News Scan for Feb 28, 2014

first_imgFDA picks flu vaccine strains for 2014-15 flu seasonA US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel today made its recommendation on strains to include for the next flu season vaccine. The move is part of a process that the Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) conducts to review the most current flu strains, surveillance, and updates on vaccine performance, uptake, and manufacturing.After hearing several detailed expert presentations, VRBPAC voted to include the strains recently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for next season’s Northern Hemisphere flu vaccine. The WHO announced its strain selections on Feb 20, which kept in place the same ones included in this season’s seasonal flu vaccines.VRBPAC members voted separately on each of the strains for the trivalent (three-strain) vaccine, as well as an additional influenza B strain for quadrivalent (four-strain) versions. The votes for all four strains were unanimous.Adivsers recommended strains similar to A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2), and B/Massachusetts/2/2012. The group also included the WHO’s recommendation for a second influenza B strain from the Victoria lineage, B/Brisbane/60/2008.The vote today allows vaccine manufacturers to start the steps for formulating next season’s flu vaccine, which takes about 6 months.Sam Lee, PhD, Sanofi Pasteur’s senior director for pandemic influenza strategy, told the group that the quadrivalent vaccine accounted for about 20% of the total doses distributed this season and is expected to make up about 50% of next year’s vaccine doses.Though vaccine production hasn’t started yet, Lee said that, based on the information the company has, he doesn’t anticipate any major issues.Feb 28 VRBPAC meeting agenda Feb 20 CIDRAP News story “WHO keeps same strains for next season’s flu vaccine” Two Cambodian girls test positive for H5N1 avian fluTwo girls, 10 and 11 years old, from the same Cambodian province have tested positive for H5N1 avian flu, according to a news release yesterday from the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and the WHO.The girls, from Tboung Khmum province (formerly part of Kampong Cham province), have both recovered from their illness after being hospitalized, the release said. Their cases bring the total H5N1 count in Cambodia this year to five.The 10-year-old is from a village in Cheung Prey district. She developed a fever on Jan 26 and then developed a cough, runny nose, and abdominal pain the next day. Staff at the Naval Medical Research Unit 2 (NAMRU-2) in Phnom Penh took samples on Jan 29, which were confirmed to be H5N1-positive by the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge on Feb 20.Upon H5N1 confirmation, the girl was transferred to Kampong Cham Provincial Hospital, where she was administered oseltamivir (Tamiflu). She has since recovered, the two agencies said.The girl’s mother had bought sick and dead village ducks on Jan 25, and the girl had helped prepare them to eat.The 11-year-old girl, from Ponhea Krek district, first had a fever and cough on Feb 9. The next day she also experienced a runny nose, sore throat, and vomiting. Staff at NAMRU-2 took samples on Feb 10, which were confirmed to be H5N1-positive also on Feb 20. The older girl likewise was then prescribed oseltamivir and has recovered.From Feb 7 to Feb 10, all 30 chickens owned by the girl’s family died near her house. Relatives said the girl had no direct contact with the birds, but they had died “in close proximity” to the girl, according to the MOH/WHO press release.Of 52 H5N1 cases in Cambodia since 2005, 40 have been in children younger than 14, the release said, and 34 have been fatal.Feb 27 Cambodia MOH/WHO news release About 6,500 babies each year are hospitalized for fluAbout 6,500 US babies are hospitalized each year due to influenza, many with serious disease, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.The researchers used population-based, lab-confirmed flu hospitalization surveillance data from 2003 through 2012. They found that an average 6,514 infants younger than 1 year were hospitalized each year, with a range of 1,842 to 12,502.They also noted that 75% of the hospitalizations were in otherwise healthy babies, among whom up to 10% were admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) and up to 4% had respiratory failure. ICU and respiratory-failure rates, however, were two to three times higher in infants with high-risk conditions. And those younger than 6 months were 40% more likely to be admitted to the ICU than were older babies.The team said that lung disease, heart disease, and neuromuscular disorders were risk factors for ICU admission.They conclude, “The impact of influenza on infants, particularly those very young or with high risk conditions, underscore the importance of influenza vaccination, especially among pregnant women and those in contact with young infants not eligible for vaccination.”Feb 26 Ped Infect Dis J abstract Measles outbreak involved patient who had 2 vaccine dosesA five-case measles outbreak in New York City in 2011 involved the first known reported case in a person who had received two doses of measles vaccine, according to a report yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The index patient then spread the disease to others who had either been vaccinated or had antibodies against measles.New York and CDC researchers studied medical histories and immunization records of the patients involved. Among 88 of the index patient’s contacts, 4 secondary cases were lab-confirmed and had either received two doses of measles vaccine or had a positive measles immunoglobulin G antibody test in the past.Neutralizing antibody titers of secondary cases reached more than 80,000 milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL) 3 to 4 days after rash onset, while titers for the index patient were less than 500 mIU/mL 9 days after rash onset. There were no tertiary cases identified despite numerous contacts, the investigators reported.The authors conclude, “This is the first report of measles transmission from a twice vaccinated individual. The clinical presentation and laboratory data of the index were typical of measles in a naive individual.”Feb 27 Clin Infect Dis abstractlast_img read more

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EDITORIAL: Stop spread of Covid-19 in jails, prisons

first_imgInside the correction system, officials should use the extra space to separate inmates as much as possible, do more testing to segregate sick inmates and to take other steps to interfere with the spread of the disease.Outside the walls, lawmakers ought to continue with the existing bail reforms unaltered so as not to add inmates to the system — at lease until they come up with well-thought-out measures to fix the flaws in the law.This is not a recommendation for throwing open the gates of hell. Nor is it unusual under these unusual circumstances.On Tuesday, for instance, New Jersey began the release of 1,000 inmates jailed for probation violations, those convicted in municipal courts and those sentenced for low-level crimes. New York City is considering releasing more than 1,000 inmates from its overcrowded Rikers Island jail. And other cities and states are taking or considering similar actions.New York needs to protect its citizens, including those in its custody.Done diligently, responsibly and with strong consideration for public safety, this can be an effective way to reduce the spread of this very contagious, very dangerous disease. GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouMany aren’t even serving time for actual new crimes, but instead have been tossed into cells for violating rules like not calling their parole officers or failing to make a meeting.Many have been convicted of minor, non-violent crimes that don’t involve threats to public safety. And many haven’t been convicted of any crime at all, but are jailed awaiting a court date for lack of bail after their arrest.Yet their lives, and the lives of other inmates, correctional officers and prison staff are in great danger because of the potential explosion of Covid-19 cases inside the walls.If health officials think spreading the virus is easy in a crowded bar or church, imagine how easily and quickly it could spread in jails and prisons, which are damp, unsanitary places where too many people are crammed into very close quarters with little ventilation and not enough measures to ensure cleanliness or proper hygiene. Most inmates aren’t even allowed access to hand-sanitizer because it contains alcohol.The combination of the coronavirus and these unique conditions could be a potential health catastrophe that state officials need to take immediate steps to address.To help slow the spread of the virus in jails and prisons, conditions need to be eased by reducing the concentration of people in these facilities. That should involve identifying non-violent and elderly inmates who pose absolutely no threat to society and then facilitating their early release.Many inmates, for instance, are within a month or so of their release dates and would be released in a short time anyway. They should be let go early. Many inmates who are in for minor parole violations or technical issues should be let go. Those involved in specific non-violent crimes should be considered for release. Categories: Editorial, OpinionNot everybody in a New York state jail or prison poses a danger to society.Not all are serving life-sentences.Not all of them are young punks or gang members lifting weights and looking for trouble. Many are elderly and sick individuals who have served many years behind bars and no longer resemble their once-criminal selves.center_img GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouMore from The Daily Gazette:HIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: No more extensions on vehicle inspectionsEDITORIAL: Make a game plan for voting. Do it now.last_img read more

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Alstom completes share buy-back

first_imgALSTOM: The public share buy-back offer which aimed to return to shareholders part of the proceeds of the energy business transaction with General Electric has been successfully completed, Alstom announced on January 28. Following the reduction mechanism, 91·5 million shares representing around 29·5% of Alstom’s capital have been repurchased for €3·2bn and cancelled. This takes the number of Alstom shares to approximately 220 million and market capitalisation to €5·4bn. Bouygues owns 28·3% of Alstom’s capital.The Alstom board has accepted Patrick Kron’s previously-announced resignation as Chairman& CEO with effect from February 1. He will be succeeded by Henri Poupart-Lafarge, who is currently Director & Executive Vice-President.last_img

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AWR Announces Agenda of Activities for IMS 2013

first_imgThis year at the IMS 2013 – International Microwave Symposium in Seattle, AWR in Booth #330, will showcase software demonstrations of key features in its current product release, V10, as well as a sneak-peek preview of features within its pending V11 release.  Demonstrations will Include: –          Microwave Office® design environment showcasing a Cree Class F power amplifier design –          Microwave Office design environment showcasing Marki Microwave’s new Microlithic mixer design –          Analyst™ 3D FEM EM simulation featuring a preview of V11 custom PCell generation for microwave connectors as well as antennas from Antenna Magus –          Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) featuring an enhanced radar library and novel radio frequency planning wizard, RFP™ –          AWR Connected™ to National Instruments: –          LabVIEW co-simulation for PA design including DPD, characterization, and test –          Multisim/Ultiboard layout compatibility enabling a complete circuit board design flow from DC to microwave frequencies –          802.11ac communication standard library IP sharing for design and test compatibility In addition to the many new features, technologies, and solutions featured in and around AWR’s booth, company technology experts will also be presenting nine MicroApps at the MicroApps Theater that provide additional insight into novel applications and technologies within AWR’s software.  AWR/NI Appreciation Party Last but certainly not least, AWR will hold its 9th annual Appreciation Party, AWR Games, on Wednesday night, June 5, at 7:00 pm at GameWorks in downtown Seattle. The event is being co-hosted by National Instruments and media sponsored by MicroWaves & RF Magazine. To register for this not-to-be-missed event, visit awrcorp.com/awr-ims-2013/9th-annual-appreciation-party or stop by AWR booth #330 for an invitation. More information is available at awrcorp.com/awr-ims-2013last_img read more

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Holmdel junior Legion team playing well early

first_imgEighteen players from the Holmdel High School baseball program are playing for the Union Beach Post 321 entry in the Monmouth County Junior American Legion baseball league this summer. Thus far the team is 2-1-2, with victories over CBA and Howell, a loss to Manalapan and a pair of ties against Marlboro and Freehold Township, in the latter contest Holmdel came back from a six-run deficit before darkness set in. “Last year, our junior legion team struggled, but this season we have a good mix of power and defense and some solid pitchers,” said Tom Hyland, one of the team’s coaches. “It’s a very balanced team.” Hyland noted that the pitching has been particularly good in the early going. Sophomore Jason Fernandez went the distance in the triumph over Howell, and junior Joe Solfaro picked up a win against CBA. In addition, sophomore Jean-Luc Orlando has had two strong outings. Fernandez, infielders Billy Allingham and Rob Palermo, and lefty-hitting first baseman Kevin Butler have been hitting well, all are sophomores. Junior third baseman Matt DiMaso, sophomore catcher Jason Hyland and freshman third baseman/catcher Trevor Sackawitch have all shown power at the plate. The younger Hyland, Sackawitch and junior second baseman Ryan Barber have played especially well on defense. In addition, the pitching staff is deep. Butler, Palermo and sophomores Chris Chrisalli and Anthony Patris provide plenty of depth. Other members of the team include sophomores Daniel Marrelli, a first baseman/DH; and Anthony Solfaro and Fran Van Cleeve, both outfielders; along with freshmen infielder Brendan Tschaen and outfielders John Calis and Michael Moryto. The senior Hyland noted that the presence Garber, Orlando and Joe Solfaro, all of whom saw some varsity time this year, is a steadying influence on the team. “Most of our guys are from the junior varsity and freshman teams, so it’s important that we have more experienced players who can be leaders,” he said. “It’s good for our younger guys because they have someone to look up to and it’s good for the varsity guys to be leaders.” Hyland noted that the junior legion league gives the younger players in coach Ed Reckage’s Holmdel program a chance to continue playing at a high level past the scholastic experience. “More game experience is a good thing,” he said. Besides the senior Hyland, the team’s coaches include John Calia, Joe Fernandez, Todd Sackawitch and Mike Tuozzo, a former Holmdel player. – Warren Rappleyealast_img read more

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