China: Three infected with bird flu virus, one dead

A Chinese man has died of H7N9 bird flu and two other members of his family were infected with the deadly virus, raising concerns about the prospect of human-to-human transmission of disease.

Chinese health authorities said a family of three was infected with H7N9 bird flu in east China’s Zhejiang, the province worst-affected by the current spike in cases.

A 49-year-old man in Hangzhou city was on January 20 confirmed to have been infected with the virus. His wife and daughter, who accompanied him to the hospital, were later also confirmed infected.

The man has died while his daughter is in a serious condition and his wife is stable, local officials said. Experts have reached no firm conclusion on how the virus spread between the family members.

They all may have had contact with poultry, or the father may have transmitted the flu to his wife and daughter, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Even if the case is confirmed as person-to-person transmission, there is no need to panic, said Li Lanjuan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a specialist in H7N9 prevention.

“So far there have not been any cases in which one person transmits the flu to another, and the latter transmits the virus to a third person,” said Li. In this year’s epidemic, transmission has been limited to a second person, who does not transmit the virus to a third. H7N9 is not likely to be spread in schools, workplaces or at gatherings, said Chen Zhiping, deputy head of the provincial disease control and prevention centre.

China has already sounded a nation-wide alert like last year, when the virus first struck, leaving 45 dead. Three new human H7N9 cases were reported in Zhejiang yesterday, bringing the number of infections in the province this year to 56. All three are in a critical condition. In neighbouring Fujian province, a two-year-old child tested positive for bird flu, according to the provincial health commission. The patient is now recovering.

South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region also reported one new case yesterday. The National Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday that live poultry markets would close if a case of H7N9 was detected. Chicken has been a required dish on Chinese dining tables for centuries during Spring Festival, which begins on Friday.

Source: firstpost

China pollution crossing Pacific to U.S.

Pollution from China travels in large quantities across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, a new study has found, making environmental and health problems unexpected side effects of U.S. demand for cheap China-manufactured goods.

On some days, acid rain-inducing sulfate from burning of fossil fuels in China can account for as much as a quarter of sulfate pollution in the western United States, a team of Chinese and American researchers said in the report published by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a non-profit society of scholars.

Cities like Los Angeles received at least an extra day of smog a year from nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide from China’s export-dependent factories, it said.
“We’ve outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us,” co-author Steve Davis, a scientist at University of California Irvine, said.

Between 17 and 36 percent of various air pollutants in China in 2006 were related to the production of goods for export, according to the report, and a fifth of that specifically tied to U.S.-China trade.

Beijing’s air pollution at dangerously high levels
China’s December exports slow, imports accelerate
One third of China’s greenhouse gases is now from export-based industries, according to Worldwatch Institute, a U.S.-based environmental research group.

China’s neighbors, such as Japan and South Korea, have regularly suffered noxious clouds from China in the last couple of decades as environmental regulations have been sacrificed for economic and industrial growth.

However, the new report showed that many pollutants, including black carbon, which contributes to climate change and is linked to cancer, emphysema and heart and lung diseases, traveled huge distances on global winds known as “westerlies”.

Trans-boundary pollution has for several years been an issue in international climate change negotiations, where China has argued that developed nations should take responsibility for a share of China’s greenhouse gas emissions, because they originate from production of goods demanded by the West.

The report said its findings showed that trade issues must play a role in global talks to cut pollution.

“International cooperation to reduce transboundary transport of air pollution must confront the question of who is responsible for emissions in one country during production of goods to support consumption in another,” it said.

Air quality is of increasing concern to China’s stability-obsessed leaders, anxious to douse potential unrest as a more affluent urban population turns against a growth-at-all-costs economic model that has poisoned much of the country’s air, water and soil.

Authorities have invested in various projects to fight pollution, but none so far has worked.

Source: cbs news

Half kg hairball removed from girl’s stomach

Doctors have removed a mass of impacted hair weighing half a kg from the stomach of a 12-year-old girl in China’s Henan province.

