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

La Liga: Messi’s dictatorship continues to haunt Barcelona

first_imgLionel Messi’s dictatorship at Barcelona continues to disrupt their transfer market operations as another world-class signing has been vetoed.Advertisement Barcelona had considered signing the Austrian on several occasions, but their efforts never materialized and after several failed attempts, the Catalan board considered signing Cristiano Ronaldo’s national teammate instead from the Portuguese league.The Portuguese fullback that Barca wants to bring in to strengthen their weak left flank is Porto’s gem, Alex Telles, according to Don Balon.The 27-year-old Portuguese was a prime Manchester United target for the last few seasons, the Red Devils tried all possible options to sign the Portuguese who is now wanted by Atletico Madrid and Juventus as well.Barcelona consider selling either Jordi Alba or Junior Firpo next season, Jordi Alba has struggled with fitness as age has caught up with the Spanish left-back and the former Betico fullback has been awful for the Blaugrana this season.The board considers selling Jordi Alba instead of Firpo as Quique Setien still believes in the potential of his former young Betico player whom he coached during his spell at Real Betis. David Alaba has been of the best fullbacks of this decade in European football and the Austrian was wanted by almost every possible top-flight division club. Loading… center_img Read Also: Lautaro Martinez would only leave Inter for BarcelonaHowever, Lionel Messi has intervened in the operation to sell Jordi Alba next season, the Blaugrana captain is best friends with Jordi Alba along with Luis Suarez. Lionel Messi has insisted the board to keep Jordi Alba in the team next season and the club has no other option but to bend to their saviour’s will.The board does not want to further antagonize their all-time top scorer as it may lead to his departure from the club.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesTop 10 Enemies Turned Friends in TVCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayDisney’s Live-Action Simba Was Based On The Cutest Lion Cub Ever33 Celebs Photos From Their Childhood: Will You Recognize Them?7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black HolesPlaying Games For Hours Can Do This To Your Body8 Fascinating Facts About CoffeeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?The Best Cars Of All TimeA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of Artlast_img read more

Volleyball: Badgers look to continue conference success against top hitters in Big Ten

first_imgThe Wisconsin volleyball team (10-4, 6-0 Big Ten) have ripped through their first six games of Big Ten play and face another challenging week with back-to-back games at home.Of the No. 6 Badgers’ six conference wins, four have come against the six ranked opponents in the Big Ten. UW is the fifth ranked team and the final ranked team is the No. 17 Illinois Fighting Illini (9-6, 4-2) — their opponent for this Friday.Volleyball: Badgers extend winning streak to six, sit alone atop Big TenFollowing back-to-back wins over top-five opponents, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team (10-4, 6-0 Big Ten) could have taken their Read…Wisconsin gets the chance to grab another impressive win before facing Northwestern (9-9, 0-6 Big Ten) the next day. The Badgers swept the Northwestern University Wildcats in Evanston last Wednesday.Last December, the Fighting Illini ended the Badgers’ bid for a NCAA National Championship in Champaign, but this is not the same Illini team.Seniors Ali Bastianelli and All-American setter Jordyn Poulter departed, leaving serious holes Illinois has struggled to fill.Volleyball: Badgers surge with pair of top-5 wins over Penn State, NebraskaIn a few of their early-season losses, the No. 7 University of Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team (8-4, 4-0 Big Ten) Read…Redshirt freshman Diana Brown has taken Poulter’s setter spot, but Illini hitters Megan Cooney and All-American Jacqueline Quade have seen more opportunities and less kills/set.The Illini are a very difficult team to predict. They have wins over then-No. 7 Marquette and No. 17 Purdue but have dropped matches to inferior teams like Colorado and Illinois State.Illinois has the most losses of any team in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Poll.Shutting down Quade could go a long way to beating the Illini. Wisconsin head coach Kelly Sheffield called her “one of the absolute best in the country at her position.”The following day, the Badgers face Northwestern for the second time this season. The key to stopping Northwestern is to contain blooming freshman outside hitter Temi Thomas-Ailara — a difficult task for any defense in the country.Volleyball: All-American Rettke remains hungry following summer with Team USAJunior Dana Rettke has been one of the most intimidating forces in college volleyball for over two years now. A Read…Thomas-Ailara currently has the second-most kills/set in the Big Ten at 4.30 with Quade just ahead at 4.41.In the Badgers’ sweep of the Wildcats, they punished the Northwestern’s defense with a variety of looks. Each of Wisconsin’s usual suspects were at net, but none of them had a monster performance.The Badgers hit .380 against the Wildcats with 46 kills and just 11 errors.As conference plays roll on, it is crucial for the Badgers to continue to evolve with such a lengthy schedule. A balanced offense plagues opposing defenses and helps when All-American middle blocker Dana Rettke has the full attention of an opponent’s defensive scheme.A pair of wins this week would give the Badgers their first 8-0 start in conference play during Sheffield’s seven years at Wisconsin.last_img read more