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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

5 die of diarrhea in Cambodia

Via Xinhua :

" PHNOM PENH, June 30 : Five people have died of diarrhea and 14 others are being hospitalized recently in Cambodia 's northeastern province of Rattanakiri, a health official said Wednesday.

Hoy Sovannara, health official in Rattanakiri province, said five people including two children have died of diarrhea and 14 others are being hospitalized in the province.

He said poor sanitation was the cause of their deaths and those being medically treated.
Hoy Sovannara said that since April this year, several districts in the province reported patients with diarrhea symptoms and it had caused 28 lives."

Malaysia : Current Situation of Influenza A (H1N1) For Week 25/2010 (20 - 26 June 2010) (another fatality)

The weekly H1N1 update from Malaysia's Ministry of Health, note the new fatality :

" For the week 25/2010 (20 to 26 June 2010), five (5) I new ILI cluster cases was reported from four (4) states as shown in Appendix 1. In the previous week, a total of seven (7) ILI clusters have been reported.

In the same week, a total of 610 new patients with symptoms of Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) have been admitted to hospitals for treatment as compared to 586 patients in the previous week, an increase of 4.0%. The remaining cases that are still being treated across the country on the last day of week 25/2010 (June 26, 2010) are 427 cases in 72 hospitals including 12 private hospitals.

Of these, only 31 patients or 7.3% were cases of Influenza A (H1N1) which was confirmed by laboratory tests. For the record, there are 5 cases of H1N1 being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and four (4) of them are individuals who have risk factors.

The numbers of confirmed cases of influenza A (H1N1) in the same week are 60 cases compared to a total of 81 cases in the previous week, a decline of 25.9%, bringing the cumulative number of positive cases of influenza A (H1N1) to 15.212 to date.

A new fatality was reported, bringing the total cases to 89 fatalities. The case involved the death of a boy age three years old from Johor with growth problems (Global Developmental Delay Secondary to Chromosomal Anomaly). Results of expert reports and laboratory results confirms
that the cause of death is H1N1 Bronchopneumonia with ARDS and Myocarditis."

Indonesia : Pontianak, West Kalimantan - 4-year-old negative bird flu. Four other children under isolation

From Ida at Bird Flu Information Corner, an important update on the Bird Flu situation in West Kalimantan :

" Pontianak : Following to avian influenza (AI) outbreak in chickens, four people from different areas in Pontianak are under intensive treatment of alleged bird flu infection. Patients were reported to develop fever and flu symptoms after chickens suddenly died around their neighborhood.

Patients are being treated in dr Soedarso hospital, Pontianak. A patient has recovered and discharged from hospital, while four patients are still isolated, Ad (10), Ap (15), Da (10) and Wt (9). Da and Wt are cousins, and neighbors of Ap residing in Karya Bhakti street. Ad is resident of Pak Benceng of Pontianak city.

Head of Medic and Non-Medic Service Division, Dr Soedarso hospital, Dr Hj Tita Selati said patients had been taken care according standard procedure (protap). “They are isolated and given Tamiflu”, said Tita.

In the meantime, patients’ swab samples have been sent to research and development laboratory of Ministry of Health (Litbangkes) in Jakarta for bird flu confirmation.
Ap was referred from Gang Sehat public health center and Wt was from Purnama public health center.

Previously, Dd (4.5), a bird flu suspect patient in dr Soedarso had been confirmed negative by Litbangkes, and discharged from hospital."

Australia : Swine flu breaks out in NT town

Via NT News :

" A swine flu cluster has broken out in a Territory town, with at least 29 cases detected over the past week.

The cluster has prompted warnings for vulnerable people to take the flu vaccine.

The mining town of Nhulunbuy has recorded at least 29 cases of the H1N1 strain of influenza, the NT Centre for Disease Control said yesterday.

The cases were detected at the weekend and last week.

CDC chief health officer Barbara Paterson said people in high-risk groups should talk to their doctor about immunisation.

She particularly urged pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses to get vaccinated.

"The main thing with this is that we don't know if it's the start of the flu season or just an isolated event," she said."

India : Bangalore’s dengue count on the rise

Via Express Buzz :

" BANGALORE: Dengue cases are on the rise in Bangalore.

Hospitals in the city are reporting fresh cases everyday. The Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital witnesses six to eight fresh cases of dengue every day.

As many as 91 patients at the hospital have tested positive for the fever from January till June 26.

KC General Hospital at Malleswaram too treats six to eight patients suffering from dengue everyday.

Dr Jagadish Chinnappa, pediatrician at Manipal Hospital, said 15 children were admitted to the hospital and were undergoing treatment for dengue on Tuesday."

Papua New Guinea : Manam Islanders in PNG could have been victims of contaminated water

Via Radio New Zealand :

" The cause of the deaths of fifteen people on Manam Island off the coast of Papua New Guinea’s Madang Province over the past two weeks remains a mystery. It’s suspected it’s cholera, which was rampant in parts of Madang late last year.

But with the Manam Island volcano continuing to emit smoke and ash, the Governor, Sir Arnold Amet, says they may have died as a result of consuming contaminated water.
The volcano erupted violently more than five years forcing around ten thousand people into care centres on the mainland.

Sir Arnold says the dead are among hundreds who’d been forced to return to the island following violent clashes with local landowners at the Daigul care centre in rural Madang.

“They are now being allowed to come back onto the mainland to another care centre, Potsdam care centre, where they will be allowed to stay with their other relatives, other Manam Islanders, away from the island.”

WHO : Suspected Acute Haemorrhagic Fever in the Republic of the Congo

From WHO, an alert :

" 29 June 2010 : WHO has received preliminary reports of five suspected cases, including three deaths, with acute haemorrhagic fever from Mokouangonda, an isolated forest village of about 100 inhabitants in Mokoke district, Region of Sangha, in northern Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville).

The three deaths were among male forest hunters from Mokouangonda who presented similar symptoms of epistaxis (nose bleeds), bloody diarrhoea, cough and fever prior to deaths after a 1-2 week long hunting expedition in the Odzala National Park.

A joint Ministry of Health (MoH) and WHO team is currently in the field to assess the situation and to collect clinical samples for diagnosis. These will be tested by the Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF) Gabon, and Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale à Kinshasa, DRC.

A Regional Coordination Committee to contain the outbreak has been established in Ouesso, Sangha Region, under the Direction Générale de la Santé, assisted by WHO and other international partners including Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Congo and Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in France. Measures to respond to the disease outbreak including epidemiological investigation, social mobilization and infection control are being implemented in the area. "

Cameroon : Cholera epidemic intensifies

Via Africa News :

" A cholera epidemic that broke out at the beginning of June 2010 in the northern parts of Cameroon has intensified with 11 people reportedly dead out of 73 diagnosed cases.

The 73 cases and 11 deaths are reported to have occurred in Gobo in the Mayo Danay Division in the Far North region of Cameroon. Among the death is said to be a soldier of the Rapid Intervention Battalion with French acronym, BIR.

The Mayor of the locality, Elias Voumsoumna, is quoted as saying measures have been taken to treat all water points while sensitisation messages on the observance of hygiene and sanitation have been going on over the media and in Churches, mosques and other meeting points."

AP : Cambodian PM and 3 ministers treated for swine flu

Via AP :

" PHNOM PENH, Cambodia : Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and three other Cabinet ministers have contracted swine flu and the premier is recovering after several days of medical care, the health ministry said Tuesday.

Hun Sen, 59, required "urgent treatment" after Friday's weekly Cabinet meeting, the Public Health Ministry said in a brief statement released late Tuesday.

"After receiving treatment from medical specialists, the health of Prime Minister Hun Sen is back to normal," the statement said.

The prime minister publicly mentioned last week he had come down with fever and flu-like symptoms, and he was absent from the 59th anniversary of his ruling Cambodian People's Party on Monday.

"Prime Minister Hun Sen has canceled some of his schedule because of his health," said government spokesman Khieu Kanharith."

India : Upsurge in A(H1N1) cases in State

Via The Hindu :

" CHENNAI: The Public Health authorities in the State are concerned at the upsurge in the number of A(H1N1) cases after a clear downswing in the initial months of 2010.
Twenty-one fresh cases of A(H1N1) infections were recorded in the last couple of months alone, Health Minister MRK Panneerselvam said.

In May and June, 21 cases of A(H1N1) were confirmed, 2 in the first month and 19 in the next, according to health officials. This was after the lull of the first four months from January this year. Of these, 14 cases are in Kanyakumari, three are from Chennai, two from Tiruvallur, and one from Nagapattinam, Director of Public Health R.T. Porkaipandian informed.
Mr. Panneerselvam refuted allegations that a death had been recorded in the State, saying that all those who were detected with A(H1N1) were given doses of Tamiflu and were said to be stable.

“The main reason for the spurt in infections is the high incidence in the neighbouring districts of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala,” Dr. Pandian said. With a significant amount of inter-State travel, especially with porous borders in the north and south, the case load in Tamil Nadu had risen. This was the reason why the maximum number of cases was in Kanyakumari district, east of Kerala, he added."

India : Health Minister holds meeting with officials

Via Tripura Times :

" Agartala, Jun. 29: After a brief recess, Budget session of the Assembly will begin tomorrow. The remaining three days of the session will be stormy with opposition Congress planning to pile heat on Health and Family Welfare Minister Tapan Chakraborty for his alleged failure to check the deaths of tribal villagers at Kangrai in Kanchanpur subdivision.

Congress legislators have already discussed the issue threadbare and prepared their strategy. Alarmed by the epidemic like situation at Kangrai, Health Minister and Principal Secretary YP Singh had already visited the spot and instructed the authority to do all possible steps to check the outbreak of mysterious disease.

A special sub centre was set up at Kangrai to provide medical assistance to the ailing people. While Congress MLA Subal Bhowmik visited the ill-fated village on June 23, Opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath inspected Kangrai yesterday to know the ground reality."

Myanmar : Dengue fever kills 6 in 1st 5 months of 2010

Via Xinhua :

" YANGON, June 29 : A total of six people were killed by dengue fever out of 910 people infected with the disease in Myanmar's Yangon in the first five months of 2010, a statistical report the Yangon City Development Committee said on Tuesday.

Noting that the disease occurrence rate is growing higher as the rainy season set in June, a disease sensitive month, 88 people have been infected with the disease in the first week of the month, it said.

According to earlier report, the number of people infected with dengue fever in the whole of 2009 amounted to 3,129 with 37 deaths registered.

Meanwhile, the health authorities have been stepping up preventive measures against dengue fever in the Yangon municipal area targeting a coverage of every township starting this year by introducing abate medicine with better effect."

China : Foot-and-mouth disease found in northwest China swine

Via Trading Markets :

" New cases of foot-and-mouth disease were found in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Qinghai Province Tuesday, a statement from the press office of China's Ministry of Agriculture said.

According to the statement, 24 pigs raised by some farmers in the western suburbs of Aksu City, Xinjiang, were suspected to have contracted a new strain of foot-and-mouth disease, which was identified as O-type, on June 19. This case was confirmed Friday.

Another case was also confirmed Saturday in Menyuan County of Qinghai, where 17 other swine raised on an animal farm were first suspected of having the same virus last Tuesday. "

Russia Reports Wild Birds with Bird Flu

Via The Poultry Site :

" RUSSIA : A total of 367 wild birds found dead in Tyva Republic were infected with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The veterinary authority sent an Immediate Notification dated 25 June to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The report describes the finding of 367 wild birds dead at a lake at Ovursky in Tyva Republic in the south of Siberia earlier this month.

The presence of the H5N1 sub-type of the HPAI virus has been confirmed.

The last outbreak of HPAI in the country was in January this year."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

China, US open disease study center in Shanghai

Via AP :

" SHANGHAI : American and Shanghai health authorities opened an epidemiology center in the Chinese city Tuesday to train experts in sleuthing out ways to prevent chronic and epidemic diseases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is helping with training and technical assistance at the center that will be "driven by what are the major public health issues in this country," said CDC deputy director Stephen B. Thacker.

"We need more field epidemiologists in China and around the world and we need them better trained," Thacker told The Associated Press.

Outbreaks of SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome) and bird flu since 2003, and last year's swine flu epidemic have driven home the rising risks from new diseases or deadly mutations of epidemic ailments, especially in developing countries that may lack the infrastructure to cope with them before they get out of hand."

Efforts to contain drug-resistant malaria near Thai-Cambodian border appear to be working, officials say

Via The Medical News :

" A two-year effort aimed at preventing the emergence of drug-resistant malaria near the border between Cambodia and Thailand is showing signs of success, Duong Socheat, head of Cambodia's National Center for Malaria Control, said on Friday, DPA/Earth Times reports.

So far, 2,448 people have been tested near the town of Pailin, but only two cases of malaria
resistant to artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) have been identified, Socheat said, adding that the result was "encouraging." The six-week program tested people in six of the country's "most malaria-prone villages," the news service writes.

"Two years ago the government, the World Health Organization (WHO) and several NGOs combined efforts to tackle the resistant falciparum strain that was discovered in 2007 ... The ongoing process to test villagers follows a concerted effort around Pailin against ACT-resistant malaria, that included providing mosquito nets, combating fake drugs and educating people. Nationwide 1,300 villages now have two health workers trained to test for malaria and provide free treatment," DPA/Earth Times notes."

India : H1N1 in Kerala, Bangalore holds its breath

Via DNA India :

" Bangalore: Yes, the dreaded H1N1 flu is back. Kerala recorded the highest number of H1N1 cases last week at 266 followed by Maharashtra at 36. With the monsoon fast approaching, Bangalore is worried that it might just become bad like last year.

“Since last week, there has been an increase in H1N1 positive cases in the city. We are also getting positive cases of people who have come from Kerala. This is the season when H1N1 cases and normal flu cases will be on the rise and it is difficult to differentiate between the two clinically. So it is advisable for people with persistent flu-like symptoms for more than 48 hours to consult the doctor,” said Dr Shashidhar Buggi, superintendent, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases.

Last month, 33 people were tested for H1N1 of which 4 turned out to be positive."

India : Swine flu stages a comeback

Via The Times of India :

" NEW DELHI: The number of H1N1 swine flu infections have once again started to pile up in India. In the last one week -- from June 21-27 -- as many as 345 fresh cases of swine flu with 17 deaths were reported. All the cases are indigenous, none having been imported from foreign countries.

In comparison, in the week June 8-14, the country recorded 168 positive H1N1 cases with 14 deaths. What's worse, the virus is springing up in parts of the country which weren't affected very badly last year. "

Nigeria : Cholera spreads in Adamawa

Via The Punch :

" As the strike embarked by the Adamawa State civil servants enters its third week, the cholera outbreak in the state has continued to spread across the various local government areas.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the strike has crippled government’s efforts to contain the outbreak in about five local government areas of the state.

An investigation by NAN revealed that the disease, before the strike was reported, was only in Yola North Local Government Area, but it has now spread to five other local government areas.

The state Commissioner for Health, Hajia Zainab Kwanchi, confirmed the situation, but said that the government did not have an update on those affected because of the strike.

She said, “Currently, there is no official update on the outbreak as a result of the on-going workers’ strike.” "

India : Swine flu: 3 cases in city, 1 dead in Thanjavur

Via Express Buzz :

" CHENNAI: After a gap of about 10 months, three suspected cases of swine flu (AH1N1) have been reported in the city. A senior public health official from Chennai Corporation confirmed the three suspected cases and alerted schools and colleges in its limit to screen students who had visited Kerala recently.

Reports said one man died in Thanjavur on June 26 and three suspected cases were reported in Chennai. The first case was reported from Chennai Port Trust Hospital where a 24 year old, who returned from Trivandrum recently, was admitted with high fever more than 10 days ago.

The second suspected swine flu case was a middle aged woman and the third, a youth from
suburban Avadi. The 24 year old was admitted to GH from Port Trust Hospital. Speaking to Express, a Port Trust Hospital official said that the youth was hurriedly shifted to Government General Hospital on June 25 without citing any reason."

India : Four more test positive for swine flu in city

Via Hindustan Times :

" Four more Mumbaiites tested positive for swine flu on Monday, taking the number of H1N1 cases this month to 79, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

While two of these patients have been admitted to KEM Hospital, Parel, one is admitted to Kasturba Hospital, Chinchpokli. The fourth patient, a child, has been admitted to a private hospital.

The onset on monsoon has led to surge in cases of swine flu, just like various other diseases. At least 315 Mumbaiites were hospitalised with fever, gastro enteresis and malaria between Sunday and Monday morning.

Throat swabs of at least 166 patients have been tested for H1N1 at the Polymerase Chain Reaction Testing Laboratory at Kasturba this month. About 50 of them tested positive for swine flu, taking the positivity rate to more than 30 per cent. In summer months, the rate was less than 10 per cent, according to Dr Geeta Natraj, microbiology professor at KEM who is in-charge of the laboratory."

Thailand : Dengue and cholera outbreaks bring warnings after 30 die

Via The Nation :

" The Public Health Ministry has ordered its officials across the country to keep a close eye on the outbreak of two communicable diseases, dengue fever and cholera, following reports these illnesses have killed 30 people over the past six months.

Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said 26,185 dengue fever infection cases had been reported and six people had died during the past week alone. Two victims were in Songkhla province and one each in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, and Chai Nat.

The Ministry reported the Central region was the hardest hit with 9,823 cases, followed by 6,976 in the South, 6,579 in the Northeast, and 2,807 in the North.

Deputy Health Minister Pannasiri Kullanartsiri said people aged between 15 and 24 were the most vulnerable to dengue fever infection, followed by children between 10 to 14, and those from 5 to 9."

India : Swine flu stages a comeback

Via Times of India :

" NEW DELHI: The number of H1N1 swine flu infections have once again started to pile up in India. In the last one week -- from June 21-27 -- as many as 345 fresh cases of swine flu with 17 deaths were reported. All the cases are indigenous, none having been imported from foreign countries.

In comparison, in the week June 8-14, the country recorded 168 positive H1N1 cases with 14 deaths. What's worse, the virus is springing up in parts of the country which weren't affected very badly last year. "

India : Diarrhoea is city's worst nightmare

Via DNA India :

" Mumbai: Even as the city’s civic authorities spend crores on malaria control and H1N1 vaccination drive, another problem — that of diarrhoea, which tops the list of illnesses in Mumbai — is being completely ignored.

The discovery happened through a ward-wise study on the top five diseases detected in the city’s civic dispensaries.

Diarrhoea had the highest incidence — 1,57,575 registered cases in 158 dispensaries across the city’s 24 wards in a two-year period from January 2008 to November 2009.

Hypertension came in second with 32,753 cases, followed by malaria and tuberculosis with 27, 025 and 19,561 cases respectively. Diabetes with just 4,898 cases was fourth on the list.

The information was compiled by the Praja Foundation — a Mumbai-based voluntary organisation that works on urban and civic issues, particularly pertaining to health, education and crime — after a right to information (RTI) application was filed to find out the number of cases registered in the city’s civic dispensaries. "

Malaysia : Drop in dengue cases in Selangor

Via The Star :

"THERE has been a slight drop in the number of dengue cases in Selangor compared with last year.

However, Selangor executive councillor Dr Xavier Jeyakumar urged the public to continue taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) recorded the highest number of dengue cases among five local councils in Selangor. As of June this year, the municipality had 11 confirmed cases and one death.

It is followed by Subang Jaya Municipal Council (26 confirmed cases and six deaths), Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (55 confirmed cases and two deaths), Shah Alam City Council (29 confirmed cases and six deaths) and Petaling Jaya City Council (14 confirmed cases and three deaths)."

Cambodia reported A/H1N1 case reaches 591

Via Xinhua :

" PHNOM PENH, June 28 : Cambodia said Monday that the deadly disease A/H1N1 has reached 591, an increase of 31 cases since early report made in February that recorded with 560 cases.

Ly Sovann, deputy director of the communicable disease control department of Ministry of Health said as of the 26th week of 2010, the record showed 591 cases of A/H1N1, but the number of deaths remains at six since the outbreak last year.

Of all cases have happened in 15 out of 24 provinces and cities across the nation, he said.
The 15 provinces and a city are Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kompong Speu, Takeo, Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Kompong Cham, Mondulkiri, Banteay Meanchey, Kompong Thom, Udor Meanchey, Battambang, Kampot, Siem Reap and Kompong Chhnang."

Vietnam reports bird flu in northern province

Via Xinhua :

" HANOI, June 28 : Bird flu occurred in a local farm of the northern Thai Nguyen province of Vietnam, said the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday.

To prevent the spread of bird flu, local authorities have taken prevention measures including slaughter of over 500 ducks infected with H5N1 influenza, said the department.

Other measures have been also implemented such as sterilizing the affected areas and their neighborhood and containing movements of traffic in these places to curb the disease from spreading."

Dengue Re-emerges in U.S., Spurring Race for Vaccine

Via The New York Times , except :

" For the first time in more than 65 years, dengue has returned the continental United States, according to an advisory the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued in late May. While a few cases were reported earlier, they were primarily in Americans who had caught the virus abroad or at the Texas-Mexico border.

The upsurge is not unexpected. Experts say more than half the world's population will be at risk by 2085 because of greater urbanization, global travel and climate change. Over the past 30 years, a global outcry against using the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT, has led to the resurgence of the mosquito, a voracious consumer of human blood and carrier of infectious disease."

Theraclone Sciences Technology Uncovers Rare Anti-Influenza Antibodies

Via Business Wire :

" Scientists have identified a new, highly conserved molecular target on the influenza A virus and demonstrated that human antibodies against this target are protective in animal models of seasonal and highly-pathogenic avian influenza. The work was conducted by researchers at Theraclone Sciences, with collaborators at University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Tokyo and Johns Hopkins University; and is reported this week in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Each year in the United States, 5% to 20% of the population is infected with influenza virus, and over 200,000 people are hospitalized as a result of influenza-related complications. Of the different types of influenza virus, influenza A viruses typically cause more serious infections and also pandemics, with potentially severe impacts on global health. Current preventative and therapeutic approaches are only partially effective due to the ability of influenza viruses to multiply and mutate rapidly, making it difficult to identify a universal target for an anti-viral agent. "

Monday, June 28, 2010

Philippines : Dengue cases rise 90% in Cordillera

Via Manila Bulletin :

" BAGUIO CITY : The Cordillera office of the Center for Health Development (CHD) was forced to declare a heightened alert on the dreaded dengue fever following a 90 percent increase in the cases in the different parts of the region for the first semester of the year.

Based on reports gathered from 58 hospitals and health centers in the region, dengue fever cases rose to 550 cases from January 1 to the present compared to the 289 cases registered during the same period last year.This year, Ifugao recorded the highest number of dengue fever cases with 187 followed by Mountain province with 97 with reported clustering of cases in Callutit, Bontoc town.

On the other hand, Benguet registered 72 cases with the capital town of La Trinidad having a significant increase in individuals affected by dengue fever over the past several weeks.
Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) has chosen this mountain resort city as one of its key pilot areas for its zero dengue program but dengue fever cases are still on the rise, especially in populated barangays."

India : H1N1 back in Surat

Via DNA India :

" Surat: A Surat youth was detected with swine flu on Sunday. The youth has been admitted to a private hospital in the city and is currently undergoing treatment under the supervision of a team of doctors.

The swine flu case has come to light in Surat after a lull of more than five months.
Rohit (name changed) is a resident of Colaba in Mumbai and working at Valkeshwar. Sources said that youth came to Surat 10 days back and was living on rent at Falcon Avenue apartment on City Light road.

Rohit was suffering from high fever, cough and cold for the past five days. During medical check-up on Sunday, he was tested positive for swine flu and was immediately admitted to Mahavir Hospital."

Vietnam : Dengue fever hotline for must run around clock: MOH

Via Saigon Daily :

" The Ministry of Health June 27 ordered its subdivisions to maintain a hotline concerning dengue fever, to combat the disease that is on an upward trend.

Municipal and provincial departments of health were asked to keep in touch with hospitals the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, the National hospital for Children, Hue Hospital, the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, and two hospitals No. 1 and 2 for children, also in HCMC.

MOH warned that the disease is plaguing southern provinces, while more people in the central and highlands provinces are contracting dengue fever as well.

Figures showed that the number of infected people in the central and highlands is over 4,000, a rate that doubles numbers from the same period in 2009.

Affected provinces include Khanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Phu Yen, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Da nang, Kon Tum and Gia Lai.

Moreover, Hanoi recorded over 300 people infected with the ailment; July is considered the peak season for the disease."

Kids and MRSA: Combination spreading fast

Via Philly Burbs :

" The biggest problem health providers see is reoccurring staff skin infections.

U.S. hospitals have experienced a ten-fold increase in children hospitalized with highly contagious and drug resistant staph skin infections. The trend is reflected in local emergency rooms, where officials say kids often outnumber adults who are sickened by the persistent super bug.

Equally worrisome, the new study found growing concern the bacteria are developing resistance to one of the main antibiotics used to treat the infections.

Doctors also say they're seeing the skin infections more frequently in healthy children without the traditional risk factors, such as involvement in contact sports.

"I see it all the time in my office," said Dr. Steven Shapiro, chairman of pediatrics at Abington Memorial Hospital.

Researchers found that among children, infections involving methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA, jumped from two to 21 cases per 1,000 hospital admissions between 1999 and 2008, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics.

Doctors believe the infection is spreading more rapidly among children than adults because they often have more direct physical contact with each other. The constant contact also raises the risk of re-infection, Shapiro and others said."

India : Swine flu patient's condition stable

Via The Hindu :

" VISAKHAPATNAM: Condition of the woman, who was undergoing treatment for swine flu at the Government Hospital for Chest and Communicable Diseases here, is stable.

Test on the 35-year-old woman from Srikakulam on Saturday evening turned positive for swine flu and she was in a critical condition when she was admitted to the hospital on Friday.

She was put on ventilator and though her condition was critical, she was stable and there was no deterioration in her condition since the time she was getting treatment at the Chest Hospital, District Medical and Health Officer U. Samrajya Lakshmi said."

Arsenic water killing 1 in 5 exposed in Bangladesh

Via AP :

" CHANDIPUR, Bangladesh : Hanufa Bibi stoops in a worn sari and mismatched flip-flops to work the hand pump on her backyard well. Spurts of clear water wash grains of rice from her hands, but she can never get them clean.

Thick black warts tattoo her palms and fingers, the result of drinking arsenic-laced well water for years. It's a legacy that new research has linked to 1 in 5 deaths among those exposed in Bangladesh - an impoverished country where up to half of its 150 million people have guzzled tainted groundwater.

The World Health Organization has called it "the largest mass poisoning of a population in history," as countless new wells continue to be dug here daily without testing the water for toxins.

"The magnitude of the arsenic problem is 50 times worse than Chernobyl," said Richard Wilson, president of the nonprofit Arsenic Foundation and a physics professor emeritus at Harvard University who was not involved in the study. "But it doesn't have 50 times the attention paid to it."

The issue surfaced about two decades ago, after some 10 million shallow hand-pump wells like Bibi's were sunk across the country in the 1970s with money from international donors."

India : 9 new H1N1 cases reported

Via The Hindu :

" KOCHI: Nine new cases of Influenza A H1N1 were reported here on Sunday when the total numbers of fevers reported in the district were 1,774.

Of the 9 cases of swine flu, two each were reported from Amrita Hospital, the district general hospital and Kolencherry Medical College while three cases were reported at Aluva Taluk Hospital, said R. Sudhakaran, deputy District Medical Officer."

India : Five more admitted in hospital Malaria, diarrhoea claim two lives at Mungiakami

Via Tripura Times :

" Kanchanpur/Teliamura, Jun. 26: The mysterious disease continues to haunt the entire Khangrai village committee area as five more villagers were admitted to Kanchanpur subdivision with the same symptom today Worried Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty today visited Choto Khangrai and Bara Khangrai and faced the real dust of much-hyped development. Angry villagers handed over a memorandum containing of ten –point demands to the visiting Health Minister.

The demands include, road connectivity from Choto Khangrai to Shuknacherra, Choto Khangai to Vangmun, providing more teachers to Khangrai SB School, more teeth to Khangrai Sub-Centre, electricity and proper arrangement of drinking water.It has been learnt that an amount of Rs. 6.12 lakh was sanctioned for construction of road from Choto Khangrai to Vangmun in 2009 through work order- 963 (97), 2010-01-09. But the road remains as same it was before 2009. It has been alleged that the allocation was spent for other purpose.

Later, the Minister had a meeting with top officials of different departments at Kanchanpur Dak Bungalow and instructed them to do all necessary steps to meet the basic demands of the people.Even after the Minister’s visit, five villagers were admitted to Kanchanpur subdivision today. The condition of the admitted patients is stated to be critical.

The medical team, which had collected blood sample from the ailing villages, has not identified the actual cause of death. It may be noted that at least 50 villagers died of mysterious disease at Choto Khangrai and Bara Khangrai since June 13.

Panic gripped the entire Atharamura Hill range following death of two tribal villagers at Bilaihampara under Mungiakami block in Teliamura subdivision."

India : Fever kills 28 Reangs

Via The Telegraph :

" Agartala, June 26: The death of more than 28 people belonging to the Reang community, including 14 children, in remote Kangrai village of North Tripura district following an outbreak of fever accompanied by respiratory problem has shaken the state government out of its stupor.
The Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) and the Congress are blaming the state health department for its apathy.

Fearing more casualties, health minister Tapan Chakraborty today rushed to Kanchanpur subdivisional town, 12km from the village, with the director of health services, Satya Debbarma, and a team of specialist doctors.

Congress MLA Subal Bhowmik, who had visited Kangrai with a group of party workers on Thursday, has demanded Chakraborty’s resignation.

“I had to visit the village enveloped by a funerary silence after trekking 12km across the hills, but what I saw was beyond belief. After having reached the unconnected village around 11am, I found silent preparations being made by the parents for the burial of their children,” Bhowmik said on his return to Agartala this morning."

CDC : Persistence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses in Natural Ecosystems

Via CDC :

" Abstract

Understanding of ecologic factors favoring emergence and maintenance of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses is limited. Although low pathogenic avian influenza viruses persist and evolve in wild populations, HPAI viruses evolve in domestic birds and cause economically serious epizootics that only occasionally infect wild populations. We propose that evolutionary ecology considerations can explain this apparent paradox.

Host structure and transmission possibilities differ considerably between wild and domestic birds and are likely to be major determinants of virulence. Because viral fitness is highly dependent on host survival and dispersal in nature, virulent forms are unlikely to persist in wild populations if they kill hosts quickly or affect predation risk or migratory performance.

Interhost transmission in water has evolved in low pathogenic influenza viruses in wild waterfowl populations. However, oropharyngeal shedding and transmission by aerosols appear more efficient for HPAI viruses among domestic birds."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Malaysia : Too much for the lungs

Via The Star :

" Cases related to A(H1N1) can be further complicated with pneumococcal infection.

THE influenza A(H1N1) pandemic first broke out in mid-April 2009, with a surge of cases that subsequently quietened down for a period of time. However, the recent re-emergence of the disease at the end of the first quarter this year could mean that the second wave is already in its infancy.

Though the current situation is nowhere near as serious as the situation back in 2009, the public is advised to continue taking precautions and remain vigilant to prevent infection and complication from the disease.

Pneumococcus – complicating influenza A(H1N1) recovery

Though most A(H1N1) cases have been mild, with many of those affected usually recovering, there have also been more severe cases with complications that can prove to be fatal. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US show that the more severe cases of influenza are made worse by secondary bacterial infections, particularly by Streptococcus pneumoniae."

Vietnam : Avian influenza appeared in Thai Nguyen

Via Google Translate, an original article from Hanoi Moi :

" Day 26-6, Department of Animal Health (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) said today, swine PRRS has been controlled (also 12 provinces has not translated over 21 days ), while in Thai Nguyen again appears outbreak of avian influenza.

On 23-6 the past, Thai Nguyen Department of Animal Health has officially announced the results positive for influenza A virus (H5N1) for birds of a household in Trung Thanh ward, Thai Nguyen city. Before that, two months old flock of these households have the phenomenon of scattered illness and death. Thai Nguyen Department of Animal Health to coordinate with the local authorities have carried out the destruction of the entire flock over 530 children were infected. Besides, right after service and localities have actively implemented disinfect, disinfect the area. At the same time strengthening control over the transport of poultry and poultry products into and out of the service.

Thai Nguyen Department of Animal Health said that since early this year, this is the first bird flu outbreak was detected on the two provinces. By this time, the province only of the country, Thai Nguyen province is not bird flu over 21 days."

India : Palsora undergoes malaria check

Via Indian Express :

" Intensifying the anti-malaria drive in the city, the UT Health department organised its fourth camp in Palsora village on Saturday and scanned 273 blood slides to identify suspected patients.

Dr Amarjit Kaur, senior regional director, Health and Family Welfare, while inaugurating the camp laid stress on the involvement of the community and appealed residents of Palsora village and local prominent persons to participate in the prevention and control activities launched by the department.

Dr G C Bansal, assistant director malaria-cum-state surveillance officer, Chandigarh, said basic health facilities are available at the doorstep of residents without any cost."

India : A (H1N1) shifting to north Kerala

Via The Hindu :

" Even as Influenza A (H1N1) spreads unabated in the community in Kerala, a shift in the pattern of the epidemic seems evident, with the epicentre of the infection now shifting to the northern districts.
Public health experts say the current wave of the infection is almost past its peak in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam and the number of cases will start dwindling in about two weeks in these southern districts.

More number of cases is now being confirmed in northern districts, indicating the shift. Nearly 70 per cent of the throat swabs sent to the labs these days have tested positive, indicating that the virus is widespread.

“We are testing only a fraction of cases because testing is a resource-intensive activity and in an epidemic situation, the numbers do not really matter. Hundreds are being infected by the virus daily, but much of it resolves spontaneously. The shift in pattern will indicate that almost all of the population down south has been affected by the virus,” a public health expert says."

New Evidence Suggests Southern China as a Common Source of Multiple Clusters of Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus

Via The Journal of Infectious Diseases :

" Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza is considered an avian disease, although there is some evidence of limited human‐to‐human transmission of the virus. A global effort is underway to control or eradicate the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus in poultry and prevent human exposure, both of which may also reduce the risk of pandemic emergence. Hemagglutinin gene sequences from 215 human H5N1 influenza viruses were used to trace the source and dispersal pattern of human H5N1 influenza viruses on a global scale.

A mutation network and phylogenetic analyses of the hemagglutinin gene show that human H5N1 influenza viruses can be clearly divided among 4 clusters across geographic space. On the basis of analysis of the N‐glycosylation sites at positions 100 and 170 in the hemagglutinin protein, human H5N1 influenza viruses were also divided into 3 types. When we combined these analyses with geographic information system data analyses, we found that Southern China is often a common source of multiple clusters of H5N1 influenza viruses and that each cluster has different dispersal patterns and individual evolutionary features.

In summary, the genetic evidence presented here provides clear evidence for multiple clusters of human H5N1 influenza viruses that initially originated in Southern China."

USA : Whooping Cough Declared An Epidemic In Calif.

Via CBS :

" LOS ANGELES : As of June 15, California had 910 recorded cases of the highly contagious disease.

As of June 15, California had 910 recorded cases of the highly contagious disease, and five babies -- all under 3 months of age -- have died from the disease this year.

"Children should be vaccinated against the disease and parents, family members and caregivers of infants need a booster shot," California Department of Public Health director Dr. Mark Horton said Wednesday.

This year's surge in cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a fourfold increase from the same period last year, when 219 cases were recorded.

At least 600 additional cases are under investigation by local health departments. Officials fear that with the number of known and suspected cases at 1,510, the state is on track to beat 1958's record 3,847 cases; midway through that year, 1,200 cases had been reported."

New Zealand : Outbreak of whooping cough hits Kaikoura

Via Marlborough Express :

" Kaikoura has been hit by a whooping cough epidemic, with 15 cases confirmed by the Kaikoura Medical Centre since the beginning of April.

Centre practice manager Wendy Campbell said the outbreak was under control with no new cases reported for two weeks.

"This was a one-off occurrence," she said.

One of the confirmed cases was a baby under one.

Babies were especially vulnerable to the disease, which could be deadly, Mrs Campbell said.

"It is more than likely there are more undiagnosed cases in the community," she said.

Kaikoura Medical Centre doctor Andrea Judd said these kinds of epidemics were more likely when parents did not have their children immunised.

She was concerned whooping cough might become more prevalent."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Improving Responses To Future Influenza Pandemics

Via International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, a pdf document, excerpt :

" The 2009-10 H1N1 influenza pandemic prompted the most robust and complete pandemic response ever. As with any major public health initiative of this scale, it is important that stakeholders undertake a careful analysis of the response. This will help enhance future preparedness, by building on those areas that were successful, and improving those that were less so.

From the perspective of the vaccine manufacturers, several elements of the response were particularly effective:

High level of preparedness. For many years prior to the H1N1 outbreak, public health authorities, regulatory agencies and vaccine producers worked together on pandemic preparedness. These efforts intensified following the spread of H5N1 'avian' influenza. The resulting level of preparedness allowed authorities to respond robustly to the H1N1 pandemic, in a manner that was not previously possible."

Thailand : Dengue Fever spreading in Phuket

Via Phuket Gazette :

" PHUKET: The number of dengue fever cases in Phuket is soaring, according to the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO).

PPHO Director Narinrach Pichyakamin said figures released by the PPHO at a meeting of public health volunteers on June 17 showed 213 cases of dengue fever in Phuket from January 1 to June 12 this year.

The initial target for 2010 was to keep the figure below 170 cases for the entire year, Dr Narinrach said.

According to Ministry of Public Health statistics, Phuket has the highest incidence rate [63.4 cases per 100,000 residents] of dengue of any of the Andaman Coast provinces and currently ranks 13th among Thailand’s 76 provinces.

The incidence rate for 2009 was a much lower, at 38.5 cases per 100,000 residents. There were a total of 126 cases out of a total registered population of 327,006, the official figure used for 2009.

The PPHO currently lists the registered population of Phuket at 335,913, a figure which does not include the huge number of migrant workers from other provinces.

Given that the number of Thais living here is probably about twice the official population, the actual incidence rate is likely about half of the one reported."

Philippines : Climate change affects rise in dengue cases

Via PIA :

" Baguio City (26 June) : With the observance of the Dengue Awareness Month in June, the Department of Health reported increase in dengue cases in the region due to climate change.

DOH Entomologist Ursula Segundo said that the DOH has recorded a 90 percent increase in the cases of dengue in the Cordillera region compared to the same period last year.

From January 1 to June 12 this year, a total of 550 cases has been recorded in the different surveillance units in the region.

Segundo reported that Ifugao and Mountain Province have the most number of increases with 187 and 97 cases respectively.

Benguet recorded 72 cases, Apayao with 63, Baguio- 57, Kalinga with 27, Abra with 26. 21 cases were brought to the hospitals of the region from neighboring places. Baguio City has a decrease in dengue cases."

India : Swine flu: four test positive

Via The Hindu :

" HYDERABAD: Four family members of the 28-year-old woman Vani, who died on Thursday at Gandhi hospital, have tested positive for swine flu. The health authorities on Friday informed that that the four relatives, that also includes a two-year-old child, have been asked to take home quarantine.

The district health authorities informed that sufficient doses of Oseltamivir drug have been distributed among the family members. On Friday, another eight samples were sent to IPM, have tested negative."

Crof : Mexico: More comments on H5N1, now its Colombia!

A few days ago Crof at H5N1, published this article on his blog, exceprt :

"I don't know why Mexico's health authorities are so worried about H5N1, but here's a report from about anti-bird flu planning in the northern state of Nuevo León.

Jesús Zacarías Villareal, the state's health secretary, says that the bird flu virus has not reached Mexico, but the country is prepared to confront this illness originating in China.

He noted that while H1N1 arrived unexpectedly, a health plan is now in place to attack bird flu if it should appear in Nuevo León. The secretary said that what really worries him is the increase in dengue, which to date has caused 255 cases in the state."

Now a day later, the Colombians are crying out fowl with this report :

" Bogota's health authority is on alert for the possible spread of the H5N1 virus, a flu even more virulent than the AH1N1 virus, which cost the lives of over 200 Colombians in 2009.

Health Secretary Hector Zambrano said the probability is high that cases of the H5N1 virus, also known as "avian flu," will arrive in the Colombian capital city, due to the large number of foreigners who visit Bogota over summer vacation.

Zambrano advised the population to wash their hands regularly and see a doctor immediately if they have symptoms such as headaches, sore throat, cough, a fever and watering eyes.

Public hospitals are on alert for a potential outbreak of the flu."

My question : Is there something going on out there or are they just been alarmists?

India : Two children test positive for swine flu

Via The Hindu :

" NAGERCOIL: Two children, who were admitted to the swine flu ward of Kanyakumari Government Medical College Hospital, tested positive on Friday.

According to the Department of Health officials, Murugan (43) of Kurunthencode, a three-month-old girl child of Vetturnimadam, 27-day-old male child of Parakkai and five-year-old girl of Arumanai were admitted to the swine flu ward. Their blood samples and sputum were sent to the King's Institute in Guindy. The laboratory test confirmed the presence of A (H1N1) virus in the blood and sputum samples of the three-month-old and five-year-old children.

Anantha Krishnan (16) of Arumanai and Pradeep Kumar (18) of Edaicode are also undergoing treatment in the swine flu ward of the medical college hospital."

Dengue fever kills 13 in Honduras so far this year

Via Xinhua :

" TEGUCIGALPA, June 25 : At least 13 people have died of dengue fever this year as 10,200 others were hit by the disease, the Honduran Health Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry earlier in the week declared a state of emergency due to the increase of dengue cases.

Health Minister Arturo Bendana said that of the total reported dengue fever cases, 476 were of the hemorrhagic type.

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo led a nation-wide campaign aimed at eradicating the breeders of mosquitos, which are the carriers of the disease. All public offices are clearing areas of still water in their vicinity.

The president urged Hondurans to involve themselves in the campaign.

In 2009, the dengue fever killed 12 people in Honduras."

WHO : Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 - update 106

WHO's latest H1N1 update :

" 25 June 2010 : As of 20 June, worldwide more than 214 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 18209 deaths.

WHO is actively monitoring the progress of the pandemic through frequent consultations with the WHO Regional Offices and Member States and through monitoring of multiple sources of information.

Situation update:

Worldwide, overall pandemic and seasonal influenza activity remains low. Active transmission of pandemic influenza virus persists in parts of the tropics, particularly in the Caribbean, West Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Pandemic and seasonal influenza viruses have been detected only sporadically during the early part of winter in the temperate regions of the southern hemisphere. Global circulation of seasonal influenza virus type B viruses has declined substantially and persists at low levels in parts of East Asia, Central Africa, and Central America. During the past month, seasonal influenza H3N2 viruses have been detected at low levels across parts of East Africa and South America.

In most countries of the temperate zone of the southern hemisphere (Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand) pandemic and seasonal influenza viruses have been detected only sporadically during the first two weeks of June 2010 and overall levels of respiratory disease in the population remain low. In Chile, during the second week of June, approximately 1% samples tested positive for influenza (the majority were pandemic influenza virus). In Argentina, small numbers of influenza type B viruses were detected during early June 2010. In both Chile and Argentina, respiratory syncitial virus (RSV) continued to be the predominant circulating respiratory virus. In South Africa, very small numbers of seasonal H3N2 and type B viruses were detected since the beginning of June 2010. In both Australia and New Zealand, levels of ILI are below recent historical seasonal levels and there have been only sporadic detections of seasonal or pandemic influenza virus during the first half of June 2010.

In Asia, the most active areas pandemic influenza virus transmission currently are in parts of southern India, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Malaysia. In India, there have been recent reports of increasing pandemic influenza activity in the southern state of Kerala, including reports of small numbers of severe and fatal cases, particularly among pregnant women; the extent of illness in the community is currently being assessed. In Bangladesh, pandemic and seasonal influenza type B viruses continued to co-circulate at low levels during early June 2010. In Thailand, limited data suggests that there continues to be low levels of pandemic and seasonal influenza virus co-circulating in parts of the country. In Singapore, during the third week of June 2010, levels of ARI declined below warning levels and the proportion of patients with ILI testing positive for pandemic influenza virus fell from 28% to 19%. In Malaysia, limited data suggests that overall pandemic influenza activity declined throughout June 2010 as pandemic virus continued to circulate at low levels. Throughout East Asia, overall pandemic and seasonal activity remained very low to sporadic. In China and Japan, levels of ILI remained at or below baseline levels for the summer months. Low and declining levels of seasonal influenza type B viruses continued to circulate across China, Hong Kong SAR (China), and Chinese Taipei."

New Zealand : Pandemic Influenza H1N1 2009 (swine flu) – Update 191

Via New Zealand's Ministry of Health :

" The level of influenza activity in New Zealand remains relatively low at the moment, however there is still circulation of the pandemic influenza H1N1 virus and other respiratory viruses in the community. The predominant influenza virus is likely to be the pandemic strain. Many general practices are seeing more young children who are unwell.

Healthline, New Zealand's free health 24 hour health advice line has seen a slight increase in the number of calls regarding people with influenza-like illnesses. Over the past week just over 17% of all calls to Healthline were people calling with influenza-like illnesses."

India : Banaskantha woman dies of swine flu

Via The Times of India :

" PALANPUR: The deadly H1N1 virus causing the swine flu was back to haunt the state on Friday when a 33-year-old woman died of the disease in Ahmedabad's civil hospital. Bhavna Ghevriya, 23, of Banaskantha district delivered a baby on June 15 and was diagnosed with the flu a week later on June 21.

A native of Vav taluka of Banaskantha district, after marriage, Bhavna lived in Mukhali village in Badmer taluka in Rajasthan.

Chief district health officer of Banaskantha PR Sahay confirmed the death, saying, "Bhavna was diagnosed HIN1 positive on June 21. As she was pregnant she had come to stay at her parents' house in Haripura area."

India : 49 new cases of H1N1 in State

Via The Hindu :

" THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Forty-nine more cases of H1N1 influenza were confirmed in the State on Friday. The pandemic virus, in its second spell (from May), has resulted in 553 cases so far, including 31 deaths, 12 of whom were pregnant or post-natal women. The cases confirmed on Friday included 11 from Thiruvananthapuram, nine from Kasaragod, eight from Malappuram, six from Thrissur, four each from Ernakulam and Kozhikode, three from Kollam, two from Kannur and one case each from Kottayam and Wayanad."

China : Spreading disease batters China's rural areas

Via Xinhua :

" BEIJING, June 25 : Nearly 71 percent of China's fatal hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) cases were reported in rural areas, giving a clear sign of the huge rural-urban medical gap, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday.

The ministry vowed to further enhance medical responses, particularly in vast countryside areas, to curb the raging epidemic.

As of June 22, the common viral epidemic among children has sickened nearly 987,779 on the Chinese mainland. Of that total, 537 died. The majority of those who have gotten ill are younger than 3, said Wang Zijun, deputy director of the emergency response office under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at a press conference.

The epidemic control situation is grave in the country as the number of deaths caused by the disease stood at only 186 in the same period last year, Wang said."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Polio Outbreak In Tajikistan Is Cause For Alarm

Via Medical News Today :

" The rapidly growing polio outbreak in Tajikistan raises serious concerns that the disease could spread to other regions in the world, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). It is imperative that health agencies attempt to limit further spread by ensuring high vaccination rates.

Polio is a serious disease that can cause paralysis and death in both children and adults. However, vaccines had largely eradicated the disease, until vaccination rates dipped below the minimum 90% coverage mark recommended by the WHO. There is no cure for polio - prevention with vaccines is the only defense.

This is the first persistent outbreak of polio in a country that was previously certified to be polio-free. The outbreak represents 75% of the world's polio cases and far exceeds that of India and Nigeria, which are usually the sources of polio outbreaks.

"Too many regions and communities have ceased to worry about polio," writes Dr. Paul Hébert, Editor-in-Chief, CMAJ with Dr. Noni MacDonald, Public Health Editor. "As a consequence, vaccine uptake rates are all too often well below effective prevention levels."

Countries such as the Ukraine and Georgia are below the 90% target, and regions within Canada and some European countries have low community uptake rates. In Ontario, for example, childhood immunization rates are only in the high 70% to low 80% range, comparable to rates in Tajikistan. Concerns about vaccine safety, anti-government views and religious strictures against vaccinations have contributed to this lower uptake."

You can read the original release here at Canadian Medical Association Journal.

WHO : Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis)

From WHO. I first learned of this disease from Crof at H5N1, an article he posted on 21st June 2010 :

" Key facts

•An estimated 10 million people are infected with Trypanosoma cruzi (the parasite that causes Chagas disease) worldwide, mostly in Latin America.
•Chagas disease was once entirely confined to the Region of the Americas – principally Latin America – but it has now spread to other continents.
•Chagas disease is curable if treatment is initiated soon after infection.
•Up to 30% of chronically infected people develop cardiac alterations and up to 10% develop digestive, neurological or mixed alterations, for which specific treatment may become necessary.
•Vector control is the most useful method to prevent Chagas disease in Latin America.
•Blood screening is vital to prevent infection through transfusion and organ transplantation.


Chagas disease occurs mainly in Latin America. However, in the past decades it has been increasingly detected in the United States of America, Canada, many European and some Western Pacific countries. This is due mainly to population mobility between Latin America and the rest of the world. Less frequently, it is due to infection through blood transfusion, vertical transmission (from infected mother to child) or organ donation.

Signs and symptoms

Chagas disease presents itself in two phases. The initial, acute phase lasts for about two months after infection. During the acute phase, a high number of parasites circulate in the blood. In most cases, symptoms are absent or mild, but can include fever, headache, enlarged lymph glands, pallor, muscle pain, difficulty in breathing, swelling and abdominal or chest pain. In less than 50% of people bitten by a triatomine bug, characteristic first visible signs can be a skin lesion or a purplish swelling of the lids of one eye.

Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi). It is found mainly in Latin America, where it is mostly transmitted to humans by the faeces of triatomine bugs, known as 'kissing bugs' , among other names, depending on the geographical area.

An estimated 10 million people are infected worldwide, mostly in Latin America where Chagas disease is endemic. More than 25 million people are at risk of the disease. It is estimated that in 2008 Chagas disease killed more than 10 000 people.

Chagas disease is named after Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, a Brazilian doctor who first discovered the disease in 1909."

Malaysia : Malaria Cases In Sabak Bernam Due To Infection From Abroad

Via Bernama, imported cases of malaria detected :

" SHAH ALAM, June 25 : The four Malaria cases, including one death, reported in Bagan Sekinchan, Sabak Bernam, on June 16, were caused by infection acquired abroad and not locally, Deputy Director-General of Health (Public Health) Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said Friday.

He said the dead victim was a 35-year-old Myanmar national who worked as a fisherman in Bagan Sekinchan with his three fellow countrymen. They arrived in the country on June 6 but had never undergone any medical examinations, Dr Hasan said in a statement today in response to a report by the Sin Chew Daily on Wednesday concerning a malaria death.

"The victim showed symptoms of fever a day after he arrived but only sought medical attention from a private clinic on June 12 where he received an outpatient treatment. "On June 15, he sought another treatment from the same clinic but was referred to Tanjong Karang Hospital and later to Sungai Buloh Hospital the same day.

"He was admitted to the intensive care unit but died the following day due to malaria complications. His three fellow countrymen were also tested positive for malaria.

"One of them had recovered and been discharged, while the other two are still receiving treatment at the hospital," Dr Hasan said.

He said 10 other fishermen onboard the same fishing boat as the victim were screened for malaria but the results came out negative."

India : Now, it is also raining diseases in Mumbai

Via DNA India :

" Mumbai: It’s raining buckets in the city, and it’s raining diseases. Malaria had been worrying the civic authorities for quite some time. Now, cases of gastroenteritis, leptospirosis and dengue, too, are cropping up.

Physicians across the city said that malaria and dengue — both mosquito-borne illnesses — posed the greatest threat to the people.

“The mosquito menace is worsening with every passing year. The city is getting more and more densely populated, and the resultant increase construction activities is breeding more mosquitoes,” Dr Jawant Kini, a general physician from Malad (West), said. "

Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of H7N3 avian influenza viruses isolated from poultry in Pakistan 1995-2004

Via 7th Space :

" Avian influenza virus (AIV) infections have caused heavy economic losses to the poultry industry in Pakistan as well as numerous other regions worldwide. The first introduction of H7N3 AIV to Pakistan occurred during 1995, since then H7N3, H9N2 and H5N1 AIVs have each been sporadically isolated.

This report evaluates the genetic origin of the H7N3 viruses from Pakistan collected 1995-2004 and how they disseminated within the country. To accomplish this we produced whole genome sequences for 6 H7N3 viruses and data for the HA and NA genes of an additional 7 isolates.

All available sequence from H7N3 AIV from Pakistan was included in the analysis.


Phylogenetic analysis revealed that there were two introductions of H7 into Pakistan and one N3 introduction. Only one of the H7 introductions appears to have become established in poultry in Pakistan, while the other was isolated from two separate outbreaks 6 years apart.The data also shows that reassortment has occurred between H7N3 and H9N2 viruses in the field, likely during co-infection of poultry. Also, with the exception of these few reassortant isolates, all 8 genes in the predominant H7N3 virus lineage have evolved to be phylogenetically distinct."

Malaysia : Not doing enough to kill off mosquitoes

Via New Straits Times :

" KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the dengue death toll rising alarmingly, Malaysians are still not spending the 10 minutes a week to search and destroy Aedes mosquitoes breeding places to save the lives of their loved ones.

With many pushing the burden of dealing with the Aedes mosquitoes to the Health Ministry, health experts are in a dilemma as to how to change this attitude of the people.Director-general of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the fight against dengue was not the sole responsibility of the ministry and individuals but that of the community as a whole.

"We cannot fight this battle alone. We need public cooperation," he said, adding that the disease had infected 22,251 people and claimed 74 lives from early this year to June 19.

Last year, there were 23,794 cases and 60 deaths during the same period."

Korean dancer who toured Africa dies of malaria

Via Joong Ang Daily :

" A dancer who toured Africa with a traditional Korean folk music troupe died of malaria on Wednesday.Kim Su-yeon, 27, was one of two performers in the 45-member troupe to contract the disease, and one of 11 members who had been given chloroquine, a malaria pill that is “not very effective in Africa,” said an official from the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention who asked to be identified only as Im.

“The pills were prescribed by a village doctor before they left. The other 34 were given drugs before their departure by the National Medical Center,” Im said. “It would have been better if they had been given better information before this happened, because that information is not hard to get. It’s on our Web site.”

Im said the 11 performers given chloroquine were all from Namwon, where the National Center for Korean Folk Performing Arts is located. He said mefloquine is usually prescribed as a preventive against malaria."

Thailand : Dengue fever cases on the rise

Via The Nation :

" As dengue fever threatened some 50 per cent of Thai children and adults in recent years and this year patient number was high, Children Hospital in Bangkok yesterday warned that the prolonged shock episodes were what killed most patients From January until June 16, there were 22,831 dengue fever patients and 24 died.

As dengue fever threatened some 50 per cent of Thai children and adults in recent years and this year patient number was high, Children Hospital in Bangkok yesterday warned that the prolonged shock episodes were what killed most patients From January until June 16, there were 22,831 dengue fever patients and 24 died."

Seven cholera deaths in Kenya in a week

Via IRIN :

" NAIROBI, 24 June 2010 : Poor latrine coverage and unsafe drinking water are helping to fuel a cholera outbreak affecting parts of Nairobi, the Rift Valley and the coastal region, the director of public health and sanitation, Shahnaaz Sharif, told IRIN on 24 June.

At least seven deaths have been recorded in the last week; four in East Pokot and three in Kaloleni (Coast Province), he said. "In Kaloleni, the people are using an open pond for water; the case is the same in East Pokot… Latrine coverage is non-existent in East Pokot.

The people are nomadic herders and use the bush for the toilet… They also have no access to roof catchments or taps for water." "

Malaysia : Urgent action needed against Penang swiftlet farming

While sorting out my news updates, I bumped onto this article from a local web / news portal called Aliran. An interesting article indeed, excerpt :

" We are not opposing the practice of swiftlet farming in general but we want it relocated from George Town into less populated, agricultural areas, for the following reasons:1) Health concerns, including but not limited to:

- Cryptococcus

Dried bird droppings and bird’s nests have been known to harbour the yeast spore Cryptococcus, which ideally forms colonies at 20 - 37°C (perfect for Georgetown) and which is responsible for infections in human beings. Inhalation of Cryptococcus spores cause lung infections, cryptococcal meningitis and pneumonia in healthy children and adults, and is particularly dangerous to anyone who is immuno-compromised.

- Avian Flu

Avian flu, or H5N1, is a rare but severe disease that can be fatal. The last person diagnosed with avian flu was in Vietnam on 16th March of this year. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), “all birds are thought to be susceptible to infection with avian influenza viruses”. It is possible that the avian flu virus could be introduced to swiftlets in George Town from migratory waterfowl, which scientists believe are “now carrying the H5N1 virus in its highly pathogenic form, sometimes over long distances.”

India : Third swine flu death; another woman succumbs

Via The Hindu :

" HYDERABAD: The onset of monsoon is showing signs of having a multiplying effect on the number of swine flu cases in twin cities and elsewhere in the State. On Thursday, another 28-year-old woman Vani, resident of Mahabubnagar, died at Gandhi Hospital, thus taking the death toll due to swine flu to three this month.

Health officials are anxious over the spurt of swine flu cases in districts, especially at Mahabubnagar and Visakhapatnam. Already, of the three deaths, two women were from Mahabubnagar district. Since January, according to health officials, 15 positive swine flu cases have been reported. Despite a relative jump in the cases, authorities maintain that spread of the ailment could be contained if proper precautions are taken by general public.

On Thursday, authorities collected 17 smear samples from persons having swine flu like symptoms for testing at Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM). Of the 17, officials said that 14 samples belonged to the close relatives of Vani while one each to persons hailing from Visakhapatnam, Mahabubnagar and twin cities. One of the samples also tested positive. As a preventive measure, Tamiflu tablets were distributed among the 14 close contact."

China : Reports 537 deaths from hand-foot-mouth disease this year

Via Xinhua :

" BEIJING, June 24 : Almost 1 million people in China had been infected with hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) this year by Tuesday, and 537 had died while 15,501 were in critical condition, China's Health Ministry announced Thursday.

With HFMD in its peak season, May to July, the work of HFMD control and prevention was arduous and the ministry would continue to intensify monitoring of and precautions against the disease, said a statement from the ministry.

The ministry would also strengthen the treatment of patients and the training of grassroots medical staff in rural areas, it said."

Novel Swine Influenza Virus Reassortants in Pigs, China

From CDC, excerpt with the conclusion, but please read the whole informative study :

" Abstract

During swine influenza virus surveillance in pigs in China during 2006–2009, we isolated subtypes H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 and found novel reassortment between contemporary swine and avian panzootic viruses. These reassortment events raise concern about generation of novel viruses in pigs, which could have pandemic potential.


Influenza A subtypes H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 viruses co-circulate in China. Genetic analysis showed that the single subtype H1N2 virus and all subtype H3N2 viruses examined were either double- or triple-reassortant viruses, which have been rarely documented in China. Finding a gene fragment ostensibly of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) virus in a subtype H3N2 virus implies that subtype H5N1 viruses may be able to contribute genes to virus pathogenic processes in pigs. Moreover, European avian-like swine (H1N1) virus undergoes reassortment with avian (H9N2) viruses.

Some researchers have hypothesized that pigs may serve as hosts for genetic reassortment between human and avian influenza viruses. Our results show that subtypes H3N2 and H1N2 and 1 European avian-like swine (H1N1) virus were all derived from relatively recent reassortment events. The gene fragments of the subtype H3N2 viruses comprised those of human subtype H3N2 (A/Victoria/75-like and A/Moscow/99-like) and the strains H1N1 classical swine, Eurasian H5N1, and H9N2 avian. Infection of pigs with avian H5N1 and H9N2 viruses in China has been reported, and swine H1 and H3 viruses appear widely established in the pig population in China and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. These findings raise more questions about the generation of novel viruses, which may have zoonotic potential, in pigs."

South Africa : Tribute to young vet who died of Rift fever

Via The Herald, a sad story, read the whole article, excerpt :

" KABEGA Park church was filled to overflowing this week as grief- stricken family and friends paid their last tributes to a beautiful young Cradock veterinarian who died of Rift Valley fever.

Former Framesby High School headgirl Dr Anje Pretorius, 27, died at Port Elizabeth’s St George’s Hospital last week after a 24-day coma, dashing hopes she would recover from the disease she fought so hard to combat as Cradock’s state vet.

Vets from all over South Africa who had studied with Anje in Pretoria flew down for her funeral and a Facebook page dedicated to the cheerful young woman is brimming with tributes.

Speaking to Weekend Post, her devastated father, Cobus Pretorius, of Van der Stel, PE, said his beloved daughter had taken the utmost precaution when carrying out autopsies on farm animals suspected of being infected with the disease.

Pretorius said she had been “scared” of contracting Rift Valley fever, which can be passed on to humans who come into contact with the tissue of infected animals. He said she had complained of flu symptoms but tests had repeatedly come back negative for the disease, which is spread among animals by mosquitoes."

Indonesia : Suspected Bird Flu Patients Improving

An update coming out of Indonesia with regards to the latest bird flu. I've used Google Translate on the original article from Pontianak Post :

" PONIANAK : The development of bird flu patients is indicated, Deby, who is currently hospitalized in isolation room dr Soedarso Pontiac improved health.

According to Ida Royani, coordinator of the team nurses who specialize in bird flu patients, said the condition of 4.8-year-old boy was kept healthy compared to the time of admission to hospital.

"At this time his temperature 36 degrees centigrade. Pulse 112 times a minute, breathing 28 times a minute, and blood tension 110 per 60.Better than when he first entered the body temperature 39 degrees, "explains this Royani.Saat Ida, Ida explains, patients are given treatment in the form of therapy and delivery of injectable drugs and oral drugs.

In addition, the provision containing oseltamivir Tamiflu is an antiviral treatment. This drug is proven to suppress the ability of the virus to spread from infected cells to healthy cells."

India : Swine flu kills 3 city women, late treatment is blamed

Via Times of India :

" MUMBAI: The city registered three more deaths on Thursday, all women, due to swine flu. Worryingly, the deaths have brought to the fore the fact that city hospitals have learnt little from last year’s pandemic given that two of these patients got the anti-viral drug Tamiflu much later.

One of the deceased from Andheri, who was six months pregnant, got Tamiflu at least four to six days after visiting two hospitals. She died at Vile Parle’s Babasaheb Gawde Hospital on Tuesday after being treated at the ICU of the hospital since June 17. The hospital’s assistant medical director Dr Supriya Malshe said that the patient was put on Tamiflu as soon as she was suspected of swine flu—a full two days after her admission."

Malaysia : Five Dengue Deaths Reported Last Week

A news report from Bernama, dengue is up and rising :

" KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 : Five deaths due to dengue were reported in the country over the seven days from June 13, Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said on Thursday.He said two of the deaths occurred in Negeri Sembilan and one each in Perak, Johor and Kelantan.

"Four of the five deaths occurred in dengue epidemic and unclean areas where the breeding rate of the Aedes mosquito, carrier of the dengue virus, was between 1.6 and 13 per cent," he said in a statement.

He also said that during that week, 942 dengue cases were reported, which was an increase of 51 cases compared to the previous week, and took the cumulative number of cases so far this year to 22,251 compared to 23,794 during the corresponding period last year.

"Although the number of cases dropped by six per cent this year, the number of deaths rose by 23 per cent, from the 60 deaths last year to 74 during the corresponding period this year," he said.

Dr Mohd Ismail said that last week, there were 24 active high-risk areas compared to 22 high-risk localities in the previous week, involving states such as Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Kelantan."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Malaysia : Screening for malaria at entry points to be tightened

Via The Star :

" PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry will tighten the screening process at all main entry points in the country to control imported malaria cases.

Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said although the situation was under control, the steps were taken to prevent those entering the country, from places or countries where malaria was still endemic.

“Now and then we come across ‘imported’ cases from Indonesia and Thailand.

“Three such cases, involving Myanmar nationals, are being treated at the Tanjung Karang Hospital, while another fisherman from Myanmar had died in Sekinchan, Selangor due to malaria,” he told reporters after handing out Excellence Service awards to his staff at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here on Thursday.

Liow said initial investigations showed that the three were “imported” cases of malaria because Sekinchan was free from the disease."

Philippines : Ifugao health officer raises alarm on dengue

Via Manila Bulletin :

" LAGAWE, Ifugao : The provincial health office here was forced to raise an alarm over the rapid increase in the dengue fever cases following reports that 209 individuals in the province were already affected by the viral infection for the first semester of this year.

Based on records, cases of dengue fever increased by approximately 800 percent compared to the number of cases recorded during the same period last year.

Carmen Nabejet of the local health office said that the figure was recorded from January 1 to the present with two deaths. As of now there are 19 dengue cases admitted in the Ifugao General Hospital,” she bared.

The municipality of Kiangan has the most number of cases with 87, followed by Lagawe and Hungduan with 30 each. Banaue recorded 18 cases; Hingyon, 16; Lamut, 9; Asipulo, 3; and Tinoc, 2.”

Nabejet informed that all stakeholders, such as the municipal health authorities and barangay officials, have stepped up the campaign to urge residents to clean up their surrounding and monitor the implementation of the said program."

India : 33 H1N1 cases till May, 60 in June alone

Via Indian Express :

" The number of H1N1 cases in Mumbai has shot up in the rainy season, with 60 cases between June 1 and 23, after only 33 from January 1 to May 30.

Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said that due to early showers, the number of cases has been more than that in the same period last year. “We are observing an increase in the number of cases over the past few weeks. The virus is in the air and the likelihood of people falling prey this time is greater.”

Of the positive cases, 13 are children, including five girls, 18 are men and 29 are women, nine of them pregnant. Pregnant women are in the high-risk category along with children and those with chronic problems like diabetes, obesity and blood pressure. Five patients are admitted to hospital. Two boys and two pregnant women have died so far."

India : H1N1 virus has mutated

Via Hindustan Times, we need to keep an eye on this :

" The H1N1 virus has undergone a slight genetic mutation and its effect on patients has also changed. But patients are still responding to anti-viral drug Tamiflu.

“Unlike last year, swine flu patients don’t have high fever these days. Severe sore throat and backache are the most prominent symptoms now,” said Dr G.T. Ambe, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s executive health officer.

He added that Tamiflu and the vaccine are still “very effective.” The state Directorate of Health Services had called for a meeting of experts and officials involved in tackling swine flu on Wednesday.

Dr A.C. Mishra, director of the National Institute of Virology, who attended the meeting in Mumbai, shared insights about the change in antigenicity of the virus (ability to cause production of antibodies), according to sources.

Infectious disease specialist Dr Om Srivastav has also observed changes in the clinical manifestation of swine flu. “Fever is not a predominant feature anymore,” he said."

India : After lungs, H1N1 now affects brain

Via DNA India :

" Mumbai: Moving ahead from its propensity to cause pneumonia or severe respiratory problems, the H1N1 virus has now started affecting the brain and body parts beyond the lungs. Experts, however, have not noticed any significant mutation in the virus suggesting that the current set of medicines are apt to tackle it.

“The virus has mutated, but there have been no changes in the antigenicity of the virus. Thus, Tamiflu and the available vaccines are sufficient to tackle it,” said Dr Sanjay Oak, dean, KEM Hospital. “We have observed that fever is not a symptom in all H1N1 cases now.

The virus now has neurological manifestations and we are studying these changes.”

The findings were discussed on Wednesday in a technical committee meeting which was attended by Dr DS Dakhure, state director, directorate of health services (DHS); Dr Pravin Shingare, joint director, directorate of medical education and research (DMER); Dr AC Mishra, director, national institute of virology (NIV); Dr D Kadam from Sassoon Hospital, Pune; and Dr Oak."

Philippines : Maguindanao dengue cases on the rise

Via Manila Times :

" COTABATO City: A provincial health official on Wednesday has expressed alarm over the dengue cases in the province of Maguindanao.

Dr. Tahir Sulaik, Maguindanao provincial health officer, said they have documented in the province from January 1 to June 15 at total of 106 dengue cases with one fatality, which is a 60-percent increase over the 66 cases with no deaths that was recorded for the whole of 2009.

Sulaik gave an assurance that they have intensified their campaign against dengue in the entire of Maguindanao.

He said majority of those infected including the lone fatality were residents of Barangay Awang in Datu Odin Sinsuat town, which has a population of around 22,000.

The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) of Maguindanao is also seeking to enlist the help of all stakeholders in combating against dengue and launched on Wednesday the observance of Dengue Awareness Month in Barangay Awang."

Mapping the risk of avian influenza in wild birds in the US

Via 7th Space :

" Avian influenza virus (AIV) is an important public health issue because pandemic influenza viruses in people have contained genes from viruses that infect birds. The H5 and H7 AIV subtypes have periodically mutated from low pathogenicity to high pathogenicity form.Analysis of the geographic distribution of AIV can identify areas where reassortment events might occur and how high pathogenicity influenza might travel if it enters wild bird populations in the US.

Modelling the number of AIV cases is important because the rate of co-infection with multiple AIV subtypes increases with the number of cases and co-infection is the source of reassortment events that give rise to new strains of influenza, which occurred before the 1968 pandemic.

Aquatic birds in the orders Anseriformes and Charadriiformes have been recognized as reservoirs of AIV since the 1970s. However, little is known about influenza prevalence in terrestrial birds in the order Passeriformes."

Allergies and Diabetes as Risk Factors for Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever: Results of a Case Control Study

Via PLOS, an informative and important study, please read the whole article :

" Background

The physiopathology of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a severe form of Dengue Fever, is poorly understood. We are unable to identify patients likely to progress to DHF for closer monitoring and early intervention during epidemics, so most cases are sent home. This study explored whether patients with selected co-morbidities are at higher risk of developing DHF.


A matched case-control study was conducted in a dengue sero-positive population in two Brazilian cities. For each case of DHF, 7 sero-positive controls were selected. Cases and controls were interviewed and information collected on demographic and socio-economic status, reported co-morbidities (diabetes, hypertension, allergy) and use of medication. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate the strength of the association between the co-morbidities and occurrence of DHF.


170 cases of DHF and 1,175 controls were included. Significant associations were found between DHF and white ethnicity (OR = 4.70; 2.17–10.20), high income (OR = 6.84; 4.09–11.43), high education (OR = 4.67; 2.35–9.27), reported diabetes (OR = 2.75; 1.12–6.73) and reported allergy treated with steroids (OR = 2.94; 1.01–8.54). Black individuals who reported being treated for hypertension had 13 times higher risk of DHF then black individuals reporting no hypertension."

India : Dengue, chikungunya cases on the rise in City

Via Deccan Herald, another set of diseases which India fights with, excerpt :

" The rainy season has not only shown the lack of preparedness by civic agencies, but has also led to new mosquito related health outbreaks in the City.

The State Health Department has reported 251 dengue cases and 310 chikungunya cases this year from January to June.The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) alone has recorded 112 dengue and 41 chikungunya cases with more than 50 cases being reported from Bangalore East region mainly Shivajinagar, Neelasandra, Mahadevapura and Byatarayanapura.

Dr L T Gayatri, Chief Health officer (CHO), for the BBMP Health Department blames the BWSSB for its erratic water supply, which has caused the outbreak.

"Water is supplied once in a week in many parts of the City and residents normally store water in their houses. Stored water in any container is a breeding ground for mosquitoes which has caused an increase in the number of dengue cases," she says.

She said that despite conducting many health programmes and creating awareness among people they have been very careless in keeping their surroundings clean. "Whenever our health workers visited homes, many residents have chided them and told them that the outbreak has happened because of BBMP," she added."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bird Flu : Pontianak, West Kalimantan - Outbreak continues. A boy is under treatment

A big thanks to Ida at Bird Flu Information Center for this report :

" West Kalimantan, an officially certified bird flu free province in Indonesia, keep reporting bird flu outbreak.

Pontianak – A 4-year-old boy from Kecamatan (sub-district) North Pontianak suspected of having bird flu/avian influenza (H5N1) infection. Patient is currently isolated in dr Soedarso regional hospital in Pontianak. “One patient is under isolation. Throat swab has been sent to Laboratory of Health Research and Development (Litbangkes). Epidemiology investigation didn’t show other similar case,” confirmed Head of Health Service of Pontianak, Multi Juto Batharendo.

Many birds reported to have died lately in North Pontianak. Soedarso regional hospital is a bird flu referral hospital is West Kalimantan. Since sudden death in birds reported, the hospital has prepared facilities for anticipating bird flu patients, such as an isolation unit for bird flu patient and disease control medical team.

In the meantime, Health Service has done prevention measures such as epidemiology investigation, public socialization and Tamiflu distribution to public health centers."