November 19, 2020

Feds change plan for reporting avian flu in wild birds

first_imgNov 3, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Because federal officials expect to keep finding low-pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses in wild birds, they recently announced a new procedure for reporting the findings: posting them online but not issuing news releases.Since August the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of the Interior (DOI) have announced 12 avian flu detections as part an expanded wild bird monitoring program, and all have been low-pathogenic forms, which pose no human health risk.Low-pathogenic avian flu viruses often occur naturally in wild birds and cause only minor sickness or no noticeable disease. However, low-pathogenic strains sometimes mutate into deadly strains.In an Oct 26 news release, the USDA and DOI said they expected to find additional cases of the low-pathogenic “North American” strain of H5N1 in wild birds in coming months. The agencies said they would list all routine detections on the National Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Early Detection System (HEDDS) (see link below). The USDA will also include a link to the list on its Web site.In unusual cases, such as a large number of sick or dead birds or a finding that suggests a highly pathogenic virus, the agencies will issue a news release or hold a technical briefing to alert the media and public, officials said.Since the USDA and DOI switched to online reporting of low pathogenic cases, there have been four new reports of such findings in wild birds. They include mallard ducks killed by hunters in St Claire County, Mich., Grundy County, Ill., and Niagara County, N.Y., and a green-winged teal killed by a hunter in Tuscola County, Mich. Confirmatory testing is underway in all four instances.As they announced the new reporting protocol, the federal agencies said avian flu had been ruled out in a previously announced suspected case in Ohio. In mid October the agencies reported finding H5 and N1 avian flu proteins in apparently healthy ducks in Ottawa County. However, the Oct 26 announcement said confirmatory testing revealed no H5 or N1 subtypes, and no virus could be grown.The USDA said it’s not unusual for a specific subtype to be identified in initial screening tests but not be isolated in confirmatory testing.last_img read more

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Former TT Attorney General Ramlogan Arrested

first_imgAnand Ramlogan arrested early Tuesday Police have arrested former attorney general Anand Ramlogan for questioning as they continue their probe into allegations that had sought to pervert the course of justice by asking the director of the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) to withdraw a statement he had made in support of the then Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley in a lawsuit more than two years ago.Police officers descended on Ramlogan’s home in south Trinidad early on Tuesday morning and executed a search warrant.He was later taken to the police headquarters in the capital for questioning.A few weeks ago, his attorney, Senior Counsel Pamela Elder had written to the Deputy Commissioner of Police Harold Phillip informing him that Ramlogan was available at any time for questioning.Last month, Ramlogan told the Trinidad Express newspaper that he has “never been contacted by the police for an interview in connection with this matter.“The police are aware (from previous written correspondence) who my attorneys are. In accordance with the usual practice and procedure, they would make contact with them in the event they need to speak to me. I can confirm that no one has contacted them as well. This story is, therefore, a fabrication. It is fake news. There is simply no truth to it,” he told the newspaper.In 2015, then prime minister Kamla Persad Bissessar fired Ramlogan and her national security minister Gary Griffith over the allegations.The lawsuit followed statements allegedly made by Rowley during a news conference relating to the failed extradition involving businessmen Steve Ferguson and Ishwar Galbaransingh, who are reported to be financiers of the United National Congress, and are wanted to the United States on corruption charges.Ramlogan has denied that he asked David West to withdraw his witness statement in support of Rowley six days before the PCA director took up his new post.Persad Bissessar said that Griffith had failed to inform her that he had been allegedly asked by Ramlogan to telephone West asking him to withdraw the statement.She said those office holders, including the PCA director, preside over the administration of justice “and so they cannot remain in those positions whilst these investigations into allegations are being made”.last_img read more

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