Aug 21, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A third human case of H5N1 avian influenza has been confirmed in a remote part of Indonesia where a number of suspected cases are being investigated, but most of the cases probably resulted from exposure to sick poultry, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.The confirmed case was in a 35-year-old woman from the subdistrict of Cikelet in West Java province who died shortly after she was hospitalized Aug 17, the WHO said. She is the 46thIndonesian to die of the illness, out of 59 confirmed cases, by the WHO’s count. An Aug 20 Agence France-Presse (AFP) report identified the woman as Euis Lina.Multiple cases in close proximity raise the possibility of human-to-human transmission. The disease was confirmed in two other people from Cikelet in the past week: a 9-year-old girl who died Aug 15 and a 17-year-old boy who is still alive.Three other people in the area died previously of suspected avian flu but were buried without being tested, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). One of them was the daughter of Euis Lina, said Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, as quoted by AFP.Sixteen other people in the area have been tested for the virus, AFP reported today. Their initial results were negative, but the tests are being repeated, an Indonesian official told AFP.WHO and Indonesian experts have been investigating in the Cikelet area since Aug 17, according to AFP. The WHO said investigators think the human cases are related to poultry outbreaks that began in late June.Cikelet encompasses about 20 isolated hamlets of around 200 to 400 people each, situated in a basin surrounded by steep mountains and accessed only by rocky, winding paths, the WHO said. People in the area have little access to healthcare and often die of endemic diseases such as malaria.No mass poultry deaths are known to have occurred in the area before late June, when some chickens were bought from an outside market and added to local flocks, the WHO said. Large numbers of chickens began dying shortly afterward in an outbreak that continued through July and the first week of August.’High-risk behaviors’ cited”As the population had no experience with this disease, high-risk behaviors commonly occurred during the disposal of carcasses or the preparation of sick or dead birds for consumption,” the agency said. “These exposures are, at present, thought to be the source of infection for most confirmed or suspected cases.”Some people in the area died of respiratory illnesses in late July and early August, but no samples were taken and medical records are generally poor, the WHO said, adding, “Though some of these undiagnosed deaths occurred in family members of confirmed cases, the investigation has found no evidence of human-to-human transmission and no evidence that the virus is spreading more easily from birds to humans.”The Cikelet situation comes about 3 months after seven confirmed avian flu cases and one probable case occurred in an extended family in the Indonesian province of North Sumatra. That cluster brought the first laboratory-confirmed instance of human-to-human transmission and the first three-person chain of cases. However, the WHO concluded that the disease did not spread outside the family.Indonesian officials today played down the likelihood of a case cluster with person-to-person transmission in Cikelet, according to the AFP report.I Nyoman Kandun told AFP that the cases couldn’t be classified as a cluster at this point because the patients lived too far apart to have come into contact.The 17-year-old boy who survived the illness had contact with a cousin who was one of the three people who died of possible avian flu without being tested. The WHO said previously that person-to-person transmission was highly unlikely in that instance because both patients were exposed to sick chickens and both got sick the same day, whereas there would have been a delay if one had been infected by the other.Another suspected case-patient from the Cikelet area, a 4-year-old girl, was removed from a hospital today by family members against the advice of doctors, the Jakarta Post reported. After she showed some improvement, the family decided to treat her at home, though her test results were still awaited, said a spokesman for Dr. Slamet General Hospital in Garut regency.The story described the girl as one of 11 people from Cikelet with suspected or confirmed avian flu.The latest confirmed case raises the WHO’s global avian flu toll to 240 cases with 141 deaths. That includes 95 cases so far this year, equal to the total for all of 2005. Sixty-four people have died of the illness so far this year, compared with 41 for all of last year.FAO lists Balkans as high-risk areaIn other developments, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today that the spread of avian flu among poultry has slowed in most countries, but warned that the southern Balkan countries and the Caucasus are a “high-risk region” for more outbreaks.”The region is not only a prime resting ground for migratory bird species, but poultry production is mostly characterized by rural and household husbandry with little in terms of biosecurity and strong regulatory inspection. In Romania it is still too early to say if the situation has stabilized,” said Juan Lubroth, head of the FAO’s Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal Diseases, in a news release.The agency said H5N1 has been confirmed in 55 countries, up from 45 in April. But the virus’s spread among poultry has been slowed by efforts to improve surveillance, strengthen veterinary services, and, in some cases, vaccinate poultry, officials said.”More than 220 million birds have died from the virus or been killed in culling activities aimed at stopping the spread of the disease,” the FAO said.To fight avian flu, the agency said it has received US $67.5 million so far and has signed agreements with donors for another $29 million. An additional $25 million has been promised. The FAO has disbursed $32.5 million since donor countries at a conference in Beijing last January pledged $1.9 billion for the campaign to stop the virus.See also:Aug 21 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_08_21/en/index.htmlAug 21 FAO news releasehttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000378/index.html
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIt’s time to get rid of the Statue of Liberty. The poem by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the statue, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door” clearly no longer represents the view of America, and the statue should go.Perhaps we don’t have to get rid of the Statue of Liberty. Maybe we could just change the inscription to something like “Stop letting in people from s—hole countries like Haiti, send us more white people from countries like Norway.” Get something that more accurately reflects the current view.Or maybe we could just put it in storage until a kinder, more caring administration comes into power. In any event that which the statue stands for no longer applies. Unfortunately.Peter SparanoGuilderlandMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesAlbany County warns of COVID increaseEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation
Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson does have one eye on the league standings and has urged his team-mates to continue picking up points so they are challenging for Champions League positions at the business end of the campaign. “As long as we’re in the top four we’re quite happy,” he told Tottenham’s official website. “We want to be in there at the end of the season and we just need to keep winning games and keep picking up three points. “It is important after the draw against Everton that we continue to pick up points.” Spurs go into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol which saw them qualify from their Europa League group. Villas-Boas made eight changes for the European tie but a number of players, including Soldado, are expected to return to the starting line-up against Newcastle. One player who definitely will start is goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Villas-Boas was criticised in some quarters for keeping the France captain on the pitch at Everton after he was knocked unconscious following a collision with Romelu Lukaku. But the Portuguese manager defended his decision and confirmed Lloris will return on Sunday having sat out the Europa League success on Thursday evening. “We watched their game against Chelsea,” he said. “In the first half, they defended well and then attacked more in the second half. It was a good win for them. I’m sure it will be a good match on Sunday. “I think Newcastle will be quite confident and it won’t be an easy match for us.” Summer signing Soldado has yet to fully adapt to the Barclays Premier League but he has struck three match-winning penalties already this season. Spurs have found it a challenge to break teams down at White Hart Lane as the majority of visitors look to shut up shop in an attempt to stifle the wealth of attacking options available to manager Andre Villas-Boas. Soldado’s late penalty winner against Hull in their last home game was such an occasion and, despite Spurs currently sitting in the top four, the former Valencia forward is taking nothing for granted. “You don’t focus on where teams are in the league, you just go out and give 100 per cent in every match,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where teams are in the league, they give everything. There are no easy matches in the Premier League. “If we manage to win, we’ll continue to make progress and build on the draw at Everton.” Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado is wary of facing a Newcastle side high on morale following their recent victory over Chelsea. Press Association The Magpies recorded a 2-0 win at home to Jose Mourinho’s side last weekend and deservedly collected three points from a difficult fixture, with Tottenham held to a goalless draw at Everton. Now Newcastle travel to face Spurs at White Hart Lane on Sunday with Soldado aware that Alan Pardew’s men will have momentum on their side.
Coach Yaw Acheampong may not get a lot of the headlines but he surely knows how to get his team, Elmina Sharks, to be disciplined and the numbers from the first round of the NC Special Competition underline the hard work they are putting in.Sharks conceded zero goals in the seven matches (home and away) they played in the first round despite facing the likes of Hearts of Oak and WAFA.However, for all of Sharks’ defensive strengths, they won only 2 of their matches while drawing the other 5.On the opposite of the defensive spectrum, Inter Allies have the poorest defence. They gave away 10 goals in their 7 matches. They won 1 drew 2 and lost 4. Three other teams also recorded 4 losses- Dwarfs, Eleven Wonders and Berekum Chelsea.WAFA were the highest scoring team of the first round with 10 goals followed by Kotoko with 9 and Hearts of Oak and Liberty with 8 each.In all 48 matches were played with 29 of them resulting in home wins. There were only 5 away wins and there were 14 draws.Kotoko’s Abdul Fatawu Safiu is the competition’s leading scorer with 6 goals.