Friday, July 13, 2012

CIDRAP: Scientists trace novel poultry virus to vaccine virus recombination

Australian researchers today described how use of multiple attenuated herpesvirus vaccines in poultry led to the rapid emergence of two recombinant viruses more virulent than the viruses the vaccines were designed to battle. The group described its findings in a brief report in the latest issue of Science. In 2008 soon after a new vaccine against herpesvirus infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) in chickens was introduced in Australia, scientists detected novel genotypically distinct viruses from birds in several parts of the country. ILTV, also known as gallid herpesvirus 1, is one of the most contagious viruses that affects the poultry industry.

The authors hypothesized that the emergence of the new viruses could be related to a European vaccine strain first used in Australia in 2006. When they compared genetic sequences of the novel strains with the European vaccine strain and with two closely related Australian-origin ILTV vaccines that are also used in the country's poultry, they found that the novel viruses were mostly related to the European vaccine strain, though they also contained genetic material from the two Australian vaccine strains. Pathogenicity tests on the novel viruses found that they were more virulent and more able to replicate than the parent viruses. The researchers concluded that the recombination between attenuated herpesviruses is rare but can have serious consequences. They added that the findings have implications for other attenuated viruses.
Jul 13 Science abstract

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Analysis: Bird flu vaccine now? More than a shot in the dark

Culls of hundreds of thousands of chickens, turkeys and ducks to stem bird flu outbreaks rarely make international headlines these days, but they are a worryingly common event as the deadly virus continues its march across the globe.

As scientists delve deeper into H5N1 avian influenza, they have discovered it is only three steps way from mutating into a potentially lethal human pandemic form, adding new urgency to a debate over how to protect humans.

In 2009, during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic, vaccines only became available months after the virus had spread around the world - and even then there was only enough for one in five of the world's 7 billion people.

Next time, experts say, we need another approach.

Talk is centered on "pre-pandemic vaccination" - immunizing people years in advance against a flu pandemic that has yet to happen, and may never come, rather than rushing to create vaccines once a new pandemic starts.

"Even if you change manufacturing to higher-yield technologies, you're still going to be chasing the virus," David Salisbury, Britain's director of immunization, who chaired a global group on vaccines during the H1N1 flu pandemic, said in an interview.

-Continued- Click on Title for full article

Indonesia: Recent Death: Source of Bird Flu Virus is still mysterious

DEATH KK, 8, a resident of Karachi, West Java, due to the bird flu virus attack, is still a question mark. One was about the source of virus that infects the victim. "We've studied birds around the victim's home, neighbors, and relatives of victims, all negative exposure to the bird flu virus. In Chicken Market Karachi is referred to as a source of transmission, we also found no infected poultry it, "said Rasim, Head of Disease Control and Environmental Health Office of Disease Falkirk, yesterday. From the investigation it is believed the victim contracted the bird flu virus from poultry, not humans. He is also suspected to be infected from poultry in Karachi, but it could have been outside the country, because the victim had to Singapore. "To date in Falkirk still have not found an outbreak of bird flu virus in poultry. Residents do not need to worry," he said. (FS/N-2)

Egypt: Banning Eggs Imported From Mexico


Imposed the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources temporarily ban the import of all live birds and hatching eggs and day old chicks for laying hens and broiler from the State of Mexico.
The President of the «Commission» Al-Bader Jassim Al-Habib, a decision, would impose temporary ban after receiving reports from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reports the appearance of bird flu in the State of Mexico.

Vietnam: Trying to Crack Down on Poultry Being Smuggled Across China Border

At the meeting the Steering Committee National Influenza poultry afternoon (10-7), Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan also asked the force veterinary border provinces, and coordinate with the functional forces another strict control of animal sources, poultry smuggled specialty is Vietnamese foods, smelly organ, to prevent the spread of disease and health protection of consumers in the country.

According to a population of wholesale chicken, Chinese usually disposed of in industrial-style farming, being fed a stimulant to lay from 1-2 eggs / day. When you lay all the eggs will be sold to people in Vietnam with cheap wholesale. Because chicken meat is very tough, very similar to chicken "blockbuster". Due to the long distance transport, coupled with some chicken this "age" was high, the most healthy children also walk slow, languid eyes, legs trembling, deep purple crest, no longer so in Ha Vi vitality more new stories selling chickens died.

Mexico To Vaccinate 1M Chickens Against #Bird Flu

July 10, 2012
A shipment of 1 million doses of vaccine from China will be used to inoculate chickens over the next few days to contain a bird-flu outbreak, Mexico's National Union of Poultry Farmers, or UNA, said.

According to UNA, the number of farms with a confirmed presence of the flu virus has increased to 29, five more than indicated in the previous report, so that the epidemic has now affected close to 2.5 million barnyard fowl in the western state of Jalisco.

In a communique, UNA said that the first doses of the vaccine have arrived in Mexico and will be applied to the poultry population most likely to catch the "highly contagious" H7N3 strain of avian flu.

They also reported that the flu has caused the deaths of "at least a million fowl" in the Jalisco municipalities of Tepatitlan and Acatic, either from the virus itself or because they were slaughtered.

According to UNA officials consulted by Efe, another 7 million doses of vaccine are expected to arrive over the coming weeks to immunize a large part of the country's poultry farms.

UNA figures show that Mexico produces close to 2.5 million tons of eggs and 1.2 million tons of feedlot poultry meat per year.

Jalisco contributes 55 percent of national production and by April 2012 had exported close to 4.49 billion pesos ($335 million) worth of fresh, powdered, liquid and cooked eggs, according to estimates of Mexico's agriculture department.

The state governor, Emilio Gonzalez Marquez, said that "the spreading of the virus has diminished" because the infected farms have been kept in isolation.

Once the avian flu virus is eradicated, state and federal authorities will be able to launch strategies to repopulate poultry farms and start recovering the market, above all the U.S. market, Gonzalez said.

The outbreak has already cost 1,800 jobs in Jalisco, according to local farmers.

Read more:

Mexico kills 2.5 million poultry to contain bird flu

AFP | 5 hours ago
MEXICO CITY: Officials have slain 2.5 million birds at poultry farms in western Mexico over the past three weeks in an attempt to contain a bird flu outbreak, the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

The virus responsible for Mexico’s current bird flu outbreak, H7N3, has occasionally caused human disease in various parts of the world, according to the United Nations, but has not shown itself to be easily transmittable between humans.

Officials said they have visited 148 poultry farms. Of those, bird flu was found in 31 farms, while 34 came up negative and results for the remainder were pending.

Of the 3.4 million affected poultry, “the number of birds that have been sacrificed as a control and eradication measure as of (Monday) is 2.5 million,” the ministry said in a statement.

-continued - click on title for link

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

WHO: Undiagnosed illness in Cambodia - update

As part of the continuing investigations into the undiagnosed illness, the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia is finalizing the review of all suspected hospitalised cases. This final review added an additional two cases between April to 5 July 2012, making the total number of children affected to be 59. Of these, 52 have died.

The age of the cases range from three months to 11 years old, with the majority being under three years old. The overall male: female ratio is 1.3:1.

Laboratory samples were not available for the majority of the cases as they died before appropriate samples could be taken.

Based on the latest laboratory results, a significant proportion of the samples tested positive for enterovirus 71 (EV-71), which causes hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD). The EV-71 virus has been known to generally cause severe complications amongst some patients.

Additionally, a number of other pathogens, including dengue and streptococcus suis were identified in some of the samples. The samples were found to be negative for H5N1 and other influenza viruses, SARS and Nipah.

Further investigations into matching the clinical, laboratory and epidemiological information are ongoing, and are likely to be concluded in a few days.

WHO and partners, which include lnstitut Pasteur du Cambodge and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are assisting the Ministry of Health with this event.

The Government is also reinforcing awareness of good hygiene practices to the public, which includes frequent washing of hands.

Some facts on hand foot and mouth disease:

Hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common infectious disease of infants and children. The symptoms commonly observed include fever, painful sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters on hands, feet and also buttocks.

HFMD is most commonly caused by coxsackievirus A16, which usually results in a mild self-limiting disease with a few complications. HFMD is also caused by enteroviruses, including enterovirus 71 (EV71) which has been associated with serious complications in certain groups, and may cause deaths.

HFMD mainly occurs amongst children under 10 years old. The usual period from infection to onset of symptoms is 3-7 days.

The disease usually begins with fever, poor appetite, malaise, and frequently with a sore throat. One or two days after fever onset, painful sores develop in the mouth. They begin as small red spots that blister and then often become ulcers. They are usually located on the tongue, gums and inside of the cheeks. A non-itchy skin rash develops over 1-2 days with flat or raised red spots, some with blisters. The rash is usually located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and may also appear on the buttocks and/or genitalia. A person with HFMD may not have symptoms, or may have only the rash or only mouth ulcers. In a small number of cases, children may experience a brief febrile illness, present with mixed neurological and respiratory symptoms and succumb rapidly from the disease.

HFMD virus is contagious and infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with nose or throat discharges, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the stool of infected persons. Infected persons are most contagious during the first week of the illness but the period of communicability can last for several weeks. HFMD is not transmitted from pets or other animals. HFMD should not be confused with the different disease in animals called foot-and-mouth disease.

Presently, there is no specific treatment available for HFMD. Patients should drink plenty of water or other liquids and may require treatment of the symptoms.

