Indonesia quits offering prompt notice of H5N1 cases

first_imgJun 5, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia’s health minister said today the government has stopped the practice of promptly notifying global health officials each time it confirms a human H5N1 avian influenza case or death, a move some say will likely hamper efforts to monitor the world’s pandemic risk level.Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari today confirmed that a 15-year-old girl from Jakarta tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza on May 13 and died the next day, according to a report from the Associated Press (AP). Indonesia’s National Committee for Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Influenza had previously listed the case as confirmed on its Web site, but the information is apparently no longer listed.The WHO, which typically confirms cases when it receives notifications from health ministries or test results from its collaborating laboratories, has not yet confirmed Indonesia’s most recent case and has not commented on Supari’s decision to stop sending out H5N1 case notifications. The WHO’s last confirmed an Indonesian H5N1 case, in a 3-year old boy who died on Apr 23, on Apr 30.Supari told the AP that the health ministry would not send out H5N1 case confirmations until after they have been reported in the media. However, Reuters reported today that the ministry will announce the death toll from the H5N1 virus only every 6 months.”How does it help us to announce these deaths?” Supari told the AP. “We want to focus now on positive steps and achievements made by the government in fighting bird flu.”She told Reuters that announcements of H5N1 deaths are sometimes misunderstood. “It’s OK not to announce it. Sometimes they only give hurtful comments instead of helping,” she said without further explanation.Indonesia has been hit hardest of any country by the H5N1 virus. According to the WHO’s most recent count, the country has had 133 cases and 108 deaths.The country’s refusal to share timely reports of human H5N1 cases is the latest in a series of controversies that began when Indonesia stopped sharing its H5N1 isolates in early 2007 to protest what it views as a lack of access to affordable H5N1 therapies and vaccines. The WHO has held several meetings to resolve the virus sharing issues, but so far no agreements have been reached.Sharon Sanders, editor-in-chief of FluTrackers, a well-known Web message board that focuses on avian flu developments, told CIDRAP News that Indonesia’s decision to delay H5N1 notifications will obscure what is happening there, which negatively affects the world’s ability to prepare for a pandemic.She said Indonesia’s news blackout would likely have the opposite effect from what the government apparently intends. “Now, there will be intense speculation and generation of rumors surrounding suspicious deaths that have similar symptoms to H5N1 infections,” Sanders said. “False rumors of an H5N1 outbreak have the potential to be even more economically devastating than a government-confirmed outbreak.”Established in early 2006, FluTrackers monitors avian flu developments in several languages from several sources and hosts international discussion forums and resource lists.Sanders said media reports coming out of Indonesia are generally reliable, but have some drawbacks. “In many instances, reported suspicious human cases have little or no follow up, so we are left with gaps in our total picture,” she said.Indonesia’s avian flu news blackout might increase traffic to online avian flu communities, such as FluTrackers and FluWiki, because they translate and analyze Indonesian newspaper reports, blogs, newscasts, and other sources, Sanders said.”FluTrackers will continue to publish what we can; however, we rely on the local sources in Indonesia,” she said. “Since the national government is imposing restrictions on when they confirm human deaths, we are watching for other restrictions such as suppression of the local news media to develop.”last_img read more

Westhill girls track earns sectional Class B-1 crown

first_imgIt all ended well for the Westhill girls track and field team as it held off Camden to earn the Section III Class B-1 championship Thursday at Chittenango High School.With 110 points, the Warriors finished just ahead of the Blue Devils’ second-place total of 104 points as the Westhill boys finished third with 97 points behind host Chittenango and Camden.In one event, the 100-meter hurdles, Westhill’s girls got 20 points as Ashley Heffernan won in 16.11 seconds, with Lauren Holstein third in 17.46 seconds and Lauren Marshall (17.61) in fourth place. Mesa-Espinosa got to second place in the 100-meter dash in 12.81 seconds behind Syracuse ITC’s Fannie Kumeh (12.60), also nearly winning the 200-meter dash as her 26.19 seconds trailed Camden’s Mackenzie Mix (26.18) by one-hundredth of a second.Lennah Abraham was second in the discus, throwing it 112’1”, and added a sixth-place shot put toss of 30’4”. Brigid Heinrich was fifth in the discus with 89’4”.Bolesh was fourth in the 400-meter dash in 1:00.36, while Bendall needed 1:11.54 to finish third in the 400 hurdles and was sixth in the pole vault, topping 8 feet. Margaret Hunt, clearing 4’8”, claimed third place in the high jump.Kaylin Battista, with 1,994 points, was fourth in the pentathlon, ahead of Quinn Mannion (1,876) in fifth place. The Warriors also finished fourth in the 4×800 relay in 10:32.96.For the Westhill boys, the most success came from field events such as the shot put, which Evan Ballard won by throwing it 45’ ½” as Ben Helfeld was third with 43’11 ½” and Charlie Doebert (40’10 ½”) was fifth.Ballard swept both throwing contests as his discus throw of 122’11” edged Camden’s Jon Smith (121’7”), with Doebert getting third place by heaving it 115’11” and Helfeld fourth with 115’9”.Elliott Rouse cleared 5’10” in the high jump and gained second place,Dan Washburn was victorious in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, going 10:27.5 to beat the field by nearly half a minute as Scott MacBain finished eighth in 11:47.1.MacBain, Jacob Fricano, Brian Kenny and Brendan Rewakowski were second in the 4×800 in 8:37.24.Tom Howard got third place in the 100 sprint  in 11.63 seconds, added a third in the 200- in 23.03 seconds and helped the Warriors take third place in the 4×100 relay in 45.90 seconds.Washburn had a fourth-place mile of 4:34.49 as Westhill finished fifth in the 4×400 in 3:46.52. Andrew Centore was fifth in the triple jump, going 39’11 ¼”.Luke Kelly was fourth in the pentathlon with 2,246 points as Michael Savage (1,872) was sixth. Will Remillard was sixth in the 400 hurdles in 1:04.39, with Will Thornton sixth in the 800 in 2:04.82.Solvay tied Oneida and Christian Brothers Academy for sixth place in the boys sectional B-1 meet with 33 points, including a victory for Brendon Carolina in the long jump as he went 20’9 ½” to beat Oneida’s Zander Farr (20’6”) for the top spot.Carolina, X’Zavier Morris, Allen Cawthon and Elijah Wright were second (45.77 seconds) to Camden (45.38) in the 4×100 as Justice Shirley was fourth in the high jump, clearing 5’8”.Carolina was fourth in the 100 in 11.68 seconds, with Cawthon (11.73) sixth as he also got eighth place in the 400 sprint. Michael Pellizzari was fifth in the discus with a throw of 115’8”.The Solvay girls had 14.5 points, most of them from Kyra Crossett winning the high jump by clearing 4’10” as Allison Dooher tied for fifth and Erica Bagozzi was fifth (8’6”) in the pole vault.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Heffernan got second place in the pole vault, clearing 9 feet 6 inches, and went on to finish third in the long jump, going 16’2 ¾” as Ashley Bolesh was sixth with 15’4 ½”.Another key win came in the 4×100 relay, where Heffernan, Katherine Evans, Erica Gangemi and Angie Mesa-Espinosa claimed a thriller over Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, edging the Red Devils by one-hundredth of a second, 51.95 seconds to 51.96. Evans also finished sixth in the 800-meter run in 2:37.09.Just as important was the Warriors taking the 4×400 relay late in the meet. Mesa-Espinosa, Evans, Bolesh and Lauren Bendall went 4:12.07 to edge South Jefferson (4:12.30) as Camden settled for third place.center_img Tags: Solvaytrack and fieldWesthilllast_img read more

C-NS’s Putman breaks third school record at Utica College meet

first_imgMeanwhile, Blaisdell went 16’8 1/4″ to finish second in the long jump, with Julianna Hutt (16’3 1/2″) in fifth place as Blaisdell also going 37′ 1/2″ for second place in the triple jump.Putman paired with Allison Newton, Hannah Boyle and McKenna Slate for second place in the 4×400 relay in 4:08.55 behind Shenendehowa’s meet-record 4:06.33. Boyle also was sixth in the 300-meter dash in 43.23 seconds.Schulz, in 1:39.77, beat out Boyle (1:40.07) and Putman (1:41.03) for second place in the 600-meter run. Liverpool also was fifth in the 4×800 relay in 10:21.87 as Sydney Carlson was sixth in the 1,000-meter run.Meanwhile, in the boys CNY “Higher, Farther, Faster” meet, C-NS had 39 points for fourth place and Liverpool was 12th with 22 points.R.J. Davis nearly won the 1,000 for C-NS, his time of 2:37.77 just behind the 2:37.56 from Shaker’s Francisco Mendonca. Sam Nessel went 36.92 seconds in the 300 to finish third as the Northstars were third in the sprint medley relay in 3:58.15.Isaiah Wright rose to third place in the 55 hurdles in 8.10 seconds as Carlton Garnes (8.29) was fifth. Matt LeClair was eighth in the 1,600-meter run as Wright was seventh in the long jump and Garnes seventh in the triple jump.Liverpool had its best finish in the 3,200-meter run, where Jake McGowan, finishing in 9:51.75, trailed only the 9:50.06 from Baldwinsville’s Colin Delaney as C-NS’s Zach Bergman was sixth in the unseeded race.Bennett Robb clear 6 feet in the high jump for fourth place, with Jalen Graham fifth in the weight throw by going 50’11”. C-NS was sixth in the 4×400 as Liverpool also was sixth in the 4×800 and eighth in the 4×200 relay.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story All told, C-NS finished second in the girls team standings with 64 points, just ahead of Liverpool in third place with 59 points as Shenendehowa (103.5 points) claimed the top spot.The Warriors featured Amina Sinclair winning the high jump by clearing 5 feet 4 inches, with C-NS’s Lilly Capria sixth at 4’10” as Kali Hayes won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.81 seconds, just ahead of the 9.12 from the Northstars’ Brooke Blaisdell.Imahni Sinclair prevailed in the weight throw, heaving it 46’3″, more than five feet ahead of the field as she also got seventh place in the shot put, going 33’10 1/4″. Tags: C-NSindoor trackliverpoolcenter_img Though only a ninth-grader, Cicero-North Syracuse’s Kate Putman already occupies a large place in the girls indoor track and field program’s record books with school marks in 500 and 600-meter events.And Putman added to that legacy with a superb performance at 3,000 meters last Friday in the Central New York “Higher, Farther Faster” Invitational at Utica College’s Hutton Dome, nearly catching Liverpool superstar Jenna Schulz.With her time of nine minutes, 54.35 seconds, Putman shattered Maria LaMontagne’s nine-year-old school mark of 10:06.87 by more than 12 seconds, and was second overall, less than three seconds behind Schulz’s winning 9:51.78.last_img read more