H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Flu activity increasing, European vaccine approvals, Mexico's next steps, low interest in kids' vaccine

Sep 25, 2009

WHO: Flu activity up in Northern Hemisphere
In a global pandemic flu update today the World Health Organization (WHO) said flu activity is increasing in temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere such as the US and parts of the UK. Activity in tropical regions varies. It is increasing in some parts of Peru and Mexico but decreasing in temperate parts of the Southern Hemisphere such as South Africa. So far the WHO has logged 3,971 deaths.
WHO pandemic update 67

Europe approves two pandemic vaccines
Europe's drug regulatory agency today approved two pandemic H1N1 vaccines, one made by GlaxoSmithKline and the other by Novartis. The two vaccines were developed through a "mock up" process that moved forward during preparation for the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Both vaccines contain adjuvants, with Novartis's having been in use since 1997. The agency is recommending a two-dose schedule but said it expects further data that may confirm one-dose efficacy.

Mexico unveils measures against next wave
Mexico's health minister announced measures yesterday to address renewed novel H1N1 outbreaks in the country, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported. Public hospitals will delay nonessential surgeries and reserve 12% of their beds for flu patients. The new measures also establish special areas in hospitals to isolate patients who have the virus. Officials expect 8,000 to 10,000 hospitalizations over the coming flu season.
Sep 24 Xinhua story

Survey finds tepid interest in kids' H1N1 vaccine
Researchers from the University of Michigan reported yesterday that only 40% of 1,679 parents indicate they will get their children vaccinated against pandemic flu. However, 54% said they would have their kids receive the seasonal flu vaccine. Among racial groups, support for the vaccine was highest in Hispanics. Of those who answered no or were unsure, half said they worried about side effects.
Sep 24 University of Michigan press release

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