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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 22nd Dec 2017

Seqirus mentions
CDC: Influenza Antiviral Medications - Summary for Clinicians
Because of their bad reputation over the past 10 years, the importance of early administration of antivirals to at-risk patients with severe influenza is often overlooked by clinicians. However, during a severe H3N2 flu season, the importance of aggressive treatment is paramount. The CDC posted an extensive review of influenza antiviral medications for both treatment and chemoprophylaxis. Three antivirals are recommended for use in the U.S. during the 2017-2018 flu season: oral oseltamivir (available as a generic version or as Tamiflu), inhaled zanamivir (Relenza), and intravenous peramivir (Rapivab)
Saba Button's story is so much more than just a tragic vaccine error
Saba Button was 11 months old when she was vaccinated with a dose of Fluvax (later deemed defective), and became seriously sick. She survived and her family has since received compensation from the State Government (PMH) and CSL (the Melbourne drug manufacturer responsible for the vaccine), and established the Saba Rose Button Foundation in order to provide their daughter with essential therapy
Pandemic Influenza News
The NIH Lifted a Ban on Deadly Mutant Virus Research—Here's Why
The NIH has lifted a ban on “gain-of-function” research —the kind of research that requires genetically modifying viruses to make them more deadly or more contagious. Many people worry about the potential for a lab-made disease outbreak. But gain-of-function research has important implications for developing vaccines, and virologists that Gizmodo spoke to felt the work is misunderstood.
Avian Flu: France not ready to use H5N8 vaccine
Ceva Animal Health Labs in France have perfected a vaccine against H5N8 which is targeted at ducks, but is not being used yet. The Agriculture ministry says it is not considering a flu vaccine prevention strategy at this time
H5N6 outbreak in the Netherlands unlikely to pose major risks to Singapore
The recent H5N6 bird flu outbreak in the Netherlands is unlikely to pose major risks to the human population in Singapore even as migratory birds make their way to the Republic to spend the winter, experts said. The Netherlands confirmed an outbreak of the highly contagious bird flu on Dec 7. Bird scientist David Tan said the likelihood of a migratory bird from the Netherlands making it to Singapore is "extremely low".
Officials checking if bird flu killed chickens
In Cambodia, about 30 chickens became sick and died in Kampong Cham’s Chamkar Leu district and authorities do not yet know the reason because the owners of the chickens only reported the incident after they buried their dead birds. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reported that the bird flu (H5N1 virus) had appeared in Kampong Cham province
Two types of highly pathogenic bird flu detected in S. Korea: quarantine agency
South Korea's quarantine agency said at least two strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza have entered the nation via migratory birds this winter. The Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) announced the results of DNA analysis into viruses detected at two duck farms in Gochang and Yeongam. The virus discovered in Gochang on Nov. 19 was the H5N6 bird flu, which arose from the reassortment between a highly pathogenic H5N8 that spread in Europe in late 2016 and a low-pathogenic N6 virus, the APQA said.
Industry News

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Academic studies
Skin immunization by microneedle patch overcomes statin-induced suppression of flu vaccine response in mice
A new study led by Elena Vassilieva, Ph.D., and Richard Compans, Ph.D., at Emory University School of Medicine used a mouse model to investigate the effect of statin treatment on immune responses to influenza vaccination. They observed that long-term statin therapy in aged mice reduced the immune response when influenza vaccine was administered using a standard hypodermic needle. However, the response was enhanced up to 20-fold if vaccine was administered through the skin using dissolving microneedles, a technology developed by Mark Prausnitz, Ph.D., and colleagues at Georgia Tech
Study: ‘Universal’ flu vaccine uses advanced genetic tech to fight the bug more effectively
Researchers from the University of Washington are working on a “universal” flu vaccine that uses cutting-edge technology to attack parts of the virus that stay constant every year, potentially making it vastly more effective at preventing the disease. The new technology is detailed in a study published Thursday and its head researcher, Deborah Fuller, said it has the potential to completely change how we prevent all kinds of the flu. The vaccine must undergo more testing before it could be available to the public.
Pediatric influenza news
Flu outbreak forces Carronhill School in Stonehaven to close
In Scotland, an outbreak of flu has led to the closure of a school for pupils with additional support needs. Representatives of Aberdeenshire Council took the decision to keep pupils away from Carronhill School in Stonehaven as an increasing number of children and staff had been showing flu-like symptoms
Over 65’s influenza news
Health authorities still have flu vaccines. So far they've only reached 70% of their target high risk groups
In Mexico, health authorities still have flu vaccine, even though the flu season is nearing its end. The local population is still hesitating about whether to get vaccinated or not and only around 70 percent of the doses have been dished out, according to the head of Preventive Medicine at the Ministry of Health, Tizoc Vejar Aguirre. "One million flu jabs have been given, 1,400,000 to be exact, and we are at about 65-70 percent coverage according to IMSS, ISSSTE, and Secretary of Health guidelines."
General Influenza News
Flu shot safe, even with an egg allergy
A leading U.S. allergists’ group says it’s safe for people with an egg allergy to get a flu shot. Doctors no longer need to question patients about egg allergy before giving the vaccine, according to an updated guideline from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Workplace employer is not liable for any vaccination/vaccine damage
In Germany, anyone who gets vaccinated against influenza and ends up suffering health problems as a result, will not receive compensation from the employer - even if the vaccination was carried out by the company doctor . This was decided by a Federal Labor Court on Thursday in Erfurt
You get better vaccination acceptance if you use social media
Up to 15 percent of parents delay or refuse at least one of the generally recommended vaccinations for their children. Jason Glanz from the Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado and other research colleagues looked at how social media can influence these decisions with balanced information
Flu Vaccines - anyone injured by them has the right to compensation rules constitutional court
In Italy, anyone who has suffered permanent psychophysical damage caused by flu vaccination has the right to be indemnified by the State , even if it is not automatic. This right was affirmed by the Italian Constitutional Court, called to rule on the matter by the Court of Appeal of Milan. The case is based on a person suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and then falling into a high risk category justifying a flu vaccination. He contracted a disease because of the flu vaccine and asked to be compensated.
Forget Russia: Fake social media accounts can spread lies about vaccination safety, e-cigarettes
A Keck School of Medicine of USC researcher says that fake social media accounts can be bad for your health. Jon-Patrick Allem, lead author of the study, likened social bots to actress Jenny McCarthy and the “vaccinations cause autism” movement, an idea that has been debunked many times but still sticks. “We now have measles outbreaks in Southern California because people shared personal stories about how vaccinations reportedly caused their child to have autism,” said Allem, a research scientist in the preventive medicine department of the Keck School of Medicine
People urged to get flu vaccine after jump in cases of influenza-like illness
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) in Ireland has urged people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated against influenza. The number of reported cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Ireland has increased in the past week and flu is now actively circulating.
More than 40% of NHS staff yet to have flu jab as hospitals head into "Christmas crisis"
More than 40 per cent of frontline NHS staff are yet to have a flu jab despite being told they have a “professional responsibility” to get vaccinated as the NHS heads for a “Christmas crisis”. It comes as hospitals were told to cancel non-emergency operations until "mid-January" as NHS winter statistics show pressure is ratcheting up.
Saskatchewan residents advised of potential flu season peak
In Canada, flu season is expected to peak sometime over the next week or two which is causing the Saskatchewan office of the chief medical health officer reminding residents to take extra caution. Dr. Shahab, Chief Medical Health Officer, says while the influenza vaccine has worked significantly better for young people than elderly this year, doesn’t mean the flu shot was not useful.
Flu 2017: when the season will peak and when it will come to an end
“Flu is extremely unpredictable,” said Roni Rosenberg, a flu forecaster and researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. Rosenberg’s model indicates at the moment that flu may peak earlier than usual in most parts of the U.S., he said—and it will probably be higher than usual, too. That may mean that flu season might wind down sooner than usual, too, but that’s not a sure thing. However, flu modeling is still very rudimentary
Flu season likely to peak in the coming weeks
In Ireland, the winter flu season has started and will probably peak in the next three to six weeks, according to the Health Service Executive. The Director of the HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Service, Dr Kevin Kelleher encouraged people to get vaccinated, particularly those over 65, pregnant women and those under 65 with various health conditions.
