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

Assembly point

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Go back to the enewsletter

first_imgGo back to the enewsletter Go back to the enewsletterCroatia’s Uljanik Shipyard has been declared bankrupt by a commercial court in Pazin, with proceedings against the parent company, Uljanik Group, commencing earlier this week.The bankruptcy proceedings follow a visit by a potential investor from China a few weeks ago, CSIC (China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation), which surprisingly resulted in “no concrete offer to date”.Along with a site in Pula, Uljanik shipyards include the 3. Maj yard in Rijeka, Croatia.  The company has 1,118 employees, of which all but 60 are based in Pula.Uljanik shipyard’s debt totals 164.8 million kuna (approx AU$36 million), including 76.5 million kuna (approx $16.7 million) in unpaid wages that has prompted on-again, off-again strikes for months.It’s unclear if bankruptcy proceedings will impact Australian luxury cruise and tour company, Scenic, and the delivery of its first ocean-going luxury cruise ship, Scenic Eclipse. Delivery of the ultra-luxury vessel has been continually hampered by the ongoing industrial action at the Pula shipyard, resulting in a near 12-month delay of the ship.It is also unclear of the impact on the previously flagged strategic partner consortium between Uljanik, Croatia’s DIV and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and their plans for future ships and a new Discovery Yacht division.Late last month, Scenic Eclipse (identified by Uljanik as project “530”) was relocated to the Viktor Lenac yard, also in Croatia, where it entered dry dock. Eclipse was expected to remain at Lenac for “approximately 10 days” before returning to Pula in preparation for final fit-outs and sea trials.Minutes from the court hearing filed on Monday by Uljanik Group state that there are “tenders for the continuation of the construction of 530”, but make no further mention of the delivery of the Australian-owned 200-passenger six-star vessel.In February, Scenic expanded its own team of Cruise Ship specialists within the Pula shipyard, employing professionals from Finland, Italy, the UK and Norway to ensure the Scenic Eclipse build was kept on track.“The expanded Scenic team took over the lead role in completing the ship with in excess of 115 directly employed specialists in cooperation with the shipyard’s remaining management team and more than 500 subcontractors,” Scenic said in February.Comment from Scenic on the situation and its impact on the delivery schedule and 15 August maiden cruise of Scenic Eclipse had been sought by LATTE.In the meantime, however, Scenic has released an updated video (below) following the completion of Scenic Eclipse’s drydock at the Lenac shipyard, which reiterates its scheduled 15 August 2019 inaugural sailing.“Defining a new era of luxury and discovery, these final images show the sleek lines and profile of this incredible innovative luxury discovery yacht,” the video’s caption reads.last_img read more

Do You Have A Video Content Strategy

first_imgWhen it comes to sharing your company with the world, the typical website content components include: company presentations, product/service descriptions, feature lists, data sheets, case studies, testimonials, etc. As we adapt to the digital revolution that is now rapidly spreading across the web, innovative content vehicles are popping up everywhere. The vehicle that intrigues me the most these days is video.Video content allows businesses to engage with their customers on a whole new level. Real time moments, unedited and uncensored, allow people to share endless amounts of content that people can relate to. Short clips can be recorded and uploaded to countless social sites, such as YouTube, Facebook, and VideoSift.See more popular video sites! Research shows that “the amount of time U.S. Internet users spend watching video is up an impressive 40% year over year.” Interestingly enough, “the number of videos viewed increased 34%, to 12.7 billion videos, up from 9.5 billion last November.” The numbers don’t lie – if you haven’t thought about adding video to your content marketing strategy, you should definitely do so.Creating video content is simple, possible for even the most technology inept individuals. Pocket sized video cameras such as the Flip Video Mino and Kodak’s Zi8 retail for under $200 and allow all users to capture “life as it happens.” Incorporating video into your company’s website can be easy. Think about using video for:  TestimonialsProduct/service descriptionsCompany office toursNew hire introductionsEvent informationFAQ’sImplementing video on your company’s website is both a simple and affordable way to kick start a digital marketing initiative. It’s time to embrace new media and personalize your video strategy.Check out the video content that Boston Venture Capital firm OpenView Venture Partners has recently added to its website! Additionally, here are some examples from our expansion stage portfolio companies: Intronis, Central Desktop, and AtTask!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more