 animal specialists from Tottori patrolled roads, stretches of coastline and other areas within a 10-km radius of a house in the city of Yonago where an infected swan was found, and within a 10 km radius of a poultry farm hit earlier by bird flu in the neighboring city of Yasugi in Shimane Prefecture, officials said."

Malaysia : Five localities in Sabah still dengue-active

Via Daily Express :

" Papar: The number of dengue cases in Malaysia this year has increased from 39,597 and 84 deaths in 2009 to 45,037 and 133 deaths as at Dec 17.

Selangor recorded the highest number with 15,964 cases and 44 deaths, followed by Johor with 4,299 cases and 12 deaths, and Sarawak with 4,174 cases with 14 deaths.

Health Deputy Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, when launching the Karnival Mesra organised by the Papar District Hospital, near here, Saturday, said Sabah is at the moderate level with 2,063 cases and three deaths this year.

"But it doesn't mean we should be less concerned about ensuring its prevention," she stressed.
Five localities in Sabah are still considered dengue-active, namely Kg Pasir Putih (two cases) and Kg Jawa (two cases) in Tawau, Taman Wira Jaya (two cases) and Kg Limbungan (two cases) in Tuaran and Kg Lipong in Beluran."

Egypt : Swine and bird flu infections claim three lives in Daqahlia

Via Al Masry Al Youm :

" Egyptian officials on Saturday announced the death of three Daqahlia Governorate residents by swine and bird flu infection.

A Ministry of Health statement claimed two of the cases were H1N1, commonly known as “swine flu," with one H5N1, dubbed "bird flu," case. The ages of the victims ranged between 44-50 years old.

Meanwhile, hospitals in five different provinces throughout Egypt--Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Daqahlia, Ismailia, and Fayoum--on Saturday reportedly received 43 suspected flu cases.

Laboratory results suggested 15 of them as H1N1 positive, with 19 others suspected of carrying the virus."

Friday, December 17, 2010

England : Leicestershire's influenza outbreak 'is the worst in a decade'

Via This Is Leicestershire :

" Leicestershire is in the grip of a serious outbreak of influenza and respiratory disease.

Health experts believe it could be as bad as the flu epidemic of 1999-2000 when 22,000 people across the country died – 10 times the average for a winter flu season.

They are seeing increasing numbers of patients falling ill with different strains of the illness, including swine flu and the disease respiratory syncytial virus, which is known as RSV, to which children are especially vulnerable.

Dr Philip Monk, a public health consultant with the Health Protection Agency, said: "There is a lot of winter virus illness at the moment. It is very bad and could be as bad as 1999/2000.

"I couldn't begin to put a number on those affected. It began during the last week of November and, like a pandemic, it really gets going in the first four weeks. Weeks six to 10 are the worst, and then numbers begin to tail off again. This means the worst period will be as we enter the festive period."

Dr Monk believes the number of bugs circulating could be related to the weather.

He said: "A lot of viruses do better in drier conditions.

"Although it may be raining, the atmosphere is not moist and this could be part of the reason."

Doctors at Glenfield Hospital's intensive care unit are fighting to save the lives of five people from around the country who are seriously ill with swine flu, using their specialist Ecmo treatment unit.

The hospital is one of just five providing the treatment, which involves oxygenating a patient's blood outside of their body so their lungs can recover."

Indonesia : Malaria more resistant than ever - Scientist

Via The Jakarta Post :

" There is the potential for malaria epidemics to break out in the country due to the disease’s increasing resistance to the one effective drug in circulation, scientists warn.Din Syafruddin of Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, said Tuesday that malaria’s resistance to drugs was an inevitable result of the improper use of anti-malarial medicines.

“We have misused anti-malarial medicines, resulting in a growing anti-malarial drug resistance,” he told The Jakarta Post at a three-day symposium titled “Human Genetics and Infection: Towards Better Management of Disease”, which concluded Wednesday.The symposium was held by Eijkman Institute and the NITD-Eijkman Institute-Hasanuddin University Clinical Research Initiative.

He said many people took anti-malarial medicines even though they had not been properly diagnosed with the disease.“This has caused malarial parasites to become resistant,” he said, adding that such drugs should never be prescribed to anyone who was not confirmed to have the disease.Malaria is a blood disease that is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito.

“Even if they show malarial clinical symptoms such as high fever, we cannot assume that they have malaria,” Din said.The World Health Organization reported that there were 250 million cases of malaria annually, resulting in 880,000 deaths."

Saudi Arabia : 2,219 cases of dengue fever in Jeddah

Via Saudi Gazette :

" JEDDAH: A Makkah Health Affairs official has said there are 26 significant mosquito breeding ground sites in Jeddah and that greater efforts are required to eradicate them, particularly in the face of 2,219 recorded cases of Dengue fever.

“The Ministry of Health has reports confirming those figures,” the official said. “The ministry promotes public awareness and provides medical attention, while the Mayor’s Office is working hard to tackle the problem.

”Local authorities are frequently bombarded with complaints from the Jeddah public. Residents of Al-Haramain District have expressed their concern over an increase in mosquitoes due to stagnant areas of water left by last week’s rains.“The number of mosquitoes is on they rise,” one local said.

“We have complained to the mayoralty and the National Water Company.”Pupils from a school in Al-Ajwad also registered a formal complaint with the mayoralty over large areas of stagnant water in front of the premises and demanded the water be pumped away.

Ali Al-Qahtani, Deputy Mayor for Planning, said a committee with representatives from the mayoralty and the ministries of Health and Agriculture takes swift action over mosquito breeding grounds and other sources of Dengue fever."

Egypt : Poultry industry hit by avian flu, again

Via Ahram Online, excerpt :

" The Egyptian poultry industry fears it will greatly suffer from government efforts to prevent the spread of the avian flu. Many worry new strict regulations and rules will force them out of the already-problematic market.

With the advent of the winter season, threats of avian flu have resurfaced.

Earlier this month, the Egyptian Ministry of Health announced the death of a 30-year-old woman from Gharbiya governorate as a result of infection by the H5N1 avian influenza.

The H5N1 strain of avian flu, known as bird flu, appeared in Egypt in February 2006, and the poultry industry has been in a critical situation ever since as the government pursues its efforts to eradicate the disease.

In a bid to prevent the spread of bird flu this winter, Cairo Governor Abdel-Azim Wazir announced last month the closure of all Cairo’s chicken slaughterhouses.

Abdel-Aziz El-Sayed, head of the Poultry Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, said producers expressed surprise at the governor’s decision, which stated that dealing and selling live poultry was banned in Egypt."

Flu kills two in Scotland

Via French Tribune :

" New figures have revealed that Scotland is under sever attack from flu and the number of cases have suddenly risen since last week. In UK, the number of death due to flu has risen to 17 and there is growing fear that the numbers will rise up further.

In Scotland, close to 6 people, have been forced to go to ICU after they were found to be positive with swine flu. Out of these, two died soon after.

One of them was 24-year-old mother, Ashleigh Morrison, who had a flu attack while she was delivering her child and was rushed to a hospital."

Indonesia : Bali travel warning as dengue fever spreads

Via WA Today :

" A worrying spike in the number of Bali holiday-makers returning to WA with the potentially-fatal disease dengue fever has sparked a Health Department warning to travellers.

The Health Department's communicable disease control director Paul Armstrong said there had been over 430 reports of dengue fever in West Australians this year, three times as many as there were at the same time last year.

"Most of these cases are associated with travel to Bali," Dr Armstrong said.

"Travellers to developing countries need to be very careful with the food they eat and the water they drink."

The potentially deadly disease is carried by mosquitoes that tend to congregate in tropical areas and commonly bite during the day.

Symptoms can develop within three to 14 days of being bitten and include fever, vomiting, severe headaches, aching joints and muscles, rashes and pain behind the eyes."

Malaysia : Two more die of dengue

Via The Star :

" KUALA LUMPUR: A 41-year-old administrative assistant at the Putrajaya Hospital and a 29-year-old housewife from Kuantan have become the latest victims to die of dengue between Dec 5 and 11.

Their deaths pushed the number of fatalities due to dengue this year to 132, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican.

He said six states showed an increase in the number of cases compared with the previous week. They are Johor (nine cases), Kedah and Penang (four cases each), while Terengganu, Negri Sembilan and Labuan had one case each.

“The cumulative number of cases from January until Dec 11 is 44,641, an increase of 15% or 5,660 cases compared with 38,981 cases reported during the same period last year,” he said.

As for Chikungunya, for the period from Dec 5 to 11, one case was reported compared with six cases reported the previous week."

UK : Flu death toll rises to SEVENTEEN - and six of the victims were children

An article from the Daily Mail in the UK :

" Flu has claimed the lives of 17 people, including six children, so far this winter.

Fourteen of the deaths are linked to H1N1 swine flu – the strain which swept the country in last year’s pandemic.

Another child, a girl of nine, was fighting for her life in hospital.

A high proportion of victims are aged under 65, including six aged under 18, because swine flu is more likely to affect younger people.

At least 17 of the worst affected patients whose lungs have given out, including four pregnant women, were last night being treated on extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation machines.

A further four or five critically ill patients are waiting for spaces on the machines – which use an artificial lung to oxygenate the blood outside the body – to become available.

Nine-year-old Chantelle McAdam, meanwhile, was on a life support machine after being was admitted to Manchester Royal Infirmary with breathing difficulties."

Vietnam faces risk of bird flu outbreak in humans: health ministry

Via Thanh Nien News :

" While no bird flu human case has been recorded over the past eight months in Vietnam, the country is still at high risk of the epidemic among humans, according to the Ministry of Health.

Nguyen Tran Hien, head of the ministry’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said recently that the H5N1 virus has attacked some provinces, increasing the risk of humans contracting the disease.

The year-end weather, alternating between cold and warm, provided good conditions for the virus’s growth, he noted.

According to the ministry, there have been seven cases of the H5N1 virus in Vietnam this year, including two deaths in the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Tien Giang."

South Korea : S Korea confirms two additional cases of NDM-1

Via Xinhua :

" SEOUL, Dec. 14 : South Korea on Tuesday confirmed two additional cases of NDM-1, raising the total number of cases to four.

The patients one man in his 60s and another man in his 70s have been treated each for chronic liver disease and osteomyelitis of the spine for a long period of time in a hospital where the country's first two cases of the bacterium were confirmed on Dec. 9.

"A pattern has been identified in South Korea that NDM-1 occurs in critical patients with a weakened level of immunity, as does in foreign countries," Yang Byung-guk, director of Communicable Disease Control Division at the state-run Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying.

"The public doesn't need to be overly anxious because there are antibiotics that can treat the bacterium."

CIDRAP : UK leads way as flu activity rises in Europe

An article from CIDRAP :

" Dec 16, 2010 : The United Kingdom is on the leading edge of an increase in influenza activity in Europe, with 57 respiratory disease outbreaks and an increase in critically ill patients and deaths reported in the country last week, according to the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA).

In its weekly flu update, the HPA said the rate of medical visits for flu-like illness exceeded baseline levels, reaching 34.6 per 100,000 population. The 2009 H1N1 and influenza B viruses are predominating so far this season, with only a few H3N2 viruses identified, the agency reported.

Flu activity is also rising across Europe, with increasing transmission in 11 countries, the European Centre For Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a Eurosurveillance report today.

In the United Kingdom, of 17 people who have died of flu-related causes in the past 3 months, 7 deaths were reported last week, the two latest HPA reports show. Fourteen of the deaths were attributed to the 2009 H1N1 virus. All those who died were younger than 65, and 8 were in high-risk groups, though none were pregnant.

Seventeen critically ill patients have received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (the use of an artificial lung), out of 22 patients referred for it, the HPA reported. Four of the 17 were pregnant women.

