Category Archives: H5N1

bird flu, avian influenza

Sun storms and pigeon racing – the results

One reader races pigeons. He originally asked about Geomagnetic storm alerts,
and discussed here- Pigeons, geomagnetic storms, and auroras

And then tried out the real-time maps of storms and whether that would improve his birds performance–

Hi Pam, Since I started using the information that you gave to me, my racing performance has gone up drastically. My losses are down and my winning is up. I send very few birds when the warnings are high, which result in fewer losses and when it is low I send a few more of the higher pedigree birds and the winnings are up. Thank you very much for your input. I will start racing again in August of this year and will keep you informed as to the results. I will definitely be using this information on my birds during their training this summer also, as I take them out as far as 100 miles on training tosses. thanks again.

Avian Navigation (pdf file)
Roswitha Wiltschko and Wolfgang Wiltschko
The Auk 126(4):717–743, 2009.
American Ornithologists’ Union, 2009. Special Reviews in Ornithology

Site Search Tags: , , , , ,

Pigeons, geomagnetic storms, and auroras

Over at the Where is… aurora, magnetic storm post, a reader left this interesting query
–2009 August 26 at 5:12 am

How can I get a geomagnetic storm alert on my computer? I raise and race pigeons for a hobby and I think this would give me valuable information to help me in my sport hobby. I have a big race coming up this weekend and would like to know the forecast about these storms. Will be having a race every weekend for the next 5 weeks. Thank you.

I’ve transposed our e-mail conversation for posting here–
Continue reading

Gone fishin’ (Salmon must be running somewhere …)

judging by the crime stats. Not so much in some regions– Yukon has no commercial and no subsistence fishing allowed– no fish.

In Bristol Bay, commercial fishing is closed due to lack of canning capacity,

Glut of reds overwhelms Bristol Bay processors The major processing companies were unable to handle the glut of fish, and last Sunday, the earliest date ever, they put fishermen on catch limits; some suspended buying altogether….

But still some people are hopeful (In a Twitter update Sunday, she said she was looking forward to joining her family as they commercially fish in Bristol Bay– I head 2 West AK villages today, look forward to their busy comm fish activity! )

Location: Kasilof
Case number: To be assigned
Type: Personal use fishing violation

Text: On 7-2-09, Alaska Wildlife Troopers contacted 18 year old Mitchel Halverson from Anchorage during an investigation. The investigation revealed Halverson invited non residents to participate in the taking of fish under his Kasilof River personal use set net permit then gave some of the fish to the no residents. Halverson was issued a summons for improper use of personal use caught fish. The offense carries a mandatory court appearance and arraignment is on 7-31-09.

Author: JDW1
Received Friday, July 03, 2009 7:03 AM and posted Friday, July 03, 2009 7:24 AM

Location: Copper Center
Case number: 09-53514
Type: Removing salmon from the water prior to release Text: On 6-23-09 Glennallen Alaska Wildlife Troopers received a report of people on the Klutina River pulling multiple salmon onto the rocks before releasing them. Troopers contacted Matthew Conner (age 26 / Anchorage) who was observed by Troopers removing salmon from the water onto the riverbank then releasing them back into the Klutina River. Conner was issued a citation for removing a salmon from the water prior to releasing. Conner was cited to the Glennallen Court with a bail of $110.
Author: LDD0
Received Friday, July 03, 2009 8:03 AM and posted Friday, July 03, 2009 9:00 AM

Location: Egegik
Case Number: 090055437
Type: C/F Closed Water
Text: On 6/27/09, Haaken T. Anderson, 37 YOA, of Dillingham, Alaska was cited by Bristol Bay Wildlife troopers for commercial fishing in closed water in the Egegik District. Arraignment is scheduled in Naknek District Court on 7/10/09. Author: PLF0
Received Friday, July 03, 2009 11:03 AM and posted Friday, July 03, 2009 11:41 AM

Location: Naknek River
Case Number: 090056187
Type: No King Stamp
Text: On 6/30/09, Daniel L. Slevin, 42 YOA, of Portland, Oregon was cited by Bristol Bay Wildlife Troopers for negligently fishing without a non-resident king stamp. Bail was set at $200.00. Author: GSC1 Received Friday, July 03, 2009 11:03 AM and posted Friday, July 03, 2009 11:53 AM

————————————————————— Continue reading

Bookshelf of Influenza Resources

Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard held a conference about reporting on pandemics. Excerpts from the conference were published on-line in the Spring 2007 Nieman Reports.

Maryn McKenna is currently writing about MRSA at her blog

Creating a Bookshelf of Valuable Resources List compiled by Maryn McKenna. It helps to assemble a reference bookshelf,” McKenna says. “I have been writing about pandemic and avian flu since 1997, and here are some of the works I keep on my shelf.”

Avian Flu, A Pandemic & the Role of Journalists: Excerpts From a Conference From November 30 until December 2, 2006, discussion at the Nieman Foundation … “The Next Big Health Crisis — And How to Cover It” brought journalists together with scientists, public health officials, medical experts, academic researchers, law enforcement officers, public policy experts, and Homeland Security officials to talk about how best to prepare for the possible arrival of pandemic flu.

Previous posts about Maryn McKenna
MRSA blog
More historical resources (Brevig Mission)
Pandemic planners urged to tap grass roots

Site Search Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Robert Fortuine M.D. 1934 to 2009

The author of an excellent book towards understanding Alaska,
Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska. 1989. Publisher: University of Alaska Press. ISBN: 0912006587 has died, Dr. Robert Fortuine. I know his book but had no idea of his extensive life. Fortunately, his biography can be read at the Anchorage Daily News

Dr Fortuine was named Alaska Historian of the Year in 1990 for his book “Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska” and again in 2005 for his book “Must We All Die? Alaska’s Enduring Struggle with Tuberculosis.” He was also a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America, a founding member of the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and a co-founder of the Amundsen Educational Center in Soldotna (a Christian vocational school for Alaska Natives).

Field assignments in the Indian Health Service included successive postings as medical officer and medical officer in charge at the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation at Belcourt, N.D. (1961-63), then as service unit director at Kanakanak in Alaska (1963-64), Bethel (1964-67), on the Navajo Reservation at Fort Defiance, Ariz. (1970-71) and finally as director of the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage (1971-77). From 1977-1980, he was detailed to the U.S. State Department as international health attache, the liaison officer between the U.S. government and the World Health Organization … Until his retirement from the Public Health Service in 1987, he worked as a family physician and emergency room physician at the Alaska Native Medical Center, then spent another 12 years as a volunteer operating a weekly skin clinic at the hospital…. Since 1989, Dr. Fortuine taught first-year medical students at the University of Alaska Anchorage as part of the WWAMI Program of the University of Washington.

Another related post–
Anchorage Museum to open tuberculosis exhibit

Site Search Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Talk of Alaska about swine flu

Steve Heimel yesterday discussed on Talk of Alaska: Holding Off Swine Flu, with Dr. Jay Butler, State Epidemiologist, Department of Health and Social Services. Swine Flu Talk of Alaska

Their blog comments are handled by Disqus which means it is nearly impossible to participate (my browser re-draws into one pixel wide; log-ins never work; comments don’t appear) so I will post my comment here and hope it trackbacks over there.

Preparedness comes in many forms, including (or especially) accurate information for the public to decide their risk. I think creating a false sense of security about infectious diseases or flooding and erosion is worse than the emergency condition itself.

My 3 things everyone should know to prevent bird flu (pandemic flu) are * Katrina was no Girl Scout (be prepared);
* learn the words and tune to Happy Birthday (wash hands while singing two rounds of Happy Birthday or Good Morning to You, properly, in English or Yup’ik); and
* practice safe sex (which implies that one has enough respect for self and other not to abuse alcohol and drugs, too. The result is fewer chronic illnesses like untreated depression, chlamydia, TB, and hepatitis which weakens one’s immune system.) More at How to avoid swine flu H1N1, or any other, quick list, from

Always ask yourself and your experts– does it make sense?
Does mass dispensing exercise prove disaster readiness
Mass disease pass, 2007

Why didn’t they they do this 3 years ago– public’s health

Alaska Airlines said it was removing pillows and blankets from all of its 114 planes, and would disinfect and sanitize all of its planes during overnight maintenance.

Now we won’t have any pillows for lumbar support to overcome the cramped seating and they’ll probably turn the heat too high to compensate for no blankets.

Bring back the antimacassar!

I always assumed pillows and blankets were disinfected regularly on planes (but nevertheless was queasy that it didn’t occur). Whole Foods doesn’t provide hand gel near the food counters or exits– a precaution to not so much to prevent illness but to remind patrons to practice safe sneezing. On the other hand, the Johnny Appleseed Trail of North Central Massachusetts, Visitor Center wipes down the doorknobs and door handles every hour as routine (they get lots of visitors per hour on the highways). Johnny Appleseed Rest Area, Massachusetts

2009-05-05 I found out yesterday that Northwest/Delta airlines does have antimacassars and free pillows and blankets for lumbar support. Food is still extra.

Site Search Tags: , , , , , ,