Thailand to continue sharing H5N1 samples

first_imgMar 23, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indications today are that Thailand will continue to share H5N1 avian influenza viruses with the World Health Organization (WHO), contrary to a news report yesterday.Bloomberg News reported yesterday that Thailand would restrict access to its H5N1 viruses, and CIDRAP News passed along that report. But a senior Thai health official said Thailand had no plans to withhold samples, according to a Reuters report published yesterday.In addition, WHO spokesman Dick Thompson in Geneva told CIDRAP News today that Thailand has not signaled any intention to withhold samples. “We have received no official information that the situation relating to sharing of samples from Thailand has changed,” Thompson said via e-mail.Thai officials quoted by both Bloomberg and Reuters said Thailand shared Indonesia’s concern about access to vaccines based on samples collected in the country. Indonesia revealed in early February that it had stopped sharing H5N1 samples with the WHO out of concern that high cost would put any vaccines made using the samples out of reach for Indonesia.Bloomberg’s report cited comments by Public Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkha. The Reuters story quoted the minister’s senior adviser, Suwit Wibulpolprasert, who, when asked if Thailand planned to withhold samples, said, “No, never. Definitely not.”Scientists regard access to recent H5N1 virus isolates as essential for monitoring the virus’s evolution and developing vaccines against it.last_img read more

Freshman Koenig impressing Ryan early on

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s basketball team continued its hot streak to start the season after a successful week defeating Virginia and Marquette., jumping to No. 4 in the AP poll.Although his team might be younger than usual, UW head coach Bo Ryan emphasized in his weekly press conference Monday that he believes his team knows how to handle the pressure of being one of the top-ranked teams in the nation.“Because of the leadership we have, I think the right things are being said in the locker room and the right directions being given out on the court with the players, with the upperclassmen. Even though it’s not a real old group at all,” Ryan said.  “They’ve knocked off in years past teams that were highly ranked. So they know highly ranked teams are just as vulnerable as anybody else.”The last time the Badgers were ranked in the top five was during the 2006-2007 season. While that squad had a solid core of experienced, veteran players including All-American Alando Tucker, this year’s team has plenty of younger players in the rotation.Among that group is freshman guard Bronson Koenig. Koenig was one of Wisconsin’s top recruits coming into this season and he has found himself to be a key part of UW’s rotation early in the season. Ryan has been impressed with Koenig’s progress since he suffered a hamstring injury early in the preseason, noting how Koenig has improved in every area of his game, especially on the defensive side of the ball.“It has really shown on the court in practice how he has moved ahead and done some really good things because he’s learned, well, I need to be here on defense. I need to rotate here, pinch here, sink there,” Ryan said. “He’s picked up in every area, and the game was probably a little quicker, a little stronger for him in the beginning when you’re looking at it, but he knows now that he can compete and he’s ready to get more.”Ryan said that just like Koenig, the entire team is improving as their hot streak continues. Yet, even at 10-0, ranked fourth in the country, Ryan thinks there is room for more improvement and that we haven’t seen the best basketball this team can play. Right now, he believes the team is slightly ahead of the curve, attributing part of it to UW’s opportunity to play in Canada in August before the season started.“You know, you have to be fair and look at the fact that we had the summer trip, which I’m glad we had the opportunity to do because, if anything, as I’ve said a hundred times, it gave the younger guys, ‘okay, these are the things that we’re going to need to work on,’” Ryan said. “Only time will tell what this group can do. We’ll give them a chance every day in practice to get better, just like everybody else is doing.”Ryan explained how he has never paid much attention to rankings during the season in the past and doesn’t believe his team should either. Even amid the excitement of becoming a top-five team, Wisconsin must remain focused and shift their attention to their next opponent, in-state rival University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.Ryan believes his team, despite being a younger squad, understands where their focus needs to be and what they need to do to beat UWM. The Badgers know being such a highly ranked team means they now have a larger target on their backs and every team is going to show up playing their best.“This team’s attention will be on the clips from Saturday and the UWM scouting report. That’s all we’ll talk about. Now, what they talk about in the locker room and on campus or anything else, I just hope they understand that they’ve done some things that put them in this position, that they’ve been successful,” Ryan said. “But they understand it’s 40 minutes of basketball Wednesday night, or at least that’s how we’ll approach it.”The Badgers will take on UWM at the Kohl Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday.last_img read more