Thursday, February 28, 2008

3rd H5N1 Death in China

A 44-year-old woman named Zhang was the third victim of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza in China this year. The migrant worker fell sick on February 16th and was admitted to the hospital on February 22nd for her flu-like sypmtoms. Despite treatment, her condition continued to deteriorate and she died on February 25th in south China's Guangdong Province. Her death was confirmed by the Chinese Ministry of Health last Tuesday, February 26th as a reuslt of H5N1 infection. China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed tests for H5N1 and it was found that Zhang had had contact with infected poultry that had died from the disease.
Story retreived from:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Violence greets culling team in West Bengal

On Tuesday morning, a 10-member team of the Animal Resources Development department were attacked by angry farmers in West Bengal's bird flu hit Murshidabad district where they were to begin culling poultry suspected of having H5N1. Culling has been taking place in the District since February 22.

Angry villagers injured five of the team members after blocking them from culling poultry in the quarantine area. The district minister said the team was accompanied by two homeguards, but they fled the scene when the attack began. "Five of the injured were taken to the primary health centre where they were discharged after first aid," the District Minister said Tuesday.

After two weeks of continuous culling, 700,000 birds set to be culled remain. Culling in the area has been suspended but is expected to start again on Friday, February 29.

Full Story via H5N1 blog:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CARE Laos Press Release: National Hotline Launch

National Avian Influenza Hotline launched

The National Avian Influenza (AI) Hotline was officially launched on Monday 18th February, 2008 by Dr Bounlay Phommasack, Director of the National Avian and Human Influenza Coordination Office. The ceremony was attended by AI stakeholders in Laos including representatives from ……………………

The AI hotline aims to provide a national service for the public of the Lao PDR to receive information regarding avian influenza, or to make reports on suspected cases of avian influenza. The hotline has been developed in partnership with the National Avian and Human Influenza Coordination Office (NAHICO), the United Nations Avian and Human Influenza Coordination Office (UNAHI), the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and CARE, and is funded through US-CDC. UNICEF, the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and FAO, have provided significant support to the promotion of the hotline, which is essential to ensuring its success.

To access the hotline, callers dial ‘166’, which is a free call number. Calls are answered by call operators trained to answer a wide variety of questions regarding avian influenza. If a caller is using the hotline to make a report regarding suspected avian influenza in poultry or humans, then the call operator will take the details and refer the report to the appropriate government agency, which will then follow up with appropriate representatives at the provincial or district level for further investigation.

Although in its early days, the hotline has already proven successful. On 5 February, 2008, a call was made to the hotline reporting that 500 poultry and 2 pigs had died in Long District, Luangnamtha Province. This report was followed closely by animal health authorities and, following testing, on 11 February, 2008, NAHICO confirmed a new outbreak of AI in poultry in Luangnamtha Province. ‘We are glad to have had this hotline in place as it enabled quick and direct reporting of this recent outbreak’, said Ms Monica Spedding, CARE AI Projects Coordinator.

Early reporting is critical in the control of Avian Influenza. If reporting is carried out in a timely fashion, authorities are better able to control the spread of the disease. Through the AI hotline, common obstacles to reporting such as fuel and telephone call costs, and time factors are removed.

To reach the cost free hotline, dial ‘166’ from any landline or mobile telephone. It is open from 7am – 6pm, Monday to Friday.

China Reports 2nd H5N1 Fatality in a month

"A man died of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain in southern China in the second confirmed case in a month, China's Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

The 41 year-old resident of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region developed bird flu symptoms on February 12 and died on February 20, two days after being admitted to a local hospital. He became the 18th H5N1 fatality on the country's record.

On January 24, the virus killed a 22 year-old resident of the central Hunan Province.

In both deaths, the source of infection has yet to be established."

Full story here:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Vietnam Officials: More H5N1 infections expected

After two H5N1 deaths, which were related to the H5N1 outbreaks in four provinces last week, Vietnamese health officials warn that more infections and possibly deaths are expected over the next few weeks. Causing particular alarm is that all three deaths in 2008 have been from provinces with no previous H5N1 infections.

The National Institute for Infectious and Tropical Diseases and the Central Pediatrics Hospital in Hanoi have received an unreported number of patients with H5N1-like symptoms, including high temperatures and respiratory problems.

