#Rabies in a #Dog Imported from #Egypt with a Falsified Rabies Vaccination Certificate — #Virginia, 2015 (@CDCgov, MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep., abstract)

[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Rabies in a Dog Imported from Egypt with a Falsified Rabies Vaccination Certificate — Virginia, 2015 [      ]

Weekly / December 18, 2015 / 64(49);1359-62

Julie R. Sinclair, DVM1; Ryan M. Wallace, DVM2; Karen Gruszynski, DVM3; Marilyn Bibbs Freeman, PhD4; Colin Campbell, DVM5; Shereen Semple, MS5; Kristin Innes, MPH5; Sally Slavinski, DVM6; Gabriel Palumbo, MPH1; Heather Bair-Brake, DVM1; Lillian Orciari, MS2; Rene E. Condori, MS2; Adam Langer, DVM1; Darin S. Carroll, PhD2; Julia Murphy, DVM3

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Canine rabies virus variant has been eliminated in the United States and multiple other countries. Globally, however, dogs remain the principal source for human rabies infections (1). The World Health Organization recommends that when dogs cross international borders, national importing authorities should require an international veterinary certificate attesting that the animal did not show signs of rabies at the time of shipment, was permanently identified, vaccinated, or revaccinated, and had been subjected to a serologic test for rabies before shipment (1). On June 8, 2015, an adult female dog that had recently been picked up from the streets of Cairo, Egypt, and shipped by a U.S. animal rescue organization to the United States was confirmed to have rabies by the Virginia Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS). This dog was part of a large shipment of dogs and cats from Egypt that rescue organizations had distributed to multiple states for adoption. During the investigation, public health officials learned that the rabies vaccination certificate used for entry of the rabid dog into the United States had intentionally been falsified to avoid exclusion of the dog from entry under CDC’s current dog importation regulations. This report underscores the ongoing risk posed by U.S. importation of domestic animals that have not been adequately vaccinated against rabies.

(…)

Keywords: US CDC; USA; Updates; Viriginia; Dogs; Rabies.

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#Taiwan #CDC warns #travelers to pay attention to Mainland #China #H7N9 and #H9N2 #birdflu viruses situation (CDC, Dec. 15 ‘15, edited)

[Source: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Taiwan, full page: (LINK). Automatic translation, edited.]

#Taiwan #CDC warns #travelers to pay attention to Mainland #China #H7N9 and #H9N2 #birdflu viruses situation [      ][      ]

(December 15 2015)

______

As weather turns cold, please implement respiratory and hand hygiene to prevent influenza infection; China mainland recently detected H7N9 and H9N2 avian influenza virus infection cases, travelers that go to endemic areas, please be vigilant (2015-12-15)

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Recently the weather starting to turn cold, publicly funded influenza vaccine will be exhausted soon, please seize the opportunity as soon as possible vaccinated people; in line with publicly funded influenza antiviral drug target agents also asked for medical treatment and medication as soon as possible to protect themselves and their families healthy.

China mainland recently discovered H7N9 and H9N2 influenza virus infection cases, people go to endemic areas be sure to do self-protection, to avoid contact with live poultry birds classes and access to markets, to prevent infection.

(…)

In addition, China added one case of H7N9 flu infection in Zhejiang Hangzhou, a 60-year-old male farmer, who had contact with live poultry, and that was currently in critical conditions.

China mainland reported this autumn so far a total of six cases of H7N9 influenza virus infection cases: Zhejiang, five cases; one case in Guangdong Province, was a 50 years old patient having had a history of exposure to poultry.

So far a total of 683 cases of H7N9 avian influenza virus infection have been reported worldwide since 2013, including 663 cases in mainland China, Hong Kong 13 cases, 4 cases of Taiwan, Canada two cases, one case of Malaysia, according the most recent WHO update; of these, 275 cases died.

Mainland China’s Anhui and Hunan provinces recently added four cases of avian influenza virus H9N2 infection.

The cases are 3 female and 1 male, date of onset is between April to October this year, with mild clinical course, one case he joined the family to the market to buy food, no live poultry remaining exposure history or exposure history is unknown.

Since 2013 the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong from a cumulative total of six cases of H9N2 flu, including four cases in Hunan Province, Anhui Province, one case and one case of Hong Kong (Guangdong Province moved).

Currently tourism against human bird flu epidemic proposal, mainland China, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Anhui and Hunan Provincial Tourism epidemic proposal as a warning (Alert), other provinces (excluding Hong Kong and Macao) as a note (Watch).

The Programme disease called people not to overlook the severity of influenza, usually should routinely wash their hands, good respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette; visit mainland China should avoid contact with live poultry birds classes and access to markets; edible chickens, ducks, geese and eggs to cooked to avoid infection. Such as fever or flu-like symptoms should wear a mask as soon as possible for medical treatment, in addition to travel and contact history inform physicians and medication according to doctor’s orders, at home recuperating. Information available to the illness UNDCP WWW (http://www.cdc.gov.tw), or call toll-free vaccination Line 1922 (or 0800-001922 FREE) contact.

Keywords: Taiwan; Updates; H7N9; H9N2; Avian Influenza; Human, China.

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#COP21: #UN chief hails new #climatechange #agreement as ‘monumental #triumph’ [updated] (UN News Centre, Dec. 13 ‘15)

[Source: United Nations News Centre, full page: (LINK).]

COP21: UN chief hails new climate change agreement as ‘monumental triumph’ [  INTL / ENVR  ]

12 December 2015

Following the adoption of the new Paris Agreement on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said government representatives made history today.

“The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet,” said Mr. Ban in a tweet, immediately following its adoption. “It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.”

Gaveling the Agreement with a green hammer, the French Foreign Minister and President of COP21, Laurent Fabius, announced the historic news – a moment greeted with loud applause and cheers, as the room stood up. Many delegates hugged, while others had tears in their eyes.

For the first time today, 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and joined to take common climate action. This followed two weeks of tireless negotiations at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21).

The Paris Agreement and the outcomes of COP21 cover all the crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion:

–> mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal;

–> a transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action;

–> adaptation – strengthening ability of countries to deal with climate impacts;

–> loss and damage – strengthening ability to recover from climate impacts; and

–> support – including finance, for nations to build clean, resilient futures.

“In the face of an unprecedented challenge, you have demonstrated unprecedented leadership,” the UN chief said taking the COP21 stage just minutes later. “You have worked collaboratively to achieve something that no one nation could achieve alone. This is a resounding success for multilateralism.”

Recalling that he made climate change one of the defining priorities of his tenure as Secretary-General, Mr. Ban said that most of all, he has listened to people – the young, the poor and the vulnerable, including indigenous peoples, from every corner of the globe.

“They seek protection from the perils of a warming planet, and the opportunity to live in a safer, more bountiful world,” he underlined. “They have demanded that world leaders act to safeguard their well-being and that of generations to come.”

Turning to the agreement itself, the Secretary-General said negotiators reached “solid results on all key points,” with an agreement that demonstrates solidarity and “is ambitious, flexible, credible and durable.”

“All countries have agreed to hold global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. And recognizing the risk of grave consequences, you have further agreed to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees,” he announced.

In addition, a review mechanism has been established whereby every five years, beginning in 2018, Parties will regularly review what is needed in line with science.

“Governments have agreed to binding, robust, transparent rules of the road to ensure that all countries do what they have agreed across a range of issues,” Mr. Ban added.

Meanwhile, highlighting the role of the private sector, the UN chief said business leaders came to Paris in unprecedented numbers and that “powerful” climate solutions are already available while many more are to come.

“With these elements in place, markets now have the clear signal they need to unleash the full force of human ingenuity and scale up investments that will generate low-emissions, resilient growth,” he said, adding that “what was once unthinkable has now become unstoppable.”

