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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Rep Frederick supports choice for high school students

first_img Categories: Frederick News,News State Rep. Ben Frederick, of Owosso, today voted on the House floor in support of merit curriculum legislation that will give high school students more education choices and help better connect with 21st century jobs.The legislation was approved Tuesday by the House Workforce and Talent Committee, which Frederick chairs.  Testifiers in support included Dr. Kari Selleck, curriculum director at Owosso Public Schools.“The message from parents and many educators has been clear; we need to give students the opportunity to explore the fields that align with their educational interests,” said Frederick, who co-sponsored all four bills. “We’ve got employers looking right now for young professionals proficient in skilled trades, computer coding and other in-demand specializations, but not enough people are available to fill the positions despite many high schools and ISDs having training programs.  Some of this problem can be addressed thorough increased flexibility in class choices and schedule options at the local level to allow students to pursue several different pathways.”The four bills in the package will:Allow students to fulfill a 21st Century Skills requirement by completing a combination of career/technical education (CTE) or visual/performing arts courses.Allow for one of two required foreign language credits to be achieved through a CTE course, computer coding or certain visual/performing arts courses. This is current law, but legislation would remove the 2021 expiration date.Allow the completion of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration general industry or construction training program within a CTE program to fulfill a health education requirement.Allow a Statistics course to be an alternative to Algebra II within current Michigan merit standards that require at least four mathematic credits to graduate.House Bills 4315-4318 advance to the Senate for its consideration.##### 30Mar Rep. Frederick supports choice for high school studentslast_img read more

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