Denmark suspects, Sweden confirms H5N1 in birds

first_imgMar 15, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The avian influenza spotlight shifted to Scandinavia today as Denmark reported finding an H5 virus in a wild bird and Sweden confirmed suspicions that wild ducks were infected with H5N1 virus, according to news agencies.In addition, a sketchy report out of Azerbaijan said a dead stray dog was found infected with bird flu in Baku, the capital. The report didn’t specify the viral strain. There have been no previous confirmed reports of H5N1 avian flu in dogs.In Denmark, the Family and Consumer Affairs Ministry said a buzzard found on a beach south of Copenhagen was infected with an H5 virus, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report. The story said authorities would send a sample from the bird to the European Union reference laboratory in Britain for further testing.”We can confirm the first case of bird flu has been found in Denmark,” Minister for Family and Consumer Affairs Lars Barfoed was quoted as saying.Although this marked the first case of H5 avian flu in Denmark, a milder strain turned up in ducks on a farm in September 2003, AFP reported.In Sweden, the National Board of Agriculture said a European Union laboratory had confirmed H5N1 virus in two wild ducks found on the southeastern coast, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today.Sweden first reported suspected cases of avian flu in wild ducks in late February. By Mar 10 there were reports of 13 ducks infected with H5 viruses, but there was no confirmation of H5N1 until today.In Azerbaijan, a state commission in charge of fighting avian flu reported the infected dog, according to a Reuters story. The commission was quoted as saying, “A dead stray dog has been found, and after analysis type A bird flu was discovered. The medical investigation is continuing.” The commission said the dog died Mar 9 in Baku. There was no indication whether the virus was an H5 or some other strain.The report comes a few days after the discovery of an H5N1-infected stone marten (a weasel-like animal) in Germany and weeks after reports of a few infected domestic cats in Austria and Germany. Other nonhuman species that have been infected with H5N1 avian flu, either naturally or experimentally, include tigers, leopards, palm civets, ferrets, rats, pigs, cynomolgus macaques, and New Zealand white rabbits.In Afghanistan, authorities today said preliminary test results left them all but certain they were facing an H5N1 outbreak in birds, according to an AP report.Testing at a United Nations lab in Rome was expected to confirm the outbreak in the next 24 hours, said Mustafa Zahir, director of the government’s environment department, according to the story.”We are 99 percent certain,” Zahir was quoted as saying.The military government of Myanmar reported it had killed 5,000 poultry within 2 miles of the farm where the country’s first outbreak of H5N1 was found last week, according to an AP report today.Meanwhile, AFP reported that Myanmar’s rulers were maintaining a news blackout about the outbreak, leaving farmers worried and unsure how to prevent the disease.The country’s tightly controlled news media have not carried any stories about the outbreak, AFP reported. The only available information has come from short-wave radio and from posters that authorities have placed in Mandalay’s markets, where poultry vendors have been banned, the story said.A farmer named Shi, who has 750 chickens on the outskirts of Mandalay, said officials had given her no information about bird flu and no instructions on what to do with her chickens, according to AFP.”I still don’t know what the symptoms of bird flu are, so how can I know if my chickens will die of bird flu?” Shi was quoted as saying.Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, researchers announced the launching of a study in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia on the dosage of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) given to bird flu patients, according to the AP.Many countries are stockpiling oseltamivir in the hope that it will help protect people if the H5N1 virus evolves into a human pandemic strain. However, as noted in the AFP report, the virus has shown resistance to the drug in a few cases in Vietnam. The report gave no details on what the study involves.According to a study published last December, a Vietnamese girl died of avian flu even though she began receiving oseltamivir within the first 2 days of illness, the recommended window for effective treatment. The authors of the study said that a higher dosage of the drug or longer treatment course might be needed to ensure effectiveness.See also:Dec 22, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Tamiflu resistance in avian flu victims sparks concern”last_img read more

Argos Breeze to Second Consecutive GSC Title

first_img Share Argos Breeze to Second Consecutive GSC Title April 23, 2007HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Fourth ranked West Florida continued their dominance through final round at the GSC Women’s Golf Championship. West Florida won by an astounding 44 strokes. Sarah Nicholson (Cedar Falls, Iowa / Cedar Falls HS) won her first tournament of the season. Four of the top five finishers were Argonauts.West Florida shot a 601 (297-304) for the tournament. Arkansas Tech was second with a 645 (322-323). Nicholson shot a 146, +2 (70-76) for a first place finish. She outlasted teammate Vicky Jackson (Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. / Ft. Walton Beach HS) who shot a 150, +6 (72-78). Clara Fornella (Montevideo, Uruguay) was in contention throughout. She posted a 151, +7 (78-73) for a third place finish. Natalia Espinosa (Bogota, Colombia) shot a 155, +11 (77-78) for fifth place. Rachel Christ (Charlotte, N.C. / Univ. of Charlotte) contributed with a 165, +21 (88-77) for 14th place.The win marks the fourth team tournament title of the 2006-07 season. Nicholson is the second individual to medal. The Argos had a 24 shot lead after the first round. For detailed results and stats go to the women’s golf schedule page at goargos.com.The tournament was hosted by the par 72, 5,834 yard Hot Springs Country Club in Hot Springs, Ark. West Florida prepares for the NCAA II South Regional Championships on April 30 – May 2Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Time to start talking Turkey

first_imgLast week, as foreign minister and member of the current ruling, pro-Islamist party, Abdullah Gul, aimed for the presidential office, the Turkish army vowed to step in if necessary to ensure the country remains firmly secularist. “Recently the main issue emerging in connection with the presidential election has focused on a debate over secularism. This is viewed with concern by the Turkish armed forces,” read the statement from the General Staff, which has toppled governments four times since 1960. “It should not be forgotten that the Turkish armed forces are partial in this debate and are a staunch defender of secularism. The Turkish armed forces are against those debates (questioning secularism)… and will display its position and attitudes when it becomes necessary. No one should doubt that.” The statement drew sharp rebukes from the European Union and others, but Turks’ concerns about remaining secular are real. Strongly secular, current President Ahmet Necdet Sezer keeps Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pro-Islamist government – which has tried to criminalize adultery – in check. The Turkish Republic, Sezer said recently of the Islamist-secularist tug-of-war, “has not faced any threat as significant as that of today.” And a million Turks turned out in Istanbul on Sunday to rally for secularism, topping the 300,000 who recently rallied in Ankara. “This government is the enemy of Ataturk,” one demonstrator told The Associated Press. “It wants to drag Turkey to the dark ages.” Also raising fears about the tide of Islamism was the murder of a Catholic priest last year by a teenager who claimed the shooting was retaliation for the Dutch Muhammad cartoons. That same month, a Catholic friar was beaten by assailants who said they wanted to “clean Turkey of non-Muslims,” according to a State Department report. This April, three employees of a Christian publishing house were found with their hands and feet tied and throats slit; some Muslims had previously accused the publisher of proselytizing. And what about those ties to the direction of Iraq? Turkey fears a strong Iraqi Kurdistan out of concerns that its own ethnic Kurdish minority will be inspired to separatism. Turkey has also threatened Iraq on the claim that the autonomous region is aiding and sheltering Turkish Kurd separatists. Iraq swears any attack would be met with massive resistance. Forget the Shiite-Sunni tit-for-tats: There’s a real possibility that the Iraq war could move to a whole new front, especially if Iraqi Kurdistan gains the independence it wants (and, frankly, deserves). Iraq’s Muslims would likely unite as never before to fight off secular Turkey, yet the last thing coalition forces would want to do is battle Turkey’s military – the avowed defenders of the secularism that the region needs – or attract fundamentalists like Iran into the melee. “We hope that one day Turkey can join the European Union, but for that, Turkey has to be a real European country, in economic and political terms,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said recently. The EU wants a less-powerful Turkish military, but without it Islamists could gain more power to turn back Ataturk’s vision. The nationalism isn’t synonymous with Islamism, but endangers those who are seen as insulting Turkish identity – such as slain ethnic Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink. Turkey could very well invade from the north, dramatically changing the region’s Risk board and forcing the U.S. to uncomfortably pick alliances; with the second-largest standing armed forces in NATO, Turkey could best Iraq’s current hardscrabble military. It’s time to start talking Turkey. Bridget Johnson writes for the Daily News. E-mail her at bridget.johnson@dailynews.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ISTANBUL may be a far cry from the Vegas strip, but when it comes to politics, what happens in Turkey does not stay in Turkey. In fact, this country could have a greater impact on the spread of Islamism and the direction of the war in Iraq than anywhere else. Turkey isn’t just the geographical doorway from the Middle East into Europe, but the ideological crossroads as well. Will the government gain acceptance into the European Union, or will it never prove that Turkey is European enough? Will it maintain its secular system or become more Islamist? Will it see Iraq’s prosperous autonomous Kurdish region as such a threat to its wholeness that it invades? Islamism vs. secularism. Muslim vs. European identity. Iraqi stability. It’s all coming together at the former Ottoman Empire, and it’s worth paying attention. last_img read more