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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Japan Confirms Bird Flu, Dispatches Officials to Prevent Spread

Via Bloomberg :

" Japan confirmed an outbreak of bird flu in the western prefecture of Shimane and will dispatch officials to prevent its spread, the government’s top spokesman said.

The government ordered chickens at the affected farm to be destroyed, has put restrictions on transporting live birds and is setting up disinfection stations in the area, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku told reporters in Tokyo. Shimane officials yesterday reported five dead chickens that were suspected of being infected with the virus, according to the prefecture’s website.

“Preventing the spread of bird flu is important from the standpoint of crisis management,” Sengoku told reporters."

Malaysia : Suspected H1N1 man dies

An article from New Straits Times :

" GEORGE TOWN: A patient hospitalised in the Penang Hospital here with suspected influenza A (H1N1) virus infection, died from pneumonia yesterday.

The victim, B. Nadarajah, 45, showed H1N1 symptoms with constant high fever and coughing prior to his death.Nadarajah was admitted to the hospital on Sunday after falling off from his motorcycle he was riding and fainted.

His tongue turned yellow shortly after admission.

He was pronounced dead at the intensive care unit at 6am.A hospital spokeman said the cause of Nadarajah's death was severe pneumonia with sepsis."

Philippines : Diarrhea cases in Danao rise to 162

An article from the Inquirer, excerpt :

" EVANGELINE Villanueva, 27, clutched her rosary at the Danao District Hospital as she watched her 7-year-old daughter lying on an improvised hospital bed.

The housewife from barangay Tac-an said they had to rush her daughter, Angeline, to the hospital after the child vomitted and had diarrhea since yesterday morning.

“She just felt sick. She was okay the night before,” Villanueva told Cebu Daily News.Angeline is one of 162 diarrhea victims admitted at the Danao District Hospital since last Thursday.

The Department of Health (DOH) 7 yesterday declared a diarrhea outbreak in three barangays of Tabok, Taytay and Cambanay in Danao."

Haiti raises official cholera death toll to 1,721

Via Xinhua :

" PORT-AU-PRINCE, Nov. 29 : At least 1,721 people died in the nation's cholera epidemic which began there just over a month ago, Haiti's Health Ministry said in a Monday statement.

A total of 75,888 people have suffered infection, of whom 33, 485 needed hospital treatment, the ministry said. Northern city Artibonite, with 750 dead, is the worst affected. Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince saw 162 deaths.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry of the Dominican Republic, which shares Caribbean Island Hispaniola with Haiti, reported seven cholera cases, but no deaths, during a Sunday press conference. There has also been at least one confirmed case in Miami, a city in U.S. state Florida that is a frequent first stop for Haitians leaving their home."

Japan : Bird flu suspected at Shimane chicken farm

Via Japan Today :

" MATSUE : Bird flu is suspected to have occurred at a poultry farm in Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture that feeds about 20,000 chickens, the prefectural government said Monday.

Five chickens were found dead Monday morning and they tested positive for bird flu in preliminary tests, it said, adding they may have been infected with the highly virulent H5 strain of avian flu virus.

Samples taken from the birds will be sent to the National Institute of Animal Health based in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture for closer examination and the cause of the death will be determined by late Wednesday, it said."

Malaysia : Eight H1N1 cases reported in six days

Via The Star :

" KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Rashid Shirlin has confirmed that eight cases of Influenza A (H1N1) were reported in the country between Nov 14 and 20, and advised the people to adopt preventive measures.

H1N1 was now categorised as endemic, she said, meaning the infection was maintained in the population without the need for external inputs.

“No deaths were reported during that period, but the people are advised to be wary and adopt preventive measures,” she told reporters yesterday after opening a trade exhibition in conjunction with the 9th Asian Congress on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery here."

Japan: Bird Flu Investigation At Poultry Farm

From Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary with this story (please go directly to his site for all the links) :

" Earlier today Makoto on FluTrackers started a thread about reports of bird flu being detected at a poultry farm near the city of Yasugi in Japan’s Shimane Prefecture.

You can view those reports here.

The latest information came from a press release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dominican Republic reports seventh cholera case

Via Xinhua :

" SANTO DOMINGO, Nov. 28 : The health minister of the Dominican Republic announced the country's seventh case of cholera here on Sunday.

Bautista Rojas Gomez, who was once a doctor, said that a five-year-old girl caught the disease in Santo Domingo province and that she was the cousin of the sixth case, whose infection was announced on Saturday.

The minister said that Dominican doctors would stage a second intervention in "Little Haiti," a Santo Domingo slum that hosts thousands of Haitians.

"We issued them a warning to raise hygiene standards when preparing food and it was ignored," Rojas said.

So far, all the cases reported were of people living in Rio Ozama, where people are living in extreme poverty and without appropriate sanitation.

Rojas Tuesday said that the Republic will distribute 5 million flyers, posters and support materials in order to prevent the spread of cholera."

India : City hit by sudden spike in malaria

An article from Deccan Chronicle :

" Nov. 28: While the monsoon might have let up a bit, pockets of the city are witnessing a spike in cases of malaria. Despite the corporation’s efforts to fog out the pesky insects, the city accounts for nearly 75 per cent per cent of all malaria cases in the state.

Experts are also seeing a worrying and distinct shift in the species of the parasite, from the common Plasmodium vivax, to the most virulent kind, Plasmodium falciparum. “While most malaria cases were caused due to Plasmodium vivax, the parasite that is carried by the female anopheles mosquito, the epidemiological trend is leaning towards Plasmodium falciparum, a species that was common in North East India, but is increasingly seen in Tamil Nadu now,” explains S. Elango, national vice-president of Indian Public Health Association (IPHA) and former Tamil Nadu DPH, pointing out that the inflow of migrant labourers from UP, Bihar and the North East may be a possible reason for the trend.

This type of malaria, if detected late, leads to cerebral fever, convulsions and ultimately in a coma, and death, he explains."

Cholera Outbreak in Papua New Guinea Said to Raise Death Toll

Via Third Age :

" A cholera outbreak that hit Papua New Guinea is raising the death toll of nearby villagers. According to, more than 100 are now suspected dead from the cholera outbreak that originated in Daru, an island near Australia's Cape York.

Australia has restricted hundreds from traveling between the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea to contain the risk of a spread of the cholera outbreak.

Medical supplies and other forms of aid are being sent by the World Health Organization and Australian aid agency AusAID."

373 Singaporeans infected with HIV in first 10 months of 2010

Via Xinhua :

" SINGAPORE, Nov. 28 : About 373 Singaporeans were infected with HIV from January to October this year, bringing the total number of HIV cases in Singapore to 4,777, Singapore TV Channel NewsAsia reported on Sunday.

Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) said it expects the total number of new HIV cases for this year to come close to that of last year's figure of 463.

Of the 169 cases reported between January and June this year, about 60 percent of the cases had late-stage HIV infection. And of these, about 90 percent were men and the rest, women."

Northern Mariana Islands : DPH - Close to 300 flu cases

An article from Saipan Tribune :

" Close to 300 cases of influenza-like illnesses were admitted to the Commonwealth Health Center's emergency room within a three-week period, highlighting the unusual spike in the number of flu cases this early in the flu season.DPH special assistant to the secretary Roxanne Diaz said an unusual number of patients with flu-like illnesses was noted from the last week of October to the first two weeks of November this year.

“According to Ed Diaz, our epidemiologist, we are still experiencing an increase in influenza-like illnesses [ILI] cases seen at the emergency room. The numbers from the three epi-weeks [weeks 11/1, 11/8, and 11/15] are higher than that of last year’s tail end of the H1N1 pandemic. Close to 300 ER cases were seen for ILI in those three weeks,” Diaz told Saipan Tribune, adding that latest numbers will be released in the next few weeks.Department of Public Health officials earlier warned the public of a surprisingly early wave of flu infections this year.

From the usual five or more flu patients being seen daily at the hospital's emergency room, the number has doubled, with patients from across all age brackets. Initial assessment of cases shows a slight predominance among children."

Nepal : 'Number of dengue victims yet to be figured'

Via The Himalayan Times :

" KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population has made it clear that the number of dengue victims was yet to be ascertained.

Five persons died of dengue in the government hospitals but the number of the victims in the private hospitals was yet to be figured authentically, according to the Division of Epidemiology and Disease Control.

Division Director Dr G D Thakur informed the meeting of a task force on implementing the direction of the dengue control committee of the Legislature-parliament, committee on women, children and social welfare today. However, he said private hospitals have been written for sending facts about the deaths.

He added that some 888 persons had their blood tested dengue virus from Dhangadi, Butwal, and Bharatpur since the month of Shravan till date where five died of the disease.

First seen in 2006 in Nepal, the dengue is transmitted from one person to another through mosquito. People get unusual fever with dengue virus."

Malaysia : Death toll from dengue rises to 128

From The Star, excerpt :

" GEORGE TOWN: Three people died from dengue this week raising the death toll to 128 since January.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the deaths were recorded in Sarawak, Penang and Johor.

"It is an increase of 50 deaths compared to 78 over the corresponding period last year," she said after opening a life saving training course organised by Bukit Gelugor Puteri Umno and Murni Nursing Academy here on Sunday."

Pakistan : 78 dengue patients reported

Via The Nation :

" LAHORE : According to the report released by the Communicable Diseases Control Cell Health Department Punjab, 78 cases of dengue fever were reported in Lahore while 18 cases in other districts during 24 hours.

According to a press release issued here on Saturday, on the instructions of the Chief Minister Punjab, all treatment facilities are being provided free of cost to the under treatment patients in hospitals. Further more platelets are also being provided to the patients according to their requirement.

As per report, 5293 dengue fever patients have recovered so far whereas 76 confirmed dengue fever patients are under treatment in various hospitals of the province."

Philippines : 2 die as dengue remains a problem in Isabela capital

Via GMA News :

" Health and local government officials in Ilagan, Isabela have expressed alarm over confirmed reports of two more deaths due to dengue hemorrhagic fever, coupled with a sudden rise of typhoid fever cases.

The spike in the number of dengue and typhoid cases were noted after typhoon Juan ravaged Isabela last month, with floods displacing at least 55,000 families in 65 barangays in the region.

The two latest fatalities were recorded this month, with 13 dengue patients recorded since November 1, said Ilagan municipal information officer Antonio Montereal Jr.

At least one case of leptospirosis, another flood-borne disease, was also noted, with the confinement of a 39-year old farmer in Barangay Alinguigan for the disease.

Suspected dengue cases are marked by headaches, hemorrhages, skin rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

More than 62,000 cases of dengue were reported in the first eight months of 2010, nearly double from the same period last year."

Avian flu recurs in northern Vietnam

Via Thanh Nien News :

" Three hundred ducks in Nam Dinh Province have tested positive for the H1N5 virus, according to Hoang Van Nam, chief of the Department of Animal Health Wednesday.

Nam made his announcement a couple of days after Vietnam reported that it hasn't recorded any avian flu outbreaks, neither in humans nor birds, since July.

The recurrence signals the return of the epidemic season, according to Nam whose department falls under control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development."

Friday, November 26, 2010

Papua New Guinea : More deaths in PNG cholera outbreak

Via The Sydney Morning Herald :

" A cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea continues to spread, with fears 100 more villagers may have died.

Last week, Canberra announced it would make an extra $500,000 available to battle cholera as PNG officials reported the disease spreading inland after an outbreak on PNG's side of the Torres Strait was contained.

Cholera on Daru, a tiny island off the coast of PNG's Western Province close to Australia's Cape York, has struck down more than 800 people.

Villagers travelling by sea to Daru and other islands in the mouth of the Fly River had aided the rapid spread of the deadly bacteria that causes diarrhoea-like symptoms.

Travel between Australia's Torres Strait Islands and neighbouring PNG has been restricted, with hundreds turned away in an effort to contain the deadly cholera outbreak."

Denmark reports first super bacteria case

Via Xinhua :

" COPENHAGEN, Nov. 25 : The so-called super bacteria NDM-1 has showed up in Denmark, the first case discovered in the country, according to Danish media.

According to the report on Wednesday, a 57-year-old woman was infected in July this year. She was later put in isolation at Skejby hospital near the Danish city of Aarhus.

NDM-1 is called a super bacteria because it is nearly impossible to treat with antibiotics.
The woman is originally from Bosnia but has lived in Denmark for 15 years. The woman was infected during a vacation in Bosnia."

Pakistan : 55 new dengue cases registered in Sindh

An article from The News :

" KARACHI: Sindh Dengue Surveillance Cell on Thursday confirmed that 55 new of dengue cases were reported to it from different parts in the province during last 24 hours.Forty six of the patients belonged to Karachi and nine were from interior Sindh, bringing the total suspected cases to 5325, including 4751 from Karachi and 574 from other parts in the province.

Some of these patients along with a few of the 125 already hospitalized had to be transfused platelet for which 13 mega units of the blood product was procured from the provincial health Department.

The Sindh Health Department had till Thursday provided, absolutely free of cost, a total of 835 mega units of platelet to the dengue fever patients in need."

Malaysia : Four succumbed to dengue last week

Via New Straits Times :

" KUALA LUMPUR: A three-year-old child was among four victims who died due to dengue in separate cases from Nov 14 to 20, said director-general of Health Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican.

Three other victims were a 41-year-old man from Petaling Jaya, Selangor, another man from Masjid Tanah, Melaka, aged 41 and a woman from Tawau, Sabah, aged 35.

The child was from Sandakan, Sabah.

Dr Mohd Ismail said the number of deaths thus far was a 60 percent increase or 47 deaths more when compared with 78 deaths for the same period last year against current figure of 125."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Indonesia : Bird Flu attacks chicken

Translated article from Jawa Pos National Network :

" BANJARAGUNG : Dozens of poultry in the village of Tunggalwarga, District Banjaragung, Tulangbawang, had to be destroyed. The reason, dozens of birds that indicated a contagious disease of bird flu (avian influenza / AI).

According Camat Banjaragung Achisan Adam, this case is known after receiving reports of local residents and village officials related to the number of poultry that died suddenly.To ensure his side went down to the field yesterday.

''We immediately took to the field. Apparently it is true many people owned poultry that died suddenly, "he said.To ensure the cause of death of birds, the institute directly coordinate with the Department of Animal Husbandry (Disnak) the local district. From the results of the examination, the bird was declared for H5N1 virus or the virus that causes AI."

India : 14 new dengue cases in Delhi

Via Hindustan Times :

" The incidence of dengue started showing some signs of decline in the national capital which reported 14 fresh cases on Tuesday, the first time in several months that the figure of new patients on a day was below 20. The total number of patients affected this season has reached 6,190, officials said.

The cases of the vector-borne disease generally start showing a downward trend with the advent of winter as low temperature and less humidity are not conducive for the breeding of dengue-carrier aedes aegypti mosquitoes."

Haiti 'facing cholera treatment shortages'

Via BBC News :

" Haiti needs at least 1,000 more nurses and 100 doctors to stem deaths from its cholera epidemic, the UN's top humanitarian official has said.

Health workers in Haiti are also having to cope with shortages of almost all necessary equipment, Valerie Amos said during a visit to the country.

The Haitian government says more than 1,400 people have died."

India : Malaria resurgence worries civic body

Via Hindustan Times :

" With the city witnessing November rains, the civic body’s health machinery has been put on alert to avoid a possible malaria outbreak. According to statistics, the civic hospitals have admitted 1,539 patients with malaria in November till date. On Tuesday, 82 cases of malaria were reported.

“We have kept our machinery on alert. And have asked all pest control officers (PCO) to make sure that no breeding should occur,” said Dr GT Ambe, executive health officer.

In November, 86,042 blood samples were collected and sent for testing of which 3,246 were found to be positive."

PNG nationals stopped at border amid cholera fears

Via ABC News :

" More than 300 Papua New Guinea nationals travelling without visas have been turned away from Australia's northern borders in the past fortnight.

Authorities have banned travel between PNG and the Torres Strait, which is usually allowed under a treaty, to stop a cholera outbreak reaching Australia.

Thirty people have died from cholera on the PNG island of Daru and there are unconfirmed reports more than 100 villagers have died in other parts of the country.

The Australian Government has pledged $500,000 to help fight the outbreak. High Commissioner to PNG, Ian Kemish, travelled to the affected area last week.

So far there have been 30 deaths and hundreds of infections on Daru, but Mr Kemish says the outbreak there has been stabilised."

India : H1N1 kills two, Coimbatore toll touches 7

Via Times of India :

" COIMBATORE : The H1N1 influenza continued to take its toll in the textile city as two middle-aged persons died of the flu in Coimbatore on Wednesday.

A 42-year-old clerical assistant at a private company and a 45-year-old housewife were the latest victims of the virus in the city. So far, seven people have lost their lives in Coimbatore after being diagnosed with H1N1 virus since 2009.

According to health department officials, 42-year-old S Balasubramaniam of Telungupalayam, who works in a wet grinder manufacturing company, was admitted to a private hospital a fortnight ago with jaundice. He developed respiratory infection a few days ago and tested positive for H1N1 on Tuesday."

Canada : CFIA Statement On Manitoba’s Avian Flu Outbreak

Thanks to Mike at Avian Flu Diary for this, please go to the site for all the links :

" The CFAI (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) has released the follow statement on the detection of bird flu on a Manitoba turkey farm.

As opposed to the earlier news story out of Winnipeg, no mention of the strain is made in this release.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2010) - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed the presence of an avian influenza virus in a commercial poultry operation in the Rural Municipality of Rockwood, Manitoba.

Further testing is underway to determine the precise subtype and pathogenicity of the virus. Pathogenicity refers to the severity of the illness caused in birds. Clinical assessment and laboratory analysis to date suggests this is likely a low pathogenic virus.

Avian influenza viruses do not pose risks to food safety when poultry and poultry products are properly handled and cooked. Avian influenza rarely affects humans, unless they are of specific types and there has been close contact with infected birds."

WHO : Cholera in Haiti - update 4

From WHO, the latest update with regards to the cholera outbreak situation in Haiti, excerpt :

" 24 November 2010 : As of 20 November 2010, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) reported 60 240 cumulative cholera cases including 1 415 deaths at the national level. The case fatality rate in hospitals at the national level is 2.3%, with 67% of the deaths occurring at health services level and 33% at community level.

In Port-au-prince and metropolitan area (Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Delmas, Kenscoff, Petion Ville, Tabarre and Croix des Bouquets), 5 778 cases, including 95 deaths have been reported.
On 19 November, the Ministry of Health of the Dominican Republic reported two cases tested positive for cholera. One person is hospitalized and the other is receiving treatment at his residence in the province of Santo Domingo.

WHO/PAHO and partners, including the GOARN (Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network) continue to support the Haitian MSPP in the response to the outbreak. Civil unrest since 15 November has slowed down several activities, including delivery of supplies for prevention and treatment of patients, particularly in the Northern city of Cap Haitian.

Trainings on cholera treatment and initiatives to chlorinate water for 300 000 people had to be postponed."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vietnam : Woman dies of dengue fever in Da Nang

Another report from Vietnam News :

" DA NANG : Central Da Nang City's Preventive Health Centre has reported a second dengue fever death in the city.

The 23 year old female victim was from Ngu Hanh Son District.

Another 27 year old woman from Son Tra District also died recently from the virus.

More than 4,000 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed in the city, with students accounting for 70 per cent."

Vietnam : Border region battles malaria

Via Vietnam News :

" DAK LAK : The Central Highland Province of Dak Lak and Cambodia's Mundulkiri Province will take added measures to fight malaria spreading along border areas.

This was one of the outcomes at the second conference on controlling the disease held here on Monday by the province's Global Malaria Control Fund Project Management Board.

Board vice chairman and vice director of the province's Malaria Control Centre, Ho Tan Tien, said the shortage of healthcare staff in both provinces made it difficult to discover and treat malaria patients at an early stage.

Many who caught the disease travelled along the border zone or were farmers who slept in the forest at nights."

Pakistan : More 81 dengue fever cases reported - Health Dept

Via Pakwatan :

" LAHORE: According to the report released by the Communicable Diseases Control Cell, Health Department Punjab, 46 cases of dengue fever were reported from Lahore and 35 from other districts during the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, 5008 dengue fever patients have been discharged after their recovery.

According to the report, 53 confirmed dengue fever patients are under treatment in different hospitals who are being provided medical facilities free of cost."

Philippines : No cause for alarm over bird flu -- mayor

Via The Daily Star :

" Himamaylan City Mayor Agustin Ernesto Bascon yesterday said that there is no cause for alarm or panic after the city was identified among the 20 critical areas in the Philippines because of the presence of migratory birds.

The Provincial Veterinarian Office is now making round-the-clock surveillance to prevent the entry of bird flu in areas visited by migratory birds and confiscating meat entering Negros Occidental without permits.

Bascon who expressed his dismay that Himamaylan City had been singled out for the possible entry of bird flu with migratory birds as carriers, said this created unnecessary apprehensions among residents."

Indonesia : Avian Influenza, 118 Chicken in Kebumen Dead

Translated report via Suara Merdeka :

" Kebumen : A total of 118 laying hens in the village of Arab Kebadongan, District Klirong, Kebumen, positive Avian Influenza (AI) or bird flu. Certainty can be achieved from a team of Marine Fisheries and Livestock Service (Peperla) conducted a rapid test on two samples of chicken carcasses laying Arab.

The case was revealed when the Department received a report from Peni Peperla residents Rt 02 RW 01 which mentions 118 laying hens arab population of 500 fish of his sudden death. After receiving the report, a team from the Office Peperla do tapid tests on two samples of the carcass."The results show a positive AI," says Head of Peperla Ir A Trie Prodjo to Suara Merdeka, Tuesday (23/11).

As a follow-up, the Office Peperla burn and bury dead birds at the scene. Spraying the cage and the environment with a disinfectant independently also performed. "We are also improving traffic control livestock and poultry products in the region," he added.

Follow-up of others, namely to increase communication, information and education Avian Influenza disease and monitoring, evaluation is also reporting the incident."

Zimbabwe : Nearly 200 cases of swine flu reported

Via The Herald :

" A suspected swine flu (H1N1) outbreak has hit Ngomahuru communal lands in Masvingo with nearly 200 cases of the disease having been reported in the area over the past three weeks.

Health experts are on the ground to assist communities and have also been conducting awareness campaigns in affected areas.Some of the worst affected areas, according to health officials, are Gunikuni and Mushawasha West and small-scale farming areas in Ngomahuru.

Several people were treated at Masvingo General and Ngomahuru Psychiatric hospitals.Masvingo provincial medical director, Dr Robert Mudyiradima, yesterday said they had sent samples to South Africa for testing."

Living with HIV in Bolivia

An article from BBC News, excerpt :

" In the waiting room at the HIV and Aids clinic in La Paz, Bolivia's main city, a morning soap opera plays on TV.

This is the only place in La Paz to get tested for the virus and where people living with HIV can see a doctor and receive medication.

By law, people who are HIV-positive are entitled to free antiretroviral drugs. This includes Lily, 49, who was diagnosed eight years ago."

India : 14 more dengue cases push Delhi total to 6,190

Via Top News, dengue cases rising in New Delhi :

" New Delhi, Nov 23 : The national capital reported 14 more cases of dengue Tuesday, taking the total number of people in the city infected with the vector-borne disease to 6,190, an official said.

According to a Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) official, Shahdara (North) zone is the most affected with 868 cases, followed by Rohini zone (782) and Karol Bagh (West) zone (690).

There have been eight dengue deaths in the city so far, the official added."

Hong Kong : CHP investigates suspected outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection

From Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a suspected outbreak of upper respiratory tract infection (URI) affecting 16 students aged five to 10 and four staff members of a primary school in Kowloon City.

Those affected, comprising 14 males and six females, developed symptoms of URI including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat since November 6.

All of them remain stable and none have required hospitalisation.

CHP staff have visited the school and provided health advice to the management. The school has been put under medical surveillance."

Philippines : Dengue cases in CV up by 121 percent

An article from Manila Bulletin, excerpt :

" CEBU CITY, Philippines : Cases of dengue continues to soar in Central Visayas with the latest Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) 7 report recording a total of 14,202 cases for the 46th morbidity week covering January to November this year, or an increase of 121 percent compared to data during the same period in 2009.

Last year, RESU7 only recorded 6, 424 dengue cases with 76 deaths while the latest mortality rate on the same period has already posted 110 deaths.

Meanwhile, this city continues to top the list with 3,179 cases and 15 deaths or 23 percent out of total recorded cases. Last year, there were only 856 cases recorded in the city, although the mortality rate was higher at 34 deaths."

Indonesia : Sharp increase in dengue fever in West Nusa Tenggara

Via Antara News :

" Mataram : West Nusatenggara had a total of 1,781 dengue fever cases in the January-October 2010 period, up from 625 in the same period last year, a local public health official said."The number of dengue fever sufferers in 2010 was much higher than in 2009," the head of disease control and environment, health office of West Nusa Tenggara, I Made Suadnya, said here Tuesday.

He said dengue fever was an acute disease caused by the dengue virus and transmitted by mosquitoes. The disease is found in tropical and sub-tropical regions including in many Southeast Asian countries.There were four types of dengue virus, each of which can cause dengue fever, either mild or fatal.

Dengue fever is transmitted to humans through the bite of female Aedes mosquito infected by dengue virus. The disease can not be transmitted directly from person to person."

Canada : 15,000 Canadians hospitalized in 2009 for H1N1

Via Health Zone :

" Canadian hospitals kept pace with the surge of H1N1 patients needing in-patient care during the peak of the pandemic, according to a new analysis which found the impact of the virus was more significant than originally estimated.

A report released Tuesday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found more than 15,000 Canadians were hospitalized for H1N1 between April and December of 2009 — about 6,500 more than what has previously been reported.

Two-thirds of these hospitalizations took place during a five-week period between October and November 2009, according to the CIHI analysis, which considered both confirmed and probable H1N1 cases."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Papua New Guinea : 300 cases as Cholera hits Treaty villages

Via Torres News Online, excerpt :

" The Cholera epidemic in PNG has moved to Australia’s doorstep with about 300 cases diagnosed in Torres Strait Treaty villages in PNG, virtually on the border in the Torres Strait.

Meanwhile Queensland and Federal health authorities have moved to implement contingency plans should Cholera enter Northern Australia.

The Torres News has been told contingency plans include:
  • Treatment tents have been secured from sources as far south as Townsville;
  • Defence facilities on Thursday Island and the detention centre on Horn Island are being placed on stand-by;
  • Additional morgue facilities are being provided; and
  • PNG residents are being discouraged from travelling to events, such as Tombstone Openings.

There have been about 650 cases of Cholera in Daru as well as the 300 plus cases in the Treaty Villages.The Horn Island detention centre is being regarded as a likely centre to house any PNG nationals diagnosed with Cholera who present themselves at Queensland Health clinics.In other news, about 300 people have been refused entry following the closure of the border between PNG and Australia, with none admitted, following the outbreak of cholera on Daru which is now believed to have claimed the lives of more than 120 people.

It is now understood the border between PNG and Australia might not be re-opened until the New Year."

Australia : Seasonal flu shot may soon be thing of the past

Via ABC News :

" A vaccine developed in Canberra to protect against all strains of influenza will be trialed in Indonesia.

