Friday, January 25, 2013

Iraq prohibits the import of poultry and poultry products due to Pandemic Influenza

[Arabic Translation]
Baghdad Jafar Nasrawi
Thursday 24 / January 2013

The Iraqi government announced on preventing the importation of various types of birds, feathers and eggs and poultry products from 21 countries, including Egypt, to hedge against pandemic influenza, attributed to the instructions of the World Animal Health Organization, and its commitment to the safety of the citizens of the injury epidemic that has become a threat to them.

The government said in a statement issued Thursday, and received "The Arabs today," a copy of it, she "decided to ban the import of live birds of prey and whites of both types, table and hatching, and bird feathers and all the materials that go into poultry or poultry products in the installation."

The government added in its statement that "the decision was made based on the last update of the OIE (OIE), which included countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Hong Kong, the occupied Palestinian territories, Laos, Myanmar, Egypt, Sri Lanka , Vietnam, Japan, Canada, Germany, South Korea, the Netherlands, South Africa, Indonesia, Nepal and Australia. "

The Iraqi government pointed out, according to the statement, that "the decision was made in order to preserve the integrity of the Iraqi citizen of the transitional disease, which has become a threat to Iraqis.

The spokesman of the Ministry of Health Ziad Tariq, said in a press statement, "said the ministry faced a problem in tackling the spread of the epidemic, caused by lack of health awareness among the citizens to prevent it, indicating that there is a similarity in symptoms between pandemic flu and normal in the initial stages of infection."

The ministry confirmed earlier that the injuries recorded disease Pandemic Influenza "controlled and does not pose a threat" to public health community, and revealed, Tuesday, the 22 of this month, for the registration of 36 cases infected with influenza epidemic in the whole of Iraq, including Two new cases of infection سجلتا in the provinces of Wasit, Karbala.

In a related development, announced Health and Environment Committee in the province of Maysan, (its city of Amarah, 390 km south of Baghdad), on Thursday, wounding six citizens from the province flu epidemic, out of 30 patients questionable in their situation, unexpected increase in the number of cases diagnosed in the next term.

And emerged pandemic influenza for the first time in Iraq in 2009 as the number of injuries this disease 338 of including 49 cases and deaths, while recorded six injuries in 2010, and 177 in 2011, including seven deaths, and 422 injuries in 2012, including two deaths.

Pandemic Influenza is divided into two types first (H5N1), known bird flu, the most lethal, while known as type II less serious, as swine flu (H1N1).

It is noteworthy that several countries in the region, such as Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, recorded injuries flu epidemic, a wave reached the area during the winter month, and confirms Iraqi health authorities that the epidemic moved to Iraq from neighboring, but the injuries several were recorded in previous years, but was kind of H5N1 bird flu known.

Iraq: The Woman's Death From Bird Flu Epidemic in Karbala

[Arabic translation]
woman died pandemic flu disease in the province of Karbala.said Chairman of the Health Committee in the provincial council Hussein al-Aboudi told all of Iraq [where] on Friday, "a woman at the age [50], died in hospital Hussein year the city center after bird flu epidemic. "and added that "an emergency meeting held today circuits health in Karbala to take the necessary measures to reduce the spread of the disease and control it, a committee was formed healthy visited family and the the victim in the area of free northern province, and sampling them for the early detection of infection. "The slave "We possess adequate stocks of medicines for the disease, and the situation is still worrying, and controlled."revealed medical sources reported deaths and injuries to a number of of people ill pandemic influenza [H1 N1] killer known [swine flu] in some provinces of the country.decided the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, preventing the importation of live birds and raptors, ornamental birds and eggs of both types [table and hatching] from 21 countries for the prevention of disease transition.For his part, Member of the parliamentary health committee, Jawad Albzona, the Ministry of Health to vaccinate vulnerable segments pandemic flu disease as doctors and nurses, professor and teacher, at the same time demanding the ministry to open centers in the border to check arrivals of Iraq. ended.

