Avian flu viruses in Canada not dangerous, officials say

first_imgNov 21, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Canadian officials said yesterday they would destroy all the poultry on a British Columbia farm where a duck was found to be carrying a low-pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus.That announcement came 2 days after the Canadian government reported the identification of a low-pathogenic strain of H5N1 virus in wild birds in Manitoba and other flu viruses in wild birds in British Columbia and Quebec.Officials said none of the viruses are considered dangerous to humans or highly pathogenic for birds. Despite its name, the H5N1 virus found in two ducks in Manitoba is unrelated to the H5N1 virus plaguing poultry and sickening some humans in Asia, they said.”I want to emphasize the H5N1 subtype detected in Manitoba is completely distinct from the strain currently present in Asia,” the Canadian Press (CP) quoted Dr. Brian Evans, Canada’s chief veterinary officer, as saying.Dr. Arlene King, head of respiratory diseases for the Public Health Agency of Canada, said the H5N1 strain found in the Manitoba birds has been seen previously in North America, according to the CP.British Columbia flock to be destroyedThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced Nov 18 that a farm east of Vancouver would be quarantined after a duck was found infected with an avian flu virus. Yesterday officials identified the virus as a low-pathogenic H5 North American strain and said the poultry there would be destroyed as a precaution, though the virus would be likely to cause only mild disease, if any, in exposed birds.The farm, near Chilliwack, is in the same area where an outbreak of H7N3 avian flu forced the culling of millions of poultry in the spring of 2004. The CFIA said the plan to destroy the flock is in line with recommendations made after the 2004 outbreak and guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The CP report said about 60,000 birds would be killed.Viruses found in wild birdsIn a Nov 19 announcement, the CFIA said testing of samples from the wild-bird survey revealed “low-pathogenic North America subtypes H5N3 in Quebec birds, H5N1 in Manitoba, and H5N9 and H5N2 in British Columbia.” Officials first announced in October that the survey had revealed flu viruses in a number of wild birds in the three provinces.The CFIA said the four strains have all been seen previously in North America and are not a threat to animal health with biosecurity measures now in effect. “The Public Health Agency of Canada has been working with the CFIA on the testing and has determined that there is no information in these findings suggesting a new threat to human health,” the statement added.”The good news is there is no Asian strain in any of the wildlife,” a Nov 19 Reuters report quoted Evans as saying. He said the survey included testing of 4,800 birds from seven provinces.UN plans avian flu early warning systemIn other news, United Nations officials said they plan to set up an early warning system to alert countries of incoming migratory birds that could be carrying avian flu viruses, according to Associated Press (AP) and Reuters reports.Plans for the system were announced at an international wildlife conference in Nairobi, Kenya, the AP reported yesterday. Marco Barbieri of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals said a pilot project should be operational in 6 months and the full system in 2 years.The Reuters report said plans call for a team of experts to collect information, maps, and charts from government and conservation organizations. Robert Hepworth of the UN said the information would be used in a computer system that would constantly monitor bird migration patterns and warn countries of potential threats. That will enable local authorities to give advice to people in affected areas, officials said.The UN Environment Programme is setting up the system, which is expected to cost between $200,000 and $300,000, Reuters reported.last_img read more

Paving the Way

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Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul: Blake Griffin starting to understand how good he is

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Griffin told reporters during training camp that he worked a lot on his shot during the offseason. The 3-pointer was part of it, and coach Doc Rivers is glad about that.“He works on it a ton,” Rivers said. “We feel very comfortable, we’ve run it a bunch at the end of quarters. We’re putting him behind there to dare people. If you help, he gets it. If you don’t, we get a lay-up.”Griffin shot 44 3-pointers in 2013-14, making 12 for 27.3 percent. He had shot just the two so far this season ahead of Sunday’s game against Sacramento.Speaking of his overall play, Griffin said, “I’ve become a little more comfortable and confident each year.”Prior to tip-off Sunday, Rivers was asked if he had any specific conversations with Griffin during the offseason as they might have related to his game. Not surprisingly, the good-natured Rivers added some comedy to his response. “It was short. It was, ‘Blake, you’re really good. Keep being good,’” Rivers said, drawing laughter from reporters. “It was a good conversation. A lot of it was, you know, continuing to grow offensively. Keep adding the bank shot. That was one of my big things with him. I would text him silly quotes about bank shots. They were made up; they were stupid. But I texted him a lot about that.“And just keep extending his range. Blake, you don’t have to talk to him about working. He does it on his own. He was in the gym probably a week after the season, which I actually thought was too quick. But that’s just Blake.”All that said, Griffin scored 17 points Sunday but shot just 6 of 20 from the field.Rivers misses CollisonFormer Clipper Darren Collison, who is Sacramento’s starting point guard after signing a free-agent contract with the Kings during the offseason, is off to a good start with his new team. In Friday’s victory over Portland, Collison had 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.Rivers said he misses Collison’s speed and defense, as well as something else.“And his personality,” Rivers said. “That’s a value. He’s a great kid in the locker room, he really is. And our guys that we’ve added will be as well, we just don’t know them as well yet.”Collison spoke with reporters before the game. He likes the way things are taking shape.“It’s been going well,” he said. “I think my team’s committed to winning. That’s always a good sign. When you leave a team that’s contending for a championship, you want to make sure that you’re going to a team that’s, if not doing the same thing, but committed to winning.“We’re not where the Clippers are at as far as goal-wise, but at the same time everyone’s committed to winning.”This and thatPaul’s 10 assists Friday moved him past Clyde Drexler into 27th place on the all-time assists leaderboard. Paul now has 6,129 during his career and was seven away from passing No. 26 Scottie Pippen (6,135). … Jamal Crawford sat out Sunday’s game with what was described as a rib injury sustained in Friday’s win over the Lakers. … The Clippers host Utah on Monday night.center_img There was a lot of talk about the performance of Blake Griffin in the Clippers’ 118-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday. He scored 39 points on 13-of-23 shooting, he made both of his 3-point attempts and 11 of 12 from the free-throw line. He also had seven rebounds and four assists.Also, he was regularly calling for the ball during a tight game.Teammate Chris Paul gave Griffin, who finished third in this past season’s MVP voting, quite a compliment.“(Friday) was the night where he started to understand who he is, and how good he is,” Paul said. “He demanded the ball, and I think that was great. Every time he posts and says ‘Bring it,’ it’s like music to our ears because he deserves it. He is our go-to guy.”last_img read more