Apr 10, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The spring decline of US influenza activity picked up speed last week, when only four states still reported widespread flu activity, down from 13 a week earlier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.Eighteen states reported regional flu activity for the week that ended Apr 4, while another 20 had only local activity, the agency said. The rest of the states had only sporadic cases or didn’t report. The states still dealing with widespread flu were Alabama, New York, Virginia, and Washington.Despite some problems with antiviral resistance, this season appears to have been a fairly mild one, at least in comparison with last year, when two of the three flu strains in the vaccine didn’t match up well with the viruses making people sick.Medical visits to the CDC’s network of sentinel providers for treatment of influenza-like illness (ILI) this season have run well below last season. A chart in the CDC report shows that the proportion of visits for ILI this season peaked in February at about 3.5% of all visits, whereas at last year’s peak, also in February, ILI accounted for about 6% of all medical visits. Last week the proportion of visits ascribed to ILI was 1.6%, well below the epidemic threshold of 2.4%.Two flu-related deaths in children were reported last week, one each in Illinois and Virginia, the CDC reported. That brings the seasonal total to 45 deaths, which is well below the overall toll of 88 for the 2007-08 season and 78 for 2006-07.Of the 45 children who died, 27 were tested for secondary bacterial infections, and 12 tested positive. Eight of these had Staphylococcus aureus infections, three of which involved methicillin-resistant (MRSA) strains.In another sign of a fairly mild season, flu-related hospitalization rates for children under age 4 this season have been well below those of last season, the CDC report shows. Through Mar 21, data from the New Vaccine Surveillance Network show the rate for this season was 1.46 hospitalizations per 10,000 children.Flu-related hospitalization rates for adults this season also were well below last season’s level, according to data from the CDC’s Emerging Infections Program (EIP). Rates for adults this year were fairly close to those recorded in 2006-07, a chart based on EIP data shows.As for overall flu-related deaths, 7.4% of deaths reported through the CDC’s 122-city mortality surveillance system last week were attributed to pneumonia and influenza, which is below the epidemic threshold of 7.8%, the CDC said. A chart shows that the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu never surpassed the epidemic threshold this season, whereas it hovered above that level for several weeks last season.Continuing a trend of the past several weeks, influenza B viruses were the most common type identified last week, though type A viruses have been predominant in the season overall. Of 348 viruses that were typed, 203 (58.3%) were type B. For the whole season, 67.9% of isolates have been type A and 32.1% type B.Most of the type B viruses tested this year have not been a good match for the B strain in this year’s vaccine. The latest numbers show that of 263 type B viruses that have been antigenically characterized, 50 belonged to the Yamagata lineage used in the vaccine, while 213 belonged to the Victoria lineage and were not related to the vaccine strain.However, all influenza A isolates that the CDC has studied have been well matched to the strains in this year’s vaccine. These include 594 A/H1N1 viruses and 88 A/H3N2 isolates, the CDC reports.Among influenza A viruses, the H1N1 subtype has predominated over H3N2 this season. That may be a factor in the relatively mild season, as experts say that seasons tend to be more severe when H3N2 viruses dominate.Today’s report shows a continuation of the season-long pattern of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistance in H1N1 viruses. It says 694 of 699 (99.3%) tested H1N1 isolates showed resistance to the drug, while all tested H3N2 and B viruses have been sensitive to oseltamivir and the other neuraminidase inhibitor, zanamivir (Relenza). The resistance findings prompted the CDC to revise its recommendations for antiviral treatment in December.Nearly all H1N1 isolates tested this season have been sensitive to the older antiviral drugs, amantadine and rimantadine. However, all tested H3N2 viruses have shown resistance to those drugs.See also: CDC flu updatehttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/
Stoke striker Peter Crouch came off the bench to snatch a draw at Newcastle with a dramatic late equaliser. Colback might not have been on the pitch to put the Magpies ahead had referee Kevin Friend issued a second caution for a 71st-minute foul on Victor Moses. The goal briefly raised the spirits of a crowd of just 47,763 – the lowest at St James’ Park this season – but there were boos on the final whistle with Carver’s men having passed up an opportunity to climb into the top 10. Newcastle ran out knowing a second successive victory would see them leapfrog Stoke with two points separating them in the table before kick-off, and there was little to choose between the sides during a tight opening 45 minutes. The visitors, who employed Moses and Mame Biram Diouf as wide men in support of striker Jonathan Walters, enjoyed the greater share of possession before the break without creating clear-cut chances until deep into injury-time at the end of the half. But the Magpies made more of their time on the ball as they attacked largely on the break through the pace of Ayoze Perez and the skill of Remy Cabella and Sammy Ameobi. Walters fired across the face of goal after turning Mike Williamson with eight minutes gone, but it took a fine reaction save from Asmir Begovic to deny Cabella at the other end three minutes later. Ameobi slid the ball out to Moussa Sissoko wide on the left and when he crossed to the near post, Cabella glanced a header towards goal, only to see Begovic throw out a hand to turn it past the post. The Bosnian was quick off his line to prevent Sissoko from reaching Cabella’s 27th-minute return pass, but he was more comfortable in collecting Ameobi’s well-struck shot on the turn seconds later. Press Association The Magpies looked to have won an instantly forgettable game when Jack Colback fired them into a 74th-minute lead. However, Crouch headed fellow substitute Geoff Cameron’s 90th-minute cross over keeper Tim Krul to claim a 1-1 draw on Tyneside, denying head coach John Carver back-to-back Barclays Premier League victories and leaving Newcastle still awaiting a first home win of 2015. However, he was mightily relieved to see Perez’s shot fly inches past the far post two minutes before the break after he had been played in behind defender Marc Muniesa by Cabella. For all their possession, Stoke, who had Moses, Stephen Ireland and Glenn Whelan booked before the break, did not force Krul into a save of note until the second minute of stoppage time, although it was a good one when it finally arrived as the Dutchman palmed away Diouf’s point-blank header after good play by Steven Nzonzi and Ireland. The second half started in scrappy fashion with neither side able to exercise any real control, although the Magpies almost worked their way in with 53 minutes gone when Perez and Cabella combined only for the final ball to let them down. If anything, a game of little genuine quality deteriorated further as the half wore on with neither side able to summon up the inspiration to turn it in their favour. Carver made his move with 25 minutes remaining when he replaced defensive midfielder Vurnon Anita with striker Papiss Cisse. Gabriel Obertan replaced Cabella as the game limped towards its conclusion and saw Cisse head his 73rd-minute cross well wide of the target, but redemption was close at hand. The former Manchester United winger’s cross seconds later was laid off by Sissoko to Colback, who had been booked for a foul on Muniesa before catching Moses late, and he fired home first time off the inside of the post to snatch victory. Krul made smart saves from Phil Bardsley and Walters to preserve his clean sheet, but Obertan and Perez both passed up glorious opportunities to cement the win in a frenetic conclusion, and they were made to pay when Crouch rose at the far post to loop a header home despite the best efforts of Fabricio Coloccini on the line.
Lauren Carlini and Sindey Hilley have both been bringing a lot of attention to the University of Wisconsin volleyball program with their impressive performances and skills, but which one truly reigns supreme here at UW?Wisconsin volleyball is back in the national spotlight, but for many years that was not the case. After success in the late 90s and early 2000s, the Wisconsin volleyball team failed to make the NCAA tournament for five years.Molly Haggerty: From Big Ten Freshman of the Year to injured reserveMolly Haggerty put in years of hard work and had an impressive resume even before setting foot on the University Read…Enter a new head coach and the top recruit in the country. Both Head Coach Kelli Sheffield and Lauren Carlini came to Madison in 2013, during a time when Wisconsin really needed them. By the time Carlini landed in Madison, she had already been the women’s Gatorade player of the year in 2012, her senior year of high school, an Under Amour All-American and had played on the US Junior National Team. Essentially, when Carlini made her collegiate debut, the volleyball community was excited. Despite the badger’s recent struggles and a coaching change, she decided to go to Wisconsin.With Carlini running the offense as the team’s setter, the badgers began to see success. As the season progressed, the team got better and better, and for the first time in five years the badgers, ranked 12th, made the NCAA tournament. The badgers were a Cinderella story that season. They knocked off top ranked Texas in the semi-finals before falling to Penn State in the National Championship. Despite the loss, the 2013 season was almost everything a badger fan could want. They were winning games, and had a talented young setter that was named a second team All-American. Expectations remained high for Carlini after she led her team to the finals. For her four years playing at UW, she was regarded as one of the best in the business. Announcers, coaches, teammates and foes alike sang her praises.Volleyball: Sheffield brings wealth of talent to team in only four years timeWhen you think about all of the things that can be accomplished in just four years, revamping a volleyball team Read… In just four years, she put the badgers back on the map, and helped change the culture of the program. During her time as a Wisconsin college volleyball player, the team had a culture of winning. Each time they stepped on the court, they wanted to come away with a W. Each year the goal was to win a Big Ten and National Championship. In her sophomore season, they accomplished their goal of winning a Big Ten championship before falling to again to Penn State, but this time in the Elite Eight. During this match, Carlini suffered a severe ankle sprain. Carlini was named a first team All-American.Before her time ran out, she was named first team All-American two more times and led her team to the Sweet Sixteen in 2015, and the Elite Eight in 2016, where she saw her outstanding college career come to an end in five sets against the eventual National Champions, Stanford. The silver lining? She ended her time in Cardinal and White in front of a supportive Field House crowd, where her and the other seniors received standing ovations. The fans realized how much of an impact she had made on the program and were grateful. Since then, she’s received the AAU Sullivan Award, which is awarded to the country’s best amateur athlete. She joined the ranks of Payton Manning and Michael Phelps. She also spent the summer playing for the US Women’s National Team and is currently playing professionally in Italy.Enter Sydney Hilley. Another highly touted recruit, she was ranked the top setter in her class and No. 3 over all. She was the 2016 Minnesota Gatorade volleyball player of the year and had similarly played with the US Junior National Team.Carlini brings home UW’s first Sullivan AwardIt’s official: University of Wisconsin volleyball’s graduating senior Lauren Carlini won the AAU James E. Sullivan Award Tuesday night in Read…Hilley enrolled early last January to train with Carlini. When asked why she chose Wisconsin, she told UW Athletics that her favorite thing about Wisconsin Volleyball is the culture. The same culture that Carlini had helped create. Hilley is just halfway through her freshman season, but she has already made an impact. The badgers are hitting at a clip .308, much to her credit. She is able to put her hitters in positions to score points. She is doing her part to make sure that the program keeps their expectations high, and maintain a winning culture. Undoubtedly, Hilley is a phenomenal player, but it is too early to determine if she will be as good or better than Carlini. Carlini led her team deep into the post season while earning All-American accolades for herself four times. She’s the only Wisconsin volleyball player to be a four time All-American. Even if Sydney Hilley surpasses her predecessor in accomplishments and skill, there can only be one Lauren Carlini. Hilley will make her own significant mark on the Wisconsin volleyball program, but she will never receive the credit for creating the culture of the program. Lauren Carlini had such a large impact on this program, and was the best setter in the country, which are some big shoes to fill. It will be difficult for Hilley to surpass Carlini, but it is still early in her career, and only time will tell.