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Monday, September 30, 2013

Nepal : 13 dengue patients in Jhapa

Via The Himalayan Times :

" As many as 13 dengue patients are confirmed in different parts of Jhapa, a district of eastern Nepal. The cases of dengue fever have been confirmed at Birtamod, Charpane, and Shanischare, according to the District Public Health Office, Jhapa.

Dengue is an infectious disease which is transmitted by female mosquitoes named Aedes aegypti. The office has deputed a team of technicians to the affected areas to create public awareness on the disease and ways of preventing it, Office Chief Chandra Dev Mehata said.

Rashes, severe joint and muscle ache, fever, headache and backache are the symptoms of dengue. However, no patients have died so far and most of them have returned home after treatment, the office said."

Saudi Arabia : Special labs in Madinah, Mina for MERS tests

Via Saudi Gazette :

" The Ministry of Health has assigned two laboratories to test suspected cases of MERS-CoV infection, Deputy Health Minister for Public Health and Head of the National Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases Dr. Ziad Maimish announced at a press conference here on Sunday.

Regional MoH laboratory in Madinah and that of Mina Al-Wadi Hospital in Mina will work along with the labs in Jeddah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province.

Arrangements have been made to get the results from these labs within four hours, said Dr. Maimish.

Dr. Maimish said that so far 114 MERS cases have been reported in the Kingdom, of which there were 49 deaths.

The Ministry of Health has formed medical teams and set up preventative measures at points of entry to the Kingdom to monitor arriving pilgrims, verify their compliance with health regulations, and vaccinate those who have not been vaccinated.

The National Scientific Committee for Infectious Diseases said that reports compiled during the past 24 hours found no infection cases among the pilgrims who have already arrived in the Kingdom."

Friday, September 27, 2013

Malaysia : TH Medical Team Ready For MERS Threat

Via Bernama :

" The Pilgrims Fund Board (Tabung Haji) health and medical teams here and in Medina are ready to face the Novel corona virus or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus (MERS-CoV) pandemic.

Malaysian Haj Delegation (Medical) deputy head Dr Mohamad Faid Abdul Rashid said the Tabung Haji teams were well-equipped to handle the situation, in the event of an epidemic.

However, he said, no case of the disease had been reported, adding that most Malaysian pilgrims sought medical treatment for lung infection, breathing difficulties and normal cough.

He said 23 Malaysian pilgrims were warded at the three Tabung Haji medical centres. They comprised 15 in Makkah (at Syisya and Aziziah) and eight at Al Addin in Madinah.

All were reported to be in stable condition, Dr Mohamad Faid told reporters here today.

He advised Malaysian pilgrims, including those who had yet to leave for the holy land, to take care of their health and hygiene.

He said two deaths had been reported among Malaysian pilgrims and both of them died due to heart attack.

"A case involving a pilgrim suffering from mental disorder was reported in Medina, and the patient is reported to be in stable condition," added Dr Mohamad Faid.

He said the Tabung Haji medical teams comprised 248 personnel, including 40 medical officers, four medical specialists, 61 nurses and 52 assistant medical officers.

He said Tabung Haji was also equipped with 19 ambulance vehicles and that an additional treatment centre would be opened at Masyair when the 'wukuf' (grand assembly) started."

Hong Kong : Update on cluster of Respiratory Syncytial Virus cases at Castle Peak Hospital

Press release from CHP :

" Regarding the recent confirmation of a cluster of patients infected with Respiratory Syncytial Virus in a male forensic psychiatric ward, the spokesperson for Castle Peak Hospital (CPH) made the following update today (September 27):

One more 54-year-old patient in the ward has presented with respiratory symptoms. Appropriate viral tests were arranged for the patient and the test result was positive for Respiratory Syncytial Virus. The patient is being treated under isolation and is 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 are under close surveillance.

The case has been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection for necessary follow up."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

India, New Delhi : Dengue takes toll on Rohini hospital

Via Deccan Herald :

The large number of dengue cases being reported from Rohini zone has left the biggest Delhi government-run hospital in the area overburdened with patients. 

Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital in north-west Delhi received 535 dengue patients till Wednesday afternoon.

Shortage of platelets at the hospital’s blood bank has only worsened the situation. Relatives of patients are left running from different blood banks to their family and friends to seek blood.

Ajit Singh, 26, brother of Toofan Singh, a patient admittedwith dengue at the hospital, was unable to procure A-positive blood despite desperately searching for over three hours on Wednesday."

Swine flu confirmed in St Vincent

Via Jamaica Observer :

" The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has confirmed six cases of the “Influenza A H1N1 Pandemic 09” in St Vincent and the Grenadines, according to a statement issued by Chief Medical officer, Simon Keizer.
Last week, classes at the Troumaca Secondary School were suspended after the Ministry of Health confirmed that it had become aware that the largest number of patients seeking medical attention for an “acute illness” in the Chateaubelair health district had been from the school. Classes resumed on Monday."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

India : 12 A(H1N1) deaths reported In Karnataka this year

Via The Hindu :

" The panic over influenza A(H1N1) may have subsided but the virus is still in the air. As many as 12 deaths have been reported in the State from January till date. Although this number is much less compared with the 135 deaths reported during the first outbreak in 2009, doctors said it was important to take precautions.

According to an official statement released by the State Health and Family Welfare Department, 5,420 of the 29,990 samples have tested positive for the virus from 2009 till date. A total of 331 people have succumbed to the infection during this period. Of these, 12 deaths, including three in Bangalore, were reported this year (from January till date). Two deaths, including one from Bangalore, were reported in the last fortnight alone.

Officials of the Health Department are on an alert following this. Health Director B.N. Dhanya Kumar told The Hindu that the department initiated surveillance measures in July itself. “With the fluctuating weather — rain and the continuous drop in temperature —cases of A(H1N1) are being reported from across the State,” he said."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

India : 1,355 dengue cases, two deaths in Delhi

Via The New Indian Express :

" total of 1,355 dengue cases have been reported across the capital so far this season, said an official Monday. Two people have died due to the deadly fever.

The number of reported cases was 912 Friday which increased to 1,355 Monday.

"There are 1,355 reported case in the city," said N.K. Yadav, municipal health officer.

According to him, two people have succumbed to the vector-borne virus while three deaths due to the disease are suspected.

The victims who have succumbed to the virus confirmed by municipal authorities are Phool Singh, 47, a resident of Ashok Nagar area in west Delhi, and Priyanka Shankar, 21, of Pratap Nagar in north Delhi.

Out of the total 1,355 cases, 1,326 patients are from Delhi, 12 from Uttar Pradesh, two from Haryana and 15 from the other adjoining states."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hong Kong : Cluster of Respiratory Syncytial Virus cases in Castle Peak Hospital

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" Nine patients (aged 21 to 64) and a staff member in a female ward for intellectual disability have presented with respiratory symptoms since September 19.

Appropriate viral tests were arranged for the patients and eight were confirmed positive to Respiratory Syncytial Virus. The patients concerned are being treated under isolation and are in stable condition. The staff member is currently on leave.

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 are under close surveillance.

The cases have been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection for necessary follow up."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

India : 16-year-old boy dies of dengue in Mumbai

Via DNA India :

" A 16-yr-old boy died of dengue on Friday at Asian Heart Hospital in Bandra Kurla Complex.

A resident of Bandra, the boy was earlier admitted to Gurunanak Hospital in Bandra east. He had tested positive for dengue and died of multpiple organ failure, informed BMC officials.

The dengue death toll has reached five this year in Mumbai."

Friday, September 20, 2013

India, New Delhi : Dengue claims first two lives in Delhi

Via NDTV :

" The national capital saw its first dengue deaths on Thursday with two people succumbing to the vector-borne virus, detected in over 450 citizens this season.

While two deaths are confirmed due to dengue, three others are suspected deaths, said Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) medical health officer N.K. Yadav.

There has been continuous rise in dengue cases in Delhi. As of Tuesday, 466 people were detected positive for the disease.

Though a couple of suspected dengue deaths have been reported, the MCD till now has denied any so far.

In the corresponding period of 2012, 55 patients were diagnosed with the disease."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cambodia records 25,050 malaria cases in 8 months, killing 6 people

Via Xinhua :

" Cambodia reported 25,050 malaria cases in the first eight months of this year, down 49 percent from the 48,810 cases over the same period last year, figures from the National Center for Malaria showed Thursday.

During the January-August period this year, the disease has killed six people, down sharply from 31 deaths in the same period last year, the figures said.

Char Meng Chuor, director of the center, told Xinhua that death toll from malaria was no longer a major concern for the Cambodian people.

Last year, more than a million of mosquito nets were given free- of-charge to the vulnerable groups of people throughout the country to curb the disease."

Cambodia : Two more H5N1 cases confirmed

Via The Phnom Penh Post :

A 5-year-old girl from Takeo province and a 2-year-old girl from Kampot province – who has already died – mark the 19th and 20th confirmed cases of avian influenza this year, a hospital spokesman said.

“The 2-year-old from Kampot was in very serious condition when she arrived and died yesterday after only two days in hospital,” said Dr Denis Laurent, a spokesman for Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh.
“We’re worried that many cases seem to be originating in Kampot,” Dr Laurent added.
More than half of the confirmed cases in Cambodia were children under 14 and by in large most victims of the disease have been young girls.
Already, nearly half of the total cases since the disease was first uncovered in Cambodia in 2004 have been found this year alone. Of 20 cases recorded this year, 13 have proven to be fatal.
The Ministry of Health is expected to issue a statement on the cases today."

Dengue death toll rises to 24 in Honduras

Via Xinhua :

Dengue hemorrhagic fever has claimed 24 lives so far this year in Honduras, local media quoted Health Minister Salvador Pineda as saying on Wednesday.

The minister confirmed the new death toll following the death of three people in different parts of the country, including Olancho in the east, Copan in the west and Cortes in the north.
He said that up to the first week of September this year, 25,348 cases of dengue have been reported, among which 3,346 are suspected of being of the more dangerous hemorrhagic variety.
Still, the number of new cases being reported decreased in comparison with the previous months, he said.
The areas which are most seriously affected by the disease are Cortes, Olancho, Choluteca, Atlantida, Comayagua, Yoro, La Paz, Santa Barbara, El Paraiso, Intibuca and Islas de la Bahia, and Francisco Morazan.
On Aug. 7, the Ministry of Health reported 17 deaths from the mosquito-borne disease."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

India : Mumbai records 74 dengue, 4K fever cases in 2 weeks

Via Times of India :

Three wards in the city have reportedly witnessed a sudden spurt in dengue cases in the last seven days. 

Doctors from Bhandup, Vikhroli, Vile Parle, Khar and Goregaon have already alerted the BMC about the rise. Civic executive health officer Dr Arun Bamne also confirmed about being told about the rise in cases in S, H (east) and P (south) wards. "We will look into it. Aggressive vector control measures are being carried out in the city," he said. 

In the last two weeks, 74 dengue cases have been reported, the figure being almost close to the August record of 87. Four patients have died so far, compared to five last year. Citizens are not only ailing from dengue. Dr Krishnakant Dhebri from Girgaum said nearly 4,000 cases of fever had been recorded in the last two weeks and 480 cases of malaria. 

Even though doctors have sounded alert in the spurt of dengue, the official figure shows a slight dip, from 38 two weeks ago to 36 now. The BMC figures also claim the scene is better than that last year, when 157 and 242 dengue cases were reported in August and September."

India, Maharashtra : Swine flu claims 23rd victim in Nagpur

Via Times of India, excerpt :

Chandrapur resident Bhagwaan Dubey became the 23rd swine flu victim of in the city this year. He passed away on Tuesday afternoon while undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).

Dubey, 46, had earlier been admitted to a private hospital in the city where he was put on ventilator. After he was diagnosed of swine flu, he was shifted to GMCH, where too he was kept on ventilator.

Dubey's samples were sent for testing at the laboratory of Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital last Monday and he was declared swine flu positive the next day. He was still on life support on Tuesday when he succumbed to the infection."

Hong Kong : Upper respiratory tract infection outbreak under CHP investigation

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (September 17) appealed to members of 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 Wong Tai Sin, affecting 24 girls aged between two and five.

Investigations revealed that the affected pupils developed symptoms of URI including fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat since September 2.

All of the affected pupils sought medical consultation. Two of them required hospitalisation and were discharged. The nasopharyngeal swab of one of the girls who was admitted to hospital tested positive for enterovirus upon laboratory testing. All the patients are currently in a stable condition.

Officers of the CHP conducted a site visit and provided preventive advice against URI to the school. The school was placed under medical surveillance."

India, Tamil Nadu : 3 districts put on alert after dengue outbreak in Madurai

Via The Hindu :

" Dengue fever has claimed an early casualty in the city.

Fourteen-year-old Sahana Bindhuja, daughter of AIADMK Councillor M.Shahirsha of Ward 17, representing Ellis Nagar, died at a leading private hospital in the city in the early hours of Tuesday following severe bleeding and a fall in her blood platelet count.

According to hospital authorities, the girl was shifted to the hospital at 6.30 p.m. on Monday on the advice of a paediatrician in Arasaradi.

She had high fever for the past few days and was admitted to a private hospital here in a critical condition. Despite ventilator support and emergency dengue control treatment, the girl succumbed at 2.55 a.m.

Hospital sources said lab reports had confirmed that the girl had tested positive for dengue fever."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Singapore : Over 15,000 dengue cases as of September

Via Channel News Asia :

As of September 7, there have been 15,774 cases of dengue fever this year.
More than 6,600 subsidised dengue NS1 tests have been done as of August 16 this year.
The Health Ministry increased the subsidies for dengue NS1 testing at emergency departments so that patients who are clinically assessed will not pay more than S$10 per test.
This has been in place since June 17 this year.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong shared these figures in a written reply to Member of Parliament, Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef.
He added that this year's dengue epidemic led to an increase in the number of patients treated for dengue or suspected dengue at polyclinics and public hospital compared to the last two years.
Polyclinic attendance for dengue or suspected dengue increased 6.5 times, from an average of 931 cases for the first six months of 2011 and 2012 to 6,065 cases for the first six months of 2013.
There were 6,880 Emergency Department attendances for dengue in the first six months of this year, compared to only 2,523 attendances for the whole of 2012."

Rwanda : 30 Cholera Cases Reported At Nkombo Island

Via All Africa :

" At leaset 26 people have been treated for Cholera at Nkombo Island since August, with hundreds of others at the risk of contracting the disease.

According to the director of Nkombo Health Centre, Didas Mukeshimana, the disease outbreak is attributed to low access to clean and safe water at the island.
No death has so far been recorded officials said. The statistics were announced during a meeting to discuss how to avert the outbreak on the Lake Kivu Island this week that brought together local health and grassroots leaders, district officials and residents.
Nkombo Island is approximately 11 Kilometres from Kamembe town.
The island, which is one of the 18 sectors that make up Rusizi District, covers an area of 21 square kilometres and is populated by about 17,000 residents."

Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Lead to 23,000 Deaths a Year, C.D.C. Finds

Via New York Times, excerpt :

Federal health officials reported Monday that at least two million Americans fall ill from antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year and that at least 23,000 die from those infections, putting a hard number on a growing public health threat. 

It was the first time that federal authorities quantified the effects of organisms that many antibiotics are powerless to fight."

China records drop in new pneumoconiosis cases

Via Xinhua :

China reported a total of 24,206 new pneumoconiosis cases in 2012, posting a drop of 2,195 from the previous year, its health authority said on Monday.

Of the 2012 figure of newly reported cases, 12,405 were coal workers and 10,592 were silicosis sufferers, according to figures unveiled by the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
Pneumoconiosis cases accounted for more than 88 percent of the country's total reports of new occupational disease cases, which also included around 600 acute occupational poisonings, more than 1,000 chronic occupational poisonings and 1,500 others.
Nearly half of the new occupational disease cases were from the coal sector, while reports from the coal, railway, nonferrous metals and construction materials sectors accounted for 72 percent of the annual total.
Figures also showed that China last year reported 296 acute occupational poisoning accidents, leaving 601 people poisoned, 20 of them fatally."

India, New Delhi : Hospitals out of beds as dengue count hits 466

Article via Times of India :

 The rise in the number of dengue cases in the capital has led to an acute shortage of beds at most hospitals in the city. In September alone, 304 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported. 

A total of 466 cases have been reported this season. The municipal corporation claims there have been no deaths due to dengue so far, but reports from private hospitals suggest three dengue deaths have occurred in the past month. 

Low platelet count, experts say, is one sign of dengue but symptoms such as dehydration, breathlessness, severe pain in the abdomen and bleeding from natural orifices also must not be overlooked."

Hong Kong : PYNEH announces case of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis

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

" In response to media enquiries on a multi-drug resistant tuberculosis case, the spokesperson of Hong Kong East Cluster (HKEC) gave the following reply today (September 16):

An 82-year-old male patient admitted to the medical ward of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital (PYNEH) on May 27 was diagnosed to have pulmonary tuberculosis and the case had been reported to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) according to established mechanism. 

The patient has received treatment under isolation for more than two weeks in PYNEH and Grantham Hospital (GH), followed by directly observed treatment at the Chest Clinic of the Department of Health (DH).  According to the laboratory result of DH on August 15, the patient was diagnosed to have multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. The concerned patient was arranged to be admitted to GH for further treatment by the Chest Clinic.

While awaiting admission to GH, the patient was admitted to PYNEH on August 28, due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was put under isolation immediately. On September 11, the patient was transferred to GH for further management and he is currently in a stable condition.

PYNEH has conducted a follow-up investigation regarding the case. It was found that the patient was admitted to the male medical ward of PYNEH and Tung Wah Eastern Hospital (TWEH) between January and August for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

According to advice from experts and the prevailing infection control guidelines, HKEC has decided to commence contact tracing with the in-patients who have had close contact with the index patient during the concerned period to inform them of the exposure."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Vaccine 'clears HIV-like virus' in monkeys

Via BBC, excerpt :

A vaccine for the monkey equivalent of HIV appears to eradicate the virus, a study suggests.

Research published in the journal Nature has shown that vaccinated monkeys can clear Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) infection from their bodies.
It was effective in nine of the 16 monkeys that were inoculated.
The US scientists say they now want to use a similar approach to test a vaccine for HIV in humans.
Prof Louis Picker, from the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at Oregon Health and Science University, said: "It's always tough to claim eradication - there could always be a cell which we didn't analyse that has the virus in it. But for the most part, with very stringent criteria... there was no virus left in the body of these monkeys."

Chadian hospitals report increased malaria cases

Via Xinhua :

 In major hospitals in the Chadian capital and other towns, more malaria cases are being reported and the government has decided to distribute treated mosquito nets to save more people from contracting the disease.

For the last two months, public and private hospitals and other health centers in N'Djamena have not ceased receiving an increased number of malaria patients, who have caused unprecedented overcrowding in hospitals.
"We have observed an increased number of malaria patients, as well as those affected by the problem of hygiene," said Hassan Soukaya Youssouf, the secretary of the Chadian Public Health Ministry.
"Malaria remains a major public health challenge in Chad and constitutes the main cause of death among children aged below five years. The disease is widespread across the entire national territory but it is more prevalent in the southern and central regions," said Bruno Maes, the UNICEF representative in Chad.
The representative of a U.S.-based NGO "Malaria No More", Ndelembai Njesada, whose organization helps to fight malaria in Chad, said the current spread of the disease could get worse."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hong Kong : Patient with respiratory symptoms and travel history under CHP investigation

Press release from CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) received notification from Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) today (September 12) of a suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome affecting a 44-year-old woman.

The patient, with underlying illness, attended the Accident and Emergency Department of TMH today for sore throat and running nose and was subsequently admitted for further management under isolation.

Initial investigations by the CHP revealed that the patient had travelled to Tunisia between August 31 and September 10, during which she had transited in Dubai, and participated in a camel ride in Tunisia. Her travel collaterals and home contact have remained asymptomatic.

Her chest X-ray is clear. She is currently in a stable condition.

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

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

Peru : Influenza B takes its first victim in Chincha

Machine translated article from Peru 21 :

" The area of San Jose Health Chincha hospital reported the first died by influenza type B in the province of Chincha, Ica region.

The victim, 40, lived in the district Sunampe and died complicársele your health box pneumonia and suffered from diabetes.

According to the hospital, so far are being tested 12 cases of influenza in general: four H1N1 , four AH3N2 , three epidemiologically and one influenza type B."

WHO combats chikungunya in Papua New Guinea

Via WHO, the Western Pacific Region, excerpt :

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with the Government of Papua New Guinea and other stakeholders to control an outbreak of chikungunya in the Pacific country.

