Clare Crawley Wears Diamond Ring After Calling Dale Moss Her Fiance

first_imgLast month, the hairstylist made headlines after she was spotted with a diamond band on that finger, something she took to Instagram to explain.Clare Crawley Spotted Wearing Massive Engagement Ring After Calling Dale Moss Her FianceClare Crawley Courtesy of Clare Crawley/Instagram“People have noticed I wear this ring on my wedding finger, and have asked why! The truth is because it is a commitment to myself first and foremost, to embody self-love,” she wrote at the time. “In the past I found myself getting into relationships where there was little to no reciprocity, and in the end would feel depleted and empty. This is my promise to myself, to make sure I always had enough self love that no matter what happened, I was committed to loving myself unconditionally, and that is something no man could take away from me.”The new photos surfaced just one week after an episode of The Bachelorette aired in which Crawley referred to Dale Moss as her “fiancé” when the other men made fun of him.Clare Crawley Spotted Wearing Massive Engagement Ring After Calling Dale Moss Her FianceClare Crawley and Dale Moss ABC; Shutterstock- Advertisement – Photos speak louder than words! Clare Crawley was just spotted rocking a large diamond ring on her left hand while shopping in her hometown of Sacramento, California.In the pics, posted by Entertainment Tonight, the Bachelorette, 39, is outside of Target wearing leggings and a hoodie. The casual outfit is dressed up by the large accessory on her hand.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The suitors on this season of The Bachelorette have slowly become more and more frustrated with Crawley’s interest in Moss, 32. During the October 26 episode, she spent nearly an hour with the model during a group date and then told producers she wanted to rush through the other dates.As Us Weekly previously reported, the Bachelor alum fell hard for Moss during the first two weeks of filming and decided to exit the show. In turn, Tayshia Adams stepped in to search for The One. Adams, 29, appeared in the promo for the Thursday, November 5, episode.Listen to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants – Advertisement –last_img read more

Alibaba cloud growth outpaces Amazon and Microsoft

first_imgWe believe cloud computing is fundamental infrastructure for the digital era, but it is still in the early stage of growth. In September, Alibaba chief financial officer Maggie Wu said the company’s cloud computing business is likely to become profitable for the first time in the current fiscal year. Alibaba’s fiscal year began in April 2020 and ends on March 31, 2021. Alibaba’s loss from the cloud computing business was 3.79 billion yuan in the September quarter, much wider than the 1.92 billion yuan loss reported in the same period last year. However, Wu pointed to the earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA), another measure of profitability.EBITA loss narrowed to 156 million yuan from 521 million yuan in the same period last year. The EBITA margin was negative 1%.On this basis, Wu said on the earnings call that Alibaba management “definitely expect to see profitability in the following two quarters.”“As I talked about during the Investor Day, we do not see any reason that for the long‑term, Alibaba cloud computing cannot reach to the margin level that we see in other peer companies. Before that, we are going to continue to focus expanding our cloud computing market leadership and also grow our profits,” she said. Alibaba is the fourth largest public cloud computing provider globally, according to Synergy Research Group.Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said that public sectors and financial services contributed the highest growth to the company’s cloud division.“We believe cloud computing is fundamental infrastructure for the digital era, but it is still in the early stage of growth. We are committed to further increasing our investments in cloud computing,” Zhang said on the earnings call. It’s important to note that Alibaba’s cloud computing business is significantly smaller than these two market leaders. For comparison, Amazon Web Services brought in revenue of $11.6 billion while Microsoft’s intelligent cloud revenue, which includes other products as well as Azure, totaled $13 billion in the September quarter.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – The Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. headquarters stand illuminated at night ahead of the annual November 11 Singles’ Day online shopping event in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019.Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images GUANGZHOU, China — The growth of Alibaba’s cloud business outpaced Amazon and Microsoft in the quarter ending in September, and the Chinese tech giant reiterated its commitment to making the unit profitable by next March.Alibaba reported cloud computing brought in revenue of 14.89 billion yuan ($2.24 billion) in the three months ending Sept. 30. That’s a 60% year-on-year rise and its fastest rate of growth since the December quarter of 2019.That was faster than Amazon Web Service’s 29% year-on-year revenue rise and Microsoft Azure’s 48% growth in the September quarter.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Wear a mask, stay at home when possible, maintain social distancing, and do not travel

first_imgEverywhere in the United States, beds are either already full or getting that way, and cases are increasing as little to no action is taken. With Donald Trump fuming in his jammies over his election loss and Scott Atlas not-so-secretly pushing the idea of herd immunity, it’s not as if things are going to get better soon. Some governors across the country have already started to tighten up restrictions, and there will be more reluctant moves to address the disaster in the next few weeks. Those efforts may eventually break the back of the current exponential growth curve. But not today.In the meantime … don’t travel for Thanksgiving. Stay at home. Save a turkey. Shop local. And wear a mask, dammit. Oh, and you’ll be happy to know that my mom is now up here with us, so my tassie supply is unaffected. Wednesday was the single worst day of new cases on record, with over 140,000 cases recorded at both WorldOMeters and Johns Hopkins. Expect that record to fall by the wayside today. Then expect that record to fall tomorrow. That’s the nature of where we are right now—in an exponential growth curve that shows no sign of ending.Just one week earlier, the number of cases on Wednesday was 30,000 below the values reported this week. That means that the difference between last week and this week is as great as the entire “peak” of the outbreak back in April. Current conditions are awful, appalling, dreadful … there are no words that adequately express the Lovecraftian levels of catastrophe the nation is currently facing.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Hospitalizations in the United States are at a record high, and that statement means something more than it did in the past. Rather than highly localized demand driving locations like New York City to fill stadiums with extra beds, the current wave is filling beds across the nation. As a personal example, a friend who tested positive two days ago here in St. Louis was taken to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon after her blood oxygen levels fell into the 80s. As of Thursday morning, she is still waiting in a hallway as an expanding search goes on to find a room. Only there are no rooms. Not at that hospital, or any other nearby.The same thing is happening rural areas, where there are fewer options are available in the best of times. In South Dakota (where Gov. Kristi Noem always has time to scam her supporters) cases are slightly down from the peak they reached a week ago, but the need for hospital beds continues to rise. So do the deaths resulting from this latest surge. In both South and North Dakota, over 20% of all hospital beds are now filled with COVID-19 patients. As NPR reported on Tuesday, the total number of hospitalizations has not only passed the peak achieved during earlier waves of COVID-19, this latest wave shows no sign of cresting. South Dakota may be leading the nation in hospitalizations per 100,000, but other states are not far behind. And few states have anything like the capacity to handle a significant percentage of their population being sick all at once. Even locations that are well known as “hospital hubs” for surrounding states are turning up full. Illinois has seen a growth rate so staggering that the director of public health broke into tears while reporting the statistics—and the numbers have doubled since that day. Texas notched up the highest total of COVID-19 patients in the nation as the numbers there have returned to levels seen during the earlier “Sunbelt surge.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

CDC will release stockpile to expand flu immunization

first_img Although the flu season has not been extreme this year, she also warned it isn’t over and may not have peaked. As of mid-January, 24 states were reporting widespread flu activity, the CDC said. Today CDC said that in states that have ample vaccine supplies, it supports health agencies that want to expand vaccination beyond groups for which it is routinely recommended. In addition, CDC is freeing about 1.3 million doses of flu vaccine intended for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which normally serves uninsured and Medicaid-eligible children (age 18 and younger) and children of American Indians and Alaskan Natives. Those doses will be available to state health departments for non-VFC use where the demand among eligible children has already been met. Jan 27 CDC news release The 4.4 million doses freed today appear small next to the estimated 57 or 58 million doses that have already been purchased this year, Gerberding said. But she added, “Our high-priority groups are under-vaccinated compared to what we achieved last year.” The CDC will relinquish its stockpiled doses to vaccine producer Sanofi Pasteur (formerly Aventis Pasteur) for redistribution, Gerberding explained. Physicians can buy vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur and give it to any patient. Providers will be refunded for unused doses of vaccine and will only pay return shipping costs, the CDC release said. Sanofi Pasteur will use its existing distribution system to efficiently move the vaccine to places where it is needed, Gerberding said. “What is sold and used will be credited to the stockpile for next year,” she explained. Those efforts are for the long term. In the short term, the nation may need to brace for the possibility that things won’t change quickly. The emphasis will remain on getting shots to the priority groups, Gerberding said, but “we certainly don’t want vaccine to go unused,” she added. “These steps are designed to help us make the very best use of the vaccine we have.” Jan 27, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials today announced two unusual steps to encourage more Americans to get influenza shots: releasing a federal emergency stockpile of 3.1 million doses and, where local conditions permit, freeing doses normally reserved for certain groups of children. At that time, CDC sought to head off a vaccine shortage by recommending that available doses be limited to groups at risk for serious flu complications: 6- to 23-month-old children and their caregivers, people over 65, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, healthcare workers, and children on chronic aspirin therapy. On Dec 22, CDC expanded those priority groups to include adults aged 50 to 64 and caregivers and household contacts of people in priority groups. For next year, “We have to be prepared for a supply that does not meet our need,” Gerberding said.center_img “We’re not encouraging everyone who wants a flu shot to go out and get it,” she said, but added that the CDC does encourage everyone, especially those at high risk, to ask their providers for shots. Providers in turn can get guidance from their local health agencies and may choose to buy more doses from Sanofi Pasteur. “These steps are designed to help us make the very best use of the vaccine we have,” Gerberding said in a news teleconference this afternoon. She emphasized that the actions are “extraordinary measures” and not intended to set precedents. In addition, healthcare providers in areas with ample vaccine may choose to expand vaccination beyond the groups routinely recommended to receive the vaccine, the CDC said. See also: Gerberding continued to walk a narrow line between advocating dropping all restrictions on who can get a shot and advocating that only those at risk for flu complications obtain shots. “Too many people who are at high risk for the serious complications of influenza are not vaccinated and quite frankly that is just tragic,” Gerberding stated in a news release. “We simply have to come up with a more robust manufacturing process,” she said. In addition, health officials are considering more comprehensive means to vaccinate adults and find “what really would be the best way to optimize flu vaccine delivery every year to stabilize demand and get the kind of coverage we would like to see.” The actions are one-time steps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has chosen to reduce what CDC Director Julie Gerberding, MD, termed “supply and demand mismatches.” The CDC action today is one of several steps the agency has taken in response to the loss last October of about 48 million doses of Chiron Corp. flu vaccine because of contamination in a British plant. That amounted to nearly half of the projected US supply. The prognosis for next year’s US vaccine supply remains murky. It’s not yet clear whether Chiron will be able to supply vaccine, and even if it does, it will lack its earlier production capability, Gerberding said. She declined to speculate on whether a vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline would be licensed in time for next flu season. Meanwhile, ordering of next year’s vaccine is temporarily delayed.last_img read more

HHS says stockpiled H5N1 vaccine is losing potency

first_imgEditor’s note: The day after publication of this story, a federal official told CIDRAP News the amount of H5N1 vaccine in the US stockpile that had begun to lose potency was less than 20% of the total, not a majority of the doses. See the Nov 17 follow-up story for more details.Nov 16, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Federal health officials say much of the H5N1 avian influenza vaccine bought for the US stockpile is losing potency, with the result that the number of people who could be vaccinated has dropped by about 1 million since July.A pandemic planning report released by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt this week says the stockpile contains enough courses of H5N1 “clade 1″ vaccine to vaccinate about 3 million people. The previous update, released in early July, said there was enough to vaccinate about 4 million. The stockpile is part of US preparation for a potential flu pandemic.Bill Hall, an HHS spokesman in Washington, DC, said a loss of vaccine potency is the main reason for the decrease in the number of people who could be immunized. He said a small percentage of the stockpile has been used for research.”All vaccines have shelf lives,” Hall told CIDRAP News. “The early vaccine that was purchased, the first lots, have begun to lose their potency.”He said the potency has begun to decrease for “the majority” of doses in the stockpile, adding, “That doesn’t mean it goes from 100 percent to zero percent” or that the doses would be unusable.But if the vaccine needs to be used, the remaining full-potency vaccine will be used first, Hall said. “If we use that up, then we may potentially use the vaccine that has lower potency.”Hall said not very much is known about the shelf life of flu vaccines, “because the main experience is with seasonal vaccine. At the end of the season the vaccine that’s not used is thrown away. We don’t keep it around, so no one really knows how long it would stay good for.” With many flu virus strains circulating at any given time, seasonal flu vaccines have to be adjusted every year to match the strains expected to be dominant.A spokesman for Sanofi Pasteur, maker of the H5N1 vaccine in the US stockpile, could not be reached in time to comment on the reported loss of potency.The vaccine, based on a clade 1 H5N1 virus collected in Vietnam in 2004, yielded modest results in a clinical study conducted last year. About half of volunteers who received two 90-microgram doses had an immune response that was considered protective. That’s a much larger dose than is used in seasonal flu vaccine, which usually contains 15 micrograms for each targeted flu strain.When HHS released its pandemic plan in November 2005, it listed a goal of stockpiling enough H5N1 vaccine to cover 20 million people.Earlier this year, HHS announced plans to develop and stockpile a vaccine based on a clade 2 H5N1 virus that was isolated in Indonesia in 2005. Clade 2 viruses have circulated in Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia.The latest pandemic plan update says, “HHS is moving forward with the development of H5N1 clade 2 vaccine candidates and the manufacturing of H5N1 clade 2 vaccine stockpiles. Depending on the availability of vaccine seed stocks and production yields, we expect to have another five million courses of H5N1 clade 1 and clade 2 vaccines stockpiled in 2007.”Two weeks ago, a group of experts assembled by the World Health Organization recommended that governments not rush to stockpile “pre-pandemic” flu vaccines, because too many major scientific questions about them remain. They said that vaccines that seem to work well against one H5N1 clade don’t work well against others. Also, they said no one knows what level of measured immune response indicates an adequate level of protection.The pandemic planning report released this week, called Pandemic Planning Update III, also discusses stockpiling of antiviral drugs. So far HHS has stored 16 million treatment courses of antivirals, en route to a goal of 26 million courses by the end of this year and 36 million by March 2007, the report says. The longer goal is to have 50 million courses by the end of 2008.HHS is buying both oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) for the stockpile, according to Hall. He was unsure exactly how much of each is on hand now, but said the goal is for the stockpile to be about 80% oseltamivir and 20% zanamivir.In addition to buying antivirals directly, HHS is offering a 25% cost-share to help states buy their own supplies, up to a total of 31 million courses. The report says 33 states have ordered antivirals under that program, and only four states don’t plan to take full advantage of the subsidy. Hall declined to name those states, saying it’s up to them to release the information.Leavitt’s planning update says HHS also has been stockpiling personal protective equipment. The government now has 73.1 million N95 respirators, used to protect healthcare workers from airborne pathogens, with another 31.8 million on order. The stockpile also contains 37.4 million surgical masks, along with face shields, gloves, and gowns, the report says. The previous update, in July, listed 20.2 million respirators and 12.3 million masks.See also:HHS pandemic planning update 30 CIDRAP News story “H5N1 vaccine trial shows limited benefit”last_img read more

Report says stingy funding has put FDA in crisis

first_img Nov 7 CIDRAP News story “Food safety plan taps others for inspection help” The FDA’ s mission includes regulating about 80% of food sold in the United States, plus all drugs, human vaccines, and medical devices, the report notes. The products the agency regulates account for about 25 cents of every consumer dollar spent—about $1 trillion per year. See also: The report says the agency is losing its ability to keep up with scientific advances, its regular staff has stayed about the same size for 20 years, and its information technology (IT) systems are obsolete and unreliable. The document’s release comes less than a month after the Bush administration released an import safety and food protection plan triggered by a series of tainted imports, including contaminated pet food and toys with lead paint, plus recent domestic food contamination episodes, such as instances of Salmonella in peanut butter and E coli in fresh produce. The demands on the agency have soared because of “the extraordinary advance of scientific discoveries, the complexity of the new products and claims submitted to FDA for pre-market review and approval, the emergence of challenging safety problems, and the globalization of the industries that FDA regulates.” A year ago, FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach asked his advisory board, called the FDA Science Board, to name a subcommittee to weigh whether the agency has the scientific and technologic capacity to support its regulatory mandate, the report says. The subcommittee that was subsequently appointed included three members of the Science Board and other experts representing industry, academia, and other government agencies. Dec 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Safety inspectors still write their reports by hand, food processing plants are inspected once every 10 years at best, only two people work full-time on pet-food safety, and critical information is locked up in piles of warehoused paper documents. The report lists various estimates by others of the resources needed to restore the FDA’s scientific capabilities. For example, the Coalition for a Stronger FDA has said that an increase of 15% a year for the next 5 years is needed. But the authors submit that this still would be inadequate. They suggest doubling the current funding—from about 1.5 cents to 3 cents per American per day. (Assuming a US population of 300 million, that would mean raising the budget from about $1.64 billion to $3.28 billion.) It says the FDA needs a group of scientists who have the ability, freedom, and support to apply the latest tools of biology, chemistry, and bioinformatics to food safety regulation. “These individuals must be isolated from acute regulatory crises.” The report suggests the agency may need as much as twice its current level of funding to equip it properly to fulfill its mission. IT systems disturbingly poorThe report saves some of its strongest language for critiquing the FDA’s IT infrastructure. The panel was “extremely disturbed” by the condition of the IT systems. The report continues, “The IT situation at FDA is problematic at best—and at worst it is dangerous. . . . Systems fail frequently, and even small systems are unstable—most recently during an E. coli food contamination investigation. The bottom line is that “American lives are at risk,” says the 60-page report, titled “FDA Science and Mission at Risk: Report of the Subcommittee on Science and Technology.” Crisis management at the two centers “has drawn attention and resources away from FDA’s ability to develop the science base and infrastructure needed to efficiently support innovation in the food industry, provide effective routine surveillance, and conduct emergency outbreak investigation activities to protect the food supply,” the document reads. Overall, the FDA doesn’t have enough well-trained scientists, the report asserts. The number of “appropriated personnel” is about the same now as it was two decades ago, resulting in “major gaps of scientific expertise in key areas.” The turnover rate for FDA scientists in key areas is twice that of other government agencies, and the agency spends too little on professional development to enable the staff to keep pace with scientific advances.center_img Those are a few symptoms of the poor condition in which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finds itself after decades of inadequate funding and growing responsibilities, according to a new report by a special FDA committee that was assigned to assess the agency’s scientific and technological capabilities. Because of inadequate backup systems, recent systems failures have erased FDA data, the report continues. Further, “Critical data reside in large warehouses sequestered in piles and piles of paper documents” for which there is no backup. The funding shortage has forced the FDA to operate in a crisis-management or “firefighting” mode and kept it from building “a culture of proactive regulatory science,” the report says. This is especially true of the agency’s two food safety centers, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM). “More importantly, reports of product dangers are not rapidly compared and analyzed, inspectors’ reports are still handwritten and slow to work their way through the compliance system, and the system for managing imported products cannot communicate with Customs and other government systems.” As an example of problems caused by scanty funding, the report cites the US experience with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. When BSE emerged in Europe, consumers and the cattle industry looked to the FDA to ensure that the disease would not spread to the United States via cattle feed, which the FDA regulates. “But Agency officials were denied the funds to bring the feed industry into rapid compliance with the new feed regulations, and the disease did appear in the US,” the report says. (The first US case, found in December 2003, was in a Canadian-born cow; two more cases have been discovered since then, one in 2005 and one in 2006.) The authors recommend that the food safety centers collaborate more with other research programs, such as those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Homeland Security. However, the centers still need their own scientific expertise, the report says. The recent problems with imported pet food contaminated with the chemical melamine also point up the FDA’s struggles, the panel reported. Pet food sales total $15 billion to $20 billion a year, and the CVM received more than 18,000 phone calls about the melamine contamination—but the CVM “is able to devote only two people working full-time on pet food issues.” Soaring demands, static fundsThe subcommittee found two reasons for the “precarious” condition of science at the FDA: Funding has not kept pace with the scientific demands on the agency. The agency should add several new positions to boost its scientific firepower and provide for a “coherent scientific structure and vision,” the report says. First, the recently created position of deputy commissioner/chief medical officer should be broadened and renamed “deputy commissioner of scientific and medical affairs.” This person should have authority to develop and oversee all science activities and ensure the adequacy of scientific expertise. Other recommended new jobs include chief scientific officer, a deputy director for science within each FDA center, and a director of extramural collaborations and training. Food inspections ‘appallingly’ rareThe subcommittee found the FDA has “an appallingly low inspection rate” for both domestic and imported foods. “During the past 35 years, the decrease in FDA funding for inspection of our food supply has forced FDA to impose a 78 percent reduction in food inspections, at a time when the food industry has been rapidly expanding and food importation has rapidly increased. FDA estimates that, at most, it inspects food manufacturers once every 10 years,” and it inspects no retail food stores or farms. Full text of “FDA Science and Mission at Risk” (appendices not included) “We found that FDA’s resource shortfalls have resulted in a plethora of inadequacies that threaten our society—including, but not limited to, inadequate inspections of manufacturers, a dearth of scientists who understand emerging new technologies, inability to speed the development of new therapies, an import system that is badly broken, a food supply that grows riskier each year, and an information infrastructure that was identified as a source of risk in every Center and program reviewed by the Subcommittee,” the report states.last_img read more

CDC says state preparedness much improved since 2001

first_imgFeb 20, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The distribution of more than $5 billion in federal funds since 2001 has greatly improved states’ preparedness to deal with disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and other public health emergencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in a first-of-its-kind assessment.The CDC report, titled “Public Health Preparedness: Mobilizing State by State,” is the agency’s first major effort to evaluate and describe what state and local public health agencies have accomplished with the increased federal dollars that flowed to states after the terrorist attacks of 2001.”There has been significant progress toward achieving this goal” of protecting the public from emerging health threats, Dr. Richard Besser, director of the CDC Coordinating Office for Terrorism and Emergency Response, said at a briefing today.CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding called the report the first of an expected series of such evaluations. “It reflects not the totality of preparedness at the state and local level, but aspects addressed by CDC through the cooperative agreement program with states,” she said.Some prime examples of improvement cited in the 164-page report:Every state is now equipped to receive and evaluate health emergency reports at all times, whereas only 12 states had “24/7/365″ capability in 2001.All states have public health laboratories that can communicate quickly with clinical labs today, compared with only 20 states in 2001.Every state now has a plan to receive and distribute drugs and other supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile.All states are now conducting year-round influenza surveillance, considered critically important given the threat of pandemic flu.At the same time, much work remains to be done, including increasing the workforce for public health labs, improving the sharing of disease data, and boosting emergency responders’ ability to communicate with one another, the report says.”Overall, I would give an ‘A,’ for effort and progress. In terms of work to be done, that’s absolutely enormous,” said Besser.$5.6 billion providedThe terrorist attacks of 2001 prompted Congress to turn on the funding tap by authorizing the CDC-administered Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement in 2002, the report notes.From fiscal years 2002 through 2007, the CDC provided a total of $5.59 billion to states and other jurisdictions under the program. Annual allocations (rounded off) were as follows: 2002, $918 million; 2003, $970 million; 2004, $850 million; 2005, $963 million; 2006, $991 million; and 2007, $897 million.The sums for the last 3 years included sizeable chunks designated for pandemic influenza preparedness: $100 million in 2005, $225 million in 2006, and $175 million in 2007.The report consists of an overall evaluation and a set of state-by-state reports that show how well states meet a number of criteria for disease detection and investigation, public health labs, and response. The report also evaluates four large urban areas: Washington, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles County. The various criteria relate to nine public health goals set by the CDC. States are given no overall grade or rating.Defining the goals and criteria has been “a challenging process,” Gerberding said. “There really is no gold standard for preparedness and no list of preordained measures. . . . We’ve had to invent the airplane while we were flying it.”The report also provides for each state an example of an actual emergency response, a training exercise, or some other event that illustrates an improvement in public health preparedness since 2001.More epidemiologists Besides those already mentioned, significant improvements cited in the report summary or by officials include the following:The number of public health epidemiologists working in emergency response has more than doubled, from 115 in 2001 to 232 in 2006.Users of the Epidemic Information Exchange, a CDC-based communication system that helps track disease outbreaks, have increased more than 5-fold, from 890 in 2001 to 4,646 in 2006. Most are in state and local public health.State and local public health labs that can detect biological agents now number 110, compared with 83 in 2002.In 2005, health departments in all 50 states and Washington DC trained personnel on their roles during an emergency, compared with only 14 states in 1999.In addition, said Besser, “We are now at a point where 90% of the population lives within 100 miles of a Laboratory Response Network (LRN) laboratory.” LRN labs use tests equivalent to those of the CDC for detecting bioterrorism agents and other microbial threats, he said, “So we believe their results and can take action sooner.”Remaining challenges The report also offers a considerable list of remaining challenges:Disease surveillance systems need strengthening. For example, last year 16 states reported no plans to exchange health data electronically with regional networks of healthcare providers.For disease surveillance, health departments need to make sure they have a legal framework permitting them to share health information with other jurisdictions.The public health lab workforce needs help, with 31 state labs reporting difficulty