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In Bird Flu-Swine Flu Hybrids, a Clue to What Makes a Super-Strain

Swine flu is not gone, and it is not stagnant. Though the public health scare about the 2009 swine flu pandemic subsided, the virus—like avi...

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Bird flu hits South Africa's poultry industry

Avian influenza was detected in chickens for the first time in late June in Mpumalanga and has spread to other provinces including KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: ANA
Poultry producers in South Africa are working to contain an outbreak of H5N8 avian influenza that has hit the country’s largest agricultural industry.

Since October, the South African Dept. of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has confirmed the virus at 92 locations including 25 commercial poultry operations. The outbreak has claimed 3.2 million birds, the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture in its poultry and products annual report from South Africa. The outbreak comes just as South African poultry producers are recovering from a drought that contributed to a 3 percent decline in broiler production in 2016.

South Africa is a regional poultry production powerhouse, accounting for 80 percent of broiler production in Southern Africa. The industry is valued at R$37 billion ($2.8 billion) and contributes 15 percent to the total gross value of agricultural products, according to FAS.

In June, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) published notification of an avian influenza outbreak in a breeder flock in South Africa, and 5,000 birds were culled. Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe suspended poultry and poultry product imports from South Africa. Combined, these countries represented 71 percent of South African poultry meat exports in 2016. Namibia recently relaxed its import ban to allow poultry and poultry products from certain areas approved by DAFF to be free of avian influenza.

“A system was introduced to allow for movement of healthy live chickens for purposes other than for slaughter,” DAFF said in a statement. “Provincial Veterinary Services issued health attestations for small scale farmers and distributors of live chickens and the Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA) was authorized by DAFF to register and keep records of all parties selling and buying live chickens. This has so far been effective to prevent the spread of the disease to small scale farmers and backyard breeders on a large scale.”

DAFF also is considering a vaccination strategy, which could limit the impact of the outbreaks in the short term, but could negatively impact poultry exports. “An exit strategy to withdraw vaccination once the threat of HPAI is passed is also under discussion,” the agency said.

FAS is forecasting South Africa’s broiler meat exports will drop 19 percent to 60,000 tons in 2017, and to remain flat in 2018. Imports of poultry products are expected to climb 4 percent to 525,000 tons this year and 2 percent (535,000) in 2018. Broiler meat accounts for 95 percent of all poultry meat imports by South Africa, according FAS.

DNA study provides insight into how to live longer

Every year spent in education adds an average of 11 months to people's lifespan, say scientists.

The researchers say a person loses two months for every kilogram overweight they are - and seven years for smoking a packet of cigarettes a day.

Unusually, the Edinburgh university team found their answers by analysing differences in people's genetic code or DNA.

Ultimately they think it will reveal new ways of helping us to live longer.

The group used the genetic code of more than 600,000 people who are taking part in a natural, yet massive, experiment.

Clearer picture

If someone smokes, drinks, dropped out of school and is overweight, it can be difficult to identify the impact of one specific unhealthy behaviour.

Instead, the researchers turned to the natural experiment.

Some people carry mutations in their DNA that increase appetite or make them more likely to put on weight, so researchers were able to compare those programmed to eat more with those who were not - irrespective of their wider lifestyles.

Dr Peter Joshi, from the university's Usher Institute, said: "It doesn't mess up the analysis. You can look directly at the effect of weight, in isolation, on lifespan."

Similar sets of mutations have been linked to how long people spend in education and the enjoyment they get from smoking or drinking.

The research team also found specific mutations in human DNA that alter lifespan, reported in the journal Nature Communications.

  •     Mutations in a gene (a set of instructions in DNA) that is involved in running the immune system could add seven months of life on average
  •     People with a mutation that increased levels of bad cholesterol knocked eight months off life expectancy
  •     A rare mutation in a gene - APOE - linked to dementia reduced lifespans by 11 months
  •     And one that made smoking more appealing cut lives by five months

Dr Joshi says these genetic variants are the "tip of the iceberg". He says around 20% of the variation in lifespans may be inherited, but only 1% of such mutations have yet been found.

However, he said that while genetics does influence lifespan, "you've got even more influence" through the choices you make.

Dr Joshi told the BBC: "We hope to discover novel genes affecting lifespan to give us new information about ageing and construct therapeutic interventions for ageing."

There are also some disease mutations that clearly affect life expectancy, and to devastating effect, such as the Huntington's gene. People with Huntington's often die in their 20s.

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Flu vaccine: NHS patients wanted to test 'universal' jab

Researchers are seeking about 500 NHS patients to try out a new "universal" vaccine against seasonal flu.

The experimental vaccine works differently from the one currently available, which has to be remade each year based on a "best guess" of what type of flu is likely to be about.

The new jab targets part of the virus that does not change each year.

This means the vaccine should work against human, bird and swine flu, say the team at University of Oxford.

It will offer people better protection, they believe.

Extra protection

Immunization is the best defence we have against flu but it is not always effective.

Last winter's vaccine cut the risk of flu in adults under the age of 65 by about 40%, but barely worked in people over 65, despite being a good match for the type of flu in circulation.

As people age, their immune systems are often weaker and their bodies may not respond as well to a vaccine as younger people's bodies.

Prof Sarah Gilbert and colleagues believe that using their vaccine alongside the current one could help.

It is the world's first widespread human testing of such a vaccine, according to the National Institute for Health Research, which is supporting the project.

Patients aged 65 or older and living in Berkshire and Oxfordshire will be invited to take part in the trial.

Half of the 500 volunteers will receive the usual seasonal flu jab and a placebo or dummy jab, while the other half with get the regular vaccine plus the new experimental one.

The new vaccine uses a novel way to get the body to ward off flu.

Flu viruses look a bit like a ball covered in pins. Current flu jabs work by getting the body's immune system to recognise and attack the pin heads or surface proteins of the virus.

But these surface proteins can change, meaning the vaccine must change too.

The experimental vaccine instead encourages the body to make other immune system weapons, called T cells, against unchanging core proteins housed within the "ball" part of the virus.

It should fight multiple strains of influenza and will not need to be redesigned each year, unlike the current one used by the NHS.

Bad flu season

Prof Gilbert, co-founder of Vaccitech, a spin-out company from University of Oxford's Jenner Institute that is part-funding the work, told the BBC: "We expect that the protection from the new vaccine will last longer than a year, but we will need to test that with more clinical trials in the future.

"It is possible that, in future, vaccinations against flu might be given at longer intervals - maybe every five years instead of every year. But first we have to test protection in the first flu season following vaccination."

Free NHS flu jabs are available for:

  1.     People over 65
  2.     Pregnant women
  3.     Children and adults with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, or weakened immune systems
  4.     Residents of long-stay care home or other facilities
  5.    Children aged two and three on 31 August 2017, plus reception-age schoolchildren,as well as    children in school years one, two, three and four (children eligible and between the         ages of two and 17 will usually be offered a flu vaccine nasal spray rather than a jab)
  6.     Carers

Source: NHS Choices

She said the current trial will take two years to complete. If further studies go well the vaccine could then be licensed for wider use.

The NHS is braced for a bad flu season this winter, following the worst outbreak in many years in Australia and New Zealand.

Flu is easily transmitted and even people with mild or no symptoms can infect others.

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Mutant H1N1 strain causes swine flu in summer

GURUGRAM: Health officials are studying a new strain of H1N1 virus capable of infecting people during the summer months. The swine flu virus usually strikes in cold and humid weather conditions and was earlier reported only during the winter months.

However, it has changed its pattern and this summer, at least six patients have been reported to be suffering from H1N1 virus in the district. If the unconfirmed cases are considered, over 70 patients have displayed the symptoms of swine flu and received treatment this year. The flu virus had last hit Gurgaon in 2014 and infected 34 people. This year, 239 people have been infected in the state till now, out of which nine lost their lives.

The state health department has identified a gene mutation in H1N1 which is causing the outbreak earlier than usual. "Our biologists have noticed a gene mutation in H1N1 and suspect it is the Michigan strain. There are two types of strain — one for winter, California strain, which we had earlier and one for summer, Michigan strain," said Dr Suraj Bhan Kamboj, director, state health department.

How To Avoid Avoid Swine Flu - 10 Home Remedies

Are the rising swine flu casualties giving you jitters? Not sure how you can avoid falling prey to the growing epidemic? First and foremost, there is absolutely no need to panic.

Here are some easy steps you can take to tackle a flu virus of any kind, including swine flu. It is not necessary to follow all the steps at once. You can pick and choose a combination of remedies that suit you best. However, if you are already suffering from flu, these measures can help only up to an extent.

1. Have five duly washed leaves of Tulsi (known as Basil in English; medicinal name Ocimum sanctum) everyday in the morning. Tulsi has a large number of therapeutic properties. It keeps throat and lungs clear and helps in infections by way of strengthening your immunity.

2. Giloi (medicinal name Tinospora cordifolia) is a commonly available plant in many areas. Take a one-foot long branch of giloi, add five to six leaves of Tulsi and boil in water for 15-20 minutes or long enough to allow the water to extract its properties. Add black pepper and sendha (salt used during religious fasts), rock or black salt, or Misri (crystalised sugar like lumps to make it sweet) according to taste. Let it cool a bit and drink this kadha (concoction) while still warm. It will work wonders for your immunity. If giloi plant is not available, get processed giloi powder from Hamdard or others, and concoct a similar drink once a day.

3. A small piece of camphor (kapoor) approximately the size of a tablet should be taken once or twice a month. It can be swallowed with water by adults while children can take it along with mashed potatoes or banana because they will find it difficult to have it without any aides. Please remember camphor is not to be taken everyday, but only once each season, or once a month.

4. Those who can take garlic, must have two pods of raw garlic first thing in the morning. To be swallowed daily with lukewarm water. Garlic too strengthens immunity like the earlier measures mentioned.

5. Those not allergic to milk, must take a glass of hot or lukewarm milk every night with a small measure of haldi (turmeric).

6. Aloe vera (gwarpatha) too is a commonly available plant. Its thick and long, cactus-like leaves have an odourless gel. A teaspoon gel taken with water daily can work wonders for not only your skin and joint pains, but also boost immunity.

7. Take homeopathic medicines — Pyrogenium 200 and Inflenzium 200 in particular — five tablets three times a day, or two-three drops three times a day. While these are not specifically targeted at H1N1 either, these work well as preventive against common flu virus.

8. Do Pranayam daily (preferably under guidance if you are already not initiated into it) and go for morning jog/walk regularly to keep your throat and lungs in good condition and body in fine fettle. Even in small measures, it will work wonders for your body's resistance against all such diseases which attack the nose, throat and lungs, besides keeping you fit.


Swine flu kills 87 in 83 days in Madhya Pradesh

The death toll due to swine flu in Madhya Pradesh stands at 87 in 83 days

The death toll due to swine flu in Madhya Pradesh stands at 87 in 83 days (July 1 to September 21), even as 129 persons are being treated for the disease in different hospitals, officials said on Friday.

Health Department Director K.L. Sahu told IANS that, on Thursday, two persons suffering from swine flu died in two Indore hospitals.

“The disease is spreading continuously as approximately one person is dying every day due to the disease. The toll from July 1 to September 21 is 87,” Sahu said.

He added that 529 persons were found to be suffering from the H1N1 virus in the given period.

All hospitals and clinics have formed separate wards for treatment of patients suffering from the disease.

Three more succumb to swine flu in Hyderabad, 491 cases in Telangana since August 1

The state said that it had a sufficient stock of medicines and testing kits available at government hospitals.

Swine Flu continues to take its toll on Telangana, as three more patients succumbed to the H1N1 influenza virus at Hyderabad's Gandhi Hospital this week.

The deceased persons were identified as Sajida Sultana (48) from Hanamkonda who died on Saturday, and Babu Rao (50) of Kothagudem and Swaroopa (46) of Yadadri district who died on September 20 and September 21 respectively.

The Times of India reported that four people had succumbed to swine flu in September, so far.

"In all the four cases, the patients had underlying health issues. The deaths occurred due to complications that arose from those health concerns, and not primarily due to swine flu. The presence of the H1N1 virus, along with comorbid conditions, only made it more difficult to save them," Dr Sharavan Kumar, superintendent, Gandhi Hospital, told ToI.

Meanwhile, in a bulletin, the Telangana government said that 3,293 samples had been tested since August 1 and 491 among them were found to be positive for the H1N1 virus.

The bulletin also added that 17 positive cases were found on Saturday alone, among the 138 cases tested.

Last month, the state said that 165 positive cases of swine flu had been reported in August.

945 samples were tested since August 1 (till August 28), of which, 165 samples tested positive for the H1N1 virus, the state said.

The state also said that it had a sufficient stock of medicines and testing kits available at government hospitals.

Swine flu is an infection caused by one of several Swine Influenza Viruses (SIV), with the H1N1 strain being the most common in India and Telangana.

The H1N1 virus spreads when you touch an infected surface or breathe droplets of coughs and sneezes that are in the air.

The symptoms are the same as the seasonal flu, also known as viral fever. They include cough, sore throat, and body aches. Young children, pregnant women, and older adults are more likely to develop complications.

The state-run Gandhi Hospital, is the nodal centre to treat swine flu patients in Hyderabad.

The nodal agency for testing and confirming swine flu virus for AP and Telangana is the Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM).


Swine flu claims one, H1N1 cases from outside the city a concern

INDORE: H1N1 Influenza on Saturday claimed another life taking the death toll up to 21.

"A 58-year-old man died of swine flu. The patient was a resident of Shajapur and had been undergoing treatment at MY Hospital," Dr Asha Pandit, in-charge of integrated disease surveillance programme (IDSP), said.

She added the laboratory reports confirmed six new cases of swine flu.

The city is starting to bear an additional burden of patients who throng from nearby districts for treatment. But a delay in reporting these cases to city hospitals has caused problems as they miss the window period for treatment.

"Detecting and treating H1N1 Influenza virus within the first 24 hours plays a vital role in saving lives. In many cases patients coming from other districts however seem to miss this opportunity," Dr Pandit said.

She added that the department has left no stone unturned to ensure best possible treatment for patients suffering from swine flu in different hospitals.

As per the local health department's data, about 25 out of 60 patients being treated in different hospitals are in critical condition.

"Around 25 patients including five at MY Hospital are on ventilators. Their conditions are stated to be critical," Dr Pandit said.

The department has so far sent as many as 347 samples. Of these, 87 cases were positive and results of 13 cases were still awaited.

"The deadly virus has claimed as many as 21 lives including 11 from Indore and 10 from other districts this season. Forty one positive cases are from Indore while 46 are from other districts," Dr Pandit said.

According to official data, Indore is the worst affected after Bhopal as the capital has recorded more than 25 deaths due to swine flu in the last couple of months.


100 swine flu deaths in Maharashtra already this year

Story image for google trends for h1n1 swine flu from Hindustan Times

100 swine flu deaths in Maharashtra already this year

Hindustan Times-10-Apr-2017
Swine flu deaths across Maharashtra increased four-fold in the first three months of 2017. From January 1 to April 10, more than 100 deaths ...
Story image for google trends for h1n1 swine flu from Hindustan Times

Alarming rise in swine flu cases in India as 345 killed this year alone

Hindustan Times-11-May-2017
India witnessed worst outbreak of the Swine flu, renamed the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus by the World Health Organistion (WHO), in the ...
Story image for google trends for h1n1 swine flu from Bangalore Mirror

H1N1 is back, with three deaths till date

Bangalore Mirror-22-Feb-2017
But it is true that swine flu cases have come down since 2009, as back ... Meanwhile, Dr Murali Mohan added that the trend shows that it is the ...
Story image for google trends for h1n1 swine flu from Times of India

Swine flu claims 16 in Maharashtra this month

Times of India-13-Mar-2017
PUNE: In a sudden rise, as many as 16 people died of swine flu in Maharashtra in the first 12 days of this month, taking the H1N1 death toll to ...
Story image for google trends for h1n1 swine flu from Hindustan Times

Swine flu on the rise in Mumbai, 11 deaths this year

Hindustan Times-15-Jun-2017
The number of deaths from swine flu in Mumbai has risen to 11 this year. Three people were killed by the H1N1 virus between June 7 and 13.

‪‪Influenza A virus subtype H1N1‬, ‪Odisha‬, ‪Bhubaneswar‬‬

Actor Aamir Khan & Wife Kiran Rao Down With Swine Flu - H1N1

Aamir Khan has been asked to skip any public function to avoid spreading the H1N1 virus.

Mumbai:  Actor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao have contracted swine flu, and both of them are being treated at their residence in Mumbai. Mr Khan, through video-conferencing during the 'Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2017' event organised this evening in Pune by his NGO Paani Foundation, revealed that he has been diagnosed with swine flu.

The 52-year-old actor was scheduled to attend the event, but had to skip it due to the infection.

"We really wanted to attend the ceremony, but recently, after a test, I was diagnosed with H1N1, that is swine flu...I have been asked to take rest and cannot go and attend any public function so I am skipping the event so that others do not contract it," Mr Khan told the audience.

His wife Kiran Rao, co-founder of Paani Foundation, was seen sitting next to him during his video address.

A source close to the actor told PTI, "Today, during the video conferencing of Paani Foundation he confirmed that he has got it (swine flu). He is getting treated at home".

"Kiran contracted it from Aamir. As a result of the infection, they (Aamir and Kiran) were not able to remain present for the most important day of Paani Foundation- the annual prize distribution," the source said.

Actor Shahrukh Khan attended the event on Aamir Khan's behalf.

"Since today is friendship day, I requested my friend Shahrukh to attend the function on my behalf and he readily accepted," said Mr Khan said.

The 'Lagaan' actor congratulated all the villages, who took part in 'Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2017'.

Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadanvis, Reliance Foundation founder Neeta Ambani, industrialist Rajiv Bajaj were also present at the event.


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Delhi sees downpour of swine flu infections | 5th Aug 2017

A 25-year-old patient at RML and another at AIIMS became the latest victims of the H1N1 virus.

It is double trouble for Delhiites. While the Delhi and central governments were getting ready to tackle vector-borne diseases in the city this monsoon, the deadly swine flu virus is taking on alarming propositions, claiming five lives and infecting dozens.

A 25-year-old patient at RML and another at AIIMS became the latest victims of the H1N1 virus.

A doctor at RML told MAIL TODAY, "Naveen, 25, was admitted last week to the swine flu ward for treatment. He died on July 21 last week. Earlier in April, we had reported the death of 65-year-old Jairaj Singh from Shakarpur due to influenza virus."

"So far, RML hospital has witnessed 33 positive cases of swine flu. While 22 patients are from Delhi, 11 are from other states such as Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh," he added.

Meanwhile, AIIMS also reported one death last week.

AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said, "One patient died at the respiratory ward while undergoing swine flu treatment. He was in severe condition and we had put him on echmo, but he had lungs failure."

"We still have three patients in ICU on ventilator," he added.


Earlier this week, the Union health ministry released its data in which it said that Delhi has reported at least 320 swine flu cases with two deaths.

The two deaths were reported at Lok Nayak Hospital and a private hospital in April. According to doctors, this year H1N1 virus reported early in the city at the time of monsoon which is unusual.

Earlier this year, researchers at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune, run by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), isolated a new strain called the Michigan strain as part of the on-going H1N1 surveillance in the country. Health experts said at a time more than 100 cases of dengue, chikungunya and malaria are being reported by municipal corporations, the sudden spurt in swine flu cases in Delhi is a worrying development.

"In Delhi, the situation is normal. We have sufficient stocks for more than two months to deal with the swine flu crisis," Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain had said after MAIL TODAY broke the story on swine flu.

SM Raheja, additional D-G, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) told MAIL TODAY, "We are ready to deal with the crisis. Surveillance has been increased and doctors at all major hospitals such as Lok Nayak, GTB, Ambedkar, DDU have been alerted. Dedicated isolation wards of HINI patients has been set up. Public awareness campaigns, hoarding have also been put up. There is nothing to worry about at present moment."


H1N1 swine flu rampant around Lucknow and UP,175 cases reported | 5th Aug 2017

Lucknow, Aug 4: The f H1N1 (swine flu) virus is fast spreading in Lucknow and other parts of Uttar Pradesh with 20 new cases being detected yesterday and the state capital reporting 81 cases of swine flu this season so far.

The state capital also topped the list of swine flu affected districts in the state.

According to data from state vector-borne diseases control cell, over 46 per cent of total 175 swine flu cases reported in UP are from Lucknow followed by Ghaziabad which has just 21 cases.

Though reports said that more than ten people have lost their lives but government has only confirmed three deaths so far, including two in Lucknow. Meerut and Noida bagged the third place with nine cases each.

With five cases, Kanpur is the fifth most affected district in state.

Varanasi was the latest additions with one case.Officials claimed that they had enough stock of Tamiflu required for patients.

“We were able to verify several cases and gave them Tamiflu,” said Dr G S Bajpai, CMO Lucknow district.

In Lucknow, the hospital areas near SGPGI and KGMU are the worst affected along with Gomti Nagar, Ashiyana, Triveninagar, Rajajipuram, Niralanagar, Jankipuram and Vikas Nagar.

Most of the patients are admitted to the SGPGI and KGMU but still there are some patients at other government hospitals, where they are attended by doctors.

However, doctors says that the spread of virus could be prevented if the patients are detected earlier and put in isolation till he is treated.

Experts feel that all though all fevers are not swine flu, but if the temperature do not come down in a week then people should go for the H1N1 test in consultation with the doctors.
The f H1N1 (swine flu) virus is fast spreading in Lucknow and other parts of Uttar Pradesh with 20 n...

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The f H1N1 (swine flu) virus is fast spreading in Lucknow and other parts of Uttar Pradesh with 20 n...

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Lucknow, Aug 4: The f H1N1 (swine flu) virus is fast spreading in Lucknow and other parts of Uttar P...

Read more at:
Lucknow, Aug 4: The f H1N1 (swine flu) virus is fast spreading in Lucknow and other parts of Uttar P...

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Chandigarh sees fourth swine flu death in three weeks, hospitals on alert | 4th Aug 2017

Don’t ignore flu:18 cases reported in city since July, when the first case was reported.

 “People should become more aware and they must not ignore flu-like symptoms and fever, if it prevails for over 48 hours,” anti-malaria officer Dr Gaurav Aggarwal said. (Representative image )

With the city reporting its fourth death due to swine flu in three weeks — of a woman resident of Sector-52 — on Thursday, the health department has asked hospitals to be on alert. “We have asked all hospitals not to ignore any patient flu like illness,” Dr Gaurav Aggarwal, anti-malaria officer said. The total number of swine flue cases in Chandigarh this year have reached 18. The first case was reported in July. The woman who died on Thursday was a 35-year-old resident of Sector 52.
“The patient was referred from Civil Hospital, Sector 45 to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 in critical condition, where she died on Thursday,” an officials said. Officials said the woman was suffering from tuberculosis and was rushed to the hospital with a damaged lung. She was in septic shock - a life-threatening condition that happens when blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level after an infection.

Dr Gaurav Aggarwal said, “Almost all patients, who had died because of swine flu were suffering from chronic ailments and had reached the hospital in advanced stages.” He said that people should become more aware and they must not ignore flu-like symptoms and fever, if it prevails for over 48 hours.