Clinical tests at the Central Pediatrics Hospital have been negative for H5N1, but patients are still under close watch. The National Institute has not yet reported clinical results for their patients.

Full Story:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New outbreaks in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Tibet

H5N1 is spreading in Vietnam and Bangladesh and fresh outbreaks have been reported in Pakistan and Tibet.

"The four provinces of Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh, Quang Binh and Long An have announced new bird flu outbreaks, according to the Department Veterinary. Bird flu has reoccurred at farms in Mong Cai and Dong Trieu districts from February 12-14, killing 855 out of 1,653 birds. All poultry have failed to be vaccinated for a second time in 2007. Meanwhile, Mong Cai town is finding difficult to control illegally imported poultry from China. In Southern Long An province, a bird flu outbreak was detected at a farm in Phuoc Loi commune, Ben Luc district, killing 150 out of 700 ducks which had also not been vaccinated for the second time. The Veterinary Department warned that bad weather together with illegal transportation and trade of poultry products could easily lead to a recurrence of bird flu. Many localities are inconsistent in preventing the spread of the disease."

In Bangladesh, the virus has hit the capital for the first time.

"Health workers in Bangladesh's capital prepared to slaughter 150,000 birds Sunday after the bird flu virus was detected in the city for the first time, an official said.
The dangerous H5N1 strain of the virus was found in chickens at a farm in a suburb of Dhaka, a bustling city of 10 million people, said Mohammad Salahuddin Ahmed, Director of Administration of the official Directorate of Livestock.
He said that more than 100 workers were ordered to kill the 150,000 chickens at the Omega Poultry Farm.
"This is the first case in the capital city," Ahmed said. "We are very cautious so that the virus can't spread to local neighborhoods."
Bird flu has spread to 42 of Bangladesh's 64 districts since it was first detected in February last year. More than 600,000 birds have been slaughtered so far across the country, according to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock."

From the site of a serious outbreak in 2007, a new outbreak in Pakistan

"MANSEHRA, Feb 17: At least 5,000 chickens have been culled at a poultry farm in the Malipur area after a report of the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, confirmed presence of H5N1 virus.The district livestock officer of Mansehra Dr Ali Akber Khan told Dawn that after the confirmation of the H5N1 virus by the NIH laboratory, over 5,000 chickens were culled in the poultry farm.He said that the infected poultry farm had been sealed, while vaccine was being administered in other areas to check the spread of the bird flu virus.Responding to a question, Dr Akber said that fortunately no worker of the said poultry farm had been infected by the virus.Meanwhile, sources in the provincial health department told this correspondent that a team of the World Health Organisation, which was already monitoring the situation in Hazara region, had reached Mansehra to review the situation."

In Tibet, it's the 2nd outbreak of 2008

"BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese authorities have confirmed a new bird flu outbreak among poultry in Tibet, the second case of this year in the southwestern region, the Ministry of Agriculture said. A ministry statement said that 132 poultry had died in the epidemic in a village outside the regional capital, Lhasa, since it started on Feb. 6, while another 7,698 have been culled. "

2 deaths in Indonesia, 1 death in China

"JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Bird flu killed a 3-year-old boy and a teenager in Indonesia, the health ministry announced, bringing the country's death toll from the disease to 105.
The latest victim was identified only as Han, a 3-year-old boy from the capital, Jakarta, who died Friday at a hospital in the city, radio El-Shinta reported Saturday.
Nyoman Kandun, a senior Health Ministry official, confirmed the report but did not provide details.
Laboratory tests confirmed the boy had the dangerous H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus, Kandun said. It was not clear how he was infected.
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 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of Jakarta, said Sumardi, a ministry spokesman. Like many Indonesians, he goes by one name.
Tests confirmed the teenager had been infected by the H5N1 virus, 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."

"BEIJING (Reuters) - 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 on Monday.
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 Web site.
The provincial disease control and prevention centre subsequently collected a specimen from the victim on February 15, 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 on Sunday, 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 over 100 people and cut off roads and power in many parts of central and southern China in late January and early February."

Friday, February 15, 2008

2 deaths in one week in Veitnam, 3rd of 2008

"Hanoi - A man suffering from bird flu died Friday morning, the second death in two days and the third since the beginning of the year, a Vietnamese official said. The 27-year-old man had been admitted to a hospital in Ninh Binh province, 120 kilometers south of Hanoi, on Monday, and transferred to Hanoi the following day, according to Dinh Quoc Su, head of Ninh Binh's Animal Health Department.
The Ministry of Health announced late Thursday that the man had tested positive for the H5N1 avian flu virus.
Su said Doan and his family had eaten chicken bought at a local market during Tet, the Vietnamese lunar New Year's festival, which began on February 7.
He said local authorities had disinfected Doan's neighborhood and were trying to find out exactly where he had bought the chicken.
"Neither Doan's wife nor his 4-year-old son have shown any bird flu-like symptoms, but doctors are monitoring them," Su said.
Bird flu killed a 41-year-old man from northern Hai Duong province on Wednesday and a 32-year-old man from northern Tuyen Quang province in January.",bird-flu-kills-second-vietnamese-in-two-days.html

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2nd H5N1 death in Vietnam in 2008

From Reuters...

" Bird flu has killed a 40-year-old Vietnamese man who might have been infected after eating sick chickens, state-run media said on Thursday.His death is the second in Vietnam from avian influenza this year.The man died in a Hanoi hospital on Wednesday four days after being treated for lung and kidney failure, the Liberation Saigon newspaper quoted the hospital's deputy director, Nguyen Hong Ha, as saying.The Health Ministry reported that tests confirmed the man from the northern province of Hai Duong, 50 km (31 miles) southeast of Hanoi, had the H5N1 virus.It brought to 49 the country's toll from bird flu.Health officials have been monitoring the man's relatives since last week after he and his family ate two chickens that had died from unknown causes. Dead chickens have also been reported in the neighbourhood.Last month, bird flu killed a 32-year-old man from an ethnic minority group in the northern province of Tuyen Quang."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A mother and daughter both infected with H5N1

From WHO...

"The Ministry of Health of Indonesia has announced a new case of human infection of H5N1 avian influenza. A 15-year-old female from West Jakarta, Jakarta Province developed symptoms on 2 February, was hospitalized on 8 February and is currently in hospital in a critical condition. The case is the daughter of a previously confirmed case, the 38-year-old female from West Jakarta, Jakarta Province who developed symptoms on 23 January.
Investigations into the source of her infection are ongoing. However, she was exposed to her sick mother on 27-28 January and spent time in a neighbourbood where chickens and other birds were found. Samples from these birds have been taken and are undergoing tests to determine whether they may have been the source of infection."

If this is a case of human to human transmission, so far it doesn't look any different from other cases where close contact among family members may have transmitted the virus. However, it's always important to keep a close watch on cases happening in clusters.

New outbreak in Northern Laos

"A fresh outbreak of the deadly H5N1 virus has struck in Nam Ma village, Long district, in Luang Namtha province, according to a report from the Department of Livestock and Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

The village of 53 houses lost 600 of its poultry stocks within 3 days last week [4-8 Feb 2008], the Director General of the department, Dr Bounkhouang Khambounheuang, told Vientiane Times yesterday [11 Feb 2008].

The village is in an isolated district about 35 km [21.7 miles] from the Myanmar and Chinese borders. When poultry 1st started dying, the authorities sent staff from the provincial Livestock and Fisheries Office to investigate, and they sent samples of chicken meat to the National Centre for Animal Health in Vientiane on Friday [8 Feb 2008] for analysis. The centre analysed the sample using the standard RT-PCR technique, and confirmed the presence of the H5N1 virus on Saturday, said Dr Bounkhouang.

The department and the National Avian Human Influenza Coordination Office quickly took steps to contain the outbreak and sent technical staff to work with Luang Namtha provincial authorities in the village and initiate precautionary measures in nearby communities, he said.
Dr Bounkhouang said the department had placed a ban on the movement and sale of poultry or eggs, and had begun spraying birds with disinfectant. Of the 1700 poultry in the village, all within a one kilometre radius of the village will be destroyed."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Regional Community-Based AHI Management Practitioners’ Workshop Bangkok 10th-13th March 2008

The Regional Community-Based AHI Management Practitioners’ Workshop is part of the project on ‘Strengthening Community-Based Approaches to Management of AHI in Asia’. This project was initiated by the AHI-NGO-RC/RC-Asia Partnership – comprised of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), Care, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) – and is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The project seeks to strengthen partnerships between communities, NGOs, governments, UN organizations, the private sector and academic institutions in their efforts to manage AHI in communities in Asia. In particular, the project seeks to strengthen the capacities of non-government and community organizations working with communities in managing AHI in the Asian region.

