US plan paints grim picture of flu pandemic

first_img The New York Times, which obtained a recent draft of the plan, said it describes a worst-case scenario in which the flu would kill more than 1.9 million Americans, put 8.5 million in hospitals, and cost more than $450 billion. The administration has said it has 4.3 million treatment courses of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and is aiming for 20 million. However, infectious disease expert Michael T. Osterholm said the draft plan obtained by the Times is out of date. “There have been tremendous improvements in the plan over the last week to 10 days,” an Oct 9 report in the Washington Post quoted Osterholm as saying. He is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of this site. Osterholm confirmed that the plan predicts a death toll as high as 1.9 million, with as many as half of all Americans getting sick. The new draft predicts that an emerging pandemic in Asia, where widespread avian flu has killed more than 60 people and generated fear of an epidemic, would be likely to reach US shores in a few months or even weeks, the Times said in an Oct 8 report. Quarantines and travel restrictions, while recommended, probably would not postpone the disease’s arrival “by more than a month or two.” According to the Times, the plan says the nation should have the capacity to produce 600 million doses of vaccine within 6 months, more than 10 times the current capacity. It also calls for a national stockpile of 133 million treatment courses of antiviral drugs. One section of the plan, the Times reported, describes a hypothetical scenario in which severe respiratory illness erupts in a village overseas in April, reaches the United States in June, and triggers small outbreaks around the nation by July. When scientists isolate the virus, as the scenario goes, they determine that the avian flu vaccine developed in advance will provide only partial protection. Aug 26, 2004, CIDRAP News story on earlier draft of the US pandemic plan Release of the draft plan has been expected for weeks. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, now visiting Southeast Asia to promote pandemic preparedness, said the plan would be released in a few days, according to an Associated press (AP) report published today. Under the plan, he told the newspaper, the military probably would be used to help move critical supplies and guard vaccination centers. But the document foresees only a small role for quarantines, and many decisions on how to manage disruptions and shortages would be made by local, not national, officials. Leavitt is accompanied on his tour by World Health Organization Director-General Lee Jong-Wook. On the crucial question of who would get vaccine first in a pandemic, the plan’s answer is workers who make the vaccines and flu drugs, along with medical personnel caring for flu patients, the Times story said. Following them would be the elderly and severely ill, pregnant women, transplant and AIDS patients, and parents of babies. Firefighters and government leaders would be next. Those numbers suggest that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is taking a more somber view of the risks than it did in the previous draft plan, released in August 2004. That document cited earlier estimates that pandemic flu could cause between 89,000 and 207,000 deaths in the United States. The document says a pandemic could overwhelm hospitals, touch off riots at vaccination clinics, and lead to power and food shortages, the newspaper said. Until recently, the plan regarded a pandemic as “more like an earthquake or hurricane,” he told the Post. But a pandemic is an event that unfolds over 12 to 18 months, and the plan is now “in flux,” he said. In related news, Leavitt said during his Southeast Asian visit that the United States is pleased with Thailand’s cooperation in battling avian flu, according to an Agence France-Presse report today. Leavitt said the US wants “to have that same relationship with others in the world.” Oct 10, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A not-yet-released version of the Bush administration’s plan for dealing with an influenza pandemic predicts that such an event could exact an enormous toll in life and wealth, according to recent newspaper reports. See also: But according to the Post story, HHS spokeswoman Christina Pearson said the agency is still getting comments on the plan, and releasing it now would be “totally premature.”last_img read more

USG to host diversity town hall

first_imgIvana Giang and Cindy Pineda, co-chief diversity officers of the Undergraduate Student Government, are organizing a town hall Friday for students to offer their opinions regarding the efficacy of current cultural spaces on campus.“This has been a conversation within USG for the last several years,” Giang said at Tuesday’s USG Senate meeting. “I’ve been in USG since my freshman year … which was when campus climate happened.”Giang explained campus climate was a list of demands made by a coalition of student groups regarding creating a more inclusive campus for marginalized groups.“We wanted to open this up to students who aren’t affiliated with USG to tell us what cultural spaces and resources they want to see here,” Giang said. Pineda and Giang are due to report to Provost Michael Quick in December regarding cultural spaces. Giang and Pineda said the town hall is meant to allow diversity officials to more accurately represent their constituencies and their views on actions taken thus far. The town hall will be held Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. in the basement of the United University Church. The town hall aims to offer an opportunity for students outside USG to give their perspectives regarding the efficacy of the currently existing cultural spaces on campus.Karen García, the executive director of Latinx Student Assembly, has been a vocal advocate for inclusivity and increased support for diversity at USC.“Especially with the growing diversity that USC likes to promote, there will be more need for space for these communities,” García said. “International students are a group that should have their own space, considering how large the population is at USC.”This initiative, according to Giang, is within the jurisdiction of Student Affairs, which released a five-year plan in 2015 with goals regarding the empowerment of students. One of the goals on the Student Affairs website specifically mentions diversity, stating that it aims to “educate students to advocate for themselves and others, develop and broaden their knowledge of diversity and be agents of change.”Giang noted these goals, and said that the meeting on Friday is intended to be in the spirit of this goal in particular. “It’s a big conversation and it’s a big movement and progress is slow, but I think the biggest takeaway is that this report is a huge step towards having these voices heard that haven’t been listened to in the past,” Giang said.García said she hopes for higher accountability and action regarding the cultural spaces, specifically mentioning that El Centro Chicano’s space is overcrowded.“There are a lot of communities that are not being represented in cultural centers,” García said. “A lot of students are being overlooked and are falling through the cracks. Simply advertising diversity isn’t enough without actually catering to students who need resources and come here expecting those resources.”The USG Senate also voted unanimously on Tuesday in favor of election reforms that aim to increase the wellness and overall election experience of the candidates, and increase transparency in the election process.last_img read more

USC off and running at Titan Invitational

first_imgThe USC cross-country team looks to follow up last week’s impressive second place at the Titan Invitational on the Cal State Fullerton campus, the last non-championship race of the season this weekend.The 5k race will begin at 5:00 p.m. today on the Cal State Fullerton campus. This is the first night race this season, as the majority of collegiate races are run in the mornings. Seven USC athletes will run this weekend: Francesca Adamski, Shelby Buckley, Anna Burger, Austin Lundin, Jessica Lundin, Erin Matranga and Kelly Owen. This race, however, will serve mainly as a tune-up before the Pac-12 championships, which are scheduled for Oct. 29 in Tempe, Ariz.“Our goal is to keep improving and stay healthy during these last few weeks of the season,” USC coach Tom Walsh said. “The freshmen have done a great job of pacing themselves through this season.”Last week’s performance at the Northridge Invitational was a well-deserved boost in the team’s morale, with USC placing second overall and freshman Erica Capellino taking third among the competitors. She was followed by Shelby Buckley in 11th place, Erin Robinson and Kira Soderstrom in 19th and 20th, respectively, Katie DeYoung in 22nd and Jaclyn Walles, Shannon Byrne, and Kelly Owen in 27th, 29th and 33rd. Austin Lundin placed 52nd, while Erin Matranga, Jessica Lundin and Anna Burger came in 58th, 63rd and 87th, respectively.“I was very pleased that our fifth runner finished the race ahead of everyone else’s fifth runner. Erica Capellino led the way with a strong effort in her first 6k race as a [Woman of Troy],” Walsh said. “I thought Erin Robinson, Kira Soderstrom and Katie DeYoung all pushed hard in the middle of the race, and really battled against the other runners around them. This helped us close the gap between our first and fifth runner, which is very important in a cross country race.”Last week’s performance at the Northridge Invitational might be a good predictor of the team’s potential at the Pac-12 championships, as both are 6k races. The distance is a problem for many schools, as collegiate cross-country races are typically five kilometers in length. USC’s runners, however, tend to perform well at longer distances.Walsh said that after careful consideration of last week’s race, as well as overall performance, the seven girls who will run in the Pac-12 championships are Shelby Buckley, Shannon Byrne, Erica Capellino, Katie DeYoung, Erin Robinson, Kira Soderstrom and Jackie Walles. Five of the seven girls selected for the championship race are freshman, but Walsh believes the young team will be an advantage in the long run.“This is a positive because they will gain the necessary experience to eventually score well in the conference championships,” Walsh said. “I [won’t say anything else] other than that USC will come and run our best race of the season in Tempe.”last_img read more

Inquirer 7 top UAAP 80 women’s volleyball players: Week 9

first_imgMOST READ The attendees of the big dance are almost complete. De La Salle, Ateneo, and Far Eastern University have all locked up the first three Final Four seats with National University needing just one more victory to secure its place in the semifinals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownAdamson University can still pull off a Cinderella run in its last two games, but will need NU to lose its last game to force a playoff for the No. 4 seed. University of the Philppines, for all the valiancy it displayed this week, is already scratched off the guest list joining fellow eliminated teams University of Santo Tomas and University of the East. Batang Gilas gets tough draw for Fiba U17 World Cup Weeks on list: 2Celine Domingo appeared on this list on just two occasions, and in those couple of instances there was always a narrative behind her inclusion. Her first appearance on this list was when FEU beat UE, Domingo’s former school, in the first round.Domingo’s second go around in this list also had a story as her performance against the Lady Falcons helped the Lady Tamaraws clinch the third Final Four spot this season.In those five sets that FEU played Adamson, Domingo finished with 18 points and was an immovable force in the net as she tallied six blocks.6. Kat Tolentino (Ateneo de Manila University, outside hitter)Kat Tolentino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLast week: No. 2Weeks on list: 2 Kat Tolentino was stellar for Ateneo in Week 8 when she averaged 19.5 points across two victories, and that momentum seemed to have trickled into Week 9 when the Lady Eagles split their two games at 1-1.Although Ateneo lost in disappointing fashion against UP in its second game, the Lady Eagles’ performance, and also Tolentino’s play, against UST was noteworthy. Season 78’s Finals MVP had a steady output of 12 points in their close sweep of UST, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22.Of Dy’s 12 points, eight came from spikes and she also did her dirty work on the defensive side with four blocks and six excellent digs.3. Jaja Santiago (National University, middle blocker)Jaja Santiago. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLast week: No. 7Weeks on list: 7In a time where NU searched for a heroine, Jaja Santiago proudly donned the gold-and-navy cape and rescued the Lady Bulldogs from a potential disaster.The Lady Bulldogs went 6-1 in the first round but suffered five straight losses in the second half of the tournament.Downtrodden and in need of a win, Santiago willed her team to a three-set sweep of UE, 26-24, 26-24, 25-20, to snap their cold streak and assure themselves of at least a playoff for the last final four seat.Santiago put up 22 points to lead NU to a 7-6 record.4. Diana Carlos (University of the Philippines, outside hitter) Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina  In the two games UST had this week, Rondina compiled a total of 44 points and that production pushed her lead in the scorers’ table further.Rondina is the league’s top scorer with 281 total points, averaging 21.6 a game, 21 more than second placer Carlos who has 260 total points.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Alyssa Valdez stays positive despite PH loss in volleyball opener PLAY LIST 01:14Alyssa Valdez stays positive despite PH loss in volleyball opener00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Tolentino was the driving force behind Ateneo’s five-set win over the Golden Tigresses, 25-22, 20-25, 16-25, 25-17, 15-9, to clinch a Final Four.The Big Kat put up 21 points against UST to lead Ateneo to its ninth straight Final Four but her production dipped to 15 points in the loss to the Lady Maroons. 7. Cherry Rondina (University of Santo Tomas, outside hitter)Cherry Rondina. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLast week: No. 1Weeks on list: 8 There isn’t much to go around UST’s performance in Season 80 as the Golden Tigresses failed to replicate their success from Season 79. The Golden Tigresses were the belles of España when they snapped a five-year absence in the semifinals in 2017 but 2018 wasn’t that kind to them. UST is officially out of the Final Four picture after it lost its two games this week dropping to a 4-9 record. As a team, the Golden Tigresses don’t have much to show but a certain individual has captured the hearts and minds of volleyball enthusiasts. Cherry Rondina has been UST’s lone saving grace this season as she practically put the Golden Tigresses on her back. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Every week, INQUIRER Sports will be ranking the seven best performers in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament. The author will base the rankings on the players’ team standings, statistics, and the intangibles that don’t appear on the stat sheets.ADVERTISEMENT Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames With the scenarios set, here are the seven best players for Week 9.1. Bernadeth Pons (Far Eastern University, outside hitter)Bernadeth Pons. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLast week: N/AWeeks on list: 4If there’s an empty stat sheet, there’s a chance that Bernadeth Pons will do her best to fill that paper up.ADVERTISEMENT Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast FEU clinched its Final Four spot after its lone game this week, in an epic five-setter against Adamson, 25-22, 25-27, 14-25, 25-22, 15-11, and Pons was literally everywhere against the Lady Falcons.Pons delivered a performance for the ages putting up 22 points, 23 excellent digs, and 24 excellent receptions, practiclly compiling a triple-double for the third-seeded Lady Tamaraws (8-4).For reference, Pons’ defensive stats were higher than what the liberos of the two teams compiled.Adamson’s Tonnie Rose Ponce had 18 excellent digs while FEU’s Kyla Atienza tallied 20 excellent receptions.2. Kianna Dy (De La Salle University, opposite hitter)Kianna Dy. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLast week: N/AWeeks on list: 5The Lady Spikers were the first to clinch a Final Four spot and the defending champions are now one step closer to solidifying a twice-to-beat advantage.With a 10-2 record, La Salle ended the week on stable ground and needs one more win to take the twice-to-beat perk come the semifinals.And one player who embodied that stability for the Lady Spikers was Kianna Dy. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Diana Carlos. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLast week: N/AWeeks on list: 3There was a time that these weekly rankings featured a “what if?” and that was a player who could’ve landed on a higher spot instead of falling down to the bottom four. Well, this week had a “what if?” and that was UP’s Diana Carlos who has become quite unstoppable for the Lady Maroons in their past two games. UP went 2-0 this week with shock wins over NU and Ateneo with Carlos scoring a total of 40 points for the two wins.The Lady Maroons, however, saw their Final Four hopes get dashed after NU’s win over UE.Carlos could’ve been higher on this list, even the no. 1 player, had UP got lucky and stayed in the Final Four conversation.UP’s 4-9 record, however, won’t be enough to get it to the Final Four and Carlos had to settle for the fourth spot in the player rankings.5. Celine Domingo (Far Eastern University, middle blocker)Celine Domingo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netLast week: N/A View commentslast_img read more

U Waterloo researchers achieve reversible fourelectron conversion with lithiumoxygen batteries

Source: Electric Vehicles Magazine Scientists from the University of Waterloo have devised several new electrochemical processes which greatly increase the lifespan and stability of lithium-oxygen batteries. On paper, Li-O2 batteries have high energy densities and low weights. However, they also have internal reactions (involving superoxides and peroxides) that slowly corrode its carbon cathodes. The superoxide also destroys organic electrolytes in the reaction, further reducing the battery’s lifespan.To overcome these obstacles, the researchers replaced the organic electrolyte with an inorganic molten salt and swapped the carbon cathode with a bifunctional metal oxide catalyst. They also chose to operate the battery at high temperatures (150˚ C) which produce stable  Li2O instead of Li2O2 peroxide. The final result was not only more reversible but also had a coulombic efficiency near 100%. Also, a four-electron transfer was achieved, which theoretically increases energy storage by 50%.“We demonstrate that by increasing the operating temperature and exploiting stable inorganic electrolytes and ORR catalysts, the reversible formation of Li2O leads to a highly rechargeable Li-O2 cell with high capacity, low overpotential with the transfer of 4 e– over O2, and excellent cycling performance,” said the Waterloo researchers Xia et al. Source: University of Waterloo via Green Car Congress read more