first_imgNov 1, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – As the World Health Organization noted Thailand’s 20th human case of avian influenza, it offered details today of the circumstances around the 50-year-old woman’s infection.The woman, from Bangkok, visited her husband on Oct 23 in Nonthaburi province, north of Bangkok, where backyard chickens had started dying a few days earlier, WHO said. She experienced symptoms Oct 26 and was admitted to the hospital Oct 29. She is still hospitalized in satisfactory condition, the agency said.Investigators have not found any sign of respiratory illness among the patient’s close contacts. Her case is the third confirmed in Thailand in the last month.”These cases coincide with a recurrence of confirmed H5 outbreaks in poultry in six provinces, most of which are in the central part of the country, and point to the need to remain on high alert for the occurrence of human cases in all countries experiencing outbreaks in poultry,” WHO wrote.The WHO recently published suggestions to protect people from direct exposure to the H5N1 virus and, if needed, to protect people after exposure. Among the guidelines:Vaccinating people at risk for exposure to H5N1 against seasonal flu can reduce the chances for the virus to re-assort, which would allow the H5N1 avian virus to adapt more to people and could lead to easier person-to-person spread of the virus.At-risk agricultural workers should wear protective clothing, such as coveralls with an impermeable apron or surgical gowns with long, cuffed sleeves and an impermeable apron; heavy rubber gloves that can be disinfected; surgical masks (standard, well-fitted surgical masks can stand in if high-efficiency N95 masks can’t be found) with fit-testing and training in mask use; goggles; and rubber or polyurethane boots that can be cleaned or used with disposable foot covers.People at risk for occupational exposure may be protected by prophylaxis with oseltamivir. They should also check daily for 14 days after the latest exposure for signs of fever, influenza-like symptoms, and gastrointestinal symptoms.Suspected case-patients must be isolated and sampled according to WHO guidelines. Samples and viruses can be shipped to WHO labs for diagnosis. Serum samples and epidemiologic data also should be collected on exposed patients.At the federal level, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week outlined a number of measures to safeguard domestic poultry populations and track any avian flu viruses in the United States. In a technical briefing on avian flu on Oct 26 in Washington, DC, five people representing aspects of avian flu surveillance and prevention efforts spoke about the issues.The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has conducted an outreach campaign dubbed “Biosecurity for the Birds” to reach poultry industry members with protective measures for their birds. In addition, USDA’s collaboration with state agriculture departments allows it to monitor live bird markets in the northeastern US to stop any H5 or H7 virus subtypes found in those markets, said Dr. Ron DeHaven, APHIS administrator.If an unusual outbreak is suspected, USDA can get specially trained veterinarians to the site within 4 hours, DeHaven added. State-level teams are usually able to respond to a suspected outbreak within a day to cull, quarantine, and disinfect. APHIS also has avian flu vaccines for poultry, which can be used in some situations.”We do indeed have a (poultry) vaccine that is effective against the H5N1 virus that’s currently circulating in parts of Asia,” DeHaven added.Although H5N1 has not been found in North America, “the expanding global spread of H5N1 increases the likelihood that it will eventually be detected here,” said Richard Kearney, wildlife program coordinator at the US Geological Survey in the Interior Department.USDA is working with the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Service (AFWS) and the USGS to address that possibility, Kearney said. FWS and USGS biologists have been sampling migratory birds in Alaska for H5N1, which bolsters other ongoing avian flu studies. A program for 2006 will include more comprehensive surveillance and detection to provide an early warning if migratory birds carry H5N1 into North America.Dr. Richard Raymond, undersecretary for food safety at USDA, said the US inspection system ensures poultry is free from visible signs of disease.”If high-path avian influenza were to be detected in the United States, I want to assure the American public that the chance of that infected poultry ever entering the food chain would be extremely low,” Raymond said.See also: WHO news release on Thailand casehttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_11_01/en/index.htmlWHO news release on measures to stop the spread in new outbreakshttp://www.who.int/influenza/resources/documents/guidance_publichealthmeasures_h5n1_10_2005/en/index.htmlUSDA news release on US response to avian fluhttp://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2005/10/0459.xmllast_img read more

first_imgSmoltz helped Atlanta win its first World Series and launch a string of 14 consecutive division championships.Martinez gave Boston a heart transplant and boosted the Red Sox to their first World Series title since 1918.Johnson, with Ken Griffey Jr., palpably saved baseball in Seattle.On Sunday, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz will get Hall of Fame plaques Sunday and make speeches, as will Craig Biggio, the Houston lifer who got 3,000 hits.Meanwhile, the trade chatter will reach a crescendo unheard since the final 30 seconds of “A Day In The Life.” There are three living, breathing reasons why most baseball fans should throw their cellphones into the pool between now and the July 31 trade deadline.They are Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz.All three pitchers were shuffled to the hinterlands because their teams stopped thinking about tomorrow.All three changed their new teams forever. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Distinguished pitchers like Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto, James Shields and Mike Leake will be offered by their general managers for young, cheap and possibly brilliant labor.This is not to say midseason trades never work. When the Braves needed power in 1993, they got San Diego’s Fred McGriff for three minor leaguers who amounted to little, as most do.But the Braves were so entranced with Mark Teixeira in 2007 that they sent Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison to the Rangers. Shortly, Texas was playing in postseasons and Atlanta was watching.You don’t make trades without knowing exactly who you’re trading. You also must know that MLB will probably stage another season next year and the year after that. That’s what you learn from Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz.Johnson was a 6-foot-10 scattergun from USC, immature but fearsome. It was 1989. The Montreal Expos had been close so many times. If they rented upcoming free agent Mark Langston, maybe they’d win. So they sent Gene Harris, Brian Holman and Johnson to Seattle.Langston pitched quite well for Montreal, with a 2.39 ERA, but the Expos fell short, and he signed with the Angels.In 1992, Johnson won the first of four consecutive A.L. strikeout crowns. In 1995, he went 18-2 and led the Mariners’ wild charge to a one-game playoff with the Angels. Johnson shut them out for nine innings and could have done so for 99.That happened a few weeks after county voters rejected an .01 percent sales tax hike, and thus defeated a stadium initiative. The Mariners were gone, but then they won, and beat the Yankees in a playoff series. The general delirium prompted the state legislature to figure out another funding plan, and it passed and survived a court battle. Today the Mariners play in Safeco Field, dubbed “The Guilty Pleasure” by sportswriter Art Thiel.The Expos got another chance in 1994. The Dodgers eyed second baseman Delino DeShields. Martinez was an effective long reliever, but at a slight 5-foot-11 could he hold up physically as a starter?The deal was made and both Montreal and L.A. were in first place when the work stoppage hit. Martinez would go on to win five WHIP titles, six ERA titles, three strikeout titles and three Cy Young Awards.The Dodgers staff ranked second, first and second in N.L. ERA from 1995 through 1997. But with Pedro, there would have been little need to empty the bucket for Kevin Brown.In 1987, the Tigers asked the woebegone Braves for Doyle Alexander. Atlanta scout John Hagemann was in Glen Falls, N.Y., watching a 19-year-old with a 4-10 record, a 5.69 ERA and a 1.631 WHIP. Hagemann called general manager Bobby Cox and said, “This guy’s a great arm.” On that recommendation, the Braves took Smoltz and turned down Steve Searcy.“John had a great arm but he was raw with his control and he was 19,” said Tom Gamboa, Smoltz’s manager at the time. “We were fast-tracking him. I knew he’d pitch in the big leagues, but he was the kind of guy who thought the glass was half-empty. The Braves got him to a sports psychologist and he turned it around right away.”Alexander was brilliant for two months. He went 10-1 and pitched the Tigers into the ALCS, which they lost. Their next playoff appearance was 2006.Smoltz won 219 games, but only six of them came between 2000 and 2004, when he was either hurt or saving 154 games for Atlanta. Smoltz also was 15-4 in postseason.Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz represent the difference between general managers and pitchers. A pitcher’s mistake winds up in the seats. A GM’s mistake can land in Cooperstown.last_img read more