Saturday, September 24, 2011


UCLA Scientists studying the H1N1 swine flu virus have discovered the first evidence of animal infection between man and pigs in Central Africa and believe that such transmission can lead to a new pandemic of the H1N1 swine flu.
In a recent study published in the scientific journal Veterinary Microbiology, scientists from UCLA traveled to Cameroon to determine whether the H1N1 virus was present in African livestock. The researchers collected nasal swabs and blood samples from randomly selected domestic pigs in outlying villages and farms. What they found were two cases of active H1N1 virus infection from the nasal samples. The blood samples, however, showed that 28% of the pigs tested positive for past infection of the virus, and of that 28% almost all demonstrated that their infection was due to the H1N1 influenza virus isolated from humans during the 2009 pandemic. Although theH1N1 virus has been detected in livestock in other countries, this was the first evidence of it in Africa and showing that contamination was from man to pig..
HEALTH: China Scrambles Against Mutant Bird Flu
BANGKOK, Sep 4 (IPS) - Veterinary experts in China and Vietnam are scrambling to produce a vaccine capable of beating a new strain of the deadly avian influenza (AI) virus, reports an official of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

"Every year vaccine producers in China review what type of AI strain should be addressed," says Wantanee Kalpravidh, regional coordinator of the U.N. agency's centre for trans-boundary animal disease. "The existing vaccines used in domestic poultry have been able to cover changes in the AI virus from 2004 till 2010."

But detection of a "mutant strain" of the deadly virus in China and Vietnam has proved existing vaccines ineffective.

"They (existing vaccines) are unable to protect poultry from the new strain," Wantanee told IPS. "Researchers in China and Vietnam are working on a new vaccine."

Wantanee said the emergence of the mutant variety "confirms that the AI virus strain is changing, mixing and re-assorting." She added that the virus was becoming "more virulent."

The new strain has emerged despite inoculation efforts, mass culling of infected poultry and implementation of bio-security measures in chicken farms across Southeast Asia, the epicentre of the deadly virus that saw a drop in AI outbreaks in 2008.

Blame now falls on Vietnamese authorities who suspended the mass vaccination of poultry this spring in the country's north and east, despite the bird flu being endemic in both regions.

"The reason forwarded by the government of Vietnam is that the vaccines currently available are not able to adequately protect against some of the newly emergent virus strains detected in the north and the east," states the FAO's Vietnam office.

"However, in 2011, Vietnam used a stock of 50 million doses of vaccine in the south, where this new virus strain has not been detected yet," the statement went on to say.

The consequence of Vietnam's breach was felt in poultry farms across the country's north and eastern regions, where thousands of chickens died from the "mutant strain" of H5N1bird fly virus, identified as H5N1-
The suspension of Vietnam's springtime vaccination campaign breached a fairly steady effort to inoculate poultry twice a year since it first adopted a vaccination policy against bird flu in 2005.

Vietnam's suspension of poultry vaccination also sets it apart from the other bird flu endemic countries - such as Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India and Indonesia - none of which halted ongoing vaccination campaigns.

While its animal health experts and researchers work on a new vaccine, Vietnam is yet to announce plans to resume vaccinating poultry in the coming months.

"The option to resume vaccination among poultry against (AI) is open to the government of Vietnam," states the FAO. "However, no decision to resume vaccinations has been made yet for the next round, which normally would be due in October through November 2011."

China is playing down concerns about a mutant strain of H5N1, stating that the current outbreak has been detected among the wild birds, but admitted that "some mutations of the virus" have been detected in poultry.
"Agriculture and health authorities are constantly on high alert of potential bird flu epidemics among poultry and humans," states Yu Kangzhen, the country's top veterinarian, according to the English language 'China Daily' newspaper.

But the FAO is pursuing a different tack, making an appeal to countries in the region for better information exchange after the emergence of the new sub-strain in late August.

"We want countries to keep sharing virus information with the FAO," says Wantanee. "Countries like Cambodia and Laos need support to monitor their poultry, including strengthening the surveillance mechanisms."

It is a concern that has resonated with the region's governments. Calls to protect the local poultry industry from the new AI sub-strain have triggered extra vigilance in the Philippines, which stands out as a bird-flu-free country in a region considered endemic for the virus.

"The Philippines remains free from bird flu and we want to maintain that status," Efren Nuestro, director of animal husbandry, told reporters in Manila after authorising, on Sep. 1, a quarantine order and a nationwide watch on imported poultry and wild birds,

"All undocumented poultry shipments will be automatically destroyed," Nuestro was reported as saying. The measures will help the Philippines maintain its record of not having a single human case of AI since a deadly strain was detected in 2003.

In Indonesia, which has recorded 146 of the 331 deaths worldwide from the H5N1 bird flu virus, strengthening domestic surveillance and research to combat AI is now back on the national agenda.

"We still need more funds especially for research activities," health minister Endang Rahayu Sedyanhingsih said on Sep. 14, at global health security meeting co-hosted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Indonesian government. "We should stay on guard."

Thailand, where the virus was eliminated through culling and stringent bio-security measures, is now assessing inventories of Tamiflu, an influenza drug prescribed to patients. The country currently has 20 million doses in its national stockpile.

Vietnam has been the second worst hit country in the region after Indonesia, with 59 deaths out of a reported 119 people infected. The blow to the country's poultry industry this year comes on top of the estimated 63 million chickens that have been culled since 2004.

Cambodia, an impoverished country with limited resources to monitor AI, provides a grim reminder of H5N1's fatality. This year has seen eight people die from the AI, the most recent fatality being that of a six-year-old girl in August. Since 2005, Cambodia has recorded 15 deaths.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A never before seen strain in India?

..Is mentioned in this reports and it is not known whether it is the new Vietnam/China strain we have recently heard about. Villagers freely mingle with the dead birds. A scary report to say the least!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

UCLA scientists find H1N1 flu virus prevalent in animals in Africa

A village in northern Cameroon
Pigs in village, Cameroon
UCLA life scientists and their colleagues have discovered the first evidence of the H1N1 virus in animals in Africa. In one village in northern Cameroon, a staggering 89 percent of the pigs studied had been exposed to the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu.
"I was amazed that virtually every pig in this village was exposed," said Thomas B. Smith, director of UCLA's Center for Tropical Research and the senior author of the research. "Africa is ground zero for a new pandemic. Many people are in poor health there, and disease can spread very rapidly without authorities knowing about it."
H1N1 triggered a human pandemic in the spring of 2009, infecting people in more than 200 countries. In the U.S., it led to an estimated 60 million illnesses, 270,000 hospitalizations and 12,500 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The virus, known scientifically as Influenza A (H1N1), is made up of genetic elements of swine, avian and human influenza viruses. The pigs in Cameroon, the researchers say, were infected by humans.
"The pigs were running wild in that area," said lead author Kevin Njabo, a researcher in UCLA's department of ecology and evolutionary biology and associate director of the Center for Tropical Research. "I was shocked when we found out it was H1N1. Any virus in any part of the world can reach another continent within days by air travel. We need to understand where viruses originate and how they spread, so we can destroy a deadly virus before it spreads. We have to be prepared for a pandemic, but so many countries are not well-prepared — not even the United States."
Njabo and his colleagues randomly collected nasal swabs and blood samples from domestic pigs that were part of 11 herds in villages and farms in Cameroon in 2009 and 2010. The results are published in the current issue of Veterinary Microbiology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal specializing in microbial animal diseases.
Nasal swabs can detect a current infection, and blood samples reveal past exposure to a virus. Because an active infection lasts only about five days, "we have to be lucky to get an active infection in the field, but evidence of the infection stays in the blood."
In the village in northern Cameroon, Njabo found two pigs with active H1N1 infections, and virtually every other pig had evidence of a past infection in its blood.
"The pigs got H1N1 from humans," Njabo said. "The fact that pigs in Africa are infected with the H1N1 flu virus illustrates the remarkable interconnectedness of the modern world with respect to diseases. The H1N1 virus that we found in livestock in Cameroon is virtually identical to a virus found in people in San Diego just a year earlier, providing an astonishing example of how quickly the flu can spread all over the globe.
"The discovery of H1N1 in African swine is also important because it shows how farming practices can trigger disease outbreaks and suggests opportunities for improving human and livestock health. Our studies indicate that H1N1 infections are more common in swine that wander freely in villages than in animals that are confined to farms."
The biologists used a diagnostic test called ELISA — enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay — to test for potential viruses. ELISA revealed the pigs had the human strain of H1N1.
Viruses in pigs can mix into a much more virulent strain that can spread extremely fast, Smith and Njabo warned.
"We are studying the interface between viruses in humans, wild animals and domestic animals and how viruses move among them," Njabo said.
A pandemic as in 'Contagion' could occur
"This particular H1N1 strain is ubiquitous," said Smith, who is also a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a member of UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. "When different strains of influenza are mixed in pigs, such as an avian strain with a human strain, you can get new hybrid strains that may affect humans much more severely and can potentially produce a pandemic that can allow human-to-human infection. This is how a pandemic can arise; we need to be very vigilant.
"It would be comforting to believe that the deaths of tens of millions of people, or more, as depicted in the movie 'Contagion' is merely science fiction, but something that resembles what is depicted there could happen under a certain set of circumstances."
In the 20th century, the world experienced three influenza pandemics that collectively killed more than 40 million people, Smith and Njabo noted.
In addition to studying pigs, Njabo and colleagues have also collected samples from hundreds of wild birds, ducks and chickens in Cameroon and Egypt. Their colleagues at other institutions are conducting similar studies in China, Bangladesh and elsewhere.
Smith and Njabo work with UCLA's Global Bio Lab, in collaboration with Hilary Godwin, a professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA School of Public Health, to identify new diseases, speed up the development of new vaccines and try to prevent the next pandemic.
"The world is a global village; no area is truly isolated," said Njabo, who was born and raised in Cameroon. "There are so many unknowns about the transmission rates of viruses between humans and wild animals. We have to expand screening."
Since 2007, Njabo has gone to Cameroon two to three times a year to collect samples and is there currently. He informed the government's Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Animal Industries of the findings to try to reduce the spread of the disease. Smith, Njabo and colleagues will hold a workshop in Cameroon next year to tell people how to raise pigs in a way that reduces the risk of disease.
Co-authors of the study included Trevon Fuller, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; Anthony Chasar, a UCLA research associate at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; John Pollinger, director of UCLA's Conservation Genetics Resource Center and assistant director of UCLA's Center for Tropical Research; Giovanni Cattoli, Calogero Terregino and Isabella Monne at Italy's Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie; and Jean-Marc Reynes and Richard Njouom at Cameroon's Centre Pasteur.
The research was conducted under the auspices of the Zoonotic Influenza Collaborative Network, led by the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. The collaborative network is supported by international influenza funds from the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of nearly 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 337 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Six alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.

RSHS Ambulatory Patient "Suspect" Bird Flu

RSHS Ambulatory Patient "Suspect" Bird Flu Friday, September 23, 2011
Pasteur, (GM) -Flamboyan Room Hasan Sadikin Hospital (RSHS) Bandung back into intensive care where patients suspect bird flu, this time from Kab. Falkirk. Patient initials RR (44) has a history of contact with poultry, namely chickens died.According to team member handling specific infectious diseases RSHS, dr. Emy Pranggono, Sp.Pd., RR entered the room Flamboyan, Wednesday (21 / 9) at 19:00 and patient referrals from district health centers. Falkirk."Patients are referred directly to the RSHS because of a history of work related to poultry (chicken, red). When visible symptoms, cough, runny nose and sore throat without fever," he told reporters at RSHS, Thursday (22 / 9).Patient's current condition continues to improve. Even the medical team do not need to use the monitor. "However, because patients in direct contact with dead chickens, we continue to use appropriate care SOPs. The patient is now given 150 mg of Tamiflu," he said.Similarly, patients with smear, was sent to Balitbangkes in Jakarta. Although improved, the second and third swabs will remain dikirimke Balitbangkes next day.Based on the information, patient RR works as a supplier of chickens for sale in Kab. Falkirk. He used to bring the chicken from the District. Subang. A few days ago, RR bring chicken but one of the chickens dead upon arrival at his residence."After finding a dead chicken, the patient then feels the symptoms of ILI (influenza like illness such as coughs, colds, and sore throat. Therefore, we will continue to monitor," he added.


PTI | 05:09 PM,Sep 22,2011
Guwahati, Sept 22 (PTI) Assam government has completed the culling of infected birds and mopping operation to control spread of avian influenza which broke out recently in Assam's Dhubri district.A total of 15,409 birds were culled and 149 eggs were destroyed till September 18 and a compensation of Rs 6,51,923 have been paid to the affected poultry farmers in the district, officials of Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary said here today.Clearing and disinfection work in 11 villages have also been completed.
In this operation, eighteen Rapid Response Teams (RRT) were deployed. Bird flu broke out in Bhamundanga Pt-I Epicentre in Agomoni block of Dhubri district.The Bhopal-based Forensic laboratory had confirmed that the samples sent to it for testing was positive for bird flu virus. The state government had also directed the forest departments to take precautionary measures in areas where there is considerable avian population, sources said.
50 The tail of Sudden Death in Pendem

 Thursday, September 22, 2011 | 19:12 pm

DENPASAR, careful to buy chicken in the market to be maintained. Provincial Livestock Office Bali suspect, about 50 chickens that died suddenly had a history purchased from traditional markets in Pendem, Jembrana regency, Bali. Further offices were declared dead chickens tested positive for bird flu virus H5N1, aka.
"We've done a check with a rapid test of the five chickens that are still living in the same cage, bird flu has been positive," explains Head of the Provincial Livestock Office Bali, Putu Sumantra, in Denpasar.
As a precaution, it had to do culling 20 chickens around the place. In addition, biopesticides officers spraying around the cage.
"Other areas we also give a warning. We warn of bird flu appears again. Please do all the control measures against this," he said.
Sumantra himself claimed not to know the exact cause of the re-emergence of bird flu. "But the results of investigations in the field, there are some people who bought the chickens at the market, then treated at home. The possibility of contracting it from there. Therefore we are also aware of the existence of bird flu infected chickens in the markets," he added.
People who raise chickens are also asked to anticipate with maintaining cleanliness of his chicken coop. Biosecurity should be applied, in order to prevent this disease is not widespread.
In 2006, bird flu broke out in Bali with three human deaths.

