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Dozens of wild birds found dead, ‘reason unknown’, in Kuban, Russia

Bird Alert

In the center of Anapa, corpses of rooks were found, and in the Timashevsky district dozens of dead doves were found in the fields.

Anapa residents shot footage showing that dead birds are on the lawn near one of the health resorts on Pioneer Avenue. Some of them are still alive, but they have no eyes.

Users of the social networks where the video was published put forward versions of what happened. They suggest that the rooks died due to a dangerous infection, but this version was disproved by veterinarians.

“On the territory of Anapa, eight corpses of rooks were discovered. Veterinary specialists performed an autopsy and sampling for laboratory tests. According to the results of the autopsy, signs of the disease, common to humans and animals, have not been established. Samples for research were sent to GBU “Kropotkinsk regional veterinary laboratory”, – said the Anapa Veterinary Department.

The rest of the dead birds were taken out and destroyed. A similar case of mass death was recorded in another region of the region – in Timashevsky. Residents of the Leninsky farm found pigeons in a forest belt near agricultural fields. The number of dead birds exceeded several dozen.

“We seized all the flocks of birds and burned them. The place was covered with bleach. They buried everyone to a depth of 2.5 m. Volunteers, hunters and local men helped us, ”said Elena Gritsenko, deputy head of the Novoleninsky rural settlement.

In addition to dead pigeons, dead sparrows are still found in place. Local residents do not exclude that the birds were poisoned with poison, which is used to control rodents in the fields. Dead birds and wheat samples were sent to the laboratory for research. The results are not yet known.

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‘Puzzling’ virus of UNKNOWN origin with genes scientists can’t identify discovered in Brazil #virus #scientists #brazil #YaravirusBrasiliensis

‘Puzzling’ virus of UNKNOWN origin with genes scientists can’t identify discovered in Brazil

Illustration: © Pixabay / Pete Linforth

Scientists in Brazil have discovered a virus which appears to be almost entirely new, consisting of unrecognizable genes that have been, until now, undocumented.

The Yaravirus (Yaravirus brasiliensis), named after a water deity in Brazilian mythology and folklore, was discovered in Lake Pampulha in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.

In recent years, virologists and other researchers have discovered a variety of new viruses which challenge traditional thinking, including so-called “giant viruses” (named for their large protein shells, not their deadliness to humans).

These giant viruses possess a far more complex genome than scientists could have predicted, based on humanity’s knowledge of normal viruses, and are capable of repairing and replicating their own DNA.

“Contrary to what is observed in other isolated viruses of amoeba, Yaravirus is not represented by a large/giant particle and a complex genome, but at the same time carries an important number of previously undescribed genes,” the authors write, adding that it may be the first in “a new lineage of amoebal virus with a puzzling origin and phylogeny.”

In fact, 90 percent of the genes in the Yaravirus have never been described before in public scientific databases and literature.

Rather worryingly, the researchers conclude that the amount of unknown proteins within the Yaravirus throws open the door to a whole other world of as-yet-undiscovered viruses we know little to nothing about.

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Hundreds of cattle have died of unknown disease in Lakhimpur, India

Livestock Alert

Hundreds of cows and goats have been dying for the last six months in Subansiri Chapori of Lakhimpur district of diseases unknown to the local herders.

The river islands of Subansiri has a large number cattle farms, locally known as khuti, where thousands of buffaloes, cows and goats are kept by herders for dairy and livestock business. But in the last six months, these animals are dying resulting in huge losses caused to the traditional cattle herders in this riverine area.

The herders have informed that their animals are dying after grazing on the grass which remain submerged during the monsoon season following the receding of water level.

“This phenomenon has been observed in the last three years and this time the number of casualties is much higher,” said the cattle herders.

The worst hit river island this time is Subansiri Chapori where hundreds of cows and goats have died so far in the last few days.

“Many goats have been found with infected faces which are very unusual,” said a local herder.

The affected cattle herders of Subansiri Chapori have asked the authorities concerned to investigate the causes of this unknown disease and the quality of the river water for the security of their diary and livestock business.

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Over 60 dead in ‘mysterious disease’ outbreak in Nigeria’s north central Kogi state

At least 62 people are confirmed dead by a yet-to-be-diagnosed disease, a health official in Nigeria’s north central Kogi state has said.
“About 62 people have now been killed by this mysterious disease,” Health Commissioner Saka Yusuf said late Friday.
Authorities said laboratory tests were conducted at tertiary health institutions to ascertain the exact cause of the deaths across some communities in the state.
Yusuf said that preliminary laboratory tests of samples from the affected areas tested negative for lassa fever — a disease whose symptoms include high fever, swelling and bleeding.
Lassa fever, a disease experts say is contracted through rats, is currently ravaging some Nigerian states, including commercial capital Lagos and north central Kwara, but deaths have been minimal.
“On arrival at the community, we interacted with the locals and samples were taken from their water sources and food supply. It was discovered that the people affected by the disease have common symptoms including abdominal pain, vomiting and stooling,” he said.
The official said that those found to be affected by the disease were transferred to Kogi State Specialist Hospital, where an empirical diagnosis of food poisoning to rule out gastroenteritis was made.
“They [patients] are, however, responding well to the instituted line of treatment,” he added.
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Dozens of cattle killed by ‘mysterious disease’ in Kurram, Pakistan

