Human transmission likely in 2004 Thai avian flu cases

first_imgJan 24, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who analyzed a family cluster of three cases of H5N1 avian influenza in Thailand say in an article published today that two family members probably acquired the disease from the third.The mother and an aunt of an 11-year-old girl who died of probable avian influenza last September most likely caught the disease from the girl when they cared for her in a hospital, according to the report published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.The findings appear to be the strongest evidence so far of person-to-person transmission of H5N1 avian flu since the disease became widespread in Southeast Asia last year. But the authors say they found no sign of any further transmission and no evidence of mutations that could enable the H5N1 virus to spread easily among people. Disease experts fear that such mutations could lead to a flu pandemic.The 11-year-old girl, who lived with her 32-year-old aunt, died of pneumonia on Sep 8, 2004, according to the report by Kumnuan Ungchusak, MD, MPH, of the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and colleagues from Thailand and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The girl had fallen ill 3 or 4 days after having contact with dying chickens.While the girl was in a hospital, her 26-year-old mother, who worked in a distant city, came to be at her bedside, providing “16 to 18 hours of unprotected nursing care,” the report says. The mother, who had no known exposure to poultry, became ill with a fever Sep 11 and died Sep 20.The girl’s aunt also helped care for her in the hospital, spending about 12 hours at her bedside on Sep 7. The aunt in turn fell ill with fever Sep 16 and eventually experienced pneumonia, but she gradually recovered and was discharged Oct 7.Because no adequate tissue samples were preserved, investigators could not confirm that the girl had avian flu, but her case had all the cardinal features of previous cases, the report says. Laboratory tests (reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) confirmed the disease in her mother and aunt.The mother made a 10-minute visit to her daughter’s household Sep 7 but had no known exposure to poultry before she became ill on Sep 11, the article says. The aunt’s last known exposure to poultry was 17 days before she fell ill, a period longer than the typical incubation period of 2 to 10 days.”We believe that the most likely explanation for the family clustering of these three cases of avian influenza is that the virus was transmitted directly from the infected index patient to her mother and to her aunt,” the report states.Epidemiologic investigation revealed no other human cases associated with the family cluster. In addition, RT-PCR analysis and phylogenetic analysis of the virus showed no changes that could equip it for efficient person-to-person transmission.The report says avian flu has spread from person to person before. For example, in Hong Kong’s 1997 outbreak of H5N1, some healthcare workers were found to have antibodies to the virus, and one reported mild symptoms. However, “The current family cluster is unique in that the secondary infections resulted in severe disease and death and in that the epidemiologic circumstances and laboratory findings made it possible to rule out transmission from poultry.”The lack of further transmission in the family cluster should not be an excuse for complacency, the authors write. If H5N1 avian flu remains endemic for years in the affected countries, “it is likely that such clusters will occur again, and it will be necessary to investigate each one rapidly and thoroughly to determine whether a critical change in the virus has occurred,” they conclude.Ungchusak K, Auewarakul P, Dowell SF, et al. Probable person-to-person transmission of avian influenza A (H5N1). N Engl J Med 3005;352(4):333-40 [Full text]last_img read more

Indonesia reports H5N1 in healthy chickens

first_imgOct 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – In a development that could complicate avian influenza control efforts, an Indonesian official said this week that some apparently healthy chickens showed evidence of H5N1 virus infection, according to the Jakarta Post.Rachmat Setiadi, who heads the West Java Animal Husbandry Office, announced the findings 2 days ago after serologic testing of 20 chickens around the home of two people from Bandung who died of H5N1 infection at the end of September, the newspaper reported yesterday.”The test has shown that four healthy chickens were infected with H5N1. We should be more cautious,” Setiadi was quoted as saying. He also said healthy chickens with H5N1 were found in other cities and regencies, but he didn’t name them.Setiadi said the finding means that healthy chickens could carry the virus, according to the story. He recommended that residents stop keeping chickens in their backyards or near their homes. The Post reported that of Bandung’s 26 cities and regencies, only two were free of H5N1 virus in poultry.The story did not indicate whether actual H5N1 viruses were isolated from the chickens. Serologic evidence of infection usually means the presence of antibodies to the virus, which suggests the host was exposed to the virus at some point but doesn’t necessarily mean the host is a current carrier.Though the Asian strain of H5N1 is usually lethal in chickens, there has been at least one other report of asymptomatic chickens testing positive for the virus. In February, researchers reported that they found H5N1 viruses in apparently healthy chickens in live-bird markets in southern China. The researchers had analyzed flu viruses collected from thousands of wild and domestic birds in China and Hong Kong (see link below).The human H5N1 deaths that Setiadi referred to appear to be connected to an outbreak in Bandung that raised suspicions of a family cluster. A 20-year-old man was confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sep 27 as Indonesia’s 68th case-patient; he died later that day and was the country’s 52nd victim. His 23-year-old brother died of similar respiratory symptoms on Sep 24, but he was buried before samples could be collected for testing. Their 15-year-old sister was hospitalized with a fever and cough the same week, but tests suggested she had seasonal influenza.The brothers were reported to have fed dead chickens to their dogs. The head of Bandung’s agriculture office, Yogi Supardjo, told the Post that tests on 11 dogs kept by the family came back negative.In another Indonesian development, an analysis of H5N1 viruses from birds on Sumatra, Java, and Bali islands indicated that the virus has not mutated to become more transmissible to people, the Indonesian agriculture ministry said yesterday.The ministry said tests on 49 samples showed no major changes in the virus, according to a Bloomberg News report yesterday. The analysis was done by a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reference laboratory in Geelong, Australia, the story said.The samples were collected between September 2005 and March 2006, Elly Sawitri, an agriculture ministry official, told Bloomberg. Officials plan to submit additional samples collected in the past 6 months for analysis.In other news, the WHO on Oct 3 confirmed Indonesia’s 69th human case of H5N1 disease, in a 21-year-old woman from East Java. Indonesian officials had reported the case Sep 29.The woman became ill on Sep 19 and was hospitalized 6 days later. She is the sister of an 11-year-old boy who died of H5N1 infection on Sep 18. The WHO said the boy’s death prompted contact tracing, which revealed that his sister was ill. She was given the antiviral medication oseltamivir and isolated in a hospital.The WHO said poultry deaths in the family were noted before and after the brother’s illness, and though the woman was probably exposed to poultry, the source of her infection was under investigation.Elsewhere in Indonesia, seven people with possible avian flu symptoms have been admitted to a hospital in South Sulawesi, the Jakarta Post reported today.Most of the patients are younger than 10 and have high fever and vomiting, the Post reported. A hospital representative said avian flu was suspected on the basis of signs and symptoms, but blood samples from the seven patients were negative for the H5N1 virus. He said nasal samples from the patients were sent to a lab in Jakarta for analysis.Family members reported that sick and dead chickens were found near the patients’ homes.Meanwhile, China has reported another H5N1 outbreak in poultry, according to an Agence France-Presse article yesterday. The outbreak involved 1,000 poultry in a village in northern China’s Ningxia Hui region. The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that 72,930 domestic poultry were culled to control the outbreak.An outbreak that came to light last week affected 985 chickens in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinhua reported. The two outbreaks are the first in about 6 weeks.See also:Sep 27 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_09_27a/en/index.htmlFeb 10 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article with information about apparently healthy chickens infected with H5N1: “Establishment of multiple sublineages of H5N1 influenza virus in Asia: implications for pandemic control” [Abstract]Feb 10, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Report depicts China as launching pad for avian flu”Oct 3 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_10_03/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Canada finishes probe of 9th BSE case

first_img The bull was born on the farm, and its birth and feed cohort consisted of 593 animals. Investigators had traced 518 of the cohort so far and hoped to finish tracing the remaining 75 animals by the end of March. Fifty-seven of the animals remaining on the farm were under quarantine until officials decide when to destroy them, the report said. Their carcasses will be excluded from the food and feed chains. Apr 4, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Canada recently released a report on the investigation of its ninth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, the first case of 2007. The animal’s carcass was transferred to the Alberta Agriculture and Food laboratory, where it was burned. The report said none of it entered the human food supply or animal feed chain. Canadian officials said the latest BSE case is not unexpected and still reflects an extremely low level of BSE in the country. Of 150,000 cattle tested since 2003, only 9 have tested positive for BSE, the report noted. In a study of the feed the animal was exposed to on the farm, officials found no direct link between specific products or production practices that carried a risk of cross-contamination. However, they found that the bull was exposed to feed from facilities that have handled material banned from cattle feed.center_img The United States banned imports of Canadian cattle and beef after Canada’s first BSE case in May 2003. The border was reopened to boneless beef from young cattle a few months later, but live cattle were banned until July 2005, when officials reopened the border to cattle intended for slaughter before reaching 30 months of age. The agency said the bull died sometime between Jan 20 and 22 after becoming emaciated over the course of the winter. A private veterinarian determined the bull met the inclusion criteria for Canada’s National BSE Surveillance Program, and forwarded brain samples for testing. BSE was confirmed on Feb 7 at the National BSE Reference Laboratory in Lethbridge, Alberta. The case was in a 79-month-old bull from an Alberta beef farm, according to an investigation report released Mar 26 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The bull was born in 2000, about 3 years after Canada banned the use of cattle protein in feed for cattle and other ruminants in 1997. These facilities were supplied by the same rendering plant that has been identified in previous BSE probes, the report said. It also said investigators could not rule out the possibility of cross-contamination when the feed was transported.last_img read more

Indonesia has another avian flu case

first_imgOct 11, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesian officials have reported an H5N1 avian influenza case in a 12-year-old boy in the Jakarta area, raising the country’s human case count to 109, according to news services.The boy is from the Jakarta suburb of Tangerang and is being treated in a Jakarta hospital, said Muhammad Nadirin, a spokesman for the health ministry’s avian flu center, according to a Reuters report published today.Nadirin said it was not clear how the boy was exposed to the virus, but some chickens had died in his neighborhood, according to the story.Eighty-seven of Indonesia’s H5N1 cases have been fatal, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO’s global count, which does not yet include the new Indonesian case, stands at 330 cases with 202 deaths.Meanwhile, five people with suspected avian flu in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province tested negative for the H5N1 virus, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published yesterday. The report quoted a spokesman named Momo at the avian flu information center.The five were among seven people from the same village who were admitted to a hospital in Medan, the provincial capital, Oct 6, AFP reported. Momo said he had no information on the other two patients.An earlier report from Antara, Indonesia’s national news agency, had said 8 people were hospitalized with suspected avian flu in Medan on Oct 7, including a pregnant woman and a 3-year-old.In other developments, H5N1 cropped up again in poultry in southern Vietnam this week after a 2-month absence, according to a Reuters report today.The Agriculture Ministry said ducks from a farm in the Mekong Delta’s Tra Vinh province tested positive for the virus, according to Reuters. Testing was done after five birds in an unvaccinated flock of 300 died. The rest of the ducks have since been destroyed by animal-health workers, the story said.Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat urged veterinary authorities this week to step up poultry vaccinations, Reuters reported. He said avian flu would soon reemerge among unvaccinated birds, especially as the weather cools in northern Vietnam.last_img read more

Pakistan reports another H5N1 outbreak

first_imgFeb 18, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Livestock officials in Pakistan said yesterday that the H5N1 avian influenza virus hit chickens in the northwestern part of the country, the region where December outbreaks were linked to suspected human-to-human transmission of the virus and Pakistan’s first confirmed human case.Rafiq-ul-Usmani, a food and agriculture ministry official, said samples from a poultry farm near Abbottabad, in North-West Frontier province, were positive for the H5N1 virus and that culling at the farm had begun, Reuters reported yesterday.About 5,000 chickens have been culled at the farm, Ali Akber Kahn, a Mansehra district livestock minister, told Dawn, one of Pakistan’s English-language newspapers, yesterday. He said authorities sealed the area around the farm and were vaccinating poultry in other areas to control the spread of the virus.So far no workers at the farm had shown signs of infection, he told Dawn.Pakistan’s last outbreaks struck two commercial farms near Karachi , according to a Feb 4 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).Elsewhere, government officials in Bangladesh said today that H5N1 outbreaks have spread to 43 of the nation’s 64 districts, according to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP). So far workers have culled about 800,000 birds, the report said.M.M. Kahn, a senior official with the Bangladesh Poultry Association, told AFP that the H5N1 outbreaks have shuttered at least 40% of the country’s 150,000 commercial farms and have put 500,000 people out of work.Yesterday workers began slaughtering 150,000 birds at a farm in a suburb of Dhaka, the capital, signifying the first outbreak in the city, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday. Mohammad Salahuddin Ahmed, director of the country’s livestock ministry, said more than 100 workers were assisting with the cull. “We are very cautious so that the virus can’t spread to local neighborhoods,” he told the AP.The outbreak in Dhaka occurred at the Omega farm, according to media reports. Kahn told AFP that the Omega farm is known for its rigorous adherence to biosafety regulations and that an outbreak there shows the virus is out of control, despite assurances from the government.See also:OIE reports on 2008 Pakistan outbreakslast_img read more

Elected directors of the Croatian National Tourist Board

first_imgToday, the 23rd session of the CNTB Tourist Council was held at the CNTB Head Office, at which the council members adopted proposals for decisions on the appointment of the director of the representative office, which were covered by a public tender, the CNTB reports.These are representative offices in Italy, France, Poland, the Benelux, Germany – where the competition included the position of director of the representative office and head of the branch office, Russia and the USA. The competition also included representations in Hungary and Slovakia, where the offices were managed by the heads of the offices, without the status of director appointed by the CNTB Tourist Board. “Today, Croatia is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations, and in order to continue to strengthen our visibility and presence in some of the largest emitting markets, we must continuously improve and follow trends and apply innovative ways of promotion. I believe that the elected directors, with their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm they have shown, will make a positive step forward and confirm Croatia as one of the most popular tourist destinations.”, Minister Cappelli pointed out and added that he expects the director of the representative office to take a proactive approach in attracting new market segments and presenting offers that will further position Croatia as a year-round destination.Director of the CNTB Head Office Kristjan Staničić emphasized that he expects a strong contribution from all directors in achieving the strategic goals of Croatian tourism. “I believe that through this competition we have reached the best candidates who will make a strong and positive contribution to future trends in Croatian tourism. I expect new, innovative and interesting proposals from which the future activities of the representative office will be clearly visible. I will insist on a high level of professionalism and teamwork because a quality network of representative offices is an extremely important factor in the promotion of Croatia.”, Concluded director Staničić.The following directors of the representative office were unanimously appointed to the new mandates:Nera Miličić for Germany (head of the Munich branch office)Viviana Vukelic for Italy (also covers the Spanish market)Agnieszka Anna Puszczewicz for PolandRomeo Draghicchio for Germany (re-election)Danijela Mihalic Djurica for France (re-election)Ivan Novak for Benelux (re-election)Ina Rodin for the USA (also covers the Canadian market) – (re-election)Rajko Ruzicka for Russia (covers Ukraine and other markets in the region) – (re-election)Regarding the position of the Director of the CNTB Representation in Hungary based in Budapest and the position of the Director of the CNTB Representation in Slovakia based in Bratislava, according to Barbara Mesić, President of the Commission for Evaluation of Candidates Received under this Competition, the Tourist Board the council was proposed to re-announce the competition for the same, together with the competition for managerial positions in the representative offices scheduled for publication during the first half of 2018. This was proposed with the aim of collecting a larger number of competition applications from candidates with adequate competencies to represent the Croatian National Tourist Board in the relevant markets.As pointed out by the CNTB, the members of the council also adopted proposals for decisions on the establishment of the Commission for Joint Advertising in 2018 and the Commission for Strategic Projects in 2018.last_img read more

The permanent seasonal measure has been used by 13.300 people in the last three years

first_imgGrowing demand, investing in new facilities and expanding the supply of existing facilities has led to an increase in demand for labor and that is why for the fourth year in a row we are organizing Job Days in tourism as a meeting place for employers and employees looking for work, said Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli. in his introductory speech at the opening ceremony and added: Job Days in Tourism are a joint project of the Ministries of Labor and Pension System and the Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian Employment Service and partners of the Croatian Tourist Board, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the Croatian Chamber of Crafts, the Croatian Employers ‘Association and the Hotel Employers’ Association. to connect employers with unemployed persons, in order to engage seasonal workers in direct contact for the upcoming tourist season. This year, the need to hire over 9.000 seasonal workers was presented by 65 employers that include large hotel houses and other employers who employ a large number of seasonal workers during the tourist season.  Yesterday in Osijek, in the Gradski vrt hall, the fourth “Business Days in Tourism “. “I am glad that the first such meeting is being held in Slavonia, which is growing in tourist demand from year to year, together with the rest of the continental part of Croatia, which has an annual growth rate of 7 to 10 percent. That is why I will be glad when we have the opportunity to see the domestic workforce that is employed on the Croatian continent and here provides welcome and hospitality to guests throughout the year. An increasing number of tourists visiting Croatia give high marks for the hospitality of our tourist staff, and Slavonia is a region known for retaining the authentic charm of the locals, true hospitality and excellent gastronomy that delights every visitor. I believe that today’s meeting will enable visitors to find the desired employment with the employer, which will provide them with stimulating working conditions and enable them to further improve, advance and become the best promoters of Croatian tourism among our guests.” said Minister Cappelli.  The permanent seasonal measure has been used by 13.300 people in the last three years Zagreb and Split follow  “This is the result of a series of activities carried out with the aim of activating the unemployed and providing labor for the tourist season such as educating the unemployed to work during the tourist season, with special emphasis on learning foreign languages ​​to increase the quality of tourism services. The already mentioned permanent seasonal measure aims to provide financial support to workers who are employed only during the season. This extremely successful measure is available to employers from all industries that have the characteristics of seasonal business, and in the last three years it has been used by more than 13.300 people. “, concluded the Minister of Labor and Pension System Josip Aladrović. It is from Slavonian counties that a significant number of seasonal workers come, almost 6 people during 2019, because Slavonians are recognized as a quality workforce for which there is a significant interest of employers, as evidenced by the large number of exhibitors. After Osijek, the “Days of Business in Tourism” will be held on January 22, 2020 in Zagreb and on January 31, 2020 in Split. Participation in all three locations of the event was registered by 85 employers, and it is estimated that the events will be attended by a total of about 12 thousand visitors, unemployed people, vocational school students, students and all others interested in seasonal work in the tourist season.last_img read more

The European tourism sector is calling for urgent action to help and alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic

first_img– Simplification of visa rules for long-term markets- Reduction or waiver of taxes from passengers- Support to destinations, by increasing the budget for the needs of promotion, marketing and product development as soon as they are ready to welcome visitors again. “The Alliance of European Tourism Manifestos welcomes the immediate response presented by the European Commission on 13 March to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. We call for the urgent implementation of these measures, which should be reinforced by additional instruments focused on the tourism sector. Measures are now needed to strengthen the sector’s resilience in the long term and prepare for a speedy recovery from this unprecedented crisis”Emphasize from ETM. European Tourism Manifesto Alliance (ETM), the voice of the European travel and tourism sector, which brings together more than 50 European public and private tourism organizations, issued a statement on the implementation of emergency measures to limit the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the sector: The European Tourism Manifesto Alliance calls on the European Commission and national governments to swiftly implement the following emergency measures: In order to guarantee a speedy recovery after the crisis, the ETM calls for the implementation of additional measures: – Temporary state support of national governments for the tourism and travel sector- Quick and easy access to short- and medium-term loans to overcome liquidity shortages, including funds made available by the EU through the Corona Virus Response Initiative- Fiscal relief (both in the source market and at the destination level), starting from small and medium enterprises to economic entities of all sizes- Protection of workers from unemployment and loss of income (short-term work programs, improvement and retraining programs) and support for self-employed stakeholders in tourism- Rapid launch of the European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme- Postponement of fiscal and social contributions- Adopt the temporary abolition of airport slots- Support for action for the wider field of culture (art and heritage)- better coordination between national authorities in terms of harmonizing travel advice with the affected regions and requirements for travelers returning from those areas. The effects of the pandemic outbreak are already being felt throughout the world economy. Economic activity has declined, and all evidence points to a significant decline in areas affected by the virus. Tourism and the tourism sector are particularly affected. There are currently millions of jobs at stake, with many SMEs at risk of closure. Support for tourism must be a priority in the crisis response, recovery plans and actions of the affected economies, they point out in their statement from ETM.last_img read more

CNTB opens online applications for the Annual Croatian Tourist Awards

first_imgThe award is also given for an agency worker, a tourist guide, an employee in a hotel or camp, an employee in a restaurant or bar, a private landlord, a host of a tourist farm, a maritime worker, a road worker and a salesman. The Days of Croatian Tourism, the largest gathering of tourist workers in Croatia, will not be held this year due to the coronavirus epidemic. Candidates for the selection of employees of the year can be submitted by tourist boards exclusively through the county tourist board, professional associations, companies, local self-government units, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Interior, other Ministries of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Institute of Public Health. Croatian National Tourist Board already the eighteenth year awards prizes Man – the key to success, employee of the year. The awards are part of the program to mark the Day of Croatian Tourism, the largest gathering of tourism workers in Croatia. The public call is available on the official website Croatian National Tourist Board, and the application form is available via LINKS. Applications are accepted exclusively through the online application form until 11 November 2020 by 12:00. Photo: HTZ Following this, this year the Croatian National Tourist Board will reward employees who have made a significant contribution to the quality of tourist services and safety, health and protection during the tourist season 2020, and has opened online applications for Annual Croatian Tourist Awards 2020 in the category “Man – the key to success, employee of the year”.center_img Man – the key to success, employee of the year The goal of this award is raising the quality of service and hospitality of employees in tourism and other tourism-related activities, which directly affects raising the level of guest satisfaction, spreading the positive image of Croatian tourism and the overall experience of Croatia as a tourist destination. Reward “Man – the key to success, employee of the year” this year is awarded in total 12 categories. From that three are new: for border police officers, health care workers and civil protection workers. Man – the key to success, employee of the year However, the Croatian National Tourist Board has decided to reward employees who have done their job well, dedicatedly and in the best possible way in significantly more difficult conditions. Photo: HTZlast_img read more

Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster published B2C brochures in English and German

first_imgThe Helena Smokrović Institution for Health Care and Rehabilitation from Rijeka and Jadran-Galenski laboratorij dd, also from Rijeka, became new members. The Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster has published B2C brochures in English and German. The brochure lists health and dental clinics, tourist boards, educational institutions, travel agencies and hotels, and aims to promote all partners within the Cluster, as well as to promote a destination (although additional information on tourism facilities is missing) that offers a complete health tourism product. You can download the brochures in the attachment. The second week (November 12 and 13) will be held for the eighth time in a row Crikvenica International Health Tourism Conference, and for the first time virtually with English speakers. It is the largest regional conference on health tourism, which will again bring together world-renowned experts in the field of health, tourism, marketing and education. The Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster brings together members from the medical, tourism and university sectors and related services with the aim of creating a recognizable and competitive health tourism product at the local and international level. Kvarner health Tourism guide / Health & Holidays at a place Also, it is good to emphasize that the cluster website, in addition to the Croatian language, provides information in English, German, Russian and Italian. Kvarner health TOURISM CLUSTER / Health & Holiday all in one place The membership of the Cluster has expanded and now has 32 members Attachment: Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster – B2C brochures in English and German Photo: Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster / Illustration: HrTurizam.hrlast_img read more