Mar 27, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who looked for mild or asymptomatic human cases of H5N1 avian influenza following an outbreak in Cambodia last year didn’t find any, challenging the view that human cases have gone undetected, according to findings presented last week.The research described Mar 20 at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta implies that surveillance for human cases might be more effective than some experts assumed, according to a story by the Canadian Press (CP). However, the findings also imply that the case-fatality rate for avian flu is higher than some experts thought.Dr. Philippe Buchy and his colleagues at the Institut Pasteur in Phnom Penh last spring tested blood samples from 351 residents of a Cambodian village where poultry and one person had died of avian flu, the CP reported. No signs of antibodies to H5N1 were found in the samples, indicating the residents had not suffered even mild cases of avian flu.Some of the people tested had “significant” exposure to poultry or infected people, the story said. For example, a doctor who inserted a tube down an H5N1 patient’s windpipe without wearing any protective gear did not show any antibodies indicating infection. The same was true for other healthcare workers, including two veterinarians who had autopsied H5N1-infected birds. The healthcare workers did not know at the time they were dealing with avian flu cases.”We didn’t find any cases of H5N1, so nobody seems to have been asymptomatic or with mild symptoms during this outbreak in Cambodia,” Buchy told the CP.On the bright side, Buchy was quoted as saying the data indicate the virus still finds it difficult to jump from poultry to humans.Dr. Nancy Cox, head of the influenza branch at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, concurred with Buchy, but added: “On the other side of the coin, it means that the case-fatality rate is still very high. And that is a negative thing.”Experts have suggested that the current case fatality rate for avian flu, about 56%, could be inaccurate because milder or asymptomatic cases have not been identified.”The work in Cambodia is extremely important because it shows that we really aren’t missing that much,” Cox told the CP. However, she added that it is important to conduct research on a larger scale to determine whether mild or asymptomatic cases are occurring, and said such studies are planned.
Queensland’s $3 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane casino is just one of a spate of developments accused of promoting hostile architecture.An artist’s impression of the planned casino and lifestyle complex, Queen’s Wharf Brisbane. Picture: Queen’s Wharf BrisbaneThe planned casino and lifestyle complex came under fire late last year after putting forward designs that prevent people experiencing homelessness from sleeping on benches and seats.The development’s Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Report submitted to the state government stated that “furniture installed in the area should have features that minimise anti-social behaviour.”“This may include discreet solutions on seating and low walls that minimise use for skateboard tricks, and fixed armrests that prevent sleeping on the furniture.”The Queen’s Wharf Casino development has come under fire for putting forward designs that prevent people experiencing homelessness from sleeping on benches. Picture: GettyGreens councillor, Jonathan Sri, called the furniture design “disgusting” stating that “public spaces should be for everyone – not just the mega-rich,” and called upon Brisbane Central MP Grace Grace to ensure no development on state government land included hostile architecture.“Rough sleepers are extremely vulnerable and are among the most likely members of our society to be victims of crime,” Sri told the Brisbane Times.“When councils and governments discourage them from using highly visible public spaces, they end up sleeping in unsafe areas on the margins.”The new development will occupy 12 hectares of government-owned land and potentially reclaim 15.3 hectares of the Brisbane River.Brisbane Central MP Grace Grace responded to the allegations by holding a public information session about Queens Wharf where local resident expressed overwhelming support for the project.“This emphasis on public space helped to set the winning consortium’s bid apart, and I know that it’s something that local residents find hugely exciting,” she told The Brisbane Times.A spokesman from Destination Brisbane Consortium said: “The development seeks to cater for all user groups, with landscaping and features at the river edge including places for people to sit and enjoy this part of the city.”The sprawling Queen’s Wharf development will be spread over 12 hectares of government-owned land and potentially reclaim 15.3 hectares of the Brisbane River. Picture: Queen’s Wharf BrisbaneThe concept of “hostile architecture” – designs that aim to prohibit certain behaviours and exclude groups of people – isn’t new. The coercive design of public spaces has always been a point of contention for architects, local councils and human rights organisations.James Petty, who recently completed a PhD in Criminology that looked at how homelessness is regulated and criminalised in Melbourne, believes that the design features described in Queens Wharf’s development application are problematic.“Anything that targets specific uses that are characterised by marginalised groups, like people who lie down on benches – yes, I would say that definitely constitutes hostile architecture,” Petty told ArchitectureAU.The Queen’s Wharf development isn’t the first instance of hostile architecture in Australia.In 2015, Western Australia’s Department of Culture and Arts was forced to turn off a controversial sprinkler system used to prevent homeless people bedding down in the inner city.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours agoAnd in 2013, NSW’s RailCorp was forced to abandon their idea of using Mosquitos – devices that emit a high-frequency buzzing noise only people aged 13 to 24 can hear – to deter graffiti artists.One of the most visible examples of hostile architecture are spikes which are used in front of apartment buildings and on public benches to deter rough sleepers.The local Bournemouth Borough Council in England recently removed its anti-homeless bars on its town centre benches after a public outcry.British rapper Professor Green, who presented a BBC Three documentary, Hidden and Homeless, which focuses on youth homelessness, took pictures of the benches and shared them on social media, sparking a petition signed by more than 20,000 people who accused the council of “turning their back on the homeless.” He said: “What’s the message here? ‘Hey you poor sods with no safety net … you won’t have the ‘comfort’ of this bench to sleep on! Ha!”“Again, nothing done to tackle the problem, just something to make it more invisible so we can pretend it isn’t happening.”Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:24Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:24 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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