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4,500 birds killed due to avian flu in central Hong Kong

Bird Flu

Hong Kong culled 4,500 birds on Tuesday after the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus was discovered in a chicken at a local market.
 
Health officials in white hazmat suits and masks dumped the chickens into green plastic bins at a wholesale poultry market in central Hong Kong Tuesday morning.
 
The bins were then pumped with carbon dioxide to kill the birds.
 
Hong Kong is particularly alert to the spread of viruses after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) swept through the city in 2003, killing 299 people and infecting around 1,800.
 
Bird flu scares in the past two years have seen mass culls of up 20,000 birds in Hong Kong.
 
A spokeswoman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the latest cull included chickens and pigeons.
 
Trade of live poultry has also been suspended after authorities said Saturday the avian flu virus was found in a fecal sample collected from a chicken at a market in the Tuen Mun, a neighbourhood in the west of Hong Kong.
 
The city’s health minister Ko Wing-man said the city was staying “stringent” against infectious diseases when he announced the cull late Monday.
 
H7N9 is a particular worry for authorities as it does not kill infected chickens or cause them to develop symptoms, which allows it to spread undetected until contact is made with humans.
 
The majority of human cases of H7N9 infection have been associated with direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry, according to the World Health Organisation.
 
Human infections from the H7N9 strain were first reported in China in 2013.
 
The virus can cause serious respiratory illness and has led to deaths.
Courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

2.5 Million birds killed due to Avian Flu in 18 states of Nigeria

Bird Flu

Avian Influenza, popularly referred to as bird flu, is now in 18 states in Nigeria and has affected over 2.5 million chickens resulting in the loss of several billions of Naira, the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science has said.
 
Avian Influenza or bird flu is an infectious viral disease of birds. While most Avian Influenza viruses do not infect humans, a few others like A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) have caused serious infections in people.
 
NIAS, which is the regulatory agency of the Federal Government for the regulation of all matters pertaining to animal husbandry in Nigeria, on Friday stated that bird flu was spreading so fast and as such all adequate measures to stop the spread must be enforced.
 
Asked to state the number of birds affected by the disease, the Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, NIAS, Dr. Godwin Oyedeji, said, “By the last count, I think as of yesterday (Thursday), not less than 2.5 million chickens have been infected and over 700 farms have been affected nationwide. From one incidence in one state and moving to two states, it has increased and I think by now we are having it in not less than 18 states.”
 
Oyedeji, who spoke during a press briefing in Abuja, added, “In the Kuje area, here in the Federal Capital Territory, over 900,000 birds have been affected. This should not continue, and it is because things that should be done are not being done.
 
“If we cannot prevent wild birds that carry the influenza from overflying Nigeria and if the virus has come into Nigeria, then we can prevent, through good animal husbandry practices, the spread from one farm to the other.”
 
He noted that something was wrong somewhere, adding that the institute had gone to the field to ascertain what was not being done right by poultry farmers.
Courtesy of punchng.com

Woman critically ill with H7N9 virus in Hong Kong

H7N9 Picture
Hong Kong hospitals raised alert levels Sunday, as a woman diagnosed with the deadly H7N9 avian flu virus was in a critical condition.
 
The 68-year-old woman was hospitalized on Dec. 25 after returning from the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen almost two weeks earlier, although it has not been confirmed where or how she contracted the virus.
 
Ten people had previously been diagnosed with H7N9 in Hong Kong, three of whom died. All had contracted the virus in mainland China, according to Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection.
 
The outbreak, which first emerged on the mainland in February 2013, has reignited fears that a bird flu virus could mutate to become easily transmissible between people, threatening to trigger a pandemic.
 
In response to the new case, the city’s first since early 2014, Hong Kong announced it was raising its response level in hospitals to “serious” from “alert,” with extra precautions implemented in hospitals from Sunday. The rules include limitations on visiting hours and compulsory surgical masks for those visiting patients.
 
There are three response levels, with “emergency” the most serious. The Hong Kong government reduced the level from “serious” to “alert” in June after a drop in cases.
 
Health Minister Ko Wing-man said late Saturday that the woman had been with two friends in Shenzhen, where she had eaten “home-cooked chicken,” although she is not believed to have had contact with live poultry at markets.
 
She remained in intensive care Sunday, hospital authorities said.
 
Hong Kong slaughtered 20,000 chickens in January after the virus was found in poultry imported from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. A four-month ban on live poultry imports from mainland China was then imposed to guard against the disease.
 
