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Connecticut gears up for Lyme season

It started with neck and foot pain.

Barbara Meyer-Mitchell of Norwalk didn’t think much of it, and she did not connect it to symptoms that followed.

“It was a cascade of: every six months to a year, I had a weird new thing,” she said. “I went to a specialist for each problem, and they weren’t linking them together.”

Her primary care doctor in Westport tested her seven times for Lyme disease, but each test returned negative. It wasn’t until nearly a decade after her first symptoms appeared that she tried a new method being developed to detect Lyme.

 

Today’s most common Lyme test looks not for the disease-causing organism itself but for the specific antibodies people’s immune systems manufacture in response. Those antibodies were not in Meyer-Mitchell’s bloodstream, perhaps because she had had the disease for so long. But the long squiggly spirochetes causing it were.

 

Meyer-Mitchell still remembers the swell of emotion she felt upon learning the diagnosis — finally, there was an explanation for the host of symptoms her team of specialists had not been able to solve.

The Advanced Laboratory Services Inc. lab in Pennsylvania, where the test was conducted, has had difficulty satisfying the scientific community that its test is reliable, but researchers agree on the importance of a test that can detect the disease itself. That’s why, in a Danbury laboratory, a team of Western Connecticut Health Network researchers are pursuing a method of identifying the disease by scanning for its genes.

 

In addition to being to diagnose people with Lyme whose bodies have not created antibodies, such a test allows people to diagnose the disease earlier (it generally takes two to three months before tests can detect antibodies) and to tell whether the disease has been successfully treated (antibodies can linger in the blood even after the organisms causing them have disappeared, creating potential for false positives).

In the microscope room, Lead Research Associate Srirupa Das watched a video the of the bacteria wiggling across a Petri dish. She said that with the antibody test, “You miss a lot of positive cases. And once it detects it, it is already late, you are already infected with Lyme disease for two or three months ... By that time, the disease has already spread.”

Das said that being able to diagnose and start treatment early increased a patient’s chances of being cured. “That is why our research is so important.”

Paul Fiedler, a doctor researching Lyme disease at the Western Connecticut Health Network, pointed to a poster showing their team’s results.

“This is when we got really excited,” he said, indicating a chart comparing results from a traditional test to the results of the WCHN’s test as performed on 19 patients.

For the regular Lyme test, 32 percent of patients tested positive at the time of diagnosis, with that number increasing as patients returned to get retested two and six weeks later. In contrast, 63 percent of the patients tested by WCHN tested positive at diagnosis, and that number decreased over subsequent weeks as patients were treated.

However, even after three weeks of antibiotics, 44 percent of the WCHN patients still tested positive. “They’re supposed to be cured, right,” Fiedler said. “That’s what we want to follow.”

There is controversy over what causes Lyme disease symptoms to persist after treatment, Fiedler explained — some believe that it’s a prolonged infection (chronic Lyme disease), while others believes it’s a prolonged immune response causing problems.

Since an antibody-based test could not tell the difference between the two, WCHN’s gene-based test has the potential to finally answer the question. WCHN also home to the Lyme Disease Biobank, which has been collecting biological samples from people with Lyme disease since 2010. Fiedler said that another researcher had created a test for a number of tick-borne illnesses from a drop of blood, which could be used to look for patterns of how Lyme disease interacts with other infections.

The WCHN’s research, as Director of Public Relations Andrea Rynn, pointed out, is funded through philanthropy, and so the team recently launched a fundraising campaign, Taking Aim at Lyme (RedCarpetMosquitoControl.com). Fiedler hopes the campaign will raise both funds and awareness.

Lyme season is gearing up, as young ticks — the smallest and most difficult to notice — are looking for hosts and people are spending more time outdoors.

At Wah Wah Taysee Scout Camp in North Haven, nestled near the foot of Sleeping Giant State Park, Ranger Ross Lanius came home Monday evening after clearing tree damage caused by the recent storm.

He pulled off four ticks.

“You just got to be careful and check yourself every night,” he said.

Experts say a tick’s bite needs to last over a day before the infection sets in. But spotting ticks can be harder than it seems.

The other night, Lanius thought he had gotten them all and readied to relax.

“And Lordy be, I sit down and there’s one on my other wrist,” he recalled.

Kirby Stafford, chief scientist and state etymologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, tests for ticks in the environment by dragging a square yard of polar fleece along vegetation (he dresses in insecticide-treated clothes for protection) in addition to asking the public to send in ticks they find.

“Usually we get about 3,000 ticks submitted by the public, the majority from Fairfield and New Haven counties,” Stafford said. A year ago, following a very mild winter, he had roughly 5,000 ticks.

As for whether this year will be a bad one, he says it’s too early to tell. While this winter was also mild, it was long, and he says tick submissions in early 2018 weren’t as high as in 2017. What he can say is that he had seen an increase in Fairfield County’s submission of Lone Star ticks.

“So it’s not just the deer ticks or dog ticks that people have to look out for,” he cautioned.

If you find a tick, you can submit it to your local health department for testing. Theresa Argondezzi, a health educator at the Norwalk Health Department, explained that anyone can come in with a tick during normal health department hours. There, a scientist will identify the tick and send deer ticks to Stafford’s office in New Haven.

Argondezzi said her department send ticks off to the state for free for Norwalk residents (for non-Norwalk residents, it’s $15). She cautioned the tick should not be smooshed, taped or covered in any type of substance — instead, they should be sealed in a contained or plastic bag, then packaged in a padded envelope.

The WHCN Lyme Disease Biobank accepts samples from anyone who has ever been diagnosed with Lyme disease, regardless of location — those interested in participating should email.

“When you think about this, this is still a relatively new disease,” said Rynn of WHCN. Lyme was discovered in Lyme, Connecticut, in the 1970s.

 

 

Second Matson Containership Begins Construction at General Dynamics NASSCO

SAN DIEGO, April 2, 2018 -- General Dynamics NASSCO has started construction on the second ship in a two-ship series of Kanaloa-class containerships for Matson Navigation Company, Inc.

Construction of Matsonia began with a ceremonial first cut of steel at NASSCO's San Diego shipyard where the first ship in the series, Lurline, is 15 percent complete. Both ships will transport containers, automobiles and rolling stock between the West Coast of the United States and Hawaii. Using proven design standards, the ship design incorporates liquefied natural gas-capable main and auxiliary engines, which are compliant with Tier III emission requirements. Future installation of a LNG fuel gas system can be accommodated on the 870-foot-long, 3,500 TEU platform combination container and roll-on/roll-off ("Con-Ro") vessels.

"Matson's customers in the Hawaii trade rely on us for dependable delivery of their goods, and these new Kanaloa-class vessels designed specifically for serving Hawaii will ensure we meet the highest standards of efficiency and reliability," said Ron Forest, president of Matson.

"Designing and building these vessels brings pride to every member of our team," said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "It's an honor to add the Kanaloa-class vessels to NASSCO's decades-long history in Jones Act ship production."

Construction of the first ship for Matson, Lurline, is scheduled to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2019. Matsonia is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2020.

NASSCO partnered with DSEC Co., Ltd., to provide Matson with state-of-the-art ship design and shipbuilding technologies. For more than a decade, this partnership has produced premium ships for five separate Jones Act owners.

NASSCO serves as the only major shipyard on the West Coast of the United States designing, constructing and repairing ships for the U.S. Navy and commercial customers. In the past decade, NASSCO has delivered more than 30 cutting-edge, ocean-going ships, including the world's first LNG-powered containerships.

For more information about NASSCO, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), visit nassco.com.

For more information about Matson, Inc. visit matson.com.

 

SOURCE General Dynamics NASSCO

Related Links

http://www.nassco.com

USCIS Awards Salient CRGT $9.2M Order to Modernize Immigration Paper-Based Immigration Process

FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 1, 2018 -- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeks to modernize its paper-based immigration process through its Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) program. Through its Eagle II contract vehicle, Salient CRGT was awarded the USCIS Outcome-based Delivery and DevOps Services (ODDS) task order to provide Agile development services for ELIS program. This task order was awarded for a six-month base period and a six-month option period valued at approximately $9.2 million.

Under this task order, Salient CRGT will provide USCIS's ELIS program with experienced Agile development teams and DevOps service to transform and streamline USCIS operations; making adjudicators more effective.

This task order will allow Salient CRGT to continue to provide the talent, and the expertise to deliver high quality outcomes in response to business requirements. The Salient CRGT teams will work collaboratively with Government throughout the project to rapidly deliver quality, tested code in small batches, to increase the frequency and pace of delivering business-valued technology and support the operational needs of the system, thus functioning in a true DevOps manner.

"The USCIS plays a critical role in securing America's promise as a nation of immigrants and maintaining the integrity of our immigration system," said Brad Antle, CEO of Salient CRGT. "Our expertise in Agile methodology will help the USCIS improve the technologies it employs and enable the efficient issuing of immigration and citizenship benefits."

About Salient CRGT
Salient CRGT provides federal civilian, defense, homeland, and intelligence agencies, as well as Fortune 1000 companies, with expertise and leadership in health, data analytics, cloud, agile software development, mobility, cyber security, and infrastructure solutions. We support these core capabilities with full life‐cycle IT services and training—to help our customers meet critical goals for pivotal missions. The most innovative talent delivery model in the industry, scientifically providing exactly the right people for the customers' most pressing requirements, fuels these critical capabilities. Salient CRGT has earned a record of success with integration and operations of large‐scale, high‐volume solutions. On March 1, 2017, Salient CRGT completed its acquisition of Information Innovators, Inc.– visit newsroom and explore www.salientcrgt.com.

Tweet: .@Salient_CRGT $9.2M Order to #modernize @USCIS's immigration process. http://bit.ly/1MGSz5l

SOURCE Salient CRGT

Related Links

http://www.salientcrgt.com

ESO to Market TrackEMS® System to Alert Hospitals of Incoming Critical EMS Patients

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 14, 2017  -- ESO Solutions, Inc., and Innovative Communications, LLC, (InnoComm) have announced a new partnership to market TrackEMS®, a system that notifies hospitals of incoming critical patients in real time, as an ESO product offering, officials with the two companies said.

"With TrackEMS, paramedics and EMTs no longer need to interrupt patient care to give a radio report to the hospital about incoming patients," said Allen Johnson, Vice President and General Manager of Analytics and Health Data Exchange at ESO. According to Johnson, TrackEMS allows delivery of critical patient information from the field directly to the hospital ED and cath lab. "This is a natural extension to EHR that saves time in both the prehospital setting and hospitals, as well as ensuring that information about critical EMS patients is available throughout the hospital," he said.

TrackEMS will integrate with ESO's industry-leading advanced ePCR, ESO Electronic Health Record (EHR), allowing EMTs and paramedics to enter data once and have it available in the prehospital and hospital electronic patient records.

Based in Charlottesville, VA, Innovative Communications, LLC, was founded in 2014 with a vision to develop a communication tool for EMS to simplify the way meaningful data gets from the incident site to the hospital. "We are thrilled to be part of the ESO team," said InnoComm President and CEO Ed Cusick. "ESO's reputation for quality and innovation, plus its rapid growth in the fire and EMS markets, make it a natural partner for TrackEMS."

Learn more about TrackEMS here or by calling 866-766-9471.

TrackEMS® is a trademark of Innovative Communications, LLC, used under license by ESO Solutions.


About ESO Solutions


ESO Solutions, Inc., is dedicated to improving community health and safety through the power of data. Since its founding in 2004, the company has been a pioneer in electronic patient care records (ePCR) software for emergency medical services, fire departments and ambulance services. Today, ESO serves more than 13,000 agencies throughout the U.S. The company's healthcare, public safety and technology experts deliver the most innovative software and data solutions on the market, including the industry-leading ESO Electronic Health Record (EHR); ESO Health Data Exchange (HDE), the first-of-its-kind healthcare interoperability platform; record management system (RMS) for fire departments; and ambulance revenue recovery/billing software. ESO is also playing a leading role in helping EMS provider organizations across the nation successfully transition to NEMSIS Version 3 and new state standards for electronic patient care reporting.

ESO will bring focused sessions that support the needs of EMS, fire departments and hospital customers to Wave 2018, its annual user group and industry conference, February 1-2, 2018, in Austin, TX.

ESO is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.esosolutions.com.
 
SOURCE ESO Solutions, Inc.
Related Links
http://www.esosolutions.com

New Cybersecurity Regulations Adopted to Protect Financial Systems & Information

In 2016 almost 1.1 billion identities were stolen globally.  This number is up dramatically from a reported 563.8 million identities stolen in 2015.   In addition, the same Symantec Internet Security Threat Report placed the United States at the top of the list for both the number of breaches by country (1,023) and the number of identities stolen by country.

New York State’s Division of Financial Security and other government entities around the globe have been monitoring this increased cybercriminal threat and determining means to help protect the private information of individuals as well as the information technology systems of regulated organizations.

New York State’s Division of Financial Security released new cybersecurity requirements (23 NYCRR 500), directly affecting the way that financial data is managed going forward. Applicable to financial services companies operating in New York State, these regulations declare that, on an annual basis, financial firms are required to prepare and submit a Certification of Compliance with the NY DFS Cybersecurity Regulations to the superintendent, commencing on February 15, 2018.

The scope of this legislation describes measures related to: cybersecurity programs and policy, personnel, resources and training, penetration testing and assessments, audit trails, access privileges, application security, third parties, NPI (Non Public Information) encryption, data retention, incident response and notification.

Among other requirements, this regulation dictates that companies declare any cyberattack to the superintendent within 72 hours. In the past, many companies chose to not disclose information related to these hacking exposures because much of their cost stems from damage to brand reputation and the necessary steps required to rebuild the trust of their clients post-attack.

Similar to the NY DFS proposal, the Federal Reserve Board (FSD), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the FDIC issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on enhanced cyber risk management and resilience standards for large banking organizations.  Additionally, the states of Vermont and Colorado have released laws pertaining to cybersecurity and the improved protection and monitoring of data. 

Two technologies specifically called out in the new NYS DFS Cybersecurity requirements, Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) and Risk Based Authentication (RBA), are key methods of complying with regulation and defending against attacks. 

Multi-factor authentication is defined as using at least two factors to authenticate a person, generally a combination of:

  • “Something I Have” — this could be a hardware token, a mobile soft token, etc.
  • “Something I Know” — like a PIN code, a password, and
  • “Something I Am” — such as a fingerprint or face recognition.

With MFA, the two factors are fully independent from each other (i.e. the failure of one factor would not compromise the other one).

Risk based authentication is the capacity to detect anomalies or changes in the normal use patterns of a person as part of the authentication process, require additional verification if an anomaly is detected to avoid any breach.

It is more efficient to avoid hacking and cyber-attacks in the first place by focusing attention on the security of the applications being accessed, both externally and internally.  To learn more about these regulations and how similar standards will impact you, visit www.hidglobal.com/iam.

Kelvin Hughes Radar Based Security Systems Video

Kelvin Hughes leads the way in detection for security and surveillance applications. Utilising its SharpEye™ solid state X-Band radar, paired with the latest in multi-role camera mounts, provides versatile and flexible detection and identification systems.

AMAG Technology Welcomes Matica Technologies to the Symmetry Preferred Partner Program

Compact, powerful printer delivers crisp, secure access cards to Symmetry users

August 14, 2017, Torrance, CA – AMAG Technology, a security solution provider specializing in access control, video management, policy-based identity solutions and visitor management, is proud to announce that Matica Technologies is a new member of the Symmetry Preferred Partner Program.  Matica’s EDIsecure XID8300 Retransfer ID Card Printer integrates with AMAG’s latest Symmetry™ Access Control software to provide Symmetry users with an affordable, high quality printer to print access cards.  AMAG Technology and Matica Technologies cooperatively tested and approved this integration.

“We are proud about this new partnership with AMAG Technology,” said Ricard Ferrer, Head of Global Marketing for Matica Technologies Group. “Built from our industry proven and extremely reliable XID retransfer engine, the XID8300 offers a solution to the most challenging card projects. The certification and integration with Symmetry, the leading access control and video management platform, is a recognition which expands opportunities for both parties.”

“The integration between Symmetry and Matica card printers provides a high quality, versatile solution for security teams to print their own cards onsite,” said AMAG Technology, Vice President of Products and Partner Program, Dave Ella. “It prints at 300 and 600dpi which allows Symmetry customers to print complex fine lines and patterns for increased visual security and improved corporate identity.”

With its compact size, the printer delivers the right combination of reliability, performance and affordability for printing durable and secure cards.  The Matica XID8300 prints on a variety of card materials including long-lasting, durable non-PVC cards such as ABS, PET, and Polycarbonate. The printer can be equipped with a number of encoding options such as magnetic encoding, contact and contactless chip encoding to provide Symmetry Access Control users with several choices.

