Flu Scan for Feb 29, 2016

H5N1 avian flu in Vietnam
Flulike illness in the Netherlands

H5N1 avian flu kills more than 1,000 Vietnam birds

An outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu accounting for the death of more than 1,000 birds of unspecified variety in southern Vietnam and was reported Feb 26 to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) by health officials in the country.

The outbreak occurred in Tan Binh in Tra Vinh province, in the far southern Mekong Delta region of the country. Of 1,100 susceptible birds, 796 were infected and died, for apparent morbidity and mortality rates of 72.36%. The remaining 304 birds were destroyed.

Control measures applied included vaccination, disinfection, and surveillance, according to the report.

The most recent previous H5N1 outbreak in Vietnam was reported in December 2015, but the country has battled a handful of H5N6 outbreaks this year.
Feb 26 OIE report


Dutch researchers note societal impact of ILI in families with preschoolers

Influenza-like illness (ILI) in preschool children has considerable societal impact in terms of healthcare consumption as well as lost work time for parents, found a Dutch study published in the March issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

The study population comprised 8,768 child-parent pairs in randomly selected households with preschool children in the Netherlands. Surveys were administered from October 2012 to October 2014 to determine the frequency of flu-like symptoms, related medical care, and lost time at work or in daycare.

The monthly incidence of ILI was estimated at 13.2% in parents and 21.6% in children, for an overall rate of 1.72 episodes per parent-year (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.61-1.84) and 2.81 per child-year (95% CI, 2.70-2.93). The rates peaked in winter and were higher than those found in surveys of the general Dutch population in previous years, say the authors.

Among the child-parent pairs with ILI episodes, 35.7% sought medical care for children and 17.7% for parents. Median duration of symptoms was 6 days for parents and 5 days for children.

Work absenteeism was reported by 45.7% of parents with ILI (median workdays lost, 2); absenteeism from daycare was reported for 22.8% of children with ILI (median days missed, 1). About one third of parents and children with ILI took medications.

Risk factors for ILI noted by the researchers included chronic respiratory symptoms, developmental disabilities, parental occupation in healthcare or child care, more than one child in the family, and attendance at daycare for a year or less. Daycare attendance for more than 2 years afforded some ILI protection, as did breastfeeding in infants 6 months of age or younger.
March Pediatr Infect Dis J study

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