The Better Late Than Never star, who has been flirting with Cavallari on social media since the summer, was also overheard discussing his Nashville Thanksgiving plans with the actress on Thursday.The True Comfort author, who shares three children, sons Camden, 8, and Jaxon, 6, and daughter Saylor, 4, with Cutler, 37, previously told Us that she plans to spend the holiday with her kids and ex “as a family.”The Hills alum added: “I’m looking forward to that. I’m happy that we’re able to spend it together and have these conversations even though we’re in the middle of getting a divorce. So, I’m thankful for where we’re currently at.”The reality star and the former NFL quarterback announced their split in April after 10 years together and seven years of marriage.Last month, Cavallari told Us that she’s “feeling really good” amid the breakup, noting that she found the adjustment to be “pretty smooth.”Scroll down to see exclusive photos from the couple’s cozy date night. “At one point during the intimate dinner, Kristin was seen leaning into Jeff and giving him a long kiss,” the eyewitness tells Us exclusively. “The couple had a very upbeat night with a lot of laughs.”Later in the night, the Uncommon James designer and the comedian, 37, shared a laugh with two guys at the bar, one of whom Cavallari previously went on a date with, the source adds.“When Kristin used the restroom, Jeff only had eyes for her at the trendy spot,” the source says.- Advertisement – The look of love! Kristin Cavallari and Jeff Dye were spotted on a romantic date in Nashville, one month after they were spotted kissing in Chicago, a source exclusively tells Us Weekly.According to an eyewitness, the pair were seen dining at “uber trendy” spot Bastion on Thursday, November 5, where the Very Cavallari alum, 33, complimented the staff on their duck pastrami dish.- Advertisement – Despite their PDA, the duo’s relationship isn’t “going to go anywhere series,” the insider adds. “Kristin and Jeff just have a casual dating situation going on. She’s not in the zone to move forward with a full-blown relationship of that level and is just keeping herself preoccupied and having fun.”An insider told Us last month that the Laguna Beach alum, who was first linked to Dye in early October, “isn’t trying to get serious right away” after her split from Jay Cutler six months prior.“Kristin and Jeff are totally a thing,” the insider told Us at the time. “She loves to laugh and Jeff is obviously so funny and playful. He is making her life lighter through this transition and deterring her away from feeling upset. Jeff has helped put her in a good headspace and he is stoked on her and thinks she’s so beautiful and sexy.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
A special prosecutor overseeing the case, Rosemary Khoury, said at a news conference that she had presented “a very thorough, comprehensive” investigation to the grand jury and that its decision means they had determined “there is insufficient evidence to indict or accuse” the officer of a crime.At times, Ms. Khoury, a deputy prosecutor in Madison County, Ind., appeared to hold back tears as she announced the grand jury’s decision. At one point she told reporters: “I have to believe that justice was done because I trust our system. I trust our judicial system.” About 6 p.m. on May 6, the police department’s chief and deputy chief were both driving unmarked cars and noticed Mr. Reed driving recklessly. When they tried to pull him over, he kept driving and began recording. Ms. Khoury expressed sympathy for the family of the victim, Dreasjon Reed, and the officer, Dejoure Mercer, who, like her, are Black.- Advertisement – The police called off the car chase because it was considered too dangerous. But as Mr. Reed left the car and ran away, Officer Mercer, who was nearby, gave chase and shot and killed him.Randal Taylor, the police chief, later said that a gun had been found near Mr. Reed and that it had been fired twice but that it was not clear “which shots were fired when.”Thousands of people were tuned in to Mr. Reed’s livestream when he was shot, but much of the encounter took place off-camera. The police said no body or dash cameras had recorded the killing.The video did capture a morbid joke from a detective, out of view of the camera, after Mr. Reed was shot. “Think it’s going to be a closed casket, homie,” the detective said, apparently referring to Mr. Reed’s funeral.The Police Department said in a statement on Tuesday that it welcomed the decision by the grand jury, though it acknowledged that “this result may be frustrating for some of our residents.”The department also said it hoped the “full transparency” from the special prosecutor in this case as well as from the police superintendent would “help to move our city forward, improve the relations between our officers and neighborhoods, and bring us closer to healing the division in our community.”Mayor Joe Hogsett of Indianapolis said in a statement, “This decision ends the criminal review of the interaction but it doesn’t heal the divides in our community caused by a heartbreaking incident such as this.”Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs contributed reporting. A grand jury in Indianapolis decided not to indict a police officer who in May fatally shot a 21-year-old man who the police said had shot at the officer, officials announced on Tuesday.The killing was one of three fatal encounters between civilians and the police in the city during a traumatic eight-hour stretch, touching off protests and calls for reform.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – “I don’t know how Mr. Reed’s mother feels, but I’m a mother of two Black boys,” Ms. Khoury said. “I also am very empathetic toward Officer Mercer. I know that had to be a difficult position to be in.”The fatal encounter took place on the night of May 6 and led to protests in the city. Mr. Reed streamed parts of the episode on Facebook Live.Ms. Khoury said on Tuesday that state law prevented her from discussing the evidence presented to the grand jury, and she declined to say what charges she had asked them to consider against the officer. She also declined to say how much consideration the grand jury had given to the widely seen video of the encounter that appeared on Facebook.- Advertisement –
– Advertisement – – Advertisement – 2:15 Delhi Capitals paceman Nortje bowled the fastest ball in IPL history – 97mph – but Buttler ramped it for four, only to be castled by the South African next ball! Buttler is ready for the challenge of facing South African pace aces Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in England’s white-ball games against the Proteas Buttler will soon link up with England in South Africa for the T20I and ODI series against the Proteas, with the first of three T20Is taking place in Cape Town on November 27.The wicketkeeper-batsman will come up against two South African bowlers who starred for Delhi Capitals in the IPL – Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.Rabada was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 30 scalps, while Nortje bowled the fastest ball in IPL history to Buttler when Delhi faced Rajasthan in October, hitting 97.1mph.Buttler added: “Rabada has the ability to take the ball away from the right-hander. PositionInningsNot outsRunsHighest scoreAverageStrike-rateFifties England’s Jos Buttler says he feels he can make a bigger impact on T20 matches opening the batting – but that it was his idea to move into the middle order for Rajasthan Royals in the 2020 IPL Last Updated: 11/11/20 8:56pm The best of Buttler’s unbeaten 70 from 48 balls for Rajasthan Royals against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL On slipping down the order, Buttler – who hit 328 runs in 13 innings this season with two fifties and a top-score of 70 not out – added: “It was a discussion and it probably came from myself saying I didn’t think our team had the right balance.“It felt like there were a couple of games we didn’t quite close out when we were in good positions. I felt like if we had had a bit more experience in that position then maybe we would have got over the line.“It was an offering, really, from myself to say ‘I haven’t had the runs I’d have liked at the top and I’m quite happy to move’. I thought for our team, it looked a better balance having a more experienced player in the middle.“I’d say [my form] was average, I guess – it pretty much mirrored the side. I had plenty of starts, felt I got in, but never really extended my innings.“I had a couple of decent knocks but with the expectations I put on myself, I didn’t get to where I wanted to be.” 3-1126653570no26.75134.761 – Advertisement – Speaking to Rob Key and Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports’ IPL Cricket Show, Buttler said: “I see it as bat wherever the team requires you to bat, and however the balance looks best in certain sides.“I do feel for myself – and I think 90 per cent of people who play T20 would say it as well – that the top of the order is the place to bat.“It’s where you face the most balls and where I think I can impact the game most. I think I have had more success at the top of the order and impacted more games in a positive way.” Jos Buttler says he prefers opening the batting in T20 cricket – but that it was his idea to move down the order for Rajasthan Royals during the 2020 IPL.England star Buttler began the tournament in an opening berth, a spot where he averages 40.62 in his IPL career with 10 fifties in 31 innings.However, the 30-year-old then slotted down into the middle, from where he averages 26.75 in 26 innings, after telling management that he felt his struggling side – who ended up finishing bottom of the IPL table on net run-rate – needed more experience later on in the innings. 2:48 Buttler is ready for the challenge of facing South African pace aces Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in England’s white-ball games against the Proteas
On top of that, the high-profile recount Trump forced in Georgia may not even be legal, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The rules governing a Georgia election audit call for reviewing only a random sample of ballots rather than every single one. “The audit would have concluded when all ballots were counted and the odds that the full tabulation was incorrect was less than 10%, according to State Election Board rules. But instead of pulling a smaller sample of ballots, Raffensperger plans to audit every ballot,” writes AJC.Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has been under fire from his GOP colleagues for Trump’s failures in the state, has justified the full hand recount by insisting “the margin is just so close right now.”- Advertisement – Now, as the fate of the Senate rests on two Georgia runoffs, some GOP donors and lawmakers are realizing that loser Trump’s selfishly futile fundraising efforts are siphoning precious resources away from the battles that actually matter in Georgia, according to Politico. Senate Republicans have also made a joint fundraising page to collect money for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — but it didn’t attract the widespread social media attention of Trump’s efforts.Sorry, suckers. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – For the record, 14,000 votes may be close, but it’s not recount close. No way. Recounts almost never change election results, particularly when the margin is anywhere over several hundred votes. The Georgia runoff is Jan. 5. Request an absentee ballot by Nov. 18. Early in-person voting starts Dec. 14. And REGISTER TO VOTE here by Dec. 7.
– Advertisement – F.T.C. commissioners serve staggered terms and need Senate approval, so it could take time for the balance to shift. In any case, experts say the political climate isn’t ripe for an aggressive policy overhaul. David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and former director of the F.T.C.’s consumer protection unit, said that even though “antitrust laws haven’t worked very well in the digital economy,” he doubted a revolution was either desirable or possible. Similarly, Eleanor Fox and Harry First of New York University, who recently outlined new rules to rein in Big Tech, said there was plenty of room for consensus in the ideological middle, balancing nuanced views on market efficiency and consolidation. – Advertisement – The F.T.C.’s five commissioners are currently three Republicans and two Democrats. The Democrats, Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter, often oppose the majority’s “permissive” treatment of corporations, and one of them could become the new head of the agency. Indeed, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce recently urged Mr. Simons to “immediately stop work on all partisan, controversial items,” noting that leadership “will undoubtedly be changing.” – Advertisement – A debate has raged between more laissez-faire conservatives and the so-called progressive “hipster antitrust movement” seeking a more muscular competition policy overhaul, especially toward Big Tech. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to seek a balance between these competing ideologies. And Sean Royall, a former deputy director of the F.T.C.’s competition bureau who is now a partner at the legal giant Kirkland & Ellis, said, “The changes we expect are on balance fairly moderate.” Joe Simons, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, said Thursday that monopolies could “squash” smaller competitors by buying them, a possible warning shot ahead of the agency’s expected lawsuit against Facebook. The statement highlights how the agency’s approach to antitrust could change under a Biden administration, as the Democratic Party’s left wing pushes for even tougher enforcement, the DealBook newsletter reports.- Advertisement –
Johanns statement on Senate votehttp://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2005/03/0074.xml Canadian feed ban gets good gradesCebull’s ruling came just 5 days after the USDA announced that Canada’s feed ban to prevent transmission of BSE was working well. In late January, after the discovery of Canada’s two latest BSE cases, the USDA sent a technical team to Canada to assess how Canada’s “ruminant-to-ruminant” feed ban was working. The report says Canada’s feed and rendering industries are increasingly using separate, or “dedicated,” production lines to handle permitted and banned materials, the report says. This reduces the risk that feed for ruminants will be contaminated with ruminant proteins. Johanns statement on court rulinghttp://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2005/03/0072.xml The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had planned to reopen the border to live Canadian cattle under 30 months of age on Mar 7. But on Mar 2, US District Judge Richard Cebull in Billings, Mont., ordered the government to delay that move on grounds that it could increase human exposure to BSE, or mad cow disease, in the United States. Senate votes to keep border closedYesterdaythe day after Cebull’s rulingthe USDA plan suffered another setback when the US Senate passed a resolution to block it. But White House officials said President Bush would veto the resolution if it passed the House and reached his desk, according to a Reuters report. Ironically, two more BSE cases were discovered in Alberta within 2 weeks after the USDA plan was announced. Those discoveries fueled opposition to the plan. Cebull’s ruling drew protests from the top agricultural officials of both the United States and Canada. Mar 4, 2005 (CIDRAP News) A federal judge in Montana this week delayed a plan to reopen the US border to Canadian cattle for the first time since bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was found in Canada. Dr. Ron DeHaven, administrator of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, commented, “This assessment affirms our science-based decision to begin lifting the ban on live ruminants and ruminant products from Canada that have virtually no risk to human or animal health.” US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns described himself as “very disappointed.” He said the plan to reopen the border, along with existing animal health and public health measures in both countries, provides “the utmost protection to both U.S. consumers and livestock.” Cebull granted the injunction until R-CALF’s suit can be weighed in a full trial, according to the newspaper. He gave the two sides 10 days to propose a schedule for a trial. According to the Globe and Mail, Cebull wrote that resuming cattle imports from Canada would “likely be understood by consumers in the U.S. and abroad as increasing the risk of BSE agents entering the U.S. meat supply.” He said the risks the move entails are “great,” while “delay is prudent and largely harmless.” During the review, on-site inspectors saw one significant violation of the ban, and corrective action was taken immediately, according to a summary of the CFIA report. Feb 25 USDA statement on its assessment of Canada’s feed banhttp://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2005/02/0066.xml Cattle contract BSE by eating protein from infected animals. To prevent this, both Canada and the United States in 1997 banned the use of most mammalian proteins in feed for cattle and other ruminants. Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Andy Mitchell said he shared the “profound disappointment of the Canadian livestock industry” over the ruling. He continued, “Canada and the United States have the same BSE risk status, and have similar safeguards in place to protect human health, food safety and animal health. “The interests of consumers and producers on both sides of the border would be served by reintegrating our ruminant and meat markets to the fullest extent possible based on science. The science indicates that the border should be reopened.” This week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released its own review of Canada’s feed ban. The agency concluded that the ban was appropriately designed and implemented and that compliance with it is high. “On average, 95% of feed mills and 93% of renderers inspected over the past three years were either fully compliant or reported only minor non-compliance issues, such as documentation requirements,” the CFIA said in a news release. Cebull issued the temporary injunction in a lawsuit brought by a livestock industry group, R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA). He asserted that Canadian beef poses a higher risk of BSE exposure than American beef because the disease has been found in several Canadian cows but not in any American-bred cows. (The single US case of BSE so far was in a cow born in Alberta.) The USDA announced its findings on the Canadian feed ban on Feb 25. The agency said its inspectors did a thorough assessment and found that “Canada has a robust inspection program, that overall compliance with the feed ban is good and that the feed ban is reducing the risk of transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the Canadian cattle population.” See also: “Allowing the import of Canadian cattle into the U.S. increases the potential for human exposure to the material containing the agent for BSE in this higher-risk meat,” Cebull wrote, as quoted in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Johanns also objected to the Senate vote to block the resumption of cattle imports. He said the vote “undermines the U.S. efforts to promote science-based regulations, complicates U.S. negotiations to reopen foreign markets to U.S. beef and would perpetuate the economic disruption of the beef and cattle industry.” He promised to try to stop the resolution in the House. Statement by Canadian Agriculture Minister Andy Mitchellhttp://www.agr.gc.ca/cb/index_e.php?s1=n&s2=2005&page=n50302a The United States has barred importation of live Canadian cattle since May 2003, when Canada’s first BSE case was discovered. In late December 2004, the USDA announced its plan to reopen the border to young Canadian cattle, saying Canada was a “minimal risk” region for BSE. Because BSE has a long incubation period, experts believe it is next to impossible for cattle younger than 30 months to have infective levels of disease.
Mar 20, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The chiefs of three federal agencies, predicting that the H5N1 avian influenza virus will enter the United States, today unveiled their joint plan for quickly detecting the virus.”We’re closely monitoring the rapid spread of the H5N1 virus overseas,” said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. “We now believe it is likely that we will detect it within our borders in the United States. It is critically important to understand that the detection of this virus among birds will not signal the start of a pandemic among people. The time is now to expand our early warning system.”Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, along with Johanns, conducted a joint press conference today to prepare people for the possible arrival of the H5N1 virus in the US. The news conference was broadcast live via the Internet.The interagency plan, which received final approval today, Johanns said, relies on a number of methods to screen wild birds, notably birds migrating along the Pacific flyway to and from Alaska.The recent rapid spread of H5N1 in other countries underscores the likelihood of the virus spreading to the United States.”It is increasingly likely that we will detect the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian flu in birds within the US borders, possibly as early as this year,” Norton said. She outlined a plan for systematic monitoring of birds that includes:Testing of sick or dead wild birdsTesting of live wild birds, particularly the highest-risk species, using capture and sampling (not killing birds)Targeted sampling of hunter-killed birdsMonitoring and testing of sentinel animals, including backyard poultry flocks and waterfowl placed in wetlands to mix with migratory birdsTesting of environmental samples, including water and avian fecal samplesSystematic investigation of sick or dead wild birds offers the highest probability of detecting H5N1 early, Norton added. Authorities expect to collect 75,000 to 100,000 samples for testing in 2006. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Interior Department have tested more than 16,000 birds in the Pacific and Atlantic flyways since 1998, according to a news release. The birds have all tested negative for the lethal H5N1 strain, but 22 low-pathogenicity avian flu isolates have been identified.Samples will be tested at the appropriate laboratories, Norton said, but she cautioned that initial positive tests are considered presumptive, not definitive. Positive samples will be sent to the USDA’s national laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmatory testing.”We anticipate that presumptive H5N1 results may be announced 20 to 100 times this year,” she said. There could be dozens of reports of H5N1 without any highly pathogenic strains, she added.Discussing how the agencies will collaborate, Johanns said:The Interior Department will monitor wild birds through the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the US Geological Survey (USGS), as well as the National Park Service (NPS).The USDA has a connection to wild birds through its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Agricultural Research Service, although its main focus is domestic flocks.HHS is chiefly responsible for human health.Johanns also described efforts to prevent the possible spread of H5N1 virus from wild to domestic birds.”None of us can build a cage around the United States,” he said. He emphasized that the nation’s $29 billion poultry system is highly biosecure, so the presence of H5N1 in migratory birds does not necessarily mean that commercial poultry will be infected. Further, he said the US has demonstrated an ability to handle outbreaks of highly pathogenic viruses, even as recently as 2004.In addition, producers will be compensated for destroyed birds, and they have demonstrated that they’ll notify the government at the first signs of illness among their birds, he said.”Unlike what we have seen in some countries, where producers are reluctant to report the virus because of economic losses, our producers know their loss will be covered if they call us,” Johanns said. Although he mentioned the possibility of limited vaccination in a ring around affected areas, he said culling of infected flocks would be the chief approach to eliminating the virus if it reaches commercial poultry.Leavitt provided an overview of preparations for a human pandemic that hewed closely to his talks at pandemic meetings in several states. He reiterated a point made by all three secretaries as they sought to prepare people for the arrival of the virus in US birds without provoking undue fear or panic.”At this point, if you’re a bird, it’s a pandemic,” Leavitt said. “If you’re a human being, it’s not. It’s as simple as that.”See also:USDA news release about the interagency briefingLink to recorded Webcasthttp://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahomeFull text of US strategy for early detection of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza in wild birds, Mar 13, 2006 (91 pages)http://www.usda.gov/documents/wildbirdstrategicplanpdf.pdf
May 23, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – H5N1 avian influenza has continued to flare up in poultry on two continents this week, with Vietnam, Ghana, and Pakistan all confirming new outbreaks in the past 2 days.In Vietnam over the weekend, more than 2,000 ducks died, and another 6,000 were culled in various areas affected by outbreaks of H5N1, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported yesterday. The ducks had not been vaccinated.Five provinces have been affected since the beginning of this month, China’s Xinhua news agency reported. They are Quang Ninh, Son La, and Nam Dinh in the north, Nghe An in the central region, and Dong Thap in the south.UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative Andrew Speedy told AFP that rather than trying to wipe out the virus, which is believed to be widespread in Vietnam’s bird population, efforts will focus on vaccination campaigns, which have proved highly effective.”We are now convinced that it’s pretty much endemic and that the vaccinations will be required for the foreseeable future, although there will be an attempt to find an exit strategy at some point,” Speedy said.The Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Animal Health said 119 million birds in 60 cities and provinces nationwide have been vaccinated this year, Xinhua reported.This year’s second round of nationwide vaccinations is now starting, AFP reported.Ghana reported its second outbreak of the virus on a farm in Sunyani, about 250 miles north of the capital, Accra, according to a Reuters report published yesterday. Gary Quarcoo, the agriculture ministry’s head of veterinary services, said veterinary officials have culled thousands of birds in the area and destroyed animal feed and farm equipment.Ghana’s first outbreak H5N1 was detected on a farm near the port city of Tema in April.In Pakistan, officials said today that more than 5,000 chickens were culled after an outbreak that killed about 6,000 chickens was confirmed on three farms near Islamabad, according to another AFP report. The country’s last outbreaks occurred in April in the northwest and in the southern city of Karachi, the story said.
Jan 29, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An early report on the seasonal influenza strains circulating in Europe reveals that some H1N1 viruses show signs of resistance to the antiviral drug oseltamivir, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported this week.Of 148 influenza influenza A H1N1 samples collected in November and December in 10 European countries, 19 tested positive for resistance to oseltamivir, the ECDC said in a Jan 27 press release. Twelve of the resistant virus isolates were from Norway; the rest included one from Denmark, four from France, and two from the United Kingdom.According to ECDC’s full interim report, the oseltamivir-resistant variant, H1N1 (H274Y), is a new development this winter. (H274Y is the term for a mutation associated with resistance to the drug.) The strain is sensitive to other antivirals, which include zanamivir, amantadine, and rimantadine.The overall proportion of the oseltamivir-resistant strain among European isolates is 13%, but if the Norwegian samples are excluded from the total, the proportion for Europe falls to 5%, the report said.Though the ECDC cautioned that the findings are preliminary, it said Norway is still seeing the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 this month and that the same mutation is being seen in other countries, including those in North America.”There are some indications that some of the same oseltamivir-resistant A H1N1 viruses are being observed at low levels in the United States,” the report said.Experts from the ECDC, the European Commission, and the World Health Organization (WHO) are assessing the significance of the findings and will release an interim joint assessment soon, based on the initial surveillance findings, the ECDC said.The WHO today held a virtual meeting of experts to discuss the findings. WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told CIDRAP News the group agreed that more studies are needed to answer the many questions raised by the ECDC’s initial report. For example, he said experts would like to determine why antiviral resistance rates in the study vary so widely between countries and why the resistant H1N1 strain surfaced so early in the flu season.The findings need to be fleshed out, and experts are just now looking at isolates collected in January, Hartl said. “Theses are small numbers, so this is a work in progress,” he commented.Joe Bresee, MD, chief of epidemiology and prevention for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) immunization services division, told CIDRAP News today that of 204 influenza samples tested by the CDC so far this season, six (2.9%) were resistant to oseltamivir. The resistant samples accounted for 5.5% of the 109 H1N1 viruses the CDC isolated, he said.”It’s interesting. Last year we wouldn’t have expected this level of resistance,” Bresee said. The CDC is continuing to monitor patterns with the oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 variant, but he said the numbers were low enough that the agency is not changing its recommendations for the treatment of seasonal influenza.The CDC has urged clinicians to stop using amantadine or rimantadine to treat influenza because circulating influenza A strains have high rates of resistance to the two drugs.Martina Rupp, a spokeswoman for Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, said the preliminary results are a contrast to previous years, when experts found little or no oseltamivir resistance, according to a Bloomberg News report. She said more surveillance is needed to establish the prevalence and geographic distribution of the resistant H1N1 variants and to gauge the impact on the drug’s efficacy.Frederick Hayden, MD, an antiviral expert with the WHO, said the change in the virus’s resistance pattern warrants concern, the Canadian Press (CP) reported yesterday. “This is not only interesting, it’s unusual and would not have necessarily been predicted by the necessary information. So it’s certainly something we’re taking seriously and trying to gather additional information [on],” he said.Though the source of the H1N1 variant is not known, ECDC experts reported that they don’t believe its emergence is related to antiviral use in Europe, because the drugs are rarely used there. They wrote that the Norwegian patients who had the resistant strain had not taken antiviral medications.The ECDC report said it’s not clear if the variant virus will be overwhelmed by more fit and oseltamivir-susceptible viruses as the influenza season progresses. “Equally, however, the resistant virus could come to spread and predominate. We simply do not know at present,” the authors reported.Evidence on the effect of the resistance mutation on viral fitness is contradictory, they noted. Some studies have shown the mutation reduces the virus’s capacity to replicate and spread, while others have shown the variant’s fitness is similar to that of viruses lacking the mutation.”People who become ill with the oseltamivir-resistant strain of A(H1N1) do not appear to become any more sick than people infected with ‘normal’ seasonal influenza,” the ECDC said in its press release.In addition, the ECDC report stated, “It also needs to be remembered that antiviral resistant is a relative not absolute term. Patients ill with viruses that are deemed resistant in the laboratory often still seem to benefit when they take antivirals.”See also:Jan 24 CIDRAP News story “Older flu drugs still used, against CDC advice”
Apr 21, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – To stem quickly spreading H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks that have hit South Korea over the past few weeks, agriculture ministry officials said today as many as 5.32 million birds would be culled, the largest such operation in the country’s history of battling the disease.Jin Pil-sik, an agriculture ministry official, said 4.85 million birds have already been slaughtered, according to a report today from the Associated Press (AP). By tomorrow, another 477,000 birds will be culled near the latest outbreak site in North Jeolla province, Lee Sung-jae, a provincial quarantine official, told the AP.In early April the H5N1 virus returned to South Korea after about a year with no reported outbreaks. The virus first hit an egg producer in Gimje in North Jeolla province and quickly spread to several more farms, mostly in the southwestern part of the country.South Korea’s agriculture ministry said the H5 strain has been confirmed at 26 farms, but did not say how many were the H5N1 subtype, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. As of Apr 15, the date of the country’s last update on the outbreaks to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), South Korea had reported 11 outbreaks, though it was not clear if the subtype had been confirmed for all of them.In other developments, officials today announced the launch of an 11-day operation to test birds at duck farms across the country, AFP reported. Kim Chang Sup, an agriculture ministry official, told AFP that the testing program will include all 80 breeding duck farms and a selection of other representative sites across the nation.Also, quarantine authorities have been culling poultry at 141 restaurants or farms that were visited by a dealer who reportedly took hundreds of ducks from an infected farm in Gimje, according to the AFP report.South Korea has never reported any human H5N1 cases or deaths, but in September 2006 health officials said five workers who helped cull poultry during outbreaks in 2003 had antibodies to the H5N1 virus but had never had symptoms. The 2006 report brought the total number of South Korean poultry workers who tested positive for H5N1 antibodies to nine. Tests on the workers’ samples were done at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.See also:Sep 21, 2006, CIDRAP news story “Five Koreans had H5N1 virus but no illness”Apr 15 OIE report on South Korea’s H5N1 outbreaks