Apr 13, 2009Egypt reports two more H5N1 outbreaksAnimal health officials in Egypt recently reported two new H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in backyard poultry, according to the Egypt-based Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). The virus infected 12 chickens in a village in Suez governorate, and the vaccination status of the birds was not known. Meanwhile, the virus hit 34 unvaccinated poultry of various kinds in a village in Beni Suef governorate. The outbreak was detected through active surveillance.Russia targets poultry vaccination to migration hotspotRussia’s agricultural oversight agency, Rosselkhoznadzor, today announced the start of a major push to vaccinate backyard poultry in the Altai region against the H5N1 avian influenza virus, Itar-Tass, Russia’s news agency, reported. Officials said the Altai region is at risk for H5N1 outbreaks because it is on a route for migrating birds from Asia, where the H5N1 virus is more prevalent.Jakarta to consolidate backyard poultryIn an effort to control the spread of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, Indonesia’s agriculture ministry recently announced plans to corral all poultry in residential Jakarta neighborhoods into four centrally located poultry shelters, according to a report in the April issue of Poultry Indonesia magazine. The city government said it will build the four structures and that all chickens in the city must be confined to the areas by Apr 24, 2010. Construction on one shelter, designed to hold 1 million birds, is nearly complete, but work hasn’t begun on the other three.Report says UK won’t urge flu shots for childrenThe United Kingdom’s expert panel on immunization has decided not to recommend influenza vaccination for children, according to Pulse, a weekly newsletter for British physicians. The UK Department of Health had asked its medical advisers to review the issue after a modeling study by Health Protection Agency researchers predicted that vaccinating children could reduce flu in the general population by up to 70%, the report said. But the minutes of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation make clear that flu shots would not be recommended for children, according to Pulse. Professor Andy Hall, chair of the committee, said there was not enough evidence that current flu vaccines are effective in young children. The British policy contrasts with that of the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children aged 6 months to 18 years receive annual flu immunizations.Chicago health officials track contacts of TB-infected doctorA 26-year-old pediatric resident working in Chicago was diagnosed as having tuberculosis (TB) on Apr 7 and might have exposed patients at three area hospitals to the disease, the Chicago Tribune reported on Apr 11. None of the woman’s patients or coworkers have so far been diagnosed with TB. Though the three hospitals have said the risk to patients is “minimal,” they are contacting patients who were exposed to the resident. Northwestern Memorial Hospital said in an Apr 10 press release that at least 17 patients—some of them women who delivered babies—were exposed to the woman at its Prentice Women’s Hospital between Nov 3 and 19, 2008, and that another 100 may have received care from her. Evanston Hospital said today that a limited number of patients and staff in the facility’s special infant care unit were potentially exposed to the doctor between Feb 11 and Mar 12. She most recently worked at Children’s Memorial Hospital, where hospital officials said she had contact with at least 150 children and more than 300 workers, the Tribune reported. Susan Gerber, MD, chief medical officer of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the woman’s infection was “susceptible and sensitive” to treatment and that health officials are investigating a trip she made as a medical student in late 2007 to an HIV clinic in Botswana.
Soccer star Emiliano Sala, pilot likely exposed to carbon monoxide before fatal crash, investigators say “In February our underwater search operation successfully located the wreckage, recovered the passenger’s body and captured substantial video evidence from the scene using a remotely operated vehicle. It was not possible at the time to recover the wreckage. “We have carefully considered the feasibility and merits of returning to attempt to recover the wreckage. In this case, we consider that it will not add significantly to the investigation and we will identify the correct safety issues through other means. “In making our decision, we took into account the high cost of underwater recovery, the evidence we collected in February and the risk that, after a violent impact with the sea, the wreckage would not yield definitive evidence.” Cardiff City is “concerned” by the results of the latest report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch into the death of soccer star Emiliano Sala.The Argentine striker, along with pilot David Ibbotson, went missing when their plane crashed over the English Channel in January, days after his move to the Premier League club from Nantes was announced. Cardiff says the latest findings show the plane carrying Sala was “not appropriate”.A club spokesperson said: “CCFC is concerned at the AAIB’s latest report which once again highlights that the aircraft used for Emiliano Sala was not appropriate.”We continue to believe that those who were instrumental in arranging its usage are held to account for this tragedy.”The AAIB, meanwhile, has responded to calls from Sala’s family to recover the plane’s wreckage.”The reasons for our decision not to recover the aircraft wreckage have been explained in detail to both families concerned,” the organization said in a statement. Sala’s body later was recovered from the wreckage, but Ibbotson has not been found but is presumed dead.A report from the AAIB released Wednesday said Ibbotson was “likely” to have been exposed to carbon monoxide before the crash, while toxicology tests on Sala showed clear signs of exposure to the poisonous gas. Related News