Meanwhile, press reports suggested that flu activity in parts of Britain now is worse than at the peak of the 2009 pandemic, but a health official said the flu situation is no worse than in past years."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Indonesia : Citizens Asked to Beware - Ny. K Positive Bird Flu

Translated article from Gala Media :

" Ny. K (21), resident district. Bandung Kulon, Bandung tested positive for the H5N1 virus or bird flu. Results were based on sample checks are carried out repeatedly by the Agency for Health Research and Development (Balitbangkes) RI delivered at the Hasan Sadikin Hospital (RSHS).

According to a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Special Handling Team RSHS, dr. Primal Sudjana on Thursday (9 / 12), was officially received by RSHS results on Wednesday (8 / 12). However, despite positive but no additional treatment to the mother of one child. "Treatment performed as before," he said.

Moreover, says Primal, Ny patient's condition. K gradually increased than when you arrived. At that time, on November 22, Ny. K in critical condition with pneumonia (pneumonia) weight, there are spots on the lungs, and direct entry RSHS Flamboyan Room. Patients also complained of abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and high fever.

"Yesterday you have removed the ventilator breathing apparatus. But of course, until now, we keep watching," he explained.

Above positive results, the Health Department as well as both the city of Bandung in West Java province immediately got a copy. "Before the positive or still suspect, in fact already given their report," he said."

CIDRAP : Study blames faulty immune response for severe H1N1 in adults


" Dec 9, 2010 : A team of US and Argentine researchers has proposed an unusual biological mechanism to explain severe pandemic H1N1 influenza cases in nonelderly adults, involving antibodies that react with but fail to stop the virus.

The scientists, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville and several institutions in Buenos Aires, say that the antibody response in some middle-aged adults, shaped by previous exposures to influenza, not only failed to block the new virus but also made things worse by activating the complement system, leading to a damaging accumulation of proteins in the lungs.

The researchers arrived at their conclusions by analyzing and comparing samples from adults and children infected with the pandemic H1N1 virus and with recent seasonal flu viruses and by studying archived samples from patients in the 1957 flu pandemic. They reported their findings this week in Nature Medicine."

Hong Kong : Three cases of invasive pneumococcal infection investigated

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

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (December 9) investigating three cases of invasive pneumococcal infection reported from Queen Mary Hospital, spanning a period of one month. This infection is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.

The patients are three children including a 33-month-old girl, 16-month-old boy and a 17-month-old boy. They developed symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty in breathing on November 4, 21 and 30 respectively and had been admitted to Queen Mary Hospital for treatment.

The 33-month-old girl has recovered and was discharged on December 3. She attends a nursery in Causeway Bay and there has been no abnormal increase in respiratory infections recently among students attending this nursery.

The other two children were not attending school before onset of symptoms. They are currently in intensive care unit for further management. The conditions of the 16-month-old and 17-month-old boys are listed as serious and critical respectively"

India : Maharashtra Govt takes several steps to prevent viral diseases

Via New Kerala :

" Nagpur, Dec 9: In order to prevent viral diseases like Swine flue, the Maharashtra government has taken several measures such as appointment of disaster management team at the state and districts level, provision of death audit meetings, separate control room and proper training of doctors, Public Health and Welfare Minister Suresh Shetty and Minister of state Fauziya Khan informed the Council today.

They were replying to a question raised by members Prakash Binsale and Vinod Tawade among others about the deaths due to viral diseases.

While submitting the written information on the same in the House, they said the deaths caused by malaria and dengue were 114 and five respectively, while 435 died due to swine flu in the state and no death was reported due to typhoid."

New Bird Flu Outbreaks Across Vietnam

Via The Poultry Site :

" VIET NAM : As poultry flocks across the country are reportedly infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), people with flu symptoms are being urged to see medical advice.

Bird flu has infected flocks in southern Ca Mau and northern Nam Dinh and central Nghe An provinces, according to Viet Nam News.

