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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 11th Sep 2017

News Highlights
This year's bird flu outbreak killed a record 281 people in China Researchers at the CDC reported on Thursday that China reported nearly the same number of H7N9 cases as all four previous years combined, during the 2017 season
Evotec and ABIVAX Enter into Strategic Collaboration to Develop Novel Antiviral Agents Evotec and ABIVAX announced a strategic collaboration to discover and develop novel treatments for multiple serious viral infectious diseases. Targets in RSV, Influenza and Dengue viral infections have already been identified by ABIVAX
Traditional flu tests not as accurate as newer tests Digital immunoassays and rapid nucleic acid amplification tests have higher sensitivities for detecting influenza than rapid influenza diagnostic tests, according to a review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine
Flu vaccination programme did not protect over-65s last year Public Health England has no plans to revise the 2017–18 winter flu vaccination campaign in spite of figures revealing that last year’s campaign was not effective among its main targets, the over-65s; provisional estimates show that for all age groups combined, the vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B was 39.8%, but for the over-65s, effectiveness was 6.3% lower
Quadrivalent flu vaccines are cost-effective, particularly for school children Quadrivalent vaccines are currently given to children in England and Wales as part of the national seasonal influenza vaccination program. Research published in BMC Medicine uses a mathematical model of seasonal flu to estimate quadrivalent vaccine program cost, finding it to be cost effective for all age groups
Bird Flu Spreads Across South Africa Bird flu has continued to spread in South Africa as more cases of the outbreak were recorded in six of the nine provinces, authorities said on Sunday
Certara research sheds light on disease resistant influenza Certara, a specialist in model-informed drug development, has announced that it has developed a report on viral kinetic modelling to accelerate research into drug-resistant strains of influenza
Influenza outbreak: Rise in deaths as illnesses sweep through Tasmanian care facilities The death toll from influenza-related illnesses in Tasmania stands at 14, the state's director of public health has said. Dr Mark Veitch said there had been 28 flu outbreaks in nursing homes, hospitals and other care facilities this flu season
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Pandemic Influenza News
This year's bird flu outbreak killed a record 281 people in China
Researchers at the CDC reported on Thursday that China reported nearly the same number of H7N9 cases as all four previous years combined, during the 2017 season
CHP notified of human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Hunan
The Centre for Health Protection is monitoring a notification from the National Health and Family Planning Commission that an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) was recorded from September 1 to 7 in Hunan
Bird Flu Spreads Across South Africa
Bird flu has continued to spread in South Africa as more cases of the outbreak were recorded in six of the nine provinces, authorities said on Sunday
COA Confirms Chickens to Have H5N8 Avian Flu
Chickens at two slaughterhouses in Taipei and New Taipei City were confirmed to be infected with the H5N8 avian influenza virus, the Council of Agriculture said
Industry News
IRI arms cough/cold retailers with new tool to boost performance
IRI has launched IRI Illness Tracking, a new solution that pinpoints consumers who suffer from cough, cold, influenza and allergy symptoms throughout the year, so that over-the-counter product marketers and retailers can grow sales during the flu season through better planning and activation programs
Parents 'distraught' over delay in getting vaccine documents
Lawyers acting for families who say their children suffered significant health problems following a controversial swine flu vaccine are due in court next month as part an effort to force the State to release crucial documents. GSK’s Pandemrix has been linked to narcolepsy
Evotec and ABIVAX Enter into Strategic Collaboration to Develop Novel Antiviral Agents
Evotec and ABIVAX announced a strategic collaboration to discover and develop novel treatments for multiple serious viral infectious diseases. Targets in RSV, Influenza and Dengue viral infections have already been identified by ABIVAX
Public trusts supermarkets more than pharma – poll
A survey commissioned by Roche revealed that the public trusts supermarkets more than pharmaceutical companies; Roche wants to take a lead in the debate about how to build public trust in pharma. Almost a decade ago Roche faced strong criticism when it dragged its feet when asked to provide unpublished trial data on Tamiflu when the Cochrane Collaboration wanted to reassess its efficacy
Academic studies
Traditional flu tests not as accurate as newer tests
Digital immunoassays and rapid nucleic acid amplification tests have higher sensitivities for detecting influenza than rapid influenza diagnostic tests, according to a review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine
Certara research sheds light on disease resistant influenza
Certara, a specialist in model-informed drug development, has announced that it has developed a report on viral kinetic modelling to accelerate research into drug-resistant strains of influenza
Pediatric influenza news
State scales back its flu vaccination program for schools
A lack of funding is forcing Hawaii to scale back its annual school vaccination program; officials said flu shots won't be offered in private schools this year, and will be available in fewer public schools
Get the flu jab
NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group are encouraging families to protect their children against flu. The vaccination not only protects the child, it also helps stop the spread of the illness especially to those older members of the family such as grandparents
Quadrivalent flu vaccines are cost-effective, particularly for school children
Quadrivalent vaccines are currently given to children in England and Wales as part of the national seasonal influenza vaccination program. Research published in BMC Medicine uses a mathematical model of seasonal flu to estimate quadrivalent vaccine program cost, finding it to be cost effective for all age groups
Over 65’s influenza news
Flu vaccination programme did not protect over-65s last year
Public Health England has no plans to revise the 2017–18 winter flu vaccination campaign in spite of figures revealing that last year’s campaign was not effective among its main targets, the over-65s; provisional estimates show that for all age groups combined, the vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B was 39.8%, but for the over-65s, effectiveness was 6.3% lower
What women can to do to lead healthy lives as they age
Pneumonia and flu vaccines can save older women’s lives. Pneumonia and flu combined are the sixth leading cause of death in Canada, and the majority of deaths are in patients over 65
Flu deaths in aged care: more needed than compulsory vaccinations for aged care workers
There are many factors making older people vulnerable to the flu and various actions are needed to protect them, including relatives being immunised against the flu and avoiding visits if they feel unwell, and generally raising awareness of the importance of flu vaccination
General Influenza News
Flu 2017 - The Good News And The Bad News
The number of influenza cases in Australia this year is 2.5-times that of the same time period last year; this year's vaccine matches quite well with the predominant Australian strain, H3N2, but vaccines are less effective against H3N2, which causes more severe disease than most other strains
‘Epi Lab’ supports medical readiness of Airmen, families
As the Air Force Clinical Reference Lab, the Epi Lab provides force health screening, as well as clinical diagnostic testing for its customers; “we grow and isolate flu A/B, parainfluenzas, adenovirus and the respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV,” said Senior Airman Brittany Mitchell, medical laboratory apprentice
You're sneezing wrong, and helping to spread the flu
The way Australians are taught to sneeze may have fuelled the spread of deadly influenza across the country, with health experts frantically calling for people to be taught the American method of directing their spray into their elbows
Prepare for A Really Intense Flu Season, Say the Experts
Experts predict that this is going to be one of the most intense flu seasons in recent memory, according to NBC; early vaccination is key, especially in kids
I didn't get the flu shot. Does that make me an anti-vaxxer?
The author questions her choice of not getting immunised against the flu; perhaps getting the influenza vaccine is no longer a personal choice but, at some point, has turned into a moral issue, as there have been repeated calls by experts for all Australians to be vaccinated
Medical regulator, police raid anti-vax GP John Piesse's Mitcham clinic
The medical regulator has raided the clinic of anti-vax Melbourne GP Dr John Piesse , seizing computers and patients' files
Shortage of swine flu vaccine irks people, 2 more dead
Shortage of swine flu vaccine at a time when H1N1 influenza cases are constantly on the rise has irked the residents of Jaipur
Swine flu no reason to panic
The Mpumalanga Department of Health in South Africa last week refuted claims that the area was experiencing a swine flu outbreak. Swine flu is no more dangerous than “regular” strains of seasonal influenza A, Lancet Laboratories explained
Poor flu vaccine prompts call for change
In Australia, infectious diseases experts and state public health officials said the flu vaccine selected this year appeared to have been less effective than usual, particularly against the prevalent H3 strain of influenza A; Professor Cheng suggested Australia consider including higher dosage vaccines. Another practice would be adding adjuvants to vaccines to better stimulate the immune response
Doctors warn of rapidly mutating flu virus that only one in five Aussies are protected against
A fast-mutating strain of the flu has killed more than 73 people in Australia as medical experts fight to contain the virus only 20 per cent of Aussies are protected against
Flu rates spike in parts of South Canterbury as funded vaccine period extended
Parts of South Canterbury experienced a spike in flu cases as a strain responsible for more hospitalisations took a greater hold across New Zealand. The National Influenza Strategy Group said up to September 1 this year, 18,098 doses of flu vaccine had been distributed across South Canterbury, equivalent to 32 per cent of the population
AMA Victoria president urges everyone to get the flu vaccine
Australian Medical Association Victoria president Lorraine Baker told The Border Mail people might see any annual vaccinations offered by workplaces as optional. “Whereas we would say, please, if you get the opportunity to have a flu vaccine, take it,” she said
Flu season is just around the corner
Experts are hopeful the flu vaccine will be a good match for the circulating virus. Vaccines available this year include a trivalent vaccine, which uses three strains of the virus — two strains of influenza A and one strain of influenza B — and a quadrivalent vaccine, which uses two strains of A and two strains of B
Civic body buys swine flu vaccine from own coffers
Keeping in mind the mounting swine flu cases in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation has purchased swine flu vaccines from its own coffers for high-risk patients instead of waiting for fresh stock from the state government
Burden of disease
Influenza outbreak: Rise in deaths as illnesses sweep through Tasmanian care facilities
The death toll from influenza-related illnesses in Tasmania stands at 14, the state's director of public health has said. Dr Mark Veitch said there had been 28 flu outbreaks in nursing homes, hospitals and other care facilities this flu season
Australia's killer flu: Calls for more immunisations as virus mutates
A fast-mutating strain of the flu is defying medical experts' efforts to stop it and has already killed at least 73 people in Australia this year; the number of notified laboratory-confirmed flu cases in Victoria for the year to July 2 was more than 90% higher than those for the same period last year
Hospitals must not be caught cold again
In Hong Kong, with more than 430 deaths blamed on the latest flu outbreak, which saw more patients than beds, selection and promotion of a seasonal vaccine is critical
Two more H1N1 patients confirmed
Between September 7 and 8, two out of six suspected patients are found to have been infected with seasonal influenza, H1N1. A total of 18 in-patients are receiving treatment in hospitals nationwide in Myanmar
Deaths double as deadly flu strain hits aged-care homes
Tasmania’s Health Minister says the state is experiencing a busy flu season and “finding it difficult to cope”. This year’s influenza-related death toll stands at 14, including six elderly residents at Strathdevon nursing home
Swine Flu Cases On The Rise In Rajasthan, New Strain Of Virus Detected
With the number of cases almost doubling in the last month, Rajasthan is witnessing a surge in swine flu patients across the state. This year, 104 people have died since January in the state. Doctors attribute the cases to a new strain in the H1N1 virus called the Michigan strain