More human H5N1 cases reported in Turkey, Indonesia

first_imgJan 17, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – More cases of human illness and death were laid at the door of the H5N1 virus in Turkey and Indonesia today.The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday confirmed the death from H5N1 of a 5-year-old boy from Dogubayazit district in Turkey’s eastern Agri province. His 14-year-old sister had died on Jan 15, and results on Monday confirmed her death was from H5N1.The WHO’s situation update says the newly confirmed human cases bring the total in Turkey to 20, of which 4 have been fatal. The agency has not adjusted its case-count chart to reflect those numbers, pending confirmation by a WHO partner laboratory in the United Kingdom.The agency’s update emphasized that to date all human H5N1 infections followed “direct exposure to diseased poultry.” WHO noted that in the most recent case described above, the children fell ill after slaughtering a duck from their home flock. Ducks in that flock had begun dying Jan 1, WHO said.Late this afternoon, an Associated Press (AP) report from Ankara said initial tests on another child showed H5N1 infection, which if confirmed would bring the number of human cases in Turkey to 21. The child is from Dogubayazit and is hospitalized in the eastern city of Erzurum, a health ministry official told the AP.Also in Ankara today, a WHO official said Turkey’s outbreak has a lower case-fatality rate than outbreaks in Southeast Asia, according to a story by the United Nations Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) news.”Turkey is seeing a fatality rate of 20 percent, which is lower than the fatality rate observed in Asia, which was around 58 percent,” Cristiana Salvi, a WHO spokeswoman in Turkey, told IRIN. But she added a caveat: “There could be other factors which we are investigating as a lot of cases are still in hospital.”Cases reported in Indonesian siblingsInIndonesia, local tests confirmed that a 13-year-old girl’s death Jan 14 in Indramayu, West Java, was due to H5N1 infection, according to a Reuters story from the online edition of The Jakarta Post. Her 3-year-old brother, who died today, was also being tested, as was a surviving sister, Reuters reported. The boy’s initial test was positive, but a subsequent local test was inconclusive, an Indonesian health ministry official told Reuters.A Hong Kong laboratory has also confirmed local test results showing that a 29-year-old woman who died Jan 11 at Sulianti Saroso Hospital in Jakarta had avian flu, The Jakarta Post reported today. Her death raised the number of human H5N1 deaths in Indonesia to 13, with 20 total cases, the newspaper said. A WHO update on Jan 14 confirmed the 29-year-old’s cause of death and said her case brought the total in Indonesia to 17, with 12 fatalities.The WHO described the woman as a midwife at a maternity ward in a Jakarta hospital, but said it was unlikely that she became infected on the job. Instead, WHO is investigating her neighborhood and a live-bird market she visited days before she fell sick. Contact tracing has not shown any evidence that the woman infected other people, WHO noted.Turkey’s poultry surveillance criticizedA nine-page report from Turkish authorities to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), dated today, indicates that two of Turkey’s poultry outbreaks began Nov 25 and 29, 2005. However, reports from Turkey to the OIE on Dec 8, 2005, do not reflect those outbreaks.A report by Bloomberg News today describes a “second wave” of poultry outbreaks that weren’t reported to OIE for more than 3 weeks.”We think that the condition of veterinary infrastructure in eastern Turkey led to this delay on the information,” Bernard Vallat, director-general of the OIE, told Bloomberg from Beijing today. “To manage avian flu in animals, time is a crucial point because if a country is in a position to have a rapid response within two days, the cost of the management is very low, compared with a delay of three or four days. The spread of the disease is exponential, which is why time is crucial.”See also:Jan 16 WHO update 14 WHO update’s outbreak report to OIE read more

Archer should play in third Test against Pakistan: Robert Key

first_imgSOUTHAMPTON: Former England batsman Robert Key feels speedster Jofra Archer should play against Pakistan in the third and final Test starting here on August 21.Archer was rested for the rain-affected second Test here, with all-rounder Sam Curran coming in as England rejigged their side in the absence of Ben Stokes owing to family reasons. “I would pick Archer,” said Sky Sports pundit key, while admitting that being without Stokes has caused England a few headaches. “If you ask all of those Pakistan batsmen, I reckon they would have been cheering when they heard he (Archer) wasn’t playing in the second Test. I would do a straight swap between Curran and Archer. This is the problem when you don’t have Stokes,” he said. “That would weaken the batting in conditions that, if it’s like last week, won’t be easy to bat in but I would go for an out-and-out bowler. I think England would then have their best bowling attack,” Key said. England lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the first match. Pakistan have drawn their previous two Test series in England in 2016 and 2018, and Key feels they could follow suit this time around too. “Pakistan got 230, which I think was a good score in the worst of the conditions. This is a very good Pakistan side and they have a very good chance of levelling the series,” he said. IANS Also Watch: Govt Acts Tough On Schools Without Licenceslast_img read more


first_imgMANAGERS at Letterkenny General Hospital spent an astonishing €344,000 on filling just one medic’s position there, shocking new figures reveal.An investigation by RTE’s Prime Time programme on unfilled senior positions at hospital across the country found that millions of euro are instead spent hiring locums – or freelance – staff from agencies.And instead of filling the Accident & Emergency Consultant Post, Letterkenny Hospital spent €344,000 on locums in 2012, reporter Katie Hannon discovered during a Freedom of Information request. “The post has actually been covered by agency doctors since 2008,” said Hannon in  her investigation aired on Monday night.The spend is more than twice what it would have cost to hire a consultant to fill the position.She also found dozens of unfilled positions at senior consultancy levels across the country.In some cases, no-one even applied for the positions as more and more medics choose to leave Ireland behind for better working conditions in health services abroad. Experts said that locums constantly filling posts led to “poor care outcomes.”Irish Hospital Consultants Association representative Dr Gerard Crotty said the salaries and working conditions were not attracting candidates.“If we can’t recruit consultants we end up using locums at extremely high cost, representing poor value for money,” he said. REVEALED: SCANDAL OF THE €344,000 SPENT AT LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL – ON JUST ONE JOB! was last modified: January 28th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Consultantsletterkenny hospitalprime timeRTElast_img read more

