NEWS SCAN: Prenatal pan flu exposure, H5N1 in Egypt, food recall expands, Boston biolab delay, malaria in US, MDR TB, Russian train quarantine

first_imgApr 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]last_img read more

Croatian cities continue to grow in popularity on the international tourism market

first_imgLondon is expected to lose third place in the rankings for 2019, ahead of Macau and Singapore. On the other hand, Paris will take advantage of any difference of visitors from the United Kingdom. Although intraregional travel is stable, arrivals from Asian markets, such as China and Japan, have outpaced the increase in visitors from the region. Intraregional travel remains the largest source of tourism, with almost 80 percent of travelers traveling within the region. This is the result of a strong regulatory framework and travel policies that make travel easier within the European Union and the Schengen area, which includes 26 European countries. Road and transport infrastructure in Europe is one of the strongest in the world. There are 853 airports in the region. The high-quality and wide rail and road network in Europe further facilitates intra-regional tourism. Europe is the second fastest growing regional destination after Asia and has recorded the largest number of arrivals in the world, according to the results of the report “Top 100 urban destinations 2018” by Euromonitor. Travelers are looking for newer, more localized experiences and less crowds, which makes these destinations desirable. The popularity and increased number of low-cost carriers to these destinations have also favored growth. London retained third place in the ranking of “Top 100 city destinations”, despite the decline in the number of arrivals due to Brexit. However, the future of the travel market in the UK remains uncertain, especially if visa restrictions are tightened as it will lose a lot of visitors from the European Union. center_img While traditional locations such as Milan, Berlin and Vienna have fallen in the rankings due to lower visitor interest, destinations such as Croatia, Slovenia and Sweden are climbing upwards. You can find the full report HERE. Key cities in Turkey are continuously climbing the ladder to improve security and devalue the Turkish lira, making Turkey an attractive European destination “for everyone’s pocket”. Source / photo: Euromonitorlast_img read more

COVID-19: ‘People don’t need to stockpile everyday items’, Jokowi says amid panic buying spree

first_imgDemand for face masks has also surged in Blitar regency, East Java.”We already put up a sign telling customers that we don’t have any face masks but they keep asking anyway,” drugstore employee Lina Sugianti told the Post on Tuesday. Lina said the drugstore had not been able to replenish its face mask stocks for a month and a half due to consumers bulk buying the masks for their relatives who are migrant workers in countries hit by the coronavirus outbreak such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. The Indonesian Retailers Association (Aprindo) and Indonesian Shopping Centers Tenants Association (Hippindo) issued statements on Monday to assure their members’ that food and non-food supplies would be more than sufficient to fulfill regular demand and that they had also taken certain measures to ensure a constant supply in the case of prolonged panic. (nor)Topics : “People don’t need to stockpile everyday items,” he said at a press conference at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Tuesday. “If anything, what makes such items rare is bulk buying.”People began panic buying everyday goods, ranging from instant noodles to antiseptic wipes, on Monday afternoon after Jokowi announced the country’s first two confirmed COVID-19 cases. The patients, a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter, are currently being treated at Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Saroso) in Jakarta.There have been also been reports of thinning face mask supplies at drugstores around the country. Menita, a storekeeper at Agung Raya drugstore in Manado, North Sulawesi told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that her store had doubled the price of face masks to Rp 4,000 (28 US Cents) a piece and capped sales to three pieces per customer. She said that her store raised prices because distributors had also raised prices to Rp 500,000 per box of 50 face masks. “There are residents who bulk buy face masks to send to their family members in Jakarta, because they said that there aren’t any face masks there. We have been sold out of face masks since this morning,” Menita said.center_img President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has spoken out against hoarding as people across the country go on panic buying sprees following the announcement of Indonesia’s first two confirmed COVID-19 cases.Jokowi said the government and the private sector had enough food and non-food stocks, including around 50 million face masks, to meet public demand. The President has also instructed the National Police chief to crack down on individuals hoarding and reselling face masks.last_img read more

