Victory appears within Biden’s grasp as his lead widens in crucial battlegrounds.

first_imgSo the count goes on. And on. And on. Finally, close to 11 p.m., Mr. Biden emerged. He did not deliver a victory speech, but came as close as he could, talking about what he intended to do as president while assuring Americans “your vote will be counted.” It was clear that Mr. Biden was getting as restless with the long, laborious count as much of the country.“It’s as slow as it goes,” Mr. Biden said, describing watching the numbers dribble in on television. “As slow as it goes it can be numbing.” Most elections come to an end when one candidate calls the other to concede. Mr. Trump may be trailing — with diminishing hopes of winning — but he’s not the kind of person who concedes. And it’s not in Mr. Biden’s political interest to unilaterally declare victory (as Mr. Trump has effectively done), and feed the conspiracy theory being pushed by the president and his supporters that Democrats are trying to steal the election. – Advertisement – The outdoor stage was all set in Wilmington, Del., for Joseph R. Biden Jr. to come out and address the nation — presumably in a victory speech as the president-elect.There were banners and spotlights and people in cars ready to honk their approval for the next president and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris. But the hour grew late and the counting of votes kept going, and going with no sign of a winner in the contest between Mr. Biden and President Trump.- Advertisement – While all indications suggest that Mr. Biden has succeeded in defeating Mr. Trump, it’s still close enough in four states — Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia — that the contest remains unresolved.As the number of outstanding ballots slowly dwindled, Mr. Trump was left increasingly with only legal challenges to forestall defeat. He remained uncharacteristically out of sight on Friday.This postelection limbo was one more bit of evidence of what a strange election this has been. Ballot counters have been overwhelmed by the record number of early votes cast by mail because of the pandemic; hence the slow, meticulous counts taking place across the country.- Advertisement – It has now been four days since Election Day. As long as that might seem, it’s nowhere near the 36 days it took in 2000 before the Supreme Court ended the counting and effectively declared George W. Bush the winner over Al Gore.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Oppo Watch Review | NDTV Gadgets 360

first_imgThe Oppo Watch runs Google’s Wear OS and can be paired with an Android smartphone as well as an iPhone. I paired the watch to a Google Pixel 3 (Review) as well as an iPhone 11 (Review), but the experience was significantly better on the Android smartphone. Apple’s tight grip on privacy and app control seriously cripples the paired Wear OS smartwatch. I wasn’t able to reply to notifications when paired to the iPhone, pretty much limiting the Oppo Watches capabilities to that of a notifier. The experience was a lot smoother when paired with an Android phone , and I could reply to messages easily. Wear OS auto suggests basic replies but I could open up a small keyboard and swipe to type a message. I could also take calls quite easily on the watch, but I had to raise it next to my face to hear the caller. People I spoke to did not have any complaints about call quality.The AMOLED display has punchy contrast and very good viewing angles. There is an ambient light sensor that sets the brightness automatically. I found the Oppo Watch to be a bit aggressive with keeping the brightness low to preserve battery life, and I had to manually bump the brightness up when I was outdoors. If you do this often or control the brightness manually, you will see an impact on battery life. The Oppo Watch responds to the raise-to-wake gesture very well, and the moment you move your hand back down the display goes off.The Oppo Watch does a decent job of step and distance tracking. I counted 500 steps as I walked, and the watch counted 513 steps. If you set the watch to track you while walking outdoors, it latches onto a GPS signal very quickly. I walked around for 500m and the watch showed 0.51km which is within acceptable levels. If you are a casual user who wants a rough idea of the number of steps you take and distance you cover, the Oppo Watch will do that. For higher accuracy you should consider dedicated fitness trackers.oppo watch review heartrate Oppo Watch ReviewThe Oppo Watch is capable of tracking heart rate and sleep quality oppo watch review band connector Oppo Watch ReviewThe Oppo Watch uses proprietary connectors for the strap The gorgeous display flows into an aluminum case that feels premium to the touch. There are two buttons on the right, while the left has the speaker. The lower button has an accent and can be set to perform any function you choose. This also acts as the power button if you long-press it. The button at the top is used to open the app drawer and acts as the back key; long-pressing it summons the Google Assistant.oppo watch review buttons Oppo Watch ReviewThe Oppo Watch has two buttons on the right side along with the mic- Advertisement – Heart rate tracking on the Oppo Watch was fairly accurate and it was in the same range as reported by the Mi Watch Revolve. The Oppo Watch was also quick to track changes in heart rate while exercising. Sleep tracking was accurate and the Oppo Watch did give me a breakdown of time spent in deep sleep, in light sleep, and awake. You can only see this breakup on the watch, but Oppo recommends downloading its HeyTap app to sync heart rate and sleep data. The HeyTap app also allows you to customise watch faces on the device.With heart-rate tracking set to continuous, and handling a few notifications, the Oppo Watch lasted me for about a day and a half per charge. If you are planning to track workouts every day and answer a few calls on the watch as well, you can expect about one full day’s worth of battery life. There is an always-on display option that can be enabled in the Wear OS app, but it will make battery life drop quicker. With my usage pattern, I found myself charging the watch in the morning (after wearing it overnight to track sleep) while having breakfast, and it slowly became a habit to drop the watch on the charger at that time.You can enable the power saver mode to extend battery life, but that means the Oppo Watch offers limited functionality. Step tracking and heart rate tracking work, and of course it displays the time, but you can’t log workouts, run any apps, or even see notifications. You will need to reboot or snap the watch into its charger to get out of power saver mode.oppo watch review vooc watch charger Oppo Watch ReviewThe Oppo Watch comes with a magnetic charging cradle, and charges quickly Oppo has kept the device weight down, and the body alone weighs 40g. The fluororubber straps feel light as well and the watch size felt perfect on my wrist. You get a bigger 430mAh battery if you opt for the 46mm Oppo Watch, compared to 300mAh for the 41mm variant. The 46mm Oppo Watch is priced at Rs. 19,990 while the smaller 41mm Oppo Watch is priced at Rs. 14,990. You get a Watch VOOC Flash charger in the box. It is magnetic and holds the watch in place while charging.Oppo Watch specifications and performanceOppo has used the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor to power this watch. There is a secondary low-power ambiq Micro Apollo 3 SoC that takes over when the watch is put in power saver mode. There is 1GB of RAM on the Oppo Watch, which makes a huge difference to the performance. I found the watch to be quick to respond to my inputs, and did not notice any lag while using it.There is Bluetooth 4.2 to keep the watch connected to your smartphone, and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi so that it can work independently as well. There is no cellular data option. You get 8GB of internal storage as well. The 46mm Oppo Watch is water resistant upto 5ATM while the smaller 41mm variant is water resistant up to 3ATM. There is in-built GPS, GLONASS, and A-GPS. It also has support for NFC.oppo watch review amoled display Oppo Watch ReviewThe crisp AMOLED display on the Oppo Watch is legible outdoors Is that an Apple Watch? That was the first thought that ran through my mind when I received the Oppo Watch. The design and the packaging definitely look inspired by the Apple Watch, but the similarities end there, as the Oppo Watch runs Google’s Wear OS. With tech companies slowing down on smartwatches and only traditional watch manufacturers seemingly promoting Wear OS for a while now, it is good to see Oppo stepping in. Does the Oppo Watch make a strong case for Wear OS, or will this device go down as an Apple Watch replica? I test the watch to figure out that answer.Oppo Watch designThe Oppo Watch can easily be confused for an Apple Watch, and a few people I met did assume it was the fruity device. Although the design looks inspired, Oppo has nailed it when it comes to fit and finish. The first thing that will grab your attention about the Oppo Watch is its AMOLED display. It is big, measuring 1.91 inches, and is curved on two sides. This not only looks good, but is also useful when swiping through the interface.- Advertisement – Charging the Oppo Watch isn’t much of an issue. It snaps onto the charging cradle easily. The watch got to 43 percent in 15 minutes, and 89 percent in 30 minutes. It took 42 minutes to charge completely.VerdictThe Oppo Watch is very well designed and is a full-featured smartwatch running Google’s Wear OS. In fact, it is one of the better Wear OS watches I’ve used recently, and the price is reasonable. I would recommend the 46mm Oppo Watch over the 41mm variant since the smaller battery could mean below-average battery life.Sadly, Google hasn’t done much with its Wear OS platform of late, and this watch’s lack of innovative features could be down to the platform. If you are an Android user looking for a functional smartwatch, the Oppo Watch is definitely worth taking a look at.. However, if you are an iPhone user, the Oppo Watch wouldn’t be ideal since Wear OS has multiple limitations. Instead, you can take a look at the Apple Watch Series 3. – Advertisement – You won’t find lugs on the Oppo Watch as the straps attach directly to the aluminium body. It looks clean, but the downside is that the design is proprietary and finding replacements won’t be easy. Oppo claims that the straps are made out of fluororubber, and they feel light. Over the course of two weeks using this watch, these straps never caused any irritation or rashes on my skin. You can separate the strap from the body by pressing tiny release buttons at the back. A firm press is enough to release the strap, but it wouldn’t come off accidentally.The back of the Oppo Watch has the heart-rate sensor in a dome in the centre, while the rest of the back is plastic. The sensor dome is made out of ceramic only for the 46mm Oppo Watch; the smaller 41mm Oppo Watch has a plastic dome. The charging pins are positioned towards the bottom and are slightly recessed. I did not notice any discolouration or corrosion on these pins during the review period.- Advertisement –last_img read more

