Avian flu strikes Hong Kong poultry farm

first_imgDec 9, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Hong Kong today said they have detected an H5 avian influenza outbreak at a poultry farm in Yuen Long, marking the country’s first farm-based outbreak since 2003.York Chow, Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health, said in a press release today that the H5 avian flu virus struck 60 chickens, which died yesterday. He did not say if the virus at the farm was the highly pathogenic H5N1 subtype.Malik Peiris, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, said it is “highly likely” that the virus is the lethal H5N1 strain, because other strains aren’t as deadly as the one involved in the outbreak appears to be, according to a report from Reuters today. “But this has to be confirmed,” he said.Chow said in the press release that he elevated Hong Kong’s avian flu alert to serious after receiving the H5 test results. He said the agriculture department will cull 80,000 chickens within a 3-km radius of the index farm and will destroy another 10,000 chickens from the area that have been transported to a wholesale market.Hong Kong’s government has also banned the export of chickens from all of the special administrative region’s farms and has halted all poultry imports, both effective for the next 21 days.He said Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection would monitor the status of the farm’s owners and workers, none of whom have developed symptoms. Chow also said in the statement that veterinary officials have closed an aviary park near the farm and are monitoring the health of 1,500 birds that are kept in other parks in Hong Kong.The length of time since Hong Kong’s last farm outbreak is a sign that the prevention measures have worked well, he said in the statement. However, he said he was concerned about the latest outbreak, because the first chickens to die were those that had not been vaccinated.According to a Feb 5 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the H5N1 virus is common and present year-round in Hong Kong, occurring in resident and migratory birds. The report said poultry farms are constantly monitored with serologic and virologic testing. All farm chickens routinely receive an inactivated H5N2 vaccine, and each flock contains 60 unvaccinated sentinels that are monitored over the lifespan of the group.In July, Yuen Kwok-yung, who heads the University of Hong Kong’s microbiology department, warned that the poultry vaccine has lost its effectiveness over the past 7 years of use, according to previous reports. He said that the virus in Hong Kong had shifted away from the Fujian strain that the vaccine was developed for and advised officials to ban live poultry from Hong Kong markets before the vaccine becomes completely ineffective.One month earlier, animal health officials had detected the H5N1 virus in poultry feces at several market stalls, but did not determine the source of the virus.Over the past few years, Hong Kong has filed several reports of individual sick or dead wild birds that tested positive for the H5N1 virus. The recent OIE report described two egrets—one found dead and one found sick in a Hong Kong park—that tested positive for the H5N1 virus in November and December 2007.See also:Feb 5 OIE reportJul 10 CIDRAP News story “Expert warns Hong Kong’s avian flu vaccine is waning”last_img read more

Jupiter nears £370m acquisition of Merian

first_imgThere would be no change to Jupiter’s senior leadership, but one additional non-executive board member would be nominated by TA Associates Management – a significant long-term shareholder of Jupiter with an approximate 16% shareholding – following completion.Also, Merian’s investment team and assets would migrate onto Jupiter’s operational platform.The acquisition is consistent with Jupiter’s strategic priorities and accelerates its growth plans, it said.Andrew Formica, Jupiter’s chief executive officer, said: “This is an exciting acquisition that enhances our position as a leading UK asset manager, provides increased scale and diversification into attractive product areas, and creates stronger future growth prospects for the business.”He added that Jupiter would “be able to offer a wider choice of strongly performing active investment strategies to our clients, while shareholders will benefit from a highly earnings accretive deal delivered through substantial cost synergies”.Mark Gregory, Merian’s CEO, said: “I believe the enlarged business will be more strongly positioned to offer greater choice and investment performance to clients and continue to meet clients’ ever-evolving needs.”Jonathan Miller, director and manager research ratings UK at Morningstar, said: “It is somewhat surprising that after Merian’s own change of direction backed by private equity around 18 months ago, they’re set to be acquired.”Miller said that Formica made several acquisitions while CEO of Henderson, one of them being the merger between Henderson Global Investors and Janus Capital in 2016,  adding that Formica “has already put this strategy to work after less than a year as CEO of Jupiter”.The deal, Miller explained, “is symptomatic of the pressure active managers are finding themselves under”, noting that Merian was valued just shy of £600m in June 2018, “but Jupiter is set to pay £370m for the acquisition, with £29m in net debt and Merian shareholders becoming a 17% shareholder of the enlarged entity”.The Jupiter board has received financial advice from Fenchurch Advisory Partners and JPMorgan Cazenove in relation to the acquisition. Jupiter Fund Management is poised to acquire Merian Global Investors, an independent active asset manager with £22.4bn in assets under management (AUM), for £370m (€444m) upfront through the issue of new shares.The deal is subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions including regulatory consents and Jupiter shareholder approval. Its completion is expected in the second half of 2020.Jupiter said the move would enhance its position as one of the UK’s leading active asset managers with more than £65bn of combined AUM.It would also reinforce Jupiter’s core UK franchise and extend capabilities into attractive product gaps, it added.last_img read more

Hoornstra: For two former major leaguers, retiring at age 30 beckoned in different ways

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Usually, it’s a lot more real. For a baseball player, “retire at 30” is a sobering thought, not a sales pitch. It’s something Segedin and Anderson contemplated out of necessity for a time. Now that it’s here, it doesn’t always look the way they imagined. It announces itself like a mockingbird with a series of sophisticated whistles, making the monotonous life of a baseball player sound like a one-note chirp.This is how two former Major League Baseball players are transitioning into retirement.ARTHRITIS TO ANALYTICSRobinson Segedin’s birth announcement descended to Earth on a cloud from the baseball gods. It was delivered by Vin Scully in the sixth inning of a game between the Giants and Dodgers on Aug. 24, 2016, while Chase Utley batted against Johnny Cueto.Tuesday afternoon, as his dad paused preparations for the family move to Philadelphia, Robinson napped.The respite was well-earned. It’s been a busy few months since arthritis ended Segedin’s playing career. The build-up to the end was as predictable as it was painful. He’d had surgery to fuse two joints in his right hand after the 2017 season, but it never healed according to plan. During spring training last year, Segedin tried reaching the various thresholds the Dodgers’ medical staff laid out for him, each time to no avail. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Retirement can announce its presence in different ways. It might be a toddler waking from an afternoon nap. It might be a digitized Steinway piano dropping in on Bar 73 of a working track titled “changing my ways.” It might be the thwack of a golf club rippling down a fairway lined with gout-friendly condominiums, though probably not if you’re in your early thirties.For Rob Segedin and Lars Anderson, retirement means there’s still work to do.Segedin and Anderson were teammates less than three years ago. They hung their jerseys in the clubhouse of the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers, a phone call away from the major leagues. Now they live about as far apart as two men can – Segedin in Florida, Anderson in Australia – chasing the first dream that materialized after the final season of their playing careers.“Retirement” is the universally understood term for what Segedin and Anderson are doing. It’s the blank space after the final line on their baseball cards. We adulate an athlete’s retirement if it comes with a formal announcement and an emotional press conference and a discussion of their Hall of Fame credentials. That’s memorable, but that isn’t usually how it works. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.“It got to the point where I couldn’t grip a bat and make contact without any pain, regardless of whether I squared it up or not,” Segedin said.At first, he resolved to play through it. When the minor league season began, Segedin reported to Oklahoma City and spent a month on the active roster, batting .217. Next, he tried resting for a month. But in eight games after returning from the disabled list, Segedin batted .182.“When Andrew Friedman was in town, I told him, ‘I’m not helping the Dodgers right now in my current state. It’s not getting better’,” he said. After an 0-for-3 night against Las Vegas on June 18, Segedin went on the disabled list for the final time.The following months were filled with frustration. Segedin traveled to New York to see a hand specialist, Dr. Robert Hotchkiss. He received multiple cortisone shots. He tried swinging a bat. Each time, the pain was a morass on the road to recovery. The Dodgers released him in August. When he met with Hotchkiss again in October, Segedin received the message he expected: “You’re done. Move on with your life.”There was no time to mourn the news. Segedin has a wife, two young children and a third, a boy, due in May. With little more than a year of major league service time to his credit, Segedin’s career earnings in baseball did not amount to a life-changing cushion. Recently Segedin earned a Master’s degree in Business Analytics through the Kelley School of Business. He completed the coursework online between games over a two-year span, culminating last March. Quickly, the degree became an asset.While his spring training teammates marched to the World Series, Segedin picked up his phone.First, he called Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ former farm director who had just completed his first season managing the Phillies. He called Farhan Zaidi, the former Dodgers general manager who had just left for San Francisco. He called Tim Hyers, the former Dodgers assistant in his first season as the Red Sox’s hitting coach. He called the Astros and the Yankees. Ultimately it was the Phillies who called back to offer an unusual job: Player Information Assistant.“It was exactly what I wanted to do,” Segedin said. “Since I’ve been hired (in December), we’ve sat in on minor league free agent meetings, gave recommendations on that. Developed player information plans – the strengths and weaknesses of each player, how to utilize them. Listened to the coordinator presentations, what they want to teach at each level. Working closely with R&D, figuring out how data is best used. You have your hands in a lot of different departments.”When you’re not used to feeling useful, retiring means working more.BATS TO BEATSAnderson’s gut tells him that his playing career is over. He hasn’t appeared in a game since September. He’s getting ready for spring training, but not as a player. Committing to retirement just isn’t his forte.“I thought I was going to retire for like the last five years, honestly,” Anderson said via Skype. “Ever since I got released by the White Sox and I went through the (2013) offseason, where I was a free agent – I didn’t sign with the Cubs until the end of January 2014. Ever since then I was kind of like, ‘this might be it.’ Then you get a second wind, a sixth wind, a 12th wind.”Committing to retirement might be the only thing Anderson can’t do. He writes, sometimes a lot. He produces electronic music and uploads it to his Soundcloud account. He co-owns a startup bat manufacturer, Birdman Bats, which counts Cincinnati Reds right fielder Yasiel Puig among its disciples. That’s why he’s getting ready for spring training; Anderson is planning to fly to meet with Birdman clients in various Arizona clubhouses in March.For some retirees, the path from Point A to Point B is a straight line. Segedin’s last major league at-bat was in October 2017, and it might have been more recent if his health allowed. Anderson’s was in May 2012 for the Boston Red Sox. Since then he’s played for franchises based in five countries on four continents. He was part of the trade that sent Trevor Bauer to the Cleveland Indians in 2012. He was teammates with a 45-year-old Manny Ramirez in a Japanese independent league in 2015. He’s made friends, drank exotic coffee, found a girlfriend in Sydney – that’s why he’s there now – and helped spread the Birdman gospel from Adelaide to Solingen. He’s thinking about writing all of this down someday.“I’m in a fortunate position (financially) where I don’t have to decide what the next step is right away,” he said. “It is unsettling, to be honest. I feel like I’m going through this death process that has been my life. Baseball, other than my parents and my family, has been there longer than anything. As long as I knew what baseball was, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I’m under no illusions that this process will be easy. But that’s how it is. It should be difficult.”Related Articles Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error January is prospect ranking season in baseball. This used to be Anderson’s playground. From 2008-10, he was a fixture in the national Top 100 lists, the consensus first baseman on Boston’s next championship roster, until suddenly it was Adrian Gonzalez and the list-makers dropped Anderson’s name like a hot potato. The number-17 prospect of 2009 will retire with 53 days of major league service time.For Anderson, a funny thing happened as his baseball career began to die: He enjoyed it more.“Once I kind of made this transition from prospect to suspect at the minor-league level, it was almost a relief,” he said. “I was happy to have a team, make some money, work on my game. Then it came to a point in 2016 with the Dodgers, I got to the point where I was the old veteran guy. It didn’t matter how well I played; the young guys were going to play. If Cody Bellinger needed a rest, I was going to play. I understood. It made sense to me. It’s one thing to play every day. It’s another to be sitting on the bench. If I’m going to keep playing I’m going to (have to) go elsewhere.”So he did. “Changing My Ways,” one of Anderson’s Soundcloud tracks, might make for a good book title someday. When he asked about the writer’s life, I told him about the paychecks (meager) and the joy of drinking coffee (subtle), and maybe that was enough to conjure a 13th wind.last_img read more