Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza reported in Mexico – Not H5N1

An outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been confirmed in Mexico.  This outbreak is not H5N1 but H7N3 and taken from OIE (world Organisation for Animal Health):

The last outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza serotype H7N3 occurred in September 2012 in the northeastern part of the State of Jalisco. Following control and eradication measures, passive and active surveillance was strengthened and on 3 January 2013 SENASICA was informed of an increase in mortality and a decrease of egg production on a commercial layer farm in the State of Aguascalientes. Timely notification from the farmer and surveillance activities allowed immediate depopulation of the two affected production units, reason why both outbreaks identified are closed.
The first outbreak had a population of 146,755 birds aged 21-80 weeks, of which 2,990 sick and 740 dead. Clinical signs were conjunctivitis, edema, cyanosis and palpebral, comb and chin swelling as well as opisthotonos and sudden death. Additionally, during post-mortem inspections, hemorrhages were identified in trachea, lungs and tonsils. Control measures included vaccination of laying and breeding hens within the zone around the outbreaks and the buffer zone and the strengthening of biosecurity and control of poultry goods movements.
The second outbreak was detected during active surveillance conducted in the State of Aguascalientes and the virus was isolated in another commercial layer farm with a population of 138,000 birds over 81 weeks old, which was also depopulated. In both outbreaks, cleaning and disinfection of facilities and equipment as well as destruction of hen manure have been carried out. After depopulation, sentinel birds will be introduced in order to confirm the absence of infection and viral circulation.
Active and passive surveillance continues at national level. Epidemiological investigation is on-going.”


Kim Cassel

Human Influenza 2012-2013 called Epidemic and is not a Pandemic

Reported this morning was the 2012-2013 Human Influenza is a pandemic, it is not a pandemic but  an epidemic in many states.  The Centers for Disease Control  (CDC) released this statement late last week explaining why they believe the influenza is so severe this year:

“One factor that may indicate increased severity this season is that the predominant circulating type of influenza virus is influenza A (H3N2) viruses, which account for about 76 percent of the viruses reported. Bresee explains “typically ‘H3N2 seasons’ have been more severe, with higher numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, but we will have to see how the season plays out.”

So far this season, most (91%) of the influenza viruses that have been analyzed at CDC are like the viruses included in the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine. The match between the vaccine virus and circulating viruses is one factor that impacts how well the vaccine works. But Bresee cautions that other factors are involved.

“While influenza vaccination offers the best protection we have against influenza, it’s still possible that some people may become ill despite being vaccinated,” says Bresee. “Health care providers and the public should remember that influenza antiviral medications are a second line of defense against influenza.” (For more information about why people may become sick with influenza after vaccination, see 2012-2013 season Questions and Answers.)”

The CDC recommends three steps to prevent the flu and they are, vaccination, take everyday preventive actions, and if prescribed by your doctor take flu antivirals.  For more detailed information see CDC link on these three steps.


Kim Cassel