Friday, August 31, 2012

Vietnam: Quang Ngai Province 80 Samples Confirmed #H5N1 #birdflu in Poultry

Quang Ngai Province yesterday announced the A/H5N1 avian flu as an epidemic after the disease has spread to 23 hamlets in 17 communes by August 31. The provincial veterinary agency has sent 80 samples to Da Nang City for testing and the test results showed that all these sample have been infected with the A/H5N1 virus.

Egypt: Implement Program Against Stray Dogs, Seminars for FMD, Avian Influenza

August 30, 2012
Implementation of the program against stray dogs in order to preserve the safety of citizens in the lake, Eng Mukhtar Hamalawy Governor lake on the need to focus on livestock health and care to increase their productivity and provide safe animal protein to the citizens of the province.In this regard, the Department of Veterinary Medicine during the period from 08/16/2012 till 08/31/2012 AD organized convoys all villages and centers to maintain and further intensify the number of committees spraying committees group therapy for sheep stations "Damanhur - Kafr El Dawar - Itai gunpowder - Hosh Issa - Rahmaniya - Aldlnecat - Hbrakhitt - Abu Matamir - Wadi Natrun - Abu Homs - EDCO - Rasheed - Liberation - Kom Hamada - MAHMUDIYA - Ganaklis ", in coordination between the Department of Public Health and Zoonoses and manage veterinary care directorate and the local units of these centers as well as the Department of Public Health and Disease joint implementation of the anti-stray dogs planned centers and cities of the province in order to preserve the safety of citizens.On the other hand, the Department of veterinary extension directorate implementing a series of seminars indicative at agricultural associations villages and hamlets maintain targeted awareness jam animals and train them on how to interest the animal and the reduction of disease outbreaks, including seminars "FMD - Avian Influenza and livestock insurance blood parasites" and aimed the seminars to reduce the spread of diseases.

India: Govt denies bird flu report, samples sent to Bhopal lab

 [editing is mine]
Sep 01 2012

With bird flu panic gripping Swarupnagar in North 24-Parganas for the past few days, the state husbandry department has decided to send the blood samples of the chickens to a Bhopal research laboratory. The Belgachia lab here did not find any H5N1 positive case.

Animal Resources Development (ARD) Minister Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury, said bird flu was not behind the fowl deaths and said samples will be sent to Bhopal. “Following their confirmation, we can say whether there has been an occurrence of bird flu in that area,” he said.

The unusual death of a large number of poultry triggered the panic. Officials of ARD Department on Friday said there has been no report of fresh case of bird death from the area. They suspect that chickens may have been given stale food that resulted in their largescale deaths.
A senior official of the ARD department said the preliminary blood test reports confirmed that the birds died not due to bird flu but because of some “unnatural disease”.

A team of officials from ARD today inspected the poultry in Swarupnagar, where its sale has been stopped. Around 40 commercial poultry farms have been sealed in four panchayat areas of North 24-Parganas — Baduria, Kakrasuti, Lakshmikantapur and Nayabandh — where about 50,000 chickens died, a few days ago. 

Quarantine measures like spraying lime has been started within one square kilometre area where the bird deaths took place, according to the guidelines of the Animal Husbandry department of the Union government.

It may be noted that in 2011, bird flu spread in parts of Tehatta in Nadia and the government gave around Rs 17 lakh as compensation to around 4,000 poultry farmers. Officials of the ARD department said this year, a total of around Rs 25 lakh has been allotted to control the disease of animals and preventive measures, therefore, should be taken earlier to prevent any outbreak.