Ko said the new response level would not affect the import of poultry for the time being, as “rapid testing” had been introduced to check birds for the disease. “We will closely monitor the situation . . . then decide the appropriate measures,” he said.
 
Hong Kong is particularly alert to the spread of viruses after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome swept through the city in 2003, killing 299 people and infecting around 1,800. There have been 469 cases of H7N9 in mainland China since 2013, according to Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection.
Courtesy of The Japan Times

4,000 Birds killed due to avian flu in Miyazaki, Japan

H5N1 Virus Alert

Japan has culled around 4,000 chickens following an outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm in the southwest of the country.

Three birds tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5 strain of avian influenza at the site in Miyazaki prefecture, and an official said on Tuesday that all birds were subsequently slaughtered.

The local government also asked nearby poultry farms to restrict movements of livestock, the official said.

There is believed to be no risk of the virus spreading to humans through consumption of chicken eggs or meat, he said.

Miyazaki Prefecture is Japan’s top producer of broiler chickens, raising about 28 million birds, or around 20 per cent of all chickens in Japan, according to an official at the Agricultural Ministry.

In April, Japan confirmed its first bird flu case in livestock since 2011 at a farm in Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan.

Bird flu, or avian flu, is an infectious viral illness that spreads among birds. In rare cases it can affect humans and two types have caused serious concern in recent years. These are the H5N1 and H7N9 viruses.

Last month 6,000 birds were culled at a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire after an outbreak of avian flu. However, the strain was not deemed a threat to humans.

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Four Cases of Human Infection With H7N9 Virus are Reported to WHO

H7N9 Virus Alert

On June 4, 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of four additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus. Details of the cases are as follows:

A 61-year-old man from Yantai City, Shandong Province became ill on May 6 was admitted to a hospital on May 10 and subsequently died. The patient had exposure to live poultry. He is the father of the 33-year-old man described below.
 
A 33-year-old man from Yantai City, Shandong Province became ill on May 16 and was admitted to a hospital on the same day. He has mild symptoms of illness. The patient did not have exposure to live poultry. He is the son of 61-year-old man described above. He was living and caring for his father during his hospitalization.

A 51-year-old man from Huaian City, Jiangsu Province became ill on May 17 and was admitted to a hospital on May 25. He is currently in a severe condition. The patient had no exposure to live poultry.

A 51-year-old woman from Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province became ill on May 22 and was admitted to a hospital on May 27. She is currently in critical condition. The patient had no exposure to live poultry.

The Chinese government has taken the following surveillance and control measures: strengthen surveillance and situation analysis; reinforce case management and treatment; and conduct risk communication with the public and release information.

The previous report of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus detection in live poultry exported from mainland China to Hong Kong SAR shows the potential for the virus to spread through movement of live poultry. At this time there is no indication that international spread of avian influenza A(H7N9) has occurred. However as the virus infection does not cause signs of disease in poultry, continued surveillance is needed. Further sporadic human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) infection are expected in affected and possibly neighbouring areas.

Should human cases from affected areas travel internationally, their infection may be detected in another country during or after arrival. If this were to occur, community level spread is unlikely as the virus does not have the ability to transmit easily among humans. There has been no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, therefore the risk of ongoing international spread of H7N9 virus by travelers is low.

WHO advises that travelers to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza should avoid poultry farms, or contact with animals in live bird markets, or entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, or contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals. Travelers should also wash their hands often with soap and water. Travelers should follow good food safety and good food hygiene practices.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions.

As always, a diagnosis of infection with an avian influenza virus should be considered in individuals who develop severe acute respiratory symptoms while travelling or soon after returning from an area where avian influenza is a concern.

WHO encourages countries to continue strengthening influenza surveillance, including surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns, in order to ensure reporting of human infections under the IHR (2005), and continue national health preparedness actions.

Four Cases Of Human Infection With H7N9 Virus Are Reported To WHO

H7N9 Virus Alert

On April 4, 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of three additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

A 30-year-old man from Tongling City, Anhui province became ill on March 23 and was admitted to a hospital on March 29. He is currently in critical condition.

A 37-year-old man from Shenzen City, Guangdong province became ill on March 25 and was admitted to a hospital on April 1. He is currently in stable condition. The patient has a history of exposure to poultry.

A 62-year-old man from Heyuan City, Guangdong province became ill on March 23 and was admitted to a hospital on March 30. He is currently in critical condition. He has a history of exposure to poultry.