"We face a high risk of a human epidemic although no new infections of A/H5N1 has been reported since March," warned National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology director, Associate Professor Nguyen Tran Hien.

The major reasons for the threat were the rise in demand for the sale, transport and slaughter of poultry as Tet, the Lunar New Year, nears and cold weather that created conditions for the virus grow and spread to humans, he said.

Figures from the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry's Animal Health Department show that about 16 per cent of the country's poultry has been infected with the bird flu virus this year, about four times higher than average."

WHO : Avian influenza – situation in Indonesia - update 5

From WHO :

" 9 December 2010 : The Ministry of Health of Indonesia has announced a new case of human infection of H5N1 avian influenza.

A 21-year-old female from Bandung City, West Java, Province developed symptoms on 14 November, was hospitalized on 22 November and is currently in hospital. Initial investigations indicate the case resided in an area close to a business where chickens were kept and the area was found to be lacking cleanliness with chicken droppings present. Additional investigations on the possible source of infections are being undertaken.

Laboratory tests have confirmed infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

Of the 171 cases confirmed to date in Indonesia, 141 have been fatal."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Papua New Guinea : Up to 3,000 affected in PNG cholera outbreak

Via Australia Network News :

" The cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea has now affected almost 3,000 people.

The PNG Health Department believes this latest outbreak has been sparked by unhygienic conditions in coastal villages and have appealed to affected communities to clean their homes, safely discard rubbish, boil drinking water and improve hand hygiene.

Restrictions are still in place for travel between PNG and Australia's Torres Strait Islands."

Brazil reports first 3 Chikungunya cases

Via Xinhua :

" BRASILIA, Dec. 8 : Brazil Wednesday reported first three cases of Chikungunya, a viral disease spread by mosquitoes that causes fever and severe joint pain.

The infected included one man from Rio de Janeiro and another from Sao Paulo who recently traveled to Indonesia. The third was a Sao Paulo woman recently returned from a trip to India, the Health Ministry said. All of them received treatment and have recovered.

So far there is no evidence of Chikungunya transmission in the country,the ministry said in an online statement."

CIDRAP : Resistant flu cases underline need for new antivirals

From Robert Roos, CIDRAP news editor, excerpt :

" Dec 8, 2010 : A package of studies and commentary published this week by the Journal of Infectious Diseases points up the ability of influenza viruses to become drug-resistant and continue to spread, highlighting the need for new antivirals.

In one report, US and Canadian researchers identified 28 seasonal H1N1 viruses from 2008 to 2010 that were resistant to the adamantane class of antiviral drugs and to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), one of the two neuraminidase inhibitors licensed in the United States. They found that the dual-resistant viruses became more common during that time.

A second report describes the spread of an oseltamivir-resistant 2009 H1N1 virus in the hematology unit of a British hospital in the fall of 2009, which the authors call the first confirmed episode of its kind. Four of eight patients were found to have contracted the resistant virus from others."

Fresh cholera kills 13 in northern Nigeria: official

A Google hosted news from AFP :

" KANO, Nigeria : A fresh cholera outbreak has killed 13 people, while 112 others have been hospitalised since the weekend in northern Nigeria's Kebbi State, the heath commissioner said Wednesday.

"We have 13 deaths out of 125 cholera cases we have recorded since Sunday and these figures are from hospital records," Sadiq Dakingari told AFP."

Finland confirms six more A/H1N1 flu cases

Via Trend :

" The Finnish Defense Forces said in a statement on Wednesday that a further six A/H1N1 flu cases had been confirmed at the Armored Brigade base in Parola in southern Finland, Xinhua reported.

Finland's first A/H1N1 flu case in the new flu season was confirmed at the base late November, when several other people were exhibiting symptoms linked to the disease.

The military said that six of them have been confirmed to be infected with A/H1N1 virus, adding that more than 250 conscripts had sought treatment over the past two days. About half of them showed typical A/H1N1 flu symptoms, such as high fever, muscle aches and pains, sore throat and headache."

Malaysia ranked 6th in Asia with high obesity

Via Xinhua :

" PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, Dec. 8 : Malaysia is ranked sixth among Asian countries with high adult obesity rate, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Malaysian Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai told a press conference in Malaysia's federal administration center here on Wednesday that the weight of Malaysian students were also on an increasing trend.

While 20.7 percent of Malaysian students were overweight in 2001, Liow said that the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2006 had forecast that the percentage would rise to 26.5 in 2007.
The survey, third of its kind, is done every 10 years in Malaysia, with the first one done in 1986."

London : New tuberculosis test cheaper for poor countries

Via The Associated Press :

" LONDON : Health officials say a new test to diagnose tuberculosis in less than two hours will be available to poor countries for a fraction of its original price.

Foundation for Innovative and New Diagnostics officials said Wednesday the test will be sold to more than 100 developing countries at a 75 percent discount - about $17 (euro12.72), instead of $67 (euro50.14)."

Officials: French report about origin of cholera in Haiti inconclusive

Via CNN :

" Port-au-Prince, Haiti : A French doctor's report suggests that the strain of cholera ravaging Haiti may have originated with U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, but U.N. officials and others cautioned that the report was inconclusive.

The report by French epidemiologist Dr. Renaud Piarroux rules out a number of potential causes and points to the Nepalese soldiers as the most probable, said Vincenzo Pugliese, spokesman for the U.N. mission in Haiti, but it fails to deliver definitive proof."

Rise in dengue cases an effect of climate change — DOH official

An article from Balita, excerpt :

" DAVAO CITY, Dec. 8 : The high incidence of dengue cases nationwide is an effect of climate change, according to Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial.

Ubial said the dengue problem this year has increased tremendously at 120,000 cases. The recorded cases from 1993 to 2009 was only as high as 6,000.

"Climate change is not the future anymore, it is with us now," Ubial said.

Dengue has four strains and what happened now was of multi-strain, Ubial stressed when she discussed the disease recently in a forum in Davao City entitled Biodiversity Conservation: Tropical Diseases and Public Health.

The DOH official also said there are other diseases that the public must be aware of namely the influenza virus, the H5N5 that was reported in HongKong and also the HIV-AIDS.

The HIV/AIDS cases doubled in the past years from 2006 to the present, Ubial said as she cited that unprotected sex between those infected with the disease covers 85 percent of cases, attributed to more men having sex with men in the last five years."

South Korea : Single avian flu case in N. Jeolla

An article from Joong Ang Daily :

" In the middle of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, avian flu has been detected in Korea.Avian influenza (type H5N1) was confirmed in a wild bird on Tuesday in Iksan, North Jeolla - the main habitat for migratory birds - putting health officials on alert to prevent the spread of the virus to domestic poultry.

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said that a blood sample from a mallard in the Mangyeong River was verified to have the virus. The ministry has been conducting annual preventive inspections of 1,600 migratory birds since 2008, when avian flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI), swept the country. As the virus was not detected from a poultry farm, Korea’s avian influenza-free status is intact.

“There is no impediment to exporting poultry even though HPAI was found in a wild bird,” said a ministry official. The ministry is stepping up disinfection work to keep the flu from spreading to farm-bred poultry. An emergency disinfection of the area around the Mangyeong River is being conducted, and the government established a tight quarantine with a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) radius.

In addition, four mobile quarantine posts have been set up within a kilometer of the epicenter.Around 3.25 million poultry are being raised within the 10-kilometer cordon.

Officials are monitoring birds for sickness and installing nets around farms to keep away wild birds."

India : Dengue cases surfacing despite onset of winter

Via Chennai Online :

" New Delhi, Dec 8 : Dengue cases continue to be reported despite the onset of winter, leaving medical experts and health officials worried as normally mosquito breeding dips significantly by mid November.

"We hardly get to hear of dengue cases in winters. It stops by mid November. But this time even in December hospitals are reporting dengue cases," V K Monga, Health Committee Chairman, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, said.

