Vendor thought H2N2 virus was safe, officials say

first_img In a separate teleconference, Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the test kits containing the virus were sent out beginning last September. “We want to reassure the public that we have no evidence of any health threat to anyone in the community as a result of this” and no evidence of illness in lab workers, she said. “We have very good surveillance for influenza in the United States and we’ve not observed any unusual patterns of influenza this year. . . . If an unusual influenza virus had emerged, we’d certainly know about it by now.” Meridian Bioscience of Cincinnati sent samples of influenza A(H2N2) to thousands of laboratories, mostly in the United States, in kits used by the labs to test their ability to identify viruses. The test kits were sent on behalf of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and three other professional organizations. Gerberding explained that for accreditation, labs generally need only to show they can determine if a virus is influenza and whether it’s type A or B. “That’s why we didn’t learn about this earlier,” she said. The CAP instructed Meridian to include an influenza A virus in its test kits but did not specify the type beyond that, according to Schwartz. Henceforward the college plans to give more specific instructions, he said. Apr 13, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The company that sent samples of the influenza virus that caused the 1957 flu pandemic to thousands of laboratories knew the identity of the virus but apparently assumed it wasn’t hazardous because of its current safety classification, officials said today. But Schwartz and federal health officials said today the virus poses very little risk to lab workers and the public. Gerberding said it wasn’t exactly clear why Meridian picked the H2N2 virus, but commented, “It was probably a situation where the advantages of using a strain that grows well and can be easily manipulated in the lab were the driving force.” Before the problem came to light, the CDC had made a recommendation that the H2N2 virus be reclassified as a BSL-3 agent, Gerberding said. She promised to speed up the reclassification. The CDC determines the classifications in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. In a teleconference this afternoon, CAP spokesman Dr. Jared Schwartz said Meridian knew what the virus was but believed it was safe. In selecting it, the company had determined that the virus was classified as a biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) agent, which meant it could legally be used in the kits, he said. Earlier reports suggested that the virus might have been mislabeled. The situation was discovered in March by Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Man. Schwartz and Gerberding said the H2N2 virus used in the kits was a reference strain, meaning it had been used in labs as a quality-control specimen for years. Gerberding said reference strains often become less virulent over time. “It’s possible that this strain of virus poses a very very low risk of transmission efficiency in the public,” she said. “But we have to err on the side of caution.” The CDC notified the CAP of the situation Apr 8 and asked the organization to inform the labs and tell them to destroy the virus samples, Schwartz said. “We’ve asked them [the labs] to sign a piece of paper attesting that they’ve destroyed the virus. We’ve received over 1,500 of them back already,” he said. He later added, “We don’t know what the decision process was. It appears to have been an error in judgment in sending out an organism that had not been seen in the United States or other countries in many, many years.” “We now know that they knew it was an H2N2 virus; had the college known that, we would not have allowed them to send out an H2N2, even though it’s classified as biosafety level 2,” Schwartz said. In BSL-3 labs, agents are handled with equipment designed to prevent any airborne contamination and resulting respiratory exposure, Gerberding said. Level 2 precautions are less stringent, but they can also protect workers from respiratory exposure when they are followed properly, she added.last_img read more

Vietnam reports two new H5N1 cases, one fatal

first_imgFeb 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Vietnam reported today that the H5N1 virus has struck two men in two of the country’s northern provinces, killing a 40-year-old and sickening a 27-year-old, according to media reports.Nguyen Huy Nga, director of the health ministry’s preventive medicine department, said the 40-year-old man was from Hai Duong province, about 40 miles southeast of Hanoi, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the man’s illness, he will be recorded as Vietnam’s 103rd case-patient and its 49th death from the virus.The man died yesterday, 6 days after he was admitted to Vietnam’s tropical disease hospital in Hanoi, Nga told the AP.Dong Van Chuc, director of the provincial animal health department, said nine of the man’s 12 fighting cocks have died since late January, the AP reported. However, Reuters reported today that health officials said the man and his family ate two chickens that had died suspiciously and that poultry deaths have been reported in his neighborhood. Health workers are also monitoring his family members for signs of the disease.Meanwhile, Central Vietnam Television reported today that samples from a 27-year-old man from Ninh Binh province tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to Xinhua, China’s state news agency. If the man’s illness is confirmed by the WHO, he will be listed as Vietnam’s 104th case-patient.The man was admitted to a Hanoi hospital 2 days ago, where he remains in critical condition, the country’s state-run Vietnam Television reported last night, according to a report today from Reuters. The health ministry said he had slaughtered two sick chickens on Jan 31, the report said.The two patients are Vietnam’s second and third reported to be infected with the H5N1 virus in 2008. Vietnam has the second-highest avian flu case count, after Indonesia. For now, without the two latest patients, the WHO’s total for the country stands at 102 cases and 48 deaths, compared with 127 cases in Indonesia and 103 deaths.last_img read more

Cazenovia boys basketball improves to 6-0

first_imgHowever, the second half saw the Lakes maintain its production on one end and stifle the Trojans on the other end, only allowing a handful of field goals.Gradually pulling away, Cazenovia had Ryan Romagnoli earn a game-high 19 points, nearly all of it from sinking six 3-pointers, while Patrick Linck finished with 13 points.Alex Moesch, with 11 points, also hit double figures as A.J. Rothfeld and Peter McCole each got six points. Homer had 16 points from Mikyle Franklin and 13 points from Derek Fickett. Still at home Friday to face Holland Patent, Cazenovia went for five in a row – and got it, taking over in the second quarter and hanging on to win 65-58.The Lakers trailed 16-12 through one period, but outscored the Golden Knights 21-6 the rest of the half. And all through the second half, Cazenovia ably withstood HP’s charges.Moesch continued to light it up, his 25 points mostly including five 3-pointers. Romagnoli also connected five times beyond the arc on his way to 17 points, while Linck had 13 points for the second game in a row.Without any rest, Cazenovia played again on Saturday against PSLA-Fowler at Nottingham High School as part of the annual Syracuse Basketball Invitational.And the Lakers still got to 6-0, pulling away to beat the Falcons 67-48. Once more, Moesch was the top scorer, earning 19 points as Romagnoli and McCole had 11 points apiece.All of this was in advance of another big week of games that would start Monday at Bishop Grimes and continue Wednesday against Westhill.Then Chittenango visits Buckley Gym on Friday, hoping that it has overcome some of its early-season struggles.The Bears had faced that same Holland Patent team on Wednesday night, but with a far different result as it Bears fell to the Golden Knights 63-45.Though Alex Lum had 13 points and Tyrus Kelly put in 11 points, Chittenango could not keep up with an HP attack that featured Dylan Ernst, who had 21 points, helped by Adam Jones (14 points) and Michael Benedetto (11 points).Later in the week, the Bears fell to Fayetteville-Manlius 50-40 for its fourth straight defeat, unable to sustain its strong start as it limited the Hornets to just three points in the first quarter.F-M countered with an 18-6 push through the second period, grabbed the lead and did not get caught. Lum led Chittenango with 12 points, with Evan Smith getting eight points and Jacob Dawkins getting six points.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Even if the sample size remains relatively small, the Cazenovia boys basketball team is making a case to be on the short list of Class B title contenders.The Lakers returned from a long road trip the previous weekend and, meeting Homer last Tuesday at Buckley Gym, showed a fine all-around game in the course of a 64-50 victory over the Trojans.Long known for playing defense, Cazenovia saw that side of the game struggle during the second quarter, which allowed Homer to hang right with them and forge a 31-31 halftime tie.center_img Tags: boys basketballCazenoviaChittenangolast_img read more