Friday, August 24, 2012

Hong Kong: Cases of Infectious Bugs Rises, and MRSA Cluster Warning

Mary Ann Benitez and Candy Chan
Friday, August 24, 2012

Health authorities have issued an alert over a fivefold surge in outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis, or stomach flu, just ahead of next month's school opening.
There has also been a 30 percent increase in cases involving the superbug community- associated methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus with 489 people infected.
Centre for Health Protection controller Thomas Tsang Ho-fai said there have been 55 outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis since the start of the year, including 15 in July.
Normally the norovirus that causes stomach flu is active in the winter, and the surge in the summer may be due to the introduction of a new strain from Europe.

"One of the possible explanations is this year the predominant strain of the virus has undergone some changes," Tsang said. "A previous strain that was not so dominant became dominant in Hong Kong."
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and malaise.
He appealed to the public to observe personal hygiene and good eating habits because the virus is normally transmitted through the oral route.
"They should also be specially careful about the handling of vomit because this virus is highly infectious through vomit produced by patients," he said.
Tsang said a single outbreak at a school has been known to infect up to 300 people and he urged parents to keep their children at home if they show symptoms.
The center also reported that of the 489 cases of the CA- MRSA superbug this year, 11 were household clusters or occurred among close contacts. Sharing of personal items, including towels, clothing, razors or nail clippers, carries up to a fivefold risk of infection while frequent handwashing cuts the risk five times.
Meanwhile, Tsang urged travelers to the United States to be wary of mosquito bites amid the worst outbreak of West Nile virus there, with 1,118 cases and 41 deaths so far this year.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Local institute's quick self-vaccine device nearing test

By Carol M. Ostrom
Seattle Times health reporter
Remember how the swine-flu scare in late 2009 prompted thousands of people in the Puget Sound area to wait in line for hours to get a flu shot?
What if, instead, they could get their flu vaccine in the mail, packaged with a little device that would allow them painlessly to give themselves a dose that was short on actual vaccine but long on effectiveness?
That's the goal of Seattle's Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), which has just received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start a Phase I clinical trial for an avian-influenza vaccine that's combined with something called an adjuvant, which strengthens the immune response, and is delivered through a skin-pricking device that uses tiny micro-needles.
Darrick Carter, vice president of IDRI's adjuvant-technology program and co-principal investigator for the project, said the federal government is well aware that the demands for vaccine during the swine-flu scare nearly overwhelmed the public-health system.
"We were already in the orange zone," he said. If a deadly pandemic were to hit, "they think the whole system might collapse."
Being able to quickly produce a vaccine which could be delivered through the mail and self-administered, and which would use adjuvants to enhance immune response, was very attractive to the government, Carter said. It funded the project through a division of the Department of Defense.
Trial starts next month
The trial, which will enroll 100 people in Florida, Texas and Wisconsin, will begin in September to test the vaccine's safety and immune response.
Getting to the clinical-trial stage was a three-company effort. IDRI developed the adjuvant, which allows much less vaccine to be used per dose — important if a pandemic flu caused vaccine to be in short supply.
Medicago, a Canadian biopharma company, developed a plant-based method to manufacture the vaccine, sidestepping the traditional egg-based method, which is difficult to quickly scale up or change as a virus mutates


Bird Flu Outbreak? The Vaccine (Patch) Is in the Mail

I previously posted on this issue, here

August 23, 2012
If a flu pandemic breaks out, the last thing the government wants is for people to rush to hospitals and doctors' offices to get vaccinated among lots of already sick people. To prevent such a scenario, a self-administered flu vaccine is being developed that could be mailed out to the masses.
The vaccine, developed by the Infectious Disease Research Institute, will start human trials next month and is designed to protect against H5N1, one of the most deadly strains of bird flu. While H5N1 kills about 80 percent of people who contract it, so far it is unable to spread from person to person.

This 'microneedle' device could eventually be delivered with a patch.
This 'microneedle' device could eventually be delivered with a patch.

Scientists started a political firestorm earlier this year after they published a paper proving they could manipulate the virus so that it could spread from ferret to ferret, animals that are often used to model the human immune system.
If H5N1 mutates on its own so that it can be spread among humans, doctors are worried that standard vaccine dispensaries, such as hospitals and doctors offices, will become a prime location at which to contract the disease. So the Infectious Disease Research Institute is using microneedles—a series of tiny needles that can be applied to a patch—to deliver the vaccine. A microneedle vaccine could be easily self-administered.
"The idea is to send it through the mail as a patch that's self-assembled and stable," says Darrick Carter, who helped develop the vaccine. "We could stop people from going to a hospital where there's a bunch of sick people."
Sending a vaccine through the mail could also help keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed during a pandemic. Carter says that during the swine flu pandemic a few years ago, hospitals came close to having to turn patients wanting a vaccine away.

[continued - click on link below]

Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (2012)

A. Introduction
An influenza pandemic is a global spread of disease caused by a novel
influenza virus against which the human population has low or no immunity.
The pandemic may not necessarily be caused by avian influenza virus, as seen
from the human swine influenza pandemic in 2009.
2. This document sets out the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Government’s preparedness and response plan in case of an influenza pandemic.
It defines the response levels, the corresponding command structures to be set
up, and measures to be taken having regard to the development of the pandemic
situation at each response level. Relevant agencies, companies and
organisations should take note of this plan in devising their contingency plans
and response measures.
3. This plan was updated in 2012 and includes the following key features –
。three response levels, each representing a graded risk of the pandemic
affecting Hong Kong and its health impact on the community;
。examples of possible scenario depicting each response level;
。the standing down mechanism for each response level; and
。fine-tuned response measures based on the latest practical experience.