"Our domestic breeding checkers are finding mosquito breeding in overhead tanks and coolers even at this time of the season. It is a myth that mosquitoes die during winters," an entomologist with a government agency said.

A mosquito lays eggs, 200 - 250 at one go and three to four times in its lifetime of 27 days. These eggs survive for the whole year."

WHO on the latest H5N1 death in Egypt

From my mentor Crof at H5N1, whose excellent take on things always amazes me. Thank you Crof! Go to his site for the complete link :

" WHO has published Avian influenza - situation in Egypt - update 38.

The Ministry of Health of Egypt has announced a new case of human infection of H5N1 avian influenza.

A 30-year-old female from Gharbia Governorate, developed symptoms on 28 November, was hospitalized on 1st of December, where she received oseltamivir treatment, and died on 2nd of December.

Investigations into the source of infection indicated that the case had exposure to sick and dead poultry.

The case was confirmed by the Egyptian Central Public Health Laboratories, a National Influenza Center of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network (GISN).

Of the 113 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 37 have been fatal.

And if Egypt had Indonesia's case fatality ratio, about 88 of those cases would have been fatal. The reasons for such a discrepancy need research."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hong Kong : Influenza response level lowered from "Serious" to "Alert"

From Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection :

" The Government today (December 8) lowered the influenza response level under the Framework of Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic from "Serious" to "Alert".

The influenza response level was raised from "Alert" to "Serious" on November 17, upon detection of a human case of influenza A (H5) involving a 59-year-old woman.

A spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health said the CHP had stepped up surveillance and epidemiological investigation since then. Close contacts of the patient have been traced and placed under quarantine.

Three weeks of strengthened surveillance have passed and no secondary spread or further case of avian influenza was detected during the period.

"The human case of influenza A (H5) was classified as an imported sporadic infection. The patient is now in stable condition under the management of Princess Margaret Hospital," the spokesman said."

Indonesia : Health Office of Residence Monitor Bird Flu Suspect

Translated article from Gala Media :

" Health Office (DHO) to monitor the full territory of Bandung residence suspect bird flu, Ny. K (21), which until now treated intensively in the Room of Hasan Sadikin Hospital Flamboyan (RSHS). Monitoring conducted across sectors with other agencies.

"Whatever the symptoms, health office epidimologi still investigating the incident directly to the location (place of residence, red).

So it is with doing a diagnose or interviews with patients and other family," said Head of Monitoring Disease Bandung Health Office, dr. Yorisa Sativa, Tuesday (7 / 12).

Explained Yorisa, until now there has been no description of any poultry that died suddenly. In addition, there are no poultry farms whether legal or illegal in some suspect lived."For a while I have found no poultry that died suddenly.

Even on a diagnose with his family, no contact with poultry," he explained.Still, said Yorisa, intensive inspection and monitoring continue. Moreover, until now not known with certainty, the origin of the disease."

India : 24 malaria deaths in Chhattisgarh this year

Via Sify News :

" Raipur, Dec 7 : Twentyfour people have died of malaria and over one lakh people have tested positive for the disease in Chhattisgarh this year, Health Minister Amar Agrawal informed the state assembly Tuesday.

Till Nov 15, 122,939 people were found positive for malaria, the minister informed the house in a written reply to a question by Congress member and Leader of Opposition Ravindra Choubey.
Between 2004-09, 26 people died due to malaria, he said."

S. Korea confirms bird flu outbreak in southern province

Via Yonhap News Agency :

" SEOUL, Dec. 8 : The South Korean government confirmed on Tuesday a bird flu outbreak in a southwestern region of the country, a main winter habitat of migratory birds.

The agricultural ministry said the state veterinary service confirmed that the bird flu virus was found in one of the blood samples sent from Iksan, North Jeolla Province.

The ministry conducted an emergency disinfection of the area around the Mangyeong River, where the infected wild bird was found, and put an area within a 10-kilometer radius from the site of the outbreak under intensive care."