Tuesday, December 31, 2013

86-year-old Jiangsu tourists in Taiwan infected with #H7N9 bird flu confirmed


Taipei, Dec. 31 Xinhua Taiwan's disease control department electric evening of 31 confirmed one case of human infection with the H7N9 bird flu, the patient is 86 years old male tourists from Jiangsu Province, the incidence of traveling to Taiwan is still in ICU treatment.
Taiwan epidemic command center responsible person pointed out that the tourists on December 17 entry, the 19th loss of appetite, chest tightness on the 23rd, when the 24th emergency medical treatment for pneumonia ventilator and ICU stay so far.
It is reported that 25 people with this same tour group tourists, there were 22 people on Dec. 24 return to the mainland. Only patients with two daughters to stay in Taiwan to take care of his father, the two no symptoms.
This is Taiwan's first two cases of human infection with H7N9 imported confirmed cases of bird flu, the first imported case was discovered in April of this year.

Taiwan reports 2nd case of imported #H7N9 in 2013 (update)

2013/12/31 22:06:54

Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Health authorities confirmed Tuesday that a Chinese tourist in Taiwan has been infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu, marking the second imported H7N9 infection this year.

The infected, an 86-year-old man from Jiangsu Province, is still in Taiwan receiving treatment, though most of his 25-person tour group has already returned to China, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Two of his daughters have stayed with him but have thus far shown no symptoms associated with the virus. The man entered Taiwan Dec. 17 and began showing symptoms two days later, starting with a loss of appetite. On Dec. 23, he reported tightness of the chest before being rushed to an emergency room the next day, where he was put on a ventilator to treat pneumonia.

An infectious diseases experts familiar with the case said he was not surprised by the second case of H7N9 coming from China following the first back in April. Even so, this patient's symptoms were slightly different from previously reported infections, indicating that doctors still face some difficulty in diagnosing the virus, he added.

The man's infection could mean that H7N9 has become prevalent across all of southern China even though, puzzlingly, major duck and chicken farms in the region have been found disease-free."Beware of the virus if you see any ducks in the Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River) area," he cautioned.


Genetic marker indicates severity of #H7N9 infection

Wang Z. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2013;doi:10.1073/pnas.1321748111.

  • December 31, 2013
A group of researchers have identified a genetic marker that can predict which patients infected with the new influenza A(H7N9) strain will experience more severe disease, according to data published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Influenza A(H7N9) has infected 134 people in nine provinces in China and caused 44 deaths, according to the paper, which was published online Dec. 23. According to WHO, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.
“By using genetic markers in blood and lung samples, we have discovered that there are certain indicators that signal increased susceptibility to this influenza,” Katherine Kedzierska, PhD, associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in a press release. “Higher than normal levels of cytokines, driven by a genetic variant of a protein called IFITM3, tells us that the severe disease is likely.”
Lower levels of plasma inflammatory cytokines at hospital admission were associated with faster recovery among 18 patients admitted to the hospital with H7N9, but high concentrations of interleukin-6, IL-8 and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 beta were associated with less favorable or fatal outcomes, the researchers wrote.
When they analyzed bronchoalveolar lavage samples, they found up to 1,000-fold greater cytokine and chemokine levels relative to plasma samples. They also found that patients with the rs12252-C/C genotype of IFITM3 had more rapid disease progression and were more likely to die than patients with the rs12252-T/T or rs12252-T/C genotypes.
“We call this a Cytokine Storm and people with the genetic variant of the protein IFITM3 are more likely to succumb to severe influenza infection,” Kedzierska said. “Being able to predict which patients will be more susceptible to the emerging influenza strain will allow clinicians to better manage an early intervention strategy.”
Disclosure: Kedzierska and colleagues report no relevant disclosures.


