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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 4th Dec 2017

Seqirus mentions
New Smithsonian Exhibition Explores Pandemics and Emerging Infectious Diseases
The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will mark the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic with a new exhibition, `Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World,` which will open May 18 and remain for three years.The National Museum of Natural History acknowledges the support of Rockefeller Foundation, Lyda Hill Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Open Philanthropy, Skoll Global Threats Fund, Page Family Foundation Donor Advised Fund, Seqirus, Anders Foundation, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Infectious Diseases Society of America and RTI International
BRIEF-Paragon Care Ltd Agreed To Acquire Immunohaematology Business Unit
Paragon Care has agreed to purchase the Immunohaematology Business Unit of Seqirus for a total consideration of $8.5m
Pandemic Influenza News
DA: 42,000 chickens culled had bird flu
The 42,000 chickens that were culled and buried last week in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija province in the Philippines were infected with avian flu, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said. Pinol did not identify the flu strain that affected the Cabiao farm, but said it affected only chickens
CHP notified of human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Yunnan
In Hong Kong, the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health is monitoring a notification that an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) was recorded from November 24 to December 1 in Yunnan. The 64-year-old male patient in Kunming, known to have contact with dead poultry, had onset on November 21 and was in a serious condition. “This is the first human case reported in the Mainland since October 2017. As winter approaches, based on the seasonal pattern of avian influenza (H7N9) viruses, their activity in the Mainland is expected to increase,” a spokesman for the CHP said
Alert over the possibility of Bird Flu outbreaks in the coming months
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned of the risk of increased outbreaks of bird flu, and said it expected cases to appear in the coming months. Speaking to Spanish news agency Efe, FAO specialist Sophie von Dobschuetz said that several strains of the bird flu virus have become endemic in China, where birds are being vaccinated to reduce the circulation of the virus. In 2013, cases of people infected with the H7N9 virus, which could severely affect humans, began to be detected in China for the first time. An FAO review in July warned of the risk of the virus entering the country via trade, posing a threat to public health and food safety, given the high likelihood of contagion
News Scan for Dec 01, 2017 - CIDRAP
The world rarely receives advance notice of a significant public health threat, but the detection of the highly pathogenic form of H7N9 avian influenza in China serves as a second warning, an expert from the WHO's collaborating center in Australia said. Focusing control measures on only poultry flocks infected with highly pathogenic H7N9 won't solve the problem, Kanta Subbarao said. Both forms of H7N9 need to be eradicated from avian species, and human isolates need to be monitored very closely
Industry News
Shri J P Nadda reviews the preparedness on Seasonal Influenza (H1N1) Highlights importance of intensive vigil, early detection and treatment
In India, Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, has issued directions to monitor seasonal influenza cases with particular focus on creating awareness, ensuring availability of medicines and vaccines at field level and effective and early treatment of patients as per protocol. During the meeting, it was observed that there are sufficient tablets of Oseltamivir for early treatment
Location, location, location: Immunization delivery site matters
In vaccination, a certain subpopulation of dendritic cells is vital to triggering the body's adaptive immune system, report researchers at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), Yale University and Astra-Zeneca. Their findings have important implications for vaccine delivery, as the usual method, intramuscular injection, is likely not the most effective way to target those dendritic cells.
Virginia Tech flu season forecasting now part of AccuWeather
Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a way to predict when the flu will impact certain areas and how many people could become sick. The tool will be part of AccuWeather's forecast beginning next year. This new platform gives people potential to curb the number of flu cases
Brexit impact on UK pharma industry to be investigated
Brexit may affect the cost of medicines and hit UK pharmaceutical investment, a Commons committee head has warned. Rachel Reeves, who chairs the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee, says access to new medical products may also be at risk. The MPs' inquiry comes despite the announcement of two big deals in the UK's pharma sector. The government said then that the decisions by MSD, known as Merck in North America, and Qiagen illustrated confidence in its industrial strategy for when the UK leaves the EU. More major investment for the sector is due to be announced soon, with GlaxoSmithKline expected to reveal a new research partnership
Drugs giants warn of Brexit ‘disruption’ to their supply chain
The UK’s top pharmaceutical firms have warned MPs that a hard Brexit could cause “significant disruption” to the supply of medicines to patients. AstraZeneca and multinational giants including Johnson & Johnson, Roche and Merck have outlined their concerns in evidence submitted to the business select committee’s investigation into the 
potential impact of Brexit. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has also raised fears over the potential impact of a chaotic withdrawal from the EU
Can we make a flu vaccine that lasts for life?
Peter Palese, a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and his colleagues are developing vaccines that prompt your body to attack parts of the flu virus that aren’t constantly changing. “We are trying to redirect the immune system away from the decorative loops on the surface,” Palese says. The first versions of their vaccines are currently being tested in people by GSK and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Meanwhile, researchers in the UK are testing another flu vaccine that they hope will protect people for three or four years
Where Will Novavax, Inc. Be in 5 Years?
Motley Fool writer Keith Speights explains why he thinks Novavax's NanoFlu will turn out to be a success in 5 years time, because of "overwhelmingly positive preclinical results". NanoFlu induced hemagglutination-inhibition and microneutralizing antibodies at much higher rates than Sanofi's current vaccines, Fluzone and Fluzone HD. Those responses were seen against a broad range of influenza subtypes
Academic studies
Research shows flu vaccine reduces NHS staff sickness
A new study from Imperial College London shows that improving NHS flu vaccination programmes can reduce staff sickness, to help cope with winter demand. Uptake by NHS staff has been relatively low, with only about half taking it up. This is partly because many healthcare workers are unclear about how effective it is, are concerned about possible side effects or because it is not convenient for them to get it
Better vaccine targeting: study identifies key mechanism
In a study led by researchers at Yale and The Jackson Laboratory, investigators zeroed in on a specific cell type that is uniquely responsible for activating a strong response to vaccination. The insight could lead to changes in how vaccines are developed and delivered to maximize immunity to infections like the flu, said the researchers.
Pediatric influenza news
Parents urged to vaccinate children against flu
Parents and carers in St Helens, UK, are being urged to help protect their children from flu this winter.Building on the success of last year, children aged two to four can get a free nasal spray vaccination from their GP and children in reception classes and years one, two, three and four will be offered it at school. The campaign is also encouraging pregnant women to get vaccinated against flu
ACIP issues recommendations on flu vaccine, third dose of MMR
Despite the absence of an intranasal option, it appears that influenza vaccine administration rates in children were virtually unchanged last year when compared with the prior year, according to a new report summarizing the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) June meeting
Over 65’s influenza news
Flu Can Have Dangerous Domino Effect on Older Adults
Even months after recovering from the flu, older people remain at increased risk for a heart attack, stroke or disability, a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases warns. "We all know about the illness influenza causes -- obviously fever and making you feel poorly, aches and pains -- and that is because it sets up a systemic inflammatory response," said Dr. William Schaffner. "Not as well known: In the two weeks to a month after you recover from influenza, you have a three to five times increased risk of having a heart attack," Schaffner said. "You have a two to three times increased risk of having a stroke"
Third of over 65's missed last year's flu vaccination
According to Public Health Wales a third of the over 65s in Wales missed out on getting protection against influenza last year, despite the vaccine being made free of charge as part of NHS care. Pensioners are now being urged to protect themselves as early as possible and get their vaccine before influenza starts circulating in Wales
General Influenza News
Judge rules nurses at Brigham must get flu vaccines
In the U.S., a Suffolk Superior Court judge has ruled that unionized nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital must follow the hospital’s flu vaccination policy. The Massachusetts Nurses Association sued the Brigham in September over the policy, which requires all workers be vaccinated annually, with exceptions for medical or religious reasons. The union argued that the policy represented corporate overreach and would unfairly punish nurses — even result in their firing — if they chose not to get vaccinated
Brace Yourself for a Miserable Flu Season: This Year's Vaccine Has Been Failing in Australia
“Reports from Australia have caused mounting concern, with record-high numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza notifications and outbreaks and higher-than-average numbers of hospitalizations and deaths,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious, and his colleagues wrote in the NEJM. They added that vaccines may fail to protect against a certain strain of the virus called influenza A or H3N2. “Given that most of the U.S. influenza-vaccine supply is currently produced in eggs and the composition of the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere vaccine is identical to that used in Australia, it is possible that we will experience low vaccine effectiveness against influenza A viruses,” Fauci, his Australian counterpart, and two World Health Organization officials wrote
National Influenza Vaccination Week: CVS Health encourages families to get their flu shots in preparation for peak flu season
CVS Health is encouraging families to get their flu shots during National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 3-9) in preparation for peak flu season. A recent survey released by CVS Health found that nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of Americans get a flu vaccine every year, or plan to get one this year
Flu jab side effects, if the vaccine is safe for children and how to get a free NHS jab at Boots, Asda and Tesco
Doctors recommend the flu vaccine as the best protection against the virus; the side effects are mostly mild and certain groups of people can receive it for free through the NHS in the UK. A universal flu vaccine is being developed and researchers at the University of Oxford are looking for 500 NHS patients to try it out
New Year's Eve could see up to 467,000 Italians in bed as the virus peaks
More than 467,000 Italians may get to New Year and find themselves bed-ridden with the flu, if previous year's numbers are a reliable indication. The peak of the flu outbreak is expected to be around the end of the year, according to estimates from the Italian Society of General Medicine and Primary Care (SIMG). This year the influenza virus is less aggressive, but it will affect a greater number of people, as has already happened in the southern hemisphere. According to the latest data available, in 2016-17 there were 2,000 more deaths than during the previous seasonal flu period a year earlier. This is a figure in line with the European averages and the phenomenon could be repeated again this year.
What diseases and viruses should you get vaccinated against?
Invited experts discuss the importance of getting a flu shot. Some stress vaccinations are better for more diseases like polio than the flu but all agree that at risks groups, in particular, would be better protected by a flu jab
Should NHS workers be made to have a flu jab to protect patients?
NHS bosses in Ipswich are struggling to convince their own staff to have a flu jab, despite a heightened campaign this year encouraging the public to get vaccinated. Health service workers are eligible for a free injection to protect patients, but uptake at Ipswich Hospital is currently at 52%, which is above the national average of 46% for 
acute trusts but below the target of 70%
Flu is spreading fast this year, with a severe season possible
This year’s flu season is off to a fast start in the U.S. and early indications suggest that it may be more severe than the previous season. Four states currently have widespread flu activity, according to the CDC. Last winter there were none at this time. And it may be spreading fast. Dr. William Schaffner, who is involved in the CDC’s flu surveillance network in Tennessee, has noticed cases of influenza picking up "dramatically" in the last week
Many health care workers do not know correct influenza precautions
In a small survey conducted at a St. Louis hospital, many health care personnel could not describe the correct transmission-based precautions for patients with influenza, and some even said they had reservations about the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. Researchers found that around 22% of staff surveyed expressed concerns about the safety of the vaccine and more than 27% did not agree that it was effective. Moreover, more than 28% said they would not get the vaccine if it was not mandatory
National Influenza Vaccination Week highlights importance of continuing flu vaccination
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is highlighting the importance of the flu vaccine this week, which has been designated National Influenza Vaccination Week (Dec. 3 to 9). Estimates from previous seasons show few people get vaccinated against influenza, or the flu, after the end of November, the CDC says. Only around 40 percent of the U.S. population recommended for the vaccine last season, reported receiving it by the end of November, according to the agency
Flu shot may only bring some protection this year: disease expert
Officials are predicting this year’s flu season will be harsher than normal, and the flu shot may not be as effective at preventing the virus as it has been in the past. According to Health Canada, southern Alberta and southern Ontario have been the hardest-hit regions thus far. The virus has already killed five people in the Calgary area. "I think the bigger issue is what do hospitals do to get ready for what could be a big onslaught of cases around the holiday season," said Dr. Neil Rau, an infectious disease specialist
Is NZ ready for the next big pandemic?
New Zealand isn't prepared enough for a major pandemic, which could strike as swiftly as an earthquake and bring the country to its knees, researchers argue. The Ministry of Health recently updated its strategy and is now reviewing its readiness plans in the run-up to the centenary of the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed more than 8600 New Zealanders and infected 500 million people around the world
Rise in respiratory disease means a need to get a flu jab now
The Municipal Health Directorate of Lerdo says it has seen a 15 percent jump in the number of respiratory cases, as low temperatures arrive in the region. The director of the unit, Felipe Sánchez Rodríguez, said that an average of 60 to 70 people a day are being treated at the basic Municipal Health medical level. He said that this increase in respiratory diseases is common at this time of year and that the number one cause of attention is the rhinopharyngitis and pharyngotonsillitis. He explained that usually this type of infections have to do with viral-type diseases, so prevention is necessary to avoid them. He also said health authorities are seeing some cases of common cold and type B flu, which is why the main recommendation is to get vaccinated against the flu now
DGS health recommends flu vaccine and hydration against cold
In Portugal five regions are on a yellow alert due to low temperatures which weather forecasters predict will hit the region. The experts are strongly recommending getting a flu shot and keeping well hydrated against the cold
Stiko recommends quadruple flu vaccine
In Germany, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recommends a quadrivalent flu vaccine to protect against seasonal influenza. The recommendation of the quadruple flu vaccine was approved by the committee on November 14th. So far, the standard recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission at the Robert Koch Institute for seasonal flu protection has been the triple flu vaccine. This new recommendation comes into effect in February next year
Anti-vax pamphlets flooding mailboxes
In a region of Northern Australia, a pamphlet circulating reads: "Vaccination Killed My Baby". Other headlines include: "Is the HPV vaccine causing infertility?", "Is the flu vaccine killing our elderly" and "Vaccines and Autism". The source of the pamphlet is unknown, but there are several websites and additional sources suggested. The North Coast Public Health Unit would not comment on the pamphlet but said there was "overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccination is safe and effective in preventing disease" and said they continued to work towards increasing immunisation rates on the Northern Rivers
Burden of disease
Progress made in flu immunization for the population of Mexico
Since the beginning of the winter season, to date, 153 cases of influenza have been confirmed in Mexico, of which 74% are confirmed as Influenza A H3N2, 24% are Influenza B and 2% are Influenza A, whereas, in Mexico City itself, only six cases of Influenza A H3N2 have been confirmed so far
Edmonton sees first influenza-related death of the season
New flu numbers released by Alberta Health Services show the number of lab-confirmed influenza cases has more that doubled in the last two weeks while the first flu-related death in Edmonton this season has now been confirmed. On Thursday, AHS said the province has now seen 948 lab-confirmed case of influenza A and 199 bouts of influenza B. That’s a significant rise from the 478 cases of influenza A and 82 cases of influenza B reported two weeks ago. The Edmonton death brings the total number of Albertans who have died this season who had lab-confirmed influenza to five
Higher flu activity reported in South Carolina
South Carolina is seeing an unusual amount of early season flu activity, according to doctors. Dr. Theresa Foo, an immunization consultant with the Department of Health and Environmental Control, said however that it is too early to make any predictions about the upcoming flu season. According to the latest weekly report, a total of 435 influenza cases were reported in South Carolina from Nov. 19-25, a 21 percent increase from the previous week. There have been a total of 1,889 flu cases reported so far in the current flu season
There are eight cases of flu in Coahuila
The weekly report by the Mexican Ministry of Health epidemiological surveillance of flu 2017 report says there are 153 positive cases of influenza throughout the whole country, with 42.5% of them concentrated in the states of Colima, Nuevo León, Nayarit, Guerrero and San Luis Potosí.
Flu season in full effect in Calgary and across the province
The flu bug has announced its presence across Canada but this year’s influenza strain is taking a considerable toll on Albertans and Calgarians in particular. Alberta Health Services predicts the number of cases of influenza will increase considerably in the coming weeks. Agusha McGrath, a pharmacist with London Drugs, says demand for the influenza vaccine has slowed following an initial surge
Calgary far outdistancing Edmonton in flu cases, while Alberta leads Canada
This year’s flu season is hitting hard in Calgary, which has recorded nearly four times as many cases as Edmonton. And Alberta also appears to be an influenza hotbed for Canada. Even so, Calgarians haven’t shied away from flu vaccinations in relation to their counterparts in Edmonton, with 397,873 inoculations compared to 325,691 respectively
Mississippi's influenza-like illness rate highest in nation
Flu season is here, and Mississippi's rate of flu cases are extremely high with many reports of outbreaks. A CDC map shows it is the state with the highest recorded influenza-like activity in the country
Flu hospitalizations rise as UCHealth implements annual restrictions
Annual visitor restrictions to prevent the spread of the flu are going into effect for the UCHealth system's hospitals in Loveland, Fort Collins and Greeley in Colorado as the flu has caused more hospitalizations this year than last year. Statewide, 210 patients have been hospitalized with the flu this season from Oct. 1 to Nov. 25, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
How our deadly flu season hit hospitals and families
The death toll from Victoria’s flu season is expected to climb to more than 200, with an up to fourfold increase in the number of confirmed cases. Final data on the horror season is nearing completion, but the Sunday Herald Sun can reveal there were about 40,000 confirmed flu cases and an 80 per cent increase in the number of reported outbreaks. Previous flu seasons, from about June to October, have had less than 100 reported deaths
Flu virus hits 3 communities in Nunavut, will spread fast, says health department
In Canada, three communities in Nunavut have confirmed cases of the flu, and it's not going to take long before it spreads to all the territory's communities, according to the health department. Iqaluit, Hall Beach and Pond Inlet have confirmed active cases of the influenza virus, says a news release from the Department of Health. None of the cases were serious or life-threatening, according to the department
US flu data show season ramping up
In what many experts predict may be a severe influenza season, the U.S. CDC reported signs that flu activity is stepping up, about 3 weeks earlier than it did last season. In its weekly FluView report, which includes data through the week that ended Nov 25, the CDC said outpatient levels of influenza-like illness are elevated in 4 of the country's 10 regions, and the proportion of visits to doctors' offices for ILI topped the national baseline for the first time this season
CDC reports shows widespread flu activity in Georgia
A new report from the CDC shows widespread flu activity in Georgia. While some say this year’s vaccine is not as effective, doctors say it is still your best bet to stay healthy. Family practice doctor Charmille Hare with Piedmont Physicians says everything is a risk-benefit ratio. She said not getting a flu shot for children or those older than 65 is not a risk worth taking
3 Children infected with A(H3N2)
In Mexico, the Carbonifera health region reported that there have been 3 confirmed cases of A H3N2 flu detected in patients under the age of 11 in the Sabinas district. David Mussi Garza, head of health in this region said the three were 10, 9 and 8 years of age, and had been successfully treated with oseltamivir