Sunday, March 11, 2007

24 Egyptians Test Positive for Bird Flu

A 4-year-old Egyptian boy has contracted the deadly bird flu virus, bringing to 24 the number of Egyptians who have tested positive for the disease, Health Ministry and World Health Organisation officials said on Sunday.

Around five million households in Egypt depend on poultry as a main source of food and income and the government has said this makes it unlikely the disease can be eradicated.

Read the entire story . . .

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mild H5N1 Found in Ohio, USA birds

Northern pintail birds in Ohio have tested positive for a low-pathogenic strain of the H5N1 bird flu virus, the U.S. government said on Saturday, adding to recent cases in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Michigan.

"Initial tests confirm that these wild bird samples do not contain the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa," the USDA said in a statement.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

EU Considers Europe-Wide Bird Flu Plan

The EU governments on Monday discussed ways to combat bird flu, including a Europe-wide program to vaccinate poultry, as the lethal H5N1 bird flu virus has spread to six European Union countries.

France - the EU's largest poultry producer - became the latest EU country to report H5N1 cases last week, joining Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy and Slovenia.

In Paris, French Health Minister Xavier Bertrand urged consumers to keep eating poultry - and foie gras - insisting that commercially farmed birds remained safe

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

India: Government's steps to contain Bird Flu

The government in India has taken immediate steps with orders to slaughter poultry in a 3 km radius where the infection has been spotted. More from NDTV

Nearly 40,000 to about 100,000 chickens have reportedly been affected during the last few weeks in poultry farms along the Maharashtra-Gujarat border.

In the Capital, the Cabinet Secretary has called for an emergency meeting and medical teams have been rushed to Nandurbar. Anees Ahmed, Maharashtra Minister for Animal Husbandry has confirmed that these are indeed cases of bird flu. A team of over two hundred veterinary doctors and specialists have been sent to areas in the state where poultry is reared on a large scale. Officials said there is no cause for alarm and they are taking measures to put a preventive plan in place. So far the infection has been limited to only chickens and not a single human case has been reported.

India confirms first bird flu case

From CNN's report

A federal health ministry official said there were no reports of human infections.

State husbandry minister Anees Ahmed said tests had confirmed the presence of the H5N1 avian flu virus in some of the dead chickens in Nandurbar district, about 450 km (280 miles) north of Mumbai, the country's bustling commercial capital.Samples sent to a government laboratory in central Bhopal town had confirmed bird flu....

At least 60 percent of India's one-billion plus people live in rural areas close to their livestock, just like in many other parts of Asia, raising the risks of the bird flu virus infecting people.

Poultry farming is particularly popular in Maharashtra. There are 52 poultry farms in Nandurbar area, officials said.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Deadliest form of bird flu found in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria

Scientists have confirmed that wild swans in Italy, Greece and Bulgaria have tested positive for the deadly strain of bird flu.

More than 20 swans in the three countries have died from the H5N1 strain which experts say was probably brought by cold weather in the Balkans.

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Avian Flu Gets to Italy, confirmed

17 Swans died, and tests carried out on 2 carcasses are positive for H5N1

Italy kinds of panik, as the news says 'its the most virulent strain, and it
can be transmitted to humans'

But the health minister tries to be reassuring, says that in Italy birds
have been vaccinated

Monday, January 23, 2006

French Woman Tests Negative for Bird Flu

A French woman tested for bird flu in a southern French hospital after returning from Turkey does not have the disease, the health ministry has said.

Two rounds of tests were carried out on Sunday to rule out the presence of the deadly H5N1 virus, it said.

The woman had spent two weeks in Turkey, but in a region not known to have been affected.

Read the entire story

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Indonesia: Bird flu confirmed in deaths of 2 children

A laboratory in Hong Kong has confirmed the H5N1 strain of bird flu killed two children from the same family this month, a senior official at the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The two children come from West Java province. Indonesia has now had 14 confirmed deaths from bird flu, said the official, Hariadi Wibisono, director of control of animal-borne diseases at the ministry, and five cases where patients have survived.


USA: Law School Hosts Avian Flu Symposium

More than 250 scientists, lawyers, first-responders, and other individuals concerned about the possibilities of an influenza pandemic filled Westminster Hall on Jan. 13 for the School of Law's day-long symposium "Avian Flu: What Can We Do?" The symposium at the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) brought together more than 23 national avian flu experts to discuss problems related to the avian flu and create partnerships to fight the threat of a pandemic flu outbreak. Panel discussions included the basic science of influenza, vaccine development, quarantine and isolation, antivirals, the role of institutions, the role of government, and the role of practitioners. (Source: UMB News)

Some key points noted at the symposium are:

1) the challenge is to devise a test to predict whether a strain will shift or drift, and then to develop a vaccine that addresses the specific virus.

2) the need to bring 21st -century technology to vaccine manufacturing through the use of disposable plastic bags instead of eggs to grow the flu cells.

3) develop a computerized model of emergency service response to epidemics which can be used as a tool for planning and research.

4) the need to improve the immune response through mass immunzation sessions at schools and other educational institutions

5) availability of relief personnel at agencies for extended overload situations and communications systems with the ability to handle the load of an EMS pandemic response.

6) the need for a flexible and robust interface between EMS and public health officials withthe aim of educating each side about the other's capabilities, strategies, and limits as part of a county's infectious disease response plans

Mercy Corps: Avian Influenza Task Force Formed

Mercy Corps has created an agency-wide Avian Influenza Task Force (AITF) in response to the growing threat of avian influenza around the world, and especially in developing nations where the agency works. Mercy Corps' task force has begun dialogue within the organization to help staff understand the nature of the threat, prepare for possible scenarios and protect themselves, their families and the communities the agency serves. The organization is formulating a strategy for the threat, including measures for program response, staff care and advocacy. Read More .....

Source: Mercy Corps