It was a fourth match in charge without a win for Netherlands coach Frank de Boer, whose record is now a loss and three draws.The Netherlands were missing captain Virgil van Dijk, who is sidelined for months with a serious knee injury, and quickly also lost Manchester City defender Nathan Ake, who limped off with an apparent hamstring injury in the sixth minute. Georginio Wijnaldum, on his 30th birthday, was captain in the absence of his Liverpool team-mate.Spain had taken the lead in the 19th minute when Sergio Canales scored his first international goal. – Advertisement – Alvaro Morata, who has scored three goals in his last three matches with Juventus, turned provider for Spain’s opener. He turned away from Frenkie de Jong and Daley Blind before passing to Canales, who had time and room to calmly slide a low, left-foot shot past Marco Bizot, who was making his debut in the Dutch goal at age 29.Spain were more urgent in the first half, pressing the makeshift Dutch defence high up the pitch and not letting De Boer’s team settle into its passing game. The closest the Dutch came to scoring before the break was a shot by Sevilla forward Luuk de Jong straight at Simon.The hosts’ intensity picked up after the break and was rewarded immediately when a cross by Owen Wijndal bounced through the penalty area to Van de Beek, who fired a low shot past Simon for his second international goal. – Advertisement – Donny van de Beek put his Manchester United troubles behind him to score the equaliser as the Netherlands came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Spain in a friendly at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday.Van de Beek has struggled to establish himself as a first-team player in Manchester but felt right at home back at the stadium where he rose to prominence with Ajax as he drilled a low shot past Unai Simon in the 47th minute.- Advertisement – Image:Nathan Ake had to go off after picking up an injury during Wednesday night’s friendly The game then opened up with both sides coming close to a winner.Koke lobbed just over the bar in the 60th minute and Memphis Depay, with time and space in Spain’s penalty area, shot too close to Simon, allowing the keeper to make a sharp save to his left. De Jong also had a good late chance, but could not find room for a shot after a good cross by Denzel Dumfries.Sergio Ramos came on as an 85th-minute substitute for his 176th international, drawing level with former Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon as the European with the most caps. The world record is Ahmed Hassans 184 for Egypt.What’s next?Netherlands host Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Nations League on Sunday at 5pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League – before travelling to Poland in the Nations League on Wednesday at 7.45pm – live on Sky Sports Football red button.Spain travel to Switzerland in the Nations League on Sunday at 7.45pm – live on Sky Sports Football red button – before hosting Germany in the Nations League on Tuesday at 7.45pm – live on Sky Sports Football. Image:Sergio Canales scores his first international goal for Spain – Advertisement –
(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – Bird flu is 4 problems, not 1. Keeping them straight is a prerequisite to sensible risk communication—and sensible preparedness.Vocabulary lessons are a pain. But sloppy language use has encouraged sloppy thinking, greatly compounding our preparedness problems. Millions of people think flu pandemics come from birds. Millions think Asia already has a pandemic. Millions think when the pandemic gets here the only people it will endanger are those who get the flu. These mistakes are grounded in confusion about the 4 faces of bird flu.So grit your teeth for a crucial vocabulary primer.1. The ongoing epizootic.A widespread infectious disease outbreak in a nonhuman species is called an epizootic.An epizootic of the influenza strain called H5N1 is currently wreaking havoc among birds in parts of Asia and Africa. This strain of H5N1 is incredibly infectious and incredibly deadly to domestic poultry. It is the worst bird flu in recorded history. Even if it never becomes a serious human health problem, it will remain a big deal for farmers and veterinarians.Many experts think H5N1 is already widespread enough to be considered a panzootic (worldwide outbreak) instead of an epizootic; others think that’s premature, since it hasn’t been found yet in the western hemisphere.For decades, animal outbreaks have routinely been called epidemics and pandemics instead of epizootics and panzootics by professionals who know better. It’s probably too late to cure them of this bad habit. But readers of this newsletter shouldn’t follow them into it. Distinguish the current animal epizootic from the possible future human pandemic. (The experts defend their longstanding historical misuse of the technical vocabulary—all the while ridiculing the media and the public for getting confused. Wouldn’t it be neat if businesspeople were to start using the terminology correctly?)2. The occasional zoonotic infection.From time to time a disease that’s common in animals passes to an unlucky human or two. That’s called a zoonotic infection.As of Jan 24, H5N1 has infected 269 people that we know about, out of millions of people exposed to infected poultry. H5N1 passes easily from bird to bird. But so far it passes from bird to human only with great difficulty—and from human to human with greater difficulty still.What’s scary is this: While very few people have become infected with H5N1, a huge percentage of that tiny number—roughly 60% —have died. That compares to a US case fatality rate of about 2½% for the infamous 1918 flu pandemic, and far below 1% for the typical seasonal flu.A 60% case fatality rate is terrifying. But H5N1 is still a minor public health problem. Even poultry farmers whose flocks contract the disease face a surprisingly small risk to their health—so small that they rightly smell a rat when authorities say they need to kill their birds to keep themselves healthy (rather than to keep the disease from spreading to nearby flocks). The zoonotic risk faced by chicken consumers and other non-farmers is immeasurably small.For zoonotic infections to become a major problem, the virus would have to mutate in a way that enabled it to pass easily from birds to humans. Nobody talks much about that possibility. Most experts are guessing that it’s probably less likely than the possibility they talk about incessantly: that H5N1 may mutate so it passes easily from humans to humans.3. The mild pandemic.If H5N1 ever “learns” efficient human-to-human transmission, we will have a pandemic. By then H5N1 probably won’t be bird flu anymore. It will have mutated (or reassorted) into a human flu—a new human flu to which we have no natural resistance and for which we have (at the start) no vaccine. At that point, unless zoonotic infections become common for the first time in influenza history, birds will cease to be an issue. We’ll be worrying about catching the disease from each other. The pandemic risk in places where the birds are healthy will be exactly the same as the risk in places where they’re infected.Of the 4 “faces” of bird flu, in other words, 2 of them aren’t bird flu all; they are possible pandemic descendents. Phrases like “bird flu pandemic” are intrinsically confusing. Such phrases confuse the 2 bird flu problems we have now (bird-to-bird and bird-to-human) with the 2 pandemic, human-to-human problems we’re worried about.Why 2 pandemic problems? Because not all pandemics are the same.Do you have vivid memories of the pandemics of 1957 (H2N2) and 1968 (H3N2)? Neither do I. They were serious enough to kill significantly more people than the typical flu season kills. They were serious enough to lead to some hospital surge capacity problems and even some business absenteeism problems. But unless you were paying close attention or happened to know someone who became sick, they were easy to miss.If H5N1 causes a pandemic like those 2, it will be something of an anticlimax. Companies worried enough about pandemic preparedness to subscribe to this newsletter will presumably cope better with a mild pandemic than non-subscribers. But non-subscribers will get through it okay, too. And both will wonder a bit what all the fuss was about.4. The severe pandemic.By contrast, the 1918 pandemic (H1N1) killed more people than World War 1. It was the mother of all flu pandemics. If H5N1 causes a pandemic like 1918’s, nobody is going to think it anticlimactic.Nor is 1918 the worst-case scenario. What if H5N1 acquires efficient human-to-human transmission without becoming less fatal in the process? Imagine a disease that’s as contagious as a bad flu season (infecting, say, 30% of the population) and as deadly as H5N1 is today (killing 60% of those it infects). It would be an unprecedented human health catastrophe. Since a flu pandemic that bad has never happened before, most experts figure it probably won’t happen this time. But H5N1 has already broken a lot of influenza records. And things that have never happened before happen all the time.Medically, 2 factors determine the severity of a pandemic: what percentage of the population gets sick, and what percentage of those who get sick die. But there’s a third factor that’s at least as important as those 2: how much the pandemic disrupts society’s infrastructure. Does the power go off? Does the water treatment plant run out of chlorine? Do the supermarkets run out of food? Are diabetes patients unable to replenish their supplies of insulin and syringes? Are there riots and looting? Does your company stop performing even its most essential functions?What sort of pandemic a society prepares for depends on who’s in charge of preparing. To most departments of health, pandemic preparedness is about social distancing, about quarantine and hygiene strategies, and about having enough medicine, ventilators, and nurses to cope with the influx of flu patients. In other words, health departments are preparing mostly for a mild pandemic. Departments of emergency management, on the other hand, are thinking about keeping the power going and the water potable. They’re worried about infrastructure resilience and social stability. They’re preparing for a severe pandemic.Smart companies are preparing for both—and being clear about the difference.An internationally renowned expert in risk communication and crisis communication, Peter Sandman speaks and consults widely on communication aspects of pandemic preparedness. Dr. Sandman, Deputy Editor, contributes an original column to CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing every other week. Most of his risk communication writing is available without charge at the Peter Sandman Risk Communication Web Site (www.psandman.com/). For an index of pandemic-related writing on the site, see http://www.psandman.com/index-infec.htm. For more on the vocabulary of bird flu, see www.psandman.com/col/poultry.htm#two (written with Jody Lanard).
New Delhi: Asserting that India has the potential to emerge as a boxing powerhouse, WBO member Jack Daniel Leigh said that the soon to be launched Mega Boxing professional tournament could become just the right platform to help the sport grow in the country.Scheduled to be launched in Gurugram on November 30, Mega Boxing will have professional fighters from India and several other countries.Leigh, who has been a member of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) since 1996, feels that the tournament will provide the right platform to Indian boxers who aspire to enter the world of professional boxing.“In India, everyone wants to do a league. However, boxing is an individual sport. Therefore, it was essential to develop a structure which has individual fighters pitted against each other and not teams, much like how WWE, UFC, and ONE Championship work. Other sports, which primarily have individuals competing against each other, such as Formula 1, Moto GP and Golf, also helped us define the dynamics of Mega Boxing,” Leigh told IANS.“This would essentially mean regular promotions for the Indian talent and possibility to integrate with the international professional boxing network. The overall concept is inspired from the Sylvester Stallone hosted reality show, The Contender, which in the past, has given some middleweight world champions, through the selection of raw talent, subsequent coaching, and proper platform,” he added.“Hopefully, by the end of the year, we shall discover an Indian fighter who can challenge for a title fight in Vegas.”Pointing out that India has all the conditions required to produce world class boxers, Leigh said that the country needs to carry its success in amateur boxing to the professional level.“Two key ingredients for the growth of professional boxing are present in India, population and poverty (only a poor guy would want to get punched in the face for money and fame). Further, India is significantly underdeveloped in the sport. Moreover, for India now, the medals need to be converted into belts.“India has the talent. Not many people might be aware, but an Indian professional boxer Pradip Singh Sihag, who was also a participant in The Contender Australia, was a middleweight champion in Asia and held multiple titles. And Vijender Singh now also holds a couple of WBO Super-Middleweight Asian titles. One only needs to look at India’s success in amateur boxing at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and other world competitions. However, graduating from the amateur circuit to the professional one would need more concerted efforts as it requires training in certain skill sets, preparation, right guidance, and platform,” he said.“A platform such as Mega Boxing would give talented boxers a chance to perform, get more top quality fights for building up their career and go on to get fights at international levels. In addition, there are more than 130 academies in India and more than 13,000 boxers from the age of 8 to 18+. That is a huge talent pool, which if directed properly, can make India a top nation in professional boxing in the world,” he added.However, Leigh felt the system in India needs to improve in order to help Indian boxing reach its full potential.“Professional boxing is scattered in India and India lost a few years in the sport with the amateur federation shut for almost 4 years till end-2016. Hence, the prime crop of those times lost out on many opportunities. Mega Boxing would help the future crop in not losing out as such,” he asserted.“Entertainment tax on professional sporting events needs to be reconsidered in order to promote the sport, especially when it comes to a sport such as boxing, which appeals to both the urban and rural markets. Educating boxers about the fact that if they perform in professional boxing events, their selection can’t be hampered in international amateur competitions due to AIBA ruling in favor of such participation.”Leigh, who is also the chairman of the WBO’s Australian chapter, was excited with the commercial possibilities afforded by a huge market like India to emerging professional tournaments like Mega Boxing. IANS Also Read: World Boxing Organization