"We must do more to put chikungunya back in its box," says WHO Representative in Papua New Guinea Dr William Adu-Krow. "It's bad enough that the country already struggles with isolated cases of dengue. The presence of another mosquito-borne viral disease is putting the welfare of many others at grave risk."
The symptoms of chikungunya include fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. There is no cure, and treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms. The disease was first noticed in 1952 in Tanzania and is now endemic in parts of Africa and Asia.
WHO has supported the Papua New Guinea National Department of Health to develop and distribute fact sheets and other health materials about chikungunya and dengue, advising the public on appropriate care, on reducing the risk of mosquito bites and on eliminating mosquito breeding sites. It has also assisted health authorities to develop clinical management guidelines for distribution to all provinces."

Malaysia : Rapid increase in dengue cases raises alarm

Via The Star :

Despite the worrying increase in dengue cases in the Klang Valley, many residents and businesses are still not taking serious measures to fight the menace.

Between January and August this year, Selangor recorded 8,694 dengue cases, accounting for a staggering 45.9% of the 18,923 cases recorded nationwide.
This is an increase of 2,161 cases during the same period last year.
About 1,442 cases were reported in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, which is an increase of 112 cases (8.4%) as compared to last year during the same period.
To-date, there have been 10 reported dengue-related deaths in Selangor, while six cases were reported in Kuala Lumpur.
As of the end of August, 10 dengue hotspots (area where an outbreak has occurred continuously for 30 days or more) were identified in Selangor, all in the Petaling district."

Eight new Saudi cases push global MERS total to 130

From Lisa Schnirring at CIDRAP, excerpt :

Saudi Arabia's health ministry today and yesterday announced eight new Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) cases, all of which involved contact with previously confirmed cases, including four possible healthcare exposures.
The patients are all younger or middle-aged adults from Riyadh and Medina, and most have mild infections or are asymptomatic, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) said. The new detections lift the unofficial global total to 130 cases, of which 57 have been fatal.
Three of the four cases reported yesterday were asymptomatic: a 22-year-old man from Medina, a 24-year-old man who works in a health setting in Medina, and a 60-year-old man from Riyadh. The other patient is a 47-year-old man from Riyadh who is in stable condition, according to the MOH.
Of the four MERS cases reported today, all were reported from Riyadh, and three involve healthcare workers: a 47-year-old woman who had mild symptoms, a 39-year-old woman who had mild symptoms, and a 38-year-old man whose health status is stable, the MOH said. The fourth patient is a 51-year-old woman who is also in stable condition.
The newly announced cases follow closely on the heels of eight other cases that the health ministry announced on Sep 7 and Sep 8. Three of those infections were fatal.
The World Health Organization, which has not issued a MERS update since Sep 7, lists 114 global cases, 54 of which were fatal. That total does not include the 16 most recent Saudi cases."

India, Madhya Pradesh : 52 test positive for swine flu in Indore in 2013

Via Zee News :

With one more person testing positive for swine flu at a local hospital, the total number of those infected by the H1N1 virus in the city has reached 52 this year.

Health officials said laboratory examination of swab samples of a 50-year-old man from Sonkutch in neighbouring Dewas district confirmed that he had swine flu.
The patient is undergoing treatment for the last one week in a hospital and his condition is steadily improving, officials added."

Hong Kong : Fever patient with travel history tests negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

From Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (September 11) received notification from a private hospital of a suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome affecting a man aged 24 whose respiratory specimen tested negative for the virus.

The patient, with good past health, presented with cough, running nose and sore throat on September 7, followed by fever the next day (September 8). He attended an out-patient clinic of a private hospital today and was referred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for isolation and management. He is currently in stable condition.

Initial enquiries by the CHP revealed that the patient had travelled to Iran from September 3 to 6, during which he had no exposure to animals or patients. He subsequently travelled to Shenyang, Liaoning, from September 6 to 10. His home contacts have so far remained asymptomatic.

His nasopharyngeal aspirate tested negative for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus upon preliminary laboratory testing by Public Health Laboratory Services Branch of the CHP.

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

 "No human infection with this virus has been identified so far in Hong Kong," the DH spokesman stressed.

 "We would like to reassure the public that the Government will be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. Whenever there is a suspected case, particularly involving patients with travel history to the Middle East, the CHP will release information to the public as soon as possible," the spokesman said.

 Health-care workers and hospitals are reminded to maintain vigilance against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and adhere to strict infection control measures while handling suspected cases in order to reduce the risk of transmission to other patients, health-care workers and visitors."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Italy : Third case of human bird flu in Emilia Romagna

Via AGI :

" The number of humans infected with bird flu has risen to three in Emilia Romagna.

After the two workers of the poultry farms which were the focus of the infection, the third case is a man slaughtering infected chickens, reported Carlo Lusenti, the Regional Health Councillor, on the sidelines of the regional legislative assembly.

The news has not yet been confirmed by the Italian Higher Health Institute."

India : Madya Pradesh reports first drug-resistant tuberculosis case

Via Times of India :

The state has recorded its first case of the most feared form of drug-resistant tuberculosis. 

Doctors at the National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases (NITRD), Delhi, confirmed the case as extensively drug resistant or XDR-TB on August 30. 

