NEWS SCAN: Flu widespread in 31 states, avian flu in Bangladesh, vCJD death in Spain

Mar 9, 2009

Flu reported widespread in 31 states
Influenza activity in the United States stayed at about the same level in the last week of February as in the previous week, but 31 states reported widespread flu, 4 more than the week before, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The proportion of deaths due to pneumonia and flu was below the epidemic threshold. The agency said 5 more flu-related deaths in children were reported—2 in California, 2 in Maryland, and 1 in New York. One person in Iowa was infected with a swine flu virus (subtype A/H1N1) after contact with sick pigs, the CDC said. Resistance to oseltamivir remained high among H1N1 viruses.
[Mar 6 CDC flu surveillance report]

Avian flu hits two more farms in Bangladesh
Avian influenza outbreaks prompted culling of 2,095 chickens on two farms in northern Bangladesh, according to a Mar 7 report in the Daily Star, a Bangladeshi newspaper. The report said 1,595 chickens and 205 eggs were destroyed on a farm in Netrakona district, and another 500 chickens were culled in Gaibandha district. The lethal H5N1 virus has struck 308 farms in 47 districts since it first surfaced in Bangladesh in 2007, the story said.
[Mar 7 Daily Star story]

Spain reports fifth vCJD death
Spain reported its fifth death from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), on Mar 6. A woman from the northern city of Santander died of the disease in January, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. Spain's health ministry said sporadic cases of vCJD are in line with European predictions made 9 years ago and that eating meat in Spain is not dangerous, according to a Mar 7 CNN report. The country's first vCJD death occurred in Jun 2005, and the last previous one was last August, according to AFP.
[Mar 7 AFP report]
[Mar 7 CNN report]

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