Cambodian study hints at subclinical H5N1 cases

first_imgJan 25, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A recent study in Cambodia suggests that some human cases of infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus escape detection because symptoms are mild or absent, according to a report from an international avian flu conference this week in Bangkok.The meeting drew about 500 experts from 40 countries to discuss research and ideas on a wide range of topics. Some other topics discussed included the idea of stockpiling vaccine adjuvants to prepare for a pandemic, the use of engineered human antibodies as a defense against the H5N1 virus, and the high H5N1 case-fatality rate in Indonesia.Cambodian studyThe Cambodian researchers tested 674 people in two villages who were exposed to the virus and found that seven of them, all between the ages of 4 and 18, had antibodies signaling previous infection, according to a Jan 24 Bloomberg News report.The finding contrasts with previous serologic studies of people in areas affected by H5N1 outbreaks. A review published Jan 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) said the few serologic studies since 2003 of people with potential exposure to H5N1 suggest that asymptomatic or mild cases are rare. The studies involved people living with backyard poultry, workers in live-bird markets, and healthcare workers.More cases of mild disease might suggest that the virus is improving its ability to spread among humans, while becoming less virulent. Based on the current global count of 353 cases with 221 deaths, the case-fatality rate is almost 63%.The Cambodian researchers, led by Sirenda Vong of the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, conducted their study in early 2006, according to the Bloomberg story. The researchers asked villagers about their exposure to poultry and tested their blood for antibodies to H5N1.The median age of the seven people who had antibodies was 12 years, compared with 27 years for those who had no antibodies, the story said.Vong and colleagues had conducted a similar study of 351 Cambodian villagers in 2005 and found that none had antibodies to the virus. The study was published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2006.Malik Peiris, a microbiology professor at the University of Hong Kong, told Bloomberg that the latest study supports findings from the 1997 H5N1 outbreak in Hong Kong, in which human cases were first reported. The virus infected 18 people, 6 of whom died. Peiris said children were less severely affected than adults and had a better survival rate, Bloomberg reported.”Most of the children diagnosed in Hong Kong in 1997 had a very mild course of infection; they basically had a mild flu-like illness and they recovered,” Peiris was quoted as saying. “I don’t think there is any evidence to say the situation has changed.”The recent NEJM review said H5N1 infections involving febrile upper respiratory illnesses without pneumonia in children have been reported more often since 2005, but early antiviral treatment may account for this.Stockpiling of adjuvantsAnother topic raised at the meeting was the idea of separately stockpiling adjuvants, immune-boosting chemicals that enable vaccine producers to reduce the dose of antigen in a vaccine without reducing immune response. Global health officials, including those at the World Health Organization (WHO), hope this dose-sparing approach could dramatically increase the world supply of pandemic vaccine.Albert Osterhaus, a virologist at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands who spoke at the conference on Jan 23, said stockpiling adjuvants would be useful if the pandemic strain turned out to be a subtype other than H5N1, according to a Jan 23 Reuters report.”There’s a lot of discussion to vaccinate people against H5N1 with adjuvanted vaccines,” Osterhaus said. “We might do that, but it’s very expensive and it might well be that the pandemic outbreak may not be caused by H5N1 but by H7, H9, or H2 [viruses].”Osterhaus said adjuvants should be stockpiled separately from antigens, Reuters reported. “Adjuvants can be stockpiled and H5 antigen as well,” he said. “So if the pandemic is going to be H5N1, you just mix them and you get a vaccine. If not, you rapidly produce the antigen and add it together with the adjuvant.”Currently, the United States has no licensed influenza vaccines that contain adjuvants, according to a previous CIDRAP News report. However, a few studies of influenza vaccines with alum-based adjuvants have shown acceptable protection levels. In August, researchers working on a GlaxoSmithKline vaccine reported positive results for a split-virus vaccine combined with a proprietary oil-and-water adjuvant. A month later, Sanofi Pasteur reported promising results for its inactivated vaccine paired with its own adjuvant.Using engineered antibodiesIn other developments, a researcher from Crucell, a Dutch biotechnology company, reported at the conference today that engineered human monoclonal antibodies to the H5N1 virus protected mice from several strains of the virus, according to a Reuters report.Crucell created the human antibodies by mixing antibody fragments taken from nine blood donors with antigens from two H5N1 strains found in Vietnam and Indonesia, Reuters reported.Mark Throsby, project director for antibody discovery at Crucell, told the conference that in vitro studies showed that one line of the engineered antibodies neutralized several strains of the H5N1 virus, including strains isolated in Hong Kong in 1997, Indonesia in 2005, and Vietnam in 2003, Reuters reported.In the animal studies, he said, researchers injected the engineered antibodies into mice that had been given normally lethal doses of H5N1 virus 3 days earlier. “We were able to protect all the animals,” Throsby was quoted as saying. “It reduced their disease and they became well again.”Drug resistance in Indonesia?Yesterday Menno de Jong, a virologist at an Oxford University clinical research unit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, spoke on the topic of drug failure in the treatment of patients who have H5N1 infections. The case-fatality rate for the disease in Indonesia is especially high—82%, compared with about 63% overall, based on WHO figures.De Jong told the conference that researchers are conducting studies to see if H5N1 patients in places like Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam require higher doses of antiviral medications, Reuters reported yesterday.”It could be they are treated later, or the virus is different, more virulent,” de Jong told a Reuters reporter. “There are many maybes, including differences in the susceptibility of the virus.”He told Reuters that the H5N1 viruses in Indonesia appear less susceptible to osteltamivir, the antiviral recommended as first-line treatment for H5N1 infections. “It’s not a resistant virus, it’s just that a bit more drug [may be] needed to inhibit these [H5N1] clade 2 viruses,” he said.De Jong was a member of the WHO expert panel that wrote the recent review in the NEJM on human H5N1 cases. In line with de Jong’s observations at the Bangkok meeting, that article said clade 1 viruses appear to be 15 to 30 times more susceptible to oseltamivir than clade 2 viruses from Turkey and Indonesia. However, the panel wrote that the clinical relevance of this difference in oseltamivir susceptibility “remains to be determined.”See also: Jan 16 CIDRAP News story on NEJM review of human H5N1 cases: “Exposure source unclear in 25% of H5N1 cases”Sep 7, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Cambodian study suggests mild H5N1 cases are rare”Oct 30, 2007, CIDRAP News story “The Pandemic Vaccine Puzzle, part 4: The promise and problems of adjuvants”last_img read more

Event organizers plead for help amid massive cancelations due to Covid-19

first_imgThe association also appealed to the government to provide fiscal incentives such as tax relief and delays in the payment of premiums to the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan).The association also asked for understanding from business partners such as hotels, revenue providers and transportation companies, including airlines, regarding their financial difficulties. The association asked them to find a win-win solution to enable its members to settle their financial obligations.“We also ask the government to encourage state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and other government agencies which have used the services of the organizers to accelerate the payment of their dues to enable us to survive,” Mulkan in the statement.Read also: Battered by virus: Businesses across Indonesia feel the pinch Event organizers have asked for relief from clients, business partners and the government to help them survive the current difficult situation in which many of events have been postponed or canceled due to growing fears over the spread of COVID-19.The Indonesia Event Industry Council (Ivendo) said that without understanding from their clients and business partners, as well as the government most of the event organizers could shut their businesses as they would be unable to cope with the situation, which got worse from day to day.In a statement issued on March 16, the association’s chairman Mulkan Kamaluddin appealed to their clients to pay their financial obligations for events that have been suspended or those that might be unilaterally postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Jakarta and other provincial administrations in the country have called for the suspension of large gatherings such as exhibitions, conferences and other business events to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.In addition to the provincial governments, the Transportation and Creative Economy ministries have also urged the postponement of business events in the country following President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s call for all citizens to practice social distancing.“We also urge tourism and creative economy players not to organize events and exhibitions until the COVID-19 pandemic can be contained,” Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said recently.The secretary general of Ivendo, Harry D Nugraha, who is also the founder of event management company Ego Global Network told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that more than 90 percent of events scheduled for March were postponed or canceled.”If there is no event, there is no income,” Harry told the Post.On its official statement, Ivendo indicated that event organizers would follow and obey the government’s instructions. It also expressed understanding regarding the circumstances.Ivendo conducted a survey recently involving 112 respondents comprising event organizers, planners, promoters and tour operators. The survey aimed to find out the number of events being postponed or canceled due to COVID-19.Read also: COVID-19: Government calls for limits to all tourist activitiesSome 34.82 percent of respondents said they had postponed between four and six events until the end of 2020. Meanwhile, 9.82 percent of respondents said they had postponed 13 to 15 events until the end of the year.The same survey also indicates that 6.25 percent of respondents have canceled between 13 and 15 events until the end of 2020.Ivendo projects that total potential losses suffered by event organizers in Indonesia as a result of the postponements and cancelations could amount to between Rp 898.2 billion and Rp 2.65 trillion with the assumption that there are 1,218 companies engaged in the event-organizing business.Topics :last_img read more

Club Results

first_imgNorth Tipp Junior ‘A’ Hurling League Gr2Sat, 28 Mar, Venue: Roscrea, Roscrea 0-10 Knockshegowna 1-8 Sat, 28 Mar, Venue: Fethard GAA Park, Moyle Rovers 0-5 Clonmel Commercials 0-82015 Junior ‘B’ Hurling League Gr2Sat, 28 Mar, Venue: Lorrha, Lorrha-Dorrha 1-18 Kildangan 1-5Sat, 28 Mar, Venue: Borrisokane, Borrisokane 1-15 Ballina 1-72015 North Tipp Junior ‘B’ Hurling League Gr 1Sat, 28 Mar, Venue: Nenagh, Nenagh ?ire ?g 0-9 Portroe 0-13Sat, 28 Mar, Venue: Toomevara, Toomevara 1-9 Newport 1-11last_img read more

Granger is seeking to…

first_imgMr Granger went on to speak about the NICIL $30B bond for the industry which, he said, is aimed at re-balancing the industry. On this matter, he should be the last to speak. The President, in June this year, during his visit to Albion Estate, said: “We are going to ensure that that money comes in a timely manner and in sufficient amounts.” It is now December and the money has stopped coming altogether according to GuySuCo. Mr Marks indicated to the President that the bond proceeds were not intended for wages and salaries. Again, President Granger averted the question and spoke about the Management of the industry which our Union has some concerns about.Mr Granger is seeking to avoid, like the plague, the sugar industry and the situation of the sugar workers. Prior to the election as President, in an interview, he said: “…we want to save the sugar industry, we want to save the livelihoods of sugar workers…” Today, he is in the driver’s seat and his actions are much louder and clearer than his words. Indeed, his deeds speak a mouthful.Today, while he refuses to even answer whether his Government could assist the sugar workers, his response is unequivocal. He has not a care for the sugar workers, their families and their communities. This year, while he and his big wigs will have a happy and jolly time, the workers and their families and their communities will once again be darkened. Their hopes of a bright season dashed as the Grinch, Mr Granger, has once again stolen Christmas from them.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

Innocence Killed

first_imghe turned out to be one of the main volunteers who helped look for them. The incident is mostly forgotten now – only seven references to the murders turn up on an Internet search – but Theresa Pinamonli Zeigler remembers it like it was yesterday. “When something like that happens, it sticks in your brain,” said Zeigler, who was 7 at the time. “I’m 77, and I never forgot.” Zeigler went to school with the girls and had spent many afternoons playing with them. She recalls a seemingly simpler time, a time when kids turned their neighborhoods into giant playgrounds. She saw the girls the day they disappeared. “I saw them in the park,” Zeigler said. “We were all frequent visitors to the park.” After the deaths, the quaint lifestyle came to an end. “It was scary,” Zeigler said. “When you’re 7, you don’t realize what’s going on. But I remember the grown-ups standing around in the street when they found the bodies. I remember how shocked they were.” Dyer was one of those people standing in the street. Described by those who knew him as “simpleminded,” “a nut, but good-hearted” and “goofy but harmless,” Dryer told the crowd not to smoke “out of respect for the dead.” That day, his wife helped him clip newspaper stories about the incident for a scrapbook he had begun. He couldn’t help but draw attention to himself. Although he was questioned by police, investigators didn’t consider him a suspect at first. But a few days after the discovery, he appeared at the Inglewood police station and announced, “I hear you are looking for me.” He was told that nobody had even mentioned him and he left police headquarters “somewhat crestfallen,” according to a 1937 Daily Breeze article. His strange behavior alerted authorities, who immediately began to follow him. Then, a woman – “her name was withheld for obvious reasons,” the article states – recognized the killer’s description and identified Dyer to police in Hermosa. It turned out the Dyer had more than one run-in with South Bay law enforcement. In 1926, he was arrested twice in Redondo Beach for reasons unknown. And, in 1931, after a tryst with a Manhattan Beach woman, he was picked up. He quickly confessed to the murders, telling police the girls “looked fresh and nice.” He explained to authorities that he took the girls to a bean field and lured them off one at a time to help him catch a rabbit. First was the youngest victim, Madeline. He strangled her and tied a rope around her neck just to be sure. Next was Jeanette, who was also lured into the brush and killed. Melba, the final victim, played by herself while waiting for his return, Dyer explained. After he killed them, he “violated their lifeless bodies,” according to a Daily Breeze article. Dyer went home, changed his clothes and “ate a good supper,” before returning to the neighborhood to see if anybody was looking for the girls. Other kids came forward and told police that Dyer had tried to lure them to the park. But the father of the two sisters was suspicious of the confession. Merle O. Everett said his daughters could not possibly have walked 5 miles to the murder scene. “Some men will confess anything under pressure, you know, especially if they’re a little weak-minded.” A surviving sister identified another man as offering to take them rabbit hunting a year earlier. Others blamed drugs for the atrocity. “Some of the brutal and unspeakable sex crimes of recent years have had their cause in marihuana,” according to On the Trail of Marihuana the Weed of Madness, a 1939 book by Earle Rowell. No matter. Dyer was quickly convicted of the crime and on Sept. 15, 1938, was hanged in San Quentin. josh.grossberg@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Josh Grossberg STAFF WRITER It was shocking, even by today’s standards: On a Saturday morning 70 years ago, three little girls vanished from Centinela Park near their homes in Inglewood. They didn’t show up for supper and, by the next day, friends, police and an army of volunteers scoured the neighborhood. A statewide alarm was sent out. But two days later, their families’ worst fears were realized. On Monday, June 26, 1937, a group of Boy Scouts found the lifeless bodies of 7-year-old Madeline Everett, 9-year-old sister Melba and a playmate, 8-year-old Jeanette Stephens. They were discovered in a deep gully in a remote section of Baldwin Hills. Within days, with the help of a tip given to Hermosa Beach police, a Redondo Beach man was arrested. Not only did 32-year-old Albert Dyer know the girls – he was a crossing guard at their school – but last_img read more