Avian influenza turning into epidemic

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After hearing the latest news of more devastating cases of poultry losses in his state, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad called the current avian influenza (AI) outbreak an “epidemic.”On May 1, Iowa declared a state of emergency due to the problem. The latest detections in Iowa involved three turkey farms and a chicken laying operation of about 1 million birds. Over 5.5 million birds have been lost in Iowa alone, the nation’s top egg producing state. Minnesota and Wisconsin had already declared emergency status in April. Nationwide total AI losses are more than 20 million birds.“AI has been percolating relatively quietly in the poultry industry for most of the year. In early March, the first case of the highly-pathogenic H5N2 strain of AI in the Mississippi flyway was confirmed by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on a commercial turkey operation in Minnesota,” said John D. Anderson, Deputy Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation. “Looking ahead, the big question is whether or not highly-pathogenic AI will impact the broiler industry. So far, broilers have not been impacted significantly. The two commercial chicken operations to have confirmed AI cases have both been layer operations. Of course, there are substantial numbers of broiler facilities along the Mississippi flyway, mostly in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. As the migration season winds down, the likelihood of a full-blown outbreak in the broiler sector should be diminishing, but the possibility remains a real source of uncertainty for the livestock sector this year.”Three worrisome strains of avian flu have been detected in U.S. birds so far. The strains are related to a virus that circulated in Asia and Europe in 2014. In December 2014, they were detected in the Pacific Migratory Bird Flyway, in Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. These viruses are classified as highly pathogenic, meaning they are extremely infectious and fatal for birds. Since then, the problem has exploded nationally.“This is obviously a very troublesome situation for the producers affected. We are working very closely with state ag officials and producer groups,” said Tom Vilsack, USDA Secretary. “We want to make sure folks are using every bit of biosecurity they can to prevent this from happening. We have a booklet that is available through APHIS that lays out the strategies people can take to prevent this from occurring. We want to make sure that when it does occur it is detected as quickly as possible so we are in a position to depopulate the affected flocks, provide reimbursement and make sure we sanitize the area properly to contain this the best we can. We are also working on vaccines, but AI has a way of mutating and we are hoping we do not see an eastern impact and we hope that export markets remain as open as they can be. We are concerned that 11 or 12 countries have proposed a countrywide ban on poultry from the United States. We don’t think that is consistent with science or international regulations. We will continue to work as best we can to make sure export markets remain open.”The current avian influenza outbreak has not been found in Ohio, but is a concern.“Our highest priority at this time is on protecting our flocks through heightened biosecurity measures that will help prevent introduction of this disease on Ohio’s farms,” said Jim Chakeres, with the Ohio Poultry Association. “Those of us in the egg and poultry farming community remain deeply concerned about the continued spread of avian influenza. While there is no risk to humans from the disease, and eggs, turkey and chicken remain safe to eat, the impact on the nation’s flocks and on the industry overall is devastating,”This has been strictly an avian disease outbreak — human illness has never been reported in relation to this outbreak in North America, Europe or Asia, and poultry products such as chicken and turkey are safe to eat. Still, producers and poultry owners should take all necessary measures to protect their birds, said Mohamed El-Gazzar, poultry veterinarian for Ohio State University Extension who is also an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine.“The first thing is to try to avoid direct contact between any domestic or captive type of bird and wild migratory birds,” El-Gazzar said. “Producers are generally very good about protecting their birds, but they need to be aware that there’s an increased risk.”Backyard poultry owners should consider keeping their birds in enclosed covered runs until the threat from the viruses passes, he said. Poultry owners should not be complacent about these viruses even though they have not been detected in the Midwest, El-Gazzar said.Samples from wild birds collected during the recent hunting season have not yet been analyzed, and few additional samples will be collected until summer. So, although there is no evidence that these viruses might be circulating in Ohio, authorities can’t be certain the state is completely free of them, he said.“While we don’t think there are these highly pathogenic viruses in the Mississippi flyway, we don’t really know for sure,” he said.Anyone who keeps or breeds raptors should also be aware of these viruses, as they have been detected in birds of prey out West, too, El-Gazzar said. Other precautions El-Gazzar recommends include:In addition to avoiding direct contact between migratory and domestic birds, it’s important to prevent indirect contact, as well. “For example, if there’s an open body of water nearby that attracts wild birds, don’t go out, potentially step in fecal material, and then come back to your birds and transmit an infection,” he said.Protect birds from other poultry populations. “We don’t encourage mixing flocks, mixing ages or mixing species,” El-Gazzar said. “Visitors to your bird flock, whether they’re from the neighborhood or from other farms, are highly discouraged.”Commercial producers or backyard poultry owners should boost insect and rodent control efforts. “Make sure your houses are animal-proof, so that raccoons, opossums or any varmints can’t get in, and bird-proof so that wild birds can’t get in.” Such biosecurity measures also include keeping feed and water clean.It’s especially important to protect domestic birds from wild duck populations, El-Gazzar said, because they often don’t show any signs of disease even if they are carrying the virus.“If you’re a poultry owner and have ducks and chickens and turkeys in the same flock, that is a highly risky situation,” El-Gazzar said. “Particularly if ducks are involved, that requires increased biosecurity for the time being.”Even if poultry owners cannot isolate their flocks from migrating birds and other poultry species, it’s at least important to be aware of the increased risk of the virus, El-Gazzar said.“At the first sign of a problem, alert authorities so things can be checked out,” he said. “If you notice increased mortality in an alarming manner, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture. They will speak with you and determine if what you’re seeing matches the pattern of the highly pathogenic influenza.”The animal disease hotline at ODA is 800-300-9755 or 614-728-6220. Updates on the Pacific flyway avian influenza outbreak is online at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website, at www.aphis.usda.gov. For additional information on poultry biosecurity measures, see the service’s poultry biosecurity website at www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/birdbiosecurity/biosecurity/basicspoultry.htm. OSU Extension also has a fact sheet, Biosecurity for Poultry, online at ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0009.html.“We’re not trying to scare anybody,” El-Gazzar said. “Currently we don’t have any problems with this group of viruses here in Ohio, that we know of.“We’re just saying be aware of the problems out west, which might represent some risk to the Ohio poultry producers and backyard poultry owners. Just be aware and do everything you can to protect your birds.”last_img read more

Facebook Graph Search: Noisier And Nosier Than Ever

first_imgTags:#Facebook#friends#Instagram#notifications#social media#twitter A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img In rolling out its new Graph Search, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quick to caution that “it’s going to take years to index the whole map of the graph.”  That’s great.  It gives me time to completely remove myself from Facebook.When I dropped off Facebook a few weeks ago, it wasn’t in pursuit of some grand, moral crusade.  I was simply trying to show solidarity with my 13-year old son, who had become obsessed (addicted?) to a massively multiplayer game played on Facebook. When I took away his Facebook privileges in an attempt to help him kick the habit, I decided that a hiatus from Facebook would do me some good, too, and would show him that I wasn’t asking him to give up something that I, too, wasn’t willing to abandon.  Little did I suspect the incredible relief that would come from cutting out Facebook and Instagram from my life. (I kept Twitter, however, as it has become a useful business tool for me.)At the same time, to keep myself from slavishly staring at my iPhone all the time – again, not wanting to be a bad example for my son – I turned off all notifications. Then I did the same thing on my laptop. I wasn’t attempting a Digital Purge, as John Paul Titlow describes in ReadWrite: I simply wanted to control how and when I’d use my devices and their applications, rather than having them constantly clamoring for my attention. I wanted control.Peace At LastIt has been amazing.  I’ve felt more peaceful and thoughtful than I have in years. (Regular readers of my column here may disagree, but we’ll bracket that issue for now.)This reprieve from the onslaught of social media and its attendant army of notifications (“Lonn likes your post.  He really likes it!”) couldn’t have come at a better time, now that Facebook’s Graph Search is set to make it even easier for random people that I’ve accepted as “friends” to search my interests and take action based on them. (“Hey! I like The Hobbit, too! Want to go to the community theatre’s production of Bilbo and Me?” “You’ve eaten at Flour + Water. What should I get?”)Facebook was noisy before. Now it’s going to be nosy, too? No, thanks.Jon Mitchell is right: we need a unified search box, not a Facebook or Google or Apple walled-garden search experience. Google comes closest to this, but of course Facebook has siloed its “graph” such that Google can’t index it. That may be great for Facebook’s business, but it’s terrible for the user experience.  Having said that, if I have to let people scour my random postings across social media, I’d prefer them to be my friends. I just wish Facebook more accurately reflected who those friends actually are. We can’t manage more than 150 friends meaningfully, at least, according to Robin Dunbar’s influential research.  I must be slow, as I don’t even want to interact with those 150 friends when it comes to choosing a restaurant or a movie. There are few individuals that I trust on such matters: I either want an expert (Zagat) or the foolishness of crowds (Yelp). I don’t want my brother, who might hype me on the new dish at Olive Garden. (A fate worse than death!)In sum, I’m enjoying my life sans Facebook, and I imagine I’ll enjoy it even more now that Facebook wants to make it even easier to invade my personal space without real value in return. Maybe it will be useful for dating, but I have zero interest in this.I just want a place to hang out with real friends. It turns out that there’s an even better place to do this than Facebook. It’s called “the real world.” The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Matt Asaylast_img read more

Interview: Director of Photography Jake Swantko of Netflix’s Icarus

first_imgNot every documentary turns out the way you intend. Find out how this filmmaker pivoted to tell a remarkable story.All images via Netflix.We had the opportunity to sit down with the DP Jake Swantko of Netflix’s latest documentary, Icarus. This riveting documentary begins by attempting to reveal the truth about steroid use in sports. However, after consulting with a Russian scientist, the story takes a drastic turn from a Supersize Me-like experiment into a story of espionage while shining a light on one of the biggest scandals in sports history.PremiumBeat: Will you tell us a little bit about your background and how it led to your work on Icarus?Jake Swantko: Yes, well I come from a journalism background. I graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in communications and then that program went on to basically become cinematography towards the end of my tenure in school. I started shooting documentaries right towards my senior year and then picked up a gig with National Geographic. It’s been a long road. I started off in Oregon and then lived in L.A. for about a year, then I moved to New York, and then briefly after I moved to New York I did some work during the Ukraine Revolution. After that I got a call from Bryan, probably two or three months after I did that work, and he basically told me about this idea for a project that he wanted to start shooting in a month in Boulder, Colorado. So he connected me to a producer who I worked with for quiet a while. I then basically met this guy in Colorado. It started off with this guy with all his belongings in an SUV.For me the camera’s always been able to speak the way I see. To be able to find so much of your voice with the camera, it’s been just a revelation throughout my career. It’s been great to become more of a cinematographer and learn and be able to capture the things as you want to imagine them. I think that’s always been the ethos of my work is to try and capture what I see. It was perfect for Brian and I to meet like that. He needed a journalist, or he needed somebody kind of with that background, and so yeah — I kind of just took off from there.PB: Will you tell us a little bit about the camera package you used on the film?JS: Yes, we used a Canon Vixia for sort of that Supersize Me candidness that you see a lot of in the film. We shot with a Canon C300 and a 24-70, 16-35, and a 70-200. The camera was just the perfect package for us. I shoot with that camera on a Glidecam HD2000 on the back of the motorcycle. The camera ended up being able to balance on the Glidecam. Also, the dynamic range and also the versatility to shoot both action sports but also be able to go incognito enough to go into these Moscow labs and shoot with Gregory. It was the camera to use. Then when the dual pixel autofocus came out, it made it much better to control.PB: The plot of the film almost completely changes; it does a complete 180. As a cinematographer did you have to adjust your shooting style and approach with that change in story or direction?JS: It’s funny, so I come from a journalism background. I had to switch my brain to shoot action sports, and then once it became this political sort of thing, I realized this is more conversation-based and less action. It was definitely at the beginning trying to figure out how to shoot action sports first and take chances with it. Once it became like this is, it was more like nothing strange.PB: As filmmakers was the plot change a gradual process and you happened to find yourself in this new story, or was it immediate and you had to make that quick decision to switch?JS: Well, it was gradual. It’s just weird how it all came about. The second trip of the races, we ended it in Geneva, and then we would leave from Geneva to Moscow to go talk with Gregory. There was kind of a gradual transition in the middle of it. Then when you go from over the course of three years, I guess anything is gradual. I mean when you start to look at it full circle, we started off with a Canon Vixia camera shooting this guy getting out of his car with all his belongings in Colorado. Then you’re filming a Russian chemist getting fingerprinted to enter into witness protection.PB: Did you have that feeling that you struck gold with where the story went?JS: Gregory certainly at one point said “Ryan you’re a very lucky  man.” With Gregory, he’s always saying very explicit and controversial things, but he’s just Gregory, you know. So it seemed like fun and games, and then, yeah — all of a  sudden it was this thing, and we were releasing documents to the New York Times, and the story was on the front page. Then it’s like Wow!PB: So I absolutely loved the lighting in your interviews. Can you tell me a little bit about your lighting approach for those?JS: I love to use pretty simple things to assist natural light as much as possible. I think the C300 is a great camera; its color rendition in daylight is so perfect. Basically what I would do is rig together an 85-watt fluorescent bulb in a china ball and push through silk. Then other than that, we had KinoFlos when we had bigger setups.PB: Will you tell us a little more about your GlideCam setup?JS: When I was approaching shooting and style, I was like I need to take more risk. I was up against the footage from the Tour de France where they have ENG cameras on motorcycles built out. I was going to have none of these and go like 100 miles an hour downhill. Plus, I had to shoot like 14- to 16-hour days. So I was like I’m trying using the C300 on the GlideCam, and it balanced.PB: What’s the main thing you want people to take away from your work on this film? JS: When you are a cinematographer like me, if you are coming from a journalism background, you kind of feel sort of the same things that I feel. Gregory is by far the most intelligent, charismatic, interesting character I’ve ever met. I really hope that people see him for that. There’s a lot of stigma around what he did and the measures he took to beat the system. I would just say (and to echo the film a little bit) he’s risking his life to do something extremely unpopular that no one wants to hear about. The goal of this film is to give him a voice and give whistleblowers like him a voice. There’s no incentive to do what he’s doing, no incentive whatsoever.last_img read more

NBA Finals: Fouls continue to pile up in Game 1 as Green picks up his 4th

first_imgEthel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport LATEST STORIES ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) moves the ball past Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) and guard Quinn Cook (4) during the first half of Game 1 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)Draymond Green got his fourth foul with 7:11 left in the third quarter. The Golden State Warriors left him in, and the Toronto Raptors immediately took advantage.Pascal Siakam soared past a defenseless Green in transition for a layup, and the Raptors lead 73-63 midway through the third quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Green couldn’t risk getting a fifth foul, and had no choice but to let Siakam go to the rim unbothered.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Gasol, Siakam lead scorers as Raptors pull ahead 59-49 at half Kevon Looney and Shaun Livingston have three fouls for Golden State. Kawhi Leonard has three for Toronto and Marc Gasol got his third early in the third quarter.Siakam leads all scorers with 22 points. Stephen Curry has 20 for the Warriors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more