NEWS SCAN: Flu vaccine strains, more Salmonella cases, H5N1 in Myanmar

Feb 8, 2010

WHO decision on flu vaccine strains expected next week
Influenza experts will meet from Feb 14 to 19 at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva to decide which flu strains to recommend for use in vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere's 2010-11 flu season, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a recent question-and-answer statement, the CDC said the vaccine, as in past years, is likely to be trivalent (covering three strains), "although committee members may consider other options." In line with a WHO recommendation made last September, the seasonal vaccine that Australia will use for its upcoming winter flu season includes the pandemic H1N1 virus along with an H3N2 strain and an influenza B strain. The US Food and Drug Adminstration's vaccine advisory committee will meet Feb 22 to consider the WHO's vaccine recommendation, the CDC said. The panel normally follows the WHO's lead.
CDC statement on vaccine strain selection

Case count in Salmonella outbreak climbs to 213
The number of cases in a 42-state Salmonella outbreak linked to sausage products has climbed to 213, the CDC reported in its latest update, posted Feb 5. Among the 159 patients with available information, 42 (26%) were hospitalized, but no one has died, the CDC said. The outbreak has prompted Daniele Inc., based in Pascoag, R.I., to recall about 1.28 million pounds of salami and other sausage products. Salmonella has been found in samples of black pepper from the Daniele facility.
CDC update on Salmonella outbreak

H5N1 hits farm in Myanmar
Animal health officials in Myanmar recently announced that H5N1 avian influenza struck a poultry farm in Yangon province, near Rangoon, the country's largest city, according to a Feb 5 report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The infection killed 100 50-week-old layer chickens, and the remaining 2,355 birds were destroyed to control the outbreak. The findings were confirmed at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Yangon. An investigation hasn't determined the source of the infection but did reveal that the farmer had purchased pullet chickens. Myanmar's last reported H5N1 outbreak occurred in January 2008.
Feb 5 OIE report

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