The victim is a 13-year-old girl from Gwalior. She had already undergone preliminary tests at the Delhi-based institute. Earlier in May, she was admitted and placed under quarantine at TB Hospital in Bhopal. 

"She stopped responding to multidrug-resistant(MDR) treatment sometime back and we sent her samples to NITRD suspecting XDR-TB. Since May, she has been tested positive twice and on August 30 she was confirmed as a XDR-TB patient," said TB hospital superintendent Ajay Khate."

Taiwan reports first case of canine rabies infection in years

Via Focus Taiwan News Channel :

The Central Epidemic Control Center confirmed Tuesday that a pet dog in Taitung County, eastern Taiwan has been infected with rabies after being bitten by a rabid Formosan ferret-badger.

It is the first time the deadly disease has been found in dogs in Taiwan since a rabies outbreak was reported among ferret-badgers in mid-July after a hiatus of more than five decades.

Before the case, all infections have been confined to ferret-badgers except for one case involving an Asian house shrew, the center said.

It urged dog owners to get their dogs aged over three months old vaccinated and not to allow dogs younger than that to have contact with wild animals.

It said the six-week old puppy being raised in Haiduan Township was bitten by the rabies-infected ferret-badger Aug. 14 and the owner sent it to the Taitung County Animal Disease Control Center the following day.

The center noted that during the observation period, the puppy started to show symptoms of no appetite and extreme depression Sept. 6. It was put down after displaying signs of near collapse two days later."

Dengue fever hits 19,367 in Malaysia

Via The Peninsula :

" Malaysian Deputy Health Minister has said that dengue fever claimed lives and infected 22 percent of people in Malaysia, reaching 19,367 cases of infections since the beginning of 2013, till September 5.
Dr Helmi Yahya said in press remarks on Tuesday that Dengue infection cases remarkably increased this year in 

Malaysia, hitting 19,637, compared to 15,118 in 2012, while the death toll went up this year to reach 39, compared to 27 in 2012.
The Malaysian Ministry of Health launched a series of campaigns to fight Aedes bug, which is the maincause behind Dengue fever, with the first campaign in July 8, and the second in August 20."

USA, California : Wild Northern Elephant Seals Exposed to H1N1 Influenza

Article via Decoded Science, excerpt :

Researchers have found swine flu in elephant seals – what does this mean for the seal population?

Northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) from the central California coast showed evidence of H1N1 influenza A virus infection and exposure in 2010 and 2011. 
This is the first time we’ve seen pandemic H1N1 in marine mammals, and the first avian influenza infection detected in marine mammals on the West Coast of the United States.
No seals showed clinical signs of disease and virus was isolated in only two cases, however a number of other animals had antibodies to H1N1.

H1N1 Virus Isolated From Two Adult Female Elephant Seals

Between 2009 to 2011, a survey for influenza A virus along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California tested nasal swabs from more than 900 marine mammals of ten different species."

MERS continues grip in Saudi Arabia

Via Xinhua :

After killing one more in Saudi Arabia, the MERS virus continues its grip.
Unsure of its origin, mode of transmission, and the best course of treatment, clinicians have been working to quell it on a case-by-case basis in the country.
The worsening situations has drawn concern from the Saudi health officials as the hajj season fast approaches.
In order to keep cases to a minimum, the officials have urged that elderly and children are deemed as the key protection objects. And an even bigger concern for them is the people who will arrive.
According to Heinz Feldmann, chief of NIAID’s Laboratory of Virology in U.S., MERS is an infectious disease unlike any seen in humans before.
However, the virus is fundamentally different from SARS. “It is more deadly,” Feldmann said.
Since September 2012, WHO has recorded a total of 114 MERS infection cases with 54 deaths worldwide, a higher fatality rate than SARS.
Experts have yet to find a confirmed source, meaning there is no vaccine to protect against the virus and no treatment to cure it once it is contracted."

India : Dengue claims two more lives in south Delhi

Via Times of India :

 The dengue death toll in the capital reached three on Tuesday with two more succumbing to the disease at a private hospital in south Delhi. One of them was an ENT specialist in the same hospital. 

"Both the patients were admitted to our hospital in serious condition. They had high fever and difficulty in breathing. The symptoms did not improve after medications. They finally succumbed due to multi-organ failure," said Dr Virendra Anand, senior consultant, internal medicine at Moolchand Medcity Hospital. He said that dengue was confirmed through NS1 antigen test in both the cases. 

"The hospital staff is in complete shock. Our colleague was healthy a week ago. He was admitted to the hospital on September 3 with high fever, difficulty in breathing and rapidly falling platelet count. When his condition did not improve, he was shifted to the ICU. But he died," said a hospital doctor, who did not wish to be named. 

A 22-year-old youth, domestic breeding checker with the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, had died due to dengue at Max Super Specialty Hospital in Shalimar Bagh on September 1."

Hong Kong : Cluster of Influenza A cases in Kwai Chung Hospital

Press release from Hong Kong's CHP :

" Seven patients (aged from 23 to 44) of a male ward had presented with fever and respiratory symptoms since September 5. Appropriate viral tests were arranged for the patients concerned and the test results were positive for Influenza A. 

The patients are being treated under isolation and surveillance in stable condition. Two of them have been transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital.

