Thai botulism outbreak sickened 163

first_img By Apr 10, only 25 patients still remained in the hospital, 9 of them on respirators, the CDC noted. None of the 163 patients died. A study assessing the outcomes of some of the cases is ongoing, the agency noted. The bamboo shoots had been produced locally by a women’s group, the CDC wrote. They were processed in large containers that held roughly 26 pounds each. Most of the 53 cans made in September 2005 were sold locally. No other outbreaks have been recorded since those cans were produced. Thai health officials quickly traced the outbreak to a Mar 14 religious rite in Nawaimai Village, Pakaluang subdistrict, Baan Luang district of Nan Province, the report said. Investigators interviewed 145 of the 200 people who had attended the festival about their food intake. The only food in common was home-canned bamboo shoots, which are often eaten with chili and shrimp paste. The report said the outbreak occurred 8 years after a smaller botulism outbreak that also was associated with home-canned bamboo shoots. Following that episode, information on safe canning was disseminated throughout the country. Mar 22 CIDRAP News story on outbreakhttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/mar2206botu.html Antitoxin was not available in Thailand, so Thai officials sought help from several international partners. The United Kingdom (with support form the World Health Organization) sent 20 vials of heptavalent antitoxin; CDC sent 50 vials of bivalent antitoxin; and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan sent 23 vials of trivalent antitoxin. A Canadian company sold Thailand an additional 10 vials of bivalent antitoxin. Apr 18, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The recent outbreak of botulism poisoning traced to bamboo shoots served at a religious festival in Thailand sickened 163 people, according to a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “This recurrence 8 years later indicates the importance of long-term follow up and continuous inspection and assurance of the quality of food canning,” the CDC said. CDC. Botulism from home-canned bamboo shoots—Nan Province, Thailand, March 2006. MMWR 2006: 55(14) 389-92 [Full text] Of that number, 141 patients had to be hospitalized, and 10 more were treated as outpatients. A majority experienced abdominal pain, dry mouth, and/or nausea. Forty-two of the hospitalized patients needed mechanical ventilation, the CDC said in the Apr 14 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. See also: last_img read more

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RBA governor passes on chance to put dynamite under rates

first_imgWhile you were watching Rekindling, right, win the Melbourne Cup the RBA governor decided against raising interest rates. Picture: AP Photo/Andy Brownbill.FEAR not, while you were out watching the best horse race in the world, there was no rekindling of whispers over the Reserve Bank putting dynamite under interest rates – which remain on hold at 1.5 per cent. Faced with a barrier of growth in housing debt outpacing growth in household income “for some time”, RBA governor Philip Lowe went the safe route, preferring to sit on his hands than risk upsetting the market.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus23 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market23 hours agoRBA governor Philip Lowe still has some concern over household debt levels. Picture: Colin Murty The AustralianHe’s still backing APRA to chase down “medium-term risks associated with high and rising household indebtedness”, with the credit field tightening substantially already.“Housing market conditions have eased further in Sydney. In most cities, housing prices have shown little change over recent months, although they are still increasing in Melbourne,” he said.“In the eastern capital cities, a considerable additional supply of apartments is scheduled to come on stream over the next couple of years (he’s looking directly at you Brisbane)!”It seems the best thing right now is to ride out the supply storm, with low rates “continuing to support the Australian economy”, according to Mr Lowe.last_img read more

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Women in tech: rising above

first_imgGaima found mentors, resources and support in the USC chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.  “It’s this culture that’s taught toward people with … experience in this male-focused dominated industry,” Kanes said. “I passed with a 52% [in “Data Structure and Object Oriented Design”], and I got sick from that semester. It has been my goal for no woman to feel the way that I did [my freshman year].” “[AthenaHacks] was my seventh hackathon of that year … but [it] was the best one,” Lampotang said. “At the other hackathons, I always felt like it was a competition, and I was a kid that was walking in the race. But …  AthenaHacks felt like a group relay. Nobody was like, ‘You can’t look at what I’m doing.’” Yortsos said he is working to make the school more inclusive for women and minorities by offering resources and training faculty to recognize and eliminate their implicit biases.  AthenaHacks organizer Aliya Petranik, a senior majoring in computer science, said the gender ratio at a hackathon is an important factor in a hacker’s experience, especially for minorities in tech.  Women make up 26.5% of computing roles today, a step down from 36% in 1991, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Across Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft, known as the “Big Five” within the tech industry, the number of female employees ranges between 29.2% and 41.23% according to the company’s most recent 2020 reports. While the Viterbi School of Engineering reached gender parity for the first time with the Class of 2023, under 40% of computer science students are women and even fewer transfer students are women, according to Viterbi Dean Yannis Yortsos. “It’s great that we’ve reached gender parity [in Viterbi] and all,” Lampotang said. “But if you have a bunch of women in a place where 50% of the women don’t feel comfortable or things aren’t accessible or open to them, and they feel like they don’t belong, then [you] haven’t done anything.” Luz Camacho, vice president of the membership committee of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, joined the organization because of the mentorship and friendship it offered her while navigating her freshman year.  “The gender balance in hackathons is still quite low,” Petranik said. “Women have this idea that they can only go if they’re going to be very competitive, if they know everything already. We’re trying to change that idea and promote the idea that you can learn how to build something at a hackathon.”  “You need to have many different views, particularly [as] technology and society are becoming intersected more and more,” said Yortsos, who described the technology industry as traditionally white- and male-dominated. “Ethics and technology ethics are very important.” Former Built By Girls ambassador Glory Kanes, a junior majoring in computer science and business administration, emailed Yortsos in her freshman year asking the dean if they could meet to discuss diversity and inclusion in computer science at USC. This sparked a series of meetings that continues today and now includes Cheyenne Gaima, a junior majoring in computer science and business administration.  Breaking from tradition, AthenaHacks consists of women of all backgrounds who build, break and try out tech at USC. Stephanie Lampotang, an AthenaHacks organizer, experienced the gender gap firsthand during her freshman year when she attended other hackathons. Yortsos also emphasized that Viterbi is not artificially increasing the number of women in its incoming classes but that the decreasing gender gap is the result of early structural change.  “I was extremely excited and so ready to start … but being some of the time — or most of the time — the only Black person in a lot of my classes, I just felt so alone,” Gaima said. “When I first immediately observed it, I realized I need to find a community.”  “There’s quite a fair amount of women in computer science [at USC],” said Camacho, a junior majoring in computer engineering and computer science. “In industry, the demographics are a little different, but at least here at USC … I think I was more aware of the fact that I was the only Latina in the room than I was aware of the fact that I was one of few women.” Being a minority in tech involves more than gender, as the racial gap in tech is even more prominent. Gaima said she faced related challenges in her first engineering courses.  “Glory and I pretty much brought it up to our dean that while we have a pretty high number of girls entering computer science at Viterbi, we are not retaining those girls,” Gaima said.  AthenaHacks is a USC hackathon launched in 2017 to address the gender gap in the tech industry. Last year, it had 450 attendees, making it the largest all-women collegiate hackathon in Southern California. With sleeping bags, energy drinks and laptops in tow, the attendees of AthenaHacks stream onto USC’s campus from all across the country every year to hunker down on a weekend technology project. They form small teams and attend workshops led by industry sponsors on tools to build virtual reality experiences, mobile apps and more. They listen to speakers, pitch their projects and win prizes, components of a typical hackathon. What’s not typical is that all of them — the organizers, guest speakers and participants — are women.  AthenaHacks participants attended workshops led by industry experts and discuss issues facing women in the technology sector Saturday and Sunday. The annual event draws over 450 attendees per year. (Design: Kitty Huang, Photo: Vincent Leo | Daily Trojan) AthenaHacks is a hackathon event that aims to address the gender gap in the technology industry. (Vincent Leo | Daily Trojan) Kanes, Gaima and Camacho all said they had experienced imposter syndrome in certain computer science classes notorious for their difficulty, where they felt other male students already had more coding experience and could relate to the professors more easily through similar interests like video games.  In 2015, Asian women held 5% of computing positions, Black women held 3% and Latinx women held 1%, according to NCWIT. On campus, there are a host of tech clubs and initiatives highlighting women in tech, including Girls in Tech, AthenaHacks, Women in Computing and Society of Women Engineers, in addition to national organizations that support girls starting in high school such as Built By Girls and Girls Who Code.  Until there’s a cultural change in tech, Kanes said, there will likely be no change in the future of the tech industry’s diversity. But clubs and programs can only put a Band-Aid on problems stemming from inequity in education. last_img read more

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