Europe says Tamiflu-resistant virus seen in 9 countries

first_imgFeb 1, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – European officials yesterday reported more evidence that one of the three types of seasonal influenza viruses is showing resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and said this represents the first clear sign that the resistant variant can spread.A report published yesterday by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) says the resistant variant of the influenza A/H1N1 virus accounted for 59 (14%) of 437 European H1N1 isolates from 19 countries tested so far. The variant has been seen in nine of the 19 countries, according to the report in Eurosurveillance.The new report suggests the resistant variant is more widespread than indicated by the initial report from the ECDC on Jan 27. That report said the resistant virus was found in four countries and made up 19 of 148 isolates tested.Increased H1N1 resistance to oseltamvir was also reported in the United States and Canada this week. US officials said about 5% of tested isolates showed resistance, and Canada reported that about 10% were resistant.European report: Norway most affectedThe resistant virus has a mutation called H274Y, which confers approximately a 400-fold reduction in susceptibility to oseltamivir, according to the Eurosurveillance report. Oseltamivir is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the drug of choice for human patients with H5N1 avian influenza, and many countries have stockpiled it in case the H5N1 virus evolves into a pandemic strain.From the tests so far, resistance is most common in Norway, where 26 of 37 H1N1 isolates (72%) were resistant, according to Eurosurveillance. Other countries most affected are France, 15 of 87 isolates (17%); Germany, 3 of 43 (7%); and the United Kingdom, 8 of 162 (5%). A few resistant isolates were also reported in Denmark, Finland the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden.The resistant viruses have come from both adults and children, and there is no indication that any of the patients had been treated with oseltamivir or been in contact with others so treated, the report says. It is not unusual for resistance to emerge in patients receiving oseltamivir treatment for H1N1 infections, according to the WHO.”We therefore conclude that the identification of these oseltamivir-resistant viruses as a substantial proportion of circulating viruses, particularly in Norway, is the first clear evidence that influenza A(H1N1) virus with the H274Y mutation can readily transmit between individuals,” the Eurosurveillance report states.An accompanying Eurosurveillance editorial says resistant viruses with the same mutation were seen in previous flu seasons but “were few in number, ‘unfit,’ and transmitted poorly. . . . These [current] A/H1N1 isolates with the H274Y mutation are fitter. They are in several countries and are transmitting in the community.”The specimens tested to date are from early in the season, and it may be that as the season progresses ordinary A/H1N1s [will] predominate,” the editorial continues. “Equally, the resistant viruses may come to predominate,” as influenza A viruses resistant to two older drugs, amantadine and rimantadine, did in North America 2 years ago. Officials have said the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 viruses remain susceptible to amantadine and rimantadine.WHO report: Increased resistance unexpectedThe WHO, in a statement yesterday, said the increased drug resistance is unexpected and so far unexplained, especially since few of the patients are known to have taken oseltamivir. “Influenza viruses are continuously changing, and it is possible that a resistant strain has emerged spontaneously,” said the statement, released in a question-and-answer format.While noting that the resistance problem is not limited to Europe, the WHO said no H1N1 isolates from Japan, where oseltamivir is used far more commonly than in most other countries, have shown the resistance mutation so far this season. The same was true for Hong Kong.The WHO said H1N1 is the predominant flu virus in many European countries and other parts of the northern hemisphere so far this season. The increased oseltamivir resistance has not been found in the other two seasonal flu viruses, A/H3N2 and B.The agency said the implications of the resistance problem for the treatment of H5N1 cases are uncertain. “The neuraminidase protein in human H1N1 viruses is different from that in avian H5N1 viruses. Until we learn why the unexpected increase in oseltamivir resistance has occurred in H1N1 viruses, it is too early to know what, if any, potential there might be for a similar increase to occur in H5N1 viruses.”The WHO added that it has not changed any of its H5N1 treatment recommendations.In other observations, the WHO said:So far, the evidence for most of the patients infected with the resistant virus is that they were not linked in any way.There is no evidence that the resistant viruses are causing more severe illness than other flu viruses.There is no sign that the resistant viruses are more transmissible than nonresistant viruses.The drug resistance does not affect the effectiveness of flu vaccines, and the H1N1 strain used in this year’s vaccine is well-matched to the circulating H1N1 strains.See also:Eursurveillance reporthttp://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=8026Eurosurveillance editorialhttp://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=8025WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/influenza/patient_care/antivirals/oseltamivir_faqs/en/index.htmllast_img read more

