Sep 4, 2009Britain scales back flu death projectionThe British government scaled back its projection of how many novel H1N1 deaths could occur, The Times of London reported today. In July it predicted 65,000 fatalities in a worst-case-scenario, but now the National Health Service (NHS) says fatalities could range between 3,000 and 19,000. Officials lowered the estimate because the symptoms of the virus are mild for most patients. The NHS’s chief medical officer said case numbers have not risen in Scotland, where school resumed 3 weeks ago.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/Swine_flu/article6820841.eceSep 4 Times storyTiered epidemic plans could improve responseResponses to the novel H1N1 virus outbreak might be seen as alarmist, because many pandemic plans accounted for only a worst-case scenario, Peter Doshi, a doctoral student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote in the British Medical Journal yesterday. Calibrated responses based on four types of risk assessments that take into account disease distribution and severity could build public trust and engage the public’s attention to warning messages, he wrote.http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-09/bmj-wtp090309.phpSep 3 British Medical Journal press releaseUninsured New Jersey residents to get free pandemic flu vaccineIn announcing new measures to curb the fall wave of pandemic flu, New Jersey officials said yesterday that the state will provide free novel H1N1 vaccine to the 1.3 million uninsured people. The free vaccines will be offered though public health clinics located in all New Jersey counties. Other response measures include a public education campaign, working with school districts to keep schools open, and partnering with districts to establish a voluntary vaccination program.Lung tissue in some fatal cases resembles H5N1 infectionPathologic investigation of lung tissue from patients who have died of pandemic H1N1 infections resembles that in those dying from H5N1 avian influenza, a scientist who has studied about 70 fatal cases told the Canadian Press. Dr Sherif Zaki, a pathologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the level of lung damage makes it difficult to oxygenate patients. About a third of the patients had bacterial coinfections, and about 90% had underlying conditions such as obesity.Doctors reverse severe infection with experimental IV antiviralA 22-year-old woman with pandemic H1N1 infection and chemotherapy-induced immune compromise recovered from a severe infection after treatment with an experimental intravenous version of zanamivir, her doctors reported today in The Lancet. She had not responded to oseltamivir or nebulized zanamivir alongside antibiotics, hydrocortisone, and mechanical ventilation. Her doctors combined IV zanamivir with corticosteroids, which is controversial but is used in some respiratory distress cases.http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61528-2/fulltextSep 4 Lancet reportWHO: flu activity increasing in many tropical regionsIn its weekly pandemic update today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said flu activity is widespread and increasing in many tropical regions of South and Southeast Asia as well as South America. Though flu activity is past its seasonal peak in some parts of the southern hemisphere, parts of Australia and South America are seeing sustained circulation. Japan is experiencing an early start to its flu season. The global number of deaths is at least 2,837, mostly from WHO’s Americas-region countries.http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_09_04/en/index.htmlWHO pandemic update 64
by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” District Court officials are expecting around 100 candidates in the jury selection process of the Lindsey Nicole Blansett murder trial at the Sumner County Courthouse Tuesday morning.Of those 100 potential jurors, at least 42 of them will be selected for an interview, said Kerwin Spencer, Sumner County attorney. Then the judge, defense attorney and prosecuting attorney are expected to decide who will be the 12 jurors and two alternates, who will be seated to determine the fate of Blansett, 33, 0f Wellington who has been charged with premeditated murder. She is accused of killing her 10-year-old son Caleb at her home on Dec. 14, 2015.At the courthouse Monday, both Spencer and Blansett defense attorney Michael Brown met with Judge Scott McQuin during a pretrial hearing to go over the logistics of the trial which is expected to last into next week.Blansett was in attendance at the hearing Monday in her orange prison uniform and remained silent throughout the discussion.Brown said the jury selection could last two days through Tuesday and Wednesday. Spencer said he disagrees with Brown and expects the jury process could be wrapped up by tomorrow.â€œI could be asking for my first witness by 4 p.m. on Tuesday,â€ Spencer said.Spencer said the case will probably go into Monday of next week, and maybe into Tuesday or Wednesday.Security will be tight for the trial in which Blansett faces two felonies of premeditated murder and aggravated assault after being accused of using a rock and knife multiple times to fatally wound her son, Caleb, a Wellington Lincoln Elementary student while he was allegedly sleeping late in the evening last December.Those who come to the courthouse must adhere to various security measures including passing through a metal detecting device. Security officials at the courthouse are expecting a large number of media that could take up two rows on the bench.The hearing lasted two hours this morning and much of it surrounded logistics, including how to handle the media and jurors, what items can or cannot be allowed in the courtroom, and the scheduling of key witnesses. There was also discussion how many jurors will be interviewed. Some have already been deemed ineligible to serve, estimated at 30 percent of the pretrial questionnaires that were returned to the courthouse.Upon Brown’s request and agreed upon by the judge and prosecuting attorney, the two alternates for the 12-person jury will be considered “blind” meaning they will not know they are alternates through the proceeding.“That way they may pay attention more, thinking they are part of the 12-person jury,” Brown said.Follow us on Twitter.
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