Romanian scientists rebel against a power grab by their government

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Alexandra NistoroiuJun. 6, 2017 , 12:45 PM Romanian scientists rebel against a power grab by their government BUCHAREST—Romanian scientists are engaged in a battle with their government about an alleged power grab that they say will lead to the diversion of research money to government cronies and will isolate Romania’s small scientific community just as it was beginning to nurture connections to the rest of the world.Research minister Șerban Valeca, an engineer appointed by the new social-democratic government in January, has dismissed almost the entire membership of four councils that provide advice on funding policy, research strategy, ethics, and innovation. Valeca rid the councils of all Romanian scientists working abroad and appointed replacements including a surgeon under investigation for embezzlement, union members known for their loyalty to the government, little-known city council members, and members of obscure academic institutions that appear to exist mostly on paper. He also virtually eliminated the role of foreign scientists in grant evaluations.The changes, announced late January and formalized in April, were initially overshadowed by massive anticorruption protests. But the academic community is now fighting back. In late April, the heads of Romania’s five biggest universities asked for Valeca’s dismissal. On 30 May, Ad Astra, a grassroots organization for scientists, urged the scientific community to boycott the evaluation process for national grant competitions. The same day, the European University Association said it was “worried” about Valeca’s decisions.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Sweeping changes to Romanian science were announced at the same time as controversial corruption decrees that sparked massive protests in February. Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images In an email to Science, Valeca wrote that the reorganization was necessary to achieve the goals established by the government for the research ministry and said “the stirred agitation is useless.” His picks for the councils were guided by “objective and quantifiable criteria,” Valeca wrote, and “will have a beneficial impact on the academic and economic development of the country.” But Daniel Funeriu, Romania’s science minister from 2009 until 2012, says the real goal is to allocate money to “a political clientele instead of good science.” “It is a death sentence for all principles of good governance in a research system,” he says.Many of the council’s members had barely begun their 4-year terms, after a lengthy selection process by Romania’s previous government. Ovidiu Andronesi, an assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, says he and many other members of one body, the National Research Council (NRC), learned they had been dismissed in an email received just before midnight on 31 January—almost at the same time as the government passed an emergency decree that decriminalized some corruption offences, sparking the widespread protests. NRC was to meet the next day, and members from abroad had already arrived here. “There was no coincidence, no accident. It had to be that night, and just before our meeting,” Andronesi says. “Their rudeness was sending a message as defiant as possible.”Romanian science has long been struggling. The country invests only 0.49% of its gross domestic product in research, less than any other EU country, and ranks last in terms of scientific productivity. The current government has promised annual budget hikes of 30%, but the 2017 budget included an increase of less than 1.3%. Meanwhile, attempts to shake off the legacy of communist rule and boost quality have often met with political resistance. To reduce conflicts of interest, for instance, Funeriu passed legislation requiring grant applications to be reviewed by experts abroad and instituting minimum qualifications for job candidates—only to see those reforms undone by his successor.Among the 18 members dismissed from the National Council of Ethics are renowned Romanian scientists working in France, Mexico, Denmark, and the Netherlands. “We are moving further away from world research, when we should be aiming for the opposite, for international competitiveness,” says Octavian Micu of the Institute for Space Sciences here.Other sore points: The new councils include not a single scholar in the humanities, and some of the best-ranked universities are underrepresented—apparently for political reasons, critics say. The councils have also been suspended for 3 months, which may cause grants to be delayed, scientists say. “These disruptive changes will deepen the chaos in Romania’s research system, which already suffers from a chronic lack of predictability and stability”, says Mihai Miclăuș, a senior researcher at the National Institute of Biological Research in Cluj-Napoca.Meanwhile, Valeca stands accused of favoring a research project that he has been deeply involved in. In March, while NRC was suspended, the government changed the national research strategy for 2014–2020 to make the Advanced Lead Fast Reactor European Demonstrator (ALFRED) a national priority. The prototype of a lead-cooled nuclear power plant, ALFRED is set to be built at the Nuclear Research Institute in Pitesti-Mioveni, where Valeca was head of the scientific board before he joined the government. “It is ridiculous. We spent a lot of money on the strategy,” says Dragoș, Ciuparu, a former secretary of state in the ministry of education who’s now at the Oil & Gas University of Ploieşti. “And then a new minister turns this project into a national priority, without any consultations with the academic community.” But Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu confirmed the government’s commitment to the project on 24 May, citing the need for Romania to become energy-independent.In a 23 May debate about collaboration between academia and industry, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said he was worried about the impact of Valeca’s decisions and expressed his full support for having researchers from abroad on the research councils and grant evaluation committees. But in the current political situation, Iohannis, a former member of the National Liberal Party, does not hold much sway, and it may be too late to roll back Valeca’s decisions, says Antonio Marian Rădoi, a chemist at the National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnology here and a board member of Ad Astra. “We don’t really have the necessary mass to oppose these changes,” Rădoi says. “We are financially dependent on the ministry.”last_img read more