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Seven states report sporadic flu cases

first_imgOct 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – In a sign that influenza season is approaching, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that a handful of states have seen sporadic flu cases and that the earliest signs suggest that this year’s vaccine is a good match for circulating strains. Reports from  US labs affiliated with the World Health Organization and the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System say that of 40 influenza viruses identified during September, 1 (2.5%) was an H1 virus, 4 (10%) were H3 viruses, 29 (72.5%) were nonsubtyped A viruses, and 6 (15%) were B viruses. “Based on the level of oseltamivir resistance in only one influenza subtype, H1N1, and the persisting high levels of resistance to the adamantanes in H3N2 viruses, CDC continues to recommend the use of oseltamivir and zanamivir for the treatment or prevention of influenza,” the report said. “Use of amantadine or rimantadine is not recommended.” For the week that ended Oct 4, the CDC said in an Oct 10 update that seven states reported sporadic seasonal influenza activity: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, New York, and Wyoming. Forty-one other states reported no activity, and two—Montana and Washington—did not report. Over the summer months (May 18 through Sep 27), the CDC antigenically characterized a small number of influenza isolates, the report said. Of the six isolates, four were type A/H1, one was type A/H3, and one was type B. “All six viruses are antigenically similar to the components selected for the 2008-2009 influenza vaccine,” the CDC said. For the H1 component the vaccine strain is similar to A/Brisbane/59/2007, for the H3 component, A/Brisbane/10/2007, and for the B component, B/Florida/4/2006. Last year a number of countries, including the United States, reported increased resistance of H1N1 viruses to the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). The CDC said that since May 18 it has tested 10 isolates for antiviral resistance. It found that 2 of 6 H1N1 viruses showed resistance to oseltamivir, but no resistance was found in H3N2 and B viruses. All retained sensitivity to zanamivir (Relenza), the other neuraminidase inhibitor. Of six type A viruses tested for resistance to the older flu drugs known as adamantanes, two were positive: one H3N2 virus and one of five H1N1 viruses. See also: CDC’s week 40 influenza reporthttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/last_img read more

Premier Milling to Increase Production

first_imgThe management of the Premier Milling Company, producers of wheat flour on the Liberian market plans to increase its production capacity to the Mano River sub-region.Making the disclosure over the weekend in Monrovia, Mr. Elie Saleeby, President of the company, said the expansion is aimed at meeting the demands of the Mano River Union countries with the hope of supplying wheat flour beyond the West African regional market.“We have to erase the notion that Liberians cannot export especially wheat flour to other countries in the sub-region,” Mr. Saleeby asserted.Saleeby, a former Minister of Finance, said the expansion will not only ensure that Liberia is reemerging in the regional market but also maximize its production capacity and create more job opportunities for ordinary Liberians.Mr. Saleeby named poor infrastructure, bad roads, poor human resource and electricity supply as some of the challenges that are impeding the supply of wheat flour to rural communities.“Infrastructure conditions are so terrible and as such, one cannot easily access land transport to rural communities across the country,” Mr. Saleeby indicated.He also claimed that local workers, water and sewer are some challenges the company is faced with.“Electricity is unreliable and very costly, so we have to rely on power generation from 750 kva Caterpillar engines for electricity supply,” Mr. Saleeby emphasized.He further disclosed that presently the company has two Chinese technicians who are training Liberians to take over from them when their time of service expires.Mr. Saleeby, who did not reveal the cost of new mill, said everything has been put into place to facilitate the construction of the facility in a location different from the company’s original site.“The mill, when completed, will provide animal feed for livestock, including feed for fish that will be mixed with sea shells to provide calcium which is good for human bone tissues,” Mr. Saleeby noted.“Our workforce, including laborers, has significantly increased up to 125 persons,” he added.He dispelled rumors that the location of the current flour mill is not environmentally conducive for the production of flour for consumption because of its proximity to the CEMENCO cement factory.Mr. Saleeby said that before the facility was constructed, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) together with an environmental consultant conducted a feasibility study. “The EPA was involved in the process leading to the establishment of the mill,” Mr. Saleeby maintained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more