Ivory Coast election: Pascal Affi Nguessan arrested for sedition

first_imgIvory Coast election: Alassane Ouattara wins amid boycott- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee says Monday’s rally is just a ‘baby step,’ market could go 10% higher

first_img(This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only).Fundstrat’s Tom Lee said Monday’s sharp rally on Wall Street was just the opening chapter of what could be an even larger run before year end.Stocks soared on Monday after Pfizer announced that preliminary data showed its vaccine candidate was more 90% effective in preventing Covid-19, fueling a rapid rise in some of the most beaten-down stocks. Lee said on CNBC’s “Halftime Report” that investors were shifting into bets on strong economic growth. Tom Lee, Fundstrat Global AdvisorsScott Mlyn | CNBC – Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Cheryl Burke Weighs In on Gleb, Chrishell Romance Rumors

first_img“It is unfortunate that this has caused rumors to swirl about my personal life. Having gone through a public split myself, I would not wish this one anyone,” Stause, who is in the midst of a divorce from This Is Us star Justin Hartley, wrote on her Instagram Story. “As you can imagine, the countless hours of training, and dance rehearsals has created a strong supportive friendship, but nothing more.”Samodanova, 36, announced her split from Savchenko via Instagram on Thursday, November 5, after 14 years of marriage. The DWTS pro confirmed the separation to Us Weekly in a statement.“It is with a heavy heart that I tell you my wife and I are parting ways after 14 years of marriage,” the choreographer told Us. “We still intend to coparent our wonderful children together who we love so dearly, and we will strive to continue to be the best parents that we can to them.”The mother of two released a similar statement about the breakup but went on to accuse her estranged husband of a “recent inappropriate relationship” and “ongoing infidelity.”Savchenko denied the accusations, telling Us, “I will not stand by and allow false accusations and internet rumors go unaddressed. My relationship with Chrishell was and remains strictly platonic. Our friendship during our season on DWTS was not the reason for our split. Elena and I have had longstanding issues in our marriage.”The pair share daughters Olivia, 10, and Zlata, 3.Listen to Watch With Us to hear more about your favorite shows and for the latest TV news! Dirty dancing? Cheryl Burke spoke out about romance rumors surrounding Gleb Savchenko and his partner Dancing With the Stars partner, Chrishell Stause, after his split from wife Elena Samodanova.“Just because they dry hump on TV, guys, doesn’t mean it’s real,” Burke, 36, said on the Tuesday, November 10, episode of her iHeartRadio “Pretty Messed Up” podcast.- Advertisement – “I’m not saying anything has happened with them. It’s just a big deal because Gleb and his wife are separating,” Burke continued. “I’ve known them for a while. They’re both in the competitive dance world scene. I’ve known his wife as well and their beautiful kids, and I send my love to Gleb and his family. This can’t be easy for anybody right now, especially when you have kids involved.”The Selling Sunset star addressed the rumors on Friday, November 6, revealing that she was “saddened about the news” of the couple’s split but had nothing to do with their breakup.- Advertisement – The Dancing With the Stars pro explained that relationship speculation comes with the reality TV territory. She also noted that the chatter about Savchenko, 37, and his season 29 partner, Stause, 39, has blown up because of the Russian dancer’s breakup announcement earlier this month.Cheryl Burke Weighs In on Gleb Savchenko and Chrishell Stause Romance RumorsCheryl Burke, Chrishell Stause, and Gleb Savchenko Kelsey McNeal/ABC; Eric McCandless/ABC“This is the whole thing. When you’re in this world of Hollywood, you do reality shows and this stuff does happen,” Burke said. “People dry hump and people go, ‘Oh! They’re having sex.’ But when you see a sex scene in a movie, do you think they’re actually really having sex?”The former Dancing With the Stars: Juniors mentor noted that “s—t happens” before adding that she doesn’t think anything is going on between the dance partners — who were eliminated during the November 2 show.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Singapore signs air travel bubble deal with Hong Kong | News

