H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Deaths in blacks, vaccine access, no gold for H1N1, combo antivirals, ACIP meeting

Feb 22, 2010

Blacks overrepresented in Virginia flu deaths
About 30% of the 36 people who have died of H1N1 flu in Virginia were African-American, though African-Americans make up only 20% of the state population, Virginia Health Commissioner Karen Remley told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have speculated that higher rates of diabetes and asthma may help explain the increased rate of severe H1N1 cases in African-Americans.
Feb 20 Times-Dispatch story

South Korea opens vaccine to all
Pandemic H1N1 flu vaccine is now available to everyone in South Korea, including foreigners, not just to high-risk groups, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs announced today, according to Arirang News. The ministry urged vaccinations, saying that about 500 daily H1N1 cases are being reported, although the number has been on the decline.
Feb 22 Arirang News story

No flu yet reported at Olympics
So far pandemic flu—as well as seasonal flu—has been held not only off the podium but entirely away from the Vancouver Olympic Games, according to the Canadian Press. Last week the British Columbia provincial laboratory didn't find a single influenza virus in samples it tested. "Boy, so far we are lucky," said Dr. Jack Taunton, chief medical officer for the Olympics. February often brings the peak of flu season.

Lab study shows 3-antiviral combo effective
Researchers found that a combination of the antiviral drugs amantadine, ribavirin, and oseltamivir was effective against drug-resistant seasonal and novel H1N1 influenza. In testing in canine kidney cells, the authors found "that the triple combination was highly synergistic against drug-resistant viruses, and the synergy of the triple combination was significantly greater than the synergy of any double combination."
Feb 22 PLoS One study

ACIP to set vaccine guidelines for next season
The CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet Feb 24 and 25 to discuss which groups should get flu shots for next season, along with other immunization issues. Among other things, the committee will consider whether to recommend that older people receive a high-dose flu vaccine that was recently licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the meeting agenda. The 2010-11 flu vaccine is expected to include the pandemic H1N1 virus.
Feb 24-25 ACIP agenda

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