"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 2nd Jan 2018
The flu jab doesn’t work for over-75s, health chiefs admit: NHS bosses order GPs to switch to vaccine used in Europe for 20 years
UK health chiefs have admitted the current flu jab is ineffective for over-75s and ordered doctors to switch to a new version next winter. The new jab, called Fluad, is particularly effective against a strain which is especially dangerous to the elderly called H3N2, also known as Aussie flu. Trials have shown the £9.79 vaccine triggers a 61 per cent bigger immune response to this strain in over-65s than other vaccines
Flu activity increasing; not too late to get vaccinated
Concerned with this year’s predominant circulating flu strain, health officials are asking providers to prescribe antiviral medications as soon as possible, particularly to hospitalized and high risk patients. The three antiviral drugs that are approved by the FDA for this flu season are oseltamivir (Tamiflu), zanamivir (Relenza) and peramivir (Rapivab), according to the CDC
Business Daily CEO of the Year: CSL’s Paul Perreault takes our top prize
Brian McNamee cast a long shadow. When he clocked off for the last time as CSL chief in 2013, he could boast a list of achievements as remarkable as his tenure had been long. The cliche became a refrain: big shoes to fill. If anyone still harboured reservations as to whether his successor, Paul Perreault, could fill them, this is the year Perrault surely slew those doubts. The group has rapidly grown its global network of centres to collect the blood plasma used by CSL Behring. It will open scores more of the centres this financial year — a rate that the group says is without parallel in the industry
AAP Updates Flu Recs to Include New Antiviral (Pediatrics)
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued updates to their 2017-2018 policy statement about influenza prevention and control to reflect the approval of a new antiviral. The AAP updated their online statement to include intravenous peramivir (Rapivab), which was approved by the FDA in September 2017 to treat "acute uncomplicated influenza in non-hospitalized children 2 years and older."
Egypt slaughters 17,500 poultry after bird flu outbreak reported
Egypt has slaughtered more than 17,500 poultry in a farm where bird flu cases were reported in the Dakahlia governorate (Delta), said Head of Veterinary Medicine Directorate, Abdel Moneim Al Mongy, on Saturday.
Britain put on bird flu alert after two serious outbreaks near the Dutch coast
Britain has been put on bird flu alert after two serious outbreaks near the Dutch coast. Nearly 60 swans and poultry found dead this month all tested positive for the virus. Scientists fear there is a risk wild birds migrating could spread the bug to the UK. The highly-infectious H5N6 strain has hit many species in Asia and has also passed to humans
Bird flu spreads ahead of Olympics
In South Korea, authorities are on alert to contain the spread of avian influenza ahead of the PyeongChang Olympics in February, after highly pathogenic strains were confirmed at Anseong in Gyeonggi Province and Cheonan in South Chungcheong Province, Sunday. Authorities said the H5N6 strain which broke out at duck farms has similar levels of contagiousness and pathogenicity as the H5N1 type which wreaked the greatest scale of damage last year.
Additional bird flu case confirmed at duck farm in central S. Korea
South Korea has confirmed a fresh case of avian influenza at a duck farm in the southwestern region, the agriculture ministry said, raising alarms in the major poultry production region already infected with highly pathogenic bird flu. The H5N6-strain bird flu was detected on a farm with 35,000 ducks in Yeongam, 380 kilometers south of Seoul, while quarantine officials were conducting an inspection in the county
Pampanga poultry farms cleared of avian flu
In the Philippines, the Bureau of Animal Industry has announced that poultry farms in Pampanga have been cleared of the bird flu virus, which saw an outbreak in August, temporarily restricting poultry transport in Luzon. Based on the latest laboratory test results, sentinel birds that were raised in 4 affected poultry farms in Barangay San Carlos in San Luis town tested negative from the avian flu virus.
S. Korean Government to Develop Bird Flu Emergency Response System
South Korean health authorities have set out plans for a bird flu emergency response system that will include an antigen bank and emergency vaccine supplies. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced the plans after a safety investigation task force launched by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency found vulnerabilities in emergency response measures. After concluding that regular vaccinations could raise the risk of human infection with the avian influenza virus, the task force decided to create an antigen bank that could be of use in emergency situations
Saudi closes Medina central market to contain outbreak of H5N8
The Saudi authorities have stepped up preventive measures to contain the outbreak of the bird flu (H5N8) across the country, according to Al Mowaten newspaper. The municipal authorities in Medina have shut down the central market in co-ordination with the General Directorate for Agricultural Affairs
Different strains of bird flu emerging around the world
Different strains of bird flu have been reported to the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) by nations around the globe over the Christmas period. These include H5N6 in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, H5N8 in Russia and H5N1 in Bangladesh. They follow reports shortly before Christmas of cases of H5N8 in poultry in Italy, which involved 17,000 birds at a fattening farm in Emilia-Romagana region and two detections in wild birds of the H5N6 virus in the Netherlands.
Russia reports outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu: OIE
Russia has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu on a farm in the central region of Kostromskaya Oblast that led to the death of more than 660,000 birds, the OIE said. The virus killed more than 44,000 birds in an outbreak first detected on Dec. 17, the OIE said, citing a report from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture
BiondVax receives EMA committee's permission to begin phase 3 trial of universal flu vaccine candidate, M-001
BiondVax has announced that the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use reviewed its phase 3 trial plan, provided advice, and allowed the company to proceed with the phase 3 clinical trial plan for M-001, BiondVax’s universal flu vaccine candidate. The CHMP advice will facilitate procedures in the countries where the phase 3 study will take place. The CHMP response states that, “It is agreed that a single pivotal efficacy trial that provides a robust demonstration of efficacy against laboratory-proven influenza like illness (ILI) could suffice for an approval.”
Flu outbreak in Lufkin causes Tamiflu shortage
A flu epidemic is hitting East Texas hard. A local pharmacist describes how their pharmacy has responded to the increase demand of Tamiflu. “There have been days where we used up all our stock that we have, but then we've been able to get it in the next day,” said Registered Pharmacist, Jessica Ponder. At Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy in Lufkin, Texas they've had to use their standby source to restock Tamiflu
UW researchers using influenza DNA to build a better vaccine
Medical researchers have for years wanted to develop a longer lasting flu vaccine. University of Washington microbiology profession Deborah Fuller has researched the topic since the ‘90s, and said “we think that we can actually do better in terms of providing better protection against influenza." Fuller said her team of researchers is close to developing a better version. They are testing a new influenza vaccine now.
"Vast Majority" of Online Anti-Vaxxers Are Women
Researchers dug into the world of anti-vaxxers by looking at data from six of the largest, public anti-vaxxer pages on Facebook. By analyzing two years' worth of data from these pages, the researchers determined that these communities are extremely active, negative in tone and primarily female.
Pregnant Women On The Isle Of Wight Urged To Get Flu Jab
Pregnant women on the Isle of Wight are being encouraged to protect themselves and their future child by getting the flu vaccine. Doctors and midwives are urging pregnant women across the Isle of Wight to take the decision to get the flu jab as temperatures drop. Now is said to be the ideal time to get the flu jab before a rise in the number of people with the virus
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Flu Cases Surge In The US And The UK: Deadly Strain Driving The Outbreaks
The current flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst in years, according to health experts, with cases of influenza surging in the past week in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The surge is led by a particularly deadly strain of influenza and, unfortunately for the populations of both the US and the UK, the outbreak in both countries is likely still moving toward its peak.
The outbreak of flu affects large numbers of people across the USA
The flu season has hit the United States hard this year, where 49 states and Puerto Rico reported outbreaks during the week ended December 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest report., CDC. Throughout the country, 12 children have died due to the flu this season, while a total of 2,485 hospitalizations are related to the flu, almost nine per 100,000 people.
CDC to Docs: As Flu Spikes, Ready The Antivirals
There have been many more flu cases in recent weeks, according to the CDC, which issued a health advisory. The CDC is recommending, besides the flu vaccine for prevention, more use of antiviral medicines for treatment. Quick treatment is crucial and "should not be delayed even for a few hours to wait for the results of testing," according to the advisory
Flu and cold warning to hospital visitors
Scotland's largest health board has asked people with cold or flu-like symptoms not to visit patients in hospital. The warning comes at a time when its hospitals said they were "experiencing the usual winter pressures". Similar advice is in effect across NHS Highland, and at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. NHS Grampian said a "high number" of cases of both influenza A and influenza B were being seen.
Doctor warns flu illnesses up due to false flu vaccine information
In the U.S., the flu season is in full swing, and Jeffrey Silvers, M.D., says hospitals are having a hard time finding enough beds. Silvers says he checked to see how many patients in eight Northern California hospitals had been vaccinated. "Seventy-five percent of patients admitted to the hospital never received a flu vaccine. They were three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital if they were not vaccinated than if they were," he said. Silvers believes the drop in the number of people getting vaccinated is due to what he calls false information out of Australia regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine at just 10 percent
Reappearance of A(H1N1) the virus behind the 2009 epidemic
The Ministry of Health (SSA) reported (without determining the place of diagnosis) that it had detected the first case of a person infected with the influenza virus AH1N1 so far this winter season. This is the virus which in 2009 caused an epidemiological alert worldwide. In the SSA report, 413 positive cases of influenza have been confirmed, of which the majority are for AH3N2, with 299 cases, 84 for Influenza Type B, 29 for Influenza Type A and one case of AH1N1. Up to week 51 of the influenza season, the death of five people have been recorded: two due to AH3N2, two due to Influenza Yype B and one person due to Influenza Type A
Experts warn Ireland could be facing the deadliest outbreak of flu in over 50 years
Ireland could be facing the deadliest outbreak of flu seen in the country in over 50 years, experts have warned. The first flu deaths have been recorded in Ireland as the dreaded 'Aussie flu' sweeps the country. The HSE is urging people in high-risk groups to get the flu vaccine
Killer Aussie flu outbreak rockets 156 per cent in just one week as it sweeps UK
An outbreak of so-called ‘Aussie Flu’ has struck down more than one thousand Brits in the past week. Government statistics show 1,111 people were infected with the virus – a 156 per cent jump on the previous seven days. Experts fear the virulent flu strain, which has now reached the UK, could prove as deadly as the Hong Kong flu in 1968, which killed one million people
CDC: flu rises sharply, now widespread in 36 states
Flu activity rose sharply last week in the U.S., with 36 states now reporting widespread circulation and other markers such as clinic visits for flu and positive respiratory specimens also showing steep increases, the CDC said. The new report underscores a warning that came from the CDC about steadily climbing flu dominated by H3N2, a subtype known for its heavy impact, especially on seniors and young children
3 in NC die of flu, season's toll at 12
Three new flu deaths, including the death of a child, have been reported in North Carolina, raising the state’s death toll so far this season to 12. That’s according to numbers released by the North Carolina Department of Health. The child is the first pediatric death reported in the state for the 2017-2018 flu season
"No point in trying to close the borders": Aussie flu threatens Britain
Britons have been steeling themselves against the dreaded "Aussie flu" as the H3N2 strain responsible for Australia's soaring flu rates spreads to Britain. The NHS is urging the public to take advantage of the seasonal vaccination but have conceded the same vaccine formulation used in Australia was less effective than first hoped
New Aussie Flu warning after executive confirms deaths in Ireland
Health experts were warning of potentially the worst flu outbreak in 50 years this morning after it emerged that Aussie Flu has already claimed lives in Ireland. Official figures for the UK revealed cases more than doubled in just one week. Government statistics show 1,111 people were struck down with flu as temperatures dropped last week - a 156 per cent jump on the previous seven days
Flu in France: Paris hospitals on 'winter epidemic' alert
The whole of France has now been hit by the flu epidemic and Paris is particularly badly affected. As a result Parisian hospitals have launched stage 2 of their winter epidemic plan. Even though U.S. scientists have said the flu vaccine is not very efficient this year, people are still advised to get vaccinated
Aussie flu outbreak puts Cornwall at "high risk" as dozens report cases of the potentially deadly flu strain
Cornwall is on a flu map 'red alert' after dozens of Cornwall Live readers reported suffering from the potentially deadly strain in recent weeks. Dubbed Aussie flu , the H3N2 strain has now been confirmed in some parts of the UK, Public Health England has confirmed. Its latest flu report, for last week, reveals nine people were admitted to intensive care or a high dependency unit with the potentially deadly strain. Five others were hospitalised.
Seven people dead from influenza so far this season
Ciudad de México has 59 confirmed cases the most in the nation; it is followed by Coahuila, with 54 cases; San Luis Potosí, on 47; Aguascalientes which records 33, and then Queretaro on 32. These five regions make up 42.1% of the total influenza cases across the nation
Flu “Widespread” In California – Ten Deaths This Season
Influenza is spreading in California. More than 90% of the state (all but five counties) is considered to have elevated activity, according to the California Department of Public Health. Data from October 8th 2017 until December 16th 2017 shows ten flu deaths of people aged 0 to 64 years recorded in the state. “Certainly the vaccination is the most important step you can take preventing flu,” explained Fresno County Public Health Officer Dr. Ken Bird
States with high levels of doctor visits due to flu-like symptoms doubled: CDC
According to the U.S. CDC, the number of states reporting high levels of doctor visits due to flu-like symptoms more than doubled in the last week, from 10 to 21. This season's vaccine is only 10 percent effective against the H3N2 strain in Australia, the dominant strain of influenza. Still, the CDC maintains that an annual flu vaccine is the the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses
NHS 111 calls peaked in week before Christmas amid rising cases of flu and norovirus
Non-emergency calls to the NHS hotline reached the highest level for 2017 in the seven days up to Christmas, figures showed, amid rising cases of flu and norovirus. GPs have also been ordered to start prescribing antiviral drugs to care home residents and vulnerable hospital patients to prevent spread of the disease, as well as to treat flu in pensioners and those with health conditions. Public Health England confirmed two further flu-related deaths, taking the total so far this winter to 15
Flu-related death toll climbs to 12 in Arkansas
Four more flu related deaths have been reported in Arkansas bringing the total number of deaths to 12. All have been individuals over 65 years old. The CDC has sent out new recommendations for doctors asking that they begin antiviral treatment like Tamiflu as soon as possible after the onset of an illness
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.