Apr 16, 2009Prenatal pandemic flu exposure might have affected brainPrenatal exposure to the Hong Kong pandemic influenza strain of 1968-69 may have impaired fetal cerebral development and lowered adult intelligence scores, according to Norwegian researchers who reported their findings in the early online Mar 18 edition of Annals of Neurology. In reviewing the records of more than 180,000 Norwegian men born between 1967 and 1973 who performed compulsory military service, they found that intelligence scores for each birth year rose annually, except for 1970. The investigators also found that the intelligence scores of men born in July through October of that year—6 to 9 months after Hong Kong flu struck Norway—were lower than those of men born in the same months in 1969 and 1971. The pattern suggests that exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy affected intelligence, the authors wrote. They said the effect could have been due to fetal cerebral infection or to the mother’s immune response, high body temperature, or use of medications.[Apr 15 Wiley-Blackwell press release][Mar 18 Ann Neurol abstract]Egypt reports three fresh H5N1 outbreaksAnimal health officials in Egypt today reported that H5N1 avian influenza broke out in three governorates, according to Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). An outbreak in Giza governorate, detected through active surveillance, struck 25 mixed variety backyard birds. Officials in Kafr el Sheikh governorate reported an outbreak in 70 backyard chickens, and authorities in Sharkia governorate reported that preslaughter testing at a commercial farm in Mafarik Khodeir village detected the virus in some of the facility’s 3,500 chickens. The vaccination status of the birds wasn’t available in any of the three outbreaks.Salmonella-related food recall expanded to include oils, saucesUnion International Food Co., which recalled dry spices on Mar 30 because of possible Salmonella contamination, has expanded the recall to include various oils and sauces. In a notice posted on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Web site, the Union City, Calif., company said it is expanding its recall of Lian How and Uncle Chen brand products to include all sauces, oils, and oil blends. The products come in containers ranging from 6 ounces to 1 gallon and were distributed to retailers, wholesalers, and distributors in California, Oregon, and Washington state. The original recall was prompted by the finding of Salmonella in some Lian How white pepper in connection with an outbreak. The company said the sauces and oils have not been linked to the outbreak, but it decided to recall the products out of caution.Safety review to delay opening of biodefense lab a year The opening of the new $192 million National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at Boston University will be delayed another year while the National Institutes of Health (NIH) completes its longer-than-projected safety review, the Boston Globe reported today. The complete but vacant building is slated to include a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory, meaning it can handle some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The NIH told a district court judge yesterday, in a court proceeding in a lawsuit filed by neighbors seeking to block the lab, that it hoped to submit its safety analysis by the spring or summer of 2010.[Apr 16 Boston Globe story]US had 1,505 malaria cases in 2007The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today it received reports of 1,505 US cases of malaria in 2007, down slightly and nonsignificantly from the 1,564 cases reported in 2006. The highest estimated relative case rates were in civilians who traveled to West Africa. Among 701 case-patients who provided the information, 441 (62.9%) reported that they had not followed the preventive drug regimen recommended by the CDC for their travel destination. Plasmodium falciparum was the most common malaria species, identified in 43.4% of cases. There was one death, in a patient who had a P vivax infection.[CDC malaria surveillance report]Drug-resistant TB plagues former Soviet countries, parts of ChinaMultidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) remains a serious threat in parts of China and in nine countries of the former Soviet Union, according to a report from the Global Project on Anti-Tuberculosis Drug Resistance Surveillance. In a study involving 90,736 patients in 83 countries, the median susceptibility to any drug in new cases of TB was 11.1%, according to the report in The Lancet. The prevalence of MDR TB (resistant to at least two first-line drugs) was 7% in two Chinese provinces and ranged from 6.8% to 22.3% in nine former Soviet countries, including 19.4% in Moldova and 22.3% in Baku, Azerbaijan. In addition, five former Soviet countries reported 25 or more cases of extensively drug-resistant TB. The study showed that MDR TB became less common in Hong Kong and the United States.[Lancet report on MDR TB]Train passenger’s death in Russia triggers quarantine of other ridersMore than 50 people were escorted off a train in central Russia and quarantined in a hospital yesterday after a Chinese woman on the train died of an unknown illness, according to multiple news reports. The woman, on a train bound for Moscow from far eastern Russia, died suddenly yesterday, according to a Reuters report today. Some reports yesterday suggested that she might have had SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), but World Health Organization spokeswoman Sari Setiogi said there was no confirmation of that, Reuters reported. An RIA Novosti report today quoted unidentified officials as saying the woman had an “acute respiratory viral infection” with “pulmonary and cerebral edema” and that blood samples were sent to Moscow for analysis. The story said 59 passengers were sent to a local hospital. The Chinese woman was accompanied by three family members, who all had slight fevers, the report said.[Apr 16 RIA Novosti report]
The International Tennis Federation has released the dates for the 19th edition of the Lagos Open.The men’s and women’s hard-court event will run from October 7 to 20 at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.The Lagos Open is a $100,000 tournament on the ITF World Tennis Tour and comprises two legs, which will hold for a week each, with $50,000 ($25K for the men’s and women’s event each) the prize-money for each week. The first leg will hold from October 7 – 13, while the second leg will get underway immediately, from the 14 – 20. It will be the first time the event will run under the new ITF World Tennis Tour format, which was introduced in March, 2017 and implemented this year.Under this new format, the tournament will be known as M25 Lagos for the men’s event and W25 Lagos for the women’s. M and W denote the gender and 25, the prize-money.Last year, in the men’s singles, Tom Jomby of France won the first leg, while Britain’s Jack Draper, who was 16 years old at the time, clinched the singles title in the second leg, beating Tom Jomby in an epic final.The Lagos Open is the follow up to the Abuja Open which serves three weeks of top class action starting with the Tombim Open, Dayak Championship and the GSL Open a combined $75,000 + Hospitality prize-money event which is part of the ITF World Tour.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Facebook9Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington Secretary of StateWashington students in grades 6-12 are invited to participate in a writing, art, and podcast contest running Jan. 6-April 30 to showcase individuals they believe are ahead of the curve in their communities. The contest is in conjunction with Legacy Washington’s “Ahead of the Curve” exhibit, which opened in September 2019 and celebrates trailblazing women in Washington state history.“I’m thrilled to offer this contest this year, and look forward to learning more about those who have made positive impressions on communities throughout our state,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman, whose office encompasses Legacy Washington. “A strong sense of community is paramount, and I hope through fulfilling this contest, students feel even more connected to their communities and a calling for civic participation wherever their lives may lead.”Students wishing to participate in the contest must submit an entry form, along with either a written work, two-dimensional art, or a podcast no later than April 30. An entry form, as well as more information about the contest and how to enter can be found on the Secretary of State’s website or here.Winners will be selected in each category in grades 6-8 and 9-12. Selected winners will receive a gift card and a special certificate during an awards ceremony in the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia in June. Winning pieces will be featured on the Secretary of State’s website and social media accounts.Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.