Nov 3, 2009E coli outbreak with 2 deaths linked to ground beefAn outbreak of 28 Escherichia coli cases in 16 states, with two deaths, has been linked to ground beef from a firm in New York, according to federal officials. The US Department of Agriculture reported Oct 31 that Fairbank Farms of Asheville, N.Y., was recalling 545,699 pounds of ground beef potentially contaminated with E coli. Yesterday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said isolates from seven patients genetically matched an isolate from an opened package of the firm’s ground beef from a Massachusetts patient’s home. Most of the patients fell ill between Sep 17 and Oct 10, the CDC reported. Sixteen were hospitalized, 3 suffered hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure, and 2 died, the agency said. States affected by the outbreak are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Vermont. Most of the recalled products list “Est. 492” on the USDA mark of inspection and carry the date “091509” or “091609.”Oct 31 USDA recall noticeNov 2 CDC statementChinese woman treated for H9 avian flu in Hong KongA woman from Guangdong province on the Chinese mainland is being treated in Hong Kong for a rare case of H9 avian influenza, Hong Kong government officials reported today. The woman fell ill with breathlessness and a cough Oct 26 and was admitted to a Hong Kong hospital 2 days later, the statement said. The woman, who has a preexisting medical condition that requires regular medication, is in stable condition in isolation. Five previous H9 infections have been identified in Hong, all involving children, in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2008, officials said. They gave no information about the source of the infection.WHO issues pandemic guidance for non-health sectorThe World Health Organization (WHO) has released a set of guidelines—developed before the H1N1 influenza pandemic—on pandemic preparedness outside the health sector. The 18-page document includes sections on business continuity management, interdependencies among essential services, government’s role, and the role of other organizations. A foreword cautions that, because the guidance was developed before the H1N1 pandemic, some information and recommendations may not be relevant to the current situation.WHO document “Whole-of-Society Pandemic Readiness”
The last time the USC women’s swimming and diving team won a conference championship, most of the current swimmers’ and divers’ parents were still in high school. The year was 1985 — a year before the then-Pacific 10 began recognizing women’s athletics — when the Trojans swam their way to the Western Collegiate Athletic Association title.Just over three decades later, the Trojans are conference champions once again.Led by solid veteran leadership and explosive young talent, the No. 4 USC women’s swimming and diving team beat the odds to defeat Stanford, the nation’s top-ranked team; Cal, the defending conference and NCAA champions, as well as six other teams to capture the crown. A year after the men’s swimming and diving team won their first conference championship in 36 years, head coach Dave Salo understood the impact that the win had on not only this team but the entire Trojan family that they represent.“There is nothing better than making Trojan alumni and fans proud of their Trojans,” Salo said. “The drought of team championships is over for USC.”Historically, USC has boasted several outstanding individual swimmers but hasn’t been able to put together the team effort it takes to win a collective title. That script was flipped this year, as the Trojans — despite only winning three events — won the championship by over one hundred total points.USC, who finished third in the 2015 Pac-12 Championships, posted a total of 1481 points. They were followed by No. 1 Stanford, who scored 1344, and No. 6 California, with 1306. From there, the gaps between schools widened: Arizona came in fourth with 1125 points, and UCLA, Utah, Washington State, Arizona State and Oregon State all finished with fewer than 1000 total points.One of USC’s individual winners, junior swimmer Chelsea Chenault, was there when the Trojans fell short of their goal last season.“It’s just an awesome experience to be the first team to ever win the Pac-12 Championship for our school,” Chenault said. “We’ve just been so strong, we’ve been fighting on this whole year.”Chenault was the individual winner in the 500-yard freestyle on Thursday evening, and freshman Elizabeth Stinson went the distance on Saturday night to win the 1650-yard freestyle. They would be the only two Trojans to win their individual events.“Nothing is more satisfying than a team championship, especially when it was as balanced as this was,” Salo said. “No one star propelled this. It was everyone taking responsibility and making a contribution.”USC’s other team victory came in the 800-yard freestyle relay on the first night of the championships, when the quartet featuring freshmen Kirsten Vose and Allie Wooden, and juniors Anika Apostalon and Chenault obliterated the school record with a time of 6:55.17. Their finish in the 800 free was good for an NCAA “A” cut time and is currently the nation’s top time in the event this year.While the Trojans certainly deserve to celebrate after their first-ever Pac-12 conference title, they won’t have long to relax. The NCAA Championships begin in mid-March at Georgia Tech, and with the confidence the team has built up after winning the conference title, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them in position to compete for their first national championship since 1997.“The lesson learned throughout this championship was that when we put our mind to something we can get it done,” Salo said. “But at this point, winning the Pac-12 championship was one of those events that can transform a team not just for the immediate NCAA championship but for many championships we may face over the next several years.”With only ten graduating seniors on the roster of 34 swimmers and divers — including fifteen talented freshmen — this may not be the last time we see the Trojans at the top of their conference in the near future.
Nenagh’s Donnacha Ryan is set to step-up his return from a concussion injury this week. As the Munster and Ireland second-row continues his efforts to prove his fitness ahead of Ireland’s tour of South Africa, Ryan has been named in an experimental Munster Development side to take-on the Ireland Under-20s at Thomond Park tomorrow.