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 update Flu Trends read more

ICC World Cup ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final scenarios: Sri Lanka slip, England still in trouble

first_imgIndia need one more win to seal a spot in the semi-final of 2019 World Cup.New Zealand are also one win away from reaching the playoffs.England and Sri Lanka face must-win situations in 2019 World Cup. For England, the situation is now do or die. They have to win both games. If they lose both, they will be eliminated. If they win only one out of their next two games, they will have to hope Pakistan and Bangladesh lose one game while Sri Lanka also loses one of their remaining two games. Bangladesh Position in table: 5th P – 7, W -3, L – 3, N/R – 1, Points – 7 Games remaining: vs India (July 2), vs Pakistan (July 5) What they must do: If Bangladesh lose both games, they are eliminated. If they win one game, they will have to hope England lose both games and that Sri Lanka do not win against either West Indies or India. If Pakistan wins against Afghanistan by a small margin, then their game against Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side becomes a virtual knock-out. Pakistan Position in table: 6th P – 7 , W – 3, L – 3, N/R – 1, Points – 7 Games remaining: vs Afghanistan (June 29), vs Bangladesh (July 5) What they must do: Pakistan’s situation is very similar to Bangladesh. If they win both games, they will knock Bangladesh out. If they win both games, they will have to hope England wins only one game and that New Zealand lose both games by a big margin so that they can finish better than fourth.Sri Lanka Position in table: 7th P – 7, W – 2, L – 3, N/R – 2, Points – 5 Games remaining: vs West Indies (July 1), vs India (July 6) What they must do: A loss in either of their games and they will be eliminated. If they win both games, they will have to hope New Zealand and India beat England. They must hope Bangladesh lose both their games and that Pakistan does not beat either Afghanistan or Bangladesh by a big margin. Sri Lanka must thrash West Indies and India by massive margins as they have the worst net run-rate among all teams still in the fray for the semis. New Delhi: Sri Lanka had made the entire race for the playoffs interesting when they defeated England in Leeds. However, their chances of reaching the semi-final has taken a massive hit following their nine-wicket loss in the clash against South Africa at Leeds. The heavy nature of the loss has resulted in their net run-rate taking a big hit. Their NRR of -1.186 is the worst of all the teams. For Sri Lanka to progress, these are the following scenarios as they are now dependent on the result of other teams in order to progress into the next round. Here is what the remaining six teams need to do in order to seal the three semi-final spots. India Position in table: 2nd P – 6, W – 5, L – 0, N/R – 1, Points – 11 Games remaining: vs England (June 30), vs Bangladesh (July 2), vs Sri Lanka (July 6) What they must do: Equation is simple for India. If they win one of their remaining games, they will seal a spot in the semi-final. If they lose all three games, they must hope England do not win against New Zealand and that Pakistan or Bangladesh do not win both their games. They must also hope that New Zealand do not beat Australia in Lord’s. New Zealand Position in table: 3rd P – 7, W – 5, L – 1, N/R – 1, Points – 11 Games remaining: vs Australia (June 29), vs England (July 3) What they must do: For New Zealand, a win in either of their games will be enough. However, if they lose both, they will have to hope India lose all games and that Pakistan wins both their games by a small margin. New Zealand’s good net run-rate still does not make their fate desperate but they will be hoping to win against either Australia or England. England Position in table: 4th P – 7, W – 4, L – 3, N/R – 0, Points – 8 Games remaining: vs India (June 30), vs New Zealand (July 3) What they must do: highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Job not done yet – Ashley Nurse

first_imgAshley Nurse, after his 4-62 and unbeaten 34 helped the West Indies to a 1-0 lead in their Brighto Paints presents the Q Mobile Cup Series against Pakistan, has warned his teammates that the job is not over.“We have to come back even stronger on Sunday. We can’t rest on this victory,” said Nurse, whose 34 runs came from just 15 deliveries.The innings helped the West Indies to, for the first time in 32 attempts, successfully chase down a score of more than 300, Pakistan scoring 308-5 in their 50-over allotment.“We haven’t won in a long time and yes it feels good but the other part is to come and back up this performance with an even more fantastic performance on Sunday and close out the series,” Nurse reminded the young side which he has only recently become a part of.The off break bowler is already looking at places he can improve tomorrow, saying that while his four wickets were satisfying, there were things he still wanted to improve on.“My job first and foremost is to bowl and get people out so I was very happy with the wickets, I wouldn’t say I was very happy with the bowling,” he said.“I bowled some bad balls in between but it was nice to get some wickets and pull back the Pakistan innings. We were really going helter skelter at the back end and it was nice to come back, even in the last 10 and get some wickets.”Nurse’s innings with the bat began in the nets, where the bowler says he was hitting the ball well. The innings was also made easier by the batsman at the other end.“Jason was hitting the ball really nicely and I just tried to rotate the strike, give him as much of the strike as possible. I was hitting the ball nicely from in the nets so I know my form was good so I just tried to keep hitting the ball nice and straight and back myself to get the ball to the boundary, other than giving him the strike,” said Nurse.Nurse also praised the team for its mentality and for the way the earlier batsmen, who were having a tough time, stayed with the game.“The team morale is really really good. The boys believe in sticking together, we believe in being one big family and as you see, the guys really stayed in the game,” said Nurse.Nurse was speaking about Evin Lewis’ 47 and Kieran Powell’s 61 at the top of the order, that though not blistering quick, were enough to set a platform for Jason Mohammed, who slammed 91 to anchor the West Indies innings to their first successful chase of over 300.“Some great knocks from Evin Lewis and Kieran Powell leading up to Jason’s knock. The partnership between him and Jonathan Carter was a really good partnership after losing two quick wickets. I keep saying once we stay in the game and put the bowling under some pressure, with the hitting power we have at the bottom, I really think we will win more games.(Sports Max)last_img read more

Dodgers OF Andre Ethier sidelined with herniated disc

first_imgGLENDALE, Ariz. >> Another spring injury will likely sideline Andre Ethier at the start of the season for the second consecutive year.An MRI on Ethier’s back Monday revealed a mild herniation of a disc, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Ethier had been limited by pain in his lower back for most of two weeks before getting the exam.Ethier received an epidural injection to treat the back issue and will be out of camp until later this week. Roberts said the Dodgers have not determined a timetable for when Ethier might get back on the field, let alone in games.“As far as timetable, we really don’t have one right now,” Roberts said. “ I just know we’re going to have a week to 10 days where we’re going to let it calm down, let that epidural take. We’ll kind of re-evaluate then.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Toles had a double in Tuesday’s game and is batting .316 (12 for 38) in Cactus League games this spring.“Obviously ’Dre was expected to be on our roster,” Roberts said. “So there’s still opportunities. We still have guys in camp. We’re evaluating every day. I don’t want to name specific names but there’s still an opportunity. And that’s obviously contingent on ’Dre.”Game timeFor the first time since he injured an oblique muscle on his right side on March 3, shortstop Corey Seager was back in a game – a minor-league game on the far side of the Camelback Ranch complex.Seager batted only and did not play defense. In three times up, he grounded out once and struck out twice.“It never really bothered me swinging,” Seager said of the injury, which occurred while he was making an off-balance throw. “But this was good. It was finally something where I couldn’t baby it. I couldn’t hold back.”Seager said the plan is for him to play five innings on defense and bat each inning in another minor-league game on Thursday.Kazmir workLeft-hander Scott Kazmir appeared in the same minor-league game as Seager and pitched 4 2/3 innings – one inning was rolled over with two outs after a pair of errors (one by Kazmir on a pickoff throw) and two walks inflated his pitch count.Kazmir allowed one unearned run on three hits (two singles and a double), walked two and struck out three. Afterward, Kazmir spent additional time in the bullpen area, working on his delivery with guest instructor Eric Gagne.“It’s still a matter of syncing everything up,” Kazmir said. “It’s getting better.”Roberts was not on the minor-league side of the complex for Kazmir’s outing but said he was told his velocity had improved and “got up to 87 (mph), I think.” While throwing to hitters in a simulated-game setting last week, Kazmir rarely exceeded 82-83 mph.Roberts said the Dodgers would like to see Kazmir pitch in a Cactus League game on his next scheduled day. He has thrown just 2 2/3 innings in two aborted starts this spring.“I think you want to see it against major-league hitters,” Roberts said. “Today, it was a couple clicks up. But, yeah, you want to see it in a major-league game.”AlsoThe Dodgers sent five players to the minor leagues following Tuesday’s game – outfielders Alex Verdugo and Brett Eibner, second baseman Willie Calhoun and Jose Miguel Fernandez and utilityman Darnell Sweeney. That leaves 46 players in camp (plus right-hander Yimi Garcia who is already on the 60-day DL).center_img With opening day less than two weeks away, it seems certain Ethier (who has only had 19 plate appearances in Cactus League action) will open the season on the DL for the second consecutive year. Last spring, he suffered a spiral fracture in his tibia when he fouled a ball off his shin in a Cactus League game and was sidelined until September.“I don’t think we’re there yet as far as even thinking of opening day for us. It’s just contingent upon how he responds in this next week,” Roberts said. “I don’t know the number for Andre as far as how many at-bats he feels he needs to be ready. He’s a veteran player so we’re definitely not closing that door. But it’s going to be tough.”Last June, left-hander Clayton Kershaw was also diagnosed with a mildly herniated disc in his back. Kershaw spent 75 days on the DL with that injury. Roberts said his understanding is that Ethier’s disc herniation is not as severe as Kershaw’s injury.“The No. 1 thing is we need to get him back healthy and feeling good,” Roberts said. “So whenever that day is – if it’s prior to opening day or not – then that’s our goal.”With Ethier almost certainly out of the picture for an extended time, the door opens to one of the other outfielders jockeying for position. If the Dodgers stick with their plan to platoon a left-handed hitter with veteran Franklin Gutierrez in left field, Andrew Toles is the only candidate. The other reserve outfielders (Scott Van Slyke, Trayce Thompson and Brett Eibner) as well as the trio fighting for a utility spot (Kiké Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Charlie Culberson) all hit right-handed.last_img read more