H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Sanofi donates vaccine, cases soar in Chile, Australia ups alert level, more NYC deaths, antivirals safe in pregnancy

first_imgJun 17, 2009Sanofi donates 100 million pandemic vaccine doses to WHOA Sanofi executive announced today at a health conference in Seattle that the company will donate 100 million doses of novel H1N1 influenza vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support its efforts to help the world’s poorest nations respond to the pandemic, the company said in a press release. The company said that once vaccine production begins it will set aside 10% of doses to donate to the WHO. Novartis said recently it will provide discounted, but not free, vaccines.[Jun 17 Sanofi press release]Novel flu cases soar in ChileThe number of novel H1N1 cases in Chile surged to 3,125 today, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported, citing a government update. The number is 1,431 more than the total for Chile reported by the WHO on Jun 15. Chile has reported two deaths from the virus, which seems to be striking children the hardest: 64% of infections are reported in the 5- to 19-year-old age-group. Elsewhere in South America, Argentina reported three more deaths, according to media reports.[Jun 17 AFP story]Australia moves to new pandemic alert levelAustralian Health Minister Nicola Roxon today raised the country’s pandemic response level from “contain” to “protect,” according to a government statement. The level is a new phase that was created to address the moderate severity of the novel H1N1 pandemic and is in line with the WHO’s phase 6 declaration, the government said. The “protect” phase calls for an emphasis on treating people who have severe infections. Roxon said states will phase in the new response level by Jun 26.[Jun 17 Australian government statement]NYC reports 7 more H1N1 deathsHealth officials in New York City reported seven more novel H1N1 deaths, raising the total to 23, according to the city’s latest surveillance update. Few details were available about the latest victims, though the report said all were between the ages of 25 and 64 and that most were hospitalized in late May at the peak of the outbreak. Overall, of the 20 deceased patients whose history was known, 16 had underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk.[New York City Department of Health report]Tamiflu, Relenza appear safe for pregnant womenLimited data indicate that the flu drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are relatively safe for pregnant women, who are at increased risk for flu complications, says a review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Oseltamivir is preferable for pregnant women because more safety data are available, but either drug may be used. Both drugs are considered compatible with breastfeeding. The novel H1N1 virus is sensitive to both drugs but resistant to older antivirals.[Early-release CMAJ article]US Virgin Islands, St. Maarten report first casesTwo Caribbean island territories, the US Virgin Islands and Dutch St. Maarten, have reported their first H1N1 flu cases, according to the Associated Press (AP). In the Virgin Islands, a woman who recently returned to St. Thomas from a trip abroad had the virus but was doing well. On St. Maarten, a 22-year-old American student at the American University of the Caribbean was recuperating, the story said.[Jun 16 AP report]last_img read more

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Johnson and team ready to open 2013-2014 season

first_imgAfter defeating the Japanese National team 3-0 last week, Wisconsin women’s hockey coach Mark Johnson said an exhibition game proved an important experience for UW freshmen and players returning from injury.The Badgers faced off in an exhibition game last Monday against the Japanese, who took on a series of opponents while in the Midwest, including Minnesota. During his weekly press conference Monday, Johnson said this was a good opportunity for his freshmen players.“Any time you get an opportunity to play, you have a chance to grow. Certainly for our younger players, an opportunity to go on the ice, play live competition with announcers, with the referees, with the fans, try to get the jitters and nerves out,” Johnson said.He added getting an exhibition game in before the season started was also nice so redshirt junior Brittany Ammerman could get a chance to skate and get back into the swing of things.  Ammerman was only able to play in the first three games last year before an injury ended her season.To start the regular season, UW will hit the road to face Minnesota State University, Mankato in a Friday-Saturday series. Mankato will have played three games by this Friday, making Johnson glad his players have the exhibition under their belt.The rest of the WCHA will also prove to be tough this season, according to Johnson, who said he feels it might be beneficial to start the season off against some big names.“It’s obviously early in the season, it’ll be a good opportunity for our freshmen to get their feet wet,” Johnson said.  “It’s going to be a very competitive, very balanced league this season, so it’ll be a good opportunity for our young players to see some league competition and an opportunity to grow at the same time.”The coach said he plans on using the Mankato series to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t, trying out different line combinations, power play combinations and just seeing what the overall team chemistry is like.“If we like what we see we’ll probably stick with what we see.  If not, you’re going to make adjustments as you go,” Johnson said.  “Early in the season we try to feel things out, and see what kind of chemistry certain lines have and combinations and coach as we go.”Following the series with MSU, the Badgers will take on conference rival and back-to-back NCAA champion Minnesota Golden Gophers. A meeting with the Gophers always comes with extra anticipation and Johnson is glad to be taking them on early in the season.“I think [the Minnesota series] is in a great spot, especially with my younger players,” Johnson said.  “You know you’re always as a coach looking for opportunities to see how your players will react in situations.”Impact of the Winter OlympicsWith the 2014 Olympics in February, national team practice is beginning, which means any college hockey player named to an Olympic team will be away from her collegiate teammates this season. Wisconsin incoming freshman Annie Pankowski will miss her first season after earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.Johnson said U.S. and Canadian players who will be playing in the Olympics will be gone from their conferences this entire season, which will in turn level the playing field by having some of the powerhouses absent.The teams that are most impacted by the Olympics are teams that have players from countries like Sweden or Finland, as is the case with North Dakota, Johnson said.“If you’re from North Dakota, you have a couple kids coming in and out of your lineup over the course of the season, that becomes a little bit more challenging than for us or maybe Minnesota, who would have kids on this team that will be gone for the whole year,” Johnson said. “It certainly impacts different schools throughout the country.”last_img read more

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