Researchers warn of resistant flu, foodborne microbes


first_imgMar 19, 2008 – ATLANTA (CIDRAP News) – Serious microbial threats, including drug-resistant influenza and foodborne pathogens, remain stubbornly persistent even as unpredictable new threats are emerging, researchers said this week at the leading international conference on new and resurgent infectious diseases.Many of the threats are emerging in parts of the world too poor to fund adequate surveillance and control measures. And industrialized countries’ spending on intercepting those globalized infections is not keeping pace with the need.”Many of the challenges that face us right now are not likely to get better; in some ways, they are likely to get worse,” Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during the opening speeches of the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, which the CDC sponsors along with several scientific organizations. “These problems can only be solved by the investment necessary to tackle them.”Research presented at the conference ranged from information on the complexities of controlling and treating influenza and other respiratory diseases to insights into foodborne disease transmission. And as always at such a large conference—a biennial gathering of 2,000 scientists giving roughly 500 papers and posters—there were the scientific equivalent of early-warning alarms.In influenza news, CDC and state health department researchers found that:Adamantane drugs, the older of the two classes of influenza antivirals, are becoming increasingly useless against seasonal flu. A global survey of isolates collected during the 2006-07 flu season found 72% of H3N2 strains were resistant to adamantanes; in Asia, 100 percent of H1N1 strains were resistant, though 94% of US H1N1 strains remained vulnerable to the drugs.Meanwhile, resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors, the second class of flu drug, is creeping up. Between 2004 and the current flu season, the proportion of isolates resistant to neuraminidase inhibitors rose from 1% to 5% among all flu strains. Resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the more widely used drug in the class, rose to 9% among H1N1 strains.And in further confirmation that the current seasonal flu vaccine did not work as planned, an analysis of military flu-like illness statistics by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego found the effectiveness of the flu shot against H1N1 strains was 71%, lower than recent CDC estimates.In a warning of the stealthy nature of novel flu strains, a team from the University of Florida, the CDC’s flu branch, and a pet-rescue program called HemoPet/Pet Life-Line found that canine influenza has been circulating without detection far longer than supposed. The disease, which kills by hemorrhagic pneumonia, was first detected in dogs in Florida in 2004 and has since spread to 25 states and Washington, DC. But according to the rescue program’s blood-donor records, the strain has actually been in Florida dogs since 1999, and it may have caused unsolved respiratory disease outbreaks at dog tracks that year and in 2003.Among the reports on foodborne illnesses:The proportion of disease outbreaks linked to leafy greens is rising faster than the consumption of lettuce and spinach, signaling a true increase in the incidence of greens-related foodborne illness, according to CDC researchers.Strains of Salmonella isolated from cattle slaughtered at plants monitored by the US Department of Agriculture showed significant increases between 1997 and 2005 in resistance to cephalosporins, a class of drugs used in both veterinary and human medicine. Proportions of isolates resistant to the veterinary drug ceftriaxone increased from 1% to 2.1%; to ceftiofur, from 0% to 21.6%; and to cefoxitin, from 9.1% to 19.8%.And research done at the University of Pennsylvania found that 22% of raw chicken purchased at retail outlets in central Pennsylvania in 2006 and 2007 was contaminated with Salmonella; 53% of the Salmonella isolates were resistant to at least one drug, and 45% were resistant to five drugs or more.Blood and organ transplants are emerging as a rare and unpredictable route for transmission of infections, according to research presented at the conference, which featured reports of tuberculosis transmitted via transplant and fatal Group C streptococcal infection transmitted by transfused pooled platelets.And in just two of many reports on the increasingly high-profile pathogen MRSA—methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which causes both healthcare-acquired and community-acquired infections—CDC researchers reported a higher-than-predicted rate of community-acquired pneumonias due to MRSA. In addition, Dr. J. Scott Weese, a veterinarian from the Ontario Veterinary College, delivered preliminary results of a survey of 212 raw pork products purchased in four Canadian provinces that found a MRSA contamination rate of almost 10%.last_img read more

BH Coach of the Year: Bret Bielema


first_imgBret Bielema and the Wisconsin Badgers overcame an early loss and returned to the Rose Bowl.[/media-credit]After back-to-back Rose Bowl championships in 1999 and 2000, the Wisconsin football program had its fair share of talented teams. But in the years following, the Badgers regularly crumbled under the weight of high expectations.That changed in 2010 as the Badgers won a Big Ten title and earned a trip back to Pasadena under the steady leadership of head coach Bret Bielema, who gets the nod for Wisconsin coach of the year.For the first time in his tenure at Wisconsin, Bielema led a squad comprised solely of players he recruited. His star-studded senior class represented his first signees and everyone around the program knew there was a chance for UW to have a special season.But after an inconsistent start to the year, onlookers began to doubt Wisconsin’s conference title chances.A sloppy win over San Jose State created concern among Badger fans, and after a blocked extra point paved the way for a one-point victory over Arizona State the following week, the sense of doubt heightened.Still, Wisconsin was 4-0 heading into the conference portion of their schedule. A trip to Michigan State in the Big Ten opener, though, quickly ended the undefeated run.UW piled up the miscues and missed opportunities in East Lansing and it seemed as though the term “underachievers” would once again become attached to the Badgers.But Bielema was convinced this team was different. He never wavered in his belief his team was capable of competing for the Big Ten crown.He was proven right.Bielema and the Badgers absorbed that loss at MSU and rolled through Minnesota to claim Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the seventh year in a row.Then Bielema led the 18th ranked Badgers to a historic win over No. 1 Ohio State. Bielema’s message finally got through as UW began limiting the penalties and mental miscues. The Badgers protected the ball and executed their game plan brilliantly against the nation’s top ranked team.The win over OSU was Bielema’s first signature conference victory, and he wasn’t about to stop there.The very next week, UW went on the road to No. 15 Iowa and pulled off a heart-stopping come-from-behind victory over the rival Hawkeyes.Bielema rolled the dice with a fourth-down goal line attempt and a fake punt, and during the game-winning drive, the coaching staff put the run-oriented Badgers in an empty backfield formation.Each one of those decisions worked in UW’s favor, as the Badgers came away with a 31-30 victory to reclaim the Heartland Trophy – making Bielema 2-0 in the Badgers’ trophy games.From there, the skeptics waited for a late-season collapse. But it never came.The Badgers dominated the rest of their opponents as Bielema kept his foot on the gas and never let up. UW piled up 83 points against Indiana and totaled a measly 70 against Northwestern in the regular season finale to clinch a share of the conference title.Wisconsin lost a heartbreaker to undefeated Texas Christian in the Rose Bowl, but despite that disappointment, Bielema and the Badgers produced one of the most memorable seasons in Badger football history.Bielema knew he had talent, but to meet the high expectations UW needed to play clean, disciplined football. Turnovers and penalties could not be tolerated, and there would be an unyielding commitment to running the football.That early season loss to Michigan State could have crippled the Badgers and sparked panic within the locker room as the pressure mounted.Instead, Bielema kept his team composed and the Badgers played to their potential, finishing 7/8 in the polls with an 11-2 record.last_img read more

Clippers will buy The Forum for $400 million so they can build a $1.2 billion arena in Inglewood


first_imgBallmer and the Clippers previously offered to spend an additional $100 million on a community benefit package, including $75 million to support affordable housing. The exact terms of the package are still under negotiation.Traffic concernsThe new ownership of the Forum will alleviate potential traffic congestion in the corridor by allowing the two venues to coordinate programming, according to the Clippers.“We know traffic is something that many Inglewood residents worry about. While we have gone to great lengths to provide an unprecedented traffic-management plan for the new basketball arena, this acquisition provides a much greater ability to coordinate and avoid scheduling events at the same time at both venues,” said Chris Meany, a principal of Wilson Meany, the developer overseeing the new basketball arena project.An environmental impact report released in December estimated a simultaneous concert at The Forum and a basketball game at the arena could impact 61 intersections and eight freeway segments. The arena is expected to contribute to a “significant and unavoidable” increase in traffic, noise and pollutants, according to the report.Millions spent on lawsuitsMadison Square Garden Co., which bought The Forum for $23.5 million in 2012 and invested $100 million in renovations, has waged an all-out war to try to stop the Clippers from coming to the city. MSG sued Inglewood and its mayor, James T. Butts Jr., in 2018, alleging he tricked the company’s executives into giving up their rights to the land needed for the proposed arena. Clippers vs. Mavericks: 3 trends to watch in their NBA playoff series Clippers see room to improve vs. Mavericks in Game 2 The owners of the Los Angeles Clippers will buy The Forum concert venue in Inglewood for $400 million as part of a settlement agreement with Madison Square Garden Co..The agreement ends years of legal battles that threatened the feasibility of a proposed $1.2 billion Clippers arena in the city that soon will be home to an adjacent $5 billion NFL stadium for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers. That 18,000-seat arena just south of the new NFL stadium will still move forward.Under the newly formed CAPSS LLC, the Clippers’ owners will continue to operate the historic Forum — the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings — as a music venue and has offered to hire all of current employees, according to a press release Tuesday.“This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” said Steve Ballmer, the chairman of the L.A. Clippers. “We are committed to our investment in the City of Inglewood, which will be good for the community, The Clippers, and our fans.” Clippers mindful of Mavericks’ role players thriving in the bubble Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell credits his grandmother for his love of basketball Clippers’ rhythm is missing but their spirits strong before playoff opener The Forum’s owners claimed their fight was not about stopping the competition and instead was an attempt to protect Inglewood residents from a project that would “inflict severe traffic congestion, pollution and many other harms” on the city.Both sides spent millions on the war, with the two parties heavily lobbying state and local officials for support. MSG’s opposition stalled efforts to fast-track the arena by nearly a year.As part of the settlement agreement, MSG will drop its lawsuit against the city and others challenging the environmental review of the project at the corner of Century Boulevard and Prairie Avenue, just across the street from SoFi Stadium.“This is the best resolution for all parties involved and we wish the new owners every success,” the company said in a statement.With MSG out of the way, the Clippers will have eliminated the last of the arena’s roadblocks.Smiling mayor signs settlementThe Inglewood City Council approved the settlement at its meeting Tuesday. Butts, smiling ear to ear, paused the agenda so he could sign the document immediately. A copy of the agreement was not available Tuesday.“The city of Inglewood is overjoyed to welcome Steve Ballmer as the new owner and operator of the Fabulous Forum,” Butts said in a statement Tuesday. “He’s a true community partner.”The purchase is expected to close during the second quarter of 2020, according to the Clippers. The team, which currently plays at Staples Center, wants the arena ready by the 2024 season.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more