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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Year of the Rat will soon be upon us

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2008 is a Year of the Rat, which begins on February 7, 2008 and ends on January 25, 2009.

First in the cycle of 12 Animal signs, Rat Year begins the sequence and recurs every twelfth year.
Year of the Rat  February 7, 2008 – January 25, 2009

With the current year leaving us with a legacy of an increasing number of bird flu victims from a growing list of Nations.
Let us hope that there will be no plagues of any kind in the soon to be upon us year of the Rat!          

A Happy new years to every one 🙂

BirdFlu NewsFlashes Dec 11, 2007

Additional Bird Flu Victim Tissue Samples For Indonesia

There is yet another human death resulting from the Bird Flu virus in Indonesia.

A 28-year-old woman from the outskirts of the Indonesian capital has been confirmed as dying of bird flu, raising the toll in the nation worst affected by H5N1 to 92, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The victim, named Mutiah, lived in the satellite city of Tangerang, just west of Jakarta, where three other bird flu deaths have been reported since October.

Mutiah, who sold ornamental plants has died here with officials suspecting she may be the nation’s 92nd bird flu death, an official from the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

Two laboratory tests on the woman, who died on Monday at a hospital in Jakarta, showed that she was infected with the highly pathogenic virus, a statement from the ministry’s bird flu information centre said.

Unkind people in Indonesia are (no doubt maliciously) suggesting that the Indonesian Health Minister, Siti Supari is now boasting the largest amount of tissue samples in the world, from the Bird Flu victims, in the Indonesian Bird flu Human Tissue Bank.

http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2007/12/11/indonesian-plant-seller-suspected-of-bird-flu-death-ministry/ 

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gGA9CiE7_wp_PvqOkvdQhNtDEeyA

http://www.france24.com/france24Public/en/administration/afp-news.html?id=071211174315.xz87pds3&cat=null

Bird Flu case suspected at South Korea Poultry Farm.

Here we go again!

Even though its neighbour is protected from the Bird Flu virus due to the devine powers of its dear leader, South Korea has no such protection and has once again succumbed to the killer virus.

A report today Tuesday, from Reuters (Yonhap news agency)  tells us that ducks at a poultry farm tested positive for an antibody to a bird flu virus.

There was no information on which strain of bird flu, at the farm in Paju, around 24.85 miles north of Seoul, had been identified. Results of further testing should be known in about two weeks, a local official told Yonhap news agency.

South Korea’s agriculture ministry was unable immediately to confirm the Yonhap report.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUKSEO9157220071211

Bird flu outbreak reported from farm in Russia’s Rostov region

A total of 35,000 chickens have died of flu at the Gulyai-Borisovskaya farm since December 5. The farm had 500,000 chickens. Lab tests confirmed it was the bird flu.

Marina Abramchenko, a spokeswoman for the local emergencies ministry said Tuesday.

Marina Abramchenko said the birds started dying November 29 from the lethal H5N1 virus at the farm, which holds some 500,000 birds, adding that quarantine restrictions have been introduced in the area.

“We have received the preliminary results of analysis,” Abramchenko said adding that the results showed traces of the H5N1 virus.

http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12169841&PageNum=0

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20071211/91905749.html

How to find the cheapest Christmas turkey in UK?

No. It is not by calling Barnard Matthews for one of his “Turkey Specials”.

It is suggested by “This is Money” (Part of the Daily Mail group) that even though the availability of organic birds in the UK has been hit, elsewhere the predictions that the price of a turkey would soar have failed to materialise.

After the recent bird flu outbreaks in the UK, there were fears that the cost of Christmas lunch could rocket this year – with Waitrose announcing it would have no organic turkeys this year. But while the availability of organic birds has been hit, elsewhere predictions that the price of a turkey would soar have failed to materialise.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/consumer/article.html?in_article_id=427456&in_page_id=5

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.

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.

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!

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

Bird Flu mixed with Ebola would be the ultimate Nightmare!

The term Recombinant DNA is normally used for DNA that has been created artificially.

DNA from two or more sources is incorporated into a single recombinant molecule via the combination or insertion of one or more DNA strands, thereby combining DNA sequences which would not normally occur together.

However, recombination is also an important mechanism in virus evolution, allowing viruses to evolve more quickly by providing immediate direct access to many more areas of a sequence space than are accessible by mutation alone.

The exchange of genetic material between different virus species is called inter-species recombination.

This has the potential to generate, within a single genome replication cycle, an almost unimaginable number of genetically distinct virus strains, including many that might cause deadly new human, animal, or plant diseases.

As an example, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is formed by a combination of mammalian and avian viruses, according to a new study from the University of Toronto.

The study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Virology, sheds light on the SARS coronavirus, a deadly form of pneumonia caused by the same viral family as the common cold.

I have been interested in this “evolutionary shortcut” for a while now.

It was with a real sense of dread therefore that I read the following article from Recombinomics laying out the chilling possibility of a mutated combination of H5N1 with Ebola.

Ebola virus

Even Hollywood could not produce any thing worse than that! 

Here is the article from Recombinomics:


The conventional wisdom was that Ebola is containable because it kills its victims faster than it can find new ones.

However, conditions on the ground are now proving otherwise.

While 61 cases have been identified, Zaramba says the health ministry is having difficulty detecting more cases or identifying people with whom patients had contact.

And as of the weekend, the disease had spread to three new zones in Bundibugyo district.

Local officials speaking on the condition of anonymity say that the death toll is almost twice that reported.

The above comments describe the worsening situation in Uganda.

Recent media reports suggest the outbreak has spread further this week, and the infections of health care workers raise transmission concerns.

The current strain was difficult to identify, and is likely a recombinant.  Recombination has been linked to the emergence of new Ebola strains, and some of these strains share a region of identity with H5 influenza.

Both influenza and filoviruses are negative sense RNA viruses and influenza is transported and transmitted by migratory birds that fly into Africa.

The new species may also have different transmission modes.

The symptoms of the cases are closer to those associated with H5N1 than those associated with Ebola.

The CDC has partial Ebola sequence data, but the relationship between those sequences and prior Ebola sequences remain unclear.

Release of the partial sequences would be useful.  The Ebola / H5 identity is in the envelope gene, and the region has differences in strains of Ebola as well as high and low path H5.


Sources:

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/12040703/Ebola_Uganda_Spread_Increase.html

www.birdflubreakingnews.com
 

Bird-Flu Spreads to 60 Countries in last 3 years!

David Nabarro, the UN’s influenza coordinator, said on Thursday that the avian influenza virus has been reported in 60 countries in the last three years.

David Nabarro, UN influenza coordinator

According to a UN-World Bank assessment on responses to avian influenza, the H5N1 virus has spread in the last three years, to East Asia and on to locations in North and West Africa, central Europe and as far as Britain.

It said the highly pathogenic HPAI virus was reported in 15 countries in 2005, and H5N1 in at least 55 countries and territories in 2006.

In six countries, including Indonesia, the virus is still enzootic, which means it is continuously present and being passed between poultry.

Additionally, “we have some major anxieties about the extent to which countries’ pandemic preparedness plans are really capable of being operationalized,” Dr. Nabarro said.

“When the pandemic strikes, viruses will not understand borders and they will spread to all countries and all people of the world will be at risk.”

The good news is, that most Goverments are able to mount an increasingly improved defence, in the event of an outbreak of the H5N1 virus.

David Nabarro, said the worldwide responses by most governments have led to improved measures to detect, contain and lessen the impact of dangerous pathogens. He warned, however, that the responses have been unequal and the risk remains that the bird flu virus could mutate into a strand easily transmitted among humans.

The bad news is that “Pathogens are becoming more mobile as a result of increases in international travel and trade, and changes in the ecosystems” according to David Nabarro.

They cause diseases that threaten the health and well being of the entire world population,” Nabaarro said. “The long-term security of the human race requires all nations to prepare together – so that when new disease outbreaks and pandemics do occur, responses will be adequate and meet the needs of all people and not just a fortunate few.”

Sources:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=24848&Cr=avian&Cr1=flu

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/150455.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

Tom Cruise Movie and Bird-Flu

A cute cartoon via “life of lab animals”.

« Life of Lab animals – unnatural love

Life of Lab animals – new Tom Cruise movie and bird flu

lab animal cartoon - tom cruise and bird flu

The original site:

( found in www.birdflubreakingnews.com)

http://spuriousmonkey.com/?p=116