Flu Scan for Feb 21, 2014

H5N1 outbreak in Nepal
WHO help for H1N1 in Egypt

1,500 chickens culled for H5N1 in Nepal

After about 300 chickens on a farm in Nepal died mysteriously, H5N1 avian flu was confirmed and 1,552 chickens on that and a neighboring farm as well as 30 crates of eggs were destroyed yesterday by a rapid response team, according to a story in Republica, a Nepalese newspaper.

The farms are in Itahari in the southeast district of Sunsari. Dr. Bodh Raj Parajuli, director of the Regional Veterinary Directorate at Biratnagar, said chickens and other domestic birds within a 500-meter radius of the two farms would be destroyed, says the article. Poultry farmers are being urged to report any symptoms of illness in their flocks.

Large outbreaks of H5N1 in Nepal were reported late last year.
Feb 20 Republica story
Most recent (Nov 13, 2013) CIDRAP News item on H5N1 in Nepal


WHO holds mission in Egypt to lend support surrounding H1N1 flu

Egypt's Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has received help from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the midst of a rash of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza cases, according to a WHO statement yesterday.

According to the WHO, the large number of H1N1 cases is not unexpected, as the strain is hitting many areas of the world hard this flu season. The number of cases this season is similar to the number last flu season, but many areas are reporting an increase in severe cases. The 2009 H1N1 type of flu tends to affect young adults in larger numbers than typical seasonal influenza strains.

The H1N1 cases appear to have peaked about 2 weeks ago, said Anthony Mounts, MD, leader of the epidemiologic portion of WHO's Egyptian mission, and numbers are likely to decline going forward.

The WHO gave recommendations to MoHP for improving early detection and notification of influenza-like illness and severe respiratory events. The organization also worked with MoHP on educating critical care doctors in Egypt on specimen collection, care of critically ill patients, and infection control, and it worked with MoHP staff on appropriate risk communications.

Henk Bekedam, WHO's representative in Egypt, said that "On the whole, Egypt has a well-established and -functioning surveillance system."
Feb 20 WHO statement

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