September 10, 2007

Three Deadly Bird Viruses Now in Australia, Scientists Say
The Canberra Times -
08 Sep 2007
R Beeby
Area: Australia

Scientists claim at least three deadly contagious bird diseases have by-passed Australia's quarantine controls and will spread to native parrots and cockatoos. Pacific region wildlife trade watchdog, Traffic Oceania, has also urged the Federal Government to introduce a compulsory DNA register of all exotic pet birds in Australia to control bird smuggling and the disease risks it poses to native species. One of the newly arrived contagious bird diseases Pacheco's virus, which kills birds within 48 hours is thought to have caused the deaths last year of 46 orange-bellied parrot chicks at acaptive breeding aviary in Hobart. The other two recent arrivals are proventricular dilatation disease known as macaw wasting disease and an avian papilloma virus.

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Curry County
Curry Coastal Pilot -
08 Sep 2007
V Corley
Area: Oregon USA

Curry County has recorded its first confirmed case of West Nile virus – a dead crow found near the port in Port Orford, but a Curry County health official said she expects mosquitoes carrying the virus are everywhere in the area. The Centers for Disease Control reports there had been 11 human cases in Oregon as of Tuesday. West Nile virus causes high fever, severe headaches and flu-like symptoms. The incubation period is three to 10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The virus can be life threatening.

"West Nile virus is particularly dangerous to the elderly or those people with a weakened immune system," said Curry County Public Health Administrator Georganne Greene. "It is imperative that we are all particularly vigilant about using insect repellent before going outside and seeking treatment early." She said signs of West Nile have been found in a dozen Oregon counties with only four people infected with it in Oregon this year. She said the state has reported one death in Oregon from West Nile.

Biologists Test N.D. Ducks for Bird Flu
The Associated Press (Posted by
09 Sep 2007
Area: North Dakota USA

Federal biologists have tested ducks at a northern North Dakota wildlife refuge as part of a bird flu surveillance effort. “The reason they came here is that we can catch a lot of ducks, and they can get a lot of samples,” said Gary Erickson, assistant manager of the J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge. Erickson and his staff captured several hundred migratory ducks on Friday with the use of cannon nets. The ducks were outfitted with leg bands and then tested.

Bob Dusek, a biologist with the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., said testing was done for different types of avian flu, including H5N1. The H5N1 virus has killed at least 199 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and led to the slaughter of more than 200 million birds since 2003. It is hard for humans to catch, but experts fear it could mutate into a form that spreads easily among people, potentially sparking a global pandemic. To date, most human cases have been traced to contact with infected birds.

Rio Grande do Sul State Government Issues Alert for Yellow Fever - Archive Number 20070910.2979
ProMED-mail -
07 Sep 2007
Area: Brazil

Death of howler monkeys indicates that YF virus is circulating in the region. Target to vaccinate people not vaccinated in the last 10 years. The Health Secretary of Rio Grande do Sul state has issued a YF alert to townships in the NE Region of the state. The objective is to prevent an outbreak by vaccinating everyone in the area who has not been vaccinated in the last 10 years -- mainly children and people who have recently moved there. Acording to the newspaper "Zero Hora", howler monkeys have been found dead during the last 2 weeks in rural parts of the townships of Itacurubi & Santo Antonio das Missoes.

Marburg Virus Could Come from Fruit Bats
05 Sep 2007
GM Chabi and C Scott
Area: Africa

A type of fruit bat may harbour a virus that causes haemorrhagic fever in humans, according to research by a team of French, Gabonese and US scientists. The research, published in PLoS ONE last month (22 August), is based on fieldwork in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo between 2005 and 2006. Researchers set traps to capture the animal hosts of Ebola and Marburg, closely-related viruses that trigger uncontrollable bleeding. Marburg virus infection is rare but highly contagious. There is no available treatment and the virus kills 85 per cent of those infected.

Despite being identified four decades ago, its animal host has never been confirmed. The researchers caught over 1100 bats, representing ten different species. Lead researcher Eric Leroy, of Gabon's Franceville International Medical Research Center, said that based on analysis of antibodies against the virus and the detection of virus genetic material, the Egyptian fruit bat is the only natural reservoir of the virus. A press release from one of the research partners, France's Institute of Research for Development, noted that children who had collected fruit from trees housing bats were the first victims of a 2004 outbreak in Angola.


Related Link


Virus Detected in Illinois' White-tailed Deer Population [Press Release]

Prions and Retroviruses -- An Unholy Alliance?

Chinese Law Aims to Quell Fear of Failure: Science Ministry Hopes to Encourage Risk-Takers

Doing Battle With the Green Monster of Taihu Lake


Mycoplasma gallisepticum Infection in House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) Affects Mosquito Blood Feeding Patterns [online abstract only]
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Sept 2007; 77 488-494
JM Darbro et al.

Echinococcus multilocularis Infection of Several Old World Monkey Species
in a Breeding Enclosure [online abstract only]

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Sept 2007; 77 504-506
D Tappe et al.

Bartonella Strains in Small Mammals from Dhaka, Bangladesh, Related to Bartonella in America and Europe [online abstract only]
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Sept 2007; 77 567-570
Y Bai et al.

No comments: