UAE study finds high MERS seroprevalence in some camel workers

first_imgA new MERS-CoV seroprevalence study of camel workers in Abu Dhabi found high levels for people in certain jobs, as Saudi Arabia—the country hit hardest by the virus—reported three more cases, all in people who contracted the virus from other patients.Exposures in markets, slaughterhousesFor the seroprevalence study, a research team from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined blood samples of camel workers from 2014 to 2017. Some workers were from an open-air camel market in Abu Dhabi linked to a 2015 human case, and others worked at two of the city’s camel slaughterhouses.Their goals were to sift out specific risk factors that seem more likely to lead to MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) transmission to help guide steps to prevent infections in people and to pinpoint risk groups that would benefit from a future vaccine. The team published its findings yesterday in an early online edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.Three rounds of blood sampling took place during the study period, and though all workers were asked to provide samples, participation was voluntary. Some workers were repeatedly sampled during multiple rounds.During the third round of sampling, investigators administered a survey to gather information about worker demographics, travel history, consumption of raw camel products (meat, milk, and urine, which is actually a practice for some in the country), camel-related work tasks, personal protective equipment use, and handwashing practices.Levels highest in camel salesmenAntibody tests on blood samples were conducted at the CDC.Round 1 involved samples from 100 workers, round 2 from 151 workers, and round 3 from 235 workers. MERS-CoV antibodies were found in 6% of samples from round 1, 19% from round 2, and 17% from round 3.Among all workers, MERS-CoV seroprevalence was especially high for certain occupations, especially camel salesmen (49%) and animal or waste transporters (22%). Self-reported diabetes was another factor linked to being seropositive, which fits with earlier reports of underlying health conditions as a risk factor for MERS-CoV infection.Of just the market workers, giving medications to live camels and using cleaning equipment were associated with increased risk of being seropositive for MERS-CoV.Among other findings, MERS-CoV was detected in market camels during the study period, and one worker seroconverted, hinting at active transmission from camels to people.”Taken collectively, our findings suggest an underestimated prevalence of human MERS-CoV infection in settings where the virus is circulating among camels, probably resulting from camel-to-human transmission,” the group wrote.New cases include 1 from Khafji outbreakMeanwhile, in Saudi Arabia’s steady stream of new cases, the country’s health ministry reported three new infections in updates yesterday and today in its epidemiologic week 15 report. All involve men listed as secondary cases, meaning they probably contracted the virus from another sick patient. Camel exposure is listed as unknown for all three.One of them, age 34, appears to be part of an outbreak in Khafji in northeastern Saudi Arabia near the border with Kuwait, which has now grown to 11 cases.The other patients include a 42-year-old from Ad Darb in the country’s far southwestern Jazan region and a 64-year-old from Al Kharj in central Saudi Arabia.Saudi Arabia has now reported 129 cases for the year.In an update today from the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean regional office, officials said 9 more cases have been linked to a large outbreak in Wadi ad-Dawasir, raising the total as of the end of March to 61 cases, 8 of them fatal.The agency added that Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has launched a full investigation of the event, including efforts to identify all household and healthcare contacts of patients with confirmed infections. Infection prevention and control steps have been enhanced at health facilities, including for workers in emergency room and intensive care units.The WHO’s snapshot of MERS-CoV activity for March also said 25 cases were reported for the month, all in Saudi Arabia. It put the latest global total since the first human cases were identified in 2012 to 2,399, at least 827 of them fatal. More than 90% of the cases are from Saudi Arabia.See also:Apr 10 Emerg Infect Dis abstractApr 11 MOH updateApr 10 WHO MERS update for Marchlast_img read more

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County Sells 1010 Central To LAPS Credit Union

first_imgThe Los Alamos Public Schools Credit Union is getting a new home – right next to the Los Alamos County Municipal Building.Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved the sale of 1010 Central Ave., a stretch of green space that runs along the parking lot in front of the Municipal Building, during its regular Tuesday night meeting.The sale price, according to agenda documents, is $360,950. The May 2019 appraisal estimated the market value was $390,000 but this was made before a lot line adjustment, which reduced the square footage and, therefore, the purchase price of the property was at the same value/square foot as appraisedThe building that will be constructed at this location will not only house the LAPS Credit Union but also the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. The hope is to have the construction completed by the first or second quarter of next year, LAPS Credit Union CEO Matt Schmidt said.The new location will be a welcome change for the credit union, he said. Its current location inside the Pueblo Complex on Diamond Drive was never really intended for a financial institution.  “This does check a lot of boxes for us, for our members and for the community as well,” Schmidt said.The building will be 3,800 square feet. Schmidt said the credit union is working with a design/build firm, which specializes in banks and credit unions.Councilor Pete Sheehey asked what the plans were for the trees planted in this space. He wondered if the credit union would be amendable to salvaging as many as possible and if it couldn’t keep some trees, if the County could relocate them elsewhere.Schmidt said he has met with Los Alamos Landscaping and More Owner Craig Wehner and said if any of the trees can’t be salvage then an equal amount will be planted in school district sites.“We will be making as many concessions as we can to keep as many existing trees as possible,” he said.Several people spoke in support of the sale.LAPS Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus said he feels the sale will be good for the credit union and the LAPS Foundation.“I stand … in full support of this decision,” Steinhaus said. “I think it’s good for the credit union as well as the foundation. Both organizations provide a tremendous service to the schools. If you approve this, it would be a good decision for the schools as well as the community of Los Alamos.” Not everyone thought so.Los Alamos resident Greg White advocated against the sale, saying the credit union should pursue one of the vacant commercial buildings rather than paving over one of the few green spaces in Los Alamos.Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director Patrick Sullivan disagreed. He pointed out that the park was never the intended use for this land. The credit union, on the other hand, is the perfect fit, he said.“They can fit on the property; they are a long-vested business in the community … I encourage you to vote for this,” Sullivan said.County Manager Harry Burgess reported that when the land was purchased for the Municipal Building, it was more than what was needed for the County building and therefore the then-seated Council directed him to explore options for transferring the remaining parcel to commercial use.  The County, he said, went through several solicitations but a sale was never achieved due to the challenges of adequate parking and delivery access associated with the site. The credit union, Burgess said, can operate within the existing parking.Schmidt commented that the credit union has a long history in Los Alamos. It opened in 1955 with just a dozen teachers. In fact, the credit union’s first location was in a school employee’s home. Today the credit union has 1,800 members and close to $20 million in assets, he said. The credit union supports LAPS athletics, music and academic endeavors such as the science fair. It also teaches a finance class and makes weekly visits to the schools. Furthermore, Schmidt said the credit union supports local organizations including the YMCA, Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation. By KIRSTEN LASKEYLos Alamos Daily [email protected] The future site of Los Alamos Public  Schools Credit Union at 1010 Central Ave. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.comlast_img read more

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St. Cloud High School Sports Highlights For 2019-2020 Season

first_imgHigh School sports may have come to an abrupt halt in Minnesota last month, but there were plenty of memories made throughout the fall and winter. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite moments from the year in sports.St. Cloud Sports Year In ReviewPHOTO: Dave OverlundSartell FootballSartell topped Alexandria in the snow to snap a skid. PHOTO: Joel BaumgartenRocori FootballThe Rocori Football team took home the section 8AAAA championship in snowy Alexandria. PHOTO: Sarah MuellerRocori FootballRocori fans braved the cold to cheer on the Spartans at the State Tourney.PHOTO: Sarah Mueller, WJONRocori FootballRocori Fans at US Bank Stadium for the state semis.PHOTO: Sarah MuellerRocori FootballROCORI QB Jack Steil calls the signals for the Spartans at the State Tourney .PHOTO: Dave OverlundCathedral Hockey 2019Cathedral clobbered Greenway in a state tourney rematch .PHOTO: Dave Overlund, WJONCathedral HockeyCathedral takes 6A Title.PHOTO: Dave Overlund Cathedral HockeyJack Smith warms up before Cathedral’s semifinal game against Hermantown.PHOTO: Dave Overlund (AM 1390 Granite City Sports)Apollo vs Sauk Rapids-RiceApollo girls hoops takes on the Storm in Sauk Rapids.PHOTO: Dave OverlundSartell Youth Hockey WildThe MInnesota Wild came to Sartell for their Youth Hockey Spotlight. PHOTO: Dave Overlund, WJONMike Modano SartellMike Modano behind the Sabres’ bench.PHOTO: Kelly McCarneySartell-St.-Stephen-Dance-Team-2-Courtesy-Kelly-McCarneySartell Dance at State. PHOTO: Roger MischkeSauk Rapids WrestlingSauk Rapids-Rice wrestler Andrew Wollak won his 100th match. PHOTO: Dave OverlundApollo BasketballThe Apollo boys basketball team celebrates their section title.PHOTO: Dave Overlund Apollo BasketballApollo captures section title.last_img read more

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