(CIDRAP News) Last month, officials in Italy and Canada aroused concern by announcing they had found an H5N1 influenza virus in wild birds. Neither country had previously been troubled by any reports of the virulent H5N1 virus that has been plaguing poultry and occasionally sickening and killing humans in Asia.
But in both cases, health officials said the virus was not dangerous and was unrelated to the H5N1 virus in Asia.
(CIDRAP News) New outbreaks of avian influenza in birds were reported this week in Romania and Turkey, but wild birds that died mysteriously in Malawi in southern Africa were found to be free of flu viruses.
Tests in Britain detected H5N1 viruses in seven samples sent from four areas in southeastern Romania, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published yesterday. The story did not specify what kinds of birds were involved.
(CIDRAP News) China has recorded its seventh human case of H5N1 avian influenza, involving a 41-year-old factory worker who died Dec 21, according to the Chinese news service Xinhua.
The victim was a woman surnamed Zhou who lived in Sanming City in the eastern province of Fujian, Xinhua reported today. She became ill with fever and pneumonia on Dec 6 and was hospitalized 2 days later.
(CIDRAP News) Before adjourning last week, the US Senate passed and sent to President Bush a bill providing $3.8 billion for pandemic influenza preparedness and a controversial liability shield for those who produce and administer drugs and vaccines used in a declared public health emergency.
(CIDRAP News) A World Health Organization (WHO) official recently urged China to share more information on avian influenza outbreaks in poultry and to change farming practices to help prevent the disease.
In addition, China said it has developed a new antiviral drug for flu patients and a new avian flu vaccine for poultry, both of which are said to be better than existing products.
(CIDRAP News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its blessing last week to the use of the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to prevent influenza in children between the ages of 1 and 12.
The FDA had previously approved oseltamivir for treating (but not preventing) flu in that age-group and for both treating and preventing flu in adolescents and adults. Many countries are stockpiling the drug to prepare for a possible flu pandemic.
(CIDRAP News) A new report says oseltamivir-resistant forms of H5N1 avian influenza virus were found in two Vietnamese girls who died of the infection, raising doubts about the antiviral drug that many countries are counting on to help protect them from a potential flu pandemic.
(CIDRAP News) An outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 cases in Washington state has sickened up to 18 people, most of them children, and triggered renewed warnings about drinking raw milk.
A report in the Portland Oregonian newspaper today said 18 people, including 15 children younger than 13, are believed to have been infected with E coli O157:H7 after drinking raw milk from Dee Creek Farm near Woodland, Wash.
(CIDRAP News) US customs agents have seized more than 50 shipments of fake oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the antiviral drug being stockpiled in preparation for a possible influenza pandemic, according to reports published yesterday.