Political ads appear ‘active’ on Facebook despite post-Election Day ban

first_imgA number of elections-related ads were still listed as “active” in Facebook’s political ads library Wednesday morning, after the company’s post-election ban on political ads went into effect. The company said this can be because it can take up to 24 hours to reflect changes in the library, even if the ads are paused from being shown to users.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The company told CNBC it’s possible the library will temporarily show some ads as active and spending on Nov. 4 even if they were paused as of midnight, and said the library should soon correct “any minor inconsistencies in how the data is presented.”Facebook’s handling of political advertising has been rocky in the days leading up to the election. Last week, the company allowed President Trump’s campaign to run ads that implied victory, that boasted about GDP figures that hadn’t been released yet and others that implored people to “vote today” with graphics reading “Election Day is Today,” days before the election. Facebook said at the time it would be removing the “vote today” ads following inquiries. The company last week also suffered what it said was a technological issue that caused a number of ads from both political parties to be improperly paused. – Advertisement – In early October, the company announced it would stop running political ads in the U.S. after polls closed for the 2020 election on Nov. 3 and keep them halted for an indefinite period. The company said the temporary ban was expected to last about one week, but that it would be subject to change.As of Wednesday around 8 a.m. ET, CNBC was able to find dozens of political ads on Facebook still listed as active. Those included ads run by “Evangelicals for Trump” and “We are Great Again PAC,” along with those from Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris and the Democratic Party. Facebook director of product management Rob Leathern wrote on Twitter that it can be due to the fact that it can take a full day for the ad library to reflect changes made on an ad. – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Ralph Hasenhuttl says Southampton rise is ‘scary but not surprising’ | Football News

first_img“The first 15 minutes was probably our worst spell after half-time. We couldn’t get out. We kept giving the ball back to them and when you’re in that situation it becomes difficult for. Congratulations to Southampton on the night. They were far better than us and we couldn’t cope with them.“We go up and down too quick. That’s one thing we have to resolve. We go along nicely then all of a sudden we don’t play well enough in the game. It nags me.”What’s next?Southampton travel to face Wolves on Saturday November 21 after the international break; kick-off 3pm.Newcastle will host Chelsea at St James’ Park at 12.30pm on the same day. Ralph Hasenhuttl heaped praise on his players after Southampton moved top of the Premier League, but admits his side’s rise has not come as a surprise to him.Saints moved top of the Premier League for the first time in their history after beating Newcastle 2-0 at St Mary’s on Friday night. A seventh-minute strike from Che Adams gave the home side an early lead and they wrapped up victory in the 82nd minute through Stuart Armstrong.- Advertisement – Jamie Redknapp and Alan Pardew felt that Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles was lucky to avoid conceding a penalty after a reckless tackle on Southampton’s Theo Walcott. Inconsistency frustrates Bruce – Advertisement – 1:14 Newcastle, who had yet to be beaten away from home in the Premier League this season and headed into the game on the south coast in good form, having beaten Everton 2-1 in their previous fixture, but often lacked control and managed just four shots during the game.“Certainly, the best team won,” Newcastle boss Steve Bruce told Sky Sports. “We didn’t get anywhere near where we were five days ago. We didn’t look after the ball well enough and we gifted them two goals. We didn’t do enough to win the game. We didn’t handle the full press and it was a difficult night.“The one thing you can’t do at this level is give them the goals we did. We gave the ball away far too often. We knew what to expect from them – the full press – and unfortunately we couldn’t play through it. Che Adams rattles in Theo Walcott's cross to put Saints in frontImage:Che Adams rattles in Theo Walcott’s cross to put Saints in front A year ago, Southampton sat in the bottom three of the Premier League, but the Austrian believes his side are now showing their development and the fruits of their investment both away from the pitch and on the training ground, away from the pressure of playing in front of supporters. 3:03 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton’s win over Newcastle preview image preview image “It’s amazing what my team does in the moment,” he told Sky Sports. “Congratulations to everybody around the pitch and the team. Amazing. We could maybe have scored more but the rest was perfect. Everybody was on the highest level. It is a little scary what we are doing at the moment to be honest but not surprising when I see what we are working on.“Earlier, we could have closed the game, earlier. That was definitely possible. The way we played through lines was fantastic to watch. We can then make the last pass and final decision even better but this is criticism on a high level. We know it’s not so easy to create a lot of chances against these teams.- Advertisement – Hasenhuttl’s men dominated possession and chances as they sealed a comfortable win that saw them replace Liverpool at the top of the table ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.The Saints last stood at the summit of English football 32 years ago under the management of Chris Nicholl and it marks a remarkable 12 months for the Austrian manager since their 9-0 thrashing by Leicester last October. 2:35 Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was very disappointed his side couldn’t follow up their win against Everton with a good performance and admits his side’s biggest problem is consistency after their 2-0 defeat to Southampton in the Premier League. Hasenhuttl added: “I’m happy for the fans that we’re top of the league at the moment, but the season is very long. We have a very intense period over Christmas but the squad is nicely balanced. We’ve restructured a few things and this now shows that the players are stepping up.”“It’s the first time that we’ve had three wins in a row and this was the goal for today. It’s the first time that we’ve taken three points over Newcastle as the last three times we’d lost. We’re top for now, but it’s only for a few moments. Of course, it’s nice for the fans and the players. For me, it’s important that we say hungry and don’t lean back.” Stuart Armstrong sealed the win to put Southampton top of the leagueImage:Stuart Armstrong sealed the win to put Southampton top of the league Ralph Hasenhuttl shakes hands with Adams at the final whistleImage:Ralph Hasenhuttl shakes hands with Adams at the final whistle “We’re a strong side and this is not a coincidence as we’ve developed every part of our game. Our game management has been very brave and I feel it has helped us in some situations where there’s no crowd in the stadium so we can develop our game, as there’s not so much stress now, and we’ve got used to it. As a result, we’ve now got a more complete game.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Cardi B Apologizes for Appropriating Hindu Culture on Magazine Cover

first_imgCardi B Apologizes for Appropriating Hindu Culture on Magazine CoverCardi B. Broadimage/ShutterstockShe’s sorry. Cardi B may be able to clapback when she’s unnecessarily criticized, but she also knows when to admit she’s wrong.Earlier this week, the 28-year-old appeared on the cover of the November issue of Footwear News to promote her latest collection with Reebok. Photographed portraying the Hindu goddess Durga, she quickly received backlash for cultural appropriation.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “And though it was dope, if people think I’m offending their culture or their religion I want to say I’m sorry,” the Grammy winner said. “That was not my intent. I do not like disrespecting nobody’s religion. I wouldn’t like people to offend my religion.”She continued, “I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful; maybe I should have done my research. I’m sorry, I can’t change the past, but I will do more research for the future.”Along with the “I Like It” singer, the publication also issued an apology.- Advertisement – “People are saying Cardi B is paying homage to our Hindu goddess Durga,” one Twitter user wrote. “So as a Hindu I want to say that: 1-Wearing a shoe in a temple is prohibited 2-Durga maa is not to be used as an aesthetic 3- Durga maa is NEVER depicted bare bodied 4-THIS. IS. NOT. HOMAGE. IT’S. DISRESPECT.”The “WAP” rapper took to Instagram on Tuesday, November 10, to publicly apologize. “Sorry guys. I didn’t mean to offend or disrespect anybody’s culture,” she captioned an Instagram Story video. “I can’t change the [past] but I’ll be more cautious in the future.”In the clip, she explained that the creatives on the cover shoot told her she was going to portray a Goddess that represents “strength, femininity and liberation, and that’s something I love and I’m all about.” However, she understands where her fault lies.- Advertisement – “Yesterday we posted content from our exclusive Cardi B cover shoot,” a statement to Us Weekly read. “One of the images was intended to pay homage to Hindu goddess Durga, and our intent was to show a powerful woman. However, we realize we were not considerate of certain cultural and religious perspectives and how this could be perceived as deeply offensive.It continued, “We take full accountability for this oversight and we apologize, it is important we learn from this example and are sensitive to this sort of religious imagery when creative discussions are taking place in the future. Today, we’re releasing another cover from the shoot that was a subscriber exclusive.”Listen on Spotify to Get Tressed With Us to get the details of every hair love affair in Hollywood, from the hits and misses on the red carpet to your favorite celebrities’ street style ‘dos (and don’ts!)last_img read more

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WHO raises avian flu case count to 97

first_imgMay 19, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has significantly increased its tally of H5N1 avian influenza cases on the basis of information from Vietnam, bringing the total to 97 cases, including 53 deaths. The agency previously listed 89 cases with 52 deaths.In announcing the numbers today, the WHO did not identify any of the added cases individually, but said Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has been asked to provide data on individual cases.The new tally implies that some confirmed cases have gone unreported by major news media. The numbers push the WHO’s count above an unofficial count maintained by CIDRAP on the basis of both WHO numbers and media reports of confirmed cases. The unofficial count stood at 92 cases with 53 deaths before the new WHO announcement.The new WHO numbers represent an overall case-fatality rate of about 55%. Until recently, the fatality rate had hovered in the 70% range.A new WHO table of H5N1 cases breaks them down into three time periods: Dec 26, 2003, to Mar 10, 2004; July 19 to Oct 8, 2004; and Dec 16, 2004, to May 13, 2005.In the latest wave of cases, Vietnam has had 17 deaths among 49 cases, according to the WHO, for a fatality rate of about 35%. Since December 2003, the country has had a total of 76 cases with 37 deaths, for a fatality rate of 49%.Thailand has had 12 deaths among 17 cases, all of them occurring in the first two time periods. Cambodia’s four cases—all fatal—have all occurred since mid-December.See also:May 19 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_05_19/en/index.htmllast_img read more

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Avian flu case in Indonesia confirmed

first_imgSep 16, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Tests have confirmed that an Indonesian woman who died Sep 10 had H5N1 avian influenza, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.The woman’s case had been listed as probable on the basis of an initial test. Further testing at a WHO reference laboratory in Hong Kong confirmed the case, the WHO said. The woman fell ill Aug 31 and was hospitalized in Jakarta Sep 3, the agency said.How the woman became infected was still unknown. Because of where she lived, she had “multiple opportunities for exposure to chickens and ducks,” but no recent poultry deaths had been reported in the area, the WHO said.The WHO listed the woman’s case as only the second laboratory-confirmed case of H5N1 avian flu in Indonesia, but Indonesian officials have reported four previous cases. Those included a 38-year-old man and his two young daughters who died in July and a farm worker who tested positive for antibodies to the virus last March, though he had not been sick.The WHO said today the 38-year-old man tested positive for the virus, but the results for his daughters “did not meet criteria for H5N1 infections.”The latest confirmed case brings CIDRAP’s unofficial count of Asia’s H5N1 cases since late 2003 to 121, with 63 deaths. Those numbers include the other four Indonesian cases but exclude the case of a 58-year-old Vietnamese man who died in late August and had tested positive, but whose final test results have not yet been reported.Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said officials have taken blood samples from people who had contact with the deceased 37-year-old woman, according to an Agence France-Presse report today. Without giving details, Supari said one contact was suspected to have been infected, but remained healthy.See also:Sep 16 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_09_16/en/index.htmllast_img read more

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Study supports concept of 2-stage H5N1 vaccination

