Nov 29, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The initial epidemiologic report, released today, on the United Kingdom’s recent outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in Suffolk said the source of the virus is unknown but could have been wild birds.The 24-page report from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), released on the department’s Web site, said the H5N1 virus infected poultry at the Redgrave Farm facility near Diss, then was transmitted by vehicles, people, or other means to a second farm owned by the same company.The outbreak was confirmed at the first farm on Nov 13 and at the second farm 6 days later, according to previous reports.Investigators have so far ruled out the possibility that infected poultry or poultry products, or the vehicles or people transporting them from other counties, played a role in spreading the virus to the commercial farm, which housed turkeys, ducks, and geese.”Wild birds cannot be ruled out as a source of infection,” DEFRA said in a press release today. “To date, there is no evidence of H5N1 infection in the local wild bird population or in GB [Great Britain] as a whole, but the continued surveillance may help clarify the infection status of the wild bird population.”Among other details in the report, most of the infected birds on the first farm were turkeys, but a few ducks were sick as well. The findings suggest an initial introduction of the virus into one of the groups of turkeys, rather than widespread exposure of poultry on the farm.Genetic analysis of virus samples from birds on the two affected farms revealed that the birds were infected from a single source and that the virus most closely resembled an isolate from wild birds from the Czech Republic that was detected in mid 2007, the report said.The isolate is distinct from the one involved in a February H5N1 outbreak at the Bernard Matthews turkey farm in Holton.Samples from poultry on the farms that supplied birds to the two Redgrave Farm facilities tested negative, and all of the birds were hatched in Great Britain, the report said.Investigators identified two key biosecurity concerns. One was that farm workers who traveled between the facilities did not follow simple measures such as changing clothing, disinfecting their boots, and sanitizing the feed buckets they carried to feed birds. Another was that the first affected farm, a free-range facility, was likely to attract not only migratory waterfowl from a nearby ornamental farm but also “bridge” species such as gulls.DEFRA said its surveillance, testing, and epidemiologic work on the outbreak was continuing.See also:Nov 15 CIDRAP News story “H5N1 suspected at second British farm”
Image courtesy of GATE LNGLiquefied natural gas (LNG) throughput volumes at the Dutch Gate terminal have gone up in the first nine months of the year as European consumption of gas produced in the Atlantic region jumped. The facility located in the Dutch port of Rotterdam recorded a throughput of 5.49 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2019, 46.4 percent above the 3.75 million tonnes recorded in the January-September period in 2018.The Port of Rotterdam noted in its report that the European consumption of as produced in the Atlantic region was higher during the period under review. Previously, this gas was often sold in Asia.Gate terminal, owned by Gasunie and Vopak, is one of Europe’s largest LNG terminals. It consists of three 180,000-cbm storage tanks and has an annual regasification capacity of 12 Bcm – equal to around 180 cargoes per year.
The Big House will not be at full capacity in 2020. Michigan announced Wednesday that attendance will be reduced or games will be played without fans if there is a college football season in 2020. As a result, there will no season tickets for football. Michigan Stadium is the largest college football stadium, with a capacity of 107,601. On May 20, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh addressed the logistical problems of filling a stadium of that size with fans while trying to play a game. MORE: Four things we’ll miss in 2020 with a conference-only schedule”You could definitely test both teams and the officials, but can you test 100,000 fans coming into a stadium?” Harbaugh said. “Probably not. Heck yeah, I would be comfortable coaching a game without any fans. If the choice was to play in front of fans or not play, I would choose play in front of no fans.” The Big Ten moved to a conference-only scheduling model last week, the first Power 5 conference to make that move. “We have been working closely with a wide variety of leaders to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our student-athletes, coaches, fans and support staff associated with a game at Michigan Stadium,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in the release Wednesday. “We will follow the direction that all of these agencies and experts continue to provide during this challenging time.”Michigan also announced decisions regarding ticket policies. Season ticket-holder status and location will be retained for 2021, according to the university. Tickets for home games in 2020 would be sold on a game-by-game basis if there is a season, and sales would be limited to season-ticket holders and students. All ticketing for sporting events will move to a mobile platform.