A Niagara-area dog first in Canada to test positive for COVID-19


Researchers have identified the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Canadian dog — but it doesn’t mean pet owners should panic.

The dog belongs to a Niagara Region household where four out of six members tested positive for the coronavirus. The family’s canine companion had no symptoms and a low viral load, suggesting that dogs remain at relatively low risk of becoming gravely ill or passing on COVID to others, experts said.

Scott Weese, a veterinary internal medicine specialist and director of the University of Guelph’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, is part of the team that identified the Niagara case. While the discovery is interesting from a research point of view, he said it doesn’t change existing advice: If pet owners are self-isolating, they should do their best to limit their pets’ contact with others, too.

“This pandemic is clearly driven almost exclusively by people,” said Weese. “Ultimately, we want to keep this purely a human disease because it’s easier to contain.”

Understanding the relationship between animal and human health during the pandemic is part of that containment effort — even if pets are believed to have “a very minor” role in transmission, he said.

“We want to try to prove they’re not a problem, as opposed to hope is not a problem,” Weese said.

The research comes with logistical challenges: Weese and his fellow faculty member rely on leads from social media, vets and public health workers about families that may have an exposed pet. Then, they must negotiate a tight testing timeline.

“A person has to get infected, and then they got to go to a testing centre and ask to get the results. Then they have to contact us and we have to get into the household. And if we don’t do that within a week, we’re probably going to get negative regardless.”

That, said Weese, is why it’s unsurprising that only one canine case has been confirmed, even though he’s tested around 45 animals since the start of the pandemic.

“I think a lot of the times we’ve gone in and sampled, we probably had animals that are positive but we’ve missed them,” he said.

In an advisory issued last week, the province’s Office of the Chief Veterinarian said people with COVID symptoms should try to “exercise the same infection control precautions” with their pets as they would people, including keeping animals indoors and limiting their contact with anyone other than their main caretaker.

“What I don’t want to see is someone’s cat getting infected, and then their cat infecting wildlife like raccoons, and then that’s just another potential source we have to think about,” said Weese.

Outside the pet realm, there is evidence that mink are particularly susceptible to the virus; more than a million of the animals have been killed in the Netherlands and Spain as a precaution after outbreaks on farms.

“It’s just a reminder of what we’ve been saying since January, which is that we need to figure out what the issues are,” said Weese. “It’s good that the main livestock issue is mink — we don’t have a significant concern with pigs or cattle or chickens.”

Despite initial concern that the virus may linger in animals’ coats, Weese said that is no longer believed to be a “significant source of infection.” Contact with infected animals’ noses, mouths and feces is more likely to spread the illness — although animals are believed to only be infectious for a short period of time.

While dogs seem quite resistant to the virus, Weese said cats seem more likely to show symptoms — although as in humans, the degree of severity varies.

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While vets are encouraged to contact the provincial Office of the Chief Veterinarian if they suspect a pet has been exposed to the virus, the province doesn’t recommend testing animals unless it is part of a study, or you own a mink farm.

As for the Niagara household, Weese said, both its human and canine residents are doing fine.





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White House says it won’t ‘control the pandemic’ as more senior staffers test positive


“Here’s what we have to do: we’re not going to control the pandemic – we’re going to control the fact that we get a vaccine, therapeutics and other mitigation,” Meadows told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

The comments were seized on by Democrats, because it contradicts the message Trump repeatedly spruiks on the campaign trail: that the US is “rounding the turn” on the virus and that the President has COVID-19 under control.

On social media, a Tweet posted by Democratic nominee Joe Biden exactly one year ago also went viral again this morning, in which the former vice president wrote: “We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilises the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores.”

The Tweet was posted months before the US experienced its first case of COVID-19 in January. Today, more than 225,000 Americans have died, a further 8.6 million cases have been confirmed, and millions have lost their jobs in the pandemic-fuelled recession.

Donald Trump, pictured at a campaign rally in New Hampshire earlier this year.Credit:AP

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With hospitalisations surging in recent weeks, health experts have warned of another devastating wave unless there is major effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. At the end of last week, the US recorded almost 84,000 cases in a day, smashing the previous single-day record of 77,362 cases recorded in mid-June.

Trump, however, has continued to conduct jam-packed rallies across the country that some fear could turn into super-spreader events, similar to the White House ceremony last month where multiple members of the president’s inner sanctum were infected.

Those in Trump’s orbit who have so far been diagnosed with COVID-19 include First Lady Melania Trump, their son Barron, campaign manager Bill Stepien and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

According to the New York Times, at least three top aides to Pence, include chief of staff Marc Short, have now also tested positive.

Despite the latest outbreak, the President once again downplayed the impact of the virus at a rally in New Hampshire. Instead, he claimed that Biden would reverse America’s “economic comeback” if he was elected and described the Democrat a “shutdown candidate” – suggesting that Biden would impose lockdowns in order to stop further outbreaks.

Biden, however, has repeatedly said he does not wish to shut down the economy, but would work with states to create a national mask standard; provide schools and businesses with clear guidelines to reopen; and improve testing and contact tracing, both of which have been ad hoc across the US.

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Trump’s COVID strategy focuses largely on fast-tracking a vaccine in record time under Operation Warp Speed: a public-private partnership set up by his administration in May as the cases began to skyrocket as the states rushed to reopen.

The White House also banned travel from China earlier this year, and set up a coronavirus task force, led by Pence.

At a rally in North Carolina today, Pence told supporters: “President Trump’s decision to suspend all travel from China saved untold American lives and bought us invaluable time to stand up the greatest national mobilisation since World War Two.”

“We are just a short time away from having the first safe and effective coronavirus vaccines in tens of millions of doses for the American people,” he said.

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All Blacks Savea, Laulala miss third Test


All Blacks No.8 Ardie Savea and prop Nepo Laulala are on paternity leave and will miss the third Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia next weekend, coach Ian Foster has said.

Both players were absent when the squad boarded their flight across the Tasman Sea on Sunday but Joe Moody was in the party and Foster was upbeat about the experienced prop being fit to take the field at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium next Sunday.

“Ardie’s baby boy has arrived, so he’ll be joining us late this week,” Foster told reporters at Auckland Airport.

“Nep’s baby hasn’t been born yet, so we’ll let that happen first and then we’ll plan accordingly.

“But at this stage, the plan is that they’re both ready and available for the second (Bledisloe Test) over there.”

New Zealand could secure the Bledisloe Cup for the 18th straight year if they can avoid defeat in Sydney next weekend after a 16-16 draw in Wellington two weeks ago and last Sunday’s 27-7 victory in Auckland.

Hoskins Sotutu is the most obvious candidate to replace Savea for what doubles as the Rugby Championship opener, after coming off the bench in the two previous Tests.

But Foster said Akira Ioane and uncapped 20-year-old Cullen Grace were also in the frame.

“(Sotutu) has done the job that we’ve given him really, really well,” Foster said.

“So I guess now we’ve just got to go back and have a look and say ‘Well do we keep him in that role or do we change a few things around?’.”

Tighthead Laulala also came off the bench at Eden Park, but Foster’s main front row concern will be at loosehead after the experienced Moody suffered a concussion last week.

“We haven’t actually been able to put him through any rugby training yet but the signs are really positive,” Foster said.

“Today when we get over there and tomorrow he’ll go through his normal return-to-play protocols but the signs today are he’s looking pretty good.”





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Second Bledisloe Cup Test at a glance


A GUIDE TO THE BLEDISLOE CUP BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND:-

WHEN: Sunday, 2pm AEDT

WHERE: Eden Park, Auckland

HEAD-TO-HEAD

* Overall: Played 191, All Blacks 133 wins, Wallabies 50 wins, Draws 8.

* Last five meetings

2020: All Blacks 16 dr Wallabies 16 at Sky Stadium, Wellington

2019: All Blacks 36 bt Wallabies 0 at Eden Park, Auckland

2019: Wallabies 47 bt All Blacks 26 at Optus Stadium, Perth

2018: All Blacks 37 bt Wallabies 20 at Yokohama Stadium, Tokyo

2018: All Blacks 40 bt Wallabies 12 at Eden Park, Auckland

THE COACHES

* Dave Rennie joins Michael Cheika, Robbie Deans, Eddie Jones and Rod Macqueen as Australian coaches to not lose in their first Test against the All Blacks. Only Macqueen and Jones went undefeated in the second.

* Already an unpopular choice as New Zealand coach, Ian Foster is the first All Blacks coach since Laurie Mains in 1992 to not win his opening Test.

KEY WALLABIES

Ned Hanigan

The scruffy-haired Hanigan has won over Rennie with his training efforts. The lock-cum-flanker is hopefully part of the answer to the Wallabies dodgy lineout.

Nic White

The halfback is expecting the All Blacks to come hard for him after the damage he caused in the first Test with his sniping around the ruck and clever kicking game.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa

The other piece of the lineout puzzle, the Reds rake replaces Folau Fainga’a who paid the price for three lost lineouts in the first half in Wellington.

KEY ALL BLACKS

Beauden Barrett

Superstar fullback Barrett returns after an achilles injury looking to add to his tally of 11 tries against Australia, with nine in his past six Tests.

Richie Mo’unga

Mo’unga led the All Blacks in run metres (94) last week but also made the equal-most errors in the contest so expect a more polished performance in game II.

Scott Barrett

The versatile forward returns from a four-month injury lay-off which saw him miss the entire Super Rugby Aotearoa season. The last time he faced the Wallabies he earned a red card.

THE STATS

* While the Wallabies have not beaten the All Blacks at Eden Park in 34 years they did beat Wales there in the 2011 World Cup bronze final.

* Playing their eighth draw last week, the All Blacks have always won the next Test between these sides.

