Human H5N1 cases reported in Laos, Egypt, China

first_imgFeb 28, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday confirmed Laos’ first human case of H5N1 avian influenza, involving a 15-year-old girl from Vientiane, and Egypt and China also have reported new cases.The Laotian girl fell ill Feb 10 and was hospitalized in Vientiane with fever and respiratory symptoms on Feb 15, the WHO said. She was transferred 2 days later to a public hospital in Nongkhai, Thailand, where she was in stable condition.Last week officials from Thailand, Laos, and the WHO investigated the girl’s village and districts where poultry had died, the WHO report said. The patient’s close contacts were being monitored daily, and adults have been given oseltamivir; all remained healthy, the agency said.Samples obtained by Lao epidemiologists and Thai clinicians were submitted to the National Institute of Health in Thailand, where they tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza, the WHO said. The country has reported sporadic bird outbreaks since 2004; the most recent one involved ducks at two locations in Vientiane prefecture.Elsewhere, Egypt’s health ministry announced yesterday that a 4-year-old girl from the Nile delta province of Daqahliya, about 75 miles northeast of Cairo, had tested positive for H5N1 avian flu, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.Health ministry spokesman Abdul Rahman Shahin said the girl was in stable condition in a Cairo hospital, where she was admitted yesterday with fever and tested positive for the H5N1 virus, the AP reported. If her case is confirmed by the WHO, she will be listed as Egypt’s 23rd case-patient and the country’s fifth patient this year.Two days ago, Egyptian officials denied a report from the Middle East News Agency (MENA), the country’s state news agency, that a 31-year-old woman from the Nile Delta town of Beheira had tested positive for avian flu. The denial was reported Feb 26 by Reuters.Amr Qandil, director of communicable diseases at Egypt’s health ministry, told Reuters the report wasn’t true. “I do not know where they got this information,” he said.The MENA report said the woman, who raised chickens at home, was hospitalized in Damanhour, but was transferred to a hospital in Alexandria when her condition deteriorated, according to Reuters.In China today, officials confirmed that a 44-year-old woman, a farmer from Fujian province, tested positive for avian flu, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. According to a report released by China’s Department of Health to Hong Kong’s Government Information Service, the woman developed fever and a cough 10 days ago, AFP reported. Tests conducted by the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention were positive for the H5N1 virus.The woman’s case is China’s first in 7 weeks and will raise the country’s official count to 23 if confirmed by the WHO.In other avian flu news, Myanmar reported that the H5N1 virus killed poultry at a farm about 5 miles from Rangoon, the country’s largest city, according to a report submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) today.The outbreak began 2 days ago, killing 68 of 1,360 layer chickens, ducks, and pullets, and officials attributed the outbreak to poor biosecurity on the farm, the report said. The remaining birds were destroyed, and authorities instituted several control measures including limiting poultry movement within the country, screening poultry, and disinfecting the affected area.Myanmar’s last poultry outbreak was reported in April 2006.See also:Feb 27 WHO statementOIE reports on Myanmar outbreaklast_img read more

O’Neill hopes Jones can shoulder load

first_imgAn aggressive drive to the basket by senior guard Jio Fontan during an exhibition game in a crowded Brazilian gym was all it took to shift the guard position from a strength to an inexperienced liability for the USC men’s basketball team this season.Lone holdover · Sophomore guard Maurice Jones, who averaged 9.9 points, 3.2 assists and two steals per game last season, is the only returning USC player with starting experience. – Daily Trojan file photoFontan suffered an ACL tear that could sideline him the entire 2011-2012 season, forcing the Trojans to scramble to replace Fontan — their captain, as well as their leading returner in points and assists.“We are running a totally different offense than we did going into Brazil with Fontan,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said. “We retooled everything offensively once we knew he was not coming back.”Sophomore guard Maurice Jones will fill in as captain and start at point guard after playing shooting guard alongside Fontan for much of last season.“I can score from the point,” Jones said. “It is easier to score off the ball, but I like having the ball in my hands. [O’Neill] told me to be more aggressive, but to still keep that point guard mentality in mind.”Last season, Jones proved he could score at the collegiate level — albeit inconsistently. In his first three games, he averaged 18.3 points per game, including a 29-point outburst against Santa Clara in just his second college game. In contrast, in his fifth career game, Jones did not make a single field goal against Bradley despite 10 attempts.“I was finding my way as a freshman,” Jones said.He finished the season averaging 9.9 points, 3.2 assists and two steals per game.“[Jones] has played much better [in practices],” O’Neill said. “He has matured a lot and is a lot better of a player.”Besides Jones, the Trojans only have three available guards on scholarship, and none have competed at the Division I level.Alexis Moore, a 6-foot-2 freshman from Long Beach Poly, played point guard in high school. With Jones expected to play close to 40 minutes a game at point guard, however, Moore will compete for time as a shooting guard.“My instinct is to pass first, but I am willing to help the team in any way that I can,” Moore said. “If [O’Neill] said to play center, I would try my best to play center.”The Trojans will count on Byron Wesley, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Etiwanda, Calif., to provide scoring from the guard position, as well. He averaged 19.2 points per game as a senior in high school.“[Wesley] is a really good shooter,” Jones said. “He can also drive the ball to get to the basket and make plays for us.”Wesley could also be tasked with guarding the opponent’s best player after Marcus Simmons, the reigning Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, graduated last May.“[Simmons’ defensive] role is a big role to fill,” Wesley said. “My best attribute is defense. I just want to go out there and shut the other team’s best player down.”Greg Allen, a 6-foot-3 junior who transferred from Navarro College, was brought in to replace the outside shooting of graduated guard Donte Smith, who converted 35 percent of his 3-point attempts last season. Allen shot nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc last season.Despite being sidelined, Fontan contributes to the team by mentoring the three new guards and teaching them the plays.Moore credits Fontan for aiding in his development.“If I do not [understand] something on the floor, I go to [Fontan] before anyone else,” Moore said.Given the lack of experienced guard depth behind Jones, O’Neill does not believe the team could survive a major injury to its captain.“If we do not have [Jones], it will be difficult for us to be competitive in major college games,” O’Neill said. “Do not come to the games, it would be ugly.”last_img read more