Number of US coronavirus cases of unknown origin climbs to four

first_img“What we know now is that the virus is here, present at some level, but we still don’t know to what degree,” said Dr. Sara Cody, the chief public health officer for Santa Clara County, speaking of the newly diagnosed case there, the latest of three in her county and the 10th statewide.Even as confirmation was pending there, the CDC sent a team to assist local authorities in tracing close contacts the patient had with others in a bid to curb transmission.Until this week, the CDC had counted 15 confirmed cases in six states as having been detected through the US public health system since Jan. 21, none fatal. Most were contracted by individuals while traveling in China, where the outbreak originated. Only two person-to-person transmissions were documented among them, both between married couples.An additional 47 cases have been confirmed among people recently repatriated from abroad, either from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan or from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, according to the CDC.Masks, gloves and test kits The latest flurry of cases came as the Trump administration said the United States would invoke a federal defense law to boost production of masks, gloves, gowns and other items needed to protect medical personnel from exposure.Around the world, more countries are reporting new infections, companies have curtailed travel and global stock markets have tumbled.President Donald Trump said at the White House on Friday the United States will decide “very soon” about whether to bar entry to travelers from countries other than China where community transmission has emerged.At a rally in South Carolina on Friday night, Trump defended his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and accused Democrats of politicizing the disease.“This is their new hoax,” Trump said at the event, held a day before the state’s Democratic presidential primary.The US State Department has issued travel advisories for several nations and on Friday it said Americans should reconsider travel to Italy, where nearly 900 coronavirus cases have been confirmed. A similar warning was issued earlier this week for South Korea, which has hundreds of infections.A government task force appointed by Trump to deal with the threat will meet at the White House on Saturday morning, according to an administration official.Latest figures from China, where the outbreak started late last year, indicated that nearly 80,000 people have been infected, with more than 2,800 deaths. The World Health Organization reported 57 deaths in 46 other countries.Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a closed-door briefing in the US House of Representatives that sustained spread of the coronavirus meant there would be many more infections in the United States, according to a source.Fauci warned lawmakers the country lacked enough testing resources, the source said on condition of anonymity. The CDC said it has revised its criteria for who should be tested and is ramping up testing capabilities.”Our goal is to have every state and local health department online and doing their own testing by the end of next week,” CDC official Nancy Messonier told reporters.A vaccine may take up to 18 months to develop, health officials have said.The United States has decided to postpone a meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian countries it had planned to host on March 14 in Las Vegas because of worries about the outbreak.US and global stocks plummeted as rattled investors braced for the prospect that a pandemic could further dent an already slowing world economy.The S&P 500 fell for the seventh straight day on Friday, suffering its biggest weekly drop since the 2008 global financial crisis. Stocks cut losses right at the end of the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4%.Trump this week said the coronavirus risk to Americans remained “very low,” but he has been increasingly alarmed by the reaction of the US stock market, which he considers a barometer of the economy’s health.Topics : US public health officials said they have identified four “presumptive” coronavirus cases believed to have emerged from community transmission of the infection, signaling a turning point in efforts to contain the disease in the United States.The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement on Friday citing three such cases newly diagnosed by state public health authorities – one each in California, Oregon and Washington state.If confirmed by the CDC, together with a previous case of unknown origin announced on Wednesday in California, that would bring to four the number of diagnosed individuals in the United States with no history of travel to a country where the virus is circulating and no close contact with an infected person. The three latest patients were diagnosed based on results obtained in their respective states from CDC-supplied test kits and are considered “presumptive positive” cases pending CDC confirmatory testing, the US agency said.A fourth presumptive positive was also announced in Washington state on Friday, but that one is “likely travel-related,” the CDC said.Still, the three latest cases of apparent community transmission, plus the one identified earlier this week in California, are a sign the virus is now spreading within at least four separate locations up and down the US West Coast.They span nearly 900 miles from California’s Silicon Valley region in Santa Clara County north to the Puget Sound near Seattle.last_img read more

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant rules out playing overseas after retirement

first_imgDENVER >> Through the endless grind accumulated from nearly two decades of NBA excellence, Kobe Bryant remains determined to finish out the 20th and final year of his NBA career.For starters, Lakers coach Byron Scott said Bryant will likely play when the Lakers (4-23) visit the Denver Nuggets (11-16) on Tuesday at Pepsi Center after missing Saturday’s loss in Oklahoma City with a sore right shoulder.But how about Bryant playing elsewhere after his retirement? That becomes a different story. “I would have loved to play overseas for a season. But it’s not going to happen,” Bryant said Monday in an NBA-sanctioned conference call that included 124 reporters from 24 different countries and territories. “I wish I could’ve done it. But I can’t. The body won’t let me. That is fine.” Bryant sounded just as accepting about his fortunes in appearing in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. USA Basketball officials would have to choose Bryant over a younger and potentially more talented player. But team officials could value Bryant’s role both as a team ambassador stemming from his global popularity and a mentor after winning gold medals in Beijing (2008) and London (2012). “That’s not something I’m pressing for, but being part of the Olympics is such a beautiful experience,” said Bryant, before reflecting on his childhood in Italy. “To be able to see how basketball became such an international sport for those fans, it would be a beautiful thing personally to be able to finish my career on an international stage. With that being said, we’ll see how everything goes.” Bryant adopted the same mind-set on his chances to appear in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto on Feb. 14. Bryant has averaged only 16.7 points on 33.9 percent shooting, 4.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 30.8 minutes per game. But he could still receive enough votes to start, stemming from both his popularity and being listed as a frontcourt player for manning the small forward spot. NBA coaches could also vote for Bryant as a reserve out of respect for his five NBA championships and third-place standing on the league’s all-time scoring list. “For me not to be voted in, I know it might sound hard to really process when I say I’m completely fine with that,” said Bryant, who has been voted into 17 All-Star games. “I’ve had an amazing run. At some point, you have to be OK with letting that go. You have to be OK with passing the game along and do all you can to help the game continue to grow.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Bryant’s limitations during his last NBA season are self-explanatory. He entered the 2015-16 campaign having played only a combined 41 games the previous two years because of three season-ending injuries. After tearing his left Achilles tendon in April 2013, Bryant returned in eight months for six more games before needing season-ending surgery on his left knee. Bryant then played 35 games last season before having right shoulder surgery after tearing the rotator cuff. Yet, Bryant said he has a “really good relationship” with the so-called “basketball gods.” “The injuries that I’ve had, I’ve always been able to look at those from a positive light and learn from those things,” Bryant said. “I don’t think the basketball gods have treated me unfairly. They gave me a fantastic opportunity.”Hence, Bryant called his dunk last week over Houston forward Clint Capela “one of the special moments of my career.” Bryant wagged his tongue shortly after the play. His teammates cheered endlessly, including rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell drawing a technical foul for running off the bench and sprinting along the baseline. “My body has been through a lot. To be able to get to the basket, elevate and finish like that for me was personally gratifying,” Bryant said. “It was a reward for all the hours I spent from training, working and stretching. It felt good to see that hard work pay off. I was very excited to see them excited.”Bryant also relished his relatively improved play. In the six games before missing Saturday’s game in Oklahoma City, Bryant has averaged 18.83 points on 48.8 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds and four assists in 29.33 minutes per contest. He has also taken fewer shots (14.66 compared to his season-average of 17.2) and showed more rhythm for the first time since missing two weeks of training week from a bruised left calf.“It was a matter of my legs catching up and a matter of my timing catching up, too. It is easy for us to get caught up in the emotion of it all and forget to look at the tactics of it all,” Bryant said. “The last three years, I haven’t had a chance to play that much in the NBA. Timing is off and rhythm is off and things like that. It’s a matter of me being patient with myself. I continue to trust the training that I’ve done all summer and continue to do during the season. Eventually the timing will come back. That’s what happened.” Regardless, Bryant leaves an extensive legacy that has cast himself in NBA lore. But instead of fixating on where he stands in NBA history, Bryant sounded consumed with a different imprint.“I don’t look at my legacy from the standpoint of ‘Where do I fit in with the greatest of all time?’” Bryant said. “It’s a moot point and for me personally, it’s a shallow argument. For me, the most important thing and beautiful thing is how does your legacy impact the generation of players to come and the generation of players that are currently playing.”last_img read more

BG seeks path to a public pool

first_imgBATTLE GROUND — Battle Ground is testing the waters to see if there’s community interest in spending millions of dollars to build a public swimming pool.A task force of community leaders steered by City Councilman Mike Ciraulo is joining forces to map a path for a pool’s development. Even though the project would likely require the city to issue between $10 million and $15 million in bonds, Ciraulo is confident it won’t be unpopular.Overall, the project would likely cost $20 million to $30 million, with about half the money coming from donations.“Overwhelmingly, everyone says, yes, they’d be willing to pay off a bond,” Ciraulo said. “That being said, there’s a compelling argument that if we could raise enough money from donors, it could offset how much the city needs to bond.”The project calls for developing two pools. One would be an Olympic-sized lap pool. The other would be kept warmer and used for recreation.There are no plans for the city to try to pass a bond package in the near future, Ciraulo said, and the city hasn’t done a formal market survey to see whether such a proposal would have support. Nonetheless, creation of a community pool task force is a sign that a handful of Battle Ground organizers are willing to reconsider developing a pool complex.last_img read more