Americans not worried about H1N1 but will get vaccineMore than 60% of Americans say they are not worried about the novel H1N1 flu, but 55% plan to get the H1N1 vaccine for themselves or someone in their household, according to a Washington Post ABC News Poll. The poll indicates that about one in eight Americans is very worried that the pandemic will affect his or her family, while twice as many are not at all worried, the Post reported. Nearly 75% were confident that the government will be able to cope effectively with the epidemic.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/19/AR2009081901585.htmlAug 19 Washington Post storyMany British firms have had H1N1-related absencesIn a survey of 429 small and medium-sized British companies, 72% said they had weathered staff absenteeism because of the H1N1 flu and 38% expected that their sales would suffer, Reuters reported yesterday. The survey by the law firm Eversheds also found that one in five businesses said they expected to have to close or partially close premises, and 87% said they had introduced new sanitation measures to combat the virus.http://www.reuters.com/article/internal_ReutersNewsRoom_ExclusivesAndWins_MOLT/idUSTRE57I42920090819Aug 19 Reuters reportCanada expects November vaccination launch, adequate supplyCanadian officials hope to license the country’s novel flu vaccine and begin immunizing people in November, the Canadian Press reported yesterday. Canada’s vaccine supplier, GlaxoSmithKline, will ship about 10 to 15 million doses and will be able to quickly replenish supplies as healthcare workers administer the vaccine to patients. Officials project that GSK’s antigen production will outpace its fill-and-finish capacity but said finishing the vaccine elsewhere would cause delays.Australian doctors question country’s vaccination plans Australia’s major infectious disease society is questioning the safety of the country’s novel H1N1 vaccination plans, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported today. In a letter to the government, the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases cited a risk of cross-contamination when using multidose vials and said the flu epidemic has subsided, so the campaign needn’t be rushed. A spokeswoman for vaccine maker CSL countered that the single-dose approach would be slower and more expensive.http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/20/2662321.htm?section=justinAug 20 Australian Broadcasting Corp. storyNovel H1N1 deaths in Latin America exceed 1,300Deaths from H1N1 flu in Latin America, the world’s hardest-hit region, have reached 1,303, more than 70% of the global total of 1,799 listed by the World Health Organization, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. Argentina has had 404 deaths, the second-highest toll after the United States’ 477, and Brazil has 368, the story said. Trailing Brazil are Mexico, with 164 deaths; Chile, 105; and Peru, 62.Zimbabwe, Belarus report first novel flu casesZimbabwe’s health ministry today announced the confirmation of the country’s first novel H1N1 cases, in five private-school children who got sick in early August, Agence France-Presse reported. Doctors at Zimbabwe’s state hospitals are on strike over wage and allowance issues, but the health minister said the medical system is coping. Meanwhile, Belarus confirmed its first novel flu case yesterday, in a Chinese man who had recently returned from visiting China, the Interfax news agency reported.
Jamaican prime minister reveals his government is planning to introduce more stringent plans to combat crime in Jamaica.Combatting crime in JamaicaPrime Minister Andrew Holness, says his administration will be implementing new legislation that will inflict harsher penalties on perpetrators of crime in Jamaica.Administration concerned about crimeHolness, also leader of the ruling Jamaica Labor Party (JLP), made the statement on Sunday in addressing supporters at the party’s 74th annual conference at the National Arena in Kingston.The Prime Minister acknowledged his administration is concerned about the crimewave that has led to the murder of 1400 persons so far, this year.He told the crowd of supporters the recently implemented Zones of Special Operations in the communities of Mount Salem in the western parish of St. James and Denham Town in the Corporate Area, have been successful and disclosed the government is now focusing attention on 20 communities where the bulk of the violence occur.Fighting crime with law and intelligence“We hear the desperate cries for tough and extreme measures to deal with the criminals. Jamaica cannot go back to that, there are greater costs to Jamaica. We have to fight crime with law, with intelligence, with citizens cooperation by providing information and not giving in to criminals in your community,” the Prime Minister said.New gun laws to be introducedMeanwhile, National Security Minister Robert Montague who also addressed supporters said new gun laws will also be introduced to fight crime as security officials have found that guns are used in 84 percent of the crimes committed.He said while it is anticipated that the legislation will be challenged by the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) and other groups, he urged Jamaicans to back the government.“When I bring that bill to Parliament, we are going to say that if you are charged with a gun crime – no bail. So far, this year 143 Jamaicans have been murdered by men who are on bail for other charges. We are going to put it in law that if you are caught with a gun or any gun crime, there will be mandatory minimum sentence that you know that when you get convicted you going to prison for 15-20 years.”Since the start of the year 795 illegal guns and 21,000 rounds of ammunition have been seized by members of the security forces.Montague also defended the administration’s efforts to implement an anti-crime plan.“We all want a safer Jamaica. Of the seven categories of crime, murder and shootings are up, but robbery is down by 15 percent. Aggravated Larceny is down by 28 percent and rape is also down by 15 percent. We are doing the work but there is no overnight solution. There is no instant cure. There is no quick fix and this government is working … we have put a $1 million reward on every wanted man in Jamaica. So if you have any information on a wanted man – call crime stop and earn a million dollars for your Christmas,” he said.