As cyclical stocks rebound, investors eyeing whether their earnings comeback will justify the move

first_imgCyclical sectors’ profits took a large hit amid the pandemic, as travel and in-person work slowed to a near halt. Investors may still be weighing how much to trust the anticipated snapback in these profits in 2021. On Wednesday, technology reclaimed its spot as the market leader, while the cyclical sectors closed in the red. – Advertisement – This week, investors shifted money away from high-flying tech stocks, and into beaten-down groups like energy, industrials and real estate. These sectors, which are more sensitive to economic cycles, jumped after promising coronavirus vaccine news from Pfizer and BioNtech on Monday raised hopes for an economic reopening. The cyclical stocks have been beaten down this year amid the pandemic. Energy, industrials and real estate are the only three sectors trading lower in 2020, while sectors that are generally less dependent on economic conditions, like technology, have fared better. Technology is trading up more than 32% this year.As investors continue to grow more optimistic about an economic recovery in 2021, energy, real estate and industrials may look like an attractive bet based on earnings expectations. The group is expected to deliver a surge in profit growth next year, according to Jonathan Golub at Credit Suisse. The firm projects that cyclical sectors will report more than 65% earnings growth next year, which is significantly higher than estimates for the broader S&P 500. To be sure for investors, the circumstances may not look as bright for the cyclicals if earnings from 2020 are taken into account. Golub says that “while pro-cyclical stocks are expected to deliver stronger EPS growth in 2021, the 2-year compound annual growth rate substantially favors secular winners.” When EPS growth from 2020 is factored in, cyclical sectors’ earnings are expected to decline by 7.2% on average, while the tech is set to grow by 10.6%. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Caterpillar Inc. excavators are displayed for sale at the Whayne Supply Co. dealership in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020.Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Imageslast_img read more