Govt hiding facts: CPM
Leader of the Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra on Friday criticised the government and said the state government is trying to hide facts regarding bird flu. He said “he was confirmed that bird flu panic has gripped North 24-Parganas and that the government is trying to hide facts”. “There is no need to take all ministers along with secretaries on district tours. The secretaries have their work in the field too”, he said. The need of the government is to send the blood samples of the dead birds to laboratories in Bhopal and Pune for testing, he added.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

India: #H5N1 Alert

A team of Animal Resource and Husbandry Department (ARD) on Wednesday visited Swarupnagar in North 24-Parganas to collect blood samples of dead chickens as reports of widespread deaths of poultry were reported from the area, triggering fear of an outbreak of bird flu.

In the last 22 days, around 50,000 chickens have reportedly died in the four blocks of Swarupnagar — Baduria, Kakrasuti, Lakshmikantapur and Nayabandh. 

“I am closely monitoring the situation and the blood samples have been sent to Belgachia government laboratory for test,” said Chief Medical Officer (Health) of North 24-Parganas Susanta Kumar Sil.

ARD Minister Noor -E- Alam Chowdhury urged people not to panic and said the government is prepared to tackle any outbreak of bird flu. “Yes, birds have died, but there can be a number of reasons behind it. We are prepared to tackle any such outbreak,” he said.

Senior officials said if the blood samples of the dead birds are found positive of Avian Influenza Virus (H5N1) then it would be sent to National Institute of Virology in Pune for confirmation. Positive result from Pune lab would lead to beginning of culling operation within three days. Rapid response teams will be formed to carry out surveillance of bird deaths, said an official.
Lime and bleaching powder are being sprayed in the area as a preventive measure. Leaflets containing dos and don’ts are being distributed. “We have started an awareness campaign in the area and asked villagers to dispose of the carcasses of the birds in a pit,” said an official. Villagers are being told to wear gloves while feeding their poultry or wild birds.

Viral a bird flu scare in Bengal

 Kolkata, August 30, 2012
There appears to be another assassin at Bengal’s doorstep. While parts of Kolkata and its surroundings have been hit by dengue and viral fever, a spectre of bird flu is lurking in Baduria and Swarupnagar, about 100 km from here, where more than 1 lakh chickens have reportedly

