Dec 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Poland, Russia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia reported new outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 avian influenza in birds today, according to news reports.Poland has new outbreaks at two sites well separated from the five outbreaks reported recently in two areas northwest of Warsaw, according to a Reuters report.The disease cropped up at a small farm near Elblag, near the Gulf of Gdansk in northeastern Poland, the story said. Ewa Lech, Poland’s chief veterinary officer, calling the site “an entirely new location,” said the farm has about 40 birds, according to the report.Lech also confirmed a report that the virus was found in wild birds near the town of Orneta, according to the story. A separate Reuters story said the birds were a stork and two buzzards, all of which died. Maps show that Orneta lies roughly 30 miles east of Elblag, and both are approximately 100 miles from Plock.Poland’s recent series of outbreaks—its first in domestic birds—began Nov 30 at two turkey farms near Plock, about 60 miles northwest of Warsaw. On Dec 8 and 10 the disease killed laying hens on two large farms near Zuromin, according to Poland’s Dec 11 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Zuromin is about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Plock, according to Reuters.As of Dec 10, the OIE report said, 1,181 birds had died of avian flu in the Polish outbreaks and another 4,258 had been destroyed. But the affected farms had a total of about 510,000 birds that were at risk and destined to be culled, the report said.Meanwhile, a government official said today that an H5N1 outbreak on a farm in southern Russia has killed more than 35,000 chickens over the past 5 days, according to an Associated Press (AP) report from Rostov-on-Don.Sergei Kozhemyaka, Rostov regional emergency services officer, said more than a half million remaining chickens on the farm would be destroyed to stop the virus, said the story.The last previous H5N1 outbreak in Russia was at a poultry farm in the Krasnodar region in September, the story noted. The virus also killed hundreds of domestic birds in the Moscow area in February.In Saudi Arabia, the agriculture ministry today announced an H5N1 outbreak at an egg production farm south of Riyadh, according to the Kuwait News Agency. The ministry said the farm, in the Alsahba area in Al-Kharj governorate, has about 400,000 hens.Saudi Arabia has had a series of avian flu outbreaks in the Riyadh vicinity that began Nov 12, according to previous reports.In Vietnam, which has battled many outbreaks this year, the virus has recurred in the northern province of Bac Giang, according to a Xinhua report published today. The virus has killed more than 1,000 ducks in the Viet Yen and Yen Dung districts, said the story, which cited the newspaper Saigon Liberation as its source.Vietnam’s latest report to the OIE, filed Nov 12, says the country had had 106 outbreaks for the year to that point, with 64,524 birds destroyed in control efforts.See also: OIE reports on 2007 outbreaks in Poland and Vietnam
ERIN KEEFFE/Herald photoThe Wisconsin men’s soccer team (7-10-0, 1-4-0 Big Ten) closes out its Big Ten and regular season this Sunday when it heads to Evanston, Ill., to face Northwestern University (9-5-2, 1-3-1) at the Leonard Thomas Athletic Complex at 1 p.m.Statistically, Wisconsin has dominated Northwestern over the past 30 years, posting a 22-4-4 all-time record and out-scoring the Wildcats 60 to 18. However, in the past eight matches between the two teams, the Wildcats have held a slight advantage over the Badgers with a 4-3-1 record — including a 2-1 victory last season in Madison.Despite last season’s setback, Wisconsin is looking forward to the trip south with its newfound confidence in the offense’s ability to score goals following back-to-back wins by scores of 2-1 over Michigan State and 3-0 over UW-Green Bay.”The guys have to feel good because we’ve had a couple of wins in the last two games,” head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “Probably more than anything, they’re seeing that our offense is capable of doing some things. I’m sure they’re very excited — as they should be — and we’re looking forward to playing Northwestern.”Offensively, Northwestern is led by junior striker Brad North this season, who has tallied 16 points off of eight goals. Senior Kevin Earnest and junior Gerardo Alvarez have also contributed heavily to the Wildcat offense with three goals apiece in 2005. Anchoring the Wildcat midfield this season has been sophomore midfielder David Roth, who leads the team with six assists on the year.In its previous match this past Sunday, Northwestern bagged a nail-biting 2-1 victory over Butler University with a first half strike by North and an 88th-minute game-winner by Earnest. For Sunday’s matchup, Rohrman hopes his defense can step up and accept the challenge posed by Northwestern’s many offensive threats.”We’re going to have to play very solid defensively,” Rohrman said. “[Northwestern is] very good going forward with Brad North and Gerardo [Alvarez] — both of those guys can be a handful. Also, David Roth and Kevin Earnest are very athletic and skillful guys who, if you lose track of, can cause you problems.”While the Badgers have struggled on the road this season — posting a dismal 2-7 record away from home — the Wildcats have been unstoppable on their home field, yielding an undefeated 5-0-1 record, as well as out-scoring their opponents 12-2 in Evanston. The only draw for Northwestern came against two-time defending national champions No. 8 Indiana back on Oct. 16 in a tight 1-1 fixture.To counter the Wildcat’s stingy defense at home, the Badgers will look to feed piping-hot striker Victor Diaz. The redshirted freshman from Madrid, Spain has been a machine for the cardinal and white lately, producing 12 points off of five goals and two assists in the past five games.With two goals in their last match against UW-Green Bay and a third tally against Michigan two weeks ago, junior midfielder William Bagayoko has also played inspired soccer for Wisconsin lately.Against Northwestern, Rohrman believes his squad must pepper the Wildcat goal with quality shots just as they did in their last match.”We’re going to have to do as well as we did [against UW-Green Bay] with our shots — get them on goal and make their keeper make saves,” Rohrman said. “We’ve got to test them, and test them a lot.”With the Big Ten tournament just on the horizon, the Badgers will be looking to finish their regular season with a three-game winning streak and take some momentum from Sunday’s match into the Nov. 10 tourney.