Saturday, August 3, 2013

#MERS #Coronavirus Saudi Arabia - Asir Death details

I have found an article dated 7/22, out of Saudi Arabia, that describes a man, 66 years old, from Asir that has died.
From my list:
Date of Report 7/9/13
Name:  66(M)
From:  Asir Province, Saudi Arabia
Note:  Stable condition.

"Monthly" were injured تنويمه King Fahd Hospital in Khamis Mushayt
07-22-2013 02:01 PM
Above - Khamis: I learned "above" that was recorded deaths were newly infected with "Corona" in Asir, which by Suleiman al-Shahrani (66 years old), who was wounded with HIV, and the crisis bed at King Fahd Hospital of the Armed Forces province Khamis several days. " previously, "continued with the official spokesman on behalf of" health Asir "Happy dosed Ahmari, who did not release any statement about the incident, said:" The monitoring of these cases by the ministry, and to find out Beauty * are communicating through its entry on the window of health awareness, then the icon the new Corona virus, then choose the media data show any cases of dead or new to Corona disease ". noteworthy that the Ministry of Health website referred to, did not mention the case of the deceased until the preparation of the news.

WHO Statement of July 11th:

 The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Saudi Arabia has announced an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in the country.

The patient is a 66 year-old man from Asir region with an underlying health condition. He is currently in critical but stable condition.

I believe this may be the death that the WHO statement and the Saudi Arabia MOH statement speaks of in their recent statements.  It could very well be this patient, that died on the 22nd that has infected the current healthcare worker with mild symptoms.  That is speculation on my part.

WHO - July 29th:
 WHO has been informed of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Saudi Arabia.
The patient is an 83-year-old man from Assir region who became ill on 17 July 2013 and is currently hospitalized.
Additionally, a previously laboratory-confirmed case, also from Assir region, has died.
Saudi Arabia MOH - July 25th:
Within the framework of the epidemiological surveillance of the novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that one confirmed case of this virus, aged 83, has been recorded in Asir.
Within the same vein, MOH has announced the death of one case, who had been previously announced to be infected with this virus in Asir, May Allah have mercy upon him.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mississippi: Emergency officials discuss plans to handle pandemic

August 2, 2013
By Alexandra Hedrick, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item

POPLARVILLE — Manley said there are about 52,000 people in Pearl River County and discussed a plan to set up closed and open point of dispensing sites across the county.

A closed point of dispensing site is established to serve the needs of a specific group. As an example, Manley said if Manna Ministries was established as a closed point of dispensing site, members of Manna Ministry would go to that site to receive care or necessary medications during a pandemic. This would reduce the number of people going to open point of dispensing sites. Open point of dispensing locations would be for any member of the community that had not been directed to a closed POD site.

Manley discussed turning health care facilities, churches, schools and Pearl River Community College into closed points of dispensing sites. -


CDC: R292K Substitution and Drug Susceptibility of Influenza A(H7N9) Viruses

Emerging Infectious Diseases
Ahead of Print

Volume 19, Number 9—September 2013 

Katrina Sleeman1, Zhu Guo1, John Barnes, Michael Shaw, James Stevens, and Larisa V. GubarevaComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA


Neuraminidase inhibitors are the only licensed antiviral medications available to treat avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infections in humans. According to a neuraminidase inhibition assay, an R292K substitution reduced antiviral efficacy of inhibitors, especially oseltamivir, and decreased viral fitness in cell culture. Monitoring emergence of R292K-carrying viruses using a pH-modified neuraminidase inhibition assay should be considered.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

WHO Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) - update 1 August 2013


WHO has been informed of an additional three laboratory-confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Saudi Arabia.

The first patient is a 67-year-old woman from Riyadh with underlying medical conditions.  She became ill on 25 July 2013. She has no known exposure to animals or to a case confirmed with MERS-CoV infection. She is currently hospitalized.

The other two patients are health care workers, both women, from Assir and Riyadh regions .  Both of them have mild symptoms and were exposed to patients who were laboratory-confirmed cases.

Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 94 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV, including 46 deaths.

Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns.

Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations.

Specimens from patients’ lower respiratory tracts should be obtained for diagnosis where possible. Clinicians are reminded that MERS-CoV infection should be considered even with atypical signs and symptoms, such as diarrhoea, in patients who are immunocompromised.

Health care facilities are reminded of the importance of systematic implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC). Health care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, health care workers and visitors.

All Member States are reminded to promptly assess and notify WHO of any new case of infection with MERS-CoV, along with information about potential exposures that may have resulted in infection and a description of the clinical course. Investigation into the source of exposure should promptly be initiated to identify the mode of exposure, so that further transmission of the virus can be prevented.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions.

WHO has convened an Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) to advise the Director-General on the status of the current situation. The Emergency Committee, which comprises international experts from all WHO Regions, unanimously advised that, with the information now available, and using a risk-assessment approach, the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) have not at present been met.

India: Bird flu alert in Chattisgarh #H5N1

August 1, 2013
RAIPUR: With suspected bird flu reported in Anjora in Durg district, Chhattisgarh government has gone on high alert to prevent a possible outbreak after few samples were found positive by the Bhopal based High Security Animal Disease Laboratory, country's premier lab under the Indian Veterinary Research Institute ( IVRI).

"There are large number of birds at the veterinary college in Anjora in Durg district. Some samples were sent to Bhopal laboratory after the local officials suspected flu. We have received a verbal communication that these samples tested positive for bird flu," state agriculture minister Chandrasekhar Sahu told TOI. 

"We are awaiting a detailed report. However, we have initiated steps to prevent the possible spread of avian flu. Livestock officials of the districts have been directed to maintain a strict vigil," he said adding, "Once we receive the report with official confirmation about the bird flu, we will initiate further steps as per the procedures and guidelines laid down to deal with the situation." 

Sahu said export of chicken and chicken related items from within 1km radius of the affected area concerned would be stopped until further notice and if necessary, culling of birds and destroying eggs would be carried out after issuing a notification. "Chicken droppings as manure from those points would also be stopped to prevent spread of disease," he added. 

The minister said an alert has been sounded to keep a close watch on the birds with any possible symptoms of avian flu in other areas as a precautionary measure. 

China: Prevention and control of zoonotic diseases and foreign experts in Chongqing discuss countermeasures

August 2, 2013
WASHINGTON (correspondent to Jing) during the first half of this year, a menacing H7N9 bird flu, so many people, "Tan chicken pale", so that aquaculture losses. Today, the shadow of bird flu is gradually dissipated, but including avian influenza, including the prevention and control of zoonoses how is still a topic of concern. July 30 to 31, in the city at the Fifth Forum on prevention and control of zoonotic diseases, from the United Nations FAO, EU Trade Project, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center and the city's expert gathered around the current status of zoonotic diseases and other issues, to jointly improve the prevention and control of zoonoses and effective way to long-term mechanism.
Zoonotic disease is also called "zoonotic disease" refers to the spread between humans and animals, a large class of infectious diseases. The disease is widely distributed in the world, the large number of species complex, known for more than 200 150 kinds of animal diseases and parasites, at least more than half are zoonoses which pose serious threats to humans have more than 100 kinds, and new diseases are still emerging.
Forum, EUCTP veterinary experts said Dr. Borchard, to human health, animal, ecosystems have health, and based on animals, people, ecosystems based on the disease prevention and control strategy is to protect the health of the world's most effective way.
With leptospirosis, for example, the vast majority of cases are derived from water pollution. "If the river upstream is chicken feed cows, but also human feces, as well Infected rodents, such water will be clean it? Downstream people washing clothes in the river, bathing, animals healthy it? human health can be guaranteed it? "Borchard said.
Wang Jian, deputy director of the Agriculture Commission, said the city will be based on the actual situation, increase zoonosis monitoring efforts to broaden the monitoring functions, the timely detection of outbreaks, early adopt comprehensive prevention and control measures to prevent the spread of the disease spreading. Meanwhile, the establishment of veterinary and health sectors of joint prevention and control mechanism to build the framework of risk assessment and early warning system, strengthen international and domestic cooperation, work together to promote public health and safety.

#MERS #Coronavirus Saudi Arabia Latest Cases - List

[I'm not clear on the 3rd case, and if that person is 39 years old or not]

"...The rest two cases are for 39-year-old female residents,..."

