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Posts Tagged ‘disease’

Foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 at 1:51 pm

At least 135 dead from disease outbreak in Haiti

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:55 am

 An outbreak of severe diarrhea has killed at least 135 people in rural central Haiti and sickened hundreds more who overwhelmed a crowded hospital Thursday seeking treatment. Health workers suspected the disease is cholera, but were awaiting tests.

Hundreds of patients lay on blankets in a parking lot outside St. Nicholas hospital in the port city of St. Marc with IVs in their arms for rehydration. As rain began to fall in the afternoon, nurses rushed to carry them inside.

Doctors were testing for cholera, typhoid and other illnesses in the Caribbean nation’s deadliest outbreak since a January earthquake that killed as many as 300,000 people.

People receive serum at the St. Nicholas hospital in Saint Marc, Haiti, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010.

Catherine Huck, deputy country director for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the Caribbean nation’s health ministry had recorded 135 deaths and more than 1,000 infected people.

“What we know is that people have diarrhea, and they are vomiting, and (they) can go quickly if they are not seen in time,” Huck said. She said doctors were still awaiting lab results to pinpoint the disease.

The president of the Haitian Medical Association, Claude Surena, said the cause appeared to be cholera, but added that had not been confirmed by the government.

“The concern is that it could go from one place to another place, and it could affect more people or move from one region to another one,” he said.

Cholera is a waterborne bacterial infection spread through contaminated water. It causes severe diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration and death within hours. Treatment involves administering a salt and sugar-based rehydration serum.

The sick come from across the rural Artibonite region, which did not experience significant damage in the Jan. 12 quake but has absorbed thousands of refugees from the devastated capital 45 miles (70 kilometers) south of St. Marc.

Some patients said they drank water from a public canal, while others said they bought purified water. All complained of symptoms including fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea.

“I ran to the bathroom four times last night vomiting,” said 70-year-old Belismene Jean Baptiste.

Trucks loaded with medical supplies including rehydration salts were to be sent from Port-au-Prince to the hospital, said Jessica DuPlessis, an OCHA spokeswoman. Doctors at the hospital said they also needed more personnel to handle the flood of patients.

Elyneth Tranckil was among dozens of relatives standing outside the hospital gate as new patients arrived near death.

“Police have blocked the entry to the hospital, so I can’t get in to see my wife,” Tranckil said.

Aid groups were mobilizing to ship medicine, water filtration units and other relief supplies to the Artibonite region.

“We have been afraid of this since the earthquake,” said Robin Mahfood, president of Food for the Poor, which was preparing to airlift donations of antibiotics, oral dehydration salts and other supplies.

The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued an advisory urging people to drink only bottled or boiled water and eat only food that has been thoroughly cooked.

Source: SGGP

Measures put in place as pig disease becomes widespread

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Measures put in place as pig disease becomes widespread

QĐND – Saturday, August 14, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

Localities are urgently tightening control of the transport and slaughtering of sick pigs in an effort to contain the blue-ear pig epidemic, which has spread to 21 provinces across the country.

The HCM City Municipal People’s Committee on August 13 urged key corporations and cattle processors to speed up the purchase, slaughtering and delivery of safe pork in the face of the spreading of the blue-ear pig disease.

It also asked the designated agencies to stockpile safe meat to ensure an adequate supply of pork products on the market after the epidemic wanes.

Farmers are running into difficulties with the purchase price of pigs having fallen dramatically to VND22,000/kg. Facing a big loss, they are not interested in investing in new pig herds, which could result in a serious shortage of safe meat on the market when the epidemic is contained.

The Municipal People’s Committee instructed its departments and districts to enhance the dissemination of information about the epidemic and preventative measures. It asked farmers, abattoirs and consumers not to hide outbreaks or purchase, sell and transport sick animals, or dispose of them in public places.

The committee also called for a tight control of transport and sales of animal products, especially pork, at street meet stalls, inter-provincial bus stations, wholesale markets and entrance gates to prevent products of unknown origin from penetrating the city.

Also on August 13, Long An province – a gateway to HCM City – declared the blue ear pig disease in Chau Thanh district. It warned the disease could spread rapidly to neighbouring communes and buffer zones, including Tan Chanh, Tan An, Phuoc Tuy, Nhut Ninh, Duc Tan, Anh Vinh Ngai and Binh Tam communes.

The provincial People’s Committee asked Chau Thanh district and Tan An city to establish taskforces to assist farmers in culling sick pigs.

The province banned the trading, slaughtering and transport of pigs and related products within the epidemic-affected areas. It has required the provincial Animal Health Department to quarantine outbreaks, disinfect farms, cull dead or sick pigs, and increase patrols at markets and gates to the province.

Local quarantine agencies have set up checkpoints along major arteries to the province, put up signposts at high-risks areas, and sterilized the means of transport coming into and going out of the affected localities.

Since the first case was detected in Tan Tan city on July 16, 2010, the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus has attacked 61 communes, with 5,500 pigs infected.

In Dong Nai province – another gateway to HCM City, the provincial Animal health Department announced on August 13 that the disease has spread to Bac Son and Song Trau communes in Trang Bom district bordering Vinh Tan commune in Vinh Cuu district where the first case of infection was confirmed on July 29.

Bac Son and Vinh Tan communes have culled more than 2,000 sick pigs, however, Vinh Tan now has about 3,000 pigs testing positive for the PRRS virus.

On a fact-finding tour the same day, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat asked the provincial Animal Health Department to separate healthy animals from sick ones, cull all infected pigs, disinfect farms and apply the commercial breeding model.

Dong Nai has the largest number of pigs in Vietnam, about 1.4 million.

In the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, blue-ear pig disease outbreaks have been confirmed in 36 communes of six districts and cities. Local animal health agencies have culled more than 1,300 sick pigs testing positive for the PRRS virus. Thousands of other pigs are under strict surveillance.

After declaring the epidemic on August 12, Khanh Hoa has established checkpoints along roads to Cam Ranh town and Khanh Son district where the disease has not yet been detected.

Across the country, the epidemic has spread to 21 provinces, namely: Nghe An, Cao Bang, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Lao Cai, Long An, Binh Duong, Bac Lieu, Quang Nam, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Da Nang, Vinh Long, Khanh Hoa, Dak Lak, Hau Giang, Lam Dong, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria Vung Tau, An Giang and Dong Thap.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Stem cells used to treat killer skin disease

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

Research is conducted on stem cells. AFP file

WASHINGTON (AFP) – In two groundbreaking studies, doctors have used stem cells from bone marrow to help heal children with a killer skin disease, and to repair injured lungs.

Researchers led by University of Minnesota doctors John Wagner and Jakub Tolar used bone marrow stem cells to treat children with a rare genetic skin disorder called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB).

The study was the first to show that bone marrow stem cells can be used to treat diseases affecting the skin and upper gastrointestinal tract, and alter the course of epidermolysis bullosa (EB), which causes skin to blister and scrape off with the slightest rub or bump — and for which there is no cure.

EB can also affect the lining of the mouth and esophagus, as well as the skin, and makes activities that many children take for granted, such as eating, painful.

Seven children were enrolled in the trial which ran from 2007 to 2009. One child died before doctors could transplant healthy bone marrow stem cells, and another died six months after the transplant.

But the remaining five were all better, Tolar told AFP.

“Their skin is better, they are more active, they use fewer bandages, they have donor cells in their skin and we have been able to show that they produce the all-important collagen 7 in their skin,” he said.

Collagen 7, a protein that keeps layers of skin “glued” to each other and to the body, is missing in EB sufferers.

Although the children still have residual wounds on their skin, which means they have not been cured of their chronic illness, Tolar said the treatment had given them a new lease on life.

“They’re eating, moving around, one of them bought a trampoline, they eat chips. These things were unheard of before the transplant,” he said.

Since 2007, Wagner and Tolar have used transplanted bone marrow containing healing stem cells to treat 12 children with the most aggressive forms of epidermolysis bullosa.

All of the children have responded to the therapy, to varying degrees, the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, said.

In a separate study, reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) used bone marrow stem cells to treat acute lung injury, one of the most common causes of respiratory failure in hospital intensive care units.

A team led by Michael Matthay and Jae Lee at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of UCSF re-created unhealthy lung conditions in the lab by culturing human alveolar cells and then chemically causing inflammation.

They then added bone marrow stem cells to the mix and observed how things changed.

“What happens in lung injury is that the membrane becomes very porous, fluid comes into the lung and pulmonary edema occurs, which leads to a worse outcome,” Lee told AFP.

“We found that if you add stem cells, there’s a restoration of the permeability, meaning stem cells were protective — they prevented permeability-increase in the epithelium,” he said.

The authors of the UCSF study say the findings are the first to demonstrate how certain marrow bone stem cells restore the border of the lungs. They hope to begin phase II clinical trials to prove the therapy is viable for preventing respiratory failure in critically ill patients.

Both of the studies used adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells which have stirred controversy among the religious right in the United States and the Vatican.

The Obama administration last year lifted a ban on the use of embryonic stem cells in scientific research that had been imposed by the administration of George W. Bush.

Embryonic stem cell research is controversial because human embryos are destroyed in order to obtain the cells capable of developing into almost every tissue of the body.

But it also holds great promise for treating cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other diseases and even growing organs and tissues for transplants.

Source: SGGP

Blue-ear pig disease spreads to 16 provinces and cities

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Blue-ear pig disease spreads to 16 provinces and cities

QĐND – Saturday, August 07, 2010, 22:5 (GMT+7)

On August 6 three more provinces, Vinh Long, Dak Lak and Khanh Hoa, reported having blue-ear pig disease, bringing the total number of infected provinces to 16.

Ho Chi Minh City has culled nearly 200 pigs which were suspected of being infected with the disease but its head of the Department of Animal Health, Hoang Van Nam, said on August 6 that the city is not listed as an affected locality because they did not actually detect the disease on pig farms.

As of August 5, more than 43,000 pigs had been infected with the disease, 22,000 of which had been culled.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan has directed localities to check on the vaccination of pigs.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has also requested that at least 80 percent of pigs should be vaccinated. It has also asked localities to set up checkpoints to prevent the illegal transportation of pigs.

The 16 hit provinces are: Nghe An, Cao Bang, Soc Trang, Quang Tri, Tien Giang, Lao Cai, Long An, Binh Duong, Bac Lieu, Quang Nam, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Da Nang, Vinh Long, Khanh Hoa and Dak Lak.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Strange disease emerges again in northern province

In Uncategorized on August 5, 2010 at 7:22 am

A deadly disease temporarily called “te te, say say” (the beriberi, a nervous system ailment caused by thiamine deficiency) has resurfaced in Binh Chan Commune, Lac Son District in the northern province of Hoa Binh, said a health official on August 4.

These first patients of the strange disease in BInh Chan Commune, the northern province of Hoa Binh

The disease has infected 130 residents since the end of July, according to Dr. Quach Dinh Thong, director of Hoa Binh’s Department of Health.

The disease first emerged in the province in 1999, infecting 52 people four of whom died. In three successive years from 2005-2007, 182 persons contracted te te say say, including 19 fatalities.

For years, the Ministry of Health, relevant agencies and medical experts have researched the disease, but its cause remains unknown. Patients are currently given vitamin B1, as experts believe the disease may be caused by vitamin B deficiencies.

Source: SGGP

Blue ear pig disease spreads to 13 provinces

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2010 at 11:20 am

Blue ear pig disease has spread to 13 provinces and cities nationwide, with the latest outbreak in Da Nang City, said the Department of Animal Health on July 31.

A vet checks pigs with blue ear disease in Bac Lieu Province (Photo: VNA)

The disease was detected within Hoa Khuong and Hoa Lien communes of Da Nang City, which has 92 infected pigs.

In the southern province of Tien Giang, the disease was found in 76 households in three districts.

To date, 9 districts in the province have claimed 13,377 infected pigs, while 5,598 infected pigs were destroyed, the department said.

Earlier, the disease reappeared in Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc provinces.

The 13 infected provinces and cities are Nghe An, Cao Bang, Soc Trang, Quang Tri, Tien Giang, Lao Cai, Long An, Binh Duong, Bac Lieu, Quang Nam, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc and Da Nang.

Source: SGGP

Local blood-sucking assassin bugs don’t transmit disease: Doctor

In Uncategorized on July 7, 2010 at 8:13 am

The head of the Central Institute for Malaria – Parasitology – Entomology has said blood-sucking assassin bugs have been in Vietnam for years and are not of the same species of insect known to transmit Chagas disease in the Americas.

A blood-sucking assassin bug sent to the Central Institute for Malaria – Parasitology – Entomology from Hanoi

In response to public concerns about the recent appearance of the bugs, and reports of several bite victims, Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung said only a few people in Hanoi and other localities are bitten by the blood-suckers each year and there have been no reports that the insects in Vietnam transmit the disease.
But he admitted that the only local research to have been carried out on the bugs was for agricultural purposes.
Mr. Hung said the blood-sucking assassin bugs collected by his institution and the Institute for Ecology and Biological Resources were specified as Triatoma rubrofassiata.
Triatoma rubrofassiata are not like the Triatoma dimidiate (which is found in central America) and Triatoma infestans (found in South America), both of which can transmit Chagas disease, he said.
Researches has showed that Triatoma rubrofassiata bugs in Vietnam don’t cause the disease, and only leave bites that are painful or uncomfortable for a short period of time.
A woman in Da Nang City and two family members suffered bites from the insects over the last two months.  The woman felt tired and sleepy, and her face swelled. Sensing a connection to the bug bites, the woman captured several of them and sent them to the Institute for Ecology and Biological Resources.
At the same time, a man in Hanoi reported bites by a strange kind of bug and symptoms similar to the woman in Da Nang. 

Source: SGGP

Pig disease still out of control

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 5:09 am

Hanoi intensifies measures against blue-ear pig disease

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Hanoi intensifies measures against blue-ear pig disease

QĐND – Saturday, May 08, 2010, 22:30 (GMT+7)

The Hanoi municipal People’s Committee on May 7 issued an urgent telegram asking leaders of districts and towns to establish steering boards for epidemic prevention and control and introduce effective measures again blue-ear disease in pigs.

The telegram urged localities to strictly implement preventive measures following the regulations of the Veterinary Ordinance and instructions of functional agencies to detect new outbreaks of the disease as soon as possible and prevent further contagion.

According to the Hanoi Department of Animal Health, blue-ear pig disease has spread to two more districts, Thuong Tin and Thanh Oai. Earlier, three districts – Gia Lam, Me Linh and Phu Xuyen – had been found to be hit by the epidemic.

As many as 418 pig breeding farms in 56 hamlets in 17 communes of the above five districts were reported to be infected by blue-ear disease, resulting in more than 3,770 sick pigs, including more than 2,100 deaths.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND