Study: Poultry most likely to bring H5N1 to Americas

first_imgDec 5, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Poultry infected with H5N1 avian influenza pose the greatest risk of bringing the disease to the Americas, according to a new study by British and US researchers that challenges US efforts to detect flu in migratory birds.Once on this continent, avian flu is likely to spread to migratory birds that will cross US borders—but the greatest risk will be birds from Central and South America that are not sampled in current wild-bird testing, the researchers said.The study, to be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, employs a complex analytical method that compares the migratory routes of wild bird species thought to be the main reservoirs of avian flu with data on legal trade in poultry and wild birds and avian-flu gene sequences deposited in the public database GenBank.Plotting those pieces of data against each other allowed the researchers to hypothesize whether migratory birds, wild bird trade, or poultry were responsible for H5N1 influenza’s past spread across the globe, as well as to model its possible future paths.Heading their conclusions: The combination of poultry trade and bird migrations allowed the virus to spread much farther than either would have allowed on its own.Heading their predictions: The greatest threat to the continental United States will be the arrival of avian flu in Central and South America—where poultry trade is less restricted than in North America—via live poultry imports from countries where avian flu has affected either domesticated or wild birds. Strict regulation of poultry trade across US borders will not be adequate protection, they concluded.”The question is not just who you trade with, but who your neighbors trade with,” A. Marm Kilpatrick, PhD, a senior research scientist with the Consortium for Conservation Medicine and the lead author of the study, told CIDRAP News.The Consortium is a New York-based non-profit supported by six institutions: the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center, the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the Wildlife Trust. Other authors came from the Royal Society for Protection of Birds and the Smithsonian Institution.Kilpatrick said the researchers’ analytical method allowed them to theorize about which population—poultry, migratory birds such as ducks and swans, or traded wild birds such as parrots and birds of prey—was responsible for the spread of H5N1 influenza across Asia and into Europe.Poultry played a greater role than wild birds in distributing H5N1 through Asia, they found, but migratory birds that picked up the virus from poultry carried it westward, introducing it to 20 of the 23 European countries where it has been found. In Africa, they suggested, both poultry and wild birds played a role, along with poultry products such as chicken droppings bought for fertilizer and fish feed.The findings challenge previous conclusions on the routes by which some countries were infected. For instance, plotting genetic sequences from H5N1 isolates against migratory routes revealed that bird flu arrived in Turkey, the first European-region country to be affected, not through previously blamed poultry imports from Thailand but via migratory birds winging from Russia.The researchers’ method—which combined estimates of “infectious bird days” (the product of the number of birds entering a country, the prevalence of infection in those populations, and the number of days birds are likely to shed virus) with data on trade and migration from U.S. and international agencies—does not consider the possible influence of the illegal trade in poultry and wild birds, an omission that Kilpatrick acknowledged is a weakness.But the analysis points so strongly to the influence of legal trade in spreading the pathogen that it argues for implementing trade controls, he said.”Although the risk of H5N1 introduction into the mainland United States by any single pathway is relatively low, the risk of introduction by poultry to other countries in the Americas, particularly Canada, Mexico and Brazil, is substantial unless all imported poultry are tested for H5N1 or trade restrictions on imports from the old world are imposed,” the report says.The argument over the relative roles played by poultry and migratory birds in spreading H5N1 has been bitter, with agricultural interests defending poultry and conservation groups contending that wild birds are victims rather than disease vectors. The researchers’ conclusions are likely to find favor with conservation groups, and appear to accord with past observations by avian virologists that migratory-bird importation to the United States is unlikely because flyways and feeding grounds allow relatively little overlap for viral exchange.But the research implicitly challenges the focus of the $29 million migratory-bird testing effort being conducted in the United States by the departments of Interior and Agriculture. Since April that effort has tested more than 21,000 samples from wild birds in the United States, primarily in Alaska, without finding any high-pathogenic avian flu.Because the wild birds sampled to date have shown such low prevalence of all avian flu strains—2.6% among Alaskan isolates, according to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis.—surveillance should refocus on dead birds, the researchers said.But scientists at the National Wildlife Health Center—which leads the US sampling effort but is also a coalition partner of the Consortium for Conservation Medicine—said Monday’s study lacks enough data to persuade them to shift their efforts. In particular, they said a decision by the authors to exclude shorebirds from their analysis leaves out important information, because shorebirds congregate in large groups that facilitate viral exchange more than individual encounters do.”A model is only as good as the assumptions you make and the data you put into it,” said Leslie Dierauf, VMD, the center’s director. “There may be better data we can obtain on trade in domestic fowl. There is certainly in my mind at this point not good enough data for migratory birds.”Nevertheless, Dierauf, who reviewed the paper a year ago when it was in draft form, said the analysis raises questions that are vital for successful avian flu prevention and control.”I am not certain [the paper] makes a significant advance in knowledge, but I do know it sets a number of scientific matters on the table that we all need to look at, no matter whether we are looking from the wild-bird perspective or the poultry perspective or the trade perspective,” she said. “That is very good.”Kilpatrick AM, Chmura AA, Gibbons DW, et al. Predicting the global spread of H5N1 avian influenza. Proc Nat Acad Sci 2006 (published online Dec 7) [Abstract]See also:Olsen B, Munster VJ, Wallensten A, et al. Global patterns of influenza A virus in wild birds. Science 2006 Apr 21;313(5772):384-8 [Full text]last_img read more

Ministry mulls providing companies soft loans to pay Idul Fitri bonus

first_imgThe COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business activity as consumers stay at home to curb the virus spread, resulting in weakening demand. Companies across the country, mainly those operating in the hospitality sector, have furloughed or laid-off employees. Read also: COVID-19: Govt reminds businesses that Idul Fitri bonuses are ‘mandatory’Indonesia usually sees household spending, which accounts for more than half of economic activity, peak during Ramadan and Idul Fitri, as companies and the government pay bonuses to employees and civil servants, respectively.While some companies have struck a deal with their workers or unions to pay their THR in installments, Agus said companies that could not come to an agreement with their workers could apply for the loans. The Industry Ministry is discussing the possibility of providing businesses with soft loans to enable them to pay Idul Fitri holiday bonuses (THR) as the economic downturn is forcing companies to withhold or cut the bonus payment.The ministry is in discussion with the central bank and the Financial Services Authority (OJK) over the matter, Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita told journalists during an online press briefing on Tuesday.“We are preparing a soft loan scheme for hard-hit industries so they can pay THR to their employees in full,” Agus said. “During a dialogue with industrial company associations, the companies said they were willing to pay their workers’ THR even though they had to take loans out from banks,” he said.Previously, Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto reminded businesses that they were obligated pay THR, despite the economic pressures brought about by the pandemic.Read also: Not all companies unable to pay Idul Fitri bonuses, labor union says as businesses ask for leeway“President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has discussed the business sector’s readiness to pay THR and [we remind] the private sector that paying THR is mandatory,” Airlangga said during a virtual press briefing on April 2.Meanwhile, the Indonesian Employers Association submitted on April 6 a proposal to the Office of Coordinating Economic Minister and the Workers Social Security Agency, asking to postpone the payment of THR for a year due to the COVID-19 crisis.Topics :last_img read more

Unai Emery keen to ‘enjoy’ Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey while he can

first_img Sean KearnsFriday 12 Apr 2019 2:00 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link366Shares Advertisement Aaron Ramsey was Arsenal’s man of the match against Napoli (Picture: Getty)Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists Aaron Ramsey is determined to do something ‘important’ for the club before he departs for Juventus.The Welshman agreed a five-year deal with the Serie A giants in January after Arsenal withdrew their contract offer to the midfielder.Ramsey has remained a key fixture in this Arsenal side despite his imminent move to Turin and he orchestrated their 2-0 win against Napoli on Thursday, scoring the first of the night.Emery played a key part in the decision to withdraw the offer to Ramsey but the Spaniard insists he has no regrets and just wants to enjoy the midfielder while he can.ADVERTISEMENT Comment Emery wants to ‘enjoy’ Ramsey while he can (Picture: Getty)‘His performance in this moment for us he wants to do something important,’ said Emery.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘He wants to help us do something important because he feels a lot for Arsenal Football Club and how he is with the supporters.‘He gives us more than all he can not individually [for himself] but for the club.‘I want to enjoy with him in this moment. I want to do something important with him. His focus now is a very big focus for Arsenal only.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalLucas Torreira’s deflected effort doubled Arsenal’s lead to give the Gunners a two-goal advantage as they head out to Naples next week for the second leg.Despite that though, Emery insists the tie is still in the balance.‘ It’s 50:50,’ said Emery.‘It’s a good result that can give us some advantage but playing away I know continuing with this.‘We are more competitive and the idea is not to change [from attacking]. we want to win every match’MORE: Irreplaceable Aaron Ramsey inspires Arsenal to 2-0 win against Napoli Advertisement Unai Emery keen to ‘enjoy’ Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey while he canlast_img read more

