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Low-pathogenic avian flu viruses can infect humans

first_imgSep 13, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – European researchers have reported what they call the first evidence that low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses—not just highly pathogenic (HPAI) strains like H5N1—can infect humans.The finding in a study of Italian poultry workers suggests that avian flu viruses have more chances than previously suspected to mix with human flu viruses, potentially creating hybrids that could trigger a human flu pandemic, according to the report published online by the Journal of Infectious Diseases.The researchers, led by Isabella Donatelli of the Instituto Superiore di Sanita in Rome, took serum samples from 983 workers at several farms in northern Italy from August 1999 until July 2003. Several avian flu outbreaks occurred there during that period, including both LPAI and HPAI strains of H7N1 and an LPAI H7N3 strain. (LPAI viruses cause mild illness and few deaths in poultry, while HPAI viruses cause severe illness with high death rates.)The serum samples were tested for antibodies to the avian viruses. To ensure accuracy, the researchers tested each sample with hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and microneutralization (MN) assays. If either of these came back positive, a Western blot analysis was done.None of the 798 serum samples collected during or after the first four outbreaks tested positive for antibodies to H7N1 or H7N3 viruses. However, 7 of 185 samples (3.8%) taken during an H7N3 outbreak in 2002 and 2003 tested positive for both viruses in the MN assay, and 4 of those 7 tested positive for both viruses in the HI assay. Both tests showed higher titers of antibodies to the H7N3 (LPAI) strain. In the Western blot testing, all seven samples showed clear reactivity, unlike control samples (which had tested negative in the HI and MN assays).All the workers who tested positive had had close contact with turkeys or chickens in dusty poultry houses, the authors report. None of the workers reported any flu-like illness at the time of the avian flu outbreaks, and only one reported symptoms of conjunctivitis, an ailment seen in some Dutch poultry workers during an HPAI outbreak in 2003.”To our knowledge, this is the first serological evidence of transmission of LPAI viruses to humans during an epizootic in domestic poultry,” the report says. It adds that reports of human infections associated with other avian flu outbreaks—in the Netherlands, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Canada—have all involved HPAI strains.The researchers call for “permanent” surveillance for avian flu viruses in both animals and humans to shed more light on how the viruses jump the species barrier.”Our findings highlight the risk of the emergence of a potentially pandemic strain, as a result of reassortment of avian and contemporaneously circulating human strains during outbreaks of AI [avian influenza] caused by LPAI viruses,” they write.The authors also say, according to a Journal of Infectious Diseases news release, that poultry workers should be regularly vaccinated against ordinary flu to reduce the risk of gene-swapping between avian and human flu strains.Puzelli S, Di Trani L, Faviani C, et al. Serolgoical analysis of serum samples from humans exposed to avian H7 influenza viruses in Italy between 1999 and 2003. J Infect Dis 2005 Oct 15;192(8):1318-22 [Full text]See also:Commentary on Puzelli article in same issue of JID [Full text]last_img read more

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Building on success, Berry to raise bar for Super Nationals

first_imgAfter finding considerable success in his adopted state, Tom Berry Jr. swept the Dirt Wars week­end at Estevan Motor Speedway before impressing in starts in Minnesota and Iowa. (Photo by Byron Fichter) The Oregon native began racing in the Midwest in 2016. He now lives in North Dakota, girlfriend Mayce Brodehl’s home state, and works for a construction company.  “We’re going to go to Boone with the goal of making the show. Once you qualify, you can race hard and try to win the thing,” said Berry, from Newburg, N.D., and most recently winner of Han­cock County Speedway’s Night of 10,000 Stars IMCA Modified man event. “We’re already in the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational and are eligible to qualify for the Harris Auto Racing Race of Champi­ons. I think we’re going to have a pretty good week.” “We’ve learned so much about the car. I can feel the tiniest of adjustments,” he continued. “We had to change a good amount of stuff when I went down to Iowa but I was able to do that be­cause of what we’d learned.” One of Berry’s biggest wins came on opening night of the Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour. Con­sistency throughout made him the tour champion. “I struggled the first three or four nights of the season but kept digging hard. It’s helped to run against really good guys,” said Berry, now well established as one of those top-tier competitors. “We’ve had a lot of success but I feel like part of that is because our luck factor has changed.” “We’ve got a brand new car (a 2019 Razor), Mayce’s dad helps me a bunch and we have in­vested a lot of money in this. Our program is not slacking. We put in the time in the shop and it has paid off,” Berry said. “Tracks are smooth and slick out here so you can really fine tune your car.”  “It was my fourth year running the tour. Not too many people win it,” Berry said. “That was a pretty big accomplishment.”center_img “I’ve probably drawn front row starts four or five times this season. I did it maybe three times from the time I was 15 until this year,” he explained. “I’ve finally been redrawing three and four. When you start up there you have more clean air once you get out of the gate.”  The winner of back-to-back Dirt Wars features at Estevan Motor Speedway, he finished second three straight nights – at the Harris Clash at Deer Creek on Aug. 6, in the Arnold Motor Supply Dirt Knights Tour at Fairmont on Aug. 7 and at Night of 1,000 Stars on Aug. 8 – before collecting the Night of 10,000 Stars checkers and $7,000. Berry thought hard before deciding on a pre-Super Nationals highlight to his 2019 season, finally setting on the week he spent in early August in Minnesota and Iowa. NEWBURG, N.D. – He’s already had a season full of career highlights, but Tom Berry Jr. will be looking to raise the bar again at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s. Running with many of the top shoes from North Dakota as well as the region and nation, he won 10 of his first 25 IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing starts this season, with another dozen top five finishes for good measure. “That whole week was pretty good,” he said. “We drew last row starts for our heat every night ex­cept one and never ran outside the top three in any main event.”last_img read more

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Authors urge participatory society
first_imgPASADENA – Authors David C. Korten and Frances Moore Lapp , advocates for a new kind of society led by the masses, shared their world-altering visions with more than 250 people in a five-day seminar that ends today at All Saints Church. The two were brought by a group called Sustainable World Ministry, an economic justice program at the church started by three veteran activists – Marty Coleman, Dorothy Christ and Mae Gautier, all women in their 70s. “Don’t be fooled by the white hair – it’s really a solar panel for activism,” Coleman joked Saturday. The three were so inspired by Korten’s 1995 book, “When Corporations Rule the World,” they formed the ministry and put together a three-day conference in 2002 with Korten as the featured speaker. More than 375 people attended. Lapp said she advocates “emergent living democracy,” in which all people take part in the democratic process. One example of this in her new book is about a public high school in a poor county in Ohio. She said previously, 20percent of those graduating the high school went on to college. However, a new principal allowed students to have a say in everything that happened in their school, even what teachers were hired. Now, Lapp said, 70 percent of the school’s graduates go on the college, and Reader’s Digest named the school among the top 100 schools in the country. “It’s mutual accountability, saying, `I’m a part of the solution, too,’ not just pointing a finger at a CEO or the president,” she added. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4496160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsFor this most recent conference, Korten insisted on bringing Lapp , a woman Coleman says “set the world on fire writing about the causes of hunger.” Lapp , known by her friends as Frankie, achieved fame as an author early in life with her revolutionary “Diet for a Small Planet” in 1971 when she was in her mid-20s. Korten said the message of his new book, “The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community,” which he launched at the seminar, is that the United States can no longer rule by military force or dominating relationships as it has in the past. He said this is most apparent in Iraq, where access to small arms and open communication has handicapped the ability of the United States to occupy the country. With the growing affordability of telephone communication and Internet access around the world, Korten said, now is the time to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, rather than letting the wealthy rule. Lapp , who recently published “Democracy’s Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life,” said her book explains the “thin democracy” – where people elect others do “do for us or to us” – under which the United States currently operates has “utterly failed.” “My book argues that the Bush administration is a symptom, not the problem,” she said. “It’s our diminished sense of self.” last_img
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