Date of Report:  8/1/13
Name:  67(F)
From:  Riyadh
Adm:  ICU
Note:  Comorbidities.  Saudi MOH link:

Name:  39(F)
From:  Asir
Adm: yes
Note:  Healthcare worker.  Mild symptoms.  Stable condition.
MOH link:

Name:  No Name
From:  Riyadh
Adm:  yes
Note:  Healthcare worker.  Mild sym’s.  Stable condition.

Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal: Novel coronavirus infection: time to stay ahead of the curve

Ala Alwan and Ziad A. Memish

The emergence two human pathogens, novel coronavirus and influenza A(H7N9) virus, within the past few months reminds us that global health is not yet safe. Although these events could not be predicted, we can still gain if we are better prepared through shared and joint defences. This will require constant vigilance, proactive

Reporting on the MERS-CoV event..behind the scenes timeline

Virology Down Under Blog
In an Eastern Mediterranean Heath Journal (EMHJjournal issue dedicated to MERS-CoV, there is an article entitled "Novel coronavirus: the challenge of communicating
about a virus which one knows little about" written by Gregory Härtl, Head of Public Relations/Social Media for World Health Organization.
The article details how the World Heath Organization, educated by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) event, has responded to MERS-CoV by applying their WHO Outbreak Communications Guidelines:
"These Guidelines stipulated that all acute public health event communications should be planned, organized and executed in keeping with the 5 principles: trust, transparency, announcing early, listening and planning."
The report details the waxing and waning of media interest in the MERS event and the parallel responses of WHO to new reports of cases and clusters which were often interspersed with periods of quiet. It also describes the timeline of providing information to the world about the "novel coronavirus". 

I'd also like to note that WHO, or any institution, can only be as transparent  proactive, timely and informative as the information it receives allows it to be. Sure, a researcher on the ground can report the precise details of their study, cases, symptoms  epidemiology, sequences, assays - they hold all the cards - but global educators and planners like the WHO need that information passed along in order to share it quickly. Only  then can they address its principles.

The paper also notes that Twitter and other social media are the WHO's main means of keeping in contact with the world. This started in 2009-10 and was expanded in 2012 to a dedicated social media function  @WHO now boasts 837,790 followers.

To paraphrase a very nice wrap-comment, the article notes that people want to know what's going on when a disease breaks out and in finding the information they desire, a trust is also built between the person and the institution (and its partners) which provided answers early, simply and transparently. 

Such trust, once built, can then be leveraged to advise a possibly panicky population should a random cluster of cases turn into an outbreak, epidemic or pandemic.

Its a bridge-building process that Mr Härtl and the WHO are clearly working hard at...and doing very well.

Follow Mr Härtl global health WHO updates on @HaertlG and the WHO on @WHO. 

#MERS #Coronavirus Saudi Arabia MOH Reports 3 New Cases - August 1

August 1, 2013
Within the framework of the epidemiological surveillance of the novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that three confirmed cases have been recorded. The first case is for a67-year-old female citizen in Riyadh, who had been suffering from various chronic diseases, and she is now at the ICU, receiving the health care and proper treatment. The rest two cases are for 39-year-old female residents, who work at the health sector; one of them lives in Asir and the other in Riyadh. They have mild symptoms but their health status are stable.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Towards a better understanding of the novel avian-origin H7N9 influenza A virus in China

Scientific Reports
Article number:


Pandemic Planning and Preparedness Training Event NYC in September

[editing below (in red) is mine]

NYC & Newark COOP Working Groups

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 8:00 AM - Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 4:30 AM (EDT)

New York, NY


September 10-12

8:30-4:30 (8:00 Registration)

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
120 Broadway, 2nd Floor 
New York, NY 10271


Applications will be completed the day of the class. All students must register for a Student Identification (SID) Number. 
How do I obtain my FEMA Student Identification (SID) number?
Step 1: To register, go to
Step 2: Click on the “Need a FEMA SID” box on the right side of the screen.
Step 3: Follow the instructions and provide the necessary information to create your account.
Step 4: You will receive an email with your SID number. You should save this number in a secure location.
          What do I do with this new SID number I’ve been assigned?
          The SID number must be used in place of the SSN on your General
          Admissions Application (FEMA Form 119-25-1, Box 3) and the General
          Admissions Application Short Form (FEMA Form 119-25-2,Box 3) for any
          courses that begin on or after October 1, 2012.

In the event of a pandemic, community officials, planners, and responders at all skill levels will be needed to help protect the public. Recognition of a pandemic will most likely come from public health authorities who have surveillance programs in effect in various parts of the world. The President of the United States, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and state, tribal, and local officials have urged community planners and public officials to prepare for a possible pandemic.

The Pandemic Planning and Preparedness course is designed to train responders who are faced with challenges posed by the threat of a pandemic. This training allows students to better understand the threat of a pandemic and the roles they play in preparing their communities and their employees. Throughout the Pandemic Planning and Preparedness course, various examples of diseases with pandemic potential are discussed. Influenza is a highly probable pandemic threat and is frequently used as an example; however, the objectives of this course apply to any disease with severe pandemic potential. Students will receive guidance for developing comprehensive and effective plans to prepare for the challenges of a pandemic. These plans should be based on information from the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101 prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This course provides students with the knowledge to effectively plan and prepare for a pandemic. The training provided at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) is guided by the definitions and competencies provided within the National Response Framework (NRF), the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza (NSPI), and the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan (PIP).
Course Goal

The Pandemic Planning and Preparedness course provides students with the knowledge and skills to effectively plan and prepare for a pandemic. Successful completion of the course enables the students to understand the steps for developing an effective planning and preparedness program and development of a pandemic annex. The course culminates in the application of this training and associated planning material developed in a small-group, instructor-facilitated practical exercise.

NOTE: Jurisdictional plans may already exist. Students should refer to existing jurisdictional plans as a base that will update and evolve.

Learning Objectives

      At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to

•        Describe the components of an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and a pandemic annex based on the guidelines of the CPG 101
•        Discuss the threat posed by pandemics, relating the threat to historical occurrences, causative factors, and the current global environment. 
•        Identify the types and characteristics of influenza and the associated implications for public health and communities. 
•        Describe clinical aspects of influenza and the stages of a pandemic as well as related preventive measures and treatment options for influenza. 
•        Describe federal strategies, assumptions, and preparedness requirements as they apply to response plans and actions for the state, local, and tribal levels. 
•        Describe elements of a Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan. 
•        Discuss the principles of mass prophylaxis, especially as they apply to vaccination procedures during a pandemic. 
•        Analyze the factors related to rapidly expanding the capacity and/or capability of an existing healthcare system in order to provide proper triage and medical care during a pandemic. 
•        Discuss planning aspects necessary for an effective community response to a pandemic. 
•        Apply the elements of a pandemic plan. 
Target Audience
 The Pandemic Planning and Preparedness course provides training for public officials and responders in fire service, law enforcement, emergency medical services, emergency management, hazardous materials, public health, healthcare, public safety communications, governmental administrative, and public works disciplines who are faced with challenges posed by the threat of a pandemic. This class is also appropriate for members of the non-profit, private and financial sectors.

Continuing Education Units
The CDP awards 2.4 Continuing Education Units (CEU) for the successful completion of this course. The CDP has been approved by the International Association for Continuing Education & Training as an authorized provider of CEUs.

Scope of Course and Agenda
Pandemic Planning and Preparedness is a 3-day training course providing an overview of pandemic planning, its challenges, and the facets of community preparedness that will assist a community to prepare and effectively respond to a pandemic. After providing lectures concerning various aspects of pandemics and planning requirements, the course culminates in a practical exercise that casts students in various government roles where they must participate in planning and responding to a pandemic. 

India: 610 H1N1 Swine Flu Deaths in 2013

International partnership tries to preempt next global pandemic

[I have previously posted on this here.]

Published 30 July 2013
Researchers from Australia, Singapore, and the United States are joining forces, through a $20 million partnership, to help pre-empt and prepare the world for the next human pandemic.
Speaking in Canberra the other day, before a gathering of Australia’s leading biosecurity researchers, Dr. Gary Fitt, CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship director, said recent global events highlighted the need to ramp up research into viruses that spread from animals to humans.


International Food Safety & Quality Network Prepardness Downloads: Avian Influenza H7N9 - Business preparedness for a bird flu pandemic

[You must join there site in order to view.  A description is below, along with the link]

AI OSHA avian_flu_guidance.pdf
( downloads: 2 )
( Posted on Yesterday, 08:39 PM )

HPAI Avian Influenze &...
( downloads: 2 )
( Posted on Yesterday, 08:40 PM )

HPAI Bird Flu Poses no FS R...
( downloads: 2 )
( Posted on Yesterday, 08:40 PM )

Perspectivers on AI Managem...
( downloads: 4 )
( Posted on Yesterday, 08:40 PM )

About IFSQN (International Food Safety & Quality Network):
The IFSQN was founded in 2003 to provide food safety practitioners with an online platform for sharing knowledge and information and to enable collaboration on the effective implementation, operation and continual improvement of food safety management systems. Ten years on this remains our primary goal.

In fact as food safety regulations continue to develop and third party food safety certification standards are mandated globally the importance of the IFSQN has never been greater.

Our discussion forums are unique and unrivaled anywhere in the world; with over 21,500 members creating an archive of over 60,000 posts as well as 1’000’s of files and documents to assist members old and new.

The IFSQN website attracts well over 1,500 unique visitors every day and we also distribute the popular Food Safety Talk newsletter to over 17,000 subscribers each and every week.

As part of our continued commitment to innovation 2013 saw the IFSQN launch the first ever fully online food safety conference. In June Food Safety Live brought together over 1,500 food safety practitioners from 150 countries for a day of learning; featuring keynote speakers from GFSI, LRQA, IFS, SAI Global, Leavitt Partners, The Allergen Bureau, Foundation for Food Safety Certification, Mettler Toledo, Safefood 360, Keller and Heckman LLP, HACCP Mentor, Cardiff Metropolitan University, SQF Institute and the International Food Safety & Quality Network. 

First International OCHEA One Health Conference, Addis Ababa, 23-27 Sept 2013

July 1, 2013
[Participatory Epidemiology for Animal and Public Health]
PENAPH is posting this OHCEA announcement  as it should be of interest to our members. Please contact the organizers listed in the announcement for more information.

One Health Central and Eastern Africa (OHCEA), a network of 14 institutions of public health and veterinary medicine in six countries of Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, with USA partners University of Minnesota and Tufts University are pleased to invite submission of abstracts to the first International OHCEA One Health Conference to be held from 23rd to 27th September 2013, at Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

As the world faces challenges in tackling emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, this creates a need for different disciplines, government and private sectors, developmental organisations and other stakeholders to come together to tackle the ever increasing complex problems. OHCEA, therefore, calls for abstracts from academicians, policy makers, developmental organisations, clinicians, government agencies and students from all disciplines working at the interface of human-animal and the environment. The main theme of the One Health conference is “One Health and the Control of infectious Diseases: Building Capacity, Systems and Engaging communities”.

The sub-themes for the One Health Conference are:
• Disease surveillance, control and prevention
• Building One Health systems
• Capacity building in developing nations
• Social and economic dynamics affecting disease control
• One Health policy communication and advocacy
• The environment and infectious disease dynamics
• Promoting One Health: what does it take?
• Women’s role in One Health initiatives
• Engaging communities in One Health Initiatives

Important dates:
Abstract Submission deadline: 15th July 2013
Early registration deadline: 16th August 2013
Conference dates: 23rd to 27th September 2013
Instructions for submission of abstracts
Abstracts should not exceed 500 words and should be written in 12 point font. Please do not include pictures, tables, or figures in your abstract. The abstract should include the following information:
• Title of the manuscript
• Authors with their full names and affiliations
• Introduction/background including study relevance, objectives and hypotheses where applicable
• Methods including, where applicable, study design, study area, interventions, analysis
• Results including general findings, outcomes, and lessons learned
• Conclusions and/or recommendations
Please indicate whether your abstract is for oral or poster presentation. Oral presentations will be given up to maximum of 15 minutes including time for questions. Please indicate which sub-theme you would like to present in. Only participants who have paid registration fees can present at the conference.
Please submit your abstract to email not later than 15th July 2013.
For further enquiry (General enquiry on conference)
Prof. Gebrehiwot Tadesse
Chairman, Conference Organising Committee
C/o OHCEA Regional Office, Kampala, Uganda
and Mekelle University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mekelle, Ethiopia
Phone: +251 914 706 422
For further enquiry (Scientific committee)
Prof. Charles Mulei
Chairman, One Health Conference Scientific Committee
C/o OHCEA Regional Office, Kampala, Uganda
and Dean, University of Nairobi, Veterinary School, Kabete campus, Nairobi, Kenya.
Phone: +254 722 840 314