Mephiticity

Archive for the ‘Swine Flu’ Category

Via Associated Press:

ATLANTA — Let us give thanks — and pass the Purell.

Your family might be sharing more than turkey and pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. Swine flu may also be on the table — and at crowded airports and shopping malls.

Just as the pandemic seems to be waning around the country, some health officials are worried that holiday gatherings could lead to more infections. So the government has launched a new travel-health campaign.

“It’s important to remember the things that everybody can do to stay healthy,” said Dr. Beth Bell of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thanksgiving is typically followed by at least a modest bump in early seasonal flu cases, according to reports from the past few years. But this, of course, is not a typical year. Swine flu is a new virus that accounts for nearly all flu cases right now.

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Via BBC:

GlaxoSmithKline has advised doctors in Canada to stop using a batch of its swine flu vaccine, amid reports of severe side-effects in some patients.

The batch of some 170,000 doses was put on hold because of the reported higher than usual number of patients having anaphylactic reactions.

This may include breathing problems, raised heart rate and skin rashes.

The pharmaceutical company said it was investigating the reports, which could lead to the withdrawal of the batch.

The reports say one in 20,000 people suffered adverse reactions to the batch of GlaxoSmithKline’s Aperanix vaccine.

Via HSToday:

by Anthony L. Kimery

‘Argues for vaccination as the one sure way to combat this disease before it strikes’

Four patients at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, at least five persons in a hospital in Wales, and a father in Quebec, Canada have become infected with an apparently mutated strain of H1N1 that is resistant to Tamiflu (oseltamivir), the leading antiviral of choice to treat influenza in lieu of having a vaccine.

Meanwhile, Norwegian health authorities reported a potentially significant mutation in H1N1 that could be responsible for the severest symptoms in those infected by the strain – especially persons most at risk to the virus – which authorities are monitoring carefully because of concerns that it, too, might become resistant to Tamiflu, and, possibly, other antivirals if they become as widely administered as oseltamivir.

Percentage of Visits for Flu-like Illness from October 1, 2006 - November 14, 2009

The number of doctor visits for flu-like illness has slightly dropped recently. This could be a long-term indicator or a mere fluctuation. We have entered the third week of consecutive decreases after four weeks of sharp increases. This may be the effect of the vaccine program.

How many doses of H1N1 are available?

There are now up to 54.1 million doses of the vaccine available for use. This is an increase of nearly 11 million from the week before. A huge increase will be seen in the near future when the fifth supplier, GlaxoSmithKline, begins to deliver vaccines. There are no figures on how many of these vaccines have actually been administered to patients.

No New Side-Effects of H1N1 Vaccine

There have not been any reports of major side effects from administration of the H1N1 vaccine. A small number of people have reported being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome being vaccinated. However, the number has not crossed the national baseline for the disease.