Mar 29, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Initial testing indicates that all five members of a family of chicken farmers near Haiphong, Vietnam, have avian influenza, the World Health Organization (WHO) and news services said today.”These cases, which include the parents and their three young daughters, are undergoing further investigation following initial tests indicating infection with the H5 subtype of avian influenza,” the WHO said in a statement. “Reports indicate outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry in the vicinity.”An Agence France-Press (AFP) report said the family members were in stable condition in Haiphong’s Viet Tiep Hospital. An unnamed physician at the hospital was quoted as saying, “Initial tests showed they are positive for H5N1. We are treating them according to plans but we need final confirmation from Hanoi.”If the cases are confirmed, they apparently will represent the largest family cluster since human cases of H5N1 avian flu began occurring in Asia in early 2004.A woman who lives near the family is also being treated for suspected avian flu, another doctor from the Haiphong hospital told AFP. The Chinese news agency Xinhua further reported that a child from the same commune as the other six people is hospitalized.A field investigation of the family cases is under way, WHO reported. “Thorough investigation of all such clusters is essential to determine possible changes in the behavior of the virus and thus support assessment of the risk of an influenza pandemic,” the agency said.The statement also said, “There is currently no evidence that the H5N1 virus is spreading easily from person to person.”The WHO also reported today that the Vietnamese Ministry of Health has formally confirmed several avian flu cases that were previously reported by the news media. The agency listed the people involved as a 5-year-old boy from the central province of Quang Binh, a 17-year-old girl from the northern province of Nam Dinh (who died Mar 23), and a 40-year-old woman from the northern province of Quang Ninh. An earlier case also has been confirmed, the WHO said, but the agency did not describe that person.The WHO also provided a limited update on the investigation of media-reported cases of flu-like illness in Quang Binh province. The agency is awaiting test results but said the number of illnesses appears much smaller than the 195 cases first reported by local media.If the Haiphong family is included, the unofficial count of avian flu cases has risen to 79, including 49 deaths, since late 2003. That includes 60 cases with 35 deaths in Vietnam, 17 cases with 12 deaths in Thailand, and 2 fatal cases in Cambodia.Meanwhile, poultry and politics were taking center stage elsewhere in Southeast Asia, as officials sought to contain outbreaks in Cambodia and North Korea.Using bullhorns and battery-powered tape players mounted on motorbikes, health workers in Cambodia are going from house to house in Cambodia’s Kampot province, said Sok Touch, director of the Health Ministry’s communicable disease control department, in an interview for an Associated Press (AP) story today.”They are telling people not to touch sick or dead birds and that if they have any suspected bird flu symptoms, such as fever and cough, they should go to the nearest healthcare center,” he said. Both Cambodians who died of avian flu lived in Kampot province.An investigation continues in Kampot into the Mar 22 death of Meas Ran, 28, WHO announced today. The agency said Cambodian officials formally confirmed his previously reported case today. Authorities have learned he had contact with sick poultry, but apparently he did not pass the disease to others. Thirty-three of his family members, neighbors, and healthcare providers have tested negative for avian flu, WHO said.Elsewhere, the WHO had been in talks with North Korea about preventing human cases of avian flu even before the recent announcement that the country slaughtered hundreds of thousands of poultry sick with avian flu, according to AFP. North Korea’s state media have said no human cases have occurred there.”The WHO had offered its help to the country to prepare for human cases of avian flu,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told reporters, but didn’t say whether the offer had been accepted.Another WHO official in Asia said the agency sought to obtain a sample of the virus in North Korea for testing, AFP reported today.Although avian flu is killing poultry in five Asian countries, only two of them have maintained timely reporting of the cases to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as shown on OIE Web site. Thailand reported the deaths or culling of 50 chickens in Sukhothai province from Mar 9 to 17, and Indonesia reported an outbreak among chickens for the week ending Mar 11.North Korea hasn’t notified OIE but is working with the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, AFP reported today. Other countries appear to be lagging in OIE notification: Vietnam made its most recent report on Feb 28, and Cambodia made its most recent report on Sep 22, 2004.See also:Mar 29 WHO news releasehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_03_29b/en/
Friendship, In. — State Road 62 between Dillsboro and Friendship is now open and will remain open until June 18 according to officials from the Indiana Department of Transportation.That means fans of the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association and the Friendship Flea Market will be spared the detour during road slide repairs between Bells Branch and Sangamaw Roads.Weather permitting, the $1.4 million project will resume on June 18 and be completed by mid-November.
Manuel Pellegrini has warned that Manchester City will be facing a different Tottenham to the side who rolled over twice against the Premier League champions last season. City triumphed 6-0 at home and 5-1 at White Hart Lane against Spurs in the last campaign but they have made a promising start under Mauricio Pochettino. Pellegrini said he has admired Pochettino as an adversary both when the Argentinian was at Espanyol and at Southampton, and that he did not expect Tottenham to collapse so easily in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday. Press Association Pellegrini told a news conference: “Yes I am sure it is a different Tottenham. “Last year one of the best games that we played was against Tottenham away. Here also we played very well but we are not expecting that we can score six or five goals every time we play Tottenham. “They are a very strong team. Mauricio Pochettino is a very good manager. I’m not saying Villas-Boas wasn’t in that moment, but really we played our best last season. We hope on Saturday we can do a very good game also. “He (Pochettino) is a young manager that was very successful in Spain with Espanyol, it was a team that always played good and attractive football and it was a creative team. “He is trying the same way he did it last season at Southampton. That was a team that played very well, he continues now at Tottenham that is an important club with big players.” Pellegrini said Yaya Toure was in contention for a place despite playing for the Ivory Coast in a 4-3 home defeat against DR Congo on Wednesday, with the midfielder returning to Manchester on Thursday. If Toure is feeling any tiredness, that may open the way for Frank Lampard – the club’s player of the month for September – to start. Pellegrini said he was not surprised by how well 36-year-old Lampard has been performing for City. “For me it is maybe not a surprise because I know his quality,” said the City manager. “When you have the age of Frank Lampard you are not able to play three games in a week but when you have so great a player, you can resolve a lot of problems that we have during the game and I think that Frank is doing these duties at this moment. I am very happy with him.” Eliaquim Mangala is set to miss out against Spurs with a thigh injury. The defender was an unused substitute for France in midweek and should be fit for City’s Champions League match in Moscow on Tuesday. All the other City players are fit apart from Samir Nasri, who is still recovering from groin surgery. Younes Kaboul has told Tottenham to prove their worth on Saturday. Spurs lost 6-0 and 5-1 to City last season amid a number of heavy defeats to title-chasing teams and their rivals for a Champions League spot. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are unbeaten away from home this season, including a 1-1 draw at Arsenal, and hope to surprise City at the Etihad Stadium. “Last season’s games are in the past and in football you always have to focus on the present and look to the future,” the France defender said on tottenhamhotspur.com. “We can’t wait for this match, we want to go there and play our game. “We need to repeat the same performance as we produced against Arsenal. “In these big games we need to do something to show everyone what we are capable of.” The heavy losses to City came under Pochettino’s predecessors Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood, and the Argentinian cared little when reminded of the 11-1 aggregate scoreline of last term. The Tottenham boss will give goalkeeper Hugo Lloris every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the match after being forced out of France duty with a thigh injury. Michel Vorm is on standby to come into the side. Belgium midfielder Nacer Chadli (hip) will be given a chance to prove his fitness, too, while striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Nabil Bentaleb were to be assessed on their returns from international duty on Friday. Pochettino hopes to blend the established first-team stars and new recruits with academy talent in future, like he successfully managed to do at previous club Southampton. “We need to get the balance – you buy players and then you provide players from the academy who deserve to arrive in the first team,” Pochettino added. “Always in football it’s the balance question. It’s important. “Tottenham have spent a lot of money on keeping the academy and creating a magnificent training ground, and now we need to get the benefits from that.”