Google, Facebook and Twitter and others have struggled to guard against the misinformation as millions of posts arrive each day.Researchers who track misinformation say it is fueled by content creators who see an opportunity to profit from it. Over the last few years, they have pressured YouTube and its advertisers to tighten scrutiny.Some YouTube advertisers now avoid sponsoring political content. But the memberships offering, under which fans pay a few dollars monthly for exclusive content and promotional merchandise, has helped offset lost advertisement sales.- Advertisement – YouTube, owned by Alphabet’s Google, has rules that forbid channels using its revenue-generation tools from making “claims that are demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in an electoral or democratic process.”Google did not immediately respond when asked if it would suspend ads and membership sales on the channels, a penalty commonly known as “demonetisation.”With ballot tallying ongoing in a few states whose results will decide the hotly contested race between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump has made unsubstantiated accusations about the Democratic party’s stealing the election. Trump’s supporters have rallied behind the misinformation on social media and in protests outside vote-counting sites.- Advertisement – At least nine popular YouTube channels were promoting on Thursday debunked accusations about voting fraud in the US presidential race, conspiratorial content that could jeopardise advertising and memberships revenue they get from the video service.Reuters found the channels, ranging from ones with 1,000 followers to more than 6,29,000, endorsing claims that fact-checking units of the Associated Press, Reuters and other organisations have deemed false or inaccurate.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – One of the channels seen by Reuters, JohnTalks, shared two videos on Thursday about alleged voter fraud in Michigan, a key battleground state in the election that Biden has won, generating more than 90,000 views in eight hours.Among the claims cited was that wagons, suitcases and coolers were used to smuggle ballots into a counting center. At least three news outlets investigated the claim and determined the items carried food for election workers and camera equipment for a local TV station.JohnTalks did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.The liberal online watchdog group Media Matters for America said in a report on Thursday that it found videos making dubious claims post-election have garnered more than 1 million views collectively.YouTube’s policy on “demonstrably false” election information drew attention on Wednesday when CNBC reported that One American News Network was generating ad revenue from its YouTube video prematurely declaring Trump the winner. YouTube said it would not remove the video, but stopped running ads on it.Trump’s talk of fraud has created opportunity for his critics, too. Some popular YouTube channels, which run ads and sell memberships, have generated hundreds of thousands of views on videos rebutting Trump supporters’ claims of voter fraud.© Thomson Reuters 2020Are iPhone 12 mini, HomePod mini the Perfect Apple Devices for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Expect the Trump Rage Show to go on. But it’s the flailing rage of a loser trying to deny that he’s a loser. And that’s a sweet thing to watch because it’s so well deserved. The groundwork had been set for Trump’s denial as his leads in Election Day voting gave way to large numbers of mail votes heavily favoring Biden in key states—aides had tried to get him to understand how this was going to go, but still he was “genuinely taken aback” when it happened. Because the man couldn’t internalize the facts ahead of time.Trump is sitting around watching television coverage of the election, fuming, and rage-tweeting basically. His advisers are reportedly trying to keep him from going out on television and saying more stuff so false and dangerous that it forces Republicans to distance themselves from him, however gingerly. But Thursday night showed how successful they are at that. (They’re not.)- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
There still are ways to be proactive; for instance, your son can use the Fly Delta app to change seats until about an hour before boarding. Just as one might refresh fantasy football scores or election results, your son can be “that guy” at the gate, hunched over the seat map. He can also continue to make changes with the gate agent and (unofficially, perhaps) onboard.Additionally, said a Delta spokeswoman in an emailed statement, “if customers are uncomfortable with where they’re sitting, they can be rebooked to another flight without a change fee or fare difference.” – Advertisement – My original plan was to take the number 115, geek out with the seat map on Delta.com and figure out the likelihood of your son sitting alone when the plane fills to 70 percent. That, I learned, is a huge waste of time.- Advertisement – Dear Tripped Up,My son is flying from Los Angeles to New York City for Thanksgiving. I got him a ticket on Delta Air Lines because they’re blocking out the middle seats. That said, the seating configuration of the plane is a 2-3-2. I’ve heard that window seats are safest, but there’s always a risk that someone will sit next to him. What do you recommend? SusannaDear Susanna,Deciding where to sit on a plane has always been an exercise in strategy and skill: how to get the most legroom, the best shut-eye, the quickest exit. The stakes certainly feel higher now.- Advertisement – I asked Sandra Albrecht, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and the chief epidemiologist behind “Dear Pandemic,” a scientific communication effort on social media, if she would cancel her flight if someone sat next to her.“Absolutely not,” she said. “As with everything with Covid-related, the risk spectrum is a sliding scale. You can think of seating as something you’d be able to slide up a notch and down a notch, but there are other things you could slide, like, 10 points up or 10 points down.”Risk tolerance and health vary, of course, so let’s return to your question about window seats. If the goal is to sit as far from strangers as possible, your hunch is theoretically correct.“If you’re in the window seat and the aisle seat wasn’t occupied, the nearest passenger would be in the middle section or on the other side of the plane,” said Arnold Barnett, an M.I.T. Sloan School of Management statistics professor who has studied the effects of keeping middle seats open on the likelihood of getting sick. “That’s already a distance of several feet. If everyone’s wearing masks, that’s a good situation.”Even then, it’s not open-and-shut. Say you have selected the perfect window seat and boom: A shrieking baby sends an annoyed passenger scrambling for calmer pastures — next to your son. Or a seat doesn’t recline, causing its occupant to move. Or the plane is 70 percent full and the math works out that a handful of solo travelers have to sit together.If you’re someone who can’t tolerate that kind of uncertainty, sit on the aisle in the center section — the aisle will be on one side and an empty middle seat will be on the other.“The benefit is that you don’t have anyone sitting next to you, so you’re farther away from other people for a consistent period of time,” Dr. Albrecht said. “But you do have a variety of people in the aisle, so you’ll probably have briefer interactions with a lot of different people.” – Advertisement – Delta, unlike many of its peers, will continue blocking middle seats through at least Jan. 6 in an effort to separate smaller parties of one or two. Parties of three or more can book adjacent — including middle — seats. On aircraft that have sections without middle seats — say, the 2-3-2 configuration of economy class on a 767 — other seats will be blocked as tickets are purchased and seats are selected. The more people who sit together, the higher the likelihood that your son can sit alone when the plane is 70 percent full, but there’s no way of predicting how many people will be flying individually, in pairs or in groups. Before we start, some numbers to put your mind at ease: In its third quarter, Delta’s passenger load factor — the percentage of available seats that are filled — fell from 88 percent last year to 41 percent this year, according to the airline’s latest investor report, meaning there are plenty of not-full flights. New data also suggests that when everyone is wearing a mask and other protocols are met, planes — with their high-efficiency, virus-zapping air filters — are less risky than grocery stores. But I’ll leave the specifics of viral dispersal to the scientists and try to outline some of the things your son can do to avoid sharing an armrest with a stranger.Before the pandemic, the Boeing 767 aircraft that your son is scheduled to fly on would have accommodated 165 passengers in economy class. Delta currently has a 70 percent capacity limit in several cabins, including economy class, bringing the passenger maximum to about 115. Even on a flight where economy class is 70 percent, about 50 seats are guaranteed to be empty. Luckily, Dr. Barnett said, when someone does brush by (say, on their way to the bathroom), “it’s such a short time that you’re in proximity and you’re wearing masks.”We can only predict and control so much, so experts recommend focusing on exactly that: what we can predict and control.“We shouldn’t let the seat-assignment question distract us from thinking through how we can stay safe throughout the rest of the travel process,” Dr. Albrecht said.That means leaving your mask on, eating at home or in the airport, and waiting until the rush has subsided to deplane. It also means keeping some perspective: We’re in a pandemic that has ravaged air travel — on Nov. 1, the number of people passing through T.S.A. checkpoints clocked in at around 38 percent of last year’s figure, according to the agency’s ongoing tally. Even holiday travel is expected to be down; airports may be busy around Thanksgiving, but the numbers are almost certain to be a fraction of what they normally are.And because your son is flying the week before — a particularly smart move any year, but especially now, when crowds bring safety concerns — he’s likely to end up with lots of elbow room. As I suspected, the seat map confirms: There is still a sea of open window seats.
