NEWS SCAN: Human and avian H5N1, fever screening and pan flu, flu vaccine, E coli source

Feb 16, 2009

Vietnam reports new H5N1 case
A Vietnamese man has tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza, according to an Associated Press (AP) story today. The 35-year-old man from Ninh Binh province in the north developed a fever Feb. 5 after slaughtering and eating several ducks that his family had raised, said a provincial health official. If confirmed by the World Health Organization, his case would be the country's 109th overall and second this year.

More avian flu outbreaks in Egypt
Egyptian veterinary officials report that H5N1 avian influenza has struck more poultry in the country, according to reports posted Feb 12 on the Web site of Egypt-based Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). The outbreaks have affected Fayoum, Giza, Oseim, Beheira, Gharbiya, Asyut, and Menoufiya governorates.

Airport temperature scanners of little use in pandemic, study finds
Using temperature-scanning equipment at airports is of little use when disease incidence is low, as it likely will be during the start of an influenza pandemic, a recent study found. French researchers, reporting in the Feb 12 issue of Eurosurveillance, used data from temperature-screening efforts such as the 2003 SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak to predict that non-contact infrared thermometers would be of little help in delaying introduction of a novel flu strain into a country.
[Study in Feb 12 Eurosurveillance]
[Feb 15 Canadian Press article]

FDA committee to discuss flu vaccine strains this week
The idea of adding a second strain of influenza B to seasonal flu vaccines will be one of the topics at a meeting of the US Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Feb 18 and 19. The committee also will discuss which flu strains should be used in next winter's seasonal flu vaccine, among other topics.
[Jan 16 CIDRAP News story on influenza B strains in seasonal vaccine]

Poultry farms may have caused 2008 Oklahoma E coli outbreak
Contamination from nearby poultry farms may have caused last year's E coli outbreak in northeastern Oklahoma that killed one and sickened more than 300, according to the state's attorney general's office. Samples of well water used by the Country Cottage Restaurant in Locust Grove were found to contain poultry DNA, according to a Feb 13 report from KOCO TV in Oklahoma City. Investigators said poultry litter spread on nearby fields may have washed into the water supply.
[Sep 17, 2008, CIDRAP News story on end of E coli outbreak]

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