Month: November 2020

Byron Hayward leaves Wales defence coach role ahead of Autumn Nations Cup | Rugby Union News

first_imgWales will operate without a defence coach for the Autumn Nations Cup after Byron Hayward left his role with immediate effect.Hayward joined Wayne Pivac’s coaching team in November 2019, succeeding Shaun Edwards as defence coach, but he departed “by mutual agreement” just five days before Wales’ game against Ireland in Dublin.Wales finished fifth in this year’s Six Nations, conceding 11 tries, and are on a five-game losing run.- Advertisement – “We will then look to replace Byron on a full-time basis with an announcement in due course.” Wales finished fifth in this year's Six Nations Wales finished fifth in this year's Six Nations

Blood test for silent phase of prion disease reported

first_img After multiple repetitions of the process, any disease-causing abnormal prion protein in the blood sample will convert normal protein to the misfolded protein. Abnormal prion protein can then be detected by existing tests, such as a Western blot. The authors state that their procedure will detect 20 to 50 molecules of hamster prion protein, an amount that seems to correspond to a single unit of infectious prion protein. Aug 29, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Blood test for prion diseases reported” No abnormal prion protein was detectable before 20 days after infection. Abnormal prion protein was detectable during most of the presymptomatic phase, rising to a peak in animals tested at 40 days post-infection. Such a rise probably coincided with exponential replication of abnormal prion protein in lymphoid organs, according to the authors. See also: Jul 11, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A blood test detected prions in animals during the asymptomatic phase of infection with scrapie, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), according to a study in the Jul 7 issue of Science. Saa P, Castilla J, Soto C. Presymptomatic detection of prions in blood. Science 2006 Jul 7;313(5783):92-4 [Abstract] In the study, 46 animals were inoculated with brain tissue from scrapie-infected sheep, and 38 control animals were injected with phosphate-buffered saline. Throughout the incubation and onset of clinical disease, infected animals and controls were killed and their blood tested for abnormal PRP. All tests were performed in triplicate. The authors write, “Although technologically more challenging, the PMCA technology has been adapted to amplify prions of human origin. The ability to accurately detect misfolded prion proteins in the pre-symptomatic stages of vCJD would potentially help to reduce the risk that many more people will be infected by this fatal and terrible disease.” Detection of abnormal prion protein during the early phase, therefore, was likely from replication in peripheral tissues, whereas abnormal prion protein from the symptomatic phase was more likely due to leakage from the brain. The authors say this is believed to be the pattern observed in many prion diseases. PMCA uses blood samples from scrapie-infected hamsters and control animals for the test. To start the test, researchers mix the “buffy coat” of white blood cells from infected animals with homogenized samples of hamster brain containing normal prion protein. The mixtures incubate at 37ºC, then are briefly subjected to sound waves and reincubated. The presence of abnormal prion proteins catalyzes conversion of normal prion protein to the abnormal, misfolded form. Sonication breaks up clumps of abnormal prion protein and facilitates conversion of more normal prion protein to the abnormal state. Abnormal prion protein disappeared from the blood by day 80, but it reappeared at the time of clinical disease onset at about day 110. The researchers suggest that the disappearance of abnormal prion protein coincided with a plateau in peripheral tissues and migration to the brain. Three human cases of vCJD linked to blood transfusions have been reported thus far, and a study in the British Medical Bulletin has demonstrated transmission via blood in experimental sheep-to-sheep transmission of scrapie, the article notes. The authors say the test offers the possibility of detecting other prion diseases, such as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans. By detecting prions during the silent phase—just weeks after infection—the test could help identify infected blood and prevent disease transmission from those who are years from showing clinical signs of disease, the authors write. Development of a human test, however, awaits further refinement of the procedure, according to others. In a BBC News story, an unidentified spokesperson for the United Kingdom Health Protection Agency pointed out one barrier to applying the test in humans, saying, “A brain extract from healthy hamsters was used to undertake the test. Until a substitute is found for human brain extract, we cannot have a diagnostic test that can be applied to human blood.” Claudio Soto of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston and colleagues from UTMB and Madrid, Spain, used a “protein misfolding cyclic amplification” (PMCA) assay to detect abnormal prion protein in asymptomatic, scrapie-infected hamsters. They previously reported successful use of the test in hamsters with clinical signs of scrapie.last_img read more

PROMISING PRACTICES FOR PANDEMIC PLANNING Project illuminates spiritual aspects of disasters

first_imgEditor’s Note: CIDRAP’s Promising Practices: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Tools online database showcases peer-reviewed practices, including useful tools to help others with their planning. This article is one of a biweekly series exploring the development of these practices. We hope that describing the process and context of these practices enhances pandemic planning.Dec 17, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – In the wake of Sep 11, 2001, a group of disaster response experts collaborated on a project to incorporate spirituality into emergency response. Their work already has served as a blueprint for helping people in emergencies, including a college campus shooting, and may prove valuable for an influenza pandemic as well.Media coverage of disasters frequently portrays people struggling with spiritual pain and confusion. Victims may wonder why they were harmed, survivors question why they were spared, and many struggle to cope with loss and change.The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) is a Washington, DC–based group of national, state, local, and faith-based volunteer organizations. In the event of a disaster, NVOAD guides the response of member organizations. That collaboration is intended to reduce redundancy in volunteer response, said Kevin Massey. Massey, a board-certified chaplain, is the assistant director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Domestic Disaster Response group.NVOAD coordinated teams of volunteers after the Sep 11, 2001, attack in New York City. The focus for most responders was saving lives. Volunteer organizations found their standard mission of reconstruction was ill-suited to the jarring demands of a mass victim response, Massey said. Volunteers shifted their approach and began to offer spiritual care in a comforting environment, where people could discuss emotions and beliefs.Addressing spiritual needsIn response to members’ experiences in providing spiritual care after Sep 11, NVOAD formed an emotional and spiritual care committee in 2001. The committee included people from a variety of affiliate organizations, including Church World Service, United Jewish Communities, and the Association of Professional Chaplains.Members brought a strong background in early psychological intervention (EPI), Massey said. EPI is a therapeutic approach that entails pre-incident training for mental health professionals, critical incident stress management, psychological first aid, and long-term counseling and therapy.Committee members identified several priorities for improving disaster response. For example, as part of NVOAD, they had to consider the challenges for volunteers. Volunteers may find their jobs especially difficult when their focus turns from building houses and fulfilling basic needs to aiding the overwhelmed.Further, the response for brief emergencies may differ from the response to a prolonged disaster such as an influenza pandemic. (Experts suggest an influenza pandemic could last as long as 2 years, including waves of illness affecting communities for 6 to 8 weeks at a time.)Special care was needed in approaching the nebulous and sensitive topic of spirituality. The committee wanted to clearly state that disasters should never be used as an opportunity for religious proselytism, Massey said.Handbook for spiritual healthThe committee completed a handbook on spiritual health tools in July 2006. The handbook, Light Our Way, guides disaster relief workers as they assist victims and as they themselves recover from difficult response efforts, Massey said.The committee wrote Light Our Way from an all-hazards perspective, and members specifically tailored their messages to the stages of disaster response. Chapters apply to acute spiritual care, long-term recovery, collaboration with mental and emotional health personnel, self-care for providers, and community resiliency and preparedness training.The need for spiritual care in a community would be ongoing during and after a disaster, Massey said. A long emergency, such as an influenza pandemic, would require an enduring response.The idea for the handbook came from “a desire to have a manual of best practices for chaplains doing disaster response,” said Massey, who served as the author.The committee wanted the handbook to address principles of spiritual care to which all members could adhere. Light Our Way describes its intended audience as “disaster responders who put their personal plans and routines on hold in the event of a local or national disaster.”The guide describesspiritual care as imperative to an individual’s well-being following a disaster or trauma. It defines spiritual care as “anything that nurtures the human spirit as a source of strength in coping with the crisis.” Examples include listening to a disaster victim tell his or her story, providing a religious ritual or vigil, offering food and shelter to relief workers, and supplying “spontaneous generosity.”Clergy and other spiritual care providers risk suffering exhaustion as a result of their close relationships with traumatized individuals, Massey said. Spiritual care during a disaster will further require volunteers to be “doing their best work for a potentially long period of time,” he added. “Disaster response is a marathon, not a sprint.”This long-term view of disaster may be particularly helpful in an influenza pandemic. Many clergy and nonprofit staff are taxed with a multitude of duties and causes during nondisaster times. Self-care is necessary for clergy and volunteers who wish to help members of their communities through a disaster. Light Our Way encourages responders to monitor their own spiritual health before and during a disaster by doing small amounts of work over a long period of time and recognizing the signs of fatigue.A trial by fireAlthough the handbook was years in the making, it was put to use quickly. Light Our Way was used after a college student opened fire on the Virginia Tech campus on Apr 16, killing 32 people before shooting himself.Rev. Jim Kirk, associate pastor at Moorings Presbyterian Church in Naples, Fla., and a volunteer for the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team, arrived in Blacksburg, Va., on Apr 16. He distributed about 100 copies of Light Our Way to congregations, campus ministers, and other local faith leaders.He said he recalled thinking, “How in the world do we talk to all these students in various faith communities? How do we help them make sense of what happened?”Spiritual care was crucial for students returning to campus after the shooting, he said.”One of the most important things was to have a safe place to ask questions, like ‘Why did God let this happen?'” Kirk said. “There was a strong international student dynamic [at Virginia Tech]. Light Our Way stresses listening to someone and trying to understand their beliefs. You need to make sure you’re acknowledging and affirming their rituals.”The guide was particularly useful as volunteers realized that self-care was necessary for those who counseled students. In the days following the shooting, “everyone was running on adrenaline, and there was no time to say ‘Let’s talk about how we’re feeling.’ Everyone was in response mode,” Kirk noted.Several volunteers and chaplains suffered from compassion fatigue after their response efforts, he said. Light Our Way was a useful resource in addressing that fatigue, said Kirk, who added: “Spiritual care needs to be ongoing and reinforced with the need for self-care, especially for faith leaders.”See also:View tools and reviewers’ comments for the “Light Our Way” practice read more

Indonesian government mum as AP reports H5N1 case

first_imgJun 13, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An Indonesian woman died of H5N1 avian influenza 10 days ago, but her case has not yet been publicly confirmed by the government, which is continuing to withhold information about avian flu cases, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.The news came on the heels of the word from a World Health Organization (WHO) official that Indonesia has promised to keep the agency informed of human cases and deaths, as it is obligated to do under the International Health Regulations (IHR). The WHO official’s comments appeared to contradict statements last week from Indonesia’s health minister.On Jun 5, Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said the government would no longer report human H5N1 cases and deaths promptly to the WHO. Different news accounts said she planned to report cases after they were reported in the news media or only at 6-month intervals. Supari said she wanted to focus attention on the country’s successes in fighting avian flu.Today’s AP story says that a 34-year-old woman named Susi Lisnawati died of avian flu Jun 3. Speaking anonymously, a senior health ministry official and four other health workers confirmed the case to the AP. But the government had not yet notified Lisnawati’s husband, Ali Usman, that she had the virus, according to the story, which came from Bitung, a city near the northeastern tip of Sulawesi island.The case has not been reported in the local news media, and it took the AP a week to track down and confirm it, the report said.The case apparently raises Indonesia’s H5N1 death toll to 110, out of a total of 135 cases. The WHO’s tally for Indonesia stands at 133 cases with 108 deaths; the agency has not yet included Lisnawati and a 15-year-old girl whose case was announced by Supari just last week, though she had died May 14.Dr. David Heymann, the WHO’s assistant director general for health security and environment, said yesterday that Indonesia had assured the agency it would continue reporting avian flu cases, according to a Canadian Press (CP) report published yesterday.”We’ve received official notice at our WHO office in Jakarta that the minister will continue—as she has been—notifying WHO on confirmed infections under the International Health Regulations,” Heymann told CP.”She’s been clear . . . that she has no intention of not conforming to the International Health Regulations,” he said. “She knows what they are. She’s been told what those regulations require.”Today’s AP story carried similar comments from Heymann. But according to the AP account, Heymann said it doesn’t matter if it takes several weeks for the government to report cases, “as long as the virus is known about and handled properly.” He also said it did not appear that Indonesia was flouting the IHR.Under the IHR—agreed to by all WHO member countries—governments are required to quickly report cases of diseases labeled as global health threats. Novel influenza strains are among the diseases that countries are specifically obligated to report.Indonesia has been at odds with the WHO since early 2007, when Supari announced the government would no longer send H5N1 virus samples to the agency. The country wants guarantees that it will receive a supply of any vaccine derived from the isolates it supplies. The WHO has relied for decades on free sharing of flu viruses in its effort to identify new strains, develop vaccines, and monitor drug resistance.See also: Jun 5 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia quits offering prompt notice of H5N1 cases”Jun 15, 2007, CIDRAP News story “New global disease-control rules take effect”last_img read more

Fresh avian flu outbreaks hit Vietnam, Egypt

first_imgFeb 5, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Veterinary officials in Vietnam and Egypt have found more H5N1 avian influenza in poultry, and officials in Hong Kong are investigating the source of infected poultry that have washed up on island beaches.In Vietnam, animal health officials confirmed the virus in sick ducks in Soc Trang province, in the Mekong Delta region, Voice of Vietnam (VOV), the country’s national radio station, reported today.Nguyen Huu Vinh, deputy head of the provincial animal health department told VOV that the virus killed 527 of 700 2-month-old ducks at a farm in Vien Binh commune. Authorities destroyed the remaining birds. The report did not say if the flock had been vaccinated.Elsewhere, authorities in Egypt reported an H5N1 outbreak in backyard birds in the country’s Sharkiya governorate, according to a Feb 3 report posted on the Web site of Egypt-based Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). The project, funded by the US Agency for International Development with assistance from Johns Hopkins University, is designed to help Egypt coordinate avian flu efforts with its international partners.The outbreak involved 150 chickens, 15 ducks, and 12 geese in El Kenayat district. Vaccination status of the birds was not known, the SAIDR report said. Sharkiya governorate is in northern Egypt and is located about 50 miles northeast of Cairo.In other developments, agriculture officials in Hong Kong yesterday confirmed that samples from a dead goose and two ducks that washed up on a Lantau Island beach were positive for the H5N1 virus, according to a government press release. The birds were found at the same location on Jan 29 and Jan 31.Two dead chickens were found on another part of the island’s coast yesterday and will undergo avian flu testing. The press release said Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department will closely monitor the situation and try to determine the origin of the bird carcasses.Inspections on the northern part of the island found no unauthorized backyard poultry. Hong Kong’s backyard poultry ban, which applies to chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, and quails, has been in effect since 2006 and carries a maximum $50,000 fine.Lantau Island, Hong Kong’s largest island, is located at the mouth of the Pearl River. In November 2008, authorities detected the H5N1 virus in poultry feces in some live poultry markets in urban areas but did not determine the source of the virus. One month later they reported an H5N1 outbreak at a commercial farm in Hong Kong.See also:Feb 4 Hong Kong government press releaselast_img read more

Boris Žgomba, Uniline: Slavonia has the opportunity to become an attractive year-round destination

first_imgGiven its natural beauty, historical and cultural sights and eno-gastronomic specialties, it is time for Slavonia to start using tourist potentials more intensively and eventually grow into a year-round and attractive tourist destination. We have positive examples nearby, from Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia, and as for the tourist potential for year-round tourism in Slavonia, it is not questionable at all, the first question is whether we want, and then set it as a goal.And the time is right now, that’s why it was launched The initiative to hold the Days of Croatian Tourism in 2018 in Slavonia. An initiative that has raised and launched the entire tourism profession and has already succeeded in one of its most important missions – the media focus on the development of tourism in Slavonia and the continent, awakening tourism workers in Slavonia, encouraging tourist arrivals in Slavonia, and animating travel agencies to start selling tourist packages to Slavonia.In the meantime, various arrivals were made, both by private individuals and business entities that organized their team building programs in Slavonia instead of the sea. For this reason, the Management of Uniline, the leading Croatian tour operator, has decided to visit Osijek-Baranja and Vukovar-Srijem counties and consider the possibility of developing multi-day destination and daily excursion programs. “We chose Slavonia as the destination for our team building in order to give it business and social support considering our know-how and the sales channels we have at our disposal.” said Boris Žgomba, President of the Board of Uniline, Vice President of the European Association and National Associations of Political Agencies and Tour Operators, President of the Association of Travel Agencies at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and a longtime member of the Croatian National Tourist Board.Thus, Uniline’s top management from Wednesday 11.10.2017. to Saturday 14.10.2017. to visit the wider area of ​​Beli Manastir, Vukovar and Osijek and talk to the representatives of these two counties and individual cities and the offices of the tourist boards of the mentioned counties and cities. By the way, Uniline, which also has the Europcar franchise in its portfolio, a rent a car operation with more than 1.200 vehicles in its fleet, is a leading Croatian tour operator that annually provides travel services to over 350 guests in Croatia and the region of Southeast Europe. .Uniline as a One stop travel companyBy entering into the management of sales processes and the entire hotel business (hotel management), the company is transformed into a complete business tourism group, that is, one stop travel company.With headquarters in Pula, a business center in Zagreb, branches throughout Croatia and offices in Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, offices in China (Shanghai) and South Korea (Seoul) and offices in Japan and Thailand, the company has become a recognizable player in international scale. In recent years, a significant focus has been placed on the markets of the United States, Canada and Australia.Related news:GREAT NEWS FOR CROATIAN TOURISM! UNILINE OPENS OFFICE IN SEOOLUNILINE WANTS TO BECOME “ONE STOP SPORT TRAVEL COMPANY” ROBERT SEDLAR, UNILINE: GREAT SUPPORT FOR THE INITIATIVE STARTED BY UNILINE BECAUSE SLAVONIA HAS A LOT TO OFFER AND SHOWlast_img read more

#DayOne INTRODUCING LECTURERS: Berislav Sokač RUN Croatia – Croatia as a racing destination

first_imgIn the last 6 months, the auditing company Kulić & Sperk, Bonk restaurant on Zagreb’s Britanski trg, has joined the Run Friendly platform, and the declared best pizzeria in Croatia, Franko’s Pizza & Bar, has joined the platform. Split hotel Dioklecijan Palace will join the already existing certified hotels, LifeClass Sveti Martin na Muri, Malin, Vitality Punta LHV. Run Friendly employers Neos, Undabot, Business Intelligence and Bagatin polyclinic, which is also Run Friendly polyclinic and Run Friendly distillery Duh in Boca. This year we will get a dozen more new partners on our platform. Do you also have the first domestic line of food supplements that strengthens domestic honey producers? When you look from the beginning until today, you have achieved a lot, you have given extra momentum and started a running style as a lifestyle in Croatia. When you look back at how you look at the current situation where you are and what you have achieved? In the end, how do you look at this conference and what do you expect? What is the plan for the future, how will you continue this “marathon”? He will speak on the topic of Croatia as a racing destination at the conference Berislav Sokač which is an opportunity to talk and get acquainted with the RUN Croatia platform. When I look back on the last 4 years we have achieved a tremendous amount. Zagreb Advent Run race was the third largest Advent race in Europe last year, Run Friendly platform attracts exceptional quality partners and products, we are the platform with the most races in Croatia throughout the year, we are a leader in innovation in promoting active and quality living. We are the first to start exporting the lifestyle of running outside the borders of Croatia through the French model. One is Run Friendly World and we are proud of that brand that will be a platform in the future for 500 million people. Can Croatia become a top running destination in Europe and how? We go further step by step. If we take a marathon that is 42 kilometers, we are now at the fourteenth kilometer. We have just entered the working temperature of expanding and hiring new people. There are still a lot of challenges ahead of us, but with the marathon mindset that adorns my team, rest assured that we will reach the goal we set for ourselves. Run Croatia has also chosen the Concorda travel agency as its partner in support of organizing tourist and team building arrangements for 15 races this year. Concorda is adorned with a young professional team full of innovation and passion for creating an unforgettable active experience. This makes Concord an ideal partner to support our races and even stronger promotion of the destinations we work with. Our first race in which we cooperate is the Lun Novalja 2.5.2020 half marathon. As far as races are concerned, we are especially proud that this year, in addition to our standard existing races, we have three new ones: 25.4. Crikvenica Health Run, 30.5. Lidl Royal race of the city of Knin, Lidl 2. Varaždin trail 12.9 and 26.9. Funghi trail Lonjsko polje in the Lonjsko polje Nature Park. The following remain in the calendar: 2.5. Lun Novalja Half Marathon, 16.5. Lidl Cross Hill Run in Križ, 30.5. Lidl Royal race of the city of Knin, Lidl Mountainmadness Ravna Gora 6.6., Lidl Glow Run Split 13.6., Lidl Run Brač 22.6., Lidl Nerezine Glow Run 1.8., Lidl 2. Varaždin Trail, Lidl Malinska Run 19.9., 3.10. Lidl Sveti Martin na Muri MountainMaddness 17.10. Runfest as part of the Sportfest event in Poreč and 13.12. Zagreb Advent Run.center_img In partnership with the company Hedera from Split, we launched the first domestic line of dietary supplements for Bee Run athletes. The special feature of Bee Run preparations is that they give all athletes completely natural strength and endurance. This means that you will be able to consume it every day, without fear of negative side effects, with an extremely strong and positive health and fitness effect. Bee Run food supplements are made from bee substances: propolis, burdock pollen, royal jelly, with the addition of plant and mineral substances and vitamins. In this way, we want to bring a quality Croatian product closer to the active community and, by consuming it, strengthen the beekeeping cluster in order to start exporting. I consider participation in the conference extremely important because I primarily consider the invitation to the conference as a confirmation of the quality work of my team and me personally. With my lecture, I want to point out the size of the market, which Croatia has not yet addressed in a quality way. The healthy active community in the world does not know which pearl is hidden in the heart of Europe, and Croatia does not know at the moment what benefits it can get if it addresses that community. However, Croatia has Goran Rihelj, who is fighting on a daily basis to change that, that Croatia deserves better quality tourism. See you at the conference! So the goal or plan is for Run Croatia to be the undisputed number 1 brand in Croatia for the quality of life, for Run Friendly World to be a platform for a globally active community and for it to be known that it started from Croatia. The list of races is as long as the tourist and team building arrangements. Also, Protime, with the help of the Run Croatia team, will work on the popularization of Slovenian races among Croatian runners, and will also advertise Run Croatia races among Slovenian runners in over 150 races in Slovenia where it measures time. With this partnership, Protime and Run Croatia open and connect two markets that have not yet had the establishment of official communication to promote races and destinations. Just over 200.000 people in Slovenia are actively running, which will mean an increased number of Slovenian runners in Run Croatia races.  Another area of ​​cooperation is that we have sold the distribution applications with a Slovenian partner so that the motivating application for movement will now have a richer offer for runners in both markets. In Croatia, we gathered 33.000 users on the application. Together with the Slovenian market, we intend to transfer 100.000 users this year. What are the further plans? Run Croatia is unstoppably expanding its eco friendly system Run Friendly, so that next year Croatia can be declared the first Run Friendly country in the world. It is already due to its climate, the beauty of the landscape, the quality of food, the quality of some races, but in order to be adorned with this title, it is certainly necessary to have better quality communication in the public-private area. It won’t work without it. We have also been actively working on the development of a franchise model, which we were the first to sell to neighboring Hungary, and these days we are signing a contract with a partner in Slovenia. This will connect three markets that will get a single communication platform for an active community in all three countries numbering 600.000 people. Furthermore, we have further strengthened cooperation with neighboring Slovenia in two areas. Run Croatia has chosen Slovenian Protime, Professional Timing as a partner for measuring time in its races in 2020. The Protime team has many years of professional work in the field of measuring races, and their team measures over 150 races in Slovenia and over 30 in the region. Protime will provide support for registration via the web, provide a payment system and measure results and process data on 15 Run Croatia races, and one of these races is the Zagreb Advent Run, which last year was the third largest Advent race in Europe with 3150 runners. last_img read more