“When historians look back on this day, they will say that global cooperation to secure a future safe from climate change took a dramatic new turn here in Paris,” Mr. Ban stated. “Today, we can look into the eyes of our children and grandchildren, and we can finally say, tell them that we have joined hands to bequeath a more habitable world to them and to future generations.”

Ending his remarks, the UN chief said that all Parties should be proud of the Paris Agreement and that “the work starts tomorrow.”

“For today, congratulations again on a job well done,” he concluded. “Let us work together, with renewed commitment, to make this a better world.”

Addressing the hundreds of delegates, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, said “we did it in Paris.”

“We have made history together. It is an agreement of conviction. It is an agreement of solidarity with the most vulnerable. It is an agreement of long-term vision, for we have to turn this agreement into an engine of safe growth,” she exclaimed.

Several other top UN officials joined the Secretary-General in welcoming the new Agreement. This included the President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft.

“Today’s agreement signals nothing less than a renaissance for humankind as we collectively embrace the global challenge of climate change and endeavor to transition to a more sustainable way of living that respects the needs of people and our planet,” Mr. Lykketoft said in a statement.

Echoing this message, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Oh Joon, said the world has reached a key milestone in collective action for sustainable development.

“Bold action against climate change will contribute to poverty reduction. The United Nations Economic and Social Council will take part in follow-up efforts,” he added.

Earlier today, at a meeting of the Committee of Paris [Comité de Paris] – the body which is overseeing the negotiations at COP21 – the UN chief spoke alongside the President of France, François Hollande as well Minister Fabius.

“The end is in sight. Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom,” the Secretary-General had told delegates.

In an emotional address during which he held back tears, Laurent Fabius said the agreement “will serve meaningful causes, food safety and security, public health, the fight against poverty and for essential rights, and therefore peace.”

“People worldwide, our citizens, our children, wouldn’t understand if we didn’t adopt it and wouldn’t forgive us,” he insisted.

“It is rare to be given the opportunity to change the world,” said President François Hollande, wrapping up the meeting. “You have the opportunity to do that.”

Keywords: Worldwide; UN; Updated; Climate Change; Global Warming; International Cooperation.

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#COP21: ‘Monumental #triumph’ in #Paris as #world adopts new #climatechange #agreement, says #UN chief (UN News Centre, Dec. 12 ‘15)

[Source: United Nations News Centre, full page: (LINK).]

COP21: ‘Monumental triumph’ in Paris as world adopts new climate change agreement, says UN chief [  INTL / ENVR  ]

12 December 2015

Following the adoption of the new Paris Agreement on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said government representatives made history today.

“The Paris Agreement is a monumental triumph for people and our planet,” said Mr. Ban in a tweet. “It sets the stage for progress in ending poverty, strengthening peace and ensuring a life of dignity and opportunity for all.”

Gaveling the agreement with a green hammer, the French Foreign Minister and President of COP21 Laurent Fabius announced its adoption—a moment greeted with loud applause and cheers, as the room stood up. Many delegates hugged, while others had tears in their eyes.

Earlier today, the Secretary-General told delegates that the world had been presented a “historic” document which promises to set it on a new path to a low-emissions, climate-resilient future.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the commitment, engagement and leadership of all the Heads of State, Government ministers and negotiators who have brought us so far in this very difficult negotiation,” Mr. Ban said as all COP21 stakeholders prepared to receive the final draft outcome.

At this morning’s plenary meeting of the Committee of Paris [Comité de Paris]—the body which is overseeing the negotiations at COP21—the UN chief spoke alongside the President of France, François Hollande and the President of COP21 and French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius.

“The end is in sight. Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom,” the Secretary-General declared.

At the opening session of the conference on the last day of November, the UN chief had told 150 world leaders—an unprecedented number to have shown up for such an occasion—that “a political moment like this may not come again.” Today, he said leaders have listened.

“They want a flexible, robust, meaningful, universal agreement that will help us rise as one to the climate challenge. The issues are many and complex. But we must not let the quest for perfection become the enemy of the public good,” he warned.

“The solutions to climate change are on the table. They are ours for the taking. Let us have the courage to grasp them,” he said ending his remarks, adding that he looks forward to joining delegates later today to celebrate the new agreement.

Opening the floor in an emotional address during which he held back tears, Foreign Minister Fabius said if the world doesn’t adopt the agreement, it is the “credibility of multilateralism” that would be in play.

“The agreement will serve meaningful causes, food safety and security, public health, the fight against poverty and for essential rights, and therefore peace,” he insisted. “People worldwide, our citizens, our children, wouldn’t understand if we didn’t adopt it and wouldn’t forgive us.”

He announced that the document presented today as the final draft is “differentiated, just, dynamic, balanced and legally binding.” It calls for global temperature rise to be limited to “well below 2 degrees Celsius,” and “endeavored to reach 1.5 degrees.” It also provides for a transparency framework, monitoring progress every five years.

“It is rare to be given the opportunity to change the world,” said President François Hollande, wrapping up the meeting. “You have the opportunity to do that.”

MORE TO FOLLOW

Keywords: UN; Updates; Worldwide; Climate Change; Interntional Cooperation; Global Warming.

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#Michigan, Suspect #deer confirmed #positive for chronic wasting disease [#CWD] (DNR, December 11 2015, edited)

[Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, full page: (LINK).]

Suspect deer confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease [      ]

Contact: Chad Stewart, 517-641-4903, ext. 263  / Agency: Natural Resources / Dec. 11, 2015

Deer was harvested in Dewitt Township; Eaton County hunters urged to voluntarily check deer and stop baiting and feeding of deer

As of Thursday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports a total of 3,695 deer in Michigan this year have been tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD). Four deer have been confirmed positive for the disease, with the fourth positive just recently found.

During the firearm deer season, a hunter from Dewitt Township (Clinton County) in the Core CWD Area brought a 1 1/2-year-old buck into the DNR’s Rose Lake deer check station. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the deer as CWD positive.

Because the deer was harvested within 10 miles of the Eaton County border, the DNR strongly encourages all hunters within Eaton County to voluntarily stop baiting and feeding, continue hunting and, most importantly, bring harvested deer into a DNR check station.

“Deer hunters in DMU 333 have been a great help by bringing in their deer to be tested. We couldn’t be more thankful or impressed with their dedication to the resource,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. “We continue to need their help and are also asking Eaton County hunters to join our efforts. In addition, we have begun conversations with DeWitt Township, and they, too, are becoming great partners in this fight against CWD.”

There will be no mandatory regulation changes from now through the end of the deer season, as the DNR conducts CWD surveillance and decides what additional steps might be needed for the 2016 season.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids, or from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of a diseased animal.

Some chronically CWD-infected animals will display abnormal behaviors, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation; however, deer can be infected without showing internal or external symptoms for many years. There is no cure; once a deer is infected with CWD, it will die.

To date, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

The DNR provides weekly CWD updates at mi.gov/cwd. Announcements of additional CWD-positive deer also will be posted online.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Keywords: USA; Updates; Michigan; Deer; Chronic Wasting Disease; Prions.

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#USDA Issues Final #Environmental #Impact #Statement to Help Reduce Potential #Risks during an #Animal #Health #Emergency (USDA, December 11 2015, edited)

[Source: US Department of Agriculture, full page: (LINK).]

USDA Issues Final Environmental Impact Statement to Help Reduce Potential Risks during an Animal Health Emergency [      ]

Published: Dec 11, 2015

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2015— The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is issuing a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for carcass management alternatives that could be implemented during an animal health emergency.

Livestock carcasses in large numbers can present a potential environmental risk. The agency must effectively manage carcasses in a mass animal health emergency to reduce potential risks to humans, livestock, and the surrounding environment.

In the EIS, the agency evaluated three alternatives, including:

  • Taking no action, under which APHIS would manage carcasses in a mass animal health emergency in accordance with the existing regulations in 9CFR53.4, using either unlined burial or open-air burning.
  • Using standard procedures, which would consider four additional carcass-management options – landfill, rendering, fixed incineration, and composting – in addition to those listed in the no action alternative.
  • Adaptive management, chosen as the preferred alternative, which allows for all high-capacity, widely-available carcass management options – including unlined burial, open-air burning, landfill, rendering, incineration, composting, and other nonstandard options – to be considered and potentially used during a mass animal health emergency.  This chosen alternative is expected to provide greater flexibility for using the best available resources in such an event.

The EIS finds that carcasses resulting from an animal health emergency can be disposed of safely using a variety of available methods.  The EIS is not specific to any one animal disease.  The findings of the EIS will be used to support animal health emergency planning and decision-making.

The final EIS is available at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/eis_carcass_management.pdf

The notice of availability for the final EIS is expected to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, December 18.

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Keywords: USA; USDA; Updates; Infectious Diseases.

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#HK, CHP notified of two #human cases of #avian #influenza A(#H7N9) in #Zhejiang & #Guangdong Provinces (CHP, Dec. 11 ‘15)

[Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong PRC SAR, full page: (LINK).]

CHP notified of two human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) on Mainland [      ]

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) today (December 11) was notified of two human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Zhejiang and Guangdong by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), and again urged the public to maintain strict personal, food and environmental hygiene both locally and during travel.

According to the NHFPC, the cases comprise a male farmer aged 60 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, and a male farmer aged 74 in Meizhou, Guangdong. They had poultry exposure history and are currently in serious condition.

“Based on previous seasonal patterns, it is likely that the activity of avian influenza viruses will increase in winter. Heightened vigilance is warranted. Locally, we will work closely with the World Health Organization and relevant health authorities to monitor the latest developments,” a spokesman for the DH said.

So far, six cases have been reported by the NHFPC since October 2015 (five in Zhejiang and one in Guangdong).

From 2013 to date, 663 human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) have been reported by the Mainland health authorities.

The DH’s Port Health Office conducts health surveillance measures at all boundary control points. Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks on inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up.

The display of posters and broadcast of health messages in departure and arrival halls as health education for travellers is under way. The travel industry and other stakeholders are regularly updated on the latest information.

Travellers, especially those returning from avian influenza-affected areas with fever or respiratory symptoms, should wear masks, seek medical attention and reveal their travel history to doctors. Healthcare professionals should pay special attention to patients who might have had contact with poultry, birds or their droppings in affected areas.

The public should remain vigilant and take heed of the advice against avian influenza below:

* Do not visit live poultry markets and farms. Avoid contact with poultry, birds and their droppings;
* If contact has been made, thoroughly wash hands with soap;
* Avoid entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered and contact with surfaces which might be contaminated by droppings of poultry or other animals;
* Poultry and eggs should be thoroughly cooked before eating;
* Wash hands frequently with soap, especially before touching the mouth, nose or eyes, handling food or eating; after going to the toilet or touching public installations or equipment (including escalator handrails, elevator control panels and door knobs); and when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing;
* Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, hold the spit with a tissue and put it into a covered dustbin;
* Avoid crowded places and contact with fever patients; and
* Wear masks when respiratory symptoms develop or when taking care of fever patients.

The public may visit the CHP’s pages below for more information:

* The avian influenza page (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/24244.html);
* The weekly Avian Influenza Report (www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/3879.html);
* Global statistics and affected areas of avian influenza (www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/global_statistics_avian_influenza_e.pdf);
* The Facebook Page (www.fb.com/CentreforHealthProtection); and
* The YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/c/ChpGovHkChannel).

Keywords: HK PRC SAR; Updates; China; Zhejiang; Guangdong; H7N9; Avian Influenza; Human.

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