The stream will offer three hours of live coverage from each round from 3pm through to 6pm, getting under way on Wednesday and concluding on Friday evening.Sky Sports subscribers are able to sign in here to watch all the action.Click on the video above to watch our free live stream from the LPGA Drive On Championship! – Advertisement – – Advertisement – November 4, 2020, 3:00pmLive on Live Ladies European Tour Golf – Advertisement – The tournament takes place over the Faldo Course at The Emirates Golf Club, which was redesigned under the expertise of the six-time major winner and reopened in 2006.A feature of the event is that much of it will be played under floodlights, increasing the emphasis on good course management for the 56 players in the field. Sky Sports YouTube channel offers live coverage from one of the biggest events on the Ladies European Tour, with former world No 1 Lydia Ko competing against the likes of Georgia Hall and Charley Hull. By Sky Sports GolfLast Updated: 04/11/20 2:20pm The Ladies European Tour heads to warmer climes this week, with a strong field assembled for the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic, and live coverage is available for free via Sky Sports’ live YouTube stream.Former world No 1 Lydia Ko headlines the field which also includes a host of Solheim Cup stars, including Georgia Hall, Charley Hull, Bronte Law, Celine Boutier and Alison Lee. – Advertisement –
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is releasing next week as the 12th major instalment in Ubisoft’s most popular action RPG franchise. Valhalla has you playing as Eivor (who can be either male or female), a fierce Viking raider who must lead his people in a violent war against the Anglo-Saxon empire in 9th century AD. While Assassin’s Creed titles are usually an annual affair for Ubisoft, the company notably took a break of a year after the release of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey in 2018. The last time the studio took a year’s break, it came up with the radical Assassin’s Creed Origins in 2017 that completely overhauled the gameplay mechanics, making it more RPG-focussed than the previous chapters. Given the fact that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has been developed by Ubisoft Montreal — the same studio behind Odyssey — it can be expected that the upcoming title might take series fans by surprise once again.From Assassin’s Creed Valhalla price in India to release date, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming action adventure.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla release date- Advertisement – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is set to release on November 10 on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Stadia. It will be a launch title on PS5. Xbox One and PS4 users will automatically get a free upgrade to Xbox Series S/X and PS5, respectively.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla priceAssassin’s Creed Valhalla Standard Edition is priced at Rs. 3,999/ $59.99 for both PlayStation and Xbox platforms.For PlayStation users, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Gold Edition is priced at Rs. 6,499/ $99.99 and the Ultimate Edition is priced at Rs. 7,149/ $119.99. For Xbox, the Gold Edition is priced at Rs. 6,499/ $99.99 and the Ultimate Edition is priced at Rs. 7,199/ $119.99.- Advertisement – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla won’t be available on Steam. Instead, PC gamers can digitally avail the Standard Edition on Epic Games Store for $43.99 (roughly Rs. 3,300), the Gold Edition for $73.99 (roughly Rs. 5,500), and the Ultimate Edition for $79.99 (roughly Rs. 5,900).On Ubisoft Store, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Standard Edition is priced at EUR 59.99 (roughly Rs. 5,200), the Gold Edition is priced at EUR 99.99 (roughly Rs. 8,700), and the Ultimate Edition is priced at $109.99 (roughly Rs. 9,600).Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will also be available for free access via Ubisoft+, formerly known as UPlay+. You can subscribe to the service for $14.99 (roughly Rs. 1,100) per month.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla pre-order bonus, editions- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be available in three editions: Standard, Gold, and Ultimate. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Standard Edition will feature just the game along with a bonus mission (pre-order only): The Way of the Berserker.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Gold Edition additionally comprises the Season Pass that will offer access to new content, map locations, gear, as and when expansion packs are released post launch.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Ultimate Edition comprises all of the above, along with the Ultimate Pack that includes Berserker gear, settlement, and longship packs, along with a set of runes that can be used to upgrade your character.Post launch, the Season Pass content will be furnished with two new story expansions. While Wrath of the Druids will take you deep into Ireland where you venture through cursed forests and take on magical creatures, The Siege of Paris will let you relive one of the most violent battles in Viking history.Additionally, the Season Pass will also comprise a bonus mission called The Legend of Beowulf where you get to hunt down a mysterious beast wreaking havoc in the English countryside.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gameplayWhile the gameplay of Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey relied heavily on the player constantly levelling up via accumulated XP, activities, and gears, Valhalla looks to focus less on the traditional levelling system and bring the spotlight on its diverse skill trees that will help your character gain new abilities to take on tougher challenges as the game progresses.As Eivor, you will engage in fierce battles and lead raids to gather loot to upgrade your Viking settlement, called Ravensthorpe. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s official site hints heavily at choices made during the game, be it combat or conversation, to impact the storyline and final outcome of the main story campaign.Your settlement’s growth depends on how your raids go and how your legend grows. You can build upgradeable structures such as barracks, shipyards, or even a tattoo parlour. This may come in handy as your quick go-to spot for quick customisations and upgrades, saving loads of time wandering about in the world trying to find a blacksmith. Apart from acting as your home base for quick upgrades and mission briefings, Ravensthorpe also offers several side activities such as throwing lavish feasts, drinking games, and spitting a fiery verse or two in Viking rap battles known as flyting.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla allows for a lot of customisation as well. For starters, your protagonist can either be male or female, just like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. However, unlike Odyssey, players will have an option to switch between the two at any point during the game. Players will also get to customise the character’s hairstyle, warpaint, and tattoos. In earlier games, all we could do was change the protagonists’ armour and clothing. This is the first time that the series will dive into the world of focussed customisations.The Assassin’s Creed series has never really disappointed on the combat front and with Valhalla, the game brings in a dual wielding-oriented gameplay that can be used to combine any weapon on your roster, including shields. The weapons you choose will heavily affect your combat style. Eivor’s bow can be tweaked as well, fitting it with nifty explosives and poisonous gases.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will also be bringing back some series classics, such as the iconic Hidden Blade that allows for one-hit assassinations, and social stealth mechanics that allows you to hide in moving crowds with a slip of your hood. Eivor can also feign his death, luring inspecting enemies close for a quick kill. The good old Eagle Vision is now retitled Odin Sight and players will be accompanied by a trusty raven called Sýnin who will come in handy in scouting areas from afar.Assassin’s Creed PC system requirementsCommon requirements that are essential to play Assassin’s Creed Valhalla in any settings include 64-bit Windows 10, a GPU with support for DirectX 12, and 50GB free storage space (SSD recommended).Assassin’s Creed Valhalla PC minimum system requirements CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 1200 3.1Ghz / Intel i5-4460 3.2GhzGPU: AMD R9 380 4GB / Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 4GBRAM: 8GB (Dual-channel mode) • Resolution: 1080pTargeted framerate: 30fps • Video preset: LowAssassin’s Creed Valhalla PC recommended system requirements (1080p/ 30fps) CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2Ghz / Intel i7-4790 3.6GhzGPU: AMD RX 570 8GB / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GBRAM: 8GB (Dual-channel mode)Resolution: 1080pTargeted framerate: 30fpsVideo preset: HighUbisoft has given us four more PC configurations, for those that wish to play the game with high refresh rates or in 4K.Assassin’s Creed Valhalla reviewAssassin’s Creed Valhalla reviews will be available starting November 9 at 3:01am PT (4:31pm IST), according to OpenCritic.Will Xbox Series S, PS5 Digital Edition fail in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.
The switch from spring to autumn for The Masters this year appears set to bring some distinctly autumnal weather to Augusta National as well.After a bright start to the week, the weather is forecast to go downhill from midweek, leading to the prospect of some disruption to the playing schedule for the final major of the year.Wednesday and Thursday look particularly wet, with heavy downpours at times, possibly accumulating as much as two inches of rain.- Advertisement – The Masters – Live November 12, 2020, 12:30pmLive on Australian Adam Scott was also asked about the weather at his press conference on Monday.He said: “Really, the biggest problem for us as players is if it’s wet. Obviously we’re prepared and we’ve played in tough conditions, but a golf course that requires precision like this one does, especially hitting into the greens, if there’s mud on the ball, this is very, very difficult because you lose control of the ball flight. And when you have very small targets at times to hit into, and you don’t know where the ball may go, it’s very hard.”Watch The Masters this week live on Sky Sports, with all four rounds exclusively live on Sky Sports’ Masters channel. Live coverage beings with Featured Groups from 12.30pm on Thursday. – Advertisement – A general view of the 16th green at Augusta National Golf Club when the sun was shining on Monday
See it!Get the AvoDovA Women ‘s Christmas Furry Sweaters for $23, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.This Simple Striped SweaterTipsy Elves Women’s Stylish Christmas Sweaters Amazon- Advertisement – Even though the Christmas tree is decked out in sequins and super glitzy, the rest of the sweater keeps it simple — which totally balances out the look. See it!Get the Tipsy Elves Women’s Stylish Christmas Sweaters for $50, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.This Off-the-Shoulder SweaterLILBETTER Women’s Off Shoulder Sweater Boat Neck Long Sleeve Loose Knit Jumper AmazonAt first glance, you may think that the classic pattern on this sweater isn’t the most stylish — but the fact that it’s off-the-shoulder completely elevates it! See it!Get the LILBETTER Women’s Off Shoulder Sweater Boat Neck Long Sleeve Loose Knit Jumper for prices starting at $19, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.This Adorable Sweater DressTipsy Elves Women’s Red Christmas Sweater Dress AmazonThis is the epitome of a cute themed Christmas dress! The length is perfect, and the traditional pattern works like a charm in frock form. See it!Get the Tipsy Elves Women’s Red Christmas Sweater Dress for $40, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.This Sleek Sequin SweaterJayde N’ Grey Women’s Reindeer Rudolph Christmas Top AmazonIf you’re not big on truly extra Christmas sweater style, this top is one way you can celebrate the season! The Rudolph silhouette is perfectly understated and chic. Pair it with a pencil skirt and kitten heels for a more formal feel! See it!Get the Jayde N’ Grey Women’s Reindeer Rudolph Christmas Top for prices starting at $27, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.Funny Ugly Christmas SweatersThis Disney-Themed SweaterDisney Women’s Ugly Christmas Sweater AmazonDisney fans will get such a kick out of these Christmas sweaters! Right now, you can pick up a Mickey and Minnie Santa edition, an Ariel version or even a Nightmare Before Christmas-themed sweater. Our favorite sweater features Olaf from Frozen — too adorable! See it!Get the Disney Women’s Ugly Christmas Sweater for prices starting at $20, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.This Laugh-Out-Loud Viral SweaterTipsy Elves Women’s Break The Internet Ugly Christmas Sweater AmazonSo, remember that time Kim Kardashian broke the internet with her infamous Paper Magazine cover back in November 2014? Now, Santa and his derrière are getting the chance to shine thanks to this Christmas sweater. Bottoms up! See it!Get the Tipsy Elves Women’s Break The Internet Ugly Christmas Sweater for $40, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.This Pop Culture Sweaterv28 Women’s Patterns Christmas Sweater AmazonAny pop culture aficionado will immediately understand the film reference here! If you’re as obsessed with Home Alone as we are, then this is the sweater for you. See it!Get the v28 Women’s Patterns Christmas Sweater for prices starting at $15, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.This Rudolph SweaterJOYIN Women’s LED Light Up Reindeer Ugly Christmas Sweater AmazonThis sweater is funky and fabulous! The string lights actually work using mini LED bulbs, and Rudolph’s red nose even lights up too! See it!Get the JOYIN Women’s LED Light Up Reindeer Ugly Christmas Sweater for prices starting at $25, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.This Cheeky SweaterTipsy Elves Women’s Light Up Christmas Sweater AmazonJust like the last sweater, this bad boy lights up. Any millennial or Gen Z-er will get a kick out of this one! See it!Get the Tipsy Elves Women’s Light Up Christmas Sweater for $50, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 16, 2020, but are subject to change.Check out more of our picks and deals here!This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as face masks, self tanners, Lululemon-style leggings and all the best gifts for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping! Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.There are so many ways to get into the spirit of the season, but a classic holiday sweater is at the top of the list! Ugly Christmas sweaters were once something to scoff at — we all remember that iconic scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary! But ever since Mark Darcy rocked his reindeer jumper with pride, they have become trophy pieces — in fact, some people organize entire gatherings centered around these witty knits.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – In recent years, it’s been all about wearing “ugly” holiday sweaters ironically and having fun with it. As far as we’re concerned, the more over-the-top, the better. ‘Tis the season, after all! If you’re looking to upgrade your festive fashion this year and embrace the trendiest novelty item of the season, we’ve rounded up our top holiday sweater picks below. Oh, and if you’re scared of crossing over into full fugly territory, there are still plenty of stylish options to order now.Most Stylish Christmas SweatersThis Fuzzy Santa SweaterAvoDovA Women ‘s Christmas Furry Sweaters AmazonSeriously, how adorable is this sweater? We’re obsessed with the fuzzy Santa graphics sprinkled throughout the garment, and how great they look against the sweater’s light pink hue.- Advertisement –
Public radio station RFI says a “technical problem” meant the obituaries were published prematurely.- Advertisement –
Aug 2, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Mass culling of domestic poultry in 13 villages in the Novosibirsk province of Russia is reportedly being carried out today. In addition, thousands of area families are being checked daily for illness, and farmers have been ordered to wear protective garments in an effort to contain the avian influenza outbreak there.Valery Mikheyev, chief public health officer in the province, announced today’s plans, following up by saying that there was “no cause for alarm” and that “up to 6,000 people are being checked per day,” according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.Novosibirsk officials met yesterday with Governor Viktor Tolokonsky to determine actions to take to contain the outbreak, says a story in the Moscow Times. That report says poultry farm workers there were told to wear protective clothing and undergo disinfection procedures.Local government officials in Novobirsk have said that the farmers affected will be reimbursed for their animals; the equivalent of $315,000 has been set aside for that purpose.Other nearby regions have been affected as well. Varous news services have reported in the past day that more than 300 domestic poultry have died in Altai and that the veterinary service confirmed H5N1 avian flu as the cause.In the Omsk region, more than 450 poultry have died, but the cause remains to be determined, according to the Moscow Times story.The Pavlodar province of neighboring Kazakhstan reported today to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that 2,350 geese and 450 ducks had been destroyed after the death of 400 poultry there.The H5N1 virus in these parts of Siberia is presumed to have brought by birds migrating from areas of Southeast Asia. No human cases of H5N1 flu have been reported in Russia or Kazakhstan, but the situation is being watched carefully by international health groups. The disease has officially caused 109 human cases, including 55 deaths, in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
Jan 31, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Meat from deer infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been shown to transmit the prion disease to genetically altered mice, according to a report published Jan 26 in Sciencexpress, part of Science magazine.The experimental findings “raise the possibility that dietary exposure to prions might occur through meat consumption,” writes researcher Glenn Telling at the University of Kentucky, along with six other colleagues.CWD, a rare brain-wasting disease that affects deer, elk, and moose in parts of North America, is similar to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. It has not been known to infect humans, and the skeletal muscle meat from deer and elk was not previously believed to contain infective levels of abnormal prion protein. However, state game agencies now advise hunters to take precautions when handling carcasses, and some states test harvested animals for CWD.”The emergence of CWD in an increasingly wide geographic area and the interspecies transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to humans as variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) have raised concerns about zoonotic transmission of CWD,” Telling and colleagues write.”We don’t know if people will develop a human prion disease as a result of exposure to CWD but we know people developed prion disease as result of exposure to BSE,” Telling said in a Reuters news service story Jan 27. “Obviously the most likely route of exposure would be via meat, and that is why we addressed this.””It’s difficult to predict how prions will behave when they cross species barriers,” Telling told Reuters.To test the infectivity of skeletal muscle, the researchers used specially adapted mice that expressed cervid prion protein (CerPrP), which made them susceptible to CWD. Groups of these mice were inoculated intracerebrally with extracts of leg muscle from either CWD-infected or CWD-free mule deer, while other mice were inoculated with central nervous system (CNS) materials from both infected and uninfected deer.The researchers found that all skeletal muscle samples from infected deer led to the progressive mental dysfunction associated with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), with mean incubation times ranging from 360 to roughly 490 days. The incubation period after infection with CNS material was shorter, from about 230 to 280 days.The skeletal muscle and brain tissue from uninfected deer didn’t cause disease in the special mice.The researchers note that similar studies involving skeletal muscle from BSE-infected cattle failed to show such high levels of prion infectivity. The study also shows that prion levels were lower in muscle than in the CNS and that the muscle prion levels may vary. Studies to assess the prion titers are under way, the authors write.The report says the risk of CWD infection following consumption is reduced by relatively inefficient prion transmission, but that the findings show the muscle tissue most likely to be consumed by humans is a significant source of prion infectivity.”Humans consuming or handling meat from CWD-infected deer are therefore at risk to prion exposure,” the report concludes.Both the findings and the methodology of the study are significant, said Srinand Sreevatsan, DVM, MPH, PhD, an associate professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Veterinary Population Medicine.The presence and infectivity of CWD prion in muscle hasn’t been demonstrated with a bioassay before, Sreevatsan told CIDRAP News. The bioassay allows researchers to know if the misfolded prions are present and if they are capable of causing the disease in an animal model. “It’s only now that we are realizing the sensitive assays we can use.””The presence of infectivity in the muscle tissue in CWD does raise some issues. That it’s there and it is infectious is a concern,” he said, but added that it is important to do a risk assessment as well. “Is it present in enough quantity to be of public health significance? We don’t know. That needs to be determined.””It may not be in sufficient quantities to cause infection [if people consume it],” he added.Telling G, Angers R, Browning S, et al. Prions in skeletal muscles of deer with chronic wasting disease. Sciencexpress 2006 Jan 26 (early online publication) [Abstract]See also:Oct 26, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Chronic wasting disease found in moose”Institute of Food Technologists scientific summary report “Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies,” published Jun 2005
Feb 16, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Iran, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia have joined the list of countries with H5N1 avian influenza in wild birds in the past few days, and the virus may have spread to as many as nine states in Nigeria, according to recent reports.Iran told the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on Feb 14 that the virus had killed 153 wild swans in a wetland area called Anzali, according to a report posted on the OIE Web site. Samples tested positive in an Italian laboratory, the report said.The daily European reports of outbreaks in wild birds have nearly all involved swans. The latest country affected is Slovenia, which today confirmed the virus in a wild swan found last week near the Austrian border, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.Yesterday Austria said two dead swans were found to be infected with H5N1, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. However, a European Union(EU) statement today described the Slovenian and Austrian cases as suspected.In Germany, the virus was confirmed yesterday in two swans and a hawk found dead on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen, according to a Reuters report published today. The Germany agriculture ministry said today that nine more swans and a goose had tested positive, Reuters reported. The story said those birds were found in the same northeastern state where the earlier ones were found (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), but it didn’t mention if they were on the same island.Hungarian officials have identified an H5 virus in three swans found dead in the southern county of Bacs-Kiskun, according to an EU statement. Samples from the birds were being sent to the EU reference laboratory in Weybridge, England, for further testing.In Nigeria, which last week became the first African country to report being hit by H5N1, three states have confirmed the virus among poultry and five other states suspect it, according to an AP report published yesterday.A veterinary official in Nigeria’s Kano state said a ninth state, Jigawa, has joined the list of those with suspected cases, AFP reported today. The official said about 90% of the poultry in three villages in the state had died in the past week.Tens of thousands of birds have been sacrificed since H5N1 was found in poultry in the northern state of Kaduna 8 days ago, AFP reported.Another AFP story today said a poultry outbreak of H5N1 has been found in the Russian province of Dagestan, near the Caspian Sea. The report described the outbreak as the first H5N1 appearance in the “impoverished and unstable” Russian Caucasus region.The full list of European countries affected so far by H5N1 in birds includes Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, and European Russia, according to AFP.See also:EU statement on suspected avian flu in HungaryIran’s initial notification to OIEhttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/Iran_AI_15_02_2006.pdf
Sep 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who tested 351 Cambodian villagers after they had extensive contact with avian influenza–infected poultry in 2005 found that none had antibodies to the H5N1 virus, suggesting that it doesn’t easily spread to humans and that mild cases are rare.”Our findings suggest that asymptomatic and mild H5N1 virus infections had not occurred in the population we investigated,” says the report, published by Emerging Infectious Diseases. The study was done by an international team of scientists, with Sirenda Vong of the Institute Pasteur in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as first author. Preliminary results were reported at a conference last March.Some experts have speculated that the current case-fatality rate for H5N1 avian flu, about 59%, could be inaccurate because mild or asymptomatic cases have gone undetected. Few such cases have been found in the limited number of studies on the topic so far.The village involved in the new study was the home of a 28-year-old man who had Cambodia’s second confirmed H5N1 case. The man, from Banteay Meas district in southeastern Cambodia, died in March 2005.After his death, Cambodian health officials launched an investigation to find additional cases and identify how the patient was exposed. The researchers said the rural village setting allowed them to study the epidemiologic features of the H5N1 virus in poultry and humans. Focusing on a 1-kilometer radius around the patient’s house, the researchers conducted a retrospective survey of poultry deaths immediately after the patient’s H5N1 infection was confirmed. Two months later they conducted a serologic investigation of members of 93 households.Villagers were questioned about recent illnesses in their chickens, and researchers collected samples from sick, dead, and randomly selected healthy chickens. The investigators also interviewed villagers about their exposure to animals and the environment during the previous 12 months and took blood specimens from each of them.The poultry survey revealed that 42 households were likely to have had an outbreak of H5N1 in poultry, reflecting an overall attack rate of 27% among households with chickens. Only two households reported the simultaneous deaths of ducks, and raising ducks with chickens was not associated with deaths in chickens.Cloacal specimens from two sick chickens tested positive for the H5N1 virus. The owner of the chickens reported that the man who died of avian flu had spent daylight hours in his compound.In the serologic survey, investigators found that substantial numbers of villagers had had regular, close contact with poultry or pigs over the previous 12 months. Despite this, none of the villagers reported having had a febrile or respiratory illness during the same period, and none of the residents had antibodies that suggested they had been infected with the H5N1 virus.The researchers said their finding of little H5N1 transmission between infected poultry and humans is consistent with recent studies among healthcare workers and household contacts of patients. The findings also suggest that none of the villages had an asymptomatic or mild H5N1 infection, they added.The authors said they couldn’t explain why only one person became infected when so many others had similar exposure and did not have evidence of infection. “H5N1 virus transmission in humans may be rare because it only occurs in exposed persons with unique host susceptibilities and a predisposition to an abnormal inflammatory response that results in severe and fatal outcomes, rather than causing a broad spectrum of illness with mild disease and subclinical infections,” the article states.The scientists found that some poultry-keeping practices appeared to affect a flock’s chance of contracting the H5N1 virus. Handling poultry, cleaning their stalls and cages, and collecting feathers seemed to reduce infections, while purchasing live poultry seemed to increase the risk.Though the H5N1 virus does not spread easily to humans, the researchers cautioned that that could change as the virus continues to circulate and evolve, and they called for routine, extensive investigations of all H5N1 outbreaks among humans and animals.Vong S, Coghlan B, Mardy S, et al. Low frequency of poultry-to-human H5N1 virus transmission, southern Cambodia, 2005. Emerg Infect Dis 2006;12(10) [Full text]See also:Mar 27, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Mild H5N1 cases weren’t missed in Cambodian outbreak”Mar 29, 2005, WHO statement on second Cambodian casehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_03_29b/en/index.htmlSep 29, 2005, New England Journal of Medicine article “Avian influenza A(H5N1) infection in humans” (see table 2 for results of serologic testing of patient contacts) [Full text]
Sep 9, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Members of Congress plan to press the FBI for more information about its investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks at hearings scheduled Sep 16 and 17, amid persistent doubts in some quarters about the bureau’s conclusion that the late microbiologist Dr. Bruce Ivins was the culprit.Ivins, who had worked for years at the US Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Md., committed suicide Jul 29 as the FBI was about to bring charges against him. Five people died and 17 others became ill after envelopes containing anthrax spores were mailed to two senators and several news media offices in the fall of 2001.The FBI announced its conclusions about Ivins’s role and released a collection of documents on Aug 6. Besides citing considerable circumstantial evidence, the agency asserted that a new DNA fingerprinting technique had enabled investigators to match the letter anthrax to a batch of anthrax that was in Ivins’s custody at USAMRIID. But many observers subsequently expressed doubts about the FBI’s case.In a Sep 5 letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, leaders of the House Judiciary Committee said, “Important and lingering questions remain that are crucial for you to address, especially since there will never be a trial to examine the facts of the case.”The committee members, including Chairman John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., asked Mueller to report back to them on several questions in advance of the hearing, scheduled Sep 16. The committee asked:Why government scientist Steven Hatfill remained a suspect in the attacks for a long time, “in light of the evidence clearly pointing elsewhere”Why the government allowed Ivins to keep his security clearance at USAMRIID for about 2 years after he became a suspectWhether mistakes by the FBI delayed the linkage of the anthrax used in the attacks with anthrax in Ivins’ possessionThe committee leaders also asked Mueller to explain media reports that the White House initially had pressed the FBI to say that the anthrax attacks were perpetrated by al Qaida or that the anthrax used was of a “weapons grade,” implying a possible link to Iraq.The Senate Judiciary Committee also will question Mueller at an FBI oversight hearing set for Sep 17. The hearing was scheduled weeks ago as part of an ongoing series, but Mueller is likely to face questions about the anthrax probe, according to a Sep 7 New York Times report.”There are some very serious questions that have yet to be answered and need to be made public,” said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., ranking Republican on the Senate committee, as quoted by the Times.The Times story, based on interviews with two dozen bioterrorism experts, veteran investigators, and members of Congress, along with FBI documents, included some new details about the investigation.For example, it said the agency told Ivins in a formal letter in April 2007 that he was not a target of the investigation, even though the mailed anthrax had already been genetically linked to his laboratory. Also, the story said the first time agents took a mouth swab from Ivins for a DNA sample was only a week before he died.John Miller, the FBI’s assistant director for public affairs, told the Times that the bureau plans to release much more information on the case, including notes of interviews with Ivins and other suspects and witnesses and surveillance logs detailing his movements. But because private and classified information must be purged from the materials, the disclosures are likely to be months away, the story said.Ivins’s attorney, Paul F. Kemp, said the FBI has not reviewed three boxes of papers that Ivins had marked for Kemp’s attention, because the records must be reviewed to determine if they should be kept secret under attorney-client privilege, the Times reported. A government lawyer not involved in the investigation will review the papers with Kemp, the story said.See also: House Judiciary Committee letter to FBIAug 15 CIDRAP News story “FBI conclusions in anthrax probe meet skepticism”