10 cases in 10 days in Panchkula
VK Bansal, Civil Surgeon, Panchkula said that in the last ten days, ten swine flu cases have been reported in Panchkula district. “Four members of one family in Sector 20 are infected with the H1N1 virus. Two members of a Sector 21 family are also infected,” Bansal added.
He said from two cases are from Pinjore and two from Barwala. “Patients from Barwala are admitted in the PGIMER, out of the two, one is a 6-month-old baby,” said the doctor. He added all those affected had a travel history. “We have kept one room as an isolation ward and have adequate medicines available. We are taking samples in the hospital but do not have testing centres, for that we have to send samples to the PGIMER,” said the doctor.

Eight cases in Mohali
Swine flu has struck Mohali as eight cases so far have been found positive; six of them are under treatment. Besides this, a Kota woman had died in Mohali's private hospital due to swine flu about two weeks ago, said local health department.  Mohali civil surgeon Rita Bhardwaj said that the cases found positive are scattered across district, coming from places including Nayagaon, Zirakpur, Sohana and other places.

"People must be cautious and go to test diagnostic tests done once they start developing symptoms including running nose and flu," she said. A senior official at Mohali civil hospital in Phase-6 said, “We have created a six-bed isolation ward in the hospital to treat swine flu cases. We have have enough stock of medicine.”


H1N1 : Lifestyle and home remedies

If you develop any type of flu, these measures may help ease your symptoms:
  • Drink plenty of liquids. Choose water, juice and warm soups to prevent dehydration.
  • Rest. Get more sleep to help your immune system fight infection.

  • Consider pain relievers. Use an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), cautiously. Also, use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers.
    Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 3, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. This is because aspirin has been linked to Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in such children.
    Remember, pain relievers may make you more comfortable, but they won't make your symptoms go away faster and may have side effects. Ibuprofen may cause stomach pain, bleeding and ulcers. If taken for a long period or in higher than recommended doses, acetaminophen can be toxic to your liver.

Brain-Damaged Victims of Swine Flu Vaccine Win $63 Million Lawsuit

GSK has paid out $9.1 billion since 2003

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is in the news again making headlines after having to settle another major lawsuit bringing the latest total to over $9.1 billion since 2003. This time, it is due to GSK’s product Pandemrix, which was the swine flu vaccine forced upon the public during the pandemic of 2009 (which is argued by some to have been fake). As the victims are being compensated in the U.K., the same neurological mechanisms that damaged the children in the lawsuit are still potentially at work in the confirmed excitotoxicity that takes place after many vaccine injections.

According to the International Business Times U.K. Edition, each of the victims is “expected to receive £1 million each.” Peter Todd, a lawyer who represented many of the claimants, told the Sunday Times (U.K.):

“There has never been a case like this before. The victims of this vaccine have an incurable and lifelong condition and will require extensive medication.”

Unfortunately for Peter Todd and the countless other victims, there has been cases like this before. Neurological damage from vaccines is not a rare occurrence. In fact, the U.S. government has paid out $3 billion and counting to families of vaccine-injured children. Most of which were due to direct neurological damage or complications arising from such damage.

According to The Global Research Project, the GlaxoSmithKline rap sheet states:

“In recent years, GlaxoSmithKline has become known as the company that pays massive amounts to resolve wide-ranging charges brought by U.S. regulators and prosecutors.

These included a $750 million payment relating to the sale of adulterated products from a facility in Puerto Rico and a record $3 billion in connection with charges relating to illegal marketing, suppression of adverse safety research results and overcharging government customers. The company also set a record for the largest tax avoidance settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.”

If GlaxoSmithKline wasn’t afforded legal and financial government protection status, they would have went under years ago. However, this corporate zombie still damages populations with little oversight and deep pockets to pay for any legal or ethical challenges that get in the way.

Currently, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and other pharmaceutical houses were influential in the attempted passing of California Senate Bill 277 to remove the “parental opposition” that was slowing their product’s revenue stream. What wasn’t disclosed during the senate hearing, or vote following, was that the bill’s author Richard Pan had financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline and Merck.

In a fair legal system, this should immediately disqualify the bill and bring serious moral and ethical challenges to Pan’s legitimacy. Fortunately, due to an onslaught of parents and other citizens, SB277 is currently stalled leaving Richard Pan with lots of explaining and little integrity to fall back on.

H1N1 (Swine Flu): Efficacy of Soap and Water and Alcohol‐Based Hand-Rubs against H1N1 Influenza Virus on Human Hands

Hand Hygiene – Does it work?

We know that we are supposed to wash our hands for good health – after all, that is what our Mom always said!  But where is the scientific proof? Interesting that although pandemic and avian influenza are known to be transmitted via human hands, there are minimal data regarding the effectiveness of routine hand hygiene (HH) protocols against pandemic and avian influenza.

In a study recently published in the journal “Clinical Infectious Diseases” twenty vaccinated, antibody?positive health care workers had their hands contaminated with 1 mL of 107 tissue culture infectious dose (TCID)50/0.1 mL live human influenza A virus (H1N1; A/New Caledonia/20/99) before undertaking one of five HH protocols.  The five protocols included:

•    No HH [the control group] •    Soap and water hand washing [SW] •    Alcohol?based hand rub – 61.5% ethanol gel

•    Alcohol?based hand rub – 70% ethanol plus 0.5% chlorhexidine solution

•    Alcohol?based hand rub – 70% isopropanol plus 0.5% chlorhexidine solution

Alcohol-based Hand Rub

The study included assessing H1N1 concentrations before and after each intervention by viral culture and real?time reverse?transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The natural viability of H1N1 on hands for >60 min without HH was also assessed.

So what were the results?

There was an immediate reduction in culture?detectable and PCR?detectable H1N1 after brief skin air drying—

14 of 20 health care workers had H1N1 detected by means of culture (mean reduction, 103–4 TCID50/0.1 mL)

6 of 20 had no viable H1N1 recovered

All 20 health care workers had similar changes in PCR test results.

Marked antiviral efficacy was noted for all 4 HH protocols, on the basis of culture results (14 of 14 had no culturable H1N1) and PCR results (cycle threshold value range, 33.3–39.4)

SW was statistically superior to all 3 alcohol?based hand rubs, although the actual difference was only 1–100 virus copies/?L.

There was minimal reduction in H1N1 after 60 min without HH.

The Big Aha!

Basic Handwashing with Soap & Water

The study found “hands down” that hand hygiene (HH) with soap and water (SW) or alcohol?based hand rub is highly effective in reducing influenza A virus on human hands, although SW is the most effective intervention.  Appropriate HH may be an important public health initiative to reduce pandemic and avian influenza transmission.

I don’t know about you but after reading about this study I am feeling the need to grab a bar of soap and head to the sink for a little old fashion hand washing!

Regina Phelps

Swine Flu (H1N1)

What Is Swine Flu?


Swine flu was a pandemic in 2009, but is now considered a normal human flu virus.

Swine flu can be prevented with the yearly flu vaccine.

Swine flu has similar symptoms and treatments and is transmitted in the same ways as the regular flu virus.
Swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, is a relatively new strain of an influenza virus that causes symptoms similar to the regular flu. It originated in pigs, but is spread primarily from person to person.

Swine flu made headlines in 2009 when it was first discovered in humans and became a pandemic. Pandemics are contagious diseases affecting people throughout the world or on multiple continents at the same time.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the H1N1 pandemic over in August of 2010. Since then, the H1N1 virus has been known as a regular human flu virus. It continues to spread during flu season like other strains of the flu. The flu shot developed each year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) usually includes a vaccination against a type of H1N1 virus.

Like other strains of the flu, H1N1 is highly contagious, allowing it to spread quickly from person to person. A simple sneeze can cause thousands of germs to spread through the air. The virus can linger on tables and surface areas like door knobs, waiting to be picked up.

The best means of dealing with swine flu is to prevent it. Hand sanitization is important to stop the spread of the virus, and staying away from infected people will help stop person-to-person transmission.

Part 2 of 9: Risk Factors

When it first emerged, swine flu was most common in young adults. This was unusual because most flu viruses attack older adults or the very young. Today, risk factors for getting swine flu are the same as for any other strain of the flu. You’re most at risk if you spend time in an area with a large number of people who are infected with swine flu.

Some people are at higher risk for becoming seriously ill if they’re infected with swine flu. These groups include:

adults over age 65

children under 5 years old

young adults under age 19 who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy

people with compromised immune systems (due to a disease such as AIDS)

pregnant women

people with chronic illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes or neuromuscular disease

Part 3 of 9: Causes

Swine flu is caused by a strain of influenza virus that usually only infects pigs. Unlike typhus, which can be transmitted by lice or ticks, transmission usually occurs from person to person, not animal to person.

You can’t catch swine flu from eating pork products.

Swine flu is very contagious. The disease is spread through saliva and mucus particles. People may spread it by:



touching a germ-covered surface and then touching their eyes or nose

Part 4 of 9: Symptoms

The symptoms of swine flu are very much like those of regular influenza. They include:




sore throat

runny or stuffy nose

body aches



nausea and vomiting

Part 5 of 9: Diagnosis

Your doctor can make a diagnosis by sampling fluid from your body. To take a sample, your doctor or a nurse may swab your nose or throat.

The swab will be analyzed using various genetic and laboratory techniques to identify the specific type of virus.

Part 6 of 9: Treatment

Most cases of swine flu don’t require medication for treatment. You don’t need to see a doctor unless you’re at risk for developing medical complications from the flu. You should focus on relieving your symptoms and preventing the spread of the H1N1 to other people.

Two antiviral drugs are recommended for treating swine flu: the oral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). Because flu viruses can develop resistance to these drugs, they’re often reserved for people who are at high risk for complications from the flu. People who are otherwise generally healthy and get swine flu will be able to fight the infection on their own.

Part 7 of 9: Home Treatment

Methods for managing the symptoms of swine flu are similar to the regular flu:

Get plenty of rest. This will help your immune system focus on fighting the infection.

Drink plenty of water and other liquids to prevent dehydration. Soup and clear juices will help replenish your body of lost nutrients.

Take over-the-counter pain relievers for symptoms such as headache and sore throat.

Part 8 of 9: Outlook

Severe cases of swine flu can be fatal. Most fatal cases occur in those with underlying conditions, such as HIV/AIDS. The majority of people with swine flu recover and can anticipate a normal life expectancy.

Part 9 of 9: Prevention
The best way to prevent swine flu is to get a yearly flu vaccination. Other easy ways to prevent swine flu include:

frequently washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer

not touching your nose, mouth, or eyes (the virus can survive on surfaces like telephones and tabletops)

staying home from work or school if you're ill

avoiding large gatherings when swine flu is in season

It’s important to follow any public health recommendations regarding school closures or avoiding crowds during the flu season. These recommendations may come from the CDC, WHO, National Institutes of Health, or other governmental public health institutions.

Flu season shifts from year to year, but in the United States it generally starts in October and runs until as late as May. It usually peaks in January, although it’s possible to get the flu any time of year.

Animals carry different diseases hazardous to humans

Other Diseases associated with animals

With all those concerns about h1n1, a disease also called the swine flu, people are asking about this pandemic virus, but also about other diseases connected with animals. In fact, this disease has nothing to do with pigs. It is true, humans can catch h1n1 from swine, but the chance is just about the same as getting it from other animals. During the history of humankind, many diseases resembling with the swine flu ravaged the world. For example, the Mad Cow Disease and the avian virus were also pandemic diseases that worried the people from New York to the smallest African village.

 Why those diseases have a pandemic component

It is believed that some of those diseases are connected with the h1n1 virus. The swine flu was indeed a powerful virus, but the fuzz about it was not justified. Let’s see what the pandemic component of those diseases is.

The modern world is based on communication. As soon as a person catches an uncommon disease in an American small country town, and the condition is uncommon, because of the social networks and other methods allowing information to spread with the speed of light, everybody in the area will find out about this problem. In other times, the governments were able to isolate the respective areas, and even if some rumors would get away from the respective town, those rumors were easily infirmed by the authorities. Today, besides the fact that any rumor spreads instantly, and the authorities have no power to stop it, the information is changed and interpreted. This is why people start to worry about a problem that is not as severe as it looks. It is true, the h1n1 virus known as the swine flu was a powerful virus, but it was not as severe as people believed. This is called a pandemic disease, meaning a disease spreads more by rumors.

disease bird
chickens often carry diseases

What is the difference between the seasonal flu, the swine and the avian flu and a pandemic disease?
Usually, the flu viruses are spread from the humans to animals and from animals to humans. While it is transmitted, the strain of the virus suffers mutations and modifications. This is why h1n1 could be harmless for the respective animals, but deadly from some people. In fact, the swine flu had a characteristic that was not present for any other virus: while for some people, it was manifested as a simple cold, for other people, it caused death.

The most common flu is the seasonal one, caused by simple viruses that are spread by humans to other humans. This kind of disease has nothing to do with the h1n1 or the swine flu virus. The immunity of people can be grown with vaccines.

The Avian flu was one of the most discussed diseases in the history of humankind, especially because it appeared at the beginning of the 21st century, at the same time as the social networks. This flu was also based on an h1n1 strain, just like the swine flu. Unlike the swine flu that was transmitted from all kinds of animals to humans, not only from pigs, the avian virus was only transmitted from birds. Even if the avian flu was more dangerous than the swine flu, the fast response of the authorities managed to isolate the respective strains effectively.

Mixing the strains of h1n1 from humans, birds and other animals could result in a new virus that is immune to the majority of vaccines.

A pandemic virus can be defined as a new kind of flu that spreads easily. When this virus appears, people have no natural immunity, and as we are talking about a new virus, the authorities need some time before releasing a vaccine, and all kinds of rumors appear during this time. As a result, there is a chance for this new virus like the swine flu to be easily spread amongst humans.

 What foods are infested with the virus?

One of the certain facts about the h1n1 swine flu, or any other virus with a pandemic component is the fact that it is safe to eat meat and pork, as the h1n1 virus is not transmitted through food. If they are prepared correctly, even if there are some strains of swine flu in the respective meat, the virus will be destroyed by boiling and frying.

Unfortunately, as the history proved, once in a while, a new strain of h1n1 appears, and even if it is called swine flu, avian flu or in any other way, we must be ready and protected.
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