Saturday, December 6, 2008

Enough is enough, Brown tells Mugabe

LONDON, Dec 6: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Saturday that world powers must join together to tell Zimbabwe''s Robert Mugabe that "enough is enough" amid a cholera epidemic which has killed nearly 600, reports AFP.

Brown said the crisis in Zimbabwe was now "international", adding he hoped the UN Security Council would meet urgently to consider the situation.
His comments come as the international pressure on President Mugabe rises, with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice saying it was "well past time for Robert Mugabe to leave" and Brown''s Foreign Secretary David Miliband calling the Zimbabwean government a "rogue" regime.
"This is now an international rather than a national emergency," Brown said in a statement released by his Downing Street office.
"International because disease crosses borders. International because the systems of government in Zimbabwe are now broken. There is no state capable or willing of protecting its people.
"International because-not least in the week of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-we must stand together to defend human rights and democracy, to say firmly to Mugabe that enough is enough."
Britain Thursday pledged extra aid to fight the cholera outbreak in its former colony, where the death toll has hit 575, according to the UN.
Brown said the focus now was on getting aid to the people who need it most, in part through the establishment of a command and control structure in Harare, stressing that "our differences with Mugabe will not prevent us doing so".
He added he had been "in close contact with African leaders to press for stronger action to give the Zimbabwean people the government they deserve".
"I hope that the Security Council will meet urgently to consider Zimbabwe," he said, also calling on Zimbabwe to allow visits by senior officials.

Brown blasts Mugabe amid growing concern over cholera outbreak

Gordon Brown has urged the world to tell Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe "enough is enough" amid growing concern over the country's cholera outbreak, reports BBC.

The prime minister said the crisis, which has claimed nearly 600 lives, had become an international emergency.

Government in Zimbabwe was now broken and the state was unable or unwilling to protect its people, he said.

Mr Brown added that medicine would get to those who needed it, regardless of any differences with Mr Mugabe.

Mr Brown did not explicitly call for Mr Mugabe to step down, but said world leaders should stand together to defend human rights and democracy in Zimbabwe.
In a statement, Mr Brown said that over the coming days the first priority would be delivering aid to Zimbabwe, such as rehydration and testing packs.He said: "This is now an international rather than a national emergency. International because disease crosses borders.

"International because the systems of government in Zimbabwe are now broken. There is no state capable or willing of protecting its people.

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"International because - not least in the week of the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights - we must stand together to defend human rights and democracy, to say firmly to Mugabe that enough is enough."

Mr Brown said he had "been in close contact with African leaders to press for stronger action to give the Zimbabwean people the government they deserve".

He added: "The people of Zimbabwe voted for a better future. It is our duty to support that aspiration."

He also said he hoped the United Nations Security Council would meet "urgently" to consider the country's plight.

Mr Brown has joined a growing list of international leaders in condemning Mr Mugabe.

US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said it was "well past time" for him to leave office.

And the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said African nations should come together to use military force if Mr Mugabe refused to go.

Archbishop Tutu said Mr Mugabe had committed "gross violations" against Zimbabwe's people and ruined "a wonderful country".

UK International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander told BBC Two's Newsnight that he welcomed the archbishop's comments, but dealing with the humanitarian crisis was of paramount importance.

He said there was not currently a consensus on the UN Security Council over Zimbabwe, even for further targeted sanctions, but said "the new noises that are emerging from Africa this week" were welcomed by the UK.

Mr Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to share power in September to tackle the country's economic meltdown but they have been unable to agree on the allocation of cabinet posts.

Six bad bugs increasingly escaping effects of antibiotics

Published: Tuesday, 2-Dec-2008

Infectious disease experts warn that new drugs are urgently needed to treat six drug-resistant bacteria that cause most hospital infections and increasingly escape the effects of antibiotics.
The ESKAPE pathogens - as these six bad bugs have been dubbed - are still on the loose more than four years after the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) first drew attention to the growing shortage of effective antibiotics. As the crisis of antibiotic resistance continues to grow, the latest IDSA "Bad Bugs, No Drugs" report examines the trickle of new antibiotics in the research and development (R&D) pipeline and proposes steps to tackle the shortage.

"The six bad bugs we call the ESKAPE bacteria - Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella species, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter species - are among the biggest threats infectious diseases physicians face today," said Helen Boucher, MD, of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, lead author of the new report, published in the January 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and now available online. "We desperately need new drugs to fight them. But we also need cooperation among industry, academia, and government to create a sustainable R&D infrastructure that will fill the pipeline to meet today's needs and keep it filled with drugs that tackle tomorrow's infectious diseases threats."

Amid the continuing downward trend in new antibiotics, the new report shows a few signs of hope. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a small number of new antibiotics in the last several years, most of them active against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). However, just one can be taken orally (the rest are intravenous); they are too toxic for some patients to handle; and resistance to them is already beginning to emerge.

But the medicine cabinet is particularly bare when it comes to Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, and Pseudomonas. Called "gram negative" for the way they react to a common staining test used to identify bacteria in a microscope, they attack some of the most vulnerable patients, including those in intensive care units and long-term care facilities, burn victims, and those with cystic fibrosis. These especially bad bugs are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics. Physicians are now facing some strains that are resistant to every antibiotic in the arsenal. Only one new drug was approved for gram-negative infections last year, and resistance already exists to other drugs in its class.

In its 2004 report, "Bad Bugs, No Drugs: As Antibiotic Development Stagnates?A Public Health Crisis Brews," IDSA detailed the complex mix of factors driving drug makers out of the antibiotics market. One factor is the high cost of drug development coupled with the low rate of return on investment antibiotics provide compared with drugs for chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. Furthermore, regulations for new drug approvals have been murky, and drug manufacturers have been reluctant to gamble.

In the new report, IDSA outlines steps Congress should take to make antibiotics a more attractive business proposition. The report applauds FDA for taking steps toward clarifying regulations for drug approvals, and urges more movement in this direction. IDSA also urges Congress to pass the Strategies To Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) Act, a bill designed to improve research, surveillance, and prevention of antimicrobial-resistant germs.

"More than four years after our first report, the bad bugs are getting worse, and we still don't have the drugs we need," Dr. Boucher said. "We need new tools to fight the ESKAPE bugs now. But there will always be bad bugs. We need industry, academia, and government working together so we are never again left with no drugs for bad bugs."

The ESKAPE Bacteria

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the six ESKAPE bacteria are responsible for two thirds of all health care-associated infections (HAIs). They are:

Enterococcus species: Enterococci were responsible for one out of eight HAIs in 2006-2007. A 2004 study found about two thirds of E. faecium bloodstream infections were resistant to vancomycin, one of the most commonly used antibiotics to treat enterococcal infections. Some physicians are treating vancomycin-resistant E. faecium with the new antibiotics linezolid, daptomycin, and tigecycline, but these drugs have not been studied extensively for use against these infections. Furthermore, many patients cannot tolerate them.

Staphylococcus aureus : The only household name among the ESKAPE bugs, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreaks have been reported among otherwise-healthy athletes, military recruits, school children, and others. MRSA caused an estimated 94,000 invasive infections - more than 19,000 of them fatal - in 2005, according to a recent study by CDC. MRSA is a serious and growing threat in hospitals and other health care facilities, but this study found 14 percent of patients had no obvious exposure to a health care facility.

MRSA has drawn more attention from the pharmaceutical industry than any of the other ESKAPE bugs. Several new drugs are effective against these infections. However, all but one are given intravenously and are primarily to be used in hospitals. Many patients cannot tolerate these potent drugs. Also, only one drug in the pipeline works using a mechanism different from the ones to which some bad bugs have already developed resistance.

Klebsiella species: These gram-negative bacteria cause infections in the urinary, biliary, and gastrointestinal tracts, and in trauma wounds. Klebsiella species and their gram-negative cousin E. coli together accounted for 18 percent of all HAIs in 2006-2007, and a growing proportion of these two bad bugs carry resistance to a remarkable spectrum of antibiotics. Of the very few drugs in late-stage development, none works by a novel mechanism.

Acinetobacter baumannii : Drug resistance is a major problem in Acinetobacter infections, which are responsible for about 3 percent of all HAIs,. Soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with cases of highly resistant Acinetobacter wound infections. Strains have emerged that are resistant to all but the most toxic drugs. Physicians have been forced to resort to an old drug that is known to cause organ damage, and resistance is even developing to this drug. Yet there is nothing in development against Acinetobacter .

Pseudomonas aeruginosa : Pseudomonas is a particular problem for patients on respirators and those with cystic fibrosis. Eight percent of all HAIs are caused by P. aeruginosa, and one quarter of these are resistant to carbapenems, a class of antibiotics commonly used for these infections. There are no new drugs in development for these highly resistant infections.

