Saturday, March 14, 2009

Diarrhoea cases on rise

Every hour an average of 40 to 45 diarrhoea patients are seeking admission at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) this season. The rate is alarmingly three times more than that of last March.

Over 600 new patients show up every day and the ICDDR,B authorities are struggling to accommodate them. Temporary tents have been set up on the hospital premises.

"The hospital has accommodation for 350 patients and usually we don't have more than 250. But during this season, as the situation is deteriorating every day and we had to set up extended temporary tents,” said Prof Shahadat Hossain, scientist and head of longer stay unit of ICDDR,B.

While talking to The Daily Star he also said some 618 patients had been admitted to the hospital till yesterday evening and the number might exceed 800 by midnight. On Friday there were 652 patients.

The situation is not likely to get any better soon until the water supply in Dhaka improves. The increasing number of diarrhoea patients might linger during April and May as the temperature rises, said the scientists of ICDDR,B.

The experts suggest that everybody should drink boiled water and avoid unhygienic food.

Piglets caught, culled in Quang Nam

Thursday, March 12, 2009 11:44:54 Vietnam (GMT+07)
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Inspectors in the central province of Quang Nam Tuesday discovered more than 260 live piglets and parts of 850 others being transported out of a blue ear epidemic zone in a truck.

Truck driver Nguyen Van Tuan, 30, said he was hired by people of the province’s Thang Binh District to carry the pigs to sell in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tuan said the pigs’ owners concealed their names and did not come along.

Officials found on the truck 34 cartons, each containing parts of 25 piglets, and 13 baskets, each holding 20 live piglets.

Animal health officials in the province said the pigs came from Thang Binh, Que Son and Duy Xuyen districts, where blue ear outbreaks had been reported recently.

The province’s health officials had earlier culled 2,400 pigs found with the blue ear disease.

Centre for poultry-free Bangla border

Anindita Chowdhury
KOLKATA, March 14:

The Centre has proposed that areas within 5 kms from the international border with Bangladesh, will be kept poultry-free, in a strategy to prevent avian influenza from flaring up in border states like Assam and West Bengal.
Authorities suspect that the H5NI virus which afflicted the backyard poultry in the state, last year as well as this year, had its origin in Bangladesh.
The Centre has proposed that areas within 5 km from the international border will be designated as zone I and kept poultry free to prevent flaring up of avian flu in states bordering Bangladesh.
Areas within five to 10 km will be designated as zone II. In this zone the Union Agriculture Ministry has proposed that integrated companies will be asked to develop and demonstrate a “secure model of poultry rearing “ before the local population. These integrated companies will distribute chicks among the local populace and ensure sanitised conditions and will buy back the reared birds at a later stage.
This will make poultry rearing much more remunerative and prevent bird flu in unorganised sector, feels officials of the department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries of government of India.
The Centre has also asked the state animal resources department to identify areas and the poultry population in these areas along the international border to implement the strategy.
According to the 2006 animal census conducted by state ARD department, the existing poultry population in zone I is more than 47 lakhs and in case of zone II is more than 52 lakhs.
The Centre has proposed that initially this should be taken up in a small area and then it can be introduced in the rest of the border areas in a phased manner.
However, in recent pasts it has been seen that owners of backyard poultry defying culling orders or ban on transportation after outbreak of bird flu in neighbouring areas even after awareness drive. Hence, state government officials are skeptical about implementation of the strategy, particularly about keeping Zone I free of backyard poultry.

Culling begins in Kurseong

Siliguri, March 14:

Culling operations will begin at Barachenga village in Kurseong sub-division today after samples tested positive for Bird Flu, official sources said. Culling operations will begin this evening, Kurseong SDO Mr Dwibbendu Das told PTI. “Twenty teams have been engaged to cull around 11,000 birds. A control room has been set up at Pintal village, near here”, he said.Poultry within a three-km radius area from the village will be culled and eggs will be destroyed, he said. Chicken death was reported from the village under Panighta block on Thursday following which samples were sent to HSDL laboratory in Bhopal for testing which confirmed the outbreak of the disease this morning. PTI

Wonky computer system no threat to health safety: UN agency

By Peter O'Neil, Canwest News Service
March 14, 2009 3:01 PM

PARIS — The World Health Organization says an increasingly problem-plagued computer system introduced last summer won’t impact the United Nations’ ability to deal with a global pandemic or some other future health crises.

“WHO’s ability to respond to an international health crisis has not been impaired at all,” insisted Daniel Epstein, spokesman for WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, the Hong Kong-born, Canada-educated head of the United Nations’ top health agency.

The $55.5 million US internal management system, introduced last summer despite a string of warnings from an outside auditor that more preparatory work was needed, was supposed to streamline operations and save money.

But instead of making it faster and cheaper to process payroll and travel, execute contracts and deliver health programs, the system has triggered cost overruns, plunging employee morale and created technical glitches such as a huge payroll fiasco last month, say critics.

Thousands of staff members were shortchanged on their February pay by as much as $850 US each at the United Nations health branch, according to letters sent to management by the associations representing employees at WHO and UNAIDS, another United Nations organization that relies on the WHO’s new system to manage payroll, contracts and other internal services.

Some WHO employees and contractors have gone months without getting paid, while others have reportedly been paid twice as a result of system hiccups.

Some employees at UNAIDS have had to use credit cards to cover basic living expenses because of salary shortfalls. Others can’t get loans because banks won’t accept the payroll system’s incomprehensible, voluminous pay “stubs” as proof of employment, according to the UNAIDS employees’ letter.

All of us joined WHO under the assumption that what we do saves lives,” stated the first of the WHO employee letters to Dr. Chan, leaked to a Geneva-based website last autumn.

“We are concerned for the lives of people whom we affect, whether it is a staff member who is a single mother trying to make rent, or a small business dependent on a contract, or a person living with AIDS in Africa.”

Chan, who promised an “open, transparent and visible” reign when she took over WHO in 2006, has declined interview requests about the growing fiasco over the so-called Global Management System based on Oracle Corp. software.

Epstein noted that Dr. Chan has acknowledged the technical problems, stating during her year-end message to staff last December that the problems were “greater than expected” and that they have her “urgent attention.”

The Canadian government, which contributed $151 million US in 2006-07 (WHO’s most recent figures for member country contributions), is “concerned” about WHO’s problems.

Health Canada spokesman Philippe Laroche said WHO is keeping member states informed and doing “everything possible” to deal with the matter. For instance, WHO has delayed any further introduction of the troubled system beyond its Geneva headquarters and one of the six regional centres in the Philippines.

“Like other member states, Canada is concerned and continues to monitor the situation closely.”

WHO employs more than 7,000 people at its Geneva headquarters and around the world in its role in leading the global health research agenda, helping to set health standards, monitoring health trends, and providing technical support for poorer countries struggling with health crises such as HIV-AIDS.

A further public relations headache for WHO is that the software services provider that won the contract to manage the system’s implementation, Satyam Computer, has been embroiled in a scandal that has won it the nickname “India’s Enron.”

The company admitted in January that it falsified more than $1 billon US in earnings and assets.

Chan was the high-profile top health official in Hong Kong before joining the WHO, earning some criticism but mostly praise for her handling of the 1997 avian flu outbreak and the 2003 SARS outbreak.

She spent several years in Canada in the 1970s while earning degrees in home economics and then medicine at the University of Western Ontario in London.

Chan gave the thumbs-up to the 2008 launch despite the May 9, 2008, warnings from an external auditor, who advised that numerous pre-launch testing and training procedures still had to be implemented.

The audit warned of “a number of risks” that could, if steps weren’t taken, “render the system vulnerable, even necessitating costly rectifications at a later stage.”

The auditor said WHO had accepted all its recommendations, giving them “high priority.” At the subsequent May General Assembly one of Chan’s top officials told delegates WHO “would implement all the recommendations of the external auditor.”

The September 2008 employees’ association letter said “it appears little of what was publicly committed to was done,” and that employees’ questions about the lack of preparations and rollout testing prior to the July launch have been greeted with “silence.”

hattip Aurora

Soc Trang: Add a public HPAI

(11:34 14/03/2009)

. Days 13-3 pm, Nguyen Huu Minh City - Department Deputy Its Health Soc Trang Province said the province has more in Tu My, My Tu district announced HPAI. Communes are dead poultry extinct in the last 6-3 days, until now patients product samples for test results positive for H5N1 virus.

According to Nguyen Huu Minh, far Soc Trang province 4 districts appear HPAI is Năm Nga, Thanh Tri, My Xuyen and the U.S. with total influenza illness and death destroys up to the 43,000 children.

There, the district People's Committee of HPAI is promoting procedures compensation influenza extinct at a cost of 23,000 VND per child for early resolution of difficulties for farmers.

Cleanup complete at other B.C. bird flu site

3/14/2009 12:19:00 PM

Cleaning and disinfection work have been completed on the second of two poultry farms in the Abbotsford, B.C. area after birds at both sites were found infected with a strain of avian flu.

The completed cleanup has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the CFIA said in a statement Friday.

CFIA approval of the second cleanup gives Canada a three-month timeframe after which it can regain its status as free of notifiable avian flu, if no more cases are found in the meantime and surveillance continues to be carried out during that time.

Tens of thousands of birds were gassed and composted at the two infected farms, which were confirmed on Jan. 24 and Feb. 11 respectively to have birds with a low-pathogenicity strain of avian influenza.

Testing so far suggests the same "low-path"strain of H5N2 at both farms, though the exact subtype has yet to be confirmed at the second site.

Surveillance continues on the commercial poultry premises within three km of the first and second infected premises and any in-contact premises still under movement restriction outside of the three-km radius.

As of Friday, CFIA said it has 33 premises quarantined in relation to these two cases.

If the second case is also confirmed as "low-path," Canada also gets to keep its World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) status as free of "high-path" bird flu, which it regained in April 2008 after cleanup of an outbreak of H7N3 on a poultry farm near Regina Beach, Sask.

While bird flu can be devastating on an affected commercial poultry farm, human health experts' concern is that a "high-path" strain such as the notorious H5N1 could mutate or combine with a human flu virus that could spread more easily between people and spur a pandemic.

H5N1 since 2003 has killed over 250 people overseas, generally through direct contact with infected birds or their fluids.

Evicting refugees spreads epidemic


Mar 13 2009 06:00
Humanitarian organisations assisting Zimbabwean refugees in Musina have warned that the closure of the showground -- a large open field near the border where 3 000 to 4 000 Zimbabweans queue to apply for asylum and seek refuge at night -- could worsen the spread of cholera and other diseases.

Jacob Matakanye, director for the Musina legal advice office, said "It was easy for us to access the refugees and help them when they were at the showground; it was better because they were organised and could be controlled, unlike now when they are scattered all over and left loose."

Last week the Department of Home Affairs in Musina removed refugees from the showground and ordered all supportive activities to stop. Humanitarian organisations including Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Save the Children, Musina legal advice office and various local churches had been providing food, clean drinking water, access to healthcare and legal advice to Zimbabwean nationals.

As the health system in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate, more Zimbabweans are coming to South Africa to seek medical care. Upon arrival in South Africa they go to the Refugee Reception Office at the showground to apply for asylum. However, due to long queues, they often wait for weeks, and even months, to get their asylum papers. With no papers and nowhere to go they stay at the open field at the showground.

MSF field coordinator Sara Hjalmarsson said they have been seeing at least 2 000 Zimbabwean refugees a month at their mobile clinics at the showground, including a lot of women who have been raped while crossing the border. They are also treating a high number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, tuberculosis, diarrhoea and pregnant women.

Nyaradzo Maphumo (23) came to the showground in January when she was nine months pregnant. "Most clinics are not working in Zimbabwe. Those that are have no equipment; you have to have at least R5 000 and bring your own equipment, such as towels, bandages, gloves and staff for stitching, then they can provide you service to give birth," explains Maphumo.

With only R150 in her pocket, Maphumo decided to come to South Africa and seek asylum, hoping she could receive her documents in time to get healthcare for herself and her unborn child. "I stayed at the showground while I was waiting for the papers because I had nowhere else to go and only had R50 left after using R100 for transport fare. I went to the MSF mobile clinic where they helped get my papers and provided me with healthcare until it was time to give birth and they transferred me to Musina hospital."

Maphumo breathed a sigh of relief when she gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Diana, a week ago.

In the pouring rain men and women sit around small fires outside the showground, using small piles of luggage as seating or cushioning for their backs. Little kids, barely dressed despite the cold weather, walk about, playing with used condoms they find on the ground. Police patrol the area, questioning and demanding the refugees to move their possessions -- which have spilled two centimetres onto the road -- off the road and show some identification.


Da Places Hog Farms Across

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bureau Of Animal Industry Director Catbagan Says Combined Swine Inventory Is About 3 Million Pigs

By Ira Karen Apanay, Senior Reporter

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday has placed under surveillance thousands of hog farms across Luzon to be sure that the Ebola-Reston virus is not spreading to other swine farms.

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Davinio Catbagan said the BAI would cover Central Luzon, the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Pangasinan because these areas cover the bulk of the country’s hog population.

Combined swine inventory in these areas is about three million pigs, he added.

However, Catbagan said govern­ment’s plan to cover more areas nationwide will depend on laboratory kits that the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States will be sending here.

He explained that CDC is the only company that produces the kits needed for such kind of animal tests.

The scope of our surveillance work and our decision to cast a wider net in carrying out this task will depend on their commitment to us because it is the only institution in the world that can produce the test kits,” Catbagan said.

Catbagan said Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap would ask the US government to ensure the supply of test kits for the sampling of the 30,000 pigs that will be initially covered by the surveillance work.

He stressed that the CDC has delivered on its commitment to help the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in conducting the tests on the initial batch of pig samples that were used by the government to check the presence of the Ebola-Reston virus.

The Agriculture department slaughtered 6,210 pigs infected with Ebola-Reston virus last week in Pandi, Bulacan to stop the virus from further spreading.

Catbagan said it would take the farm in Pandi, Bulacan at least three to six months to return to normal piggery operations because the BAI would still have to conduct a series of exhaustive tests to ensure that the site is already free of Ebola-Reston virus.

After cleaning, disinfecting and decontaminating the farm, Cat­bagan said the farm would be left vacant for a period of at least one-and-a-half months.

Following this period, he said the BAI would place a small batch of “sentinel pigs” inside the farm and then subject these animals to a series of sampling protocols after two months to ensure that the area is entirely free of the virus.

“If all the tests come out negative, then this could be a good indication that the farm can return to normal activities,” Catbagan said.

He said the provincial government of Bulacan has pledged to provide assistance to the displaced workers of the Pandi farm in cash and other forms of aid such as academic scholarships for their children.

The farm owner has also promised to pay separation benefits for its workers while business operations are suspended, he said

Undiagnosed disease, porcine - Philippines (05): (Mindanao), RFI


Date: Fri 13 Mar 2009
Source: Business Mirror [edited]
Zamboanga pigs die of swine-flu virus
The death of a dozen pigs last week [2-6 Mar 2008] in barangay
Vitali, 72 km [44.7 miles] east of Zamboanga City, was caused by
mainly swine flu [see comment] and not the Ebola Reston virus as
earlier feared by people in the city. This was the finding of a team
of experts from the Department of Agriculture (DA), city veterinarian
and city health offices that went to Vitali and conducted an on-site
Apart from swine flu, other possible causes of the death were Porcine
Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, Classical Swine Fever,
Actinobacillus Pleuropneumoniae, Salmonellosis Enzootic [?] and Heat
Stroke, said Dr. Mario Ariola, chief of the city veterinary

DA regional director Oscar Parawan and veterinarian Dr. Marie France
Jalao, of the DA regional office that was part of the team,
corroborated Ariola's pronouncement. Parawan said swine flu is a
common disease in hogs that requires proper medication to prevent
complications from bacteria that lead to the death of the pigs. He
said they also discovered that water in Vitali where the pigs died
contains E. coli that can complicate infection when mixed with food
eaten by hogs.