Health care providers are advised to treat patients according to their symptoms and to refrain from using steroids.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cambodia: Video on HFMD linked to Outbreak

HFMD virus linked to deadly disease in Cambodia
Posted at 07/09/2012 4:59 PM
Dr. Nima Asgari of the World Health Organization in Cambodia sheds more light on the mystery disease
-Click on Title for Vido-

Cebu Pacific monitoring Cambodia disease outbreak

Updated as of 07/09/2012 6:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Cebu Pacific is closely monitoring reports regarding a mysterious illness that has killed dozens of children in Cambodia, the airline said Monday afternoon.

Cebu Pacific, in a press statement, said it continues to operate flights to and from Siem Reap as scheduled, as airport operations remain normal.

"While we have not received an official advisory on this matter, we understand that some passengers may wish to reschedule their CEB flights to and from Siem Reap to a later time," it said.

"Guests may rebook theirflights without fees, for travel up to 30 days from original departure date. They may also choose to place the value of their booking in a travel fund by calling the CEB hotline at (02) 70-20-888 / (032) 230-88-88," it added.

Health officials have found clues on the mystery illness.

Cambodia's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization said many of the fatalities were positive for Enterovirus Type 71, which causes hand, foot, and mouth disease. - with a report from ANC

Cambodia: A Significant proportion of Cases test positive for Hand Foot & Mouth Disease in Mystery Illness

Health officials investigating an unexplained disease outbreak that has killed more than 50 children in Cambodia say they have detected the presence of a virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease. But they stressed the investigations were ongoing, with other illnesses, including dengue, also associated with some of the cases.

The outbreak has drawn international attention because of longstanding fears that poor countries such as Cambodia could be incubators for new, virulent disease strains that defy treatment.
In a news release, the Cambodian Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization said that laboratory samples were not available for the majority of cases, because the victims died before appropriate samples could be taken. But in the cases for which samples could be studied, the officials said "a significant proportion" tested positive for Enterovirus 71 (EV-71), which causes hand, foot and mouth disease.

Further investigation is ongoing and this includes the matching of the laboratory and epidemiological information," said Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng, according to the statement. "We hope to be able to conclude our investigation in the coming days," the minister said.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Public Health Ministry orders 4 mil Tamiflu in case of bird flu outbreak

BANGKOK, 6 July 2012 (NNT)-The Ministry of Public Health has reaffirmed that no outbreak of avian flu has been detected in Thailand, but to play it safe the ministry has ordered millions of doses of antiviral drugs of Tamiflu in case of emergency.

According to Department of Disease Control Director-General Dr. Pornthep Sririwanarangsan, the stocking up on Tamiflu is necessary because not only has the avian flu outbreak been reported in China, but also in Mexico.

Dr. Pornthep said even though Thailand has been free of such flu since 2007, the Ministry of Public Health is taking no chances. It has instructed public health volunteers across the country to monitor the poultry situation and notify authorities if the animals’ deaths are suspected to have been caused by H1N1.

He claimed that no dead poultry in Thailand have been found infected by the avian flu so far. He assured the public that since Thailand is an exporter of poultry, it is unlikely for the avian flu to enter the country.

However, 4 million Tamiflu tablets will be obtained to make sure people receive the medication immediately should they develop the H1N1 symptoms. Moreover, the quarantine zones along the Thai border have also been told to be extra cautious about all the birds imported into the

HK Center for Health Protection - Pandemic Activation

This is dated for June 22, 2012.

The Alert Response Level under the Government's Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic is activated

China News Site on Cambodia Mystery Disease

[translation from Chinese]

Cambodians explosion strange epidemic 64 Tong speed killed monuments everywhere in Cambodia in recent years, the people of Hong Kong emerging tourist destination in recent months designed to kill the children of the mysterious epidemic broke, so far caused sixty-six infection in young children under seven, sixty IV. people were killed. Patients with encephalitis, pneumonia and other serious symptoms, mostly sent to hospital for first aid for less than round the clock to the death, mortality almost hundred percent, the World Health Organization has issued a global health alert and sent an expert team to the local investigation. Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection yesterday issued a health warning to remind the public traveling outside the local to be careful, and wrote to all doctors pay special attention to patients returning from Cambodia. Microbiologist in Hong Kong, and have no known adult cases, showing that the adult immune system, In other words, the pathogen should have been in existence.

Bagdad: Council of Ministers decides to prevent the import of birds and eggs (18) Asian and African and European


Iraq - Baghdad (Country News) - The Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to prevent the import of live birds of prey and decorations as well as the eggs of both types (table and hatching) of (18) Asian and African and European.

A source in the Public Service Commissions in the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers that prevention was based on the last update of the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) on the epidemiological situation of avian influenza.

