H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Pandemic vaccine, Tamiflu resistance, Santa's risk factors, cutting sermons

Nov 18, 2009

British patients skeptical about H1N1 vaccine
Less than half of British patients who have been offered the pandemic vaccine accepted it, Reuters reported today. The findings were based on a poll of 107 family doctors conducted by Pulse magazine. Reasons included fear of side effects and views that the virus is mild. The doctors reported even less acceptance among pregnant women, a high-risk group. The UK government said it's too early to speculate on vaccine uptake rates.
Nov 18 Reuters story

Canada reports few serious reactions to vaccine
With 6.6 million doses of H1N1 vaccine given so far, Canada has seen only 36 serious adverse reactions, according to Dr. David Butler-Jones, the country's chief public health officer. He said one person died of an anaphylactic reaction, but it was not yet certain if the vaccine caused it, CTV News reported. Serious events have also included fevers and convulsions. Butler-Jones said 20% of Canada's 31 million people have been vaccinated, which he called the highest proportion of any country.
Nov 17 CTV News report

Global Tamiflu-resistant cases detailed
In a review of the global cases of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)-resistant H1N1 reported thus far, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said the patients have been geographically dispersed and not linked and the viruses were all susceptible to the other common antiviral, zanamivir (Relenza). Of the 32 cases detailed, two factors may have played a role: reduced immunity and preventive antiviral therapy (prophylaxis). Three cases had no known history of exposure to oseltamivir.
Nov 18 ECDC review

Santa groups air pandemic flu concerns
Santa workers and volunteers are seeking ways to prevent novel H1N1 infection during the holiday season, the Associated Press (AP) reported. One trade group urged its members to use hand sanitizer and take vitamins and the public to keep sick children home. The president of another group asked state lawmaker to consider prioritizing Santa for H1N1 vaccine, given that many are exposed to sick children and are obese, which has been identified as a high-risk condition.

Shortening sermons to fight flu
Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Islamic Affairs has told Muslim preachers to keep their sermons short because of concern that the H1N1 virus may spread in crowded mosques, Deutsche Presse-Argentur (DPA) reported today. The ministry also instructed imams to use sermons to dispel rumors about how the virus spreads and to urge the faithful to observe good hygiene to prevent infection.
Nov 18 DPA report

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