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Child’s H9N2 flu case probably from birds

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first_imgMar 28, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Hong Kong officials concluded that a baby girl who was recently infected with H9N2 avian influenza—a strain believed to have pandemic potential—probably contracted it from birds, according to recent reports.A 9-month-old girl who was hospitalized with respiratory symptoms twice in recent weeks tested positive for an H9N2 infection Mar 20. The girl had only a mild illness but was treated in isolation at Princess Margaret Hospital, the Hong Kong Department of Health reported in a Mar 22 statement. At the time of her second hospitalization she had respiratory syncytial virus, the statement said.Dr. Thomas Tsang, controller of the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection, said tests had ruled out the possibility of human-to-human transmission in the girl’s case, according to a Mar 24 news release from Hong Kong’s Information Services Department.Tsang said genetic analysis of the H9N2 virus showed that it was entirely of avian origin, suggesting that the child contracted it directly from a bird, the release said. Because the girl had no contact with wild birds before her illness, she may have caught the virus at a bird market that she visited several times with her family, Tsang said.He also said tests on respiratory specimens from a healthcare worker and three children who were in the same hospital cubicle with the baby in early March tested negative for H9 viruses, and her family had no symptoms.Meanwhile, leading virologist Robert Webster warned this week that H9N2 is an “insidious” virus that needs close monitoring because it could trigger an outbreak in humans, according to a Mar 27 Bloomberg News report.H9N2 is far less known than the deadly Asian strain of H5N1 virus, which has killed at least 169 people and millions of poultry in Asia and Africa in the past few years. But Webster told Bloomberg, “H9N2 is an insidious virus. This is the one that’s far more dangerous in some ways. It doesn’t get much attention because it doesn’t kill chickens and doesn’t kill humans.”He said H9N2 can spread among pigs and infects chickens without making them sick. On the “hit list” of viruses, he added, “H5N1 is at [the] top, and H9N2 is right behind. Then come H7N7 and H2N2.”At least three cases of H9N2 illness, all of them mild, have occurred in Hong Kong children in recent years. Two girls were infected in 1999 and a 5-year-old boy had the virus in 2003.Robert L. Atmar, MD, a Baylor College of Medicine professor who has participated in clinical trials of an H9N2 vaccine, said human H9N2 illnesses may be less rare than the record suggests. Seroprevalence studies in China in the 1990s found H9 antibodies in 2% to 3% of the population, which suggests that some cases are missed, he told CIDRAP News via e-mail.Atmar, a professor in the Departments of Medicine and of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, also commented that the finding of a case in a 9-month-old child was “a little surprising unless she was toddling around the market. Usually, cases of avian influenza have followed close contact with infected poultry. H9N2 viruses are common in bird markets.”See also:Mar 20 CIDRAP News story “Baby in Hong Kong infected with H9N2 avian flu”Journal of Clinical Microbiology report on Hong Kong H9N2 case in 2003last_img read more

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Mandate roundup: Denmark’s newly-merged Norlys seeks pensions manager

