The growing Danger from the Zoonoses.

Zoonoses are defined by the WHO as “Diseases and infections which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man”.
 
In an article in the scientific American today, David Biello says that the best way to beat bird flu and other zoonotic diseases, he says, is to keep humans and wildlife healthy.
 
A zoonotic agent may be a bacterium, virus, fungus, parasite, or other communicable agent.

Zoonoses cover a broad and growing range of diseases and they can be transmitted by bacterium, virus, fungus, parasite, or a number of other (also growing) agents.

A recent study shows that these zoonoses such as H5N1 bird flu, West Nile and Ebola now account for as much as 58 percent of human pathogens and the number is growing fast.
 
In just the past five years, WHO has identified more than 1,000 epidemics stemming from such pathogens.
 
“There are more flu infections in more countries than ever before,” said veterinarian William Karesh, head of the Field Veterinary Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), during a WSC Conferance in New York City last week.
 
These diseases are hard to stop because they are not only spread by wild animals, mosquitoes and the like but, even more commonly, by billions of livestock animals, such as chickens, ducks and geese raised for food in vast factory farms.
 
Zoonotic outbreaks are triggered by a range of factors, including man-made changes to natural habitats that bring humans into contact with wildlife as well as airplanes and other forms of transport that allow “speedy, long-range dissemination of any disease agent,” says veterinarian Arnon Shimshoni of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
 
“There is an artificial distinction between the health of wildlife, livestock and people,” Karesh said. Sickness in one of these groups, can mean sickness in all.
Credits:
 
 
 
Advertisements

British Lords to look in to the spread of infectious diseases

The British Lords have now decided to examine the effectiveness of action by intergovernmental organisations, to control the spread of infectious diseases.

Their Lordships are to examine how cross-border policy issues are being addressed through UK membership of intergovernmental bodies.

(2) The Lord Chancellor

The Committee, which is chaired by Lord Soley, has chosen for its first inquiry to examine how effectively the global spread of communicable diseases is being controlled through action by intergovernmental organisations. 

The Committee will be looking not only at what medical agencies, such as the World Health Organisation, are doing but also at how other bodies, such as the UN Children’s Fund and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, are involved and will be assessing, among other things, whether there is adequate synergy between the various participants.

Lord Soley

The Labour peer Lord Soley, Chairman of the new Committee, said:

“Infectious diseases are no respecters of national frontiers.  Much good work to prevent or control them is being done by a range of intergovernmental organisations of which the UK is a member.

“Our Committee wishes to assess how effective these efforts are proving to be and how well coordinated they are. We also want to see what intergovernmental preparations are being made to cope with emerging diseases.

“We will be focusing initially on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Avian Influenza, all of them actual or potential killers on a large scale.

Our Call for Evidence has gone to a wide range of bodies with acknowledged expertise in the subject, but we would welcome evidence from anyone who feels he or she can contribute”.

Of course with the recent accusations of “Money for titles” leveled at the British Government, added to the practice of the ex Prime Minister Blair of “stuffing the House of Lords with his labour cronies”, the Noble House of Lords is considered by some, to be not as NOBLE as it once was!

Sources:

http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/lords_press_notices/pn101207igo.cfm

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Bidflu NewsFlashes Dec 10, 2007

Bidflu NewsFlashes Dec 10, 2007

New outbreak of avian flu

Poland has announced the fourth outbreak of avian flu, this time in the central region of the country. Polish veterinary officials are in the midst of culling over one hundred thousand chickens.

H5N1 has hit the heart of Poland’s poultry region. 52 large farms and several hundred smaller ones are located in the danger zone Police  have cordoned off a three kilometer area in central Poland. They have been sparing no expense  to contain the fourth outbreak of avian flu.

Full article:

http://www.polskieradio.pl/zagranica/news/artykul71453_New_outbreak_of_avian_flu.html 

WHO – Avian Influenza – situation in China – Update 5

The Ministry of Health in China has reported a new case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus in Jiangsu Province. The case was confirmed by the national laboratory on 6 December. The 52-year old male is the father of the 24-year old man who died from H5N1 infection on 2 December 2007. He is one of the close contacts placed under medical observation by national authorities. He developed symptoms on 3 December and was sent immediately to hospital for treatment. Of the 27 cases confirmed to date in China, 17 have been fatal.

http://www.who.int/csr/don/2007_12_09/en/

The Chinese Ministry ‘not optimistic’ about bird flu prevention!

It seems that the Chinese have finally decided to admit that:

A. There IS a big H5N1 problem in China

B. The Chinese authourities are not able to control it.

Here is the full article from China Daily:

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-12/11/content_6311044.htm

Nigeria: Bird Flu – Health Workers Fumigate Poultry Markets Ahead of Festivals

Ahead of the Eid-el Kabir and Yuletide celebrations which are characterized by increase in poultry consumption, officials of the National Avian Influenza Control programme in Yobe State have begun the fumigation of poultry markets, stores and cages with the aim of reducing the chances of spreading avian influenza virus and associated diseases.