#H7N9 Chinese Tourist from Jiangsu Province to Taiwan Confirmed

The last day of 2013, the country imported cases appear second case of H7N9. Case of 85-year-old mainland Chinese man recently went to visit Taiwan, loss of appetite, chest symptoms seek medical treatment, check for pneumonia, ventilator, Central Epidemic Command Center last night was diagnosed with H7N9.
Epidemic center, said the mainland tourists are "atypical symptoms", no fever, cough;, and the same group of passengers and daughter are asymptomatic, infectious judged not high, people need not panic. Department of Disease Control, Area Control Center keeps track of the situation with the relevant contact man with round-person group.
Following the first since April last year, the country imported H7N9 appears Taiwanese cases; these mainland tourists from Jiangsu Province, is the second from the case.
Currently epidemic center in Jiangsu Province has increased tourism activity levels for the second level "warning", including Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces also have confirmed cases of H7N9, appealed to the local people do not live bird markets, poultry or eating raw meat category.
World Health Organization, H7N9 is currently limited to "the limitations of human transmission stage." Epidemic center, said commander Zhang Fengyi, H7N9 flu outbreak so far, only five cases of human to human transmission limitations cases.
Although imported from mainland tourists in this country went to Taipei, Taoyuan, Nantou Tou, eluanbi Pingtung, Hualien Taroko so many tourist attractions, is still in a hospital in the northern part of the treatment in the intensive care unit, but was its first test weakly positive, low viral load.
Due to the frequent cross-strait exchanges, enhance Taiwan's epidemic level is? Zhang Fengyi said that if the virus mutated to human transmission stage, quarantine and epidemic prevention policy will be updated.
Director of Children's Infectious Diseases Hospital, National Taiwan University, said Li-Min Huang, mainland epidemic widespread than imagined, he judged the entire south of the Yangtze River has a virus exists, calling the people must be vigilant.
[2014/01/01 United Daily News]


#H7N9 first two cases the onset of mainland tourists to Taiwan tourism

January 1, 2013

Disease Control Department on December 31 evening confirmed the first two cases of 2013 H7N9 influenza imported confirmed cases , the patient is 86 years old male membership Jiangsu mainland , Taiwan travel time of onset , is still in the intensive care unit for treatment. Experts say H7N9 comeback "no accident ."
Central Epidemic Command Center pointed out that the Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, 86 -year-old man mainland tourists in Taiwan on December 17 inbound tourism , the 19th began loss of appetite, chest tightness phenomenon 23, 2009 , 24 am emergency medical treatment, the use of the day due to bilateral pneumonia respirator ICU stay far, the 26th vote to Tamiflu .
Among 25 patients with the same group of 22 people was December 24 return to the mainland , the patient's two daughters continued to stay in Taiwan to take care of patients , 2 per capita symptoms did not appear.
No symptoms in patients with two daughters
Command Center said the patient during the journey to Taiwan, visited Taoyuan County, Taipei City , New Taipei City , Taichung City , Chiayi City, Kaohsiung , Taitung , Hualien County and other counties famous attractions, there is no fever or journey cough , detailed travel history is being confirmed and accommodation information . Command Center has informed WHO and synchronization between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao contact notification window .


#MERS #Coronavirus UAE Wife of recent 68yo confirmed case/fatality -- is also confirmed

Hat-tip @ironorehopper

On December 20th, I posted a story of a confirmed case out of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAD). 

A new case of the Sars-like virus, that originated in the Middle East and has killed 75 people worldwide, has been confirmed by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
The DHA said a 68-year-old Emirati patient was admitted to an unnamed hospital after showing symptoms of the new Corona virus Mers and was receiving treatment in the intensive care unit, state news agency Wam reported.  It said the man was also suffering from diabetes and chronic kidney failure.
In a report today out of the World Health Organzation (WHO), the wife of the above confirmed case has also contracted MERS.

On December 26, WHO has been informed of one new confirmed case of MERS CoV from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  In addition, UAE announced the death of the 68 year old male reported on 22 December 2013. 

The new case is a 59 year-old female from Sharjah, and is the wife of the 68 year old male reported on 22 December, 2013. She is reported to have no symptoms, no history of contact with animals and no travel history. She is currently in hospital under isolation. Other contacts have been screened and are negative for MERS-CoV.

WHO Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update December 31, 2013

Disease outbreak news

31 December 2013 – On 25 December 2013, WHO has been informed of five additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia.

