Monday, October 31, 2005

First seminar of the EAHP Foundation

The invitation to the Foundation Seminar only concerns the hospital pharmacists of the new EU countries.

This seminar is about compounding of cytotoxic drugs, preparation under aseptic conditions, safe handling and aspects of patiant safety e.g. extravasation.

The seminar is organized in cooperation with the Hungarian Society of Hospital Pharmacists and will be held in Budapest from February 23rd to 24th. The EAHP Foundation will cover the expensis of hotel and accomodation for two nights and the costs of the seminar. Travel expenses have to be covered by the participant or the local organisation.

The official language of the seminar is English.

Preliminary Programm

February 23rd 2005, 2pm -6pm

Welcome :Jaqueline Surugue, President of EAHP
  • Effects and side effects of cytotoxic drugs
  • Safe handling of cytotoxic drugs (preparation, application, waste disposal, spilling)
  • Personal protective equipment (workbenches, protective clothing)

February 24th 2005, 9am- 1pm
  • Equipment for production (e.g. adapters, closed systems,…)
  • Validation of aseptic technique
  • Stability of cytotoxic drugs

February 24th 2005, 2apm- 6pm
  • Biomonitoring
  • Monitoring of the environment – where’s the contamination?
  • Extravasation

For more information please contact your country delegates to EAHP

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Suspected Cases of the avian flu in European countries

As it was made known by the British Ministry of Agriculture, a quarantined parrot, which died in the United Kingdom, suffered from the avian flu. The parrot had been imported by South America, and up to now, the Ministry’s announcement has not explained which flu virus caused the parrot’s death. It simply stated that only the H5 strain was recognised.
"This confirmed avian flu case does not cause concern in the UK, as the parrot was under quarantine and imported,"
stated a veterinary adviser of the Ministry.

Furthermore, six wild swans died by the virus as well, as announced by the Croatian Ministry of Health.
"Six swans were found dead in a lake in eastern Croatia. We have sent samples to the United Kingdom for further testing,"
stated a spokesperson for the government. A government announcement issued by Prime Minister Ivo Sanader stated:
"We are taking the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. We do not think that there is any danger for humans."

Cases of the avian flu have been reported in Romania and Turkey.

One case from Greece and another in FYROM are still being investigated, in order to conclude which virus is responsible for the birds’ death.

In Romania and Turkey the virus strain of H5N1, which can cause a human pandemic, has been reconfirmed in wild birds and poultry.


Monday, October 17, 2005

The first suspected case of the avian flu in Greece

The first suspected case of the avian flu in Greece was detected in a turkey on the island of Oinousses.

The owner of a small poultry unit notified the Veterinary Directorate of the Prefecture of Chios about the presence of the suspected cases in his unit. The authorities immediately took samples and sent them the Athens Veterinary Institutes.

As per the lab tests, one of the nine samples was tested positive to antibodies of the H5 virus, but not to the deadly H5N1 strain of the avian flu. The samples were sent to a special veterinary centre in Thessaloniki to be further tested.

The Ministry of Rural Development released an emergency circular ordering the Chios Veterinary Directorate to implement the Emergency Action Plan.

(Source: ERT online,

Friday, October 14, 2005

Possible Pandemic Ahead

Suspicions have been confirmed. The bird flu virus found in Turkey is the H5N1 strain, which has killed some 60 people in Asia since late 2003, announced the EU Commissioner for health and consumer protection Markos Kyprianou at noon.

Mr Kyprianou urged the European countries to be on alert for possible bird flu pandemic and to stockpile antivirals. With regard to Romania, he argued that the European Commission is not yet certain whether the cases reported were due to the pathogenic strain of the virus, however, the Commission is working on the premise that this is the case until the final results from the lab tests come out.

Imports of live birds and poultry products from Turkey have already been banned, while a similar embargo is to be imposed on Romania. However, the first results from showed that the samples were tested negative to the virus. InRomania Greece, alarm sounded on Thursday morning at the Piraeus port, when four migratory birds, one dead, were located on a Portuguese registered ship, coming from Egypt. The alarm proved false later, since according to the lab tests the birds had died of exhaustion.

In the meantime, after meeting with the Prime Minister and Minister of Rural Development Evangelos Basiakos at Maximos Mansion on Thursday, Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis announced the government is willing to ask for a meeting held in late November between the Balkan and Black Sea countries, aiming at drawing up a joint plan to combat the avian influenza virus.

(Sources: NET Radio 105.8, French Press Agency,

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Cases of Avian (Bird) Flu in Romania

It seems that we are in the beginning of a very serious problem for all Europe. In the web page of ERT ( is published an article of Mrs Athina Saloystroy; according to that:

Romania reported its first case of avian flu on Friday, but said it had not yet established whether the virus found in domestic birds in the Danube delta was harmful to humans. "We discovered today three cases of domestic birds which were tested positive for the avian flu in the village of Ceamurlia de Jos in the Danube delta. There were three ducks in the yard of a peasant family," Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur told reporters. Flutur said tests would be carried out to determine whether the flu was the deadly H5N1 strain or a less dangerous one. "We will send the samples to Great Britain for a thorough analysis," he said.

The Romanian minister also said he had imposed quarantine for three kilometres around the site and all domestic birds would be culled to prevent the disease from spreading in the environmentally sensitive delta.

Flutur also added that hunting was banned across the delta and that health authorities had dispatched medical teams to start testing for possible human cases in the area, just a few km from the Black Sea.

The Danube delta is Europe’s largest wetlands and a major migratory area for wild birds coming from Russia, Scandinavia, Poland and Germany.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Avian flu is dangerous

I tried to find information concerning the Avian flu. It’s an ocean of articles out there (Google: 2.950.000 articles). Finally I decided that there are some papers from where we can extract all the information we need.

The articles are:

Q&A: Avian flu
The growing number of cases of avian influenza, or bird flu, in Asian countries is causing increasing concern. But what is the disease and what are the possible risks to humans?

WHO plans bird flu drug stockpile

World Health Organisation officials are in talks about building up a stockpile of drugs for poorer countries to fight a possible bird flu pandemic.
Tamiflu, made by Swiss firm Roche, works by reducing the symptoms and the risk of a carrier passing on the virus.

Also, there is an announcement made by ROCHE (Basel, 29 January 2004 ) with details for TAMIFLU. Roche's oral flu drug Tamiflu could be effective in treating avian influenza.

Roche confirms that Tamiflu (oseltamivir) could be effective in treating the recent outbreak of the avian influenza in the Far East. Tamiflu was tested in a pre-clinical setting against a wide range of influenza virus strains. Despite the lack of clinical data, the findings provide reassurance that Tamiflu can be expected to be active against any influenza virus neuraminidase enzyme subtype, including the H5N1 strain. This strain is associated with the recent outbreak of avian influenza in Asia.

The WHO in its interim recommendations for the protection of persons in contact with animals potentially infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, advises that ‘oseltamivir be readily available for the treatment of suspected H5N1 respiratory infections in cullers and farm workers involved in the mass culling’*.

The whole announcement is here: