Wednesday, January 07, 2009


CHINA: Bird flu claims first victim in almost a year

Bird flu claimed its first victim in China in almost a year when a woman infected with the H5N1 strain died in Beijing on Monday, the local health bureau said yesterday.

Huang Yanqing, 19, a native of Fujian province, died around 7:20, the Beijing municipal health bureau said in a press release. She fell ill on Dec 24 and was hospitalized three days later.

H2H ON BEIJING:Human to Human H5N1 Transmission In Beijing?

The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau said 116 people were in close contact with the victim.

One healthcare professional in contact with Huang contracted bird flu, but recovered, the bureau said.

The above comments describe transmission of H5N1 from the fatally infected patient to a health care work, which is a major red flag signaling an increase in transmission efficiency.

VIETNAM: Vietnam girl tests positive for bird flu: health officials

Vietnam girl tests positive for bird flu: health officials AFP/File – A vendor sells chicken to a customer at a market in Hanoi. A Vietnamese girl has tested positive for …

A Vietnamese girl has tested positive for bird flu, health officials said Tuesday, in the first reported human case of the deadly virus in the Southeast Asian country since early last year.

The eight-year-old girl from northern Thanh Hoa province fell ill with serious pneumonia on December 27 after eating poultry and was admitted to a provincial hospital on January 2, said health officials.

"The test result was available on (Saturday) January 3," Nguyen Huy Nga, director of the national Preventative Medicine Department, told AFP. "She tested positive for the H5N1 virus."

The girl was now feeling better and was expected to be discharged soon, said Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, acting director of the Thanh Hoa health department.

INDIA: H5N1 Spread to Siliguri India Raises Pandemic Concerns

Matigara I and II, Champasari, Sukna, Atharokhai, Jalas and Patharghata are the gram panchayats where the avian flu has been detected. Besides, 34 wards of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (out of 47) are also affected. Some of these wards are in the Rajganj block. The unaffected wards are from 21-24 and 35-43.

Culling of domesticated fowls in the bird flu hit Matigara and Phansidewa blocks in Siliguri subdivision and the adjacent Rajganj block in Jalpaguri district is progressing in a sluggish rate with mere 388 birds been culled until 5 pm today out of the total 18,000 target. The drive was initiated from 8 pm yesterday.
Culling operations have also begun in Takdah block in the Darjeeling Hills with a target of slaughtering 700 birds. All these four blocks were confirmed of bird flu infection late on Friday but the official notification for culling reached the district administration on Saturday morning.

After unusual mortality of poultry birds was also reported from Dasberia village in Takada block, it was decided that the department would cull all birds in the hill village without waiting for bird flu confirmation reports.”
“If bird flu spreads to the hills rapidly, it would be tough for the department to keep a lid on it as the hills are already boiling over the Gorkhaland agitation. Culling of poultry birds in a large area of the hills would certainly be a problem in a situation like this,” the official added.

The above comments from local media reports describe widespread H5N1 in and around the city of Siliguri (see zoomed map) which has portions in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal, India. 34 of 47 wards in the city are affected, raising concerns of exposure of the more than 500,000 inhabitants. In addition to outbreaks in the city and its suburbs, there are outbreaks as far south as the Phansidewa block, which borders Bangladesh, as well as the north in Darjeeling Hills, about 30 km from the city of Darjeeling.


1 comment:

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...

Good catch on the American Power thread on that pic.

Let's see... a potential "plague" of bird flu. Africa, to me, already has AIDS at levels that are incredible.

We really should be on top of getting bird flu shots here in the USA. I've read that the Spanish flu killed potentially 20-100 million people worldwide in a smaller worldwide population.

Again, good catch on that pic.