For further information, please refer to the project webpage, which includes links to the Project Brief and the First Quarterly Newsletter.

H5N1in 40 Districts in Bangladesh

Since March of 2007, H5N1 has now officially spread through 40 out of 64 Districts in Bangladesh. In the most recent outbreak, 12,000 birds were culled.

The country is still struggling to raise awareness and we still see reports of children playing with dead poultry and people disposing of carcasses without protective equipment.

The government is stepping up some measures, including increasing the amount of compensation paid and planning new laboratories.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Death toll in Indonesia reaches 103

"JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian woman died of bird flu over the weekend, bringing the country’s death toll from the disease to 103, the Health Ministry said.

The 29-year-old housewife from Tangerang town on the outskirts of Jakarta, died Saturday at a hospital in the city, said Sumardi, a ministry spokesman.

She was first hospitalized on Jan. 28, six days after she developed symptoms, said Sumardi, who uses a single name.

She was then moved to Persahabatan Hospital in eastern Jakarta on Jan. 29, he said.

The woman was reported to have visited her parents, whose neighbors kept chickens, Sumardi said. It was not clear whether the chickens were infected.

'Her death raised the Indonesian death toll to 103 out of 126 cases,' Sumardi said.

A 38-year-old woman from Kali Deres, the Jakarta neighborhood closest to Tangerang, has also been confirmed as having been infected with bird flu and was being treated at Persahabatan Hospital, Sumardi said."

Bird flu story source: AP

Article posted here:

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Situation in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand and Indonesia

"India has put 26 people in isolation with bird flu symptoms and hundreds more people are being monitored, officials said on Friday as Pakistan and Thailand reported outbreaks of bird flu in poultry. India is battling its worst outbreak of avian influenza, which has spread to 13 of West Bengal's 19 districts. The densely populated state is adjacent to Bangladesh, itself trying to control a major outbreak of bird flu, and has millions of backyard fowl. India has not reported any human infection of the H5N1 bird flu virus in its four outbreaks of avian influenza since 2006.

'The preliminary tests for bird flu are negative, but more tests are being conducted and the list of sick people reviewed every day,' R.S. Shukla, a senior health official, told Reuters.

To the west in neighboring Pakistan, authorities said bird flu had been detected at a poultry farm on the outskirts of its biggest city, Karachi. But officials said on Friday there was no likelihood of any human infection.

In Thailand, the virus has been found in a second province in the north. Tests confirmed the outbreak in Phichit, 215 miles north of Bangkok, where about 30 village chickens died last week. There were four outbreaks in Thailand last year, but no new reports of human infections in the country where H5N1 has killed 17 people since 2003.

In Indonesia, 102 people have died of the disease. In the latest case, the health ministry said on Friday a woman who had lived near a poultry slaughterhouse on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta died of multiple-organ failure. The woman, 31, is the seventh person to die of bird flu in Indonesia this year and some experts say the flare-up is caused by a combination of factors such as rainy weather and poor sanitation.

Not including the latest death, bird flu has killed 224 people in a dozen countries since late 2003, the World Health Organization says.

In West Bengal, veterinary staff have culled 2.6 million birds, completing what officials said was a successful operation that had brought the bird flu situation under control. The focus now is on hundreds of medical and veterinary workers and villagers who had come into close contact with dead or sick birds. Officials said health staff returning home after the culling operation had been asked to get themselves checked. Dozens of isolation wards had been created in hospitals in the affected districts to handle any sudden rush of suspected human cases.

Health experts also worry about the situation in Bangladesh, a crowded country of 140 million people where bird flu has spread to nearly half of the country's 64 districts. Livestock officials said bird flu was still spreading and had resurfaced in the Feni district southeast of Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka. The government has ordered culling of all chickens and ducks in one kilometer radius around affected farms. The virus is threatening the livelihoods of millions of people reliant on the country's poultry industry and driving up food prices."

Full story by Reuters: