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CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

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  • CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

    Nov 3
    Obesity risk stands out in study of California's sickest H1N1 patients

    WHO team arrives to assist with Ukraine flu probe

    NEWS SCAN: Multistate E coli outbreak, H9 flu case in Hong Kong, WHO pandemic guidance

    H1N1 Flu Breaking News

    Vaccine production reaches 31.8 million doses

    Total H1N1 vaccine availability today reached 31.8 million doses, said US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Thomas Frieden at a briefing, up 1.8 million doses from yesterday. "We are therefore on track to hit the 10 million increase that we had been hoping for" this week, though the total is far from satisfactory, he said. He declined to predict when the US will give vaccine doses to developing countries, saying it will depend on clarification of production.

    Uptake of seasonal flu vaccine may set record

    This year's uptake of seasonal flu vaccine is "unprecedented" and may set a record, said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden at today's H1N1 news briefing. The CDC expects that 114 million doses will be distributed by the end of the year, but the demand may be greater still, he said. He also said there are signs of a higher vaccination rate than usual among healthcare workers, who usually have only about a 40% immunization rate.

    Virginia takes steps to keep voters healthy

    Election officials in Virginia, whose citizens vote for governor today, among other offices, are taking steps to avoid transmitting H1N1 influenza. According to the Associated Press (AP), voters will have hand sanitizer available at the polls and possibly cotton swabs or disposable coffee stirrers so they can avoid contact with touch-screen machines. Some sites also have backup election workers on standby.

    Indiana pigs get pandemic flu

    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday reported that four samples from Indiana pigs tested positive for pandemic H1N1 influenza. The samples were collected on Oct 22. Indiana's state veterinarian said in a statement yesterday that the animals have recovered and are being monitored. He said workers who had contact with the animals had been sick with flulike symptoms before some of the pigs became ill.

    GSK vaccine gets Saudi approval

    The Saudi Food and Drug Authority approved GlaxoSmithKline's H1N1 vaccine yesterday, according to Reuters, as the kingdom readied for more than 2 million pilgrims at this month's Islamic hajj. The vaccine is distributed under the Pandemrix brand.

    South African panel favors novel H1N1 in seasonal vaccine

    South Africa's National Institute of Communicable Diseases has recommended that South Africa include the pandemic H1N1 virus in its seasonal flu vaccine for next year, according to News24, a South African online news service. Barry Schoub, director of the institute, said it would be up to the nation's health department whether to follow the advice. Reports did not clarify whether the pandemic virus would replace the seasonal H1N1 strain in the vaccine or be added to it.

    FDA issues guidance on diagnostic tests

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published guidance yesterday to help manufacturers develop diagnostic tests for the novel H1N1 influenza virus. Manufacturers of tests can submit a request to the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). If granted, the EUA will allow the test to be used during the H1N1 pandemic. No H1N1 test is currently approved or cleared by the FDA.

  • #2
    Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

    Nov 4
    CDC says vaccine shortage likely to outlast current H1N1 wave

    H1N1 Flu Breaking News

    Norway OKs OTC antiviral sales

    To ease response to the H1N1 pandemic, Norway is allowing over-the-counter sales of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), the Associated Press (AP) reported. The new policy starts tomorrow and is in effect until the middle of 2010. Norway has ordered 9.4 million doses of vaccine, but the manufacturer has reportedly not produced enough to meet demand.

    EU asked to help with Ukraine outbreak

    Poland's prime minister called on the European Union to help respond to the flu threat in the Ukraine, and another official warned that the virus could spread rapidly in eastern Europe, Reuters reported yesterday. The Ukrainian health ministry said today that 86 people have died of respiratory illnesses, five of them from the pandemic virus, the National News Agency of Ukraine reported today. A global team is in the country to help assess the outbreak, which has hit western regions hardest.

    Flu hits remote Amazon tribe

    Pandemic flu has struck an isolated Amazon Indian tribe over the past 2 weeks, killing 7 and sickening about 1,000 people, Reuters reported today. The outbreak in the Yanomami tribe, who live in an isolated area at the Venezuela-Brazil border, was described in a statement from Survival International, an indigenous people's rights group. The group's director said the situation requires immediate response from the two governments. Venezuela has reportedly sent a medical team.

    US officials say terror suspects not set to get vaccine

    White House officials yesterday denied reports that terrorism detainees at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay prison would soon receive the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, the AP reported. An earlier report from a jail official that said detainees and guards would soon get the vaccine provoked an outcry that terror suspects would get their doses before most Americans. However, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said no vaccine is at the facility, and none is on its way.

    Pain relievers may blunt vaccine response

    Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce the pain of flu injections appears to blunt immune response, researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) reported recently at a conference. They found the association across a range of vaccine and pain relievers. They say that cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors block optimal production of B lymphocytes, which make antibodies. Czech researchers recently found that acetaminophen weakened infants' response to vaccines.

    Iowa cat tests positive for pandemic flu

    A 13-year-old Iowa house cat was recently diagnosed as having novel H1N1 after two of its three owners were sick, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported today. Iowa's public health veterinarian Dr Ann Garvey said the cat and its owners have recovered and that people should remember to protect family pets from illnesses. The American Veterinary Medical Association said it is the first pandemic virus isolation in a cat, and it doesn't appear the cat spread the virus.

    Canada exports excess vaccine antigen

    Canada's chief public health officer, Dr David Butler-Jones, said yesterday that the country's Glaxo plant has exported excess bulk pandemic H1N1 vaccine antigen, the CTV and the Canadian Press reported today. Sources did not say how much antigen had been produced. Butler-Jones said domestic fill-and-finish operations have not yet been able to package all the already-produced antigen for the Canadian market. He said the export would not slow vaccine delivery to Canadians.


    • #3
      Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

      Nov 5
      Reanalysis changes findings in respiratory protection study

      WHO warns countries not to underestimate pandemic virus

      H1N1 Flu Breaking News

      CDC urges states to focus vaccine on risk groups

      CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, sent a letter today to states commending them for their efforts to distribute pandemic vaccine when demand exceeds supply but emphasizing that the scarce supplies should first go to priority groups. He warned that giving early doses to those outside high-risk groups could undermine public health credibility. A spokesman said the CDC doesn't see confusion over allocation as widespread, but it wanted to underscore the importance of vaccinating vulnerable groups.

      Flu-like illnesses on US campuses up 2%

      The American College Health Association (ACHA) says its member schools had 28.6 new cases of flu-like illness per 10,000 students last week, a 2% increase from the week before. New cases at the 274 schools totaled 9,128. Forty-three percent of the colleges (117 of 274) had H1N1 vaccine on hand, but only about 1% of the students have been vaccinated so far, the association said.

      Virus found in Hong Kong pork samples

      Two pork samples from a Hong Kong slaughterhouse have tested positive for the pandemic H1N1 virus, Hong Kong's Food and Health Bureau reported today. Experts believe the virus spread to the pigs from humans. The risk of humans contracting the virus has not risen, officials said. Yesterday the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) said recent detections of the virus in animals are not surprising and animals do not seem to be spreading the virus among humans.

      Poll: 52% of Americans likely to get H1N1 vaccine

      Fifty-two percent of respondents in a national McClatchy-Ipsos poll said they are likely to get the H1N1 vaccine, while 47% said they are unlikely to get it, according to a McClatchy Newspapers report. In other findings, 63% of respondents said they were concerned about the virus, and 65% said they thought the Obama administration had done everything it could to provide the vaccine in time. The poll involved 1,077 people and had a sampling error margin of 3%.

      Germany approves cell-based pandemic vaccine

      German drug regulators have approved Novartis's cell-culture pandemic H1N1 vaccine, becoming the first country to clear a cell-based version, the company announced today. The vaccine, made in Marburg, Germany, contains 3.75 micrograms of antigen and an MF95 adjuvant. It is approved for those 6 months old and older. Studies found a single dose provoked a good immune response with no unexpected safety or tolerability concerns. Novartis is building a second cell-culture plant in the United States.

      CDC issues guidance for swine farm workers

      The CDC yesterday issued interim guidance on pandemic flu prevention for swine farm workers. It warns that people and pigs can transmit the virus to each other and explains how to recognize flu signs in pigs. The guidance reviews hand hygiene and reminds workers that pig immunizations might not protect the animals from all circulating flu strains. The CDC urges that workers exposed to potentially sick pigs be required to wear protective equipment.

      Defense department receives first vaccine doses

      The US Department of Defense (DOD) has started receiving its pandemic H1N1 vaccine and will start vaccinating in the coming weeks. Though vaccination with seasonal and pandemic vaccine is mandatory for service members, the DOD expects initial shipments to be limited. Officials said they will vaccinate high-risk groups while also maintaining mission readiness. Deployed troops, basic training locations, service academies, and healthcare workers will also receive the first of the DOD's doses.


      • #4
        Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

        Nov 6

        Pandemic flu keeps strong grip on US

        H1N1 Flu Breaking News

        WHO: Global flu transmission persists

        In its weekly update today, the World Health Organization (WHO) said intense, persistent H1N1 flu transmission continues in North America with an unusually early flu season under way across Europe and central and western Asia. Countries in northern and eastern Europe, as well as eastern Russia, are seeing increasing activity. Mongolia, China, and Japan are reporting surges in cases. Seasonal H3N2 viruses are waning, though some have been detected recently in sub-Saharan Africa.

        HHS orders IV antiviral drugs

        The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced yesterday that it has awarded contracts for up to 120,000 treatment courses of intravenous (IV) antiviral drugs to help treat hospitalized novel H1N1 patients. HHS ordered 10,000 courses each of IV oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir, totaling $31.5 million, with possible additional orders of up to 30,000 additional courses for each drug over 2 years.

        Poland takes anti-vaccine stand

        Poland will not buy H1N1 vaccine that has not been properly tested or from manufacturers that won't take responsibility for side effects, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said today. Tusk said that vaccine producers were pressuring governments to buy but without taking responsibility for possible negative effects, according to the Associated Press (AP). He said expectations are to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on vaccine "while no one wants to guarantee that it has no side effects."

        All Beijing to get H1N1 vaccine

        Beijing health officials said today that they would extend H1N1 vaccine from high-risk citizens to all the city's 16 million residents as the H1N1 death toll in the country rises, according to Xinhua, China's news agency. The city will offer free vaccine to all people older than 3 years. A public health official said Beijing now has 3.63 million doses but will receive more.

        H1N1 found in 160 Chinese piglets

        More than 100 piglets on a farm in Chinese Taipei have tested positive for pandemic H1N1 flu, according to a report filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Of 3,346 piglets on the farm in T'ai-Tung County, 160 started showing clinical signs such as coughing and diarrhea on Oct 19, and tests revealed H1N1 flu. The sick pigs have recovered, and swine farms within a 3-km radius are being monitored.

        WHO: H1N1 in animals needs monitoring

        Pandemic H1N1 virus infections in pigs, turkeys, and other animals underscores the need for close monitoring but have not changed pandemic dynamics, the WHO said yesterday. Limited evidence suggests the pig illnesses followed human transmission to pigs, and as human infections increase, the WHO said it expects to receive more reports of animal H1N1 infections. A novel H3N2 virus found recently in Danish minks did not spread to humans but signals a need for increased vigilance.


        • #5
          Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

          Nov 9

          H1N1 Flu Breaking News

          Studies to test steroids, statins for H1N1

          Researchers in Canada, the United States, and France are planning studies to find out if corticosteroids or cholesterol-lowering statins could help the sickest H1N1 flu patients, the Canadian Press reported. Networks of intensive care specialists are setting up randomized controlled trials, said Dr. John Marshall, chair of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group. Interest in using statins in flu patients has been spurred by the writings of retired American virologist Dr. David Fedson.

          GSK reports good results with co-administered vaccines

          Older adults who were given GlaxoSmithKline's pandemic H1N1 and seasonal flu shots at the same time generated a good immune response to both vaccines, GSK reported today. The company said 168 people over age 60 received one injection in each arm, and 89% showed an immune response to an adjuvanted formulation of Pandemrix, the novel H1N1 vaccine. Immune responses to the three strains in the seasonal flu shot were seen in 69% (seasonal H1N1), 79% (H3N2), and 100% (type B) of volunteers.

          Flu-like cases in Ukraine near 1 million

          Ukraine has had 936,804 cases of flu-like illness and 144 deaths since pandemic H1N1 emerged there in mid October, KyivPost, the online version of a Ukrainian English-language newspaper, reported. The number of cases exceeds the epidemic threshold in 16 of the country's 27 regions. A World Health Organization (WHO) team continued its investigation of the outbreak over the weekend, the WHO said.

          Russia gives first vaccine doses to utility workers

          Russia launched the first stage of its pandemic H1N1 vaccine campaign today, giving its first doses to workers in utilities such as water, electricity, and communications, Itar-Tass reported. The health ministry said the next priority group will be medical workers and those in medical schools, followed by those who have underlying medical conditions, pregnant women, and children. The country has approved four vaccines and has so far purchased 43 million doses.

          Belgium, Austria, France vaccinate high-risk groups

          Belgium on Nov 7 started vaccinating high-risk groups against the pandemic H1N1 virus, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. The country has sent 1 million doses to doctors' offices in an effort to reach the vulnerable groups. Meanwhile, Austria and France today started vaccinating high-risk groups with initial supplies, amounting to 1.6 million doses in Austria and 6 million in France, according to media reports. All three countries had already started immunizing healthcare workers.

          Bulgaria closes schools, enacts social distancing

          Bulgaria's health ministry on Nov 6 declared a flu epidemic, which triggered a 1-week school closure and other social distancing measures, AFP reported. The country also suspended hospital visits and prescheduled surgeries. Though the ministry didn't close theaters or other public venues, it urged citizens to avoid crowds. Flu epidemics had already been declared in 16 of the country's 28 regions, including the capital, Sofia.

          WHO counters homeopathic vaccine advice in pregnancy

          A WHO official criticized the Swiss Society of Homeopathic Physicians for advising pregnant women to avoid getting vaccinated against H1N1, the Associated Press (AP) reported Nov 7. Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the WHO's Initiative for Vaccine Research, said the advice could put pregnant women and their babies at risk for severe consequences. The WHO's vaccine advisory group has said the two adjuvanted vaccines licensed in Switzerland are safe for use in pregnant women.

          Pandemic guide for HR professionals released

          A guide for human resource (HR) managers looking for ways to quickly plan for and respond to the H1N1 pandemic has been issued by the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, and the Society for Human Resource Management. The free 42-page guide was prepared with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It includes lessons learned by HR professionals whose response skills were tested in the early days of the pandemic.


          • #6
            Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

            <TABLE style="TABLE-LAYOUT: auto" border=0 cellSpacing=0 summary="New on the Site column header" cellPadding=0 sizset="27" sizcache="0"><TBODY sizset="27" sizcache="0"><TR><TD class=blackBold colSpan=2 align=middle>Nov 10</TD></TR><TR sizset="27" sizcache="0"><!-- LATEST NEWS ARROW --><TD vAlign=top width=10></TD><!-- LATEST NEWS LINK --><TD vAlign=top align=left sizset="27" sizcache="0">NIOSH says disputed study didn't guide advice on masks</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 align=middle>

            </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 align=left>H1N1 Flu Breaking News</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizset="29" sizcache="0"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizset="29" sizcache="0"><TABLE sizset="28" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="108"><TBODY sizset="28" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="107"><TR sizset="28" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="106"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizset="28" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="105">Vaccine maker donates 50 million doses </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Pharmaceuticals manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline will donate 50 million doses of H1N1 vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) for distribution to countries that cannot afford to buy it, the WHO said today. The agency said that 95 countries are eligible to receive the vaccine and it hopes to procure enough vaccine to cover 10&#37; of their populations. [Nov 10 WHO statement]

            </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizset="31" sizcache="0"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizset="31" sizcache="0"><TABLE sizset="30" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="114"><TBODY sizset="30" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="113"><TR sizset="30" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="112"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizset="30" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="111">Flu worries reduce blood donations </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Blood-donation centers across the United States are reporting unusually low levels of donations thanks to H1N1 flu, according to the Wall Street Journal. Some school and corporate blood drives have been canceled because of absenteeism, while in other areas regular donors are ill. In addition, donated blood must be discarded under federal rules if donors come down with flu symptoms shortly after donation. [Nov 10 Wall Street Journal story]

            </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizset="33" sizcache="0"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizset="33" sizcache="0"><TABLE sizset="32" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="119"><TBODY sizset="32" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="118"><TR sizset="32" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="117"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizset="32" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="116">More Americans blame drug makers for flu-shot shortage </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Slightly more Americans hold vaccine manufacturers responsible for shortages of flu vaccine, compared with the percentage who blame the government, USA Today reported. A telephone poll of 1,500 adults conducted last weekend found that 62% of respondents place blame on drug companies versus 58% who blame government policies. Among respondents, 17% tried and failed to get a flu shot, while 19% did not try because they believed no vaccine was available. [Nov 9 USA Today story]

            </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizset="35" sizcache="0"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizset="35" sizcache="0"><TABLE sizset="34" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="124"><TBODY sizset="34" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="123"><TR sizset="34" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="122"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizset="34" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="121">Ukraine cases top 1 million </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Ukraine's deputy health minister said the nation's epidemic of flu and other acute respiratory illnesses has now affected more than a million people, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. Vasyl Lazoryshynets said the death toll from the epidemic had risen to 174. Nearly 53,000 Ukrainians have been hospitalized, he said, but the number in intensive care has fallen by nearly a quarter to about 330. Sixty-seven confirmed H1N1 cases have been reported, 14 of them fatal, he said. [Nov 10 AFP report]

            </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizset="37" sizcache="0"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizset="37" sizcache="0"><TABLE sizset="36" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="129"><TBODY sizset="36" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="128"><TR sizset="36" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="127"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizset="36" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="126">H1N1 reported in 29 African countries </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Twenty-nine countries in Africa have reported confirmed pandemic H1N1 flu cases so far, totaling 14,868 illnesses, with 103 deaths, the WHO Regional Office for Africa reported. The vast majority of the confirmed cases were reported by South Africa, with 12,619 cases, the agency said. The numbers show an increase from the 14,109 cases and 76 deaths previously reported through Nov 1. The number of confirmed cases greatly underestimates actual cases. [WHO African region report]

            </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizset="39" sizcache="0"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizset="39" sizcache="0"><TABLE sizset="38" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="134"><TBODY sizset="38" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="133"><TR sizset="38" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="132"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizset="38" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="131">UAE pilgrims must be immunized before hajj </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>A newspaper in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reported that everyone going on the annual Muslim pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca must be vaccinated against H1N1 flu before leaving, AFP reported today. Pilgrims can be vaccinated at four centers in Dubai and 30 elsewhere in the country. The hajj will take place in the last week of November. [Nov 10 AFP report]

            </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizset="41" sizcache="0"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizset="41" sizcache="0"><TABLE sizset="40" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="139"><TBODY sizset="40" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="138"><TR sizset="40" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="137"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizset="40" sizcache="0" jQuery1257977461730="136">Flu spread spurs China to boost vaccine efforts </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>China is stepping up its H1N1 vaccination drive after cases increased by about 5,000 and the death toll rose from 16 to 30 over the past 3 days, AFP reported today. The health ministry numbered confirmed cases at 59,478 and said 240 people were in critical condition. Calling the increase in cases "alarming," health ministry spokesman Mao Qunan said the government has ordered increased vaccine production and immunizations. As of yesterday, 8.7 million Chinese had been vaccinated. [Nov 10 AFP report]



            • #7
              Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

              <TABLE style="TABLE-LAYOUT: auto" border=0 cellSpacing=0 summary="New on the Site column header" cellPadding=0 sizcache="0" sizset="27"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="27"><TR><TD class=blackBold colSpan=2 align=middle>Nov 11</TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="27"><!-- LATEST NEWS ARROW --><TD vAlign=top width=10></TD><!-- LATEST NEWS LINK --><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="27">Officials take a heartland look at pandemic vaccine messages</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 align=middle>
              </TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="28"><!-- LATEST NEWS ARROW --><TD vAlign=top width=10></TD><!-- LATEST NEWS LINK --><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="28">Sanofi vows to finish making H1N1 vaccine by year's end</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 align=middle>
              </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 align=left>H1N1 Flu Breaking News</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="30"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="30"><TABLE jQuery1257988547150="160" sizcache="0" sizset="29"><TBODY jQuery1257988547150="159" sizcache="0" sizset="29"><TR jQuery1257988547150="158" sizcache="0" sizset="29"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1257988547150="157" sizcache="0" sizset="29">FDA approves Glaxo's H1N1 vaccine </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said yesterday it received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine. The government has ordered 7.6 million doses of the unadjuvanted vaccine, and plans call for shipping all the doses in December, the company said. The vaccine will be produced in multidose vials at the GSK plant in Quebec. The other four companies providing H1N1 vaccine to the US government received their FDA approvals in September. [Nov 11 GSK news release]

              </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="32"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="32"><TABLE jQuery1257988547150="155" sizcache="0" sizset="31"><TBODY jQuery1257988547150="154" sizcache="0" sizset="31"><TR jQuery1257988547150="153" sizcache="0" sizset="31"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1257988547150="152" sizcache="0" sizset="31">FDA head advocates for pandemic vaccine </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, sent a letter to physicians yesterday thanking them for their patience in dealing with pandemic vaccine delays and highlighting the important role they play in preventing serious illnesses and deaths from novel H1N1 flu. The letter describes how the vaccine is made and how officials are monitoring safety. Though most physicians support vaccination, some say they hesitate to get vaccinated themselves or recommend it to patients. [Nov 10 FDA press release]

              </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="34"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="34"><TABLE jQuery1257988547150="150" sizcache="0" sizset="33"><TBODY jQuery1257988547150="149" sizcache="0" sizset="33"><TR jQuery1257988547150="148" sizcache="0" sizset="33"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1257988547150="147" sizcache="0" sizset="33">Father of sick boy develops oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Canadian doctors today described a case of oseltamivir-resistant pandemic H1N1 flu in a father who underwent prophylaxis then developed flu symptoms after his son was diagnosed with a confirmed infection. In a letter in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the doctors wrote that their findings support limits for once-a-day postexposure prophylaxis and suggest that patients who develop flu symptoms during prophylaxis immediately start taking the twice-daily treatment dose. [Nov 11 N Engl J Med letter]

              </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="36"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="36"><TABLE jQuery1257988547150="145" sizcache="0" sizset="35"><TBODY jQuery1257988547150="144" sizcache="0" sizset="35"><TR jQuery1257988547150="143" sizcache="0" sizset="35"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1257988547150="142" sizcache="0" sizset="35">Online tool helps locate flu shots </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>A collaboration among Google, the American Lung Association, and the US Department of Health and Human Services has produced a searchable interactive map that displays government and private offices where seasonal and H1N1 vaccines are available, including location and contact details. The tool currently covers chain pharmacies in 50 states and health agencies in 20 states, with more data being added. [Google FluShot]

              </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="38"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="38"><TABLE jQuery1257988547150="140" sizcache="0" sizset="37"><TBODY jQuery1257988547150="139" sizcache="0" sizset="37"><TR jQuery1257988547150="138" sizcache="0" sizset="37"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1257988547150="137" sizcache="0" sizset="37">Canada's plan to vaccinate Afghan detainees draws fire </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Canada's military said it would vaccinate Afghan detainees against H1N1 on a case-by-case basis, but none of the suspected Taliban members had yet been vaccinated, the Toronto Star reported today. The plan drew objections from Canada's health minister and from Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Meanwhile, the Miami Herald said the US government shipped 300 vaccine doses to the Navy base at Guantanamo for high-risk personnel such as healthcare workers, but not for prisoners. [Nov 11 Toronto Star report]

              </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="40"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="40"><TABLE jQuery1257988547150="135" sizcache="0" sizset="39"><TBODY jQuery1257988547150="134" sizcache="0" sizset="39"><TR jQuery1257988547150="133" sizcache="0" sizset="39"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1257988547150="132" sizcache="0" sizset="39">Pandemic deaths doubling weekly in Europe </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Deaths caused by the novel H1N1 flu have doubled in the European Union (EU) in 3 of the past 4 weeks, Bloomberg News reported today. Drawing on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the news agency said the number of deaths per week rose over the past month from 12 to 24 to 49 to 43 and then to 84, with a total of 414 in the EU and European Free Trade Association. [Nov 11 Bloomberg News story]

              </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="42"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="42"><TABLE jQuery1257988547150="130" sizcache="0" sizset="41"><TBODY jQuery1257988547150="129" sizcache="0" sizset="41"><TR jQuery1257988547150="128" sizcache="0" sizset="41"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1257988547150="127" sizcache="0" sizset="41">CDC urges pneumococcal vaccine for risk groups </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday sent a letter to healthcare providers warning that pneumococcal infections have been seen in some fatal pandemic H1N1 cases and reminding them to offer the pneumonia vaccine to those who are currently recommended to receive them. It urged special emphasis on vaccinating those under age 65 who have high-risk conditions, because coverage rates are especially low and they may be more likely to develop secondary bacterial infections. [Nov 10 CDC letter]

              </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="44"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="44"><TABLE jQuery1257988547150="124" sizcache="0" sizset="43"><TBODY jQuery1257988547150="123" sizcache="0" sizset="43"><TR jQuery1257988547150="122" sizcache="0" sizset="43"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1257988547150="121" sizcache="0" sizset="43">GBS reported in boy who received H1N1 vaccine </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>A 14-year-old Virginia boy developed symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) within 18 hours of getting a pandemic vaccine, MSNBC reported today. His mother had taken him to the health department to receive the seasonal shot, where they also offered the H1N1 vaccine. It's not clear if the boy received both. The CDC said five GBS cases have been reported so far, not including the boy's. It said the rate is less than expected; 80 to 120 cases are reported in the general population each week. [Nov 11 MSNBC story]



              • #8
                Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

                <TABLE style="TABLE-LAYOUT: auto" border=0 cellSpacing=0 summary="New on the Site column header" cellPadding=0 sizcache="0" sizset="27"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="27"><TR><TD class=blackBold colSpan=2 align=middle>Nov 12</TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="27"><!-- LATEST NEWS ARROW --><TD vAlign=top width=10></TD><!-- LATEST NEWS LINK --><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="27">CDC's new estimation method raises H1N1 numbers</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 align=middle>
                </TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="28"><!-- LATEST NEWS ARROW --><TD vAlign=top width=10></TD><!-- LATEST NEWS LINK --><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="28">WHO stresses antiviral use in high-risk H1N1 patients</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 align=middle>
                </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 align=left>H1N1 Flu Breaking News</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="30"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="30"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="29" jQuery1258080308456="140"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="29" jQuery1258080308456="139"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="29" jQuery1258080308456="138"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="29" jQuery1258080308456="137">Lancet study: Seasonal flu shot may protect against H1N1 </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Contrary to most other reports, a study of H1N1 flu cases in Mexico, published in The Lancet, suggests that seasonal flu vaccine may have had a protective effect. Researchers examined data on 69,479 patients who sought treatment for flu-like illness. H1N1 was confirmed in 11&#37; of cases; 56% of those were in people between 10 and 39 years old. Risk of infection was 35% lower in those who had received seasonal flu vaccine (odds ratio, 0.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.55 to 0.77). [Lancet report summary]

                </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="32"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="32"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="31" jQuery1258080308456="146"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="31" jQuery1258080308456="145"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="31" jQuery1258080308456="144"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="31" jQuery1258080308456="143">CDC study finds no protective effect of seasonal flu shot </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found no evidence that seasonal flu vaccine was protective against the H1N1 virus. The CDC compared the vaccination coverage among 356 H1N1 case-patients in eight states with the estimated population coverage in those states. Overall vaccine effectiveness was found to be minus-10% but varied widely by age-group. The results, combined with others, suggest that seasonal flu vaccine neither raises nor lowers the risk of H1N1 infection. [Nov 13 MMWR article]

                </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="34"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="34"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="33" jQuery1258080308456="176"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="33" jQuery1258080308456="175"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="33" jQuery1258080308456="174"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="33" jQuery1258080308456="173">Researchers detail lung damage in fatal cases </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Autopsies of 15 Mexican patients who died of suspected novel H1N1 infections found the virus in 5 of them, of which 4 were young adults, doctors reported in a New England Journal of Medicine letter. Lung tissue was heavier than normal and solid. Four had upper-airway hallmarks seen in seasonal flu cases, but all five had pulmonary damage and interstitial lesions typically seen with H5N1 infections. Two patients showed evidence of other organ involvement seen in lethal H5N1 cases. [Nov 12 N Engl J Med letter]

                </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="36"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="36"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="35" jQuery1258080308456="171"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="35" jQuery1258080308456="170"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="35" jQuery1258080308456="169"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="35" jQuery1258080308456="168">Philadelphia hospital reports unusual rhinovirus outbreak </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Tests at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia found that rhinovirus infections, unusually severe with lower-respiratory symptoms, have been responsible for nearly half of flulike illnesses diagnosed at the institution this fall, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported today. The hospital routinely tests for both and saw rhinovirus activity rise before and after the flu season started. Researchers from the CDC are investigating the findings. [Nov 12 Philadelphia Inquirer story]

                </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="38"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="38"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="37" jQuery1258080308456="166"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="37" jQuery1258080308456="165"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="37" jQuery1258080308456="164"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="37" jQuery1258080308456="163">Colleges see small rise in flu-like illnesses </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>For the week ending Nov 6, US colleges reported 29 new cases of flulike illness per 10,000 students, a 1% increase from the previous week, the American College Health Association (ACHA) reported today. There were 15 hospitalizations among the 8,951 new flulike illnesses. The ACHA said no deaths have been reported so far and that though the illness pattern seems to be mild so far, it hopes H1N1 vaccine becomes more widely available to blunt the pandemic's impact on students. [ACHA report for week ending Nov 6]

                </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="40"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="40"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="39" jQuery1258080308456="161"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="39" jQuery1258080308456="160"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="39" jQuery1258080308456="159"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="39" jQuery1258080308456="158">FDA approves use of CSL's H1N1 vaccine in children </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of CSL Biotherapies' 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine in children aged 6 months through 17 years, the company announced yesterday. The injectable vaccine was approved for adults in September. The formulation for children is available in thimerosal-free, single-dose syringes, the company said. [FDA information about CSL vaccine approval]

                </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="42"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="42"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="41" jQuery1258080308456="156"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="41" jQuery1258080308456="155"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="41" jQuery1258080308456="154"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="41" jQuery1258080308456="153">Officials say China's aggressive flu-control measures helped </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Chinese and foreign health officials say the aggressive?and widely protested?quarantine measures China has used to fight the H1N1 virus may have helped slow the disease, according to the New York Times. Although cases have mounted recently, China has not yet had a major epidemic. The director of the World Health Organization's Beijing office said China's control measures have worked "very well." The US Embassy said 2,046 Americans had been quarantined in China through October. [Nov 11 New York Times report]

                </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="44"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="44"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="43" jQuery1258080308456="151"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="43" jQuery1258080308456="150"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="43" jQuery1258080308456="149"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="43" jQuery1258080308456="148">Vaccine shortages reported in Canada, UK </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>H1N1 vaccine clinics in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, are scheduled to close tomorrow because of a vaccine shortage, CBC News reported yesterday. The city health department said almost 190,000 people, or 22% of the population, would be vaccinated by tonight. Meanwhile, some large medical practices in the United Kingdom were running out of vaccine, as they received the same initial 500-dose allotment as small practices, according to the Pulse, a magazine for British general practitioners. [Nov 11 CBC News report]



                • #9
                  Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

                  <TABLE style="TABLE-LAYOUT: auto" border=0 cellSpacing=0 summary="New on the Site column header" cellPadding=0 sizcache="0" sizset="27"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="27"><TR><TD class=blackBold colSpan=2 align=middle>Nov 13</TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="27"><!-- LATEST NEWS ARROW --><TD vAlign=top width=10></TD><!-- LATEST NEWS LINK --><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="27">CDC cites some signs of ebbing US flu activity</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 align=middle>
                  </TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="28"><!-- LATEST NEWS ARROW --><TD vAlign=top width=10></TD><!-- LATEST NEWS LINK --><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="28">WHO notes H1N1 up in some regions, leveling in others</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 align=middle>
                  </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 align=left>H1N1 Flu Breaking News</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="30"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="30"><TABLE jQuery1258165907506="142" sizcache="0" sizset="29"><TBODY jQuery1258165907506="141" sizcache="0" sizset="29"><TR jQuery1258165907506="140" sizcache="0" sizset="29"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1258165907506="139" sizcache="0" sizset="29">Most flu-stricken health workers not infected at work </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Most healthcare workers who have contracted H1N1 influenza were exposed to the flu in their households and community, not in their healthcare institutions, according to testimony Friday before the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB). The board, chartered by the Department of Health and Human Services, was meeting to discuss mental health, healthcare strain and vaccine supply in the H1N1 pandemic, including how much personal protective equipment health workers require. [Nov 13 NBSB agenda]

                  </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="32"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="32"><TABLE jQuery1258165907506="148" sizcache="0" sizset="31"><TBODY jQuery1258165907506="147" sizcache="0" sizset="31"><TR jQuery1258165907506="146" sizcache="0" sizset="31"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1258165907506="145" sizcache="0" sizset="31">WHO unveils pandemic guide for mass gatherings </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>The World Health Organization (WHO) today issued an interim guide for mass gatherings during a pandemic. Among risk-assessment points, it urges planners to pay close attention to local virus circulation, length of the event, age of participants, and healthcare capacity. To reduce transmission, advising sick people to stay away from the event is a key task, along with isolating ill people, avoiding travel when sick, and reducing crowding in areas such as dining halls, the WHO said. [WHO guidance]

                  </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="34"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="34"><TABLE jQuery1258165907506="153" sizcache="0" sizset="33"><TBODY jQuery1258165907506="152" sizcache="0" sizset="33"><TR jQuery1258165907506="151" sizcache="0" sizset="33"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1258165907506="150" sizcache="0" sizset="33">Canada OKs one vaccine dose for 3- to 9-year-olds </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>The Public Health Agency of Canada said yesterday that one dose of adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine is sufficient for healthy children ages 3 through 9 years. The agency called for two doses 21 days apart for children from 6 months through 2 years old and for those 3 through 9 years who have chronic health problems. The recommendations are based on clinical trial findings from Europe. In October, WHO experts suggested one dose is enough for children under 10, but US health officials recommend two doses. [Nov 12 Canadian announcement]

                  </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="36"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="36"><TABLE jQuery1258165907506="158" sizcache="0" sizset="35"><TBODY jQuery1258165907506="157" sizcache="0" sizset="35"><TR jQuery1258165907506="156" sizcache="0" sizset="35"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1258165907506="155" sizcache="0" sizset="35">Hispanics in Texas hit hard by H1N1 </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>An analysis by Texas health officials finds that the state's Hispanics are being hit disproportionately hard by H1N1 flu, the Houston Chronicle reported. Hispanics make up 37% of the population but accounted for 52% of the 95 H1N1-rlelated deaths through Oct 17. Several risk factors for severe H1N1 disease, including pregnancy, diabetes, and possibly obesity, are more common among Hispanics, said Dr. Joseph McCormick of the University of Texas School of Public Health in Brownsville. [Nov 13 Houston Chronicle report]

                  </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="38"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="38"><TABLE jQuery1258165907506="163" sizcache="0" sizset="37"><TBODY jQuery1258165907506="162" sizcache="0" sizset="37"><TR jQuery1258165907506="161" sizcache="0" sizset="37"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD jQuery1258165907506="160" sizcache="0" sizset="37">France reports GBS in vaccinated health worker </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>France's health ministry said yesterday that a young female healthcare worker was diagnosed with mild Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) 6 days after she received a pandemic flu vaccine, Deutsche Presse-Argentur (DPA) reported today. Hers is one of very few cases that have been reported in H1N1 vaccine recipients. The DPA report said 1,700 GBS cases are reported in France each year and that an October poll showed 17% of French respondents planned to get vaccinated against the pandemic virus. [Nov 13 DPA story]



                  • #10
                    Re: CIDRAP - Daily News - November 2009

                    <TABLE style="TABLE-LAYOUT: auto" border=0 cellSpacing=0 summary="New on the Site column header" cellPadding=0 sizcache="0" sizset="27"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="27"><TR><TD class=blackBold colSpan=2 align=middle>Nov 16</TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="27"><!-- LATEST NEWS ARROW --><TD vAlign=top width=10></TD><!-- LATEST NEWS LINK --><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="27">NEWS SCAN: Slowdown on oyster safety, food tracing recommendations, avian flu in France</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=3 align=middle>
                    </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top colSpan=2 align=left>H1N1 Flu Breaking News</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="29"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="29"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="28" jQuery1258420447537="92"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="28" jQuery1258420447537="91"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="28" jQuery1258420447537="90"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="28" jQuery1258420447537="89">Study profiles Aussie hospital cases </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Australian researchers who studied hospitalized H1N1 flu patients in seven Melbourne hospitals from May to mid July report that 30 of 112 patients (27%) required intensive care and 3 died. Patients who had multifocal changes on chest x-rays were hospitalized longer and were more likely to need intensive care, according to the Medical Journal of Australia. Twenty-four patients had no known risk factors. Fifteen patients--a quarter of the women--were pregnant or in the postpartum period. [Nov 16 Med J Aust report]

                    </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="31"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="31"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="30" jQuery1258420447537="98"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="30" jQuery1258420447537="97"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="30" jQuery1258420447537="96"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="30" jQuery1258420447537="95">Disparity between H1N1 and seasonal flu deaths explored </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>A Canadian Press report probed the wide difference between the numbers of H1N1 flu deaths reported so far and the estimated toll from seasonal flu. Canada, with 4,000 to 8,000 flu-related deaths yearly, has 161 confirmed H1N1 deaths. Experts note that those numbers count different things, because only a small fraction of all seasonal flu-related deaths are directly attributed to flu. In most cases, flu contributes to death from such direct causes as bacterial pneumonia or heart attack. [Nov 15 Canadian Press story]

                    </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="33"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="33"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="32" jQuery1258420447537="103"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="32" jQuery1258420447537="102"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="32" jQuery1258420447537="101"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="32" jQuery1258420447537="100">Public buy-in crucial in H1N1 response </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Mistrust in government and economic fears are two factors that would make it difficult to maintain social distancing during a pandemic, according to findings published today in the American Journal of Bioethics. The study was based on the results of focus groups in four Michigan cities. The authors said more intense efforts are needed to engage the public in pandemic planning. [Am J Bioeth study abstract]

                    </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="35"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="35"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="34" jQuery1258420447537="108"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="34" jQuery1258420447537="107"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="34" jQuery1258420447537="106"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="34" jQuery1258420447537="105">WHO notes pandemic-related TB challenges </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Because many H1N1-related deaths have involved people with chronic respiratory conditions, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a statement to alert tuberculosis (TB) program managers to possible "challenges and synergies" in the effort to control the two diseases. The statement stresses the importance of maintaining TB treatment during a pandemic and notes that lab services developed for TB control can be useful for pandemic H1N1 diagnostics and surveillance. [Nov 12 WHO statement]

                    </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="37"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="37"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="36" jQuery1258420447537="113"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="36" jQuery1258420447537="112"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="36" jQuery1258420447537="111"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="36" jQuery1258420447537="110">Delays faulted in Ukraine's severe cases </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Factors such as delays in seeking medical care and getting antiviral medication to outbreak areas contributed to a sudden spike in severe flu-related pneumonia cases in the Ukraine, the New York Times reported. The late-October surge in flu-like illnesses prompted a WHO probe, which found the patterns in line with other countries. Doctors blame the news media and politicians for spreading misinformation, while others say a weak healthcare system played a role. [Nov 13 New York Times story]

                    </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="39"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="39"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="38" jQuery1258420447537="118"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="38" jQuery1258420447537="117"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="38" jQuery1258420447537="116"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="38" jQuery1258420447537="115">Switzerland, France OK H1N1 vaccines </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Novartis announced that Swiss regulators approved its adjuvanted cell-culture pandemic H1N1 vaccine, which was previously licensed by Germany. In clinical trials a single dose containing 3.75 mcg of antigen and 0.125 mcg of MF59 adjuvant provoked a strong immune response. The vaccine is cleared for use in people ages 3 years and older. Also, Sanofi said French regulators approved its unadjuvanted H1N1 vaccine. [Nov 13 Novartis press release]

                    </TD><TD></TD></TR><TR sizcache="0" sizset="41"><TD vAlign=top width=20></TD><TD vAlign=top align=left sizcache="0" sizset="41"><TABLE sizcache="0" sizset="40" jQuery1258420447537="123"><TBODY sizcache="0" sizset="40" jQuery1258420447537="122"><TR sizcache="0" sizset="40" jQuery1258420447537="121"><TD vAlign=top align=left> </TD><TD sizcache="0" sizset="40" jQuery1258420447537="120">Pandemic flu detected in North Korea </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>In what may be the first pandemic H1N1 virus detection in North Korea, a man from South Korea got sick with the flu while working across the border at an industrial complex, the Korea Times reported today. The man was diagnosed in South Korea, where the country's unification ministry announced the case today. South Korea reported the case to North Korea and advised it to check all North Korean workers at the industrial complex. [Nov 16 Korea Times story]