Leah Nierman on Why Molly Sims Loves Moodygirl Chocolates

first_img“We have different chocolate bars for the different moods women experience, everything from sexy to anxious,” she notes.“Moodygirl has helped me to feel overall more balanced in my life. … We created the products for the active health-conscious woman and someone who cares about the ingredients they put into their body,” Nierman shares.And that includes A-listers. “Celebrities are naturally drawn to Moodygirl because they want to fuel their bodies with superfoods that make them feel good from within. … They recognize what they put into their bodies matters and affects the way they ultimately look, feel and perform.”As for what you can expect: “Most people generally see results within 15 to 30 minutes after eating the chocolate. … You can enjoy them every day and on-the-go or a few times a week — really whenever you are feeling you need a little boost or have a craving,” the founder says. – Advertisement – But just because her bars are filled with vitamins and adaptogens, doesn’t mean they’re any less tasty than your typical treat.“People think the chocolate might taste different since it’s infused with vitamins and adaptogens. However, you cannot taste the vitamins or adaptogens in the chocolate,” Nierman explains. Moodygirl is sweet and creamy tasting and has a grainy, cookie-like texture, similar to a Mexican chocolate, because everything down to the coconut sugar is minimally processed.”In addition to the delicious flavor, Nierman claims the chocolates helped with cramps, mood swings and hormonal headaches, which inspired her to take her original recipe (found in the For That Time of the Month flavor) and expand it to include a Chill Out bar, a Libido Lover bar and a Moody Matcha bar launching this winter.Moody GirlMoody Girl Alex Clark Photo- Advertisement – “Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had an intense craving for chocolate around that time of the month,” she tells Us Weekly exclusively.Instead of overindulging on the candy or attempting to cut it out completely, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition graduate took matters into her own hands and was inspired to make a guilt-free chocolate bar that could help women.“After what felt like a thousand batches, my mom and I came up with a base recipe containing only three ingredients including organic cacao, organic cacao butter and coconut sugar,” she says. “We added in magnesium and vitamin B6 to help support cramps and elevate mood. Our family and friends kept requesting more chocolate and Moodygirl was born.”Moody GirlMoody Girl Alex Clark Photo- Advertisement – Leah Nierman MoodygirlLeah Nierman Alex Clark PhotoYour chocolate bar cravings just got a healthy solution thanks to Moodygirl — the vegan, gluten free, vitamin and adaptogen-packed bars loved by Molly Sims, Olivia Culpo, Catt Sadler and more.Leah Nierman, founder of Moodygirl, was inspired to create the product line after experiencing her own personal chocolate addiction, which often led to feeling bloated and emotional after devouring the candy.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Asterion wins on fencing bow

first_imgAsterion Forlonge got off to a winning start over fences with victory in the Roche Group At Vista Beginners Chase at Punchestown.- Advertisement –last_img

This quick-start charcoal grill gets your charcoal ready in 6 minutes » Gadget Flow

first_imgBarrel Quick Start Grill openWhat sort of battery does the Barrel Quick Start Grill use?This fast-heating grill uses a special lithium battery that can power the grill four times without needing a recharge, so that’s enough for half a week’s worth of grilled dinner. And with 110 volts and 1500 watts, this battery is pretty powerful. You can also use it to charge the company’s small, portable grill.Barrel Quick Start GrillBarrel Quick Start Grill in a back yard with a poolIs this grill safe?- Advertisement – The interior heating element of this charcoal grill reaches 950 degrees Fahrenheit in 3–4 minutes, which is pretty darn impressive. According to the project’s Kickstarter page, charcoal briquettes ignite about 660 degrees Fahrenheit, so the Quick Start Grill heating element lets the charcoal ignite faster and to a higher temperature. In contrast, the even configuration of the element heats the charcoal uniformly. This is exactly what you want when heating a charcoal grill: coals that are hot and evenly so.Barrel Quick Start GrillBarrel Quick Start Grill interior viewIs this fast charcoal grill easy to operate?You bet. To use the Quick Start Grill, simply fill the barrel with charcoal, plug in the grill, and adjust the heat. In just minutes, your charcoal will be hot and ready for your famous burgers. It’s really that easy. So with this barbecue gadget, you won’t have to step away from your guests for half an hour or more while you wait for your grill to heat up. The heating element in the Quick Start Grill lights all components quickly.Barrel Quick Start Grill– Advertisement – Yes. Since you won’t use lighter fluid or gas to light this grill, you won’t be working with any highly flammable materials. This means that you can start this quick-start charcoal grill without worrying about starting an out-of-control fire or burning your fingers when you place the grid on top of hot coals. All in all, this charcoal grill is a pretty safe alternative to more traditional charcoal grills, making it a great 2020 cooking gadget.Barrel Quick Start GrillBarrel Quick Start Grill next to a poolIs this quick-start barbecue healthy?Also yes. The battery-powered heating element eliminates the need to light the grill using lighter fluids, so it doesn’t release unhealthy carcinogens into your food. These fuels also leave a funny taste on food. Thankfully, with the Quick Start Grill, only the lovely smoke from the charcoal will ever reach your grilled chicken and nothing else. So this gadget amps up your cooking game, too.Barrel Quick Start Grill Barrel Quick Start Grill open on a white backgroundIs this barbeque convenient?This charcoal grill is ready to use in six to seven minutes, with most grills taking up around 15–30 minutes to be ready. And since the Quick Start Grill heats the coals uniformly, you can use the whole grid for cooking your food. In contrast, the heat distribution on other charcoal grills is much more uneven, giving you just a few hot spots where your food actually cooks.Barrel Quick Start GrillBarrel Quick Start Grill on a white backgroundIs this method eco-friendly?Since you won’t use lighter fluid, you won’t be wasting charcoal burn time to release fluid. Instead, this Quick Start Grill is ready to use as soon as it catches fire. This sends less carbon into the environment. You can also use any unused charcoal briquettes the next time you grill, further cutting down on waste. So it’s a sustainable option you can feel good about.Barrel Quick Start Grill costs $250, and you can preorder it from Kickstarter.Love this crowd-funded campaign and quick barbecues? Let us know your thoughts in the comments 🙂 Lauren has been writing and editing since 2008. She loves working with text and helping writers find their voice. When she’s not typing away at her computer, she cooks and travels with her husband and two daughters. center_img – Advertisement – Wish you could get your charcoal grill to start faster and without lighter fluid? Check out the Barrel Quick Start Grill. This innovative charcoal grill is ready to cook on in six to seven minutes without the use of harmful fuels. Keep reading to find out how this gadget can make your barbecues more convenient.Everyone loves the smokey flavor of ribs grilled over charcoal. The trouble is, getting a charcoal grill up to the optimum temperature can take a long time, especially if you’re using traditional methods. But you don’t always have to do things the traditional way. In fact, a little innovation goes a long way, especially when it comes to preparing a barbecue. And the inventors of the Barrel Quick Start Grill couldn’t agree more. Their improved take on an outdoor grill gets charcoal ready for cooking in as little as six minutes.The Barrel Quick Start Grill is made of black metal and is barrel-shaped, like a smoker. The interior has a heating element that safely reaches 950 degrees Fahrenheit via battery power. So you won’t need to use any lighter fluid to ignite the charcoal. Best of all, this grill has a super-easy setup, so the next time you have guests over for a barbecue, prepping the grill won’t be an issue.How does this flameless grill work?- Advertisement –last_img read more

