H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: School closure, pneumococcal vaccine, China cancels camps, Russian official warns against UK travel

Aug 4, 2009

Federal officials weigh narrowing school closure advice
Federal officials are considering plans to recommend fewer school closures, according to anonymous sources cited in a Washington Post story today. Early in the novel H1N1 flu outbreak, officials recommended closures when student illnesses were confirmed, but later recommended closing only when large numbers were ill. The new guidance might recommend closure only under "extenuating circumstances," such as schools that have large numbers of children with chronic medical conditions.
Aug 4 Washington Post story


Some call for more use of pneumococcal vaccine in H1N1 battle
Some infectious disease experts say the pneumococcal vaccine Pneumovax should be used more widely as a way to prevent serious cases of novel H1N1 flu, the Los Angeles Times reported today. Preliminary CDC data indicate that about 30% of H1N1-related pneumonia cases are caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is targeted by Pneumovax. At least 70 million Americans are in groups advised to receive the vaccine, but coverage among non-elderly groups is fairly low.
Aug 4 LA Times story


China cancels camps in flu-stricken areas
China's health ministry is canceling summer camps in areas where novel H1N1 outbreaks are occurring, China Daily reported, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) story today. The action follows reports of more than 120 illnesses in students and adults at summer camps in Beijing and in Guangzhou in southern China. The ministry statement said camps elsewhere in the country should be held "only when necessary."
Aug 4 AFP story


Russian official warns against travel to UK
Russia's chief health officer, Gennadi Onischenko, urged Russians not to travel to Wales for a World Cup soccer match on Sep 9 because of Britain's novel H1N1 flu epidemic, according to the British newspaper the Times. Onischenko blamed Britain for most of Russia's H1N1 cases and called travel there "absolutely inappropriate." He suggested that Britain is covering up virus spread. The story said Wales is the least affected part of the country, with 89 confirmed cases and no deaths.
Aug 4 Times report


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