Researchers find Zika persists in female genital tractA French research team yesterday reported the first known detection of Zika virus in the genital tract of an infected woman, along with signs that it persists there after it clears from blood and urine. The team, from Guadeloupe and Toulouse, reported its findings in a letter to The Lancet Infectious Diseases.The 27-year-old woman was sick in May, and a rapid blood test was positive for Zika virus. She was being monitored for oocyte preservation as part of Guadeloupe’s protocol for women with infertility in the Zika setting, but the stimulation process was halted, based in her illness, and she was advised to practice safe sex and regularly use condoms.Her genital swab, endocervical swab, and cervical mucus sample were all positive for Zika virus RNA on day 3 of her illness. However, on day 11 when blood and urine tests were negative, her cervical mucus sample was still positive for Zika RNA.The researchers said though it’s not known if infectious virus was present, the findings have implications for sexual transmission from women to men and vertical transmission from a mother to her fetus.Jul 11 Lancet Infect Dis letter USDA to share food safety data regularly on data.govThe US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced yesterday plans to share huge amounts of food safety information on the government Web site, Data.gov. The information will be updated quarterly and is meant to increase both agency transparency and consumer information.”Consumers want more information about the foods they are purchasing, and sharing these details can give them better insight into food production and inspection, and help them make informed purchasing decisions,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza in a Jul 11 press release.FSIS said it has worked on developing a web platform for sharing the data points for more than 6,000 meat, poultry, and egg facilities for 7 years in response to President Obama’s “Open Government Plan.” This is the first time the agency will be routinely sharing establishment-specific data with the public.The data sets will show results from chemical residue testing, advocated meat recovery testing, results from Salmonella and Campylobacter testing in poultry, and results for Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli and Salmonella in meat. FSIS will also release test results for Listeria and Salmonella in ready-to-eat products and processed egg products.Jul 11 USDA news release China notes new H7N9 avian flu case, 3 new deaths; outbreak hits 800China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (HFPC) today reported a new H7N9 avian flu case in June, bringing the country’s total for that month to seven cases. Officials added that three previously reported patients have died, according to an HFPC report translated by FluTrackers, an infectious disease message board.The newly reported infection expands the outbreak to 800 cases since the first case was confirmed in China in 2013, according to a list maintained by FluTrackers.The agency did not specify which province the newly reported case was in, nor did it provide details on the patient. The HFPC report simply listed 7 cases, including 7 that were fatal. FluTrackers had earlier already noted 6 of the cases, 3 in Hebei province and 1 each in Jiangsu, Liaoning, and Zhejiang.The HFPC noted that 5 of the 7 cases proved fatal, whereas earlier reports listed only 2 fatalities among the 6 that FluTrackers had noted.Jul 12 FluTrackers post FluTrackers H7N9 case list
Australia: QR has won a A$100m eight-year contract for rail grinding on ARTC’s interstate network.Chile: Metro de Santiago has awarded Alstom a €5·3m contract to supply Sacem ATC on the 3·8 km Los Dominicos extension of Line 1. China: Siemens and Beijing Huatie ITDC have won a €32m contract to supply Trainguard MT CBTC, Vicos controls and Sicas interlockings for the 32 km Guangzhou – Foshan inter-urban line. The first phase is due to open in October 2010. Hangzhou Metro has awarded GE Transportation, Ztinstall and Supcon a contract to supply RailEdge integrated supervision and control systems for the 54 km Line 1 scheduled to open at the end of 2011. France: RFF has named a consortium led by TDF as preferred bidder for the 15-year PPP for network-wide GSM-R (RG 1.09 p9). The consortium includes Vinci Energie, Vinci Concessions, telecoms group SFR and AXA Investment Managers Paris.Sytral has awarded a consortium of Areva and ACC-IM a €58m contract to replace signalling on Lyon metro lines A and B with CBTC based on Areva’s Pegasus system. Driverless operation is planned in the longer term.India: Indra has won a €4·2m contract to supply and maintain contactless ticketing and access management equipment for the 12 stations on Mumbai Metro Line 1. Lithuania: LG has awarded UAB Fima a €46m contract for signalling on 100 route-km, including the line between Kaunas and Kaliningrad, and a line bypassing Kaunas where the power supply will be modernised. Work will be undertaken in collaboration with AZD Praha, which is supplying ESA11 interlockings. Morocco: Oncfm has awarded Indra and Spanish infrastruture authority ADIF a €3·2m contract to install a Da Vinci operations management system for the national network. ADIF owns the intellectual property rights to Da Vinci software.Netherlands: A five-year infrastructure maintenance contract covering 300 km of track and 300 turnouts around Venlo and Eindhoven has been awarded to Strukton.Norway: Jernbaneverket has awarded Nokia Siemens Networks a 20-year contract to support the GSM-R network it supplied and which has now been in operation for more than a year. Saudi Arabia: Thales and Saudi Binladen Group have won a 2bn riyal contract for signalling and telecoms on the North–South railway project.Spain: ADIF is to call tenders for the installation of a third rail for 1 435 mm gauge trains on the 22 km between Castellbisbal and the Can Tunis freight terminal in Barcelona, within a budget of €19·1m.Thales and Dimetronic have selected Alcatel-Lucent to supply IP/MPLS communications for the Madrid – Valencia high speed line (RG 8.08 p474).Turkmenistan: After meeting President Berdymukhamedov in February, Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin said RZD would be the prime contractor for the north–south line linking Iran to Kazakhstan (RG 1.08 p8).UK: Transport for London has awarded Carillion Rail a seven-year contract worth £80m to maintain the East London Line when it re-opens in June 2010 following Phase 1 of the extension programme.Siemens’ Rail Infrastructure business is to supply fixed telecoms for the Newport area resignalling. Under a £400m programme, 23 signalling ?areas in south Wales will be controlled from a centre in Cardiff by 2015.Corus Railway Infrastructure Services has won the design contract for the remodelling of Reading station, with Grimshaw Architects, structural engineer WSP and cost manager Turner & Townsend.Network Rail has selected Amey-Colas, Babcock Rail, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Grant Rail, Jarvis and Trackwork to undertake up to £800m of planned track enhancement works over the next five years.Network Rail is to test sleepers made from recycled plastic by I-plas.USA: A ceremonial groundbreaking for a 7 km extension of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Blue Line from Garland to Rowlett will be held this month, following the award of a $188m design and build contract to Austin Bridge & Road. Completion is scheduled for December 2012.
The PNG Sports Foundation, as the Government lead agency for sports in consultation with other relevant agencies, is taking preventative measures to counter the risk of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).PNGSF Executive Peter Tsiamalili Jnr said the decision would not be taken lightly as Papua New Guineans are very passionate in sports but the event was an activity that encompasses a large congregation of people and the risk factors could be detrimental if preventative measures were not introduced sooner.“At this time of the year when our global community is shocked by the wild spreading of the coronavirus and combating to control the spread of the pandemic, we Papua New Guinea as a nation must also prepare to take necessary preventive measures to control the epidemic,” Tsiamalili said. “The nation is preparing to prevent and control this globally infectious virus; it is now everyone’s responsibility to maintain our individual health and hygiene as part of the preventive measures against this global threat. “Therefore, in tune with the Prime Minister’s address to the Nation and its recommendations to limit mass gatherings and encouraging social distance, the PNG Sports Foundation, as agency responsible for sports and in consultation with National Federations and Department of Health, has taken its decision as part of the preventive measures in the usage of the sporting venues that are managed by PNG Sports Foundation.“Today we conducted a meeting with representatives from National Federations, PNG Olympic Committee and other stakeholders of sports at the Bisini Sports Precinct and the recommendation to suspend sports for 30 days effective immediately was fully endorsed by those present,” Tsiamalili said. “I’d like to announce to the public, sporting clubs, National Federations and our valued sporting fraternity that the usage of all Government sporting facilities in Port Moresby and throughout the country are suspended for 4 weeks (30 days) until such time, the Sports Foundation completes a risk assessment with health officials on the preparedness of our team and sporting affiliates to manage and deal with the potential of the coronavirus. “Mass gatherings through sporting activities are highly visible events with the potential for serious public health consequences if they are not planned and managed carefully. It is also evident that mass gatherings can amplify the spread of infectious diseases and it is incumbent on my team to take this approach. “Once we are satisfied with our preparations in terms of our sporting affiliate’s management capacity and necessary S.O.P’s (Standard Operating Procedures) to manage the threat, then we will announce the opening of our sporting venues and facilities for normal business. “Currently, the situation is still very fluid and I appeal to all sports and the general public to be content and appreciative as we navigate through these uncertain times with the likelihood of the case still very high.” (Women’s 7-aside at Bisini last weekend. The soccer precinct, like other sporting venues, will be on lockdown as a safety measure)