FDA approves adding new strain to flu vaccine

first_imgFeb 17, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted yesterday to add the new A/California strain to next season’s influenza vaccine, amid doubts about the nation’s ability to acquire an adequate supply.The advisory committee decided to accept the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) recent recommendation to include the strain called A/California/7/2004(H3N2) in the vaccine, according to reports from Reuters and USA Today. It will replace the A/Fujian strain in the current vaccine.Reports said the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee followed the WHO’s advice to keep the other two strains the same as in this year’s vaccine: A/New Caledonia/20/99(H1N1) and B/Shanghai/361/2002.The California strain emerged last September in Santa Clara County and was first identified as a new strain last month, according to previous reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported recently that the strain accounted for about 19% of flu virus isolates that the agency has analyzed since last October.In a Reuters report, CDC flu expert Dr. Nancy Cox was quoted as saying that the new strain is already infecting people around the world. She said H3N2 viruses generally cause more severe flu seasons than other viral strains do.USA Today quoted one committee member, Arnold Monto of the University of Michigan, as saying it’s “very hard to predict” whether next season’s vaccine supply will be adequate. He said the committee would discuss supply questions in a closed session today.Sanofi Pasteur, formerly Aventis Pasteur, said it expects to make about 60 million doses of flu vaccine for next season, according to USA Today and Reuters. MedImmune said it would make 3 million doses of its intranasal vaccine, FluMist.It remains unclear whether Chiron Corp. will solve the problems at its Liverpool, England, plant in time to make vaccine for next fall, according to reports this week. The United States lost 50 million doses, about half of its expected supply, last October when contamination problems forced cancellation of all of Chiron’s vaccine deliveries.An FDA official told a congressional committee last week that Chiron will largely determine whether the nation will have enough vaccine next season. In prepared testimony, Jesse L. Goodman, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said Chiron’s ability to solve its manufacturing problems is “the single most important factor that will determine the adequacy of the U.S. influenza vaccine supply for the coming year.”Chiron is making “extensive improvements” that must satisfy both the FDA and British regulators, Goodman said. The FDA will conduct a thorough inspection of the Chiron plant in the spring when all major phases of vaccine manufacturing are under way, he added. He said it is too early to predict the outcome, but “Chiron appears to be making progress.”See also:Feb 14 CIDRAP News story “WHO picks new California strain for flu vaccine”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/general/news/feb1405vaccine.htmllast_img read more

Japan to end BSE-based ban on US beef again

first_img See also: Under an agreement completed today, Japan will send inspectors to the United States this weekend to check beef processing plants and, if they find no problems, will then allow shipments to resume, according to an Agence-France Presse (AFP) report published today. “This action is being taken to address potential risk of unintentional contamination with ruminant derived protein that may have occurred at this facility from August 2005 to June 2006,” the FDA said. The products were distributed to feed manufacturers and dairy farms in Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, California, and Louisiana, the agency said. Only beef from cattle up to the age of 20 months, with higher-risk tissues such as spinal cords removed, can be exported to Japan, the same rules that governed the previous resumption of imports in December. “Although this agreement is another step toward the resumption of beef trade with Japan, I will not be satisfied until U.S. beef is once again accepted into the Japanese market,” Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said in the USDA statement. Koizumi praised the agreement, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. “The U.S. thought we were slow in reaching this decision, while we thought otherwise,” he said. “Our opinions were different, so we discussed the issue. It’s a good agreement.” Agreement precedes US-Japan summitReports said Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is scheduled to meet with President Bush in Washington late next week. US lawmakers, who have threatened to use retaliatory trade measures against Japan, had urged Japan to settle the issue before the two leaders meet, according to a Reuters report today. Japan closed its ports to American beef when the first US case of BSE, or mad cow disease, was found in December 2003. Shipments resumed last December, but they were stopped again a month later when pieces of backbone, a banned item, were found in a shipment of veal. The Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition party, said in a statement quoted by AFP, “The latest decision, not based on science, was made by prioritizing political considerations for Prime Minister Koizumi’s visit to the United States, ignoring food safety for consumers.” Japanese consumer groups and opposition politicians criticized the agreement as hasty and based on politics rather than science.center_img The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the Japanese inspectors will finish their work by Jul 21. “Japan has agreed to expeditiously resume beef trade” once the inspections are done, the statement said. Japanese officials will inspect all 35 US beef-processing plants authorized by the USDA to ship products to Japan, according to the Reuters report. After trade resumes, Japanese officials will be allowed to accompany USDA officials on spot inspections of the plants, the AP reported. Feed recalled over possible banned materialIn other BSE-related news, a company based in Westport, Conn., has issued a recall of some livestock feed ingredients that might have contained cattle remains, in violation of the 1997 ban on putting protein from ruminant animals into feed for ruminants, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In a Jun 16 news release, the FDA said H.J. Baker & Bro. recalled three products made at its plant in Albertville, Ala. The products, Pro-Pak with Porcine Meat and Bone, Pro-Lak, and Pro-Amino II, are used to make livestock feed, including feed for dairy cows. US beef exports to Japan were worth about $1.4 billion in 2003, according to news agencies. Jun 21, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Japan has conditionally agreed to resume importing US beef, long banned from the country because of concern about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The agreement was completed in two lengthy video conferences between US and Japanese officials over the past 2 days, according to news agencies. Jun 16 FDA news release about feed recallhttp://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/hjbaker06_06.html Jun 21 USDA statementlast_img read more

Scientists net bats to look for Marburg virus source

first_img Two bat species have been found in the mine so far, the WHO said: Rousettus aegyptiacus (a fruit bat) and Hipposideros species (an insect eater). About 50 to 90 miners work at the site, which reopened last January, the WHO said, adding that about 5 million bats live in and around the mine. Their mission is to trap bats, which are suspected as the source of a recent Marburg outbreak that killed a Ugandan miner in mid July and is thought to have sickened one of his coworkers, according to recent WHO reports. The WHO said there may be as many as three more suspected cases that have been linked to the mine, located in the western part of the country. WHO podcast on bat study Aug 20, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The hunt for the vector responsible for spreading Marburg hemorrhagic fever took global health experts wearing protective gear to the mine entrances in a remote Ugandan forest last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported. Marburg, a viral hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, causes fever and weakness, as well as severe gastrointestinal symptoms, severe chest pain, sore throat, and cough, according to the WHO. Since the disease was first documented in 1967, outbreaks have been rare. The last major Marburg outbreak occurred in Angola from October 2004 to July 2005; of 252 confirmed cases, 227 were fatal. Christine McNab, a WHO spokesperson, said in a weekly WHO podcast that, of the seven known recent Marburg outbreaks, all but one occurred in Africa. She said the latest outbreak was contained. Lab tests recently confirmed the Marburg virus infection in blood samples from both the dead miner and one of his close contacts, according to an Aug 14 WHO report. See also:center_img The mine where scientists are working is about 186 miles from Uganda’s capital Kampala. Working with mist and harp nets, they trap the bats at the mouth of the mine as the animals leave after dusk to seek food and water, the WHO report said. The scientists’ goal is to catch 100 bats a day until they collect about 1,000. After the bats are caught, they are taken to a nearby field laboratory where researchers immediately take blood and organ samples that will be used to examine for Marburg virus antibodies, the WHO reported.  The samples are preserved in liquid nitrogen and shipped to labs at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in South Africa. Experts hope that identifying a vector for the disease will lead to the development of treatment or a vaccine, as well as new tactics for stopping virus transmission. Aug 17 WHO report on bat study Aug 14 WHO statement on Marburg case Aug 3 CIDRAP News story “Marburg fever case confirmed in Uganda”last_img read more

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Global and Australia case counts, Scotland may vaccinate all kids, Egypt expands quarantine

first_imgJun 9, 2009Global H1N1 cases rise to 26,563The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) count of novel H1N1 influenza cases reached 26,563 today, an increase of 1,275 since yesterday, Dr. Keiji Fukuda reported at a news briefing from Geneva. The death toll increased by 1, to 140, while the number of affected countries stayed the same at 73. Fukuda is the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and the environment.[Canwest News Service story]Australia’s count tops 1,200; officials to discuss alert levelAustralia’s tally of confirmed novel flu cases climbed to 1,211 today, as the health ministry called for calm after sports officials cancelled a major swim meet and quarantined professional rugby players, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Health officials are meeting in Sydney tomorrow to review Australia’s current alert level and discuss quarantine issues, other news outlets reported.[Jun 9 Sydney Morning Herald story]Scotland eyes vaccinating all kidsAs the number of confirmed novel H1N1 cases in Scotland soared to 232 today, officials discussed the idea of vaccinating all of the country’s children, the Daily Record newspaper reported. Though no final decisions on vaccine prioritization have been made, a government spokesperson said children and healthcare workers will likely be in the top tier and that the goal is to vaccinate all Scottish citizens by the middle of 2010.[Jun 9 Daily Record story]Egypt expands quarantine of American studentsEgyptian officials extended their quarantine of 234 students at an American University dormitory in Cairo until Jun 15 today after five more residents tested positive for the novel H1N1 virus, Reuters reported. The country first quarantined the site after two American students got sick with the novel flu. Egyptian officials said the newly confirmed cases include four students and a staff member who have been hospitalized but are not showing symptoms.[Jun 9 Reuters story]last_img read more

New sensation from the Fiber cave – researchers found Paleolithic Venus!

first_imgPaleolithic fragments of animal figures were found at the Vela Spila site on the island of Korčula, which brought Croatia to the list of countries where traces of art from that time were found. But Venus from Fiber is unique because for the first time we have a depiction of a human figure, and researchers gave it the name LiliThe Vlakno cave on Dugi otok, which has been attracting the attention of the professional and scientific public for many years due to the richness of its findings, including the remains of the “oldest Dalmatian” named Šime, offered a new surprise to its researchers in the new archeological campaign. excavated various finds standard for the sites of this time, two very rare bone harpoons and a unique find for the area of ​​Croatia, rare for European terms – Paleolithic Venus. After Šime, Dugi otok got its Lili, as the researchers called it, point out the University of Zadar.The value of this finding can be seen in the fact that in Croatia only fragments of animal figures were found at the Vela Spila site on the island of Korčula, which put Croatia on the list of countries where traces of Paleolithic art were found. But Venus from Fiber is unique because for the first time we also have a depiction of a human figure. The unique finding required a name. ” It is named after Lili in honor of a colleague who has been actively involved in cave exploration for years. For now, it is under conservation, followed by scientific processing, and after the presentation, it is possible that her character will gain wider significance in the future and become one of the recognizable souvenirs of Dugi otok.“Points out Dario Vujević from the Department of Archeology, University of Zadar.The cave has been attracting the attention of both experts and the general public for many years. It became the site of the discovery of Šime, currently the oldest known inhabitant of Dalmatia, and the discovery of engraved pebbles gave a rare opportunity to gain insight into the symbolism of prehistoric communities that inhabited the Adriatic area. New research by the Department of Archeology at the University of Zadar has brought to light a number of findings almost unique in this area that show that this cave will play an important role in interpreting the behavior of early prehistoric communities for many years to come.Photo: University of ZadarRelated news: VINKOVCI AS THE OLDEST CITY IN EUROPE MUST BE THE MAIN STAR OF EUROPEAN TOURISM<br /> <a href=”https://bs.serving-sys.com/Serving/adServer.bs?cn=brd&pli=1074171063&Page=&Pos=-1477388646″ target=”_blank”><br /> <img src=”https://bs.serving-sys.com/Serving/adServer.bs?c=8&cn=display&pli=1074171063&Page=&Pos=-1477388646″ border=0 width=1280 height=200></a><br />last_img read more

A luxury hotel worth around 10 million euros has opened in Jastrebarsko

first_imgIn the Jalševac Economic Zone, at the very entrance to the town of Jastrebarsko, the Princess Hotel, owned by the Vučković family, was opened.HRK 70 million has been invested in the construction of the four-star Princess Hotel, which today provides visitors with accommodation in 82 modern rooms and 11 suites, a restaurant, a bar, a wine shop, a wellness center with a heated pool and numerous other facilities. Also, next to the new hotel there is a banquet center of the same name.The grand opening of the newly built hotel was held on Monday, March 12 in the evening in the presence of many dignitaries, during which the Minister of Tourism Gary Cappelli stressed that this hotel, built in an economic zone employing about a thousand people and thus provides results, pride not only Jaske already in Croatia. “Croatian tourism strongly relies on accommodation and catering offer and one of our priorities is a further step forward in their quality. Such investments, which represent development, innovation, raising tourism to a higher level, are exactly what we need in order for Croatian tourism to become even more recognizable, of better quality and more competitive on the world market.”, Said Minister Cappelli and concluded that this hotel is much more than new accommodation for Jastrebarsko.The investor, Dragutin Vučković, used the moment to thank everyone who participated in the construction of this facility, and especially his family, emphasizing that this project is the result of love, and a gift to Jaska and his homeland. “I congratulate the Vuckovic family on the new business success and the opening of the hotel, which will certainly significantly contribute to the development of Jaska tourism and our region. It makes me extremely proud that the City of Jastrebarsko has recognized the value and importance of this investment from the very beginning, and by creating the preconditions, it has enabled the investor to realize it as easily and quickly as possible. “, said the mayor of Jastrebarsko Zvonimir Novose.See more information about the hotel herelast_img read more

A Mastercard study found that tourists paid 70% of all transactions with cards

first_imgEuropeans love to travel – on average, they travel 10 times a year for leisure in their home country or abroad, according to a study conducted by Mastercard.Czechs and Slovaks are at the top of the list with 19 trips a year, while Croats travel 15 times. The data also showed that in 2017, more than 14,5 million foreign tourists visited Croatia. Tourists spent more than 9 billion euros in Croatia, of which 15% related to accommodation, 19% to food, 18% to shopping and 17% to various activities. As many as 70% of all transactions were paid with cards.”Just before the upcoming tourist season, our country has become an even more interesting destination – with a new edition of the Priceless Croatia project that offers almost 50 unique and exclusive experiences in destinations across Croatia. In cooperation with partners in Croatia, we sought to improve local tourism. positioning our country as an attractive tourist destination.”Said Sanja Žigić, director of Mastercard in Croatia.Thus, after registering on the website www.priceless.com, Mastercard® card users from all over the world can experience the battle of gladiators in one of the six largest Roman amphitheaters, participate in the Pula Film Festival, experience the oldest Croatian street festival Špancirfest as a VIP visitor, discover the secret beer production in San Servol, Istria, taste the best world olive oil, enjoy wine tasting and dinner prepared from an organic garden, discover hidden beaches on the island of Obonjan, reveal the secrets of Dubrovnik during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, be backstage at the Ultra Europe festival, meet the dark side of Zagreb from the Middle Ages onwards, discover the sunniest Croatian island and a long wine tradition, enjoy concerts by Jessie Ware, Inner Circle or Marija Biondi, walk through the Northern Velebit National Park or have lunch with a famous Croatian chef while riding a balloon in the clouds and much more .Finally, Mastercard Croatia points out that when tourists travel abroad, consumers increasingly accept the benefits of electronic payments and rely on them during their vacation.Related news: SECOND EDITION OF MASTERCARD PRICELESS CITIES PRESENTED PRESENTED IN CROATIAlast_img read more

Google has introduced the option of renting private accommodation within its hotel reservation application

first_imgGoogle Trips Finally, Google points out that next month vacation rentals filter will be installed on the Google Hotels desktop platform. “We hope this helps travelers make quick, effortless decisions – and with more choices about where to stay, your perfect vacation is just a few clicks away.”They conclude from Google. “Our goal is to provide accommodation seekers with the best possible search experience”, Said Jennifer Rodstrom, a spokeswoman for Google, adding that more and more people see how interested users are in alternative accommodation when planning a trip. In addition, Airbnb is often at the center of lawsuits for illegal ads, although HomeAway is not immune to similar disputes. However, by focusing on entire homes instead of individual apartments or rooms in an apartment, Google Airbnb may never be an option. But interestingly, Airbnb is not on the list of booking partners, although that could change over time. Their absence may be due to the diversity of Airbnb accommodation units, which includes individual rooms, that is, what does not fit into the concept of Google’s holiday accommodation, writes Shift. With Google Flight, Google Trips, and now the further development of the Google Hotels platform, which is also entering the segment of private accommodation, Google is slowly but surely completing the whole tourist story. Google has partnered with a handful of accommodation booking services, such as Expedia, HomeAway, Hotels.com, RedAwning, TripAdvisor and VRBO, and offers rental to destinations around the world. For example, users traveling to Amsterdam will see more than 1.700 ads from Hotels.com, VRBO and Expedia, along with the price per night and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the number of guests they receive. RELATED NEWS: Source: Google, Skift That expansion is another step forward for Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, toward the goal of developing a travel booking platform that has all the services in one place. Earlier this month, Google updated its hotel search site to be a standalone website. These new offers are aimed at travelers who want to slowly settle into a new location. Instead of individual rooms, rent includes entire accommodation units such as apartments, cabins, villas and houses. The search feature is currently available globally for mobile phones and will be extended to other devices within a few months. It was a matter of time before Google would learn more strongly in the tourism segment This is not the first time that Google has offered holiday accommodation through its hotel reservation platform, although this is the first time that it has spread globally. The company initially launched the idea in 2017, offering only a limited number of accommodation facilities in selected markets. GOOGLE BECOMES A STRONGER PLAYER ON THE STAGE OF ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCIES Just two weeks after the launch of its refurbished hotel platforms, Google has expanded its offer to include alternative types of accommodation. Google hotel search WHO WINS THE “BOOKING FIGHT” – HOTELS OR ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCIES?last_img read more

The promotional campaign “Vacation week worthwhile” starts from October 16 to 25

first_imgAs of today, the official date of the promotional campaign “A week worth a vacation”, a project of the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian Tourist Board, which runs from 16 to 25 October 2020, is known. The aim of the action is to encourage the domestic market to tourist activities in the period before and after the season. Through the website https://tjedanodmoravrijedan.hr/ all those interested can join and enter their offer and prices for the specified promotional week. All participants who choose to be part of this campaign will be able to display visible official visuals at their facilities and thus clearly communicate to the public that they are part of this national campaign.center_img The action is open to all tourism-related entities: hotel houses, private renters, caterers, nature parks and national parks, museums, galleries, adrenaline tourism, health tourism, nautical, etc., and registrations are possible until October 1.last_img read more