Also on April 4, 2014, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health, Hong Kong SAR, China, notified WHO of an additional laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.

A 65-year-old man from Longgang, Shenzhen, Guangdong province became ill on March 31 in Shenzhen. He travelled to Hong Kong, SAR on April 3, and was admitted to a hospital upon arrival. He is currently in stable condition. The patient has a history of exposure to poultry.

The Chinese government has taken the following surveillance and control measures: strengthen surveillance and situation analysis; reinforce case management and treatment; and conduct risk communication with the public and release information.

The previous report of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus detection in live poultry exported from mainland China to Hong Kong SAR shows the potential for the virus to spread through movement of live poultry, at this time there is no indication that international spread of avian influenza A(H7N9) has occurred. However as the virus infection does not cause signs of disease in poultry, continued surveillance is needed. Further sporadic human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) infection are expected in affected and possibly neighboring areas.

Should human cases from affected areas travel internationally, their infection may be detected in another country during or after arrival. If this were to occur, community level spread is unlikely as the virus does not have the ability to transmit easily among humans. Until the virus adapts itself for efficient human-to-human transmission, the risk of ongoing international spread of H7N9 virus by travellers is low.

WHO advises that travelers to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza should avoid poultry farms, or contact with animals in live bird markets, or entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, or contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals. Travelers should also wash their hands often with soap and water. Travelers should follow good food safety and good food hygiene practices.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions.

As always, a diagnosis of infection with an avian influenza virus should be considered in individuals who develop severe acute respiratory symptoms while travelling or soon after returning from an area where avian influenza is a concern.

WHO encourages countries to continue strengthening influenza surveillance, including surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns, in order to ensure reporting of human infections under the IHR (2005), and continue national health preparedness actions.

Six New Cases Of Human Infection With H7N9 Virus Are Reported To WHO

HIV Alert

Between March 20 and March 25, 2014, the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of China notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of six additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
 
Details of the case reported on March 20 are as follows:
A 78-year-old man living in Shaoyang City, Hunan Province became ill on March 12, was admitted to a hospital on March 18 and is currently in severe condition.
Details of the case reported on March 21 are as follows:
A 32-year-old man living in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province became ill on March 18, was admitted to a hospital on March 21 and is currently in severe condition.
Details of the cases reported on March 24 are as follows:
An 82-year-old man from Chuzhou City, Anhui Province became ill on March 10 and was admitted to hospital the same day. He is currently in critical condition. The patient had a history of exposure to poultry.

A 62-year-old man from Shantou City, Guangdong Province became ill on Marc 14 and was admitted to hospital on March 19. He is currently in critical condition.

Details of the cases reported on March 25 are as follows:
A 49-year-old man from Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province became ill on March 15, was admitted to a hospital on March 23 and is currently in critical condition. The patient had a history of exposure to poultry.

A 58-year-old man from Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province became ill on March 12, was admitted to a hospital on March 19 and is currently in critical condition. The patient had a history of exposure to poultry.

The Chinese government has taken the following surveillance and control measures:  strengthen surveillance and situation analysis; reinforce case management and treatment; and conduct risk communication with the public and release information.

The previous report of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus detection in live poultry exported from mainland China to Hong Kong SAR shows the potential for the virus to spread through movement of live poultry, at this time there is no indication that international spread of avian influenza A(H7N9) has occurred. However as the virus infection does not cause signs of disease in poultry, continued surveillance is needed. Further sporadic human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) infection are expected in affected and possibly neighboring areas.

Should human cases from affected areas travel internationally, their infection may be detected in another country during or after arrival. If this were to occur, community level spread is unlikely as the virus does not have the ability to transmit easily among humans. Until the virus adapts itself for efficient human-to-human transmission, the risk of ongoing international spread of H7N9 virus by travelers is low.

WHO advises that travelers to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza should avoid poultry farms, or contact with animals in live bird markets, or entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, or contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals. Travelers should also wash their hands often with soap and water. Travelers should follow good food safety and good food hygiene practices.

WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions.

As always, a diagnosis of infection with an avian influenza virus should be considered in individuals who develop severe acute respiratory symptoms while travelling or soon after returning from an area where avian influenza is a concern.

WHO encourages countries to continue strengthening influenza surveillance, including surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and to carefully review any unusual patterns, in order to ensure reporting of human infections under the IHR (2005), and continue national health preparedness actions.

