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"Seqirus Media Monitoring" 17th Oct 2017

News Highlights
Bird flu reported in Netherlands - 41500 birds culled Avian influenza has been reported in a commercial layer flock in the Netherlands. The outbreak is in a flock of 41,500 birds in the Zeeland region of the Netherlands. It is understood that the virus involved is a low pathogenic H5N2 strain
Newer Influenza Tests Have Better Sensitivity Compared to Traditional 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
Avian influenza: new scientific advice boosts EU preparedness Migratory wild birds crossing the north-eastern and eastern border of the European Union is the most likely pathway for avian influenza to enter the territory, says EFSA. One of the main recommendations is that water birds found dead should be reported to the local veterinary authorities – particularly during the influenza season
Duke Institute Tapped to Build a Rapid-Response System for Viral Pandemics The Duke Human Vaccine Institute has received a $12.8 million, 30-month grant to develop a system capable of halting viral pandemics within 60 days. The program, called DARPA Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3), seeks to combine expertise in virology, immunology and clinical manufacturing to rapidly identify and respond to disease outbreaks such as SARS, pandemic influenza and Zika before they spread widely
Flu vaccine failed to protect young leukemia patients during cancer treatment Young leukemia patients who were vaccinated against influenza were just as likely as their unvaccinated peers to develop flu, suggesting that additional steps are necessary to protect high-risk individuals. These findings from the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital study appear in the Journal of Pediatrics
Flu shot or nasal spray? Conflicting studies sow confusion This year, U.S. flu experts are recommending Americans against FluMist because they say it simply isn’t effective enough. And yet, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization still recommends the spray vaccine, saying Canadian studies show it works. It’s not clear why there’s a difference between the Canadian and U.S. results
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Pandemic Influenza News
Bird flu reported in Netherlands - 41500 birds culled
Avian influenza has been reported in a commercial layer flock in the Netherlands. The outbreak is in a flock of 41,500 birds in the Zeeland region of the Netherlands. It is understood that the virus involved is a low pathogenic H5N2 strain
Pandemics pose major threats on Global Tourism Industry
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett said “we can no longer ignore or give insufficient attention to the imminent threat of pandemics and, if we fail to do so, world tourism faces a myriad of global challenges in the event of a world pandemic”
Highly pathogenic A(H5N8) avian flu virus still very active in Northern Italy
While most European countries are becoming less affected by H5N8 avian flu, Italy is still faced with several outbreaks both in wild birds and on farms; there are concerns that avian flu will become a year round issue
Farmers voice concerns about compensation for bird flu
South African farmers have said the damaging effect of the bird flu outbreak is being exacerbated by the delay in compensation by the government. Meanwhile, the situation in Western Cape continues to worsen with the number of confirmed cases rising to 50. At least 2.5m chickens and ducks have been culled in the province
Avian influenza text service launched for Northern poultry farmers
In Ireland, a text service has been launched to keep poultry farmers and bird keepers updated with the latest avian influenza threats. The service – which is run by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – will inform bird keepers of any disease outbreaks
Avian influenza: new scientific advice boosts EU preparedness
Migratory wild birds crossing the north-eastern and eastern border of the European Union is the most likely pathway for avian influenza to enter the territory, says EFSA. One of the main recommendations is that water birds found dead should be reported to the local veterinary authorities – particularly during the influenza season
Agriculture minister pledges strong measures against bird flu
South Korea's agriculture minister vowed Monday to take strong quarantine measures against bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease ahead of the PyeongChang Olympics to prevent further outbreaks during the winter months
South Korea free from highly pathogenic Avian Influenza: government
South Korea said it is free of highly pathogenic avian influenza as new cases of H5N6 and H5N8 strains haven't been discovered in the nation over the last three months, the government said Monday
Pressing, multiplying biodefense issues plague U.S., experts say
The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, a privately funded group established in 2014 to ascertain the current biodefense capabilities of the United States and issue expert recommendations to encourage change, has grown increasingly worried about microbial forensics and biological attribution
Industry News
Vaccine currently under development may harness your immune system to target the flu virus
The story of the development of the Universal Flu vaccine, which, it is believed, will protect people against pandemics and annual outbreaks once it gets to the stage of being successfully tested and approved
Duke Institute Tapped to Build a Rapid-Response System for Viral Pandemics
The Duke Human Vaccine Institute has received a $12.8 million, 30-month grant to develop a system capable of halting viral pandemics within 60 days. The program, called DARPA Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3), seeks to combine expertise in virology, immunology and clinical manufacturing to rapidly identify and respond to disease outbreaks such as SARS, pandemic influenza and Zika before they spread widely
Academic studies
Newer Influenza Tests Have Better Sensitivity Compared to Traditional 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
UBC researchers pull paper linking vaccine component to autism after data alleged to be manipulated
Researchers from the University of British Columbia are retracting their scientific paper linking aluminum in vaccines to autism in mice, because one of the co-authors claims figures published in the study were deliberately altered before publication — an issue he says he realized after allegations of data manipulation surfaced online
Flu vaccine failed to protect young leukemia patients during cancer treatment
Young leukemia patients who were vaccinated against influenza were just as likely as their unvaccinated peers to develop flu, suggesting that additional steps are necessary to protect high-risk individuals. These findings from the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital study appear in the Journal of Pediatrics
Pediatric influenza news
Flu vaccine age range for children now includes eight-year-olds
Children aged two to eight years can be now protected against flu with a simple, free NHS nasal spray vaccine, following the latest extension to the vaccination programme for young people. Eight-year-olds are being added to the programme this year, as part of a gradual extension of protection against the virus for children
More children eligible for flu vaccine
More children will be able to have the flu vaccination after the routine influenza vaccine programme extended who is eligible. From today, children who were aged between two and eight on 31 August, can be protected against flu with a nasal spray as opposed to the injection offered to adults, free of charge from the NHS
Flu shot or nasal spray? Conflicting studies sow confusion
This year, U.S. flu experts are recommending Americans against FluMist because they say it simply isn’t effective enough. And yet, Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization still recommends the spray vaccine, saying Canadian studies show it works. It’s not clear why there’s a difference between the Canadian and U.S. results
What to do when your child is scared of shots
For the second year in a row, the CDC is telling doctors not to give patients FluMist, and that’s a problem for kids who are scared of needles. More solutions could come soon; researchers are working on a Band-Aid-like patch with dissolvable microneedles that deliver the flu vaccine
Death of three-year-old son prompts warning about importance of flu jabs for young children
The parents of a three-year-old boy who died after contracting flu in 2010 are urging mums and dads to have their young children vaccinated so that they don't suffer the same fate. To help publicise the importance of the flu vaccination for children, his parents have worked with the local NHS to create an advert for social media than will be seen across Devon
Over 65’s influenza news
Influenza, the elderly are at risk and few are immunized
Influenza – the elderly are at highest risk yet awareness of this is still low among Italians with only 43% of them believing that influenza could aggravate health complications which can lead to death
New Campaign Offers ‘Wellness Wisdom’ about Vaccines for Medicare Open Enrolment
The Alliance for Aging Research and n4a launched the ‘Our Best Shot’ campaign to encourage older adults to schedule their Medicare prevention visits, share the truth about vaccines, and get vaccinated
General Influenza News
Saint-Etienne - flu shots at the pharmacy
In a few regions of France, some pharmacists have been authorised to vaccinate patients against the flu in order to reach as many people as possible; however, not all pharmacists agree this is the right thing to do
Nantes - Protests against compulsory vaccinations
In Nantes, France, protesters gathered against compulsory vaccinations. A local GP told the protesters that illnesses such as the flu, for which a vaccine exists, still killed 14,000 people last year, and that vaccines save lives and end epidemics
Do not underestimate the impact of flu this coming season -vaccines are available in pharmacies
"The most vulnerable categories are children, the elderly, patients in general, and in particular those with chronic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, but not excluding everyone exposed to influenza viruses," said Federfarma Verona's president
Starting Monday 16th October - the Rome region launches its flu vaccination aiming to hand out 1m vaccinations via 5,000 doctors
The goal of the Lazio Region, which will provide one million flu vaccine doses through five thousand doctors, is to increase the percentage of the elderly who will take the vaccine
The flu vaccination season is underway and the Algarve health authorities have launched a campaign to get those most in need vaccinated
In Portugal, the health service recommends flu vaccination throughout the fall / winter, saying that vaccinations are available at Health Centers free for all target groups, in accordance with recommended guidelines
Is flu vaccination useful this late in the autumn?
With a total of 16,696 reported influenza cases last year, Saxony experienced the most severe flu wave since 2001 during the 2016/17 season. "Influenza can hit anyone and is not comparable with an everyday cold. I advise everyone to get vaccinated in time," says Minister of Health Barbara Klepsch
Aussie flu will cause havoc in the UK this winter, warns renaissance scholar who predicted Brexit and Donald Trump
The Aussie flu will cause havoc in the UK this winter, warns a renaissance scholar with a record of predicting unlikely events. Chris Kutarna, research fellow at Oxford University, anticipated Brexit and that Donald Trump would become US President before they happened. His latest worrying prediction comes amid concerns that this winter's flu season could be one of the worst outbreaks ever recorded
Flu experts see potential for a nasty winter season
Influenza viruses are among the most unpredictable disease actors around and make it difficult to forecast the potential severity of an upcoming flu season or how well — or poorly — the vaccine might work this year. However, flu experts are worried right now and there are some signals they think may foretell that we’re facing a nasty flu season
What is Aussie flu?
Health experts have warned that Britain could soon be dealing with one the worst flu epidemics for 50 years. The warning comes after a winter in Australia that saw over 170,000 cases of influenza. Now the so-called ‘Aussie flu’ virus – which caused a number of deaths in Australia – could spread to the UK
Obese people are to get free flu jabs for the first time after NHS bosses rule them a high-risk group
Obese people will be given free flu jabs for the first time after the NHS judged them to be a high-risk group. It means that approximately one million adults said to be morbidly obese will qualify for the vaccinations
Compulsory vaccination debate begins in France
Seven French doctors have sent a letter to members of Parliament explaining why they are opposed to broadening the compulsory vaccinations rule: they believe people started becoming more reluctant to vaccinate their children since H1N1 flu vaccination was compulsory in 2009, and there have been recurring difficulties getting hold of some vaccines for young babies
Flu Season Kicks Off: What to Expect This Year
The push is on to get as many people vaccinated against the flu as possible. This year, the CDC’s rallying cry for flu vaccinations is “Everyone, 6 months and up!” Pharmacists are front and center in this goal. About 25% of all flu shots are administered by pharmacists, according to John Norton, Director of Public Relations for the NCPA
Fight the flu: how can your organisation prepare for winter?
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, urges health and care bodies to fight the consequences of a potential flu epidemic by getting involved with national campaigns throughout the cold season.
In Chihuahua health authorities have 280,000 doses of flu vaccine ready to launch a campaign of vaccination
In Chihuahua health authorities have 280,000 doses of flu vaccine ready to launch a campaign of vaccination
NHS winter plans centre on more flu jabs and A&E staff
Free flu vaccination for millions of people and a record expansion in training for A&E consultants and other healthcare staff are two of the measures that the NHS is to take to respond to reduce winter pressures on frontline services in England, it has announced
Burden of disease
Flu cases start to rise in state
Flu is officially circulating in the state, with the Connecticut Department of Public Health reporting that there have been at least 23 people who have tested positive for the illness so far this season. As of Saturday, Oct. 7, flu was reported in six of the state’s eight counties