A new three-in-one laboratory test for Zika and two other dangerous viruses has received emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration and will be distributed soon, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kits containing the test, which could speed the diagnosis of Zika, will be shipped to qualified labs across the country over the next two weeks, the agency said Friday.
The test will allow doctors to determine in a single procedure whether an individual is infected with Zika, chikungunya or dengue. Currently, separate tests are required.
The CDC said it will distribute the test kits to facilities in the Laboratory Response Network, a grouping of domestic and international labs that respond to public health emergencies. The test, called the Trioplex Real-time RT-PCR Assay, will not be available in hospitals or other primary-care settings.
The Zika virus, which is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes, has been spreading rapidly throughout the Americas.
— Laurie McGinley
A former manager of a Singapore-based company servicing U.S. Navy ships has been sentenced to more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to a fraud scheme that overbilled the maritime branch by more than $34 million.
U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino in San Diego also ordered Alex Wisidagama to pay $34.8 million in restitution to the Navy.
The 42-year-old businessman was the global manager of Glenn Defense Marine Asia and the cousin of its top executive, Leonard Glenn Francis. Francis, nicknamed “Fat Leonard” because of his wide girth, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in one of the military’s biggest bribery cases.
Ten people, including several Navy officers, have been charged in the case, and all but one have pleaded guilty. Wisidagama is the third defendant to be sentenced.
Francis has admitted to providing a long list of gifts — including paying for prostitutes, concert tickets and luxury hotel stays for Navy officers — in exchange for classified information that helped his company carry out the scheme.
— Associated Press
Three Franciscan friars charged with allowing a suspected sexual predator to hold jobs where he may have molested more than 100 children surrendered Friday in Pennsylvania.
Robert D’Aversa, 69, Anthony Criscitelli, 62, and Giles Schinelli, 73, are free on unsecured bonds until an April 14 preliminary hearing on charges of child endangerment and conspiracy. Each is a third-degree felony carrying up to seven years in prison.
The friars served successively as ministers provincial who headed a Franciscan religious order in western Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2010. In that role, each assigned and supervised the order’s members, including Brother Stephen Baker, who authorities say molested scores of children, most of them at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown, where he was assigned from 1992 to 2000. Baker killed himself in 2013.
— Associated Press
Ore. refuge occupier arrested over threat: A man who took part in the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon this year was arrested after threatening to kill federal agents investigating the standoff, a county prosecutor said Friday. Scott Willingham, 49, called 911 on Wednesday and said he would shoot investigators if local officials did not come to arrest him first, said Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter.
Prep-school graduate sent to prison for parole violation: A graduate of a New Hampshire preparatory school who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old freshman as part of a game of sexual conquest called Senior Salute was sent to jail Friday after acknowledging he had violated his bail agreement by repeatedly missing curfew. A judge in Merrimack County Superior Court said Owen Labrie, 20, would begin his one-year jail sentence immediately. Labrie was arrested in 2014, days after graduating from St. Paul’s School, an elite school in Concord, N.H.
— From news services