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March 29, 2007

Bird flu outbreak spreads in Bangladesh

DHAKA (AFP) - Three new farms reported bird flu outbreaks in
Bangladesh Sunday after thousands of poultry were destroyed last week
due to confirmed cases of the deadly virus, the government said.
On Friday, authorities slaughtered more than 40,000 birds at six
farms, a day after official confirmation of a bird flu outbreak on the

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Egypt reports 3 new cases of bird flu in humans

CAIRO, Egypt: An Egyptian woman and two children were reported
infected with a virulent strain of bird flu Tuesday, bringing to 30
the total number of Egyptians to be diagnosed with the disease since
last year.
Nearly half of those infected, 13 people, have died.
The World Health Organization reported two of the three new cases,

Posted by dymaxion at 10:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Biological Hazard - Afghanistan - 3-29-2007

A new case of bird flu has been identified in Afghanistan's capital
Kabul, a local newspaper reported Thursday. The new case was detected
in a dead bird found from the garden of Turkish embassy in Kabul city,
according to daily Outlook. "A dead bird found in the garden of the
Turkish embassy in Kabul on March 20 was infected with the H5N1 deadly

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Epidemic Hazard - Egypt - 3-29-2007

Report by CIDRAP: In Egypt, the health ministry reported that the 46-
year-old woman who tested positive for H5N1 is from the northern Nile
delta city of Damanhour, about 80 miles north of Cairo. Few details
were available about her illness, though health officials said the
woman and other recent H5N1 patients contracted the virus from

Posted by dymaxion at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kuwait to cull 1.1 million chickens over bird flu

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - Kuwait has ordered the culling of about 1.1
million chickens in a bid to fight an outbreak of bird flu, an
official was quoted as saying on Thursday.
The head of the agriculture authority, Jassem al-Bader, told Al-
Siyyassah newspaper the culling will take place "in the coming few

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Egypt seeks to bar live bird trade over H5N1 fears - Africast



Playfuls.com
Egypt seeks to bar live bird trade over H5N1 fears
Africast, CT - 11 hours ago
Since the outbreak of bird flu in Egyptian poultry in February 2006, 29 Egyptians have contracted the H5N1 virus. Most of those who fell ill were reported ...
Egypt has 2 more H5N1 cases; Indonesia suspects 3 CIDRAP
New Human Case Of Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus Infection In Egypt Medical News Today (press release)
all 31 news articles

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Boy, 16, dies from bird flu - China Daily



E Canada Now
Boy, 16, dies from bird flu
China Daily, China - 2 hours ago
Tests by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday confirmed that he had been infected with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus. ...
16-Year-Old Boy Dies From Bird Flu Virus, 15th Human Death In China All Headline News
One more dies of bird flu in China Times of India
Bird Flu continues to spread, deaths in Anhui and Jakarta AsiaNews.it
all 51 news articles

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Indonesia Resumes Sharing Of Bird Flu Samples

Main Category: Bird Flu / Avian Flu News Article Date: 28 Mar 2007 - 8:00 PDT Indonesia announced yesterday that it would immediately resume sharing samples of H5N1 bird flu virus taken from infected ...

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BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Three Indonesians die of bird flu

"3 people in Indonesia have died from bird flu, taking the country's death toll to 69, health officials say. ... Since the H5N1 virus emerged in South East Asia in late 2003, it has claimed nearly 170 lives around the world."

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March 21, 2007

Solving the vaccine affordability problem

We've discussed the problem of an affordable vaccine for the developing world several times (here, here, here). We advocate ten to a dozen regional international vaccine institutes to make influenza vaccine at cost, license and patent free. Another suggestion has come from Dr. Carl Nathan from Cornell Medical College in a Commentary published in Nature Medicine and summarized at the Cornell news site:

Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post...

Posted by dymaxion at 10:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thai bird flu strain found to be resistant to drug

Via Reuters: Thai bird flu strain found to be resistant to drug. Excerpt:

Yong Poovorawan, a medical professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, said an H5N1 strain in the central part of Thailand had become resistant to amantadine, casting more doubt over its use to fight the disease .

