Oct 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) warned today that if H5N1 avian influenza spread to Africa and caused human cases, it “could push fragile health systems to the brink of collapse.”Also, China today ruled out H5N1 avian flu in the death of a girl who lived in a village recently hit by a poultry outbreak, while Romania reported finding the virus for the first time in an area other than the Danube delta.The virus has spread to Turkey, Romania, Croatia, and European Russia in recent weeks, and concern is rising that birds flying south from Siberia will bring the virus to Africa.The WHO said the arrival of the virus in Africa “would be of great concern for human as well as animal health.” Human and poultry populations are less dense in Africa than in Asia, but many African households have backyard flocks, which often mingle with wild birds.The agency said the risk of human cases in Africa would be similar to the risk in Asia. With weak disease-surveillance systems, cases and case clusters probably would not be detected quickly, especially when the symptoms resemble those of many other common diseases. Other diseases, including AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, already have overwhelmed healthcare and financial resources.”Sporadic cases of H5N1 infection and the frequent reluctance of residents to comply with recommended reporting and isolation measures during outbreaks of severe disease could push fragile health systems close to the brink of collapse,” the WHO said.In China, officials said a 12-year-old girl from Hunan province who died Oct 17 of suspected avian flu actually had pneumonia. The girl lived in Wantang, a village where 545 chickens and ducks died last week, the Associated Press (AP) reported.The girl’s 9-year-old brother is hospitalized in stable condition with pneumonia, according to a Reuters report today. China has had no confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian flu to date.Reuters reported that WHO officials in Geneva were calling for more information from China on the cases. WHO spokeswoman Maria Cheng said China had not provided any information. “We need more clarification because both [children] apparently had been exposed to sick chickens,” she was quoted as saying.Another WHO official said the agency wanted to know what tests were used to rule out avian flu, according to the AP.In Romania, officials said a dead heron found in the northeast, near the Moldovan border, tested positive for H5N1, according to an Agence France-Presse report today. The agriculture minister, Gheorghe Flutur, said tests conduced in Weybridge, England, confirmed the virus.Last week Flutur announced the virus had been found in two locations in the Danube River delta in southeastern Romania. Flutur said that more than 400 other tests on birds from eastern Romania had turned out negative, AFP reported.In other news, three tourists from Reunion Island who were suspected of catching avian flu while traveling in Thailand have tested negative for the virus, according to a Reuters report today.The story said a Thai health official, quoting unnamed French officials, said “final lab results” had excluded avian flu in the three French tourists. Reunion Island is a French possession off the east coast of Africa.The French health ministry had said yesterday that one of the three tourists, a 43-year-old man, had tested negative. The three had visited a bird park in Thailand.
It’s been another hectic week in the world of esports. We’ve seen plenty of big non-endemics fly into the space yet again – this time in varying nature as some of the world’s biggest brands have partnered across a variety of different tournaments. We’ve seen the OWL attract SOUR PATCH KIDS and T-Mobile, ESL Germany attract McDonalds, AirAsia sponsor Mineski and Splyce enter the NBA 2K League all in the last seven days. In case you missed any details of the biggest stories, here’s our recap:SOUR PATCH KIDS and T-Mobile sponsor the Overwatch LeagueThe Overwatch League has added T-Mobile and SOUR PATCH KIDS to a growing list of sponsors. The companies join the likes of Toyota, OMEN by HP and Intel as partners of the inaugural season. T-Mobile has signed a multi-year agreement to be the “official wireless provider” of the Overwatch League in the United States. The sponsorship will see the brand become exclusive title sponsor of the Overwatch League Regular Season MVP and Finals MVP. The deal will see T-Mobile provide content for its customers throughout the season. The release states there will be “exclusive perks”, an insider’s look at the top MVP candidates and more. Previously T-Mobile was a sponsor of the Overwatch World Cup. SOUR PATCH KIDS will bring fans content that will air on the livestream. On-site, fans will see digital board messaging, branded thundersticks and free sweets at select matches. Read the full article here.AirAsia sponsor Mineski’s Dota 2 teamAirAsia has become the exclusive airline partner of Mineski Pro Team, a prevalent Dota 2 squad.[Press Release] #AirAsia sponsors Dota 2 Esports Team Mineski pic.twitter.com/jqdbyxWeQX— AirAsia (@AirAsia) January 26, 2018The roster, made up of Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung, Kam “NaNa” Boon Seng, Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang, Thai Anucha “Jabz” Jirawong and Michael “ninjaboogie” Ross Jr are sat at fifth in the overall Dota Pro Circuit rankings and are well poised to secure a spot at The International.The year long deal was announced at a press conference held at Genting International Convention Centre (“GICC”). Read the full article here.ESL Meisterschaft partners with Mcdonald’s GermanyThe ESL Meisterschaft, home to the German Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and FIFA 18 championships, has announced that it has brought McDonald’s Germany on board as its official partner for 2018.Once known as the ESL Pro Series, ESL Meisterschaft is the home of several German championships – and has been since 2002. The 2018 season kicks off on Monday, January 29.McDonald’s has something of a history with the esports industry, just as recently as 2017 it sponsored ESL’s Starcraft II World Championships in partnership with Blizzard and You Know Media. It also sponsored the NFL Madden Bowl tournament earlier in the year.McDonald’s, of course, has been involved with traditional sports for quite some time too. The fast food company sponsored the Olympics for 30 years, and has also sponsored FIFA since the World Cup in 1994. McDonald’s logo will be prominent in all ESL Meisterschaft tournaments in 2018 and has promised fan competitions at Gamescom Cologne.Read the full article here.Splyce and Boston Celtics partner as the esports org enters the NBA 2K LeagueSplyce has just announced that it will be partnering withCLTX Crossover Gaming, otherwise known as the esports division of the Boston Celtics NBA Franchise, to enter the upcoming NBA 2K League.The announcement from Splyce explains that while the Celtics are well-versed in the sports industry, it’s still finding its stride when it comes to esports and gaming – that’s where the esports organisation comes in. Splyce, over the last few months, has been educating the Celtics and providing resources to its staff while they built and developed CLTX Crossover Gaming.Jim Ferris has been hired to front the CLTX brand, and is working alongside Splyce to fully embrace the flourishing world of competitive gaming. The official announcement also revealed that Splyce has been studying the NBA 2K scene to properly support CLTX in the upcoming player draft. Not only that, the two companies will continue to work side by side throughout 2018, placing importance on establishing a brand – both for CLTX and its future players.Read the full article here.