Home » 2020 » November

Indonesian pigs have avian flu virus; bird cases double in China

first_imgMay 27, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Avian influenza could be infecting up to half of the pig population in some areas of Indonesia, but without causing symptoms, Nature magazine reported in this week’s edition.Meanwhile, Chinese officials said a flu outbreak among wild birds is twice as large as previously reported, but they denied reports of human cases.In Indonesia, Chairul Nidom, a virologist at Airlangga University’s tropical disease center in Surabaya, Java, was conducting independent research earlier this year. He tested the blood of 10 apparently healthy pigs housed near poultry farms in western Java where avian flu had broken out, Nature reported. Five of the pig samples contained the H5N1 virus.The Indonesian government has since found similar results in the same region, Nature reported. Additional tests of 150 pigs outside the area were negative. However, the story said, lack of funding for surveillance and testing is a concern to Nidom, who said he has samples from 90 more pigs from Banten, but he can’t afford to test them or to broaden his investigation.”I think pigs pose a much greater threat of spreading the disease to humans than poultry,” Nidom told Nature. Pigs are often described as a mixing vessel in which human and avian flu viruses can swap genetic information, which could lead to a hybrid virus with the ability to spread easily among people.The Indonesian government sent a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on May 23 that describes three surveys involving “purposive and pooled sampling” of pigs, with a total 187 samples.The first survey, Nidom’s Feb 23 study on one farm, yielded 5 positives out of 10 samples tested for H5N1. The second, on Apr 14 in another village, involved 10 nasal swabs from 31 pigs and produced positives in 6 of the 10.The third survey included six pigs from the same village as Nidom’s small survey and yielded 1 positive swab. The report says that no pig has shown visible signs of avian flu. It lists the source of the pig infections as “contamination with chicken manure” from adjacent backyard chicken farms.Additional tests included 250 blood serum and swab samples from pigs in seven provinces, the report says. All the results were negative.The Nature report said the H5N1 virus was found in pigs in China in 2001 and 2003, but two surveys last year, involving 8,457 pig samples, found no evidence of the virus.In China, more than 1,000 migratory birds have died of H5N1 avian flu in Qinghai province, according to a report today by Xinhua, the Chinese news agency.The size of the outbreak, initially reported as not being H5N1, grew this week from 178 birds to 519, and now to more than 1,000. Emergency measures are being taken in Qinghai, including increasing infectious disease control and surveillance for animals and humans, Xinhua reports. The agency said earlier that authorities planned to vaccinate 3 million poultry in the region.The Chinese government has repeatedly said that no people have been infected with avian flu, despite unconfirmed claims on Internet sites that as many as 120 people have died of the illness.The World Health Organization (WHO) is seeking details on the provincial outbreak, according to a Canadian Press (CP) report quoting Maria Cheng, WHO spokeswoman in Beijing.”We’ve seen those reports about possible human H5N1 cases, and have requested more information from the Ministry of Health,” Cheng said. The WHO is urging China to share virus samples from the dead birds as well as information on human exposure to dead birds.”It would be premature to consider this event over,” Cheng said.In a separate report in Xinhua yesterday, Chinese researchers claimed to have developed two H5N1 vaccines that are “100%” effective for birds, animals, and people, CP reported. Officials at the WHO office in Beijing, however, described that research as involving only birds and said no animal or human clinical trials have been conducted.See also: Indonesian report to OIEftp://ftp.oie.int/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/infos_san_archives/eng/2005/en_050527v18n21.pdfNature report on H5N1 virus in pigs in Indonesiahttp://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7041/full/435390a.htmllast_img read more

Continue reading »

Spinach-related E coli cases rise to 187

first_imgSep 29, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The number of people sickened in a nationwide outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to fresh spinach grew to 187 yesterday, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The 187 cases represent an increase of 4 since Sep 26. Ninety-seven people (52%) were hospitalized, and the number of patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious kidney condition, remained the same at 29 (16%).One death has been blamed on the outbreak so far, an adult in Wisconsin, though health officials in Maryland and Idaho are waiting for lab results in two deaths that may be related to the outbreak.The CDC said the outbreak strain of E coli O157:H7 has now been isolated from nine packages of spinach from patients in seven states. The Los Angeles Times today reported that California health officials have said all were sold as Dole baby spinach and that none were organically grown. Dole baby spinach is one of the many brands packaged by Natural Selections Foods, the largest of five companies involved in recalling products that contain fresh spinach.However, Kevin Reilly, deputy director for prevention service at the California Department of Health Services, told the Times that investigators have not ruled out the possibility that organic spinach is involved in the outbreak.Inspectors employed by two California plants that process spinach for Natural Selections Foods said yesterday that tests for E coli at the plants have been negative, according to the Times report. But Reilly said federal and state investigators have not yet cleared the plants.In other developments, the CDC reported it is helping the Wisconsin Division of Public Health conduct a case-control study of the E coli outbreak. Wisconsin, with 49 cases, has been the hardest-hit state.The CDC said investigators, with the help of a CDC hydrologist, have taken 188 environmental samples so far, including water, products from cultivated fields, and sediment. The investigation is focusing on nine farms in three counties in the greater Salinas Valley growing area: Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Clara.The CDC said spinach grown in these areas is often packaged in other parts of the country and that consumers should not purchase or consume fresh spinach unless they know where it was grown.Though the outbreak appears to be tapering off, the CDC is still advising that people who experience after eating fresh spinach should contact their healthcare provider and ask to be tested for E coli O157:H7.See also:Sep 28 CDC press releasehttp://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2006/september/updates/092806.htmSep 27 CDC updatehttp://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2006/september/response/last_img read more

