Tests indicate an arenavirus in South African deaths

first_img Charles H. Calisher, a former viral disease moderator on ProMED-mail, wrote in a ProMED post yesterday that scientists are eager to learn if the arenavirus that caused the recent infections represents a new type or a variant of a previously recognized arenavirus. Calisher is a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University in Ft Collins. Oct 13, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that preliminary tests indicate that an arenavirus—possibly a previously unknown one—is responsible for the mysterious febrile disease that killed three people in South Africa and has now sickened a fourth. Further testing to better characterize the arenavirus is underway at the NICD and the CDC, the WHO statement said. Lucille Blumberg, head of the NICD’s epidemiology and outbreak response unit, said it remains to be learned whether the virus is a previously unrecognized member of the arenaviruses, according to the Mercury report. Arenaviruses are typically spread to humans through contact with urine or feces of infected host animals, such as eating contaminated food or contact with abraded skin. Lassa and Machupo arenaviruses have been associated with secondary person-to-person or nosocomial infections, typically through direct contact with blood or other secretions, according to the CDC. Members of the arenavirus family are associated with rodent-transmitted diseases in humans, and a number of them can cause hemorrhagic fevers, according to information from the CDC’s Special Pathogens Branch. An earlier WHO statement said the patients who died had some symptoms that suggested a viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF), but bleeding was not a marked clinical feature. See also: CDC fact sheet on arenaviruses The tests were conducted at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the WHO announced in a statement today. The nurse has a febrile illness and thrombocytopenia, according to Blumberg, who commented on the case today in a post on ProMED-mail, the online reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. She said the patient is being treated with ribavirin, a drug that is effective against Lassa fever but has unknown efficacy for the current arenavirus. Blumberg, in her ProMED post today, commented that arenaviruses have been found in South African rodents in the past, but they have not been known to cause disease in humans. Members of the arenavirus family are divided into two groups—Old World and New World—depending on the mouse reservoir species. Five arenaviruses have been known to cause disease in humans. Four of them are primarily limited to South America, and one, Lassa virus, is found in much of West Africa, according to the CDC. Oct 13 WHO statement Janusz T. Paweska, who heads the NICD’s special pathogens unit, said the tests were done on skin, liver, and muscle tissue from two healthcare workers who died after they had contact with the index patient, according to a report yesterday from The Mercury, a newspaper based in Durban, South Africa. He said tests on blood samples from the index patient, a woman from Zambia who got sick while on a safari and died in a Johannesburg hospital on Sep 14, also detected the virus. (A previous report from the NICD said no samples from the patient had been available.) The latest confirmed  case in the cluster is in a nurse who became ill after close contact with one of the earlier victims. The WHO said the nurse’s infection was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in South Africa. The patient has been hospitalized, and authorities have identified and are monitoring her contacts. CIDRAP overview on viral hemorrhagic feverslast_img read more

UEFA shifts meeting over Euro 2020 hosting issues

first_imgUEFA has postponed its Executive Committee meeting scheduled for May 27 because of some “open points” regarding the venues for next year’s re-scheduled Euro 2020 tournament.In a statement, European football’s governing body said the meeting would now take place on June 17. The Euro 2020 championship, due to be staged in 12 cities across the continent, was postponed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic that shut down football in March.UEFA said the change to the meeting was caused by “the existence of some remaining open points regarding a small number of proposed venues for the rearranged UEFA EURO 2020 next year”.At the weekend, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin appeared to suggest the number of host cities might be reduced.“We’ve had conversations with nine cities and everything is set,” Ceferin said in an interview.“With three cities, we have some issues. So, we will discuss further. In principle, we will do it in 12 cities. But, if not, we are ready to do it in 10, nine or eight (cities).” Glasgow on Monday moved to reconfirm its position as a host in the light of media speculation.“The formal confirmation letter was sent on Thursday to the UEFA EURO 2020 Operations Director, Sharon Burkhalter-Lau, together with all the required accompanying documentation,” said a spokesperson for the Local Organising Structure (LOS) Glasgow.“This followed extensive discussions with all relevant stakeholders and partners involved in hosting the tournament in Glasgow since the March 17 postponement decision.“We look forward to Hampden Park, Glasgow and Scotland as a whole playing a key role as co-hosts of a memorable UEFA EURO 2020 next year.”UEFA’s May 27 meeting was also expected to discuss its plan to finish the 2019/2020 season by August, including the Champions League and Europa League campaigns. Europe’s top football leagues were all suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.But the Bundesliga resumed at the weekend while the Spanish, English and Italian top flights are also hoping to complete their seasons.The French and Dutch top flight campaigns have been cancelled.“We have an idea but we have to wait for the executive committee of UEFA to confirm the dates,” Ceferin said.RelatedPosts UEFA changes venue of Player of the Season award ceremony, Champions League draw UEFA returning N259bn to broadcasters due to COVID-19 European Super Cup: UEFA in talks with Hungary following border closure “I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is as it is now, in August.”Reuters/NAN.Tags: Aleksander CeferinEuro 2020 HostingOpen pointsUEFAlast_img read more

The Latest: Brewers GM says no players opting out of season

first_imgA meet in Gateshead, England, has been postponed from Aug. 16 to a possible date in mid-September.The next possible Diamond League meet is scheduled for Aug. 14 in Monaco.___This year’s Fed Cup finals have been rescheduled for 2021 because of “challenges” related to the coronavirus pandemic.The International Tennis Federation says the women’s team competition will take place April 13-18 in Budapest, Hungary. The ITF has also scrapped the women’s Fed Cup finals for this year and says they will be played April 13-18 in Budapest, Hungary.The Fed Cup originally was supposed to be played this April but was initially postponed because of the pandemic.___Diamond League track meets in France and the United States have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.Organizers say the Sept. 6 event in Paris and the Prefontaine meet on Oct. 4 in Eugene, Oregon, cannot be held because of the current restrictions on mass gatherings and international travel. ___The Davis Cup men’s tennis competition has been canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and will pick up again in 2021.Matches were scheduled for this September and the Davis Cup finals were set for November in Madrid.Now the World Group I and World Group II preliminary matches will be played in various sites in either March or September 2021. The finals will be in Madrid during the week of Nov. 22, 2021.The International Tennis Federation says the 18 nations that already qualified for the 2020 finals will get a spot in 2021. June 26, 2020 The Latest: Brewers GM says no players opting out of season Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Brewers general manager David Stearns says no Milwaukee players have opted out of playing this season for personal reasons. He says “a small number of individuals in our organization” have tested positive for COVID-19 but were asymptomatic. He didn’t specify the number or say whether these individuals were players, other team employees or both. Associated Press center_img ___The Carolina Hurricanes will begin “voluntary small-group training” at PNC Arena on Tuesday.The team said Friday those sessions will be closed to the public and media. Sixteen players, divided into two groups, are expected to participate.Players and staff permitted inside the arena will be tested for COVID-19. Team personnel will follow safety guidelines outlined in the second phase of the NHL’s return plan, as well as those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services.The team says the arena has received “extensive cleaning” during the suspended NHL season and there will be “enhanced cleaning and sanitation efforts” going forward. The 2020 event was originally scheduled for April but was postponed because of the pandemic. Officials had hoped to squeeze the competition in this year.The ITF says there are “significant logistical and regulatory challenges” to holding “an indoor mass gathering” at the Laszlo Arena. The tennis body says “guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved will not be feasible.”The Fed Cup finals feature 12 national teams competing in a new format.___Tennis great Goran Ivanisevic says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The former Wimbledon champion coaches top-ranked Novak Djokovic and was at the recent Adria Tour exhibition series in Serbia and Croatia.Djokovic and three other players have also tested positive for the virus after playing in the events. Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki are the others.Ivanisevic won the Wimbledon title in 2001. He says he twice tested negative for the virus over the past 10 days but has now tested positive.Ivanisevic says “I would like to inform everyone who has been in contact with me that I tested positive and ask them to take extra good care of themselves and their loved ones.”The Croat says he has no symptoms but will self-isolate. ___The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association say 16 players tested positive for coronavirus in the first wave of mandatory tests done in preparation for the restart of the season.Those 16 players were part of a pool of 302 tested on Tuesday. Tests are continuing for all 22 teams that will be participating in the restart at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, next month. The player names were not disclosed; some, such as Malcolm Brogdon of Indiana and Sacramento teammates Jabari Parker and Alex Len have publicly acknowledged they have recently positive.That was a 5.3% rate of positive tests leaguewide. The league did not announce results of testing on staffers and other members of team travel parties, all of whom are also part of the mandatory testing program.The league and the union say that “any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician.”last_img read more

CDB provides relief for Hurricane Irma ravaged islands

first_imgThe Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced support for its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) affected by Hurricane Irma and for the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), which is coordinating the region’s response to the affected states.The CDB will provide Emergency Relief Grants of $200,000 each to Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The funds are to assist with costs associated with damage assessments and the provision and transportation of emergency relief supplies, water and sanitation resources, roofing materials for emergency shelters and community buildings, and temporary shelter for displaced residents. Immediate response loans to be provided alsoIn addition, CDB has offered Immediate Response Loans of up to US$750,000 to the affected countries. The loans, available on highly concessionary terms, are designed to support the clearing and cleaning of areas damaged by Hurricane Irma and the emergency restoration of services.As the region anticipated the arrival of Hurricane Irma, the CDB had also approved a fast-tracked grant of US$150,000 to CDEMA to assist with preparations for mobilizing and coordinating disaster relief.CDB president Dr. Warren Smith noted the Bank’s commitment to providing assistance following the passage of Irma.“We reaffirm our support for our BMCs affected by this devastating hurricane. We very much regret the loss of life and infrastructure, and pledge to help the Governments and people of the impacted countries recover and rebuild in any way we possibly can,” he said.last_img read more