One of the cases is a 57 year-old male from Riyadh who was hospitalized on 17 December,  2013 and is currently in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was laboratory confirmed on 19 December,  2013. He has underlying chronic diseases. There are no known exposures to animals or a laboratory-confirmed case, and the case has no history of traveling outside Riyadh region.

Second case is a 73 year-old male national, from Riyadh who developed respiratory symptoms and was transferred to an intensive care unit on 25 November 2013, and died on 17 December 2013. On 19 December 2013, he was laboratory confirmed for MERS-CoV. There are no known exposures to animals or a laboratory-confirmed case. In addition, he has no history of travel outside of Riyadh

Three additional cases (two males and one female) are health care workers who have not reported any symptoms.

On December 26, WHO has been informed of one new confirmed case of MERS CoV from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  In addition, UAE announced the death of the 68 year old male reported on 22 December 2013. 

The new case is a 59 year-old female from Sharjah, and is the wife of the 68 year old male reported on 22 December, 2013. She is reported to have no symptoms, no history of contact with animals and no travel history. She is currently in hospital under isolation. Other contacts have been screened and are negative for MERS-CoV.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 176 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 74 deaths.

Continued:  http://www.who.int/csr/don/don_updates/en/index.html

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hong Kong Shenzhen Luohu Man Confirmed with #H9N2 Map

December 30, 2013

Today, together with the Government of Hong Kong from mainland China confirmed human infections passed avian influenza A (H9N2) cases, the patient was 86 years old, living in Shenzhen Luohu.

Director of the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection, Department of Health Leung Ting-hung announcement, this man is chronically ill patients, the incidence in the 28th, then to Hong Kong for treatment, and is currently in stable condition. Hong Kong Department of Health has informed the Guangdong health authorities since this case.
Leung Ting-hung said that he had contact with the patient's 50 health care workers have received medical observation, all without symptoms of infection.

Leung Ting-hung said, H9N2 infected birds generally between the lower people the opportunity to spread. Initial inquiries revealed that the patient was not contacted before the onset of the disease in poultry, nor eaten poultry; Therefore, TH Leung does not exclude the possibility of patients infected with the virus from birds. Hong Kong authorities are tracing the source of infection. This is the first appearance of H9N2 cases in Hong Kong this year. Statistics show that Hong Kong has played a total of seven H9N2 cases have occurred since 1999, but the patient's condition were minor, no fatal, the last time in 2009. Since the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong, Hong Kong hurts the most is that of the H5N1 bird flu, resulting in many deaths. Even recently passed by the continent's H7N9, Hong Kong people also did not panic.


Hong Kong Health Department: Case of #H9N2 Guangdong Province, Shenzhen

December 30, 2013
 Health Department today (December 30) afternoon received notification of the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong case of human infection with influenza A H9N2 appears influenza cases.
Under the notification, the case of 86-year-old man, living in Guangdong Province, Shenzhen Luohu; 28, chills, cough and sputum, Hong Kong via Lo Wu Control Point to the hospital for treatment, isolation ward is now receiving treatment in a stable condition. After testing samples from patients, diagnosed in 30 people infected with influenza A H9N2 influenza.
Influenza viruses are divided into A (A), B (B), propylene (C) three types, can cause a worldwide influenza pandemic, it is particularly important; B is generally only cause local epidemics, hepatitis C is generally only cause sporadic disease eg . With influenza A virus hemagglutinin surface (Hemagglutinin, abbreviated H) and neural aminotransferase enzyme (Neuraminidase, referred to as N) are two major antigens; hemagglutinin total of 1 to 16, a total of neuraminidase type 1 to 9 . Influenza virus and by different combinations of the same H N named as 2009 H1N1 pandemic and now H7N9, H10N8 and so on. Influenza is important that the H and N antigens change easily generate a new subtype; But human immunity to the new subtype is not high, so often caused by different levels of pandemic. When a new flu virus appears in the human, because humans have no resistance to stress, there may be a worldwide pandemic. Causes new type of influenza virus is the human influenza virus and nonhuman influenza viruses (such as avian influenza virus) gene recombination, or old subtype occur again, or animal influenza virus changed the host specificity and so on.
Health Bureau said that the weather becoming cooler, the influenza virus is likely to once again active. Health will continue to state health departments and health departments and neighboring regions, the World Health Organization to maintain close contact and closely monitoring the situation around, and through cross-sectoral and public-private cooperation in the health care system, to carry out the prevention and response.
For the prevention of influenza infection, health authorities urged the public to pay attention to the following matters:
 Avoid visiting, and have suffered outbreaks of human infection with avian influenza A regional markets, farms and other birds have a place to sell or display;
 Avoid contact with sick birds or other animals and their secretions, excretions; case of contact should wash their hands immediately;
 Do not eat undercooked poultry meat, offal, blood products and eggs;
 attention to personal hygiene, wash hands frequently;
 symptoms such as fever, cough, breathing difficulties, should wear a mask, a doctor as soon as possible, and to detail the history of travel and contact history animal doctor.
Information can be found in the Health Bureau website (www.ssm.gov.mo) or call the Health Department infectious disease hotline (28700800).

Saturday, December 28, 2013

CIDRAP: CDC tool for measuring pandemic preparedness used by scores of countries


News Scan for Dec 27, 2013

A method developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners for assessing countries' pandemic influenza preparedness capabilities has been used by more than 40 countries to document preparedness and gauge progress, according to a report published Dec 23 in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Diseases.
Called the National Inventory of Core Capabilities for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response, the tool was developed to provide a means of systematically collecting data on coverage, quality, and timeliness in 12 areas of preparedness and response.
The inventory was used by 40 countries in 6 WHO regions in 2008, according to the report. In 2010, it was used by 36 countries, and in 2012, by 39.
The areas included in the inventory are (1) country planning, (2) research and use of findings, (3) communications, (4) epidemiologic capability, (5) laboratory capability, (6) routine influenza surveillance, (7) national respiratory disease surveillance and reporting, (8) outbreak response, (9) resources for containment, (10) community-based interventions to prevent the spread of influenza, (11) infection control, and (12) health sector pandemic response.
Within each area of capability are specific indicators that are rated on a four-point scale. In the category resources for containment, for example, the indicators include availability of antivirals, storage facilities, exercises and practice, and distribution of materials.
Participants arrive at scores for each indicator through discussions guided by trained facilitators. According to the review, these discussions yielded meaningful information beyond numerical scores by bringing together key personnel involved in planning and making them aware of their collective efforts.
Dec 23 Influenza Other Respir Dis review
National Inventory Web page

Friday, December 27, 2013

WHO voices concern over China's vaccine-related deaths

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday expressed concern over recent infant deaths in China that were linked to hepatitis B vaccination, saying it will support the government's investigation into the cases.
At least 12 deaths have been reported since November after infants were vaccinated with hepatitis B shots produced by different companies in China. Health authorities are focusing on Shenzhen drug manufacturer BioKangtai, whose vaccines have been associated with most of the infant deaths.
The WHO supports China's decision to temporarily suspend use of the hepatitis B vaccine from the vaccine maker and investigate the cases, according to a statement from the organization's website.
"These deaths are very unfortunate, but the rapid reporting and investigation of the government speaks to the strength of the health and drug regulatory system to identify adverse events quickly and take action to prevent additional problems," said Dr. Bernhard Schwartlander, WHO Representative in China.
Continued:  http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-12/27/c_133002298.htm

WHO Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update December 27, 2013

 On 20 December 2013, WHO has been informed of four additional laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia.
Two cases are female health workers from Riyadh who have not reported any symptoms.
The third case is a 53 year-old male from Ryadh with underlying chronic diseases. He was hospitalized on November 26 and is currently receiving treatment in an intensive care unit. He had no exposure to animals and no travel history outside Riyadh region. He had contact with a confirmed case.
The fourth case is a 73 year-old male from Riyadh with underlying chronic diseases who died on December 18, three days after being hospitalized. He had exposure to animals but no travel history.
Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 170 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 72 deaths.

