Indonesia suspects more avian flu as outbreaks spread in China

first_imgNov 14, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A new suspected case of H5N1 avian influenza was reported in Indonesia today, while still another poultry outbreak was reported in China, its ninth in the past month.In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the avian flu case reported in an 18-month-old boy in Thailand last week, while Thai officials said the boy’s grandmother has tested negative for the virus.A 20-year-old Indonesian woman died in a Jakarta hospital Nov 12 after suffering from a high fever and respiratory problems, prompting tests for avian flu, according to an Associated Press report today.A neighbor of the woman had 10 chickens that died recently, and other members of her family kept birds as pets, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.Ilham Patu of Jakarta’s Sulianti Saroso Hospital said an Indonesian lab would test samples from the woman today, and samples also were being sent to a Hong Kong lab for testing.The WHO today confirmed H5N1 avian flu in the 18-month-old boy from a suburb of Bangkok, saying he remained in good condition. His case, reported in the media Nov 11, is the fourth in Thailand this year and the 21st since early 2004.The boy’s 65-year-old grandmother had been suspected of having avian flu, but Thailand’s health ministry said she has twice tested negative for H5N1, according to an AFP report today. A third test result was still awaited. The ministry said her condition was improving.China reported an H5N1 outbreak that killed 800 poultry in the eastern part of Anhui province, the ninth outbreak in about a month, according to an AFP story today. The outbreak was discovered Nov 6 and the cause was confirmed as H5N1 today.Local officials ordered the culling of all poultry within 3 kilometers of the affected farm, and more than 126,000 birds have been killed so far, the story said. The agriculture ministry said another 279,000 birds in the area have been vaccinated.Also, a group of WHO experts arrived in Changsha, capital of Hunan province, to investigate three pneumonia cases, including one death, suspected of being caused by avian flu, AFP reported.In Romania, the veterinary authority said four dead hens in a village in the Danube delta had tested positive for an H5 flu virus, according to a Reuters report. Samples from the hens, found in the village of Caraorman, were to be sent to Britain to test for H5N1, officials said. H5N1 was found in poultry in two villages in the Danube delta last month.In Vietnam, researchers reported that the H5N1 virus had mutated in ways that enable it reproduce more effectively in mammals, but two health officials described the findings as neither new nor particularly alarming.An online report by the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City said, “The H5N1 type noticed among people and poultry in early 2005 has undergone some changes, facilitating its reproduction in cells of mammals and making it more dangerous,” according to an AFP report today.Reuters reported that the findings were based on an analysis of 24 H5N1 isolates from poultry and humans. The information came from the online newspaper Vnexpress, which quoted Cao Bao Van of the Pasteur Institute. In one human isolate from southern Vietnam, he said, researchers had found a mutation in the PB2 gene that “allows more effective breeding of the virus in mammals.”The researchers offered no conclusions about the virus’s ability to spread from person to person, Reuters reported.An AFP story today quoted the director of the Pasteur Institute, Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, as saying that the new findings were “not of any surprise” and that the “changes in the virus are not that significant.”In addition, a WHO spokeswoman in Hanoi, Dida Connor, said mutations in the virus were not unusual. “It is sometimes difficult to directly link specific changes in the genetic sequence to changes in virus behavior, including its ability to infect humans,” Connor said.The Pasteur Institute report said the virus had developed resistance to the antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine, but that finding has been reported before.Avian flu has broken out in poultry in 10 of Vietnam’s 64 provinces since early October, the AFP report said.In Taiwan, meanwhile, an H7N3 avian flu virus was found in droppings form a migratory bird, according to another AFP report today. The virus was found in one of 20 samples of bird droppings gathered from a swamp near the southern city of Tainan.No dead birds were found in the area, and authorities were unsure of the virus’s virulence, the story said. An official said a mild strain of H7N3 was found last April in bird droppings near Taipei.Taiwan has had no H5N1 outbreaks, but eight pet birds smuggled from China tested positive for the virus last month, the story noted.See also:Nov 14 WHO news releasehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_11_14/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Authorities recover black box in Germanwings crash that left 150 dead in

first_imgRelated posts:Murder-suicide by plane: What drove Lubitz to do it? Germanwings co-pilot treated in past for suicidal tendencies Lufthansa CEO tours crash area after disclosure of pilot’s depression Co-pilot deliberately crashed Germanwings plane: prosecutor SEYNE,France – A plane operated by the budget carrier of Germany’s Lufthansa crashed in a remote area of the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 on board in France’s worst aviation disaster in decades.Budget airline  Germanwings said the Airbus A320 plunged into an inaccessible mountain area in southeastern France.With the cause of the accident a complete mystery, authorities recovered a black box from the crash site, where rescue efforts were being hampered by the mountainous terrain.Local MP Christophe Castaner, who flew over the crash site, said on Twitter: “Horrendous images in this mountain scenery.”“Nothing is left but debris and bodies. Flying over the crash site with the interior minister — a horror — the plane is totally destroyed.”Video images from a government helicopter flying near the area showed a desolate snow-flecked moonscape, with steep ravines covered in scree.Germanwings said the Airbus plunged for eight minutes but French aviation officials said the plane had made no distress call before crashing near the ski resort of Barcelonnette.“A black box was found and will be delivered to investigators,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.Weather did not appear to be a factor in the crash, with conditions “calm” at the time.“There was no cloud at the plane’s cruising altitude”, winds were “light to moderate” and there was no turbulence that could have contributed to the crash, French weather officials said.Prime Minister Manuel Valls said there were no survivors, adding that the authorities “can’t rule out any theory” on the cause of the disaster.The plane, carrying 144 mainly Spanish and German passengers — including two babies — and six crew, was travelling from Barcelona to the western German city of Duesseldorf when it came down.German authorities said 16 German teenagers on a school trip were on board the doomed plane, as tearful relatives rushed to the airports in the two cities anxiously seeking information about their loved ones.French President Francois Hollande said he would meet his German and Spanish counterparts at the crash site on Wednesday. Family members of passengers stand at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 after a Germanwings airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps. Lluis Gene/AFP‘It is a tragedy’It was the first fatal accident in the history of Germanwings, and the deadliest on the French mainland since 1974 when a Turkish Airlines crashed, killing 346 people.“It is a tragedy, a new airline tragedy. We will determine what caused the crash,” French President Francois Hollande said.Hollande said the dead included Germans, Spaniards and “probably” Turks, while Belgium said at least one of its nationals was on board.Germanwings said 67 Germans were believed to have been on board while Spain said 45 people with Spanish sounding names were on the flight.Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “shocked” by news of the accident and would travel to the crash site, while Spanish King Felipe VI cut short his state visit to France after news of the tragedy.Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he would visit the scene on Wednesday.A crisis cell has been set up in the area between Barcelonnette and Digne-les-Bains along with an emergency flight control centre to coordinate the operation to the crash site.Authorities commandeered a large meadow with dozens of helicopters taking off to head to the crash site.Valls said one helicopter had been able to touch down at the site of the accident but locals described the difficult terrain that threatened to hamper rescue efforts.“Ground access is horrible, I know the Estrop massif, it’s a very high mountainous area, very steep and it’s terrible to get there except from the air during winter,” local resident Francoise Pie said.A witness who was skiing near the crash site told French television he “heard an enormous noise” around the time of the disaster.A French police helicopter dispatched to the site of the crash reported spotting debris in a mountain range known as “Les Trois Eveches,” which lies at an altitude of 1,400 meters (4,600 feet).And local MP Christophe Castaner, who flew over the crash site, said on Twitter: “Horrendous images in this mountain scenery.”“Nothing is left but debris and bodies. Flying over the crash site with the interior minister — a horror — the plane is totally destroyed.” Two planes of German airline Germanwings sit at the airfield on Cologne/Bonn airport on March 24, 2015 in Cologne, western Germany . Patrik Stollarz/AFP‘Dark day’The plane belonged to Germanwings, a low-cost affiliate of German flag carrier Lufthansa based in Cologne.“We’ve never had a total loss of aircraft in the company’s history until now,” a company spokeswoman told AFP.Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr described it as a “dark day.”A spokesman for Airbus, the European aerospace giant, did not give any information about possible causes but said the company had opened a “crisis cell.”French civil aviation authorities said they lost contact with the plane and declared it was in distress at 10:30 a.m.However, the aircraft’s crew did not send a distress signal, civil aviation authorities told AFP.“The crew did not send a Mayday. It was air traffic control that decided to declare the plane was in distress because there was no contact with the crew of the plane,” the source said.In 1981, a plane crashed on the French island of Corsica with 180 people on board.In July 2000, an Air France Concorde crashed shortly after take-off from Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport en route for New York, leaving 113 people, leaving mainly Germans dead and eventually leading to the supersonic airliner being taken out of service.The world’s worst air disasters remain the March 27, 1977, collision of two Boeing 747s on the runway at Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 people, and the August 12, 1985 crash into a mountainside of a Boeing 747 belonging to Japan Airlines, killing 520 people. Facebook Commentslast_img read more