Continue reading »

Chinese man dies from H5N1 infection

first_imgDec 3, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Chinese health officials reported today that a 24-year-old man from the eastern part of the country died of H5N1 avian influenza.The man, from Jiangsu province, died yesterday, the provincial health department told Xinhua News, China’s state news agency. If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the man’s H5N1 illness he will become China’s 26th case-patient and its 17th fatality.He became ill on Nov 24 and was hospitalized 3 days later with “lower left lobe pneumonia”, Xinhua reported. Samples were confirmed as positive for the H5N1 virus at Jiangsu Provincial Disease Control and Prevention Center, the report said.Before the man became ill, he had been at home studying for an exam and eating home-cooked food, the Xinhua report said. The health department told the news service he had no known contact with sick or infected birds.Sixty-nine people who had close contact with the man were placed under medical observation, and so far none have shown any H5N1 symptoms, the report said.An official from the Jiangsu Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau told Xinhua that a mandatory order to vaccinate poultry against the H5N1 virus has been in effect since 2003. He also said that a recent survey revealed all poultry in the province had been vaccinated and that 92% of the birds had developed antibodies.Veterinary officials also told Xinhua that at the poultry markets, all live birds are quarantined before being sent for sale.China reported its last human H5N1 fatality in June, a 19-year-old soldier who got sick and died of the disease after serving in southeastern China’s Fujian province, according to previous reports.last_img read more

Continue reading »

FDA approves levofloxacin for anthrax in children

first_imgMay 20, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently offered another antibiotic option for combating inhalational anthrax in children by approving the quinolone drug levofloxacin (Levaquin).In a letter dated May 5, the FDA endorsed the use of levofloxacin, made by Ortho-McNeil, in children 6 months of age and older. The agency had approved use of the drug for postexposure treatment of anthrax in adults in 2004.Levofloxacin is also used in adults to treat pneumonia, bacterial sinusitis and bronchitis, and complicated skin and urinary tract infections, according to the FDA. It is not approved for children for anything but anthrax.The first-line treatments for anthrax in both children and adults are ciprofloxacin and doxycycline, according to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) experts in the April issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. The report was based on a 2006 conference on public health and clinical guidelines for anthrax.The article says that because safety data on use longer than 28 days are lacking, levofloxacin is recommended as a second-line postexposure drug for adults, “to be reserved for instances where medical issues may call for its use.” The report lists amoxicillin as a second-line treatment for children, provided the anthrax strain involved is susceptible to penicillin.Clinical trials have shown an increased incidence of musculoskeletal adverse events, such as joint pain, arthritis, and tendonopathy, in children treated with levofloxacin, according to the FDA approval letter. One study, which compared the medication with a non-quinolone antibiotic, showed musculoskeletal problems were significantly more common in the levofloxacin group, but none were serious, and they resolved in about a week.The FDA letter says the recommended levofloxacin dosages for children are based on body weight: 500 milligrams (mg) once daily for those weighing more than 50 kilograms (kg) (110 pounds), 8 mg per kg every 12 hours for those weighing less.See also: Stern EJ, Uhde KB, Shadomy SV, et al. Conference report on public health and clinical guidelines for anthrax. Emerg Infect Dis 2008 Apr;14(4) [Full text]CIDRAP anthrax overviewhttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/anthrax/biofacts/anthrax_tx.htmllast_img read more

Continue reading »

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Panic over H1N1 death in India, Novartis vaccine trials, protecting pigs at the fair, 80 summer camps affected

