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Posts Tagged ‘strain’

WHO: Swine flu virus is top strain worldwide

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2009 at 11:13 am

The World Health Organization‘s flu chief said the swine flu virus has now become the predominant flu strain worldwide.In some countries, swine flu accounts for up to 70 percent of the flu viruses being sampled, said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s top flu official.

While most people recover from the illness without needing medical treatment, officials are also continuing to see severe cases in people under 65 — people who are not usually at risk during regular flu seasons.

“We remain quite concerned about the patterns that we’re seeing,” Fukuda said during a press briefing Thursday.

He said the swine flu virus appeared to be fairly stable, and that samples from around the world remained very similar to when the virus was first identified in April.

Drivers from the mass transit system receive H1N1 vaccine injections at a hospital in Hefei, Anhui province, China November 6, 2009

Regarding the recent surge of cases in the Ukraine — which has reported more than 250,000 cases and 70 deaths of people with flu-like illness in recent weeks — Fukuda said the virus appeared no different there than anywhere else.

“We just simply have to understand that influenza can cause outbreaks in very large numbers of people,” he said. “Patterns can be quite different from country to country.”

Fukuda said the agency was also monitoring the impact of the virus on particularly susceptible populations.

On Wednesday, Venezuelan officials reported that swine flu had hit the Yanomami Indians, killing seven people in a population of 28,000.

Fukuda said WHO had observed that aboriginals in Australia were disproportionately hit by swine flu, but could not say whether they were more genetically vulnerable to the virus or if that was due to underlying health problems.

With swine flu vaccination programs now under way in more than 20 countries, Fukuda said no rare or dangerous side effects had been reported, and the agency was convinced the vaccine was “highly safe.”

Fukuda said WHO had been surprised that the vaccine appeared to work after just one dose, but was happy about it because that mean the world’s vaccine supplies could be stretched.

Even in children under 10, Fukuda said WHO recommended that one dose could be effective. Some countries, including the U.S., are recommending that children get two doses of the swine flu shot.

“It is better to provide one dose to as many children as possible rather than two doses to fewer children,” Fukuda said.

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Deadly H5N1 strain detected

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:17 pm

HA NOI — A strain of the H5N1 virus that poses a high risk of infecting humans and caused an avian flu epidemic in China, has appeared in smuggled poultry in Viet Nam according to Bui Quang Anh, the head of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development’s Animal Health Department yesterday.

The infection mechanism of this highly infectious strain of the H5N1 virus, named seven, had not been found so far, Anh said.

“We are studying more about this strain in our poultry and will soon know the results,” said Nguyen Van Cam, the director of the Central Animal Diagnosis Centre.

The avian flu strain that has typically appeared in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has been strain one, while the Song Hong (Red River) Delta has seen strain two, three and four with unknown infection mechanisms.

To prevent the strain from being spread, 242 million doses of H5N1 vaccines and 15 million of doses of H5N2 vaccines have been distributed to the localities, according to the department.

At this volume, just 76.5 per cent of poultry will be vaccinated.

Localities have typically neglected taking samples of poultry after being vaccinated. Only three out of 27 provinces that have undergone bird flu epidemics collected samples to test.

Some Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces with a high volume of poultry infected with the H5N1 virus include Vinh Long at 9.25 per cent, Tra Vinh with 8.97 per cent, Soc Trang with 5.32 per cent and Long An with 5 per cent.

Anh said that more vaccines were being prepared. —