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

Ecommpay’s Anthony Medica: How fast payouts are key to boosting customer loyalty

first_img Betsson falls foul of Spelinspektionen with SEK20m penalty June 10, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Share The relationship between payments and sports betting is one that’s constantly evolving as operators seek to maximise customer engagement through the most efficient processes possible. As such, the need for an efficient payment experience has grown exponentially in recent years. That view is supported by Anthony Medica, Business Development Manager at ECOMMPAY, who believes that payments in sports betting are evolving and betting operators need to be on top of payment trends to stay competitive. He noted: “As this is an industry in which transactions flow in both directions – from customer to merchant and from merchant to customer – businesses must ensure their e-payment platform accepts not only online payments, but can also issue mass payouts to various stakeholders. “Payment service providers must equip their operator clients with capabilities to facilitate payouts to the same payment methods used for incoming payments: alternative payment methods as well as cards. ECOMMPAY supports automated, mass payouts on its e-payments platform, ensuring successful transactions in whichever direction a sports betting client requires.”He went on to outline the importance of partnerships with Mastercard MoneySend and Visa Direct, specifically in Europe. “There is a small selection of Visa and Mastercard Principal Members,” he explained. “ECOMMPAY is one of the few. These partnerships ensure a fast, reliable service. To facilitate mass transfers to international payment system cards, Visa and Mastercard enable automated payouts on cards worldwide by deploying Visa Direct and Mastercard MoneySend. “International payment networks offer speed and global reach. Visa Direct, for example, is accessible in 200 countries across the globe, ensuring that issuers can quickly access funds to facilitate payouts to their customers. However, speed is not the only factor to consider. The payout must be conducted in the same currency as the card holder’s account.”Direct card acquirer ECOMMPAY offers mass payouts in local currencies. Operator clients can facilitate transactions to their customers in a single click. The speed, however, will depend on the capabilities of local banks.“Mass payouts to payment cards is a flexible solution,” Medica added. “Intelligent routing and cascading enable payment service providers to configure the routes across which payments and payouts travel, reacting promptly to rectify any disruptions across payment channels in order to achieve a higher success rate.”Further mapping out the key elements that ensure a thriving relationship between operators and the payment sector, he underlined the importance of not solely relying on payment cards. “Payment cards can’t be the only payment method through which sports betting operators facilitate mass payouts. After all, a growing number of consumers prefer to pay – and to receive money – through alternative means.”Identifying where operators should turn in their desire for the expansion of options, he detailed: “E-wallets are one example of an alternative payment method popular among a large segment of the European consumer audience. Last year, e-wallets grew by 20% in Europe, accounting for $42 billion of the market share. Meanwhile, Visa and Mastercard transactions amounted to $35 billion in 2019.“The modern payment landscape is dominated by large corporations, known as big tech, and open APIs. Big tech companies have developed their own payment infrastructure to support online business. Mass payouts are part of the functionality they offer, and many platforms and payment gateways enable merchants to issue mass payouts to e-wallets as well as traditional payment cards.“For instance, the PayPal Mass Pay API provides automated payouts using one CSV file of up to 5,000 emails linked to PayPal accounts. All that remains for the payout issuer to do is define the amount and currency code. If desired, the transaction identifier and an optional message to the customer can be provided.” Automated mass payouts is an element that’s elevated in importance as operators embark on global expansion and significantly grow their customer bases.Medica cited system crashes as a potentially pivotal factor in hindering engagement for payment partners, stating: “System crashes during complex operations can cause significant delays. E-payments are no exception. Software and hardware errors are responsible for financial losses at best and reputational damage at worst. “Payment service providers invest into system reliability to ensure an optimal level of service to their merchant clients.“ECOMMPAY’s continuous improvements have paid off, resulting in 99.99% system availability paired with a higher mass payout success rate. Monitoring the entire payout process carefully, it’s why we always strive to ensure system continuity even in cases of unforeseen errors on the side of external payment partners.” While seamlessness is the focus and e-payments are thrust into the forefront of operations, Medica insisted that security isn’t hindered in the slightest. “All payment transactions, including mass payouts, must be protected by an additional layer of security. ECOMMPAY’s security solution is the proprietary FraudStop risk management system, which is complemented by manual transaction monitoring.“This comprehensive solution detects unauthorised activity in the early stages, which enables the payment service provider to work collaboratively with its operator clients to negate the threat. The combination of automated and manual review ensures suspicious transactions are swiftly identified.“To achieve high conversion and reliable payouts on a global scale, merchants receiving high volumes of incoming traffic must ensure they have the necessary infrastructure in place. A combination of reputable partners, various payment methods, sophisticated technologies, and optimal security is key for sports betting operators looking to grow their business.” Share MuchBetter launches CashDuster to bridge payments and marketing dynamics November 28, 2019 Submit Betting on Sports to deliver biggest ever exhibition space June 14, 2019last_img read more

Watch: Heartbreaking video shows extent of damage in flood-stricken Inishowen

first_imgPhotographer Paul McMenamin captured this footage yesterday over Inishowen, showing the extent of damage caused by the floods.Despite almost one week of clean-ups and gruelling work, the amount of repairs still needed is overwhelming.Paul says; “Swanpark in Buncrana is ruined, the water tore a huge chunk, several tonnes of earth, from the river bank, destroyed huge concrete walls, stripped the bridge of its surface and walls. “The road between Quigley’s point and Muff looks like it was hit by an air strike, the road is literally gone.“In Derry Drumahoe playing grounds are completely ruined, the bus stops alongside it have collapsed and fallen away as have roads not far from the area, while sites are flooded.”The shot of the road was taken outside Muff was taken on Friday – the rest was captured yesterday. You can find Paul’s other videos of Inishowen over on his YouTube channel.Watch: Heartbreaking video shows extent of damage in flood-stricken Inishowen was last modified: August 27th, 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:floodInishowenwatchlast_img read more