Jan 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Hong Kong government officials recently announced that a wild bird found dead near a busy shopping district on Dec 31 tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza.The infection in a scaly-breasted munia, a species often imported from mainland China and released in religious ceremonies, marks the first case found in Hong Kong since February 2006, according to reports published by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Hong Kong has reported no human H5N1 cases since 1997, when the virus first jumped to humans.The Hong Kong government’s Jan 6 press release on the H5N1 finding doesn’t specify if the virus was the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, but Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that it was.Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced Jan 4 that a preliminary test for the virus was positive and confirmatory tests were being conducted. AFP reported that the bird was the only one of 6 dead birds found that tested positive for the virus.A bird watcher from Hong Kong who posted an item yesterday on ProMED-mail, the Internet-based reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, said the scaly-breasted munia is not frequently seen in urban Hong Kong but is said to be one of the 2 species most commonly released during religious ceremonies at temples. The practice of releasing these birds is a concern, he said, because they’re not subject to the disease-prevention measures used with poultry, and sellers and buyers can come into contact with infected bird droppings.The Hong Kong AFCD, in a Jan 6 press release, advised the public not to release birds, because they have little chance of surviving in the wild. A department spokesperson said the AFCD has contacted community groups, including religious groups, to warn them about releasing birds.The statement did not refer specifically to the H5N1 case, but it said pet birds imported from mainland China must come from registered farms and be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate certifying that the birds have been quarantined and have tested negative for H5 avian flu viruses.Farms on the mainland that are allowed to export birds to Hong Kong are inspected by mainland authorities and occasionally by AFCD authorities and must have had no avian flu outbreaks in the past 180 days.The government said its records show that 38,000 munias, including white-backed and scaly-breasted ones, were imported into Hong Kong from the mainland in 2006. It added that the scaly-breasted Munia is a resident bird in Hong Kong and has been found all over the territory.A department spokesperson advised Hong Kong residents to avoid personal contact with wild birds and live poultry and to wash their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with birds.Meanwhile, in Vietnam, several ducks have died in the past few days in the southern province of Soc Trang, prompting concern about the further spread of avian flu. Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reported yesterday that specimens from the ducks were sent for avian flu testing.If tests are positive, Soc Trang will be the fourth province affected in the recent series of outbreaks, which started in early December in the south Mekong Delta provinces of Ca Mau and Bac Lieu, spreading to nearby Hau Giang province. OIE reports list 32 outbreaks during that period.Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are in talks with the Vietnamese government about sending experts to investigate the source of the outbreaks, Voice of America News reported today.Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, a spokesperson for the FAO office in Hanoi, told VOA the outbreak isn’t surprising, because officials believe the virus is still present. “The information that we’ve got so far is that the recent outbreaks were triggered as a result of raising illegal ducks,” she said. In earlier news reports, officials blamed local animal health officials and farmers for not maintaining poultry vaccination programs and farmers for hatching poultry illegally.In December, an FAO-OIE crisis management team traveled to South Korea to investigate the H5N1 outbreaks in poultry that occurred south of Seoul in late November.See also:Jan 6 Hong Kong government press releasehttp://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200701/06/P200701060189.htmJan 6 Hong Kong press releasehttp://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200701/06/P200701060187.htmWikipedia photo of scaly-breasted muniahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaly-breasted_muniaJan 7 ProMed mail report on Hong Kong birdOIE reports on Vietnam 2006-07 outbreakhttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A2006_AI.php
Diego Forlan scored twice to give Internacional a 2-1 win at Vasco da Gama in the Brazilian soccer championship while Dutchman Clarence Seedorf was on target in Botafogo’s 2-0 win over Figueirense.Vasco went ahead with a brilliantly-taken goal by Jonas in the 22nd minute of Wednesday’s game when he collected Juninho Pernamucano’s cross with his back to goal, turned between two defenders and slid the ball into the far corner.Former Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan forward Forlan replied from close range 11 minutes later after Andres D’Alessandro’s pass opened up the Vasco defence.The Uruguay forward scored from a similar position on the stroke of halftime from another chance created by D’Alessandro, his fifth goal of the competition, to give Vasco their fourth defeat in a row.Vasco stayed fifth in the table with 50 points from 32 games, two ahead of their opponents.Eighteen-year-old Bruno Mendes scored for the third game in a row to give Botafogo a 14th-minute lead at struggling Figueirense. Thirty-six-year-old Seedorf added the second with a low shot from the edge of the area just after the half hour, his seventh goal of the championship.
In light of this afternoon’s rainfall warning from Met Éireann, people in Inishowen have highlighted their concern over the region’s ability to deal with tomorrow’s downpour.A status orange wind warning and a status orange rainfall warning has been issued for Donegal, with gusts between 110 and 130km/h to batter the county tomorrow.“Inishowen was devastated by flooding in August, and people now are understandably concerned that the same will happen again,” Cllr Jack Murray told Donegal Daily. “I’d be hopeful that if something similar does occur, the lessons learnt from the last incident will be taken on board and we will be able to deal with the problem.“At the time of the August floods County Council staff acted fantastically and where possible tried to prevent the flood. They reacted terrifically and went above and beyond the call of duty.“I’d hope that should something similar happen again, we’d be more prepared.“We have a code orange here, but I’d still urge people to take the necessary precautions. “We saw how bad they can be, and we should take every measure possible to prevent any damage.”Met Eireann warns that upwards for 40 mm of rain will fall in the county tomorrow, and could cause some localised flooding.During the flash flooding in August however, 77.2 mm of rain fell – over one third of the station’s monthly total.Cllr Murray says that although most of the damage from the August floods have been dealt with, the massive clean up and restoration process is ongoing.“Most issues have been addressed, but there has been significant gaps that have appeared since. Grants to sport clubs are nowhere near what is needed, and some have received no grants at all.“Swan park, a much-loved local amenity, will cost around €1 million to bring back. This money is still forthcoming. “Despite these gaps there has been nothing from the Department to address this. Those gaps are still there and there is frustration in the local community because of that.”Cllr Murray adds that most of the families who were displaced during the floods continue to reside in temporary accommodation.On the peninsula, most of the roads affected by the floods are now open, however none of the bridges are permanently restored, with temporary bridges being relied upon.Sandbags are available in the area if they are needed and can be sourced through Donegal County Council. People are being asked to check in on older members of their communities ahead of tomorrow’s storm, and the Irish Coast Guard are asking people to exercise “extreme caution” as severe winds and stormy conditions will strike all coasts.Currently classed as a hurricane, Ophelia will be downgraded to a post-tropical storm by the time it hits the south west of Ireland.“If Inishowen is flooded again, we’ll be more prepared” was last modified: October 16th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal County CouncilFLOODINGHurricane OpheliaInishowenJack Murray