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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 29th Dec 2017

Seqirus mentions

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Pandemic Influenza News
Saudi MEWA: H5N8 Confirmed In Al-Ahsa - Eastern Province
Until today, in the little more than a week since it was first identified in Saudi Arabia, detections of H5N8 have been centered in and around the capital city Riyadh and in surrounding Riyadh province. Now the virus has been found at a poultry facility in Al-Ahsa, in the Eastern Province - some 300 km to the east
Bahrain Bans Poultry Imports from Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Bahrain has banned poultry imports from Saudi Arabia amid a reported bird flu outbreak there in the past week. According to DT News, spokespersons of Health Ministry and Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry confirmed that the Kingdom is taking all the necessary precautionary procedures to prevent the reported outbreak from reaching Bahrain
South Korea: MAFRA Confirms H5N6 At Jeonnam Goheung Duck Farm
South Korea - which has so far detected two different strains of the recently arrived reassorted (European origin) H5N6 virus - continues to report both widely scattered environmental (wild bird feces) LPAI & HPAI viruses, and sporadic poultry outbreaks of HPAI H5N6 in the six weeks since this fall's bird flu season began. Last Saturday, MAFRA Reported the 4th Duck Farm Hit By HPAI H5N6, and today there is another confirmed outbreak, this time on the south coast (Jeonnam Goheung) of South Korea
Bird flu outbreak in Kampong Thom
In Cambodia, Health Ministry officials said H5N1 has spread to Kampong Thom province’s Stoung district following a recent outbreak in Kampong Cham province. However, experts have yet to find any case of human infection. Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann said that while the infection has not yet spread to humans, ministry experts were monitoring the situation very carefully
Industry News
Influenza Prevention: Make Sure Patients Understand the Vaccine
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all Americans 6 months and older who do not have contraindications receive the flu vaccine. Health care providers should recommend the high-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine for patients 65 and older.
Perfecting the magic bullet
The world’s first widespread human testing of a flu vaccine began last month in September. More than 10,000 people aged 65 and over have been asked to take part in a study that is supported by the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) and is being delivered by the University of Oxford in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The vaccine was developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute with Vaccitech, a spin-out company from the institute
Minister directs to ensure arrangements for prevention, treatment of flu
Punjab Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Khawaja Salman Rafique has said that hospitals must ensure the prevention and treatment of seasonal flu (H1, N1) across the province. He said that all district health authorities and medical superintendents of teaching hospitals should submit seasonal flu monitoring report on a daily basis. He directed all the medical superintendents and CEOs to ensure the availability of Tamiflu in sufficient quantity for the timely treatment of the patients
Academic studies

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Pediatric influenza news
How to avoid the flu when you're pregnant
Since 2012 in France, flu shots have been recommended for pregnant women as a safe way of protecting themselves and their baby against the flu and potential complications
Influenza, pediatricians call for drugs, rest and water in the battle to fight against it
Experts at the children's hospital Baby Jesus of Rome recommend antiviral drugs, lots of hydration and rest for children hit by the current flu outbreak. Where there are complications experts propose the use of Oseltamivir or Amantadine, which must be started early (within 24-48 hours of the onset of symptoms)
Fear Of Needles May Chip Away At Vaccination Rates
The reasons people may skip vaccines such as the flu shot are many, but a new study says fear of needles is one of them. "People who are afraid of needles are less likely to get vaccines, less likely to fully vaccinate their kids, less likely to give blood and less likely to get a flu shot," says Dr. Amy Baxter, lead study author and clinical associate professor at Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. If future research confirms Baxter's findings, that may suggest a need to rethink how kids get their preschool vaccinations. That suggestion makes other pediatricians uneasy.
Beijing CDC sees rise in flu infections among children
With China now in peak flu season, authorities have said infections should remain under control, as no mutations that might boost the strength or drug-resistance of the virus have been detected. However, Beijing has seen a notable increase in infections among children since the start of the month. Daily outpatient visits to the pediatrics department of Beijing Children's Hospital have reportedly reached more than 10,000, a record level, while the number of children with respiratory tract infections and high fevers has increased by about 20 percent
Over 65’s influenza news

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General Influenza News
Antiflu vaccination cover reaches 63% of high risk groups
The Director of Policies and Strategies at the Secretary of Health of Hidalgo (SSH) Concepcion Carmona indicated in an interview that health teams have moved flu vaccination rates forward and that 63% of the target population is now covered. She also specified that all flu-related deaths from the disease to date were from people who were not vaccinated. She also stated that it is essential that vaccination groups need to press on and get high risk groups vaccinated since this is the main way in which these groups can deal with the disease.
The SSJ has enough flu vaccine to help it get through the winter
There are 621,000 doses which can be used to protect those groups at the greatest risk of harm from catching the flu. "Here in Jalisco, 1,566,629 doses of influenza have been applied, this represents 71.61% of the target group coverage. Our goal is just over 2,00,000 doses and there are still 621,000 thousand doses still to be applied," local health experts said
NIH issues advisory for prevention of swine flu
In Pakistan the National Institute of Health issued a health advisory for prevention of swine flu after the outbreak of the disease in different parts of the country. It explained that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection and severe outcomes caused by influenza viruses particularly in high-risk groups.
Flu Shot Requirement Ban Moving To Another House Committee
A controversial bill dealing with whether an employer can force workers to get the flu shot is still sitting in the Ohio House. The bill is set to get a new round of committee hearings. The bill, HB193, would ban employers from firing or punishing workers who refuse to get flu vaccines. The legislation had several hearings in the House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor Committee and passed out of committee in September. But now House leaders are sending it back for more hearings before a different panel, the House Health Committee.
Influenza a burden to Kenya’s healthcare – WHO report
Kenya’s efforts to keep a healthy population are being hampered by the often-ignored ailments like seasonal influenza, the WHO has said. In its situation report, WHO indicates that as many as 650,000 people die from respiratory problems annually, warning governments to focus more on these ailments. According to the global health body, Kenya is among countries where these types of diseases are a major burden on the population. However, governments in the affected countries have underfunded the sector
Doubling of flu cases - the peak is coming for Florentines
In Florence, Italy, there was a doubling of flu cases in the week before Christmas, according to data collected by InfluNet , the Italian flul surveillance network, coordinated by the Higher Institute of Health which studies the evolution of the virus, region by region. "And the numbers are still growing, driven by temperature fluctuations that promote the spread of viruses," according to Vittorio Boscherinin of Fimmg, the body representing the largest number of general practitioners. The peak period is expected between the end of the year and the first ten days of January.
Burden of disease
Child dies due to the flu in NC, 1st pediatric death of the season
A child in the central part of North Carolina died from the flu, the first pediatric death of the season, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The death, which occurred last week, highlights the seriousness of the illness, said state Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore. “Flu vaccination is the most effective protection against flu, and it’s still not too late to get a flu shot.”
Flu epidemic spreads through France
In France, the flu has now spread throughout the country and doctors' surgeries are having trouble coping with the surge in patients showing symptoms. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk.
This year's flu strain is causing more emergency room visits, LA County health officials warn
With 19 influenza-related deaths reported so far in Los Angeles County this season, public health officials offered some advice Wednesday: “Continue spreading holiday cheer and not the flu.” The nudge toward urging people to get vaccinated comes as Los Angeles and many other counties are seeing widespread flu, an uptick in cases and increased visits to emergency rooms. This year’s dominate strain, Influenza A (H3N2) is known to cause severe illness and send more people to the hospital
Hospitals see rise in flu cases as weather changes
In Qatar, with a change in weather conditions, hospitals and clinics across the country have reported a surge in seasonal flu cases, while pharmacies have seen a high demand for several over-the-counter flu medicines. Most health care providers have started giving vaccination against seasonal flu. However, health experts say that anti-flu vaccination should be taken ahead of the season as a precaution.
ADH: 12 Flu-Related Deaths in Arkansas This Flu Season
An official with the Arkansas Department of Health said that 12 flu-related deaths ... season. The majority of deaths reported so far have been in individuals 65 years old and above. There have been no pediatric deaths as a result of the flu thus far in Arkansas, according to the report.
The first person with AH1N1 confirmed in the country by health authorities
The Ciudad de Mexico Ministry of Health confirmed 413 positive cases of influenza, the majority are due to AH3N2. In addition, five people have died: two from AH3N2, two from influenza B and one from influenza A. Up to week 51 of the flu season, five people have died: two from AH3N2 , two from influenza type B and one person from influenza type A. Deaths were diagnosed in Hidalgo, Aguascalientes, Yucatán and Queretaro .
University of Tennessee Medical Center sees early spike in flu cases
The University of Tennessee Medical Center is seeing an early increase in reports of influenza, in part due to the cold weather as well as a low efficacy associated with this year's flu vaccine. It's still too early to say whether this winter will be a bad season for the flu, but the hospital has already seen growth in the number of reported cases this month, said Jennifer Radtke, manager for infection prevention at the UT Medical Center.
The A(H3N2) virus has now reached Ireland. The number of cases is increasing
Hospitals in Cork are reporting an increase in the number of people with Australian A(H3N2) flu. In addition to this flu strain, some Influenza Type B cases have been recorded.
Flu boom on its way
The number of flu cases across all Italian regions is rising sharply. The Influnet network, run by the Higher Institute of Health, calculates that there are about 387,000 new cases, which makes a total of around 1,403,000 Italians affected by the flu virus since the beginning of the Influnet surveillance period.
In the winter flu season so far there has been 6 confirmed cases in Jalisco
Vaccination targets in Jalisco for this current season are to distribute 2,100,000 doses and to reach 30% of the most at-risk section of the population not getting vaccinated, particularly those under five years of age and adults over 65. The SSJ will put its vaccination teams into areas of significant concentrations of older adults, such as some parishes, some state agencies, some regional administrative offices, and places where federal or state support is provided for the elderly. The head of the health team, Tizoc Véjar, added that during the last few days, Week 51, three cases of influenza type AH3N2 have been added to the accumulated flu cases total by local health authorities
It's official: Los Angeles is in the middle of a flu outbreak
Officials confirm that over the past few weeks, there’s been widespread flu activity throughout Louisiana. It’s the Type A virus that doctor’s are primarily seeing. It’s associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in young children and people 65 years or older. Still, the best method to protect yourself during this flu season is by getting a flu shot
Minnesota flu cases jump sharply, now widespread in state
The seasonal flu is now widespread throughout Minnesota, state health officials said Thursday, with the number of cases rising sharply for the second consecutive week. The outbreak is outpacing last year’s, with 172 people hospitalized last week because of flu infection — something that didn’t happen last flu season until late January.
Flu cases on the rise in the Mountain Empire
In Tennessee, the number of Tri-Cities area influenza cases has tripled in two weeks, with totals already surpassing last year. In addition, local health officials say the existing vaccine isn’t proving very effective. This week health system officials renewed their call for anyone with flu-like symptoms and anyone ages 12 and under not to visit patients in local hospitals.
Officials: 10 Oklahomans have died from the flu; one in the last week
In Oklahoma, health officials say that the number of deaths related to the flu is on the rise. Experts say that 121 people had to be hospitalized within the last week due to the flu virus, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 425. So far, officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health say that 10 people have died from the virus since September.
Public health officials announce Delaware's 2nd flu death, urge prevention and treatment
An 83-year-old New Castle County resident is Delaware's second death of the 2017-2018 flu season. She had many underlying health conditions, Division of Public Health officials said, but officials said her death highlights a significant increase in influenza activity in the previous few weeks. Officials said they've seen more flu activity this year than last. As of December 22, 2017, there have been 129 lab-confirmed flu cases, with 49 requiring hospitalization, compare to last year's 91 and 26 cases at this time, respectively.
Flu cases in Switzerland reach epidemic level
Switzerland is in the grip of a flu epidemic after the number of cases of the viral infection increased in all parts of the country in the week before Christmas. In the past week doctors have reported 17 suspected cases of flu per 1,000 inhabitants, the Federal Office of Public Health said on Wednesday. It said the group most affected was children aged up to four years with an estimated 234 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Beijing in flu season
Beijing has entered the flu season. The activity of flu viruses -- mainly Influenza A/H3N2 and Influenza A/H1N1 -- is still rising, said Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the municipal center for disease control and prevention. Over the past week, Beijing's 144 medium- and large- health institutes reported a higher percentage of flu cases than that in the same period last year. But no variations of the viruses have been detected, Pang said
La Mesa Hospital Sets up Outdoor Tent for 'Surge' of Flu Patients
Hospitals in San Diego County were feeling the effects Wednesday of a worsening influenza season, as thousands of new flu cases were confirmed by the county's health department. In the span of one week, San Diego County's Department of Health and Human Services reported a nearly four-times increase in flu cases to the week prior —2,227 new flu cases were reported last week compared to a total of 563 lab-confirmed flu cases the week before.
Seasonal surge in slips and flu leads to longer waits for hospital treatment
Patients in Tayside, Scotland, faced longer A&E waiting times over the Christmas period as hospitals dealt with a surge in demand. The increased pressure on services has been linked to a sharp rise in the number of ice-related falls, as well as flu symptoms.
Aggressive flu - two patients in a coma
In Udine, Italy, two patients are in a coma in hospital after contracting the flu. Children under 5 are the group most affected by the outbreak so far, and there are fears that this will be a particularly bad flu season. There are also concerns that at-risk groups are not getting vaccinated against the flu in sufficient numbers
CDC: Widespread influenza activity in Idaho
Idaho has been labeled by the CDC as having widespread seasonal influenza activity. This comes one year after the deadliest flue season on record for the state. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is urging everyone to get a flu shot because it's not too late. Seven people have died so far in Idaho from the flu, and many others are ending up in the doctor's office with symptoms
Influenza Cases Skyrocket in San Diego Area; Season Total 3,873 So Far
The number of influenza cases and related fatalities skyrocketed in the San Diego region last week, pushing the “flu season” totals to levels far ahead of the same time last year, county health officials reported. According to the county Health and Human Services Agency, 2,227 new flu cases were confirmed by laboratory testing last week, raising this season’s total to 3,873, well above the 599 reported at the same time last year
​Gibraltar experiencing surge in winter influenza and other flu-like illnesses
Gibraltar is currently experiencing a surge in winter influenza and other flu-like illnesses with hundreds affected. This according to the Government who adds this is usual for this time of year. The Emergency Department at St Bernard's Hospital has seen around 500 cases from the 22nd December to today, with an increase in admission to wards
Early flu outbreak puts hospitals under pressure
Hospitals in the Murcia region of Spain are already under a considerable strain due to flu outbreaks, and the increase in patients has put into question the effectiveness of the Accident and Emergency departments. The Minister of Health explained that Spain is still at the pre-epidemic level of influenza, with less than 30 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and that in the Murcia region it is expected that the peak of flu cases will happen towards the end of January and early February.