first_imgOct 13, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The human immune system may respond better to a vaccine for a new strain of H5N1 avian influenza if it is prepared in advance with a vaccine based on an existing H5N1 strain, the preliminary results of a government-sponsored study suggest.In the study, 37 people who had received an H5N1 vaccine in 1998 were recently given another H5N1 vaccine based on a 2004 strain. They had a much stronger immune response than did another group who received only the newer vaccine, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).”These preliminary findings need to be confirmed in larger studies, but they offer the intriguing possibility that pre-pandemic priming with existing H5N1 vaccines may boost the immune response to a different H5N1 vaccine tailor-made years later to thwart an emerging pandemic,” NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci commented in a news release.Researchers from the University of Rochester were scheduled to present a preliminary report of their findings today at the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s annual meeting in Toronto, the NIAID reported.When a pandemic flu strain emerges, it will probably take several months to develop a vaccine to match it, and more than one dose will probably be necessary to generate protective immunity, the NIAID said. But providing two doses would be logistically difficult, so researchers have been looking for other strategies. One proposed option is to vaccinate people in advance with a related vaccine in the hope that only one dose of the pandemic vaccine would be necessary.After the first human cases of H5N1 illness occurred in Hong Kong in 1997, the NIAID funded the production of an experimental vaccine based on the Hong Kong virus and tested it in a clinical trial at the University of Rochester in 1998. The researchers found 37 people from that trial who were willing to take part in the new study. Participants in the earlier trial had received two doses of the vaccine.This year, the 37 volunteers were vaccinated with one 90-microgram (mcg) dose of an H5N1 vaccine based on a strain that circulated in Vietnam in 2004, according to a study abstract provided by the University of Rochester. The vaccine is made by Sanofi Pasteur and is the one the US government is currently stockpiling in the face of the pandemic threat, according to Fauci. (That vaccine has shown only modest benefits in trials so far, with about half of vaccinees showing a good immune response after two 90-mcg doses, or about a dozen times the dosage used in seasonal flu vaccine.)The previously vaccinated volunteers had a mean antibody titer (measured by hemagglutination inhibition) of 64.0, with 70% of them achieving a titer of at least 40, according to the study abstract. These findings were compared with results in some volunteers who received 90 mcg of the Sanofi vaccine in a previous study and had never had H5N1 vaccine before. These volunteers had a mean antibody titer of 27.1 after one dose, and only 29% had a titer of at least 40.”We studied a relatively small group, so that certainly, this issue needs to be studied more thoroughly in a larger group of people,” senior author Dr. John J. Treanor, MD, commented in a University of Rochester news release.If further studies confirm the findings, pandemic response planners might consider giving a “priming” shot to key personnel, such as healthcare workers, said Treanor, who directs the university’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit.Fauci told CIDRAP News today, “The data look very encouraging, but the number of people [in the study] is relatively small.””These data add some scientific credence to the concept that there may be some benefit to priming someone with a potential pandemic strain even though the actual pandemic strain might be somewhat different,” he said. “It informs the debate to allow you to have a more scientific basis if you’re considering priming.”See also:NIH news releasehttp://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2006/Pages/IDSA.aspxUniversity of Rochester news releasehttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-10/uorm-ebs101206.phplast_img read more

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Winter glut of flu vaccine worries health officials

first_img Like Francis, Ehresmann blamed the vaccine glut largely on the late arrival of much of the supply. “It’s a matter of timing,” she said. “The manufacturers weren’t getting the product to providers until very late—in November. There’s a fairly narrow window of opportunity with the consumer for flu vaccination.” “We always have a little vaccine left over at the end of the season, but I’ve never had in excess of 100 doses. This is really extreme for us,” Francis said. “This vaccine can’t be returned, and it costs over $100 for a 10-dose vial. So it’s close to a $6,000 loss.” Jan 30, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Dr. Anne Francis, a pediatrician in Rochester, N.Y., says her group practice typically has a few doses of influenza vaccine left at the end of the flu season. But as of last week, with the demand for vaccination nearly gone, the clinic still had 580 doses on hand. Stoller was critical of Sanofi for not announcing the production problem earlier. “Sanofi was not making decisions based on public health, they were making decisions based on their shareholders,” she said. Oct 17, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Flu vaccine delay affects toddlers” Tomsky declined to comment specifically on Stoller’s complaint that Sanofi was slow to report the problem with the slow-growing vaccine strain, but said, “We’ve been careful to project our demand and our production in a way that supports public health and meets customer needs.” “Many decisions about production and ordering have to be made not only by providers but by manufacturers early in the year,” said Allen. “The concern is that if we have millions of doses and they’re not purchased, the manufacturers are going to have to look at how many doses they will produce next year. It’s important not only for the seasonal flu, but that we continue to maintain capacity in the event of pandemic flu.” “I think the demand has definitely waned,” Smith added. “We’re currently having a mild flu season, with 34 confirmed cases so far. We’re trying to keep the momentum going for immunization, but it’s sometimes hard to get the community motivated. . . . There are some people still seeking immunization, but the vast majority have given up.” See also: The company used a “multiphase” distribution strategy, meaning all customers received part of their order by the end of September, she said. “The remainder of the order was shipped through October and November and sometimes early December, but most received it in October and November.” Translated into percentages, that means that 24.3% of the total for the year (through December) were shipped by the end of September and 68.2% were shipped by the end of October. The corresponding figures for previous years were as follows: 2005, 34.7% and 72.8%; 2004 (when close to half of the US supply was lost because of problems at a Chiron plant in England), 31% and 74.6%; 2003, 58% and 92.5%; and 2002, 61% and 99.6%. Smith, the Colorado immunization coordinator, echoed the idea that education is part of the answer to the recurring problems in matching flu vaccine supply to the demand. “We do need to let people know that 100 million doses don’t come out on one day, that there has to be staggered distribution,” she said. “When we were producing much smaller amounts [in the past], it was easy to get it all out. With this amount there has to be staggered distribution.” Jennifer Armstrong, a GSK spokeswoman in Philadelphia, said the company made a total of about 25 million doses of its two flu vaccines, Fluarix and Flulaval, for the US market this season. Another pediatrician, Jill Stoller, MD, of Woodcliff Lakes, N.J., said her group practice avoided having a lot of unused vaccine, but only because they canceled an order for 1,000 doses from Sanofi as soon as they heard about the delay. After canceling, they ordered 500 doses from Chiron (now part of Novartis), which they were able to get immediately. The group also bought 1,300 doses of FluMist, the nasal-spray vaccine from MedImmune. “There’s significant concern that there’s a lot of vaccine out there that hasn’t been used,” said Kristen Ehresmann, manager of immunization, tuberculosis, and international health at the Minnesota Department of Health in St. Paul. “It’s definitely in the thousands of doses” in Minnesota. “And it’ll be millions of unused doses at the national level.” None of the companies was prepared to talk about how many doses they expect to make for 2007-08 or how many their customers are ordering. “We recognize that there are many doses that are going unused at the moment,” said Curtis Allen, a spokesman for the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Local health departments administer flu shots in public immunization clinics, and some also channel doses to private providers as well, Ehresmann said. “The unused vaccine is happening to all vaccine providers whether public or private. . . . Both sectors are feeling the stress of the unused vaccine—and the fiscal impact.” Educating the publicPublic health agencies have been trying for years to convince the public that October and November are not the only months for flu vaccination. They point out that the vaccine doesn’t materialize all at once, but “comes out like water out of a hose,” in Allen’s words. This season the CDC promoted the week after Thanksgiving as “National Influenza Vaccination Week” in an effort to boost December vaccinations. Stoller, who serves on the executive committee of the American Academy of Pedatrics’ Section on Administration and Practice Management, says many pediatricians have been left with a lot of vaccine this winter. “I talk to people all the time, and I know there were offices with hundreds and hundreds of doses left,” she said. Other states also are seeing signs of a vaccine glut, though officials were not as emphatic as Ehresmann. “I can tell you that anecdotally I’ve been receiving calls from public health departments that they have doses on hand they’re willing to sell to folks or give to folks if needed,” said Roberta Smith, who heads the adult immunization program for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Those range from a few hundred to 3,000 [doses].” Karen Lancaster, a MedImmune spokeswoman, said her company made 3 million doses of FluMist for this season. “We began shipping in July, and all doses were released for distribution by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] the end of September,” she reported. The oversupply comes after a record year for flu vaccine production. The CDC had estimated total production for the US market at 110 million to 115 million doses. Allen said manufacturers have told the CDC they had shipped 102.4 million doses by the end of December—well above the previous record production of 95 million doses, set in 2002. (He didn’t have information on how many doses have been produced but not sold.) Smith said she was unsure to what extent late vaccine shipments were to blame for the current oversupply. “I had some providers who called in August and had vaccine, but there were also providers who didn’t get theirs till the end of November, beginning of December,” she said.center_img Unused doses cause financial lossesIn Minnesota, Ehresmann said many local health departments are reporting they have hundreds of doses of flu vaccine left. “Given the fact that we’re into January, there’s not a lot of confidence that the public will pursue that vaccine now,” she said. The problem was that most of the vaccine didn’t arrive until mid-November, more than a month later than usual, Francis said. “With the vaccine arriving so late, it was logistically impossible to get the same number of people [vaccinated] as if we had gotten the vaccine in, say, early October,” she said. “Once January hit, there’s been very little interest in getting flu vaccine.” If health departments can’t use the vaccine by the time it expires at the end of June, they have to dispose of it, she said. “It’s a loss for the local health departments—and there’s no surge capacity in their budgets.” Francis said her clinic’s doses typically arrive in late September or early October, “which gives us 2-1/2 months to distribute them to patients, including children,” she said. But the delay this year left too little time to vaccinate people before demand evaporated. Manufacturers mum on unsold dosesFlu vaccine manufacturers contacted by CIDRAP News wouldn’t reveal how many doses remain unsold, but one, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), acknowledged having a “substantial” number. “I don’t have specifics, but we still have a substantial number of vaccines [doses] available,” she said. As a result, she has cut back her vaccine order for next season—3,000 doses, instead of the 3,500 she had ordered for this year. Francis’s situation apparently isn’t unusual this year. A combination of record flu vaccine production with some distribution delays and a mild flu season has created a glut of unused flu vaccine this winter, a situation that could lead to problems next season, according to public health officials. Distribution timingFigures provided by Allen of the CDC show a somewhat slower flow of vaccine from manufacturers this season than in previous seasons. In 2006, according to manufacturers’ reports to the CDC, they shipped no doses in August, 24.9 million in September, 44.9 million in October, 30.2 million in November, and 2.3 million in December. Sanofi Pasteur made somewhat more than the 50 million doses it expected to produce for this season, said spokeswoman Patty Tomsky, but she couldn’t give a production total or say how many doses have not been sold. “The season isn’t over and we’re still selling, so I can’t give a final number yet,” she said. It’s also worth noting that several million doses were shipped in August in each of the previous 7 years, whereas none were shipped in August 2006, according to the CDC data. August numbers for the earlier years ranged from 2.7 million in 2001 to 19.6 million in 1999. Few people are seeking a shot at this point, she added. “In the Northeast we’re seeing very little flu, so it’s not on people’s minds.” The company began shipping Fluarix in early September and Flulaval immediately after it was approved for the United States on Oct 5, Armstrong said. Most doses were out the door by the end of November, with a few delivered in December. Palmer said a combination of mild weather and relatively few flu cases has probably suppressed demand for vaccination. Clinics struggled with delaysLast October, Sanofi Pasteur, the leading flu vaccine supplier for the US market, said a slow-growing strain of influenza A(H3N2) would cause distribution of its Fluzone vaccine to be about 3 weeks later than last year. Two other manufacturers, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, were also said to have had some problems growing that strain. The delays particularly affected pediatricians, because Fluzone is the only vaccine licensed in the United States for children aged 6 months to 3 years. She expressed concern that flu vaccine providers will be “reconsidering” their orders in view of the current oversupply. But the situation isn’t all bad, in her view. In 2002, about 83 million doses of vaccine were distributed, leaving manufacturers with 12 million doses they couldn’t sell, according to Allen. The following year, 2003, producers cut back their output to 86.9 million doses. In Texas, Emily Palmer, an assistant press officer with the Department of State Health Services in Austin, said, “Anecdotally we’ve heard of a couple local health departments that are offering the vaccine for free. We also have heard that some areas are looking for preservative-free vaccine and they haven’t been able to find any.” She also noted that Sanofi is increasing its vaccine production capacity, with work under way on a new manufacturing plant and a formulation and filling facility. “Once we get both of those online, we expect our capacity to double,” she said. “The good news is that this year [the amount] is the most vaccine we’ve ever had in our history, so we know what our capacity is. It’s refreshing that we know we have that capability,” she said. “Our consistent message has been that vaccination into January and even into February most years is still very good advice,” he said. “In most years the season peaks in February or later. But we’re going up against history. In the past most people have received their vaccinations in November.” CDC influenza sitehttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/ Health officials worry that if vaccine manufacturers can’t sell all of their supply, they’ll cut back production for next season, and if healthcare providers are stuck with unused doses, they’ll order less as well. That could lead to fewer people getting vaccinated next year—and undercut the public health goal of increasing vaccine production capacity and demand in the interest of pandemic preparedness.last_img read more

