"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 29th Nov 2017
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Bird flu scare latest to rattle South Korea's Winter Olympics
Local governments in South Korea have called on operators of farms close to venues that are to be used in February's Winter Olympic Games to slaughter around 6,000 ducks and chickens after avian influenza was discovered on a duck farm in North Jeolla Province. Organizers of the PyeongChang 2018 games are desperate to play down fears of an outbreak among spectators or athletes taking part in the games
DA to conduct random tests on poultry farms in Nueva Ecija
In the Philippines, the Bureau of Animal Industry will conduct random laboratory tests on farms surrounding a poultry farm in a town where about 40,000 birds were culled, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, who had received reports that “at least 40,000 birds” were culled in a poultry farm in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, by the owner. He has ordered the implementation of the Department of Agriculture's revised avian-influenza protocol in the area as a preventive measure
Genesis and Spread of Newly Emerged Highly Pathogenic H7N9
A new study shows that "the rapid geographical expansion and genetic evolution of the HPAI H7N9 viruses pose a great challenge not only to public health but also to poultry production. Effective control measures, including enhanced surveillance, are therefore urgently needed."
Asian bird flu gives birth to more virologist analysis
The H7N9 flu virus is developing into a dangerous threat for humans. Experts are warning that we have to keep a closer eye on the virus without wanting to cause unnecessary panic. Among virologists the fate and future mutations of H7N9 is the subject of some debate. The virus was already detected in poultry in China in 2013, but it is now slowly mutating into a form that looks likely to become dangerous to humans
Genetic mutation could, if altered, boost flumist vaccine effectiveness, research suggests
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have discovered a genetic mutation in the FluMist intranasal flu vaccine that has the potential to be altered to enhance the vaccine's protective effect. When the researchers reversed the mutation in one of the viruses, the virus became more active, making copies of itself more quickly in cultured human nasal cells and inducing a stronger production of immune proteins
Lock up children if they get the flu, says health ministry
Young flu patients should be locked indoors for the first two days when they recuperate at home to stop them from suffering accidents such as jumping out of windows or falling off balconies, the Japanese health ministry has warned. External doors and windows should be locked and the young person should sleep in a room that has no access to a balcony, the alert states. It was sent out to all prefectural governments Nov. 27 as fatal accidents caused by the abnormal behavior of sufferers are still being reported regardless of whether they are taking antiviral medication or not
Chinese venture is healthy addition for Astrazeneca
Astrazeneca has stepped up its efforts to displace Pfizer as the largest pharmaceuticals multinational in China by launching a joint venture with the state-backed Chinese Future Industry Investment Fund. The pair are establishing a new company, Dizal Pharmaceutical, to discover, develop and commercialise new medicines for the market in China
Celia Schiffer joins collaboration to develop avian flu vaccine
Celia A. Schiffer, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology and director of the Institute for Drug Resistance at UMass Medical School, is taking part in a $5.8 million NIH-funded collaboration to develop a protective vaccine against avian influenza A. Dr. Schiffer and colleague Nese Kurt Yilmaz, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, will work with scientists with a wide range of influenza expertise at EpiVax, Sanofi Pasteur and the University of Georgia to develop a new vaccine capable of eliciting an immune response strong enough to protect humans from a new, high-mortality, avian influenza
AccuWeather Helps Brands Get Ahead of the Flu with Application of Virginia Tech's EpiCaster Outbreak Projections
AccuWeather has announced an agreement with the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech, enabling AccuWeather to leverage EpiCaster forecast data to deliver contextually relevant information to people in parts of the U.S. where the EpiCaster tool indicates flu outbreaks are likely -- more than three weeks in advance of outbreak occurrences. AccuWeather and institute researchers will map locations where flu outbreaks are more likely, benefiting AccuWeather app users and helping individuals and families take precautions during seasonal flu outbreaks
Government’s Industrial Strategy paves way for industries of the future
The UK government has published its Industrial Strategy White Paper, showing how it will invest in skills, industry and infrastructure to help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs. Mike Thompson, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said it was significantly important in providing a long-term strategic roadmap for UK businesses. Ahead of the publication of the White Paper, the government announced that MSD (Merck) is set to make a “major investment” into the UK with the opening of a new London-based life sciences discovery centre
Reduced effectiveness of last season's flu vaccine traced to mutation in chicken eggs
The limited effectiveness of the 2016-2017 influenza vaccine may be due to a glycoprotein mutation in fertilized chicken eggs, a study in PNAS reports. Accompanying vaccines to the current H3N2 influenza viruses lack the new antigenic glycosylation site B in hemagglutinin (HA) glycoproteins, rendering them weak in treating patients, according to Seth J Zost, MS, of the Department of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Getting the annual flu shot won't weaken your immune system
Annual flu vaccination seems tied to stronger immune cell activity, according to a study by a Norwegian research team. That's even true for years where the flu shot is a poor match for flu viruses actually circulating, as happened in the 2016–2017 season, the findings suggest
Pregnant women in North-east urged to get winter flu jab
In Scotland, the Royal College of Midwives wants more pregnant women across Grampian to get their flu vaccine to help protect themselves and their babies. The call comes after more than 41% of those pregnant in Grampian didn’t receive their vaccine last winter, with the flu the cause of death among one in 11 women who died during, or shortly after pregnancy
Record number of Welsh schoolchildren given flu vaccine
A record 70% of children aged from four to eight in Wales, UK, have been given the flu vaccine so far this winter. Health teams have been visiting schools to offer vaccination to all children in reception and Years 1 to 4. They are offered nasal spray vaccines, which Public Health Wales says is "quick, safe, and completely pain-free".
Flu warning for parents as 150 Bolton children report symptoms
In Bolton, UK, parents are being urged to stay vigilant and maintain good hygiene practices following reports of flu in schools. Bolton’s Community Infection Prevention and Control Team are working with a number of schools following reports of flu-like symptoms among pupils and staff. While there are only a small number of confirmed cases, around 150 children in the borough have complained of flu-like symptoms
Elderly at risk for heart problems after contracting flu virus
Older adults can have a higher risk for heart attack and stroke for up to a month post-flu. Two flu vaccines are recommended for people over age 65: a high-dose vaccine and another designed to help the shot work better
People aged 65 and over urged to get protected against flu
In the UK, Public Health Wales is reminding older people that they are more at risk of complications if they catch influenza than the general population. Latest vaccine uptake data shows that many older people in Wales – just over half of those aged 65 and over – have already had their flu vaccine this year. But those who haven’t remain at risk, and are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible
Free flu jabs for care home workers
Commenting on NHS England’s decision to offer free flu vaccinations to care home workers, Professor Martin Green, chief executive of independent provider representative body Care England, said his organisation had long campaigned on the issue. The International Longevity Centre – UK has praised the long-called for decision and is urging the Government to ensure that homecare workers are also reimbursed for the immunisation, so that they can protect the people they care for from the flu
Flu vaccinations are now free for diabetics and firefighters
Influenza vaccines are free for people who are diabetics all the way to firefighters who deal directly with patients. The widening of the vaccination campaign also helps explain the clear increase in the number of people getting vaccinated this year compared to 2016.
Director General of Health confirms that getting a flu jab does not cause any unwelcome side effects
Director- General for Health reaffirms that flu vaccines do not cause any unwanted secondary side effects. "The vaccine is made of inactivated viruses and has no potential to infect," said the director general of Health, Graça Freitas, considering it to be an urban myth that people can contract influenza simply by getting vaccinated.
More than 1m flu shots have been given since October
Since the Seasonal Health Plan entered into force on 1 October, 1.1 million influenza flu shots have been delivered, according to data from the Directorate General of Health. This represents a 19% increase over 2016 figures for the same period. In total, Portugal bought 2 million vaccines, 1.4 million by the State and another 600,000 doses were bought by the pharmaceutical groups
Padova - very high demand from locals to get vaccinated against the flu and the supply ran out
Over the last few weeks, the demand for flu shots was so high that the health authorities in Padua have had to order more flu shots, another 3,000 doses in fact. Local health authorities in Padua had already distributed 88,000 flu vaccine shots by early November. "The vaccine campaign is going even better than last year, so many citizens are seeking to get vaccinated," said Dr Lorena Gottardello, "several GPs have finished the vaccine vials and have asked for more doses. " Each day, about two hundred people are immunized at Via Scrovegni, this represents, on average, one every five minutes.
Russian hackers behind fake news over the UK's vaccination programmes
In the UK, a former National Counter Terrorism Security Office head has warned that Russian hackers are spreading disinformation and fake news over flu and measles vaccination programmes run by the government. The British government has asked departments and officials to monitor social media and to flag articles that disinform the public about vaccination programmes.
How Bad Will the Flu Season Get? Forecasters Are Competing to Figure it Out
From analyses of surface protein evolution to tweets on social media, scientists are gathering all the data they can to accurately predict influenza dynamics. To advance flu forecasting efforts, the CDC launched its first forecasting challenge during the 2013-2014 flu season with a first-place prize of $75,000. Since then, the monetary award has gone away, but teams have continued to participate for the honor of providing the most accurate forecast for the start of the flu season, how bad it will get over the course of the season, and when cases will peak
A national symposium will examine the challenges and opportunities for vaccination across the health sector
An inter-institutional symposium called 'Vaccinate to promote healing' is bringing together health professionals from across Mexico to discuss to advances in vaccines and vaccination, training for professionals and valuable lessons for the sector to heed.
Why Do We Still Grow Flu Vaccines in Chicken Eggs?
There have been advancements in non egg-based methods of flu vaccine development, as it is imperfect. A CDC spokesperson said there are two options: a cell-based flu vaccine that can be produced more quickly than an egg-based vaccine, or a recombinant influenza vaccine, which can be produced faster than both egg-based and cell-based vaccines
Get anti-influenza drugs within 48 hours: UAE ministry
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) said that at the start of the flu season, the recorded cases are at the expected level at this time of the year. MOHAP works with local health entities to strengthen national influenza response capacities including diagnostics, antiviral susceptibility monitoring, disease surveillance and outbreak responses, and to increase vaccine coverage among high-risk groups, the ministry said
"In for a very bad flu": Virus hits New Brunswick early, claims 1 life
The flu has hit New Brunswick earlier this year and may be nastier than last winter, with one flu-related death already in the province, according to health officials. There have been 42 reported cases of influenza since the end of August, primarily in southern New Brunswick hospitals. The majority of the cases to date have been caused by influenza A (H3N2)
CDC Flu Update: Seasonal Activity Continues to Increase
According to this week’s FluView report from the CDC, seasonal influenza activity continues to increase in the United States. During week 46 (the week ending Nov. 18, 2017), several flu activity indicators were higher than is typically seen for this time of year. Two states reported widespread flu activity, six states reported regional flu activity and 20 states reported local influenza activity
Flu cases in Florida increase, according to Health Department
In a weekly report, the Florida Health Department says flu cases in the state have increased over the last few weeks. For the week ending on Nov. 18, one flu-related death of an unvaccinated child was reported and flu activity among children and teenagers increased. The report also said that the number of emergency room visits for pregnant woman was higher than this time last year
CDC sees some signs of an early flu season
Flu activity in the U.S. continues to rise, and several markers are higher than normally seen this early in the flu season, the CDC said. Three southeastern states are reporting high or widespread flu activity, and the CDC said it received reports of five more pediatric flu deaths. In its report, which covers the week ending Nov 18, the CDC also reported one more novel flu infection, an H1N1 variant (H1N1v). Globallly, flu activity in the Northern Hemisphere is rising, with H3N2 and influenza B the most frequently detected strains