Enterobacter species: One in 20 HAIs is caused by this group of bacteria. Like Klebsiella , E. coli , and the other gram-negatives, Enterobacter species have developed broad-spectrum resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics. One drug, tigecycline, might work against these infections. There is nothing else in the pipeline.

hat-tip mixin

Zimbabwe 'set for cholera jump'

Saturday, 6 December 2008

The UN Children's Fund in Zimbabwe says it is preparing to deal with a possible 60,000 cholera cases in coming weeks, four times current official estimates.

The Unicef chief in Harare, Roeland Monasch, said such a jump could bring the number of deaths to around 3,000.

Official figures say nearly 600 have already died from the disease but aid agencies fear the toll could be higher.

UK PM Gordon Brown says it is an international crisis and the world must tell Robert Mugabe "enough is enough".

Mr Monasch told the BBC that they were doing all they could to bring mortality rates down.

But he warned that if as many as 60,000 people became infected in the next few weeks, then the cholera epidemic could kill another 2,700.

He says the actual number of people who have already died is probably far higher than official figures as many clinics and hospitals are closed and people in rural areas frequently just bury their dead.

Children in Zimbabwe are on the brink, and everyone's focus must now be on their survival
Roeland Monasch

Unicef's Zimbabwe Communication Officer Tsitsi Singizi said local authorities did not have the capacity to provide safe water and rubbish collection. Cholera is often linked to contaminated supplies of drinking water.

Tsitsi Singizi said health services had also collapsed, making it impossible to treat the high number of infections.

"The outbreak is really outpacing our response. It's becoming endemic. Nine out of 10 provinces have reported a cholera case."

Unicef has launched an emergency response programme to focus on providing basic services - increasing health outreach services, providing nutritional supplements, boosting school attendance, and increasing access to safe water in the short term.

"Children in Zimbabwe are on the brink, and everyone's focus must now be on their survival," said Mr Monasch.

The disease has spread to neighbouring South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana.


The situation has forced President Mugabe's government to declare a national emergency and appeal for international assistance.

But it has also drawn increasing international condemnation of Mr Mugabe, including calls from key African figures for military force to oust him.

Mr Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to share power in September to tackle the country's economic meltdown but they have been unable to agree on the allocation of cabinet posts.

The deadlocked agreement followed disputed elections, which both men claimed to have won.

In the UK, the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu joined in criticism of Zimbabwe's government and called for Mr Mugabe and his allies to be overthrown so they can stand trial in The Hague.

Norway: Killed chickens and geese

By Birgit Skogstad
She comforts, however, that there is the gentle and least dangerous variant of Avian influenza in question.

Son animals
The 39 chickens and 11 geese actually belongs to her 14-year-old son. When spoke with the mother yesterday, he did not yet at feathered his feet had killed.

- But I have great respect for the employees in the Norwegian Food Safety Authority know what they must do. Now I just hope this does not have spilled over to other herds. For us this is not a financial loss. For those who have 7,000 chickens that in the worst case may be infected, it is a far more serious matter, "said Kvern's.

Full protective gear
After the case became known yesterday, it was quickly dimmed that the suspicion was weakened. It did Kvern family's optimistic. Nevertheless went Evy Lund Kvern's in full protective gear when she fed the animals yesterday morning.

- Fortunately, it does not infect either humans or other animals, "she said and stressed that she is very concerned with social consequences. At her son loses his feathered feet, is play for him. But it is important that the infection killed as soon as possible, she said.

Yesterday afternoon rolled the car from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority on the farm to kill the animals. The police set up roadblocks around the farm to prevent unauthorized persons to enter.

First time in Norway
Distriktssjef Kirsti Ullsfoss in the Norwegian Food Safety Authority Inner Østfold said that the birds were each syringe with overdose of narcosis. The dead animals and all the fertilizer was transported to a central Destruction.

Now we create a risk zone for a kilometer around the farm. Ensembles within this zone are checked carefully including blood samples. Those who live on the farm with infection, can not visit other ensembles. Beyond that, they can live normally. This is not an aggressive or dangerous viruses, calms her. Ullsfoss considers it likely that høna on Raknerud infected at vilde birds.

It was after a routine inspection that the H7 virus was discovered.

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority said that risk and security measures will be kept at least until Monday.

hat-tip Ironorehopper for the link

Norway: Chicken-quarantine over the weekend

Chicken-quarantine over the weekend

Avian influenza-restrictions in Trøgstad to the earliest date on Monday.


After the discovery of Avian influenza is Poultry and egg-producers in the Trøgstad is now subject to stringent restrictions.

Friday afternoon, the entire crew of Poultry-farm where bird influensaen was discovered, isolated and killed.

Three other farms that are also involved in Poultry in the the risk that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has established.

New samples are taken of all animals on these farms, and the answers are the earliest on Monday, "said Kirsti Ulsfoss, distriktssjef in the Norwegian Food Safety Authority in Inner Østfold.
No signs of proliferation

- National Veterinary Institute is now working on explosives for the analyzed samples. But it is important that this be done correctly, so you are assured that the results are correct, "she said.

Ulsfoss stressed that there is no sign that the infection will have spread to neighboring farms.

- We have no reason to suspect that the infection has spread, but we do new tests for safety's sake. We are in a close-Poultry-district, and we must be assured that we have control of infection drug, "said Ulsfoss.

Must have an answer soon

One of the farms within the zone have a whole fjøs with the finished chicken slaughter, but they can not be delivered to the slaughterhouse as long as the restrictions are maintained.

- The consequences for producers can be great if they do not get slaughtered on time. Therefore, it is essential that we get a faster response possible. These animals are growing fast, so it will not be many days before we have to turn the alarm, "said Ulsfoss.
hat-tip Ironorehopper

OIE: Low pathogenic avian influenza (poultry), Norway

Low pathogenic avian influenza (poultry), Norway

Information received on 05/12/2008 from Mrs Keren Bar-Yaacov, Assistant Director General, Chief Veterinary Officer, Health and Hygiene, The Norwegian Food safety Authority, BRUMUNDDAL, Norway

§ Summary
Report type Immediate notification
Start date 17/11/2008
Date of first confirmation of the event 05/12/2008
Report date 05/12/2008
Date submitted to OIE 05/12/2008
Reason for notification First occurrence of a listed disease
Causal agent Low pathogenic avian influenza virus Serotype Not typed
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (basic), Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to the whole country

§ New outbreaks
* Outbreak 1 - Ostfold, Region OAØ, Indre Ostfold, OSTFOLD
Date of start of the outbreak 17/11/2008
Outbreak status Continuing (or date resolved not provided)
Epidemiological unit Farm
Affected animals: Species - Susceptible - Cases - Deaths - Destroyed - Slaughtered
* Birds - 50 - 1 - 0 - 50
Affected population non-commercial flock with 39 hens and 11 geese

§ Summary of outbreaks
Total outbreaks: 1
Outbreak statistics: Species - Apparent morbidity rate - Apparent mortality rate - Apparent case fatality rate - Proportion susceptible animals lost*
* Birds - 2.00% - 0.00% - 0.00% - **
* Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
** Not calculated because of missing information

§ Epidemiology
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
* Unknown or inconclusive

§ Control measures
Measures applied
* Stamping out
* Quarantine
* Movement control inside the country
* Screening
* Zoning
* Disinfection of infected premises/establishment(s)
* Vaccination prohibited
* No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
* No other measures

§ Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type National Veterinary Institute (National laboratory)
Tests and results: Species - Test - Test date - Result
* Birds - reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) - 05/12/2008 - Positive

§ Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
hat-tip Ironorehopper

More on SD (41) out of Semarang Central Java

[I used a dictionary to translate whole sentences, and many words in this article]

Minggu, 07 Desember 2008
The resident of the Disturbance, Health Service Instructed to do Epidemiologi Investigation

Following the existence of the assumption suspect bird flu as the cause of the death of SD, 41, the Klipang resident on Friday (5/12) last, resident in surrounding home of victim tumultuous. Moreover, Sendangmulyo District apparatus, and the Tembalang Subdistrict as well as did panic. Resident fearful concerning spread illness kill those. Moreover, many residents who chose to not come to casualties's house.

To ascertain the existence of the assumption of the bird flu, on Saturday (6/12), the official of the Health of the Service (Dinkes) the Semarang City visited casualties's house. “Petugas Dinkes came to confirm and calm the resident if the assumption of this bird flu not necessarily was true. Because, the sample of blood that was examined did not yet go out the result,” said BM, 44, neighbor victim.

According to BM, last Friday (28/11), SD indeed experienced the high fever, but his body was felt cold. Further, on Wednesday (3/12) the dawn, the SD was carried to RS Pantiwilasa Citarum. After being treated for approximately two days, to be precise on Saturday (6/12) the dawn, SD was reconciled to RSUP Kariadi because his sign headed to Avian Influenza (AI). “Sign clinical that was suffered SD experienced the resemblance with the sufferer AI, like suffered the heavy lungs and the disturbance of breathing in a mendadak,” manner he said. Unfortunately, could not be handled by the medical team, and just entered ICU space, SD already keburu blew out the last breath.

“After read the news in the newspaper about the cause of the death of SD, all the residents here in the commotion and restless. Moreover the resident here to commend "to get out of the way" (to avoid). Yes understand that, the illness would like the frightening spectre. Many residents that eachother tease/insinuate possibly sign duwe bird podo mengko (over there the one that had burung chirp thrown out all, to wait infect flu burung). Mbok [polite address to an adult female] should be not reported first if not necessarily truth” flat BM. The fact is that the reporting about bird flu, continued BM, also made the Sendangmulyo District side descend to the field. “Tadi (yesterday) Mr Lurah here and will hold the meeting to calm residents,”ujar him. BM said, if in his area did not have the poultry abattoir or the poultry farm. So, impossible if casualties died resulting from the virus of AI. According to him, SD died it was suspected because of being sick the kidney. By chance, said BM, casualties were a heavy drinker. “Saya the feeling (casualties died) because of the kidney illness. Because uptil now, he (SD) several times entered RS because of the kidney. Foot him until the big swelling. He was a person who to drink, must sedino the sack of the bottle (every day one bottle) Mas. Many neighbours who have warned the hobby drank him itu,” added BM.

Although not having poultry livestock breeding in the village of casualties's residence, the SD had the hobby of maintaining birds kicau. According to the other neighbour, at this time had two birds kinds kicau that was maintained the SD, namely the Canary and Kacer. “Still, my foreknowledge did not have his property birds that died suddenly. Previously once very much his property birds died, but that because not to manage until carcass dry/barren/arid. He liked to maintain birds, but never to come to ones attention” added the neighbour who reluctantly was written by his name. Pertanian Kota Semarang Ayu Entys Section Head said, from results of the checking of the official Kacamatan Tembalang and the Pertanian Service, did not find the existence of the poultry around casualties's house. “Kami still investigated chronological him, from outside when casualties went or in another place, carried out contact with unggas,” clear Beautiful Entys.

Was separated, Kepala Dinkes Semarang Tatik Suryati said, the incident that struck this SD did not yet become the reference was appointed by him the Luar Biasa Incident (KLB) bird flu, as in the case of that happened to DS, 15, the resident Medoho, Gayamsari, some time before. His side claimed still will carry out Epidemiologi Investigation (PE) in casualties's house. “Maybe later could appoint KLB, would new casualties suspect. To produced by PE him as soon as possible could found out,” Tatik words. (zal/aro)

Vietnam - Nghe An recurrence of avian influenza

Second seven, 06 Dec 2008, 18:35 GMT +7

Information from the Department of Animal Health launched today, said, after a fairly long time been put under control of avian influenza, recently, the disease has reoccurred in Nghe An.

According to a report of the Regional Animal Health III, dated 02/12/2008, to detect suspected outbreak of avian influenza in Nghi Phong commune of Nghi Loc district. SDAH collect samples sent Tram diagnostic tests under RAHO III, results determined samples be tested as positive for the virus avian influenza. The total number of poultry sick and dead are 194 children [chickens]. SDAH has applied measures to prevent and control as stipulated.

Nigeria refutes reports of new bird flu outbreak

APA – Lagos (Nigeria)- The Director of Livestock and Pest Control in Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Dr Junaid Maina, has refuted a report that unidentified dangerous strain of Avian Influenza (Bird flu), much deadlier than HN51, was discovered in Gombe in northern Nigeria.

“As far as I know, there has been no outbreak in the country since July,” Maina told journalists on Friday in Abuja.

“We’ve contacted all the relevant agencies from the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) in Vom, near Jos as the diagnostic confirmatory body and it said no sample was diagnosed by the laboratory.

“The Gombe State director of veterinary medicine and all the zonal offices and the desk officer who was claimed to have confirmed the diagnoses refuted such claims,’’ he said.

Maina said that it was only his office as the national chief veterinary officer that could make such pronouncements through the office of the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources after all confirmation with relevant agencies.

He said the report could be referring to the last outbreak in July 2008 after a random bird sample collection from various markets in Gombe showed a positive but non-deadly result in one duck.

He said that since the confirmation of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in February 2006, the Nigerian government had demonstrated a high political will by instituting various measures directed towards the various strata of the society in the control and eradication of the disease.

He said that part of the strategy was the strengthening of the epidemio-surveillance network and bio-security on farms and border posts, massive sensitisation and creating awareness, fumigation of the bird markets and obtaining of US$50 million credit under the World Bank emergency funds for the implementation of the Avian Influenza Control Project (AICP).

He said that as a result of that, substantial improvements were recorded in strengthening epidemio-surveillance, transport of specimen samples and capacity for laboratory diagnostic services at NVRI and veterinary teaching hospitals.

He said that the Nigerian government was also collaborating with the Poultry Farmers Association (PAN) in the institutionalisation of best farming practices in poultry production with focus on bio-security and movement management of poultry through various border and interstate control posts.

Maina said all the improvements recorded led to the selection of NVRI as a regional laboratory for Avian Influenza and other trans-boundary animal diseases for West and Central Africa.

He reiterated that consumption of poultry products in Nigeria was safe.

Jorhat ready to meet bird flu threat

From our Correspondent
JORHAT, Dec 5: Though no case of any bird flu has been reported here so far, the Jorhat district administration is taking all necessary precautions to tackle the possible outbreak of the dreaded disease. At an emergency meeting called by Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Ms LS Changsan at her office chamber on Thursday, the details for meeting any exigency in this respect were worked out.
The import of poultry and ducks from outside the district has been banned with immediate effect. As many as 10 rapid response teams have been formed to meet the threat posed by avian influenza. A 24-hour control room has been set up which is being manned by Dr RP Shyam (contact no. 9435358069) and Dr CK Sinha (contact no. 9435050847). Dr Shyam is the District Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Officer, while Dr Sinha is attached to the District Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department.
When contacted, the District Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Officer pointed out that blood serums and fluidal swabs of poultry and litter samples of migratory birds are being regularly sent for tests at the Khanapara-based North Eastern Region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Dr Shyam said. About 100 samples are being sent every month since 2007, he added. If necessary, the samples are sent for further tests at the Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. However, none of the samples has tested positive for avian influenza, he stressed.
Dr Shyam, who is also the Joint Director of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Services for Upper Asom zone, maintained that 340 personnel have already received requisite training on tackling bird flu. “We will hold awareness meetings at the block and gaon panchayat level and distribute informative leaflets regarding bird flu among poultry farmers through the block development officers,” he said.
There are around 80 to 90 commercial poultry farmers in the district though every rural household keeps domestic fowl.
On the other hand, veterinarian Dr Sinha stressed that the H5N1 virus, which causes avian influenza, may be carried by migratory birds which flock the region at this time of the year. He expressed concern that there are two unprotected important bird areas (IBAs) – Jhanjimukh and Majuli – within Jorhat district. It may be mentioned here that according to a survey carried out by the Mumbai-based Indian Bird Conservation Network, there are 26 IBAs in Asom. The total number of IBAs in the country stands at 112.
“We are enlisting the cooperation of local nature NGOs to collect the litter samples of migratory birds for conducting tests,” Dr Sinha said. The Forest Department, too, has been instructed to report any unusual deaths of wild birds in the forest reserve areas. Officials of Health and Veterinary Departments, police officers, BDOs, circle officers and magistrates had attended the meeting yesterday.

Residents leave big city for a new life, for good

[More information on the Transmigration Program]

Fri, 12/05/2008

Many Jakartans are leaving the city, disillusioned by their quality of life in the big city, and are heading for a more comfortable living in remote areas of the country.
"Life in Jakarta does not suit me anymore. I just want to get out of here," Acim, who has been living in the capital for more than 30 years, told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

"Jakarta may have a lot of shopping malls, but have I ever been able to buy anything in one of them? Absolutely not," said the 49-year-old man.

Acim is among a growing number of people planning to leave the Jakarta under transmigration programs to South and Central Kalimantan, said Ridwan Siregar, head of the transmigration office at the City Manpower and Transmigration Agency.

Thirty families, he said, would depart on Dec. 12.
He said in the past, residents from the poorer North, East and West Jakarta areas were the most enthusiastic about the program.

However, the agency keeps a quota for every municipality. "For the sake of fairness," Ridwan said.

There are around 200 families from across Jakarta applying for relocation under the programs this year, far more than the 105 families intended by the administration.

Last year, the agency only dealt with 45 families leaving the city this way. "Every year, there are usually more applications than the target set by the central government," said Ridwan. The administration had no authority to increase the number required for departure as it related to the budget allocated from the central government.

From the first batch who left on July 10, 10 families were sent to Bengkulu.

"Fifteen families are still waiting to be sent to Bengkulu. The administration is still preparing their homes," said Ridwan.

A transmigrant family receives a wooden house and a two-hectare plot for farming. For every 100 families, an elementary school is opened, while high schools and public health clinics are located in the nearest regency.

"I realize it is not entirely clear whether my children will continue their schooling in their new home town," said Acim. "But I believe the local administration will figure out a solution."

Official R. Bawie, head of preparations for transmigration families, said each family also received a year's supply of rice, green beans, cooking oil, salted fish, gasoline and soap.

Before departing, families usually undergo a seven-day training program at the center in Pondok Kelapa, East Jakarta, about issues of farming, health and faith.

"Due to current floods in Kalimantan, I think we may delay the training," said Bawie.

Bawie said 80 percent of transmigrants ended up successful after five years, not only because of their farms but also through trade and industry. The remaining 20 percent indicates those who noticed no significant improvement in their living standards.

Families anxious over transmigration plan

[This is the same program I believe that Ny.Agl (30) was a part of. She died on 12/1.)

Fri, 12/05/2008
Kartini is counting the days left before her family leaves their modest home, one of many along an alley in the densely populated Semper Barat, North Jakarta, for a transmigration camp in Kalimantan.

As the date to send Jakartans off to transmigration camps in remote areas in South and Central Kalimantan provinces approaches, the successful applicants wait anxiously to be called.

"Lately, I have been sleeping restlessly, every night, wondering when we will be sent off," Kartini, 40, a mother of three girls, told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

She said her nervousness and anxiety began shortly after her husband, Suharto, 42, applied to join the, program, which will take urban sprawl to Central Kalimantan, in early November.

"For everyday meals, we are now counting on the money we get from selling the things left in the house that we can not take anyway to the transmigration site," she said.

The couple have sold their gas stove, refrigerator, washing machine and water dispenser, as well as their small brick-house, for a total of Rp 13 million to see them through until it comes time to leave.

"A neighbor has paid for that TV," Kartini said, pointing to the TV being watched by her teenage daughter Elvira, adding that she had packed clothes, pots-and-pans, as well as the children's books into sacks, ready to leave.

Suharto has been unemployed since he lost his job as payment collector for the state-owned power company PT PLN last year.

Kartini used to work in a garment factory. "Factories these days prefer workers in their 20s. It's getting harder for me to find a job."

Kartini and her family aren't the only soon-to-be transmigrants feeling anxious.

"I have been going back and forth to the North Jakarta transmigration office asking for a departure date," Acim, 49, of Tugu Utara, North Jakarta, said. Mid December is the most definite answer he has received so far.

Acim, who has been living in Jakarta for the past 30 years, currently in a rented house, first applied to be a transmigrant in 2002.

Mizoram Birdflu alert


With avian influenza detected in neighbouring Myanmar, Bangladesh and in Assam, Mizoram government prohibited import of egg, chicken, bird and pig from these countries and neighbouring states, state Animal Husbandry and Veterinary director C Sangnghina said here today.

Sangnghina told PTI that the state being sandwiched between Myanmar and Bangladesh and also sharing border with Assam which detected cases of avian flu, the Mizoram government revived its prohibition on import of chicken and other animals, suspected to be carriers of the dreaded disease.

"The international borders as well as inter-state borders are sealed by the respective deputy commissioners adjoining the border areas," he said.

He also said that rapid respone teams, created by the department along the border areas were alerted to prevent not only import of animals, scientifically identified as carrier of the bird flu, the teams were instructed to remain alert if any infections are detected in the state.

He said that whenever any suspected avian disease were reported the teams collected the samples of the infected or dead animals for scientific tests at Bhopal.

"No avian flu had so far being detected in the state till date, thanks to the alertness of our officials since the disease was detected in many parts of the world including the neighbouring countries," he added.

Indonesia: Agency urges consumers not to stockpile staple foods

Fri, 12/05/2008

Jakarta will have ample stocks of food over the Idul Adha Islamic holiday and Christmas and New Year period, the Jakarta Trade and Industry Agency says, urging consumers not to stockpile staple foods.

Such "panic buying" could increase prices and cause stock shortages, the agency's deputy head, Supeno, said on Friday.

According to agency data, rice stocks at traditional markets totaled some 100,619 tons (which it claimed was enough to supply Jakarta for 40 days), sugar 22,832 tons (50 days), beef and
chicken 31,114 tons (157 days), cooking oil 117,000 tons (289 days) and eggs 46,790 tons (83 days).

"During the New Year period, I don't believe there will be any significant price hikes on staple foods because people usually consume non rice-based products like biscuits," Supeno said.

On Dec. 4, rice was priced at between Rp 5,100 and Rp 6.100 per kilogram, sugar Rp 6,600 per kilogram, beef Rp 68,000, frozen beef Rp 52,000, broiler chicken Rp 20,000 and cooking oil Rp 7,000 per kilogram.

Inadequate attention to tuberculosis giving rise to drug resistant TB

Dec 4, IRNA

Drug-resistant tuberculosis on the rise! Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) has been recorded at the highest rates ever, according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report.

According to a press release issued by the UN Information Center (UNIC) here on Thursday,the report estimates that worldwide, every year there are 490 000 new patients suffering from MDR-TB and 110 000 deaths. Equally alarming, a new form of virtually incurable drug-resistant tuberculosis, known as extensively drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis was also reported to be confirmed in 45 countries.

Although precise data are not available, it is estimated that 40,000 new cases of XDR tuberculosis emerge in the world every year.

The rise in MDR-TB has been attributed to many factors, including incorrect administration of treatment regimens by health care workers, failure to ensure that patients complete the whole course of treatment, limited laboratory capacity for diagnosis and insufficient effort in many parts of the world to treat and control MDR-TB.

Following a meeting in Cairo, on Monday, of the Coordinating Board of the Eastern Mediterranean Partnership to Stop TB, a statement was issued on the tuberculosis situation in the region. The meeting was attended by board members from different countries, officials from WHO and representatives of civil society.

According to the statement, failure to control tuberculosis is helping drug-resistant tuberculosis to rise. Tuberculosis continues to pose a health and development threat to the world in general and to the Eastern Mediterranean Region in particular. At present, although a completely preventable and curable disease, tuberculosis is among the leading causes of adult mortality in low-income and middle-income countries, causing approximately 2 million deaths a year worldwide and 110,000 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. According to WHO, tuberculosis infection is currently spreading at the rate of one person per second. It kills more young people and adults than any other infectious disease and is the world's biggest killer of women.

Because of the continuous efforts by governments and private sector, supported by WHO and the Stop TB Partnership, significant progress has been made in recent years to control tuberculosis in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Despite the impressive progress made by some countries towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the average case detection rate (number of new tuberculosis cases detected) in the region is 53% compared to the target of 70%. Several challenges hinder the progress, including inadequate financing of tuberculosis control programs, weaknesses in health systems, lack of human resource capacity, the high level of stigma attached to tuberculosis and inadequate involvement of the community in tuberculosis care.

The slow progress in tuberculosis control has given rise to the massive challenge posed by drug resistance or MDR/XDR tuberculosis.

WHO estimates that globally nearly half a million cases are resistant to first-line tuberculosis drugs and need immediate attention. In the region, there are no accurate estimates of numbers of patients with MDR/XDR tuberculosis but if the global average is applied, there could be 30,000-40,000 patients with this highly infectious disease.

Treatment is 100 times more expensive than treatment for regular tuberculosis and treatment facilities for drug-resistant tuberculosis are not available in all countries. Inadequate attention to tuberculosis is helping drug-resistant tuberculosis to rise.

Steps being taken: WHO and the Stop TB Partnership (through the Green Light Committee) are assisting countries in establishing drug- resistant tuberculosis care but the scope remains limited and urgent action is needed from governments and civil society. In May 2008, the regional leaders from the community, public and private health sectors, and business took a major step forward when they announced the launch of a partnership - the Eastern Mediterranean Partnership to Stop TB. The Partnership has taken up the cause of working with media to create awareness, to help mobilize financial resources for tuberculosis and drug-resistant tuberculosis and to encourage local community action to help tuberculosis control programs fight the disease.

Based on the recommendations of the Coordinating Board, Professor Tag Eldin and Mr Rahim made an immediate call for action from governments, donor institutions, civil society and media.

For governments: To scale up tuberculosis care by increasing political commitment to tuberculosis control, ensuring sustained financing at country level, building capacity of the national tuberculosis control programs, and immediately initiating or strengthening drug-resistant tuberculosis care.

For Donors: To provide adequate financing support to resource poor countries for tuberculosis control.

For civil society: to promote support for tuberculosis control by creating mass awareness and larger societal commitment to control of tuberculosis and supporting tuberculosis patients and affected families.

For media: To encourage mass awareness among the community, and build pressure on governments to continue commitment to tuberculosis control and establish/strengthen drug-resistant tuberculosis care.

Positively Bird Flu, 973 chickens were destroyed

on Thursday, December 04 2008
BUKIK KANDUANG, METRO -- around 973 chickens belonging to the community Was forced to be destroyed in a mass fashion. That was done, because of chickens That terjangkit the virus aviant influenza or that more was known with Bird flu. So that this virus does not spread the radius 1 Km was stated Isolated from the good poultry that entered and that left the area This. The step was taken to confirm the spread to the other area did not happen. Peternakan Kabupaten Solok Section Head, Zurni Asmi to POSMETRO, yesterday said, results of this research of chickens were positive terjangkit bird flu.
The number that was destroyed this not yet including the chicken that was destroyed by the community personally. The chicken belonging to the community that was destroyed that came from 3 available ellipses in Nagari Bukik Kanduang, respectively the Sopan Balai Ellipse, Jorong Data and the Mudiak Ellipse. His positive assurance this chicken bird flu, after being found died suddenly last Saturday (29/11). “Setelah we carried out the test with used rapid that was carried out against the chicken that was suspected this, evidently positive was found by the sign of bird flu. ” he said Zurni Asmi that was accompanied Head of Sector Kesehatan of the Animal of Dinas Peternakan Kabupaten Solok Drh Armon.
As the step in anticipation in order to not expand him the spreading of this virus to the other poultry in fact to humankind, then these chickens dimusnahan in a mass fashion. These chickens continued Zurni Asmi was handed willingly over by the community without the existence of compensation. However he continued his side was still trying to lodge the help request for the change in the chicken belonging to the community that was destroyed this to the centre. If seeing the number of chickens that was destroyed this not yet so. Because of being estimated more than 2 thousand tails ayam property of the available community in this area that must be destroyed. However apparently the official was waiting massa 21 days to confirm whether not having again the chicken that tertular. “Selama 21 days since this case was found nagari Bukik Kanduang with the radius 1 Km tidak was permitted the poultry entered or left this area. To monitor the development of the case of bird flu di Bukik Kanduang, the official was still being alerted. As far as this is concerned did not yet have the news about the spread of the deadly virus tersebut against the community.

Asia-Pacific countries urged to invest in disaster preparedness

Asia-Pacific countries need to accelerate investment in disaster preparedness for the future - and they need to start doing this now, UN Information Center said on Saturday.

This was one of the recommendations from a high-level discussion held in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend, with the aim of improving the Asia-Pacific region's preparedness to natural disasters.

The "High-Level Round Table on Resource Mobilization," organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) at the Third Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, was jointly chaired by Bhutan's Minister of Home and Cultural Affairs, Lyonpo Minjur Legarda of the Philippines.


It drew its conclusions from the past experiences of a number of Asia-Pacific countries that were presented at the conference - such as the Sichuan earthquake in China last May - and consideration of future challenges, such as the effects of climate change on the scale and likelihood of disasters.

"Some of the disasters we face will be made worse by the impacts of climate change," said Faumuina Tiatia Liuga, Samoa's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.

He also expressed concern that an increase in cyclones, droughts and floods resulting from climate change - as well as a long-term rise in sea levels - will threaten many Pacific islands
"To address the challenges we are facing, we really need a paradigm shift. We need to give higher priority to disaster preparedness - not just response - and allocate more resources to it," said Bhutan's Mr. Lyonpo.

Investments for DRR are more effective if we bring "the right information to the right people at the right location at the right time," said Mr. V.S. Hegde, of the Indian Space Research Organization, pointing to a need for more knowledge about where and how often disasters are likely to strike.

Studies from the World Bank, The Asian Development Bank and the US Government have shown that every dollar invested in disaster preparedness not only saves lives, but can also save between four and seven dollars in econstruction costs after a disaster happens.

"With this level of returns, these investments may be some of the best bargains available," said Ms. Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary- General and ESCAP's Executive Secretary, in her message delivered at the Third Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction's opening last Monday.

At its closing today, the Conference adopted a declaration that included recommendations to strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships and resource sharing arrangements between countries in Asia and the Pacific, to increase knowledge of human and economic disaster impacts to guide and promote greater investments, and to earmark a percentage of humanitarian funding for disaster risk reduction.

The Third Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was hosted by the Government of Malaysia, with support from the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and ESCAP amongst others.

Dozens of Unggas Mati in BTP

MAKASSAR, Upeks -- the Resident of the K Bloc, Earth Tamalanrea Permai (BTP) could be startled when finding dozens of poultries that died suddenly. Saw that, the resident reported to Chairman Rukun Warga (RW) the K Bloc, Karmidy Djabir.
According to Chairman RW BLOK K, Karmidy Djabir, when being met in his house, on Friday (5/12), when getting the report from the community, his side immediately informed to the Village Head Tamalanrea, Muras, furthermore informed to the Peternakan Service. Officially Peternakan with the team of his doctor and the staff, was accompanied by the Village Head Tamalanrea, the official of the Tamalanrea Hospital, Darwis, of Enike, descended directly to the field. Results, evidently true, dozens of poultries died. The "official" of "livestock breeding said, the poultry that died this was positive bird flu, but that must be checked in one of the laboratories in Maros," he said. Added, the livestock breeding side has taken his sample to be checked in Maros. The official of Livestock Breeding promised approximately two weeks just had results. The official of Livestock Breeding suspected, still many poultries that died, around BTP, but the resident did not inform.

East African Comm. (EAC) Prepares against bird flu outbreak

By Zephania Ubwani, Arusha

The East African Community yesterday launched a Euro 3 million (about Sh4.9 billion) preparedness plan against a bird flu virus as the region was not entirely safe from the deadly disease.

It said although East African countries have so far not been affected, reported cases of the disease in neighbouring Sudan should be a cause for concern and extra vigilance.

"Our field surveillance systems must be bolstered if we are to fully prepare for this looming threat,," warned the EAC director of productive and social sectors, Dr Nyamajeje Caleb Weggoro.

He emphasised an early detection approach for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) is reported to have wiped out 150 million chicken and killed over 70 people in some parts of the world, mainly South East Asia, three years ago.

Dr Weggoro said the fact that all suspected cases of bird flu in the region have tested negative for H5NI, the virus causing the disease, was no excuse for laxity.

"Due to the proximity of EAC partner states to Sudan, a country that has already reported several cases, we must be alert and on the look out," he said. He added that poultry production systems in the EAC region tend to be very extensive.

Moreover, he continued, the close interaction between humans and birds was "likely to predispose humans to the virus causing the disease in case birds are infected."

The EAC regional avian influenza preparedness and response plan, a three-year project funded by the European Union, aims at improving capacities to coordinate, plan and respond to the avian influenza threat to the region.

Under the project, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is to receive euro 1.68 million. This would be spent mainly on capacity building and technical support, while the balance would go to the EAC secretariat.

"The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the socio-economic welfare and public health in the EAC by minimising the impact of avian influenza," said a senior livestock officer with the EAC, Mr Timothy Wesonga.

Besides focusing on other trans-boundary animal diseases, the plan aims to support the implementation of national avian and human influenza response programmes in all the five EAC partner states of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda.

The regional organisation has dealt with the bird flu threat since late 2005 when the disease was reported in some African countries, including Egypt, Sudan and South Africa.

Makassar: Dozens of Poultry Died in BTP

Sabtu, 06-12-2008

MAKASSAR , Upeks -- the Resident of the K Bloc, Earth Tamalanrea Permai (BTP) could be startled when finding dozens of poultries that died suddenly. Saw that, the resident reported to Chairman Rukun Warga (RW) the K Bloc, Karmidy Djabir. According to Chairman RW BLOK K, Karmidy Djabir, when being met in his house, on Friday (5/12), when getting the report from the community, his side immediately informed to the Village Head Tamalanrea, Muras, furthermore informed to the Peternakan Service. Officially Peternakan with the team of his doctor and the staff, was accompanied by the Village Head Tamalanrea, the official of the Tamalanrea Hospital, Darwis, of Enike, descended directly to the field. Results, evidently true, dozens of poultries died.

The "official" of "livestock breeding said, the poultry that died this was positive bird flu, but that must be checked in one of the laboratories in Maros," he said. Added, the livestock breeding side has taken his sample to be checked in Maros. The official of Livestock Breeding promised approximately two weeks just had results. The official of Livestock Breeding suspected, still many poultries that died, around BTP, but the resident did not inform.

8 subdistricts in Kediri alert bird flu

Friday, 05 December 2008

Totalling 8 subdistricts in the Kediri Regency, East Java berstatus as the alert village bird flu, after the case that most attacked this poultry was detected. The "case" of "bird flu in Kediri quite worrying, because almost every month was gotten the report" on the "poultry that was attacked, the" Section's" headword of the Health of the Animal, Dinas Kehewanan, of Kabupaten Kediri, drh. Munfarid, in Kediri, earlier in the afternoon.

According to Munfarid that was met in the alert activity of the village field study in the Doko Village, Kecamatan Gampengrejo, Kabupaten Kediri, several subdistricts that became attention because of the bird flu danger among them Plosoklaten, Ringinrejo, Kandat, Gampengrejo, Kras, Wates, Plemahan and finally Badas. In this location, the level of the quite high poultry population. However, this number evidently also was matched by the spreading of the plague of quite significant bird flu.
Munfarid said, this 2008, at least the poultry has in five subdistricts been infected, like Kandat, Plosoklaten, Papar, Semen and Kras. Totalling 643 tails of the poultry from the population's whole that reached 1,404 tails of the chicken kind talk to and puyuh that died suddenly this, was forced to be destroyed. Nevertheless, the number of cases fewer compared with the year beforehand, namely 2007, that attacked 15 subdistricts with the number of livestock died reached 29,686 tails. According to him, the Kediri Regency was one of the suppliers of the biggest poultry of the two in East Java after the Blitar Regency. The number of poultry populations, both the chicken, the duck, was unable to go any further and puyuh reached 6.7 million tails per the year. He added, it was not impossible, because of the population but also the level of the instability in the Kediri Regency high, so as the UNICEF side held the work was the same as the Regional Government in the handling of the bird flu virus.

Although entering the area of UNICEF attention, but his side also tried to carry out the prevention personally. In APBD I this 2008, his side accepted help for the vaccination 175,000 doses and "disinfektan" or spraying 400 litre. Moreover, from the APBN fund also received the quota, that is for the vaccination totalling 800,000 doses and disinfektan totalling 400 litre. Now from RAPBD for the vaccination was budgeted for by as many as 125,000 doses and disinfektan totalling 400 litre. "This number was really used by us up until this 2008, next year we also put forward but still in the process," he said added. In the meantime, the person responsible for the operational implementation of bird flu of the UNICEF side, Ruli Asmianto said, with the alert village could become the sample for the other village. "We hoped had the village regulation, especially for the first handling" of the "bird flu virus." So, could become the example of the other village in the handling of the virus, he said.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bahrain put on high alert against bird flu

BAHRAIN is stepping up vigilance against bird flu, as winter closes in.
Winter is "a good time for the flu virus to develop", so the chances of infection are higher than in summer, said Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry's animal wealth director Dr Salman Abdul Nabi Ebrahim.
"However, there is no reason to panic since we are on high alert as always and continue to carry out tests on birds, including those migrating from other countries," he said.
Dr Ebrahim said a meeting of GCC officials, which ended in Riyadh last Monday, decided to keep every member state updated on the developments and share information on any suspected outbreak.
"Bahrain's contingency plans are also constantly being updated and all those responsible, including the ministries of Health, Interior and Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs, are prepared for any exigency," he said.
Dr Ebrahim said tests were being carried out by randomly shooting birds, with the help of Interior Ministry marksmen.
"We are also collecting bird faeces and doing random tests," he said.
The official said if any country had an outbreak of the disease, Bahrain would immediately ban imports of live birds.
He said a team of experts are regularly advising farmers about the symptoms of bird flu.
Health Ministry communicable diseases department head Dr Muna Al Mousawi told the GDN that Bahrain had an active bird flu treatment programme since there was a greater risk of the virus coming into the country in the winter.
This is because of increased migration of birds from colder countries, as well as the virus' ability to thrive during winter.
She said a special ward was set up in March this year to handle possible bird flu patients.
"An 18-bed isolation ward at Salmaniya Medical Complex is staffed by four nurses, two chest physicians, and two intravenous and two intensive care specialists, who are on duty on a rotation basis,"
said Dr Al Mousawi.
She said the ministry had also stockpiled enough anti-flu medication (anti-viral drugs) to treat 25 per cent of its adult population, which was more than the five per cent required by the World Health Organisation.

Fatal H5N1 Suspect Case in Semarang Indonesia


Recombinomics Commentary 00:47
December 6, 2008

a Semarang inhabitant died it was suspected resulting from suspect bird flu. Casualty had the initials the SD, 41, the resident Klipang, Semarang. SD died around struck 03,30 after could undergo the maintenance for one half of the hour in RSUP Kariadi.

The patient was reconciled from Panti Wilasa earlier (yesterday) struck 02,00 dawns, and at once were treated in the Intensive Care Unit (UGD). Strike 03,00, the patient was moved to space of ICU. However half of the hour afterwards, the patient could not have been helped.

The death of this SD increased the number of patients died resulting from the virus avian influenza (AI) that was treated in RSUP Kariadi. The first case happened in 2006, afterwards in November then, that killed DS, the resident Medoho, Gayamsari.

The above translation describes the death of a suspect H5N1 patient from Semarang, Indonesia. The patient dies shortly after transfer to the infectious disease hospital, so lab confirmation remains uncertain. As noted in the translation, the assumption is that the patient was H5N1 infected.

An earlier patient also died and was lab confirmed, based on statements by the attending physician. However, the Ministry of Health denied that the lab results were positive.

The death of these patients and failure to confirm / report these cases increases concerns associated with H5N1 expansion in Indonesia.

Bird flu outbreak prompts poultry product ban

4 December, 2008 - Following an outbreak of bird flu (H5N1) in neighbouring Assam’s Kamrup district on November 27, the department of livestock has banned the import of eggs and frozen chicken from Assam and West Bengal states.

Import of eggs and frozen chicken from identified sources in India are allowed only through the Phuentsholing gate. A news release from the department of livestock said that movement of poultry ad poultry products, including animal feed from Phuentsholing, to the eastern dzongkhags sharing a border with Assam would be allowed only through the lateral highway.

Import permits for day-old-chicks (for breeding), which have already been issued for import via Guwahati, was immediately revoked to prevent the disease from entering Bhutan. “We won’t place a blanket ban on all poultry imports, but we want to caution people by being selective,” said the chief livestock officer, Dr Karma Tenzin. “We request people to cook chicken at 70 degree Celsius for at least five minutes to be on the safe side,” he said.

Meanwhile, the department has reactivated the veterinary vigilance team (VVT) for clinical and laboratory surveillance along the southern border dzongkhags, especially in Samdrup Jongkhar and Sarpang.

Appropriate regulatory and quarantine activities, such as disinfection of vehicles and high risk goods, has resumed at all entry points as a precautionary measure. Poultry feed from Samrat feed mills in Siliguri would be allowed only if it were transported through the lateral route.

More cholera patients admitted at Limpopo hospital

More cholera patients admitted at Limpopo hospitalDecember 05 2008, 6:06:00

The Limpopo Health Department says 43 new cholera patients were admitted to various hospitals across the province overnight. Doctors in Musina have treated over 500 cases since the outbreak in mid November and eight people have already died of the water-borne disease on this side of the border. There are fears that the situation could worsen.

The Health Department says it does not expect further deaths due to cholera in Musina in the Limpopo province. The department's spokesperson Fidel Hadebe says officials are doing everything they can to contain the spread.

Hadebe says the department will continue to provide the necessary support to the Limpopo government to prevent the spread of cholera. "We are quite happy as the Department of Health so far in terms of the amount of work that has been done around containing the spread of cholera."

Bird flu spreads to two more districts

Special Correspondent

About 60 RRTs are carrying out culling of ducks and chickens in Assam

More than 50,000 birds have been culled in Kamrup district so far

Palashbari and Hajo circles of Kamrup district are the worst-affected

GUWAHATI: Bird Flu virus has spread to two more districts — Barpeta and Nalbari — in lower Assam prompting the State Veterinary department to rush Rapid Response Teams (RRT)s to these two districts for beginning culling operations from Saturday.

About 60 RRTs have been carrying out culling of ducks and chickens in lower Assam’s Kamrup and where the disease broke out first. Later, the outbreak of the disease was reported in Kamrup (Metrpolitan) district.

State Veterinary Director Aswini Kataki told The Hindu that the department on Thursday night received a communiqué from the Central government that the Bhopal-based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory tests had confirmed strains of the deadly H5N1 avian influenza in bird samples from Barpeta and Nalbari too.

Culling operations

The state government has ordered culling operations within 3-km radius of the epicentres of the disease in the two districts.

The epicentres in Barpeta district are Katajhar village under the Gobardhana block and while the epicentre in Nalbari district is Katla village under Pachim Nalbari Block of the district.

An estimated 30,000 birds are to be culled in Gobardhana and estimated 15,000 birds within three-km radius of the Katla village in Nalbari district.

Asked about the preparedness of the department to fight spread of the disease to other districts, Mr. Kataki said that the department had 432 fully equipped RRTs ready for deployment. Each RRT comprises seven personnel, including one veterinarian.

The official said more than 50,000 birds had been culled in Kamrup district so far. Palashbari and Hajo circles of the district were worst affected.

An estimated 2.5 lakh birds would be culled in Kamrup district.

In Kamrup (metropolitan) H5N1 avian influenza were confirmed in bird samples from Patgaon, following which culling began in 11 villages within three-km radius from this epicentre.

The district administrations concerned had already clamped ban on sale and movement of ducks, chickens and eggs from the affected areas.

Ban on sale

Kamrup Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Chand Jain had earlier clamped a ban on sale and movement of ducks, chickens and eggs in the entire district.

However, on Friday he issued a fresh directive limiting the ban only to 62 villages of the Palashbari revenue circle.

Cholera devastating starving Zimbabwe

Published:Dec 05, 2008
Health workers fear death toll understated

“WE buried all my children in plastic bags.” This is the lament of Stella Manhando, a Zimbabwean grandmother whose family has been devastated by cholera.
As tears track down her face, Manhando soothes baby Tinotenda, her family’s youngest cholera survivor.
Yesterday, Manhando, a widow, told The Times that she had lost two daughters and a grandson within a week to the easily curable disease.
Cholera has devastated Zimbabwe, leaving hundreds dead.
“Tinotenda’s mother died of cholera,” she said. As if on cue, the two-month-old baby boy started to cry.
The Manhondo’s two-roomed home in Mbare township, Harare, used to house eight people. Now there are only five.
“My elder sister, Hazvineyi, became ill and died suddenly,” said Manhondo’s surviving daughter, Patience. “The day we buried her is the same day her son Tipeyi died.”
Tipeyi was only 11 years old.
She said mourners who had gathered at her house also fell ill.
“They were all throwing up,”
said Manhando’s daughter, Patience.
Six people were admitted to the nearby Nazareth Hospital — but only three survived. One of the dead was Tinotenda’s teenage mother, Shamiso.
“My young sister, Shamiso, was discharged from hospital but she died the next day,” said Patience.
Manhando, who is also on cholera medication, said all there was to eat at home was three mealie cobs and a bag of salt.
She said the Catholic Church was helping with baby milk.
A week ago, cholera turned Manhando’s world upside down. But health authorities did not declare the outbreak a national disaster until late on Wednesday.
“Our central hospitals are literally not functioning,” admitted Health Minister David Parirenyatwa. He urged Western donors to help tackle the country’s worst cholera outbreak in 15 years.
Zimbabwe’s government claims that 563 lives have been lost to cholera, but health worker Aleya Madedza said the figure is much higher.
Madedza, who works at Nazareth Hospital, said: “We deal with about 30 bodies a day.”
She said the bodies were disinfected and sealed in plastic bags before being released for burial.
With the cost of funerals beyond the reach of many, plastic bags have replaced coffins.
Though the water supply has been restored to most parts of Harare, health officials are advising people not to drink tap water.
The Red Cross and the World Health Organisation are working to bring the disease under control.

H1N1 Tamiflu Resistance in the United States Increases to 96%

Recombinomics Commentary 23:38
December 5, 2008

Twenty-four of 25 influenza A (H1N1) viruses tested were resistant to oseltamivir

Twenty-five influenza A (H1N1) and five influenza A (H3N2) viruses were tested for adamantane resistance. All influenza A (H1N1) viruses were sensitive to the adamantanes. All influenza A (H3N2) viruses tested were resistant to the adamantanes.

The above comments from the CDC week 48 report indicates the four most recently tested H1N1 isolates were oseltamivir resistant, raising the frequency in the United States to 96% and extending the streak of Tamiflu resistance to the 23 most recently tested samples.

The latest report significantly increases the number of H1N1 isolates tested for amantadine resistance. Since all are sensitive, it is likely that the H1N1 in the United States is clade 2B (Brisbane/59) and not clade 2C (Hong Kong), which was 100% amantadine resistant last season in the United States.

Thus, clade 2B has become the dominant H1N1 sub-clade in the United States, and has also been the dominant influenza A isolate in the United States since 112/128 subtypes influenza A was H1N1. Similarly, clade 2B is the most common influenza in the United States at this time since 282/365 isolates are influenza A.

The resistance levels in H1N1 in the United States is similar to other countries in North America and Europe, where levels are at or near 100% for Canada (1/1), England (19/20), and Scotland (2/2) and at 100% in Norway and Austria.

At this time H3N2 is the dominant influenza A subtype reported in Europe, but in the United States, the vast majority of influenza A is H1N1, raising concerns regarding the current antiviral recommendations for seasonal flu, which includes oseltamivir.

Friendship Medal awarded to WHO high ranking official

(KPL) Minister of Health, Dr Ponmek Dalaloy, on behalf of the Lao government on Wednesday awarded a Friendship Medal to Dr Shigeru Omi, Director of World Health Organisation for Western Asia-Pacific Region, in an honour to his contribution to developing the health sector of Laos.

Dr Omi has assisted the Ministry of Health in promoting communicable disease prevention, the control of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the eradication of polio as well as the national measles vaccination.

He has also helped mobilise the provision of medicines and technical assistance from international donors to Laos to support its food and drug management.
In addition, he has also mobilised up to two million US dollars of cash supporting the improvement of health area in the country.

40,000 poultry being culled after avian influenza in the bung of Assam

U.S.: 2008-2009 Influenza Season Week 48 ending November 29, 2008

[Click on link for full coverage]

Antiviral Resistance:

Since October 1, 2008, 25 influenza A (H1N1), five influenza A (H3N2), and nine influenza B viruses from 11 states have been tested for antiviral resistance; however, 72% of the viruses tested were from only two states. Twenty-four of 25 influenza A (H1N1) viruses tested were resistant to oseltamivir; while all 25 viruses were sensitive to zanamivir. All influenza A (H3N2) and B viruses tested were sensitive to oseltamivir and zanamivir.
Twenty-five influenza A (H1N1) and five influenza A (H3N2) viruses were tested for adamantane resistance. All influenza A (H1N1) viruses were sensitive to the adamantanes. All influenza A (H3N2) viruses tested were resistant to the adamantanes. The adamantanes are not effective against influenza B viruses.
Only one state has reported local influenza activity during the 2008-09 season in the United States to date, thus the number of virus specimens available for antiviral resistance testing is limited in both the overall number tested and in the number of states that have submitted specimens. Limited data on antiviral resistance, as well as the uncertainty regarding which influenza virus types or subtypes will circulate during the season, make it impossible to provide an indication of the prevalence of influenza viruses resistance to oseltamivir or the adamantanes (amantadine and rimantadine) nationally or regionally at this time. CDC has solicited a representative sample of viruses from WHO collaborating laboratories in the United States, and more specimens are expected as influenza activity increases.

Geographic Spread of Influenza as Assessed by State and Territorial Epidemiologists:

During week 48 the following influenza activity was reported:
  • Local influenza activity was reported by one state (Hawaii).
  • Sporadic activity was reported in Puerto Rico and 22 states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).
  • No influenza activity was reported in the District of Columbia and 27 states (Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming).

The rabies vaccine was for Bali prepared

The department of Agriculture (Deptan) prepared the rabies vaccine totalling 50,000 doses to deal with spread him the plague of this illness in the Balinese Province. The "sending" of "this vaccine as the step" in the "government in the beginning for the control" of "rabies in the Balinese Province," he said, said the Director General of Deptan Livestock Breeding, Tjeppy D Soedjana, yesterday. According to him, totalling 20,000 doses including being sent, whereas 30,000 the rest of them as the reserve to be sent 1 month after the first vaccination. Touched on the budget that was provided for the procurement of this rabies virus, he did not mention the figure must only say his price around Rp6.000/dosis. Apart from the rabies vaccine, he said, Deptan also sent 3 kilogram Strychnin poison or was equal to 12,000 doses of the vaccine to carry out the extermination against the disseminator's animal of rabies (HPR) that was positive was affected by the illness as well as equipment suntik.

Tjeppy added as many as eight villages in the Subdistrict Kuta Selatan, Kabupaten Badung, Bali was stated the plague of rabies that attacked the dog animal happened. This determination, the increase, was based on the clinical sign that apparently, both to the animal penular rabies especially the dog and to human casualties, illness epidemiology, as well as results of the testing in a laboratoris manner in the Besar Veteriner Hall (BBVet) Denpasar. Moreover, it was confirmed repeated to BBVet Maros on November 28 2008 against the community member in the Ungasan Village, Kadonganan, and Jimbaran, Kecamatan Kuta and Kuta Selatan Kabupaten Badung. So the government carried out steps that is carrying out the mass vaccination against the kept dog and carrying out data collection against the population and the owner of the dog as well as giving the socialisation to the community.

1,100 don masks in Marunouchi theater for special screening of virus movie


1,100 don masks in Marunouchi theater for special screening of virus movie

Some 1,100 people invited to the special screening of “Kansen Retto” were given white masks to wear as they entered the Tokyo International Forum in Marunouchi this week. Actor Satoshi Tsumabuki, 27, who stars in the movie, tried not to laugh when he got on stage and saw the whole audience wearing masks. “How careful is everybody! You’re all taking care of yourselves properly. My parents and my management are here too; they’re taking care as well.”

Tsubumaki, 27, plays an emergency ward doctor who tries to stem the spread of a new virus that breaks out in Japan. Panic arises when lots of people are infected, with the major cities shut down and the country heading into a financial collapse.

Some staff at the special preview were dressed up in hazard protective gear, and were reportedly dripping in sweat despite the winter cold. They hosed down comedian Takanori Takeyama, also known as Kanningu Takeyama, with carbon dioxide before the movie started, as a “germ sterilization measure.” Tsubumaki later emphasized that the movie was not a comedy.

Rei Dan, 37, who stars alongside Tsubumaki, said: “That’s real protective gear we’re wearing in the movie. It was really tight and I got red marks on my face when I took it off. And they stayed until well after, delaying shooting of other scenes.”

Kansen Retto opens on Jan 17.

Anticipation of Rabies, Central Java the Control of the Mobility of the Dog from West Java

Jum'at, 05 Desember 2008 22:19

The case of rabies that happened in West Java got serious attention from the Government of the Central Javan Province among them by controlling the mobility of the dog in the Central Javan border with West Java. The "mobility" of the "dog was controlled tightly between the Central Javan border and West Java, the" Service" headword of Kesehatan Central Java, Hartanto, in Semarang, on Friday (5/12).

The "mobility" of the "dog was controlled tightly between the Central Javan border and West Java, the" Service" headword of Kesehatan Central Java, Hartanto, in Semarang, on Friday (5/12). Hartanto said, although Central Java was since 1997 stated free from rabies, his side continued to be on the alert against the possibility of this case. He explained, his side also coordinated Officially Peternakan and the Health of the Animal for the control of the dog.

"In the Central Javan border and West Java, there was the forum that his name the Forum" for the "Kesehatan Service" of the "Border," he said. Hartanto said, from this forum routinely was done by the meeting three months very much discussed many matters about the health including that was newest the matter of rabies. The case of rabies at this time attacked Bali and West Java. Moreover in Bali has had fatalities resulting from rabies so as Bali was stated as the extraordinary incident (KLB) rabies.

Avian Influenza in Nghe An

Date 5/12/2008. Updated at 15h 19 '

Avian influenza has been back

(DCSVN) - The Department of Animal Health (MARD) said, recently discovered avian influenza in Nghe An with the total number of poultry sick and dead are 194 children. Thus, after a long period of successful control of avian influenza outbreak was now back.

There only Nghe An provinces where avian influenza within 21 days.

According to a report of the Regional Animal Health III, on 2 / 12, detecting suspected outbreak of avian influenza in Nghi Phong commune of Nghi Loc district. SDAH collect samples sent Tram diagnostic tests under RAHO III, results determined samples be tested as positive for the virus avian influenza. As soon as discovered, SDAH have carried out measures to prevent and control

Health Care Without Harm, WHO Announce Partnership for Global Reduction of Mercury-Based Medical Devices

NEW DELHI, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

Health Care Without Harm and the World Health Organization today launched a
global partnership to substitute mercury-based medical devices with safer,
accurate and affordable alternatives

The announcement came during the opening of the South Asian Conference on
Alternatives to Mercury in Health Care, an event sponsored by the two
organizations and the Indian NGO Toxics Link.

"This initiative aims to replace no less than 70 percent of all mercury
thermometers and blood pressure devices around the world with digital and
aneroid alternatives within the decade,"
said Alexander von Hildebrand,
Regional Adviser for Chemical Safety for WHO's South East Asia Regional Office.
"It is our goal to significantly reduce the threat posed by mercury spills to
patient and worker health, as well as the global environment."

Several countries have already taken steps to mandate safer, accurate and
affordable alternatives to mercury-based medical devices. It is virtually
impossible to find a mercury thermometer in the United States today, while the
European Union has banned them outright, as has Taiwan. The Philippines has
mandated a phase-out of all mercury medical devices over the next two years,
while hundreds of hospitals in Latin America -- from Mexico to Brazil to
Argentina are moving toward alternatives.

"This Partnership is a vehicle for health care leaders, government
officials, NGOs and private sector participants from around the world to join
forces in support of environmental health," said Josh Karliner, International
Coordinator for Health Care Without Harm. "Anyone committed to mercury
elimination in health care can join via the Partnership website,"

The Partnership is based on both WHO and HCWH's ongoing efforts for
substitution of mercury-based medical devices. It is also a component of the UN
Environment Programme Mercury Products Partnership.

At the Delhi conference, health care sector leaders from across India and
neighboring countries, along with experts from around the world are gathered to
share experiences and learn more on how to make the switch. Organizers have
also convened business leaders and aid agencies to discuss bolstering
production of the non-mercury devices. "The conference is an important step for
India to begin playing a leadership role in this essential global initiative,"
said conference host Ravi Agarwal, Director of Toxics Link.

Health Care Without Harm is a global coalition of 473 organizations in more
than 50 countries working to protect health by reducing pollution in the health
care sector. Visit Health Care Without Harm at

The World Health Organisation, the international agency within the United
Nations system responsible for health, has a number of programmes that address
the threats posed by environmental pollutants providing information and
guidelines for risk assessment and management, for preventing human exposure
and for improving the diagnosis, treatment and surveillance of health effects.

SOURCE: Health Care Without Harm

CONTACT: Josh Karliner,
+1-415-613-5386 (mobile in Delhi);

Alexander von Hildebrand,

Yves Chartier,
+ 41 22 791 16 07;

Ravi Agarwal,
Toxics Link,
+91 9810037355;

Dr. Peter Orris,
University of Chicago,
+1-312-446-3217 (mobile in Delhi)

Indonesia, Central Java: Suspect Bird Flu Patient Died

Semarang, Central Java
Saturday, 06 Desember 2008

SEMARANG— Once again, a Semarang inhabitant died it was suspected resulting from suspect bird flu. Casualty had the initials the SD, 41, the resident Klipang, Semarang. SD died around struck 03,30 after could undergo the maintenance for one half of the hour in RSUP Kariadi.

Beforehand, casualtycould receive the maintenance in RS Panti Wilasa, before finally was reconciled to RSUP Kariadi on Friday the dawn (5/12) struck 02,00. RSUP Kariadi public relations, M. Alfan during it was confirmed confirmed had a patient who died resulting from suspect bird flu.

The patient was reconciled from Panti Wilasa earlier (yesterday) struck 02,00 dawns, and at once were treated in the Intensive Care Unit (UGD). Strike 03,00, the patient was moved to space of ICU. However half of the hour afterwards, the patient could not have been helped. When entering here (RSUP Kariadi) his situation has been very serious, explained Alfan to the Semarang Radar.

Doctor Muchlis Akshan, Infection Consultant of the RSUP Kariadi said, if this reconciliation patient only through then. Because, before the RSUP Kariadi side carried out the inspection, this patient has died.

So we could not carry out the inspection, because when being brought to ICU, the patient has died, obviously him added his side could carry out the taking of the sample of the patient's blood totalling one time.

Explained, from the reconciliation letter that acceptance, was informed if the patient was suspect bird flu. Because of this, his side at once was alert. However, Dr Muchlis still could not confirm whether beforehand direct contact casualties with the poultry or not.

According to reconciliation was unclear. But that was certain, the clinical sign that was suffered by the patient was similar suspect bird flu, that is sick the heavy lungs, and the disturbance of the sudden breath, he explained.

The death of this SD increased the number of patients died resulting from the virus avian influenza (AI) that was treated in RSUP Kariadi. The first case happened in 2006, afterwards in November then, that killed DS, the resident Medoho, Gayamsari.

Hat-tip Dutchy

Sivasagar district administration bans entry of poultry

From our correspondent
JOYSAGAR, Dec 4: The Sivasagar district administration has banned the entry of poultry to Sivasagar district to prevent the spread of bird flue in Sivasagar district.
The precautionary step was taken at a meeting held at the at the conference hall of the deputy commissioner’s office on Wednesday to discuss about the various aspects to prevent the occurrence of bird flue in the district.
The emergency meeting, which was presided over by NM Hussain, Deputy Commissioner, was held in view of the spread of bird flue in Hajo area of Kamrup district.
Hussain directed Dr Lalit Kalita, District Veterinary Officer, to keep the 27 rapid action groups on alert in the district so that they can swing into immediate action to undertake culling operations in the district in case of occurrence of bird flue in the district.
He also directed Dr Kalita and other veterinary officials to remain vigilant and to coordinate with the rapid action group in such situations.
The Deputy Commissioner also directed the gaon burha’s, VDP members and gaon panchayat members to remain alert in the event of occurrence of bird flue and to take immediate steps in such situations.
Hussain also directed Utpal Bora, Divisional Forest Officer, to form surveillance team in the district to ensure that people do not consume meat of migratory birds, which are believed to be carriers of the disease.
The veterinary department has set up a control room at the District Veterinary Office to provide information on bird flue. Public can call at 9435355900 to know more about the disease and to provide information about the occurrence of bird flue in the district.