City health officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos also disclosed that the
5-year-old child who died at same time as the pigs suffered severe
dehydration caused by infectious diarrhea, and not from eating pork
infected by the virus as earlier feared by people in the city. The
team also found out that the owner of the swine that died had sold
the meat to the community and this caused diarrhea and other symptoms
of one family and eventually led to the death of one child.

Agbulos said other findings showed that the water source of the
family has high E. coli content that might have also led to diarrhea
and severe dehydration. Ariola said the pigs that died belong to 3
households. The pigs were not vaccinated [against what? - Mod.AS] and
consequently exhibited nasal discharges, fever, sudden weakness and
death within 2 days. Of the 12 pigs that died 7 are piglets, and 5
sows of which 3 were pregnant, according to Ariola

The team has come up with recommendations to double-check these
findings since the members have not been able to come up with a
definitive diagnosis. The recommendations include continuous close
monitoring of the situation in the affected areas; collection of
blood and tissue samples of sick pigs; information and education
campaign on swine management; advisory on meat-safety consumption;
and intensified meat-inspection measures.

"We cannot come up with a definitive diagnosis since we were not able
to observe any sick pigs in the visited areas and necropsy was not
," Ariola disclosed.

Parawan said they expect to receive any time soon the results of
analysis of blood samples taken from the pigs in Vitali and sent to
Manila for laboratory tests.

[Byline: Bong Garcia Jr.]

Communicated by:
[The bottom line of the above newswire with a protracted list of
pending DD's (of which influenza is just one of the various
speculated infectious and non-infectious possible diagnoses) is that
at present no diagnosis of the pig mortality in Vitali is available.
In fact, the death of the 5-year-old child remains undiagnosed as
well. In this respect it is worthwhile indicating that consuming pork
from moribund pigs or their cadavers, even if not related to a
suspected or identified infectious pig disease, is highly hazardous
since -- in such animals -- enteric bacteria, including pathogens and
toxin-producing bacteria exit the animal's digestive tract and
penetrate into various tissues, including the muscles ("meat") which
are regarded edible. Pork from non-inspected slaughter may also
harbor dangerous parasites such as Trichinella and Cysticercus.

In peace time, mortality of 5 sows and 7 piglets would not become
nationally distributed news. The media attention is to be attributed
to the public fear of Ebola Reston virus, since its identification in
pigs in Bulacan at the end of 2008. From another source we have noted
that surveillance for the Ebola-Reston virus is going to include
fruit-bats in Philippines.

For the location of Vitali in Mindanao, go to:

For ProMED-mail's interactive Health map of the Philippines go to:
<> - Mod.AS]

[In another sensationalist newswire
there was an attempt to draw a connection between the porcine
mortality and the child death. The above newswire seems to support a
theory that the diarrheal illness was coincidental as the household
water source had evidence of fecal coliforms (E. coli) and therefore
could explain a severe diarrheal episode leading to death in a 5 year
old -- a plausible explanation. But, in the absence of more
definitive information, one should be cautious on categorically
classifying this as a death attributable to one of the many diarrheal
etiologies seen in children under 5 years of age in rural areas of
developing countries. More information on the investigations
surrounding this death would be greatly appreciated

Tennessee: Fears diminishing over viral outbreaks

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A few years ago, fear of disease outbreaks was widespread. Avian influenza, SARS and West Nile virus were some of the viral menaces that led the news media’s headlines, sparking panic among Americans.

In 2003 at Access Family Pharmacy in Hixson, worried customers came in asking about SARS — a respiratory disease that infected thousands worldwide — and some even purchased boxes of surgical masks to protect themselves from the airborne illness.

“We had a ton of questions and we were selling a lot of things like that,” pharmacy owner Brad Standefer said. “It was a big deal at the time.”

But years later, as the economy slides deeper into recession and wars rage on overseas, news coverage of these viruses has faded into the background.

Experts say the now-faded furor over disease threats is due to a number of factors, including the fact that SARS quickly slowed its global spread after the initial 2003 outbreak.

But another factor is the limits of the national attention span.

“One thing that happens frequently is the media has sort of a list of what they’re going to cover and what they sort of agree among themselves is important,” said Dr. Barbara Moore, professor at the University of Tennessee School of Journalism and Electronic Media. “Given people’s attention spans, that list can't be too long.”

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and causes serious illness in about one in 150 people who are infected. As a seasonal disease, West Nile is typically covered by the media in the spring when health departments issue warnings about avoiding mosquitoes.

Bird flu cases have been reported in humans since 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Although bird flu is highly contagious among birds — mainly in Europe and Asia — transmission between humans is extremely rare, according to the CDC.

The chief concern about bird flu is that it could mutate and develop the ability to infect humans easily, which could spark a worldwide outbreak, or pandemic.

Still, a “potential” disaster that hasn’t translated into reality doesn’t hold up in the headlines for long, especially when a very real economic crisis is ongoing, said Dr. Mark Anderson, local infectious disease specialist.

“I think you can only keep people whipped up about a particular topic for so long,” he said.

Worldwide, more than 8,000 people were infected by SARS in the 2003 outbreak. Of those, 774 died, but only eight people in the United States were infected, according to the World Health Organization.

Media coverage of those fear-inducing diseases was not overly sensational, Dr. Anderson said.

SARS “was a rather odd occurrence that struck very rapidly and was quite deadly,” he said. “It really shocked us in how rapidly it spread. ... Health care workers got infected sometimes, even when they were using the proper gear.”

The coverage may have encouraged average citizens to take precautions that could have helped stave off more widespread SARS cases, Dr. Anderson said. The CDC and other health organizations globally launched concerted efforts to identify and contain the condition, including issuing travel advisories and deploying hundreds of medical experts to provide on-site care, according to the CDC Web site.

“It’s actually kind of reassuring. This very rapid reaction did contain it very quickly,” said Dr. Anderson. “Looking back, some might say we wasted a lot of time and effort (preparing) for something that didn’t happen, sort of like the year 2000. But I would disagree with that.”

Concern over infectious diseases has “helped us understand our weaknesses and strengthen the public health system,” Dr. Anderson said.

Dr. Margaret Humphreys, a historian of infectious diseases and professor in the Duke University history department, argues that the country is unprepared for a serious disease outbreak.

The devastating pandemic flu of 1918-19 killed 675,000 Americans and between 30 million and 50 million worldwide, according to If that were to occur today, the country is still not equipped to provide the number of ventilators that would be required for the sick, she said.

“I wouldn’t be too smug about saying (coverage of those diseases) was overblown,” she said. “We are woefully underprepared if there was a major outbreak. ... What good does panic mongering do? You could say it could help pump more money into surveillance.”

5 Myths About Pandemic Panic

[We report. You decide. The author of this article is promoting a new book. See footnote. From the Washington Post]

By Philip Alcabes
Sunday, March 15, 2009; B03

Winter is almost over, and it appears that we're going to make it through another flu season without a global disaster. That may seem like a miracle after the hysteria generated in recent years by SARS, avian flu and the World Health Organization's standing warning that it's "a matter of time" before the next influenza pandemic strikes. But the truth is that the threat is being hyped.

1. Infectious diseases are spreading

faster than ever.

The World Health Organization made this claim in a 2007 report. But even before the advent of commercial air travel, diseases had no trouble moving from place to place. In the 1490s, syphilis rode Spanish ships across the Atlantic (whether from the New World to the Old or vice versa is subject to debate) in a matter of weeks, then made its way through Europe and Asia. In the 1820s, military and merchant ships carried cholera from India to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. At the end of World War I, the "Spanish flu" virus crossed the ocean on troop ships, ravaged the forces fighting in Europe and then spread around the world to produce the 1918 pandemic. The death toll topped 40 million.

In 2003, SARS showed that although air travel can introduce a disease to a new location, it won't necessarily cause the illness to spiral out of control. Because public officials quickly contained the few SARS outbreaks caused by infected people on planes, the 774 deaths were concentrated in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada.

