Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Cibolo, a small town adjacent to San Antonio, Texas, was plagued with Swine Flu. Two students there were diagnosed and the school is closed for a week so they can disinfect it thoroughly. Since the Swine Flu is hitting close to home, it is inevitable to take it for granted and the need for proper care is necessary.
The following excerpts were taken from Forbes.Com:
U.S. Declares Public Health Emergency in Response to Swine Flu04.26.09, 08:00 PM EDT
European Union advises against nonessential travel to the United States or Mexico, report says
MONDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials declared a public health emergency Sunday in response to the swine flu outbreak, as the number of confirmed cases nationwide rose to 20.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the declaration was a precautionary measure, and did not mean that the threat posed by the outbreak was worsening. But, the move allows federal and state governments easier access to flu tests and medications, she said.
"That [a public health emergency] sounds more severe than it really is. This is standard operating procedure, and allows us to free up federal, state and local agencies and their resources for prevention and mitigation. It allows us to use medication and diagnostic tests that we might not otherwise be able to use, and it releases funds for the acquisition of additional antivirals," Napolitano said during a press conference at the White House.
Napolitano said the federal government had 50 million doses of the antiviral flu medication Tamiflu, and a quarter of those doses were being released to states, if needed, "particularly prioritizing the states where we already have confirmed incidence of the flu."
All 20 U.S. patients -- eight in New York, seven in California, two in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio -- have recovered, Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at the news conference.
In a separate Sunday afternoon press conference, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health Program, said that it's still too early to say that the flu outbreak in the U.S. will be less severe than the one occurring in Mexico.
"Right now it's premature to say the disease in Mexico is different than here. We don't have that many infected people at this point and we don't have great information from Mexico yet," Schuchat said. "Certainly, we have deaths in Mexico and we have not -- fortunately -- seen them yet here, but we fear that we may. We need to prepare for the idea that we will have additional cases, additional affected states and I do fear that we will have deaths here."
Meanwhile, in Mexico, believed to be the source of the outbreak, authorities continued to take dramatic steps over the weekend -- including suspending public gatherings -- to try to contain the swine flu outbreak that officials say has killed as many as 103 people, and sickened more than 1,600 others in that country.
On Monday, the European Union advised against nonessential travel to the United States or Mexico, CBS News reported.
In the United States, eight more cases of swine flu, all involving school students, were confirmed Sunday by New York City health officials, while another case was reported in Ohio. Two cases were reported in Kansas on Saturday, plus another in California. That brings the national total of confirmed swine flu cases to 20. All of the cases have so far been mild.
Some of the U.S. cases involved people who had recently returned from trips to Mexico, Schuchat noted in the Sunday press conference. The two cases reported in Kansas involved a husband and wife who had recently been to that country, she said. And The New York Times reported that some of the students at St. Francis Preparatory School, in Queens, had recently come back from Mexico as well.
Also on Sunday, Canadian officials confirmed four "very mild" cases of swine flu at a school in Nova Scotia, and two other cases in British Columbia. According to the Associated Press, a provincial health official said that the infection that sickened the students in Nova Scotia "was acquired in Mexico, brought home and spread."
The CDC's Besser said that as the number of cases of swine flu continues to grow in Mexico, his agency expects to see more cases in the United States. "As we look for cases of swine flu, we are seeing more cases of swine flu, and we would expect to see more cases of swine flu," he said.
"We have ramped up our surveillance around the country to try and understand better what is the scope, what is the magnitude of this outbreak," Besser said.
Although all the reported cases in the United States have so far been mild, there are bound to be more severe cases, Besser said. "Given the reports out of Mexico, I would expect that over time we are going to see more severe disease in this country," he said.
Napolitano said the Department of Homeland Security has started "passive surveillance protocols to screen people coming into the country."
"All persons entering the United States from a location of human infection of swine flu will be processed by appropriate CDC protocols," she said. "Right now these are passive. They are looking for people and asking about: 'Are you sick? Have you been sick?' and the like. And if so, they can be referred over for further examination. Travelers who do present with symptoms will be isolated."
Despite the outbreak the U.S. government has not told people not to travel to Mexico or other counties where flu has been found. "To date the State Department had not issued official travel advisories, for particularly Mexico, but these situations are very fluid," Napolitano said.
There are steps people can take to help prevent catching and spreading the flu, including frequent hand-washing, Besser said. "If you are sick it is very important that people stay at home. If your children are sick, have a fever and flu-like illness, they shouldn't go to school. And if you are ill you shouldn't get on an airplane or another public transport. Those things are part of personal responsibility in trying to reduce the impact," he said.
In a Saturday news conference, Schuchat told reporters that, because of the wide geographic spread of the virus so far, the outbreak was already "beyond containment."
But she added that U.S. health officials had numerous tools to fight the illness' spread and protect the health of Americans. The viruses found in the United States are resistant to two antiviral medications -- amantadine and rimantadine -- but are susceptible to the antivirals oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), Schuchat said.
Schuchat said steps were already being taken to devise a vaccine against this strain of swine flu, although the process takes time. "We are taking the initial steps in terms of preparing the seed virus to hand off to the industry partners, to produce large quantities. But you know it takes months to produce a vaccine," she said.
In response to the developments in North America, countries around the world planned quarantines and tested airline passengers for fevers as global health officials tried Sunday to come up with uniform ways to battle the outbreak. Nations from New Zealand to France reported new suspected cases and some warned citizens against travel to North America, the AP said.
World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan held teleconferences with staff and flu experts around the world but stopped short of recommending specific measures to halt the disease beyond urging governments to step up their surveillance of suspicious outbreaks, the news service said.
In Mexico, the government has ordered schools closed and all public events have been suspended for the time being, including more than 500 concerts and other gatherings in the city of 20 million residents. Even churches stood empty Sunday, the AP said.
While Mexico's flu season is usually over by now, health officials noticed a sizeable uptick in flu cases in recent weeks. According to a report published in The New York Times on Friday, World Health Organization experts said that most deaths among Mexican patients with swine flu have involved healthy young adults.
That could be worrisome, experts say. Seasonal flus usually strike hardest at infants and the elderly, but pandemic flus -- such as the 1918-19 Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 20 million to 40 million people worldwide -- often strike young, healthy people, the newspaper reported.
Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza. Swine flu does not normally infect humans. However, human infections do occur, usually after exposure to pigs. Symptoms resemble those of the regular flu, including sore throat, coughing and fever.
For more on swine flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Diego won Best Opposite Sex In Show!!! This is a wonderful experience. The judge was very impressed with Diego, especially with how well his coat did, despite the weather in Texas, but particularly the weather during the show. It was humid, muggy and really tough on Angoras hair due to the torrential rains. However, the wonderful angoras were able to held their coat properly and went on to win!!
This is a great testament to show that English Angoras can and will continue to thrive in Texas, despite the weather. Also, it shows to the love and hard work that Road To Angora Rabbitry dedicates to the English Angoras.
Judges were gracious to say they were impressed with the coats and the hard work to maintain them. One female judge mentioned, "it is great to see the Angoras are being shown in Texas and your winning angoras are true representative of the breed."
der=0>Road To Angora's: B'beary's Diego Rivera and
Road To Angora's: HR Ruffles
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Trophies for Best In Show and Best Opposite Sex In Show
The always awesome Raffle Table
Some people checking out the Torrential Rains that Plagued the Show, but didn't stop many breeders from attending.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Jessica wrote, “One of my fawn doe Bbeary's Solstice got wool block over the winter and I tried very hard to cure her without cutting her down, but it was not happening. Thus, she is now clipped--a grave disappointment--when she only needed one more leg to grand and she was one of very few I would have to show. The good news is that she's back to normal, and that’s all that matters.”
However, another of her rabbits, Bbeary’s Tila Tequila, was subject to a horrible case of GI Stasis. This came quickly and without warning. “Tila gave birth to 5 babies with Divinci on March 2nd, she went off her feed two days before kindling normal; but she didn't start eating again. Even days after kindling, she stayed huddled up in the corner of her cage. A few days passed since kindling, still no change and now she has 5 mouths to feed. We decided to take her to the vet.
The vet does x-rays ultra sound to check for any stuck kits, but there are none--a relief. She is diagnosed with Stasis and we are given pain medication and IV fluids for her. IV's are probably the most important thing to have to a rabbitry especially with kindling does. It's good if you can get a vet to show you how to put them in properly. Buy the fluid bags from the vet, as this can save you a lot of money as the bags of fluids run about $15 each, whereas a vet will charge you roughly $40 just to put the needle in and that doesn't include the cost to see the vet. All those charges can really add up. We also gave Tila, Oxbow critical care, by mouth. If you don't have critical care you can also grind up their regular pellets and add yogurt or a high calorie paste such as STAT.
A week goes by, Tila still hasn't eaten or drunk on her own. Her poops are [similar to the size poops expelled by] babies. The [babies] are severely underweight due to Tila’s starving condition, although we continue to supplement her and do IV's a few times a day. The babies are barely getting enough to eat and Tila's milk dried up. This is good and bad. Good for Tila so she can put more energy into regaining her own health. Bad for the babies as they are still so young and haven't had the proper nutrients to set up their bacteria balance. So we cross out fingers and start feeding the babies KMR. They start gaining weight and seem healthy, but still behind from their initial lack of nutrition. They make it to two weeks and their eyes open. The colours are fabulous; two blacks, a blue, a chocolate and two broken blacks--one absolutely perfectly marked. Ok so now were attached and hand feeding babies. [This] certainly makes you love them that much more. We are hopeful. They are looking good all things considered. Wednesday, March 18, comes around. I wake up to find the Blue kit dead. Strange, as he was eating well and completely fine the night before. The only thing noticeably wrong when I found him was a bloated stomach. The rest of the week goes by and his/her littermates begin die. This time we notice the symptoms: strained breathing, an unwillingness to eat, closed eyes, and lastly, the bloated stomach. A few hours after these symptoms appear the baby dies. The last one, the little chocolate [colored] died yesterday. We are heartbroken. We are planning on having the babies checked out to find out what went wrong so suddenly that caused them all to die. We are certain, though after this experience, we will not try and raise such young kits on formula. We did breed another doe at the same time as Tila, but she missed. It would have been ideal to foster them as they were healthy and there is no doubt in my mind they would have survived if Tila hadn't gotten sick. The good news is Tila in on the mend, eating and drinking on her own now. [She] is still not eating enough, but the healing process is very slow.
Next time you have a healthy litter, keep in mind how lucky you are, how many things could have gone wrong. It was hard [for us] to even go on the computer and see everyone else's thriving litters when [ours were] struggling--even when [we did] absolutely everything [we could].
Here is an excellent article on GI stasis: http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/ileus.html .
With all this said I highly doubt we will be attending any US shows this year and very few Canadian shows. We will also be cutting our herd back a bit and will have some nice animals for sale. I hope no one else goes through this heartbreaking experience.”
Jessica and her family are doing a lot better now and thank all of their friends that have offered full support and prayers in these difficult times. The great news is that they are moving forward, too, and have decided to continue their zest for showing their beautiful English Angoras!
Thank you, Jessica and Caley, for allowing Texas Angora Blog to share your heartfelt story of triumph and disappointment and being able to bounce back from adversity.