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Bird Flu Panic Waning: Sense of Urgency Rising
The bird flu virus is still killing, still spreading, and still mutating. In recent weeks, it's reappeared in Korea and flared in Somalia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ukraine and Russia. The death toll among birds, both those infected and those killed to avoid the spread of the disease, exceeds half a billion. Deaths among humans are at 154, with nearly half of those occurring this year.
It's not just complacency that worries Kasai. The virus is changing. ...When bird flu first started killing people, about 80 percent of those infected died. The lethality has dropped to about 60 percent. Cases reported outside of Indonesia have a better than 50 percent chance of survival.
Normally, that's good news. But bird flu needs a living host to undergo the genetic mutations that can spread it from one person to the next. So the less lethal the virus, paradoxically, the more dangerous it becomes.
Bird flu threat not so grave, CDC chief says
She and other federal officials said H5N1 bird flu likely will reach the United States, because bird flu and its many strains occur naturally in migratory birds.
When that happens, “it does not signal the start of a pandemic” or a threat to the food supply, said Richard Raymond, an undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Gerberding cautioned that when H5N1 is detected in the United States, “there will be temptation for the press to make this into something it is not. We will need responsible journalism” to prevent irrational panic.
Originally posted by apc
If you're going to gank my article you could at least link to my thread.
The Great Chicken Merger and the Protein Acquisition Corporation
...Pilgrim's Pride and Gold Kist entered into a definitive merger agreement on December 3, 2006, under which Pilgrim's Pride agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Gold Kist common stock for $21.00 per share in cash. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Pilgrim's Pride and Gold Kist and has a total equity value of approximately $1.1 billion, plus the assumption or refinancing of approximately $144 million of Gold Kist's debt. Upon expiration of the subsequent offering period, Pilgrim's Pride intends to complete the acquisition of Gold Kist through a merger of its acquisition vehicle, Protein Acquisition Corporation, into Gold Kist, in which all Gold Kist shares not tendered into Pilgrim's Pride's offer (other than shares held in the treasury of Gold Kist or held by Pilgrim's Pride or any of its subsidiaries) will be converted into the right to receive $21.00 per share. Following the merger, Gold Kist will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Pilgrim's Pride.
As a result of this transaction, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation is the largest chicken producer in the United States and Puerto Rico and the second-largest producer and seller of chicken in Mexico. Pilgrim's Pride employs approximately 56,500 people and operates 37 processing and 12 prepared-food facilities, with major operations in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Mexico and Puerto Rico as well as other facilities in Arizona, Iowa, Mississippi, Ohio and Utah.
Pilgrim's Pride products are sold to foodservice, retail and frozen entree customers. The Company's primary distribution is through retailers, foodservice distributors and restaurants throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and in the Northern and Central regions of Mexico. For more information, please visit www.pilgrimspride.com....
...state Rep. Tony Goolsby, a Dallas Republican who chairs the powerful House Administration Committee
Bush received ...two chairs from the 1949 Texas House chamber valued at $500 from Texas state Reps. Tony Goolsby (R)...
Goolsby is currently a producer for Voice of America, the Congressionally funded radio network that claims to promote America's values abroad.
Originally posted by soficrow
Sorry. Here it is: The Washington Bird Flu Shuffle.
Bird Flu Cases Decline, Raising New Risk: Complacency
"...I'm sure we're going to see some peaks of infection in the future," said Peter Roeder, an animal health officer with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, who helped Indonesia set up its bird surveillance. "How important they will be, how serious they will be it's not possible to say right now."
"H5N1 viruses have been around for nearly a decade and it might be tempting to conclude that if they were going to proceed to form or contribute to a pandemic strain, they would have done so by now," the influenza team at the European Centre for Disease Surveillance and Control said in a report last week.
Still, the strain that sparked the 1918 pandemic "had been around for some years before it became part of a virus that could efficiently transmit between humans," they said.
Influenza virus can live for decades and perhaps even longer in frozen lakes and might be picked up and carried by birds to reinfect animals and people...
Advance Warning Of H5N1 Influenza Outbreaks May Be Found In Shrimp Virus Reservoirs
Researchers at Replikins, Ltd. have discovered that the shrimp viruses White Spot Syndrome virus (WSSV) and Taura Syndrome virus (TSV) - global lethal pathogens for shrimp - may be reservoirs for the peptide building blocks of H5N1, or bird flu virus.
The H5N1 virus recently has been responsible for huge poultry losses in many countries and for several hundred human cases, with approximately 50% mortality. While migratory waterfowl are known to transport the H5N1 influenza virus globally, no reservoirs for this virus have been identified.
Using FluForecast(R), the following findings were obtained which suggest that shrimp viruses may serve as one reservoir of replikin peptide building blocks for H5N1 and other influenza strains:
1) Shrimp viruses WSSV and TSV were found to contain replikin peptide sequences.
2) These shrimp virus sequences were found to be related in structure to the replikin peptide sequences in H5N1 virus.
3) Shrimp WSSV replikins increased markedly in concentration in the year 2000, just before the increase in H5N1 virus Replikin Counts which preceded the H5N1 outbreaks in chickens and humans of 2001-20061. The increase in shrimp virus Replikin Count was not trivial: In shrimp WSSV, which in dormant states was found to be less than 10 in the year 2000, reached 103.8. This is comparable only to the highest Count so far observed in any organism in nature. (The highest Replikin Count to date of 111 has been observed in the malaria species, pl. falciparum, which replicates 11,000 times in 48 hours passing from liver to blood in the host.)
4) Of the new shrimp replikins which appeared in 2000, the percent which were short peptides was increased compared to dormant years. Short replikins previously have been found to be related to high virulence and high mortality in the host, whether animal or man.
5) These short shrimp virus replikins share structures with short replikins in both H5N1 and other influenza strains going back 88 years to the great pandemic of 1918.