WHO confirms report will look at stockpiling of H5N1 vaccine

first_imgFeb 18, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) official confirmed today that the agency is working on a report suggesting that governments consider stockpiling H5N1 avian influenza vaccines, but he stressed that such a stockpile “would not solve the problem” if a flu pandemic emerges.New Scientist magazine published an article yesterday saying that the WHO was preparing to recommend that governments consider stockpiling H5N1 vaccines. The story depicted that move as a change in WHO policy, saying the agency has previously maintained that a vaccine for pandemic flu can’t be produced until a pandemic begins.Dick Thompson, WHO spokesman on infectious disease issues, confirmed by e-mail today that WHO will suggest possible stockpiling in an upcoming report. But he characterized this as not signaling a major policy change.”There is a paper which WHO has been developing, which looks at the pros and cons of stockpiling H5N1 vaccine,” Thompson told CIDRAP News in the e-mail message. “The paper, which will be formally published in about 4 weeks time, states that those which can (wealthy countries) may want to consider stockpiling H5N1 as part of their larger flu pandemic preparedness as it could serve as part of a first response.”But he said the paper also describes three disadvantages of stockpiling: H5N1 may not match the pandemic strain, the vaccine’s shelf life of up to 2 years is relatively short, and, because companies have not yet begun clinical trials, licensing of the vaccine is months away.”At the same time WHO emphasizes that a stockpile would not solve the problem—that a few million doses in wealthy countries globally still leaves significant gaps,” Thompson added. “Therefore all countries should be preparing a full pandemic response, which does not rely on the availability of a vaccine.”The WHO’s concern about a pandemic is based on the H5N1 avian flu in Southeast Asia. The virus has caused at least 55 human illness cases, 42 of them fatal, since late 2003.Thompson also took issue with the magazine article’s statement, “Until now the WHO has said that a vaccine cannot be made until a pandemic starts, as only then can it be based on the exact strain of the virus responsible.”Calling this “incorrect,” Thomspon wrote, “We have long stated that an H5N1 vaccine could be useful, and have been coordinating with vaccine producers for months to follow the process of H5N1 vaccine development.”A lengthy new WHO report, “Avian influenza: assessing the pandemic threat,” says that stockpiling a “true pandemic vaccine” in advance is not possible, because the vaccine must “closely match the actual strain of a pandemic virus and must therefore await its emergence.” However, the report says that bulk antigen that protects against the H5 virus can be produced and stored in advance.Two companies, Sanofi Pasteur and Chiron Corp., are currently under contract to make H5N1 vaccines for the United States. Each company received a contract in May 2004 to make small pilot batches. In September, Sanofi (formerly Aventis Pasteur) received a contract to make 2 million doses. US officials have said that clinical trials of those vaccines are expected to start soon. Chiron is also under contract to make 40,000 doses of an H9N2 vaccine, another flu strain regarded as having pandemic potential.Thompson said WHO officials met with a number of manufacturers last week to review the status of H5N1 vaccine production, but he provided no information on the results of the meeting.He also commented that the WHO has not changed its assessment of the risk of a pandemic.See also:WHO report “Avian influenza: assessing the pandemic threat”http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2005/WHO_CDS_2005.29.pdfJan 20 report by WHO Secretariat, “Influenza pandemic preparedness and response”http://www.wpro.who.int/entity/emerging_diseases/documents/docs/B115_44en.pdflast_img read more

Spurs medical staff followed protocol on head injury – Pochettino

first_imgTottenham’s medical staff followed the correct protocols before allowing Jan Vertonghen back on the pitch after his head injury, says Mauricio Pochettino.Vertonghen collided with team-mate Toby Alderweireld and Ajax’s Andre Onana during the Champions League semi-final.He was treated for five minutes on the pitch and attempted to continue playing but was eventually helped off by medical staff after appearing unwell.“Of course I was worried, it’s normal,” said Spurs boss Pochettino.“For me the most important thing is the health of the player,” he added. “In that moment the doctor decides it’s OK. The medical staff are the boss on the decision.”Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz had asked for confirmation to allow Vertonghen to return to the pitch but the centre-back was hunched over as he swiftly signalled that he would be unable to continue playing.No ambulances were called to the stadium and Vertonghen was later seen walking freely through the media zone after the match.“I wasn’t involved. It was the doctor’s decision,” said Pochettino. “The rules and the protocols are there. Our medical staff followed the protocol.“He’s OK. We hope it is not a big issue. He walked away from the stadium. We know we have to keep watching and monitoring him because it was a big knock.”What are Uefa’s protocols? Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz sought confirmation from Tottenham’s medical staff before letting Jan Vertonghen return to the pitchAccording to Uefa’s concussion protocol, “in the event of a suspected concussion, the referee stops the game for up to three minutes, to allow the injured player to be assessed by the team doctor.“A player will only be allowed to continue playing on specific confirmation by the team doctor to the referee of the player’s fitness to carry on.”In this instance, referee Mateu Lahoz stopped play for five minutes and received confirmation before allowing Vertonghen to re-enter the game, after the correct protocols.Ex-Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I had so much concussion during my career. You have to stay still and do exactly what you are told. Going back on the pitch was incredibly risky for Vertonghen because if there was any challenge near him, it could have been terrible.“If the player is saying he is OK, it is difficult for a medical professional to say ‘no you cannot go back on.”–Source: BBC Sportlast_img read more

May 6, 1998: 20 things you might not remember about Kerry Wood’s 20-strikeout game

first_imgMORE: 10 single-season MLB feats we’ll never see againThe finer details of the game make for some pretty cool trivia on their own, too, so I put together a list of 20 other facts about this game that you might not remember or even know. Enjoy.1. May 6, 1998, was just Wood’s fifth MLB start. He entered the game with a 5.89 ERA, having allowed 15 hits and 12 walks through his first four games.2. Wood’s first pitch of the game hit umpire Jerry Meals right in the mask.3. The Astros’ lineup featured two future Hall of Famers in their primes: Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell.4. Astros pitcher Shane Reynolds also pitched a complete game that day; he “only” struck out 10 in eight innings, while allowing eight hits, but . . . 5. One of Reynolds’ 10 strikeouts was Wood, who went down looking in the third.6. The teams’ 30 combined strikeouts set an NL record. (It was broken in 2015 by the Mets and Nationals, who combined for 35 strikeouts in a Max Scherzer no-hitter.) Related to that . . .7. While the wind wasn’t a factor that day at Wrigley, the teams’ 20 combined swinging strikeouts — and 45 total swings and misses — provided quite a breeze.8. Speaking of swings and misses, Wood had a 19.6 swinging strike rate that day, which . . . wow.9. The game only lasted 2 hours and 19 minutes. Despite all those pitches from Wood (122) and Reynolds (116), and all those baserunners for the Cubs, the two teams managed to play a full game in what now seems like a shocking display of brevity.10. Of Wood’s 122 pitches, only 38 were balls. That’s 69 percent strikes.11. Even though the Cubs were on their way to a playoff season, and even though day baseball at Wrigley has always been a big deal in Chicago, and even though it was a pleasant 71 degrees, the paid attendance was only 15,758. But about 106,000 will claim to have been there.12. Every player who came to bat for the Astros that day struck out at least once. But . . .13. Only Biggio avoided striking out multiple times. Given Wood’s dominance, that information probably should’ve gone on Biggio’s plaque in Cooperstown.14. Wood’s dominance was apparent from the start, but there was never really much drama about a no-hitter or perfect game. He allowed a hit to Ricky Gutierrez in the third. He also hit Biggio with a pitch in the sixth. But no other baserunners.15. Between the two teams, the first eight batters of the game struck out. The breakdown: seven swinging, one looking.16. The Astros were never really out of the game, at least on the scoreboard. They even put a runner on third in the third, after Gutierrez’s hit, a sacrifice bunt and a Wood balk. But it didn’t matter.17. The middle of the Astros’ lineup — Bagwell, Jack Howell and Moises Alou — went a combined 0 for 9 with nine strikeouts. That’s a lot of power rendered ineffective. What? Don’t think Howell counts as a power bat? Well, he did once hit a broken-bat homer.18. Future MLB manager Brad Ausmus was Houston’s catcher that day. He only struck out twice.19. Wood entered the ninth inning with 18 strikeouts and a chance to break the all-time single-game record. He got closer when he fanned Bill Spiers to start the inning. But then Biggio grounded out, ruining a chance at uber-history. Hall of Famers are so pesky.20. Wood’s Game Score — a just-for-fun stat invented by Bill James — was 105, the highest in MLB history. Yes, higher than any no-hitter or perfect game. This is part of the reason why I maintain that no-hitters aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.Bonus: Wood’s historic win on May 6 was his only complete game and only shutout of the season.The rest of the storyWood made the 1998 Astros look bad on May 6, but they were a heck of a good team. They finished with 102 wins and won the NL Central by 12 1/2 games over the Cubs. As a team, their non-pitchers slashed .289/.367/.453 for the year. This makes Wood’s historic feat all the more impressive.Wood’s 1998 season effectively peaked with his 20-strikeout game (how could it get any better?), but he maintained that peak long enough to win the NL Rookie of the Year award after finishing 13-6 with a 3.40 ERA and 233 strikeouts in 166 2/3 innings. It was undoubtedly a stellar start to a promising career. Wood then missed all of 1999 with an injury. He returned to form from 2001 through 2003 — even making an All-Star team — but ultimately health issues limited his effectiveness and he left the Cubs’ rotation for good after the 2006 season. He became an All-Star closer in 2008 before moving on to bullpen roles with the Indians and Yankees. He finished his career back with the Cubs in 2011 and 2012, earning three wins and one save in 65 appearances over the two seasons. Wood’s final MLB appearance came May 18, 2012, when he entered the game in relief against the White Sox and faced one batter — and, appropriately, struck him out on three pitches. Yes, in good times and bad, through injuries and changing roles, strikeouts were always Kerry Wood’s brand. That’s why Wood is one of the great what-might-have-been stories of recent baseball history. His potential was on full display that day in 1998 as he mowed down Astros hitters with ease and gave baseball fans visions of an all-time great. That’s still where my mind goes whenever I hear Wood’s name — and I didn’t even watch the game.But even if a player is remembered most for one day of greatness, that time be punched out 20 is about as great as it gets. I love stories about cool baseball games or historic moments, but more than that, I like learning — or relearning — things about the event that aren’t necessarily the main point, the stuff most people have long forgotten.Most baseball fans remember Kerry Wood’s masterful 20-strikeout performance against the Astros on May 6, 1998, or at least know about it because it was a historic day at Wrigley as Wood became just the second pitcher in history to fan 20 batters in a nine-inning game. (The other pitcher was Roger Clemens, who did it in 1986 and again in 1996.)last_img read more

Letterkenny singer revealed as finalist in hit TV music competition

first_imgLetterkenny singer Sinead Black has been announced as one of this year’s hopefuls in TG4’s hit county music contest – Glór Tíre.Sinead (27) is well-known in the local country and wedding scene, but now the national stage awaits as she enters an exciting singing battle.Glór Tíre is a popular country music talent show which puts six up and coming talents head-to-head to sing in televised concerts. Contestants perform under the mentorship of some of Ireland’s biggest country music stars and Sinead has been paired up with Monaghan’s Ciarán Rosney for her competition journey. Speaking to DonegalWoman.ie, Sinead said she can’t wait to get on the stage.“I’m just delighted to be a finalist and to get this opportunity to reach new audiences and get into a different performance side of music,” Sinead said.The first concerts will be recorded next week at The Quays in Galway, but Sinead’s supporters will have to wait until the New Year before they can see her on television and start the voting process. This is Sinead’s first time singing on television, but the nerves are not a problem, as she has been singing since she was three years old and is an experienced performer – often appearing alongside her dad Alex Black over the years.“I’m not one bit nervous. I’m just excited to get stuck in, get dressed up and get performing with the band,” Sinead said.Sinead, who recently graduated in Business and IT, will be spending the next few weeks recording the series, being in the TG4 studios and travelling around Ireland with Ciaran Rosney.Glór Tíre is set to bring a great boost to Sinead’s career, while she continues to be in demand for wedding singing.“It’s always been my goal to get on Glór Tíre for the experience, to meet new people and get into the country music network.”More weddings, concerts and guest appearances are all in Sinead’s sights, while the campaign for Glór Tíre glory will begin in earnest in 2020. Letterkenny singer revealed as finalist in hit TV music competition was last modified: October 19th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Country musicGLOR TIREMUSICsinead blackTG4last_img read more

6,000 steps a day keeps knee problems at bay

first_imgWalking 6,000 or more steps per day may protect people with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis (OA) from developing mobility issues such as difficulty in getting up from a chair and climbing stairs, a study shows.”Walking reduces risk of functional limitation associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA),” said Daniel White from Sargent College at Boston University in Massachusetts, US.For the study, researchers measured daily steps taken by 1,788 people with or at risk for knee OA”We tried to find out how much daily walking is needed to minimise risk of developing problems with mobility in people with knee OA,” White added.For the study, researchers measured daily steps taken by 1,788 people with or at risk for knee OA.Walking was measured with a monitor over seven days and functional limitation evaluated two years later.Knee pain can be caused by a sudden injury, an overuse injury, or by an underlying condition, such as arthritisWalking an additional 1,000 steps each was associated with between a 16 percent to 18 percent reduction in incident functional limitation two years later.Walking less than 6,000 steps daily was the best threshold for identifying those who developed functional limitation.”We encourage those with or at risk of knee OA to walk at least 3,000 or more steps each day, and ultimately progress to 6,000 steps daily to minimise the risk of developing difficulty with mobility,” White suggested.The study was published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.last_img read more