Jan 22, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Veterinary authorities in Egypt today reported H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in two governorates, as Chinese officials beefed up their avian flu reporting system and took other measures to limit human exposure to the virus.Both of Egypt’s outbreaks involved backyard poultry, according to reports posted today on the Web site of Egypt-based Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). The project, funded by the US Agency for International Development with assistance from Johns Hopkins University, is designed to help Egypt coordinate avian flu efforts with its international partners.One of the outbreaks involved 53 chickens, ducks, and geese in Reva village in Asyut governorate. The vaccination status of the birds is not known. Asyut governorate is located in the middle of Egypt on the banks of the Nile River.In the other outbreak, the virus struck 15 chickens, ducks, and geese in Seila Ezbet Edris village in Faiyum governorate. All of the birds had been vaccinated in 2008, the SAIDR report said. Faiyum governorate is in north-central Egypt, about 80 miles southwest of Cairo.Elsewhere, provincial officials in eastern China yesterday banned the raising of poultry in Shandong province’s cities to curb the transmission of the H5N1 virus to humans, Agence France-Presse reported. Xinhua, China’s state news agency, said the ban, which went into effect yesterday, follows the Jan 17 death of a 27-year-old woman from an H5N1 infection. She was from Jinan, Shandong’s capital.A statement from the World Health Organization on the woman’s death said investigators were still trying to determine the source of the woman’s infection.In other developments, China’s health ministry said today that it launched a daily avian influenza reporting system for humans and birds, according to a report from the Associated Press. The action follows four recent H5N1 cases in China, three of them fatal.The health, agriculture, and commerce ministries have ordered provincial departments to provide daily reports on infections, the AP report said. Daily reporting was also conducted during previous outbreaks of H5N1 and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).See also:Jan 19 WHO statement
If Friday afternoon was a test in first impressions, then the No. 19 USC women’s soccer team failed its exam.With Pat Haden watching his first USC athletic contest as the school’s new athletic director, the Women of Troy (0-1) could not muster a strong showing, falling to the visiting University of San Diego (1-0) 1-0 in the team’s home opener at McAllister Field.Edged · Senior midfielder Alyssa Dávila attempts to stop San Diego’s Lauren Dotson near midfield. The Women of Troy went down to the Toreros 1-0 on a early second-half header and could not muster a comeback. – Aditya Tannu | Daily Trojan “We didn’t respond well,” said USC coach Ali Khosroshahin. “We made a lot of mistakes over the simple things. We missed a lot of easy passes. We made the game more difficult than it needed to be.”Many of those mistakes can be attributed to a lack of experience, as five freshmen started the home opener, including goalkeeper Shelby Church, who is replacing the departing All-American Kristin Olsen in the net.But even more damaging to USC’s efforts to secure a season-opening win was its lackluster start.In the early minutes, the Toreros controlled the ball and maintained possession, keeping the ball away from the Women of Troy’s young offensive playmakers. Even when USC did regain possession, it was largely an errant pass or some other miscue that gave the ball right back to the San Diego offense.“We missed a lot of easy passes,” Khosroshahin said. “That’s the bottom line. If you miss those opportunities to connect with your teammates, it makes the game really difficult.”San Diego didn’t fare much better, however, as it was unable to initially capitalize off early USC turnovers. On several occasions, the Toreros watched a crisp pass bounce off the foot of a player or sail past the goal.In short, sloppy play on both sides kept the game scoreless at halftime.“When you don’t connect your passes, you have to work twice as hard,” Khosroshahin said.But eventually, one side would make the needed adjustments and regain its composure. Unfortunately for Haden and those USC fans in attendance, that team was San Diego.In the 54th minute, following a turnover by freshman midfielder Elizabeth Eddy, San Diego’s forward Stephanie Ochs penetrated deep into USC territory and sent a cross from the left side of the field. San Diego forward Devany Savage knocked the ball past Church with a diving header that put the Toreros on the scoreboard and firmly in the driver’s seat.“It caught the defense a little off guard, but you have to give them credit, it was a good header,” Church said. She conceded just one goal on the afternoon.Tallying two saves and allowing just one goal, the freshman goalkeeper mostly kept the San Diego offense at bay, but in the end, it was USC’s inability to capitalize offensively that prevented it from earning the victory.Later in the half, USC had multiple scoring opportunities, but oftentimes, a turnover or a widely missed shot prevented them from converting.In the 66th minute, junior midfielder Carly Butcher passed the ball up the field to Eddy, but the freshman watched the ball sail to the right of the goal. Later in the match, freshman midfielder Autumn Altamirano crossed the ball into the box, where senior midfielder Alyssa Dávila got a head on the ball, only to watch San Diego goalkeeper Courtney Parsons make another save.“I think a lot of us went individually, so in the future, we need to do better at staying connected as a unit,” Dávila said. “We’ll need more communication, and when we’re attacking, we also need to be more alert.”Nobody cited a lack of confidence moving forward, but nonetheless, the loss remains relatively painful for Khosroshahin’s roster.“We’ll get better, but this one stings a little bit,” Khosroshahin said.Luckily, the Women of Troy will be afforded that chance later this week, when they travel to Fort Worth, Texas, to face Texas Christian University. But for now, all that remains is time to reflect.