Doctors at the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology in Luoyang, Henan province, surgically removed the hairball from the stomach of the girl Jan 11

The mother of the girl in Luoyang was shocked when doctors revealed the reason why her daughter had been inexplicably losing her long hair and weight over the past year.

Doctors said the girl suffers from pica, a pathological disorder where a person develops an appetite for clay, dirt, chalk or other similar substances that are considered socially unusual to eat.

A CT scan taken at the hospital revealed that the mass of 30 cm long clump occupied 70 percent of the girl’s stomach.

“The mass of hair was shaped like her stomach and is solid,” said Chen Ye, deputy director of gastrointestinal tumor surgery department at the hospital.

“I’ve seen her put hair in her mouth but I thought she was just playing and didn’t think much about it,” said the girl’s mother, who sought treatment when she discovered a lump in her daughter’s stomach two weeks ago.

Chen advised parents to pay close attention to their children’s behaviour and recommend timely treatment after any such discovery.

Source: Zee news

Man ‘unaware’ of nail lodged in skull after an accident in home


A man who had a 8 cm-long nail embedded in his skull after a home improvement accident had no idea until doctors carried out a CT scan.

The 55-year-old Chinese man, named by local media as Mr Yang, was using a cutting machine when the accident happened.

“The nail that got stuck in the cutting machine flew out when I turned on the machine. It ripped into my head and left a small hole on the skin,” Mr Yang told the Sky News.

Not realising the nail had embedded Mr Yang went on with his day. But after he got sick he went to doctors who discovered the nail had penetrated his eye socket.

Neurosurgeons at the hospital in Nanjing, in China’s Jiangsu province, operated on the Mr Yang to remove the nail.

Mr Yang’s story is not the first time such a thing has happened in China. According to the Shanghaiist, a man in Chengdu province had a chopstick lodged into his cranium for nine months without noticing.


China says child deaths not linked to hepatitis vaccine

Chinese health authorities said they have found no link between a hepatitis B vaccine and the deaths of nine children who had received those shots, state media said on Friday.

China has been investigating 17 deaths following inoculation with a hepatitis B vaccine, made by Shenzhen-based BioKangtai, from Dec. 13 and 31. The news alarmed many Chinese Internet users, who called on the government to make more information public.

Many Chinese people are suspicious that the government tries to cover up bad news about health problems, despite assurances of transparency. In 2003, the government initially tried to cover-up the outbreak of the SARS virus.

Nine of the cases have nothing to do with the vaccines, state news agency Xinhua cited the director of the disease control bureau of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, Yu Jingjin, as saying at a press conference.

A preliminary analysis of the eight other cases have also found no link between the deaths and the vaccines, but the cause of the deaths will be confirmed only after autopsies, Yu said.

Li Guoqing of the China Food and Drug Administration said at a press conference that no problems had been found with BioKangtai vaccines in production practices or product quality, according to Xinhua.

BioKangtai said in a statement in December that it rigorously followed safety rules but that they were testing the batches suspected of causing the deaths.

China has been beset by a series of product safety scandals over the past few years.

At least six children died in 2008 after drinking milk contaminated by the industrial chemical melamine, and there have also been reports of children dying or becoming seriously ill from faulty encephalitis, hepatitis B and rabies vaccines.

Source: Reuters

Shocking – 2 year old gives birth to own twin

boy gives birth

A two-year-old Chinese boy named Xiao Feng was admitted to hospital to undergo an operation to “give birth” to his twin. The boy was suffering from breathing difficulties and his stomach was extremely swollen.

Following X-rays and MRI scans, doctors at the hospital confirmed that Feng was in fact carrying the undeveloped fetus of his twin inside his stomach. He was rushed to the operating room for emergency surgery to remove it.

The case known as cryptodidymus, or conjoined twins, is extremely rare, if not unprecedented in the world of medicine. the unborn fetus measured around 10 inches in width and was fully formed in terms of its spine and limbs.

