Month: November 2020

Monkeypox that hit US was milder of 2 strains

first_imgJul 22, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Genetic mutations in monkeypox viruses of West African origin might have spared the lives of people infected with the virus in the United States, according to a recent report. The source of the outbreak was traced to infected rodents from Ghana. Gambian rats and other imported African rodents were housed with prairie dogs, which acquired the virus and passed it along to humans when they were sold as pets. Now, a research group from St. Louis University Health Sciences Center has published a genetic study that may explain why none of the people infected that summer died. The results were published online Jul 13 in the journal Virology. The study was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Though primarily a disease of rodents and nonhuman primates, monkeypox can occasionally spread to humans and cause a smallpox-like illness. In the summer of 2003, an outbreak of the disease occurred in six Midwestern states. Having confirmed a stark difference in virulence, the group then sequenced the genome of three West African monkeypox isolates and compared these sequences with the known genome of a single Congo basin isolate. They determined that the West African isolates were genetically distinct in important ways. Although the West African and Congo basin isolates differed at dozens of genes, the researchers identified one gene in particular thought to determine the difference in virulence. Chen N, Li G, Liszewski MK, et al. Virulence differences between monkeypox virus isolates from West Africa and the Congo basin. Virology 2005 (published online Jul 13) [Abstract] Jul 10, 2003, CIDRAP News story on US monkeypox outbreakcenter_img See also: This genetic difference could explain why none of the 71 people infected with monkeypox in the United States died of their disease. The virus isolated from patients in the outbreak was determined to be of West African origin, like the less virulent isolates in the study. The VACV-COP-C3L gene, which is important in helping the virus evade the body’s immune response, was present in the Congo basin isolate, but absent in the three virus isolates from West Africa. In addition, the researchers found that the gene in the Congo basin virus corresponded closely to a similar gene in the smallpox virus. Without this gene, the authors hypothesized, cells infected with the West African strains would be “more susceptible to antibody and complement lysis, which could diminish virus spread, and lead to less severe disease.” R. Mark L. Buller and colleagues first infected cynomolgus monkeys with one of two doses of either a Congo basin or West African monkeypox virus. The monkeys receiving Congo monkeypox showed signs of disease at 7 days after infection, and all of the monkeys infected at the higher dose died (none died at the lower dose). In contrast, none of the monkeys infected with West African monkeypox appeared ill or died, even at the higher dose. The authors also propose that their findings could shed light on epidemiologic data in Africa. Previous studies have showed similar prevalence of antibodies against monkeypox among people in the Congo basin and West Africa. However, more than 90% of human cases of monkeypox, including all fatal cases, occurred in the Congo basin. The new genetic information provides an explanation for this difference in morbidity and mortality.last_img read more

Scaring people is scary

first_img(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) –We are all likeliest to take precautions when we’re frightened. But “fear of fear” is widespread—and a major barrier to pandemic communication.In February 2005 I had a chance to spend a day with many of the top pandemic people at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I made the strongest case I could for alerting the American public to the risk of an H5N1 pandemic—for shaking people by their collective lapels and persuading them that family and community preparedness should be a priority.I failed. The collective wisdom of the group was that, yes, pandemic preparedness was an important government priority. But trying to make it an important public priority would require frightening people . . . and that was simply too high a price to pay. The psychological toll and the economic impact could be incalculable.That summer US President George Bush read John Barry’s book on 1918, The Great Influenza. And a couple of months after that, Katrina led White House strategists to decide that, for a while at least, Cassandra’s doomsday predictions might provide a better role model than Pollyanna’s over-optimism. By the end of 2005, HHS and CDC were in the forefront of an orchestrated federal campaign to sound the alarm about pandemic preparedness.Have you noticed any signs of pandemic preparedness panic? Are your friends suffering from pandemic preparedness post-traumatic stress disorder? Has a massive pandemic preparedness market selloff hurt your share price? I don’t think so.The pandemic “fear campaign,” as its critics rightly called it, was modestly successful. It was a decent start on what will have to be a 5-year or 10-year effort to get the US public emotionally and logistically ready for a pandemic. (We hope we are given that much time.) As I write this in early December 2006, we’re in a lull. Pandemic preparedness is old news in the mainstream media. But when the story becomes newsworthy again—perhaps when the first bird with Asian H5N1 virus is found in the North America—we will start at a higher level of public awareness and concern than we started in 2005.Much of the private sector, meanwhile, is about where HHS and CDC were nearly two years ago: convinced that pandemic preparedness is important, but reluctant to frighten customers or employees. Client after client tells me that the company is busy getting ready for a possible pandemic—but quietly. Why quietly? Because they don’t want to “unduly frighten people.”What about duly frightening people?During consultations and presentations on pandemic risk communication, I typically draw a diagram representing the “fear dimension” of emotional arousal.When I ask the group where on the scale they want their stakeholders to be with respect to pandemic preparedness, the typical choice is “concern.” When I advocate for “fear” instead I get a lot of pushback. The group’s usual solution is to add another label, “high concern.”I think my clients are imagining a cowering fear; a paralyzing fear; a swarming mass-hysteria panic-fear. But for the most part people are sturdy—responding to fearful situations with initial anxiety and riveted attention, followed quickly by resilient response, and then by integrating the new fear into their daily lives. Pretty quickly—sadly, in a way—people adapt. Many people even become too apathetic again.On the diagram at right, the level of emotional arousal most conducive to precaution-taking is fear—proportionate fear. Concern is too low; terror is too high. Sustained fear would be optimal for preparedness (though not optimal for normal living). But fear isn’t sustainable. The best we can manage is an oscillation between fear (when something newsworthy is happening) and concern (when it isn’t).My wife was once a university psychiatrist. Students used to say to her, “I want to break up with my boyfriend, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” Her answer: “That isn’t one of the choices. When you tell him hurtful news, you can’t skip the part where he feels hurt.”Scaring people is scary. But if you want people to prepare for a possible pandemic, you can’t skip the part where they feel frightened.I’ll have more to say about the dynamics of fear in my next column.An internationally renowned expert in risk communication and crisis communication, Peter Sandman speaks and consults widely on communication aspects of pandemic preparedness. Most of his risk communication writing is available without charge at the Peter Sandman Risk Communication Web Site ( For an index of pandemic-related writing on the site, see For more on “fear of fear,” see (written with Jody Lanard).last_img read more

Frozen breaded chicken entrees linked to multistate Salmonella outbreak

first_imgOct 7, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently issued a public health alert about the Salmonella infection risk of eating improperly cooked chicken entrees after 32 people in 12 states got sick.The link between the illnesses and raw, frozen, breaded, prebrowned and stuffed chicken entrees was found during an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the USDA said in an Oct 3 public health advisory. The investigation revealed that the illnesses involved the same pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern.Minnesota experienceThe MDH found that 14 cases of salmonellosis in the state since July 2008 were linked to the same Salmonella strain, according to an Oct 3 statement from the MDH. Kirk Smith, head of the MDH’s foodborne disease unit, told CIDRAP News that the outbreak strain is Salmonella enterica serotype 4, 12:i:-. The illnesses affected children and adults. Six of Minnesota’s patients were hospitalized but have since recovered.Smith said in the MDH statement that investigators found the outbreak strain in four packages of product from the homes of some of the sick patients and from grocery stores. The products linked to the outbreak are Milford Valley Farms Chicken Cordon Bleu and Chicken Kiev, and the MDH said they are available at many grocery store chains.Federal guidelines do not require a recall because Salmonella is not considered an adulterant in raw poultry, the MDH said. According to the MDH, products associated with the Salmonella outbreak bear the establishment number “Est. P-2375” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The Chicken Cordon Bleu products have the following code dates printed on the side of the package: C8121, C126, and C8133. Implicated Chicken Kiev products have the code date C149 printed on the side of the package.The MDH said the recent Salmonella outbreak is the sixth in Minnesota since 1998 to be linked to raw, frozen, breaded, prebrowned, stuffed chicken entrees.Improper cookingHeidi Kassenborg, dairy and food inspection director at the MDA, said in the MDH statement, “The problem arises when consumers don’t realize that they are preparing a raw product,” she said, adding that most of the sick patients probably assumed the products were precooked. The type of chicken products linked to the outbreak were previously labeled as microwavable, but the variability of microwave ovens can result in undercooking of the product.Though the chicken products are no longer labeled as microwavable in Minnesota, public health officials fear consumers still microwave them out of habit. Smith urges consumers to observe food safety practices, even when using a conventional oven to cook the products. “You need to check the internal temperature of the product to make sure it is fully cooked,” he said, which involved cooking all raw poultry products to an internal temperature of at least 165°F.In its public health alert, the USDA reminded consumers to follow package cooking instructions for frozen, stuffed raw chicken products and to observe food safety guidelines when handling any raw meat or poultry.Outbreak at Texas restaurantIn other developments, public health officials in Amarillo, Tex., said yesterday that a contaminated warm water bath used for keeping syrup bottles warm has been identified as the source of Salmonella outbreaks that shuttered an International House of Pancakes (IHOP) outlet three times in the past 3 months, according to local media reports.Between Father’s Day and early July about 90 Salmonella infections were reported, according to a Sep 18 report from KDFA, Amarillo’s CBS television affiliate. After IHOP management closed the restaurant on Jul 23, public health authorities tested the store’s 68 employees and found that 11 were positive for Salmonella, according to a Sep 19 report on, the Web site of the Amarillo Globe-News.Though employees received more training in hand washing and food safety, the restaurant closed again for the third time in mid September after the city’s public and environmental health departments associated 7 of 10 case-patients who were infected with Salmonella group C with meals they ate at the IHOP restaurant.J. Rush Pierce, Jr, MD, health authority with the Amarillo Bi-City County Health District, told KDFA yesterday that the water contaminated the outside of the syrup bottles, spreading Salmonella to workers and customers. Officials told the IHOP’s store managers to stop using the warm water bath system and that the restaurant should remain closed until sanitization procedures are completed.See also:Oct 3 USDA public health alert read more

NEWS SCAN: H5N1 cases in Egypt, Uganda’s polio vaccine push, OIE eases BSE-related standard

first_imgJun 2, 2009WHO reports two new H5N1 cases in EgyptThe World Health Organization (WHO) reported two new H5N1 avian influenza infections in Egyptian children, a 4-year-old girl from Kafr El Sheikh governorate whose illness was announced today and a 14-month-old girl from Dakhalia governorate whose case was reported yesterday. The 4-year-old got sick on May 30 and was hospitalized the next day; the 14-month-old got sick on May 25 and was hospitalized 4 days later. Both patients were treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and are in stable condition. Investigations suggest both had close contact with sick and dead poultry. The new announcements raise Egypt’s H5N1 case count to 78, of which 27 were fatal, and push the global H5N1 count to 433 cases, which include 262 deaths.[Jun 2 WHO statement][Jun 1 WHO statement]Uganda launches major polio vaccine pushUganda’s health ministry said it will immunize 6 million children against polio and measles in a 3-day campaign that begins Jun 6, AllAfrica News reported today. The immunization drive will target children younger than 5 year and cover 95% of the country. A WHO official in Uganda said 10 cases of paralytic polio were recently confirmed in the country. The vaccination campaign is funded by the WHO, the Red Cross, and the Ugandan government.OIE lifts BSE-related age limit for beef exportsThe World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) passed a resolution on May 29 at its annual assembly that removes age limits on beef exports that were designed to reduce the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, Kyodo News reported. The OIE’s previous BSE-related standard limited beef exports to boneless beef from cattle younger than 30 months. The move may pressure Japan to lift its 20-month age limit on US cattle imported to the country, the story said.[May 30 Kyodo News story]last_img read more

The 600th patient from Krk was transported by air medical transport

first_imgRegardless of the island’s traffic isolation, Croatia shows every year that it is ready and organized when it comes to providing emergency medical care. Thus, the crews of the Transport Helicopter Squadron (ETH) 93rd Air Base and the Multipurpose Helicopter Squadron (EVH) 91st Air Force Base of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defense during November were engaged in emergency care of six patients.Thus, the crews of ETH 93rd transported two patients on Sunday, November 12, one from the island of Hvar and one from the island of Pelješac, and all patients were taken care of at the Clinical Hospital Split in Firule. Crews of the 91st EVH base based on the island of Krk transported four patients to the Delta heliport in Rijeka on Saturday, November 11, two from the island of Rab and on Sunday, November 12, two from the island of Lošinj, including one two-year-old child. . On Saturday’s flight, the 600th patient was transported since the establishment of the base for emergency air medical transport on the island of Krk on May 1, 2016.As of 1 January 2017, a total of 792 patients and 1438 escorts were transported by Croatian Air Force and Air Defense helicopters, for which slightly more than 719 flight hours were spent.<br />
<a href=”″ target=”_blank”><br />
<img src=”″ border=0 width=1280 height=200></a><br />
HGSS cares about the safety of citizens and tourists about 24 hours a day, 365 days a year The whole story about safety, which is extremely important for tourists, is certainly given by the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS), whose number of interventions is more than 1.200 a year and grows every year by about 20 percent as more tourists and outdoor activities.Needless to say, safety and trust in our public services, especially in emergencies and for tourists coming with children, are important for tourism development. One of the great examples of how to take care of tourists as a tourist destination is Istria, and how they do it can be seen below in the attachment.Related news:last_img read more

Training for the implementation of the new Law on the provision of services in tourism

first_imgThe Croatian Chamber of Commerce organizes training for the application of the new one Law on the provision of services in tourism which came into force on January 1, 2018, and which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 10 p.m. in Zagreb, in the City Hall of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.After that, trainings will be held in Pula on March 1, Split on March 15, Dubrovnik on March 16 and in Osijek on March 27, 2018.Services in tourism according to this Law are: provision of services of travel agency, tourist guide, travel guide, tourist animator, tourist representative, services in special forms of tourist offer (tourist services in nautical tourism, tourist services of health tourism, tourist services in congress tourism, services active and adventure tourism, tourist services of fishing tourism, tourist services on farms, aquatic organisms, hunting grounds and in the forest of forest owners, car rental services (rent-a-car), tourist diving services) and sports and recreation equipment rental services for tourists.The presentation of the Law and a review of key changes will be held by the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Directorate for Legal Affairs and Standards Monika Udovičić, the operational application of the new Act in the business of tourism service providers will be presented by the professor Željko Trezner, until Jasenka Štiglec, Head of the Independent Sector of the Tourist Inspection of the MINT, to clarify the misdemeanor provisions.For education in Zagreb it is necessary to register by 20. February by registering via the application form HERE PROGRAM: Education for the implementation of the new Law on the provision of services in tourismRelated news: A NEW LAW ON THE PROVISION OF TOURISM SERVICES HAS BEEN ADOPTEDlast_img read more

Three offers have arrived for the Hotel Hrvatska in Baška Voda

first_imgBased on the Government Decision, on September 13, 2018, the Ministry of State Property published a Public Invitation for the purchase of the Hrvatska Hotel in Baška Voda. The deadline for collecting bids was October 26, 2018, and for the hotel Hrvatska with a starting price of HRK 35.902.625,00, three binding bids were received.The company MAROS NEKRETNINE doo, Slatina offered the amount of HRK 36.500,000,00, the company ADRIA COAST TURIZAM doo, Zagreb the amount of HRK 42.400.000,00, while the highest price offered by the company MAREA ALTA doo, Makarska in in the amount of HRK 46.126.000,00.According to the portal, the owner of Marea Alta is Petar Ćorluka, the owner of one of the most successful companies in BiH, Violeta from Grude, which is one of the leading brands of hygiene products in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the region.Ćorluka already owns one hotel in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is the Colors Inn hotel located in Sarajevo. Hotel Hrvatska is located in the center of Baska Voda, has 136 accommodation units, of which 128 rooms and 8 suites.last_img read more

Annual meeting of the Italian association of travel agencies FIAVET in Zagreb

first_imgAs part of the entire program, ie on January 20 (Sunday), a one-day visit and a tour of the sights of the city of Varaždin and Varaždin County, such as the Old Town, the historic city center, Varaždin Cathedral, Trakošćan Castle and others. The Croatian National Tourist Board and the Zagreb Tourist Board are hosting the annual meeting FIAVET, an Italian association of travel agencies. Representatives of the regional branches of FIAVET, led by the president of the association Ivana Jelinić and accompanied by the Italian media, will be in Croatia in the period from 18 to 21 January 2019.  As part of the working meeting, Viviana Vukelić, Director of the CNTB Representation in Italy, will give a presentation of Croatia and Zagreb, while a meeting with representatives of the Croatian Tourist Board, the Zagreb Tourist Board, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies will take place.  Otherwise, Federazione Italiana Associazioni Imprese Viaggi e Turismo (FIAVET) is an association of Italian travel agencies founded in 1961. For 58 years, the association has represented the professional interests of its members in Italy. The membership of the association consists of more than 1500 agencies and tour operators, distributed in 16 regional associations of FIAVET. Representatives of the association organize a general assembly in a country every year, and this year the honor went to Croatia. The group will be accompanied by journalists from specialized business magazines from Italy such as Travelquotidiano, Guida viaggi, L’agenzia di viaggi and Travel open day.last_img read more

Jurica Glavina, SPLITB2B: Guests who come to our destination want emotion, experience and memory

first_imgExcellent International Conference and Business Workshop SPLITB2B, which was attended by representatives of the tourism sector, more than 40 tour operators and representatives of agencies from the USA, Great Britain, France, Italy, Hungary, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Spain, Russia, Croatia “Product creation and diversification are key to the pre- and post-season and increase tourism revenues. Therefore, the Croatian National Tourist Board continuously encourages the development of destination management agencies and tourism of special interests. We plan to allocate two million kuna to support DMC companies this year”, Said Slavija Jačan Obratov, director of the sector for destination management and support for the development of the offer of the Croatian Tourist Board.  The Split-Dalmatia County with its islands, nautical tourism, historic towns and hinterland is very interesting for tour operators and agencies dealing with tourism of special interests, confirmed Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board. Satisfied with the great tourist results that have been achieved in this county in recent years, he pointed out that it is extremely important to continuously invest in modern marketing channels, present at specialized congresses and fairs and look for new partner agencies.  “In these 15 years since we have been developing destination management programs, we have specialized in a number of smaller agencies that select specific areas, find and open new niches and do their job with a lot of passion and love. That is the only way to develop tourism of special interests. That we are on the right track is confirmed by the growing number of agency representatives from all over the world who come to our conference and business workshop”, Concluded Glavina. Boris Žgomba, President of the European Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators, highlighted gastro and film routes and attractive festivals as key products. He said that we must give guests a reason to come to the destination, that is, we must create motives for their arrival, and they differ from destination to destination. It’s a way to achieve better results and extend the season. Creating the motive of arrival is crucial in tourism About forty representatives of domestic and foreign agencies and tour operators stayed in Split, visiting Diocletian’s city, visiting Omis, Sibenik and Zadar. Reason?  Photo: Milan Sabiccenter_img “The emphasis of our event is on the business meeting, which was realized through a three-hour B2B workshop with the IT support of the program for arranging meetings. As the main goal of the international conference and business workshop is to encourage and sell multi-day complex tourist products such as package deals, events and gatherings in Croatia, we organized a tour of destinations in three Dalmatian counties. In this way, potential partners will get acquainted with high-quality tourist products of Dalmatian destinations ” points out Jurica Glavina, president of the Association of Destination Management Companies of Dalmatia (UDMKD), organizer of the second SPLITB2B. Photo: Milan Sabic At the round table “Tourism of special interests”, which ended the conference, Glavina pointed out that resources, knowledge and education are key to the development of destination management.  Guests who come to our destination want emotion, experience, memory, says Glavina and adds that agencies that deal with destination management are very aware of that. “So we set a target group, created packages, promoted them at conferences, B2B meetings and fairs and instead of going out into the world with them, we decided to bring the world to us”, Glavina pointed out. Šibenik Fortress Barone, heritage hotel Maškovića han in Vrana, Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun, Museum of Glass, Five Wells and Sveti Donat in Zadar, old Salona, ​​Diocletian’s Palace, Riva and Varoš in Split – two days are not enough to show all the beauties of Dalmatia , but more than enough to get an impression of the richness of the tourist offer, is the conclusion of the conference participants.  Unfortunately, there are very few such workshops and they are often only a small part of a fair, and not exclusively a focus on B2B as is the case with SPLITB2B. Certainly a commendable business workshop, and I hope that SplitB2B will be a proof that there is a great need for it and that it will encourage other destinations and organizers to organize business workshops in all parts of Croatia.last_img read more

A new step forward towards the realization of a tourist zone at the Pula Hydrobase

first_imgThe initial value of the annual fee for the establishment of construction rights is set at 2,3 million kuna, and will be revalued after 3 years from the start of payment of the fee. The deadline for the construction of the tourist zone is set at 5 years. The plan is to turn Hidrobaza into a new catering and tourist center with three zones. The first zone would have a capacity of 800 beds categorized with at least 4 stars, the second capacity of 400 beds with a minimum of 4 stars and the third would be intended for recreational facilities. The public invitation will be published on the websites of the Ministry of State Property, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of the Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, the City of Pula and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, as well as in high-circulation Croatian dailies. Location Hidrobaza is located in the extreme northwestern part of the city of Pula, and southeast of the Brijuni Islands. With good connections to local and county roads (“Istrian Y”), it is 7 km away from Pula Airport This Decision is determined by the “Urban Development Plan Štinjan”, and it determines the manner and procedure of disposal as well as the initial fee, conditions and criteria for selection of bidders, conditions and deadlines for construction and appoints a Commission for evaluation of bids. At the last session, the Government announced the Decision on initiating the procedure of disposing of real estate for the purpose of the construction of a tourist zone in the area of ​​the Hydrobase in the City of Pula. Recall, in November last year, the signing of “Agreement on determining the conditions, rights and obligations for the implementation of catering and tourism projects Muzil, Hidrobaza and Saccorgiana” In order to collect bids for the purpose of construction of the tourist zone Hidrobaza, a public tender will be conducted by announcing a public call for binding bids. The most favorable bidder is obliged to build buildings in the area of ​​almost 282 thousand square meters, the purpose of which is to offer a catering and tourist offer. By concluding a contract with the bidder, the right to build for 50 years will be established. Find out more about the Hydrobase location HERElast_img read more