US agencies report plans to detect H5N1 in birds

first_imgMar 20, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The chiefs of three federal agencies, predicting that the H5N1 avian influenza virus will enter the United States, today unveiled their joint plan for quickly detecting the virus.”We’re closely monitoring the rapid spread of the H5N1 virus overseas,” said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. “We now believe it is likely that we will detect it within our borders in the United States. It is critically important to understand that the detection of this virus among birds will not signal the start of a pandemic among people. The time is now to expand our early warning system.”Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, along with Johanns, conducted a joint press conference today to prepare people for the possible arrival of the H5N1 virus in the US. The news conference was broadcast live via the Internet.The interagency plan, which received final approval today, Johanns said, relies on a number of methods to screen wild birds, notably birds migrating along the Pacific flyway to and from Alaska.The recent rapid spread of H5N1 in other countries underscores the likelihood of the virus spreading to the United States.”It is increasingly likely that we will detect the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian flu in birds within the US borders, possibly as early as this year,” Norton said. She outlined a plan for systematic monitoring of birds that includes:Testing of sick or dead wild birdsTesting of live wild birds, particularly the highest-risk species, using capture and sampling (not killing birds)Targeted sampling of hunter-killed birdsMonitoring and testing of sentinel animals, including backyard poultry flocks and waterfowl placed in wetlands to mix with migratory birdsTesting of environmental samples, including water and avian fecal samplesSystematic investigation of sick or dead wild birds offers the highest probability of detecting H5N1 early, Norton added. Authorities expect to collect 75,000 to 100,000 samples for testing in 2006. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Interior Department have tested more than 16,000 birds in the Pacific and Atlantic flyways since 1998, according to a news release. The birds have all tested negative for the lethal H5N1 strain, but 22 low-pathogenicity avian flu isolates have been identified.Samples will be tested at the appropriate laboratories, Norton said, but she cautioned that initial positive tests are considered presumptive, not definitive. Positive samples will be sent to the USDA’s national laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmatory testing.”We anticipate that presumptive H5N1 results may be announced 20 to 100 times this year,” she said. There could be dozens of reports of H5N1 without any highly pathogenic strains, she added.Discussing how the agencies will collaborate, Johanns said:The Interior Department will monitor wild birds through the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the US Geological Survey (USGS), as well as the National Park Service (NPS).The USDA has a connection to wild birds through its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Agricultural Research Service, although its main focus is domestic flocks.HHS is chiefly responsible for human health.Johanns also described efforts to prevent the possible spread of H5N1 virus from wild to domestic birds.”None of us can build a cage around the United States,” he said. He emphasized that the nation’s $29 billion poultry system is highly biosecure, so the presence of H5N1 in migratory birds does not necessarily mean that commercial poultry will be infected. Further, he said the US has demonstrated an ability to handle outbreaks of highly pathogenic viruses, even as recently as 2004.In addition, producers will be compensated for destroyed birds, and they have demonstrated that they’ll notify the government at the first signs of illness among their birds, he said.”Unlike what we have seen in some countries, where producers are reluctant to report the virus because of economic losses, our producers know their loss will be covered if they call us,” Johanns said. Although he mentioned the possibility of limited vaccination in a ring around affected areas, he said culling of infected flocks would be the chief approach to eliminating the virus if it reaches commercial poultry.Leavitt provided an overview of preparations for a human pandemic that hewed closely to his talks at pandemic meetings in several states. He reiterated a point made by all three secretaries as they sought to prepare people for the arrival of the virus in US birds without provoking undue fear or panic.”At this point, if you’re a bird, it’s a pandemic,” Leavitt said. “If you’re a human being, it’s not. It’s as simple as that.”See also:USDA news release about the interagency briefingLink to recorded Webcast text of US strategy for early detection of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in wild birds, Mar 13, 2006 (91 pages) read more

National School Arts Festival 2011

first_img Tweet National School Arts Festival 2011This event is organized by the cultural division every two years. As traditional with every ceremony, it was opened with our National Anthem followed by the welcome done by Chief Cultural Officer; Mr. Raymond Lawrence. Mrs. Justina Charles; Minister of Cultural Division highlighted the importance of the event in showcasing and nurturing our children’s talents.  “The number one sponsor is the Waitikubuli National Trail,” announced the Master of Ceremony Mr. Mikael Ferrol during the proceeds.The first section of the event was the choral section judged by Jennifer White, Ester Robinson, and Mr. Simeon Joseph, the participating schools:  Castle Bruce Secondary ‘draw me close to you’  Convent High School ‘One day’  Dominica Community High School ‘The Banana Song’  Dominica Grammar School ‘We Wish you song’  Dominica Seventh Day Adverntist ‘Get All Excited’  North East Comprehensive ‘Ain’t Got Got Time To Die’  Orion Academy ‘Halleujah’  Pierre Charles Secondary School ‘Don’t Let Me Fall’  Portsmouth Secondary School ‘Imagine Me’Next was the vocal or solo section judged by Ophelia Marie, Michele Henderson and Fred Nicholas. The participating singers and the corresponding schools were: Convent High School – Ms Philadelphia  ‘Colors of the Wind’ Castle Bruce Secondary – Mellisa Morgan   Community High School – Ailda Breedy  ‘The Journey’  Dominica grammar school -Karlyn Wright  ‘Footprints in the sand’ Seven Day Adventist School -Dina Pendenque  ‘How great thou art’  Goodwill Secondary School -Kevin Joseph  ‘Praise you in the storm’ Isaiah Thomas secondary -Carla Henry  ‘My heart will go on’  North East Comprehensive -Chelsea Prince  ‘Waitikubuli Nature Trail’  Nehemiah Comprehensive- ‘New Season’ Pierre Charles Secondary- Amian Dangleben  ‘If I ain’t got you’  Portsmouth Secondary -Jasmine Laville ‘His eye is on the sparrow’  St Martin Secondary -Ms Maureen D  ‘Praise you in the storm’  St Mary’s Academy- Jerome Christopher  ‘Everybody Knows’ Wesley High School -Alkenra John  ‘I believe in you’While the judges deliberated, there were various musical interludes from flutes, recorders and drums.Certificates of participation were given to all the performing schools by Chief cultural officer Mr. Raymond Lawrence.The winners with silver medals were awarded in the choral section to North East Comprehensive and Portsmouth Secondary.In the bronze category medals awarded to Dominica SDA, Dominica Community High School and Castle Bruce Secondary.In the gold category medals awarded to Dominica Grammar School, Convent High School, Dominica SDA school.In the vocal section awards in the silver medal category were St Mary’s Academy, St Martin Secondary and Pierre Charles Secondary.In the bronze medal category those awarded were North East Comprehensive, Convent High School, Dominica Grammar School, Community High School, Isaiah Thomas Secondary, Castle Bruce Secondary, Portsmouth Secondary and Dominica Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School.The gold medalists were Dominica Grammar School, Convent High School and Dominica Seventh Day Adventist.Based on this Judging Criteria the school was given points according to how well they performed, this consisted of:  Tonal Quality (well rounded tone, breath control) 25 points Expression (manipulation of voice for effect, dynamic variation, phrasing with audience) 25 points Musicality (clarity/correct pitching) 25 points  Diction (clarity of words, pronunciation) 15 pointsPresentation (use of stage in context of song/poise) 10 pointsWell deserved mentions to Philadelphia Cadette(Convent High School), Dena Pendenque (Seventh Day Adventist Secondary) and Karlyn Wright (Dominica Grammar School) for their outstanding performances and heart stroking talent.By Jerlyn Williams Sharing is caring! Share Sharecenter_img 195 Views   one comment EducationLocalNewsSecondary National School Arts Festival 2011 by: – April 4, 2011 Sharelast_img read more

No Huth for Foxes

first_img They return with Leicester in desperate need of a home win after just two league victories at the King Power Stadium this term. The record does not do the Foxes justice and it is a source of frustration for boss Nigel Pearson. “We are aware of the fact our home form has to improve, there’s no doubt about it. Before a ball is kicked you know your home performances and results are going to be very important,” Pearson said. “We haven’t played that badly, that’s one of the things which has been frustrating for us. We have had plenty of good performances but the results haven’t always come. We’re confident that will change.” Palace come to Leicester unbeaten in five games since Alan Pardew was appointed last month. Pearson is out to end Pardew’s fine start, although he admits the pressure is on his Foxes team. “People would look at a game like Saturday, whatever camp you sit in, and hope your team is capable of winning,” he said. “In some ways that puts more pressure on games like this. Ultimately, at our best, we are going to be a difficult team to play against. The defender, who signed on loan from Stoke on deadline day, was banned for two games and fined £15,000 by the Football Association after breaching rules in relation to social media comments, and is halfway through the suspension. Matty James is available after suspension, Riyad Mahrez is back following Algeria’s African Nations Cup campaign and Matt Upson is available after a long-term foot injury. Press Association “We have a healthy respect for people and on their day Palace are a very capable side. We have to make sure we’re getting our home form right and pick up three points. “We have been in the bottom spot for a while so it’s always an incentive to know three points gives you a chance to progress.” Pardew will throw non-league signing Keshi Anderson straight into the squad. Anderson, 19, joined Palace on deadline day from Barton Rovers, who play in Southern League Division One Central – seven tiers below the top flight. The striker has scored 19 goals for Rovers this season but secured his move after notching a six-minute hat-trick against Palace in a trial match for Brentford. “Six minutes isn’t bad is it? He’s just got a chance, that’s what it is,” Pardew said. “It’s an opportunity for him, he trained with us today and I’ve put him in the squad tomorrow. “It’ll be good experience for him to come to see what goes on and his headlights are still full on.” Palace will be without captain Mile Jedinak for the trip to the Foxes after the midfielder returned from helping Australia win the Asian Cup with a sore ankle. Yannick Bolasie is also unavailable. The winger is at the African Nations Cup with DR Congo, who play a third-place play-off on Saturday. Robert Huth is suspended so cannot make his Leicester debut against Crystal Palace on Saturday. last_img read more

Google Wants To Bring Everyone Online in India Through Its Next Billion Plan

first_imgIf you bump into a lanky, blonde and bespectacled American at Borivali railway station during morning rush hour, don’t be puzzled. That’s Josh Woodward, and he knows more about you that you could possibly imagine! Read it at Economic Times Related Itemslast_img