Teenager who suffered complications from swine flu vaccination denied DWP payout despite crippling health conditions
In the UK, a teenager who developed a string of serious and complicated health problems after receiving the swine flu vaccination has been refused a payout from the DWP after being told she does not meet the necessary criteria for disability.
More people in Jersey protected against flu this winter
More people in Jersey are protected against flu this winter. New figures show a rise in vulnerable islanders who received the flu vaccination this year compared to last year. In particular, there has been a large increase in the number of two to four year-old children protected against flu, 55% compared with 32% in 2016/17. Figures were also up for people aged 65 and over, with 58% receiving their vaccination, up from 50% last winter
Burden of disease
Health officials: 6 Oklahomans have died from the flu this season
Doctors continue to warn Oklahomans about the dangers of the flu as the number of deaths related to the virus rises. Experts say that 65 people had to be hospitalized within the last week due to the flu virus, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 262. So far, officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health say that six people have died from the virus since September
Kentucky has been hit with a "widespread" flu outbreak, health officials say
There is a "widespread" outbreak of the flu in Kentucky that will likely continue for several months, according to public health officials. Kentucky's Department for Public Health announced that the flu and flu-like symptoms have increased in at least half of the regions throughout the State. Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard, the acting commissioner of the Department of Public Health said: “With current widespread flu activity being reported in Kentucky, it is a still a good time to protect yourself and your family by getting a flu shot"
Flu hits Texas early and hard
Influenza cases have been increasing in Texas and across the nation since November, according to the U.S. CDC. The uptick in illness has proven deadly. The state's first pediatric flu death in November was among eight nationwide, the CDC reported. This month, Texas hit another milestone. In the first full week of December, reporting health providers said 7 percent of suspected "influenza-like illness" cases tested positive for the virus, exceeding this season's baseline for high activity in Texas
5 people in NC have died from flu so far this season
The flu-related death count for the 2017-18 season in North Carolina was five as of Wednesday. Philip Price, a family nurse practitioner at Sisters Mercy Urgent Care in Asheville, encouraged people to get the flu vaccine despite some reports regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine in Australia. "It's too early to tell how that will be here. But, using last year's data, which they think will be pretty similar to this year, it will have similar effectiveness rates as last year, which was around 40 percent," Price said.
Health officials expect Minnesota flu cases to rise
Over the past several weeks, federal health officials have reported that some southern states have been the hardest hit and that cases were picking up in several others, including Wisconsin. Travel to and from the affected regions will spread the flu bug, and Minnesota health officials in the past few weeks have seen several signs that more people are getting sick. The CDC estimates that only about 39 percent of the population was vaccinated as of last month
More than 500 hospitalized during severe Colorado flu season
Colorado health officials say this year’s flu season has affected more than three times the number of people it usually does. The state typically has about 150 flu hospitalizations by mid-December. But this year, 566 people have already gone to the hospital for influenza. State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy says it’s difficult to pinpoint what is causing the high numbers, but the southern hemisphere had a similarly severe influenza season.
Flu Cases in This State Have Already Spiked by Nearly 800%
With its peak still likely several months away, the 2017-2018 flu season is already shaping up to be a nasty one. Reported cases of influenza in Arizona are up 758% over this time last year. And the CDC reports the flu is at widespread conditions in 12 states as of Dec. 9. Arizona, which is not one of the states highlighted by the CDC, says there are 2,629 more reported cases of the flu this year that there were at this time in 2016 (when it was just 347), the highest number of cases since it began tracking flu activity
Ninewells bans admissions on ward after flu outbreak
In Scotland, a Ninewells Hospital ward is closed to new admissions after a flu outbreak. Ward 1, which treats cardiology patients, has “a small number of patients who have influenza”. A statement said: “Patients in the ward are being monitored and appropriate infection control and prevention measures are in place.