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Manitoba_Rancher

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Was reading through the news and came across this news. Almost scary to think this could be starting to jump from human to human. Even with BSE concerns... we should all be working to promote safe beef.



Bird flu case raises fears of human transmission
Associated Press

HANOI, Vietnam — A 26-year-old nurse who cared for a bird flu patient has contracted the deadly virus, but it's unclear whether he caught the disease from his patient, a Vietnamese health official said Monday.

The nurse — Vietnam's fifth case in the past two weeks — is more likely to have caught the disease outside the hospital, the health official said. The man was from northern Thai Binh province, the site of four of the five recent cases. He is the first medical worker known to have been infected by the disease.

"We are investigating this case," said Pham Van Diu, director of the provincial Preventive Medicine Center.

"But it's more likely that he contracted the disease while visiting his girlfriend in the district during Tet where poultry were served and bird flu outbreaks were reported," he said.

A severe form of bird flu has infected and killed 46 people from Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, since it began ravaging poultry farms across the region starting in Dec. 2003.

Experts fear that if the virus mutates into a form that can easily pass among people, it would cause the world's next pandemic, killing millions of people.

So far there has been no evidence it has acquired that ability, with most bird flu infections apparently stemming from contact with sick poultry. A case of limited human-to-human transmission, between a mother and daughter, was recorded in Thailand but the virus had not changed its form.

Test results late last week showed that the 26-year-old nurse had contracted the severe H5N1 strain of the virus, Diu said.

The man was admitted to the tropical diseases unit at Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital on Feb. 28 and is in stable condition, the unit's doctor said on condition of anonymity.

The hospital also is treating a 21-year-old man and his 14-year-old sister, also from Thai Binh, and a 35-year-old woman from Hanoi, she said. A 69-year-old man had died earlier.

Health officials were unsure how the latest victim contracted the disease but said he was working as a nurse at the medical center at Thai Thuy District in Thai Binh province, caring for the 21-year-old man, Diu said.

None of the other health workers at the medical center have developed any signs of the disease, he said.

Fourteen people have died in Vietnam since the bird flu reemerged in the country at the end of last year. Vietnam has had the highest total number of deaths from the disease — 33 so far.

Health experts at a conference in Vietnam last month warned that the bird flu virus is now entrenched in poultry in many parts of Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, and China.

They said the long-term strategy for control includes minimizing contact between people and poultry, including ducks, which can carry the virus with no symptoms. That will be a challenge in much of Asia, since most farmers raise chickens on a small-scale in their backyards.

Northern Thai Binh province, which has been a hotbed for the virus with two deaths and four other infections reported since December, is typical of most rural areas.

"There is much backyard poultry farming in the province. It's therefore very difficult to control," Diu said.
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Anonymous

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Health officials warn Ohio stores about chicken feet

by John Gregerson on 3/7/05 for Meatingplace.com



Health officials have seized boneless chicken feet at several Ohio markets and restaurants as part of an expanded effort to prevent an outbreak of avian influenza.

Officials also planned to visit about 200 Asian restaurants and markets around Cuyahoga County on Friday, explaining the health risks related to the illegal Asian product.

Some chicken feet were seized at a Cleveland grocery store Wednesday. Authorities also found them at three stores in Columbus and another in Whitehall.

The Agriculture Department has determined that importer Food King Inc. of Westhaven, Conn., distributed chicken feet to 68 stores in 11 states.
 

Mike

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Reader(2nd), Correct me if I'm wrong but the testing methodology of a virus is PCR after antibodies have been cultured? This takes a few days doesn't it?
 

Mike

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I believe? most virus tests labs use PCR (polymerase chain reaction) same as a DNA tests except viruses don't have DNA but have RNA, then replicate the virus over and over until there is enough virus cells to detect under microscopy. Scary thought, could be dead by the time the tests are finished.
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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Vietnamese nurse believed to have bird flu
Associated Press

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnamese health officials said Saturday they suspect a nurse who cared for a bird flu patient has contracted the disease that has killed 46 people across Southeast Asia.

Dao Trong Bich, deputy director of the medical center in Thai Thuy District in northern Thai Binh province, said the woman had cared for a 21-year-old man who tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus and remains in critical condition.

The 41-year-old nurse, also from Thai Binh province, was hospitalized on Thursday in Hanoi with a high fever, coughing and a lung infection - typical bird flu symptoms - a doctor said on condition of anonymity.

Specimens have been taken from her for testing, and results are expected this week, the doctor said. She is in stable condition, he said.

If tests confirm it, she would be the second Vietnamese health care worker to be sickened by the bird flu virus.

Bird flu has killed 33 people in Vietnam - 13 in the latest outbreak which began in December 2004. A Cambodian woman died earlier this year, while Thailand has reported 12 deaths.

Experts have warned that if the virus mutates into a form that can be easily transmitted between humans, it could spark a global pandemic that kills millions. There has been no evidence so far that the virus has changed its form.

Bich said health authorities are closely monitoring the health of two doctors and two other nurses at the center who had contact with the 21-year-old man. None has shown any symptoms, he added.

The 21-year-old man is at the center of a cluster of bird flu cases that include his 14-year-old sister and 80-year-old grandfather, who has the virus without showing any symptoms.
 
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Bird flu could kill 2 million Britons
By Geoffrey Lean, The Independent Environment Editor
13 March 2005


Two million Britons could die in the bird flu pandemic that experts warn is both imminent and inevitable, one of the country's leading authorities has told The Independent on Sunday.

Professor Hugh Pennington, the president of the Society for General Microbiology and professor emeritus of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, also criticised the the Government's "optimistic" attitude to a potentially devastating pandemic, likening it to official complacency over BSE a decade ago.

In the starkest warning yet over the potentially devastating impact of the pandemic, Professor Pennington said that the number of deaths has been greatly underestimated. He expects the flu - like the 1918 pandemic which killed more people than the First World War - to cause the deaths of many people from pneumonia "which we are still not very good at treating".

He said: "If the virus moves into people there will be no stopping it. It will be here before we know it." Ministers have sought to play down the potential impact of bird flu by saying that only some 50,000 people would die in Britain. But this has already been contradicted by Scotland's chief medical officer, who says it would be 10 times worse.

Yesterday Vietnamese health officials revealed that a 41-year-old nurse who had cared for a bird flu victim in the country's northern Thai Binh province had contracted the disease, increasing fears that it is beginning to spread from person to person. She is the second nurse in a week to have gone down with the flu, which until now has mainly been caught from poultry. Experts have long warned that illness in health workers would be the first sign that the disease had begun to be infectious in humans, bringing a pandemic much closer.

Pandemics occur when a new virus, to which no one is immune, spreads rapidly among people. Experts are unanimous that this will inevitably happen with bird flu, though they are unable to predict when. The World Health Organisation said: "The world is now in the gravest possible danger of a pandemic." Ministers admit that a pandemic would "rapidly" reach Britain thanks to air travel, and could not be prevented from spreading. They have ordered 14.6 million courses of an anti-viral drug, the only defence at present available.

But, as The Independent on Sunday revealed last week, the drugs will take up to two years to arrive. Professor Pennington is worried about the length of time and accused the Government of being "very relaxed" about the possibility of a pandemic. "They hope that by the time they have to spend money the problem will have gone away," he said. "It is rather reminiscent of BSE."

The Government expects one in every four people in the country to catch the flu, if the pandemic breaks out. But it officially predicts the death toll at "around 50,000" and stresses that this would be no more than the four times the normal annual flu death rate.

This appears to be based on two highly optimistic assumptions. First, it assumed that it will kill only 0.37 per cent of those it infects, an estimate based on normal flu. Second, the figure is based on just one wave of the flu.
13 March 2005 10:26
 

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