Flu Scan for Nov 12, 2015

Flu vaccine and H3N2 severity
Avian flu all-clear in Iowa

Study: Flu vaccine might help mitigate H3N2 flu symptoms

Flu vaccination might alleviate symptoms of the H3N2 influenza strain, according to a small study in Vaccine.

US military researchers studied 155 patients with lab-confirmed flu from five military hospitals from 2009 through 2014. Of them, 66 had H3N2 flu, while 69 had 2009 H1N1, 3 had influenza A that wasn't subtyped, and 17 had influenza B. The vaccination rate was 72% (111 patients).

Multivariate analyses showed that vaccinated patients were significantly less likely to report a fever of 101°F or higher but more likely to report muscle pain than unvaccinated patients.

In addition, vaccinated patients infected with H3N2 infections reported significantly lower severity scores for upper respiratory and total symptoms during the first 2 days of illness, and the differences in total symptom severity persisted for 7 days. Bivariate analyses also revealed severity-score differences for lower respiratory and systemic symptoms throughout 7 days of H3N2 illness.

No differences in symptom severity were reported in patients with H1N1 infections.
Nov 10 Vaccine study


Iowa declares commercial farms ready for restocking after avian flu

All 72 Iowa farms affected by highly pathogenic H5N2 avian flu earlier this year have had the quarantines on their facilities lifted and are eligible to restock poultry, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) said in a news release late last week.

"All sites have completed the cleaning and disinfection process and had negative environmental tests," the agency said. The farms also had to undergo a 21-day fallow period following disinfection. They include 35 commercial turkey flocks, 22 egg-producing flocks, 13 pullet flocks, a chicken breeding flock, and a mail order hatchery.

"Five backyard operations remain under quarantine," IDALS said. "Backyard facilities must undergo a 180 day fallow period following depopulation before the quarantines can be lifted and birds brought back to the farm. It is anticipated that these sites will be able to come off of quarantine in the next month."

The agency also said that bird owners must employ effective biosecurity measures to prevent a return of avian flu now that the fall migration of wild birds, which can spread the disease, has begun. IDALS also pointed to the US Department of Agriculture's fall plan, which focuses on preventing or reducing outbreaks, enhancing preparedness, improving response capabilities, and preparing for potential use of avian flu vaccines.
Nov 6 IDALS news release

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