Tag Archives: Birds

More Than 300 People Hit by Salmonella from Live Birds

The Poultry Site – A total of 316 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 37 states, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The source of infection has been traced to sales of young poultry from agricultural stores, which are mainly frequented by small-scale and hobby farmers.

According to the latest CDC report – dated 19 August – among 199 ill persons with available information, 51 (26 per cent) have been admitted to hospital; 59 per cent of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger.

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Bird flu appears to have spread from human to human

1By Kate Kelland
MSN News — Research published in the British Medical Journal analyzing a family cluster of cases of the bird flu infection H7N9 in eastern China found it was very likely the virus “transmitted directly from the index patient (a 60-year-old man) to his daughter.”
Experts commenting on the research said while it did not necessarily mean H7N9 are any closer to becoming the next flu pandemic, “it does provide a timely reminder of the need to remain extremely vigilant.”
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Palm Monoculture Bad for Birds

Palm_Oil_ForestBy Andrew M. Sugden

Science – The conversion of tropical forest to oil palm plantations has rapidly increased over the past decade, predominantly in Southeast Asia, where such cultivation now dominates over 2 million hectares. Substantial biodiversity loss accompanies such conversion, but little is known of the ecology of the resulting landscape. Azhar et al.’s survey of bird faunas in plantations and logged swamp forest in Malaysia shows that guilds were affected in different ways. Notably, raptors were more abundant in plantations than in logged forest, whereas the reverse was true for insectivores and granivores. Patterns within plantations were also influenced by the management regime (e.g., smallholding versus estate) and proximity to forest. Edwards et al. surveyed the functional diversity—a measure incorporating foraging, morphology, and behavior—of bird faunas across habitat gradients (from plantation to logged and primary forests) in Borneo. Functional diversity was similar between logged and primary forest but greatly reduced in plantations, with just a few generalist species filling a wide range of functional roles. These studies demonstrate that continued conversion from logged forest to oil palm plantation will lead to further losses of species and functional diversity.

Source: Science, 3th May, 2013
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Benefits and Risks of Influenza Research: Lessons Learned

Anthony S. Fauci, Francis S. Collins
Science – Given the yearly challenge of seasonal influenza and the potential catastrophic consequences of future pandemics, the need for intensive basic and clinical influenza research is unquestionable. Although the fruits of decades of research have enabled dramatic improvements in our ability to prevent and treat influenza, many fundamental questions remain, including those related to the complex factors associated with host switching and transmission of influenza viruses. Recent public concern over two H5N1 influenza manuscripts that studied the transmissibility of influenza viruses has triggered intense discussion on dual-use research and the way forward…. >>Read the Complete Article<<

Source and Photo: Science, June 22nd, 2012
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Public at Last, H5N1 Study Offers Insight Into Virus’s Possible Path to Pandemic

By Martin Enserink

Science – Depending on your point of view, the study that appears on page 1534 of this issue of Science marks another good week for public health experts trying to protect a vulnerable world from a new influenza pandemic—or for future bioterrorists bent on unleashing one.

The paper, from a laboratory led by virologist Ron Fouchier of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, describes how a handful of mutations might give the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which typically infects birds, the potential to move easily between mammals and touch off a human flu pandemic. It appears after more than 8 months of often fierce international debate over whether the results should be made public—and whether researchers should have conducted the experiments at all. ….>>Read More<<

Source and Photo: Science 22nd, 2012
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Dutch Government Ok’s Publication of H5N1 Study

By Martin Enserink
Science – Fouchier had been fiercely opposed to applying for an export license, which he says is an inappropriate tool to control the flow of scientific information. He eventually filed for the permit while disputing the obligation to do so.
Fouchier says he’s “glad but not surprised” by the decision. “It would have been strange” if the government had held up publication after NSABB and an expert panel at the World Health Organization recommended publication, says Fouchier. The Rotterdam lab will not break out the champagne until the paper actually comes out, he says. “Then we’ll throw a party.” …… >>Read More<<

Source: Science, April 27th, 2012.
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Secret Briefing HelpedSway H5N1 Flu Papers Decision

By David Malakoffon
Science – A classified briefing from U.S. intelligence officials helped persuade a majority of members of a government advisory board that the benefits of publishing two controversial H5N1 avian influenza studies outweighed the risks, according to testimony presented yesterday at a U.S. Senate hearing.

The late March briefing to the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) left “the impression that the risk of misuse did not appreciably increase with full publication and there is a high likelihood of undesirable political consequences to not publishing,” microbiologist Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, acting chair of NSABB, told the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs…. >>Read More<<

Source: Science, April 27th, 2012
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