CDC: Children with neurologic disorders at high risk of death from flu

Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 29, 2012
Health care and advocacy groups join to protect children most vulnerable to influenza
A disproportionately high number of children with neurologic disorders died from influenza-related complications during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, according to a study by scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report in the journal Pediatricsunderscores the importance of influenza vaccination to protect children with neurologic disorders. CDC is joining with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Families Fighting Flu and Family Voices to spread the message about the importance of influenza vaccination and treatment in these children.
The Pediatrics study looked at influenza-related deaths in children during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic based on data submitted to CDC from state and local health departments. The number of pediatric deaths associated with 2009 H1N1 virus infection reported to CDC during the pandemic was more than five times the median number of pediatric deaths that were reported in the five flu seasons prior to the pandemic. Sixty-eight percent of those deaths occurred in children with underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of serious flu complications.
Of the 336 children (defined as people younger than 18 years) with information available on underlying medical conditions who were reported to have died from 2009 H1N1 flu-associated causes, 227 had one or more underlying health conditions. One hundred forty-six children (64 percent) had a neurologic disorder such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, or epilepsy. Of the children with neurologic disorders for whom information on vaccination status was available, only 21 (23 percent) had received the seasonal influenza vaccine and 2 (3 percent) were fully vaccinated for 2009 H1N1.
“We’ve known for some time that certain neurologic conditions can put children at high risk for serious complications from influenza,” said Dr. Lyn Finelli, chief of the surveillance and outbreak response team in CDC’s Influenza Division. “However, the high percentage of pediatric deaths associated with neurologic disorders that occurred during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic was a somber reminder of the harm that flu can cause to children with neurologic and neurodevelopmental disorders.” 
“Flu is particularly dangerous for people who may have trouble with muscle function, lung function or difficulty coughing, swallowing or clearing fluids from their airways,” said study coauthor and pediatrician Dr. Georgina Peacock. “These problems are sometimes experienced by children with neurologic disorders,” said Peacock, of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
The most commonly reported complications for children with neurologic disorders in this study were influenza-associated pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Seventy-five percent of children with a neurologic condition who died from 2009 H1N1 influenza-related infection also had an additional high risk condition that increased their risk for influenza complications, such as a pulmonary disorder, metabolic disorder, heart disease or a chromosomal abnormality.
CDC is partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics and influenza advocacy groups to help promote awareness about the importance of influenza prevention and treatment in these high risk children. Since the H1N1 pandemic, children with neurologic conditions continue to represent a disproportionate number of influenza-associated pediatric deaths. CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Family Voices, and Families Fighting Flu recognize the need to communicate with care takers about the potential for severe outcomes in these children if they are infected with flu.
“Partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics, influenza advocacy groups and family led-organizations CAN help prevent influenza in children at highest risk,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden.
The partnering organizations are working to coordinate communication activities with their constituents, which include parents and caregivers, primary care clinicians, developmental pediatricians and neurologists in hopes to increase awareness about flu prevention and treatment in children with neurologic disorders.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics, Families Fighting Flu and Family Voices were all natural partners when we thought about how to reach as many key people as possible with this message,” Dr. Peacock adds. “The collaboration and energy around this effort has been fabulous.”
“Our network of physicians is committed to influenza prevention in all children, and especially in reducing complications in those children at higher risk for experiencing severe outcomes as a result of influenza-like illness,” says Robert W. Block, M.D., president of the AAP. “This coalition can more broadly engage the entire community of child caregivers to express how serious flu can be for these children. These efforts emphasize why the medical home is so important for children and youth with special health care needs.”
Family Voices is a national family-led organization supporting families and their children with special health care needs. Ruth Walden, a parent of a child with special needs and president of the Family Voices Board of Directors, says, “It’s frightening to think that flu can potentially lead to so many complications or even death. We’re pleased to see organizations working together to educate families and providers about the importance of prevention.”  
Families Fighting Flu, an advocacy group dedicated to preventing influenza, has a long history of reaching out to families who’ve lost loved ones to flu. “Throughout the years we’ve seen firsthand how flu can affect these kids and their families’ lives. We understand that prevention is absolutely critical,” explains Laura Scott, executive director of Families Fighting Flu. “Working with other groups only expands our mission of keeping kids safe throughout the flu season.”
CDC recommends that everyone aged 6 months and older get an annual influenza vaccination, including people who are at high risk of developing serious complications. Flu vaccine is the best prevention method available. Antiviral drugs, which can treat flu illness, are a second line of defense against flu.
To learn more about influenza, visit
About American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.orgExternal Web Site Icon.
About Family Voices
Family Voices provides families with resources to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families, and serve as a trusted resource on health care. There are Family Voices representatives in each state and territory across the country ready to assist you with issues related to the health care of a child or youth with a special need or disability. More information is available at www.familyvoices.orgExternal Web Site Icon, or by calling 1-888-835-5669.
About Families Fighting Flu
Families Fighting Flu is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) volunteer-based advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the lives of children. Our members include families whose children have suffered serious medical complications or died from influenza, as well as health care practitioners and advocates committed to flu prevention. In honor of our children, we work to increase awareness about the seriousness of the disease and to reduce the number of childhood hospitalizations and deaths caused by the flu each year by increasing vaccination rates. Families Fighting Flu offers support to other families and communities who have been severely affected by the flu through resources available at www.familiesfightingflu.orgExternal Web Site Icon.

Nature: Pig fever sweeps across Russia

Deadly virus may be poised to spread to neighbouring states.
Russian authorities have incinerated tens of thousands of pigs and closed roads in the past few weeks, in an attempt to contain an emerging outbreak of African swine fever, a viral disease so lethal to the animals that it has been likened to Ebola. The spread of the disease comes with a heavy economic toll — last year, the Russian Federation lost 300,000 of the country’s 19 million pigs to swine fever, at an estimated cost of about 7.6 billion roubles (US$240 million).
African swine fever was also detected for the first time in Ukraine in late July, and European and Asian countries are on the alert to deal with outbreaks that could cost their pork industries billions of dollars. With no vaccine or cure for the disease, mass culls and vigilant hygiene offer the main defence.

Scientists first encountered African swine fever in the 1920s in domestic pigs in Kenya, where the vicious haemorrhagic fever felled nearly every animal infected. The virus, which is also carried by warthogs and ticks without causing disease, is now endemic in much of sub-Saharan Africa, limiting pig farming there. It does not infect humans.
In 1957, the virus jumped to Portugal after pigs near Lisbon’s airport were fed infected human food scraps (the virus particles can survive meat curing processes). It then hit Spain, and import of the region’s ham — including the coveted jamón ibérico — was banned by many countries, until the disease was eradicated in Spain and Portugal in the mid-1990s.

The cases now flaring up in Russia, Ukraine and other countries in the Caucasus have their origins in a 2007 outbreak in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where the virus gained a foothold after being imported from Africa. “It wasn’t diagnosed for several months because they weren’t really looking for it,” says Linda Dixon, an expert on African swine fever at the Institute for Animal Health in Pirbright, UK. The disease quickly jumped to neighbouring Azerbaijan, Armenia and Chechnya, before fanning out across Russia (see ‘Pig plague’).

Source: C. Netherton/OIE
The recent spread of the virus means that the Ukrainian outbreak, now under control after authorities culled 208 pigs and instituted quarantine measures, did not come as a surprise, says Juan Lubroth, the chief veterinary officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, who is in charge of the organization’s response to the outbreak.
Nearby countries, such as Moldova, Belarus and the Baltic states, could be next. To the east, the disease has been detected on the doorstep of Kazakhstan, which shares a long border with China, home to more than 1 billion pigs. China also risks importing the virus through its growing trade with African nations.

Europe’s large pig farms are buffered by better biosecurity and hygiene practices. But agencies such as the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in London are nevertheless watching the situation closely. “How this will pan out, we don’t really know,” Lubroth says. “You’re asking me to look into a crystal ball.”
The variety of ways in which African swine fever spreads only increases the uncertainty. Pigs can leave virus particles on transport vehicles, for example, exposing whole shipments of uninfected animals. Biosecurity measures, such as scrubbing trucks and decontaminating farmers before they enter and leave pig pens, can help to contain outbreaks. But infected wild boar, whose populations stretch across Russia and Europe, pose a transmission threat that is harder to control. “Boars don’t require visas to move across borders,” says Lubroth.
The pigs’ food can also carry the virus if it includes contaminated pork products. Swill feeding, in which pigs are fed scraps of human food waste, is popular among small-scale farmers. Limiting this practice (which is banned in the European Union) or heat-sterilizing the food scraps can prevent disease transmission, says Dixon. “I remember being taken to a little backyard farm near Nairobi, and that farmer was doing everything correctly. He had a cooker with a big pan of entrails that he was feeding to pigs and he had a little tray of disinfectant outside the pig pens.”
The FAO warns that continued spread of African swine fever could be very costly. Russia does not export its pork, but trade restrictions could prove expensive for other countries where the disease becomes endemic.

