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Posts tagged ‘H5N1’

H7N9 bird flu comes home to roost in China

A woman with organic eggs that she is banned from selling at a market closed due to an outbreak of H7N9 bird flu in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, February 17, 2014 – by Mark Ralston

The handful of poultry dealers lingering at Chengbei Market have had little to do since Chinese authorities shut down their livelihoods after H7N9 bird flu began stalking the country again, killing scores of people this year.

They spend their days counting the losses to their business, gambling at cards and cleaning the cages which once held thousands of live birds, hoping the government will allow the trade to resume.

“The chickens lay every day and I can’t sell the eggs. We are losing money,” said Li Guiying, local boss of the Xuancheng Shandi Poultry Co.

H7N9 avian influenza has returned to China with a vengeance, sickening 226 people and killing 72 so far this year, as the government girds for what is likely to be a long battle to contain what one World Health Organization (WHO) official has labelled an “epidemic”.

China has responded by aggressively closing down poultry markets in locations believed to be at threat from the virus, raising an outcry from the agricultural industry and consumers with a taste for freshly slaughtered food.

But in the longer term the government needs to encourage a shift in behaviour of consumers and clean up the nation’s food supply chain, experts say, which has been hit by a series of health safety scandals.

Ultimately, fears exist that the H7N9 virus could mutate and become easily passed between people, rampaging through the world’s most populous country and crossing its borders to spread around the planet.

After subsiding following the first outbreak early last year, H7N9 resurfaced in the autumn, then boomed. The figures for the first two months of the year exceed the tallies of 144 infections and 46 deaths for the whole of 2013.

The WHO and Chinese authorities maintain there is no evidence of “sustained” human transmission with H7N9, though there have been cases of family members in close contact infecting each other.

But they acknowledge a seasonal spike in cases, possibly caused by the affinity of the virus for colder temperatures and humans’ greater susceptibility to illness in winter.

“The big question always is, ‘does it go down as the season goes away or does it continue?'” said the WHO Representative in China, Bernhard Schwartländer.

“We seem to start seeing a decrease again, which confirms the seasonal patterns, but there is of course no reason and no space to relax,” he said.

– ‘Chickens can’t talk’ –

Poultry dealers accuse the government of shutting the markets without scientific evidence and demand compensation for the birds they were forced to slaughter or sell at rock-bottom prices.

“Chickens can’t talk. Ducks can’t talk. We don’t know where bird flu came from: chickens, ducks or other birds,” said Li, at the Chengbei market in Hangzhou.

Authorities in the city, capital of the eastern province of Zhejiang, the centre of the current outbreak, shut down the market in January. The province has announced radical plans to ban — forever — all live poultry trading in urban areas, according to state media, and replace it with factory-slaughtered and frozen meat.

China’s National Poultry Industry Association estimates the sector has lost more than $3.0 billion so far this year, on top of the impact of the outbreak last year as consumers shunned fowl and markets stopped business.

“Within the industry we call it a devastating hit, a crowning calamity. With our backs to the wall, it seems one cannot adequately depict the severity of the situation,” said the association’s secretary general Gong Guifen.

“The selling of frozen chicken is more like an emergency response, whereas the industry as well as the public’s consumption habits cannot be changed overnight,” she said.

But poultry market closures were the most important measure to contain the virus, said WHO’s Regional Director for the Western Pacific Shin Young-soo.

“Of course, I think the Chinese government should consider many other things. This has a huge impact on our daily life… on farmers, market people,” he said.

In contrast to H5N1, a different strain of avian influenza which affected China earlier, H7N9 is harder to detect because it does not kill the birds that can pass it to humans, he pointed out.

“H7N9 is more difficult because actually the bird and ducks, they’re… not really sick. It’s more difficult to control,” he said.

“It’s very fatal to human beings,” he added. “We know that this virus (is) never going again. It’s coming back.”

via H7N9 bird flu comes home to roost in China – Latest news around the world and developments close to home – MSN Malaysia News.


First N America H5N1 bird flu death confirmed in Canada

China has been vaccinating poultry against the H5N1 virus

Canadian health officials have confirmed the first known fatal case of the H5N1 avian influenza strain in North America.

Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose said the deceased person was an Alberta resident who had recently travelled to Beijing.

Calling the death an “isolated case”, Ms Ambrose said the risk to the general population was low.

Ten people have died in Alberta this season from swine flu, or H1N1.

H5N1 infects the lower respiratory tract deep in the lung, where it can cause deadly pneumonia.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is difficult to transmit the virus from person to person but when people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60%.

In the latest incident, the infected person first showed symptoms of the flu on an Air Canada flight from Beijing to Vancouver on 27 December, officials said.

The passenger continued on to Edmonton and on 1 January was admitted to hospital where they died two days later.

Canadian federal health officials said they would not identify the patient’s sex, age or occupation.

Ms Ambrose said Canadian officials were working with Chinese authorities on the case.

“The risk of getting H5N1 is very low. This is not the regular seasonal flu. This is an isolated case,” she said.

According to the WHO, between 2003 and December 2013 there were 648 confirmed human cases of H5N1 infection in 15 countries, leading to 384 deaths.

Experts say that if the H5N1 virus were to mutate and become easily transmissible between humans, the consequences for public health could be very serious.

via BBC News – First N America H5N1 bird flu death confirmed in Canada.

Cambodia reports 14th human case of bird flu this year – Xinhua |

PHNOM PENH, July 12 (Xinhua) — A three-year-old boy from Cambodia’s eastern Prey Veng province has been confirmed positive for the avian influenza H5N1, bringing the number of the cases to 14 so far this year, a joint statement by the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry said Friday.

Only five cases out of the 14 cases this year survived.

The 14th victim was confirmed positive for H5N1 on Wednesday, the statement said, adding that the boy was admitted to the Kantha Bopha Hospital with fever, dyspnea and cough Monday. “At the hospital, he was treated with Tamiflu and is currently in stable condition,”it said. “There were recent deaths among poultry in the village and the boy was likely to be exposed to sick and dead poultry before he became sick,”it added.

Avian influenza H5N1 remained a serious threat to the health of all Cambodians, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said. “Children also seem to be most vulnerable and are at high risk because they like to play where poultry are found,”he said in the statement.”I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry and make sure children wash their hands with soap and water after any contact with poultry.”

H5N1 influenza is a flu that normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans, the statement said, adding that it is a very serious disease that requires hospitalization.

Cambodia sees the worst outbreak of the virus this year since the disease was first identified in 2004. To date, the country has recorded 35 human cases of the virus, killing 28 people.

Since 2003, there have been 633 laboratory confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus globally with 376 related deaths, the statement said.

via Cambodia reports 14th human case of bird flu this year – Xinhua |












xinmsn 新闻



尼泊尔爆发禽流感疫情 鸡和鸡蛋被销毁




H5N1病毒,也被称为禽流感,通过鸟类与人类的直接接触传播, 许多研究人员担心,这种病毒可能会变异成更致命的菌株,很容易在人与人之间传播。和鸡一起工作的农民以及其他工作人员,来本国旅游的外国游客都遭受了禽流感的袭击。那些接触到受感染家禽肉类、吃生或未煮熟的家禽肉类、鸡蛋或受感染家禽血的人,最有可能感染这种病毒。




Girl, 8, who visited Singapore dies of H5N1

An Indonesian girl who travelled with her family to Singapore died from the H5N1 avian flu shortly after returning to Indonesia.

The 8-year-old developed a fever a day before her trip to Singapore and visited a doctor here.

She was here with her family for six days from June 19 to June 24 with her mother and some relatives, according to details released by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to the media.

She stayed in a hotel here, but the ministry declined to reveal which hotel it was. Her condition worsened after she returned and she was diagnosed with the avian flu on June 29.

The child had reportedly carried freshly killed chickens with her father earlier last month, on June 12.

As a precautionary measure, the MOH has started contact tracing and hospitals have been alerted to the case.

Her aunt who resides and the general practitioner who treated her are both fine, reported The Straits Times.

Hospitals such as the National University Hospital said their emergency medicine departments have been alerted and will look out for patients with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, chills, body ache, headache and vomiting.

There have been no local cases of H5N1 reported to MOH, and it said  chances of transmission between humans are extremely low.









香港卫生防护中心总监曾浩辉在新闻发布会上表示,宠物鸟类向人传播病毒的风险相当低。但 健康专家提醒人们,大多数人的感染是因为直接接触受感染禽鸟而引发的,应尽量避免接触野生雀鸟,家禽和它们的粪便,一旦与这些动物接触后,要彻底清洁双手。




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