Serious H1N1 cases in Canadian Inuits raise concern

first_imgEditor’s note: CIDRAP News learned on Jun 10 that some of the Canadian indigenous groups that have been hit by serious cases of H1N1 influenza are not Inuit, but rather are among the groups known in Canada as First Nations or aboriginals. In particular, a Canwest News Service report referred to hundreds of cases and 20 hospitalizations at St. Theresa Point, a First Nation in northern Manitoba. Jun 9, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – An official from the World Health Organization (WHO) said today that health experts are closely monitoring novel H1N1 influenza infections in Canada’s Inuit populations, following reports that the communities are seeing more than their share of severe cases.Keiji Fukuda, MD, told reporters at a press briefing, “We can say now that we know a larger number than expected of young Inuit people developed serious illnesses and had to get hospitalized.”He added that the WHO doesn’t know if the trend is linked to socioeconomic factors, genetic factors, or chronic underlying diseases, and commented that Inuit groups were hit hard in some earlier pandemics. Fukuda is the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security and the environment.Yesterday, Joel Kettner, MD, Manitoba’s chief medical officer, told reporters that 26 people were being treated in intensive care units for suspected novel influenza infections, which is unusual for an influenza outbreak, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported. He said more than half of the patients are of aboriginal descent, with an average age of 35.Manitoba’s health department said in a statement yesterday that 15 extra ventilators have arrived at the province’s ICUs and that the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is helping the departments prioritize patients and was considering deferring non-urgent surgical procedures that would normally require use of the units.As of yesterday, Manitoba said it had confirmed 40 novel flu cases in 6 of its 11 health regions.Meanwhile, health officials in Canada’s Nunavut territory today said the number of confirmed novel flu cases has jumped from 25 to 53, with six patients in the hospital, the CBC reported. Nunavut’s population is primarily Inuit.Donald R. Olson, MPH, research director for the International Society for Disease Surveillance, based in New York City, told CIDRAP News that the severe cases in Canada’s Inuit populations are puzzling. However, he added that among remote populations, the 1918 pandemic influenza was more severe and didn’t follow the age patterns seen in the rest of the world.”Inuit groups didn’t show the same apparent sparing of the elderly, so possibly the older proportion of the population had not been exposed” to previous viruses related to the pandemic strain, he said.The medical literature tells of “flu orphans” from remote Alaskan villages who survived the 1918-19 pandemic, though their parents and grandparents died, presumably because they had not been exposed to earlier H1-like viruses.In 2006 at a state summit in Alaska, former US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt described the impact of the 1918 pandemic virus on Alaska’s native populations. “The Alaska native population in Nome was decimated—176 of the 300 Alaska Natives in the region died,” he said in comments posted on the HHS pandemic flu Web site. “The pandemic swept through communities, killing whole villages.”Preexisting health conditions may also have contributed to the severity of the 1918 pandemic in Inuit populations, which also had high tuberculosis rates in the early 20th century, Olson said.Officials don’t know if higher rates of chronic illnesses in today’s Inuit populations are playing a role in the high number of severe cases. However, Health Canada reports that when compared to the rest of the nation, First Nations and Inuit people have 1.5 times the rate of heart disease, 3 to 5 times the rate of type 2 diabetes, and 8 to 10 times the rate of tuberculosis infection.Yesterday, an Australian health expert from Darwin warned that the country’s indigenous populations might be at greater risk for novel H1N1 infections.Besides citing lack of exposure to similar virus and underlying conditions as possible risk factors, experts have also theorized that remote populations might have a genetic predisposition that makes them more susceptible to the virus, Olson said. But he expressed doubt that the factor is playing a role in Canada’s current outbreak.The signals coming out of Canada are worrying, he said. “The less developed world may have a terrible experience with this, though there is a lot of coughing and sneezing in the rest of the world,” Olson said.Danuta Skowronski, MD, a physician and epidemiologist at the University of British Columbia, told CIDRAP News that over the past few years, circulation of seasonal H1N1 viruses in North America has been patchy, and people in remote communities are likely to have had less exposure to the viruses than have people living in urban settings.There’s still much that researchers don’t know about possible cross-protection against the novel H1N1 virus from exposure to previous H1N1 strains, she said. Though researchers have identified antibody markers and determined that seasonal vaccination offers little protection, they still haven’t gauged the cell-mediated response—which can offer protection during severe infections—afforded by exposure to previous H1N1 strains, Skowronski added.Public health officials will also be looking for environmental factors that might be contributing to the infections in the First Nations and Inuit groups, she said. For example, large numbers of people living in one household may have greater exposure to the virus. “This all needs to be assessed, because we’re picking up possible signals of concern,” Skowronski said.See also:Jun 8 Manitoba press releaseHealth Canada disease and health condition statisticsAhmed R, Oldstone MBA, Palese P. Protective immunity and susceptibility to infectious diseases: lessons from the 1918 influenza pandemic. Nature Immunol 2007 Nov;18(11):1188-93 [Abstract]last_img read more

Cardiff reach Langston resolution

first_img Press Association Cardiff owner Vincent Tan had stated he was confident of reaching an agreement after holding talks with Hammam, and a deal has now been struck. It is believed Cardiff agreed to pay a one-off lump sum and a schedule of further, smaller payments. Tan said: “I am grateful and indebted to Sam Hammam, Michael Isaac and Michael Filiou for their part in this resolution, which brings to a close a lengthy period of uncertainty. “This settlement allows us to look to a new era of financial stability, which should be celebrated by all connected to Cardiff City. “I am delighted, primarily for the supporters of this great club that we can put this matter firmly behind us and plan for our future with confidence.” Hammam will become an honorary life president of the club, while his representative Filiou has taken a place on the board. “This resolution will rightly be regarded as a proud and historic occasion for all associated with Cardiff City Football Club,” said Hammam. “Now that an amicable agreement has been reached, thanks in most part to the vision of Tan Sri Vincent Tan and the important role of Michael Isaac and Michael Filiou, the club can now focus on the exciting Premier League season ahead, while building for the future with optimism.” Tan claimed last week that once an agreement with Langston was secured he would look to convert the substantial amount he is owed by the club into equity in order to ensure Cardiff become debt free. The debt to Swiss-based financial company Langston, of whom former Bluebirds chief Sam Hammam is a representative, was taken out in 2004 and was believed to be worth £24million. Cardiff’s most recent financial figures showed the club were £83million in debt. center_img Cardiff have reached an “amicable resolution” with creditors Langston Corporation over the club’s longstanding debt.last_img read more

Man United Appoint Solkjaer Manager

first_img“This is the job that I always dreamed of doing and I’m beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long term,” Solskjaer said.“From the first day I arrived, I felt at home at this special club. It was an honour to be a Manchester United player, and then to start my coaching career here.“The last few months have been a fantastic experience.”When Solskjaer took charge, United were sixth in the Premier League and 11 points off the top four.But they have lost only once in 13 league games since – at Arsenal this month – and are now two points behind the London club, who occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot.Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said Solskjaer’s appointment was “richly deserved”.“Since coming in as caretaker manager in December, the results Ole has delivered speak for themselves,” he said.“More than just performances and results, Ole brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and as a coach, coupled with a desire to give young players their chance and a deep understanding of the culture of the club.”Solskjaer became the first United manager to win his first six league games, beating a record held by Sir Matt Busby.United reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2014 when they overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit thanks to a stoppage-time penalty at Paris St-Germain this month.Solskjaer’s assistant Mike Phelan still has a contract with Central Coast Mariners in Australia, although it is anticipated he will also stay on at Old Trafford. (BBC)Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Manchester United have appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager on a three-year contract.The Norwegian, 46, arrived at Old Trafford on an interim basis in December to replace Jose Mourinho.Solskjaer spent 11 seasons as a United player, scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final.last_img read more

NFF Unveils Eagles’ 2014 World Cup Jersey Today

first_imgThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will today unveil the new jersey of Nigeria’s national football teams, which will also serve as the official jersey of the Super Eagles at the 20th FIFA World Cup finals taking place in Brazil this summer.The Super Eagles are to wear the new jersey at next week’s international friendly against Mexico in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.The new design produced by Adidas, the official kit supplier of the national teams and the leading kit manufacturers in the world, is already raising eyebrow because of the lemon green used instead of the traditional leaf green associated with Nigeria. Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission, Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi will be special guest of honour at the event slated for the front area of the Sunday Dankaro Football House, Package B of the National Stadium Complex, Abuja, from 10am.Also invited are Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Adamu Gumba, Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Sports, Hon. Godfrey Gaiya, Chairman of the League Management Company, Hon. Nduka Irabor, President-General of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo and a number of prominent football figures.NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, will have the compliment of members of his executive committee, as well as NFF management led by General Secretary, Musa Amadu.Assistant Coach of Super Eagles, Daniel Amokachi, will represent Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, who is already in the United States preparatory to next Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico in Atlanta. “There is a uniqueness about the new jersey that Nigerians will love. The design is a top-of-the-range thing specially for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014,” Amadu said yesterday.Super Eagles’ players, goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, midfielder Abdullahi Shehu and striker Ejike Uzoenyi will showcase the new wears at the occasion.last_img read more