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News Reports for February 14, 2013

by: NewsDiary

Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 18:32:39 PM EST

Reminder: Please do not post whole articles, just snippets and links, and do not post articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Thanks!

Bird flu: 2,000 fowls culled (Link)

• Cambodia reports unusual rise in bird flu cases (Link)
• Seventh new human case of avian influenza H5N1 in Cambodia in 2013 (Link)
• Seventh Bird Flu Case Confirmed (Link)

• Uttar Pradesh: Protection kits to check swine flu cases at Kumbh (Link)
• Delhi: 52 new swine flu cases (Link)
• Madhya Pradesh: Public announcements to create awareness on swine flu (Link)
• Rajasthan: Public announcements to create awareness on swine flu (Link)
• 23 deaths from swine flu in Gujarat (Link)

• Batam administration to cull thousands of chickens (Link)
• The Boy Suspect Bird Flu Referred to Sanglah Hospital (Link)

• US: FDA expert - Universal flu vaccine still 5-10 years off  (Link)
• Dumb budget cuts would slow promising research on flu, cancer, other diseases (Link)

• Little-Known Flu-Like Virus Strikes Very Young, Seniors (Link)
• Flu season breeds spread of germaphobes (Link)

• Recombinomics: More Media Myths On Beta Coronavirus Transmission (Link)

• H (Link)

NewsDiary :: News Reports for February 14, 2013

News for February 13, 2013 is here.

Thanks to all of the newshounds!
Special thanks to the newshound volunteers who translate international stories - thanks for keeping us all informed!

Other useful links:
WHO A(H1N1) Site
WHO H5N1 human case totals, last updated January 16, 2013
Charts and Graphs on H5N1 from WHO
Google Flu Trends
CDC Weekly Influenza Summary
Map of seasonal influenza in the U.S.
CIDPC (Canada) Weekly FluWatch
UK RCGP Weekly Data on Communicable and Respiratory Diseases
Flu Wiki

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Cambodia reports unusual rise in bird flu cases
Cambodian health officials have reported an unusual rise in the number of bird flu cases this year following a young girl's death. It brings the country's death toll from the virus to six this year alone.

The girl died in a Phnom Penh hospital with tests confirming she was infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza. (Snip) the three-year-old regularly came into contact with poultry in her village in the southern province of Kampot.

Four Cambodians, including a 17-month-old girl, died from the strain last month and a five-year-old girl died last week. The country has recorded 28 cases of H5N1 since 2003, with all but three of them proving fatal.


Mutation fears
The virus typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact. But experts fear it could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to trigger a pandemic.

Dr Touch says Cambodian health officials and the World Health Organisation are on alert for any signs of human-to-human transmission.

"For this rise in case, we're working closely to rule out that we don't have any human-to-human transmission," he said.

Continued with a report, which is just a repeat of  information, on the death of a 21 year old woman in China:  http://www.radioaustralia.net....

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


Protection kits to check swine flu cases at Kumbh
SANGAM (ALLAHABAD): With increasing swine flu cases and anticipating that more than 1.93 crore pilgirms from across the country and abroad would be arriving the Sangam city to take a holy dip on the occasion of Basant Panchami on February 15, the Mela health administration on Wednesday brought swine flu protection kits from Lucknow to treat such case, if any.

(Snip) "We have sought the swine flu protection kit from state health authorities on a precautionary mode." (Snip) the health department has equipped with latest medicines to tackle swine flu cases (Snip). However, no swine flu case has been reported so far. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

(Note: One crore equals 10 million. 1.93 Crore  of people will be assembled in a relatively small area getting into the river for the religious ceremony. Later, they will all be returning to their homes across the country and a large number of them will be traveling back to other countries.)

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


This is the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
Map link: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
Cambodia: Seventh new human case of avian influenza H5N1 in Cambodia in 2013

Joint news release of the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia and World Health Organization

PHNOM PENH, 13 February 2013 - The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Kingdom of Cambodia wishes to advise members of the public that one more new human case of avian influenza has been confirmed positive for the H5N1 virus.

The seventh case, a 3-year-old girl from Trapeang Kamphleanh village, Ang Phnom Toch commune, Angkor Chey district in Kampot province, was found positive for influenza H5N1 on 11th February 2013 by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge. She developed fever and a red rash on 3rd February 2013 and was initially treated by local private practitioners. Her condition worsened and she was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital on 6th February 2013 with fever, abdominal pain and somnolence and died on 13 February 2013. There is evidence of recent deaths among poultry in the village and the girl had history of coming into contact with poultry prior to becoming sick.

The girl is the seventh person this year and twenty-eighth person to become infected with H5N1 virus, and the twenty-fifth person to die from complications of the disease in Cambodia. Of the twenty-eight confirmed cases, 19 were children under 14, and nineteen of the twenty-eight were female. (continued)

By this time last year...
...20 H5N1 cases had been confirmed since the beginning of the influenza season (14 of which were fatal):
  • 9 cases in Egypt
  • 6 cases in Indonesia
  • 2 cases in China
  • 2 cases in Vietnam
  • 1 case in Cambodia

Of these 20 cases, 8 were related to one or more other patients.
(See table here.)

So far this year, we have seen 12 confirmed H5N1 cases (9 fatal):

  • 7 cases in Cambodia
  • 3 cases in China
  • 1 each in Indonesia and Egypt

None of these cases have been reported as being related to any other patient.
(See table here).

Based on the level of political unrest in Egypt, I can imagine that cases are not being diagnosed.

In Indonesia, I believe that cases are not being tested promptly and/or confirmed cases are not being reports.

(Or maybe there have been miraculous medical breakthroughs in these 2 countries in preventing H5N1 human cases when H5N1 is endemic in poultry, and we just haven't heard of them.  Wanna buy a bridge?)

[ Parent ]
LOL Good one AlohaOR
"Or maybe there have been miraculous medical breakthroughs in these 2 countries in preventing H5N1 human cases when H5N1 is endemic in poultry, and we just haven't heard of them."

You should have saved that one for the Friday jokes!

Seriously, If we had a true count from China, Laos, North Korea, Burma, Egypt and Indonesia, it would probably scare the beegeebers out of us! And please raise your hand if you believe there are no human cases in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Malaysia. JMO  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
Bangladesh: Bird flu - 2,000 fowls culled
Over 2000 fowls have been culled following detection of bird flu virus at a poultry farm in Islampara area of Chuadanga district town. The chickens were culled at Munshi Poultry Farm on Tuesday night due to the outbreak of avian influenza at the farm (Snip).

The farm owner Hafizur Rahman said he found some chickens dead a few days ago and informed it to the officer who prescribed some medicines for their treatment. On Monday, the livestock officer sent samples from the farm to Dhaka for tests. The laboratory confirmed the detection of bird flu the following morning.


The chance of contamination in adjoining farms is very low as all precautionary measures have been taken in this regard (Snip). http://www.thedailystar.net/ne...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


India: 52 new swine flu cases (Delhi)
NEW DELHI: The swine flu cases in the city crossed 200 on Wednesday with 52 new cases being reported by various hospitals and labs. The state health department claimed four people have died due the viral infection so far including a 15-year-old girl who succumbed to the disease at a private hospital recently.

One patient, who was confirmed positive for swine flu, succumbed to his condition at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital but officials said the patient was from Noida, Uttar Pradesh. "The authorities concerned in the state have been informed about the death," said the official.

He added that 32 out of 52 patients confirmed positive for swine flu on Wednesday were seeking treatment at home itself. "Their tests had been carried out at various path labs and we found that these patients were staying back at home because the symptoms were milder. The rest of the patients were found to be admitted at hospitals like Safdarjung, RML, Sir Ganga Ram, DDU and B L Kapoor hospital among others. Continued: http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


India: Public announcements to create awareness on swine flu (Madhya Pradesh)
BHOPAL: Public announcement is being made to create awareness about prevention of swine flu at district and division-level in Madhya Pradesh. Principal Secretary Health Praveer Krishna is keeping contact with concerning officers and taking stock of the situation for the purpose.


A swine flu H-1 N-1 screening room has been set up in each hospital connected with District Hospital and Medical College as well as selected private hospitals. Public announcements regarding swine flu are being made through various mediums. Continued: http://timesofindia.indiatimes...  

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


India: Three kids test positive for swine flu in Jaisalmer dist. (Rajasthan)
JAISALMER: Three children hailing from Sultanokidhani and admitted to Jawahir hospital in Jaisalmer have tested positive for swine flu.

The incident has triggered a swine flu scare as last, three children had died at the same hamlet, putting the health department in a tizzy. Initially, it was not clear on the reason for the death of these children, but now sources said they had died of swine flu. http://articles.timesofindia.i...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


India: 23 deaths from swine flu in Gujarat
GANDHINAGAR: Swine flu casualties in the past few weeks in the state have baffled the state health department. Gujarat happens to be the third highest after Rajasthan and Maharashtra in case of total deaths registered because of swine flu in the country. The government claimed that the disease has already claimed 23 deaths in the past few weeks even as 82 patients are being treated in various hospitals.