GC Rieber Reduces Deficit, Ups Revenues

first_imgNorwegian offshore vessels provider, GC Rieber Shipping, has reported loss of NOK 84.6 million for the first six months of 2017, compared with a loss of NOK 547.5 million in the 1H 2016.The Oslo-listed firm generated operating income of NOK 132.8 million in the first half of 2017, boosted by the higher utilisation of subsea fleet. This result compares with NOK 117 million same time last year.Fleet impairments for the period were NOK 25.3 million.The fleet capacity utilization was up from 45 percent in 1H 2016 to 81 percent in 1H 2017.From June 30, 2017, the company has a contract backlog of NOK 463 million.GC Rieber reported liquid assets of NOK 153.9 million, compared with NOK 577.6 million as of June 30, 2016.Subsea World News Stafflast_img read more

New CEO for SeaBird

first_imgMarine seismic survey provider SeaBird Exploration has appointed Hans Petter Klohs as new CEO of the company. The appointment takes effect as of June 24, 2018, replacing Christophe Debouvry, who served as CEO of the company since 2016.Klohs’ previous senior positions include serving as CFO and later as CEO in GC Rieber Shipping for over 10 years, serving as CEO in Arrow Seismic and Armada Seismic, and acting as CFO in Rocksource.Klohs intends to resign from his position as board member of the Company as a consequence of the appointment.“Hans Petter Klohs has vast management experience from a number of relevant reputable companies, and has consistently delivered strong results in his previous positions. The Board of Directors are extremely pleased that Hans Petter has agreed to take the CEO position of the Company, and the Board looks forward to working closely with Hans Petter in our forthcoming efforts to lead and grow SeaBird going forward,” said Heidar Engebret, chairman of the board of directors.last_img read more

Iberdrola secures stake in eight Swedish offshore wind projects

first_imgThe Swedish government aims to have 100 per cent of its electricity coming from renewable energy sources by 2040. Iberdrola has entered into an agreement with Swedish renewables company Svea Vind Offshore, which will allow the Spain-headquartered company to take a majority stake in up to eight offshore wind projects in Sweden. The offshore wind projects for which Iberdrola signed the agreement are grouped around two geographical clusters. Six wind farms with a total of 5.1 GW capacity are planned to be installed off the Gavle municipality and two offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 3.9 GW are proposed to be built in the waters off the Oxelosund municipality. The eight projects are in various stages of development, with the first of them planned to begin operating from 2029. This could likely be Svea Vind Offshore’s 250 MW offshore wind farm Utposten I, which is currently in an advanced stage of environmental permit planning. As for Iberdrola, the company its offshore wind involvement over the last few months. In March, Iberdrola took full ownership of the French Saint Brieuc offshore wind farm. The same month, the Spanish renewable energy giant announced it was entering two consortia dedicated to floating wind.last_img read more

Students toss veggies mandated by govt in school lunches – US

first_imgTrashed: Study finds students toss veggies mandated by federal school lunch programFox News 28 August 2015Public schools are continuing to serve the federally mandated fruits and vegetables, but a new study claims the fresh produce is going into trash cans more than tummies.Since 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has implemented a requirement – widely championed by First Lady Michelle Obama – that children must select either a fruit or vegetable for school lunches subsidized by the federal government. However, a new report published this week by researchers at the University of Vermont found that even though students did add more fruits and vegetables to their plates, as the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act” enforces, “children consumed fewer [fruits and vegetables] and wasted more during the school year immediately following implementation of the USDA rule.”The report, entitled “Impact of the National School Lunch Program on Fruit and Vegetable Selection,” noted that average waste increased from a quarter cup to more than one-third of a cup per tray. Observing students at two northeastern elementary schools during more than 20 visits to each, researchers took photos of students’ trays after they chose their items, as they were exiting the lunch line and again as they went by the garbage cans.“The architects of the Act want their children and schoolchildren across America to eat healthy, hearty meals,” Joe Colangelo, director of the product testing and consumer advocacy organization Consumers’ Research, told “Unfortunately, our government does not have a perfect record of influencing the eating habits of American citizens.” read more

