(CIDRAP News) Two more human cases of H5N1 avian influenza have been confirmed, one in a Chinese woman who has recovered and the other in a 5-year-old Thai boy who died Dec 7, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.
The cases increase the human toll of the virus over the past 2 years to 137 cases, including 70 deaths, according to the WHO. Exposure to poultry is the suspected cause in both of the latest cases.
(CIDRAP News) About 250 wild swans died of an H5 avian flu virus infection on the Volga River delta in southern Russia, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report yesterday that cited Russian news agencies. Tests to determine if the strain was H5N1 had not been completed.
As a result of the swan die-off, a quarantine was being enforced in an area near the city of Astrakhan, AFP reported.
(CIDRAP News) The World Health Organization (WHO) warned today that if H5N1 avian influenza spread to Africa and caused human cases, it "could push fragile health systems to the brink of collapse."
Also, China today ruled out H5N1 avian flu in the death of a girl who lived in a village recently hit by a poultry outbreak, while Romania reported finding the virus for the first time in an area other than the Danube delta.
(CIDRAP News) The US government has issued about $60 million in contracts to spur development of a vaccine against tularemia, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced recently.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of NIH, has issued two 5-year contracts for vaccine work, the agency said earlier this month. The agency also awarded $87 million in grants to build four biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) labs.
(CIDRAP News) A 48-year-old Thai man who died yesterday had H5N1 avian influenza, marking Thailand's first human case in more than a year, according to Thai officials and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The man, who fell ill after slaughtering sick chickens, had the first case in Thailand since Oct 8, 2004, the WHO said. Thailand has had 18 confirmed cases, including 13 deaths, since the current wave of H5N1 outbreaks began in late 2003.
(CIDRAP News) New avian influenza outbreaks were reported today in European Russia, China, and Vietnam, as experts said recent outbreaks in Turkey and Romania have strengthened the suspicion that migratory birds are spreading the H5N1 virus.
In addition, avian flu was suspected in a Thai man who died of a lung infection after killing and eating chickens that might have had the disease.