May 11, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The city of Edmonton, Alta., recently announced that it was stockpiling an herbal supplement in the hope of boosting the immunity of police, firefighters, and other essential workers during an influenza pandemic.By buying a ginseng product from CV Technologies, Inc., a company based in Edmonton, the city has become the first in North America to add an herbal supplement to its pandemic stockpile, according to media reports.The supplement, COLD-fX, is a proprietary extract of North American ginseng that contains what the company calls unique polysaccharide components. It is Canada’s top-selling over-the-counter cold and flu remedy, according to an Apr 23 company press release. Warren Michaels, CV Technologies’ vice president of media relations, told CIDRAP News the company launched COLD-fX in the United States in October 2006 and that sales have been modest.City says decision took timeBob Black, Edmonton’s director of emergency preparedness, said in the CV Technologies press release that COLD-fX is another tool the city can use for pandemic preparedness. “There are so many unknowns in planning for a possible pandemic that anything we can do to be prepared makes sense,” he said. “We need to take every reasonable precaution to help our emergency personnel stay on the job, so they can help others.”The stockpile will be used to treat 5,000 key city employees, such as police, firefighters, paramedics, and waste disposal workers. It consists of 600,000 pills, an 8-week supply, according to an Apr 25 report by the Toronto Globe and Mail.CV Technologies, which pitched the stockpiling idea to Edmonton’s pandemic planners, said it would split the $250,000 cost of the program with the city as part of the company’s social responsibility program. Black told CIDRAP News that the agreement stipulates that Edmonton will pay $30,000 up front to secure access to a stockpile of COLD-fX and will be required to pay its remaining share only if and when the city needs the remedy in a pandemic setting.The product has a 5-year shelf life, but the company said it would make sure the city has access to a fresh supply regardless of when it uses the stockpile.Jacqueline Shan, PhD, DSc, CV Technologies’ chief executive officer and chief scientific officer, said that in a pandemic, “COLD-fX may help provide additional protection to front line workers by enhancing their immune systems” until an effective vaccine becomes available.Black said the city spent more than a year considering if it should stockpile COLD-fX. Senior officials and an epidemiologist from the city’s occupational health and safety office were involved in the discussions. “It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. On the balance, it seemed like a prudent thing to do” he said.Emergency preparedness officials are faced with tough questions about whether workers, particularly those in health and public safety jobs, like paramedics, firefighters, and police, will come to work during a pandemic, Black said. Having an herbal remedy on hand that might boost immunity could potentially make employees feel more confident about showing up for work, he said.Canadian health officials may have a heightened sensitivity about protecting workers during a public health emergency because of their experience with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003, Black said. A final report on the outbreak that was issued in January faulted hospital officials for not doing more to protect their workers; nine hospital workers in Toronto contracted SARS while caring for critically ill patients.Studies suggest possible benefitsSome randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have suggested that COLD-fX can help people reduce their number of colds and the duration and severity of symptoms.Two controlled trials were described in one report in the January 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The researchers evaluated the effect of COLD-fX on the number of laboratory-confirmed acute respiratory illnesses in 198 nursing home and assisted-living residents (average ages, 83.5 and 81) in the 2000 and 2000-01 flu seasons.Ninety percent of the subjects had received the influenza vaccine. Half received a 200-mg COLD-fX tablet twice a day, while the others received placebo tablets.Investigators found that more people in the placebo group (9 of 101 subjects) than in the treatment group (1 of 97 subjects) were diagnosed with flu or respiratory syncytial virus. They calculated that the overall risk was reduced by 89% in the treatment group and concluded that COLD-fX was a safe, well-tolerated, and potentially effective treatment for preventing acute respiratory illnesses.During the 2003-04 cold and flu season, another research group, headed by Gerald N. Predy of the regional public health agency based in Edmonton, studied whether the ginseng supplement could prevent colds in a group of 323 Edmonton adults aged 18 to 85 who had not received seasonal flu vaccination. Their findings appeared in the October 2005 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).The volunteers, who had a history of at least two colds the previous season, randomly received two COLD-fX capsules or a placebo daily for 4 months. Colds were verified by a symptom scoring system and graded on a 4-point severity scale.Researchers found that those who took COLD-fX had fewer colds and the colds they did have were milder and less persistent. The authors concluded that the treatment appeared to reduce the number of recurrent colds by almost 13%, the severity of colds by 15.4%, and the average duration of colds by 2.4 days.In a commentary published in the same issue of CMAJ, Ronald B. Turner, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, wrote that problems with natural remedy studies typically include a lack of information about the active ingredients they contain, lack of a clear understanding of the mechanism of action, and lot-to-lot variability in the products. However, he said the COLD-fX was standardized to reduce such variability.Turner wrote that it was not clear how the effects of North American ginseng relate to viral respiratory infections. “Enhancement of interferon-gamma activity might be expected to reduce the severity of symptoms, but enhancement of the elaboration of inflammatory cytokines might be expected to increase the severity,” he wrote.Few rigorous, reproducible studies have shown either conventional or alternative cold treatments to be beneficial, Turner wrote. Further studies involving well-characterized and standardized ginseng preparations were needed to confirm the results of the CMAJ study, he stated.Public health experts weigh inPaula Steib, communications director for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in Washington, DC, told CIDRAP News in an e-mail that it’s not surprising to see a metropolitan area like Edmonton stockpile a natural remedy. Canada, along with Australia, Britain, and other European countries, has a long tradition of using homeopathic and herbal remedies, which are available in pharmacies and often prescribed by physicians, she said.”The situation is very different in the US where most homeopathic and herbal remedies are scoffed at by the medical establishment,” Steib said. “ASTHO is unaware of any state that is stockpiling remedies that are not part of the CDC’s strategic national stockpile program.”Jeffrey Duchin, MD, chief of communicable disease control for Seattle King County Public Health in Washington, said Edmonton’s plan to stockpile COLD-fX for its essential employees sounded interesting, but he said it was unclear from the studies whether the remedy would be of value.”It appears safe and inexpensive, but it shows how little else people feel they have to turn to,” he said.Communities that consider adding an alternative remedy to their stockpiles should weigh the costs and benefits, Duchin said. If they have met other stockpiling needs, such as having adequate supplies of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and personal protective equipment, and still have money left in their pandemic preparedness budgets, then it might be reasonable to consider adding something extra, he said.Black said the city has increased its supplies of personal protective equipment and other items its employees would need and noted that other public health functions, including stockpiling vaccines and antivirals, are handled by the province and its health authorities.NIH says ginseng may have potentialThe CMAJ study caught the attention of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), which in September 2006 included it in its annual bibliography of significant advances in dietary supplement research. “These findings suggest that North American ginseng may be an attractive natural prophylactic for upper respiratory tract infections,” the NIH said. “Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings.”In January, the Nutrition Action Health Letter, a publication of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group, included COLD-fX in a review of eight popular over-the-counter cold remedies. The publication said that more studies are needed to confirm that COLD-fX can shorten or prevent colds or flu. “Even so, COLD-fX is the only remedy we found with any evidence that it might improve your chances of getting through the cold and flu season without coming down with something,” the article said.Michaels said CV Technologies doesn’t want to overstate COLD-fX’s potential in a pandemic situation, but he said the company believes the product has merit and is a legitimate candidate for incorporation into pandemic plans.The company is exploring the possibility of applying for US Food and Drug Administration approval to market COLD-fX specifically as a preventive for colds and is conducting a phase 3 clinical trial for that purpose. The company also recently launched a trial to see if COLD-fX improves the immunity of healthcare workers and is investigating the precise biochemical pathways by which the product affects the immune system, according to information on the company’s Web site.See also:McElhaney JE, Gravenstein S, Cole SK, et al. A placebo controlled trial of a proprietary extract of North American ginseng (CVT-E002) to prevent acute respiratory illness in institutionalized older adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 2004 Jan;52(1):13-9 [Abstract]Predy GN, Goel V, Lovlin R, et al. Efficacy of an extract of North American ginseng containing poly-furanosyl-pyranosyl-saccharides for preventing upper respiratory tract infections: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ 2005 Oct;173(9):1043-8 [Full text]Turner B. Studies of “natural” remedies for the common cold: pitfalls and pratfalls. (Commentary) CMAJ 2005 Oct 25;173(9):1051-2 [Full text]CV Technologies news releaseSARS Commission final reporthttp://www.ontla.on.ca/library/repository/mon/16000/268478.pdfNIH press releasehttp://www.nih.gov/news/pr/sep2006/od-21.htmNIH bibliographies of dietary supplement research advanceshttp://ods.od.nih.gov/Research/Annual_Bibliographies.aspxSchardt D. Un-catching colds: do popular remedies work? Nutrition Action Healthletter 2007 Jan/Feb;8-11 [Full text]
Image courtesy of QatargasQatar Petroleum has selected Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation to deliver front-end engineering and design (FEED) of the onshore facilities of the North Field expansion project. The facilities will produce additional 23 million tons of LNG per year, raising Qatar’s total production capacity from 77 million tons per annum to 100 mtpa, Qatar Petroleum said on Monday.Speaking of the award, Qatar Petroleum’s president and CEO, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said it was a major milestone that will enable the company to deliver the first LNG from the new project by the end of 2023.The FEED scope of work will provide the basic design for the addition of three 7.8 mtpa LNG production trains with associated pre-investment to add a fourth LNG train in the future, Qatar Petroleum said.The onshore facilities will receive approximately 4.6 billion standard cubic feet per day of feed gas from the southern sector of Qatar’s North Field, which is the largest single non-associated gas field in the world.The processing of the feed gas will also produce approximately 3,000 tons/day of ethane as feedstock to a petrochemical development in Qatar, 185,000 barrels/day of condensate, and 8,500 tons/day of LPG, in addition to approximately 12 tons per day of pure helium.Qatargas has been entrusted with executing this on behalf of Qatar Petroleum, the statement reads.
The bottom of the hill looked more like the area two weeks after closing than opening day. I stepped into my skis with careful route finding through the mud patches arrived at the bottom of the Elk Chair.It was wet. It was sloppy.Almost to the top of the chair, snow started mixing with the rain. The air became distinctly colder. There was hope.Off the Elk, I dropped to skier’s left down the little pitch and picked my way through fist-sized rocks littering the surface. At the Bear and open ditch crossed the run. Most folks managed to pop over. A couple didn’t.Almost immediately on the Bear it switched completely over to snow. By the summit off-load, the hill was full-on winter–a whiteout of swirling snow and fog.As I of-loaded, I realized my annual gradual 200 yard first of the season balancing stretch was not in the cards. The snow was broken and piled high between where skiers passed. The upper layer was distinctly dryer than the lower layers exposed by the traffic. My first few turns were arm fallers.Chill. And speed up.”I loosened a bit, thought about staying centered on my foot, feeling the whole foot. I pushed my knees into the turn and found an even speed that kept my skis out of the glop below the surface.Boom. I was skiing. Turning left and right. All was good.So this year, when you drop of the lift for that first run, think simple. Think bottom of your foot. Ski evenly on your foot, clearly feeling the ball of your foot.Feel your socks.Feel the front of your boot.Point your knees; both of them, into the turns and let your knees guide your skis.And most of all, gain a little speed and power through the clumps of snow. Don’t be afraid of speed. In early season snow. Speed is your friend. Keep turning and keep your speed constant.It’s here. Happy New Year to all.Keith Liggett is a Fernie-based skier and writer. This year the first day of the year appeared brutal. At my house it was raining heavily. Clouds obscured the top of the mountain. And maybe snow showers? It was opening day, and there was nothing to do but try it. The opening weeks of the ski season across our mountains show a smattering of areas opening in early December with this last pulse of moisture and cold bringing snow enabling the lifts to crank up at the few remaining closed. For me the New Year’s Day is that first day on the hill.That event passes on the old and the rings in the new.Over the years I’ve developed a little routine to quickly get me comfortable and centered on my skis. After dropping off the lift, there is always that moment of looking at the mountains around, the valley below and wondering at this absurd sport of sliding down a slick snow covered hill, Then putting doubts aside, I find a moderate slope. Starting with a gliding wedge, the beginner turn, I crank out a few turns. I feel the bottom of the ski. I feel the ball of my foot.I press my shin into my boot just a little bit and point my knee into the turn. Gradually, I speed up the turns and voila, I am skiing.Simple.A few years ago the day turned a little sideways. , I kept trying to ski anyplace before a Whistler trip, but nothing worked out. I was scheduled into heli-skiing the first couple of days at Whistler and my first run that year was off the top of some name-forgotten peak 60 clicks north of the Village.The summit was not much bigger than needed to land the chopper and off load the skier. And the slopes off the summit appeared Chugash-like. I survived, although for the first few turns I seriously wondered, “Do you remember how to turn?”I let it go and all went well.
News from the Good Ship Leaf is not good as the Heritage City franchise continues to fight the injury bug heading into the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League stretch run.“Unfortunately, we’re not getting any healthier,” said Leaf coach Dave McLellan on the eve of Friday’s 7 p.m. home game against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats at the NDCC Arena.“And that hurts has in many areas of our game — power play, penalty killing . . .,” McLellan added.“Hopefully we get them back in a week or two.”What has been frustrating for the Leaf coaching staff is when one player returns, another goes on the injury list.“Our original goal was to be up and running and ready for the playoffs,” McLellan confessed.“But right now it’s hard to assess that when we don’t have our set power play units in place or set concepts because everyone is moving around playing in different roles.”Who’s in and who’s out? Good Question On the positive side, McLellan did see the return of defenceman Patrick Croome and forward Blair Andrews during last weekend’s East Kootenay road trip.However, both players had some considerable rust with their game.“We had (Patrick) Croome back in the lineup, but he played like he’d been out of the lineup for two months,” said McLellan.McLellan said forward Dylan Williamson may see limited action this weekend after recovering from a hand injury as well Michael Crawford, who left the team, is now back with the Leafs.Nelson’s second leading scorer, Matt MacDonald, remains out of the lineup.MacDonald was definitely missed last weekend as Nelson scored one goal in two games.Help from the Kootenay Ice McLellan said defenceman Aigne McGready-Bruce should be in the lineup to bolster the Leafs this weekend as his Ice team is idle in the BC Hockey Major Midget League.McLellan said he also hopes to give Ice netminder Jason Mailhoit some action before the regular season ends.Hawks on horizonNelson, playing in Spokane Saturday, has a mid-week contest next week as Beaver Valley pays a visit to the NDCC Arena.The Hawks, holding a nine-point lead on the third-place Leafs in Murdoch standings, are winners of three straight entering weekend action.
Construction detailsHere are the details as provided by Cascade Built:Exterior walls: Wood-framed 2×6 walls are sheathed with OSB and insulated with blown-in fiberglass in the cavities plus 4 inches of Roxul mineral wool on the exterior (for a total of R-39).Roof: Framed with 11 7/8-inch I-joists and insulated with blown-in fiberglass plus an additional R-15 of polyisocyanurate insulation (for a total of R-63).Foundation: Stem walls for the concrete foundation and crawl space are insulated to R-20, and the floors are insulated to R-38.Windows: Three of the townhouses have double-pane Zola windows; the solar heat gain coefficient (glazing only) of these windows is 0.62, and the whole-window U-factor is 0.21. The other two townhouses have triple-glazed Zola windows with a glazing-only SHGC of 0.5 and a whole-window U-factor of 0.14.Mechanicals: Heating and cooling is provided by ductless minisplit air-source heat pumps. All units have Zehnder Model CA 350 heat-recovery ventilators for whole-house ventilation.Airtighness: The Passivhaus-certified unit had a blower-door test at 0.5 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals (ach50). The other four units tested at approximately 1 ach50.Domestic hot water: On-demand gas-fired water heaters.Renewable energy systems: Units are pre-wired for photovoltaic arrays and electric car charging. The Seattle developer who built the city’s first single-family Passivhaus has completed construction of “View Haus 5,” a five-unit townhouse project that includes one unit built to the Passivhaus standard.It would be the first townhouse in the city to earn Passivhaus certification. The builder is Cascade Built, whose owner, Sloan Ritchie, built “Park Passive,” a three-story home that was completed in 2013.The townhouses were designed by b9 architects. Among the Passivhaus consultants who worked on the project were Mike Eliason of Brute Force Collaborative and Joe Giampietro of NK Architects (the company which designed the Park Passive project). The units range in size from 1,100 to 1,700 square feet and have either two or three bedrooms. Each townhouse is three stories and has two bathrooms.Each of the units has a different look, but only one of them will be submitted for certification by the Passive House Institute U.S.“All units were built using Passive House techniques to achieve a significant reduction in energy use to heat and cool the house,” developers explained in an e-mail. “Passive House is an unknown for many buyers and as a result it’s difficult to secure the needed ROI to make a project like this financially feasible. This project is located on an urban lot in a dense city neighborhood and would have required each unit to be modeled separately, resulting in additional and prohibitive cost increases, so we modeled one unit to Passive House levels and used that same wall assembly for every unit.”One of the two-bedroom units is listed for sale at $690,000 ($403 per square foot), similar in price to a slightly smaller non-Passivhaus two-bedroom nearby, which is on the market for $650,000.
Chelsea manager Lampard: Hudson-Odoi, James not ready for returnby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard says Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James need more time in the U23s.The teenage duo are expected to be utilised in Lampard’s first-team squad after returning to action with the U23 side last week.But Lampard wants to see them gain more fitness before returning to be considered for selection.”They are fit but not match fit,” said Lampard ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Valencia. “Callum is getting extra work in and with Reece, he played in the Under-23s and they may need another game in the Under-23s in them before they are ready for action. N’Golo similarly. “Although not to play in Under-23s, he will have more training to do just because the injury has been bothering him.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Wolves boss Nuno: Time to up our standardsby Paul Vegas24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNuno Espirito Santo wants to see Wolves raise their standards as they continue to balance playing in the Europa League.The Molineux outfit grabbed their first Premier League win of the season on Saturday, defeating Watford 2-0 at home.They face Besiktas in Turkey on Thursday and Nuno doesn’t want to hear any excuses from his players.”We won the game, and I thought we were the better team,” he said”Our fans saw a good game, and we now have to raise our standards and improve.”On Thursday, we play against Besiktas. It’s tough.”But this is the reality. You play Thursday, and you travel. Not only me, every manager and team that is involved in European competition.”This is the growth of a natural thing. We started in the Championship, we had more difficulties in the Premier League, and now we are competing on Thursday and Sunday.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
OTTAWA – The federal government says the head of Shopify will chair a strategy group looking for ways to attract more high-tech jobs to the country.Tobias Lutke, founder and CEO of the company, will chair the digital industries table as one of six industry leaders that will lead an economic strategy table.Other group leaders already announced include advanced manufacturing chair Charles Deguire, co-founder of Kinova Robotics, agri-food chair Murad Al-Katib, CEO of AGT Food and Ingredients, health/bio-sciences chair Karimah Es Sabar, CEO of Quark Venture, and clean technology chair Audrey Mascarenhas, CEO of Questor Technology.The government says each chair will preside over a group of about 15 members to help guide federal efforts to create more opportunities for business growth in the sectors as part of the government’s goal of doubling the number of high-growth Canadian companies to 28,000 by 2025.It says the chair of the clean resources table will be announced in the coming weeks.Each table will present a report of its findings and recommendations by summer 2018.
Mumbai: Englishman Jos Buttler laid the platform with a rampaging 89 while Shreyas Gopal held his nerve at the death to power Rajasthan Royals to a four-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in an Indian Premier League encounter here Saturday. This was Royals’ second victory of the season in seven games after losing a last ball thriller to CSK less than 48 hours back. Put into bat, Mumbai Indians rode on a aggressive 81 by South African Quinton De Kock to post an imposing 187/5, but Buttler’s 43-ball knock studded with eight fours and seven sixes set the tone before Royals survived a scare to finish the game in 19.3 overs. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhThe match was a forgettable one for young West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph (0/53 in 3 overs), who was hammered for eight fours and three sixes and then was injured trying to save a boundary. The 13th over changed the game’s complexion as Buttler smashed two sixes and four fours off Joseph to bring down the equation to a manageable run-a-ball. Buttler first conjured a 60-run opening stand with skipper Ajinkya Rahane (37 off 21 balls, 6x 4; 1×6) to lay the foundation and then added 87 runs for the second wicket with Sanju Samson (31 off 26 balls; 2×4, 1×6). Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterButtler initially played second fiddle to Rahane but then upped his ante once skipper was gone. The Englishman in the eighth over, hit Rahul Chahar for a six, and then in next over, smashed two sixes off Krunal Pandya as he raced to 50 off 29 balls. When Buttler departed in the 14th over, Rajasthan needed 41 runs. But then came the twist in the tale when Mumbai did make a comeback of sorts sending four batsman — Samson, Rahul Tripathi (1), Steve Smith (12 ) and Liam Livingstone (1) — back to the pavilion as Rajasthan slumped to 174.6 from 147/2. However, Shreyas Gopal (13 not out) and K Gowtham (0 not out) held their nerves to take the side home in a tense situation. Gopal hit the winning boundary off Hardik Pandya as celebrations erupted in the Rajasthan camp. Joseph was the costliest bowler having conceded 53 runs in three overs. Earlier, Quinton de Kock hit a belligerent 81 as he powered Mumbai Indians to an imposing 187 for 5 against Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League game here Saturday. South African De Kock was the wrecker-in-chief as he hammered six fours and four sixes in his 52-ball knock and got able support from skipper Rohit Sharma (47 off 32 balls), who made a comeback after missing out the last Mumbai game due to a leg injury. A late cameo from Hardik Pandya (28 off 11 balls), in which smashed three sixes and one fours ensured Mumbai neared the 190-run mark. Earlier, Rohit and De Kock took the opposition attack to the cleaners as the two added 96 for the first wicket. They started the onslaught in the third over amassing 18 runs with the South African hitting a six and four off Krishnappa Gowtham. Then Rohit ripped apart pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, striking three fours, including a splendid cover drive, as Mumbai gathered 14 runs from it. De Kock kept playing shots at will even as Mumbai reached 57/0 after Powerplay period. Then De Kock dispatched spinner Liam Livingstone for two sixes over deep mid-wicket as runs came thick and fast. He raced to his fifty in 34 balls. Rohit, who struck six fours and a lone six, threw his wicket away giving a sitter to Jos Buttler off Jofra Archer. And then Rajasthan made a good comeback removing Surya Kumar Yadav (16) and Kieron Pollard (6) to reduce the hosts to 136/3. Rajasthan bowlers made a splendid comeback as they removed De Kock and Ishan Kishan before the Hardik show. Meanwhile, it was Rohit’s 100th match as captain for Mumbai Indians (including the now defunct Champions League T20 games) and it was Mumbai’s overall 200th match.