Hall called for the immediate testing and electronic tagging of birds to identify infected ones and trace where they go, the story said. No birds have been killed to control the outbreak, because some of the birds are protected species. WHO statement on human case in Vietnamhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_06_28/en/index.html WHO and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) officials reported the increased death toll among birds at a refuge in Qinghai province, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today. See also: AFP quoted Julie Hall, the WHO’s communicable-disease expert in China, as saying, “This is the first time we’ve seen large numbers of migratory birds dying from bird flu. So the virus has obviously changed to be more pathogenic to animals. What it means for humans we don’t know.” Wild waterfowl are recognized as the natural reservoir for all influenza A viruses and commonly carry them without getting sick, according to the WHO. A WHO official said 20 birds a day are still dying at the refuge, but the outbreak appears to be waning, according to an Associated Press report today. WHO and FAO officials voiced concern that China had tested only 12 birds, all of them dead, AFP reported. The officials worried that infected but asymptomatic birds could spread the virus to distant places when they migrate in August and September. WHO officials expressed concern that only two people have been tested for avian flu in connection with the outbreak, AFP reported. They also urged China to supply virus sequencing information as soon as possible so that experts can assess whether the virus has become more pathogenic. Also today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Vietnam had confirmed another human case of H5N1 infection. That brings the WHO’s tally of human cases in Vietnam since December to 60, with the number of deaths remaining at 18. The case occurred in May in the northern province of Ha Tay. Hall said no human cases have been reported, but the presence of the virus in new bird species could mean an increased risk for humans. Initial reports of the outbreak, in May, said 178 birds had died of H5N1 flu. China later increased the number to 519 in an official report, and a Chinese official subsequently raised the number to more than 1,000. The dead birds were said to include five species. Jun 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) About 5,000 migratory birds have died of avian influenza at a wildlife sanctuary in northwestern China, close to five times as many as reported previously, United Nations officials who visited the site said today.
Residents in Morocco’s northern city of Tangier are protesting over high prices for water and electricity.This is after authorities and the company running the services proposed measures to calm unrest against what protesters see as high prices and administrative mismanagement.Water, waste water and electricity businesses in the cities of Tangier and neighboring Tetouan have since 2002 been operated by Amendis.That’s an affiliate of France’s Veolia Environment.Redal, another Veolia subsidiary is operating in the capital Rabat.The protesters believe services would improve if a public company takes over.Many cafes and stores in the city switched off their lights and lit candles in support of the protest.
RIPPEY — A farmer from west-central Iowa’s Greene County is taking the helm of the Iowa Soybean Association this fall but it comes with trepidation.Incoming president Tim Bardole of Rippey says these are very challenging times for soybean farmers. “It’s going to be a tough year,” Bardole says. “The association is funded from the Soybean Checkoff, a lot of it, and with the low prices, a tough planting season, there’s a lot of unknowns and a lot of budget issues.”Many commodities have seen poor prices for several straight years and they’re slow to recover, while Bardole says recent tariffs and trade troubles have made matters worse. “We need worldwide free trade,” Bardole says. “The U.S. farmer, even in tough times, we’re very good at producing soybeans and all of the other agricultural products. The U.S. definitely feeds the world.”Bardole took a trip to China earlier this year and saw up-close how that country’s enormous numbers depend heavily on American growers. “I’ve been to Malaysia and the Philippines,” Bardole says. “The world very much depends on U.S. agriculture for the good of their population.”While foreign travel helps Bardole learn to appreciate what challenges other nations face, he also sees how much they appreciate us. “We have a lot of responsibility to do what we do and to do it very well,” Bardole says. “When you go to these other countries and once they find that you’re a farmer from Iowa, the respect that you get is somewhat overwhelming.”Bardole will take office in September. He comes from a farming family and his father was the president of the I-S-A in the late 1980s. The Ankeny-based Iowa Soybean Association has 11,000 members.