Surging flu cases may herald tough season in England

first_imgDec 24, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – While the US influenza season has started slowly, cases are surging in England, raising concern that the country could have its toughest season since 1999-2000.In England and Wales last week, about 68.5 people per 100,000 saw a general practitioner for influenza-like illness (ILI), a 73% increase over the 39.5 per 100,000 the week before, according to the latest weekly report from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). A BBC News report said the number also is73% higher than the same week a year ago.Dr. Douglas Fleming, director of the RCGP Research Unit in Birmingham, said the increase was significant, according to BBC News. “In the past 10 years, the only substantial outbreak was in 1999-2000,” he said. “I think we could be looking at something that approaches that this year.”The RCGP report says ILI visit rates of 30 to 100 per 100,000 population per week are “usual when influenza viruses are circulating,” rates above 100 are above average, and rates exceeding 200 are “exceptional.” The RCGP data are drawn from about 85 general practitioner clinics around the country, representing an at-risk population of about 840,000.ILI rates rose in all age-groups and regions in the week of Dec 15 to 21, the RCGP report says. The highest rates were seen among 15- to 44-year-olds, with 79.7 cases per 100,000, and 45- to 64-year-olds, with 75.6 cases. The 65-and-older group had 44.7 cases per 100,000, which was more than double the 18 cases seen the week before.The BBC report said experts believe the unusually cold weather might have contributed to the surge in cases.British public health officials define a flu epidemic as an ILI rate of 200 per 100,000, according to the BBC story. The last time that happened in England was in 1989-90, the report said.”That one caught everyone a bit off guard but there’s been a big push on flu vaccination since then,” virologist John Oxford of Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in London told the BBC.Oxford and others quoted in the story urged people to get a flu shot if they haven’t done so yet.David Salisbury, director of immunization at the UK Department of Health, told the BBC, “We have had a very unusual run of winters with almost no flu, so we should not be surprised that here is a winter with more flu. It is very difficult to predict what makes the change winter to winter.”In contrast to the situation in England, flu activity in the United States has remained low so far this season, according to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued Dec 19. The report, for the week that ended Dec 13, said only three states—Texas, Virginia, and Hawaii—were reporting local flu activity. Thirty-six states reported sporadic cases and 11 states were reporting none.Google Flu Trends, a Web site that estimates US flu activity from the volume of Internet searches for flu information, currently shows “moderate” activity only in Hawaii, Maryland, and Virginia, with the rest of the country having low activity.See also: CDC flu surveillance updatehttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/Google Flu Trendshttp://www.google.org/flutrends/last_img read more

UAE postpones Mars mission due to weather at Japan launch site

first_imgThe United Arab Emirates has postponed to July 17 the launch of its mission to Mars due to weather conditions at the launch site in Japan, the UAE government communications office said on Tuesday.The UAE’s Hope Probe was due to set off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 12:51am UAE time on Wednesday (2051 GMT Tuesday) for a seven-month journey to the red planet where it was due to orbit and send back data about the atmosphere.”The UAE’s space mission, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, will launch on Friday July 17, 2020 at 12:43am UAE time (July 16, 2020 at 8:43pm GMT) from Tanegashima Space Center,” the government communications office tweeted. There are currently eight active missions exploring Mars; some orbit the planet and some land on its surface. China and the United States will send another two this year.The UAE, an oil-exporting nation, first announced plans for the mission in 2014 as part of efforts to diversify away from hydrocarbons and develop a knowledge economy, aiming to reach the planet by 2021.With a population of 9.4 million, most of whom are foreign workers, the UAE lacks the scientific and industrial base of the big space-faring nations. It launched a National Space Program in 2017 to develop expertise in space science among Emiratis.Emirati Hazza al-Mansouri became the first Arab in space in September 2019 in a flight to the International Space Station.To develop and build the Hope Probe, Emiratis and Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) worked with US educational institutions with space science expertise.The UAE government has announced an ambitious goal of a Mars settlement by 2117. Topics :last_img read more

Get your reno on in 2018 with these potential beauties

first_imgInside the home at 14 Willmington St, Wooloowin.The house has plenty of character features including wide timber floorboards under carpet, high ceilings, VJ walls and breezeways. The property is in the Wooloowin State School catchment.In Nundah, a three bedroom family home on stumps is also in need of a complete renovation. The home at 8 Junior Tce, Northgate.Ray White Aspley agents Dwight Colbert and Courtney Vardanega are marketing the property at 8 Junior Tce as a “good-sized home” in need of some TLC. “There’s plenty of potential for those who can think outside the square or simply an excellent opportunity to enter the market,” Mr Colbert said. The home at 14 Willmington St, Wooloowin.IF your New Year’s resolution is to try your hand at renovating, take a look at these diamonds in the rough close to the Brisbane CBD. For those keen to tackle a total project there is a barebones post-war home in Red Hill just screaming for a full makeover. The three-bedroom deceased estate at 27 Argyle St is sitting on a 506sq m block with two-street frontage. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours agoThe home at 35 King St, Annerley.The turn of the century Queenslander at 35 King St has VJ walls, high ceilings and pine floorboards.Mr Matthews said the property was on the market for little more than land price and had the potential to be turned into a beautifully restored home. The house is on a 412sq m block and has two bedrooms, a sunroom, garage parking for one car and an iron roof. Inside the home at 35 King St, Annerley.The property is a few minutes walk to major shops and Prince Alfred Hospital and has easy access to the freeway. If you are chasing more yard space to go with your renovation project, the Queenslander at 14 Willmington St, Wooloowin is at the front of a 810sq m block with 20m frontage. The home at 27 Argyle St, Red Hill.Marketing agent Sonya Browne of Ray White Paddington said the renovator’s delight was a property with potential. “(The home is a) great blank canvas for those that are ready to get into a renovation, with the owner making it easy for you by taking out all the old wall and ceiling linings — so it’s ready to start from scratch,” she said. The home has solid timber floors and wall framing upstairs — and not much else. Inside the home at 27 Argyle St, Red Hill.The upstairs area currently has a layout that includes three bedrooms, a bathroom, an open-plan living and dining area, and a kitchen with bay window. There are small decks at the front and back of the house. The downstairs area is enclosed and has parking space for one car. In Annerley, Russell Matthews of Matthews Real Estate is selling what he describes as a “blank canvas” in a great location. The home at 14 Willmington St, Wooloowin.Anna Glynn and Steve Grimbas of Place Nundah are marketing the property as a “grand old lady” in need of some TLC. “The floorplan is currently configured into three self-contained units allowing for an exciting opportunity to rent out, renovate/restore the home to its former glory or build townhouses at the rear (subject to council approval),” Ms Glynn said. Inside the home at 8 Junior Tce, Northgate.The property has original hardwood floors, separate lounge and dining rooms, an updated kitchen and original laundry and bathroom. The home is on a fully-fenced 410sq m block with side access and garage parking for two cars. The property is close to schools, shops and public transport.last_img read more