Thursday, 22/09/2011 13:33 pm
Taxable suspected H5N1, Chicken Suppliers of Treated in RSHS Falkirk

Share Bandung - Men's initials R (44) from Falkirk into the Isolation Room Flamboyan RS Hasan Sadikin Wednesday at 19:00 (09.21.2011). Patients suspected of contracting bird flu virus (H5N1) because it had direct contact with dead chickens. Even so he was no longer a fever, but the cough and cold and sore throat.
According to the Special Infection Treatment Team Member Dr. Emi Pranggono RSHS patient is a supplier of chickens in Karachi. A few days ago, as she bought chickens live in Subang.

"On Earring healthy chickens carry it, but often see chickens are not healthy," said Emi told reporters at RSHS, Pasteur Road, on Thursday (22/09/2011).

Well it turns out that he bought chickens live in Subang have died on the journey. After he supplied the chicken, in the afternoon, he immediately experienced a fever.
 Kemuaian R directly to the local health clinic. But because there is contact with dead birds, directly referring to health centers RSHS. "The condition of the patient's own when it comes good. No fever, just runny nose and sore throat, cough," said Emi.
Chicken Suppliers of Treated in RSHS Falkirk

 Patients themselves are not fitted with a monitor. Tamidlu Patients were given two tablets in one day. Appropriate SOPs, patients will be treated for seven days. "We have already the first nasal swab samples sent to Balitbangkes Jakarta," said Emi.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

20,000 birds culled in Nadia

PTI | 08:09 PM,Sep 21,2011
Krishnagar(WB), Sep 21 (PTI) About 20,000 birds have been culled since yesterday at Tehatta block in Nadia district following outbreak of Avian Influenza, popularly known as Bird Flu. While about 14,000 birds were culled on Tuesday, about 6,000 birds were culled till 6.30 pm today, Nadia district magistrate Avinaba Chanda and Tehatta SDO Achinta Mondal said. "60 teams were deployed for culling on Wednesday.Extensively, it will take seven days to finish the culling while intensively we will try to do the same within three days," Chanda said. The SDO said, "The birds enter the cages after evening and that is why the rate of culling increases after evening." Culling had continued up to 8 pm yesterday, he said

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

World Health Organization warns of ‘dangerous’ polio strain

The State Column | | Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The World Health Organization issued a statement Tuesday, warning China and Pakistan of a deadly strain of polio that seems to have crossed the border of the two nations.
“The WHO rates as ‘high’ the risk of further international spread of wild polio virus from Pakistan, particularly given the expected large-scale population movements associated with Umra and the upcoming Haj…in the coming months,” the WHO said in a statement.
The U.N. health agency says a genetic link has been confirmed between wild poliovirus type 1 detected in China and a strain circulating in Pakistan. The warning comes as the first outbreak of polio seems to be related to the annual Haj pilgrimage in the region. Haj is the main annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
The polio outbreak involved a dangerous strain of the disease which spreads more easily than others and is more likely to cause paralysis. Pakistan reported that is has identified nearly 84 cases of the strain, while China has yet to release official figures. Nine cases have been confirmed in China, according to news reports. All are genetically linked to the polio virus circulating in Pakistan, the United Nations agency said.
The WHO warned that officials are likely to see an increase in polio cases as the annual pilgrimages moves to security-compromised parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan, where there is little access to medical treatment and clinics.
“The key to success will be to overcome remaining operational challenges in fully-accessible areas and implemented special outreach strategies with full community participation to increase access to populations in security-compromised areas,” the agency said. “To achieve this, full and consistent engagement and accountability at provincial, district and union-council level is urgently needed.”
The global health body noted that countries should combat the spread of the disease by increasing disease surveillance systems and travellers to Pakistan should be vaccinated against polio.
World Health Organization warns of ‘dangerous’ polio strain

Polio has spread to China for the first time since 1999 after being imported from Pakistan, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.
It said a strain of polio (WPV1) found in China was genetically linked with the type now circulating in Pakistan.
At least seven cases have now been confirmed in China's western Xinjiang province, which borders Pakistan.
The WHO warned there was a high risk of the crippling virus spreading further during Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca.
Polio (also called poliomyelitis) is highly infectious and affects the nervous system, sometimes resulting in paralysis.
It is transmitted through contaminated food, drinking water and faeces.
'Right things done' On Tuesday, the WHO said the polio cases in Xinjiang had been detected in the past two months.
The Chinese authorities are now investigating the cases, and a mass vaccination campaign has been launched in the region.
"So far all the right things are being done," WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer told Reuters news agency.
Polio was last brought into China from India in 1999. China's last indigenous case was in 1994.
Pakistan is one of a handful of countries where polio remains endemic.
WHO officials had been warning for some time that the virus was spreading within the country to previously uninfected areas.
The UN's children fund, Unicef, has said that eradicating polio from Pakistan depends on delivering oral vaccines to each and every child, including the most vulnerable and the hardest to reach.

