Published Date: 2007-03-24 23:00:02
Subject: PRO/AH> Avian influenza (59): Bangladesh, Thailand
Archive Number: 20070324.1032
AVIAN INFLUENZA (59): BANGLADESH, THAILAND
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
 Avian influenza, V and Z genotypes: Thailand
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2007
From: Christian Griot <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Reuters alertnet [edited]
No need for poultry vaccination in Europe - U.N. vet
Europe has boosted control and response systems to bird flu and does
not need a preventive vaccination of poultry to fight the disease, a
top United Nations veterinary expert said on Thursday [22 Mar 2007].
Thousands of poultry were culled and sales plunged in many European
countries last year after outbreaks of bird flu, causing millions of
euros in losses to farmers and industry.
Some scientists believe that preventive vaccination should be carried
out for poultry, as is routinely done for certain diseases in
children, to limit the risk of spreading the virus.
But the chief veterinary officer at the U.N. Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) Joseph Domenech said "there was no reason" to
implement costly and logistically difficult preventive vaccination in
Europe which has learned to react quickly and efficiently to bird flu
"Vaccination is a powerful tool to control bird flu. But it has to be
used when there is a need for it, and primarily, when there is a high
risk of spread and infection to humans in endemic countries with a
lot of outbreaks," Domenech said.
"When a country has very few outbreaks or no outbreaks at all, there
is no indication for vaccination," he told Reuters in an interview on
the sidelines of a bird flu and vaccination conference in Verona.
Domenech said the risk of introducing avian influenza to Europe from
other continents remained, especially from Africa where bird flu has
been permanently present in some countries.
But European countries have shown ability to deal with outbreaks
immediately, like Britain earlier this year, he said.
Under a European Union directive adopted in December 2005, member
states can carry out not only emergency vaccination, but also
preventive ones against avian influenza.
But the costs of vaccination are high and the procedure is cumbersome.
Only 2 EU countries, the Netherlands and Germany, carry out
preventive vaccination and less than 0.1 percent of all EU poultry
has been covered by the campaigns, Alberto Laddomada, a senior
European Commission veterinary official, told reporters at the conference.
Poultry vaccination alone cannot fight bird flu, but can be used
together with close monitoring of the situation and prompt measures
to stop the spread of disease, said Domenech.
Looking beyond Europe, he said Vietnam -- where bird flu killed 42
people, the world's second-highest number after Indonesia -- has made
a considerable progress in vaccination and may be a model for
Indonesia and other countries.
Poultry vaccination in Indonesia -- where the number of human deaths
exceeds 60 -- runs into huge problems reaching remote villages and
needs financial support from donors, he said.
A successful vaccination campaign in China has helped the country to
be dropped from the list of endemic areas, Domenech and Bernard
Vallat, General Director of the World Organisation for Animal Health
(OIE), told a news conference. [See commentary].
Vallat said existing vaccines were not perfect and called for an
increase of investments into research to create more efficient and
[Byline: Svetlana Kovalyova]
[Achieving the termination merely by applied vaccination, of the
endemic AI situation in countries like China -- where a huge
water-fowl population is maintained and where the poultry industry is
characterised by a complex, multi-species structure -- sounds almost
utopian. Receiving the original, full text of the conclusions
achieved at the termination of the international conference
"Vaccination: a tool for the control of Avian Influenza", held in
Verona, Italy on 20-22 Mar 2007, will enable checking the accuracy of
the above citation. - Mod. AS].
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: Chennai online [edited]
Bird flu: Culling on in Bangladesh
Thousands of birds were culled and army troops called out to assist
police in carrying out an "intensive" monitoring after bird flu broke
out in several farms in Bangladesh.
The government ordered a series of steps including health examination
of people at inflicted poultry farms, a day after bird flu was
detected in the country.
"By now you are aware of the outbreak of the avian influenza or bird
flu at several poultry firms in Savar area [Latitude 23.8442,
Longitude 90.2511; map at
<http://www.fallingrain.com/world/BG/81/Savar.html>]. The concerned
government agencies took urgent steps soon after the epidemic in the
farms," Health adviser, retired major general Motiur Rahman, told reporters.
However, he said preparations had started 2 years ago to face such a
situation and the authorities undertook a series of steps to prevent
further proliferation of the flu, which so far attacked 60 countries
in Asia and Europe with Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia being the latest victims.
Army troops were called out to assist police in carrying out
"intensive and constant" monitoring against the avian flu across the
country while the Agriculture and Livestock and the Health Ministry
opened round-the-clock control rooms to monitor the developments.
World Health Organisation representative in Dhaka Duangvadee
Sungkhobol said Bangladesh's high population density exposed it to an
intensified avian influenza outbreak. But through "aggressive
actions" involving all stakeholders and massive public awareness
could help the South Asian country to overcome the crisis, Sungkhobol said.
 Avian influenza, V and Z genotypes :Thailand
Date: Sat 24 Mar 2007
From: Joseph Dudley <
Source: The Nation online [edited]
Thailand: Experts see double threat from flu strains
Experts yesterday [Fri 23 Mar 2007] voiced concern over the
possibility that the 2 different genotypes, called "sub-clades", of
the H5N1 bird-flu virus found in Thailand could meet and merge into
an unknown and "unpredictable" mutated form.
Chulalongkorn University has found that a virus sample from Nakhon
Phanom province in the Northeast was of a strain newly observed in
Thailand and more closely related to H5N1 strains that have been
circulating since 2005 in southeast China. In contrast, H5N1 samples
from Phichit province in the lower North region were similar to the
cluster of samples isolated during 2004 and 2005 outbreaks in
Thailand and Viet Nam, said Professor Yong Poovorawan, author of the
Chulalongkorn University study. The viruses isolated from Phichit
belonged to genotype Z, whereas the virus isolated from Nakhon Phanom
belonged to genotype V, he wrote in his report.
The latest bird-flu outbreak, in the Northeast province of Mukdahan,
has raised concerns that the genotype V virus from the Northeast
could spread to meet with the genotype Z virus endemic in the lower
North and Central region, said veterinarian Rakthai Ngampak, head of
the Department of Livestock Development's Bird Flu Control Centre.
Although the results of DNA sequencing of the virus samples taken
from Mukdahan are yet to be known, it is very likely that they are
the same strain found in Nakhon Phanom, given the way the virus
killed poultry, Rakthai said.
Yong and Rakthai agreed that the consequences of a new strain of H5N1
emerging from the mixing of the 2 genotypes might or might not be
serious. However, Professor Pilaipan Puthavathana, a virologist at
Mahidol University's Siriraj Hospital, said: "It won't be good if the
2 genotypes meet and mix. "That will create an extraordinary virus
with unknown and unpredictable dangers," she said. Scientists would
have to start studying the new virus from scratch, though the
existing vaccine could work well against the new strain, Pilaipan said.
Rakthai said various measures were needed for blocking the spread of
the Northeast strain to other regions, particularly the Central
region. Bird-flu screening measures carried out during past outbreaks
did manage to intercept certain infected poultry, he added. However,
there are other ways the virus could spread besides infected poultry,
including migratory birds, he said. "Since we cannot control the
migratory birds, what could be done is keep the poultry away [from
them] in closed farms," he said. The problem is a lot of poultry is
raised outdoors, including free-range ducks, backyard chickens and
fighting cocks, Rakthai said. As a result active laboratory
surveillance is very important to provide warning signs of the 2
genotypes getting mixed, said Yong.
[Byline: Arthit Khwankhom ]
Joseph P. Dudley, Ph.D
Science Applications International Corporation
Institute of Arctic Biology - University of Alaska Fairbanks
Department of Earth Science - University of Alaska Museum
Joseph Dudley <
[While reassortment of subunits of the V and Z genotypes of avian
influenza H5N1 virus might generate viruses of altered pathogenicity
for domestic poultry, there is not necessarily any enhanced risk for
the human population. - Mod.CP]
[see Chutinimitkul S, Songserm T, Amonsin A, Payungporn S,
Suwannakarn K, Damrongwatanapokin S, et al. New strain of influenza A
virus (H5N1), Thailand [letter]. Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Mar [accessed
24 Mar 2007]. Available from
<http://www.cdc.gov/eid/content/13/3/506.htm> for the paper detailing
the above mentioned findings. - Mod.MPP]