May 6, 2013
CDC posts Q and A for upcoming flu season
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued an update on what to expect during the 2013-14 flu season. Though it's difficult to determine what strains will circulate, when the season will start, and how long it will last, flu vaccination for everyone age 6 months and older is the best strategy for protecting against seasonal flu, the agency says. Most vaccine for the next season will be the trivalent (three-strain) product, though some—including all inhaled vaccine—will be available in a quadrivalent (four-strain) form that protects against a second influenza B strain. The CDC said the vaccine still provides some protection, even when the match to circulating strains isn't ideal. During the 2013-14 season the CDC is planning several studies to gauge the effectiveness of flu vaccines, both injectable and nasal versions, against lab-confirmed flu in recipients of all ages.
May 6 CDC 2013-14 flu season FAQ
Polio case in Pakistan region is first since vaccination was banned there
A World Health Organization (WHO) official said an area of Pakistan's tribal belt has recorded its first polio case since the Taliban banned polio vaccination there in June 2012, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today. "The new case has been detected in North Waziristan where we had been denied access in June last year," said Elias Durry, the WHO's senior coordinator for polio eradication in Pakistan. He said it was the first case reported in the region since the start of the ban, and added, "We are worried because this new case comes as an example of a bigger impending outbreak of disease in the region." The Taliban alleged that the vaccination campaign was a cover for spying. Pakistan had 58 polio cases last year and is one of three countries where the disease is still endemic, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria.
May 6 AFP story