posted by admin on 25/04/06
Monday, April 248:30 p.m.:
WSJ's Scott Patterson reports. Avian flu's spread has been bad news for poultry producers, sending their share prices tumbling. But that has whetted the appetites of bargain hunters, who foresee H5N1 causing only temporary trouble, defying skeptics who warn against underestimating the flu's dangers. 3 p.m.:
New York state health officials are prepared to air a media campaign upon the first reports of avian flu in New York in order to quell any public panic. "The important, No. 1 message is that just because infection appears in the animal population, it doesn't mean there's a higher chance it will move into the human population,'' said Dennis Whalen, the state's deputy health commissioner. The campaign includes print, radio and TV spots, and is slated to run in late summer or early fall as a precursor to the regular flu season regardless of whether avian flu surfaces in the state or not. 9:10 a.m.:
Agricultural scientists from 19 African countries began a five-day conference to discuss how vulnerable countries should prepare themselves for a bird-flu outbreak. A representative from Malawi said although most countries in Africa were still free of bird flu there was an urgent need to increase surveillance and early detection. Bird flu has been detected in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Egypt and Burkina Faso.6:30 a.m.:
The European Commission will unveil plans Tuesday to continue sharing the burden of supporting European Union poultry farmers hit by falling chicken sales due to fears of bird flu in recent months. The commission wants to shift money allocated for farm emergencies to cover the poultry sector, EU Agriculture Spokesman Michael Mann said. Under the plan, the EU will pay half the compensation, leaving the rest to be paid by national governments.3:45 a.m.:
Pigeons, more common than manhole covers in cities, aren't expected to bring bird flu to their metropolitan hometowns, a U.S. wildlife official said. Pigeons aren't immune from the virus, but tests indicate the birds pick it up only when they are exposed to very high doses. Pigeons don't always become infected under those conditions and are carriers only briefly.