Decline in US flu activity accelerates

Posted On Nov 18 2020 by

first_imgApr 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/last_img read more


Coach Opeele: Stars face formidable odds in Brazil

Posted On Aug 28 2020 by

first_imgGhana Coach and sports analyst Isaac “Opeele” Boateng claims the Black Stars are not favored by events at this year’s World Cup tournament in Brazil which kick starts on June 12.The former Ghana national U-17 team coach has emphatically stated that, no African team has ever qualified from group G at the competition as Ghana finds itself now.The Black Stars are hoping to improve upon performances at previous tournaments that is the one-sixteenth stage and quarter finals in 2006 and 2010 respectively.But coach Opeele believes the Black Stars must work extra hard to turn the tables in their favour, if not, calamity will befall them.Citing examples of the tricky situation the Stars find themselves Coach Opeele said: “Tunisia in 98 failed to qualify from Group G likewise Togo in 2006 and Cote D’Ivoire on 2010,” he said on Asempa Fm.“I’m warning Ghanaians to stop all these hullabaloo about budget, bonuses in other for the team to stay focused ahead of the Mundial.  He added: “Do you know anytime an African team goes to the world cup and Belgium is found in the last group, the African side doesn’t progress? In 1994, Belgium was in the last group and Cameroun did not progress even though they had played in the 1990 knockout stage, Nigeria in 2002 suffered the same thing and had played in the 98 knockout stage, Belgium was in the last group.”[Coincidentally the Black Stars who qualified into the knockout stage in the 2010 World Cup are in Group G in the 2014 World Cup and Belgium finds itself in Group H. The interesting thing is Belgium always finds itself with a European, Asian and North African teams; it was the same with Cameroun in 94, Nigeria in 2002. In 2014 Belgium has the likes of Algeria from North Africa, Russia from Europe and Korea from Asia in the last Group H. Ghana is pegged in Group G with the likes of Germany, Portugal and USA.last_img read more


Marshalltown remains under state of ‘civil emergency’

Posted On Aug 13 2020 by

first_imgDue to damage from the derecho, a community-wide power outage and no supply of gasoline due to the power outage, the City of Marshalltown remains under a civil emergency. Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer says there is just so much damage.“Drive past the fire station and you’ll notice all of the doors are damaged to get the fire trucks in and out — on both sides. We know homeowners are experiencing the same thing,” Greer says. “There’s ‘Iowa Nice,’ but there’s also looting in places so this is an emergency. It looks like a war zone again.” Greer says as in other areas of the state, it may take a while to determine what the final damage estimate may be. For many businesses, those expenses will be on top of the repair bills for damage from the July 19, 2007 EF-3 tornado that roared down Main Street. At the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, the good news is that no residents and staff were injured, but the early estimate of damage on the grounds is in the four-to-five MILLION dollar range. Commandant Timon Oujiri says many of the buildings were damaged.“Malloy, Schuller, Dack, Whitehill, our medical clinic roofing all had sustained damage; holes were punched into them,” Oujiri says. “…Heinz Hall sustained the most major damage of the buildings on the Iowa Veteran’s grounds.” Heinz Hall, which is 120 years old, has space for 115 residents. Qujiri says roughly 100 trees on campus were also damaged by the derecho.last_img read more


Linden pensioner jailed for 12 months

Posted On Jan 12 2020 by

first_imgSixty-five-year-old Bernadette Robertson of Blueberry Hill, Wismar, Linden was handed a 12-month prison sentence and a fine of $144,300 by Linden Magistrate Clive Nurse after she was found guilty of trafficking in narcotics.Pensioner Bernadette RobertsonPrior to her conviction, Robertson was on $150,000 bail for the offence, which occurred on February 15, 2018 at Lot 90 North Blue Berry Hill, where she had in her possession 94.2 grams of cannabis sativa for the purpose of trafficking.She was charged along with her son, Cosburn Robertson, who allegedly had 14.2 grams of cannabis sativa in his bedroom at the home at the same time. The 25-year-old has since been granted bail in relation to the charge. His trial is ongoing.last_img


Fugitive businessman Ferry makes new claims against rival waste operator

Posted On Dec 22 2019 by

first_imgFugitive Donegal businessman Jim Ferry has again contacted members of Donegal County Council making claims against a fellow waste operator.Mr Ferry, who is being sought by Gardai, emailed and posted claims today to Donegal county councils and county manager Seamus Neely.In his latest correspondence, Mr Ferry claims that a previous response from Donegal County Council’s planning department did not deal with what he claimed were substantive issues. The Manorcunningham-based businessman raises a number of issues against a fellow waste operator concerning his operation.He claims that a number of aspects of his rival’s business are not operating legally.There is no proof that there is any wrongdoing on behalf of this operator.However, Mr Ferry claims that the operator has previous convictions for illegal dumping. And he warned that the council’s refusal to act on his claims means that a judicial review will have to take place.He writes “The council’s reply is so wrong that your decision to refuse to issue warning letters or issue enforcement proceedings will have to be judicially reviewed.”Mr Ferry is currently wanted by Gardai after leaving the High Court in Dublin.Mr Justice Max Barrett made a contempt of court order on August 22nd against Jim Ferry, of Ferry’s Refuse Collection Limited and Ferry’s Refuse Recycling Limited, both of Rossbracken on the outskirts of Letterkenny.While Mr Ferry was in court for the hearing of Donegal County Council’s application that he be committed to jail and was present for Mr Justice Barrett’s decision, he left before the order was written and promulgated. The order was subsequently sent to Garda headquarters in Dublin for execution by members of the force. Mr Ferry is presumed to have returned to Letterkenny where company documents give his address as Slive Sneacht Road.Fugitive businessman Ferry makes new claims against rival waste operator was last modified: November 28th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:complaintdonegalDonegal County Councildumpjim ferryrefuselast_img read more


These Are the Skills That Will Get You a Job In the

Posted On Jul 26 2019 by

last_img