Indonesia reports H5N1 in healthy chickens

first_imgOct 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – In a development that could complicate avian influenza control efforts, an Indonesian official said this week that some apparently healthy chickens showed evidence of H5N1 virus infection, according to the Jakarta Post.Rachmat Setiadi, who heads the West Java Animal Husbandry Office, announced the findings 2 days ago after serologic testing of 20 chickens around the home of two people from Bandung who died of H5N1 infection at the end of September, the newspaper reported yesterday.”The test has shown that four healthy chickens were infected with H5N1. We should be more cautious,” Setiadi was quoted as saying. He also said healthy chickens with H5N1 were found in other cities and regencies, but he didn’t name them.Setiadi said the finding means that healthy chickens could carry the virus, according to the story. He recommended that residents stop keeping chickens in their backyards or near their homes. The Post reported that of Bandung’s 26 cities and regencies, only two were free of H5N1 virus in poultry.The story did not indicate whether actual H5N1 viruses were isolated from the chickens. Serologic evidence of infection usually means the presence of antibodies to the virus, which suggests the host was exposed to the virus at some point but doesn’t necessarily mean the host is a current carrier.Though the Asian strain of H5N1 is usually lethal in chickens, there has been at least one other report of asymptomatic chickens testing positive for the virus. In February, researchers reported that they found H5N1 viruses in apparently healthy chickens in live-bird markets in southern China. The researchers had analyzed flu viruses collected from thousands of wild and domestic birds in China and Hong Kong (see link below).The human H5N1 deaths that Setiadi referred to appear to be connected to an outbreak in Bandung that raised suspicions of a family cluster. A 20-year-old man was confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sep 27 as Indonesia’s 68th case-patient; he died later that day and was the country’s 52nd victim. His 23-year-old brother died of similar respiratory symptoms on Sep 24, but he was buried before samples could be collected for testing. Their 15-year-old sister was hospitalized with a fever and cough the same week, but tests suggested she had seasonal influenza.The brothers were reported to have fed dead chickens to their dogs. The head of Bandung’s agriculture office, Yogi Supardjo, told the Post that tests on 11 dogs kept by the family came back negative.In another Indonesian development, an analysis of H5N1 viruses from birds on Sumatra, Java, and Bali islands indicated that the virus has not mutated to become more transmissible to people, the Indonesian agriculture ministry said yesterday.The ministry said tests on 49 samples showed no major changes in the virus, according to a Bloomberg News report yesterday. The analysis was done by a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reference laboratory in Geelong, Australia, the story said.The samples were collected between September 2005 and March 2006, Elly Sawitri, an agriculture ministry official, told Bloomberg. Officials plan to submit additional samples collected in the past 6 months for analysis.In other news, the WHO on Oct 3 confirmed Indonesia’s 69th human case of H5N1 disease, in a 21-year-old woman from East Java. Indonesian officials had reported the case Sep 29.The woman became ill on Sep 19 and was hospitalized 6 days later. She is the sister of an 11-year-old boy who died of H5N1 infection on Sep 18. The WHO said the boy’s death prompted contact tracing, which revealed that his sister was ill. She was given the antiviral medication oseltamivir and isolated in a hospital.The WHO said poultry deaths in the family were noted before and after the brother’s illness, and though the woman was probably exposed to poultry, the source of her infection was under investigation.Elsewhere in Indonesia, seven people with possible avian flu symptoms have been admitted to a hospital in South Sulawesi, the Jakarta Post reported today.Most of the patients are younger than 10 and have high fever and vomiting, the Post reported. A hospital representative said avian flu was suspected on the basis of signs and symptoms, but blood samples from the seven patients were negative for the H5N1 virus. He said nasal samples from the patients were sent to a lab in Jakarta for analysis.Family members reported that sick and dead chickens were found near the patients’ homes.Meanwhile, China has reported another H5N1 outbreak in poultry, according to an Agence France-Presse article yesterday. The outbreak involved 1,000 poultry in a village in northern China’s Ningxia Hui region. The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that 72,930 domestic poultry were culled to control the outbreak.An outbreak that came to light last week affected 985 chickens in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinhua reported. The two outbreaks are the first in about 6 weeks.See also:Sep 27 WHO statement 10 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article with information about apparently healthy chickens infected with H5N1: “Establishment of multiple sublineages of H5N1 influenza virus in Asia: implications for pandemic control” [Abstract]Feb 10, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Report depicts China as launching pad for avian flu”Oct 3 WHO statement read more

Gov. Wolf Signs Bills to Preserve French Azilum Historic Site, Honor Longtime Firefighter

first_imgGov. Wolf Signs Bills to Preserve French Azilum Historic Site, Honor Longtime Firefighter June 21, 2019 Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Act 10 of 2019, formerly House Bill 223, which will transfer ownership of the French Azilum Historic Site, Bradford County, from the Department of General Services to a local preservation group, French Azilum Inc., which will operate it. The bill requires the group to preserve the historic site, which was the location of a planned settlement built for refugees fleeing the French Revolution.“French Azilum is an important piece of Pennsylvania’s history, and this local group has already shown commitment to ensuring its longevity as a site of cultural heritage,” said Gov. Wolf. “This bill ensures many future generations will be able to visit and learn from French Azilum.”Gov. Wolf also signed into law on Friday Act 11 of 2019, formerly Senate Bill 43, which names a portion of U.S. Route 30 in Westmoreland County “J. Edward ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson Memorial Bypass.” Hutchinson was an active member of the Greensburg Hose Co. No. 3 for more than 78 years and served in the Marine Corps during World War II.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Smith seeks clarity on Faf du Plessis’ future following ODI captaincy change

first_imgGRAEME Smith, South Africa’s director of cricket, says that Quinton de Kock’s appointment as ODI captain is the first step in a succession plan aimed towards a successful challenge for the 2023 World Cup, as he confirmed that Faf du Plessis will not be reinstated as leader should he return to the team for the series against Australia in February.Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg, Smith added that the selectors would review du Plessis’ remaining roles as Test and T20 captain at the conclusion of the England tour, but stressed the need for a “robust” discussion about his long-term future in the team.du Plessis, 35, hinted at the end of last week’s innings defeat in Port Elizabeth that the fourth Test at the Wanderers, starting today, could be his last on home soil.He has been short of runs in the past few months – his second-innings 36 was his highest score in six innings against England, in which time he has been averaging 18.83.And though du Plessis has earmarked South Africa’s Test tour of the West Indies in July as his farewell series, Smith is cautious about committing to the incumbent captain, both for that trip and for the T20 World Cup that takes place in Australia in November.“We see Faf playing a role as a player but from a leadership perspective, we felt the need to move on,” Smith said of the decision to hand over the ODI reins to de Kock. “Faf doesn’t see himself being around in 2023. Leadership has been an issue of late in South African cricket and we have made the decision to give Quinny an opportunity.“We feel tactically he is good, there are areas of his leadership that we all know we need to grow and develop but he is the right guy at this stage to take the one-day side Kock himself has said he plans to take a “street-smart” approach to his new role, and should it prove a success in the coming weeks against England and Australia, the role could yet be his for the T20 World Cup too.“With the World Cup around the corner, we need to go forward,” said Smith. “At the moment Faf is in that position but I need to sit with him post this Test series. He has got a bit of time because he is being rested from the one-day series so we will have some time to have a robust discussion on his future.“He is the South African Test captain. The next Test match we play after this series will be in the Caribbean – there is an extensive amount of time. I need to understand how he sees his future in the game.”Smith admitted that while his appointment prior to the England tour had helped to deflect some of the political issues away from du Plessis, he had still had to deal with more off-field issues than most international captains, not least given the absence of Temba Bavuma and the impact that has had on South Africa’s transformation targets.“For far too long, he has had too much to deal with and too many things to talk about, and I really wanted that not to happen in this series,” said Smith. “At times it has. Post these series, he and I can really sit down and work on how he sees his future and both of us can put our cards on the table.”In terms of du Plessis’ future in ODI cricket, Smith insisted that the loss of the captaincy did not necessarily mean the end of a white-ball career that began in January 2011, and that his extensive experience could still be important in a new-look squad.“His record in one-day cricket and T20 cricket is outstanding,” Smith said. “It will be silly of us not to have him involved. We’ve put a very young team on the table. Talented, yes, but we are up against the world champions. It could be a very daunting series for our guys, so we need to balance how we expose the youngsters with some senior players.”At the age of 27, de Kock ought to be entering his prime, but Smith acknowledged that as a young leader he will need support on and off the field to grow into his new role.“As CSA we are not going to throw him to the wolves,” said Smith. “He has had a bit of a taste of the leadership in India. We feel he is the right guy to go forward. We have got to support him and make sure he develops into an outstanding leader.”The T20 World Cup could also feature a return to South Africa colours for AB de Villiers, whose belated decision to make himself available for last year’s 50-over World Cup came too late for the selectors to include him.However, even at the age of 36, de Villiers remains one of the pre-eminent T20 batsmen in the world, and Smith said he was open to the prospect of his return. (ESPN Cricinfo)last_img read more

Pakistan must hit the ground running against England, Misbah says

first_img(REUTERS) – Pakistan will have to hit the ground running if they are to have any chance against England in their three-Test series which starts today, coach Misbah-ul-Haq said.Six months since their last Test match, Pakistan go into the games at bio-secure venues in Manchester and Southampton against an England team that beat the West Indies 2-1 last month as international cricket returned from the COVID-19 shutdown.“We have to really come in this Test series right from the word go at our best if we want to win a Test series or a Test match,” Misbah told reporters. “We’re aware that England have a slight advantage, but if we’re alert and go 100% in the first Test, that’s the only way we can beat England … otherwise we will find ourselves in difficulty.”England have lost the first game in eight of their last 10 Test series, including against the West Indies, but Misbah said the hosts’ latest defeat could have been due to the long break amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. “That was their first Test in a long time and obviously after that they played consistently,” said Misbah, adding, “…we should be ready for an England team that have had three matches of experience and won their last two Tests.”Misbah said his players were mentally fresh ahead of the series. “But Test cricket is different,” he added. “Once you’re in, pressures build sometimes, but we’ll try to keep it so they’re mentally fresh regardless of the results.”Skipper Azhar Ali told a news conference his team were looking forward to the challenge, having drawn their last two tours to England, most recently under Misbah in 2018. “We’ve prepared as best as we could in the time we had. The players have put in a lot of effort and we believe we’re ready for the Tests,” Azhar said.“Everyone is raring to go… We have to be on top of our game in all departments against a team like England. We have to have a clear mind and positive attitude that we can win matches here.”Squad for first Test: Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Abid Ali, Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq.last_img read more

Good Neighbor’s Campaign starts

first_imgUSC’s 17th annual Good Neighbors Campaign kicked off Oct. 1 with a new monetary goal — $1.3 million.With the primary goal of giving back to the Los Angeles community and creating an educationally enriched environment for adults and children, the monthlong campaign — which receives donations from staff and faculty — serves to provide grant funding to programs located within the community surrounding the university.“With the USC tradition of civic engagement, part of our mission is solving societal needs: [We need] an academic institution to provide academic opportunities,” Campaign Director Carolina Castillo said. “Giving is about settling problems, the civic engagement of faculty and staff and enhancing the communities and lives of residents of Los Angeles. We have a long tradition of that at this school, and the tradition of giving is much the same.”Last year, the Good Neighbors Campaign set out to raise $1.2 million from staff and faculty. The new goal of $1.3 million was set based on the amount of money received in 2009, Castillo said, and the trends of increasing participation and involvement that campaign leaders saw over time.This year, the campaign has seen almost 140 faculty and staff members volunteer as campaign leaders to raise awareness and money for the project. Castillo said she believes that such increased participation will bring in more funds; she hopes to reach at least 15,000 university employees.“Contributions are critical, and the goal is increasing because needs are increasing,” Castillo said. “I think that the goal is achievable, and USC faculty and staff understand the impact that their contributions are making in the community and that the need continues to grow every year. Given that they know that this is the impact they are having, we can meet that goal.”In previous years, money generated from the campaign was distributed among many organizations, each of which sponsored programs to benefit the community around them. Last year, grants were given to 43 organizations out of 60 that applied. This year, coordinators hope to increase that number, Castillo said.Last year, funding went to organizations such as the Thornton School of Music and the Fisher Museum of Art to create programs for kids in the community.“These kids can say things through art that they can’t say through words,” said Selma Holo, the director of the gallery and a member working in conjunction with the Good Neighbors Campaign-sponsored Art in the Village Program, to which $25,991 was given.The program was designed to allow children to come to the Fisher Museum and take interest in interactive art workshops.“We see students here in a way that we’ve never seen before, and we have kids that are really members of Fisher, and the kids feel like they belong. It’s a sustainable relationship, and we know they’ll come back in the future even when these programs are over,” Holo said.Similar funds were provided to the Thornton School of Music, which used $33,880 on the USC Thornton Student Outreach Program, which provided music education to students from grades K-12.“It’s a strong partnership between the community and Thornton,” said Thornton faculty member Susan Helfter. “These programs are beneficial to both our students and the students outside the USC gates, and the interaction gives music a different dimension. It’s clear that these programs are really making a difference to these kids.”last_img read more

Fighting chance: Banned in New York for more than a decade, MMA could be on its way back

first_imgKJ Noons has been watching the domino effect. Earning a living as a mixed martial arts fighter, the expansion of the sport plays on his mind. And after half a dozen states regulated mixed martial arts (MMA for short) fighting within the last year, he can’t help but have an opinion on New York, a state close to his heart and one of the final holdouts.‘Hey, it’s not for everybody,’ Noons said. ‘But there are obviously a ton of people up there who would really get excited. It’d be great for the economy out there and give the people something different and entertaining.’But despite widespread popularity throughout the state, New York is still just one of six states (along with Connecticut, Vermont, Wyoming, Alaska and West Virginia) that have yet to legalize MMA events. Since 1997, MMA fans within the state have had to get their fix on the seat of their couch through pay-per-view. Those opposed to bringing it to the Empire State refer to the sport as ‘barbaric,’ ‘vicious’ and ‘ruthless’ and don’t want to see it regulated. Those in favor suggest a potential economic boost to stagnant New York cities like Syracuse. Noons doesn’t see the problem. He considers himself a professional athlete, not some adrenaline junkie who likes to brawl. That’s what he says the detractors of the sport aren’t seeing.‘Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a violent sport,’ Noons said. ‘But so is football. So is boxing. So is fake WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) wrestling — that’s got more violence than boxing and MMA put together. Guys jumping off (stuff) onto each other, bleeding all over, smashing beers off their heads, hitting each other with metal chairs. I mean, come on.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOver the years, some of Noons’ close friends and teammates from the Northeast have been forced to re-locate to states where events are regulated. Training facilities are littered all over the state, but events have been banned for more than a decade. And Noons isn’t the only one who’d like to see that changed.‘Everybody wants to fight in front of their family and friends,’ Noons said. ‘Especially the community where they’re from. There are a lot of guys in the sport from New York who would love to do that. And the popularity of the sport has reached a point where it could really explode up there.’Regulating New YorkIn January, New York Gov. David Paterson unveiled a state budget proposal that included a bill that would abolish the 13-year-old ban on MMA fighting in the Empire State as a way of aiding the state economy with an influx of revenue. MMA supporters in New York figured legislation would inevitably be passed when the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development voted to send a bill to the state Assembly. Doing so would ultimately give the New York State Athletic Commission the power to legalize the sport. But nothing materialized, and legislation has yet to be passed.Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Colonie, has stood in opposition of legislation to legalize MMA fighting in New York since it was first introduced to the State Assembly thee years ago. Since that time, MMA and its supporters have lobbied to get the sport legalized. But Reilly, who UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) spokesperson Julie Wood acknowledged as their biggest detractor, has fought hard to keep events out of the state.‘How can you show kids and other people human beings fighting and beating on each other in a cage as they do in Ultimate Fighting?’ Reilly asked rhetorically. ‘And then say to them don’t do this? I just think violence begets violence, and that’s my argument against it.’Wood disagrees. While she maintains that ‘it is a violent sport’ and ‘it’s not for everybody,’ she insists that MMA fighting has come a long way from its rebellious beginnings. Wood points out that in 2001, MMA adopted a set of unified rules, protecting athletes from being seriously injured. MMA now has more rules in place than boxing. In addition, all but six states have regulated it based upon the inception of the safety precautions. That, she said, is reason enough to have it regulated in New York.According to MMA, it’s no longer the same sport Sen. John McCain of Arizona once called ‘human cockfighting,’ because people are now generally more educated about the sport. ‘I think legislators do have certain misconceptions where they remember an older version of the sport that was sort of a free-for-all,’ Wood said. ‘Clearly that’s not what the sport is today, and anyone who watches it can see that there are lots of rules and regulations in place.’Wood points out MMA’s impeccable safety record — there’s never been an injury more serious than a broke arm or a broken leg. The same cannot be said for other sports. Though Reilly disputes that.Wood said part of the process is educating legislators of the safety regulations that the sport has introduced in recent years, as well as the influence on the local economy where regular MMA fights take place. The proposal means that legislation for the MMA fighting will become part of the annual state budget process, which was supposed to be completed by April 1 but is now in overtime. ‘It’s a new sport, and people are still getting used to it,’ Noons said. ‘There are a lot of rules now. There are a lot more rules in MMA than there are in boxing. But boxing is way more dangerous than MMA. In MMA there are some brutal knockouts, but it’s not like the repetitive punches you take in the face in boxing. But boxing is an old sport, something everybody grew up with.’Boosting the economy    Legislation that regulates MMA fighting in New York could mean big things for cities such as Syracuse. UFC is quick to produce documentation proving that bringing MMA events to different cities has produced an influx of economic benefits. Wood said that UFC has already begun communicating with arena owners in upstate New York and, because of the large MMA fanbase, supporters are eager to see the potential economic development that could come as a result of legalizing the sport.‘UFC is wholeheartedly committed to brining their events to upstate New York, including Syracuse,’ Wood said. ‘UFC has committed to bringing a fight to upstate New York within the first year they are regulated. There is a huge fanbase in upstate New York and Canada, and we absolutely want to bring our events to those areas.’On Nov. 10, 2008, UFC performed an Economic Impact study for upstate New York, using Buffalo as the example. The study found that a single UFC event in Buffalo would generate $5.2 million in total economic activity for the local economy — $1.7 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in visitor spending and $2.1 million in indirect/induced benefits. In addition, an event would produce substantial employee compensation, the study reports. Every UFC event requires a staff of 300, equivalent to the creation of 57 full-time local jobs, according to the Impact study. In turn, 57 local jobs inject another $1.7 million in compensation to the local economy. Wood said because of that, there is reason to believe Syracuse could benefit similarly. Don Dutkowsky, a Syracuse University economics professor, believes so, too. He said that, from an economical point of view, any event that draws a large group of out-of-towners is good for the local economy. Dutkowsky points out that WWE brings events to the Carrier Dome on occasion and serves as a financial support to the area, as do the Great New York State Fair and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.‘If it’s a relatively unusual venue with fan support, it’ll likely draw people from outside the area,’ Dutkowsky said. ‘Then they’ll have dinner in or around Syracuse, and if it’s really popular, maybe they’ll book a hotel and stay overnight. ‘And that, in general, is argued to have economic impacts.’For Dutkowsky, it’s quite simple. The more events that bring in crowds, even if it is for just one event every few months, it’s still likely to bring in revenue to the local economy. Though the best venues for a positive economic effect are those that take place over a period of a couple days — such as the New York Jets N.F.L. training camp in Cortland — Dutkowsky said that one-night events could provide a strong boost as well. ‘In this economy, it would be hard for that type of economic opportunity,’ Woods said.And for Noons, the fighter thousands of miles away in California, bringing MMA events to New York is more that just about economics. He’s seen that domino effect, and with it, the change of perception of the sport he loves.‘This isn’t a backyard brawl,’ Noons said. ‘There’s a lot of rules, there’s always a doctor on had. This is a sport, and nobody wants to see anybody get seriously hurt.’ Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 21, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img read more