Since the first outbreak of swine flu in the early 1980's, researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have been working overtime to develop such a vaccine.

Now the product is ready to trial and a Canberra vaccine company has secured its first customers.

Professor Tim Hirst from Gamma Vaccines says Indonesia is a perfect candidate for the trial.
"We decided that Indonesia, being one of the closest countries, it has a very large population which would be devastated by a new pandemic influenza if it were to occur, it would be very serious," he said.

ANU Immunologist Professor Arno Mullbacher spent decades working on the vaccine and is also pleased with the choice of trial nation."

Philippines : Vet names critical areas in bird flu watch

An article from the Daily Star :

" Surveillance to prevent the entry of bird flu in critical areas visited by migratory birds and confiscation of meat without permits entering Negros Occidental, especially from HongKong, are underway, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said yesterday.

Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, has been identified by the national government as among the 20 critical areas in the Philippines for the presence of migratory birds, Decena said.

A close watch is also being conducted on Barangay Tibsoc, San Enrique that is also in the path of migratory birds, he said."

Pakistan : People continue to reach hospitals with dengue fever

Via the Daily Times :

" KARACHI: Despite chill in air and a gradual onset of winters Sindh continued to have dengue fever patients till Monday.

According to health department sources during past 24 hours 88 dengue patients have been hospitalised. These included 56 from Karachi and 32 from other parts of the province. The total number of suspected cases increased to 5,064. The number of still admitted patients on Monday was 251. Karachi had the share of 205 while remaining were from other parts of the province. The accumulative total of patients found to be dengue positive turned to be 3,508.

These include 2,976 from Karachi and 533 from interior Sindh."

India : Kamrup combats dengue

Via The Telegraph :

" Guwahati, Nov. 22: A rise in confirmed cases of dengue in the past couple of days has prompted the Kamrup district health service initiate preventive measures in the form of information, education and communication (IEC) activities in the district.

Health officials are teaming up with their GMC counterparts to conduct awareness programmes on dengue in the disease-prone areas of the district. Around 70 individuals have so far tested positive for the dengue virus in the district.

Patients suspected to have dengue also continue to arrive in the hospitals for tests.
A majority of individuals testing positive has contracted dengue virus during their recent travel to the affected areas of north India, especially New Delhi.

Cases of local infection are, however, comparatively much low."

CIDRAP : Satellite tracking suggests wild birds may spread H5N1 in Asia


" Nov 22, 2010 : Satellite tracking of wild birds in Asia suggests they may be spreading H5N1 avian influenza from India or Tibet to Mongolia when they fly north in the spring, according to a recent report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The Nov 16 issue of FAO AIDE News, the agency's avian flu newsletter, says this conclusion comes from the tracking of waterfowl that frequent China's Qinghai Lake, where more than 6,000 wild birds died of H5N1 in 2005. Since that outbreak, researchers with the FAO and the US Geological Survey have mounted GPS transmitters on 525 waterfowl in 11 countries to track their migrations, the FAO said.

About half of the birds that died in the Qinghai Lake outbreak were bar-headed geese. The FAO said the satellite tracking has shown that most of the bar-headed geese tagged at Qinghai Lake spend their winters in the Lhasa region of Tibet or in India. There, wild birds are exposed to domestic poultry, and since those areas have had H5N1 outbreaks, the virus may spread between domestic and wild birds, according to the FAO.

"If this is so, wild waterfowl on the eastern portion of the Central Asian Flyway may in fact be helping spread H5N1 HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] into Mongolia each spring as they across the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau to the north and east," the article says."

Hong Kong : Public urged to be vigilant against upper respiratory tract infection

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

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (November 22) called on the public to maintain strict personal and environmental hygiene to prevent upper respiratory tract infection (URI).

The appeal followed the CHP's investigation into a URI outbreak at a residential care home for the disabled in Tuen Mun, involving 13 residents aged between 45 and 80 and seven staff members.

The investigation revealed that the affected, comprising two males and 18 females, developed URI symptoms including fever, runny nose, cough and sore throat since November 9. Nasopharyngeal aspirate specimens taken from two residents were tested negative for Influenza A and B.

All of them are stable and none have required hospitalisation.

Staff of the CHP conducted a site visit and provided health advice."

Nepal : Chitwan dengue still out of control

Via The Himalayan Times :

" CHITWAN: Dengue epidemic spreading in Chitwan district has not come under control yet.
While Bharatpur Municipality is at highest risk, Ratna Nagar is at lowest risk of dengue, according to a study conducted by the District Public Health Office.

The health authority conducted the study by monitoring 17,581 households of Bharatpur Municipality. Among them the risk of dengue has been seen in 2,532 households.

"Dengu mosquito, pupa and larva were found in 14.4 percent households out of the total population," the study said. "The highest dengue mosquito were found at ward no. 6 (380 households) and at ward no. 4 (293 households)."

US : 1st flu-related death of season in Pa. confirmed

An article from Centre Daily :

" ALLENTOWN, Pa. : The state health department says the death of an eastern Pennsylvania man has been confirmed as the first flu-related death of the season.

Michael Huff, acting health secretary, says the 45-year-old Lehigh County man was confirmed to have the 2009 H1N1 influenza, which officials say is beginning to circulate in the commonwealth."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Haiti cholera toll rises to 1,250

Via Sify News :

" Port-au-Prince, Nov 22 : An estimated 1,250 people have died from cholera and an additional 21,000 have been sickened by the disease, Haiti's health ministry said.

Nearly half of the deaths -- 673 -- from cholera, which is contracted through contaminated water and causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting, were reported in the lower Artibonite region, north of capital Port-au-Prince, where the outbreak was first reported Oct 19.

An estimated 63 deaths have been reported so far in Port-au-Prince, the ministry said Sunday.
The UN anticipates that up to 200,000 people will show symptoms of cholera, ranging from cases of mild diarrhoea to severe dehydration.

While the Haitian government immediately declared a public health emergency and non-governmental organisations have been working to increase access to prevention and treatment measures, the course the epidemic takes is difficult to predict, US health experts have said."

Pakistan : 49 new cases of dengue reported

Via The Nation :

" LAHORE : Though with less intensity after decrease in temperature, the menace of dengue fever continued to haunt people across the province including the City. On Sunday, as many as 49 new dengue fever patients were reported from across the province and out of these 16 were from the provincial metropolis.

According to the report released by the Communicable Diseases Control Cell, Health Dept Punjab, there is 66pc decrease in dengue fever patients in the province. During the third week, only 472 cases were reported, against 1374 dengue cases reported during the second week of November.

22 confirmed dengue fever patients are under treatment in different hospitals across the province and all treatment facilities are being provided to them free of cost."

Fears deadly cholera outbreak moving closer to Australia

Via ABC News :

" Queensland Health says it is continuing to monitor the spread of cholera in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the wake of unconfirmed reports the disease has spread closer to the Australian border.

At least 16 people have died from the disease after an outbreak on the PNG island of Daru.
Queensland Health says there have been no confirmed cases in Australia relating to the outbreak.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young says the risk of the outbreak spreading to the Torres Strait remains minimal.

"We've got good ready access to safe drinking water up there and also human waste is disposed of appropriately, so I do want to reassure the islanders that the risk of an outbreak there is low," she said."

China's best treating little girl

Via Xinhua :

" BEIJING, Nov. 22 : Four-year search for diagnosis ends as family finally given hope

The 4-year-old girl who traveled to the capital last week desperately seeking a cure for an ailment that left her with a massively oversized stomach has been diagnosed and is being treated by China's top expert.

Hu Yunxing is suffering from Budd-Chiari Syndrome, said her relieved father, Hu Tianpeng, on Friday. He said he is delighted that the family's four-year search for a diagnosis is finally over.
"Now that we have a diagnosis, we are so happy and have great confidence that there will be a future for our daughter," Hu said.

The impoverished farmer started a microblog on Wednesday night and posted a photo of his wistful-looking daughter."

India : 3 die of dengue in Bhadrachalam

An article from Times of India :

" BHADRACHALAM: Three persons died due to dengue outbreak in Bhadrachalam Agency in Khammam district in the last 24 hours. While a five-year-old boy died in the temple town on Sunday, two others died in Charla mandal on Saturday evening.

Kanithi Saraswati, 40, and Yalam Buchaiah, 65, of Subbampet village died, while 10 others were hospitalised with dengue fever in the area hospital. Worried over the spurt in dengue cases, medical and health officials have initiated emergency measures on a war-footing."

Australia : Swine flu outbreak denied at boarding school

Via Courier Mail :

" A DARWIN school has denied there has been an outbreak of swine flu among their boarding students.

The NT News has been told four teenagers - three girls and a boy - have been diagnosed with swine flu at St John's College.

Several more students have been tested for the illness and one teacher is off sick and waiting for test results.

A staff member, who wished not to be named, said the first student was diagnosed with swine flu on Thursday.

Three more were confirmed as having the H1N1 virus the next day."

Malaysia : Two in Sabah succumb to dengue

An article from the New Straits Times, excerpt :

" KUALA LUMPUR: Two deaths were recorded in Sabah today, one each in Tawau and Sandakan, bringing the total deaths due to the disease to 125 this year, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

He did not elaborate on the two cases but said that the dengue situation in the country was getting more serious. He urged hospitals and clinics to give special attention to dengue symptoms among patients and provide early treatment to those suspected of contracting the disease."

WHO : Avian influenza – situation in China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong, SAR)

An update from WHO :

" 19 November 2010 : The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH), Hong Kong, China, has reported a new confirmed human case of H5N1 infection on 17 Nov 2010. The case is a 59-year-old female. She had onset of symptoms on 2 November and was admitted to hospital on 14 November. She was diagnosed to have pneumonia and is now in a critical condition.

The case had a history of travel to Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou. She reported no history of contact with live birds and poultry in the days before showing symptoms. Her close contacts are under surveillance and are isolated. All remain asymptomatic to date. Nasopharyngeal aspirates of all close contacts were negative for H5. Investigations into the source of her infection are ongoing. Evidence so far indicates a sporadic case of human influenza A(H5N1) infection without secondary spread."

Friday, November 19, 2010

WHO calls on malaria-endemic countries to strengthen monitoring of drug efficacy

Press release from WHO's Western Pacific Region :

" MANILA, 18 November 2010 : The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on countries to be increasingly vigilant in monitoring antimalarial drug efficacy in order to allow for early detection of artemisinin resistance. This is one among several conclusions of the “Global report on antimalarial drug efficacy and drug resistance: 2000–2010”, released today. The report is based on 1100 studies conducted by national malaria control programmes and research institutes over the ten-year period.

The report estimates that only 34% of malaria-endemic countries are complying with WHO recommendations to routinely monitor the efficacy of first- and second-line antimalarial medicines.

“A greater political commitment to support and sustain national monitoring of the efficacy of antimalarial medicines is critical to prevent a wider emergence of artemisinin resistance” said Dr Pascal Ringwald of the Drug Resistance and Containment Unit, within WHO's Global Malaria Programme and one of the report authors.

In February 2009, WHO confirmed that resistance to artemisinin had emerged on the Cambodia-Thailand border. Although patients infected were cured following treatment with an artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), the recovery took more time. In artemisinin-resistant areas, the high cure rates observed depend heavily on the efficacy of the non-artemisinin component of the combination."

Vietnam : Swine flu claims 8 lives in Vietnam this year

Via Vietnam Net Bridge :

" Eight out of 183 patients infected with swine flu this year have died, the Ho Chi Minh City-based Pasteur Institute reported at a meeting on November 17.

It took the number of fatalities, since the disease claimed its first victim in May 2009, to 61, and infected people to 11,305.

The last reported case was in October.

There have been 26 deaths in the south out of 7,316 cases of infection.

In October alone 81 people in the south tested positive for the A/H1N1 virus, with one dying, according to the Institute.

Dr Nguyen Thanh Truong of the HCMC Hospital of Tropical Diseases said most infected patients had symptoms of pneumonia and breathing difficulties.

In August Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, declared the H1N1 pandemic was over and that the world was moving into a post-pandemic period."

Haiti cholera protests turn violent

Via UPI :

" PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Nov. 18 : Anti-United Nations protests in Haiti spread to Port-au-Prince Thursday, with protestors accusing U.N. peacekeepers of introducing cholera in Haiti.

Protestors demanded the United Nations leave the country, CNN reported. U.N. officials deny their forces were responsible for the outbreak.

The outbreak has killed more than 1,100 people."

US : MRSA bacteria found in Wash. fire station

An article from Fire Rescue 1 :

" EVERETT, Wash. : A University of Washington study released today found responders may be at a higher risk for carrying methicillian-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) than the average person.

Researchers conducted the first-ever environmental health study on MRSA in Northwest fire stations and on personnel to determine the extent of the contamination.

After running tests, MRSA was found all over the fire station, reported King 5 News."

Haiti: As Cholera Spreads, Frustration Builds

Via ABC News :

" On the ground in Haiti, it's not just cholera that's spreading -- it's anger.

Frustrated Haitians blame U.N. peacekeepers for the cholera epidemic that has killed more than 1,100 people, and angry riots have broken out targeting the Haitian government.

Today, protestors set up roadblocks and hurled rocks at peacekeepers, who fired back. The protest came on the heels of similar violent outbursts that have occurred in northern Haiti over the last three days."

Romania registers first H1N1 infection this season

Via Focus :

" Bucharest : Romania has registered a first case of infection with the A/H1N1 virus this season in a three-year-old in Calarasi, southeast Romania, authorities said Thursday, Romanian Mediafax news agency. This first case of the season in Romania is the 40th in Europe, Geza Molnar, adviser to the health minister, told a news conference Thursday.

He added the child is doing well and did not require hospitalization. Romania registered 6,999 cases of infection with the H1N1 virus and 122 deaths during a swine flu pandemic."

Bird Flu Pops Up Again in Hong Kong. Is a Pandemic on Its Way?

An article from Time Healthland, please go to the site for all the complete links, excerpt :

" Hong Kong residents experienced an unwelcome blast from the past on Nov. 18. A 59-year-old woman in the city contracted H5N1 avian influenza — the first confirmed case in Hong Kong since 2003. It's not clear how she became sick. She traveled to China Oct. 23 to Nov. 1, visiting several cities — and according to the Hong Kong government, she spent time at a live poultry market in mainland China and ate chicken while she was there. She started showing flu symptoms the day after she returned to Hong Kong, and was admitted to the hospital with a high fever on Nov. 14, and she's in serious condition."

India : Beware, new dengue duo

An article from The Telegraph :

" Dengue has become more dangerous this year with two additional strains of the virus making inroads into the city, triggering the most virulent outbreak of the vector-borne disease in recent years.

A study by the National Institute for Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) confirmed on Thursday that types 1 and 4 of the dengue virus were responsible for the severity.

According to the study, as many as 23 out of every 1,000 Calcuttans were infected over the past 12 months.

“That is a very high rate of prevalence, comparable to other hyper endemic countries like Thailand, Columbia, Nicaragua and some other Latin American locations,” said a scientist at the institute.

The NICED study, which covered 30,000 people with high fever across the city between 2009 and October 2010, revealed a distinct change in the pattern of infection this year."

US : What is H5N1?

Via CNN, go to the site for the full story and other links :

" H5N1 sounds like a random collection of letters and numbers, but to doctors who specialize in the flu it spells the name of a fearsome enemy. Unlike even a severe strain of typical or seasonal flu, H5N1 – which is a type of bird flu – causes critical illness or death in a majority of those it sickens.

A person infected with bird flu typically becomes feverish and within a day or two develops trouble breathing, as the virus lodges in the lower respiratory tract. A substantial number of patients have diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Taken early in the illness, the antiviral medications Tamiflu and Relenza can help, but with or without treatment about 60 percent of all patients die."

UN: Drug-resistant malaria spreading in Asia

Via Associated Press, please go to the link for the full story, excerpt :

" GENEVA : The World Health Organization says countries are not doing enough to detect drug-resistant malaria, which is spreading in Southeast Asia."

India : 29 new dengue cases in Delhi, total 6,035

Via New Kerala :

" New Delhi, Nov 18 : A total of 29 new cases of dengue were reported in the capital Thursday, taking the total number of cases this season to 6,035, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi said.

Shahdara (north) zone in east Delhi was the worst affected with 844 cases so far, while Rohini zone was the second worst-hit with 769 cases of the vector-borne disease.

However, civic officials expressed hope the incidence of the vector-borne disease was declining."

Malaysia : Ready for bird flu threat

Via The Star :

" PETALING JAYA: Malaysia remains vigilant in the wake of Hong Kong’s latest confirmed bird flu case.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said that no travel advisory would be issued in the near future.

He added that all the relevant parties, including the Veterinary Services Department, had been alerted of the situation.

“We are one step ahead. We are aware of developments,” he said.

Hong Kong yesterday reported its first human case of the bird flu since 2003."

Hong Kong : Update on H5N1 case

An update on the H5N1 case in Hong Kong :

" Latest laboratory results received by the Department of Health (DH) today (November 18) revealed that all eight close contacts of the H5N1 case were negative for Influenza A (subtype H5).

The eight, three family members and five other patients who shared a cubicle with the H5N1 patient in a Tuen Mun Hospital ward, were being quarantined at Princess Margaret Hospital.

The H5N1 patient is also in Princess Margaret Hospital and is still in serious condition.

Meanwhile, three more contacts who shared a meal with the H5N1 patient on November 11 have been identified. None of them has fever. Contact tracing continues."

Hong Kong : Steering Committee on Avian Influenza updates avian flu precautionary measures

Press release from the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) :

" The Chairperson of the Steering Committee on Avian Influenza and the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, this morning (November 18) convened an inter-departmental meeting on avian influenza following the confirmation of a case of Influenza A (H5N1) infection by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) yesterday (November 17). The meeting reviewed the latest situation and preventive measures being taken by various parties against avian flu.

The inter-departmental meeting was attended by representatives from the Department of Health (DH), the Hospital Authority (HA), the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), the Education Bureau, the Social Welfare Department, the Home Affairs Department, the Tourism Commission and the Information Services Department.

Dr York Chow said the Serious Response Level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for influenza pandemic had been activated. To prevent the spread of the virus, the inter-departmental group had decided to take a series of actions according to the contingency plan for the Serious Response Level.

Accordingly, the CHP under DH has stepped up surveillance by testing all severe pneumonia cases for H5. A telephone hotline 2125 1111 has been set up to answer public enquiries. The CHP has written to all medical practitioners alerting them of the development and has liaised closely with HA to step up surveillance. The department has also sent letters to institutions, elderly homes and schools to remind them to be vigilant against avian influenza."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

US : Case of Cholera in Florida Is Linked to Haiti Outbreak

Via The New York Times :

" MIAMI : The first known case of cholera in the United States linked to the outbreak in Haiti was confirmed Wednesday by health officials who said a southwest Florida woman contracted the disease while visiting family in a region at the heart of Haiti’s epidemic.

The Florida Department of Health was investigating several suspected cases of the disease elsewhere in the state. They were not believed to be connected to the verified patient, who sought treatment this month at a hospital emergency room in Collier County."

India : Swine flu back in Hyderabad?

Via Indian Express :

" HYDERABAD: It seems the dreaded swine flu is back. A 23-year-old woman with swine flu like symptoms, was admitted to the swine flu ward of the Government Chest Hospital on Wednesday, even as doctors and district medical officials warned swine flu may spread during winter. This is the first suspected case since onset of winter though there were many people who approached hospitals, with common flu symptoms due to climate change.

The woman, a resident of Chaderghat locality was admitted to the hospital suffering from cold, cough and body pains since past one week. “The patient has been admitted to the Outpatient unit. We have collected samples and she is being screened at the swine flu ward.

The report will be out tomorrow,” Dr SV Prasad, hospital superintendent told Expresso. He, however, said none knew how lethal swine flu could be in future.

During the rainy and winter season, swine flu is likely to spread, according to Dr Prasad.

Every season, 10 per cent of the population is affected with common flu but it would be a cause to worry if the number rises to 25-30 percent in coming days. “We need a database of people affected with swine flu in the twin cities, to check for any unusual outbreak,” Dr Prasad said."

India : Chhattisgarh holds emergency meet over rising malaria cases

Via Sify News :

" Every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria.

Raipur, Nov 17 (IANS) Alarmed over reports of malaria cases coming in from various districts, a senior health official Wednesday held here an emergency meeting with chief medical officers (CMO) of all the districts through video conferencing.

Health Secretary Vikasheel asked the CMOs of all the 18 districts to urgently work out a strategy to contain malaria in rural areas and reach out to the patients. Reports suggest the state is adding hundreds of new malaria cases every day."

Rajasthan, India : Dengue death in city

Via Daily Bhaskar :

" Jodhpur: An elderly woman died of dengue at the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital on Tuesday.
Dariyal Kanwar was admitted in serious condition on Monday. This is first case of death at the hospital.

According to doctors fresh cases of dengue are being reported in the area.

Another patient was tested positive of dengue and chikungunya on Tuesday.

Ten samples of samples and four samples of chikungunya cases is being tested in the hospital lab.

Out of these one case of dengue and chikungunya have been confirmed.

Both have been admitted to the OPD section."

India : Youth dies of dengue, jaundice

Via Net India 123 :

" A 20-year-old college student died of Dengue and Jaundice at the Metro Hospital here today.

Hospital sources said Lyod, a BA first-year student of M S University and a resident of Natasha Park in Chhani Jakatnaka area of the city, was admitted to the hospital on Saturday and he died this morning."

US : Officials confirm first H1N1 case of the season in Del.

Via Delaware Online :

" DOVER : The state Division of Public Health has confirmed the first H1N1 flu case of the season.

Lab tests revealed a 50-year-old New Castle County man was suffering with the illness. He is recovering at home, officials said."

WHO: Cholera in Haiti - update 3

A big thanks to the ever insightful Crof at H5N1 :

" On 16 November, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) reported that as of 14 November, 17 418 cumulative number of hospitalized admissions and 1 065 deaths were reported from seven Departments in the country.

The departments reporting cases include Artibonite, Centre, Nord, Nord-Ouest, Nord Est, Ouest, and Sud. In metropolitan Port-au-Prince, communes reporting increases in cases include Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Delmas, Kenscoff, Petion Ville, and Tabarre. The rise in the number of cases in Cite Soleil is particularly concerning, due to its crowded living conditions, poor sanitation, and lack of access to potable water.

On 16 November, Dominican Republic registered its first case of cholera in a 32-year-old male returning from Haiti."

Hong Kong : Woman infected with H5 virus

Another report from Hong Kong's Information Service Department :

" The Government has upgraded its response level for influenza pandemic to 'serious' as a 59-year-old woman is confirmed to have been infected with H5 influenza A virus after a trip to the Mainland.

Secretary for Food & Health Dr York Chow today told reporters the patient is in serious condition with pneumonia symptoms and will be transferred to Tuen Mun Hospital's intensive care unit.

She travelled to Nanjing, Shanghai and Hangzhou with her family from October 23 to November 1, and visited local markets and consumed chicken but did not have any contact with live poultry contact nor visit farms during her stay on the Mainland. She came down with flu symptoms the day after returning and her condition has deteriorated. Her 60-year-old husband also had symptoms but has recovered."

Hong Kong : Woman infected with H5 in serious condition

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health :

" The serious response level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for influenza pandemic was today (November 17) activated as the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) investigated a case of influenza a H5 infection affecting a 59-year-old woman.

The patient developed running nose since November 2 and fever and cough on November 5. She sought medical attention from the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) on November 12. On November 14, she was admitted to TMH for persistent fever and productive cough with blood-stained sputum. She was diagnosed to have pneumonia and is now in serious condition.

A spokesman for the CHP said that the nasopharyngeal aspirate taken from the woman tested positive for Influenza A (H5). Further studies on the virus were in progress.

Investigation revealed that the patient travelled to the Mainland with her husband and daughter between October 23 and November 1, during which she did not have any contact with live poultry contact and had not visited farms.

Her 60-year-old husband had history of running nose and productive cough but has recovered."

"Super superbug" NDM-1 spreads in Europe

An article via Reuters :

" Some 77 cases of a multi-drug resistant "superbug" from India first reported in Britain in August have now been detected in 13 European countries, a scientist at the EU's disease watchdog said on Wednesday.

Dominique Monnet of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said he was very worried by the emergence of NDM-1, or New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, and other bugs like it that are resistant to even the most powerful class of antibiotics, known as carbapenems.

"I know people are calling this NDM-1 a superbug, but for me NDM-1 and bacteria like it are more than superbugs. We're talking about super superbugs," Monnet said in a telephone interview from Stockholm, where the ECDC is based."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Haiti cholera reaches Dominican Republic

An article from BBC News, excerpt :

" The Dominican Republic has detected its first case of cholera, following the outbreak of the disease in neighbouring Haiti last month.

The patient is a Haitian migrant who had recently returned from his homeland, the health minister said.

The Dominican authorities had stepped up border controls and health checks to try to stop cholera from spreading from Haiti.

More than 1,000 Haitians have died of the disease.

Dominican health minister Bautista Rojas said the patient, a 32-year-old Haitian construction worker, was being treated in isolation in the eastern town of Higuey.

Like Haiti, the Dominican Republic had not had a confirmed case of cholera in more than a century until this year."

Cholera death toll in Haiti surpasses 1,000

Via Xinhua :

" SANTO DOMINGO, Nov. 16 : More than 1,000 people have died in Haiti due to the cholera epidemic affecting the impoverished country, Haitian Health Minister Gabriel Timothee said on Tuesday.

According to news from Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, Timothee also said that about 16,800 people have been hospitalized due to this disease.

However, according to him, last week there was a reduction of the number of deaths, dropping from 66 weekly to 46.

The most affected departments are Artibonite, Norte and Oeste, said Timothee.

Timothee said some 15,000 patients in hospital have returned home and he believes that the daily number of deaths will soon fall."

South Korea : Actress gets H1N1 in Rome, dies

An article from Korea JoongAng Daily :

" Actress You Dong-sook, 37, died last Thursday from the H1N1 flu at a Seoul-area hospital after catching the virus at the Fifth International Rome Film Festival last month while promoting her low-budget film “My Heart Beats.”

You was given the leading role in the film directed by Huh Eun-hee and was invited to the extra competition session of the Rome festival.You was a theater actress for most of her career.She started feeling flu symptoms - body aches and respiratory difficulties - when she returned to Korea on Oct. 31.

She was hospitalized Nov. 2 at the Korea University Anam Hospital, and died nine days later from complications due to H1N1."

Pakistan : Two dengue patients still at Peshawar hospital

Via The Nation :

" PESHAWAR: At least two Dengue-suffering patients are left at Lady Reading Hospital of Peshawar for medical treatment, Geo News reported Monday.

According to Health Department, more 12 cases of dengue virus came to notice in Peshawar, raising the overall tally of dengue patients to 25 in the provincial capital.The other patients have been discharged fully cured.

There are two patients being currently treated at Lady Reading Hospital."

Malaysia : Dengue hotspots identified

An article from Borneo Post Online :

" SIBU: The cramped residential areas surrounding Tiong Hua Road have become a dengue hotspot with 250 cases already reported in Sibu as the worst-hit town for the current outbreak in the state.

