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December 28, 2006

Bird Flu Spreads In Egypt As Tenth Person Dies

Authorities have confirmed that a tenth person has died of H5N1 bird flu infection in Egypt. A man, aged, 26, is the third person to die so far over the last four days. He was admitted to hospital with bird flu like symptoms, and died ten days later in ho

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Farms sealed off as swan's death brings bird flu to UK

A STRAIN of deadly bird flu has killed a swan in Britain. A two-mile exclusion zone was thrown around the farm in Scotland where the bird was found. It died from the H5 virus, the same family as the H5N1 bug which has killed more than 100 people and millions of birds worldwide. Experts said it was ...

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Croatia finds new case of H5N1 flu

AP Worldstream 02-27-2006 Dateline: ZAGREB, Croatia A swan found dead in a nature park on Croatia's southern coast tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu _ the third instance of the disease in the country, the Agriculture Ministry said Monday. The authorities sealed off the area

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WHO on the Egyptian outbreak

After weeks of quiet, the WHO website has reported on Avian influenza in Egypt. Here's the whole story, re-paragraphed for easier online reading:

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population has informed WHO of three new human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection.

All three cases belong to one extended family in Gharbiyah province, 80 kilometres northwest of the capital city, Cairo.

While being transferred and cared for at the country's designated avian influenza hospital, a 30 year-old female, a 15 year-old girl and a 26 year-old male died. The most recent death occurred on 27 December. The cases reportedly had contact with sick poultry (ducks).

Clinical specimens from the three cases were tested positive for avian influenza A(H5N1) virus by Egyptian Central Public Health Laboratory.

The virus was also detected in specimens from two of the three patients by US Naval Medical Research Unit No.3 (NAMRU-3). The samples will be sent to WHO Collaborating Centre for further testing including virus characterization.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population is conducting further investigations and has initiated public health measures. The other family members remain healthy and have been placed under close observation.

The WHO table on cumulative confirmed cases is here. We are now at 261 cases and 157 deaths, for a case fatality ratio of 60 percent. Ten of the 18 Egyptian cases have been fatal, for a CFR of 55 percent.

I'm having a hard time finding local English-language resources. The website of the Egyptian ministry of health and population doesn't seem to have an English version, and Egyptian media in English are not covering the story very intensively. If you run across anything related to these cases, please let me know.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Egypt: Women bear the brunt of bird flu

Via the Daily Star Egypt, an IRIN story: Women bear the brunt of bird flu. Excerpt:

Judging from the gender ratio of infections in Egypt, women are most at risk of avian influenza contagion than men, said Hamdi Abdel Wahed, media official at the health ministry. All of the eight deaths that have occurred in Egypt as a result of avian flu have been among women.

The reason for this is that women in the countryside are traditionally in charge of looking after domestically kept birds, which are the most likely to be infected with bird flu," Abdel Wahed said.

The latest victim died on Dec. 24 in Gharbiyya province, 90 km north of Cairo, bringing the number of bird flu deaths in the country among humans to eight. She was admitted to hospital on Dec. 17, and although she initially denied having had contact with birds, tests confirmed she was infected with the potentially lethal virus, Abdel Wahed said.

"But the illness was already at an advanced stage by the time she was taken to hospital. She had high fever, shortness of breath, and eventually died of a heart attack despite having been administered with the appropriate treatment," he added.

The latest victim became the eighth female fatality. "To start with she was frightened of admitting that she had been rearing ducks at home," said Abdel Wahed. "This indicates she knew of the risk, but did not appreciate the extent of the danger."

The authorities have carried out extensive awareness campaigns ever since bird flu was first detected in Egypt in February, 2006. Asked whether any campaigns targeting women specifically were in the offing, however, Abdel Wahed said, "There ought to be, but I am not aware of any such campaign per se."

The victim's male nephew, who was diagnosed on the same day as having been infected with the virus, is in a stable condition, Abdel Wahed said. All other members of the family were tested and were found clear.

The references to eight deaths, and to the nephew's "stable" condition, makes the story a bit dated. The nephew and a teenager have also died, raising the country's death toll to ten.

But the key point of the report is important: rural Egyptian women know about the dangers of H5N1, but feel economic and cultural pressure to look after the family poultry.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

H5N1 kills eighth Egyptian - News24

H5N1 kills eighth Egyptian
News24, South Africa - Dec 24, 2006
Cairo - An Egyptian woman died of bird flu on Sunday, only hours after tests confirmed she had been suffering from the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus, a World ...

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Bird flu strikes another province in Vietnam Mekong delta - Thanh Nien Daily

Viet Nam News
Bird flu strikes another province in Vietnam Mekong delta
Thanh Nien Daily, Vietnam - 12 hours ago
... In related news, Vietnam will import additional 25 million doses of H5N1 vaccines and 4.5 million doses of H5N9 vaccines in January 2007 to inoculate its fowl ...
Bird flu spreads in Vietnam's Mekong delta Reuters AlertNet
Bird Flu Spreads To Third Southern Vietnamese Province CattleNetwork.com
Vietnam to import more bird flu vaccines next month People's Daily Online
People's Daily Online - Reuters AlertNet
all 25 news articles

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Bird Flu Infections Drop, Experts Find a New Risk: Complacency - Bloomberg

Bird Flu Infections Drop, Experts Find a New Risk: Complacency
Bloomberg - 2 hours ago
... pandemic: complacency. The lethal H5N1 strain of avian influenza was reported in people every two days in the first half. Since ...
Egypt faces grim bird flu situation Xinhua
Bird Flu Deaths in 2006 Exceed Prior 3 Years Combined (Update1) Bloomberg
Third family member dies from bird flu WorldPoultry.net
Reuters AlertNet - Medical News Today
all 82 news articles

Posted by dymaxion at 10:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Egypt detects third new human H5N1 bird flu case (Bird flu)

... Egypt detects third new human H5N1 bird flu case CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has detected a third new case of the H5N1 bird flu virus, just hours after confirming two new cases in a brother and sister, a World Health Organization official said on Sunday. Flu shot doesn’t need perfect virus match, study says (Reuters) Reuters - The annual ...
Home (aboutflu.net) View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 10:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

EGYPTE: 3 nouveaux morts positifs au H5N1.

... EGYPTE: 3 nouveaux morts positifs au H5N1. Le Ministère égyptien de la Santé et de la Population a informé l'OMS de trois nouveaux cas humains d'infection due au virus A(H5N1) de la grippe aviaire. Tous trois ont été enregistrés au sein d'une même famille élargie dans la province de Gharbiyah, à 80km au nord-ouest du Caire. Lors du transfert et ...
la grippe aviaire : le nouveau risque mondial ? View Technorati URL search

Posted by dymaxion at 10:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 05, 2006

NEJM -- H5N1 Influenza -- Continuing Evolution and Spread

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Trade in birds biggest risk to introducing H5N1 to North America ... - Canada.com

Zee News
Trade in birds biggest risk to introducing H5N1 to North America ...
Canada.com, Canada - Dec 4, 2006
(CP) - International trading of birds - domestic and wild - probably poses the greatest risk of introducing H5N1 avian flu to North America, says a new study ...
Bird Flu Watch Is Said to Focus On Wrong Area Washington Post
Trade of infected poultry most likely bird flu route WorldPoultry.net
New Research Predicts US Entry of H5N1 Avian Influenza Business Wire (press release)
CBC.ca - Reuters AlertNet
all 161 news articles

Posted by dymaxion at 11:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

EU extends import ban on captive birds to end-March

On World AIDS Day, I'm happy to report a serious lack of flu news. But here is a Reuters item: EU extends import ban on captive birds to end-March. Excerpt:

European Union veterinary experts on Friday extended a ban on all imports of captive live birds from outside the bloc for a further three months to guard against the spread of bird flu, the European Commission said.

The ban would now remain in force until March 31, 2007.

"Originally, the Commission had not intended to extend this ban. Instead, it had intended to amend the entire set of provisions for captive bird imports, including quarantine requirements," it said in a statement.

The Commission, the EU's executive arm, said it needed more time to assess an opinion delivered last month by the EU's leading food safety agency EFSA on the animal health and welfare risks associated with live bird imports.

Once it had done so, new measures would be proposed for regulating EU imports of captive birds, the statement said.

I hope the weekend brings us no news more serious than this.

Posted by dymaxion at 11:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World Bank report calls for prompt bird flu payments to farmers

Via the International Herald Tribune, a blindingly self-evident insight: World Bank report calls for prompt bird flu payments to farmers. Excerpt:

Prompt, uniformly distributed payments to farmers whose birds are killed because of avian flu are needed to help battle the disease, according to a new World Bank-led report.

Since ravaging Asia's poultry in late 2003, the H5N1 virus has killed more than 150 people worldwide. While the virus still cannot move easily from human to human, experts feel a change could lead to a deadly flu pandemic.

Funds to pay farmers whose birds are culled could encourage early reports of the disease, according to the report by the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Food Policy Research Institute.

But this money must be available when the disease occurs, and governments must agree in advance on payment procedures, said the report.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nigeria's bird flu status still uncertain

Via the International Herald Tribune: Nigeria's bird flu status still uncertain despite 4-month gap since last known case . Excerpt:

The farm in northern Nigeria where Africa's first case of a deadly bird flu strain was discovered has replaced its slaughtered fowl, and chicken has started to return to local menus after four months without a report of the virus.

But as experts from around the world gather in the West African country of Mali for a conference on the ongoing battle against the avian infection, the status of bird flu remains uncertain in Nigeria and throughout the continent.

Health experts say insufficient surveillance means they don't really know the true level of bird flu. The two-day conference that opens Wednesday in Mali, and follows similar international meetings in China and Austria, will focus on preparedness as the next bird flu season approaches, including marshaling financial and other resources to fight a disease experts fear could transform into a human pandemic.

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[Pathologic changes caused by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus: postmortem study of a case]

Zhonghua Bing Li Xue Za Zhi. 2006 Sep; 35(9): 545-8
Bai YQ, Xu G, Gong ZL, Li SH, Xu YC, Li K, Xu WY

OBJECTIVE: To report the postmortem findings of a case of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus occurring in human beings. METHODS: Postmortem examination was carried out in a deceased caused by highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus. Detailed light microscopy of major organs, including heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys and brain, was performed. The lung tissue was further investigated by histochemistry, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. RESULTS: Major histopathologic changes in lungs secondary to highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus included diffuse alveolar damage, hyaline membrane formation and focal hemorrhage. Some of the alveolar spaces contained lightly eosinophilic liquid, lymphocytes, macrophages, plasma cells and small number of neutrophils. Congested capillaries were commonly seen in the alveolar septa which were focally rimmed by hyaline membrane. Immunohistochemical study showed that the lymphocytes were mainly of T lineage and macrophages were also demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus causes pathologic changes mostly in lungs, including diffuse alveolar damage and acute exudative changes (involving mainly T lymphocytes and macrophages). The resulting parenchymal destruction, consolidation, pulmonary edema and hemorrhage eventually lead to respiratory distress and death.

Posted by dymaxion at 10:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CDC Awards $11.4 Million To Develop New Rapid Diagnostic Tests For Avian Influenza

Main Category: Bird Flu / Avian Flu News Article Date: 05 Dec 2006 - 0:00am The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today announced $11.4 million in new contracts to four companies working to develop new ...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack