Aug 26, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Reports today said three rare palm civets that recently died in captivity in Vietnam were infected with an H5N1 avian influenza virus, adding another species to the list of those susceptible to the pathogen.The three Owston’s palm civets died in June, and tests of samples in a Hong Kong laboratory detected the H5N1 virus, according to Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports. The animals died in the same cage in Cuc Phuong National Park, about 55 miles south of Hanoi.Staff members at the park said no other animals or people had fallen ill.In addition to birds and humans, H5N1 viruses have been known to infect pigs, housecats, tigers, and leopards. The virus has killed millions of poultry and at least 57 people in outbreaks in Asia since late 2003.Civets figured in another relatively new infectious disease: SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Chinese scientists concluded that masked palm civets—a different species from Owston’s—were the main animal source of the SARS virus, which infected about 8,000 people around the world in 2003. Civets are used for food in southern China.The civets that died of avian flu were a female and two offspring, all of which had been born in captivity, reports said. It was not clear how they became infected.Reuters quoted Do Van Lap, a manager at the park, as saying, “How they were infected remains unknown as they were raised together with 20 other civets, their cages close to each other, but the remaining civets are strong.”Lap said initial suspicion fell on park staff members who lived in a village where some chickens had died, but tests did not find the virus. He said the civets were not fed chicken.The story said Cuc Phuong National Park has a wildlife protection project that involves raising peacocks, pheasants, freshwater turtles, and deer in captivity, as well as civets. “All the remaining animals are safe, so we reckon the three civets are isolated cases,” Lap told Reuters.In an Associated Press (AP) report, Scott Robertson, technical adviser for the civet conservation program at the park, commented, “It’s another good example of how dangerous this thing [the H5N1 virus] is.” He said the WHO and Vietnamese health officials were expected to test park employees.Peter Horby, a WHO epidemiologist in Hanoi, said the finding does not signal an increased risk of avian flu in humans, since people have less contact with civets than with poultry, according to the AP. Poultry have been the source of nearly all human cases so far.Owston’s palm civet is an endangered species that is confined to parts of northern Vietnam, northern Laos, and neighboring areas of China, according to a report from Vietnam’s National Center for Scientific Research.Also in Vietnam, a pilot program to vaccinate poultry against avian flu in two provinces is running behind schedule, according to a report today from the Vietnam News Agency. About 72% of targeted birds in the northern province of Nam Dinh have been vaccinated, but only 38% have been vaccinated in Tien Giang province in the south, where flooding has caused problems, the story said.In other developments, officials in Finland reported a possible avian flu outbreak in seagulls, but it was probably not a highly pathogenic strain, according to a Reuters report today.A flu virus was found in sick and dead seagulls in the northern town of Oulou, the report said, but the strain was not identified. Finland shares a border with Russia, where H5N1 avian flu has surfaced in poultry in recent weeks, but not in areas near Finland.See also:CIDRAP Overview: Avian influenza: agricultural and wildlife considerations
Image source: A&P Group LimitedThe trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Heortnesse has arrived back at A&P Tees where it will undergo the second and final program of works which will significantly extend the life of the vessel, A&P Group Limited informs. Heortnesse maintains the navigable depth in the ports of Tees and Hartlepool and following detailed analysis of the dredger’s structure and systems, it was concluded that renewal and refurbishment works would enable it to continue its duties in an effective and resilient manner for in excess of 15 years.The first docking at A&P Tees took place in the autumn and saw the work completed two weeks ahead of schedule.The vessel has now returned for the second phase of work, the company said.
â€¨The unemployment rate in Northeastern BC dropped below 7 per cent in November.The unemployment rate in our region is currently sitting at 6.4 per cent which is 1.2 per cent less than October.Although the unemployment rate has dropped in November, the current rate is still higher than November 2009, when the rate was 5.5 per cent.- Advertisement -Vancouver Island/Coast and Victoria have the lowest unemployment rate in the province at 5.8 per cent. The highest unemployment rate in the province belongs to the Abbotsford at 8.1 per cent.The province as a whole saw a decrease to 7.0 per cent from 7.5 per cent in October.BC still lags behind the rest of the Western provinces, Manitoba 5.1 per cent, Saskatchewan 5.5 per cent, Alberta 5.6 per cent and the national rate sits at 7.6 per cent. Advertisement
0Shares0000Chris Smalling is setting Manchester United a minimum target finish of second © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 27 – Chris Smalling says securing the Premier League runners-up spot must be the “bare minimum” for Manchester United, whose win against Chelsea gave them a major confidence boost in the race for Champions League places.United never ended the season lower than third in the Premier League era under Alex Ferguson but have failed to finish higher than fourth since he retired as a champion in 2013 — a side Smalling was part of. “I think obviously we’ve been second for quite a while and that needs to be our bare minimum,” the United defender said.“The fact we get to play Liverpool at home as well I think is a big advantage.“If we can separate ourselves from Chelsea and Liverpool and work our way up then we can do that. But I think that’s our (goal) first and foremost.”United were overtaken by Liverpool on Saturday but regained second spot thanks to Sunday’s 2-1 comeback win against Chelsea.Romelu Lukaku and substitute Jesse Lingard secured an important victory for United, who head to Crystal Palace next Monday before Jurgen Klopp’s Reds arrive at Old Trafford.“I think being able to beat a rival, it’s almost like a six-pointer because of how close we are,” Smalling said of the Chelsea win.“The confidence just breeds (confidence) and we’re ready for the next one. I think considering sort of how close we are in the table, I think it gives them (Chelsea) a massive blow and us a lift.”Manchester City are 13 points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand but only six points separate United in second from Chelsea in fifth, with just four Champions League places up for grabs.“These are huge games and I think the fact we play a lot of our rivals at home is going to be a big factor because of our home form,” said Smalling.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)