NEWS SCAN: H5N1 in Egypt, flu shots and egg allergies

Mar 1, 2010

Egyptian toddler is latest H5N1 case
Egypt's health ministry on Feb 25 reported an H5N1 avian influenza infection in a 14-month-old boy from Qalyubia governorate, according to a report from Egypt State Information Service. The ministry lists the boy as the country's 103rd H5N1 case. He is undergoing treatment with oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and is in stable condition, the report said. No other details were available. The child's illness was first reported on flu blogs last week that cited foreign-language media reports. Today the blogs flagged an early report of what appears to be another H5N1 case in Egypt, a 53-year-old man. If both these cases are confirmed, Egypt will have 14 human H5N1 cases this year, two of them fatal.
Mar 1 FluTrackers thread

Study: Flu vaccine safe for many egg-allergy kids
Most children with egg allergies can safety receive influenza vaccine, researchers reported on Feb 28 at a meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), according to a report from Medpage Today. They reviewed the charts of 150 children with egg allergies who had received at least one flu shot and found only 7 had an adverse reaction. Most were mild, and 5 resolved spontaneously. They also looked at 50 children with allergies who received the pandemic vaccine; only one had an allergic reaction. Skin-prick testing often showed false-positives. In both parts of the study, flu shots did not provoke reactions in kids who had a history of anaphylaxis. Influenza vaccines are made from antigen cultured in chicken eggs. Though most egg protein is removed during the vaccine production process, a small amount remains, which often leads healthcare professionals to discourage patients with egg allergies from receiving flu vaccines.
Feb 28 Medpage Today story
Feb 28 AAAAI abstract

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