Bird Flu Breaking News Circa 2005 -2009
For a number of years (2005 - 2009) Bird Flu Breaking News, provided links to both news stories and blogs about the Avian Influenza (H5N1). Content is from the site's archived pages providing a glimpse of what this site offered its readers.
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Tuesday, 25 October 2005
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Global, Bird Flu Breaking News - Updated every 10 minutes
10:34 PM Hungary, Britain at odds in bird flu case - United Press International
10:30 PM Experts fear bird flu may spread during Lunar New Year - Jakarta Post
09:55 PM Bird flu showdown at farm - The Sun
09:29 PM Two more dead birds have H5N1 in HK - Shanghai Daily
09:04 PM WHO calls for more international efforts to combat bird flu - People's Daily Online
09:00 PM Four more villages in southeastern Turkey quarantined over bird flu fear - Topix
09:00 PM Four more Kurdish villages quarantined over bird flu fear - Topix
08:40 PM Most bird flu victims under 40, WHO finds - CNN
08:30 PM Experts fear bird flu may spread during Lunar New Year, millions ... - International Herald Tribune
08:24 PM RP opens bird flu facility in Pampanga - GMA news.tv
08:03 PM WHO urges media to further enlighten people on bird flu - People's Daily Online
07:41 PM Egyptian health minister calls for world coordination on bird flu - People's Daily Online
07:12 PM Averting bird flu threat - Barbados Advocate
07:07 PM Two Silver-eared Mesias tested positive for H5N1 virus in HK - People's Daily Online
07:03 PM UK and Hungarian bird flu outbreaks linked - Independent Online
07:01 PM Greek government urges precautions against bird flu - Xinhua
06:17 PM Tests confirm bird flu link to Hungary - Guardian Unlimited
06:17 PM Forget bird flu: mad publicity disease is much more scary - Guardian Unlimited
TYPICAL NEWS STORIES
Presence Of Bird Flu Confirmed By Authorities In Togo
Submitted by Piyush Diwan on Sat, 09/13/2008
Togo's Health Ministry made an official announcement about the outbreak of bird flu in the West African nation of Togo for the first time since last year.
The ministry said in a statement that the virus was detected in the village of Agbata outside the capital, Lome. This virus was detected at a poultry farm, housing more than 4,500 birds in Agbata. It added that it was not known how many birds had died, but more than 80 per cent of those infected by the flu were fatalities. Sale of all chicken and poultry products in the region around the farm has been banned by the health ministry.
Ministry has not revealed any details concerning the type of bird flu. It is not clear whether the birds were infected with the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus or another variation..
H5N1 strain has taken life of 235 people worldwide since 2003. Scientists all over the world are worried about the potential of this virus to infect human beings. Human beings get this virus on contact with infected birds. But experts fear that this virus can mutate into a form which can pass easily from one person to other. This will spark a pandemic which will take millions of lives.
No relief in sight for avian flu clean-up costs
© AgMedia Inc.
September 10, 2008
Federal testing for the presence of low pathogenic avian influenza in Canada's commercial poultry flock is underway. Farmers can expect to be on the financial hook for clean-up costs if the disease is found on their farm.
by SUSAN MANN
Poultry industry efforts to implement insurance for farmers’ barn cleaning, disinfecting and other costs associated with avian influenza infections in time for the start of a new federal government testing program have failed.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s testing program for low pathogenic avian influenza (AI) in Canada’s commercial poultry flock is now underway after an almost three-week delay due to technical problems.
If a farmer’s poultry tests positive for low pathogenic AI, the infected premises will be quarantined and the flocks will be depopulated. Farmers will receive compensation from the government for the birds that are ordered destroyed but not for any other costs, such as cleaning, disinfecting and business interruption. Quarrantines will also extend to operations within a three-kilometre radius of the infected premises. Those farmers will have to submit birds for testing, provide the CFIA with weekly mortality and production statistics and participate in testing in cases of suspicious clinical signs. The flocks will have to test negative for AI before being shipped for slaughter.
Chicken Farmers of Ontario chair Bill Woods says it was hoped that Chicken Farmers of Canada would have some type of insurance program for farmers “but that’s not going to be ready and in place.”
CFO then hoped that the Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council’s project to develop insurance for costs related to AI outbreaks that aren’t covered by governments, such as barn cleaning and disinfecting, business interruption and incidentals fees, like vet bills, would be further along so farmers could buy that insurance. But it likely won’t be available until later in October or November.
“We looked at doing something ourselves but the risk was too great,” says Woods.
Six to eight farms across Canada were tested during the first week of the program launched at the end of August. Private vets are taking the blood samples which are submitted to the CFIA’s lab for foreign animal diseases in Winnipeg for analysis. Testing continues until the end of October and possibly into November.
Included in this year’s sample are heavy roasters, spent layers and turkeys. “We want to target birds that are at the end of their production,” says Andre Vallieres, CFIA’s epidemiologist and scientific adviser. “We have a better indication of the presence of a virus when birds are older.”
Targeting these birds also means in cases where AI is found and the CFIA has to implement controls, the impact “will be less severe for that farm,” he explains.
The low pathogenic AI testing is part of the Canada’s Notifiable Avian Influenza Virus Surveillance System, designed to meet current World Organization for Animal Health guidelines and new requirements from the European Union that begin January, 2009. The EU requires Canada and other countries to have an AI surveillance system in place so they can continue to have a market for poultry products going to and through EU-member countries.
Preliminary survey results will be presented to the EU in December to ensure the border is kept open for Jan. 1, 2009, Vallieres says, while the final report will be presented in March, 2009.
Initially the plan was to test 1,000 farms across Canada. The CFIA reduced the number to 700 to 800 farms nationwide after it completed demographic studies to determine how many farms were expecting to send birds for slaughter.
Despite two AI outbreaks in Canada, one in B.C. and one in Saskatchewan, Vallieres says they don’t expect “this low pathogenic avian influenza to circulate too much. But we don’t know because we haven’t done this type of survey.”
It isn’t known yet what kind of survey will be done next year. The design of next year’s survey will depend on this year’s results and any new regulations from the EU. One thing is certain though – on-farm avian influenza testing will now be required yearly. BF
Indonesian Chickens, and People, Hard Hit by Bird Flu
By SETH MYDANSFEB. 1, 2008 / nytimes.com
In the village of Koncang in Central Java, bird flu has seemed to spread from house to house. The death toll has risen to 101. /Credit: Justin Mott for The New York Times
Indonesia — The rooster started to crow at 3 a.m., and Partoparmin, a farmer in this small hillside village, went into his yard to look. All around him, chickens were lying on the ground, twitching and shaking.
“A few minutes later they were dead,” Mr. Partoparmin, 60, said, remembering that night three years ago. “Right away I thought this might be bird flu.”
Mr. Partoparmin buried the chickens as he had learned to do from televised announcements, and no tests were done to confirm the cause of their death. But all around Indonesia, since late 2003, chickens have been dying of bird flu. And more than in any other country, people are dying too, infected by chickens or other sources.
Three people died of bird flu this week, pushing the total number of deaths in Indonesia to 101, nearly half of all the human deaths in the world from bird flu. The other countries with the highest reported deaths are Vietnam, with 48; Egypt, with 19; and China and Thailand, each with 17, according to the World Health Organization.
The mortality rate in Indonesia is also the highest in the world. Only 24 people reported to have been infected have survived.
The virus is known to have infected at least 357 people around the world in 14 countries, killing 224 of them, according to the World Health Organization. Experts say that because of poor reporting of infections and deaths, the true number could be much higher. The concern among health workers is that the virus could mutate to allow easy transmission from human to human, raising the possibility of a worldwide epidemic.
No one is sure why so many people are dying in Indonesia or why the survival rate is so low. Public health experts say that there could be a lag in response and treatment here or that the strain of the virus could be harder to treat than elsewhere.
The disease is particularly hard to contain in Indonesia because most chickens run loose around people’s homes in villages and even cities, rather than being cooped in chicken farms, said Trisatya Putri Naipospos, the former director of animal health in the Ministry of Agriculture, in a telephone interview
Eighty percent of the chicken population of 1.4 billion is scattered in 395 million backyards, where people raise poultry to eat or to sell, she said.
The Indonesian authorities have tried to stem the spread of the disease by vaccinating chickens, but Ms. Naipospos said this was almost impossible. “You can imagine how difficult it is to catch and vaccinate these chickens,” she said. “How many chickens can you vaccinate in a day?”
Some countries have had effective vaccination programs, however. China, for example, has vaccinated billions of chickens.
After Mr. Partoparmin’s chickens died, the infection seemed to spread from house to house in this remote village in Central Java and people were burning and burying dozens of dead chickens or flinging the carcasses into the woods.
Credit The New York Times
A government team visited and asked everyone to round up their chickens to be vaccinated, said Mr. Partoparmin’s wife, Sukarno, 55, but the task seemed futile. “I couldn’t catch them all because they were playing around,” she said. “Even when they’re in the house they are hard to catch. When you come in, they run in every direction.”
The government broadcasts television warnings that Ms. Naipospos said contained instructions to guard against infection: Wash your hands, don’t touch sick chickens, cook your chickens well and keep your chickens in cages. But if the origins and transmission of bird flu remain unclear to health experts, the disease is more of a mystery to the people here who are at risk.
“On television all I hear is bird flu, bird flu, but I don’t understand what it’s about,” said Warsono, 35, who sells crushed ice from a cart at a school near here. “A lot of people are saying they had healthy chickens one day and the next day they were dead. Is that bird flu?
“And now I’m asking you, If it really is bird flu, what should I do? Is there any medicine for it?”
Household chickens serve as a small bank account for poor Indonesians. Mr. Warsono said he had 20 to 25 of them. They ran in and out of his house as he talked, pecking the ground for food. “Mostly we eat them,” he said. “But if we need a little extra income we sell them.”
Generally, he said, he can sell a chicken for the equivalent of $2.
Ms. Naipospos said it could be hard to get people’s attention when they lived under constant threat of more immediate disasters. Pummeled by earthquakes, volcanos, tsunamis, ferry sinkings, aviation crashes, floods and deadly mudslides, Indonesia almost seems to have been fated to become the world’s epicenter of bird flu deaths.
“A lot more people die of tuberculosis, malaria and dengue fever,” Ms. Naipospos said. “If you tell them 100 people have died within two years, do you think it’s enough to explain to people that this is a real threat just in front of them?”
Seven swans test positive for H5N1, bringing total infected bir...
Feb 24, 2006, titled Seven swans test positive for H5N1, bringing total infected bir.... In it, Ekathimerini.com reports that:
Seven swans test positive for H5N1, bringing total infected birds to 16 Seven swans from northern Greece have tested positive for the fatal H5N1 strain of bird flu, bringing the total of infected wild birds found in the country to 16, the Agricultural Development Ministry said yesterday.
Authorities in Pella, Thessaloniki, Halkidiki and Pieria - where the infected birds were found - have already implemented measures to curb the spread of the disease to domestic poultry, the ministry said after receiving the test results from a British laboratory.
Bird flu around the world: a guide
James Sturcke and David Batty / theguardian.com/
Thu 6 Apr 2006
Vets collect chickens to cull in a bid to fight an outbreak of bird flu in Kiziksa village, north-west Turkey. Photograph: Emre Umurbilir/EPA
Bird flu has spread from poultry to infect humans in nine countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises 109 deaths from among the 193 cases recorded globally so far.
Vietnam is the country worst affected by bird flu, with 42 deaths and 93 cases. Most of the deaths were recorded between late 2003 and mid-2005.
Nearly 50 million poultry have been culled in attempts to limit the spread of the disease. On January 5 2006, the government said it had completed its programme of vaccinating 150 million poultry around the country.
Vietnam finishes mass bird flu vaccination
The country suffered at the beginning of the current outbreak, with 22 cases and 14 deaths among humans since December 2003.
After a lull lasting nearly a year, authorities confirmed on November 1 2005 that three people had been infected during the previous month. This coincided with a recurrence of bird flu among poultry in six provinces.
The latest victim was a five-year-old boy whose death was confirmed on December 9 2005. The Thai government has announced it will start producing a generic version of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu.
WHO: Avian influenza - situation in Thailand
BBC: Bird flu kills Thai boy of five
Thirty people have been infected in recent months. Twenty-three of them have died. The latest was a 20-month-old girl from Kapuk, West Jakarta, who died on March 23.
The authorities have imposed "extraordinary" measures, including the power to force people suspected of having bird flu into hospital. Most Indonesian households keep chickens or caged birds as pets.
WHO: Avian influenza - situation in Indonesia
Eleven of the 16 people infected in China have died. There have been confirmed outbreaks in seven provinces and regions - Hunan, Anhui, Guangxi, Liaoning, Jiangxi, Fujian and Sichuan.
On November 15 2005, the government announced plans to vaccinate all 14 billion of China's farm birds after more than a dozen confirmed outbreaks. Millions of birds had already been culled before the programme was announced.
In August 2004, the authorities revealed that the H5N1 virus had been found in pigs, but denied claims they had kept an outbreak of bid flu secret for more than a year.
British flu experts visited China in October 2005 to find out how the Chinese were responding to the threat. During the Sars outbreak in Asia, there was concern that China had failed to reveal the full extent of the crisis.
There have also been reports that China's use of the anti-viral drug amantadine in animals may have resulted in the H5N1 virus becoming resistant to treatment in the Far East.
>Guardian: First Chinese deaths from bird flu
BBC: China confirms bird flu in pigs
Guardian: China rejects claim it covered up outbreak
Bird flu in humans was confirmed on January 5 2006 when a brother and sister died from the H5N1 virus in the eastern town of Dogubayazit, close to Turkey's border with Iran. A week later, a third sibling died, followed by a 12-year-old girl from the same town and a 14-year-old girl who died on January 15.
The WHO has confirmed 12 of the 21 cases of H5N1 avian influenza previously announced by the Turkish Ministry of Health in 12 of Turkey's 81 provinces. The other nine are undergoing further testing.
On October 10 2005, the EU banned the import of live birds, poultry meat and feathers from Turkey after 1,870 birds died of avian flu in the country. A two-mile quarantine zone was imposed around the affected area, and thousands of turkeys were culled.
WHO: Avian influenza - situation in Turkey
Turkey tests for fourth bird flu child victim
All five people confirmed to have contracted bird flu in Cambodia have subsequently died. US health officials have expressed concern about the country's surveillance and containment capacities should a mutation take place.
The US has offered $2m (£1.14m) to improve the country's response systems.
VOA news: US working to boost Cambodia's bird flu response system
Both of the people confirmed to have contracted H5N1 bird flu in Iraq have died. The first death confirmed by the WHO was on January 17 of a 15-year-old girl from Ranya, in the northern Kurdish part of country close to the border with Iran and Turkey.
Iraqi government officials have expressed a need for emergency supplies and equipment, including antiviral drugs. Difficulties in the transportation of patient samples for diagnostic confirmation have been compounded by the security situation in the country. On February 15 2006, Iraqi authorities declared a bird flu alert in the southern Maysan province and called for security forces to prevent people carrying birds in and out of the region.
Avian influenza - situation in Iraq
On April 6 2006, Egypt announced that a 16-year-old girl had died of the H5N1 strain of the virus and an eight-year-old boy had tested positive. The announcements bring to 11 the number of human cases in the country, including three people who have died. All of Egypt's fatalities have been women, the previous two were in their 30s. Two people have been cured of the virus while six are receiving treatment.
Bird flu has been confirmed in poultry in 47 countries. These include:
Among the first countries to be affected by the current outbreak of bird flu. In March 2004, a poultry firm boss and his wife committed suicide after apparently covering up an outbreak.
Guardian: Bird flu suicides in Japan
The H5N1 strain was confirmed in the country on October 15 2005, with the authorities placing an exclusion zone around the villages in the Danube delta where bird flu had been found.
The Guardian' s Mark Honigsbaum witnessed police apparently confused about which vehicles should be sprayed. There were also local reports that dead birds had been washed up on the shores three months before officials acted.
In February 2006, more bird flu cases were found in three Danube villages in eastern Romania.
Guardian: Inside zone zero - bird flu country
Greek authorities said on February 11 2006 that the H5N1 virus had been discovered in three swans found in the northern gulf of Thermaikos. Two days later, a wild goose found on the Aegean island of Skyros was also confirmed as carrying the disease.
A suspected outbreak of bird flu was reported at a turkey farm on the Aegean island of Oinouses, near the coast of Turkey, on October 17 2005. However, the European commission said on October 31 that a second series of tests had proved negative.
Greece and Italy find killer bird flu in swans
On February 11, Italian officials confirmed six wild swans found in the southern regions of Sicily, Puglia and Calabria tested positive for the highly contagious H5N1 strain. A 3km high-risk protection zone was established around each outbreak area, and a surveillance zone of an additional 7km was set up. Chicken farmers said sales of poultry fell by 50% in the immediate aftermath of the disease's discovery.
Avian influenza confirmed in wild swans in Italy
Two swans found on February 14 2006 near the southern city of Graz were the country's first cases of H5N1. They have been sent to a UK laboratory for further tests.
Austria finds bird flu in swans
Officials immediately brought forward plans to order all birds indoors after two swans infected with bird flu were found on a beach on the Baltic island of Rügen on February 15 2006. A northern goshawk found dead on the island on the same day has also tested positive for H5N1. The country's agriculture minister, Horst Seehofer, has announced laws to order all farmed birds to be brought indoors. On April 5 2006, officials announced that about 30,000 farm birds would be culled on a farm in the eastern state of Saxony after the virus was found in commercial poultry for the first time in the country
Germany is one of the few countries stockpiling large quantities of Relenza as an alternative to Tamiflu. Its order, for 1.7m units, reportedly exceeded the global sales of the drug for the past four years.
IHT: Forgotten drugs resurrected amid flu fears
Nigeria Africa's first case was confirmed on February 8 2006 on a poultry farm in Jaji, a village in the northern state of Kaduna. In the following days further outbreaks were confirmed in Kano and Plateau states with suspected cases in another five regions.
Scientists had been particularly worried about bird flu arriving in Africa.
"The FAO [UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation] is concerned that with trade, the movement of people and animals and migratory birds, new countries could become infected," the FAO deputy general, David Harcharik, said. "If it were to become rooted in the African countryside, the consequences for a continent already devastated by hunger and poverty could be truly catastrophic."
Bird flu spreads to Africa Bird flu virus could spill over to Africa and Europe in springtime
On October 21 2005, authorities confirmed that a parrot from Surinam had died in quarantine in Essex after being infected with bird flu, which was later confirmed as the H5N1 strain. Government scientists said it was likely the bird had caught the disease from Taiwanese birds in quarantine.
On April 6 2006, a dead swan found a week earlier in the coastal Fife village of Cellardyke, about nine miles from St Andrews, tested positive for H5N1. The swan is the first wild bird in Britain to be discovered carrying the virus. Tests are also being carried out on two dead swans found in Richmond Park in Glasgow.
The government is spending £200m to buy 14.6m doses of Tamiflu. It is also purchasing 2m treatments of bird flu vaccine to treat key workers.
Birdwatchers have been enlisted to help identify any arrival of bird flu quickly. The Department of Health has published its contingency plan, as has Defra, the rural affairs and agriculture department.
In December 2005, a House of Lords committee report said the government could do more to prepare the UK for a pandemic, and warned of food shortages and panic buying if the disease struck.
The initial reaction has been to set up a protection zone around the village of Cellardyke, with a minimum radius of 1.8 miles, as well as a surveillance zone of six miles. In London, the Cabinet Office has activated its emergency committee, Cobra.
Department of Health Contingency Plan
Defra Contingency Plan
Guardian: Flu pandemic could mean food shortages, peers warn
A full list of countries where cases of H5N1 has been confirmed in poultry is available from the World Organisation for Animal Health.
On February 22 2006, EU vetinary officials agreed to allow France and the Netherlands to vaccinate their flocks against bird flu. On October 25 2005, the EU announced a month-long ban, since extended, on the import of wild birds after the H5N1 strain was discovered among birds held in British quarantine.
Officials had decided already to restrict keeping poultry outdoors in areas at particular risk of avian influenza, such as those near marshland. Member states are responsible for defining the risk areas.
The standing committee also agreed on an immediate, EU-wide ban on the collection of birds at markets, shows, exhibitions and cultural events unless specifically authorised by authorities.
Officials have approved additional bio-security measures including, if deemed appropriate, vaccination to protect birds kept in zoos.
On November 7 2005, the EU announced it would give €30m (£20.2m) to help Asian countries tackle the disease. An additional €50m was pledged on January 13 2006.
Avian influenza: further preventive measures agreed
European Commission earmarks €30m for Asia
On March 16 2006, the Danish ministry for consumer and family affairs confirmed that a wild buzzard had tested positive for H5N1after being found near Naestved, south of Copenhagen.
The French health minister, Xavier Bertrand, said on January 11 this year that the country will have spent $844m (£477m) between 2004 and 2006 on preparing for a flu pandemic.
Provisions include 14m doses of antiviral drugs, 50m face masks for hospitals (with 150m more on the way) and 40m doses of any future vaccine. Airport controls have been stepped up, and a good practice guide distributed to farmers, who have been told to keep birds indoors as much as possible.
By January, two-thirds of poultry had been ordered to be kept indoors. The agriculture minister, Dominique Bussereau, said poultry sales had dropped by 20% in the previous quarter.
France presents bird flu plan to protect entire population
On February 15, the president, Jacques Chirac, ordered the cabinet to "immediately strengthen" measures and the national food safety agency recommended all fowl be taken indoors to reduce the risk that they come in contact with migrating birds.
Although there have been no cases of the current bird flu outbreak in the US, the president, George Bush, says he has considered using the military to maintain control should the strain appear.
Grounding airlines could be another measure, Mr Bush - who took a book about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic on holiday with him recently - indicated.
In September 2005, the Senate voted to spend $3.9bn in bird flu funds, largely to build domestic stockpiles of antiviral drugs and vaccines. By mid-October 2005, the US had a stockpile of around 2.3m courses of Tamiflu, with more on order.
It also has around 83,000 courses of zanamivir (Relenza), another antiviral, which could be used to treat sufferers.
Officials at San Francisco airport, a major gateway to the US from Asia, have been told to look out for signs of avian flu among travellers.
International Herald Tribune: Bush cites US plans against bird flu risk
With bird flu outbreaks confirmed in neighbouring countries, Singapore banned people from keeping live chickens on the island of Pulau Ubin in June 2005. The government has also told people not to visit poultry farms.
Indonesia bird flu
17 May, 2006 - Published bbc.co.uk
Five more people have been confirmed dead from the virulent H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus in Indonesia. The deaths came as the United Nations warned the Indonesian authorities that they must do more to combat the spread of the disease. This report from Clare Harkey:
Indonesia overtook Thailand recently as the second worst-affected country in the world, after Vietnam, in terms of the number of people killed by H5N1 bird flu. Thirty people are now confirmed as having died there.
The virus has been found in poultry in the majority of Indonesia's thirty three provinces. Worryingly, the latest cluster of deaths was on the island of Sumatra, not Java where the vast majority of confirmed fatalities had previously been recorded. All the Sumatran victims were reported to have been in close proximity to sick poultry.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation this week warned Indonesia that they were failing to combat the spread of the disease, both in terms of controlling animal infections and failing to increase public awareness. The Indonesian authorities say they are watching the Sumatra cluster carefully but there's no evidence that the virus was passed from human to human.