WILMINGTON, Del. — Joseph R. Biden Jr. declared early Wednesday morning that he was “on track to win this election” but urged patience while votes are tallied.“It ain’t over till every vote is counted, every ballot is counted,” Mr. Biden said at a drive-in gathering in a parking lot outside an event center in Wilmington. “But we’re feeling good. We’re feeling good about where we are.”- Advertisement – He offered an unequivocal statement about another key state that Mr. Trump carried four years ago, declaring, “We’re going to win Pennsylvania.” Mr. Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania, the state of his birth, each of the past three days.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Mr. Biden spoke to the crowd for three minutes around 12:45 a.m. with his wife, Jill, at his side. To the sound of beeping car horns, he projected confidence about how he was faring in several critical battleground states.“We’re feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan,” he said, naming two crucial states in the Upper Midwest that President Trump is defending. Noting that it may take some time to know the results of the election, he said: “As I’ve said all along, it’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to declare who’s won this election. That’s the decision of the American people. But I’m optimistic about this outcome.”“Keep the faith, guys!” he said as he concluded. “We’re going to win this.”
Paralympian Blake Leeper lost his CAS appeal to use prosthetic running blades to try and qualify for the Tokyo Olympics last month, with the body claiming his blades allowed him to run at a greater height than if he was running with biological legs. By Rebecca Williams, Sky Sports ReporterLast Updated: 09/11/20 9:05pm
Here for love! Kaitlyn Bristowe fully supports Clare Crawley’s choice to leave The Bachelorette early after finding love with contestant Dale Moss.Bachelor Nation watched the couple’s proposal play out on the Thursday, November 5, episode of The Bachelorette, four episodes into season 16. Despite Crawley’s abrupt exit as the leading lady, Bristowe is a fan of the hairstylist, 39, finding her person.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – The “Off the Vine” podcast host revealed that she thinks the Bachelor in Paradise alum and her fiancé “now they have such a stronger foundation to start off on instead of her dating all these men and then picking him at the end.”She added: “I think they have a chance and I’m really rooting for them.”Us previously reported in August that Sacramento, California, native walked away from the dating series two weeks into filming after falling hard for Moss. As a result, Tayshia Adams was asked to take over as the lead and started her own journey for love.- Advertisement – “She’s so good, oh my gosh,” the Canada native, 35, told Us Weekly and other reporters on Monday, November 9, about her fellow Bachelorette. “We’ve talked a few days now in a row because she’s like, ‘I can’t wait for you guys to meet him!’”Kaitlyn Bristowe, Dale Moss, and Clare Crawley Kelsey McNeal/ABC; Craig Sjodin/ABCThe Dancing With the Stars contestant, who earned a perfect score on her Argentine tango on Monday, explained that Crawley couldn’t be more excited about her future with the former NFL player, 32.“She’s so happy,” Bristowe said. “And it’s really cool to know that she kind of broke the rules which, we all know I’m a rule breaker and did it for love.”- Advertisement – Crawley received backlash throughout her season for deciding that Dale was The One within 12 days of meeting him.“Who are these people to decide how long it takes somebody to fall in love? Is it a week? Is it a month? Is it a year? Is it two years?” she exclusively told Us last month. “How people fall in love and the amount of time that it happens or what the process is changes. It’s not for anybody to really decide if there is a cookie cutter for that.”Since getting engaged, the couple have gushed about their relationship and Crawley has already begun talking wedding plans.“I’m like, ‘So here’s my wedding dress idea and here’s the day that I wanna get married’ and he’s like, ‘OK!’ I mean everything is like, he truly is, like, the yin to my yang,” Crawley said on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast earlier this month. “I’m passionate, I’m heated, I get intense with everything and he can hang with me but he’s very even-keeled and very reasonable and just kind of levels me out to some extent. … I would literally marry him tomorrow if I could.”Listen to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants
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– Advertisement – George, who was previously married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993, told the magazine that his relationship with Amal, 42, changed “everything” and made him finally settle down and start a family.“I was like, ‘Oh, actually, this has been a huge empty space,’” he said. “I’d never been in the position where someone else’s life was infinitely more important to me than my own. You know? And then tack on two more individuals, who are small and have to be fed.”Following his divorce from Balsam, now 61, the two-time Oscar winner had high-profile relationships with stars including Céline Balitran, Lisa Snowdon, Renée Zellweger, Krista Allen, Sarah Larson, Elisabetta Canalis and Stacy Keibler. A mutual friend introduced him to Amal in 2013, and the couple got engaged less than a year later. They wed in Italy in September 2014 and welcomed twins Alexander and Ella in June 2017.George Clooney on the cover of GQ Jason Nocito- Advertisement – “For 36 years, I was the guy that if some kid popped up and started crying, I’d be like, ‘Are you f–king kidding me?’” George joked to GQ. “And now suddenly I’m the guy with the kid, you know?”While the Clooneys have been fiercely protective of their children since birth, Alexander snuck into the frame during the Ocean’s Eleven star’s Zoom interview with the publication. Writer Zach Baron noted that the 3-year-old “has a mop of brown hair and chaotic teeth and looks like” both the Argo producer and the human rights lawyer.George — who famously owns an expansive home near Lake Como, Italy — also revealed in the profile that his son speaks “fluent Italian,” which Alexander demonstrated by responding, “Molto caldo” when his famous dad asked him to say “It’s very hot today.”- Advertisement – For years, George Clooney was considered one of the most eligible bachelors in Hollywood — and then came Amal Clooney.“I was like, ‘I’m never getting married. I’m not gonna have kids,’” the actor, 59, told GQ in his 2020 Icon of the Year profile, published on Tuesday, November 17. “‘I’m gonna work, I’ve got great friends, my life is full, I’m doing well.’ And I didn’t know how un-full it was until I met Amal.”Amal Clooney and George Clooney attend a dinner to celebrate The Prince’s Trust at Buckingham Palace in London on March 12, 2019. Shutterstock- Advertisement – Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!
The first inconclusive screening test result was reported Jun 25, and confirmatory testing excluded the disease in that animal Jun 30. The two cases were the first inconclusive screening test results reported since the USDA expanded its BSE surveillance program at the beginning of June. The agency has not said where the cattle came from. The USDA expanded its BSE surveillance in response to the discovery of a BSE case in a cow in Washington state last December. The agency hopes to test more than 200,000 cattle over 12 to 18 months; several state veterinary labs around the country are conducting the screening tests. The confirmatory tests were done by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. The lab uses immunohistochemistry testing, which Clifford called “the world-recognized gold-standard test for BSE.” The USDA has said both cattle were kept out of the human and animal food supplies. Confirmatory testing excluded BSE in the animal whose inconclusive test result was announced Jun 29, Dr. John Clifford, deputy administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said in a statement released this afternoon. Jul 2, 2004 (CIDRAP News) Further testing has ruled out bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the second of two cattle for which initial screening tests were inconclusive, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today. See also: Jul 2 statement by Dr. John Cliffordhttp://www.usda.gov/Newsroom/0275.04.html
Oct 28, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The United States was on track to provide 100 million doses of influenza vaccine this year when half of its supply was withdrawn in early October because of contamination concerns over vaccine from Chiron Corp. Suddenly about 48 million doses shy of the expected supply, US officials scrambled to define priorities.Trying to cut the demand to fit the supply, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that most healthy people between ages 2 and 64 forgo the shots so they can be reserved for those at high risk for serious flu complications. At last report, the nation is expected to have a total of about 61 million doses of vaccine this season, as compared with 83 million doses used last year.The unprecedented shortage poses a major challenge to the healthcare system across the country as officials strive to ensure that the most vulnerable people get their shots. To monitor how the system is responding, CIDRAP News will run occasional stories focusing on reactions to the shortage in five states: California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, and New York.For now, states are trying to follow the CDC guidelines for vaccinating high-risk people, although whether to vaccinate healthcare workers has been debated in some places. Some states are encouraging vaccination with the live-virus intranasal vaccine FluMist for healthcare providers as a way to conserve injectable vaccine for high-risk people. Some states, such as Colorado and California, have taken a page from pandemic flu plans to conduct large-scale immunization clinics for qualifying patients.California: Who has vaccine?In California, officials are trying to determine where private-sector vaccine distribution is taking place and parceling out the state’s meager vaccine supply.The California Department of Health Services had ordered its entire supply of 573,000 doses of vaccine from Chiron, the lowest bidder, said Nisha Gandhi, an adult immunization coordinator for the department. When the Chiron deliveries were canceled, the state had to get in line with others for vaccine.So far, California’s health department has given 234,560 doses of vaccine to local health departments, primarily for low-income children and qualifying patients in Medi-Cal or the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program, according to a news release. Health officials announced on Oct 21 that the state had received another 271,740 doses of vaccine to distribute to local health departments for high-risk patients.The total supply of 506,300 doses has to be distributed among the estimated 11,869,000 Californians who should be vaccinated under the CDC guidelines, Gandhi said. That’s a third of the state’s population.Aventis Pasteur, the remaining US supplier of injectable vaccine, has released some general distribution data. Officials are using it to ascertain where the private doses are and to whom they’ll be distributed, Gandhi said.”We’re trying to combine that with what’s been delivered to determine what needs are being met,” she said.”We know through different population-based surveys that most people get their vaccine through their providers and not through the public [health system],” Gandhi said. “The big question is: How much private-sector vaccine is out there? It’s extremely difficult to tell.”Colorado: A change of plansColorado was to distribute free flu vaccine to anyone who wanted it as part of a massive, nine-county bioterrorism drill on Oct 16. Instead, only those at high-risk were injected, according to news releases from the state health department. Close to 8,000 people received shots during the exercise, the department said.Florida: Hospitals feel shortageIn an Oct 26 letter to the St. Petersburg Times, infectious disease chiefs from three Florida universities asked federal officials to declare a national emergency and recall available vaccine supplies for redistribution to the neediest.One of the writers was Frederick Southwick, MD, vice chairman of medicine and chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Florida College of Medicine.Southwick told CIDRAP News his hospital had ordered 13,000 doses of vaccine. “We got none,” he said. If 50% of the vaccine supply is gone, he reasoned, he should receive about 6,500 doses.The 600-bed hospital at the university is part of Shands HealthCare System. It has a high proportion of transplant patients, for whom a bout with the flu is particularly dangerous, Southwick said. The hospital usually vaccinates 600 transplant recipients each season.Suddenly, transplant recipients who couldn’t find flu shots elsewhere were calling the hospital, he said. More than 1,200 of the vulnerable patients have asked for the vaccine.Although the hospital hasn’t yet received any vaccine, Southwick said officials have determined whom they will vaccinate if they can: Transplant recipients will have priority over elderly patients with severe underlying diseases.Choosing among patients was “very disturbing to me,” Southwick said. No hospital workers will be vaccinated.In Gainesville, the flu season usually ratchets up after Thanksgiving and peaks around New Year’s, Southwick said. “We still have time,” he said. “We’re hoping.”Minnesota: 377,000 doses shortA Minnesota Department of Health survey last week indicated that the state was short about 377,000 doses of vaccine, according to the Associated Press (AP). The department has urged companies to vaccinate only high-risk employees and to share leftover vaccine.Minnesota’s largest flu-shot provider said this week it had obtained 81,500 doses of flu vaccine, according to the AP. The nonprofit Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency said it would vaccinate those at high risk for $16 each. Of the doses the agency has on hand, 68,000 came from the national Visiting Nurse Associations of America and 13,500 from Supervalu, Inc., a grocery wholesaler.New York: An appeal for donationsNew York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the state health commissioner on Oct 26 asked area employers and providers to donate vaccines to those at high risk. The state health department is seeking another 600,000 doses for high-risk New Yorkers, according to wire services.
Aug 3, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers relying on mathematical modeling claim that early containment of pandemic influenza, an eventuality widely accepted as not an “if” but a “when,” may well be attainable through targeted public health strategies. A leading public health expert, however, cautions against viewing these study results as fodder for relaxed planning efforts, stressing the myriad variables that would come into play.In a report published online today in Nature, Neil M. Ferguson of Imperial College London and international colleagues outline a simulation of flu transmission among a modelled population of 85 million people in Thailand and environs, chosen because of the availability of relevant demographic and other data. Ira M. Longini, Jr, of Emory University and colleagues from that institution as well as from Johns Hopkins and the Thai Ministry of Public Health, describe in a Science report also released today a model of flu transmission based on a largely rural population of 500,000 in Southeast Asia.Both groups of researchers examined various intervention strategies aimed at containment of an emerging pandemic strain. The avian influenza A H5N1 strain now circulating in birds in Asia, which has caused more than 100 human cases and more than 50 deaths, is so far not efficiently transmissible from human to human. When the virus gains this ability, it is widely expected to launch the next flu pandemic.The Thailand model (Ferguson group) based calculations on human viral reproduction, or transmissibility (RO), rates ranging from about 1.0 to 2.0. These rates refer to the average number of secondary cases of disease generated by a typical primary case in a susceptible population; an RO rate of 1.0 would thus indicate no transmission. They set the generation time (Tg), meaning the average interval between infection of an individual and infection of contacts, at 2.6 days. This Tg factor was arrived at on the basis of analysis of past estimates of transmissibility of respiratory diseases and is less than the approximately 4 days assumed in most past modeling studies, say the authors. A predicted attack rate of 50% to 60% derived from these factors is consistent with the first two waves of past flu pandemics, according to the researchers. The model also assumed that 50% of infections were clinically recognizable.Using these variables and beginning from the scenario of a single infection in a rural (low population density) area, the authors found that the diseases remained mainly local for the first 30 days but then spread nationally between days 60 and 90. The critical period for containment is obviously before the second time period, as they point out.Containment strategies in this study were antiviral prophylaxis using oseltamivir, social distancing (closing schools and workplaces), and quarantining (restricting movement into and out of the affected areas).The researchers found that blanket prophylaxis could contain a pandemic strain of influenza with high transmissibility (RO >3.6). This approach is obviously unrealistic because of the drug quantities that would be required. Thus targeted prophylactic approaches were modeled.Social targeting, meaning administering the drug to contacts in an infected person’s household, school, and/or workplace was effective only at very low transmissibility rates (RO=1.25) so would be unlikely to be effective if used alone.Geographic targeting, meaning prophylaxis of the whole population within a set radius of a newly identified case, was capable of containment at an RO of 1.5 assuming a 2-day delay from case onset and a 5-km ring. About 2 million antiviral courses would be required. The authors considered this method effective only if it were untaken early and if a major urban center was not involved early on.A drug-sparing targeted approach, in which only a set number of people nearest an index case within a set radius are given antivirals, was found to have increased effectiveness over just geograhic targeting, and the method would required less drug usage.In studying the effects of social distancing, the authors made the conservative assumption that household and random contact rates would increase 100% and 50%, respectively, for infected individuals and so would affect attack rates in those settings. Results showed that this approach added to a drug-sparing prophylaxis policy would have a greater than 90% chance of containing a virus with an RO of 1.7.Quarantine was found to increase the effectiveness of other strategies even if only 80% of movement into and out of the zones occurred (90% containment at RO =1.8 when added to geographic targeting of antiviral prophylaxis and similar containment at RO =1.9 when social distancing is also added).These authors point out a number of factors that would affect practical application of containment approaches they found to be effective. Among them are the applicability of the assumptions, such as transmissibility, used in the model to the characteristics of an actual pandemic virus strain; the effectiveness of surveillance, since success will depend on early identification of the first cluster of cases; effective delivery of treatment to targeted groups, which requires an infrastructure not present in many areas; and antiviral resistance, which could arise with widespread drug use.Among the broad conclusions drawn by this group, who claim that their study is “perhaps the largest-scale detailed epidemic microsimulation yet developed” are