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S. Korea kills thousands of pigs, chickens to stem spread of bird flu
ASAN, South Korea, Dec. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korean quarantine authorities said Sunday they have culled an additional 4,000 pigs and 2,000 chickens to prevent the spread of bird flu.
A total of 21,146 ducks, 2,820 chickens and 4,177 pigs have been slaughtered since Thursday, when the fourth outbreak of a highly pathogenic bird flu virus in a month was reported in Asan, about 90 kilometers south of Seoul.
South Korea slaughters pigs to stem bird flu outbreak
Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment, but Yonhap news agency said pigs are vulnerable to respiratory diseases and could spread viruses.
More than 1.1 million poultry had been killed in the earlier three outbreaks that hit the country since late last month.
South Korea slaughtered about 5.3 million birds during a bird flu outbreak in 2003.
Nigeria: Bird flu spreads
The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has spread to two new regions of Nigeria, one of three countries identified as least able to deal with the disease and prevent it from becoming a global pandemic.
More Nigerian states hit by bird flu infection cases
The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has spread in the last few weeks to two new states in Nigeria and reappeared in two others where it was believed to have been contained, officials said.
Nigeria is one of three countries regarded by experts as the weakest areas in the global attempt to stem infections among birds and head off a potentially devastating human flu pandemic. The disease was first discovered in the northwest state of Kaduna in February and it spread rapidly in the early weeks to 12 other states and the Federal Capital Territory, despite culling and quarantine measures.
Thousands of poultry have died or become infected in Nigeria since the H5N1 virus was first detected, hitting farmers badly.
Many Nigerians live on less than a dollar a day and are too poor to afford the luxury of rejecting infected or dead chickens, raising concern among experts on bird flu that Nigeria is at risk of becoming a permanent host to the virus. The risk is elevated with Christmas and the Muslim Eid festivals only days away because consumption rises.
Originally posted by neo4116
Soficrow, Thanks for all the research and updates you have been doing on Avian Flu. I've been following your posts here for quite some time now. Excellent work!
Its funny how the news about the bird flu comes in waves.
...here it comes back again, and maybe in the long run even stronger and more deadly.
...The idea of flu-dengue fever hybrid is really frightening, lets hope this does not happen.
Originally posted by Heronumber0
My view is that the British Government were creating an atmosphere of fear by exaggerating the facts so that people were willing to give up more of their rights to people who "knew better." Isn't it ironic that the actual number of deaths made two figures, still sad and we mourn them, but the figure of deaths did not reach 100 (to the best of my knowledge).
Nevertheless, I think that it is unlikely that there will be a hybrid 0f dengue virus (Flavivirus) and avian influenza (Orthomyxoviridae). You would need a large simlarity in their respective genetic materials (RNA-ribonucleic acid) for them to "swap" genes with each other.
The Perfect Microbial Storm
Scientists are warning that diseases like bird flu, anthrax and rabies could come together in what they're calling "the perfect microbial storm."
"Almost every year there is a new disease appearing, and 75 percent of these emerging or re-emerging diseases are coming from animals; 80 percent of those have zoonotic potential," he said in an interview.
Le Gall said such zoonoses -- animal diseases that humans can also catch -- included Rift Valley fever, rabies and anthrax.
"These could come together to create what the experts are calling 'the perfect microbial storm'," he said.
Actin' Like Actin?
The most biologically significant property of actin is its ability to self-associate and form two-stranded polymeric microfilaments. In living cells, these micro filaments form the actin cytoskeleton, essential for maintenance of the shape, passive mechanical properties and active motility of eukaryotic cells. Recently discovered actin-related proteins (ARPs) appear to share a common ancestor with conventional actin. At present, six classes of ARPs have been discovered, three of which have representatives in diverse species across eukaryotic phyla and may share functional characteristics with conventional actin. The three most ubiquitous ARPs are predicted to share a common core structure with actin and contain all the residues required for ATP binding. Surface residues involved in protein protein interactions, however, have diverged. Models of these proteins based on the atomic structure of actin provide some clues about how ARPs interact with each other, with conventional actin and with conventional actin-binding proteins.
The greater likelihood is that two Type A Influenza viruses which infects humans, birds or swine are likely to co-infect a herd of pigs and then "swap" genes from each other from their segemented genomes. This would create a hybrid for which the immune system would not be ready and would overwhelm the swine.
...close monitoring and quarantine of people involved in animal husbandry would preclude widespread infection into the wider community.
1,800 Species of Microbial Organisms Found in Texas City Air
A new "bacterial census" using a novel microarray found surprising microbial biodiversity - including bioweapons-related pathogens - in the air above San Antonio and Austin, Texas. "We're surrounded by bacteria, and they are not necessarily friendly," says Gary Andersen, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. J. Craig Venter of Celera fame is sequencing the metagenome of the air above New York City; he says microbial genetics is complex - and Andersen may be underestimating the microbial diversity in Texas air. "As weather patterns change, different things go up into the air. We could be changing what's in the air, and unless we know what's in the air now, we'll never know how it changes. It points to a real need for a microbial census," warns Ventner.