Tuesday, July 31, 2007
*WHO confirmation still pending
Currently, 11,350 birds have been culled in 34 localities in both Imphal East and Imphal West district
Monday, July 30, 2007
"The report said that authorities have taken measures to contain the outbreak, including culling more than 300 chickens on the two poultry farms where the H5N1 virus was identified."
Thursday, July 26, 2007
The truth is, no one really knows a lot about the seasonality of flu in the southern hemisphere or in tropical climates. It's not a well studied phenomena there.
So, what does that mean for a potential pandemic? Researchers had previously been working under the assumption that colder months would be more likely for reassortment (where, in one host, the H5N1 virus may mix genetic material with a human flu virus, making it more powerful and possibly creating a pandemic). With this new article from CIDRAP, researchers are assuming less about seasonality and pointing to other important characteristics.
Read more at:
"Researchers warn H5N1 reassortment can occur beyond winter months"
"It has been confirmed as the H5N1 strain," Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Vineet Chawdhry told Reuters.
Hundreds of health workers will fan out in Manipur state to check on the health of some 450,000 people in and around the affected poultry farm in the village of Chingmeirong on the outskirts of Imphal, the state capital. None of the people in the poultry unit or veterinary workers dealing with the outbreak are showing flu symptoms, but they have been put on the anti-flu drug Tamiflu just in case, Chawdhry said.The confirmation of the H5N1 strain came after authorities received the results from two government laboratories.
India declared itself bird flu free last August after two major outbreaks of the H5N1 virus in chickens in western India. It culled around a million birds to contain those outbreaks.
It plans to slaughter some 150,000 poultry in a 5 km (3 mile) radius around the affected farm."
Monday, July 23, 2007
The death of two people from pig disease plus new H5N1 outbreaks is what's worrying Vietnamese health and animal health officials today...
"Two people have died in northern Vietnam from a pig disease while another virus has been killing thousands of pigs in recent weeks in the central region, government and media reports said on Monday. Bird flu has also returned to the central region, killing hundreds of ducks at a farm at the weekend, they said.
Twenty two people, most from northern areas, have been taken to a Hanoi hospital so far this year after they fell sick from the Streptococcus suis bacteria, the Vietnam News Agency said on Monday.
Two of the infected had died, it said without giving more details.
People infected by the bacteria suffer from rapid internal haemorrhage and high fever after they eat pork from a sick pig or inhale the air near the sick swine, doctors said.
Another pig disease, the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus, also known as Lelystad virus, had struck more than 16,000 pigs in the central province of Quang Nam since June 25, the Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat said on July 14."
An important component of CARE's work is improving cooperation between animal and human health sectors at all levels. This cooperation will become increasingly important to control zoonotic diseases locally before they become a threat globally.
Van said this vaccine had been preliminarily tested for safety and effectiveness by the National Center for Checks on Vaccines and Bio-Medical Products. Once on the market, the vaccine is expected to cost around VND30,000 (nearly US$1.9) per dose. A person would need two doses to ensure immunity to the virus."
Friday, July 20, 2007
This is from a study in Zoonoses and Public Health
"In January 2006, an outbreak of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was recorded in Nigeria for the first time. This present work describes an estimation of possible costs associated with a vaccination-based control policy added to other measures to restrict HPAI H5N1 virus infections.
The evaluations used epidemiological and production data, including budgets necessary for the vaccine acquisition, distribution and administration in arriving at the final costs. Using decision tree and cost benefit analysis the economical benefits for Nigeria and countries with similar veterinary infrastructures, biosecurity and farming systems are calculated.
The result indicated that a halting in the continued spread of the virus through effective control measure will be 52 times better than taking no action. This should help policy makers in deciding in favour of vaccination combined with other tools as an effective means of controlling avian influenza H5N1.
• Control of HPAI H5N1 will best be understood by policy makers in financial terms.
• Effective control through vaccination of poultry is much cheaper and reduces the chances of human zoonoses.