Second round of voting adds three more first-time All-Stars

first_imgBOONE, Iowa – Cayden Carter, Joel Rust and Kody Scholpp will make career-first Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational starts on Sept. 7 during the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s at Boone Speedway.All three advanced from the second round of IMCA Modified All-Star voting, which concluded Thursday afternoon. Thirteen drivers in all were elected, in polling conducted through the IMCA Facebook page.Jay Noteboom will take the green for a record-extending 11th time while Tim Ward and Chris Abelson each make their eighth starts. Kyle Strickler is in for the sixth time.Four-time All-Stars are Kelly Shryock and Jason Wolla. Ethan Dotson and Kyle Brown both make their third All-Star starts while Clint Luellen and Cody Laney are both in for the second time in their respective careers.Noteboom was the All-Star Invitational winner in 2005 and 2008 and was the runner-up last year. Abelson won in 2011 while Strickler topped the 2014 event. Strickler got the call to notify him he’d been elected to start the 2018 race on his birthday.Scholpp became the first Canadian driver to qualify for the Modified main event at Super Nationals in 2013; Carter became the first driver to qualify for main events in three divisions at the same Super Nationals last September.Ten of the 28 drivers elected to the All-Star Invitational will make career-first starts in that event.The first 15 drivers elected were Chaz Baca, Steven Bowers Jr., Chris Elliott, Troy Foulger, Tyler Frye, William Gould, Richie Gustin, Shane Hiatt, Zachary Madrid, Hunter Marriott, Kevin Sustaire, Ricky Thornton Jr., A.J. Ward, Will Ward and Austin Wonch.Completing the starting grid for the 30-lapper will be All-Star candidates with the top national point to­tal and the most 40-point feature wins as of Aug. 31 competing at Super Nationals.The event pays $1,000 to win and $200 to start. A dozen states and Canada are now represented in the All-Star field.last_img read more

UWF Volleyball Defeats Spring Hill for 8th Straight Win

first_imgUWF Volleyball Defeats Spring Hill for 8th Straight Win Share Sept. 27, 2007 Box Score  MOBILE, Ala. – The West Florida Women’s Volleyball team improved to 17-2 on the season with a 30-23, 30-23, 20-24 victory at Spring Hill College. The non-conference match-up dropped the Badgers to 3-9 on the season. West Florida took control of game one early on by scoring the first four points and seven of the first eight, thanks to kills from Chelsea Wilhoite (Fr. / Jacksonville, Fla.) and Louann Rusch (So. / Homestead, Fla.). The Argos maintained the lead throughout as Wilhoite finished game one with 5 kills.The Badgers put up a strong fight in game two, thanks to four early kills from Kristen Phillips and lead at one point 13-12. A Jerica Carter (Jr. / Gainesville, Fla.) Ace gave the Argos the lead, but shortly thereafter the Badgers closed to within 22-21. Finally, Wilhoite put down a kill and followed it up with two service Aces to open up game two. Then, a Jesse Keroack (So. / Gainesville, Fla.) Ace ended the game.The Argos grabbed an early lead in game three due to a block by Kara Gonzalez (Fr. / St. Augustine, Fla.) and Isabela Gualberto (Sr. / Brazil), followed by a kill on the next point by Gonzalez to put the Argos up 7-3. The Badgers never gave up and after trailing 26-17, they scored 6 straight points, only to have Jamie Nichols (So. / Crawfordville, Fla.) end the momentum with back to back kills. Wilhoite then sealed the final point of the match with her match high 14th kill.Setter Madeline Gonzalez (Jr. / Puerto Rico) paced the Argos with 38 Assists, while Keroack added 10 Assists. Danielle Spitzer (Sr. / Birmingham, Ala.) put down 11 kills in 20 attempts, while Gualberto had 13 kills in 22 attempts. Meanwhile, Kristen Phillips lead the Badgers with 11 kills and 12 digs, while Lindsey Schmidt recorded 25 assists.The Argos next match is against the defending conference champion North Alabama Lions, who also made the NCAA championship game last season. North Alabama was undefeated last year in conference play, including two wins over the Argos. West Florida is currently 2-0 in the conference, while North Alabama is 2-1. The match is set for Saturday at 5:00 pm in the UWF Fieldhouse. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more