recruiting qualified scientists.Health departments are having trouble finding and keeping qualified epidemiologists, according to a 2006 survey.Health departments need to maintain a system of all-hazards planning, training, exercising, and improving, which should equip them to help at-risk groups such as the elderly.Though many cities now have systems that allow different response agencies to communicate, more progress is needed in that area.While all states now have plans for distributing materials from the Strategic National Stockpile, much more work is needed in that area, said Besser. “Countermeasure distribution is a critical function and one we need to devote our best and brightest to tackling,” he said. “Each locality reported in this document faces unique challenges.”Success storiesAmong the success stories in the report is Wisconsin’s investigation of the spinach-related Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak in the fall of 2006. Wisconsin was the first state to identify the E coli strain in that outbreak, leading to detection of the national outbreak, said Besser. The federal funding provided the lab capacity that made the identification possible, the report says.The report also tells how Utah responded quickly to a suspected smallpox case in a truck driver in 2006. Physicians had been trained to communicate quickly with public health agencies, and the state lab was able to test quickly for smallpox and determine that the case was actually chickenpox. Before federal aid was increased, the state would have had to send samples to the CDC for testing.Many of the criteria on which states are judged are questions answered yes or no, and the answers vary considerably among the states.”A highly variable starting point has led to some highly variable progress reports at this point in time,” commented Gerberding. She said the emphasis in the evaluation so far has been on response capacity, adding, “In the future you will see much greater emphasis not on capacity but on results.”In response to a question, Besser said he sees the CDC report as complementing the work of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, which has published an evaluation of state preparedness each year since 2003. In its 2007 report, TFAH said that although states have made progress preparing for public health emergencies, federal funding cuts threaten to erode the gains.”TFAH has done a tremendous service,” Besser said of the group’s work in monitoring state preparedness.Gerberding added that the TFAH reports take a broad view of state preparedness, whereas the CDC report specifically assesses the impact of the agency’s cooperative agreement program investments.Public health experts praise reportSeveral public health experts outside the CDC gave the CDC report generally high marks today.In a press release, Jeff Levi, PhD, TFAH executive director, called the report “an important first step forward for transparency and accountability.”By providing information about progress as well as shortcomings, this report allows policymakers and the public to better understand the need for a committed, sustained investment to maintain and improve preparedness,” he said. “We look forward to future reports that contain more timely information that closely tracks the performance standards required in the recently passed Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act.”Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, said he gives the CDC and state agencies a lot of credit for gains in preparedness since the 2001 terrorist attacks. “That’s a very positive situation,” he said.However, Osterholm said he has two major concerns about the state of preparedness. One is inadequate funding.”Too many policymakers view preparedness funding like constructing a building: once it’s built, it’s done,” he said. Instead, maintaining a public health system is more like building a fire department, which requires ongoing and substantial investment that allows it to adapt and respond, Osterholm said.His other concern is that though preparedness systems in the United States are equipped to respond to local or regional events such as a natural disasters, the systems are not prepared for a pandemic that would affect the whole nation, disrupting supply chains of vital products such as food, power, and medications.Karen Smith, MD, MPH, a spokeswoman for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), called the CDC report a “terrific first step.” Smith is also a public health officer in Napa County, Calif.”This [report] represents an amazing amount of work. Every state is dramatically different, and it’s very hard to evaluate disparate areas,” she told CIDRAP News. “Though the report does not provide an in-depth look, the data support what we’ve known: we are better prepared.”Smith also credited the CDC for developing methods to systematically gauge state preparedness and said that such measurement is among the most important preparedness work in public health. “For me at a local level, I hunger for objective ways to see how I’m doing,” she said.Benchmarks will help show federal officials where to focus their resources, Smith said, which is particularly important when public health budgets are stretched or declining.See also:Full CDC report on state preparedness 20 CDC press release 18, 2007, TFAH press release on state preparedness read more

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: 47 deaths in US kids, resistant strain, more cases on campus, vaccine trials

first_imgCDC says H1N1 virus has claimed 47 children’s livesForty-seven children died of confirmed 2009 H1N1 flu between Apr 26 and Aug 29, the CDC reported in an MMWR early release today, up from 43 such deaths the CDC reported in a weekly update last week. Today’s report, an overview of flu activity from April through August, notes that cases declined in July and early August but picked up in the Southeast in the last 2 weeks of August, reaching levels usually seen during winter peaks. This may signal an early start to the 2009-10 flu season. 10 MMWR early releaseResistant H1N1 strain found in summer camp cabin matesA report in the Sep 11 MMWR describes the first known instance of oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 infection in patients with epidemiologic links. The virus was found in two girls who shared a cabin at summer camp and had received prophylactic doses. Respiratory specimens revealed two mutations, including I223V, which had not been seen before. Elsewhere, two other resistant cases were noted in media reports today, one in Hong Kong and the other in Israel. 11 MMWR reportColleges report big increase in flu-like illness casesThe American College Health Association, in its surveillance report for the week ended Sep 4, reported 4,974 flu-like illness cases at 236 participating schools, a 105% increase from the week before. The report doesn’t list the flu subtype, but federal officials have said the pandemic virus makes up 97% of circulating strains. Schools in the South had the most cases, but Washington and Kansas also reported big increases. About 96% of the new cases occurred in the 17- to 24-year-old age-group. 8 American College Health Association surveillance reportEU official says early H1N1 vaccine trial results promisingThe head of the European Union’s drug regulatory agency said early clinical trial results for pandemic H1N1 vaccines in Europe look promising, Reuters reported today. “The immune response to all these vaccines is very promising, whatever type of vaccine it is, whether it is adjuvanted or non-adjuvanted,” said Thomas Lonngren, executive director of the European Medicines Agency. He said the first vaccines could be licensed by the EU in early October if all goes well. 10 Reuters reportNIAID launches trial of pandemic vaccine in pregnant womenFederal officials yesterday announced the start of the first clinical trial of a pandemic H1N1 vaccine in pregnant women, who face an increased risk of complications from the virus. The trial is to enroll up to 120 women in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said. The women will receive two doses, 21 days apart, of a Sanofi Pasteur vaccine. NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said interest in the trial has been “extraordinary.” 9 NIAID news releaseFlu absences shutter special-needs schoolOfficials at an Atlanta public high school for students with severe cognitive disabilities suspended classes yesterday after about half of its 50 students were out sick, 15 of them with confirmed flu-like symptoms, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Five of the school’s teachers were also sick. One student was hospitalized. Officials will sanitize the building before classes resume Sep 14. 9 Atlanta Journal-Constitution storylast_img read more

A combination of public and private for the purpose of promoting Ližnjan, Vodnjan and Žminj

first_imgThe tourist boards of the City of Vodnjan, the Municipalities of Ližnjan and Žminj are moving to jointly promote the sightseeing of their places and their natural, historical and gastronomic features. Although two belong to the south, and one gravitates to the interior of the peninsula, these tourist boards have recognized the benefits and even the cost-effectiveness of joint market presence and presentation to domestic and foreign guests. The result of such a way of thinking, and as the first activity is a joint promotional flyer that promotes all three tourist destinations as well as a free city tour with an expert licensed guide.In addition to historical and cultural sights, these tourist communities jointly promote the private sector, ie catering facilities, bicycle renters, tennis club, family farms, shops, dairy, cave, wine and olive oil producers. Thus, all visitors will receive various discounts from local partners by presenting a promotional leaflet. According to the Ližnjan, Vodnjan and Žminj Tourist Board, this form of synergy between the public and private sectors proved to be a complete success when it comes to promoting the destination and its specifics. The word about an area is still heard in this way, which is the meaning of tourist promotion. Logically, naturally and efficiently, and I sincerely hope that this is just the beginning of joint promotion, cooperation and future new projects. Because even big cities or tourist destinations do not have enough content to keep guests for more than two or three days, not counting swimming, let alone smaller destinations in the interior.Thus, in addition to being stronger together in every way, they have a lot more content and stories to offer guests, which will result in, among other things, a longer stay and an increase in tourist spending.Attachment: Promotional flyer Žminj, Vodnjan and LižnjanRELATED NEWS:By joint cooperation of three public institutions from Karlovac County to a new excellent tourist productlast_img read more

Plava Laguna dd pays a dividend

first_imgThe General Assembly of Plava Laguna dd, held on August 30, 2018, made a decision on the payment of dividends. Thus, the net profit in the amount of HRK 105.428.846,96 realized in the business year 2017 is allocated to legal reserves, and the remaining HRK 102.840.851,77 is allocated for the payment of dividends to shareholders, in the amount of HRK 39,22 per share. However, according to retained earnings during the business years 2001 to 2016 In the amount of HRK 183.038.847,67, the total amount for the payment of dividends from net profit realized during 2017 and in previous years amounts to HRK 234.447.169,60, ie HRK 89,60 dividend per ordinary share, and HRK 89,85 dividend per preferred share. Side dish: Plava laguna dd – decisions of the General AssemblyRELATED NEWS:BLUE LAGOON OPENED RESORT PARK IN POREČLEADING HOTELS IN PLUS: BLUE LAGOON, MAISTRA AND VALAMAR RIVIERA GROWN IN ALL FIRST INDICATORS IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHSlast_img read more