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

G7 to coordinate economic reopening plans amid outbreak

first_imgThe leaders of the world’s most advanced economies, who met via videoconference hosted by Trump, are looking for a way to end the economic paralysis.”G7 leaders tasked their ministers to work together to prepare all G7 economies to re-open safely and on a foundation that will allow the G7 nations to reestablish economic growth with more resilient health systems and trusted supply chains,” the White House said in a statement.The United States currently chairs the G7, which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.The International Monetary Fund has warned that the global slowdown is the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, cutting world output by three percent this year alone. G7 leaders on Thursday pledged to work together to “safely” put people back to work as the coronavirus crisis drags on in a bid to revive the slumping global economy, the White House said.The Group of Seven nations also called for “thorough review and reform” at the World Health Organization, after US President Donald Trump’s searing criticism of the UN agency.In a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, many countries around the globe have instituted extreme stay-at-home orders that have shuttered businesses and devastated the job market. European Union leaders, who also participated in the call, said in a statement that trade would be crucial “in both overcoming the immediate crisis and ensuring a robust economic recovery.”More than two million people have been infected with the virus worldwide, and more than 140,000 have died.The G7 leaders agreed to “pool their research and talent to combat COVID-19 by sharing all relevant epidemiologic data,” the White House statement said.They emphasized their commitment to “a strong and coordinated global response to this health crisis,” and discussed what the statement called the WHO’s “chronic mismanagement of the pandemic.””The leaders called for a thorough review and reform process,” the statement said.Trump has halted all funding to the Geneva-based WHO, saying it put too much stock in the assurances made by China after the virus emerged there late last year.But it was not clear how widespread the criticism of the WHO was at the meeting. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman issued a statement expressing her “full support” for the agency.And EU leaders said any solution to the crisis would have to come “in strong cooperation with the existing international organizations.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

Medan man faces four years in prison for allegedly desecrating Quran

first_img“I am very sorry, your honor. I will never do it again. Please give me as light a punishment as possible,” he told the judge as quoted by tribunnews.com.Sentencing is scheduled for next week.Read also: Indonesians remain sensitive to perceived blasphemy: YLBHIAccording to the prosecutors, the incident took place at Al-Mashum Mosque in Medan Kota district in the afternoon of Feb. 13. A 44-year-old man in Medan, North Sumatra, faces four years in prison for having allegedly desecrated the Quran at a local mosque earlier this year.Prosecutors at the Medan District Court charged the defendant, Doni Irawan Malay, for blasphemy under Article 156 of the Criminal Code and demanded a four-year prison term for him during a hearing on Tuesday.Doni was accused of committing a blasphemous act by purportedly tearing out pages from the Quran. He pleaded for a lighter sentence, conveying his guilt to the court. “The defendant entered the mosque and took a Quran from a shelf without permission from the management,” a prosecutor told the court, adding that the defendant then took the Quran into the male ablution room.“The defendant removed the cover from the Quran, threw it into a garbage bin inside the ablution room and then proceeded to tear out pages from the Quran with both of his hands.”They said Doni then exited the mosque later that afternoon and threw the ripped Quran pages onto the streets before running away.Doni was later caught by locals and reported to the Medan Kota Police. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

Businesses like Sri Mulyani most, Yasonna least in Cabinet opinion poll

first_imgState-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir came in second place with 57.7 percent, followed by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi in third and fourth place, respectively.Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly scored the lowest of the Cabinet; 32.1 percent of respondents approved of his performance. Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Arifin Tasrif and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia polled at 34.5 percent approval.The pollster’s executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said on Thursday that Sri had secured the highest approval rating from the business respondents in several economic sectors, including medium, small, micro and large enterprises, manufacturing, agriculture and transportation and warehousing. Erick surpassed Sri only in the construction sector, while Prabowo polled higher in the mining sector.Read also: ‘No hope for public health’: Lawmakers slam govt’s COVID-19 economic recovery committeeResponding to the survey, presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said the results were in line with the President’s decision to form a COVID-19 handling and national economic recovery committee.The committee, responsible for streamlining strategic policies to counter the pandemic, is led by Sri and Erick.“Hopefully, the trust of businesses can help the committee accomplish its goals, thanks to the ministers’ approval,” said Fadjroel.However, a separate survey released by Indikator on Tuesday, showed that 64.8 percent of 1,200 general respondents from throughout the country believed that President Jokowi should reshuffle his Cabinet.Regarding the demand for a reshuffle, Fadjroel said the ministers had responded to Jokowi’s warnings quickly, demonstrated by the increasing ministerial budget disbursement.“The key word is not ‘reshuffle’, but ‘acceleration’ of budget disbursement. […] That’s what the President is working on, not a reshuffle,” Fadjroel added.Read also: State secretary plays down reshuffle talk, claims ministers have improvedSaan Mustopa, secretary-general of the NasDem Party, a member of Jokowi’s coalition, said he was aware that several Cabinet ministers had not shown their best performances. However, he hoped Jokowi would wait for them to make improvements.“[The Cabinet reshuffle] can be done, but only when the situation has started to improve,” said Saan.Mulyadi of the Democratic Party, a party outside the coalition, said the President should not ignore that nearly 65 percent of people wanted him to shake up the Cabinet to give more competent officials a chance during the health emergency.Topics : A recent survey of business players by Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia awarded Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati the highest job approval rating of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Cabinet.The pollster surveyed respondents by phone between June 29 and July 11, polling 1,176 business actors in nine provinces: North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java and East Kalimantan.Some 61 percent of the respondents said the finance minister’s performance had met their expectations.last_img read more

Moses shines as Nigeria humiliates Cameroon

first_imgAfter a rather tentative start by the home team, Ighalo marked his return with the opening goal after 29 minutes.He overpowered his marker after he received a clever assist from skipper Mikel John Obi before he fired past a diving goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.The Eagles doubled their lead in the 43rd minute, when Mikel turned scorer by poking a Victor Moses corner from the left beyond the Cameroon goalkeeper.In the 55th minute, Moses made it 3-0 when he initiated a quick counter and then released Moses Simon, who did well to pass back to his namesake, who fired the third goal.A fourth goal from a flying header by substitute Kelechi Iheanacho off an Onazi Ogenyi cross in the 76th minute crowned a very satisfying outing for the hosts.Both teams went into the attack from the first whistle with Cameroon threatening through Moumi Ngamaleu, but his effort from inside the box missed narrowly as Ikechukwu Ezenwa was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the early minutes of the game.The Indomitable Lions took the game to Nigeria rather than sit back in their defence.The Egyptian referee struck off a Nigerian goal by Ighalo for offside after 24 minutes, before Victor Moses header off a Moses Simon cross missed target four minutes later.However, the home fans celebrated the first goal of this bruising contest just before the half hour with Nigeria never looking back to seal an important win.Cameroon had their chances. In the 48th minute Ezenwa did well to save a low drive by Zambo Anguissa.Ezenwa then kept out a tricky shot from distance in the 64th minute before Nigeria again surged forward to create two more goals and complete the demolition of the Indomitable Lions.Share on: WhatsApp Nigerian players salute their fans.Moses helps Nigeria trounce CameroonUyo, Nigeria | AFP |  Chelsea ace Victor Moses and Chinese-based Odion Ighalo starred as Nigeria trounced Cameroon 4-0 on Friday to take a big step towards qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.The Super Eagles moved up to nine points from three matches in Group B in Africa zone qualifying, while Cameroon remain on two points. Both teams clash again on Monday in Yaounde.Zambia and Algeria have a point each and meet on Saturday in Lusaka.Cameroon’s Belgian coach Hugo Broos admitted Nigeria deserved the win.“They were better, faster and more determined than us in one against one. We had one chance maybe,” he said.Broos added the African champions will play for their honour at home on Monday, but does not fancy their chances of qualifying for the World Cup.“There is something like honour, we will defend that on Monday in Yaounde. If the players have the same attitude I have, we will fight to beat Nigeria on Monday,” he vowed.“But we will now need to win our next three matches and expect Nigeria to lose their next three games to stand any chance. I don’t think this is possible.”last_img read more

Prisoners of the past

first_imgThey not only lost a game, they lost credibility. They lost the link to greatness; well maybe not entirely but they better have two forms of I.D. when they proceed to the lost and found to reclaim their “mojo” and “swag.” When your back is against the wall you are supposed to play to “live for another day.”You are supposed to step up to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a single if nothing else. You may not clear the bases but at least one run should score. There is no excuse for the Steelers losing to the Cowboys, none.There was one particular play when the Ben Roethlisberger was hit hard. When he came up off of the turf he winced and it appeared maybe one of his previous injuries had been aggravated. This is no freakin’ time for drama from any of the Steelers performers. The curtain is about to close on their 2012 season and if it does they will have no one to blame but themselves. Hey listen, ex-Indy Colts and present Denver Broncos QB, future NFL Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning had neck surgery, spent a year out of football, signed a contract with a new team and led his team to a division championship. Recently the Baltimore Ravens beat the Steelers at Heinz Field and when Steelers third string QB Charlie Batch returned the favor in B-more, well let’s just say this; the attention and adulation heaped onto Batch seemed to be just a bit too much for “Big” Ben to take. So he immediately rushed back against the Chargers and got “smizz-oked,” you diggg….There is a pattern of narcissism going on here. Before any of us can save anyone else, we have to be able to rescue ourselves. Before you or I can stand up in the pulpit preaching morality, we have to refrain from taking bills from our wallets leaving them on a dresser at a Nevada brothel.“There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison.” Whoever you “think” you are does not alter the reality of who you really are.The Immaculate Reception by Franco Harris decades ago meant nothing to the Cowboys Sunday evening. The record setting run by “fast” Willie Parker to basically seal the win for the Steelers against Seahawks in Super Bowl XLV is not even on the radar screen of Dallas QB Tony Romo. The game winning catch by ex-Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes to defeat the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLVIII did not cause Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to lose any sleep Saturday night.To the current crop of NFL performers and coaches, those deeds are buried deep in the vaults of legend and lore. The jewels of the Steelers past no longer sparkle and Roethlisberger’s throne room has now become a prison. The interception that he threw in Dallas will henceforth be known as; “The Immaculate Interception.” Past deeds of greatness only serve to capture and maintain the psyche of the fan base because yesterday’s performances, as in decades ago; don’t have any bearing on the paychecks of today’s NFL players. Now hear this; Colin Kaepernick the 2nd year QB with the 49ers strolled up to Foxborough and dismantled the Patriots post haste by the score of 41-34. Kaepernick threw for three more touchdowns and one less pick than Patriots future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady. This unlikely feat happened just hours after Roethlisberger threw for two yards less (339) than Romo (341) and threw his season murdering pick in overtime at Dallas. This was not the Roger Staubach, “Too Tall” Jones, Troy Aikman or Emmett Smith Cowboys, this was the 2012 run of the mill version.It seems as if the majority of NFL franchises are not afraid to place a bet on the future. This next list of NFL rookie starting QBs is startling: Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Robert Griffin III, Redskins, Andrew Luck, Colts, Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins. Two second year QBs also stand out; Cam Newton, Panthers, and Andy Dalton, Bengals. I firmly believe that none of the “inexperienced” QB’s would have thrown that same pass that gave the Cowboys their second wind in regards to advancing to the NFL postseason and may have sucked the air out of the Steelers chances. When will Ben Roethlisberger discontinue to scramble in and out of the pocket to keep a drive alive just to ultimately “kill” it?Fans and friends of the Steelers nation, do not allow the grandiosity and victories of the past to hold the present and future hostage in the prison of mediocrity.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: abruce@newpittsburghcourier.­­­com or 412-583-6741. Bruce can also be heard on the “Odd Couple Sports Show” where he is the AFC North and NFL analyst. The show is hosted by Adam Ragle streaming live on the WCWA Fox Sports Toledo 1230AM. Bruce is featured on Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m. during the NFL season. Listen to Aubrey’s archived “Odd Couple” segments on: www.worldspeak­connnection.com click on ‘Fair Catch.”) “There comes a time, thief, when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the throne room becomes a prison.” (Spoken by ‘King Osric’ from the movie ‘Conan the Barbarian’.) The Pittsburgh Steelers departed the Steel City last weekend not only on a journey to play the Dallas Cowboys in the Lone Star State of Texas; they were by all accounts supposed to be on the road to the 2012 NFL post season. But ya know what? Somewhere along the road to prosperity their GPS failed and they detoured from the “road to prosperity” to the “back alley of incompetence and defeat.”last_img read more

Endless Adventure in Crescent Valley plays host to fun-filled weekend

first_imgReally, it’s the start of summer.And the folks at Kootenays — Borderline Boaters are stoked to be presenting this year’s Kootenay Whitewater Festival this weekend on the Slocan River near Crescent Valley.The event, hosted at Endless Adventure, starts off with some meet and greet at the Endless Adventure campground and leads up to some exciting paddling Saturday and Sunday.This is an intermediate paddle fest with a variety of clinics for all skill levels, including beginners.The weekend starts off with a river run and clinics, followed by lunch, land games and more paddling in the afternoon. Dinner on your own then back in action for The Evening Entertainment — opening act Roy Has Fire, featuring Almanak and Wrapping up the evening with DJ ELF . Pilates Sunday morning with Live It Up Fitness, then a river run, Team Ball Race and Boater Cross for the rest of the afternoon. Finishing the weekend off with prizes and give-aways.Guided river runs on the some of the West Kootenays classics.The Kootenay Whitewater Festival is for intermediate paddler and the clinics are available for those that want to brush up on their skills. Endless Adventure is hosting a Playboating clinic on Saturday, a Creaking clinic on Sunday, and the Basic skills and rolling clinic both days. The clinic are an additional $30 each.Early registration is before Thursday for a discount of $10 at Endless Adventure, or register at Endless Adventure on Saturday  $60 for the weekend which includes lunch both days, T-shirt, prize, Party, camping.Registration and sign up goes from 8:15 to 9 a.m.! For more info about the festival or other events, feel free to call Endless Adventure at 1-877-FUN-8181 or email info@endlessadventure.ca. sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Kootenay Ice outlast South Island to get back into win column

first_imgCoy Prevost of Kimberley, Amour, Klimchuk, Mitch Titus of Montrose and Nelson’s Sawyer Hunt scored for Kootenay which held periods leads of 2-1 and 3-1.Saturday South Island scored twice in the final 40 minutes to edge Kootenay 4-2.Kyle Chernenoff of Crescent Valley and Prevost scored in the first period as the teams played to a 2-2 tie.South Island took the lead for good with a second period goal before icing the game with a third period insurance marker.The Ice host the Cariboo Cougars of Prince George Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in the NDCC Arena.Sunday the teams play in the Civic Arena. Puck drop is 10:15 a.m. The Kootenay Ice have suffered their share of losses this BC Hockey Major Midget League season.But the Ice can boast a better record than a season ago after outlasting South Island Royals 5-4 Sunday in Major Midget action Sunday in Victoria.Trail’s Ross Armour, Kadrian Klimchuk of Castlegar and Austin Tambellini of Nelson each finished with two points to lead the Ice to the narrow victory.Kootenay now sports a 4-21-5 record for 13 points.last_img read more

Nicolas Otamendi to sign for Man United? Latest reports

first_img1 After seven years of managers neglecting Manchester United’s ailing central midfield, Louis van Gaal has finally addressed the issue with the arrivals of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.However, attentions now turn to the problems in central defence and with overtures for Sergio Ramos and Mats Hummels seemingly falling on deaf ears, it looks like Valencia’s Nicolas Otamendi is next on the list of targets.The Daily Star reported on July 12 that the Argentine’s agent Eugenio Lopez brought in super-agent Jorge Mendes to help broker a deal to the Premier League with United identified as Otamendi’s favoured destination.As Sergio Ramos was still a very realistic possibility at the time, United were preoccupied and the move cooled.But, with Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez publically stating Ramos was not going anywhere, the Otamendi move looks very much back on and the Independent revealed the defender was willing to go on strike to force the move.They suggested that if Manchester United met Valencia’s £35m asking price then the he could be a posing with a red shirt in front of a black background littered with sponsors’ logos by July 27.But with United bidding less than that for Ramos, it is unlikely the move will be particularly straightforward.However, things have accelerated over the last 24 hours with Spanish newspaper MARCA reporting that Otamendi had been left out of the club’s official kit launch despite being one of the club’s biggest stars, hinting that the 27-year-old was on his way out of the Mestalla.Valencia report back for pre-season training on July 26 and it is understood all parties want an outcome, one way or another, by that date.Van Gaal revealed to MUTV this week that he expected to make more signings this summer and had identified two positions that definitely need strengthening – believed to be central defence and striker.The club are keen to get all their business done early this summer and allow the new recruits to settle so expect further developments on this story to come thick and fast.last_img read more