On September 09, 2016, starting at 12,01 pm, the Public Opening Commission determined that no binding offer had been received for the purchase of shares in the company Hoteli Maestral reports from the Center for Restructuring and Sales (CERP).Unfortunately, another missed opportunity for the new development cycle of the Dubrovnik group of hotels Maestral, which began in October last year when the process of collecting bids for the purchase of 352.011 shares with a total nominal value of HRK 70.402.200,00, which is 68,26% of the share capital. Society. Reason? Of course, a typically Croatian problem – unresolved legal relations.Hotels Maestral in its portfolio consists of five hotels in Dubrovnik, total capacity 472 rooms, with 931 beds (hotel Uvala **** (51), hotel Splendid *** (59), hotel Komodor *** (63), hotel Vis *** (142), hotel Adriatic ** (107) and the Adriatica Rooms ** pavilion (50)). All of the Company’s hotels and rooms at Adriatica Rooms are located next to each other in the western part of Dubrovnik, in the Lapad Bay, only 3,5 km from the historic center and approximately 25 km from Dubrovnik Airport. Pursuant to the provisions of the Act on Management and Disposal of Property Owned by the Republic of Croatia and based on the Decision of the Management Board of the Center of 01 October 2015, on 07 October 2015 the public bidding procedure for the purchase of 352.011 shares of HOTELI MAESTRAL dd Dubrovnik began. The deadline for submitting letters of intent to express interest in purchasing the Company’s shares was until November 09, 2015 at 15,00:12 p.m. During the public call for expressions of interest for the purchase of the Company’s shares (first round), fifteen letters of intent were received within the deadline. Pursuant to the Decision of the Management Board of the Center for Restructuring and Sales of 2016 May 109.060.048,02, the starting price in the amount of HRK 11 was set, and on the same day invitations to submit binding letters were sent to potential investors who submitted letters of intent in the first round. offers to purchase shares of the Company. The deadline for submitting a binding bid was until 2016 on July 14,00, 60, which was extended by an additional 9 days at the request of several potential investors, and the original deadline for submitting binding bids was extended until September 2016, 12. until 00:XNUMX.During the call for binding bids for the purchase of the Company’s shares, seven bid documents were purchased. At the end of the whole story, on September 09, 2016, starting at 12,01 pm, the Public Opening Commission determined that no binding offer had been received for the purchase of shares in Hoteli Maestral.
Email Share on Twitter Pinterest Share on Facebook “The results demonstrate that in these experiments the ‘communicative’ signals are more important than the efficiency of the action” explains Marno. “Compared to children’s tendency to choose the more efficient button in the neutral condition, in the experimental situation they tended to prefer the button with low efficiency if this had been highlighted by the adult’s communicative signals”.More in detail…Marno started her studies on the effect of communicative signals by testing adult subjects. In fact, communication seems to play a specific, powerful role for adults as well. “Information about an object may be contingent or general. For example, when learning about an object, we can learn its position, which is most of the cases transitory information related to a specific moment in time, or we can learn more general features like its shape and function, which are not bound to any specific time period”.In her experiments with adults, Marno observed that while mere observation of objects can contribute to the acquisition of contingent and transitory information, when communicative signals are also present, there is a bias to acquire some permanent, more general information. “Our studies clearly demonstrate the huge importance of communication in human learning”. Share It is cultural transmission – the ability to pass knowledge on from one individual to another even across generations – that makes us unique among animals. True, we also learn by observing what happens in the world around us, for example, by associating events that frequently occur together (or in a rapid sequence). However, human “communication” may constitute such a powerful instrument that it overrides “statistics”, as observed in a study published in PLOS ONE and conducted by Hanna Marno, researcher at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste.“Human beings learn from statistical associations between events and objects. If, for example, one event very frequently follows another, we’ll learn to associate the first with the second and to use this association in our daily lives” explains Marno. “However, this is not the only way we learn. For humans, in fact, sharing information by communication is a vitally important factor”. This means that whereas normally we will associate an object with an action after observing their co-occurrence for a certain number of times, when certain communicative “cues” intervene (eye contact or verbal reinforcement from another person), then learning could take place far more rapidly and without any need for repeated observations.“In our experiments, infants aged about 18 months watched an adult interact with a box that had two buttons and a heart-shaped lamp on it; when either of the two buttons was pressed the heart lit up” explains Marno. In the “baseline” condition only the efficiency of the action varied: in one case, the button on the right would light up the heart-shaped lamp two-thirds of the time (high efficiency) and the one on the left only the remaining one-third (low efficiency), whereas in the other case the situation was reversed. In the experimental condition, a “communication” variable was added: the demonstrators could remain neutral (as at baseline) or interact with the child through non-verbal (eye contact) and verbal cues (in so-called “motherese”, the typical way adults talk to young children) to emphasise their action. Then, in a later phase, the children were left alone to interact with the box and the investigators recorded which button they pressed first. LinkedIn
Share Pinterest Email In the largest study to date that examines Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a risk factor for cancer, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), have shown no evidence of an association.The study, which appears in the European Journal of Epidemiology, is consistent with other population-based studies that report stressful life events generally are not associated with cancer incidence. In addition to corroborating results of other studies, this large population sample allowed for important stratified analyses that showed no strong evidence of associations even among select groups of the population.The association between stress and cancer has been discussed in scientific literature for more than 70 years. Despite plausible theories that would support this association, findings from clinical research have been mixed. LinkedIn Share on Facebook Researchers compared the rate of various cancer diagnoses among people with PTSD with the standardized cancer rate from the general population in the same time period using data from the Danish national medical and social registers. They found PTSD was not associated with an increased risk for cancer.“The general public may have a perception that stress contributes to cancer occurrence and given the ubiquity of PTSD and cancer and their costs to individuals and society, any observed associations could have meaningful public health implications,” explained corresponding author Jaimie L. Gradus, DSc, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at BUSM and an epidemiologist at the National Center for PTSD. “This study, however, provided no evidence that a severe chronic stress disorder such as PTSD is associated with cancer incidence.According to the researchers, the large sample and long study period allowed them to examine associations that have not been studied previously as they were able to look at rare cancer outcomes and associations among important subgroups. Share on Twitter
Share Abnormalities in brain regions involved in forming insight may help explain why some people with anorexia nervosa have trouble recognizing their dangerous, dysfunctional eating habits.In a study of structural brain connectivity led by the University of Illinois at Chicago and UCLA, those participants with anorexia nervosa who scored lowest on a test measuring their ability to form insight had more connective abnormalities than other patients in brain regions linked to error detection and conflict monitoring as well as self-reflection. Individuals with body dysmorphic disorder shared some of these connective abnormalities. The research was published in the journal Psychological Medicine.Anorexia nervosa, a potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss, and body dysmorphic disorder, in which individuals are preoccupied with misperceived flaws related to their physical appearance, are related psychiatric disorders that involve distorted body image, obsessive thoughts, and poor insight. The two often occur together, with symptoms usually first appearing during adolescence. LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Facebook Email Share on Twitter Anorexia nervosa patients who have poor insight may not respond well to treatment because they fail to realize that their behavior and dangerously low weight are damaging to their health, and may even lead to death.“The brains of people with anorexia nervosa who have poor insight may not generate an ‘error message’ when told, for example, that they are putting themselves at serious risk for death by severe restricting,” said Dr. Alex Leow, associate professor of psychiatry and bioengineering in the UIC College of Medicine and corresponding author on the paper. “Thus, it is plausible that their brains literally don’t believe that they are severely underweight and their behavior is dangerous even when objective evidence suggests otherwise.”The abnormal brain network in people with anorexia nervosa comprises several brain regions, including the caudal anterior cingulate and the posterior cingulate, which have been shown in other studies to be crucial for error detection, conflict monitoring, and self-reflection. For example, the caudal anterior cingulate is hyperactive in people with obsessive compulsive disorder, who may perceive problems where none exist, such as thinking the door may be unlocked even after checking it numerous times.“Our results suggest that in order to have insight, you have to be able to see a conflict or error when your perceptions differ from those of others, or from reality,” Leow said.“For example, in people with anorexia nervosa, that conflict might be, ‘I may actually be way too thin, even if I think I am still fat.’ Next, they need to be able to reflect on that conflict and what it means. If they can, this insight can lead to adaptive decisions, such as ‘Hey, I need to get help to change my behavior and get healthy,’ and then that person has a better chance of recovering.“But without that insight, they are stuck.”Leow and her colleagues explored differences and similarities in brain connectivity patterns in 24 weight-restored individuals with anorexia nervosa (participants met all criteria for anorexia except for amenorrhea and all had body mass indices (BMI) of 18.5 or higher), 29 participants with body dysmorphic disorder, and 31 healthy control participants. None were receiving psychiatric medication at the time of the study. Insight and delusionality were measured using specialized questionnaires.Leow said the selection criteria for participants were carefully chosen, because long-term starvation itself has a profound impact on the brain and could contribute to abnormal connectivity in brain networks.“We didn’t study individuals who were currently very underweight, because we didn’t want active starvation to impact our results,” she said. “In that case, we wouldn’t really be sure if network abnormalities were caused by the disease itself, or if they simply reflected current effects of starvation on the central nervous system.”The researchers imaged each participant’s brain using structural magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging. Next, they constructed maps for each participant that showed which areas of the brain exhibited high levels of connectivity.They found that connectivity in the caudal anterior cingulate and the posterior cingulate were poorly connected with the rest of the brain in those with anorexia nervosa compared to healthy participants. Participants with worse insight scores had worse integration of these areas in the brain.The researchers also found that individuals with anorexia nervosa had abnormal, overlapping brain networks involved in reward and compulsive behaviors.“This could relate to the observation that many anorexics experience a rewarding feeling from ‘successfully’ carrying out compulsive exercising, restricting, achieving specific weight goals,” said Leow. Participants with body dysmorphic disorder showed similar but weaker abnormalities in the same regions.Improving anorexics’ ability to detect the mismatch between their perceptions of self and reality may be the key to helping some recover, said Leow.“We may be able to teach insight to these patients using different tools or techniques including virtual or augmented reality technologies,” Leow said.A candidate approach is to ‘amplify’ the error signals, she said. “Many anorexic patients with poor insight are able to understand someone else’s severe restricting is very dangerous for that person, but they can’t see it for themselves even when they are doing exactly the same thing,” Leow said. Providing better visual feedback signals could be a way to get the error message across.
Email Pinterest Share on Twitter LinkedIn Risk for suicide attempts and violent offending by children appears to be associated with their parents’ psychiatric disorders, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.Suicide and violent behaviors can cluster within families, possibly because of genetics, epigenetics, and social and environmental influences.Roger T. Webb, Ph.D., of the University of Manchester, England, and coauthors examined associations between a full spectrum of parental psychiatric diseases (including mental disorders, dementia in Alzheimer disease, substance use disorders, schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety, personality disorders and suicide attempts) with attempted suicide and violent offending by children. The study group included more than 1.7 million people born in Denmark from 1967 through 1997 and followed up from their 15th birthday. About 2.6 percent of the study population first attempted suicide and 3.2 percent were convicted of a first violent offense during the study period.The authors report:Risks for suicide attempts and violent offending by children were elevated across virtually the entire spectrum of parental psychiatric disease.The greatest increases in risk for both suicide attempt and violent offending by children were associated with parental diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder, cannabis misuse and prior suicide attempt.Parental mood disorders, particularly bipolar disorder, were associated with some of the lowest increases in risk, especially in violent offending by children.A history of mental illness or suicide attempt in both parents was associated with twice the risk compared with having only one parent affected.Associations between parental psychiatric disease and violent offending by children were stronger for female than male children; suicide attempts by children were comparable regardless of sex.The study notes its most important limitation is that although researchers accounted for parental socioeconomic status, they could not adjust for other mitigating factors such as parental criminal histories or experiences of abuse by those in the study group.“The similarities in relative risk patterns observed for both adverse outcomes indicate that self-directed and interpersonal violence may have a shared etiology,” the authors write.The study notes children of parents with a history of psychiatric disease also are at increased of risk of being exposed to maladaptive parenting practice, family violence, abuse, neglect and financial hardship. The impact of those harmful environmental factors can be cumulative.“Psychiatrists and other professionals treating adults with mental disorders and suicidal behavior should consider also evaluating the mental health and psychosocial needs of their patients’ children. Early interventions could benefit not only the parents but also their offspring,” the study concludes. Share on Facebook Share
LinkedIn Pinterest A wide range of pre-existing psychiatric and behavioral conditions and the use of psychoactive drugs could be important risk factors leading to long-term use of opioid pain medications, reports a study in PAIN®, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.Using a nationwide insurance database, the researchers identified 10.3 million patients who filed insurance claims for opioid prescriptions between 2004 and 2013. The study looked at whether pre-existing psychiatric and behavioral conditions and use of psychoactive medications were predictors of later opioid use.“We found that pre-existing psychiatric and behavioral conditions and psychoactive medications were associated with subsequent claims for prescription opioids,” write Patrick D. Quinn, PhD, of Indiana University, Bloomington, and colleagues. The association appears stronger for long-term opioid use, and especially for patients with a previous history of substance use disorders. Share on Twitter Email Share The results also suggest that some outcomes viewed as harmful outcomes of opioid use–substance use disorders, depression, suicidal or self-injuring behavior, and motor vehicle crashes–are also predictors of which patients are at risk of long-term use of prescription opioids.Increased Rates of Opioid Prescribing for People with Mental Health ConditionsOverall, the results suggested a “modest” increase in any opioid prescriptions for patients with previous psychiatric or behavioral conditions (depression or anxiety disorders, opioid or other substance use disorders, suicide attempts or other self-injury, motor vehicle crashes, and sleep disorders) or use of psychoactive medications.About 1.7 percent of patients with opioid prescriptions become long-term opioid users (six months or longer). But the risk became substantially higher for patients with mental health conditions or psychoactive medication use. Relative increases in rates of long-term opioid use ranged from 1.5 times for patients taking medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, to about 3 times for those with previous substance use disorders other than opioids, to nearly 9 times for those with previous opioid use disorders.Amid the continuing opioid epidemic, it’s important to understand which patients select (or are selected for) treatment with these pain medications. Previous studies have suggested a pattern of “adverse selection”: patients at greatest risk of harmful outcomes, including those with substance abuse and other psychiatric conditions, may be more likely to be prescribed opioids in higher doses and for longer durations.“Our results add to existing evidence that the risk of long-term opioid receipt associated with [pre-existing] psychiatric and behavioral conditions is widespread and relates to multiple diagnoses and psychoactive medications,” Dr. Quinn and coauthors write. The results add to previous evidence suggesting that opioids are more likely to be prescribed to certain groups of patients at high risk for adverse outcomes.Dr. Quinn and coauthors conclude: “Our findings support the ideas that clinical practice has deviated from the ‘careful selection’ under which most clinical trials are conducted and that thorough mental health assessment and intervention should be considered in conjunction with the use of long-term opioid therapy.” Share on Facebook
Share on Facebook Email Pinterest LinkedIn New research provides evidence that psychedelic drugs produce enduring increases in people’s sense of being connected to nature. The findings, which have recently been published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, indicate there is a causal link between psychedelic use and nature relatedness.A lead author of the study, Sam Gandy (@SamwiseGandy), a collaborator with the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, told PsyPost he has a lifelong love of nature and PhD in ecological science from the University of Aberdeen.“I have a growing interest in how and why people become connected to nature, and the implications of this. Profound experiences of nature connection appear to be a common if not fundamental property of psychedelics, and it was interesting to examine,” he explained. Share on Twitter Share “Nature connection or relatedness is an interesting thing to look at scientifically as it is strongly correlated with a broad range of measures of psychological wellbeing, while also being a strong predictor of pro-environmental behaviour. So it’s an interesting and topical area given the burgeoning, concurrent mental health and ecological crises we are facing, with there being a recognised lack of effective interventions for reducing people’s environmentally destructive behaviour.”For their study, the researchers used online advertisements to recruit 654 individuals who were planning to use a psychedelic drug in the near future. The participants completed scientific questionnaires 1 week before their psychedelic experience and then one day, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 2 years afterward.Gandy and his colleagues found that the psychedelic experience was associated with increases in nature relatedness. Specifically, the participants agreed more strongly with statements such as, “My ideal vacation spot would be a remote, wilderness area”, “My relationship to nature is an important part of who I am”, and “I feel very connected to all living things and the earth” after having consumed a psychedelic drug.“Increases in nature relatedness or connection (the degree of one’s self identification with nature), were found to be positively correlated with concomitant increases in psychological wellbeing, and amount of lifetime psychedelic usage was correlated with level of nature relatedness at baseline,” Gandy told PsyPost.“Post-psychedelic increases in nature relatedness were found to be enduring, measured at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 2 years post experience. Increases in nature relatedness were also found to be mediated by ego-dissolution experiences occurring under the influence of the psychedelic, along with access to natural settings during the acute experience.”As with all research, the study includes some limitations.“Given that this was an observational study, this comes with limitations such as a lack of experimental control, such as verification of drug dose and purity, and the particular natural settings people had access to. The recruitment criterion of intent to take a psychedelic substance may lead to an unavoidable bias towards psychedelic use, and likely greater openness to new experiences in general. The sample was predominantly highly educated and male, impairing the generalisability of the findings,” Gandy explained.However, the findings are in line with some previous research. A cross-sectional survey of 1,487 individuals found that people who had used psychedelics tended to have higher levels of nature relatedness. An analysis of a small group of patients who used psychedelics for treatment-resistant depression also indicated the drugs can change how people feel about the natural environment.“Psychedelics are very powerful substances, and their beneficial application is determined by the set (psychological context) and setting (sociocultural context) framing their usage,” Gandy added.“In modern clinical studies involving psychedelics, careful screening of study participants is conducted to ensure participants with a diagnosis or family history of certain forms of mental illness such as schizophrenia are not included so as to ensure safety and eliminate the possibility of the psychedelic experience exacerbating underlying mental health issues.“Psychedelics certainly aren’t necessary to increase nature relatedness. The direct sensorial experience of nature is sufficient for this, so nature-based activities and time spent in nature, in addition to nature-based mindfulness practices such as forest walking and Japanese forest bathing (or Shinrin-Yoku) are great ways of increasing our connection to nature, while yielding a range of additional benefits from nature immersion,” Gandy said. “So there are a number of ways of cultivating our connection to nature, and given the importance of this connection, enhancing it should be considered an urgent priority by our species.”The study, “From Egoism to Ecoism: Psychedelics Increase Nature Relatedness in a State-Mediated and Context-Dependent Manner“, was authored by Hannes Kettner, Sam Gandy, Eline C. H. M. Haijen, and Robin L. Carhart-Harris.
Cusimano and his colleagues conducted seven studies, with more than 3,500 participants in total, to examine how much control people believe they have over their own beliefs and how much control people believe others have over their beliefs.The researchers consistently found that people tended to view others as have more control over their beliefs than they themselves did. For example, people believed that others were more capable of changing their belief in whether God exists or whether social media has had a negative overall impact on dating than they were.This discrepancy was true even when the participants considered someone who held the exact same belief that they did and when they considered close others, such as a best friend or romantic partner. “It arose not only for beliefs supplied by us as the experimenters but also for beliefs that subjects themselves supplied,” the researchers said.“We have this idea of beliefs being free choices, but this idea conflicts with what it feels like to hold a belief. Try to remember that other people probably feel about their beliefs just like you do about yours, namely, that they cannot simply change what they believe,” Cusimano told PsyPost.The researchers also found one potential explanation for the self-other discrepancy. When judging their control over their own beliefs, the participants were more likely to cite evidence or arguments in support of the belief in question. When judging other people, on the other hand, the participants were more likely to cite generic conceptions about belief control, such as “Anyone can choose to believe anything.”But the amount of control that people actually have when it comes to choosing what to believe is still unclear.“One major question is whether or not our feelings of low control are accurate. That is, is it really true that we cannot ‘pick and choose’ what we believe? On balance, I think that other data in psychology suggest that our feelings of low control are closer to the truth. But as a field I do not think we have fully nailed this down,” Cusimano said.The study, “People Judge Others to Have More Voluntary Control Over Beliefs Than They Themselves Do“, was authored by Corey Cusimano and Geoffrey P. Goodwin. Share on Twitter Pinterest Email Individuals tend to view themselves as less capable than other people of voluntarily changing their beliefs, according to new research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.“Psychologist and philosophers have long thought that our beliefs are not under our direct control — that we can influence what we believe to some extent, but we cannot pick and choose what we believe,” said study author Corey Cusimano, a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University.“These scholars usually made these claims based on introspection, by looking inward and reporting how they felt when they tried to change their beliefs. Some recent work I and others had recently done suggested that ordinary people don’t think of beliefs this way — they tended to assume that beliefs are controllable. If people have the same intuitions about belief that philosophers do when they introspect, then we thought maybe they would think about their own and others’ beliefs differently.” Share on Facebook Share LinkedIn
Mar 27, 2013Vaccine advocate says gain-of-function research still needs full airingA leading vaccine-research advocate says in a Nature commentary that further research designed to render viruses more transmissible should be stopped pending a thorough public discussion and independent assessment of the risks. Simon Wain-Hobson, PhD, chair of the Foundation for Vaccine Research in Washington, DC, criticizes the recent decision by leading flu researchers to lift their voluntary moratorium on “gain of function” (GOF) research. The moratorium was announced in January 2012 amid a controversy over studies involving lab-modified H5N1 avian flu viruses that could spread by air among ferrets. Hobson argues that many flu scientists engaged in self-justification during the moratorium instead of listening and fostering debate. He questions the virologic basis for GOF research, suggesting that the H5N1 experiments used “artificial-selection systems” that dictated outcomes unlikely in nature. If researchers generate a highly pathogenic and transmissible virus, he asserts, difficult policy decisions will immediately arise, and a leak or a small outbreak would trigger “crippling lawsuits.” “Let’s be clear: the end game could be viruses more dangerous than the Spanish flu strain,” Wain-Hobson writes. “H5N1 GOF work—indeed all virological GOF work—should be suspended until virologists open up and engage in public discussion of their work and the issues it raises.” He suggests a conference of all stakeholders, like the Asilomar meeting on recombinant DNA research in the 1970s.Mar 27 Nature commentaryGSK, Texas A&M to build flu vaccine facility under HHS programGlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) yesterday announced joint plans for a $91 million facility to make cell-based influenza vaccines as part of the nation’s pandemic preparedness efforts. The plant will anchor one of three Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADMs) that the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is establishing to provide medical countermeasures for major public health threats. In a press release yesterday, GSK and TAMUS announced HHS’s approval of plans for the new center, to be built in Bryan-College Station, Tex.. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who hosted yesterday’s announcement at the State Capitol in Austin, said the facility is expected to generate $41 billion in spending over the next 25 years and create more than 6,800 jobs. The center will give GSK the ability eventually to make flu vaccines based on a proprietary cell line called EB66, with the aim of supplying 50 million doses within 4 months of an outbreak. In addition, the plant will support GSK’s existing flu vaccine manufacturing in Quebec, Canada, and Dresden, Germany. The Texas A&M Center for Innovation is headed by Dr. Brett Giroir, MD, TAMUS vice chancellor for strategic initiatives, along with a team of experts in various fields, according to the release. HHS first announced establishment of the three CIADMs in June 2012.Mar 26 GSK press releaseJun 18, 2012, HHS press release about CIADMsStudy: Hospital-onset C diff may raise risk of death in kids significantlyChildren who contracted hospital-onset Clostridium difficile infections had an almost sevenfold greater risk of dying compared with hospitalized children who didn’t contract the disease or those who contracted community-onset C difficile, according to a large multicenter study yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Philadelphia researchers analyzed data from 41 US children’s hospitals on 5,107 patients with C difficile infection and 693,409 unexposed patients. Of those, 4,474 infected kids were matched to 8,821 unexposed controls. The investigators found that mortality rates were similar between community-onset patients and controls (odds ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62-2.35). For hospital-onset C difficile, however, the odds ratio relative to unexposed controls rose to 6.73 (95% CI, 3.77-12.02), a statistically significant increase. In addition, the hospital-associated version led to much longer hospital stays (21.6 vs 5.6 days) and much greater standardized costs ($93,600 vs $18,900) compared with community-onset C difficile.Mar 26 Clin Infect Dis abstractPakistan security force blocks attack on polio vaccination teamPakistani authorities thwarted a plan to attack a polio vaccination team near Karachi yesterday, arresting nine suspects, The News International, a newspaper based in Karachi, reported today. Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary force that contains members of the Pakistan Army, interrupted the attempt in the Sultanabad area of Karachi and raided five different areas of the city, netting 30 suspects and recovering arms from some. Some of the armed militants were intimidating the polio team with aerial fire, but the troops intervened, according to the report.Mar 27 News International storyIn other developments, some female polio vaccination workers in the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, located in the northwestern part of Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan, are refusing security escorts, The Express Tribune, a Karachi-based newspaper, reported today. One of the vaccinators told the Tribune that having police accompany vaccinators makes them more visible and susceptible to attacks. The report said plainclothes security forces are closely monitoring immunization campaign activities.Mar 27 Express Tribune story
US flu activity showed little sign of rise last week, though the percentage of clinic visits for flulike illness is growing in some southern states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.The percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu rose from 5.4% to 7.0%, according to the CDC’s latest update. However, the number is still below 10%, a level that typically signifies that the nation’s flu season is under way.The CDC said it expects more increases in flu activity in the coming weeks, and it urged people who have not been vaccinated to get immunized. The agency and its partners are gearing up for National Influenza Vaccination Week, scheduled for Dec 8 through Dec 14. The event is an annual push that highlights the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond.Of the viruses that have been characterized so far, nearly 90% are influenza A, and of those that have been subtyped, most are the 2009 H1N1 virus, a contrast from the last year’s flu season, which was dominated by H3N2 activity.Other flu activity markers remained below baselines last week, including the percentage of deaths from pneumonia and flu. No pediatric flu deaths were reported.Similar to last week’s report, only one of the CDC’s regions saw flu rise above its specific baseline—the one that includes south central states.Looking at outpatient visits for flulike illness at the state level, the hot spots were also in the South, with Mississippi reporting high activity and Alabama and Texas reporting moderate activity. So far no states are reporting widespread flu, but four states—all in the South—are reporting regional geographic spread: Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, and Texas.Season begins in CanadaIn Canada, flu activity rose for the fourth week in a row last week, indicating that the country’s flu season has started, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said today in its latest update.As in the United States, influenza A is most common, with the 2009 H1N1 virus as the most frequently detected subtype.Only three regions are reporting localized activity, two in Ontario and one in Quebec. Thirteen of Canada’s regions reported sporadic activity.Activity low elsewhereFlu activity in Europe remained low last week in all 28 reporting countries, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an update today. So far in the this season there has been no evidence of sustained activity in Europe, the agency said.The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that overall flu activity has crept up slightly in North America over the last 3 weeks but remains at low levels overall. It said that only a few countries in Europe have reported sporadic flu detections in respiratory sampling.In Asia, flu activity picked up in northern China and Mongolia, but decreased in southern China, the agency said. Southeast Asia showed a mixed picture, with activity decreasing in Vietnam but increasing in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, where both influenza A strains, as well as influenza B, circulated.The WHO said the Southern Hemisphere’s flu season is mostly over. However, South Africa experienced a small second peak in September and early October, much of it from H3N2, although over the past 3 weeks influenza B has predominated.See also:Nov 22 CDC FluView reportNov 22 PHAC FluWatch reportNov 22 ECDC influenza updateNov 22 WHO global flu epidemiologic update