Chinese promise H5N1 samples, deny claim of new strain

first_imgNov 10, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – China said today it would share more avian influenza virus samples, despite reported misuse of some shared previously, and repeated its rejection of a report that a new strain of H5N1 virus has spread through southern China, according to news services.The World Health Organization (WHO) said China is sending 20 H5N1 avian flu virus samples to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Reuters reported today. Henk Bekedam, WHO representative in Beijing, told Reuters the samples are from 2004 and 2005.China’s promise to share more avian flu samples comes on the heels of a WHO apology to China for the misuse of previous samples that the country provided, according to the Chinese news service Xinhua. Jia Youling, China’s chief veterinarian, told reporters today that Bekedam had personally apologized to him for the incidents.Jia said foreign research institutions improperly used Chinese samples in two cases. In one instance, a research paper attributed the Chinese samples to other countries, Xinhua reported. One of the coauthors of the paper, Robert Webster, PhD, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, also apologized to the Chinese research institution involved, Jia said.In the second case, foreign researchers cited a Chinese sample without giving credit to the Chinese, which violates international protocol, Xinhua reported.Jia rebuffed criticisms that China hasn’t shared its avian flu samples with the international community. He said the country sent five samples to the WHO in June 2005 and sent the CDC another 20 samples this year.CDC officials reported in September that 20 samples expected from China had been delayed because of a disagreement over the mailing protocol but that the problem had been resolved. CDC officials could not be reached today to clarify whether the samples were actually received.It’s unclear if the new batch of Chinese samples will shed new light on claims by US and Hong Kong researchers that a new subtype of H5N1 avian flu virus, the “Fujian-like” strain, has become predominant in southern China over the past year. Researchers writing Oct 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggested that the strain may be resistant to Chinese poultry vaccines and that it has been found in human H5N1 cases in China.Chinese officials immediately rejected the study, and Jia repeated that denial today. The Reuters report quoted him as saying, “There is no such thing as a new ‘Fujian-like’ virus variant at all.”Earlier, in a Nov 6 China Daily report, some of China’s leading avian influenza experts asserted that the PNAS report lacked scientific proof. Chen Hualan, director of the National Bird Flu Reference Laboratory at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said genetic analysis showed that the so-called Fujian-like virus “shares high conformity with the H5N1 virus that was isolated in Hunan when bird flu broke out in early 2004.” She added that samples from every domestic avian flu outbreak are sent to her lab for isolation and genetic sequencing.Chen said that in 2005 and 2006 the lab isolated viruses from waterfowl in southern China and reported the results to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). “These viruses all remain steady in gene type, and there is no marked change in their biological characteristics,” she said.Chen also contested the PNAS report’s suggestion that the Fujian-like strain may be resistant to the Chinese poultry vaccine. She said the researchers did not specify the locations and vaccination status of the chickens they tested, and pointed to decreasing numbers of avian flu cases as evidence of the vaccine’s effectiveness. The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture said 95% of domestic poultry were vaccinated between January and October.Shu Yuelong, director of the National Influenza Center at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said the PNAS authors’ claim that five people in southern China were infected by the Fujian-like strain was wrong, according to China Daily.”Fifteen out of the 16 variants were isolated from [human] cases in southern China and they belong to the same gene type. There is no proof that five of them were infected by a new mutated virus,” Yuelong said.See also:Sep 11 CIDRAP News article “Way cleared for China to share H5N1 samples”Oct 30 PNAS report on the emergence of a Fujian-like H5N1 influenza virus in China 3 CIDRAP News article “Study says new H5N1 strain pervades southern China”last_img read more

33 Teams for 2019 Lagos Polo Tournament Top Prizes

first_imgR-L: Tournament Manager, Mr. Seyi Oyinlola; President, Lagos Polo Club, Mr. Ade Laoye; Chairman, Nigerian Polo Association, Mr. Kenneth Edet; Representative of the Main Sponsor, GT Bank, Head, Event Management, Corporate Communications and External Affairs, Mr. Jide Sipo; Lagos Polo 1stVice President, Mr. Timi Akinwunmi; and Lagos Polo Honorary Secretary, Mr. Adeyemo Alakija; at the Press Conference to usher in the 2019 tournament held yesterday at the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi, Lagos Some of the most renowned indigenous and international polo teams are set to convene on Lagos, Nigeria to compete for highly coveted trophies in the 2019 Lagos International Polo Tournament. Sponsored by leading African Financial Institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc.This year’s competition will begin on March 13, 2019 and will see both Nigerian and foreign teams compete in five main cups, namely; the Silver Cup, Open Cup, Oba of Lagos Cup, Low Cup and Majekodunmi Cup.The participating teams drown from all the major polo clubs across the country, include twelve Silver Cup teams, fourteen Lagos Low Cup, five medium-goal teams for Lagos Open Cup, and two heavy weight teams for the biggest prize, the Majekodunmi Cup. Tournament Manager, Seyi Oyinlola promised that this year would get better as it has always been over the years adding that “it’s going to be a two weeks of thrilling polo experience for the lovers of the game.”Oyinlola who commended GTBank, which is the main sponsor, stated that having gained reputation as the biggest polo tournament in West Africa, the Lagos Polo Club look forward to delivering great values for the sponsors with the coming on board of Coca-Cola and Shell which joined BUA, WAPIC Insurance and others in sponsoring the glamorous fiesta.Speaking on GTBank’s sponsorship of the 2019 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament, Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Segun Agbaje, said: “We love the game of polo, the passion and the symbiosis between the players and their horses, but most importantly, we hold a strong affinity to the sport of kings because it reflects quality, competitiveness and fair play; some of the values that have made GTBank a Proudly African and Truly International Financial Institution.”He further stated that; “Our sponsorship of the 2019 NPA Lagos International Polo Tournament, which has grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated social and sporting events of the year, demonstrates our strong belief in the role of sports in developing and uniting our society.”The GTBank chief executive who was represented at the event by the Head, Event Management, Corporate Communications and External Affairs, Mr. Jide Sipo, pledged the bank’s commitment to the development of polo in Nigeria.Lagos Polo Club President, Ade Laoye said the host club is rejuvenated with the continuous infrastructural upgrade to meet the yearnings of polo aficionados. He stressed that the stables were removed from their previous positions to enhance safety of players and horses in line with international best practices of the game.Laoye added that aside the international flavor to this edition, teams from Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt , Ibadan, Abuja are primed to be in action in this year’s tournament.Lagos Polo Club Acting Captain, Rotimi Makanjuola disclosed that nine professional players from Argentina, United Kingdom, South Africa, and professional umpires will also feature in the tournament.The first week billed to run from March 13, will see Lagos-based teams and visiting teams from Kaduna, Kano, Ibadan and Port Harcourt will vie for laurels in the Silver and Open Cup respectively.The revered Oba of Lagos Cup, one of the biggest selected prizes, will also be decided in the first stage of the international polo extravaganza.The second week will run from March 20 through the weekend, with many Lagos’ teams and visiting teams battling for the Low Cup.Two heavyweight teams from Abuja and Lagos will round off the tournament with a titanic clash for the prestigious Majekodunmi Cup, the most valuable polo trophy in AfricaShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

My 65 reasons to love March

first_imgThis is my ?Anchorman? moment.Iconic newscaster Ron Burgundy famously proclaimed that he wanted to shout his love for female co-worker Veronica Corningstone from a mountaintop, but he didn?t have a mountaintop ? he had a newsroom.I feel the same way about the NCAA Tournament, and like Burgundy, I don?t have a mountaintop. Unfortunately, I don?t have a newsroom either.Instead I have a 600 to 1,200-word column in a student newspaper.The following is how I make do: 65 reasons I love March Madness.(In no specific order)1. The possibility the Badgers get a sunny draw and go to Anaheim and then Phoenix.2. That it?s just as possible for the Badgers to go to Omaha ? and lose in the first round.3. That Joe Lunardi has already upset every fan base across the country with his weekly Bracketology seedings.4. That no matter what happens, somebody is going to make him eat crow.5. Michael Beasley is going to be nationally televised.6. Ditto for O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love and Derrick Rose.7. Developing man-crushes on freshmen, Carmelo Anthony-style.8. This is the one time of the year when it?s cool for guys to talk about Cinderella.9. Watching Bobby Knight doing commentary and taking bets on how long it will take him to curse.10. No matter what happens, I can count on Kansas and Duke to be upset early on.11. Picking the Jayhawks and Blue Devils to go to the Final Four again anyway.12. Using the phrase ?bracket-buster.?13. Greg Gumbel?s dramatic reading of the bracket on ?Selection Sunday.? The guy should win an Emmy for it.14. Using a yellow highlighter to mark wins and a blue one to mark losses on my brackets.15. When there are more yellow lines than blue ones.16. Never marking a win or a loss until the game is 100 percent over.17. Skipping classes to watch the first- and second-round games, especially when the teacher does it, too.18. Seeing clips of Bryce Drew, Christian Laettner and Jim Valvano run on an endless loop.19. Praying that I grow another foot before my college eligibility runs out ? and actually believing it.20. Having baseball?s Opening Day waiting at the end of the tournament like a long-lost friend.21. No. 12 seeds over No. 5 seeds that live up to the hype.22. Being right when the experts aren?t. (It did happen? once.)23. Not knowing anyone that goes to the school that wins it all.24. The first five minutes of the No. 1 vs. No. 16 games when it is a close game.25. Thinking ?What if?? when it is still close in the last five minutes.26. Thinking I know everything and actually knowing nothing.27. Picking with my heart and not my head.28. Boston College not getting a bid this year so I can avoid another heart-attack in the first round.29. Explaining the difference between dark horses and sleepers.30. Coach K inevitably playing one of his proteges, and the commentators making a huge deal out of it.31. SEC cheerleaders. Also UCLA’s.32. Watching mid-major coaches play for a job at a bigger school.33. Rooting for the underdog, even when it means ruining my bracket.34. Getting at least one team in the Final Four right, so I can live with myself during the other 11 months.35. Correctly picking Florida as the national champion the last two years.36. Florida not having much of a chance to make it a 3-peat this year.37. Maybe picking Florida anyway?38. Fans of losing teams crying on camera and knowing that there’s always next year.39. 64 mascots and fight songs.40. Facebook?s bracket application so I can see how random people I don?t really know are doing.41. Losing to said random people because the tournament is so unpredictable.42. The term ?Big Dance.?43. The footwear terms: ?dancing shoes,? ?Cinderella?s slippers? and ?jumping out of his sneakers.?44. Endless advertisements for whatever show CBS is pushing for this spring.45. Even more advertisements for ?a tradition unlike any other.?46. Gus Johnson.47. Buzzer beaters and overtime.48. Teams that play near home but lose anyway.49. The NIT having some underrated and cool matchups.50. Jumping on the Davidson bandwagon along with the rest of America.51. My mom calling me, worried about how our bracket is doing in her office pool? after just one day of games.52. Filling out three brackets that are only slightly different from each other.53. Singing ?Rockin? in the NCAAs? in the shower, on my way to class and generally every time I have a free moment.54. Frantically analyzing every matchup in the few days between the bracket?s release and the first game.55. Watching the scores in the top right-hand corner more closely than I am the game that?s actually on.56. Scenario generator.57. Celebrity fans that aren?t really fans or celebrities.58. Shots of players? parents. Especially Mr. Neitzel, Mr. Hansbrough and Mr. Ewing.59. Rooting against my friends’ picks ? even when I picked the same teams.60. Contributing to the $2.5 billion in illegal gambling across the nation by joining a $5 pool.61. Debating whether a player has NBA potential, and seeing scouts in the stands wondering the same thing.62. Growing a tournament beard even though I?m not playing in it. Not changing underwear either.63. Using every superstition imaginable, and having none of them work.64. ?One Shining Moment? playing at the end of it all.And, as an added bonus, the play-in reason:65. The fact that one team gets eliminated from the tournament before it even starts. That?s rough.Mike is a sophomore majoring in political science. If you have a different reason why you love the NCAA Tournament he can be reached at read more