Flu Scan for Jan 27, 2014

China's second H10N8 case
;
Expanding Korean H5N8 outbreak
;
Diabetes and flu risk

China confirms second H10N8 avian flu case

A second case of H10N8 avian flu has been confirmed in the same province as the world's first case, which was reported last month, Chinese health officials told Xinhua, the nation's state-run newspaper.

A 55-year-old woman was admitted to a hospital in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi province, on Jan 15, the story said. She had a sore throat and dizziness, according to the provincial health department. She had visited an agricultural market.

China's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned travelers to China to avoid contact with fowl after the case was confirmed, the Taipei Times reported today. The agency also issued a second-level travel alert for Jiangxi, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, and Fujian provinces and for the cities of Shanghai and Beijing. The rest of the country is under "watch" status, the story said.

The world's first H10N8 case, which proved fatal, was confirmed on Dec 17. It involved a 73-year-old woman with a compromised immune system.

The Taipei Times story notes that the virus is considered a low-pathogenic agent in birds and has been detected in samples from migratory birds and poultry in Japan, South Korea, the United States, Italy, and Sweden in addition to China.
Jan 27 Xinhua story
Jan 27 Taipei Times article
Dec 17, 2013, CIDRAP News story on first case

 

Spreading H5N8 Korean outbreak leads to lockdown on 3 farms

South Korean officials today imposed a 12-hour lockdown on poultry farms in three provinces that bans farmers and farm-related workers, including veterinarians, from traveling to and from farms, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) story.

The action is geared to stopping H5N8 outbreaks that have now affected 18 farms in a widening crisis, up from 8 farms late last week. Provinces affected by the lockdown are South and North Chungcheong and Gyeonggi, which surrounds Seoul. The first eight H5N8 outbreaks were in North Jeolla province.

More than 640,000 poultry have been culled to prevent disease spread, with another 810,000 slated for slaughter, AFP reported. In addition to the 18 affected farms, workers are testing birds on 22 other farms.
Jan 27 AFP report

In related news, Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported on Jan 25 that H5N8 has been isolated from a Korean chicken for the first time in the outbreak; the other poultry infections were in ducks. The chicken was in South Chungcheong province.

In addition, officials in Gyeonggi province said feces recovered from a lake near the province's west coast tested positive for avian flu, but the specific strain has not yet been identified.
Jan 25 Yonhap article

 

Study: working-age adults more susceptible to severe flu

Working-age adults who have diabetes are more susceptible to severe flu infections, according to a study from University of Alberta researchers who published their findings in Diabetologia. The group's goal was to compare flu levels in adults with and without the disease to help fill in knowledge gaps that underlie vaccination recommendations.

The team cohort study used data from Manitoba, Canada, from 2000 to 2008. All working-age adults were identified and paired with two nondiabetic controls.

Researchers looked at clinic visits, hospitalizations for pneumonia and flu, and all-cause hospitalization. Their analysis included 745,777 person-years of follow-up among 166,715 subjects. Those who had diabetes were more likely to be vaccinated against flu.

People with diabetes had a 6% (relative risk 1.06, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 1.10; absolute risk difference 6 per 1,000 adults per year) greater increase in all-cause hospitalization linked to flu. However, researchers found no difference between the groups in the rates of flulike illness or pneumonia and influenza.

They concluded that the evidence is the strongest yet for targeting patients with diabetes for flu vaccination.
Jan 24 Diabetologia study

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