News Scan for Feb 13, 2017

first_imgH7N9 cases detected in Beijing and ShanghaiThe H7N9 avian influenza virus has sickened two more people in China. The infections were detected in two of the country’s biggest cities: Beijing and Shanghai.A report today from Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection (CHP), citing mainland health officials, said Beijing’s case involves a 68-year-old man whose illness is classified as an imported infection from Hebei province in the northern part of the country. The man has a history of exposure to live poultry and is hospitalized in critical condition. The case is the first to be detected in Beijing during the latest wave of H7N9 illnesses.Shanghai’s patient is a 58-year-old man who is being treated. No other details were available. His H7N9 illnesses is the fifth from city to be reported in the current wave of activity, though some of the earlier patients had connections to other provinces.Last week China topped the number of infections reported during the second H7N9 wave, which took place during the winter of 2013-2014 only a few months after the first infections were detected in humans. The country now has at least 347 cases for the current wave of activity.Feb 13 CHP statement Feb 10 CIDRAP News story “China now in its worst H7N9 avian flu season on record” New study describes role of Ebola super-spreadersA new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) says that super-spreaders likely transmit up to 61% of Ebola virus cases.Though the “super-spreader” phenomenon, where certain patients disproportionately transmit the disease to others, is well-known in viruses such as SARS or MERS-CoV, it has not been studied in Ebola virus. To do so, researchers used outbreak data from Sierra Leone to build a model that showed the effect super-spreaders had on Ebola transmission.The authors looked at data collected from Ebola treatment centers from October of 2014 through March of 2015. They found the basic reproductive number, or the number of cases one patient infected in a naive population, was 2.39. The average incubation period was 6.74 days.A key driver in super-spreading was age. Patients younger than 15 and older than 45 years were more likely to spread the disease. The authors suggested that these patients were more likely to have increased contact in households and with caregivers, and were particularly dangerous in the early days of incubation.  “A substantial proportion of secondary cases were either direct or indirect descendants of a small number of super-spreaders, underscoring the importance of super-spreading in driving the epidemic − that is, had the super-spreaders been identified and quarantined promptly,” the authors write.Feb 13 PNAS study Unique stewardship strategy increases ID consultations, study findsThe implementation of a “handshake stewardship” program at a children’s hospital led to a significant increase in infectious disease (ID) consultations, according to a new study in Clinical Infectious Diseases.In the quasi-experimental retrospective cohort study conducted at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver, researchers compared rates of initial ID consultations before and after implementing a unique type of antibiotic stewardship program (ASP)—called “handshake stewardship”—that expands on the prospective audit and feedback approach. Handshake stewardship involves daily review of prescribed antimicrobials at 24 and 72 hours, real-time decision support for rapid diagnostic test reporting, and in-person communication between the stewardship team and attending physicians, regardless of whether there are ASP interventions.A comparison of the pre-implementation phase (October 2010-September 2011) to the post-implementation period (October 2013-September 2015) showed that mean monthly ID consultations rose from 31 per 1,000 admissions to 42, an increase of 35%.The authors of the study note the findings run contrary to the concern—expressed by ID providers in a recent survey—that ASPs would lead to a decrease on ID consultations and a loss of income. In addition, they note that ASP-recommended ID consultations only accounted for just over half of the additional ID consultations per month observed after implementation of the program. They argue that this could be an indirect benefit of the handshake stewardship approach.”Daily in-person rounds leads to visibility and familiarity among the inpatient medical teams, breaking down barriers to units that may previously have little interaction with infectious disease providers,” the authors write. “The ‘Handshake Stewardship’ approach provides a unique opportunity for a bi-directional exchange of information and education, often resulting in consultation.”          Feb 10 Clin Infect Dis abstract Oral cholera vaccine safety in pregnancyThe killed oral cholera vaccine poses no increased risk for pregnancy loss or adverse birth outcomes when administered to pregnant women, according to a new study published in Vaccine.Cholera vaccines are not currently recommended for use in pregnant women because of unknown safety risks, but infection with cholera in pregnancy can cause severe complications, including death.  In this study, 48,414 Bangladeshi women were questioned about cholera immunization status during a 2011 vaccine campaign. Of the 286 women who received the killed oral cholera vaccine (Shanchol) while unknowingly pregnant, 69 were available for follow-up surveillance.Sixteen percent of pregnant women who received Shanchol experienced pregnancy loss, compared to 12% in the control group. Researchers said there was no increased risk in pregnancy loss after using models that controlled for adjusted baseline characteristics.”While more studies are needed, this study supports a recommendation that killed OCVs may be given to pregnant women, for whom a judgment is made that the benefit outweighs the risk, taking account of the epidemiological context of cholera vaccination,” the authors write.Feb 11 Vaccine study Seroprevalence study finds immune system clues in WNV infectionSeroprevalence testing for West Nile virus (WNV) among adults in Connecticut, where the disease is endemic, shows higher seroconversion levels in immunocompromised people, though age didn’t seem to be a significant seroconversion factor. A team from Yale University and Columbia University published their findings in a Feb 10 early online edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases.They looked at blood test results and demographic information from 1,063 adults—890 nonimmunocompromised and 173 immunosuppressed—who were enrolled in a study on immunity and aging. They compared the results with symptomatic WNV patients reported to the Connecticut Department of Health from 2000 to 2014. Previous exposure to WNV was measured by immunoblot testing for the WNV envelope protein. For the positive samples, they screened for cross-reactivity to other flaviviruses.Evidence of WNV exposure was seen in 76 (8.5%) of the nonimmunosuppressed group, none of whom had reported symptoms or were diagnosed with infection. Of 173 immunosuppressed participants, 29 (16.8%) showed evidence of infection. The rates of seroconversion for the two groups did not vary significantly by age or sex, but levels were higher among Hispanic groups, possibly because of different exposure histories. Researchers said the mean age for symptomatic cases reported by the health department was higher than that of the asymptomatic cases, suggesting that age remains a factor for disease susceptibility.  They also noted that higher seroconversion rates in the immunosuppressed group might reflect underlying medical conditions or medication regimens.Though environmental conditions affect mosquito vectors, individual factors such as immune status might play a key role in susceptibility to infection and severe disease, the group wrote.Feb 10 Emerg Infect Dis reportlast_img read more

Bos Emirates Prediksi Akan Ada Lebih Banyak Maskapai Bangkrut di Akhir Tahun

first_img“Jika (krisis) terus berlanjut, semua dana talangan yang diterima semua orang (maskapai) akan lenyap. Jika (anjloknya industri penerbangan) berlangsung selama dua atau tiga bulan lagi, mereka bisa memerlukan paket dana talangan lain,” tambahnya.Dalam catatan presiden yang juga lulusan ekonomi dari University of London tersebut, maskapai penerbangan Eropa sejauh ini sudah maupun akan menerima paket stimulus dari pemerintah masing-masing dengan total sebesar US$33,7 miliar atau sekitar Rp477 triliun (kurs 1 dollar – Rp14.150). Maskapai penerbangan di AS juga demikian. Setidaknya sebanyak US$25 miliar atau Rp354 triliun telah dikucurkan pemerintah sebagai bentuk pelaksanaan dari UU CARES. Namun, tetap saja itu tidak akan cukup.Kembali lagi, bila industri penerbangan masih tak juga bergerak naik, lanjut Clark, hanya sedikit pemerintah mana pun di dunia yang sanggup untuk merogoh kocek lebih dalam lagi (per dua atau tiga bulan) untuk mencegah maskapai nasional mereka bangkrut. Bila kondisi seperti ini bertahan setidaknya tiga tahun, sebagaimana prediksi banyak pengamat penerbangan global, artinya pemerintah harus menggelontorkan uang hingga jilid ke-12 (asumsi tiga bulan sekali maskapai butuh paket stimulus dan berlangsung selama tiga tahun).Tak hanya maskapai, dalam pandangan pria 70 tahun yang telah menjabat Presiden Emirates Airlines sejak 2003 lalu itu, unit bisnis lain di industri penerbangan global juga akan terkena imbasnya, mulai dari produsen seperti Airbus dan Boeing sampai lessor.Terbukti, Airbus dan Boeing, selain telah mengurangi kapasitas produksi, mereka juga telah mem-PHK ribuan karyawan di berbagai pabrik di seluruh dunia. Lessor pun demikian, dengan ketidakmampuan maskapai dalam membayar kredit akibat bangkrut atau manajemen keuangan yang mengharuskan mereka menahan cadangan uang cash, membuat perputaran uang di tubuh lessor kacau. Pada akhirnya mereka juga akan terkena imbas dari musibah ini.Baca juga: Lion Group Kembali Hentikan Penerbangan, Pengamat: Mereka ‘Pintar’ Melihat KondisiSenada dengan Clark, CEO Wizz Air, Jozsef Varadi justru memandang persoalan industri penerbangan global lebih rinci lagi. Menurutnya, maskapai akan terkategorisasi menjadi tiga bagian akibat wabah virus corona ini.“Saya juga berpikir bahwa, mengingat situasi saat ini, Anda mungkin akan melihat maskapai penerbangan terbagi ke dalam tiga kategori. Pertama, maskapai penerbangan yang akan diakuisisi oleh pemerintah. Kedua, maskapai yang dapat menyortir diri mereka sendiri seperti kita (Wizz Air) dan dapat bertahan serta bergerak maju. Ketiga, akan ada maskapai yang terjebak dan kemudian akan bangkrut,” kata bos maskapai Hungaria tersebut.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… Related Emirates Airbus A380 Presiden Emirates Sir Tim Clark memprediksi akan ada lebih banyak maskapai bangkrut di akhir tahun mendatang. Hal itu dikarenakan industri penerbangan global masih belum akan kembali ke kondisi normal, seperti sebelum adanya wabah Covid-19.Baca juga: Emirates Mulai Tahapan PHK, Dimulai dari Staf Kontrak“Saya harus memberitahu bahwa akan ada korban (maskapai bangkrut). Kami (maskapai) tidak bebas dari ini (ancaman kebangkrutan). Pada akhir tahun, akan ada lebih banyak korban. Orang-orang tidak akan bisa bertahan, bahkan dengan suntikan ekuitas, dana talangan, dan lain sebagainya mereka masih akan tetap dalam kesulitan, masih jauh dari harapan (untuk menghindari kebangkrutan),” katanya dalam webinar yang diselenggarakan oleh Aviation Week belum lama ini, sebagaimana dilaporkan Simple Flying.last_img read more

Is the Elvis legend losing its fascination?

first_imgIt is easy to forget through the fog of history what an enormous impact Elvis had on society. He was not just a singer; he was a cultural force, every pelvic thrust a blow to a country that wanted its pop stars more subdued. Elvis was a heathen. “Hell, these were timid times, an’ here’s this white kid up there shakin’ his ass,” Lewis Grizzard, the late humorist, once said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “An’ I remember my grandfather sayin’ that this was the devil’s music, an’ anybody who listened to it was surely gonna go straight t’ hell, which, y’know, did concern me some. Still, I liked it, an’ I figured I’d just take my chances.” Then there is the old story of a conversation between Elvis and fellow rock ‘n’ roller Jerry Lee Lewis. “Why boy, you are the devil!” Lewis said when Elvis asked if they were playing thePity the pioneers. “devil’s music.” Then the devil moved from Hades to Vegas, trading his horns for jumpsuits. The unimaginable happened: Kitsch conquered cool. And those black velvet paintings seemed more substantial than the real thing. If it is easy to forget his significance, however, it is just as important to remember it, especially this year, the 50th anniversary of “Heartbreak Hotel.” The kitsch was temporary. The cool will last forever. Like all of Elvis’ early hits, “Heartbreak Hotel” combined the two key ingredients of rock ‘n’ roll: blues and country. If country gave the music its snap, blues gave it the churning power that makes it so explosive. Without either, rock ‘n’ roll would not be rock ‘n’ roll. “He created something new by definition, because it hadn’t been popular before,” said Howard Kramer, the curatorial director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. “There is no question about that. He wasn’t the first guy to play music like that. He was just the most popular.” If some historians regard Elvis as a breathtaking original, other music lovers see him as a shameless copycat, a singer who co-opted the blues to forge a success denied black artists who came before. Bobby “Blue” Bland, the legendary blues singer, does not see Elvis as a racist, a man who was more imitator than innovator. “People have that outlook because of his color,” Bland, 76, said in a telephone interview from his home in Memphis. “Sure, there was a bigger opening for him than for anybody black. But whatever he did, he did it very well, like Ray Charles when Ray did country. Music is music.” When Elvis climbed the charts first regionally, then nationally Bland detected a “new kid on the block.” The songs were daring but familiar, as if those musical notes had been there all along, waiting for someone to pluck them out of the air. That someone was Elvis, and his success helped every musician who followed, black and white. “If people want to be downright hateful about it, saying he was a copycat, well, that’s their business,” Bland said. “But Elvis did a great thing. “He opened the doors for a lot of people, a lot of black artists, including me. He helped me get the story out about the blues.” If Elvis integrated the jukebox, did he help do the same for society? Was he a civil rights figure? Did the heathen perform a heavenly deed, whether or not it was intentional? “Look, it was as if the country had one street, and you had whites walking on one side, and you had blacks walking on the other side,” Bland said. “Well, after Elvis came along, people started walking on the same side of the street. They started to gel.” Elvis influenced every rock ‘n’ roller who followed, from the Beatles to El Vez, the Mexican American singer from East Los Angeles. “El Vez explains that he grew up thinking that Elvis was Mexicano because he looked like El Vez’s uncles in terms of his dark skin and black pompadour,” said Robert Huesca, a communications professor at Trinity University. “He grew up considering Elvis one of his own in a culture that rarely venerates minorities at the level experienced by Elvis. So I think he must have been moved in a remarkable way by what he considered a minority performer who had captured the hearts and devotion of mass American audiences. That’s a pretty powerful appeal.” And that appeal, broadened to kids of all colors and backgrounds, helped change society. “Without Elvis or someone like Elvis the civil rights movement would have been different,” said Harry Haines, a Trinity University communications professor known as the “expert on all things Elvis.” “He taught white kids how to move their bodies. And when white kids started moving their bodies to the same kind of sound black kids were moving their bodies to, it was very important.” If Elvis helped integrate American society, Kramer said, he was just part of a process that began long before he galvanized the nation with his singing and dancing: In the 1940s, folk singers began advocating civil rights for minorities, spearheaded by legendary artists such as Woody Guthrie. In 1948, President Harry Truman began to integrate the armed forces. In 1954 the year Elvis recorded what some historians regard as the first rock ‘n’ roll song, “That’s All Right” the Supreme Court ruled that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” in Brown vs. Board of Education. “Elvis didn’t set out to help integrate society,” Haines said. “All he wanted to be was a movie star, and all he wanted to do was meet beautiful women. But his music moved white kids and black kids, and it broke down racial barriers.” And that is why Elvis, Vegas or no Vegas, will never become inconsequential.165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts. Once outrageous, they become passe. They are so bold and daring, so aggressive in their determination to push forward, that they become part of the mainstream victims of their own success. They are not rebels without a cause; they are rebels with a cause that no longer matters., Is that what happened to Elvis Presley, the Hillbilly Cat, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll? Almost 30 years after his death fans will mark the 29th anniversary on Wednesday has Elvis become a joke, as inconsequential as the bland pop stars he obliterated from the cultural landscape in the 1950s? “We don’t sell that many Elvis CDs,” said Steve Alejandro, manager of Hogwild Record & Tapes. “The biggest obstacle to the youth grasping onto Elvis, the way they grasped onto the Beatles and the Stones, is that he devolved into the Las Vegas showman thing. And there’s an element of kitsch to it, and not cool kitsch. “Younger music fans have more of an affinity with Frank Sinatra,” Alejandro continued. “Sinatra always stayed cool. He never became kitschy, at least as far as that perception goes.”last_img read more