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ATLANTA – Health officials say the flu season could be a bad one. New findings show the influenza vaccine is not as effective protecting against the virus this year.U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data Thursday that reveals 52 percent of the collected flu virus samples are different than the virus strains included in this year’s vaccine.The report indicated that vaccinated people may have a milder illness if they do become infected.“It’s too early to say for sure that this will be a severe flu season, but Americans should be prepared,” said CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.“We can save lives with a three-pronged effort to fight the flu: vaccination, prompt treatment for people at high risk of complications, and preventive health measures, such as staying home when you’re sick, to reduce flu spread.”So far this year, seasonal influenza A (H3N2) viruses have been the most common.Although anyone can get the flu, some people are at higher risk of complications related to the flu, sometimes leading to hospitalization and even death. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children (especially those younger than 6 months who cannot be vaccinated), people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly.Indiana Department of Health offer steps people can take to prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases like pertussis (whooping cough):Clean – properly wash your hands frequently.Cover – cover your cough and sneeze.Contain – contain your germs by staying home (or keep children home from school) if sick.Symptoms of the flu include:Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greaterHeadacheFatigueCoughMuscle achesSore throat read more
DUBAI: The International Cricket Council on Tuesday announced some interim changes to playing regulations of the game due to the COVID-19 pandemic.According to a statement released by the ICC, these changes include the ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball. Ban on applying saliva to the ball: Players will not be permitted to use saliva to shine the ball. If a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment for the players, but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning. A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings but repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side. Whenever saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play recommences. Agencies Also Watch: OIL Authorities Say Efforts on To Control the Fire read more
Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPNIs it too early to say, “Here come the Eagles”? Clearly not, since they could tie for the NFC East lead with a win and a Cowboys loss Thursday night. Again, though, trusting the Eagles still might be premature considering how close a call it was against the Giants last week. Theoretically, Colt McCoy will be better than he was against Dallas because he’ll have more time to prepare with the starters. Theoretically, if the Eagles’ pass rush plays to its capacity, it won’t matter.Prediction: Eagles, 24-19 It’s also Ben Roethlisberger vs. Philip Rivers, in the spotlight a matchup like that deserves. It’s only the sixth time the two 2004 first-round quarterbacks have faced each other. That’s what the NFL’s flex policy saved, instead of, well, Nick Mullens (who already has been on prime-time TV twice). Thanksgiving is over, but be thankful for that.MORE NFL PREDICTIONS:Week 13 picks against the spreadWeek 13 NFL picks, predictions(All times Eastern)New Orleans Saints (10-1) at Dallas Cowboys (6-5)Thursday, 8:20 p.m., Fox/NFLN/Amazon PrimeDak Prescott, feeling flush from beating a team quarterbacked by Colt McCoy on Thanksgiving, is giving the Saints bulletin-board material, talking about how the unquestioned best team in the NFL still “put on their pants the same way we do.” Chances are Drew Brees can pick up Michael Thomas and throw him into his pants from 50 yards away, but that’s beside the point. The point is … uh … hmmm … the Saints haven’t lost since opening day, and they ain’t losing now.Prediction: Saints, 38-17Baltimore Ravens (6-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7)Sunday, 1 p.m., CBSRavens fans are now arguing with each other over Joe Flacco vs. Lamar Jackson, mainly by trashing the quarterback they don’t support. It’s really not necessary, since putting either of them back in the driver’s seat down the stretch of their playoff run has extreme pluses and minuses. Starting Jackson for the third straight time (he’s 2-0) is the safe play, because the Falcons’ defense is still vulnerable, and if there’s a defense that can keep Matt Ryan in reasonable check, it’s this one.Prediction: Ravens, 27-24Carolina Panthers (6-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)Sunday, 1 p.m., FoxThe Panthers, with three straight losses, are entering mirage territory, especially when one recalls what all had to go right for them to have survived at home against the Giants. Their last win, coincidentally, was against the Bucs in Charlotte, and following that blueprint would help this time: Roll out to a huge lead behind Cam Newton and hang on against a furious comeback. Playing defense from start to finish and forcing a turnover (none in that three-game stretch) wouldn’t hurt, either.Prediction: Panthers, 30-28Chicago Bears (8-3) at New York Giants (3-8)Sunday, 1 p.m., FoxThe Bears got through the Sunday night-Thursday afternoon short turnaround on pure adrenaline, winning both divisional games, one without their starting quarterback. They might not have Mitchell Trubisky this week, either. They do have a defense that loves taking the ball away, and they’re playing Eli Manning. The Bears are solidifying their chances to win the division.Prediction: Bears, 29-16Buffalo Bills (4-7) at Miami Dolphins (5-6)Sunday, 1 p.m., CBSThe rest of the Bills’ season should be devoted to protecting and developing Josh Allen, and figuring out what they need to give him to succeed. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have decisions to make about their quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, who has five games left to get fully healthy and prove he is their man. They also have to ask themselves how they ended up in position to fall into a late-season tie in the standings with the Bills after starting 3-0.Prediction: Dolphins, 23-17MORE: Updated NFL playoff pictureIndianapolis Colts (6-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8)Sunday, 1 p.m., CBSThe Cody Kessler era begins in Duval. So does the play-calling career of Scott Milanovich. At some point, the era of figuring out what on earth happened to that world-beating defense since last season will start, too. There should be no confidence that the Jags will find their groove against Andrew Luck, who is playing like a medical miracle. Also: It’s time to apologize to Leonard Fournette (suspended this week) for downplaying his value and fawning over Blake Bortles so much since last season.Prediction: Colts, 40-14Cleveland Browns (4-6-1) at Houston Texans (8-3)Sunday, 1 p.m., CBSBaker Mayfield, quarterback and apparently de facto assistant GM, gets one of his stiffest tests, the Texans’ defense. The duel between him and fellow young prodigy Deshaun Watson will be intriguing, too. Actually, the matches to watch are both teams’ offensive lines, because ideally, as good as both are on the move, these two pass rushes routinely get quarterbacks running for their lives. A real stealth fascinating game.Prediction: Texans, 27-20Denver Broncos (5-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)Sunday, 1 p.m., CBSTom Savage and Jeff Driskel, the Bengals’ quarterbacks the rest of the way (presumably), should look to the Broncos’ starter as a role model: Two years ago, zero people envisioned Case Keenum as a franchise quarterback. Keenum has done everything right in helping the Broncos back into the playoff race with stunning wins over the Chargers and Steelers the last two weeks. His defense, of course, has done much more.Prediction: Broncos, 26-13Los Angeles Rams (10-1) at Detroit Lions (4-7)Sunday, 1 p.m., FoxYour weekly reminder that the Lions were 9-7 last year, fired Jim Caldwell, and 11 games into the next season are pleading for patience in their big rebuild/culture change. The Rams would have to come out of their bye in a fog and look past this game in order to lose it. Aqib Talib returns from his injured ankle this week, though, so not being emotionally ready for this is highly unlikely.Prediction: Rams, 34-20Arizona Cardinals (2-9) at Green Bay Packers (4-6-1)Sunday, 1 p.m., FoxThe Packers are crumbling, but not enough to let the Cardinals slip past them. Arizona cut two starters after their latest loss, one on each side of the ball. The Packers’ offense, though, looks way too inept for a team that has Aaron Rodgers running it. Whether Mike McCarthy is on the hot seat or not, he’s running out of time to fix it. If he can’t find a way this week, they may never do it.Prediction: Packers, 24-14Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) at Oakland Raiders (2-9)Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBSThe Chiefs should have caught their breath from the Rams shootout during their bye week, but if they haven’t, here’s another chance. They need to put the Raiders out of their misery early; not doing so, especially against an offense that can’t protect Derek Carr, would be a bad sign for later, when it really starts to count. This is a good chance for Patrick Mahomes to get back into an MVP race from which shouldn’t have been dropped in the first place.Prediction: Chiefs, 44-20New York Jets (3-8) at Tennessee Titans (5-6)Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBSAfter Monday night, it’s time to give up trying to predict or figure out the Titans. This begins a run of three games that, on first glance, could propel the Titans back into the playoff race (Jets, Jaguars, at Giants), but who knows? A game that ended 34-17 doesn’t seem to fit the category, but the loss to the Texans was very winnable, and it’s one of many the Titans will regret letting get away. The Jets, meanwhile, are terrible no matter who quarterbacks them, and the countdown to the end for Todd Bowles has pretty much begun.Prediction: Titans, 20-13San Francisco 49ers (2-9) at Seattle Seahawks (6-5)Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FoxThis is the aforementioned game that was flexed out of Sunday night. Finding a way for the 49ers to beat the Seahawks relies on stopping Russell Wilson, and there really seems to be no way for them to do that. After a string of surprisingly effective rushing totals, the Seahawks beat the Panthers last week with just 75 yards on the ground, and with Wilson simply being unstoppable. Speaking of “winnable” games, down the stretch the Seahawks face the Vikings and Chiefs, but also the 49ers twice and the Cardinals once. The door is open.Prediction: Seahawks, 33-17MORE: Updated NFL power rankingsMinnesota Vikings (6-4-1) at New England Patriots (8-3)Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FoxLast week against the Jets, the Patriots did not look exactly like the team that usually has already had everything click into place for a postseason run. The Vikings could make things uncomfortable for them on offense and defense. On the other hand, Bill Belichick likely has plans for neutralizing that offense, because that’s what the Patriots do best this time of year.Prediction: Patriots, 30-19Los Angeles Chargers (8-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1)Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBCIn the lifetime head-to-head matchups mentioned above between Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers, the Steelers are 3-2, including a divisional playoff game after the 2008 season, the year the Steelers won Super Bowl 42. They haven’t met since 2012. (In two other games between the teams since the 2004 draft, Rivers and Roethlisberger each missed one). The Chargers still can catch the Chiefs in the AFC West; the Steelers can still be caught in the AFC North. The Chargers have to figure out how to compensate for the injured Melvin Gordon. Against the Steelers’ defense, don’t count them out on doing it.Prediction: Chargers, 27-25Washington Redskins (6-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) Congratulations to the NFL for one it got right. The Sunday night flex policy was immensely necessary and pure genius. More proof comes this Sunday, in Week 13, with the Chargers’ trip to Pittsburgh replacing the 49ers-Seahawks game originally scheduled.It’s the Jimmy Garoppolo Effect again, and it’s a shame because when the schedule was made last spring, this looked like an attractive, meaningful game with serious playoff implications and a long-awaited revival of a briefly intense rivalry. Yes, this still means a lot for the Seahawks’ wild-card hopes, but Chargers-Steelers could decide who gets a bye in the AFC playoffs and where a potential postseason rematch will be played. read more