"It would be very dangerous if we don't know the sensitivity or resistance of the strain to amantadine and we use amantadine (to treat people infected with this strain of H5N1)," Yong said.

He urged more rigorous surveillance and study.

"If you follow any new strain you will know the genetic changes, you analyse its molecular structure, make experiments to see which drug it is sensitive to and find out which is the best antiviral for any given strain," he said.

"It's like a jigsaw, we have to find the pieces and see the big picture."

Yong and his researchers came to the latest conclusion after studying the molecular structure of the strain, which has been circulating in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam since 2004.

"We need to conduct in vitro experiments," he said, referring to experiments in a laboratory or other controlled settings. However, he could not say how effective a dual Tamiflu-amantadine therapy may be as Thailand has not tried administering such a treatment.

Their findings were published in the March issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Here's the article in Emerging Infectious Diseases, which also has several other articles of interest in this month's issue.

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Laos' mortality from infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus - SpiritIndia



Scientific American
Laos' mortality from infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus
SpiritIndia, India - 22 hours ago
On March 16, the Ministry of Health in Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, reported its second human death from infection with the H5N1 ...
Egypt - new human cases of H5N1 avian influenza infection SpiritIndia
Egypt, Laos Report More Human Cases of Avian Influenza Media Newswire (press release)
Govt backsJakarta in bird flu row Bangkok Post
Scientific American - Reuters AlertNet
all 64 news articles

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WHO to discuss H5N1 vaccine access with Asian officials - CIDRAP


WHO to discuss H5N1 vaccine access with Asian officials
CIDRAP, MN - 3 hours ago
Mar 21, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – World Health Organization (WHO) officials will propose new ideas about producing H5N1 avian influenza vaccines to Asian health ...
WHO meeting explores H5N1 treatment issues CIDRAP
all 2 news articles

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Two-year-old boy becomes Egypt's 26th bird flu case

CAIRO (AFP) - A two-year-old Egyptian boy is being treated for bird
flu, the 26th case of the deadly virus in the country, the health
ministry announced on Monday.
Yusef Mohammed Mahmud from the southern city of Aswan was admitted to
hospital on Friday with a high temperature, ministry spokesman Abdel

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Indonesia loses 66th person to bird flu

Jakarta - Bird flu has killed a 21-year-old man in Indonesia, an
official announced on Monday, taking the death toll in the nation
worst hit by the disease to 66.
"The victim died just a while ago at a hospital in Surabaya," said I
Nyoman Kandun from the health ministry here, referring to the
country's second-largest city in East Java province.

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Biological Hazard - Nigeria - 3-21-2007

Situation Update No. 1
The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus is spreading among poultry farms around
northern Nigeria`s largest city, a senior veterinary official said Sun
[18 Mar 2007]. "The avian influenza virus is still spreading among
poultry farms and it has so far affected 33 farms in 7 districts,"
Shehu Bawa, head of Kano State`s Committee on Avian Flu. More than 80

Posted by dymaxion at 10:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kuwait announces new bird flu case (AFP)

... [ Kuwaiti health workers spray disinfectant after a 2005 outbreak of bird flu at a poultry market in Kuwait City. Kuwait has announced a new case of the deadly H5N1 bird flu in a chicken, raising the number to 54 since the outbreak began on February 25.(AFP/File/Yasser Al-Zayyat)]AFP - Kuwait announced on Saturday a new case of the deadly H5N1 ...
JD’s Health Page View Technorati URL search

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Bird flu found in endangered Japanese eagle (AFP)

... [ Ice drifts in Shari town, Hokkaido prefecture. The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been found in the body of an endangered eagle in southern Japan, the environment ministry said Sunday, according to reports. The bird, called the mountain hawk eagle, is on the Japanese government's list of endangered species and there are believed to be some ...
JD’s Health Page View Technorati URL search

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Associated Press: UN calls for stricter controls in Myanmar after new bird flu outbreak

... Yangon: The U.N. reported a new outbreak of bird flu in Myanmar on Wednesday and called for more stringent measures to control the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus. About 1,600 chickens contracted the virus and died during the weekend at a farm in Nyaunghnapin, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, [...] ...
Burmanet View Technorati URL search

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Indonesia Warns Vaccine Inequity Could Threaten World Peace

... JAKARTA—The inability of poor countries to get vaccines in the event of an influenza pandemic could threaten world peace, Indonesia's health minister said on Wednesday. Siti Fadilah Supari said the virus-sharing scheme under the World Health Organisation system did not guarantee poor countries access to vaccines and urged developed countries ...
Kerry B. Collison View Technorati URL search

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March 13, 2007

H5N1 and cats once again

The H5N1 in cats issue returns once again. We know felines, including big cats in zoos and domestic cats on city streets and backyards, can be infected with the virus. The assumption is they acquire it by eating infected birds, although we don't know the mode of transmission for sure. Now we have a story by the Bloomberg agency that a major study of feral cats is about to start in Indonesia:

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Posted by dymaxion at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

South Koreas says has 7th bird flu outbreak

 
South Koreas says has 7th bird flu outbreak
www.alertnet.org
South Korea confirmed on Thursday its seventh outbreak in the past several months of highly virulent bird flu, despite a mass culling and other measures to prevent the spread of the deadly H5N1 strain.
Posted by ojcius to South Korea AvianFlu H5N1 on Fri Mar 09 2007 at 17:42 UTC | info

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WHO | Avian influenza – situation in Lao People's Democratic Republic – update

 
WHO | Avian influenza – situation in Lao People's Democratic Republic – update
www.who.int
The Ministry of Health in Lao People's Democratic Republic has confirmed the country's first death from H5N1 avian influenza. The 15-year-old female from Vientiane, whose infection was announced 27 February, died on 7 March after being hospitalized in neighbouring Thailand.
Posted by ojcius to Laos AvianFlu H5N1 on Fri Mar 09 2007 at 17:44 UTC | info

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People's Daily Online -- UN experts further confirm bird flu outbreak in Myanmar

 
People's Daily Online -- UN experts further confirm bird flu outbreak in Myanmar
english.people.com.cn
Experts from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UNAID have further confirmed the recent outbreak of bird flu H5N1 in two townships of Myanmar's Yangon, according to an official newspaper Sunday.
Posted by ojcius to Myanmar AvianFlu H5N1 on Sun Mar 11 2007 at 14:51 UTC | info

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

Bird flu spreads in Vietnam

This is a bad-news morning. Via Thanh Nien Daily: Bird flu erupts in Vietnam south; total 5 provinces infected.

The local animal health department in southern Vietnam’s Can Tho City Thursday reported 100 ducks from a flock of 500 died of bird flu’s H5N1 strain.

The flock in Co Do district has been culled and the site disinfected.

The same day, Hanoi authorities suspended Hoang Gia Tuc from his post as head of the animal department in Dong Anh district after the disease broke out there.

Currently, the disease has touched five localities: Vinh Long province, Can Tho City in the south and Hai Duong, Ha Tay provinces, and Hanoi in the north.

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Her name was Namfon

Via The Nation, a Thai newspaper: Laotian girl, 15, dies of bird flu. Excerpt:

A 15-year-old Laotian girl died from bird-flu at a hospital in Nong Khai on Wednesday, becoming the second Laotian to die from the H5N1 virus.

Nong Khai public health chief Dr Itthipol Sungkhaeng said the girl identified only as "Namfon" had succumbed to avian flu at 7pm on Wednesday. Itthipol said he had contacted Laotian authorities and Namfon's family, and had arranged a cremation ceremony for the girl yesterday afternoon.

Namfon's mother told reporters at the funeral that the teen had been her only child. The family lived in Dong Sa-ard village in Sisatthanat and the girl had been attending high school in Vientiane.

She developed flu-like symptoms on February 10 and the family sent her to Chetthatirat Hospital on February 15. She was transferred to Nong Khai Hospital on Feb 17.

Vientiane deputy chief for public health Dr Khamtan Buapaiwan said there had been many poultry deaths in the girl's village. Laotian authorities had designated Sisatthanat and Chai Chettha, which covered 20 villages, a red-alert zone for bird flu.

Officials were dispatched to spray disinfectant, cull poultry, educate villagers and look for those with symptoms. No more cases have been detected so far.

Khamtan said the death of Namfon followed another case last week in Phone Hong.

