China confirms one more human death from H7N9 bird flu

A man in China’s central Henan province has become the latest person reported to have died this winter from H7N9 bird flu, the state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday citing local health authorities. The 36-year-old roast duck salesman developed a fever and a cough around Dec. 25 in coastal Zhejiang province, near Shanghai, and returned to Henan in early January, Xinhua said. Bird flu is most likely to strike in winter and spring.
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Taiwan confirms a new bird flu case, fourth this year

Taiwan confirmed a new bird flu case on Thursday, the fourth this year, according to a statement posted on the website of the island’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. The H5N2 avian flu virus was confirmed at a Yunlin county chicken farm, where 16,800 birds were culled to reduce the risk of further spreading, the statement said. Taiwan has reported four bird flu cases this year, all in Yunlin county on the island’s western coast.
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Hundreds of cats quarantined in New York City bird flu outbreak

Hundreds of domestic cats have been quarantined in New York City after contracting a strain of highly contagious avian flu at shelters operated by a major animal rescue organization, and the virus also infected at least one veterinarian, officials said. It is the first time the H7N2 strain of the virus, commonly found in birds, has infected domestic cats, according to the New York City Health Department. The virus was first detected last month in 45 cats housed at a Manhattan shelter run by Animal Care Center of NYC, and later turned up in cats at shelters in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn.
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China’s Foshan city says bird flu ‘grim’, extends market cleaning periods

Foshan, a city in China’s Guangdong province, said it will extend the monthly cleaning periods for live poultry markets for the next three months to help control the spread of virulent bird flu, with authorities warning the situation is “grim”. The move for the first three months of the year came as authorities in the city of more than 8 million people warned in a statement that all neighboring cities have reported human infections of the H7N9 strain of the virus. Foshan usually shuts markets for one day each month for cleaning and sterilization in the first three months of each year when birds and people are most susceptible to the flu, but this year that will increase to three days, the Foshan Health and Family Planning Bureau said in a statement on its website.
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Taiwan confirms a new bird flu case, 4th this year

Taiwan confirmed a new bird flu case on Thursday, the fourth this year, according to a statement posted on the website of the island’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Bureau. The H5N2 avian flu virus was confirmed at a Yunlin county chicken farm, where 16,800 birds were culled to reduce the risk of further spreading, the statement said. Taiwan has reported four bird flu cases this year, all in Yunlin county on the island’s western coast.
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Exclusive: U.S. congressional committee demands answers on WHO cancer agency

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Chaffetz listens during committee hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – The chairman of a U.S. congressional committee investigating taxpayer funding of a World Health Organization cancer agency has asked U.S. health officials to release crucial documents. In a letter seen by Reuters and sent on Thursday to the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz questioned whether the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was trying to "avoid public scrutiny" by asking its experts not to disclose requested information. IARC staff were not immediately available for comment.

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Faster diagnosis could improve quality of life for people with dry eye disease

By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) – Dry eye disease can be difficult to diagnose, and delays in diagnosis may lead to more severe symptoms and a greater impact on patients’ daily lives, according to a European study. People with a delayed diagnosis were likely to have a more negative view of the condition and experience troubles in their work life, too, the researchers write in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. Dry eye disease occurs when the tear ducts do not produce enough moisture.
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Spain reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu in wild geese: OIE

Spain reported a case of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus in wild geese in the northern part of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday, citing a report from the Spanish ministry of agriculture. Two infected wild geese were found dead in the Castile and Leon region, the ministry said, adding that it had increased surveillance of poultry farms in the area.
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Italy reports outbreak of H5N8 bird flu in wild duck: OIE

Italy reported a case of the highly contagious H5N8 bird flu virus in a wild duck in the northern part of the country, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday, citing a report from the Italian ministry of health. The infected wild duck was found dead close to a natural reserve in Grado, the report says.
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