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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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Whicker: Mend the Clippers, don’t end them

first_imgThe Clippers have no draft picks this June. They have not picked higher than 25th in the past five years and have gotten no help, although it’s not illegal or unprecedented to find Draymond Green, Isaiah Thomas or Malcolm Brogdon deep in the draft.They haven’t been interested in trades because they have convinced themselves that all the answers are within their room. That is clearly no longer true.The Clippers need more size in the backcourt. They need, and have needed, a useful backup center. They need, and have needed, a significant small forward or a “stretch four” shooter. And they need, and have needed, a bench that provides specific skills, not just worn-out bodies.With those deficiencies and with the usual injury siege, the Clippers still managed to get home-court advantage for a playoff series, even though they went 1-3 on it.After they began 14-2 they just went flat, as if they saw the sinkhole deepening in their floor but couldn’t bring themselves to call anyone. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The free agency class glitters this year but there isn’t much gold for the Clippers. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant aren’t going anywhere. Jrue Holiday and Kyle Lowry are dynamic, but Paul is the point guard. Otto Porter plays big minutes and has learned to shoot the 3-pointer, but he is a restricted free agent, hard to pry from Washington.Atlanta’s Paul Millsap is a fine shooter and proven rebounder. He also is 32. Denver’s Danilo Gallinari has averaged 18.2 and 19.5 points the past two seasons. He is 29 and would open the floor nicely for Paul and Griffin.Carmelo Anthony’s name will come up, and no doubt the Knicks would not ask for the world in exchange. He has averaged more than 20 points in each of his 15 NBA seasons and probably hasn’t finished doing that. He also has averaged 36 minutes in those seasons. High mileage, questionable gearbox.But whatever Rivers does, the goal should be to add, not replace.If Paul and Griffin aren’t dead set on leaving, they should be given whatever they need to come back. Starting over is an idea born of frustration, and its damage is irreversible.The problem with a Clippers teardown is that it automatically dissuades free agents from coming. These days, the best players want to win, which means playing with other good players. If you’re Paul George and you want to return to L.A the year after next, and Paul and Griffin are elsewhere, you might as well sign with the Lakers.Owner Steve Ballmer has considered a new arena, maybe near the Inglewood NFL stadium. It’s tougher to sell those suites if you’re 20-62.Because you only escape the dungeon if you’re lucky enough to win Lottery Ping-Pong on the same year a LeBron-alike comes out.Over the past four years Philadelphia is 75-283 and has already traded Merlens Noel, part of its draft “nucleus.”The Lakers are 91-237 and they aren’t sure that any of their golden children, the high draft picks who were supposed to justify all this, can play. Somehow their fan base hangs on. Branding is a powerful thing, it turns out, even if you sit near those lordly banners and loudly hope the Lakers lose.But losing seasons don’t necessarily teach anything except how to keep losing.Have we forgotten the days when Eric Piatkowski was the best Clipper? Have we forgotten Michael Olowokandi, the Sports Arena, Ken “The Animal” Bannister?Have we blocked out the day Ron Harper tore up his knee, the night Shawn Livingston lay there helpless and screaming, the day Danny Manning got traded, the drafting and trading of Rodney Rogers, the mockery of Donald T. Sterling’s lottery parties?Do we really want to revisit the draft in which the Clippers took Reggie Williams one pick before Scottie Pippen?If you’re a Clippers fan and you’re feeling the pain, remember the 26 years when you couldn’t feel anything.You also know, more than anyone, that the “same old Clippers” might be old, but they’re not the same.center_img LOS ANGELES >> The act of watching the Clippers lose playoff series is getting old. So are they.Doc Rivers, the coach, needs to demand a younger, stronger, deeper roster from his director of basketball operations. That argument would be conducted in Rivers’ mirror and therefore would be weird.When next season begins, Chris Paul will be 32, Blake Griffin a battered 28, DeAndre Jordan 29, Jamal Crawford 37, Raymond Felton 33, J.J. Reddick 33, Luc Mbah a Moute 31 and Marreese Speights 30.The only “young” player used in Sunday’s elimination loss to Utah was Austin Rivers, who will be 25.last_img read more

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