NEWS SCAN: Flu activity fades, H5N1 in Egypt, Israeli anthrax vaccine, funds for new lab, little-known viruses

first_img 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, 2009center_img 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]last_img read more

Ban on opioids won’t solve the problem

first_imgIt’s easy to be momentarily swayed by these soothing pronouncements when, in actuality, these are warning flags of imminent government overreach.Supporters of the Second Amendment recognize this flawed logic because — let’s be clear — the objective of the anti-gun lobby is to ban private ownership of firearms.Put forth as “common sense” (a phrase frequently employed by the condescending intelligentsia), these arguments would never be a reasoned solution to opioid abuse because it is readily apparent that the rights of many legitimate patients would be sacrificed to benefit the few.In both cases and under the justification of saving lives, it matters not what legitimate users want or need. The benefits of legitimate use must be ignored and the offending implement banned — whether it’s a drug or firearm.Tim ConnollySchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crash Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion The current opioid crisis has drawn significant media attention due to the sheer number of deaths from improper or illegal use.People simply want government to “do something.’ The ensuing political circus stifles rational debate and usually results in damaging overreaction.To wit, one solution is to ban the production, distribution, possession or use of any and all opioids. It’s “common sense” that overdose deaths would drop to nearly zero if opioids were banned.last_img read more

Indonesia to offer exemptions from temporary ban on foreigners

first_imgThe government will provide exemptions to the temporary ban on foreign arrivals and transits, set to come into operation on midnight Thursday, aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.The temporary ban, expected to last until the government declares an end to the pandemic, will exempt diplomatic officials, medical and food supplies, as well as land, air and sea transportation crews, according to the recently issued Law and Human Rights Ministerial Regulation No. 11/2020.The government will also exempt foreigners with both limited and permanent residence permits, and allow tourists whose visitor’s visas have expired to stay in the country without having to apply for an extension at an immigration office. Of the country’s confirmed cases, 136 people have died of the contagious disease while 81 patients have recovered.Indonesia is offering the exemptions not only to facilitate humanitarian assistance between countries in handling the pandemic, but also to continue developing its national strategic projects that employ foreign workers.Jhoni said the exemption for the workers was “related to the completion of the project development.”By the end of this year, the government is planning to complete the development of 143 projects covering at least 15 sectors including energy, technology, agriculture and infrastructure, according to the Committee for the Acceleration of Priority Infrastructure Delivery (KPPIP).The government completed 81 development projects with a total investment of Rp 390 trillion (US$23.4 billion) between 2016 and August 2019.“We are giving an automatic extension if necessary for those working in the national strategic program if they cannot get back to their countries,” said Jhoni.As a precautionary measure against the fast-spreading virus, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said the exemptions would ensure safety by complying with the relevant protocols related to COVID-19 handling.The government, therefore, requires exempted foreigners to have a letter declaring they are healthy, stay in regions without COVID-19 cases for at least 14 days and agree to a 14-day quarantine measure.“There are exemptions, but in general all foreigners’ visits and transits to Indonesia will be temporarily suspended,” Retno said in an online press briefing on Monday. “The President has decided that the current policies must be strengthened.”The Law and Human Rights Minister issued in March a ministerial decree temporarily stopping free visitor visas and visas on arrival.Indonesia recorded around 2.1 million foreign tourists in January and February, a decline of 11.80 percent from the same period last year, according to data released on Wednesday by Statistics Indonesia (BPS).Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, the country’s primary airport, booked a year-on-year decline of 33.21 percent in foreign arrivals in February.Topics : The Law and Human Rights Ministry’s acting director general, Jhoni Ginting, said the government would “actually extend all visitors’ visas in an emergency measure” as they might not be able to return home, while some countries were suspending travel and some airlines had temporarily stopped operating.“[The exemptions] are also in place for health workers and [transportation crews] that ship goods such as donated face masks […] and airline crews tasked with picking up their fellow citizens,” Jhoni told The Jakarta Post in a phone interview on Wednesday.Indonesia has joined the list of countries introducing such temporary bans as confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise to 851,000 with over 42,000 dead worldwide according to Reuters as of Wednesday midday.COVID-19, a respiratory illness first discovered last December in Wuhan city in Hubei province in China, has infected 1,528 people in Indonesia, second only to Thailand in Southeast Asia.last_img read more

Moderna would seek limited emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine based on early data

first_imgIf Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine proves to be at least 70 percent effective, the company plans to seek emergency authorization for its use in high-risk groups, the company’s chief executive told Reuters.Moderna’s vaccine candidate – mRNA-1273 – is nearing the finish line in its push to enroll 30,000 individuals in a late-stage trial of a novel coronavirus vaccine. But the company may be able to declare victory early if it is able to show that people who got the vaccine fared much better in its trial that people who didn’t.Vaccines must demonstrate they are at least 50% more effective than a placebo to be considered for approval. To prove that, government officials have said, at least 150 COVID-19 infections must be recorded among trial participants with at least twice as many occurring among the placebo group. “At such a level of efficacy, if we get there, we can protect a lot of lives in the people at the highest risk, and so, we will consider filing for an EUA for a very limited population,” Bancel said.He said the FDA will determine whether the benefit of the vaccine to a small group of high-risk individuals outweighs the risk of not having a full readout of safety data from all 30,000 study participants.The two groups of high-risk individuals who might be covered in such an EUA would be healthcare workers and the elderly, Bancel said.Bancel said the company wants to gather more data on the safety of the vaccine in the study population over a period of several months before seeking full FDA approval.Moderna released its study protocol on Thursday, making public details on how its vaccine will be evaluated. If the vaccine does not reach the efficacy mark after 53 cases, the data safety and monitoring board will take another interim look at the data after 106 cases, and a final look after 151 people in the trial become infected with the virus.Public health officials have said that approving a vaccine for widespread use based on a small number of cases would not offer enough safety information to show how the vaccine would perform.Moderna, which has never brought a vaccine to market, has received nearly $1 billion from the U.S. government under its Operation Warp Speed program. It has also struck a $1.5 billion supply agreement with the United States.In a presentation to investors on Tuesday, Pfizer Inc said the company has enrolled more than 29,000 people in its 44,000-volunteer trial to test an experimental COVID-19 vaccine the company is developing with German partner BioNTech .Pfizer expects to have enough data to show whether the vaccine works by the end of October.  If a vaccine is especially effective, companies could have their answer sooner.An independent safety board will take a first look at Moderna’s data as soon as a total of 53 people in the trial become infected with COVID-19. Moderna is projecting the interim analysis will occur in November, but it could come as early as October.If most of the people who got sick got the placebo shot, that would indicate the vaccine was protecting those inoculated and could be enough evidence to seek U.S. regulatory approval for Emergency Use Authorization(EUA).”If the interim readout is deemed by the independent safety committee as positive with 70 or 80 or 90% efficacy, we will indeed consider approval,” Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview.center_img Topics :last_img read more

David Luiz boosts morale at Arsenal, reckons Mark Schwarzer after Brazilian handed new contract

first_img Comment Advertisement David Luiz was handed a one-year contract extension by Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)David Luiz is a bubbly character who boosts the morale of the Arsenal squad, which will have been a reason behind his contract extension at the club, reckons his former teammate Mark Schwarzer.The 33-year-old was handed a one-year contract extension by the Gunners on Wednesday, a week after his calamitous performance against Manchester City in the Premier League, which saw him make a glaring error leading to a goal, give away a penalty and get sent off.Many thought that the Brazilian’s career in the Premier League was coming to a close after that display, and with his contract expiring at the end of this season, but Arsenal have chosen to keep hold of him for another 12 months.AdvertisementAdvertisementHaving played with Luiz at Chelsea, Schwarzer feels there are reasons beyond football for this as the centre-back has a positive impact on the squad because everybody likes him.ADVERTISEMENT‘He’s a great guy to have around the group,’ Schwarzer told Sky Sports. ‘He’s actually a really likeable person, he’s got a great sense of humour, he’s great for team morale, when things are going really well he’s brilliant.‘Am I surprised he’s been offered a new deal? They’re obviously not basing it off the last performance. There’s no doubt about that, they’ve been in discussions with him for a while. I think it was an activation of an extension of the contract.‘Listen, he’s got some really good qualities. I know he’s made some high-profile errors that have led to goals and been costly for Arsenal but when you get him right and he’s mentally on song he can be a very valuable asset to the team. Mark Schwarzer is a fan of David Luiz off the field (Picture: Getty Images)‘He’s a likeable character within the group. I don’t know many people who didn’t get on with him or didn’t like him.‘He’s always bubbly [but] there’s no doubt he would have been down after the game against Man City. He wears his heart on his sleeve so that would have affected him.‘I know that within the group he’s generally very well liked and considered an important member of the squad in terms of morale.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityOn the announcement of Luiz’s new deal, Arsenal technical director, Edu, said the defender has been an integral part of the team since his arrival from Chelsea last summer.‘David is a really important player for us,’ said Edu. ‘He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. ‘His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone.’Luiz misses the trip to Southampton on Thursday night through suspension.MORE: Emmanuel Petit slams ‘average’ Arsenal and tells Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to quitMORE: Former transfer chief Sven Mislintat telling people Arsenal is an ‘absolute mess’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 25 Jun 2020 12:12 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link358Shares David Luiz boosts morale at Arsenal, reckons Mark Schwarzer after Brazilian handed new contractlast_img read more

Nathanael James DeJarnett, Wellington: Aug. 20, 1993 – Oct. 27, 2013

first_imgNathanael James DeJarnettNathanael James DeJarnett, of Wellington, died Sunday, October 27, 2013 in Ft. Smith, Arkansas at the age of 20.Nathanael was born on Friday, August 20, 1993 in Wichita. He is the son of George, Jr. and Desilu (Burks) DeJarnett.He attended schools in Wellington into high school; but, transferred to Grove (OK) High School where he was a 2011 graduate. Nathanael loved artwork and had a talent for drawing. He had plans to attend an art institute for graphic designing. Outside of school, his other passions included skateboarding, playing video games and his great love for animals.Survivors include his loving parents, George and Desilu DeJarnett of Wellington, sisters: Christy Blaes and her husband Jeremy of Wichita, Sara Stowers and her husband Larry of Wellington, Kerri Hunter and her husband Gim of Wellington, 2 nephews: Abrahm Blaes and Christopher Blaes, 2 nieces, Maycee and Ragan Hunter along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.He was preceded in death by his grandparents: George and LaVern DeJarnett and Aubrey and Margaret Burks and his aunt Verla DeJarnett.Memorial services for Nathanael will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 2, 2013 at the First Freewill Baptist Church, 1219 North Plum, Wellington. A private interment will be held at a later time. There will be no visitation as cremation has taken place.A memorial has been established in his loving memory with the Wellington Humane Society, P.O. Box 494, Wellington 67152. Contributions can be mailed or left with the funeral home.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit are by Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington.last_img read more

The Two Things You Can Do This Cold Season for Better…

first_imgFacebook5Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Zoe Juice BarIt’s fall, and in the blink of an eye, it’ll be winter. The seasonal transition has a way of taking toll on the body. Icky airborne illnesses like rhinovirus – better known as the common cold – start spreading like wildfire. So what’s one to do to keep the body at optimal health?I’ve got two words for you my friend: cleanse and replenish. The simple act of cleansing your system and restoring vital elements to the body will keep you healthy and help retain that lovely glow you picked up this summer. So here’s a breakdown for how it works:Fresh juices packed with healthy vitamins, nutrients and anti-oxidants can be a lifesaver during cold and flu season. Photo courtesy: Zoe Juice BarCleanse – We might not be aware of it, but we’re constantly being exposed to environmental pollution, bacteria, and viruses that make there way into our bodies. If we don’t periodically cleanse, these foreign germs build up and dwindle our immune systems.Fresh lemon juice, ginger, and cayenne pepper are great antioxidants. They stimulate blood circulation, which is crucial for removing excess toxins. Not to mention they’re loaded with anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. So whether you’re already feeling under the weather or you’re bulking up your immunity, these three ingredients will do the trick.Replenish – Once the system is all cleared out, it’s time to replenish the body with oodles of love (and by love, I mean vitamins and minerals).Eating right, including fresh, nutrient-dense juices, can help you stay healthy this winter. Photo courtesy: Zoe Juice Bar.Nutrient dense fruits and veggies such as pineapples, oranges, and celery hydrate the body and deliver the necessary vitamins and minerals for restoration. Best of all, these living foods stimulate cellular repair, which really comes in handy when you’re suffering from a bug.Here’s the awesome bonus: our Super C Shot and Flu Fighter juices are made with these very ingredients. So the next time you plan on curling up with a cozy blanket and some Netflix, don’t forget to treat your self with these feel good immunity-boosting drinks. No assembly required.Zoe Juice Bar1851 State Ave NE #101, OlympiaStore: 360-259-4074Cleanse Questions: 360-529-0995Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.last_img read more