May 18, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – An analysis of the H1N1 influenza pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, suggests that the government’s initial policy of screening incoming travelers might have delayed the start of widespread community transmission of the virus by a few weeks.In late April of 2009, shortly after the detection of the new virus, Vietnamese authorities began mandatory screening of arriving air travelers, including body temperature scanning and a symptom questionnaire. The virus was widespread in Ho Chi Minh City by the second half of July, according to the study, published today by the online journal PLoS Medicine.”The containment measures seemed to delay the onset of large-scale transmission by at least 3 weeks, said corresponding author Dr. Maciej Boni of the University of Oxford, in a press release from the Wellcome Trust, one of three organizations that sponsored the study.”This may not sound like a lot, but in a country like Vietnam this bought valuable time for the local health services, laboratories and travel authorities to understand what was happening and start logistical preparations for the pandemic response,” Boni said.The findings do not prove that the containment measures delayed the epidemic, and the authors say they are doing further research to confirm or exclude their tentative conclusion.Vietnam launched its airport screening program on Apr 27, 2009, when the World Health Organization moved its pandemic alert to stage 4, the report says. From then until Jul 9, 630,778 passengers arrived at Ho Chi Minh City on international flights. The screening procedures intercepted 967 of these (0.15%). They were hospitalized in isolation, tested for the virus, and treated with oseltamivir if positive.Diagnostic data were available for 450 of the 967 intercepted passengers, 200 of whom tested positive for H1N1 between Apr 27 and Jul 24. The researchers also gathered data on 169 Ho Chi Minh City residents who had not traveled but who, in the same time frame, were tested for H1N1 because of contact tracing or after presenting at city hospitals with flu-like symptoms. Of these 169 patients, 121 tested positive.The researchers calculated that in the first 9 weeks of the pandemic, H1N1 patients spent 79% of the days when they were infectious in isolation, which suggests a two-fold or greater reduction in their infectious capability, the report says. The team assumed patients became infectious when they got sick or tested positive; they acknowledge that an infected person can become infectious before having symptoms, but they had almost no data on the presymptomatic period.The authors say the outbreak response was more effective against travelers than nontravelers: the travelers spent 10.1% of their potentially infectious time out in the community, while the nontravelers spent 42.2% of their time at large.The first H1N1 case in Vietnam was reported on May 31, in a student who had returned from the United States on May 26. The first case of community transmission followed on Jun 5, and two large school outbreaks surfaced in the third week of July, signaling that community transmission was well under way.”The epidemic in [Ho Chi Minh City] was clearly not containable, a conclusion easily inferred from previous mahthematical anlyses,” the report says. However, “The containment program of screening, isolating, and treating suspected cases probably had a notable impact” on the virus’s spread in the period studied.To further test this hypothesis, the authors say they are currently following a group of healthy people to assess the frequency of asymptomatic H1N1 cases. “If the asymptomatic fraction turns out to be small or negligible, control measures may have delayed sustainable community transmission,” they write. “If the asymptomatic fraction is large, control measures likely had no effect.”They add that the costs and benefits of airport screening “must be evaluated in light of the relative risks of disease introduction as well as the opportunity cost of concentrating public health resources on slowing the inevitable importation of one disease,” which is difficult because the costs of the containment effort are unknown.Hien TT, Boni MF, Bryant JE, et al. Early pandemic influenza (2009 H1N1) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: a clinical virological and epidemiological analysis. PLoS Med 2010 May 18;7(5) [Full text]
UK: Two Hitachi Rail Europe Class 385 EMUs have been moved from Britain to a base at Minden in Germany for a series of unpowered dynamic tests on the DB Netz network.Hitachi is supplying 70 Class 385 EMUs in three- and four-car formations for ScotRail from its production facility at Newton Aycliffe in northeast England under a contract signed in 2015 for 46 three-car and 24 four-car EMUs from the manufacturer’s AT200 family. Initially the 160 km/h EMUs are to be deployed on Edinburgh – Glasgow services via Falkirk High. Electrification of this route is nearing completion under Network Rail’s EGIP enhancement programme.However, limited access to paths in the UK has led Hitachi to work with DB Systemtechnik to undertake a series of dynamic trials in Germany in September and October to accelerate the approval process for the Class 385 fleet. Two trains have been sent to Germany, while two more are undertaking tests in Scotland.In Germany, DB locomotives will be used to haul the trains at up to 160 km/h to confirm the dynamic performance and stability of each individual vehicle in accordance with the European EN14363 technical standard. These trials will be undertaken at both tare weight and in conditions simulating crush loading. The test runs are to be undertaken at various locations including Trier, Göppingen, Donauwörth, Chemnitz and Treuchtlingen.‘With testing taking place in Germany, the new trains coming to Scotland are one step closer to delivering faster journeys, more seats and better services’, said Chris Knape, New Trains Technical Manager at the ScotRail Alliance. The tests build upon previous approval runs undertaken at the Velim test circuit in the Czech Republic.A Hitachi Rail Europe spokesman told Railway Gazette International that while the primary reason for undertaking the Class 385 running trails in Germany was a lack of access to the UK network, the company retains its long-standing ambition of supplying vehicles to other European countries. As such it is ‘always helpful to have a greater knowledge of the German network and industry there’, he added.
PARMA, OHIO – The St. Ignatius Wildcats welcomed in the visiting Massillon Jackson Polar Bears for opening round playoff competition tonight from Byers Field in Parma. The Wildcats came in winners of six straight, including a week ten 34-7 drubbing of arch rival St. Edwards at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Jackson Polar Bears came in on a slide, losing 3 of their last 4 to close out the regular season. The Wildcats continued that slide for the Bears with a 35-0 victory.There were two main stars on the offensive side of the ball tonight for the Wildcats. Running back Mark Bobinski who came into the game with 740 rushing yards after replacing injured starter James Andrews, continued his big season with 91 yards on 17 carries. Bobinski also scored 3 times in the victory. Bobinski had touchdown runs of 12, 2 and 23 yards.Coach Chuck Kyle has this to say about Bobinski, “He has great vision, speed and he plays well in the zone schemes. He see’s things that others may not see. And that has been big for us.”Quarterback Patrick Ryan also had a big night in the air and on the ground. Ryan threw for 162 yards. He also used his feet and mobility well, rushing for 58 yards and scoring once. Kyle is also impressed with the play of his quarterback and had this to say, “Pat is an intelligent kid who has been a quarterback in the program for four years. He really knows the offense and sometimes he feels like an assistant coach on the field and it really helps.”Jackson had an impressive opening drive, but it would be snuffed out after a Justin Sands interception of quarterback Jaret Pallotta. The Wildcats didn’t waste anytime, scoring on the next possession on a 12 yard Bobinski touchdown run. He actually stumbled out of the backfield, but managed to stay upright long enough to gain speed and score.A few possessions later, Ignatius would use great field possession to take the ball in again and score. This time on a 7 yard Patrick Ryan scramble for the score. The Wildcats would punch it in twice more before the end of the half on another touchdown run by Bobinski and one by Dean Stowers to make it 28-0 at the half. Bobinski would punch it in one more time in the second half to finish the scoring 35-0.The Wildcats now advance to round two to take on the winner of top seeded Solon and eight seeded Glen Oak.BoxscoreJackson 0-0-0-0-00St. Ignatius 7-21-7-0-35 Related TopicsMassillon JacksonNEO SportsOHSAASt. Ignatius Vince McKee