The Golden Thread

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Author:  rutsuyasun [ Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  H5N1

Mods I'll put this here; I don't know if you want to have a separatae section for H5N1.

Cote d'Ivoire: An outbreak of B2B bird flu
Via Afrique en ligne: Cote d'Ivoire says avian flu kills crows. Excerpt:

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organis ation (FAO) in Cote d'Ivoire on Thursday confirmed cases of the H5N1 virus (avian flu) in the commercial capital, Abidjan, following positive results returned on tests on dead crows.

The representative of the FAO in Cote d'Ivoire, Dr. Mel Eg Emmanuel, indicated the crows had been found dead, in the yard of the French High School, Blaise Pascal, in Abidjan on 6 October.

He said emergency measures had been taken including the closure of the high school for the whole contaminated place was disinfected.

He said a team of the National Institute for Public Health had been monitoring 25 people who had been exposed to the carcass of the birds, including 17 who had actually been in contact with the carcass. ... crows.html

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

Parental guidance - This post may contain material inappropriate for some audiences.

Mounting Questions Over Transmission Of Avian Flu

# 3851

Admittedly, the above title was my second choice for this story. But it has the advantage of being printable.

Who says science is boring?

Today, in the New Scientist we learn that avian flu may be a sexually transmitted disease . . . in ducks.

What follows, for some, may be way more than you ever wanted to know about the copulatory habits of water fowl.

So fair warning.

However, the upshot here is that research has found `that ducks with the smallest penises and tamest sex lives had the highest flu levels’, proving that life is abundantly unfair – even for ducks.

A hat tip to Dutchy on FluTrackers for the most ornithologically ribald story of the day.

Follow the link to read the story in its entirety.

Avian flu spread through duck sex

* 15:15 19 October 2009 by Nora Schultz

Bird flu may be a sexually transmitted infection – at least in ducks. That's the suggestion of an analysis of flu prevalence and mating behaviour that also proposes an easy way to spot duck populations most at risk of harbouring avian flu.

Surprisingly, the more rampant the sex a particular duck species indulges in, the lower the chance of spreading the virus. It's all to do with penis size and the complexity of the females' vagina.

Lethal strains of avian flu virus can evolve from harmless versions and then jump to other species, so it is important to also monitor less dangerous strains in wild birds. Ducks are the main wild hosts of bird flu, but surveillance is difficult without easy markers of infection risk.

Now Gergely Hegyi at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, and colleagues think they may have found just such a marker: the "covert" wing patches that ducks display during mating. This finding builds on the previous work by the team, in which they found that species with large penises tend to have smaller wing patches, which are also more likely to be a single colour.

(Continue . . . )

Prevalence of avian influenza and sexual selection in ducks

Gergely Hegyia, Anders Pape Møllerb,c, Marcel Eensd and László Zsolt Garamszegie ... on-of.html

Author:  Siam [ Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

Interesting find Ruts, thanks.

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

Indonesia: B2B H5N1 outbreaks in Java, Bengkulu

I'm delighted to see Ida blogging again at Bird Flu Information Corner: Central Java, West Java and Bengkulu ::: Bird flu in chickens. Excerpt:

Number of chickens in Kecamtan Uran Jaya, Bengkulu were reported suddenly died. This incident has alarmed people of bird flu H5N1 infection, particularly a local of Uram Jaya died of unknown cause.

A chicken owner from Desa Kota Agung, mentioned that his chickens appeared healthy and suddenly died in minutes. Dead chickens showed darkened of comb without any other signs of illness.

People discarded dead chickens to the river, which is commonly utilized by local for bathing and water drink source.

Authority of Kecamatan Uram Jaya, Safiluddin, admitted that he had received the report from the chieftains regarding to this incident. Safiluddin stated there is no correlation regarding to human fatalities reported in Kecamatan Uram Jaya with bird flu infection. “No report of high fever in people,” Safiluddin pointed out. ... gkulu.html

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

Indonesia: Two suspected H5N1 patients

Via Bird Flu Information Corner, Ida writes: Bukittinggi, West Sumatera ::: Hospital treats two bird flu suspect patients. Excerpt:

After an idle, bird flu human suspects patients are reported from Bukitttinggi. Achmad Mochtar hospital (RSAM) in Bukittinggi is treating two bird flu H5N1 suspect patients. The condition of patients are improving.