B. The Government’s Response Systems
4. The Government’s plan includes three response levels – Alert, Serious
and Emergency. These response levels are based on risk assessment of an
influenza pandemic that may affect Hong Kong and its health impact on the
community. Key factors to be considered in the risk assessment include –
。transmissibility of the infection, such as evidence of human-to-human
transmission capable of sustaining community level outbreaks;
。geographical spread of the disease in humans or animals, such as the
global distribution of affected areas, the volume of trade and travel
between the affected areas and Hong Kong;
。clinical severity of the illness, such as serious complications,
hospitalisations and deaths;
。vulnerability of the population, including pre-existing immunity, target
groups with higher attack rates or increased risk of serious disease;
。availability of preventive measures, such as vaccine and antiviral agents;
。recommendations by international health authorities, such as the World
Health Organization (WHO).
5. The assessment of risk is based on the prevailing situation. It should be
noted that information available at the beginning of a pandemic is often limited.
As the pandemic progresses, crucial information to support assessment of the
aforementioned factors, such as the population at increased risk, case fatality
ratio, complication rate, reproductive number and other transmission
characteristics, will gradually come to light. The Government will review the
risk assessment from time to time, having regard to the development of
scientific knowledge and evolving situation, to ensure that the appropriate
response level is activated and corresponding measures are adopted.

Alert Response Level
6. Alert Response Level corresponds to a situation where the risk of a novel
influenza virus causing new and serious health impact in Hong Kong is low.
Generally, it depicts the existence of a novel influenza virus capable of causing
more serious illness than seasonal influenza in neighbouring regions of Hong
Kong, but without imminent risk of causing any human infection in Hong Kong.
Illustrative scenarios are provided in Box 1.

[Continued at link]

Hong Kong Center for Health Protection: The Alert Response Level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic is activated

23 August 2012

Hong Kong Press Release: SFH inspects avian influenza and influenza prevention and control measures (with photos)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:35

[editing is mine]

The Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, today (August 22) inspected a chicken farm in Yuen Long, the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market and the Hospital Authority Infectious Disease Centre to learn more about measures taken by front-line staff and the trade to prevent and control avian influenza (AI) and influenza.

     Dr Ko visited a chicken farm in Yuen Long to understand more about the use of AI vaccines in local chicken farms. He then visited the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market to see for himself the AI prevention and control measures there. To reduce the risk of AI outbreaks in Hong Kong, the Government has been adopting a comprehensive preventive and surveillance programme, including tight biosecurity measures and vaccination at local farms, import control and stringent hygiene requirements at wholesale and retail markets. 

     Dr Ko said the Government had analysed various scientific data earlier this year. The data indicate that the local risk of AI, especially the risk of human infection, remains at a stable and low level, and that the current AI prevention and control measures that have been adopted at different levels are effective.

     "However, relative to last year, the number of dead wild birds that have tested positive for H5N1 has increased this year. In June this year, the H5N1 virus was detected from a swab sample collected in the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden in Mong Kok, reflecting that a certain degree of AI risk still exists in the natural environment. An imported human infection case was recorded this year. We think there is a need to raise our alertness and step up precautionary measures against AI," he said.

     Dr Ko pointed out that apart from continuing with all the prevention and control measures, the Government would step up surveillance before the coming winter season. For example, surprise inspections would be conducted in local poultry farms and pet bird shops, more samples for tests on AI would be collected from wholesale poultry markets and retail outlets, and measures to combat illegal importation of live birds at boundary control points would also be enhanced.

     Dr Ko said that, for better protection against AI viruses in local chickens, the Government had conducted a review of the AI vaccine currently used in local chicken farms. 

     He said, "The H5N2 AI vaccine has been used in local farms since the introduction of the mandatory vaccination programme for chickens in 2003. Due to variants of viruses, new AI vaccines have been developed. We need to monitor the development and introduce new vaccines in a timely manner.

     "The Harbin Veterinary Research Institute has developed a new Re-6 H5N1 AI vaccine (Re-6 vaccine) targeting the prevailing clade of AI virus commonly found in the region. The Re-6 vaccine has just been introduced on the Mainland and successfully registered in Hong Kong. With the agreement from the experts in the Investigation Group on Vaccine Study, we have decided to introduce Re-6 vaccine in local chicken farms. We are now actively communicating with the Mainland authority to learn more about the use of Re-6 vaccine on the Mainland and to discuss arrangements for supplying the vaccine to Hong Kong. We hope to introduce the new Re-6 vaccine for use in local chicken farms before the end of this year."

     Dr Ko then went to the Princess Margaret Hospital to inspect its isolation facilities for infectious diseases and their operation. He thanked the front-line medical staff for their continuous hard work. At the same time, Dr Ko reminded them to get prepared for the upcoming winter flu season.

     He told the medical staff that the Government had updated the Government Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic. 

     Having regard to past experience and relevant guidelines by the World Health Organization, the Government has updated the plan. Covering influenza pandemic by various sources, the updated plan maintains the three response levels, which have proved to be effective. However, the use of "specific scenario" as criteria for activation of each response level has been replaced by "risk assessment". This enables the Government to be more flexible and effective in the activation of an appropriate response level and in adopting appropriate response measures. More information about the updated plan has been uploaded to the webpage of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) at

     Dr Ko added that vaccination is an effective way to prevent infectious diseases. The CHP announced earlier this month details of the influenza vaccination subsidy schemes for this year. To encourage more people in need to receive influenza vaccinations, the Government will increase the subsidy for childhood influenza vaccination. Dr Ko called on members of the public to bring the elderly and children for influenza vaccination before the arrival of the winter flu season.

     Dr Ko believes that the Government policies and measures against AI, including surveillance for AI and emergency planning, could effectively prevent outbreaks of AI and influenza. However, the threat of AI risk still exists. He reminded the entire society, including the Government, the trade and the general public, to stay alert, upkeep good practices in personal and environmental hygiene, and remain vigilant in taking measures to prevent AI.

Egypt: Health: 55 cases of poisoning due to contaminated water Menoufia

[Here, it seems to be contaminated water.]
Announced the Ministry of Health and Population high numbers of invalids poisonings village Snsaft from drinking contaminated water, reaching so far to 55 cases. said Dr. Amr Kandil, head of the affairs preventive health ministryhad been transferred infected cases to hospital fevers Menouf, pointing to infected cases suffering from Common intestinal, stressing that their health is stable and is expected departure within days after treatment. pointed out that the Ministry of Health has dispatched a team of Preventive Medicine of the Hospital for sampling them and samples of the water plant in the village, and sent to the central laboratory in Cairo to determine the cause of poisoning, is expected declaration More results next Saturday

Egypt: Health Menoufia": the number of patients reached 4 thousand during he past three days

Previously posted here


Dr. Ayman Abdel Moneim, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Menoufia had been put on high alert in all hospitals in the province and to control the situation in the village Snsaft Status Menouf, pointing out that he was still 105-existing condition in hospital.

He said he was restricted numbers during the past three days amounted to 4 thousand cases were panicking myself entered hospitals were detained about 149 cases out 43 cases.

Said Abdel Moneim that the situation is now stable in the village have been rolled out mobile clinics, doctors and warehouses for drugs and all medicines needed by patients.

He stressed that if the degree of emergency lifted all hospitals will continue until healing patients, pointing out that it will be the announcement of the final results of the tests on Saturday or Sunday.

Vietnam: Hai Phong Poultry #H5N1

 Excerpt [in Vietnamese  translations, "children" means chickens]
Thanks to the planning of concentrated livestock should Hai also has a pretty good control of the disease, the farms were closely managed waste treatment system to ensure sanitation. Since the beginning of 2012 did not detect a disease in cattle, the only avian influenza is still not controlled by the ratio of the small-scale family farming too many and scattered.
From 25/7 to date, avian influenza occurred in 10 communes; sick poultry deaths and the destruction of 75 140 children. Steering Committee Room against CGC city has implemented measures enclosure, epidemic and epidemic control.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hong Kong: New jab set to fight bird flu

Mary Ann Benitez and Candy Chan
Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hong Kong will switch to a mainland- developed vaccine to protect local farm chickens against a mutated H5N1 bird flu, the health minister said. Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing- man announced that 10 million doses of the new Re-6 vaccine will be made available from October to target the prevailing H5N1 clade avian influenza that is commonly found in the region. Local poultry farms produce 1.3 million chickens during each of the three breeding seasons in a year. Each bird will receive two shots when they are 10 and 50 days old, before being sold to the market in three months' time. The vaccine, developed by the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, has been used in the mainland since June, and replaces the older Re-5 jab, Ko said. "We are discussing arrangements with mainland authorities to supply the vaccine to Hong Kong," Ko said yesterday. University of Hong Kong microbiology professor Yuen Kwok-yung said that since 2003, all imported and local chickens were given the H5N2 vaccine from Intervet in the Netherlands. "It has since proved to be ineffective," he said. "The public can be reassured that once the birds, both in the mainland and Hong Kong, are inoculated with the new vaccine, our poultry and also our citizens will be fully protected." Thomas Sit Hon-chung, assistant director (inspection and quarantine) at the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, said: "The seed base of the new vaccine is made from the latest H5N1 virus isolated in China. This closely matches the viruses that are currently circulating." New Territories Chicken Breeders Association spokesman Lee Leung-kei said two local chicken farms have taken part in pretrials using the Re-6 vaccine. "Intervet's vaccine is losing its effectiveness in fighting H5N2, especially since some of the vaccinated birds that have been found dead recently were infected with this virus," Lee said. While the Intervet vaccine costs 40 HK cents per dose, the new mainland-produced vaccine is 30 HK cents.

Hong Kong: New poultry H5N1 vaccine to be introduced

hat-tip Crofsblogs. link:

Vietnam: Group appears avian influenza virus originated from China

TP - 21-8, at the meeting of the National Steering Committee for bird flu, the Department of Animal Health (MARD) said the group has found the H5N1 virus, the same virus strains in China. According to the group the new virus has the ability to penetrate into Vietnam, Group A (, but the difference with group A ( cause disease in 2011 in our country. Currently, there is no vaccine matches the virus branches Representatives of the Market Management Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) said, is planning, organizing scouting routes for birds smuggled from the border, the recruiter, to the place of consumption. This plan will be submitted to the Public Security, Agriculture and Rural Development, which will "peel" illegal trafficking chicken in the past. Leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the new virus group from China has appeared, in the absence of effective vaccines, it is necessary to control the smuggling of poultry border, to limit the spread. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, over the past ten days, the chicken smuggled from China have reduced emissions. The ministry continues to require Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, combined to "score" the recruiter illegal bird collection, including the import of poultry breeds in Phu Xuyen (Ha Noi), police cooperation to investigate, handle serious offenders.

CDC: Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 Virus among Healthy Show Pigs, United States

[Click on link for full document] Abstract Within 5 months after the earliest detection of human influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, we found molecular and culture evidence of the virus in healthy US show pigs. The mixing of humans and pigs at swine shows possibly could further the geographic and cross-species spread of influenza A viruses. Gregory C. GrayComments to Author , Jeffrey B. Bender, Carolyn B. Bridges, Russell F. Daly, Whitney S. Krueger, Michael J. Male, Gary L. Heil, John A. Friary, Robin B. Derby, and Nancy J. Cox Author affiliations: University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA (G.C. Gray, W.S. Krueger, G.L. Heil, J.A. Friary, R.B. Derby); University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA (J.B. Bender); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (C.B. Bridges, N.J. Cox); South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, USA (R.F. Daly); and University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA (M.J. Male)

Vietnam: Ministry of Agri. Warns High Risk #H5N1 #birdflu

8/22/12 There will be a high risk of fresh bird flu outbreaks from now till the end of this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) warns. The epidemic has recurred in several cities and provinces in the northern and north-central regions due to cross-border smuggling of chicken, said Diep Kinh Tan, MARD Deputy Minister at a conference in Hanoi on August 21. Continued:

Vietnam: H5N1 in Thai Nguyen

Appear avian influenza outbreak in Võ Nhai 22/08/2012 19/8, poultry family Mr. Hiệp, neighbors An Long, xã Bình Long (Võ Nhai) of more than 460 chickens 2.5 months old, 6 ducks phenomenon sick, die, expression of diseases like bird flu. Soon after, the family has notified the Veterinary staff to get the sample. Test results showed his family's poultry were positive for H5N1. Veterinary forces to coordinate with local authorities carried out the destruction of poultry in accordance with regulations; sanitary cleaning the whole house, collecting of burying waste burning; using 2.000kg lime, 40 liters HanIodin, 5kg Chirox disinfectants, disinfecting the entire house, the livestock sector of the Ye family and farms in the neighborhood. According to the Department of Animal Health, the epidemic was caused by his flocks Agreement pasture in the form of sales, breeding many types of birds in cages, poultry on from the place of unknown origin , flocks have been vaccinated against influenza. Therefore, to ensure safety as well as reduce the risk of disease spread, the Department has not performed a commitment not consume the sick poultry, died for the collection, transport, trade, slaughter poultry; g iam closely monitoring the epidemic in the region; notice situation, mobilize people to actively participate in measures for prevention, committed to "5" ...

Vietnam: Deal with the bird flu virus has modified Slight Change in Strain

[This article is very specific, on the change in the strain]

(VOV) - It is worrying that the H5N1 vaccine is only effective below 75% should not universal use in the prevention and control of avian influenza.

Department of Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: experimental results in 8/2012 shows the newly discovered group of H5N1 avian influenza virus in arm A ( has changed a number of amino- acid.
Although this virus is still attached to the branch but there was a difference, the virulence of the virus group is the professional body research and evaluation. It is worrying that the H5N1 vaccine is only effective below 75% should not universal use in the prevention and control of avian influenza.
Van Dang Ky, Head of Hygiene and Epidemiology - Department of Animal Health said the most effective way to protect poultry is still detected, localized translation. "At present we are mainly applied for early detection and destruction of human disease, hygiene and disinfection, management tightly outbreak, not to spread to other places.Currently we are making this problem very efficiently, and vaccine use in the northern, central and Central Highlands virtually very little use. We only use the vaccine program countries to encircle outbreak, reduce the spread only problem, "Ky said.
Animal Health Department warned, this stage of the season is very convenient for developing bird flu virus, so the local need close monitoring to detect early cases. At the same time, while no effective vaccine to prevent and control the situation cross-border smuggling of poultry to limit pathogen spread, making it difficult to work management epidemic. /.

Vietnam: Detects new bird flu virus group

[This article goes into more detail regarding the strain in Vietnam. The post below this one was hard to understand]

August 22, 2012
 While avian influenza (CGC) continues to spread and unpredictable, the Veterinary Department (MARD) announced that it has detected a new virus group "attacked" poultry ... Afternoon 21.8, Pham Van Dong, deputy director of the Department of Animal Health said, has detected the H5N1 virus group differences with the CGC virus in 2011.

According to East, this virus group but still attached branches (group A) but there was a difference, the virulence of the virus group is the professional body research and evaluation. Currently there is no vaccine in accordance with this new virus branch. Ha Thuy Hanh, deputy director of the National Agricultural Extension Center, said: "The role of vaccines in the vaccination CGC should be reviewed, by the fact, the effect of the vaccine on the less when the virus mutate ".

 Police need smuggled into the bird up
According to the Department of Animal Husbandry, at this time, the control of the most smuggled poultry breeding is Grower chickens, ducks Grower 1 week old are difficult; times the amount smuggled poultry on up to several hundred thousand children each week. Mr. Nguyen Duc Trong, Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry Department said: There should be coordination of public security, industry and commerce and the local authorities to control the illegal import of poultry thoroughly.

 As of 21.8, CGC has appeared in five provinces of Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh, Hai Phong, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh. According to the Department of Animal Health, CGC major outbreak in the Northern and North Central provinces. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan said: "The plans for the local response to the epidemic has been implemented quite well, but the efficiency is not high. Moreover, in fact, have tended to appear and increase highway from connection inland border. " So, Qin stressed: "The control of smuggled poultry in about 10 days back has been enhanced and effective first step. However, if not done regularly and continuously to quickly stamp out epidemics, can the end of the year we will be missing the meat and then we have to depend on imported poultry, including chicken even have gonorrhea ".

 Epidemic also machinery
Talking about the prevention and CGC in the past, Diep Kinh Tan said: "The prevention of the disease in poultry, livestock machinery. Status DAH have to "wait" local announced new service vaccinated, disinfectants ". By doing the above, CGC will continue to complicated, especially in the winter time. "If detection risk should be allocated immediately vaccines, disinfectants to stamping out and quickly surrounded vaccination as it can quickly stamping out. To the outbreak, and then announce new services allocated vaccines, disinfectants both a lot of work and cost of risk-prone but pandemic then just struggling against all year, "Qin said.

The rapid evolution of CGC, Department of Animal Health has issued guidance documents use CGC disease vaccine production by NAVETCO Company. Accordingly, for the prevention of avian influenza vaccine with high efficiency, DAH requirements, to use vaccines for chickens, ducks healthy and when injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously in position 1/3 of the bottom , back of the neck. Before injection vaccine must be stored at 2-8 ° C, avoid sunlight and use within 12 months from date of manufacture. In addition to measures to vaccination, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat has asked the Department of Animal Health drastically the local implementation of disinfection and sterilization. In particular, strengthening the implementation of measures to control the spread of disease through the purchase, sale, transportation of cattle and poultry at the border. At the same time, strict handling veterinary officer violating the provisions of law and regulations. Helpful Information Source:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Enhanced anti-seepage poultry breeds in Vietnam Strain differences were

Army Online - The country has five local happening AI Hai Phong, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh is the information the Department of Animal Health (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development-MARD ) presented at the meetings of the National Steering Prevention avian afternoon 21-8. In the past week, Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh findings translate to total poultry to be destroyed in about 8430 the two provinces. Department of Animal Health said, the next time bird flu has the ability to recur at some Northern and North Central in August. The outbreak appeared in many localities, but service is basically recurring in scattered household local was detected early and treated promptly. Department of Animal Health has issued one million doses of vaccine to the local injection enclosure outbreak. The concern most have discovered a group of viruses of H5N1 despite branch (group A) but differ from strain caused branching on poultry diseases in 2011. Status discarded chicken smuggled from China Vietnam fell time after the power steering of the Prime Minister and to the radical of the authorities. However, the state bird seed continued seepage in Vietnam Nam potential risk of spread of avian influenza.
In the future, the animal and the body of MARD continued monitoring of circulating strains of the virus to promptly determine pandemic vaccines match.  Regarding blue ear disease, both countries there are three local outbreaks: Nghe An, Dak Lak, Cao Bang. The basic local service to control, particularly in Dak Lak, the outbreak has spread to 14 out of 15 districts, to 11 137 infected pigs, the 4859 destruction.MARD has issued 70 000 doses of vaccine against PRRS for three local epidemic (40 000 doses of Nghe An, Dak Lak 20,000 doses, Cao Bang 10 000 doses). The risk of the epidemic continues to spread in the region of North Central, Central Highlands , Vietnam Ministry is very high. Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan said: In September, the Ministry and the local trying to extinguish the blue ear disease, and continue to implement drastic measures, synchronized to prevent bird flu outbreak widely, including treatment measures to eliminate seepage in status birds breed in Vietnam.

FAO warns of pig disease's spread following outbreak in Ukraine


ROME, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday warned of the risk of pig disease's spread after the African swine fever (ASF) was detected in Ukraine.

While control measures appear to have temporarily halted the disease's spread, "the first-ever detection of African swine fever in Ukraine has established a firm foothold in the Caucasus and poses an ongoing risk to neighboring areas," the Rome-based organization said in a statement.

In addition to some other parts of Ukraine, nearby countries like Moldova, Kazakhstan and Latvia, which have large pig populations, are also now at high risk, according to the FAO.
All countries at risk should scale up their prevention measures, stand ready to detect ASF outbreaks as soon as they occur and respond in a proactive fashion, the organization warned.
ASF does not affect humans, but mortality's in domestic pigs can be extremely high. Last year, up to 300,000 pigs died or were culled as a result of ASF outbreaks in Russia, incurring an estimated loss of 240 million U.S. dollars.

Humans often contribute unconsciously to the spread of this highly infectious virus. For example, foodstuffs that contain ASF-contaminated pork or pork products can be consumed by scavenging free-ranging pigs.

Therefore, FAO recommended a strict ban on swill feeding, a mix of liquid and solid food scraps and leftovers, which is largely responsible for new infections.
European wild boar are also susceptible to the disease, which makes them a vector for transmission as they wander freely across national boundaries, the FAO said.

WHO Update: Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo - update

As of 20 August 2012, a total of 15 (13 probable and 2 confirmed) cases with 10 deaths have been reported in Province Orientale in Eastern DRC. The reported cases and deaths have occurred in 3 health zones as follows: 12 cases and 8 deaths in Isiro, including three (3) health care workers who have died; 2 cases and 1 death in Pawa; and 1 fatal case in Dungu.
The Congolese Ministry of Health has convened a National Task Force and is working with several partners including WHO, UNICEF, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) Suisse, MSF Belgique and the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Similar Task Forces have been established at provincial and district levels to oversee and guide the response.
A joint MoH, WHO and MSF emergency response team is in the field to conduct a detailed epidemiological investigation and support case management. Control activities that are being carried out include active case finding and contact tracing, enhanced surveillance, case management, public information and social mobilization, and reinforcing infection control practices.
WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health in the areas of coordination, surveillance, field epidemiology, laboratory, case management, outbreak logistics, public information and social mobilization. An additional team of epidemiologists, a logistician, an anthropologist and social mobilization officers is being mobilized from the DRC, Republic of Congo, the WHO AFRO regional rapid response team, WHO Inter-Country Support team (IST) based in Gabon, and WHO HQ, for possible deployment in the field.
WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Democratic Republic of Congo.

Poultry workers in city vulnerable to Avian Flu H9N2, finds NIV study

July 19, 2012
PUNE: Avian influenza AI (H9N2) has been detected in a few poultry handlers in the city, which increases the need for a more hygienic environment in wet poultry shops, says a new study done by National Institute of Virology (NIV). 

"India has reported outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in poultry since 2006, starting with Maharashtra. The evidence of H9N2 in poultry market may lead to H9N2 virus co-exist with the existing poultry viruses including H5N1. Therefore, in the current scenario, surveillance in poultry workers and especially cullers is urgently required in India," Director NIV Akhilesh C Mishra told Sakal Times. 

Humans infected with AI H9N2 have been reported in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Bangladesh, amongst those who where involved in handling of chicken, washing and cutting the meat prior to onset of influenza-like illness.

The study titled 'Avian Influenza H9N2 Seroprevalence among Poultry Workers in Pune' has been published in the journal 'Plos One'. It has been authored by Shailesh D Pawar, Babasaheb V Tandale, Chandrashekhar G Raut, Saurabh S Parkhi, Tanaji D Barde, Yogesh K Gurav, Sadhana S Kode, and A C Mishra of the Microbial Containment Complex, Pashan and NIV. 

"Since H9N2 virus has been found to be crossing over to humans from birds, globally it is listed as one of the emerging influenza viruses, with potential to cause human infection. The butcher community is more vulnerable because they are constantly exposed to poultry birds," the NIV director said. 

According to the lead author of the study Shailesh Pawar, regular cleaning and disinfection of wet poultry markets have been found to be helpful in preventing chain of transmission of AI viruses in Indonesia. 

"Such attempts would also help India to curtail the spread of the AI viruses in wet poultry markets and exposure to humans. The present pilot study showed low prevalence of antibodies against AI H9N2 virus, which is comparable with reported studies from South-East Asia. Further studies in poultry workers are urgently required in India to monitor human infections," Pawar said.
A total of 338 poultry workers were studied of which 21 were found having anti-bodies for H9N2.

“Since H9N2 virus has been found to be crossing over to humans from birds, globally it is listed as one of the emerging influenza viruses, with potential to cause human infection,” Director NIV Akhilesh C Mishra said.

Avian influenza viruses circulating locally in West Bengal: NIV study

Domestic ducks and poultry found carrying viruses in the state
PUNE: Even as migratory birds were found to be clean, the domestic ducks and poultry are carrying avian influenza (AI) virus in West Bengal, according to a study by National Institute of Virology (NIV) and Ela Foundation, Pune.
The study has shown that the AI viruses affecting the poultry in West Bengal and North Eastern states are circulating locally, and not coming from outside. It was undertaken in view of repeated outbreaks of the virus among the poultry in the country since 2006,
"We collected a large number of samples of domestic ducks and poultry from areas in West Bengal where the AI outbreak was reported,” said Director of NIV, AC Mishra told Sakal Times.
“Many samples of the ducks were found carrying influenza virus H4N6 and anti-bodies against H5N1 virus have been found. H9N2 was found in poultry," said Mishra.
This showed the probable role of domestic ducks and poultry in the transmission of the avian influenza virus. Simultaneously, a limited sample collected from migratory birds were found to be not infected.
The study titled 'Avian influenza surveillance reveals presence of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses in poultry during 2009-2011 in the West Bengal State' has been jointly authored by Shailesh D Pawar, Sandeep D Kale, Amol S Rawankar, Santosh S Koratkar, Chandrashekhar G Raut, Jayati Mullick and AC Mishra from NIV along with Satish A Pande from Ela Foundation. 
The study has been published in the Virology Journal.
"Human infections of H9N2 have been reported from China and Egypt and limited presence was found among Pune poultry workers. This necessitates implementation of prevention and control measures to limit the spread of AI viruses," Mishra said.

Egypt: Menoufia Village Sickness Began Yesterday, Diagnosis remains unknown


Abdel Rahman Abu determined eyewitness village Snsaft of Menof, that the injuries on the rise and respond to treatment and there is still flocked to the health unit in the village were taken dwellings nearby and volunteered some doctors to help in the treatment of cases that do not go beyond the injury woes intestinal, as the symptoms vomiting and high temperatures.
He said he started suspecting of yesterday morning and were individual cases thought by some to be something unusual after coming out of the month of Ramadan has begun preparations to increase yesterday morning - Monday - The common intestinal, and pointed out that the reason remains unknown so far, and denied that the cause of injury is drinking water as the desalination plant has existed for a long time as it's a charity of the people of the village and not to profit or business.
Masrawy learned from medical sources inside the village health unit had been transferred some cases admitted to hospital Menouf that about 40% of those with children, including babies, and doctors attributed the cause of injuries may be contaminated and not poisoning

Egypt: Menofia, Snsaft Village Thousand People Sick

8/21/12 Injured more than a thousand people in the village of Snsaft Menof Menofia status of poisoning due to contaminated drinking water. Were transferred to a hospital in dozens of cases Menouf year, where she underwent the necessary first aid, after the onset of symptoms similar to patients all, a sharp rise in temperatures and Mgd vomiting and diarrhea. The hospital received Menouf year, about 50 cases, while other cases were transferred to the Fever Hospital Menouf, and treatment of other cases by the health unit and the number of doctors in the village.

Said Dr. Mohsen Abdel Razek, deputy director of the hospital Menouf year:'' The initial reports and analysis of water samples that have been withdrawn from the stations of water in the village, the first subsidiary of the government water, and the second station eligibility, demonstrated the presence of contamination in the water station II resulted in these injuries' '.

The some people living with assaulting the owner of the water plant, while others have cut agricultural road heading from the village to Cairo, and set fire to tires claiming a voice to the officials, and drew attention to the need for attention to the problem of water, and to accelerate the completion of the water plant new subsidiary company Water being worked out now.

There were verbal altercations between some of the villagers, and the President of the City Council Menouf, who moved to the village in the early hours of this morning, to follow up the situation on the ground, and held him until he brought large quantities of drugs to treat the injured after running out of medicines from the health unit, and private pharmacies in the village. And the expulsion of the people injured deputy parliament dissolved for Freedom and Justice party, Ibrahim pilgrims, who came to the headquarters of the health unit, refusing any help from him, and accused him of being working to bring votes in preparation for the upcoming elections. And moved to the village security force to control the situation after the escalation of the protests, the police cars and ambulances to transfer some of the injured to hospitals because of the bad cases.

Monday, August 20, 2012

South Asian nations urged to wage joint battle against diseases

[Editing is mine]
By Ranjana Narayan IANS

In South Asia, one of the world’s most densely populated regions, deadly diseases from animals, like the nipah virus, brucellosis, anthrax and even avian flu, cross international boundaries with ease. A fruit bat on the India-Bangladesh border could spread the deadly nipah virus when it licks the juice of the date palm tree being collected by farmers. Likewise, cattle grazing in grasslands spanning borders could carry with them spores of the anthrax disease, or the ticks on them could spread brucellosis. According to experts, zoonotic diseases, transmitted from animals to humans, are able to cross international borders in South Asia due to the porous borders, poor awareness and surveillance mechanisms coupled with high density of population. Among the diseases spread by animals in South Asia are the plague, scrub typhus, leptospirosis and avian flu. Brucellosis causes abortions in bovines, and sheep and goat. In humans, the fever can be confused with typhoid. “In South Asia, borders are porous; humans cross over and along with them bring pathogens. We are tropical countries where the human-animal interface is very, very intense,” Manish Kakkar, senior public health specialist, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), told IANS.

Kakkar said in South Asia, there is a lot of unorganised backyard animal and poultry farming. “Humans and animals come into close contact in these farms. There is poor knowledge of hygienic practices; bio safety standards are not up to the mark; and there is every likelihood of pathogens crossing the borders.” “With its poverty, high population, poor safety practices, it makes the South Asia region a hot spot for zoonotic diseases,” said Kakkar, on the sidelines of a meeting on zoonotic diseases organised by One Health Alliance of South Asia (OHASA) attended by delegates from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

India saw its first outbreak of nipah virus - which affects the neurological and respiratory system and can cause death - in Siliguri in West Bengal in 2000. The saliva and urine of the fruit bats - which were unwitting hosts to the nipah virus - contaminated the date palm juice collected by farmers, thereby spreading the virus to humans, said Jonathan H. Epstein, a disease ecologist.

The H1N1 or avian flu virus in wild birds finds its way to backyard poultry farms located next to jungles. “Poultry farmers trade the chickens even if they fall sick, and these infect others as well as the humans handling them,” Epstein, EcoHealth Alliance’s associate vice president and member of OHASA Steering Committee, told IANS. According to Epstein, the increasing population has led to people moving closer to jungles and intruding into wildlife areas, thereby increasing the chances of catching such infections. Also the growing demand for protein has increased the man-animal interaction. “Half of the infections afflicting humans come from animals,” said the expert, adding that many of the infections are emerging or new ones like the West Nile virus, spread by the mosquito. Japanese encephalitis is transmitted by mosquitoes to humans and affects a large number of people in India every year. However, the actual host to the killer virus are pigs and birds, from which it is transmitted to mosquitoes.
Kakkar and Epstein maintain that to tackle zoonotic diseases in South Asia, the veterinary and wildlife authorities need to be on board along with health officials. “We need to synergise collaboration between the veterinary, human and wildlife sectors,’ says Kakkar.

In villages situated next to national parks, many cow grazers take their animals inside the parks to graze, which in turn leads to animals catching the anthrax spores from deer or bison and pass them on to humans. According to Kakkar, besides human encroachment, climate change is another reason for the spread of zoonotic disease as animals migrate to newer areas more conducive to them. The illegal trade in wildlife also helps spread the disease. “There is need for inter-sectoral co-ordination, which needs to translate to action. Otherwise we can’t be effective in tackling the spread of zoonotic diseases. It needs a lot of collaboration between countries of the South Asia region,” maintains Kakkar.

Vietnam Vaccine for Strain Sounds Complicated

Guide bird flu vaccine used properly 20/08/2012 To address the avian influenza had returned and appeared in five provinces of Quang Binh and Ha Tinh and Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh, the Animal Health Department has issued Document No. 1286/TY-DT user manual bird flu vaccine due to a limited liability company a member of the Central Veterinary Medicines (NAVETCO) production. Mr. Hoang Van Nam, Director of Animal Health authorities said the bird flu vaccine has been tested and NAVETCO Council for Scientific Research, accepted on May 2/2012 recently. These vaccine strains were grown on chicken embryos and inactivated with formalin should be only for chicken flu avian influenza H5N1 by branch 1 and branch (group A) and prevention of diseases caused by influenza viruses for ducks in H5N1 causes a branch. According to the content guidelines, to fight bird flu vaccine effective to use the vaccine for chickens, ducks healthy and the injection must be administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously at position 1/3 below, the following neck. Before injecting the vaccine must be stored at 2-8 degrees C, avoid sunlight and use within 12 months from date of manufacture. In particular, prior to vaccination to test the vaccine, remove broken bottles, vials were frozen, to be cloudy or subclass ... satisfactory for vaccine should be shaken well before injection, often rather needles and vials vaccines use only within 24 hours after opening. For chickens, ducks were vaccination is not used within 14 days after injection. The document also specifies, for the mother not vaccinated chickens must be vaccinated at age 14 to 21 days, injected a dose of 0.5 ml / children in case of chicken from the shots, she has injected a dose of 0.5 ml / children at 21-28 days of age and every 4 months a booster dose; chicken breeds, hens injected a dose of 0.5 ml / child and booster after 6 months. Particularly, from 14-35 day-old ducks injected a dose of 0.5 ml / child and booster after 14-21 days with a double dose, and 35-day-old ducks last injection, the injection of a dose 1ml/con. According to Hoang Van Nam, issuing detailed written vaccination guidelines to ensure the highest efficiency of the vaccine, and contribute to prevention, to avoid the bird flu situation continues to spread spread over large areas. /.

Vietnam: Bac Kan Outbreak Continues #H5N1

Although many local implementing border measures epidemic, but avian influenza type A (H5N1) in Cho Don continued complicated and widespread outbreak. Currently the town Bang Lung translation published on 15/8, there are two additional social mobilization and Yen Thuong positive (+) with H5N1.

In the town of Bang Lung, besides outbreak in the 4th and the 6th, on 16/8 has discovered an outbreak at her home Triệu Thị Vàng  3.On the morning of 20/8 outbreak again detected in two families Hoàng Thị Hay và ông Lục Thành Đồng tổ 2A.

Also in Yen Thuong, after destroying the whole village poultry in Contact with results positive for avian influenza A (H5N1) on 10/8, the date 17/8 commune outbreak in his family to quantify, village tame. Soon after Cho Don District Veterinary Station has organized destruction services in areas zoned tame.

In social mobilization, after detection of dead chickens at Bản Mới và Làng Sen, commune leaders were quick to report on the District Veterinary Station. On 16/8 Veterinary Station take samples for testing, on 19/8 with a positive (+) with H5N1. On the morning of 20/8 in Na Chang, Dong Vien further discovered an outbreak again.

Before the evolution of complex avian influenza type A (H5N1), Cho Don District People's Committee has implemented drastic and synchronous measures to prevent and combat service, mobilize all resources, zoning, stamping services. However, due to the flow of vehicles passing through the area multiple forces involved stamping the thin, so the service is having control difficulties.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Philipines: Antique’s wetlands home to many migratory birds

Antique /ɑːnˈtkə/ is a province of the Philippines located in the region of Western Visayas. The province's capital, San Jose, is located in the western portion of Panay Island and borders Aklan, Capizand Iloilo to the east, whilst facing the Sulu Sea to the west.
August 20, 2012 SAN JOSE, Antique – Different species of migratory birds find home in Antique’s wetlands. This was revealed in the latest Asian Water Fowl Census conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on January 14-29, 2012 in the province of Antique. Vivian Develos, Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management coordinator of DENR-Antique, said some migratory birds have found their habitat in Antique because they are seen almost all year round. “Although bird census is conducted every January, the peak season for migratory birds to come in the Philippines because of winter season in the north pole, the egret or locally known as tulabong are seen in swamps, marshland and ricefields almost year round,” explained Develos. They have found the wetlands in Antique a fertile feeding ground and a favorable roosting place. “Our analysis is that they have found their habitat in the province,” she added. Among the migratory birds seen aside from egrets are sandpiper, bittern, plover, greenshank, heron, among others. More than a thousand population are seen in some identified wetlands of the province but the biggest are in Hamtic (south), and in Culasi (north) along the fishponds, swamps, and ricefields. The Asian Water Fowl Census was conducted in compliance to the directive of monitoring migratory birds for bird flu preparedness. Develos said they have not seen any signs or characteristics of migratory birds indicating bird flu.