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Musk says took four COVID-19 tests; two were positive, two negative

first_imgBecton Dickinson did not respond to a request for comment late on Thursday. – Advertisement – Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Thursday he took four coronavirus tests on the same day, with two showing positive results, while the other two were negative.“Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD,” Musk said in a tweet, possibly referring to Becton Dickinson and Co’s rapid antigen test.The Tesla CEO said he was also undergoing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests from separate labs whose results will take about 24 hours.- Advertisement – When asked by a Twitter user if he showed any symptoms, Musk said he had symptoms of a “typical cold”.“Nothing unusual so far,” Musk added.Becton Dickinson said in September it was investigating reports from U.S. nursing homes that its rapid coronavirus testing equipment was producing false-positive results.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – Elon Musk wears a protective mask as he arrives to attend a meeting with the leadership of the conservative CDU/CSU parliamentary group, in Berlin, Germany September 2, 2020.Tobias Schwarz | Pool | Reuterslast_img read more

Federal agencies form agreement with states for food, ag emergencies

first_img “Establishment of clear and consistent practices for combating threats to the food supply is a necessary prerequisite to the public health imperative of providing secure, safe and nutritious food for all Americans,” said Dr. Lester Crawford, acting FDA director, in an FDA news release. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) along with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) signed the agreement on Sep 23. The cooperative agreement will proceed in three phases: a workgroup will gather information on existing procedures, then it will develop an interagency response plan, then the guidelines will be established. The planning process is expected to conclude in June 2005. See also: Sep 29, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Three federal agencies have signed a cooperative agreement with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) to improve integration of state-federal responses to food and agricultural emergencies. The process will include tabletop exercises and work groups aimed at developing best practices and guidelines, the news release said. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), FDA, and DHS’s Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate are funding development of the integrated approach. USDA news release… CIDRAP listing of food biosecurity and food safety guidelineslast_img read more

Thailand to cull ducks in avian flu fight

first_imgFeb 11, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Thai government has announced plans to cull about 2.7 million free-range ducks to stem the spread of avian influenza, the Bangkok Post reported today.Ducks have been found to shed high levels of the H5N1 virus without appearing ill. The national avian flu committee agreed in principle yesterday to cull free-range ducks, the newspaper reported.More than a million adult ducks have been moved to farms or slaughterhouses, while another 5.5 million were confined to areas in northern and central provinces to be sold to the government, the Post reported.The government’s measures will destroy a way of life for about 4,000 farmers but won’t control the spread of avian flu, Somnuek Promchaiwattana, leader of the Free-Range Duck Traders and Producers Club, told the Bangkok newspaper. Shifting to closed farming will cost more and force farmers to raise ten times as many ducks to realize a profit, he said.The plan to cull ducks was announced less than a week after officials said hundreds of wild birds had died of avian flu in Thailand’s central province of Nakhon Sawan.Between Jan 18 and Feb 3, nearly 500 open-billed storks were found dead at the Boraphet reservoir, Thailand’s largest freshwater swamp, according to a story by the Chinese news service Xinhua on Feb 5.Wildlife officials burned and disinfected areas where sick storks were found, the Bangkok Post reported on Feb 5, but officials stopped short of proposing a mass cull of the migratory birds.The die-off bears a close resemblance to the deaths of more than 500 open-billed storks and 300 other birds in the same reservoir a year ago, according to the Xinhua report.Thailand remains in the midst of widespread avian flu outbreaks in poultry. The country reported 10 new outbreaks in Phichit, PhitsanuLok, and Suphan Buri provinces in the last week to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Twenty-eight other provinces are on avian flu watch, the Bangkok Post said today. More than 60,000 poultry have been culled in Thailand since early December, according to the country’s reports to OIE.Unlike Vietnam, Thailand has not had any confirmed human cases of avian flu since October 2004.last_img read more

Indonesian boy succumbs to avian flu

first_imgOct 15, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A 12-year-old Indonesian boy who was identified earlier as having H5N1 avian influenza died Oct 13, raising the country’s avian flu death toll to 88, according to news services.An official at Indonesia’s avian flu information center said the boy died suddenly, though he had previously been improving, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published yesterday.”Medical doctors at the hospital were meeting to discuss his case, since he showed great improvement in his health condition, with his white-blood-cell count rising, but the boy suddenly died at 7:30 a.m. this morning,” the official, named Nir Wan, told AFP.Indonesian officials had reported the boy’s case on Oct 11, and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized it a day later. He had fallen ill Sep 30 and was hospitalized in Tangerang, a western suburb of Jakarta, Oct 8. The next day he was transferred to Persahabatan Hospital in Jakarta, according to AFP.The WHO said investigators found that the boy had had contact with a dead infected chicken near his school in the days before his illness.Indonesia leads the world with 109 H5N1 cases and 88 deaths, on the basis of WHO and news reports (WHO figures include the boy’s case but do not yet reflect his death). Indonesia has had 34 cases, 30 of them fatal, this year. The global count has reached 331 cases with 203 deaths.See also: Oct 12 WHO announcement of the boy’s case 11 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia has another avian flu case”last_img read more

Trial offers hope for shortening anthrax-shot series

first_img Promising resultsAfter 8 weeks, the 4-IM group was statistically “noninferior” to the 4-SQ by all the measures of antibody response, but the 3-IM group was noninferior to the 4-SQ group only for the percent showing a fourfold rise in titer. After 7 months, however, both of the IM groups were noninferior to the 4-SQ group. For example, 98.8% of the 4-IM group and 98.2% of the 3-IM group had a fourfold rise in antibody titer, versus 99.4% in the standard-regimen (4-SQ) group. Study design and approachThe study is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Anthrax Vaccine Research Program, established by Congress in 1999, the report says. The authors include investigators from the CDC and five other centers around the country. They report their analysis of data collected from the first 1,005 participants during the first 7 months of a 43-month trial. “Changing the injection route from SQ [subcutaneous] to IM may increase vaccine acceptability,” says the report, published in the Oct 1 Journal of the American Medical Association. “Reducing the number of doses in the AVA regimen would have the added benefit of increasing the number of doses available for prophylactic use.” Oct 6, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An interim report from a major study of the US’s only licensed anthrax vaccine suggests it may be possible to reduce local side effects without sacrificing effectiveness by changing the injection route and using fewer doses. The standard regimen for the vaccine—required for US military personnel deployed in the Middle East—is six subcutaneous doses over an 18-month period, followed by annual boosters. Many military members have complained of side effects over the years. The vaccine, called anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA), or BioThrax, is made by Emergent BioSolutions Inc. The report says that the rise in antibody levels in the 3-IM group after two doses and 8 weeks was significant in comparison with the controls but was 50% lower than that seen in the 4-IM group at the same time point (after three doses). In light of results in animal studies, the authors write, “It is nonetheless highly probable that the antibody levels elicited by 2 doses of AVA (weeks 0, 4) would confer protection against anthrax in humans.” In the study, volunteers who received three or four intramuscular (IM), instead of subcutaneous, doses over 6 months had about the same antibody responses at 7 months as did volunteers who received the standard regimen, involving four subcutaneous doses in the first 6 months. In addition, those who received four IM doses had fewer negative effects at the injection site than did those who received four subcutaneous doses. Comparing rates of injection-site reactions in the 4-SQ and 4-IM groups, the authors found that the 4-IM group had significant reductions in the incidence of warmth, tenderness, itching, erythema, induration, edema, and nodules, though not in pain, arm stiffness, or bruising. For example, edema was 64% less common in the 4-IM group than in the other group (odds ratio, 0.36; 95% confidence interval, 0.25 to 0.51). The data also showed that reactions in the 4-IM group resolved faster. Results also showed that in all treatment groups, women were almost twice as likely as men to experience any injection-site reactions, but the differences for several of the reactions were largest in the 4-SQ group. The investigators assessed injection-site reactions and the levels of immunoglobulin-G (IgG) antibodies to anthrax protective antigen (PA), as indicated by geometric mean concentration (GMC), geometric mean titer (GMT), and the proportion of responders with a fourfold rise in titer. Healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 61 were randomly assigned to one of six groups. The first group (the 4-SQ group) received the first four AVA doses subcutaneously on the standard schedule: at 0, 2, and 4 weeks and at 6 months. The second group (the 4-IM group) received the first four doses on the same schedule but by the IM route. However, the route of vaccine administration made no significant difference in the rates of systemic adverse events, such as fatigue, muscle aches, headache, and fever, the report says. Groups 3, 4, and 5 received the vaccine intramuscularly at weeks 0 and 4 and at 6 months, getting a placebo vaccine at 2 weeks. The groups were to go on different regimens later in the study but were combined for the interim analysis and designated the 3-IM group. Group 6 received placebo vaccines on the same four-dose schedule. They add that this interpretation is supported by the immune responses observed after 7 months, “which clearly demonstrate that a 3-IM schedule provides immunological priming equivalent to the 4-SQ and 4-IM schedules.” Marano N, Plikaytis BD, Martin SW, et al. Effects of a reduced dose schedule and intramuscular administration of anthrax vaccine adsorbed on immunogenicity and safety at 7 months. JAMA 2008 Oct 1;300(13):1532-43 [Abstract]last_img read more

Salmonella cases reach 691 in slowing outbreak

first_img CDC timeline of outbreak CDC update “The outbreak is expected to continue at a low level for the next several months since consumers unaware that they have recalled products in their home continue to consume these products, many of which have a long shelf-life,” the agency said. “The numbers of new cases have declined substantially since the peak in December, but illnesses are still being reported among people who ate the recalled brands of peanut butter crackers after the recall,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in what it called its final online update on the outbreak. The outbreak has been blamed primarily on contamination at the Blakely, Ga., peanut processing plant of Peanut Corp. of America (PCA), though a few cases have been linked to the same company’s plant in Plainview, Tex. As a result of the outbreak, the firm filed for bankruptcy in February, and it is under a federal criminal investigation because of evidence that it shipped products it knew to be contaminated. Mar 17, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The case count in the nationwide Salmonella outbreak tied to peanut products has climbed to 691, signaling continued slowing of the outbreak, but a trickle of additional cases is likely to continue for months, federal health officials said today.center_img The FDA and state agencies have contacted more than 16,000 firms throughout the food distribution chain in efforts to get potentially contaminated products off the market, the FDA said in a recently posted online bulletin. See also: The latest case count is eight more than was reported a week ago. Cases have been reported in 46 states and one Canadian province, with Feb 24 as the latest reported onset date, the agency said. The number of deaths believed related to the outbreak remains at nine. Among patients for whom information is available, 23% were hospitalized. PCA peanut products were used in thousands of products, including crackers, cookies, candy, ice cream, cereal, and pet food. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) searchable database of recalled products currently lists 3,488 items. However, no major national brands of peanut butter sold in retail stores have been found to be contaminated.last_img read more

WHO declares pandemic of novel H1N1 virus

first_imgJun 11, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – After delaying action for weeks as the novel H1N1 influenza virus took hold in far-flung parts of the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared a full-fledged pandemic, formally recognizing that the virus is becoming a global contagion.WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan announced the long-expected move to pandemic alert phase 6, meaning that the virus has caused sustained community outbreaks in more than one global region. The move comes amid growing signs of community transmission in Australia, Chile, and the United Kingdom—far from the epidemic’s birthplace in Mexico and the United States.”The scientific criteria for a pandemic have been met,” Chan said at a press conference. “I have therefore decided to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to phase 6. The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic.”The announcement came as the WHO’s global H1N1 count rose to 28,774 confirmed cases in 74 countries. The United States, Mexico, and Canada account for the vast majority of those, but cases have been mounting in Australia (with 1,307), Chile (1,694), and the United Kingdom (822), among others.”Spread in several countries can no longer be traced to clearly defined chains of human-to-human transmission,” Chan said. “Further spread is considered inevitable.”She said there was unanimous agreement among WHO member countries and the agency’s emergency committee that “we have indisputable evidence that we are at the beginning of a pandemic caused by a new H1N1 virus.”In making the announcement to a world conditioned by the H5N1 avian influenza virus to think that a pandemic means the global spread of an often-lethal virus, Chan explained that the virus causes mild illness in the vast majority of patients. But she also noted that it differs from seasonal flu in significant ways.In areas with large outbreaks, most cases have occurred in people younger than 25, and in some of these areas, about 2% of cases have been severe, Chan said. She added that most of the severe and fatal infections have involved people between 30 and 50, and about a third to half of those people were previously healthy.”Although the pandemic appears to have moderate severity in comparatively well-off countries, it is prudent to anticipate a bleaker picture as the virus spreads to areas with limited resources, poor health care, and a high prevalence of underlying medical problems,” Chan stated.Seven weeks since emergenceThe pandemic declaration comes a little more than 7 weeks after the novel virus first reached public attention with a report of US cases on Apr 21 and 44 days after the WHO moved from pandemic alert phase 4 to phase 5 on Apr 29. That signaled that the virus was spreading in more than one country in one WHO region.The pandemic is the first since the worldwide spread of an H3N2 flu virus in 1968-69, when the tools for tracking and identifying influenza viruses were far less sophisticated than today. Yet the H1N1 virus surprised the world by emerging in North America instead of Asia and causing mild illness in most people, instead of the severe disease associated with the H5N1 virus. But experts warn that it could evolve into a more threatening form.The WHO had hesitated to move to phase 6 out of concern that it would cause undue alarm and lead to unnecessary and harmful measures such as trade embargoes, travel restrictions, and a flood of worried but healthy people into hospitals. Last week the agency promised to couple its pandemic announcement with an assessment of the severity of the threat in an effort to prevent overreactions.In her prepared statement today, Chan repeated the WHO’s recommendations against travel restrictions and border closures. In a question period afterward, she seemed to downplay the concern that the pandemic declaration would lead to new travel and trade restrictions.Noting that some countries did impose various restrictions in the early weeks of the epidemic, she said they have been lifting them since then. “We must recognize that with a new disease . . . it’s not unusual to have a degree of overreaction. I think this is understandable,” she said.The meaning of ‘moderate’In assessing the pandemic as “moderate” in severity, the WHO did not offer a formal definition of the term or present a severity scale, something that had been talked about earlier.When reporters asked what “moderate” meant, Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and environment, repeated the general clinical profile of H1N1 cases: mild illness in most cases, younger people most affected, some severe cases and deaths.”Health systems have been stressed, but in general they are able to cope. . . . This makes it moderate,” Fukuda said.As for what the world should do now that the pandemic has officially arrived, the general answer from Chan and Fukuda was essentially, “Stay vigilant.””Countries should prepare to see cases, or the further spread of cases, in the near future,” Chan said in her statement. “Countries where outbreaks appear to have peaked should prepare for a second wave of infection.” She added that the WHO has sent guidance on specific measures to all health ministries.In response to questions, Chan said the epidemic in Mexico “is coming to a steady state,” with sporadic cases and outbreaks. “In the event that Mexico is coming out of the first wave, it doesn’t mean that Mexico should let down its guard. Mexico should prepare to continue and keep up its vigilance because the virus can come back in a second wave.”Chan also reminded reporters that the H5N1 virus is still lurking. “We should never forget it as we’re talking about H1N1, we still have H5N1 in [pandemic alert] phase 3, and this is the first time we have two new viruses coexisting at the same time in pandemic alert,” she said.Antivirals distributedConcerning antiviral drugs, the WHO has sent doses of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to 121 countries, disbursing all 5 million doses initially donated by Roche, Chan reported. She said the agency has received a second donation of 5.6 million doses, some of which are the pediatric formulation, and those will be sent to other countries.On the vaccine front, Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny of the WHO said all vaccine manufactures have received the vaccine virus. She said a few have already started making a vaccine, and others will begin in the next week or two.Kieny predicted that the first doses will become available sometime in September, depending on how production goes and how long it takes to get regulatory approval. Chan said the WHO will urge regulatory agencies to “fast track” the vaccines.As for who will get the first doses, Kieny said, “When enough is available in the coming weeks, we’ll make a policy recommendation on which groups, which populations should be prioritized for the first vaccine doses.”In recent interviews in anticipation of the pandemic declaration, public health experts said they would welcome the move and downplayed the risk of panic and overreactions.”It’ll potentially raise awareness again in the country,” said Dr. Paul Jarris, executive director of the (US) Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). “There seems to be a sentiment among some policymakers that this thing is gone and the response was an overreaction. It’s still in the US, it’s still spreading, it’s not just another seasonal flu. Seasonal flu doesn’t put 23-year-olds in intensive care. . . . It’s still here, and we need to plan for a resurgence in the fall.”Jarris said he doesn’t expect panic in the wake of the announcement. “I don’t think it’s going to trigger panic; people are sometimes smarter than we give them credit for,” he said.”If we let them know that it means that a new virus has traveled around the world, people will understand it,” Jarris added. “We need to reinforce the hygiene and hand washing, but also reinforce that this is the time for planning.”At the same time, Jarris voiced concern about science’s capability to accurately assess the threat posed by the new virus.”Right now I think we still are unable to accurately portray the transmissibility or severity of this virus,” he said. “We don’t really know how many have been ill, how many have been exposed. We don’t have the lab capacity to test everyone.”Another preparedness expert, Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, also welcomed the pandemic declaration, seeing it as a needed antidote to complacency.Like Jarris, Osterholm said he wasn’t concerned about overreactions to the WHO move. “If anything, one of the real problems we have is that the world has basically hit the pause button. I think the real concern is we just continue to get more and more comfortable with this situation, which is a problem because we don’t know where it’ll go or what it’ll do.”Osterholm, who is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, also said the WHO needed to make today’s announcement to save its own credibility.”It’ll basically bring back the credibility of the WHO,” he said. “It’ll actually mean that the global status of the pandemic matches up with what the public health surveillance information from the different countries is. That’s very critical.”See also: Jun 11 statement from WHO Director-General ChanWHO Q & A: “What is phase 6?”last_img read more

