Return to Transcripts main page

CNN 10

Widely Spreading Virus Coincides With A Major Migration; Rare Parrot Makes A Slow Comeback in New Zealand; Floridians are Warned Against Falling Iguanas

Aired January 23, 2020 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi everyone. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. On the Chinese calendar the year 4717 begins in two days. It`s known as Chinese

New Year, Lunar New Year, Spring Festival, the celebration will last just over two weeks and it`s the reason for the largest annual human migration

on Earth. But it`s coming with an additional concern this year that`s having effects far beyond China. When we first reported on the Wuhan

coronavirus earlier this week, the mysterious illness had sickened more than 40 people and killed two. Now health officials say 17 people have

died from the disease and at least 540 cases have been confirmed in China but that`s not the whole story. Additional cases have been reported in

South Korea, Thailand and Japan. There are suspected cases in Australia and at least one case has reached America with a virus patient in

Washington State.

But several other cases are being tested in the United States and they involve people who either traveled to Wuhan or had close contact with

someone else who might have the virus. It`s named for a province of central eastern China where the disease was first detected in mid-December.

Most of the initial patients had been to a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan. A coronavirus is when breathing problems and the Wuhan

coronavirus has been causing pneumonia and because it`s spread across oceans international medical officials are trying to figure out what they

need to do to stop it.

This could involve screening people who traveled to other countries, monitoring travelers more closely for symptoms of the virus and coming up

with plans for treating the disease. It`s timing is particularly bad for China. Hundreds of millions of people are traveling right now for Lunar

New Year and they`re often in close contact with others on trains and planes. In fact, Chinese officials have stopped transportation moving out

of Wuhan for the time being.


ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: China is on the move to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Tens of millions of people will head home to visit

family by air, sea, train and car an estimated 3 billion trips. At Beijing`s crowded railway station many travelers are wearing masks to

protect themselves from the fast spreading Wuhan coronavirus but others say they`re not very concerned. Even though the city of Wuhan, which is at the

center of the outbreak, is a major air and railway connection for central China.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRANSLATED: Right now it said the cases in Beijing came from Wuhan and then they fell ill. Not that Beijing itself was the

source of the epidemic so I don`t think it`s too serious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: You just need to pay attention to your health and personal hygiene and things like that. And particularly the

young and elderly should try to avoid going to public places especially during the holiday.

ASHER: Chinese officials say they`re enhancing screenings at airports and train stations to contain the virus. But the outbreak comes at a time when

the country`s transport system is operating at full capacity. China`s state railway group estimates that Chinese travelers will take 11 million

train trips per day during the Spring Festival and airports around China have scheduled at least 17,000 flights a day. Last year state media said

close to 7 million people traveled abroad for the Lunar New Year. The holiday begins on Saturday so right now it is peak travel time for one of

the greatest migrations of people on the planet and keeping the virus from spreading further is critical. Zain Asher, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. What was the name of the last shuttle that flew in NASA`s space shuttle program? Atlantis, Discovery, Endeavor or

Enterprise. It was in the summer of 2011 that Space Shuttle Atlantis touched down in the last mission of the program.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) initiated.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (inaudible) you just saw a bright flash there. It`s like maybe (inaudible).



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Down a little bit early in fact.


AZUZ: Coming back down to Earth with two animal stories. The first concerns a flightless parrot. There`s only one kind of those. It`s called

the kakapo and it`s native to New Zealand. There aren`t a lot of them and they don`t breed quickly or successfully. Scientists estimate that a chick

hatches from only a third of all the kakapo eggs laid but they`re making a slow come back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On a remote island of the south coast of New Zealand are the world`s heaviest and only flightless parrots. The kakapo`s wings

are two short for the bird to get airborne so instead they rely on the beak and claws to climb up trees. They live to around 60 years but despite

what`s been one of New Zealand`s most abundant birds, today they`re one of the country`s most rare and threatened species.

ANDREW DIGBY, ECOLOGIST: The kakapo used to be one of the most common birds in New Zealand but when people arrived things started to go wrong.

People hunted them for food. People cleared the forest which they live in and people brought mammals with them which predated the kakapo. So things

like cats, dogs and (inaudible) kakapo almost became extinct.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Andrew Digby is part of the Kakapo Recovery Program established in 1995 to bring this charismatic bird back from the brink of


DIGBY: Kakapo only breeds about every three years or so and that`s when a particular type of tree produces lots and lots of fruit and they breed in

response to that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today Andrew`s team on the island to check on the kakapo they have electronically tagged finding these supremely camouflaged

birds is not an easy task.

DIGBY: Well every kakapo has a transmitter on it for example so we can track where it is and what it`s activity is. We optimize the feeding so

each kakapo gets its own individual diet, the right amount of food for that particular bird. We have scales at the feeding stations so we can weigh

the kakapo and know how much it is and how that kakapo lives so we can make sure that only that kakapo and not the other kakapo get into that

particular feeding station.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since the recovery program began in the 90s` population have quadrupled. Today over 200 birds roam the islands.

DIGBY: Our ultimate goal is to return kakapo to the mainland of New Zealand so people in New Zealand near the cities can hear kakapo booming

like people used to hundreds of years ago.


AZUZ: In southern Florida this week, some residents heard iguanas falling out of trees. "Domp", don`t worry. He`s OK, sort of. A recent cold front

that swept south dragged temperatures down to the low 40s` and high 30s` in and around Miami. That is very unusual and very cold for this part of the

country and for cold blooded iguanas scientists say it makes them go into a dormant state. They`re literally stunned by the cold. They`re still

breathing and their bodies most important systems are still running as long as the temperature doesn`t stay that low. But because iguanas often sleep

in trees, the cold can cause them to lose their grip on things and drop to the ground. The animals can weigh up to 20 pounds so the Miami National

Weather Service told people to be on guard against raining reptiles.

Iguanas are not an ingredient on Australia`s longest ever continuous pizza. But if you`re wondering why that title was so long, it`s because this pie

stretches more than 337 feet. That`s about the length of a football field but it`s not for football players. The Italian restaurant that baked this

behemoth did it to raise money for the fire fighters battling Australia`s ongoing wildfires. It took about five hours to cook and made 4,000 slices.

"Spinneturally" I`m going to "bake" some cheesy puns about that. I`m kind of a "ham". They`re the "pineapple" of my eye and "dough" you know there`s

"oregano" way I wouldn`t leave "mushroom" to "pepperoni" my program just to "pesto" you before we leave. I just can`t leave ya`ll "in pizza". But we

think it`s awesome the restaurant found a way to fight fire with "pie" and we hope it helps put out both flames and appetites in a part of the world

in need.

Desert Ridge High School, let`s go Jaguars. Thanks for subscribing and commenting on our You Tube page. It`s great to hear from you guys in Mesa,

Arizona. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.