November 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm #964MikeKeymaster
I think we can no longer be surprised.
Anyone interested in an informal get-together in a central location?
The interesting thing is that it’s a new species,” he
said. “It continues to surprise.”
Aug 26, 11:23 PM EDT
Bird flu kills 3 rare civets in Vietnam
By MARGIE MASON
AP Medical Writer
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Bird flu has killed three rare cat-like
civets born in captivity at a national park in Vietnam, marking the
first time the virus has been reported in the species, officials
“It’s another good example of how dangerous this thing is,” said
Scott Roberton, technical adviser for the civet conservation program
at the Cuc Phuong National Park, about 75 miles south of Hanoi, the
The Owston civet cats died in late June and samples sent to a lab in
Hong Kong came back positive for the H5N1 virus, said Roberton. The
U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organization
for Animal Health in Hanoi confirmed the results.
He said most other animals at the park have been tested – including
chickens, rats and other birds – but none has tested positive for
Scientists suspect that SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome,
which killed nearly 800 people worldwide in 2003, was passed to
humans from civets and other mongoose-like animals sold in live food
markets in southern China.
Civets are found throughout Africa and Asia and only distantly
related to the common house cat. Members of the Viverridae family,
civets have a pointy, striped nose like a weasel, with a long, cat-
like body and tail. Most are between five and 11 pounds, but can
weigh up to about 25 pounds.
An epidemiologist for the WHO in Hanoi, Peter Horby said the
development would not make people more susceptible to bird flu
because humans have less contact with civets than poultry.
“The interesting thing is that it’s a new species,” he said. “It
continues to surprise.”
Bird flu had previously been found in other mammals, such as cats
The virus has killed 61 people regionwide, with the bulk of those
deaths in Vietnam. Health experts have repeatedly warned that the
world is due for an influenza pandemic that could kill millions and
cripple economies. They fear the bird flu virus will mutate and
become easily transmitted from person to person. So far, most human
cases have been traced back to contact with poultry.
Owston civets are globally threatened and found in southern China,
Vietnam and Laos. The civet program was started at the park in the
mid-1990s after four animals were seized from a smuggling operation,
park manager Do Van Lap.
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