Flu Fight

Flu linked to 62 deaths in Alberta this year

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Monday, Jun. 20, 2016

CALGARY - Alberta Health Services says 62 deaths in the province this year have been linked to the flu.

The department has released a final report on the most recent flu season.

It says the number of flu-related fatalities is down from 90 deaths during the previous season.

Dr. Judy MacDonald says there were over 5,000 lab-confirmed cases of influenza A and B throughout Alberta.

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H1N1 flu cases popping up in Manitoba

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Preview

H1N1 flu cases popping up in Manitoba

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Monday, Mar. 7, 2016

WINNIPEG - Manitoba Health has reported a recent spike in flu activity across the province and says the dominant strain is H1N1.

That's the strain that claimed several hundred lives during the 2009 pandemic.

In a letter written to health care providers last week, the Public Health and Primary Health Care Division wrote that the current wave of influenza activity is expected to last several weeks.

Influenza surveillance data indicates that during the week of Feb. 21-27, there were 21 people hospitalized due to the flu, seven required intensive care and two died.

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Monday, Mar. 7, 2016

WINNIPEG - Manitoba Health has reported a recent spike in flu activity across the province and says the dominant strain is H1N1.

That's the strain that claimed several hundred lives during the 2009 pandemic.

In a letter written to health care providers last week, the Public Health and Primary Health Care Division wrote that the current wave of influenza activity is expected to last several weeks.

Influenza surveillance data indicates that during the week of Feb. 21-27, there were 21 people hospitalized due to the flu, seven required intensive care and two died.

Saskatchewan jail comes down with the flu

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Preview

Saskatchewan jail comes down with the flu

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

SASKATOON - The flu bug appears to be making the rounds at a Saskatchewan jail.

The Ministry of Corrections says as of Monday, there were 36 suspected cases of influenza A at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.

Another case has been confirmed.

Drew Wilby, a ministry spokesman, says steps are being taken to minimize the number of inmates getting sick.

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Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

SASKATOON - The flu bug appears to be making the rounds at a Saskatchewan jail.

The Ministry of Corrections says as of Monday, there were 36 suspected cases of influenza A at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.

Another case has been confirmed.

Drew Wilby, a ministry spokesman, says steps are being taken to minimize the number of inmates getting sick.

Indian health authorizes say 700 have died in flu outbreak

The Associated Press 2 minute read Preview

Indian health authorizes say 700 have died in flu outbreak

The Associated Press 2 minute read Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

NEW DELHI - Health authorities were working to ensure remote hospitals in northern and western India had adequate medical supplies for a flu outbreak that has claimed more than 700 lives in 10 weeks.

More than 11,000 cases have been reported since mid-December with most of the cases being reported from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh states.

Federal health minister J.P. Nadda asked people to remain alert and not panic as the numbers climbed. At a meeting Thursday, top health officials were told to ensure that medicines were freely available and 24-hour helplines were set up.

The ministry was closely monitoring the situation but there was no shortage of drugs to treat patients, its statement said. The preparedness of government-run hospitals and health clinics in the worst affected states was being watched and the availability of drugs monitored.

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Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

NEW DELHI - Health authorities were working to ensure remote hospitals in northern and western India had adequate medical supplies for a flu outbreak that has claimed more than 700 lives in 10 weeks.

More than 11,000 cases have been reported since mid-December with most of the cases being reported from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh states.

Federal health minister J.P. Nadda asked people to remain alert and not panic as the numbers climbed. At a meeting Thursday, top health officials were told to ensure that medicines were freely available and 24-hour helplines were set up.

The ministry was closely monitoring the situation but there was no shortage of drugs to treat patients, its statement said. The preparedness of government-run hospitals and health clinics in the worst affected states was being watched and the availability of drugs monitored.

Hong Kong destroys poultry from China after bird flu found

The Associated Press 2 minute read Preview

Hong Kong destroys poultry from China after bird flu found

The Associated Press 2 minute read Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

HONG KONG - Authorities in Hong Kong began destroying 15,000 chickens at a poultry market Wednesday and suspended imports from mainland China after some birds were found to be infected with bird flu.

The market in Cheung Sha Wan in the Kowloon district will be closed and imports suspended for 21 days, Health Secretary Ko Wing-man announced.

Some chickens at the market supplied by a farm in Guangdong province on the mainland tested positive for the H7 variety of flu, Ko said. Authorities are most concerned about preventing the spread of the H7N9 strain, but Ko gave no indication whether that was found.

Authorities will "arrange to cull all the live poultry, around 15,000 in total" at the market, Ko said at a news conference early Wednesday, according to a transcript distributed by his agency.

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Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014

A health worker in full protective gear places a live chicken in a rubbish bin as he starts culling all chickens by using carbon dioxide at a wholesale poultry market in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Authorities in Hong Kong have begun destroying 15,000 chickens at a poultry market and suspended imports from mainland China after bird flu was found in some birds. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

New bird flu cluster identified in Netherlands

The Associated Press 2 minute read Preview

New bird flu cluster identified in Netherlands

The Associated Press 2 minute read Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

AMSTERDAM - Dutch authorities Friday said they will slaughter poultry at a cluster of three farms after new cases of bird flu were found in the town of Kamperveen, in the third outbreak in the Netherlands this week.

A new infection was detected Friday morning at a chicken farm in Kamperveen, roughly a hundred kilometres (60 miles) away from the previous infections, the Economic Affairs Ministry said. During a check of nearby farms, one farm was found with birds showing signs of illness.

At least 25,000 chickens and ducks are being slaughtered on the farms and the ministry said it has also ordered birds slaughtered at a third farm as a precaution, given its location within a kilometre (mile) radius of the first two.

The ministry said tests to determine the exact strain of the virus are being conducted. The earlier Dutch cases and another this week at a duck farm in England were confirmed as H5N8, which British officials said poses a very low public health risk.

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Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

AMSTERDAM - Dutch authorities Friday said they will slaughter poultry at a cluster of three farms after new cases of bird flu were found in the town of Kamperveen, in the third outbreak in the Netherlands this week.

A new infection was detected Friday morning at a chicken farm in Kamperveen, roughly a hundred kilometres (60 miles) away from the previous infections, the Economic Affairs Ministry said. During a check of nearby farms, one farm was found with birds showing signs of illness.

At least 25,000 chickens and ducks are being slaughtered on the farms and the ministry said it has also ordered birds slaughtered at a third farm as a precaution, given its location within a kilometre (mile) radius of the first two.

The ministry said tests to determine the exact strain of the virus are being conducted. The earlier Dutch cases and another this week at a duck farm in England were confirmed as H5N8, which British officials said poses a very low public health risk.

British, Dutch slaughter poultry to fight bird flu

The Associated Press 2 minute read Preview

British, Dutch slaughter poultry to fight bird flu

The Associated Press 2 minute read Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

LONDON - Chickens were being slaughtered in the Netherlands and Britain was preparing to kill ducks after two cases of bird flu were discovered in Europe — but officials insisted Monday that the risk to public health was very low.

British officials said they were investigating a case of the H5 bird flu virus in northern England, but noted it's not the more dangerous H5N1 strain. They said all 6,000 ducks at a breeding farm in the Driffield area of East Yorkshire will be killed and a restriction zone was being set up to prevent further spread of the infection. Tests were also being carried out at nearby farms.

The UK government food agency said there is no risk to the food chain and British Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens told BBC the risk of the disease spreading is probably quite low.

It was the first bird flu outbreak in Britain in six years, officials said. A government spokeswoman said Britain has a "strong track record of controlling and eliminating previous outbreaks of avian flu in the UK."

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Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

Ducks on a farm in Nafferton, England, where measures to prevent the spread of bird flu are under way after the first serious case of the disease in the UK for six years, Monday Nov. 17, 2014. Farmers around the country have been warned to be on alert after at least one case of the virus was confirmed at this duck breeding farm. Chickens were being slaughtered in the Netherlands and Britain was preparing to kill ducks after two cases of H5 bird flu virus were discovered in Europe, but officials insisted Monday that the risk to public health was very low. (AP Photo / Steve Parkin, PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES

Swine flu kills 24 across Egypt

The Associated Press 1 minute read Preview

Swine flu kills 24 across Egypt

The Associated Press 1 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014

CAIRO - Egypt's Health Ministry says swine flu has killed 24 people across the country over the past two months.

