Global measles outbreaks make 2019 a record-setting year

first_imgMeasles continues to spread in global outbreaks, with the first 6 months of 2019 producing more measles cases than any year since 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a new report on measles activity in the first half of 2019.Between Jan 1 and Jul 31, 2019, 182 countries reported 364,808 measles cases to the WHO. During the same period last year, 129,239 measles cases were reported from 181 countries. These cases represent a 10-fold increase in the WHO’s African region, a twofold increase in the European region, and a threefold increase in the Western Pacific Region.”There have been almost three times as many cases reported to date in 2019 as there were at this same time last year,” the WHO said. “This follows successive yearly increases since 2016, indicating a concerning and continuing upsurge in the overall measles burden worldwide.”Countries reporting the most measles activity include Ukraine, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Madagascar. Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, and Thailand are also reporting major outbreaks.Most of those countries are seeing outbreaks because they have very low vaccination rates, the WHO said. But even countries with high vaccine coverage are seeing more measles activity.”The United States has reported its highest measles case count in 25 years. In the WHO European region, there have been close to 90,000 cases reported for the first six months of this year: this exceeds those recorded for the whole of 2018 (84,462) – already the highest in this current decade,” WHO said.In the United States, current measles outbreaks have been linked to international travel and travelers from Israel, the Philippines, and Ukraine.Measles is so contagious it requires a high community level vaccination rate – 95% – to prevent sustained transmission. The measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is effective and widely available as part of national vaccination programs.But globally, WHO estimates only 86% children have received the first dose of measles vaccine and 69% the second in 2019.US tracks 10 more casesIn its weekly update on measles outbreaks in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded 10 new cases, raising 2019’s total to 1,182. Thirty states have recorded cases thus far this year.As of Aug 8, 124 of the people who got measles this year were hospitalized, and 64 reported having complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis, the CDC said.More than 75% of the United States’ cases come from large outbreaks in New York state and New York City. Currently, the CDC is tracking five outbreaks (three or more cases) in Texas, California, Washington state, and New York.Late last week, health officials reported that five cases of measles have been confirmed within a Mennonite community in Wyoming County, New York. None of the five people had been vaccinated against measles.Wyoming County officials are currently investigating possible exposure sites. The outbreak will likely become New York State’s third active outbreak in 2019. The other two outbreaks have taken place in Orthodox Jewish communities.In June Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law ending all nonmedical exemptions for vaccines required for children to attend all public, private, and parochial schools as well as childcare programs across New York.See also:Aug 12 WHO report  Aug 12 CDC updateAug 8 Wyoming Country press releaselast_img read more

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Logistics for the energy revolution: Why shipping has a vital role…

first_imgThe latest US example shows renewable energy is becoming more cost-efficient and that the cost of building new solar and wind plants is lower than running existing coal-fired power plants. Naturally, technical developments will continue, further strengthening the case for renewables. Why RoRo make sense for breakbulk cargo Historically, the difference in cost between renewable energy and fossil fuels has been too great to support a shift to green energy. But with new and innovative technology coming onto the market, we’re now seeing a big change. Renewable energy is necessary for a sustainable future – green partnerships between cargo owners and transportation providers will also help to make that future a reality. It’s widely reported that radical change is taking place in the energy sector. But why is maritime such a green logistics choice for the major players? Stefan Kjellström, vice president for breakbulk and pricing at Wallenius Wilhelmsen, investigates. China and India ramp up in renewables race This is forcing manufacturers and engineers to think about logistics in new ways – with dismantled transportation one option. This technologically superior and sensitive equipment needs to be carefully handled and transported using a limited number of lifts to avoid damage. The logistics challenges ahead will require experience, global reach, and local support, as well as tailored equipment to ensure efficient and secure transportation. (Source: Wallenius Wilhelmsen) (Image Courtesy: Wallenius Wilhelmsen) As industries focus on sustainable technology, they must also take into account responsible and sustainable transportation. Author: Baibhav Mishra Everyone knows that global trade and maritime transportation are fundamental to sustaining economic growth. But maritime transportation will also become indispensable when for maintaining a sustainable global economy. It’s the most environmentally-sound mode of mass transport, both in terms of energy efficiency and pollution prevention. By: Stefan Kjellström, Vice president for breakbulk and pricing at Wallenius Wilhelmsen A good example is Kamuthi – a single plant in India that powers more than 150,000 homes. Likewise, the Gansu wind farm in China is targeting a staggering 20 gigawatts capacity by 2020. In Europe, there are plans for offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 100 gigawatts. Within the shipping industry, responsible shipping lines should strive to continuously minimise their environmental footprint through innovative technology and sophisticated engineering. Vessel design should mirror this. With digital transformation a key part of the fourth industrial revolution, big data is being used to track and control vessel performance, which should in turn lead to a lower CO2 footprint. These developments – in combination with technical innovations – mean that it’s only natural that some of the equipment for these projects is growing in size. Turbines are moving towards 1,000 tonnes in weight and some giant solar panels are now too big for transportation in containers. Around the globe, huge wind and solar energy farms are being built. China and India are at the forefront, competing to run the world’s largest renewable power plants. Sea News, August 13last_img read more

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British baby Charlie Gard dies, was center of legal battle

first_imgFILE- In this file photo dated Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Connie Yates, mother of critically ill baby with a rare genetic disease Charlie Gard arrives at the Royal Court of Justice in London. British media are reporting a family announcement that 11-month old Charlie Gard, has died Friday July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, FILE) LONDON | Charlie Gard, the critically ill British baby at the center of a contentious legal battle that attracted the attention of Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, died Friday, according to a family spokeswoman. He would have turned 1 next week.Charlie suffered from a rare genetic disease, mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which caused brain damage and left him unable to breathe unaided.His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, raised more than 1.3 million pounds ($1.7 million) to take him to the United States for an experimental medical therapy they believed could prolong his life. But Charlie’s doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London objected, saying the treatment wouldn’t help and might cause him to suffer. The dispute ended up in court.Charlie’s case became a flashpoint for debates on the rights of both children and parents, on health-care funding, medical interventions, the responsibilities of hospitals and medical workers and the role of the state.Alison Smith-Squire, a family spokeswoman, confirmed to The Associated Press that Charlie died Friday but no further details were released. In a statement, Yates was quoted as saying “our beautiful little boy has gone, we’re so proud of him.”After months of legal battles, High Court Judge Nicholas Francis ruled Thursday that Charlie should be transferred to a hospice and taken off life support after his parents and the hospital that had been treating him failed to agree on an end-of-life care plan for the infant.Under British law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree on the treatment of a child. In such cases, the rights of the child take primacy over the parents’ right to decide what’s best for their offspring. The principle applies even in cases where parents have an alternative point of view, such as when religious beliefs prohibit blood transfusions.The case made it all the way to Britain’s Supreme Court as Charlie’s parents refused to accept decisions by a series of judges who backed Great Ormond Street. But the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts, saying it was in Charlie’s best interests that he be allowed to die.The case caught the attention of Trump and the pope after the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene. The two leaders sent tweets of support for Charlie and his parents, triggering a surge of grassroots action, including a number of U.S. right-to-life activists who flew to London to support Charlie’s parents.The hospital reported that its doctors and nurses were receiving serious threats over Charlie’s case and London police were investigating.The intervention of two of the world’s most powerful men made the case a talking point for the planet. Images of Charlie hooked to a tube while dozing peacefully in a star-flecked navy blue onesie graced websites, newspapers and television news programs.Medical ethicist Arthur Caplan said the case shows how the medical profession is struggling to adjust to the age of social media, which puts the general public in the middle of decisions that in the past would have been private issues for doctors and the family.“I do think that in an era of social media, it is possible to rally huge numbers of people to your cause,” said Caplan, of New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “The medical ethics have not caught up.”The heated commentary prompted Judge Francis to criticize the effects of social media and those “who know almost nothing about this case but who feel entitled to express opinions.”But in the end, the increased attention did little for Charlie.While offers of help from the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu children’s hospital in Rome and doctors at Columbia University Medical Center in New York were enough to reopen the case, the High Court ultimately decided the proposed treatment wouldn’t help Charlie. His parents gave up their fight on Monday after scans showed that Charlie’s muscles had deteriorated so much that the damage was irreversible.“Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you,” his parents wrote when they announced their decision. “We had the chance but we weren’t allowed to give you that chance.“Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight, our beautiful little boy.” FILE – In this file photo dated Monday, July 24, 2017, Chris Gard, the father of critically ill baby Charlie Gard reads a statement next to mother Connie Yates, right, at the end of their case at the High Court in London. British media are reporting a family announcement that 11-month old Charlie Gard, has died Friday July 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, FILE)last_img read more

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Giving the second six a chance

first_imgBeggar dead in Quezon hit-and-run incident This gives everybody a chance to play, pleasing players and eager parents who find it difficult when their child doesn’t get to play even when they’re all suited up.Now this is being attempted in volleyball and most coaches have welcomed the innovation but recognize the challenge of matching up even after taking the first set of a match.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnIt’s volleyball, given that coaches rely on a strong starting six. The game is anchored on fluidity and chemistry that six players and one libero have to learn to play a solid game as one unit. Very often two to three players will come off the bench, either to change the setter, add a taller blocker or insert a reliable server.The rest of the team seems accustomed to the reality that they will most likely not play in a game unless the game becomes too one-sided, an injury downs a starter or the coach simply wants to try something new. The “second six,” as volleyball often likes to call the reserves, does most of its work in training, pushing the starting lineup to play better. Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite 2 ‘bookies’ bet collectors held in Quezon Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties China counts sharp rise in coronavirus cases, 2 in Beijing The Philippine Superliga 2017 Invitational volleyball tournament plays with a rule that requires teams to field a new starting six in the second set of its matches.Those who have had young children play in some organized basketball leagues are familiar with this: A starting five plays the first quarter, a different one for the second and third and the best possible unit goes for the win in the final phase.ADVERTISEMENT Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties View comments Taal Volcano continues to emit steam, ash from weak explosions The current innovation will give the six competing teams—Cignal, Petron, Generika-Ayala, Foton and newcomers CocoLife and Sta. Lucia—a chance to use more of their players, many of whom are stars from the collegiate ranks.It can be disappointing at times when you see a former college standout languishing on the sideline simply because there are other better stars on the team or their skills are not needed in certain game situations.With the innovation, expect that there will be more extended matches than three-set shutouts although powerhouse Petron did exactly that against newcomer Sta. Lucia in the third game on opening day.Four sets per match might become the norm given the “second six” rule but that shouldn’t disappoint volleyball diehard who relish the extended action.Let’s hope that the rule also brings out the best in many of the players who now get the chance to strut their wares alongside the acknowledged stars of the game.ADVERTISEMENT Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely MOST READ Orchard returns to pal champions’ circle Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac townlast_img read more

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