Correspondence Influenza: the role of the Middle East and north Africa?

100 years have passed since the first well documented influenza pandemic of the 20th century. Today, the majority of the influenza virus burden is known to be caused by two main types of influenza virus —type A and type B. Human influenza A viruses generally stem from birds and swine, whereas influenza B viruses do not have a known animal reservoir, and simply circulate among human beings. Although pandemics occur unexpectedly, these outbreaks are theorised to emerge after a lengthy reassortment process, and not from the direct introduction of an avian virus into human beings.
Source: The Lancet Infectious Diseases - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Correspondence Source Type: research

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“Everyone knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world,” observes Albert Camus in his novel The Plague. “Yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet plagues and wars always take people by surprise.” Camus was imagining a fictional outbreak of plague in 1948 in Oran, a port city in northwest Algeria. But at a time when the world is reeling from a very real microbial emergency sparked by the emergence of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, central China, his observations are as pertinent a...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized 2019-nCoV health ideas Source Type: news
Why are some people better able to fight off the flu than others? Part of the answer, according to a new study, is related to the first flu strain we encounter in childhood.Scientists from UCLA and the University of Arizona have found that people ’s ability to fight off the flu virus is determined not only by the subtypes of flu they have had throughout their lives, but also by the sequence in which they are been infected by the viruses. Their study is published in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.The research offers an explanation for why some people fare much worse than others when infected with the...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news
We read with interest the recent communication by Guo et al. concerning avian influenza virus pathogenicity.1 Swine has been considered an intermediate host for avian influenza viruses to adapt to humans. Cross-species transmissions caused by novel reassortant swine-originate influenza A virus (S-OIV) are of particular concern after the 2009 pandemic caused by pdH1N1 virus and epidemic outbreaks caused by H3N2v.2,3 The genesis of these viruses shows that reassortant is the major driving force for producing highly infectious variants.
Source: Journal of Infection - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Tags: Letter to the Editor Source Type: research
Jennifer M. Rudd1, Sivasami Pulavendran1, Harshini K. Ashar1, Jerry W. Ritchey1, Timothy A. Snider1, Jerry R. Malayer1, Montelongo Marie1, Vincent T. K. Chow2 and Teluguakula Narasaraju1* 1Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, United States2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, National University Health System, Singapore, Singapore Exaggerated host innate immune responses have been implicated in severe influenza pneumonia. We have previously demonstrated that excessive neutrophils recruited during in...
Source: Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology - Category: Microbiology Source Type: research
We refer transmission of infections in India which have implications for Pakistan [1]. As compared to Pakistan, the range and burden of infectious diseases are enormous in India including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) contagion in 2002 –2003, Influenza A virus epidemic of 2006 (avian influenza), 2007 Equine influenza, Swine flu pandemic outbreaks in 2009 and 2014 [2]. Moreover, episodes of infectious diseases continue to rise in India, with a recent surge of chikungunya and dengue cases in 2016 [1].
Source: Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease - Category: Infectious Diseases Authors: Source Type: research
Publication date: 1 September 2018Source: Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Volume 157Author(s): Sébastien Grech-Angelini, Séverine Hervé, Nicolas Rose, Nicolas Barbier, François Casabianca, Oscar Maestrini, Alessandra Falchi, Gaëlle SimonAbstractCorsica is a mountainous French island in the north-western Mediterranean Sea. It is a rural area, where pig farming is a major economic activity. Although no acute respiratory outbreaks due to swine influenza A viruses (swIAVs) have ever been reported in this free-ranging pig breeding system, influenza A viruses (IAVs) could be circulating within th...
Source: Preventive Veterinary Medicine - Category: Veterinary Research Source Type: research
Publication date: 1 August 2017 Source:Cell Reports, Volume 20, Issue 5 Author(s): Hao Song, Jianxun Qi, Haixia Xiao, Yuhai Bi, Wei Zhang, Ying Xu, Fei Wang, Yi Shi, George F. Gao Low-pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAIVs) have caused a global concern to public health since the first novel LPAIV H7N9 outbreak occurred. The receptor-binding properties of the viral hemagglutinin are one key factor for efficient transmission and infection in humans. Recent evidence shows that H4 subtype viruses have been widely circulating in domestic poultry and human asymptomatic infections might have occurred. Here, we evaluated t...
Source: Cell Reports - Category: Cytology Source Type: research
Conclusion This laboratory study analysed an H7N9 strain of bird flu. Researchers wanted to explore whether a particular change to the surface proteins of a virus was capable of allowing the strain to bind to human tissue. This would theoretically lead to human-to-human transmission of the flu virus. It is worth noting that this ability to attach to human cells does not necessarily mean a mutated bird flu virus will be able to infect, replicate and transmit between humans. Other changes would also be required. However, they were unable to further investigate whether this surface change could lead to human-to-human transmis...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medical practice Source Type: news
AbstractIn recent years multiple novel influenza A strains have emerged in humans. We reviewed publically available data to summarise epidemiological characteristics of distinct avian influenza viruses known to cause human infection and describe changes over time. Most recently identified zoonotic strains have emerged in China (H7N9, H5N6, H10N8) – these strains have occurred mostly in association with visiting a live bird market. Most zoonotic AIVs and swine influenza variants typically cause mild infections in humans however severe illness and fatalities are associated with zoonotic H5N6, H10N8, H7N9 and H5N1 serot...
Source: Archives of Public Health - Category: Global & Universal Source Type: research
Conclusion This modelling study shows how the strains of influenza A – "bird flu" – circulating when a person is born give them lifelong protection against new subtypes with the same H protein groups. The researchers call this immune imprinting. This may help to explain the high severity and mortality rate seen among certain groups. For example, the massive flu pandemic of 1918 was an H1N1 strain. This had a very high fatality rate among young adults, which the researchers consider may have been because when they were born (between 1880 and 1900), H3 was the dominant strain. Therefore they had no prot...
Source: NHS News Feed - Category: Consumer Health News Tags: Heart/lungs Medical practice Source Type: news
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