The Municipality of Motovun passed a Decision on the payment of the entrance to the Motovun walls

first_imgAt the last session of the Municipal Council, the Municipality of Motovun made a decision to charge the entrance fee for a tour of the Motovun walls.As pointed out by the Municipality of Motovun, recognizing that Motovun is the leading tourist destination in central Istria of international recognition and quality visited by several hundred thousand one-day visitors each year, the Municipality of Motovun decided to take activities to facilitate the organization of tourist destination and construction and improvement of existing infrastructure in Motovun through the Motovun Experience project! / Motovun Impressions.”As is common in Motovun-level destinations across Europe and the world, realizing that there is a clear awareness of visitors that ticket participation participates in sustainable management, we analyzed that tickets in towns of similar size, order and recognizability average 5 euros, so we predicted several levels of ticket prices per group of visitors“They point out from the Municipality of MotovunThus, individual guests will pay a ticket price of HRK 25,00, and organized groups at a price of HRK 20,00. The ticket price to be paid by the visitor will include the possibility of visiting additional facilities within the Motovun citadel, such as art gallery, art exhibition in the garden within the walls, the possibility of using binoculars on the walls, photo point and other facilities to be prepared in the coming months.Ticket collection is scheduled for the period from March 1 to November 15, from 9:00 to 21:00. Organized groups are groups that have at least 10 people and that announce their arrival at least one day before arrival. The family package includes two adults, with whom, for statistical reasons, one kuna ticket is charged for each child under the age of 15. Children over the age of 14 do not enter the family package.Photo: Martin MočibobMotovun is visited annually by about 400.000 one-day visitors, and in overnight stays Motovun already in September exceeded last year’s figure of 40.000 overnight stays. This year, there were 12 percent more arrivals and over 47.000 overnight stays in Motovun, and by the end of the year, the “magic” limit of 50.000 overnight stays is expected to be reached.As part of the project, we are already providing visitors with a tour of the Motovun walls – the best-preserved fortification system in Istria, with two binoculars and a photo point, the church of Sv. Stjepan Jeleć Prodan, director of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Motovun, points out Stjepan, the city lodge, the gallery “Pet kula” and the tower “Nova vrata”It is our obligation to actively work on additional content, which will help the Motovun Experience Project! / Motovun Impressions! join the ethnographic museum, an open-air sculptural workshop, a sacral museum, a tour of all five Motovun churches, the arrangement of public faucets and many other facilities. Motovun Experience Project! / Motovun Impressions! At its peak, it will complete everything that Motovun has to offer, an integrated offer that will guide our visitor from the very foot to the highest point of the Motovun view.. “Points out Jeletić Prodan and adds that all the funds that will go to the Motovun Experience Project! / Motovun Impressions! to collect, will invest in the maintenance of Motovun’s heritage and its enrichment with new contents so that each new arrival of our visitors becomes a new, different, even better experience of Motovun.It is a bit inconvenient and awkward that the decision to charge for the entrance to the Motovun walls is made at the end of December, when tourist tours have long been agreed and defined, which has put various agencies and organizers in an awkward position. Now everyone who has already defined the prices and conditions, must contact their customers and ask them to change the price, which is certainly not professional or good. I hope that the Municipality of Motovun is aware of this, and that they will find a solution, as we may say that this Decision does not apply to already agreed tours, which all organizers can prove.This is the least that the Municipality of Motovun can do, of course if they care about quality relationships with partners and tourism development. It’s up to the people.last_img read more

Skrivanat Tower and Fortica Fortress on the island of Pag in the service of cultural tourism

first_imgThus, Pag will get two very attractive cultural monuments that will have their tourist function through cultural tourism, ideal for the storytelling concept of interpretation. Two cultural monuments – Fortress Fortica and Skrivanat Tower, will become the property and be available to the City of Pag. Fortress Fortica was built in the 17th century and is located near the Pag bridge. In the past, it was very important because it controlled the passage between the island of Pag and the mainland. The island of Pag was located on an important maritime route, and various merchant ships moving from the northern Adriatic to Dalmatia and vice versa were often exposed to pirate attacks.center_img “These two, extremely valuable cultural monuments will be arranged for the needs of cultural tourism and will represent a rich offer of Pag where various cultural and entertainment events will be held such as concerts, theater performances, summer workshops and the like.”, Said Ante Fabijanic, Mayor of the City of Pag. Skrivanat Tower, one of the most recognizable parts of the monumental heritage of Pag, was built in the 15th century, and with its construction the construction of the new town of Pag began in 1443. Also, it is the only remaining tower of the former nine that surrounded and defended the town of Pag. The signing of the Agreement on the transfer of the use of two cultural monuments – Fortica Fortress and Skrivanat Tower between the City of Pag and the Ministry of State Property will take place on Monday, (February 11, 2019)last_img read more