WHO: Three new human cases of avian influenza H5N1 in Cambodia in 2013

Joint news release of the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia and World Health Organization
 The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Kingdom of Cambodia wishes to advise members of the public that three new human cases of avian influenza have been confirmed positive for the H5N1 virus.
The first case, an 8-month old infant boy from Chrey Korng Village, Sangkat Chorm Chao, Khan Por Sen Chey, Phnom Penh has been diagnosed with H5N1 influenza. He developed symptoms on 08th January 2013 then was brought to the National Paediatric Hospital for consultation on 9th January with fever, cough, runny nose, and vomiting. The boy was registered in the Influenza-Like Illness Sentinel Surveillance and the samples were sent to the National Institute of Public Health's laboratory on 11th January. The result was confirmed by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge on 22nd January 2013. The infant has recovered and had history of coming into contact with poultry prior to becoming sick.
The second case, a 15-year-old female from Snao village, Snao commune, Prey Kabass district, Takeo Province, has been diagnosed with H5N1 influenza on 22nd January 2013. She became sick on 11th January suffering with fever and cough. She was initially treated by local private practitioners. Her condition worsened and she was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital on 17th January with fever and shortness of breath. Unfortunately, despite intensive medical care, she died on 21st January. There is evidence of recent deaths among poultry in the village and the patient prepared sick chicken for food prior to becoming sick.
In the third case, a 35-year-old man from Trapeang Sla village, Preah Nipean commune, Kong Pisey district, Kampong Speu province has been diagnosed with H5N1 influenza on 23rd January 2013 by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge. He became sick on 13th January, 2013 suffering with fever and cough. He was initially treated by local private practitioners. His condition worsened and he was admitted to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh with fever and dyspnea on 21st January. Samples were taken the same day and sent to the National Institute of Public Health's laboratory. Despite intensive medical care, the patient died soon after the samples were taken. There is evidence of recent deaths among poultry in the village and the patient prepared sick chicken for food prior to becoming sick. The man is the twenty-fourth person in Cambodia to become infected with H5N1 virus, and the third person this year and the twenty-first person to die from complications of the disease. Of all the twenty four cases, 15 were children under 14, and fifteen of the twenty four confirmed cases occurred in females.
"Avian influenza H5N1 is still a threat to the health of Cambodians. This is the three cases of H5N1 infection in human this year, and children still seem to be most vulnerable. I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry, discourage them from playing in areas where poultry stay and wash their hands often. If they have fast or difficulty breathing, they should be brought to medical attention at the nearest health facilities and attending physicians be made aware of any exposure to sick or dead poultry." said HE Mam Bunheng, Minister of Health.
The Ministry of Health's Rapid Response Teams (RRT) have gone to the hospitals and the field to identify the patient’s close contacts, any epidemiological linkage among the three cases and initiate preventive treatment as required. In addition, public health education campaigns are being conducted in the villages to inform families on how to protect themselves from contracting avian influenza. The government's message is - wash hands often; keep children away from poultry; keep poultry away from living areas; do not eat sick poultry; and all poultry eaten should be well cooked.
H5N1 influenza is a flu that normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans. Human H5N1 Avian Influenza is a very serious disease that requires hospitalization. Although the virus currently does not easily spread among humans, if the virus changes it could easily be spread like seasonal influenza. Hence, early recognition of cases is important.
Globally since 2003, there have been 613 laboratory confirmed cases of avian influenza with 362 related deaths.
The Ministry of Health will continue to keep the public informed of developments via the MoH website where relevant health education materials can also be downloaded.

For more information on human influenza please call the MoH Influenza Hotline numbers:

115 (free call); 012 488 981 or 089 669 567

or contact:

Ministry of Health
Dr Sok Touch: Tel +855 12 856 848
Dr Ly Sovann: Tel +855 12 825 424
World Health Organization
Dr Pieter JM van Maaren: Tel +855 23 216 610
Dr Reiko Tsuyuoka: Tel +855 23 216 610

Cambodia: #H5N1 Two Human Deaths in Past 8 Days

25 January 2013
Two Cambodians have died from avian influenza (H5N1) in the past eight days.

The victims were a 15-year-old girl from Smao village, in the Prey Kabass district of Takeo province, and a 35-year-old man from Trapeang Sla village, in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisey district, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation said today.

The man was the 24th person in Cambodia to become infected with the H5N1 virus. All but three of the victims have died.

Fifteen of the 24 reported cases were children under the age of 14. 

“Avian influenza is still a threat to the health of Cambodians, and children still seem to be the most vulnerable,” Health Minister Mam Bunheng said.
“I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry, discourage them from playing in areas where poultry stay and wash their hands often.
“If they have difficulty breathing, they should be brought to the nearest health facility.”
Ministry of Health rapid-response teams were identifying the latest victims’ close contacts, looking for any epidemiological link between the cases and initiating preventive treatment, Bunheng said.


Cambodia 2 Human 2 Deaths in Provinces Takeo & Kampong Speu

WHO and Cambodia's health ministry announced Friday that a 15-year-old girl in a village in southeastern Takeo province and a 35-year-old man in central Kampong Speu province died after being hospitalized with H5N1, better known as bird flu. An 8-month-old boy in the capital, Phnom Penh, was treated and survived.

Read more:

Two Cambodians die from bird flu after preparing infected chicken: WHO

Jan 25, 2013

PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Two Cambodians have died from bird flu contracted while preparing infected chicken, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said today.

Tests on the victims, a 15-year-old girl and a 35-year-old man who died earlier this week, confirmed they had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, the WHO said in a joint statement with the Cambodian health ministry.

An eight-month-old boy admitted to hospital in Phnom Penh on Jan 9 was also infected with H5N1 but later recovered, the statement said.

There was evidence of infections among poultry in the villages of the two who died and the pair "prepared sick chicken for food prior to becoming sick", the statement said.

Yum's chicken in China contained excessive levels of drugs - Xinhua

January 25, 2013
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chicken sold to KFC's parent Yum Brands Inc in China contained excessive levels of chemicals, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday, escalating a month-long food scare that has hit Yum's sales in its biggest market.
Yum and McDonald's Corp's have come under intense scrutiny from local media since the official China Central Television reported in late December that some of the chicken supplied to them contained excess amounts of antiviral drugs and hormones used to accelerate growth.

On investigating, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration found the levels of antibiotics and steroids in KFC chicken were safe, though the watchdog found a suspicious level of an antiviral drug in one of the eight samples tested.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seasonal Flu: Indiana Up To 40 Deaths from 21 Deaths on 1/15

Previousy posted here:

January 15, 2013
[I reported on January 9th, 10 deaths in Indiana.  That post is located here.  Today,, 6 days later,  I report 21 dead.]

INDIANAPOLIS - The number of flu-related deaths in Indiana jumped to 21 on Monday, state health officials said.

Two children are among those who have succumbed to the illness, which has infected thousands across the country.
January 23, 2013

Flu death toll rises to 40 in Indiana

Flu has claimed the lives of another 13 people in the state this week and five in Marion County alone, Indiana health officials report, which brings the total death toll this season to 40. -snip-
Thirty-eight of those who died had underlying medical conditions and some had multiple problems. Fourteen of those who died had received the flu vaccine, 10 had not, and vaccination status was not known for the other 16, the state's report said.

All of those who died in the past week were adults, 11 of them over the age of 65. This season there have been two flu-related child deaths.

Full article:

#H5N1 influenza research moratorium ends

A self-imposed moratorium by researchers on certain kinds of avian influenza experiments is lifting January 23.

In January 2012, influenza researchers imposed a halt on work that would make bird flu viruses that are easily transmissible in mammals. The moratorium came after controversy surrounded two scientific papers describing mutations in the H5N1 avian influenza virus; the mutations made the virus spread among ferrets via airborne droplets. The scientists chose to stop work until they could explain its benefits and safety to the public, and to give governments and funding agencies a chance to review policies surrounding the research. The halt was supposed to last 60 days, but has extended for a year due to the complicated issues surrounding the research.

Now, the same group of 40 researchers is declaring in a letter published online by both Nature and Science that the goals of the moratorium have been met and that work on the viruses may resume in countries with appropriate policies in place. The United States is not among those countries.


Egypt: Study Reveals One in Five Available Vaccines for #H5N1 in Poultry are Effective

January 23, 2013
In light of their findings, Ghazi Kayali of St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis in the US and colleagues there and at Egypt's National Research Center in Giza recommend that the H5N1 prevention and control strategy in Egypt be updated and reinforced. Special consideration should be given to the vaccination strategy, they say, and the use of vaccines based on currently circulating viruses is advisable. 
The group studied the cross-reactivity of six commercially available H5 poultry vaccines against recent H5N1 Egyptian isolates in a field setting in Egypt. Only one vaccine based on an Egyptian H5N1 virus induced high cross-reactive antibody titres.