Indonesia’s COVID-19 budget swells but still not enough, observers say

first_imgIndonesia’s 2020 budget deficit will widen further to accommodate a larger stimulus package, but economists and business representatives say it will still not be enough to prevent the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Indonesia research director Piter Abdullah said the government’s stimulus was “far from ideal” to counter the virus’ blow.Read also: Indonesia unveils bigger stimulus worth $47.6 billion to fight coronavirus impacts “The country needs bigger health care budget to manage the outbreak […] If we are not ready, then there is a possibility of a second wave of the virus crisis,” Piter said in a statement. “Meanwhile, the proposed budget for social protection is too small amid the threat of rising poverty.”Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced on June 3 she expected the budget deficit to swell to 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), an increase from earlier estimates of 6.27 percent in May and 5.01 percent at the end of March.The state budget to fight COVID-19 is now Rp 677.2 trillion (US$48 billion), higher than the Rp 641.17 trillion allocation in May and the Rp 405.1 trillion initial allocation.This was the third alteration to the state budget in just over two months. The rapid changes underscore the ferocity with which the virus has torn through the economy. “We are hoping that this stimulus will keep our economic growth above zero percent,” Sri Mulyani said during the latest budget announcement on June 3. The government expects Indonesia’s GDP to grow by 2.3 percent this year under the baseline scenario or contract by 0.4 percent under the worst-case scenario.“Demand for stimulus is increasing even after the latest package,” Bank Danamon economist Wisnu Wardana said. “The government must now focus its resources on making the spending more productive and cutting unnecessary spending.”Read also: Indonesia’s economy may shrink 3.5% if PSBB last for 4 months: World BankMeanwhile, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) called on the government to boost its budget to fight the pandemic.According to Kadin chairwoman Shinta Kamdani, the government will need Rp 400 trillion for health care, Rp 600 trillion for social safety net programs and Rp 600 trillion for economic recovery.Meanwhile, World Bank senior economist Ralph van Doorn has called on the government to take steps to maintain market confidence as debt mounts during the outbreak.“The government must [provide assurances about its] fiscal strategy to raise revenue back to at least the 2018 level to flatten the debt curve,” said van Doorn.It should unwind “exceptional measures” taken to battle the pandemic after the virus subsides, including by reinstating the deficit ceiling of 3 percent of GDP and ending Bank Indonesia’s partial financing of the deficit, he added.Indonesia’s debt-to-GDP ratio will rise to 37 percent this year from 29.8 percent at the end of last year, van Doorn predicted.The government now expects the total state budget in 2020 to be 2.74 quadrillion. State revenue is expected to be Rp 1.69 quadrillion, leaving a budget deficit of about Rp 1.05 quadrillion. Debt financing is expected to swell to Rp 1.22 quadrillion this year to cover the widening budget deficit and to pay for the government’s investments, which will be covered mostly by the issuance of bonds.“We will treat the widening budget deficit carefully in terms of sustainability and financing,” Sri Mulyani added.The new budget aims to strengthen the health care system, direct more spending toward social protection to boost consumption and provide incentives to rescue Indonesian businesses from bankruptcy and workers from layoffs.The government will spend Rp 87.55 trillion in the health care sector, Rp 203.9 trillion to strengthen social safety net programs and Rp 123.46 trillion to provide incentives for micro, small and medium businesses, according to the new budget.About Rp 120.6 trillion will be allocated for tax incentives for larger entities, and Rp 97.11 trillion has been designated to support ministries and regional administrations. Rp 44.57 trillion will be used to provide a stimulus for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and labor-intensive businesses.Read also: Indonesia’s COVID-19 budget changes again: What we know so far The government remains hopeful that the economy will not shrink sharply in the second quarter and will begin to recover in the subsequent quarters, said Finance Ministry Fiscal Policy Agency head Febrio Kacaribu on June 4.“There is a possibility of a severe economic crisis and recession. We are currently revising the state budget to ensure that negative growth does not happen,” Febrio told reporters.Indonesia’s economy grew 2.97 percent in the first quarter, the weakest since 2001, as household spending and investment growth slowed in response to the outbreak.The World Bank now expects zero percent growth for Indonesia if large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) last for two months amid a severe global economic slowdown and falling commodity prices. Under the organization’s worst-case scenario, which allows for four months of PSBB, Indonesia’s economy may shrink 3.5 percent.The government estimates that 1.8 million to 4.8 million people may fall into poverty this year, while 3 to 5.2 million may lose their jobs because of the severe economic impact of the pandemic.Topics :last_img read more

September Surge: Pennsylvanians Love Online Voter Registration

first_img  SHARE  TWEET Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Innovation,  The Blog,  Voting & Elections The numbers are in and what they show is clear: Pennsylvanians are loving online voter registration (OVR) with more applications being filed online than by paper form and besting totals from the last two presidential elections.If you aren’t registered yet, stop reading this blog and do it now (or before the October 11 deadline) at register.votespa.com.Now, in September alone, a whopping 172,256 residents used OVR to register for the first time (122,021) or update their existing registration (50,235).That is about 20,000 more than the 152,912 who used a paper form last month.Combined that’s 325,168 applications, which outpaces both the 284,236 applications in September 2008 and the 186,449 applications in September 2012.Governor Wolf and Secretary of State Cortés launched OVR to make voter registration more convenient, secure and accessible. Since then, more than 675,000 Pennsylvanians have used OVR.New this year is 2Vote, a voter registration text messaging service. Simply text “PA” to “2Vote” (28683) on a smartphone and you will receive a link that provides direct access to the online voter registration application, as well as links to check voter registration status, locate your polling place and find contact information for county offices and the Department of State.The Department of State’s website votespa.com, available in English and Spanish, also offers a polling place locator and county boards of elections contact information. It also includes tips for first-time voters and members of the military.In addition, voters can familiarize themselves with the voting system they will use in their home county on Election Day.For more information on voter registration, call the Department of State’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-VOTESPA (1-877-868-3772) or visit VotesPA.com. By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretary October 05, 2016 September Surge: Pennsylvanians Love Online Voter Registration SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Italy: Judge Orders Release of Captain that Docked Migrant-Rescue Ship

first_imgAn Italian judge has ordered the release of a German captain arrested on June 29 for docking the search and rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3 with 40 migrants onboard.Captain Carola Rackete was taken into custody after carrying the migrants and refugees that she had rescued off Libya into the Italian Port of Lampedusa, despite attempts by the Italian Coastguard to block the rescue boat from entering the port.Rackete’s arrest followed the European Court of Human Rights refusing a request to disembark the rescued migrants in Italy. Sixty hours after declaring a state of emergency on board, Rackete entered the port to bring the migrant crew who had been rescued 17 days earlier to safety, according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).“Although we acknowledge the political complexity migration issues in the Mediterranean, today we’re relieved that Captain Rackete has been released,” said ITF Seafarers Section Chair Dave Heindel.“The Italian authorities have quickly concluded that Sea-Watch 3 entered the port because of valid safety concerns for the people on board and that Rackete had been carrying out her duty to protect life, not as a deliberate challenge to the right of Italy to protect its borders,” Heindel added.#FreeCarola continued: “I would like to stress that the whole crew of the #SeaWatch3 made this possible. Even though the attention is on me, it was as a team that we rescued the people, took care of them and brought them to safety.” #DefendSolidarity ? pic.twitter.com/BBEuKAEaYV— Sea-Watch International (@seawatch_intl) July 2, 2019The Sea-Watch 3 rescue set off an unprecedented political debate in Italy about immigration, the criminalisation of rescuing migrants and the nation’s obligation to rescue lives in danger at sea.The ITF has raised concerns over the European Union’s lack of direction to find a political solution to the issue of migrants at sea numerous times, and that Italy has been often left to deal with the issue as an individual member state instead of as part of the European community.last_img read more

