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April 15, 2010

US Library of Congress plans archive of Twitter

US Library of Congress plans archive of Twitter

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

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The library’s announcement via Twitter.
Image: Twitter.

The US Library of Congress plans to create an archive of every “tweet,” or post made on Twitter. It announced the move via Twitter.

Twitter’s general counsel Alex MacGillivray told the BBC: “I think it shows the tweets are an interesting part of the historical record. This project however is not about us, it is about our users and the fact they use the service to chronicle these amazing events. President Obama actually tweeted after he was elected. That is a big deal and it’s something he did. It is not something we imagined when we were forming the service.”

The library plans to highlight the historically significant tweets such as Barack Obama’s tweet when he won the 2008 presidential election.

Cquote1.svg I think it shows the tweets are an interesting part of the historical record. Cquote2.svg

—Alex MacGillivray, Twitter’s general counsel

Although the library plans a Twitter archive, it does not indicate a change of the Library of Congress’ focus. The library reportedly has 160 terabytes (163,840 gigabytes) of data already taken from other Internet sources.

There are around 50 million tweets sent per day, all less than 140 characters; the total number of tweets has gone into the billions.



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April 10, 2010

Baseball: Oakland Athletics defeat LA Angels 10 to 4

Baseball: Oakland Athletics defeat LA Angels 10 to 4

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010
Oakland Athletics 10 — 4 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Angel Stadium of Anaheim
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Yesterday, the Oakland Athletics defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10 to 4 at an Angels’ home game.

All of the A’s starting line up got at least one hit. The Angels first hit was in the second inning by new designated hitter Hideki Matsui.

A’s player Daric Barton reportedly twisted his right knee. This happened after Matsui’s hit. Barton tripped on grass attempting to catch Matsui’s hit ball. Manager Bob Geren remarked, “Someone in the dugout said, ‘He twisted his knee,’ and when I ran out there, I could hear fans watching the replay and giving that real ugly ‘Ooo.’ Right then, I knew it must have looked ugly. But he said he was fine.”

Mark Saxon, an ESPN sports writer, reports if the Angels lose today’s game, they will be in for their worst season start since 1961, the team’s first year. The A’s are at a four wins, one loss, only losing their first game, whereas the Angels have a four game losing streak.



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March 31, 2010

Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO

Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews discusses H1N1 with the WHO

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is a program of the United Nations and a global authority on human health. In an interview with Wikinews, the WHO tells about the current H1N1 pandemic.

The organization’s 93rd update as of March 26, 2010 states 213 countries, territories, and other communities have laboratory-confirmed cases and there have been at least 16,931 confirmed deaths, including 4,653 deaths in Europe and 7,673 in the Americas.

Wikinews reporter Mike Morales talks with Karen Mah, a media relations representative for the WHO, and asks her several questions.

Interview

Wikinews waves Left.pngMike MoralesWikinews waves Right.pngCan you tell us what exactly H1N1 is and how it affects us today?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKaren MahWikinews waves Right.pngAs of 21 March 2010, worldwide more than 213 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including over 16,931 deaths. This number is a large underestimation of total deaths with total figures unavailable until a year or two after the pandemic is declared over.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngHow does the WHO feel the media coverage has been and does the WHO suggest any changes to coverage and if so, what kind?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngWHO does not have any comment with regards to media coverage nor is it in our purview to suggest changes to coverage. The pandemic is a global event and media coverage can’t be characterized with any generalities.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngWhich areas around the world are most affected by the pandemic and why?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngCurrent disease activity and epidemiological activity indicates we are seeing the highest levels of activities occurring in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and in the tropical zone of the Americas. After a period of sustained pandemic influenza transmission in Thailand over the past two months, overall activity now appears to be decreasing. In West Africa, limited data suggests that active transmission of pandemic influenza virus persists without clear evidence of a peak in activity. In Central America and in the tropical zone of South America, an increasing trend of respiratory disease activity associated with circulation of pandemic influenza virus has been reported since early March 2010 in an increasing number of countries.

The H1N1 virus.
Image: Cybercobra.

Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngWhat advice does the WHO recommend to any areas affected by H1N1? What does the WHO recommend to governments’ health authorities of countries affected?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngThis is a very far-reaching question and answer and paraphrasing the pandemic preparedness guidelines is too simplistic. I will refer you to this page [URL below] to see the whole spectrum of guidance for countries ranging from response, surveillance, reduction of spread, travel, hygiene etc. From a WHO perspective, we have to offer the broadest range of guidance to cover developing, mid-level and developed countries.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/guidance/national_authorities/en/index.html

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngWhat does the WHO recommend for those individuals affected by H1N1? How does H1N1 affect someone who is infected?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngSince the H1N1 pandemic virus is now the dominant influenza virus circulating worldwide, most cases of influenza-like illness are likely pandemic influenza.

Typical symptoms to watch for include fever, cough, headache, body aches, sore throat and runny nose.

WHO advises health care providers to treat people with influenza-like illness based on their symptoms and the progress of their illness, and not to wait for laboratory confirmation of pandemic influenza. The pandemic H1N1 virus has already spread worldwide.

Regarding laboratory testing of cases, public health authorities and WHO partners continue to do selective testing of samples from patients with influenza-like illness to characterize outbreaks, monitor the virus and identify disease trends.

Anti-viral drugs (which are medicines that act directly on viruses to stop them from multiplying) should not be taken to prevent H1N1. There are two antiviral drugs are being used to treat pandemic influenza infections. These are oseltamivir and zanamivir, which both block the action of an influenza virus protein called neuraminidase.

For patients with symptoms of severe illness that are probably due to pandemic influenza, WHO recommends that treatment with oseltamivir should start immediately, no matter when the illness started and without waiting for laboratory results to confirm infection.

For patients at higher risk for serious disease from pandemic influenza, including pregnant women, children under age 5 and those with certain underlying medical conditions, WHO recommends treatment with either oseltamivir or zanamivir as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms, and without waiting for the results of laboratory tests.

Otherwise healthy people who are not from a higher risk group but who have persistent or rapidly worsening symptoms should be treated with antivirals. These symptoms include difficulty breathing or a high fever that lasts beyond three days.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngHow does H1N1 affect someone who is infected?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngPandemic H1N1 virus is spread from person to person in the same way that seasonal influenza viruses are spread. It is transmitted as easily as the normal seasonal flu and can be passed to other people by exposure to infected droplets expelled by coughing or sneezing that can be inhaled, or that can contaminate hands or surfaces.

Signs of the pandemic influenza are flu-like, including malaise, fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea.

The majority of people with pandemic influenza experience mild illness and recover fully without treatment. However, people should seek medical care if they experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or if a fever, and especially high fever, continues more than three days. For parents with a young child who is ill, seek medical care if a child has fast or labored breathing, continuing fever or convulsions (seizures).

Supportive care at home with plenty of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and using a pain reliever for aches and pains is adequate for recovery in most cases. A non-aspirin pain reliever should be used for children or adolescents under age 18.

The public should be made aware that there are specific groups of people who appear to be at higher risk of more complicated or severe illness which include:

  • pregnant women;
  • infants, and young children particularly under age 2;
  • people of any age with certain chronic health conditions (including asthma or lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease or some neurological conditions);
  • people with severely compromised immune systems.

Currently, people age 65 or older are the least likely to be infected with the pandemic influenza, but those who do get sick are also at high risk of developing serious complications, just as they are from seasonal flu.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngIs it known when the virus will become less virulent and cease becoming a major threat to health and of so when?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngIt is impossible to predict when the pandemic H1N1 virus will become less virulent.

Diagram showing antigenic shift.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngIs there a significant risk of H1N1 mutating and becoming more deadly?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngInfluenza viruses constantly change through a process called antigenic drift. All influenza viruses undergo this process but there is no way to predict if, when and how the pandemic H1N1 virus will shift.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngAre the current anti-flu vaccines effective and how sufficient is the current supply? Can you explain how these anti-virus vaccine work and any possible side effects?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngThe current H1N1 vaccines are effective and supply is sufficient. The safety profile of H1N1 vaccines is very good. Outcomes of studies completed to date indicate that pandemic vaccines have a similar safety record as seasonal influenza vaccines. Pandemic influenza vaccines underwent the same production and testing methods as seasonal vaccines.

The safety tracking of the vaccine for adverse events after its distribution and use worldwide has likely been the most thorough and sensitive in history.

Influenza vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

Possible side effects can depend on the type of vaccine, how it is administered and the age of the recipient. There are two main types of vaccines: one is manufactured with inactivated viruses, the other uses live viruses. Inactivated vaccines, administered by injection, commonly cause local reactions such as soreness, swelling and redness at the injection site, and less often can cause fever, muscle- or joint- aches or headache. These symptoms are generally mild, do not need medical attention, and last 1 to 2 days. Fever, aches and headaches can occur more frequently in children compared to elderly people.

Rarely, such influenza vaccines can cause allergic reactions such as hives, rapid swelling of deeper skin layers and tissues, asthma or a severe multisystem allergic reaction due to hypersensitivity to certain vaccine components.

Live vaccines are given via a nasal spray, and can commonly cause runny nose, nasal congestion, cough, and can less frequently cause sore throat, low grade fever, irritability and head- and muscle- aches. Wheezing and vomiting episodes have been described in children receiving live influenza vaccines.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngWhat action has the WHO taken, if any, to insure vaccines are available?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngDuring the first stages of the pandemic in 2009, the Director-General highlighted the need to make vaccine and medicines available to countries who would be unable to access them on their own. As the WHO pandemic vaccine donation programme was first established, all countries were surveyed by WHO, and 95 identified as having no access to pandemic vaccines, and therefore eligible for donations.

Based on the pledges of donated vaccine, a plan was prepared for a two phase approach to supply sufficient vaccines for 10% of the population in these countries; an initial supply to cover health workers and other essential workers, equivalent to 2% of the population, and a second supply of 8% for other priority groups. The sequencing of supply was based on assessments of vulnerability to the pandemic, and readiness to utilize vaccines.

To date, 25 countries have received donated H1N1 vaccine totaling more than 10 million doses, along with ancillary supplies. Another 15 to 20 countries will be receiving their vaccine shipments in the upcoming few weeks.

The 25 countries who have received shipments are: Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Fiji, Kiribati, Kosovo, Laos PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu, Cuba, Honduras, El Salvador, Kenya, Samoa, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Pakistan, [and] Philippines

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngLast November, the WHO stated the H1N1 virus is world’s most dominant virus. Is this still true?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.pngOn February 18th, WHO concluded a four-day meeting to look at vaccine strains for seasonal influenza vaccine for the 2010 and 2011 season. This is part of the routine work that WHO does twice yearly to determine vaccine strains to be included in upcoming northern and southern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccines.

During the scientific discussions which ended on the 18th of February, it was confirmed that the overwhelming number of influenza viruses that were isolated around the world were the pandemic H1N1 virus. The experts believe that based on this information that this virus will continue to be one of the dominant viruses in wide circulation in the coming fall and winter season.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngIs there anything that the WHO believes to be very important for the public to know about the H1N1?

Wikinews waves Left.pngKMWikinews waves Right.png

  • The overall impact of the pandemic has been moderate and most people experienced mild symptoms or illness. However, some groups are more vulnerable and have a higher risk of complications or severe illness, for example pregnant women, infants, young children and people with chronic diseases.
  • Many of the severe cases have been due to viral pneumonia, which is harder to treat than the bacterial pneumonia normally associated with seasonal influenza. Many of these patients have required intensive care, which has led to intensive care units being frequently overwhelmed at the peak of the outbreak.
  • Most of the deaths caused by the pandemic influenza disease occurred among younger people than is the case during seasonal influenza outbreaks, including among those who were previously healthy.
  • To protect people from infection and avoid related severe outcomes, the H1N1 vaccine is an important public health tool as long as the pandemic H1N1 virus is circulating and causing illness.
  • Since September 2009, more than 75 Member States and territories have implemented immunization programmes, and 290 million doses of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 vaccine have been administered.

Wikinews waves Left.pngMMWikinews waves Right.pngThank you for your time.

Related news

  • “WHO states H1N1 swine flu world’s most dominant virus” — Wikinews, 6 November 2009
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March 9, 2010

Research shows HIV virus may hide in bone marrow

Research shows HIV virus may hide in bone marrow

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

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HIV virus (falsely colored in green)

Recent research published in Nature Medicine two days ago shows the HIV virus may be found within the bone marrow of those affected. Kathleen Collins, the co-author of the study and professor at the University of Michigan, states the purpose of the study is to achieve “a better understanding of how HIV hides in the body.”

Recently, new antiretroviral drugs have helped slow the progression of the HIV virus as long as the patient uses these drugs for their whole life. This shows the treatment is effective, however some portion of the virus remains within the human body.

The researchers found the virus can hide in certain bone marrow cells. Collins stated that one cannot kill the bone marrows cells because this would have a lethal effect on humans, however she said “maybe we could find ways of targeting only the latently infected bone marrow cells.” Collins believes that in the future this new discovery may help scientists to kill off the HIV virus, or perhaps remove the necessity of using antiretrovirals for a lifetime.



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February 25, 2010

Whale kills trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

Whale kills trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A trainer and a whale similar to the whale involved in the incident during a SeaWorld show on February 17, 2010.
Image: Patrick Mannion.

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Dawn Brancheau, a whale trainer, died in an accident at the SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, at around 14:00 local time. The incident involved an 18-year-old killer whale, Tillikum, also called Tilly. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office report that trainer Brancheau has 16 years of experience. Brancheau was reported dead after being recovered from the pool.

Witness to the incident Victoria Biniak told WKMG-TV, “He was thrashing her around pretty good. It was violent. [The whale] …took off really fast in the tank, and then he came back, shot up in the air, grabbed the trainer by the waist and started thrashing around, and one of her shoes flew off.”

In response to this accident, SeaWorld San Diego canceled its Shamu show, a show involving the whales at the San Diego location. “We’re terribly saddened by the loss of the member of our SeaWorld family, it doesn’t matter what park,” David Koontz, a spokesperson for SeaWorld San Diego said.



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January 27, 2010

Haiti\’s banks reopen

Haiti’s banks reopen – Wikinews, the free news source

Haiti’s banks reopen

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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Banks in Haiti have reopened for the first time since the earthquake. The central bank of Haiti reopened last Thursday and privately-owned banks opened Saturday. Private banks are allowing withdrawals of up to 2,500 Haitian gourdes (equivalent to about US$63 or £29). Bank officials were prepared for large crowds with extra security personnel. Officials say providing money to the disaster-struck people is essential to get Haiti back on its feet.

As Haitians flood into the banks and transfer offices, transactions are taking up to 10 hours. Haitian officials are unable to determine the amount of money flowing in from relatives outside the earthquake-ravaged country.

At one money transfer office on Tuesday, as many as 300 people lined up. Haitian Natasha George told The New York Times that she had been waiting in line since 3 a.m.

At another office on Monday, Louise Patricia Saint Rose had been sleeping in the street and been waiting for three days for money from her husband is in the United States.

“They are stealing from us and I need it badly,” Saint Rose said. “My daughter was injured. We’re sleeping in the street — I need to buy water and food.”

According to the Voice of America the earthquake killed an estimated 110,000 people, however according to the Haitian minister, 150,000 are dead.

As many customers have lost identification documents in the earthquake, bank officials are having trouble ensuring eligibility. They are relying on personal details and information that would be known to the customer only.

Citibank, a New York bank, lost its locations due to the earthquake’s devastation. Gladys Coupet, a Citi of Haiti official, said, “No institution or individual in Haiti escaped unscathed by the tragic events of January 12th. We at Citi were no exception, having lost five of our dear employees.”



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