Tag: 上海夜网PU

Low-pathogenic avian flu viruses can infect humans

first_imgSep 13, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – European researchers have reported what they call the first evidence that low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses—not just highly pathogenic (HPAI) strains like H5N1—can infect humans.The finding in a study of Italian poultry workers suggests that avian flu viruses have more chances than previously suspected to mix with human flu viruses, potentially creating hybrids that could trigger a human flu pandemic, according to the report published online by the Journal of Infectious Diseases.The researchers, led by Isabella Donatelli of the Instituto Superiore di Sanita in Rome, took serum samples from 983 workers at several farms in northern Italy from August 1999 until July 2003. Several avian flu outbreaks occurred there during that period, including both LPAI and HPAI strains of H7N1 and an LPAI H7N3 strain. (LPAI viruses cause mild illness and few deaths in poultry, while HPAI viruses cause severe illness with high death rates.)The serum samples were tested for antibodies to the avian viruses. To ensure accuracy, the researchers tested each sample with hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and microneutralization (MN) assays. If either of these came back positive, a Western blot analysis was done.None of the 798 serum samples collected during or after the first four outbreaks tested positive for antibodies to H7N1 or H7N3 viruses. However, 7 of 185 samples (3.8%) taken during an H7N3 outbreak in 2002 and 2003 tested positive for both viruses in the MN assay, and 4 of those 7 tested positive for both viruses in the HI assay. Both tests showed higher titers of antibodies to the H7N3 (LPAI) strain. In the Western blot testing, all seven samples showed clear reactivity, unlike control samples (which had tested negative in the HI and MN assays).All the workers who tested positive had had close contact with turkeys or chickens in dusty poultry houses, the authors report. None of the workers reported any flu-like illness at the time of the avian flu outbreaks, and only one reported symptoms of conjunctivitis, an ailment seen in some Dutch poultry workers during an HPAI outbreak in 2003.”To our knowledge, this is the first serological evidence of transmission of LPAI viruses to humans during an epizootic in domestic poultry,” the report says. It adds that reports of human infections associated with other avian flu outbreaks—in the Netherlands, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Canada—have all involved HPAI strains.The researchers call for “permanent” surveillance for avian flu viruses in both animals and humans to shed more light on how the viruses jump the species barrier.”Our findings highlight the risk of the emergence of a potentially pandemic strain, as a result of reassortment of avian and contemporaneously circulating human strains during outbreaks of AI [avian influenza] caused by LPAI viruses,” they write.The authors also say, according to a Journal of Infectious Diseases news release, that poultry workers should be regularly vaccinated against ordinary flu to reduce the risk of gene-swapping between avian and human flu strains.Puzelli S, Di Trani L, Faviani C, et al. Serolgoical analysis of serum samples from humans exposed to avian H7 influenza viruses in Italy between 1999 and 2003. J Infect Dis 2005 Oct 15;192(8):1318-22 [Full text]See also:Commentary on Puzelli article in same issue of JID [Full text]last_img read more

Read More
Mum Wanted to Die So She Wouldn’t Be a Burden – But Convincing Her to Live Gave Us Both a Gift Beyond Measure

first_imgThe Huffington Post 3 September 2015As she lay in the hospice, ghostly pale and apparently slipping away before my eyes, my mother was adamant. ‘I just want to die,’ had become her repeated refrain. She was 84, suffering from advanced breast cancer and didn’t want chemotherapy. As far as she was concerned, the end could not come soon enough. ‘I’ve had a good life,’ she would say. ‘But I don’t want to be dependent. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.’Had assisted suicide been legal, she made it quite clear that it would have been her chosen path. ‘I’d go for it,’ she told me, with a fixed, determined look in her eye. The situation certainly seemed hopeless, particularly after a scan revealed that the cancer had spread to huge areas of her pelvis and lower back.With every movement accompanied by excruciating pain, she agreed, reluctantly, to have radiotherapy on her disintegrating pelvis. But it seemed to make little difference; only the pain-killing drugs helped. She was getting weaker by the day and couldn’t wait to be released by death. Seeing a parent suffer is a terrible experience for anyone, but for me, there was an added and cruel irony: I’m a professor of palliative care.I have dedicated my career as a physician to improving the care of the terminally ill – and yet here was my dreadfully sick mother, stopping just short of asking me to help her die.By the bitterest of coincidences, as she lay in her hospice bed, I was also vigorously opposing a Bill in the House of Lords that would have made assisted suicide legal. The situation was tearing me in two. Mum had fought for her family all her life. So how could I ignore her wishes? I believed passionately in the cause I was fighting in Parliament – that every life is of value and should never be ended by legalised ‘death by appointment’.But seeing my lovely mother dying in a hospice bed, despite the gentle, caring nursing and the patient doctoring, was almost too much to bear. Sixteen years earlier, I had left general practice and become a full-time hospice doctor because I wanted to improve the care of the dying. I longed to change health care so that staff listened to patients and valued each one, even when those patients were desperately ill, disabled or beyond a cure.As I discovered, a terminally-ill person can live a lot of life in a short space of time – and I wanted to bring hope to their moments of despair. And yet I felt powerless to help my own mum. My brother, John – who had been desperately sick as a baby and who my mother had breastfed moments before taking him down for an operation that no one was sure he would survive – played peacemaker, desperately trying to reconcile his mother’s anger with his sister’s distress.But it was the hospice chaplain who unlocked the door. Wise enough to realise there was no point talking about God to this agnostic lady and experienced enough to know we all have a story, he quietly and patiently asked Mum to tell him hers.And so he sat, this quiet, unassuming man, and listened, soaking up the years, as she told him her views and philosophy on life. And it was in this telling that it dawned on Mum that her decrepit body still held an active mind. Suddenly, she realised that if she wasn’t going to be allowed to kill herself, she had better make the most of what time remained.So day by day, she took more pain relief, which first enabled her to get out of bed and then to take a few tentative steps with a Zimmer frame. Every day, she tried to take a few steps more. ‘I’m training for the London marathon,’ she laughed, after five, seven and then ten yards on the Zimmer. And then, almost miraculously, the radiotherapy began to work, her pain disappeared and she was able to leave the hospice and go home.My mother would go on to live for another four years and it’s no exaggeration to say that those four years were almost more precious than the 84 that had preceded them.http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/baroness-ilora-finlay/assisted-dying_b_8075776.html?utm_hp_ref=uklast_img read more

Read More