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first_imgNorlys, the Danish electricity, television and telecommunications firm formed from a big merger last year, is on the hunt for a pensions and insurance firm to take over the management of all the various pension schemes and employee insurance contracts it is inheriting.The company, formed from the companies SE and Eniig, is inviting tenders for a comprehensive contract for a list of pension and insurance schemes of Norlys Holding and its underlying companies, according to a notice on the EU’s TED public contracts site.Norlys said other firms it acquires or merges with during the contract period may also be included in the schemes it listed in the tender, on the same terms.The company Eniig Fibernet, which Norlys said was expected to be set up 1 October 2020, is also part of the tender. The pension and insurance schemes listed by Nordlys are currently managed by PFA Pension, Velliv and Danske Sundhedsforsikring, according to the tender notice.Norlys said it currently has around 2,500 employees, and that the potential deposit value of the pension assets to be managed is estimated at DKK1bn (€134m) with average annual contributions of around DKK140m.The deadline for receipt of tenders is noon local time on 14 August 2020.Swiss pension fund issues notice for active equityA private pension fund in Switzerland has issued an active long equity volatility investing notice via IPE Quest Discovery.The size of the global active pooled portfolio is to be advised later in the selection process, it said.The pension fund is looking to build a long list of managers in this asset class that may then be selected to reply to a full request for proposals, it added.Interested managers should have a minimum track record of three years, the notice said.The IPE news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest, Discovery, or Innovation tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email jayna.vishram@ipe-quest.com.Danish research foundation re-appoints NykreditDanmarks Grundforskningsfond (DG), the Danish National Research Foundation, has re-appointed Nykredit Asset Management for a DKK2bn (€267m) contract for the management of nominal Danish bonds.The foundation, which issued the initial tender notice on the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), said the contract is for a five-year period.DG’s fixed income portfolio invests in government and mortgage bonds and constitutes the largest part of its assets – 37% of the strategic allocation is managed by Nykredit.According to its latest annual report, the Danish bond portfolio yielded a return of 1.8%, which was higher than the benchmark return of 1.7%. The predominance of mortgage bonds with lower coupon (0.5-2%) contributed positively to the excess return in relation to the benchmark.Although the yield spread on mortgage bonds was widened last year, this was more than compensated in the form of higher interest rates on mortgage bonds compared to government bonds and other non-callable bonds, it said.The strategic allocation to global index-linked bonds is worth 11% of its total portfolio and is managed by Danske Bank Asset Management. The portfolio’s return in 2019, the report showed, was 2.8% compared to a benchmark return at 2.6%.The return from the European credit bond portfolio in 2019 was 6.3% compared to the benchmark return of 6.4%. The strategic allocation to this part of the portfolio is 10% and the benchmark is Barclays Capital Euro Major Corporate Index. It is also run by Danske Bank AM.The US high yield bond portfolio accounts for 7% of the strategic allocation, and the portfolio is managed by Columbia Threadneedle. In 2019 it returned 12.7%, which is higher than the 10.7% its benchmark returned (ML US High Yield Bonds, Constrained hedged to DKK).The excess return is due to good securities selection, especially in the energy sector where there were many bankruptcies in 2019, the report explained.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

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Hurricane Dorian not a “credible” explanation for delay of Roger Khan’s return

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first_imgDear Editor,Reference is made to the Chronicle article “Hurricane delays Roger Khan’s return” (GC 9/7), which reported that according to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, Hurricane Dorian delayed Roger Khan’s return home on Thursday September 5, 2019.“His homecoming was adjourned, and he will be treated the same way as all deportees,” the minister said.However, Hurricane Dorian is not a “credible” explanation for Mr. Khan’s failure to arrive back in Guyana last Thursday. This is a smokescreen for Government.Even Stabroek News cartoonist Paul Harris seems to reject the hurricane explanation with his cartoon of September 8. It shows an airborne aeroplane but with the runway being yanked from underneath by a hand (arguably, the Coalition Government’s) which reads: “Elections Promises, 2015.”The cartoon depicts two voices speaking from within the aircraft, one saying, “Postpone! Repeat…post pone…over” and the other voice, asking, “Why?” to which there is no response.It reminds one of the movie “The Wild Geese”, in which a group of English mercenaries (played by Richard Burton, Richard Harris, etc.) venture into an African country, rescue a deposed president from his enemies’ prison, then wait at an old airstrip to be airlifted before the local army finds them. Their plane lands on the runway, but before anyone can board, its pilot is told to “Pass them by,” and off goes the plane back into the air, leaving the mercenaries to “fight their way out of Africa.”Well, Mr. Khan has to fight his way out of the United States. The public learned that Mr. Roger Khan was to return to Guyana last week. On Thursday September 5, 2019, at or about 7:30pm, instead of being accompanied by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) agent on to a plane bound for Guyana, Mr. Khan found himself stranded in Florida, and talking to his attorney in Guyana, Mr. Glen Hanoman.The media in Guyana, which sent reporters to the airport, said the following day that “associates” of Mr. Khan were at the airport, an indication that they also had anticipated his arrival.It is public knowledge worldwide that Florida escaped the crippling effects of Hurricane Dorian. Many television stations in the US, including CNN, covered this hurricane extensively. By Thursday September 5, 2019, the hurricane had already passed Florida.The people there returned to normal life. Miami International Airport, from where Mr. Khan was expected to depart, was operating. If I am not mistaken, an American Airlines’ flight departed Miami International Airport for Guyana that very Thursday night.Even Port Canaveral in Jacksonville, Florida, a busy port for cruise liners, was open for business. Hurricane Dorian had to first pass Miami before reaching Port Canaveral. Yet, at Port Canaveral, the US Coast Guard (Sector of Jacksonville) posted a bulletin online which stated: “As of 4 pm, 4 September, 2019, Hurricane Dorian’s severe weather is no longer a threat to the Port of Canaveral.”This was September 4, an entire day before Mr. Khan’s scheduled departure. Therefore, the hurricane explanation just does not add up.Government has a duty to ensure all deportees, including Mr. Khan, have a swift and safe return home from the US. However, the fact that the press and others were at the airport but no Police, as is customary for returning deportees, indicates that Government knew beforehand that Mr. Khan’s flight was aborted, but deliberately did not provide notice to Mr. Khan or the public.It would be a stretch of the imagination to believe that this is protocol between the US and Guyana regarding the treatment of our citizens who are deportees. For months, Mr. Khan has been trying to get home. Apart from filing a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons for early release, he even waived important rights in the US to foster a swift immigration process.Moreover, it is no secret that ICE is willingly processing deportees as well as persons deemed undocumented for rapid removal from the US under President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policy. Yet, it is now this caretaker Government’s position that, despite all that he has done to facilitate his removal from the US, including flight arrangement by ICE, Mr. Roger Khan’s trip was “adjourned” because of a hurricane that had little impact on Florida, and arguably did not stop at least one other flight from leaving Miami that night for Guyana.Something else is afoot.Sincerely,Rakesh Rampertablast_img read more

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Lakers Knicked up, 107-106

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first_img• Photo Gallery: 02/13: Lakers vs. Knicks • Slideshow: 02/13: Lakers vs. Knicks LOS ANGELES – So much for the Lakers returning to the comforts of home after their two-week road trip. So much for things being different against the New York Knicks with Kobe Bryant on the court instead of serving a suspension. Bryant finished with 31 points while the Knicks got 24 from Curry and 19 each from Quentin Richardson and Jamal Crawford. They made the plays late and the Lakers dropped another game to a team with a losing record. Lakers coach Phil Jackson had warned his players they couldn’t fall back on their 19-6 home record. The Lakers, however, now have lost three consecutive home games, going back to games against Charlotte and San Antonio before the long trip. The Lakers had a chance to win on the final possession but couldn’t get the ball to Bryant. Odom inbounded to Ronny Turiaf and got the ball back but wound up changing directions and missed an 18-footer over David Lee. Prior to that, Curry finished an alley-oop dunk with 7.1 seconds left off a Crawford pass. The Knicks kept possession after Richardson missed a 3-pointer as Lee grabbed the offensive rebound and passed it back outside to Crawford. The end result was all the same Tuesday night, another crushing late-game loss. The Lakers returned to Staples Center, only to fall 107-106 to the Knicks and extend their season-long losing streak to four games. It was a victory that had Knicks fan Spike Lee running down the courtside seats to celebrate in front of Lakers fan Denzel Washington. The difference was an Eddy Curry alley-oop dunk and a Lamar Odom missed jumper in the last 10 seconds. center_img Odom went scoreless in the first half and finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Turiaf finished with 11 points, but the charge he took with 1:08 left was one of the plays of the game. Stephon Marbury drove the lane and attempted a shot trying to beat the 24-second clock. He went crashing into Turiaf, however, who had position a step outside of the restricted area. The Lakers took a 104-103 lead as Bryant drove into a crowd and was fouled by Richardson. Bryant made both free throws with 59.5 seconds remaining. Curry then bowled over Smush Parker for a basket but Bryant sank a jumper to push the Lakers in front 106-105 with 29.9 seconds to play. That set up the game’s fateful possession, the alley-oop from Crawford to Curry. The Lakers were back at Staples Center for the first time since Jan. 28, with a new video for player introductions that prominently mentioned Bryant’s suspension and featured highlights from his return the next night against Boston. Bryant unloaded 43 points on the Celtics and talked before Tuesday’s game about the frustration of having to pace around his hotel room watching the Lakers lose 99-94 to the Knicks without him. But Bryant added he was more concerned about the Lakers snapping their three-game losing streak than any kind of payback. Jackson agreed, with an aside that nobody in the league office in New York was staying up to watch. “They see all the games,” Jackson said. “This one’s not any more important to them than any other.” Bryant couldn’t contain his excitement about being home after the Lakers’ longest road trip in 17 years. “We feel like we’re in Shangri-La,” he said. “I felt like kissing the ground when we got here.” Jackson was most concerned about the Lakers suffering the inevitable “lag” of coming home and ordered his players to report early to Staples Center to get re-acquainted with shooting on their home floor. ross.siler@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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