Report: H5N1 mutated rapidly in Indonesian cluster

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Report: H5N1 mutated rapidly in Indonesian cluster

first_imgJul 12, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Genetic studies show that the H5N1 avian influenza virus mutated multiple times as it spread through an Indonesia family in May, but the significance of the changes is uncertain, according to a news report today in Nature.The journal, basing its report on confidential genetic sequence data, published a chart showing that a total of 32 mutations were identified in viruses collected from six patients in the family case cluster. Previous reports from the World Health Organization and other experts gave the impression that only a few mutations had been found.The case cluster in North Sumatra involved a 37-year-old woman who apparently contracted the virus from poultry and then passed it to six relatives before she died. One of those six, a 10-year-old boy, then passed the virus to his father. WHO officials said last month that a specific mutation found in the boy and his father marked the first laboratory confirmation of human-to-human transmission of the virus.On May 23, the WHO said genetic sequencing of two viruses from the case cluster had shown “no evidence of genetic reassortment with human or pig influenza viruses and no evidence of significant mutations.” A month later, at the end of an avian flu conference in Jakarta, WHO officials told reporters the virus had mutated slightly when it infected the 10-year-old boy, and the same mutation showed up in his father. The mutation didn’t make the virus more transmissible or virulent, officials said.The genetic data obtained by Nature came from a presentation by University of Hong Kong virologist Malik Peiris at a closed session of the Jakarta meeting in June, the article says.The magazine says that 21 mutations were identified in a virus from the father of the 10-year-old boy, involving seven of the virus’s eight genes, suggesting that the virus was evolving rapidly as it spread. In addition, from one to four mutations were found in viruses collected from five other patients.The story says one of the mutations confers resistance to the antiviral drug amantadine, a finding not reported by the WHO.However, the virus did not spread beyond the extended family, as the article notes. “Many of the genetic changes did not result in the use of different amino acids by the virus,” the story says. “And there were no amino-acid changes in key receptor binding sites known to affect pathogenicity and transmissibility.”According to the magazine, viruses from six of the eight cases in the cluster have been sequenced, but the WHO has not shared the findings, saying they belong to Indonesia. The data have been released only to a few researchers linked to the WHO and the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, the story says.Virologists quoted by the journal asserted that the withholding of sequence data on H5N1 is hindering scientists’ understanding of the virus. But WHO staff member Paul Gully replied, according to the article, that the agency’s job is investigating outbreaks, not doing academic research, and that labs don’t have the time or resources to do “high-quality sequencing” during outbreaks.See also:May 23 WHO statement on genetic data from the case clusterhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_05_23/en/index.htmlJun 23 CIDRAP News story “H5N1 mutation showed human transmission in Indonesia”last_img read more

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Oregon fires destroy five towns, governor says many deaths feared

first_imgTopics : Unprecedented wildfires in Oregon have all but destroyed five small towns and a record number of deaths is feared, Governor Kate Brown said on Wednesday.Oregon was the hardest hit state in the US West, where nearly 100 extreme wildfires were stoked by high winds and temperatures.In central Oregon, rescuers saved people’s lives by pulling them from the Santiam River where they had taken refuge from flames that destroyed scores of riverside homes, officials said. The Santiam Valley town of Detroit, as well as Blue River and Vida in coastal Lane County and Phoenix and Talent in southern Oregon were substantially destroyed, Brown told a news conference.”This could be the greatest loss in human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history,” Brown said.The governor gave no indication of how many people may have died, but one of Oregon’s most deadly blazes was in 1936 when a fire destroyed the city of Brandon and killed 13 people.Firefighters in Oregon, California and Washington retreated from uncontrolled blazes that forced tens of thousands to evacuate their homes and hundreds of thousands to lose power.center_img “It was like driving through hell,” Jody Evans told local television station NewsChannel21 after a midnight evacuation from Detroit, about 50 miles (80 km) west of Salem.Evans fled the largest blaze in Oregon, known as the Beachie Fire, which threatened to join up with another wildfire to the west known as the Lionshead Fire.To the south, parts of Medford, Oregon, a popular retirement location with over 80,000 residents, were under evacuation orders or warnings as a growing wildfire closed a section of Interstate 5, the primary north-south highway in the West.As the fire moved north to Medford it heavily damaged Talent with about 6,000 residents and Phoenix, with around 5,000, according to local police.Brown saw no respite in the near term. “Winds continue to feed these fires and push them into our towns and cities,” she said, adding that thousands more Oregonians will need to evacuate over the next several hours.Climate scientists have blamed global warming for extreme wet and dry seasons in the US West that have caused grasses and scrub to flourish then dry out, leaving fuel that supercharges wildfires.In California, all 18 National Forests were closed due to what the US Forest Service called “unprecedented and historic fire conditions.”The Creek Fire about 35 miles (56 km) north of Fresno tore through the Sierra National Forest, susceptible due to drought and bark beetle damage, destroying over 360 homes and structures.“This fire is just burning at an explosive rate,” said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for California’s state fire authority. “You add the winds, the dry conditions, the hot temperatures, it’s the perfect recipe.”Across the United States wildfires have burned nearly 4.7 million acres in 2020, the highest year-to-date area since 2018, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.Most of the fires are in western states, where 17 new large blazes were reported on Wednesday, bringing the total to 96 that have burned more than 3.4 million acres – an area nearly the size of the US state of Connecticut.Home construction has encroached on forests in recent decades, and owners watched houses burn as firefighters are unable to save property. last_img read more

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Persaud storms to another gold medal for Guyana at CARIFTA Aquatic Championships

first_imgALEKA Persaud registered her second gold medal for Guyana in the 2019 CARIFTA Aquatic Championships, when she swam in the 100M freestyle race last evening at the Barbados Aquatic Centre in Wildey. To date, the 12-year-old has won all of Guyana’s medals, which includes two gold and two bronze.In her latest race, Persaud stormed to a time of 1:02.39 in the final of the 11-12 age division 100M freestyle event.  She finished ahead of Cayman Islands’ Harper Barrowman, who won a silver medal in a time of 1:03.04.For her dominance, the youngster qualified to swim her third event at the Caribbean and Central American Championships, which is slated for later this year.   She had already qualified in the 100M and 50M butterfly.Also yesterday, Persaud finished fourth in the 200M Individual Medley in a time of 2:42.42.Two of Guyana’s male swimmers, Noel Raekwon and Paul Mahaica, also swam in finals last evening.Raekwon finished seventh in the 13-14 age division of the 200M butterfly with a time of 2:27.40, while Mahaica finished fifth in the 11-12 age division of the same 200M butterfly with a time of 2:39.54.On Saturday evening, Persaud won gold in the 100M butterfly, while on Sunday evening she won a bronze in the 50M butterfly and in the 200M freestyle.According to head coach/manager of the side, Haresh Bhagwan, all the Guyanese swimmers (six in total) will be in the pool today, which is the last day of the championships.last_img read more

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Wimbledon: Nadal Seeded Number Three

first_imgWorld number two Rafael Nadal has been seeded third for Wimbledon this year behind top-ranked Novak Djokovic and world number three Roger Federer.The Spaniard now has a 50-50 chance of being in the same half as Djokovic and thus could meet him in the semi-finals of Wimbledon starting July 1 through July 14.Had he been second seed, rather than Federer, he could not have met the defending champion before the final. The women’s seedings reflect the world rankings, so Serena Williams is 11th and Britain’s Johanna Konta 19th.Wimbledon seeding is different from the other Grand Slams in that it does not always follow world rankings and is affected by grass-court performances.Nadal said it “doesn’t seem right” when asked about his likely seeding behind eight-time champion Federer for the championships, which begin on Monday.Last year’s finalist and world number eight Kevin Anderson is seeded fourth, and John Isner moves up to ninth after his run to the 2018 semi-finals.Anderson’s elevation to fourth seed means Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas all drop down one position in the seedings compared to their world ranking.Britain’s Kyle Edmund, the world number 31, is the 30th seed while British duo Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski are seeded 10th in the men’s doubles.French Open champion Ashleigh Barty tops the ladies’ seedings for the first time at a grand slam, with Naomi Osaka second and defending champion Angelique Kerber fifth.French Open 2019: Ashleigh Barty beats Marketa Vondrousova to win titleAustralian Ashleigh Barty defeats Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in the French Open final to win her first G…The women’s seedings follow the WTA ranking list but changes can be made for a ‘balanced draw’, which is the reason seven-time champion Serena Williams – ranked 183rd before last year’s championship – was seeded 25th in 2018.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Rafael Nadallast_img read more

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Alcona marching band back in action

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlcona, Mich. — It’s been about 10 years since Alcona High School had a marching band. Now the program is making music again, bringing spirit to their school.For a while, a lack of funds kept Alcona from hiring a band director. One student, Ben Thomas, now a senior, decided to help raise money to get program going again. Eventually enough money was raised to hire a part time director, and soon later someone was able to come in full time.Current band director Emma Pendergrass was hired last year and said that this is a dream come true for her. “I’ve known since I was in 7th grade band myself that I wanted to be a band director,” she said. “To be able to create my own program is something that not a lot of people get to do. So I was really excited when they called and offered me the job.”The marching band currently has 22 members that take the field on football night to perform. Among those is clarinetist, Amanda de Souza, who says that there’s a new energy that’s been brought to the school. “When there was no marching band it was kind of just like, the school spirit was just kind of dead but now that the bands here it’s really alive,” she said.The band is currently holding a fundraiser to keep improving the program. By visiting the website centuryresources.com and using the code 49511, you can browse a large catalog of items for sale. Forty percent of the profit from each purchase will go to the band. “They’re hoping to raise money for new stands, new uniforms, new instruments. We need everything we can get to get the program running more smoothly,” said Pendergrass.If you want to see the new Alcona marching band, they will play at their next home football game on October 25.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alcona Community Schools, Alcona CountyContinue ReadingPrevious Former Montmorency’s county sheriff deputy exonerated of sexual assault chargeNext Salvation Army still accepting coats for Tuesday giveawaylast_img read more

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Yankees adopt Brett Gardner’s dugout antics for new celebration

first_img Three Yankees ejected by multiple umpires during tight game vs. Indians #BangGangpic.twitter.com/rxeOh6wegz— Jared Saul (@JaredSaul) August 18, 2019“He’s one of the leaders of this team,” Judge said after the game ( via yankees.com ). “We do a lot of crazy things in that dugout. We’re showing support for him. He’s a leader of this stuff, so we’re supporting him with that. You’ll be seeing a lot more of that.”For some context, Gardner has had a career year when it comes to dugout demolition. Since busting own lip by slamming his helmet earlier this season, the veteran made an adjustment and started banging his bat against the roof of the dugout to blow off some steam. Related News Mets’ Pete Alonso breaks National League rookie home run record In case you were wondering what Brett Gardner has done to the top of the #Yankees dugout … #LetBrettBang pic.twitter.com/CO9QO60uDh— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) August 18, 2019Gardner’s latest outburst got him tossed from a Yankees win Saturday, along with manager Aaron Boone and teammate CC Sabathia. Once back on the field Sunday, Gardner gave the fans what they wanted during roll call with a mimed version of the roof beating and a two-armed flex. Imagine not loving Brett Gardner. pic.twitter.com/s0o9l7isi3— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) August 18, 2019“I know the fans out in right field were loving it,” Judge said. “He gave them a little dugout hit with a muscle-up [flex]. That was a good one.”This newest celebration seems to the 2019 version of the “thumbs down” craze of 2017 — which was taken from a Mets fan who disapproved of a Yankees homer. If nothing else, it’s another unifying symbol for a tight-knit team with baseball’s best record (83-43).Yankees doing the thumbs down for Todd Frazier because of the thumbs down guy 😂 pic.twitter.com/9V8vPm4Qlq— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) September 15, 2017″Those guys are really close,” Boone said. “There’s little things that happen throughout the course of the year that are inside things between guys, so that today was probably a little more of that.” In an act of solidarity (and maybe a bit of passive-aggressiveness), the Yankees have brought Brett Gardner’s dugout bat banging onto the field.After hitting a single Sunday against the Indians, Aaron Judge stood on first base, looked into the New York dugout and mimicked Gardner’s familiar act of protest. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. injury update: Blue Jays rookie pulled with left knee discomfortlast_img read more

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