ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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August 2 , 2006


Volume IV, No. 1



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

©Peter S. Weber
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In this Issue

Vote for ISVMA Officers

In Memoriam: Dr. Joseph F. Pula

Bird Flu Study

ISVMA Classifieds

About The Photo

Contact Us

Index of Links

ISVMA Online Election

Akiapola'au Photo

Contact Us


Please Remember to Vote Online for Your ISVMA Officers

The ISVMA Constitution (adopted November 2005) gives every member an opportunity to nominate candidates for the ISVMA Board of Directors and vote for their Board members and ISVMA Board officers. We are pleased that you now have an opportunity to learn about your association leaders and participate in identifying and electing these valuable volunteers.

Please vote by accessing the online ballot at or by returning the ballot inserted in your next copy of the Epitome Newsletter (to be mailed next week). Each member is allowed one vote. The ballots must be returned to ISVMA no later than September 9, 2006 in order to be counted.

In order to vote online please use the following procedure:

1. Log on to

2. Enter your Username (Last Name) and Password (Birthday).

*Your birthday must be listed in this format 1/1/1951. If you try 01/01/1951 or 1-1-51 or any other variation it will not work.

3. Review the candidate biographies.

4. Cast you votes by either choosing the slated candidates or writing in a candidate of your choice.

If you have any difficulties logging in to vote, please call the ISVMA at (217) 523-8387 and ask for assistance.

Thank you for your support and participation in the election of the ISVMA leadership team!

In Memoriam: Dr. Joseph F. Pula (MSU 1944)

dr.pulaDr. Joseph F. Pula, 84, a resident of Buehler Home in Peoria died there at 1:18 a.m. Saturday, July 29, 2006.

Born Nov. 24, 1921, in Standish, Mich., a son of Frank and Mary Grych Pula, he married Jeanne K. Dickie on Aug. 4, 1945, in Durand, Mich. She survives.

Also surviving are two daughters, Mary (Gene) Sheldon of Mattapoisett, Mass., and Katie (Dan) Wujek of Granville, Ill.; five sons, William F. Pula of Silverthorne, Colo., Michol (Sally) Pula and David Pula, both of Peoria, Thomas (Marie) Pula of Sunland, Calif., and Daniel (Bonnie) Pula of Brighton, Colo.; 14 grandchildren; and two brothers, Mitchell (Elaine) Pula of Omer, Mich., and Arthur (Pat) Pula of Kalamazoo, Mich.

He was preceded in death by one son, James, in 1951.

He was an Army veteran of World War II.

Dr. Pula was a 1944 graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. He owned and operated Pula Animal Hospital in Peoria for 56 years, retiring in 2001.

He was actively involved in many local and national organizations. He had served as president of both the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association and Mississippi Valley Veterinary Medical Association, as well as the Peoria Academy of Science.

A public visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Wilton Mortuary in Peoria. Private family memorial services will be at a later date.

Memorials contributions may be made to Heartland Community Health Clinic, 1701 W. Garden, Peoria, IL 61605, a facility that provides free health care for the needy.

Bird Flu - Human Flu Virus Mix Doesn't Transmit Easily in Animal Test

Monday, July 31, 2006; Posted: 7:31 p.m. EDT (23:31 GMT)

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Tests using ferrets suggest that the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has to undergo complex genetic changes before it could develop into a pandemic flu virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC researchers are trying to better understand what genetic changes this avian flu virus would have to undergo before it would be easily transmitted from human to human, which could lead to a pandemic.

They conducted a series of tests to see what would happen if a strain of the H5N1 virus mixed with a common human flu virus, H3N2.

"We were not able to see efficient transmission from an infected animal to a healthy animal, " according to Dr. Jacqueline Katz, one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers working on the ferret experiments.

In addition to not seeing easy transmission from one animal to another, when an animal did get sick, the virus was "not able to cause as severe disease as the original H5N1 virus," Katz explained.

Ever since the emergence of the H5N1 avian flu virus in Asia, researchers and public health officials have been fearing it could mutate in a way that it would easily transmit from human to human.

If this scenario were to occur, it would very likely cause a pandemic because humans do not have built-in immunity against this particular virus.

CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding cautioned this does not mean the deadly H5N1 virus cannot turn into a pandemic virus.

"Influenza is a virus that constantly evolves," Gerberding told reporters in a teleconference Friday.

What the research shows is that it's "probably not a simple process and more than simple genetic exchanges are necessary" for the the H5N1 virus to easily spread between humans.

Researchers used ferrets because they get the flu the same way as humans -- droplets carrying the virus are spread through coughing and sneezing and spread the disease.

Other experts shared Gerberding's caution. "We may be a bit relieved, but we shouldn't underestimate flu viruses," said Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a professor in the department of pathobiological sciences in the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, who was not involved with the CDC research.

It does demonstrate, he said, that this particular combination of the 1997 H5N1 strain and the H3N2 human flu strain did not easily spread. Other combinations, he noted, have not yet been tried.

Right now, the highly pathogenic form of the H5N1 avian virus is primarily an illness in birds.

Millions of domestic and wild birds have died as a result of the spread of the virus from Asia to some parts of Europe and Africa.

According to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, there are 232 known human cases of H5N1 infection, of which 134 people died.

Most human cases are the result of human-to-bird contact. Very few are the result of human-to-human contact.

The results of these experiments were published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

Have You Looked at the ISVMA Classifieds Lately?

ISVMA has more than 80 classified advertisements currently online at The classified advertisements are divided into several separate categories (and individual web pages) including: In-State Opportunities for Veterinarians; Relief Veterinarians; Out-of-State Opportunities for Veterinarians; Technicians and Practice Personnel; Practices and Equipment for Sale; and Services.

We have received very positive feedback on the effectiveness of our classified advertisements. Please remember to visit the ISVMA classifieds whether you are looking for a job, service, employee or relief assistance.

About the Photo in This Issue...

The Akiapola'au (Hemignathus munroi) is a member of the Hawaiian honeycreeper family (Drepanididae) that has evolved to fill the niche occupied by woodpeckers in many other parts of the world. It is critically endangered and found only on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Akiapola'au (Aki) is a bright yellow bird with black lores that is immediately recognized by its sharply curving upper mandible. In appearance, it is very similar to the Nukupu'u (H. lucidus) which is not known to have occurred on the Big Island of Hawaii. In behavior, it creeps along trunks and branches searching for grubs and various arthropods within the bark. Its song is a loud, rapid-fire warble.

The Aki was described by early naturalists as common to abundant throughout its range from 1887 to 1902, but clearing of lower elevation forests during the 1900s split the population into four subunits in remnant native forest above 1500 meters. Only one of these four subpopulations survives in significant numbers, with the other three subpopulations reduced to an estimated 44 birds, 20 birds, and 3 birds respectively. Due to variability in singing and detection rates it has been difficult to accurately estimate population sizes, but it is certain that there have been real declines and withdrawal from previously occupied ranges.

This species has never been intensively studied and little information has been published but it is clearly dependent on forests with koa (Acacia koa) and ohi'a-lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees. It forages by creeping along tree trunks and branches probing, poking, and tearing at bark with its highly specialized bill. It forages mainly on the koa tree, selecting lichen-covered and dead branches to search for arthropods (see picture). The few data suggest that this species breeds throughout the year, building their nests in terminal leafy branches of ohi'a-lehua trees.

The main factors limiting the Aki population size include mosquito-borne diseases and loss or fragmentation of habitat including through logging of koa trees. It is likely that predation by feral cats and rats, and depletion of their food supply by introduced predatory and parasitic insects are additional factors.

The Aki was federally listed as Endangered in 1967. Current U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recovery plans call for additional surveys, investigating how populations are limited, preserving and restoring habitat, and developing a public relations campaign. Populations occur within the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. This species has survived mostly in state forest preserves including the Kau Forest Reserve where intensive efforts are underway to acquire, restore, and manage critical habitats and to remove feral ungulates. Efforts to secure eggs from wild populations to rear in captivity have begun. More urgent action may be needed to safeguard this species including aggressive reforestation of degraded sites that could support Akiapola'au.

I photographed this male Akiapola'au in the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on the Big Island of Hawaii in July 2006.

Contact Us

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133 South Fourth St., Suite 202
Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 523-8387

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