first_imgIndia flu death spurs crowds, tussles at hospitalIndia’s announcement of its first novel flu death 2 days ago sparked panic at a hospital in the town where the 14-year-old girl died, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. Hundreds of people gathered outside a hospital in Pune hoping to be tested for the virus. Several fights broke out while people were waiting in long lines. Local authorities are testing all students who attended the girl’s school, the Press Trust of India reported.Aug 5 AP storyNovartis novel flu vaccine trials under wayNovartis has launched human trials of its novel H1N1 vaccine, according to a company spokesman quoted in an AP story today. The company, like other vaccine makers, is seeing antigen yields that are only 30% to 50% of seasonal flu vaccine, but is still working with the original seed strains. The spokesman said Novartis is testing an unadjuvanted vaccine for the US market and an adjuvanted version for use in Europe and expects to begin shipping in the last quarter of 2009.Aug 5 AP storyNorth Carolina strives to protect pigs at fairsNorth Carolina’s agriculture department yesterday said fairgoers will be asked to wash their hands at hand washing stations to protect pigs from the novel H1N1 flu virus. The department is advising people to avoid fairs or at least avoid animal exhibits if they have flulike symptoms. Veterinary officials have recommended that fair managers add 6-foot-high barriers around swine exhibits to separate animals from people.http://www.agr.state.nc.us/paffairs/release/2009/8-09handwashing.htmAug 4 North Carolina Department of Agriculture press releaseFlu strikes summer camps in 40 statesThe pandemic H1N1 virus has been detected at 80 summer camps in 40 states so far this summer, according to Anne Schuchat, MD, an official from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She made the comment yesterday during a webcast during which federal officials shared updates on novel flu and the status of planning efforts. Health officials have said they expect flu activity to rise when school starts again, and students in some parts of the country are already returning.http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/08/20090804a.htmlReadout of Aug 4 federal flu webcastlast_img read more

Continue reading »

The Ston oyster receives the mark of origin at the EU level

first_imgNamely, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County awarded non-refundable support to 17 entrepreneurs – shellfish farmers – oysters to cover the costs of obtaining the mark of origin in the total amount of HRK 68.000,00. Photo: Dubrovnik-Neretva County The Mali Ston oyster already has a mark of origin at the national level, and should soon be protected from the European Union. The mark of origin should allow shellfish easier placement and a guarantee of quality for the buyer. The procedure before the European Commission follows, so the Ston flat oyster will be the first to be protected in the European Union. Oysters are most ripe and delicious in March when the feast of St. Joseph is celebrated, and gastronomic experts mention that oysters are best served freshly opened and spiced with lemon juice. You can taste just such, freshly opened and with the smell of the sea during the feast of St. Joseph (March 19) in the restaurants of Ston and Mali Ston and the manifestation of the Day of Mali Ston oysters.center_img By the way, traces of oyster farming in the Mali Ston Bay have existed since the period of Roman rule in this area. The first written documents on shellfish hunting date from the 16th century, and on breeding from the 17th century, records from the time of the Dubrovnik Republic. The Ston oyster, a top premium indigenous product, should soon receive the EU-level label of excellence.last_img read more

Continue reading »

Interpret Europe certificates awarded to Podravina interpretation guides

first_imgSource / photo: TZP Središnja Podravina; Podravski.hr Interpret Europe – European Association of Heritage Interpretation (European Association for Heritage Interpretation) today has thousands of members in more than 55 countries in Europe and the world. In addition to the course for guide interpreters, Interpret Europe conducts training for coaches, hosts, planners, writers and a revived history. The education was approached out of the desire to present the extremely rich natural and cultural heritage of Podravina in a different way through a personal approach, interaction and storytelling. It was attended by 18 participants who learned about the importance of interpreting natural and cultural heritage, the roles of interpreter guides, techniques and creation of interpretive speech, and the interpretation of revived history. The training was held during September in Hlebine, Goli and Virje. The course was organized by the Tourist Board of the Central Podravina region, and conducted by Iva Silla, a certified trainer from Zagreb, with the assistance of Elizabeta Milanović Glavica, director of the Central Podravina Tourist Board. The participants translated everything they learned in theory in the field into inspiring speeches about the specifics of the municipalities of Virje, Hlebine and Gola, which they held in different places in order to meet all the prerequisites for obtaining the Interpret Europe certificate.center_img “This education is an investment in creating innovative tourism products that will, I hope, connect the local community in joint projects.”, Said Milanović Glavica. The training was co-financed by the Croatian National Tourist Board, through a public call, and the first training of this type was held in a rural area on the continent. The Tourist Board of the Central Podravina region organized a ceremonial awarding of certificates to interpretation guides who have successfully completed the training under the Interpret Europe license, reports Podravski.hr.last_img read more

Continue reading »

Direct Booker ranked 7th among the TOP 50 property management agencies in the world

first_imgDirect Booker currently has 22 franchises in 9 countries that include Montenegro, BiH, Slovenia, Serbia, Albania, Poland, Italy and Peru. The business model of this agency was developed in Dubrovnik and is currently expanding worldwide by contracting franchises. They currently manage more than 7600 units, and the agency’s goal is to further contract new franchises as well as grow accommodation units. Property management agencies manage accommodation units on leading accommodation booking portals, and only agencies that run at least 1.000 facilities are selected from Rentals United.center_img Rentals United, one of the most powerful channel managers in the world, ranked Direct Booker 7th among TOP 50 largest private accommodation agencies in the world.last_img read more

Continue reading »