Classified as Zone 7 by the Health Office here, the areas include the right side of Brooke Drive, Hua Kiew Road, Merlin Lane, Lai Chee Lane, Rambutan Lane, Emplam Lane, Belian Lane, Tiong Hua Road, Langsat Lane, Foochow Lane, Chew Sik Hiong Road and the left side of Pedada Road.
Compounding the problem further is neighbouring Zone 5, which records the second highest with 124 cases.

The flood prone low-lying cramped residential area includes the right side of Pedada, Tong Sang Road, Kapor Road, Bukit Assek Road and from Amoy Road to Aman Road."

LPAI Infection Found on Farm in Germany

Via The Poultry Site :

" GERMANY : The German veterinary authorities have reported a subclinincal infection of low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) in a farmed flock in the north of the country.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received an immediate notification yesterday, 15 November. The presence of the H5N2 virus was first observed on 10 November and confirmed on 11 November.

According to the report, the subclinincal infection was found at a farm at Kobande in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. All 17,000 birds were thought to be susceptible to the disease. No birds were destroyed, and no deaths have been recorded.

Contact with wild species has been identified as the primary source of the outbreak."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

US : Northeast El Paso man dies from West Nile virus

Via El Paso Times :

" EL PASO : A 60-year-old man who lived in the Northeast died from complications caused by the West Nile virus, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health reported Monday.

The man was diagnosed with the illness in September and died recently, officials said. He is the second El Pasoan to die this year after being exposed to the virus.

"As a department we continually work to prevent this kind of tragedy," said Michael Hill, the city's public health director. "We will continue our efforts in disease prevention and educating the public in order to prevent more loss in our community."

Avian influenza A (H9N2): computational molecular analysis and phylogenetic characterization of viral surface proteins isolated between 1997 and 2009

From Virology Journal, excerpt, but please go to the link and read the whole study :

" Abstract (provisional)


H9N2 avian influenza A viruses have become panzootic in Eurasia over the last decade and have caused several human infections in Asia since 1998. To study their evolution and zoonotic potential, we conducted an in silico analysis of H9N2 viruses that have infected humans between 1997 and 2009 and identified potential novel reassortments.


A total of 22 hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences were retrieved from the NCBI flu database. It was identified that mature peptide sequences of HA genes isolated from humans in 2009 had glutamine at position 226 (H3) of the receptor binding site, indicating a preference to bind to the human alpha (2-6) sialic acid receptors, which is different from previously isolated viruses and studies where the presence of leucine at the same position contributes to preference for human receptors and presence of glutamine towards avian receptors. Similarly, strains isolated in 2009 possessed new motif R-S-N-R in spite of typical R-S-S-R at the cleavage site of HA, which isn't reported before for H9N2 cases in humans. Other changes involved loss, addition, and variations in potential glycosylation sites as well as in predicted epitopes."

US : Cook County schools hit by norovirus

Via Chicago Tribune :

" Susan Silbernagel can only use one adjective to describe the illness she recently experienced: awful.

"That is the only word I can use," said Silbernagel, who began suffering vomiting and intense stomach cramps last week.

The Elmhurst-area resident said her doctor confirmed her ailments as a case of the norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness known to spread in the late fall and winter months. She doesn't know how she contracted the virus, though her 11-year-old daughter attends a Lombard elementary where she said numerous children have been out sick in recent weeks."

India : H1N1 claims another life

Via Times of India :

" NEW DELHI: The capital is in the grip of dengue and H1N1 influenza as 79 and 18 new cases of dengue and H1N1 influenza respectively were reported on Wednesday.

One person died due to H1N1 at Lok Nayak Hospital. In this year alone, 2012 and 1355 cases of dengue and H1N1 respectively have been reported. Experts say due to intermittent rain, cases have stabilized."

Hong Kong : Two strains of drug resistant bacteria identified

Press release from the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health in Hong Kong, excerpt :

" The Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch (PHLSB) has for the first time identified two strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae harbouring the gene encoding for the KPC carbapenemase.

Similar carbapenem-resistant bacteria, for example, those harbouring IMP gene, have been found in Hong Kong before.

A spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health said the gene confers resistance to the carbapenem group of antibiotics, which are broad-spectrum and usually used as second-line agents.

The finding involved two patients attending public hospitals, whose isolates were referred to PHLSB.

The patient from Queen Mary Hospital was a 66-year-old man with a history of previous hospital admission in China in October 2010. His rectal swab specimen tested positive for the KPC-harbouring K. pneumoniae strain. He was not infected but only colonised with the strain. The patient is now staying at the Tung Wah Hospital in stable condition. Isolation precautions have been implemented."

Pakistan : Journalist dies of dengue fever

An article from The Nation :

" LAHORE : Senior journalist Saud Malik died here on Monday. He was suffering from dengue fever. His funeral would be taken out from his old Muslim Town residence, 10-Salik Road on Tuesday (today). During his 25 years journalist career, late Saud remained associated with Urdu dailies and news agencies. Office-bearers of various bodies of journalists including Punjab Union of Journalists and Lahore Press Club have condoled his death expressing concern over inadequate facilities for treatment of dengue patients at state-run hospitals.

As per details obtained from his family members, Saud Malik was admitted to Services Hospital Lahore some five days back with symptoms of dengue fever. The doctors asked his relatives to take the patient to some private clinic, saying the hospital had run short of necessary platelets kits. His relatives then shifted him to Jinnah Hospital, but the doctors discharged him after three days. His condition deteriorated again.

Late Saud was then admitted to Wapda Hospital, where he breathed his last on Monday evening."

India : 2 Dengue, 18 malaria cases confirmed in Vasco, Bicholim

Via Times of India :

" VASCO/BICHOLIM: Following two cases of dengue being reported from Karma Enclave Colony, Vaddem, opposite Pai Nursing Home, Vasco urban health centre in-charge Dr Vikas Kuvelkar along with Dr Dayanand Thakkar and a field worker on Monday afternoon carried out an inspection of the colony. The doctors admitted that besides the two reported cases of dengue, three other cases are also being suspected.

According to Kuvelkar, the suspected dengue cases are among two boys, aged between 10 and 12 years, who were admitted to a private hospital. While one has been discharged, the other is still undergoing treatment.

During their inspection, inside the flat of one of the boys, the team noticed some breeding taking place in flower pots kept in the gallery. After testing the sample, it was found to be larvae. "We have recovered three flower pots from the same flat," Kuvelkar added. After clearing the pots, the team conducted fogging at the site and instructed the colony residents to take precautions against conditions that serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes."

India : Country grappling with mixed burden of diseases

Via The Hindu, excerpt :

" NEW DELHI: As the country grapples with a “mixed burden” of diseases that beset the developing as well as developed countries, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said adequate research was needed to deal with the challenge of non-communicable and re-emerging diseases.

Addressing the centenary celebrations of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) here, Mr. Azad said as the country moved from a developing nation to the status of a developed one, it had to face the challenge of communicable, non-communicable and re-emerging diseases.
Diversity of problems

“The health parameters of our population show a very wide range which reflects diversity of problems, lack of proper maternal and child healthcare facilities in a significant portion of the country and a large burden of morbidity due to infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS.” Malaria after the initial success in 1960s and 1970s has become a killer disease again especially in the inaccessible tribal population."

India : 23 fresh dengue cases in Delhi

An article from Bombay News :

" Delhi reported 23 fresh cases of dengue Monday as the total number of people hit by the disease this year rose to 5,973, an official said.According to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Shahdara (north) zone continues to be the most affected with 828 cases followed by Rohini zone (758) and Civil Lines zone (656).Eight people have died due to the disease this year, the official added.

However, the number of chikungunya cases is gradually rising in the capital. A total of 47 cases of the disease have been reported in the city so far. Only seven such cases were reported during the corresponding period last year."

Canada : H1N1 deaths, ICU admissions in 2nd wave proportionally less than 1st wave: study

Via The Canadian Press :

" TORONTO : As Canadians start rolling up their sleeves for this year's flu shot, researchers are rolling out a new analysis of last year's flu season.

The study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal compares the first and second waves of the H1N1 pandemic, which initially hit Canada in April 2009.

In the second wave, which began Aug. 30, 2009, there were 4.8 times more hospital admissions, four times more admissions to intensive-care units and 4.6 times more deaths.

But ICU admissions and deaths as a proportion of hospital admissions fell in the second wave, even though patients admitted to hospital were older and more of them had underlying conditions.

There was a 16 per cent proportional decline in ICU admissions and a six per cent proportional decline in deaths compared with the first wave, the study found.

The analysis also revealed that the impact on aboriginal populations and pregnant women was much less in the second wave, said Dr. John Spika, director general of the Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases at the Public Health Agency of Canada."

Studies show drug-resistant bug threats in Europe

An article from Reuters, excerpt :

" LONDON, Nov 16 : Drug-resistant infections with the "superbug" Clostridium difficile are rising in Europe and are widespread, scientists said on Tuesday, but there are big variations in the way health authorities monitor them.