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H5N1 spreading in Afghanistan

Via IRIN: Afghanistan: New bird flu cases confirmed. Excerpt:

Thirteen new cases of bird flu have been detected in Afghanistan over the past week, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the country to 17 for this year, health officials said.

“Nine dead birds were diagnosed with the virulent H5N1 strain [of avian influenza] in five districts of [eastern] Nangarhar and Kunar provinces,” said Assadullah Azhari, a spokesman for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Kabul.

According to FAO – which has set up a bird flu diagnostic laboratory in Kabul – four other cases were identified in backyard poultry in the capital.

Prior to this, four cases of the H5N1 strain of the virus were reported on 24 February in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, which border Pakistan.

Afghanistan’s first bird flu case was reported in March 2006.

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CIDRAP on the current H5N1 situation

Via CIDRAP: Egypt, Indonesia report human H5N1 cases. Here's the part most worth considering:

In Indonesia, officials reported today that a 20-year-old woman from East Java was in critical condition in a hospital, according to a Reuters report. Joko Suyono, a data analyst at the national avian flu center in Jakarta, said the woman had cleaned an area where a neighbor had dumped dead chickens, the story said.

By the WHO's count, Indonesia has had 81 human cases of H5N1 illness, with 63 deaths. The WHO has not yet recognized the young woman's case or four previous cases reported by Indonesian officials since Jan 29, when the agency confirmed a fatal H5N1 infection in a 6-year-old girl from Central Java province.

Those four cases involved a 15-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man, reported Feb 6, plus a 22-year-old woman and a 9-year-old boy, reported Feb 12. Both of the latter patients died of the illness.

For some reason, WHO seems very slow this year to confirm new cases. I don't know if it's because of a backlog of tests, or political difficulties on the ground, or simple housekeeping problems like technicians on holiday.

But WHO Indonesia hasn't posted an update on avian influenza since January 30. WHO Egypt has a March 12 update about the four-year-old boy, but it adds nothing to what we knew when his case was reported last week.

WHO comes in for a lot of unfair criticism. It's the only agency we can all rely on, and it faces enormous political and logistical problems. I always give them the benefit of the doubt, but they really need to improve their communication with the global public.

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Indonesia refuses to share bird flu samples with WHO without ... - International Herald Tribune



Dog Flu Diet and Diseases
Indonesia refuses to share bird flu samples with WHO without ...
International Herald Tribune, France - 32 minutes ago
Several countries are developing vaccines to protect against H5N1, the bird flu virus strain blamed for 168 human deaths worldwide — more than a third of ...
Indonesia refuses to share bird flu viruses without legally ... Canada.com
all 30 news articles

Posted by dymaxion at 09:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Vietnam isolates Hanoi bird flu site

Vietnamese health workers Friday moved to contain a bird flu outbreak in the capital Hanoi as the H5N1 virus spread to a fifth location within three weeks, in the country's southern Mekong Delta.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Food passed through bird flu site

Poultry entering the food-chain was from the UK, Hungary and Brazil
Hundreds of tons of poultry passed through the Bernard Matthews plant
and entered the food chain during the bird flu outbreak, the
government has said.
Public health minister Caroline Flint said 850 tons of turkey, some
from Hungary, passed through the infected plant in Holton in Suffolk.

Posted by dymaxion at 09:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dangerous avian flu strain confirmed in Adygeya

Tests for bird flu taken in Ulyap and Jambechyi villages in Adygeya,
Russia, were sent to Krasnodar and Moscow and turned positive for H5N1
bird flu strain, dangerous for human.
Interviewed by REGNUM, senior expert of the Veterinary Service of the
Republic of Adygeya Nikolai Belokopytov said: "Actions are taken in

Posted by dymaxion at 09:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Second bird flu death in Laos - 11th country to fall victim to H5N1

The death of a 15-year-old girl from Laos from the deadly H5N1 strain
of bird flu, is the country's first officially confirmed victim of the
disease.
A death of 42-year-old woman a few days ago, who is also suspected to
have died from the virus, is yet to be confirmed as a bird flu
fatality.
Both victims lived near the capital Vientiane but according to Laos

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