Egyptian H5N1 cases prompt speculation about silent infections

first_imgApr 8, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The recent series of H5N1 avian influenza cases in Egyptian children yet very few in adults has raised concern that some Egyptians may be getting infected without getting sick, according to a Reuters news report published today.John Jabbour, a World Health Organization (WHO) emerging diseases specialist based in Cairo, said the Egyptian government and the WHO are planning a study to find out if subclinical or asymptomatic cases have been occurring, according to the story.Jabbour said the occurrence of asymptomatic cases would be worrisome because it could give the undetected virus more time to mutate in human hosts, Reuters reported.”If there is any subclinical case in Egypt, the aim is to treat immediately to stop the reproduction of the virus,” he told Reuters. “Because whether [through] mutation or reassortment, this will lead to the pandemic strain.”The story said that all but two of the 11 Egyptians infected with H5N1 this year have been children under age 3 (the official WHO count for Egypt reached 12 today). In the same period last year, most of the seven Egyptian case-patients were adults and older children, the report said.Jabbour said the string of cases in children without similar cases in adults had prompted the questions whether adults were being infected without falling ill.He said the Egyptian study would involve testing the blood of people who were potentially exposed to infected birds but had not gotten sick.Tim Uyeki, MD, a medical epidemiologist in the Influenza Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CIDRAP News that limited studies in several countries over the past few years have found relatively little serologic evidence of asymptomatic or unrecognized cases of H5N1 virus infection.When the H5N1 virus first infected humans in Hong Kong in 1997, there were two studies in which investigators looked for H5N1 antibodies in people who had potentially been exposed to the virus, Uyeki said. One study focused on 293 poultry cullers, of whom only nine (3%) were found to have H5N1 antibodies, indicating past infection. In the other study, involving 1,525 poultry workers, an estimated 10% had antibodies.More recent studies “have either found no evidence of H5N1 virus infection or very low seroprevalence of H5N1 antibodies, around 1% or less, among different exposed populations,” Uyeki said. “Since H5N1 virus strains continue to evolve, there’s a continued need for these studies in people who have contact with poultry in countries where H5N1 virus strains are circulating in birds, since the risk of transmission to exposed persons could change.”Uyeki also noted that subclinical infection with seasonal influenza virus is known to occur. “But how that relates to H5N1 is unclear,” he said.See also: Jan 25 2008 CIDRAP News story “Cambodian study hints at subclinical H5N1 cases”last_img read more

EU Greenlights State Aid for Croatia’s Krk LNG Terminal

first_imgThe European Commission has approved state aid for the construction and operation of Croatian liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal at Krk island.Namely, the Commission explained that the plans are in line with EU State aid rules as the project would “contribute to the security and diversification of energy supplies without unduly distorting competition.”“The new LNG terminal in Croatia will increase the security of energy supply and enhance competition, for the benefit of citizens in the region. We have approved the support measures to be granted by Croatia because they are limited to what is necessary to make the project happen and in line with our State aid rules,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said.The measures, approved on July 31, would support the construction and operation of a floating LNG terminal, consisting of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and the connections to the national gas transmission network. The LNG terminal is designed to transport up to 2.6 billion cubic meters per year (bcm/y) of natural gas into Croatia national transmission network as from 2021.The total investment costs to build the terminal amount to EUR 233.6 million, that would be financed through EUR 32.2 million from the LNG terminal company shareholders; EUR 101.4 million from the Connecting Europe Facility, which is centrally managed by the European Commission; and a contribution of EUR 100 million from the Croatian State budget.In addition, Croatia will grant a tariff compensation called ‘security of supply fee’, which is financed by levies charged by the gas transmission system operator to gas users along with gas transmission tariffs, in case revenues from the terminal fees are not sufficient to cover operating expenses.The KrK LNG Terminal has been included in the lists of European Projects of Common Interest since 2013, given its strategic importance for the diversification of natural gas supplies into Central and South-Eastern Europe.last_img read more

UKGC forms three groups to address safer gambling standards

first_imgShare GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile  August 25, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Share Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed that it will create three new focus groups to help facilitate the implementation of safer gambling standards.Led by senior leaders in the gambling industry, the three collaboration groups will focus on game and product design, advertising technology and high value customer incentives to gamble.The initiative, which is said to be the first-of-its-kind, will follow on from a briefing in October 2019 in which UKGC CEO Neil McArthur outlined three challenges and opportunities that the industry must grasp to raise standards and rapidly reduce harm across the sector.SG Gaming and Playtech have both committed to leading work on producing an effective Industry Code for Product Design. The group will primarily focus on how the gambling industry can continue to produce safer products in the future, while also looking at the techniques used to develop games and the associated risks.Meanwhile, Sky Betting and Gaming has agreed to oversee the advertising technology working group, which will explore and quickly accelerate opportunities to reduce the amount of advertising seen by children, young people and vulnerable adults.The group focusing on the use of VIP incentives will be led by GVC Holdings, and will involve close cooperation with the Betting and Gaming Council. This group will ‘help ensure bonuses, hospitality and gifts in particular around VIP programmes, are offered in a manner which is consistent with the licensing objectives to make gambling fairer, safer and crimefree’.Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur said: “Consumer behaviour and technology are changing so quickly that only a bold and innovative approach will allow us to achieve a reduction in the numbers of people experiencing, or at risk from, gambling related harm.“I’ve been encouraged by the willingness of so many operators to work with us on these challenges. We’ve set demanding timetable for progress because we cannot proceed at the speed of the slowest. If rapid progress is not made then we will have to look at other options as making gambling safer for consumers is paramount.”The three working groups are, in more detail:Safer products: The industry code for responsible product and game design working group will set out how the gambling industry can produce safer products in the future, the techniques to use when designing apps, online games and gaming machine products, the risks associated with each product and how they can be mitigated, and a clear explanation of what is not acceptable.Safer advertising online: An interim report by Gamble Aware from earlier this year shows that children, young people and vulnerable adults report they are being exposed to significant levels of online gambling adverts – including via social media. The Advertising Technology challenge will therefore explore and quickly accelerate opportunities to reduce the amount of advertising seen by children, young people and vulnerable adults.Use of VIP incentives: The incentivisation of high value customers working group will help ensure bonuses, hospitality and gifts in particular around VIP programmes, are offered in a manner which is consistent with the licensing objectives to make gambling fairer, safer and crimefree. The Commission’s casework has found evidence that the approach of some licensees has exacerbated at-risk behaviour and this new group will identify how existing rules can be strengthened.This approach utilises the skills and resources of the industry but ensures the Commission retains control of outputs – and consequently the best progress for British consumers. Submitlast_img read more

Denmark join France in last 16 after first goalless draw of World Cup

first_img Twitter Denmark v France player ratings Pinterest Reflecting on what he has seen so far, Deschamps said: “Our first match [against Australia] was not quite good enough, the second was much better even if we defended too much in the second part of the game against Peru, and today it was due to the fact that the team had a number of new players. But the reality is it’s quite challenging for everyone. Obviously you can tell me there’s room for improvement, but even teams that are top contenders – Germany, Brazil and Spain – it’s not easy for them.”As for Denmark, Hareide sounded like a man who felt his gameplan worked to perfection. “We just needed one point, we were up against one of the best teams in the world at counterattacks, so we would have been stupid to open up a lot of space,” he said. “We stood back and got the result we needed, it was a 0-0 and we’re very pleased with that.” Not everyone felt the same way. Topics Share on Facebook Facebook France’s Antoine Griezmann in action. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters Share via Email Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn match reports World Cup 2018 As far as Åge Hareide and his players are concerned, this was mission accomplished as Denmark collected the point that guaranteed second spot in Group C irrespective of the result in the game between Peru and Australia. Denmark can now look forward to a last-16 tie against Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday, and that was the only thing on the players’ minds when they celebrated in front of their supporters at the end.Through as group winners, France have also achieved their objective, albeit without delivering a performance in any of their three matches to suggest they are capable of winning the tournament. Even allowing for the fact that Didier Deschamps made six changes here, with one eye on their last‑16 game against Argentina in Kazan, it did not seem unreasonable to expect more attacking enterprise from a team that started with Ousmane Dembélé, Antoine Griezmann and Thomas Lemar playing behind Olivier Giroud.Denmark made life difficult by sitting so deep that they had 11 players behind the ball at times – Andreas Christensen, the Chelsea central defender, was deployed as a holding midfielder for another layer of protection – but there was still a worrying lack of imagination and creativity about France’s play. Well, it had to happen sooner or later. After 12 days of largely entertaining football, plenty of goals and no shortage of incident, the 2018 World Cup finals served up the first stalemate. Match 37, to give the fixture its official Fifa title, ended goalless and was played out to a soundtrack of whistles and rumblings of discontent, followed by loud boos at the final whistle.Denmark, through to the World Cup knockout stage for the first time since 2002, were not going to apologise for their part in a soporific evening of football that went down badly with the majority of the 78,011 spectators, especially when the ball started to be passed sideways and backwards with more than 10 minutes remaining. Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Nabil Fekir, who came on for Griezmann with 22 minutes remaining, looked more dangerous than anyone else in a France shirt and at least tried to inject some life into proceedings with a couple of efforts on goal. Yet just about everyone else seemed happy to call it a day, safe in the knowledge that both teams were happy with the outcome. “The last 15 minutes was a neutral match,” Deschamps admitted.It was a strange occasion full stop, not helped by the fact that neither team needed to win, and the worry from an early stage was where the goal was going to come from. Perhaps that explains why it took only 20 minutes for a Mexican wave to start sweeping through the stands – which is never a good sign in terms of what is happening on the pitch.Come the second half, however, patience was wearing thin inside the stadium because of the painful lack of goalmouth action and the absence of any tempo to the game. Even Deschamps, rubbing a hand over his eyes in the dugout after another banal passage of play petered out, looked fed up as the clock ticked down.With Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé all set to return to the team on Saturday, France will hope to improve, yet it is still hard to know what to expect from Deschamps’s team at this World Cup. The suspicion remains that they are a group of talented individuals rather than a cohesive unit, and it is questionable whether the manager knows his strongest XI. World Cup Denmark Australia out of World Cup as Carrillo and Guerrero strike for Peru France Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Read morelast_img read more

Does pot legalization put Vancouvers Overdose Prevention Society back in business

first_imgTina HouseAPTN NewsThe Overdose Prevention Society is hoping the legalization of marijuana puts the organization back in business on the streets of Vancouver.Workers with the society have been handing out pot in the hopes of curbing the number of overdoses attributed to opioids.But they were shut down by the Vancouver police.As of Wednesday, they hope be back on the streets.last_img