NEWS SCAN: Avian flu prevention, PCA roof leak, meningitis in Africa, USDA’s social networking tools

first_imgMar 26, 2009North Korea reports H5N1 prevention strategiesNorth Korea yesterday said its nationalized approach to preventing avian influenza has helped it avoid outbreaks and infections, despite the circulation of the H5N1 virus in other nations, Korea News Service (KNS) reported yesterday. North Korea has conducted bird surveillance in winter migration areas, developed rapid detection systems, educated the public and medical workers about how to prevent the disease, and set up medical checkpoints in densely populated areas to monitor and treat people who are sick. The nation also said it would continue its close contacts with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.[Mar 25 KNS report]Group helps Nigeria with avian flu fightA nongovernmental organization has launched an intensive program to prevent avian influenza in Nigeria, AllAfrica.com reported today. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is aiming its behavioral-change messages at migrant poultry workers, traders, and transporters in states that have been hit by the virus, which include Anambra, Borno, Kano, and Lagos.[IOM Web site]Hearing reveals leaky roof problem at PCA plantA leaky roof at the Peanut Corporation of America’s plant in Blakely, Ga., might have introduced or spread Salmonella contamination that sparked the recent national outbreak, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported yesterday. A recent bankruptcy hearing revealed that the company had spent $60,000 fixing the roof in August 2008. A former plant worker told the AJC that the roof leaked so profusely that employees had to move products around to keep them from getting wet. In 2007, an internal investigation conducted by ConAgra of its Sylvester, Ga., plant found that moisture from a leaky roof and a faulty sprinkler system might have triggered the growth of Salmonella at the facility, which led to a national outbreak involving peanut butter that sickened 425 people in 44 states.Africa’s cases of meningococcal disease riseAfrica’s “meningitis belt,” an area that includes northern Nigeria and Niger, has recorded 24,868 suspected cases of meningococcal disease, including 1,513 deaths, since Jan 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement yesterday. Cerebrospinal fluid testing has revealed that the predominant strain is Neisseria meningitides serogroup A. The WHO said 2.3 million doses of polysaccharide vaccine have been released to Nigeria and 1.9 million to Niger.[Feb 25 WHO statement]USDA unveils new-media toolsThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today launched news- and recall-related RSS (really simple syndication) feeds, a Twitter feed, and new bookmarking capabilities to allow people to share food safety content on social networking sites and Web pages. In a news release today, the USDA said the tools will expand the reach of its educational materials and connect with audiences it might not otherwise reach.[Mar 26 USDA press release]last_img read more

Gulf of Mexico operators evacuate offshore staff ahead of severe weather

first_imgOil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico are securing their offshore facilities and evacuating non-essential personnel due to Tropical Depression 16. BP said in an update on Wednesday it was closely monitoring Tropical Depression 16 to ensure the safety of its personnel and operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.“With forecasts indicating the system likely to strengthen as it moves to the north, we are now taking additional steps to respond,” the the oil major said.BP has begun securing offshore facilities and evacuating non-essential personnel from the Thunder Horse and Na Kika platforms and the Seadrill-owned West Vela drilling rig in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.Located 150 miles southeast of New Orleans and in 6,050 feet of water, the Thunder Horse platform was designed to process up to 250,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. This is the third time in less than a month for this offshore platform to be evacuated. Namely, the Thunder Horse platform was also evacuated in early September due to Hurricane Irma and then later that month after a power outage.Before Irma, a number of oil and gas operators were forced to secure their facilities and evacuate offshore staff in August due to Hurricane Harvey.Servicing multiple fields, the Na Kika platform is located 140 miles southeast of New Orleans in 6,340 feet of water. It was designed to process up to 130,000 barrels of oil and 550 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.“Safety is our top priority and we will continue to monitor weather conditions closely to determine next steps,” BP concluded. No impact on Shell’s production Shell also said on Wednesday it was monitoring Tropical Depression 16. “As a precautionary measure, we are minimizing the number of people working offshore at our assets in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and are taking steps to safely secure our facilities in preparation for potentially severe weather. There are currently no impacts to our production or drilling operations,” Shell added.“Shell works closely a leading weather forecasting organization to model where a storm system is most likely heading and how strong it will be so we can take necessary and effective steps to keep our people, the environment and our assets safe,” said Phil Smith, Shell’s Manager for Emergency Management in the Americas.According to information at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Thursday, Tropical Depression #16 is forecast to become a tropical storm later on Thursday.In its 48-hour outlook on Thursday, the NHC said: “At 200 AM EDT (0600 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Sixteen was located near latitude 13.0 North, longitude 83.0 West. The depression is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue this morning. A north- northwestward motion at a faster forward speed is forecast to begin later today and continue through late Friday.”“On the forecast track, the center of the depression should move across northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras later today and then over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday. The center is expected to approach the coast of the Yucatan peninsula late Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. The depression is forecast to strengthen to a tropical storm before it moves inland over northeastern Nicaragua. Additional strengthening is likely over the northwestern Caribbean Sea Thursday night and Friday.”Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