Krishnagar (WB), Sept 20
Culling of birds began today at Tehatta 1 block in Nadia district after confirmation of the outbreak of Avian Influenza, popularly known as Bird Flu. Symptoms of Avian Influenza were initially observed among hens in 13 villages under 5 Gram Panchayat areas of Tehatta 1 block about 10 days back.
The samples of the birds were collected and sent to High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) Bhopal for tests.
"The report arrived at around 6.30 pm yesterday confirming Bird Flu. We decided to start culling and it was initiated today," Nure Alam Chowdhury, Animal Resource Department Minister told a press conference after visiting the affected block here today.
Twenty teams comprising 420 persons were deployed in the process of culling scheduled in 5 gram panchayat areas. After culling, the dead birds will be buried at Lalbazar, a place near Indo-Bangladesh border. Three big holes were dug up for the disposal of the culled birds here, he said.
Tehatta SDO Achinta Mondal said "we hope to cull about 5000 birds today and the culling work will go on up to 7 pm and the culled birds will be buried".
The minister arrived at Tehatta today morning and visited some of the affected places.
Meanwhile the Indo-Bangla border has also been sealed, the minister said.
Official reports said culling will continue for three consecutive days. During this period, movement of people deployed in culling also have been restricted outside the area. They have been provided with special uniform.
The SDO said the tyres of the vehicles moving through the areas would be disinfected. About 300 vehicles cross the area on an average everyday along the Krishnagar-Karimpur road.
There is a vast waterbody at Tehatta where some migratory birds come during winter. The minister suspected the migratory birds might have left behind the germs of Bird Flu.
The minister said "there is no need to get into panic mode as the situation is under control." The owners of the culled birds would be provided with coupons at the time of culling and they would be compensated accordingly.
"They will get the same rate as was given to them in 2009", the minister said adding they would try to provide them with a higher rate.
Over 50,000 birds, including 20,000 ducks and pigeons, were affected with Bird Flu in the block, the sources said.

After 3 years, bird flu is back in West Bengal

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Bird flu or avian influenza has resurfaced in West Bengal again after a gap of 3 years.
The State government on Tuesday confirmed incidents of bird flu in Nadia district. According to senior Government officials, incidents of avian influenza have been confirmed in poultry samples collected from two villages in Tehatta Block 1 of the district.
Samples collected from the villages were sent to the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal where they tested positive for the H5N1 strain.
“The State Government has ordered immediate culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material to control the spread of the disease. Around 50,000 birds will be culled,” a senior State Animal Resource Department official said. According to senior State government officials, culling of the entire poultry stock within a three kilometre radius of the affected villages will be carried out.
Surveillance will also be carried out across the affected villages as well as those within a 10-km radius, and in districts bordering Nadia.
The West Bengal Government has been asked to furnish a daily report to the Centre.


The Centre has advised a series of strategic actions to be taken up immediately in the area by the Animal Husbandry and Public Health Departments. It has issued guidelines to ban the movement of poultry and its products in the infected areas; closure of poultry and egg markets and shops within a radius of 10 km from the infected site; ban on movement of farm personnel; restricting access to wild and stray birds, infected premises; disposal of dead birds and infected materials; clean-up and disinfection followed by sealing of the premises.
The Union Government will share costs of compensation on 50:50 basis with the State government for the loss of poultry on account of culling and destruction of birds.

New virus: India to start culling birds
New Delhi - Authorities in eastern India will start culling chickens and destroying eggs to contain a new outbreak of H5 bird flu, the government said on Tuesday, as a mutant strain of the virus is spreads elsewhere in Asia.
Surveillance was stepped up in West Bengal, a state severely hit by bird flu outbreaks in the past.

The federal government is pushing local authorities to ban the movement of poultry and its products, and restricting access to the affected area after samples tested positive for H5, a government statement said.

"It has been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease," it said.

Last month, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned of a possible resurgence of bird flu and said a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus was spreading in Asia and beyond.

It was not immediately clear if the latest outbreak in India was related to the new Asian strain.

Virologists warn there is no vaccine against the H5N1 strain recently found in China and Vietnam that could potentially carry risks for humans and called for closer monitoring of the disease in poultry and wild birds to stop it spreading.

Bird flu first broke out in India in 2006 and millions of chickens and ducks have been culled since to contain the virus, but it has resurfaced from time to time.

India did not give further details about the exact strain of flu found in the latest outbreak West Bengal.
PM concerned over bird flu in State, WB
NEW DELHI, Sept 20 – Amid bird flu scare in West Bengal and Assam, a concerned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today directed the Animal Husbandry Department to take steps, in coordination with the state governments, to prevent the outbreak of epidemic.
The Prime Minister has expressed concern over bird flu in Assam and West Bengal, PMO sources said here. They said Singh asked the Animal Husbandry Department to keep a close watch on the situation and to be in constant touch with state governments.
The Prime Minister directed the department to closely monitor the situation to prevent any outbreak even though the incidence is restricted to a few villages, the sources said.

Bird flu in two West Bengal villages

Raktima Bose

A poultry farm in Howrah district of West Bengal. Avian influenza, popularly known as Bird Flu, has been confirmed in Nadia district in West Bengal. File photo
  A poultry farm in Howrah district of West Bengal. Avian influenza, popularly known as Bird Flu, has been confirmed in Nadia district in West Bengal. File photo
The West Bengal government confirmed cases of avian flu in two villages under the Tehatta 1 block of the State's Nadia district on Tuesday and ordered the culling of all poultry birds within a radius of 3 km of the villages.
The government has also ordered the immediate destruction of eggs and feed material within the affected radius to control the spread of the disease.
According to a senior official of the State's Animal Resource Development Department, poultry samples collected from the two villages tested positive for H5 strain of avian influenza at both the Eastern Region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in the city as well as the High Security Animal Disease Laboratory in Bhopal.
The official said that orders had been sent out for immediate culling of over 50,000 poultry birds in the two affected villages as well as in around 25 other villages located within a 3 km radius of the two villages.
“In addition to the culling strategy, surveillance will be carried out over a further radius up to 10 km. Apart from this, surveillance has also been strengthened in other parts of the State, especially the districts sharing border with Nadia,” he added.
The government has been asked to furnish a daily report on the control and containment operations to the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries. The Centre has advised a series of strategic actions to be taken immediately in the area by the Animal Husbandry and Public Health Departments.
These include declaration of infected and surveillance areas, ban on movement of poultry and its products in the infected area or enclosure of poultry and egg markets and shops within a radius of 10 km from the infected site, ban on movement of farm personnel, restricting access to wild and stray birds, restricting access to the infected premises, destruction of birds, disposal of dead birds and infected material, clean-up and disinfection followed by sealing of the premises and issue of sanitisation certificate, post operations surveillance and imposition of legislative measures along with necessary measures laid down in the Contingency Plan (2005) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
“As regards compensation for loss of poultry on account of culling and destruction of birds, the rate for payment of compensation has been indicated to the State governments,” the official said.
The Centre has conveyed the decision to share costs of compensation equally with the State government and authorised the government to utilise funds available with them under the Centrally-sponsored programme ‘Assistance to States for Control of Animal Disease' (ASCAD).
Culling of birds starts in Bengal
NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, Sept 20: The culling of birds began on Tuesday in West Bengal’s Nadia district after the Union Health Ministry confirmed that samples had tested positive for bird flu, an official said. “We have started culling within a three-kilometre radius of Tehatta Block 1. We have taken other preventive measures within 10-km radius,” said AK Agarwal, secretary, Department of Animal Resources, West Bengal. Agarwal said that on September 14, 849 birds died. Their samples were sent to a laboratory in Kolkata.

India confirms bird flu in West Bengal

New Delhi, Sep 20 : India Tuesday confirmed that there were cases of bird flu in West Bengal after samples collected from Nadia district in the state tested positive, officials said here

The government
also ordered culling operations in the affected area, said a statement issued from the department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries under the ministry of agriculture.

"Bird flu has been confirmed in poultry samples collected from two villages of Tehatta I block in Nadia District of West Bengal," the statement said.
The samples forwarded to the Eastern Region Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ERDDL) in Kolkata and High Security Animal Disease Laboratory (HSADL) in Bhopal tested positive for H5 strain of Avian Influenza, it said.

"It has been decided to immediately commence the culling of birds and destruction of eggs and feed material to control further spread of the disease. The virus has been contained in the affected area," it added.

Culling has been announced within a radius of three kilometres of the infected area.

In addition, surveillance has been ordered in surrounding areas up to 10 km.

Surveillance has also been intensified throughout the state to monitor further spread of
India confirms bird flu in West Bengal.
The central government has advised the state to ban movement of poultry and poultry products in the infected area and to close poultry and egg markets and shops within a radius of 10 km from the infected site.

They have suggested a ban on the movement of farm personnel, restricting access to wild and stray birds and stopping access to infected premises.
As regards compensation for loss of poultry on account of culling and destruction of birds, the central government will share costs on a 50:50 basis with the state, the statement said.

"The payment of compensation should be ensured immediately and simultaneously to culling," it said.

The last outbreak took place during February-March in Tripura. The country was declared free from the disease on July 4.

Bird Flu Confirmed In WB’s Southern Region Of Nadia

Bird Flu Confirmed In WB’s Southern Region Of Nadia
As per official reports, new cases of bird flu were reported from West Bengal's southern region of Nadia.
Even though the cases were not yet alarming, the panic of bird flu (H5N1) was confirmed by the research laboratory in Bhopal.
Culling of poultry birds including chicken and ducks by veterinarians would start in a region covering approximately 25 villages.
Bird flu first hit the country (India) in the year 2006 whilst in West Bengal it was first reported in the year 2007 and in a large scale in the year 2008 when several regions got affected, resulting into the culling of more than four million poultry birds.
Avian flu had spread to 11 regions of West Bengal in 2008.
A few of the most affected regions comprised Burdwan, Malda, Hooghly, Murshidabad, South Dinajpur, Bankura, Purulia, Birbhum, Nadia, Cooch Behar and Howrah.
No human contagions have been reported from India.
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also called "bird flu", A(H5N1) or basically H5N1, is a subtype of the influenza A virus that can lead to infection in human beings and several other animal species.
A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the contributory agent of H5N1 flu, commonly named as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".
The majority of human contractions of the avian flu are the outcome of either treating deceased infected birds or from contact with contaminated fluids.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Experts yesterday suggested consuming full-boiled or full-fried eggs rather than the half-boiled or half-fried ones to avoid exposure to the avian flu virus (H5N1) that may be passed on to the eggs from the flu inflicted birds.

They also advised consumers to wash the eggs and their hands with soap to avoid possible transmission of the virus to human body.

The eggs of birds inflicted with H5N1 contain potential germ of avian influenza in its crust.

The speakers were addressing an orientation programme on Avian and Human Influenza at the conference room of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) in the city.

IEDCR, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UNICEF, Department of Livestock Services (DLS), Ministry of Agriculture, World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation jointly organised the programme.

Slaughtering sick poultry without being sure of its disease and throwing out dead poultry or the wastage of slaughtered poultry in the open are common practices of people responsible for the spreading of bird flu, said UNICEF's specialist Shamshuddin Ahmed.

Since March 22, 2007 a total of 524 bird flu cases have been detected throughout the country while 166 cases were recorded this year, according to latest information of DLS.

In Bangladesh, April to September marks the peak season for the spreading of bird flu.

Laboratory confirmed three cases of H5N1 transmission in human body though there is yet no death by the virus recorded in Bangladesh.

However, 564 cases of H5N1 transmission were recorded worldwide and 330 died in the flu since 2003.

“Analysing the nature of the virus, it is found that the virus may take dangerous shape after mutation. That's why scientists are considering bird flu seriously”, said IEDCR Director Professor Mahmudur Rahman.

Director of Animal Health and Administration of DLS Dr Mussaddique Hossain said awareness is needed among the people to reduce the spreading of the disease.

He sought media cooperation to create awareness among people on this matter.
U.S. to help Bangladesh combat bird flu

Bird flu, also known as Avian flu virus H5N1often causes pandemic threat in the Asian region, including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Saleem Samad
Published: September 19, 2011 12:25 pm EDT

Bangladesh has accepted an offer from the United States to combat the bird flu virus by developing "seed virus," a key ingredient to make a vaccine in an emergency.
Bangladesh will share a new strain of bird flu virus with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop the virus for scientific use, confirmed health secretary Muhammad Humayun Kabir on Sunday.
Bird flu, also known as avian flu virus H5N1, often causes an pandemic threat in the Asian region, including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
United Nations agency FAO in August said the contagious avian flu remains firmly entrenched in Bangladesh because of unhygienic trade practices. The UN body warned of a possible major resurgence of bird flu as FAO observed a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus was spreading in Asia.
The CDC approached health authorities in the first week of September for government authorization to use the virus.
The strain was found in humans last March and detected by the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), but countrywide surveillance had determined it was mild in nature. This was recently confirmed by the CDC.
Bangladesh experienced 524 recorded Avian flu outbreaks and the livestock department culled over 2.4 million chickens across the country after the first outbreak in March 2007.
According to the World Health Organization, factors responsible for the entrenchment of the virus are complex production and market chains. Eliminating the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus from poultry in the Asian countries will take 10 or more years, it cautioned.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vietnam-Continued testing H5N1 vaccine on humans

Continued testing H5N1 vaccine on humans
Sunday, 09/18/2011 22:54
(NLD) - After the second injection stage clinical trials of influenza A/H5N1 vaccine on volunteers to succeed, the Ministry of Health has approved the expansion of clinical trials for this vaccine

This test phase will be carried out on 1,000 healthy volunteers. Previously, this vaccine has been tested in phase 1 and 2 500 volunteers.
Test results of the recent period for good results, the protective effect of over 90%, no severe reactions in people vaccinated.
When the testing is complete, reaching the required standards for human use, this new vaccine is licensed for circulation.
Influenza A/H5N1 vaccine by scientists from the company production of vaccines and biologicals No. 1 (Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology) study, produced from monkey kidney cells in 2004.

