Yes, it’s a pandemic: Where do we go from here?

first_img(CIDRAP Business Source Osterholm Briefing) – No, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not declared the novel H1N1 (swine) influenza outbreak a pandemic. It should. And it may. But your next steps need not depend on the WHO raising the pandemic alert level to phase 6. In fact, they shouldn’t depend on it.What matters most at this moment is not the number of the phase, but how we respond to the real (and perceived) threat of this genuine influenza pandemic.Going globalThe fact that the virus is causing “sustained community-level outbreaks” in Japan, a country in “another WHO region” means the outbreak has reached the global threshold that qualifies it as a pandemic. That’s according to the very measure the WHO set forth in its latest iteration of alert phases. But, unfortunately, science isn’t guiding the agency’s decision at the moment.I have a feeling that may change very shortly as “influenza scientists” around the world are becoming increasingly vocal in their conclusion; we have an influenza pandemic with the new H1N1 virus. Fortunately it is primarily a mild illness for most of those infected, but we all know that could change with a single virus mutation.The agency is under pressure to incorporate severity level into its decision, to account for the “mild” nature of the current outbreak before calling a full-blown pandemic that could trigger what some worry would be risky and costly actions.But the phases have always been about how well the novel influenza virus passes between people, never how sick it makes them. Mild, moderate, or worse, severity is not part of what defines a pandemic. Maybe it should be. Maybe it can be. But for now, it isn’t. And I’d much prefer that WHO preserve its credibility and stick to science and avert confusion.Whether the WHO raises the alert level to phase 6 shouldn’t have much impact on business, but it might.Much depends on how governments react, particularly the governments of Asia. A misinterpretation of the phases means trouble. Such actions as closing borders, quarantining passengers, and screening people at airports are totally unnecessary, bad for business, and likely to worsen problems. Without taking extreme measures, there’s simply no containing or even dampening the transmission of this virus anymore. Close a border, and people will still find a way in. Same for an influenza virus. Imagine having 11 screen doors on a submarine and closing only 10; you’re still going to sink.Swimming with the sharks?The bottom line is that we have what amounts to a pandemic on our hands, and companies need to adjust accordingly. Our attention must be on its impact on the health of the population. And right now the impact is limited. So here’s what I suggest:1. Be ready for a mixed bag of reactions. If you’re an international company, you’ll likely see great variability in responses from different countries. The novel virus is acting much like a seasonal strain of influenza, and it’s causing what could be considered a “mild” pandemic right now. But how countries and others react may not be proportionate to the severity of the pandemic. Are you ready if borders close in Asia?Also, be mindful that your organization’s pandemic plan may have action steps such as “no travel” or “mandatory work from home” policies that are triggered with a WHO phase 6 declaration. Now is the time to reconsider these actions in light of the mild illness spectrum. They can always be reinstated if the disease picture suddenly worsens.2. Stay tuned. Is this a mild first wave? Will the pandemic fizzle out and be gone for good? Will the virus keep spreading—and mutate into a strain that could become moderate or severe? It’s anyone’s guess at the moment. But investigators are finding new pieces of the puzzle almost daily, and the CIDRAP Business Source team is monitoring the science closely. You’ll be the first to know what we know. You have my word on that.3. Take advantage of the gift of this wake-up call. We certainly don’t want to scare anyone into becoming more prepared, but this “grace period” (to quote WHO Director-General Margaret Chan) is an opportunity to make your case for more attention to preparedness. What we’re seeing right now is akin to a seasonal influenza of moderate severity, which certainly is worthy of note by any business, and that could change on a dime. What would a year of severe seasonal influenza do to your business?Bottom line for businessThe pandemic threat to your business is far from over. Count on us for the intelligence you need to calibrate your company’s response responsibly.last_img read more

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally breaks silence on being named Arsenal captain

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Former Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka hasn’t played for Arsenal since his outburst against Crystal Palace (Picture: Getty)‘It is a privilege to follow in their footsteps and I will honour the armband by doing my very best on and off the pitch.‘When I was younger, I remember always wanting to be captain in my youth teams. I was talking about it with my mum just the other day actually. We were laughing because we recalled how I used to buy armbands myself so I could wear them!‘At the start of my career, I was not too focused on being captain or not. Now, it feels right. It comes with a lot of responsibilities but I feel I can do a great job. I have been Gabon captain since 2015 and that was also a great honour.‘My dad was also the national team captain when he was playing. So to take over from him in a way was again very special. Now, I am doing the double with Arsenal and Gabon and it is a wonderful privilege.’Will Aubameyang sign a new Arsenal contract?Yes0%No0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMORE: Unai Emery explains why Lucas Torreira isn’t playing as a defensive midfielder for ArsenalMORE: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will leave if Arsenal don’t improve, warns Martin Keown Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was confirmed as Arsenal’s new captain earlier this month by Unai Emery (Picture: Getty)Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang insists he is privileged to have been named as Arsenal captain and hopes to follow in the footsteps of club legends Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira.Arsenal’s star striker was confirmed as Granit Xhaka’s permanent successor as the club’s skipper last month after the Switzerland international was stripped of the captaincy following his outburst against Crystal Palace and subsequent refusal to offer a full apology to his own supporters and teammates.Aubameyang wore the armband against Leicester before the international and hit out at reports the dressing room was divided over his appointment during the international break.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe former Borussia Dortmund star will lead out his team in today’s vital Premier League match against Southampton and he accept he will feel an extra weight of responsibility.ADVERTISEMENT‘Arsenal has a great history of wonderful captains like Patrick Vieira and Tony Adams,’ Aubameyang told Arsenal’s official matchday programme. Advertisement Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally breaks silence on being named Arsenal captain Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 23 Nov 2019 10:40 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4kShareslast_img read more

Cricket News Dinesh Karthik’s Unconditional Apology For Being In CPL Match Accepted By BCCI

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Dinesh Karthik had landed himself in hot water when he was seen in a Trinbago Jersey, while watching the match from the dressing room during the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 encounter in the West Indies. This prompted the BCCI to issue a show cause notice and it asked why his central contract should not be cancelled. Karthik tendered an “unconditional apology” for violating BCCI’s central contract clause by watching a Caribbean Premier League game from the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Trinbago Knight Riders’ dressing room. The BCCI Karthik’s unconditional apology for violating the clause of his central contract and considered the matter to be closed.Karthik is the captain of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders but being seen in a Trinbago Jersey, while watching the match from the dressing room, prompted the BCCI to issue a show cause notice, asking why his central contract should not be cancelled.  Karthik, in his reply, submitted that he went to Port of Spain on KKR coach Brendon McCullum’s request and watched the match wearing the TKR jersey on the New Zealander’s insistence.”The BCCI has accepted Dinesh Karthik’s apology and the matter is now a closed chapter,” a Board official told PTI. As per the central contract, Karthik, who has played 26 Tests and 94 ODIs for India, should have taken permission from the BCCI before attending the match. His contract bars him from being associated with any private league. Also Read | Opener, finisher or a specialist no 4 – DK can do it all at World cup: Abhishek NayarIndian cricket team players are forbidden from participating in any other foreign leagues as the BCCI has been reluctant to issue no objection certificates to the players who want to play. Irfan Pathan was the first Indian to be picked in the Caribbean Premier League draft lottery but the BCCI did not issue the NOC which would have made him the first Indian to play in an overseas Twenty20 tournament. Also Read | Opinion –Rishabh Pant’s ‘confusing’ omission from India team for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 explainedDuring the World Cup, Karthik was promoted ahead of Dhoni in the semi-final against New Zealand in Old Trafford. The plan backfired and India crashed out of the tournament with an 18-run loss. Head coach Ravi Shastri opened up and explained the strategy behind the pivotal decision, which almost turned right for the team until Martin Guptill delivered an extraordinary effort on the field. “It was a team decision. Everyone was in with it — and it was a simple decision, too. Last thing you wanted was Dhoni coming out to bat early and getting out — that would have killed the chase. We needed his experience later. He is the greatest finisher of all times — and it would have been criminal to not make use of him in that way. The whole team was clear on it,” Shastri was quoted as saying in an interview to Indian Express.last_img read more