* The Wallabies have lost by an average margin of 25 points across their past eight Tests at Eden Park since 2011.

THE TIP

* All Blacks by 7 points.





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Cricket Australia, Sheffield Shield, scores: Cameron Green scores century, India Test series 2020-21, Tim Paine


But there were plenty of runs on offer in Round Two of the Sheffield Shield — and there were some big names taking advantage before star-studded Victoria enters the competition next week.

Here are five things we learnt from the round.

Watch the 2020/21 Marsh Sheffield Shield LIVE on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

WA prodigy does it again

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Cricket Australia 2020, India tour, schedule, Virat Kohli, dates, Sydney, ODI, T20, Test matches, latest


NSW and Canberra are set launch the international men’s summer with six white ball matches against India, saving the tourists from the prospect of facing a Queensland boarding school.

Cricket Australia is still awaiting final approval from the BCCI but reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph claim the NSW government had given their approval for India to quarantine and train in Sydney in what is the first step in getting the $300m summer schedule off the ground.

Virat Kohli and co. were originally set to quarantine in Queensland but those north of the border reportedly pulled the plug on that on Sunday evening, unless the team was willing to potentially serve quarantine at a boarding school.

Watch every match of the 2020 IPL Season LIVE on Fox Sports with Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

Head slams unbeaten century

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F1 news 2020, Portuguese Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Oscar Piastri, Formula 2, 3, Bahrain test


Australian young gun Oscar Piastri will follow in the footsteps of Daniel Ricciardo as he jumps into a Renault Formula 1 car for the first time after winning the Formula 3 championship earlier this year.

Piastri will drive the team’s 2018 car next Friday in Bahrain as part of a four-day test session for three members of the Renault Academy.

The 19-year-old Melburnian has Australian F1 royalty in his corner in Mark Webber, who is his manager, and is hoping for big things for the teenager.

Ricciardo first got behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car in 2009, two years before his race debut in 2011, so the signs are positive for the highly-rated Piastri.

Watch the 2020 Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix™ on KAYO. Every practice, qualifying session and race LIVE. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >



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India completes successful test of its own 3rd-gen anti-tank missile, in bid to end reliance on foreign weapons — RT World News


Amid ongoing border tensions with China, India’s defense agency has completed the final test of its third-generation anti-tank missile, which is now set to be deployed by its army.

On Thursday, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announced that the Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), intended for use in the four-kilometer range, has successfully completed its final trial and is now ready for deployment to the frontline.

In response to continuing skirmishes with its neighbors China and Pakistan along the disputed borders, the DRDO has been actively testing domestic missile technologies in an effort to reduce its reliance on foreign defense equipment suppliers.

The third-generation ATGM, equipped with an imaging infrared seeker and integrated with a warhead, has, over several years, completed 10 trial launches, each of them declared successful. The missiles are now slated for production by the state-owned manufacturer Bharat Dynamics and subsequent deployment.

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The test of the Nag missile is the latest in a string of trials performed by the DRDO in the past month. The agency had earlier tested the supersonic surface-to-surface strategic missile Shaurya, as well as the Nirbhay cruise missile.

Before the success of the Nag, India had long lacked credible anti-tank weapons and was forced to purchase them from overseas partners. Last year, when tensions with Pakistan flared up, it made an emergency purchase of around 200 Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel, all of them immediately deployed along the so-called Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir to bolster defense against Pakistan.

India has been facing a two-front threat for decades, amid unresolved issues about disputed borders with neighbors Pakistan and China. In May, conflict flared up again in the Ladakh region, with armed skirmishes alongside the Line of Actual Control, India’s de facto border with China, though the two countries are currently in active talks to de-escalate the tensions.

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Coronavirus: Boris Johnson admits to ‘frustrations’ over test and trace and says system can ‘improve’ | Politics News



Boris Johnson has confessed to “frustrations” at the test and trace system and admitted there is need to “improve” the programme.

Latest figures show that less than 60% of close contacts of people who tested positive for coronavirus in England are being reached.

Meanwhile, just 15% of people tested for COVID-19 in England at an in-person site are receiving their result within 24 hours.

Challenged about the performance of the test and trace system at a Downing Street news conference, the prime minister said: “I share people’s frustrations and I understand totally why we do need to see faster turnaround times and we need to improve it.

“We need to make sure that people who do get a positive test self-isolate – that’s absolutely crucial if this thing is going to work in the way that it can.”

Mr Johnson previously promised a “world-beating” national test and trace scheme.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, also admitted there was “room for improvement” in the test and trace scheme.

“The testing system has ramped up the numbers they’re able to do quite effectively, but it’s really important to concentrate on numbers of contacts, isolation as quickly as you can, and getting things back as quickly as you can ideally to get the whole process done within 48 hours,” he said.

“It’s very clear there’s room for improvement on all of that and therefore that would be diminishing the effectiveness of this.”

However, Sir Patrick cautioned that the “effectiveness” of test and trace was less when there are higher numbers of coronavirus infections.



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