(Snip) government spokesperson Nitin Patel said that of the total dead, three belonged to Rajasthan. Patel said that the majority of the 28 swine flu positive cases were reported from Rajkot city, while the figure for Ahmedabad, Kutch and Vadodara are 12, 9 and 3 respectively. Minister claimed that all the major government hospitals have sufficient stock of medicines and detection kits to deal with the situation. "We expect that with the increase in daily temperatures, the incidence of swine flu will go down," Patel said.


"During a global conference in the US in October, doctors there were expressing concern over large number of H1N1 cases being reported there. (Snip) we have started seeing a spike in H1N1 in January end and February," said Dr Atul Patel.

(Snip) there is a need for the general practionters to be updated in spotting and treating H1N1 viral fever early so that mortality can be reduced.

(Snip) the virus has changed its characteristics where it thrives in summer season as well. This requires constant updating of the doctors to spot and treat the virus. http://timesofindia.indiatimes...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


More Media Myths On Beta Coronavirus Transmission
Recombinomics Commentary

A novel coronavirus has been diagnosed in a third person in the UK, providing the first evidence that it can be passed between people.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has confirmed that a third UK resident has been confirmed with the respiratory disease and is receiving intensive care treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Unlike the other two cases, the third patient has no history of recent travel and so did not pick up the infection overseas.

The above comment, claiming that the latest novel beta coronavirus infection provides "the first evidence that it can pass between people" is demonstrably false.  The latest case is the 11th confirmed case, and creates the third cluster.  

The first cluster was confirmed late, but was clearly the largest involving probable and confirmed cases.  The outbreak was among people (largely health care workers) linked to an ICU in Jordan.  The two fatal cases were lab confirmed and the 1 week time gap between the death of the nurse (45F) and the intern (25M) strongly signaled human to human transmission, as did the infection of the nurse's son.  (Snip) all but one was hospitalized and a WHO epidemiological analysis concluded that most if not all of the symptomatic cases were "probable" cases.

The largest cluster of confirmed cases was a familial outbreak in Riyadh.  Like the cluster in Jordan, WHO has withheld the disease onset days for the symptomatic family members, but media reports indicated the two fatal cases were father and son (father was 70 years old) and they died 4 days apart, once again supporting human transmission within the cluster.  Both fatal cases were confirmed, as was the novel coronavirus in one of the symptomatic surviving family members.  The fourth symptomatic family member tested negative, but again WHO classified the case as probable, based on symptoms and disease onset date.

The recent cluster in the UK limits unfounded speculation in the media suggesting that the human cases are linked to contaminated fruit or ground water, or other animals, including camels!  There was little scientific basis for any the above because an extensive survey of animals, including bats in Europe, Africa, and Asia, failed to identify any coronavirus that was more than 91% identical to the sequences from the human cases, which were all at least 99.5% identical to each other (Snip)

(Snip) most of the cases had no linkage to animals, but did have linkages to symptomatic humans as noted in the above three clusters which involve 7 of the 11 confirmed cases. http://www.recombinomics.com/N...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


Batam administration to cull thousands of chickens
Thu, February 14 2013

The Batam administrative region will cull chickens in locations within a 1-kilometer radius from areas with recorded bird flu cases in an attempt to prevent the spread of the bird flu virus to humans.

Bird flu, or avian influenza, has spread rapidly in Batam. In less than a month, a total of 2,070 chickens died in two Batam sub-districts; Air Raja sub-district in Bulang district and Tanjung Riau sub-district in Sekupang district. The chickens tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, Batam's maritime, fisheries, agriculture and forestry affairs department (KP2K) confirmed.

KP2K chief Suhartini told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that chickens had been dying in the two sub-districts since the beginning of January.

"Hundreds more chickens from other sub-districts also died, possibly from bird flu. But local residents did not report the cases to us," said Suhartini.

Following the KP2Ks findings, the Batam administration plans to take necessary preventative measures to address the spread of the viruses. The two sub-districts in question will be isolated and the authorities will spray disinfectants around resident settlements and chicken scoops in the areas.

The KP2K also warned the poultry breeders from those two sub-districts to not sell-on their chickens and people have been warned to not consume chickens from the areas.

"Bird flu has become an epidemic in these areas. Therefore, we will cull all chickens within a 1-kilometer radius of the location where bird flu-infected chickens were found," said Suhartini.

Meanwhile, Batam Mayor Ahmad Dahlan highlighted on Thursday bird flu in humans had not been found in Batam so far. He urged people to report any case of dead poultry to the KP2K so that it could follow up the cases and investigate the cause of the deaths.

"No need to panic," Dahlan said, adding that several hospitals had been assigned as bird flu referral centers.


United we stand: Divided we fall

Batam, Indonesia
"Batam is both an island, municipality, and largest city in Riau Islands Province of Indonesia. It is a Free Trade Zone, as part of the Sijori Growth Triangle, and is located 20 km off Singapore's south coast."

Wikipedia: Free Trade Zone - "A free trade zone (FTZ) or export processing zone (EPZ), also called foreign-trade zone, formerly free port is an area within which goods may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and reexported without the intervention of the customs authorities."

Map link: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
Little-Known Flu-Like Virus Strikes Very Young, Seniors

Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 07:18 AM

Chances are you've never heard of human metapneumovirus. But, it's quite possible that you've been sick with this respiratory germ at some point in your life.

Discovered only 12 years ago, human metapneumovirus (HMPV) shares many symptoms with the flu. And, like the flu, most people who get it are miserable for a short time and then get better with no complications.

But the virus can cause serious illness, and in a recent study in U.S. children, researchers found that 6 percent of children who were hospitalized had HPMV, while 7 percent of pediatric emergency room visits were due to the virus.

"It turns out that human metapneumovirus is one of the most common causes of acute respiratory infections,
" said study senior author Dr. John Williams, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn.

"Everyone knows about flu and RSV [respiratory syncytial virus], but it's just in the last couple of years that HPMV is making it into the medical school textbooks. For otherwise healthy children and adults, it tends to be a minor illness, like a cold, but populations that are vulnerable to one of these viruses are vulnerable to all of them," said Williams, who added that this generally includes the very young, the very old, and people with underlying health problems, such as asthma or chronic heart disease.

[continued at link]

Alert: What Is Your Risk for a Heart Attack? Find Out Now

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

FDA expert: Universal flu vaccine still 5-10 years off

Robert Roos  News Editor
Feb 13, 2013 (CIDRAP News) - Top federal health officials who testified on Capitol Hill today said the nation has much better influenza defenses today than it had 10 years ago, but one of them predicted that a "universal" flu vaccine is probably still 5 to 10 years away.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pointed to increases in flu vaccine production capacity and newly approved flu vaccines as signs of progress, but they also made clear that the goal of a vaccine offering broader, longer-lasting protection is still distant.

The hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations focused on the current flu season and flu preparedness generally. The panel heard from CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, FDA Chief Scientist Jesse Goodman, MD, MPH, and Marcia Crosse, PhD, healthcare director for the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The session was webcast.

The hearing also featured some questions about the potential effects of the "sequester" budget cuts scheduled to hit in March. Frieden and Goodman vowed that their agencies will do the best they can but gave no specifics on how the cuts will be handled.

A lengthy quest
When one panel member asked Goodman how close scientists are to developing a universal flu vaccine, he replied that he is more optimistic than he was a couple of years ago. If some recent developments pan out, he added, "It's possible we could have some real leads in this direction in the next 5 to 10 years, but it's not something that's just on the horizon.

[continued at link]

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

Flu season breeds spread of germaphobes

By Angela Hill
Oakland Tribune
Posted:   02/13/2013 03:00:00 PM PST

In the midst of this year's severe flu season, there are a lot of germaphobes going around, super sanitizing everything they can't stand to put their hands on.

You know whom we're talking about: the co-worker squirting globs of hand sanitizer faster than a speeding pathogen, the shopper fighting back the flu with a single antibacterial wipe on the grocery cart, the car salesman able to avoid a handshake with a strategic pat on the back instead.
Epidemiologists certainly praise the regular cleaning of hands and surfaces. Still, is it possible we have come down with a serious case of too much information, seeing danger everywhere?

"Like everything in life, there should be a balance," said Dr. Steve O'Brien,

Dianne Root, of Pleasanton, poses for a photograph with her collection of hand sanitizers that she keeps around the house, in her car, and on her person at home in Pleasanton, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. (Anda Chu/Staff)

vice president of medical affairs at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland. "Of course it's absolutely right to take precautions when there's a lot of cold and flu going around, and it's been higher than normal this year. For the general population, there's probably less hand washing than there should be."

But it's also important not to be obsessive about it, O'Brien said. "We don't want to become afraid of each other or of human contact. We need human contact, or we'll be like the boy in the bubble, living in plastic."
[continued at link]

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

Dumb budget cuts would slow promising research on flu, cancer, other diseases

By Robert McCartney, Published: February 13

Few Americans would want their elected representatives to do anything so stupid as slow down medical research that promises to create a universal flu vaccine or find new cures for cancer.

That, however, is precisely what Congress is about to do through the indiscriminate, mandated budget cuts known as sequestration.

You've heard the word "sequester" mentioned by politicians a lot lately. The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe explains what the term means, and why it matters.

"It'll be beyond ridiculous," Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, told me Wednesday. "We will lose the opportunity to support some fantastic science."

Unless our politicians manage to choose between smart spending reductions and dumb ones in the next two weeks, the automatic ax will chop $1.6 billion, or 5.1 percent, from the already underfunded NIH budget.

[continued at link]

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

Cambodia: Seventh Bird Flu Case Confirmed

By Mech Dara and Denise Hruby - February 14, 2013

A 3-year-old girl from Kampot province has become the seventh person to contract avian influenza in the country's worst outbreak since the disease was first identified here in 2005, the World Health Organi­zation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

The child, from Angkor Chey district's Angkor Phnom Touch commune, died yesterday at about 11 a.m. at Phnom Penh's Kantha Bopha Hospital, according to the girl's father, 32-year-old Tun Sambath, and the WHO.

Mr. Sambath said that after his daughter had developed a fever on February 2, he took her to a lo­cal clinic where doctors wrongly diagnosed her with typhoid. See­ing no improvement in the child's condition, he brought her to Kan­tha Bopha on February 6.

Mr. Sambath said that the majority of the poultry in his village, in­cluding his own, had started dy­ing to­ward the end of January.


Sonny Krishnan, the WHO's communications officer, said that the high number of cases in such a short time period-seven cases and five deaths since January 21-was unprecedented."In terms of the cases, we have never seen such a high number of cases in such a short period of time," he said. So far, the worst year for avian influenza, or H5N1, was in 2011, when all eight people infected with H5N1 between Jan­uary and August died.

The WHO has partly attributed the recent outbreak to the in­creased movement of poultry ahead of Chinese New Year last weekend.


Because there is no financial compensation for farmers whose animals have to be culled, there is little incentive for them to report sick birds.

The FAO and other development partners have pushed the government to set up a compensation system for farmers who report cases of bird flu, but without success, Dr. Allal added.

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture declined to comment.

In memory of pogge: Peace, order and good government, eh?
[If we want it, we'll have to work at it.]

The Boy Suspect Bird Flu Referred to Sanglah Hospital
February 14, 2013
Bangli, Indonesia:  MD (2.5) of Hamlet Sidawa Tamanbali village, Bangli was referred from hospital to Sanglah Hospital.  MD was referred to Bangli hospital on Wednesday (13/2) and then, with symptoms of fever, breathlessness and coughing since three days earlier.  After the lab examination in hospital Bangli and a history of poultry that died suddenly at the patient's home, hospital Bangli took shortcuts to refer him to the Sanglah Hospital.

Bangli Hospital CEO dr. Wayan Sudiana, on Thursday (14/2) yesterday admitted referring MD, a child who is a bird flu suspect to Sanglah Hospital, Wednesday (13/2).  The patient was referred to hospital Bangli by his family, on Tuesday (12/2) at 19:30 pm.  Diagnosis and the history that is taught to the medical team in charge of the lab tests were finally done.  In lab tests they conducted, it leads to the patient being a bird flu suspect.  Given the limitations of the equipment owned by hospital Bangli in detecting disease, they decided to refer the toddler to Sanglah Hospital Wednesday at 9:00 pm.

"We do not want to risk something happening.  Neither the safety of the toddler or the officers themselves.  Due to the detection of the bird flu virus, this has caused the disease to need more comprehensive treatment,'' he said.

Later after being referred to Sanglah Hospital, he will be tested in the form of test swab (Biomol), including checks by Research and Development Lab in Jakarta.  Meanwhile, the Bangli District Head of Livestock and Fisheries Ir. AA Ngurah Samba admits there are some villages in Bangli that have bird flu based on the positive results of rapid tests.  They have deployed officers to conduct spraying or biosecurity and control stock traffic in and out of the Bangli entrance. As well as regular spraying disinfectant in animal markets Bangli.

"I am opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of man."  Thomas Jefferson

Bangli, Indonesia
"Bangli is a regency of Bali, Indonesia. It has an area of 520.81 km² and population of 197,210. Its regency seat is Bangli. Up till 1907, Bangli was one of the nine kingdoms of Bali.

Map link: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl...

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. --Unknown


[ Parent ]
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