CDC unveils new pandemic preparedness tools

first_imgJun 22, 2012 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday unveiled two new tools designed to boost pandemic preparedness: an inventory of H5N1 avian influenza genetic changes and a system the CDC and its partners are developing to help evaluate the threat from flu viruses circulating in animals.The CDC posted details about the new tools on its Web site yesterday, the same day highly anticipated findings from the second of two controversial H5N1 transmission studies—the one from a group at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands—was published in Science.Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the CDC, told CIDRAP News that the CDC waited for the publication of the study from Erasmus, led by Ron Fouchier, PhD, to unveil the H5N1 genetic changes inventory. “The inventory has been in the works for a while, and we wanted it to be as complete and up to date as possible when we first posted to include the Fouchier sequences,” he said.The CDC said the H5N1 changes inventory is geared toward those conducting influenza surveillance in humans and animals, as well as those conducting research on H5N1. The inventory is a list of amino acid changes grouped by viral protein. Listed wth each mutation are the phenotypic consequences, the virus isolate tested, and selected literature references.The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Influenza at the CDC, along with international partners, developed the inventory and will update it periodically and apply date stamps when it adds new mutations, the CDC said.The Influenza Risk Assessment Tool (IRAT) is designed to help public health officials prioritize their pandemic preparedness activities, such as developing new vaccines and boosting surveillance, according to background information from the CDC’s Web site.The CDC emphasized that the tool isn’t intended to predict pandemics or limit input from experts. “Flu is unpredictable, as are future pandemics,” it said.IRAT considers two dimensions in estimating thethe pandemic risk associated with a flu virus: emergence, or the risk of a novel virus spreading easily and efficiently in humans, and public health impact, meaning the possible severity and burden on society.The tool allows flu experts to evaluate novel viruses using 10 scientific criteria, such as genomic variation and antigenic relationship to vaccine candidates, grouped into three categories: properties of the virus, attributes of the population, and ecology and epidemiology of the virus. Each criterion is weighted statistically as it relates to each of the two scenarios. Composite scores allow experts to rank and compare viruses, based on their potential pandemic risk.The CDC said IRAT is also designed to help identify information gaps, transparently document the process used to make management decisions, provide a flexible way to update risk assessments, and serve as a communication tool for policymakers and the flu community.In related developments, the CDC posted and updated several H5N1 resources for professionals over the past 2 days, including background on prevention and treatment, H5N1 in people, H5N1 in birds and other animals, past avian influenza outbreaks in North America, interim lab testing guidance, and guidance for following-up on contacts of people with suspected infections.See also:Jun 21 CDC H5N1 avian influenza genetic changes inventoryJun 21 CDC Influenza Risk Assessment Tool backgroundJun 21 CDC update on H5N1 prevention and treatmentJun 21 CDC update on H5N1 in humansJun 21 CDC update on H5N1 in birds and other animalsJun 21 CDC update on the current H5N1 situationJun 21 CDC update on past avian influenza outbreaks in North AmericaJun 22 CDC update on H5N1 lab testing guidanceJun 22 CDC guidance on follow-up of suspected H5N1 case contactslast_img read more

ACLU Announces Lawsuit Against The Governor For ‘Illegal Use Of Authority’

first_imgAccording to charging documents, On February 15, 2019, the Alaska Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of State v. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. In its decision, the Court held that a 2014 state statute narrowing a woman’s eligibility to receive Medicaid funding for an abortion was unconstitutional. Click here for the charging documents. The ACLU held a press conference at 10am to announce the lawsuit. Joshua Decker, Executive Director: “Governor Dunleavy admitted outright that his veto was direct retaliation against the Alaska Court System for a court decision at odds with his political views. That isn’t just petty and vindictive; it is a clear assault on the constitutional power of the judiciary and a grossly inappropriate attempt to use money to coerce judges to a political end.” Governor Dunleavy described this reduction by saying: “The Legislative and Executive Branch are opposed to State funded elective abortions; the only branch of government that insists on State funded elective abortions is the Supreme Court. The annual cost of elective abortions is reflected by this reduction.” Decker: “The ACLU of Alaska filed suit against Governor Dunleavy to block his administration’s attempt to punish the Alaska Court System by vetoing $334,700 in its 2020 budget because the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in a manner at odds with his political views.” According to charging documents, Governor Dunleavy’s court system veto was made in directretaliation for the Alaska Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. The Court concluded that the statute violated the equal protection clause of the Alaska Constitution because it imposed Medicaid eligibility criteria on women seeking abortions that were more onerous than criteria applied to women who sought to carry a pregnancy to term. The ACLU along with two plaintiffs, Attorney John Kaufman and Bonnie Jack, filed the suit claiming the governor violated the Alaska’s constitutional separation of powers, and is illegally attempting to reallocate budget appropriations. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The ACLU of Alaska announced a lawsuit against Governor Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday for his ‘illegal use of executive authority related to the state budget’.last_img read more