NEWS SCAN: Avian flu, food safety funding, XDR-TB combo therapy, bioterror countermeasures, Salmonella

first_imgFeb 27, 2009Vietnamese man dies from H5N1 infectionThe World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed the death of a 32-year-old Vietnamese man from H5N1 avian influenza. The man, from Ninh Binh province, died on Feb 25. He was previously recorded as the country’s 109th case, and his death raises Vietnam’s H5N1 fatalities to 54. The WHO’s global H5N1 count now stands at 408 cases, 256 of them fatal.[Feb 27 WHO statement]Japan finds H7 at quail farm, UK tests reveal H6N1 from turkeysJapan today reported a low-pathogenic avian influenza outbreak at a quail farm in Aichi province, on the country’s southeastern coast, according to a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Authorities detected the virus in 10 birds during routine surveillance, and 280,000 birds were culled to control disease spread. Results on the exact strain of the virus are pending, though the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported today that testing has so far revealed an H7 strain. The findings signal Japan’s first H7 avian flu outbreak in 84 years, the report said. Elsewhere, the avian influenza strain that struck two small turkey-breeding farms in the United Kingdom was identified today as H6N1, and further tests are under way to determine if the strain is highly pathogenic, according to the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).[Feb 27 OIE report][Feb 27 DEFRA statement]Obama proposes $1 billion for FDA’s food safety effortsPresident Barack Obama’s proposed 2010 budget includes $1 billion to strengthen food safety oversight at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a Reuters report published yesterday. The money is for increasing and improving “inspections, domestic surveillance, laboratory capacity and domestic response to prevent and control foodborne illness,” the report said. Earlier this month, Obama called for a complete review of the FDA’s food safety program.Combination therapy shows promise against XDR-TBA combination of two older antibiotics that are already approved by the FDA for use against other diseases could have efficacy against extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, according to a paper in Science. The drugs, meropenem and clavulanate, killed Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vitro and will be used in a planned clinical trial.[Feb 26 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases press release][Feb 27 Science abstract]DOD funds vaccine to counter bacterial agentsThe US Department of Defense  has given University of Georgia researchers a 3-year, $1.1 million grant to develop vaccines for glanders and melioidosis, two related diseases caused by strains of the bacterium Burkholderia that are considered potential biological weapons. The research focuses on creating a vaccine to protect mice against airborne infection.[Feb 26 Atlanta Business Chronicle story]Salmonella Saintpaul sickens 14 Nebraska womenNebraska health officials are investigating a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that has sickened 14 women younger than age 50 since Feb 2 from four of the state’s counties, according to an online report today from Omaha television station KETV. Though the serotype is the same as last year’s outbreak that involved jalapeno and Serrano peppers, the genetic fingerprint is different, officials said, adding that they don’t believe the outbreak is connected to peanut butter.Water sources may yield Salmonella cluesInvestigation of Salmonella illnesses should consider untreated surface water as a possible contamination source, researchers from the University of Georgia reported today in the March issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. After testing rivers and streams in southern Georgia for 1 year, they found Salmonella in 79% of water samples, and levels were highest after a rainfall. The diversity of strains was greatest in areas where livestock and growing areas were in close proximity and when temperatures rose.[Feb 27 University of Georgia press release][March Appl Environ Microbiol abstract]last_img read more

Eight UW rowers to represent USA at world championships

first_imgWhen 11.5 percent of the 2017 United States Under 23 Rowing team is comprised of students from the University of Wisconsin’s rowing teams, it’s safe to say UW has a strong rowing program.While this statement is true, there’s a lot more that goes into appearing on a national team roster. When the other boats row away from you in a race and you are faced with a last place finish, or are told that the fastest boat lineup is one without you in it, most people would throw around clichés or resort to blaming coaching style or unfair seat races.But not Wisconsin rowers. They take the advice from the Porter Boathouse stairwell and accept the challenge.Men’s Rowing: Four Wisconsin rowers earn invitation to top National Team Selection CampFour University of Wisconsin rowers have secured invitations to attend the 2017 USRowing Men’s U23 Selection Camp, a precursor to Read…The rowers chosen for the U-23 national team team went through an extensive selection process. They first attended identification camp, where they were evaluated by coaches to then be invited to under 23 selection camp. They spent months competing among the top rowers in the country for a seat in the boat at worlds.This year, eight rowers from the men’s and women’s rowing teams at Wisconsin were named to team USA for the 2017 Worlds Rowing U23 Championships: Maddie Wannamaker, Lexi Silverling, James Bernard, Andrew Griffin, Kyle James, Nickolas Montalvo and Thomas Walker, will race. Senior Sebastien Amberger was set to race in the men’s quad, but due to a recent injury, will not be able to compete.Having attended U-23 selection camp for two consecutive years, Amberger attributes his success at the all-star training camp to the work ethic the Badgers brought from the Wisconsin rowing program.“Having my teammates at camp allows us to bring our unique culture to the camp and use it as motivation to succeed,” Amberger said. “Because the way Wisconsin operates is so different compared to other programs, we take a lot of pride in our system and use it to support one another throughout the tough selection process.”Photo Courtesy of UW Athletic DepartmentAlthough the eight Wisconsin rowers have been training all summer for worlds, their journey to the international event began further back.“The entire coaching staff has really helped me develop as a rower over the last three years and were vital in me making it this far,” said Walker. “Coach Clark and his program and training breed toughness. If you commit to his plan, it becomes inevitable that you’ll be mentally and physically tough, which is one of the essential elements of being successful.”This mental toughness is in common discourse among rowers and coaches, and proves to be an imperative aspect to pushing boundaries and reaching goals.Q&A: Ross James talks second trip to Olympics, what it’s like rowing with his twinAfter falling .3 seconds short of a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics in London as part of the United Read…Wannamaker, 2017 Second-Team All-Region and Second-Team All-Big Ten rower, raced in the last year’s world championships in Rotterdam, where her quad came in last place. Despite the loss, Maddie Wannamaker rejected complacency and settled for more.“It was a crushing loss, but I moved forward knowing I couldn’t let my only international rowing experience be a last place finish,” Wanamaker said. “I looked at what the best rowers in the world were doing, I looked at what I had been doing and I set my expectations higher.”Photo Courtesy of US RowingSilverling was also at the 2016 World Championships, but due to her “alternate” roster status, she watched Wannamaker and her teammates from the sidelines.“Although I felt great gratitude for the opportunity, I left with a greater hunger than ever to race on the U-23 team,” Silverling said. “I used that hunger as fuel to motivate myself while training this past year. I wanted to become a better, faster rower with every stroke, heavy lift and erg test.”Both Silverling and Wanamaker took the advice engraved on the Boathouse stairs and “accepted the challenge” — and their hard work has finally paid off. While the biggest challenge is still ahead of them, all eight Badgers have proven that they are more than capable of rising to the task.Rowing in a league of their own, Wisconsin women compete at elite levelsOn an international stage in Rotterdam, Netherlands, rowers from around the world gathered to compete in the 2016  World Under 23 Rowing Read…Whether it’s coaching staff and the training plan, or the attitude of friendly competition and brotherly support, Wisconsin rowers always seem to find a way to worlds.“My biggest piece of advice is love your team and enjoy the ride,” Wanamaker said. “Rowing will always be hard work, but the satisfaction of winning as a team with people you trust and love is incredible. Sit down, be humble and have fun going fast.”last_img read more