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Tag Archive: Influenza A virus subtype H1N1


California flu deaths continue to climb

Posted:   01/24/2014 11:39:50 AM PST

Influenza claimed 50 more young lives in California this week, proving that a potent virus that arrived a virtual stranger in 2009 has gained the lead role in our winter dance with the disease.

The H1N1 virus — the swine flu bug — is circulating through susceptible groups, especially among a younger generation that often goes without vaccinations and had not been exposed to this strain, health authorities said Friday.

H1N1 has largely replaced last year’s H3N2 strain and has already killed nearly 40 percent more people than last year’s total, even though flu season has yet to reach its peak.

People line up for flu shots at a Walgreens in San Jose Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.

People line up for flu shots at a Walgreens in San Jose Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (Patrick Tehan, Bay Area News Group)

In California, it has claimed the lives of 95 adults younger than 65, and 51 more deaths await confirmation as flu related. That would bring the total to 146 deaths, state epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez reported at a Friday news conference. The nine Bay Area counties and Santa Cruz County have reported 32 flu-related deaths this season.

That’s a pattern similar to what was seen when H1N1 last circled the globe.

“The elderly, like in 2009, are not overwhelmingly getting infected,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “They are seemingly protected from it.”

In contrast, at this time last year, H3N2 dominated and killed many elders — but only nine deaths were reported among Californians under 65.

The state does not track flu deaths for residents over 65, so information about the impact on that age group is mostly anecdotal.

Among this year’s victims were 23-year-old Matthew Walker, of Santa Rosa, a healthy young man who enjoyed windsurfing and skateboarding. The experience of losing a son, his father, Cliff Walker, told NBC Bay Area, was “a ragged roller coaster ride, with a bad ending.”

All but one of this year’s deaths have been linked to the H1N1 virus. Most occurred in Californians who, unlike Walker, had a pre-existing medical condition, such as chronic heart disease, asthma or a suppressed immune system, or were pregnant, according to Chavez.

One of the newly reported deaths was a child who lived in Riverside County. In all, the illness has claimed the lives of three children under age 10, including one in San Mateo County.

Despite such tragedies, the good news is that H1N1 is less deadly than it was during the peak of the 2009 pandemic, and that is because we’re better protected, Fauci said. It is one of the strains included in the current flu vaccine, which usually shields people exposed to the virus. And many who have been sick before have developed antibodies to it.

There are several reasons why younger people seem so vulnerable. Significantly, as a group, they are less likely to be vaccinated than elders.

Some scientists think the genetic structure of H1N1 targets the lungs, while H3N2 tended to attack the upper respiratory system. A mutation in an amino acid called D225G might allow H1N1 to bind more effectively to lung cells, making us more susceptible to pneumonia and death.

And younger people may have not acquired immunity through previous exposure. Forms of the H1N1 virus were detected in the 1930s, then in the mid-1950s and again in 1971, according to flu tracker and biomedical researcher Henry Niman of the Pennsylvania company Recombinomics, Inc. It appeared again — in significantly altered form — in 2009.

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LA Times  Local

Dramatic rise in flu deaths reported by California health officials

The Regional Medical Center of San Jose set up a 'flu tent' outside an emergency room to treat patients with flu-like symptoms in San Jose.

The Regional Medical Center of San Jose set up a ‘flu tent’ outside an emergency room to treat patients with flu-like symptoms in San Jose. (EPA/JOHN G. MABANGLO / January 24, 2014)

State health officials reported Friday that California influenza deaths this flu season have doubled to 95, with an additional 51 cases likely to be confirmed next week.

That would put this year’s number of flu fatalities so far at 146. At this time last year, nine deaths had been confirmed, and only 106 were confirmed by the end of the season.

“So far we have a much more severe season,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez in a conference call with reporters Friday. He said that flu activity in California remained “widespread.” 

In part, the gap between this year’s deaths and the number of deaths at this time last year is because this year’s season struck early, Chavez said.

However, this year’s predominant flu strain is H1N1 “swine flu,” which is more deadly than other strains. Seventy-five of this year’s 95 confirmed deaths were caused by H1N1, Chavez said.

