Experts urge including cats in avian flu precautions

first_imgApr 5, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Growing evidence of H5N1 avian influenza in cats suggests they may play a role in spreading the virus, signaling a need for new precautions, according to a team of medical and veterinary researchers from the Netherlands and Italy.”Cats could be more than a dead-end host for H5N1 virus,” says a commentary article published today in Nature. The authors are Thijs Kuiken, Ron Fouchier, Guus Rimmelzwaan, and Albert Osterhaus of Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam and Peter Roeder of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.They call for efforts to protect cats from the virus and to test those with possible exposure to it—recommendations that are not included in existing official guidelines for controlling avian flu.Infections in cats were first observed in Thailand in early 2004, the article notes. In one case, 14 cats in a household near Bangkok died of the infection. In addition, tigers and leopards in two Thai zoos died after eating infected chicken carcasses.The researchers point to several other observations indicating that cats “are more than collateral damage in avian flu’s deadly global spread and may play a greater role in the epidemiology of the virus than previously thought.”Fatal infections in cats have become common in Indonesia, Thailand, and Iraq, where the virus is endemic in poultry, they write. Veterinarians in both Indonesia and Iraq have reported a high incidence of sudden death in cats during poultry outbreaks of avian flu.In addition, dead or sick cats infected with H5N1 virus turned up in Germany soon after the virus was detected in wild birds there, the researchers note.They also note that experiments at Erasmus Medical Centre have shown that cats can be infected with the virus by respiratory and gastrointestinal routes and by contact with other infected cats. The infected cats all excreted the virus from the nose, throat, and rectum. It is unknown how long cats can shed the virus or whether they can spread it to humans, poultry, or other species, the article says.Nonetheless, the researchers write that cats “may provide the virus with an opportunity to adapt to efficient transmission within and among mammalian species, including humans, thereby increasing the risk of a human influenza pandemic.”Therefore, despite the uncertainties, official guidelines for controlling the spread of avian flu should consider the potential role of cats, the authors say.”In areas where H5N1 virus has been detected in either poultry or wild birds, we recommend taking steps to prevent contact between cats and infected birds or their droppings, and to quarantine and test cats suspected of such contacts, or cats showing clinical signs suggestive of H5N1 influenza,” the article states. That means keeping cats indoors where possible.They also say that other carnivores, such as dogs, foxes, members of the weasel family, and seals, may be susceptible to the H5N1 virus. Therefore they recommend testing for the virus if unusual illness or death rates occur in such animals in areas where avian flu is endemic.last_img read more

Lošinj Boutique Hotel Alhambra is a new member of Virtuos

first_imgThe prestigious 5 * Boutique Hotel Alhambra is a new member of the American network of leading tourist entities Virtuoso. With more than 15 advisors worldwide and a portfolio of almost 1.700 partners, Virtuoso represents the best travel offer – from top hotels, cruises to tour operators. With this valuable recognition awarded to a 5 * hotel from the portfolio of the Lošinj Hotels & Villas of the Jadranka Group, Boutique Hotel Alhambra became one of only three Croatian members of the American network Virtuoso.Virtuoso is an international network of luxury travel agencies specializing in luxury and experiential travel. The organization has more than 380 agency members with more than 11.400 elite travel advisors in more than 30 countries around the world. It is important to note that the annual turnover of Virtuoso agents is more than $ 15 billion making Virtuoso the most significant organization in the luxury travel industry.Boutique Hotel Alhambra is also a proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, which brings together only 520 small luxury hotels that can satisfy the most demanding guests with a top offer. In addition, Boutique Hotel Alhambra is the winner of this year’s TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, thanks to the exceptional quality of offer and service and high ratings and guest reviews. By the way, Alhambra is part of the hotel brand Lošinj Hotels & Villas of the Jadranka Group, which operates six hotels and restaurants and villas and apartments located in the most attractive locations of the island of Lošinj and is a unique place where the spirit of aristocratic times and exceptional luxury meet.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Friday, Sep. 13

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionSanders is leader in climate change fightOn Sept. 4, during CNN’s Climate Crisis forum, Americans had an opportunity to compare 10 Democratic presidential frontrunners’ positions on climate change. All the candidates took the “No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.”Thanks to a question from someone in the audience, we learned that Biden had agreed to attend a pricey fundraiser the following day co-sponsored by Andrew Goldman, co-founder of a fracking company. Can Biden be trusted to hold polluting industries accountable if he violated the above pledge? His plans to deal with climate change were short on specifics.Unlike Biden, Bernie Sanders’ answers to questions were received with enthusiasm. He emphasized the importance of tackling the crisis over the next 11 years, when scientists say carbon emissions must be cut in half to avoid runaway climate change.Although Sanders’ $14 trillion Green New Deal Plan, to be invested over a 15-year period to fund a transition to renewables, has been called unrealistic, he said it was “an emergency that could make the whole planet uninhabitable.”He cited the $400 billion in oil subsidies and the over $1 trillion spent on nuclear weapons as expenditures that would be better spent on dealing with climate change.Sanders is a leader who grasps the gravity of this environmental crisis. He respects the climate scientists who have warned us for decades that greenhouse gas emissions are heating up the planet at an unprecedented pace.It’s no wonder the DNC was opposed to a debate on just climate change. Joe Biden would’ve lost.Barbara TrypalukSaratoga SpringsKnow the pros, cons of facial recognitionFacial recognition software is a newer technology that is now widely available to the general public.Once a thing of science fiction novels, this software is capable of identifying individuals from a distinct image or video frame found online.You can find it almost anywhere, from the cameras in the streets that watch us to the phones in our hands. This technology, like any other, has its pros and cons.Some of the obvious pros are that it can identify criminals, terrorists, and felons from an image saved in its database.This is a vital way of spotting dangerous people before they do something dangerous to hurt themselves or others. Another pro is that this system is non-contact, meaning that you don’t have to touch it for it to recognize you.These facial recognition systems are extremely fast and accurate, while finger ID can be slow and sometimes inaccurate.While efficiency and accuracy might be great, some people find their privacy is at risk with these cameras in use.In China, a wanted criminal was at a concert with 50,000 other people. Using this technology, the police were able to find and arrest him during the concert.This might seem like a seemingly fantastic invention to catch criminals but what if people began to abuse this technology?In other countries, it could be used to end all crime while in others it could be used to hunt down political enemies or people who don’t agree with one’s ideas.Dean ButtaciAverill ParkMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Courses to include poll in curriculum

first_imgWith USC and the Los Angeles Times’ joint polling project underway, directors are emphasizing the involvement opportunities the polls offer students, but students seem unaware of those options.USC’s College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and the LA Times are conducting a series of six polls leading up to the 2010 gubernatorial election. The collaboration is the first joint polling effort between the university and a local newspaper. The first of the six polls was released two weeks ago.Though organizers hope the polls will leave a mark on the California political world, Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, said the polls are equally important for their impact on students.“The Dean [Howard Gillman, of the College] was particularly insistent that students would not only have opportunities to be involved, but they would also have education opportunities to learn from their involvement,” Schnur said.According to Schnur and other political science professors, opportunities for students include formulating poll questions, running focus groups, analyzing results, pitching campaign strategies for candidates and working hands-on with professional political reporters from the Los Angeles Times.Many of these opportunities for student involvement stem from six existing political science classes, the curriculums of which will be partly structured around the poll.Students are able to register for these classes now, but many classes are not filling up quickly.Though some of the classes are full because of students’ general interest, most students said they did not know about the extent of the opportunities awaiting them.“I did know about the polls but I didn’t know they were going to be involved in this class,” said Jason Duong, a junior majoring in health promotion and disease prevention major who will be taking an ethics and politics class. “It’s actually a pleasant surprise, I thought it was going to be just a lot of lecture and book work.”Many other students said they weren’t aware the poll was a part of these classes, as professors have not included the polls in course descriptions or other materials.“My plan is to talk to the students about the poll on the first day of class so they understand it is a part of the larger course goals,” Schnur said.Schnur said he couldn’t really do much advertising because the poll will be one aspect of his class, not the whole class.Still, some students said they would have liked to have known.“There should have been some kind of advertisement to get over the shock factor,” said Samantha Howell, a sophomore majoring in political science and international relations. “Being a poli-sci major, why would you not want to be a part of a poll project? If they do advertise it, maybe other students would want to join the class.”Students, however, said they are excited to be involved.“I am actually thrilled about this,” said Drew Florio, a senior majoring in political science. “It will give me a snapshot of what I’ll be doing after school and I’ll be doing it with distinguished faculty.”The classes are not the only way students can work with the polls next semester. Schnur said there will be many different programs awaiting students in the next couple years that will supplement the political poll project.“We’ve received interest from all four gubernatorial campaigns about participating in our program and we intend to work with the campaigns for the US Senate and the major ballot initiatives as well,” Schnur said. “We want students to have a front row for the campaign season as it unfolds.”Schnur also pointed out that anyone from any major could participate in these different opportunities.“If a student wants to be involved, we will find a way that they can be,” Schnur said.last_img read more

Rashford hits double as Man Utd hold off Liverpool

first_img– Eventful afternoon –An eventful afternoon for Rashford continued moments later when he escaped with just a yellow card for a late lunge on James Milner.And he should also have had an assist to his name before half-time when a dinked cross picked out Mata perfectly only for the unmarked Spaniard to sent an acrobatic effort well wide.Liverpool enjoyed almost complete control of the ball in the second-half but failed to find a way through the mass ranks of United defence.The visitors did have two strong appeals for penalties waived away as Ashley Young pulled at Mohamed Salah’s shirt before an Andy Robertson cross rebounded off Antonio Valencia’s arm.When Liverpool were handed a lifeline, it came via a United boot as Bailly — who had excelled on his first start since November — flicked Mane’s cross into his own net.Mourinho then drew the ire of his own fans as he replaced Rashford with Marouane Felliani 20 minutes from time to see the game out.But once again Mourinho was justified as the hosts held out for six minutes of stoppage time.Share on: WhatsApp Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first 25 minutes as Manchester United held off a Liverpool fightback to move five points clear of their visitors in second place in the Premier League with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.United also close to within 13 points of Manchester City, but barring a late season collapse by the runaway league leaders that gap looks unbridgeable. More significantly Jose Mourinho’s men moved another huge step closer to guaranteeing a top-four finish by opening up a 12-point lead on fifth-placed Chelsea.Liverpool were left to rue a slow start as Rashford twice finished impressively after Romelu Lukaku had outmuscled Dejan Lovren.The visitors dominated after the break, but could only find a response via a United player when Eric Bailly turned into his own net 24 minutes from time.Just a second defeat in 21 Premier League games leaves Liverpool still in third, but they could drop to fourth if Tottenham win at Bournemouth on Sunday.Rashford may not have even have started but for an injury to Paul Pogba suffered in training on Friday.Without the £89 million ($123 million) French international, Mourinho moved Alexis Sanchez inside behind Lukaku and handed Rashford his first league start of the year on the left.The Portuguese coach’s plans worked to perfection when Rashford brought the game to life with a superb finish after 14 minutes.Lukaku beat Lovren to a long ball and the England international skipped inside Trent Alexander-Arnold before smashing a shot past the helpless Loris Karius.Liverpool had chances for an immediate response as Sadio Mane just failed to get on the end of Roberto Firmino’s dangerous cross before Virgil Van Dijk skewed a header wide from close range when unmarked from a corner.But soon Liverpool’s task became doubly difficult as United’s power and pace again proved too much.Lukaku shrugged off Lovren once more and when his ball through to Juan Mata was cut out by Van Dijk, Rashford swept home the rebound.last_img read more

With these shopping tips, expect many happier returns

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Gifted givers include a gift receipt. If one did not come along with your undesirable present, save the original packaging. It will help convince the retailer that the item was purchased at its store. Avoid the longest line. Ask a salesman if he can help you make a return. At the very least, he will let you know in which line you need to wait and whether you can buy new items and make a return in one transaction. Seems basic, but there is nothing redeeming about waiting in the wrong line. Be nice. If you are stressed from having to return three unwanted gifts, think how the cashier feels. She has to deal all day with grumpy customers who didn’t get what they wanted. Being polite wins you brownie points and may sway the cashier to help you out in a pinch. Be early – or very late. Avoid crowds and long lines by making returns at odd hours. Consider stopping by the mall on your way to work or running the errand after dinner. Be prepared. If the item has been discounted, you might not be able to get full price without a receipt. But you will increase your odds of cashing in if you can show a sales associate a printout of the full price the item sold for online. Don’t forget to ask if you will get the item’s full value. The holiday buzz is wearing off, and, looking around, there are a few things in your stash you would rather be without. OK, maybe a lot of things you are eager to part with. Some you might be able to regift, a practice now widely accepted as long as you cover your tracks. Others have “return me” written all over them. You might want to wait a few days to make your returns because crowds are expected to hit post-holiday sales today and use the gift cards burning holes in their pockets. Follow these tips, courtesy of “The Giftionary” author Robyn Spizman, and you will maximize your chances of turning Christmas chaff into greenbacks. Consider carefully. When the post-holiday blues hit, it’s easy to get overzealous about returns. Nothing seems worth keeping. But before you bring back everything you received, weigh how guilty or sad you will feel if a friend or relative asks about the gift. You may be able to bluff your way out of it, or you may hurt someone’s feelings. “Sometimes it just pays to keep the mother-in-law’s gift,” Spizman said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more