Liverpool, C-NS soccer sides takes defeats

first_imgIt was close most of the way, but the Hornets, with one goal in each half, beat the Warriors 2-0, overcoming Dan Scaheber’s seven saves by having Corey Gallagher and Nino Pagano each finding the net.The C-NS girls will make up that trip to Baldwinsville on Oct. 18. In the meantime, it would travel to state Class B no. 6-ranked Marcellus last Thursday night, where it could not break through in a 2-0 defeat to the Mustangs.C-NS had all kinds of chances throughout the cold, wet evening, but the Marcellus defense turned them all back as Mustangs goalie Ellie Shaw stopped all 10 Northstars shots she faced.Marcellus took the lead less than seven minutes into the gam. Katie, MacLachlan’s corner kick was passed to Hannah Durand, whose great pass set up LaMarre for a go-ahead goal.Then Sara Mielnicki, with a superb spin move, flashed open and put in the second goal later in the half. To its credit, the Northstars did blank the Mustangs the rest of the way as Avery Byrnes finished with eight saves.Back on Wednesday night, the Liverpool girls soccer team ventured to West Genesee, and it was close for a while – but a big second half left the Warriors on the wrong side of a 6-1 decision.During the first half, Liverpool did enough to keep the game 1-0, and Caroline Stevens got a late goal – but that happened as WG was burning the Warriors for five tallies, with Marlee Pontello (two goals) and Emma Nelson (one goal, one assist) leading them.Back in action on Saturday afternoon, Liverpool took a 3-0 defeat to Rome Free Academy, who got away in the second half as Jamie Fleck led them with one goal and one assist. Tags: C-NSliverpoolsoccer Having  lost to Henninger 1-0 on Sept. 12, the Northstars would have to work all 80 minutes to turn back the Black Knights’ challenge as, once again Jawadshah Kasimi led C-NS by earning one goal and one assist.Goals also went to Anthony Cimino and Tyler Murray, with Joe Barraco and Cole Rockwell earning assists. Henninger lost despite goals by Whoo Pla and Excellent Bienvenu.Liverpool’s boys would be home Thursday to face a Fayetteville-Manlius side that saw its showdown with Baldwinsville cut short in the second half with the score 2-2 due to that same weather that kept the Warriors from facing West Genesee. For the first time all season, the vagaries of Central New York fall weather affected the schedules of soccer teams from both Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool.Both the girls soccer game between the Northstars and state Class AA no. 11-ranked Baldwinsville, along with the boys soccer game involving the Warriors and West Genesee, got postponed by rain and lightning.The C-NS boys also had its game with Nottingham postponed, but returned to action two nights later against Henninger and worked its way to a 3-2 victory over the Black Knights. Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story last_img read more