H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Flu-stricken health workers, guide for mass gatherings, Hispanics hit hard, vaccine news

Nov 13, 2009

Most flu-stricken health workers not infected at work
Most healthcare workers who have contracted H1N1 influenza were exposed to the flu in their households and community, not in their healthcare institutions, according to testimony Friday before the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB). The board, chartered by the Department of Health and Human Services, was meeting to discuss mental health, healthcare strain and vaccine supply in the H1N1 pandemic, including how much personal protective equipment health workers require.

WHO unveils pandemic guide for mass gatherings
The World Health Organization (WHO) today issued an interim guide for mass gatherings during a pandemic. Among risk-assessment points, it urges planners to pay close attention to local virus circulation, length of the event, age of participants, and healthcare capacity. To reduce transmission, advising sick people to stay away from the event is a key task, along with isolating ill people, avoiding travel when sick, and reducing crowding in areas such as dining halls, the WHO said.
WHO guidance

Canada OKs one vaccine dose for 3- to 9-year-olds
The Public Health Agency of Canada said yesterday that one dose of adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine is sufficient for healthy children ages 3 through 9 years. The agency called for two doses 21 days apart for children from 6 months through 2 years old and for those 3 through 9 years who have chronic health problems. The recommendations are based on clinical trial findings from Europe. In October, WHO experts suggested one dose is enough for children under 10, but US health officials recommend two doses.

Hispanics in Texas hit hard by H1N1
An analysis by Texas health officials finds that the state's Hispanics are being hit disproportionately hard by H1N1 flu, the Houston Chronicle reported. Hispanics make up 37% of the population but accounted for 52% of the 95 H1N1-rlelated deaths through Oct 17. Several risk factors for severe H1N1 disease, including pregnancy, diabetes, and possibly obesity, are more common among Hispanics, said Dr. Joseph McCormick of the University of Texas School of Public Health in Brownsville.
Nov 13 Houston Chronicle report

France reports GBS in vaccinated health worker
France's health ministry said yesterday that a young female healthcare worker was diagnosed with mild Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) 6 days after she received a pandemic flu vaccine, Deutsche Presse-Argentur (DPA) reported today. Hers is one of very few cases that have been reported in H1N1 vaccine recipients. The DPA report said 1,700 GBS cases are reported in France each year and that an October poll showed 17% of French respondents planned to get vaccinated against the pandemic virus.

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