Flu Scan for Nov 24, 2015

H7N9 in China
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Flu vaccine and H1N1 protection

H7N9 sickens farmer in China

Health officials in China's Guangdong province have announced an H7N9 avian influenza infection in a man in his 70s who is hospitalized, according to a report today from Xinhua, China's state news agency.

The man is a farmer from the city of Meizhou, and the source of his infection is still under investigation.

The case is China's fifth in the early part of the fourth wave of illnesses and the first from Guangdong province, in the southern part of the country. The four others were from Zhejiang province, on China's eastern coast. Regional authorities have said they expect more illnesses to be reported in the months ahead.

China's latest case lifts the global total of H7N9 illnesses to 690, according to a running list kept by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.
Nov 24 Xinhua story

 

Study sheds light on flu vaccine protection against H1N1

A study that tracked influenza in households during the 2013-14 US flu season showed substantial effectiveness for the flu vaccine during a year when the 2009 H1N1 virus predominated. The study also found no negative effect from previous-year vaccination, a pattern that has been seen when most flu illnesses are caused by H3N2.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published their findings yesterday in an early online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The team's findings seemingly add evidence that when the H3N2 strain predominates, as has been the case in many recent flu seasons, vaccine effectiveness is negatively affected, making it difficult to tease out the impact of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine component.

Researchers followed 232 families with 1,049 members, 618 of them children. The 2009 H1N1 virus was confirmed in 25 (10.8%) households and 47 (4.5%) individuals. Adjusted vaccine effectiveness (VE) was 66% (95% confidence interval, 23% to 85%), with similar estimates in children and adults. In younger kids, VE didn't appear to vary between those who received the inhaled or the injectable flu vaccine, though the numbers were small.

The VE level the authors observed was similar to that found by the US Flu VE Network for the same season but somewhat higher than identified by the European I-MOVE Network. Both look at flu VE in healthcare settings rather than in households. The current study concluded that ongoing studies which examine infections over time and involve serologic evaluation can help shed light on complex issues surrounding flu vaccine protection.
Nov 23 J Infect Dis abstract

 

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