Learn how new technologies are affecting the event industry

first_img“ALL THAT SE MOGLO INVENT, IT WAS INVENTED”HE SAID CHARLES H. DUELL, DIRECTOR OF THE AMERICAN PATENT OFFICE IN 1899.Interesting from today’s perspective, isn’t it? With the development of new technologies, we are getting closer to a new reality that is slowly but surely coming to our door – it is virtual reality (VR)Virtual reality brings us new trends and various new opportunities in various segments of life that we are not yet fully aware of. Sure, VR will soon change our lives and ways of behaving, from shopping in 3D virtual stores, communication, entering the world of games as avatars, but it will also bring changes for sure in the world of tourism.VR / AR The devil or angel of tourismWill tourists travel less because they will have a 3D destination experience from the comfort of their armchairs and thus reduce the arrival of guests in real time? Is it threatening VR tourism or is it another promotional tool that can generate new feelings, experiences in tourism and ultimately increase the arrival of tourists in a tourist destination?You don’t have to be afraid, VR as well as AR are not a threat, but rather an opportunity for tourism in order to better present and tell your tourist stories.Anyway, technology is there to help and speed up all business processes, changes are happening faster and those who ignore it will unfortunately have to close their doors. VR and AR are slowly but surely coming to the big door in the tourism sector as well as in the event industry. Embrace the technology and use it to enhance your travel story.If you are involved in the organization of tourist events and you are interested in new technologies and how they affect the event industry, then you are certainly interested in the answers to the following questions:What technologies are changing the event industry? How to use mobile technology at events? The importance of content marketing? What is needed to develop the event industry? How to target the audience and conceptualize the event? What are the new technologies and trends in the event industry? VR / AR technology in the service of events?These are just some of the questions you can find out the answers to as part of the second edition of the RSVP Festival, the only regional event specializing in the event industry, which takes place from 07-08.2017. in Zagreb’s Plaza Event Center (ex. Hypo Event Center).During the two program days (07-08.02.2017), participants will be able to listen to 20 lectures and panels and hear news from the event industry, and 5 free workshops are scheduled. On Wednesday, the second day of the festival, the annual ATTEND awards for the best events in 8 categories will be presented for the first time.Also, at the round table ‘Together we are stronger – cooperation between organizers and destinations’, panelists will discuss how important cooperation is for the success of projects. During both days, free workshops will be held where participants can gain practical knowledge. On the last day of the festival, the annual ATTEND awards for the best regional events in eight categories will be presented. In the first year of the award ceremony, a total of 102 projects were submitted.See more about the RSVP festival herelast_img read more

Declaration of the Croatian Rural Parliament adopted

first_imgThe final day of the Parliament was reserved for presentations of the results of field workshops, conclusions and adoption of the Declaration of the 2nd HRP, which highlighted 10 topics of important rural development. These are recognizing the problems of rural areas, the importance of education and encouraging innovation, innovative approaches to the community, public involvement in decision-making processes, reaffirmation of professional approach, development of entrepreneurial spirit, strengthening local connections (“rural value chains”), urban and rural links, preservation local identity and new development opportunities through cooperation and networking. In addition to the above, a press conference and a study tour of Međimurje were held.Declaration of the Second Croatian Rural ParliamentWhat is commendable and unfortunately very rare, the conference was marked by concrete steps and conclusions, so not the form but the concrete and quality content. Thus, there are over 300 participants from all over Croatia: LAGs and other associations dealing with rural development, professional and scientific organizations, representatives of ministries and state administrative bodies, local self-government units, entrepreneurs, agricultural producers, craftsmen and other stakeholders in rural development – adopted the Declaration of the Second Croatian Rural Parliament.The declaration is based on ten points:Recognizing the problems of rural areasThe importance of education and encouraging innovationAn innovative approach to the communityInvolving the public in decision-making processesRe-affirmation of the professional approachDevelopment of entrepreneurial spiritStrengthening local connectivity (“rural value chains”)Connections of urban and rural spacePreservation of local identityNew development opportunities through cooperation and networkingYou can read the entire Declaration here:  HRP2017_DeclarationPublication: Second Croatian Rural Parliament – Cooperation for Comprehensive DevelopmentThe publication printed on the occasion of the second Croatian Rural Parliament, published by the Croatian Network for Rural Development on 28 pages, contains many interesting information about cooperation in rural areas, achievements between the two Rural Parliaments, European experiences and other current topics of rural development.You can download the publication here: HRP2017_Publication The second “Croatian Rural Parliament” was held in LifeClass Terme Sveti Martin, which brought together more than 300 participants interested in current topics in agriculture, economy and tourism.Contemporary definition of the term “rural development” implies integral and multisectoral and sustainable development of rural (non-urban) space. Integral, ie comprehensive development of rural areas is important for the diversification of the rural economy, and sustainability is a key component of the development process for the need to balance the development of society, economy and environment leading to sustainable development without compromising any element that is an integral part development process.”The goal of the national rural parliament is to hear and respect the voice of rural communities. Rural parliaments of European countries are becoming a true expression of participatory democracy. In the rural parliament, rural residents have the opportunity to influence rural development policy and implementation, and to strengthen ties and partnerships.”Point out the organizers and add that the main word is people from the countryside, movements, small businesses, tourism, cultural and sports organizations, young and old, ie civil society that plays a decisive role in the initiative of rural parliaments.On the first day of the Parliament, a plenary session of the HRP “Rural Memories” was held, which was attended by parliamentary participants and representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Tourism, Regional Development and EU Funds, Croatian Rural Development Network, Croatian Chamber of Commerce, LAGs, Croatian Tourism community and Međimurje County.During the three days, the participants actively opened a number of questions to which they received answers through joint discussions. Starting with the Rural Caffe with seven different themes designed on the principle of the World Caffe, “Innovative approaches in agriculture” were discussed; “The concept of ‘zero kilometers’: local food on the local table” and “Heritage and identity of rural areas as a starting point for development”. There was no lack of interest at the thematic field workshops on Friday, of which a total of nine were organized, at 30 locations throughout Međimurje County. In addition to the workshops, the participants had the opportunity to visit some of the examples of good practice that are not lacking in Međimurje, but also to find motivation and ideas for their own development. On the first day, 40 exhibitors presented the topic of rural areas and more than 20 scientific posters with the topic “Interdisciplinary cooperation to a better quality of life in rural areas” were exhibited and presented.Photo: Zagorjelast_img read more

Glamping novi turistički proizvod otoka Murtera

first_imgPrvi dio spartanske utrke s vremenom, dozvolama, financijama i samima sobom, obitelji Jajaš i Turčinov završili su uspješno i to nakon punih 8 godina i uloženih preko 20 milijuna kuna vlastitih sredstava! Toliko o našoj administraciji i privlačenju investicija, što je samo još jedan dokaz kako je investiranje u HR više u domeni ludosti ili mazohizma.No, kako god, upornost i želja se isplatila te tako Murter dobiva novi odličan smještajni kapacitet – kamp Rehut, kapaciteta do 210 gostiju, a koji se smjestio u prekrasnom okruženju uvale Slanica na otoku Murteru odakle puca pogled na Kornatsko otočje, samo 50 metara od mora. Ukupne površine preko 6.000 m2, s 45 kamp mjesta i 26 mjesta za mobilne kućice, parkiralište za automobile, dječje igralište, a od sljedeće godine najavljen i bazen s otvorenim barom za goste kampa.”Dan nakon otvorenja nastavlja se borba druge vrste, za kamp pun zadovoljnih gostiju. Zapamtite „Camp Rehut“, jer taj će se kamp sljedećih godina sigurno naći na brojnim listama najuspješnijih turističkih odredišta u Hrvatskoj! “ ističu vlasnici kampa obitelj Jajaš, a kada znamo koliko je energije uloženo u izgradnju ove odlične turističke priče, ne sumnjamo da će isto toliko, ako ne više energije biti uloženo u odnos prema turistima.Danas popularan „glamping“ prezentiran je na pravi način u Campu Rehut, jer luksuz i prekrasan dizajn svakoga detalja kampa oduševljavaju. Uređeno i odnjegovano s ljubavlju ova najveća privatna investicija ove godine na Murteru (i dalje), otvara svoja vrata 03.06.2017. velikim vatrometom koji obitelji Jajaš i Turčinov poklanjaju murteranima i njihovim gostima. Glamping ( glamur + camping ) je luksuzni boravak u prirodi kroz koncept doživljaja prirode, ali ne odustati od luksuza. Tako će glamping ponuda i visoka kvaliteta uređenja i usluge svakako će podići razinu turističke ponude Murtera čime se nastavlja trend privlačenja gostiju više platežne moći.Kamp Rehut kao dodatni sadržaj nudi sportske sadržaje (jahanje na konjima, teniski teren, vodeni tobogan i stolni tenis) koji se nalaze 50m od kampa, besplatan WiFi, a također prihvaćaju i kućne ljubimce.last_img read more

Alcohol and attractiveness: Naturalistic study finds no evidence for the ‘beer goggles effect’

first_imgShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Email LinkedIn Sharecenter_img However, researchers in a study published in Alcohol and Alcoholism took this theory and investigated it in the field — in this case, three pubs of the same chain. These three pubs had similar food and drink items on the menu, as well as similar prices for those items. Three hundred and eleven male and female pub patrons were asked to rate 40 portraits (20 male, 20 female) and 20 landscape photographs as well as rating the “extent to which they believed they were intoxicated.” All 311 participants had their breath alcohol content (BrAC) measured using a breathalyzer. They consumed alcohol before the experiment, but not during it.Lead researcher Olivia M. Maynard and her colleagues commented on the results of the study, saying “we find no clear evidence for relationships between alcohol consumption and perception of attractiveness… for faces specifically or for opposite-sex faces.” In fact, there was evidence that individuals with a higher BrAC found faces of the same-sex less attractive. There was also a lack of definite support for the closing time effect.“Our study is important given the large sample size, the successful translation of an experimental, laboratory-based paradigm to a naturalistic drinking environment and the high level of public engagement with the study,” Maynard and her colleagues wrote.Because this study was conducted in the field, there were some circumstances out of the researchers’ control. Participants in the study self-administered alcohol, and there was no control group (sober adults who participated in the study). For participants, there was a very small range of BrAC, which could have limited the range of results.Researchers also did not ask participants to report their sexuality, which could have influenced rating the attractiveness of opposite-sex faces if some participants were not heterosexual. Nor did researchers require pub partons to report their relationship status or state of sexual arousal. All of these factors could have affected the current study, and should be considered when reading this article and the study. One final comment from the researchers includes a desire for more in-field studies to examine the situations in which the beer goggles effect would occur.“Future studies should use similarly ecologically-valid methodologies to further explore the conditions under which this effect may be observed and identify whether it is indeed perceptions of attractiveness which change after consumption of alcohol, or motivations. A meta-analysis of the existing literature would provide further clarification regarding the strength of evidence supporting the relationship between alcohol consumption and perceptions of attractiveness,” the researchers concluded. A recently published study failed to find evidence that drinking alcohol makes other people appear more attractive.We’ve all heard of beer goggles: someone who isn’t attractive to you at the beginning of the night suddenly turns into the sexiest person you know at the end of it. The link between alcohol consumption and perceived attractiveness of other individuals has been coined as the “beer goggles effect” — increased alcohol consumption correlated to a higher perception of attractiveness.The beer goggles effect has been studied thoroughly in laboratory settings; participants in these studies rated all faces, not just opposite-sex faces, as higher in attractiveness after consuming alcohol. This finding may indicate a “general positivity” after alcohol consumption. Another perception of attractiveness occurs when patrons perceive their fellow patrons to be more attractive right before closing time. Pinterestlast_img read more

Psychotherapy sessions are best in the morning when levels of helpful hormone are high

first_imgShare LinkedIn Email Patients make more progress toward overcoming anxiety, fears and phobias when their therapy sessions are scheduled in the morning, new research suggests.The study found that morning sessions helped psychotherapy patients overcome their panic and anxiety and phobic avoidance better, in part, because levels of cortisol — a naturally occurring hormone — are at their highest then, said clinical psychologist Alicia E. Meuret, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.“The hormone cortisol is thought to facilitate fear extinction in certain therapeutic situations,” said Meuret, lead author on the research. “Drugs to enhance fear extinction are being investigated, but they can be difficult to administer and have yielded mixed results. The findings of our study promote taking advantage of two simple and naturally occurring agents – our own cortisol and time of day.” The findings were reported in the article “Timing matters: Endogenous cortisol mediates benefits from early-day psychotherapy” in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.Co-authors from the SMU Department of Psychology are David Rosenfield, Lavanya Bhaskara and Thomas Ritz. Co-authors from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan are Richard Auchus, Israel Liberzon, and James L. Abelson.The study taps into research that anxiety and phobias are best treated by learning corrective information. Patients with anxiety and phobic disorders will overestimate the threat that a sensation or situation can cause. But by direct exposure, a patient learns that the likelihood of an expected catastrophe is very low.“For example, a patient may think that standing in an elevator could cause him or her to lose control or faint, suffocate, or may create physical symptoms that would be intolerable,” Meuret said. “By having them stand in an elevator for a prolonged time, the patient learns that their feared outcome does not occur, despite high levels of anxiety. We call this corrective learning.”However, since not all patients benefit equally from exposure therapy, researchers seek to identify ways to enhance corrective learning. To date, no simple way to augment fear extinction has been established.The hormone cortisol is thought to help the extinction of fear. It appears to suppress the fear memory established by earlier distressing encounters while at the same time helping a patient better absorb and remember the new corrective information.“In a prior study, we have shown that higher levels of cortisol during and in anticipation of exposure facilitate corrective learning,” said Meuret, an associate professor in the SMU Psychology Department and director of the SMU Anxiety and Depression Research Center in the Clinical Psychology Division of the department. “We also know that cortisol is higher early in the day. But we did not know whether cortisol would act as a mediator between time of day and therapeutic gains. This is what our study investigated.”Exposure therapy in general resulted in significant improvementsParticipants in the study were 24 people diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia, which is a fear of public places where a person feels panicked, trapped or helpless.For the study, participants underwent a standard psychotherapeutic treatment of “exposure therapy,” in which patients are exposed to situations that can typically induce their panic or fear with the goal that repeated exposure can help diminish a disabling fear response over time.Patients received weekly sessions over three weeks, each lasting, on average, 40 minutes. Exposure situations included tall buildings, highways and overpasses, enclosed places such as elevators, supermarkets, movie theaters, and public transportation such as subways and intercity trains and boats. In addition, levels of cortisol were measured at various times during each exposure session by swabbing inside the mouth for saliva.In the session following exposure, the researchers measured patients’ appraisals of the threats, their avoidance behavior, how much control they perceived themselves as having, and the severity of their panic symptoms.Assessing the results from those measurements, the researchers found the exposure therapy in general resulted in significant improvements in all measures over all time periods.Biggest gains after sessions that started earlier in the dayHowever, patients made the biggest gains in overcoming their fears after the sessions that started earlier in the day. At the next session, patients reported less severe symptoms for threat misappraisal, avoidance behaviors and panic symptom severity. They also perceived greater control over their panic symptoms.“Notably, higher cortisol was related to greater reductions in threat appraisal, perceived control and panic symptom severity at the next session,” Meuret said, “and that was the case over-and-above the effects of time-of-day, with large effect sizes.”That finding suggests that cortisol accounts for some of the therapeutic effects associated with time-of-day, she said.Because cortisol levels are generally higher in the morning, the authors speculate that higher cortisol levels may aid extinction learning, and contribute to enhanced early-day benefits of exposure sessions through such a mechanism.However, Meuret cautioned that the precise mechanism by which cortisol enhances the effectiveness of morning exposure sessions remains unclear and can’t be directly addressed from the data in this study. The sample size of the study was small and findings need to be confirmed independently in larger studies, she said.Meuret and her team suspect additional mechanisms are at play to explain the time-of-day effect. Other factors could include memory and learning and the body’s natural circadian rhythm, quantity and quality of sleep, attention control, and interactions between those factors and others.center_img Share on Twitter Pinterest Share on Facebooklast_img read more

New study proves that even optimists get the blues

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Twitter According to Sweeny, for example, researchers in the past have found that students’ predictions of their midterm grades will become increasingly pessimistic as the news of their grades approaches, patients become increasingly certain that they are riddled with disease as the news from a medical test gets closer, and voters become increasingly pessimistic about their candidates’ chances as election approaches.“Although this tendency to brace oneself for potentially bad news is common, intuition might suggest that some people are more likely to brace than others – in particular, happy-go-lucky optimists would seem immune to the anxiety and second-guessing that typically arise as the decisive moment draws near,” she said.UCR researchers tested this intuition in nine different studies, some involving undergraduate psychology students in well-controlled lab situations (like waiting for scores on a test, or for ratings of their attractiveness from peers) and others involving law graduates awaiting their bar exam results. In each study, researchers assessed a participant’s dispositional – or natural – tendency toward optimism and pessimism, and then examined whether optimists were less likely to brace for the worst as they awaited uncertain news, compared to pessimists.“Counter to intuition, optimists were not immune to feeling a rise in pessimism at the moment of truth. In fact, not a single study showed a difference between optimists and pessimists in their tendency to brace for the worst,” Sweeny said.Sweeny said that although this finding may have been surprising at first, it is clear that bracing for bad news has benefits – as this type of well-timed pessimism carries little emotional cost, and it protects people from the harsh blow of unanticipated bad news. “Fortunately, it seems that even the most ardent optimists can temper their positive outlook when it pays to do so.” Pinterest Sharecenter_img Email Waiting for those tests results? Waiting to hear who won the election? And while waiting, does the feeling of dread start to creep in?Turns out, as the moment of uncertain news draws nearer and nearer, bracing for the worst comes as second nature to optimists and pessimists alike. In a new study called “Even Optimists Get the Blues: Inter-Individual Consistency in the Tendency to Brace for the Worst,” published in the Journal of Personality, Kate Sweeny, psychology professor at the University of California, Riverside, and Angelica Falkenstein, a graduate student in psychology at UCR, find that there are no differences between optimists and pessimists when it comes to potential bad news.“The tendency to brace for the worst is actually quite common,” Sweeny said. Share on Facebooklast_img read more

New psychology research highlights the value of consistency in closeness to God

first_imgConsistency in closeness to or distance from God is associated with heightened psychological well-being, according to new research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. The findings provide evidence that the level of closeness one feels to a deity is associated with important psychological outcomes.“Some of my earlier research focused on religion and well-being. Oftentimes, I found closeness to God held unique significance for individuals’ well-being contemporaneously,” said study author Julian Culver (@JCulver89), a PhD candidate at Rice University.“I was surprised by the lack of longitudinal investigations of either attachment or closeness to God, and well-being. So, I became curious about how this relationship fares longitudinally and whether it holds the same predictive power when examined cross-sectionally.” Share on Twitter For the study, Culver analyzed data from the National Study of Youth and Religion, a longitudinal survey of 3,290 English and Spanish-speaking individuals. He focused on a subset of 1,333 God-believing individuals who are Protestant, Catholic, or Latter-day Saint.During three time points, the participants were asked “Do you believe in God, or not, or are you unsure?” and “How distant or close do you feel to God most of the time?”Those who reported becoming less close to God over time tended to also experience reductions in self-reported life purpose, personal mastery, and life satisfaction compared to those who remained consistently close to God. Surprisingly, Culver also found being consistently distant from God predicted favorable levels of life purpose and satisfaction.In other words, being consistently close to God or consistently distant was associated with better psychological outcomes than becoming closer to God or becoming more distant over time.“To me, what’s interesting about this study is that the relationship between consistency in closeness to God and well-being mirrors some of what we know about social relationships in general. That individuals’ who are inconsistently close to God fare worse than their consistently close or distant peers is understandable to anyone who has experienced a relationship characterized by give and take imbalance. The findings from the present study build on the idea that one’s relationship with God can function similar to their social relationships,” Culver told PsyPost.The study controlled for factors such as age, gender, education, personal income, and other variables. But like all research, the study includes some caveats.“The NSYR data suffers from a lack of racial and religious diversity (i.e., most respondents are white and identify as either Protestant or Catholic). So, it would be interesting to examine what consistency in closeness to God looks like among non-whites affiliated with a minority religion and whether it predicts well-being in similar ways to that of white Protestants and Catholics,” Culver explained.The study, “How Consistency in Closeness to God Predicts Psychological Resources and Life Satisfaction: Findings from the National Study of Youth and Religion“, was published September 17, 2020.(Image by Pexels from Pixabay) LinkedIn Share on Facebookcenter_img Email Share Pinterestlast_img read more

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: OTC antivirals, Ukraine aid, Amazon tribe struck, pain relievers and vaccine, cat has H1N1

first_imgNov 4, 2009Norway OKs OTC antiviral salesTo ease response to the H1N1 pandemic, Norway is allowing over-the-counter sales of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), the Associated Press (AP) reported. The new policy starts tomorrow and is in effect until the middle of 2010. Norway has ordered 9.4 million doses of vaccine, but the manufacturer has reportedly not produced enough to meet demand.EU asked to help with Ukraine outbreakPoland’s prime minister called on the European Union to help respond to the flu threat in the Ukraine, and another official warned that the virus could spread rapidly in eastern Europe, Reuters reported yesterday. The Ukrainian health ministry said today that 86 people have died of respiratory illnesses, five of them from the pandemic virus, the National News Agency of Ukraine reported today. A global team is in the country to help assess the outbreak, which has hit western regions hardest.Flu hits remote Amazon tribePandemic flu has struck an isolated Amazon Indian tribe over the past 2 weeks, killing 7 and sickening about 1,000 people, Reuters reported today. The outbreak in the Yanomami tribe, who live in an isolated area at the Venezuela-Brazil border, was described in a statement from Survival International, an indigenous people’s rights group. The group’s director said the situation requires immediate response from the two governments. Venezuela has reportedly sent a medical team.http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE5A32YI20091104Nov 4 Reuters storyUS officials say terror suspects not set to get vaccineWhite House officials yesterday denied reports that terrorism detainees at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay prison would soon receive the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, the AP reported. An earlier report from a jail official that said detainees and guards would soon get the vaccine provoked an outcry that terror suspects would get their doses before most Americans. However, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said no vaccine is at the facility, and none is on its way.http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2010193189_apusguantanamofluvaccine.htmlNov 3 AP storyPain relievers may blunt vaccine responseTaking pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce the pain of flu injections appears to blunt immune response, researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) reported recently at a conference. They found the association across a range of vaccine and pain relievers. They say that cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors block optimal production of B lymphocytes, which make antibodies. Czech researchers recently found that acetaminophen weakened infants’ response to vaccines.http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=2675Nov 3 URMC press releaseIowa cat tests positive for pandemic fluA 13-year-old Iowa house cat was recently diagnosed as having novel H1N1 after two of its three owners were sick, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported today. Iowa’s public health veterinarian Dr Ann Garvey said the cat and its owners have recovered and that people should remember to protect family pets from illnesses. The American Veterinary Medical Association said it is the first pandemic virus isolation in a cat, and it doesn’t appear the cat spread the virus.http://www.idph.state.ia.us/IdphNews/Reader.aspx?id=8FBE90B3-4667-4960-9AF5-1B9B477A3805Nov 4 IDPH press releaseCanada exports excess vaccine antigenCanada’s chief public health officer, Dr David Butler-Jones, said yesterday that the country’s Glaxo plant has exported excess bulk pandemic H1N1 vaccine antigen, the CTV and the Canadian Press reported today. Sources did not say how much antigen had been produced. Butler-Jones said domestic fill-and-finish operations have not yet been able to package all the already-produced antigen for the Canadian market. He said the export would not slow vaccine delivery to Canadians.http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091104/vaccine_antigen_091104/20091104Nov 4 CTV storylast_img read more

NEWS SCAN: Smallpox drug contract probe, childhood vaccine opt-outs

first_img Exemptions to childhood vaccines growRates of exemptions to childhood vaccination have topped 5% in eight states, according to results of an Associated Press (AP) analysis published today. The states and exemption rates for kindergartners included Alaska, 9%; Colorado, 7%; Minnesota, 6.5%; and Vermont and Washington, 6%. Oregon, Michigan, and Illinois were reported to be “close behind.” Mississippi, in contrast, had the lowest rate, at essentially 0%. For its analysis, the AP asked state health departments for kindergarten exemption rates for 2006-07 and 2010-11 and also analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report also cited pockets in some states where exemption rates are much higher, such as some rural counties in northeastern Washington where rates have even hit 50%. “Vaccine refusers tend to cluster,” said Saad Omer, an Emory University epidemiologist and vaccine researcher. The AP also found that vaccine exemptions rose in more than half of states, and 10 had increases of about 1.5 percentage points or more.Nov 28 AP reportIn related news, 77% of Washington state pediatricians said that parents sometimes or frequently ask them for alternative childhood immunization schedules (ACISs), according to a study released today by Pediatrics. Seattle researchers surveyed 209 state pediatricians and also found that 61% were comfortable using ACISs if parents requested them. However, they said they were least willing to use an ACIS for diphtheria–tetanus toxoids–acellular pertussis vaccine, Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Douglas J. Opel, MD, MPH, one of the study authors, said, “There needs to me more research into the effectiveness and safety” of ACISs, according to a HealthDay News article today. On Oct 3 the same journal published a nationwide survey that showed that 13% of parents follow an ACIS.Nov 28 Pediatrics abstractOct 4 CIDRAP News story on earlier survey Senator seeks probe of federal contract for smallpox antiviralThe head of a Senate subcommittee that oversees government contracts has asked for a review of a $433 million federal contract for an experimental smallpox drug, according to the Los Angeles Times. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., asked the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services to review the contract awarded in May to Siga Technologies for its antiviral drug known as ST-246, the story said. McCaskill is chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight. Her request followed a Nov 14 Times report that raised questions about the handling of the sole-source contract. That story said the price of $255 per dose of the drug was well above what federal officials earlier said was reasonable. Also, the contract was originally intended for a small business, but the Obama administration decided to award the work to Siga, a large company, on grounds that it was deemed the only firm able to deliver a product in 5 years, according to the Nov 14 story. The report also said that the controlling shareholder at Siga is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, a longtime Democratic Party donor. Siga, in a written statement Nov 23, said that a review of the contract would show it was “fair and reasonable” and was “negotiated in good faith in accordance with all applicable law to address an important national security need,” according to the Times.Nov 23 LA Times story Related Nov 14 CIDRAP News item Nov 28, 2011last_img read more

Foodborne Disease Scan for Jun 04, 2014

first_imgIowa egg company fined $6.8 million over 2010 Salmonella outbreakIowa egg producer Quality Egg LLC, which sold Salmonella-contaminated eggs linked to a massive outbreak in 2010, agreed to pay a $6.8 million fine after pleading guilty yesterday to misdemeanor charges, according to media reports.Tens of thousands of people were sickened in the outbreak, which began in the late summer of 2010, and upwards of 550 million eggs were recalled. The company reportedly sold tainted eggs for about 8 months beginning in January 2010, says a USA Today story.The newspaper said the company pleaded guilty to one count of bribery of a public official (a US Department of Agriculture inspector given cash to allow the sale of tainted eggs), one count of introducing misbranded (false processing and expiration dates) food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud, and one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.In addition, the company owners, Austin (Jack) DeCoster, of Turner, Maine, and his son Peter DeCoster, of Clarion, Iowa, each pleaded guilty to one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, the story said.Prosecutors in the case said that although there was no evidence that the DeCosters knew their company was selling contaminated products, they are responsible for its activities. The men could be sentenced to serve jail time of up to 1 year, pay fines of $100,000 each, and provide additional restitution for victims, says an Associated Press (AP) story. Jun 3 USA Today storyJun 4 AP story Two Salmonella strains cited in chia-linked outbreaks in US, CanadaA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update yesterday says 17 cases of illness caused by two strains of Salmonella, all of them linked to eating organic chia seed powder, have now been reported in 10 states. The case count is up by 5 since May 29.The strains involved are Salmonella Newport, responsible for 12 cases reported earlier, and Salmonella Hartford, blamed for 5 more. The latter matches the strain recently identified by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) as the cause in 5 of 9 cases of salmonellosis there that are also linked to chia seed powder; Salmonella Newport was responsible for the other 4. The CDC and PHAC are collaborating on investigating the outbreak.Two ill persons in the US outbreak have required hospitalization, as has one in Canada. Illness-onset dates ranged from Jan 21 to May 5, and patient ages range from 4 to 81 years. The update notes that illnesses after May 16 may not yet have been reported.California-based Navitas Naturals recalled products containing organic sprouted chia seed late in May. This followed a recall by Ontario-basedAdvantage Health Matters of products called Organic Traditions and Back 2 the Garden. Consumers are warned by the CDC not to eat the products, which are available in numerous stores and online and have a long shelf life. Jun 3 CDC update Jun 2 CIDRAP News item on Canadian illnesseslast_img read more