first_imgHKTB and STB have already put in place city-wide certification programmes to ensure traveller safety and restore travel confidence.  STB chief executive, Keith Tan, said: “The air travel bubble is a significant milestone that demonstrates the deep connections and close friendship between Singapore and Hong Kong. Singapore is well-equipped to handle the Covid-19 crisis, and with our strong track record, we are confident that Hong Kong travellers can explore Singapore with a peace of mind. “Singapore’s tourism industry has reinvented our offerings, with new products and experiences that will surprise visitors even if they have been to Singapore before.“Together with our tourism partners, Singapore stands ready to welcome Hong Kong travellers to Singapore.”  As part of the partnership, the tourism boards of the two cities will undertake joint promotional activities. Both tourism boards have also prepared special gifts to welcome the first batch of visitors on the bubble, such as a limited-edition reusable face mask that showcases unique aspects of both cities. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will launch an air travel bubble on November 22nd. The Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble agreement is described as a milestone for the global tourism industry, and paves the way for cross-border air travel in a safe and quarantine-free way.  – Advertisement – “It is a hugely important moment that shows the world that safe international travel is possible, and paves the way for us to bring tourist flights to and from other markets. “Thanks to the united efforts of people in different sectors in stepping up their hygiene measures, we are confident Hong Kong is clean and ready to welcome visitors back. “What is more, we have laid on a selection of amazing offers for our visitors, including hotels and attractions, a diverse selection of travel experiences, and incredible value-for-money deals.”  – Advertisement – The bilateral partnership demonstrates the close ties between the destinations, as well as a mutual commitment to providing visitors with a safe travel experience. Australia signed a similar deal with New Zealand last month. HKTB executive director, Dane Cheng, said: “I am excited to see the resumption of travel between Hong Kong and Singapore. – Advertisement – OlderUnited Arab Emirates added to quarantine-free list for UK travellers NewerEurowings launches two new Middle East connections – Advertisement –last_img read more

Taylor vs Gutierrez: Watch a live stream of Katie Taylor’s undercard | Boxing News

first_img– Advertisement – Thomas Whittaker-Hart faces Jermaine Springer on a live stream; watch Katie Taylor, Terri Harper and Rachel Ball tonight, live on Sky Sports, to be streamed free on YouTube, Facebook and skysports.com Last Updated: 14/11/20 5:58pm Thomas Whittaker-Hart targets his fifth professional victory on Katie Taylor’s undercard – and you can watch the light-heavyweight fight on a live stream. – Advertisement – The unbeaten 25-year-old faces Jermaine Springer as we build towards Taylor’s undisputed world lightweight title fight against Miriam Gutierrez tonight, with Terri Harper and Rachel Ball on the same bill at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Sky Sports.You can watch Whittaker-Hart against Springer on a live stream from 6pm on the Sky Sports website and app, Sky Sports Boxing Twitter, Sky Sports Boxing YouTube and Sky Sports Boxing Facebook.- Advertisement – Katie Taylor defends her world titles against Miriam Gutierrez Katie Taylor defends her world titles against Miriam Gutierrez

Grand Slam of Darts: Jonny Clayton explains his decision to keep working full-time as he targets Grand Slam glory | Darts News

first_img“It is genuinely how I feel. I’ve got a young family and I want everything to be spot on before I make that decision. I think I need to win a major before that decision is made.”Having said that, if Clayton continues on his upward trajectory, he may have a decision to make sooner rather than later.After kicking off the year with a run to the last eight at the Masters, the 46-year-old has also progressed to the semi-finals at the UK Open and the European Championship, losing out to Price and Peter Wright respectively.He succumbed to Michael van Gerwen in his first televised final at the Players Championship Finals in 2017, yet he’s a more formidable proposition now, which augurs well in his pursuit of glory.“I’m knocking on the door a few times now, so hopefully my bit of luck will come through and it will be my time at the Grand Slam or the Worlds,” said Clayton. Jonny Clayton helped create history on Sunday, as he and Gerwyn Price clinched Wales’ maiden World Cup crown Clayton featured as a challenger in the 2020 Premier League back in March This presents the perfect opportunity for Clayton to capitalise on this momentum. He was devastated after succumbing 11-8 to Wright in last month’s European Championship semi-finals – a remarkable miscount at a crucial juncture proving expensive.Fortunately for ‘The Ferret’, his World Cup medal ensures that is a distant memory, and now the full-time plasterer is focused on raising his darting ceiling.“I let myself down there [European Championship] but I know I can play darts and lifting that trophy has got to give me confidence. It is my second trophy with the PDC.“Austria was my first and this is definitely the biggest trophy. Hopefully this is going to kick me on and the confidence is definitely there, it’s just putting it all together and carrying on.“There are massive competitions left – the Grand Slam, the World Championship and also the Players Championships. I’m looking forward to it.”Follow the action from the Grand Slam with all nine days covered on Sky Sports Arena from November 16-24. If you are out and about follow via our live blogs and @SkySportsDarts for regular updates. Having flourished in tandem last weekend, the pair will now lock horns at the Ricoh Arena after being pitted together in Group G of the cross-code event alongside Pro Tour winner Ryan Joyce and women’s world champion Mikuru Suzuki.Price is eyeing a third successive Grand Slam crown, yet for Clayton, he is targeting a major title that could aid his bid to become a full-time professional. Gerywn Price bigged up his partner Jonny Clayton in a great team effort to claim the World Cup for Wales. “When we used to play Rugby, the hooker usually listens to the scrum-halfs, but I think he’s a bit bigger than me so I won’t talk to Gezzy about the Grand Slam. I’ll keep that to myself!”Clayton offers a little chuckle as he discusses the prospect of dethroning his World Cup partner, but he’s got every reason to be buoyant following his exploits in Salzburg.The pair struggled to fulfil their potential in their previous two World Cup appearances as a partnership, but they performed magnificently in Austria to become the fourth nation to lift the coveted title.“I’m a very proud man. I think we both are to be honest. I don’t know if you’ve spoken to Gezzy [Price] but on the way back on the flight, we were both still buzzing. It was a great night,” he added.“We’re proud Welshman, so to represent your country and win the World Cup for the first time for your country, it’s a special time and I’m over the moon to be honest.” Clayton’s best major results – Advertisement – Live Grand Slam of Darts November 16, 2020, 1:00pmLive on “I still work. I’ve thought long and hard about do I give up to concentrate on darts?” Clayton told the Darts Show podcast.“I am afraid to take that step and I’m going to leave it as it is at the moment because if darts doesn’t go well, I’ve still got that income coming in. ‘The Ferret’ recently regained his place in the world’s top 16, but he remains the highest-ranked player to balance his darting commitments with a full-time job, as a plasterer for Carmarthenshire Council.Glen Durrant is a prime example of what can be achieved when taking the plunge. The three-time BDO world champion left his job as a housing manager after 30 years when he claimed a PDC Tour Card last January, and now he’s a Premier League champion.However, the pressure of competing against the world’s elite is heightened when you are solely reliant on your performances to earn a living, which Clayton concedes is the main factor behind his hesitation.- Advertisement – Masters quarter-final (2020) Players Championship Final (2017)

FDA seeks input on produce safety action plan

first_img Because space will be limited, the FDA recommends that people interested in attending the meeting register no later than Jun 22. The agency also said people may submit written or electronic comments on the draft action plan. The official notice (see link below) gives details on registration and submission of comments. Should the action plan cover any foods other than fruits and vegetables that have not been treated with heat? Jun 15, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said today it is producing a comprehensive new action plan for reducing pathogenic contamination in fresh produce and wants public input on it. Does the FDA’s existing guidance on reducing microbial hazards in fresh produce need to be expanded or otherwise revised? “The draft of the 2004 produce action plan addresses all principal points between the farm and table where contamination of produce could occur,” the FDA announcement says. The plan covers fresh fruits and vegetables in whole condition or minimally processed (such as peeled or sliced but not cooked). It does not deal with processed products such as juice or farm products other than fruits and vegetables; tree nuts are excluded. In a Federal Register notice, the FDA said it will publish a draft of the plan before a public meeting scheduled Jun 29 to gather comments. The meeting is set for 1 p.m. at the Harvey W. Wiley Federal Building of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Md. What major practices contribute to the contamination of fresh produce by harmful pathogens? How should progress toward the goal of reducing illness related to consumption of produce be measured? The new plan is a continuation of the FDA’s “Produce and Imported Food Safety Initiative,” launched in 1997, the agency said. That effort led to the publication in 1998 of the “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.” Although that document “has been well received and widely adopted,” foodborne illness outbreaks continue to occur, the agency said. The aim of the Jun 29 meeting is to gather the opinions of other government agencies and industry groups as well as the general public, officials said. The FDA published a set of nine questions to help focus comments at the meeting. Examples include: The new plan is titled “Produce Safety from Production to Consumption: An action Plan to Minimize Foodborne Illness Associated with Fresh Produce.” It reflects lessons learned from inspections of farms and produce packing facilities and investigations of foodborne disease outbreaks, the FDA said.last_img read more

