Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bird Flu Virus Spreads Through School, Hospitals In Wales

Dozens Sick, More Than 140 Suspected Of Being Ill

Despite their best efforts to play down the dangers of H7N2 virus now spreading between people in Wales, real panic is starting to set in, as the number of people suspected of being infected, or exposed to this "milder form of bird flu" has risen to more than 140.

Consider that on the morning of May 27, only two people were known to be infected, after the virus was discovered in North Wales :
A dozen children aged nine and 10 and two teachers at the school are being given tamiflu treatments as a precaution. A year five pupil at Ysgol Henllan suspected of contracting the virus has been linked to the smallholding.

Twelve people are being treated as "positive", but no-one is seriously ill. Of the 142 to come into contact with the virus, 47 came into contact "in the household setting," 14 in the school and 81 in "the workplace setting".

The British health authorities have warned on several occasions that there's no room for panic or fear.
The first outbreak occurred on May 24 at Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr, Conwy. The farm tested negative for the virus, but 45 chickens were culled.

On May 26, a second outbreak was believed to have occurred on a farm at Efailnewydd. Further tests on May 29 supposedly proved negative.

On May 29, health authorities announced that some 221 people may have had contact with the bird flu virus.

From Channel 4 :
Staff and patients at a hospital are being treated with anti-avian flu drugs after it emerged a health worker may have been infected with the virus.

Almost 80 people at Glan Clwyd hospital in North Wales have received the Tamiflu drug as a precaution.

The move comes after it was confirmed a worker at the hospital was being treated for the H7 flu virus.

Health officials are contacting a further 69 people at Gwynedd hospital after a former patient suffered symptoms.

On Monday, schoolchildren and staff at Ysgol Henllan primary school near the Corwen farm were offered courses of anti-flu drug Tamiflu after a pupil fell ill.

A total of 12 people are so far thought to have contracted the avian flu virus since it was discovered at a farm in Corwen last week.

From the BBC :

The National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) stressed that no-one has been seriously ill and the risk to the health of the general public is low.

The first confirmed case of the avian flu (in Wales) was confirmed last Thursday among chickens on a smallholding near Corwen in Denbighshire.

The Rhode Island chickens first affected were bought at a Chelford Market in Macclesfield, Cheshire on 7 May.

Wales' chief vet Dr Christianne Glossop said while they were very pleased with the results, they must "not be complacent so early in our investigations in the source of this outbreak".

She appealed for all bird keepers in Wales to continue being vigilant and to monitor their birds for any signs of infectious disease.

Marion Lyons, NPHS's communicable disease control consultant, said: "We have assessed the risk to others and can confirm that the healthcare worker was working at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd during the time when she may have been infectious, between 21 and 23 May.

The NPHS stressed that experience of this particular bird flu virus in humans was limited, so it was "actively managing" the response.

Dr Lyons added: "People can also be confident that, the more remote the contact with infected birds, the less likely that symptoms that we have defined would really be H7 flu".

Bird flu, of any type, is not the only virus the British have to worry about. A 'superbug' that has been all but impossible to eliminate continues to spread through British hospitals, killing an astound 4700 people in 2006 alone. While the British government spends hundreds of millions of pounds on pandemic prevention, an actual pandemic is already raging in British hospitals, killing thousands of most elderly, poor people each year.

Panic Erupts Across North Wales As Word Gets Out About Rapid Spread Of Bird Flu Virus

No comments: