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FLU CONFERENCE COVERAGE New disease-control rules follow reminders of risks

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first_imgJun 18, 2007 – TORONTO (CIDRAP News) – Ten years after H5N1 avian influenza first began to raise fears of a potential pandemic, the world has a stronger set of tools to contain that virus and similar threats, but also a fresh awareness of humanity’s vulnerability to fast-spreading diseases, experts said yesterday at an international conference on flu. Heymann said the old rules “were actually a very passive system” and “a system which countries did not adhere to. Very few countries would report diseases under the International Health Regulations because when they reported those [three] diseases, or any other diseases for that matter, they were penalized with decreased trade and decreased tourism.” “We really are not much further ahead today than we were in 1918,” Dr. David Heymann, the WHO’s assistant director-general for communicable diseases, said in the conference’s keynote address. “We don’t have the vaccines we need. . . . We have some antivirals. But we do have one thing that we did not have in 1918, and that is the International Health Regulations, that now provide for proactive collective action for the H5N1 threat to global public health security.” The Options for the Control of Influenza Conference takes place in Toronto this week on the 10th anniversary of the first human cases of H5N1 flu, which were discovered in Hong Kong between May and December 1997, and one month after the multi-country odyssey of an Atlanta lawyer infected with an almost untreatable form of tuberculosis. The new rules also encourage countries to enforce disease control at their borders while respecting the rights of international travelers. And they reinforce countries’ responsibility to report and contain disease by allowing states to look over each other’s fences: For the first time, the WHO will accept reports of outbreaks not only from national governments but also from third parties ranging from Internet search engines to other states. During the 2003 SARS outbreak, for instance, Southeast Asia lost an estimated $18 billion in gross domestic product and possibly $60 billion in revenues and demand, Heymann said. The new rules, which were enacted in 2005 and became effective Jun 15, update an earlier and much weaker set of regulations that have been in force since 1969. In a change from the earlier rules—which emphasized control of only cholera, plague, and yellow fever—they commit WHO members to monitoring all potential public health threats, and particularly emphasize smallpox, polio, SARS, and novel flu strains, including H5N1. “It is important to maintain vigilance and not get so focused on one threat, like H5N1, that we don’t miscue on the emergence and virulence of another,” Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada’s chief public health officer, said at the conference opener. He called the XDR TB patient’s four-country odyssey “a stark reminder of our collective vulnerability to communicable diseases. . . . The world seems to continue to be smaller, with diseases having no respect for borders, cultures or politics.” See also: Conference attendees said the porousness of borders to disease has been sharply underlined by two recent events: the emergence on the Wales-England border of an H7N2 strain of avian flu that infected at least four humans and killed a number of poultry despite being judged “low pathogenic,” and the saga of Andrew Speaker, who detoured through several countries so that he could obtain treatment in the United States for his newly diagnosed case of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB). The new regulations improve on the old not only by emphasizing more diseases but also by committing states to building up their public health infrastructure so they can detect and respond to outbreaks, and to maintaining real-time surveillance of health information so that it can be transmitted to the WHO within 24 hours. But the conference’s opening ceremonies yesterday evening also came 2 days after the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) new International Health Regulations took effect. The voluntary contract marks the first time that the WHO’s 193 member states have agreed to immediately acknowledge and attempt to control any public health emergencies—in their own country or any other territory—that could provoke international concern. Jun 15 CIDRAP News story “New global disease-control rules take effect”last_img read more

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Bacolod City temporarily closes respiratory center

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first_imgThe respiratory center located in front of the public plaza, has a triage area, 10 consultation rooms, a laboratory collection room, and mobile x-ray. BACOLOD City – The city government here has temporarily stopped the operation of its respiratory out-patient center intended for patients manifesting symptoms of respiratory conditions amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Volunteer doctors had served the BRO center located at the BAYS Center here since April 7 to May 9 – the period wherein the city was placed under the enhance community quarantine and general community quarantine. She explained the facility is not a quarantine center for persons under monitoring, or persons under investigation, but is merely a consulting center for mild respiratory cases during this COVID-19 pandemic./PN “Effective June 1, the operation of respiratory center had temporarily stopped because the volunteer doctors had return to their clinics after the city was placed in modified general community quarantine,” Ang said. “The city government will hire two doctors for contractual basis so that the center could continue operating,” revealed Ang. She added: “Once we have already two hired physicians, the center will automatically open because the city will have its own physicians assign in the center.” City Administrator Em Ang disclosed the city’s agreement with volunteer physicians of the Canlaon Medical Society and Negros Occidental Medical Society has already expired last week. “It has helped ease congestion at emergency rooms and out-patient departments of various hospitals in this city,” said Ang.last_img read more

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Johnson, Campbelle win GCB Cricketer-of-the-Year awards

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first_imgGUYANA Jaguars captain Leon Johnson and West Indies female cricketer Shemaine Campbelle won the Male and Female Cricketers-of-the-Year respectively when the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) hosted its annual awards ceremony last evening at the Umana Yana.Other top local cricketers, administrators, curators, umpires, corporate sponsors, clubs andBhaskar Yadram collects the Junior Cricketer-of-the-Year (Roy Fredericks trophy) from Acting Prime Minister, Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge.journalist were also recognised for their efforts in 2016.West Indies Cricket Board Director, Conde Riley was the guest speaker, while Minister within the Ministry of Education; Department of Culture, Youth and Sports Nicolette Henry also delivered remarks.Minister within the Ministry of Education; Department of Culture, Youth and Sports Nicolette Henry hands over the Male Cricketer-of-the-Year (2016) trophy to Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson.See full report in tomorrow’s edition.last_img read more

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