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

Tuesday August 4th Local Sports

first_imgIOWA CITY — Iowa coach Fran McCaffery is confident there will be a college basketball season even if it looks different from past years. McCaffery says there are a variety of options being discussed.KGLO News · 8 – 4-fmseason – 1McCaffery says among the options are a January first start date and an NCAA Tournament that is pushed back into spring.KGLO News · 8 – 4-fmseason – 2After having the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament canceled this past season McCaffery is confident there will be a postseason next year.KGLO News · 8 – 4-fmseason – 3The Hawkeyes posted a record of 20-11 last season but lost out on the postseason at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s Field of Dreams game in Iowa has been postponed until 2021 because of the novel coronavirus. The game at a newly constructed ballpark on the cornfield adjacent to the site of the 1989 movie had been scheduled for Aug. 13 in Dyersville. The Chicago White Sox originally had been set to host the New York Yankees. When MLB remade its schedule following the delayed start to the season, the St. Louis Cardinals became the opponent. MLB will keep the White Sox for the game next year. The other team has not been determined. TODAY:AM-1300 KGLO — Minnesota Twins vs. Pittsburgh — pre-game 12:30, first pitch 1:10 DES MOINES — Spring sports were cancelled due to the pandemic, but Governor Kim Reynolds gave the go-ahead for this summer’s high school baseball and softball seasons. The schedules were shorter, but Reynolds says that shouldn’t diminish the results.KGLO News · 8 – 4-season – 1(as said) “Although Iowans might have mostly heard about those schools that finished their seasons early because of Covid-19,” she says, “the statistics in both baseball and softball show an unqualified success.” Ninety-six percent of the 338 baseball teams that started the abbreviated season finished it and, of the 335 softball teams that started out, 97 percent finished.KGLO News · 8 – 4-season – 2(as said) “That all began with parents and students simply saying: ‘All we want is a chance to play ball,’” Reynolds says. Iowa is the only state in the country to have had organized high school sports this summer and the governor says she’s heard from Iowans about their experiences.KGLO News · 8 – 4-season – 3(as said) “Recently I was in Sioux Center and I had a young man who was a high school senior come up to me and he thanked me for letting him play baseball this summer,” Reynolds says. “He said it really meant a lot to him, as a senior, and to his teammates to get to play this last season.” The governor says the success of the baseball and softball seasons are a good example of how to safely and responsibly re-start school activities as educators prep for fall classes to begin. The state baseball and softball tournaments wrapped up this past weekend.center_img MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nelson Cruz’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Minnesota Twins a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates for their fourth straight win. Cruz knocked in two runs to raise his season total to 14 RBIs. He drove a pitch from Pirates reliever and former Twins draft pick Nick Burdi over the head of center fielder Cole Tucker with runners at second and third and one out to knock in Jorge Polanco. The Pirates have lost five straight games. DES MOINES — All-district baseball teams have been announced by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association:== 1A Northeast District First TeamP — Doug Taylor, NewmanC — Max Burt, Newman3B — Kolton Lyman, RockfordUT — Mark Williams, St. Ansgar; Sam Kratz, Newman== 1A Northeast District Second TeamP — Ethian Tasker, Northwood-KensettC — Carter Salz, St. Ansgar== 1A Central District First TeamP — Kellen Cameron, West ForkOF — Mason Hanft, Central SpringsUT — Casey Hanson, Lake Mills; Chase Berding, Central Springs== 1A Central District Second TeamOF — Max Howes, Central Springs== 2A Northeast District Second TeamP — Dalton Graff, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura1B — Rafe Van Dusseldorp, Garner-Hayfield-VenturaOF — Landon Dalbeck, Garner-Hayfield-VenturaUT — Tyler Oberfoell, Osage== 2A Central District First Team3B — Reece Moore, Forest City== 3A Central District Second TeamSS — Erik McHenry, Clear Lake== 4A North Central District Second TeamOF — Carter Thomas, Mason CityUT — Avery Mellman, Mason Citylast_img read more