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

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first_imgIn addition to delays in reporting deaths where the deceased had tested positive, deaths where COVID-19 was a contributory factor could also have been omitted from the figures, according to the company.Baxter said this is confirmed by data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for deaths registered up to 2 May 2020, which also include those where COVID-19 is mentioned “somewhere” on the death certificate.Club Vita analysis suggests that including these deaths brings the true toll for deaths directly related to COVID-19 to around 40,000 as at that date.In addition, Baxter said: “Since early April we have also seen unseasonably high levels of deaths which make no mention of COVID-19 – around 3,000 higher each week than usual for this time of year.”He concluded: “Putting all this together means that the combined direct and indirect loss of life from COVID-19 may now be 60,000 – double the official number.”Charlie Finch, partner at LCP, said: “It is too early yet to draw firm conclusions on the impact that higher COVID-19 related mortality may have on insurer pricing and pension scheme finances.However, current projections for potential excess deaths in the UK suggest the impact will not be significant, with the bigger impact being swings in financial markets.”Stephen Caine, pensions consultant at Willis Towers Watson, said: “The actuarial profession’s mortality committee, the CMI, estimates that the increase in total death numbers in the UK due to the pandemic is likely to have already exceeded 60,000. However, even if the final toll were much worse – for example 300,000 – the impact on the funding level of a defined benefit (DB) scheme, with a membership roughly representative of the UK demographic, may be just 0.5%.”The impact is smaller than might be expected given the fact that most deaths would be for older members and retirees in such a pension scheme. This would cut short benefit income streams and so reduce pension liabilities, he acknowledged.According to Caine, the most material effect of COVID-19 for pension schemes will be its long-term impact on future mortality rates, which is, however, harder to gauge.He said: “Periods of austerity can correlate with a slowdown in life expectancy improvements – for instance, such a slowdown has been taking place since 2011. So if the COVID-19 crisis is followed by a deep recession, we could see a continued slowdown in life expectancy improvement which could take 2% off pension scheme liabilities, but this would emerge over time rather than happen immediately.”Conversely, Caine also recognised that lifestyle and environmental changes occurring under lockdown – such as minimal use of cars and cleaner air – could be responsible for improving longevity which may offset the recessionary effect.He concluded: “The big question is where long-term life expectancy is going to: this creates a lot more uncertainty for trustees and sponsors in computing the three-yearly valuation and long-term planning.”Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. The UK’s death toll so far from COVID-19 could be double the official figures, but the impact on pension funds is likely to be far less significant than potential changes in long-term mortality rates associated with the virus, consultants have said.According to analysis by Club Vita, the provider of longevity risk informatics, the actual UK mortality so far from COVID-19 is likely to be around 60,000 – double the official tally.The company said the discrepancy with figures published by the UK government is being caused by delays and omissions in compiling the totals.Steven Baxter, head of innovation at Club Vita, said: “Despite the [government] briefings now including both hospital deaths and deaths in the community where the individual has tested positive for COVID-19, under-reporting is still an issue.”last_img read more

first_imgThe Jamaican had been struggling with injury before the Championships but still won the 100 metres on Sunday.100 metres silver medallist Justin Gatlin won his heat in the faster time of 20.19last_img