Jul 7, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Spain today became the latest country to join the list of nations responding to outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza, as officials reported finding the virus in a wild bird.In a report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Spanish officials said highly pathogenic H5N1 strain had been confirmed in a sample taken from a great crested grebe that was found dead Jun 30 in the Salburua wetlands in Alava province. The diagnosis was established by the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Algete.To control the outbreak, a 3-kilometer protection zone around the site has been established, and surveillance will be conducted within 10 km. Authorities have banned movement of poultry and hunting of wild birds within the zone and are monitoring natural areas for any further bird deaths.Spain is the 14th European Union member to report H5N1 avian flu in birds, on the basis of information from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.An outbreak of avian influenza is a particular concern in Spain because, according to a Bloomberg News report today on the outbreak, Spain is Europe’s biggest tourist destination.In other avian flu developments this week:Canadian authorities reported that final virological tests on samples from a dead gosling were negative.The OIE announced that avian influenza had recurred among ostriches in South Africa.Thailand said it hoped to be free of avian influenza in 3 years.Canada ends testing of Prince Edward Island birdsThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced Jul 5 that further testing related to a suspected H5 avian flu outbreak in Prince Edward Island had revealed no evidence of the virus.Authorities had announced Jun 16 that preliminary tests had indicated an H5 virus in a gosling, one of four birds that had died in a backyard flock. The positive test led authorities to destroy the rest of the flock and raised concern about the threat of H5N1 spreading to North America. But officials reported on Jun 20 that further tests at Canada’s avian flu reference laboratory in Winnipeg, Man., were negative.In the latest announcement, the CFIA said attempts to culture the virus from samples from the gosling had failed. The agency said testing was finished, and a quarantine on the affected site was lifted.South African ostriches have H5N2 virusAn H5N2 strain of avian flu has been confirmed on an ostrich farm in South Africa, according to a report that officials filed with the OIE. The virus was identified Jul 1 in eight ostriches on the farm in Riversdale, Western Cape province.In his notice to the OIE, South Africa’s senior manager of animal health, Bothe Modisane, said surveillance indicated that the outbreak was probably limited to the farm where the disease was detected. He reported that the farm was quarantined and that all 58 ostriches there were destroyed on Jul 1. Culling of all other poultry on the farm was completed on Jul 3. The source of the infection was not known.In 2004, a similar outbreak of H5N2 in ostriches stopped all poultry exports from South Africa. That outbreak killed 2,000 ostriches on two farms, and officials planned to destroy 6,000 remaining ostriches on the farms.Highly pathogenic strains of H5N2 virus have caused a number of past outbreaks in birds, though none in humans. H5N2 viruses were blamed for outbreaks in Pennsylvania (1983-85), Mexico (1994-95), Italy (1997), Texas (2004), and South Africa (2004), according to the World Health Organization. In addition, Japan had H5N2 outbreaks in poultry in 2005.Thai official offers optimistic projectionThailand’s agriculture minister said yesterday the country hopes to be completely free of avian influenza virus in 3 years. The Thai official, Sudarat Keyuraphan, told Agence France Presse (AFP) that the country has gone 239 days without an outbreak.”If we are able to control the virus for the rest of this year, we will have fewer worries next year, and I am confident that Thailand will be free from the bird flu virus within three years,” Keyuraphan told AFP. She said the 239-day outbreak-free stretch is notable, given that surrounding countries continue to report the disease.According to the AFP report, Thailand has recruited 900,000 volunteers to help with prevention efforts, including regularly spraying disinfectant around poultry farms.In May 2005, Thai officials declared the country free of the H5N1 virus, but more poultry outbreaks were reported the following July, and new human cases emerged in the fall.See also:Jul 7 OIE report on avian influenza in Spainhttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A2006_AI.phpJun 21 CIDRAP News article “Further tests show no avian flu in Canadian flock”Jul 3 OIE report on avian influenza in South Africahttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A2006_AI.phpAug 6, 2004, CIDRAP News article “Avian flu hits ostriches in South Africa”May 5, 2005, CIDRAP News article on Thailand’s avian flu battlehttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/avianflu/news/may0505avflu.html
(DIGICEL Sportsnax) The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) yesterday conducted the draw for the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship Bahamas 2017, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral, Florida, USA.The draw, which determined the groups and match schedule for the tournament that kicks off on February 20, in Nassau, was opened with welcoming remarks from Philippe Moggio, CONCACAF general secretary and Anton Sealey, president of the Bahamas Football Association. The event was conducted with the assistance of Bahamas national team players Gavin Christie and Leslie St Fleur.Tournament hosts Bahamas, who were seeded into Group A will face Jamaica, Belize and Guyana. In Group B, defending CONCACAF Beach Soccer champions Mexico were joined by Guatemala, Canada and Guadeloupe, while United States, Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua & Barbuda and US Virgin Islands make up Group C. El Salvador will be in Group D with Costa Rica, Panama and Turks & Caicos Islands.The Malcom Beach Soccer Facility will host all group, quarter-final, semi-final, third-place and final matches.The champions and the runners-up of the competition will join hosts Bahamas as the three CONCACAF representatives in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017. In case Bahamas (host of the World Cup) and/or Guadeloupe (Non-FIFA member) reach the final match, the World Cup spot(s) will be allocated to the next best placed team(s).In an effort to further develop Beach Soccer, the sixteen participating member associations are guaranteed to play six games, with all competing for final tournament placement, until the last match date.For the draw, the Participating Member Associations were separated into pots of four balls according to the Beach Soccer World Wide Ranking dated September 2016. The draw started by selecting from a separate pot, which contained the five teams with the same ranking (38). These teams were drawn and placed into Pots 3 and 4 respectively to complete the distribution of the teams into those Pots. The teams were then drawn into the four groups, from those final pots of four teams each.CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship Bahamas 2017Group ABahamasJamaicaBelizeGuyanaGroup BMexicoGuatemalaCanadaGuadeloupeGroup CUnited StatesTrinidad & TobagoAntigua & BarbudaUS Virgin IslandsGroup DEl SalvadorCosta RicaPanamaTurks & Caicos IslandsCONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship Bahamas 2017 Schedule*Kick-off times TBCMonday, February 20, 2017Guatemala v CanadaMexico v GuadeloupeTrinidad & Tobago v Antigua & BarbudaUnited States v US Virgin IslandsJamaica v BelizeBahamas v GuyanaTuesday, February 21, 2017Costa Rica v PanamaEl Salvador v Turks & Caicos IslandsGuadeloupe v GuatemalaCanada v MexicoGuyana v JamaicaBelize v BahamasWednesday, February 22, 2017US Virgin Islands v Trinidad & TobagoAntigua & Barbuda v United StatesTurks & Caicos Islands v Costa RicaPanama v El SalvadorBelize v GuyanaBahamas v JamaicaThursday, February 23, 2017Canada v GuadeloupeMexico v GuatemalaAntigua & Barbuda v US Virgin IslandsUnited States v Trinidad & TobagoPanama v Turks & Caicos IslandsEl Salvador v Costa RicaFriday, February 24, 20174B v 4D4A v 4C3B v 3D3A v 3C*TBC v TBC – Quarter-Final #1*TBC v TBC – Quarter-Final #2*TBC v TBC – Quarter-Final #3*TBC v TBC – Quarter-Final #4Saturday, February 25, 2017Loser Match 25 v Loser Match 26Winner Match 25 v Winner Match 26Loser Match 27 v Loser Match 28Winner Match 27 v Winner Match 28Loser Match 29 v Loser Match 30Loser Match 31 v Loser Match 32Winner Match 29 v Winner Match 30SemifinalWinner Match 31 v Winner Match 32Sunday, February 26, 2017Loser Match 33 v Loser Match 34 – 15th Place MatchWinner Match 33 v Winner Match 34 – 13th Place MatchLoser Match 35 v Loser Match 36 – 11th Place MatchWinner Match 35 v Winner Match 36 – 9th Place MatchLoser Match 37 v Loser Match 38 – 7th Place MatchWinner Match 37 v Winner Match 38 – 5th Place MatchLoser Match 39 v Loser Match 40 – 3rd Place MatchWinner Match 39 v Winner Match 40 – Final*The top two teams from each Group will advance to the knock-out phase. The quarter-final match-ups will be decided by a draw. Group winners will be matched up randomly with the second-place teams.