(CIDRAP News) Last month, officials in Italy and Canada aroused concern by announcing they had found an H5N1 influenza virus in wild birds. Neither country had previously been troubled by any reports of the virulent H5N1 virus that has been plaguing poultry and occasionally sickening and killing humans in Asia.
But in both cases, health officials said the virus was not dangerous and was unrelated to the H5N1 virus in Asia.
(CIDRAP News) – National health officials came to Minnesota today to launch what was billed as the first of 50 state pandemic influenza planning meetings around the nation, emphasizing the key roles of state and local governments as partners with the federal government.
The general theme of the half-day conference was that much, if not most, of the real work of preparing for a pandemic must be done at the local and state levels.
(CIDRAP News) Romania has reported three new outbreaks of avian influenza this week, while a mild strain of avian flu has surfaced in North Carolina turkeys, according to news services.
Dozens of chickens were found dead in the southeastern Romanian villages of Bumbacari and Dudescu, which lie outside the Danube River delta, according to Agence France-Presse and Bloomberg News reports. The viral strain was not listed.
(CIDRAP News) About 250 wild swans died of an H5 avian flu virus infection on the Volga River delta in southern Russia, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report yesterday that cited Russian news agencies. Tests to determine if the strain was H5N1 had not been completed.
As a result of the swan die-off, a quarantine was being enforced in an area near the city of Astrakhan, AFP reported.
(CIDRAP News) The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to keep its expanded testing program for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) going indefinitely instead of scaling it back at the end of this year, according to recent reports.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said he wants the department to continue testing about 1,000 cattle a day, according to a Nov 12 Associated Press (AP) report.
(CIDRAP News) Numerous Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreaks have occurred in Great Britain, France, and the United States in the past 2 months.
According to news sources, approximately 200 infections and one death have been reported to health authorities. In most cases, local outbreak control teams have found mass-produced contaminated meat to be the cause, and they are working to set strict guidelines to limit the contagion.
(CIDRAP News) New avian influenza outbreaks were reported today in European Russia, China, and Vietnam, as experts said recent outbreaks in Turkey and Romania have strengthened the suspicion that migratory birds are spreading the H5N1 virus.
In addition, avian flu was suspected in a Thai man who died of a lung infection after killing and eating chickens that might have had the disease.
(CIDRAP News) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today proposed new animal feed rules to reduce the risk of spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), but they don't go as far as some earlier FDA proposals.