Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Updates on outbreaks around the world

1. Cambodia begins poultry cull

Monday we blogged about the confirmed human case in Cambodia. Now culling has begun for poultry

"Cambodian officials began the culling of poultry near the capital of Phnom Penh on December 17, five days after a young man from the area was confirmed to have contracted H5N1 bird flu by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Cambodian government. The country’s Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun was quoted by news reports as saying that he had ordered a three-month ban on poultry transportation from the province of Kandal, 50km south of Phnom Penh, after tests proved it had been hit by the deadly virus. Cambodian’s Health Ministry said in a statement last week that the 19-year-old man, the eighth person in Cambodia to have contracted bird flu since 2005, was in a stable condition in the capital's Calmette hospital. "

2. Egyptian teen dies of H5N1 infection

"The Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt has announced a new human case of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection. The case is a 16-year-old female from Assuit Governorate, Upper Egypt whose symptoms began on 8 December 2008. She was initially hospitalized at the district hospital on 11 December and then transferred to the Assuit University Hospital on 13 December where she died on 15 December. Infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus was diagnosed by PCR at the Egyptian Central Public Health Laboratory and subsequently confirmed by the US Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 (NAMRU-3) laboratories on 15 December 2008. Investigations into the source of her infection indicate a recent history of contact with sick and dead poultry."

3. Unorganized culling efforts meet resistance in West Bengal

Households refused to give up their poultry to cullers when compensation failed to arrive at the same time. Culling teams waited around and had to return home with very little accomplished. The local government promises that tomorrow will be more organized.

" Efforts by state authorities in east India to cull poultry to contain the latest outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus are being thwarted by poor villagers hiding their birds, officials said on Wednesday. Hundreds of veterinary workers in protective suits were only able to kill about 250 birds after they began culling operations in the Malda district of West Bengal on Tuesday.
They have set a target of 16,500 chickens and ducks to be killed by Thursday, with owners to be compensated by the state.

"The villagers tried to hide their poultry that survived the virus," said Bishon Chowdhury, a senior local government official. "Also, many resisted because the workers arrived without spot payments for the culled birds," he said"

4. China has confirmed H5N1 outbreak in poultry

"NEARLY 380,000 birds were slaughtered after the deadly strain of H5N1 avian flu was found in east China's Jiangsu Province, the Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday. The virus was discovered in Dongtai City and neighboring Hai'an County, the ministry said in a statement posted on its Website. There were no reports of human cases.

The ministry said it received information about H5N1 infection among hens in Dongtai and Hai'an on Monday. It was discovered during routine checks; no birds were reported sick."

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