Tests show high H7N9 antibodies in Chinese poultry workers | CIDRAP

The researchers found a hemagglutination-inhibition antibody titer of at least 1:160 in 7.2% of poultry workers in May and in 14.9% in December, a rise that was consistent with the second wave of H7N9 activity in China, with Guangdong as one of the hot spots. None of the participants had confirmed H7N9 infections, and investigators didn’t find evidence of infection in any of the general public group for either testing period.

The team pointed out that other studies of H7N9 seroprevalence in Chinese poultry workers showed much lower levels. For example, a study based on sampling in Zhejiang province in April and May of 2013 found 1.3% had antibody titers suggesting earlier infection.

Looking for risk factors, the researchers found that being female and having occupational exposure for 10 or more years was associated with infection. The team said the increased risk in women may reflect their having the major share of poultry duties for that region, which include selling poultry, defeathering, and cleaning. They said the longer work history could be related to reduced preventive measures or may reflect greater susceptibility to infection in older people.

They found that working in a retail market, rather than a wholesale setting, was associated with antibody titers indicative of infection in the analysis of samples from May. The researchers wrote that the shorter stays in warehouse markets and twice-a-week disinfection protocols might limit workers’ exposure to the H7N9 virus.

via Tests show high H7N9 antibodies in Chinese poultry workers | CIDRAP.

#YesAllWomen reveals the constant barrage of sexism that women face | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free | theguardian.com


The reason women mobilized so quickly after the shooting is because we recognized immediately the language and ideology in Rodger’s videos and manifesto: the over-the-top sexual entitlement; the rage against women who “dared” to reject him; the antiquated, but nonetheless terrifying, belief that women should not be in control of their own sexual choices. Regardless of Rodger’s mental health issues – which we still don’t know much about – his ideas were not “crazy” by the standards of the world today. They are the norm.

So students protested in a walk to Rodger’s apartment holding signs with slogans like, “Nobody is entitled to a woman’s body”. A new Tumblr, When Women Refuse, listed story after story of women who suffered violence after rejecting a man’s sexual advances. And the Twitter hashtag #YesAllWomen went viral as hundreds of thousands of people shared their experiences with misogyny.

via #YesAllWomen reveals the constant barrage of sexism that women face | Jessica Valenti | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

How Maya Angelou Became San Francisco’s First African-American Female Streetcar Conductor: SFist

In 1944, at the age of 16, Maya Angelou walked into Muni’s personnel department to ask for an application to become a streetcar conductor. She had moved to San Francisco from St. Louis with her mother, Vivian Baxter (described in today’s NYT obit as “beautiful and volatile”), and dropped out of high school two years earlier, and she had always admired the tailored uniforms the female streetcar conductors wore, outfitted with change dispensers on the front, and she thought to herself “that’s a job I want.”

via How Maya Angelou Became San Francisco’s First African-American Female Streetcar Conductor: SFist.

Watch: Israeli forces detain 4 teenage girls in south Hebron hills | Maan News Agency

Israeli forces on Tuesday detained four Palestinian girls in the south Hebron hills after a settler accused them of stealing cherries, human rights group B’Tselem said.

The girls, aged 11 to 15, were on their way home from school with an Israeli army escort when Israeli police arrested them. They were taken to an Israeli police station in Hebron with no adult accompaniment and held for four hours until being handed over to Palestinian police and released.

via Watch: Israeli forces detain 4 teenage girls in south Hebron hills | Maan News Agency.

Puerto Ricans Rally Against Monsanto and Genetically Modified Foods

Repeating Islands


A demonstration held yesterday in San Juan, Puerto Rico helped the international protest called against Monsanto to reject that company from providing products for agriculture and in general against genetically modified (GM) crops, The Costa Rica News reports.

The march was organized in Puerto Rico by the multisectoral group Nothing Santo About Monsanto, whose spokesman, agronomist Ian Pagan, said that the aim of the event is to raise awareness of the threat of genetically modified foods and their effects on health.

Pagan said that on the Caribbean island the problem is more serious since about 60% of the products found in supermarkets in Puerto Rico have been genetically modified.

The agronomist stressed that in recent years Puerto Rico has become a global center of experimental GM crops on large tracts of land on the island dedicated to genetic modification, a fact, he said, that is little known by the local…

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MERS: Impact of comorbidity on mortality, revisited

Mens et Manus

While the MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia has been winding down, I’ve been retroactively adding newly announced deaths to previously reported cases. (Given the ~15 day lag time between onset of symptoms and death, I expect that there’ll be more deaths to add to the tally in the days ahead.)

Recently, I was able to match the vast majority of deaths announced thus far to their respective database case entries, giving us a clearer picture of what case fatality rate has really looked like in recent weeks. As of today – May 27th – only 5 deaths remain unmatched, all from the KSA. It’s certainly possible that I’ve mismatched some of these retroactively-added deaths, despite stringent triangulation using age, gender, location, and (more recently) reporting date data. This said, I feel confident enough in the data as they stand today to share an up-to-date “redo” of the comorbidity/mortality relative risk…

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