Positive test prompts more scrutiny of possible BSE case

first_img Johanns emphasized that this finding poses no risk to human health, adding that the findings should not affect trade discussions with other countries, because those discussions involve far younger cattle.  Because BSE has a long incubation period, experts believe it is nearly impossible for cattle younger than 30 months to have infective levels of disease. Because of the conflicting findings of the IHC and Western blot tests, further tests will now be conducted, authorities said. Jun 13, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – After one inconclusive and one negative test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a tissue sample from a downer cow has shown a positive result with a third test, authorities announced in a late-evening news conference Jun 10. The Western blot result was a “weak positive,” Clifford said. “As a result of that and the unusualness of this case, it’s going to require additional testing before we can confirm one way or another whether this is truly BSE or not.” USDA teleconference transcript This round of testing involved three cows whose initial rapid tests were inconclusive, according to a news release from the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). A second test, called an immunohistochemistry (IHC) test was conducted, and all three animals tested negative for the progressively debilitating, fatal disease caused by a folded protein called a prion. Clifford and USDA Secretary Mike Johanns both emphasized that the conflicting test results are not an indictment of the US screening system for BSE. “In the case of this animal, it was a nonambulatory downer animal and as such it was banned from the food supply,” Clifford said. “It was taken to a facility that only handles downer animals unsuitable for human consumption and the carcass was incinerated.” Samples from the cow were stored for further testing. A sample from the cow will be sent to a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recognized laboratory for BSE in Weybridge, England, said John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for APHIS during a telephone news conference late on Jun 10. In addition, USDA will be conducting further tests over the next several days.center_img Authorities sought this round of testing because one of the initial rapid tests had shown a positive reaction, APHIS noted. A sample from the same downer cow, which means a cow that couldn’t walk, tested positive with the Western blot. The other two samples tested negative in the third round. As a follow-up, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) recommended the week of June 5 that all three samples be subjected to a third round of testing. This test, the Western blot, differs from the other two, the APHIS release explained. It is an internationally recognized confirmatory test for BSE, as is the IHC test. “After we receive additional tests on this animal, we will determine what further steps need to be taken and what changes if any are warranted in our surveillance program,” he added. “We have not confirmed a case of BSE in the US at this time,” Clifford said. Indications are that the cow, described as an older beef cow, was born in the United States. See also: In all, some 375,000 cattle have been tested for BSE since the surveillance program began in June 2004, authorities said. The tests focus on downer cattle and cattle showing signs of neurological problems. BSE tests explainedhttp://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/bse/bse21_en.htmllast_img read more

Canada widens BSE-related feed ban; US still pondering

first_img CFIA information page on enhanced feed banhttp://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/disemala/bseesb/enhren/enhrene.shtml To help industry set up the infrastructure for SRM disposal, the Canadian government is providing $80 million for provincial disposal programs, the CFIA said. Most provinces have established such programs, for which they must provide 40% of the funding, with the federal government supplying the rest, according to the release. “There is no estimated time frame on when a final rule will be published,” FDA spokesman Michael Herndon told CIDRAP News yesterday. “The agency is working to develop and issue a final rule as expeditiously as possible.” He said he couldn’t give any explanation for the delay. US eyes narrower restrictionsThe United States, meanwhile, is considering copying the Canadian action in part, but it’s not clear how soon that might happen. In October 2005, the Food and Drug Administration proposed banning the brains and spinal cords of older cattle from animal feed and pet food, and the agency has been reviewing comments on the proposal for more than a year. A CFIA fact sheet says that with the broader feed ban, BSE is expected to be eliminated from Canadian cattle in about 10 years; without the new rules, eradication was expected to take several decades. USDA makes BSE-related rules permanentMeanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced yesterday that several BSE-related interim rules, including the ban on SRM from human food, have been made permanent. The agency didn’t say whether it intentionally timed the announcement to coincide with the broadening of Canada’s feed ban. Oct 4, 2005, CIDRAP News story “FDA to ban some cattle parts from animal feed” Effects of the banThe ban means producers can no longer feed any products containing SRM to livestock, and slaughterhouses must identify SRM so they can be removed from the feed system, the CFIA said. In addition, those who handle, transport, or dispose of cattle carcasses and certain cattle tissues must have a CFIA permit. Yesterday the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said these rules have been made permanent. “Experience has borne out that these interim steps were correct and should be made permanent,” said Dr. Richard Raymond, USDA under secretary for food safety, in a news release. Canada announced plans for the extended feed ban in June 2006. In marking the advent of the new rules yesterday, Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Chuck Strahl said the government “has taken a significant step toward accelerating the elimination of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from Canadian cattle. These new rules will help increase access to foreign markets, and support Canada’s status as a controlled risk country for BSE from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).” The USDA announced the ban on SRM in the food supply as an interim rule in January 2004, about 3 weeks after the first US BSE case was found. At the same time, the agency posted interim rules banning (1) the use of “downer” cattle—those that can’t walk when presented for slaughter—for food and (2) the use of high-pressure cattle-stunning devices that could drive SRM tissue into meat. The $80 million the federal government is investing “has yet to reach many people on the front lines whose bills are soaring as they scramble to meet the new rules,” the story said. Dennis Laycraft, executive vice president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, called the situation “enormously frustrating.” The new restrictions are causing major headaches for the cattle industry, according to the CanWest News report. “This system enables continuous control over SRM, so that it does not enter the animal feed system,” the agency said. Because cattle contract BSE by eating infective material from other cattle, both the United States and Canada banned the use of cattle protein in feed for cattle and other ruminant animals in 1997. But the two countries have continued to allow cattle parts in feed for nonruminant animals, such as pigs and poultry. The Canadian rule applies to “specified risk materials” (SRM), meaning cattle parts that are likely to contain the BSE agent if the animal is infected. They include the skull, brain, eyes, tonsils, spinal cord, and certain nerve bundles (trigeminal and dorsal root ganglia) in cattle 30 months or older, plus the distal ileum (part of the small intestine) of all cattle. Jul 13, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Canada broadened its safeguards against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, yesterday by banning the use of cattle brains, spinal cords, and certain other body parts from all animal feeds, pet foods, and fertilizer. Text of USDA final rule on downer cattle and SRM in human foodhttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FRPubs/03-025F.pdf The collective weight of all those materials is estimated at more than 100,000 tons per year in Canada, according to Freeman Libby, director of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA’s) Feed Ban Task Force, who was quoted in a Jul 9 CanWest News Service report. All of that must now be disposed of differently than in the past. The step will speed up the elimination of BSE from Canadian cattle, government officials said, but for now it is creating a major waste-disposal challenge and bureaucratic headaches, according to Canadian news reports. The reason for banning SRM from animal feed and pet food is to prevent the possible spread of BSE through accidental mixing of ruminant and nonruminant feed during feed manufacturing or through misfeeding of nonruminant feed to ruminants. See also: Jul 12 USDA news release on final rule banning use of downer cattle for foodhttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_071207_01/index.asp Jun 27, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Canada to expands feed ban to prevent BSE” The story said SRM must now be removed with special equipment, hauled away in dedicated trucks, processed, and then buried in landfills, burned in high-temperature incinerators, or dumped into composters and bioenergy plants. After Canada discovered its first BSE case in May 2003, the country banned the use of SRM from cattle older than 30 months in human food. The United States followed suit shortly after the first US case of BSE was found in December 2003. Canada has discovered a total of 10 BSE cases, the last one in May, while the United States has found three, the last one in March 2006. For example, Johnston Packers, a slaughterhouse near Chilliwack, B.C., planned to spend $1 million on new equipment and space for removal and handling of SRM, according to the report. But the project was stalled by delays in government funding, and the company had to come up with a temporary solution so the plant could continue to operate.last_img read more

Flu researchers call for enhanced swine surveillance

first_img A gap in threat trackingThey wrote that the mixing vessel theory has been around for more than a decade and that influenza experts in 1998 proposed swine surveillance to serve as an early warning system, but that this task was to some extent overlooked. As evidence, they said the number of swine influenza A sequences that were in the database they used for the study was 10 times smaller than the number of human and avian influenza A sequences. Following virus protein cluesIn the first analysis, the group used more than 400 protein sequences from the novel virus and those from previous flu seasons to explore the genetic evolution of the new virus. The closest homologous proteins for the novel H1N1 virus were in swine influenza viruses that have been circulating in the United States and Asia for the past 10 years, suggesting that the new virus probably evolved from recent swine viruses. “In some countries, such as the United States, the national strategy for pandemic influenza assigned the entire preparedness budget ($3.8 billion US dollars) for the prevention and control of avian A (H5N1) influenza, overlooking the swine threat,” the report said. It referred to a 2006 report on pandemic flu appropriations. Generally, human flu viruses have triggered the genetic changes in swine influenza viruses since 1918-1919, but none of the genetic shifts or virus introductions from people to pigs has created a pandemic virus or one that transmitted human-to-human, Baker said. “So historically, the pig has never served as a mixing vessel, unless the current virus actually came directly from a pig. If so, it most likely occurred in traditional-style pig farms in Asia,” he added. Jun 8, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Government officials and researchers may have underestimated the potential role of pigs as “mixing vessels” for influenza viruses and the importance of swine surveillance for identifying new pandemic threats, veterinary experts from Mexico asserted recently. Fortunately, a small swine surveillance collaboration between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Animal Disease Center in Ames had just begun when the new virus was first detected, Baker said. In the second part of the study, the group conducted phylogenetic analyses of thousands of protein sequences of H1N1 viruses that circulated in North America over the last 20 years. They found that the novel H1N1 virus has “genetic distinctness,” which appears to be a hallmark of previous influenza A viruses transmitted between pigs and humans. Funding shortfalls limit surveillanceThe authors, however, are correct in pointing out that health officials have underestimated the importance of swine surveillance, and that the efforts suffer for a general lack of food-animal research dollars, Baker said. Most swine surveillance has been conducted by a few dedicated scientists—such as those at Iowa State, the University of Minnesota, and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital—with few resources, he said. The group based their conclusions on two genetic analyses tracing the evolution of the novel H1N1 virus that lend support to the mixing vessel theory. Their findings appeared in the Jun 4 issue of Eurosurveillance.center_img “When discovered, it was believed to be unique to pigs, but now we know that humans, quail, turkeys, and likely many, many species have both receptor types, any of which could serve as a ‘mixing vessel,'” he said. Baker also questioned the group’s emphasis on the mixing vessel theory, which he said came about when scientists discovered that pigs have both avian-like and mammalian receptors on their respiratory epithelium. He said the theory remains unproved, though it has been around for many years. Last week, John Clifford, the chief veterinarian for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced plans to launch a pilot surveillance program in swine to detect new influenza strains, according to a Jun 2 Reuters report. The program will analyze isolates, submitted by government and private labs, from sick pigs and from herds exposed to workers that have H1N1 infections How real is the mixing vessel threat?Rodney B. Baker, DVM, president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and senior clinician in Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, told CIDRAP News that the authors appear to have based their findings about novel flu virus evolution on incomplete data, which may have prevented them from considering all of the possibilities. For example, he said their findings don’t seem to factor in the documentation of “parental reassortment” in Asia or the distance of the novel H1N1 virus from North America’s endemic strains. Though the sample size was limited, the authors said the analyses are useful for understanding the evolution of influenza viruses and for detecting emerging viruses with pandemic potential early. The novel flu outbreak presents new challenges for animal and human health experts, the group wrote. They said their institution, the College of Veterinary Medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, is establishing a surveillance system for pigs and birds to identify novel flu viruses circulating in Mexico. “This effort prioritizes the use of genetic distinctness as a marker for the detection of novel viruses that could lead to influenza pandemics,” they wrote. Nava GM, Attene-Ramos MS, Ang JK, et al. Origins of the new influenza A (H1N1) virus: time to take action. Eurosurveillance 2009 Jun 4;14(22): [Full text]last_img read more