Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pig Virus Expands During Snowfall

January 26, 2014
Pig virus is back in the U.S. and swine veterinarians warn the authorities that the fatal disease expands during snowfall. The cold, wet weather helps the virus spread and 23 states have already been affected. After the first snowfall, new cases appeared and the current weather is speeding up the disease’s  pace. So far, over 2,000 cases have been reported and the number is increasing.
The U.S. hog industry concluded that the number of deaths among pigs already exceeded one million, and could be as high as four million. The current weather represents a major setback in specialists’ attempt to eradicate the disease, which is destroying farmers’ businesses. According to Rodney Baker, a swine veterinarian at Iowa State University, the virus thrives during wet and cold days.
Pig virus has been spreading since April 2013 in the U.S., but the number of new cases expands uncontrollably during snowfall. Because the weather allows the microbe to stick to clothes and shoes, it can spread quickly and easily. Baker estimates that before the winter is over, the number of affected young pigs could be “maybe three, four times that.” The prognostic given by Robert Friendship, professor at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, is discouraging when it comes to the virus’ attack.
“Pigs start to have diarrhea and they dehydrate very quickly and they will die within a day or two,” Friendship said.
The cold weather favors the virus’ spread which survives in these conditions and clothing, equipment, boots and trucks are seen as a means of transmission. Although the pig virus poses no threat to human health, it kills all the infected young pigs and the number could expand during current snowfall.
Disease Could Be Deactivated
Farmers feel helpless as the vaccines created to combat the virus have been ineffective , but authorities mention that the pig microbe can be stopped if trucks in which young pigs are carried are washed, disinfected and heated. However, a sprayed disinfectant must be given time to activate before the truck carries the next load of pigs. If not, the virus can survive and the truck will infect more animals.
In order to make sure that the pig virus will not expand, especially during current snowfall, trucks should be washed and heated. Although this process is both time-consuming and expensive, it will prevent farmers from losing their businesses.
“It can take at least two hours and costs of upwards of $500 to wash, disinfect and dry a truck properly,” Baker said.
While the pig virus expands during snowfall, meat consumers fear that prices will soar. Hormel Foods Corp., the maker of Spam estimates that the company’s earnings for 2014 might be influenced by the “potentially volatile hog costs” which appeared in light of the microbe.
The pig virus, which is transmitted orally, expands during current snowfall and puts farmers’ businesses in danger as the number of new cases increases. Plenty of states are affected by the disease, but recent reports show that Iowa has the largest outbreak. Ontario, Canada’s province which has been recently declared infected, exports to five U.S. states, including Iowa. Authorities have no further news with regard to how to stop the epidemic.

Budgies may be behind latest spread of H7N9 bird flu

30 January 2014

THE humble budgie has become an unexpected menace in the latest H7N9 bird flu outbreak.

H7N9 emerged in south-east China last March, infecting 136 people. It returned in October, infecting 116 more. Nearly a third of those infected have died.

The virus cannot spread readily between people, and most cases are linked to live poultry markets. But now Jeremy Jones at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee and colleagues in China report that budgies, finches and sparrows can contract H7N9. They can shed enough virus from their beaks into drinking water to infect other birds (Emerging Infectious Diseases,

These species are popular pets in China, especially for older men, who have disproportionately contracted H7N9
. They also figure in Buddhist ceremonies in which birds are kissed then released...

Monday, January 27, 2014

19 H7N9 deaths in China so far this year..this month..

19 H7N9 deaths in China

BEIJING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- H7N9 bird flu has killed 19 in China this year already, and the total number of human infections has reached 96, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shu Yuelong, director of the Chinese National Influenza Center (CNIC), said on Monday that a large-scale H7N9 epidemic is unlikely during the Spring Festival holiday, as no H7N9 virus mutation that could affect public health has been identified so far.
"There is no evidence of constant inter-human transmission, and the risk assessment of H7N9 epidemic outbreak is unchanged," said Shu.
Shu reiterated that H7N9 is more prone to human infection than H5N1, with H7N9 case fatality rate reaching 20 to 30 percent.
The virus is more difficult to be prevented as there is no obvious symptom for H7N9 infected poultry, and at present the CNIC is not able to precisely predict the direction of the mutation of the H7N9 virus.
"We will continue to strengthen monitoring and carry out research," said Shu.
On Sunday, the National Health and Family Planning Commission issued a paper on H7N9 diagnosis and treatment, noting that early report, diagnosis and treatment are the best ways to prevent and control the virus.

AQSIQ: temperature over 38 ℃ had contact with poultry should delay travel

  2014-01-27 22:36 Xiamen
Recently, some regions of China have been found in people infected with H7N9 bird flu confirmed cases, the epidemic is growing rapidly. In this regard, AQSIQ released today "strengthen the prevention and control of human infection with H7N9 avian port flu emergency notice",
requiring personnel to exit from the H7N9 cases have occurred region, temperature over 38 ℃, and a history of close contact with poultry within seven days of must be sampled pathogen detection, it is recommended to postpone their travel, transfer the designated hospital for treatment.

"Notice" requirement focus on strengthening the monitoring team and outbound personnel, for discovery of a temperature over 38 ℃, and has a history of close contact with poultry workers seven days, if the refusal to postpone the trip, asking them to give reasons in writing, inform precautions to provide and request Its wear N95 masks, informing transport operators to take protective measures; other circumstances can not be excluded people infected with H7N9 bird flu, and refused to postpone the trip, sampling carried pathogen detection, detailed register their personal information and contact details abroad, inform precautions, provide and require to wear N95 masks.
When outbreaks occur outside of this country from those who have symptoms of infectious disease investigation by Port disposal technologies program implementation, and conduct pathogen detection.

"Notice" requirement to strengthen joint prevention and control mechanism, in close communication and cooperation with local health, port management, customs, immigration, civil aviation, transport, railways and other departments to ensure intersectoral epidemic reporting channels,
improve the transfer of suspected cases, diagnosis and treatment process determine the testing laboratory, transfer cases and close contacts of the designated hospital for examination isolated place running. 
Cooperation agreements with relevant countries and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, to strengthen communication and timely exit of the suspected cases briefing each other.

Of infected or transport, cargo, containers, luggage, parcels and patients suspected infected excreta shall be disinfected and safe disposal in accordance with the relevant technical specifications; disposal in the investigation of suspected cases, according to the provisions of each well entry personnel protection against staff infection.

Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – update

Disease outbreak news
The National Health and Family Planning Commission of China has notified WHO of nine additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus.
Details of the cases notified on 26 January 2014 are as follows:
  • A 49 year old man from Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on 16 January. He was admitted to hospital on 20 January and transferred to other hospital on 23 January. He is currently in a serious condition. The patient has a history of exposure to poultry.
  • A 60 year old woman farmer from Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on 19 January. She was admitted to hospital on 23 January. She is currently in a serious condition.
  • A 48 year old woman farmer from Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on 20 January. She was admitted to hospital on 23 January and is currently in a serious condition. The patient has a history of exposure to poultry.
  • A 57 year old farmer from Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, who became ill on 16 January. He was admitted to hospital on 19 January and transferred to other hospital on 22 January. He is currently in a serious condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry market.
  • A 46 year old woman farmer from Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, who became ill on 18 January. She was admitted to hospital on 22 January and is currently in a critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to poultry.
  • A 82 year old man from Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, who became ill on 11 January. He was admitted to hospital on 21 January and is currently in a critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to live poultry market.
Details of the cases notified on 27 January 2014 are as follows:
  • A 76 year-old farmer from Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, who became ill on 18 January. He was admitted to hospital on 21 January and is currently in a serious condition.
  • A 40 year-old man from Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on 19 January. He was admitted to hospital on 23 January and was transferred to another hospital on 25 January. He is currently in a critical condition. The patient has a history of exposure to poultry.
  • A 65 year-old, man from Huzhou City, Zhejiang Province, who became ill on 16 January. He was admitted to hospital on 22 January and was transferred to another hospital on 23 January. He is currently in a serious condition. The patient has a history of exposure to a live poultry market.
The source of infection is still under investigation. So far, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.
The Chinese government continues to take the following measures:
  • strengthen surveillance and situation analysis;
  • reinforce case management and treatment;
  • conduct risk communication with the public and release information;
  • strengthen international collaboration and communication; and
  • conduct scientific studies.
WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it currently recommend any travel or trade restrictions.

Hong Kong has HK suspends its live chicken imports from the mainland for the next three weeks

Officials test poultry in Hong Kong at the border near mainland China as authorities step up measures against the spread of the deadly H7N9 bird flu. (AFP/Philippe Lopez)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong has suspended its live chicken imports from the mainland for the next three weeks.

The suspension comes after one incoming batch had been infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus.

The government will also cull its current stock of 20,000 chickens at the Cheung Sha Wan wholesale poultry market on Tuesday.
It had found samples from one batch of chickens from Foshan in Guangdong to be infected with the H7N9 virus.
The Cheung Sha Wan wholesale poultry market will be closed for 21 days for cleaning, after the culling takes place.

The health secretary stressed that imports will only resume after the poultry is found to be free from the virus.
There have been two deaths in the city from the virus, and both victims were believed to have contracted the disease in Shenzhen.

There has not been a human-to-human case of transmission in Hong Kong yet.

- CNA/gn

New bird flu-suspected case reported

A new bird flu-suspected case was reported Monday in North Chungcheong Province despite the South Korean government’s strengthened efforts to contain the further spread of the virus.

A large number of ducks in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, showed common symptoms of the bird flu, with a sharp drop in the spawning rate and deaths of more than 100,000 ducks over the last two days.

The quarantine officials immediately limited the access to surrounding areas and took disinfection measures. A probe is underway to confirm the infection.

The province was among the areas imposed with a half-day lockdown.

Earlier the day, the government enforced the partial “stand-still” order, banning all vehicles, animals and people from moving in and out of poultry farms from 6 a.m. for 12 hours in Sejong, Daejeon, and Gyeonggi and Chungcheong provinces.

"We need to thoroughly sterilize (the affected areas) before the mass human migration begins for the Lunar New Year holiday. We ask for citizens’ cooperation,” President Park Geun-hye said on Monday.

Health authorities already began sterilizing areas suspected to be affected by the virus, such as Sapgyo Lake in Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province, and Sihwa Lake in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province.

"The government is cooperating with local governments to inspect and sterilize infection sources and stop the further spread of the avian flu virus. We will terminate the disease as soon as possible,” Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lee Joon-won said in a press briefing.

The ministry had warned that a 48-hour nationwide lockdown could be enforced if the H5N8 virus spreads further across the country at the current rate.

On Saturday, the H5N8 strain of avian influenza hit a chicken farm in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province.

This marks the first chicken infection since the first outbreak in Gochang, North Jeolla Province, on Jan. 17.

The ministry on Sunday confirmed the sixth case of infection at a duck farm in Haenam, South Jeolla Province. The town at the southern tip of the peninsula is about 130 kilometers from the first outbreak region.

Ministry officials said migratory birds are suspected to be the cause of the widening infection, with 13 of 82 birds tested proving to be infected with the highly pathogenic strain of AI.

The infected migratory birds were captured in Seocheon, South Chungcheong Province, and Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, they said.

Newly suspected cases continued to stream in, including a duck farm in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province. The area is only 80 kilometers south of the capital city of Seoul.

As the virus is getting nearer to the capital, local authorities began culling a large number of chickens and ducks to rein in the spread.

So far, 664,000 poultry have been slaughtered and 813,000 more are to be culled, the Agriculture Ministry said.

The AI scare is also..

China steps up bird flu monitoring at customs

BEIJING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's quality watchdog urged intensified H7N9 bird flu virus monitoring at the country's customs on Monday in a bid to prevent trans-border transmission of the fatal disease.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) asked quarantine staff at customs to measure body temperature, conduct medical inspections and report health conditions of passengers.
People with abnormal temperature, cough, or respiratory distress will receive immediate medical examination to confirm whether the symptoms are caused by the H7N9 virus.
The AQSIQ also asked local quarantine authorities to coordinate with hospitals, transportation and other related authorities to make sure emergencies will be properly handled.
China has reported human cases of H7N9 in Shanghai, Zhejiang, Beijing, Jiangsu, Fujian and Guangdong since the outbreak of the epidemic in March 2013. Some of the cases have been fatal.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

South Korea issued a bird flu "forbidden line order" before the spread of the epidemic, or Spring Festival

...Reported that if the South Korean government issued a ban on the line so that the whole of Korea in scope, time will be selected on the eve of the Spring Festival 27-28. Earlier, the South Korean government ordered to prevent spread of the epidemic North Jeolla, South Jeolla Province and Gwangju area of ​​poultry, livestock and vehicles from practitioners begin at 0:00 on the 19th to move within 48 hours is prohibited. In the meantime, the local epidemic prevention departments to take strong preventive measures.
Up to now, been identified as highly pathogenic avian influenza in the Republic of Korea's poultry farms has increased to 18, 39 farms of 531,000 chickens and ducks will be slaughtered.

2014 totaled 99 cases , Zhejiang, Guangdong and Fujian provinces were new cases Su epidemic northward to Beijing

 26, 2014 Reuters ( Epoch Times reporter Li Xia reported ) Continental H7N9 bird flu continues to heat up , with the exception of Zhejiang , Guangdong and other southern provinces of cases continues to increase , the epidemic has recently invaded Beijing northward , making people panic Beijing , authorities said it would shut down all live poultry markets. Following the death of Jiangxi 's first H10N8 avian flu , the 25th and 1 new confirmed cases , a total of two cases . Beijing recently has been one case of H1N1 bird flu deaths. Professionals believe that the current outbreak has shown diversification.
Zhu Xinxin media people on the mainland before the Epoch Times that the CCP outbreaks reported total lack of national statistics , just scattered all over the reported cases , because of fears of the public's fears over the impact of years of consumption, is causing further dampen economic downturn . CCP is now sitting on the crater .
2014 totaled 99 cases , Zhejiang, Guangdong and Fujian provinces were new cases Su epidemic northward to Beijing
According to Lu media reports , H7N9 bird flu has recently not only continued to increase in Zhejiang, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu and other southern provinces , Beijing on January 23 confirmed cases also appeared in the first case , the epidemic has been northward.
According to official statistics released only in China since 2014 cumulative cases of H7N9 bird flu has reached 99 cases , 10 deaths . Zhejiang 47 cases in which the death one case ; Guangdong 30 cases , 3 patients died ; Shanghai eight cases , 4 deaths ; Fujian eight cases , 1 death ; Guizhou 1 case , 1 death , Jiangsu four cases ; Beijing one case .
Zhejiang Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission on January 25 informed that from January 9 , Zhejiang Province, began a daily cumulative cases have been confirmed in the 17th , 25th and added three cases of H7N9 avian influenza in severe cases , the cumulative number of confirmed cases in 2014 amounted to 47 cases, 1 death , ranking first in the provinces .
Health and Family Planning Commission of Guangdong Province on January 25 informed that Shenzhen has added one case of H7N9 bird flu confirmed cases, the province's total cases reached 30 cases, of which 3 died .
Jiangsu Province Health Department informed that the 25th province of Suzhou evening of 24 new one case of H7N9 bird flu confirmed cases, the cumulative cases of four cases , three cases of Nanjing , Suzhou, one case .
Health and Family Planning Commission of Fujian Province on the 24th that Fujian has added one case of H7N9 bird flu confirmed cases, a total of 80,000 cases of cases, 1 death. Quanzhou seven cases in which Ningde one case .
Beijing 's first official notification to ban live animal
Beijing first case of H7N9 bird flu confirmed on January 23 , the 24th Beijing Municipal Center for Disease Control released a 52 -year-old male patient , usually in good health , the recent days of cold symptoms , high fever followed twenty-three days in a row , cough, fever to a nearby hospital outpatient aging , the evening of 23 detected as infected with H7N9 avian influenza virus , 24 am to Beijing Ditan Hospital ICU ward treated in isolation. The patients before the onset of the purchase and consumption of pigeons .
Beijing health department, said Beijing has now entered the flu season , and the next period of time , the flu will maintain a high level of activity may also occur H7N9 sporadic cases and imported cases . Beijing Municipal Bureau of Agriculture , said the market will be completely banned live poultry trade.
Beijing, China panic do not eat chicken food poisoning worrying haze
Epoch Times reporter called the Beijing Haidian District, a wholesale market of agricultural products , a male staff member said that the market currently has no live poultry sold.
Chaoyang District, Beijing, a restaurant staff reporter for The Epoch Times , said the restaurants and only a chicken -related dishes , saying dish is fried at high temperatures is not dangerous , but the point of the dish very few people , everyone afraid to eat chicken .
Mr. Wang said that the people of Beijing Epoch Times , because the relationship between the current avian flu , myself and my friends and colleagues do not dare to eat chicken poultry . And because of severe haze in Beijing , always wear a mask when you go out . " Air quality has been good for several years , always overcast day , we think it may also increase the velocity of propagation of avian flu ." Mr. Wang said.
Ms Wu also told the people of Beijing Epoch Times , said that Beijing people not to eat poultry , etc. In addition to the live poultry , other food and vegetables are also wary because of the toxic foods and vegetables are currently flooding the market , it is difficult to distinguish , "Everyone panicked and did not eat because of the security ."

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is now seen in 23 states and parts of Canada

You may soon have to cough up a lot more bacon if you want to buy bacon. A mysterious virus has been killing great numbers of piglets since it was first discovered in the U.S. herd in April, cutting into the supply of pork and pushing prices way up

January 25, 2014

The outbreak of the deadly pig virus, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), which was first seen in the United States in April 2013, has now spread to 23 states and areas of Canada, encompassing some 2,400 farms, according to a veterinary expert from Texas A&M University in a radio interview Saturday, Jan. 25.

In an interview on the talk radio program, Outbreak News This Week, Brandon Dominguez, DVM, Clinical Assistant Professor and Veterinarian in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Texas A&M University, discussed the current outbreak and clarified what exactly is PEDv.

Dr. Dominguez explained that PEDv is a coronavirus, similar to Transmissable Gastroenteritis virus (TGEv), another pig pathogen, which causes vomiting and diarrhea in pigs of all ages; however, in pigs less than 10 days old, the mortality rate is quite high.

In fact, Dominguez said this easily transmissible virus can have a devastating effect on naive herds affecting nearly 100 percent of the pigs.

This virus reared it ugly head in the Spring of 2013. It is endemic in parts of Europe and Asia. When asked how this virus found it's was into the United States, Dr. Dominguez said, "We don't know exactly how it got into the United States. When it came into the US, multiple farms that were a good distance apart showed up with the disease about the same time, which tend to indicate there's some common point source for the infection to start from, we just haven't figured out exactly what that was.

"And we may never be able to."

Dr. Dominguez said that PEDv is not transmissible to humans, or any other animal for that matter.

When asked about getting the outbreak under control, Dominguez said the "biggest control measure is practicing good biosecurity".

"Making sure everything that comes on to the farm is clean and disinfected prior to getting on the farm and minimizing what need to come on to the farm", he explained.

There is no vaccine for PEDv.

Although PEDv does not effect people clinically, this virus can have an economic impact on pork producers and pork prices.

Dr. Dominguez discussed the issue of biosecurity in some detail. Listen to the audio here for more information about Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus.

First H5N8 infection confirmed in chickens

Officials consider nationwide lockdown on poultry farms

First H5N8 infection confirmed in chickens

 2014-01-26 22:31
Soldiers walk into a chicken farm in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province, to cull poultry infected with the highly pathogenic H5N8 flu strain Sunday. (Yonhap)

The government is considering ordering a lockdown at all poultry farms in the country to prevent the avian influenza virus spreading further, officials said Sunday.

If the government imposes the order, all poultry, workers and vehicles from farms will be banned from moving for 48 hours. The lockdown procedure can be continued for another two days, officials added.

The move came after the first H5N8 infection in chickens was reported Saturday, adding to concerns of a recent upturn in the disease’s spread in Korea.

“The AI infection broke out in South Jeolla and Chungcheong provinces, followed by North Jeolla Province. If necessary, the government will use all measures, including a nationwide stand-still.” Lee Joon-won, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said at a press briefing.

“But nothing has been decided yet,” he said.

If issued, it will be the first time the regulation has been imposed nationwide since the system was introduced in February 2012.

The government on Sunday issued a temporary lockdown on the poultry industry in Gyeonggi Province and North and South Chungcheong Province, effective from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday.

The Agriculture Ministry confirmed Saturday that a chicken in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province, had been infected with the H5N8 strain of the virus.

The chicken farm in Buyeo is about 80 kilometers north of where the first outbreak of the bird flu was discovered.

The distance is nearly eight times the 10-kilometer radius quarantine zone designated by the ministry.

Another case of the highly pathogenic bird flu strain was confirmed at a duck farm in Haenam, South Jeolla Province, at the southern tip of the peninsula.

Prime Minister Chung Hong-won on Sunday also ordered officials to take stronger quarantine measures at an emergency meeting.

“All related ministries should deploy manpower to support the AI situation room. The (Agriculture) minister will be directly in charge for a fast decision-making process,” Chung said.

The prime minister reiterated at the meeting that migratory birds such as Baikal teal are presumably the very likely source of the spread.

He called for the restriction of any human activities near reservoirs or lakes where the birds rest during the migratory season.

Health authorities expect complications may occur this week, when the virus ends its 10-day incubation period.

The period also overlaps with Seollal, Lunar New Year, when tens of thousands of Koreans hit the road to meet their families and friends all across the country.

A total of 29.2 million people, more than half of the Korean population, visited their hometown during last year’s Seollal, according to the Korea Transport Institute. This year’s New Year holiday begins from Thursday.

So far, there are no known cases of human beings being infected by H5N8.

“We don’t find it necessary to raise the bird flu alert to ‘serious’ from ‘cautious’ at the moment. But we will keep monitoring the progress of the virus and make the decision,” the ministry said in its statement on Sunday.

Four additional cases of suspected infection were reported during the weekend, including those in Naju and Yeongam in South Jeolla Province.

Since the first outbreak, the ministry has culled over 488,000 poultry at 35 farms.

More than 1.47 million more chickens and ducks at 42 farms will be slaughtered, they said.

The latest bird flu epidemic is the fifth outbreak in the country.

South Korea has had a total of four outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu since the first in 2003. All outbreaks in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010 were caused by the H5N1 type of the virus.

While China and other countries with AI infection experienced human deaths, there were no reports of human infections in Korea.

Gov't imposes partial lockdown amid spread of bird flu

2014/01/26 23:08

SEJONG, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- The government on Sunday imposed a temporary lockdown at poultry farms in three provinces suspected to have been hit by the latest outbreak of avian influenza (AI).
The lockdown will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday in Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul and the central provinces of South and North Chungcheong, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.

Gov't imposes partial lockdown amid spread of bird flu

...The number of confirmed AI cases has since reached 18 with the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of the virus confirmed in the latest case at a chicken farm in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province on Saturday.

Tests were under way in an additional 21 suspected cases as of Sunday.
Some 470,000 birds, mostly ducks, have been slaughtered so far.

Over 1.74 million birds other than ducks, including 1.42 million chickens at 22 farms, are set to be culled as the government has decided to also destroy chickens at all farms within 3 kilometers from affected farms after it confirmed the first outbreak of bird flu in chickens Saturday.

South Korea to destroy 1.4 mil. chickens

Municipal government officials prepare to cull chickens at a poultry farm in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province, Sunday, after birds there were found to be infected with a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza. / Yonhap


By Kim Da-ye 

Over 1.4 million chickens will be culled after the first cases of deadly avian influenza among chickens were confirmed at a poultry farm in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province.

The outbreak of bird flu is showing signs of spreading along the west coast with six farms in South and North Jeolla and South Chungcheong provinces reporting suspected cases over the weekend.

The Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (QIA) found the H5N8 virus — the cause of the infections — in feces of migratory birds in Lake Sihwa in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, the most northern point to be affected so far.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said that it will enforce tough measures because bird flu tends to spread faster among chickens.

Considering they are more vulnerable than ducks and outnumber the latter five to one, farmers could be devastated.

“The decision is based on our livestock quarantine committee’s view that avian influenza spreads faster among chickens and preventive culls are needed to avoid additional sporadic flare-ups,” the agriculture ministry said.

Due to the severity of the outbreak, Prime Minister Jung Hong-won held an emergency ministerial meeting Sunday to discuss relevant measures.

“Cases of bird flu have been observed along the route of migratory birds, so we will focus our quarantine efforts in these regions in order to prevent the contagion spreading to nearby poultry farms,” Jung said.

“We will also strengthen publicity activities to discourage people from visiting these areas during the Lunar New Year holiday.”

The outbreak seemed to have entered a dormant phase until Saturday morning, as no fresh outbreaks had been reported in North Jeolla Province for four days in a row.

However, on Saturday and Sunday six more suspected cases were reported; while the H5N8 strain of avian influenza was found in feces of migratory birds in Lake Sihwa in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.

The first case over the weekend came at the chicken farm in Buyeo; and the QIA confirmed dead birds there were infected with H5N8.

The new outbreak prompted the government’s decision to cull all ducks and chickens within three kilometers of the six farms. Some 488,000 birds on 35 farms have been culled so far, and 1.75 million birds at 42 could be slaughtered.

In the second case — at a duck farm in Haenam, South Jeolla Province — the authority confirmed the H5N8 virus as responsible.

Inspections at four other farms — in Buan, North Jeolla Province, Naju and Yeongam in South Jeolla Province and Cheonan in South Chungcheong Province — are ongoing.

In the meantime, 49 different suspected cases of bird flu in migratory birds have been, or are being, examined. The test results on 13 were positive while those on seven were negative.

The migratory birds infected with the virus were found at Dongrim Reservoir in Gochang, North Jeolla Province; the mouth of the Geum River; and Lake Sihwa in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.

Despite multiple suspected cases of avian influenza, the government decided to keep its warning state at the “alert” level. The ministry judged that the disease is occurring “sporadically” rather than being “transmitted horizontally” because the newly reported cases aren’t related to existing ones.

“The necessity to raise the level to serious is low, but we will continue to monitor the situation and decide,” the ministry said.

In the meantime, the bird flu outbreak in Haenam, South Jeolla Province, posed serious concerns to the poultry industry over a possible shortage of duck meat. Some 8 million ducks — more than 40 percent of the country’s supply — are raised in South Jeolla Province.

Fear of the spread of the disease is heightening as the Lunar New Year holiday begins Thursday. More than half of the population is expected to travel from their residences to visit relatives.

South Korea-AI spreads nationwide

Updated : 2014-01-26 20:00

Korean authorities are grappling with an increasing number of avian influenza cases, as the virus has continued to spread to chickens and migratory birds across the country since the first outbreak in Gochang, North Jeolla Province on Jan. 17. Up to six areas were confirmed to be infected with the pathogenic H5N8 strain.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 2 Jan 2014
Source: CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy) News [edited]

Serum study finds weak antibody response to H7N9
Researchers who examined the blood of patients infected with novel H7N9 influenza found a weak antibody response to the strain, which might shed light on disease pathogenesis and suggests that multiple doses of vaccine may be needed to provide protection. The study, by a team from China, appeared yesterday [1 Jan 2014] in an early online edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The authors focused on 48 samples collected from 21 patients sickened in the ongoing H7N9 outbreak, 19 from Shanghai and 2 from Beijing; paired samples were obtained in 15 of the patients. Of the samples, 21 were from the acute phase, 18 were convalescent, and 9 were obtained between 102 and 125 days after symptom onset. For controls, the team included 100 blood samples collected in 2008 from healthy donors in Beijing and 77 samples collected in May and June 2013 from poultry workers in Shanghai.

Protective antibody response to H7N9 was relatively weak, with neutralizing antibody response lower than the response to the 2009 H1N1 and H5N1 viruses. Also, serum IgG avidity for H7 was lower than that for H1 and H3. In addition, the group found a correlation between IgG levels against H3 in acute-phase serum and IgG levels against H7 in convalescent serum.

The findings raise questions about the role of humoral responses in H7N9 disease severity and duration, the team wrote. They also said scientists should examine the cross-reactivity between H7 and H3 and determine whether any boost response could occur from H3N2 infection.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Mary Marshall

[The publication referred to above is, Guo L, Zhang X, Ren L, et al: Human Antibody Responses to Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus, 2013
Emerg Infect Dis [Internet] 2014; 20(2);

The Abstract reads:
"Understanding host antibody response is crucial for predicting disease severity and for vaccine development. We investigated antibody responses against influenza A(H7N9) virus in 48 serum samples from 21 patients, including paired samples from 15 patients. IgG against subtype H7 and neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) were not detected in acute-phase samples, but ELISA geometric mean titers increased in convalescent-phase samples; NAb titers were 20-80 (geometric mean titer 40). Avidity to IgG against subtype H7 was significantly lower than that against H1 and H3. IgG against H3 was boosted after infection with influenza A(H7N9) virus, and its level in acute-phase samples correlated with that against H7 in convalescent-phase samples. A correlation was also found between hemagglutinin inhibition and NAb titers and between hemagglutinin inhibition and IgG titers against H7."

Because of the relatively weak protective antibody response to avian influenza A(H7N9) infection, one of the authors' conclusions is that multiple vaccinations might be needed to achieve protective immunity in humans.


The CPRC Kebangsaan, Putrajaya had received 130 notifications of suspected PUI MERS-CoV cases.
Samples were taken from hundred thirty suspected (130, 100 %) PUI MERS-CoV cases and the lab results were all negatives until now....

Taiwan issues yellow travel alert for Shanghai after H7N9 case

Taipei, Jan. 4 (CNA) Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) issued a yellow travel alert for Shanghai on Saturday, a day after the Chinese city confirmed a new human H7N9 avian influenza case.

The MAC upgraded its epidemic travel advisory for Shanghai to a level-2 alert, the same level set last year for travel to Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces after those areas reported confirmed cases of H7N9 avian influenza.

It also urged people to pay special attention to their health and safety if travel to the city cannot be avoided.

The new H7N9 case in Shanghai involving an 86-year-old man brought the total number of confirmed H7N9 cases in China to 13 since October, including five cases in Zhejiang, five in Guangdong, two in Hong Kong and one in Shanghai, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported Saturday.

Since March 31, 2013, mainland China and Hong Kong have reported 147 confirmed human H7N9 cases, including 48 in which the patients eventually died, the CDC said.

Taiwan has confirmed two imported human cases of H7N9 avian influenza, with one involving a Taiwanese businessman who fell ill after returning from a trip to Jiangsu province in April 2013 and made a full recovery after a month of intensive treatment.

The second one involved an 86-year-old Chinese tourist who arrived in Taipei on Dec. 17, 2013, and was hospitalized on Dec. 24, according to the CDC.

The MAC asked Taiwanese citizens to pay special attention to travel safety if heading to China and reconsider their travel plans, warning that the H7N9 virus could spread to southern China.

The MAC also urged people who have to travel to epidemic areas in China to avoid direct contact with birds or poultry, wash their hands frequently and wear a surgical mask, not feed wild birds including pigeons, and not eat uncooked meat and eggs.

If travelers to epidemic areas develop a fever and cough, they should promptly see a doctor after returning to Taiwan, the council warned.

Khaled Al-Faisal condoles with the teacher of the deceased pal «Corona»

Lecture to school students about the disease »Corona»
Afif - Mohammed Rashed
The transfer of the Director of Education Afif province Said bin Saad Nfaiei condolences of His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Minister of Education and Vice President and Deputy to the education of boys with a teacher Ibrahim al-Balawi from employees of the medium and the second, who died due to illness, "Corona."
Accompanied Nfaiei medical team during a visit to a school for the characters on the general situation in which the interest aspects of preventive and curative for all employees of the school, students, teachers and administrators, and providing pamphlets about the disease (Corona), was also in the framework of the visit to hold awareness lecture on the causes of the disease and ways to prevent it.
It also reassured by telephone on the health of the school director Nawaf Al-Nimri, who lay on a white bed after suspected illness which is in good health.