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China reports 3 H5N1 cases, 1 death

first_imgJan 19, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – China’s health ministry today reported three new human H5N1 avian influenza cases, one of them fatal and the other patients hospitalized in critical condition, according to a statement from the World Health Organization (WHO).In the first case, a 27-year-old woman from Jinan City in Shandong province got sick on Jan 5, was hospitalized, and died on Jan 17, the WHO reported.Public health officials are investigating the source of the woman’s H5N1 infection, the WHO said. Shandong province is in northeastern China.In the second case, a 2-year-old girl from Luliang City in Shanxi province began having symptoms on Jan 7, was hospitalized, and is in critical condition, the WHO reported.Authorities are also exploring how the girl became infected, the WHO said. Shanxi province is in the north central part of the country.The third patient, a 16-year-old boy from Huaihua City in Hunan province, became ill on Jan 8 and was hospitalized on Jan 16, where he is in critical condition, the WHO said.An investigation into the source of the boy’s illness found that he was exposed to sick and dead poultry, the WHO said. Hunan province is in south central China.China’s national laboratory confirmed all three of the cases, according to the WHO, which added that close contacts of the three cases are under medical observation, and all remain healthy so far.The illnesses and death raise China’s H5N1 case count to 34 and fatality total to 22, and these cases bring to four the number of cases in the country in as many weeks. On Jan 7 China’s health ministry announced that a 19-year-old Beijing woman who got sick on Dec 24 and died from an H5N1 infection on Jan 5.The WHO said in a press release today that it anticipates China will keep it updated on the new H5N1 cases and that the organization stands ready to provide China with technical assistance, if needed.As more people eat chicken as part of Chinese New Year celebrations, the WHO in its statement urged people to observe routine safety precautions such as ensuring that poultry is well cooked and washing hands after contact with raw meat.This year’s Chinese New Year celebration, which lasts for 15 days, starts on Jan 26.These latest H5N1 cases and fatality raise the world’s WHO-confirmed H5N1 total to 397 cases and 249 deaths.In related developments, China’s agriculture ministry is intensifying its efforts to reduce the spread of H5N1 in poultry, according to a Bloomberg News report today. The country will strengthen poultry immunization against the virus, increase vaccine production, boost monitoring of poultry markets and other high-risk areas, and improve surveillance of poultry movements across country borders, the report said.Meanwhile, York Chow, Hong Kong’s secretary for food and health, called on China to release more epidemiological information about the recent human infections, Reuters reported today. He said that an apparent lack of information about recent poultry outbreaks in light of the recent human cases raises questions about a possible change in the virus.However, about a week after the 19-year-old Beijing woman died, Chinese health officials said they had found no evidence that the virus has mutated to allow easier human-to-human transmission, according to previous media reports.Chow also expressed concern about the possible role that asymptomatic H5N1-infected chickens might be playing in the spread of the virus, Reuters reported.See also:Jan 19 WHO statementlast_img read more

‘Major League’: 30 things we still love about the classic baseball movie

first_img“Major League” hit theaters 30 years ago this weekend.   The sports comedy classic starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Wesley Snipes and Corbin Bernsen, among others, that chronicles the fictitious Cleveland Indians run to the AL East pennant still resonates as one of the best baseball movies of all time.   MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNDavid S. Ward wrote and directed the movie, which is full of unforgettable characters, one-liners and choruses of “Wild Thing.”   With that in mind, Sporting News celebrates 30 things — in no particular order — we still love about “Major League” today.   1. Rachel Phelps   The late Margaret Whitton’s portrayal of the Indians owner is chronically underrated when it comes to sports movie villains. She wants to move. She doesn’t want to feed Cha Cha real dog food. The spring training meeting is a tone-setter for the entire movie.   2. ‘Mitchell Friedman?’The guy who delivers the unforgettable one-liner after that is the guy who played the janitor in “Scrubs.” Then the groundskeepers give their hot take. It’s perfect. Speaking of one-liners …   3. ‘Juuussst a bit outside’   SN’s Ryan Fagan has ranked the best one-liners from the movie. It has become part of the day-to-day lexicon of baseball fans and sports writers for the past 30 years. How many other sports movies claim that many still-quotable one-liners? “Caddyshack” and “The Big Lebowski” are on that short list, but “Major League” dishes them out non-stop for 106 minutes. Who hasn’t started one of these only to have one of their buddies finish it? Let’s try one here. “Nice catch, Hayes … ”  4. Impersonating Lou Brown    The second he tells Charlie Donovan he has a “guy on the other line about some whitewalls,” you’re hooked. The late James Gammon is the soul of this movie, and none of us has enough gravel in our voice to do him justice. ­   5. ‘Is that you, Tolbert?’   It’s an obscure one-liner, but it’s still one I use when one of my best friends calls after a night out with too many drinks. If you’re going to call that early, at least say you’re from the Yankees.   6. Spring training   It’s impossible to pick a best part. Charlie running down the roster as Rick Vaughn gets off a motorcycle. “Veg-head.” Pedro Cerrano’s first BP. “Come on, Dorn!” Vaughn’s spring training uniform without cap and sleeves. It’s one laugh after another.   7. California Penal League   That is the name of my longest-standing fantasy baseball league, one I’ve been in since 2003. No, I haven’t stolen a car.   8. Willie Mays Hayes   Understand that ‘80s kids watched Rickey Henderson steal 1,406 bases, but Hayes, portrayed by Wesley Snipes, was just as captivating. The scene where Hayes wakes up in his bed in the parking lot and still wins the race is the best. How many baseball fans wanted to buy 100 pairs of gloves after seeing that?  9. Red tags   The astute viewer knows poor Gentry died and went to the minors.  10. Pedro Cerrano   He wanted religious freedom. Dennis Haysbert went on to other movie and TV roles and has been the voice of Allstate forever, but nothing tops seeing Cerrano smack the ball into the trees on one pitch then whiffing on the curveball the next.   MORE: The inside story of “The Naked Gun” baseball game11. Eddie Harris   I watched a lot of movies with my father, and I never heard him laugh harder than he did when Cerrano and Harris, played by Chelcie Ross, nearly started a “Holy War” over Jesus’ ability to hit a curveball. The back and forth between the two throughout the entire movie is outstanding. Of course, they have a mutual friend.   12. Jobu   “Is very bad to steal Jobu’s rum. Is very bad.” Harris finds out the hard way.  13. Jake Taylor   Berenger plays the aging veteran to perfection, and this was part of an ‘80s run in which he played Sam Weber in “The Big Chill” and Sgt. Barnes in “Platoon.” You grow to appreciate Berenger’s role as Taylor as you hit your mid 30s — and you probably quote him more often than any other player in this movie.  14. ‘We got uniforms and everything.’   When Taylor walks into the wrong apartment looking for Lynn Wells, his love interest played by Rene Russo, he has an encounter with her boyfriend and some of Cleveland’s elite who forgot that the city has a team. This awkward scene is flawless from start to finish.   15. Harry Doyle   Movies use gimmick announcers all the time. This movie goes from good to great because of Doyle. Bob Uecker’s play-by-play is what we still say in our living rooms while watching games. The Opening Day scene is Uecker’s finest work, and his side-kick Monte says 15 words the entire movie. Who wouldn’t give anything to hear a fictional “Teepee Talk” podcast? ­ MORE: In defense of “Major League II”16. Phelps’ sky box for the opener   Complete with white picket fence and umbrella drinks. “Here’s to the thrill of defeat.”   17. The superfans   Randy Quaid took it to the next level in “Major League II,” but the original group of die-hards sees it through from start to finish. The “too high” exchange is amazing.   18. Clu Haywood   Pete Vuckovich, a former Brewers pitcher, plays the role of Yankees slugger to perfection. He’s a dip-spitting, home-run hitting nemesis. We’re not sure whether he’s a convicted felon.   19. Road trip reading   The reading choices on a brutal road trip include “Song of Hiawatha,” “The Deerslayer” and, of course, “Crime and Punishment.”   20. ‘Uh-oh, Rexy, I don’t think this one’s got the distance.’ Can you recite word for word what Taylor told Rexman behind the plate before he pops out?   21. Roger Dorn  Corbin Bernsen nails the role of the arrogant veteran third baseman, and he even learns how to field by the end of the season. Dorn becomes more of a parody in the sequels, but he’s the perfect antagonist for Vaughn in this one. Every good team has one of these guys.  22. Charlie Donovan   The GM plays the role of superspy throughout the movie and lets Phelps know exactly how he feels at the end. Charles Cyphers gives an underrated performance as one of the film’s glue guys.   23. ‘Well, then I guess there’s only thing left to do.’   If you don’t know what Taylor says next, then we can’t help you.   24. ‘Pennant Fever’  The unmistakably ‘80s montage music, composed by Oscar-nominated composer James Newton Howard, carries the Indians to a one-game playoff with the Yankees. It really should be played before every postseason game.    25. Rick Vaughn  It’s taken us a long time to get to Charlie Sheen, who created a cult icon with Vaughn, the bad-boy flame-throwing pitcher with control issues who starts off with an ejection and ends up a Cy Young candidate. Sheen had already done “Platoon,” “Wall Street” and “Young Guns” to this point, not to mention “Eight Men Out” — which a lot of baseball fans think is a better movie. But that’s not Sheen’s movie. This one is.  MORE: Ranking the best baseball movies of the ’90s26. Cerrano’s homer   Cerrano lets Jobu know how he feels and finally hits a curveball to tie the game against the Yankees. You know what he said, too. He gets a bonus point for carrying the bat around the bases.  27. ‘Wild Thing’   We know Phelps’ feeling on the song, but Vaughn’s entrance in the ninth is wonderfully over the top. Brown tells him to forget about the curveball, and Vaughn gets Haywood on a 101 mph heater.  28. The Duke   The Yankees’ closer, played by former MLB pitcher Willie Mueller, is a head-hunter who allegedly threw at his son in a father-son game. The look he gives Taylor when he calls his shot before brushing him back is priceless.  29. Taylor’s bunt   It goes against the usual game-winning home run script. Taylor, the veteran catcher with bad knees, legs out a bunt while Hayes scores from second. It was an original movie ending — and perfect.  30. It’s so Cleveland to this day   That Clevelanders still embrace this movie tells all you need to know. You still see Vaughn jerseys at Progressive Field at every game. The Indians have been to the playoffs 11 times and to the World Series three times since, and every time Cleveland inches closer to ending its World Series championship drought that dates to 1948, this movie comes up. “The Natural,” “Bull Durham” and “Field of Dreams” were also part of the unmatched run of 1980s baseball movies, and you can argue those blockbusters are better. That’s fine.   “Major League” is the working-class baseball movie that still resonates with me most, and with good reason. You can still have a conversation with a friend using just those one-liners. It’s perfect start to finish. This movie hit home the second Randy Neuman belted out “There’s a red moon rising, on the Cuyahoga River, rolling into Cleveland to the lake.”  Thirty years later it hasn’t changed, and 30 years from now we’ll still be dishing out those one-liners when we’re too old to go diving into lockers.  “Burn on, big river, burn on.”last_img read more