Olduvaiblog: Musings on the coming collapse

Home » Posts tagged 'Influenza A virus subtype H5N1'

Tag Archives: Influenza A virus subtype H5N1

H5N1 Fears Intensify as latest patient found “Brain Dead” by the time she was diagnosed

H5N1 bird flu death confirmed in Alberta, 1st in North America – Politics – CBC News

H5N1 bird flu death confirmed in Alberta, 1st in North America – Politics – CBC News.

H5N1 flu death confirmed in Alberta

H5N1 flu death confirmed in Alberta 32:50

Addressing H5N1 concerns

Addressing H5N1 concerns9:34

Alberta health officials have confirmed an isolated, fatal case of H5N1 or avian influenza, federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Wednesday.

But officials repeatedly emphasized that there is no risk of transmission between humans.

The infected person, an Alberta resident who recently travelled to Beijing, China, died Jan. 3.

The case was confirmed in a lab test last night. It’s the first such case in North America.

The person first showed symptoms of the flu on a Dec. 27 flight from Beijing to Vancouver aboard Air Canada flight 030. The passenger continued on to Edmonton on Air Canada flight 244, after spending a few hours in the Vancouver airport, and was admitted to hospital Jan. 1. The symptoms of fever, malaise and headache worsened and the patient died two days later. The Public Health Agency of Canada was notified Jan. 5.

There were no respiratory symptoms, said Dr. James Talbot, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

james-talbotDr. James Talbot, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, noted the patient did not leave Beijing, or visit any farms or markets. (CBC)

The diagnosis at the time of death was an inflammation of the brain and the linings that cover the brain. “That is one of the ways that H5N1 patients die,” Talbot said.

It is not known how the patient contracted the disease. The patient did not leave Beijing, did not travel to farms and did not visit any markets.

“Virtually every case has a pretty strong link to a close contact with birds,” Talbot said, though he noted there are other settings in which a person might catch H5N1, such as a restaurant that kept live birds for slaughter.

Rare in humans

Dr. Gregory Taylor, deputy chief public health officer, said the avian form of influenza has been found in birds, mainly poultry, in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

si-birdfluvirus-cp-220-0164Colourized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses (seen in gold) grown in MDCK cells (seen in green). (Ho/Cynthia Goldsmith, Jackie Katz, Sharif Zaki/CDC/Canadian Press)

There have been fewer than than 650 human cases of bird flu in 15 countries over the last decade, primarily among people who have spent time around infected birds, he said.

“The illness [H5N1] causes in humans is severe and kills about 60 per cent of those who are infected,” Taylor said.

“No other illnesses of this type have been identified in Canada since the traveller returned from China. This is an isolated case.”

The officials added that the patient was otherwise healthy and it’s not yet clear how the person contracted H5N1.

Speaking to Evan Solomon, host of CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, Taylor said the patient was relatively young.

“This was a relatively young — well, a young person compared to me, with no underlying health conditions,” he said. Taylor is 58.

Risk of getting H5N1 low

Officials emphasized that this is not a disease transmitted between humans.

There were two people travelling with the infected person, whom officials are following for 10 days to ensure they don’t have any symptoms. They are also going to notify the other passengers from the flights between Beijing and Edmonton, and are following a group of the patient’s “close contacts.”

Talbot said family members of the victim are being monitored and treated with medication, but noted that there’s no sign they are sick.

Officials created confusion by referring to the patient as “him” and “her” in order to avoid identifying anyone. Officials said that they would not identify the sex, age or occupation of the patient. They also refused to say whether the infected passenger was an Edmonton resident or whether the patient went to hospital in Edmonton, although the final leg of the flight ended there.

Talbot said reports that the patient was from Edmonton are erroneous.

Ambrose, who phoned into a news conference in Ottawa, said Canadian officials are working with Chinese authorities on the case, as well as the World Health Organization.

“The risk of getting H5N1 is very low. This is not the regular seasonal flu. This is an isolated case,” she said.

An Air Canada spokeswoman said in a statement the airline is co-operating with officials, but referred any questions on the matter to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Source: World Health Organization

Figures for all countries except Canada are current as of Dec. 10, 2013. Canada’s one case was reported on Jan. 8, 2014.

Chinese woman dies from bird flu strain new to humans – World – CBC News

Chinese woman dies from bird flu strain new to humans – World – CBC News.

The H5N1 bird flu virus has killed 384 people worldwide since 2003.The H5N1 bird flu virus has killed 384 people worldwide since 2003.

Chinese authorities said Wednesday that a 73-year-old Chinese woman died after being infected with a bird flu strain that had sickened a human for the first time, a development that the World Health Organization called “worrisome.”

China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the woman in the city of Nanchang had been infected by the H10N8 bird flu virus, a strain that had not previously been found in people, the Jiangxi province health department said on its website.

This is the second new bird flu strain to emerge in humans this year in China. In late March, the H7N9 bird flu virus broke out, infecting 140 people and killing 45, almost all of them on the mainland. The outbreak was controlled after the country closed many of its live animal markets — scientists had assumed the virus was infecting people through exposure to live birds.

Timothy O’Leary, spokesman for the World Health Organization’s regional office in Manila, said WHO officials were working closely with Chinese authorities to better understand the new virus. He said though its source remains unknown, birds are known to carry it and it would not be surprising if another human case was detected.

“It’s worrisome any time a disease jumps the species barrier from animals to humans. That said, the case is under investigation (by Chinese authorities) and there’s no evidence of human-to-human transmission yet,” O’Leary said by phone.

In the new case, the Jiangxi health department said the woman had severe pneumonia before dying Dec. 6 in a hospital in Nanchang.

She had suffered high blood pressure, heart disease and other underlying health problems that lowered her immunity, the health department said. Her medical history showed that she had been in contact with live poultry.

The health department said “no abnormalities” have been found in people who had close contact with her. It did not say if they had been tested or quarantined, though China has in previous outbreaks taken those measures.

Experts are cautious when it comes to bird flu viruses infecting humans. They have been closely watching the H5N1 bird flu virus, which has killed 384 people worldwide since 2003. The virus remains hard to catch with most human infections linked to contact with infected poultry, but scientists fear it could mutate and spread rapidly among people, potentially sparking a pandemic.

 

Bird flu virus’s pandemic potential assessed in lab animals – Health – CBC News

Bird flu virus’s pandemic potential assessed in lab animals – Health – CBC News.

Researchers: Gene Mutation Helps Bird Flu Transmit Person to Person – Susanne Posel | Susanne Posel

Researchers: Gene Mutation Helps Bird Flu Transmit Person to Person – Susanne Posel | Susanne Posel.

 

China’s Bird Flu Goes Airborne | Zero Hedge

China’s Bird Flu Goes Airborne | Zero Hedge.

New bird flu spreads more easily to humans than H5N1 – World – CBC News

New bird flu spreads more easily to humans than H5N1 – World – CBC News.

 

%d bloggers like this: