Weekly H7N9 Virus Update

Flu Update

Weekly Avian Influenza A(H7N9) virus update: April 30, 2013

Introduction

Several additional laboratory-confirmed human infections with the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus were reported since last week.  Moreover, a new case was reported in Taiwan – the first infection that has occurred outside of China.  There is now a total of 126 laboratory–confirmed A(H7N9) cases including 24 deaths.  There is still no strong evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus; however, there are still some cases where human-to-human transmission has not been ruled out. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the United States, has warned Chinese health officials that they must be ready for the virus to mutate at any time.

H7N9

Key Alerts

  • April 26 – The Public Health Agency of Canada issued an Avian Influenza  A(H7N9) ‘Interim Guidance’ document to provide infection prevention and control guidance to healthcare organizations in Canada – located here.
  • April 25 – A Global News story on ‘Why the WHO is calling the A(H7N9) one of the ‘most lethal’ flu viruses so far’ can be read here.
  • April 24 – Dr. Keiji Fukuda’s opening statement at the joint press conference on the China-World Health Organization Joint Mission on A(H7N9) can be reviewed here.
  • April 24 – Taiwan reports first case of A(H7N9) infection – available here.

Summary, Risks, and Recommendations

Most new A(H7N9) infections have been contained to China; however, a new case was reported in Taiwan this past week. Expert researchers around the world are exploring the possibility of human-to-human transmission as certain cases of A(H7N9) have appeared to be contracted with no exposure to poultry.  Canadian provincial health officers have issued updated preventative procedures for Canadian healthcare organizations and citizens. Moreover, the Public Health Agency of Canada is currently determining if antiviral drugs are effective against the virus; they’re also actively developing and testing new vaccines.  Although there is emerging research that suggests the possibility to human-to-human transmission of the virus, the Public Health Agency of Canada is still reporting that the risk of infection to Canadians is low.

Statistics

  • Total confirmed cases: 126
  • Total fatalities: 24
  • Countries with infection – China, Taiwan

Additional Information

Thank you for checking our weekly Avian Influenza summary, please check back next week on May 6th for next week’s update. For more information, please visit http://www.bccdc.ca/default.htm

Local First Responders Enhance Their Scope of Practice

Fire rescue services are often the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency. However, responding fire fighters must work within the scope of their Emergency Medical Assistants (EMA) License and within their of their level of training.

Iridia Medical currently assists fire departments interested in enhanced training opportunities.   With our medical team having decades of experience in pre-hospital care and as the provider of medical direction to over 140 fire departments in British Columbia, Iridia Medical is in a unique position of assisting fire rescue services in improving their pre-hospital emergency skills and training.

EMR License

Through collaboration between firefighters, paramedics and physicians, Iridia Medical has helped develop enhanced skills and training for rural and metro first responder programs, as well as assisted departments in transitioning from an EMA-FR to an Emergency Medical Responder license level. 

One notable fire department on the path to their EMR license is Delta Fire Rescue ServicesAs Delta Fire moves towards the EMR license level the following key training modules have been introduced to all its current first responders: 

Delta Fire is among a select few fire departments across the province have undertaken these advanced modules. As good fortune would have it, soon after completing their training, first responders from Delta Fire responded to an emergency where they put Iridia Medical’s advanced training modules into action.

Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland on the incident:

“It was brought to my attention that on November 27, 2012 a shift crew was called to the Ladner Leisure Centre to attend a patient having a severe allergic reaction. The wife of the patient informed crew members that the patient was suffering a severe reaction to shellfish and did not have his epi-pen with him. Now that Delta Fire & Emergency Services carry epi-pens, the crew was able to provide one for the patient who was then able to self-administer. 

BC Ambulance Service dispatch was contacted and provided information from the fire crew who monitored the patient until they arrived approximately 6 minutes after the fire crew.

In an anaphylactic situation, time is critical to a positive outcome for the patient and in this instance our crews were instrumental in a successful outcome for the patient.

I would like to compliment the crew who attended this incident for their quick thinking and providing excellent patient care. Also, compliments to our F.R. Instructors and all personnel for the smooth and efficient implementation of the 3 additional F.R. protocols.

Training on 3 protocols (pulse oximetry, blood pressure & epi-pens) began earlier in the year, with the support of Mayor and Council. Delta Fire instructors received training and attained instructor status on the 3 protocols. This training is part of a process to enhance training in an effort to attain their  EMR license.

This incident provides encouraging testimony that enhanced training for fire fighters can improve pre-hospital patient care in the event that BCAS is unable to attend a scene immediately. Thank you for a job well done!”

Iridia Medical is thrilled with Delta Fire’s quick response to the anaphylactic emergency and their ability to aid in the positive outcome due to the enhanced training. Iridia looks forward to its continued relationship with Delta Fire and believe their enhanced role as first responders can be a model for other fire departments in the province.

Weekly H7N9 Virus Update

Flu Update

Weekly Avian Influenza A(H7N9) virus update: April 22, 2013

Introduction

China: Several additional laboratory-confirmed human infections with the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus were reported since last week.  The total amount of reported infections is approximately 103 – there have been a total of 20 deaths since the outbreak of the virus.  Chief epidemiologists at the China CDC have announced that approximately 40% of the A(H7N9) patients have had no history of exposure to poultry; this establishes the need for a wider investigation into how the disease is being spread.

Key Alerts

  • April 18Experts gather to focus on H7N9 bird flu transmission mystery – CTV News story – available here.
  • April 17An additional 19 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus are reported in various Chinese provinces – available here.
  • April 12 – The Canadian Public Health Agency issued an updated press release noting the low risk of the A(H7N9) virus to Canadians; however, cautioned Canadians to take preventative measures to protect themselves from influenza – available here.
  • April 11 – The National Health and Family Planning Commission notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an additional 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with A(H7N9) virus here.
h7n9

H7N9 spread as of April 15th 2013

Summary, Risks, and Recommendations

China has now seen 103 A(H7N9) laboratory confirmed infections – 20 have succumbed to the illness.  Researchers in China are currently exploring the possibility of human-to-human transmission as certain cases of A(H7N9) have appeared to be contracted with no exposure to poultry.  Canadian provincial health officers have stated that the level of risk to Canadians is still considered to be low, with reported cases limited to several different provinces in China.  Canada does not import raw poultry from China, thereby further reducing the possible risk of the virus spreading.  However, Canadian health authorities are still recommending Canadians practice good hand hygiene and washing hands regularly, coughing or sneezing into your sleeve, and staying home when sick to reduce your chance of getting sick or passing illness on to others.

Statistics

  • Total confirmed cases: 103
  • Total fatalities: 20
  • Countries with infection – China

Additional Information

Thank you for checking our weekly Avian Influenza summary, please check back for future updates. For more information, please visit http://www.bccdc.ca/default.htm

Fort Nelson Secondary now equipped to save lives!

Earlier this year, we highlighted a partnership we’d developed with the Advanced Coronary Treatment (ACT) Foundation aimed at bringing CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to the youth in our Province’s high schools – view here.

To recap, the ACT Foundation is a national charitable organization that is establishing CPR and defibrillator training programs in all Canadian high schools as a regular part of the school curriculum. The program is built on a model of establishing community-based partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners to donate equipment – such as training mannequins, AED training units and AED units – that schools need to set up the program. Training is also a key component. Teachers in secondary schools are trained in CPR and defibrillator use and they, in turn, will act as instructors for their students. The aim of the program is to ensure that all youth prior to graduation could effectively treat someone who is having a sudden cardiac arrest.

ACT Foundation Training

In continued support of this program, Iridia teamed up again with the ACT Foundation and with BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) earlier this month to help bring the program to Fort Nelson Secondary School, with two teachers from this school participating in the teacher-training workshop. The workshop was delivered by BCAS’ paramedic and CPR instructor, Sirita Hoenen, who generously volunteered her time to teach the workshop. Iridia’s support comprised the donation of equipment – including AED training units and an AED – along with the provision of funding for the AED mannequins and program resources. As a result of the teacher-training conducted, over 70 Grade 10 students from Fort Nelson Secondary School will be trained annually by their teachers to potentially save lives.

“Increasing community access to AEDs and CPR training within BC has always been an important focus for Iridia”, said Vern Biccum, President of Iridia Medical. “Our company started with pioneering AED programs in the workplace and we have been active in bringing AEDs and CPR training to the community ever since. Collaborating with the ACT Foundation to now bring life-saving skills and equipment to the youth of our communities is an opportunity on which we place great importance and with which we’re proud to be associated.”

As a result of the program and Iridia’s participation in it, Fort Nelson Secondary School will now have an AED available for their use, along with the associated skills and knowledge, should a student, staff or visitor to the school suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.

Iridia will continue to partner with the ACT Foundation, with another workshop scheduled for June to be provided to schools in Kitimat and Terrace.

What is the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium?

The Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) was created in 2005 to conduct clinical research in the areas of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and traumatic injury.

The ROC consists of 10 Regional Clinical Centers (RCCs) and a Data and Coordinating Center that provides the necessary infrastructure to conduct multiple collaborative trials to aid rapid translation of promising scientific and clinical advances to improve resuscitation outcomes.

The ROC is the first large-scale effort in the world to conduct clinical trials focusing on the early delivery of interventions by EMS to better optimize patient survival.

As a first responder medical director, Dr. Allan Holmes (founder of Iridia Medical) is involved with the ROC through the collaboration of many fire rescue services throughout British Columbia. 

Fore more information and statistics about the ROC collaboration within British Columbia, please see April 2013 BC ROC Report:

ROC Report

Click to view the report.

The ROC is Sponsored By:

Learn More About the ROC

What is the H7N9 Virus?

April 11, 2013 Update

Human Infection with influenza A (H7N9) virus in China

Introduction

Over the past two of weeks there have been a number of people infected with the lesser-known H7N9 virus in China.  The H7N9 is a subtype of the Influenza A virus and normally circulates amongst bird populations with some variants known to occasionally infect humans.  The H7N9 virus was first reported to have infected humans earlier this year.

H7N9

Key Alerts

  • April 2 – China reports 4 cases of the new H7N9 bird flu – View here.
  • April 5 – British Columbia’s provincial health officer releases a statement on H7N9 influenza in China – View here.
  • April 5 – The Public Health Agency of Canada releases a Travel Health Notice for China – View here.
  • April 7 – China closes down multiple live-poultry markets to curb H7N9 spread – View here.
  • April 8 – Poultry sales are halted in more Chinese cities – View here.
  • April 11 – The National Health and Family Planning Commission notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an additional 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with H7N9 virus – View here.

Summary, Risks, and Recommendations

China has seen approximately 33 new H7N9 infections. These new cases have prompted China to close down various poultry markets, urging consumers to “no longer pursue the kind of eating habits where they buy fresh chickens that are butchered on the spot.” However, Canadian provincial health officers have stated that the level of risk to Canadians is currently considered to be low, with reported cases limited to the eastern provinces of China. As well, to date in China, there have been no reported cases of human-to-human transmission. To mitigate risk, it is recommended that we all practice good hand hygiene and washing hands regularly, coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and staying home when sick to reduce your chance of getting sick or passing illness on to others.

Statistics

  • Total confirmed cases: 38
  • Total fatalities: 10
  • Countries with infection – China

Additional Information

Thank you for checking our weekly Avian Influenza summary, please check back for future weekly updates. For more information, please visit http://www.bccdc.ca/default.htm