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

The cases have been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection for necessary follow-up."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

India, Pune : 52-year-old succumbs to H1N1

Via Times of India :

A 52-year-old woman from Beed Districtsuccumbed to swine flu on Sunday in a private hospital here, taking the city's H1N1 death toll to 44 this year, so far. As many as six people have died of the contagion in the last nine days.

Mangal Chandrakant Giri, a resident of Ambejogai, developed flu-like symptoms on August 20. Initially, Giri consulted a neighbourhood practitioner who gave her symptomatic treatment. However, when her condition did not improve, she was admitted to a private hospital in Ambejogai. Her X-ray showed bilateral pneumonitis. When her condition deteriorated, she was advised to go to Pune for better medical treatment.

Giri was moved to KEM Hospital in Pune on August 27. She was put on ventilator support on September 4. Her throat swab sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) tested positive for swine flu on August 28. She succumbed to the infection on Sunday."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chad malaria cases hit emergency levels

Via The Guardian :

A tenfold spike in malaria infections in south-east Chad, with many of the severest cases in young children, has triggered an emergency operation by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
The number of reported new cases rose from 1,228 in the first week of August to 14,021 by the end of the month at the charity's project in Am Timan, Salamat region. The estimated death toll is more than 50; the town has a population of 213,000.
At its outreach sites, the charity's teams said 73% of patients they have been treating were suffering from the mosquito-borne disease.
One in four deaths in Chad is attributed to malaria and it is the most common cause of death in children. MSF said it was not unusual for cases to peak during the rainy season, from July to November, but the increase was alarming.
Jason Mills, the charity's head of mission in the country, said the most likely explanation was a lack of protective bed nets combined with unusual rain patterns. Heavy rain left pools of stagnant water, which was exacerbated by further rain and a large number of mosquitoes, he added.
The rest of the country has also been inundated, particularly the south. The government plans to treat 800,000 cases this year, an increase of 25% on 2012, and has so far treated 450,000, disrupting medical supplies. Rain patterns were probably the cause, Mills said."

US, Louisana : 4-year-old dies after brain-eating amoeba infection

Via CNN, excerpt :

"  A child has died after contracting a rare but deadly brain-eating amoeba infection while visiting a home in Louisiana, according to state health officials.

Officials believe the child is a 4-year-old boy from Mississippi who may have come in contact with the waterborne Naegleria fowleri amoeba while playing on a plastic toy water slide, St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta told CNN affiliate WWLTV. Water samples taken from the home tested positive for the amoeba, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals."

India, Pune : Another swine flu death, toll 43

Article via Times of India, excerpt :

A 27-year-old pregnant woman from Satara succumbed to swine flu at a private hospital in the city on Saturday, taking the city's H1N1 death toll to 43 so far, this year.

Deepali Manoj Gaikwad, a resident of Godoli in Satara, developed influenza like symptoms on August 28. She had fever and cough and later developed breathlessness that heightened from September 1.

"Gaikwad was 37 weeks pregnant during the time when she developed swine flu like symptoms. Initially, she was treated at a private hospital in Satara and was later shifted to another tertiary care centre. But her condition worsened. Gaikwad was then shifted to Ruby Hall Clinic on September 2," said S T Pardeshi, medical officer of health (MoH), Pune Municipal Corporation.

Due to her deteriorating condition, the woman was put on ventilator support at around 5.30pm the same day. She delivered a baby when on ventilator support."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Qatar : One patient recovered, another died in MERS coronavirus

From Kuna :

" The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) in Qatar has announced the recovery of a patient inflected with MERS coronavirus and another passed away from the same deadly illness.

The first patient started to show signs of the virus on August 15 before he came back from a trip outside the country. Once he was in the country, he was admitted to hospital to receive proper treatment.

After a course of treatment, he recovered, the SCH statement read Saturday. The second patient, meanwhile, was battling several health issues. On August 17, he started showing signs of the deadly respiratory disease.

He died after he was admitted to the intensive care unit. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness.

They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of these people died."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dengue death toll rises to 59 in Dominican Republic

Via Xinhua :

" The death toll from dengue fever in the Dominican Republic, where some 8,704 cases of the disease have been registered, has risen to 59 so far this year, according to a Health Ministry report released Thursday.

Dengue fever has mostly affected the northern, central and southern regions of the country, including the capital, Santo Domingo, where 76 percent of cases reported in the past month were located, the report said.

In the past week alone, the health sector reported three deaths and 602

cases of infection. According to local press, one of the victims was a three-year-old boy from eastern Santo Domingo."

Hong Kong : Case of severe paediatric influenza A infection under CHP investigation

Press release from CHP :

" The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (September 6) investigating a case of severe paediatric influenza A infection affecting a 2-year-old boy.

The patient, with underlying medical condition, presented with fever, cough and runny nose on September 3 and convulsion on September 4. He attended the Accident and Emergency Department of Tuen Mun Hospital on September 4. He was subsequently transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit for further management on the same day.

His clinical diagnosis was encephalopathy and he is currently in a serious condition. His nasopharyngeal aspirate tested positive for Influenza A.

The patient has no recent travel history and his family contacts are asymptomatic."

