Pakistan suspects first human H5N1 cases

first_imgDec 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Reports of suspected human H5N1avian influenza cases among brothers in Pakistan are raising fresh fears in the global health community of human-to-human transmission of the virus, amid uncertainty about how a father-son pair in China contracted their H5N1 infections.Media outlets in Pakistan have been reporting on a possible family cluster in the northwestern part of the country over the past few days, but the sources of the information were often murky, and the details of the cases were confusing and often contradictory. And even though today’s news reports flesh out more details about the suspected cases, they still contain contradictory statements.If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the Pakistani cases, they would represent the country’s first reported appearance of the H5N1 virus in humans in Pakistan.Confusion, concern in PakistanToday an anonymous source in Pakistan’s health ministry told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that authorities are testing samples from two poultry farm workers who died in a hospital isolation ward from suspected H5N1 infections. The ministry official said the brothers are from Mansehra district and were admitted to a hospital in Peshawar, in northern Pakistan, KUNA reported.”We have received their blood samples, and they have been sent to laboratory for clinical analysis,” the ministry official told KUNA, adding that results are expected tomorrow.The Mansehra district where the men are from has experiencedH5N1 in poultry, and thousands of birds have been culled in the area, the KUNA report said.Khushnood Akhtar, secretary of Pakistan’s health ministry, said the cases occurred in November but said that four brothers are involved, Deutsche Presse-Argentur (DPA) reported today. One of the men, who worked on a poultry farm, may have contracted the H5N1 virus after he helped cull sick birds, Akhtar told DPA.The man survived but may have infected three of his brothers, none of whom had been at the farm or in contact with sick birds, Akhtar said in the DPA report. The DPA report appears to contradict the KUNA story, which said the two men in its report were farm workers.Akhtar told DPA that two of the brothers died of pneumonia-like symptoms but were buried before health officials could obtain blood samples, which appears to contradict what the anonymous health ministry official told KUNA.A third brother who lives in the United States and was visiting Mansehra also tested positive for the H5N1 virus, but survived and returned to his US home, Akhtar told DPA.”We have requested the WHO to send a team to the area so we can find out exactly what happened there,” he said in the DPA report.Developments in ChinaMeanwhile in China, the military in Nanjing, located in Jiangsu province in the eastern part of the country, banned poultry sales this week after the H5N1 virus killed a 24-year-old man from the area and sickened his 52-year-old father, the Associated Press reported today. Chinese officials have said they aren’t sure how the two men became infected or if there is any connection between their illnesses.China has not reported any recent H5N1 outbreaks in poultry.The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control(ECDC) said in an influenza news assessment yesterday that despite the familial link between the two men, it is too soon to say if their cases represent an instance of human-to-human H5N1 transmission.”Even if limited human-to-human transmission is proven in this or other cases, that is not new,” the ECDC report said. “ECDC would not change its EU [European Union] risk assessment in the absence of enlarging clusters and chains of transmission of H5N1, which are not being seen at present.”Cases serve as stark reminderMichael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, said there is obviously a major uptick inH5N1 activity in birds and humans, and that increased reports of the virus aren’t surprising, given the cooler seasonal conditions that have been associated with increased influenza activity.Today the WHO confirmed Myanmar’s first human H5N1 case, and Indonesia’s health minister announced another death from the disease. (See today’s CIDRAP News article for more details.)Osterholm said he doesn’t see a reason to panic over reports of family clusters and suspected human-to-human transmission. “Part of the problem with trying to understand the potential of H5N1 to cause the next pandemic is that we still don’t know what it will take to make it happen, “he told CIDRAP News.The H5N1 virus continues to have opportunities to find the right combination for sustained human-to-human transmission, Osterholm said, “but maybe this is all it will ever do.””Surely, this should remind us that this virus is continuing an uncontrolled and incredibly exuberant genetic mutation pathway,” he said.The emergence of human H5N1 cases in Pakistan wouldn’t be surprising, Osterholm said, “I’ve never believed that these countries could isolate themselves.”last_img read more

NBA playoffs 2019: Giannis Antetokounmpo has faith in Mike Budenholzer to keep him fresh

first_img“Giannis tends to play so hard and give so much,” he said. “He does a ton for us defensively, then we’re trying to play fast and he may have the ball a lot.”I don’t think it was anything unusual. There was no dead ball, he ended up playing a little longer than his normal stretch.”He plays so hard for us — he leaves it all out there — so sometimes he just gets a little bit winded.” Antetokounmpo had an extended spell on the floor in the third quarter and explained to reporters: “I was just tired, just tired. We were playing fast.”I can’t remember who was in the game — I think Khris [Middleton] and George Hill — but the pace was just really fast.”I was probably in the game for 8 1/2 minutes straight, where usually I’d stay in the game for 6, 6 1/2.”I was trying to be aggressive, trying to defend, rebound, run, trying to be more active. Obviously, I just got tired. Coach Bud saw that and that’s why he took me out.”MVP.#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/gKKOc3rFfI— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 18, 2019Asked whether he would be required to have further extended spells in the thick of the action throughout the playoffs, he replied: “It depends — usually I’d rather be in the game at the end of the game, the fourth quarter.”When I’m going and I’m making plays, I’m defending, I’m running the floor and finding my team-mates, I like to be in the game.”There’s been times when coach Bud has left me in the game, and there’s been times when he said, ‘No, sit your butt.’ All I can do is trust him.”Budenholzer is not concerned, though, insisting it is natural that a player as involved as Antetokounmpo should feel the effects after a time. Giannis Antetokounmpo says he is trusting Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer to manage his minutes through the playoffs.The Greek Freak turned in an MVP-caliber regular season, yet he averaged just 32.8 minutes per game as his hard-driving efforts sometimes took their toll, ending the season hobbled by an ankle injury. NBA playoffs 2019: Kyrie Irving — There’s ‘nothing like’ delivering for the Celtics in the postseasoncenter_img NBA playoffs 2019: James Harden sees Rockets peaking, ‘We’re almost there’ Antetokounmpo scored 24 points in just 23 minutes in Game 1 of the Bucks’ first-round playoff series against the Pistons — a 121-86 win — before playing 30 minutes in Game 2 and contributing 26 points.The 24-year-old continues to deliver consistently, but there were some concerns that he was struggling at times in Wednesday’s second comprehensive 120-99 success. Related Newslast_img read more