Apr 21, 2009WHO confirms two Egyptian H5N1 casesThe World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed Egypt’s two recently reported H5N1 avian influenza cases, involving a 25-year-old pregnant woman and an 18-month-old girl. The woman, from Cairo governorate, got sick on Apr 6, was hospitalized on Apr 11, and remains in critical condition. An investigation found the woman had close contact with sick poultry before she became ill. In the other case, the WHO reported that the 18-month-old girl from Kafr el-Sheikh governorate became sick on Apr 15 and was hospitalized and started on oseltamivir (Tamiflu) 3 days later. She is in stable condition. An investigation revealed she had close contact with sick and dead poultry before she became ill. The two latest case confirmations raise Egypt’s H5N1 total to 66 cases, of which 23 have been fatal. The global H5N1 case count now stands at 420, which includes 257 deaths.[Apr 21 WHO statement]Egypt finds H5N1 in backyard birdsAnimal health officials in Egypt reported a new H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in backyard birds at a village in Menofia governorate, according to a report today from Egypt-based Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). The outbreak, which involved 17 mixed poultry, was detected during active surveillance. The vaccination status of the birds was not available.New findings reported on human immune response to H5N1An international team of researchers used serum samples from Vietnamese patients who survived H5N1 avian influenza infection to generate new information about the immune response to the H5N1 virus, according to a report in PLoS Medicine. The researchers used bacterial viruses (phages) to make numerous fragments of the genome of a 2004 strain of H5N1 from Vietnam and then studied which fragments were recognized by antibodies in the samples from the five Vietnamese patients. The antibodies recognized sites (epitopes) in several viral proteins: hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, M2, and PB1-F2. Further, the researchers identified certain sites, called “noncontinuous conformation-dependent epitopes,” that were recognized by two broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies generated from the Vietnamese patients. Several of the epitopes were not recognized by antibodies from people who had been infected with other influenza subtypes (H1N1 and H3N2) but not H5N1. The findings “show that people recovering from H5N1 infection make a diverse range of antibodies against several viral proteins,” and they also identify parts of the H5N1 virus that may be most likely to stimulate an immune response, according to the editors’ summary of the report. The findings can be used to help develop H5N1 vaccines and diagnostic tools, the report says.[PLoS Medicine report]South Carolina launches pandemic flu ethics forums South Carolina’s Pandemic Influenza Ethics Task Force hosted the first of four forums last night in Myrtle Beach to encourage public dialogue on the group’s proposed ethical response plan, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). Additional sessions will be held tomorrow in Greenville, Apr 27 in Charleston, and Apr 29 in Columbia. The state’s pandemic ethics task force includes members of state agencies, healthcare providers, and legal professionals.Indonesian airport installs illness-screening toolsIn an effort to curb the spread of communicable diseases such as avian influenza, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), authorities at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bandung, Indonesia, yesterday installed two thermal scanners and “body cleaners” at international arrival gates, the Jakarta Post reported today. The airport had used the thermal scanners during the 2003 SARS outbreak, but repairs were needed before yesterday’s installation. The airport obtained the body cleaners, which apply a 70% alcohol solution spray, from Indonesia’s health ministry. The airport also has an x-ray machine in its quarantine room.[Apr 21 Jakarta Post story]
TENNIS-FEDERER-SURGERYRoger Federer has knee surgery, will miss French OpenBASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Roger Federer will miss the French Open and no fewer than three other tournaments while he is sidelined for at least four months after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday.The 20-time Grand Slam champion posted on Facebook Thursday that his knee had been bothering him for a while. It’s only the second operation for the 38-year-old Federer. Wimbledon starts June 29.NCAA-PITTSBURGH-VIOLATIONS February 20, 2020 Associated Press PGA-MEXICO CHAMPIONSHIPMcIlroy sizzles in Mexico CityMEXICO CITY (AP) — Rory McIlroy is the leader through one round of the Mexico Championship, two strokes ahead of Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas.McIlroy ripped a 4-iron from 275 yards into the thin air at Chapultepec to 15 feet for eagle on his second hole Thursday, made five more birdies and opened the Mexico Championship with a 6-under 65. This is the only World Golf Championship that McIlroy hasn’t won as he tries to join Dustin Johnson as the only players to win all four of them.Bryson DeChambeau and Billy Horschel are tied with Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST’-hy-zehn) and Corey Connors at minus-3, while Hideki Matsuyama (maht-soo-YAH’-mah), Paul Casey, Patrick Reed and Lee Westwood are among six players at 2 under. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-NEWSNFL owners approve negotiated terms for new labor agreementNEW YORK (AP) — NFL owners have voted to accept the negotiated terms for a new collective bargaining agreement, putting the onus on players who plan to hold a conference call Friday. — Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen will become a free agent for the first time in his 11-year career. Griffen has chosen to exercise his option to void the remaining three years on his contract. The move will clear more than $13 million off the books for 2020 for the salary cap-strapped Vikings.— An attorney for New Orleans’ Roman Catholic archdiocese is strongly defending the Saints’ public-relations help in dealing with the clergy sex abuse crisis. He says the legal effort to unseal emails between them is aimed at trying to shame those “who had the audacity” to back the church. Thursday’s hearing comes amid claims the Saints joined the church in a pattern of concealing sexual abuse, an allegation the team denies.— Dan Radakovich, who starred as a linebacker at Penn State in the 1950s before winning two Super Bowls as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, has died. Radakovich was 84.MLB-NEWSPhils beat Realmuto in arbitration Pitt hoops, football placed on 3 years’ probation by NCAAINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Pittsburgh football and men’s basketball programs have been placed on probation for three years by the NCAA.The organization says both programs committed a series of violations between 2015 and 2018. The violations centered around both programs exceeding the number of allotted practices during that time.Former men’s basketball coach Kevin Stallings was given a three-year show-cause order, meaning he must sit out 30% of his new team’s games if he is hired during the three-year window of the show-cause order. Stallings is currently out of coaching. Former director of basketball operations Dan Cage also faces a three-year show-cause order.UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN DOCTOR-INVESTIGATION UNDATED (AP) — The Phillies won their arbitration case against All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto (ree-al-MOO’-toh), putting teams ahead of players 7-4 this year and ensuring clubs will finish with a winning record.Realmuto will get a raise from $6.05 million to $10 million instead of his $12.4 million request.Realmuto was acquired from the Marlins just before spring training last year and earned its second straight All-Star selection. He finished the season batting .275 with 25 home runs and 83 RBIs.In other MLB news:— Yankees right-hander Luis Severino has been shut down from throwing for the second consecutive spring training, this time because of right forearm soreness. Severino, who turned 26 on Thursday, was sidelined until the final weeks of the regular season last year. Irving appeared in just 20 games this season, averaging 27.4 points, 6.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds.The Nets continue to wait for Durant to recover from Achilles surgery that has kept him off the court all season.Durant and Irving were two of the NBA’s prized offseason signings last summer.Also in the NBA:— Timberwolves forward Jake Layman has been cleared to return to practice, but star center Karl-Anthony Towns remains sidelined. Towns is awaiting clearance for a sprained left wrist. Layman already has missed 39 games and will miss at least four more with a sprained left toe suffered Nov. 18 at Utah. The 6-foot-8 Layman was averaging a career-best 10.5 points over the first 14 games in his first season with the Wolves. — Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco felt discomfort in his right leg during a spring training workout and is having tests. The 32-year-old Carrasco made an inspiring comeback last season after being diagnosed with leukemia. The team plans to provide an update on his status on Friday.NBA-NEWSIrving done for seasonUNDATED (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets will wind up getting very little production from free-agent pickups Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this season.The Nets say Irving will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a right shoulder that has bothered the six-time All-Star since November. Coach Kenny Atkinson said earlier this week that the point guard was still having trouble with the shoulder that sidelined him for 26 games earlier this season. Team representatives were summoned to New York to discuss the proposal with the league eager to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the players in the next few weeks. The current deal runs out in March 2021.Among the items in that proposal are a 17-game schedule, a reduction of the preseason and an increase to the current 27% share of revenues for the players.Also being considered is a second bye week to go with a 17th game, although almost certainly not for the 2020 season. The expansion of the playoffs easily could occur this year, however.In other NFL news:— Browns Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry has undergone hip surgery after initially opting not to have the operation. Landry was bothered by his hip all last season, but still finished with a team-leading 83 catches for 1,1174 yards and six touchdowns. Update on the latest sports University of Michigan investigates doctor sex abuse claimsANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Another man has come forward to publicly accuse a late University of Michigan physician of sexual abuse decades ago.Gary Bailey said Thursday that Dr. Robert E. Anderson molested him during a medical exam in 1968 or 1969. Bailey says he filed an official complaint with the university at the time but never heard anything back.The university says it has received 22 calls to a hotline since Wednesday when it announced an investigation into Anderson. Police started investigating Anderson in July 2018 after a former student athlete alleged abuse by Anderson in the 1970s. Officials have acknowledged that some university employees were aware of accusations against the doctor prior to a 2018 complaint that led to a police investigation. Anderson died in 2008.University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel has apologized to “anyone who was harmed” by Anderson.