An air transportation program has been launched for veterinarians serving in Kenya. Operating turbine aircraft, such as Cessna 208 Caravans, Sky Vets allows the mobile veterinary teams of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) and Kenya Wildlife Service to respond rapidly to animals in need of urgent care virtually anywhere in Kenya. In May, Sky Vets treated its first patient, an elephant seriously injured by a poisoned arrow. Without treatment, say the vets, the elephant would have died. Sky Vets is funded initially by a $40,000 start-up grant from U.S. Friends of DSWT.
Despite reports that the H7N9 avian flu has been responsible for 10 deaths out of 28 reported cases in China, international medical authorities don’t yet believe the virus is a concern for flight crews or airline passengers traveling to Asia, or at least not enough for the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend any travel or trade restrictions. All cases have occurred in regions of eastern China–Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, with 13 in Shanghai. None appears to have been transmitted from person-to-person, only to people who have been in contact with infected poultry.
Under the fractional aircraft ownership provider’s recently introduced PennVet VIP program, owners traveling with pets in the U.S. get 24/7 emergency veterinary advice and referrals. A dedicated phone number provides direct access to the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.