It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
Still, having siad that, I find the near-panic very amusing. Learning how to take care of yourself might be a better idea than worrying about a vaccine.
Several wild birds carrying H5 flu viruses have been found in Quebec and Manitoba, officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced Monday.
"Preliminary testing has identified H5 influenza in 28 samples from Quebec, and five from Manitoba," Jim Clark of the CFIA told a news conference.
However, officials don't know yet if the birds have the lethal H5N1 subtype of the avian flu; there are believed to be nine different H5 subtypes.
OKYO — Authorities have detected signs of bird flu at a farm in northern Japan and plan to kill 82,000 chickens, local officials said Monday.
The farm in Ibaraki prefecture, just northeast of Tokyo, was already inside a quarantined area because of past outbreaks, Kyodo News agency reported.
Kyodo said 1.5 million birds had already been culled in the area because of bird flu fears. Authorities found signs of the disease in seven farms in the area at the end of August.
Russia has discovered outbreaks of avian flu in 10 areas, and 19 more are under suspicion, according to Agriculture Ministry officials.
Among the areas affected are southern Siberia's Altai and Omsk regions, the south Urals' Kurgan region, neighbouring Chelyabinsk and in central Russia's Tambov regions as well as the Tula region south of Moscow.
"Three more areas in the Kurgan region and 16 in the (southern Siberian) Novosibirsk region are under suspicion," the ministry added.
It is also preparing a similar ban for Croatia, where a bird flu outbreak was announced on Friday.
HANOI, Nov. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- Some 1,000 poultry in Vietnam's northern Bac Giang province have died over the past week, according to the provincial Veterinary Bureau on Tuesday.
The fowls, mainly ducks, in the two districts of Viet Yen and Yen Dung died from Oct. 25-30. Specimens taken from them are being tested for bird flu viruses, the bureau said.
At a press briefing last week, Bui Quang Anh, director of the Vietnam Veterinary Department, said Vietnam has, since early last month, spotted two bird flu outbreaks: one in southern Dong Thap province and another in southern Bac Lieu province. Some 400 out of a flock of 600 ducks in Dong Thap, and part of a flock of more than 1,000 ducks in Bac Lieu died of bird flu.
Vietnam is facing a high risk of large bird flu outbreaks, especially in the southern Mekong Delta and the northern Red Riverdelta, since weather conditions are favorable for the development of bird flu viruses, he said.
wo more suspected avian influenza patients have been found in two northern Thai provinces of Chiang Rai and Phichit, doctors said on Saturday.
An 18-year-old man has been admitted to a hospital in Chiang Saen District of Chiang Rai Province since Oct. 26 after he came into contact with dead chickens for unknown reasons, the Thai News Agency reported.
Trained volunteers are now closely monitoring the deadly disease in villages in this province, as winter is approaching -- when the danger increases. Experts say bird flu prefers cold weather.
The second suspected victim is a 49-year-old man and is now receiving a treatment at a hospital in Phichit Province.
Doctors have sent his blood for test to the Department of Medical Sciences and the result is expected to be known on Monday.
According to doctors, the victim raised a flock of more than 100 chickens and ducks at his home and felt sick after eating his dead birds.
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Computer hackers are exploiting fears over bird flu by releasing a computer virus attached to an email passing itself off as containing avian flu information, warned Spainish computer firm Panda Software.
The virus Naiva.A masquerades as a word document with email subject lines such as "Outbreak in North America" and "What is avian influenza (bird flu)?", said the firm on its website (www.pandasoftware.com).
When the file is opened, the virus modifies, creates and delete files. A second part of the virus installs a program that allows hackers to gain remote control of infected computers.
The firm said the virus can not spread on its own but needs to be manually distributed via email, internet downloads or file transfers.
"They fake the email header so it looks like it comes from somewhere that's authoritative," Australian computer security specialist Allan Bell said on Tuesday.
A 76-year-old man who returned recently from China is being tested for bird flu in Melbourne.
A Victorian Department of Human Services spokesman says the man has been seen by a doctor this morning.
Alan Eade from the Ambulance Service says swabs were taken for testing.
He says the man did not have a cough or any other symptoms of bird flu but it cannot be ruled out at this stage.
Mr Eade says there have been several instances in recent months of people returning from China unwell but none have turned out to be bird flu.
"It's unlikely to be borne out as a case of avian influenza however we have attended today to an elderly male in the northern suburbs of Melbourne who has recently returned from China and was complaining of shortness of breath," Mr Eade said.
Dr Ian Barr of the World Health Organisation says there is no need for alarm.
"The initial symptoms for avian influenza or bird flu and normal influenza are quite similar so it's not unusual to find similar presentations," he said.
(Reuters) - Bird flu's rapid spread could spell the end of a lifestyle in much of Asia and Africa, where people live right alongside their chickens and other domestic animals, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday.
"We must help people accept that the current strain of bird flu challenges a way of life that has been with us for centuries -- that of people living in close proximity with their animals," Annan told the Time Global Health Summit.
At the same time the U.N. Economic and Social Council heard from health experts on what nations should do to combat the H5N1 avian influenza, which is rapidly infecting chickens, ducks and geese.
Although the disease has killed 62 people in Asia and infected 122 since late 2003, the virus is believed to have been transmitted exclusively through human contact with birds.
But should it spread from human to human, millions could quickly become infected and die, devastating societies, overburdening health systems, disrupting transportation and trade, and threatening economic and social progress.
"I myself come from Ghana, a country where families and their farmyard animals, children and chickens, often coexist in one happy community," Annan said. "Hard as it will be, we must find ways of structuring that coexistence or we will never be able to stop viruses migrating from animals to us."
The economic cost of bird flu for Asian countries could rise to as much as $283bn (£159.6bn), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned today.
The ADB gives two scenarios. In the less serious scenario, Asia could face an economic shock equivalent to $99bn in its 2006 GDP, the equivalent of 2.3 percentage points lost.
In the second scenario, Asian consumers and investors would reduce their activity and the rest of the world would cut back on consumption.
The estimated loss to the region could be $283bn, or around 6.5 percentage points of GDP, resulting in a slowdown in Asian economic growth to 0.1%. Global GDP could also shrink to -0.6%, the ADB said.
"The psychological impact of the disease may be long lasting," the report says. "Much of the Asian boom is built on confidence in the region's growth potential. A pandemic could shake that confidence and lower future investment."
The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed more than 60 people in south east Asia since late 2003. Principally an avian disease, bird flu was first seen in humans in Hong Kong in 1997.
MANILA, Nov. 4 (Xinhuanet) -- An avian flu pandemic could halt Asia's growth rate to near zero and reduce the global trade of goods and services by 14 percent, said a new research by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The report, entitled "The Potential Economic Impact of an Avian Flu Pandemic on Asia", said there are many unknowns in predicting the consequences of a new flu pandemic.
"This analysis has shown the consequences of a realistic and relatively mild set of assumptions," it said. "The consequences could be significantly worse if the outbreak lasts longer or is more virulent."
The report, reaching here Thursday, underscored that there are three major unknowns in projecting the possible economic impact of a pandemic -- the magnitude and duration of the pandemic, the psychological impact resulting in loss of consumer and investor confidence, and the supply side effects, resulting from shrinkage in the work force.
"One clear lesson from the SARS outbreak (in 2003) was the psychological impact on economic activity," the report says.
Compared to the SARS outbreak, "a flu pandemic could be substantially more damaging in both human and economic terms," it said.
The study examines two possible scenarios of a bird flu outbreak: the first being a mild outbreak with an infection rate of 20 percent and a population mortality rate of 0.1 percent, which is equivalent to 3 million dead in Asia, with serious economic effects lasting two quarters.
The second models the same health outcome but with the serious economic effects lasting four quarters and a psychological impact stretching beyond Asia.
Nearly 9,000 chickens have died in the fourth outbreak of bird flu to hit China in just over two weeks, the World Organisation for Animal Health has said.
Chinese authorities reported to the organisation that the latest outbreak, in the village of Badaohao in northeastern Liaoning province, was detected on October 26 and officially confirmed today.
The Ministry of Agriculture told the organisation another 370,000 birds had been destroyed to prevent the outbreak spreading, while another 13.9 million had been vaccinated.
China has reported three other outbreaks of bird flu since October 19, the first in the northern Inner Mongolia region, and the other two in Anhui and Hunan provinces.
The agricultural ministry said local veterinarians were first alerted to some chickens dying in Badaohao on October 26 and reported the case to their superiors.
The ministry diagnosed the case as most likely bird flu on November 1 and confirmed it two days later.
No human deaths have been reported in the Badaohao outbreak. The government insists no one has died in China from any previous bird flu outbreak.
SOME 4000 poultry and water fowl have died in fresh outbreaks of bird flu in northern Vietnam's Bac Giang province, north of the capital, an animal health official said today.
"The chairperson of the provincial people's committee on Thursday declared that bird flu has hit three communes," said the official from Bac Giang's animal health department, refusing to be named.
About 4000 poultry and water fowl had died in the province's Yen Lu, Van Trung and Tang Tien communes, around 70 kilometres north of Hanoi from October 25, he said.
The areas are now under a close watch and a quarantine has been imposed.
Two people died in central Vietnam's Quang Binh province in late October with symptoms similar to bird flu but doctors said their samples had never been tested.
Tests are now being made for two suspected human cases, one in Hanoi and another in Bac Giang province, both left in hospital after showing bird flu symptoms.
Victoria's Department of Human Services has confirmed that a Melbourne man, who returned from China feeling ill, does not have bird flu.
The 29-year-old man went to his doctor earlier this week with a high temperature, headaches and other flu-like symptoms.
Tests have ruled out bird flu.
A department spokesman says further tests will be carried out to determine what made the man ill.
Chief health officer Dr Robert Hall says, because the man did not come into contact with any birds or visit rural areas in China, a diagnosis of bird flu was unlikely.
NDONESIAN doctors said today they were treating the latest suspected human case of bird flu in a nurse who showed the same symptoms as a patient who died of an unconfirmed infection of the virus.
"Ina Solati's nurse at the Insani hospital was admitted close to midnight on November 3. She was suffering from high fever and coughing," said Suliati Saroso hospital spokesman Ilham Patu.
Solati, 19, died in hospital in nearby Tanggerang on October 28 of suspected bird flu. Tests are currently being conducted at World Health Organisation facilities in Hong Kong to determine if she was carrying the virus, Patu said.
At least four people have died of avian influenza in Indonesia and three others have been confirmed as infected but have either recovered or are still being treated.
Three people living in central China's Hunan province came down with pneumonia from unknown causes last month following an outbreak of the H5N1 strain among local poultry. One of them, a 12-year-old girl, died. Her 9-year-old brother and a 36-year-old middle school teacher recovered.
Since all of them were from a bird flu outbreak area and suffered from unknown kinds of pneumonia, the spokesman said the human inflection of bird flu could not be ruled out, and further laboratory tests will have to be carried out.
Such tests are now being conducted by relevant laboratories under the China Center for Disease Control, the spokesman said. Since the causes could not be determined in a short time, China has invited WHO experts to work with Chinese experts to find the cause.
Earlier reports said the girl and her brother had tested negative for the bird flu virus.
A bird flu outbreak in northern China that sparked the culling of about 370,000 birds lies along a migration route that spans from East Asia to Australia, it was reported today, as officials continued killing thousands of birds east of Beijing.
As Indonesia confirmed its fifth fatality from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, and jitters mounted across Asia, Japan was reportedly considering a plan to nearly double its annual contribution to the World Health Organisation to help combat the deadly virus.
Around 1,700 Chinese officials and armed police were expected to complete by today the culling ofpoultry in Liaoning province’s Badaohao village, close to the border with North Korea, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The Badaohao outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu strain – the fourth in China in three weeks – killed 8,940 chickens and prompted authorities to destroy 369,900 other birds, the government has said.
More than 20 magpies and other migratory birds were spotted in the area, Xinhua said without giving further details.
The Italian health ministry says it has detected the country's first case of the deadly H5N1 bird flu, saying in a statement that a wild duck trapped near the northern city of Padua was carrying that strain of the virus.
fter world health experts and officials set out key steps to halt the spread of H5N1 bird flu virus at a Geneva meeting on Wednesday, a 43-year-old Vietnamese died of infection of bird flu virus H3N0 on Thursday.
Tests by Vietnam's National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology showed that specimens from the man named Vu Van Nhat from the northern city Hai Phong, who died on Nov. 2 from respiratory failure, were positive to flu type A, subtype H3N0, local newspaper Pioneer reported
Nhat was admitted to a hospital on Nov. 1 after returning home from southern Vung Tau city. During his stay in the southern city, he ate poultry meat.
The hospital suspected that the patient was infected with flu type A, subtype H5N1. However, the tests concluded that he was infected with subtype H3N0 which is less dangerous than the subtype H5N1.
Kuwait today identified two birds infected with bird flu, the first known cases of the virus in the Middle East, said senior officials.
Early tests on the birds have shown that the virus is probably not the deadly H5N1 virus that has killed thousands of poultry and at least 60 people in Asia.
Sheikh Fahd Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, the head of agriculture and fisheries in Kuwait, said the first case was discovered in a peacock held in quarantine at the airport. The bird had been imported from Asia, but Mr Al-Sabah did not specify the country it came from.
The second case was a migratory flamingo that had been found on a beach.
"Immediate action was taken and the situation is under control," said Mr Al-Sabah. "All of our national production of poultry and eggs are free of the disease."
BANGKOK, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Thailand's latest rash of bird flu outbreaks is creeping close to Bangkok, a city of 10 million people, the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday.
Its Livestock Department said on its Web site at www.dld.go.th the deadly H5N1 virus, which has killed 64 people in Asia, including 13 Thais, had broken out in free-range ducks and poultry on the outskirts of the city.
Laboratory results confirmed the virus in Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan provinces which abut the Thai capital, it said.
EIJING - China reported two new bird flu outbreaks in poultry today and quarantined 116 people, while Kuwait confirmed the first known cases in the Persian Gulf, in an imported peacock and a wild flamingo.
The World Health Organization said it was sending experts to southern China to help investigate whether bird flu killed a 12-year-old girl last month.
Chinese authorities quarantined 116 people after the latest outbreaks Sunday of the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus killed 1,100 chickens in Fuxin and Jinzhou, cities in northeastern Liaoning province, the Agriculture Ministry said.
KEDAH is free from the bird flu and the 11 pigeons found dead in Sungai Petani on Monday were due to poisoning and bacterial attack.
"The health authorities have confirmed the pigeons died from poison and bacterial attack and not from bird flu.
"However, I have asked the State Veterinary Services Department to step up checks on the matter including conducting random checks on migratory birds in the Sungai Petani area," he told reporters after chairing the weekly State Executive Council Meeting here today
She initially tested negative for bird flu but it will take two more weeks for tests for antibodies to be fully diagnosed, the statement said.
Liu was among 121 people from Heishan county who had close contact with the sick poultry and were taken to the hospital after displaying fever or flu-like symptoms.
Except for Liu, bird flu has been ruled out in all the other cases.
Heishan is the location of the first bird flu outbreak in Liaoning and at least 15 towns there have been affected.
(Reuters) - Scientists in Hong Kong say they may have helped explain why the H5N1 bird flu virus kills so many healthy young adults -- it apparently causes a "storm" of immune system chemicals that overwhelms the patient.
They compared samples taken from patients infected with H5N1 to a sample from a patient with ordinary, seasonal H1N1 flu.
The H5N1 virus caused immune system chemicals known as cytokines to rush to infected lung tissue -- evidence of a so-called cytokine storm, an immune system overreaction that can be fatal.
The study, published in the online medical journal Respiratory Research, might suggest that if H5N1 does cause a pandemic, it could disproportionately affect the young and healthy as compared with seasonal flu, which kills many elderly people but few young adults.
It also raises questions about how effective drugs will be in controlling such a pandemic, experts said.
A BANGKOK toddler has tested positive for bird flu, a senior official said today, the first human case in the Thai capital since a fresh flare-up of the deadly disease a month ago.
The one-year-old boy probably contracted the H5N1 virus from playing around chickens at his home which later died of the virus, said Paijit Warachit, director-general of the Department of Medical Science.
His grandmother was under surveillance.
"The boy is confirmed as definitely having H5N1," Paijit said. "As for his grandmother, we have to keep close watch on her, just to be safe."
The virus -- which has killed 13 Thais since it swept across large parts of Asia in late 2003 -- has re-emerged in 10 of Thailand's 76 provinces, mainly in central areas, since the beginning of last month.
Three provinces were later declared free of the disease after a 21-day surveillance period.
Despite the the spread of the virus to Bangkok, the new outbreaks remain far fewer than at the same time last year, when 44 of Thailand's 76 provinces reported bird flu cases.
Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute has found that the bird flu virus strain H5N1 in the country has mutated to make it more dangerous, local newspaper Youth reported Saturday.
There are some changes in gene segments of surface antigens HA and NA and some other gene segments of bird flu virus type A subtype H5N1 in Vietnam in early 2005, which indicates that the virus has been mutating to reproduce effectively in cell of mammals, and increase its attacking capability, according to results of the institute's research on 24 virus samples from infected poultry and people in the southern region between December 2003 and March 2005.
Besides, all the viruses researched by the institute in southern Ho Chi Minh City are resistant to the two antiviral medicine agents of Amantadine and Rimantadine. Therefore, it is necessary to keep close surveillance on H5N1's resistance to Oseltamivir (active agent contained in bird flu medicine Tamiflu),the report stated, warning that people will be likely to have to face the human-to-human transmission of H5N1.
The institute has decoded completely or partly genes of 24 virus samples. Five samples from humans and 16 from fowls have been decoded completely.
However, the institute has been unable to define which kinds ofmutations allow human-to-human transmission, and which conditions lead to the mutations.
"To cause flu in people, the bird flu virus must mutate on certain conditions so that it can penetrate into human cells," Hoang Thuy Long, a leading epidemiologist in Vietnam, told Xinhua recently.
This leads to two hypotheses: H5N1 passes from chickens to humans on certain conditions, and the virus transmits to humans via a mammal, he said.
To successfully penetrate into a person's cells, H5N1 must mutate, while the victim must have defective immune systems. "Otherwise, the virus in poultry must combine with flu viruses in amammal such as pigs, buffaloes, cows, dogs and cats to form a new strain," Long confirmed.
A 23-year-old Myanmar woman who worked in a restaurant in the Suan Luang developed a fever, cough and other flu-like symptoms after clearing an area of a house, where a bird had been found dead.
The woman, having been admitted to Rajvithi Hospital, might have caught a cold from co-workers. Samples have been collected for further testing to determine whether she has bird flu, Dr Kamnuan Ungchusak, director of the epidemiology bureau, was quoted by The Nation newspaper as saying on Tuesday.
"The Health, Welfare and Food Bureau received notification from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Mainland last night, of an H5N1 avian influenza outbreak among poultry in Jingshan country in Hubei province" the Hong Kong government said in a statement.
Bird flu causing the deaths of 60 people so far, has added new numbers to its toll with seven more deaths in Indonesia. Super power of the Far East, Japan’s Health Ministry prepared an action plan including measures such as banning mass meetings, and declaring a state of emergency.
Taiwan says it has detected another bird flu strain that can infect people.
Avian influenza is known to have infected 125 people in Asia, killing 64 and is endemic in most poultry flocks in the region.
There are at least a dozen other suspected cases as governments in Asia struggle to control outbreaks in poultry to prevent more people from catching the virus, which experts fear could trigger a pandemic.
Vietnam and China say they have more suspicious cases in people, while Thailand says a toddler infected with bird flu is recovering.
Patu said tests in Indonesia showed the 16-year-old youth was infected with H5N1. But the test results for him and a 16-year-old girl who died last week have to be confirmed by a laboratory in Hong Kong. The laboratory, affiliated with the World Health Organisation, has confirmed five people have died of bird flu in Indonesia.
THE antiviral drug Tamiflu, being stockpiled by governments around the world as a defence against bird flu, is believed to have caused the deaths of two Japanese teenagers.
According to Health Ministry and other medical sources, it appears that the drug induced hallucinations and dramatic shifts in behaviour in the boys, which led them to commit suicide.
Rokuro Hama, the doctor who made the connection, is the head of the Japan Institute for Pharmacovigilance and gave details of the incidents at a medical conference at the weekend. Dr Hama believes that Tamiflu was linked to a third case in which a teenage girl was narrowly prevented from jumping from a window two days after starting a course of the drug.