Nov 8, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The United States proposed today that a small group of experts be appointed immediately to plan a fast response in case an influenza pandemic erupts, as an international conference on avian and pandemic flu continued in Geneva.Stewart Simonson, assistant secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), proposed that the World Health Organization (WHO) set up the expert panel, according to the Associated Press (AP). He also suggested that the panel be assigned to make a plan for closing gaps in flu surveillance and to complete both plans in time for the WHO’s executive board meeting in January.”We must go beyond generalized planning and well-intentioned expressions of cooperation,” the AP quoted Simonson as saying. “Now is the time to speak and act with specificity.”Hundreds of experts in human and animal health and other fields gathered at the WHO in Geneva yesterday for the 3-day conference. The stated goal of the meeting is to forge an international consensus on how to combat H5N1 avian flu and prepare for a potential human flu pandemic.Experts at the meeting disagreed today on whether the H5N1 virus can be eradicated in poultry, according to another AP report. Controlling the virus in poultry is considered the best way to keep it from evolving into a pandemic strain.Samuel Jutzi of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told the AP that the world could stamp out the virus in poultry in “a matter of a year,” provided enough money is invested. However, current spending is not enough to do the job, he said.Jutzi, who was interviewed on the sidelines of the conference, observed that the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong all have eliminated highly pathogenic avian flu from their poultry stocks in recent years, the AP reported. He said the FAO would reveal tomorrow its estimate of the cost of eradicating the virus in poultry.Alejandro Thiermann of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) told the AP he does not think the virus can be eradicated in poultry. “The virus is here to stay until, through genetic mutations, it really causes havoc or it’s defeated by nature and disappears,” he said.On the other hand, Thiermann said the virus can be managed by rapidly detecting and stopping new outbreaks, according to the story. “We certainly have the tools to bring it to a point where we can manage it and almost eliminate the chance of it becoming a pandemic strain,” he said.In other news, lawmakers in Washington, DC, today voiced objections to President Bush’s $7.1 billion strategy for battling avian and pandemic flu, the AP reported. Some Republicans called the plan too costly, while Democrats said it shortchanges state and local governments. The plan was unveiled last week.Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said he would not support the proposal because it would increase the budget deficit. At a hearing today, he asked if the administration would help Congress find savings in other programs to pay for pandemic preparedness, according to the story. But HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said Bush views the pandemic threat as an emergency.Democrats at the hearing questioned whether the administration plan provides enough money for state and local preparedness, the AP reported. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., called the plan “long on directions and short on resources for nonfederal partners in pandemic preparedness.”Meanwhile, the drug company Roche announced today it had stopped selling oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in China and was turning over supplies to the government, according to another AP story.Supplies of the antiviral drug are “being transferred to China’s Ministry of Health for centralized allocation and distribution,” Roche’s Chinese division said in a statement quoted by the AP. The statement said that in case of a pandemic, “the government is in the best position to handle rapid response and distribution.”Oseltamivir is one of very few drugs believed to be effective against the H5N1 virus. Concerns about possible hoarding of the drug recently prompted Roche to restrict sales in the United States, Germany, Canada, and Switzerland.Yesterday Roche announced it would increase production of oseltamivir to 300 million treatment courses annually by 2007, according to another AP report. That would be a tenfold increase in production since 2004, the company said.Roche said it had received requests from more than 150 governments and companies to produce generic versions of oseltamivir or to get involved in outsourced production, the story said. The company reported it had begun negotiations with eight companies and several governments, including Taiwan and Vietnam.See also:WHO page on Geneva meeting, with links to presentationshttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2005/meeting_avian_influenza/en/index.html
Update on the latest sports The two teams played without their managers, who received one-game suspensions for Tuesday’s benches-clearing incident involving Chapman and Brosseau. Chapman has appealed his suspension.Elsewhere around the majors:— Michael Brantley smacked a two-run homer in the first inning to back a strong start from rookie Cristian Javier in the Astros’ 2-1 win against the Rangers. Javier allowed only a solo home run to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a single by Joey Gallo in a career-high 6 2/3 innings to win his third straight decision.— Josh Donaldson returned from the injured list with two hits and two RBIs in the Twins’ 8-1 drubbing of the White Sox. Jake Cave, Miguel Sanó (sah-NOH’) and Eddie Rosario homered to support José Berríos (beh-REE’-ohs), who worked six strong innings.— Triston McKenzie tossed six innings of three-hit ball on his 23rd birthday to pitch the Indians to a 5-0 shutout of the Royals. Tyler Naquin (NAY’-kwihn) provided all the scoring with a pair of home runs. MLB-SCHEDULERockies cool off GiantsUNDATED (AP) — Mike Brosseau wasted no time exacting some revenge on the New York Yankees.Brosseau belted a two-run homer and a solo shot in his first two at bats before the Rays finished off the Yankees, 5-2. Brosseau was the hitting star just a day after he was buzzed near the head by a fastball from Aroldis Chapman, which earned the Yankees’ closer a three-game suspension.Randy Arozarena also hit a two-run homer to help the AL East leaders improve to 8-2 versus the Yanks this year. Rockets advance, Heat outlast Bucks for 2-0 leadLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The Houston Rockets are in the NBA’s Western Conference semifinals after winning a gritty seventh game in their series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.James Harden made up for a miserable shooting night with a big blocked shot that secured the Rockets’ 104-102 triumph over the Thunder. The Thunder got the ball to Lu Dort, who attempted a 3-pointer that Harden blocked with 4.8 seconds left.Robert Covington had 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Eric Gordon also scored 21 points for the Rockets. Harden finished with 17 points and nine assists.Jimmy Butler bailed out the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Milwaukee. Third-string goaltender Michael Hutchinson stopped 27 shots and the Avs went ahead to stay in the second period before defeating the Stars, 4-1. Hutchinson has won each of his starts since replacing Pavel Francouz (FRAHN’-sohs) in the nets.Rookie defenseman Cale Makar (mah-KAHR’) scored the go-ahead goal in the second period. Nikita Zadorov (zah-DOHR’-ahv) and Mikko Rantanen (MEE’-koh RAN’-tah-nehn) also scored, and Nathan MacKinnon added an empty-netter.The Avs have never won a series after dropping three of the first four games.Anton Khudobin (hoo-DOH’-nihn) turned back 20 shots for Dallas. NHL-NEWS The man called “Tom Terrific” and “The Franchise” has died at age 75. The Baseball Hall of Fame said he passed away Monday following complications from dementia and COVID-19.Seaver was selected by the Mets in a special draft in 1966 after his contract with the Braves was nullified by Major League Baseball. He spent just one year in the minors and won the 1967 National League Rookie of the Year with a 16-13 record and 2.76 ERA for the last-place Mets.Seaver won the Cy Young three times, all with the Mets. He remains the franchise leader in most career categories, including 198 victories, 2,541 strikeouts.Seaver was the first pitcher in major league history with eight consecutive seasons of at least 200 strikeouts. He also was a 20-game winner in 1969, ’71, ’72, 75, and ’77.Seaver finished his Hall of Fame career with a 311-205 record, a 2.86 ERA, 3,640 strikeouts, 61 shutouts and 231 complete games. UNDATED (AP) — Bengals running back Joe Mixon has signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension through the 2024 season. Mixon has emerged as one of the NFL’s top running backs, running for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. The Bengals drafted Mixon in the second round in 2017 out of Oklahoma, where he was suspended for punching a woman in the face. The Bengals drew a backlash with the choice, prompting owner Mike Brown to acknowledge they were “taking a risk” on Mixon because he’s so talented.In other NFL news:— Coach Ron Rivera announced that Dwayne Haskins will be Washington’s starting quarterback for Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Haskins got the nod over Kyle Allen and Alex Smith.— Chargers safety Derwin James will miss the season after having surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. James had surgery on Tuesday after he sustained the injury during a scrimmage on Sunday. — Javier Baez socked a three-run home run and Kyle Hendricks pitched one-run ball over six innings of the Cubs’ 8-2 rout of the Pirates. Anthony Rizzo added a two-run single in the seventh and the Cubs scored three times in the eighth to cap the scoring.— The Brewers trailed 4-0 until Keston Hiura (HEER’-uh) launched a three-run homer in the third inning to spark Milwaukee to a 7-5 decision over the Tigers. Jace (jays) Peterson added a two-run shot and Omar Narvaez (nahr-VY’-ehz) furnished a two-run single that tied the game.— Lourdes Gurriel (gur-ee-EHL’) homered and Hyun Jin Ryu (hyoon jihn ree-OO’) pitched six solid innings to lead the Blue Jays to a 2-1 win over the Marlins. Miami rookie Sixto Sanchez had thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings until Gurriel belted a two-run shot for a 2-0 lead in the fifth. — The Reds picked up a 4-3 win over the Cardinals on Joey Votto’s (VAH’-tohz) RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. The Redbirds were leading 3-1 and in line for a three-game sweep until Tucker Barnhardt smacked a two-run homer in the fifth.— Michael Conforto was 4-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs as the Mets whipped the Orioles, 9-4 to halt a five-game losing streak. Mets slugger Pete Alonso also homered, the fifth ever to reach the second deck in left field at Camden Yards. Allen goes from Blues to HabsUNDATED (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens have acquired goaltending insurance for Carey Price.The St. Louis Blues have traded goaltender Jake Allen to the Canadiens, along with a 2022 seventh-round pick. The Blues receive third- and seventh-round picks in this year’s draft. The move clears $4.35 million of salary-cap space for the Blues and also signals that Jordan Binnington is the starting goalie of the present and future. He backstopped the Blues to the Cup last year. The extra cap room might be enough for the Blues to re-sign top defenseman and Stanley Cup-winning captain Alex Pietrangelo (peh-TRAN’-jeh-loh), who is set to be a free agent this fall. — Adam Duvall slammed three home runs and drove in five to lead the Braves past the Red Sox, 7-5. Marcell Ozuna’s (oh-ZOO’-nuhz) solo blast broke a 5-5 deadlock in the seventh.— Zack Wheeler tossed three-hit ball over 6 2/3 innings, and Jay Bruce hit a solo homer in the Phillies’ eighth win in nine games, 3-0 over the Nationals. Neil Walker was 3 for 3 with two RBIs for the Phils, who handed the defending champs their fifth consecutive loss and dropped the Nats to 12-22.— Mookie Betts slugged a tying homer in the ninth inning and Will Smith lined an RBI single in the 10th to rally the Dodgers past the Diamondbacks, 3-2. Los Angeles earned its ninth straight home win despite getting only four hits. — Jason Castro hit a tiebreaking two-run double while the Padres erupted for eight runs in the eighth inning of an 11-4 win over the Angels. Manny Machado delivered a two-run single in the eighth and Eric Hosmer hit a 443-foot, three-run homer to close out the rally.— Kevin Pillar (pih-LAHR’) laced a go-ahead, two-run triple while the Rockies scored five times in the seventh to hand the Giants just their fourth loss in 14 games, 9-6. Garrett Hampson hit his third homer in two days and Sam Hilliard also went deep to help Colorado bounce back from Tuesday’s 23-5 thumping by San Francisco. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-OBIT-SEAVERHall of Famer Tom Seaver diesUNDATED (AP) — Tom Seaver was so good, he was given two nicknames. The Heat squandered a six-point lead in the closing seconds before Butler drained two free throws with no time left to give Miami a 116-114 triumph over the top-seeded Bucks. The foul shots give the Heat a 2-0 lead in the series.Goran Dragic (DRAH’-gihch) scored 23 points, Tyler Herro (HEE’-roh) added 17 off the bench and Jae Crowder had 16 for the Heat. Giannis Antetokounmpo (an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) had 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks, but he also committed the foul that sent Butler to the line. Khris Middleton scored 23 points for Milwaukee, the last three of those coming when Dragic was called for fouling him with 4.3 seconds left.NBA-MAVERICKS-CLIPPERS FINESClippers’ Morris, Mavs’ Doncic fined for actions in Game 6 MLB-PIRATES-CLEMENTEPirates to celebrate Clemente DayPITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pirates will celebrate Roberto Clemente when the entire team dons his No. 21 on Sept. 9 against the White Sox. The Hall of Fame outfielder collected 3,000 hits during his 18-year career. He died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve in 1972 at age 38 while attempting to bring humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.NBA PLAYOFFS-SCHEDULE Associated Press September 3, 2020 Also on ice:— Todd Reirden is back with the Penguins as an assistant coach just a week after being fired as head coach of the Capitals. Reirden served as an assistant under Dan Byslma (BYLZ’-mah) from 2010-14 before leaving to join the Capitals. The Penguins also hired Mike Vellucci as an assistant after he spent last season as GM and head coach of Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate.TENNIS-US OPENKerber gets past uncertainty, advances at US OpenNEW YORK (AP) — Karolina Pliskova (PLIHSH’-koh-vah) has become the first top-seeded woman to be ousted in the second round of the U.S. Open since 2008. LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Marcus Morris of the Los Angeles Clippers has been fined $35,000 by the NBA for his flagrant foul on Luka Doncic (DAHN’-chihch) of the Dallas Mavericks. Doncic has been penalized $15,000 for throwing the ball at a referee.Both fines stemmed from actions in Game 6 of a first-round playoff series, which the Clippers won to eliminate the Mavericks.NHL-STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFSAvs force Game 7EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche have forced a Game 7 in their Stanley Cup second-round series by defeating the Dallas Stars for the second straight game. Over in the women’s bracket, sixth seed Petra Kvitova (kuh-VIH’-toh-vah) and No. 8 Petra Martic moved into the third round, as did No. 17 Angelique Kerber.In other tennis news:— A three-day exhibition tennis tournament ahead of next year’s Australian Open has been canceled due to expected COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne. The Kooyong Classic was to be held in the week before the January 18 to 31 Australian Open.NFL-NEWSBengals extend Mixon Pliskova failed to convert two set points in the second set and was knocked out by Caroline Garcia, 6-1, 7-6. The 2018 women’s champ reached the third round as Noami Osaka defeated Camila Giorgi 6-1, 6-2. The fourth-seeded Osaka committed only 11 unforced errors.Unseeded Americans Ann Li, Shelby Rogers and Madison Brengle have pulled off upset victories. Li beat No. 13-seeded Alison Riske in a matchup between Pennsylvanians, 6-0, 6-3. Rogers beat No. 11-seeded Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-1, before Brengle completed a 6-2, 6-3 win over Dayana Yastremska.Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic (JOH’-koh-vihch) and No. 5 Alexander Zverev (ZVEHR’-ehv) each needed four sets to win their second-round matches at the U.S. Open. Djokovic dropped his opening set before advancing with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kyle Edmund. American Brandon Nakashima gave Zverev fits for two sets before the German prevailed, 7-5, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1.Other winners on the men’s side include seventh seed David Goffin and No. 19 Taylor Fritz. No. 13 Cristian Garin was knocked out in five after winning his first two sets. NCAA-FURLOUGHSMemo: NCAA to furlough its entire staff for 3-8 weeksUNDATED (AP) — The NCAA will furlough its entire Indianapolis-based staff of about 600 employees for three to eight weeks in a cost-saving move. A memo obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press was sent by NCAA President Mark Emmert to the association’s more than 1,200 member schools Wednesday. Starting Sept. 21 through the end of January 2021, all national office staff will be subjected to a mandatory three-week furlough. Some staff will be furloughed for up to eight weeks.