The scientists suggest their results may be explained by the fact that the seed viruses in these vaccines are genetically distinct from H5N1 viruses currently circulating in Egypt.

Full article:

Baylor College of Medicine to lead NIH study on H3N2v influenza vaccine

HOUSTON – (Jan. 22, 2013) – Baylor College of Medicine is the lead site on a study launched by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, that will measure the safety and the antibody responses among healthy adults immunized with an H3N2v vaccine, also known as H3N2 variant.

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Researchers at Univ. of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics taking part in clinical trial to test a new vaccine for H3N2 Variant flu virus

Jan 22, 2013  
UIHC Tests New Flu Vaccine
By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Doctors are waging a battle against a new flu virus. Researchers at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are taking part in a clinical trial to test a new vaccine for the H3N2 Variant flu virus. It’s a virus that’s similar to the H1N1 virus from 2009. In the past two years, some people have come down with this strain of the flu who were exposured to pig displays at agricultural fairs. Doctors mostly saw the cases in the summer. Health experts are working on this vaccine because this virus seemingly spreads more easily to people from swine than other viruses like it.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

CDC: Flu deaths increase "sharply" as epidemic continues


Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told reporters during the conference call that some areas of the country are experiencing shortages of liquid Tamiflu, shortages that may persist for the remainder of the flu season. The liquid formulation is most often given to children.

Because of these shortages, Hamburg reported that Tamiflu-maker Genenetech has received permission to release 2 million more units of Tamiflu pills, which pharmacists can then use to create liquid formulations for children. She said the FDA will continue to update the public on antiviral supply through its website.

The CDC and FDA also reported spot shortages of vaccines during Friday's conference call. Companies that provide the vaccine were projected to give out 135 million doses of vaccine for this flu season, and to date 129 million doses have been distributed. Hamburg said another 10 million doses will be distributed, raising the total to 145 million flu vaccines; however, some formulations of the vaccine may be harder to come by. Doctors will be able to order more flu vaccines, she said, and people looking for shots should use the interactive map on to find available doses.

Full article:

Insight: U.S. government investment gives flu vaccines a shot in the arm


Interest in vaccines spiked after a particularly deadly strain of bird flu known as H5N1 re-emerged in 2003, raising the threat of a global pandemic that could kill millions. At the time, there were just two vaccine manufacturers located on U.S. soil.

A year later, U.S. flu vaccine supplies were devastated by contamination at a plant in Liverpool, England. That helped underscore the need for America to have its own manufacturing capabilities, said Robin Robinson, director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Part of the fear was that in a pandemic, countries might be tempted to commandeer all flu vaccines made within their borders, leaving the U.S. exposed. "We needed to develop new vaccines using modern technologies that would make not only more vaccine available sooner, but also make it more effective," Robinson said.

CDC Urges Tamiflu Rx to Curb Flu Death Rate

January 16, 2013

A sharp increase in both hospitalization and death rates as of January 12 underlines the need to administer the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu, Genentech) or zanamivir (Relenza, GlaxoSmithKline) within 48 hours of influenza symptoms surfacing, said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, at a press briefing today. This immediate treatment is especially important for high-risk patients such as the elderly, young children, and those with serious underlying conditions such asthma and heart disease.

"When given promptly, they work," said Dr. Frieden. "They can reduce symptoms, shorten the duration of illness, and prevent serious complications including hospitalization and death.
"What we're seeing is not as many people getting treated with Tamiflu."

Zanamivir, administered through oral inhalation, is not recommended in individuals with underlying airways disease, thereby limiting its use.

The rate of oseltamivir treatment has dipped this year compared with the 2009-2010 pandemic influenza season, when "people were a little more attuned to this," Dr. Frieden said.
He advised clinicians to immediately prescribe antiviral medications for patients reporting influenza symptoms even if they test negative with a rapid flu test. The test, he said, can have false negatives.

In response to spot shortages of oseltamivir, Genentech is releasing a reserve stock of 75-mg capsules with the blessing of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Full article: