Dec 17, 2012
Avian flu takes life of Indonesian boy
A 4-year-old Indonesian boy recently died of H5N1 avian influenza, the Jakarta Post reported today. The case is the first confirmed H5N1 illness reported in Indonesia since Aug 10, and the Post said it raises the country's H5N1 toll to 192 cases with 160 deaths since 2005. The boy, who lived in Bogor, West Java, fell sick with a fever Nov 30 and was hospitalized but did not improve, according to the story. On Dec 6 he was transferred to Tangerang General Hospital in Banten province, where he tested positive for the virus. The story did not list the date of his death, but translations of media reports published Dec 14 indicated he died Dec 6. Indonesia's health ministry said the boy might have been exposed to the virus by contact with a dead duck that was found near his home, the Post reported. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet noted the case. The agency announced in November that it would report human H5N1 cases only on a monthly basis rather than immediately, with the exception of unusual cases or ones that suggest an increase in risk. On the basis of the WHO count, the new case is Indonesia's ninth this year. All the 2012 cases have been fatal.
Dec 17 Jakarta Post story
WHO case count
FDA approves GSK's quadrivalent flu vaccine
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK's) quadrivalent (four-strain) influenza vaccine, which contains two influenza B strains, according to a Reuters report today. The vaccine, called Fluarix Quadrivalent, is the first injectable quadrivalent flu vaccine licensed in the United States. In February of this year the FDA approved MedImmune's quadrivalent version of the intranasal vaccine FluMist. GSK's quadrivalent formulation is intended for people aged 3 and older, according to Reuters. Vaccine makers have begun making quadrivalent products because of the difficulty of predicting which of the two type B flu lineages (Victoria or Yamagata) will be more common in a given season. GSK said it would make the new vaccine available in time for the 2013-14 flu season and would fill orders for its trivalent vaccines, according to the Reuters story. It said Fluarix Quadrivalent is not approved in any country other than the United States. Another company, Sanofi Pasteur, applied in October for FDA approval of its own quadrivalent flu vaccine.
Dec 17 Reuters story