Here is the link:

http://allafrica.com/stories/200712100918.html

It was Not Human to Human H5N1 after all. Phew……

The Chinese Officials have confirmed that the bird flu virus that killed a man and infected his father in Jiangsu Province was a “poultry-originated virus” and cannot spread from person to person, Mao Qun’an, spokesman of the Ministry of Health, said in a press conference this morning.

The H5N1 virus has not mutated according to the gene analysis of the virus, Mao said. The cause for the two infections was still being investigated, as both had no contact with poultry before becoming ill.

Mao Qun’an, spokesman of the Ministry of HealthNo clinical symptoms of bird flu have been found among the 83 people who have had close contact with the two patients, the ministry confirmed.Sixty-nine people were in close contact with the first patient, and only his father has shown symptoms of bird flu. Six people who had close contact with both patients are still under close observation while 55 others have been released.

Here is the News Item from the official Chinese Site:

http://www.china.org.cn/english/health/234990.htm

A revalutionary new tool aginst the Bird Flu Virus.

Researcher tests water for evidence of bird flu

I believe that Todd M. Lickfett, a CMU graduate assistant has come up with a truly new idea in the fight against the Bird-Flu virus.

Like all good ideas, it is a simple one.

Lickfett believes he can greatly widen the scope of testing for a virus, by sampling the water where the birds congregate during migratory stopovers, instead of testing samples of the blood of individual birds!

Imagine 10,000 gulls in a pool of water, Lickfett said. The one gull you test might or might not have the virus. But if even one infected gull is in the pool, Lickfett theorizes, a sample of the contaminated water should detect it.

“Basically, it means you’ve effectively sampled all 10,000 birds in one swoop,” he said.

Similar research under way in Asia involves drinking water supplies of commercial poultry.

To test his wild bird method, Lickfett will collect water samples from sites including the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County.

Lab tests have indicated bird flu viruses can live hundreds of days at cold temperatures. Lickfett hopes to show he can reliably detect it at migration sites, even long after the flocks have left.

If so, his method could test for the deadly bird flu strain.

http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2007/12/researcher_tests_water_for_evi.html

Revalutionary new tool aginst the Bird Flu Virus.

A revalutionary new tool aginst the Bird Flu Virus.

Researcher tests water for evidence of bird flu

I believe that Todd M. Lickfett, a CMU graduate assistant has come up with a truly new idea in the fight against the Bird-Flu virus.

Like all good ideas, it is a simple one.

Lickfett believes he can greatly widen the scope of testing for a virus, by sampling the water where the birds congregate during migratory stopovers, instead of testing samples of the blood of individual birds!

Imagine 10,000 gulls in a pool of water, Lickfett said. The one gull you test might or might not have the virus. But if even one infected gull is in the pool, Lickfett theorizes, a sample of the contaminated water should detect it.

“Basically, it means you’ve effectively sampled all 10,000 birds in one swoop,” he said.

Similar research under way in Asia involves drinking water supplies of commercial poultry.

To test his wild bird method, Lickfett will collect water samples from sites including the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County.

Lab tests have indicated bird flu viruses can live hundreds of days at cold temperatures. Lickfett hopes to show he can reliably detect it at migration sites, even long after the flocks have left.

If so, his method could test for the deadly bird flu strain.

Way To Go Lickfett !

Sources:

http://blog.mlive.com/chronicle/2007/12/researcher_tests_water_for_evi.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Supari the Amazing Indonesian Health Minister

Here is a great Q & A session with Siti Fadilah Supari, the Indonesian Health Minister, from IndCoup, a really resourceful blogger  from Jakarta.

(I found the blog on the blogs section of the www.birdflubreakingnews.com)  

The Health Minister talks about the TREE MAN, she is against Indonesians exercising, suggests that NOT smoking is more harmful than smoking and has amazing ideas about breakfast and er.. a certain part of the male anatomy!

Here is an excerpt (and the entire interview follows below):

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a bit soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. So you should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger tummy.

Q: Onto sex. What do you think of condoms?

A: Yes they are good idea – I purchased one recently in Jakarta at Sudirman Park for Rp3 billion. Not sure what they’ve got to do with sex though.

Q: No I mean condoms not condos. You know fiesta, durex and the like. But anyway do you think Indonesia is doing enough to promote condom use?

A: Doing enough to promote condom use?! Of course we are! Haven’t you ever heard of Dolly?

Q: You were quoted as saying a penis was the greatest breakfast for women. Why?

A: Because it has a mushroom head, a sausage, two eggs and cream. All the nutrients to make a woman healthy and happy.

Here is the full Interview by IndCoup:

Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari is raising a storm for playing hardball with the WHO. We’ve caught up with her and asked her a few questions…

Q: I`ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong your life. Is this true?
A: Well, your heart is only good for so many beats, and that`s it… so don`t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; I mean that`s rather like saying you can extend the expected life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Just sleep all day long like most teenage Indonesians do.
Q: Should Indonesians exercise more?
A: No. Why should they? My philosophy is: No Pain Is Good.
Q: The WHO estimates at least 25% of all deaths in Indonesia by 2020 will be due to cigarette smoking…
A: But the other 75% will be deaths from NOT smoking – clear proof that NOT smoking is more harmful than smoking.
Q: But Siti – scientists have proven that cigarettes are harmful to the health of children…
A: Fair enough, use an ashtray.
Q: The average Indonesian diet is drowning in fat. Everything seems to be fried. Your opinion?
A: Foods these days are fried in vegetable oil. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: What`s the secret to healthy eating?
A: More vegetables. Eat up your nasi goreng.
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a bit soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. So you should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger tummy.
Q: Onto sex. What do you think of condoms?
A: Yes they are good idea – I purchased one recently in Jakarta at Sudirman Park for Rp3 billion. Not sure what they’ve got to do with sex though.
Q: No I mean condoms not condos. You know fiesta, durex and the like. But anyway do you think Indonesia is doing enough to promote condom use?
A: Doing enough to promote condom use?! Of course we are! Haven’t you ever heard of Dolly?
Q: You were quoted as saying a penis was the greatest breakfast for women. Why?
A: Because it has a mushroom head, a sausage, two eggs and cream. All the nutrients to make a woman healthy and happy.
Q: Onto “Tree Man” Dede. Why won’t you let him get treatment in the US?
A: To show how much we care about him, we just so happened to appoint a team of doctors the day the story was broken on the Discovery Channel. Prior to that he had lived a peaceful life and didn’t need any help whatsoever. He was even making a good living by working as part of a local Freak Show. His ailment is a blessing and not a curse! And now you think we should allow him to get free medical treatment overseas?!! My God as if any Indonesian would want that!!! … but paying for it ourselves is okay of course … (smiles, blushes slightly)
Q: And what about WHO claims that Indonesia’s refusal to share bird flu virus samples raises the risk of a global pandemic breaking out?
A: As if these foreigners would do anything for us!
Q: Er.. aren’t you forgetting Aceh?
A: Mau minum segelas Bir Bintang mister? It’s made from vegetables you know….

 Siti Fadilah Supari

Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari

Sources:

http://indcoup.blogspot.com/2007/11/exclusive-q-session-with-siti-fadilah.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

There are FIVE Bird-Flu Viruses now!

According to TEMPO INTERAKTIF, the premier Indonesian Magazine, the development of H5N1 bird flu virus in Indonesia has been faster than that of any other country. 

In fact it appears that the Bird-Flu virus in Indonesia, has mutated and split in to Five different varieties of the H5N1 strain.

AIRLANGGA UNIVERSITY.

Dr.C.A. Nidom a molecular biology researcher from Airlangga University, Surabaya, said on Monday (26/11),

that in Indonesia the H5N1 virus has already mutated to five subdivisions.


“In other countries however, the mutation found was only three virus variants,” said Dr. Nidom.

The subdivisions of mutated virus in Indonesia are divided into type A, B, C, C1 and D.Categories A and B have spread in Sumatra, with category C in Kalimantan.

Category C1 has spread in several places, while category D is found in Papua and southern Sumatra.

“We’re also surprised that the virus in Indonesia is under local law, so between one area and

 the other they’re different. The virus even mutated,” added Dr Nidom.

Therefore, now a molecular review is still required in order to identify the different characteristics

of the virus types.

That way different strains of the virus can be handled differently, according to their individual characteristics.

Siti Fadilah Supari, the Indonesian Health Minister

Sources:

http://www.tempointeraktif.com/hg/nasional/2007/11/26/brk,20071126-112338,uk.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

Indonesia wants Weird Treeman’s Virus samples back

In an amazing outburst, Indonesia’s Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, lambasted the US doctor currently treating the 35-year-old man, who has the rare affliction caused by the Human Papilloma Virus.

The Indonesian fisherman who developed tree-like growths on his hands and feet was being treated by specialist doctors who had taken some blood samples from him in order to try and find the right treatment for the disease.

Instead of being thankful to the doctors for their efforts, the Indonesian Health Minister criticised the doctors trying to treat the afflicted fisherman.

Mrs Supari, who has famously refused to share bird flu samples with international scientists, made her comments on Sunday after returning from a World Health Organisation (WHO) conference in Geneva.

“We are offended because the samples were taken from Dede without our permission,” she told reporters at the hospital where the man was being treated. “If they are taken abroad, they could become lucrative commodities.”

Her comments have now offended Dr Gaspari, an American dermatologist at the University of Maryland, who maintains that, while he took the samples without permission, his sole motivation was getting treatment for the man.

Known simply as Dede, the man, who lives in a village south of the capital Jakarta, has massive root-like warts growing from his arms and legs which have gone untreated for years.

“We did take samples, and the reason we did was to render a diagnosis. We did it for humanitarian reasons, to help the patient,” Dr Gaspari said, stressing his willingness to put in writing that the samples were not for commercial use.

Mrs Supari has steadfastly refused to share samples of the deadly H5N1 strain of the Flu virus.

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/26/wtree126.xml

www.birdflubreakingnews.com