CDC report reveals wider impact of tainted peanut butter

first_imgMay 31, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released a detailed report on the recent nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to certain peanut butter brands, showing the number of sick patients has grown by nearly 200 since the agency’s last update in March.The report, published in the Jun 1 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), said as of May 22, 628 people from 47 states were sickened by one of the three Salmonella enterica serovar Tennessee strains that were linked to the outbreak by PulseNet, an electronic network for sharing molecular fingerprinting (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) data about foodborne pathogens.The source of the peanut butter contamination is still not known, the CDC report said. “Local and state public health officials in multiple states, with assistance from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are continuing to investigate this outbreak caused by peanut butter, a new food source for salmonellosis in the United States,” the CDC report said.In early April, ConAgra, the producer of the implicated peanut butter, blamed the contamination on moisture from a roof leak or faulty sprinkler system that could have triggered bacterial growth at the Sylvester, Ga., plant where the peanut butter was produced. The FDA, however, has not yet released a report on its findings at the plant.The CDC report said investigators isolated two environmental samples of the outbreak strain from the plant, along with 21 from opened and unopened jars of two peanut butter brands that were the subject of the recall: Peter Pan and Great Value with a product code beginning with 2111.The Salmonella outbreak investigation began in November 2006 when PulseNet officials first noticed a substantial increase in the number of S enterica serovar Tennessee cases, according to the MMWR report. During the previous year, the network typically recorded 1 to 5 cases per month, but in October, the number swelled to 30. Three closely related genetic patterns were associated with the outbreak.Initial patient interviews in late 2006 found that 85% of patients had eaten peanut butter the week before they got sick, which the CDC said was higher than expected for the US population. A case-control study, which included 65 patients and 124 controls, was conducted in early February and revealed that the sick patients were more likely to have eaten peanut butter and to have eaten either Peter Pan or Great Value brands.Peanut butter made at the plant was exported to 70 other countries. No confirmed cases have been linked to the outbreak, though several possibly related cases have been investigated, the CDC reported.The ages of the affected patients ranged from 2 months to 95 years, and 73% were female, the report said. The most common symptoms were diarrhea, abdominal cramps, dysuria, and fever. Twenty percent of patients were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.Illness onset dates, known for 481 of 628 patients, ranged from Aug 1, 2006, to Apr 23, 2007. The CDC said reports of new cases dropped sharply after Feb 14 when the FDA issued a health alert about contaminated peanut butter and the company recalled the products.In an editorial note that accompanied the MMWR report, the CDC noted that infections involving S enterica serovar Tennessee are rare, representing 0.1% of all reported Salmonella strains. The only other food-related outbreak in the United States that involved the strain was linked to contaminated powdered milk products and infant formula in 1993, the CDC report said.The outbreak strain is one of the Salmonella subtypes that are more likely to cause urinary tract infections (UTIs), and because such UTIs are more common in woman, the high number of isolates from urine (35%) in this outbreak may explain the high number of cases in females (73%), the CDC noted.The CDC said the Salmonella outbreak was the first-ever foodborne illness traced to peanut butter in the United States; however, it noted that other countries have reported contamination of peanut butter or products that contain peanut butter by two other S enterica serotypes.Peanuts can become contaminated with Salmonella during growth, harvest, or storage, and the organisms can survive in a high-fat, low-water environment, despite heat treatment that typically exceeds 158°F, the report said. Contamination can also occur after production from various sources, including raw peanuts, animals, humans, or other food ingredients, the CDC noted.”This outbreak demonstrates the potential for widespread illness from a broadly distributed contaminated product,” the editorial said, adding that the outbreak serves as a reminder that contamination can occur, even in products that are processed with heat, and that effective controls to prevent contamination are needed in food-processing plants.Some consumers may still be eating the contaminated peanut butter, and the CDC said that all remaining jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter subject to the recall should be discarded.CDC. Multistate outbreak of Salmonella serotype Tennessee infections associated with peanut butter—United States, 2006-2007. MMWR 2007 Jun 1;56(21):521-4See also:Apr 6 CIDRAP News article “Peanut butter maker says moisture triggered Salmonella contamination”Mar 9 CIDRAP News article “Nationwide Salmonella outbreak reaches 425 cases”CIDRAP overview of salmonellosislast_img read more

NEWS SCAN: Egypt reports H5N1 infection, outbreaks strike Egypt, Vietnam

first_imgMay 14, 2009Another Egyptian child infected with H5N1Egypt’s health ministry said today in a statement to MENA, the country’s news agency, that a 4-year-old boy from Sharkiya governorate has been hospitalized with H5N1 avian influenza, Reuters reported. If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the boy’s illness, he will be listed as Egypt’s 70th case, of which 23 have been fatal. The boy reportedly had contact with sick birds in his household. He is receiving oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and is in stable condition.Three more H5N1 outbreaks in Egyptian poultryAnimal health officials in Egypt reported three more H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks, according to reports from Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). All were confirmed on May 12. The virus struck vaccinated backyard birds in Gharbiya governorate, a large commercial poultry farm where the birds were vaccinated in Sixth of October governorate, and backyard birds of mixed vaccination status in Sohag governorate, near the home of a 4-year-old boy who was reported on Apr 21 as Egypt’s 67th H5N1 case.Avian flu strikes Vietnamese duck farmVietnam’s agriculture ministry today reported an H5N1 avian flu outbreak on a duck farm in the country’s southwestern Dong Thap province, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported. The virus struck 49 of 142 ducks. The ministry said two other provinces have recently had H5N1 outbreaks, Thanh Hoa and Quang Ngai, both in central Vietnam. [May 14 Xinhua story]last_img read more

H1N1 BREAKING NEWS: Pregnant women, parents polled, Chinese officials discuss quarantine, WHO to probe antiviral use

first_imgPregnant women bear disproportionate share of flu deathsAbout 6% of pandemic H1N1 deaths in the United States have occurred in pregnant women, though they make up just 1% of the population, the Associated Press reported today. The numbers are based on 266 detailed death reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received. Fifteen deaths occurred in pregnant women. The CDC’s vaccine advisory committee meets tomorrow and is expected to list pregnant women among the high-priority groups to receive the pandemic H1N1 vaccine.Poll shows parents likely to seek H1N1 flu shots for kidsAn Associated Press/GfK Roper poll suggests that about 63% of American parents are likely to allow their children to receive the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, but only 51% of adults would probably receive the immunization themselves. Only 43% said they were concerned that they or a family member might contract the new flu virus. The telephone poll, conducted in mid July and released yesterday, included 1,006 adults, of whom 296 were parents.[AP-GfK flu poll report]Chinese officials say their policy of quarantining foreigners is workingChinese authorities assert that their aggressive quarantine policy to prevent foreign visitors from spreading H1N1 flu has worked well, according to a New York Times report. Officials say China has had few cases and proudly note that no deaths have been reported. But the newspaper tells the story of an American woman who said her surgery for appendicitis was delayed because of the quarantine policy. More than 1,800 Americans have been quarantined in China since the start of the pandemic.[Jul 28 New York Times story]El Salvador extends school vacation to battle pandemicEl Salvador announced it will extend a scheduled school vacation to 2 weeks to fight the spread of the H1N1 flu, the Associated Press reported yesterday. School vacations that began yesterday and last from 2 days to a week, depending on the region, will be extended until Aug 10. The action will affect nearly 2 million students. The country has had 545 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu, including seven fatal ones, the story said.Canadian cities group says national pandemic plan is lackingThe head of the Federation of Canadian Cities has charged that Canada has no national plan for protecting critical frontline workers such as police, firefighters, and transit workers, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported. In an open letter sent yesterday to federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Basil Stewart said Canada’s pandemic plan does not say who will have priority access to vaccines and antivirals. A spokesman for Aglukkaq said ongoing epidemiologic studies will guide vaccine allocation.WHO to probe antiviral use patternsA World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman said today that the agency will host a technical teleconference soon to discuss antiviral use during the H1N1 pandemic and the risks of antiviral resistance, Agence France-Presse reported. Countries vary in their use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Some use it widely for prevention and treatment of mild cases, while others are reserving it for infections in high-risk groups and for severe cases. So far, five antiviral-resistant cases have been identified.last_img read more

Preparedness report spells out H1N1 challenges

first_imgOct 1, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Though the nation is going into its second wave of the H1N1 pandemic armed with crucial improvements such as better vaccine capacity, remaining challenges in medical surge and vaccine distribution could hamper response now and into a third wave, preparedness experts said today.Hospitals across the nation vary in their ability to bear the burden of mounting H1N1 cases, the experts said at a press conference during which they unveiled a 38-page report from Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit, health advocacy group based in Washington, DC.Fifteen states, including Arizona, Connecticut, and Oregon, could run out of hospital beds by the fifth week of the second wave if 35% of the population gets sick with pandemic flu. Twelve states—among them New Mexico and North Carolina—could reach or exceed 80% of their capacity.Jeff Levi, PhD, TFAH executive director, said some health facilities in big cities were overwhelmed during the early stages of the pandemic. “Our point is that how readily even a mild pandemic can overwhelm the system,” he said. “We need a better system for addressing these issues, and some states are beginning.”TFAH authors based their projections on a 35% attack rate, which is a planning projection at the low end of the range of scenarios included in an Aug 24 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The TFAH authors used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) FluSurge modeling program to estimate the number of hospitalizations in each state.However, they said erosion of the public health funding and workforce that has accelerated over the past few years will make it difficult to meet the challenges, unless steady federal funding streams, such as those that support police and fire services, are established for public health departments.Robert M. Pestronk, MPH, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) said periodic funding infusions are important, but the approach isn’t helping build a strong public health system. “There isn’t any end point in preparedness. It requires sustained funding,” he said.According to a recent survey from NACCHO, budget cuts forced public health departments to eliminate 8,000 positions between January and June of this year, which reflects a larger loss than all of 2008.Levi said a strong pandemic vaccine delivery performance from states might help blunt some of the impact on hospitals. However, a 2008 federal report on state pandemic plans revealed that 21 states had gaps in their preparations to handle mass vaccinations. “It’s a complicated task, even in the best of circumstances,” he said.Adding to the vaccination challenge, public health officials may have a hard time reaching risk groups with vaccine messages, because some in the priority scheme, especially children, young adults, and members of minority groups, haven’t routinely been targeted for seasonal flu immunization, Levi said.He added that public health systems can also help reduce the burden on hospitals by getting higher-profile messages out about when to seek medical care for pandemic H1N1 infections,Some of the other pandemic challenges addressed in the TFAH report include:Antivirals: some states have limited stockpiles because of budget constraints and other obstaclesSurveillance: current systems are outdated, don’t track flu in real time, and aren’t ideal for identifying clusters or monitoring severityMedical equipment: 25 million N-95 respirators were released from the federal stockpile at the beginning of the outbreak, with no action to replace the supply, which could be difficult because of limited availability.Today’s TFAH report included recommendations to improve response to the current and future pandemic waves. For example, the authors recommended that states and localities refine their plans for rapid vaccine distribution and that the federal government allocate more resources for vaccine delivery, especially if insurers don’t provide adequate coverage.The experts urged public health department to extend their vaccine campaigns beyond the flu season to help prepare for a potential third wave of the pandemic.States should at least purchase enough antiviral supplies to cover their at-risk populations, and the federal government should consider making antiviral stockpiling solely its responsibility, the report advised.Though federal officials have been working hard to improve surveillance to monitor the spread of the pandemic H1N1 virus, the TFAH authors said officials should consider funding and implementing detailed surveillance improvements outlined in the PCAST report.Longer-term improvements should include the establishment of regional consortiums to organize and plan for health emergencies, as well as redoubled efforts, such as overtime incentives, to develop a medical surge workforce.The most important improvement, though, would be a steady funding stream to support public health preparedness, Levi said. “We’re trying to surge a public health system that has been critically hampered,” he said.See also:Oct 1 TFAH report on H1N1 challengesAug 24 CIDRAP News story “Presidential panel calls for planning czar, faster vaccine”Sep 21 NACCHO survey on public health workforce job losseslast_img read more