A least 40 cows and goats have been killed due to outbreak of a mysterious disease in Toda Cheena area of Central Kurram Agency.
Residents of the small village say every house has been affected due to the disease. Muhammad Saleem, a local resident, told TNN that his three cows expired during the last one week. He said this disease affects healthy cattle within a day or two and kill them.
The area people said the disease has killed 30 cows and 13 goats in the village so far. They demanded the government to send doctors for vaccination of cattle in the area.
Veterinary physician Inzar Gul told TNN that from the symptoms it seems the cattle have been affected from anthrax disease. However, he said it could be verified only after tests.
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2,500 Saiga Antelopes have died due to disease in Mongolia

Saiga antelopes
Saiga antelope in Mongolia have been killed by a livestock virusBuuveibaatar Bayabaatar)
Around 2,500 Saiga antelopes have died in Mongolia since December 2016, struck by a deadly virus. This is the first time an infectious disease outbreak has led to the death of Mongolian Saiga antelopes.
The Saiga antelope is a critically endangered species. Recognisable by its unique bulbous nose, its global population has been dramatically reduced in recent years, due to disease, just like during the massive die-off that happened in Kazakhstan in 2015. The animals are also threatened by poaching and habitat loss. They are hunted down for their horns, which are used in traditional medicine. It is estimated that Saiga antelopes’ numbers have gone down by 90% in the last decade.
Mongolia is home to a unique subspecies of Saiga antelope known as Saiga tatarica mongolica. Only 10,000 antelopes were thought to roam in the Great Lakes Depression of Western Mongolia, so a loss of 2,500 animals in the space of two months – 25 per cent of the population – deeply worries conservationists. Although the outbreak shows signs of decreasing, it is not yet over and may continue well into the spring.
The cause of this new epidemic is the livestock virus PPR – or “Peste des Petits Ruminants”. It was first diagnosed in sheep and goats in September of 2016, and is thought to have spilled over to Saiga antelopes a few months later.
“This is the first deadly infectious disease outbreak known to have occurred in the Mongolian saiga,” said Dr Amanda Fine, a veterinarian and associate director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Wildlife Health Program in Asia. “In the past, pasteurellosis was recorded as a cause of mortality in some saiga but never with such rapid spread and deadly results. The situation is tragic and widespread.”
Other species may be affected by the death of Saiga antelopes. Snow leopards, which are already rare, may struggle as a result of a depleted prey base.
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Dozens of cattle dying off due to unknown disease in Warrap State, Sudan, Africa

Livestock Alert

Dozens of cattle have died due to unknown diseases in Aliab area of Tonj North County in South Sudan’s Warrap State, according to a local official in the county.
County Commissioner Tito Sijin Ayii told Radio Tamazuj that the disease has killed dozens of cattle in a week and is spreading in the county. He said a team from the Red Cross is visiting the county to see the situation.
Separately, Sijin said a team from the World Food Programme has visited the area to provide aid to people affected by the recent conflict between Marial Lou and Akok clans which led to the killing and injuries of about 100 people and the displacement of hundreds.
The commissioner pointed out that preparation is underway to hold a peace conference between the two feuding clans, adding that the authorities are still looking for the perpetrators behind the conflict.
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500+ camels have died from ‘mysterious disease’ in Marsabit, Kenya, Africa

Virus Alert

Herders in Marsabit County are counting loses following an outbreak of a mysterious disease that is killing camels.
Bubisa and Shuur in Marsabit North Sub-County are the worst hit by the calamity with ward representative Pius Yatani describing the situation as alarming.
“I received the report on January 19 on the deaths and so far more than 500 camels have perished. I believe the disease may have erupted earlier,’’ said Turbi-Bubisa Ward Rep.
Mr Yatani said he had appealed to the county government for urgent intervention.
He said a team of vets was already on the ground supplying vaccines donated by the county government to the pastoralists.
“The department of livestock has donated 20 dozen vaccines to help mitigate the crisis,” he said by telephone.
Speaking to the Nation by phone, Shuur Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance (Pacida) programme coordinator Wario Guyo, said the animals were dying in large numbers.
“They (camels) are in good body shape but they suddenly become weak before dying,’’ he said.
Marsabit County Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries executive James Aboran Dokhe said he was aware of the outbreak of the disease.
He said the disease was likely to have been spread from neighbouring Wajir where three weeks ago Wajir South MP Abdullahi Diriye raised the alarm over an unknown disease killing camels in the county.
Dr Dokhe said his department had responded to the emergency and had dispatched a team of experts to identify the mysterious disease.
“Once the tests are completed we will send the report to the University of Nairobi’s veterinary department of for analysis,’’ said the CEC
Mr Dokhe said the disease was likely to be Trypanosomiasis-protozoa.
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