Tuberculosis is another airborne illness that can be controlled. Studies show that it's extremely unlikely for the disease to be transmitted in airplane cabins. (Remember the passenger with drug-resistant TB who traveled from Atlanta to Paris in 2007? No one else came down with it.) So germs do fly, but outbreaks don't go global that much more readily than they did before. And we can handle most of them by monitoring infectious people and distributing medicine quickly -- precautions that have been in place for years and even centuries.

2.To learn how to prevent a pandemic,

look to the past.

We always seem to be preparing for the last war. But the worst calamities erupt precisely because they are unprecedented and unimaginable. When the Black Death arrived in Europe in the 1340s, wiping out at least a quarter of the population, the region had been plague-free for six centuries. In the 1830s and '40s, cholera, never before seen in the West, killed up to 1 percent of the populations of several British and American cities in a few weeks. The influenza of 1918 was unlike any before or since (see Myth No. 3). Then came yet another unheard-of illness: AIDS. Like those before it, the next killer will be one that we've never imagined -- or prepared for.

3.We should brace ourselves for

another Spanish flu.

Fortunately, we'll never see another flu outbreak of that sort. During World War I, the movement of troops and refugees -- many of whom were too young to have acquired flu immunities during the epidemics of the 19th century -- created a unique breeding ground for the virus and probably allowed more virulent strains to develop. New research also suggests that most of the deaths in 1918 and 1919 were caused by bacterial infections that roared through weakened respiratory systems. So if the disease came back today, antibiotics would save many of the infected. More probable than a reprise of the 1918 scenario are further outbreaks such as today's avian flu -- which is far less dangerous because the virus spreads from animals to humans, not from person to person. Avian flu has killed millions of birds but has sickened only 411 people since 2003. Public health officials should spend more time preparing for the possible fallout from a widespread outbreak among animals rather than stoking panic about a new Spanish flu.
[This blog doesn't offer emoticons....darnit.....]

4. The annual flu season is nothing compared to a pandemic.

Preparedness warriors try to frighten people by using the word "pandemic." But such strains of the influenza virus -- new ones to which humans have not developed resistance -- aren't necessarily more virulent than the ordinary ones we see each winter. Only two flu pandemics have occurred since 1918, one in 1957 and the other in 1968. In both cases, global mortality was a fraction of what it was in 1918. And in the United States, as a recent study showed, the number of deaths directly attributable to influenza during the two pandemics was no higher than during typical flu seasons.

5.There's no such thing as being too prepared.

Actually, we run the risk of doing more harm than good by overreacting to the threat of a pandemic. In 1976, swine flu, a strain of influenza similar to the one from 1918, was diagnosed in a small number of soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J., one of whom died. That prompted medical experts to warn that the United States faced a crisis reminiscent of the Spanish flu. President Gerald R. Ford authorized a mass inoculation program, and 45 million Americans -- more than 20 percent of the population -- were vaccinated.

But the plan crashed. A disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome, which causes the immune system to attack the body's nerves, began appearing in patients who had received the flu shots. About 500 cases were linked to the vaccine; 32 of those people died. The federal government ended up settling wrongful death and damage claims for millions of dollars. But there was no swine flu epidemic, just a handful of cases.

Philip Alcabes is a professor of urban public health at Hunter College of the City University of New York and the author of the forthcoming "Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to Avian Flu."

3 districts in Malang, Hundreds of chicken infected with Bird Flu

[Here is another story where they speak of "3 cases" yet talk of "hundreds of chickens". So the 3 cases must be 3 indivdual chickens]

East Java
Sabtu, Maret 14
elama rainy season this last two weeks found three cases of bird flu disease in Malang Regency. The findings were in three different locations namely, Kerindan Village, District Lawang, Bambang Village, District Wajak and Tlogosari Village, District Tirtoyudo.

Hundreds of chickens was destroyed after the bird flu terindikasi. Animal Husbandry Department has conducted Malang Regency vaccination and spraying disinfektan on the enclosure.
"Chicken infected with bird flu have been burned and buried us," said the Head of Animal Husbandry and Animal Health Malang Regency, Endy Kusaeri confirmed on Saturday (14/3/2009).

His side, he said, also has bird flu menyiagakan team that is ready to go down at times when there is an accident.

Officers, Endy said, will soon review the location after obtaining the report public. Government is also making rapid test and rapid bird flu prevention steps so that no infectious poultry in surrounding areas.

His side, he said, also has bird flu menyiagakan team that is ready to go down at times when there is an accident.

Officers, Endy said, will soon review the location after obtaining the report public. Government is also making rapid test and rapid bird flu prevention steps so that no infectious poultry in surrounding areas.

"Regional in radius up to 500 thousand meters will disemprot disinfektan," he explained.

During this time, it is exposed to bird flu because chicken-chicken is traditionally managed and cleaning stalls less awake. Now, be prepared to prevent the spread of vaccination doses of 925 and 200 thousand liters of disinfectant. While this has not been found of transmission of bird flu on poultry men

Riau Cases Correction

It is very possible that they are speaking of cases of bird flu in poultry -- and not in humans.

Here are the parts of the articles that I did not include in these two posts:
Special to Karimun, poultry with the bird flu virus found came from Pekanbaru. Furthermore, Retno said that the virus that can cause death was first found in Kepri in the year 2006. "Was first found in poultry farm KM 12.5 Tanjungpinang Eastern District," he said.
Then in March 2007 found cases of bird flu in Kelurahan Tanjung Sakti Ayun, District Hill City Tanjungpinang Bestari. "Total we found three cases of bird flu in three districts in Tanjungpinang during 2006-2008," he explained.
Based on the results of research, connect Retno, avian influenza virus infection in birds, the prone occurred in January-March. "Bird flu cases tend to increase in the months January to March," he said.

...In a healthy life is one way to prevent disease menularnya bird flu from poultry to humans. "Nationally case of bird flu virus was 143 cases.

And here in this post:

It is said Retno, cases of bird flu was first found in early 2007 Kepri ago in Tanjungpinang. When the woman said this pretty well, there are three known cases in three districts, namely, Bukit Bestari, Tanjungpinang East and West Tanjungpinang. "But so far the case of the flu still hurry poultry such as chickens, there were no human victims,''he said.

Friday, March 13, 2009

map: Batam

click on map

Riau: Bird Flu More Unstable

[More information on the Riau suspected cases. These cases and deaths, were recent. They are not the ones mentioned in my notes....]
Jumat, 13 Maret 2009
Throughout the increased January-March

Development of the bird flu virus is still concerned for the community Kepri. Data unit Disease Control Bird Flu (local desease control center) Province Kepri recorded three cases of bird flu in this region. The three cases are found in Batam and Tanjung Balai Karimun in the period January-February 2009.

According to the Coordinating Unit Disease Control Bird Flu Kepri, Retno Wulandari, in the first case found in Bengkong Palapa Batam on 14 February. To follow afterwards on February 27 and found the same in the case of Batam Tanjunguma.

"To Batam, we found two cases. While one case we find again in Karimun, "said Retno in between the training in the prevention of bird flu virus, Thursday (14 / 3).
Therefore, prevention of the spread of this virus needs to be done quickly and precisely through the dissemination to the general public and training anticipated bird flu.

“We invite 4 practitioners health that caught a problem/troubles flu burung in order to pursue rehearsing/training preventing virus that killed above-mentioned” to say. [original: “Kami mengundang empat praktisi kesehatan yang terkait permasalahan flu burung untuk mengikuti pelatihan pencegahan virus yang mematikan tersebut,” imbuhnya.]

In a healthy life is one way to prevent disease menularnya bird flu from poultry to humans. "Nationally case of bird flu virus was 143 cases.

Some 117 people suffering from bird flu have died, "he said.
Up to now have not found the medicine to treat bird flu disease. While for the spreading of poultry to humans is still not known. For cases in Kepri, it is still in a safe condition. "For cases in Kepri still safe but we must remain waspadai," his him. (Eik)

Planning for pandemic flu

[This will also be located in "Preparations" on the side-bar for future reference]

12 Mar 2009

If an outbreak of pandemic flu hits England, the health service as we know it will be overwhelmed. Sufferers will be directed to the National Pandemic Flu Line for advice and help. Clinical Solutions is providing some of the tools that will power the line. Sarah Bruce reports.

Clinical Solutions is working with the Department of Health and NHS Direct on the helpline services that will be put in place if England is hit by a flu pandemic.

The British Medical Association and Royal College of General Practitioners warned recently that the 24-hour National Pandemic Flu Line service would be the only route for people to get advice and antiviral medicines in the event of an outbreak.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chair of the BMA’s General Practitioner Committee, said a pandemic would be a “major health emergency that would require a totally different way of helping patients.”

The National Pandemic Flu Line

A flu pandemic is regarded as a certainty, even though it is impossible to say when one will hit. The National Framework for Responding to an Influenza Pandemic, issued by the Cabinet Office and the DH in 2007, predicted that when it does, “half the population could develop the virus.”

About 4% of those infected will need medical treatment and between 0.2% and 2.5% will die. The National Framework calculated that this meant “between 50,000 and 750,000 additional deaths could have occurred by the end of a pandemic in the UK.”

It also warned that GPs and other primary care services would have to focus on particularly high risk groups and on caring for people who might normally be admitted to hospitals, since these would come under “severe pressure.”

Neither hospitals nor GPs will dispense antiviral drugs. Once the World Health Organisation says that a pandemic is underway, people will be told to call the flu line, which will assess their symptoms and issue them with a unique reference number (URN) for antiviral medicines.

People will be asked to send “flu friends” to pick up points arranged by primary care trusts to collect their drugs. Therefore, the flu line will not only provide the public with advice without receiving face-to-face clinical assessment, but help to limit the virus from spreading through contact.

The flu line will be organised around local influenza coordination centres. The DH predicts that these will need to be able to handle a “minimum of 11,000 influenza-related telephone calls per 100,000 population” in each 24 hour period.

It advises primary care trusts to call on local authorities and others running call centres to help find the necessary staff. They will use Clinical Solutions tools to assess patients and provide them with advice or URNs and to record who has been given antiviral drugs.

The role of Clinical Solutions

Clinical Solutions is known for its InterfleCS products, which help health professionals to assess symptoms and direct patients to appropriate services. Its customers include NHS Direct, NHS 24 in Scotland and many of the Walk-in Centres across England.

It has developed a tool known as InterfleCS Health Watch to help governments with symptom assessment, health information and public health incident management.

This was created for the government in Australia, where the company helped to run a major simulation called Exercise Cumpston 06 to test preparations for a pandemic flu outbreak.

The DH and NHS Direct subsequently decided to adopt the tool to assist in the early detection of pandemic flu, monitor the development of an outbreak and to assist sufferers.

Richard Craven, director of Clinical Solutions, told E-Health Insider: “We are being told to expect millions of contacts over a 16 week period [if a pandemic hits]. So, the tool has to be able to operate on a massive scale and to be hugely flexible.”

Health Watch will help the people staffing telephone service to steer clinicians and consumers through the complex healthcare delivery process. However, Craven acknowledged that if it was overwhelmed, callers would be directed to an automated service instead.

“People will be able to access the tool on the web to carry out a self-assessment, they can also call the helpline to receive appropriate advice, and when that begins to get clogged they can be put through to an integrated voice recognition system,” he explained.

Tested in Australia

IntefleCS Health Watch was originally piloted in 2006 in Exercise Cumpston, Australia’s largest ever health simulation exercise, which tested its preparations for a pandemic flu outbreak.

It simulated the arrival of an international flight carrying a strain of the flu virus able to cause a pandemic outbreak, the emergence of a significant number of infected individuals in the community and the trial of the health system’s capacity to contain and manage a pandemic.

The simulation involved 1,500 participants and control staff from a range of government and non-government agencies. Clinical Solutions was used to power the exercise, to determine if a person had been infected, exposed or was simply concerned, and then direct them to the most appropriate point of care.

The exercise allowed officials to analyse what happened to identify gaps and make improvements. Craven continued: “Health Watch proved to be an exceptionally successful management tool for pandemics, so NHS Direct asked us to work towards providing a similar service in the UK.

“Lots of other people and companies can do symptomatic surveillance but we believe that we’re the only ones who have the tool to manage the results of that surveillance.”

Riau - 2009, has 3 Bird Flu Case Found

[My notes on Riau: AR (27) Adm: 1/13. From: Kavling Mangsang Permai, Tanjungpiayu, Batam. Recon: RS Budi Kemulian on 1/11. took his history down. No connections to birds, people. Condition upon entering very critical. Unconscious, deviation of lung, lecosit increased, trombosit increased, heart rate increased, spleen grew, decline in level of lymphocytes. Had a meeting w/15 specialists, and concluded he is negative because no other bf patients had ever coughed blood. Patient is currently conscious. Medical team used protective clothing to assist.
2 other bf suspects recently - were not known to the media. One handled in RS Elizabeth and the other in RS Awal Bros. All 3 negative.]

Friday, March 13, 2009

Local Disease Control Center LDCC or Unit control sickness flu burung (avian influenza) Riau archipelago, Thursday 3/12 spread out training procedure sickness flu burung. "Training now more toward anticipation sickness flu burung and handling," kata koordinator LDCC Kepri Drh Retno Iswulandari.

The training was held, because the word Retno Kepri already have found cases of bird flu. Including Batam, Tanjungpinang, and Karimun. "Cases recently in Batam Tanjunguma end February past," he said in interval giving of excercise that held in Hotel Bintan Plaza. " In fact in year 2009 now known there is 3 cases flu burung that revealed, that is Batam 2 cases and Karimum 1," he said.

Cases flu burung in Karimun say Retno, come from starting at chicken that be delivered for necessity imlek from Pekanbaru. "When one infected all livestock in one cage must be destroyed also," terangnya.


Kota Mojokerto KLB Bird Flu

Endro Mukti - Mojokerto, City of Mojokerto, East Java revealed extraordinary incident (KLB) bird flu, after finding hundreds of birds died suddenly in the four villages in Mojokerto.

This section is told by the Head of Livestock Department of Agriculture Government of Mojokerto, Ir. Sunarto, Friday (13 / 3).

The four villages in the city of Mojokerto that has infected the virus bird flu, among other villages Ulurejo, Kelurahan Wetes, Kelurahan BALONG Sari and Kelurahan Mentian.

Sunarto stated, to do that early prevention of bird flu virus is not extended to other regions and is not infectious to humans, all in keluarahan City Mojokerta will be spraying disinfektan. (der)

Kebayoran Lama

Residence of Sarah Dila Wulandari (4)
click on map

The emergence of new respiratory disease in broilers Change

A new bird disease at the market
2009-3-13 10:40:48

November at孟州Henan broiler market, have taken place in a completely different with previous respiratory disease, and in a serious condition, the spread of fast, local formation of large-scale pandemic. Go at people more concerned about the lung-type E. coli disease and mild type of influenza, they appear after repeated drug treatment is unsatisfactory and there exacerbations, increase in mortality. More than one month, after many clinical drug trials, summed up the success of a set of control measures, and initial diagnosis of the epidemic are the major cause of infectious laryngotracheitis.

The disease mainly occurred in the subsequent 20-day-old broiler complex with myotonic respiratory symptoms mainly after onset dissemination speed, 2 ~ 3 can be spread to the entire group, and a decline in feed intake, and constantly emerging打蔫,伸颈mouth breathing chickens, and mortality with increasing duration of the extension, a daily average of 1000 chickens died around 20 ~ 30, the mid-and late secondary infection prone diseases such as Newcastle disease and Escherichia coli, thereby increasing the patient's condition to increase the difficulty of clinical treatment .

From the autopsy, the incidence of early symptoms are not obvious, the general type of E. coli in accordance with the lung disease or mild respiratory disease caused by influenza ideas to consider.

After nearly a month of the disease many clinical autopsy, autopsy found that symptoms of the disease mainly manifested in the larynx and trachea, the larynx, trachea severe hyperemia, hemorrhage, the same as the red cloth, using scissors to the blood samples were scraped off the mucus, and some chickens there will be blood bronchial Department of plug material. In the latter half of the disease and Newcastle disease or easily Colibacillosis mixed infections, intestinal lymphoid autopsy will consider bubble swelling, or congestive punctate bleeding symptoms and pathological changes of colibacillosis.

Prevent Ebola virus infection and bacteria described through border gate

Last Updated: 8:58 AM, 13/03/2009
(- On 11.3, the Department of Health and Environment (Ministry of Health) sent official, suggested the central quarantine international medical centers and preventive health work and health and increased intensify monitoring infectious diseases at the border gate.

Organization World Health (WHO) warning, in the Philippines have been separated as Ebola Reston virus on pigs and 5 people Ebola antibody. Zimbabwe is also circulating on tả; from 8.2008 to now, at least 3,731 cases have been fatal.

The need to strengthen monitoring means aircraft, ships and entry into Vietnam from Africa (especially Zimbabwe) and the Philippines.

Kid died, Razia poultry workers

Friday 13 March 2009, Time: 20:42:00 -
Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Sudin Jakarta Selatan (Jaksel) incentive now 'comb' gathering location and cutting poultry, especially those in settlements for the location of bird flu cases.

Moreover, following a finding suspect cases of bird flu (Avian Influenza / AI), which overrides Dila Wulandari Sarah, 4, citizens Peninggaran Jl I RT 04 RW 09 Kebayoran Lama Utara on 5 March 2009 ago. Up to now in Jaksel, has 9 lives AI positive cases, 11 died from bird flu.

Information, the victim began to complain cough, fever on 25 February and given by her parents febrifuge. Because it is still hot, the victim was brought to hospital Fatmawati. But negative blood test results. But next day, the victims' conditions worsened by the temperature of the fever, cough with shortness.

Get an opportunity one night at RS Sari Asih Cileduk with result xray diagnosis suspect flu burung. But finally casualty encounter death in room isolation AI on March 5 time 22:00 in RSU Tangerang.. Although the contract has not been declared positive AI, dimakamkan victims remain protap appropriate handling of bird flu.

Samples of blood sacrifice to Friday (13 / 3) are examined in the MOH to know the end result is usually takes up to 12 days. Unfortunately, Kasudin Health Jaksel dr Togi Sinaga confirmed over the phone when selulernya until Friday (13 / 3) afternoon difficult to be contacted. Including through a short message, still no answer.

Incentive RAZIA
Kasudin Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Jaksel, Chaidir Taufik, accompanied Kasi Supervision and Control Nurhasan explains, following a catastrophe suspect bird flu case this government is making sweeping back incentive (razia) birds in the vicinity of the victim's house that many people still keep chickens, birds, and also soang cutting chicken. Plus more on the back of the deceased's house there are times that the place chicken dung disposal.

"We have 128 check at the same time destroy all the chickens after ditest negative results," said Nurhasan, Friday (13 / 3). And 8 people the victim's family have also examined the blood, but the result is not yet known.

Germany sees no raised threat after bird flu case

13-MAR-2009 Intellasia | Reuters

Germany's animal health authority said on Wednesday it sees no increased threat from bird flu following the discovery of a case in a wild bird.

The European Union on Wednesday said H5N1 bird flu, the EU's first case of the lethal strain of the contagious disease this year, was found in a wild duck shot on January 10 during a hunt near the town of Starnberg in the south German state of Bavaria. [ID:nLA952510]

"This was an individual discovery among wild birds which must be reckoned with occasionally," said a spokeswoman for the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, the German government's national animal diseases agency.

The institute, which advises the government on threat levels, still regarded the overall threat of bird flu level from wild birds as low, she said.

The duck was shot as part of an EU monitoring programme of bird flu among wild birds, not as spor, she said.

The bird involved had only a small level of the virus and this was found after it was tested by the Friedrich Loeffler institute as part of the national screening programme on March 5. The bird had no outward signs of sickness.

"We continue to believe that this virus is present in wild birds at a relatively low level," she said. "This is often not actively visible as the animals do not necessarily become ill."

"This (case) is nothing exceptional and does not change our overall risk assessment."

The last outbreak in poultry of H5N1 in the EU was detected in October 2008 in the east German state of Saxony.

The town council of Starnberg said it was not setting up a quarantine zone around the area where the bird was shot as there were no signs of further infection in the last eight weeks.

The EU had agreed to this, the council said in a statement.

The council appealed to members of the public to report any dead water birds.

Enacted bill includes pandemic, food safety money

Robert Roos News Editor
Mar 12, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – In passing a huge spending bill this week to cover the next 6 months, Congress approved pandemic preparedness funds that had been proposed by former President Bush and increased appropriations for food safety, according to a health advocacy group.
The measure includes more than $700 million in pandemic spending that Bush had sought for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), but none of that is for state and local public health agencies, according to Richard Hamburg, government affairs director for the nonprofit group Trust for America's Health.
The HHS pandemic funding includes $425 million for vaccine production capacity, $42 million for production of egg-based vaccines, and $40 million for medical countermeasures for HHS staff members and contractors, according to Hamburg.

Also included is $156 million for ongoing pandemic-related activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is $1.4 million more than the agency received in 2008, he said. In addition, the office of the HHS secretary is to receive $78 million for pandemic activities, up from $75 million in 2008, he said.

Hamburg said he hadn't seen the breakdown of amounts for other agencies, but he expects that the FDA and the National Institutes of Health will get about the same amounts of pandemic-related funding as in 2008—$38 million and $34 million, respectively.

Also included in the legislation is $3 million for research by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on flu transmission and respiratory protection from flu viruses, Hamburg reported. The bill calls for NIOSH to evaluate filtering facepiece respirators and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and to work on designing the next generation of PPE, he said.

He noted that the allocation follows an Institute of Medicine report in 2008 that cited a critical need for more information on airborne transmission of flu. He didn't think the money was part of the Bush administration's 2009 budget proposal.
As for the proposed 2010 budget, the Obama administration has released only a general outline so far; said Hamburg: "We expect to see more detailed information on pandemic [funding] in early April."

Pandemic preparedness advocates had hoped Congress would include pandemic funds for state and local health departments in the economic stimulus bill passed in February. The House approved $900 million for that purpose, but it was stripped from the final bill.

It drug charges in Indonesia reach Rp 39.5 Trillion

Thursday, 12/03/2009 10:02 WIB
Reports from Austria

Vienna - Almost 47 percent of the approximately 3 million drug users in Indonesia is included as a category habitue. Economic costs incurred from the misuse of drug reached U.S. $ 32.9 billion or around Rp 39.5 trillion.

So disclosed by Menkes Siti Supari Fadillah opportunity in discussion with residents in the city of Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday (11/3/2009) yesterday.
In discussion, for about three hours, Menkes RI explain the vision independence in Indonesia's health sector, including the achievement of victory over the various international negotiations that previous policies have been detrimental for the Indonesian people in tens years. With unadorned Menkes show indications of abuse of sequencing DNA virus bird flu, H5N1, which ditenggarai never stop in the center of laboratorioum chemical weapons in the United States belonging to Los Alamos, Mexico.

Various other issues, such as the existence of the controversial American marine laboratory Namru 2, komersialiasi health sector, the threat of foreign invasion of medical dikota large and remote border, successfully spark discussion held by the Indonesian embassy / PTRI Vienna that.

Menkes visit to Vienna itself is a forum in order to attend the High-Level Segment of the 52nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) at the Headquarters of the United Nations in Austria. Menkes accompanied by a number of other officials related to Indonesia, such as Kalakhar BNN, Bpk. Gories Mere, the Board of Supervisors Drugs and Food, Mrs. Husniah Rubiana Thamrin.

Forum that was held five years and is intended to strengthen international political commitment in relation to the various aspects of the problem of abuse of the drug addict. The meeting was followed by representatives of 93 countries, including the presence of a number of countries, such as President of Bolivia, Evo Morales and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

From konverensi for 2 days this will produce a Political Declaration that was a reference strategy in the international community combat abuse drug addict. (Irw / irw)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

East Africa - Kenya-Bird Flu-Alert

A two-day East African Community (EAC) partner states national human and national pandemic influenza regional workshop kicked off in Nairobi on Thursday with revelations that Kenya is on a high alert over avian influenza also known as bird flu.

Speaking at the conference, the director of veterinary services, Michael Cheruiyot said that the country was in a high alert as the country plays hosts to migratory birds.

He said the presence of the migratory birds raises the possibility of infection of domesticated chickens.

He disclosed that health officers are on high alert and chicken farmers across the country have been asked to report any strange illnesses to clinical officers.

The workshop, which brings together over 80 participants from the partner states of Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, as well as from South Sudan and the hosts Kenya, is a follow-up on the recommendations by the first regional training on emergency preparedness and response on avian flu held last year in Zanzibar.

hat-tip Kobie

Five Levels Explained

March 12, 2009

Sekda Rembang, H Hamzah Fatoni MKn, said that there was a basis for bird flu, there were five levels of this illness.

Level one is when this plague happens in one village and does not spread to the other villages. Afterwards this plague can be handled by the local village community.

For level one-two, if the plague happens in one village or more, this is not handled by the local community and requires assistance from the subdistrict.

Level one-three is when the plague happens in one village or more and cannot be handled in the subdistrict, but still could be handled by regency resources.

Further, the level of two is when the plague cannot be handled by regency resources but still could be handled by the province.

And, the level three is when the plague happens in the Rembang Regency that has an impact on the surrounding regencies or is stated as a national disaster.

hat-tip bgw in MT

Jakarta Photo

Dozens of chickens were placed in asphalt when his owner repaired his vehicle in the area of Tanah Kusir, Jakarta, on Thursday (12/3). The Special Capital District of Jakarta regional government called on the community to guard against the spreading of the virus avian influenza or bird flu, related the discovery of the case was expected by bird flu in Depok and Tangerang. The Antara PHOTOGRAPH/Andika Wahyu/ama/09.

Maros chicken still safe from Bird Flu

[google translation]
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11 2009 | 22:55 WITA
Maros, Tribun - Posts checks made Maros Health Office in cooperation Fisheries, Marine and Animal Husbandry (PKP), and the Great Central Veteliner (BBVet) until the evening before still continue to review bird flu for livestock and humans.

Since opened post-bird flu suspect found that befall Faradilla (7), March 1 ago, until now, has not detected any bird flu suffering.

Posko was built around the house that is located in Faradilah Housing Complex Tamarampu, Bontoa Kelurahan, Kecamatan Mandai, Maros Regency.

Response team and fast tracking bird flu or Survelance and Participatory Disease Response (PDSR) DKP Maros, Isdarjid Madjid said that if no positive suffering from bird flu that both livestock and humans.

"However, we ask the public to remain vigilant and to report immediately if there is a rarity in the animal and human," sarannya.

EGYPT: Bird flu cases among young children raise concerns

CAIRO, 12 March 2009 (IRIN) - An 18-month-old child contracted the H5N1 bird flu virus on 10 March, bringing the number of human cases in Egypt to 58 since records began in 2006, and prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to ask for a study to be undertaken of the causes.

The child - from Manoufiya Province in northern Egypt - is one of several recent cases of young children to have contracted the deadly virus in a country where over five million families raise poultry for a living.

Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahin told IRIN the girl exhibited symptoms of infection on 6 March after reported contact with infected birds. She was taken to hospital on 9 March and given the antiviral vaccine Tamiflu.

"Her case has stabilised but she will remain at the hospital for further check-ups," Shahin said.

The child’s case is the latest in a rapidly growing number of cases of child infection in Egypt, causing concern among WHO officials.

On 4 March, a two-year-old boy from the coastal city of Alexandria (220km from Cairo) contracted the virus. The boy is being treated with Tamiflu.

Another two-year-old boy from Fayum, 85km southwest of Cairo, was infected by the virus on 1 March, Nasr al-Sayyid, the assistant health minister, said.

According to the Egyptian Ministry of Health, five cases of bird flu have been registered in 2009; 23 people have died from the virus since records began in 2006.

The rapid growth rate of bird flu infections in children is worrying, said John Jabbour, senior epidemiologist with WHO, which is asking the Health Ministry to investigate why so many children aged 2-3 are being infected.

Jabbour speculated that the reason for the increased number of cases in this age group was that families were no longer as alert as immediately after the last awareness campaign.

He warned that families with poultry must be on their guard at all times, given UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warnings that the H5N1 strain was endemic in poultry.

"This is a problem that will not go away in poultry, hence people who deal with birds cannot afford to relax. Those who come in contact with birds must make caution part of their daily routine," he said.

Changing the mindset

Jabbour said social behaviour and attitudes also played a vital role in tackling bird flu. "We are not just fighting bird flu only; we are also trying to change the mentality which says reporting a case of bird flu infection in poultry will destroy income," he said.

Assistant Health Minister Sayyed said poultry keepers were often reluctant to report suspected cases for fear that health officials would cull not only their birds but those of neighbouring families.

Egypt does not run a compensation scheme for farmers who lose poultry in a cull.

According to the latest WHO statistics, some 410 people in 15 countries and regions have contracted the virus and 256 of them have died of the disease.

While H5N1 rarely infects people, experts fear it could mutate into a form that could easily be passed from one person to another, leading to a pandemic which could kill millions.


Is It Time to Panic about Bird Flu?

Friday, March 13, 2009
By Melissa Cullen
Associate Editor/Staff Writer

Don't eat eggs. Don't eat chicken. Keep away from birds. The advice against contracting avian flu is flying around the world in a flurry of emails, letters and phone calls.

In more developed countries, the public are aware of the potential danger but the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised that it is safe to consume the meat and eggs of an infected bird, "provided that these items are properly cooked and properly handled." The virus is susceptible to heat and one is highly unlikely to contract bird flu through the consumption of cooked produce.

For the average person, whilst the virus is in its current state and only able to pass from bird to human as opposed to from human to human, the risk of contracting avian flu is very slight.

However, the potential severity of the virus and the situation is frightening. The WHO has warned that "the emergence of a H5N1 that is readily transmitted among humans would mark the start of a pandemic." Scientists worldwide have all but said that it is only a matter of time before the avian strain mutates and can pass between humans. They say that a pandemic is imminent. This in itself is hardly surprising; scientists are far more likely to predict doom than to dismiss the possibility – they will always err on the side of caution, as it would endanger their careers more to reassure and be wrong. But governments worldwide are taking heed.

Many countries, such as Thailand, China and the USA, have established some sort of action plan to prepare ahead for the possibility of a global epidemic, including stockpiling anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu.

But these drugs are not definitive vaccines against H5N1 in its current state, nor what it will be if it combines with a human flu virus. Experts fear that this will happen if a person is simultaneously infected with avian flu and human flu, allowing the pair to exchange genes and create a new virus.

(more) A vaccine cannot be created for a disease which does not yet exist. Furthermore, however quickly a vaccine is developed after the emergence of a combined flu, it would take months to produce a sufficient supply for the number forecasted to be infected.

If the H5N1 virus that threatens the world today does become passable between humans, it may well sweep the globe in a matter of days. With the ease and frequency of travel these days, it would take only one person to get on an airplane and fly halfway across the world to transfer the virus to another continent. It would be near impossible to stop all travel, and to stop any less than this would just delay the spread of the virus - not stop it.

Experts believe 20-30 percent of the world's population will become infected should the virus becomes passable between humans. The economic effects will be massive — a large number of the workforce will be ill or looking after the ill. There will be various knock-on effects that will ultimately, according to the most recent estimates by the World Bank, cost the world economy somewhere in the region of $800 billion.

Conversely, many benefit from scare-mongering. Drug companies are already taking mass orders, scientists receive extra funding for research, and newspapers sell. Cynical as it may be, there is always another side to the coin.

So just how serious is the threat of avian flu and from where did these endless and terrifying predictions arise?

The H5N1 strain of avian flu was first contracted by humans in Hong Kong in 1997, where six out of the 18 humans infected died. The high mortality rate and the fear of the virus combining with a human flu virus led to the slaughter of the city's entire chicken population.

The attempt to stem the spread of the virus seemed to have worked, and there were no further cases of this strain of avian flu in birds or humans until 2003, when it reappeared first in Thailand and then in chickens in central South Korea. Despite the culling of an enormous number of birds, the H5N1 strain quickly spread through a further six nations in south-east Asia. Until the summer of 2005, the spread was restricted to this area, but has since extended to Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Romania, Croatia, Britain, and most recently, Kuwait.

It seems impossible to prevent its spread. If migratory birds take it from East Asia to beyond, there is nothing we can do to stop it. Furthermore, to stop it spreading within certain countries seems to be a losing battle. In poorer countries such as Indonesia, many people's livelihoods depend on the birds that they raise on small farms or in their back yards. The awareness of the danger is low and there is little incentive for people to report cases of bird flu. Instead, sick birds are quickly killed and either eaten or sold.

Close contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces can easily result in the passing of the deadly virus from birds to humans, as the virus is carried in the bird's saliva, naval secretions, and feces. But the official figures for this seem reassuringly low. Just over a hundred cases of H5N1 bird flu in humans have been recorded since the outbreak in 1997, 63 of which have resulted in death.

However, it is said to be quite possible that there have been many more cases, since it was only recently discovered that it can affect other organs apart from the lungs; thus many deaths attributed to something else could actually have been bird flu. In addition, many cases may have gone unreported in poverty-stricken areas.

As yet, there have been no confirmed cases of the virus passing from human to human, although possible cases have been reported in Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia. The fear remains - if the avian flu mutates and joins with a human flu virus, the world could see a pandemic as deadly as the Spanish Influenza of 1918.

The Spanish Influenza emerged over 80 years ago, killing between 20 and 50 million of the world's population in a mere 10 months. Originally believed to be a combination of pig and human influenza, more recent research on the 80-year-old frozen body of an Alaskan woman has confirmed that it originated from an avian strain of flu, named H1N1. The most disturbing attribute of the virus was that it had an unusually high mortality rate among healthy young adults. But it struck at a time when the world was at war and thus focus was divided between two great killers. With the dramatic preparations governments are taking today, the world should be far better prepared to deal with such a pandemic.

There have been four flu pandemics in the past century and according to the WHO, we are "long overdue for another." The last two pandemics occurred in 1957 and 1968, but neither virus originated from an avian strain. They were human flu viruses that adopted some of the genetic elements of bird flu. Thus, they were lethal enough to take millions of lives but they were in no way as powerful as the Spanish Influenza.

It may be reassuring to some to remember the panic caused by the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003. This virus first appeared in China in 2002 and spread to about 30 other countries through international travelers. Incredibly, the disease did not turn out to be the huge killer that it could have been. Of the 8,000 people that became infected, only 775 died.

SARS seemed to be spread through respiratory droplets, therefore one would have to be in close contact with an infected person in order to catch it. However, the possibility of spread through airborne transmission or contact with contaminated objects or surfaces could not be excluded. If the world was able to prevent a deadly pandemic only two years ago, surely it will be able to do so now?

In essence, as it stands at the moment, bird flu is hardly a danger to most individuals. Unless one lives or works with infected birds, the chance of contracting the disease is extremely slim. There have been no reports of bird flu in Korea since 2003, but with the possibility that migratory birds could be spreading the virus, and the fact that it has spread through so many countries across the world, it seems wise to avoid contact with wild birds as well as observe recommendations for food preparation. A human flu inoculation may protect against bird flu, although studies have found that the flu virus often becomes resistant to drugs.

At this point, we can only fight what exists at the moment. It is unrealistic for the individual to prepare for a virus that has yet to emerge. To be aware of the potential danger is vital. But to panic is unreasonable. We have to come to the bridge before we can cross it.

New bird flu outbreak in Dien Bien

[They are all in their PPE, yet, all the residents seem to be just fine......]

March 12, 2009
LookAtVietnam – Bird flu has hit Thanh Yen Commune, Dien Bien District, in the mountainous northern province of Dien Bien, said Do Hoa Luong, head of the provincial veterinary department on March 11. This is the third bird flu outbreak confirmed in Dien Bien over the past month. Samples taken from the poultry of some local households all tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

The local veterinary agency has destroyed nearly 300 infected fowl and taken measures to contain the epidemic. The province has set up three checkpoints and a mobile inspection team on main roads to prevent the slaughter and transport of birds from the affected areas.

The veterinary department is conducting a vaccination campaign against the disease and spraying chemicals to sterilize the affected areas.

The two previous bird flu outbreaks discovered in Nong Luong and Thanh Hung communes have led to the culling of nearly 12,000 infected birds.

Japan, ASEAN Defence Officials To Discuss Security Issues

Japan just got done meeting with the WHO:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

International conference: WHO to gather and analyze pandemic influenza cases (March 3)

The World Health Organization (WHO) started on March 3rd in Fukuoka Japan, an international conference to discuss novel influenza which causes fears of a worldwide pandemic.

WHO stated that once an outbreak was confirmed, it would try to determine and announce morbidity and mortality of the new virus by analyzing the first hundred cases.

WHO called for cooperation from participating countries.

The conference will continue until the 6th.

TOKYO, March 12 (Bernama) --

Japan who will host the first security meeting for senior defence ministers on March 17, will explore non-military security issues such as natural disasters and bird flu epidemic, Kyodo News cited the Defence Ministry as saying.

The meeting will be participated by Japan and ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member countries in Tokyo, will be chaired by Japanese Vice Defence Minister Kohei Masuda.

The conference, dubbed the "Meeting of Senior Defence Officials on Common Security Challenges in the Asia-Pacific Region," will also witness bilateral meetings between Masuda and his counterparts from Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore is also scheduled during the meeting.

"Relations between Japan and ASEAN have always focused on the economy. So we hope to move them up to a higher level and start to build confidence from an area that is less likely to meet resistance,'' a senior ministry official was quoted as saying in a briefing.

ASEAN is consisted of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

hat-tip Ironorehopper

Is Salmonella Spreading to Pig Farms Too?

Thursday, March 12, 2009
FINLAND - Salmonella has been found in the pig feed Yhdistelmä-Tiiviste (protein concentrate) from the Rehuraisio Oy factory in Raisio.

The salmonella found is suspected to be of the same strain of Salmonella Tennessee as the strain previously detected on two egg production farms and in the poultry feed protein concentrate Kanatiiviste Herkku.

Rehuraisio’s cleaning and sanitation measures are being extended to include the whole factory. During this time no feed will be delivered to farms from the establishment.

The authorities are taking faecal and feed samples from all the pig and poultry farms to which feed produced on the Raisio factory line 7 had been delivered subsequent to 15 January 2009. These feeds have also been produced on the other lines, but the sampling that is now beginning does not concern them. More information is available from the sales personnel at Rehuraisio.

The farms can continue using the feeds until they get replacement feeds.

Eastern Nepal Destroys Poultry Products

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NEPAL - At least 232 chickens, one duck, 26 pigeons and 41 eggs were destroyed in Pathamari village of Jhapa district in eastern Nepal after the detection of bird fluin the locality, the National News Agency RSS reported on Wednesday.

Chief of bird flu control room, Jhapa, Indrakant Jha said a team led by chief of district livestock services office Dilip Sapkota destroyed the birds and poultry products on Tuesday.

According to the RSS, test conducted after sudden death of chickens in the locality had confirmed bird flu in the area five days ago, some 240 km east of Kathmandu.

Bird flu was detected for the first time in Nepal in kakarbhitta in the district nearly two months ago.

After the first outbreak of the disease in the country on 16 January, the government had declared emergency in affected area of Sarnamati village in Jhapa district in eastern Nepal.