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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 7th Aug 2017

News Highlights
Swine flu toll in Mumbai now 7, drugs in short supply A month after Oseltamivir was taken off the Schedule X list of drugs to make it easily accessible, it is in short supply in Mumbai; the main reason for the delay is the Drug Controller General of India’s failure to provide fresh permissions to one of the two pharmaceutical companies, which had to stop production after the drug was removed from the Schedule X list, to start manufacturing the drug again
Flu rates three times higher than last year as dominant virus mutates New Zealanders are catching the flu at three times the rate of last year; hospital emergency departments have seen a spike in admissions for influenza-like illnesses during July, with scientists hoping it is not related to a mutation in the Influenza A virus
Flu outbreak: Doctors battle worst season on record as four viruses hospitalise more than 8,200 Four separate strains of the flu virus run rampant across ¬Sydney and NSW: the influenza A strains A (H3n2) and A (H1N1) and B strain variants Yamagata and Victoria
Amid Myanmar Swine Flu Outbreak, Atmosphere of Mistrust Prevails A lack of faith in the Myanmar government’s ability to handle a health crisis and a seemingly slow initial response to H1N1 infections have created a disconnect, allowing an atmosphere of mistrust to prevail and pushing many to take matters into their own hands
Flu rates three times higher than last year as dominant virus mutates In New Zealand, Institute of Environmental Science and Research public health physician Jill Sherwood said rates of influenza were three times higher than last July and that the main strain of Influenza A, H3N2, was beginning to show signs of mutation. Medsafe and the Ministry of Health are considering a new quadrivalent vaccine for 2018, which would include the B/Yamagata strain
Flu Shot Ineffective Against Common Cold As the time for flu shots approaches, the chief biologist at the FDA in Iran says the vaccines target specific influenza strains and are useless against the common cold: “common flu strains in Iran comprise B, H1N1, and H2N3, with H1N1 the strongest and most virulent”
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Pandemic Influenza News
Swine flu paranoia: Mumbai doctors warn against self-medicating, say it is harmful
Mumbai doctors have warned against the irrational use of preventive medication, such as Tamiflu, against swine flu. They said the irrational use of medicines could lead to drug resistance
Flu rates three times higher than last year as dominant virus mutates
New Zealanders are catching the flu at three times the rate of last year; hospital emergency departments have seen a spike in admissions for influenza-like illnesses during July, with scientists hoping it is not related to a mutation in the Influenza A virus
Swine flu toll in Mumbai now 7, drugs in short supply
A month after Oseltamivir was taken off the Schedule X list of drugs to make it easily accessible, it is in short supply in Mumbai; the main reason for the delay is the Drug Controller General of India’s failure to provide fresh permissions to one of the two pharmaceutical companies, which had to stop production after the drug was removed from the Schedule X list, to start manufacturing the drug again
Industry News
FluGen brings in more funds from investors
FluGen has added $5.5 million to its coffers to prepare for the next round of studies on RedeeFlu, the nasal spray vaccine it has developed to protect against influenza
Vaccines – new doses of protection arrive in all vaccination health centres across Cordoba
In Cordoba, Argentina, vaccination health centres have received vaccines against the flu, and many older people are receiving the flu shot; parents are reminded to ensure babies receive both doses of the flu injection
Pharmaceutical manufacturer has remedied faults in the sewage system - GSK – virus wastewater scandal in Dresden
In Dresden, Germany, GSK has fixed the fault that had allowed flu virus to escape into the sewage system; local authorities said this accidental release had not put the population at risk
The vaccine debate
Accounting pundit Terry Smith criticizes AstraZeneca’s accounting regulations which exclude restructuring costs and write down of intangible assets acquired from calculation of earnings. He flags the acquisition of MedImmune as an example ‘failed to live up to its expectation’ – highlighting FluMist ‘failing to live up to expectations’ in particular - comparing AZ’s accounting practices to Tesco
Academic studies
Natural compound coupled with specific gut microbes may prevent severe flu
A particular gut microbe can prevent severe flu infections in mice, likely by breaking down flavonoids commonly found in foods such as black tea, red wine and blueberries, new research shows
High-dose influenza vaccine reduces hospitalizations among nursing home residents
The incidence of respiratory-related hospitalizations was significantly lower in nursing home facilities that offered residents a high-dose influenza vaccine than in facilities that offered residents a standard-dose vaccine, according to recent study findings
Flu Shots May Affect Pregnant Moms, Not Babies
Regular flu shots may weaken the immune response in pregnant women, but not in their babies, and researchers said expectant mothers should still get the vaccine annually, as it remains the best preventative option for both moms and their babies
Ohio Researcher Investigates Swine Flu Risks at Fairs
An Ohio State University researcher is coordinating a multi-state study testing for flu among pigs at fairs; he finds on average, one out of every four fairs he attends every year has at least one pig infected with the Influenza A Virus Infecting Swine (IAV-S)
Pediatric influenza news
Pharmacies achieve lowest take-up rate for children's flu vaccine
Pharmacies giving flu vaccines to school-age children achieved a lower take-up rate of the vaccine compared with delivery via GPs or schools, figures from Public Health England show
Over 65’s influenza news
Are you eligible for a free flu jab? NHS issues vaccination reminders
The NHS is issuing reminders for people to get their flu jabs this summer, including people aged 65 and over
Infectious diseases warning: The three vaccinations YOU should have by your 70s
Infectious diseases are responsible for a significant number of hospital admissions and deaths in the elderly. For this reason, there are particular vaccines recommended for people 65 and over - pneumococcal vaccine, flu vaccine and shingles vaccine
Elderly being hit hard by flu
The influenza virus is still circulating in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, prompting doctors to urge people, particularly the elderly and those caring for very young children, to take extra care
General Influenza News
Swine Flu 2017: 5 Steps to Tackle the Disease
The H1N1 Virus that infected 42,592 people in 2015 is back with a bang: according to Health Minister, J.P. Nadda, at least 600 people had died due to swine flu as of July 9, 2017
Flu outbreak: Doctors battle worst season on record as four viruses hospitalise more than 8,200
Four separate strains of the flu virus run rampant across ¬Sydney and NSW: the influenza A strains A (H3n2) and A (H1N1) and B strain variants Yamagata and Victoria
Amid Myanmar Swine Flu Outbreak, Atmosphere of Mistrust Prevails
A lack of faith in the Myanmar government’s ability to handle a health crisis and a seemingly slow initial response to H1N1 infections have created a disconnect, allowing an atmosphere of mistrust to prevail and pushing many to take matters into their own hands
Health Ministry facilities ready for Hajj pilgrims
In Saudi Arabia, the Health Ministry has prepared all its facilities to care for pilgrims throughout the current Hajj season; beforehand, the ministry carries out a vaccination campaign against meningitis and flu
Virus evolution behind spike in flu cases
Health experts say the recent spike in flu cases is nothing out of the ordinary: "we had a lot of people who, either from vaccination or from having the illness in previous years, were immune," said Public health physician Dr Jill Sherwood
Double the trouble: Swine flu now part of Kolkata's virus load
Swine flu is now a part of Kolkata’s germ load along with the ordinary flu, dengue and malaria; with people travelling between countries more frequently, the virus, which had been imported to Kolkata from North America in 2009, has turned endemic
Swine flu cases rise up to 14
The Ministry of Health of Swaziland has confirmed 14 cases of Influenza A (H1N1) (pdm09) strain to-date
EDCD starts collecting of details of H1N1 patients
In Nepal, the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has started collecting the details of patients visiting government and private medical facilities seeking treatment for seasonal flu
Mae Sot stocks up on flu jabs
An official from the International Hospital in Mae Sot, Thailand, said 5,000 flu vaccines would soon be in stock for Myanmar citizens coming to the hospital for a flu shot
Influenza vaccine challenge of 96 percent met by 46 Oklahoma hospitals
The OHA Council on Quality and Patient Safety has challenged OHA member hospitals to achieve high employee influenza vaccination rates for the past several years: this year the cumulative rate was 89 percent
Influenza cases spike early in NSW; Opposition blames Government for insufficient planning
In New South Wales, Labor's health spokesman Walt Secord said the flu outbreak could have been prevented if the State Government encouraged more people to get their flu vaccinations
More than 180 Kiwis are hospitalised with the flu a week
In New Zealand, ESR public health physician Dr Jill Sherwood said the rise in cases of the flu this year, compared to 2016, was a result of Influenza A which is particularly dangerous for the elderly who could also get a secondary infection
Flu on the rise
Paul Van Buynder, Chairman of the Australian Immunisation Coalition, says that there is a “real mix” of flu strains circulating at the moment, but people can still get vaccinated, and pharmacists who get infected should stay home
School immunisation teams gearing up to offer flu vaccine to 85,000 Greater Glasgow & Clyde primary school pupils
In Scotland, children will be offered the flu vaccine at school as they have the highest flu attack rates and are more likely to pass on the virus to family, friends and the wider community
Bay residents succumb to influenza
Influenza has been named as the primary cause of death for several Western Bay residents over the last week to 10 days. One of the strains of flu sending people to their sick beds was not directly targeted by this year's flu vaccine
Docs worry over new strain of swine flu
Experts claim that the vaccine against swine flu this season provides little protection against the present strain of the virus, which has changed. In the absence of this protective guard, doctors fear a rise in cases
Nearly one-fourth of US adults get influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings
Almost a quarter of adults in the U.S. get their annual influenza vaccinations in pharmacy-based settings, according to a paper published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association
Flu rates three times higher than last year as dominant virus mutates
In New Zealand, Institute of Environmental Science and Research public health physician Jill Sherwood said rates of influenza were three times higher than last July and that the main strain of Influenza A, H3N2, was beginning to show signs of mutation. Medsafe and the Ministry of Health are considering a new quadrivalent vaccine for 2018, which would include the B/Yamagata strain
China to help Myanmar respond to H1N1 flu outbreak
The Chinese government is sending humanitarian aid to Myanmar to prevent the spread of the H1N1 influenza; the Ministry of Commerce will work with other government departments to offer disease control supplies that Myanmar is in urgent need of
Burden of disease
Flu Shot Ineffective Against Common Cold
As the time for flu shots approaches, the chief biologist at the FDA in Iran says the vaccines target specific influenza strains and are useless against the common cold: “common flu strains in Iran comprise B, H1N1, and H2N3, with H1N1 the strongest and most virulent”
A Word With Chief Matt Sproul: Immunizations do more than keep us healthy
Being sick takes a financial toll, and avoiding vaccines can lead to extensive medical bills. According to the National Foundation of Infectious Disease, “an average influenza illness can last up to 15 days, typically with five or six missed work days”