May 15, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – An official from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today that novel H1N1 influenza is expanding across the country, with 22 states reporting widespread or regional illnesses.Dan Jernigan, MD, MPH, deputy director of the CDC’s Influenza Division, said at a press briefing that the spike in flu activity is unusual for this time of year, when infections from seasonal strains have typically tapered off. The seasonal influenza strains are responsible for half of the spike, which Jernigan attributed to increased testing throughout the nation for the novel strain.The CDC is seeing some geographic variation in illness patterns, he said, with highest activity levels in the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest.Jernigan said the CDC is investigating more hospitalizations and deaths from the novel flu strain and was aware of illness clusters in New York City and Houston schools. Yesterday officials in New York closed three schools in the Queens neighborhood to slow community transmission of the disease. High numbers of sick students prompted the closures, and a staff member from one of the schools is hospitalized in critical condition with a novel H1N1 infection, the city’s health department said.In Houston, school district officials today closed one of the city’s elementary schools until May 26 after 400 of the school’s 712 students stayed home sick, the Houston Chronicle reported.Though the number of confirmed and probable cases is growing quickly, the total number will become less meaningful, because case confirmations are evolving to mainly reflect just the severe cases that are now the target of testing, Jernigan said. The total likely underestimates the true number of novel H1N1 cases in the United States, which could be as high as 100,000, he said.Jernigan said that although some afebrile novel H1N1 infections have been seen in Mexico, the CDC hasn’t detected the lack of fever as a prominent feature of US infections.CDC experts and their global partners are exploring the possibility of mutations in the new virus. Analyses of genetic sequences haven’t identified any that would make the new strain more virulent so far, though the CDC will continue to monitor the virus, he said.In response to a reporter’s question, Jernigan said the agency is investigating whether another novel H1N1 virus may have been identified in three Mexican states.In other developments, Martin Cetron, MD, director of the CDC’s quarantine division, announced at the press conference that the CDC has downgraded its travel advice for people visiting Mexico from a warning to a precaution, focusing on people who have underlying health conditions such as pregnancy, cardiovascular conditions, and immunodeficiency diseases.The upgraded travel advisory, recommending against nonessential travel to Mexico, had been in effect since Apr 27.See also:May 14 New York City Department of Health press releaseMay 15 CDC travel advisory update
After spending the offseason answering question after question into a microphone or tape recorder, the Trojans finally get to answer them on the only place it really matters: the field.The No. 14 Trojans begin the post-Pete Carroll and -sanctions era tonight in Honolulu, against Hawai’i. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN.Last time the Trojans traveled to Hawaii, they stomped the Warriors 63-17 to begin their defense of the 2004 championship run on a team led by Reggie Bush.With the fallout from Bush’s actions reverberating through Heritage Hall, expect a very different Trojan team to take the field.The Lane Kiffin-led Trojans are entering a whole new gridiron landscape where most college football experts expect them to have a down year. Not only is depth an issue — the Trojans have only 74 scholarship players — but NCAA-imposed sanctions prohibit them from playing in a bowl game this season and next.However, Hawai’i coach Greg McMackin isn’t expecting anything less from USC.“They’re really focused for this year,” McMackin said in a conference call. “These distractions have really brought them together. We’re expecting their best shot.”Focused · Lane Kiffin opens his USC head coaching career tonight in Hawaii. Kiffin has previously been the head coach of the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Volunteers. He has an all-time record of 12-21 and said he’s never been “more unsure of a team in my life” than this year. – Tim Tran | Daily TrojanThe Trojans enter the game as a heavy favorite. Their offense, led by sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley, looks to be much improved from a year ago. Barkley has had a strong spring and fall camp and, after being recently voted a team captain, is at the helm of the offensive attack.Barkley started 12 of 13 games last season, leading the Trojans to a 9-3 record when he was behind center. As the season progressed so did his mistakes. He finished with 15 touchdowns to go with 14 interceptions.Redshirt junior running back Marc Tyler will make his first start for the Trojans. He beat out senior Allen Bradford for the spot after Bradford was slowed by a knee bruise. Bradford is almost fully recovered and will probably get carries as well.The starting offensive line, which has been hampered by injuries and depth issues, finally got the chance to practice together as a full unit for the first time Monday. The unit, anchored by senior center Kristofer O’Dowd, is a major concern heading into this season.“That’s going to be a big question mark,” Kiffin said.Despite the O-line issues, USC is expected to put up points on the Warriors. It is on the defensive side where things could get a little more uncertain.Hawai’i employs a run-and-shoot style of offense, which attempts to spread defenses out and relies on short passes to quick receivers. Its attack, led by junior quarterback Bryant Moniz, ranked third nationally in total passing last season and 14th in total offense.The task will fall on USC’s defense, which was inconsistent at best last season to slow the Hawai’i attack, a task the Warriors’ coach recognizes is a huge challenge.“A defense can never be right,” McMackin said. “Every route is adjustable. If the quarterback, receivers and running backs get on the same page, it’s tough.”USC has the right tools in the front seven to disrupt the Hawai’i attack. Junior defensive tackle Jurrell Casey — who is listed on several national watch lists for postseason awards — and defensive ends Wes Horton, a redshirt sophomore, and Armond Armstead, a junior, give the Trojans plenty of firepower up front as they will look to get to Hawai’i quarterback Bryant Minoz.Behind them, experience reigns as the unit of linebackers- Malcolm Smith, Michael Morgan and Devon Kennard- return from last year. If any of them get hurt, backup Chris Galippo will be more than ready to step into his place.However, it is behind those front seven where question marks lie. The Trojan secondary features four new starters, three of whom are of sophomore standing or younger.Adding to the defensive concern for the Trojans is that they have not had many full-contact practices. Kiffin decided a few weeks ago to prohibit tackling because the risk of injury was too great.“I have never been more unsure of a team in my life,” Kiffin said.As uncertain as Kiffin is, he’ll finally be getting some answers about his Trojan team tonight.
Mavericks will ‘certainly’ load manage Kristaps Porzingis, Mark Cuban says Cuban immediately admitted to sharing confidential information to reporters after Kings owner Vivek Ranadive “expressed concern that information about the vote to allow coaches’ challenges was being reported,” according to ESPN. The fine was handed down because it is deemed a violation of league rules to discuss the information shared in the meeting to outsiders. NBA approves coach’s challenge, instant replay for 2019-20 season The report noted the NBA has issued a memo to inform other teams, but have not yet publicly announced Cuban’s punishment.”I appreciate the irony of your reporting on a fine that someone should, but won’t, get fined for leaking to you,” Cuban told ESPN. Related News The NBA didn’t take kindly to Mark Cuban’s admission.The Mavericks owner said he leaked information from last week’s Board of Governors meeting to a media member, and according to a report from ESPN — which cited unidentified league sources — the league’s front office fined Cuban $50,000. Adam Silver: Trade demands by NBA players ‘are disheartening’ This isn’t the first time the NBA has cut into Cuban’s pockets.He has now been fined more than $2 million since 2000 when he began his long tenure as owner.