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Toddler in Djibouti has avian flu

first_imgMay 12, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A 2-year-old girl from a small rural village in Djibouti, on the border of Somalia, has been found to have the country’s first case of H5N1 avian influenza, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.The girl fell sick on Apr 23. Tests by the Cairo-based US Naval Medical Research Unit 3 (NAMRU-3) confirmed May 10 that she was infected by the H5N1 virus, the WHO said. She was reported to be in stable condition with persistent symptoms.The girl’s infection makes Djibouti the second African country, after Egypt, with a confirmed human case. The global case count stands at 208, with 115 deaths, according to the WHO.Siblings being monitoredThe WHO also said, “Three of the child’s siblings are under investigation for possible infection and are also receiving care.” Samples from them are being tested by NAMRU-3.Maria Cheng, a WHO spokeswoman, told Reuters news service that the siblings have “flu-like symptoms,” according to a story today. The family kept chickens, she said.Officials in Djibouti began surveillance for human cases after some chicken deaths were reported in early April, WHO said. Three samples from poultry have since tested positive for H5N1, NAMRU-3 confirmed, but the WHO said widespread poultry deaths have not been found.Djibouti is a poor country and lacks epidemiologic and laboratory capacity. In addition, the country is also dealing with a dengue fever outbreak, which may hinder identification of suspected human H5N1 cases, the WHO said.The toddler’s case is the first known human H5N1 infection in the Horn of Africa. However, surveillance and reporting may be inconsistent among nearby countries, such as Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia. For instance, Somalia’s unstable government and virtually nonexistent healthcare infrastructure make surveillance for even routine health indicators inconsistent at best. Sudan has reported confirmed H5N1 outbreaks in poultry, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).The Djibouti Ministry of Health has asked WHO to support investigation and response for H5N1, and WHO is “arranging urgent support,” the agency noted.No virus found in migratory birdsIn other news, sampling from migratory birds returning to Europe from Africa shows the birds are not carrying H5N1 back into Europe this spring, according to a May 10 New York Times story. About 7,500 samples were collected from wild birds in Africa during the winter, but the virus was not found in a single one, the newspaper reported, citing health officials and scientists. Only a few cases of H5N1-infected birds have been found in Europe since April 1, the apex of the spring migration northward.”It is quiet now in terms of cases, which is contrary to what many people had expected,” said Ward Hagemeijer, an avian flu specialist with Wetlands International, a Netherlands-based group that conducted the sampling in Africa, as quoted in the Times.European officials are easing rules meant to keep domestic poultry away from wild birds, allowing poultry to be moved back outdoors.The news was heralded as a positive sign, but Juan Lubroth, an expert with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, said too little is known about the virus to draw broad conclusions.”All we have are a few snapshots of the virus,” he told the Times. “What we need is a movie of its life cycle.”See also:WHO news releasehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_05_12/en/index.htmlOIE news report on Sudan outbreakhttp://web.oie.int/wahis/reports/en_fup_0000004151_20060507_121544.pdflast_img read more

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Researchers probe pandemic potential of H9N2 virus

first_imgAug 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Scientists have warned it’s impossible to predict which avian influenza virus will spark the next pandemic, and while most of the attention has been on highly pathogenic H5N1, one research group is reporting new findings that raise concerns about the threat from the low-pathogenic H9N2 virus.The international group of researchers, mainly from the University of Maryland, published their findings in the August issue of PLoS One (Public Library of Science One). They used ferrets, which have sialic acid receptors in their respiratory tracts resembling those in humans, to explore how H9N2 viruses replicate and transmit.The H9N2 subtype has been found in many avian species in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa over the past decade, the authors write. The virus can cause mild-to-moderate disease in humans. In March 2007, Hong Kong officials reported that a 9-month-old girl was infected with the strain, the fourth time since 1999 that the virus was found in a child from that city.US officials have worried that H9N2 could evolve into a pandemic strain. In 2004, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) contracted with Chiron Corp. (now part of Novartis) to produce a vaccine against the virus. In Sept 2006 researchers reported that the experimental vaccine generated a good immune response in a phase 1 clinical trial. The contract tapped Chiron to produce 40,000 doses of a vaccine containing an inactivated strain of H9N2 developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The PLoS One report says that many H9N2 isolates have acquired human virus–like receptor specificity, preferentially binding alpha 2-6 sialic acid receptors.The authors write that three other factors also fuel concerns about the potential of H9N2 to evolve into a pandemic strain. Some studies have shown that H9N2 viruses extensively evolve and reassort, while others have shown that the viruses have spread to pigs, which could provide a “mixing vessel” with influenza viruses that are more likely to infect humans. Also, serologic studies have suggested that there may be more human cases of H9N2 than have been detected and reported so far.”Therefore, avian H9N2 viruses are in an ideal position to undergo further adaptation for more efficient transmission among mammals and humans,” they write.In their study, the searchers first evaluated whether five wild-type H9N2 viruses could infect ferrets and whether infected animals could spread the disease to other ferrets through direct contact and through the air. Lethargy, anorexia, and temperature elevations were noted in some of the ferrets that were inoculated with the virus, and the virus was found in nasal washes from all the inoculated ferrets. Most of the ferrets caged with the inoculated animals showed evidence of viral shedding and had H9 antibodies.The authors write that the results suggest H9N2 infections in ferrets are similar to those in humans and pigs. “Our findings suggest that the ferret represents a good animal model to study the potential changes that could lead to efficient transmission of avian H9N2 viruses in humans,” they state.Next, they investigated whether one of the H9N2 viruses they used could be transmitted by aerosol to ferrets. Though the virus was found in the inoculated and direct-contact ferrets, they found no seroconversion in ferrets that were kept separate but shared the same air as the other animals. “Taken together, these data indicate that although some H9N2 viruses can transmit to direct contacts, they lack successful aerosol transmission,” the report says.The study also explored genetic-level aspects of H9N2 transmission in ferrets. For example, they found that:A single change of glycine (Gln) to leucine (Leu) at amino acid position 226 in the hemagglutinin receptor binding site enhanced H9N2 replicationLeucine residue at position 226 of the hemagglutinin receptor binding site appears to select for human virus–like receptor specificity that enhances replication and direct contact transmissionAnother goal was to determine if an H9N2 avian-human reassortment would enhance transmission of H9N2 strains that contained Leu226. Using reverse genetics, they recovered a reassortant that combined surface protein genes from H9N2 with internal genes from an H3N2 virus. Ferrets that were inoculated with the virus, as well as their direct contacts, had high H9 antibody titers, but the aerosol contacts did not.The authors report that the reassortant virus showed enhanced shedding and transmission, but it lacked the ability to infect aerosol contacts. The reassortant also caused more severe damage in the lungs, replicating in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts, than a wild-type H9N2 virus.The group concluded that H9N2 viruses are poised for further adaptation that could make transmission more efficient among mammals and humans. Though they did not find aerosol transmission, a key feature of a pandemic influenza strain, an abundance of other risk factors, such as the human virus-like specificity in some avian and swine isolates, build a strong case for H9N2 as a potential public health threat , they assert.Wan H, Sorrell EM, Song H, et al. Replication and transmission of H9N2 influenza viruses in ferrets: evaluation of pandemic potential. PLoS One 2008 Aug;3(8):1-13 [Full text]See also:Mar 20, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Baby in Hong Kong infected with H9N2 avian flu”last_img read more

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Workers deserve notice of hours

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWhen was the last time the members of the Gazette Editorial Board showed up for work and were told to go home without any pay? Of course, that doesn’t happen to people in professional jobs, where one can count on a regular schedule and compensation. But for hotel housekeepers, day laborers and others in the working poor, this is a serious problem.For people who live paycheck to paycheck, it can mean the difference between paying rent, utility bills or even being evicted. Having a requirement that employers provide workers with a schedule two weeks in advance and provide a minimum number of hours of pay when workers come in to work is designed to protect this exploited group. The Nov. 14 Gazette editorial, “Scheduling regulations go too far,” shows a total lack of any compassion or understanding of the very problem that the proposed legislation addresses. In vague rhetorical language, the editorial attacks New York state for “too much regulation” — that is bad for business. Is it really bad for business to require that hotels and contractors treat housekeepers and day laborers like human beings by letting them know their schedules two weeks in advance and paying them if they come into work a base number of hours? It’s well established that New York state has the highest rates of inequality in the country. It’s time that the Gazette Editorial Board stop being a mouthpiece for the anti-regulatory, anti-union crowd and show some compassion for working people. Jonathan RosenSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcyEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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COVID-19: Jokowi urges ministry to reach out to poor families amid uneven aid distribution

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed the Social Affairs Ministry to reach out to poor households amid concerns over the uneven distribution of COVID-19 social aid packages across the archipelago.“The President has ordered the Social Affairs Ministry to survey poor households and other affected citizens who have not received aid,” Presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rahman said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.He said the government’s aid distribution program was expansive and included various types of aid, including direct cash transfers, staple food packages and electricity discounts for households in the 450-volt ampere category. A recent survey conducted by Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia involving 1,200 respondents across the country found that 60.3 percent of respondents said the government’s COVID-19 aid packages had not been evenly distributed.“As much as 60.3 percent of the public said the aid distribution was off the mark, while 29.7 percent said the aid packages were evenly distributed. The other 10 percent did not know or did not respond,” Indikator Politik Indonesia executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said on Sunday.The discrepancy in aid distribution was most noticeable in Banten, West Java, East Java, Central Java, as well as several regions in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi, he added.In contrast, the majority of Jakarta residents said the aid packages had been evenly distributed, according to the survey.“As much as 57.6 percent of Jakarta residents said the aid was properly distributed, while 39.6 percent said the aid was unevenly distributed,” Burhanuddin said. (rfa)Topics : However, Fadjroel acknowledged that problems in data-gathering had led to errors in the distribution of aid.To streamline data across various administrative levels, the ministry gave neighborhood units (RT), community units (RW) and regional administrations the task of ensuring that all poor households and other affected communities received the social aid packages, he said.“This is also an opportunity for the ministry to revise its Integrated Social Welfare Data.”Read also: Ombudsman gets mounting complaints on aid distributionlast_img read more

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Joe Cole reveals how Frank Lampard will react to Arsenal draw

first_imgLampard won’t be happy (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)Joe Cole believes Frank Lampard will be ‘furious’ with his Chelsea side for throwing away two one-goal leads as they could only muster a 2-2 draw against 10-man Arsenal.Jorginho had put Chelsea in front from the spot after David Luiz was sent off for pulling down Tammy Abraham – who had been put through after a horrendous error from Shkodran Mustafi – but Gabriel Martinelli capitalised on an N’Golo Kante slip as part of an 80-yard sprint to level things up.Cesar Azpilicueta put Chelsea back in front with six minutes to go before fellow right-back Hector Bellerin curled a low left-footed shot into the far corner to take a point back to the Emirates.AdvertisementAdvertisementAfter losing 1-0 to Newcastle at the weekend, Lampard would have been expecting a reaction from his players and former Chelsea and England team-mate Cole thinks he will be enraged by how his team performed.ADVERTISEMENT‘Frank will be furious with that,’ Cole told BT Sport. ‘It wasn’t a great performance.Regardless of how they managed the game when Arsenal went down to 10 men, he addressed problems before at the Newcastle game, I don’t think he got any answers today. Comment Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 21 Jan 2020 10:19 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.1kShares Advertisement Bellerin scored a dramatic equaliser (Picture: Getty Images)There wasn’t enough clear cut chances created against a weak Arsenal back four when David Luiz was sent off. Not a good performance from Chelsea, not a good night.‘And it shows although he’s done very, very well there’s still a lot of improvements to make. These lads will have to pick themselves up tonight because that’s two points lost for Chelsea.’Martin Keown added: ‘That is some performance from Martinelli. Arsenal showed real character after going down to ten men. That’s worrying for Chelsea, who are stuttering at the moment.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Joe Cole reveals how Frank Lampard will react to Arsenal draw Advertisementlast_img read more

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Gov. Wolf Announces $96 Million for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter August 10, 2020 Economy,  Press Release Application Period for Final Round of Funding Now Open Governor Tom Wolf today announced that $96 million in state grants have been awarded to 4,933 Pennsylvania small businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent business closure order.Businesses in every Pennsylvania county received grants in this first of two rounds of funding, and 2,512 grants – or 51 percent – were awarded to historically disadvantaged businesses.“As we continue to address this public health crisis, it’s critical that we also focus on our state’s economic recovery and supporting our small businesses across the state, which continue to be impacted by our necessary mitigation efforts,” Gov. Wolf said. “This funding will go a long way to help small businesses, including historically disadvantaged businesses, at a time when they need it most.”The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance funding was developed in partnership with state lawmakers and allocated through the state budget, which included $2.6 billion in federal stimulus funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, of which $225 million was earmarked for relief for small businesses.The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) distributed the funds to the Pennsylvania Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which are administering the grants through three programs: $100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program, $100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program, and $25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program.“The COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly affected small businesses across the commonwealth, an unfortunate circumstance that could not have been predicted or prepared for,” said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. “However, through the collective action of the Wolf Administration, the General Assembly, and the CDFI Network, Pennsylvania’s hardest hit and most at-risk businesses will be able to access the funding they need to shore up their resources and regain sound financial footing as we move into recovery.”The second and final round of funding is open starting today through 11:59 PM on Friday, August 28. Eligible applicants not awarded in the first round do not need to reapply and will be rolled into the next round for consideration. More information on the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance Program, including how to apply, is available on DCED’s website.“The PA CDFI Network targeted these funds to reach the smallest and most vulnerable businesses across the state and we received an immense response with close to 50,000 applications submitted in the first round and more than $860 million in total requests,” said Daniel Betancourt, chairman of the PA CDFI Network and President & CEO of Community First Fund. “We are grateful to be part of this first step with Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Legislature to get much needed resources to the small businesses that have been so adversely impacted by the pandemic.”The grants may be used to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to re-opening, and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses.“These grants and the relief they will provide are testament to what we can do when we prioritize the right initiatives,” said state Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia, Montgomery), Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “It is because of collaboration and a collective focus that today we were able to deliver help to the auto body shops, the barbershops, the beauticians, the pizza shop owners, the soul food establishments and other businesses across the commonwealth. It is critical to understand that there is still a great deal of need and must continue to direct resources and aid to our small business community to help it recover from the devastation of the pandemic.”“I could not be more proud or more grateful for the great work of DCED and Pennsylvania’s CDFI Network in delivering substantive, fair, equitable, need-based assistance to our state’s main street and historically disadvantaged small businesses. Our program design and the accountability it provides to taxpayers and to our federal funders is a model for the nation,” said state Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe), Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “I appeal to the US Congress and to our colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Harrisburg to recognize the success of this program in assisting small businesses devastated by the pandemic and to invest further in the program so we can help even more of them.”“Our business community has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and is in need of immediate assistance. The grant program is targeted to help small businesses manage costs, handle expenses, and stay in operation in this exceptionally difficult time,” said state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny, Westmoreland). “Since COVID struck our state and debilitated our business community, I have been advocating for bridge grants and sought millions in aid for impacted businesses and workers. The small business assistance grants are one of the tools we can use to bolster business, maintain jobs and help workers at a time of immense distress.”“For minority and women-owned businesses in Pennsylvania COVID-19 didn’t create a crisis, it laid bare the crisis our minority entrepreneurs have been facing for decades,” said state Rep. Jake Wheatley Jr (D-Allegheny), Democratic chairman of the House Finance Committee. “While I’m glad to see the positive impact of these grants and I urge all local community businesses to apply for the next round of grants, we need to expand investment in programs like this because it’s long past time for the legislature to address the systemic flaws that are leaving too many marginalized people behind.”“The burden that COVID-19 has put on business owners, employees and families in southeast Pennsylvania gets heavier every day,” said state Rep. Chris Sappey (D-Chester). “At this point, when we talk about addressing the pandemic, we must not only fight it with masks and social distancing, but we also must equally and strongly support our business community, where this fight for our health and safety actually is taking place. Commerce and industry must survive this virus, as well. Pennsylvania needs this aid now, and my office is eager to work with any business that needs help applying.”Ver esta página en español.center_img Gov. Wolf Announces $96 Million for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19last_img read more

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Three registered bidders spark sale at $775,000

first_imgThe kitchen at 5 Caprice Ct, Sunnybank Hills“The original owners built the home 30 years ago and were selling to downsize,” he said. “They were happy with the sale.” Mr Li said the property mainly attracted owner-occupiers during the marketing campaign due to the location. He said the property was in one of the most popular areas of Sunnybank Hills, with Sunnybank Hills shopping centre just around the corner. The home is in need of an update but has big living spaces, large outdoor entertaining area and 20.9m frontage. The home at 5 Caprice Ct, Sunnybank HillsA two-storey property on a 755sq m block in Sunnybank Hills has sold under the hammer after belonging to the one family for three decades.The four-bedroom home at 5 Caprice Ct, Sunnybank Hills, sold for $775,000. Ray White Sunnybank Hills marketing agent Eric Li said the auction attracted three registered bidders and a crowd of about 20 onlookers. The auction began with an opening bid of $500,000 before steadily climbing to $775,000. More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020Mr Li said the successful buyers were a Korean family who plan to live in the home. last_img read more

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Support for means testing of parental leave

first_imgStuff co.nz 11 May 2014A group of high-powered New Zealand women, some of them mothers, say paid parental leave should be means-tested to give more assistance to poorer families.The idea of means-testing paid parental leave was floated last week at a discussion between winners and finalists from last year’s inaugural Women of Influence awards – an initiative by Fairfax Media and Westpac to recognise the nation’s inspiring women. The women came together to debate a Labour proposal to extend paid parental leave from 14 to 26 weeks.Labour MP Sue Moroney has accused National of delaying the second reading of her private member’s bill on the paid parental leave extension to 26 weeks despite overwhelming public support for it. The bill is now thought unlikely to be voted on before this year’s election. National is expected to announce a smaller extension as part of this week’s Budget, probably by four weeks to 18 weeks.Means-testing paid parental leave is supported by Therese Walsh, mother of two, the inaugural Women of Influence winner and head of New Zealand’s 2015 Cricket World Cup campaign.“We means-test for almost every other kind of benefit, why should this be any different? There isn’t enough taxpayer money to go around and the spend must be appropriate. I don’t have a strong view on how much time should be taken but the dollars should be enough to provide the necessities.”Mai Chen, founding partner of public and employment law specialist Chen Palmer and mother of one, said the issue was not the length of paid time taken but the amount paid. The current amount of $488.17 a week for 14 weeks was less than the minimum wage. “Frankly, a woman like me doesn’t actually need paid parental leave to help me.”http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/10032053/Support-for-means-testing-of-parental-leavelast_img read more

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Kenyans come together on Twitter to raise a million shillings for…

first_imgKenyans have to taken to twitter today on a noble cause. With the hashtag #1MilliForJadudi Kenyans are hopping to raise Ksh. 1 million to help 24 year old Emanuel popularly known as Jadudi on social media get surgery for his brain tumor. His story was wold on a popular Kenyan blog.Here are some of the tweets Lets hold hands and support @Jadudi. Lets not just tweet but help thro. contributions.God bless you #1MilliForJadudi pic.twitter.com/DW68I2tw5m— Teddy Kasich (@TeddyKasich) August 4, 2015 Emanuel responded to Kenyans on twitter ..last_img read more

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‘Coats for Kids’ kicks off in Franklin County this weekend

first_imgBrookville, In. — The United Way of Franklin County is collecting “Coats for Kids” this year through the 12th Man Club. Organizers plan to kick off the effort this Friday during the homecoming matchup between Franklin County High School and South Dearborn High School.Until October 31 coat donations can be dropped off at First Financial Bank, George’s Pharmacy and Jim True Ford. Preferred sizes are 5 to 16.last_img