Another high-profile E coli outbreak preceded the Taco bell and Taco John’s outbreaks by about 2 months. That outbreak, caused by contaminated fresh spinach from California, involved 204 cases and 3 deaths in 26 states and one Canadian province. The outbreak strain of E coli was found in cattle manure from pastures next to spinach fields in the Salinas Valley. The outbreak strain of E coli has been genetically matched with E coli in two environmental samples gathered on dairy farms near a lettuce-growing area in California’s Central Valley, the FDA said today. The agency said it is continuing its investigation to determine if and how E coli from the dairy farms contaminated lettuce. The outbreak affected 81 people in November and December, including 47 in Iowa, 33 in Minnesota, and 1 in Wisconsin, the FDA reported. Twenty-six people were hospitalized, and two suffered hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure that can be fatal. Jan 12 FDA news releasehttp://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01546.html Earlier reports associated the outbreak with Taco John’s restaurants in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Albert Lea and Austin, Minn. Epidemiologic investigation pointed to iceberg lettuce as the likely source of contamination. The FDA said there is no sign that any lettuce now on the market is causing illnesses. The samples were from standing water on the dairy farms, but the FDA has not reached any conclusions about the source of the E coli in the samples, FDA spokeswoman Kimberly Rawlings told CIDRAP News. She said the dairy farms are “in close proximity” to lettuce fields but declined to give any details about their location. See also: The FDA said it is stepping up its efforts to address produce safety and plans to hold public meetings to involve all stakeholders in identifying and implementing safety measures. Officials have said the Taco John’s outbreak was not related to a nearly simultaneous E coli outbreak linked to Taco Bell restaurants on the East Coast, affecting people mainly in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Epidemiologic investigation pointed to lettuce as the likeliest cause of the Taco Bell outbreak, but the E coli strains in the two outbreaks were different. Dec 13 CIDRAP News story “Lettuce suspected in Taco Bell E coli outbreak” Jan 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) Investigators have tentatively linked the recent Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with Taco John’s restaurants in Iowa and Minnesota to dairy farms near lettuce fields in California, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Taco John’s spokesman Brian Dixon said the company had suspended purchases from the company that had supplied produce to the three restaurants involved in the outbreak, according to an Associated Press report today. Dixon said the company, based in Cheyenne, Wyo., is talking with its suppliers about more testing of irrigation water and possibly holding produce shipments for microbiologic testing. “FDA was able to focus on specific lettuce growing regions based on the traceback from records obtained from the lettuce processor,” the statement said. “The recent DNA match provides a clue as to one possible source of the contamination for the lettuce, although others may exist. It has yet to be determined how the E. coli contaminated the lettuce.”
Aug 7, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization official said yesterday that Indonesia is endangering the world’s health by continuing to withhold H5N1 influenza virus samples collected from human patients.”Indonesia is putting the public health security of the whole world at risk because they’re not sharing viruses,” David Heymann, the WHO’s assistant director-general for communicable diseases, said in a news teleconference yesterday. He briefed reporters on the results of a WHO-sponsored meeting last week in Singapore on virus-sharing issues.Indonesia, the country with the most H5N1 cases and deaths, stopped sending H5N1 isolates to the WHO last December to protest the cost of commercial vaccines derived from the viruses. The virus samples are needed to track the virus’s evolution and drug resistance and to make vaccines, since the virus is viewed as the potential precursor to a pandemic strain of flu.In May Indonesia said it was sending three H5N1 samples to the WHO, ending its embargo. But Heymann reported yesterday that those samples contained no live viruses.”Although they were PCR [polymerase chain reaction] positive, they did not have living virus in them,” he said.Indonesia is the only country that is not sharing samples from its human H5N1 cases, Heymann said. China sent some samples in June, and Vietnam “is trying to ship specimens to WHO, but those specimens are not cleared through all the mechanisms and rules required in Vietnam and receiving countries,” he added. Vietnam has had several human cases this year, after going about a year without any.Heymann said Indonesia is endangering its own people by withholding the viruses. “If those viruses are not freely shared with industry, vaccines will not contain the elements of the Indonesia infections,” he said.Indonesian officials are aware of the risks they are taking, he added. “Indonesia understands these issues and is working with WHO . . . to see how they can best begin sharing again, and we’re hoping that can occur fairly soon,” he said. “We have hope but no guarantee.”Last week’s meeting in Singapore stemmed from a resolution passed by the World Health Assembly (the annual meeting of WHO member countries) in May that outlined steps intended to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines in the event of a flu pandemic. The meeting involved officials from 23 countries, Heymann said.The resolution requests the WHO director-general to develop a mechanism for sharing of viruses and prepare a report on intellectual property issues related to vaccine development, Heymann said. The resolution also calls for establishing a global vaccine stockpile and drawing up guidelines for the handling of flu viruses by WHO collaborating centers, meaning the laboratories in the United States, Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom that study flu viruses for the agency. Further, the resolution calls for setting up an “oversight mechanism” for the WHO’s Global Influenza Surveillance Network.Heymann said the Singapore conference produced three documents, two of them dealing with the handling and sharing of flu virus samples by the WHO and one dealing with the requested oversight mechanism.He gave no details on the documents’ content, but said they will be discussed at an “intergovernmental meeting” in November to which all 193 WHO member countries will be invited.”The meeting in November will attempt to finalize the documents and review and debate other issues and pass on a report to the [WHO] executive board, which will then review the report and see what’s necessary to put into a resolution to pass on to the World Health Assembly,” he said.In response to questions, Heymann said one of the possibilities discussed at the meeting was the WHO’s taking “ownership” of viruses supplied by countries. “There would be no change in procedures if WHO took ownership of these,” he said. “It would be very difficult if not impossible to patent a virus.””If WHO did have ownership, if this were feasible, WHO would make sure they [viruses] were freely shared and would work at the same time to make sure the benefits were shared,” he said.”What we will ensure is that there is transparency in the flow of viruses so that countries can determine where their viruses have gone,” Heymann added. “This was asked for by all countries.”He said the WHO would be providing a report on the meeting and copies of the documents produced, possibly as soon as the end of next week.In reference to Vietnam’s problems in sending virus samples to the WHO, Heymann said the complex rules and procedures governing the shipment of infectious materials were not part of the agenda at the Singapore meeting. He reported that the Universal Postal Union and other groups are working with the WHO on those.”It’s a very complicated international system which is standardized only in guidelines, but each country seems to take those guidelines and adapt them quite severely to their needs, setting up additional layers of potential obstacles,” he commented.See also:Aug 1 CIDRAP News story “WHO working group grappling with virus-sharing issues”May 23 WHO resolution on virus sharinghttp://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/disease/influenza/A60_R28-en.pdfMay 23 CIDRAP News story “WHO adopts resolution on flu virus sharing”
The cobas TaqScreen WNV test, made by Roche Molecular Systems Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., detects genetic material of the virus early in the infection, the FDA said in an Aug 28 press release. The Roche test is similar to the Procleix West Nile virus assay, which was approved by the FDA in December 2005 as the first stand-alone test to detect viral RNA in blood. Aug 16 CIDRAP News story “West Nile cases stay ahead of 2006 pace” Tranfusion-associated WNV transmission first emerged as a threat to the US blood supply in 2002. Roche said blood agencies began using investigational WNV nucleic acid amplification tests, including the Procleix and Roche systems, in June 2003. Aug 30, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the approval of a second automated test to screen donated blood and organs for West Nile virus (WNV). WNV is usually transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, but it can also be spread by blood transfusion or organ transplantation. As of Aug 21, the CDC had received 58 reports of blood donors who possibly were infected with WNV, the FDA said. In 2006, state and local health departments reported 361 presumably viremic blood donors to the CDC, according to CDC data. Daniel O’Day, head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics, said in a Roche press release issued yesterday that the system has already been used under an investigational new drug application at 14 clinical trial sites that are testing blood from more than 100 donation centers. Aug 29 FDA press releasehttp://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2007/ucm108974.htm Dec 2, 2005, CIDRAP News story “FDA approves West Nile test to screen blood” The TaqScreen test is approved for detecting the virus in plasma specimens from human donors of whole blood and blood components and from living donors of cells, reproductive cells, and other tissues, the FDA said. It is also intended for testing plasma specimens obtained from organ donors while the donor’s heart is still beating. The test is not intended for use on cord blood samples or as an aid in diagnosing WNV infection. Most people infected with WNV remain healthy, but about 20% fall ill with West Nile fever, which includes fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, and in some case a rash on the trunk, according to the CDC. About in 1 in 150 to 350 infected people suffers serious disease, including encephalitis. “This action is the culmination of the dedicated efforts of FDA, our sister agencies, blood establishments, and manufacturers to bring donor screening tests to the market for this increasingly common virus,” said Jesse L. Goodman, MD, MPH, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in the press release. “As a result, blood centers and hospitals now have a choice of two FDA approved tests to screen for West Nile virus in donated blood and organs.” The United States had 4,269 WNV illnesses cases last year, a 42% increase over the previous year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The number of WNV cases this year has been ahead of last year’s pace, but fewer severe cases have been reported, the CDC reported 2 weeks ago. See also: The FDA said the approval comes in advance of guidance it is preparing on the use of licensed WNV screening tests for blood donors. CDC West Nile page
Jul 17, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report examining the results several developed nations and the European Union achieved when they consolidated oversight of food safety in a single agency, a step often advocated in the United State for solving some of the problems linked to contaminated imported and domestic food.The report was requested by members of congressional food safety committees that are considering—amid widespread complaints that regulatory fragmentation hobbles the country’s food safety system—whether sweeping changes are needed to reduce the number and speed the investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks. The 101-page report was released Jul 14 but is dated Jun 2008.Coming amid the nation’s largest produce-related outbreak, in which tomatoes and jalapeno peppers are the top suspects, the report’s release is designed to assist lawmakers who face renewed pressure to consolidate food safety oversight under one agency. Several high-profile food contamination incidents have unfolded over the past 2 years, such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 in fresh spinach and ground beef and toxic chemicals from imported ingredients used in pet foods.In January 2007 the GAO added federal oversight of food safety to its high-risk series list, which marks it as a high priority for broad transformation to make the process more efficient, effective, and accountable.Within the last year the two federal agencies that handle most of the nation’s food safety efforts have issued their own safety plans. In October the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a list of proposals to reverse the upswing in ground-beef recalls and E coli illnesses. The following month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an Import Safety Plan and a Food Protection Plan that proposed features such as enhanced inspection of high-risk imports and authority for mandatory recalls.The GAO said its report isn’t meant to compare the food safety systems of other countries with the United States, but rather to explore the processes other countries use and the challenges they face. The report looks at import safety and outbreak response methods in Canada, the European Union, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The GAO did not evaluate countries’ management of their food safety systems.Common themes emergeGAO inspectors pointed out that the United States shares some of the same food safety challenges as other nations, including the ones surveyed in the report. For example, imported food accounts for a growing portion of the food supply, consumers are eating more raw foods, and aging populations mean more people will be more susceptible to foodborne illnesses.”All [of the selected countries] are high-income counties where consumers have high expectations for food safety,” GAO officials wrote.The authors said the report follows up on a 2005 GAO report that described the approaches and challenges that seven countries (Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom) faced as they reorganized and consolidated their food safety systems into a single agency.Some members of Congress and consumer groups have called for a similar consolidation of the US food safety system, which is now divided among more than a dozen federal agencies.The GAO found several common themes in the national food safety systems:Farm-to-table oversight that focuses on avoiding problems throughout the food chainProducer responsibility for food safety, for both domestic and imported goodsSeparate risk-assessment and risk-management agencies, with some cases countries separating risk management from industry-promotion functionsCooperation between government veterinarians and public health officialsMandatory recall authorityIn examining how countries handle imports, the GAO found a high degree of coordination among the European Union, its member countries, and some nonmember countries. When food safety problems are found at one of the 300 EU inspection posts, a rapid alert is sent electronically, detailing the risk to human health or animal feed.The auditors also found that Japan sets yearly goals for import inspections of targeted food groups and places the burden of additional inspections on the importers.Most of the countries told the GAO that their procedures for tracing foodborne illness outbreaks are generally similar to those used in the United States. However, the EU has a traceability requirement for all foods that is designed to help speed outbreak investigations; producers at each manufacturing stage must document where a particular food came from and where it is going next—”one step forward and one step back.” Also, Canada, Japan, and the EU have mandatory identification programs for certain animals that document where the animals came from and where they were sent for slaughter. The countries use a variety of tools, such as ear tags, “passports,” or bar codes.Some of the nations said coordination between government veterinarians and public health officials is crucial, particularly when investigating zoonotic diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or avian influenza. For example, the GAO said a 2004 outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in cattle in the United Kingdom never struck humans, thanks to rapid communication between the country’s Health Protection Agency and the Veterinary Laboratory Agency.All the countries have mandatory recall authority, but said they rarely need to use it. For example, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said the authority is effective “because it is there,” contributing to better industry cooperation. The CFIA said it has ordered only seven recalls.Are system reorganizations effective?The countries the GAO looked at said they have not done comprehensive evaluations of their reorganized food safety systems. “One food safety expert noted that it is difficult to determine the effectiveness of a food safety system because it involves proving that something did not happen, i.e., that exporters did not try to ship unsafe food to a country,” the report says.However, several countries did track indicators such as number of inspections performed, number of enforcement actions taken, number of foodborne illnesses, and consumer satisfaction. For example, in the United Kingdom, the public’s confidence in the government’s ability to protect against foodborne illnesses was 60%, as compared with about 44% in 2001.In Japan, however, a consumer survey of the government’s risk communications found that the public did not understand the concept of assessing risk, which has prompted the government to try to better communicate its food safety role to the public and clarify its risk messages.Meanwhile, German officials sought feedback from stakeholders, who have suggested improvements in the country’s food safety system. Some of the stakeholders told GAO auditors that one benefit of food safety system reorganization is having a single contact point.Nations voice future concernsThe GAO queried experts in the countries about the challenges they expect to face over the next decade. The answers included:Climate change effects such the emergence of new pathogens and new patterns of disease spreadDemographic changes, such as an aging population and greater immigrationNew food trends and technology, such as new convenience items and the rise of processing systems that involve nanotechnology, genetic modification, and decontaminationIndustry changes that include consolidation in the food industry and an increase in global food trade.See also:GAO report on food import safety and foodborne illness outbreak response in selected countries
Report criticizes test of anthrax vaccine in Israeli soldiersA report by the Israel Medical Association (IMA) said hundreds of Israeli soldiers were pressured to participate in a trial of an anthrax vaccine without being fully warned of the risks, according to reports by the Jerusalem Post and Agence France-Presse (AFP). Dozens of ex-soldiers who were vaccinated starting in 1999 complained of skin, eye, and gastrointestinal side effects that still persist, the Post reported. The IMA said the vaccine trial was unnecessary because Israel, fearing attack by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, already had at least a million doses of anthrax vaccine at the time of the trial, AFP reported.[Mar 26 Jerusalem Post story] Egyptian girl has avian fluA 30-month-old Egyptian girl has contracted H5N1 avian influenza, according to news reports from Reuters and Xinhua. A health ministry spokesman said the girl is from the southern province of Qena, 450 kilometers south of Cairo, according to Xinhua. She was hospitalized with a fever Mar 23 and tested positive for the virus yesterday, the story said. If confirmed, her case will bring the World Health Organization’s H5N1 case count for Egypt to 60, of which 23 have been fatal.[Mar 27 Reuters report][Mar 26 Xinhua report] Recently discovered polyomaviruses found to be widespreadA study from the University of Colorado suggests that infection with three recently discovered human polyomaviruses, known as KIV, WUV, and Merkel cell (MCV), is widespread. The researchers tested blood samples from more than 2,200 donors, including 721 children, for antibodies to the viruses, according to their report published today in PLoS Pathogens. Among adults, they found evidence of KIV in 55%, WUV in 69%, MCV strain 350 in 25%, and MCV strain 339 in 42%. Antibodies were also widespread in children. The report says KIV and WUV may be respiratory viruses, but little is known about the potential disease associations of the three viruses.[PLoS Pathogens report][Mar 26 news release] Mar 27, 2009 US flu activity continues to recedeUS influenza activity continued its slow fade during the third week in March, as 24 states still reported widespread cases, compared with 30 states the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today. Nineteen states reported regional activity. Three more children died of flu-related causes, one each in Kentucky, New York, and West Virginia, bringing the seasonal total to 35, the CDC said. Extending a recent trend, more than half (52.5%) of tested flu viruses were type B, the only type for which the strain in this year’s vaccine is not well matched to the circulating strains. Nationally, 2.6% of medical visits in the CDC surveillance network were attributed to flu-like illness, staying above the national baseline of 2.4%.[CDC flu update] Tufts receives $9.5 million for zoonotic disease labThe Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University will get $9.5 million from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to help build a biosafety level 3 lab to study zoonotic diseases, the Boston Business Journal reported yesterday. The facility’s mission will include studying possible bioterrorist use of zoonotic pathogens. The lab, with a total price of $33.5 million, is one of 13 regional labs that are being funded partly by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the report said. The facility will be built in Grafton, Mass..[Mar 26 Boston Business Journal report]
This year, the largest Croatian adventure race is being held – Adventure Race Croatia (ARC 2018), and the routes in the Zadar County have been selected as the arena for the competition of the most enduring. Twenty mixed four-member teams from ten European countries are participating, and one team even comes from Australia. The location of the start of the race, which was a secret, was revealed to the competitors only a few hours before. The contestants started in the royal city of Nin on September 19 in the evening. Višeslav Square in front of Grgur Ninski was chosen for the start of the hard race, so many of the competitors had the opportunity to touch their thumb for his monument in order to further evoke happiness. Competitors took the streets of the old town of Nin on the island in a 72-hour adventure race. After running along the wooden promenade and the bridge, they headed towards the Queen’s Beach, where the participants were greeted by a kayak ride to the foot of Velebit, where they set off in complete darkness. The first ones arrived in the Starigrad area at around 1 am on September 20, and the section was closed at 3 am after the last competitors arrived. In the morning, the competitors arrived at the peaks of Velebit. The next three hundred kilometers will be walked, kayak or bicycle through a total of 19 sections over high peaks, deep canyons, dark caves, clear rivers and moody sea, and the fastest of them are expected to reach the finish line in the early hours of Saturday, September 22nd.ARC 2018 is part of the Adventure Race World Series calendar as one of only four demo races this year and the only one of its kind in Europe. “Among the 20 registered teams, one is from Croatia, Space Goats Cycle Team (Rozana Veselica, Denis Bajić, Kristijan Zrinić and Ivan Habuš), but in the ranks of Intersport Slovenia is our famous ultramarathoner Paula Vrdoljak, who last week won the team bronze medal at the World Championships in the 100 km run. However, the favorites should be sought among the four teams that participate in the entire ARWS calendar, among which are the mentioned Slovenes. It is interesting that most teams, 5 of them, are from France, followed by Slovenia with 4 registered teams, two from Sweden and Poland, and Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain, England and Croatia have one representative team each.”Said Daniel Lacko, marketing director of the race. The ARC 2018 race was recognized as an extremely interesting promotional event by the Zadar County Tourist Board in cooperation with six local tourist boards from Zadar, Nin, Pag, Starigrad, Pakostane and Dugi otok, and Mihaela Kadija, director of the Zadar County Tourist Board, said: “The Zadar County Tourist Board, together with local partners, sees great potential in this event, not only for the promotion of our destination but also the whole of Croatia, which is why we signed a five-year cooperation agreement on this project.”Igor Dorotić, sports director of the race, said: “ARC 2018 is the first edition of this race, and we hope that in the coming years it will become a full-fledged station of the world series, and even host the world championship in adventure racing.”That Adventure Race Croatia is considered a quality promoter of Croatia was recognized by the Croatian National Tourist Board, which through the Sportska Hrvatska project, led by the famous water polo player Dubravko Šimenc, supported the race with significant funds intended for quality production and media distribution. Thanks to that, almost an hour-long report on ARC will be available to viewers from about a hundred countries around the world, concludes Dorotić.
The Srijem breakfast smelled in the center of Zagreb, and it arrived in the Croatian capital straight from Ilok, from the famous Danube Hotel, the proud owner of the Michelin recommendation.Krvavica, švargl, sausage, pechenitsa, kulen, kulen seka, cheeses – cow’s milk, drizzled, hard with paprika, walnuts, smoked, goat, roasted sausage with cabbage flakes, baked flakes with ham and cheese, bags, noodles with walnuts and poppy seeds… – More than 110 members of the International Women’s Club enjoyed the finest Srijem delicacies in the atrium of Mimara, including the ambassadors, the ambassadors’ wives. In order for traditional foods from eastern Croatia to become an integral part of the tourist offer on the coast and the continent, the Tourist Board of Vukovar-Srijem County has branded Srijem breakfast. In the peak of the tourist season, she successfully presented it for the first time in the heritage hotel King Kresimir in Šibenik, and after that it was time for promotion in Zagreb. Srijem breakfast in Zagreb PHOTO NEVEN KRANJČEC”Srijem and Slavonia are known for their traditional cuisine and rich table, which due to colors, flavors and aromas should become an integral part of the eno-gastronomic offer of Croatian restaurants and hotels, especially those that focus on a top gourmet experience.”, Said Rujana Bušić Srpak, director of the Vukovar-Srijem County Tourist Board and wondered why we would not replace the usual international breakfast with original and tested quality food coming from Srijem and Slavonian family farms? This is exactly what the Catering Team Majetić did and was the first in Zagreb to include the Srijem breakfast in its offer.”Breakfast has become very popular in recent years, and a large number of our clients insist on the indigenous and traditional offer from Croatia. We opted for the Srijem breakfast which is extremely rich, varied and most importantly delicious”, Says Vedrana Hercigonja Majetić, owner of Catering Team Majetić.Srijem breakfast in Zagreb PHOTO NEVEN KRANJČEC”Meals speak louder than words, and our mission is to make you happy with food”, Concludes Željko Kovčalija, the owner of the Ilona Hotel Dunav, and that the cordial and hospitable people of Srijem succeeded in that, confirmed Nigerian Akuoma Helen Boromisa, president of the International Women’s Club with a permanent address in Samobor. “I enjoyed the Srijem breakfast. I like kulen and roasted sausage with cabbage flakes the most. After tasting these great dishes that reflect the tradition of eastern Croatia, you want to visit the cities and towns of Srijem and Slavonia at the first opportunity.”, Points out Boromisa. Related news:TUK VUKOVARSKO-SRIJEMSKE LAUNCHES ORIGINAL IDEA CONNECTING GREEN AND BLUE CROATIA