Patients are BPT (7), – resident of Jalan Sukma Payakumbuh Utara – admitted to hospital on Thursday (22/10), and FR (5) – resident of Padang Data Payakumbuh – admitted to hospital on Saturday (24/10), confirmed Vice director of Medical and Treatment Service of RSAM, dr Khairul Said.

Both patients were referred from Adnan hospital in Payakumbuh which is one of bird flu referral hospital. Currently, patients are treated at isolation unit of RSAM Bukittinggi and receiving Tamiflu.

Both patients have contact history with suddenly dead birds around their neighborhoods. ... ients.html

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

Indonesia: Two more suspected H5N1 cases

Via Bird Flu Information Corner, a report from Padang Today: Sijunjung, West Sumatera ::: Bird flu suspects. Excerpt:

Bird flu suspects detected in Kabupaten Sijunjung, West Sumatera. Two bird flu suspect patients, Bareno (25) and his wife Erna (21), residents of Jorong Tigokorong, Lubuaktarok are treated at M. Djamil hospital in Padang.

“Patients have been treated for a week. Their blood samples have been sent to laboratory, and we are still waiting for bird flu infection confirmation,” said the official of Lubuaktarok, Rusli, on Tuesday (27/10). Before transferred to M Djamil hospital, Rusli added, patients were treated at public health center of Lubuaktarok of high fever accompanied with blood discharge from nose.

Subsequent to this incident, Livestock Service of Kabupaten Sijunjung culled thousands of bird flu suspected chickens. ... cases.html

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

Vietnam: Bird flu is back
Via Xinhua: Bird flu reoccurs in northern province of Vietnam. The whole story:

Bird flu has re-emerged in the northern province Dien Bien of Vietnam, according to a report of the Animal Health Department under Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday.

The bird flu broke out in nine local farms from Oct. 21 to 23, killing hundreds of poultry, said the report.

Poultry samples tested by provincial animal health agency showed positive for the H5N1 virus, said the report.

Local animal health authorities have been implementing measures to curb the spread of the bird flu virus to nearby areas, including the culling of over 2,200 remaining poultry, said the department.

Dien Bien currently is the only province of Vietnam being re-hit by the avian flu after the province was confirmed of being free of the H5N1 virus for several months this year.

Vietnam has reported five human infection cases of bird flu so far this year, and four of them died.

We Flublogian old-timers know that whatever else H5N1 is, it's a kick in the stomach to every hot-zone country it afflicts. Human casualties are the least of it.

A major part of the economy collapses as thousands or millions of birds have to be killed and the carcasses destroyed. Peasants who have actually prospered from poultry farming are impoverished overnight. Their customers lose a major source of cheap protein.

Imagine the social tensions if, say, the US cattle industry had to start slaughtering its herds to stamp out mad cow disease or hoof-and-mouth disease. That's what Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and many other countries have been facing for years. ... -back.html

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

Russia: H5N1 found in wild bird
OIE has published a report confirming H5N1 in a wild rock dove "found sick in depression on a balcony of a block of flats" in Moscow. The bird has been destroyed. ... -bird.html

Author:  Siam [ Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

'Genetic hurdle' halted bird flu

A genetic hurdle that proved too great may have prevented deadly bird flu causing a terrifying pandemic, researchers have learned.

Scientists discovered the H5N1 strain would have to make at least two simultaneous genetic changes to transmit easily from person-to-person.

The chances of this happening are "extremely low" say the researchers - but they warn that the threat should still be taken seriously.

So far human victims of the H5N1 strain have been confined to people who have been in contact with birds. But when the virus first came to prominence at the turn of the century experts were worried about it causing a devastating pandemic.

When the strain does affect humans, it kills in 60% of cases. Latest figures show the virus has claimed 262 lives so far, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in Asia.

Scientists feared that if the virus mutated into a form that could be transmitted easily between people, many millions might die. Estimates of potential global fatalities ranged from two to 50 million. The new research suggests one reason why the human population has escaped a pandemic is that two mutations would have to occur at the same time to allow it to happen.

At present, the virus can only infect one of the two main types of cell in the mouth and nose, known as a ciliated cell. To transmit between people it would need to infect the other, non-ciliated type of cell as well.

Professor Wendy Barclay, one of the researchers from Imperial College London, said: "H5N1 is a particularly nasty virus, so when humans started to get infected with bird flu, people started to panic.

"An H5N1 pandemic would be devastating for global health. Thankfully, we haven't yet had a major outbreak, and this has led some people to ask, what happened to bird flu? We wanted to know why the virus hasn't been able to jump from human-to-human easily."

"Our new research suggests that it is less likely than we thought that H5N1 will cause a pandemic, because it's far harder for it to infect the right cells." ... gsgkip2Nbg

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

WHO on Egypt's latest H5N1 case
WHO has published Avian influenza - situation in Egypt - update 24.

The Ministry of Health of Egypt has reported a new confirmed human case of avian influenza A(H5N1).

The case is a 21 year-old male from Sedy Beshir District, Alexandria Governorate. His symptoms started on 11 November. He was admitted to Maamoura Chest Hospital on 15 November, where he received oseltamivir treatment. The patient is in a stable condition.

Investigations into the source of infection indicated that the case had close contact with dead and/or sick poultry and was involved in slaughtering sick birds.

The cases were confirmed by the Egyptian Central Public Health Laboratories.

Of the 88 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 27 have been fatal. ... egypt.html

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

H5N1 reminds us it's still here, despite swine flu pandemic
by Scott McPherson

Recent reports confirm the return of H5N1 bird flu in poultry in Thailand and Vietnam. And in today's proMED report, a 21-year old Egyptian college student has a case of confirmed H5N1 bird flu.

The reports of the return of bird flu should not be surprising. Just because we're in the (so far, mild) grip of the first pandemic of the information age (I coined that term, as everyone knows) does not mean other flu strains cannot also continue infecting animals.

What is interesting is the case of the Egyptian college student. He reportedly had slaughtered poultry just days before his onset of symptoms, and it is to the Egyptian doctors' credit that they had the presence of mind to test the lad for H5N1 as well as H1N1.

There is no word if a co-infection was present, but this does confirm the concern that Egyptian authorities have expressed ever since they ordered the slaughter of every pig in the nation (overkill, to be sure). Namely, they were worried about Egypt becoming the mixing vessel for an H1/H5 mutant virus.

This makes the third time and third locale that H5 and H1 have rubbed elbows. In Vietnam and in Indonesia, the two viruses were in extremely close physical proximity to one another. Now, in the midst of the current (first?) wave of swine flu in Egypt, a young adult acquired bird flu.

I don't have the stats on seasonal flu in Egypt currently, but here in the US, of some 5,400 suspected flu samples submitted to the CDC for testing, only four -- FOUR! -- were seasonal flu. The remaining positive samples were confirmed H1N1v, influenza B, or the nefarious "untyped" influenza A.

Is it possible, then, that there are more diagnosed and undiagnosed H5N1 human cases in Egypt currently than there are cases of human seasonal flu? Interesting speculation. I leave it to you.

As winter approaches, we know we will get more H5N1 cases in birds and in people. And we know this H1N1v pandemic has a long way to go. So settle in for the long haul. ... demic.html

Author:  rutsuyasun [ Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: H5N1

H5N1 is still alive and thriving:

Bird flu kills more than one thousand chickens in East Lampung
Bird flu (Avian Influenza or the H5N1) virus has stricken 3 sub
districts in East Lampung District, killing at least 1176 chickens.

"In the current rainy season, chickens are prone to various diseases,
including bird flu," Dewanto, head of the East Lampung district
animal health unit, said here on Friday [29 Jan 2010].

Some 1176 chickens had died in 7 villages since early January 2010,
while in 2009 there had been only 708 dead chickens in 11 villages.
The affected villages include Sukadana, Purbolinggo, and Marga Tiga,
East Lampung.

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