CDC EID: Use of Electronic Death Certificates for Influenza Death Surveillance

Volume 20, Number 1—January 2014


 Elizabeth A. Bancroft2Comments to Author  and Sun Lee
Author affiliations: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, California, USA


Surveillance for influenza deaths has been used to gauge the severity of influenza seasons. Traditional surveillance, which relies on medical records review and laboratory testing, might not be sustainable during a pandemic. We examined whether electronic death certificates might provide a surveillance alternative. We compared information retrieved from electronic death certificates that listed influenza (or a synonym) with information retrieved from medical charts on which influenza deaths were reported by traditional means in Los Angeles County, California, USA, during the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic and 2 subsequent influenza seasons. Electronic death certificate surveillance provided timely information, matched the demographics and epidemiologic curve of that obtained from traditional influenza-related death surveillance, and had a moderately positive predictive value. However, risk factors were underreported on death certificates. Because surveillance by electronic death certificates does not require obtaining and reviewing medical records, it requires fewer resources and is less burdensome on public health staff.


CDC EID: Replicative Capacity of MERS Coronavirus in Livestock Cell Lines

Volume 20, Number 2—February 2014




Replicative capacity of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was assessed in cell lines derived from livestock and peridomestic small mammals on the Arabian Peninsula. Only cell lines originating from goats and camels showed efficient replication of MERS-CoV. These results provide direction in the search for the intermediate host of MERS-CoV.



Transmission of MERS-CoV between humans is still limited, and the identification of an intermediate animal host could enable the development of public health measures to prevent future spread of the virus among humans. Although MERS-CoV neutralizing antibodies have been detected in camels from Oman, Spain, and Egypt, the virus has not previously been detected in camels (8,9). An informed focusing of investigations on a select group of species, such as camels, could benefit epidemiologic investigations. To identify potential intermediate host species of MERS-CoV, we used in vitro testing to determine virus permissiveness in select cell culture models. In general, cell lines cannot depict the full pathogenicity of in vivo infection because infection is influenced by epithelium-specific differentiation of target cells and the presence of immune cells. However, for viruses such as CoVs, whose tropism is believed to be determined mainly by the availability of an appropriate entry receptor (10), epithelial cell cultures could indeed constitute valid surrogates of virus permissiveness in vivo. With these limitations in mind, our results are in concordance with the findings of MERS-CoV neutralizing antibodies in camels and with information regarding patient contact with animals in reports of 2 human cases of MERS-CoV infection (11,15). One of the patients owned a farm on which camels and goats were kept. Before onset of his own illness, the patient reported illness in several goats on his farm. The patient did not have direct contact with animals, but he reported having eaten goat meat and having had contact with one of the animal caretakers, who suffered from respiratory disease (15). The second patient reported direct contact with a diseased camel shortly before onset of his symptoms (11).
In our study, production of infectious virus particles was seen in goat lung and kidney cells and in camelid kidney cells. Excretion patterns indicative of kidney infection should be investigated once further clues to the identity of the MERS-CoV animal reservoir become available. Our preliminary findings suggest that ungulates, such as goats and camels, are a possible intermediate host of MERS-CoV; thus, exposure to urine and feces from these animals might constitute a source of human infection. Moreover, food products derived from these animals (e.g., meat and milk) should be tested for their potential to transmit MERS-CoV. The results of our study suggest that investigations into the MERS-CoV animal reservoir and intermediate host should focus on caprid (e.g., goats) and camelid hosts, and we identified several new cell lines for use in virus isolation studies.
Dr Eckerle is a virologist at the Institute of Virology in Bonn, Germany. Her primary research interest is characterization of novel and emerging zoonotic viruses.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

#MERS #Coronavirus Saudi Arabia MOH Reports 5 New Cases - December 26, 2013

[My last report out of the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia was of 4 new cases, reported on December 20, and can be found here.  It a nutshell, what we have below is a 57 yo, under treatment.  We have a 73 yo who is confirmed and has died.  The remaining 3 cases are all in the healthcare field, and have had contact with confirmed cases, yet are asymptomatic.  Both the 57, 73 and 2 Healthcare workers were reported on the 20th, thus this is repeated.  One Healthcare worker  is a new report since the 20th.]

