NEWS SCAN: Hospital flu confirmations, H5 outbreak in Nepal, Marburg travel notice

Nov 5, 2012

Flu confirmations in hospital respiratory patients soared during pandemic
An influenza diagnosis was confirmed far more often in patients hospitalized for respiratory illness in Canada during the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic than during the preceding 6 years, according to a report published today in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses. The researchers, from Ottawa and Toronto, note that the number of hospital admissions in which flu is confirmed is considered much lower than the true number of hospital cases caused by flu. The team examined the Canadian Discharge Abstract Database for April 2003 through March 2010 for information on all patients admitted with any respiratory condition. For the years preceding the pandemic—April 2003 through April 2009—they estimated that flu was confirmed in only 1 of every 6.4 admissions attributed to seasonal flu. But during the pandemic—May 2009 through March 2010—they estimated that flu was confirmed in 1 of every 1.6 admissions attributed to the pandemic virus. "Case ascertainment was much improved during the pandemic period, with under ascertainment of admissions due to H1N1/2009 limited primarily to patients with a diagnosis of pneumonia," the report says.
Nov 5 Influenza Other Respi Viruses abstract

H5 outbreak strikes egg farm in Nepal
Livestock officials in Nepal reported a highly pathogenic H5 influenza outbreak at a commercial layer farm in the Bhaktapur district of Bagmati zone, according to a Nov 2 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The outbreak began on Oct 6 when farmers noticed reduced egg production with irregularly shaped and sized eggs along with numbers of dead poultry. The outbreak killed 1,220 of 2,000 susceptible birds, and 780 were destroyed to control the spread of the virus. Officials also destroyed all remaining poultry products and production materials. The source of the virus isn't known, and officials have found no further outbreaks. Nepal's previous H5N1 outbreak occurred in late August.
Nov 2 OIE report

CDC issues travel notice for Marburg outbreak in Uganda
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Nov 2 issued a travel notice about Uganda's Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, emphasizing that it does not recommend any travel restrictions at this time. The CDC said as of Oct 28 the Ugandan Health Ministry has reported 18 cases and 9 deaths, one fewer case than the latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO), on Oct 31. The outbreak area in southwestern Uganda includes parts of Kabale and Ibanda districts and is several miles from the city of Kabale, which is a stopover for people visiting Lake Bunyonyi and two national parks that are famous for mountain gorilla tracking, the CDC said. The city is also a transportation hub. The CDC said it is working closely with Uganda's health ministry and the WHO to control the outbreak. It urged travelers to practice good hygiene and avoid contact with bats and other animals, especially monkeys.

Newsletter Sign-up

Get CIDRAP news and other free newsletters.

Sign up now»


Unrestricted financial support provided by

Bentson Foundation Gilead 
Grant support for ASP provided by


  Become an underwriter»