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WINNIPEG — It's the federally appointed watchdog that's supposed to stand guard on behalf of the community which is home to the National Microbiology lab.
But the local community liaison committee says a major security breach inside the facility containing the world's deadliest pathogens is nothing to bark at.
Members of the committee met with scientific director Dr. Frank Plummer and a communications official from the lab on Friday to probe how a former Winnipeg researcher was able to walk out of the lab with 22 vials of biological material in January. Some of the vials included genes from the deadly Ebola virus.
WHO: Influenza A(H1N1) - update 30
16 May 2009 -- As of 07:00 GMT, 16 May 2009, 36 countries have officially reported 8451 cases of influenza A(H1N1) infection.
Mexico has reported 2895 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 66 deaths. The United States has reported 4714 laboratory confirmed human cases, including four deaths. Canada has reported 496 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Costa Rica has reported nine laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.
Poor countries argued they should have access to the resulting vaccines, especially if the samples came from the developing world.
But rich countries led by the United States wanted pharmaceuticals companies to be able to claim the vaccines as intellectual property and earn royalties on them.
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New flu cases climb among Japan high school students
Sat May 16, 2009 10:56pm EDT
TOKYO, May 17 (Reuters) - The number of cases of H1N1 flu virus in Japan climbed to 17 on Sunday, a health ministry official said, with media reporting more cases emerging after high school students from nearby cities in central Japan came down with the disease.
Kyodo News said an additional four students had been confirmed as having caught the virus, which would bring the nationwide count to 21.
Many of the affected students, who attend high schools in Kobe and Osaka in central Japan, have not been abroad, media reported.
I dont think they will. Safeguarding our economy is far more important.
Much more at Link...
Pandemic Information News
Date: Wed 13 May 2009
WHO declines to assign severity scale
The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that it is unable to assign
a severity scale to the influenza A (H1N1) epidemic for the reason that
disease characteristics and responses of countries vary. Dr Sylvie Briand,
with the WHO Global Influenza Programme, spoke today [13 May 2009] at a
media briefing in Geneva. According to Dr Briand, the WHO pandemic alert
level phases are mainly based on the transmission of the virus and its
geographical spread, while "the severity itself is assessed by other
means." Currently, the pandemic alert level has remained at level 5 out of
6, indicating community-based outbreaks in a single WHO region.
The severity of a potential pandemic is based on 3 factors: "the
[characteristics of the] virus, the vulnerability of the population, and
the intervention we can put in place to reduce the impact of severe
disease," Dr Briand said. Assessing severity is important for helping
countries determine their response to an outbreak, but at a global level, a
severity index is "not very helpful" because "severity will vary from place
to place," she said. Dr Briand pointed out that while wealthier countries
may have the resources to mount a more effective response to an outbreak,
some developing parts of the world such as West Africa are already used to
coping with epidemics and may be at an advantage due to having healthcare
systems in place. This is referred to as the "resilience" of a country, she
More at Link...
Japan confirms 20 more cases of swine flu
Tokyo, May 17, 2009
Japan's health ministry announced Sunday that 20 more teenagers have been confirmed as having swine flu, as the government shut down schools in affected cities. The country's tally is now at 25.
The students, who attend several high schools in the western prefectures of Hyogo and Osaka, tested positive for the H1N1 virus over the weekend and are recovering at local hospitals, ministry official Takuya Nemoto said.
The news of the rapid spread of the virus at schools came a day after Japan confirmed its first domestic case of swine flu in another student in the western port city of Kobe, about 270 miles (430 kilometers) west of Tokyo.
The students have not traveled overseas recently, but tested positive for the same strain that has killed more than 70 people worldwide, mostly in Mexico.
The government immediately ordered schools closed in parts of the affected cities. Kobe also canceled its annual festival and other events planned for the weekend.
Influenza A/H1N1 virus has become more aggressive
"MEXICO CITY, May 15.
Influenza A/H1N1 virus mutated. As the radio «Mayak", said Director of the National Center for disease control in Mexico. According to officials, the changed virus can lead to new outbreaks of influenza, and more aggressive than the current one.
Similar cases have been registered in the United States and Canada. Now scientists have conducted a series of bioispytany. They will get a complete gene sequence of the virus and thereby confirm or refute these assumptions are dangerous.
Earlier, the Minister of Health of Mexico stated that the mutation of influenza virus is much more serious the AIDS virus..."
Use Google Translator to read in english...
Mom swap: Pig suckles baby tigers at zoo
Tigers and Pigs Swap Roles at Sri Racha Tiger Zoo
Why is it stupid:
Probable tiger-to-tiger transmission of avian influenza H5N1.
"During the second outbreak of avian influenza H5N1 in Thailand, probable horizontal transmission among tigers was demonstrated in the tiger zoo. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of those viruses showed no differences from the first isolate obtained in January 2004. This finding has implications for influenza virus epidemiology and pathogenicity in mammals."
I mean, good grief! Are they just begging for it or what?
More at Link...
CDC swine flu report is ‘gross underestimate’
Published: May 16, 2009
Updated 7 hours ago
The Center for Disease Control’s official report of 4,714 cases of confirmed or probable swine flu could be underestimating the impact of the disease by around 45,000 cases, according to the deputy director of the CDC’s influenza division.
In a press conference yesterday, Dr. Daniel Jernigan took note of the difficulty in estimating how many Americans are infected with either seasonal or novel influenza(like swine flu) at any given time. “With the amount of activity we are seeing now, it is a little hard to know what that means in terms of making an estimate of the total number of people with flu out in the community.” However, when asked how many actual cases of influenza might currently exist nationwide, Jernigan acknowledged that the CDC numbers represented a gross underestimate. He told journalists, “if I had to make an estimate, I would say…probably upwards of maybe 100,000.”
Although up to 30 million Americans come down with seasonal influenza annually (7-10 percent), more than two dozen states are reporting unusually high levels of flu-like illness at a time of year when the respiratory disease usually disappears, health officials reported yesterday.
According to the CDC’s weekly H1N1 flu update, “about half of all influenza viruses being detected are novel H1N1 viruses.” The rise in both types of influenza implies that swine flu has a significant role in the spread of seasonal flu, as well. If Jernigan’s estimate of 100,000 cases of influenza is accurate, there could be more than 50,000 cases of swine flu in the U.S. “We would be expecting to see the season to be slowing down or almost completely stopped. We know the outbreak is not localized but is spreading and appears to be expanding throughout the United States. This is an ongoing public health threat,” Jernigan declared.