In a Europe-wide study, researchers found the incidence of C-difficile infections in hospitals had risen to 4.1 per 10,000 patient days in 2008 from 2.45 per 10,000 patient days in 2005.
"It is clearly on the increase, that's for sure," said Ed Kuijper of Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands, who led the study with his colleague Martijn Bauer.

"There is also a huge variation of incidence in different European countries -- mainly due to the fact that each country uses its own surveillance system and its own diagnostic tests, so in some countries it is underestimated and in other countries it is overestimated."

Monday, November 15, 2010

2m new TB cases in India last year

From Times of India :

" NEW DELHI: India is saddled with highest burden of tuberculosis — with nearly 2 million new cases recorded in 2009. Out of an estimated 1.3 million people who died of TB in 2008, the nation alone accounted for 2.8 lakh lives.

India's case detection was around 67%, while the estimated number of TB cases that had become multi-drug resistant was 99,000 in 2009.

Even though the TB mortality rate has fallen by 35% since 1990, the disease claimed 1.7 million lives last year — of which 3.8 lakh were women."

Nepal : Battle against dengue

An article from The Himalayan Times :

" CHITWAN: With dengue raging on in Chitwan, the District Disaster Management Committee has mobilised Nepali Army and Armed Police Force personnel to kill the disease-causing mosquitoes in Bharatpur municipality from today. Dr Mahedra Prasad Shrestha of the District Public Health Office (DPHO) said the committee had mobilised other stakeholders to bring the disease under control. He asked all to take part in the door-to-door campaign that is going on in Bharatpur and Ratnanagar.

The committee has also decided to continue the awareness drive and remove things like old tyres in which disease-causing mosquitoes thrive. Meanwhile, a study report of the DPHO and the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has confirmed that dengue is still beyond control, despite a decrease in the number of patients. “We are yet to bring the disease under control,” conceded Rakesh Thakur, the division’s senior officer. According to DPHO, blood tests confirmed that 534 out of the total of 2,624 patients in the district had dengue. Sixty-five out of 647 patients were tested Leptosprirosis positive, while H1N1 (swine flu) virus was found in 24 patients."

Papua New Guinea : Torres council measures 'preventing cholera threat'

Via ABC News :

" The Torres Strait Island Regional Council says action has been taken to deal with a potential cholera threat.

At least 16 people have died from the disease after an outbreak on the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Island of Daru.

Queensland Health (QH) says there have been no confirmed cases in Australia relating to the outbreak.

Torres Strait Mayor Fred Gela says the local water supply is secure."

Researchers Develop Light Technology to Combat Hospital Infections

Via Science Daily :

" ScienceDaily (Nov. 15, 2010) : A pioneering lighting system that can kill hospital superbugs -- including MRSA and C. difficile -- has been developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

The technology decontaminates the air and exposed surfaces by bathing them in a narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths, known as HINS-light.

Clinical trials at Glasgow Royal Infirmary have shown that the HINS-light Environmental Decontamination System provides significantly greater reductions of bacterial pathogens in the hospital environment than can be achieved by cleaning and disinfection alone, providing a huge step forward in hospitals' ability to prevent the spread of infection.

This novel decontamination technology was discovered and developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts, Professor Scott MacGregor (Electrical Engineer), Professor John Anderson and Dr Michelle Maclean (Microbiologists) and Professor Gerry Woolsey (Optical Physicist)."

India : Dengue patient kills himself over treatment cost

A sad news from Ludhiana, Punjab in India, an article from Times of India :

" LUDHIANA: Leaving a big question mark over the city's healthcare system, a young patient committed suicide on Saturday night when he could not afford treatment for dengue.

Twentyfour-year-old Davinder Kumar, who was resident of Khud Mohalla, committed suicide because of the dreaded disease and his inability to get treatment owing to the financial crunch. He was a private employee, working with a private telecom company on a temporary basis.

Raj Kumar, sub-inspector of Division no 3 police Station, said that the youth killed himself in his home because he did not have any money to get treatment for dengue.

Davinder Kumar, who was the only earning member in the family as his father passed away long ago, is survived by his mother and two sisters. The elder sister is married and younger one unmarried."

India : Doctors ready to face second wave of swine flu

An article from Times of India :

" NAGPUR: With the second wave of swine flu expected as the winter progresses, doctors have suggested extreme caution to avoid a spread of the virus. Doctors claim they are well-equipped to tackle any eventuality, but they all agree that preventive actions need to be taken by everyone.

Quoting WHO's adviser Dr Keiji Fukada, Dr Sanjay Marathe revealed that this time around the pandemic might take a more deadly form, affecting 30% more people than earlier.

Differing a bit from these views, at an IMA conference, physician Dr Pradeep Mishra said that the virus is more prevalent in colder climes and not tropical countries like India. "Many deaths are recorded by road accidents and tuberculosis. Our priorities should differ from other countries," he added."

WHO : Polio in Central Asia and the North Caucasus Federal Region of the Russian Federation

Via WHO :

" 13 November 2010 : The risk of further international spread of the ongoing polio outbreak in Central Asia and the North Caucasus Federal Region in Russia continues to be high.

In Central Asia, genetic sequencing of the poliovirus isolated from a child paralyzed in Kazakhstan on 12 August 2010 has confirmed ongoing circulation of the virus which caused the Tajikistan outbreak and subsequently spread to the Russian Federation, Turkmenistan and possibly Uzbekistan. In the Russian Federation, the detection of an additional case of polio with onset on 25 September in the Republic of Dagestan confirms ongoing poliovirus transmission in the North Caucasus Federal Region.

In Tajikistan, the epicenter of the Central Asian outbreak (458 WPV1 cases, at 3 November), no new polio cases have been reported since 4 July 2010 following five mass immunization campaigns with oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV), with a sixth and final round planned for 8-12 November. In Turkmenistan (three WPV1 cases), no new cases have been reported since 28 June 2010, and four mass OPV immunization campaigns have been completed. In Kazakhstan, the seven-year-old boy from Saryagach in the Southern Kazakhstan Oblast (SKO) who was paralyzed on 12 August 2010, represents the only case in the country; a second large-scale OPV mop-up round is being conducted in the first week of November.

The Russian Federation's 14th case, the child paralyzed on 25 September, brings the total number of cases in the North Caucasus Federal Region to six, three each from Dagestan and Chechnya. Genetic sequencing of this virus is consistent with ongoing transmission in the North Caucasus Federal Region since the detection of the index cases on 15 July 2010 in Dagestan and 4 August 2010 in Chechnya following two separate importations from Tajikistan.

The other eight cases in Russia represent sporadic importations associated with individual cases, the last of which occurred on 2 July 2010; none of these cases has been associated with ongoing circulation following local catch-up immunization activities with OPV. In response to the continued transmission in the North Caucasus Federal Region, the Russian Federation initiated a 1st round of mass OPV immunization in the area on 1 November, with a 2nd round planned for late November; both rounds will target all children aged six months to 15 years."

Cayman Islands : GM mosquitoes released to fight dengue in Cayman Isles

Via Deccan Herald :

" Scientists have released three million genetically-modified (GM) mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands to fight dengue fever.

Batches of the male mosquitoes were released in a 40-acre area, from May to October, to mate with wild female counterparts of the same species, so they wouldn't be able to produce any offspring. Only female mosquitoes bite humans and spread the disease.By August, mosquito numbers in that region dropped by 80 percent compared with a neighbouring area where no sterile male mosquitoes were released, the Daily Mail reported.

"This test in the Cayman Islands could be a big step forward," said Andrew Read, professor of biology and entomology at Pennsylvania State University."Anything that could selectively remove insects transmitting really nasty diseases would be very helpful," he said, according to the journal PLoS Biology."

Kuwait : One fatality does spell H1N1 epidemic

An article via Kuwait Samachar, excerpt :

" KUWAIT: Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health at the Ministry of Health Dr. Yousef Al-Nisf said that each health zone is responsible for the proper procedures in dealing with any case of swine flu that may occur in their jurisdiction. He said that a memo was issued earlier in this regard.

In a statement to Al Watan, which reported the death of a Kuwaiti girl from the H1N1 virus (swine flu) according to the death certificate issued by the hospital on Nov. 6, Al-Nisf said that the Public Health Sector was not informed on the death, due to the fact that the sector only intervenes in cases of epidemics. He confirmed that the instructions from Minister of Health Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer say that the Director of each Health Zone has the jurisdictions of a minister in regards to dealing with any medical cases.

Regarding the H1N1 virus in general, Al-Nisf pointed out that the World Health Organization reported, in its recent news bulletins and reports, that the world is no longer under a level six alert but is in the post-epidemic stage. He added that any individual cases can be dealt with by the ministry."

Haiti cholera toll tops 900 with six provinces affected

Via Reuters :

" The death toll from Haiti's cholera epidemic has reached more than 900 and the disease is present in six of the 10 provinces of the earthquake-battered Caribbean country, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.

An update on the ministry website ( said as of November 12, there had been 917 deaths and more than 14,600 hospitalized cases since the outbreak began more than three weeks ago in the Western Hemisphere's poorest state.

The central rural province of Artibonite, the epicenter of the epidemic, remained the worst affected, accounting for nearly 600 of the total deaths. Other provinces affected were Center, Nord, Nord Ouest, Sud, and Ouest, where the capital Port-au-Prince is located."