Avian flu case in Indonesia confirmed

first_imgSep 16, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Tests have confirmed that an Indonesian woman who died Sep 10 had H5N1 avian influenza, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.The woman’s case had been listed as probable on the basis of an initial test. Further testing at a WHO reference laboratory in Hong Kong confirmed the case, the WHO said. The woman fell ill Aug 31 and was hospitalized in Jakarta Sep 3, the agency said.How the woman became infected was still unknown. Because of where she lived, she had “multiple opportunities for exposure to chickens and ducks,” but no recent poultry deaths had been reported in the area, the WHO said.The WHO listed the woman’s case as only the second laboratory-confirmed case of H5N1 avian flu in Indonesia, but Indonesian officials have reported four previous cases. Those included a 38-year-old man and his two young daughters who died in July and a farm worker who tested positive for antibodies to the virus last March, though he had not been sick.The WHO said today the 38-year-old man tested positive for the virus, but the results for his daughters “did not meet criteria for H5N1 infections.”The latest confirmed case brings CIDRAP’s unofficial count of Asia’s H5N1 cases since late 2003 to 121, with 63 deaths. Those numbers include the other four Indonesian cases but exclude the case of a 58-year-old Vietnamese man who died in late August and had tested positive, but whose final test results have not yet been reported.Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said officials have taken blood samples from people who had contact with the deceased 37-year-old woman, according to an Agence France-Presse report today. Without giving details, Supari said one contact was suspected to have been infected, but remained healthy.See also:Sep 16 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_09_16/en/index.htmllast_img read more

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Experts stress vigilance over emerging, unpredictable diseases

first_img “The take-home message is: Yes, the United States is at risk,” Gubler said Tuesday. But in a bit of good fortune, he said, dengue’s most efficient vector, the mosquito Aedes aegyptii, has been pushed out of most of its US range by another foreign import, the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus. Using rapid-throughput technology, researchers in his lab have identified 75 previously unknown infectious agents within a year. Most recently, they identified a never-before-seen arenavirus as the cause of an ongoing hemorrhagic fever cluster in South Africa—extremely rapid work, as the first case was hospitalized only Sep 12. The disease has been amplified by the ferocious growth of Asian mega-cities, where new construction provides an almost endless series of pools and puddles for mosquitoes to breed, and has expanded its range around the world. “Learning the lessons of what caused a normal commensal [type of] bacteria to suddenly expand into a large outbreak with 30% mortality has implications for emerging diseases generally,” Farrar said Monday. Emerging drug resistanceStill, the most important emerging threat may not be any one disease, but the growing resistance of many diseases to the drugs used against them, he said. He pointed to evidence presented at the conference of a malaria cluster in Cambodia that is resistant to artesunate, a botanically based compound that is the centerpiece of malaria treatment in much of the developing world. “The most important emerging disease of all is drug resistance, in which Asia leads the world,” he said. “The emergence of drug resistance, which is somewhat insidious and which does not get the headlines it deserves, is going to challenge us more in the 21st century, I suspect, than any individual disease.” “Chikungunya poses a major public health problem for authorities throughout the world, because by the time you discover it, it is too late for environmental control measures to be effective,” he said Monday. There was abundant evidence at the meeting of pathogens’ ability at taking advantage of changes in the human environment, from increased travel and trade to the growth of mega-cities to climate change. The chikungunya experienceDr. Harold Townson of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine outlined the unexpected behavior of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that causes debilitating joint pain that lasts for months or years. The virus was identified in Africa in 1952, and moved to India and Asia along trade routes. In 2005, though, a minor mutation allowed it to cause a massive outbreak on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion; it sickened 260,000 people, one third of the island’s inhabitants. It spread to France, causing about 900 cases there and 37 in the United States, through a chain of transmission that started with French soldiers sent to assist with the outbreak and European tourists returning home. Oct 29, 2008 – WASHINGTON, DC (CIDRAP News) – Health authorities must remain alert to new and renascent disease threats, experts warned this week at an international medical meeting. And in 2007, it caused 250 cases of illness in Italy—not as a result of the French outbreak, but in a separate introduction via a visitor from Kerala, India. On analysis, the Italian strain proved to be a different strain from the Reunion outbreak, but it possessed the same mutation, an adaptation that allowed more copies of the virus to move into mosquito salivary glands and deliver a larger dose to victims. With no effective treatment and no vaccine, Townson said, the only feasible strategy for blocking chikungunya is mosquito control. But it must be practiced routinely, a painstaking, expensive undertaking that is beyond the resources of many areas in the developing world. Keeping an eye on hot spotsAssessing new disease threats requires investment in new tools, said Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. Lipkin directs a World Health Organization collaborating center on diagnostics for emerging infections and recently received a Google.org philanthropic grant aimed at early detection. Though the appearance of chikungunya in Italy has been taken as an indicator of global warming, the mosquito responsible for spreading the virus was already present in the area thanks to global trade, Townson said. But he cautioned that climate change may yet play a role in the spread of mosquito-borne diseases—not because of warming temperatures, but because increased rainfall may make drier areas more hospitable to the bugs. Mosquito control and dengueThe low-tech but often unachievable measures of spraying pesticides and eliminating standing water are essential to controlling the mosquito-borne disease dengue and its most serious form, dengue hemorrhagic fever, said Dr. Duane Gubler of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases in Singapore. The concern expressed in their reports was echoed by a report released today by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health (see cross-reference link above). In a series of briefings and presentations of data, speakers at the 48th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the 46th annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) ticked off a long list of bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens whose recent behavior has taken scientists and public health authorities by surprise. As examples of the unpredictability of pathogens’ behavior in such hot spots, he offered the experience of Streptococcus suis, a bacterium commonly found in pigs in Southeast Asia. S suis is a frequent cause of mild meningitis in humans in Asian pig-growing areas, but in 2005 it changed its behavior, roaring into an acute infection that killed more than 30 people. And to be as prepared for new threats as possible, it is necessary to get even further forward of the epidemic curve, by keeping an eye on the “hot spots” where concentrations of humans and animals are likely to birth new diseases, Dr. Jeremy Farrar said Monday. Farrar, the director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, has been at the forefront of treating human victims of avian influenza H5N1. Ironically, excellence in mosquito control created dengue’s current foothold in the Americas, Gubler said. The disease was eradicated in South America in the 1950s as a byproduct of campaigns to eliminate yellow fever. Those campaigns were so successful that they were stopped after several decades, and dengue resurged, going from zero cases in Central and South America in 1959 to more than 600,000 in 2007 and becoming endemic in 28 countries. See related article posted today: “US urged to launch major campaign against emerging diseases” “Albopictus is a very good host for dengue but a very inefficient vector,” he said. “So though we are at risk of transmission in the US, it is not likely we are going to have a major epidemic of the disease here.”last_img read more

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Hancock County runners brave weather for 122nd Boston Marathon

first_img Latest Posts Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Bio Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020center_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. ELLSWORTH — Nine runners from Hancock County braved inclement weather Monday to cross the finish line at the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon.A total of 29,978 runners registered for the race, and roughly 25,000 finished. Of those finishers, 151 were from Maine. Bradford Eslin of Bucksport was the top local finisher with a time of 3 hours, 8 minutes, 16 seconds. That finish was good enough to give Eslin placements of 3,029th nationally and 17th among Maine runners.The top female finisher locally was Bar Harbor’s Rebeccah Geib, who placed 46th in the state and 7,664th nationally. Geib crossed the finish line in 3:29:01.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textRunners took extra precautions to ensure they were prepared for the weather. Wind gusts were as high as 25 mph during the race, and the temperature of 43 degrees combined with constant rain made conditions even less ideal.“There were people wearing layers on top, fleece-lined tights or whatever else you could think of,” Bar Harbor’s Melissa Ossanna said. “It still didn’t seem like enough at times.”As a result of the weather, which offered a stark contrast from last year’s bright, sunny day of 70 degrees throughout New England’s largest metropolitan area on race day, finishing times for runners of all abilities were among the highest they’ve been in decades,. The rain and cold in particular also put runners at risk of hypothermia. “I’d dropped out from marathons twice in the past because of deep hypothermia, and I didn’t want that to happen again,” Ossanna said. “I was hoping to finish the race with a time that would qualify me for Boston again next year, but that was a hard goal for everybody out there with how nasty the weather was. … I was happy just to finish.” Other local finishers were Henry Jao of Hancock, Margaret Stack of Blue Hill, Jim Newett and Andrew Tiemann of Ellsworth, Michael Westphal of Cranberry Isles and Elissa Haskell of Stonington. Ossanna said she and many of the other local runners received numerous messages of support before, during and after their journeys.“We’re a tight-knit running community both here on the island and throughout Maine, really,” Ossanna said. “It was great to see how many people were supporting us and following us.” MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

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