Here are the companies making headlines in extended trading.Uber — The rideshare stock gained 1.9% even though Uber’s third-quarter revenue came in below Wall Street expectations. The transportation company reported a loss of 62 cents per share on $3.13 billion in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a loss of 65 cents per share and $3.20 billion in revenue. Square — The payments stock surged more than 7% after the company reported adjusted earnings per share that more than doubled projections. Square generated 34 cents in adjusted earnings per share, compared with 16 expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. Gross profit from the company’s Cash App unit grew by more than 200%.- Advertisement – Roku — Shares of the streaming video company climbed 3% in extended trading after reporting a surprise adjusted profit for the third quarter. Roku reported 9 cents in earnings per share on $452 million in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had projected a loss of 40 cents per share and $366 million in revenue.Electronic Arts — The video game stock tumbled 7.3% after EA’s second-quarter net bookings missed analyst expectations. The company reported $910 million in net bookings for the three month period, while analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had projected $971 million.Peloton – Shares of Peloton dropped more than 5% following the bike maker’s quarterly results. Peloton reported sales growth of 232% in its fiscal first quarter, while its earnings also beat expectations. However, Peloton has struggled to keep up with the heightened demand, saying it expects to be operating under supply constraints “for the foreseeable future.”- Advertisement – T-Mobile – Shares of T-Mobile jumped 5% after the mobile operator posted better-than-expected quarterly results. T-Mobile reported an EPS of $1.00 for the third quarter, much higher than an estimate of 46 cents per FactSet. Its revenue also beat expectations as the company added more postpaid phone subscribers than expected.Zillow — The housing stock jumped more than 10% after topping Wall Street estimates for its third quarter. Zillow reported 37 cents in adjusted earnings per share on $657 million in revenue. Analysts surveyed by Refinitive had projected 11 cents per share and $572 million. The company also reported upbeat guidance.Dropbox — Shares of the cloud storage fell more than 3% despite a stronger-than-expected third quarter from Dropbox. The company reported 26 cents in earnings per share on $487 million in revenue. Analysts were expecting 19 cents per share and $484 million in revenue, according to Refinitiv.— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this story. An Uber Eats food delivery courier closes a bag with an order during a lockdown, imposed to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in central Kiev, Ukraine April 2, 2020.Valentyn Ogirenko | Reuters – Advertisement – – Advertisement –
The White House had said it was looking for a “James Baker-like” figure to lead its postelection attempt to somehow find a way to win a second term. Mr. Baker is the former secretary of state who led the Republican charge during the 2000 Florida recount that secured the presidency for George W. Bush. They settled on Mr. Bossie, who is not a lawyer, but is one of Mr. Trump’s favorite defenders on television.Mr. Bossie, the deputy campaign manager in 2016 and the head of the conservative group Citizens United, is a veteran of 30 years of partisan warfare in Washington. His combative approach has always appealed to Mr. Trump. – Advertisement – In the days since Election Day, the Trump campaign has engaged in scattered efforts aimed at raising concerns and objections to voting issues in several states. Trump family members and a handful of loyalists, as well as the president himself, have held news conferences claiming irregularities, without presenting evidence. But there has been no single person in charge.- Advertisement – President Trump’s campaign is installing a Trump adviser, David Bossie, to lead the charge on lawsuits and other efforts related to contesting the outcomes of the election in several states, a campaign official said on Friday.Mr. Bossie was tapped by the Trump campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to take on the role, as the president’s advisers have vowed to continue legal fights over the tabulation of votes in a string of states, officials said.- Advertisement – Putting Mr. Bossie there is an attempt to rectify that.
– Advertisement – Compared to patching up that pandemic dam after it has already burst, other Day One agenda items for the incoming Biden administration are considerably easier:• Rejoin the Paris climate accords, which were abandoned by Trump due to his belief that the warming climate was a hoax.• Rejoin the World Heath Organization, which was abandoned by Trump in a fit of anti-China nationalism.- Advertisement – Those are the public ones. A less spoken-of priority will be to turn out every one of Trump’s government appointees as soon as humanly possible; the current Republican administration has been known for corruption, extremism, incompetence, and simple thuggery. Trump purged the government of nonpartisan watchdogs and instituted multiple programs to root out what his toadies considered “disloyalty”; the damage done there will take a decade to undo.Similarly, Biden is all but certain to reinstate the firewall between the Department of Justice and the White House—a firewall that prohibits the White House from meddling in federal prosecutions. Prosecutors previously stymied by Trump Attorney General William Barr will again be free to probe and, if necessary, indict Trump’s long list of personal allies caught doing crooked things on his behalf.Those last two point to a more immediate problem, however. It is likely that the outgoing and thoroughly craptastic administration will attempt to do as much damage to government as possible, in the next months, out of 1.) self-protection and 2.) raw spite. Trump may or may not attempt blanket pardons of all allies, for all crimes. A flurry of new “deregulations” is likely to further erode civil rights, environmental laws, and other Republican-hated bits of government.The Republican Senate will take no actions to stop it, and will help it along if they can.Short version, then: buckle in. Turning Trump out of office will be a hundred times more effort than Trump himself spent to enter it. Trump installed a cadre of hard-right Republican allies whose only qualification was their willingness to slather him with praise. They’ve gutted institutions from the State Department to the Department of Health and Human Services, made a wreck of literally everything they touched, and will now be attempting to make off with the copper plumbing before authorities arrive. Highest on the agenda, and by necessity: confronting the COVID-19 pandemic. Trump and his team are not expected to make any serious moves to contain the pandemic—and are certainly not likely to take it any more seriously now than they did pre-election, when their careers depended on at least pretending to give a damn. It is possible that the United States death toll could double before Biden and his own team are able to have the first of their own White House press conferences. Biden is likely to begin public advocacy for his new plan (which can be tersely described as “listen to the experts, and do what they say”) near-immediately, using his president-elect status to urge the mask-wearing and social distancing measures that should have been in place all along.We are in a familiar place, then. The last Republican presidency left the economy in tatters, and repairing it became the all-encompassing imperative of the incoming Democratic one. Here we are again.- Advertisement – • Reinstate executive orders protecting DREAMers, after they were explicitly targeted by white supremacist Trump adviser Stephen Miller.• Eliminate the “Muslim ban,” Trump’s blanket ban on immigrants from majority-Muslim nations other than ones he personally had business interests in.• Reinstating, en masse, environmental regulations that Trump’s far-right Republican allies gutted at the request of environment-damaging industries.- Advertisement –
In recent days, Mr. Trump and his allies have been trying to raise money to bankroll their legal efforts. Some of the fund-raising entreaties have noted that a portion of donated money might be used to pay down the campaign’s existing debts, rather than to fund new legal efforts. Six Jones Day lawyers said that given the small number of late-arriving ballots involved in the litigation, and the fact that they already had been segregated, the main goal of the litigation seemed to be to erode public confidence in the election results.Jones Day did not respond to a request for comment.In recent days, two Jones Day lawyers said they had faced heckling from friends and others on social media about working at a firm that is supporting Mr. Trump’s efforts.A lawyer in Jones Day’s Washington office felt that the firm risked hurting itself by taking on work that undermined the rule of law. “To me, it seems extremely shortsighted,” the lawyer said.This year, Jones Day has received more than $4 million in fees from Mr. Trump, political groups supporting him and the Republican National Committee, according to the most recent Federal Election Committee records. In addition to Mr. McGahn, a number of other partners at the firm joined the Trump administration. Noel Francisco became Mr. Trump’s first solicitor general. Eric Dreiband is an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department. A number of Democratic and Republican partners at Jones Day said that while some of their colleagues were grumbling about the Trump relationship, it was the firm’s obligation to continue representing long-term clients, even if individual lawyers disagreed with their politics or tactics. Two partners recalled how Jones Day had stuck with Art Modell, the embattled Cleveland Browns owner, even when there were death threats against the firm’s lawyers and security staff had to escort employees in Cleveland to their cars.The outcry at Porter Wright, which like Jones Day was founded in the 1800s in Ohio, appears more intense. Some senior lawyers at Jones Day, one of the country’s largest law firms, are worried that it is advancing arguments that lack evidence and may be helping Mr. Trump and his allies undermine the integrity of American elections, according to interviews with nine partners and associates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their jobs.- Advertisement – At another large firm, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, based in Columbus, Ohio, lawyers have held internal meetings to voice similar concerns about their firm’s election-related work for Mr. Trump and the Republican Party, according to people at the firm. At least one lawyer quit in protest.Already, the two firms have filed at least three lawsuits challenging aspects of the election in Pennsylvania. The cases are pending.The litigation appears likely to intensify. Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said at a news conference in Philadelphia on Saturday that a federal lawsuit would soon be filed claiming widespread voter fraud. – Advertisement – Now Jones Day is the most prominent firm representing President Trump and the Republican Party as they prepare to wage a legal war challenging the results of the election. The work is intensifying concerns inside the firm about the propriety and wisdom of working for Mr. Trump, according to lawyers at the firm.Doing business with Mr. Trump — with his history of inflammatory rhetoric, meritless lawsuits and refusal to pay what he owes — has long induced heartburn among lawyers, contractors, suppliers and lenders. But the concerns are taking on new urgency as the president seeks to raise doubts about the election results. In the past week, the firm has filed multiple lawsuits in Pennsylvania, trying to poke holes in the reliability of the election results on behalf of the Trump campaign and the R.N.C., among others. Porter Wright has received at least $727,000 in fees this year from the Trump campaign and R.N.C., according to federal records.Over the summer, some lawyers at Porter Wright were dismayed to learn that the firm would be representing the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania, according to three current and former employees.Chief among their concerns: How could lawyers, whose profession is based on the rule of law, represent someone who they felt had frequently tried to flout it? One lawyer said he was concerned that the firm might be asked to try to delay the election. Another said he quit in response to the decision to represent Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania.At two meetings, associates at Porter Wright told the firm’s partners that they objected to the work for the Trump campaign, according to the three current and former employees. They were told that the assignment was limited to the election in Pennsylvania. That assurance struck some attendees as hollow, since the state might decide the election.Robert J. Tannous, the firm’s managing partner, declined to comment in detail on the work for Mr. Trump. He said, “Porter Wright has a long history of representing candidates, political parties, interest groups and individuals at the local, state and federal levels on both sides of the aisle, and as a law firm will continue to do so.”Kitty Bennett contributed research. Like many big law firms, Jones Day, whose roots go back to Cleveland in the late 1800s, has prided itself on representing controversial clients.There was Big Tobacco. There was the Bin Laden family. There was even the hated owner of the Cleveland Browns football team as he moved the franchise to Baltimore.- Advertisement – Before the 2020 campaign, some partners at Jones Day said, they had to reassure clients that the firm’s representation of the Trump team would not influence the rest of the firm’s work, according to four partners. Lawyers at the firm have worked to promote gun control and have represented unaccompanied minors, including many detained by the federal government.But partners generally swallowed their concerns about the close relationship with Mr. Trump.Then the president and his allies, down in the polls, began fanning fears about voter fraud, part of a broader effort to sow doubts about the integrity of the election.“Many of the GOP’s litigation concerns are meritorious in principle. But the president’s inflammatory language undercuts the claim that Republicans seek merely to uphold statutory safeguards needed to validate the results’ credibility,” Benjamin L. Ginsberg, a longtime Republican elections lawyer who left Jones Day in August, wrote in The Washington Post the following month. After the election, as Mr. Trump’s reported lead in Pennsylvania was evaporating, Jones Day and Porter Wright petitioned the Supreme Court to segregate all ballots received after Nov. 3. Pennsylvania, they wrote in their brief, “may well determine the next President of the United States.” A prominent Republican lawyer, John M. Gore, is helping to lead the effort at Jones Day. He previously served as an assistant attorney general in Mr. Trump’s Justice Department.On Friday evening, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. ordered election officials in Pennsylvania to keep late-arriving ballots separate and not to include them in announced vote tallies. (Pennsylvania’s secretary of state had already given the same guidance.) Updated Nov. 9, 2020, 4:46 p.m. ET While it is not clear which law firms will be filing the suits, Jones Day has been one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast legal advisers.As Mr. Trump campaigned for president in 2016, a Jones Day partner, Donald F. McGahn II, served as his outside lawyer, leading recount fights in critical states. Mr. McGahn later became Mr. Trump’s White House counsel, before returning to Jones Day.At the time, some senior lawyers at Jones Day objected to working closely for a polarizing presidential candidate, according to three partners at the firm. They grimaced at the sight of Mr. McGahn standing with Mr. Trump onstage after he won the New Hampshire primary in February 2016. A month later, the firm hosted a meeting at its Capitol Hill office with Mr. Trump and Republican lawmakers as he sought to win over the party establishment.The firm’s work for Mr. Trump has also garnered it unfavorable public attention. “Jones Day, Hands Off Our Ballots,” read a mural painted on the street outside the law firm’s San Francisco offices late last week.During the Trump presidency, Jones Day has been involved in some 20 lawsuits involving Mr. Trump, his campaign or the Republican Party, and it worked for the Trump campaign on government investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.The work has been lucrative. Since 2015, Jones Day has received more than $20 million in fees from the Trump campaigns, political groups linked to Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee, according to federal records. Jones Day lawyers said that was a small portion of the firm’s overall revenue. – Advertisement –
Quarantine troubles? Kristin Chenoweth revealed that in the beginning stages of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns she feared her boyfriend, Josh Bryant, might end their relationship.“I think I maybe had a crying moment,” Chenoweth, 52, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, November 11, reflecting on her freak-out. “And I said, ‘Are you ever going to? Are you going to break up with me?’ Because, you know, we were together 24/7.”- Advertisement – The Candy Land host noted that fear of the relationship ending came after seven weeks of quarantining with the guitarist in New York City.Josh Bryant and Kristin Chenoweth. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock“That is really a testament to our relationship,” she explained. “He just held my hand. I think I held his at different times, and we were there for each other. That’s really what it’s about.”The Broadway star revealed that the pair have kept up with their date nights amid the pandemic, but they do look different.- Advertisement – “Golly. That’s a separate interview,” she joked. “Honestly, I’ve never really been that girl. I think I’m going to take life each day as it comes, especially now during this time.”The couple are, however, gearing up for the holidays and hoping to make the most of the celebrations after a rough year.“I don’t think any of us will disagree that 2020 has been not the best. But the good thing is that in my family, around the holidays, we don’t play around,” she explained. “When it comes to food, we eat. I personally am not a cook. I like things that come in packages.”Chenoweth revealed that she is turning to Kellogg’s Do It Yuleself DIY recipes and ideas on how to make the holidays extra special … and super simple.“I like to open and eat, OK. Open and eat. It’s a two-stop shop,” she said, noting that Kellogg’s crackers has created different cheeseboard how-tos for gatherings small and big. “Really, I’m just here to remind everybody about snacks!”With reporting by Christina GaribaldiListen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! “He’s a cook. I’m not. Let me repeat, I am not,” Chenoweth told Us while promoting her partnership with Kellogg’s crackers. “I know he loves to cook. We would do our grocery store runs in the middle of the night, so as to be safe, and he would get all the ingredients and he makes a great chicken pasta parmesan.”The Pushing Daisies alum noted that she makes salad during their romantic meals, which means “opening up the bag and pouring into a bowl.”The Holidate actress was first linked to Bryant in August 2018. Although they’ve gotten closer amid the pandemic, Chenoweth doesn’t know if they’ll ever get married.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Nov 10, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The current shortage of influenza vaccine has generated new support for proposed federal legislation introduced last January that would make the production of flu vaccine more financially attractive, according to sponsors of the bill.Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, announced recently that their proposed Flu Protection Act of 2004 has won endorsements from the American Public Health Association, the American Lung Association, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).In a news release, Bayh and Craig expressed hope that Congress will act on the bill in its lame-duck session, which begins next week. They also said the number of sponsors for the bill has doubled to ten since the loss of flu vaccine from Chiron Corp. in October triggered the current vaccine shortage.Among other things, the bill directs the government to buy any flu vaccine doses that manufacturers can’t sell by the end of the flu season.”It’s a buy-back plan,” Meg Keck, a spokeswoman for Bayh, told CIDRAP News. “It takes away the economic disincentive that the manufacturers currently face if they produce a surplus. Right now they have to eat that cost.”The legislation, Senate bill 2038, also offers a 20% tax credit for the cost of building or expanding vaccine production facilities, Keck said. The measure also directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a contingency plan for dealing with future vaccine shortages and to run an annual public education campaign on the importance of flu vaccination.Bayh and Craig said they wrote letters to Senate leaders and the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to take up the legislation so that appropriate steps can be taken in time for next year’s flu season. “The plan is ready, the support is growing—Congress needs only to act to protect the American people from another flu season nightmare,” Bayh said in the news release.Keck said the bill was introduced last January in the Senate Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. She noted that last year’s flu season arrived early and concern about vaccine supplies had died down by January. The bill remained in committee because “there wasn’t a sense of urgency at the time,” she said.Keck said she is not aware of any particular opposition to the bill. “I think it’s a straightforward, fiscally responsible way to make sure we won’t have another flu vaccine shortage,” she said. She noted that Craig is the only Republican sponsor or cosponsor of the bill.Bayh’s news release said the legislation also calls for increased government-industry cooperation to provide accurate estimates of the amount of vaccine needed each year and authorizes funds to encourage the creation of more vaccine producers.The bill calls for the CDC director to contract with manufacturers each year to produce the amount of vaccine the CDC thinks will be needed. If any of that supply remains unsold by the end of the flu season, the CDC would pay for it at a mutually negotiated price, the bill specifies.Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson has said he supports the idea of a government guarantee to buy flu vaccine in order to protect manufacturers from losses if the demand for vaccine is overestimated. Phone calls to HHS to ask about the department’s position on Bayh’s bill were not returned in time for this story.A companion bill, HR 3758, has been introduced in the House by Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, D-Ill., and has 13 cosponsors.See also:Library of Congress’s Thomas site for information on and text of Senate bill 2038 (search “S 2038”)http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.html
Feb 8, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The H5N1 virus has materialized deep in Africa, killing about 40,000 poultry on a commercial farm in northern Nigeria, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).Tests at an OIE reference laboratory in Padova, Italy, yesterday confirmed the presence of H5N1 as the culprit in an outbreak that began nearly a month ago, on Jan 10, the OIE report said.The virus was found in samples drawn Jan 16 from a farm in Jaji, in the northern state of Kaduna, the Associated Press (AP) reported. The Italian Health Ministry said the strain confirmed there is similar to strains found in Siberia and Mongolia in 2005, the AP said.The Jaji farm is the only confirmed outbreak site so far, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement today. “Investigations are urgently needed to determine whether the outbreak, which began almost a month ago, has spread from the farm to affect household flocks,” the agency said.”Poultry deaths in the adjacent province of Kano have been reported, but the cause has not yet been determined,” the WHO added.Although published reports conflict, the AP quoted Salihu Jibrin, head of the Kano state’s livestock department, as saying that at least 60,000 birds have died there in recent weeks. Testing was being conducted, but officials told the AP today that no signs of avian flu had been found.Another source, South Africa’s Independent Online, reported yesterday that poultry began dying in unusually high numbers last weekend at the Sovat farm in Danbare village in Kano.The OIE is sending a team to Jaji in Kaduna state to assist in government quarantine efforts, Bloomberg News reported today.The arrival of H5N1 in Nigeria realizes one of the worst fears of experts, who have long warned that the spread of the virus into Africa could greatly complicate containment efforts. Backyard poultry live in close contact with people in many parts of Africa.”In Nigeria, as in other parts of Africa, most village households maintain free-ranging flocks of poultry as a source of income and food,” the WHO said. “Close human contact with poultry is extensive.”The primary public health need is to reduce the risk of human infections by preventing contact with diseased or dead household poultry, the WHO said. If the virus has spread to household flocks, people will need to be warned to avoid risky behavior, such as slaughtering sick poultry.The WHO said no clear information about the source of the Nigerian outbreak was available, but the country lies along a route for birds migrating from central Asia.Full sequence information about the outbreak virus is expected later this week, the WHO said. The information should help authorities assess the risk to human health and may shed light on the source of the outbreak.Authorities have expressed concerns about paying for and coordinating outreach, education, and other responses to avian flu in resource-strapped African countries, many of which are already battling hunger, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other diseases.Nigeria, which has 124 million people, has an average healthy life expectancy at birth of only 41 years, according to 2003 data from the WHO.See also: Feb 8 WHO statement on outbreak in Nigeriahttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_02_08/en/index.htmlOIE report on Nigerian outbreakhttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A2006_AI.phpWHO profile of Nigeriahttp://www.who.int/countries/nga/en/
“Controlling avian influenza is an enormous challenge for the veterinary community,” Dr. Ilaria Capua, head of virology at Italy’s Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, said in a speech yesterday. “Local administrations in different parts of the world are not well prepared. The virus is changing as it moves to new ecosystems and hosts. We need money. We need resources.” Threat to humans persistsOther presentations at the conference underlined avian flu’s persistent but unpredictable threat to human health. A study of more than 900 people in four provinces of Thailand where there had been serious human cases of H5N1 flu found no mild or asymptomatic infections, according to Dr. Rapeepan Dejpichai of the Thai Ministry of Health, underlining a growing impression among some scientists that H5N1 is a difficult disease to catch. Episodes such as those are of particular concern to scientists who worry that underfunded animal-health efforts could leave humans vulnerable to a resurgence of H5N1 or another novel strain. “There is certainly variability in the response to commercial vaccines,” he said. “We are not getting very many new vaccines that are closely matched to the [wild] strains, and I think protection over time will suffer.” Vaccinating poultry and ducks to contain avian flu has been controversial. It reduces birds’ clinical symptoms, keeping them alive and preserving their economic valuethough not necessarily their utility as a trade good, because some countries refuse to import vaccinated chicken. It decreases viral shedding, slowing disease transmission, but it does not block infection entirely, potentially allowing the virus to spread silently. Despite investments by international aid agencies, the animal-health system in Africa remains so poorly funded that “we have had several experiences of samples being stuck in countries for weeks when they should have been sent to reference laboratories,” said Dr. Stella Chungong of the World Health Organization. “When you talk about capacity in Africa, you are really talking about very basic issues of specimen collection, transportation, and storage.” “Freedom from infection has not been sustained in the region,” she said. “There has been a recurrence of cases in most of the affected countries, with some countries having continuing outbreaks. The virus may be endemic in some countries.” That is also true in Europe and the Russian Federation, where “the reemergence of the virus in a number of countries does suggest we are moving toward endemicity,” even though some countries have deployed vaccinations against the disease, said Dr. Ian Brown of the British government’s Veterinary Laboratory Agency. It is not clear what is driving the slippage, Dr. David Swayne, director of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, said in a separate session: The influence could be immunologic pressure within vaccinated poultry or the birds’ exposure to ducks that harbor other viral strains. But a study of a recent outbreak in Wales and England of H7N2 flua mild strain not thought to cause serious human diseaserevealed three people ill enough to be hospitalized and possibly 23 people who had contracted a flu-like illness, according to Dr. Jonathan Nguyen-Van-Tam of London’s Public Health Services Laboratory. Despite the apparent slowdown in human infections and deaths, H5N1 flu is continuing to evade detection and control efforts, recurring in birds in some areas that were thought clear, becoming permanently entrenched in others, and mutating in a way that renders long-used poultry vaccines less effective, according to conference presenters. Jun 21, 2007 TORONTO (CIDRAP News) Declining public interest in the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza and its pandemic potential has sparked alarm among animal-health experts, who worry that shifting priorities will derail the funding still needed to control the disease in birds. And according to papers presented at the conference, vaccination may be driving the virus’s evolution. Isolates gathered in northern Vietnam in December 2005 are not only more virulent than earlier samples, but less likely to be controlled by vaccines that once contained the virus successfully, said Dr. David Suarez of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga. Bird outbreaks keep returningIn Southeast Asia, the area from which the virus began spreading in late 2003, there have been multiple H5N1 bird outbreaks just in the past month, along with Vietnam’s first human death in two years, said Dr. Watanee Kalpravidh of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. Prominent veterinary scientists attending the International Conference on Options for the Control of Influenza, a meeting of about 1,500 flu experts this week in Toronto, urged their colleagues to remember that the virus will remain a human health threat as long as it circulates in birds and mammals. “I’ve never understood why the medical community does not call for more support for the veterinary community, to say that if we could control flu in animals it would have a profound effect on controlling a possible pandemic,” said Dr. Michael Perdue of the WHO’s Global Influenza Programme. “But because it causes both animal infections and sporadic human infections, [avian flu] is not like any other disease. It has competing mandates.”
Of the 314 people who were sick, 246 were adults and 65 were children, while the ages of three were not yet known, the OSDH said. Seventeen people received kidney dialysis treatment for hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal condition. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) said that the last known case-patient fell ill Sep 6 and that it believed the outbreak was over. All the cases have been linked to the Country Cottage restaurant in Locust Grove, Okla., the OSDH said. According to previous reports, most cases occurred in people who ate at the restaurant between Aug 15 and 17. Sep 17, 2008 (CIDRAP News) An outbreak of Escherichia coli O111 infections in Oklahoma seems to have run its course after sickening 314 people, putting 72 in hospitals, and killing one, Oklahoma officials announced yesterday. See also: Investigators have interviewed 1,843 people in connection with the outbreak, the OSDH said, but have not yet identified a specific food vehicle in the outbreak. “Health investigators are reviewing results of interviews with persons who ate at the Country Cottage to determine the possible association of illness to specific food items. This analysis could take several weeks,” the OSDH said. E coli O111 is a fairly unusual strain, far less common than O157:H7, the type identified in most E coli outbreaks, but it causes a similar illness. Oklahoma officials believe the cases there represent the largest O111 outbreak reported in the United States to date. Sep 16 OSDH update Last week a state official said investigators were considering the possibility that the restaurant had an infected employee who handled many different foods, since the investigation hadn’t pointed to any specific foods.
Feb 18, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee today recommended that pharmaceutical companies use one new influenza strain, the B component, in next season’s flu vaccine.The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted to follow the lead of the World Health Organization (WHO), which last week recommended replacing the influenza B strain in this year’s vaccine, which is from the Yamagata lineage, to one from the Victoria lineage, said Karen Reilly, an FDA spokeswoman. The WHO and the FDA panel recommended that the two influenza A strains for the Northern Hemisphere remain the same.Reilly told CIDRAP News that the votes on retaining the current influenza A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 strains were unanimous. However, the vote on changing the influenza B strain was 14 to 0 with one abstention.The flu vaccine is reformulated each year in an attempt to match ever-evolving virus strains. The WHO and FDA recommend the strains for the vaccine in February, allowing companies enough time to grow the viruses in chicken eggs and process them into vaccine doses. Most years the vaccine is protective, but last flu season all three strains in the vaccine were a poor match for circulating viruses, and the WHO and FDA recommended changing all three strains for this season.The influenza B component of this year’s flu vaccine was from the Yamagata lineage, but the proportion of strains from the Victoria lineage continues to increase and has become predominant in many countries, including the United States.The WHO and now the FDA committee recommend the following for next season’s vaccine:For the H1N1 component, a strain similar to A/Brisbane/59/2007For the H3N2 component, a strain similar to A/Brisbane/10/2007For the B component, a strain similar to B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus, replacing B/Florida/4/2006Reilly said the committee discussed recommending the addition of a second B strain to the vaccine, but did not vote on the measure. Health officials in the United States have discussed including both lineages in the seasonal vaccine to address the unpredictable circulation of the influenza B strains, given that a vaccine against one lineage offers little protection against the other.Some of the committee members said there was not enough research yet to support adding a second B strain lineage, she said.See also:Feb 13 CIDRAP News story “WHO picks new B strain for 2009-10 flu vaccine”Jan 16 CIDRAP News story “Experts consider 4-strain flu vaccine to fight B viruses”