Some immunity to novel H1N1 flu found in seniors

Posted On Nov 18 2020 by

first_imgMay 21, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – In a search for factors that may give some patients a protective edge against novel H1N1 influenza, researchers said today that adults, especially those older than 60, appear to have some cross-antibody response but that seasonal influenza vaccines appear unlikely to offer any protection.The findings, from scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) appear in tomorrow’s edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Results are based on microneutralization and hemagglutination inhibition assays on child and adult serum specimens that were used in previous vaccine studies by the CDC as well as its academic and industry partners.Epidemiologic patterns in the novel flu outbreak have consistently shown the disease taking its hardest toll on younger people—in the United States, 64% of the novel flu cases have occurred in the 5- to 24-year-old age-group. Officials have wondered if older people haven’t yet been exposed to the strain in the community or if another factor, such as preexisting immunity, is providing some protection against the virus. Only 1% of cases have occurred in people over age 65.Researchers assessed cross-reactive antibody levels to the novel influenza H1N1 virus in cohorts of children and adults before and after they had been vaccinated with a seasonal flu vaccine during any of the past four seasons.Before vaccination, children showed no cross-reactive antibody reaction to the new flu strain. However, the antibody was detected in 6% to 9% of adults ages 18 to 64 and in 33% of those older than age 60.Vaccination with any form of the seasonal flu vaccine did not provoke a response to the novel strain in children. Adults ages 18 to 64 who had been vaccinated showed a slight response to the new strain: a twofold increase compared with 12-fold to 19-fold increases seen against the seasonal H1N1 strain. No increase in cross-reactive antibody response was seen in people over age 60 who had been vaccinated.”These data suggest that receipt of recent (2005-2009) seasonal influenza vaccines is unlikely to elicit a protective antibody response to the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus,” the CDC reported.Though the number of sera samples from children was small, the findings suggest that US children are serologically naive to the new virus, the researchers concluded. However, the analysis suggests adults—especially those older than 60—have some degree of preexisting immunity to the novel strain.Anne Schuchat, MD, interim deputy director for the CDC’s science and public health program, today at a media briefing urged caution in interpreting the results. Cross-reactive antibody assessment is an indirect measure of immune response, and though the findings are interesting, they’re not definitive, she said. “The laboratory findings we’re reporting seem to correlate with the epidemiologic data that we have so far.”Another reason to not over-interpret the results, she said, is that the microneutralization assay was used as a surrogate and isn’t the standard test the CDC uses against influenza viruses. (Microneutralization assays appear more sensitive, but researchers have not agreed on clinical correlates for the method.) She also said the study findings are based on relatively small numbers of patient serum samples.The response in older people could be explained by exposure to a related virus, exposure to a seasonal flu vaccine that provided protection, or that immune response to the new virus might be similar to that of other viruses, Schuchat said. However, she added that CDC virologists have compared the novel strain with past viruses and found that the new one is very different. “It’s not a close genetic match,” she said.She also said experts aren’t very impressed by the prevaccination-to-postvaccination ratio of 2:1 that suggests a weak response to the new virus. “That’s pretty wimpy,” Schuchat said, adding that the ratio for seasonal flu vaccines ranges around 12:1. “Wouldn’t it be great if there was boosting? But we don’t think we have sufficient evidence of that at this point,” she said.CDC. Serum cross-reactive antibody response to a novel influenza A (H1N1) virus after vaccination with seasonal influenza vaccine. MMWR 2009 May 22;58(19):521-4 [Full text]See also:May 6 CIDRAP News story “Fewer senior swine flu cases may hint at protection”last_img read more


Sumner Newscow feature: Golf plays a key role in Wellington’s economics, but what is in its future?

Posted On Aug 14 2020 by

first_imgGolfing is a way of life for some in Wellington. Part 1 of 3-part storyby James Jordan and Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — As the wind blows, the ice falls, and the threat of snow persists this weekend, it is hardly a time to think about golf. But sometime very soon, an avid golfer will pull out onto Wellington’s almost 100-year-old golf course and play a round. This ritual will be repeated an estimated 19,000 times in 2016, not counting the casual evening golfers who might just want to hit anywhere from two to nine holes as part of their evening festivities. Golfing is a way of life for some in Wellington — an affordable way for people to congregate, hold a fundraiser, or just to serve as a stress reliever. The Wellington Golf Course is also the community’s No. 1 tourist attraction. Wellington is not the exception. Golf courses sprinkle the Kansas landscape, and is something most if not all small towns want to have. But for all its benefits, some question just how much support should it receive from the city taxpayers. It is a matter of debate that will be discussed a lot in coming months as the city of Wellington attempts to bring itself back to financial well being. Sumner Newscow is doing a three-part story. Today, we will examine the golf course’s economic impact on the community. Monday, we will look at its history with an interview with former golf manager Steve Gill. On Tuesday, we will look at its financial impact – how much tax money is spent on the golf course and if Wellington is different than other communities such as Winfield and Arkansas City in how it is financially reimburses its municipal golf course. Economic Development —  The Wellington course is a popular destination, not only for Wellington, but for people around Wichita and other surrounding area. Every weekend in the summer months, there is a tournament, and many of those tournaments attract a plethora of out of town guests. According to Wellington golf course figures, there were about 19,000 rounds of golf played at the course last year, and 8,000 of those rounds were played by people not from Wellington.Stacy DavisSumner County Economic Development Director Stacy Davis said the course is definitely a major asset to the county. “One of three things businesses ask when looking at Sumner County, is what do you have in regards to quality of life, and the golf course is part of that,” she said. She said the course also benefits the community directly. For every visitor that comes, it is estimated that $30 is spent per person on things like hotel rooms, restaurants, gas and other necessities. “That adds up if 10 people come to play golf in a day,” she said. Golfers not only support local businesses for one thing, but they also pay sales tax on their purchases, which goes to the city, she said. Davis said in recent years there has been a decline in population for Sumner County, and economic development people are looking at ways to reverse that trend. “We have some quality of life issues,” she said. “We need to promote what we have more.”Bill ButtsWellington City Council member Bill Butts, an avid golfer, is also a huge proponent of the golf course. Butts moved to Wellington a few decades ago, and he said the course played a part in his decision. “I had two opportunities,” Butts said. “One was here and one was in Texas, and one of the main things that made me choose Wellington was the golf course. To this day it is sad to me to hear anyone talk about the course with anything other than endearment.” Nevertheless, Butts worries that Wellington’s golf course has some issues that need to be addressed if it hopes to continue being a premiere course in the south-central area. “Courses like the one at Wellington competes with other courses for out of town players, and keeping the course in top shape should be a priority,” he said. “If the golf course is not pretty, if the golf course does not stay current with the latest golfing trends, people will go somewhere else to play.”New trees are annually replaced on Wellington golf course.Golf issues Just recently, an issue came up in which fungus called “fairy ring” started affecting the greens this summer. And it illustrates a bigger conflict within the city council. How much money and resources should the city pour into the golf course especially during budgetary shortfalls. Fairy ring, also known as fairy circle, elf circle, elf ring or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring in which a ring or arc of mushrooms develop that makes the grass around it visually less attractive. Weather was the biggest problem this year of creating the fungus, which could eventually erode many of the greens. Appearances mean everything, Butts said, and he worried the ongoing problem with Fairy Ring could result in fewer rounds being played. He said those who work closely with the golf course want to take action. At a recent city council work session, Butts noted that for years Steve Gill, and his father Jerry Gill before him, took care of the course and were very knowledgable about agronomy issues. But since Steve’s retirement in 2012 that in-house expertise has suffered a blow. “I’m not taking anything away from Derek Harrison,” Butts said about the current golf manager. “He is very adept in marketing and the game of golf itself. That in itself is a full-time job.” “But the Gills knew the course and could anticipate problems, and they had a background with things like grass and keeping it looking good.” Butts recently advocated at the work session with hiring an agronomist or turf manager to deal with the issue — someone with a science background to take care of problems before they arose. But his suggestion came with resistance. Other council members said with the city’s current financial state that did not seem like a reasonable goal. Even though the other council members expressed the desire to keep the course up, there was little support for adding an employee. Wellington City Manager Roy Eckert said the city may be able to have some staff members get more education in that area. He also thought maybe the city could reach out to Kansas State University for assistance. K-State has one of the top golf course management departments in the nation. Butts said while 19,000 rounds of golf seems like a lot in 2015, in previous years the course had 23,000 rounds played. He does not want to see that downward trend continue. Harrison, who replaced Steve Gill in 2012 as the Wellington golf manager, is involved in all phases of the course, Butts said, and that is a heavy undertaking. “They have to keep 150 acres mowed, and the greens need to get even more attention,” he said. ••••• Another issue, Wellington has is the clubhouse. Built in 1964 with the east addition added on in 1980, it is now showing its age. Harrison said the clubhouse is not always fully utilized with the back east room where a fireplace sits that is rarely occupied, the main office is small and there isn’t enough space to sell golf merchandise. There are plans to build a new more expansive clubhouse that would include two levels— including a lower level to park golf carts. The upper level would include a large banquet hall for weddings and charitable events. Harrison said his hope is to make the clubhouse – a multifunctional community building that would also include a full kitchen and full-service bar. Harrison said the cost of that project could get up to $300,000. But he said half of the project will come from private donations. The trouble is getting the city to donate $150,000 to the project to make it a reality. There seems to be no desire from the council majority of making this a reality. Not in these tough financial times. ••••• As always, Wellington continues to grapple with tree replacement – an ongoing battle as the course loses trees at an abundant rate due to drought, age and pine disease. Tree replacement is funded through private donations. Harrison said the course loses 15 to 20 trees a year. “In five year, we will not have anymore pines on this course,” Harrison told Sumner Newscow in April 2014. Over the past years, golf course officials have added trees including Crimson Maples, sycamores and oaks. But even with an aggressive tree planting campaign, it is not keeping pace with older cedars, whose lifespan is coming to an end, and pine disease that has wrecked havoc on evergreens across the state of Kansas. Golf greens at Wellington baffles many good golfers.Wellington’s uniqueness Still, despite the ongoing problems, Wellington’s golf course continues to beat on – popular for its short fairways and challenging greens. “People want a course they can handle, and Wellington accommodates that,” he said. “The course also gives good players a challenge.” One unique aspect is the raised greens, which were popular in the 1960s but not so much anymore. The raised greens were built by club members when the course was converted from a 9-hole sand course to the 18-hole golf course we enjoy today. “It is a different architecture,” Butts said. “It makes the Wellington course a little unique. It makes play around the greens difficult and you have to know what you are doing when you play it.” Butts said it will come down to how important it is to the people of Wellington to maintain the asset that is our golf course, and to keep its good reputation. For many, the course does add value to the city. Eckert said when businesses look for locations for expansion, one of their first questions is whether or not there is a golf course. He said there has been more interest from businesses looking to move to Wellington, and the golf course is a part of the equation there.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (19) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -8 Vote up Vote down Maggie · 241 weeks ago Sales taxes collected on purchases by visitors are not a significant benefit. This article states the average visitor to the golf course spends $30 on other stuff like food and fuel. The sales tax collected on $30 is less than $3, and most of that goes to the state, not the city. Are there any data on how many patrons are from out-of-town? Report Reply 4 replies · active 241 weeks ago -5 Vote up Vote down Rhonda · 241 weeks ago I personally feel like the golf course is only an asset to those who golf. If improvements & maintenance are required the funds should come solely from the golfers who actually use and enjoy the course. Report Reply 7 replies · active 241 weeks ago +16 Vote up Vote down Larry · 241 weeks ago First I would like to say that I am no real fan of the golf course or golf in general. I worked for the city all through the 70’s and always heard how good the golf course was and also saw all the people that played there. I now live in New Mexico and met 4 gentlemen that when they found out I was from Wellington, asked me about the course. I didn’t know much what to tell the since I don’t play, but did tell them it was a nice course to play from what I had heard. The 4 men travel from Albuquerque to Wellington once or twice a year to play the course and tell me they really enjoy it. The big complaints were always hotels and restaurants. That problem was solved with the opening of the Casino but they do complain about the drive from the hotel to the course. But they do travel and usually stay 3 or 4 days and play as much golf as the can during that time. Report Reply 0 replies · active 241 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Guest · 241 weeks ago The golf course is an asset , just like our recreation center is an asset . Invest in what will keep Wellington a positive place for family’s . My family is not a golfing bunch , but on occasion my husband will play in a tournament or two for fundraising events and my son loves to go along . The recreation center expansion has been a wonderful thing for our kids and adults equally . Why is the golf course any different . If we do not support these postive businesses , there will be nothing to be in Wellington for . Report Reply 1 reply · active 241 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Thirsty · 241 weeks ago Is the city still doing a thing where if you move to Wellington you get a free year pass at the golf course? The city should start bundling assets and generating value packages for what it has. Something like a family pass, pool, golf, rec center (gym). That way if you don’t use the golf course atleast you can still use the pool and rec center or whatever. Report Reply 1 reply · active 241 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Thirsty · 241 weeks ago Take some notes from Cox and how they bundle their packages. Cut just enough off the bottom line to where it doesn’t destroy profits but creates an irresistible savings for the consumer. A round of golf at the Wellington course is around 25 a person. Packages could be something like: 1 round/month (4 months)- $80.00 (4 rounds) 2 rounds/month (4 months)- $ 150.00 (8 rounds) 4 rounds/month (4 months)- $285.00 (16 rounds) Unlimited rounds/month (4 months)- $535.00 (25+ rounds) Would also package it with a Tee shirt to say maybe which club they are in. All members 16 rounds + would automatically be entered into a grand prize drawing at the end of the year for say a new set of clubs, golf lessons, gear etc. maybe even a golf cart if enough members signed up for it. People will react well to this sort of thing I believe. Report Reply 0 replies · active 241 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more