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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:00 am 
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CHP has released a full sequences from a December 25, 2014 collection from a H7N9 case (68F). The sequence has an H7 that has abolished the glycosylation site via T160A and has RBD change Q226L. PB2 has E627K, but the PB2 is from an H9N2 source. PB1 and NP also from H9N2 source, a H9N2 case. PA is from an H10N8 source which matches H10N8 cases.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:23 am 
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Woman ill with H7N9
December 27, 2014
A 68-year-old woman is in critical condition with H7N9 bird flu in Tuen Mun Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

According to the patient’s family members, she had travelled to Longgang district in Shenzhen on December 13 with two friends and had eaten chicken at a friend’s home, but she had not been to any market selling live poultry.

She fell ill on December 19 and was admitted to the hospital on December 25.

Secretary for Food & Health Dr Ko Wing-man said the case has been classified as an imported one, and the Centre for Health Protection will investigate the source of infection and trace the patient’s contacts, including the friends with whom she travelled to Longgang district.

He said the response level under the Preparedness Plan for Influenza Pandemic has been raised from alert to serious, and the Mainland authorities have been informed of the case.

http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/he ... er#content

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:49 pm 
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Commentary

http://www.recombinomics.com/News/12301 ... Adapt.html

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:02 am 
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Published Date: 2015-01-05 19:40:44
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, human (04): Egypt (MF, GZ) fatal, China (HK)
Archive Number: 20150105.3072586

AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN (04): EGYPT (MENOUFIYA, GIZA) FATAL, CHINA (HONG KONG)
*****************************************************************************
A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
http://www.isid.org

In this update:
[1] Egypt (Menoufiya): fatality
[2] Egypt (Giza): fatality, H5N1
[3] China (Hong Kong): infection control, LPAI H7N9

******
[1] Egypt (Menoufiya): fatality
Date: Sat 3 Jan 2015
Source: Ahram Online [edited]
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent ... ufiya.aspx


Man dies from bird flu in Egypt's Menoufiya
-------------------------------------------
30 total deaths from the disease in Egypt since January 2014

A 45-year-old man died of avian flu in Menoufiya in the Nile Delta on Sat [3 Jan 2015], bringing the national death toll from the disease since January last year [2014] to 30.

The death was announced by a health ministry official in Menoufiya, Hanaa Sorour, reported Al-Ahram Arabic website. She said that the man was suffering from pneumonia and was referred to intensive care and placed on a ventilator until he succumbed to the disease.

This is the 2nd fatality caused by bird flu in the governorate over the past year [2014], Sorour said.

The health ministry reiterated its calls for those who handle poultry to seek immediate treatment once flu symptoms start to appear, while advising them to cover their noses and mouths when they deal with any kind of domesticated birds.

In Egypt, most cases of bird flu have been in rural areas, where villagers tend to raise poultry in their homes, increasing exposure to live or dead infected birds.

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

******
[2] Egypt (Giza): fatality, H5N1
Date: Mon 5 Jan 2015
Source: Reuters [edited]
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/ ... YT20150105


Egyptian child dies of H5N1 bird flu, 2nd death this year
---------------------------------------------------------
A 3-year-old Egyptian child died from bird flu on Monday [5 Jan 2015], the 2nd death from the virus in the country this year and the 12th in recent months, the health ministry said.

The child was from the Giza governorate, outside Cairo, the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency MENA [Middle East and North Africa].

Egypt's H5N1 cases have largely been in poor rural areas in the south, where villagers tend to keep and slaughter poultry in the home.

Three other cases are currently being treated, the ministry said.

A total of 668 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 infection were reported by 16 countries from 2003 to 2 Oct 2014, according to the World Health Organization [WHO]. Of these cases, 393 have died.

The WHO has warned that whenever bird flu viruses are circulating in poultry, there is a risk of sporadic infections or small clusters of human cases, especially in people exposed to infected birds or contaminated environments.

[Byline: Omar Fahmy]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

******
[3] China (Hong Kong): infection control, LPAI H7N9
Date: Mon 5 Jan 2015
Source: Medical Xpress [edited]
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-01-i ... -hong.html


A proactive infection prevention plan implemented widely in a Hong Kong healthcare system was a significant factor preventing the spread of influenza strain A H7N9, otherwise known as avian flu. The study was published in the January [2015] issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

"The emergence of A H7N9 influenza in March 2013 posed a public health threat both locally and internationally because of the risk for airborne transmission," said K.Y. Yuen, MD, FRCPath, a lead author of the study. "Despite the delay in airborne precaution implementation, we suspect that high hand hygiene compliance, as a result of continuous implementation of proactive control measures against various viruses and multidrug-resistant organisms, protected frontline healthcare workers against many challenges of emerging infectious diseases."

Risk for person-to-person transmission in A H7N9 is lower compared to other viruses, including certain influenza strains, but some cases were identified as being spread between relatives. The strain is associated with high mortality and morbidity.

Researchers examined the effectiveness of preparedness measures in controlling the spread of the virus at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong for 13 months (April 2013-May 2014). Infection control staff implemented an integrated approach, utilizing active and enhanced surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and extensive tracing for healthcare workers with unprotected exposure. Additionally, open forum sessions were conducted to brief frontline staff on proper protocols.

During the study period, 126 of 163 456 admitted patients were tested for the strain, and 2 cases tested positive for A H7N9 influenza. 70 healthcare workers had unprotected exposure during patient care activities by not wearing an N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedures. However, most of the healthcare workers exposed complied with standard precautions, including wearing a surgical mask and performing hand hygiene. No staff tested positive for the strain.

"As we look at lessons learned from this outbreak, the high false-positive screening rate and other delays in diagnosis may have resulted in unprotected exposure of frontline staff. However, enhanced surveillance methods appeared to be an important safety net for the detection of A H7N9," said Yuen.

More information: Vincent C. C. Cheng, Josepha W. M. Tai, W. M. Lee, W. M. Chan, Sally C. Y. Wong, Jonathan H. K. Chen, Rosana W. S. Poon, Kelvin K. W. To, Jasper F. W. Chan, P. L. Ho, K. H. Chan, K. Y. Yuen. "Infection Control Preparedness for Human Infection With Influenza A H7N9 in Hong Kong." Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology [0:1] (January 2015). [Can be accessed at http://www.shea-online.org/View/Article ... pital.aspx. - Mod.LK]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Egypt is available at http://healthmap.org/promed/p/55.

A map of Hong Kong can be accessed at https://www.google.com.hk/maps/@22.38131,114.168639,11z. - Mod.LK]

See Also

Avian influenza, human (03): Egypt (AN, Cairo, MF) fatal, H5N1 20150103.3069160
Avian influenza, human (02): China (HK,GD) LPAI H7N9, poultry, control, OIE 20150102.3067796
Avian influenza, human (01): Libya, fatal, H5N1 susp, RFI 20150101.3061029
2014
----
Avian influenza, human (133): Libya, fatal, H5N1 susp 20141228.3058834
Avian influenza, human (132): Egypt (AN) H5N1, fatal 20141225.3055022
Avian influenza, human (129): Egypt (SJ) fatal case 20141224.3051603
Avian influenza, human (127): Egypt (AT) H5N1, fatal 20141219.3042397
Avian influenza, human (126): Egypt (SJ) H5N1, 8th death 20141212.3030546
Avian influenza, human (123): Egypt (SJ) H5N1, child 20141207.3017616
Avian influenza, human (122): Egypt (MN,BN) H5N1, fatalities 20141202.3006388
Avian influenza, human (117): Egypt (MN) H5N1, 8th case in 2014 20141119.2969552
Avian influenza, human (116): Egypt (AT) H5N1, new fatality 20141118.2965663
Avian influenza, human (115): Egypt (AT,MN) H5N1, new cases 20141116.2960328
Avian influenza, human (112): Egypt, H5N1 seroprevalence 20141101.2921788
Avian influenza, human (107): Egypt (JZ) H5N1, infant 20141001.2822498
Avian influenza, human (103): Egypt, H5N1 20140628.2571119
Avian influenza, human (91): Egypt, H5N1 20140406.2385849
Avian influenza, human (88): Egypt, H5N1, RFI 20140324.2353435
Avian influenza, human (25): Egypt (DK) H5N1, RFI 20140120.2184238
.................................................sb/lk/je/jw

