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Peloton says recent spike in Covid-19 cases, lockdowns boosting sales

first_img– Advertisement – In Europe, the number of Covid cases is rising more rapidly on a per capita basis, and lockdown measures have been imposed in France, Germany and England.Peloton on Thursday said its first-quarter sales more than tripled, exceeding the company’s expectations, and it raised its revenue outlook for fiscal 2021. More consumers have been turning to its at-home workout products and live-streamed classes, as they ditch their gym memberships amidst the pandemic.Peloton now expects this holiday quarter to be its first billion-dollar quarter for sales, while analysts had been calling for $939 million, based on a Refinitiv survey.- Advertisement – Cari Gundee rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April 06, 2020 in San Anselmo, California. More people are turning to Peloton due to shelter-in-place orders because of the coronavirus (COVID-19).Ezra Shaw | Getty Images – Advertisement –center_img But the spike in demand, especially for its more expensive and newly released Bike+, means Peloton is hitting snags in its production facilities, and deliveries are being delayed. The company said Thursday it expects to be operating under supply constraints “for the foreseeable future.”Peloton shares fell around 6% in after-hours trading, having skyrocketed more than 343% this year. The stock closed had Thursday up nearly 7%. Peloton is seeing demand for its high-end exercise bikes and treadmills spike again, as Covid-19 cases are rising at a record clip in America, and consumers are hunkering down at home ahead of the winter months during the pandemic.“The recent spikes in Covid cases and newly imposed lockdowns in some of our markets have had a significant positive impact on sales,” Peloton CFO Jill Woodworth told analysts Thursday.The number of new daily coronavirus cases recorded in the U.S. surpassed 100,000 for the first time this week, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., some cities have imposed curfews or banned indoor dining. But there is a fear that if cases continue to rise at a brisk pace that further restrictions will be imposed.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Joe Giudice Reunites With Daughters for 1st Time in Nearly 1 Year: Pics

first_imgThe teenager went on to post Instagram Story videos with her big sister Gia, 19, walking through Rome. “We’re back,” she wrote.Joe’s daughters last came to Italy in December 2019. “They are so cute so happy,” he captioned an Instagram video at the time. The Italy native said in the footage: “Welcome to Italy again. I love you. You’re so cute.”That was Joe’s second visit with his kids since he moved to Italy in October following his deportation order. He was taken into ICE custody seven months prior after completing a 41-month prison sentence.- Advertisement – Reunited and it feels so good! Two of Joe Giudice and Teresa Giudice’s four daughters visited their dad in Italy for the first time in 2020.“Happy to be back,” Milania, 15, captioned a Friday, November 6, Instagram photo of herself smiling with the former reality star, 48.- Advertisement – The former couple finalized their divorce in September, and Joe has been dating “a lawyer.”He told Wendy Williams the following month: “She’s helping out a lot out here, it’s good because I have a lot of things going on out here and she’s putting together a lot of deals for me. We’ve been seeing each other, you know what I mean? I wouldn’t say that we’re boyfriend, girlfriend, but we’re kind of like hanging out a lot.”Joe went on to say that he talks to his daughters “every day,” saying, “Melania was just gonna call me now. I was watching them play soccer yesterday through the phone. So, good thing for the phones. It’s better to be there in person, but what are you gonna do? Right now, I wouldn’t be able to come there anyway.”Scroll down to see pics from their reunion in Italy. – Advertisement – He and Teresa, 48, called it quits in December 2019 after 20 years of marriage.“Teresa and Joe have separated, but have no plans to divorce yet,” a source told Us Weekly at the time. “Teresa and Joe talked about their future when she and the girls were in Italy and decided it was best for them to separate. Neither of them wanted to be in a long-distance relationship. Joe has been dating in Italy, Teresa is busy taking care of their girls right now. They harbor no ill will towards each other and will continue to coparent their kids.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Trump admits Biden won, falsely claims election was ‘rigged’

first_imgPresident Donald Trump looks on after delivering an update on “Operation Warp Speed” in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2020.Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images – Advertisement – President Donald Trump has admitted publicly for the first time that Joe Biden won the election, more than seven days after media outlets including NBC News called the race for Biden. Trump’s apparent admission of Biden’s victory comes even as he continues to falsely claim the election was rigged. Thousands of his supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. yesterday to protest the results. At least 20 people were arrested after pro-Trump groups clashed with counterprotesters.A White House official, when asked if Trump was admitting defeat, told NBC News: “It looks like it.” The official added that it may be the beginning of Trump conceding the presidential race. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img The acknowledgement of defeat came on Twitter, in response to a post by the Fox News show “Watters’ World” that suggested that Biden “didn’t earn” the presidency.“He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump said, repeating an allegation that has been debunked by election officials around the country and his own Department of Homeland Security. This is breaking news. Please check back for updates. – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Human trial of ricin vaccine planned in Texas

first_img The university is already posting notices for human volunteers, said John Schindler, PhD, an assistant professor at the Cancer Immunobiology Center and director of the clinical trial. Fifteen volunteers will be split into three dosage groups and receive one injection a month for 3 months. Ricin has been used as a weapon. Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov was killed in London in 1978 when an attacker used the point of an umbrella to inject a ricin pellet under his skin. Ricin powder was found Feb 2, 2004, in the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., prompting the temporary closure of several Senate office buildings. Volunteers’ immune responses to the vaccine will be tested, and serum from the human volunteers will be injected into mice, Schindler said in an interview today. Then the mice will be exposed to high levels of ricin to test whether the human serum contains protective antibodies. An approved vaccine would be at least 4 years away, Schindler said. See also: “Even in cancer patients whose immune systems are suppressed, we have an antibody response,” Schindler said. From there, it was a relatively short step to creating a recombinant vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration and the university’s institutional review board have approved the phase 1 trial involving the Category B biological agent. The toxin is processed from castor beans. Exposure can result from breathing ricin, eating or drinking it, or being injected with it. This round of testing is intended to confirm the vaccine’s safety at doses that elicit effective antibody levels in healthy people, according to the news release. Funding for basic work, such as setting up the ricin aerosol and oral challenges, comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Vitetta noted in an e-mail. However, the trial is being funded by the Cancer Immunobiology Center. “As far as we can tell, the vaccine is completely safe and has no side effects,” said Dr. Ellen Vitetta, director of the Cancer Immunobiology Center, in a news release issued by the university. DOR BioPharma, Inc., has an exclusive license for the vaccine, the news release said. The company is planning to produce a stockpile for more advanced clinical trials, product licensing, and potential purchases by the US government and others. The vaccine is the result of coincidental timing, said Schindler. Vitetta’s group has noted that a genetically modified form of ricin used as an immunotoxin to kill cancer cells produced an antibody response in cancer patients during experimental therapy. At the same time, public concern about the potential for bioterrorism was heightened, providing enough interest to make creating the vaccine worthwhile, he said. “Is the common man on the street going to need a vaccine to protect against ricin? I sort of doubt it,” Schindler said. But the military has an interest in defenses against the potential bioweapon, and high-ranking public officials may as well, he added. Dec 8, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Human testing of an experimental vaccine against the deadly toxin ricin will begin early next year at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. UT Southwestern announcementlast_img read more

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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 release news report on Sudan outbreak read more

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Massive chicken cull in Thailand as experts await human avian flu test results

first_imgJul 31, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A Thai province is culling 300,000 chickens after a laboratory test confirmed an avian influenza outbreak, and the country’s health ministry is monitoring 80 patients who are suspected of having avian flu.The Bangkok Post reported today that the cull in the Nakhon Phanom province is being carried out on 70 farms by 1,500 health officials. The culling was prompted by the deaths of several chickens. The province’s governor, Nikhom Kerdkhanmak, told the Post that samples of chicken carcasses were sent to the Centre for Veterinary Research and Development in Kohn Kahn, and results showed that the chickens were infected with bird flu; the strain was not specified in the story. Last least week, 40,000 chickens were culled in the province as a precautionary measure.Health officials are disinfecting households and vehicles, the Post said, and poultry movement has been banned along the Thailand-Laos border. Last week, Laos reported its first major outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in more than 2 years, and the poultry farm where the disease surfaced borders part of Thailand.Meanwhile, the Post reported that 19 Thai provinces have patients on the suspected avian influenza watch list. All are in northern and central Thailand. The Phichit province, where a 17-year-old boy died of H5N1 avian flu last week, has the most patients on the list (18). Provinces with several patients on the list include Sukhothai (14), Phitsanulok (9), Suphan Buri (9), and Nan (7). Nakhon Phanom, the site of the major chicken cull, has two patients on the list.The province of Buri Ram has banned cockfighting matches in August after mysterious poultry deaths were reported, the Post reported.In other avian flu news, representatives from 11 Asian countries gathered in New Delhi recently at a conference sponsored by the World Health Organization, according to a report from Reuters. The health officials agreed to join forces to fight the spread of avian flu. They plan to share details about their outbreak investigations and pledged to collaborate on the development and production of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests. They also said they would pool their research efforts.The report noted that Thai officials said they would push for early use of osteltamivir (Tamiflu) in suspected H5N1 avian flu cases, rather than wait for lab results.An official from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told the group that the Asia-Pacific region has lost an estimated $10 million because of avian flu outbreaks, The Financial Express, an Indian newspaper, reported today. FAO regional representative He Changchui said more than 200 million birds have been culled over two and a half years.See also:Jul 28 CIDRAP News article “Avian flu strikes again in Laos”Jul 26 CIDRAP News article “Thailand’s first avian flu case of 2006 confirmed”last_img read more

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WHO equivocal on prepandemic use of H5N1 vaccines

first_imgMay 10, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that “a number” of human vaccines against the H5N1 avian influenza may become available soon, but declined to say whether they should be used before a flu pandemic arises.Besides the H5N1 vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in April, “a number of the most advanced candidate vaccines against H5N1 avian influenza might be registered within six months to two years,” the WHO said in a question-and-answer bulletin on pandemic flu vaccines.Vaccine developers are focusing on H5N1 because it is regarded as the virus most likely to evolve into a pandemic strain. But if it does, no one knows how much protection will be provided by vaccines based on current strains.As they become available, “prepandemic” vaccines for H5N1 could be used in poultry workers, healthcare workers, or even whole populations, the WHO said, but the agency stopped short of recommending that step in advance of an actual pandemic.”WHO’s expert groups point out that the pandemic virus may be quite different than what people are immunized against and therefore the vaccine may not be protective, and that any decision about whether to use avian flu vaccines as a hedge against pandemic influenza must be done so with full knowledge of this fundamental uncertainty,” the statement said.”In the best scenario, such use of a vaccine would prove life saving,” it continued. “In the worst, it would only have little effectiveness, and some experts consider such a use of the vaccine as an unfounded expenditure. WHO continues to review all of the scientific, health and social benefits and drawbacks with its experts and policies are regularly updated.”Once a flu pandemic virus is identified, it will take at least 4 to 6 months to produce the first doses of vaccine for it, the WHO said. Other predictions about the time needed to develop and start producing a pandemic vaccine have typically said at least 6 months.In other comments, the WHO said a rapid increase in flu vaccine production capacity is likely in the next few years but cautioned that a universal flu vaccine may be more than a decade away.The statement said drug companies are moving to increase vaccine production capacity “substantially,” and capacity could “nearly double” by 2009. Current world capacity has been estimated at about 350 million doses of seasonal vaccine, with each dose targeting three flu strains.In the next 3 to 5 years, the WHO said, “We will see movement towards increased vaccine production capacity in both industrialized and developing countries with a combined vaccine production capacity potentially above 3 billion doses per year.” The current world population is more than 6 billion.Concerning the goal of a broadly protective flu vaccine, the agency said, “An ideal influenza vaccine that would protect against all strains of influenza is still very much upstream in the pipeline, and might not be available in the next five to 10 years.”The WHO also commented briefly on steps for providing developing countries with pandemic vaccines. The agency is currently in a standoff with Indonesia, which has been withholding H5N1 virus samples from the WHO for months out of concern that they will be used by drug companies to produce vaccines priced out of Indonesia’s reach.For the short term, the WHO is working with UNICEF and industrialized countries to begin lining up funds to buy vaccines for developing countries, the statement said. For the longer term, the agency wants to (1) develop seasonal flu vaccination programs where appropriate and (2) establish vaccine production capacity in developing countries.Other WHO plans for increasing the supply of pandemic flu vaccines include the following:Conducting a thorough survey of vaccine production capacity and anticipated demandStudying how to improve current low production yields with inactivated vaccines made from H5N1 virusesInvestigating dose-sparing approaches to stretch vaccine suppliesSee also: WHO’s “Questions and Answers on Pandemic Influenza Vaccine” 17 CIDRAP News story “FDA approves first H5N1 vaccine”last_img read more

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Indonesia reports 115th human H5N1 case

first_imgDec 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia has reported its 115th human case of H5N1 avian influenza, in a 47-year-old man from Tangerang, according to news services.The man is in critical condition in a Jakarta hospital, according to a Xinhua report today. Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that he fell ill on Dec 2, was hospitalized in Tangerang Dec 5, and was referred to the Jakarta hospital Dec 10.Tangerang, a western suburb of Jakarta, was also the home of a 28-year-old woman who died of avian flu Dec 10. Her case was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) today.Joko Suyono of Indonesia’s avian flu center said the 47-year-old man kept ducks at his home and had recently traveled to Medan in Sumatra and Pandeglang in West Java, according to a Reuters report today.Suyono said two tests had confirmed the man’s infection, and the agriculture ministry was investigating how he contracted the virus, Reuters reported.Ninety-two of Indonesia’s 115 H5N1 cases have been fatal. The WHO’s global H5N1 count, which does not yet include the Tangerang man, stands at 338 cases with 208 deaths.The WHO count shows 75 cases with 50 deaths so far this year, as compared with 115 cases and 79 deaths for all of 2006. The 2006 toll was the highest so far.See also: WHO statement on case of 28-year-old woman from Tangerang 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