Tag Archive: epidemic

H7N9: China’s Growing Worry

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China’s affected provinces of Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hangzhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian and Capital City region, 135 infected, 35 dead. 

“The H7N9 bird flu has killed one person in central China’s Hunan Province, local health authorities said Wednesday. A 64-year-old woman surnamed Guan died Tuesday morning at a hospital in the city of Shaoyang some 20 days after her infection was confirmed, the Hunan Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission said. She was the first person in Hunan diagnosed with the virus. Another three patients were confirmed afterward. One of the three died earlier this month, one has recovered and the other is still in critical condition, according to the commission. The first human infection was reported in China in late March. Authorities have recorded 130 confirmed cases thus far. Previously the National Health and Family Planning Commission said the virus had killed 35 people on the mainland, while 57 of those infected had recovered as of May 13.”

RSOE EDIS

 

World Health Organization Warns Of Bird Flu Epidemic, Tuesday

On Tuesday, Sri Lanka suspended meat imports from China and redoubled surveillance of wild birds migrating from that country, after the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of an epidemic.

Thousands of wid birds migrate to Sri Lank from China annually, according to Dr. W.K. de Silva, animal production and health department director with the Sri Lanka government. “We have doubled the number of samples that we collect from wild birds, particularly those that migrate to certain wetlands in Sri Lanka,” he told media.

“We will intensify the checks until the WHO warning is lifted,” he said.

Several versions of the rapidly evolving H7N9 bird flu virus are circulating within China, epidemiologists said Tuesday.

The novel influenza A virus, a combination of three similar viruses found in chickens, ducks, and wild birds, emerged in China in February and has sickened more than 100 people in China and Taiwan, killing at least 20. Among three early cases reported in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province in China, two of the patients had contact with environmental sources — namely, live poultry markets.

Testing of chicken cages and feces from the market visited by one of the two patients were positive for the virus, indicating a direct connection between the poultry source and human infection, researchers reported Tuesday in the journal Science China: Life Sciences. Funded by China and Hangzhou Province, the researchers analyzed the DNA sequences from the viruses found in that province in addition to H7N9 viral sequences available in databases. The sequencing showed divergence between samples from one of the earlier patients and others from the province, suggesting that “several H7N9 viruses are circulating in Hangzhou,” the authors wrote.

However, “it is uncertain whether the diversity of H7N9 in Hangzhou is the result of host adaptation, or predates the transmission to humans from an avian source.”

Researchers said the origin and development of the novel flu virus remains unknown, though a study involving animal models yielded some insight into the disease’s pathogenicity.

“A glutamine to isoleucine substitution was observed at position 226 of the hemagglutinin amino acid sequence in the newly sequenced virus,” the authors wrote. “Isoleucine has similar characteristics to leucine, which was previously shown to be a pivotal amino acid in the binding of avian- or human-type receptor, and might be essential for pathogenicity in cases of airborne viral transmission. This substitution was observed for the first time at this site in H7N9, which may indicate a novel host adaptation feature of the H7 virus.”

Medical Daily

 

The study suggests the disease continues to mutate rapidly, and that researchers should further explore the significance of the receptor binding properties of Q226I protein sequence in the virus — as well as the significance of the substitutions, in both live organisms and laboratory sequencing.

Source: Li J, Yu X F, Pu X Y, et al. Environmental connections of novel avian-origin H7N9 influenza virus infection and virus adaptation to the human. Sci China Life Sci, 2013, 56(6), 485-492. doi: 10.1007/s11427-013-4491-3.

Updates on H5N1 current situation can be found at:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/avian-flu-summary.htm

http://medicalxpress.com/tags/avian+flu/

You can read more information about the general history of H5N1 strain at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_flu_outbreak_of_2009#2009

You can check out the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Resources and Information on Avian Flu with this link:

http://www.who.int/influenza/resources/avian_influenza/en/index.html

You can find the CDC’s General Information on Avian Flu here:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/

 

May 15

North Korea’s H5N1 Outbreak

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There was a strain of H5N1 in North Korea reported Tuesday, 14 May, 2013.

 

A new outbreak of the H5N1 strain of the avian influenza virus has been confirmed at a duck production unit in P’yongyang-Si, resulting in the deaths of more than 164,000 ducks. This is according to the World Organisation for Animal Health who received notification from the Anti-Epizootic Department at the Ministry of Agriculture in Pyongyang yesterday. Ducks in one of the 20 cages showed clinical signs on 19 April 2013 but recovered 3-4 days later. As mortality increased, samples were sent to the Central Veterinary Station on 2 May 2013. In total, one adult cage, 12 fattening cages and 7 duckling cages were infected. More than 2,000 adult duc

ks, 42,000 fattening ducks and 120,000 ducklings younger than 20 days were dead or killed. Movement controls, quarantining an disinfection are part of a raft of measures put in place to control the outbreak.  H5N1 is a highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

RSOE EDIS

 

Updates on H5N1 current situation can be found at:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/avian-flu-summary.htm

http://medicalxpress.com/tags/avian+flu/

You can read more information about the general history of H5N1 strain at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avian_flu_outbreak_of_2009#2009

You can check out the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Resources and Information on Avian Flu with this link:

http://www.who.int/influenza/resources/avian_influenza/en/index.html

You can find the CDC’s General Information on Avian Flu here:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/