West Nile magnifies need for mosquito control

first_img Nonetheless, he said mosquito control should be a public health function. He recommended the approach known as integrated pest management, which requires careful monitoring to determine “if, when, and where” to spray or otherwise combat mosquitoes. Jul 15, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Now that West Nile virus (WNV) is in North America to stay, mosquito control is becoming an important task of the public health system, West Nile experts said at a public health convention in St. Paul today. See also: In Colorado Springs, Colo., a program that combined mosquito control with public education and cooperation among local governments appeared to succeed in limiting WNV cases last year, according to another speaker at the meeting. Mosquitoes also spread the viruses that cause St. Louis encephalitis, western equine encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis, and LaCrosse encephalitis, Nasci said. Cases of St. Louis encephalitis average only about 115 per year, and the other three diseases are even less common. Editor’s note: This story was revised Jul 19, 2004, to include additional information about the percentage of West Nile virus infections that result in illness. A recent study from the Chicago area suggested that mosquito control programs made a difference in WNV infection rates, he said. For example, the Des Plaines Valley district, with an intensive program to kill mosquito larvae, had four West Nile cases per 100,000 people, while the North Shore district, with a less ambitious program, had 51 cases per 100,000. Similarly, he said, a study from Michigan indicated that people in areas with no mosquito control program had a tenfold greater risk of WNV than those in areas where mosquitoes were controlled. ASTHO report, “Public Health Confronts the Mosquito: Developing Sustainable State and Local Mosquito Control Programs” Since 1999, West Nile has quickly surpassed four other mosquito-borne arboviruses as a cause of human disease in the United States, Nasci said. There were 9,862 cases of WNV illness reported to the CDC in 2003, and 2,775, or 28%, of those involved encephalitis or a related brain disease, Nasci reported. The disease killed 260 people. (However, only about 20% of people infected with WNV actually become ill, and only about 1 in 150 infected people suffers severe illness with brain inflammation, according to CDC estimates.) However, this pattern didn’t hold in a comparison of the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland in Colorado: Loveland had a higher rate of WNV cases even though it worked harder on mosquito control, according to Nasci. WNV, native to Africa and the Middle East, has spread quickly across the United States since it emerged in the New York City area in 1999. Birds serve as the virus’s natural host, and mosquitoes spread it to humans after feeding on birds. Nasci cited a new report from the Association f State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) as a good source of further information on mosquito control (see link below). Rosemary Bakes-Martin, MS, MPH, acting director of public health for El Paso County, said the county began girding for the West Nile battle in the fall of 2002. Officials knew that public opposition would preclude spraying to kill adult mosquitoes. Instead, they mounted an effort to kill mosquito larvae countywide at the start of the season, and then followed up with larva-killing measures in areas where infected birds were found. Nasci said the scientific case for mosquito control as a way to fight West Nile is not yet compelling. “We know that we can document a reduction of mosquitoes through mosquito management,” but there is conflicting evidence on whether mosquito control programs reduce human cases of WNV, he said. Bakes-Martin said the county also used thousands of “tip cards,” posters, and brochures in two languages to educate the public about protecting themselves from mosquitoes. Other measures included generating heavy news coverage of West Nile and enlisting the help of all the county’s cities and towns in the public education effort. By October, El Paso had the second lowest WNV case rate among Colorado counties, fewer than 20 cases per 100,000 people, according to Bakes-Martin. “We felt like we did something right,” she said. Later in the season, the county took steps to kill mosquito larvae in areas where human West Nile cases turned up, Bakes-Martin said. Patients “all seemed to know when they were bitten by the mosquito that got them ill,” she explained. “I’d say in 90-some percent of instances, we found within a hundreds yards a place where there was mosquito breeding.” He said he doesn’t expect WNV to become so widespread in this country that most people will develop immunity from having been exposed at some point. In Africa the disease mostly affects children and teenagers, who then develop immunity and are protected in adulthood, he said. “We’re not going to find human herd immunity coming into play” in the United States, he said. “There’s a reevaluation of mosquito control as a public health function going on now,” said Roger Nasci, PhD, an entomologist who studies mosquito-borne viruses at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory in Fort Collins, Colo. He spoke at the annual conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). In response to questions, Nasci ventured a prediction about the future of WNV in the United States. He said the pattern for West Nile could evolve to resemble that of Japanese encephalitis in Asia. Modest outbreaks of the disease occur each year, but, depending on weather, it occasionally erupts on a much larger scale, he said.last_img read more

Norway encourages pension investors to increase private equity exposure

first_imgNorwegian pension providers should increase their exposure to domestic private equity to improve the country’s growth prospects, an in-depth government report has suggested.According to the productivity commission, the state should also recognise that regulation has acted as a barrier to competition in the provision of public sector pensions, with the report pointing to the departure of DNB and Storebrand, leaving only KLP to bid for local authority provision.The commission’s initial, 542-page report will now be examined by the government before a second paper puts forward concrete reform proposals on how the Norwegian economy should adapt as the role played by the oil industry declines.It noted that there had been a marked fall in interest from domestic private equity funds since 2007, when the industry agreed to 160 first commitments. The figure fell to just 15 a year by the end of 2013.The report said insurer DNB only had allocated 2% of its assets to unlisted equity “and thus had little significance as a source of financing of innovation and start-up operations”.It concluded that there was room for long-term investors, including pension providers, to increase their role in funding start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).Lending to SMEs has been hotly debated inside the European Union, with better access to funding for enterprises a cornerstone of Jean-Claude Juncker’s €315bn investment plan.However, respondents to a recent IPE survey remained uncertain about their role in meeting this funding shortfall.The commission also said the current predominance of KLP was an example of how regulation was acting as an entry barrier to competition in the local government pension market.It noted that both Storebrand and DNB had closed their local government businesses as the arrangement led to the current provider being favoured, even when a contract was up for tender.KLP saw its membership increase dramatically after both rivals withdrew from the market, with an inflow of 150,000 new savers last year.The report further argued that, as the level of oil production was predicted to be stable over the next decade, and the Government Pension Fund Global’s real return was expected to remain above its 4% target, the government would be able to divert more of the sovereign fund’s resources into domestic spending.Under the current budget rule, a government cannot spend more than 4% of the NOK6.7trn’s (€764bn) assets per year, with the figure based on an assumed investment return of 4%.The most recent budget earmarked spending of just under 3%, allowing the current and future governments to offset any decline in the oil industry’s output with higher spending.A 2013 report estimated that the petroleum industry would see its contribution to GDP halve by 2030 from a current level of 14%.However, the estimates were based around a long-term crude oil price of $94, compared with current levels between $50 and $60.For more on the Government Pension Fund Global’s approach to investments, see IPE’s recent interview with Norges Bank Investment Management chief executive Yngve Slyngstadlast_img read more

Antonio Brown targets ‘loser’ Ben Roethlisberger, ‘racist’ NFL in latest Twitter tirade

first_imgOn Wednesday, Brown launched yet another attack on his former quarterback and Steelers teammate, Ben Roethlisberger. MORE: All Antonio Brown wants for Christmas is … the Patriots?Check his stats before I came n I was done with that loser long time ago https://t.co/Ya8cbA9WQH— AB (@AB84) December 11, 2019″Check his stats before I came n (sic) I was done with that loser long time ago,” Brown wrote in a tweet Wednesday in response to a follower who suggested Roethlisberger should be credited for Brown’s success.It’s not the first time Brown has attacked Roethlisberger. Over the summer, Brown told Roethlisberger to “shut up” and said he and the Steelers QB were “never friends.”  It didn’t end there, however, with Brown making a claim that the NFL is “racist” — a claim he’s also made, and apologized for, in previous rants — and that the NFLPA is stealing money.That’s was the fam not the racist nfl https://t.co/VxG06N6LrD— AB (@AB84) December 11, 2019Let me get my lil bread get out y’all way @NFLPA we know y’all stealing— AB (@AB84) December 11, 2019Brown, while absent from the gridiron, has been very, very online in recent months, going as far to apologizing to the Patriots on Instagram and posting a picture with Tom Brady, with a caption that reads “miss you big bro” in recent weeks.Brown, currently locked in a civil suit which alleges he raped a woman, has played in a single game in 2019 and was released by the Patriots in the wake of the case being made public. Antonio Brown is back … on the attack.The beleaguered, controversial and currently unemployed wide receiver has had a lot to say since being shipped from Pittsburgh to Oakland earlier this year, and his mouth — rather, Twitter — has rarely stopped running since.last_img read more