Avian flu cases reported in Cambodia, Egypt

first_img The Cambodian boy died last night, said Michael O’Leary, World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Phnom Penh, who was quoted in a Reuters report today. The boy was from the southeastern province of Prey Veng, adjoining Vietnam. The girl was hospitalized Apr 2 and was said to be in stable condition, according to an AFP report today. Officials said her family raises poultry at home. A Cambodian health official said a sample from the boy tested positive for H5N1 avian flu at the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today. The official said the boy had eaten sick chickens before he fell ill. Although fewer human H5N1 infections have been diagnosed in Cambodia than in China, Vietnam, or Thailand, all six known Cambodian victims have died, according to the WHO. April 5, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Avian flu has resurfaced in two countries, killing a 12-year-old boy in Cambodia and sickening a little girl in Egypt, according to news services. A concern for human health in Gaza is the lack of oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the drug most widely used to prevent or treat H5N1 infection. Manenti told Reuters the Palestinian Authority does not have enough Tamiflu. Although Israeli officials are providing gear and 300 doses of the antiviral drug, Manenti said Gaza needs at least 1,000 doses. In addition, a 16-month-old girl in southern Egypt has contracted H5N1, according to a Reuters story today that quotes the Egyptian health and population minister, Hatem el-Gabali. Hers is the ninth case of avian flu in Egypt, el-Gabali said, although the WHO to date has confirmed only four cases. (Samples in the other cases are still being tested.) Authorities have confirmed the first instance of an H5 virus spreading to domestic poultry in Germany, in the eastern state of Saxony. Preliminary tests at a farm near Leipzig with more than 14,000 turkeys and geese showed the H5 virus, Reuters reported today. The neuraminidase subtype has not yet been determined, authorities told the news service, but the flock will be culled. In addition, another 250,000 birds will be killed in the Gaza Strip as officials try to stop the spread of the virus there, according to Reuters. Fourteen more villages in India’s western state of Maharashtra have avian flu in poultry, Reuters reported today. The neuraminidase hasn’t been typed yet, but authorities suspect they’ll receive confirmation that it is an H5N1 virus, the story said. In Africa, Niger has culled another 26,000 birds in 47 villages in the Magaria district, the Angola Press Agency reported today. Culling is expected to last a week, and owners will be compensated, the story said. Meanwhile, the H5N1 virus continues to spread among wild birds and domestic poultry, causing fear and economic woes. The election of a Hamas-led government has further cooled relations between Palestine and several countries, prompting some nations to administer aid through third parties, such as United Nations agencies, the story said. Chicken is the main source of animal protein for Gazans, said Ambrogio Manenti of the WHO office for the Palestinian territories, the story noted. Outbreaks have occurred on five Gazan farms to date, and about 250,000 birds, or 10% of all the flocks in Gaza, have been culled, the story said.last_img read more

