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Posts Tagged ‘flu’

Bird flu discovered in flood hit central provinces

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Bird flu H5N1 virus was discovered in northern provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh that were affected by floods this month, said health officials on Friday.

Poultries are breeded in Nam Dinh Province. (File photo)

In Nghe An Province, nearly 600 poultries infected H5N1 virus in Dien Chau District were burnt.

Province health officials sterilized breeding facilities and isolate epidemic areas.

In Ha Tinh Province, the bird flu outbreak has hit Cam Xuyen District.

currently, because of high demand for chicken farmers have expanded capacity of their farms. 

Cold whether and density of poultry farms have caused the disease be spread widely, said health officials.

Source: SGGP

Swine flu claims 8 lives in Vietnam this year

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 at 2:01 pm

WHO list reveals pandemic flu advisors with industry ties

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

GENEVA, Aug 11, 2010 (AFP) – Five of the 15 experts that advised the World Health Organisation about swine flu pandemic alerts had received support from the drugs industry, including for flu vaccine research, the WHO revealed on Wednesday.

This handout screen capture provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on August 10, 2010 in Geneva shows WHO Director General Margaret Chan speaking during a televised press release annoucing the end of the swine flu pandemic. AFP

The agency released for the first time a list of the 15 members of the Emergency Committee headed by Australian tropical diseases professor John Mackenzie, who was the only member publicly named during the outbreak.

They came from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin and North America, the list posted on the WHO’s website showed.

Most were scientific researchers and epidemiologists, along with a Senegalese diplomat, public health officials from Thailand and Chile as well as two specialists on international air travel and health. The list can be seen at

Critics had raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest that might have helped the drugs industry influence decisions on huge orders for special vaccines against A(H1N1) flu.

The WHO has repeatedly denied those claims, underlining that it had vetted members and maintained secrecy over their identities to protect them from undue pressure while the outbreak of swine flu was underway.

Six people declared interests to the UN health agency, including five researchers who disclosed past or current support from pharmaceutical firms, according to the WHO list.

Nancy Cox, from the US Centers for Disease Control, disclosed financial support from a drugs industry group, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) for flu vaccine research and work on viruses in her unit.

US professor Arnold Monto declared current and past consultancies on pandemic or seasonal influenza research for GSK, Novartis, Roche, Baxter and Sanofi Pasteur.

He also declared a grant from Sanofi for a clinical trial in 2007-2008 related to influenza vaccines.

John Wood’s research unit at Britain’s National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), had undertaken research for Sanofi Pasteur, CSL, IFPMA, Novartis and Powdermed on influenza vaccine.

Professor Maria Zambon’s laboratory at the UK Health Protection Agency Centre for Infection received funding from several vaccine makers, including Sanofi, Novartis, CSL, Baxter and GSK.

British professor Neil Ferguson, an advisor to the committee, had acted as a consultant for Roche and GSK Biologicals until 2007, according to the list.

The WHO said those interests “do not give rise to a conflict of interest such that the experts concerned should be partially or totally excluded from participation in the Emergency Committee.”

The panel provided expert advice to the WHO Director General Margaret Chan about the new swine flu virus, allowing her to raise the alert when it was first uncovered in Mexico and the United States in April 2009.

It was also instrumental in the declaration of a pandemic with global spread of the disease in June 2009, triggering a chain of public health precautions including development and production of an influenza vaccine.

However, swine flu turned out to be less severe than feared.

As the virus petered out in North America and Europe in late 2009, governments sought to offload costly and huge stocks of unused vaccines and some European parliamentarians claimed the scare was unjustified.

Chan announced on Tuesday that the A(H1N1) influenza pandemic was officially over after more than 18,500 people died.

The WHO estimated that about 300 million people had been vaccinated worldwide.

Source: SGGP

WHO reassesses swine flu pandemic

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 at 11:20 am

GENEVA, Aug 10, 2010 (AFP) – Scientists from the World Health Organisation met on Tuesday over whether to recommend the lifting of the swine flu pandemic alert, an agency spokesman said. 

An Indian woman, wearing a mask, talks on her mobile phone outside the H1N1 swine flu screening centre at the Government Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on August 7, 2010. AFP

WHO chief Margaret Chan, who is expected to follow the recommendations of the emergency committee of scientists after their three-hour meeting, was due to make an announcement later in the day, a spokesman for the UN body said.

“There will be an announcement today on the results of the meeting by the director general,” Gregory Hartl told AFP.

It was the third meeting since February of the emergency committee of 15 scientists headed by Australian infectious diseases expert John Mackenzie to reassess the A(H1N1) pandemic declared on its advice in June 11, 2009.

Chan has closely followed the panel’s advice since the new swine flu virus was detected in Mexico and the United States in April 2009.

The latest meeting was delayed by several weeks in order to obtain more information about the development of the flu in the southern hemisphere’s winter, Chan said last month.

A(H1N1) influenza has killed more than 18,449 people and affected some 214 countries and territories, according to WHO data, which also show that swine flu has waned since the beginning of the year.

Source: SGGP

Swine flu reoccurs in Vietnam: epidemiologist

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 11:22 am

Swine flu has reoccured in Vietnam, as there have been more cases, affirmed a health official at a press conference on August 6.

Mr. Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the Vietnam National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said since July 19, swine flu cases have been reported in the southern provinces of Dong Nai, Tien Giang and Ho Chi Minh City, including the fatality of a six-year-old girl a few days ago.

Mr. Hien said it needs to strengthen supervision on epidemiology to conclude whether the country would experience a fresh swine flu epidemic.

People with diabetes and high blood pressures, pregnant women and children under six should be careful because they are vulnerable to the disease.

Epidemiologists warned people with fevers, breathing problems and high risk groups should visit nearby hospitals for check that they do not have swine flu.

Source: SGGP

UN experts hail VN’s efforts in H5N1 flu control

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2010 at 3:48 pm

UN experts hail VN’s efforts in H5N1 flu control

QĐND – Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 20:43 (GMT+7)

The Vietnamese government has made quite strong efforts to control H5N1 and it has been relatively successful.

Dr. Julie Hall, senior technical expert of the United Nations System of Influenza Coordination (UNSIC), made the remark during an interview with a Vietnam News Agency reporter on the sidelines of the seventh International Ministerial Conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza (IMCAPI Hanoi 2010), which opened in Hanoi on April 20.

Vietnam has kept the complex development of the disease under control through vaccination programmes, the strengthening of systems to detect disease in animals, and a health system that ensures cases of human infection are treated as quickly as possible.

Vietnam has a large population of poultry, which makes it very difficult to control the disease, the expert said, explaining that this is why bird flu outbreaks still occur in some localities in Vietnam .

However, she said, the Vietnamese government has made tremendous efforts. It can be seen that the number of human cases in Vietnam has significantly lessened, the number of animal outbreaks have decreased and the spread of the virus across the country is now much smaller than it was before, she added.

Controlling animal and pandemic influenza is not a short-term, but a long-term issue, she said, adding that the Vietnamese government’s willingness to host the conference is a testament to its commitment to that long-term effort to control the disease.

UN Technical agencies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and UNSIC are all here in Vietnam to give support to the country in raising people’s awareness on the disease, disease transmission and to facilitate the sharing of information.

More than 300 delegates involved in the agriculture, livestock and health sectors from countries and territories around the world at the two-day conference will assess global progress in controlling the highly pathogenic avian (A/H5N1) and pandemic flues and propose new steps to reduce and potentially eradicate this serious threat over the coming years.

After discussions, ministers will issue a joint statement that will be the foundation for cooperation between countries and international organisations in the years to come.

A/H5N1 was reported for the first time in Asia in 2003 and has spread to other countries, said Jean Marc Olive, WHO Chief Representative in Vietnam, adding that the disease has, to date, infected 491 people, resulting in 290 deaths, including 59 in Vietnam.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Hanoi to host int’l ministerial conference on pandemic flu

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Hanoi to host int’l ministerial conference on pandemic flu

QĐND – Saturday, April 17, 2010, 21:48 (GMT+7)

The International Ministerial Conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza (IMCAPI Hanoi 2010) will be held in Hanoi on April 19-21.

The conference is expected to draw about 150 delegations comprising 700 delegates involved in the agriculture, livestock and health sectors from 77 nations around the world, said a press briefing held by USAID in Hanoi on April 16.

The conference will assess global progress in controlling highly pathogenic avian (A/H5N1) and pandemic flu and experiences and models from different countries. It will also review the global response to the current influenza pandemic.

Participants are expected to discuss and reach an agreement on a consensus ministerial statement that will guide future cooperation and coordination among countries and international organisations in 2010 and beyond. 

Avian influenza was reported for the first time in Asia in 2003 and spread to other countries, said Jean Marc Olive, WHO Chief Representative in Vietnam, adding that the disease has to date infected 491 people, resulting in 290 deaths.

The spread of the disease and the number of cases of infection and death is less than in the previous years the disease appeared. It is now reported in only Egypt, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Fresh bird flu outbreak hits Bac Kan

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

The Department of Health has confirmed two more cases of bird flu in patients from the northern province of Bac Kan’s Cho Moi District, a health official reported April 15.

People should not contact with ill poultry to prevent contract bird flu ( Photo: WHO)

The two people were taken to hospital in the province in serious condition, said Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga of the Preventive Health and Environment Department.

The patients are from the same village where several other cases of avian influenza were reported earlier, causing concern that the area has become a hotspot for the illness and that human-to-human transmission could potentially occur.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tran Nhu Duong, deputy director of the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said the institute recently appointed two groups to conduct an epidemiological investigation of the village.

The groups found that the two latest cases became infected after  coming into contact with infected poultry, adding there was no evidence to suggest the patients had contracted the flu from other infected individuals.

Bird flu has claimed two lives in Vietnam so far this year.

In related news, Dr. Nga said four provinces have recently reported cases of cholera. He expressed concern that a large outbreak of the disease could soon occur as the prolonged sweltering weather that Vietnam is experiencing is conducive to development of the cholera bacteria, which causes acute diarrhea and can be fatal if left untreated.

The hot weather has also reduced water levels in lakes and rivers in southern provinces, forcing people to resort to using dirty water sources where the Vibrio cholera bacterium thrives.

In addition, food is more prone to spoilage in hot weather, which can create favorable conditions for cholera to develop.

Health officials advise people to practice good personal hygiene and keep food preparation areas clean. Food should be cooked well and water should be boiled before drinking. People should also wash their hands after using the toilet and before eating or handling food.

Source: SGGP

WHO sets up swine flu probe

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2010 at 8:48 am

Health experts on Monday begin examining the controversial response to the first influenza pandemic of the 21st century, nearly a year after global alarm was raised over the new swine flu strain.

A Cambodian child (R) receives a vaccine for A-H1N1 along a street in Phnom Penh on April 1. (AFP Photo)

The World Health Organisation is forming a panel of 29 external experts following accusations that the agency-led international reaction to A(H1N1) influenza was overblown and may have been tainted by commercial interests.

After the formative three-day meeting, the International Health Regulations review committee’s work is expected to take about nine months, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said.

WHO Special Adviser on Pandemic Influenza Keiji Fukuda recently admitted that “we still have a lot of things to learn,” including the way the risks posed by swine flu are communicated to the public.

However, specialists broadly defended the alarm over the discovery of A(H1N1) cases in Mexico and the United States in April 2009 as well as the WHO’s declaration of a pandemic in June as the flu swiftly spread around the world.

“I think they gave a terrific lead and were very authoritative. I think we have a lot to thank them for,” John Oxford, a virologist and professor at the Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in Britain, told AFP.

“A lot of the criticism is political. I’ve not heard criticism from any virologist,” he added, also highlighting the need to cater for impoverished countries with poor surveillance, care and health conditions.

Parliamentarians conducting a Council of Europe probe have criticised the transparency of decision-making and especially the potential influence of the pharmaceutical industry on a decision last year to press for vaccination.

That inquiry was set up after several governments sought to cancel mass orders of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of swiftly developed special pandemic vaccines, when fears about the severity of swine flu died down.

British MP Paul Flynn, who is leading that probe, declined to comment before he meets WHO officials in Geneva on Thursday.

David Heymann, a former head of infectious diseases at the WHO who left the agency in early 2009, voiced concern about public reticence towards vaccination in generally healthy Western populations.

Source: SGGP

Bird flu fully under control in Dien Bien

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Bird flu fully under control in Dien Bien

QĐND – Thursday, April 08, 2010, 21:21 (GMT+7)

The Dien Bien Provincial People’s Committee announced on April 8 that the three communes of Thanh Yen, Noong Luong and Thanh Hung are freed of bird flu infection.

As the province has relaxed its animal transport controls, healthy and approved animals are now on sale in the local markets.

The last bird flu outbreak was discovered in Thanh Yen and then the disease continued spreading to Noong Luong and Thanh Hung where nearly 8,000 birds and 7,500 eggs have been destroyed over the past 3 months.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND