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WHO issues rapid-response plan for flu pandemic

first_imgJan 27, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a draft plan for nipping a potential influenza pandemic in the bud, saying that even if such an attempt fails, it may buy precious time to make more vaccine and improve other preparations.The 16-page plan calls for using quarantine, social distancing, and antiviral drugs to try to stop an emerging pandemic flu virus, if it can be detected early enough. The WHO intends to refine the plan by Apr 1 and begin training rapid-response teams in May.”Containment of a potential pandemic has never been attempted; the world has never before received an advance warning that a pandemic may be imminent,” the “WHO Pandemic Influenza Draft Protocol for Rapid Response and Containment” states. “The practical and logistics challenges are formidable and success is not assured.”Indeed, many disease experts are skeptical that stopping an emerging pandemic is possible, given the weak public health and disease surveillance systems in many of the countries hardest hit by H5N1 avian flu, where a pandemic is considered most likely to start. Skeptics also cite the lack of a vaccine and scant supplies of antiviral drugs.But the WHO document says the attempt should be made, because it could save millions of lives and prevent economic and social disruption.”Even if containment efforts ultimately fail to stop the emergence of a fully fit pandemic virus, these efforts could slow the initial spread of the pandemic and give countries time to increase preparedness,” the draft states.”Each day gained following the emergence of a pandemic virus—if rapidly detected—allows the production of around 5 million doses of a pandemic vaccine. Each added day gives countries more time to adapt routine health services to an emergency situation.”In addition, efforts to develop a capability for rapid containment will help strengthen national, regional, and international health capacities, the plan says.As reasons for hope that containment is possible, the WHO cites Hong Kong’s experience with the H5N1 virus in 1997, when the destruction of all poultry prevented further avian outbreaks and human cases. The plan also mentions two mathematical modeling studies that suggested that containment may be possible under certain conditions.The purpose of the plan is to facilitate rapid detection of potential signs that the H5N1 virus (or other potential pandemic flu strains) is becoming more transmissible among humans and to guide effective responses before the virus can escape an initial outbreak zone, the document says.Under the plan, countries are responsible for surveillance—looking for signals indicating that a novel flu virus has begun to spread from person to person. One possible signal would be the discovery of a virus that has a hemagglutinin gene derived from a nonhuman flu virus and internal genes derived from a human flu virus. Another likely signal would be a finding that a novel flu virus has spread from one person to at least five others.Countries are expected to report such signals to the WHO within 24 hours. The agency then will consider whether a containment effort is warranted and feasible. Containment will not be attempted if there is no laboratory confirmation of a novel flu virus or if the virus has already spread so far as to make quarantine impractical, the plan says.If containment is attempted, the country involved will be expected to coordinate with the WHO in implementing quarantine measures, distributing and administering antiviral drugs, conducting surveillance, and implementing other public health measures. In the quarantine zone, antivirals will be used to treat sick people and to prevent illness in those with no symptoms, according to the plan.”The concept of rapid containment depends upon the rapid availability of antiviral drugs and additional supplies and equipment,” the plan notes. It says the WHO’s stockpile of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) now amounts to 1.5 million treatment courses and will grow to 3 million courses by May, with another 2 million courses pledged by Roche, the manufacturer.A number of countries are building their own stockpiles, and some regional stockpiles are planned as well, the WHO says. There is no coordination among the various stockpiles, but the WHO hopes to “define the operational relationships” among them so that they can be used in a coordinated way to support rapid response and containment.The document doesn’t address the question of whether existing antivirals will be effective against a pandemic strain. Experience with the use of oseltamivir in people infected with H5N1 has yielded little evidence of its effectiveness, though patients may have received the drug too late, according to a report published in The Lancet last week.The WHO will mobilize and coordinate all international and regional support for an affected country, the plan promises.The agency plans to assign three to five staff members to a working group, augmented by recruits from other organizations, to further develop the plan. The WHO timeline calls for drafting a more detailed plan by Mar 6 and then holding a global meeting in Geneva from Mar 6 to 10 to reach agreement on “fundamental concepts and standard operating procedures.”Next the agency will develop teaching materials and recruit faculty so that training of rapid-response teams can begin in May, the document says. Teams will include people with skills in laboratory diagnostics, epidemiology, clinical management, infection control, veterinary medicine, ethics, and other areas. They will receive about 2 weeks of training.The rapid-response plan is one of three major strategies for addressing the pandemic threat, the WHO says. The other two consist of the efforts to contain H5N1 avian flu in poultry and the efforts to improve the world’s general preparedness for a pandemic.See also:WHO draft plan for rapid response and containmenthttp://www2.wpro.who.int/NR/rdonlyres/EDA8DF37-AD85-425E-9431-1D80476C2639/0/WHOHQ20060530.pdflast_img read more

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Bayern boss backs Dortmund’s stance on Aubameyang

first_imgBerlin, Germany | AFP | Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has backed the decision by Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund to drop star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang amid reports he is chasing a move to Arsenal.Aubameyang was again omitted from the Dortmund squad for Friday’s German league clash at Hertha Berlin having also been suspended by Borussia head coach Peter Stoeger for last Sunday’s goalless draw at home to Wolfsburg.The 28-year-old has hit 13 goals in 15 league games this season, scoring 21 times in 23 matches in all competitions.However, he was disciplined for the third time in the last 16 months for failing to attend a team meeting last weekend.His father and agent Pierre is reportedly in London trying to organise a move to Arsenal for the Gabon star, but Heynckes says Dortmund were right to drop their top-scorer.The 72-year-old Bayern boss says he is especially sympathetic after Ousmane Dembele boycotted training at Dortmund last August in a bid to force Borussia to eventually sell him to Barcelona.“What’s going on in Dortmund with Dembele and Aubameyang you have to look at very critically,” Heynckes said in Munich on Friday.“I think that any future club should think twice about taking on a player like that and I can honestly say, I would reject such a player. “It’s still a team sport and there is no place for it.“We have to be careful that fans don’t turn their backs on us at some point.”Heynckes said he could not imagine a similar scenario evolving for one of his players at Bayern.“You have to show a player that you just can’t behave like that,” he added.“I don’t want to say it would never happen at Bayern, but I must honestly say I can’t imagine it.“Players have their responsibilities, they have a big commitment to their club, so it’s not enough to just look at the bank balance at the end of the month.”Dortmund are fourth in the table while Bayern start the weekend with a 13-point lead over nearest rivals RB Leipzig before Sunday’s home match against Werder Bremen.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Liriano, Alvarez lead Pirates past struggling Nationals 4-2

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) – Francisco Liriano knows what it feels like to pitch an entire game without allowing a hit.Good as he was Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander wasn’t about to allow his mind to start wandering in that direction too soon.Liriano did not allow a hit until the sixth inning against a struggling and depleted Nationals lineup, and Pedro Alvarez homered off an otherwise-dominant Stephen Strasburg, leading Pittsburgh past Washington 4-2.“Everything was working the way I wanted,” said Liriano (10-4), who wound up giving up two singles across 7 2-3 innings while striking out eight batters.Liriano threw a no-hitter for the Twins against the White Sox on May 3, 2011, but on Wednesday, he said, “I think (it) was too early in the game to think about it. It was the fifth inning. I just want to give a chance to the guys to win a ballgame.”He managed to do just that on a night that Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg (5-8) was terrific.Strasburg struck out 12 and did not walk anyone in eight innings. He gave up only one run and two hits, all in the second inning. That included a leadoff shot by Pedro Alvarez, who drove a 96 mph fastball over the wall in right-center for his 26th homer.Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said the homer gave him goose bumps.“The wind is blowing in. When that ball is hit, I’m thinking, ‘OK, he’s on second.’ And then I see some fans stand up and I go, ‘Wait a minute.’ … A backspin 2-iron. I’ve seen a lot of home runs. I’ve seen a lot of hard-hit balls,” Hurdle said. “But that one got my attention.”It was Strasburg’s ninth career game with 10 or more strikeouts and first this season. His career high remains the 14 Ks from his major league debut on June 8, 2010, against Pittsburgh.But the Nationals fell to 0-6 since the All-Star break – scoring a grand total of 13 runs in that span – and have lost 11 of their last 13 games.“We need to win some games,” Strasburg said. “It’s getting to the point where our back’s against the wall.”Liriano walked the first batter he faced, then retired 11 in a row before another walk. Five more outs followed, before rookie Anthony Rendon reached on what was ruled an infield single with two away in the sixth.Third baseman Alvarez dove to his left to stop the ball, but it popped out of his glove, and he couldn’t quite corral it. The next batter walked, but Liriano struck out cleanup hitter Jayson Werth looking to end the inning.The Pirates tacked on three insurance runs in the ninth against relievers Drew Storen and Fernando Abad, thanks to Neil Walker’s RBI double and Michael McKenry’s two-run single. That became pivotal when Werth hit a two-run shot, his 15th homer of the year, off reliever Justin Wilson in the bottom of the ninth. Werth is seemingly the only Nationals batter capable of producing at the moment; he’s hit five homers in the past four games.Wilson was replaced by Mark Melancon, who got the last three outs to earn his third save, ending with a double play on which second baseman Walker whiffed on his attempted tag of runner Wilson Ramos.“Not even close. He never tagged me,” Ramos said.He argued the call with umpire Laz Diaz, to no avail.“Maybe,” Ramos said, “he (wanted) to go home.”Nationals spokesman John Dever declined to check whether the umpiring crew would respond to reporters’ request for comment.Notes: Melancon is filling in for closer Jason Grilli, on the disabled list with a strained right forearm. … The Pirates play 14 of their final 59 games against the St. Louis Cardinals, the team Pittsburgh trails in the NL Central standings. “It is unique. I think it kind of pushes you,” Hurdle said. … On Thursday, the Pirates will start RHP A.J. Burnett (4-7, 3.07) against Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-3, 2.89). Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Wednesday, July 24, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)last_img read more

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Saint Martin’s University: 9th in Nation Among Private, Non-Doctoral-Granting Institutions for…

first_imgFacebook111Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Saint Martin’s University Saint Martin’s University has been designated a Military Friendly school for 2019-2020 by VIQTORY and ranked ninth in the nation within the category of private, non-doctoral-granting institutions. The Military Friendly Schools list is designed to provide a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families about the higher education institutions that give the best opportunities to veterans and their spouses. VIQTORY creates the Military Friendly Schools list each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly Schools survey from participating institutions.“Supporting those men and women who have sacrificed for their families and our country is an honor, and we are proud of the military service personnel who are the real “Saints” in our community,” said Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, Ph.D., dean of enrollment.The 2019-2020 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May issue of G.I. Jobs magazine. The list can also be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.“We are honored to have been selected for our decades-long academic support of the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nation’s well-being and security,” said Cruz Arroyo, associate dean for administration for Saint Martin’s University – Joint Base Lewis-McChord Campuses. “We don’t take this honor lightly, and we’ll continue earning this highly regarded designation on a daily basis.”For more information about the resources and programs that Saint Martin’s offers to support the military community, both at its Lacey and JBLM campuses, visit the military community page on the Saint Martin’s website.VIQTORY is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects the military community to civilian employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities through its G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse, and Military Friendly® brands.Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 26 majors and ten graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.last_img read more

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KOBE’S BACK, LORD NELSON & SUBTLE INDIAN HEAD POWERFUL LINEUP IN SATURDAY’S GRADE I, $300,000 TRIPLE BEND STAKES AT SEVEN PANELS

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (June 22, 2016)–A two-time graded stakes winner at Santa Anita this past winter, slow starting Kobe’s Back, along with sharp recent allowance winner Lord Nelson, and multiple stakes winner Subtle Indian, head a powerful field of eight sprinters in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Triple Bend Stakes at seven furlongs.First run as the Lakes and Flowers Handicap at Hollywood Park in 1952, the Triple Bend, named for owner Frank McMahon’s 1972 Santa Anita Handicap winner, will be contested for the 65th time on Saturday and be run for third consecutive year at Santa Anita. THE GRADE I TRIPLE BEND STAKES IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS Race 8 (of 9)                                                                                                       Approximate post time 5 p.m. PDT KOBE’S BACK: Notoriously tardy from the gate, he added blinkers three starts back and responded with a couple of impressive Grade II wins. On Feb. 7, he took the six furlong Palos Verdes and on March 12, he annexed the seven furlong San Carlos Stakes. In his most recent start on Kentucky Derby Day, May 7, he was away in customarily slow fashion and rallied well to be third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths, in the Grade II, seven furlong Churchill Downs. With a 10-3-2-2 record at seven furlongs and a 6-3-2-0 mark at Santa Anita, conditions would appear to be to order for the 5-year-old son of Flatter who has Santa Anita’s Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 5 at the top of his 2016 agenda. Owned by Lee and Susan Searing’s CRK Stable and trained by Peter Eurton, he’ll be accompanied for the 11th consecutive time by Gary Stevens on Saturday. With an overall record of 19-5-3-3, Kobe’s Back is the leading money earner in the field with earnings of $1,000,250. LORD NELSON: In his first start for B.Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Lord Nelson overcame a six month absence to run perhaps the best race of his career in winning a third condition allowance here on June 3 going six furlongs. Third to last year’s Eclipse Award winning sprinter, Run Happy, two starts back in the Grade I, seven furlong Malibu Stakes Dec. 26, Bob Baffert’s Lord Nelson was a winner at three of the Grade II, seven furlong San Vicente Stakes here on Feb. 1, 2015 and has been no worse than third in three tries at the Triple Bend distance. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Pulpit, Lord Nelson earned a career-best 99 Beyer Speed figure in his most recent win and could be the horse to beat on Saturday. Clever Royal–Martin Pedroza–120Kobe’s Back–Gary Stevens–122Cautious Giant–Fernando Perez–120Lord Nelson–Rafael Bejarano–120Ambitious Brew–Kent Desormeaux–120Subtle Indian–Mike Smith–120Home Run Kitten–Joe Talamo–120Coastline–Tyler Baze–120First post time on Saturday, Gold Cup at Santa Anita Day, is at 1:30 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com. SUBTLE INDIAN: Although he’s the speed of the race, multiple stakes winning Subtle Indian, who shipped west from Oaklawn Park to run a solid second in the Grade II, 6 ½ furlong Kona Gold Stakes here May 21, would appear to be a question mark at seven furlongs, but with “Big Money” Mike Smith taking over for the first time, he merits added respect. Second, beaten a length with regular rider Ramon Vasquez up, he set torrid splits of 21.40, 44.20 and 1:08.60 in the Kona Gold and went under by a length at the hands of multiple stakes winner Wild Dude. Trained by Robertino Diodoro, it’ll be up to Smith to ration his considerable early zip. Owned by Mercedes Stables, LLC, 4-year-old gelding Subtle Indian, who has never run as far as seven furlongs, has seven wins from 10 starts and has earnings of $540,300. TOUGH FIELD OF EIGHT 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP TO CONTEST 65TH RUNNING OF THE TRIPLE BENDlast_img read more

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