Schoolies 2018: ‘Ghost host’ busters to target silent rentals

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:39Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:39 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenPreparing your home for schoolies week00:39Thousands of Schoolies are set to descend on holiday destinations across the country from this weekend. Picture: Bianca De MarchiHundreds of ‘ghost host’ busters will this weekend crack down on Schoolies renting units via sites like Airbnb without building management being notified.Peak body, the Strata Community Association, estimated hundreds of strata communities may be caught unaware by raucous parties when Schoolies 2018 kicks off this Saturday on the Gold Coast.SCA chief executive Alisha Fisher warned that unnotified Schoolies rentals in units of “ghost” hosts created risks for the entire community.“Unnotified stays could wreak havoc on an unsuspecting community, who might have beefed up security and secured high risk areas like rooftops had they known a Schoolies party was on the way.”Ms Fisher said ghost hosting was an emerging issue “where residents are keeping their body corporate in the dark and letting their property out on short stay sites without giving other residents prior warning”.‘Ghost hosts’ have nothing to do with Ghostbusters like these ones at the Superhero Parade at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast — those SCA does expect to bust them. Picture: Glenn Hampson.MORE: Zero tolerance in ‘Schoolie-proof’ zonesHarder to rent in Brisbane than SydneyAmong concerns was the high profile trashing of a luxury penthouse on Gold Coast during Schoolies 2017.“Without a heads up, we’re very concerned that strata communities in the Gold Coast may be exposed to unnecessary risks this Schoolies week” with concerns centring on overcrowding and damage to common property.But strata communities may be powerless to do anything until too late, she admitted.“Given the popularity of properties being advertised as self-check in on Airbnb and other short stay websites, it may be difficult to know that a Schoolies party is onsite until something goes wrong.”More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“Not having a formal check in procedure also causes situations, where there is no quality control on how many guests are in apartments, no control over whether underaged guests are bringing in alcohol and importantly no ability to screen whether 18-year-olds are present as many short stay providers require.”Schoolies from southern states in a file picture taken at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Picture: Mike Batterham.Thousands of Year 12 students were set to converge on the Gold Coast this Saturday for the start of Schoolies 2018, with Western Australia to follow on Sunday, and New South Wales the following weekend.“Managed right,” SCA believed, “Schoolies doesn’t leave a lasting impact on residential strata communities, but problems arise when strata communities do not cooperate or communicate.”Ms Fisher said it was not too late for strata communities to organise “proper security and safety plans” if “ghost hosts immediately come forward”.AirBnb currently has several properties available in the vicinity of the main Schoolies 2018 party zone, with at least one — a luxury three bedder on the 49th floor of the Hilton — specifically banning Schoolies rentals.“Gorgeous 49th floor apartment of the luxury Hilton Resort, right in the heart of Surfer’s Paradise … Sorry NO Schoolies Bookings. Thank you.”SCA has over 3,300 members overseeing strata property with an estimated replacement value of more than $1.2 trillion.FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOKVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:39Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:39 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenPreparing your home for schoolies week00:39last_img read more

It’s a girl! Not necessarily, says Serena

first_imgParis, France | AFP |  Serena Williams said Thursday that big sister Venus did not necessarily reveal that she is expecting a baby girl.Venus, playing at the French Open in Paris, told a TV interviewer: “She’s going to call me her favourite aunt.”“We all like ‘baby V, baby Lyn, baby Isha’. We all want the baby to be named after us,” the 36-year-old told Eurosport, referring to the names of Serena’s sisters.The interview led many to believe that the baby, due in September, will be a girl.However, Serena took to Twitter on Thursday in an attempt to cool all those cooing on social media for a baby girl.“I think the surprise of knowing what you are going to have on that very special day you give birth is probably the best surprise you can ever have,” wrote the 23-time major winner.“So just to clarify what Venus said, I am always joking with my sisters to see what favours I can get them to do for me next.“If I want something from one of my sisters, I say baby Venus, baby Lyn, or baby Isha needs it. “I did not grow up with any brothers, only sisters and we all say ‘she’ rather than ‘he’.”Serena, who revealed she was pregnant in April, has always refused to discuss the sex of the baby she is expecting with fiance Alex Ohanian, the founder of Reddit.She was at Roland Garros on Wednesday watching her older sister defeat Kurumi Nara in the second round on the showpiece Philippe Chatrier court.Earlier this week in Paris, Venus had talked about her anticipation of becoming an aunt.“I’m definitely looking forward to it. I hope that I can live up to this job,” she said.“I think you just have to be ready, aware, and alert. Then have a lot of diaper duty.”Serena, 35, learned she was pregnant just two days before the Australian Open.She intends to resume her career in 2018.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

‘An incredible year’: Guardiola hails City’s history boys

first_imgManchester City win domestic treble. PHOTO via @ManCityLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Pep Guardiola saluted Manchester City’s history makers after they clinched the domestic treble with a swaggering 6-0 rout of Watford in the FA Cup final on Saturday.Guardiola’s side capped an incredible campaign in fittingly dynamic fashion as Watford were put to the sword by Raheem Sterling’s hat-trick and goals from David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus.Just a week after winning a second successive Premier League crown, City’s record-equalling FA Cup final victory made them the first English club to win the English title, FA Cup and League Cup in the same season.They are the first English top-flight side to register 50 wins in all competitions in a single season.Guardiola’s men also scored a record 169 goals in 61 games this season, beating their own previous best of 156.City now rank high on the list of the greatest English teams of all-time and Guardiola admitted it was remarkable to watch his side scale such heights.“It was an incredible final for us and we have finished an incredible year. To all the people at the club a big congratulations, especially the players because they are the reason why we have won these titles,” he told the BBC.Although City finished as emphatic winners, the final could have been different if Watford had capitalised on a lively opening at Wembley.Crucially, the Hornets wasted a golden chance in the 11th minute when Roberto Pereyra ran clear, only to see his shot saved by Ederson.Guardiola agreed that Ederson’s save was a turning point. “In the final these kind of things make the difference. Ederson saved us at a key point at the beginning of the game, because 1-0 would have been really difficult for us,” he said.City have now lifted five of the past major six domestic trophies available.As Guardiola watched his player cavort joyously around the pitch after the final whistle, the Spaniard was asked if City could top their astonishing run over the last two years.Guardiola admitted last week that he is addicted to winning and, ominously for City’s rivals, he made it clear he expects his stars to be even better next term.“We have to, always you can improve. There is no sense to stay still,” he said.City captain Vincent Kompany was quick to pay tribute to Guardiola for his ability to hold his squad to a high standard.“It starts with the manager, who set the standard at the start of the season and said we had to go back-to-back (as title winners), and then it’s the group,” Kompany said“It’s the best team in the world. To set such a high standard for such a long period, for two years running. What a team, what a privilege!”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Coronavirus Spreads at BSO; Sheriff Faces Union No-Confidence Vote

first_imgHe was one of two deputies across South Florida who died of COVID-19 within two days, raising concerns about whether first responders being adequately protected.Sheriff Tony told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Wednesday that his employees are equipped with proper protective gear, and have also been receiving it since Feb. 1, weeks before the coronavirus began spreading rapidly.Tony was responding to criticism from union leader Jeff Bell, who recently claimed the sheriff has failed to provide sufficient safety equipment for his deputies.That led Tony to suspend Bell last Friday, saying he made false statements, has engaged in corrupt practices, has exhibited conduct that is unbecoming, and has also not used proper discretion.The deputies’ union announced Monday that it would hold a no-confidence vote on Tony beginning the next day. Voting ends Monday afternoon.“These men and woman who serve under me, if they haven’t seen that I have their best interests at heart as of now and if they haven’t seen that I will do everything possible to make this agency the best agency in the country — that I am committed to them. If they haven’t seen it as of yet, it’s going to be a rough road ahead,” Sheriff Tony told The Sun Sentinel.The former Coral Springs police officer became the county’s sheriff two years ago, after Gov. Ron DeSantis removed former Sheriff Scott Israel, also after a no-confidence vote. The union announced its vote against Sheriff Israel over his handling of the Parkland school shooting as well as the 2017 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.However, Sheriff Tony says a no-confidence vote will not distract him, adding, “I have to stay focused. I cannot get caught up in the results of a vote of no confidence. …I need to keep moving this agency forward.” The number of coronavirus cases inside the Broward County Sheriff’s Office has almost doubled in one week.According to Sheriff Gregory Tony, seventy-seven employees have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Two of those people have since recovered and will soon return to duty.One week ago, the agency had 42 confirmed cases among its 5,400 employees.Veda Coleman-Wright, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, explains that the majority of the positive cases have come in the communications department, which includes emergency dispatchers.One employee, Deputy Shannon Bennett died from the virus on April [email protected] shared his sentiments about the life and service of Deputy Shannon Bennett who passed away last night due to COVID-19. Deputy Bennett was instrumental in leading the initiative to further establish unity between law enforcement and the LGBTQ community. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/iBRdGXNmBv— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) April 4, 2020last_img read more

Contest Highlighting Individuals Who Are ‘Ahead of the Curve’ in Washington…

first_imgFacebook9Tweet0Pin0Submitted 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.last_img read more

Mallard’s Team of the Week — Dance Umbrella

first_imgThe Dance Umbrella is hosting its 15th Spring Showcase this weekend at the Capitol Theatre. Mallard’s Source for Sports would like add to the excitement by selecting Dance Umbrella Team of the Week.The senior members in the club include, starting back row, L-R, hoisted Ben LeMarchand, Alexi St. Jean-Duncan, Connor Clover, Ben Hall and Mitch Ryan.Middle, Kate Harvey-Viera, Danielle Gibson, Emma Collinson, Elsa Neufeld-Cumming, Dana Dickenson Samson, Aja Lamb-Hartley, Aisha Smith, Hannah Ockenden, Lisa Schwab and Hazel Nichol.Front, Becca Landsberg, Rachel Kinakin, Sarah Jane Hicks and Morag Bos.Missing Sabbian Clover.last_img