News & Perspective

Dec 31, 2008

Dec 31, 2008

Study hints at pneumonia risk with resistant flu viruses

(CIDRAP News) – A newly published analysis of oseltamivir-resistant influenza viruses collected last winter in Norway hints that they may increase an infected person's risk of pneumonia and sinus infections, but the small number of patients in the study means the finding is no more than a hint at this point.

Dec 24, 2008

Dec 24, 2008

Surging flu cases may herald tough season in England

(CIDRAP News) – While the US influenza season has started slowly, cases are surging in England, raising concern that the country could have its toughest season since 1999-2000.

Dec 17, 2008

Dec 17, 2008

Cost, resistance aired in HHS webcast on antivirals

(CIDRAP News) – Cost issues and the risk of viral resistance drew considerable attention today in an online presentation by federal health officials on their revised guidance regarding use of antiviral drugs in an influenza pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released two guidance documents this week, one on antiviral use in general and one on employer stockpiling of antivirals.

Dec 12, 2008

Dec 12, 2008

CDC sees early-season signs of Tamiflu resistance

(CIDRAP News) – With this year's US influenza epidemic barely getting started, there are already signs of increased viral resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu), the most widely used antiviral drug, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

In its flu surveillance report for Nov 30 to Dec 6, released today, the CDC said 45 of 46 influenza A/H1N1 viruses tested so far have shown resistance to oseltamivir.

Dec 10, 2008

Dec 10, 2008

Rand releases midseason flu vaccination status report

(CIDRAP News) – The Rand Corp. today released its first-ever midseason survey on the uptake of the current influenza vaccine, which found that public officials still have a tall task in front of them to administer this year's record vaccine supply.

The survey indicated that about 30% of US adults had received a flu shot by mid November, but more than half of those surveyed said they didn't plan to get the immunization.

Nov 13, 2008

Nov 13, 2008

Google uses search data to estimate US flu activity

(CIDRAP News) – Millions of people who use the Internet to look for information about influenza provide the fuel for a system launched by Google this week to estimate flu activity day by day in the United States.

Nov 12, 2008

Nov 12, 2008

Feds stage airport test of plan to slow pandemic

(CIDRAP News) – Officials from several agencies recently converged on Miami's international airport to take part in a full-scale exercise of the federal government's risk-based strategy to slow the spread of a future pandemic influenza virus across US borders.

Oct 30, 2008

Oct 30, 2008

Benefits of flu vaccination hotly debated

– WASHINGTON (CIDRAP News) – The benefits conferred by influenza vaccination—to recipients and to their close contacts—were hotly disputed at an international medical meeting this week.

Oct 28, 2008

Oct 28, 2008

Fifth case confirmed in South African viral outbreak

(CIDRAP News) – A fifth case has been confirmed in the recent outbreak of febrile illnesses caused by a mysterious virus in South Africa, and preliminary tests have supported earlier suspicions that it is new member of the arenavirus family, South African health officials announced recently.

Oct 27, 2008

Oct 27, 2008

Drug-resistant flu viruses cause growing concern

– WASHINGTON, DC (CIDRAP News) – Health officials worldwide are becoming increasingly concerned about influenza viruses' resistance to antiviral drugs, which can shut down a flu infection or mitigate symptoms. Flu antivirals are vital for reducing severe illness and death in average flu seasons and could be essential bulwarks against an influenza pandemic if one began.

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