Mar 27, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who looked for mild or asymptomatic human cases of H5N1 avian influenza following an outbreak in Cambodia last year didn’t find any, challenging the view that human cases have gone undetected, according to findings presented last week.The research described Mar 20 at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta implies that surveillance for human cases might be more effective than some experts assumed, according to a story by the Canadian Press (CP). However, the findings also imply that the case-fatality rate for avian flu is higher than some experts thought.Dr. Philippe Buchy and his colleagues at the Institut Pasteur in Phnom Penh last spring tested blood samples from 351 residents of a Cambodian village where poultry and one person had died of avian flu, the CP reported. No signs of antibodies to H5N1 were found in the samples, indicating the residents had not suffered even mild cases of avian flu.Some of the people tested had “significant” exposure to poultry or infected people, the story said. For example, a doctor who inserted a tube down an H5N1 patient’s windpipe without wearing any protective gear did not show any antibodies indicating infection. The same was true for other healthcare workers, including two veterinarians who had autopsied H5N1-infected birds. The healthcare workers did not know at the time they were dealing with avian flu cases.”We didn’t find any cases of H5N1, so nobody seems to have been asymptomatic or with mild symptoms during this outbreak in Cambodia,” Buchy told the CP.On the bright side, Buchy was quoted as saying the data indicate the virus still finds it difficult to jump from poultry to humans.Dr. Nancy Cox, head of the influenza branch at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, concurred with Buchy, but added: “On the other side of the coin, it means that the case-fatality rate is still very high. And that is a negative thing.”Experts have suggested that the current case fatality rate for avian flu, about 56%, could be inaccurate because milder or asymptomatic cases have not been identified.”The work in Cambodia is extremely important because it shows that we really aren’t missing that much,” Cox told the CP. However, she added that it is important to conduct research on a larger scale to determine whether mild or asymptomatic cases are occurring, and said such studies are planned.
Deadly clashes erupted in several towns on Thursday in Cote d’IvoireOne elderly man was killed and several injured in the unrest that saw police fire teargas to disperse protesters.Several homes and cars were also reportedly set on fire. Deadly clashes erupted in several towns on Thursday in Cote d’Ivoire, in the first major outbreak of unrest ahead of next month’s presidential poll. The protests were called by opposition groups a day after the Constitutional Council announced the 10 contenders, after the incumbent Alassane announced candidature for October’s presidential poll along with nine others. Big is Beautiful in Cote D’Ivoire Related Cote d’Ivoire Prime minister praises China contributions to Africa Investigations underway following deadly Cote d’Ivoire attack
Team GNPC Stars (Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) braved through chilly weather and tough competition to finish in the top four of the Standard Chartered Trophy Global tournament at the Anfield Stadium of Liverpool Football Club.The tournament was played immediately after the 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Newscastle on April 24 in an all play all five-a-side format on the Anfield pitch. Each team was coached by one Liverpool legend.GNPC Stars started off with eventually champions Capital FM of Kenya, who looked organized but unable to penetrate the defence Ghana defence manned by Skipper Ernest Youngman. There were a few missed chances on both sides leading to an eventual result of a goalless draw.The GNPC lads played under their assigned coach, John Barnes who was assisted by Eugene Kwasi Ohene a.k.a Bomber, turned out a more improved side on in the second Group Ben game against Singapore which ended a 1-1 draw. The Asians jumped into the lead a about 4 minutes into the game. This sparked a major fight back from the Ghanaians whose efforts were rewarded with an equalizer six minutes later.The last group game against the US was to turn out one of the highest scoring match of the tournament with the GNPC lads hammering then 6-2. This win secured the ticket to the quarter finals.Ghana (GNPC) was in devastating form and gave proof of it when they put 6 unanswered goals past the England team to book a place in the semis with in- form South Korea.Players for the Ghana team where goalkeeper Ibrahim Alhassan, Captain Ernest Youngman, Gabriel Darko, Edward Attiabahn, Henry Mensah, Platini Yeboah and Augustine Ameworlorna. The journey ended for Ghana in the semi final after losing 3-2 to the South Koreans who dominated in midfield and attack. South Korea eventually lost 3-1 to Kenya in the final. GNPC made a great impression on the tournament as some staff travelled with the team to cheer continuously in the stands. The conspicuous presence of their CEO, Alex Mould and Head of Investor Relations, Linda Tamakloe and some members of staff provided great motivation for the players. Mr Mould gave them some pep talk before and during the games and had a great influence on the team. In a interview Alex Mould told Joy Sports “we may be disappointed we did not win the ultimate trophy but we are grateful for the opportunity. My lads played well displayed a great fighting spirit. I am proud of them.”The trip was facilitated by Standard Chartered Bank who are the main sponsor for Liverpool Football club. Asiedua Addae who is in charge of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing at Stanchart Bank Ghana congratulated the team for a good performance. “The big trophy may have eluded us but we have left a big impression on this tournament. GNPC surely deserve commendation and the fact that their CEO Alex Mould took time off his busy schedules to motivate the team personally tells how much value was placed on this event. As sponsors we are happy for a success tour and pray Ghana wins next year.”Similar were views shared by Mark Rollings the Head of Group Sponsorships of Standard Chartered Bank.Teams from Hong Kong, USA, England, Kenya Ghana, South Korea and Singapore a were taken on tours at Melwood the training Ground of Liverpool, their home stadium at Anfield, the Liverpool Academy in Kirksby and the Beatles Story, a music museum on the dock yards of the Mersey River and club which was the home of the legendary group the Beatles. GNPC defeated Team Multimedia in the Ghana final on March 12 at the Lizzy Sports Complex to qualify as the first team from Ghana to play in the prestigious event.Follow Nathaniel for more on @citizenattoh on instagram @niiattoh5 on twitter and Nathaniel Attoh Citizen Attoh on Facebook.