Apr 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed two more cases of H5N1 avian influenza from a family cluster that surfaced in Pakistan last fall, supporting the previous finding that the virus probably spread among four brothers but went no further.Serologic (antibody) testing confirmed that two brothers, one of whom died and the other survived, had the virus, the WHO reported. In addition, the agency said another brother who died had a probable case, but no samples from him were available for testing. The WHO had confirmed one case—Pakistan’s first known H5N1 infection—in late December.The four cases were among at least eight suspected cases in northern Pakistan that were first widely reported Dec 16. The other suspected cases have since been ruled out, according to WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl.The Pakistan cluster had raised fears that the virus was improving its ability to infect humans, but the WHO said after an initial investigation in December that there was no evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission.Today the agency stated, “These laboratory test results support the epidemiological findings from the outbreak investigation in December 2007, and the final risk assessment that suggested limited human to human transmission events reported previously. This outbreak did not extend into the community, and appropriate steps were taken to reduce future risks of human infections.”The tests were conducted by the WHO’s H5 reference lab in Egypt (US Naval Medical Research Unit 3) and at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.Cases started with cullerOne of the two cases confirmed today was in a man who was previously identified as a veterinarian and had helped cull chickens in an avian flu outbreak area. He became ill on Oct 29 and later recovered, the WHO said.The other three brothers all fell ill after having close contact with the veterinarian, and none of them had had contact with sick or dead poultry, the agency reported. The second brother in the cluster—whose case is listed as probable—became ill on Nov 12 and died a week later. The other two brothers both got sick on Nov 21; one of them died Nov 28, but the other fully recovered. Officials previously said the brothers helped care for one another during their illnesses.The man who died Nov 28, listed as the third patient, is the one whose case was confirmed in December. He was identified as a 25-year-old from the Peshawar area. Polymerase chain reaction was used to verify his case.Serologic tests were used to confirm the two latest cases because no respiratory samples were available, Hartl confirmed today. Explaining why the results were delayed, he told CIDRAP News via e-mail, “Serology takes awhile because the virus has to be grown in sufficient quantity to perform [the] test with sera.”Hartl said the virus in the third Pakistani patient was identified as a clade 2.2 strain of H5N1. Clade 2.2 viruses have been found in birds in more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and have caused human cases in Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Djibouti, Iraq, Nigeria, and Turkey, as well as Pakistan, according to a recent WHO report.The cases in Pakistan sparked concern in the United States after another brother of the infected men, a man living on Long Island, attended the funeral of one of the victims. After his return home, he reported possible exposure to the virus and went into voluntary home quarantine. He was tested and found to be free of the virus.Latest Indonesian cases confirmedYesterday the WHO recognized the three human H5N1 cases—two of them fatal—reported earlier this week by authorities in Indonesia. The agency said the cases, which have not been linked epidemiologically, involve:A 15-year-old boy from Subang district, West Java province, who fell ill Mar 19 and died Mar 26An 11-year-old girl from Bekasi in West Java who got sick Mar 19 and died Mar 28A 21-month-old girl from Bukit Tinggi in West Sumatra; she became ill Mar 17, was hospitalized Mar 22, and is currently recovering.Indonesia has had 132 confirmed H5N1 cases, of which 107 were fatal, the WHO said.With the addition of the two Pakistan cases and the three in Indonesia, the WHO’s global H5N1 count has risen to 378 cases with 238 deaths.See also: Apr 3 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_04_03/en/index.htmlJan 3, 2008, CIDRAP News story “WHO: initial analysis of Pakistani H5N1 suggests no dangerous mutations”Dec 27, 2007, CIDRAP News story “WHO confirms H5N1 case in Pakistan cluster”Dec 17, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Possible H5N1 family cluster probed in Pakistan”Apr 2 WHO statement on Indonesian H5N1 caseshttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_04_02/en/index.htmlFebruary 2008 WHO report “Antigenic and genetic characteristics of H5N1 viruses and candidate H5N1 vaccine viruses developed for potential use as human vaccines”http://www.who.int/influenza/resources/documents/H5VaccineVirusUpdate20080214.pdf
Air BnB hosts Lucia Ormonde and her husband James Peddell at their Edmonton home.Airbnb is becoming more popular in Cairns. They have made many friends as Airbnb hosts over the past two years. PICTURE: JUSTIN BRIERTYINVESTORS focusing on the Cairns market are increasingly seeking out properties perfect for listing on homeshare site Airbnb, according to a Cairns real estate agent.LJ Hooker Cairns South’s Cheyenne Morrison said barely two years ago there was only a handful of properties available for rent in Cairns on Airbnb, but that number has exploded to thousands.“I have experienced increasing amounts of property investors looking to buy houses suitable to rent on the platform,” Mr Morrison said. “My research, and market conditions in capital cities lead me to believe that a property that is purpose-built for Airbnb will gain much more capital appreciation in the coming years than an ordinary property.“The most sought-after type of property is a home with a separate living quarters that can be rented on Airbnb. “In the inner-city suburbs of Parramatta Park and Cairns North this is usually a Queenslander home that has been raised to legal height, with a self-contained living area downstairs.”More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoBeing close to the airport, CBD and the entertaining Esplanade precinct, Cairns North has topped the list of popular suburbs listed on Airbnb. According to the latest data from AirDNA, there are 268 properties in Cairns North for rent on Airbnb. The average daily rate is $127, average occupancy is 73 per cent, and average monthly earnings are $2175.Mr Morrison said 360 McLeod St, Cairns North, for sale for $650,000, had been achieving more than 80 per cent occupancy on Airbnb for the past two years.Running a property as an Airbnb rental offers a higher return, but this also comes at a cost. Just like a hotel, guests expect all the amenities, a comfortable bed with clean linen, a well laid-out kitchen with cooking implements, crockery and cutlery and appliances.Owners, too, often need to meet guests at odd hours, change linen and clean their property regularly.
THE Alex Bunbury Sports and Academics Academy (ABSAA) is pleased to announce the full funding approval from a financial institution in Canada for the development of a US$215M project for Guyana’s first International soccer stadium and sporting complex.The project is moving from the planning stage towards a projected construction start in September 2017.The tireless efforts of project leader, Alex Bunbury, has seen a rapid move from conceptualisation and planning, the securing of a lease for the hundred-acre facility to financial arrangements with a financial institution in Canada.The ABSAA has engaged Bassoo Global (Guyana) as lead consultant for the completion of the construction of the mega-sporting complex.“We’ve been busy in consultations on the project. Our team of contractors and engineers are ready to work with Baker Barrios Architects from Florida and we’re eager to get this project started,” said Christopher Bassoo, Director of Bassoo Global.Bunbury, who returned home after some 40 years has always dreamed of giving back to his native Guyana, the country whose flag he always waves proudly wherever he is.“The Government of Guyana has been very supportive of the project as it will not only create large scale employment for Guyanese but has as its main objective to showcase the talents of our young people.“We are extremely excited about this venture and we see it as a great opportunity to give back to the people of Guyana. We expect to break ground within 5 months once all paper work has been completed,” said Bunbury.Bassoo Global is an umbrella organisation with global alliances and a team of international and local expert consultants. The entity handles strategic consulting, real estate and large-scale construction projects.