Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Egyptian girl tests positive for bird flu-MENA

CAIRO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - A 4-year-old Egyptian girl tested positive for bird flu on Monday, the 44th confirmed human case in the Arab world’s most populous country, state news agency MENA said.

Ministry of Health spokesman Abdel Rahman Shaheen said the girl had been treated with the antiviral drug tamiflu and had been transferred from Minya province to a hospital in Cairo, the agency said.

The girl is suffering from a high fever and is having trouble breathing because she has inflammation of one of her lungs.

Bird flu story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 02/27 at 09:41 AM
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Bird flu hits another Bangladesh district

DHAKA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Bangladesh, struggling to combat avian influenza, confirmed on Monday the H5N1 virus had spread to another district, taking the number of affected districts to 45 out of 64.

The new outbreak was found in Chandpur, 170 km (105 miles) southeast of the capital, but livestock officials said the spread of bird flu had slowed across the country in recent weeks.

“At the advent of spring we are getting few reports about poultry dying,” said Ibrahim (one name), project director of the government’s livestock department. “The situation is now mostly under control.”

Nearly 970,000 birds have been culled since the virus was first detected in March 2007, threatening the impoverished country’s growing poultry industry.

At least 5 million of the country’s more than 140 million people are directly or indirectly involved in poultry farming, of whom officials estimate around 1.5 million have now become jobless.

Officials say the disease has badly hit the country’s annual $1.8 billion poultry industry. Bird flu has caused losses of about 45 billion taka ($650 million) to the poultry sector.

Avian flu story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 02/25 at 07:22 AM
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China bird flu victim ate sick chickens: officials

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A woman in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong has died of the H5N1 bird flu virus, which she probably contracted from sick poultry she kept in her backyard, Hong Kong government health officials said on Monday.

The 44-year-old migrant worker, who was employed in Haifeng county in the eastern part of Guangdong, tested positive for H5N1 in a test by Guangdong’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the Health Ministry in Beijing has to confirm the result.

“This lady kept some chickens in her backyard and they became sick and died during the incubation period of her illness. She also ate some of the chickens herself,” said Thomas Tsang, controller of Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection.

“The most likely route of transmission was from the sick poultry she kept and she acquired avian influenza from this source.”

Eating well-cooked meat is safe but experts have long warned about handling H5N1-tainted animals or meat without protection.

See This bird flu link for more on the truth about eating poultry infected with bird flu.

The woman developed symptoms of fever, cough and pneumonia on February 16, but was only admitted to the county hospital on February 22, after first seeking treatment at a local clinic, according to a statement from Guangdong’s health department.

“The patient’s condition was too serious and she died on Monday after treatment failed,” it said (http://www.gdwst.gov.cn).

Bird flu story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 02/25 at 07:15 AM
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

China confirms new bird flu death

A 22-YEAR-OLD Chinese man from the central province of Hunan has died of the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the second death from the disease since late last year, the health ministry said overnight.

The man, surnamed Li, first noticed symptoms of fever and headache on January 16. He went to hospital several days later and died on January 24, the ministry said on its website.

The provincial disease control and prevention center subsequently collected a specimen from the victim on Saturday, and the initial tests for the bird flu virus were positive.

A specimen was then sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, which confirmed it as testing positive for the H5N1 virus yesterday, the ministry said.

The ministry did not explain the reason for the delay in testing the victim for bird flu, but Hunan was one of the provinces most badly hit by freak snowstorms that killed more than 100 people and cut off roads and power in many parts of central and southern China in late January and early February.

The ministry said the local government had taken appropriate action.

“All people in close contact with the victim have been given strict medical examinations, and up until now no abnormal conditions have been discovered,” it said.

Avian flu story source: Australian News Service

Posted by john T. on 02/20 at 05:53 AM
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Dead poultry raises bird flu alarm in Vietnam

HANOI, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Dead poultry have been found in rivers and streams in northern Vietnam, a sign of a possible new bird flu outbreak during a prolonged cold spell, officials said on Tuesday.

The Agriculture Ministry said in a report that callers to an animal health department hotline reported large numbers of dead birds in five provinces, but was not specific.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu killed three men in northern Vietnam between Jan. 18 and Feb. 14 during a record-long cold spell. The H5N1 virus seems to thrive best in cool temperatures.

“In recent days the Animal Health Department has received many reports about poultry dying in large numbers in provinces,” the Agriculture Ministry-run department said in a report on its Web site (http://www.dah.gov.vn).

“A bird flu outbreak is forecast to emerge in the northern region when cold days extend,” it said.

The department, in a separate report, said that bird flu has killed nearly 2,500 ducks and chickens in the northern provinces of Hai Duong, Nam Dinh and Tuyen Quang, bringing to seven the provinces on the government’s bird flu watchlist.

Animal health workers have slaughtered the remaining 1,900 birds at the three infected farms.

Doctors confirmed at the weekend that a 7-year-old child from the northern province of Hai Duong had the virus. The child has been under treatment in Hanoi along with several suspected cases.

Bird flu has killed 50 people in Vietnam out of 106 infected cases since late 2003, the Health Ministry said.

Officials said they have not been able to control poultry smuggling from northern neighbour China, which reported its latest human death on Monday, bringing its toll to 18.

Bird flu story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 02/20 at 05:50 AM
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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pakistan confirms new bird flu outbreak in NWFP

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani authorities have detected an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in chickens in a part of the northwest where the country recently had its first human death from the virus, a government official said on Saturday.

The new outbreak was found in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the official said.

“Samples from a poultry farm sent to us from Abbottabad have tested positive for the virus,” Food and Agriculture Ministry official Rafiq-ul-Usmani said, referring to a town in the province. “We have already started culling at the farm.”

Several outbreaks of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in poultry and other birds have been found in NWFP and the capital, Islamabad, since it was first detected in Pakistan in early 2006.

Pakistan confirmed its first human death from the virus in an area near Abbottabad in December.

Authorities confirmed two outbreaks at separate poultry farms in Pakistan’s biggest city Karachi, in the south, early this month. Health authorities tested 12 workers from the farms for the H5N1 virus, but all of them proved negative.

The president of the Pakistan Poultry Association, Abdul Basit, said the outbreaks had badly hit the industry, which he estimated was worth 200 billion rupees (around $3.2 billion).

“The industry employs about 1.5 million people and losses in February alone are close to 4 billion rupees.”

Some Pakistanis have stopped eating chicken but the bird flu outbreaks have not caused general public alarm.

Avian influenza story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 02/16 at 12:09 PM
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Bangladesh culls more bird flu infected chickens

DHAKA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Veterinary workers have started culling some 150,000 chickens infected with bird flu in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Saturday, officials said

“The culling of a huge number of chickens has just started and it may take until Sunday afternoon to complete the task,” a Livestock Department official told Reuters.

Officials said bird flu has spread to 42 out of 64 districts since it was first detected in the Dhaka region last March.

The H5N1 virus was quickly brought under control through aggressive measures, including culling, before re-emerging in January.

The government has raised compensation for poultry farmers to encourage the farmers to report and kill sick birds to help to stamp out the outbreak.

As of Friday more than 600,000 birds have been culled in Bangladesh since March 2007.

Sources used in this bird flu story: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 02/16 at 12:06 PM
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Bird Flu Kills Another Indonesian Boy

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A 3-year-old Indonesian boy has died of bird flu, a health official said Saturday, announcing the country’s second death from the illness in one day. The two cases, which were apparently unrelated, brought Indonesia’s bird flu death toll to 105.

The latest victim was identified only as Han, a 3-year-old boy from the southern part of the capital, Jakarta, radio El-Shinta reported. It said he died Friday at a hospital in the city.

Senior Health Ministry official Nyoman Kandun confirmed the report and said laboratory tests confirmed the boy had the dangerous H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus. It was not clear how he was infected, and Kandun gave no further details.

Earlier Saturday, the Health Ministry said a 16-year-old Indonesian boy from Central Java province died of bird flu. The boy, whose name was not disclosed, became ill on Feb. 3 with a cough and other respiratory symptoms, according to the Health Ministry’s Web site.

He died a week later in a hospital in the city of Solo about 280 miles southeast of Jakarta, said Sumardi, a ministry spokesman. Like he many Indonesians, he goes by one name.

Tests confirmed the boy had H5N1, the ministry’s Web site said.

The 16-year-old victim’s neighbors had sick chickens on their property and the boy apparently slaughtered some of them before he became ill, the ministry said.

Avian flu story source: AP

Posted by john T. on 02/16 at 12:03 PM
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Indonesian teenager dies of bird flu

JAKARTA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - A 16-year-old Indonesian boy from Central Java has died from bird flu, taking the country’s death toll from the virus to 104, the health ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said on its Web site the boy had fallen sick on Feb. 3 with fever symptoms and respiratory problems after five chickens belonging to him and a neighbour died.

There has been a sudden spike in bird flu cases in Indonesia since the start of the year. Some experts say the flare-up is caused by factors such as damp weather and poor sanitation during the rainy season.

Bird flu story source: Reuters

Posted by john T. on 02/16 at 12:02 PM
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Friday, February 15, 2008

Third death from bird flu in Vietnam since start of year

HANOI, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Vietnamese Health Ministry reported on Friday the country’s third death this year from the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The victim, a 27-year-old resident of the northern province of Nihn Binh, entered a Hanoi hospital on February 12, and died on Thursday night.

Earlier this week, a 40 year-old man from the northern province of Hai Duong, 50 km (31 miles) southeast of Hanoi, died after six days of treatment for severe pneumonia and multiple organ failure.

All three of the deaths are thought to have been caused by the victims eating infected chicken meat.

Vietnam ranks second after Indonesia in bird flu fatalities, with an overall death toll of 50 since the lethal H5N1 virus was first reported in the country in 2003. The two main sources of infection are the country’s northern Thai Nguyen and central Quang Binh provinces.

Bird flu story source: RIA

Posted by john T. on 02/15 at 05:58 PM
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