At a Tuesday news conference, the ministry's head of preventive medicine, Amr Qandeel, said 195 people have been hospitalized with the virus since Dec. 1, 2013. He added that so far the cases had been spread out through several areas, particularly the Nile Delta and Cairo. He encouraged those suffering from flu symptoms to seek medical attention early.

The ministry says that children and young adults are particularly vulnerable. Qandeel also says that two doctors had contracted the illness but that no medical personnel were among the dead.

In 2009, the global swine flu pandemic prompted Egyptian authorities to slaughter around 300,000 pigs previously used to dispose of the city's organic garbage. However, Jason McDonald, spokesman for the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that the virus is now most often transmitted from human to human, and not through contact with pigs.

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Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014

CAIRO - Egypt's Health Ministry says swine flu has killed 24 people across the country over the past two months.

At a Tuesday news conference, the ministry's head of preventive medicine, Amr Qandeel, said 195 people have been hospitalized with the virus since Dec. 1, 2013. He added that so far the cases had been spread out through several areas, particularly the Nile Delta and Cairo. He encouraged those suffering from flu symptoms to seek medical attention early.

The ministry says that children and young adults are particularly vulnerable. Qandeel also says that two doctors had contracted the illness but that no medical personnel were among the dead.

In 2009, the global swine flu pandemic prompted Egyptian authorities to slaughter around 300,000 pigs previously used to dispose of the city's organic garbage. However, Jason McDonald, spokesman for the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that the virus is now most often transmitted from human to human, and not through contact with pigs.

Flu shot in pregnancy recommended: study

Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

Flu shot in pregnancy recommended: study

Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Monday, Jan. 6, 2014

TORONTO - Pregnant women who get the flu shot are less likely to have premature or low-birth-weight infants compared to those who don't get vaccinated, a study has found, confirming the results of earlier research.

Yet researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where the study was conducted, say vaccination rates among pregnant women remain "disappointingly low."

Their study, published in Monday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, points out that during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, 64 per cent of pregnant women in Nova Scotia rolled up their sleeves for the flu shot.

Since then, the annual inoculation rate for that segment of the province's population has averaged about 16 per cent, despite public health recommendations that women get vaccinated, no matter which trimester of pregnancy they are in.

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Monday, Jan. 6, 2014

Community Health Nurse Amy Beck injects a patient with a H1N1 vaccine during a flu shot program in Calgary on Oct. 26, 2009. Pregnant women who get the flu shot are less likely to have premature or low-birth-weight infants compared to those who don't get vaccinated, a study has found, confirming the results of earlier research. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Bird flu strain infects human for 1st time

Maria Cheng, The Associated Press 3 minute read Preview

Bird flu strain infects human for 1st time

Maria Cheng, The Associated Press 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

LONDON - A strain of bird flu that scientists thought could not infect people has shown up in a Taiwanese woman, a nasty surprise that shows scientists must do more to spot worrisome flu strains before they ignite a global outbreak, doctors say.

On a more hopeful front, two pharmaceuticals separately reported encouraging results from human tests of a possible vaccine against a different type of bird flu that has been spreading in China since first being identified last spring, which is feared to have pandemic potential.

The woman, 20, was hospitalized in May with a lung infection. After being treated with Tamiflu and antibiotics, she was released. One of her throat swabs was sent to the Taiwan Centres for Disease Control. Experts there identified it as the H6N1 bird flu, widely circulating in chickens on the island.

The patient, who was not identified, worked in a deli and had no known connection to live birds. Investigators couldn't figure out how she was infected. But they noted several of her close family and friends also developed flu-like symptoms after spending time with her, though none tested positive for H6N1. The research was published online Thursday in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

FILE - In this April 11, 2013 file photo, a chicken is kept in a cage waiting to be inspected by health workers in Hong Kong. In May, a Taiwanese woman caught a new strain of bird flu scientists previously thought was incapable of infecting humans. In research published on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, doctors describe the case as another example of the need for better surveillance in the ongoing attempt to spot worrisome flu strains before they ignite a global outbreak. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

Bird flu kills 12th person in Cambodia this year

The Associated Press 2 minute read Preview

Bird flu kills 12th person in Cambodia this year

The Associated Press 2 minute read Monday, Nov. 4, 2013

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A 2-year-old girl has become the 12th person to die of bird flu in Cambodia this year, authorities said Monday.

The girl died from the H5N1 bird flu virus on Oct. 26 after suffering from fever, difficulty in breathing and lethargy, the country's Health Ministry and the World Health Organization said in a joint statement.

The statement said that an investigation at the girl's village in the western province of Pursat revealed that two months before her illness, poultry had died suddenly at her grandparents' house, where she often stayed.

The H5N1 virus normally spreads between poultry, but can sometimes spread from poultry to humans.

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Monday, Nov. 4, 2013

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A 2-year-old girl has become the 12th person to die of bird flu in Cambodia this year, authorities said Monday.

The girl died from the H5N1 bird flu virus on Oct. 26 after suffering from fever, difficulty in breathing and lethargy, the country's Health Ministry and the World Health Organization said in a joint statement.

The statement said that an investigation at the girl's village in the western province of Pursat revealed that two months before her illness, poultry had died suddenly at her grandparents' house, where she often stayed.

The H5N1 virus normally spreads between poultry, but can sometimes spread from poultry to humans.

Taiwan watching travellers after H7N9 bird flu case

The Associated Press 1 minute read Preview

Taiwan watching travellers after H7N9 bird flu case

The Associated Press 1 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan heightened surveillance of travellers from China on Thursday after authorities confirmed the island's first case of a new deadly strain of bird flu.

The 53-year-old man became ill with fever after returning from a visit to the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu on April 9, the Centers for Disease Control said.

He twice tested negative for H7N9 but eventually tested positive Wednesday after his condition deteriorated, CDC official Chang Feng-yi said.

He said Thursday authorities will step up screening of visitors from China at airports for signs of fever and other ailments. News reports said Taiwanese airlines will suspend providing chicken and ducks that come from China.

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Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013

A Taiwanese man wearing a mask reads newspaper titled "Taiwan has confirmed its first case of H7N9" at a subway station in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, April 25, 2013. Taiwan has confirmed its first case of a new deadly strain of bird flu. The Centers for Disease Control said Wednesday that a 53-year-old man became sick with the H7N9 bird flu virus after returning from a visit to the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu on April 9.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

WHO: New flu passes more easily from bird to human

Gillian Wong, The Associated Press 2 minute read Preview

WHO: New flu passes more easily from bird to human

Gillian Wong, The Associated Press 2 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013

BEIJING, China - A new strain of bird flu that emerged in China over the past month is one of the "most lethal" flu viruses so far, worrying health officials because it can jump more easily from birds to humans than the one that started killing people a decade ago, World Health Organization officials said Wednesday.

Scientists are watching the virus closely to see if it could spark a global pandemic but say there is little evidence so far that it can spread easily from human to human.

WHO's top influenza expert, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, told reporters at a briefing in Beijing that people seem to catch the H7N9 virus from birds more easily than the H5N1 strain that began ravaging poultry across Asia in 2003. The H5N1 strain has since killed 360 people worldwide, mostly after contact with infected fowl.

Health experts are concerned about H7N9's ability to jump to humans, and about the strain's capacity to infect birds without causing noticeable symptoms, which makes it difficult to monitor its spread.

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Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013

This Monday, April 15, 2013 electron microscope image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the H7N9 virus which can take on a variety of shapes. Almost three weeks after China reported finding a new strain of bird flu in humans, experts are still stumped by how people are becoming infected when many appear to have had no recent contact with live fowl and the virus isn't supposed to pass from person to person. Understanding how the H7N9 bird flu virus is spreading is a goal of international and Chinese experts assembled by the World Health Organization as they begin a weeklong investigation Friday, April 18, 2013. (AP Photo/CDC, C.S. Goldsmith, T. Rowe)

Death toll from bird flu in China rises to 13

The Associated Press 3 minute read Preview

Death toll from bird flu in China rises to 13

The Associated Press 3 minute read Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013

BEIJING, China - Two more people have died in China from a new strain of bird flu, raising the death toll from the virus to 13, state media reported Sunday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the two deaths were reported in Shanghai and that three new cases were also confirmed in the financial hub. A total of 11 new cases were reported Sunday — including two in a central province that previously had been unaffected. In all, 60 cases of the virus, known as H7N9, have been reported in China.

The two cases reported Sunday in central Henan province, which is next to Beijing, followed an announcement Saturday that a 7-year-old girl had become the first person in the capital to be infected with the virus. All previous reported cases were in Shanghai and other eastern areas of China.

A World Health Organization official said Sunday that it wasn't surprising that the virus had spread to Beijing.

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Sunday, Apr. 14, 2013

BEIJING, China - Two more people have died in China from a new strain of bird flu, raising the death toll from the virus to 13, state media reported Sunday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the two deaths were reported in Shanghai and that three new cases were also confirmed in the financial hub. A total of 11 new cases were reported Sunday — including two in a central province that previously had been unaffected. In all, 60 cases of the virus, known as H7N9, have been reported in China.

The two cases reported Sunday in central Henan province, which is next to Beijing, followed an announcement Saturday that a 7-year-old girl had become the first person in the capital to be infected with the virus. All previous reported cases were in Shanghai and other eastern areas of China.

A World Health Organization official said Sunday that it wasn't surprising that the virus had spread to Beijing.

China's bird flu response shows new openness

Gillian Wong, The Associated Press 6 minute read Preview

China's bird flu response shows new openness

Gillian Wong, The Associated Press 6 minute read Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013

SHANGHAI - After a new and lethal strain of bird flu emerged in Shanghai two weeks ago, the government of China's bustling financial capital responded with live updates on a Twitter-like microblog. It's a starkly different approach than a decade ago, when Chinese officials silenced reporting as a deadly pneumonia later known as SARS killed dozens in the south.

The contrast shows a new, though still evolving, openness in China that was learned from the SARS debacle, which devastated the government's credibility at home and abroad. It also reflects the demands of a more prosperous and educated citizenry for information and its use of social media to get it.

"Publicize information to prevent 'bird flu panic,'" read the headline of a recent front-page commentary in the People's Daily, the ruling Communist Party's newspaper, that urged government departments to release information quickly about an outbreak that has killed 10 and sickened 28 others.

The latest death, of a 74-year-old man, was reported in Shanghai, where two others were also reported sick. Neighboring Jiangsu province reported two more people infected Thursday.

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Thursday, Apr. 11, 2013

In this April 9, 2013 photo, a child wears a mask near the closed poultry section at the Huhuai agricultural market where the H7N9 bird flu was detected by authority in Shanghai, China. After a new and lethal strain of bird flu emerged in Shanghai two weeks ago, the government of China's bustling financial capital responded with live updates on a Twitter-like microblog. It's a starkly different approach than a decade ago, when Chinese officials silenced reporting as a deadly pneumonia later known as SARS killed dozens in the south. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Bird flu 101: How bad is the new H7N9 strain?

Margie Mason, The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

Bird flu 101: How bad is the new H7N9 strain?

Margie Mason, The Associated Press 4 minute read Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013

A bird flu virus never before found in humans has grabbed world attention this week after it infected and killed people in China. Scientists have been scrambling to understand how it happened and, more importantly, whether it poses a risk to public health or could potentially spark a global pandemic.

The good news is that so far there's no sign that the H7N9 virus is spreading from person to person, but experts say it has mutated in a way that has left them a bit worried. Here's a crash course in Bird Flu 101 to help explain what's known about the strain and why it matters:

Q: What is the H7N9 virus and what do we know about it?

A: The H7N9 strain — named for the combination of proteins on its surface — has infected at least 14 people in China since February, killing five of them, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The latest cases were confirmed Thursday, four days after the initial announcement. Symptoms include fever and respiratory problems, including severe pneumonia. Much still remains unknown about the virus, including how people are getting infected, but scientists say it contains genetic markers that could help it infect humans. It is believed to be able to circulate in poultry stocks without sickening birds. This can allow it to spread in flocks unnoticed, making it much harder to track and also possibly creating more contamination since the birds are surviving and spending more time on farms, in markets and elsewhere.

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Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013

A bird flu virus never before found in humans has grabbed world attention this week after it infected and killed people in China. Scientists have been scrambling to understand how it happened and, more importantly, whether it poses a risk to public health or could potentially spark a global pandemic.

The good news is that so far there's no sign that the H7N9 virus is spreading from person to person, but experts say it has mutated in a way that has left them a bit worried. Here's a crash course in Bird Flu 101 to help explain what's known about the strain and why it matters:

Q: What is the H7N9 virus and what do we know about it?

A: The H7N9 strain — named for the combination of proteins on its surface — has infected at least 14 people in China since February, killing five of them, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The latest cases were confirmed Thursday, four days after the initial announcement. Symptoms include fever and respiratory problems, including severe pneumonia. Much still remains unknown about the virus, including how people are getting infected, but scientists say it contains genetic markers that could help it infect humans. It is believed to be able to circulate in poultry stocks without sickening birds. This can allow it to spread in flocks unnoticed, making it much harder to track and also possibly creating more contamination since the birds are surviving and spending more time on farms, in markets and elsewhere.

China bird flu mutates, might infect mammals

Gillian Wong And Malcolm Ritter, The Associated Press 4 minute read Preview

China bird flu mutates, might infect mammals

Gillian Wong And Malcolm Ritter, The Associated Press 4 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2013

BEIJING, China - In a worrisome sign, a bird flu in China appears to have mutated so that it can spread to other animals, raising the potential for a bigger threat to people, scientists said Wednesday.

So far the flu has sickened nine people in China and killed three. It's not clear how they became infected, but there's no evidence that the virus is spreading easily among people.

But the virus can evidently move through poultry without making them sick, experts said, making it difficult to track the germ in flocks.

The findings are preliminary and need further testing.

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Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2013

A woman and her daughter are frightened while ducks approach closely for food at an amusement park in Beijing, China, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Scientists taking a first look at the genetics of the bird flu strain that recently killed two men in China said Wednesday the virus could be harder to track than its better-known cousin H5N1 because it might be able to spread silently among poultry without notice. The bird virus also seems to have adapted to be able to be able to sicken mammals like pigs. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

Thousands of ducks slaughtered at German farm following bird flu outbreak

The Associated Press 1 minute read Preview

Thousands of ducks slaughtered at German farm following bird flu outbreak

The Associated Press 1 minute read Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013

BERLIN - About 14,000 ducks at a German farm are being slaughtered following a bird flu outbreak.

A federal laboratory confirmed Friday the H5N1 virus was detected at the farm near Seelow, east of Berlin — the first such finding in Germany in more than three years.

On Saturday, officials started slaughtering the farm's ducks. Local council spokesman Tobias Seyfarth told news agency dpa that all poultry within a one-kilometre (half-mile) radius of the facility will be kept under observation for the next 21 days, with owners told to keep their birds where they are and report any symptoms.

The H5N1 virus normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans. Bird flu has killed 367 people worldwide since surfacing in 2003, the World Health Organization says.

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Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013

BERLIN - About 14,000 ducks at a German farm are being slaughtered following a bird flu outbreak.

A federal laboratory confirmed Friday the H5N1 virus was detected at the farm near Seelow, east of Berlin — the first such finding in Germany in more than three years.

On Saturday, officials started slaughtering the farm's ducks. Local council spokesman Tobias Seyfarth told news agency dpa that all poultry within a one-kilometre (half-mile) radius of the facility will be kept under observation for the next 21 days, with owners told to keep their birds where they are and report any symptoms.

The H5N1 virus normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans. Bird flu has killed 367 people worldwide since surfacing in 2003, the World Health Organization says.

Cambodia health authorities say 5-year-old girl is country’s 5th bird flu fatality of the year

The Associated Press 1 minute read Preview

Cambodia health authorities say 5-year-old girl is country’s 5th bird flu fatality of the year

The Associated Press 1 minute read Friday, Feb. 8, 2013

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A 5-year-old Cambodian girl has become the country's fifth bird flu fatality this year.

Cambodia's Health Ministry and the World Health Organization announced Friday that the girl had a history of contact with poultry in her village in southeastern Takeo province, where there was evidence of recent deaths among poultry.

Only one of Cambodia's six victims this year of the virus, also called avian influenza, or H5N1, has survived the disease. The country reported three cases in 2012, all fatal.

WHO statistics issued Feb. 1 show Cambodia as the only country so far reporting human cases of the disease in 2013.

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Friday, Feb. 8, 2013

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - A 5-year-old Cambodian girl has become the country's fifth bird flu fatality this year.

Cambodia's Health Ministry and the World Health Organization announced Friday that the girl had a history of contact with poultry in her village in southeastern Takeo province, where there was evidence of recent deaths among poultry.

Only one of Cambodia's six victims this year of the virus, also called avian influenza, or H5N1, has survived the disease. The country reported three cases in 2012, all fatal.

WHO statistics issued Feb. 1 show Cambodia as the only country so far reporting human cases of the disease in 2013.

Often elderly are victims, but 100 kids die of flu on average each year; 20 so far this season

Mike Stobbe, The Associated Press 5 minute read Preview

Often elderly are victims, but 100 kids die of flu on average each year; 20 so far this season

Mike Stobbe, The Associated Press 5 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013

NEW YORK, N.Y. - How bad is this flu season, exactly? Look to the children.

Twenty flu-related deaths have been reported in kids so far this winter, one of the worst tolls this early in the year since the government started keeping track in 2004.

But while such a tally is tragic, that does not mean this year will turn out to be unusually bad. Roughly 100 children die in an average flu season, and it's not yet clear the nation will reach that total.

The deaths this year have included a 6-year-old girl in Maine, a 15-year Michigan student who loved robotics, and 6-foot-4 Texas high school senior Max Schwolert, who grew sick in Wisconsin while visiting his grandparents for the holidays.

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Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013

This undated photo provided by the family shows Max Schwolert. The 6-foot-4, 17-year-old Texas high school senior grew sick in Wisconsin while visiting his grandparents for the holidays. Max felt fluish on Christmas Eve, seemed better the next morning but grew worse that night. The family decided to postpone the drive home and took him to a local hospital. He was transferred to a medical center in St. Paul, Minn., where he died on Dec. 29, 2012. Twenty flu-related deaths have been reported in kids so far this winter, one of the worst tolls this early in the year since the government started keeping track in 2004. (AP Photo)

With crowded ERs and some cancelled surgeries, flu reminds Canada what it can do

Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Preview

With crowded ERs and some cancelled surgeries, flu reminds Canada what it can do

Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013

TORONTO - In some places it's surging, in others it's plateaued, and in other parts of the country it may actually be on the wane.

But in most parts of Canada this winter, influenza has been reminding Canadians what a real flu season feels like.

Emergency departments are reporting heavy traffic. Some hospitals have cut back on surgeries. Sales of antiviral drugs have been strong enough to create the possibility of a shortage, prompting the federal government to lend stores of Tamiflu from the national emergency drug stockpile back to the manufacturer, Roche Canada.

After a couple of years of ho-hum flu seasons, some people may be tempted to cast this year as the worst in a decade. This early in the winter it's too soon to predict what the final picture will look like. But it is fair to say this is an active year, flu-wise.

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Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013

Vials of flu vaccine are displayed at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Flu season surging just in time for the holidays in many parts of the country

Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Preview

Flu season surging just in time for the holidays in many parts of the country

Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press 4 minute read Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

For a Winnipeg medical team, it’s an act of compassion. For the poor people of mountainous Nicaragua -- where they must be mobile to survive -- the knees are a chance at a new and better life. Free Press photojournalist Phil Hossack accompanied the team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and other medical staff from Concordia Hospital to Managua to tell their story.

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Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

A nurse draws a syringe of seasonal flu vaccine during a health fair and flu shot clinic at the Orange Schools in Pepper Pike, Ohio on Friday, Nov. 6, 2009. As in time for the holiday season, flu activity is surging in several parts of the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Amy Sancetta

Crying over needles? Fall flu shot available for kids in nasal spray

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Preview

Crying over needles? Fall flu shot available for kids in nasal spray

The Canadian Press 1 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012

EDMONTON - Alberta health officials say for the first time children will be able to get a seasonal flu vaccine through nasal spray instead of needles.

Children between two and 17 are eligible for FluMist, but those with respiratory problems such as asthma are advised to get the shot instead.

Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. James Talbot, says studies show the spray is more effective for children.

But he says it's still best for adults to get injections.

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Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012

Sarah Scornavaco quietly gets flu spray vaccine Oct. 22, 2009 in Wheaton. Ill. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Rex Arbogast

With flu season looming, study finds white, black Canadians get fewer flu shots

Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Preview

With flu season looming, study finds white, black Canadians get fewer flu shots

Helen Branswell, The Canadian Press 5 minute read Monday, Sep. 10, 2012

TORONTO - With summer in its dying days and flu season looming, public health programs countrywide are gearing up for the push to inject millions of doses of flu vaccine into arms.

A new study suggests those arms are more likely to belong to Canadians of a variety of ethnic backgrounds — Filipino, Japanese, Chinese and southeast Asian among them — than to Canadians who describe themselves as white or black.

In fact, of 12 ethnic groups, all were more likely to get a flu shot than white or black Canadians. Those two groups were essentially equally likely — or unlikely — to agree to get a flu shot, the study found.

Lead study author Susan Quach admits the results came as a surprise.

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Monday, Sep. 10, 2012

Nurse Laura Gill injects the a flu vaccine into a young male at a vaccination clinic in Ottawa on November 2, 2009. With summer in its dying days and flu season looming, public health programs countrywide are gearing up for the push to inject millions of doses of flu vaccine into arms. A new study suggests those arms are more likely to belong to Canadians of a variety of ethnic backgrounds - Filipino, Japanese, Chinese and southeast Asian among them - than to people who describe themselves as white. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit

Indonesian man dies of bird flu, bringing the country’s death toll to 9 this year

The Associated Press 1 minute read Preview

Indonesian man dies of bird flu, bringing the country’s death toll to 9 this year

The Associated Press 1 minute read Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012

JAKARTA, Indonesia - The Health Ministry says bird flu has killed a 37-year-old man in central Indonesia, marking the country's ninth fatality this year.

The Ministry's website said Monday that the man died July 30 in Yogyakarta province after being hospitalized for five days.

It confirmed that the man who lived near a chicken slaughterhouse was infected with the H5N1 virus after apparently coming into contact with sick birds.

The virus, which began ravaging poultry across Asia in 2003, remains entrenched in Indonesia. Experts fear it could mutate into a form that passes easily among people, potentially sparking a pandemic. But most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds.

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Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012

JAKARTA, Indonesia - The Health Ministry says bird flu has killed a 37-year-old man in central Indonesia, marking the country's ninth fatality this year.

The Ministry's website said Monday that the man died July 30 in Yogyakarta province after being hospitalized for five days.

It confirmed that the man who lived near a chicken slaughterhouse was infected with the H5N1 virus after apparently coming into contact with sick birds.

The virus, which began ravaging poultry across Asia in 2003, remains entrenched in Indonesia. Experts fear it could mutate into a form that passes easily among people, potentially sparking a pandemic. But most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds.

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