WHO cites possible family cluster of H5N1 cases in Indonesia

first_imgNov 29, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today raised the possibility that Indonesia’s latest confirmed case of H5N1 avian influenza was part of a family cluster of three cases.In noting Indonesia’s confirmation of the case in a 16-year-old boy from West Java province, the WHO said he had two brothers who both died recently of an illness that included fever and breathing difficulty. The 16-year-old fell ill with a fever and cough on Nov 6, was hospitalized 10 days later, and is in stable condition, the WHO said.The two brothers, aged 7 and 20, both became ill Nov 3 and died Nov 11, the agency said. Their illness was presumed to be typhoid fever, but no samples were taken before burial, which precluded definitive diagnosis of their cases.The WHO didn’t assess the likelihood that the two deceased brothers had H5N1 or that the virus spread from person to person in the family. The statement said investigators found that chickens in the household had died in the 2 weeks before the deceased brothers got sick, and samples from the birds are being tested.Most human cases of H5N1 have been attributed to exposure to sick poultry. Family clusters of cases raise the possibility of person-to-person transmission of the virus, which could signal an increase in the risk of a pandemic. Researchers reported recently that 15 family clusters occurred in Southeast Asia between January 2004 and July 2005. But only one family cluster, which occurred in Thailand in September 2004, has been classified as a probable result of person-to-person spread.WHO to investigate Chinese casesIn other news, the WHO today confirmed previous reports that it would help investigate two recent human H5N1 cases in China’s Anhui province. WHO experts are part of a team investigating the fatal cases in two women, both farmers, aged 24 and 35.The team is gathering information about how the two women were exposed to the virus. They lived some distance apart, and there is no known link between the cases, the WHO said. China has had three human cases so far.Meanwhile, two new poultry outbreaks of avian flu were reported in China today, one in the northwestern region of Xingiang and one in the central province of Hunan, according to a Reuters report.The WHO statement said China has had 25 poultry outbreaks in nine provinces since mid-October.Outbreaks wane in Thailand and RussiaIn Thailand, the government said only one area is still under an avian flu watch, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today. The country has had a number of poultry outbreaks and four human cases in recent months.An official named Surapong Suebwonglee told AFP that a site in Nonthaburi province remained under 21-day surveillance for avian flu, “but if nothing goes wrong tomorrow, that will be lifted.”In Russia, the health ministry said only two areas are still affected by avian flu, down from 10 a month ago, according to another AFP report today. The sites are in the Kurgan region, about 1,300 miles southeast of Moscow, and in the Astrakhan region, about 930 miles south of Moscow, on the Caspian Sea.US eases restriction on Canadian poultryThe United States lifted a week-old ban on poultry from British Columbia after concluding that the strain of avian flu found in two ducks on farms east of Vancouver posed no threat to human health, Bloomberg News reported yesterday.The ban will remain in effect for poultry on farms within 3 miles of where the two infected ducks were found, the story said. Dr. Con Kiley of the Canadian Food Inspection Service said the virus found at the first farm was identified as an H5N2 strain, and the same result was expected at the second farm, according to the story. The farms are near Chilliwack.The United States had banned all live poultry and raw poultry products from British Columbia on Nov 21. About 58,000 ducks on the two affected farms were killed as a precaution.See also:Nov 29 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_11_29/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Lion Air Group to resume domestic flights on Wednesday

first_imgLion Air Group will resume domestic flights on Wednesday with health protocols in place after a temporary flight suspension this month, a company representative has said.The company decided to restart its operations after the COVID-19 task force issued circular letter No. 7/2020 on the requirements for travel during the so-called “new normal” period, as the government looks to gradually relax restrictions and reopen businesses under health protocols.Read also: Lion Air Group cuts salaries, bonuses but says no layoffs in sight Danang reminded passengers to still adhere to health protocols such as using masks before the flight, during the boarding process and until they leave the airport, as well as maintaining physical distancing in the airport. They will also still be required to show their ID upon boarding.Read also: Airlines resume operation in state of loss amid COVID-19“Lion Air will continue to implement health protocols during our operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Danang said.In May, the Transportation Ministry suspended a flight operated by Lion Air Group full-service subsidiary Batik Air on the Jakarta-Denpasar, Bali, route as the airline was found to have violated the physical-distancing policy in its operation.The flight in question was more than half full, thus exceeding the maximum capacity allowed by government regulation.Topics : “Member companies of the Lion Air Group are planning to resume domestic flights on June 10, following the issuance of the circular letter. The new regulation has simplified the requirements for passengers to travel,” company spokesperson Danang Mandala Prihantoro said on Monday in a press release.According to the new regulation, passengers only need to provide a letter proving the negative result of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or COVID-19 rapid test to travel. Rapid test result documents are valid for three days after the test is taken, while PCR tests are valid for seven days.In areas with no testing facilities available, passengers can present health certificates showing they are free from influenza-like symptoms issued by a hospital or community health center (Puskesmas), the letter states.Lion Air Group previously suspended all of its flights on June 5, as many passengers failed to provide the mandatory documents required for boarding, including identity cards, a doctor’s letter declaring them to be free of COVID-19 and an official letter of duty assignment.last_img read more