Mar 3, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – More than 12,000 chickens and quail have died in the past 2 months in an outbreak of avian influenza on the Indonesian island of Java, according to an Associated Press (AP) report published today.The viruses involved are H5N1 and H7N1, said an Indonesian official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. Avian flu killed about 1.6 million chickens in the same region in West Java province last year, the official said.H5N1 avian flu has occurred in at least eight Asian countries since late 2003 and has caused 66 human illness cases, 46 of them fatal. No human cases have been reported in Indonesia, the AP report said.Although the official told the AP that Indonesia has been dealing with the outbreak for 2 months, the country’s most recent report on avian flu to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) was filed in October 2004.Meanwhile, Vietnam has reported that its poultry outbreaks are subsiding. More than 1.5 million birds have been culled in Vietnam since January. However, 14 of 35 affected areas have detected no new outbreaks for at least 3 weeks, China’s Xinhua news agency reported today, citing Vietnam’s Department of Animal Health.Avian flu has continued to spread in Ben Tre, Long An, and Dong Thap provinces, according to a Vietnam News Service report yesterday.Thailand’s most recent report to OIE indicated the country still has sporadic outbreaks, with fewer than 200 chickens and ducks fatally infected or culled in the week that ended Feb 24.
ALTOONA — The busiest state-licensed casino is taking additional precautions to guard against the coronavirus.Prairie Meadows C-E-O Gary Palmer says many precautions were already in place in response to the flu. “We’re putting a lot of signage up and naturally, we have a lot of sanitary stations for hand washing — we always have those –but we are adding more,” according to Palmer. “All of our modern bathrooms all have the touchless sinks and soap dispensers and drying systems — so you don’t have to touch anything.”The Altoona facility sees some three million people come through every year. Palmer says they want everyone to feel safe. “We don’t know what we have coming, but we are trying to be proactive, listening to the state government, as well as the national government to try and prevent this from spreading,” Palmer says.The casino has hundreds of machines that gamblers use, and he says they have systems in place to keep them clean. “We constantly clean and disinfect the machines — and we’re probably doing it more now than we have been — because of the influenza for one thing. And now this new virus that is out, so we are kind of ahead of the game on that. We’re constantly having our people clean all our property,” Palmer says.Palmer says they will try to educate visitors as much as they can on proper hygiene. “We just have a lot of visitors and we just want to do our best and be proactive to do everything that we can to prevent as much as we can of the spreading of the flu, or this new virus,” Palmer says.He says the rules are the same for the casino as they are for work — if you are sick — stay home and prevent the spread of the flu or other sicknesses. Palmer says they tell their employees the same thing.