H5N1-infected bird found in Hong Kong

first_imgJan 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.phplast_img read more

Matt Thaiss thankful to be back with Angels after asymptomatic bout with coronavirus

first_imgThaiss remained in Arizona after spring training shut down in March. He learned that someone he had worked out with on June 14 had been exposed to the coronavirus, he immediately began to isolate. A couple days later, Thaiss got a test that turned up positive.From there, he was essentially stuck in his apartment, watching German soccer and taking dry swings in a mirror.Because Thaiss had no symptoms, the Angels medical staff arranged him to be tested repeatedly. He said he took 10 to 12 saliva tests and “a couple” nasal swabs, “which were pretty uncomfortable.”Thaiss said he texted and called Angels trainers Adam Nevala and Eric Munson “a little too many times” as he waited through the seemingly endless process.“It was mentally defeating because every test I would wait 24 hours and get a phone call that I was still positive,” Thaiss said. “But our training staff and our doctors did a phenomenal job with me of staying in touch and staying on top of it. They just kept getting me tested. I know not everyone’s lucky enough to have that at their disposal, but I was.” Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Thaiss passed the protocols — most significantly, two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart — to rejoin the Angels on Sunday. On Tuesday, they tossed him into an intrasquad game to hit only, and he got eight at-bats.Although he arrived nearly halfway into camp, he said he still feels like he can be ready to be on the active roster for the July 24 opener. He said he played winter ball in the Dominican after just one day of live batting practice.“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I’m feeling ready and excited to get going.”ROTATION UPDATEJoe Maddon said that Shohei Ohtani is scheduled for his next intrasquad outing on Sunday, which means it’s likely that the Angels have settled on Sunday as the day that Ohtani will pitch during the regular season.The Angels plan to give Ohtani the day off before and after he pitches, so Sunday is a natural choice because the Angels have three off days on Mondays.Andrew Heaney is scheduled to pitch in the intrasquad game on Saturday, which would give him five days rest before he’s scheduled to pitch the opener at Oakland next Friday.Griffin Canning, Dylan Bundy and Matt Andriese will also start the season in the Angels rotation — barring any injuries — but it’s unclear at this point in what order they will pitch.The return of Julio Teheran remains uncertain, although Maddon said “there’s a chance in the near future… It’s trending in the right direction.” The Angels have been unable to provide any information on Teheran, who is on the injured list, but Teheran told ESPN Deportes last week he was awaiting results of a coronavirus test.ALSOFox Sports West announced it will carry all 60 Angels regular season games, in addition to all three of their exhibition games next week…Jose Rojas was scratched from the lineup for Wednesday night’s intrasquad game because of a migraine.Thaiss, Jared Walsh, Luis Rengifo and Brandon Marsh — all late arrivals to camp — faced live pitching in a short simulated game on Thursday afternoon. Jacob Rhame, who was claimed on waivers from the New York Mets, was among the pitchers to work.Related Articles While the coronavirus has been deadly, or at least frightening, to many of its victims, for Matt Thaiss the experience was mostly just frustrating.The Angels’ first baseman revealed on Thursday that he tested positive for the virus in June. He said he never felt any symptoms, but still had to quarantine for nearly a month and take more than a dozen tests before receiving the consecutive negatives he needed to rejoin the Angels.“I’m very thankful I was healthy, but at the same time it’s a little frustrating when you feel perfectly fine,” Thaiss said. “It took me 20-something days of testing to test negative, and I was isolated for 28 or 29 days.”Thaiss is the second Angels player to confirm that he had tested for the coronavirus, joining Patrick Sandoval. Sandoval tested positive a week after Thaiss, but returned to camp a few days before him. Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more