NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Indonesia, Thai vaccine grant, flu vaccine for tourists, Hib deaths, call for action on TB

first_imgApr 2, 2009Indonesian toddler dies of H5N1 infectionA 2-year-old boy from Indonesia’s Riau province died last week of an H5N1 infection, the Jakarta Post reported today. An official from Arifin Ahmad hospital in the provincial capital, where the boy was treated, told the Post that the boy reportedly had contact with dead birds before he got sick. Health officials were identifying family members and others who had contact with the boy and would monitor them for 21 days, the report said. If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the case, it will raise Indonesia’s H5N1 case count to 146, with 120 deaths.[Apr 2 Jakarta Post story]Thailand gets WHO grant to help produce flu vaccinesThailand yesterday received approval for a $2 million grant from the WHO to produce a seasonal influenza vaccine and develop the capacity to make its own pandemic vaccine, The Nation, a Thai newspaper, reported today. Thailand is one of six countries that are receiving WHO support to produce influenza vaccines. Last year the country used a $2 million WHO grant to make a vaccine prototype that is in the safety-testing phase of a clinical trial.[Apr 2 The Nation story]’Tis season for flu vaccine if traveling to southern hemisphereTo prevent influenza in those traveling Down Under or elsewhere south of the equator, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that they receive flu vaccine before traveling to the southern hemisphere during its flu season, which is April through September. The CDC, in tomorrow’s issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), also recommends vaccination for those traveling to the tropics at any time of year and for people touring between April and September with a group that includes anyone from the southern hemisphere. The make-up of the flu vaccine often differs between northern and southern hemispheres, but this year it is the same.[Apr 3 MMWR report]Hib vaccine shortage leads to deaths in Pennsylvania, New JerseyTwo unvaccinated children in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey have died from Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and at least four other southeastern Pennsylvania youth have become infected after a Hib vaccine shortage, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday. A third Pennsylvania death is also likely linked to the disease, the story said. Some of the cases were in families who declined the vaccine for religious reasons, but officials said outbreaks of the disease in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have probably been due to vaccine shortages that developed after Merck in December 2007 withdrew 1.2 million doses of its vaccine because of possible contamination. Before vaccines were licensed for children in 1987, Hib infected 20,000 US children under 5 each year, killing 1,000. Hib, a bacterium, is not related to influenza, which is transmitted by a virus, but is so named because it was once thought to cause the flu.[Apr 1 Philadelphia Inquirer story]Hard-hit countries call for action against drug-resistant TBHealth ministers from 27 countries with the greatest burden of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) yesterday joined with WHO officials and others to issue a call for action against the global TB epidemic, according to a WHO statement today. At a meeting in Beijing, the officials issued a statement that all countries should work to provide universal access to diagnosis and treatment for multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant TB by 2015 and to remove financial barriers to TB care, among several other goals. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said preventing and managing drug-resistant TB is a global health imperative and cannot be achieved by national governments individually. Participants in the meeting also vowed to help find the estimated $15 billion needed for the TB battle over the next 6 years.[Apr 2 WHO statement]last_img read more

Gold Coast house and unit approvals up while Brisbane approvals are down

first_imgFirst-home owner Brie Gillett checks a GJ Gardner display house, Pimpama, Gold Coast. Photo: Regi Varghese“We may have that situation probably two years down the track but I think that’s a good thing as there will be stock to be sold. If we have a growing population they have to have somewhere to come to and I don’t believe we’re going to fall of a cliff or have a GFC towards the end of 2018 but we will have a level of pace where people can operate without a frantic situation.”First-home buyer Brie Gillett is building a house at Pimpama, the northern Gold Coast’s fastest growing region. Jupiters Casino extension. Photo: David ClarkThe soon-to-be first time mum and her fiance Trent Jesberg decided building was the only way to go — especially with the $20,000 first homeowners’ grant.“It was the best option financially for us, we could get a helping hand and have exactly what we wanted,” she said.“Having a house to suit our needs is important to us, we are starting a family.” First-home buyer Brie Gillett (right) discusses her house plan with Greg Palmer, Supervisor, GJ Gardner Builders, Pimpama, Gold Coast. Photo: Regi VargheseTHE Gold Coast is leading the state in residential construction following a bumper 2016 sparked by a Commonwealth Games building frenzy.House and unit approvals were up 20 per cent across the city, according to peak construction and building industry association Master Builders Qld.In comparison, Brisbane results are down — due to the unit oversupply, resulting in a 14 per cent drop in building approvals. Gold Coast City Marina and surrounding property. Picture Mike BatterhamMaster Builders Qld regional manager Gold Coast John Duncalfe said 2017 looked promising.“At the moment I have builders telling me every day they can’t get enough subcontractors,” Mr Duncalfe said.“Everyone is at a fairly good space as far as work in their books goes.”More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North11 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoHe said he didn’t expect an oversupply of units on the Gold Coast following the Games.“We did have a major oversupply years ago but we don’t have an it now,” he said.center_img The Gold Coast skyline. Picture: Queensland TourismThe association’s Building Industry Outlook 2017 reveals the Coast’s standout performance was sparked by employment growth and a thriving tourism industry.“The Gold Coast is going gangbusters and this is expected to continue through until the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” Master Builders deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said.The second stage of the light rail network, redevelopment of Jupiter’s Casino and the $1 billion Jewel development are also mentioned as bringing work to the region. Kurrawa Surf Club. Photo: David ClarkMiss Gillett said they chose Pimpama due to its proximity to the motorway.“It is close to the Coast and Brisbane — the new Coomera Town Centre they’re building was a plus,” she said.The couple collect the keys to their new home tomorrow and will move in this week. Key facts Unemployment rate 5.4 per centPopulation growth of 2.1 per cent a yearOne out of three people on the Gold Coast are paying off their own homeAverage mortgage repayment is $2,058 a month. This is $200 more than the Queensland average.last_img read more