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Child’s H9N2 flu case probably from birds

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first_imgMar 28, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Hong Kong officials concluded that a baby girl who was recently infected with H9N2 avian influenza—a strain believed to have pandemic potential—probably contracted it from birds, according to recent reports.A 9-month-old girl who was hospitalized with respiratory symptoms twice in recent weeks tested positive for an H9N2 infection Mar 20. The girl had only a mild illness but was treated in isolation at Princess Margaret Hospital, the Hong Kong Department of Health reported in a Mar 22 statement. At the time of her second hospitalization she had respiratory syncytial virus, the statement said.Dr. Thomas Tsang, controller of the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection, said tests had ruled out the possibility of human-to-human transmission in the girl’s case, according to a Mar 24 news release from Hong Kong’s Information Services Department.Tsang said genetic analysis of the H9N2 virus showed that it was entirely of avian origin, suggesting that the child contracted it directly from a bird, the release said. Because the girl had no contact with wild birds before her illness, she may have caught the virus at a bird market that she visited several times with her family, Tsang said.He also said tests on respiratory specimens from a healthcare worker and three children who were in the same hospital cubicle with the baby in early March tested negative for H9 viruses, and her family had no symptoms.Meanwhile, leading virologist Robert Webster warned this week that H9N2 is an “insidious” virus that needs close monitoring because it could trigger an outbreak in humans, according to a Mar 27 Bloomberg News report.H9N2 is far less known than the deadly Asian strain of H5N1 virus, which has killed at least 169 people and millions of poultry in Asia and Africa in the past few years. But Webster told Bloomberg, “H9N2 is an insidious virus. This is the one that’s far more dangerous in some ways. It doesn’t get much attention because it doesn’t kill chickens and doesn’t kill humans.”He said H9N2 can spread among pigs and infects chickens without making them sick. On the “hit list” of viruses, he added, “H5N1 is at [the] top, and H9N2 is right behind. Then come H7N7 and H2N2.”At least three cases of H9N2 illness, all of them mild, have occurred in Hong Kong children in recent years. Two girls were infected in 1999 and a 5-year-old boy had the virus in 2003.Robert L. Atmar, MD, a Baylor College of Medicine professor who has participated in clinical trials of an H9N2 vaccine, said human H9N2 illnesses may be less rare than the record suggests. Seroprevalence studies in China in the 1990s found H9 antibodies in 2% to 3% of the population, which suggests that some cases are missed, he told CIDRAP News via e-mail.Atmar, a professor in the Departments of Medicine and of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, also commented that the finding of a case in a 9-month-old child was “a little surprising unless she was toddling around the market. Usually, cases of avian influenza have followed close contact with infected poultry. H9N2 viruses are common in bird markets.”See also:Mar 20 CIDRAP News story “Baby in Hong Kong infected with H9N2 avian flu”Journal of Clinical Microbiology report on Hong Kong H9N2 case in 2003last_img read more

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In Photos: USC Village reaches halfway mark with spire ceremony

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first_imgConstruction workers watch above from an adjacent buildingAttendees were invited to sign the inside of the spire as well.The 12,700 lb spire is lifted atop McCarthy Honors College.Attendees listen to President C.L. Max Nikias’ speak about the success of the project thus far.President Nikias addresses a crowd including USC Trustees, congressmen, and construction crews.President Nikias signs the commemorative beam.Kathleen Leavey McCarthy (middle), namesake of the McCarthy Honors College, poses with her husband Frank Kostlan and President Nikias.Congresswoman Karen Bass spoke about the impact the Village will have on the local community.Los Angeles Councilman Curren Price remarks on the community support coming from the project.The crane operator responsible for lifting the spire and beam looks up at McCarthy Honors College.Construction workers watch on as the spire is lifted.The construction workers on the USC Village project were thanked for their hard work in speeding up progress in anticipation of El Nino weather.Attendees signed a commemorative beam, adorned with an evergreen tree and the American flag.The commemorative beam is lifted into the McCarthy Honors College.The USC Trojan Marching Band sets the triumphant tone for the event.last_img read more

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McCarthy warning for Bafana

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first_imgBenni McCarthy has warned his Bafana Bafana team-mates not to underestimate any of the countries they were drawn against for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.South Africa head Group A following Wednesday evening’s draw in Durban, with Angola, Cape Verde and Morocco completing the grid.And while Bafana have never lost to any of those three teams since their re-admission to the international stage, former Blackburn and Porto striker McCarthy says he knows first-hand the threat those national-team members can pose.“Cape Verde has a huge immigrant base in Portugal and Holland and most of their players play in big clubs in these countries,” the Orlando Pirates ace told the club’s official webiste.“I played with a lot of great players from there while I was in Portugal and I can attest that they are very good.“As for Angola, fortunately we know them very well. I think Manucho (Goncalves) is having a good time in Spain with Valladolid, and they also have very good players who are doing well in Portugal.”last_img read more

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