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Thu, 27 Jan 2022
The World for People who Think



Dublin, Ireland: Swans stricken with mystery illness

© Unknown
Sixteen swans have died in the last 10 days and up to 10 more are seriously ill after they contracted a mysterious infection on the Grand Canal in Dublin.

Tests are being carried out on the corpses of the birds by the Department of Agriculture at the State laboratory.

As of yesterday avian flu had been ruled out, but the cause of the bird deaths remained unknown last night.

A spokeswoman for the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is caring for the sick swans, said they appeared to have contracted a bacterial infection which was possibly botulism.

Bizarro Earth

S. Korea Confirms Additional Bird Flu Outbreak

South Korea confirmed an additional bird flu case at a duck farm in the central part of the country on Saturday.

Tests showed that the 12,400 birds at a poultry farm in Cheonan, 92 kilometers south of Seoul, were infected with the virulent H5N1 strain of the avian influenza (AI), the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS) said.

This is the second case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza reported in the country this month as the number of AI cases has started to fall off in recent weeks. It is also the first AI confirmation in Cheonan in 33 days.

All ducks on the farm will be culled with quarantine authorities asking nearby farms to be vigilant on protecting their birds.

Bizarro Earth

West Bank: 2,000 Turkeys Diagnosed with Bird Flu Near Jenin

Bird Flu
© Ma'an News Agency
A flock of 2,000 turkeys has been diagnosed with the H5N1 "bird flu" virus in the northern West Bank village of Silat Al-Harithiya near Jenin, government officials said.

The veterinary department of the Palestinian Authority Agriculture Ministry said it had managed to prevent an epidemic.

Director of the department in Jenin Jamil Makhamra told Ma'an that government and private vets examined the flock on Feb. 27 after many of the birds died.

Samples were examined at the veterinary medicine center in Ramallah, where it was confirmed that the birds had influenza A subtype of H5N1, also known as "bird flu."

Bizarro Earth

Bangladesh: 2,000 Chickens Culled in Gazipur, Noakhali

Dhaka, - Around 2,000 chickens have been culled in Gazipur and Noakhali following the detection of H5N1 virus, commonly known as bird flu.

Gazipur Sadar Upazila livestock officer Mohammad Shamsur Rahman on Saturday told bdnews24.com that the bird flu infection was confirmed by the Central Diseases Investigation Laboratory in Dhaka.

Some 1, 137 chickens were executed around 10pm on Friday, when 205 eggs were also destroyed.

Apart from this, in the last two days, over 13,000 chickens were executed in the district.

The official said the district livestock department on Friday sent a sample tissue of a dead chicken to the laboratory for tests after some of the chickens of Bushra Poultry Farm in Taratpara area died on Thursday.

A direction was immediately passed to the Upazila livestock department to cull the infected chickens in a bid to stop the infection spread in the surrounding areas.


US: Virus Threatens Birds in the Borderland

El Paso - The U.S. food supply could be at risk because of a virus spreading in Juarez.

Hundreds of birds have dropped dead across the city and now people are hoping the outbreak does not spread to U.S. poultry.

"The problem is it spreads very easily. It spreads through the air, it spreads through the contact with any discharges from the bird or tissues. It can be on your shoes and you can track it to another area where there's birds."

Doctor Nancy Harvey is a bird expert who owns her own clinic. She says the virus causes nasal and eye discharge, diarrhoea, paralysis, tremors and even sudden death in birds.

"It's not a virus of dogs and cats so Coco you don't have to worry about this one."

Can the bird virus spread to people?

"It's not contagious to people but it could really wipe out the poultry industry."

Bizarro Earth

New Zealand: Oyster Virus Shuts Hatchery

© David Monniaux / Wikipedia
A herpes virus that has devastated North Island oyster farms and so far cost about $12 million in potential sales has shut the pioneering Nelson hatchery that supplies 20 per cent of New Zealand's stock.

No explanation has yet been found for how the virus, which has killed about half of Northland's farmed pacific oysters due for harvest next year, got into the Cawthron Institute's hatchery at The Glen.

But there was nothing to suggest that the hatchery itself, opened with great fanfare in mid-2009, was the source of the outbreak, Cawthron business development manager Mike Mandeno said yesterday.

"It's a temporary setback for us in terms of producing more stock. We'll be trying again at the end of the month."

Juvenile-farmed Northland oysters began dying towards the end of last year and the cause was identified by MAF scientists as a form of herpes which poses no risk to humans but which has been blamed for killing large numbers of oysters in France over the past three years. It is also found in many other countries, including Australia.

Bizarro Earth

US: Mysterious Outbreak Killing Pines in Montana

Pine Trees
© Patrick Verdier / Wikipedia
Salmon, Idaho - Bob Appleby will learn this spring if the evergreen tree in his yard in Montana has survived a mysterious outbreak threatening to kill thousands of Austrian pines across the state.

"It was a real pretty tree; we just want it to stay alive," the Bozeman, Montana man said about a towering Austrian pine cropped to 15 feet to stem the onslaught of what scientists say is an ailment of unknown origins happening in epidemic proportions.

Although native to Europe, the tree has gained extensive ground in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, where the pine's dense needles, uniform shape and tolerance of tough conditions have made it a popular planting in downtowns, parks and private properties.

In a trend experts say has emerged in recent months, the tree's top branches brown and die at the start of what appears to be a march down the trunk despite preventative pruning.

"As we go through winter, these trees are continuing to die; it's one big laboratory out there," said Linnea Skoglund, plant disease expert with Montana State University.

Skoglund said the school's Schutter Diagnostic Lab has been flooded with calls from city foresters, tree surgeons and landscapers, all alarmed by the sudden decline of Austrian pines.


Sri Lanka: Mysterious disease poisons fish in Batticaloa lagoon

Following the floods, fishermen have to face this new problem, which will seriously affect the population's main source of livelihood. Silence of authorities.

Colombo - The fish in the Batticaloa lagoon, in the eastern province of Sri Lanka, are being decimated by an unknown disease, probably caused by floods that have lashed the region for weeks. Sidambarapullai Piyadasa, president of the Tamil community of fishermen, speaking by phone to AsiaNews laments: "Fishermen on the lagoon have had to cope with this problem for over three months now, but despite our cries for help, the authorities have remained totally silent".

Fish suffering from this disease "are red or orange in colour, some bearing strange wounds," said Sidambarapullai. As explained by the leader of the community, because of the disease almost 85% of the daily catch is lost. This causes severe damage to the 11,750 fishermen (about 3,500 families) of Batticaloa, whose livelihood depends almost entirely on fishing.


Sudden death tree fungus killing off UK forests

© Unknown
A virulent infection first seen in the US is spreading like wildfire through Britain's woods and forests, causing million of trees to be cut down.

Phytophthora ramorum first surfaced in America and is known there as Sudden Oak death, responsible for a massive number of tree deaths amongst species of American oak. In 2002, a fungus was discovered on a viburnum plant is a Sussex garden and identified as Phytophthora ramorum. Since then, the plague has spread at an incredibly fast rate and is jumping species, with the English oak, around 100 other tree species and even rhododendrons falling prey to the pathogen.

Phytophthora ramorum affects tree bark, causing lesions which bleed black fluid, followed by blackening foliage and the death of the tree. According to the National Trust, this tree plague is far worse than Dutch Elm disease as the spores are now reproducing at an incredibly fast rate in one of England's commonest trees, the Japanese larch.


UK: Mysterious Illness Affects Dogs

© Unknown
A seasonal canine illness seems to be affecting dogs in certain parts of England.

The disease which was first noted in the autumn of 2009, has affected 19 dogs in Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire in the past two years, and 12 died. More fell ill in 2010, which prompted the Animal Health Trust to carry out its research into this illness, the most common symptoms being sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy.