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IPL final: Will Jasprit Bumrah lead Mumbai Indians to a fifth title against Delhi Capitals? | Cricket News

first_img 1:37 Chris Jordan told the IPL Cricket Show that Jofra Archer must be in the running for MVP of the tournament given his superb IPL form That was the question posed by Sky Sports pundit Rob Key on The IPL Cricket Show on Friday. The 26-year-old fast bowler is certainly in the conversation and his record – be it in Test, 50-over or T20 cricket – speaks for itself.“Who else would challenge him? I would say Kagiso Rabada, Jofra Archer, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc; these are the guys that play in all three formats and are brilliant,” Nasser Hussain said.There is a debate to be had – in fact, you can listen to Key, Hussain and England bowler Chris Jordan have it right here on The IPL Cricket Show podcast – but going into Tuesday’s IPL final, you can be sure of one thing: there is no one Mumbai Indians would rather have leading their attack.- Advertisement – Jasprit Bumrah has taken 27 wickets with an economy of less than seven to help Mumbai Indians reach another IPL final Bumrah bowled Shikhar Dhawan with a stunning yorker when Mumbai last played Delhi, in Qualifier 1 Delhi will be desperate to end their wait for a first IPL title and possess numerous potential match-winners: Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan, Marcus Stoinis and Anrich Nortje to name but a few.Not that Mumbai are lacking in that department with Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya in their ranks. The defending champions look to have the more complete, more in-form and more settled side, they are favourites for a reason. But if it comes down to it and you had to choose one player most likely to make the difference in a close game, it would be Bumrah.“This bloke’s stats at the moment, if he stays fit, he is going to be an absolute superstar,” Hussain said. “He’s pushing that already.”Superstardom may be little more than a formality now for Bumrah but the next step on that path is helping Mumbai overcome Delhi to claim yet another IPL crown on Tuesday. He is going to take some stopping.Watch the IPL final between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 1.50pm on Tuesday. – Advertisement – Is Jasprit Bumrah the best bowler in the world across all formats?- Advertisement – Mumbai vs Delhi November 10, 2020, 1:50pmLive on Rabada’s four-wicket haul in Qualifier 2 might have nudged him ahead at the top of the wicket-taking charts but Bumrah is just two behind, having played two games less than the Delhi Capitals quick.The pair will go head-to-head as the tournament reaches its conclusion in Dubai and while Delhi are competing in their first final, it is Mumbai’s sixth and they are hunting a fifth title.- Advertisement – 0:47 Bumrah bowled Shikhar Dhawan with a stunning yorker when Mumbai last played Delhi, in Qualifier 1 “He’s definitely quite awkward,” Jordan said of the India paceman. “He has a different run-up to start with, so to get the rhythm against his run-up is challenging.“It’s a bit like Jof as well, to get the rhythm of his run-up against the pace he is bowling is the balance that you have to sort out. His skill-level is unbelievable. Especially in a T20 game, he just seems to make the right decisions at the right time.”One of the things that makes Bumrah so special is his ability to be effective at any stage of the innings. Want to get the most out of the new ball? He can do it. In need of a breakthrough in the middle overs? Bumrah’s your man. Game getting close in the final overs? There is no better death bowler in world cricket.What perhaps gives Bumrah the edge over Rabada in T20 cricket is that he is able to keep the runs down while maintaining the same wicket-taking threat that makes the South African stand out. Rabada has 29 wickets to Bumrah’s 27 in this year’s IPL but the Proteas man is going at 8.23 runs an over – still very respectable for a player bowling in the powerplay and at the death – whereas the Mumbai speedster has an economy of just 6.71. Only Archer – 20 wickets and an economy of 6.55 – is comparable to Bumrah in both categories among seam bowlers. Each of Mumbai’s last two finals have ended in one-run victories and Bumrah has starred in both. Lasith Malinga took the headlines last year when he trapped Shardul Thakur lbw with Chennai Super Kings needing two to win from the last ball.It is forgotten the Sri Lankan had gone wicketless in his 3.5 overs prior to that, conceding 49 runs. By contrast, Bumrah took 2-14 from his four overs. Without him, Chennai would have won long before Malinga had the chance for his magic moment.Of course, there are similarities between Bumrah and Malinga in his earlier years: great pace, unerring toe-crunching yorkers and unorthodox, slingy actions – albeit coming from very different angles – to further bamboozle batsmen. Chris Jordan told the IPL Cricket Show that Jofra Archer must be in the running for MVP of the tournament given his superb IPL form It is not just about having the skills, it is about knowing how and when to use them, and Jordan says each of that trio are able to do both more often than not.“People like [Bumrah], Jof and Rabada, they assess conditions really quickly and that is the key to what makes them so special,” he added. “A lot of them use their bouncer early in their spells, just to test out the pitch and get a feel for the pace of it, what might be required on the day.“Bumrah can bowl in literally any phase of the game: powerplay, middle, death. He’s got all the skills, he’s got all the tools.”All the talent, all the tools and, given the number of times he has bowled his side to victory in tight games on the big stage, it is fair to say a temperament to match. Perhaps the only thing capable of preventing Bumrah becoming one of the great bowlers of his generation is injury.He was sidelined for four months in 2019 with a stress fracture of the lower back and, while he appears back to his best now, his short run-up is the kind that puts a lot of strain on the body. Michael Holding has warned, as he did with Mark Wood, who has since lengthened his run-up, that it could lead to further problems in future.For now though, he is fully fit and in excellent form. Along with Trent Boult he decimated the Delhi top-order when the sides met in Qualifier 1 last week and while the Capitals faced a gruelling must-win game against the Sunrisers on Sunday, Mumbai have had plenty of time to rest up and prepare for the final. Jasprit Bumrah has taken 27 wickets with an economy of less than seven to help Mumbai Indians reach another IPL final
Jasprit Bumrah has taken 27 wickets with an economy of less than seven to help Mumbai Indians reach another IPL final

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Daniel Ricciardo: No ‘awkwardness’ in Renault’s F1 battle with McLaren

first_imgDaniel Ricciardo has insisted he does not feel “awkward” racing hard against his future team McLaren – and is bidding to finish 2020 on a high by helping Renault come out on top in Formula 1’s closest battle.- Advertisement – Daniel Ricciardo will continue putting in his all for Renault before leaving the team and says that has to be “respected and understood” by his next team, McLaren; Renault currently one point ahead of McLaren and Racing Point in F1 battle for third By Matt MorlidgeLast Updated: 12/11/20 2:12pm Renault are currently third in the Constructors’ Championship – which would be their best season result since 2007 – but only one point ahead of midfield rivals McLaren and Racing Point heading into this weekend’s Turkish GP, the first of four races to finish the campaign.An added intrigue to that fight is the fact their star driver Ricciardo – who has scored the vast majority of those 135 points during one of the best seasons of his F1 career – is leaving for McLaren at the end of 2020.Ricciardo, however, is adamant he will continue to show “intensity and loyalty” with Renault, speaking to Sky F1 after being asked if there was any awkwardness about trying to get the better of his next team.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Go on board with 2010 polesitter Mark Webber for a lap of the fast and very challenging Istanbul Park ahead of the Turkish GP’s return in November Ricciardo, who is fourth in the drivers’ standings and arrives in Istanbul after two podiums in three races, added: “Next year, when the page turns, I’m all in with McLaren – but until then I’m going to keep going at Renault.”Ricciardo is replacing Carlos Sainz at McLaren, while Renault have signed two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso for 2021.Early starts: when to watch the Turkish GPWith a three-hour time difference between the UK and Turkey, it’s the earliest start times of the reshaped season this weekend for live coverage on Sky Sports F1 on a weekend Lewis Hamilton could clinch a record-equalling seventh world championship.Friday7.30am: Welcome to the Weekend LIVE!8am: Practice One LIVE!11.45am: Practice Two build-up LIVE!12pm: Practice Two LIVE!2.30pm: Story So Far LIVE!Saturday8.45am: Practice Three build-up LIVE!9am: Practice Three LIVE!11am: Qualifying build-up LIVE!12pm: Qualifying LIVE!Sunday8.30am: Grand Prix Sunday LIVE!10.10am: THE TURKISH GRAND PRIX LIVE!12pm: Chequered Flag LIVE!1pm: The Notebook LIVE!3pm: Turkish GP highlights

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Low-pathogenic avian flu viruses can infect humans

first_imgSep 13, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – European researchers have reported what they call the first evidence that low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses—not just highly pathogenic (HPAI) strains like H5N1—can infect humans.The finding in a study of Italian poultry workers suggests that avian flu viruses have more chances than previously suspected to mix with human flu viruses, potentially creating hybrids that could trigger a human flu pandemic, according to the report published online by the Journal of Infectious Diseases.The researchers, led by Isabella Donatelli of the Instituto Superiore di Sanita in Rome, took serum samples from 983 workers at several farms in northern Italy from August 1999 until July 2003. Several avian flu outbreaks occurred there during that period, including both LPAI and HPAI strains of H7N1 and an LPAI H7N3 strain. (LPAI viruses cause mild illness and few deaths in poultry, while HPAI viruses cause severe illness with high death rates.)The serum samples were tested for antibodies to the avian viruses. To ensure accuracy, the researchers tested each sample with hemagglutination inhibition (HI) and microneutralization (MN) assays. If either of these came back positive, a Western blot analysis was done.None of the 798 serum samples collected during or after the first four outbreaks tested positive for antibodies to H7N1 or H7N3 viruses. However, 7 of 185 samples (3.8%) taken during an H7N3 outbreak in 2002 and 2003 tested positive for both viruses in the MN assay, and 4 of those 7 tested positive for both viruses in the HI assay. Both tests showed higher titers of antibodies to the H7N3 (LPAI) strain. In the Western blot testing, all seven samples showed clear reactivity, unlike control samples (which had tested negative in the HI and MN assays).All the workers who tested positive had had close contact with turkeys or chickens in dusty poultry houses, the authors report. None of the workers reported any flu-like illness at the time of the avian flu outbreaks, and only one reported symptoms of conjunctivitis, an ailment seen in some Dutch poultry workers during an HPAI outbreak in 2003.”To our knowledge, this is the first serological evidence of transmission of LPAI viruses to humans during an epizootic in domestic poultry,” the report says. It adds that reports of human infections associated with other avian flu outbreaks—in the Netherlands, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Canada—have all involved HPAI strains.The researchers call for “permanent” surveillance for avian flu viruses in both animals and humans to shed more light on how the viruses jump the species barrier.”Our findings highlight the risk of the emergence of a potentially pandemic strain, as a result of reassortment of avian and contemporaneously circulating human strains during outbreaks of AI [avian influenza] caused by LPAI viruses,” they write.The authors also say, according to a Journal of Infectious Diseases news release, that poultry workers should be regularly vaccinated against ordinary flu to reduce the risk of gene-swapping between avian and human flu strains.Puzelli S, Di Trani L, Faviani C, et al. Serolgoical analysis of serum samples from humans exposed to avian H7 influenza viruses in Italy between 1999 and 2003. J Infect Dis 2005 Oct 15;192(8):1318-22 [Full text]See also:Commentary on Puzelli article in same issue of JID [Full text]last_img read more

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FDA suspends plan to close field labs

first_img Von Eschenbach denied that the closings relate to outsourcing, but he later said the agency would consider certifying or credentialing private labs to do some testing, the AP report said. However, the next day President Bush issued an executive order establishing a cabinet-level interagency working group to promote the safety of imported products. The panel was created in light of recent food contamination and other product safety problems linked to imported goods. The order instructs the group to report back in September unless an extension is deemed necessary. Von Eschenbach, in an Aug 1 AP report, said he wanted to make sure that before proceeding, the FDA was “doing the right thing and doing it in the right way.” Margaret Glavin, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for regulatory affairs, said the agency’s proposal is to close 7 of its 13 labs, CongressDaily reported yesterday. She wrote in an e-mail to her staff that the FDA might reconsider the lab reorganization plan, as well as a proposed consolidation of 20 district offices into 16, depending on the findings of the president’s import safety working group, the report said. Jul 18 press release on Bush executive orderhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070718-4.html Some lawmakers, however, oppose the lab consolidation plan, and CongressDaily reported that House and Senate agricultural appropriations bills include language that would stop the FDA from shuttering the labs until it can prove that the closures are warranted. In a Jul 31 letter to the FDA, Stupak and Dingell wrote that they couldn’t fathom why the FDA would contract out a critical import testing program, “particularly in light of the numerous recent incidences of harmful foods exported from other countries,” CongressDaily reported. See also: Aug 3, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach announced this week the postponement of a plan to close about half of the FDA’s field laboratories until the agency hears the recommendations of President Bush’s import safety working group. Bart Stupak, a Democratic congressman from Michigan, told CongressDaily that the FDA, in reams of documents submitted to a house subcommittee, has not explained why consolidating the labs makes sense from safety or cost perspectives. “Whether they are closed today or 90 days from now, closing the FDA’s field labs and consolidating the district offices, which places more power in Washington, makes no sense for America’s food safety,” Stupak was quoted as saying. Von Eschenbach had said the FDA laboratory reorganization would greatly enhance the agency’s ability to assess and rank risks to better utilize inspection, enforcement, and analytical resources, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Jul 17. Stupak and John D. Dingell, another Democratic congressman from Michigan, asked whether the lab consolidation plan represents a step toward privatizing or outsourcing the testing of imported foods, the AP reported.last_img read more

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Indonesia: H5N1 sample on its way to WHO

first_imgAug 17, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesian officials said today they have sent a sample from a recent victim of H5N1 influenza to the World Health Organization (WHO), apparently ending the country’s prolonged withholding of H5N1 samples.Triono Soendoro, research and development director for the Indonesian health ministry, said a sample from a woman on Bali who died of avian flu had been sent to the WHO collaborating laboratory in the United States as a precautionary measure, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today.The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the WHO’ collaborating lab in the United States, is expecting the Indonesian samples, a CDC spokeswoman said today.”We are expecting them but have not received them yet,” Christine Pearson told CIDRAP News. “I can’t say for sure that they’ve been shipped, but we are expecting them.”Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said the government was sending the sample to prove that the virus has not mutated into a form that can spread from person to person, according to a report today from Antara, the national news agency, published in the Jakarta Post.She also said it was important to prevent panic in Bali, a major tourist destination. A 29-year-old woman from the Jembrana district in northwestern Bali died of avian flu on Aug 12, marking the first case on the island.Indonesia stopped sending H5N1 samples to the WHO last December as a protest against the cost of commercial vaccines derived from the samples. The action disrupted a 50-year tradition of free international sharing of flu virus samples that has permitted scientists to monitor viral evolution and develop vaccines.In May, Indonesia sent three H5N1 samples to the WHO in advance of the World Health Assembly. But a WHO official reported on Aug 6 that those samples contained no viable viruses. The official, David Heymann, WHO assistant director for communicable diseases, said Indonesia’s withholding of virus specimens was endangering global health.Last week Soendoro vowed that Inodnesia would not resume sending virus samples until the WHO sets up a system to ensure that developing countries will have access to affordable vaccines derived from the samples they provide.At the World Health Assembly in May, WHO member countries passed a resolution outlining steps to ensure the fair distribution of vaccines in the event of a flu pandemic. The resolution calls on the WHO to establish an international stockpile of pandemic flu vaccines and to set up a system governing the sharing of virus samples.At a WHO-sponsored meeting in Singapore early in August, officials from 23 countries drew up proposals concerning virus sharing. Further work on the proposals is expected at a larger meeting scheduled in November, the WHO has said.See also:Aug 9 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia to keep withholding virus samples for now”last_img read more

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H5N1 suspected at second British farm

first_imgNov 15, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Veterinary officials in England today said they suspected H5N1 avian influenza at another poultry farm, as authorities in Saudi Arabia stamped out a large poultry flock following confirmation of the virus at a farm near the nation’s capital.Samples from the potentially affected British farm, in Suffolk, were sent for laboratory testing, the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said in a statement today.The farm is within a restricted zone surrounding the site of a recently confirmed H5N1 outbreak at a turkey farm near Diss, Suffolk. It is among four nearby farms cited yesterday by DEFRA as targets for precautionary culling. All the farms—including the outbreak site near Diss—are operated by Redgrave Poultry, and authorities say workers, veterinarians, or vehicles could have spread the H5N1 virus between them, the London Telegraph reported today.Authorities suspected the H5N1 virus at the second farm when they arrived to carry out the preventive culling and found that a number of birds were already dead, according to the Telegraph report.DEFRA said surveillance of poultry operations was under way and that it had increased monitoring of wild birds in Suffolk and neighboring Norfolk.Several possible sources citedAccording to British media reports, several possible sources of the H5N1 virus are under investigation.One is that the turkeys could have been exposed to wild birds that were attracted to a pond near the farm. However, Redgrave Poultry, in a statement posted on the Farming UK Web site, said the birds were kept in paddocks outside during the day and had access to housing at night. The company said feed and water are kept indoors to discourage wild-bird feeding. It also said electrified fencing, empty space, and a farm road separate the turkeys on the affected farm from the pond.Redgrave Poultry also said its turkey chicks and feed come from sources in the UK.Authorities are also speculating that the ducklings imported from the Netherlands or poultry products imported from other European countries by Gressingham Foods, the parent company of Redgrave Poultry, could also be sources of the H5N1 virus, The Times of London reported today. The strain found at the Diss farm is similar to H5N1 viruses found in Germany and the Czech Republic earlier this year, according to a previous report.However, Redgrave Poultry denied that the disease could have come from the ducklings, and the Dutch agriculture ministry said only one shipment of ducklings had been sent to the UK, to a site 50 kilometers from the outbreak area, the Telegraph reported.Gressingham Foods processes and packs imported specialty poultry at a plant less than 750 yards from the confirmed outbreak site near Diss, the Times report said. According to Gressingham’s Web site, the firm imports guinea fowl, quail, poussin, smoked chicken, and smoked duck.Earlier this year, British officials said an H5N1 outbreak at the Bernard Matthews turkey operation in February was probably caused by contaminated turkey meat imported from Hungary, which had an H5N1 outbreak in geese at the time. According to a DEFRA epidemiologic report released a few months after the outbreak, the Bernard Matthews farm adjoined a turkey slaughterhouse and two large processing plants that handled Hungarian turkey meat.Disease hits Saudi ArabiaIn other developments, the agriculture ministry in Saudi Arabia released a statement to the country’s media that authorities culled 50,000 birds at a farm near Riyadh after officials confirmed an H5N1 outbreak there, Reuters reported today.About 1,500 birds are believed to have died of the disease at the farm, located in al-Kharj, about 94 miles south of the capital, Reuters reported. The report did not say what type of poultry was affected.Saudi Arabia’s last reported H5N1 outbreak occurred in March when the virus struck a flock of ostriches at a hobby farm, according to a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).Elsewhere, Bangladesh has had five new H5N1 outbreaks since October, according to a report today from the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.Since March the country has had 55 outbreaks in 19 of its 64 districts, which has prompted the culling of 250,000 birds, the IRIN report said.The arrival of migrating waterfowl from Siberia has raised concerns about even more outbreaks in the winter months, A.S.M. Alamgir, a virologist at the country’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, told IRIN.See also:Nov 13 CIDRAP News story “British officials confirm H5N1 in turkey outbreak”OIE reports on Saudi H5N1 outbreakhttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A2007_AI.phpNov 15 IRIN reportlast_img read more

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CDC: Imperfect flu vaccine was of help in tough season

first_imgApr 17, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Preliminary findings from Wisconsin suggest that this year’s flu vaccine lowered one’s risk of catching the flu by 44%, even though two of the three strains used in the vaccine didn’t match well with the viruses in circulation, federal health officials announced today.Forty-four percent is well below the 70% to 90% protection that a flu vaccine well-matched to circulating strains is expected to provide for healthy adults, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hailed the findings as good news in a year of “suboptimal” matches.The CDC said the Wisconsin study indicated the vaccine provided 58% protection against influenza A/H3N2, the nation’s predominant strain this season. However, the vaccine offered no protection against influenza B, the strain for which the vaccine was least well matched. The study provided no estimate of vaccine effectiveness against the third strain, A/H1N1, because no H1N1 viruses were identified in the Wisconsin patients.”Although two of three vaccine strains were not optimally matched with circulating viruses this season, an interim VE [vaccine effectiveness] estimate suggests that vaccination provided substantial protection against medically attended acute respiratory illness in this study population,” the CDC said in the Apr 18 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).The CDC also reported today that the flu season now ending was worse than the previous three and that flu vaccine production and distribution for the US market set records, though millions of doses again went unsold. The flu season was comparable with 2003-04, which was “moderately severe,” officials said.The six companies licensed to make flu vaccine for the US market produced about 140 million doses, about 20 million more than the previous season, said Dr. Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of immunization services in the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.”Based on data provided by distributors and manufacturers, we know that about 113 million doses of vaccine were distributed,” Santoli said at a news teleconference. She said this set a record and was about 10 million more doses than were distributed in the 2006-07 season. The figures indicate that about 27 million doses of vaccine went unsold.”We anticipate that next season’s supply will be similar or somewhat increased from this season,” Santoli said, adding that the CDC expects to have projections sometime in the next month.Vaccine effectiveness studyThe vaccine effectiveness findings came from a case-control study by the Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic. From Jan 21 to Mar 28, the clinic enrolled patients who sought care for an acute respiratory or febrile illness, testing them for flu and checking their vaccination status. The preliminary results are based on findings from 616 patients who were enrolled between Jan 21 and Feb 8. Patients were considered vaccinated if they had received a shot 2 weeks or more before enrollment or, for children younger than 9, if they had received two doses of vaccine.Vaccine effectiveness was estimated by comparing patients who had laboratory-confirmed flu (as determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) with those who tested negative, according to the MMWR report. For patients who tested positive, samples were cultured to provide virus isolates for antigenic characterization.Flu was confirmed in 191 of the 616 patients (31%), and 75% of the infections were type A. About 19% of patients who tested positive had received a flu shot, compared with 39% of those who tested negative.As noted above, the findings yielded an overall vaccine effectiveness estimate of 44%. For H3N2 viruses—one of the subtypes for which this year’s vaccine was not well matched—the estimated effectiveness was 58%. But for type B viruses, the other subtype marked by a suboptimal match this year, the vaccine’s effectiveness was zero, the report says.The study showed some differences by age-group: for healthy people aged 5 to 49 years, overall vaccine effectiveness was 54%, and effectiveness for H3N2 viruses was 68%. The report does not give figures for people aged 50 to 64 and over 65, who were small minorities.Dr. Dan Jernigan, deputy director of the CDC’s Influenza Division, said vaccine effectiveness estimates lower than 44% have been recorded in some years, most recently in 1997-98. He said those estimates came from studies using different methods than the Marshfield study.”In the last 20 seasons, 16 have had good matches, and there have been four that had less than optimal matches,” Jernigan said at the press conference. “In general the matches are better than what we have this year.”The MMWR article notes that the mismatch between vaccine and circulating viruses—in terms of both numbers and degree of antigenic difference—was sharpest for type B. About 95% of tested type B isolates this season belonged to a different lineage from the strain used in the vaccine. For H3N2 viruses, 71% of tested isolates were similar to A/Brisbane/10/2007, a recent variant of A/Wisconson/67/2005, the H3N2 strain used in the vaccine.The degree of mismatch for H3N2 this season is “moderate” in comparison with antigenic differences seen in the long term for this subtype, the CDC says. In contrast, the B strain in the vaccine and the predominant circulating B strain are “substantially more antigenically distinct” than is the case with H3N2.Although type A viruses—primarily H3N2—have been the most common type overall this season, type B viruses have made a late surge, becoming the most commonly reported type for the 2 weeks from Mar 23 to Apr 5, the CDC said in a separate MMWR article.Given the vaccine mismatch for type B, the agency said, “If influenza B strains predominate during the remainder of this season, providers can anticipate an increased risk for vaccine failures and should consider early use of antiviral medications for treatment and prophylaxis of persons at high risk” for flu complications.A fairly tough seasonIn describing the 2007-08 flu season so far, Jernigan said, “Most seasonal indicators have been on the high end compared with the past three seasons. . . . The 2007-08 season appears to be most similar to 2003-04, which was characterized as moderately severe.”This season, deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza peaked at 9.1% of all deaths and stayed above the CDC’s epidemic threshold for 13 straight weeks. In 2003-04, pneumonia and influenza deaths peaked at 10.4% of all deaths and hovered above the epidemic level for nine weeks.Sixty-six children have died of lab-confirmed flu and its complications so far this season, Jernigan reported. Of those old enough for vaccination, 52 either were not vaccinated or did not receive both of the two recommended doses, he said.For the week that ended Apr 5, six states still had widespread flu activity, and 11 states had regional activity, the CDC said.CDC. Interim within-season estimate of the effectiveness of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine—Marshfield, Wisconsin, 2007-08 influenza season. MMWR 2008 Apr 18;57(15):393-8 [Full text]CDC. Update: influenza activity—September 30, 2007–April 5, 2008, and composition of the 2008-09 influenza vaccine. MMWR 2008 Apr 18;57(15):404-9 [Full text]See also:Apr 24, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Record flu vaccine supply expected for next season”last_img read more

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GAO: States want more pandemic planning guidance

first_imgJul 29, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Despite a wide range of pandemic planning guidance documents from federal and private groups, states say they still need more information from federal officials, particularly on community mitigation measures, fatality management, and supporting medical surge efforts, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported recently.The GAO released its findings on Jul 19 in a 52-page report posted on its Web site. Members of Congress had asked the GAO to describe how states and localities were preparing for a pandemic, along with how they handled their pandemic exercises, what they learned from them, and how the federal government can better assist state and local officials with pandemic planning.The GAO based its findings on visits to the five most populous states, California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas, and ten localities within them. The localities included five urban areas—Los Angeles County, Miami, Chicago, New York City, and Dallas—and five rural counties: Stanislaus County, California; Taylor County, Florida; Peoria County, Illinois; Washington County, New York; and Angelina County, Texas. Taken together, the areas include a third of the US population and account for a third of federal funds for pandemic planning exercises, and they also are border areas or international travel hubs. All 15 of the sites had developed pandemic plans.Spotty preparationsOne of the findings was that states and localities have had little involvement with federal pandemic planning efforts, despite the fact that, according to the National Pandemic Implementation Plan, they must lead 17 of it 324 action items and are involved in 64 other tasks. “Stakeholder involvement during the planning process is important to ensure that the federal government’s and nonfederal entities’ responsibilities and resource requirements are clearly understood and agreed on,” the GAO reported.In 2007 the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reviewed states’ pandemic plans. The agency found many major gaps in 16 of 22 priority areas and a few major gaps in six other areas. HHS officials told GAO investigators that states have generally done well planning public health measures such as mass vaccination and antiviral distribution, but were less adept in other areas such school closures and maintaining critical infrastructure.”We found the areas in which state and local officials were looking for additional federal guidance were often the same areas that were rated by HHS as having ‘many major gaps’ in planning,” the investigators wrote.Federal officials issued a pandemic planning guide for the states in March 2008; the states are required to submit updated plans for review by the end of July.All the states and all but two of the localities in the GAO study had conducted a pandemic exercise to test their plans. All said they had incorporated lessons learned during the exercises into their pandemic planning. For example, officials in New York City learned they might experience a ventilator shortage and purchased 70 additional units. And officials in Stanislaus County, California, learned they needed to train their staff on how to use the National Incident Management System, a nationwide public-private system that prepares for and responds to domestic emergencies.Lots of resources, but not enoughThe GAO detailed myriad resources for states, including checklists, planning documents, and Webinars from the federal government as well as the private sector. Federal officials have also hosted five regional workshops on pandemic planning. However, investigators found that states and localities still would like more guidance on specific topics, including some—such as community mitigation measures—that have already been addressed. “The existing guidance may not have reached state and local officials or may not address the particular concerns or circumstances of the state and local officials we interviewed,” the auditors wrote.Other areas on which nonfederal officials said they wanted more guidance included fatality management, how to support medical surge capacity, mass vaccination, antiviral drug distribution, how to plan quarantine stations, how to handle school closures, and how to maintain critical infrastructure.In some instances, states are developing their own guidance, the GAO reported. For example, California is developing medical surge guidelines for healthcare professionals, and Texas has developed an antiviral prioritization plan.GAO calls for more regional workshopsThe GAO recommended that federal officials hold more regional pandemic planning sessions for states to address some of the topics and address gaps in planning. However, a senior official in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told investigators that no more workshops were planned.HHS generally agreed with the GAO’s recommendation and said it might consider holding more regional planning workshops after its staff finishes reviewing state pandemic plan revisions. DHS said in a letter accompanying the report that it also agreed with the GAO’s recommendation.See also:Jul 19 GAO report on state pandemic planningMar 14 CIDRAP News story “HHS issues pandemic planning guide for states”last_img read more

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H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Case count, new deaths, phase 6 on hold, vaccine news, jump in Aussie cases, asthma as risk factor

first_imgJun 4, 2009US sees steady rise in novel H1N1 casesThe nation’s number of novel H1N1 cases rose to 11,468 today, up 414 from yesterday, an official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today at a media briefing. The number of deaths reported by states to the CDC grew by 2 to 19. The number of hospitalizations climbed to 770, about 2.5% of the cases. Rates were highest in the 5 to 24 age-group and among children younger than 5.[CDC press briefings]Five states report new novel flu deathsConnecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin are reporting new novel H1N1 deaths, according to media reports and health departments. The ones in Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin were adults who had underlying conditions. In Illinois, the patient was a 20-year-old Chicago woman who died after giving birth. New York reported its first outstate death, an adult with an underlying condition, and New York City reported two deaths in patients who were in their 40s and had risk factors.Chan says no final decision on alert level changeMargaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), told Bloomberg News yesterday that a final decision has not been made about raising the pandemic alert from phase 5 to 6. Sources close to the WHO have told Bloomberg that the WHO would raise the level within the next 10 days. Chan advised countries to review their pandemic plans and make revisions as needed based on the novel flu strain that appears much less lethal than the H5N1 strain upon which many plans are based.[Jun 4 Bloomberg News story]Novavax, NIAID to test novel flu VLP vaccineNovavax, a biotechnology company based in Rockville, Md., announced today that it has signed an agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to evaluate the company’s virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine against the novel H1N1 virus. Novavax scientists produced the first batch of novel flu VLPs in May from an isolate from a California patient. VLPs are nearly identical to viruses but lack replication genes. The new method is designed to speed production.[Jun 4 Novavax press release]Novel flu cases rise quickly in AustraliaThe number of novel H1N1 cases is Australia climbed to 876 today, 243 more than reported yesterday, the country’s Department of Health and Ageing reported. The high concentration of cases (752) in the state of Victoria has led other states to impose quarantine rules on those traveling from Victoria, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. New South Wales, for example, is barring children who traveled to Melbourne from attending school for a week after their return.[Jun 4 Sydney Morning Herald story]Asthma leads risk factors in NYC novel flu hospitalizationsThe New York City Department of Health (NYCDH) yesterday detailed risk factors that were present among the 152 residents who were hospitalized for novel influenza. At least 85% had one or more underlying health condition. The most common ones were asthma (41%), being younger than 2 years old (18%), having a compromised immune system (13%), and heart disease (12%). Pregnancy, diabetes, and chronic organ system disorders were also reported among those who were hospitalized.[Jun 3 NYCDH press release]Barbados, Trinidad report first novel flu casesThe Caribbean countries of Barbados and Trinidad reported their first novel flu cases, according to media reports today. The patient in Barbados is a 19-year-old with no recent travel history, according to the Associated Press (AP). The patient in Trinidad is a woman who had recently traveled to other countries where the virus was reported. No other details were available about her illness or exposure.[Jun 4 AP story]last_img read more

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Packaging, not yield, may be problem for nasal-spray H1N1 vaccine

first_imgJul 30, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – While most vaccine manufacturers have reaped below-average crops of H1N1 influenza vaccine virus from the eggs in which they’re grown, MedImmune Inc. has a different problem: high virus yields, but a potential shortage of the devices used to spray the vaccine into the nose.The company has produced more than 20 million bulk doses of the vaccine, well above the 12.8 million ordered so far by the US government, and has the capacity to make 205 million bulk doses, said Ben Machielse, executive vice president of operations, in an interview this week.But he said the company has the capability to put only 41 million doses in sprayers, so it is looking into the possibility of using droppers instead—an option that would require additional regulatory review but may permit making more vaccine available sooner. The Maryland-based company, part of AstraZeneca, makes the seasonal vaccine FluMist, which uses a live but weakened virus.The other manufacturers that have H1N1 vaccine orders from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and CSL Biotherapies—have reported that their virus yields so far have been half or less of what they usually get when growing seasonal flu vaccines. (Yesterday an HHS official said yields have improved somewhat, but gave no details.)What the low yields mean for production expectations has been unclear. Three of the manufacturers (Sanofi, Novartis, and GSK), when contacted recently by CIDRAP News, declined to say how many doses they expect to make or how many have been ordered by HHS. A Bloomberg News report yesterday, citing Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Novartis is responsible for 45% percent of the supply, while Sanofi will provide 26% and CSL will make 19%.Meanwhile, MedImmune is getting yields as good as or better than it reaps with seasonal vaccine, according to Machielse. “Given the fact that you need a very, very small dose of FluMist, we get a yield of about 80 doses per egg for this strain, and normally the seasonal strain has a yield of 60 to 100 doses per egg,” he said.MedImmune’s better yields may have to do with the fact that the company is using a different seed strain of H1N1, according to Machielse. The injectable-vaccine makers reportedly have been working with a strain developed at New York Medical College. He said MedImmune developed its own strain, combining genes from a wild-type H1N1 virus with the “backbone” genes of the virus used in FluMist.Machielse said HHS officials have expressed interest in ordering additional MedImmune doses beyond the initial 12.8 million but haven’t done so yet. In anticipation of a possible need to supply more doses than it has sprayers for, the company is looking into the dropper option.”The initial clinical development of FluMist was based on dropper administration, so we have a lot of clinical data on dropper administration,” he said. “We’ve contacted BARDA [HHS’s Biological Advanced Research and Development Agency], FDA [the Food and Drug Administration], and the National Vaccine Program Office, and they’re working with us to define a regulatory pathway to get a dropper device approved as soon as possible. We have a rough outline of what needs to be done, and we’re now in discussion with FDA to fine-tune it.”He said the company has told federal officials it could potentially have multidose droppers of its vaccine ready starting in early October. “We are currently working through all the details with suppliers, FDA, and BARDA to see what needs to be done to get to that point, but there are no guarantees because there are many parties involved,” he added.William Schaffner, MD, an immunization expert and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said increased availability of MedImmune’s vaccine could help in the effort to immunize children against the new virus. Yesterday the CDC’s immunization advisory committee recommended vaccination for young people from 6 months through 24 years old, along with several other groups.”As a company they’ve really focused on children, so there’s a real potential this could be used widely not only in pediatricians’ offices, but if there are a number of school-based flu immunization programs, FluMist is vastly better than injectable vaccine in a school-based program,” Schaffner said.He said the vaccine, being needle-free, is much easier to administer in large numbers than injectable vaccines.The seasonal version of FluMist is considerably more expensive than injectable flu vaccines. But Schaffner noted that the H1N1 vaccines are being purchased by the federal government, so the cost for recipients or their insurers will mainly be the administrative expense.The administrative costs may be a barrier to school-based immunization programs, which are typically run by local health departments and take “a fair amount of preparation,” Schaffner added.As for possible adult use of MedImmune’s H1N1 vaccine, Schaffner noted that seasonal FluMist has not been used very widely in adults. It is approved for healthy people from ages 2 through 49.”People who have underlying illnesses can’t take FluMist,” Schaffner said. That would appear to rule out one of the groups the CDC committee targeted for H1N1 vaccination: those between 25 and 64 who have chronic medical conditions.last_img read more

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