Study reveals more signs of MERS-CoV in cam

From Robert Roos at CIDRAP :

" Scientists have found more evidence that many camels in the Middle East have been exposed to the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) or a close relative, increasing the suspicion that camels may have spread the virus to humans.

In serologic tests on 110 dromedary camels in Egypt, one test showed that 94% of them had antibodies to MERS-CoV, and a second test revealed antibodies in 98%, according to a report in today's issue of Eurosurveillance. Tests of humans, water buffaloes, cows, and other domestic animals in Egypt and Hong Kong showed no MERS-CoV antibodies.

"The antibody titres were very high" in both sets of tests, "suggesting that the virus infecting these camels was MERS-CoV virus itself or a very closely related virus," says the report by a team of Chinese, Egyptian, and American scientists.

The findings echo those published last month by a team from the Netherlands and Germany, who tested 50 dromedaries in Oman and found that all had antibodies to MERS-CoV or a close relative. They also found that 14% of a sample of camels in the Canary Islands had similar antibodies.

Which animals harbor the MERS virus and which ones passed, or are passing, it to humans remains a mystery. Although the antibody findings indicate that camels probably have been exposed to MERS-CoV or a very similar virus, scientists have not yet isolated the virus itself from camels or any other animals."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cholera kills eight in southern Nigeria

Via NST :

" Cholera has killed eight people in southern Nigeria and ten others have been hospitalised, health officials said Thursday, in the latest outbreak to hit the country following a heavy rainy season.

Nigeria suffered cholera epidemics during the rainy seasons of 2010 and 2011, with nearly 2,000 people killed over two years.

While 2012 saw few reported infections, health officials warn that Nigeria remains vulnerable to further outbreaks because of its high population density and poor sanitation in many areas.

“We have eight deaths and 10 people in the hospital,” said Cosmas Oni, spokesman for the health ministry in southwestern Oyo state, adding that the outbreak was confirmed on Monday."

Italy : Fifth breeding with the H7N7 virus

Machine translated article from Gea Press :

A fifth breeding, very close to those already known in the province of Bologna, near the border with that of Ravenna, was found contaminated by H7N7 highly pathogenic avian virus. The results are confirmed by the Zooprofilattico delle Venezie and relate to a farm of 105,000 laying hens, now will be torn down.

This brings to five the Emilian farms for which the Ministry of Health has ordered the slaughter of animals. In all it was detected the presence of the H7N7 virus.

Today, the health authorities have confirmed that Emilia from early days about the supposed origin of the epidemicAlso in Emilia Romagna, as a further measure to prevent the contagion, was prohibited the use of decoys for hunting. This aspect, on which in recent days was expounded the MEP Andrea Zanoni."

US : New Hampshire fears eight exposed to rare brain disease in hospital

Article via Reuters, excerpt :

New Hampshire warned on Wednesday that eight patients who recently underwent neurosurgery at a Manchester hospital may have been exposed to a rare brain condition similar to "mad cow" disease in cattle.

The state health department said the exposure may have been the result of a surgery on a ninth patient, who is now believed to have had a sporadic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a condition similar to "mad cow" disease but not linked to beef consumption.

All eight patients have been notified of their potential exposure, officials said, adding that there was no risk to the general public."

581 dengue fever cases in SW China

Via Xinhua :

The number of confirmed dengue fever cases in an outbreak of the disease in a prefecture of southwest China's Yunnan Province has risen to 581, but experts say the epidemic has been contained.

There have been no deaths reported since the disease was first reported in Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna on Aug. 15, according to a statement released by Yunnan's health department.
The cases include 14 originating from neighboring countries, including Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, the statement said.
Of the confirmed cases, 409 had been cured, 116 remain hospitalized and 56 others have been quarantined at home for treatment."

India, Mumbai : Girl dies of dengue, H1N1 claims woman

Article via Times of India, excerpt :

 Despite the month-long dry spell, two people succumbed to dengue and H1N1 on Wednesday. The dengue death took place at Motilal Nagar in Goregaon, near Shastri Nagar, which recently reported a cluster of cases and a death from an adjoining area. Two dengue deaths within 24 hours from Goregaon have got locals panicky, political representatives said.

Anup Kharwar (12) became the fourth to die of dengue in the city in little over a month. The standard VII student was undergoing treatment under a local physician who advised hospitalization when his condition showed no improvement. He was admitted to Kapadia Hospital on Tuesday, when dengue was confirmed.

The doctors, however, told the family to shift him to a better medical set-up as his condition had become critical."

Cambodia reports 18th human case of bird flu this year

Via Shanghai Daily :

 A 15-month-old boy in the capital's Russei Keo district has been diagnosed with H5N1 virus, bringing the number of the cases to 18 so far this year, a joint statement by the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry said Wednesday.
The boy was confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza last Friday after he was admitted to the Kantha Bopha Hospital with fever, cough, diarrhea, sneezing, lethargy and dyspnea, the statement said.
"The boy was treated with Tamiflu and he is in a stable condition," it said.
"Investigations are being carried out by the Ministry of Health in the boy's village in order to determine whether the child came into contact with sick or dead poultry," the statement said.
Only eight cases out of the 18 cases this year survived.
The latest death case was a 9-year-old boy from northwestern Battambang province, who died last month.
Avian influenza H5N1 remains a serious threat to the health of all Cambodians, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said."