Flu Scan for Jun 21, 2013

H5N1 in Indonesia
H7N9 reassortment
US vaccine donation program

Indonesian child dies from H5N1 infection

Indonesia's health ministry today announced that a 2-year-old boy died from an H5N1 avian influenza infection, according to a translated statement posted on FluTrackers, an infectious disease message board.

The boy got sick on Jun 10 and was treated by a pediatrician for a fever. His condition worsened, and he was hospitalized on Jun 18 and placed on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. He tested positive for H5N1 and died the following day.

An investigation into the source of his infection revealed that his mother had bought chicken pieces from a possibly contaminated market 2 days before he got sick.

The new case raises Indonesia's tally of H5N1 infections to 193 and its death toll to 161.
Jun 21 FluTrackers thread


H7N9 gene analysis suggests multiple reassortments

The newest genetic analysis of the novel H7N9 virus that sparked an outbreak in China suggests that it arose from multiple reassortments with different H9N2 lineages, a sign that the virus can change quickly.

A team from Shanghai's Tongji University and The Pennsylvania State University reported its findings yesterday in a letter to Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The authors said five of the six internal genes appear to come from multiple sources. Four of these genes cluster with a 2012 H9N2 virus from a brambling, and each falls into other clusters as well, suggesting rapid reassortment, with the result that current H7N9 isolates can be grouped into nine lineages or genotypes.

The H7N9 M gene falls into two different clusters, suggesting that it may have come from two different H9N2 strains.

The team also calculated nucleotide substitution rates for each of the H7N9 genes, finding higher rates for four of them.

The group concluded that the findings point to multiple reassortments with different H9N2 lineages, showing that the virus can change quickly and bears watching, in case it gains the ability to more easily infect humans.
Jun 20 Clin Infect Dis letter


CDC: US-supported flu vaccination programs growing in Laos, Nicaragua

Seasonal influenza vaccination programs are taking root and expanding in Laos and Nicaragua with the help of a growing list of donors and support from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC said in a statement this week.

The project began last year with donation of flu vaccine to Laos by Walgreens Co. This year other donors are joining Walgreens, including bioCSL, the US Department of Defense, UPS, and Becton, Dickinson and Co.

The donors are providing vaccine, related supplies, and discounted shipping to both Laos and Nicaragua, and are also helping Uganda make plans for a future vaccination program, the CDC reported.

In Laos, the vaccination program focuses on pregnant women, healthcare and essential government workers, and people over 50. Vaccine is being distributed in all 17 provinces, mainly through hospitals.

The vaccination program in Nicaragua usually targets children and healthcare workers, but this year, with the donated vaccine, the government is expanding the effort to include pregnant women.
Jun 18 CDC statement

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