"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 30th Jan 2018
Michigan's flu season is yet to peak — and the vaccine isn't helping much
In Michigan, the flu season has yet even to peak, according to an early review of data at the University of Michigan, one of five sites nationwide where researchers monitor influenza rates. Dr. Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, is 84, and was immunised with FLUAD. He is a fan of FLUAD and, like most public-health advocates, he said it’s still not too late for seniors or anyone else to get a flu vaccine this season
CSL Limited hits new record highs
Shares in CSL have hit a new record high of $150.11 in morning trade. Bullish sentiment surrounding CSL has arisen from a number of factors, including the fact that a severe flu outbreak in the U.S. has seen Seqirus increase its share of U.S. flu vaccines over the current Northern Hemisphere winter from 42% to approximately 50% according to data from the U.S. FDA. Management has previously guided for Seqirus to break even for 2018 but a more severe flu season could see the division deliver its first profit.
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It is time for the UK to adopt the US flu vaccine?
Flu season now is in full swing, with four strains in circulation this year. The UK’s NHS however recommends that adults receive a jab that only protects against three strains. Data suggests the fourth strain — sometimes known as Japanese flu — is now the most prevalent in Europe. It is time for the NHS and European services to start administering vaccines to provide better protection against the virus.
PositiveID Corporation Publishes White Paper and Data on its Successful Detection of Influenza Virus
PositiveID Corporation has published a white paper and data on its successful detection of the influenza virus on its FireflyDX polymerase chain reaction breadboard prototype pathogen detection system. The FireflyDX family of products is designed to provide accurate, rapid pathogen detection at the point-of-care/point-of-need using real-time PCR in less than 30 minutes, with minimally trained personnel and at a lower cost than existing systems
Tamiflu supply short with flu cases spiking at emergency rooms
In the Wellington area of Florida, Tamiflu supplies are running low at pharmacies as the flu season continues to grip the U.S. "Just recently, I have heard that there’s a shortage at some of the pharmacies for Tamiflu because of the increased numbers of influenza," said Dr. Christopher Muenchen of Wellingon Regional Medical Center.
Google venture arm backs UK universal flu vaccine company
Vaccitech, a private British company developing a vaccine that could be the first in the world to fight all types of flu has raised 20 million pounds ($27 million) from investors including GV, the venture capital arm of Google parent Alphabet. Reuters corrects this 2 week-old story and removes a reference to the first time that a universal flu vaccine has progressed beyond Phase I
Surge in flu cases causing Tamiflu shortages around western Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, the Big Y Pharmacy in Springfield told 22News the generic version of the drug Tamiflu is in short supply. Pharmacists are having to compound the drug from ingredients due to the surge in flu cases. The brand name drug Tamiflu is dealing with an issue of supply and demand.
Catching flu "increases risk of heart attacks sixfold"
Flu can increase the risk of having a heart attack six times within the space of a week, research has shown. The study, involving thousands of flu cases, provides strong evidence of a link between influenza and heart attacks. Scientists said the findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reinforced the need for people at risk of heart attacks to have flu jabs. The Canadian team looked at nearly 20,000 cases of laboratory-confirmed flu infection from 2009 to 2014
How to Build a Better Flu Shot
“We need to make the universal flu vaccine a higher priority than it has been,” Anthony Fauci, NIAID director, tells The Scientist. Fauci says one essential piece of information scientists need to build a universal flu vaccine is to understand how serial exposure to the virus and vaccination affects the immune system. “People are exposed to influenza through their entire lives,” he says. Each time a person gets the flu, it can influence how they will respond to future infections.
Safe to give flu vaccination to patients with myasthenia gravis undergoing immunosuppressive treatment
According to a study published online on "EBioMedicine", called "ProPATIent-Trial", flu vaccination in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) is safe. The analysis reconsiders any potential risk of a severe flare-up of MG during influenza infection, it concludes that a flu vaccination is substantially a better approach for this patient population
CDC: Flu-related pediatric deaths could reach record high
In the U.S., at least 37 children have been killed by the flu this season. The CDC expects flu-related pediatric deaths could reach record highs. "We've seen kids are really making up the predominant amount of influenza-like illness," said CDC Influenza Division Director Daniel Jernigan. "And they're taking that back to school, it's getting transmitted there, and I think that's really what's driving a lot of the visits to the outpatient clinic right now." Schools across the country are racing to contain the virus
Boy, 8, battling brain infection caused by the flu
An 8-year-old Texas boy is battling a brain infection that doctors say was caused by the flu. Witten Ramirez is an 8-year old boy with autism who is typically full of life. The flu has caused an infection inside the part of Witten’s brain that controls movement.
Influenza Testing Ordered Less Often in Older Hospitalized Adults
Although hospitalized older adults are at an increased risk for influenza morbidity and mortality, they are tested for the virus less often than their younger counterparts, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Why are people so vulnerable to this year's flu epidemic?
While it’s nothing out of the ordinary for the common cold to spread far and wide, during the past few months the flu epidemic has reached new levels of severity. Professor John Oxford PhD, scientific director of Oxford Media Medicine, believes a superior treatment for the flu may become available in the near future. “An important discovery from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute was identification of a human gene called IFITM3 which can control the degree of illness or even death in people infected with flu,” he said. “That could allow doctors to give enhanced treatment quickly to people who have been hospitalised"
Maryland clinics offer free flu shots to children after more than 30 deaths this year
In Maryland, the Frederick County Health Department is offering free flu shots for children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years and the Charles County Department of Health is offering free flu shots for all ages, after officials say more than 30 children have died from the flu this year.
Government orders 40,000 doses of flu vaccine after high demand at weekend
To respond to the high demand for flu vaccines, registered over the weekend, the Health Services ordered 40,000 doses which is expected to arrive within two days. From Thursday and until yesterday, around 10 thousand doses were distributed. In order to manage the 5,000 vaccinations that still remain, this morning a vaccine marking mechanism programme will be implemented.
As flu worsens, Cuomo executive order lets pharmacists give shots to children
The continuing increase in flu cases in New York state has healthcare officials reminding residents that there is still time to get a flu vaccination and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declaring a state disaster emergency and issuing an executive order intended to increase access and convenience to residents seeking a flu shot. The executive order will allow pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to minors between the ages of 2 and 18 years old, and allow non-patient specific orders to allow pharmacists to administer the vaccines.
Why the Flu Kills Young, Otherwise Healthy People
As one of the worst flu seasons in years continues to sicken people across the U.S., one of its most striking aspects are the untimely deaths it’s caused: A 21-year-old bodybuilder; a 12-year-old boy; a 40-year-old marathoner. Infants, the elderly, and immunocompromised people are always at higher risk of dying from the flu, but how exactly does the flu kill an otherwise healthy person? “The truth is, there’s still quite a bit of science that isn’t clear, but in general, when we talk about deaths related to influenza, there’s a couple of main mechanisms,” Dr. Daniel Eiras, an infectious disease and immunology expert at New York University, explained
North, South Korea Hit by Flu Outbreaks Ahead of Olympics
North and South Korea are reporting outbreaks of different strains of influenza, less than two weeks before thousands of visitors from around the world arrive for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the South. North Korea’s Ministry of Public Health reported over 80,000 confirmed cases of H1N1 between December 1, 2017 and January 16, 2018. This weekend a highly pathogenic strain of H5N6 avian influenza was also found on a chicken farm in South Korea near Seoul.
CDC Expected To Respond To Schumer's Request To Send Flu Team To NY
In the U.S., the CDC is expected to respond to Sen. Charles Schumer’s request to send a flu surveillance team to New York. The number of New Yorkers hospitalized for the flu now tops 7,100 statewide. Schumer wants the team to help local and state health officials by studying the spread of the illness.
Healthcare Leaders Discover The Contagious Power Of Story To Fight The Flu
Flu vaccination rates in the U.S. have barely budged over the years. According to Glen Nowak, a former director for the CDC’s national immunization program and now a professor of health and risk communication at the University of Georgia, a person’s motivation to get a flu shot is contingent up their direct and indirect life experiences. If people don’t think they need a vaccine, it’s difficult to change their “mental models” overnight. “That's why narratives and personal stories become really important,” Nowak stresses. “You need to serve up examples of people like themselves who were not vaccinated and suffered severe consequences from the flu.”
Flu vaccine coverage in general practice on the increase for most patient groups
Figures from Public Health England show increased flu vaccine uptake in most patient groups in general practice compared to the last flu season. Data covering September to December 2017 has shown a 71.2% vaccine uptake in the over-65s, an increase of just under one percentage point from the previous flu season. The data also showed: 45.4% coverage in pregnant women (0.4% increase compared with the previous year); 40.4% coverage in two year olds (1.5% increase compared with the previous year); 41.5% coverage in three year olds (no increase compared with the previous year)
'Fox And Friends' Host Goes Anti-Vaxxer Amid Deadly Flu Epidemic
In the U.S., “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade is spreading misinformation about vaccines as this year’s particularly deadly flu epidemic spreads across the country. Dr. Marc Siegel, a practicing internist and Fox News contributor, joined Monday’s show to explain why this flu season is especially dangerous, and to encourage viewers to get flu shots. But Kilmeade dismissed the medical professional’s advice, instead echoing a debunked talking point of conspiracy theorists known as anti-vaxxers.
CDC sets the record straight regarding the flu vaccine
In the U.S., the CDC cleared the air about the flu vaccine. On-line reports have been flooding Facebook and Twitter claiming the flu shot is not safe. "The bottom line about the flu vaccine is that we know from many years of experience that it is a safe vaccine to give," says the CDC's Kristen Nordlund.
Ecuador invests USD 10 million in vaccines against influenza
Ecuador has invested US$10m to acquire 3.9 million vaccine doses to combat influenza which, since last November, has affected 497 people, of whom 23 died. On January 24, 2018, the vice minister of governance and Public Health surveillance, Carlos Duran, explained they have already implemented close to one million doses to combat the disease in a campaign throughout Ecuador, with special emphasis in the province of Pichincha , with Quito as its capital and where there has been 80% of all the recorded cases of influenza. Based on a report from 19 November until 20 January, the deputy minister said that of the 497 cases, 441 correspond to H1N1 influenza , 49 to AH3N2 and 7 to type B influenza .
Aggressive, widespread flu strain is hitting Michigan schools, seniors hardest
Influenza cases have risen sharply across southeast Michigan, as a particularly aggressive strain of the influenza virus takes a toll on schools, nursing homes and health care facilities. Colleges and universities have pushed back by promoting immunization and offering pop-up flu clinics for quick and easy vaccinations.
Flu activity nears 2009 pandemic levels, says CDC
The U.S. has experienced elevated flu levels for nine consecutive weeks, as of Jan. 20, according to the CDC's most recent update on the 2017-18 flu season. The average duration for the past five flu seasons was about 16 weeks. "So, by this measure, we are about halfway there this season," said Dan Jernigan, MD, MPH, director of the influenza division in the CDC's National Center for Immunization. "That means we have several more weeks of flu to go."
Virginia boy dies from complications related to flu, strep throat
A Virginia boy has died from complications related to the flu, according to published news reports and a statement from the child's family. Kevin Baynes Jr., a 7-year-old from Pittsylvania County, died at a hospital Sunday.
Over 130 test positive for influenza in twin cities since November
In Pakistan, of the 686 suspected influenza patients from Islamabad and Rawalpindi, whose blood samples have been sent to the National Institute of Health for examination since November 2017, 133 have tested positive for the acute and highly infectious disease with mostly respiratory symptoms
Flu linked to record sick days, costing employers almost $10B
Employers across the U.S. are getting pounded as this year’s flu season continues to rapidly spread, claiming a record amount of lives as well as sick days, which could cost businesses nearly $10 billion. “Previous estimates pin the number of lost productivity to employers to about $7 billion, according to the CDC. We estimate the cost to employers will be over $9.4 billion, using wages and the number of employed,” Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said
Over 81000 North Koreans now affected by flu: IFRC
The North Korean Ministry of Public Health has confirmed that more than 81,000 North Koreans contracted Influenza A and that four died from the illness between December and mid-January, an international humanitarian agency said in a report last week
Flu death toll hits 25 in Georgia, relentless season could be worst in years
At least 25 people have now been killed by the flu virus so far in Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. That’s more than double the number of dead just a week before, when 12 people had been killed. The news comes after the CDC updated the nation on the current flu epidemic, saying it was now as intense as the punishing 2014-2015 flu season and rivaled only by the swine flu pandemic of 2009.
A new case of swine flu - a 50 year old in the resuscitation unit of a major hospital
In Italy, a man with H1N1 has been hospitalized for four days in the intensive care unit of the Sant'Andrea hospital. He has been bed-ridden since arriving at the hospital in a pharmacological coma. His condition is described now as stable by medical staff.
News Scan for Jan 29, 2018
An outbreak of 2009 H1N1 seasonal flu underway in North Korea since early December has led to 126,574 suspected cases, the country's health ministry informed the World Health Organization (WHO) on Jan 19, according to a Jan 26 bulletin from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Of the suspected cases, 81,640 have been confirmed as 2009 H1N1.
In Italy there are around 5 million cases of influenza - up to 8m are predicted
The number of Italians who have already been forced to take to their beds by the flu amounts to over 4,728,000, of which 794,000 came about duting the third week of 2018. These numbers are much higher than in recent years, comparable only to those of the years 2004/2005 and 2009, which characterizes it as the heaviest seasonal flu outbreak of the last decade. This is according to data published by the Influnet bulletin part of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS).
With Olympics set to begin, South Korea is still working to eradicate the avian flu
With the PyeongChang Winter Olympics set to begin on Feb. 9, the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced Monday that it had confirmed the presence of a highly pathogenic strain of the H5N6 avian influenza virus at two chicken farms south of Seoul, Korea JoongAng Daily reports.“The avian influenza virus we discovered at Hwaseong is highly pathogenic and spreads very fast,” a ministry spokesperson told Korea JoogAng Daily. “It reproduces continuously before symptoms appear in the hosts or before they die.”
Over 5000 ducks culled in Changhua, Tainan over avian flu
In Taiwan, more than 5,000 ducks were culled across Changhua County and Tainan after it was confirmed that they had been infected with the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian influenza, inspection officials said Monday.
Korea to beef up hygiene regulations on poultry farms
South Korea will strengthen hygiene regulations on poultry farms and install a livestock monitoring system as part of a broader effort to prevent outbreaks of highly contagious bird flu, the agriculture ministry said Monday. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced a set of measures to improve the poultry-farming environment as a series of avian influenza and sales of eggs contaminated with harmful insecticides sparked public concerns last year.