FLU NEWS SCAN: Pandemic vaccine uptake, vaccine doses pulled, virus-related patents

first_imgApr 4, 2011Pandemic vaccine coverage in Germany was lowGerman uptake of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine was low in people older than 14, standing at about 8% for the general population and at almost 13% in healthcare workers and those with underlying medical conditions. Researchers reported their findings in an Apr 2 online article in Vaccine. They based their study on 13 telephone surveys that were conducted between November 2009 and April 2010. During the pandemic the German government purchased an adjuvanted monovalent vaccine (Pandremix, made by GlaxoSmithKline) for high-risk groups and the general public and an unadjuvanted vaccine made by CSL for pregnant women. They found that people who received seasonal flu immunizations were more likely to receive the pandemic vaccine. The authors concluded that pandemic vaccine uptake was low when compared with that in some other industrialized countries. For example, the coverage for healthcare workers was about 37% in the United States and 85% in the Netherlands. The researchers concluded that the low pandemic vaccination rates are a concern, particularly for at-risk groups, and signal the need to improve future pandemic vaccination and communication strategies.Apr 2 Vaccine abstractWHO details virus-related patents in pandemic preparedness reportThe World Health Organization (WHO) on Apr 1 released a report compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), another United Nations agency, on flu pandemic preparedness patents and patent applications. The report’s purpose is to assist the WHO’s virus-sharing working group, which over the past several years has been grappling with how to assure that developing countries that share influenza viruses with the international research community and pharmaceutical industry benefit from the resulting vaccines, medications, and diagnostic tests. The WIPO report covers patents related to the H5N1 avian influenza virus and the 2009 H1N1 virus. The group identified 27 “patent families” clearly relevant to H5N1 and four patent families relevant to H1N1, all of them involving viral components or derivatives thereof. The authors found 35 more H5N1 and eight more H1N1 patent families that may be relevant. Of the patents that were relevant, 73% were vaccines, 24% were diagnostics, and 3% were therapeutics. None of the patents consisted of a sole element, such as a native virus. They also identified some patents that included known viral sequences. They found a number of patents from developed-world companies that are now co-owned by companies in developing countries, which they said could be an emerging model for ensuring broader access to new technology. The WHO’s virus-sharing working group is slated to report on its latest developments at the World Health Assembly, scheduled for May 16 to 24 in Geneva.Apr 1 WHO/WIPO pandemic influenza patent reportNarcolepsy concern prompts Ireland to pull remaining Pandemrix dosesIreland’s health ministry has decided to pull all remaining supplies of Pandemrix, the monovalent pandemic H1N1 vaccine, from general practitioner (GP) offices because of the suspected link to narcolepsy cases, the Independent newspaper reported yesterday. Eight narcolepsy cases have been reported in Pandemrix recipients in Ireland, most of them in young people. An increased risk of narcolepsy has also been reported in vaccinees in Finland and Sweden. Dr. Kevin Kelleher of the Irish Health Service Executive advised physicians in January not to use Pandemrix unless there was a shortage of seasonal flu vaccine (which contains the 2009 H1N1 strain). In a recent letter, Kelleher told physicians that remaining supplies of Pandemrix would be picked up from GP sites in the next few weeks, the newspaper reported. He said there has been no need to use the monovalent vaccine because extra supplies of seasonal vaccine were delivered.Apr 3 Independent storylast_img read more

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FDA identifies common grower in romaine E coli outbreaks

first_imgThe Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has identified a common lettuce grower connected to three ongoing but separate outbreaks of Escherichia coli O157:H7: an outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California, an outbreak tied to bagged Fresh Express salad mixes, and one linked to a restaurant chain in Washington state.”The FDA, CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], and our state partners have identified a common grower between each of the outbreaks,” the FDA said.”It’s still too early to conclusively determine whether other sources may have also been involved in the outbreaks. However, progress is being made, and the FDA is actively investigating other traceback leads identified to determine if we can triangulate a more precise location of the contamination.”Complex trace-back effortsThe FDA, which did not specify the Salinas-area grower, said investigations into these outbreaks are challenging.”Since it is common for people who become ill from a leafy green like romaine lettuce to eat the food frequently, a solid traceback investigation requires specific details about all the food exposures a person had prior to becoming sick,” the agency said. “This means the critical elements of a successful traceback—identifying which exposures most likely led to illnesses, and which to trace back to—is complex.”Health officials in Washington state say 13 people have gotten sick with E coli O157:H7, and 3 have been hospitalized, with all reports of exposure in early to mid-November at six locations of Evergreens restaurants in Seattle.Field inspections conducted at Evergreens restaurants did not show environmental or behavioral risk factors associated with the spread of E coli. This means a contaminated product served at the restaurants could be the cause of the outbreak, Washington officials said.Bagged lettuce connected to 2 other outbreaksIn Wisconsin, an E coli outbreak has been connected to romaine grown in Salinas, California. Thirty-three people have been sickened so far in this outbreak in that state, and the outbreak strain was identified in a bag of chopped Fresh Express brand Leafy Green Romaine lettuce with a use by date of Nov 14, 2019, and lot code of Z301 A05B, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said.Illness-onset dates range from Nov 7 to 19, and 14 of 33 cases have been hospitalized, state health officials said, including 2 people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.As of Dec 4, the CDC said 102 people in 23 states (including 31 of the Wisconsin cases) had been sickened in this outbreak associated with romaine grown in Salinas. Of the 58 people hospitalized in this outbreak, 10 had HUS.The third outbreak also involves a Fresh Express product—with this one being a bagged salad mix, Sunflower Crisp—and has sickened 16 people in Canada and 8 in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Romaine is an ingredient in the Sunflower Crisp salad mix, but this outbreak is caused by a different strain than the aforementioned 102-case outbreak.One person in this outbreak has developed HUS.See also:Dec 12 FDA statement Seattle King County statement Dec 10 Wisconsin Department of Health Services statement Dec 4 CDC updateDec 12 CDC updatelast_img read more

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Christine Bernstein Files For School Board District 3 (Aspen) Seat

first_imgChristine Bernstein filed for the District 3 (Aspen) seat on the Los Alamos School Board today at the County Municipal Building. Bernstein was the final candidate to file before the 5 p.m. deadline. ‘I’m a teacher and I’ve wanted to be part of the decision making about my profession for 15 years!’ Bernstein said. ‘Now is the time!’ Bernstein teaches high school Spanish in Pojoaque. ‘Now that I’m not teaching in a district I live in, I can run and still be in the classroom,’ she said. ‘The faces I see at school every day ARE education. I know what goes on in a classroom because I’m in it.’ Bernstein wants to advocate for innovation that will bring students into the future, she said, adding that she also wants to be a voice for middle school students. ‘My goal is to be a voice for students and teachers,’ she said. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.comlast_img read more

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Farmer’s Market Produce & Summer Salads

first_imgSummer Salad Ideas:Roasted beet, goat cheese and toasted walnuts with local greensCucumber and tomato panzanella (uses bread croutons)Fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato and basil (caprese)Edamame, feta or goat cheese, green onion, basil and dried cranberries (no dressing but a little olive oil required)Avocado, corn, jalapeno and diced zucchini (raw or cooked)Grilled squash, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes (olive oil, salt & pepper)pesto orzo pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumberPesto can be made with basil, carrot tops, arugula or fennel fronds (or a combo), and can be made with or without nuts and cheese. See recipe below. Other Tasty Plant-Based Ideas You Can Find Online:Bon Appetit Moroccan Lentils (make without chicken)Fresh Tomato TartGrilled Eggplant Roll-UpsFood 52 Zucchini InvoltiniRoasted Corn with Lime, Spices and Cotija CheeseOven-Roasted Green Beans or Shishito PeppersRoasted Sweet Potato Cubes with Chickpeas and Chipotle-Apricot YogurtSmitten Kitchen’s Leek FrittersGrilled Veggie QuesadillasDutch Baby/Oven Pancake with Fresh or Sautéed Fruit (breakfast)Fresh Fruit Smoothies & Fruit Salads Zero Waste Tip: Buy from local Farmer’s Market. Buying groceries from a local Farmer’s Market conserves energy and resources in the form of less fuel of transportation and less packaging.COUNTY News:With summer’s bounty of fresh produce just around the corner, here are some healthy and delicious ideas for you and your family to eat more veggies this season. Remember that produce from the farmer’s market or co-op supports local, family-run farms and uses less energy to transport and refrigerate before it gets to the consumer. Eating more vegetables is both healthy and tasty!Try some of these recipes for your next meal! Remember to dine with reusable plates, flatware, cups and napkins. Keeping waste out of our landfills takes action on everyone’s part! For waste disposal, use one bag for trash and one bag for empty and rinsed recyclables. Go the extra step and collect food scraps in a compost bag! Eating well and reducing waste can be part of every summer meal.This salad dressing should pair well with most of the yummy salads below:center_img Fruit and nuts make yummy additions of fiber and protein to any salad. Try fresh peaches and pecans, pears and walnuts, cherries and pistachios, or apple and almonds!last_img read more

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New gas sensing pill monitors gut gases

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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Burckhardt appoints new President of Services Division

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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Liebherr hits mobile harbour crane milestone

first_imgMontoir Bulk Terminal is a subsidiary of the SEA-invest Group, which is one of the world’s largest terminal operators for dry bulk, fruit and liquid bulk. SEA-invest Group operates 25 ports spread across three continents.Its new crane, type LPS 550 (pictured below), has a maximum lifting capacity of 144 tonnes and a boom length of 48 m.In 1974, when Liebherr entered the market, it says that demand for mobile harbour cranes was small. After 20 years of moderate but constant business, Liebherr achieved its 100th LHM delivery in 1994.By 2001, Liebherr had received an order for its 300th LHM and the 500th was delivered in 2005.By 2009, Liebherr had supplied its 800th LHM crane.Whilst it took 31 years to sell the first 500 Liebherr mobile harbour cranes, the other 500 have been accomplished in less than seven years, which Liebherr says is a testament to the enduring increase in demand for flexible cargo handling solutions.www.liebherr.comlast_img read more

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Agenda for Breakbulk Europe 2012 conference announced

first_imgThe programme features two days of panel and keynote discussions and well as workshops and networking events for those in the heavy lift and breakbulk transportation sector. Highlights from the recently released agenda include discussions of technology issues for the industry, the growing complexity of risks and liabilities in cargo moves and the influence of other shipping sectors on the breakbulk market. In addition, the topic of so-called “giga-projects,” which are creating new challenges amid rising energy demand, will be explored in depth.”Last year, the Breakbulk Europe conference grew to be our largest event in 2011 at 4,300-plus attendees. We are excited to host even more guests this year. The agenda for Breakbulk Europe 2012 will provide real insight into areas of major growth to even more people in our industry,” said Alli McEntyre, Breakbulk vice president and publisher.UBM Global Trade’s Breakbulk division organises a trio of major conferences and exhibitions each yearBreakbulk Europe, Breakbulk China and Breakbulk Americas. In addition, three two-day congresses will be added this year: Breakbulk Africa, August 7 – 8 in Cape Town, South Africa; Breakbulk South America, December 4 – 5 in Sao Paulo; and Breakbulk India, Nov. 20 – 21 in Mumbai.www.breakbulkevents.comlast_img read more

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Metra grants

first_imgLAST MONTH the US Federal Transit Administration awarded grants totalling more than $50m to Chicago commuter rail operator Metra under a November 2001 agreement to provide 60% funding for three projects costing $558m.The awards include $24m for double-tracking of the North Central line between Antioch and Franklin Park, which will allow passenger operations to be increased from 10 weekday peak-hour trips to an all-day service of 22 trains. Another $22m will go towards improvements on the 62·7 km Southwest line. This is being extended by 17·7 km from Orland Park to Manhattan, together with track upgrading, resignalling, some double-tracking and two new stations. The final $4·6m will help fund work on the 58 km UP West line, which is being extended 12·9 km from Geneva to Elburn serving two new stations, and being expanded with a third main track to improve operating flexibility.last_img read more

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China donates $2m to WFP for Somalia aid

first_imgAuthorities in Somalia are grappling with the effects of climatic change.According to a recent  Food and Agriculture Organization report  five million people in Somalia are not getting enough food, which is more than 40 percent of the country’s population. Among them, over 300,000 children under five are acutely malnourished.The Chinese government has donated two million U.S. dollars to the World Food Programme (WFP) for its humanitarian work in Somalia as part of China’s assistance to the Horn of African nation.The  donation will go towards providing access to nutritious and curative food for malnourished children and mothers.last_img read more

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