B'desh to help make bird flu vaccine

B'desh to help make bird flu vaccine
Nurul Islam Hasib Senior Correspondent

Dhaka, Sep 18 ( – Bangladesh will share a new strain of bird flu virus, identified as a possible pandemic threat, with US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) to develop 'seed virus,' key ingredient to make a vaccine in emergency.

"We will share the vaccine for scientific use," health secretary Muhammad Humayun Kabir told on Sunday as he confirmed about the sharing of the H9N2 strain of bird flu—A/Bangladesh/0994/2011 (H9N2).
The strain was found in humans in March and recently confirmed by US CDC after its sequencing.

The Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has detected the virus, mild in nature, through its countrywide surveillance.

"But it has the potential to be a pandemic threat," IEDCR director Prof Mahmudur Rahman said, sounding the alarm, as the virus can reassort with H5N1—also 'widespread' in the country—with its changing strains.

"If clades 2.2; 3.2 of H5N1 and new H9N2 mutate, it can be devastating," he said, "but nothing can be predicted about virus."

The United Nations warned Bangladesh on Aug 29 of a possible major resurgence of bird flu as it observed a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus is spreading in Asia and elsewhere.

The IEDCR director suggested maintaining bio-security in poultry farms that livestock officials said cannot be ensured due to 'a large number of backyard poultry in Bangladesh.'

"But we are taking new strategies for backyard poultry," Dr Md Mehedi Hossain, senior scientific officer, Department of Livestock Services (DLS), said on Sunday at a seminar jointly organised by IEDCR and Unicef at IEDCR office.

According to IEDCR, the government would share the virus under standard procedure of virus sharing coordinated by the World Health Organization.

"We will get access to affordable vaccines derived from them and other technical support in exchange (for the new strain of virus)," Prof Rahman said.

"They (US CDC) approached us in the first week of September for government permission to use the virus. They already have the virus with them as we have sent it for confirmation."

He said the virus is also circulating in some countries, but in Bangladesh it is different

The DLS scientist said they would prepare a guideline for backyard poultry.

"We will sensitise backyard farmers about how to dispose of debris and faeces," Dr Hossain said and added that people litter chickens' giblets and dead chickens just anywhere that can spread the virus.

"Crows eat those carcasses and can get the virus and die. Those dead crows can again pass the virus to poultry birds in the same way," Dr Hossain explained.

The livestock department has culled over 2.4 million chickens across the country after the first outbreak in Mar 22, 2007.

Some 524 outbreaks have been recorded so far.

"We observe that we cannot control the virus until we make people aware, we motivate them," said Dr Musaddique Hossain, a director of the DLS.

The IEDCR advised people consume well-cooked poultry products and maintain personal hygiene - cough into the crook of elbow and wash hands with soap often - to keep bird flu infection away.

The WHO estimates 18,000 deaths in 2009 H1N1 pandemic when the IEDCR recorded eight deaths in Bangladesh.

Robert Webster: 'We ignore bird flu at our peril'

Saturday, 17 September 2011 18.30 EDT

With the UN issuing renewed warnings and a Hollywood disaster movie stoking our fears, bird flu is back in the news. We meet the man who first warned of a pandemic 50 years ago – and who is worried again now
In Steven Soderbergh's new bio-thriller, Contagion, the audience is kept guessing about the killer's identity until the final frame. Is it the mu shu pork that Gwyneth Paltrow consumed in a Kowloon diner or is it, as Laurence Fishburne, playing the deputy director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests, all the fault of the birds? "Someone doesn't have to weaponise the bird flu," he intones at one point. "The birds are doing that."
In the end, Soderbergh appears to have it both ways, suggesting that the culprit is a combination of bird flu and nipah, a bat-borne virus prevalent on Malaysian pig farms. In real life, however, there is little doubt about where the true threat lies.
"I haven't seen the film yet but bird flu is the real killer lurking in the shadows," says Robert Webster, the world's pre-eminent expert on bird flu, when I catch up with him en route from Oxford to Malta where he has back-to-back influenza conferences. "Nature has already shown us that there is a virus out there that kills 50% of the people it infects. We ignore it at our peril."
It is a warning that Webster, a virologist known as the "pope of bird flu", has been sounding for more than 50 years, initially to the scepticism of his peers but to growing respect more recently. The virus that keeps Webster awake at night is H5N1....