Human transmission likely in 2004 Thai avian flu cases

first_imgJan 24, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who analyzed a family cluster of three cases of H5N1 avian influenza in Thailand say in an article published today that two family members probably acquired the disease from the third.The mother and an aunt of an 11-year-old girl who died of probable avian influenza last September most likely caught the disease from the girl when they cared for her in a hospital, according to the report published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.The findings appear to be the strongest evidence so far of person-to-person transmission of H5N1 avian flu since the disease became widespread in Southeast Asia last year. But the authors say they found no sign of any further transmission and no evidence of mutations that could enable the H5N1 virus to spread easily among people. Disease experts fear that such mutations could lead to a flu pandemic.The 11-year-old girl, who lived with her 32-year-old aunt, died of pneumonia on Sep 8, 2004, according to the report by Kumnuan Ungchusak, MD, MPH, of the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and colleagues from Thailand and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The girl had fallen ill 3 or 4 days after having contact with dying chickens.While the girl was in a hospital, her 26-year-old mother, who worked in a distant city, came to be at her bedside, providing “16 to 18 hours of unprotected nursing care,” the report says. The mother, who had no known exposure to poultry, became ill with a fever Sep 11 and died Sep 20.The girl’s aunt also helped care for her in the hospital, spending about 12 hours at her bedside on Sep 7. The aunt in turn fell ill with fever Sep 16 and eventually experienced pneumonia, but she gradually recovered and was discharged Oct 7.Because no adequate tissue samples were preserved, investigators could not confirm that the girl had avian flu, but her case had all the cardinal features of previous cases, the report says. Laboratory tests (reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction) confirmed the disease in her mother and aunt.The mother made a 10-minute visit to her daughter’s household Sep 7 but had no known exposure to poultry before she became ill on Sep 11, the article says. The aunt’s last known exposure to poultry was 17 days before she fell ill, a period longer than the typical incubation period of 2 to 10 days.”We believe that the most likely explanation for the family clustering of these three cases of avian influenza is that the virus was transmitted directly from the infected index patient to her mother and to her aunt,” the report states.Epidemiologic investigation revealed no other human cases associated with the family cluster. In addition, RT-PCR analysis and phylogenetic analysis of the virus showed no changes that could equip it for efficient person-to-person transmission.The report says avian flu has spread from person to person before. For example, in Hong Kong’s 1997 outbreak of H5N1, some healthcare workers were found to have antibodies to the virus, and one reported mild symptoms. However, “The current family cluster is unique in that the secondary infections resulted in severe disease and death and in that the epidemiologic circumstances and laboratory findings made it possible to rule out transmission from poultry.”The lack of further transmission in the family cluster should not be an excuse for complacency, the authors write. If H5N1 avian flu remains endemic for years in the affected countries, “it is likely that such clusters will occur again, and it will be necessary to investigate each one rapidly and thoroughly to determine whether a critical change in the virus has occurred,” they conclude.Ungchusak K, Auewarakul P, Dowell SF, et al. Probable person-to-person transmission of avian influenza A (H5N1). N Engl J Med 3005;352(4):333-40 [Full text]last_img read more

Why I live in … the head of Australia’s leading chamber music ensemble talks about home

first_imgSouthern Cross Soloists artistic director Tania Frazer, has returned to her childhood home in Brookfield to raise her family. Picture: Josh Woning.Southern Cross Soloists artistic director and oboist, Tania Frazer, has lived around the world but when she and her husband returned to Brisbane 16 years ago, she moved back to the suburb of her childhood, Brookfield, where she is now raising her own children in a house built by her parents.To celebrate the Chinese Year of the Dog, Ms Frazer is preparing Australia’s leading chamber music ensemble for its first concert of the year, Lunar New Year — Memories from Childhood, which is on at the QPAC Concert Hall, on February 17 at 3pm. What do you love about your home? Home grown talent. Tania Frazer and the Southern Cross Soloists will perform as part of Chinese New Year celebrations at the QPAC Concert Hall, South Bank on Sunday, February 17 at 3pm. Picture: Josh Woning. Brookfield. I grew up here and my parents own a large property. I never thought I would live here as an adult as I have lived all over the world as a professional musician, but I really love that I have the opportunity to live here and bring my children up in such an amazing place. It’s green and it also has a great community. It has a village like feeling. Everyone knowseveryone. We live on the top of a hill and can’t see any other houses, just bushland, which is incrediblyrelaxing and beautiful. It would be very interesting to have an amazing place in London. When I lived there I could barely afford a cup of coffee. The thought of owning an apartment in Kensington or Covent Garden would be amazing. I would love to build an extension with an entire glass wall, like a conservatory or similar —somewhere to sit, read a book and relax surrounded by plants and views across the ridge of one of the surrounding hills.center_img What is the best thing about your suburb? Where do you live and why? What would you change about your home?  More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus14 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market14 hours ago I was always told it is better to rent than buy, though this probably depends on the individualcircumstances. As a musician, I’ve lived all over the world, so I was always renting in all those foreign countries. What is the best piece of property advice you could give? If money was no option, what would be your fantasy home and where?last_img read more

Conference highlights tech innovations

first_imgEntertainment and technology innovators gathered in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom on Wednesday for the second annual Silicon Beach @ USC, a competition and conference on technology and innovation.The two-day Silicon Beach @ USC was hosted by four professional schools at USC: the Marshall School of Business, the School of Cinematic Arts, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and the Viterbi School of Engineering.David Belasco, an MBA professor in the Marshall School, opened the event with a telling statement.“Silicon Beach and USC should always be mentioned in the same sentence,” Belasco said.The term used to describe the technology and entertainment ecosystem envisioned for Southern California, such as the already established Silicon Valley in Northern California.“[The Institute for Communication Technology Management] was interested in doing an event that focused on the future of technology and was something that would be of benefit to students and the larger community,” said Jay Tucker, chief marketing director for Marshall and interim director of CTM.“We were able to partner with the [Lloyd] Greif Center for Entrepreneurship on what we thought was a special opportunity to combine the venture competition and a conference as one experience.”The two groups came up with Silicon Beach @ USC, which has started the cultivation of innovation and talent on and off campus. This year, student attendance nearly doubled from last year.The day started with a presentation by Gerard Tellis, a Marshall professor and director of the USC Center for Global Innovation, on the secret to staying on top: unrelenting motivation.The presentation was  followed by a series of panels covering topics ranging from start-ups to Hollywood. The first panel was led by Viterbi faculty member Ashish Soni, the founder of Viterbi Students Institute for Innovation and Viterbi Startup Garage. Soni’s programs are working to create the kind of ecosystem in which Viterbi students can make their ideas into reality.Councilman Curren Price, who represents the area in which the University Park campus is situated, also attended the event, something the hosts of the program were happy about.“Having our policy makers, our councilman, our state assemblymen, this sends the message that this is important to the city of L.A., but the thing that I really prize the most is the response from the USC and the Trojan community,” Tucker said.The second panel dealt with the impact of mobility.“This is not a tweet-free zone,” Ken Williams, executive director and CEO of the Entertainment Technology Center of USC     Cinematic Arts, said jokingly.Director of Annenberg’s    Program on Online Communites, Karen North, also spoke on the panel.“Mobile put all of us in the real time world. Things are happening, and we are either here, reacting, participating in the moment … That is the game changer,” North said.The main topics of the mobility panel were immediacy, commentary on mobile being both a conduit for the virtual and physical and public policy.“There’s always going to be a lag between what people are actually doing and what the law says they should do,” said David Anderson of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, a premier law firm that will provide legal services for winners of the Silicon Beach @ USC competition.In the afternoon, Albert Cheng, the executive vice president and chief product officer at Disney/ABC held a “fireside chat.” Cheng noted that problems with constraints on both the market and people keep us from knowing what the future will look like. Despite this, Cheng attempted to forecast changes.“The next wave is going to be less sexy, because it’s going to be focused on things the consumers can’t see,” he said. “The success of the business relies on good storytelling, period. How you get there changes a lot.”In the afternoon, awards were presented to the contest winners. Sixty-two entrants in the fields of the technology, digital media and entertainment submitted their applications on Sept. 2. Forty-nine teams were invited to present on Sept. 10. On Sept. 17, 16 judges saw the top eight present. Each were given five minutes for presentation and five minutes for Q&A.The $25,000 first place prize went to SellBot, a company created by brothers and USC graduates Michael and Payam Ahdoot. The technology is an e-commerce platform.The $15,000 second place prize went to iScout. Creators Andrew Abramson, Brandon Ballew, Vincent Tsang and Andrew Costa pitched their idea as “moneyball for football.” iScout also received the “Disruptor” award from the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.Jill Bigelow, a USC MBA grad took home the $10,000 third place prize for her company, Pelv-ice. Pelv-ice helps those recovering from pelvic trauma.Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojanlast_img read more

Blackwood: Extreme heat threatened my focus

first_imgGEELONG, Australia (CMC):Middle order batsman Jermaine Blackwood said he almost lost concentration as he was forced to battle extreme heat on his way to a polished half century for West Indies against Victoria X1 on the first day of their two-day tour match yesterday.Blackwood compiled a well-played 69 to bolster his confidence after scoring a couple of ducks in the first Test as West Indies amassed 303 for eight at Simonds Stadium.The diminutive Jamaican batsman, who scored seven fours and a six, said it was the first time he experienced such extreme heat as temperatures soared to 43 degrees, one of the hottest days on record in the history of Australia.”It was extremely hot out there … dry heat. Even when the wind came across the ground, it was a kind of hot wind. I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said Blackwood.”We’ve played in hot, sticky conditions, but never quite like that.”Blackwood added 99 runs for the third wicket with Kraigg Brathwaite, who top-scored with 78 from 175 deliveries in the first two sessions before retiring to give the rest of his teammates a chance at the wicket.Marlon Samuels struck an aggressive 45 from 39 balls including seven fours. Denesh Ramdin scored 38, while opener Rajindra Chandrika chipped in with 28.”I was quite tired after running some threes. It’s a big ground, so we had to run a few threes. At one point, I felt like I was losing concentration, so you had to dig deep for every ball,” said Blackwood.”I had to put that behind me and just focus on each ball. We got some starts. We just need to convert those starts now.”Blackwood added: “This is international cricket and we will face different conditions. It was cold (in Tasmania) for the first Test and now it’s hot here. It’s all about coping.”West Indies are using the match as part of their preparation for the second Test match at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, starting Boxing Day.”We’ll just have to go back into the nets and continue to work hard,” he said.”We’re just putting in the work and hopefully it will pay off in the next Test match.”last_img read more

Carrying the hopes of a nation

first_imgThe colourful Ndizani was retired in2004, but another aircraft will soontake her place.(Image: Young South Africans are invited to designthe 2012 Olympic plane.(Image: South African Airways)MEDIA CONTACTS • Dileseng KoetleSpokesperson, South African Airways+27 83 400 0041 or +27 11 978 reporterShe was big, bold and colourful, and she carried the hopes of the nation – Ndizani, the South African Airways (SAA) 747-300, that was painted in the bright colours of the national flag to take the country’s sporting heroes to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.Since the days of Ndizani, the national carrier hasn’t had another craft like it, although certain planes have been customised on a much smaller scale for special projects, such as Mandela Day 2011.Now plans are afoot to paint another aircraft in striking livery for the upcoming Summer Olympics in June/July in London, and SAA, the official carrier of the South African Olympic and Paralympic teams, has called on the public to help out with the design.SAA’s Paint the Plane competition is underway, and invites young South Africans between the ages of seven and 21 to unleash their creativity and submit a design. The winning entry will be transferred onto an Airbus A340-600, one of the carrier’s 57-strong fleet.Besides the thrill of seeing their design flying all over the world, the winner will also bag a trip for two people, which includes travel, accommodation and stadium entry, to the 2012 Olympic Games.However, should the winner not be able to attend the sporting spectacular, the ticket will be valid for 12 months although the Olympic entry ticket and accompanying accommodation will be forfeited.How to enter:Download the Airbus A340-600 template (PDF, 371K), or redraw it.Email your design to painttheplane@callit-it.comorpost it to Paint the Plane, Private Bag X33, Bryanston, 2021.Entries close on 4 June 2012. Entrants must have a valid passport, and the winner is responsible for arranging his or her own visa.Supporting Team South AfricaSAA’s decision to paint Ndizani in her eye-catching livery was, according to a statement released at the time, to show its support for the national Olympic team, and secondly, to support Cape Town in its bid to host the 2004 Summer Olympics.Ndizani (isiZulu, meaning “flying to new heights”) turned heads wherever she went, and she was often seen at airports around the world in the late 1990 and early 2000s. She was even spotted on Google Earth once or twice, parked on the runway at the then Johannesburg International Airport.She was fondly known as the Smartie Box, and South African passengers who flew in her often remarked on how she enhanced their sense of national pride.In December 1996 she carried members of the International Olympic Committee’s evaluation team to Cape Town, as part of that city’s 2004 Olympic bid – the event eventually went to Athens.Ndizani flew commercially for the last time in 2004, after which she was withdrawn from service. After returning to Johannesburg from Sao Paulo on 26 April that year, Ndizani was grounded.However, nostalgic aircraft enthusiasts who have a bit of money to spend can buy an Ndizani model from various sources, including read more

ECM: SharePoint Scheduled for 5015.2 Certification Tests

first_imgSince the start of 2007, it looks like Russ Stalters has been very busy with working with Content Management features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS).  In some of Russ’ recent blog posts he’s talked about work that he has done as CTO at AIS along with Microsoft towards bulding DoD 5015.2 functionality on top of the MOSS platform.Based on this work, Microsoft is scheduled to become certified by the JITC Contract Management Office on May 23rd (assuming that they pass the test).  Since scheduling certification is usually booked up months away, it looks like they’ve been working on this for some time.  Russ also has written a white paper to describe what was involved with implementing a solution and preparing for the certification.  There is a companion white paper about how to develop on top of SharePoint, treating it like an integration platform.The 5015.2 features were implemented with out of the box features from MOSS that include ACLs, Workflow, Search, and tight interoperability with Exchange and Outlook.Congratulations Russ!last_img read more

Setting Expectations and Coaching your team

first_imgMake it Clear that There Are No Dumb Questions.Don’t assume that your staff and trades will immediately understand everything you are asking for when making the changes that green building will require.Most people are agreeable and want to please their superiors, so you will often hear “yes” when you ask if they understand, but this does not always mean that they do, in fact, understand you. Make it clear that it is not only OK to ask for more details and explanations, but it is important that they ask questions until they know exactly what you want, and they should continue to ask questions through the job as needed.People worry that they might sound stupid if they ask questions, often because they have been treated that way in the past by other employers. Be a positive influence on them—encourage them to question you. Listen carefully to what they are saying, compliment them for taking the time to bring important issues to your attention, and get them what they need promptly. Make it clear that it is important to you that they take the time to get all the information to do the job correctly the first time, instead of doing it wrong because they were afraid to ask a question.Established an important two-part rule: 1) If I give you an assignment and you tell me you can do it, it is your responsibility. 2) If you tell me you have all you can handle and I give you something else, it is no longer your responsibility if you fail.It is important for every team member to say when they have enough on their plate. My favorite employees were the ones who knew their limits and told me when they could not take on anything else. The best ones would ask, “If I add this project to my list which one do you want to fail?”Watch out for team members who don’t know their limits, particularly when they are dealing with new techniques and materials involved in green building. I have looked employees in the eye and asked them specifically— “Can you handle your current workload?” to which they answer “yes,” only to fail miserably a few weeks later, complaining that I gave them too much work, or they didn’t understand what I wanted, and how could I expect them to do everything?We are all adults, and we need to act like it. If someone tells me that they can’t take on any more work and I give them an additional assignment, I have absolved them of the responsibility of failure, it is now on me. If they don’t tell me that they are too busy and willingly take on more, then it is their responsibility if they fail. Coach these people to learn when to say no, or send them on their way.You also need to take your share of the responsibility—be aware when you are overloading your team—they could be telling you that they have had enough but you may not be listening. Make sure you have not created an atmosphere where people are afraid to speak out.Being a good manager requires bi-directional communication skills in order to make your team and your projects successful.last_img read more