Family accommodation has 10.000 beds with a regional quality label

first_imgThe process of branding accommodation and segmenting the offer by region – county began in Istria, which emphasizes the brand “Domus bonus“, Continued on KvarnerIn Zadar County  and is currently underway in Šibenik-Knin County. Family accommodation in the Republic of Croatia is developing on the model of the highest quality tourist destinations in Italy,  Bavaria (www.privatvermieter.de, www.ferienhausmiete.de, www.bauernhof-urlaub.com, www.domizile.de,) Austria (www.familyaustria.at, www.kaerten-ferienwohnungen.at, www.kaerten.at, www.urlaubganzprivat.at, Switzerland (www.myswitzerland.com, www.swissvistas.com,).Although this process in Croatia still lags significantly behind the examples in the most successful tourist countries in the world, so far through regional branding projects involved about 1.000 households with a total of about 10.000 beds, so the first effects of domicile recognition are still felt.The basic meaning of regional branding of family accommodation is to preserve the traditional values ​​of the climate as a basis for an authentic destination experience. In addition to preserving the autochthonous architecture, local products, customs, pleasant home ambience, the personal contact of the host with the guest is also nurtured. It is part of the economic model of preserving the rural area from the emigration of the population and a kind of incentive for demographic renewal. Tourism is not an end in itself, and the destination is not a “building plot” for quick earnings of non-domicile “brokers”. Tourism that preserves and valorizes the indigenous lifestyle is becoming more and more sought after and appreciated. We can confirm this ourselves when we embark on a journey with the aim of getting to know other peoples, cultures, customs, eno-gastronomic delicacies, natural and cultural attractions.Finally, tourist intermediaries who have the ambition and knowledge to “package” the offer, have a good “start” with 10.000 beds in combination with other indigenous and specialized experiences in different Croatian regions. It is to be expected that on this basis the authentic Croatian offer will be profiled towards various target groups (families, active holidays, seniors, young people…). It is obvious that we are in the creation of a quality offer of experiences, which includes accommodation, from the very humble beginning. It mainly offers accommodation and a list of possible contents without meaningfully connecting all the elements into an irresistible and price-attractive offer. The good news is that we still have a lot of room for improvement.Nedo Pinezić, President of the Family Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commercelast_img read more

Municipality of Preko returned the Fortress of St. Mihovila, restoration follows

first_img“In addition to the architectural survey and archeological excavations we plan to make this year, the key step is to relocate the antenna tower, for which a location and building permit have already been secured. It is almost unbelievable that this pillar has been standing here illegally for 25 years. The company Transmitters and Communications has secured land on a neighboring hill and a valid building permit that is valid for only a few more months and we hope that the process of relocating the transmitter will be initiated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, all this was supposed to be completed in late 2011 after the Transmitters and Communications bought land on the neighboring hill of Mala glava. However, the change of government at the state level also changed the management of that company, so the priorities were obviously changed. We know that in Milanović’s Government, every project in Zadar County was “under a magnifying glass”, including this one. I hope that the new management of Transmitters and Communications will have an understanding that this problem will be solved soon, and we will insist on moving out as soon as possible., explains the head of the Department for EU funds and development in the Municipality of Preko Ante Župan.This year, the municipality of Preko received 100 thousand kunas in the tender of the Ministry of Culture for making an architectural 3D image, and for the new tender of the ministry, which was concluded a few days ago, they reported archeological excavations inside the fortress. Only after that will the approximate amount needed for the entire restoration of St. Mihovil, which in the future should become an interpretation center in which the heritage of all the islands of Zadar would be presented, which in the past were called the Angel Islands after the fortress above Preko.Fortress of St. Mihovila was also recognized a few years ago by Michelin’s green guide, where it was rated with two stars and the recommendation “must visit”, and what praise will there be when the fortress is renovated and put into cultural and tourist function. After many years of struggle, the Municipality of Preko managed to regain jurisdiction over the Fortress of St. Mihovila.This week, the decision of the State Office for State Property Management (DUUDI) arrived, which makes this cultural monument and one of the biggest tourist attractions in Zadar County available to the Municipality of Preko.”This is extremely important for us to continue the reconstruction project that we are preparing in cooperation with the Zadar County Development Agency. We sent a request to DUUDI two years ago, and only with the arrival of new people at the head of that state agency would our request be resolved positively. I am glad that the new administration led by director Tomislav Boban has shown understanding and great will to adopt our request. ” points out the mayor of Preko Karlo Novoselic for the portal NasiSkolji.hr and adds that the next step is to relocate the transmitter that has been located in the middle of the fortress since the war.Fortress of St. Mihovila on the island of Ugljan offers, according to many, the most beautiful view of the Adriatic. The 265-meter-high fortress built by the Venetians in the 13th century to control the Zadar canal offers a beautiful view of almost the entire Zadar archipelago, and legend has it that Italy can be seen in stormy weather. The fortress is a protected cultural monument that the Municipality of Preko intends to restore and arrange with money from EU funds, but currently the main problem is the relocation of the 80-meter antenna for transmitters, which has been located in the middle of the fortress since the Homeland War.last_img read more

Family genetics study reveals new clues to autism risk

first_imgShare on Twitter A study of 2,377 children with autism, their parents and siblings has revealed novel insights into the genetics of the condition.The findings were reported May 11 in Nature Genetics.By analyzing data from families with one child with autism and one or more children without the condition, the researchers collected new information on how different types of mutations affect autism risk. The genetic data was obtained from exome sequencing, which looks at only the protein-coding portions of the genome. Share Share on Facebook Pinterestcenter_img Email LinkedIn Significant progress in the past five years has been made in identifying the genetic risks for autism, particularly by finding that newly appearing gene mutations can contribute to the risk of autism. These mutations are called de novo because they appear in the child but not in either parent. Not all cases of autism however, can be attributed to de novo mutations.To try to learn what else might confer genetic susceptibility to autism, researchers examined risk from other types of mutations, including those inherited from the mother or father.In the study, the researchers quantified the autism risk of inherited gene mutations that truncate the formation of proteins. They were particularly interested those proteins which are usually unscathed in the study subjects unaffected by autism.The researchers found that the effect was strongest when they observed mutations transmitted from mothers to sons. This observation suggests a female may harbor such mutations without developing autism, but when the mutations are passed along to her male offspring, the boys are at risk of the condition.The study also provides one of the most complete genetic pictures of autism to date. The scientist were able to compare both small mutations of single base-pairs in DNA as well as larger deletions and duplications of the genome.“The ability to examine these two types of genetic variation in exome sequencing data is the first step toward obtaining a more complete genetic picture at an individual level in the context of autism,” noted Niklas Krumm and Tychele Turner, both of the University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences, and lead authors of the study. Evan Eichler, University of Washington professor of genome sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, was the senior and corresponding author.The authors pointed out that understanding the biological pathways affected by the gene mutations, and the abnormal proteins these genes produce, could help in the search for diagnostics and treatments for autism. Such knowledge could eventually lead to the discovery of biomarkers for identifying various types of autism or suggest therapeutic targets for future treatments.“These findings are a major advance in understanding the genes that play a role in autism,” said Raphael Bernier, clinical director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center, associate professor at the University of Washington and one of the researchers in the study. “Knowing more about these genes will set the stage for personalized medicine by allowing for targeted treatments specific to an individual. This gives parents more insight and information about their child’s condition. “last_img read more

Psychology research reveals the connection between color and emotion

first_imgLinkedIn Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Does red make us feel dominant? Does blue give us more pleasure than green? Scientists sought to answer these and other questions in a study published in 2016.Previous research has shown that colors can affect behavior and emotions on a subconscious level, but scientists were interested in how we judge and perceive our own emotions relative to colors on a conscious level—specifically red, blue and green.“Although the effects of colors can operate outside the conscious, identifying that the way colors are affectively judged can help scientists to explain their findings,” said Walid Briki, principal investigator and corresponding author.center_img Share Email Researchers were interested in measuring three emotional spectrums—dominance (feeling in control versus feeling controlled); arousal (feeling excited versus calm); and pleasure (feeling happy versus unhappy).They hypothesized that red would be strongly associated with dominance and arousal; blue would be slightly associated with dominance but strongly associated with pleasure, and green would be associated with both arousal and pleasure.The study, published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, included 154 French undergraduate students aged 18 to 22.  Researchers gave participants a laptop and showed them a color for ten seconds. They then asked participants to rate how strongly they felt each of the three emotions listed. The process was repeated for all four colors—red, blue, green and white (the control color).The data revealed that red had the strongest effect on emotion. Participants rated high levels of dominance and arousal after seeing the color red.“This supports studies that showed…the color red [is] a testosterone-based cue reflecting the notions of strength, power, threat, and dominance,” reported Briki.Blue and green impacted participants’ emotions in the ways scientists expected, but to a much lesser extent than red.The findings support some strategies for using the colors in everyday life, according to the research team.“If people seek to trigger immediate…reactions in everyday life (e.g., asking drivers to reduce speed immediately) or to elicit attraction…red would be particularly useful because red may be perceptually treated as a signal of power and/or fertility,” said Briki.“By contrast, using blue or green would be particularly recommended to elicit…motivation-related reactions from people and to develop a sense of confidence…blue and green seem to be particularly useful in academic or coaching contexts (e.g., giving a presentation and commenting on student work),” Briki continued.last_img read more

Virtual reality makes its best users the most queasy

first_imgEmail Share on Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest In a twist of virtual fate, people with the best 3-D vision are also the people most likely to suffer from motion sickness while using virtual reality displays.Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison demonstrated this irony by playing motion-heavy videos for study participants through the Oculus Rift — a 3-D virtual reality headset worn like a pair of goggles.Nearly two-thirds of the study subjects quit watching the videos early, overcome by nausea in the virtual environment for much the same reason discomfort catches up to people in real-world situations.center_img Share Motion sickness is the product of mismatched sensory information.“The classic example is reading in a car,” says Shawn Green, UW-Madison psychology professor. “Lots of people can’t read in a car because if you have a newspaper in front of you, your visual system says you’re still.”But you’re not still. While the newspaper may not be moving, the car speeds up and slows down, turns corners and climbs hills. All this movement registers in the vestibular system, a series of organs in the ear that aid balance by telling us which way is up.“In the car, those balance cues say you’re accelerating, and that’s a big mismatch with your eyes on the still newspaper,” Green says. “That mismatch makes you nauseous.”Oculus produces that mismatch in reverse, according to Bas Rokers, UW-Madison psychology professor and a co-author on the study published in the journal Entertainment Computing with Green, graduate student Brian Allen and recent graduate Taylor Hanley. While the 3-D movies depicted flying over forests and under bridges, the headset and the viewer aren’t actually moving.“And observers don’t have agency — they can’t control the motion,” Rokers says. “If they were in control, they could predict what things should look like. That would probably help them ease the discomfort.”But why is it only some users get too sick to stick with the Oculus Rift? Rokers and Green found that the people in their study who reported the most discomfort were also best at judging the direction of objects moving toward or away from them.“It seemed natural that people who may be very sensitive to 3-D motion might pick up on the fact that the visual motion signals provided in the Oculus can be inconsistent with balance signals,” Rokers says.Interestingly, it was just perception of moving objects that predicted motion sickness. Skill in identifying the relative depth of still objects was not connected with the 3-D discomfort. And, in fact, results of the two tests seem independent.“We’ve had people with perfectly good depth perception who couldn’t do the 3-D motion tests, and the exact opposite — people who could do the 3-D motion tests that would be classified as stereoblind by the static test,” Green says.Short of decreasing the difference between Oculus’ presentation of reality and reality itself — likely already a goal of the system’s developers — the researchers say users could benefit from a break-in period that slowly introduces the sort of mismatched cues that cause motion sickness. Like sailors finding their sea legs, people tend to work their way past the causes of motion sickness.“On a boat, maybe you stare at the horizon for a while and get those cues synced up,” Green says. “It’s probably contextual. Your body learns that in this situation, cues often mismatch. So, you just learn to ignore the mismatch.”Makers of virtual reality equipment may be able to use the researchers’ results to guide their own work.“Now you can identify those people that are most likely to suffer from motion sickness,” Rokers says. “And you can test your product directly on those individuals, and ensure a much larger market for your product.” Share on Twitterlast_img read more

The five most addictive substances on Earth – and what they do to your brain

first_imgPinterest Share on Facebook LinkedIn What are the most addictive drugs? This question seems simple, but the answer depends on whom you ask. From the points of view different researchers, the potential for a drug to be addictive can be judged in terms of the harm it causes, the street value of the drug, the extent to which the drug activates the brain’s dopamine system, how pleasurable people report the drug to be, the degree to which the drug causes withdrawal symptoms, and how easily a person trying the drug will become hooked.There are other facets to measuring the addictive potential of a drug, too, and there are even researchers who argue that no drug is always addictive. Given the varied view of researchers, then, one way of ranking addictive drugs is to ask expert panels. In 2007, David Nutt and his colleagues asked addiction experts to do exactly that – with some interesting findings.1. HeroinNutt et al.’s experts ranked heroin as the most addictive drug, giving it a score of 2.5 out of a maximum score of 3. Heroin is an opiate that causes the level of dopamine in the brain’s reward system to increase by up to 200% in experimental animals. In addition to being arguably the most addictive drug, heroin is dangerous, too, because the dose that can cause death is only five times greater than the dose required for a high. Emailcenter_img Heroin also has been rated as the second most harmful drug in terms of damage to both users and to society. The market for illegal opiates, including heroin, was estimated to be $68 billion worldwide in 2009.2. AlcoholAlthough legal in the US and UK, alcohol was rated as the second most addictive substance by Nutt et al.’s experts (scoring 2.2 out of a maximum of 3). Alcohol has many effects on the brain, but in laboratory experiments on animals it increased dopamine levels in the brain’s reward system by 40-360% – and the more the animals drank the more dopamine levels increased.Some 22% of people who have taken a drink will develop dependence on alcohol at some point during their life. The WHO has estimated that 2 billion people used alcohol in 2002 and more than 3m people died in 2012 due to damage to the body caused by drinking. Alcohol has been ranked as the most damaging drug by other experts, too.3. CocaineCocaine directly interferes with the brain’s use of dopamine to convey messages from one neuron to another. In essence, cocaine prevents neurons from turning the dopamine signal off, resulting in an abnormal activation of the brain’s reward pathways. In experiments on animals, cocaine caused dopamine levels to rise more than three times the normal level. It is estimated that between 14-20m people worldwide use cocaine and that in 2009 the cocaine market was worth about $75 billion.Crack cocaine has been ranked by experts as being the third most damaging drug and powdered cocaine, which causes a milder high, as the fifth most damaging. About 21% of people who try cocaine will become dependent on it at sometime in their life. Cocaine is similar to other addictive stimulants, such as methamphetamine – which is becoming more of a problem as it becomes more widely available – and amphetamine.4. Barbiturates (‘downers’)Barbiturates – also known as blue bullets, gorillas, nembies, barbs and pink ladies – are a class of drugs that were initially used to treat anxiety and to induce sleep. They interfere with chemical signalling in the brain, the effect of which is to shut down various brain regions. At low doses, barbiturates cause euphoria, but at higher doses they can be lethal because they suppress breathing. Barbiturate dependence was common when the drugs were easily available by prescription, but this has declined dramatically as other drugs have replaced them. This highlights the role that the context plays in addiction: if an addictive drug is not widely available, it can do little harm. Nutt et al’s expert panels rated barbiturates as the fourth most addictive substance.5. NicotineNicotine is the main addictive ingredient of tobacco. When somebody smokes a cigarette, nicotine is rapidly absorbed by the lungs and delivered to the brain. While Nutt et al’s expert panels rated nicotine (tobacco) as only the 12th most addictive substance, there are reasons to believe that nicotine is a very powerful addictive drug.More than two-thirds of Americans who tried smoking reported becoming dependent during their life. In 2002 the WHO estimated there were more than 1 billion smokers and it has been estimated that tobacco will kill more than 8m people annually by 2030. Laboratory animals have the good sense not to smoke. However, rats will press a button to receive nicotine directly into their bloodstream – and this causes dopamine levels in the brain’s reward system to rise by about 25-40%.By Eric Bowman, Lecturer in Psychology and Neuroscience , University of St AndrewsThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Share Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Brain research suggests: If your child is bilingual, learning additional languages later might be easier

first_imgEmail It is often claimed that people who are bilingual are better than monolinguals at learning languages. Now, the first study to examine bilingual and monolingual brains as they learn an additional language offers new evidence that supports this hypothesis, researchers say.The study, conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, suggests that early bilingualism helps with learning languages later in life.“The difference is readily seen in language learners’ brain patterns. When learning a new language, bilinguals rely more than monolinguals on the brain processes that people naturally use for their native language,” says the study’s senior researcher, Michael T. Ullman, PhD, professor of neuroscience at Georgetown. Pinterest Share LinkedIncenter_img Share on Facebook Share on Twitter “We also find that bilinguals appear to learn the new language more quickly than monolinguals,” says lead author Sarah Grey, PhD, an assistant professor in the department of modern languages and literatures at Fordham University. Grey worked with Ullman and co-author Cristina Sanz, PhD, on this study for her PhD research at Georgetown. Sanz is a professor of applied linguistics at Georgetown.The 13 bilingual college students enrolled in this study grew up in the U.S. with Mandarin-speaking parents, and learned both English and Mandarin at an early age. The matched comparison group consisted of 16 monolingual college students, who spoke only English fluently.The researchers studied Mandarin-English bilinguals because both of these languages differ structurally from the new language being learned. The new language was a well-studied artificial version of a Romance language, Brocanto2, that participants learned to both speak and understand. Using an artificial language allowed the researchers to completely control the learners’ exposure to the language.The two groups were trained on Brocanto2 over the course of about a week. At both earlier and later points of training, learners’ brain patterns were examined with electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes on their scalps, while they listened to Brocanto2 sentences. This captures the natural brain-wave activity as the brain processes language.They found clear bilingual/monolingual differences. By the end of the first day of training, the bilingual brains, but not the monolingual brains, showed a specific brain-wave pattern, termed the P600. P600s are commonly found when native speakers process their language. In contrast, the monolinguals only began to exhibit P600 effects much later during learning – by the last day of training. Moreover, on the last day, the monolinguals showed an additional brain-wave pattern not usually found in native speakers of languages.“There has been a lot of debate about the value of early bilingual language education,” says Grey. “Now, with this small study, we have novel brain-based data that points towards a distinct language-learning benefit for people who grow up bilingual.”The other study co-author is psycholinguist Kara Morgan-Short, PhD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, who also conducted her graduate work with Sanz and Ullman.last_img read more

NEWS SCAN: E coli bill criticized, African Flu Alliance set to launch

first_img Bill to ban non-O157 E coli in meat draws fire from industrySen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., recently introduced a bill to ban six non-O157 strains of pathogenic Escherichia coli in meat, which quickly drew criticism from the American Meat Institute (AMI), a trade group. The proposed law would add the six strains (O26, O45, O103, O11, O121, and O145) to the list of adulterants in meat, require meat companies to test for them, and give the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) authority to find and regulate other toxic strains in the future, Gillibrand said in a press release. Declaring the strains adulterants will require the USDA to begin testing for them and recommend best testing practices to companies. The bill, which has no cosponsors, was introduced May 27 and referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, according to the Library of Congress. The AMI responded to the bill by saying in a May 27 statement, “We don’t believe that an act of Congress can make these bacteria disappear.” The group expressed puzzlement that the bill targets only meat, in the wake of a recent E coli O145 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. The AMI asserted further that no “confirmed outbreak” of any of the six strains has ever been linked to a meat product, that there is no test available to detect the six strains, and that the USDA has said existing food safety systems work equally well for all pathogenic E coli strains. The USDA has been considering for 3 years whether to classify the six non-O157 strains as adulterants, according to a recent New York Times report. The agency has voiced reluctance to do that until it has tests that can detect them quickly, which are expected to be ready by the end of next year, that report said.May 27 AMI statement African Flu Alliance to hold first meeting this weekAiming to strengthen influenza surveillance and control efforts in Africa, African health officials and representatives of international organizations and other groups will hold the first meeting of the African Flu Alliance Jun 3 and 4 in Marrakesh, Morocco, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced recently. The new group seeks to promote collaboration and information exchange among stakeholders in Africa and beyond, the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa said in a May 31 statement. “We know that influenza has a significant impact on morbidity and mortality throughout Africa, but unfortunately, we don’t have a great deal of data that shows this,” Dr. Keiji Fukuda, pandemic flu adviser to the WHO director-general, said in the statement. Dr. Sylvie Briand, head of the WHO’s Global Influenza Programme, added that competing health needs and a lack of information have combined to prevent steps to reduce the impact of flu in Africa. A key goal of the meeting is to raise awareness of the need to strengthen flu surveillance capacity and to develop intervention strategies. Besides African national health officials, groups participating in the new alliance include the Association pour la Medicine Preventive, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US National Institutes of Health, the German Technical Cooperation, Foundation Merieux, the Institut Pasteur International Network, the Fogarty International Center, and the Programme for Appropriate Technology (PATH).May 31 WHO news release Jun 2, 2010last_img read more

India, New Zealand report high H1N1 activity

first_imgAug 13, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – Pandemic H1N1 flu activity is intense in parts of India and New Zealand and is circulating at low-to-moderate levels in a few other parts of the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today.Earlier this week the WHO declared that the H1N1 influenza pandemic was over and changed the pandemic alert phase to the post-pandemic period, but it warned that the virus was still circulating and warranted continued surveillance.Most of the flu in India is the pandemic H1N1 virus, which doesn’t appear to have peaked yet in the areas of most intense activity, which include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal states, the WHO said. For the week ending Aug 8, India confirmed 79 pandemic flu deaths. In the country’s Kerala state, one of the first to experience a post-monsoon spike in flu activity earlier this summer, flu appears to have peaked in early July and is declining.Meanwhile, New Zealand is one of the few Southern Hemisphere countries reporting an increase in flu activity. Doctor’s visits for flu-like illnesses have been increasing in recent weeks, with the majority of them linked to the pandemic H1N1 virus, the WHO reported. Flu activity is geographically uneven and seems to be focusing on areas that weren’t hit hard during the country’s first pandemic flu wave, according to the WHO.New Zealand’s health ministry said yesterday in a surveillance update that the central part of the Northern Island is currently the hardest-hit area, and it predicted that a number of areas, such as the South Island, may be vulnerable, because they did not experience high levels of transmission during the first wave of infections last summer.So far this year the health ministry has received reports of 332 hospitalizations and 46 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions for pandemic H1N1 infections. Calls to the country’s telephone flu line were running 25% higher than normal for seasonal flu.Elsewhere, the pandemic H1N1 virus is circulating at low-to-moderate levels in some parts of the Americas, West Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.The most active areas of seasonal influenza A/H3N2 circulation are currently in some tropical areas of the Americas, especially Central America, along with southern and western Africa and parts of Southeast Asia, the WHO reported. The focus of influenza B transmission appears to be parts of central and southern Africa.Yesterday two experts from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, in a Eurosurveillance report, said that for five Southern Hemisphere countries that conduct regular flu surveillance, the 2010 flu season has seen lower levels of activity than the 2009 season. “In these countries the level of illness is looking more like inter-pandemic influenza than the pandemic levels seen in the winter of 2009,” they wrote. However, they added that whether 2010 levels are normal for inter-pandemic flu is unclear, because some countries lack good baseline data.Most of the pandemic H1N1 viruses analyzed so far are closely related to the strain included in the monovalent and seasonal flu vaccines, and the WHO said it has not received any new reports of oseltamivir-resistant pandemic H1N1 cases.See also:Aug 13 WHO flu surveillance reportAug 12 Eurosurveillance reportlast_img read more

News Scan for Jan 14, 2015

first_imgNote: The measles item was corrected on Jan 15, because the female traveler who had measles was mistakenly called the index patient. We apologize for the error.Saudi Arabia confirms 2 new MERS cases, 1 recoveryTwo new cases of MERS-CoV were recorded today by the country’s Ministry of Health (MOH), the first since Jan 8, bringing the total for this year to 10 for the country and the total since June 2012 to 835.The new case-patients are a 67-year-old man from Taif and a 93-year-old man from Riyadh, neither one is a healthcare worker, and both having preexisting medical illnesses and are in critical condition.The patient in Taif has had no recent contact with known or suspected MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) patients in either the community or the healthcare setting, but he does have a history of animal exposure.The patient in Riyadh has no known animal exposure or contact with MERS patients in the community, but his exposure in the hospital or clinic setting is under investigation.In today’s update, the MOH also lists the recovery of one MERS-CoV patient, a 91-year-old man in Riyadh whose case was previously reported. He is not a healthcare worker but did have preexisting illness.His case brings to 469 the number of patients who have recovered from MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia. The number of deaths stays steady at 358, and 8 cases are currently active, the MOH said.Jan 14 MOH update Most recent (Jan 9) CIDRAP News MERS scan Measles patient took 2 flights after leaving DisneyA woman in her 20s who is part of a Disney-linked 26-case measles outbreak flew from Orange County, Calif., to Seattle and back again before she was diagnosed as having the highly contagious disease on Jan 8, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday.The unvaccinated woman visited Disneyland in December then fell ill and became contagious on Dec 28, the story said. She flew from Orange County to Seattle via Alaska Airlines on Dec 29 and returned on a Virgin America flight on Jan 3. She visited family in Snohomish County, Wash., in the interim.(In an e-mail exchange on Jan 15 to clarify the situation, Eric McDonald, MD, MPH, deputy public health officer, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, said an unknown index patient exposed others on Dec 18 at Disneyland. Measles patients who were infected after attending Disneyland visited the theme park between Dec 17 and Dec 20, the LA Times reported.)In addition, an unvaccinated man picked up measles after visiting Disneyland and was treated at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colo., and recovered. But officials warned that people might have been exposed to the virus on Jan 3 and are contacting people about possible exposure.As previously reported yesterday, 26 people have contracted measles in the outbreak, 22 in California, 2 in Utah, and 1 each in Washington and Colorado.Jan 13 LA Times story Jan 13 CIDRAP News scan on outbreak Survey finds modest awareness of modified-mosquito planIn spite of outreach and media efforts about possibly releasing genetically modified mosquitoes after a 2009-10 dengue outbreak in Key West, Fla., only about half the community was aware of the proposal, which met with support from more than half of those with knowledge of the plan, according to a study today in Emerging Infectious Diseases.Of 386 Key West residents surveyed, 195 (51.1%) said they had heard of the proposed release of mosquitoes modified to make them sterile, which would have made it the first such release in the United States. The survey was conducted in June 2012, after 80 media and outreach activities had been conducted on Key West and neighboring Stock Island.Among the 195 who had heard of the proposal, 22.1% were supportive and 34.9% strongly supportive, for a total of 57%. Only 8.2% opposed and 9.7% strongly opposed the plan. In addition, 25.1% described themselves as neutral.The most common reasons for opposing the release were that it would disturb nature and that it was an unproven technology. Most supporters of the release expressed a desire to do anything to eradicate mosquitoes or preferred the method to chemicals and spraying.The proposed release is undergoing inspection by the US Food and Drug Administration and has not yet occurred, the authors noted.Jan 14 Emerg Infect Dis studylast_img read more