Denis Kolbasov, director of the National Research Institute for Veterinary Virology and Microbiology of Russia in Pokrov, says that officials often have little appetite for expensive countermeasures such as widespread culling and quarantine that could disrupt Russia’s billion-dollar pork industry. Meanwhile, backyard farmers often do not report suspected cases for fear of losing their livelihood.
“If you are a small producer, and you lose all your five pigs, that is devastating to the family,” says Lubroth. “That is the situation I see in many parts of Europe and Africa.” African swine fever was especially costly in South Ossetia during a 2008 conflict with Georgia, because many farmers there could not grow crops and relied on livestock for food and income.
While animal-health officials focus on containing the spread of African swine fever, scientists believe that it should be possible to develop a vaccine to eradicate the disease. The lucky few pigs that survive infection are rendered immune, so Dixon’s lab and others are working to identify which of the virus’s 175 or so genes trigger the immune system. In principle, researchers could engineer these genes into the genome of a harmless virus to create a vaccine. Alternatively, identifying and switching off the disease-causing genes in the virus could lead to an attenuated vaccine. In the longer term, these options offer the best chance of halting the march of the virus, says Lubroth. “I wish I had a vaccine.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Yosemite campers warned after discovery of second death from rare, rodent-borne illness

August 28, 2012
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. - A second person has died of a rare, rodent-borne disease after visiting one of the most popular parts of Yosemite National Park earlier this summer, and park officials were warning past visitors to be aware of some flu-like aches and symptoms and seek medical help immediately if they appear.

Health officials learned this weekend of the second hantavirus death, which killed a person who visited the park in June, spokesman Scott Gediman said in a statement.

There was one other confirmed case of the illness, and a fourth is being investigated.


Vietnam:  A/H5N1 flu spreads fast in Quang Ngai

August 28, 2012,

A/H5N1 avian flu has spread to at least four districts in central Quang Ngai Province over the past two weeks, with nearly 43,000 affected ducks having died or been culled, prompting authorities to vaccinate all flocks of poultry in the province.

Yesterday, deputy head of the provincial Veterinary Sub-department Nguyen Van Thuan said the latest outbreak of the disease was recorded in Tinh Ha Commune, Son Tinh District, with ducks dying en masse.

Besides Son Tinh, three other districts Nghia Hanh, Tu Nghia and Binh Son, have also suffered from the avian flu with 22 areas affected, authorities reported.

The agency has sent 75 samples of the dead poultry to Da Nang for testing since August 13, and results have shown that all the samples were infected with the deadly A/H5N1 virus, Thuan said.

“The avian flu is spreading rapidly and no signs show it can be halted,” he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has granted 1 million doses of vaccines against A/H5N1 virus to Quang Ngai to vaccinate every flock of poultry in Quang Ngai city and six districts of the province.

Provincial veterinary officers are coordinating with authorities to tighten control over poultry slaughtering, transportation and trade to detect affected animals.

They also sprayed antiseptics in affected areas and those vulnerable to the disease to constrain the spread of the epidemic.

For fear that the disease could spread to Quang Ngai’s neighboring localities, the Quang Nam veterinary sub-department has set up a hot line at mobile phone number 0903548515 to receive information about the epidemic’s development.

Hong Kong: Avian Influ. Rpt. Week 36

 PDF format.  Link at bottom of page.

Reporting period: August 19 to August 25, 2012 (Week 34)
(Published on August 28, 2012)
1. There were no new confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza reported by
the World Health Organization (WHO) this week.

2. From 2005 to 2007, about 100 confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza
were reported to WHO annually. In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, 44, 73, 48 and 62
cases were reported, respectively. In 2012 (as of August 25), 30 cases were
reported by WHO.

Indonesia: Bengkulu Goats Attacked by Viruses or Bacteria - Die Off

27 AUGUST 2012

Villagers Ulak,  merigi klindang district wide middle bengkulu sudden uproar, with the death of dozens of tails of goats are known to be attacked by viruses or bacteria.  As a result, blind goat to death.
The last two weeks has been more than 30 goats wide Ulak villagers are dead, and more than 20 birds had to be cut, 15 tails for sale, as well as dozens more missing.
This virus attacks initially cause the eyes are blind sheep, goats residents to experience stress and lead to death.
Office of the castle farms through farm field or ppl officer, has been doing business pembrantasan virus that attacked dozens of goats. Whole goat shed and injected drugs by officers.
According to residents, this event is the first time they have experienced, to cause panic and ranchers suffered losses slightly.