By Steven McLoud/Diálogo May 21, 2020 Some 700 Honduran families are benefitting from humanitarian aid kits delivered by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) to the National Risk Management System (SINAGER, in Spanish) of Honduras on May 8.These 700 hygiene kits contain soaps, toothpastes, brushes, sanitary napkins, toilet paper, and shampoo and were taken to prioritized sectors of Honduras.The donation was made in response to the request by the Honduran government agency of the Permanent Commission of Contingencies (COPECO, in Spanish) for supplies to have on hand to respond to emergencies due to the rainy season.Since the COVID-19 crisis began in Honduras in mid-March, the Security Cooperation Office (SCO) of the U.S. Embassy in Honduras through SOUTHCOM’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) has donated more than $150,000 worth of medical supplies, hygiene kits, and personal protection equipment (PPE).In late April, SOUTHCOM also delivered to COPECO a disbursement of PPEs for SINAGER, which was later distributed among the first response personnel working on the front lines combatting COVID-19.U.S. Air Force Colonel Francisco Rivera, SCO chief in Honduras, made the delivery. Those PPEs consisted of 1,500 KN 95 masks, 5,000 Nitrile gloves, 65 gallons of hand sanitizers, 1,500 medical gowns, and six infrared thermometers. In addition to SINAGER and COPECO, donations have also gone to the Honduran National Pulmonary Hospital and the Salvador Paredes Hospital.“Over the last decade, SOUTHCOM has steadily built COPECO’s capacity in Honduras through a series of HAP projects,” said Col. Rivera. “From 2010 to 2020, HAP funds were used to construct regional Emergency Operations Centers/Disaster Relief Warehouses (EOC/DRW) for COPECO regional offices in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Gracias a Dios, El Paraíso, Atlántida, and Choluteca.”These facilities, which display commemorative plaques highlighting SOUTHCOM’s donation, are currently fully equipped to respond to natural and man-made disasters, Col. Rivera added. For COVID-19, each EOC/DRW is currently activated and providing assistance.
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Jan 10, 2005 (CIDRAP News) Investigators of Canada’s second case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) have determined that 38 cattle might have been exposed to the same feed as the infected cow and that one of those was exported to the United States. The report quoted Sergio Tolusso of the CFIA as saying that 66 of 110 feed samples were found to contain animal material, though they were sold as being free of such material. Officials subsequently inspected some feed mills and concluded that feed from four of them might have contained material from ruminants, Tolusso was quoted as saying. “It is possible that these animals could have been exposed to the same feed as the infected animal,” the CFIA said. Despite the low risk, DeHaven said the USDA would “make every reasonable effort” to trace the imported animal and any others from the same birth group, as the agency did after Canada’s first BSE case was discovered in May 2003 and some cows from the herd of origin were traced to the United States. But Tolusso said there was little risk that the ruminant materials in the cattle feeds contained the BSE agent because the incidence of BSE in Canadian cattle is low. In related news, a report from Canada’s CanWest News Service last week said some cattle feed samples tested by the CFIA early in 2004 might have contained ruminant animal remains, in violation of the ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban. The four mills implicated in the study took voluntary steps to reduce the risk of violating the feed ban, Tolusso said. They did not recall any feed products, because the protein material was not positively determined to be from cattle. The CFIA said that 9 of the 38 cattle in the birth cohort have been found and quarantined and that euthanization would begin this week. Another animal from the group previously tested negative for BSE after it was reported as a downer. The agency said it was trying to find the rest of the cattle and determine their status. Canadian officials announced Jan 2 that BSE, or mad cow disease, had been confirmed in an older dairy cow. The cow came from a farm near Barrhead, Alta., northwest of Edmonton, according to an Edmonton Journal report last week. The infected cow gave birth in 2003 and 2004, but both calves died of causes unrelated to BSE, the CFIA reported. The report noted that ruminant remains can still be fed to nonruminants such as chickens and pigs, and chicken and pig materials can be fed to ruminants. About half of the 110 feed samples were from imported feed products and the rest came from Canadian mills, the story said. DeHaven and the CFIA said the risk of finding another BSE case from the infected cow’s birth herd is very small. “Finding multiple cases of BSE in a single birth cohort is rare, based on international experiences,” the CFIA said. DeHaven called it “extremely unlikely” that the imported animal would have had BSE. Dr. Ron DeHaven of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Jan 7 that one animal from the infected cow’s birth cohort was imported into the United States in February 2002 for immediate slaughter. DeHaven, head of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said USDA and the Food and Drug Administration would trace what happened to the animal. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced Jan 7 that the infected cow’s birth cohortcattle born on the same farm and within 12 months before or after its birth in 1996included 38 other cattle of “primary interest.” To prevent the spread of BSE, Canada and the United States both banned the feeding of ruminant animal remains to ruminants (cud-chewing animals) in 1997. Canadian news reports quoted the CFIA as saying that the infected cow’s birth herd also included 55 bull calves, which would have been slaughtered very young. Cattle are believed to contract BSE by eating protein from infected cattle. Consuming meat products from infected cattle is thought to be the cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans.