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Monday, October 31, 2011

Nepal : Medical team in Mahottari to control diarrhea epidemic

Via Republica :

" A team of doctors along with medicines has reached Matihani of Mahottari district on Monday, where epidemic of diarrhea has spread for the past five days.

According to the District Public Health Office, Mahottari, the team reached Matihani, after two girls of Matihani-1 and 3 died of diarrhea on Sunday.

Local media-person Hari Prasad Mandal said as many as 20 persons have been suffering from diarrhea at the place, which is adjacent to the border of India.

The team from the District Health Office, Mahottari, is providing necessary medicines and Jeevanjal (rehydration syrup) reaching door to door. Some of the patients have been taken to Madhawa of India for treatment.

Seven-year-old Manisha Kumari of Matihani-1 and five-year-old Priyanka Kumari Mandal of Matihani-3 had died of diarrhea on Sunday morning."

Indonesia : Most Bali Hospitals Not Prepared to Handle Bird Flu

Via The Jakarta Globe :

" Most of the hospitals in the resort island of Bali have not yet ready to handle the referral of patients infected with bird flu virus, a local health official has said.

Bali provincial health department chief dr Nyoman Sutedja said here on Sunday that type B hospital could handled bird flu virus infected patients but most of the hospitals in the province were type-C and could not do so.

Nyoman said that Bali only had three reference type-b hospitals for bird flu, namely Sanggala hospital in Denpasar, Tabanan hospital in Tabanan, and Sanjiwani hospital in Gianyar but the rests were type-C. The biggest hospital in Bali is Sanglah Central Hospital in the downtown of Denpasar.

According to him, type-C hospitals in Bali were unable to handle the patients infected with bird flu virus because they did not have sophisticated infrastructures and facilities nor capable medical experts.

"The specialist doctors for bird flu are mostly in the cities and only a few are at the hospitals in the regions," Nyoman Sutedja said, adding that the reference hospitals also needed specialist doctors who were able to use sophisticated instrument to treat the bird flu patients.

He pointed out that bird flu patients usually experience suffocation and therefore the needed shortness of breath and required artificial artificial respiration with a variety instruments."

Pakistan : 5 die as dengue targets females

Via The Nation :

" LAHORE : The ruthless dengue focused on female victims as four of its new five victims on Saturday were women. Thus the death tally in the City has reached staggering 323. Besides killing five more persons, the deadly virus also forced hundreds of more to land in hospitals.

Majeed Bibi (45) and Muhammad Waqas (18), both from Guru Mangit, breathed their last at Services Hospital while Fauzia Bibi (24), of Chungi Amar Sadhu died at Ittefaq Hospital and Parveen Begum (55), of Allama Iqbal Town, breathed her last at Akram Complex. The last victim, Allah Rakhi, died at Sheikh Zayed Hospital. Out of 171 new cases, 23 were tested positive at Mayo Hospital, 20 at Services Hospital, 15 at Sheikh Zayed Hospital, 11 at Institute of Child Health, 09 at Jinnah Hospital, 08 each at sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Institute of Public Health, 07 at Lahore General Hospital while the remaining cases were reported from other public sector hospitals and private clinics in the City."

Indonesia : Two New Suspected Bird Flu Cases Hit Bali

Via The Jakarta Globe :

" Denpasar : A mother and daughter are being treated at the Sanglah General Hospital in Denpasar, Bali, after contracting suspected bird flu.

Hospital spokesman Kadek Nariyantha said the hospital was awaiting test results to determine if the pair had avian influenza, which is prevalent on the island. There have been two confirmed deaths this month.

Kadek identified the woman as Ni Nyoman S, 42, and Ni Kadek S, 10, from the village of Pande in Abiansemal, Badung.

Both patients were in stable conditions, he said."

Hong Kong : CHP urges vigilance against community-associated MRSA

Article via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (October 25) called on the public to be vigilant against infection by community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), a drug resistant bacterium.

The appeal was made following the CHP's investigation into a confirmed case of invasive CA-MRSA involving a 16-year-old boy living in Sai Kung.

The boy, with good past health, presented with swelling in the left thigh since October 6. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Tseung Kwan O Hospital on October 9. He was admitted for treatment on the same day.

The patient is currently in a stable condition. Blood culture from him grew CA-MRSA.

His home contacts had no symptoms of CA-MRSA infection.

MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics. It is a common infection worldwide.

In recent years, many countries have observed MRSA infections in healthy individuals who have not been hospitalised or stayed in other healthcare facilities or institutions, nor received medical procedures in the year before the onset of symptoms. They are known as CA-MRSA infections and usually have special patterns of antibiotic resistance.

It is widely recognised that indiscriminate use of antibiotics may contribute to antibiotics resistance, a CHP spokesman said."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hendra and Nipah: Antibody Treatment for 2 Deadly Viruses Shows Promise in Tests and an Emergency

Via The New York Times, excerpt :

" A treatment using human antibodies against two of the scariest new viruses has protected monkeys in tests, researchers reported last week.

And in an emergency use authorized just after the monkey study, it may have saved the lives of an Australian mother and daughter exposed to a horse dying from one of the viruses.

The antibody, named m102.4, fights two related viruses, Hendra and Nipah, which were discovered in the 1990s in flying fox bats. Antibodies are proteins the body produces against invaders; specific ones called monoclonal antibodies can be produced by growing them in cells into which genes have been spliced.

Nipah usually infects pigs, which get it from food contaminated with bat droppings or urine. It has killed 251 of the 475 people known to have caught it, most of whom worked with pigs."

Indonesia : Sanglah Hospital treats18 Bird Flu suspect patients

Machine translated article from Bali Post :

" In early October 2011, RS Sanglah again received two patients suspect bird flu that eventually tested positive and died.

Throughout the month of October 2011, a total of suspect bird flu patients who were treated at Sanglah Hospital recorded 18 people.

"There were 18 patients suspect bird flu, two of which tested positive and died,''said the Head of Public Relations Sanglah Hospital, dr. Kadek Nariyanta, Monday (24/10) yesterday.

Of the 18 patients, respectively suspect came from Bangli, Badung, Denpasar, Tabanan, State, Gianyar and Klungkung.

If totalized since 2005 when the first outbreak of bird flu in Bali, the total patient suspect bird flu in Bali reached 56 people with a total of four people died.

For the last condition, the patient suspect bird flu from Denpasar, Arn (1) entering Friday (21/10) and, further Kadek from lab test results, whether the examination at Sanglah Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine showed negative results. Because of her condition improves, patients are allowed to go home on Saturday (22/10) ago."

Hand-foot-mouth disease, dengue on rise in Vietnam

Via Xinhua, updates on Hand, Foot, Mouth disease and dengue in Vietnam :

" The hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) and dengue were on the rise across Vietnam, reported the Vietnam Preventive Medicine Administration (PMA) on Tuesday.

As of Oct. 23, the country had more than 76,120 HFMD patients and 135 fatalities. The number of incidents has increased significantly over the last few weeks, with an average of 2,000-2, 500 new cases reported each week.

Southern Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong, Long An and Quang Ngai were the most-hit localities, said the report.

Meanwhile, dengue was also reported on the rise. In the first ten months of the year, there were more than 41,200 infected cases and 32 fatalities. Currently, an average of 2-3 cases a day were hospitalized by dengue infections, mainly from capital Hanoi."

India leads in rotavirus infection deaths: Lancet

Via The Hindu :

" Close to one lakh children below the age of five years died of diarrhoea attributable to rotavirus infection in 2008, accounting for 22 per cent of the total deaths reported globally, reports the latest edition of the Lancet Infection Diseases magazine.

Diarrhoea related with the rotavirus infection resulted in 453,000 deaths worldwide in 2008 among children younger than five years—37 per cent of deaths attributable to diarrhoea with five countries accounting for more than half of all deaths attributable to such infection: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Introduction of effective and available rotavirus vaccines in other countries, mostly middle-income or poorer, could substantially reduce worldwide deaths attributable to diarrhoea, the paper has suggested.

In this new study, Dr. Jacqueline E. Tate and Dr. Umesh D. Parashar, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, US, and colleagues did a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies with at least 100 children younger than five years who had been admitted to hospital with diarrhoea. They also included data from countries that participated in the WHO-coordinated Global Rotavirus Surveillance Network. Studies were classified into one of five groups on the basis of region and the level of child mortality in the country in which the study was done.

Estimate of deaths

The authors note that their estimate of deaths due to rotavirus-related diarrhoea in 2008 is somewhat lower than the previous estimate of 527 000 deaths in 2004, saying the difference is largely because of an overall decrease in diarrhoea-related deaths in children younger than 5 years from 1·8 million in 2003 to 1·2 million in 2008. “However,” they add, “we do not know what proportion of this decrease is due to a true decline in diarrhoea-related mortality and what proportion is due to a change in the methods used to estimate the number of diarrhoea-related deaths."

Singapore : Third student at Bedok school diagnosed with tuberculosis

Article via Straits Times :

" A Secondary 4 student from Bedok Town Secondary School has been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) - the third student from the school found to have the infectious disease this year.

On Monday night, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that this new case was 'not an identified contact' of the other two students, who contracted TB in April and July this year.

The three were from different academic levels and were not close contacts, said a ministry spokesman."

India : 24 new dengue cases reported

Via Times of India :

" NEW DELHI: MCD's anti-mosquito breeding drive has failed to yield positive results as the dengue and chikungunya cases continue to increase. The cases of dengue have gone up to 596 with the civic body reporting 24 new cases of the mosquito-borne disease on Monday. Nine new cases of chikungunya were also reported.

Dr V K Monga, chairman of the MCD health committee, said the cases would decrease post-Diwali as winter sets in.

"More private hospitals are reporting to us now which has led to an increase in the official count of the number of patients suffering from these diseases. From an average of 10 cases of dengue per day, we are now getting over 20-25 cases per day," said Monga. He added that by mid-November, the cases are likely to come down as the aedes mosquito breeds in warm weather and dies in winter when the temperature drops."

US : Bats cause a rabies scare in Mishawaka

Via ABC 57 News, excerpt :

" Halloween is right around the corner and your kids are probably safe from ghouls and goblins, but you may want to keep them far away from bats.

"We have had quite a few rabid bats in the area, said Critter Gitter Owner Jim Sheffield."

This year alone the St. Joseph County Humane Society reported three bats that tested positive for rabies. One of these cases was reported this week in a Mishawaka home in the Central Park area. Awesome Critter Gitter owner Jim Sheffield says bats are nothing to take lightly.

"They are very dangerous. Probably the common danger is of course them touching you, but the second most common danger I feel is people wanting to release bats", said Sheffield.

Sheffield says that even if a bat only touches you, you can still become exposed to the rabies virus."

India : AMC intensifies anti-malaria drive; death toll touches 16

Via Times of India :

" AHMEDABAD: The burgeoning population of mosquitoes in the city has kept the municipal authorities on tenterhooks. Despite several measures and claims made by officers of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), the deadly sting continues to take its toll. The number of malaria deaths has now risen to 16 this month.

On Monday, Raipur-resident Dahya Sharma, 35, succumbed to falciparum in VS Hospital. Sharma was the 16{+t} {+h} victim of malaria and other fatal fevers in the city this month. Since August 1, the city has recorded more than 65 deaths due to malaria, falciparum and dengue.

In October alone, 670 cases of falsiparum, 650 of malaria and 200 of dengue have been reported in AMC-run hospitals alone in the city. However, the situation is more alarming as high number of incidences of dengue, malaria and falciparum cases in private hospital go largely unreported."

Death toll could hit 1,000 as hopes fade for victims of Turkish quake

Via The Vancouver Sun, excerpt :

" Desperately hoping they would pull out her daughter Hatice alive, Constanze Hasimoglu murmured "Oh God, oh God, please," as rescue workers drilled and hammered through the rubble of her home.

"The rescuers have detected a voice, but I don't know if it is her," she said, sobbing.

As the earthquake struck the eastern Turkish city of Van, Constanze received a telephone call from her daughter. "She said 'Hello hello' and then the line went dead," she said.

The 23-year-old had been waiting to receive a friend at home when the quake struck on Sunday. The block of eight apartments had crumbled to a heap of concrete rubble.

"She is a sweet, kind girl. She is easily scared. When they would shake the desks at school to simulate an earthquake she would flee the room. I don't know how she can survive this," said Aishe Minas, a friend.

Many of the buildings in the remote towns on the mountainous expanse close to the Iran border, where the quake struck, were too ramshackle to withstand the tremors.

Throughout the provincial capital city of Van, which has a population of 500,000, and in Ercis, 13 miles from the epicentre of the earthquake, more than 80 apartment blocks were flattened."

Pakistan : Killer Dengue claims five more in Lahore

Via Pakistan Times :

" Five more lives were lost to the Dengue virus in Lahore on Monday, Geo News reported. The death toll from the virus has risen to 245 in the city and 277 across Punjab.

During the last 24 hours, 174 new Dengue cases were reported taking the number of patients in the province to 18,684. In Lahore alone 15,893 Dengue cases have been reported."

WHO European Region aims to wipe out malaria in 4 years: Roll Back Malaria partners target strongholds of the disease

Via WHO's Europe Region, excerpt :

" Eliminating malaria by the end of 2015 in at least 8–10 additional countries globally, and thus from the entire WHO European Region, is one of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership’s objectives. A new WHO report, “Eliminating malaria: learning from the past, looking ahead”, clearly indicates that the 53 countries that make up the European Region are very close to reaching the goal.

Hopes of wiping out the disease in the Region have been growing since WHO declared Turkmenistan and, last week, Armenia malaria free. A country can request WHO to certify its malaria-free status when its surveillance system has reported no cases for at least three consecutive years. In addition, since 2010, locally acquired Plasmodium vivax malaria cases have been reported in only five European countries: Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Georgia reported its last locally acquired malaria case in 2009. The temporary reintroduction of malaria transmission in Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation has been controlled in recent years.

“We are exterminating the disease from its last remaining strongholds,” says Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “With strong human capacity, continued investment, evidence-based programming and continued partnership, achieving the ambitious Roll Back Malaria targets for 2015, including the elimination of the disease from the WHO European Region, is within our grasp.”

WHO’s eradication programme has targeted malaria since 1955. The campaign successfully eliminated the disease in some countries, but ultimately failed to achieve its overall goal. It was thus abandoned less than two decades later in favour of the less ambitious goal of malaria control. In recent years, however, interest has re-emerged in malaria eradication as a long-term goal."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Angola : Health Sector Holds H1N1 Flu Test Along Border

Via All Africa :

" The sanitary authorities of the southern Cunene province is holding since 18 October research tests of H1N1 flu in Santa-Clara district, a region bordering with Namibia, after recording over 1,792 suspicious cases of the virus in that neighbouring country.

The test is being held together with the National Epidemiological Surveillance and Emergencies of the Ministry of Health.

This was said to Angop on Sunday by the head of the public health in Cunene province, Ana DionĂ­sio."

India 'close to wiping out polio'

Via BBC News :

" India has "never been closer" to wiping out polio, India's health minister has declared as he marked World Polio Day.

There have been no new cases for more than nine months, making it the longest polio-free period since the global eradication campaign was launched.

The only case reported this year was in the state of West Bengal in January. There were 39 cases reported over a similar period in 2010.

India is one of only four countries in the world where polio is still endemic.

The virus is also prevalent in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria."

Turkish earthquake: 217 dead, more missing

Via Australia News Network, fatalities rising in Turkey :

" A powerful earthquake in south-east Turkey has killed 217 people, while hundreds are still missing. Some reports say the death toll will exceed 1,000.

The magnitude 7.2 quake hit near the city of Van - to be followed by a quake measjuring 6 and several smaller aftershocks.

Up to 50 buildings collapsed.

Military units were heading to Van to help with the rescue operation.

Television footage has shown panicked residents using shovels and other tools to try to rescue people trapped under an eight-storey building in the city centre.

Electricity has been cut and many people are using lanterns. Search and rescue teams were using a generator for lighting as night fell.

Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said the government was considering how it can help the victims.

She said consular officials were also trying to discover if Australians are in the disaster zone. "As part of that, we will assess what we can do to assist," she said.

One man, Halil Celik, spoke as he stood beside the ruins of a building that collapsed before his eyes. "We heard cries and groaning from underneath the debris, we are waiting for the rescue teams to arrive," he said.

"All of a sudden, a quake tore down the building in front of me. All the bystanders, we all ran to the building and rescued two injured people from the ruins."


At another site, three teenagers were believed trapped under a collapsed building. People clambered over the shattered masonry, shouting: "Is there anyone there?"

An elderly rescue worker sat sobbing, his exhausted face covered in dust. Police tried to keep onlookers back. Ambulance crews sat waiting to help anyone dragged out of the debris.

Turkey's Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute said the earthquake struck at 10:41am (local time) on Sunday and was five kilometres deep."

New Zealand : Meningococcal disease nearly claims daughter

Via NZ Herald :

" A Northland father who is watching his 12-year-old daughter battle the deadly meningococcal disease is urging parents to be vigilant.

"If you suspect something is not right, get them to a doctor as soon as possible," Whangarei dad Dave Clapperton told the Northern Advocate today (Sunday).

"It's been a trying and scary last few days. We nearly lost our daughter."

Mr Clapperton wanted to issue the warning after his daughter complained of feeling sick then rapidly deteriorated with a rash quickly covering her body.

Teegan Clapperton was still in the intensive care unit at Starship Hospital in Auckland today but she had woken briefly and was showing positive signs of recovery.

The normally bubbly Teegan had been to the movies with friends on Tuesday and returned home telling her parents she felt sick.

"We had members of the family with the flu but in the back of our minds we were wary it could be meningitis," Mr Clapperton said.

About 8am Wednesday morning Teegan was still unwell and as soon as the Paramount Medical Centre was opened she was taken to the family doctor. A short time later a rash started to cover her body."

Hepatitis A Outbreak Ongoing In Estonia

Via NASDAQ, excerpt :

" An outbreak of hepatitis A has been detected in Estonia since the beginning of August 2011, with majority of the cases being reported in Viljandi county, reports Eurosurveillance, an independent European scientific journal.

Hepatitis A, caused by the virus called HAV, causes swelling and inflammation in the liver. It is the most common vaccine-preventable disease in the world and does not become chronic. HAV is spread through food or water contaminated by human waste from an infected person.

The signs and symptoms of HAV infection, which usually last less than 2 months include, fever, fatigue loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain and jaundice.