China Reports Another H7N9 Human Infection

H7N9 Picture

A middle-aged man was confirmed to have been infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus on Saturday, the Guangdong Provincial Health Department said.
 
Surnamed Li, the 32-year-old lives in Dapeng New District of Shenzhen City. He is under treatment in stable condition in a local hospital. 
 
China has reported more than 120 human H7N9 cases this year, including at least 36 deaths.

Vietnam Bans Chinese Poultry As New Deadly Bird-Flu Virus Strain Reaches Border 
H7N9 Virus Alert

Vietnam has banned import of poultry over the border with China after the FAO and WHO sounded a warning following a meeting Thursday that the new and virulent H7N9 bird flu strain could enter the country from China at any time.

Pham Van Dong, head of the Animal Health Department at the agriculture ministry, said at the meeting held by the ministry that the virus has infected fowls and people in Guangxi, the Chinese autonomous region that shares a border with four Vietnamese provinces.

The virus was first detected in China in March last year and has since killed 73 out of 330 people who contracted it, including 130 this year, in Beijing, Shanghai, and many provinces as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan, where patients brought the disease back from mainland China.

Officials from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization said at the meeting that Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar face high risk.

A FAO official said communications programs are very important, especially in some vulnerable areas where poultry markets are concentrated.

The official said any hygiene or disinfection program needs to suit the conditions in a place, and when the virus is first detected, Vietnam has to work hard not only to get rid of it but also to find out how it got there.

Vietnam needs to have some long-term plans since there are more virus strains that are threatening the region. H10N8, a strain commonly found in poultry, was first discovered in humans in China last December and has killed at least two, while H9N2 was also detected in Chinese people in January.

Dong said H7N9 has not been reported in Vietnam and the ban on Chinese poultry is the best way to keep it out.

Local authorities and animal health agencies have been ordered to beef up surveillance, taking samples regularly for testing from poultry markets in the northern region.

Minister of Health Cao Duc Phat said a 25 percent fatality rate shows that the virus is very dangerous.

Dealing with it would be harder than with H5N1, the strain that has been ravaging Vietnam since 2003 and killed three persons this year, he said, since unlike H5N1 the new virus does not show symptoms when it infects fowls or kills them.

There is no vaccine yet against it.

Animal health authorities have meanwhile been providing H5N1 vaccines to poultry farmers.

Nguyen Ngoc Son, a farmer with 2,000 chickens in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum, said vaccination will prevent the birds from laying eggs or cause them to lay fewer, but it is not worth taking the risk.

“My entire fortune is in the chickens. If they get H5N1, we are done for,” he said.

H5N1 claimed a third life in Vietnam this year when Huynh Thanh Tuan, 30, of Nha Trang died Thursday.

The ministry in January reported two other human deaths from the disease – a 52-year-old man from Binh Phuoc Province and a 60-year-old woman from Dong Thap Province, both in the south.

The disease has claimed 65 lives so far in Vietnam, one of the highest fatality rates in the world, according to the WHO.

There have been 649 human infections since it re-emerged in 2003, with 385 of them dying.

Guangxi Boy Confirmed With H7N9 Virus After Mother Contracts Bird Flu, China

H7N9 Picture

Guangxi has reported a boy contracted the H7N9 strain of bird flu, a day after his mother was confirmed to have the virus.

The Guangxi health bureau said the boy, aged five and from Heng county in Nanning , started coughing and had a fever on Monday and was diagnosed with the disease yesterday.

Health authorities are still determining how the boy became infected, but said he had been in close contact with his mother, 41.

She began to feel unwell late last month while in Zhongshan in Guangdong, and returned to Nanning on January 28.

The boy was stable but his mother’s condition was critical.

Xinhua reported that the national health commission said yesterday there was no proof the H7N9 was spreading sustainably from person to person.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said earlier it could not rule out “limited” human-to-human infections of H7N9.

Last month, Zhejiang province reported that a man, his wife and daughter in Xiaoshan district, Hangzhou , had contracted the virus. The 49-year-old father died. But experts were not certain if human-to-human transmission was involved because all three had been exposed to poultry in wet markets.

Meanwhile, nine other cases were reported yesterday – four in Guangdong and Zhejiang respectively, and one in Fujian , Xinhua reported. The new cases in Guangdong included a girl, 5, and a man, 42, in Zhaoqing; a man, 49, in Foshan and a man, 56, in Shenzhen.