With a title in mind, USC is set to tee off

first_imgFor the No. 2 USC women’s golf team, this season is all about redemption.After falling just short of their goal of a national championship last season, the Women of Troy seek to reclaim the title that eluded them last year.Sizing it up · USC sophomore Jennifer Song returns this season in an attempt to build on an accolade-filled freshman year, in which she finished in the top 10 nine times. But after finishing second in the National Championship, Song is out to improve. – Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information“We look forward to getting back that national championship in the spring,” said junior Lizette Salas, a first team All-American last season.After winning the 2008 NCAA title, the team led the 2009 National Championship going into the final round only to finish third, nine strokes back of Arizona State. For then-freshman Jennifer Song, the heartbreak was doubled by her second-place finish after leading on the final day. Song led by two strokes heading into the final round, only to see it slip away on the final hole to finish one stroke behind Purdue’s Maria Hernandez.This year, the team is determined to get back to the top. The Women of Troy return their top six golfers from last season, including everyone that traveled to the National Championship. Led by an All-American trio — Song, Salas and senior Belen Mozo — the team’s expectations are nothing short of another NCAA title.Song, now a sophomore, returns to attempt to top a phenomenal season that culminated in her breaking the school single-season scoring record. She finished the season as the top female collegiate golfer in the country, with nine top-10 finishes during the season and a scoring average of .18 strokes below par. After the season, she was named a First Team All-American and the NCGA Freshman of the Year.Instead of using the summer to rest, Song continued her torrid pace and became just the second woman to win two USGA titles in one year. After winning the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship by the largest margin in tournament history, she went on to win the US Women’s Amateur Championship. In between, she finished 13th at the US Women’s Open Championship — the top finish by an amateur.Now that she’s back in school, Song isn’t planning on slowing down.“It definitely gave me a lot of confidence, and going into the season I’m full of energy and really excited,” Song said.Still, she doesn’t dwell on last season’s success, saying, “I just try to hit one shot at a time.”Salas, now a two-time All-American, finished last season ranked fourth in the nation. Her nine top-10 finishes, which included two victories, earned her the Pac-10 Women’s Golfer of the Year award. Salas also broke the school’s scoring record last season, with an average of only .09 strokes over par. Salas, however, isn’t satisfied with last season’s finish.“I kind of struggled towards the end of last year,” she said, referring to her 18th-place finishes at the NCAA West Regional Tournament and the National Championship.Over the summer, Salas also struggled with a back injury at the end of last season. Though her competitive schedule was limited, she competed in the US Women’s Amateur and the US Women’s Public Links this summer. After making it to the round of 16 in the Public Links, she fell in the second round of the US Amateur to the eventual champion: Song.“I learned a lot this summer and I’m just now getting healthy and back into competitive golf,” Salas said. “I’m just going to keep getting stronger and come back better this year.”Mozo seeks to become the first ever four-time All-American for the Trojans this season after being named a Second Team All-American last year. While struggling with a shoulder injury last season, Mozo’s game was inconsistent. She earned three top-10 finishes and set a personal record with a 65 at the 2009 UCF Challenge, besting her previous low score by three strokes. Her 65 tied with Song for the lowest round on the team last season and marked the third-lowest score of any golfer in the country.Mozo underwent shoulder surgery over the summer and is just beginning to recover.“She’s starting to swing now, but we don’t have her swinging drivers yet,” USC coach Andrea Gaston said. “We’ll see if she can come back for any of our October tournaments, but we don’t want to rush anything.”Also returning is 2008 All-American Stefanie Endstrasser. The senior struggled with her game last season, but showed flashes of brilliance in her third place finish at the 2008 Mason Rudolph Championship.“Stephanie hasn’t been up to form, but she’s been working really hard,” Gaston said. “She played a few events over the summer while attending summer school in Europe.”The team is also looking for continuing contributions from senior Caroline Kim and sophomore Inah Park. Both became regular contributors for the Women of Troy last season, but they’ll be challenged for their roster spots by Endstrasser and incoming freshman Cyna Rodriguez.Rodriguez, a native of the Philippines, recently attended the prestigious David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Florida to prepare for collegiate competition. Her victories on the amateur circuit make her an instant contender for a roster spot.The road to redemption for the Women of Troy begins this Friday at the Mason Rudolph Championship at the Legends Golf Club in Nashville, Tenn. Gaston sees the fall season as a time for “everyone to get the competitive experience so we can have more depth and count on every player.”last_img read more

Hockinson school district might hush the music

first_imgIn the coming weeks, the Hockinson School District will face the music.Or silence it.With student enrollment on the decline, the school district is discussing whether to cut music classes at Hockinson Heights Primary School. It will be a difficult decision, school officials acknowledge, but a necessary one because of declining enrollment at the district’s four rural schools.The district is trying to avoid layoffs and has targeted the primary school’s music classes because their teacher is scheduled to retire at the end of the year.The cut would affect students in kindergarten through the second grade.“It’s a hard decision for us right now,” Superintendent Sandra Yager said. “Sometimes, you have to decide what bad decision to make.”Without new students entering the classroom, the amount of per-student money that comes from the state drops. In the past year, the district has lost about 60 students, Yager said, resulting in an estimated $300,000 decrease in state funding. Total enrollment for the district’s four schools is around 1,750, and that figure is expected to drop even further, leveling off at around 1,500 in the coming years, district officials say.The reasons are twofold, officials add: The school district is composed primarily of single-family homes on large lots, which young couples with children don’t typically buy, and its zoning requirements make it difficult to build new homes or apartment buildings.Financial pressures aside, opponents of the proposal say nixing music classes would do the young students a disservice.Studies show that students who take music lessons at an early age tend to do better throughout school, said Dan Wing, the president of the Washington Music Educators Association.last_img read more