Chavez said that the week ending Jan. 18 saw a decrease in hospitalizations and out-patient visits for the flu. He added that the level was still higher than expected for this time of year, and that it’s unclear whether this means that the peak of season has already hit.

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Nine Deaths Linked To H1N1 Flu Virus

 

 

 

 

Credit via Wikimedia Commons

 

Officials at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis say nine people have died from the H1N1 flu virus, also known as swine flu, over the past six weeks. Another 35 patients were sick enough to be treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit, although, many were transported from outside the area.

 

Infectious Disease Physician Steven Lawrence says those who died ranged in age from their mid-20s to their mid-60s.

 

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Man, 23, who died of flu in was only diagnosed with the virus AFTER he was put in an induced coma, say family

 

  • Matthew Walker, 23, fell ill on December 22
  • He was admitted to hospital on December 26 when he was diagnosed with pneumonia in his left lung
  • On December 27, he was placed in an induced coma and doctors realized he had H1N1
  • It was too late to help Walker and he died on January 8
  • His family say that doctors could have treated Walker if he had been correctly diagnosed earlier

By Associated Press and Alex Greig

 

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The family of a 23-year-old Santa Rosa man who died after he contracted the H1N1 flu virus says his illness wasn’t accurately diagnosed until it was too late to possibly save his life.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports Matthew Walker was admitted to a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Santa Rosa on December 27 after he reported breathing difficulties.

The previous day he was sent home from the hospital after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

 
Desperately ill: This was the last picture Matthew Walker posted on Facebook, the day before he was put in an induced coma

Desperately ill: This was the last picture Matthew Walker posted on Facebook, the day before he was put in an induced coma

 

Walker’s family says Kaiser doctors didn’t discover Walker had the ‘swine flu’ until after he was put into a medically induced coma before his death Wednesday.

 Walker is one of four people who have died in the most recent outbreak of the H1N1 strain on California’s north coast. 

The virus first emerged in 2009. In the 2009-2010 flu season, 12,000 people died from the virus – or complications caused by the disease – across the U.S.

The previously healthy 23-year-old’s Facebook page provides a devastating timeline of his decline.

 

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Flu now considered widespread in Kansas, Missouri

 

Posted: 01/10/2014

 

 

KANSAS CITY. Mo – A dangerous strand of the H1N1 flu virus has infected hundreds and killed at least three people in recent weeks.

 

Andrew Hoehne of Sedalia, Mo., went to the doctor for a scheduled visit on December 26. On January 2, the newlywed and father of one died of the H1N1 flu virus at St. Luke’s Hospital.

 

He’s one of a number of people who have contracted a dangerous strand of the H1N1 flu virus.

 

Doctor Lee Norman is the Chief Medical Officer for the University of Kansas Hospital. He’s seen hundreds of flu patients in recent weeks and said many are testing positive for the stronger, more dangerous H1N1 strand that attacks the lungs.

 

“They’ve got such a bad infection in their lungs that they can’t oxygenate their blood enough to keep all of their vital organs going; that’s the most obvious and the most severe symptom,” Norman said.

 

He said those with chronic illnesses and young children are the most vulnerable.

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Girl, 11, is the latest to die from flu after parents turned down vaccine over fears of side effects

  • Savannah Hyden went into cardiac arrest as a result of complications from the flu
  • Her parents decided to not get her vaccinated out of fear of side-effects
  • Hyden had no health insurance
  • Hyden is just the latest in the growing number of flu-related deaths

By Daily Mail Reporter

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An 11-year-old Tennessee girl died earlier this week of complications from the flu just three days after contracting the potentially deadly virus.

The death of Savannah Hyden is just the latest in a growing number of flu-related deaths that has health officials worried.

Hyden died about 5 p.m. Wednesday at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital near Vanderbilt University near Nashvilled. According to her parents, the girl had not been given a flu vaccine this year.

 
Tragic: Savannah Hayden is the latest child to do die from complications related to the flu

Tragic: Savannah Hayden is the latest child to do die from complications related to the flu

She was brilliant in every aspect,’ her father, Steven Hyden, told the Tennessean. ‘We have really taken a big loss. … She could have been the president.’

Hayden’s mother, Natasha Renee Fiser, told the paper that her daughter developed a bacterial infection after contracting the flu. The infection caused the girl to go into cardiac arrest.

‘She was down for too long, there was no oxygen to her brain, and her organs just started shutting down,’ Fiser said.

Fiser says she was shocked that her daughter got sick and then three days later was put on life support.

 

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Published: Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 – 10:29 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 – 10:39 pm

 

Just days after a Christmas Eve federal health advisory, Sacramento County’s top public health official warned Friday of a sudden increase in local influenza activity, possibly led by a strong resurgence of a version of the virus behind the 2009 worldwide flu pandemic.

Olivia Kasirye, the county’s public health officer, said the viral strain known as influenza A pH1N1 is atypical because it tends to hit young people and healthy adults the hardest. In 2009, the H1N1 virus caused more illness in children and young adults, compared to older adults.

“From last week to the current one, we saw a significant increase in the percentage of positive flu tests, from 6 percent to 20 percent,” Kasirye said. “Young people and healthy middle-aged people are some of the cases we have right now. Being otherwise healthy is a risk factor for this virus.”

Kasirye said though individuals in good health may not believe they need a flu vaccine, the behavior of the pH1N1 virus – a version slightly different than the 2009 virus – presents an argument in favor of getting vaccinated. “We want people to be aware, to know that it’s out there.”

State and federal officials confirmed that the pH1N1 virus is the “predominant strain” circulating so far this season both in California and nationwide. Statewide, no influenza outbreaks have been reported to date and only local – as opposed to regional – cases have popped up, according to data collected by the state up to Dec. 14.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory Tuesday to physicians alerting them to “severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults, many infected with influenza A pH1N1 virus. Multiple hospitalizations, including many requiring intensive care unit admission, and some fatalities have been reported.”

Among 1,071 known influenza cases between Oct. 1 and Dec. 21, the CDC reported, 92.6 percent were influenza A, and 97.7 percent of those were subcategory 2009 pH1N1.

“If pH1N1 virus continues to circulate widely,” the CDC warned, “illness that disproportionately affects young and middle-aged adults may occur.”

Kasirye’s information on the local percentage increase of flu cases week-to-week is based on informal data reported from three major hospital systems. Only one of the hospitals had hard numbers instead of just percentages to share – out of 867 specimens, 164 tested positive for the influenza A virus and nine tested positive for influenza B viruses also targeted by this year’s vaccine.

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By: CBS (posted by Greg Palmer)

HOUSTON Tex (CBS) One of the biggest health concerns each winter is flu season. And the Centers for Disease Control says the flu is widespread in four southern states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

 

In some cases, it has turned deadly.
Dustin Wright, 30, of Euless, Texas, came down with the flu the week before Thanksgiving.

 

His wife Ashley Wright recalled, “He was achy, feverish, and chilled, nothing really more than that.”

 

Ashley Wright says a few days later, the husband and father was struggling to breathe, so she rushed him to the emergency room. Doctors told her he had the H1N1 strain — swine flu. On December 5, he died.

 

Ashley Wright said, “You don’t think it would happen to you, you know. We always worried about my son getting the flu shot. We’re never really worried about the two of us because you don’t really hear about any of this. You don’t think it will happen to you.”

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Flu viruses are spreading in Illinois and the leading strain detected in lab tests is H1N1, the same strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.

Health officials say statewide flu activity is “regional,” which is a step below “widespread.” That means the flu has been confirmed in less than half the regions of the state.

In Chicago, hospitals are reporting an increase in emergency room visit from people with flu-like symptoms. But levels are half what they were during the same week last season.

“It’s been very quiet, very much in the background,” Paul Schreckenberger, microbiologist, said of the strain. “Then all of the sudden this year, starting last week, we’ve had a big upsurge of the 2009 pandemic strain.”

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

Image Source

Swine flu scare as disease hits KZN

 

 

 


 

IOL news jul14 swine flu

AFP

File photo.

 

The Health Department has played down fears of a new outbreak of the Novel Influenza A (H1N1) virus – commonly known as swine flu – despite at least 100 cases of it across KwaZulu-Natal.

 

One woman is thought to have died as a result of the virus after spending several days in isolated care at a Durban hospital.

 

A well-placed source at the Netcare hospital in Durban, who asked not to be named, said that the woman had tested positive for the H1N1 virus while undergoing treatment for another ailment.

 

“She contracted the H1N1 strain and sadly she died while she was being treated for it. Her death has been attributed to her underlying pathology but not swine flu, despite testing positive for the virus,” the source said. The woman had cancer.

 

Netcare spokeswoman Mary Ann Nabbie said that there had been two suspected cases but only one patient had tested positive.

 

“The one and only patient with confirmed H1N1 unfortunately passed away,” she said. “This patient was, however, severely compromised because of another, pre-existing condition. We follow standard, national and international protocols in this regard.”

 

Swine flu is an airborne disease that is spread in the same way as seasonal flu, through coughing and sneezing, and has no connection to the consumption of pork products.

 

According to the flu surveillance report compiled by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, data generated from one clinic in Pietermaritzburg suggests that there have been more than 100 infections at that clinic alone.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

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Today Biological Hazard Peru Departmento de Callao, [The area was not defined.] Damage level
Details

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Biological Hazard in Peru on Monday, 15 July, 2013 at 03:00 (03:00 AM) UTC.

 

Description
One person has died and a total of 46 people have been infected with the AH1N1 swine flu virus in Peru this year, a Health Ministry official said. “At this time, we do not have an increase in AH1N1 cases” even though a man died at a hospital in Callao province, outside Lima, from the disease, Health Ministry director of epidemiology Martin Yagui said in a press conference on Saturday. The man, who suffered from diabetes, asthma and cirrhosis, was considered to be in a high-risk group and died on July 9, Yagui said. Peru has registered swine flu cases every year since 2009, when the disease first appeared in the South American country, Yagui said. “There were 141 cases last year, 135 in 2011 and 46 so far this year. The majority (of the cases) were reported in Lima,” Yagui said. People in high-risk groups, including adults over the age of 60 and children younger than 5, should be vaccinated “against AH1N1 influenza … because it could mean the difference between life and death,” the health official said.
Biohazard name: AH1N1
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

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Peru reports first death from swine flu

Placard

Lima, Jul 14 (EFE).- One person has died and a total of 46 people have been infected with the AH1N1 swine flu virus in Peru this year, a Health Ministry official said.

“At this time, we do not have an increase in AH1N1 cases” even though a man died at a hospital in Callao province, outside Lima, from the disease, Health Ministry director of epidemiology Martin Yagui said in a press conference on Saturday.

The man, who suffered from diabetes, asthma and cirrhosis, was considered to be in a high-risk group and died on July 9, Yagui said.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Epidemic Hazards

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05.07.2013 Epidemic Hazard Chile Departmento de Tarapaca, [Tarapaca-wide] Damage level Details

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Epidemic Hazard in Chile on Friday, 05 July, 2013 at 07:44 (07:44 AM) UTC.

Description
At least 11 people have been killed in an outbreak of H1N1 flu virus in northern Chile, where the rate of infection is more than six times higher than the rest of the country, authorities said Thursday. “The average across the country is 24 patients per 100,000 residents, but in Tarapaca, in the past week, the rate was 148 patients per 100,000 residents,” Medical Association president Enrique Paris said. Citing fears of aggravating the outbreak, Paris recommended postponing or cancelling the upcoming Fiesta de la Tirana, a religious celebration planned for July 15-17 where 200,000 people are expected. Meanwhile, Health Minister Jaime Manalich announced he will travel Friday to the region 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles) north of Santiago near the border with Bolivia
Biohazard name: A/H1N1
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

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H1N1 flu outbreak in northern Chile kills 11

This file photo shows people wearing surgical masks, outside a hospital in Iquique, on July 4, 2013. At least 11 people have been killed in an outbreak of H1N1 flu virus in northern Chile, where the rate of infection is more than six times higher than the rest of the country, according to authorities.

This file photo shows people wearing surgical masks, outside a hospital in Iquique, on July 4, 2013. At least 11 people have been killed in an outbreak of H1N1 flu virus in northern Chile, where the rate of infection is more than six times higher than the rest of the country, according to authorities.

AFP – At least 11 people have been killed in an outbreak of H1N1 flu virus in northern Chile, where the rate of infection is more than six times higher than the rest of the country, according to authorities.

“The average across the country is 24 patients per 100,000 residents, but in Tarapaca, in the past week, the rate was 148 patients per 100,000 residents,” Medical Association president Enrique Paris said on Thursday.

Citing fears of aggravating the outbreak, Paris recommended postponing or cancelling the upcoming Fiesta de la Tirana, a religious celebration planned for July 15-17 where 200,000 people are expected.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Jaime Manalich announced he will travel Friday to the region 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles) north of Santiago near the border with Bolivia.

The minister also said some 115,000 vaccines will be sent to immunize the population, which numbers around 300,000.

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‘Appalling irresponsibility’: Senior scientists attack Chinese researchers for creating new strains of influenza virus in veterinary laboratory

 

 

Experts warn of danger that the new viral strains created by mixing bird-flu virus with human influenza could escape from the laboratory to cause a global pandemic killing millions of people.

 

 

 

 

Senior scientists have criticised the “appalling irresponsibility” of researchers in China who have deliberately created new strains of influenza virus in a veterinary laboratory.

 

 

They warned there is a danger that the new viral strains created by mixing bird-flu virus with human influenza could escape from the laboratory to cause a global pandemic killing millions of people.

Lord May of Oxford, a former government chief scientist and past president of the Royal Society, denounced the study published today in the journal Science as doing nothing to further the understanding and prevention of flu pandemics.

“They claim they are doing this to help develop vaccines and such like. In fact the real reason is that they are driven by blind ambition with no common sense whatsoever,” Lord May told The Independent.

“The record of containment in labs like this is not reassuring. They are taking it upon themselves to create human-to-human transmission of very dangerous viruses. It’s appallingly irresponsible,” he said.

The controversial study into viral mixing was carried out by a team led by Professor Hualan Chen, director of China’s National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute.

Professor Chen and her colleagues deliberately mixed the H5N1 bird-flu virus, which is highly lethal but not easily transmitted between people, with a 2009 strain of H1N1 flu virus, which is very infectious to humans.

When flu viruses come together by infecting the same cell they can swap genetic material and produce “hybrids” through the re-assortment of genes. The researchers were trying to emulate what happens in nature when animals such as pigs are co-infected with two different strains of virus, Professor Chen said.

 

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Epidemic fears see bird flu doctors halt research

 

Saturday 21 January 2012

inShare4

 

Influenza experts have agreed to a two-month voluntary ban on research into a highly dangerous strain of bird-flu virus because of fears that it may escape from their laboratories to cause a global human epidemic.

In a joint letter to the journals Science and Nature, 39 researchers from around the world emphasise that their laboratories are safe and secure but they nevertheless acknowledge that there is grave public concern about the accidental or deliberate release of an “airborne” strain of H5N1 avian influenza which could be transmitted easily between people.

“We realise that organisations and governments around the world need time to find the best solutions for opportunities and challenges that stem from the work. To provide time for these discussions, we have agreed on a voluntary pause of 60 days on any research involving highly pathogenic influenza H5N1 viruses leading to the generation of viruses that are more transmissible in mammals,” the letter states.

Last month, the US Government announced that it had asked Science and Nature to withhold key details of two studies carried out in the US and the Netherlands where scientists mutated the H5N1 bird-flu strain into a form that could be transmitted easily between laboratory ferrets – the standard animal model for human influenza.

 

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Alarm as Dutch lab creates highly contagious killer flu

 

 

Fear of terrorism as university prepares to publish key details

 

 

 

Related articles

 

A deadly strain of bird flu with the potential to infect and kill millions of people has been created in a laboratory by European scientists – who now want to publish full details of how they did it.

 

The discovery has prompted fears within the US Government that the knowledge will fall into the hands of terrorists wanting to use it as a bio-weapon of mass destruction.

Some scientists are questioning whether the research should ever have been undertaken in a university laboratory, instead of at a military facility.

The US Government is now taking advice on whether the information is too dangerous to be published.

To see the graphic: The last outbreak – A deadly virus even before the latest twist

“The fear is that if you create something this deadly and it goes into a global pandemic, the mortality and cost to the world could be massive,” a senior scientific adviser to the US Government told The Independent, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The worst-case scenario here is worse than anything you can imagine.”

For the first time the researchers have been able to mutate the H5N1 strain of avian influenza so that it can be transmitted easily through the air in coughs and sneezes. Until now, it was thought that H5N1 bird flu could only be transmitted between humans via very close physical contact.

Dutch scientists carried out the controversial research to discover how easy it was to genetically mutate H5N1 into a highly infectious “airborne” strain of human flu. They believe that the knowledge gained will be vital for the development of new vaccines and drugs.

But critics say the scientists have endangered the world by creating a highly dangerous form of flu which could escape from the laboratory – as well as opening a Pandora’s box for fanatical terrorists wishing to make a bio-weapon.

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza has killed hundreds of millions of birds since it first appeared in 1996, but has so far infected only about 600 people who came into direct contact with infected poultry.

What makes H5N1 so dangerous, though, is that it has killed about 60 per cent of those it has infected, making it one of the most lethal known forms of influenza in modern history – a deadliness moderated only by its inability (so far) to spread easily through airborne water droplets.

 

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Leading scientists condemn decision to continue controversial research into deadly H5N1 bird-flu virus

 

 

Research has already led to the creation of a mutated form of avian flu that can spread easily between mammals – including humans

 

 

 

Leading scientists have condemned a decision by flu researchers to continue their controversial research into the deadly H5N1 bird-flu virus, which has already led to the creation of a mutated form of avian flu that can spread easily between mammals – including humans.

 

Forty of the world’s most prominent flu researchers have decided to lift their voluntary moratorium on studies into the airborne transmission of the H5N1 strain of bird-flu, which they imposed upon themselves last January following public outrage over the work.

They said that the benefits of the research in preventing and dealing with a future flu pandemic outweigh the risks of an accidental leak of the mutant virus from a laboratory or the deliberate attempt to create deadly strains of flu by terrorists or rogue governments.

However, other leading scientists vehemently denounced the decision on the grounds that it would be more dangerous to proceed with the research than to continue with the moratorium, claiming that there has been little discussion of the decision outside the flu-research community.

Professor Lord May, a former government chief scientist and past president of the Royal Society, said the moratorium should be continued because there are two possible downsides to research that deliberately aims at making the H5N1 bird-flu virus more infectious to humans.

“As this research becomes more widely known and disseminated, there is the opportunity for evil people to pervert it. My other concern is the statistics of containment are not what they ought to be,” Lord May told The Independent.

“The dangers of going ahead with the research outweigh the benefits of what may emerge. As I look at it, on the balance of probabilities, going ahead and lifting the moratorium is more dangerous than not going ahead,” he said.

 

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China: H7N9 Outbreak to Potentially Become Deadliest in History with Over 20% Mortality Rate

KUNMING, CHINA - APRIL 10: (CHINA OUT) A technician conducts tests for the H7N9 bird flu virus at the Kunming Center for Disease Control (CDC) on April 10, 2013 in Kunming, China. As of yesterday, China has confirmed five new cases of H7N9 in Shaoxing, Jiangsu and Shanghai. So far, China has reported 33 H7N9 bird flu cases, including nine deaths. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

KUNMING, CHINA – APRIL 10: (CHINA OUT) A technician conducts tests for the H7N9 bird flu virus at the Kunming Center for Disease Control (CDC) on April 10, 2013 in Kunming, China. As of yesterday, China has confirmed five new cases of H7N9 in Shaoxing, Jiangsu and Shanghai. So far, China has reported 33 H7N9 bird flu cases, including nine deaths. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

OpEd

by Shepard Ambellas
Intellihub.com

April 26, 2013

BEIJING — As of Thursday 109 people have been confirmed to be dead from the H7N9 virus which emerged rather quickly this April after the typical flu season.

Human-to-human transmission has not yet been documented. However, reports from the World Health Organization state that 40% of the victims did not have contact with any type of poultry raising concern amongst the medical community.

Even more alarming is the fact that the virus has over a 20% mortality rate right out of the gate. If this proves to continue, we could possibly be looking at one of the most deadly viral outbreaks of all time. This is backed up by others such as journalist, Patrick Di Justo, who wrote, “As of today, dividing the number of confirmed cases by the number of deaths makes it look as though H7N9 is an especially bad flu, with a twenty-per-cent mortality rate. If true, this would be terrifying: the 1918 Spanish Flu, which has been called one of the deadliest plagues in human history, also had a mortality rate of around two percent.”

Some are equating the recent H7N9 outbreak to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu, which proved to be a money maker for vaccine manufactures worldwide while also paving the way for fast-tract vaccination manufacturing with no accountability. This was all achieved through WHO regulation, policy and international treaties which essentially supersede US law in most cases allowing vaccine manufactures to rake in immense profits while adding any ingredients to their cocktails they wish. Once again putting taxpayer dollars into the pockets of select private corporations.

Now in 2013 with the newly emerging H7N9, we see the same pattern as it has been reported that, “For now, the C.D.C. is working with pharmaceutical manufacturers to reverse-engineer H7N9 in order to help develop a potential open-source (i.e. freely shared ) vaccine, if a special vaccine becomes necessary.”

Once again we see the rhetoric, pre-positioning of assets, information, propaganda and advise, all working in conjunction to give the world the perfect Problem, Reaction and Solution.

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Leading scientists urge President Obama’s advisers to investigate ethical issues raised by creating highly infectious strain of bird-flu

Virus could easily be transmitted between people

Health officials carry sacks of culled chickens after bird flu was found at a farm in Agartala, India
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A group of leading scientists has urged President Obama’s advisers to investigate the ethical issues raised by a decision to create a highly infectious strain of bird-flu virus that could be transmitted easily between people.

The scientists, who include a former UK Government chief scientist and a Nobel laureate, said that it is “morally and ethically wrong” to create a new type of influenza virus in the laboratory that is more lethal and transmissible than what actually exists in nature.

Two teams of flu researchers – led by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison – announced in 2011 that they had succeeded in mutating the H5N1 avian virus so that it could in theory be transmitted through the air between people.

They stopped the research last year as part of a wider voluntary moratorium following public outrage over the work. But they announced an end to the moratorium earlier this year, and even an expansion into new areas involving other viruses and diseases.

In a strongly-worded letter sent to the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, opponents of the research warned that there has not been enough debate over the threats posed by lifting the moratorium on increasing the transmissibility of highly lethal viruses such as the H5N1 strain of bird-flu.

They said that the 60 per cent mortality rate of the H5N1 virus – on the relatively rare occasions that it has infected humans – puts it in a “class of its own” and that attempting to make it more transmissible through laboratory experiments is tantamount to risking a devastatingly deadly flu pandemic.

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Japan prepares countermeasures against new H7N9 bird flu virus

Posted on April 24, 2013 by Ida Torres in Features, National with No Comments

Japan prepares countermeasures against new H7N9 bird flu virus

The Japanese government will be introducing countermeasures in case an outbreak of the new strain of the bird flu virus, H7N9, reaches Japanese shores. The health ministry panel has listed down several measures, including granting the prefectural governor the authority to endorse for hospitalization the suspected patients and to impose work restrictions in case of an outbreak.

The virus, which has killed 21 and infected around 104 people in China, has not materialized yet on Japanese shores, but the threat and possibility is always there, especially now that they suspect it has the potential to spread to and through mammals, including people. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will be introducing the new measures by early May and they will also be revising some government ordinances under the Infectious Disease Law and the Quarantine Law. Under the new measures, patients who work in the hospitality or food industries are required to not go in or else risk getting punished if they refuse to comply.

 

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April 21, 2013

An Australian analysis of H7N9

Epidemiological Curve and Mortality Rate

What would most concern the relevant authorities is the very high mortality rate in the first weeks and months of the outbreak.

Currently there are 102 laboratory confirmed cases including 20 confirmed fatalities, a mortality rate of 19.6%. For context the mortality rate of SARS was 9.6%.

9 persons (8.8%) are known to have recovered and have been discharged from hospital or treatment.

The most recent fatality via Xinhua was on the 21st April.

Here is an infographic looking at those hospitalised, confirmed fatalities and patients that have had confirmed recoveries. At the suggestion of @vanebobadilla I’ve also included breakdowns by sex using the most current available data (see embedded notes for details).

H7n9_infographic

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