Jan 6, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is taking steps to prepare for clinical trials of a vaccine targeted to a novel H3N2 influenza strain that has infected at least 12 people so far, in case one is needed, a department official said today.The moves follow the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement in November that it had developed a candidate vaccine virus and provided it to manufacturers. The swine-origin H3N2 reassortant strain (H3N2v) includes the M gene from the 2009 H1N1 virus. The 12 infections were all reported in 2011, occurring mostly in children.The CDC has said that some of the cases, especially those in children, probably involved limited person-to-person spread of the virus. The current seasonal flu vaccine is thought to provide little protection against the H3N2v strain, though people who were infected with or vaccinated against similar H3N2 strains that circulated in the 1990s might have some protection.Gretchen Michael, a spokeswoman with the HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response (ASPR), told CIDRAP News that HHS has asked manufacturers to produce enough H3N2v vaccine to launch clinical trials. She said the request to have clinical lots ready is part of its pandemic preparedness program, a strategy that has also been used for other viruses that could have pandemic potential, such as H5N1 and H9N2.She said HHS has asked Sanofi Pasteur and Novartis to produce the investigational vaccine lots, which would be used in clinical trials by the National Institutes of Health and the manufacturers. The supply of vaccine for the studies will likely be ready by spring, Michael said.No new novel flu infections were reported today in the CDC’s weekly flu update. The agency has asked states to increase their surveillance for the new virus.See also:Nov 22 CDC statement
A mobile home and a camper had serious damage in a fire just east of Hallsville.Boone County crews had to use brush trucks to get to the fire on East Owens School Road at about 1 p.m. Sunday.No word yet on injuries, or what caused the fire.
For the last 10 days, champion double trap shooter Ronjan Sondhi has been in a quandary. For someone who is used to hitting the bull’s eye, he doesn’t know how to react to the taunting SMSes of his first coach, Australian Russell Mark, who has been messaging him after India’s defeat in the first Test in Melbourne.Sodhi’s other Australian friends have joined in, adding to the bulging inbox of his mobile phone after India lost the second Test as well. But Sodhi, a keen cricket follower and a staunch Sachin Tendulkar fan, has gone silent.”My Australian friends, including Russell, have been bombarding me with messages after the defeats. But I’ve not replied for the last 10 days as I don’t know what to say,” Sodhi told MAIL TODAY. “They are teasing me because in shooting, we beat Australia all the time. And when India beats Australia in cricket, I also send similar SMSes to them.”Sodhi, the reigning World Cup Finals winner, copped some more embarrassment for Virat Kohli’s finger gesture in Sydney. “After the Kohli incident, one of my Aussie friends sent a message saying ‘the Indians have forgotten to play with the bat and ball, and now they have started playing with fingers’,” he disclosed. “It was embarrassing.”Not just Sodhi, but the entire Indian sports fraternity seems to be in a state of shock.Sodhi’s senior Mansher Singh, a member of the Indian trap team, and an avid cricket fan, has stronger views. “Every morning I wake up charged, hoping to see India’s revival. But it’s not happening,” he said.advertisement”It’s basically the mindset. The cricketers’ mindset has gone completely haywire. These people have lost out the sharpness to win while the Australians are scoring triple centuries. I’m shocked to see that they can’t stay at the crease and the team loses several wickets in every session. They are in IPL mode, in terms of their thought process,” he pointed out. “They also look fatigued after the World Cup triumph.”Former India hockey captain Zafar Iqbal opined that Dhoni’s men are not playing as a team and lack planning. “The Aussies have the home advantage and, no doubt, they’re a good team. Their teamwork is always very strong, even in hockey. They have a clear-cut game plan and they are not bothered by big names, like a Tendulkar or a Dhanraj Pillay, in the opposition ranks,” he averred.Zafar felt that the famed Indian batting line-up has failed to adjust to the pitches. “What I’ve noticed is that they are not able to play on the bouncier and faster pitches. Also, they (Aussies) have looked more determined than us.”Ace golfer Gaurav Ghei concurred with Zafar. “Obviously, there’s something wrong, if you are not winning. Every time we play, our batsmen have a problem in handling pacers on bouncy pitches. We should get stronger in that area,” Ghei, the first Indian to win an Asian Tour event in 1995, told MAIL TODAY.However, Ghei, known as a gentleman on the circuit, said the criticism should be balanced as cricket should not be treated as just another sport. “It’s more than a game, bordering on fanaticism, considering its large following. It has a different bond with people. We’re very negative about cricketers,” he said.Multiple world billiards champion Michael Ferreira is disappointed too, but agreed with Ghei on the issue of heavy criticism. “We are always ready to criticise; we’ve to remember they too are human beings,” he told MAIL TODAY.Former India football captain Chuni Goswami, who also captained Bengal in the Ranji Trophy, refused to believe that an overdose of cricket could be cited as a reason for the team’s abysmal performance.”Unfortunately, this (defeats) has happened earlier – on the recent England tour. The team has been at sea, but I don’t subscribe to the view that they are playing too much cricket,” said the man who played 46 first-class cricket matches.”Our batsmen can’t play when the ball comes consistently at a height. For eight-nine months, they play on Indian pitches where the ball comes at only knee height and can be tackled by going forward,” said the batsman whose favourite shot was the square cut.Ferreira had the last word: “Forget about the past and get on with the job at hand. Also, my suggestion to my countrymen is: lay off and let them do their job and they’ll come back strongly.”
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Trying to distinguish your product among the thousands at the CES gadget show is no easy feat, so it helps when music legend Stevie Wonder pays an unexpected visit.Especially when your product is a “smart” piano designed to teach people how to play.Piano teacher Gabie Perry was demonstrating the internet-connected device, made by a California startup, when someone told her that Wonder asked to try it. She thought it was a joke.Wonder spent about 15 minutes playing tunes as a crowd gathered at The One Music Group’s CES booth in Las Vegas. Wonder says he likes to visit the conference to “see new things” and meet people. He’s among several celebrity musicians attending, including rapper Iggy Azalea and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.CES runs through Friday.
Mumbai: Actress Adah Sharma is thrilled about playing a man in a comedy film on sex reassignment surgery. The story of the film, “Man to Man”, revolves around actor Naveen Kasturia’s character falling in love and marrying Adah’s character and later realising that she was biologically a man and became a woman after going through a sex reassignment surgery. “I try to pick different characters from my debut ‘1920’ to ‘Commando 2’ and ‘Commando 3’. This is the first time I’m playing a guy,” Adah said in a statement. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka Naveen said it’s the right combination of entertainment and a social message. “This film is a very different and an interesting take on the burning issue of gender acceptance.” It has been written and directed by Abir Sengupta. Sengupta said: “Working with Adah and Naveen has been a phenomenal experience. I am sure that the audience will not just get entertained but will also take back the message that I am trying to convey through the film.” Jay Sahni, owner of Vivid Arthouse, has joined hands with Sengupta and Anushree Mehta of Anushree Abir Entertainment to produce the film.
Riverside (US): A pilot ejected moments before an F-16 fighter jet crashed Thursday into a warehouse just outside March Air Reserve Base in California, military officials said. The pilot was not hurt, and there were no immediate reports of injuries on the ground, said Maj. Perry Covington, the base’s director of public affairs. The cause of the crash was under investigation. Interstate 215, which runs between the base and the warehouse, was closed in both directions, backing up rush-hour traffic for miles. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportTelevision news showed a large hole in the roof and sprinklers on inside the building about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. Cellphone photos and video from inside showed what appeared to be the tail of the plane buried in twisted metal and piles of cardboard boxes. Daniel Gallegos, a warehouse worker, said he’s used to hearing the sound of planes coming and going, but the noise just before the crash was deafening. “Next thing I know I just hear this explosion and turn around to the back of the building, and I just seen a burst of flames and just the ceiling started falling through every part of the building,” he told KABC-TV . Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”I turned around, and my co-worker just told me to get, so I just made a run for it.” Gallegos said he believed one of his co-workers was struck by something possibly a falling fire sprinkler but wasn’t seriously hurt. The crash happened as the pilot was landing following a routine training mission, March Air Reserve Base Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Holliday said. “The pilot was having hydraulic problems,” Holliday said. “He started losing control of the aircraft.” The jet’s cockpit canopy was on a runway, and a parachute had settled in a nearby field.