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Experts stress vigilance over emerging, unpredictable diseases

first_img “The take-home message is: Yes, the United States is at risk,” Gubler said Tuesday. But in a bit of good fortune, he said, dengue’s most efficient vector, the mosquito Aedes aegyptii, has been pushed out of most of its US range by another foreign import, the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus. Using rapid-throughput technology, researchers in his lab have identified 75 previously unknown infectious agents within a year. Most recently, they identified a never-before-seen arenavirus as the cause of an ongoing hemorrhagic fever cluster in South Africa—extremely rapid work, as the first case was hospitalized only Sep 12. The disease has been amplified by the ferocious growth of Asian mega-cities, where new construction provides an almost endless series of pools and puddles for mosquitoes to breed, and has expanded its range around the world. “Learning the lessons of what caused a normal commensal [type of] bacteria to suddenly expand into a large outbreak with 30% mortality has implications for emerging diseases generally,” Farrar said Monday. Emerging drug resistanceStill, the most important emerging threat may not be any one disease, but the growing resistance of many diseases to the drugs used against them, he said. He pointed to evidence presented at the conference of a malaria cluster in Cambodia that is resistant to artesunate, a botanically based compound that is the centerpiece of malaria treatment in much of the developing world. “The most important emerging disease of all is drug resistance, in which Asia leads the world,” he said. “The emergence of drug resistance, which is somewhat insidious and which does not get the headlines it deserves, is going to challenge us more in the 21st century, I suspect, than any individual disease.” “Chikungunya poses a major public health problem for authorities throughout the world, because by the time you discover it, it is too late for environmental control measures to be effective,” he said Monday. There was abundant evidence at the meeting of pathogens’ ability at taking advantage of changes in the human environment, from increased travel and trade to the growth of mega-cities to climate change. The chikungunya experienceDr. Harold Townson of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine outlined the unexpected behavior of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that causes debilitating joint pain that lasts for months or years. The virus was identified in Africa in 1952, and moved to India and Asia along trade routes. In 2005, though, a minor mutation allowed it to cause a massive outbreak on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion; it sickened 260,000 people, one third of the island’s inhabitants. It spread to France, causing about 900 cases there and 37 in the United States, through a chain of transmission that started with French soldiers sent to assist with the outbreak and European tourists returning home. Oct 29, 2008 – WASHINGTON, DC (CIDRAP News) – Health authorities must remain alert to new and renascent disease threats, experts warned this week at an international medical meeting. And in 2007, it caused 250 cases of illness in Italy—not as a result of the French outbreak, but in a separate introduction via a visitor from Kerala, India. On analysis, the Italian strain proved to be a different strain from the Reunion outbreak, but it possessed the same mutation, an adaptation that allowed more copies of the virus to move into mosquito salivary glands and deliver a larger dose to victims. With no effective treatment and no vaccine, Townson said, the only feasible strategy for blocking chikungunya is mosquito control. But it must be practiced routinely, a painstaking, expensive undertaking that is beyond the resources of many areas in the developing world. Keeping an eye on hot spotsAssessing new disease threats requires investment in new tools, said Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. Lipkin directs a World Health Organization collaborating center on diagnostics for emerging infections and recently received a Google.org philanthropic grant aimed at early detection. Though the appearance of chikungunya in Italy has been taken as an indicator of global warming, the mosquito responsible for spreading the virus was already present in the area thanks to global trade, Townson said. But he cautioned that climate change may yet play a role in the spread of mosquito-borne diseases—not because of warming temperatures, but because increased rainfall may make drier areas more hospitable to the bugs. Mosquito control and dengueThe low-tech but often unachievable measures of spraying pesticides and eliminating standing water are essential to controlling the mosquito-borne disease dengue and its most serious form, dengue hemorrhagic fever, said Dr. Duane Gubler of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases in Singapore. The concern expressed in their reports was echoed by a report released today by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health (see cross-reference link above). In a series of briefings and presentations of data, speakers at the 48th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the 46th annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) ticked off a long list of bacterial, viral, and fungal pathogens whose recent behavior has taken scientists and public health authorities by surprise. As examples of the unpredictability of pathogens’ behavior in such hot spots, he offered the experience of Streptococcus suis, a bacterium commonly found in pigs in Southeast Asia. S suis is a frequent cause of mild meningitis in humans in Asian pig-growing areas, but in 2005 it changed its behavior, roaring into an acute infection that killed more than 30 people. And to be as prepared for new threats as possible, it is necessary to get even further forward of the epidemic curve, by keeping an eye on the “hot spots” where concentrations of humans and animals are likely to birth new diseases, Dr. Jeremy Farrar said Monday. Farrar, the director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, has been at the forefront of treating human victims of avian influenza H5N1. Ironically, excellence in mosquito control created dengue’s current foothold in the Americas, Gubler said. The disease was eradicated in South America in the 1950s as a byproduct of campaigns to eliminate yellow fever. Those campaigns were so successful that they were stopped after several decades, and dengue resurged, going from zero cases in Central and South America in 1959 to more than 600,000 in 2007 and becoming endemic in 28 countries. See related article posted today: “US urged to launch major campaign against emerging diseases” “Albopictus is a very good host for dengue but a very inefficient vector,” he said. “So though we are at risk of transmission in the US, it is not likely we are going to have a major epidemic of the disease here.”last_img read more

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FDA says firm sold peanut products before test results

first_imgFeb 9, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials recently amended their inspection report on the peanut processing plant tied to the current nationwide Salmonella outbreak to say that in a number of cases the company shipped products before getting test results, rather than after getting conflicting results on successive tests. “The actions of PCA indicate that the company lacks business integrity and business honesty, which seriously and directly hinders its ability to do business with the federal government,” David Shipman, acting administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, said in the statement. All the product lots mentioned in the report tested positive for Salmonella at some point, the FDA said in its latest update on the Salmonella investigation. The amended report, called an FDA-483, shows numerous cases in which PCA ordered tests of peanut products but then released one or more shipments before receiving the test results. The report also says that on Jul 18 and 24, 2007, the company released shipments of chopped peanuts “on or after the positive Salmonella results were obtained.” Feb 5 USDA news release about suspending business with PCA Products from the Blakely plant were mainly sold to institutions and food services and to other food processing firms, not to retail outlets. But yesterday PCA released a list of products that were produced in 2007 and are subject to the recall. They consist of peanuts sold in cans under the names Casey’s, Parnell’s Pride, Reggie, and Robinson Crusoe. But on Feb 5 the FDA released an amended inspection report showing that in many of these cases, the company had shipped products before receiving any test result. The report still notes two cases, on Jul 18 and 24, 2007, in which PCA shipped products that had tested positive. All of the cases covered in the FDA inspection report are classified as failures to manufacture under conditions needed to minimize the potential for growth of microorganisms. Products cited in the report include peanut paste, peanut butter, peanut meal, chopped peanuts, peanut granules, and oil-roasted peanuts. See also: FDA amends inspection reportFDA officials spent more than 2 weeks inspecting the Blakely plant in January after testing of peanut butter in Minnesota and Connecticut tied the facility to the outbreak. The inspections led to the FDA’s initial report of cases in which products tested positive for Salmonella initially but were shipped after a second test found no contamination. “It is important to note that for all lots identified in the FDA-483 (original and amended), the firm received positive Salmonella test results for the products shipped,” the FDA update states. “For example, in some situations the firm received a positive Salmonella test result, followed by a later negative result, and then shipped the products. FDA update on investigationhttp://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.htmlcenter_img The suspension will be in effect for a year, but the agency is proposing to extend it to 3 years, the statement said. It covers PCA and its subsidiary, Tidewater Blanching LLC. The company has 30 days to submit information opposing the suspension. The company said it has not sold any products in cans and jars since 2007. It said it was releasing the product list to help any consumers who might still have them on hand. The firm said it had received no reports of illnesses related to the products. “Effective immediately, PCA is excluded from participating in government contracts or subcontracts, as well as federal nonprocurement programs,” the USDA said in a Feb 5 statement. In its latest update on the investigation, the FDA said the finding that PCA had shipped products after successive positive and negative Salmonella tests was based on statements from the firm’s management. But a more detailed review of documents provided during the inspection indicated that some of the information supplied by the managers did not match up with the documents, the agency said. FDA’s list of products recalled because of the outbreakhttp://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm USDA suspends firmIn other developments, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced it was barring PCA from doing business with the federal government for at least a year. Last week it was reported that PCA products had been used by USDA-supported school lunch programs in California, Idaho, and Minnesota. On Jan 28, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported 12 instances in which the Peanut Corp. of America (PCA) shipped peanut products from its Blakely, Ga., plant after getting an initial positive Salmonella test and then getting a negative result on a second test. “In some other situations, the firm shipped the products before it had received the positive test results. For these, sometimes the firms received a subsequent negative test, and sometimes no additional testing appears to have been done.” Contamination at the Blakely plant is blamed for an outbreak involving 575 cases in 43 states, plus one in Canada, and for probably contributing to eight deaths. As of yesterday, the FDA said 1,790 peanut-containing products had been recalled because of the outbreak. The Washington Post reported on Feb 6 that PCA had sold 32 truckloads of roasted peanuts and peanut butter to the government for its free school-lunch program for poor children. Schools in California, Idaho, and Minnesota received the products from January to November 2007, a USDA official told the Post.last_img read more

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Tourism in numbers in 2017

first_imgThe Ministry of Tourism has published an analysis for last year: Tourism in Figures for 2017, which brings us the entire statistical analysis, from accommodation capacity, tourist traffic by municipalities, cities, counties to employees and income from tourism.Read the full analysis in the attachment –  TOURISM IN FIGURES 2017last_img

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