FLU NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Vietnam, H1N1 in Aussie pigs, H7N7 dust in the wind

Feb 15, 2012

H5N1 strikes more Vietnamese poultry
Vietnam reported four more H5N1 avian flu outbreaks in poultry, according to the latest reports from the country's agriculture ministry, bringing the country's 2012 outbreaks to 17. The disease struck backyard poultry near Hai Phong, the country's third largest city, and two villages in Ha Tinh province, according to reports yesterday and today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The four outbreaks killed 1,425 birds, and 2,675 more were culled to control the spread of the virus. They began Feb 8, 10, 11, and 14. Hai Phong is a northeastern port city, and Ha Tinh province is on the north central coast.
Feb 14 OIE report
Feb 15 OIE report

H1N1 found in Australian pigs for first time
Australia has detected pandemic 2009 H1N1 (pH1N1) flu in swine for the first time, according to a report today in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses. Researchers tested nasal swabs and virus cultures from pig farms throughout Australia and found pH1N1 outbreaks on three farms in three different states. Analysis of the Queensland outbreak identified two distinct virus stains in pigs and showed that two workers on the farm were also infected with the same two strains. The authors conclude, "This is the first report of swine infected with influenza in Australia and marked the end of the influenza-free era for the Australian swine industry. Although no reassortment was detected in these cases, the ability of these viruses to cross between pigs and humans highlights the importance of monitoring swine for novel influenza infections."
Feb 15 Influenza Other Respi Viruses abstract

Study: Wind may have aided spread H7N7 in 2003 outbreak
Windborne avian flu viruses may have contribute substantially to short-distance spread of highly pathogenic H7N7 avian flu during a 2003 Dutch outbreak, according to a study yesterday in PLoS One. Researchers used a Gaussian plume model to calculate the quantity of contaminated dust particles deposited at various locations downwind from a source farm and applied it to events from the 2003 outbreak. In that outbreak 255 flocks were affected and almost 30 million poultry were culled, and 89 people contracted avian flu, 1 of whom died. Their model incorporated dust deposition, pathogen decay, and predictions for the infection process on exposed farms. They conclude that "the wind-borne route alone is insufficient to explain the observations although it could contribute substantially to the spread over short distance ranges, for example, explaining 24% of the transmission over distances up to 25 km."
Feb 14 PLoS One study

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