http://www.promedmail.org/direct.php?id=3072586

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:38 pm 
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Genes make H7N9 nimble killer, study finds
Researchers are worried the bird flu strain could one day become a 'doomsday virus' capable of human-to-human infection
PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 January, 2015, 2:43am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 January, 2015, 2:43am
Stephen Chen and Zhuang Pinghui


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Researchers are worried the bird flu strain could one day become a 'doomsday virus' capable of human-to-human infection. Photo: AP
Researchers are worried the bird flu strain could one day become a 'doomsday virus' capable of human-to-human infection. Photo: AP
A deadly bird-flu strain first reported among humans two years ago is a swift transformer loaded with more genetic ammunition than previously thought, a mainland study reveals.

Researchers found that much of the virus' deadly power came from within, and at least half of its six genes are capable of causing illness in humans.

They also found that H7N9 changed rapidly after finding a new host. In some cases mutations that helped it survive better in mammals appeared in just four days, enabling the virus to spread quickly and inflict more damage inside the new host.



The study, by a team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, was published in the Journal of Virology late last year.

Lead author Bi Yuhai said H7N9 was probably the most elusive avian flu virus that scientists had encountered.

Since its emergence early in 2013, several key questions remain unanswered, including why it causes so few symptoms in birds - making early detection extremely difficult - and why it is so lethally active in humans. So far, at least 175 of about 460 people known to have been infected with the virus have died.

"In just under two years H7N9 infected as many people as H5N1 did in more than a decade," Bi said. "H5N1 was deadly to birds. H7N9 has almost no effect on birds. That is quite puzzling.

"Scientists have deep concerns about H7N9. Some fear it could be one of the most likely candidates to evolve into a 'doomsday virus' capable of human-to-human infection."

The researchers' experiments on mice suggested that H7N9's deadliness to humans came not only from HA and NA - the two proteins on the surface of the virus that help it bind to and detach from host cells - but also three internal genes called PB2, NP and M.

The team, led by professors George Fu Gao and Frank Liu Wenjun, found that PB2 was likely the deadliest of the three. Repeated experiments showed that PB2 played a key role in causing a deadly immune reaction known as a cytokine storm in the mice.

Bi said the genes might lead to better treatments or a vaccine. "PB2 provides a clear, new target. Most vaccines and drugs today only target the two surface proteins, but our study confirmed that targeting PB2 inside could also be effective," he said. But just getting this far has not been easy. "We launched animal experiments soon after we received the viral strains in April last year. The situation was grim and we fought like soldiers in a battle," Bi said

Cai Haodong, a specialist in infectious diseases with Beijing's Ditan Hospital, said the findings could play a role in prevention.

"I don't think they're significant for treatment but are meaningful for prevention," he said.

Li Lanjuan, who heads up an H7N9 team at the No1 Hospital Affiliated at Zhejiang University, said before the study was published that early treatment was vital. "We believe if a patient is treated with antiviral drugs at an early stage, the case rarely becomes severe. If they used a week later, the patient's condition is very likely to worsen," Li said .

In 2013, about a fifth of H7N9 patients treated by Li's team in Zhejiang died, well below the 39 per cent national average.



This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Gene study finds H7N9 is a nimble killer

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/ ... tudy-finds

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