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People like Malami are the reason South-East supports IPOB’s ESN —Gov Umahi

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The Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has called on the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to be mindful of his utterances as words and actions by government officials are the reason many people in the South-East tend to support the military arm of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

Umahi, who was a guest on a Channels Television programme on Thursday, was reacting to Malami’s comments during the week where he compared banning of open grazing by southern governors to the banning of spare parts dealing by northern governors.

The governor said, “anyone opposed to the ban on open grazing is saying that the killings going on in different parts of the country, especially the South, should continue.”

The Ebonyi governor pointed out that the killings and destruction of farms in the South-East by herders gave birth to the ESN and the rise of other ethnic militia groups in the South to protect their people as it seems they have lost faith in the Federal Government’s ability to protect them.

Umahi added that though governors in the region do not support the ESN, the people seem to have more trust in them than in the Federal Government, and such statements coming from Malami would further alienate the people and cause more distrust for the government.

Umahi stressed that the Federal Government has been advised to treat cattle rearing as businesses by funding ranches, especially in the North, adding that even though the northern governors are willing, the move is being frustrated by individuals who have vested interests.

Read also: IPOB says Nigerian Army lied over arrest of alleged ESN second-in-command

“In the South, we don’t have cattle routes but in the North they have, so nobody is going to say ‘let’s ban open grazing in some areas in North where there are cattle routes the way they move constitutionally from one point to the other.

“But in the South there are no cattle routes. For you to move with your cattle from one point to the other, you have to move through farms, you have to move through population dense areas and this is not very good.

“And that’s of course what the Southern governors and in particular the South-East are saying, ‘let’s go back to our traditional method of relationship.

“We will no longer allow you to take your cattle from one local government to the other. And the implication is that these foreign herders also come in terms of mobile herders with AK-47.

“So anybody that says there should be no ban on open grazing is on the other hand saying that these killings should continue and that’s what gave birth to ESN whether we support it as Governors. We don’t.

“But the people tend to support it because of the foreign herders that pretend to be rearing cattle and they’re killing people.

“We’ve encouraged the Federal Government, let’s treat this cattle rearing as businesses.

“Take money from the Federation account and develop ranches where there are designated ranches, especially in the North and the northern governors are willing but it’s being frustrated.

By Isaac Dachen…

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Pratiksha Ullu Web Series Episode, Review, Star Cast, Storyline, Actress Real Name, Images

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India’s popular streaming platform, ULLU is back with another web series to entertain the audience. The platform has been coming with back-to-back amazing web series for the fans and now, the series is all set to release one more web series for their viewers. Well, ULLU’s makers have brought some real-based story and again, they will release the real-based story on its platform.

Pratiksha Ullu Web Series

Pratiksha is new upcoming web series of ULLU’s platform and the trailer has been released on Youtube for all the fans. They can watch the trailer and leave their reviews in the comment section. For a very long time, the platform has released some amazing web series.

Palang Tod Anniversary Gift Ullu Web Series Episode Review Star Cast Actress Real Name Images

The trailer was released on October 19, 2021, on Youtube by the official ULLU platform and since then, the trailer has captured the attention of many fans and gained 32K views within 2 hours. Along with this, the trailer got 1.6K likes. Maybe, the popularity of the series is increasing and fans are attracting to the story.

The trailer just showed up a story of a suicide murder and fans always want to watch something thrilling and drama. This web series contains both things and definitely, the viewers will love this series as always. Now, we are going to share some important details of the web series.

Pratiksha Ullu Web Series Episode, Review

As per the trailer, the story of the new web series is based on real-life and the story shows the life of Pratiksha Singh who is the star of the Bollywood industry. One day, suddenly, she committed suicide but during the investigation, it was found that it was not a suicide, it was a planned murder. Now, the web series will open new twists and turns. So, wait for the official release.

The web series is showing some popular cast but some new characters have not been identified yet and their name are still secret. But, we can recognize some more popular celebrities who have worked in various Bollywood movies.

Pratiksha ULLU’s Web Series: Cast

Indian actor Arya Babbar as Chirag and Manini Dey as Police Inspector will be seen in the web series. They both are playing important role in the series and before their official release, they are receiving some good responses from their fans.

Well, with the official trailer release, the makers also announced the release date of the series and you can watch this on the official release date. As per the sources, the web series will release on October 26, 2021, on the official ULLU app or website. Maybe, there is a single episode and the episode has a running time of 25 minutes. First of all, you need a subscription package of the platform to watch this series.



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Increased Incidence of Melioidosis in Far North Queensland, Queensland, Australia, 1998–2019 – The Maravi Post

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Disclaimer: Early release articles are not considered as final versions. Any changes will be reflected in the online version in the month the article is officially released.

Author affiliations: Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia (S. Smith, J. Stewart, L. Fairhead, J. Hanson); Tropical Public Health Services, Cairns (P. Horne, S. Rubenach, R. Gair); University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (J. Hanson)

Burkholderia pseudomallei, an environmental gram-negative bacterium, causes the disease melioidosis. Although infection is frequently asymptomatic, melioidosis may be rapidly fatal for patients with underlying conditions that increase the risk for invasive disease. Modeling suggests that B. pseudomallei is ubiquitous in the tropics and that the global burden of disease is expected to rise (1). Indeed, increased melioidosis incidence has been documented in some countries (2). Although this increase may be associated with improved diagnostic capacity, it may also be explained by a growing burden of predisposing concurrent medical conditions or by greater B. pseudomallei exposure from environmental disruption (3,4). Changing weather patterns also have the potential to increase melioidosis incidence (5).

Figure 1

Cases of melioidosis in the Cairns area, Far North Queensland, Queensland, Australia, January 1998–December 2019. A) 1998–2002; B) 2003–2007; C) 2008–2011; D) 2012–2015; E) 2016–2019. Map shows location of Far North Queensland.

Figure 1. Cases of melioidosis in the Cairns area, Far North Queensland, Queensland, Australia, January 1998–December 2019. A) 1998–2002; B) 2003–2007; C) 2008–2011; D) 2012–2015; E) 2016–2019. Map shows location of Far…

B. pseudomallei is endemic to Far North Queensland (FNQ), a region in the northernmost part of the state of Queensland, Australia (Figure 1). Incidence of melioidosis in the Torres Strait Islands in the region’s north is among the highest reported in published series of melioidosis cases in Australia (4,6). During the past 20 years, the FNQ population has grown rapidly, predominantly in the city of Cairns, the region’s major industrial hub, and in the nearby towns (Cairns area, in and around Cairns). This growth has necessitated substantial expansion of local infrastructure, including 2-phase development of a large motorway on the city’s southern outskirts during 2011–2017. Surveillance data suggest that this development coincided with a marked increase in the local incidence of melioidosis, primarily in the Cairns area. We aimed to determine if there was any temporospatial association between the motorway construction and the increasing incidence of melioidosis in the region or if there were other possible explanations for any observed change, with a particular focus in the Cairns area.

The Study

Cairns Hospital is the sole public microbiological service provider for FNQ, a region of >380,000 km2 (7). We reviewed all culture-confirmed cases of B. pseudomallei infection identified in the hospital’s laboratory during January 1, 1998–December 31, 2019. Clinical details of each case were recorded as described by J.D. Stewart et al. (4); predisposing conditions were diabetes mellitus (glycated hemoglobin ≥6.5%), hazardous alcohol use, chronic lung disease, chronic renal disease, and immunosuppression. We used data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to calculate disease incidence and from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to record local climatic factors including rainfall, temperatures, cloud cover, dew points, and cyclones. For our analyses we used Stata version 14.2 statistical software (https://www.stata.com) and determined trends over time by using an extension of the Wilcoxon rank-sum test and using year of presentation as a continuous variable (8). We constructed maps by using MapInfo Pro 2019 Geographic Information System software (https://support.precisely.com); in the absence of a clear occupational or recreational exposure, we used participants’ residential addresses as the site of B. pseudomallei exposure. The study was approved by the Far North Queensland Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC/15/QCH/46-977).

A total of 297 cases of melioidosis were diagnosed during the study period, of which 284 were acquired from FNQ and included in our analysis. The mean annual incidence in FNQ increased from 4.0 (95% CI 2.7–5.2) cases/100,000 population during 1998–2002 to 9.9 (95% CI 4.9–14.9) cases/100,000 population during 2016–2019 (p<0.001) (Table 1). In the Cairns area, incidence rose from 0.6 (95% CI 0.1–1.1) cases/100,000 population during 1998–2002 to 6.6 (95% CI 3.0–10.2) cases/100,000 population during 2016–2019 (p<0.001) (Table 2; Figure 1).

During the study period, the proportion of patients in FNQ with different predisposing conditions for melioidosis did not change. The proportion of bacteremic patients also remained stable (Table 1). The case-fatality rate declined during the study period (Table 1).

In the Cairns area, where increased incidence was more marked, the small increases in mean temperature, cloud cover, and dew points in the final period of the study did not reach statistical significance. During the study period, 14 cyclones came within 200 km of Cairns, but only 1 occurred during 2016–2019 (p = 0.86) (Appendix).

Figure 2

Cases of melioidosis occurring near to a motorway upgrade in southern Cairns, Far North Queensland, Queensland, Australia, 1998–2019.

Figure 2. Cases of melioidosis occurring near to a motorway upgrade in southern Cairns, Far North Queensland, Queensland, Australia, 1998–2019.

Of the 284 cases included in the study, 111 (39%) were in the Cairns area; only 3 of these patients reported having an occupation in construction. Before commencement of the southern motorway expansion in the Cairns area in 2011, only 1/19 (5%) cases in the Cairns area were within 1,000 m of the existing road and 2/19 (11%) were within 2,000 m. However, after January 2012, a total of 92/168 (55%) cases occurred in the Cairns area, of which 15/92 (16%) were within 1,000 m of the highway construction and 27/92 (29%) within 2,000 m (Figure 2).

Conclusions

The incidence of melioidosis in FNQ is rising, increasing during the study period by ≈10-fold in the Cairns area. The proportion of bacteremic patients has not changed, suggesting improved diagnosis. Similarly, we found no statistically significant change in climate or frequency of cyclones. The proportion of patients who had the common predisposing conditions remained similar. However, urban expansion may be contributing because almost a third of cases in the past 8 years of the study period occurred within 2,000 m of development of a large motorway. Of note, the motorway is built predominantly through alluvial plain soils with moderate clay content and poor drainage, which favor B. pseudomallei growth (9).

Increased rainfall, dew points, cloud cover, and temperatures have been associated with increased melioidosis cases; however, these climatic factors were stable over our study period (5). Cyclones have been linked to increased melioidosis cases; however, we did not observe that association in FNQ (10). Indeed, since 2015 when melioidosis incidence in the Cairns area sharply increased, there has been only 1 cyclone within 200 km of the area.

Why the rates of bacteremic melioidosis remain higher in FNQ than in other parts of Australia remains unclear (11). The higher rates may be partly explained by fewer diagnoses of cutaneous disease in rural and remote communities; however, skin swab samples are frequently taken to identify other pathogens, and skin and soft tissue B. pseudomallei infections are uncommon in urban areas, where most new cases have been identified (12). Virulence factors in local B. pseudomallei strains may contribute (13). Despite the increasing incidence, the overall case-fatality rate from melioidosis in FNQ decreased significantly during the study period, which can probably be explained by early recognition and prompt access to multimodal intensive care unit support.

Among the limitations of our study, data collection was predominantly retrospective; in addition, in the absence of clear inoculation with B. pseudomallei, we assumed residential addresses to be the sites of exposure. Domestic gardens are a source of melioidosis in Australia, but it is possible that unrecorded patient movements may have resulted in exposure to B. pseudomallei elsewhere (14). Additional confounding factors that increase the risk for melioidosis (e.g., socioeconomic disadvantage) may help explain regional variations in incidence, although the local geographic distribution of this socioeconomic disadvantage has not substantially changed in the past 20 years (15). In conclusion, although host factors and climate continue to influence the risk of acquiring melioidosis, we hypothesize that urban expansion and construction in soils harboring B. pseudomallei may explain the recent rapid increase in Far North Queensland, Australia.

Dr. Smith is an infectious diseases and general internal medicine physician in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. His research interests include melioidosis, leptospirosis, and management of severe clinical manifestations of tropical diseases.

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The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.

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SARS-CoV-2–Specific Antibodies in Domestic Cats during First COVID-19 Wave, Europe – The Maravi Post

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Disclaimer: Early release articles are not considered as final versions. Any changes will be reflected in the online version in the month the article is officially released.

Author affiliations: University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany (C. Schulz, M. Mirolo, H. Volk, M. Gonzalez-Hernandez, F. Kaiser, M. von Köckritz-Blickwede, A. Osterhaus); Artemis One Health Research Foundation, Delft, the Netherlands (B. Martina, M. Mirolo); LABOklin, Kissingen, Germany (E. Müller, R. Klein); Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht, the Netherlands (H. Egberink)

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, causes high rates of illness and death among humans. SARS-CoV-2 is a newly recognized member of the genus Betacoronavirus, family Coronaviridae, that infects humans. An early serosurvey among domestic cats in Wuhan, China, during January–March 2020 reported 14.7% seropositivity (1). Experimental infections demonstrated susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection in cats and other carnivore species, such as ferrets (Mustela putorius furo), minks (Neovison vison), and to a lesser extent domestic dogs (2,3), and confirmed anecdotal observations of naturally occurring human-to-animal transmissions (4,5). Respiratory and gastrointestinal signs were observed in SARS-CoV-2–infected cats (68). We conducted a seroprevalence study for SARS-CoV-2–specific antibodies among domestic cats in Europe during and after the first COVID-19 pandemic wave, using a plaque-reduction virus neutralization test (VNT) and a SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain–specific ELISA (RBD-ELISA).

The Study

We analyzed serum samples collected from 2,160 domestic cats during April–June 2020. Samples had been sent to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory (LABOklin; Kissingen, Germany) for diagnostic purposes unrelated to suspicion of SARS-CoV-2 infection (9). Samples were from 1,136 cats in Germany, 331 in the United Kingdom, 333 in Italy, and 360 in Spain. Among 1,799 samples with demographic data, cats ranged from 0.1–23 years of age (median and mean age 11 years). We estimated a minimum of 300 total samples per location to enable a realistic estimation for each location. To confirm specificity of the assays to detect SARS-CoV-2–specific antibodies, we included 25 prepandemic cat serum samples and 25 serum samples from cats that tested positive for feline coronavirus/feline infectious peritonitis (FCoV/FIP) by NovaTec VetLine (Novatec Immundiagnostica GmbH, https://www.novatec-id.com), a commercial antibody test, in the screening.

We tested all serum samples by VNT, as previously described (10). We considered serum samples positive when titers were >20, expressed as the reciprocal of the dilution that gave >80% reduction of stained cells in the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT80) (Appendix).

We also tested serum samples with an indirect ELISA we developed and validated inhouse. We used an ELISA previously used for detecting SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies in human serum (11) and replaced the anti-human IgG conjugate with an anti-cat IgG conjugate (Appendix).

We evaluated performance characteristics of the cat ELISA-RBD by using Pearson correlation of the results obtained by ELISA-RBD and Gaussian distribution analyses for the VNT. We also calculated diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA-RBD compared with VNT. We conducted data analyses using R (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, https://www.r-project.org) and Prism version 9 (GraphPad Software Inc., https://www.graphpad.com). We calculated SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in cats separately for each country.

Figure

Figure. Overall seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 neutralizing antibodies in 2,160 domestic cats, by month and country, during the first coronavirus disease pandemic wave, Europe, April–August 2020. Numerals…

We found overall SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among cats was 4.2% in Germany, 3.3% in the United Kingdom, 4.2% in Italy, and 6.4% in Spain (Table 1; Figure). Among all 2,160 cat serum samples tested, 96 (4.4%, 95% CI 3.6%–5.4%) were positive by VNT and 92 (4.3%, 95% CI 3.4%–5.2%) by RBD-ELISA. The RBD-ELISA showed a diagnostic sensitivity of 90.6% (95% CI 90.0%–91.2%) and specificity of 99.8% (95% CI 99.8%–99.8%) compared with VNT (Table 2). Furthermore, correlation (r = 0.9, 95% CI 0.9–0.9) and Gaussian distribution analyses (r2>0.7) revealed high agreement between VNT and RBD-ELISA sensitivities. All 25 prepandemic serum samples and 25 FCoV/FIP-positive samples tested SARS-CoV-2–negative in both the VNT and RBD-ELISA (data not shown), confirming the specificity of the assay for measuring SARS-CoV-2–specific antibodies.

Our study of domestic cat serum from 4 selected countries showed that during the first COVID-19 wave in Europe, >4% of domestic cats had been infected with SARS-CoV-2, probably through their contacts with infected humans. Because serum samples were sent to the veterinary diagnostic laboratory for conditions unrelated to a suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, our data might not fully represent the overall seropositivity of the domestic cat population in Europe.

We used a VNT and an RBD-ELISA based on the original SARS-CoV-2 wild-type isolate (Wuhan-Hu-1, GenBank accession no. MN908947.3). The RBD-ELISA proved to have a high sensitivity and specificity compared with the VNT (Table 2), but 5 low-titer (titer = 20) VNT-positive samples remained undetected by the RBD-ELISA. These samples might have remained undetected because of the high specificity of RBD-ELISA, which detects antibodies toward the single spike protein ectodomain. Unlike RBD-ELISA, VNT might identify a broader range of virus neutralizing antibodies, including those directed against other domains of the spike protein. Of note, the only correlation of virus protection we have to date is virus neutralization, which apparently correlates well with RBD-ELISA positivity. For serologic screening and for individual diagnostic testing of domestic cats, the RBD-ELISA could replace the VNT, thus avoiding the use of live SARS-CoV-2 under Biosafety Level 3 laboratory conditions. We further confirmed specificities of the VNT and RBD-ELISA by showing that prepandemic and FCoV/FIP-positive cat serum samples were negative in both assays. This finding excluded the detection of cross-reactive antibodies against feline alphacoronaviruses (4) and alphacoronaviruses of other animal species that might infect cats (4,12). Our data contrast a heavily affected area in China at the onset of the pandemic from which seropositivity levels of domestic cats ranged <15% (1), although those results were from relatively fewer tested cats and used a different assay.

Conclusions

During the first COVID-19 pandemic wave, reported seroprevalence levels in domestic cats ranged from 0.4% in the Netherlands (4) to 23% among cats in COVID-19–positive households in France (13). Similar seroprevalence levels in cats and humans in the same areas found by us and others suggest that in the absence of another known source (4,13; C. Schulz, unpublished data) (Appendix Table), SARS-CoV-2 infections in cats are most likely due to human-to-cat contact transmission.

Most natural SARS-CoV-2 infections of cats appear to run a mild or subclinical course, with respiratory or gastrointestinal clinical signs reported in confirmed natural infections (68). Evidence from experimental studies suggests that cats are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and can maintain the virus within a cat population and spill the infection backward or forward to other species (2,3,14). However, no evidence of cat-to-human transmission, nor of cat-specific mutations or variants of SARS-CoV-2, has been detected thus far (8,12,15). This finding contrasts reports on minks kept in farms, where mink-to-human spillback infections and mink-specific mutations have been reported (5). Although no evidence currently suggests that domestic cats play a role in the epidemiology of human SARS-CoV-2 infection, clinicians and veterinary practitioners should recommend that SARS-CoV-2–infected persons avoid close contact with their domestic cats and practice the same nonpharmaceutical prevention measures toward cats as they do to prevent human-to-human infection.

Dr. Schulz is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany. Her research interests include the pathogenesis and epidemiology of emerging and vectorborne diseases. Dr. Martina is a senior researcher at Artemis One Health Research Foundation, Delft, the Netherlands. His research interests include the pathogenesis of and intervention strategies against emerging virus infections.

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The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors’ affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.

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