Combodia Fights the Bird Flu virus

Here are three video news bulletins from the Apsara News Cambodia, telling us about the efforts of the Government of Cambodia, Border authorities, in their fight against the H5N1 virus.
Interesting.
 Video 1. 
Video 2.
Video 3.
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Animals To Humans Infectious Diseases Map

From the BBC, a map of the world, showing risk levels of emerging diseases transmitted from wildlife.
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The researchers say the majority of hotspots are located in lower-latitude developing nations.
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Bird-Flu Mutates to Mix with Swine-Flu

Researchers have identified a new strain of swine influenza—H2N3—which is a mutated virus gene, composed of avian and swine influenza genes.
H2N3 which belongs to the group of H2 influenza viruses that last infected humans during the 1957 pandemic.
Department of Agriculture Seal

The research team at Agricultural Research Service, studied an unknown pathogen that in 2006 infected two groups of pigs at separate production facilities.

Both groups of pigs used water obtained from ponds frequented by migrating waterfowl.

Molecular studies indicated the unknown pathogen was an H2N3 influenza virus that is closely related to an H2N3 strain found in mallard ducks. But this was the first time it had been observed in mammals.

Influenza viruses have eight gene segments, all of which can be swapped between different virus strains.

Two of these gene segments code for virus surface proteins that help determine whether an influenza virus is able to infect a specific host and start replicating—the first step in the onset of influenza infection.

In the newly isolated swine H2N3, the avian H2 and N3 gene segments mixed with gene segments from common swine influenza viruses.

This exchange—and additional mutations—gave the H2N3 viruses the ability to infect swine. Lab tests confirmed that this strain of H2N3 could also infect mice and ferrets.

These findings provide further evidence that swine have the potential to serve as a “mixing vessel” for influenza viruses carried by birds, pigs and humans. It also supports the need to continue monitoring swine—and livestock workers—for H2-subtype viruses and other influenza strains that might someday threaten swine and human health.

Results of this study were published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s chief scientific research agency.

The research Scientists:

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) veterinarians Juergen Richt, Amy Vincent, Kelly Lager and Phillip Gauger conducted this research with Iowa State University (ISU) visiting scientist Wenjun Ma, ISU veterinarian Bruce Janke and other colleagues at the University of Minnesota and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The ARS veterinarians work at the agency’s National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa.

Sources:

http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=1261

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

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 Chineswe Ministry of Health

No 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

Bird-Flu kills again in China, the land of its origin.

The killer Bird-flu has come back to China, the land of its origin.

A man in east China’s Jiangsu province died of bird flu on Sunday, the Jiangsu provincial health department reported.

 

               

Significantly, the man had no contact with dead poultry, according to the Chinese provincial health department.

The 24-year-old man, surnamed Lu, developed fever, chills and other symptoms on November 24 and was hospitalized on November 27 after being diagnosed “lower left pneumonia”. Lu’s illness deteriorated in the hospital and died on Sunday.A respiratory tract sample examination by Jiangsu Provincial Disease Control and Prevention Center on Saturday showed the man’s avian flu virus nucleic acid was H5 positive and N1 positive.

 A test done by the China Disease Control and Prevention Center on Sunday also indicated that the man was H5N1 positive and the Chinese Ministry of Health has confirmed Lu was infected with bird flu.

All of the 69 people who had close contact with Lu have been put under strict medical observation. So far, they have shown no signs of symptoms.

The Ministry of Health has reported the case to the World Health Organization and some countries and regions.

Officials from the Jiangsu Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau said that no bird flu epidemic has been found in the province so far.

 Sources:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-12/03/content_7187514.htm

www.birdflubreakingnews.com

www.essexcc.gov.uk

www.accci.com.au

Should it Not be called Bird-Flu anymore?

Tens of Millions of birds of all kind, as well as domestic poultry have been killed around the world because of the Bird-Flu.

These unfortunate birds were not not even suffering from the Bird-Flu virus.

They were in fact not sick at all.

Millions and millions of the birds were killed, just-in-case.

Just-in-case, they had the Bird-Flu virus, or may be they could be infected with the virus, some time in the future.

Some people were worried that these birds could be carrying the virus in a dormant form and this dormant virus could mutate in their body, to a form of the virus that is much more virulent and could even become a human virus.

The wild birds and the domestic poultry were killed just in case they turned in to “mutation chambers” for the H5N1 virus.

The problem is that the Bird-Flu virus has been infecting all kinds of other creatures, in addition to the birds for a while now.

The H5N1 or the Bird-Flu virus has been found in a large number of mammals, ranging from domestic cats, dogs etc, to wild rodents, foxes, bats and even Tigers!

Unlike wild birds, that are frequently found dead where they can be seen by people and can be tested for the virus, wild animals in the bush can not. 

pets

So why is it that when talking about the “wild” repository of the H5N1 virus, every one mentions only the wild birds?

Surely small infected mammals of all kinds in the wild are much more likely to NOT be found dead out in the open, as birds often are.

bat bearing teeth

These wild victims of the H5N1 virus and those animals who feed upon them, would not be easily noticed by us and therefore would be more suitable as “mutation chambers”.

As we now know, the Bird-Flu virus has mutated already, it is now allowing limited human to human infection to take place.

I believe that it may not be a bad idea, to in fact change the name of this virus at this time, from the Bird-Flu virus, to some thing else.

 Any suggestions?

Bird-Flu Rumors?

Here is a bird-flu-funny, made out of Lucy Silag’s post at the Salon.com.

Hope Lucy will forgive us for the following, but this is just the kind of a gossip conversation, concerned hens would be having these days about the dreaded Bird-Flu. 

Psst! Have you heard…?

By Lucy Silag