Darrell Wallace Jr. embraces new opportunity in the famed No. 43

first_imgRELATED: Wallace among 10 Daytona 500 dark horsesDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – New motor coach. Friends and family tickets to the Daytona 500. Lively media mixer at local go-kart track. Motivational call from Dale Earnhardt Jr.Check, check, check and CHECK. Darrell Wallace Jr. figures he’s pretty set for his debut driving Richard Petty’s No. 43 Click n’ Close Chevrolet in NASCAR’s biggest race, the Feb. 18 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway (FOX, 2:30 p.m.).MORE: Win a garage makeover from Bubba, The KingThe popular driver known by friends and fans simply as “Bubba” showed up to participate in the “NASCAR Road To Daytona 500 Tour” in Orlando fresh off an unexpected cell phone call from the sport’s longtime Most Popular Driver, the recently retired Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Twenty minutes before we walked in the door, Dale Junior called me and he said, ‘You have the potential of doing things outside of the box, which means outside the sport, that a lot of people don’t have,’” Wallace said.“I’m excited to see what those things are. As long as I keep hitting every note right, we’ll see what happens. But it was encouraging to hear from him.”Earnhardt’s sentiment is shared by many. Wallace, 24, is the first African-American full-time competitor in NASCAR’s premier Monster Energy Cup Series since Wendell Scott in 1971.It’s a distinction that Wallace recognizes and embraces. However, it doesn’t affect his already highly motivated will to win.“It means a lot to be here,” Wallace acknowledged to reporters.“To be here in front of you guys talking today about my first full-time rookie season, going for the Daytona 500 is all surreal. To look back where I was say six years ago in the Truck Series, just thinking ‘maybe one day I’ll get there.’“Well, I’m here and it’s fun to talk about and be a part of and let it all sink in. To enjoy the moment.”There have already been plenty of big moments. But Wallace knows that first Cup win, that first Cup pole position – qualifying for the Daytona 500 pole position is Sunday – wouldn’t just be a historic moment for the sport, it would be a life-changing moment for himself.Wallace has always been a bright star shining in the stock car world.He won a pair of pole positions and collected three top-10 finishes in four starts as an 18-year old in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2012.He won six times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series including a dramatic victory in his only 2017 truck start at Michigan.After driving full time in the Xfinity Series from 2015-16, Wallace’s team disbanded in early 2017 after the 12th race of the season leaving one of the sport’s great talents looking for his next opportunity.When Petty’s driver Aric Almirola was sidelined with an injury last summer, Wallace got “the call” from the team to make a handful of starts.He improved in each of his four starts in the Richard Petty Motorsport’s car, culminating with an 11th place at Kentucky Speedway. He finished a highly respectable 15th in a summer start here at Daytona.“That by far exceeded my expectations and I think we can build off that, granted this is totally different, but the attitude we have and the confidence we have, definitely built up from Kentucky is going carry us through the season,” Wallace said. “We kind of set our mark where we want to be.“I have so much faith in my guys,” Wallace continued. “It’s a new team for me but we worked together for my debut for my first four races in the 43 car. Same group of guys and the same amount of energy coming from them if not more.“They are all excited I think we’ll have a really fast Camaro.”Listening to Wallace speak and seeing the genuine excitement in his smile, it’s easy to see the importance of this career move to him. He is taking in all the trappings of finally having achieved the job he wants.It’s actually a lesson in living in the moment – albeit with an eye on a hugely promising future.“There’s still a lot [going on] in between now and next Sunday and I’ve got to get through from practice to qualifying to the Duels,” Wallace said. “I’ve got my mind full of a lot of things. I’m pretty sure next Sunday morning when I wake up and doing those couple appearances and time starting clocking down and it’s go time, I’m sure the nerves will start flowing.“Right now, just good to get back to the race track. It’s been since September for me.“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Wallace conceded with a smile.“I think about it constantly and think about how the race will shake out watching past races. Watching what guys did and how aggressive they were, the biggest thing for me is paying attention to little details like that.“It doesn’t matter how much you practice. You could have a week of practice and be taken out on Lap 1 and be done. The alliances you build up on the track during practice, they’ll go out the window because by the end of it, there’s only one trophy,” said Wallace. “If two guys work together, only one’s getting it. I’ll leave that guy hanging to get it, just to get that trophy.”“NASCAR’s back. It’s a new season, 2018. A lot of exciting things happening for the sport.”last_img read more

Dorothy Ann Daigle

first_img Dorothy was a member of the:Hotel & Restaurant Employees and Bartenders International Union, Long Beach, CACulinary Alliance & Hotel Workers Union, Long Beach, CA. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of Los Angeles, CA.International Association of Machinists, San Diego, CA.When Dorothy’s husband got out of the Navy and he joined the US Air Force Dorothy became a full time stay at home mom dedicating her life to her family. Dorothy could not swim so she set her sights on learning to swim and went all the way to become a certified Swim Instructor at Naha AFB, Okinawa, Japan and she loved to swim, she also made sure her son’s learned to swim and follow in her footsteps, and she taught her granddaughters to swim. Dorothy and E.J Daigle, Sr. were very active and supportive in all their son’s activities, Boy Scouts, sports like, Judo, baseball, basketball, golf, swimming.Education was very important to Dorothy due to the fact she did not complete school, having to drop out in the 6th grade to help in her families restaurant. Dorothy pushed herself to learn and better herself, she loved to read and encouraged her children to excel in education. As a result of Dorothy’s emphasis on getting a good education both son’s have earned college degrees. Dorothy Ann Daigle age 83 was born 12/4/1932 in Port Arthur, Texas passed away Monday morning 6/6/2016 in Beaumont, Texas. Dorothy married Emile J. Daigle, Sr. on August 11, 1951 at the age of 19 in Port Arthur, Texas. She has two son’s Emile J. Daigle, Jr. and Odee Paul Daigle both born at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas.Dorothy enjoyed traveling since E.J. Daigle, Sr. was in the military beginning his service career by joining the Navy at age 17, then later joining the US Air Force serving at total of 22 years. After E.J. Daigle, Sr. retirement from the military they returned home to the Port Arthur- Beaumont, Texas area where they settled and built a new home.The early years of marriage while her husband was deployed at sea, Dorothy worked at different jobs depending on where her husband’s duty station was located.center_img Dorothy and E.J. Daigle, Sr. gave freely of their time and financially to support their church Little Flower Catholic Church in Port Acres, Texas. If there was a project to be done Dorothy was right next to E.J. helping to complete the task at hand whether it was at church or at home.Dorothy’s hobbies included knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, refinishing wooden furniture, reupholster of furniture and taking care of her plants. Dorothy would make baby blankets as gifts for family, friends, neighbors and those who could not afford these items. Dorothy also enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes from different cultures.Dorothy was preceded in death by her younger brother Jimmy Norris, grandparents Paul and Laura Norris, father Polite Norris, her husband Emile J. Daigle, Jr. Dorothy is survived by her son’s EJ Daigle, Jr. of Taylor Landing, Texas and Odee Paul Daigle and wife Shirley Daigle of Sachse, Texas. Her two granddaughters Britney Leigh Keller of Taylor Landing, Texas and Beth Danielle Bergeron and her husband Aaron Bergeron of Port Acres, Texas. Also survived by great granddaughters Savannah Leigh Keller of Corinth, Texas, and Taylor Bergeron of Port Acres, Texas.A gathering of family and friends will be held Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary to be recited at 6:00 p.m. at Grammier-Oberle Funeral Home, Port Arthur. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 10, 2016 at Little Flower Catholic Church, Port Acres with burial to follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park, Groves. Services will be officiated by Rev. Rejimon E. George, C.M.I.Condolences may be expressed at: www.grammier-Oberle.comlast_img read more

PAPD: Woman sustains “serious” injuries; husband arrested

first_img The Port Arthur Police Department Criminal Investigations Division is working the case. “When they arrived, they discovered that a 34-year-old female had been assaulted by her estranged husband,” a police release said. “The victim sustained serious injuries, however they were not life-threatening.”Meaux said officers located a suspect, a 37-year-old male from Port Arthur, who was taken to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility and charged with aggravated assaulted family violence. Police did not release the suspect’s name.center_img A domestic dispute that turned violent left a woman in the hospital and her husband behind bars, authorities said.Port Arthur Police Sgt. Shannon Meaux said officers responded to Christus St. Mary Outpatient Center at 2:56 p.m. Sunday in reference to an assault victim.last_img read more

Peaty’s x Chris King Tubeless Valves are a match made in anodization heaven

first_imgDid you get excited when The Robert Axle Project announced their Chris King color matched axles? Well, if you’re the type to stress over having the perfect pentanes for your anodized accessories, there’s another way to add some Chris King color to your bikes. This time it comes in the form of tubeless tire valves from Peaty’s. Who else?Steve Peat and Chris King have a long standing relationship thanks to King’s Buzz Works program, so it makes sense that the two have partnered up for some matching valves. The light weight aluminum valve stems are available in either 42 or 60mm lengths, and include an integrated valve core remover in the matching valve cap.The valves are now available in 10 matching colors for Chris King anodized products. That should be perfect for adding a pop of color to your bike – matching or otherwise. Priced at $32 for a set, the valves also have the advantage of Peaty’s Valves for Life program – “If you manage to break, snap, bend or crack Peaty’s valves they’ll fix or replace them free of charge! [Terms and Conditions apply].”chrisking.comlast_img read more

Jane Krakowski, Maury Yeston, Brent Barrett & More Toast the Stars of Grand Hotel at Encores!

first_imgJane Krakowski & Maury Yeston (Photos: Beowulf Sheehan) On the final night of the Encores! presentation of Grand Hotel at New York City Center, the stars and notable guests celebrated the gem of a musical. Tony winner Jane Krakowski, who played Flaemmchen in the original 1989 Broadway production, cozied up to composer-lyricist Maury Yeston, who wrote the musical along with Robert Wright, George Forrest and bookwriter Luther Davis. Original Broadway cast member Brent Barrett was also in attendance. Meanwhile, the new production’s stars, including the richly talented Brandon Uranowitz and James Snyder, beamed at their successful run, which was directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes and featured music direction from Rob Berman. We’ll take a glass together with these amazing folks anytime! Hats off to Music Director Rob Berman and director-choreographer Josh Rhodes on a wonderful production! The dashing James Snyder, who played Baron Felix Von Gaigern, takes a photo with Brent Barrett, who played the role on the Great White Way.center_img Two-time Tony nominee Brandon Uranowitz played the heartbreaking Otto Kringelein. View Commentslast_img read more

SNSC gets $10,000 from Dwinell Charitable Trust

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Special Needs Support Center (SNSC) based in Lebanon, NH, has received a $10,000 grant from the Lane and Elizabeth C Dwinell Charitable Trust, Bank of America, NA, Trustee. The grant will help SNSC further their mission of co-creating a community where people with special needs, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, can live their best lives.“We have in front of us unique opportunities for innovative and transformational programming. In all of our work, we embrace diversity and teach tolerance through targeted educational and awareness opportunities.  This investment in programs from the Dwinell Charitable Trust reaffirms the importance of our work and their faith in our performance,” said Executive Director Laura Perez.  “We are grateful they have joined us, once again, as partners in making our programs available and accessible”.SNSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and relies upon the generous support of individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations like the Lane and Elizabeth C. Dwinell Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.Source: SNSC.  To learn more about SNSC’s services, or contribute to their programs, go to www.sncc-uv.org(link is external)last_img read more

Church Multi-Site Now with Face-to-Face Live ProAV Support

first_imgImage via TeleportivityWith churches continuing to add multi-site campuses to extend their geographic reach and influence, how can the pro AV market serve this market with solutions equal to the scale of church multi-site expansion? The answer is church multi-site now with face-to-face live pro AV support — that’s a game changer for the industry.The answer can be found in the axiom of the Truman Triangle, where a client can have “good, fast or inexpensive — so pick any two.” In this particular example of multi-site church growth, those three possibilities might be represented as “qualified AV support, fast AV support and inexpensive campus AV support,” where the church could choose to have qualified, on-site personnel but not inexpensively due to the need of on-site staffing. Likewise, churches could opt for off-site personnel to reduce cost, but then not miss out on fast response times due to the lack of proximity to a local multi-site church campus.To be clear, this has been the reality for multi-site churches since the venues require a significant investment in pro AV technology. Looking at research on multi-site churches, the growth patterns are clear and the technical pro AV support challenges should be obvious: multi-site churches are ideal customers for pro AV integrators from an equipment, training and ongoing support perspective.Church Multi-Site Growth StatsThe growth of church multi-site campuses represents both immediate and future needs for pro AV expertise. The charts below identify trends in the house of worship multi-site movement and highlight the opportunity to both equip church campuses with proAV gear and introduce pro AV support for these systems, especially before, during and after mission-critical weekend services. Even the venerable mega-church market — which is comprised of large churches with greater than 2,000 people in attendance per weekend — growth is dwarfed by the exponential rise of multi-site church campuses.According to the church research firm Leadership Network, as of January 2019 “The new official statistic is that there are more than 5,000 multi-site churches in North America. That’s more than 5,000 different churches, each of which has two or more different geographic campuses — one church in two or more locations.”Source: Leadership Network, www.leadnet.org, data on U.S. Protestant churchesSource: Leadership Network, www.leadnet.org, Fall 2013 SurveyThe growth is not only accelerating, but it’s also growing faster with the largest of these churches which are already being stretched to equip, train and support the pro AV technology at ever more campuses.Source: Leadership Network,www.leadnet.org, Fall 2013 SurveyFinally, with video teaching via projection or video walls at satellite church campuses, the reliance on video becomes mission-critical, similar to corporate client Network Operation Centers (NOCs), where uptime requires ‘five-nines’ (99.99999% uptime).Source: Leadership Network, www.leadnet.org, Fall 2013 SurveyGiven these growth stats and the huge opportunities for pro AV expertise required by multi-site churches, the need for support — near-instant support under critical deadlines — has never been greater.A Game-Changer for Pro AV Support of ChurchesWhile the needs and size of multi-site churches as a market segment for the proAV industry has been well-documented here at rAVe, it wasn’t until InfoComm 2019 that we saw a technology solution that could flip the Truman Triangle from “good, fast, inexpensive — pick any two” to the possibility of “good, fast AND inexpensive.” That technology was called “Teleportivity” in a smaller booth on the tradeshow floor with what was one of the most innovative technologies on display and a potential game-changer for the house of worship market.Teleportivity is a company and product by the same name with a live, cloud-based video helpdesk communication system that provides real-time, face-to-face live support “with the right person, at the right place, at the right time,” according to the company. “It isn’t just about collaboration and event technology, but how do we scale our managed service without adding headcount?”, asked (rhetorically) by Adam Gottlieb, Teleportivity founder and CEO. “Our technology is designed for physical locations because we want to prioritize the allocation of resources to scale people in the best way.”The technology is promising for churches that have either centrally-located pro AV staff or a service and support contract with a pro AV systems integrator. Because Teleportivity is composed of physical video devices located at a tech booth or adjacent to pro AV technical systems or equipment racks, the ability to not only talk live with a support person but to also use a camera to allow the support technician to see the physical area and interact face-to-face with the church AV staff or tech volunteer.Gottlieb shared that the system can be set up on a unique, secure network, added to the existing campus venue network or even operate on cell phone signals, the uptime for the system is extremely high and provides flexibility for the church AV person to get real-time help in just about any situation or location within the venue.Since churches lean heavily on volunteers, the primary focus of Teleportivity’s technology is to prioritize the human connection instead of the technical connection. “I’m not just going to make a phone call; I’m going to have an interaction with empathy,” shared Gottlieb. Interestingly, as the video below shot by rAVe during InfoComm highlights, the hybrid solution for fixed and portable face-to-face video, along with the variety of connectivity options is a game-changer for pro AV integrators to offer previously unheard levels of premium-level paid support for the HoW market.With the church multi-site market continuing a meteoric growth rate, church AV staff will welcome options to either internally support their campuses through a centralized support model and/or seek options for pro AV systems integrators to provide real-time support 24/7 — or at least during mission-critical weekend services. Teleportivity is the first-to-market and will likely reap the benefits through a strong pro AV dealer network, though the introduction of any new technology adaptation will soon be met with new competitors trying to duplicate the success found by others. In the end, the multi-site church model and the proAV industry both win.What say you? Do you agree with Anthony Coppedge’s future church market predictions for the audiovisual industry?last_img read more

11th Circuit PDs win Glickstein Award

first_img August 1, 2008 Regular News 11th Circuit PDs win Glickstein Award 1 1th Circuit PDs win Glickstein AwardSupreme Court Justice Fred Lewis presented the Hugh S. Glickstein Award for Child Advocacy from the Public Interest Law Section’s Legal Needs of Children Committee to retiring 11th Circuit Public Defender Bennett Brummer and Public Defender-elect Carlos Martinez, on behalf of the office’s Juvenile Division.At the recent Bar Annual Convention, Lewis praised the office, the committee, and the section for upholding the core values of the profession by protecting children.“We’re recognizing those people who think children are children, and children ought not to be ramrodded through the system as adults,” the justice said “This is a group of people who are committed to the core principles of the documents I have sworn to uphold.”Among the division’s accomplishments are drafting a bill and court rule banning the use of indiscriminate chains and shackling of detained children in juvenile courtrooms and establishing a presumption of no chains absent a showing that the child is a risk; successfully challenging indiscriminate shackling in Miami-Dade’s juvenile courtrooms; launching the Juvenile Justice CPR (Charting the Path to Redemption) Initiative, broad-based legal reform to improve the juvenile justice system; holding town hall meetings in Miami-Dade to eliminate the schoolhouse-to-jailhouse pipeline; informing teens through “Play It Smart” presentations about their legal rights and how to interact effectively with law enforcement, and through the “Consequences Aren’t Minor” prevention program dealing with the consequences of an arrest or adjudication; establishing a specialized defense unit to advocate for children charged as adults; and creating the Consequences Fact Sheet for juveniles.last_img read more

Gophers stay hot with sweep of S. Dakota

first_imgGophers stay hot with sweep of S. DakotaMinnesota got strong performances from its pitching staff at the Metrodome. Mark HeiseMarch 24, 2008Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThings may be looking up for the Minnesota baseball team.The Gophers continued to roll over the weekend, sweeping a three-game series against South Dakota State at the Metrodome by scores of 3-1, 5-4 and 3-2.The Gophers were in need of solid pitching over the weekend, and received just that, as junior pitchers Tom Buske and Kyle Carr each struck out 10 batters in consecutive starts Friday and Saturday, leading to a pair of wins to start the series. Senior pitcher Dustin Brabender finished the series Sunday with a seven-strikeout performance, finishing the sweep.Buske went seven and one third innings to win 3-1, while Carr finished six and two thirds innings, leaving while trailing 2-1. Brabender gave up one run over seven innings, leaving with a 1-1 tie.South Dakota State received some extra outs against Minnesota in Carr’s outing, as the Gophers committed three errors with the lefty on the mound. But Carr said he had been working on not letting the little things bother him recently, and worked through the trouble spots.“It’s tough, and in games before this I probably would have let that bother me,” Carr said. “But I’ve been trying to stay in the present moment and realize those things happen in baseball, and you can’t control them.”Minnesota more than made up for the miscues, as the Gophers hitters showed the ability to claw back into the game Saturday, fighting off a 2-0 deficit with runs in the sixth and seventh innings.Minnesota made a comeback in the tenth inning as well after the Jackrabbits had tied the game.Sophomore outfielder Eric Decker produced from the bottom half of the lineup, singling home the tying run in the seventh inning and using his speed on the base-paths to score the go-ahead run. Decker stole third and advanced home on a wild throw. But the top half of the lineup came through as well, as junior third baseman Nate Hanson collected a pair of doubles and senior catcher Jeff DeSmidt drove home a pair, including the game winner on a single in the bottom of the tenth.“He’s doing a much better job of not trying to do too much,” coach John Anderson said. “He’s a senior, I think he’s figured it out, he’s giving us stability behind the plate and a spark on offense right now.”Offensive sparks are something Anderson said might be few and far between right now for the Gophers, as pitching and defense have been what the club has relied on so far this season.“We got strong outings this weekend, and we’re going to need a lot of them,” Anderson said. “Right now we’re just an average offensive team. We lost a lot of hitting from last year, and we’ve had to adjust.”Despite being just an offensive team, Minnesota proved this weekend that it could score late in games, an important part to success with any team. The Gophers scored at least one run after the seventh inning in all three games, including a come-from-behind win Sunday in the ninth.Down two, the Gophers tied the game on an RBI double from Decker, who came around to score the game-winner on senior infielder Jeremy Chlan’s single.With yet another person stepping up for Minnesota, Hanson said that the development of the Gophers has been impressive so far this season.“We’re starting to get some good at bats late in the game, and it’s starting to show,” he said. “It’s tough having lost so many guys and having a young team, but I think we’re coming around.”last_img read more

Debate on H5N1 death rate and missed cases continues

first_imgFeb 24, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – Two leading voices on the potential threat of lab-modified H5N1 viruses laid out their arguments about the human H5N1 fatality rate and undetected cases today and yesterday, with one group claiming “millions” likely have been infected and the other group saying current World Health Organization (WHO) fatality-rate estimates are about right.One of the main flashpoints at a live discussion on Feb 3 hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) was a disagreement over how common undetected H5N1 infections are, a key consideration in determining the disease’s case-fatality ratio (CFR). If many cases have gone unrecognized, the CFR is lower than the apparent 59%.Two scientists who clashed over the issue expanded on their arguments: Peter Palese, PhD, a virologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues published its analysis in Science yesterday. And today Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) and a colleague published an analysis in mBio, the online journal of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).The two groups came to different conclusions about seroprevalence estimates, which measure antibodies to H5N1 in blood and are the main tool used to detect asymptomatic or subclinical cases.Palese’s team published somewhat higher projections based on separate analyses, including one that factored in studies following Hong Kong’s 1997 outbreak, which involved a different strain of H5N1 virus than those seen in the past 8 years. Their overall seroprevalence rate was from 1% to 2%, whereas Osterholm and coauthor Nicholas Kelley, PhD, a research associate at CIDRAP, found a rate of 0.47%. (CIDRAP is the publisher of CIDRAP News.)When both groups focused on studies that used WHO criteria, however, they came to a similar conclusion of about a 0.5% seropositivity rate.Palese’s group said that, given their findings, there are probably millions of undetected infections, a claim that H5N1 experts contacted by CIDRAP News rejected, saying it goes beyond what the scientific evidence suggests.All the experts favored a more conservative take on H5N1 seroprevalence rates, with one specifically cautioning against optimism when dealing with H5N1 death rates.Vagaries of seroprevalence studiesThough research groups have conducted a variety of seroprevalence studies to explore the levels of asymptomatic or mild H5N1 cases, interpreting the findings and comparing results is fraught with uncertainties, such as how long H5N1 antibodies persist and what antibody levels should be used to define a positive case.Most seroprevalence studies since 2003 in potentially exposed populations, such as poultry workers, healthcare workers, and household and social contacts of confirmed cases, have found few people with antibody levels that suggest unrecognized infections. Some studies found no evidence of infection, and others found extremely low levels, with ranges that were typically less than 3%.However, researchers have puzzled over higher levels seen in seroprevalence studies that were conducted in Hong Kong shortly after the first human H5N1 outbreak in 1997. Antibody levels ranged from 3% in government workers who responded to outbreaks to 38% in healthcare workers who were exposed to the H5N1 virus. Some experts have suggested the differences in the two patterns might be explained by genetic differences between the 1997 strain and the more recent viruses.Palese’s analysisAt the NYAS discussion and in other outlets, Palese argued that the WHO CFR of 59% is far too high, because only severe infections in hospitalized patients are counted. He cited 10 studies with at least 500 subjects in which subclinical infection rates ranged from 0.2% to 5.6%.In their analysis for Science today, Palese and his colleagues included 20 seroprevalence studies, which had a total of 12,677 participants. They said their overall analysis suggests that 1% to 2% had evidence of earlier H5N1 infection.When they grouped all the studies together that used WHO criteria for confirmed cases they found a seropositivity rate of 1.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.6% to 2.1%). A separate analysis of studies that used the researchers’ own criteria put the seropositivity rate at 1.9% (95% CI, 0.5% to 3.4%).A sub-analysis of poultry workers using WHO criteria found a 1.4% seropositive rate overall but a 3.2% rate surrounding the 1997 Hong Kong outbreaks and a 0.5% rate when the 1997 studies were excluded.The group used a random-effects approach to account for variation between studies. Palese’s coauthors are Taia Wang, PhD, associate faculty member in Mount Sinai’s department of microbiology, and Michael Parides, PhD, a biostatistician at Mount Sinai.Taken together, the studies show a subclinical or mild infection rate that isn’t accounted for in WHO’s H5N1 fatality rate, the group wrote. “Thus, the true fatality rate for H5N1 influenza viruses is likely to be less than the frequently reported rate of more than 50%,” according to the report.Though it’s not possible to determine an accurate H5N1 fatality rate based on the studies, the authors estimated that a 1% to 2% infection rate would yield millions of infected people. Palese’s group also acknowledged that the number of H5N1 deaths could be underestimated.They called for further, large-scale, standardized studies to get a better handle on the number of H5N1 infections. “This information is critical for calculation of a real fatality rate that is not solely based on hospitalized patients,” the group wrote.Osterholm’s methodologyMeanwhile, Osterholm, who is a member of the federal advisory group that considered the bioterror implications of the lab-modified H5N1 transmission studies, argued at the NYAS discussion that Palese was basing his assessment on a selected number of H5N1 seroprevalence studies, and he contended that 13 studies using the WHO criteria found a rate of 0.469%.The advisory group, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has recommended that key details of the studies be withheld from publication.During the debate, Osterholm downplayed the seroprevalence issue, saying that even if the H5N1 virus was 20 times less virulent than it is now, it would still be more lethal than the 1918 flu virus.In the analysis for mBio, Osterholm and Kelley identified 24 H5N1 seroprevalence studies, excluding three from the 1997 H5N1 outbreak, because more recent H5N1 viruses are genetically different. They noted that the 1997 infections aren’t included in the WHO’s global H5N1 case count and the 1997 strain is not recommended for inclusion in H5N1 vaccines.Osterholm and Kelley’s analysis focused on the 13 studies that used WHO screening criteria and were conducted within 4 months of human cases or within 6 months of poultry outbreaks. In the five of these studies that reported the range of serologic titers detected, no participants had evidence of H5N1 infection based on WHO criteria, and only 13 participants had neutralization titers between 1:10 and 1:40.One of the studies found that most subjects had detectable titers below 1:80, but the researchers who conducted that study reevaluated the dilutions and concluded that the titers did not reflect detectable H5N1 antibodies, according to Osterholm and Kelley.They said targeted surveillance involving people who were exposed to the virus has not turned up any additional mild H5N1 infections, and though the systems can’t identify 100% of cases, data so far suggest the number of missed subclinical infections is likely to be relatively small.Like the Palese group, Osterholm and Kelley also said it’s important to consider the possibility of missed fatal H5N1 infections.They wrote that the serologic evidence supports the current WHO estimate of a 30% to 80% CFR and emphasized that the CFR was only one of a number of factors the NSABB considered when making its recommendation.”Given the global population and the current dynamics of population movement around the world, an H5N1 pandemic, even with a relatively low case-fatality rate, would be a truly catastrophic even,” Osterholm and Kelley wrote.Their analysis also took issue with another argument used in the H5N1 study debate: that vaccines and antivirals would play a key role in mitigating an H5N1 pandemic. Experience with the countermeasures during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic showed that the vaccine was produced too late to have a major public health impact and that there were global disparities in the use and availability of antivirals.Osterholm has been an advocate for better, more effective, and more quickly produced flu vaccines.Future discussions on the current controversy should answer critical questions, such as how to safely conduct the studies in mammals, how to share critical methods and findings with those who need to know, and how to safeguard the viruses from lab escapes, the article says.”The current controversy provides a valuable opportunity for scientists and public policy experts to work together in creating this roadmap for the future,” it concludes.Experts respondYi Guan, MD, PhD, a virologist at Hong Kong University, told CIDRAP News in an e-mail that he believes H5N1 seroprevalence rates are likely to be lower than what many studies have reported. He said microneutralization assays can generate a lot of false positives, based on his lab experience comparing the method with classical virus neutralization assay.Conducting serological surveys using microneutralization assays without doing parallel tests to confirm the findings can produce H5N1 seroconversion rates amplified “many, many times or log,” he wrote.Guan said he personally has doubts about whether there are any subclinical H5N1 cases, based on his own experience reviewing unpublished data.Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, with the Medical Research Council Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, told CIDRAP News in an e-mail that she understands why the Palese and Osterholm groups conducted the analyses, but she strongly cautioned against overinterpreting individual H5N1 seroprevalence studies or reading too much into pooled analyses of studies.She said pooling H5N1 seroprevalence studies should be viewed with caution, because several factors between studies can vary, such as lab methods used and sera collection timing. Van Kerkhove also noted that scientists have a poor understanding of what a seropositive result means in terms of infection.Van Kerkhove led a group that published a recent systematic review of H5N1 seroprevalence studies in Public Library of Science (PLoS) One. She said the group, which included scientists from a host of global health organizations including the WHO, had considered doing a pooled analysis, but decided against it, due to the heterogeneity and limited comparability of the studies.Any analysis of H5N1 seroprevalence studies should account for the strain differences between 1997 and those that circulated after 2002, she said.She added that Palese’s group seems to be overinterpreting the data, with their assumption that a 1% to 2% infection rate in exposed group translates into millions of missed infections.”While I agree that we are missing both infections and deaths, I do not believe that we are ‘missing millions’ of infections,” Van Kerhkove said. “The data do not support this.”Marc Lipsitch, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, told CIDRAP News that in his view, studies in most high-risk populations show low seroprevalence, and the risk is likely to be even lower for the majority of people in countries where the H5N1 virus circulates in birds.He said that, given the concerns about the lack of specificity of serologic measurements and the perils of comparing different studies, “I think that really all we can say about the prevalence of H5N1 highly pathogenic virus infections in humans is that it is quite rare, though difficult to say how rare it is.”Lipsitch added that Palese group’s contention that millions of people have been infected with the H5N1 virus “goes far beyond the evidence.”Even if the CFR is much lower than 60%, as Palese’s group contends, the virus still has the capacity to cause a highly damaging pandemic, he said, adding that the 2009 pandemic was fatal in roughly 1 in 10,000 infected patients, yet caused a major strain on the health system.”Even if we are missing 100 milder infections for every case we detect of H5N1—and I don’t think we are—we would still be talking about a risk of death 60 times or so higher than the most recent pandemic,” Lipsitch said.He cautioned against planning responses to public health threats on best-case scenarios. The possibility that the Palese group’s view that the H5N1 threat is overstated is incorrect should move the world to contain the threat, he added.”In the situation where experts disagree, it is only responsible to plan for the possibility that the optimists are wrong,” Lipsitch said.Osterholm told CIDRAP News, “The article speaks for itself. The discussion now needs to move on from whether H5N1 poses a serious threat as either a Mother Nature–made or a man-made virus—as it clearly does—and move toward how scientists can share their flu-related results with those who need to know and toward how we can prevent these viruses from accidentally escaping labs.”Palese did not respond to a CIDRAP News request for comments.Wang TT, Parides MK, Palese P. Seroevidence for H5N1 influenza infections in humans: meta-analysis. Science 2012 (published online Feb 23) [Abstract]Osterholm MT, Kelley NS. Mammalian-transmissible H5N1 influenza: facts and perspective. mBio 2012 Feb 24;3(2):e00045-12 [Full text]See also:Feb 22 ASM press releaseFeb 9 CIDRAP News story “Undetected H5N1 cases seem few, but questions persist”Feb 3 CIDRAP News story “Live debate airs major divisions in H5N1 research battles”Jan 24, 2011, PLoS One studylast_img read more