“We’ve enhanced surveillance here and around the world,” Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of the prevention branch in the influenza division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Newsday last week. Federal health officials have completed their selection of the three viral strains to be included in next season’s flu vaccine, marking the first time in 20 years that they’re calling for a complete reformulation of the inoculation. Yesterday, the FDA announced the selection of A-Brisbane/59, A-Brisbane/10 and B-Florida for the 2008-09 flu season. Viruses are named based on their sites of origin. Vaccine strains are chosen nearly a year in advance because of the long preparation time needed for manufacturing, a laborious process that involves growing the doses in millions of chicken eggs. CDC epidemiologists and their counterparts from the World Health Organization track global flu prevalence and circulating strains to pinpoint the most likely strains that will cause infection during the next flu season. In this country, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration selects among the offerings — as it did yesterday — the strains to be included in next season’s vaccine. Three deactivated viral strains are included in the annual recipe to provide protection against the dominant strains in circulation. Usually, only one or two of those strains are changed each year, but global flu trackers have found that influenza has been particularly widespread this season in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, driven by strains that emerged after the current vaccine was formulated. The three distinct strains that make up the annual vaccine represent two forms of type A influenza, dubbed H1N1 and H3N2, and one form of type B.This season’s flu vaccine has been under a spotlight — and on a hot seat — because its recipe does not include two key circulating strains, A-Brisbane/10 and B-Florida. The mismatch between the strains in circulation and those in the vaccine are being blamed for the substantial rise in flu cases nationwide. Infection levels have remained high since January.
Four-time triathlon world champion and internationally-renowned endurance athlete Leanda Cave is joining forces with the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), to raise awareness of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.After her own skin cancer diagnosis in 2012, Leanda has dedicated herself to educating others about melanoma prevention, early detection and treatment.To kick off the partnership, Leanda and the MRF will co-host the first annual Miles for Melanoma 5K run/walk in Miami, Florida on 1 November at Virginia Key Beach Park. The event will bring together athletes, members of the South Florida community, melanoma survivors, caregivers and their loved ones, local media and more. Local media personality and melanoma survivor Dave Aizer from WSFL-TV will emcee the event.“I know first-hand that long hours spent training in the sun increases the risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer, the most deadly form being melanoma,” said Leanda Cave.“I want people to know that this cancer exists, that there are steps they can take to prevent it and that catching it in its early stages is so important. The Miles for Melanoma Miami race on November 1st will be a fun way to raise awareness and funding for melanoma research, education and advocacy efforts!”Research shows that nearly 90% of melanomas are thought to be caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, both the sun and indoor tanning beds. While other cancer diagnoses are decreasing, the rates of melanoma are going up. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women in their late 20s, but it can strike men and women of all ages, all races and skin types.As the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) points out, many people are not aware that melanoma isn’t ‘just skin cancer’ – it can develop anywhere – eyes (ocular melanoma), mouth (mucosal melanoma), scalp, nails, feet, etc.“The MRF is thrilled to partner with Leanda to combat the rising number of melanoma diagnoses,” said Tim Turnham, Executive Director of the MRF. “We admire and are grateful for Leanda’s steadfast commitment to educating her fellow athletes and fans about the connection between melanoma and UV overexposure, and the importance of reducing their risk to the best of their ability.”Leanda added, “The Miami run/walk on November 1st will be a great way to kick off my partnership with the MRF. Miami is near and dear to me personally, so I’m eager to gather as many members of the Miami community as possible so we can make a big dent in this cancer.”Registration for the Miles for Melanoma Miami 5k run/walk is now open. A local dermatology group will be on site during the event to offer attendees free skin screenings. All proceeds from the event go to accelerating the MRF’s mission of advancing research, education and advocacy for melanoma.www.melanoma.orgwww.leandacave.com Related
Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller. Photo courtesy of Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.comIt may be a non-conference game but Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller says that does not make it less important. The Hawkeyes visit Bradley on Wednesday and they have won 19 consecutive midweek games dating back to the 2015 season.Heller says many midweek upsets occur when teams are coming off a big conference series. That’s where the Hawkeyes are after taking winning two of three games at Nebraska.“If we don’t go out and give a great effort after a big weekend at Nebraska we will go out and get beat”, said Heller. “We have been pretty consistent with that.”Heller says the midweek games become even more important for teams hoping to earn NCAA at-large bids.“If you want a chance at an at-large bid you have to take care of business in those midweek games.”Iowa’s last midweek loss was back on April 14, 2015 at Bradley.Share this:FacebookTwitter