FAO says H5N1 situation in birds has improved

first_imgAug 11, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The global H5N1 avian influenza situation in birds improved in the first half of this year, but an H5N1 strain not previously seen in Africa recently cropped up in Nigeria, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).”Considering the number of outbreaks reported worldwide, the global HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008,” the FAO said in the latest issue of its avian flu bulletin, AIDEnews.However, four countries where H5N1 is endemic—Egypt, China, Indonesia, and Vietnam—continued to report outbreaks during the 6-month period, and the virus re-emerged in Pakistan and in Hong Kong’s live bird markets, the agency noted.In June, 11 H5N1 outbreaks were reported in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Vietnam), compared with 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007, the FAO said. Europe reported no outbreaks, unlike in June of previous years, and no cases were reported in wild birds.However, Indonesia has not submitted reports on H5N1 events since May, because the new database for the country’s Participatory Disease Surveillance system is being modified, according to the report.”Although there has been an improvement in disease awareness, outbreaks/cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems, which may affect considerably the shape of the distribution of outbreaks by region,” the FAO said.Novel strain in NigeriaIn a statement today about Nigeria, the FAO said recent avian flu outbreaks in the states of Katsina and Kano involved a strain that has never been reported in Africa before but is similar to strains identified in Italy, Afghanistan, and Iran in 2007. The agency did not identify the strain by clade or subclade.Scott Newman, international wildlife coordinator for the FAO’s Animal Health Service, said the discovery is a concern because it is not known how the virus was brought into Africa.”It seems to be unlikely that wild birds have carried the strain to Africa, since the last migration of wild birds from Europe and Central Asia to Africa occurred in September 2007 and this year’s southerly migration into Africa has not really started yet,” Newman said.He said the new strain could have been introduced through international trade or illegal and unreported movement of poultry, adding, “This increases the risk of avian influenza spread to other countries in western Africa.”A team of FAO animal health experts and veterinary epidemiologists is working with the Nigerian government on disease surveillance, outbreak investigations, and the establishment of veterinary drug stockpiles, the agency said.Increased pathogenicity in VietnamIn other developments, the pathogenicity of H5N1 strains circulating in Vietnam seems to be rising, according to another article in the FAO’s AIDEnews.Investigators from the US Department of Agriculture and colleagues from Vietnam’s National Centre for Veterinary Diagnosis said the increase in pathogenicity is manifested by more severe respiratory tract infections in ducks and an increase in cloacal virus levels, according to the article.The higher pathogenicity has been seen in H5N1 viruses circulating in the Red River Basin (clades 2.3.2 and 2.3.4) and the Mekong delta (clade 1), the report says.Jan Slingenbergh of the FAO’s Animal Health Service said that despite the increased pathogenicity, avian flu in Vietnam is generally “fairly well in check,” according to the report. Slingenbergh participated in an avian flu conference in mid June in Hanoi.He reported that avian flu in southern Vietnam is well in check, but that efforts in northern Vietnam need “strengthening with measures other than vaccination, and the cost of vaccination cannot continue to be entirely supported by public funds only,” the article states.See also: Aug 11 FAO statement on H5N1 strain in Nigeriahttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000909/index.htmlJul 25 issue of FAO’s AIDEnewshttp://www.fao.org/docs/eims/upload/246457/aj097e00.pdfJul 25 CIDRAP News story “Nigeria finds H5N1 in bird markets”last_img read more

No water, drugs at De Kendren Health Centre

first_imgBoth the young and old accessing services at the De Kendren Health Centre on the West Coast of Demerara have been left to suffer, as the nurses and doctor there have refused to provide services because of the lack of proper sanitary facilities to effectively execute their functions.The elderly patients who seek care at the medical facility were seen wandering in the health centre’s compound, as doctors and nurses refused to perform their duties under the deplorable conditions that they are subjected.According to reports that the Guyana Times received, in order for care to be provided to the patients, nurses would be forced to fetch water from aback the facility’s yard, which has not been cleaned for months and is as such “high withOne of the pipes being used by the medical personnelgrass,”Nurse Nikita Johnson of the facility relayed that after being kind and going beyond and above the call of duty to carry out her daily duties, she has had enough.The angry nurse decried the hardships that have to be endured at her place of work, explaining, “Out of the kindness of my heart, I go at the back to climb up on a trestle to turn on a pipe to get some water. When that tank is empty, we have no water. The clinic attendant, she usually does it, because she has to wipe and clean, and it is very unfair to her to be putting on long boots to go where snakes and all different things can attack her. And I said to myself that I am not doing it anymore! When it comes to the washroom, you gotta take a bucket and throw in water over the urine and faeces and what not, and that is insanitary!” Nurse Johnson declared.In addition to the water woes, the pharmacist of the centre is decrying a medication shortage, which has been on-going for a lengthy period.Pharmacist Jennifer Thompson relayed that, on many occasions and as a result of the shortage, she is forced to use her own money to purchase drugs for patients at the centre.“We do not get the amount of drugs, and our clinic people are using the drugs. I am working at another place, and sometimes I have to bring drugs from that end to give my patients. Sometimes I have to take my own money, especially to buy the types of medication needed the most here,” she explained.“When you go to uplift drugs, they have your book long, and when you do get the drugs, it is just a few things” Thompson complained.Ramnauth (only name given), a diabetic and pensioner, revealed that since last year he was unable to receive treatment for his illness.According to the ailing man, October last was the last time he had received Insulin for his illness, and this he considered hard because, “I am a pensioner and I have to be using my lil pension money to buy insulin, because without that we can’t survive”.Regional Councillor for De Kendren, Culbert Leandor, revealed that the issue facing the medical facility are ongoing.“This is an ongoing problem, because they always call me and I always come over to check on this health centre. I keep calling for help to have this yard weeded. We have no running water. When I come over here I see nurses fetching water with mosquitoes and everything inside, just to get to carry out their duties, so I reported it. Patients coming here, no tablets, I keep calling and informing the RHO, so he knows”.While at the facility, the Councillor again attempted to make contact with the region’s Regional Health Officer (RHO) Dr Niaal Utman, which proved futile.This newspaper’s attempts to contract regional officials on the matter also proved futile. (Kizzy Coleman)last_img read more

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Fort Nelson

first_imgFort Nelson3:38 PM PDT Sunday 21 July 2013Severe thunderstorm watch for Fort Nelson continuedRisk of severe thunderstorms this evening.This is an alert to the potential development of severe thunderstorms with heavy rain and damaging winds.- Advertisement -Monitor weather conditions..listen for updated statements. If threatening weather approaches take immediate safety precautions.Conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms this evening over the Fort Nelson region. The potential exists that some of these thunderstorms may become severe. The main threat from these thunderstorms will be heavy downpours and damaging winds. Advertisementlast_img read more