that a stockpile of at least 3 million drug courses would be needed to contain a pandemic flu outbreak and that containment is unlikely if a new flu strain has an RO of greater than 1.8. The use of multiple approaches to containment is key, they stress.The study published in Science (Longini group) used a discrete-time, stochastic influenza simulation model for a geographically distributed population of 500,000 in rural Southeast Asia. Like the study discussed above, it examined the effects of targeted antiviral prophylaxis and quarantine on containment of an emerging viral strain, and it added another approach as well: preexposure vaccination with a low-efficacy vaccine, which is all that would be available early on in a pandemic situation.In the model, a target overall attack rate of 33% was used, corresponding to an RO of 1.4. This is similar to the rate in the first wave of the Asian (1958) and Hong Kong (1968) pandemics, the authors say. They made calculations based on delays of 7, 14, and 21 days between infection and implementation of interventions.All of the intervention were found to work well if the viral strain had a very low rate of transmissibility (RO =1.1). Social targeting and geographic targeting of antiviral prophylaxis that reached 80% and 90% of the targeted population, respectively, were each effective if RO was 1.4 or lower, but neither was sufficiently effective at an RO of 1.7 or greater. When preexposure vaccination was added, containment of strains having an RO of 1.7 was possible, even when only 50% of the targeted population was vaccinated; it could be effective at an RO as high as 2.1 with higher vaccination. If quarantine were also added, strains with an RO of up to 2.4 could be contained, the researchers found.These authors conclude on the basis of their findings that the current World Health Organization (WHO) stockpile of antivirals, which amounts to 120,000 courses, “could be sufficient to contain a pandemic if the stockpile were deployed at the source of the emerging strain within two to three weeks of detection,” and that “up to one million courses could be needed to deal with multiple outbreak foci.”Comment”I want these strategies to work,” infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, told CIDRAP News. “But in all my years in public health, I have yet to see mathematical models that have driven public health actions in meaningful ways.” Osterholm used HIV and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) as examples of diseases for which there have been what he calls a “pandemic of modeling studies.””My concern is that papers like these suggest more direction for planning than is warranted and may placate policymakers who believe the planning puzzle has clear solutions. . . . The issue of antiviral treatment, for example, has to be looked at against the whole system of disease occurrence and transmission. How well can we detect the disease when it starts occurring? How can we make sure travelers who appear healthy aren’t unknowingly spreading the virus?” Osterholm, who is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, publisher of this Web site, used as illustration the example of SARS’ fast jump from the Far East to Canada in 2003.Osterholm also made the point that since a flu pandemic will very likely be caused by a mutation of the H5N1 virus currently spreading among birds in Asia, we will be facing a “reloading” problem at the source—that since birds are a reservoir that is constantly replenished, “We are dealing with a moving target, not a static population like humans. . . . Culling [the birds] won’t work. It’s like throwing fresh wood on a fire.”The two studies published today were funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).Ferguson NM, Cummings D, Cauchemez S, et al. Strategies for containing an emerging influenza pandemic in SE Asia. Nature 2005 (published online Aug 3) [Abstract]Longini IM, Nizam A, Xu S, et al. Containing pandemic influenza at the source. Science 2005 (published online Aug 3) [Abstract]See also:Aug 3 NIH press releasehttp://www.nih.gov/news/pr/aug2005/nigms-03.htmAug 3 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2005/s08/en/index.htmlCIDRAP overview of pandemic influenzahttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/panflu/biofacts/index.html
Nov 17, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – For children and adolescents with asthma, the intranasal influenza vaccine FluMist was as safe as and more effective than an injectable vaccine in a phase 3 trial of young people aged 6 to about 17 years.The study, which involved 2,229 children at 145 sites in 12 European countries and Israel, was published in the October issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.In the double-blind study, conducted during the 2002-03 flu season, children received either trivalent injectable inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) or cold-adapted influenza vaccine, trivalent (CAIV-T). CAIV-T is an investigational refrigerated form of FluMist, designed to be easier to handle than the current version, which must be stored frozen. FluMist uses a live but weakened virus.Currently, TIV is the only vaccine approved for use in high-risk children and adolescents, including those who have asthma. Young people with asthma are at increased risk for complications from respiratory infections and are more likely to be hospitalized when they have seasonal influenza. They are also more likely to experience asthma exacerbations after being sick with seasonal flu.Few trials have examined the efficacy of TIV in children with asthma. One small safety study of FluMist in the same population suggested an increased risk of asthma attacks.In the new study, for the strains of influenza that the vaccines were designed for, FluMist was 35% more effective than the injected vaccine (flu attack rates: CAIV-T, 4.1%; TIV, 6.2%). Against all influenza subtypes, CAIV-T was 31.9% more effective than TIV.There were no significant differences between the two groups in the incidence of asthma exacerbations, mean peak expiratory flow rates, asthma symptom scores, or nighttime awakening scores. Slightly more patients who received CAIV-T reported runny nose or congestion (66.2% vs 52.5%), and about 70% of those who received TIV reported injection site reactions.The authors of the study said their results are consistent with a similar study involving children aged 6 to 71 months who had a history of recurrent respiratory tract infections. “Although the reasons for higher observed relative efficacy for CAIV-T were not evaluated in these trials, induction of innate and specific mucosal immunity, as well as other factors, may play a role,” they wrote.Despite strong recommendations that high-risk children, including those with asthma, receive an annual flu shot, many children with asthma don’t receive them, according to findings published in the September issue of Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Michigan researchers found that about 40% of children with asthma enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program had at least one missed opportunity for vaccination in each of two consecutive flu seasons.Kevin Dombkowski, DrPH, MD, coauthor of the study and research assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School, said only 17% were vaccinated in the first season and 22% the following season. “In all, fewer than 10% of these children were vaccinated both seasons. The national goal is for 60% or more of them to receive the flu vaccine every season,” Dombkowski said in a university news release.Earlier studies have shown that two major barriers to vaccinating high-risk children are physicians’ failure to recommend the vaccine and parents’ lack of knowledge about their child’s risk of serious complications from the flu.To increase vaccination rates, Dombkowski said interventions, such as reminder systems, are needed to improve physician and parent awareness about the importance of annual vaccinations for children with asthma.Fleming DM, Crovari P, Wahn U, et al. Comparison of the efficacy and safety of live attenuated cold-adapted influenza vaccine, trivalent, with trivalent inactivated influenza virus vaccine in children and adolescents with asthma. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2006;25(10):860-9 [Abstract]See also:Dombkowski KJ, Davis MW, Cohn LM, et al. Effect of missed opportunities on influenza vaccination rates among children with asthma. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2006;166(9):966-71 [Abstract]Sep 11 University of Michigan news release on study of flu immunization rates in children with asthmahttp://www.uofmhealth.org/news/912kids-with-asthma-and-flu-shots
Feb 25, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Agriculture officials in China announced today that the H5N1 avian influenza virus has struck poultry in the southwestern part of the country, a day after new outbreaks were reported in Pakistan, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.The outbreak in China, which occurred in the mountainous Guizhou province, was confirmed Feb 17 by the country’s National Bird Flu Reference Laboratory, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported today. The agriculture ministry said the outbreak killed 3,993 birds and that 238,364 were culled to control the spread of the virus.The outbreak is China’s fourth since the first of the year, according to the Xinhua report. Two others occurred in Tibet, in the southwestern part of the country. An outbreak also hit birds in Xinjiang province in northwestern China.In other developments, a health official in Pakistan yesterday reported a new outbreak at a farm near Karachi in southern Pakistan, Deutsche Presse-Argentur (DPA) reported today.”It’s a small outbreak in an isolated area,” Maqbool Jan Abbasi, an official from Pakistan’s health ministry, told DPA. He said local authorities were slow to identify the outbreak.The outbreak is the third to strike the Karachi area in February, according to the DPA report. Pakistan has also reported recent outbreaks in North-West Frontier province, the region where outbreaks in December contributed to suspected human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus.Elsewhere, animal health officials in Vietnam said yesterday that the virus infected poultry in Ninh Binh province in the northern part of the country, according to a report today in Thanh Nien News, a Vietnamese media outlet.The outbreak began on Feb 18 and struck 330 backyard poultry, Thanh Nien reported. Ninh Binh is the seventh Vietnamese province to report H5N1 outbreaks this year, the report said.In other avian flu news, veterinary officials in Bangladesh conducted a new round of culling in seven districts, as the number of districts experiencing H5N1 outbreaks grew to 45 of 64, Xinhua reported yesterday. The culling operations push the number of birds slaughtered to control the spread of the disease to 968,731, the report said.