Jul 17 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Novel flu activity is still going strong but dropped for the third week in a row, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today during a media briefing that also sought to calm fears about vaccine availability.Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the CDC will probably follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) lead and phase out weekly reports of lab-confirmed cases, which grossly underestimate the true disease burden and divert resources from other pandemic response activities. She said over the next several weeks the agency will start adding new data and other enhancements to its weekly flu report to provide a more detailed profile of the nation’s activity.The CDC’s update today, however, reports that the country’s number of lab-confirmed cases has reached 40,617, of which 263 were fatal.In its flu surveillance report for the week ending Jun 11, the CDC said nine states reported widespread activity: California, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and New York. Twelve states and Puerto Rico reported regional influenza activity.More than 99% of flu isolates that have been subtyped are the novel H1N1 virus, the CDC reported. One of three cases of oseltamivir-resistant viruses detected worldwide was from a child who got sick in California and traveled to Hong Kong. Enhanced antiviral-resistance testing in California has not revealed any oseltamivir-resistant novel H1N1 viruses, the CDC said.One pediatric death from the new virus was reported during the past week, in a child from Massachusetts. Of the 90 fatal pediatric flu cases that have been reported to the CDC so far this season, 23 were novel H1N1 infections.Schuchat said the virus might be persisting through the summer, despite the heat and humidity, because of the US population’s low immunity to the novel virus rather than because the virus has mechanisms for coping with the conditions. However, she said the CDC doesn’t have the data to flesh out its theory about the summer spread.The CDC expects flu activity to start rising again in September, ahead of the regular flu season, which would coincide with kids congregating in greater numbers as school resumes, she said. The CDC and its partners are in the active stage of planning for a spike in pandemic H1N1 flu activity in early fall, she added.The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will hold an emergency meeting on Jul 29 to discuss recommendations for which populations should be targeted for novel H1N1 flu vaccination and whether tiering the vaccine prioritization would be appropriate, Schuchat told reporters.Two federal officials who are involved in high-level vaccine decisions were on hand at the press conference to address recent questions that have cropped up about disappointingly low novel flu vaccine yield and potential international squabbles over vaccine supplies. The officials were Jesse Goodman, MD, the Food and Drug Administration’s acting chief scientist and deputy commissioner for scientific and medical programs, and Bruce Gellin, MD, director of the National Vaccine Program, Department of Health and Human Services.Gellin said federal officials have stockpiled antigen and adjuvant and that National Institutes of Health investigators, as well as researchers at vaccine companies, are starting to test both adjuvanted and nonadjuvanted versions of the novel flu vaccine. Stockpiling the bulk ingredients gives US officials greater flexibility in pulling together a safe and effective vaccine for its citizens, he said.Schuchat said the CDC has heard concerns about vaccine manufacturers in foreign countries diverting vaccine orders to their own populations. “From our own planning, this is not one of our current concerns,” she said. “We haven’t received any information that makes us question the supply of what’s been promised.”As for poor antigen yields that some manufacturers are reporting for the new virus, Schuchat said the CDC is not surprised and has already incorporated such yields into its planning and vaccine production expectations. “It’s within the range of our planning assumptions, but of course there could always be some surprises,” she said.
This Enoggera home sold for more than $300,000 above the suburb median.A FOUR-BEDROOM home in Enoggera was only on the market for two weeks before it was snapped up for $1.055 million.The double-storey pre-war house at 24 Laurel St was the second biggest sale across the northwest for the week.Agent Carmen Briggs from Harcourts Solutions said they had received a number of offers on the home shortly after it hit the market.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoInsode 24 Laurel Street, Enoggera“They loved the fact that it could be used for dual living, that it had beautiful polished floors, a great big shed and room for three or four cars,” Ms Briggs said.The buyers were a young couple renting in the area thathad been on the hunt for their first home.The sale price was well above the median sale price for Enoggera of $700,000.Pre-war charms with a modern makeover.It is also the third highest sale price in Laurel St, behind No.53 that sold for $1.065 million andNo.9 which went for $1.725 million, when they were sold last year.“Enoggera is becoming very popular with its proximity to the city, it’s very close to everything,” she said.“We are getting a lot of first-home buyers.”
Image courtesy of SiemensGerman engineering giant Siemens has received an order to supply the key components and long-term power generation services for the 840-megawatt (MW) Maisan combined cycle power plant in Iraq. CITIC Construction, the Chinese engineering procurement and construction firm building the plant, and Iraqi developer MPC, part of Raban Al-Safina for Energy Projects (RASEP) awarded the contract valued at more than €280 million ($314.8 million) to Siemens.The independent power project is expected to deliver first power by March 2021 and enter full combined cycle mode by early 2022. The plant will supply sufficient electricity to meet the needs of more than three million Iraqis, while also supporting the industrial sector.Siemens said in its statement its scope of supply includes two SGT5-4000F gas turbines, oneSST5-4000 steam turbine, and three SGen5-2000H generators, along with the SPPA-T3000 control systems, transformers and related electrical equipment, and the fuel gas system.“Iraq is undergoing an economic transformation, and as the country embarks on a series of ambitious infrastructure projects, efficient and reliable electricity will be essential to powering this development,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens Middle East and UAE.Siemens and the Ministry of Electricity of the Republic of Iraq recently signed an implementation agreement to kick off the actual execution of the roadmap for rebuilding Iraq’s power sector. As part of the implementation agreement, the two agreed on the awarding of contracts valued at approximately €700 million for phase 1 of the roadmap. This includes the EPC construction of a 500 MW gas-fired power plant in Zubaidiya, the upgrade of 40 gas turbines with upstream cooling systems, and the installation of thirteen 132 kV substations as well as 34 transformers across Iraq.
Limerick claimed the Intermediate title, also beating Kilkenny, by 1-12 to 0-10. Down came from behind to win the Junior title, beating Laois 1-12 to 1-8. Anna Geary lifted the O’Duffy Cup, following a 2-12 to 1-9 win over Kilkenny at Croke Park. Jenny O’Leary and Angela Walsh got the crucial goals for Cork. It’s Cork’s first All Ireland since 2009, while Kilkenny – who also lost last year’s final – continue their 20-year wait for an All Ireland.