Dutch companies partner up for US offshore wind

first_imgA group of Dutch companies and knowledge institutions have formed a public-private partnership that will focus on the offshore wind industry in the United States. Arjen Schutten, managing director of the export association Holland Home of Wind Energy, is the coordinator of the group. Ultimately, the group wants to generate more Dutch export orders and thus extra revenue from the United States. The partnership will focus on knowledge exchange, network building, and positioning the Dutch industry in the northeast of the United States. The signatories include the Bureau Waardenburg institute and the following 10 companies: In terms of knowledge exchange, the Dutch group will ensure sharing information on the way the Netherlands sets up offshore wind projects. The PIB partnership has the support of the Government of the Netherlands.  Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the signing was able to go ahead via video call, according to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl). The group signed an agreement under the Partners for International Business (PIB) programme on 9 April. The goal of the PIB group is to establish the Netherlands as a strategic partner for the American offshore wind market. The group will also be organising trade missions, matchmaking activities and knowledge events. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency carries out the Partners for International Business programme (PIB) for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the coming years, the group will focus on various activities. Furthermore, the PIB partners will participate in important offshore conventions in the United States. BoskalisCape HollandC-Job Naval ArchitectsGustoMSC, PonderaRoyal IHCSif GroupSPT OffshoreTrelleborg RidderkerkUlstein Design & Solutionslast_img read more

Little League districts continue with 11-12 baseball, 9-10 baseball, softball tournaments

first_imgELLSWORTH — Three Ellsworth Little League All-Star squads will attempt this week to replicate the 11-12 softball team’s District 1 success as they begin their own district tournaments.The Ellsworth 11-12 All-Star baseball team will face Bucksport Little League at 5:30 p.m. today, July 1. Team members are Daniel Carter, Dawson Curtis, Lucas Horne, Thomas Jude, Dylan Kearns, Kyle Jenney, Brayden King, Daniel Lindsey, Connor MacDonald, Cooper Mitchell and Ridge Weatherbee.At the 9-10 level, Ellsworth will take on either Calais Little League or Blue Hill’s Coastal Little League at home Saturday, July 6. Scott Fernald and Colie Haskell will coach a team of Joey Beal, Brandon Blaisdell, Will Bunker, Jeremiah Door, Cole Fernald, Evan Haskell, Cooper Miles, Spencer Seavey, Brayden Sekulich, Coleman Welch and Bryce Wood.The 9-10 softball team will begin its own District 1 tournament Saturday against either Acadian Little League or Sunrise Little League. Players include Lily Alley, Kaylee Bagley, Sophie Beal, Allie Bivins, Elizabeth Boles, Whitney Carter, Camryn Clough, Olivia Dane, Emily Greene, Kennedy Lambert, Sydney Mason, Jenna Moon and Lauren Young. Coaches are Lyndsy Clough, Shawn Bagley and Jamie Lambert.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textGame sites will alternate depending on results and locations of previous matchups. All tournaments are double-elimination.last_img read more

Schiano: Two Rutgers football players have coronavirus

first_imgSchiano: Two Rutgers football players have coronavirus Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditTwo Rutgers football players have tested positive for the coronavirus.Coach Greg Schiano discussed the positive tests Monday during a virtual conference call with the media. It was his first availability since the team was allowed to return to campus last week for voluntary workouts.Schiano said players and coaches were tested before the team returned on June 15, either with mail-in tests or after being tested locally. One of the positive tests came from those samples and the player was not allowed to return to campus and is being isolated at home. June 22, 2020 The second positive test came from a sample taken when the players reported. That player was isolated and three players who had contact with him were put in quarantine.The university has a protocol for allowing players who test positive to return, which includes a non-positive test, Schiano said.Schiano said players and coaches underwent a third screening on Monday. Incoming freshman players also were allowed on campus on Monday and they were tested and put in a separate dormitory. They will not be integrated with the rest of the team until they pass a second COVID-19 test.The workouts are voluntary and Schiano said some players have elected to skip them.center_img Associated Press Schiano was hired in December to start a second stint as Rutgers’ coach. Chris Ash was fired early last season and replaced on an interim basis by Nunzio Campanile. The Scarlet Knights were 2-10 last season and have won nine games in the past four years.___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25last_img read more

Cardinal ‘n’ gold to promote sustainability

first_imgStarting next fall, students living in Cardinal ‘n’ Gold  will be part of the movement to encourage sustainable living at USC.Fourteen apartments in the building will soon become part of USC’s newest special interest community for people who actively want to participate in the reducing their carbon footprints. The “Sustainable Living” community will be encouraged to take part in recycling and composting, as well as energy and water conservation.Though not mandatory, Erin Fabris, sustainability coordinator for USC Housing, believes students will participate willingly.“Hopefully, the people who live there will want to participate, so we’re not really going to enact any enforcement measures. We’re just trying to make it as easy as possible for residents to recycle and compost everything they need to,” Fabris said.In addition to resources to help students become more energy-efficient, the building is scheduled for extensive refurbishment this summer.Each apartment will be outfitted with green technology including energy-efficient toilets, showers and LEDs. Existing furniture will be replaced by a third-party company that will use materials from the old furniture to create completely new pieces.Fabris believes that the combination of students’ mindful behavior and updated technology could result in significantly lower utility bills.“I would imagine that these are students who are already thinking about this and are environmentally minded, so a combination of technology and behavior will hopefully reduce the bill for these students,” she said.Currently, various forms of green technology can be found in USC Housing, but come fall, Cardinal ‘n’ Gold aims to incorporate all of them in one place.The program was initiated when USC Housing Director Keenan Cheung had the idea to start a zero-waste community at USC, where 90 percent of waste would be diverted from landfills for composting or recycling.Months later it was reported that of all the other special interest communities, Sustainable Living had the second highest number of applicants.“I think that the USC student body is starting to realize the importance and urgency of embracing the environment as something we need to care about,” said Ahlia Bethea, director of the Environmental Student Assembly. “With this being the second most chosen [special interest community], students are sending a message to administrators that sustainability is an issue that they care about and better practices are something they want to see at USC.”This initiative is consistent with the USC Sustainability 2020 plan that was announced in Nov. 2015. Created by the faculty, staff and students comprising the USC Sustainability Steering Committee, the plan provides the framework for the university to incorporate sustainability. According to the website, the committee  hopes to reduce greenhouse emissions by 20 percent and divert 75 percent of all waste from landfills.Though USC has made significant strides by replacing the majority of toilets, faucets and shower heads with low-flow models, Bethea believes there is still more that needs to be done.“Many of our peers in higher education have done far more on their campuses in regards to sustainability,” Bethea said. “We have a long way to go, however, with the efforts of groups like ESA, the Sustainability Office and the assistance of faculty and administrators working collaboratively. More significant impacts are definitely on the horizon.”last_img read more

New Tipp management happy with player response

first_imgThe side narrowly lost their first match of the year against Clare in the McGrath Cup at the weekend but performed well even though many of those that would probably be in the starting fifteen were unavailable.Their next outing in the competition is against Kerry on Sunday week.Selector Shane Stapleton says the players’ commitment has been impressive despite the many other demands on their time.last_img

Onyali Hails Okagbare for Erasing Her 22 Year-old 200m African Record

first_imgBy Duro IkhazuagbeFormer Nigerian Queen of the Track, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi has congratulated Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor for erasing her 22 year-old 200m African record of 22.07secs at the weekend.Running in her season opening race at the 2018 Wes Kittley Invitational inside the Elmer J. Gray Stadium in Abilene, Texas, on Saturday, Sapele-born Okagbare raced to a new 22.04 African record to win the longer sprint event. The Beijing 2008 silver medalist in the women’s long jump lost her 100m African record to Cote d’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahoure who bettered the Nigerian’s mark of 10.79 secs by just 0.01s in 2016 with her PB of 10.78secs.Okagbare has effectively consign to history the 22.07 clocked by Onyali in Weltklasse Zurich in 1996.Onyali was particularly pleased that her 22 year-old African record has been broken by her compatriot.“My 200m African record went to my little sister yesterday. Congrats Ble-Ble Baby ! Now we are back on track !! Thanks for keeping this in the family Kitty; While we hunt for the other one ! On a mission. Stay tuned,” Onyali gushed with enthusiasm at the feat of Okagbare yesterday.Cierra White placed second behind Okagbare in a distant 23.26s, while Natasha McDonald settled for third in 24.23s.  Another Nigerian sprinter, Omotayo Abolaji placed fourth in the race with a Season’s Best (SB) of 24.42s while competing for South Plains College.Okagbare’s previous Personal Best (PB) in the event was 22.23s, set at the 2014 Eugene Diamond League. She now holds the Nigerian women’s records in the 100m (10.79secs) and 200m (22.04secs).With this new form, it is going to be difficult for the Delta-born sprinter to avoid defending the double sprint medals she won at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland four years ago.The former Team Nigeria captain had earlier signified her intention to race only in the 4x100m relay at the Games scheduled to hold in Gold Coast, Australia between April 4 and 15. She remains the favourite for both the 100m and 200m gold medals at the Games.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more