Jan 4, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Turkey today confirmed two human cases of avian influenza, contradicting earlier statements and marking the disease’s first attack on people outside East Asia, according to news reports this afternoon.A 14-year-old boy who died Jan 1 and a sister who is hospitalized in serious condition both tested positive for avian flu, according to news reports quoting Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag. He said a third sibling also has a suspected case.Two days ago Turkish officials said the two young people and two other siblings had tested negative for avian flu. The children had helped raise poultry on a farm in eastern Turkey and had been in contact with sick birds, the Associated Press reported.Akdag did not say if the two patients tested positive for the H5N1 virus specifically. But Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of this Web site, said he was told the virus was confirmed as H5N1.”The lab in Turkey that ran the most recent tests is a very competent lab that’s been collaborating with WHO [the World Health Organization] in the past, and there’s no reason to doubt these results,” Osterholm told CIDRAP News.The WHO’s human avian flu case count, which at this writing did not show the Turkish cases, lists 142 cases with 74 deaths. They include cases in Vietnam, Thailand, China, Indonesia, and Cambodia.An Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today said nine people have been hospitalized with a fever and cough in the city of Van, where the 14-year-old died.The confirmed case-patients came from the town of Dobubeyazit, about 40 miles from Aralik, where Turkish authorities last week reported an H5 virus in chickens, the AP report said. Turkey’s first H5N1 outbreak in poultry was reported Oct 5 on a farm in Kiziksa, in the northeast, according to AFP.Commenting on the cases, Osterholm said, “This should not be considered unexpected. There were sick birds, and the family had contact with them.””This does not mean we’re closer to a pandemic; it means that the situation in Southeast Asia is moving,” he said. Bird populations and the “density” of the H5N1 virus in birds remain much greater in East Asia than elsewhere, and the risk of an emerging pandemic strain is still greatest there, he added.However, he said, “The fact that there’s more virus circulating in more birds around the world means there’s a greater likelihood of mutational change” that could lead to a pandemic strain.
Oldenburg, IN—State Senator Jean Leising gathered with fellow legislators at the Statehouse for Organization Day – the ceremonial start of the Indiana General Assembly.Organization Day marks the annual first roll call of all state lawmakers. This day also provides each Senate and House of Representatives caucus with the opportunity to gather before session officially reconvenes in January. By state law, the 2020 session will conclude on or before March 14.“I am eager to begin working with fellow lawmakers in the 2020 legislative session to address key issues that are impacting our communities,” Leising said. “Specifically, I am looking forward to addressing ILEARN and school accountability. As a member of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development, I intend to work to keep this year’s ILEARN scores from having a negative impact on schools, educators and students.”As the 2020 session gets underway, Leising encourages residents of Senate District 42 to contact her with any questions or comments they may have. Leising can be reached via email at Senator.Leising@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.
Jakarta: India’s women’s basketball team suffered a 61-84 defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei in group A match of the 18th Asian Games here on Sunday.It seemed that India had not learnt from its mistakes at the Commonwealth Games as lack of proper defence structure and accuracy cost them the match.For India, Palanilkumakalayil Skaria Jeena (13) Raspreet Sidhu (12) scored maximum points while Szuchin Peng (14) and Pingjen Huang (11) were the major contributors for the Chinese Taipei. The match started with both the teams attacking each other. In the first two quarters India gave a good fight and maintained the pace of the game. India scored 17 points in the first quarter and 11 in the second. But the last two quarters saw India lose the plot.The Chinese Taipei upped the ante and started putting pressure on the Indian defence and as a result Indian girls failed to stop them.Regular attacks from their opponents saw India only score 17 and 16 points as compared to Chinese Taipei’s 31 and 20. India ended the game with 23 turnovers which is 11 more than their opponents. They will now face the Unified Korean team in the third match. IANS