Wednesday October 23, 2019

Zika virus data to be shared by global health communities

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Zika virus

New Delhi: The leading global health bodies, on observing the outbreak of Zika virus, have committed to sharing the data of the same and future public health emergencies as rapidly and openly as possible, said the Wellcome Trust.

This will also include India’s Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

According to a statement by Wellcome Trust on Thursday, a joint declaration has been signed by organisations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and the US National Institute of Health.

It is believed that soon, other such bodies will come on board to strengthen the battle against the Zika outbreak, it added.

“Research is an essential part of the response to any global health emergency. This is particularly true for Zika, where so much is still unknown about the virus, how it is spread and the possible link with microcephaly,” said Dr Jeremy Farrar, director of the trust and a signatory to the declaration.

“It’s critical that as results become available they are shared rapidly in a way that is equitable, ethical and transparent. This will ensure that the knowledge gained is turned quickly into health interventions that can have an impact on the epidemic,” Dr Farrar added.

The joint declaration seeks to make “all content concerning the Zika virus free to access”.

“Funder signatories will require researchers undertaking work relevant to public health emergencies to set in place mechanisms to share quality-assured interim and final data as rapidly and widely as possible, including with public health and research communities and the World Health Organisation,” it said.

The Zika virus, which is known to occur in parts of Africa and Asia, is now spreading among the local American who have not traveled abroad.

Currently, no vaccine has been introduced to prevent the virus.

Zika virus is spread through the mosquito biting leading to fever, rash, pain and conjunctivitis. The symptoms can last from days to the week.

Zika virus is supposed to be associated with the infected mothers in Brazil giving birth to babies with small heads and underdeveloped brains. However, this remains unproven yet.

There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of babies born with this condition, known as microcephaly since Zika first appeared in Brazil in May 2015, researchers said.

More than 22 countries in the Americas have reported the sporadic Zika virus infections, indicating its rapid geographic expansion.

Luckily, no case of the virus has been reported till now in India but there is definitely the need to remain alert. (IANS)

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Vineyards in Oregon

Oregon has increasingly received international acclaim fir vineyards and these days the Willamette Valley is the center of a wine region

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Oregon
Oregon vineyards in Oregon along with its own Estate Vineyard, which with its adjacent winery and tasting rooms boasts some spectacular views. Pixabay

Oregon’s wet weather and short summers meant people used to doubt whether the state could ever successfully produce wine. That was 30-plus years ago, but since then it has increasingly received international acclaim and these days the Willamette Valley is the center of a wine region that is world-famous for some of America’s best Pinot Noir.

Here are 10 of the top vineyards in Oregon to visit: 

  1.       DOMAINE DROUHIN (6750 Breyman Orchards Road, Dayton OR 97114, 503-864-2700) is among Oregon’s very finest vineyards. Its motto is “French soul, Oregon soil” and it is owned by the Drouhin family. For the fourth generation, the wines are made using similar techniques to the family’s wines that are produced in Burgundy, France. More information can be found at www.domainedrouhin.com or @DrouhinOregon on Twitter.
  2.       TYEE WINE CELLARS (26335 Greenberry Road, in Corvallis OR 97333, 541-753-8754) can be found one the Buchanan Family Century Farm, which was founded in Willamette Valley over 120 years ago near Corvallis.  More information can be found at www.tyeewine.com or @TyeeWine.

3.   WINTER’S HILL VINEYARD (6451 Northeast Hilltop Lane, Dayton OR 97114, 503-864-4592) conducts tastings in the winery which is surrounded by a landscape of forest and fields.

4.   WILLAMETTE VALLEY VINEYARDS incorporates food and wine pairings so that visitors can discover local ingredients along with the wines, which are inspired by the wines of Tuscany among others. Pinots are featured with food like steelhead salads through roasted lamb to short ribs.

Find out more by visiting www.wvv.com.

Oregon
Oregon is one of the very finest vineyards. Its motto is “French soul, Oregon soil” and it is owned by the Drouhin family. Pixabay

5.   KING ESTATE WINERY (80854 Territorial Highway, Eugene OR 97405, 541-942-9874) was discovered by Ed King in 1990. In the next four years over 100 acres had been planted to create the most diverse soil vineyard ever created in Oregon. Organic winemaking processes enhance the complex fruit flavors and help create wines of great acidity, with structure and minerality to match. Learn more at www.kingestate.com or @KingEstate.

6.   CHERRY HILL WINERY (7867 Crowley Road, Rickreall OR 97371, 503 623-7867) nestles in the Eola Hills of the Willamette Valley. This is a boutique winery where super-premium Pinot Noir is produced by hand.  Find out more at www.cherryhillwinery.com.

7.   YAMHILL VALLEY VINEYARDS (16250 SW Oldsville Road, McMinnville OR 97128, 503 843-3100) is the oldest winery in the McMinnville American Viticultural Area.  It grows, produces and bottles all its own grapes on a 150-acre estate in the foothills of the Coast Range Mountains. The grapes here are the three Pinots – Noir, Gris, and Blanc – Chardonnay, and Riesling. Find out more at www.yamhill.com.

8.   DE PONTE CELLARS (17545 NE Archery Summit Road, Dayton OR 97114, 503 864-3698) is on the site of one of the Willamette Valley’s oldest vineyards.  The first Pinot Noir from here was released to critical acclaim back in 2001. As well as Pinot Noir, De Ponte is famed for its Melon grape, which is rare throughout the US.  

Oregon
WINTER’S HILL VINEYARD conducts tastings in the winery which is surrounded by a landscape of forest and fields, in Oregon. Pixabay

9.   YOUNGBERG HILL VINEYARDS (10660 SW Youngberg Hill Road, McMinnville OR 97128, 503 472-2727) began farming organically in 2003 and continues to move further in that direction. It is a small, producer of both Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.

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10.   PENNER-ASH WINE CELLARS (15771 NE Ribbon Ridge Road, Newberg OR 97132, 503 554-5545) sources its grapes from the best Oregon vineyards in Oregon along with its own Estate Vineyard, which with its adjacent winery and tasting rooms boasts some spectacular views. Find out more at www.pennerash.com or @pennerash.