Jun 11, 2009WHO declares influenza pandemic phase 6The World Health Organization (WHO) said today that the novel H1N1 virus has achieved pandemic status. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan announced the move to pandemic alert phase 6. “The scientific criteria for a pandemic have been met,” she said. “The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic.” She noted that most cases have been mild and the epidemic been moderate in relatively well-off countries, but a “bleaker picture” may emerge as it spreads in poor countries.[Jun 11 Chan statement]Global H1N1 count nears 29,000The WHO today released its latest case count for novel H1N1 influenza worldwide: 28,774 cases and 144 deaths in 74 countries, up 1,037 cases and 3 deaths from yesterday’s numbers. Countries reporting the greatest increase in laboratory-confirmed cases since yesterday were Mexico (524 new cases), Britain (156), Australia (83), Japan (33), and China (32).[WHO update 47]Australians urged to conserve TamifluSupplies of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are scarce at some Australian pharmacies, prompting health minister Nicola Roxon to state that many patients with mild illnesses don’t need that drug and that government stockpiles are reserved for those at highest risk, such as those with underlying medical conditions, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported today. The country’s case count has risen to 1,275, with several hospitalizations, including four with reportedly no risk factors in intensive care units.Manitoba intensifies measures to limit novel flu spreadAmid rising novel flu cases and hospitalizations, Manitoba’s regional health authority warned residents to limit hospital visits and asked people with flulike symptoms to stay away, the Winnipeg Globe and Mail reported today. Two more people were placed on ventilators yesterday, bringing the total to 27. Many are from the province’s First Nations communities. The chief of one group said authorities are sanitizing public places and that crowded housing is contributing to flu spread.Hong Kong closes all schools after finding local clusterHong Kong’s government announced today that it has identified its first local novel H1N1 case cluster, in a school, which prompted government officials to close all schools and childcare centers from tomorrow until Jun 25. Officials also announced plans to open eight designated flu clinics on Jun 13, which could expand to 10 more sites if needed. Officials noted their approach to control the spread of the virus is moving from containment to mitigation.CDC urges pneumococcal vaccine for at-risk groupsThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently posted interim guidance on use of the 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine during the novel flu outbreak. The vaccine is still recommended for those age 65 or older and patients aged 2 to 64 who have certain high-risk conditions. However, the CDC urges that those younger than 65 who have underlying health conditions receive the vaccine, because vaccination rates are low and rates of severe novel H1N1 infections are high.[Jun 9 CDC 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine guidance]
Aspirations were high for the Wisconsin volleyball team this year. They returned three All-Americans in Dana Rettke, Sydney Hilley and Madison Duello. They added an experienced defensive specialist in Minnesota transfer Lauren Barnes. Then, they started the year 4-4 against a brutal slate of non-conference teams. Their losses came against Marquette, Baylor and Washington twice — all teams currently ranked in the AVCA top 10. They used it as a learning experience and rallied to a Big Ten Championship. The Badgers had just one Big championship in the last 17 years after consecutive titles in Ten 2000 and 2001.Volleyball: Badgers retake Big Ten lead with victories over Minnesota, Michigan StateThe No. 5 University of Wisconsin volleyball team (19-5, 15-1 Big Ten) took care of both No. 7 Minnesota and Read…After their loss to Penn State Friday night, Wisconsin swept Rutgers and watched as Minnesota topped Penn state 3-1. Penn State’s loss to Minnesota gave the Badgers the top record in the conference.Since their second loss to No. 10 Washington Sept. 21, the Badgers ripped through Big Ten play with a 18-2 record, including a 12 game winning streak with seven against ranked teams.They have also played the toughest schedule among the top teams in the Big Ten. Wisconsin has faced Minnesota twice, Nebraska twice and Penn State twice, all three of whom are ranked in the top 10 of the AVCA rankings. None of those teams faced each other more than once. Their two conference losses came against The Ohio State University Buckeyes, a mid-tier team in the Big Ten, and Penn State in a five-set heartbreaker.The Badgers responded emphatically following the loss to Ohio State. They dropped only one set in their five wins since the loss, including wins over then-No. 5 Minnesota and then-No. 6 Nebraska.That streak ended with the Nittany Lions.Volleyball: 3 surprising boosts to No. 7 BadgersA season ago, the Wisconsin volleyball team reached the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament before their neighbor to the Read…The progression of this Badger team is evident from the start of the year. Both as individuals and as a group, UW has improved in all three aspects of the game. According to Head Coach Kelly Sheffield, this team relishes that improvement. “There’s still a lot of opportunities to grow individually and as a team,” Sheffield said. “Winning is fun, but there’s no better feeling than the feeling of getting better … that’s where the real confidence comes from.” Their confidence has grown not only from winning but from closing out sets in crucial games. In their loss to Marquette early this season, UW had six match point opportunities and failed to capitalize each time. In their first loss to Washington, the Badgers dropped a set after leading 24–20 which would have tied the match at 1–1. Volleyball: Badgers split pair of games, drop first match in Big Ten playAn undefeated record in Big Ten volleyball is a tall task. There are currently six Big Ten teams in the Read…The team’s ability to close out crucial sets seemed to change in a pivotal match in Lincoln against Nebraska. In a raucous environment, UW rattled off set-winning runs of 9–4, 11–5 and 6–2 against the top defense in the Big Ten. Since that night, the Badgers have closed sets furiously with the exception of the loss to the Buckeyes. Also, different Badgers have pioneered game-ending runs. On the road in the 3–1 win over Minnesota, outside hitter Molly Haggerty closed out the third set with back-to-back kills and finished the match on a personal 3–0 run. In their second sweep of the Cornhuskers, middle blocker Danielle Hart closed the second set with two kills in the final three points. To close the match, right side hitter Madison Duello provided two kills and an emphatic block on Nebraska’s Lexi Sun. Volleyball: Badgers record team’s best start ever in Big Ten playThe Wisconsin volleyball team (16-4, 12-0 Big Ten) has started 12-0 in conference play for the first time in Badger Read…Looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament, the Badgers will likely host two games following their loss to Penn State. A win over the Nittany Lions likely would have given the Badgers a top-four seed and the subsequent opportunity to host four games.The Badgers will rely on their varied offensive attack as tournament time arrives. Their offense is seventh in the country in hitting percentage and setter Sydney Hilley, a top candidate for Big Ten Setter of the Year, is currently third in the country in assists per game. Rettke, the two-time AVCA first-team All-American, will likely add another selection as well as a shot for the Big Ten Player of the Year.Their defense has been steadily improving since the start of the season. At the start of the year, five of the Badgers’ first eight opponents recorded hitting percentages above .200. Since then, only four of their last 20 opponents have eclipsed .200, and the Badgers won three of those four matches. Volleyball: All-American Rettke remains hungry following summer with Team USAJunior Dana Rettke has been one of the most intimidating forces in college volleyball for over two years now. A Read…Lastly, UW will look to regain their prominence at the service line. In their last eight games, the Badgers’ service errors have outnumbered their service aces. UW’s service aces either matched or outpaced their service errors in 10 of their first 18 games. Freshman Izzy Ashburn gave the team an unexpected boost at the service line and could be a key contributor in the serving facet of the game.An NCAA championship is a legitimate goal for this team. All three phases of the game are necessary to accomplish that goal.
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