Its 300dpi resolution printing achieves offset printing quality, even on uneven surface of smart cards. Diverse security features such as dye-sublimation UV ink ribbon for invisible security printing, IPSEC for encrypted data transfer through networks, and security erase of black data on used supplies, help to secure the environment and cards from counterfeiting and to avoid misuse of personal information.

Matica Technologies manufactures and markets solutions to issue financial cards, ID cards and passports for secure ID and secure payments applications.

For more information about the Symmetry Access Control integration with the Matica EDIsecure XID8300 card printer, contact your Regional Sales Manager, call 310.518.2380 or visit www.amag.com

About AMAG Technology
AMAG Technology’s Symmetry™ Security Management Solutions are deployed across a wide variety of market segments from commercial to government, education, healthcare, banking, transportation, utilities, plus many more. Headquartered in Torrance, California with sales and support located throughout the Americas, EMEA, APAC and LATAM, AMAG provides customers with industry leading unified security solutions. AMAG Technology is part of G4S plc, the world’s leading global integrated security company which has operations on six continents and 585,000 employees. As the industry leader, AMAG focuses on delivering the latest technology to meet market needs. Its next generation of Symmetry security solutions help organizations operationalize their business to mitigate risk, meet compliance requirements and save money.

About Matica Technologies Group 
Matica Technologies Group is a fast-growing and innovative global company with a strong international network. Matica develops, manufactures and markets solutions to issue financial cards, ID cards and passports for secure ID and secure payments applications. The company offers a comprehensive hardware and software product portfolio, from centralized systems and mailers to ID printers, laser desktop systems and instant issuance solutions.

The Group is worldwide represented with offices in Italy, Germany, France, Singapore, China, the US, the UAE, and India.

For further information, visit our website under www.maticatech.com

GSN’s 2017 Airport, Seaport, Border Security Awards Now Open for Entries

Chuck Brooks

GSN is pleased to announce that the 2017 Airport, Seaport, Border Security Awards Program is  now open for nominations, with many new categories. And Chuck Brooks, who was recently named Cybersecurity Marketer of the Year, will once again serving as Lead Judge.

Entry categories for 2017 include Access Control and Identification, Detection Solutions, Communications, Surveillance Solutions, Airport/Aviation technologies, Maritime/Port Security and Underwater Vehicles, Border Security and Government Excellence awards.

In addition, the Program has been expanded by GSN to include a section on Cybersecurity categories, which is based on the enormous increase of Cyber attacks around the globe, which even made their way into the recent U.S. Presidential Election.

“Recently I had the opportunity to read two very disturbing articles on the subject of Cybersecurity,” said CEO Adrian Courtenay, Courtenay. “One was about the vulnerability of Maritime and Port Security, by the Brookings Institution, and the other, published in the current edition of Aviation Cyber Security Market Forecast.

Both of these sources made the same point:

According to the Brookings Institution article, more than 95 percent of U.S. trade is handled by U.S. seaports. “The U.S. may be a leader in e-commerce,” the article pointed out, but “it very much remains a maritime nation… Indeed, almost 50 percent of the U.S. Military’s operations in Afghanistan and Iraq shipped through a single U.S. Port… The awareness on cybersecurity needs in the Maritime Sector is currently low to non-existent. And of the $2.6 billion allocated to the U.S. Port Grant Program, less than six million has been awarded for security projections.”

“Cyber security is a necessity for the aviation industry moving toward the next decade,” says the Aviation Cyber Security Market Forecast. “The threat posed by Cyber criminals is credible and very real, and without necessary steps being taken to protect critical infrastructure, it is inevitable that a damaging attack could be made on aircraft, in seaports and on other critical infrastructure with disastrous implications. Aviation regulatory bodies and national governments are frequently becoming more vocal as to the vulnerability of the aviation industry. A widespread adoption of advanced protection systems need to occur across the aviation industry.”

“There is more information available on the need for enhanced Cybersecurity inside the program,” said Courtenay. “Our hope is that the Cyber Wizards will link up with the Airport and Seaport Wizards to make sure that our homeland and those of other freedom-loving countries will be safe and secure.”

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Varian’s Imaging Components

“Varian’s Imaging Components business has a 50 plus year history of dedication to the imaging industry.”
—Sunny Sanyal, Senior Vice President and President, Imaging Components

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