It is just as well that the boy was admitted to the hospital. The parasitic twin growing inside him took up as much as two thirds of Feng’s stomach and if left untreated could have lead to his death.

Twins are formed when an egg splits following fertilization. Conjoined twins are formed when the egg itself fails to fully separate.

The foetus was 20cm wide and had developed a spine, fingers and toes. It had grown so much that it was taking up almost two-thirds of the boy’s stomach, doctors said.

The rare case of conjoined twins, known as cryptodidymus, is the case is extremely rare and possibly unprecedented in medicine, the Inquisitr reports. Conjoined twins form when the fertilised egg fails to separate completely.

Source: hi5 buzz

60-year-old woman in China gives birth to twin girls

A woman in China who gave birth to twin girls after an IVF treatment at the age of 60 in 2010 following the death of her only child has commented to the media on the birth. She may be the oldest person in the country to give birth.

Fox News reported that because of China’s the birth is extremely unusual in the country because of the country’s one child policy. She gave birth after the death of her only child.

Clinics and countries throughout the world impose limits on IVF treatment. The treatment is less effective with age. Such treatments also cause concerns for the welfare of children who are born after the treatment.

Sheng Hailin, is now 63. She lost her first daughter after an accidental gas poisoning case in 2009, according to the China Herald.

“To survive and free myself of the loneliness, I decided to have another child in my old age,” the newspaper quoted Hailin as saying.

The Daily Mail reported she and her husband gave birth to survive and be “free from loneliness.” Because of the births, Mrs. Hailin has not been able to retire and instead has had to increase her work schedule.  She said she is sorry she is not able to spend as much time with her children as she would like.

“‘For the baby girls, I have given out all I have,” she explained to the China Daily.
The Chinese government in November granted couples the right to have children if one parent is an only child.

According to an estimate, one million families in the country have lost their sole descendant after the beginning of the one child policy in the late 1970s. Another estimate calculates that four to seven million more are expected to do so in the next thirty years.

A portion of the couple’s earnings and pension is used to pay two babysitters, the Christian Post

Mrs. Hailin works as a health lecturer said some of her “lectures may only last one day, but sometimes I
have to stay three or four days in one place.”

Source: Digital Journal

Hong Kong confirms first death from H7N9 bird flu


An 80-year-old man infected with the H7N9 bird flu virus has died in Hong Kong, the government said on Thursday, in the first such death in the city after the virus surfaced in early December.

The man, the second person in Hong Kong to be diagnosed with the virus strain, lived in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen and had eaten poultry there, media reported.

The H7N9 strain was first reported in humans in February in mainland China, and has infected at least 139 people in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, killing more than 40.

Experts say there is no evidence of any easy or sustained human-to-human transmission of H7N9, and so far all people who came into contact with the man had tested negative for the strain, authorities said.

Source: Reuters

Nineteen students sick in China from poisoned yoghurt

Nineteen primary school children in China have been hospitalised after drinking yoghurt said to be laced with rat poison and herbicide, the Xinhua state news said.

A 34-year-old woman from Loudi city in the central province of Hunan confessed to poisoning the yoghurt drink before delivering to the students, Xinhua said on Saturday. It said the woman was suspected to be suffering from a mental disorder.

Three children were in serious condition but their lives were not in danger, Xinhua said. Investigations were going on.

There have been several attacks on schools in China in recent years while at the same time, food safety has become a contentious issue with a rising number of food-poisoning cases due in part to lax safety standards at small factories.

Source: South China Morning Post

70,000 HIV cases detected in China since January

Around 70,000 new HIV cases were reported in China in the first nine months of the year, bringing the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS to 434,000.

From January to September, 80.7 million people received tests for HIV, an increase of 8.9 percent from the same period last year, reported Xinhua citing a National Health and Family Planning Commission statement.

A total of 3,413 treatment organisations were set up in 31 provincial-level regions.

China tested 7.43 million pregnant women for HIV/AIDS in the first nine months of the year to prevent possible mother-to-child transmission, the statement said.

Source: Two circles