Between August 4 and October 3 of this year, 71 cases of hepatitis A were notified in Estonia, with 66 confirmed cases of hepatitis A, linked to Viljandi county alone. The outbreak is still ongoing, according to the journal.

Given that there has been no non-compliance of drinking water quality in Viljandi city, contaminated water is ruled out as the source of the outbreak. Therefore the suspected modes of transmission are thought to be environmental exposure and person-to-person transmission."

Indonesia : Larantuka, East Nusa Tenggara - H5N1 emerges in birds

From Ida at Bird Flu Information Corner :

" Larantuka – Bird flu H5N1 emerged in Flores Timur regency, East Nusa Tenggara province. The samples of dead chickens tested positive H5N1 by the Veterinary Disease Center in Denpasar, Bali.

The outbreak was first occurred in mid of September, where about 20,000 native/backyard chickens died in Witihama sub-district, Adonara Island, Flores Timur."

Pakistan : 5,937 dengue patients discharged from GH in last 52 days

Via South Asian News Agency :

" Principal Post Graduate Medical College Professor Tariq Salahudin has said that 5,937 dengue affected patients were discharged from General Hospital after recovery in last 52 days, adding that only 84 dengue patients are still under treatment in the hospital.

This he said while talking to media persons here on Sunday, adding that doctors, nurses and paramedical staff is on alert for 24 hours for the treatment of the dengue patients.

Professor Tariq Salahuddin said that on the directions of the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif the free of cost treatment is being provided to the dengue patients.

He said that the media, Ulema, social and medical organizations played vital role for the creation of awareness among the masses against dengue, adding that after the efforts of above mentioned people there is great decrease in dengue patients being observed."

India : Medical dept more worried about malaria than dengue

Article via Times of India :

" JAIPUR: Vector-borne diseases are playing havoc in the city this year around the festive season and the state medical and health department is worried about the spread of malaria apart from dengue.

The department has attributed the rise in number of patients of vector-borne diseases on the extended monsoon.

So far, 52 dengue cases have been detected in Jaipur this year. Out of them, 30 were detected in the last two-and-half months, the department said on Sunday.

Till July 1, the figure of dengue patients were just 22 and after that the number increased due to increase in the number of mosquitoes when the city received a good and extended monsoon.

The official figure of death related to dengue was just one this season, official sources claimed. Department officials said while the number of dengue patients decreased this year, the number of malaria patients increased."

Philippines : Town stricken with water bacteria

Via Business World Online :

" Diarrhea has struck a village in Central Mindanao, prompting health officials to warn residents against drinking water from unauthorized sources.

All sources of water within barangay Tinoto are not fit for drinking purposes,” Dr. Antonio A. Yasana, Sarangani provincial health officer, said in a statement last week.

“What is definite is that all the water sources are infected, contaminated with coliform bacteria,” he added, citing the initial result of microbiological test of water sources infected with bacteria found in human feces.

Three children died and at least 250 other residents in the coastal village have been struck by the disease since last week, prompting village officials to declare a state of calamity to hasten the release of relief funds."

Cholera kills 73 Somali children

Via Press TV :

" Cholera has claimed the lives of at least another 73 Somali children in south Mogadishu, while dozens of others have been hospitalized, Press TV reports.

At least 187 others have been hospitalized in Banadir Hospital, a Press TV correspondent reported on Sunday.

Physicians say the number of Somalis dying from starvation in south Mogadishu is on the rise.

According to the World Health Organization, some 75 percent of all cases of highly infectious diarrhea are among children under the age of five.

Cholera is confirmed in the Banadir, Bay, Mudug and Lower Shabelle regions of Somalia, as the number of acute diarrhea cases has increased dramatically in the last few months."

India : Dengue count in Amritsar reaches 16

Via Times of India :

" AMRITSAR: District health department of Amritsar received medical test reports of 25 dengue-suspected patients on Saturday, and confirmed 14. The count has now reached 16.

Earlier, the health authorities had confirmed just two dengue patients in the city. District epidemiologist Charanjeet Singh said the health authorities had identified 79 suspected cases. "Till date, no patient has died of dengue in the city," he said."

Malaysia : Fish spa treatment may spread water-borne germs, says minister

Via The Star :

" People using fish spa treatment have been warned of possible health risks due to the nature of the treatment and the use of untreated water.

“Our concern is the spread of water-borne germs as not only one person uses the fish pond,” said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Citing an example, he said a person with an infected leg may spread it to the other users of the pond.

“Also a concern is that the water in the pond is not treated with chlorine or changed regularly,” he added.

However, Liow said the ministry was merely issuing a health advisory and not a ruling."

7.2 Quake in Turkey Kills 138, Search for Survivors Continues

Article via Fox News, excerpt :

" Cries of panic and horror filled the air as a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing at least 138 people as buildings pancaked and crumpled into rubble. The death toll was expecte to rise as rescuers sifted through the rubble and reached outlying villages.

Tens of thousands fled into the streets running, screaming or trying to reach relatives on cell phones as apartment and office buildings cracked or collapsed. As the full extent of the damage became clear, survivors dug in with shovels or even their bare hands, desperately trying to rescue the trapped and the injured.

"My wife and child are inside! My 4-month-old baby is inside!" CNN-Turk television showed one young man sobbing outside a collapsed building in Van, the provincial capital.

The hardest hit area was Ercis, an eastern city of 75,000 close to the Iranian border, which lies on one of Turkey's most earthquake-prone zones. The bustling city of Van, about 55 miles to the south, also sustained substantial damage. Highways in the area caved in. The temblor struck at 1:41 p.m. local time, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at least 93 people were killed in Van, 45 others died in Ercis, and about 350 were injured. Several people were still trapped under rubble, he said, without citing any estimates."

US : New swine flu virus sickens 5 children in 3 states

Via South Bend Tribune :

" An unusual strain of swine flu has infected five young children in Maine, Pennsylvania and Indiana, health officials said Friday.

A young boy of 7 or 8 from Cumberland County, Maine became the latest case when he came down with flu symptoms in early October, not long after being exposed to pigs at an agricultural fair, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said. He and the other four children have recovered, health officials said.

The H3N2 swine-origin strain was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as the same strain identified earlier in three cases in Pennsylvania and one case in Indiana, according to Maine's state epidemiologist Stephen Sears.

The three infected children in Pennsylvania had all attended an agricultural fair in August where pigs were exhibited, the CDC said. The Indiana child had not been exposed to pigs, but is thought to have been infected in late August by another person who had recently been exposed to pigs, but who did not have flu symptoms."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Indonesia : Bangli, Bali - Hospital treats bird flu suspect

From Ida at Bird Flu Information Corner :

" Denpasar : The isolation unit of Sanglah hospital in Denpasar is treating a bird flu suspect patient. Patient is a 4-year-old boy with initial WS, from Sekardari village, Bangli, Bali.

WS developed breathing difficulty and flu signs. Also, several chickens were found suddenly dead around patient’s house.

WS rushed to hospital as precaution because 2 Bangli residents have died of brid flu H5N1 recently."

New Zealand : New meningococcal case in Northland

Article via NZ Herald :

" A 12-year-old girl diagnosed with a probable meningococcal infection has become the fourth person in Northland this month to contract the deadly disease.

She was transferred to Starship Hospital yesterday.

Dr Jonathan Jarman, Northland District Health Board's medical officer of health, said this is the thirteenth case of meningococcal disease in Northland since July.

This is the fourth meningococcal case diagnosed this month. To date we have had two cases of meningococcal B, eight cases of meningococcal C, and are waiting serotyping on the most recent three cases. Of the eight meningococcal C cases, three people have lost their lives.'

Dr Jarman said meningococcocal disease was not highly infectious and the people most at risk are those who lived in the same house as a case."

India : Delhi hit by dengue, malaria cases

Via The Hindu :

" Already grappling with various allergies and viral fever, Delhi has registered 479 dengue cases, 218 malaria cases, 12 cases of chikungunya and five confirmed cases of Japanese Encephalitis this season.

Though Delhi Health Minister Dr. A.K. Walia said the figures were not alarming and that the situation was under control, he, however, admitted that there was a need for more aggressive public participation in ensuring that breeding of disease-causing mosquitoes stays under control.

“We have recorded four dengue deaths this season but compared to previous years the number of deaths is lower. As for private hospitals reporting a larger number of dengue deaths, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi does not take into account the over 30 per cent dengue cases treated in Delhi but are from outside the Capital. We also do not take into account dengue cases that test positive on the dengue fever rapid test kit."

Australia : Warning after two infected with deadly disease

Via The Blacktown Sun :

" TWO cases of the deadly meningococcal disease have been reported at hospitals in western Sydney in the past week.

An infant was in a ‘‘satisfactory condition’’ at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead last week and an adult required intensive care, a spokeswoman for the health department said.

Western Sydney Local Health District practitioners have warned people to be alert for early symptoms of meningococcal disease, as this is the peak season for the disease.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, who is manager of the Communicable Diseases and Immunisation department, said people with symptoms must seek medical help immediately.

‘‘The community needs to be on the alert and if anyone suspects the disease, they should seek medical advice,’’ she said.

Dr Sheppeard said meningococcal disease is an infection that caused meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord) and severe blood infection."

Philippines : DOH orders NCR hospitals to set up tests for leptospiros

Via GMA News :

" After a 221-percent spike in the number of leptospirosis cases in Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) ordered hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) to set up rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for the disease.

In a news release, DOH Center for Health Development Metro Manila head Eduardo Janairo said, “Let us prevent the spread of this disease to avoid its complications. It is preventable and can be treated once it is properly diagnosed."

Those that were ordered to conduct RDTs were hospitals in Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Pasay, and Valenzuela cities."

India : Encephalitis - More than 400 kids die in Gorakhpur, Centre steps in

Via NDTV :

" Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad will be in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur today to take stock of the efforts to tackle the outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in the area.

Mr Azad was urged to go to the area by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. He will be accompanied by Digvijaya Singh.

Japanese encephalitis has now claimed the lives of at more than 400 children in the area.

Four encephalitis patients from Gorakhpur, two each from Kushinagar and Deoria and one from Mahrajganj succumbed to the illness in the last two days.

As many as 301 encephalitis patients are undergoing treatment at BRD Medical College."

Trinidad and Tobago : Probe teen’s death

Via News Day :

" Grieving family members of a Debe teenager who was being treated for leptospirosis at the San Fernando General Hospital but however died from dengue hemorrhagic fever, are calling for a full investigation into his death.

The victim, Christopher Yudister Lalchan, 18, of Wellington Road, Debe, died at the San Fernando hospital last Tuesday. The teen worked with the Unemployed Relief Programme at the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation. He had been warded for leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. T

he victim’s aunt, Annette Basdeo, said yesterday that Lalchan’s ordeal began last Saturday at a Hindu temple in Guaracara, Williamsville, where he was engaged in pre-Divali celebrations. She said he had been staying in Williamsville with other devotees over the last few weeks."

Pakistan : Toll reaches 280 as 5 more succumb to deadly dengue

Article via The Nation :

" The menace of dengue fever continued to haunt Lahorites as it took five more lives, including a police constable, on Wednesday, taking the death toll to 280.
Besides putting to sword five more people in a day, the ruthless dengue forced hundreds of Lahorites to approach public sector hospitals and private healthcare centres for preliminary tests, confirming 290 new cases on Wednesday and as such taking the overall tally to 28,684.

Muhammad Anwar, a Police Head Constable, breathed his last at Doctor’s Hospital. Muhammad Nazir (60), a resident of Sanda, and Muhammad Ali (20) of Mozang lost their lives at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Javaid Asghar (50) of Islampura at Mayo Hospital while Nabeela (35) of Ichhra died at Services Hospital.

Out of 290 new cases, 59 were tested positive at Mayo Hospital, 30 at Jinnah Hospital, 22 each at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Sheikh Zayed Hospital, 19 at Institute of Public Health, 17 at children’s Hospital, 12 at Lahore General Hospital, 11 at Services Hospital while 98 were reported from other public sector hospitals and private healthcare centres in the City."

India : Mysterious disease leaves 8 dead, 25 seriously ill

Via Times of India :

" A mysterious disease has left eight persons, including five children, dead and 25 seriously ill here in the past 10 days, even as the health department has initiated measures to prevent its spread.

After testing 50 blood samples, the health department had ruled out malaria and dengue. However, the possibility of food poisoning is yet to be ascertained. According to the villagers, the ailing persons had high fever and felt like vomiting.

The district health department has set up a dispensary in the village, which did not even had a health center. Besides, chlorine tablets are being distributed among residents.

A visit to the village showed people living in unhygienic conditions, with no system to drain out waste water. The village sarpanch, Gulab Singh, said they had written to the authorities many a time, highlighting the plight of the villagers, who due to unhygienic conditions faced the spread of various diseases every year."

US : 4 Flu Cases Confirmed In LA County

Via CBS Los Angeles, excerpt :

" Four flu cases have been confirmed this year in Los Angeles County, health officials said.

The three adults and one child have since recovered. All of the patients were from the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles, the Department of Public Health reported.

According to the county, three of the patients were infected with Influenza A H3N2, and the fourth had the H1N1 virus.

The cases mark the beginning of a flu season that can last as long as May, county health officials said."

India : 2 die of dengue in Raichur

Via Deccan Herald :

" Dengue fever is slowly but steadily gripping the district. The number of people suffering from the disease has been on the rise for some days now.

According to the statistics available with the office of the District Malaria Control Officer, it has claimed two lives in the district, so far. One of the victims belonged to Siravar village of Manvi taluk and the other was from Hunsyal Huda village near Raichur.

Apart from this, as many as 24 persons are said to be suffering from dengue and 158 others are awaiting the test results.

All the confirmed cases have been shifted to hospitals in Hyderabad and VIMS Hospital in Bellary.

Most of the patients visiting private hosptials in Raichur, are showing symptoms of dengue. Emergency cases are being referred to Hyderabad and VIMS Hospital in Bellary.

According to statistics available, a total of 14 cases have been reported from the Devera Colony, Ragimanagadda, Maddipet and Harijanwad in Raichur City and Yapaladinni, Atkur and Yaragunta villages in Raichur taluk. A case each has been reported from Somanamaradi village of Deodurga taluk and Pamanakallur in Manvi taluk. Two cases have been reported from Sindhanur taluk and six from Lingasugur taluk."

Indonesia : Bird Flu Tests Prove Negative, for Now

Via The Jakarta Globe :

" Four people suspected of suffering from avian influenza continue to be treated at West Nusa Tenggara General Hospital.

Preliminary tests performed in the provincial capital Mataram were negative for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, but doctors are waiting on further tests from Jakarta before giving the patients the all- clear.

Hospital director Mawardi Hamri said on Wednesday that three of the patients were recovering: 5-month-old Dian Sahwan, 11-month-old Muhammad Aditya and 53-year-old Inaq Sahnun.

“We are closely monitoring the condition of Sartika Komala [the fourth patient] because she is still exhibiting flu symptoms,” Mawadi said.

The visual convention reaction test conducted on the patients using DNA samples took six to 12 hours and showed negative results for avian influenza.

The patients are all from Central Lombok district and live within a kilometer of each other. Health authorities were quick to act, given that many birds and chickens had died suddenly in the area, Mawardi said."

US : 25 Deaths Now Blamed on Cantaloupe-Linked Listeria Outbreak

Article via Yahoo Health :

" The death toll from the listeria outbreak first linked to tainted cantaloupes has risen to 25, and a total of 123 people have been sickened across 26 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported late Tuesday.

The agency said that even though the cantaloupes in question were recalled in mid-September, more cases might still emerge since Listeria monocytogenes infection has a long lag time between diagnosis and laboratory confirmation "and also because up to two months can elapse between eating contaminated food and developing listerosis."

The listeriosis-linked deaths have occurred in Colorado (6), Indiana (1), Kansas (2), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (5), New York (2), Oklahoma (1), Texas (2) and Wyoming (1). The people who have died ranged in age from 48 to 96, the CDC said.

One pregnant woman who contracted the illness had a miscarriage, the CDC said.

Pennsylvania has reported its first case of infection, the agency said Tuesday."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

US : San Diego County student tests positive for TB

Via Mercury News :

" Health officials say a San Diego County high schooler had tuberculosis and may have infected others.

City News Service says free TB tests will be offered Tuesday to students, faculty and staff at Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista.

The county says a Bonita Vista student tested positive for TB and could have exposed other students between June 1 and Sept. 9.

Authorities say TB symptoms can include a persistent cough, night sweats and weight loss but most people exposed to it don't get the disease, which is curable."

Pakistan : Two more die of dengue in Lahore

Via Nation :

" Two patients including a woman have died of dengue while overall 9 people have killed in 24 hours.

Media Reports say, residents of Islampura, 50-year-old Javed Asghar and 60-year-old Musarat of Krishan Nagar died in Lahore’s Mayo hospital.

Earlier, Nabeela 35 and Yousaf 45 of Gujranwala lost their life in Services Hospital.

Bank Stop’s 65-year-old Abdul Sattar, Ijaz Ahmad 70 of Johar Town, 35-year-old Shaheen of Kasur and Mandi Bahauddin’s 55-year-old Shabbir Hussain died of dengue in Jinnah Hospital."

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

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (October 19) 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 kindergarten in Southern District involving 20 pupils aged between 3 and 5.

Investigation revealed that the affected pupils, comprising 12 males and eight females, developed URI symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose since October 4. No hospitalisation was required. All the affected pupils are now in a stable condition.

Staff of the CHP conducted a site visit and provided health advice to the kindergarten, which was put under medical surveillance."

New Zealand : Further cases of meningococcal disease in Northland

Article via NZ Doctor, excerpt :

" A two-year-old Kaipara girl was admitted to Whangarei Hospital with meningococcal disease on 9 October.

She is the 13th meningococcal case in Northland since the beginning of July.

Northland DHB medical officer of health Clair Mills was unwilling to say where in Kaipara the girl is from. She says it is a small community.

Third fatality since July

Since New Zealand Doctor's last report on 16 September there have been two other confirmed cases of meningococcal disease, including one fatality, and two further suspected cases.

An 82-year-old woman was admitted to Whangarei Hospital and died on 22 September and a five-year-old was admitted to hospital on 7 October. Both were confirmed as having type C strain of the disease."

Deadly bug hits South Africa

Article via Times Live :

" A drug-resistant "superbug" that has its origin in India is causing panic in Gauteng private and public hospitals.

The enzyme, called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) - which produces bacteria resistant to a broad range of drugs - is believed to have already contributed to the deaths of three patients at Life Glynnwood Hospital in Benoni.

It was also detected in an outpatient ward at Johannesburg's Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital early last month.

The patient who came into contact with it is now "fine", according to infection control expert and Wits Medical School Professor Adriano Duse.

"We think that this is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

People who have contracted the "highly transmissible" NDM-1 become resistant to most antibiotics, including penicillin.

It is not clear whether the deaths of the three patients at Life Glynnwood Hospital were directly caused by the superbug. However, Duse suspected that the NDM-1 could have contributed."

Australia : Teen in hospital with meningococcal

Via ABC News :

" A teenage boy in the New South Wales New England region is in hospital with confirmed meningococcal disease.

Hunter New England Health says he is responding well to treatment and is in a stable condition.

This is the 13th confirmed case of meningococcal disease in the Hunter New England region this year.

There have been no links found between this case and other recent cases."

US : Parents informed of MRSA infection at Keller ISD school

Via WFAA, excerpt :

" The principal of Florence Elementary School in Keller has sent out a letter to parents informing them that an employee has the staph infection Methicillian-resistnat Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.

The letter said the district is following all recommendations of the Tarrant County Health Department."

Pakistan : Dengue claims 9 more

Article via The Nation :

" Nine more patients, including four women, died here on Tuesday as the dengue fever continued swelling its dead list. The ruthless virus also sent hundreds more to hospitals in the City.

Shaheen (35), a resident of Kasur, Shabbir Hussain (55) of Mandi Bahauddin, Abdul Sattar (65) of Ferozepur Road, and Muhammad Ijaz (70) of Johar Town breathed their last at Jinnah Hospital.

Musarrat Bibi (60) of Sanatnagar and Muhammad Yousaf (45) of Gujranwala died at Services Hospital, Munawar Bibi (60) at Ghurki Hospital, Raj Bibi (60) of Kot Lakhpat at Shaikh Zayed Hospital while Munawwar (50) of Badami Bagh died at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. According to the Punjab Health Department, as many as 215 new cases were reported from across the province during the last 24 hours including 125 from Lahore."

Philippines : 3 dead, 194 downed by diarrhea

Article via Minda News :

" Three children have died while 194 other residents in a coastal village of Maasim town in Sarangani province were downed during the last four days by a severe diarrhea outbreak.

Dr. Jaileen Milar, Maasim Municipal Health Office (MHO), said Tuesday they placed the entire Barangay Tinoto under medical quarantine to immediately contain the outbreak, which was reportedly triggered by a contaminated water source in the area.

“We declared a diarrhea outbreak because the number of confirmed cases so far was more than the usual number of cases that we encounter in the area,” she said."

India : One more malaria death in Ahmedabad, toll rises to three

Via Times of India :

" AHMEDABAD: One more person died of malaria in the city on Tuesday, taking the death toll to three in October alone.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) officials said a 50-year-old man, who stayed in Gomtipur, died during treatment at an AMC-run hospital after being tested positive of malaria.

Nine new cases of malaria were reported in the city taking the total number of malaria patients to 257 in the first 17 days of October. Roughly 355 cases of falciparum - 25 cases on Tuesday alone - were reported at AMC-run hospitals in the city.

That is not the end of story. According to AMC officials, nine fresh cases of dengue were reported on Monday at various hospitals, taking the total number to 410 in October. This data does not include over 30 patients admitted in private hospitals."

Flu cases soar across Australia

Via ABC News :

" Doctors have reported a spike in influenza cases across Australia, with 25,000 confirmed cases reported to state and territory health authorities to the end of September.

It is the highest number this decade apart from the swine flu epidemic two years ago.

Queensland is the worst-affected state with more than 10,000 cases, while New South Wales was next with half that number.

Per-capita infection rates have been highest in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Fifteen per cent of all flu cases reported nationally this year have been in children younger than four - the highest rate in any age group.

Queensland Health spokeswoman Dr Christine Selvey says her state's large number of infections is a result of a rigorous testing regime."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hong Kong : Update on cluster of Human Influenza A (H3) cases in long-stay ward in Castle Peak Hospital

Article via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" Regarding the announcement earlier on a male long-stay ward in which some patients had been confirmed with Human Influenza A (H3), the spokesperson of Castle Peak Hospital made the following update today (October 18):

Three more male patients (aged 49 and 50) in the ward had presented with respiratory symptoms. Appropriate viral tests were arranged for the patients and their test results were positive for Human Influenza A (H3). The patients concerned are being treated under isolation and are in stable condition.

Admission to the ward has been suspended and restricted visiting to the ward has been imposed. Infection control measures have already been stepped up according to established guidelines. All other patients in the ward concerned are under close surveillance."

Dengue death toll reaches 242 in Punjab

Via The Express Tribune :

" Dengue claimed three more lives on Tuesday as the death toll due to the virus climbed to 242 in Punjab out of which 227 patients are from Lahore.

Two people succumbed to the virus at the Services Hospital, while one patient died at the Mayo hospital in Lahore today.

208 new cases of dengue have been diagnosed in Punjab out of which 165 are from Lahore alone.

With the sharp increase in new cases, the number of patients across the province has risen to nearly 17,400. Of these 15,000 people are from Lahore.

The Punjab Health Department claims 1,200 dengue patients are being treated at various hospitals in Lahore.

About 17,000 patients have been discharged from hospitals so far."

Indonesia : 8 Regions under Avian Flu Attack in Bali

Machine translated article via Harian Seputar :

" Bali Animal Husbandry Department reported outbreaks of bird flu has spread to eight regions after the deaths of two boys from the case of a positive Bangli infected with H5N1.

Bali Animal Husbandry Agency head Putu Sumantra said this year the number of dead birds is relatively small, but the level of the case is very surprising, after causing the death of two sisters from Bangli.

"It was quite surprising, let alone the relatively fast diffusion rate," he said yesterday. This condition, Sumantra said, almost like a case of bird flu which are astonishing in 2007, where for the first time found in human cases of bird flu that claimed two victims died.

At that time, the case of poultry deaths occurred in all districts / cities in Bali by the number of dead birds reached 4000 animals."

Malaysia : Sounding the alarm over dengue threat

Via The Star :

" GREEN Lane and Datuk Keramat (near Penang Prison) are the latest dengue sensitive areas with two suspected dengue cases and a confirmed case reported in each place since Sept 21.

Penang Health, Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Commit-tee chairman Phee Boon Poh, however, said the week from Sept 25 to Oct 1 had the least dengue cases reported in Penang with eight suspected cases and six con- firmed cases compared to other weeks.

He said 1,347 suspected dengue cases and 555 confirmed cases were reported from January to Oct 1.

“Hospitals and clinics must update dengue cases with the state health authorities and the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) for them to investigate and trace the source of the dengue outbreak,” he said when contacted.

Kebun Bunga assemblyman Jason Ong Khan Lee had earlier visited nine people from four families who were believed to have dengue fever at Hong Seng Estate in Mount Erskine."

US : Two Byrd students test positive for TB

Article via Shreveport Times, excerpt :

" Two C.E. Byrd High School students have been infected with tuberculosis, according to letters sent home to parents today.

Last week, 182 individuals were tested for exposure to the bacterial infection after a classmate was found to be infected. State public health officials tested 173, while nine were tested privately, said Charles DeGraw, Department of Health and Hospitals state tuberculosis manager.

The infection rate--about 1 percent--"is what we were expecting," DeGraw said, and what health officials consider a background rate of tuberculosis infection.

State health officials will retest those who were negative in December."

Australia : SA patients at risk from colonoscope

Via :

" FIFTY-SIX South Australians could be at risk of diseases such as hepatitis after having colonoscopies with equipment that tested positive for bacteria.

But the likelihood of infection from the Lyell McEwin Hospital colonoscope is is an "extremely low", SA Health's chief medical officer Paddy Phillips says.

The instrument is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny light and camera at the end that is inserted into the rectum to check for, or treat, bowel problems and abnormalities.

Lyell McEwin has 16 of the colonoscopes, one of which tested positive for gastrointestinal bacteria on October 6, after it missed a routine test in June.

The gut bacteria is found in everyone's bowel and doesn't pose a health risk.

The positive result indicates the colonoscope was not completely disinfected at some stage between May 9 and October 6, and SA Health is investigating how this happened, Prof Phillips said.

The patients affected are being offered blood tests to make sure they don't have potentially more serious viruses like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV."

New Zealand : Measles Outbreaks 2011 - update 10

The latest measles outbreak update from New Zealand's Ministry of Health :

" A sustained increase in new cases of measles, concentrated in Auckland City, has been reported from Auckland region over the past 5 weeks.

As of Thursday 13 October 2011 (9:00 am):

- Twenty-two new confirmed and one probable cases1 of measles have been reported since the last update, most of them (17) from Auckland region (13 from Auckland City, 3 from Waitemata and 1 from counties Manukau), plus also 3 new cases from Bay of Plenty DHB, 1 from Capital and Coast and 1 from Canterbury DHB.

- Approximately half of the cases reported from Auckland region during the current increase are over 20 years of age.

- There have been 231confirmed (and no probable) cases of measles since 30 May 2011 reported to Auckland Regional Public Health Service. Most of these cases have been in Waitemata and Auckland City (51% and 44% respectively).

- There has been a total of 329 (322 confirmed, 7 probable) cases of measles reported in New Zealand since 1 January 2011.

- Fifty-seven of the cases with measles have needed hospital treatment so far this year, 33 of them in the last 4 weeks (including 28 from Auckland City)."

Japan : Fukushima City begins decontamination work

Via NHK News, excerpt :

" Fukushima City has launched a massive campaign to clean up radioactive materials, with the ultimate goal of decontaminating all homes and public facilities.

The city is located about 60 kilometers from the disaster-stricken Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Decontamination work began on Tuesday morning in the Onami district, where radiation levels are relatively high.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was on hand for about 20 minutes to inspect the work in Onami.

A team of professional workers used water jet cleaners to clean roofs and ditches. They also cut away vegetation in gardens and removed a layer of top soil."

India : Dengue figure reaches 450

Via Mid Day :

" 450 cases of dengue have been reported in the Capital this year, after 14 more people tested positive for the virus. The figure is comparatively lower when seen against the number of cases reported last October, VK Monga, MCD health committee chairman, said on Monday.

"Last year, it was over 4,000 cases at this time of the year. We have adopted stringent measures to contain dengue this year and the figures are only 450 till now. In the last one day, 14 people tested positive for dengue virus," he said, adding this includes 40 cases reported in Delhi cantonment area.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi reported the first case of dengue on March 3 while the first case of dengue death was reported in July. Till now four deaths due to dengue haemorrhagic fever have been reported in the city."

Seven Children Succumb to Diarrhea in Separate Outbreaks in Zimbabwe

Via Zim Guardian :

" Health Ministry official Dr. Portia Manangazira said the diarrhea outbreaks in Masvingo and Kadoma did not signal a new epidemic of cholera like that which claimed some 4,200 lives in 2008-2009.

Beatrice Ngwenya of the Combined Harare Residents Association said her group is concerned that children are dying from preventable illnesses.

Seven children have died in outbreaks of diarrhea in the Zimbabwean towns of Masvingo and Kadoma with nearly 6,500 cases reported last week alone, authorities said Monday, blaming poor sanitation, leaky sewage systems and insufficient safe water supplies.

Dr. Portia Manangazira, director of disease control for the Ministry of Health, said it is particularly worrisome that 60 percent of cases concern children under age five. She said cities and towns must dispose of garbage properly and provide clean drinking water."

India : Probe for H1N1 after 34-year-old dies

Via IBN Live :

" THANJAVUR: The medical report and blood samples of a 34-year-old woman, who died on Sunday at the Government Medical College Hospital here was sent to the King’s Institute in Chennai for testing whether she was infected by H1N1 virus.

Although, previous tests in government approved laboratories had not shown any positive result for H1N1, the samples and the report was being sent to the King’s Institute to clear any doubts, said the deputy director of health, Singaravadivelan.

Nageshwari (34), wife of Thangamuthu and resident of M K Moopanar Road, near the Thanjavur Head Post Office, was admitted to a private hospital. After the patient showed signs of severe cold, breathing trouble, vomiting, and diarrhoea, she was referred to a private laboratory at Tiruchy for testing her blood and sputum. Later, Nageswari was shifted to the TMCH, he said."

Philippines : Leptospirosis cases up by 194.8%

Via Phil Star :

" The Department of Health (DOH) disclosed today that leptospirosis infection in the country has risen by 194.8 percent, the state media reported today.

From January to September this year, the DOH recorded at least 2,061 cases of leptospirosis with 156 casualties. The number is higher compared to 699 cases on the same period this year.

Most of the cases came from Western Visayas (824 cases), National Capital Region (411), Central Luzon (166), and Davao (131).

The signs and symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, chills, and intense headache. These appear within four to 14 days after exposure to contaminated flood waters or even mud."

Pakistan : Dengue sweeps seven more

Article via The Nation :

" The death squads of dengue mosquito killed seven more in the provincial capital on Monday as 280 new cases were reported. The new victims included Khalida, 52, a resident of Mughulpura, and Mussarat Bano, 53, of Sanatnagar. They died at the Services Hospital. Amna Javaid, 36, of Karishan Nagar, and Tanveer, 25, of Mozang, breathed their last in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Shahjahan, 42, of Thokhar Niaz Beg, and Hina, 18, of Model Town died at Jinnah Hospital. The seventh victim, Anwari Bibi, 60, of Mughulpura, died at Ghurki Hospital.

Out of 280 new cases, 52 persons were tested positive at Mayo Hospital for the dengue virus, 19 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, 32 at Institute of Public Health, 19 at Lahore General Hospital, 18 at Children Hospital, 26 at Jinnah Hospital, 23 at Services Hospital and 91 at various private hospitals.

Meanwhile, Secretary Agriculture Punjab Captain (Retd) Arif Nadeem informed the media representatives that as many as 208 confirmed dengue patients have been reported in Punjab during the last 24 hours, of which, 165 belong to Lahore."

US : Second case of dengue fever in Palm Beach County

Via Sun Sentinel :

" Palm Beach County Health Department officials on Monday announced a second case of locally acquired Dengue fever, prompting them to raise the threat level from an advisory to an alert.

"Once you start seeing multiple cases, there's that potential for clustering or a bigger outbreak throughout the county," said Health Department spokesman Tim O'Connor. "We know that these two cases were acquired [in Palm Beach County.] That's why we raised the awareness level. People need to know this is out there."

The infection is the sixth locally acquired case in Florida this year — including two in the Miami area and one in Martin County."

Three kids die of diarrhea outbreak in S Philippines

Via Xinhua :

" At least three children have died due to diarrhea outbreak at a village in southern Philippines, officials said on Tuesday.

The village of Tinoto in Mindanao's Sarangani province has been placed under state of calamity sinced dozens of residents were hospitalized with symptoms of the water-borne disease last week, said Meloy Latoja, an official of the provincial social welfare office.

Local doctors are still examining samples of the community's source of potable water to determine the presence of diarrhea- causing bacteria, Latoja said. The fatalities were five years old and under, he said."

India : Dengue cases touch 450 in Delhi

Via Times of India :

" NEW DELHI: Dengue cases in the city rose to 450 after 14 more people tested positive for the virus.

However, this figure is comparatively less compared to dengue cases reported last October, V K Monga, MCD health committee chairman, said today.

"Last year, it was over 4,000 cases at this time of the year. We have adopted stringent measures to contain dengue this year and the figures is only 450 till now. In the last one day, 14 people tested positive for dengue virus," he said, adding this includes 40 cases reported in Delhi cantonment area.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi reported the first case of dengue on March 3 while the first case of dengue death was reported in July."

Lethal European fish virus found in Canada

Via ABS-CBN, excerpt :

" A virus as lethal to salmon as bird flu is to poultry has been confirmed for the first time in wild fish in a remote area of Canada's west coast, two scientists said Monday.

Infectious Salmon Anaemia, or ISA, was confirmed in two of 48 young fish taken from an inland lake on the central Pacific coast of British Columbia, marine scientists Rick Routledge and Alexandra Morton told a news conference.

Routledge, a professor at Simon Fraser University, said ISA has an impact on animals similar to influenza, and compared its impact on salmon to the HINI virus that has plagued the global poultry industry.

There is no known threat to humans from the virus, they added.

The finding in Canada of ISA -- a disease researchers believe originated in Europe and which has been commonly spread on commercial Atlantic salmon eggs exported to fish farms elsewhere -- is explosive in the North American aquaculture industry."

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

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" A spokesperson for Castle Peak Hospital (CPH) made the following announcement today (October 17):

Four male patients (aged 66 to 79) in a psychogeriatric admission ward have presented with respiratory symptoms since October 13. Appropriate viral tests were arranged and two of the patients tested positive for Influenza B. The patients concerned have been transferred to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment under isolation and are in a stable condition.

Admission to the ward has been suspended and restricted visiting has been imposed. Infection control measures have already been stepped up according to established guidelines. All other patients in the ward concerned are under close surveillance."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Indonesia : Bangli, Bali - The mother of two H5N1 victims dies

This must be one of the breaking news I've seen so far, my earlier post indicated that this patient fled the hospital and now Ida at Bird Flu Information Corner has a report indicating that this patient has died :

" Bali : A woman died in her house, in Jehem village, Tembuku sub-district, Bangli, Bali. Officers suspected bird flu (H5N1) infection and collected the sample of the woman.

Victim is the mother whose two children died of H5N1 in Sanglah hospital several days ago (view previous). After that the mother developed fever and then treated in Bangli hospital. When she was in hospital, her blood examination showed negative H5N1. She left the hospital and died two days after.

Victim is treated as she infected by bird flu H5N1, where the officers are wearing bio-security clothes. Mourners are obliged to wear mask."

Zambia: Rabies Outbreak Leaves One Man Dead

Via All Africa :

" RABIES has broken out in Mansa District which has recorded 14 cases and one death in the recent past.

District livestock officer Beatwell Mbewe said yesterday in Mansa that the 14 cases were recorded in Chembe area while one person died in Mwang'uni after being bitten by an infected dog.

Mr Mbewe said despite there being no cure, the disease could be prevented if a person bitten by a rabid dog received treatment before the symptoms manifested.

He said one of the commonest symptoms of rabies in human beings was failure to swallow food or having a condition known as hydrophobia, or fear to drink water.

As a way to prevent the spread of the disease, the department of livestock had embarked on a mass rabies vaccination campaign in which more than 500 dogs in Mansa District were expected to be covered."

New Zealand : New meningococcal case confirmed in Wellington

Via NZ Herald :

" A woman in her 20s has been confirmed as the latest case of meningococcal disease in the Wellington region.

The woman was admitted to Wellington hospital on Friday night and tests confirmed today that she had meningococcal disease.

She was released today.

Regional Public Health Medical Officer of Health Annette Nesdale said it was not yet known what strain of the disease the woman had, and determining that could take up to a week.

The case brings the total number of meningococcal cases in the capital to 12, including two deaths.

Meanwhile, another two suspected cases of measles have been reported."

Nicaragua swine flu outbreak infects 32

Article via Yahoo News, excerpt :

" At least 32 people have been infected in a flare-up of the H1N1 swine flu virus in Nicaragua over the last week, according to the health ministry.

All of those diagnosed with the disease are in stable condition in public hospitals or have been discharged, public health spokesman Carlos Saez told local media on Thursday.

The outbreak has been concentrated in the capital Managua and the adjacent Leon department."

Hand-foot-mouth disease spreads throughout Vietnam

Via Xinhua :

" Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease (HFMD) is spreading throughout all 63 Vietnamese cities and provinces, getting more than 71,470 people affected, of whom 130 were dead, as of Monday, local Thanh Nien (Youth) newspaper reported.

While HFMD is expanding across the country, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health (MOH) has not yet declared it as an "epidemic" because it is still under "control", said the report.

Nguyen Van Binh, director of MOH Preventive Medicines Department, said the disease is under control when there are about 2,000 newly affected cases per week, or 8,000-10,000 cases per month.

However, in September alone, the country had more than 26,000 newly affected HFMD patients with 31 dead, and in the first half of October, the figures were reported at 10,000 and 16, respectively, said the report.

So far, southern Ho Chi Minh City and central Quang Ngai province are the most hit localities."

Hong Kong : Suspected rubella outbreak involving three Indonesians investigated

Via Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a suspected outbreak of rubella involving three Indonesian domestic helpers who attended a church in Causeway Bay.

The CHP received notification from Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and private doctors about three rubella cases involving Indonesian domestic helpers, aged 27, 32 and 34 respectively. Laboratory tests on the 34-year-old patient's blood samples yielded positive result for rubella virus.

All of them are in stable condition. No hospitalisation is needed. Their home contacts are all asymptomatic.

Upon epidemiological investigation, CHP found that the trio attended the same church before and during the onset of symptoms. An operation was mounted today (October 16), in which a health talk was delivered. Questionnaires were distributed to attendees to assess whether there were other persons with infection.

A spokesman for the CHP said, "Immunisation was offered to those in need. Blood test was offered to those who had symptoms.

"The CHP has identified 11 people with symptoms and conducted blood tests on them."

Singapore : Why some are more susceptible to severe forms of dengue

Via Channel News Asia :

" Researchers in South East Asia have identified two genetic variants that provide a clue as to why some people are more susceptible to severe forms of dengue than others.

The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, was done by comparing genomes of about 2,000 children with severe dengue.

Researchers identified changes in the DNA code located within two genes - MICB on chromosome 6 and PLCE1 on chromosome 10.

They said this appears to increase a child's susceptibility to dengue shock syndrome.

The findings were published on Monday in the journal Nature Genetics."

India : Deadly dengue - Private hospitals too record alarming rise in cases

Via Times of India :

" AHMEDABAD: The attack of dengue and malaria in the city may be more severe than what is reflected by the figures given out by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). The situation is grave as the civic body has given data of cases in municipal hospitals only. Private hospitals too are recording high incidence of dengue, malaria and falciparum cases in the past fortnight.

Dr Bhavini Shah, director of pathology laboratory with wide network of sample collection from private hospitals in city, said that dengue cases have spiked in October. "In the past 15 days, 60-odd blood samples have been found positive to dengue," Dr Shah said. The number of malaria positive cases was 75 of which 50 per cent were falciparum malaria.

The AMC authorities have recorded over 400 cases of dengue, 300 cases of malaria and 250 cases of falciparum in October."

Indonesia : Two Suspected Cases of Bird Flu in Mataram

Via The Jakarta Globe, excerpt :

" Two people suspected to have contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza are being treated at West Nusa Tenggara General Hospital in Mataram.

The two patients were identified as 11-month-old Muhammad Aditya from Praya in West Lombok district and 53-year-old Inaq Sahnun from Pringgarata in Central Lombok district.

Mentari, Sahnun’s daughter-in-law, said that two days earlier Sahnun began running a fever, had a cough and shortness of breath. She was taken to a hospital in Praya where she was placed under observation for two hours before being sent to Mataram for suspected bird flu.

“The doctor at Praya suspected [Sahnun] had contracted bird flu, but said further tests were needed,” Mentari said.

Sahnun’s house is located in an avian influenza-endemic area, where more than 400 chickens were reported to have died suddenly. Preliminary findings suggest the cause of death may have been bird flu.

Sahwan, the father of Aditya, the other patient, said his son had been running a fever for two days. He said he brought Aditya to a public heath center in Pringgarata before taking him to Mataram."

Bali: Bird Flu Suspect Flees Hospital

From Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary, whom has this story which sounds alarming nevertheless, please visit his site for all the links :

" We’ve a story today in the Bali Post that, quite frankly, is reminiscent of some of the chaotic bird flu reports we saw coming out of Indonesia during the years 2006 and 2007.

The mother of the two children who died last week (see Bird Flu Claims Two Lives On Bali) has apparently now fallen ill (diagnosis unknown, but bird flu is suspected), and has fled the hospital where she was being examined."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Encephalitis outbreak killing children in northern India

News from SOS Children :

" A number of children are now dying every day from viral encephalitis, as an outbreak brings misery to parts of the Uttar Pradesh state in northern India.

The first cases of the illness appeared back in June. Since then, over 400 people have died, most of them children between the ages of six months and 15 years. So far, over 2,000 patients have been treated in the Gorakhpur area of the state.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by a virus. Children and the elderly are particularly at risk from the illness, which has symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting and confusion. In severe cases, it can lead to seizures, paralysis and death. Even when children survive, some can be left permanently weakened. High levels of malnutrition in India also mean that children have low immunity and are more vulnerable to the effects of the disease. Many of the sufferers from 12 districts in the region come from poor families.

Most commonly, the viruses which cause encephalitis are transmitted through insect bites. For example, Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito-borne virus. Outbreaks therefore tend to occur during the rainy season, when standing water provides a breeding ground for the mosquitoes. The Gorakhpur region, which borders Nepal, lies in the foothills of the Himalayas and low-lying areas are prone to flooding, providing the right conditions for mosquitoes."

Pakistan : Two more die of dengue in Sindh

Via Dawn :

" Health authorities on Thursday confirmed death of two more persons — a minor girl in Karachi and a young woman in Ghotki — taking the toll of dengue in Sindh to 10 for this year.

A four-month-old girl, a resident of Phase-V, DHA, died in the Aga Khan University Hospital on Oct 13, while a 17-year-old-woman, a resident of Qasim Shah Mohalla in Ghotki, died on the third day of her admission to the Ghulam Mohammad Mahar Medical College in Sukkur.

On Thursday, 20 more patients, including 14 in Karachi, either suspected of suffering from dengue or confirmed cases, were admitted to or seen in the OPDs. A total of 880 patients have been brought to government and private hospitals across the province since January, 2011, 643 (73 per cent) of whom have tested positive for dengue."

New Zealand : 2 more cases of meningococcal disease

Via The Northern Advocate :

" A 16-month-old child is suspected of having the 12th case of the potentially deadly meningococcal disease that has killed three people in Northland since July.

The toddler's admission to Whangarei Hospital on Wednesday night follows that of a 2-year-old Kaipara girl who was admitted to the hospital on October 9 and has been confirmed as having meningococcal disease.

The two cases come as the Northland District Health Board rolls out community clinics as part of its campaign to vaccinate up to 40,000 Northlanders aged between 1 and 20 years against the meningococcal C disease outbreak hitting the region."

US : Sixth case of rabies this year has been confirmed in New Hanover County

Via WECT6 News, excerpt :

" The sixth case of rabies this year has been confirmed in New Hanover County.

According to Mark Boyer with New Hanover County, a raccoon tested positive for the rabies virus after the animal fought with two pet dogs. Animal Control Officers were called to a Johns Creek Road residence earlier this week.

Fortunately, both of the dogs were current on their rabies vaccines, but the homeowner was advised that exposure to the virus is possible."

Swine Flu Increases in Bolivia

Via Cadena Gramonte :

" Health authorities in Bolivia confirmed on Thursday that swine flu (AH1N1)is increasing, having a greater impact in the eastern region of Santa Cruz.

Head of the Health Ministry's influenza program, Adolfo Zarate, said that the number of infected people cases increased although he affirmed that the daily report of cases diminishes.

The official specified that the number of infected people increased from 608 to 641 as the number of cases per day dropped from 40 cases to nine or 10.

Zarate considered that the situation proves that the epidemic outbreak is under control warning that the country should not let the guard down. He also highlighted work carried out by the departmental health services(SEDES) and Health Ministry's officials."

India : Dengue - Lady Hardinge doc wife dies

Via Times of India :

" NEW DELHI: A 50-year-old woman diagnosed positive for dengue haemorrhagic fever died on Thursday, taking the number of deaths caused by the viral infection to four this year. The victim Anita Murari , wife of the director of Lady Hardinge Medical College, was admitted in the ICU of B L K Super Specialty Hospital on Tuesday night after her platelet count fell to 20,000 per micro litre and her kidneys stopped functioning.

"Mrs Murari was in a state of shock and had very low blood pressure. Her kidneys had stopped functioning and she was bleeding from the nose. We gave her platelet, plasma and blood and put her on ventilator support, but nothing worked for her," said Dr R K Singhal, senior consultant and head of the internal medicine department at BLK Super Specialty Hospital . "She died around 2.15am on Thursday due to multi-system failure caused by dengue haemorrhagic fever," said Singhal."

Iran Reports First Bird Flu Outbreaks

Via The Poultry Site :

" Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has broken out in village ducks at two locations in the north of the country.

The veterinary authority sent an Immediate Notification dated 13 October to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

The report describes two outbreaks of HPAI, both starting on 13 September in free-range village duck flocks in the region of Mazaran in the north of the country, near the Caspian Sea. In total, 2,682 ducks were involved, of which 535 showed symptoms, 345 died and 2,337 birds were destroyed.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Zealand : Meningitis cases in Northland continue to climb

Via Radio New Zealand :

" The tally of meningitis cases in the north of New Zealand is on the rise again.

Northland Health says a 16-month-old Whangarei baby was admitted to hospital on Wednesday night with suspected meningococcal disease.

A two-year-old from Kaipara admitted last Sunday is now a confirmed case.

If the Whangarei case is confirmed, the number of people who have caught the disease since July will stand at 12 and the death toll at three.

Northland has an outbreak of Group C meningococcal disease and the District Health Board is offering free vaccination for people aged 12 months to 20 years.

Children vaccinated during the last epidemic are not protected against the current strain of the disease, it warns."

Genetic Characterization of H1N2 Influenza A Viruses Isolated from sick pigs in Southern China in 2010

A study published in Virology Journal, here's the abstract :

" Abstract (provisional)

In china H3N2 and H1N1 swine influenza virus have been circulating for many years. In January 2010, before swine were infected with foot and mouth disease in Guangdong, some pigs have shown flu-like symptoms: cough, sneeze, runny nose and fever. We collected the nasopharyngeal swab of all sick pigs as much as possible. One subtype H1N2 influenza viruses were isolated from the pig population. The complete genome of one isolate, designated A/swine/Guangdong/1/2010(H1N2), was sequenced and compared with sequences available in GenBank.

The nucleotide sequences of all eight viral RNA segments were determined, and then phylogenetic analysis was performed using the neighbor-joining method. HA, NP, M and NS were shown to be closely to swine origin. PB2 and PA were close to avian origin, but NA and PB1were close to human origin. It is a result of a multiple reassortment event. In conclusion, our finding provides further evidence about the interspecies transmission of avian influenza viruses to pigs and emphasizes the importance of reinforcing swine influenza virus (SIV) surveillance, especially before the emergence of highly pathogenic FMDs in pigs in Guangdong."

India : Encephalitis kills 8 more kids in Bihar

Via Zee News :

" Patna: Japanese encephalitis (JE) has claimed the lives of eight more children in the last five days in Bihar's Gaya district, taking the death toll in the epidemic to 62, a health official said Thursday.

The two children died in the last 24 hours and six in the last five days at Anugrah Narayan Medical College and Hospital (ANMCH), about 100 km from here, hospital superintendent Sitaram Prasad said.

The first encephalitis-related death in the district this year was reported Aug 23."

Nepal : Diarrhea grips Bajura; no docs

Via Himalayan Times :

" BAJURA: Number of patients suffering from diarrhea has immoderately gone up in Bajura immediately after the end of this year’s Dashain festival.

Diarrhea outbreak has influenced 11 VDCs of the northern belt of the district including Koleti, Kotila, Sappata, Gotri, Jagannath, Wai, Bandhu, Rugin when locals here consumed half-cooked and contaminated flesh in Dashain.

People have been suffering from various diseases due to the consumption of stale food and substandard meat items kept outside freeze for a long time, informed Dharma Raj Upadhyay, a local of Kotila VDC.

Every day over 40 patients complaining of diarrhea, dysentery and indigestion are visiting the Kolti Primary Health Centre during and after the Dashain, informed Assistant Health Worker Tej Singh Saud.

There is no single doctor providing health services to locals though three permanent quotas of doctors are allocated for the district."

India : Mice may reveal what killed 16 in Sindhudurg

Authorities are still trying to figure out what is this mysterious disease which has been killing people in Sindhudurg, India. My original post with regards to this dated 04th October picked up the first report. Let's see what unfolds, mean while here's the excerpt from today's article from Mid Day :

" A team of experts from the National Institute of Virology is now using the animal model testing procedure to figure out 'mystery disease'

Even after five bodies of experts failed to detect the identity of the mystery bug that has caused 16 deaths in Sindhudurg in the past three months, the bewildered state health department has asked the team from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) to expedite the search process, and provide it with some much-needed answers. The body of experts from the nation's apex body in virus research is now injecting serum samples in mice, so as to examine their pathological response to its presence in their bloodstream, and deduce the identity of the pathogen that could have cause the mysterious deaths.

MiD DAY had reported in its October 3 ('Mystery illness kills 16'), about the John Doe bug to which 16 residents of Sindhudurg succumbed in the past three months, all exhibiting the common symptom of respiratory failure.

Scientists on the rolls of NIV have now launched an advanced research module, which involves injecting the serums samples collected from Sindhudurg into mice.

"In the animal model testing procedure, we will observe the injected mice, and see if they start exhibiting the same symptoms that were noted in the deceased. We will then study the pathological changes visible in the mice, and hopefully detect the agent causing them," said Dr Vidya Aranpale, senior director, NIV.

Meanwhile, a team from the Microbiology and Preventive Social medicine department of Pune's BJ medical College has examined samples from seven close associates of the victims, who also reported similar symptoms. Of these, six have tested positive for Leptospirosis."

Pakistan : Dengue death toll rises to 217

Via The Nation, fatalities rising in Pakistan due to dengue :

" Three more patients lost the battle against dengue today. Two patients died in Lahore while one in Hafizabad. In Lahore 197 people have lost their lives. According to reports the number of dengue patients in other cities is also increasing.

In Mayo Hospital Lahore, Nimra, 20, and Asif, 28, died of dengue virus. In Services Hospital Kaniz, 55, died today.

In Hafizabad, Imtiaz, 25, lost his life. In Faisalabad 46 more patients were admitted to hospitals."

Hong Kong : Human Metapneumovirus case in forensic admission ward in Castle Peak Hospital

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

" Three male patients (aged 37 to 51) in a forensic admission ward had presented with respiratory symptoms since October 10. Appropriate viral tests were arranged for the patients and one of them tested positive for Human Metapneumovirus. The patients are being treated under isolation and one of them has been transferred to Tuen Mun Hospital. All patients are in stable condition.

Admission to the ward has been suspended and restricted visiting to the ward has been imposed. Infection control measures have already been stepped up according to established guidelines. All other patients in the ward concerned are under close surveillance."

Macao reports first case of human infection with streptococcus suis this year

Via Xinhua :

" Macao's Health Bureau has confirmed one case of human infection with streptococcus suis, and this is the first such case found in Macao this year, the Macao Post Daily reported Thursday.

The report quoted Macao's Health Bureau as saying that the patient, a 60-year-old Hong Kong male, who has retired and has been living in Macao for a long time, developed fever and convulsion on early October and was admitted into a local hospital on October 7. Based on the results of lab test and the patient's symptoms, the case was listed Wednesday as confirmed human infection with streptococcus suis, the Bureau said.

Streptococcus suis is a peanut-shaped, Gram-positive bacterium, and an important pathogen of pigs. It is also a zoonotic disease, capable of transmission to humans from pigs."

Zambia : Cholera in Mpulungu confirmed

Via Lusaka Times :

" The Ministry of health has confirmed that there is an outbreak of cholera in Mpulungu in Northern Province and as at yesterday a total of 10 cases were recorded.

Ministry of health Spokesperson Dr. Kamoto Mbewe said the first case was recorded on 2nd October .

In a telephone interview with ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday, Dr. Mbewe noted that with the onset of rains it was possible that more cholera out breaks in some parts of the country would be recorded.

He explained that the Ministry had established a Cholera treatment Center in Mpulungu which is providing care to the patients.

He said measures to prevent the water borne disease has been put in place among them health education and chlorine to purify the water."

India : Concern over spread of dengue

Via The Hindu :

" People of Bagalkot district, especially those in Mudhol and Jamkhandi taluks, fear that dengue may claim more lives if the authorities fail to initiate measures immediately to prevent its spread.

In the last two months, seven persons have succumbed to dengue and 37 suspected cases have been reported in the district.

According to official sources, steps are being taken to contain the spread of the disease, including fogging in areas from where dengue cases were reported. People have been instructed to maintain cleanliness in their surroundings and prevent water stagnation."