• Poultry vaccination combined with other control measures will be the most effective means of control in most developing economies."
pdf available at: http://www.unicef.org/eapro/activities_7065.html
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Researchers recently ran trials both with genetically altered mice and mice given suppressants for their immune system. Unfortunately, both had higher mortality rates than the baseline, which is not good news for treating either H5N1 infections or pandemic flu
As I stepped out of the car, a farmer named Nulang Kampon came out and graciously allowed me to interview her. It seemed odd at the time, but apparently she was used to it because I had stumbled onto the first successful, closed poultry farm in the area. A closed poultry system entails keeping the chickens in their own isolated enclosure with their own water supply at all times. There is a fan inside the farm to cool the chickens during the hot summers and enough room to not overcrowd 7,000 chickens. Only Nulang and her husband feed, and clean the water and area of the chickens, and they must shower before and after entering the enclosed and seperate chicken enclosure and wear special equipment during their time with the chickens. After 45 days for the chickens to mature, the poultry company returns to claim the chickens in trucks that are disinfected before and after entering the farm area, and Nulang's family has a full month to clean the area before they bring in new hatchlings to start the cycle again.
About four or five years ago, Nulang and her family had an open farm system, but the neighboring poultry plant came to her and asked if she would consider being a contract farmer for them. In return for providing technical assistance (workshops on how to make the transition and avian flu prevention), machinery, equipment, and the chicken hatchlings, the poultry industry would get a percentage of her revenue. With a substantial loan from a bank, Nulang and family began the transition of closing the chicken farm, which took about a month. The government checks on the farm about once a month to ensure everything is on the up and up.
Nulang says she prefers the closed system since less chickens die. Traditional free roam chickens are exposed to the heat, dust, pollution, wild birds, unclean water sources and more. Now with the closed system, only an average of 300 chickens out of 7,000 die instead of nearly half. Nulang makes approximately 20,000 to 40,000 baht a cycle and can send her daughter to college.
When I asked if she had any advice for other farmers who were also concerned about avian flu, she said to ask nearby companies if they want to work together. Many Westerners, farming students, neighbour farmers, and even Japanese farmers have come to her farm to learn how to convert their farming style. It should take less time than she did (since she was the pilot).
I thought Nulang's story was a great example of government, the private sector and farmers all working towards the same goal.
Monday, July 16, 2007
This incident happened to occur during a CARE AI campaign in the commune with different mass organizations involved in the communications campaign. The commune AI committee intervened and applied their skills and knowledge convinced the man of the dangers of not complying, eventually the man agreed to destroy the flock. On the same day the National Institute for Hygiene and epidemiology confirmed that the outbreak was H5N1
Meanwhile, one of the largest preventative culls I've seen, over 70,ooo, birds, took place around 2 infected farms this past week. Authorities estimate the compensation will be aroudn $1.46 million USD.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The report says that his family and neighbors did not keep chickens, so it is not known how we contracted the disease
After only a month of operating, Tien Minh Commune volunteers reported suspected outbreaks in ducks and humans. The human cases, thankfully, were not H5N1. The ducks, however, were. Because of their training, Tien Minh volunteers reported the case quickly and their Commune AI Committee was able to take all of the correct actions to stop the virus from spreading and clean up the outbreak.
Examples are starting to emerge that really demonstrate the value of community based work in stopping H5N1. Let's continue to share these!
And congratulations to Tien Minh Commune!!
Monday, July 9, 2007
Why is this a problem? Many countries, organizations and companies are urging people to prepare for a pandemic.
This is quite like walking a tight rope. How should governments and organizations best prepare people without scaring them?
Thursday, July 5, 2007
The private sector arm of the World Bank Group, ICF, has partnered with a leading Bangladeshi NGO, BRAC, in order to promote bio-security, poultry productivity, reduce costs and the increase income of 10, 000 small scale farmers and retailers. BRAC (http://www.brac.net/index2.htm) specializes in health, economic development, education, social development and human rights
"IFC has global experience dealing with the avian influenza. We are using our expertise and BRAC's experience and outreach in the sector to help protect farmers, small and medium enterprises, and other stakeholders," said Deepak Adhikary, deputy general manager of IFC-SEDF.
“The poultry industry, the country's fastest-growing livestock sector, employs at least five million people, and millions of households rely on poultry production for income generation and nutrition. The industry has about 220 million chickens and 37 million. Last week, health workers culled 78,000 chickens over the past six days after bird flu”
Monday, July 2, 2007
This story and others just emphasize how important it is that any type of AI prevention and control measures take place with a high degree of participation from communities. Participation and giving the communities input into what measures will be taken is the only way we'll get compliance.