The ban also included bird feathers and all the materials that enter poultry or their products installed in order to preserve the local environment and prevent the spread of the disease.

The countries that prevent the import of

Are: (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Hong Kong, Laos, Mainmar, Egypt, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, South Africa, Andenossia, Nepal, Australia, Sri Lanka).

Mexico plans to import 211 thousand tons of eggs to meet the deficit and high prices


Mexico City, July 7 (EFE) Mexico's government plans to import the amount of up to 211 thousand tons of eggs to face a potential crisis in prices against the backdrop of the spread of bird flu virus west of the country, as announced by Minister of Economy Bruno Ferrari.

The Ferrari during a press conference that his ministry began its moves to increase the amount imported from countries that are not between them and Mexico free trade agreements, describing those countries as offering prices "very competitive" for the sale of eggs.

He added that he can do so at this time to provide 211 thousand tonnes, "the consumption of eggs in all parts of the country for a month."

The Mexican government had done earlier this month an emergency plan to prevent the transmission and control of avian influenza virus that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of birds.

The plan provides for the establishment of quarries and collecting healthy birds and products, as well as other species could represent a threat to breeding birds.

The plan also includes to avoid spread of the disease and the isolation and slaughter of infected birds, influenza A virus (H7N3).

Continuation of the ban import of poultry and eggs in Kurdistan

Saturday, July 07

A source at the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources Kurdistan Regional Government, on Saturday, the Government of the Territory continues to ban the import of poultry and eggs from 20 countries, due to fears of the spread of bird flu in those countries.

The Director General of Livestock and Veterinary, Ministry of Agriculture in the region, Abbas Abdi, "The Kurdistan Region is prohibited for several years, entry of poultry and eggs from 20 countries, due to fears of the spread of bird flu in those countries," and continues the move, adding that "states the twentieth are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Hong Kong, Laos, Myanmar, Egypt, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, South Africa, Indonesia, Nepal, Australia, America, Britain. " He pointed out that the "bird flu is still widespread in Egypt, and for this we can not buy poultry from this country." The heap is Federal, issued last Thursday, decided to ban import of live poultry and pet birds and prey and eggs from 18 countries, Asian, African and European.

Bolivia: H1N1 Deaths Update

Previously reported on here.

6 de julio de 2012

Confirmed cases of influenza A H1N1 in Bolivia totaling 935 and the death toll rises to 13, which are mainly concentrated in the Andean region because of the winter season, according to a report Friday from the Ministry of Health.

Of the confirmed cases of influenza, 630 correspond to the department of La Paz, 173 Santa Cruz (East), 64 to Oruro (southwest) and 37 to Cochabamba (center) says the last part of the Ministry of Health epidemiological, which AFP had access.

However, the authorities stated that the 13 deaths are related to patients who had underlying chronic diseases.

The authorities responsible for public health said that the situation in the country is under control, there is no risk of epidemic, and that the multiplication of cases is directly related to the winter season, usually harsher in the Altiplano.

The departments of La Paz and Oruro declared "health alert" to intensify preventive measures, said Johnny Rada, national chief of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health.

Given the increasing cases of influenza were instructed widespread vaccination, since already fulfilled "the goal of vaccinating risk groups (children under 2 years and 65 years)", announced Minister of reporters health, Juan Carlos Calvimonte.

The national head of epidemiology, said the situation "is substantially different from 2009," when there were "753 confirmed cases and 59 deaths caused directly by the virus, showing a reduction in the fatality rate from that year."

Phillippines: DOH: No need for travel advisory to Cambodia yet amid 'mystery disease'

July 8, 2012
Health authorities are not yet recommending a travel advisory to Cambodia amid fears about a mysterious respiratory disease that has killed at least 61 children there.

A report on dzBB radio Sunday quoted Health Secretary Enrique Ona as saying that for now, the Bureau of Quarantine will be more alert in watching for symptoms of the disease among incoming travelers.

National Epidemiology Center head Dr. Enrique Tayag
said the disease has so far affected children seven years old and below.

Tayag said airports will screen inbound travelers as standard operating procedure, even as he said little is known of the disease other than that it “affects children, (and is) very fatal,” with its mode of transmission unknown, and causative organism unknown.

He said symptoms of the disease include fever, an elevated white blood cell count and respiratory and/or neurological symptoms followed by death within 24 hours.

For its part, the World Health Organization said the Cambodian Ministry of Health is actively investigating the syndrome.

The WHO said preliminary findings identified 74 cases who were hospitalized from April to July 5.

“Of these, 57 cases (including 56 deaths), presented a common syndrome of fever, respiratory and neurological signs, which is now the focus of the investigation,” it said in a July 6 statement.