42nd Annual City of Arcadia Mayor’s Community Breakfast Friday, April 1, 2016, FrontRunner Restaurant at Santa Anita Park

first_imgThis year’s event features the 2009 California Teacher of the Year, Alex Kajitani. Creator of the “Rappin’ Mathematician,” Alex offers techniques to teachers nationwide in ways to engage students and make math cool! This same skill set extends to the business world, where Alex delivers fresh strategies that give positive results among business leaders. To purchase tickets please call the Mayor’s Office at 626-574-5403, or email mbuttice@ArcadiaCA.gov Tickets are $20 each. Breakfast buffet included. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Foothill Unity Center, Arcadia Educational Foundation, Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation, and the Assistance League of Arcadia.center_img About the City of ArcadiaNestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Arcadia is an 11.38 square mile community with a population of just over 56,000. Located approximately 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Arcadia is known for combining small-town charm with the conveniences and amenities of a mid-size city. Arcadia is a full-service charter city governed by a five-member City Council, elected at large. Recognized for exceptional education and recreation opportunities and beautiful neighborhoods, Arcadia is also defined as the “Community of Homes” and has twice been designated the “Best City in California in which to Raise Kids” by Business Week Magazine.last_img read more

“Serious Credibility Issues”

first_imgAlthough there are reports of decline in cases of Ebola and more survivors emerging from Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs), the Liberian Business Association (LIBA) president, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, has attributed the spread of the virus to the lack of trust in the Government of Liberia on the part of its citizens.Mr. Kemayah in a keynote speech delivered on his behalf by a proxy on October 25, emphasized that because of the wave of corruption in Liberia that has eroded public trust in officials of government, many Liberians denied the presence of Ebola by saying, “The Government wants to eat money, that’s the reason they say Ebola was in Liberia.”It can be recalled that when Ebola outbreak was announced in Guinea in March and subsequently reported in Liberia, many in the general public, including people of Lofa where the outbreak first occurred, denied the existence of Ebola in Liberia and attributed the news to an alleged ploy on the part of government to receive money from donors.According to Mr. Kemayah, on the basis of such perception people have about the government because of rampant corruption, Liberians refused to accept information about the reality of Ebola and take precautionary measures.These perceptions and statements, Mr. Kemayah said, “suggest that we have serious credibility issues that need to be addressed from the social, political, and economic standpoints. In January 2006, when the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led Government was inaugurated, the Liberian people had complete confidence and trust in the leadership ability of… her Administration.”He contended that when President Sirleaf took over in 2006 and promised that “papa will come” with a black plastic to impress the home; Liberians had complete confidence in her administration.But after a few years, especially beginning her second term, the confidence has apparently withered away because they are not seeing anything being done as promised earlier.“The increasing level of hardship and downward trend in the standard of living amongst the masses in Liberia, long before the Ebola virus outbreak, are among many reasons why the trust/confidence in the national leadership has been eroded,” Kemayah stressed.Mr. Kemayah in the loaded speech also questionably stressed, “Can the citizens trust their national leaders again when, for example, the papa na come pronouncement is far from tangible realization? Can they trust their President again? Can they trust their Senators again? Can they trust their Representatives again? Can they even trust their religious leaders again?  To answer these, one must first agree that the fabrics of these institutions have broken down from an analytical point of view.”The LIBA boss indicated that when statements by people concerning failure of the government to meet its promise are analyzed, one deduces serious problem with the national government in misapplying fund.“If one analyzes the views by the ordinary people on the streets, you could deduce that there is an issue of concern. If we say people are not eating money from this Ebola fight, why is it that giving proper account of the initial United States Five Million Dollars (US$5,000,000.00) to fight Ebola has been an issue?”He said while there are reports of decline, community dwellers need to still be conscious of its prevalence because it can break out at any time when people avoid precautionary measures.Mr. Kemayah’s statement was delivered in proxy by Rev. Garlison George, head pastor of Mount Nebo Baptist Church, of which Kemayah is a member. The occasion at which Rev. George spoke marked the launch of the Paynesville Town Hall Community Anti-Ebola awareness campaign, where a total of 100 hand-washing buckets were presented on behalf of the Kemayah family.LIBA, which has a presence in the City of Paynesville with its national headquarters located on AB Tolbert Road, also participated in the program represented by its vice president, David K. Sembeh.  In remarks, Sembeh urged the business community to strengthen its contribution to the fight against Ebola. Mr. Kemayah is currently in Uganda defending his thesis at the Catholic owned Martyrs University, where he is expected to graduate with the Masters of Arts Degree in Development Studies on November 13.Members of the community represented by Darlington Kpayili commended Mr. Kemayah and his family for the gesture and acknowledged his role played in the lives of many in the community.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Amara Konneh Shifts Blame

first_imgFinance Minister Amara Konneh has blamed government revenue generating entities for the current state of budget recast the country is experiencing.Appearing before plenary of the House of Representatives Tuesday, 21 January in Monrovia, Minister Konneh blamed revenue generating entities like Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), National Port Authority (NPA) and Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) and others for playing active roles in the ‘poor collection’ of revenue to support the approved National Budget 2013/2014 Fiscal year.Konneh noted that amongst a series of outstanding revenues, US$3 million from LPRC, US$1 million from NPA and US$3 million that should have been remitted to the National envelop are yet to be realized.He announced that there remains a “serious task evasion” by many costumers inclusive of private entities ranging from real estate tax and income. Konneh then said, “We are beginning a massive tax collection campaign Wednesday, [January 22,] and I want the Legislature [to] help us achieve this.”The Finance boss disclosed that out of US$296.5 million estimated to be collected in support of the budget; only 278.8 million has been collected, amounting to a US$17 million shortfall.“We are expected to collect US$303 million by June 30 of this year,” he pointed out.In furtherance of that, the awarding-winning Finance Minister revealed that US$68.6 million has been realized as “delay envelop,” maintaining that there was no need to panic as the economy is in good shape. Minister Konneh also associated the budget- shortfall to government domestic debt owed contractors particularly in the construction sector to the tune of US$33 million; a move he said is responsible for the delay in the completion of several road projects across the country.  He announced that despite challenges faced by his regime in generating the requisite resources needed to support the budget, National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) is up to speed with its commitment to the budget and has provided US$6 million of the US$8 million projected. The Finance boss’ appearance was predicated on a communication addressed to the plenary by Margibi County Representative Emmanuel Nuquay requesting the presence of Mr. Konneh before plenary to speak to several revenue issues affecting the economy.Defending his economic policy, Konneh insisted that Liberia’s economy is stable and remains one of the best in the sub-regions with inflation at 8.5%, an assertion many lawmakers dismissed.Meanwhile, Minister Konneh announced that Liberia has projected US$2 billion in order to stabilize the economy and provide basic social services to the Liberian people. How and when such projections will be achievable was not disclosed. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Study: Hispanics transforming U.S. Catholic Church

first_imgAccording to the survey, 68 percent of Hispanics are Catholic, 15 percent are born-again or evangelical Protestants, 5 percent are mainline Protestants, 3 percent are identified as “other Christian” and 8 percent are secular (1 percent refused to answer). Among non-Hispanic Americans, the largest groupings are 20 percent Catholic, 35 percent evangelical Protestant and 24 percent mainline Protestant. The religious identity of Hispanics will affect politics, the report says. The Hispanic electorate is largely Democratic (63 percent), despite being conservative on social issues such as abortion and homosexuality. But Hispanic evangelical Protestants – whose numbers are growing – are twice as likely as Hispanic Catholics to be Republicans. This is a far greater gap than exists between white evangelical Protestants and Catholics. About one-third of Catholics in the United States are now Hispanic. Roberto Suro, director of the Pew Hispanic Center, said in an interview that Hispanic Catholics looked different from typical white suburban Catholics. “They are different in terms of beliefs, practices, language and culture, but they remain very Catholic,” Suro said. “The open question here is, Does the institution adapt to them, or do they adapt to the institution?” The influx of Hispanic immigrants to the United States is transforming the Roman Catholic Church as well as the nation’s religious landscape, according to a study of Hispanics and faith released Wednesday. The study, by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that half of Hispanic Catholics practice a “distinctive form” of charismatic Catholicism that includes speaking in tongues, miraculous healings and prophesying – practices more often associated with Pentecostalism. Among Catholics who are not Hispanic, only 12 percent are involved in these practices. The study also found that two-thirds of Hispanics choose to worship in “ethnic congregations” that have Hispanic clergymen and Spanish-language services, and where a majority of congregants are Hispanic. These congregations are cropping up throughout the country, even in areas where Hispanics are sparse. Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, doubling between 1980 and 2000, and projected to more than double between 2000 and 2020, Pew researchers said. As of 2005, there were 42 million Hispanics in the United States, about 14 percent of the population. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgFEATURES: Have you always wanted to be able to Jive and Line-Dance? Well now you can because the Millbridge Bar has launched beginners classes in both arts.Beginners Classes Line Dancing with Kathleen: Get your cowboy boots on and head down to us here at the mill were Kathleen will show you all the steps needed to “keep her country”.Classes are from 8pm-10pm every Tuesday Night and admission is €5.Classes start on Tuesday the 8th of September.LEARN TO JIVE AT THE MILLBRIDGE BAR: Sick of sitting shuffling your feet while others are out dancing the night away, well shuffle no more, here at The Millbridge we will teach you how to dance with the best of them!!From Monday 14th September we are holding jiving lessons with Paul for people looking to learn how to jive, waltz or even do the hucklebuck!The lessons will run for 6 weeks costing €6 per night or €30 paid up front on the 1st night. Each class will run from 8pm to 9pm, so what are you waiting for head along to The Millbridge Bar and don’t forget your dancing shoes!!!50% OFF ALL FOOD AND DRINK EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT AT THE MILLBRIDGE BARENTERTAINMENT: Your weekend now starts on a Thursday at the Millbridge Bar!There is also a superb line-up of entertainment for the weekend at The Millbridge Bar.Friday night jukebox in the bar. Saturday night the ever popular Martin Orr is sure to keep you on your toes!!On Sunday we have Kilmacrennan’s very own trad band Ciorcal Iomlan playing in the snug from 6pm to 9 pm, always a lively evening.On Sunday we have our Carvery Lunch in the newly refurbished Ivy Restaurant from 12pm to 4pm with 4 courses (tea or coffee) for only €16.95 and kids eat for only €4.95.Live premiership matches shown ALL weekend.3 pints for €10 (Mon-Fri)Loyalty cards also available offering 10% off all good and drinkSteak nite special on Tuesday’s Keep an eye out on our Facebook page and donegal daily for our Christmas party nights specialsFor any more info check out our Facebook book or contact us on 074 91 39800.YEE-HAW! LEARN HOW TO LINE-DANCE AND JIVE AT THE MILLBRIDGE BAR was last modified: September 3rd, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:EntertainmentFeaturesnewslast_img read more

49ers report card: George Kittle’s record masks team’s woes

first_imgThree interceptions in the opening four series should merit a harsher grade for Nick Mullens and his pass protectors. But the 49ers achieved their goal of getting George Kittle the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end. Kittle capped … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile deviceLOS ANGELES — Here is how the 49ers (4-12) graded in Sunday’s 48-32, season-ending loss to the host Los Angeles Rams (13-3):PASS OFFENSE: C-last_img

Womens Ladies Girls 100cm Color Long Straight Wigs High Quality Hair Carve Cosplay Costume Anime Party Bangs Full Sexy Wigs : Nice ehite color

first_imgBetter than i could have imagined. The hair is really high quality synthetic, it is exactly how it looks on the picture, all i did was cut the fringe so i could actually see, it brushes really easily to say how long it is, ive had some 100cm wigs that just bunch up and you cant run a brush through them without them becoming frizzy, with this wig it is not the case. It feels so natural and its not too heavy on your head which is amazing. This is great just as i expected. The wig hair fibers feel very nice, and the wig was thick. The wig hair fibers feel very nice, and the wig was thick. The size of the wig cap was a little smaller than i’m used to in wigs, but it still fits fine. It is good quality for the price. At the crown of the wig, there is a circle of ‘skin-like’ material which looks pretty good, although because of the color of the wig, it is obvious what it is. Looks good, but could use more hair could see the thread trough the hair. Going to buy one more and use dobble wig. The wig hair fibers feel very nice, and the wig was thickNice ehite colorAlmost perfect for a ghostly costumeWomens Ladies Girls 100cm White Color Long Straight Wigs High Quality Hair Carve Cosplay Costume Anime Party Bangs Full Sexy WigsLong Straight 100 CM WHITE Cosplay WigsMaterial:high temperature fiberLocal FBA Fulfillment, fast and reliableThere are more Cosplay product in our store, feel free to check it out! or search our products by typing alliance stationColor: The real color of the item may be slightly different from the pictures shown on website caused by many factors such as brightness of your monitor and light brightness Almost perfect for a ghostly costume. Almost perfect for a ghostly costume. Only niggle was the fringe part was so long it was past my chin. High quality synthetic wigvery long hair. Was great for what i wanted it for.last_img read more

Myspace Opens Floodgates: Developers Get API for Real-Time Stream

first_imgTags:#web#Web Development dana oshiro A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Earlier this week Myspace announced a partnership with Google to deliver real-time status updates to the search experience. As of today, the company is furthering its real-time efforts by announcing the public release of the real-time stream, status and mood commenting, open search and photo upload APIs. Myspace’s offer to deliver real-time updates to developers is not a trivial one. According to Chief Operating Officer Mike Jones, the company’s stream consists of more than 46 million status updates and uploads per day. Some of the unique aspects of the API include the fact that there is no volume restriction for developers. As well, the MySpace developer platform aims to encompass open standards including OpenSocial, OpenID, OAuth, ActivityStrea.ms and now WebHooks following the PubSubHubBub delivery model. A complete list of APIs include:1. Real-Time Stream API:This API gives developers real-time push capabilities. Developers can control data flow through a series of granular filters. In addition to Google, the company’s first API partners include Groovy Corp and One Riot.2. Status and Mood Commenting API: This tools allows developers to integrate MySpace mood and status updates to 3rd party sites. From there users can comment on the 3rd party site with real-time syncing to MySpace. 3. Open Search API: This allows 3rd party sites to include MySpace profiles in search results. While other services allow users to search for people by location, the unique aspect of this is that you can filter by words like “celebrity” and “musician”.4. Photo Upload API: This allows users to upload photos to MySpace from 3rd party sites. In addition to the API tools, the company has improved it’s post-to/share tools. Users can now post content from 3rd party sites and stream it directly to their MySpace activity stream with a link back to the original content. To encourage creative use of the APIs, MySpace is also launching a developer’s challenge. For info, developers can visit the MySpace developer’s wiki. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Woman shot for saying no to proposal

first_imgA young woman was shot dead by a man at Jeypore in Koraput district on Monday for turning down his marriage proposal.According to police sources, B. Pinky (21) was shot dead by Ajit Khora on the terrace of her house around 6 p.m. The accused was caught by relatives and neighbours and ruthlessly beaten up before being handed over to the police. The revolver used in the crime was also handed over to the police.Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Jeypore Rajendra Senapati said as per initial investigation the accused happened to be the son of an uncle of the deceased. It is alleged that he had been trying to woo Pinky for a long time, but she resisted his advances. It is not clear from where Ajit procured the arm and ammunition.last_img

MERS: A Virologist’s View From Saudi Arabia

first_imgBERLIN—Christian Drosten, a virologist at the University of Bonn in Germany, is among those leading the effort to understand Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and contain the disease. He is also one of the very few Western scientists who have worked in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with local researchers.On Friday, Drosten returned to Germany after a week in Saudi Arabia, where he investigated what’s behind a sudden explosion in reported MERS cases. ScienceInsider caught up with him during a stopover in Berlin.Q: There have been almost 400 MERS cases and more than 100 deaths in Saudi Arabia in the last 2 years. What’s the situation like at the moment?Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)C.D.: There’s a huge public awareness of the disease. Lots of people are wearing facemasks now. Actually, more when I left than when I arrived. In that 1 week, there was a clear increase. People know there is this virus and they are being careful, and I think that will actually help curb the number of new infections.Q: It certainly doesn’t feel that way. Saudi Arabia has reported more infections in April than the whole world in the two previous years. The United States announced its first case on Friday, and before that there were imported cases in Greece and Malaysia. Is the disease spiraling out of control?C.D.: There has been a lot of discussion about whether the virus has mutated to pass more easily from human to human. But we have sequenced three genomes from samples taken early in April in Jeddah, where many of the cases occurred, two more from later in the Jeddah outbreak, and another one from a patient in Mecca. They all look completely normal.Q: But can you really tell from the genome whether the virus has adapted to humans?C.D.: It’s almost impossible to tell from the sequence whether there has been a functional change in the virus. But we do know that certain parts of the genome are particularly important, and one of those is the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein.Q: The part of the virus that binds to human cells.C.D.: Exactly. And we do not see any changes there. The rest of the virus genome is also really closely related to previously sequenced MERS genomes. You really have to look quite hard to find any changes at all, and when you do find changes, there are other MERS genomes that had those changes, too. This is not like influenza viruses, which have a way higher mutation rate. Coronaviruses have correction enzymes so in general they are more stable genetically.Q: Still, the number of infections is going up.C.D.: You cannot compare the new numbers to those from a few months ago. Until the 26th of March, 459 tests had been done in all of Saudi Arabia this year. Then in just 1 month, just in the city of Jeddah, 4629 PCR tests were done. Something dramatic changed, and that is the case definition.Before, tests were done on patients who had pneumonia and required [intensive care]. But now people are being tested not because they are sick, but because they had contact with a patient. Some of these tested positive, but many of them don’t really get sick.Q:  Could the test results be wrong?C.D.: No, when I was in Jeddah I really tested the central lab where all the PCR for MERS is done. I made them run almost 200 PCRs with water, interspersed with some real samples. The tests were done on all the machines they use, with two different PCR assays and by two different technicians. To my surprise, there were no false positives at all.We also reran samples from six health care workers who had cared for a patient in Tabuk; they seemed to be positive at a very low level. I can say unequivocally, these results are real. When you look at the PCR data on all the recent tests, they are often very weak signals. These people probably just have a very low concentration of virus in the throat. It’s hard to interpret. It’s possible that these are infections that are quickly controlled by the immune system. That may happen frequently in health care workers dealing with several really sick patients.Q: You’re saying these people should not have been tested at all?C.D.: During the [2003] SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome] outbreak, there was a strict case definition. People who had had contact with SARS patients but showed no symptoms were not tested with PCR. Instead they were tested for antibodies later, to see if an infection had happened. That should happen now in Saudi Arabia, too. Asymptomatic people should not be tested with PCR. At the moment, there is no antibody test available in the country. But you could list all those contacts and take a blood sample from each of them 14 to 21 days later and then have it tested outside the country. Three people from my lab are going to Riyadh to establish an ELISA test for antibodies.Q: But isn’t it good to know all the cases, even if they are mild?C.D.: The question of whether there is a mild, short-lived infection in some people is scientifically interesting. But in cities like Jeddah, it is bringing the health system close to collapse. That is the big problem. So many samples are being tested that the lab capacity won’t suffice for the real cases. And as more and more samples are tested, mistakes are bound to happen. On top of that, if you identify all these mild cases and put them in isolation beds, then you have no beds left for the real cases.Q: What should be done with mild cases then?C.D.: There is a good option and that is isolation at home. You can have people from the public health agency call every day to make sure people are staying home. You can give them written information on what they are allowed to do, and what not. There are many examples for this. It was used very successfully in Singapore during the SARS epidemic.Q: Clearly there are also very serious cases. At least 38 people died of MERS in Saudi Arabia in April.C.D.: Yes, I have seen results from patients with huge virus concentrations. These patients are highly contagious. Now in some emergency rooms in some Saudi hospitals, patients are kept for a very long time because there are no beds available on the wards. If there are such highly contagious patients amongst them, then clearly you get hospital-acquired infections and that is the other thing we are seeing at the moment. You have to remember that the absolute number of cases is still low. A few hundred. So just one hospital outbreak can raise the numbers significantly and lead to the impression that the whole epidemic is changing.Q: You’ve also looked at how easily the virus is transmitted at home?C.D.: We will submit a paper on that soon. We looked at 26 index cases and 280 people that they had close contact with. These were almost all family members, in some cases also maids or drivers. We looked really closely with PCR and antibody tests, and in the end you can say nine of those 280 contacts were infected. And these are people who really had immense exposure. That means the reproductive rate of the virus is 0.3, not close to 1, as others have argued.Q: So at the moment MERS’s only real chance to spread is in hospitals?C.D.: Yes, I think those hospitals where there are problems with hygiene are fuelling this small epidemic.Q: What about the political situation? Deputy Minister of Health Ziad Memish, who you work with, has received quite a bit of criticism. C.D.: Some people have charged that he is holding back important information to secure high-ranking publications and things like that. But that is not true. I have been working with him since October and I had a good impression of him from the start. He is a Western-educated epidemiologist who knows what he is talking about.Q: Others have charged that he demands to be a publication’s first or last author just in return for providing samples.C.D.: Getting really good samples under controlled conditions is not easy in a country like Saudi Arabia. I think what Memish is organizing there is a huge contribution that warrants a first or last authorship. I have no problem with that. Memish really pushes people, he is extremely busy and he has built up an incredible network in the last 2 years. It’s a big loss that his political position is weakening.Q: You mean that the new health minister, Adel Fakieh, is sidelining him?C.D.: He has formed a new advisory committee and Memish is not part of that. That is a big problem, I think. It means they are starting from scratch. All the knowledge and the network that Memish has established is not being used. My impression was that the committee is dominated by clinicians and clinical microbiologists. They know how to treat patients of course, but not necessarily how to deal with an epidemic. I think Memish has really developed a kind of gut feeling for MERS in the last 2 years and that is not being used any more. I think that is the biggest mistake being made in Saudi Arabia at the moment.Q: The ministry has also announced that three hospitals in Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam will be dedicated to treating MERS patients. Is that a good idea?C.D.: Of course it’s a good idea to build these facilities so patients can be treated better. But what’s needed most right now is a massive campaign for hospital hygiene. Sending teams into the hospitals to retrain the health care workers, who come from all over the globe. Teach them proper infection control. That would change a lot.Q: Even when that is done, there have been a lot of studies suggesting that camels are an important source of infections as well.C.D.: Camels will remain a source. It is interesting by the way, when we are talking about Jeddah: Most of the camels that are imported to the Arabian Peninsula come through the port of Jeddah. So you could think about testing all the young camels that arrive and quarantining them in the harbor until the virus is gone. But that would be a huge logistical challenge. Who would do those tests? Where should the camels be locked up all that time? A vaccine is more realistic and there are some good candidates.Q: But none of those are being tested in camels yet.C.D.: It is really difficult to get a sufficient number of animals that have not had an infection already. Where are you going to get them? You cannot just buy a circus. And you would want them not to be adult animals, because they are really big and hardly fit into any research lab. It’s a real challenge.last_img read more