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New Strain of H7 Identified,
H7N7 High Path

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Hello Jeff - The Spainish authorities appear to be playing down the significance of risk to human health. According to the CDC report posted in this report H7N7 Avian Flu has infected humans back in 2003. There has also been a reported death of a poultry veterinarian who died from ARDS and complications of H7N7.
Given the amount of Influenza circulating globally, i.e. Avian Flu H5N1, Humanized Swine Flu H1N1, and seasonal flu in addition now Spain has cases of H7N7 in poultry, this could pose a serious risk to animal and human health.
Disinfection begun at Guadalajara farm with bird flu outbreak
ABC Spain, Agencia EFE report (in Spanish, trans., edited)
The Agricultural delegate in Guadalajara, Sergio Cabellos, today [21 Oct 2009] announced the commencement of disinfection and cleaning of the Almoguera poultry farm [in Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha] where a variant of avian flu was identified a fortnight ago, leading to the culling of more than 320 000 chickens.
Speaking to reporters, Cabellos has also reported that they have returned to the affected area and performed analyses that demonstrated "there have been no new cases" identified within a radius of 10 kilometers [6 mi].
In this regard, he said that at this time reports are favorable, but even so, the government of Castile-La Mancha will continue with the present methodology in collaboration with the Ministry and the poultry sector.
The avian flu virus detected in this farm in Almoguera is only transmitted between birds, it is the H7N7 type, which is rarely transmitted to humans.
Communicated by HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail promed@promedmail.org
In contrast to the statement in the article above, in 2003, H7N7 was found in humans, having first began in chickens. The report is from the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/h7n7-netherlands.htm):
"As of 25 Apr 2003, the National Influenza Center in The Netherlands reported that 83 confirmed cases of human H7N7 influenza virus infections had occurred among poultry workers and their families since the H7N7 outbreak began in chickens at the end of February 2003. The vast majority (79) of these people had conjunctivitis, and 6 of those with conjunctivitis also reported influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms (such as, fever, cough, muscle aches).
One person had ILI only (no conjunctivitis) and 2 persons had mild illness that could not be classified as ILI or conjunctivitis. In addition, one individual, a 57-year-old veterinarian who visited one of the affected farms in early April [2003], died on 17 Apr 2003 of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and related complications from H7N7 infection. Dutch authorities have reported evidence of possible transmission of H7N7 influenza from 2 poultry workers to 3 family members. All 3 family members had conjunctivitis and one also had ILI."
Given this report, one wonders if the officials in Spain are investigating the poultry workers and how the poultry encountered this virus. Have there been any increased reports of influenza in humans in the area?
Castile-La Mancha is the region for the setting of the famous Spanish novel _Don Quixote_ by Miguel de Cervantes. La Mancha, a windswept, battered plateau in Spain embodies the symbols of the Spanish culture, including sunflowers, olive oil and olive yards, mushrooms, especially its windmills, and Manchego cheese, along with the novel _Don Quixote_. - Mod.TG
For the OIE reports on this outbreak, see http://www.oie.int/wahis/reports/en_imm_0000008521_20091013_125400.pdf and
http://www.oie.int/wahis/reports/en_fup_0000008527_20091016_172352.pdf - Mod.MPP
The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Spain is available at http://healthmap.org/r/00VI. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ
Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics Univ of West Indies Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: http://www.emergingdisease.org/phpbb/index.php Also my new website: http://drpdoyle.tripod.com/ Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health 
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