In the context of the work of epidemiological investigation and ongoing follow-up carried out by the Ministry of Health for the virus (Corona) the new strain of AIDS Middle East respiratory MERS-CoV Ministry announces the registration of five cases in Riyadh, the first citizen at the age of 57 years old, suffering several chronic diseases, and receiving treatment care Concentrated, asking God has cured, the second citizen at the age of 73 years old, had been suffering several chronic diseases, has passed away, may he rest in peace, and the third is a resident at the age of 43 years, working in the health sector and the contact with the confirmed cases, and has no symptoms, and the fourth a resident at the age of 35 years, working in the health sector, and Mkhalt of confirmed cases and has no symptoms, and the fifth citizen at the age of 27 years, working in the health sector, and Mkhalt of confirmed cases, and has no symptoms, asking God for their healing all. http://www.moh.gov.sa/CoronaNew/PressReleases/Pages/mediastatemenet-2013-12-25-001.aspx

Hong Kong 80(M) Case

This is my info on this case

Date of Report:  12/6/13
Name:  80/83(M)
From:  Shenzhen
Adm:  11/13 – 29 Shenzhen Bao’an District People’s Hosp.
Adm:  12/3 - transferred to Princess Margaret Hospital.
Sym’s on arrival:  no fever.
Status:  12/9 Stable
12/3 arrived HK w/3 family members via Shenzhen Bay Port & took taxi to Tuen Mun Hospital & was adm for chronic illness
12/6:  developed fever & put in isolation 
Family members who accompanied him remain unsymptomatic.
Taxi Driver & his 3 family members (1 man & 2 women) on 12/3 to contact hotline.
Contact tracing underway.
12/8 update:  critical condition.  7 of the 19 were moved from Princess Margaret Hospital to a quarantine centre set up at the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung.  The rest remain in the hospital in Kwai Chung.
1 or 2 of 19 had mild sym’s of upper resp. tract infetion.
Experts believe some chickens in Shenzhen had been infected with the virus.
12/9 update:  19 close contacts tested neg (include 13 adm to Tuen Mun Hosp & given Tamiflu; 5 family member @ Princ. Marg. Hosp. asymptomatic; Taxi Driver @ Princ. Marg. asymp.) 130 others tested negative.
DOD:  12/26/13

#H7N9 Hong Kong continued suspension of live poultry to Hong Kong, Shenzhen

December 24, 2013
Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said that arrangements for the suspension of live poultry for Shenzhen to Hong Kong will continue, temporarily set released date. 

After Ko Wing Man today (December 24) at a public event meeting with the media, said Hong Kong's first confirmed case of H7N9 in early cases, suspension of live poultry to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, currently passed on the 21st of medical surveillance, but in view of Shenzhen after another in environmental samples the discovery of the virus, some human cases, it was decided to maintain the measures. 

He pointed out that the present arrangement for supply to Hong Kong is a closed-end management of live poultry, poultry farms from registration for shipped to Hong Kong, not mixed with other poultry; Mainland authorities have also been to Hong Kong farms registered for samples, so far there is no any samples were positive, so do not for a total ban on live chickens to Hong Kong. 

For farms in Hebei Baoding have detected H5N2 virus, Ko Wing-man, said that the farms had no live poultry to Hong Kong, but the virus is highly pathogenic, the authorities will closely monitor the development of the epidemic.

Hong Kong confirms first death from #H7N9 bird flu

December 26, 2013
HONG KONG (Reuters) - An 80-year-old man infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus has died in Hong Kong, the government said on Thursday, in the first such death in the city after the virus surfaced in early December.
The man, the second person in Hong Kong to be diagnosed with the virus strain, lived in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and had eaten poultry there, media reported.
The H7N9 strain was first reported in humans in February in mainland China, and has infected at least 139 people in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, killing more than 40.
Experts say there is no evidence of any easy or sustained human-to-human transmission of H7N9, and so far all people who came into contact with the man had tested negative for the strain, authorities said.
(Reporting by Twinnie Siu and James Pomfret; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

CDC HAN: Notice to Clinicians: Early Reports of pH1N1-Associated Illnesses for the 2013-14 Influenza Season

Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network
December 24, 2013, 14:30 ET (2:30 PM ET)  
Notice to Clinicians: Early Reports of pH1N1-Associated Illnesses for the 2013-14 Influenza Season


From November through December 2013, CDC has received a number of reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 (pH1N1) virus. Multiple pH1N1-associated hospitalizations, including many requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and some fatalities have been reported. The pH1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 caused more illness in children and young adults, compared to older adults, although severe illness was seen in all age groups. While it is not possible to predict which influenza viruses will predominate during the entire 2013-14 influenza season, pH1N1 has been the predominant circulating virus so far. For the 2013-14 season, if pH1N1 virus continues to circulate widely, illness that disproportionately affects young and middle-aged adults may occur.
Seasonal influenza contributes to substantial morbidity and mortality each year in the United States. In the 2012-13 influenza season, CDC estimates that there were approximately 380,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations [1]. Although influenza activity nationally is currently at low levels, some areas of the United States are already experiencing high activity, and influenza activity is expected to increase during the next few weeks.
The spectrum of illness observed thus far in the 2013-14 season has ranged from mild to severe and is consistent with that of other influenza seasons. While CDC has not detected any significant changes in pH1N1 viruses that would suggest increased virulence or transmissibility, the agency is continuing to monitor for antigenic and genetic changes in circulating viruses, as well as watching morbidity and mortality surveillance systems that might indicate increased severity from pH1N1 virus infection. In addition, CDC is actively collaborating with state and local health departments in investigation and control efforts.
CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated this season should get an influenza vaccine now. While annual vaccination is the best tool for prevention of influenza and its complications, treatment with antiviral drugs (oral oseltamivir and inhaled zanamivir) is an important second line of defense for those who become ill to reduce morbidity and mortality. Antiviral treatment is recommended as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected influenza who is hospitalized; has severe, complicated, or progressive illness; or is at higher risk for influenza complications.

continued:  http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00359.asp


Monday, December 23, 2013

#H7N9 China gdong Vice Governor: concentrate all forces to the prevention and control of avian influenza H7N9

December 23, 2013
China news agency, Guangzhou, December 23 (Reporter Suo Youwei) - The Guangdong provincial government has sent five teams to the province over the supervision and supervision of human infection with H7N9 avian influenza cases.

Vice Governor of Guangdong Province, said Lin Shaochun 23, 2009, at present, to further implement departmental responsibilities to perform their duties and concentrate all forces to prevent and control the epidemic, to minimize human infection and mortality.   

Lin Shaochun 23, presided over a meeting to hear reports on the situation of each steering group supervision, analyzing current human infection with H7N9 avian influenza situation, analyze problems, study and plan the next step prevention and control work. He said, from the inspection situation across the province in accordance with the Guangdong provincial government's deployment, strengthen joint prevention and control, effective and orderly conduct of the prevention and control work.   

The inspection work for the problem found, Lin Shaochun said, the country, the relevant units, especially health, agriculture, industry and commerce, forestry and food and drug supervision departments to promptly address gaps, loopholes and effectively to people infected with the H7N9 bird flu prevention and control measures implemented. 

Recently, agriculture, commerce, forestry and other sectors should also study issued guidance to enhance the live poultry farms and live poultry wholesale trade, and standardize management wildfowl transactions. 

To further improve the grassroots medical institutions, medical institutions H7N9 detection device configuration, testing business to strengthen the medical staff training to improve detection capabilities, so early detection, early treatment, early treatment.

Lin Shaochun said that the country, the relevant units must be mentally prepared to fight a protracted war, ideologically more attention, want to learn more on ways to measure the implementation of a more pragmatic, comprehensive good winter and spring of human infection with H7N9 avian influenza.